Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Scribbles From My Scrap Studio–May 2017

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Last month, I went to CKC – jealous?

 

Yes, pretty much every year sis-in-law Trenna and I go to the Creating Keepsakes convention; for the last 3 it has been just outside St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois. I was worried this year.  Creating Keepsakes, while sponsoring the event, was not teaching any classes (but going to the competing Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in Anaheim instead?)  We love their classes, and suspected this change did not bode well for the future.  Not to be thwarted, a careful comparison of classes available provided a good alternative – A to Z scrapbooking offered similar classes featuring quite popular product lines.  With Robert Frost in mind, I signed up.  Mr. Frost said to entertain great hopes.

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But Robert’s pie-in-the-sky, ant-with-his-rubber-tree plant attitude was a distant memory, when a month prior to the show A to Z Scrapbooking and Quick Quotes pulled out and cancelled their classes.  Yikes, with 4 of my classes cancelled, I was disappointed, a lot.  I struggled to find 1 additional class to attend, and so planned on more scrap time in our room.  But to paraphrase another unknown less famous quote:  Average scrappers have wishes and hopes, confident memory-keepers have goals and plans.  I set a goal for a # of pages.

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As predicted, attendance at the show was way, way down – obviously, noticeably so. The vendor floor held fewer companies.  Even the area’s largest local scrapbook store was not there.  The area where you could check your bags before entering the vendor floor had been overflowing in years past, but it was barely 1/3 occupied.  There was plenty of room in the aisles; the wait lines to pay were short. While a bit more convenient, there was less excitement, less buzz.

Still there were highlights to our adventure:
  • The Thursday night technique workshop was better than ever, with an extra company or two joining in compared to prior years. Each presented a quick easy project, getting the creative juices flowing.  We were totally psyched to start scrapping in the room.
  • Paper Loft’s annual class “All Totally Awesome Layouts” featured their new Euphoria line, and was totally awesome. We walked out of there with 4 double-page spreads to finish up.
  • We tried our hand at water coloring at an Art Impressions workshop.  It was really, really well taught – and our little projects looked even better when we got them home and they had dried completely.
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  • Queen & Company’s Embellishment Envy class put an emphasis on stacking paper scraps with pretties to make your own embellishments.  I love the layout and the card we created in class.  This was the class I added as a replacement, and it was lucky for me.  I won the most coveted door prize too -- one of their new Heart Throb kits.
  • And then there was the hidden gem of the convention, Sugar & Spice Scrapbooks.  Her class included 3 double page spreads, featuring Simple Stories and Kaisercraft papers.  Her solid designs were not overly elaborate. The pictures of the kits do not do them justice.  I added photos to several and they really shine because her bases are well planned.  Her in-class tips were wonderful, making quick work of focal point features.

So we still had a great time, and brought home plenty of new supplies, both class materials and some freebies.

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Wondering if the future of this event might be in jeopardy, I shopped wholeheartedly, sticking mainly to buying kits – page kits, album kits, card kits.  Disappointed in my ability to complete only 5 single layouts of my own design while cropping in the room, the timesaving reality of starting with someone else’s base pages was reaffirmed.  Sometimes speed and productivity trumps pride of original design. Here are 40 cards I had finished within a week our our return.


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A good portion of my freebies are from SEI who announced they will not be at future Creating Keepsakes conventions (perhaps the competing Stamp & Scrapbook Expos, neither). Based on the discounting and bigger than ever selection, it certainly seemed that their plan was to dramatically downsize inventory.  Each time Trenna and I visited their booth (Thursday, Friday and, yes again, Saturday), we combined our purchases and qualified for their generously stuffed goody bag, which we then split. It was funny that even when we shopped apart from each other, sis-in-law and I still managed to grab many of the same kits.  I have already mixed and matched the freebies into 3-4 page kits of my own. That’s just how I roll.

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I visited the Creating Keepsakes booth, because I like their kits (and their cute crop buttons). There was very little new this year, no trendy new product like prior years, mostly kits from prior year classes (many of which I already had taken.)  Without the lure of class discounts, their booth was nearly empty most of the weekend – proof that classes drive scrappers to shop.  Lesson learned, CK?

