Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013...Hello 2014!

Whoa!  So, let me begin by apologizing for my lack of blog posts this month.  I will be honest with you all, I was not prepared for the holiday season with everything going on.  This was my first year with a blog AND my Etsy shop.  Add daily life during the holiday season and something is bound to go on the wayside.  Unfortunately, that was my blog.  

BUT, I have learned a lot this holiday season about how to juggle my lovely blog, my Etsy shop, my personal life, etc.  It has really helped put some things in perspective for me, as well as open my eyes to the fact that I need to be super organized, prioritize a little better, and PLAN AHEAD!  

With that being said, I will not be doing a Project Life album for 2014.  I know, I know.  But as you all know from previous posts, as 2013 went on, I dreaded having to do PL spreads.  Even when I switched to a monthly set-up, it was still terrible for me.  I will finish my October spreads and get my June spreads in my album, but that is it.  I'm not even doing the month of November and December is documented in my Christmas album.  So, I have decided not to do Project Life in 2014.  I have plans to still do some kind of monthly documentation, but I still have more planning and experimenting with these ideas before I let you guys know about it.  I want to make sure I can actually do something and deliver before getting your hopes up.

Now, for some fun stuff...my plans for 2014! I have been brainstorming and thinking and getting super excited about this coming year.

One Little Word:  I decided to pull the trigger and sign up for Ali Edwards' One Little Word year long class. I picked a word this year and started out 2013 scrapping about it on my own.  That stopped about mid-February.  I want to be more intentional with my 2014 word.  I thought actually taking the class would help me get perspective of my personal life and just help make me, well, a better me.  I have a good idea of what my 2014 word will be, but I want to take a few more days to reflect.  I will post my 2014 OLW on Monday, January 6, 2014.

Just Two Midwest Girls Scrap Challenges:  Yes, Kelly and I will be continuing our adventure together, using up those scraps and getting creative.  I cannot tell you all how extremely thankful I am to have met Kelly this past year.  We started out as penpals from a facebook group and have grown to be friends.  I'm pretty sure we were sisters in another life.  We are very excited to be continuing our scrap challenges and will be Skyping pretty soon to discuss some plans for 2014!  Get excited!

Speaking of the Just Two Midwest Girls scrap challenges, we will be posting another challenge this Friday, January 3, 2014.  You guys have until 8pm CST January 2, 2014 to link up your holiday cards you made this holiday season.  You can get more details about this challenge here.  You can link in my comments section or in Kelly's comments section.  We love it when you all play along, so show us what you've made!  You may win a $5 gift card to Two Peas in a Bucket!  

Knitting Projects:  I was knitting like crazy this holiday season and LOVED it!  I don't want to stop doing this kind of creating, so I'll start posting about my knitting projects.  I don't have a set day or blog series I will devote to my knitting projects; they will be more spontaneous throughout the year.  I already have my first knitting project post in the works!

Pinterest Crafts Blog Series:  This is something completely new for my blog, as well as for myself creatively.  If you guys haven't caught on yet, I love to make things, but I've only ever dabbled with papercrafts until my knitting adventures recently.  I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to crafts.  I obviously have intentions of doing these crafts, or I would not have pinned them.  2014 will be the year I challenge myself creatively.  I don't have a name for this blog series yet.  This series will be a monthly posting on the 15th of each month showcasing one completed craft I found on Pinterest.  I will provide the original link, supplies, instructions, photos, and my thoughts on each craft.  This is going to be a fun project!

Me on the 27th:  **This will not be my banner for this blog series!  I just really love this photo and I don't have a good selfie of me currently.**  This blog series is a spin off of Corrie Jones' 2013 Monthly "Me" Layouts.  She documented herself with a picture and 8 things about herself on the 8th of every month.  This year marks the year of my golden birthday-I'll be 27 on February 27th.  I wanted to do something special for my golden birthday, so I decided to really focus on me, in the moment.  On the 27th of each month, I will take a selfie and note how I feel, what I'm doing, dreams, aspirations, achievements, etc.  I will then make a layout!  I won't be journaling 27 things about myself each month, because, let's face it, that's a lot.  I want to focus more on what makes me at each moment.  I will be sharing the layouts at the beginning of the following month, i.e. January's "Me on the 27th" layout will be shared in the beginning of February.  I haven't set a date for that layout share, but I will.  It helps me get stuff done if I have a "deadline."  

