Works in Progress Wall

Posted on in Scrapbooking 6 Comments

Works in Progress Wall 1A few years ago, I pinned the Displaying Art or Scrapbook Layout blog post, because I knew I wanted to add a works in progress wall in our upstairs hallway.  Shortly after that posting, Neal and I went to Ikea to purchase shelving for his office and a few Expedits for the family room.  While we were there, I picked up the DIGNITET stainless steel curtain wire and curtain rings with clips to complete this project.  Yeah, it didn’t happen!  Neal is off work now and was doing some cleaning around the house.  I mentioned this project to him and showed him what I wanted…I came home the next day and it was done!  I now have an awesome works in progress wall!

ikea03Unfortunately, my photos aren’t very good, but you get the idea.  He stretched the wire across the entire wall, so I’m able to fit six double-page layouts on the wall.  Once I got some of my unfinished layouts in the page protectors, Neal asked me why I wasn’t showing off my completed layouts.  I let him know that the works in progress wall was going to motivate me to complete my unfinished projects.  So, that’s my goal for the year.  Each week I want to complete at least one of these unfinished layouts.  When I do that, I’ll go to my Works in Progress binder and grab another layout to put up on the wall.

ikea01So far, it is working.  I have been so motivated by my works in progress wall that I spent a couple hours editing and uploading photos for printing.  Even though I only had one layout on the wall from the Sparkle and Shine Workshop on the Go, I printed Christmas photos from 2012 and 2013 to finish up two other layouts from the kit where I had only cut the papers.  I’m not done with them yet, but I’m motivated to finish the layouts now!

 

 

 

sparkle-shineLOI’ll share more details about this layout on my Tuesday Tool Tip post, so be sure to check back on Tuesday!


Close To My Heart Spring-Summer 2014 Idea Book

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[svp]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAnZ5rqprNk[/svp]
Welcome to my online CTMH Spring-Summer 2014 Idea Book launch party! This video walks you through the first few pages of the new Idea Book and shows you where to look for more…including Studio J to see all the new paper up close. Visit my blog at http://amyulen.com/ to follow along with the video.

Idea Book Highlights

Close To My Heart Spring Summer 2014 Idea Book

Visit http://amyulen.ctmh.com/
to order from this Idea Book.

  • Hostess Rewards Stamps: everything from unicorns to celebrating spring holidays
  • Stamps of the Month: cute foxes in February, awesome speech bubbles in April, to an eclectic alpha in July
  • THE PAPERS!  I seriously love all of them this time.
  • Idea Book Art: the art department continues to give us samples that are artistic, right on trend, and can be duplicated easily
  • Stamp Sets:  There is something for everyone.
  • Picture My Life:  I can’t wait to scrapbook my childhood photos/memories with this system.
  • Base & Bling:  Love the idea of creating my own wearable crafts.  Plus, I’m going to use the charms on my layouts.
  • Fun Accessories:  Lagoon Zipper Ribbon, Purple & Teal Shimmer Trim, more Washi Tape, Pink Glitter Paper, Paper Fundamentals Assortment, Embossing Folders, New Albums & Divided Page Protectors
  • Sponge Dauber Value Pack:  A huge shout out to CTMH for adding this!  I requested it at album retreat and they made it happen.  I’m sure it wasn’t just me, but it makes me happy anyway.

 

 


Re-inker + Artbooking = Love

Posted on in Cricut, CTMH 1 Comment
Artbooking Love You Mini-Album

Make your own background paper using this great re-inker technique.

One of the things I love most about going to Close To My Heart events is the ability to see artwork up close and personal.  I absolutely fell in love with this mini-album when I saw it at the Artbooking Album Retreat in October.  Close To My Heart had several tables filled with artwork from the Artbooking Made Easy video series.  I took photos of every page of this mini-album because I love the colors, style, re-inker technique, sentiment, stamps, Artbooking shapes…really…everything about it.  Well, minus the binding.  I’ve never been a fan of loosely bound albums.  When I recreate this, I’ll remove the holes from the pages in Cricut Craft Room before cutting and then use my Bind-It-All to bind it with coils.

