Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scrap Our Stash March Challenge.

It's Spring cleaning time and that should mean cleaning and organizing our crafting space while going through our accumalted scrap stash. At Scrap Our Stash the challenge for March is to 'Dust off that thing you have been ignoring.' Perhaps it has been awhile since you used your sewing machine on a layout or made a mini-album. Have you bought some supplies or tools during a scrap-shopping binge only to find it collecting dust? See a technique in your new CK magazine you have been dying to try but haven't attempted yet. Maybe that thing you have been avoiding is getting up the courage to submit your own layout or project designs to a blog challenge or design team call. If this is the case then the March Challenge from Scrap Our Stash is the perfect time to take the leap into a new experience.

Visit the SOS blog where I am a design team member and become inspired by other DT artists. Then get all the details for this month's challenge and submit as many projects as you like. If your layout is selected a winner at the end of the month, you could be the guest designer for the month of May. As for me...the thing I should be dusting off are photos for layouts planned from years ago!

So join me and the rest of the SOS design team and start Spring cleaning for inspiration.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This weekend I finished a layout design after being inspired by Kathy from Scrap Our Stash blog, which I design for, and by a call from Creating Keepsakes magazine. This is a portrait which I have been wanting to scrap for a long time and I used some techniques that have been in my to try file for a while. Of course I also wanted to use some of my stash so I was able to do this as well.

The 12x12 layout features a 7.5 x 9.5 photograph which I cropped down from a 10x13 photo. I am a professional photographer as well and I happened to have taken this photo of my daughter at my former studio so many years ago. Using a corner rounder punch I softened the edges of the cropped portrait then used Powder Puff Pink Cheeks Chalking Ink to put a little color around the photo edge. This helped to also smooth the transition between photo and embellishments. From SEI's Chocolat Collection I handcut what is actually 2 pieces of bracket scroll butterfly pattern paper, then used the chalking ink to ink the edges of the brackets before I placed this on the background cardstock. I did this inorder to break up the white and pastel pink keeping the design from feeling flat while also adding some visual interest with color and pattern.

The technique I have been eager to try on a layout for awhile is to crochet an embellishment for a design. I love to incorporate other crafting techniques or art mediums into my layouts and it is a great way to use up left-over supplies from my other craft project or to recycle items from around the home. I used a soft white baby yarn, left over from an afghan I made, to crochet a scallop edge frame for the photo. I began this project by edge punching a piece of white cardstock measuring 7.5 x 9.5, same as my photo size. After being trimmed with my scallop edge punch I lost about 1/4 inch measurement on each side of the paper but was left with holes in which to start my crocheted frame. The scallop punches also help to secure a heavier pink velvet ribbon in the corners that I used as a trim on the inner part of the frame in order to add a bit more color and to ensure a smooth transition between the frame and portrait. Glue dots adhere the ribbon on the edges of the frame. I then adhered the portrait directly to the cardstock with adhesive and then adhered the entire piece to my background papers.
In addition to the frame embellishment, I used some 1/4 pieces of silk flowers (found these at the fabric store in the clearance bin and grabbed them for scrapping instead) to create multi-layered pink & cream silk flowers with chipboard vines framing the portrait. The flower pieces are layered 4-6 pieces and held together with my favorite adhesive Glue Dots (nothing else would work so well) and then secured with a pearl brad. The brads are also attached to the yarn of the frame but I needed more glue dots to ensure everything stayed put. This embellishment really gives the page a lot of dimension. If height on your layout is not something you are comfortable with then perhaps you might have done it different from me by layering the florals flat using a flat adhesive, though the look would be very different and I cannot visualize it being nearly as flattering.

In my stash, I had some bright pink & blue chipboard vine looking scroll pieces from Bo Bunny in my stash which did not match this page even a tiny bit. Refinishing them seemed more labor intensive than just starting from scratch which is how I became inspired to cut 1/8 inch chipboard scrolls with my Cricut Expression using my Home Accent & Storybook cartridges. More information in this post on cutting chipboard with a Cricut and extending the life of the adhesive cutting mats. Afer I inked them green I used a vine pattern stamp and clear embossing powder to add some dimension to my "vines." I really love these scrolled vines as an accent on layouts but I just do not feel they can stand alone and need to be coupled with florals or some other type of foliage as they are not quite scroll shapes. They just go better this way even if they are just doodles they need some floral enhancement. I also cut my journal box from the chipboard but I did so in 2 different sizes for a layered effect. I put the pieces together with the craft foam for depth then nestled the entire piece into the flowers and tucked the chipboard vines into the open space of the journaling box and used more craft foam adhesive discs to secure the vine to the page. Using a thick craft foam allowed for everything to fit together well without stress on any piece from the height of the frame or flowers. This layout would be beautiful in a shadowbox on the wall but it fit very nicely into the page protector of the album despite the thickness of the page created from the page embellishments.

I have placed my title with the silver stickers but will need to come back and journal once I know just what I want to write and the font I will write it in. I like to practice any hand-journaling for my layouts before I take pen to paper or layout and I know I will use my own handwriting because I already placed my journal space down on the page. Even without my journaling the "I Love You" charm gives the page a completed look I think and I could probably just leave everything as it is.

Taylor, My Angel single page 12x12
I appreciate your taking the time to learn about how I put together this layout and as always I appreciate your support of my art and my blog. Feel free to contact me anytime you have questions!

