variation on a theme

October 31st, 2012|pages|

So in my previous post, I shared a closer look at the pages that we make in my Silhouette: Just Add Color class. And once I took senior photos of my baby, Jordan (what? she’s graduating???), I knew I wanted to show how to use those same techniques and shapes and color matching on a new page.

I’m not exactly a big fan of reinventing the wheel every time, so this was fun away to modify my wheel–rather than reinvent it. I like the idea of using the same elements over and over, but in a different way or in a different color scheme. Which leads me to today’s page:



[ Shapes from Store | Need Directions? (arrow) / inFORMS (report card)/ Summer Lovin’ (‘hello’) ]
[ Shapes from Class | leafy branch, diagonal strip, ‘ready for anything’ banner, file folder tab ]


So, let’s see what we can chalk up to the class.

White background?  ….check.
Creating a color scheme?  ….check.
Similar layout?  ….check.
Same shapes, different colors/words?  ….check.

As you can see, within Studio you can design a page simply, pick your color schemes, alter your embellishments, change appearances . . . all right there within the program (this is all covered in class).

One of my favoritist (yeah, it’s a word) ways to scrap is to do it all by using Silhouette. You never run out of embellishments and you can customize them for your own needs. Keep it clean + keep it simple. Love the white background so that you can totally keep your *ehem* focus on those photos! And scrapping this way makes it go much faster so you can be done in a jif. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t so ‘jiffy’ for me this time. Lots of problems as a result of ‘the crashing hard drive’. I even had to reinstall Studio. Good grief. But it should have been a jif. :)

Oh, and one other thing to note. See that ‘hello’ on the page? I included it as a graphic element with my text. Just colored it red. These shapes ain’t just for cuttin’ baby!  You could use the PNG or bring it into Silhouette and use the cut file, size it, fill it with color, and turn off the cut lines. Just a fun little twist. I love to maximize my shapes, ya know. :)

a closer look at ‘just add color’

October 29th, 2012|classes|

I thought that today might be a good day to share the full pages from my Silhouette class, Just Add Color. Each of the items you see here for these pages are made or modified all within the class. I also show you how to get colors to match your photos or to create fun new color schemes from different resources.

Basically, when all is said and done, this class is all about getting the most out of your shapes, your colors, learning how to create new shapes, using great fonts, and all sorts of good stuff! With the exception of the background paper in the ‘beautiful’ page, everything is created–or already made and can be modified–within Silhouette Studio.


I love me a lacy flower background! This image is part of the class and comes in both letter and 12×12 sizes.
And all those elements? Yeah, we make all of that!


 One of my favoritist (yeah, it’s a word) shapes ever? A poloroid. And they are soooo easy to make in Studio! And see that ‘Genuine’ tag? Yeah, you get that and you can customize the colors in Studio to create a print+cut that fits your needs.

With this part of the class, I show you how you can create your color scheme using a background paper too. 


 
More fun with this part of the class!
If you only knew what you could do with that amazing thing called color!

The things you can do in Silhouette to simplify your process? It’s crazy.
This class shows you many-a tips.

You’ll be coming away with a whole new appreciation for designing your own stuff!

Oh, and don’t forget this cute little set of freebies. :)

 

If you want more details on the class, you can read this post HERE or see what’s up on JessicaSprague.com.


Stay tuned for a page I’m making with Jordan’s senior pics using some of the stuff from this class. It’s just ever-so versatile.

And if you’ve taken this class? I’d love to hear from ya! :)

new kit: inFORMS

October 25th, 2012|digital kits|

You know, I love having options for journaling. I like being able to use something beyond just the ordinary ‘type it up and print it out’ method. Combine that with my love for office supplies? Um yeah, this is what you get:

 

This kit is perfect for working with Project Life because the journaling cards come in 4×6 and 3×4 sizes. But of course you can use these for your pages, cards, projects…whatever floats your boat!

But wait . . . there’s more! (you know how I love to say that)

Not only can you use these as a PNG file in your photo editing software, but it also includes the cut files so that you can bring them into your cutting software and manipulate your colors there, change the corners to a rounded corner, or even add a fun edge border like from the kit On The Edge . . . like this.


You can put multiples on a page and run them off as print+cuts as well.

