Scrappy Backgrounds

Last year, I decided I was on a mission to use up my scraps.  I have YET to realize this goal. :)  But I found a process I have really enjoyed, and wanted to share.  First, I was inspired by this article by Rockester.  (It’s an older article, and the pictures are missing, but you can get the idea by reading it.)  I liked the idea of monochromatic layouts–I typically struggle with these, but like the simple look of them.  Around the same time, some online scrappy friends were discussing The Perfect Collection concept by Shimelle Laine. Basically, it’s taking a collection pack and chopping it up into commonly used sizes, then creating backgrounds with the pieces.  Shimelle also used to do a series called Starting Points on her blog, where she would create a background, and challenge her readers to make a layout on top of that background design.

SO.  A big soup of ideas coalesced in my head, and this is what came out of it!  Scrappy Backgrounds. My goal was to only make backgrounds, a la Starting Points.  I was not going to be creating layouts from start to finish. I would keep these backgrounds for quick scrapping later on down the road.  This allowed me to use my scraps and be creative, without pressure to find the perfect photos RIGHT NOW.

First, I sorted my scraps by color family.

Then, I chopped up my scraps into commonly used pieces, a la The Perfect Collection. If I had specific ideas, I paired punches or other items with the trimmed scrap piles.

Then I put them together.  First as monochromatic, colorblocked layouts, a la Rockester.

And eventually, I began scraplifting looks I liked from Scrapbook Generation, or just ideas that popped into my head that I wanted to try out.  Again, all with scraps.

I have a whole range of colors, and while most of these ended up as one pagers, I made sure to do a couple of 2 page backgrounds, too.

In a later post, I’ll share how I go from one of these to a finished layout!  TFV!


Scrap My Stash Project #1

So, remember this decision? To scrap my stash down? Well, I started with my 6×6 pads.  I refuse to pay full price for these, so I have acquired most of these at Tuesday Morning or Big Lots for $2-3 apiece.  That number astounds me because of the sheer number of projects I can get out of these!  These are a good value, but really, I have no need to make the huge number of cards and layouts that they would require to actually make a dent in them, so I’m not convinced they were all a good purchase, even with being fairly cheap.

So, without further ado, here’s my process for using up a 6×6 pad!

1) Purge what I won’t use.

My typical process with a 6×6 pad is to bring it home and immediately flip through the pad and remove any sheets I know I won’t use.  I generally RAK these. So that’s one pass through I’d already completed, pulling out some paper nearly two years ago when I bought this.

2) Scrap a layout.

Next, I want to use each paper pad on at least one layout.  For this particular pad, I’d already used it on this layout. Excellent, I’ve got a head start!

3) Scrap a batch of cards.

Then, I aim for at least a dozen cards.  This is easily accomplished with templates like this one at Operation Write Home, which is what I used for this card set. 6×6 pads are really excellent for cards due to the size and small scale of patterns, so that’s why I shoot for a dozen. I added some coordinating cardstock, a stamp set that matched the style, and some type of fiber–in this case, jute.

4) RAK the remnants.

When I had finished the cards, I RAKed the remnants of the pad.  Yes, I still had plenty of paper! So that’s a total of 2 RAKs, 1+ layouts, and 12 cards for $2-3.  I think that’s okay! But I’m glad to have one less sitting in my stash.

Here are some card close-ups:

Very simple, just how I like ’em. ;)


Bridal Shower Cards–Simple, Subtle, Stunning

I love these die cuts, aren’t they amazing?  I wish I could tell you the name of them, but I received them as a RAK.  As soon as I saw them, I knew they’d be perfect for some upcoming wedding showers I had been invited to, and also knew they wouldn’t need much to make a pretty card.

I used Distress Inks (Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord) and a blending tool to created the gradient background.  Then I dripped, dropped, and splotched some Pearl Glimmer Mist all over it for a shimmery droplet effect to imitate a starry night sky.  Some crystal Stickles in the streetlights, a stamped “Best Wishes” on the inside, and done. :)




Scrapping my Stash

I had humble beginnings.  A shelf in our bedroom.  Which quickly grew to overtake half of our living room in our tiny one bedroom apartment.  Fast forward to a house, with an entire ROOM, which I had no problem filling.  When I had to condense down to half a room and share with the guest room, I actually found it liberating to purge my stash.  There were so many things I no longer loved or wanted, or had bought because they seemed necessary or an amazing deal…only to be clutter and trash, later.  So I gladly let things go, fit all my stash on my Expedit, and moved forward with that mindset.