Artbooking Overlay using the Re-inker Technique

Artbooking makes it easy to cut the pages, overlays, photo mats, and icons for a wide variety of layouts and mini-albums.

It’s nice to be able to take detailed photos of the pages to capture the details I may miss in the video.  For instance, the photo to the right includes the heart overlay (Artbooking pg. 48) that uses the re-inker technique described in the video below.  It also includes black stitching on the hearts that I may have missed without seeing the page in person.

You can get these sneak peek privileges by joining my Studio Scrapping team and attending the Close To My Heart convention or other regional events with me!  Ask me about the exciting event taking place in Sea-Tac at the end of February…you don’t want to miss it!

Now, on to the Artbooking Made Easy video.

Re-inker Technique

There are so many great re-inker techniques that range from simply dying ribbons/flowers to creating your own paper by pairing re-inker with shaving cream or marbles.  Paper crafters are a creative bunch!  I’ve used re-inkers as watercolor with a paint brush, but I hadn’t used a sponge dauber to paint or create giant paint splats before.  Check out these awesome re-inker techniques in the Artbooking Made Easy video below:

Re-inker Technique Creates a Paint Splat

Create giant paint splats by saturating a sponge dauber in a re-inker and water mix and “splat” on your page.

Do you find this re-inker technique as amazingly fun as I do?!  It makes me want to create splats in every color of re-inker I own.  I have 41 re-inkers, btw…I felt the need to count them all!

Re-inker and Spray Pen

Use re-inker with a CTMH Spray Pen to create your own mists to perfectly match your projects.

Another re-inker technique used in this mini-album but not mentioned in the video involves creating mist by mixing re-inker and water in the CTMH Spray Pen.  There are so many fun and trendy looks you can achieve with mist.  When I’m misting, I also like to use a small paint brush to dip in re-inker and water to create slightly larger splats of paint that aren’t quite as large as the sponge dauber technique.  Simply fill your brush with re-inker and water, tap the handle against your hand, and watch the splats of ink fall.

Artbooking overlay on top of re-inker technique

Paint a portion of the background page using the re-inker technique and cover with an Artbooking overlay.

The key with these techniques is to expect it to look messy.  Once you start adding photos, embellishments, and journaling, it will start to look the way you want it.

Please leave me a comment below to let me know how you plan to use these re-inker techniques!  Once you make something, feel free to post your project on the Studio Scrapping Facebook page.


Celebrate National Papercrafting Month

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I’ll be on Cloud 9 this weekend!

I have been so ridiculously busy this school year, I really haven’t done much scrapbooking or papercrafting.  Luckily, I have my two Close To My Heart clubs and my crop group that each meets once a month, so I get to play with pretty paper at least three times each month.  I decided that I’m going to celebrate National Papercrafting Month while my husband and his friends are watching the Seahawks game on Saturday by putting together the Cloud 9 kit.  I’m really looking forward to playing with the new washi tape and teal shimmer trim that are sneak peeks from the Spring/Summer 2014 Idea Book which will be released on February 1 (contact me to get a copy).  I’ll post my cards and anything else I make with the leftover kit on Sunday.  Until then, take a look at this video.  Remember, the kit is only available this month and while supplies last, so be sure to click on the shop button on the right to pick up your kit today!  On second thought, you might need to wait until tomorrow since the CTMH site is down for several hours tonight…LOL!

So, how are you celebrating National Papercrafting Month?  Leave a comment below to let me know!


Change: Embrace or Curse?

Posted on in Education, Random Thoughts, Scrapbooking Leave a comment

I’ve always been a fan of change, so I’m usually not fazed when life throws me a curve ball.  Honestly, I often feel annoyed when people complain about change.  I know I shouldn’t feel this way, because they are simply expressing their sense of loss in the only way they know how.  At least I have the good sense not to say anything about it…most of the time.  I did have a bit of a freak out moment this school year when the complaining and negativity became too much for me to handle.  LOL!  I won’t go into details because it would be rude and come off as complaining…then I would have to get mad at myself.  Besides, I’m not remotely proud of my behavior.  The point is, I usually celebrate change.  Yet, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed right now.