And wait….there’s even more! Because they are a cut file and created with lines and dots and all that good stuff, you can change the colors how you want them. Perhaps a girls’ game night would warrant a more girly colored score sheet journaling card, like this?

 

Now, if you have the Designer Edition of Studio, when you bring the SVG file into Studio, the image will be in color like you see above. If you have the Standard Edition, the DXF will all come in a that raw outline look–just lines, no color. What I would recommend doing is grab any text and turn it into a Compound Path (select the word/phrase, right click, choose Make Compound Path). That way it will change the text as it needs to be so that when you fill it with a color, it will do the right thing.

I might even recommend that you color them like you see and then save it as a STUDIO file and keep that one on file before adding it to your Library.

You may have noticed that there are some designs that I’ve made for kits like This+That in there. That’s because I loved the design so much that I thought it would be awesome to have it perfectly formatted in the 4×6 and 3×4 to make them easy to use. I also made the lines for these cards so that they are about the same as a piece of notebook paper so that you’ll have room to write.

Okay then . . . that’s all she wrote . . . so to speak. :)
With this kit, now you can now journal inFORMS.

what’s old–or broken–is new again

October 24th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Or at least I hope so.

I have to say, I’ve had a very interesting past few days.

I was feeling so danged good on Saturday when we cleaned out the garage and I did some cleaning in my bedroom…getting rid of the stacks of things that had accumulated on my dresser. And lest we not forget the major purging of my closet that I’d done just a few days before.

I was so happy.

Then chaos began.

We’d been having phone-cable-internet problems in that it just wasn’t working, or it would pop up for a while and then get all wiggy again. It’s something that had been happening intermittently and then had progressively gotten worse. And weirdly enough, it was something that would begin happening later afternoon and into the evening until close to 10:00.

On Friday morning, Comcast came out to ‘fix’ it . . . and didn’t. They told me they’d come back out . . . and didn’t. Needless to say I wasn’t happy waiting around all that time. Nor was I happy when it went out for a good part of the 1st quarter of the BYU-Notre Dame game.

Then it went downhill from there. Pretty much lost the bundle all weekend long. Not a great way to spend your weekend when you lose ALL entertainment resources–no TV, no Netflix, no internet…no one can even call us.

Yesterday they came out again and hopefully it’s been fixed. You wouldn’t believe what they did…and still have yet to do.

So there’s that. And then, next up . . . my Mac. On Thursday I got an email from Apple saying that they were recalling the 1T Seagate hard drives in the 27″ iMacs if purchased between a certain date. Yes, that meant mine. My computer would chug from time to time, but I thought it was because I’d used 700G and only had 300G left.

Turns out, my hard drive was beginning to crash. On Sunday, I could barely do anything. Everything was slowing terribly. When I tried to reboot it took for-e-ver. I seriously didn’t think it was going to boot again. But eventually it did and then it got a little quicker. But it was not a happy camper–it was very ill–and when I couldn’t do one more Time Machine backup? I got very ill.

I had made a brand new kit that I finished Friday that just need a tiny bit of fine-tuning and then I was going to save the files Monday morning. When I didn’t think I could boot, I was just sick at the prospect of losing that work and having to re-do it. My last backup was a week prior.

Alas, I was able to copy my files to a portable hard drive before taking it into get repaired on Monday.

So now, my baby is back and it looks a little something like this:

 

Ohhhhh happy day! But I have to tell ya, this whole mess wasn’t easy. Because there was a discrepancy in the Time Machine used disk space with my computer used disk space, I suddenly had a panic attack that I would never be able to retrieve any possible lost data on my old hard drive because they send it back to Apple. After several phone calls, transfers, constantly repeating my story–over and over and over again–Apple allowed me to keep the hard drive in the event there’s a data recovery needed.

Talk about peace of mind. It’s not like I couldn’t access the data on my old hard drive, it was just beginning its crash scenario.

Anyway, between the Comcast and Apple multiple phone calls and situation retelling, I was just spent. I was so sick of saying everything over and over again.

Not a good past few days.

But on the other hand, while I was still on the high from my cleaning endeavors, I’d come across some more things that could be reused or worn by Jordan or worn by me. I’d been in a mood to start pulling out earrings that I hadn’t worn for a while. And then when Jordan and I were taking a tour through my jewelry box, I came across this necklace.