That helped a lot when I downsized again, this time to three shelves in our kitchen pantry, as the guest room became my daughter’s bedroom.  I scrapped there for a year and a half, when I was suddenly granted a corner of our basement family room.

This corner should have been more than enough space.  And it is, or was.  But with the increase in space came a small increase in our cash flow, and thus a huge increase in my scrap stash. The thing with scrappy shopping is that it really doesn’t take much money to buy supplies.  There are always sales, coupons, discount retailers, buying secondhand, etc., and it is too easy, I think, to acquire a whopper of a stash. I am back to feeling overwhelmed by my supplies, not inspired, and all I seem to want to do now is shop and re-organize to fit it all, a vicious, unending cycle.  I want the feeling of productivity and creativity and inspiration to be flowing again in my hobby.

My first BANKIT haul from ScrapbookGeneration.com. Now I’d like to actually USE some of this yumminess, not just store it!

So, I am setting out to systematically work my way through my scrappy stash.  This is going to take years, probably, as I don’t get to scrap all that often, only in small chunks of time carved out from guilt and unending household chores.  But here I go, I WILL do this, I WILL tame my stash, curb my shopping impulses, and actually USE my supplies to create, which I know from past experience is the most empowering and joyful way to experience my hobby.

It all starts with an inventory!  Click here for a separate page where I will itemize my scrappy stash and link to posts where I share what I did with those items.  I’m excited to try this, and I hope it will inspire someone else, too!



Layout: Love You to the Moon

VexedAngel:  Love You to the Moon

For this layout, I used the Simple Stories Hello, Baby collection.  I bought the Simply Basics pack (love love LOVE that they do this, a pack of B sides, yes please!) and one cut apart sheet.  So for $7, I have the equivalent of a collection pack, as far as I’m concerned.  I can get several layouts and cards with the look of the collection, and not shell out the $20+ they want for their collection packs. I did add in a sheet of metallic gold heart vellum from  We R Memory Keepers, and of course, my go to white Bazzill cardstock for the foundation.


I stacked a lot of papers, and distressed the edges of every piece for a bit of a shabby chic feel.


I stamped and heat embossed (pale pink and metallic gold) a ton of tiny stars and hearts from Ali Edwards’ baby stamp set, and scattered bling amidst them, too.  Some Twinkling H20s along the edge and some jute and heart snaps tied it all together.



Layout: Who, Me?

Thanks for the heads up, Kay–hopefully this fixed it?

Hahaha! I found the other layout.  All the papers are Echo Park, and I just used the sticker sheet from the same collection, my punches, and some twine to dress up the layout a bit.

Cut my title block too big and had to get creative…  Probably should have just gotten rid of the frame…

TFL!  Love that I have captured both of these stories. Such cuties.


LO: Stinker Bella

I guess it was a play off of Tinker Bell, but it’s a name that has stuck.  I use it whenever Amy B is feeling particularly ornery or up to some toddler mischief, like in these photos.  It’s funny, because I have some pictures of Izzy at close to the same age, doing the EXACT same thing. :-)  Different couch, different level of the house, and a different box of tissues–but they tell the exact same story.  I’ll try to find it and post later this weekHere it is!

Here are some close-ups:

Fun layers of gold lame mist, a doily, a sunny flower, punched cork, flair, and bling.

A stamped BINGO card, dressed up Tim Holtz clip, and an ancient “Proverbs” strip, converted into a banner.

STILL trying to use up my alphabet stash… Slow going, I tell you! As a side note, punched cork shapes have very little structural integrity! They broke and crumbled if I had to shift them a little, so I ended up cutting some in half to replace one beyond saving, then had to do a lot of surgery on what was left so I had enough to create a visual triangle with the cork elements.