HOT TIP: Cutting Chipboard Using Cricut & Extending The Life of Adhesive Cutting Mats

If you find it hard to cut chipboard and other thick materials using your Provo Craft Cricut you are not alone. Despite the claims of Provo I just couldn't do it and so I became quite skilled with a craft knife as my chipboard just would not adhere to the cutting mat

Purchase both cans for less
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The adhesive cleaning spray, Stick Away and repositionable adhesive spray, Stick & Sprayfrom Crafter's Companion was introduced to me by a very talented artist, Mary Wigham, of Wigham Designs. I haven't discovered any other product that does what these both do and I use plenty of spray adhesive. The most impressive is the mere 30 seconds it takes to spray then wipe the mats clean!

Anyhow, I never could cut chipboard with any of my Cricut machines, even when I "Duck" taped the board to the mat as one internet blogger suggests or used a thnner piece of board as Heather of Reflections recommended. I have, however, found that spraying my mats with Crafter's Companion Stick & Spray, which I fondly refer to as "Mary's Magic" has ensured a great cut. I do this with chipboard that is 1/8" to 1/4" thick and machine settings as is: 6 blade depth, med (3) speed with max (5) pressure using a regular blade with a single cut.

"Mary's Magic" has also ensured that I haven't had to purchase new mats in about 5 months, since I first purchased the Crafters Companion Stick Products and I have taught classes with the mats and am probably an above average user so this says a lot. Anytime my mat seems to lose grip I just spray my cleaner on after giving the can a good shake, wait about 30 seconds and wipe with a dry paper towel. Then I shake the adhesive and hold about 1.5" away and give a good coat of temporary repositionable adhesive spray. The mats can be used again and again until they get cut through or so thin they snap. I purchased the 5.9 oz. cans and they have lasted quite a long time for me. I should mention though I rotate about 6 mats so if you rotate less your spray may not last as long. If you use products such as glitter covered cardstock or inexpensive thin black paper that leaves behind fibers you will want to clean your mat after each use which of course will use up the spray faster.

If you are new to Provo Craft's Cricut and are interested in a brief Cricut Basics course please contact me for more information. I am certified with EK Success as a Scrapbook Design and Technique Instructor for Spotted Canary School and I am also formally trained in Cricut consumer education and have taught several courses for basic and advanced users. I would be happy to discuss how I can help you with Cricut, scrapbook tool use or design theory.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scrap Updates I Should Have Already Sent...

Hello everyone! I have been hard at work completing assignments and getting new layouts done for you to get inspired by! As I shared 2 weekends ago on Facebook, I was informed that for the 6th and 7th time in the past 5 months, Scrapbook News & Review Magazine, an online publication was going to feature 2 of my designs in the magazine scheduled to release on 2-13-11. However, due to some publishing/server errors this issue was delayed until 2-17-11. It has now been released and so I hope you will check it out if you haven't already! The two layouts, "Hold Time Here" and "Luna" have been removed from my galleries and will not return until the approximate date of 3-20-11. (Just in time for my birthday on 3-22!) They can be found in the magazine publication under the categories of "The Title is the Star" and "Black & White and 1 Other Color."

If you are not a subscriber to this magazine you won't be able to view the publication, however, the magazine is only 4.99 an issue so I hope you do pick it up to view it. Since SNR has been such a strong supporter of my work and I plan on submitting designs again to them in the future I really hope you will in turn support them while continuing to support me. The magazine is jam packed with TONS of things from staff articles on techniques and tips to reader submissions. Plus, the decision to offer the publication on the web instead of in print is very GREEN and progressive of them. You will begin to notice more and more magazines moving into this direction of publishing either as an alternative to print subscriptions or as a webazine.

So, as stated, I have 3 new layouts posted in my galleries right now. "Bunny Love" I made for Easter and a brand new collection by We R Memory Keepers. This is a single page 12x12 layout but I still managed to fit my hand-written journaling and seven photos nicely on the page. This is a testament to how far behind I can get in getting photos into albums...these photos from Easter 2007 were from my now 4-year-old son's first Easter and first chocolate bunny. The poem is by a woman named Suzanne Tillman (credit to her is posted on the back of my layout page with the page recipe as I don't know who she is and I could not fit her name on the design anyhow!) and it reads:

I love you chocolate bunny dear,
I think I'll nibble on your ear.
And it won't do you any harm,
if I nibble on your arm.

I don't think anyone with know
if I nibble on your toe.
Oh, chocolate bunny, you're so sweet,
I think I'll nibble on your feet.

You're better than an Easter Egg!
I think I'll nibble on your leg.
I love you chocolate bunny so...
Oh No! Where did my chocolate bunny go!?!

If you like the Easter design of little baby Jsck with his chocolate bunny on his first Easter then you can pick up the We R Memory Makers collection, "Peeps" which is brand new! Both Rochester Scrapbooking Company and Very Impressive Papers Scrapbook Gallery (www.vipscrapbook.com), which are my local scrap-stores just put these collections out this week for you to pick up. I love this designer and the double sided papers they provide that are quartered, making them perfect for mini-albums!

