Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Defeating Crafty ADD

It has been one of those weeks.  We lost a sweet family member and now another is far away and in critical condition in the hospital.  All of our heads are just spinning.  I made it home for one funeral and now am waiting on healing for another.  I am need of some serious healing and focus at this moment.  So I craft.

Isn't this cross stitch from andwabisabi adorable?  I might need to make it.

I'm pretty sure we have all had moments when we have sat down to craft, but our brains are all over the place.  Not the best recipe for creating something you love.  It can be done, however, with a bit of refocusing.

I want to give you some ideas (and refocus myself) on how to make the most of your crafting time.

Idea #1:  Make your space work for you.

My crafting space can either help or hinder me when I want to create.  I am a neat freak.  I own it.  I just can't focus when things are messy.  For me, it is important to keep things put away when I am done using them.  Now I am NOT a keep things completely hidden away kind of girl, but I do like my displays to be intentional and as neat as possible.

Idea #2:  Decide what you want to do.

What kind of things do you want to create?  What kind of holidays are coming up that might need a card or a decoration?   Getting things gathered and having an overall goal for the month can help keep some momentum in your crafting.

My September To Do List:
~Cards:  Uncle G., Amy, mom
~Holiday:  Halloween decorations for the mantel; cards for nieces and nephews
                  Christmas:  Notecards for Isabel's teacher
~One month finished scrapping (project life and layouts)

**I try to work a BIT ahead and have a general idea of what I want to make farther, out, but putting them on this list would just feel overwhelming, so I only add a reasonable amount that can be finished.

Idea #3: Get stuff ready

It is no surprise that I am going to tell you that you should make your own kits out of your supplies.  LOL  I am the Counterfeiting Original.  Take a look at the list of things you want to do and start pulling what you need to get it done.  When you only have a few minutes you will have half the battle done and will be able to make progress throughout the month.

For my list this translates into:
1.  Making some kits for cards
2.  Pulling anything I might want to use for Halloween decor and cards
3.  Putting together a "box" of project life supplies for the month.

For my cards, I know I need something general for a man, a birthday card and something geared towards my mom.  I looked through my box of pre made cards to see if I have anything that will work.  I actually found two that will be perfect (sometimes I make cards for fun based on challenges or sketches.  If I don't have a recipient in mind then I store them for later).

I was excited to dig around for my Halloween Decorations (although I suspect I will also dig into my regular stash of paper when the time comes to create).  I also made sure my Silhouette files were sorted so I could easily find my Halloween digital purchases.

I then had the almost daunting task of pulling some stuff to make my Project Life easier.  I flipped through my photos to see the theme and then pulled some cards, embellishments and stamps that seemed to fit.  I will probably pull more stuff, but this at least gets me started.

And because I can't help myself, I went ahead and put together a kit from CSI's Casefile No. 137.

Idea #4:  Get rid of distractions.

What is it that holds you up when you sit down to create something?  My biggest issue is my computer.  I get SO distracted since I also work from my office and often end up doing "just one more thing" before I get started.  My new goal is to shut it all down, so I can create uninterrupted.  Let's see how that works.  LOL

What is distracting to you?

It was good for me to write this all out and have a plan going forward.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to "School" for mom!

**Be sure to check out the awesome birthday party that used these props!

August was swept away with back to school shopping, an unexpected trip back home to say goodbye to my Aunt, another trip home for her funeral lead to an over stressed and now sick heap for the last few weeks.  I am on the mend, although my heart is still sad, and ready to get back into some sort of crafting groove.

What better way to get some crafting on then Paper Trey Ink's Stamp-A-Faire?  I am coming at it a bit late for entering anything, but at this point, I just need a jump start of Mojo and am happy that there are so many entries to help inspire me.  Plus the pressure is off to get these done in any sort of time frame.  (I am typing this as I 12:40 in the afternoon.  I am determined to have one day where I don't feel the need to lie down.  That probably means I will want to go to bed around 7:00, though.  LOL)

I am starting with their Timer Challenge (since I am OCD about doing things in order).

First up is to pick one of their color schemes:


I love the soft pallet of this one, although I am going to let some of my pinks punch it up a bit.  I am DETERMINED to use up some of my 6x6 pads.  Seriously.  I collect those stinkin' things, but use them up?  LOL

I pulled my papers (I will show you in a minute) and checked which sketch I wanted to use before I pulled some embellishments.


**I am ignoring the instructions for my first card and just going off the sketch.  LOL  I am living dangerously, except now I feel the need to pull more stuff and do a second card following the directions.  I have a problem.

