Thursday, October 2, 2014

Scrap Stacks Unbelievable October Value

I love the 1st of the month at Scrap Stacks because it means a new Scrap Pack becomes available. This is where you get 4 kits from some of the top designers for only $5. And the value is worth it. These are not mini packs...they are full blown kits.

This month's featured designers include JB Studio, Cindy Schneider, Trixie Scraps and Scrapyrus. All fab designers who make beautiful things.

 


I just posted a layout I made with the kit "One Happy Day' by Trizie Scraps. I am still finishing up a few photos from summer, so the color palette really worked well for those late-August pictures. This particular layout features Keziah on Labor Day weekend. She and Alan hopped in the car and drove past Park City to seek out rivers, falls and other bodies of water. They have a keen sense for finding some of the most beautiful places in Utah. I only wish I could have been with them!



I will share more layouts from this collection through out the month. And if you liked getting my free templates, keep an eye out on the Scrap Stacks blog for a new free template by me.

Happy Scrapping!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cajun Diva Scraps Now at Daisies & Dimples

See this post from my dear friend Michelle of Cajun Diva Scraps:

It's finally here!!

My new store at Daisies and Dimples is open for business!!
To celebrate, I have a grand opening sale until October 15th.



There are lots of great kits in store.  So, please check it out.  

I also have a Buy One, Get One for the Month of October.  Here is the preview:

Thanks, and look for more great kits coming your way soon!

Here are just a few preview of the kits you will see in my store: 
   


Thank you for stopping by and see you at Daisies and Dimples!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Checking In

Hello!

I have been so quiet lately. It is not from lack of anything to say. Simply life has pockets in which you have to focus your energy on very specific details and set many things aside.

All the ups and downs have me thinking. Partly because I keep being told I need to write, more specifically write a book. Where to even begin!? It seems such a daunting process, but I understand having so much going through your head and the need to let it out.

I have kept busy designing digital scrapbook template kits, which has proved to be so successful. Never could I have imagined the business would do well. It has me wondering if I could ever support a full time job which was all about being creative. No 8-5 stuck in the office. Now that would be a dream come true.

Writing will be worked on, and I will share it here. I will get back to sharing my creative work. In fact, here is a layout of Keziah so you can see how much she has grown.


Created with Wild One by ForeverJoy Designs.

Created with Dandelion Days by ForeverJoy Designs.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Did I Just Have a Therapy Session with a Scrapbook Kit?

I was flipping through my scrapbook layouts this week and noticed 99% are happy. The 1% touch on serious events but they have a livable outcome. It seems I, and possibly quite a few others, only create pages of the pleasant moments in life. In all honestly, it makes sense. It is only the joyful moments most want to remember, and perhaps having enough layouts of those times help us forget the more challenging ones.

Why do we avoid the honest moments? The ones that hurt, leave scars and ultimately change us. Why are we afraid to commit bad days to a page? The days when we feel the world is against us and there is absolutely no end in sight? What is it we are afraid of?

For me, I want to forget those dark times. Maybe if I don't scrap them, they will go away. I tend to hold things in, internalize and let the sorrow grip me for days, even weeks. It is easy to go back to that harrowing place if I am reminded of it.

I did not realize how therapeutic the process of creating a layout of those times can be until I was faced with a kit all about those moments and it happened to come on a day when I felt like the weight of the world was just too heavy for my shoulders.

The creative team for Created by Jill Scraps was given "This Can't Be Happening" -- a collection Jill created when she was facing her own challenges. She put all she was feeling into her designs...just as an artist would paint his emotions onto a canvas. It is the exact same process. And it seems to have been a cathartic exercise for her. After all, she did tell us it was cheaper than therapy.


I remember opening the files and going through every single image. I avoided the words, I had no doubt I would melt from the emotional heat. I just absorbed all the visual pieces which seemed to hold a piece of every emotion Jill must have been feeling. The torn doily, the scribbled flower and smashed bottle cap brought tears to my eyes. It felt as if Jill's emotions shattered into hundreds of pieces, latched onto the elements and screamed at me. I recognized what I was seeing because I was feeling all these emotions in my own life.

