June 28, 2008

this week's posts shall be picture heavy.

because i'm a visual kinda gal.

so i have something to say on behalf of the entire Design Team here at Studio Calico...you know how you all look forward to Reveal Night? we look forward to it even more than that...if that's possible, lol. we are so antsy to see the gallery flooded with the goodness and creativity that each of our fellow DT members has thought up...how peeps used the product different, what they journaled, just basically their take on the same bag of goodies that we all received. i know for myself, there are a ton of 'a-ha! why didn't i think of that!?' moments, lol...but i just jot those ideas down for future reference and chalk it up to 12 people thinking 12 different ways. then the members start posting when they get their kits, and i have a gajillion more of those A-HA moments!!

so without further ado...here are my fave pics from last night's Reveal gallery...

Ms. Layle Koncar is simply amazing. honestly, she has been one of my fave scrappers for quite some time...and her pages always look so 'together'. i love how she used the Making Memories LabelFetti here as a border! April...this layout has me looking twice and 3 times trying to take it all in. i am amazed at how she cut the photos and paper to fit the outline of the die-cut paper, and the journaling makes me insanely jealous of her travel adventures, lol.
Scarlet...her 'Changing My Course' layout got me right in the heart...and i love that. the wonderful pic of her is perfectly fitting for the title and the way she used the LabelFetti on the left hand side to balance things out is one of those added touches that make a world of difference.

Caroline...again with the journaling! this one totally brings me back to when my husband and i met and started dating...who could ever forget the butterflies and giddiness you feel when it's all fresh and new?! her repetition of pics always catches my eye and reminds me that when you have a picture that 'speaks' to you, there isn't any better way to emphasize your point than to use a few small versions of said pic.
Davinie...with her signature stitching, Dav's layouts always jump out at me. but this time it was all of the pieces hanging off of the 'edge' of the layout that sold me. darling pic of sweet Morgan, and i am a sucker for a mixed font title.
Jenn...i am always noticing that i keep going back to Jenn's gallery every month, and her use of ribbon is just one reason why. she always manages to do something different with it...and plop a few ideas into my brain along the way.

Joy...ok. the tags trailing across the entire layout were the first thing i noticed. but after reading her journaling, it just reinforced the feeling that i already had of just how alike she and i are. we both did 'wishful thinking' travel layouts this month...kindred spirits i tell ya, lol!!
Kirsty...her simple journaling is a message i want my own daughter to appreciate. and did you notice that she hand cut the edge of that blue flower from the paper?! holy X-Acto Knife Batman!!
Nic... Nic never fails to knock my socks off. the clean colors against the crisp white background of 'Berry Sweet' just pop right off of the page...and did anyone else notice how she used the notched edge of that Making Memories paper??!! i think i want to be her when i grow up.

Steph...another kindred spirit. we both journal straight from the heart, and i find myself choking up quite often when reading her work. it touches me...whether it's about her family or herself, i always take the time to read her words. the frame filled with yummy goodness and the bow at the center are AWESOME...why don't i ever put embellishments in the center of my pages?!
Tina...being that she is the other 'typewriter junkie' on this team, i always love that she includes it on her pages. the strips of that same notched edge paper grabbed my attention...and te fact that they were sewn on is perfect.

i know everyone has their favorites. and after looking at my personal picks, i noticed that this month the die-cut papers & how everybody used them really caught my attention.

what caught yours??

We have a winner!

Via Random.org....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-06-28 13:50:54 UTC

Alyson said...

Happy Birthday! I can't wait to see the new Making Memories!

June 27, 2008 7:17 PM

Alyson, just email info@studiocalico.com and we'll get your info to ship the RAK!!!

June 26, 2008

Reveal Night Madness

will start in less than 24 hours! Be there or be square. And don't forget to change up your avatar in celebration of Studio Calico's first birthday! Obviously, it's a birthday theme tomorrow night...so dig up a photo of your own sweet face on your first birthday. If you don't have any of those, use someone else's first bday shot or be like the queen of self portraits, Joy, and take a birthday themed photo of yourself today. Anything goes as long as it's BIRTHDAY inspired. :) The party will start tomorrow night with lots of hoopla, laughs, hot dates, and maybe even some RAKS...hope to see you there!

