Friday, November 28, 2014

looking back

The Park Ave. kit was my last as a member of the Studio Calico Design Team. This past year has been an amazing journey. A journey that brought me an abundance of creativity, cherished friendships and solidified my love of all things paper. It allowed me to share all of of that up there with you all and the amazing members of Studio Calico. In total 21 Project Life® spreads, one foldable mini album, 2 layouts, 3 inserts and 2 title pages. All projects that changed the way I create and express myself and I could not be more proud of them. When the time came to decide what I wanted to do for the next year I ultimately decided to say goodbye. Not because I didn't love the kits or didn't love Studio Calico or because I didn't love the experience. I did and I will truly miss it, truly.

The team that they have put together is amazing and I'm so sad that some of my favorites have also decided to depart for other projects. But I promise I will continue to share and continue to be part of the community at Studio Calico.

post signature

Studio Calico Park Ave the full reveal

I wanted to pop in real quick to share the full spread that I made with the Studio Calico Park Ave Project Life® kit that went live yesterday. I loved this kit, it was so full of color and that always makes me very happy.

I think my favorite card in this kit was that paint swatch card, there are two more in the Grand Central addon so if you happened to grab that one before it sold out you are in luck.

Here is a look at the full right side that I shared a bit of the other day. I thought long and hard on how I was going to fit all of the trip pictures into this spread and I've shown so many different ways to do that in the past. This time I just went small and made the three collages to showcase some of my favorites and I think it worked out great.

I did make the watercolor card into a flip up so that I could add in my journaling. I used one of Geralyn's printables and just scaled it down to fit into the 4x3 space.

One of my favorite stamp sets this month was the kids valentine set, those little pirate kids are adorable. I used them digitally here to make this card and I just think its the cutest thing ever. Tina is just so amazing I love each and every thing she makes.

Studio Calico also has some pretty amazing Black Friday deals going on today, so make sure you check them out.

post signature

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December Daily™ 2014 │the cover

Its almost December and that means December Daily™ prep is in full swing around here. My kit from Ali Edwards arrived last Thursday and my album arrived on Saturday. I had plenty of other things to do on Sunday but ended up getting my box of supplies out and looking thru them and then of course one thing lead to another and I sat down to work on my cover.

I picked the off white album with the kit this year and I was so glad that I did. It's such a great neutral background. The red and white stripped ribbon that I purchased had a silver glitter edge which I loved. It's not my normal gold and I'm kind of loving the changed to something cooler. The ribbon is only one inch wide so I laid down two rows side by side and wrapped it all the way around the front cover. I didn't love the seam down the middle so I added the aqua velvet rick rack down on top to cover that up. I didn't go all the way around the cover with this because I didn't want to waste it so it just goes over the edge about an inch. I dug out a silver edged label from a Studio Calico kit that fit the aqua rubber twenty-fourteen perfectly. The Joy flair must have come in an old Studio Calico kit, but I'm not complete sure. Either way I found it in my box of December Daily™ supplies and it matched perfectly. The silver snowflake is ancient, I've had this set for years I think I bought it when I made my first album. I typically shy away from anything snow related because living in California we don't get snow here but the silver worked so my first snowflake makes an appearance.

Here you can see some of the shimmer of the glitter a bit better. I'm totally loving this red and aqua color scheme so I have a feeling it will appear some more. I'm also loving the red and white stripe and there is a card in the kit that is black and white stripe with a pop of red that I'm completely drawn too. You can see it below on the lower left along with some other faves from Ali's kit and the recent Studio Calico addons and shop purchases. I think I'm going to paint my veneer numbers silver this year to continue on with that theme. I'll let you know how that goes.

This will be my 6th year making this album and I really cannot wait. I don't think I have ever shown all of my albums to you so I snapped a quick shot of them. Shown in order from 2009 to 2013. Clearly I favor red and white and the number 25 and that mint album was completely inspired by the Crate Paper Sleigh Ride collection, which will go down in history as the best Christmas line ever. I still have a back up supply of the vellum circle numbers.

I didn't blog all of my albums because I wasn't blogging back them but you can see 2011 here, 2012 here and 2013 here.

Last year I didn't create foundation pages in advance and I don't plan on doing much this year either. I just don't have time with Thanksgiving being tomorrow. I was totally okay with winging it last year so I think I'll be okay again this year. The one thing I will do is sit down before the first and update my calender with all of the activities we have planned. That's always makes me feel a bit better knowing what's happening on some days and then I just fill in the rest with either whatever happened that day or with a specific story I want to tell.

I mentioned on the Studio Calico message board that I really want to make sure I get something in my album this year about music. I always have good intentions to cover this topic but that's something that has never made it into the album so I'm making it a priority this year. Other than that I'll just take it day by day and try to make sure all the major stuff gets in there.

I'll be back to share as often as I can and I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons, I'm hoping mine is filled with lots of joy and magic and I hope yours is too!

post signature

Monday, November 24, 2014

Studio Calico Park Ave sneaks

I can't believe its already time for December kits! These kits are anything but Christmasy and I love that. Being a bit behind has its benefits and who would have thought December kits would work so well for a Halloween spread! LOL! The main kit this month just popped with all kinds of amazing bright colors and since my spread was more about the trip than actual Halloween it totally worked.

