Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saving Photos

Every once in a while, I take a photo that I am dying to scrap with a story I am dying to tell, yet I set it aside and don't scrap it. Here are two such photos:

I took these photos the first time our family went geocaching. For those who don't know, geocaching is essentially a treasure hunt using a GPS. There are more than a million geocaches hidden all over the world and anyone is welcome to search for them. All caches contain a logbook and many also contain trading items or prizes too. From our very first find, we've been completely hooked. I was absolutely dying to create a layout about our new-found love of geocaching.

So why didn't I? Why did I save these photos instead of scrapping them? Basically, it's because I knew that geocaching was not going to be a one-time thing for us. I knew that there would be dozens (hundreds? thousands?) more pictures from our geocaching adventures. I obviously wouldn't be scrapping them all. My absolute favorite layouts are the ones that combine photos from different events to tell a more complete story, so I intentionally waited until we had more geocaching photos, then I put them together to make this layout:

From Flamingo Scraps: BasicGrey patterned paper & alphabet stickers; Crate Paper vine accent; Grungeboard
Other: Paper Company cardstock; Folk Art paint; ColorBox ink

I'm so glad I saved those photos! I love how they work with the other photos in this layout to provide an overview of our first six months of geocaching. For me, saving photos is totally worth it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Being "Caught Up"

I've heard many scrapbookers complain that they will never be caught up with their scrapping. Some agonize about their huge scrapping to-do list the way other people fret about their personal or work to-do lists. I don't get that. Scrapping is a hobby, not an obligation, yet to hear some people you'd think that it was a horribly unpleasant chore!

Personally, it doesn't bother me that much if I'm not caught up. As long as I can remember the reasons why the photo is important to me, then I'm happy. It helps that I journal daily. There have been many times that I've had to check the journal to help me tell the story exactly the way I wanted it to be told.

On average, I scrap 2-6 months behind. I typically order photos about six times a year, so I have around two months' worth of topics available to me when my photos show up. From those, I pick and choose as the mood strikes me. It's not uncommon for me to scrap events completely out of order, or even scrap parts of an occasion and not get to the rest until months later. I usually have at least 5 layouts (often more) partially done, and there's no rhyme or reason to when they are finished. I put everything in the albums chronologically, but I definitely don't scrap that way!

Here's a layout I finished on March 26. Coincidentally, the latest photo on it is from October 26, five months ago.

From Flamingo Scraps: Stickles
Other: My Minds' Eye patterned paper, Paper Company cardstock, Cloud 9 letter stickers

I'm going to have to rearrange the layouts in my album a bit, because I've already scrapped everything from November and I didn't guess correctly about how many October layouts I would make. I suppose if I were truly caught up, I wouldn't have this problem. Oh well!

I should mention that when I say I scrap 2-6 months behind on average, I am not including the literally thousands of unscrapped photos from my childhood, photos I inherited from my grandma, or photos from the years 2002 and 2003 during which I was busy dating my now-husband instead of scrapping. Yes, they're on my long-term to-do list, but I don't let them worry me.

Are you "caught up" with your scrapping? Does it bother you if you're not? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Beyond Scrapbooking

Prima makes it so easy to cross over into other mediums. From instructors to products they inspire genius in scrapbooking, clothing accessories, altered art, and yes mixed media paintings.

I have been dipping into mixed media for a few months now, and was totally inspired by Prima's very own Marion Smith and Donna Downey.   I wanted to create a piece of art using the techniques that I learned from both artists.  I titled the piece "Be Free"  because that the motto for both artists. Inspiration comes from exploration. So the painting is hanging in my craft room, to remind me to "BE FREE" to try new things and play.
From Flamingo Scraps:   Prima Cherry Blossom Vines, Wildwood Flowers, and Dandies; Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists in Dragonfly & Wheatfields
Other Supplies:   Cricut Serenade Cartridge -- Chipboard Bird Cage; Golden Acrylic Paint & Bead Gel Medium; Tim Holtz Label Die Cut; We R Memory Keepers Extra Large Eyelets; Jump rings; Hummingbird

Live with Prima Broadcasts are an excellent source for learning. Marion's broadcasts are always filled with mixed media techniques. For example,  I have learned that concentrated heat setting clumped acrylic paint will cause the paint to expand and bubble like Puffy Paint, multiple colors of Glimmer Mist can create an irrodescent look to your acrylic paints, and she is always demonstrating dry brush techniques - like the one I used to paint the sign.

Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesdays  are another great source of technqiues. Donna's "Drippage" techniques were used to paint the background of the canvas, she also demonstrates how different gel mediums react with paint.  The Birdcage uses her technique for mixing bead gel with paint for added texture.

You don't have to be a florist or have an art degree when you have Prima.   It litterally took more time for the paint to dry than it did for the design to come together. Prima's Cherry Blossom Vines, Dandies, and Wildwood flowers were the perfect "Earthy" touch to this canvas.  Again the layout was inspired by Marion Smith.

Share with us ways Prima has inspired greatness in your projects!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Whimsy: Beer and Bread

One of my husband's hobbies is beer and wine making.  Off and on for the 31 years we've been married, he has brewed beer and vinted wine.  Lately, he's been brewing quite a bit of beer with a new twist, he's been brewing it from scratch!  He actually buys the grains, then crushes them and then steeps them to make the beer wort.
Steeping the grains
The gauze sock holds the grains while they steep at about 150 degrees for about an hour.  Once the hops and malts are added you have a wort - a wort is simply young beer.

Once you have finished brewing, you pour the wort into a carboy and let it cool a bit.  Once cooled, you add the beer yeast, pop on an air lock and wait for fermentation to happen (go yeastie beasties!)
Wort in the carboy with an airlock
It took exactly one batch of beer with crushed grains before I realized what a waste it is to throw out those steeped grains!  The beer needs the starch from the grains but they provide lovely fiber and vitamins for bread!

This is what the crushed grains look like before they are steeped
David may be the beer maker, but I am the bread maker.  There's nothing I love better than homemade bread.  I make bread 2-3 times a week.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to recycle these grains for my bread!  The next time David brewed, he packaged the steeped grains in sandwich size baggies and froze them for my bread making.  I now have dozens of grain packages in the freezer.
Beer Grain Bread Dough
Sub rolls I made with beer grains
David has gotten into the bread making aspect of this too!  He brought home a recipe for a carrot raisin sweet bread.  We added some of the beer grains and experimented.  It turned out great!  We decided to try making muffins with it next time.

So I left you hanging with the beer wort.  How does it get from wort to that bubbly goodness that tastes so good from a frosty mug you ask?  The wort is usually through fermenting in about a week.  At that point, you can add some primer (basically a malt sugar solution) and siphon the wort into bottles and cap them.  Wait another week and you have drinkable beer!  David and I just bottled my Oktoberfest beer last week..  He's got some stout that he made from scratch and a Foster's clone he made from a kit that is ready to drink right now.
Von and Jessica helped us bottle this batch
Is anyone wondering about the legality of brewing and vinting your own beer and wine?  In Florida, you are allowed to produce up to 250 gallons per year for personal consumption another 250 gallons if you are married........hmmmm, I wonder?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spotlight On: Fancy Pants

Another week..... more fabulous new scrappy goodies in the store.... this time from Fancy Pants Designs!!

Did you know....
.....Fancy Pants Designs is based in Sunset, Utah.
.....made their first premier at WInter CHA in 2005.
.....was created by Jodi & Jared and Jared can totally rock a Fancy Pants apron!! :)
.....that we have posted about Fancy Pants 14 times on this blog! 

My favorites...
My favorite layout I've made using Fancy Pants to date.

My favorite new item coming out is the It's the Little Things collection!! (And already in the store!!)

And my favorite past item is Wishful Thinking -- I'm still hanging on to a few pieces for my niece's baby book!! :)

Susan's Favorites:

 Susan's favorite layout made using the Like Father, Like Son collection.

Susan's favorite past product is About a Boy (I think this is my 2nd favorite of the older collections -- great colors!!)

Susan's favorite new product?  
The same as me!  It's the Little Things collection, specifically this piece of paper.

Suzanne's Favorites:

A favorite layout of Suzanne's using the Spiffy collection -- one of the earlier Fancy Pants paper lines!

Suzanne's favorite older item?  Also the Spiffy collection!

Suzanne's favorite new item is also It's the Little Things!!