Also, don't forget to tell us what your most anticipated CHA release is for a chance to win this RAK from American Crafts.

June 24, 2008

Prepare to be inspired!

In my last post I asked you about inspiration...where you find inspiration when your creative juices are running dry. And I was so excited that a bunch of you emailed me with your thought and links to blogs/sites that are full of eye candy. So, prepare to be inspired...and make sure your scrappy supplies are at the ready because you will want to dive right in after you get through this post!

Look at this photo with those yummy colors and patterns! Kimber-Leigh sent me the link to Boden which is a clothing catalog. Says Kimber-Leigh, " I love their bright (and sometimes unusual) mix of colors...their boldprints...and if you get the catalog, they print fun tidbits about the model'sinterests...which makes for some good journaling ideas!" I'm already in love with that blue and green together!

Iowapapergirl also said she finds inspiration in magazine and catalogs (when she's not checking out Tina's fabulous work!). She told me about Domino magazine and Anthropologie. I've never been in an Anthropologies store, but after checking out their site I think I need to! Lots of cool stuff there!

Melissa, aka Mrbuckwheat, listed several blogs as sure fire sources of inspiration. The Making Memories Blog, Heather Bailey's blog (check out these little strawberries she has on her blog right now..I'm in love with these!!!!), Cathy Z's blog, Heidi Swapp's blog, and of course there's always room for Pottery Barn and a little Martha.

Amy Christine said she loves a good film or window shopping for inspiration. She also loves just looking through photos to get ideas flowing... "it's pretty easy to find a photo that sparks amemory that I want to journal. I often build pages around journaling, so if I find a good photo that makes me think of the story to go with it then I'm bound to go scrap it." I feel the same way about photos. There's nothing like a fresh stack of new photos to get me inspired!

Vivian (ucla93) said she finds inspiration in commercials and ads. Have you ever checked out the ad challenge at 2peas...those are great for pushing you a bit when you are stuck for ideas. She also likes checking out Ali Edwards' blog.

Jen M., aka Jen:), hasn't subscribed to any scrapbooking magazines in over 2 years because she finds plenty of inspiration through online galleries. I know we all love to oogle the gallery here at SC! She also loves Jennifer McGuire's and Kelli Crowe's blogs for ideas.

Ally (scrapally) shared lots of sites that I had never seen before...most of them non-scrappy and all of them full of yummy designs. Ally says, "I can get lost in all the sidebar links" at Design Sponge. It's a home and product design site that is updated multiple times throughout the day and full of cool stuff. Then of course there is Paper Source which has paper, gift bags, and stationary galore. Such pretty stuff! Ally shared another stationary site that I'd never heard of... http://www.fabulousstationary.com/. There are cards here with the coolest designs and color combinations that are gorgeous. Look at this card I saw there. Don't you just love that purple and green?!?! And finally, Ally linked me up to http://www.decor8.blogspot.com/. Another blog with sidebars and links to lots more super sites! You could seriously get lost!

Well, I need to end it here...after all, my small children need to be fed! ;) But one last scrappy blog that I have rediscovered and love...Rebecca Sower. I don't have a vintage-y bone in my body, but I adore her stuff!

Hope you enjoy all the eye candy! If you have other sites to share, please do so in the comments section...there's always room for more inspiration! And please, if you are inspired by something you find through all this, link us up to your creation! We'd love to see!

June 22, 2008

Peeks so far and a request.

Happy Sunday all! We are a less than a week from reveal night, so I thought I'd start off my post today by compiling all the DT's sneak peeks in one place so you can be sure to see them all and get your July kit fix when you think you just can't make it until the 28th! So here they are...

April has some here. Look at those perfect circles...I'm in awe!

Caroline's are here. That girl is amazing at using all that product...pure eye candy!

I spied two little peeks from Davinie...one here and one here. The second one just makes me sigh with the layered flowers and lacey stuff in it. So pretty!!!!

Jenn's yummy peeks are here. I just love how jammed packed her little peeks are...they make me want to see MORE!!!

Joy's peeks are here.... this one looks so intriguing...a mini perhaps?! Can't wait to see it all!

