Friday, September 19, 2008

I love you, Club Scrap (with an homage to "Sheetload")

My most recent obsession comes in pizza boxes, but there's no way I'm going to eat it. Sorry, I don't like mouthfuls of paper, beads, brads and ribbons, though I do like them on my table.

It all started when I saw my friend Barbie working with some paper lines I'd never seen before, ones that had a kind of funky, hand-screened look to them. It turned out to be the Cruizin' line, the motel design which, if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for since I spent most of my toddler years (and travelled quite a bit with my dad (and early on, Mom too) in the years beyond) happily playing in cement kiddies pools, cutting paper dolls from a book while sitting on brightly colored '70's polyester beadspreads, watching Peter Pan on a swivling television, while eating tuna helper cooked in an electric frying pan perched on the bathroom counter.

So one thing led to another and I signed up for their kit club. It's a big committment to sight-unseen kits and projects, but it's also exciting to open that box and find a total surprise, like a present from yourself. Neat!

But before my first kit could arrive, Darleen invited me to something called "ALS" or Assembly Line Scrapbooking. To be honest, I balked at the idea of mechanical scrapping, but the invitation she made was so darn cute, a tiny little Revolution-cut dog, red shimmer paper, I couldn't say no.

Apparently, Club Scrap not only has a regular kit club, it's also got a demonstrator program something like Stampin' Up, Close to My Heart, Creative Memories and the like. Darleen is a FFC or FCC or something--either way it has nothing to do with regulating the airwaves or growing up to be a farmer someday), hence hosting the event.

When I arrived, I was surprised (and pleased) to see that everything we could possibly need for the class was provided. I didn't even need to have brought my everpresent essentials bag of pens and adhesive and all that. But I did anyway. Some of us need our security blankets.

For the $20 fee, each of us received a "Jr." kit which was pretty whopping for a "Jr." anything. It was called "Study in Red" and, as you've likely guess, it was predominantly red with some black and grey accents. It not only included paper, newsletter, copy-able embellishments, pop-out details, alpha stickers, and other little extras, it also had a matching stamp and ink that coordinated with the kit.

Everyone bantered back and forth a while before lunch. Darlene was kind enough to think of my pain-in-the-butt vegan self and made veggie dogs and a super juicylicious fruit salad for me which I attacked like a ravenous wombat. A ravenous vegan wombat, if there is such a thing. By this time I had begun to notice something unusual about the house. For September, there were an awful lot of Christmas trees around. Actually, for Christmas there were a lot of Christmas trees around. I couldn't believe I forgot my camera, because everyone should get to see her house, filled to overflowing with her holiday ornament collections. One room is completely surrounded by glowing Christmas village houses--so many that the tiny little lights inside warm the room and offer enough light that even your mom would approve of reading with no additional lampitude. I'm anxiously awaiting her next workshop so I can bring home pictures. Every room has a theme. I'm particularly fond of the "mice" in the kitchen, personally.

Assembly Line Scrapbooking is very much like something I've raved about before...Sheetload of Cards (see my previous entry for more details). In both cases, you cut all your pieces first, the assemble your project based upon a page map (a sketch showing where each pre-cut piece belongs, along with embellishments and the like). Lest this sound painfully uncreative, think of it as a framework intented to inspire. How you execute the map is really up to you. You can follow it exactly or move things around a bit, and it ends up being pretty exciting when you get to see how very differently 2 people can execute the same basic instructions.

So that got me thinking, what if I combine the two? When my first real kit finally arrived (I say finally not because it was later than promised, but because there was a mail holiday that held it up, and because their schedule isn't set to mail it on the first day of the month I found the wait tormenting. Each day as the UPS truck passed my house, I was right there in the window, watching anxiously as my dogs hop up and down barking their heads off at the "intruder" from the brown truck they are convinced is coming to kill us all. Then, one sparkling day I got a knock on the door and two loaded pizza boxes. Whoo hoo! I decided to break into the "old" kit I'd ordered, Haberdashery, which was released in June. I fell in love with it because, well, it's very French, lots of Fleur de Lise and other icons. So, using this kit and the latest issue (the mid-month mini, which is rapidly becoming my favorite) here are 2 sets of cards I made. I think the stamps coordinated beautifully with the kit. Take a look:

I also received this month's kit, Cyprus, which I just barely had time to begin before writing this. I'm pleased with my first layout from the kit, made on my own, no templates or anything (yes, I can do that, too. Gasp!) It's my pen pal from Finland and especially her oft commended Finnish Spitz, Mini. Is the pun too much? Oh, of course it is. Still, I couldn't let it slide by.

One last thing...since it's my first kit since I subscribed, they sent me a neat free card kit. I was worried that the stamps might be too shallowly cut, but surprisingly the images came out beautifully and I was impressed with the very textured looking mosaic effect that appeared to have a lot of depth, even if the stamps didn't. I had no problems getting the stamp to make a clean image and I was very happy to have an excuse to use my Stampin' Up Pacific Point stamp pad on a non-stampin-up project. It was a perfect match to the marbled blue paper, so beautiful I felt bad using is as a layer under the white sheet where few will see it--that's some darn pretty cardstock. And while I'm dropping names, note the use of glitter on every little detail. Yes, I carefully did that all by hand using a glue pen and loose superfine glitter because I have no life and don't mind spending hours sprinkling glitter onto thin, nearly invisible lines, but I also have to give credit to my Big Picture Scrapbooking Class I'm in the midst of attending online. Glitter projects were last week's assignment so these cards were among the items I coated in shimmery metal bits. Glitter RULES!

Fiskars Fun Part 2: All of the Projects

Hi Everyone!

I am posting all of the projects we worked on last night in case you didn't have time to finish. I know some of these are in the previous post, but I wanted to put them all together so you don't have to sort through other posts. I hope you had a great time and that you'll come to my next Fiskars class on Oct. 3. We'll be making a fall-themed layout (great for Thanksgiving pics or for those playing in the leaves photos) and a bunch of animal themed cards (see the froggie card, previous post), including a pet themed one (choice of dog or cat) since I know you guys love your little critters!

For those who couldn't make the class, I'd love to see you at the next one. Sure, we had a few learning experiences (I think we had too many projects in too little time and everyone seemed to want more cards, fewer layouts) but that's ok--that just means our next class will be even better! I also had a request for a class using some of the cool clear stamps by Heidi Grace or Lil' Davis, so keep an eye out for a stamping class soon. To be honest, I kind of shied away from stamping in this first class simply because I teach so many stamping classes already (I'm a Stampin' Up rep), but I'm always up for more stamping! I'm thinking perhaps a holiday card class in November. Anyone interested?
On to the pics. If you have any questions, just let me know!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sneak Peek: Fiskars Fun Class this Thursday at AC Moore, Raleigh

Shhhhhhh! Don't tell the grownups, but I found these supersecret pictures under the couch along with some change and a lot of dusty loose glitter. Rumor has it, they're samples you'll be seeing at the A.C. Moore class I'm teaching this week. To avoid ruining all the fun, I'll just let you see a few samples...we might even be making some of them in class on Thursday. You'll have to come to class to find out which ones (and to see the projects I'm not divulging here!) Details below...
So, here's the scoop. Stop by AC Moore on Capital Blvd. and sign up at register one. We'll be making a couple of beautiful layouts and some neat cards while we learn how to use Fiskars tools. And as if that wasn't enough, AC Moore is having a 50% off sale on Fiskars tools, so if you like what you see, you have a great excuse to pick 'em up. The class fee is $15 (plus a few basic supplies) for the class and a heap o' fiskars goodies I'll have ready for you when you arrive! Don't miss this one!