Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Organization: Color Swatch Book

Sometimes I wish I could organize the rest of my house like I organize my craft stuff. Most of the time I think I work more on organizing my stuff than creating with it.

One of the things that annoyed me while working on a project was never getting the right color and wasting a whole lot of paper in the process. This was especially true for when I wanted to print out titles or journaling in a certain color. They would always print out a different color than what appeared on my monitor. To fix the problem I decided I would make myself a color chart with all the colors in Publisher and use it as a reference for choosing just the right color for my project.
I made 1 inch squares and each square was a color from Publisher. I then printed it out with my color printer and put it in my "Create" binder (which I will share another time). This is just 1 sheet for an example. Then the next time I wanted a specific color, I would just use my color reference sheets and I had no more surprise colors.

I also started doing this for my ink colors as well. That way it was easy to see what color they looked like once stamped on paper.
This system was working for me for a while, but I seemed to outgrow it. I was acquiring more things I wanted to put in a color directory, like stickles, and a section in the binder wasn't working anymore. I wanted to come up with a way that was easier to use for a quick reference but I just couldn't figure out how to do it.

It finally hit me when I was reading the blog, Triple the Scraps. She has great organization tips and one of her tips was how she set up her own ink color swatches, which you can see here and here. She also had another entry with stickles, which you can see here. I loved the way she had hers set up so I took the idea but went a little bit overboard with my own creation. It was a bit of work in the beginning to put it together, but once it was done it's now easy to maintain, and I absolutely love it!

This is my color swatch book:
I have everything divided into sections and I used Fabulous Finds Cricut cartridge to make the tabs. I glued patterned paper to chipboard and used it as the front and back covers. I printed out the pages for the inside to use for my color samples and then I binded it all together with my Bind it All.

The first section is my Publisher colors
The blank section under each color block isn't done yet, but that will be for me to write in my reference as to what color it is. Either by the number or the location.

My next section is ink. I have a section for dye inks, pigment inks, chalk inks, distress inks, etc...
Some of my other sections include stickles, liquid pearls, paints, flock, glimmer mist, etc...
For the ink color samples, paint, and stickles I put it directly on the paper For things like the flock and glimmer mist I did it on another piece of paper, cut out the circles using a punch and taped it into the spot in the book.

Also, I added a section in my book for each specific color of ink (just ink).
This way if I am looking for a certain shade of blue, I can go to my blue section and see what color works best for my project.

I think the size of the booklet is 8.5x5.5 - basically one standard size sheet of paper cut in half. It's small enough that I keep it on my desk and it's so easy to grab and the tabs make it easy to find what I am looking for.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

OBX Greetings

Whew! We finally made it here to my mom's yesterday and are just getting settled in today. The boys are super happy to be at Grammy's and so am I! I know I just started this blog, but I was already missing it. Nothing crafty today, just a few pictures from these 2 days. But i did bring some stuff with me to post during my time here!! Also, I know my mind usually never strays far away from scrapbooking or creating something so I brought an idea notebook with me to jot down ideas I have whenever they hit me. Unfortunately, most of the time ideas come to me is when I am just getting settled into bed and trying to fall asleep.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All the way from Bikini Bottom

He lives in a pineapple under the sea...Spongebob Squarepants! I got this cartridge a couple weeks ago but was just able to play with it now. I never thought I would be interested in Spongebob, but somehow my boys got into it and think he's a hoot! I know they don't really *get* a lot of the jokes, but they think he's just an upbeat little sponge who has a funny laugh and enjoys making crabby patties. Mommy's favorite, however, is this little guy...Gary! Who would think a snail can meow and purr like a cat?
For my husband's birthday the boys wanted him to have a Spongebob birthday, so once again I had to improvise since there was no Spongebob cartridge at that time. Gee, I think I am beginning to see a pattern here...theme birthday in our household first, Cricut cartridge comes out later that year! I didn't go all out like I usually do for the boys birthday, but I did want to make them happy. So I found some free clipart online, printed it out, cut it out, glued it on sticks and stuck it in the cake. I also made the boys little puppets with some of the cutouts and they had a blast with those.

The rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom will have to join us next time since I haven't had a lot of time to play around. Most of my time lately has been spent getting ready for a much needed vacation, which also happens to be when I will get to see my mom! As for Spongebob and Gary, they will be relocating to my sons' room and will be anxiously awaiting their friends.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Disney Mania

Many projects I start working on, halfway through I think to myself, "What did I get myself into?" I always seem to be happy with the results and once it's finished I always say it was worth it, but during the process I usually have a few choice words.