My other two layouts, "Camp" & "Sleeping Under the Stars" were created in response to a design assignment from RSC, my local scrap-store where I am still currently a DTM. Both layouts are created from October Afternoon's Campfire collection which Rochester Scrapbooking Company has carried since September 2010 and Very Impressive Papers Scrapbook Gallery recently picked up after a visit to Winter CHA. I had been asked last Fall when the collection first came in to create something and I started a design, but when I took a break from designing in October this project hadn't been finished so it wasn't submitted and Nancy who just asked me to design for the collection wasn't aware I had been asked last Fall anyhow. So I finished the first project assignment from Mary, "Sleeping Under the Stars," and then created a brand new one in response to Nancy's request. If you are local I hope you can visit the store to view my 2-page layout in person which Nancy chose to display. Here is the other layout I was able to complete for the collection as well.

The sleeping bag below the photo is actually a creative journaling tag!

This title is hand-cut from a shipping box I recycled and an oversized journal tag tucks behind photos on the far right of the second page. Hiding journaling allows me to fit in more photos on a layout.

As always I really hope you share the news with your Facebook friends and help me grow my reputation as an artist. This time is actually vital for me as I am moving into several new projects as the new year has been unfolding so the more page "LIKES" I can get the better my prospects for the future are. Keep up to date (when I manage to update) with my blog at http://www.reflectionskeepsakes.blogspot.com/ by becoming a follower...or follow me with Facebook's Networked Blogs application. My blog is sure to have expanded information and more photos than an update or a wall post will and with so much taking off right now it should have lots of inspirations for you!

Lastly, I am always seeking inspirations of my own so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share your opinions on my work and then share your own work with me! Have ideas for fun page designs? Techniques? Making your own embellishments? Then please share, I am interested!

Lots of Love and all That Scrap, Malina Rome of Reflections Keepsakes

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Piecing Me Together From Scraps

So I was able to complete the design assignment with the "About Me" theme and just as I presumed it was one of my greatest challenges as a scrap-layout designer. I wasn't that eager to create a page with the theme "About Me," and I wanted whatever I did create to truly be something reflective of me as an individual but also something original in concept. I value my ability to think outside the box or beyond the literal, when given an assignment I will try to give the theme of the assignment a new spin to make it my own and I wanted to do that here also. Of course this approach to design sometimes can leave me over-thinking the idea or making something more difficult to achieve than it needed to be. This may turn out to be the case with this design as well but for me it was a great design challenge, a very personal experience and it has become the inspiration for future works I think. As promised I do intend to share every bit of it, despite how personal the content might be. I figure if nothing else comes of this experience those who take the time to read the content of the layout might understand where I came from, a touch of what I experienced and why I am who I am. Of course I am much more than a 2-page 12x12 layout, just as I suspected I would be!

The idea for this page centers around the facts that are me and also my own personal experiences in life which I am able to directly relate to a personal characteristic, a value I hold, or behavior I may have now as an adult. Sometimes in life people have a tendancy to wonder "Why me?" I know I did. In fact as I wrote once before, I had struggled to believe in God as a teenager for many reasons. As an adult I am pleased to say I have great faith in God and I have been able to open my eyes and see how one action and choice leads to another and subsequently "Why me."

The photo I chose is recent from this summer but it has been ripped into pieces and then taped back together, in keeping with the title of "Piecing Me Together." My given name, Malina Ione, is the first thing that shaped who I am today "My father gave me my name. Malina is a sun goddess-this name has always made me feel stronger than I am. I like my name...I always have."

There is also a copy from my baby book which not only states the facts of my birth but is accompanied by this journaling, "My babybook is filled out in my Dad's familiar print - I wonder if my mom (biological) didn't write anything because she hated me even back then. I fill out both my children's baby books, then I have their other parent write in it too. They will never wonder.... This bit also highlights my zodiac sign as an Aries as I feel my zodiac sign has contributed to who I am and I am proud of the characteristics I possess as an Aries.

Because my photo is here, because this page has my start I also add the present "end." "I look in the mirror & I see my Birth Mother's face. I have spent my whole life in fear of becoming her but now I recognize that some of the best parts of me I have inherited from her, or learned from her example or even developed myself because of an experience I had due to her. I am a quick-thinker with a sharp or smooth tounge - I am independent, a giver & nurturer with a strong value for family. I am a fighter and a survivor."

The journaling to the far side has some words in red so as to bring attention to them but the entire section maintains the same theme. "My father & Cindy were both in the Air Force & were out by the time I was 5 yrs. By the age of 12 I have moved 14 times. Mostly between ages 7-12. When Taylor turned 5, Jackie & I purchased the home we are currently living in. Taylor is now 14 - Jack was born here - our children have gone to the same schools & had the same friends as long as they can recall.**Growing up we rarely saw any family, we had no photos, no albums & no idea about where our family came from other than very rare, short comments Cindy made. We had no roots & no history. From birth until adulthood Cindy does not display a single photo of me in her home or her albums. Of her 5 children I am the only one that "doesn't exist." At 14 I take a photography class & then I take a new one every year until I am done attending high school. As an adult I become a professional photographer & scrapbooker. My walls are plastered with photos of my children. My albums are packed full of family. I use flowers in this layout to represent growth and the blossoming of identity while butterflys appear everywhere as a symbol of transformation, for when a butterfly feels life has come to an end this is when a miracle takes place, a new life is given to them and they are transformed into something beautiful. The butterfly is a very fragile creature with an amazing resiliancy and survival instinct.

The first page of the layout which contains more of the "pieces of me" is a hodge podge but has an intentional flow to it. The title word "ME" contains various embellishments, or scraps that are parts of me but require no real story. "I am NOT a superhero I just play one in real life might in the future require further explanation as it does not just refer to the nickname 'Super-Scrap' that those close to me have taken to jokingly calling me but also to the delusions that many seem to in regards to my abilities to save the world...or at least their world...and my personal viewpoints on the subject.

