Scrapbook Expo 2014

A good friend of mine calls it, "Christmas."  Plain and simple, it IS like Christmas.  Everywhere you look, there are beautiful scrapbooking tools, techniques, accessories, paper, embellishments...you name it, it's there!!
Scrapbook Expo was held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly this past Friday and Saturday.  I was a little late leaving the house in the morning, and we barely got there in time for our first class.  So much for the earlybird shopping! But the class was a great introduction to alcohol markers.  I've never used them before, so it was fun to try them out and learn how to do shading with them.  We made a little pansy picture with greens, yellows, and purple.
After our class, we got our things settled in the cropping area and hit the vendors.  I bought more of the markers from Spectrum Noir--this time, I got the brights. Our teachers said that the pinks are fun and fairly easy to work with.  So that's where I'm starting.

I was so proud of myself for not buying any paper.  I usually go a little crazy for paper, but I just have so much that there is no reason to buy more.  I got some stickers, some fun embellishments, and some new tools, including this system from Kiwi Lane Designs:
Using these plastic pieces, you lay out your pages and then "layer" the paper to create your pages.  Here's an example (not mine!):
So you can see the papers that have already been traced and cut out and layered.  And the white squares are showing where the photos will go.  I started working on one page with this technique, and it is hard!! They make it look very easy, and I'm sure I'll get better at it the more I do it.  They do a lot of distressing of the cut edges, which is really necessary until you get your cuts smooth.  

After shopping, we cropped for a little bit, had a late lunch, and then shopped some more.  Then we stayed until almost midnight cropping and doing make-n-takes.  The make-n-takes were scheduled for every 1/2 hour, and they were pretty fun!  Some of them weren't explained very well, which was frustrating, but some turned out pretty cool.

During cropping time, we took a second class, this time about a technique called "frosting."  I'm not sure what to really think about it.  I did not love it. We got these little jars of "frosting" and use the goo to decorate the paper--adding texture.  My fingers got gross and I didn't think it looked all that great. We gooed up some leaves, snow, and sand. And I'm not even sure if it's safe for scrapbooking! No one mentioned anything about that...
Oh, I'm just too lazy to flip this photo.  You can see the jars of frosting, the wet naps (you'll need lots of those!), paintbrushes (not sure what they're for, since we daubed with our fingers), and a cute box.  As my frosted paper dried, it was curling up--how can that be good?  Not a fan.

Overall, it was a great day and got me revved up to keep scrapbooking this summer.  The even wasn't quite as big as GASC, but since all our LSS's have closed, it's nice to have this even fairly close by once a year (I do hope they come back!).


Chaise Longue Makeover

I got a chaise for my birthday several years ago, and it is just my favorite place to enjoy a glass of wine and a book after a long day at work.  This year, I just couldn't get past the faded cushions, and they had a weird feel to them, too.  Looking around online, I tried to find new cushions, but the measurements I needed were rare--and expensive.  My chair is 24 inches wide, but most cushions are 21 inches wide.  So then I got the idea to just get some outdoor fabric and recover them.  I went to Hancock and found a lovely stripe in the clearance section for $9.00 a yard.  I bought three yards, came home and began working on the covers.  The whole thing, from start to finish, took under two hours.  I think the most time was spent hand-stitching one side of the cushion.

First, notice how faded the cushions are (and this was from last October!).  I even turned the bottom cushion upside-down because it was so faded.
The before! This is the only picture of the old
cushions I could find.Making an appearance as
Elvis, is my dog, Cosmo. This was his Halloween
picture from 2013.  He was not happy.
 And this is the after picture!! I googled how to sew these cushions and came upon this DIY blog.  Christy had step-by-step directions with pictures.
The after!  Notice how the stripes match up! I did
not even think about the stripes matching until I
put the two cushions together outside.  Can you
believe my good luck?!?!
Without her ideas, I wouldn't have known how to do the corners like this:
I never knew it was so easy to make corners like that! Now I want to cover all kinds of things around the house! :) I can't wait to enjoy a cold beverage and a book out there tomorrow!