The question then hit me: Could I actually use this kit and make an honest layout with it? Was I ready to put my feelings onto a layout? I didn't think I could do it. Then I got to the papers in the kit. And a whole new wave of emotions swept over me.


The tears came more freely. I saw...I felt more deeply looking at these images. I saw broken clouds, cracked asphalt and a hurricane of emotions. And I was okay with the tears. For the first time in my life, I was ready to scrap what I was experiencing.

The remaining kits only solidified what I was prepared to do. They provided the words when I could not figure out what to say. They provided the pieces I needed to express the secrets you could see in my eyes. I had just opened the door to the most effective therapy session I have experienced. And I needed it.



I created most of my layout before I went to bed that night. I was not ready to share it with anyone. Morning came and I opened the file. I felt different, perhaps my shoulders felt a bit lighter? I gave the page some touch ups and then I was ready to share it with the creative team. I was ready to share it with the artist who gave me the medium I needed to open up, let go and find some inner peace.


This is nowhere near a Picasso or Van Gough.. You will not see this in the Louvre or the Guggenheim. I don't care. It is my personal masterpiece. I was able to take all that was building up in me and put it on a layout. It may never be important to anyone but me. Perhaps it will stand as a reminder for me so when I ever feel low again, I might remember there is hope. It may be for my daughter and teach her she is not alone when she hits her breaking point. If it helps those I love (and those who might happen upon this post) then that is enough.

To answer the question I posed in the title: Yes, I did just have a therapy session with "This Can't Be Happening." I now understand why people are drawn to the art journal style of scrapbooking. I truly believe it is important to put your emotions and feelings onto a page. It truly is an experience of healing and moving on.

PS: This Can't Be Happening is also available in a bundle at both GingerScraps and GoDigitalScrapbooking. The bundle is $6.99.

PSS: It seems other members of the creative team had a similar journey. See what they created.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

This Week's Layouts and a Freebie

It has been quite a busy few weeks. I just launched a shop for my digital scrapbook business. You can now find my templates at GingerScraps under LissyKay Designs.


While my business work, templates and layouts will be on the LissyKay site, I will still share my personal layouts here because they are an account of my life and serve as a record of my experiences.

I had several kits to work with this week, which also were released in the respective shops. First up is the release from Created by Jill Scraps. Jill designed the Artistically Speaking collection for the February Buffet at GingerScraps. The kits are based on the look and texture of watercolors. The elements are a blend of traditional, mixed media and art journal. It is safe to say, there is something for every style of scrapper and enough for you to dabble in a medium you have been wanting to try. Here are the kits:


Artistically Speaking Kit 1, Kit 2, Alpha, Painted Papers, Solid Papers, Word Art, Scatters, Brush Smatters and Word Bits.

My first layout is a softer version of an art journal page. To create it I used brush strokes and painted on my digital canvas. I then took the paper from Kit 1 and clipped it to the paint images. I did the same thing for the photo, after I did some distressing and color changing. The photo is of Keziah, which is from a little photo shoot she and I did one day after school. She looked so pretty and I wanted to get some cute photos of her. I used images from that session on a few layouts this week. Here it is:


I also did a layout with Kit 2 and combined it with the new brush words and splatters from Penny Springmann. Penny offered the brush kits to the Scrap Packs creative team, and knowing I had Jill's art kit to work with, I could not resist combining the two. For this layout I used the three frames in Jill's kit. After stacking them on top of one another and turning them different directions, I had to place photo masks in each one. I only wanted to use the one photo but have the frames show different parts of the photo. That requires you to get your photo placed exactly where you need it, duplicate it so you have a total of four photos, then clip each one to their own mask. It makes for a neat effect.