I started with a great sheet of blue paper with roses in different shades of pink.  It hit the entire color scheme in one sheet of paper.  I added an additional plain blue paper, a light pink pattern and a tone on tone white/cream pattern.  I love my enamel dots, so I had to add those and some labels.

I thought the flowered paper would be fun for the focal point, but it was too busy for any sort of sentiment.  A die cut with a sentiment on it solved that problem nicely.  A bit of layering and this card came together very quickly (well under the 20 minute goal...more like 7 minutes).

Alright!  I completed something!  Now to get it into the mail instead of putting it in a box to sit for a year.  We make cards for a purpose, right?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I am in LOVE with August's Counterfeit Kit!

That might sort of...kind of...maybe be why I picked it!  Sometimes being the "boss" has it's perks!  I will admit that normally I am not a Studio Calico girl.  Sure, I generally like some of the elements of the kits, but the hype and exclusive vibe put me I don't like paying high way robbery to get a stamp I love just because it has their name on it.

But this kit.  This kit was worth bending some preferences for, don't you think?

Unlike last month, my kit came together beautifully.  And in multiples, because I couldn't stop at just one.  I can't wait to share them with you!

Penny Arcade...the very name makes me think of old timey carnivals and fair rides.  I love the colors in this kit!  They are a nice mix of NOT traditional jewel tones.  Just off the color wheel enough to make it interesting.

I found some great papers from Echo Park, Dear Lizzy, October Afternoon and *uhem* Studio Calico to make up my kit.

I even threw in a Fair themed stamp to get me going! Love it!

The one thing I was missing was that silver doily.  It might seem silly, but I became a bit obsessed about that doily and even tried cheating a bit and went to buy one.  Not a silver doily to be found in my city!  HUMP!  Luckily, sweet Master Forger Lisa saw my dilemma and sent me some happy mail!  Look at those beautiful doily's and stars!!!  My heart is happy!  The doily's will be living happily in my kit...although I have an idea for them already...

Next up is the add on Skeeball (which, by the way, is a game I am VERY good at).  I tried to not get hung up on the lovely start burst paper that I have nothing like and went with a nice yellow sun pattern instead.  I am looking forward to using that one.

My last Add On kit to Counterfeit is Fortune Teller.  I love the colors in this one, too.

I have never used Bokeh paper before...I hope I can do it justice!  I threw in some awesome stamps this month, too!  I can't wait to play with them!  I did not do a lot of counterfeiting with my kits, but I did use my Silhouette quite a bit to make some great cuts.  It is about time I put it to good use.  

Here is the Hop List so you know where to go...I sure hope Jemma had something nice to say about me...if you missed her blog post, go back and check for me, okay?

Guest Designer:  Sherri:
Bethany:   <<<
That means the lovely LESLIE is up next so scootch on over there and be impressed!

After that you can head over to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog to see what else we are up to and how YOU can play along this month.  Lots of changes going on over there!  We are upgrading for you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rockin' it this month! Challenge #3: Panel Card

I do not remember the last time I had this much time to just create!  I let my kids and DH hit the yard to do yard work and fix the pool and did not feel guilty one little bit.

Challenge #3 was different for me.  I love the idea of making a panel card, but my dislike of my kit this month was making it hard for me to pull one together that I liked.  Here is my first attempt:

I really like the speckled blue paper and it made me think of sky...which led to the hot air balloons...but the orange background?  Eh.  And I didn't have any paper that I wanted to mat the mini card with, so I used vellum.  It was okay, but didn't pop at all.  I decided to give it another go with some chalkboard paper I have been hoarding.  Immediately my Dapper Dan Glitz stamps came to mind.  I love the mustache and bow tie, but never had an idea of what to use them for...until now...

I'm glad I gave it another try.  I really like this second card.

What do you think about Panel Cards?  I hope I get to see one of yours at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog.  I could use some more inspiration.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Technique Crazy! Counterfeit Kit Challenge #2

Our next Counterfeit Kit Challenge for this month is deceptively hard.  At least for someone who is OCD (raising my hand).  I woke up early this morning **thanks so much neighborhood firework rule breakers for setting them off HOURS after the curfew** and thought I would jump right into this challenge with a card.  Easy Peasy, right?  NOT!  My Easy Peasy card took me 2 hours.  Yep.  2 hours.  I am just that awesome as I am trying to figure out a new to me technique.

Challenge:  Combine Techniques:  Use at least 3 techniques on your project

I do have to say that normally my brain is full, so I like to lean on sketches a bit too much, but focusing on the techniques developed into a completely Bethany Original card that I love.

I'll walk you through my process, but feel free to skip down and just look at the card.  I will never know.  LOL  I highlighted my Techniques.