A portion of this page consists of stories which contributed to the values I developed which I pass onto my children. What people think they know about me, what motivates me or inspires me might be surprising to them.
"I lived with (biological mother) Cindy the woman who gave birth to me & Scott, my step-father till I was 14. For that entire period of time I was a victim of the alcohol, marijuana & cocaine addictions they both had. I believe this experience and the 7 years of exposure to their disease is the exact reason I never tried street drugs or became a addict. Instead I decided to study psychology & I will become an addiction counselor. I understand why everyone needs therapy...including me - still.****I was 16 when my Dad said, 'You will turn out just like your mother & become nothing more than a burden on society if you continue like you are.' I turned out to be everything opposite of Cindy. I volunteer/give to those in need as an apology for everything she took" Volunteering and giving to society has become a part of who I am but initially, when I was able to first contribute to society in a productive way it was out of guilt. This statement is the same reason I avoided welfare or asking others for anything unless forced to do so. It has caused me to develop a bad habit of not seeking help when I need it or admitting weakness so that others can be a strength for me. I choose to avoid being a burden to others, particularly to my own father or those closest to me.

"I was 14. It was June & it was the last day I would ever live with Cindy. In the front yeard my father fought to pull her 89 lbs. of rage off me as she was attempting to choke the life out of me. I am able to still, 19 years later, recall the feeling of her hands & the struggle to breath. I think this is why I was able to easily break the cycle of abuse." Later I added the words, "I Forgive You. (In case you wondered about it.)" between this story and the next one. It is applicable to both. In case they needed to know.

We never forget our first true love, even though they are rarely really true love just a true lesson in how to love later in life. Despite this, the first real broken heart from that love is very real and in my case I wasn't sure if I would ever heal from that broken heart or from the anger which followed. My first love and my first true broken heart is going to get full credit for providing me with the two greatest loves in my life...I won't say the choices I made were ideal but I can see the good that came of the bad. "My first girlfriend broke my heart & cheated on me with a guy 'for fun.' She did not understand how I felt. So I slept with some guy to hurt her, so she could know how badly I hurt. I believe that if this had never happened then I would never have slept with a man. Michelle - I am grateful that you did betray me so I could concieve my daughter and the woman who came after you was 'the one.' She has spent these past 13 years loving me 'for fun.' Thank you for breaking my heart - it helped me heal.

In the hours after the layout was 'finished' I doodled just a few more brief things such as "Never settle! This is what my mom, Carrie, always told me while we were shopping...'If you don't love it, then don't just settle.' I apply those words to everything in my life, not just shopping, and I share them with my own daughter." I also added something about being homeless for a year when I was 16 and how this has resulted in my serving the homeless in my own community with more understanding than the average volunteer. My last little story shown in the layout reads, "The only kind thing I ever remember Cindy saying to me happened to be one of the most personally influential things anyone has ever said to me. I feel it could possibly be the only thing that saved me from a low self-esteem/poor self image. I was 11. 'Once I used to be pretty good to look at & your father is extremely handsome - so how could he & I together not possibly create something beautiful? Remember always you are one of the world's rare beauties.' I try to tell both my kids everyday how smart, beautiful, special and amazing they are. I hope they listen."

Friday, January 21, 2011

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. -Fredrick Douglas

Often when a designer is invited to join a design team he or she may be asked to scrap a layout about themselves which provides limitless and unclear possibilities. Sometimes, heaven help us, a potential designer might be asked to design such a page as the submission for consideration to the call; this in my opinion is then a creative resume of sorts as not just the designers artistic ability and creative approach is considered but the content of the journaling. I hate "About Me" pages. I entered into the art world as a photographer and hung out there long before I became a professional layout artist and rarely is the photographer in front of the camera.

I was asked to submit my first design for Rochester Scrapbooking Company as a biography page to be displayed in the store alongside the other designers pages. This was in July. Even though there was a time when I had more designs displayed in the store than any other DTM I did not, and I still do not, have any form of a biography page displayed. I mean what would I put in it...a photo of me? Then a list of 10 things about me like one DTM did? Or just my name as a title below my photo with white space full of flowers as another did? Is she trying to say she is flowers? She likes flowers? Flowers are her favorite embellishment? I avoided the dilemma of thinking about "WHO I AM" and moved on instead to distracting everyone by producing enough layout designs, altered art or mini albums to distract from the fact that I was absent from the wall and here in January it has worked pretty well. Apparently no one cares about "WHO I AM" anymore than I care to discover the answer.

I have again been presented with the "About Me" theme which cannot be escaped because no other design can be submitted for the assignment until this one has been submitted and time is running out to get this done. I was not eager to list random facts about me that might change next week or next month as little about me stays the same I like to believe. Also the "About Me" came with that wide, open creative space which is great for everything except narrowing yourself down into 1 12x12 or 2 12x12 pages if lucky. Did they want the creative resume? Something creative? I refuse to create the same old, same old that everyone else will submit and I am not about to guess what "they" are looking for and so I need an "About Me" that speaks to ME but which I am OK about sharing with the everyone else.