Change in the Scrapbooking World

Scrapbooking Change

Archiver’s is going out of business and will close shop mid-February 2014.

Yesterday, Archiver’s announced that they are closing shop.  This does not directly impact me as I’ve only visited Archiver’s a handful of times over the years while visiting family in Boise, Idaho.  What distresses me is what this says about the entire industry.  For years, people used the excuse that the economy was bad and that’s why people aren’t scrapbooking.  That may have been true, and it may still be true in some areas of the nation, but, for the most part, people have money to spend.  They simply aren’t choosing to spend their time or money preserving their family memories.  That saddens me and makes me wonder why.  Why was scrapbooking so popular for so many years, and now it feel like it is dying a slow death?  I hear so many people say that they used to scrapbook.  What changes?  Why does something that seems so important to me…memory keeping…seem so unimportant to them?  Even the cave dwellers knew how important it was to record their history, so why are so many personal histories being allowed to be lost?  It makes me sad.

Change in My Life

Perhaps the reason why I’m so melancholy about this is because Neal and I are about to embark on some serious change in our lives, and I’m a little nervous.  The good news is that he is finally going to pursue his dreams of writing.  He is very good…check out his blog, Infinispace.  What I find a little funny right now is that some things don’t change…I can not bring myself to write about personal challenges in a public forum.  This is why I’m a terrible Facebook friend!

Change in Education

I do feel comfortable writing about the changes I’m making as a teacher.  I spent 5 hours working on the Web Design framework yesterday while waiting for my car to be tuned up.  Side note–the next time I go to get my car worked on, I’m packing a lunch!  Today, my colleague and I met for another 3 hours to work on it.  I’m choosing to change the entire unit and am going to write the lesson plans for all the Technology Communications teachers to use.  I’m even going to film video lessons that they can share with their students and that the students will be able to access from home.  That is the beauty of being a teacher…as long as I’m teaching the standards, I have the freedom to change how I’m teaching each unit.  My students’ needs dictate how I teach, and they change every year!  Plus, I love having a job where I can be on my feet most of the day.

Change in Routine

Speaking of being on my feet, I’m going to stop writing and go exercise.  For some reason, I fell off the exercise wagon last year.  I’m not going to do that to myself again this year.  Besides, exercise will help me manage stress and deal with life’s inevitable changes.

Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with change.  Do you roll with it or need time to vent while processing the change?


Makes Me Happy Free Printable

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6 Things That Make Me Happy!

Make Me HappyThe Rediscover Close To My Heart campaign makes me happy, because they are providing us a free printable download every month!  This month we get to download 5 journaling prompts:  20 Fun Facts About Me, 6 Things That Make Me Happy, 4 Foods I Love, My 3 Greatest Blessings Are…, and This Makes Me Laugh ‘Till I Cry.

I opened the file in Photoshop and cut out this card and added my journaling.  I can now drop this into Studio J to create a digital layout.  The other option would be to print the page of prompts and use my own handwriting.  I’m looking forward to February when CTMH releases pocket pages with 3×4 sleeves…the perfect size for these journaling prompts.

You’ll notice that I didn’t include people in my happy list.  I did that on purpose and even had to go back and replace “Scrapbooking with Friends” with “Singing in the Car!”  I like my friends enough not to sing when they are in the car with me.  🙂  I’m taking Inspired Scrapbooking with Stacy Julian and I want to spend my time this year scrapbooking more than the events.  Don’t get me wrong, I love event scrapbooking and am not giving up on it, I simply want to expand my story telling and use some of my older photos.

Watch this space later in the month when I start sharing sneak peeks from the new Idea Book.  You’ll see what I have planned for the Picture My Life program!