Nicole has been going nutso with this kit...she's got LOTS O' peeks in a couple different posts, so I'll just link you up here to her blog. Love how she cut up some of the patterned papers in ways I wouldn't have thought to!

Stephanie's peeks are here. Look at all those buttons lined up..yummy!

Tina has a couple of peeks here. Love how she made that stamped image...so cool!

I'll add Kirsty's when she posts them. And here are mine. :)

Okay, so onto my second purpose in today's post....
Where do you find inspiration? In a magazine, blog, home decor, art, advertisements, color combos, etc? Our gallery at SC is one of the hottest ones around, in case you haven't noticed...and I'd love to hear where you all find inspiration. So, send me a p.m. through SC with your never fail sources for scrappy inspiraton. If it's a website, send me the link too. Tell me what about that site, magazine, etc gets your creative mojo flowin'. I'll post a bunch of the reponses I get here on the blog in a day or two so that we can all be inspired. And remember...it doesn't have to be a scrapbooking related site...it can be anything that inspires you to create. Can't wait to see what you share!

June 19, 2008

Canvas Art

It can be so energizing to take your creativity in a new direction, and that's exactly what I've been doing this week. I have had this project planned for a while (since this day, in fact), but it wasn't until this week that I could set the time aside to let myself play. I still haven't started on the embroidered pillows yet, but that project is very near the top of my list of things to do :)

This whole idea came to me when I visited Papyrus, a stationery store in Nashville, where I purchased two sheets of gorgeous bird paper. The colors were going to be perfect for the house I was getting ready to move into. I tucked the papers safely away until I got moved and settled. The only other purchase I needed to make before beginning my project was the canvases, which I found at Joann. I already had everything else!

This project only required a few supplies, including Liquitex Matte Gel Medium, acrylic paint, a rubber brayer, a paintbrush and a craft knife. I also used patterned paper, buttons, stamps, ink, and trims from my stash, along with a few leftover pretties from past Studio Calico kits.

I started my project by painting the edges of the canvases with Making Memories Funky Vintage Sea Foam acrylic paint (from January's Grand Central Station calendar project kit). Although each canvas looks a little bit different, the paint is what unifies them.

I created one canvas per day, on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The process was the same each day: paint the canvas edges, let them dry. Choose the background paper and embellishments. Adhere the paper to the canvas with matte gel medium. Trim the edges with a craft knife and sand, if necessary. Add a second coat of gel medium on top of the paper as a sealer. Stamp and embellish. (I actually did some of the stamping before I applied the top coat of gel medium and some after the top coat dried.)

My favorite part of the project was pulling out all the bits and baubles from my stash and deciding how I could use them to create three individual pieces of art that would function as one. I wanted each canvas to look different, but alike at the same time. Several of the items I used were meaningful for some reason or another, which made the process even more special.

So are you ready to see my birdies up close?

Here is the first canvas:

I used one of my all-time favorite pieces of patterned paper, 7gypsies Life Blanc, as the background. The little stamp, which you will see repeated on all the canvases is from Catslife Press.

Here is the second canvas:

I wanted to go for a little more of a vintage, feminine feel with this canvas. The patterned paper on the right was given to me by my dear friend Nicole, and it ended up being perfect for this project. Several layers of the flower are left over from past Studio Calico kits (the scalloped dress pattern circles, the orange mulberry paper flower, and the green crochet flower). The most valuable treasure on this canvas is the crochet trim saved from a project that I created for my Grandmama's funeral.

And finally, the last canvas:

While I loved being able to use a couple of older patterned papers from my stash, my favorite part of this canvas is the page torn from a vintage children's dictionary. This book from 1962 is full of gorgeous illustrations, which are perfect for collage art. The best part is that I purchased it for $1 at a thrift store! The buttons on this canvas were given to me in a vintage Dr. Pepper bottle by my friend Jen. These little buttons were the perfect color for this project.

I forgot to mention that most of the stamps and inks I used on these canvases are from Stampin' Up! I have really enjoyed using my stamps again, now that they are easily accessible.

Now that my canvases are finished, they hang on the wall in my dining room, much like this:

Unfortunately, my dining room has terrible lighting, so I photographed them on the front porch!

I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this process. I encourage you to use your scrapbook supplies to step out of your creative box. The results can be so liberating!