Winter Fun Scrapbooking

It's been a very long time since I posted--so sorry to all my faithful readers.  (I'm talking to you, Denise!) It's not that I haven't been scrapbooking, or at least thinking of scrapbooking; I've been doing both.  But I haven't been posting...

Let's start with updates from the company formerly known as CM.  It's now Ahni and Zoe by CM.  I've read a lot about how much people do not like the name, how it is not a correct translation of the Hawaiian word for beautiful, etc.  I don't care either way about the name, but I do know one thing: I will not be buying their products.  The new product line is not for people like me, people who like the act of scrapbooking.  Their new line is for non-scrapbookers...people who just want to slap their photos on a pre-made page in a substandard album.  I guess it's pretty obvious how I feel about this new direction.

At least my former CM consultant is still holding crops.  Even though I am not interested in her products now that she's with A&Z by CM, I still enjoy going to crops and seeing the friends I've made through this fad hobby.

 I've been scrapbooking events from the fall and winter, and I have another crop to attend this weekend and then the great Preserve Your Journey crop coming up in April.  Over Christmas, we went on a Caribbean cruise, which was the most wonderful escape from the winter weather here in Virginia.  (By the way, it snowed last night into today and we are on snow day #16 so far this school year!)  Back in the fall, my sister and I went to a local dinner theatre production of Les Miserables, which was pretty good.  We are obsessed--OBSESSED--with Les Mis.  Here's a picture of the layout for that night:
We took pictures with the French flag as we arrived, as well as the "meet me at the barricade" drink my sister had.  After the show, the actors line up at the exit to the theatre, so we got to take some pictures with them, too.  The background on the right was inspired by the picture below (from Etsy):

This picture is designed to be artwork on the wall, not a scrapbooking layout (and it is priced accordingly!), but I liked the flag and music in the background.  I found music online that had a red wash on it, which is perfect for allusion for "the blood of angry men" in the musical.  I also tore my blue and red papers to give it a more gritty look.  I can't link to the original item anymore, because its listing expired on Etsy, but it's from a shop named Twinnovations, in case you need to look for it.

Then I started working on our cruise to the Caribbean.  The highlight of the trip for me was swimming with the dolphins on Christmas Day in Tortola.  Here's the start of that layout:

I think I added a little something on the right page under the picture of me being pulled by the dolphin.  I just love these papers.  They came from an online store named Scrap Your Trip.  It's one of my favorite places to buy specialty papers.  They have really specific stuff, and you can even get some pages personalized, and the prices are totally reasonable, I think.  At the last crop I attended, I had to cut the "scrap your trip" logo off the bottom of all my papers to give to my fellow croppers.  They all wanted to check out the offerings.

This weekend, I'll continue working on our trip at the KWBES crop.  Our basement has been in a state of disarray since the broken pipe back in January, and I cannot work down there in its current upside-down furniture/carpet pulled back/drywall punched out state.  So I'll gather my materials and hit the road this weekend! So fun!


Creative Memories--Sad Memories

I'm just so sad about CM's recent bankruptcy filing and changes in their business model.  I get it that they have to change and keep up with trends.  Apparently, scrapbooking was a fad and it's over now.  I heard that from a CM consultant, and it really bummed me out.

CM is what I got started with way back in 1996 or 1997 with scrapbooking.  I remember the first event I went to in someone's basement, and when I look back at those early layouts--the triangle corners and strips of paper--oh! They crack me up!! Scrapbooking, and CM, have come a long way.

Through all the years and changes in scrapbooking, though, CM is still at the core of what I do.  I have made 7 "daily life" albums, a baseball album, a wedding album, and a Rome album all with CM albums.  I only use their adhesive, and while I use lots of different papers, I have a huge stash of CM stuff.