Transform Photos into Memories

Posted on in Education, Random Thoughts, Scrapbooking Leave a comment

“Is Facebook making us forget?” Review

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Sometimes a photo says it all!

Earlier this week, I was wasting time on Facebook and happened across the UK article “Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories.”  As you might imagine, my interest was piqued, so I stopped aimlessly perusing and read the article.

It briefly recounts a psychological study where university students were asked to either photograph or simply look at art in a museum.  The next day, their memory was tested and it was concluded that “the subjects were less able to recognize the objects they had photographed compared to those they had only looked at.”  Yet, the study also concludes that zooming in on a subject enhances memory since the photographer is focused on the object as opposed to mindlessly snapping away.

I'll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas...I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

I’ll always remember the joy I felt as she looked at the scapbook I made her for Christmas…I just wish I had a better photo of that moment.

Clearly, I love photographs.  Yet, I’ve been guilty of seeing an event through the lens of my camera instead of fully experiencing it in the moment.  So, I’ve been trying to be better about handing the camera to someone else.  In fact, I decided to leave my DSLR at home for Christmas and simply snap a few photos for my album with my phone…more on that in a moment.

The final paragraph states that “research has suggested that the sheer volume and lack of organization of digital photos for personal memories discourages many people from accessing and reminiscing about them…In order to remember, we have to access and interact with the photos, rather than just amass them.”  The educator in me started jumping up and down at this point, because teachers know that “learning requires active involvement. Learning happens when students actively process information through writing, talking, and transforming by using a variety of organization strategies” (Duke & Pearson, 2002).  We must get our photos off the camera/phone and transform them into something new.

Transform Photos!

This is why I scrapbook.  I reflect upon the photos I take, organize them either by event or person, and capture my memories through journaling.  I transform the photos and stories into blog posts, digital or paper scrapbook pages, and even home décor.  The time I spend with those photos allows me to relive the event, so I take my time when making layouts.  I love that process.

The day I didn't take the photos...thank goodness for Photoshop!

The day I didn’t take the photos…thank goodness for Photoshop!

So, what happens to me when someone else takes the photos or I leave my camera behind?  In the moment, I may enjoy myself more, such as when my husband took photos during our day trip to Positano, Italy.  Yet, when I later saw the photos, I agonized over the fact that they all had a blue tint. The act of reliving the event through my scrapbook was not nearly as enjoyable.  The same thing happened to me this year at Christmas.  I snapped a few photos with my phone, but the poor quality of the images distresses me and makes me wish I had taken my good camera. 

In 2014, I will strive for a happy medium.  I will take my DSLR to events and capture several photos that I know will make me happy.  I’ll also let other people take photos so that I’m in the story, as well. I’ll experience the moment with my own eyes, but I’ll also let the camera help me capture the moments that I want to remember the most.  When I get home, I’ll organize, reflect, and transform! 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about this study. 


Star Trek 47th Birthday

Posted on in Random Thoughts 2 Comments

Walter Koenig of Star TrekHappy Birthday Star Trek!

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek!  On this day one year ago, Larry Nemecek and I escorted Walter Koenig and a group of his most loyal fans around the Hollywood Walk of Fame to visit the stars of those actors and directors most closely related to the Star Trek franchise.  Walter Koenig of Star TrekIt really was an incredible experience, and I’m so glad that I got to be a part of Walter’s celebration on the 46th anniversary of Star Trek.  The weekend included a fantastic lineup of Star Trek and Babylon 5 stars.  We had an incredible banquet and roast in Walter’s honor.  Some of Walter’s long-time friends, such as Jamie Farr from M*A*S*H, attended the banquet.  Jamie Farr of MASHIt was a pleasure to sit by Mr. Farr during dinner and hear him share stories about Walter and his current acting jobs.  It amazes me that I haven’t scrapbooked this weekend yet.  I need to get on that!

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend Walter’s Star Ceremony, here is a video that I found on YouTube.

So, why is the 47th Anniversary so important?