It isn't all the people out in the 'invisible world' which I worry about sharing with as much as perhaps my own circle who might learn things about me that destroy the perception they had created of me...or worse perhaps I might share something which is viewed as a vulnerability in the armor which I have painstakingly assembled link by link for years. What if in sharing something about myself I accidently share something about someone else that shouldn't come out yet...and yet at the same time I couldn't just make a "My Favorite Things Today" list and call it "All About Me"

I had the good fortune today of visiting with a very good and old friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for some years as that friend was working on improving their own life just as I was doing the same. The nice thing about good friends is no matter how many years pass, if true friendship ever existed then it is easy to pick right back up where you left off and continue the conversation from way back when, even if the details have changed to suit the moment. My visit with my friend came at the perfect time when I was battling with a concept for what I fondly began to refer to as "My Greatest Work of Crap Yet" and needed some direction because I was certain the assignment reviewer would not have the same warm, fuzzy feeling as I did for the title. We began to discuss how sometimes down the road you can see the good that has come of the bad or how certain experiences which we may or may not have grateful for provided us with lessons for life.

I shared memories of times that I can remember when I struggled to ever accept a God could exist, since my life had held some horrific experiences that a real God would never permit. I have since learned that this is a common feeling amongst those facing adversity as a hail storm who are immature or absent in faith. As I pointed out in our conversation, I can now, so far down the path I chose, see each and every painful stepping stone that brought me to the the monumental and greatest stepping stones. And while I might remember how I felt during the painful times I survived and it does not hurt nearly as much, if at all. I was also able to identify very specific experiences in my life which made me who I was today...the good and the bad.

This led me to have a somewhat cathartic experience as I began journaling my concept entries and I expect when this design is complete I will have crossed another stepping stone on my path. One which I hope will take me to another positive stone but if nothing else I, and those who view my layout as I won't hide it from anyone, will know a bit more "About Me."

***And hopefully I can get away with using the same design for other biography or me themes as this has been enough self discovery for awhile and I would like to retreat back behind the camera.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Love yourself, touch yourself, schedule a mammogram...but scrapbook first.

***Written on October 2, 2010 and only learned today that it never posted!***

Happy National Card Making Day...here it is almost 4 in the afternoon and I haven't made a single card! Not true, I opened my laptop for cards to begin with but then found myself heading in different directions without expectation. I am actually working on these beautiful thank you cards to the various businesses and individuals who helped to ensure a fantastic Breast Cancer Crop for a Cause last night at the local scrap store I design for.

Given the accident I was in during last year's walk when I was run down by a cyclist I knew I would not be able to walk the Journey and given that the injuries sustained contributed greatly to my loss of employment & nearly all my income I knew I could never make the financial donations I had in the past. What I did know was that I could throw one hell of a party when given the chance or called upon to do so especially with my very good friends Heather and Mary, Reflections artist and RSC owner/artist. Heather, my cheeky friend, has executed her fair share of events with me in the past and knows just how to step in and save my day every single time I need it! I am especially grateful to Mary Wigham, owner to RSC, who had understood how I felt about the need participate in the fundraising efforts of the Join the Journey organization for SO MANY reasons and she stepped up and helped me to meet that need by partnering her business with mine.

After Mary spoke with her business partner, Nancy, at Rochester Scrapbooking Company and I spoke with Heather, it was decided that a crop was the perfect way to give back to the community using whatever talents we had between our teams. I was amazed at how well it went despite some bumps in the road. The response in attendance was tremendous with an over-packed group of croppers...and as a hostess to the event rather than a participant I was also able to see how talented this group of croppers were. I was also touched by how generous everyone was. I would not be exaggerating if I said that the very night Mary first announced the upcoming event people were asking how to help and offering up donations of all types. Given that these persons are artists we wound up with gorgeous glass etched mirrors by Mary and a wonderful cash donation, pink scrapping supplies from artist Jenny a very familiar face around RSC, and artist Lisa gave some beautiful items to pamper oneself with from Avon including a beautiful silver pink gem breast cancer tennis bracelet, Nancy, one of the RSC owners, provided a pink ribbon shaped and a much desired Xyron sticker maker (ammended: and then later created a gift of more than $100.00 in pink product which she raffled off at the end of the month).
The most surprising donation to be had came from Java Detour, not because they aren't willing to make donations because they actually provided 500 gallons of coffee to the walkers of the Journey only weeks before but because of Heather, "Ms. Just-tell-me-what-you-need-me-to-do-and-you-run-the-show" (yes that is her full name ha ha) took the initiative and set up the meeting to arrange these gifts by contacting the company manager and making this request. Oh and she placed them in the very cutest of gift card holders that she designed created...these were so cute I insisted she get a registered copyright before they even left the work table LOL. But how cute are these designs, why wouldn't she think she needs that registration right away???

Jenpachi Steakhouse might just be one of the best restaurants in town I believe. I really do not think enough people are even aware of how perfect a food fried rice with lobster sauce can be when prepared by Charlie's chefs!!! Well there are about 2 dozen women that are now aware because Charlie was so gracious to make a very generous, very last minute donation of a chicken teriyaki with grilled veggies and fried rice dinner for every scrapper AND hostess! That alone was worth more than the crop fees which were donated to the charity, Join the Journey. We were also priviledged to have a "Soul Warrior" survivor from Join the Journey scrap with us last night and she graciously served as our ambassador and is presenting our donations to Join the Journey...so even though I have thanked her before I just want to do so again.

