Tuesday, February 26, 2013

365 Week 9

It’s already well past midnight, I just finished my LOAD page for today, and I need to work on my art journal.  Have I mentioned that the LOAD challenge is a little too much right now?  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing it, and normally I would really be enjoying the process, but trying to do it while keeping up with the art journal and the blog is way more work than I thought it would be.  So for that reason, I’m going to keep my a365 project recap short and sweet….

Day 50:  Yearly….

I made this simple page to illustrate something I do every year – take a cruise.  I tore pieces from a magazine.  The sky was the background of one page and the water was the shirt a model was wearing on another.  The ship came from an old cruise brochure.  I feel like it needs something more, but I haven’t decided what yet.

Am I afraid of change?

This page evolved after I tried a technique that failed.  I’m quickly learning that art journaling isn’t always about putting what you envision down on the paper.  Sometimes a page developes as you work your way through the steps.  Sometimes I don’t even know what the steps are; I just do whatever feels right at the time.

Which direction am I going?

This is another page that kind of just evolved.  I knew I wanted to use some maps and my compass stamps.  Then all the other pieces fell into place.  As I hunted through my stamps for whatever might work, the page began to take form.


This page was made using a piece of ledger paper, stamps, and spraying some glimmer mist over masks.  It was simple and quick.

Never underestimate the power of…

I’ve been wanting to use this piece of paper for a while.  It was actually a card sent to me by a friend.  It was so pretty, I just had to use it.  I decided on the scalloped circles to illustrate my answers because they matched well with the pattern.  You may notice there are some additions to this one that are not on the version I posted to the Flickr group -- namely the gold scalloped circle that says "prayer". 


Daydream was a hard topic for me.  I don’t spend a lot of time daydreaming any more, and when I do, it’s usually work related – how boring!  So I dug deep in my past for a time when I used to daydream about being a performer.  Some magazine clippings I found made a great collage.


The first thought I had when I read this prompt was, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  And since that didn’t really fit my intentions for this page, I went looking for something better.  The artwork isn’t all that pretty, but I love the quote.

That’s it for this week.  I hope you are keeping up better than I am.  I’ve had a few days where I barely had time to start my project for the day and wound up having to finish it on the next.  I have just three more days of LOAD and then everything will settle back down to normal for a while.  Whew! 

Here’s your next 7 prompts:

  • My nickname
  • The greatest gift
  • Salad days
  • Rejuvenation
  • The kitchen
  • Adventure
  • If I had a magic carpet…

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bundle of Joy

I hate winter.  I hate the cold and the dreary skies.  I love spring with the budding flowers and the promise of all things shiny and new.  The skies are brighter, and all the little animals start having babies.  I am ready for spring, and the thought of those animal babies made me think of this little card I made for our stamp club a while back.  The papers are Stampin’ Up Almost Amethyst (retired), and the hatching chick is from the Cricut cartridge Create a Critter.  I’m not sure where the stamp came from, I’ve had it for a long time.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scrapbook Expo

Apologies for being late on my post today!  I try to have my posts published by 8:00 A.M. every day, but today it’s a lot closer to 8:00 P.M.  Normally, I write everything a few days in advance so it’s ready to post on a day of my choosing, but I saved today’s post until now so that I could include the most current information.

Some of the product I bought.
The reason for the delay is that I spent the weekend at the Gaylord Texan hotel in Grapevine, Texas attending Scrapbook Expo.  Those of you who have been to Scrapbook Expo know what all the hubbub is about, but for those of you who haven’t been, you just don’t know what you’re missing! 

We’ve been going to Great American Scrapbook Convention for years.  We like to shop, we like to crop, and of course, we try to promote our Crafty Neighbor events.  But the last few years, I have been increasingly disappointed in that show, and I blame it mostly on the new organizers.  It’s gotten so bad that I really don’t want to go any more, and I really only do so in order to pass out my flyers and meet other scrapbookers.  The last time we cropped there, it was terrible – the prizes were mostly out-of-date garbage and it just wasn’t very fun.