My next kit to work with is I Heart Spring by Crossbone Cuts Designs. This kit is in the February 2014 Scrap Packs. This is the monthly collection available at Scrap Stacks for $5. Yes, I did just say 4 kits for $5. And the kits are all by well-known designers.


The photo is also from the Keziah photo shoot. She had a darling pose where she peeked around the tree in the yard. She has such a darling look on her face.



Here are the other kits in the February Scrap Pack:


ForeverJoy Designs released at Scrap Orchard Everyday Joy -- the perfect shabby kit to be used for any photo you want to share depicting happy moments in life. The kit contains plenty of flowers, words and vintage-esque pieces. I fall in love with every kit Renee releases...they are charming and make me feel so girlie. I always feel like I have taken a moment out of my Country Living life when I use her kits. Here is the kit:


My layout coordinates with other layouts I have created using photos from my cousins' photo shoot. Their mom, Kizzy, posted these beautiful photos on Facebook and I snatched them immediately knowing they would be perfect for layouts. Past layouts with these photos were done with the bright color kits from ForeverJoy. Since they matched the new release, I had to pull the next photo in the file out.



SuzyQ released a Valentine-themed kit, Be Mine, at Scrapbookgraphics. The collection is comprised of material to make both traditional scrapbook pages, as well as pocket pages. Without being an overtly Valentine kit, it is subtle and multi theme.


Here is the layout I created, with the same photo shoot images. Rather than crop and mat the photo, I used a large paint brush and create one stroke. With the rough edges, the photo was clipped to it and allowed to expand past the frame borders. It really does fill the page in an eye pleasing way.


One of the reasons I used the photos from the same shoot with different kits is to show the versatility of the kits. The color scheme in the photos is all the same, but they work with vastly different kits.

I do have one more layout with a Jill kit. The kit was released Friday. I did a separate post with my layout, but here is a look at the kit. Read the full post here.



So now to a free download. I used my layout from the Artistically Speaking collection to make a template. It is designed for an art look, but you can change it up to match whichever photos and kits you want to use. Here is the template:

Download Pain Studio Template

Please share your layouts with me. I love seeing what people create and how they make it their own. Stop by my design blog this weekend for more freebies and announcements. And visit my LissyKay Facebook page for even more free goodies.

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Project January & My Life Adventure (Freebie)

I know people like to see the goods first, so here is the kit I will be talking about. It is the new release, My Project January from Designs by Laura Burger. Perhaps a look first might make you excited to read the rest!



Scrapbook art and paper crafting have been an important part of my life for over 18 years. For me, I have loved the artistic side to this memory-keeping process. And I will admit, I sometimes would spend days on one layout because I needed every part of it to be perfect.

After I started digital scrapbooking, I kept hearing people talk about Project Life, Life 365, Project 52...the names were many and I had no clue what they were talking about. I quietly asked a friend and when she told me what it was, I felt like I opened a big can of worms. This was not a kit or a tutorial. This was a whole new way to make layouts and it really becomes a way of life with the amount of work and awareness these projects take. If you know what I am talking about, you can skip this paragraph. If you have no clue what this all means, let me explain.

Once upon a time, a very talented and well-known scrapper trademarked Project Life. It is about getting back to the basics of memory keeping and capturing real life. Some people choose to scrapbook about every day of the year (Project 365), while others focus on weekly layouts (Project 52.) For me, it will be whatever I have time to do, but I have committed to capturing what happens throughout the month: Family adventures, special moments, mishaps and every day life.

 Designs by Laura Burger is making this process easier for me. Really, she is making this easy for anyone wanting to do a Life scrapbook. She will release a new kit each month for you to do your Life pages. It is not just for digital scrappers. If you paper scrap, print the pieces out you need. (It is quite an economical way to make pages because you print what you need and can reuse any piece you want.)

I used My Project January to create a layout for the first week of 2014. It was fun because I was acutely aware of what my family was up to! Not to mention, it made me more organized as I kept track of what I was doing. And it also forced me to get the journal out and stay on top of writing. Here is my layout.