The embellishments were so cool this month, I especially loved the little post it set that Kelly Purkey designed. This one shown above had a tiny little white space meant for journaling but I opted to use it for a tiny photo. I loved that! The chipboard stars in shades of blue, green and yellow were the perfect accent as were the veneer flags that I used quite a few of.

This watercolor card almost got hoarded but I wanted something that would pack a punch on the right hand side since the rest is so photo heavy and it fit the bill perfectly.

You can see the rest of the kit sneaks right here where you will also find this amazing gold letterpress 2015 calendar. Its still available to purchase and add in with your kit shipments. I cannot wait to get mine, its gorgeous!

Now remember that reveal is on Thanksgiving so don't miss it!  It will be a good one!

post signature

Friday, November 14, 2014

Elf on the Shelf │operation be prepared

Last year was the first year an Elf came to visit us during Christmas and it didn't arrive until December 20th. It arrived late because she came with our visiting families Elf and the two of them had a lot of fun together. This year will be my first year doing it on my own and for longer than 5 days. I knew I wanted to be prepared and to have some ideas already mapped out as best as I could. I have been pinning lots and lots of Elf ideas on Pinterest but wanted a way to see them all in one place without having to open each pin and hunt down the ideas. I absolutely didn't want to be scrambling at 10:00pm each night! I want this to be fun, and to enhance the season, not make it more stressful.

The best way for me to make that happen was get the ideas I wanted in one easy place so I always knew what was next. I decided to make a simple sheet that I could slip into my planner where I could show a photo of the idea along with a place for notes of things I needed to do or buy to make that happen.

sources in planner top to bottom left to right one, two, three, four, five, six, seven
sources bottom cluster top to bottom left to right one, two, three, four, five, six, seven

Our Elf will not arrive until December 1st and my goals for our Elf is to make it fun but also pick things that didn't impede our lives too much. I've seen some super cute ideas where the Elf wraps your toilet it wrapping paper or goes fishing in the bathroom sink but since the Elf isn't supposed to be touched or moved the idea of keeping a bathroom out of service for a day didn't seem realistic to me. Maybe one day but this year, I'm aiming for easy and free if at all possible.

I went thru each of the items I had pinned as potential possibilities and just grabbed a quick screen shot of the idea. I cropped the images down to 2" x 2.5" and just printed them out on paper, nothing fancy here, but I knew an image would be more helpful than just words.  I used my date roller to label each day and just starting sticking them down. I kept some key events in mind so that the Elf could help out if needed or coordinate with what I knew we were doing some days. I did plan out the whole month but I can easily change it up if needed or even eliminate an idea all together if I'm feeling overwhelmed. I have some extra images tucked in a glassine envelope at the back of this section that I can pull from if I decide to make a change.

If you think this is something that could help you with your planning this season, you can download the sheet right here and the cover here. You can either print it out and fold it in half or print it out double sided and just cut it down the middle, it is sized to fit into a A5 sized planner 5.5" x 8.5".

My goal this year is to get as much stuff done before the season is in full swing so we can enjoy ourselves as much as possible. I definitely think this is a step in the right direction.

post signature

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Studio Calico │25 Days

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and I have pretty much one thing on my mind, besides Thanksgiving Stuffing...December Daily®! I pretty much wait 11 months every year for it and I cannot wait to work on my 5th December Daily® Album.  As is the same in years past Studio Calico is doing another class to support Ali Edwards' project and her kit and I cannot wait!

Join us for 25 Days and record all your special holiday moments with Stephanie Bryan. Stephanie will be teaching this class to coordinate with Ali Edwards' December Daily® kit, and she’ll share plenty of prompts and videos to give you that extra bit of motivation you need to make a gorgeous album during the busiest season of the year. Stephanie will share foundation pages beginning in November, and she’ll provide daily updates through December to culminate in a complete album.

  • 7 videos from Stephanie covering getting organized, foundation pages, finished pages, and 4 techniques you can incorporate into your own pages.
  • A PDF with a detailed look at Stephanie's foundation pages.
  • Daily PDFs starting December 5th that share Stephanie's completed pages, along with her tips and tricks for keeping up with her album in the busy holiday season.
  • A peek into the albums of our 5 contributors - they'll each be sharing 5 pages during December.
  • Access to a class message board and gallery, where you can share and learn with your teacher and fellow students.
  • Weekly challenges to inspire you to use what you've learned.

As usual the digital files that go with the class are super cute. Like these printables from Hello Forever

Super cute cut files from Hello Forever (check out that full sheet of text!)

And these super cute, super versatile collage templates that will be perfect to create inserts with from Shanna Noel

You will also receive digitals of the Stamp Set that comes with the class kit that you can see here.  I understand the class kits are getting limited so make sure you enroll today before they run out.

