Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alaska Bike Riding Page and Musings

I've been reading a book about unlocking your creative spirit. It gives you ideas and prompts for getting started with creative projects. One of the prompts was "if you were born to produce just one type of work, what would it be?".  Probably some people would say "scrapbooking" as an answer for me, afterall most of this blog is scrapbooking, but I find this question exceptionally difficult.  I know it is hypothetical but I can't imagine sticking to one medium, and why should I?  I love the idea of learning everything.  How can you know whether a medium is right for you until you try it?  Maybe I am a great painter and I don't know it. Maybe I'm born to sew or make shoes or sculpt weird things out of clay.   

This Fall some of my goals include focusing more on collage/mixed media (taking another class in September), learning to sew and improving my photography. I also want to use my slow cooker more as the weather gets colder and learn to make soup. Yes, soup.  So I don't think I was born to produce just one type of work and I don't think anyone should limit themselves to only one type of work.  Explore more!  As my slightly creepy theology teacher in high school used to say "there's more, there's so much more."

Anyway, for now I guess I will continue on with my scrapbooking.  Another Alaska page, this one about us bike riding along the Coastal Trail.  Another guidebook map, this time I highlighted the trail with embroidery thread. My hands are covered in glue now that won't come off. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Smashbook: Trying to Instagram it

Since I'm a huge dork, I decided to smash book my first fantasy draft. I was so excited to finally be in a fantasy league because like the annoying little sister that I am, I've been begging my brother to add me to his fantasy league for years.  Luckily this year, I didn't need him because two work leagues were formed and I was popular enough to be invited to both of them. SO THERE.  Also, there was an opening on my brother's fantasy league  this year and I was passed over.  Whatever I'm not bitter about it (yes i am). 

Anyway, I "captured" (I believe that is what MAC nerds refer to print screening as) my final fantasy (video game reference!) picks, printed them out and then decorated with random football embellishments that yes I do own.  

I downloaded this new app called "Instagram" (if you don't get the sarcasm, stop reading my blog) the other day. I wanted to try it out but I don't want to take any fucking pictures of clouds. If one more person takes an instagram picture of clouds I'm going to scream. It's a rain storm, of course it's going to look menacing when you put a 1970's filter on it. Anyway, I tried instagramming my smashbook page. I don't know if it has the effect I want, but I do love the black/white border around it. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Alaska Album: A satisfying collage

The plans i had for tonight got cancelled, so I ended up scrapbooking...and finishing up the 3rd season of Breaking Bad (Not at the same time).  

Originally I was going to design a collage without photos, just showcasing the day we spent exploring Anchorage.  Instead I added in a photo I had printed out a while ago for something else, and I actually really like the collage. The only nitpicky thing is the bottom right corner is a little empty.  I'm still getting used to scrapping in a photo album and I'm never sure how close I can get to the edge. I really feel like the book is improving as I go along though.  

A lot of times I hate a page when I first do it, and then I put it away in the album, come back to it a few days later, and I'm surprised at how good it looks.  If I could give anyone advice when scrapbooking its that if you are frustrated or the page isn't looking correct, put it away, walk away for a few hours or better yet a few days and come back to it. You'd be surprised at how your perspective changes. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Smashbook Monday: Mommy and Me

It's amazing how tired you can feel at the end of a day where you did absolutely nothing. Seriously, I sat on my couch the entire day watching Breaking Bad on netflix. There is no reason for me to feel as exhausted as I do.  Of course my throat is also a bit scratchy so I'm hoping so hard I'm not getting sick. I need so much juice right now. 

I worked on my Smash book briefly tonight.  Took a picture of me and my mom from a party this weekend, pasted it in along with a horoscope that says "the creative juices will be flowing this week". I hope they are..if I can fight off whatever is brewing in my throat. 

Smashbook Page: me and mommy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My blog just got a makeover!

Hello everyone (all 2 of you!).  I gave my blog a mini makeover this morning. I'm still making use of the blogger templates, but I like this background and color scheme much better. It feels more mature (even though I'm not any more mature than when I started writing this).  I'm starting to pay attention to the blog more though and write more regularly so I thought it needed an adjustment. Let me know what you think! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Smashbook: Fall Preview

I got my new issues of Time Out New York and New York Magazine in the mail today and both had the same cover "FALL PREVIEW".  So excited!!! As I've mentioned in the past, Fall is my absolute fav.  Usually I wait to read my magazines on the weekend, but I devoured both of these in a few hours.  I was so excited, I decided to devote a page to all the things I'm excited for in Fall.