I had some pretty high expectations for Scrapbook Expo.  I had never heard of the company, but several people I know from California had been going for years and they assured me that this was a great convention.  I trust their judgment.  They weren’t wrong.  In fact, I think they might have undersold it a little bit, because even though I had some fairly high expectations, the Expo completely exceeded that and then some.

Stephanie and I didn’t get our tickets until the week before, so we completely missed out on the hotel package.  It was a great bargain, and I know quite a few people who took advantage of it.  We’ve already made a pact that we’re going to jump on that bandwagon ASAP next year.  What we wound up with was a ticket to the sales floor on Friday, plus the Friday crop ticket.  Then we had such a great time at the crop Friday, I had to come back for the Saturday crop as well!

After a very expensive lunch (I’ll discuss that later), we went to the crop.  I may have mentioned that Scrapbook Expo has a theme to their crops.  The theme for Friday was “Team Spirit”, so we made some decorations for our table and dressed up for our favorite sports team.  We went with a “college football rivalries” theme for our table, and made these cute decorations.  Valerie made the banners, Stephanie made the rosettes, and I made the cans.  We were very proud of our decorations and got a lot of compliments.  We also won the prize for best table d├ęcor.

One view of our award-winning table decor!

I was really pleased with the crop.  It was hopping from 6:00 P.M. until midnight, with lots of prizes, contests, games and more.  The hosts were friendly and energetic, and the goodie bags were pretty substantial.  Mine was a bag full of Sassafras paper and embellishments – lots of it.  And these weren’t just one or two unrelated pieces from lots of different lines.  There were four pieces of each double-sided paper in coordinating sets.  The prize for winning our table decoration was a bag of Graphic 45 and assorted embellishments for each of us.  We also received all kinds of handouts and giveaways throughout the night.

I didn’t take any classes.  GASC classes just never appealed to me.  The prices always seemed high, and the projects weren’t very high quality.  So didn’t even consider taking any at Expo.  Several of my friends did, though, and the projects they showed me were phenomenal.  Everyone reported getting lots of free product and giveaways in their classes, often exceeding the price of the class!

Some of the prizes and give-aways I received.  
All in all, my biggest complaints about the Scrapbook Expo were the parking and the food.  Parking at the Gaylord Texan costs $18.40 per day, but convention-goers can buy a discounted parking pass for $15.  The Gaylord Texan website states that you can get your parking validated by eating in one of the restaurants in the resort.  What they don’t tell you is that the validation is only good for 4 hours, so go back to the restaurant to get the validation stub just before you leave.

The food is the other big complaint, and my girls are already talking about what we can do to work around that for next year.  The convention center set up a buffet in the lobby each day.  On Friday, it was baked potatoes and chicken noodle soup with a glass of tea or water.  This would be a great lunch except for the fact that it cost $13!  Sodas and bottled water cost an additional $3.  Oh, and they only serve Pepsi products.  On Saturday, the meal was upgraded to chicken and penne pasta with veggies.  It came with a side of breadsticks for the same $13.  The restaurants on site were just as pricey.  A burger and fries runs $15+, and the only items on the menu at the Italian restaurant that are under $20 are the appetizers and desserts. 
My favorite prize -- a teeny weenie "X machine".  It is a real, functioning Xyron Sticker Maker in a 1" size.  And of course, it's my favorite color -- green!

All in all, the Scrapbook Expo is a great convention, I loved the facility, we had a lot of fun, and we can’t wait to go back next year.  Did you go to the show this weekend?  What did you think?  I’d love to hear how you think it compares to GASC and also whether you will be going to GASC this year.  Let me know what you think.  I’ll choose one random comment to win a prize.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Team Spirit

You may recall my mention of the Scrapbook Expo finally coming to the Dallas area.  I am so excited! As I write this blog post (on Thursday night), I am getting my supplies all packed up for the crop there tomorrow.  I'm really anxious to see if it is everything I've heard it was.  From everything I've seen, heard, or read, I really think that the convention will be great and the crop will be a lot of fun.