Cindy's Favorites:
A card Cindy made using Fancy Pants Stamps!! 
From Flamingo Scraps: Fancy Pants stamps (flower and leaves)
Other: Recollections blank card; Bazzill cardstock; ProvoCraft patterned paper; Fiskars border punch; Memories ink; ColorBox ink; Marvy Uchida circle punch

Cindy's favorite past item is "Candy Corn" from the Trick or Treat Collection -- she loves scrapping Halloween, but this paper is versatile enough to be used for lots of other things.  Plus she loves orange!

Cindy's favorite new line is.... It's the Little Things!!  hmmm..... is this a trend?!  Her favorite pattern is this one called Feathered:

Tonya's Favorites:

Tonya's favorite is this great Kraft Kuts II paper (pssst... there's still some in the store!!)
From Flamingo Scraps: Fancy Pants Kraft Kuts II Boy Journal That Boy; Tim Holtz Walnut Distress Ink
Other Supplies: Tim Holtz Grunge Board Digits and Element Stripes; Charms; Jute

Tonya's old fav is Like Father, Like Son:

And the unianimous favorite new line is...... It's the Little Things!! :)  We all love it!!  Maybe that means you'll be seeing lots of it here on the blog soon?!
Tonya is totally in love with the journal cards -- "They are perfect for Minis!"

So now that we've talked about all things Fancy.... we want to know what is your favorite from Fancy Pants?  Which paper line is your favorite?  We would love to know and we would love to see your pages you've made using Fancy Pants!

Now hurry on over to the store and pick up our favorite new paper line from Fancy Pants, It's the Little Things!! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Painting with Stickles

One of my favorite new-to-me techniques is painting with Stickles. I love using Stickles to make tiny little accent dots on my projects, but it is even more satisfying to paint with them! I've experimented with a few different methods, using a stiff paintbrush, a Q-tip, or the tip itself to spread the Stickles. All of these work and create different beautiful effects!

About a year ago, Trevor came home from an event with a plain white cotton bag holding some goodies. He took out the treasures and promptly forgot about the bag. I decided that since he hadn't used it in a year, he wouldn't miss it. I used Staz-On ink to stamp butterflies on it, then masked a border stamp to create trails between the butterflies. I sprayed the whole thing with various shades of Glimmer Mist. Once it was dry, I put a large glob of aqua Stickles on each butterfly and used a Q-tip to push it into place. Fun!

From Flamingo Scraps: Stickles, Glimmer Mist, Fancy Pants stamp (trail)
Other: Staz-On ink, Inkadinkado stamp (butterfly)

My next project started as a box of granola bars. I cut the cardboard into tag-sized pieces and then stamped a flower vase and sentiment on them. I sprayed each tag with several colors of Glimmer Mist. It took some experimentation to find colors that would show up nicely on cardboard. When the mist was dry, I painted the stamped image using the nozzle of the Stickles bottles. These will be great to hang from a gift bag.

From Flamingo Scraps: Stickles
Other: Penny Black stamps, Bazzill cardstock, recycled cardboard

Painting with Stickles is so much fun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting to Know You: All About Style!

We thought it would be fun to start doing a new column every once in a while... we'll answer a question, but more importantly we want to hear from you and get to know you better too!  Without further adieu... here's our first question!

What's your crafty style?
Simple? Shabby Chic?  Graphic? Distressed? Eclectic?

Suzanne says:
I would have to describe my crafty style the same way I describe myself -- ECLECTIC!!!  I enjoy all types of paper crafting -- layouts, altered objects, decorative projects.  And I have been known to try other crafts as well; my mother and grandmothers had me knitting, sewing, and embroidering from a young age!

Please see Suzanne's blog post about this fabulous banner!

Susan says:
I'll try almost anything once so I'd have to say I'm eclectic.  Although I tend to favor vintage, grunge and distressed styles.  My style tends to be more simple when I am recording family history as opposed to scrapping a photo that caught my fancy - then it's all about the art!

The journaling strip idea was scraplifted from a magazine.  I used all sorts of items from inked cheesecloth to popsicle sticks and beads.(Please excuse the shadow from the stitched scan)
 Amanda says:
This is such a tough question for me!  I'd have to say that I'm an eclectic-graphic-simple.... sometimes paper, sometimes digi scrapper.  I love experimenting with new stuff and using patterned paper as my main design guide, all while trying to keep it simple and tell a story!