There's just so much uncertainty right now that it's unsettling.  Not knowing which products will remain with the company (if they continue to exist), I've purchased enough albums, pages, protectors, and adhesive to finish 10 albums.  I figured that was a good round number to stop on, if I have to change materials.  Not knowing if they'll still be around or what will still be sold is bugging me.

Something I've been keeping an eye on lately is eBay and CM products for sale.  The prices are already OUTRAGEOUS!!! I can't believe how much money people are willing to pay for items that are still actually available through the CM website, like pages and protectors.  Albums, too, for that matter! By far the most ridiculous prices people are paying are for these little guys:

People are paying upwards of $60 for these things on eBay!! I can't believe it! I know they're unavailable on the CM website, but I can only hope that another company will buy the trademark and manufacture them.  Otherwise, I'll be cutting paper with dull blades soon, because there's no way I'm paying $60 for them!

Another thing going for crazy amounts of money on eBay are pages and page protectors.  Check out this listing:
I suppose this price isn't too bad yet, considering what they retail for through CM (where they are still available, mind you), but I'm willing to bet they'll sell for twice as much in just 7 short hours.

I've been reading blogs about the demise of CM, and truly, I feel bad for the consultants who have invested so much of their money and time into building scrapbooking businesses.  These people will either have to change with the company (whatever that is--no one is saying), or leave it all together.


PYJ 2013

We had a great time at the 2013 Preserve Your Journey scrapbooking event.  It's an expensive one--$129.00, but we get a lot of stuff and good food.  Some of the money goes to the church that sponsors it, too.  The event went from 3 PM to midnight Friday, and 8 AM to 8 PM on Saturday.  I didn't get there until around 7:30 Friday night:  I had an allergic reaction to some medication and was an itchy mess Thursday and Friday, so I took some Benadryl on Friday afternoon and promptly fell asleep for two hours.  Since it was also MY BIRTHDAY, we went out to dinner before I headed out to the crop.
One of my favorite make-and-takes came from a vendor, Cindy Tucker, who runs Citrus Tree Studios.  I don't know why she decided to do this instead of something scrapbook-related, but I love it!!

This is really close to the necklace I created.  We put knots in between each button, which keeps the necklace from separating like you see at the bottom of this picture.  I am going to start making these for people--they are fabulous!!
One of the weird things that we made was a fanny-pack that we decorated with a vinyl sticker and rhinestones.  Between the fact that it was a fanny pack (who WEARS those?!?!) that didn't fit me, and that I had to IRON the bling onto it, this was not a hit.  I made it, but I truly don't know what I'll do with it--probably give it away to a little kid in my life. It looked like this one below, without the logo and with three outside pockets.  It's hideous. And I ironed a pink butterfly and rhinestone bling onto it.

I got five two-page spreads finished at the crop, which isn't bad, I think.  Maybe bad if you think that there were 21 hours of crop time available to me.  Let's not think about it that way.  Between make-and-takes and visiting, and eating, there's only 1/2 of that time available for cropping!  HA!


Reliving Rome

I signed up for crops two weekends in a row.  So. Much. Fun. The first crop was a boy scout fundraiser crop, and it was okay.  Just okay.  It wasn't as fabulous as I'd hoped, but I did get a nice tote bag for Karen out of it.  And I bought a t-shirt, because I don't have enough of those.  There were no door prizes--I do like those hourly drawings! And there were no snacks.  I am one who likes to much and work.  The food was really good, but I like a little something in between.  Also, my scrapbooking friend got some bad news health-wise just a few days before, and she wasn't in a fantastic mood because of that.  Still, we laughed and did our best to have a great time.

Yesterday's crop was a no-frills crop put on by my CM consultant.  Knowing that it was no-frills, I had very low expectations.  But it was great! The people there were all tons of fun, and the consultants had a good sale table.  I took my new wagon with me, and everyone was envious.  It certainly made hauling my stuff in and out much easier:
I also liked the way I had it right next to me at my table and my stuff wasn't sitting on the ground.  It was easier to reach in and find things when they were right next to me.  I have decided that I love it.

