Let’s be real. Scrapbooking guys can be hard — especially if you are a bright colored whimsical loving paper crafter. Don’t despair — it can be done. When you have paper you absolutely love, but it is made up of lots of bright colors and almost childlike balance it with black and white.
For this layout I primarily used the sides of paper from Clique Kits that were black and white. I backed it on a solid and added just a pop of colors with strips of paper. I had to throw some rainbows on it because I am just into them! By using a solid alphabet for a title in different fonts it pulls it all together.
For the next layout I still stuck to black and white as the primary color scheme. However, I used pictures that were a little goofy. I mean, it is all about a weird Al concert! You really can’t get more goofy in that in adult life. From there I was able to venture out and add some whimsical elements.
By using a sketchy black and white title it grounded it.
Masculine layouts have gotten challenging for me because I am a colorful whimsical crafter, but the challenge is super fun! Trying to make my style and masculine pictures work is flexing my creative muscle.
During the last few months the world had had a lot of time to reflect. I think we can all say in one united voice that “Together is the best place to be”. This has been heavy on my heart and I have recently taken a liking to rainbows because of the message it portrays. After the storm there is a rainbow. I have been picking up rainbow themed items for my home and craft room for several months. Clique Kits had a ton of rainbow themed products. The following layouts were created with kits I found on Clique Kits.
Nieghborhood Sidewalk and Street Art
Every morning I run 2 miles in my neighborhood. Ever since we have all been staying home chalk art has been popping up on walls and sidewalks. I am so moved and warmed by the positive vibes from my nieghbors — most of them I have never met IRL. I had to document this rare time in history focusing on the GOOD.
When was the last time you got to see your extended family? I created this layout reflecting on that. We were all together for Thanksgiving. This kind of makes me sad. My kids live in the same area as their grandparents, but yet the last time we were all together was in the Fall. This has to change once it is safe to get out again.
You Are My Happy
Though it is unfortunate that my children can not see their grandparents and their great grandma I am so very grateful that they all still live at home and I get to spend this time with them. They also are all teenagers and young adults which means I am not needing to be hands on with their school. I kinda lucked out! I am not alone during this time and I am not pulling my hair because I have little ones.
For the record, I am not a short woman. My sons are tall! I am 5’9. My daughter is about 5’5 and my boys are 6’1 and 6’5! As you can tell from the look on my youngest son he is super happy he is finally taller than me!
These puffy stickers are so much fun! I feel like they give a nod to the 1980’s!
In Memory Of…
Of course it is important to remember our past and where we came from during this time. By doing so it gives hope and knowing things will get better. I created this layout in memory of my Grandpa who was a war veteran. My Mom has had his flag for about 15 years, but it wasn’t protected. I made her this case to safely keep it.
Here is a tutorial on how I created the glass shadow box for his flag.
Of course we are all getting the “get out of the house” itch. This was one of the last big meet and greet I attended before we went into quarantine.
Hope For You
I know this time may be harder on others than it is on me and it may be easier. We each are dealing with our own situations and every one of us has valid concerns. My hope for you is that you stay optimistic during this time. Easier said than done, right? I get that! It is just the only thing we really have any control over is what runs through our heads and our actions. Let’s make an effort to focus on the good and know that there is still hope in our future. We will get through this together!
What is one thing you are grateful for? Tell me in the comments.\
As I previously stated in another post, I had the pleasure of being a guest educator for the Clique Kits this month. I created a mini album featuring my bout with depression. I taught how to use a gel press plate to create background pages as well as different ways to use gelatos and foam stamps. I was sent a ton of beautiful paper that did not make it’s way into the mini album I created. So I made the following layouts with the paper as well as the odds and ends of what I had left.
To create this page I fussy cut and tore a few of the collage pages I was sent. After I adhered them to the 12 by 12 page, I outlined them and added some dots along the edges. I used a rainbow foam stamp with some gelatos to create the corners of the page and topped it off with a sweet layering butterfly stamp.
