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8.5 x 11 Layout: Mother of Two

Hello! My scrappy friends! Coming to you with a very unique, out of my comfort zone, layout. Today’s layout is a pregnancy layout (as you can tell), but I put a twist on it. As you can see, my maternity photos were taken on the beach. With my first pregnancy, I went in a studio, and things had changed a great deal with documenting since I had my oldest child.

When I was deciding what products I was going to use on this layout, I factored in my dress. Haha! You though it was a skirt, didn’t you? Well, my photographer really wanted to showcase my belly, and she just wanted me in a bikini with a shawl. It was a great idea, but with it being last-minute, we couldn’t find the right fabric. No worries, right? That’s why we learn to problem-solving techniques. The closest thing we could do was use a maxi dress instead.

With my second pregnancy, I decided just to go up a size in clothing. Personally, it takes me some time to lose the baby weight, so I would still be able to wear the clothing after I had my baby. My steps with finding my outfit for this photoshoot went as follows:

I walked through my oldest child’s closet to see what nice clothes he had (he stays going through a growth spurt, so I don’t know if I am going to get lucky, or have to go shopping)

He had a decent t-shirt that I think showed the personality that was starting to shine through. I then went to my husband’s side of the closet. I tend to keep him in a dark color, or simply tell him to wear something white. That way he fits into the spread of colors between my oldest child and myself.

If my son doesn’t have anything, I go to my husband. I work with a color he has, then see if my son has something. If my son doesn’t have anything to match my husband, that is when it is time to go shopping.

I leave myself last because I am all over the spectrum with colors (although I love earth tones the most). With this being my maternity shoot, I wanted to try a different look.

Just like with the choosing of my our clothing, I wanted the products I chose to make this layout blend well together. I automatically went to the greens we had on for inspiration. I automatically went for the Crate Paper Oasis collection (BONUS: I was in a swimsuit, so this collection was meant to be used with this pic).  Because it is a layout in my pregnancy album, I wanted it to be different, so I attempted a little mixed media before layering my pieces. I used a stencil I bought from my local Walmart. I pulled out my watercolor set, and just started. I mixed colors to have that aqua green/blue color, and even splattered a little yellow in there to accent.

All in all, this was a fairly simple mixed media layout that didn’t take long at all. If you would like to see the process in full, please hop on over to my YouTube channel to check out the process video! SCRAP YOUR STASH | SPECIAL MOMENT | FEAT. CRATE PAPER OASIS (8.5 X 11 LAYOUT)

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7×9 Layout: It’s Our Anniversary

What can I say about this spread? Ugh! It just gets me. So simple, and yet so sweet. I loved working on this layout. One, because it came together fairly quick. Two, the photo speaks for itself.

Now the two of us are the most awkward two ever! I blame the military. We were so nervous to show our affection that it actually hurt our relationship later on. If you do not know, public display of affection (PDA) is prohibited in uniform. So, in the beginning of our relationship, we kept our hands to ourselves in public so that we would not get in trouble. So, it makes for tough times with showing affection. We are getting there.

During our annual family photos, we decided to take more personal photos because it was coming up on our 10 year anniversary. This is one of the few photos that our awkwardness actually shined through. lol.

This spread is included in my upcycle of my planner. At one point in time, I was going to be an organized person…not so much anymore. I found that the sizes of the planners are just perfect for the scraps I have lying around. In this spread, I am using primarily Maggie Holmes Chasing Dreams, and other embellishments from American Crafts. As you can see, I am a huge fan of this company and its products

I was able to use a lot of scraps in the spread. Even was able to use a branding strip. I don’t get to use those too often. Some collections I used were Maggie Holmes Chasing Dreams, Crate Paper Notes & Things, Crate Paper Snow & Cocoa to name a few. In addition to using up my stash, I get extremely happy when I am able to use washi in my layouts. So, you know I was exceptionally happy that I was able to use this scalloped washi I got for Christmas (especially using it in a non-Christmasy layout).

Since I had limited amount of space, I decided just to layer behind the photo. To extend the amount of pieces I could use, I decided to add some dimension, that way, there are levels to the layers.

Because of the filter/tint of the photo, I decided to lean towards the corals and pinks for embellishments. It should come as no surprise that all my embellishments are Maggie Holmes, or Crate Paper, but I was able to use some embellishments from old Studio Calico kits as well. All in all, this layout might have taken me 45 minutes to complete, and I love it. This upcyling project is definitely allowing me to get good use of my scraps in my scrap bin.

So I say to you…break out those scraps and start scrapping. You do not need full sheets, or even the latest and greatest to make a beautiful layout. Happy scrapping! If you would like to see the entire process, check out my process video by clicking the following link:

UPCYLCLE PLANNER INTO MINI ALBUM PART 4 FEAT AMERICAN CRAFTS

Note: Any time I take too little or too long to make a layout, I tend to throw the layout away within a few days.