This necklace used to be one of my very favorite necklaces to wear many years ago. But, as with most things, you get tired of jewelry pieces and need to wear something else fun and new.

But since I hadn’t worn it for a while, I gave that sterling silver a little polish and wore it for the first time in a looooong time yesterday. The reason why I love it so is because it reminds me of our family farm. The windbreak consists of these huge, huge, huuuuugely tall pine trees. So it’s just something special for me.

And Jordan has not only taken some of my old sweaters to wear–before I purged them for good–but now she’s pilfering my jewelry. ;) Oh, and I decided to use one of my most favorite wallets ever that I bought in Rome, Italy like 12 years ago. 12? Was it more than that? 15? I can’t remember. But Jordan keeps insisting on letting her use it. Um, no. That’s real Italian leather from a very nice store baby. I love it. Want to go back to Italy to buy another one. ;)

I love it when you can give new life to something. When something old is fun and new for someone else.

So, there ya have it. My life in a nuthouse–uh, I mean, nutshell for the past few days. I feel so behind on emails and such. I couldn’t really even use my daughter’s computer because first of all we had no internet, but also because she needed to take her computer to school.

Makes me feel a need to get a laptop someday… ;)

Once I get my Mac back up and going–which will still be a few hours of the file transfer–I will start answering emails and all that fun stuff.

I appreciate your patience with all of this!

Glad to finally get back to normal. Of course, I don’t want to jinx myself and have the internet go out again.

And speaking of, what are the odds of getting that Apple email and my hard drive taking a nose dive right soon after and my phone/internet/cable going out ALL at the same time?

Is that what’s known as the Bermuda Triangle?

need directions?

October 18th, 2012|digital shapes, video tutorials|

I’m an arrow collector.
I think they add such a fun element to your project.
So many styles, so many designs. It’s never-ending.

So that’s why I’m so excited about this new kit:

Need Directions?


And I have to say, speaking of never-ending, I could have gone on and on with this kit.
Will probably warrant a ‘Need More Directions?” someday. ;)

Lots of possibilities to play with this!

And you know me and variety, I like both a straight edge and a rounded edge. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted when designing, so, by golly, I just included both!


Design tip here.

This set of arrows come in three ways: one solid shape and two shapes
that overlap so that you can make it a multi-color set of arrows.

But wait, there’s more!

See that side bar? While you can use them all together with the sidebar, what I really designed it for is so you can lay down those arrows perfectly and then just cut off the edge without you having to align a single arrow! So it might look a little something like this:

Not to be like all pattin’ myself on the back or anything, but I love this idea. Not having to individually place them all? Hello! And, they are much more movable as you are laying out your page, trying to figure out where you want to place things . . . and I’m all about convenience there.


Also, I included some text on a couple of the shapes, but the intent is for you to add your own text.
So you can just delete the text that’s there and put in whatever you’d like.

Wanna see how it works on those frames?

Well here’s a video that shows how you can do that . . . in addition to how to manipulate some of those arrows to fit your needs . . . if’n ya need to make some modifications, that is.

 

fun. fun. fun!

can’t wait to use ’em!

meet: naomi atkins

October 17th, 2012|naomi atkins, pages|


Hey everyone . . .I’m so excited for today!
Help me welcome our newest creative team member

Miss Naomi Atkins!

I first saw Naomi’s work a few months ago when she shared a page (using one of my shapes) with me. It was beautiful! Wanna see it too? Yeah . . . well . . .  it’s on the cover of September’s Scrapbook Trends Magazine!


Is that not just gorgeous?? And her daughter…the lighting…hello! Beautiful!
In case you hadn’t guessed it, she’s an amazing photographer too!

Shall we see what she made for us?

 



[ Shapes | This+That: Autumn (‘finding fall’ + leaves) / This+That: Family (‘family’) / Designer Edition Class Extras (‘beauty’) ]


Here’s what Naomi has to say about the page.

I cut the leaf shapes out in all different sizes, and cute them out and attached to the top right. I used the leaves as masks for the top tags, and then I used the negative space from the large “FALL” word to spray on the burlap ;)


And you can check out more of her amaaaazing work on TwoPeasInABucket.com HERE.
you must. :)


And now here’s a bit about Naomi herself!