Something I decided to do was create my own grid-like page. I wanted it to feel like I was using pocket page protectors. I started with the cards in Laura's kit. I placed those on the page along with my photos. From there, I made boxes of where I could add paper pieces or elements. Once I had it all positioned, I duplicated the page and clipped a white box onto every object. Everything is spaced at 1/4 inch.  Then I merged the whole paged together. Using my magic wand, I selected all the white boxes and deleted them. I was left with a page frame and a hole for every piece on my layout. After that, I simply placed the frame on top of my original page, added a shadow and now I had a finished look.

Every month I will share my pages and Laura's latest kit. I will keep them on their own page, which you can find on the top navigation bar. More pages will be added, but I will make sure I do a new blog post once a month to share what I did with the newest Designs by Laura Burger My Project... kit. I will also give you the template I created so you can use it for your own project. If you decide you rather not use the frame, you simply turn the layer off or don't use it if you are using the PNG files. Here is this month's template:
Download LKD My Story January

Enjoy and good luck with your Life pages. If you have questions about using the template, leave a comment or email me.

You can see the different ways Laura's creative team used the kit by visiting the Designs by Laura Burger gallery at Pickleberry Pop. You will see both Life pages, as well as how to use the kit for regular scrapbook layouts.

Keep up with Laura by visiting the Designs by Laura blog, Facebook page, Pinterest page, Scrap Stacks and most importantly her shop. And take a moment to sign up for her newsletter so you can stay up to date on product, sales and the occasional goodies from Laura.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Jill Says to Keep it Simple, but I Didn't Listen When I Made a Free Template

It is January 1st, and I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year's Eve. If you are a digital scrapbooker and shop at Ginger Scraps, then you are happy for more than Auld Lang Syne reasons. It is the January Buffet!

Created by Jill Scraps released a new collection, Keep it Simple, for the buffet. And the kits are 50% from now until January 5, 2014.

The buffet is a monthly event in which all the shop designers are given the same color palette and then they create a few kits or a collection based on those colors. Jill chose to design a kit that really is one you can use for any theme. Here are her creations:



And here is what I did with it. First up, my layout with Kit 1. With this layout I designed a shadow box look by making a page frame and clipping one of the papers to it. Then I put a different paper in each box. After that there really is no rhyme or reason. You just fill in elements wherever you want them to go. One of the nice features of using a shadow box technique is that there are no rules. Sometimes you just want to throw things on a page and call it art. If you keep your photo in the primary box, you will not lose focus. You don't want to draw away from the picture. Although I doubt you could miss Keziah being cheeky, as usual.


Next, the layout for Kit 2. On this one I went in a different direction. Jill created a four-circle frame chain, which I had to use. It took me a little bit of sketching to come up with something different. I chose to use a large photo on most of the page real estate. Then I used the frames in a cascade down the left side of the layout. Here I filled in some of the smaller photos from the night Alan took Keziah to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights. I did reserve one frame for some words to break up the flow. You probably don't want to use all the circles for photos if you use the large photo technique. The page would be too busy. Another thing you can do is to use elements to create borders and trims. Since I used most of the page for photos, I could not crowd it with elements. I still wanted to use them because I quite like them. I tucked things like buttons, jute circles and doodle flourishes underneath the paper and made it look like trim. This is good for you to know in the event you get the kit and can't figure out where those border pieces are.


Finally, I created a third layout by combining both kits together. This was a bit ambitious as it was hard to decide what I would use and what would be left behind. The three-opening frame was a given. (I tend to beg Jill for quirky frames.) Working it like a negative or photo strip, I turned it horizontal and used a sequence of photos from the same shoot. The photos I picked are from my wedding. This is a great way to show off several photos from the same event, and sometimes the same moment, without cluttering the page. And to give it some femininity, especially because they were wedding photos, I added many of the glittery, flowery and delicate pieces available to me. Again, don't stick it all on, but you can tuck things under mats, borders and edges to keep the page flowing and not break the eye path.