Visit TREKLAND for more info!If you are a Star Trek fan, then you probably already follow Larry Nemecek since he knows everything about Star Trek…plus, he is just an all-around great guy! In his TREKLAND blog post today, he lets us know why the 47th birthday is so important in Star Trek lore.  Be sure to check it out!

Remembering the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek

I can’t end this post without a little trip down memory lane.  groupPlanet Xpo celebrated the 40th anniversary of Star Trek with a convention in Seattle.  I curated a blog post a day for the the 40 days leading up to the event with our final blog post by Arthur C. Clarke!  Be sure to check it out at http://startrek40.blogspot.com/ .  I did cover the 40th Anniversary for StarTrek.com, but they pulled all my articles after a change in management.  I need to find them all and post them on my own website.  I’ll add this to my gigantic To Do list…LOL!

Seattle Star Trek Con 2013I have to tell you, I feel really blessed as a Star Trek fan to be able to do all that I’ve done as a result of winning a radio contest and appearing on an episode of Enterprise!  I really enjoy working at the conventions and on special events like Star Trek: Of Gods and Men and Walter’s Star Ceremony.  Yet, I have an equally fun time just being a fan like I was at the Seattle Star Trek Convention a couple weeks ago!  As a fan, I’m looking forward to celebrating Star Trek well into the future.  Just think, we only have a few more years until the 50th Anniversary.  It will be a Thursday of the first week of school…I’m sensing that I may just have to use my personal days that week.  I have priorities, you know!

May Star Trek live long and prosper!  And may I live long enough to celebrate First Contact Day on April 5, 2063!  😉

 


Creating Keepsakes to Stop Publishing

Posted on in Scrapbooking 2 Comments

CK-Sept-Oct2013-200pxSaying Goodbye to Creating Keepsakes

As the Internet gained in popularity, the publishing industry suffered.  Many newspapers moved to an online only format and magazines closed shop.  The scrapbooking industry has been hit especially hard by this recent trend.  As sad as it may be, it really does make sense.  Companies have moved their advertising dollars online, because they can hit a wider and larger audience than print advertising.  Magazines such as Creating Keepsakes responded by decreasing the size of their print magazine and moving a lot of the content online.  This frustrated consumers, so many stopped subscribing.  Why pay for an online magazine when there are millions of layouts/ideas on Pinterest for free?!  So, Creating Keepsakes announced today that it will cease publication after the November/December issue.  Those of us who subscribe will receive two monthly issues of their new online magazine, Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking, for every issue left on our Creating Keepsakes subscription.   Lots of subscribers are upset and would prefer a refund.  I’m looking forward to seeing the format of the online magazine, but I know that I won’t subscribe to it.  Even though I have access to Creating Keepsakes’ online editions, I don’t use them that often.

So, here is what I’m wondering…will Creating Keepsakes continue sponsoring their conventions (CKC)?  I remember when I wouldn’t miss a CKC.  In fact, for several years, my friends and I attended the Seattle AND Portland CKCs.  Yet, again, I think the Internet is hurting business.  People expect a good deal when they go to these shows.  Yet, I often found that vendors were selling REALLY old product that was only slightly discounted.  Why would I spend my money on old product when I can buy new product online for a greater discount.  Since most online stores don’t have a brick and mortar storefront, they can afford to discount their product since they have less overhead to cover.  Convention vendors have the expense of travel and lodging on top of shipping their inventory from show to show.  I think these shows will eventually go the way of the magazines.

So, goodbye Creating Keepsakes!  It has been nice knowing you.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this news.  Are you disappointed to see the magazine go?  Will you read it online?  Do you still attend CKCs?  If not, why?


National Stamping Month 2013

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You Are My HappyNational Stamping Month is Here!

That’s right!  It is time to break out your stamps and get inky!  Close To My Heart is making it easy for us with this darling stamp set trio, You are My Happy.  It is only $10 with a qualifying purchase.  Check out this video for a look at the stamp set and some projects you can make when you get your hands on this great set.  Mine will be here on Wednesday…I can’t wait!


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