My name is Naomi Atkins, and I’m a wife to Jonathan, and mama of five amazing kids- Katlyn, Elise, Everett, Weston and Camille! Growing up I never thought I would have five children, but I do…and I LOVE being a mom! My children are my source of inspiration! I recently left an eight year teaching career at a local college, teaching legal research and writing classes. I only taught one or two classes a semester, but I enjoyed it. Once my business took off, I had to quit. There was just no time for everything! I co-own Inspired and Enchanted Photography with an awesome business partner, who has been shooting a few years longer than I. I have learned a lot from her! I homeshool my oldest daughter, and she is SUCH a huge help to me…she is just a lovely girl! I love to do so many things and there are never enough hours in a day! I enjoy reading, baking, sewing, and of course Scrapbooking, my favorite!

I have been scrapbooking for about eight years! When I got married, I told my husband, “I’m just not creative.” But my sister in law was a scrapbooker, and got me hooked! Then I started paying attention to pictures in layouts that I liked, and wanted mine to look the same! That is what started the photography journey, and I’m so grateful to do what I love! I currently have layouts being published in Scrapbook trends, and design for Crate Paper, the Freckled Fawn, and the new monthly kit club Gossamer Blue! I had my first cover layout in September, so that was exciting for me! I am SO excited to be on this design team. I LOVE my silhouette.. I bought it just so I could use Kerri Bradford shapes and words. I have been in love with them for a long time…and with the other girls on this design team!

 

So soooo thrilled to have you here Naomi!!!

Can’t wait to see what you have up your creative little sleeve. :)

i’ve become a paper snob, i think.

October 16th, 2012|Uncategorized|

So during the big school rush in August, I went to Walmart and purchased some composition notebooks. That’s when they have the cutest stuff available dontcha know.

I came home with these two books in my bag.



color.

I was bound and determined to have color, not black and white as per my usual notebook insanity choices. Remember this ensemble?




Their purpose? One was to be my new idea book and right-hand tool in my creative life and the other was to be my holding place for all the words and phrases I need to save–in a much more organized fashion than my current looooong list, multi-page method.

Craziness ensued in my life and the two notebooks sat.

Additionally, I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to use for which purpose.

I finally decided. The stripes would be my idea book at and the orange–which I want to add vinyl to–would be my phrase book.

The day comes. I need to jot down my first idea in my new striped and very colorfully pretty book.

I eagerly grab my pen.

I set the base of my hand on the clean sheet of paper to begin to writing that one idea.

Ick! What is that feeling??? The paper has a kind of rough texture. ‘Oh no, no! I can’t use this on a daily basis! It will drive my hand nuts!’

What does the other one feel like?,  I think to myself as I open the very orange notebook.

Smooth as a baby’s bottom. Ahhhhh….this must be my daily notebook.

Indeed. I am a paper snob.

And dare I even talk about the fact of my deep affinity for American Crafts cardstock that you all know about already? It’s true. I’m a paper snob.

And p.s., I do believe I’m going composition books all the way now. You should see the one I have dedicated to my classes. I love that crinkly sound! And I love that they are all the same size and there is no coil binding to get mashed or caught on. And I love that it doesn’t take up as much space, yet it’s still got lots of space to work with. Plus they are cheap and, it’s the same size as my iPad. :)

What am I going to do with all these notebooks I use when I’m done with them??? They are a history, of sorts.


 

And now, on a completely unrelated note. Many of you who have followed me for a while know of my love for Lost. Last spring when we signed up for Netflix I was beyond excited to see Lost on there to watch. I missed seeing that baby on a weekly basis. So I started watching it–with my youngest (16 at the time), who was now old enough to not be scared by it. ;)

But she decided she couldn’t wait for me to watch it and got ahead and I could never spend enough time to catch up with it.

Well, just a little bit ago, Lost became my nightly thing to watch on my little iPod while laying in bed. I can watch something and not disturb Dan that way. I’d watch 2…3….maybe even 4 or 5 episodes in a night. Who’s counting, really.

Including last night.

I was down to the final few episodes. I knew I had three left and decided to go ahead and watch that last one even though it was almost 11:30. As I started into it, and thought to myself, ‘Wasn’t this a two-hour episode?”

Indeed it was.

I had to watch it. No ‘buts’ about it.