June 18, 2008

April's Scrap Space

I can honestly say my scrap space isn't near as colorful or as cute as Scarlet's, but I do think you'll see that it fits my style. My scrap-space is one end of our bonus room above the garage. When we were in the planning phases of the house plan, I immediately claimed this 10x12' area as mine. It has great lighting and is connected to the TV room, so I can stay in touch with what's happening at all times.

First, the view when you enter the scrap room and 2 elements that I think make my scrap-space ideal:
Next to my bookcases, there is a piece of slat-wall. I got it from my dad's bookstore, just a scrap that they were going to throw away. I snagged it, painted it white, then ordered hooks online. I used to have it organized by manufacturer, but now, I've arranged it by type of item: sticker alphas, chipboard alphas, word stickers, embellishments, bling, you get the idea.
On my shelf, I have a collection of stamps. The ones I use most often are out of the cases and in front.
Now, to my desk. Like Scarlet, I stand when I scrapbook, so I don't need a chair. Above my desk is some cool art and a magnetic chalkboard I ordered from Pottery Barn a long time ago. I got tin containers from ProvoCraft (not sure if they make them anymore) and adhered magnets to the back so they stick and I can see what's inside. Mostly brads/buttons/small items are there.
Just a view inside my most often used drawer:
And, the other side of the room: a table and 6 chairs plus some wedding photos.
Hope you all enjoyed the tour of my space and if you'd like to see more, I'll post a couple more images on my blog.

Scarlet's Scrap Space

Since I recently became organized (and we won't even talk about what I was before that) I thought I would share a bit of insight into my scrapbook storage system. I should also mention that I just completed a major purge, keeping only the essentials close at hand. I wish I had taken a photo of my three-foot-tall stack of patterned paper and cardstock before I packed it away for a future yard sale. My paper stack has now dwindled to about 6 inches (plus a couple of boxes of Studio Calico goodies that I can't bear to part with yet)!

My reorganization coincided with a move into a charming little house, where my scrapbook space resides in my dining room, so clearly it must be functional and visually pleasing at the same time. I purchased a pub table to use as my workspace. I like to stand when I scrap, so my new table is the perfect height! Right now the only thing that stays on my table is my rack full of stamping ink pads. I envision adding one or two more little stands or baskets to keep my favorite items (or possibly the goodies from the current SC kit) within easy reach, but until I find the perfect solution, I am content with what I have.

One of my favorite things in my scrap space is my display of rubber stamps. I have seen similar ideas on blogs and in magazines, so when I spied this old printer's drawer at an antique store, I knew exactly what to do with it! Before Nadiya was born, I was an independent demonstrator for Stampin' Up!, so as you can imagine, my stamp collection was pretty large. I had always kept my stamp sets in their original plastic boxes, but when I reorganized, I purged all of the stamps I didn't want and discarded all of the containers. The small ones found a home on my wall and the rest were tossed into a couple of galvanized buckets, where I can dig through them pretty easily.

Another major piece of furniture in my scrap space is my new white hutch. With glass doors and shelves in the top and drawers and cabinets in the bottom, it is perfect for displaying some things while hiding others. The top of the hutch is where I keep my pretty things, such as jars of embellishments and thread, stamps, fabric, and several of my favorite books. Down below is where I keep my paper and tools and other randoms like albums, magazines, and more embellishments. I may not have a lot of space, but I think I use it well! Please let me know if you have any questions. I'd be happy to answer them :)

Here's a little sneak peek at how I have combined scraps from my Studio Calico kits with other items from my scrapbooking stash to create art for the walls in my dining room. Please stay tuned for more...

June 15, 2008

Father's Day Challenge Winner

I'm sure that you are all waiting on pins and needles for the winner so I won't keep you in suspense......

The winner is.....


I absolutely adore how you utilized so much of the June kit. I love the way you used the fruit beads, wood grain stamp and OA paper to make your tree.
Congrats!! You are the winner of a fabulous $5.00 discount to use to purchase fabulous product on reveal night!! One of the boss ladies will send you an email with the promo code that you can use when you make you purchase.