I've also decided I'm going to do a separate smashbook for the Fall season...because I think I'm going to be THAT busy. Not really (but maybe?).  Really, I bought two smashbooks when I first discovered them in the craft store and my current one is running out of space very soon. Rather than be cut off in the middle of Fall, I think it's best to devote an entire book to it. Fall is an important season. It's the most important time for fashion, tv shows come back, new tv shows premiere (very disappointed with the new show selection this year), I can wear sweaters again and put away my fans. So yes, it just seems best to start an entire new book for it. 

Anyway, here are my Fall preview pages:

Fall Preview Smash book page

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Alaska: Exit Glacier with Map

I had an idea in my head tonight for a page, but I don't think it came out quite how I imagined it. I still like it but I think my problem with my own designs is the lack of embellishment.  I either hold back too much or I go way too overboard. I can't strike the perfect balance that I want.  My next page is going to be a straight collage, no pictures so I'll use that as practice ground.  The collage part is the hardest for me - making something that is imperfect look perfect. 

Anyway, as I said I'm not disappointed in the page. I used a map as a backdrop (I have a lot of these maps lying around thanks to my free guidebook Kleptomania).  I love the layout of the pictures, the arrow and the lettering I used for the word "exit". I'm not so into how I wrote out the word glacier, and I feel like a nice embellishment or collage in that area would've completed the page.  Learning. Always learning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alaska: Sea Life in browns and blues

The Alaska scrapbook continues. Maybe I will finish it by Fall? Perhaps. I have a lot of projects brewing for the Fall....I just love Fall so much.  Almost as much as the Olympics.

I'm not 100% satisfied with today's scrapbook page but I'm trying to not be as hard on myself. You win some, you lose some right? I definitely want to collage a bit more in this scrapbook but it's hard to get away from the traditional scrap. I think I just need a little bit more inspiration in the future. I'll read some of my older collage books and start to get the creative juices flowing.  They are already flowing now, sort of. 

I'm blabbering. Half of this entry might not make sense but that's OK.  I'll just show the page....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Smashbook Monday: Block Party Weekend

I took the day off from work today and it is fantastic. I did...nothing.  That's what makes it fabulous.  I took two days to recover from a huge party at my parents house: our (sort of) annual block party. I say sort of because it hasn't happened in two years, but it's back and it was a success so I think it will be back again. 

This past weekend I made two large purchases:
1. I purchased another art class - DIY printmaking - September
2. I bought a portrait lens for my dslr

I'm excited for both purchases, even if they set me back a bit financially (I went grocery shopping in my parents kitchen to recoup some of the loss).  I've wanted a portrait lens for a while, the starter lens wasn't doing it for me anymore - also, its scratched.  The first art class I took was really fun and interesting and I think this one will be even better. I'm also taking it with a friend, so that adds to the fun (I sound so corny don't I).  I have the next 2 Mondays off from work, and while I am sad that summer is coming to an end, I am super pumped for Fall. It is my favorite season. Even though I'm not longer in school (thank God), it still feels like you are starting anew in Fall.  It's not quite the New Year but it will always have that feel.  

Anyway, I did do a quick smashbook page of the block party this weekend.  As I said, I'm trying to get these done as events happen so I'm not behind.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

the yankees win..i think?

I went to a Yankees game last night with a group of people from work. It was really fun, although I admit, I think I watched 10% of the game. I just like drinking and talking, although beers in the stadium are $12, are you kidding me? You can't even go to a game without going broke these days. I probably watched 10% of the game. I only knew runs were being scored when everyone cheered.  

The last few weeks I got behind on my smashbook, so I'm trying to create pages as events happen.  The build up is stressful and this project is supposed to be the least stressful thing in my life right now.  So, thanks to the magic of smart phones and facebook, I was able to steal others photos from the game and print them tonight and throw together a page in 15 minutes. I still love it though.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And Early Night Scrapping...

Tonight, I started scrapbooking right after dinner. I had an idea in my head and I needed to work on it right away. I love it when that happens.  

I'm reading a book called Imagine: how creativity works by Jonah Lehrer. It's a really fascinating look into the brain with stories of creative breakthroughs.  More interesting is how they explore creativity and show how any person can be creative. Anyone could be an creative genius, with different methods or ways of looking at things. I thought that was really inspiring. I'm constantly down on myself for not creating these perfect pages that I see other scrapbookers make..but that doesn't mean they are any more creative than I am. 