Product info listed here.

Cindy says:
I am a clean and simple scrapper.  My layouts usually feature straight lines, multiple photos, handwritten journaling and minimal embellishments.  I love to take photos from many different events and tie them together into a single layout, like I did here:

From Flamingo Scraps: Crate Paper patterned paper
Other Supplies: Bazzill cardstock; Scenic Route letter stickers.

Tonya says:
My style is a mixture of Graphic & Grunge . The messier and more distressed the better.   A layout isn’t finished if the paper hasn’t been ripped or inked.

From Flamingo Scraps: Prima Say it in Studs; Prima Shabby Chic paper; Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Milled Lavender; Tim Holtz Vintage Photo; Tattered Angels Rose Tea Glimmer Mist
Other Supplies: Pink Cardstock; Vintage Buttons; Vines; Lace; UTEE – Ranger; and Martha Stewart Butterfly punch 

If there's a question you want to see us answer, please leave it in the comments or e-mail it to us at flamingoscraps at gmail dot com! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looking for Mojo

Sometimes Mojo just leaves us stranded and we find ourselves in a rut doing the same techniques over and over. I was talking about this with a friend and we decided to do a swap with a challenge to push ourselves to think outside the box.

The mission:

Create a Tag using the #8 Ranger tag in less than 2 hours, with the theme of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue. This could be taken in the literal sense of products, or even in the sense of techniques. The borrowed could be a technique that you recently learned, or it could be a product that was sent as a RAK (random act of kindness). The new - was defined as any unopened product regardless of how long ago it was purchased.

From Flamingo Scraps:  Graphic 45 Once Upon A Springtime collection; Prima Cameo Roses; Tim Holtz Vintage Photo, Crushed Olive & Broken China Distress Inks.

Other Products: Seam binding ribbon; vines; Tim Holtz Fanciful Flights Die Cut; Tim Holtz Beveled Fragment; Glossy Accents; Holographic Embossing Powder; Ranger #8 tag; EK Success Sticker; Glass Beads; Stamped Image; LumniArte Twinkling H20s; Blue Glitter nail Polish; My Mind's Eye Stella Rose Helen Stamps

Something OLD - Once Upon A Springtime, pieces of vines, sticker remnants, and vintage buttons all of these items were from the scrap pile.

Something NEW – My Mind’s Eye Stella Rose Stamp, Fragment Charm and cameo roses I grabbed at the last Flamingo Prima sale.

Something BORROWED - The stamped figure of the woman was RAKed to me by a YouTube Buddy, and I painted her with the Twinkling H20s and Glass charms that were also gifted to me.

Something BLUE - The cameo roses were blue, so I decided to paint my girl with the blue color and add Fairy wings that were painted with blue glitter nail polish. Yes read right – BLUE GLITTER NAIL POLISH. The nail polish added a nice sparkle but also acted like a glue for the black parts of the wings. The wings were cut from the Fanciful Flights die by Tim Holtz.

This is a great challenge to jump start the brain because you have to include so many elements in such a small space. Try it for yourself when Mojo leaves you hang’n.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Whimsy: Life in Florida: FLORA

A few weeks ago,  I blogged about the animals so this week we'll take a look at the plants.

Right now the azalea, dogwoods, redbuds and wild plum are in bloom.  It's a great time to be in North Florida if you love to take photos of flowers and plants.
White Azalea

Pink Azalea
Very soon, the citrus trees will be blooming.  I LOVE it when they bloom.  It's usually still cool enough to have the windows open and the spring breeze wafts the heavenly perfume of the orange blossoms inside!
I believe this one is called wisteria.  It will begin to bloom in a few weeks and will continue for most of the summer.
And my amaryllis are already putting out new growth.  By Easter, I will have huge trumpet shaped blooms.
Later in the summer, we will get some hot weather favorites like Hibiscus.
And Bromeliad.....
And Crepe Myrtle.....
I think this one is related to the Bird of Paradise.....
And I don't really know the name of this one!
Anyway, just a few of the Floral beauties we have in Florida!

Have a great weekend!
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