Layout Shares:  I will continue to post my layouts I do throughout 2014.  Because I won't be doing a Project Life album, I hope to tackle more layouts.  I'm planning on STARTING my wedding, honeymoon, and childhood albums.  These projects will be ongoing and I'm not going to put any kind of deadline or schedule on these. I am starting to get excited to tackle these long-term projects, so I figured I better harness that excitement and just scrap it!

Okay, there are my plans for 2014.  I am very excited about them!  What do you guys think about my plans for the new year?  Are there any particular series or projects you're looking forward to?  What are your plans for 2014?

Happy New Year,

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Journal Your Christmas Album Supplies

Happy Monday morning readers!  As promised, here is a video showing all of my supplies for my Journal Your Christmas album.

Part I

Part II

**I had to split the video in half, so you lose a few seconds between the first one and second one.  Sorry abut the train you can hear; I cannot do voiceover at this time, so I have to talk on the video.  And, my camera stopped recording before I realized it, so you guys missed out on the stamps I'll be using throughout my album.  I may try to make another video of the stamps I'm using.
Just a little update on my album, I've been keeping up with the journaling prompts.  I've also been pretty good about capturing photos that coordinate with the daily In Focus prompts. When I do projects like this, I really, really wish I had a photo printer at home.  I don't necessarily want to send photos to a printing lab every week, let alone every day.  I like to print a month's photos at a time.

I've made my title page, pages for Prompt #1-#6.  These still aren't completely done because of the lack of photos, and that bothers me!  But I'm happy that I'm working on it.  

Are you making a December album?  How are you doing on yours?


List of Supplies

Patterned Paper:  Bundled Up by Crate Paper 6x6 Paper PadHello December by Glitz Design 6x6 Paper PadPeppermint Stix-Believe by Heidi SwapPeace Love Joy by Lawn Fawn Collection KitPeace Joy Love by Lawn Fawn Petite Paper PackOh Tannembaum-Magical by Studio CalicoMerrymint Gold Star Kraft-Magical by Studio CalicoMaking A List-Magical by Studio CalicoAll Is Bright-It's Christmas! by Allison Kreft for Webster's PagesReindeer Flight-It's Christmas! by Allison Kreft for Webster's PagesNutcracker Court-25th and Pine by BasicGreyChevron-Santa's List by Teresa CollinsNorth Pole-Reflections Christmas by Lori Whitlock for Echo Park Paper Co.Silent Night-It's Christmas! by Allison Kreft for Webster's Pages

Stickers:  Titles and Accents Sticker Sheet-Hello December by Glitz DesignIndustrious Border Stickers by Tim HoltzGood Tidings 6x12 Label Stickers by Chic Tags

Embellishments:  Good Tidings Clear Acetate Tags by Chic TagsGood Tidings Photo Toppers by Chic TagsNoel Bits & Pieces by Elle's StudioNoel Frames by Elle's StudioNoel Lil' Snippets Labels by Elle's StudioNoel Cutouts by Elle's Studio; Citrus Twist Kits Exclusive Christmas Labels; Merry & Bright Flair Button by Two PeasStar Ornaments Flair Button by Two PeasHello December Wood Veneer Tile Set by Two PeasWhite Christmas Lyrics Wood Veneer Card by Two PeasNatural Bark Stars by Prima Marketing; Citrus Twist Kits Exclusive Wood Veneer Letters, Stars, Peppermint Swirl Shapes; Peace Joy Love Flair by Lawn FawnPeace Joy Love Mixed Sequins by Lawn Fawn; rhinestone gems; Citrus Twist Kits Exclusive Flair; Hello December Giant Rhinestones by Glitz DesignChalkboard Wonderland Silent Night Washi Tape by October AfternoonSanta's List Chipboard Buttons by Teresa CollinsBundled Up Photo Overlays by Crate Paper; "Dear Santa" Mini Bag from It's Christmas! Mini Bags Assortment Pack by Allison Kreft for Webster's PagesBundled Up Journaling Cards by Crate Paper; crocheted snowflakes; white doilies; gold doilies; 25th and Pine Jumbo Die Cut Numbers by BasicGreyHome for the Holidays Sprinkles by Doodlebug Designs

