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Can’t find it? Make it!

As I’ve said before, I have  a paper problem. And, yes, admitting it is the first step. I think the next is doing something about it. For me, that clearly means buying more paper. I know, I know – I’m supposed to be trying to kick the habit, but how can you resist a good paper sale??

I went into Michael’s the other day with the intention of NOT buying any paper, even though it was 5/$1. The reason? All of those clear paper storage packages that I bought are almost completely stuffed. So, ok, I won’t buy the 8 1/2″ x 11 or 12×12 sheets. I managed to bypass the paper aisle and move to the card aisle. Since a lot of what I am going to work on for the craft fair are cards, I decided that was a safer place for me to be rather than the paper aisle. (Boy was I wrong!! They were having a clearance sale on a TON of things in that aisle and I ended up buying puzzles, cards and envelopes and even bookmarks at an amazing price. Now just to find the time to work on these things!!)

But back to my original point – with all the paper I have, sometimes I still don’t have exactly what I am looking for. It could be that there are no patterns that match the look I am trying to achieve or the color just isn’t the right shade that I need. This happened to me when I was creating a layout for my goddaughter’s album. I saw a sketch of a page layout that I liked and decided that this page would be the perfect one for me to try it out on. The page only had one picture and I wanted something really cool for the background.

I started off by choosing the background paper – a white page with two different color blue designs. The I looked through my (overstuffed) blue paper pack and chose three colors that I thought would coordinate well with it. I picked two solids and one pattern. I cut the three sheets into 6×6 squares and placed them on the page. The two solid pages looked too plain next to the polka dot one, so I decided to alter them.

As hard as I tried to find three patterned papers that would go together, I couldn’t seem to find any that I thought would look good with the background. I have a hard time with this – especially when I see the papers that others choose when they start their project. I often think – how do those patterns go together??? So, instead of trying to match patterns and color, I matched the colors and then decided to create my own patterns.

For the first sheet, I used a swirl stencil. I haven’t used stencils much in the past, so I thought this would be a good time to try. If it didn’t come out good, I had three more shots with the rest of the 12×12 paper! HA. Since the background features two different color blues, I chose the two blue distress inks I have – faded jeans and broken china. At one end I started with one color and worked my way about halfway down. Then I started at the other end with the other color. Once everything but the middle was done, I took my blending tool and dipped one end in one color and the other in the remaining color and just started blending. I removed the stencil and I had such a cool design!

The second sheet was a different story. I have seen people use Perfect Pearls mist and stencils so I thought I’d try that. Yeah – that didn’t turn out too good. Instead, I ended up removing the stencils and using my fingers to spread the spray mist around. Then, before it was dry, I just placed the one flower stencil on top of the paper. It turned out even better than I expected! I got a shiny piece of blue card stock that has a subtle hint of a flower pattern. (The picture doesn’t do the paper justice – it’s much cooler in person!)

When all else fails and you can’t find the right paper for your layout, make it! Whether its using markers, paint, distress inks, stencils or stamps, you can easily make whatever you need to go along with the project. Making background or accent papers gives the project a real homemade feel.

Here are some pictures of what the papers I made look like:

The first two are the original 6×6 pieces of paper:

starting piecestarting

Paper with the swirl stencil onto of it:

with stencil on top

The finished paper:

finished

Tim Holtz Distress Ink Colors:

inks

The stencils I tried to use – ended up only using the one on top

stencils

The paper

final

You can see the flowers a little better in this one:

end result

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment or question.

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Hobby Lobby

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I’ve heard about this mythical place on plenty of YouTube videos and seen people list it as their go to place for supplies. For us “Northerners”, it wasn’t an option. Until recently! Hobby Lobby opened in Millville. Strange location for the store to open – at least in my opinion. But, its 3% sales tax, so who am I to complain? : )

If you’ve never been to a Hobby Lobby, I suggest you get in your car and drive to one. It’s like AC Moore, Michael’s, Home Goods and the party store all rolled into one. (And I only had a chance to see half of the store, as I was on my “lunch break” from work). I walked in and was immediately overwhelmed because I didn’t know where to look first. The store is bright and clean and full of stuff. I finally reached the scrapbook section and was like, this is it? There was a tiny free-standing display with some Cricut products on it and then three or four aisles of stamps, stickers and embossing folders. Where were all the papers and albums?

Then I turned the corner. There were at least three aisles of open stock paper, plus a couple more aisles of paper packs. There was an entire aisle dedicated to photo albums – both sides of it!! I have never seen so many scrapbooking supplies. It was crazy!

My favorite aisle was the stamp aisle. Their selection of wooden stamps is amazing. They have them divided by category and they are in wooden shelves. Most of them I haven’t seen at AC Moore or Michaels. There were a lot of saying and beautiful images. I bought about ten and there are plenty more that I would like to get. There were some really cute Christmas mouse ones that would be perfect on Christmas cards for this year!

However, I was disappointed with their selection of clear stamps. They didn’t seem to have many and the ones they did have weren’t very impressive. Maybe they have more somewhere else, but in the stamp aisle it was sparse. Since the wooden stamps were so plentiful, I would have assumed the same for the clear ones.

The other thing that was disappointing is that they don’t take AC Moore or Michael’s coupons. If you don’t already know, you can use Michael’s coupons at AC Moore and vice versa. They do have their own coupons, but so far all I’ve seen is 40% off ones and the other two offer 50% ones. (Or lately, AC Moore has been offering 50% off and I’ve been using it at both retailers).

One suggestion when you are shopping at Hobby Lobby – take notice of all signs / prices. They don’t have scanners, so the cashiers have to know what is on sale. The store had signs up for last week’s sale (and I didn’t check the dates on them!) The cashier didn’t see the products on sale in their flyer, so he had to call. They did honor what the sign(s) said, as someone missed about five of them!

Overall, I really enjoyed my shopping experience at Hobby Lobby. I know I have a lot more that I want to buy there – there is so much to look at and choose from. If you are a scrapbook enthusiast, I highly recommend a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby.

Thanks for stopping by!

I think I have a paper problem!

7/$1.00. $.20 for paper that was $1.99. Who can pass up great deals like that? Obviously not me! I spent plenty of time and money at AC Moore and Michael’s this past week and weekend and now I need to find a place to store all of my good deals.

I bought another 10 pack of clear paper protectors so that I could start to organize my papers. This time, I decided to make more categories since I am working on some projects for my Etsy site. I added holiday, birthday, babies and other similar categories. Once all of that was done (it took several hours!), I tried to put it all away. I bought a second blue basket with a lid since the first one filled up so fast. Until today, it held the rest of my packs of paper. There was no room for all the paper I had organized so I had to take them out. I need to find somewhere to put them because right now, they are sitting on my desk taking up room.

Here is what it looked like after I organized:

These are just some of the paper packs that are displaced due to my paper shopping spree!

If anyone has any suggestions on how to store the packs of paper I have sitting on my desk, feel free to leave me a comment. I’m always looking for organizational tips. Thanks for stopping by!