Well ladies, it has been an busy, busy week for me. I've had the SC blog, put the finishing touches on organizing a golf outing to benefit the scholarship fund of my Alma Mater, participated in a girls night out/shopping expedition in Nashville, spent my first night ever away from my little girl, and washed clothes and packed for a week long trip to Grammy's. Oh yeah, I forgot that I worked several days this week packing the July kit because I am going to be out of town all next week. Whew....it makes me tired just writing all of that down!!

I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing week with my parents and family. We have some fun activities planned and Natalee always enjoys any time that she gets to spend with her Grammy! I'll be off the boards for a week because my folks have incredibly slow dial up Internet, but will pop in when we get home next Monday to tell you all about our trip.

I've had fun this week ladies, I hope that you have enjoyed my ramblings. I think that April & Scarlet will be your blog hosts next week. Stay tuned.....

June 12, 2008

Kit Packing 101

When you get your brown box and open it to get your first look at all of those yummy papers and embellies, do you sometimes find yourself distracted thinking, "How on earth do they do this every month?" If so, welcome to kit packing 101. Through the process of trial and error that started out in April's dining room and has now moved to the office that you saw yesterday, we have come up with a pretty efficient system to pack your kits each month.

The process starts with Scarlet receiving product and counting to make sure that all of the quantities are correct. Trust me, she is really good at this and catches a lot of errors that would cost us a lot of time and energy later. Some days we get one or two boxes and other days we get twenty boxes!

Next we go through the process of sorting or assembling products. A good example of this step were the plastic bags in your June kits that contained the Maya Road Trees, AC Ribbon, and Fruit Beads. All of the chipboard trees had to be sorted, ribbon had to be cut, beads had to be sorted and then it was all assembled into one bag in your kit. I must say, that was one of the most difficult assemblies that we have ever done.....it took FOREVER!! Sometimes the assemblies are very simple. For instance, we open a manufacturer's package and separate the items into smaller quantities. That is what you see Cara doing in the picture below. Sometimes it is such a simple task that we tackle it right in the office, but other times we take the product home and work on it a couple of hours a day until we are ready to assemble kits.

Now, I've shown you Cara on the floor at the office sorting, so I guess I'd better show you my workstation here at home.

Don't make fun of my high tech set up! It may look like an ordinary ironing board to you, but my workstation is portable and I get to sit in my comfy chair and watch TV while I work. I cleaned up all of the toddler toys, sippie cups and laundry so that it would look presentable!! My husband laughs at me because I devised this little set up to keep everything up out of Natalee's reach, but it allows me to be right here with her while she plays and watches her morning cartoons. Don't look to hard at the picture, I'm working on sorting something for the July kit right now. I tried really hard to show you without showing you if you know what I mean!! You'll get your sneak peaks soon enough.

OK, now that we have the product and have it sorted or assembled, it is time to set it up for packing. I know that you are not going to believe this, but we pack on two eight foot tables and two four foot tables. We put the eight foot tables end to end and lay all of the paper out on one and then the embellishments go at the end of the second one. Cara has a four foot table as a workstation and I have a four foot table as a workstation. See below....

We go down the table and grab one sheet of each paper, then stack them on our workstation. We usually do this ten times. Once we have a stack of papers, we place one set of papers in the bag, gather the embellishments, add them to the bag and then fold and close with a sticker. We use the boxes that we receive product in to hold the kits on our shelves. Most boxes will hold 10 kits. Once we complete 10, we take the box and put it in the storage room where it will eventually be pulled and placed in the box for shipping. We have different areas of the office for main kits and add on's. We label each of the boxes with how many kits it holds and the name of the kit so that we can tell at a glance where everything is when it comes time to ship. Cara and I keep track of how many kits we assemble on a tally sheet. This helps us keep a running count of how many kits are complete and determines the $ amount of our paycheck!! I am always afraid that we miscount or forget to mark our tally sheet, so I go through and hand count all of the kits at least twice to make sure that we have the right number in the end.

On shipping day, we take a box of main kits and one of each add on and place them on one eight foot table. Scarlet prints the list of your orders and she and I go down the list one by one and pull the order and put it in the box. We also go ahead and box up a bunch of main kit only boxes ahead of time to help us get through shipping day a little easier. All of those lovely Studio Calico boxes that you receive have to be assembled. Recently, Greg brought in a couple of teenage boys to assemble and stack boxes for us. This has been a HUGE help!! No more spending hours putting boxes together before you can even begin to think about shipping.