Alphas:  Hello December Alphabets and Words Sticker SheetTomato Red Alphabean Cardstock Stickers by Jillibean SoupAmerican Crafts Thickers-Reindeer Font in RedGood Tidings Gold Letter Stickers

Friday, December 6, 2013

Just Two Midwest Girls Scrap Challenge: Holiday Cards!!

And....we are back with another fun challenge for you all!  We had three people play along with us for our Kill A Kit challenge.  All three readers had just awesome projects!  If you want to check out their projects, all three are linked in the comments section on Kelly's blog.  Drum roll please....the winner is...Heather Adams!  I used random.org to select the winner.  Heather (great name, by the way!), please email me at heather.sweet12@gmail.com so I can get you your $5 gift certificate to Two Peas.

This challenge round comes at the right time (funny how we planned that!):  holiday cards!  I love making cards!  I've definitely gotten back into my card-makin' roots in the past few months.  For those that do not know, I finally opened up an Etsy shop to sell my cards, which was a goal of mine for 2013.  You can browse my little shop, Sweetly Made Designs, anytime you want.  Bare with me on the storefront though, I'm completely behind in creating my holiday banner and getting more holiday cards up.  I'm a newbie, but I'm learning and will be ready for the next holiday seasons.

Anyways...back to the challenge.  As you know, from this post, I decided on the Christmas cards I would be making to send out to family and friends.  I do not even have those started yet, so I will not be showing you those today, but they are on my blog schedule for next week!

Enough of me talking, here are my cards!

Yes, these cards are in my Christmas tree!  I was experimenting a little with lighting and embracing the holiday season.  Forgive me if it's not your cup of tea, but I kind of like it.  This card is a gift card holder!  The card sits in the white fold inside.  This design comes from my Stampin' UP! club I belong to and it's super simple to make once you figure out the theme of your card.  I will post a tutorial on gift card holders this weekend or early next week.  So, if this is something that peaks your interest, do not worry, I will provide more details on another post.

This card would be excellent to send in the mail because of it's minimum layers.  I love the look of stamped white images on kraft cardstock.  It's just gorgeous!  This card could easily be made in mass production.  The only thing that would make the process a bit longer is having to heat emboss the "Merry Everything" sentiment.  So, I stamped various snowflakes all over my card front, cut a banner from vellum and heat embossed the sentiment in gold (LOVE LOVE LOVE GOLD), and then added a few gemstones to a few snowflakes.  Simple, but gorgeous.

I obviously did not do a good job with the lighting on this card.  Dang man dang!

This card is super simple to make!  I really like the look of Maile Belles' cards:  clean, simple, lots of white space.  This card was inspired by her style.  "dashing through the" is stamped in silver ink through the "SNOW" stamp.  It's so clever!  And the snowflake is punched from silver glitter paper using a Martha Stewart punch.  You could make a ton of these in 30 minutes.  I used this stamp set from Papertrey Ink.  There are some other words or phrases you can use along with the big "SNOW" sentiment.  

These are easily, my favorite holiday cards I've made this season.  I don't know what it is about them, but I am in love!  These can also be made in mass production, but it would take a just a bit longer to complete because of the white embossed wreath, the circle that is die cut from the middle, and the coordinating envelope (if that's something you're interested in doing).  I just sold a custom set of these (with various sayings in the middle of the wreath) on my Etsy shop.  People really love them!

And here is just a simple, mini holiday-themed "Thank You" card.  I have actually never written any thank yous for Christmas, but this year, I just may.  This cute, mini, square card is something I include in my holiday-themed orders from my shop.  