And I don’t know about you, but I love that episode! The moments when they ‘discover’ each other??? I didn’t want my little series to end…again. It just makes me want to watch it all over again! This morning I was seriously contemplating watching the whole thing all over again!!!

How crazy is that???

such a good show.

winners + classes

October 14th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Goodness gracious!
Looks like there’s quite a few of you who are excited about this class!
I can’t blame ya, I think it’s gonna be awesome!

So, ya wanna know who the winner of the Studio Calico class is?

Well, that would be:

ASHLEY STARKEY – OCTOBER 13, 2012 – 3:24 PM
My name is Ashley and I’m from beautiful Oregon!! I’m in LOVE with using arrows and circles on my layouts right now!!! I Really love all the different arrow/circle backgrounds too… they are so fabulous!!! Thank you so much for the chance to win a spot in this class… it looks absolutely AWESOME!!!


And now for the two winners of the KBS $15 spending spree:

KIM – OCTOBER 12, 2012 – 2:51 PM
Hi, I am from the Netherlands and I love al kinds of designs! But I mostly use words and phrases. This is such a great class that I really hope to win!

KAT – OCTOBER 12, 2012 – 7:21 AM
Oooh, cute page! I’m Kat from Ontario and I love accent type shapes like leaves, tabs and things that I can plunk down throughout my project life :)

 
Congratulations all! Email me at kerribradford@msn.com and I’ll get y’all hooked up!


I really enjoyed reading all of your comments! Some of your favorite shapes are actually some kits I have in the works too. ;) I’m really excited to get them done. Another thing I noticed is that many of you are brand new to Silhouette–whether it’s in the mail or it’s been sitting in a box or you’ve used it a handful of times.

So because I have new visitors, I thought perhaps you might like to know that I also teach Silhouette classes on JessicaSprague.com. These classes are designed a little different than the amazing class with Studio Calico.


In ‘Silhouette: Getting To Know You’ you’ll learn–in depth–the very basics on how to use it and lots and lots of great tips on using the program as a whole. I have to say, that people that thought they knew the program still took this class and learned  a ton. And you even make that mini album! In ‘Silhouette: Oh The Places You’ll Go’ it teaches you all the features of Studio in greater detail and you get some fabulous freebies in addition to the class materials.

And then if you’ve purchased the Designer Edition? I got a class for that too. :)


This program is just a bunch of awesomeness all wrapped up in a simple little update. I have to admit, I like to find a good deal, so if you can find a coupon out there to get it for half off (that’s how I bought it), it’s totally worth it! Class freebies in this one too. :)

  
And then, just for fun, in my latest class, you can learn alllll about the Studio color tools and how you can utilize color and all the resources and choices out there to work to your advantage! You’ll be making three pages with all the fun shapes needed to make them.

For more information on my blog about any of these classes, click on the Classes link under Categories, or click HERE. To see the classes on JessicaSprague.com, use the link in my sidebar on the right or click HERE.

 
Wanna see the freebies too? :)
They aren’t available for sale on my site.

So there are lots of extra goodies in these classes to play with in addition to the shapes within the class materials. The classes are jam-packed with information and tips galore!

I think that any of these in conjunction with that super fun Studio Calico class will be gettin’ you to ‘expert status’ in no time!

studio calico blog hop

October 12th, 2012|pages|

Welcome! I’m so excited for the Studio Calico blog hop today!
It’s a BIG day! Lots of goodies to share!

As you may or may not know (depending on if you’re new here ;) ), I am a huuuge Silhouette fan! Digital cutting in general is just an ever-so dreamy way to scrap for me. I could live scrap on cardstock and Silhouette alone.

And now, Studio Calico + Susan Weinroth have a brand new Silhouette class called Cut It Out

The teachers in this class are phenomenal!
Even our very own creative team members Nichol Magouirk and Robyn Werlich can be found there!
Oh, and the ever-so delightful Jen Gallacher too!
The list goes on and on, really.

Their objective? To help you make Silhouette an integral part of your crafting goodness.

And I’m alllll for that!

And just when you think it couldn’t get any better,
did you see the class kit???