I brought my own lunch because the church's location is not near any fast-food restaurants, and I didn't want to lose the time driving to get something.  Others did the same, and we had a nice little lunch break.  It snowed most of the afternoon, but nothing stuck to the roads.

At the crop, I worked on my Italy trip scrapbook.  The memories were flooding back as I read my journal and looked again at all the pictures.  That was such an amazing trip. Class.  I keep forgetting the CLASS part! Here's the last page I worked on this weekend.  It's the Republic Day parade we watched.  It was such a show of military force, and when we mentioned this to the desk clerk at our hotel, she kind of laughed and said that Italy has no military force to speak of.  This was interesting to me!
It's not a fabulous layout, but I think the pictures, program, and barrier tape really capture the day.  My classmate Carol and I went to the parade together, not at all knowing what to expect, and we had such a blast! Our vantage point across from the Coliseum was the starting point for the parade, and we saw everything! The president, or maybe it was the prime minister, or maybe even both, we're just not sure, came by a few times in his official car.  That was great.  The residents around us really cheered and were excited to see him, but we could never figure out who it was.

I'll be sad when my Italy trip is finished being scrapbooked.  It was such an amazing time.


Ordering Photos!

I just ordered bunches of Christmas photos to be printed.  I thought that was where I was in my scrapbooking...until I took a look at my scrapbook.  It turns out I haven't done any pages since the end of September.  So all my fall photos and Thanksgiving pictures were still just on the computer.  So this morning, I sent those pictures off for printing.  I take advantage of the online coupons for developing, and I got all these for 5 cents each through York Photo.  I don't really have a favorite photo printing place--I wonder what the consensus is out there? I do think that York and Clark are the same company, just different names.  And I've been using them since I would send my film rolls off to them when I was in high school with the check folded up inside that wonky envelope--do you remember those days?!?!

I have used Walgreens photo center to order online photos, but I wasn't terrible impressed with the quality.  I don't know, truly, if it was just some of the files that were low resolution, but I didn't love all those pictures.  The place was convenient to where I was cropping, but unless I'm in a pinch, I don't think I'll be using Walgreens again.  Their ordering site is a clumsy, too.  I once did a big order (400+ photos) and it slowed the site down to a crawl.  I always prepaid my order so I could just run in and grab the photos, but the workers didn't ever seem to know that I'd prepaid, and it was always a little ordeal to discover that indeed, I had paid for it already.

Yesterday, I started getting ready for a crop I'm going to this coming weekend.  That's where I discovered that I hadn't scrapbooked anything since the late September photos.  Then I got sidetracked working on a calendar project:  I like to have a monthly calendar at my piano, and I didn't get a new one for 2013.  I had picked up calendar templates that fit inside a CD case (?!) for free at a crop last year, and some sort of modern 4X6 photo frame I'd received from a student, so I got the idea to make my own 4X6 monthly calendars.  It was kind of fun and quick, and I got to use up some stash that I probably wouldn't use in my scrapbooks.  Here are a couple of photos:

February calendar
April calendar
 I pulled out some CTMH stamps (that I have never, ever used), and that was fun.  I colored in the shapes--coloring is so therapeutic!! And since I don't need to write anything on the calendar, the numbers could fill the whole space--the whole sheet is 4X6, so each calendar block is about 1/2 inch high.   I will love looking at these as I teach piano each night. I made the calendars through June, and it'll be fun to make the rest of the   year.

Anyway, back to the photo printing.  I hope that the pictures arrive before Saturday, although I am not terribly hopeful.  If the photos don't make it in time, then I'll scrapbook my Italy trip.  I just scheduled myself to go to another crop on Feb 2, so I can scrapbook those pictures then if they don't come in.