My latest - my son's autograph book from our Disney World vacation. I thought it would be perfect to use the Disney Cricut cartridges for the characters and names...until I had to start cutting and piecing those things together! Oh my! First I had some trouble cutting some of the smallest and thinnest pieces and would have to try a couple of times to get a cut good enough to use. Then I actually had to glue on those tiny pieces. Some of those tongues are quite small! All the while I am thinking to myself, why didn't I just use stickers???

Of course, once I was all done cutting, piecing, and gluing and I looked at them all together, I was quite happy! I love the dimension it gives, more than what a sticker would do. I haven't even started working on the actual album yet, but at least I am done with this part of it.

I still have to do Lightening McQueen, but for that one I just may make his name using the cartridge instead of doing the car also. I made a fit to page Lightening McQueen for my son and it came out pretty big and it still had small parts so I can't even imagine having to cut it at a size that would fit in an 8x8 album. I also am trying to find stickers for other characters or at least something I can add to those pages.

I didn't put the album together before we went because I had no idea what characters we would see or even if my sons would be interested. Turns out, one was and one wasn't. So I just bought one regular autograph book and I tore out the pages that were signed and matted them on black cardstock. My album will be 8x8 and one side will be for the autograph and the other side will be for the picture. I am probably going to keep this album pretty simple, since I would like to be done with it before we go again (which might be in October for their birthday!!).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Besides my sons, the two greatest men in my life are my dad and my husband. Both are wonderful fathers and I would like to wish them both a Happy Father's Day!

ETA: I was also blessed to have a wonderful step-father as well. He treated me as if I were his own daughter. I just wanted to acknowledge that on this Father's Day as well. I miss him everyday.

I asked the boys a couple of questions about their dad and their answers had me laughing! I had all intentions of making into a gift for him, but never got to finish it. I'll get to it...hopefully before next Father's Day! I hope you don't mind me sharing!

Q: What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
B: go outside and play
C: build a city (out of his train set)

Q: Why do you love Daddy?
B: because I love playing with him
C: because he's so funny

Q: How do you know Daddy loves you?
B: because he likes playing with me (seeing a pattern here!)
C: because he's too funny

Q: What is one things that Daddy says to you all the time?
B: would you come play with me?
C: let's clean up

Q: What is one thing you want to say to Daddy?
B: fix dump trucks
C: go to Toys R Us

Q: What makes Daddy so special?
B: he likes to go to restaurants to eat
C: he plays with us

Q: What do you think makes Daddy happy?
B: he likes going hiking (which really is "hiking" up the stairs)
C: eating dinner

For my contribution I made him this card, which is not even finished. I started working on it then the boys decided they wanted to go upstairs (my scrap room is with their playroom on our bottom floor - we have 3 levels) and I never got a chance to go back and finish it. It is very simple and very plain, but that fits my husband just fine - no frills and dark colors.

The boys wanted to build Daddy a present so they built these out of blocks:

The one on the left is a fast machine and the one on the right is a rocket ship with it's docking station...and actually when I took this picture I didn't realize that the rocket ship part was missing.

My husband is also a self proclaimed chocoholic! So it wouldn't be a special day for him without baking him something chocolatey. For me, I LOVE the combination of peanut butter and chocolate so it was a no brainer to make these Peanut Butter Bars. I made some changes based on the reviews and they were very yummy!

Plus it finally didn't rain today so the boys were able to play outside for a while! So all in all I would have to say we had a great Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sports Birthday Party

What do you do when you have an all sports birthday before the Sports Mania cartridge even existed? You improvise! Boy, do I wish that cartridge was out when my boys had their 3rd birthday with a sports theme.

I bought the sports theme plates and napkins at Party City, along with the happy birthday banner. Those were my color inspirations. I then made the All Stars Brandon & Connor in publisher using the Collegiate font. I printed it out on my color printer and then cut each letter out.

For this hockey table cloth and the football one above, I used a plain green and white plastic table cloth. Then I took electrical tape in white, red, and blue to make the markings on the table cloth to look like the field/rink. The circles on the hockey rink are made out of cardstock. So are are the number on the football field. I used the font, garamond, and printed that out in publisher as well and cut them out individually.

For their birthday cake I made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes (since each son has a different preference) and decorated the tops to look like a football, basketball, soccer ball, baseball, and hockey puck (kinda). I set them up on what is supposed to represent bleacher type seating. I made those out of stacked cassette tapes (remember those!) then wrapped in white wrapping paper. The wrapping paper was the only long paper I had, but I should have used a bit more heavy duty paper.

Please excuse the messy decorated frosting job, this was before I got my cake decorating kit with pastry bags (thanks Mom!)