I have to tell you, once we get all of the boxes assembled, kits packed and are waiting for shipping day, there is not a lot of room to maneuver around the office!! It is very satisfying to look around and see all of your hard work waiting to go out and make someone smile.

Well, that concludes our kit packing/shipping class. I hope that you all learned a ton, be prepared for a final exam sometime next week (JUST KIDDING)!!

I'm off now to work on my Father's Day card! I hope that all of you are planning on doing the same, so far I only have a few submitted for our little challenge.

Don't forget, the deadline is Saturday, June 14th at 5 pm EST.

June 11, 2008

Intro to Studio Calico

I've never blogged before so I was having a hard time figuring out how to accurately explain our office and how we do things. Finally, I decided to start at the beginning with introductions. So, this afternoon I loaded Natalee into my "Mommy Van" and away we went to the big thriving metropolis of downtown Bowling Green. I also grabbed my camera and recorded our journey.

Studio Calico is located on the second floor of a really cool old building downtown. It has these awesome windows that give off perfect light for taking pictures (when it is sunny of course). The picture below is the view from the top of the steps leading out to the street. Imagine how the UPS guy feels every month when he has to truck up and down these babies with his arms full of boxes. Scarlet and April are really good about helping him carry them out, I try to get out of it if at all possible! Natalee is a good excuse if she happens to be there with me that day.

This next one is a picture of our front door. I like that it looks like the front door on a house. It gives the office a "family" feel. I think of Greg, April, Scarlet, Cara and baby Carter as part of my extended family so it works for me.

Speaking of our Studio Calico family..... let me introduce you to everyone. Most of you already know Scarlet, but I thought that you might like to see her hard at work. I deeply regret that I don't have any pictures of Scarlet's kids, Noah & Nadiya, to share with you. They are completely adorable!! We get to see them at the office some in the afternoons. They are super with the little kids and get a big kick out of playing with them while we are all working.

If you been on the message boards at all, you'll also recognize Greg. Natalee thinks of him as "Her" Greg and monopolizes his time and attention whenever they are together. She loves it when we go to the office and he comes by to play. Here you will see them sitting at his computer. He did a little work this afternoon in between games of "trolley horse, trolley horse" on his knee. The table where he is set up is also the table that April and Scarlet use to plan kits. We've also been known to eat lunch there occasionally, but it is usually covered with kit stuff so we usually sit on the floor.

Now I am going to introduce Cara. She is our newest Studio Calico employee. She started helping me pack kits a couple of months ago because you all just got to be too much for me to handle all by myself. I can't give you an exact number, but let me just say that there are a lot more of you getting a brown package each month now than there were when I started packing kits back in September. Anyway, Cara is a stay at home Mom and works part-time for Studio Calico.

Now it's time for you to meet the most handsome boy around. His name is Carter and he is Cara's 9 month old son. He and Natalee are engaged to be married someday, he has a thing for older women! He has just recently started crawling and somehow found his way into a Bazzill box. It was a photo op that was too cute to pass up!

Carter and Natalee have a great time at the office. April and Scarlet have set aside a little alcove where we have set up a pack-n-play and lots of toys. I have to say that one of the greatest parts about my job is that I get to bring Natalee to work with me. Studio Calico puts family first and it is great to have an employer that understands that there are times when you just have to take a break to change a diaper or get in a quick snuggle.

I know that she needs no introduction, but I have to add another picture of my little Natbug in here too. She loves to hang out in front of the windows and watch the people and cars on the street below. She will stand there and look out and yabber on and on forever.

I don't have any pictures of myself....that's how it usually goes when you are the designated photographer. You guys all know me from the message boards so there is not much else to tell.
I'll go ahead and apologize now for not having any pictures of April. She was out of town today and I didn't think to get any pics of her last week when we were at the office together. I think that she will be back tomorrow afternoon, if so, I'll get some shots of her to add to tomorrow's post about how we pack the kits.

I hope that you have enjoyed this little field trip. Stay tuned for more info tomorrow night......