Funny story: The berry branches caused me a moment of embarrassment. There were a different type included in another kit and I could not remember what to call them. So in our Facebook group I referred to them as sticks with balls. I know, I am the idiot here. Needless to say, when I saw these in this kit, I thanked Jill for the sticks with balls. Don't think I will be living this one down.

I used the layout with my wedding photos and created a free template. This one is the Lissykay Take Three template and as you can see, I finally settled on a color palette. All my templates will be in a branded color from here on out.

Download Template

Be sure to share you layouts. And if you create with Jill's kits, please leave me a comment with a link to your layout. I would love to see it and feature it on my blog.

Don't forget about Jill's new fan freebie on her Facebook page. It is a mini kit, and you will soon see a free template for it! And head over to her blog to see more layouts using the Keep it Simple collection.

I also have a Facebook page and there you can download a 10-template set of page starters. They are absolutely free.

If you have missed any of the past free templates from this blog, be sure to click through to find them all because many will soon be gone from the site.

Take care. And the next time you stop by for your templates, you will be directed to the new Lissykay Designs website. Yes, there are lots of changes in the works!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Downloads Working Now

I just learned there was a problem with my dropbox account. Everything is fixed and downloads should be up and working now. All free downloads mentioned on my blog are still available. Some links will go away at the first of the year. If there are any templates you would like to get, please grab them before they are gone.

Have a wonderful holiday and may your new year be full of wonderful blessings!

Melissa

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Express Yourself is Bundled, On Sale & a New Freebie Available

The first template I designed was for a layout I made with the Express Yourself kits from Created by Jill Scraps. Little did I know at the time, that template would open up a whole new world for me. There were several kits available for purchase, but it was not until this past week could you buy the collection in a bundle.

When they were originally released, I designed this layout:

To celebrate the release, I have taken my layout and designed a template for free download. There are two versions. The first version mimics the look I used on my layout with bold black strokes framing every element and paper.

The second version removes the black strokes allowing the user to customize the look.

One of the things I love most about this template is that it puts journal cards front and center. Rather than simply being a place to jot information or fill in the background, the journal cards are a prominent focal point of the page. You are not limited to journal cards, you can use your favorite papers to fill in each spot.

Enjoy the templates. Make sure to pick up Express Yourself, the bundled version. It is already significantly discounted, but it will be on sale until the end of December. The price is unbelievable. You can purchase it at Ginger Scraps or Go Digital Scrapbooking.

If you missed my first layout and template from this kit, take a look at "Express Yourself and a New Template Freebie." This is what you will find at that post:


If you did not get here via Jill's blog, be sure to head over and pick up the Christmas coupon she has given out. You can pick it up at "New Bundle, a little extra holiday savings and a freebie!!!"

One last item. If the Created by Jill Scraps Facebook page hits 3500 likes, she will be releasing a new mini kit as a free download for her fans. We are only 9 people away as of this writing. Head over and hit like so we all get something new!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Gift from Two Great Sites (Freebie Notice)

Many of you know that I am on the Created by Jill Scraps creative team. I absolutely love being a part of team that creates layouts with Jill's gorgeous new kits. Earlier this month she asked a few of the team members to help create custom bookmarks to be given away by Stuck at Home Mom and Created by Jill Scraps.

These are available as a free download. They are great for gifts or to keep for your own use. The first six months were made by Stuck at Home, while the last six were designed by Jill's creative team. I personally made the October bookmarks.

Here is a look at the bookmarks. The first is designed for one photo to be inserted behind the PNG file. Then all you need to do is print them off.


The second set feature two open frames for you to add your favorite photos to.


Finally, there are the monthly bookmarks for those months you do now have a photo for or simply do not want to use them for photos.


The first six are available at StuckAtHomeMom.com.

The second half can be picked up on the Created by Jill Scraps blog.

Enjoy these goodies!!