Expo does something with their crops that I have always loved when stores did it -- using a theme.  The theme for the Friday crop is "Team Spirit", so the girls and I decided to go all out and show our team spirit.  We decided on a "football rivalries" theme for our group's table, and we're focusing on four teams from the Texas-Oklahoma area with a long history:  Texas A&M, University of Texas, Texas Tech, and the University of Oklahoma.  

My part of our decorations was to decorate some paint cans which we're going to use as a sort of "flower pot" for some rosettes that Stephanie is making.  We've got some other decorations that the other girls are making and we're going to each dress in the colors of one of the schools.  If that's not team spirit, I don't know what is!  

Since the other girls are making some of the other decorations, I don't have pictures yet, but I hope to share them with you over the next couple of days.  In the mean time, here is a picture of the cans so far, and we'll leave it at that.  These cans could be dressed up really cute and sent to your favorite college student during exam time.  Fill it up with granola bars, candy, popcorn, money, and more.  For a girl, you can add ribbon, beads or tulle to the handle plus a little bling.  What student wouldn't be thrilled?

Well that's it for now.  I need to get my stuff packed!  Stephanie will be picking me up bright and early and we have a lot of shopping and cropping to do tomorrow!  Remember, if you happen to see me say hello!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Free Tip Friday -- Removing Adhesive

Friday is tip day, and I do have some tips for you, but I’m also hoping that today you might have some tips for me!  You see, I purchased a bottle of something (see the photo) at Great American Scrapbook Convention in 2011.  I’m sure that at the time, I was absolutely convinced that this product was the best thing since sliced bread, otherwise why else would I have bought it?  Unfortunately, it was in a sack for several months before I remembered it and by then I had forgotten why I purchased it in the first place.  I tried looking it up online, but so far Google has not been able to link this product name to anything that makes even the least bit of sense.  So…if you happen to know what this product is, what it does, who was demonstrating it at Great American Scrapbook Convention in 2011, or anything that will help me figure out why I bought this product, I would be immensely grateful, and I might even have some goodies to send your way.  So if you know anything, please post it in the comments.  If I figure out why I got it, I’ll draw a winner from all the comments that led me to the answer.

And now for today’s tip….

Earlier this month, I posted a lot of information about adhesive, but what always surprises me is how many crafters don’t know how to get adhesive off of their craft projects.  Today we’re going to explore two items I consider to be must-haves for any scrapbooker or paper crafter as well as a common household item that can be used to unstick just about anything.

It always amazes me whenever I meet another scrapper who has not heard of Un-Du.  This was one of the first products I learned about when I started scrapbooking again.  Available at scrapbooking and craft stores, Un-du is marketed as a “sticker, tape, and label remover.”  It is acid free and photo safe, and will safely remove just about any kind of adhesive on contact.  The way Un-du works is by softening the adhesive to a gummy state.  Simply saturate the area with Un-du and use the attached scraper to gently lift up your sticker or photo.  Un-du will evaporate quickly, leaving no residue, and the sticker can be repositioned or used again elsewhere.

Xyron Adhesive Eraser:
This handy little gadget is basically just a textured rubber square, but the amazing thing about it is that it can pick up adhesive on contact.  For small bits of Xyron adhesive around die cut letters and shapes, simply press the eraser down firmly and lift.  Repeat until all the adhesive is removed.  For larger areas, such as stripes of adhesive from a tape runner, use short scrubbing strokes to ball the adhesive up and then lift it with the eraser. As the eraser gets gummed up, you can pull off the sticky parts or cut it with scissors to expose fresh eraser.

I cut my Xyron adhesive eraser in half.  Here you can see a clean, unused half as well as a much-used half.

Dental Floss:
Yes, you read that right – dental floss.  This was actually the very first tip I ever learned for removing a photo that had been adhered to a scrapbook page.  Be sure to use unflavored floss.  Hold a strand of it tightly like you intend to floss your teeth and drag it under the photo, lifting gently as you go.

Do you have a favorite tip or trick?  Send me an email about it!