Speaking of learning, let me wrap up with what I have learned (or relearned, as the case may be):
  • Classes reinvigorate my creative mojo, whether is it new techniques like water coloring or just revisiting old scrappy tips that have been forgotten over time (e.g., using templates to cut repeated shapes).
  • Kits of all types save precious time, and really provide a solid base for your own pictures and finishing touches, which is all that is needed for them to be as unique as you are.  I quickly surpassed my original goal of 10 pages for the weekend by completing pages from kits in the 2 or 3 days after arriving home (plus all those cards).
  • One smart thing I noticed from Sugar & Spice Scrapbooks was to use premium brands like Simple Stories for the main papers, but lighter weight sheets from The Paper Studio instead of cardstock for all the photo mats. This is economical and lessens the weight of the finished pages too. While I don’t buy lightweight paper any more, it is a good reminder on how to use up some of my older sheets.
  • The industry has shifted toward online shopping and inspiration, but is that as EXCITING as learning, scrapping and shopping in person with a scrappy friend by your side.  Not for me. What do you think?  Are you holding on to high hopes, waiting for the  industry to cycle around to a resurgence of scrappy events, so in unison we can all chant “Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant!”
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Postscript:  If any of you were at the Anaheim event in April, I would love to know how that went.  Was attendance up, down or steady?  How did the offerings for workshops and vendor floor shopping compare?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 2017 Challenge #2 Mix It Up


Challenge #2 - Mix It Up

Be creative with your title and get mixing. 

Create a title using different styles of font, different sizes of letter or even a combination of letters and ready made words. 

Make a longer title or get clever with a single word that says more than the word itself. 

Embed your title in your journalling or as part of the photo or the background paper. 

Check out Pinterest for some interesting takes on creative titles and incorporate a title that's out of the box!

Let's see what our wonderful Guest Designer Christy as well as creative Master Forgers Lynnette and Susan have mixed together for us!

Guest Designer Christy has this fabulous layout to share with us.

"I approached the title by choosing word art, then adding in the title with mini letters and foam letters. The navy foam letters are comprised of two sets of alphabet stickers. The shade of navy is slightly different. I hid this shade difference a bit with some glitter glue. "

Love it!

Head over to her blog here for more details as well as a video! 



Lynnette is generally about the mix and not the match when it comes to her titles and this double page spread is no exception.  She used letter stickers to spell out the departure and arrival airport codes, a pre-made word and tiny alphas to mix her title.  





Susan created this page for the challenge.  Check her blog to find out what inspired her title!

LINK


Don't forget that there are more ways than ever to join in the fun - we love to see you join in!
post on your blog or our Flickr group
Sending love, Lisa




Friday, May 12, 2017

May 2017 Challenge #1 The Good Life!


Challenge #1 - The Good Life

The original  inspiration kit includes some puffy stickers including the phrase 
"The Good Life" which caught my eye. 

Make a page about what you consider to be the good life. 

With May heralding the coming of summer, maybe it's heading outdoors for life under the sun for a few months. Or maybe it's having family and friends around you. Or maybe it's your time of life. 

Tell us what your good life is all about.

Julene has focused on retirement in her layout.



Lisa used the scraps from her mini kit (showcased here) to build a second page kit and made up another name of just another "perfectly ordinary, perfect day"! You can find out more about the page kit and some detail shots over on her blog




Leslie's living the good life in retirement, too!
And scrapping with a little help from this week's Whimsical Musing prompt #256
Vive la France!




Don't forget that there are more ways than ever to join in the fun - we love to see you join in!
post on your blog or our Flickr group

Sending love, Lisa


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Saturday, May 6, 2017

(Inter)National Scrapbook Day 2017


Welcome to the second post of the day here at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. I bet that surprised you, didn't it?

But we couldn't let (Inter)National Scrapbook Day come and go without at least acknowledging it at least, could we?

Some years we give you posts all day or even all weekend but this year, we're keeping it simple.

I'd just like to share with you some of my favourite Counterfeit Kit Challenge prompts from the last 12 months to remind you of the wonderful wealth of inspiration that you can find on this blog. You'll find a challenge title and then a project made using that prompt. Details for both can be found by following the links!

So let's see which challenges grab my attention, and hopefully you too. 

I'll be making a page today using at least one of these prompts - will you join me?

April 2016


Layout by MF Kelly

May 2016


Layout by MF Susan

June 2016


Layout by MF Susanne

July 2016


Layout by MF Lisa 

August 2016


Layout by MF Margie

September 2016


Layout by MF Lesley

October 2016


Layout by MF Jemma

November 2016


Layout by MF Julene

January 2017


Layout by MF Lynnette

February 2017


Layout by MF Clair

March 2017


Layout by MF Leslie

April 2017


Layout by MF Stephanie using her mini kit rather than the challenge prompt but I just love this layout!

And just as an added bonus, you can find our previous (Inter)National Scrapbook Day posts from here at the CKC blog below:



Don't forget that we LOVE it when you share your kits and projects with us :-)

Use the the Link-up Page, 
the new Counterfeit Kit Challenge Facebook Community Group 
(there's even a giveaway over here to celebrate hitting 1,000 Likes on our Facebook page)
or on Instagram @counterfeitkitchallenge or #counterfeitkitchallenge.