Other things I had were bowls shaped like a football, soccer ball, and baseball that came from Party City as well. The food consisted of ball game concession stand or tailgating type food like hot dogs, buffalo wings, peanuts, popcorn, etc.

I made the thank you notes in photoshop using digital paper from Atomic Cupcake.

I thought I had more pictures of all the other little details but I guess I forgot to take pictures of that!

I still haven't done their 3rd birthday scrapbook pages yet, but when I do I know I will definitely be using Sports Mania!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Countdown Calendar

Every summer we take a trip to go see my mom who lives on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This year my boys started in May with the question, "When are we going to Grammy's?" It was never ending and they just couldn't understand just how long it would be before we left for vacation. When we went to Disney World I made a countdown calendar for them and it helped with the excitement and the questions about when we were going. So I decided to do the same thing for this trip.

First I made the calendar part, which counts down from 30 days to 1 day then the day we leave for Grammy's. The background paper is digital from Digital Design Essentials and the numbers are digital from Atomic Cupcake.

I added the beach elements from the Cricut Cartridge, Life's a Beach. Love that cart!! I know I will be getting a lot of use out of this one. Then I made little circular tags for my boys to place on the day right before they go to bed. They each take turns each night. The little circles are from the Going Places cartridge. I chose the cat because my mom has cats and it represents her, the house because it's my mom's house, and obviously the suitcase because we are going on vacation!

This is the calendar before we started the countdown:

Here is the calendar a little while later:

And here is a closer look at the tags or whatever they are called!

This has really helped and I haven't heard the question, "When are we going to Grammy's" since we started this. My boys love it and get really excited when it is their turn to put their circle on the calendar. Oh, and I know that there is a comma missing in Grammy's. I forgot to glue it on and then got lazy and just forgot about it! I'll just call it creative license! :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Then and Now

In an effort to get this blog going I am not above embarrassing myself. Since I started scrapbooking trends and styles have changed and so has my own personal style. I would say that I mainly fall into the clean line, semi-simple style, but I love to add a bit more to certain layouts that call for it. So I thought it would be fun to show some of my very first layouts and then others in between leading up to today. Are you ready to laugh? That's ok, you are laughing with me, not at me...right?

My first "official" scrapbook was a heritage album I did for my dad of his family. He is the 7th sibling of 4 sisters and 2 brothers. These are just 2 of the pages from the album. Achoo! Can you say sticker sneeze? And what's with the pictures cut into all different shapes and just plopped on the page?

My next project was from Las Vegas vacation. I thought I would give 8 1/2 x 11 a try and see how I liked working with the smaller style. I also incorporated more patterened papers. Remember those really bold and bright ones? I found the smaller size was too limiting for me because I wanted to add so many more pictures.

So from there I found colorblocking:

Becky Higgins sketches:

patterned paper layering and trying not to be so linear:

I started doing some digital pages and albums:

and here is one of my latest that I just did recently, although the pictures are from 2006:

I have gone from doing 1 album at a time from start to finish to working on whatever layout strikes my fancy at that moment. I find that I use sketches a lot since I seem to have a lot of problems with photo placement and I just LOVE sketches. Now I am trying to incorporate more techniques into my pages.

Well, thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me and hopefully I'm not the only one with those just starting out layouts!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Welcome everyone! My Introduction

Welcome to Crop on Over, my new home here on the web! Grab a cup of coffee, or your beverage of choice, and stay a while.

I have to give credit to my husband for the name, who the first time he heard me say "crop," knowing I wasn't talking about farming replied to me with, "What the h--- is a crop?" Since then he has gotten a bit used to my crafting language which consists of words like scraplifting and Thickers. A language that when I mention Cricut I'm not talking about the actual insect. Anyway, the other night while trying to come up with something to call my blog he happily announced, " What about crop on over?" I was so proud of him! First for helping me, but mostly for actually listening to me when I explained what a crop was and remembering it!

So a little about me...I am a stay at home mom to the most adorable twin boys and wife to a sometimes clueless, but very supportive husband. I have been scrapbooking since 1999 when I walked into AC Moore, saw the scrapbooking supplies and exclaimed with absolute excitement, "This stuff looks neat! I wanna play with it!" The rest is history, although it seems like I was doing some form of this hobby long before that and didn't realize it because I didn't have all those cool toys. Some of my other passions and non-crafting hobbies include baking, animals, and Disney. If sleep could be counted as a hobby I would include that too, but that one is being sorely neglected.

So there you have it! I can't wait to share my love for this hobby with all of you. Why not leave a comment and tell me how you got started in scrapbooking/stamping/cardmaking, I'd love to hear your stories too!

Oh and by the way, the cup is from the Cricut cartridge Lyrical Letters!
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