Everyone was so amazingly generous. When Mary announced the first raffle ticket sale she sold 75 tickets in 5 minutes. Then Mary, who had already given so much of her personal self and her artistic creations dug deeper still into her own pockets and purchased another round of tickets for all the croppers right before the first drawing, including Ann who according to her is her most valuable employee. I too have a lot of respect for Ann not just because of her awesome talent and knowledge but because she just has it and she is so fun when we crop. When Ann came in to be a needed extra set of helping hands last night (and that extra set of laughs that I think some of us also needed) I thought it a nice gesture by her supervisor Mary because expressing gratitude is SO vital but so overlooked many times. Ann being there allowed Mary, Nancy, Heather and I to be more involved with the crop than the actual store. With that said, I want to also say that the thank you I was given from Ann last night when we spoke and then again on the Rochester Scrapbooking Company website really is touching and appreciated because everyone likes hearing thank you especially when it isn't expected! You are a blue diamond Ann.

Reflections Keepsakes, my company, did make various donations from RK-Dies to hand-cut, custom designed scrapbook albums of varied types. Heather and I gave items to the raffle of course, but because we wanted everyone to know how valued they were to this event we loved that we could keep pulling out surprises to give away to EVERYONE not just one ticket holder because EVERYONE kept pulling out donations to give to the cause.

Heather she came out of her vacation (which I had feared turned retirement lol) fully refreshed and she went pedal to the metal with producing brand new RK-Dies from our typical stash to give away during the event, cards to thank our event sponsors, designing and assembling Breast Cancer Mammogram reminder postcards and thank you card covers as needed...she is so the "Card Queen" I must say and there are LOTS of great hand-crafted cards being produced here in Rochester but she always seems to have that extra oomph a card needs...the personal that I think can sometimes be hard to achieve in mass producing hand-made greeting cards. And then as if I didn't slave drive her enough I had her just hustling EVERYWHERE at the last moment yesterday...I'm sure you think I was just off playing paper dolls and doing nothing but I assure you I don't have a single paper doll in my possession :0)

Those who take care of the Lord's people will be taken care of by the Lord. This was all about giving, giving, giving and more giving and I believe that the more we sacrifice for the good of others the more good will come to us in time. It was fantastic that Rochester Scrapbooking Company was able to obtain $1000 in sales because 10% of those sales went to Join the Journey from our Crop for a Cause. Ann who was so committed to raising sales for the cause, stood outside the store in the dark and cold with boxes of ribbon booming out her ribbon sale details LOL. Ann I am sorry people didn't wander off the streets for your ribbons because it was a great deal and I actually forgot to grab some myself!

It is just as well that I didn't buy more ribbon I likely do not need as my car broke down last night right as I was preparing to leave for the crop and I mean BROKE with a capital $DOLLAR SIGN$. When I get to Heaven I think one of my questions for God will be to determine why everytime I work on a breast cancer fundraiser something seriously bad happens to me. I understand that it is not charity unless we suffer but come on, everytime I work a Breast Cancer charity something of mine gets broken...my head, my car lol. I am already getting nervous about next year!

Seriously though the generosity witnessed last night by the crop guests, by Mary, by Rochester Scrapbooking Company's customers who were unable to attend was so impressive and a great way to kick of October. Of course now we might just need to have a benefit for my car so I can get to the crops lol, Ann's crop fees so she is allowed in at the crops lol, and Heather's DOT DISEASE so she can actually crop :)...if Rochester Community scrapbookers are this generous for just one cause imagine if it were for 3 causes!

Well hopefully everyone who participated felt like they walked out with lots of goodies, a full belly, a layout or two done, and the satisfaction of knowing that 19 croppers could raise almost $500 in a couple hours as well as the knowledge that they just helped to make our world a better place! My 13-year-old daughter thanks you also because breast cancer runs deep in this family right up to her generation and with more women like the group we had last night in the world how could we not find a cure before the time comes for her first mammogram?

Now...onto the next cause!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No I haven't died, I have just been Scrapping!!!!

OK, I do realize that it has been 2 months since I have updated my blog and while this is really horrible it is also really wonderful because that means I have been hard at work!!! And aside from a couple weeks of illness I have been fairly productive working with my new design team assignments at Rochester Scrapbooking Company here in my hometown and also trying diligently to complete assignments for my guest design spot with Scrap Our Stash.
In fact this reminds me to share with you a neat new challenge that blog-owner Kathy, from Scrap Our Stash created last month. I actually participated and then wouldn’t you know I became bogged down with a migraine and cold the week it was due! The challenge is actually quite simple in concept but will have you grabbing into that stash to create something from an inspiration page. SOS (Scrap Our Stash) is calling this challenge “Pagerize This” and I urge you to check it out. Here I share the page I created last month for the first challenge of “Pagerize This” and when you review the first inspiration page created by Kathy you will see a bit how this challenge works and how to make it your own. This  month's winner, Joni, has a great page to pagerize so I really hope to see some of my readers names out there on the challenge!