One chapter of the book talks about how relaxation can fuel creativity. Interestingly, distractions also fuel creativity - people with ADD are better able to come up with creative solutions to problems. Persistence - constantly drawing the same picture or moving aspects around on a picture - can lead to artistic breakthroughs. Based on this, I think this more relaxed version of scrapbooking is fueling my creativity.  I've felt more inspired in the past two weeks than I did the entire time I worked on my Europe scrapbook.  It feels more free, my brain doesn't feel so boxed in.   

Anyway, here is tonight's page.  I cut out a piece of an ad from one of the many Alaskan free magazines I took.  The ad was for the same tour we took.  It fit better than any sticker I own. 

Tonight's image is a scan.  In person the design is not as centered, the scan cut off a sliver of the left side of the page, but still looks good. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Scrapping in late night 11PM late night?

I am tired and I have a headache but I did want to complete at least one page tonight. I don't want to get too far behind on the scrapbook because I'm a grumpface. 

This page, like a lot of pages in this album was pretty quick. I did want to keep some scrapbooking elements in this album, so I put together a little bit of a patterned background, pus used some stickers.  I've had a sheet of stickers forever with inspiration phrases about the sea on them and I finally got to use one on this page. 

I didn't scan the page because it has a few raised elements, so the pictures are a bit yellowy. I tried to edit it a bit to brighten it up but it still has a yellow tint. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quick Album Page: Seward

I skipped a day there. I promised you to continue the conversation tomorrow, but I made you wait.  It's not my fault! My headache lasted 2 days..seriously.  Maybe I should be concerned that it's a brain tumor.  I did kill a bug today by hitting it repeatedly and screaming YOU WILL NOT LIVE IN THIS there are concerns about my current mental state.

The good news is, my headache is gone for the time being and I was able to continue on the Alaska album. I'm enjoying this photo album style.  It's much less stressful than planning layouts and picking patterned paper. I will incorporate a few of those pages in this album but it's nice to have the mix and not feel like every page has to be completely perfect. 

This page showcases our first day in Alaska, a trip to Seward. I will probably have a few more pages from this day.  We did spend the entire day there.  For the page I printed out a picture of all 3 of us in front of the Seward, Alaska sign. I also used a postcard I bought at the gift shop there.  The boat in the corner is from a pack of Alaska dye cuts I bought in a gift shop as well. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Closer Look at Alaska

I feel like the picture of my first Alaska page I posted yesterday did not showcase the page properly.  The raised element in the middle made the background very blurry in the scan and it looked distorted.

I made another page this morning, a quick one  -which honestly is how I want most of this album to be. Obviously, I want it to look nice and thought out, but I'm sick of planning layouts and being disappointed. 

I was going to continue working on the album tonight, but right now I'm 4 Advils deep and still have a terrible headache.  Even lifting my head up right now to type this entry is painful.  It might be a brain tumor or it might be that I woke up early and went to bed late. Lack of sleep does not a pleasant head make. 

Anyway, as I said, I was not happy with the picture I posted yesterday. So today, instead of using the scanner, I decided to set up a makeshift album studio on my couch and photograph the album instead. Enjoy.

Here is the first page:

Here is the second page: The first place we visited in Alaska was Seward/Kenai peninsula. I ripped out pages from the guidebook we picked up at the visitor center + maps of the area

A closer look at the bottom embellishment: I bought a bunch of stickers at a gift shop in Alaska. I wouldn't be able to get stickers this specific in New York. 

And a look at the album itself: I also bought the album in a gift shop in Alaska. I make smart decisions.

The spine:

Now off to get some rest. Let's continue this conversation tomorrow. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Alaska Album: Started (finally)

Have you been wondering what happened in Alaska? Well, you are in luck. Tonight, after sitting on my couch with the olympics on mute, watching "breaking bad" episodes on my computer, I sat up and thought...I'm going to start my Alaska album.  I don't know where the sudden motivation came from but I'm grateful for it.

I want the Alaska album to be different from scrapbooks I've done in the past.  I want my scrapbooks to start having a real scrapbook feel - vintage elements, collages and incorporating more memorabilia.  I've been studying collage and mixed media artists and it's been inspiring. 

I did the opening page of the album tonight. I used fabric that I bought at a quilt shop in Alaska for the background (i lost my pinking shears, so the ends of the fabric are a little frayed).  I brought a folder with me to Alaska and saved every scrap of paper in it.  I used some of the cut outs from those papers - a map and the sunrise/sunset times.  I also found this children's book in my parent's house, a children's dictionary and I cut out the bear picture from it.   I'm satisfied with this page. I think the album will get increasingly better as I get better at the collage elements. 

My scanner is working again! The background elements get a little blurry because the Alaska Vacation sticker is raised: