Feb 21, 2015


This week I was inspired by THIS VIDEO from Amy Tangerine - about adding creative touches to a planner.
Let me briefly share a bit about my planner journey.  I am new to planners and the planner community.  I absolutely love the beauty and functionality combination that the planner provides.  I struggled though with the idea of having the plan ahead and record everything....I'm not that type of person when it comes to everyday activities.  Besides a full monthly calendar view to mark appointments on, I really don't plan much else.  I do make a lot of lists.  And I do keep track of things for work.  So I really was trying to see
how I can make a planner work for me.  I almost splurged on planner stamps, of course - but I resisted.  I felt I could just draw some of the small icons and I wouldn't use all that came in most of the sets.  Anyway, I made up my own planner since I couldn't justify the cost of the filofax or the kate spade planners.  Plus, I'm a newbie and just getting into it.  I didn't even know what things I would write in my planner.  
So I had my planner (a binder from Staples) and I am tracking when I exercise, walk, and when I do my field service.  I had the monthly calendar in there which I still put appointments and events, but that was it.  I tried using the daily spreads to write what I ate or cooked, or how much money I spent on food - but I couldn't keep up with it on a daily basis.  Plus, when I missed writing it...I felt - does it really matter?  Why do I need to write this down?  So I stopped. 
I then started to keep track of the sleeping of Nathan, since we were trying the Ferber method to try to sleep train him.  I wanted to see if he improved and document it for his baby album.  So I started to doodle and play with the font of my writing as I was just writing the date and when he slept and how long he slept.  I found this simple act of doodles and making the text look pretty, made it more enjoyable for me to look at and fun to document.  
Then I came across Amy Tangerine's video, linked above.  Her video was simple but the few words she said struck me. "Record events and things I've done", "Fun creative play for me...I can try new techniques, use my supplies", "make my days prettier, recording memories in one place...I can add stamping, watercoloring, doodles, and color".
This struck me because that was my struggle with planners.  Decorating the days in advance didn't make sense to me - and things change.  I like the idea of documenting the days after it happened.  This is like scrapbooking, right?!  Document life.  And a planner lends itself to Project Life too - since you have a document of your days.  Plus it seems easier to decorate when you know what happened, you can customize it to the event or activity.  Additionally, I totally agreed with her when she said it's fun creative play - and being able to use techniques rather than typing or using an electronic device.  I was struggling with trying to make 'pretty' notes on my ipad.  I wanted to go paperless and have been for my work for over 2 years now.  But I did feel that prettiness itch.  I constantly doodle and change the color of my pens...just because.  I like color and patterns and texture in almost anything I write on.  So now I see this idea of a planner could be not so much to plan my days, but a creative space to have fun with techniques as Amy demonstrated and to document the days activities after they had happened.  

Feeling this need to have a creative space and really almost anything involving paper to play with color and techniques makes me finally come to the realization that I AM A CREATIVE PERSON.  I never would have said that before, but I see it now.  I almost always have to customize or create something.  I see a blank space and feel like I want to add something to it. I do have creative blocks when sometimes I don't feel 'in the mood' but I can feel the difference and during that period, I'm not me.  My 'normal' is to be in that creative mode.  I have now creative outlets around me and available to me that give me the chance to be creative everyday.  Make something pretty everyday.  And this makes me happy.  Not only the process of making it pretty, but even just looking at what I've done makes me proud and feel good.  I want to share what I've done.  I want to encourage others to tap into their creativity and find an outlet.  And if it can be something as simple as writing what you did that day or the day before, why not?!  I haven't had the time to scrapbook or make cards as I used to since baby Nathan.  So finding these new outlets that are in 'smaller doses' is something I am grateful for.  I feel a bit more like myself.  I don't feel like I'm missing anything.  I get to use my supplies, try new techniques, and still reflect on the days of my life that brings joy.  Oh what fun.
Are you a creative person? 

Feb 17, 2015

video | 2015 Scrapbook Expo Tips - have fun and stay in budget!


The scrapbook expo is coming to town and most likely to a town near you too! Click the link above to get the dates and locations of the expo for this year.
I've been going to this expo almost every year for the last 12+ years.  I've been pressed for time and had a crafting budget each time I've gone.  I'd like to share with you a few tips from my experience to help you have an enjoyable experience, stay within budget, get supplies that you will actually use, and did I say stay within your budget? Check out my video below.  The tips I mentioned are listed out here in my post.  I hope this is helpful for you, especially if this may be your first time visiting the expo.  Please let me know if you go to the expo and how much you enjoyed it.  I'd love to read your comments about it.

 CLICK HERE to see my original post on what to expect at the expo as well as my original tips from 2012.  The tips I shared in today's post is more up to date with the 2015 Expo in mind.

TIP #1: Shop around online before the expo to get an idea of prices.  See what is the 'normal' cost of paper, stickers, stamps, etc.  That way when you're at the expo you'll know more for sure what is a good deal and what may not be a good deal.  Also, if it's available online for a cheaper price - you'll know so you don't buy it at the expo. Here are a few online stores to check out.

TIP #2: Look for coupons. You have to sign up for the expo newsletter on the scrapbook expo website in order to get coupons.  They will email you with the coupons before the expo, so be sure to check your inbox before you leave.  Read the entire coupon since there are usually limitations or certain amount you have to spend before the coupon could be redeemed.  The website also will list nearby craft stores that may have a discount coupon for admission.  Michael's also carry these.  Call ahead of time to see if they have any before you make the trip.

TIP #3: Wear comfortable shoes and comfortable clothing.  A light jacket if necessary - one that is light and can fit in your bag so you don't have to carry it.  You will be bending down to look at things and possibly squeezing between people.  You don't want to have any wardrobe malfunctions or mishaps.  Be sure you're comfortable to shop and have your hands free not holding your jacket.  You will get hot, especially if your expo is during the summer. 

TIP #4: Bring water and snacks.  There are booths with snacks there, but why spend your money on food when you can buy more paper?!  Bring your own snacks and drink so you can continue to shop comfortably and not have to use your time getting food.

TIP #5: Bring a backpack or a large fabric shopping bag that fits 12x12 papers.  It is much more enjoyable to shop with your hands free. Purses tend to fall off your shoulder or hit people or products hanging in the booth. Try to downsize your purse to be just your wallet and snacks.  You can use the fabric bag to put your purchases in without having to have a bunch of plastic bags in your hands.  If you plan on buying 12x12 paper, be sure your bag can fit it without bending your paper.  

TIP #6:  Bring cash - small bills.  Most booths accept credit and debit cards but there are fees if your purchase is less that $10 or $15 dollars.  Most scrapping products, like paper and buttons and such are less than $1.  So having cash is nice for those small purchases.  Plus you avoid the fees.  Also, some booths have a separate register just for cash and you can get out of there much faster since most people do not bring cash.  Cash can help you stay in your budget too.

TIP #7: Make a shopping list with your budget on it.  I'll explain how to create this list so you don't get overwhelmed and hopefully don't buy things on impulse because it's pretty.  You'll see so many cute things but you can't possibly buy it all.  So have this list ready with your reminder of budget to help you control the "cute impulse shopping".  Scroll down to see my suggestions for making a shopping list.

TIP #8:  If possible, try not to bring small children.  There is not much space for strollers and there are a bunch of small products hanging or on tables that could be easily knocked over by little hands.  I think you will enjoy your experience more without the little ones. Plus standing watching a demonstration with a little one is definitely a challenge.  Find yourself a sitter and see if you can pay with some cute paper.  =) 

TIP #9:  Rolling shopping carts are not allowed - only for the classes.  There is a baggage check available, if you happen to buy something heavy or if your bags are becoming a burden to carry.  Use this baggage check if you need to.  

Shopping list tips:
These are tips and suggestions based on my own personal experiences.  You are free to ignore me if you choose.
A shopping list helps you to do a few things:
  •  manage your spending
  •  keep your focus so you're not overwhelmed
  •  helps you get products you will use not stash or hoard
When making your list, think of the projects you are currently working on or will be working on in the next few months.  If you are going to scrapbook a vacation or an event - jot that down.  If you can, browse through your stash and see what you already have - so you can possibly be more specific on what you 'need' for that particular project and hopefully not overwhelm yourself when you get back home with too much of a particular themed product.

Example:  I'm scrapbooking my vacation to Hawaii.  I have lots of Hawaiian or tropical papers, but no embellishments.  So on my list I will put "tropical/Hawaiian embellishments".
This will prevent me from buying paper that I may not ever use or end up in my 'stash' that gets stuck there until our next vacation.

Another tip is to think about the items you may have said to yourself that "I'll need to get more of that", or "I just used the last of that".  Replenish your stash of products you frequently use or have used up.  These items that you 'need more of' are definitely worth price checking online first - so you can look for deals at the expo or know to wait to order online instead.

If you've been browsing the web and saw particular products like stamps sets, paper pads, stickers, etc.  Jot down the brand name and product name, and if you can, jot down the price.  That way you get to compare prices and remember the items you had on your online wish list and don't regret not getting it at the expo.  Plus, you save on shipping by getting them at the expo. REMINDER: some new collections will not be available for retail sales at the time of the expo.  Don't be disappointed if the newest collections are not there.

If you have a budget, write that down on the top of your list.  If you feel the urge to splurge on something, you can see if you got most items on your list or not...and how much you have spent already.  Then you can make a better decision if you are to splurge or not.

Of course, you can deviate from your list once you get there.  But at least you have a guide of sorts and a reminder of what you 'need' vs what you may want - and you are reminded of your budget. This year, budget is especially important for me to stay within, so I will be extra picky on what I buy.  But using these tips especially with my shopping list, has allowed me to leave the expo without spending more that $30-$40.  Now that's truly something for us scrapbookers, right?!

Leave me a comment on your experience at the expo this year and any tips that you have from your own experiences.  I hope I was able to help you stay in budget and have a fun shopping experience at the expo.  Happy shopping! 

Feb 8, 2015

One Layer Card Video | Stencils, Embossing, and Glitter

It seems like forever since I've made a card video, but I do have some on my camera, just waiting to be edited.  Here is my first card for 2015 when I was finally able to break out some new goodies I got from my last order from Stampin' Up!
It was so easy and quick to put this card together.  I hope I inspire you to make a one layer card and break out your stencils or embossing powders.

Thanks for watching and stopping by.

Feb 1, 2015

I {heart} watercoloring

My new favorite technique is watercoloring.  I've tried alcohol markers, but the colors are too intense and it takes so much time and effort to color an image.  Plus the investment it takes for these markers - its just too much.
With my last video on watercoloring stamped images using reinkers, it got me to appreciate more that I like the soft look of watercolors.  It helps too that it is easy and cheap to achieve a nice look.  So I just went to Michaels and saw this set for $5!  With a 40% coupon, it came out to be about $3 for this nice pallet of colors.  
I broke out a brush and started using these right away on a scrapbook layout.  It was simple and turned out good.  I think I will need to next get some nicer brushes that are better quality, to get a better outcome.  I know I will be using these a lot more.  Plus I see the inspiration from Amy Tangerine who seems to use watercoloring to write phrases and quotes.  I like the look and I think I have nice cursive writing which may look nice with watercolors.  
With my new adventures in scrapbooking, project life, planners, and cardmaking - I have many different avenues to practice and incorporate watercolors.  Fun!  I'm looking forward to it.  I will be leaving this pallet out on my desk as a reminder to use them but also as inspiration.  Isn't it just pretty to look at?!
Here's the scrapbook layout I made using these for the first time.  I used some blue for the background at the top and bottom, and for the years 2012 and 2013, it was painted on.  This layout was my first attempt of a mixed media look.  I used Distress ink, stamps, and mists for the background.  It was hard for me to not cover up the background I made.  I think this is a layout that used the least amount of paper - ever!  I like the way it turned out.  Definitely different for me.  
Thanks for stopping by.  More projects with watercolor I'm sure will be coming!

Jan 1, 2015

Water color stamps with reinkers | Video Tutorial

I have been trying to use up some products that I have in my stash and I came across my small collection of reinkers.  Reinkers have more uses than simply reinking an ink pad.  One of these uses is to use them to watercolor and this is what I was playing with in this video below. I show different ways to use a palette of reinker colors to use with your stamps in different ways.  The cool thing is you only need a drop or two and they will last for multiple stamped images and techniques.  I hope you are inspired to give reinkers a try.  If you have some already in your stash - break them out and try to watercolor with them.  It is fun and easy.  Thanks for stopping by.

Dec 7, 2014

Lawn Fawn Challenge with Video

It feels like forever since I've participated in a challenge.  I saw this challenge on the Lawnscaping Blog, and thought it was a good challenge since I've really never made a white on white monochrome card before.  Plus, I had my newer Lawn Fawn set that I've only used once - so I was happy to have the opportunity to use it again.  So here is the card I made along with the video below.  I did not do a voice over due to the ease of the card design.I really like the small pop of color I was able to incorporate by simply using colored pencils. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my card design and the video below. 
Supplies: Fog Ink - Simon Says Stamp; Feathered Friend Stamp - Lawn Fawn; Colored Pencils; 2 Way Glue Pen - Stampin' Up; Clear Glitter - Stampin' Up; Rhinestones - Stampin' Up; Stitched rectangle die - Simon Says Stamp

Nov 28, 2014

Scrapbook Video | Using stamps, stickers, and PL elements

It feels good to get back into scrapbooking again. I was able to use some paper from my stash, as well as some newer elements to make this layout. 
Since my husband is a DJ and we all love music, we wanted to incorporate music as a theme for our baby boy's room.  I plan on hanging this layout in his room, so the cassette tape background paper was perfect and it's been in my stash for years, so I was very happy to use it.
Check out my video below to see tthis page come together. 
Thanks for stopping by and happy scrapping!

Nov 22, 2014

Stamp and Sequin GIVEAWAY!

I'm so grateful that I have reached 400 subscribers on my You Tube channel.  All of your support means a lot to me and helps keep me motivated to keep on making videos for you to learn from, get inspired, and enjoy watching.  
To enter, simply subscribe to my You Tube channel: madebyejp
and leave a comment on the video.  (US residents only please)  One winner will randomly be selected.  
If I reach 450 subscribers, I will have another giveaway.  Watch the video below to see the goodies up for grabs.  Remember, to click Subscribe!  Thanks for your support!

Nov 20, 2014

Scrapbooking Haul | getting back to scrapping - Video

It has definitely been a complete overhaul of my crafting mojo once my little one made his appearance.  I was trying Project Life for the first time to document my pregnancy and during the summer we had a few weddings and other events that warranted card making.  Not to mention the many new stamping products that were released during the summer months.  All these changes contributed to the stall in my scrapbooking mojo. With Two Peas In a Bucket's closure, there was only two other scrapbooking You Tube channels I had subscribed to and not many videos were being uploaded.  Needless to say, this influenced my inspiration to be more stamp and card making focused. I found myself purchasing and using stamps more than paper!

You Tube truly has played a huge role in my inspiration, since I don't watch TV (only sports with my hubby), and I watch videos as I am stamping or scrapping.  I noticed that I had not made a layout in quite some time and my baby is already 3 1/2 months old and I haven't gotten his album started - yikes!!  This was my wake up call.  I realized though that I felt out of the loop in regards to the latest styles, trends, and products related to scrapbooking.  I truly relied on Two Peas weekly videos to share new products and pages to inspire me.  So I did a search on You Tube for scrapbooking channels.  I came across a few suggested channels and started to watch.  And of course, once you watch one, more suggested channels appear.  So I found 4 new channels and I've been watching their videos now for this last week - I am inspired!  Thank you ladies for your frequent uploads and great layouts!  

I was moved to look through my supplies to remind myself what products I had.  I cut down my papers that I've had for 3-5 years and made them into 6x6 so I can more readily use them for either cardmaking or scrapbooking.  This helped me organize my stash and really see what papers I had that were inspiring to use with my current 'style' and needs for upcoming layouts.  I then headed over to Joann's since they had a huge sale on pretty much the entire scrapbooking section.  I controlled myself and got some products that caught my eye and I really feel I would use in the near future.  I am really frugal and believe not to buy just because I like it, but because I will use it.  Especially since my crafting space is much smaller - I have to be selective and cannot have a huge inventory.  

With these new products and new videos I am happy to feel the mojo coming back.  I will be creating more layouts with process videos to share with you.  I hope you will enjoy them.  For now, check out my haul video below.  Thanks!

Nov 13, 2014

Scrapbook Layout | Stash Diving | Video Tutorial

Hello friends.  Boy, it has definitely been a while since I did a full 12x12 scrapbook layout!  Just part of the after math of having a baby.  I got inspiration from You Tube by watching some old channels that I had subscribed to that had scrapbooking videos on them, and I found a couple new ones too.  Watching these videos truly got my juices flowing and built up my desire to scrapbook again!
So finally I'm able to put in an album some of my vacation photos from our trip to Hawaii in 2012.  Yes, it's been almost 2 years!  Thank goodness I had these pictures printed and ready to be 'scrapped'.  The pictures I used are from Instagram and I used www.Kanvess.com to print them out.  At 25 cents each, I felt it wasn't a bad deal.  The pictures are all square and have a white border around them, which I like.
I hope you like the layout and the video.  I was so glad to use some small pieces of cardstock and designer paper scraps, as well as some older products like my rub ons and old stickers!  

I currently have 391 You Tube subscribers.  If I hit 400 I will have a giveaway of some Heidi Swapp mini stamp sets.  So if you haven't subscribed yet, please do!  Thank you for your support.