Officially I began working for the Rochester Scrapbooking Company’s design team in August…explains how I went M.I.A. as I rose to the challenges which Mary (store owner) provided to me. Her first request was to create not just a layout but also something paper crafted from the Kaiser Crafts, Up, Up and Away paper collection line. She felt, and I agreed, that this might be one of those lines that novice scrappers could feel intimidated by as it is so unique. It was fun to work on and brainstorming with Mary resulted in SO MANY cool ideas for the paper but alas I needed to select just one. The paper has a carnival theme to it with paper names such as ‘Bumper Cars’ and ‘Ferris Wheel’ and the project due date and collection debut just so happened to be taking place during the Minnesota State Fair inspiring my selected design. Anyone who has ever been to or is familiar with the MN State Fair knows that the food (and pretty much everything else it seems) comes on a stick. In fact this is such a big deal that all the local media from paper to television, highlight what is new on a stick each year. And so for 2010 new and exclusive to the Rochester Scrapbooking Company you may find a “Scrapbook on a Stick!” This mini chipboard album was hand-cut using a crafting/X-acto knife. There are lots of cute details including hand journaling the different types of foods/items you can find on a stick at the fair around the edge of a page, an accordion journaling tag made from cardstock and a ticket I cut from the large paper and even several small cut carnival tickets which I added fun fair facts to the back of!
You can view the entire book at the store or check me out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MalinaofReflections. The journal tag tickets in the central photo actually tuck into the ticket pocket also seen here.

After finishing the “Scrapbook on a Stick” I created a layout from the same line using some older (about 10 years old) portraits that were done at one of those ‘Olde Time’ photo booths you find at the fairs or theme parks. I found that the paper and some distressing was just what these photos needed.

I applied Snickerdoodles Smooches to the brown 'Apartment' Thicker chipboard letters used in this design and inked with Tattered Angels mists. If you like the metal flower embellies I used these are from Paper Studio which I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

As you know I was published this past month also! How exciting was that for me??? I submitted 5 layouts to 3 categories for a call and had 4 of them selected. I just really couldn’t believe it and as much as I would love to share with you the page designs that were selected I cannot because they are in this month’s circulation. You can however visit Scrapbook News and Review Magazine to view them. I should tell you that you will need to purchase the magazine (technically a webazine) or purchase a subscription in order to view. I really like Scrapbook News and Review magazine because they have a TON of inspirations in there with more than 400 different layouts to view during a month. I do not like that I am unable to have a copy in print though since it is my first publication.

Well I can show you the layout my own daughter created for a contest held by Creating Keepsakes Magazine for the Teen Talent Contest. No one to my knowledge has heard back about the winners or the outcome of the contest but when the finalists are announced friends and family will be able to vote online for their favorites…I will keep you posted and in the meantime I know Taylor (my DD) would love to hear any feedback from you. She is 13 and fairly new to scrapping so I was SO proud of her when she was inspired by a page she saw in an older book. Her design was a 2 page layout which I know CK really prefers but since she used the 2nd page for inspiration and I helped her with the doodling technique on the 2nd page for her to implement on the 1st page we just thought she should submit the page where she was solo without ‘Mom Help.’ It is getting late so I hope I worded this right.
Yes! My 13 year-old daughter DID make this page all by herself a nd I am super proud of her. I will confess and we shared with CK also, that I did the hand journaling on the page because of her disability. Other than that way to fly solo Taylor!

OK, so I have lots of new work posted and this blog is getting long and I have layouts rattling around in my head :) so I should probably leave you with this. CHECK ME OUT ON FACEBOOK LOL!!! Seriously, LOTS of new layouts/projects I have been completing over the past month can be found here on my artist page at Facebook until I can get my gallery up and running as I want it. Oh, and if you are local to me a great crop is coming up on October 1st with proceeds to benefit Breast Cancer. This crop will be hosted by Mary from Rochester Scrapbooking Company and I am working very closely on this project with her so we would LOVE to see you there. I know seats are very limited as the response has been so strong since it was announced last week that proceeds will stay local benefitting patients and families from our own community. But you know, October is Breast Cancer awareness month so this shop will be doing things all month to benefit BC and if you check it out I bet you will find your own local scrap shop is likely to crop for a cause…if not, here is your chance to help change the world and contact your local scrap shop about a similar benefit.

Blog at ya soon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I WIN! And Then I Keep Seeking to Win.

Well a nice Monday morning surprise for me is to learn that I have won Creating Keepsakes Blog Giveaway and I will be receiving this neat collection from Basic Grey.
Photo from CK Blog/Collection Sugar Rush from Basic Grey

Once I managed to get my email to actually work I was able to email them to claim my prize! I tried updating my blog several different times as well as visiting http://www.scrapourstash.blogspot.com/ where I am to be next month's guest designer but my computer did not want to be a team player and I figured I had enough things to aggravate me this weekend.

For example this is a double 12x12 layout I did for a theme of "I Love You" in which I wanted to get as many photos as possible on it so I could double dip it on another themed page request, "Lots of Photos." I managed 22 photos total! I am now on the lookout to see pages that feature that many or more, so if you have a page with 22 or more photos on it please share! Wll, I had only just finished this layout when it slowly began to come apart at every corner! I love "Glue Dots" and they are my staple adhesive, however, I always try whatever is new out there just so I am in the know about it. I will not give out the horrible product name which caused my layout to fall apart because maybe it was just bad luck for me, but I will say, when purchasing your adhesives stick with craft stores or scrapbook stores...I have learned my lesson and it shall be awhile before I get adventurous again. So, glue dots and my tweezers came out and I began sliding them under all the lifted corners...it is looking pretty much good as new.