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4 x 9 Layout: Welcome Home

Picture it. Deciding you want to expand your family by having a baby. That is a REALLY BIG DECISION. It also takes a lot of effort. Timing it just right when it comes to conception. It is very disappointing when you know that you timed it just right, when in reality you did not. Ha! Seeing friends and family around you find out they are expecting, but you’re over here with no such luck.

Six months passed. Nothing. I like control, so trying to conceive (TTC) was the only way I knew to have a baby. Marking the calendar; taking my temperature; finding that perfect moment; that was me. When reality set it that it just was not working (TTC Methods), I just quit. I gave up. BAM! I got my BIG FAT POSTIVE! Even though most would say otherwise, but I loved being pregnant. Then reality set in…once I have this baby, I may deploy. Nevermind that, right? Hehe. Labor and Delivery was weird, but it was the best/funniest experience I could ever imagine. Unorganized (even though I had a birth plan), nothing went as planned. But I had me a healthy baby boy.

I was tasked to deploy on the second rotation at my unit because I would be off my pregnancy profile, and hey, what is three to four months away from your newborn? Meh. How about this? Imagine doing it all over again. Difficult pregnancy. Horrible labor. This time your baby is in the NICU for a week. Then have to do the same thing again. What you ask? Deploy. Bummer, right? I missed the MOST important first year milestones in not one child’s life, but both of my children’s life. IT SUCKS! But there is no need to dwell in the past. We live for now and the future, right? I am happy that I have such loving children. My youngest son recognized who I was (shoutout to breastfeeding; pretty sure he remembered my scent), and my oldest could not have been more happy for me to be back (it hit him pretty hard; deployments are nothing like TDYs…no coming home on the weekends). We will not even mention the hubby and the parenting roles being shared now. Haha!

With this spread, I really wanted the travel theme to come out. I remember receiving a busy pattern paper in a Studio Calico kit I received in 2016 (Sonnet), that I could use, and to my surprise worked out perfect. The red from my hubby’s sweater to the blues in our sons’ coats, this paper touched all realms.

I decided to rummage through my scrap bin where I found a few corresponding pieces I have previously cut into (mostly from Jen Hadfield paper pad I have on hand for layering) to add a little flavor for my layer.

Now the embellishments…I will tell you guys now, I winged it. Haha! I was so intimidated by the busy background, I just told myself to go through all my loose embellishments, and just see what matches. Sometimes it is like that for me. I am not the best with coordinating. That is in life. Haha. Clothing, scrapbooking, parenting…I just go with the flow. Haha! Just joking. There are scrap sessions I will stand up and say “well, we need to just play the matching game.”

Deployment July 2015 – January 2016 (longest deployment EVER!)

All in all, I love how this spread turned out. It is simple, but still a piece that stands out among the rest of my layouts. I’m extremely proud of myself for challenging myself to use a busy pattern paper that I steered clear of for nearly two years. If you would like to see the process behind this spread, please check out the video here: https://youtu.be/g0YPL_RONMI

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4 x 9 Layout: My Best Friend is Better Than Yours

Who out here has the best friend ever!? I DO! When I say this girl is my everything! She has helped me out so much, that I do not know where to begin. She made me get out of my tomboyish ways (I still prefer sneakers over heels any day) by teaching me basic skills of fashion. She’s taught me how to become vocal when it comes to speaking my mind. She’s sat back and just listened to me complain, and not judge me one bit, but most importantly, she’s always there!

Like this moment I captured. Just days after returning back from my most recent deployment, she rode up with her boyfriend to see us. She had made us personalized Disney shirts for our trip to Disney that week. How awesome is that!? Most importantly, she didn’t mention anything about the weight gain (I struggled with changing my diet from excessive eating due to breastfeeding metabolism and stress).

She is the definition of a perfect friend (lol). So, I decided to let the love pour through this spread. I used Maggie Holmes Chasing Dreams, Crate Paper Cute Girl, and Notes and Things. These collections are very girly and I wanted to finally get some good use out of the scraps I had on hand.

When working with a small spread, I get a little hesitant. Not that I do not know what I want to do, it is just that I can never figure out where to begin. I noticed that the paper had a tear in it, so I began from there. I took out my stapler and put two staples on the slits and everything started to fall into place.

Because my space is limited (not that it is a bad thing), I have to figure out how am I going to be able to incorporate my layering. Let us face it, this is just something I will always do even when it is played out. Lol. I always grab my photo to see how much space I will have by factoring in the size. I came to the conclusion on this particular spread that I could only get two pieces of pattern paper without it looking weird, but I could lift up the photo to be able to add a third piece (I decided not to lift the photo)

With this spread, my next step was to find a starting place with embellishments. That starts by figuring out what color spectrum I want to stay in. Most crafters do not look at it in detail like that, but in reality, we are mentally doing it without much making a big stink of it. Some challenges give you a mood board to work from, and this is exactly what my process is. WHAT IS MY MOOD FOR THIS SPREAD. I took a quick glance at my shirt in the photo, and played off of that. The products mentioned earlier were perfect! Pinks, blues, purples, greens…just perfect!

Now that I know my mood for the spread, it was an easy spread from that point on. I was able to grab the coordinating embellishments a lot faster than when I have no clue where I am going with a layout. Once I saw the blue butterfly in my stash, I automatically knew most of my embellishments would come from The Chasing Dreams Collection, or any Maggie Holmes Collection (lol). Lastly, I made sure I threw in words here and there that showed my love for my bestie.

After all is said and done, it was a rocky start (this is a tough pattern paper for a background), but I was determined to get use of it. Using the paper in a smaller format was a lot easier than using it in a larger aspect. If you would like to see the detailed process, head over to my channel and check out my process video:  https://youtu.be/g0YPL_RONMI

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8.5 x 11 Layout: Simple Layouts Go a Long Way

When it comes to emphasizing a photo, I try to make my layout as simple as possible. The reasoning behind this is to not take away from the importance of the photo. In this case, my youngest son was in the NICU, when he was born. Instead of not taking pictures, we wanted to document how far he has come in this journey we call life.

To document this importance piece of our lives, I decided to use Maggie Holmes Bloom Collection. When I initially bought this collection, I was telling myself that I would just use this collection on myself, or any photos of me with my girlfriends. Then, I grew creatively. Has that ever happened to you? When you look at a collection and think “How will I ever use this?” That was me when I initially bought this collection. I’m the only female in my home, and I automatically got the vibe that this was a girly girl collection.

Fast forward to now. A year later. I have used majority of the collection, but I still find scraps here and there in my stash. As I was doing some planning for future layouts (aka pinning on Pinterest), I came across a simple layout by an artist, Bea Valint. She used clothesline concept on a layout, and I thought it was the cutest thing ever! It showcases the photo, and a few embellishments, but mainly the photo. SCORE! I’ve also gotten out of the habit of restricting pink to girls. Yes, I was that type of person. I had to be in the photo in order for me to use feminine colors, but I have since learned it does not matter. Matter of fact, this collection is PERFECT for newborns. No matter how you slice it, all babies are pretty…cute…adorable…all the embellishments that came with the Bloom collection and more. HAHA!

If you would like to see how I used Maggie Holmes Bloom Collection to create out the most cutest newborn BOY layout, check out my process video at https://youtu.be/6L3kHuXNGpg

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Talent vs. Creativity: How My Style Has Changed Over the Years

Oh the joys of scrapbooking! Not all of us are talented in the beginning. You just want to put all the pretty shiny things on paper with your photo. Not much creativity. At least that was me. I’m not going to lie, a lot of my original layouts have been burned to a crisp, but there are a few that I just can’t let go.

The idea of scrapbooking for me is to be creative, but that was a learned trait for me. I definitely was not born with it. Honestly, it took until 2016 to hit my creativity peak. That’s nine years after I began my scrapbooking journey! A lot of my original works were like this:

My format: 2 pics, journaling, and a title. That was it. NOW…It’s like night and day.

Nowadays, I must layer with not only pattern paper, but also with my embellishments. I have to start by using some type of creative sketch, and end with putting ink splatter somewhere on my layout.

Check out the process video behind the layout shared at: SCRAP YOUR STASH | TOGETHER FEAT. MAGGIE HOLMES CHASING DREAMS

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With the Sound of Your Heartbeat: How It All Began…

IMG_8864A lot can be said about how scrapbooking was introduced into my world. To understand THE HOW, I must briefly discuss THE WHY. In the beginning, all I knew was that my Godmother did funny things with paper and pictures. Not really knowing she was preserving memories. She would go on and on about conventions she would go to in order to learn new tricks, and get the latest products. It still didn’t click. It wasn’t until I found out that I was pregnant with my oldest child (THE WHY), that I even considered scrapbooking.

As I progressed through the pregnancy, I just kept a diary. That was until my Godmother stopped by to see me right before I went into labor. It was just a get together. Go grab something to eat, buy a few things for the baby…no biggie. She not only showed up with the rocking chair I wanted for the nursery, she brought a whole bag full of scrapbooking goodies as well (THE HOW)! Yes, it was just the basics, but come on! Grabbing all the basics (and a tote) can be pricey. I’ll never forget that day.

So, yes, I began scrapbooking for the same reason most of us began scrapbooking, but how I began remains close to my heart. If it wasn’t for this gesture, I wouldn’t have ever taken the steps to build my stash.

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