This class is always such a great place for inspiration and it really helps put me in the mood to create my album. I sure hope to see you in class! December is just a few short weeks away!

post signature

Friday, November 7, 2014

Studio Calico Advent Calendar │a free download

Hello everyone, have you seen the super cute free Advent Calendar download that Studio Calico put up today? If not you can see it right here. I was sent the files a few days ago to make up one and I wanted to share a little bit of my process with you if you wanted to make something similar.

The first thing I did was take some time to think about what I wanted under each of the windows. Was it going to be a photo, some text or a mix of the two? This will not be the only Advent Calendar in our home this season so it didn't need to cover all of the bases, but take a more playful just for fun approach. As I made the list I noticed that it was turning into a sort of bucket list for the season. I added in all of the events I knew we were going to that had already been scheduled and then just added in more seasonal fun stuff to finish up the list.

Here is my list;
  1. Hello Twinkle! She's back! (our Elf on the Shelf)
  2. Watch a Christmas movie
  3. Make a Christmas playlist
  4. Make a Christmas craft
  5. Watch 'The Year without Santa' on TV
  6. Go Christmas Shopping
  7. Go see the Nutcracker
  8. Make a Gingerbread house
  9. Mail our Christmas Cards
  10. Happy 7th Birthday Simone!
  11. Have a fireside movie night
  12. Go see Christmas Lights
  13. Its Birthday Party Day!
  14. Go to the World of Christmas event
  15. Jingle some friends
  16. Pack up some old toys to donate
  17. Make Teacher Gifts
  18. Wrap presents
  19. Yay! Its the last day of school!
  20. Have a Starbucks date
  21. Watch 'The Little Drummer Boy' on TV
  22. Make Santa's cookies
  23. Clean my room!
  24. Go to church with the family, its Christmas Eve!
  25. Merry Christmas!
Just a tip, the ABC Family Channel provides their line up up Christmas specials online so I took a look at the list to make sure we caught the ones that aren't typically aired on network TV. So if you need that list you can see it right here.

I knew I didn't want to write out my items so I laid it all out using Photoshop Elements. I just went day by day and entered the text in the right space using the cut lines as my guide. I did have the main image open so I knew which box was which. The font I used for my text is Before Breakfast you can find it here

Once I had that laid out I had to work on the top. I ended up doing a print and cut and added in an offset on my Cameo so that it created a bit of the edge.  That was for two reasons a) to keep the pieces together, I didn't want the chimney smoke floating off by itself and b) because when I did the print and cut the registration marks would show on the page and I didn't want them on my finished piece. Here you can see what my document looked like in the Studio program.  I did have to freehand cut a few places at the very bottom of the document where it fell below the allowed cut area that the Cameo imposes when you do a print and cut but that can easily be fixed if you just shrink the piece down just a smidgen.

I did the same thing for the under layer with my text because I wanted it to match up exactly to the top layer when I placed it down on my page. In order to make sure it was all lined up correctly I used the same document above, just replaced the hand drawn house image with the one of my text so that I knew it would line up correctly when cut.

I made sure to delete the cut lines for the windows prior to printing because I didn't need to them cut. This is what I sent thru to my printer and then cut out. The only thing cut was the outer offset line.

Here you can see the finished piece with a few windows open, I did cut a bit too much away under one of the trees when I freehand cut those parts the Cameo didn't cut but its all good. All in all I was really happy with how everything lined up when the two layers were matched up.

I applied adhesive to the back of the top layer and had to make sure to go around some of the edges very carefully so they would stick down well when the windows were opened. I used Glossy Accents around those tight narrow areas and it worked great. The larger areas were glued just using my adhesive gun

I mounted both layers on top of a piece of red cardstock that I had first run thru my printer to add the title. I used the Voluptate free font found here for the word Christmas. This font doesn't provide capital letters so I just increased the size of just the letter C to make it appear as if it was capital. The font for the word countdown is CK Journaling found here. (note: please make sure you are careful when downloading fonts. Make sure you are aware of what you are clicking on and always have a virus protection program loaded on your computer before downloading anything. I cannot vouch for all download links, I just provide what I think is the best place possible so you can decided if you want to download it.)

I also added in a simple gold glitter enamel dot that came in a previous Studio Calico kit to dot the i, which just gives it a little something three dimensional.

I thought long and hard about coloring in the piece and I the first one I made was colored in with colored pencils and it looked super cute. I ultimately decided to go with a really graphic black and white feel but also wanted to color in a few bits and make it sparkle at the same time. I used the Gold Glitter Wink of Stella pen and went over a few spots, making sure to highlight a part of each of the numbers so they stood out. Its always hard to photograph anything with glitter but in the below image you can see a bit of how pretty and sparkly it looks in person.

I hope you have fun with the file, I can't wait to see what everyone does with it.

post signature

Sunday, November 2, 2014

and the winner is....

Thank you all for entering the giveaway, the winner chosen randomly using is...

Congratulations Shelly, you have won a spot in class.  Please email me at and I'll send you the instructions on how to redeem your prize.

I can't wait to log in myself so I'll see you there.

post signature