Thursday, May 24, 2012

Four More Challenges from LOAD 512

I tell you, Lain is killing me!  Or at least it seems like it.  The prompts she has given us for LOAD 512 have really made me dig deep, and quite frankly, today I’m at a loss for what to do!  I’m on Day 24 now, and our prompt for today is “Overheard Conversation”.  Oh dear!  The first thing that comes to mind is a memory of my lovely daughter, Christen, sitting in the back seat of our car.  When she was little, that girl would carry on entire dialogs with herself, including made-up voices and the whole nine yards.  It was crazy entertaining.  She still has a knack for imitating other people.  I swear, she should have been a comedian…oh wait, I digress…anyway, I think I’d like to use that, but am totally clueless about finding a picture to use.  I didn’t have a lot of ordinary snapshots back in those days.  I’ll have to tinker around to see what I can find.  In the mean time, here are four more layouts.

Day 10:  Scraplift a Cereal Box

My first thought was “Seriously?!”.  I put it off until the very end of the day, then I just slapped something on paper to resemble one of the boxes I found in the fridge.  I had to adjust the position of a few of the elements, but you get the general idea.

Day 11:  Touch

I struggled with this one, too. The prompt was to use the sense of touch.  I kept thinking about a blanket my son carried when he was small, but then I couldn’t find any of the photos.  Then I thought about the foot pain I experienced while training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, but I didn’t have any good photos of that, either.  Eventually, I settled on some pictures of my son’s head after he’d had a recent hair cut.  I didn’t have any photos printed out, but I did have some great digital ones that were easy to find, so I opted for another digital layout.  I do most of my digital layouts in Photoshop, and all of the elements are free ones that I found on the internet.  I colored the button in Photoshop to make it match the page.  To make the journaling text fit the lines on the journaling element, I used the Character Palette to adjust the spacing of each line.

Day 12:  Something from your trash

Yes, Lain is trying to kill me!  The Day 12 prompt was to pull something out of your trash and use it on your page.  Guess what?  I emptied my trash the day before!  Fortunately for me, I scrounged around and found a cardboard box of some “trash” that accumulated while I was cleaning out my crop room a while back.  The box got left in my spare bedroom along with the box of garage sale items and other things I hid it there.  In the box, I found a tag that I had previously used to mark a price at a scrapbook garage sale.  I flipped it over and used it on a layout I had already made into a kit!

Day 13:  Sketchy Sunday

I was so glad to get some relief with a sketch!  Sketches are simple for me.  I stretched this one out to 12 x 12 (all of the sketches so far have been 8 ½ x 11) and rotated it 180°.  It made for a really quick layout after a really busy day.  I love it when I can whip out a page quickly. 

That’s it for this post.  Tomorrow I’ll be back with four more challenges and a tip on how you can use your computer print on ready-to-use journaling cards.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More LOAD 512

I swear, the LOAD 512 challenges get harder and harder every day.  I know that some of the challenges that I’ve found really hard were probably really easy for other people, and yes, there were a couple that came pretty easily to me.  But you can be sure that ALL of the prompts have been a challenge in the truest sense of the word and I know this is really helping me grow as a scrapbooker.  Here is installment No. 2 in my “Let’s Play Catch-up” series! 

Day 6: Sketch Sunday

Lain’s challenge every Sunday is to take her sketch and then change it somehow.  I’m no stranger to sketches, and I’m pretty good at being able to take a sketch, turn it around, mix it all up, and come up with something completely different.  I know a lot of people can’t do that.  That said, this sketch was a little bit challenging for me.  I picked out my pictures and my paper pretty quickly, but what I wanted to do didn’t work because I only had one piece of the dark blue paper and another little scrap.  It frustrated me for a long time before I finally gave in and used the grey cardstock for the background of the 1st page.  It wasn’t the look I was going for, but Christen loved it.  Lesson learned?  Don’t waste hours trying to make something work.  It’s okay to go with something different.  It might work out better than you think.


Day 7:  30 Minute Day

I cannot complete a page in 30 minutes – no matter what I do!  I tried really hard on this one, and if you don’t count the rhinestones, it would have been finished in 30.  Instead, it took me about an hour.  I could have presented my layout without the rhinestones, but I like a bit of bling on my pages.  I really am not a fan of stark or plain pages.  I want to love the pages in my albums.  If I love the pages, then other people will love the pages, too, and if they love the pages, they will come back and look at them – often.  And that’s the whole purpose of my scrapbooks…to get people to look at the pictures and read our stories.  Lesson learned?  Do what you like.  They’re your albums.  You don’t have to make pages to fit someone else’s idea of what they should or shouldn’t be.  If it takes you 4 hours to do your layout and you are happy with that, then so be it.

Day 8:  Someone Else's Story

I had a lot of fun coming up with this page that tells the story of my husband’s busy work day.  I think it’s important to include pages like this in our scrapbooks, especially because our lives change.  My husband’s routine today is a far cry from what it looked like 10 or 20 years ago.  It would have been fun to compare the differences, but we didn’t think to record things like that back then.  Lesson learned?  Capture your daily life and your routines somehow.  Even if you don’t scrapbook it right now, you’ll be glad to have that glimpse into your past some day.

Day 9:  6+ Photos

I almost laughed when I saw this prompt.  I have actually had a harder time doing pages with only one photo than I do using lots.  I have the hardest time letting go of even the worst bad photos.  They have to be really, really bad for me to not at least consider putting them on my page.  (A perfect example of this is coming up on Day 19).  Even the pictures I used here were not some of the best.  I doctored a few in Photoshop before I printed them.  I didn’t use a lot of embellishments on this page either.  Sometimes, when there’s lots of pictures, adding embellishments can be distracting.  I wanted the main focus of the page to be the journaling and the photos.  Mostly the journaling.