Okay, there you have it!  Lots of holiday card inspiration!  Don't forget, I will have a tutorial up soon on making gift card holders.  Gift cards are popular during this season and what better way to dress up one than with a handmade "home" just for that card!

Play along with us this time!  Link up your holiday-themed cards.  You have until Thursday evening, December 19th to link up your projects in my comments section or in Kelly's comments section.  Remember, those that play have a chance of winning a $5 gift certificate to Two Peas in a Bucket!

Now, go check out Kelly's holiday cards!  They are super cute and she has a little bonus project included in her post!

Happy card-making,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hello December!

Happy December everyone!  Can you believe how quickly this year has flown by?!  I certainly cannot believe it.  I'm looking forward to using this time of year as a way to "take back" the Christmas season.  If you are familiar with that phrase, than you must be taking Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas.  Let me tell you, I am so excited to be taking this class!  

Last year, I "participated" in December Daily.  I still haven't finished my 2012 album.  It was extremely difficult to take a Christmas/holiday-season picture a day.  I was doing Project Life at the same time and didn't want to combine my December Daily and that album.  There would be days I was struggling to find something holiday to photograph.  My husband and I do not have kids yet, so we don't do too many holiday-themed activities, certainly not enough to document daily.

When I read about Shimelle's class a couple months ago, I knew this was the type of Christmas documenting I wanted to do.  I wanted something that helped capture new traditions with my husband and our current family gatherings with our childhood memories and how the Christmas season has changed over the years.  Just typing this makes me so excited for my album this year!

Now, I promise I will blog about my kit I'm using for my album this weekend.  I may do a video because I bought a small tripod during my Black Friday shopping!  I did want to show you guys some pictures though of my start up process for my Christmas album.

Here is the actual journal I will be using to write about the prompts.  I will be putting together a mini album, but I know that I won't be able to scrapbook everyday.  I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment right off the bat, so I got realistic.  I didn't want the "not being able to scrap daily" aspect of the holiday season to get in the way of me doing the journaling and documenting the season.  Enter in my homemade Christmas Journal!

 I am so proud of myself with this journal!  I didn't buy it!  During my lunch break yesterday, I went out looking for a slim journal.  I wanted something I could take with me pretty easily and something slim enough to put into a page protector at the end of the project.  I couldn't find anything.  And I was so angry because I used my whole 30 minute lunch looking for one.  I was going to stop by Target on my way back into Springfield, but as I was driving I remembered I had some paper at home. I had an "aha" moment!  I'll make my own journal.  I have a graph paper pad, in the legal size, that was perfect for folding over.  I folded 15 sheets in half and tucked them inside one another to make a booklet.  Then, I took some paper from Lawn Fawn's Love, Peace, Joy collection and cut it 1/4" bigger than the pages.  I then sewed everything right down the middle fold.  Voila!  A simple, handmade journal!  I decorated a little bit with the tag and label on the front cover and a 4"x3" Crate Paper Bundled Up journaling card on the inside cover to hide my stitching from adhering the layers on the front.  The bark stars and sequins are not adhered, but added as a prop, just for you guys!

Here's a little peak at my work space last night.  This was the first time I actually dug out my kit supplies.  I was able to make my journal (shown above) and the title page for my album.  I was pleased with myself for getting that far.  I didn't think I'd be able to get anything done last night, but I did.  Tonight, hopefully I can get my Christmas Manifesto page done.  

As I go through this journey, documenting my Christmas, I'll post more on my blog.  Also, if you're interested in seeing other Journal Your Christmas-ers, check out #christmasjournal and #JYC2013 on instagram and Twitter.  If you want to see what I'm doing this Christmas, follow my instagram @hsweet12 with the hashtag #asweetchristmas.

Also, you guys have until tomorrow (Wednesday) night to link up how you "kill" a kit for the Just Two Midwest Girls scrap challenge. Details for the challenge can be found here.  Those that enter have a change of winning a $5 gift certificate to Two Peas in a Bucket!  Come play along!

Happy December,