And of course, there was extra inspiration earlier today with our mini kits and more to come with challenges on the 12th & 18th. You'd be crazy not to play along.

Happy creating everyone.

Sending love, Lisa


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May 2017 Mini Kit Reveal

Love this month's inspiration kit, but not entirely sure if you can play along this month? 

Maybe you're not sure if you have the time and energy to play along? 

Maybe you feel like you haven't got quite enough stash to make a full kit? 

Or maybe you're still working with the remnants of last month's inspiration kit and only need a small selection to work with? 

Whatever the reasons, our new mini-kit feature will hopefully help out when time, energy or stash are a little bit lacking! In addition to the main kit reveal on the 1st of the month, we are also creating our own smaller "Mini Kit" versions of the inspiration kit, along with some ideas for using them up quickly!

Here's a reminder of our inspiration kit, courtesy of the Gossamer Blue March main kit full of fabulous blues and some wonderful patterns.

Gossamer Blue March main kit

There's also a pocket page kit to be inspired by.

Gossamer Blue Life Pages March kit

Kits can either be simply smaller versions of the main kit, or they can be specifically aimed to use as card kits, mini album kits, pocket style albums or planners. 

It's entirely up to you

And you can use the mini-kit option whenever you like 
  • You're still loving (and creating with) an older kit, but want to play along each month.
  • You don't have enough stash that suits the new inspiration kit. 
  • You're busy, but still want to feel creative. 
  • You love the 'Main Kit' but could have taken it in a different direction. Use the mini-kit as way to explore those other options. 
  • You need *more* kit. Use the mini-kit as an 'add on'. 
  • In fact, use the mini-kit inspiration in any way that you want! 


Master Forger Susanne curated a quick kit and made up a page in no time.  She could have been even quicker if she hadn't chosen an alphabet for her kit that required glitter or microbeads to be added.  She had neither on hand, so she switched it out for a colorful alternative that picks up all the other bits of color.



True to form, Clair chose to raid her 'Scrap Stash', making a mini kit with lots of lovely, little leftovers! She used her mini-kit so quickly, that she had to make a Main Kit and join in on the 1st!


You've already seen the Counterfeit Die-Cuts that Clair made for Forgeries On The Fourth, which she is using with her Main Kit, but here's a little extra inspiration!


When will Lisa learn? Another last minute make made for less than stellar, late night photos!

However, she pulled together her Dreamer mini page kit featuring Pinkfresh Studio and Shimelle products, picking out the blues and green from the inspiration kit.


And then, even though it was late, late, late (almost midnight!), she put this quick page together. You can find out more details about her kit and layout over on her blog here.


Kelly put together a quick kit reflecting the rainy weather she has been experiencing lately.


She used her kit to create this spread for her Project Life album. See full details on her blog.



Don't forget that there are more ways than ever to join in the fun - we love to see you join in!
post on your blog or our Flickr group

Sending love, Lisa

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Forgery on the Fourth - May 2017



 May's inspiration:

March 2017 Gossamer Blue Kit
 Lots of doodly bits in this kit. How about free-hand cutting a large black or white word or stamping the tiny multi-colored alphas? The painterly color block paper truly begs to be forged.

Let's see what the Design Team has provided for inspiration:




Susan made her own version of the dimensional word Thickers included in the inspiration kit.  You can check her blog for the full details.


She also found some free printables for some of the other kit components:

Here are some tag templates to help you replicate the ones included in the Life Pages kit:

These Project Life printables are similar in color and design to the ones in the Life Pages kit and you could use them on a layout as well:

Here's a link to some cute hand-drawn flowers that are similar to the puffy stickers included in the main kit:

Clair is constantly using her stamp sets to counterfeit her own embellishments and this Pennant Banner Tutorial (an old one, but still a fabulous one) could help you to recreate the cute little banner from the sticker set!


And, with the leftovers from her (soon to be revealed mini-kit) she made some added some 'die-cuts' to her Main Kit. There's more details on her blog, Obstinate Pursuit, today.


Leslie wanted to include those cute wood veneers.


Lisa tracked down some speech bubble printables which reminded her of some of the Shimelle stickers included


And then she went off looking for some ways to recreate those cute puffy stickers in some way. These videos tutorials show you how you can use Nuvo Crystal Drops (or similar dimensional products) for your own enamel dots and small shapes including words. 

She's actually had a go with the Nuvo Crystal Drops before (in her Scrapabilly September 2016 kit) and managed to pull off some rather nifty enamel dots and even a few shapes. You can find a few close ups over on her blog here, here and here.


Make sure to share YOUR mad counterfeiting skills with us on the Link-up Page and/or the brand new Counterfeit Kit Challenge Facebook Community Group! Or share on Instagram using @counterfeitkitchallenge or #counterfeitkitchallenge