By the way, this poem which is by an unknown author was revised by myself to suit my tastes and so the first 3 lines are original and the rest are rewritten by myself. I am sorry that I haven't any idea who wrote the original but thank you...you captured my sentiments so well. The poem reads:
You Are My I Love You
I am your parent, you are my child.
I am your quiet place, you are my wild.
I am your serious face, you are my giggle.
I am your slow down, wait, you are my wiggle.
I am your finish line, you are my victorious race.
I am your praying hands, you are my blessed grace.
I am your lullaby, you are my peek-a-boo.
I am your good-night kiss, you are my I love you.
-Unknown Author, adapted by Malina Rome

I have been working on some other projects but I won't be able to share them with you for a while so in the meantime I want to let you know that on 8-10-10 my submission for August's challenge at Scrap Our Stash will be revealed. I do not even know which one because the challenge this month is flowers and I LOVE FLOWERS so I submitted more than one. Flowers ar one of the embellishments I must remind myself does not need to be on every single page...I am sure I am not the only one. However, with a challenge that uses something so well loved by scrappers and done in so many various ways everyone should be able to have some fun with it. So, do not wait until tomorrow, just head over there today and see the great ideas the design team has posted and then submit your own.
August Challenge: Flowers! Already LOTS of great layouts to inspire you at http://www.scrapourstash.blogspot.com/. Learn new ways of making flowers too!

The last thing I want to share before I head out to solve a layout issue I am having is the talents of a special young person I know. I am not huge into making cards even though the 'business' I own produces them regularly (though this summer it has only been by request). I find that cards do not allow me to always get as expressive as I should like but because I have been working on more of them for some requests and submissions I will post those I completed over the weekend here during the week. Today I want to share the cards of Ms. Emily. P. M. who I have been mentoring in scrapbooking but who has been working with my business partner in cards. It seems she does not need much mentoring in cards because she has an innate gift for creating and completing them quickly. Currently she is using other designer's recipes or sketches but her talent shows through when she alters the design to make it her own, is able to select her papers or colors, or utilize just the right embellishment. Cards are a good hobby for her because they finish quickly, giving her a sense of accomplishment while she is learning about color, texture, techniques, and design elements. When you consider that Ms. Emily is only 12 years old and has been doing this only a couple months on and off, I am sure you would agree she has an amazing gift that if cultivated will be impressive!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I am Chosen as a Guest Designer & Offered a Chance to Teach...in the same week!

Wow! Didn't I say last week was going to be busy? I feel like I did not get anything done and yet I know I accomplished a lot in my scrap world as well. While I was busy doing my own designs I found myself helping my own daughter's friends with a few projects of their own and so this too added to my busy.

Well perhaps I will begin with the Monday morning good news right away, I apologize I did not post sooner but I think I might have needed to adjust. Scrap Our Stash owner, Kathy, chose me to be a guest designer for the month of September based on my submissions for the July challenge of brads and eyelets. I was chosen after the winners were chosen when she located some submissions of minew which had been sent to junk mail and she said she felt terrible and wanted to offer me a spot as an apology...which of course I jumped at. I will take it how I can get it even if it is by a default...however, I really hope that she also chose me for my work. The designers from her team seem to like my work based on her comments and so I am hoping I can meet her challenge expectations again in the future. I have provided a couple other submissions for the August Challenge which is using flowers! How great is that feature challenge? I cannot share those submissions with you right now but if your itching and interested you can visit http://www.scrapourstash.blogspot.com/ to view my submissions and others and then enter the challenge yourself!

In addition to my guest designer spot I was offered an opportunity to teach scrapbooking for a major craft retailer. I am interested in teaching and so very honored to have been asked. I haven't accepted, only said I was intersted and I would be back in touch after consideration. My issues are that I would prefer to teach for a local scrap-shop...if you want to be specific I would really like to teach for my favorite shop Rochester Scrapbooking Company because it will give me an excuse to spend more time there and call it "work." I think working for a local shop would be more personable, fun, and allow for creative expression and I imagine a generic retail craft store is going to be a bit different than that filled with people you may or may not work with again. I also strongly believe in supporting our scrap-shops because if they have good service, good product & prices with a strong following developed from these things, then they deserve all of our support to stay in our communities. After all, if they leave then where will all the scrappers escape from their children??? Seriously though, I feel as if I must accept the opportunity solely for the chance to have the experience. Up until this point I have only taught scrapbooking to youth groups and individual adults who have sought me out for a one on one of advice or guidance. All of those people seem to be doing OK LOL...if anyone reads this what would you do or think about it if it were you?
The 2 page 12x12 layout was just one of the several done this weekend. With it being summer, the time has come to think of the New Year and Valentine's Day. HA HA HA Isn't that funny? But it is what everyone is seeking right now for themes on calls. The journaling around the pages include various quotes about the New Year...So many people were scrapping a Christmas in July that I decided that July 31st was the perfect time to ring in the New Year, Memory Book Style! If anyone is out there I am really eager for some feedback on this page so long as it is constructive because when I walked away from it I "liked it" but felt as if I was lacking confidence in it.

Lastly, I had promised that I would be posting my version of Liz Chidester's sketch from the week previous to CHA. This was sketch 74 and while I do not follow sketches very often I really liked working this sketch from her page. She already has sketch 75 up so check it out at her blog "The Scrappiest."In the meantime I want to share the page with you because I was pleased with my take on it and when I sent it to Liz she said she also liked it and provided no criticism, inviting me to send my versions of her sketches more. My favorite thing is the sketch allowed me to use up a Cricut die cut from my business partner that I have been staring at for months! If you are interested in the recipe or have questions please email me direct. In the meantime, believe it or not I have some work on my table, including a project for my business partner's daughter a 2 page layout that features an impressive 22 pictures PLUS title AND journaling!!! So far everyone who has viewed it liked it...hopefully you will too when I next post it.