A combination of mixed media techniques were used to create the above pages. I love to splat paint in layers. Starting with a blank 12 by 12 paper that will be the base of the layout splat one paint color. Adhere pattern paper on top of the base and splat another color of paint. Finally, add the mats for your images and splat with another paint color. By layering the paint splats you create great texture without a bunch of bulk which can make it challenging to store.
I am going to address a hard topic. Something a lot of society steps away from because there is a lot of fear and shame associated with it. Depression. Yep, I said it — depression. I did not even know I really had it until I started to come out of it. In 2004 when I had my last baby I got the “Baby Blues” in a bad way. I did not see a doctor about it because I had three little ones under the age of four and we were in the middle of a move. I just did not have the time to deal with it. I became accustom to dealing with it. The months I spent napping when my kids napped turned into years of wanting to sleep all the time. I thought it was normal — aren’t most Moms exhausted all the time even after their child is sleeping through the night?
Fast Forward 8 Years
In 2012 or so my blood work came back bad. So, I blamed my lack of energy, not wanting to be around people and general soreness on my health. I was diagnosed in 2017 with Celiac Disease. That did contribute to most of my symptoms. However, that underlying low energy and just wanting to be alone did not go away. In 2018, when my oldest started his senior year I hit rock bottom. Not only was I sad, I also did not even know what my purpose in life was now that my kids were turning into young adults.
On the outside I faked it well. I always appeared to be looking on the bright side. In fact, I was accused of being an optimist to the extreme that people thought I was unrealistic and never had a bad day in my life. If they only knew the truth was I was trying not to fall apart. I was scared that if I let on that I was miserable and sad I would crumble and be judged.
Time To Get Better
Finally in January of 2019 I decided I did not want to feel bad anymore and I started working out. I lost 29 pounds pretty much off the bat, but I was not doing it for that — I was sticking to it because I was not feeling bad emotionally. Eventually I hit a stand still with the weight loss and decided to see a trainer. My daughter was the receptionist at a local semi private gym and was working out with a fantastic lady who shed 185 pounds. She really helped my daughter deal with the stresses of high school. I knew that if there was anyone I wanted to train me it was her.
That was the best decision I have ever made regarding self care. Not only was I feeling better about myself I actually wanted to go to the gym — not necessarily to work out, but because I liked the people. I wanted to be around people for the first time in over 15 year.
I took up running in October of 2019 as another way to get my cardio in. That’s when I finally kicked depression’s ass! Don’t get me wrong — I hated running at first. I also did not just start off running. It was a gradual growth. Pretty soon I recognized that I felt really good after I ran. Next thing I knew I was able to run a mile without stopping. Three months into it I started to like it. I looked forward to my run days. I signed up for my first 5K and have been running them about once a month.
I worked in collaboration with Clique Kits for April 2020 in which I put together a mini album documenting my struggle with depression and loss of 65 pounds (so far). Here is what I used to create the album:
Here is what I created with the Clique Kit:
I divided the album up into four sections. The first section is the “Before” section. I briefly discuss what lead me to the point of finally realizing I had an issue.
The next session is about the journey I took to get out of depression. My journey is far from over. It is something I will be on for the rest of my life. I really feel like this is my life long battle, so I left extra pages to fill up as I continue to grow and change.
Naturally since I took up running I have a section for the 5Ks (maybe marathons someday) I complete.
Thrive is the last section of the album. This is a lifetime process for me. I am never really going to have an end to it. I will reach milestones along the way and learn how to thrive. Therefore creating a section celebrating that was needed. Right now it is blank because I am still waiting on pictures to be delievered, but also because I have so much more work to do and document in this section.
To see a complete walk through of the album check out my video here. You can also find links to everything I used to make your own album like mine.
Finally, here are the videos I created to make this album.
I want to thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you. If you struggle with depression please understand that you are not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of. I would like to encourage you to seek outside help. Go talk to a counselor and don’t try to beat it on your own. There is no shame in it and if you need medication that is OK! We treat broken arms with casts and pills to help deal with the pain, right? Same holds true for mental health issues!