Here’s a little bit about the class:

It’s time to CUT IT OUT. You already know that your Silhouette is a pretty amazing machine, and Susan Weinroth wants to help you put it to work on your pages and cards. In this self paced class, we’ll be exploring a handful of basic techniques and fun cutting materials, but the real focus of the class is helping you make your Silhouette an integral part of your projects. Susan is joined by a talented group of contributors (Ali Edwards, Nichol Magourik, Lisa Dickinson, Jen Gallacher, Lexi Bridges, Robyn Werlich, Becky Novacek, Sasha Farina, Rebecca Trump, Shanna Noel, Julie Campbell, Lilith Eeckels, and Nicole Harper) and they will be showing you step by step just how they make using their Silhouette a part of their design process. The PDFs will contain 20 layouts, 3 cards, and a countless number of tips that will leave you inspired and ready to CUT IT OUT on your next project!

This class is sponsored by Silhouette America, and every student will receive a $10 download card to the Silhouette Online Store. We’ve also put together a collection of cool exclusive cuts from Studio Calico, Ali Edwards, and Kerri Bradford Studio and a printable PDF of journaling cards and accents. 

While supplies last, Cut It Out students will also receive a class kit including vellum, American Crafts POW glitter paper, WRMK Washi Paper, Silhouette Sticker paper and an exclusive stamp set. 

Registration for Cut It Out ends on October 31st, and class starts November 1st. 


Oh, and then there’s the icing on the cake . . . the freebies!!!
You can see all of them HERE. And yes, there’s some there from me too!

Wanna see what I made with mine?
(I know, if you’re a fan here, you’re thinking to yourself, ‘She actually did a page??’ ;) )


I used the freebie  flourish and  background that I made for the SC class on this one.
That’s me, keeping it sweet+simple. I told ya I could practically live scrap on cardstock alone.

The title I made in the set of freebies didn’t quite work with the photos I wanted to scrap,
so I decided to do this Friday Freebie today . . .

To download it–forever free–click HERE.


As you can see, I used the word for something more than its ‘true’ meaning.
And that is my very first experience using washi tape. I feel so proud of myself. ;)

 
And you just know, that on a day like today there’s got to be some of this:



Those fabulous people there at Studio Calico have graciously allowed me to
give away a seat + kit to their new class!!

Oh, happy day!

But wait, there’s more!

I’m giving away a couple of these as well!

 To be entered, just leave your name+where you’re from and tell me what
 your favorite style of shapes are to use
and I will draw the winners on Sunday night!



And now, for all the Studio Calico madness, you must check out all these blogs!
And oh yeah, they are giving away $5 Studio Calico gift cards too!

With the exception of the SC blog–which happens to be giving away one of my gift cards and Susan who is also giving away a seat in the class+a kit!

Studio Calico / Ali Edwards
Susan Weinroth
–> Kerri Bradford <–
Becky Novacek
Jen Gallacher
Julie Campbell
Lexi Bridges
Lilith Eeckels
Lisa Dickinson
Nichol Magouirk
Nicole Harper
Rebecca Trump
Robyn Werlich
Sasha Farina
Shanna Noel


This is a grand way to start off the weekend, is it not???

 

[ this contest is now closed. ]

here kitty kitty

October 10th, 2012|digital shapes|

We went 20+ years without a pet.
You can’t really count hermit crabs or fish as a pet, can you?

Then all of a sudden, about 3 1/2 years ago,
We got this little guy.

He’s a quirky little cat. Okay wait, he’s not so little–in the immortal words of Helena Bonham Carter in Alice In Wonderland, “I love my fat boy.”

(I do think he’s losing a little weight since cutting back on his food though. ;) )

His ears are larger in proportion to his head and somehow the end of his tail must have had some kind of trauma as a kitty kitty, because it’s shorter than most and there’s a bend in it.

But just like all of us, we are all different + we all have flaws . . . and we love him just the way he is. And goodness, I look at that photo and realize  just how much white he’s lost on his underside.

And now, that’s how this has kit has come about. Cats have their moods, don’t they? The want the love, they don’t want the love. They are fairly independent. I think that’s why I like cats. They aren’t needy like a dog. Try having a ninety pound rotweiler-lab mix want to be a lap dog. It doesn’t work very well.

So the phrases in this kit are inspired by what we say to our cat and how he is in our house.
I’m guessing it’s pretty much universal in cat-land. :)

Price: $9


Of course, the cat doesn’t get to be ‘king of his castle’ when the dog is in the house.
And he’s not happy about that.