#1:  Picked a focal piece of paper (hearts) and layered it on yellow and black
#2:  Cut out a heart layered shape on a piece of white card stock
#3:  Cut the negative space and layer it on the heart paper, off setting it a bit so it goes off the card
#4:  Use Gloss Medium Gel and paint it thickly over a stencil that says Hello on the bottom of the negative heart space..let it dry
#5  Spray Mist over the negative space card and wipe off the mist from the HELLO...glue it to the right side of the card
#6  Take the inside heart and stamp a background on it
#7  Leave the outer layered heart white and glue it into the negative the stamped heart in last negative space
#8  Stamp a shape to layer over the heart (I picked an owl that I paper pieced)
#9  Stamp another heart to layer over the owl
#10  Use washi tape to make a pleated "ribbon" and attach to the side of the card
#11  Attatch a button with twin to the pleated "ribbon"
#12  Add some enamel dots around the edge of the heart

Gel Medium is completely new to me.  I have seen a form of it on different blogs, but could not find the product they used.  I did find (at Hobby Lobby) Liquitex Basics Gloss Gel Medium and am happy to find it works well.  You can use it as is or mix it with some paint to color it.  It dried quickly and was pretty easy to use.  I know I will have fun using it on more projects to add some texture and interest.

I was pretty happy to have pulled out my washi and used it in a bit of a different way.

So, overall I am happy with how my challenge came out.  It took some time, but it came together really quickly and easily.

Make a challenge project of your own and don't forget to:
1.  Link it to Mr. Linky
2.  Save it for our end of the month blog hop and e-mail us at to let us know you want to participate at the end of the month!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Once again I have Challenged myself...Counterfeit Kit Challenge: Triangles

So, do you ever wonder how I pick the challenges for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge?  I have all of my favorite blog stops on my Blog Lovin' feed and go through them every few days.  Any blog post that makes me pause or inspires me I "like" so it will save it for me.  Those are what inspire our challenges.  I try to not pick anything that looks too easy for me.  In fact, I usually pick things that I really don't like to do or am not good at.  LOL  I am a glutton for punishment!

Triangles.  UGH!  Love banners, but ask me to use a triangle (other than a visual one) another way and I am stuck...stuck...stuck!  So here we go!  Starting with a sketch is a MUST for this one!

I LOVE this photo of Isabel and Billy.  They are such good buddies and have so much fun together.  I feel a bit left out, I must admit, from time to time when we go places just the three of us.  Often I start off with them and then end up hanging back and taking some photos.  Usually Isabel runs and gets me, though, so she can hold BOTH of our hands.  I love my sweet girl and I love that she has such a good relationship with her daddy.  I definitely needed the sketch above to pull off this triangle challenge.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grading my July Counterfeit Kit

It is the first of the month and that means a brand new Counterfeit Kit!  This has been a busy month.  School is out and the kids are home which is always fun.  I happen to have some pretty great kids.  We have had a great time fishing, swimming, going to some fun library programs and just having fun together.   Near the end of June it dawned on me that I did not put together my July kit.  YIKES!  LOL  I had barely thought of scrapping for the month of June.  I decided to not be frustrated about my lack of time and just put it out of my head instead.  Time to get cracking!

This month we are getting some inspiration from Noel Mingnon's Balboa Kit.  It has a lot of fun colors and some great embellishments.

Balboa Kit

With my last minutes pulls and a raging headache, I'm afraid I ended up with a kit that I hope will grow on me.  LOL  I have a feeling that I am not the only one who has done that before.  Since my head was spinning I decided my best bet was to write down my first impressions and just focus on those.

Here is my list:
Teal, red, orange, green, chalkboard
stripes, dots, frames
washi, labels, chipboard, tags

Then I clicked off of the photo and just focused on pulling things that fit my list.  My kit has some papers in it that are not my favorite (they came in collection packs).  My first impulse was to pull some specific papers from Echo Park, but I REALLY love them and am not ready to use them yet...LOL...dumb, huh?  Maybe the papers will grow on me.  Because I still have May and June's kits, I decided to just go with it.

If I had to give myself a grade, I would probably give myself a C.  I like some of the pieces of the kit, but all together?  I'm just not feeling it.  BUT I am going to keep it together and try to use it.  Why?  Because we all have days like this and it is JUST PAPER!  LOL  

I have a feeling I will be in love with more than one of the Master Forger's kits.  Maybe they will swap me?  LOL

Here is the list, so you can see some A+ kits:

Order of the Hop:
Guest Designer:  Jane

Make sure you look at how YOU can play along on the CKC blog!  We would love to have you join us this month!