Well, that’s enough for this post.  I’ll have some more for you tomorrow.  Have you been following along with LOAD, too?  Or have you tried any of these prompts?  I’d love to hear what you think about them!

Have you checked out our Scrapbooking Cruise?  Departing the port of Galveston, Texas on September 15, 2012, our guests will set sail on a high seas adventure in the Caribbean while scrapbooking aboard the Carnival Triumph.  Prices start at just $485 per person all inclusive.  Reserve your cabin for as little as $50 down!  See our cruise website at for details!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Yikes!  I just realized that I haven’t posted an entry to my blog since May 2!  You’ll have to forgive me…okay, you don’t have to forgive me, but I hope you will); we have been really busy here at the Crafty Neighbor studios and the blog has been the last thing on my mind.   It started with our National Scrapbook Day crop party and just snowballed from there.  Right now we are in the middle of planning for a scrapbooking garage sale in July, our Pam’s Pals breast cancer event in August, a scrapbooking cruise in September, and I have been participating in LOAD 512 with Lain Ehman.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I did LOAD 212 in February and I actually did post my first entry for LOAD 512 on May 2nd.  Then I just ran out of time.  So to make it up to you, I’ll post a little more frequently over the next few days and get you caught up on all the juicy LOAD creativity.

As I mentioned on the 2nd, the theme for May is “Scrapbooking Outside the Box”.  I knew it was going to be a challenge just by the title, and indeed, this go ‘round has been a lot more challenging to me than the one back in February.  In February, I kind of had a groove that helped me get my layouts done a little quicker and without as much fuss.  Since Lain always posts the next day’s prompt around midnight the night before, I was able to see it before I went to bed, and usually I knew right away what the subject of my layout would be.  In the morning I would dig through my paper and supplies and compile everything I needed, and then in the evening I could just whip it out.

Not so, this time around.  The prompts are sometimes so challenging that it takes me all day just to come up with an idea!  Of course, sometimes once the idea hits, everything goes pretty fast, but several of these prompts have left me scratching my head all day long trying to think what might fit the topic.  Some of them took me so long that I barely got them finished by the deadline, and one actually got uploaded one minute late.   Why are these topics so challenging? I’m not sure.  They’re actually great prompts, and I’ve kept them to use again in the future because they can be used in many different ways. 

So without further adieu, here’s a few of my LOAD layouts and the prompts that inspired them!

Day 2:  No Photo

This one wasn’t too hard since I do pages with no photos all the time.  This is probably the fastest page I've ever made!  I suddenly looked up and saw that it was 11:30 (central time) and threw this together.  I was inspired by the flyer I recently found advertising the first cruise I ever went on.  The cruise itself was a turning point in my life.  I'm not thrilled with this page, but I think I could learn to love it.

Day 3:  Holiday Colors on a Non-Holiday page
This one was pretty easy, too.  Since I was already working on pages for my cruise album, I decided to stick with that.  The theme for the album is red, white and blue, so I lifted the colors used for the 4th of July.  When the page was done, there was an empty spot in the lower right corner.  Christen suggested I cut out circles for bubbles, so I did.

Day 4:  Hearing
The way Lain described this prompt left a lot of leeway for creativity.  Basically, the idea is just to do a layout based on things you hear.  It could be common sounds around the house, music you love, or even about the funny sound you make when you sneeze.  I already had some pictures printed up of my son with his cello when he participated in the UIL Solo and Ensemble competition, so I went with that.

Day 5:  Ebay Inspiration
This was probably one of the craziest prompts I’ve ever seen.  Lain urged us to put our names or nicknames in the search window on eBay and then build a page around something that came up in the results.  We could either use one of the pictures as inspiration for the layout, or we could create a page on one of the objects that came up for sale.  This was another great opportunity to get really creative, so I opted to search  my nickname, “Cindyluhu”.  This turned up “The Grinch” movie, of course, so I had to do a page about how I have always hated my name.  Since I couldn’t find a high-resolution photo of the Grinch and Cindy Lou Hoo, I decided to make a digital layout instead.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Day

Here it is May already, and I just wanted to post a quick update to talk about LOAD 512.  The theme this time around is "Scrapbooking Outside the Box".  I don't know about you, but that makes me think that we are going to be put to the test on a daily basis.  I sure hope I'm up to it!  Today was the first challenge and I really did challenge myself on this one.  Rather than take an easy way out, I tried some new things, and I have to say I'm quite pleased with myself.  The prompt for today was "Self Portrait".  It would have been so easy to just find a photo of myself, slap it onto some paper and call it done, but I really wanted to explore the whole concept of a self-portrait.  In the truest sense, a self-portrait is an artist's interpretation of himself, so I thought about the way that we interpret and present ourselves to the public through social media and the use of avatars and profile pictures.  This lead me to create a digital page, which I seldom do.  I  really do like the results.  I think it totally captures what I was trying to get across.  What do you think?

Our big event this month is the National Scrapbook Day community crop party.  We are really working hard to bring the most awesome event to the Carrollton area.  We would love to have you join us!  You can get more info at

And don't forget that we still have space in our awesome scrapbooking cruise to the Western Caribbean!  Prices start at just $455 per person for an inside cabin!  Get more info at