Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sask Scraps review aka "The Adventures of Lynne Mizera"

What can I say about Sask Scraps? A fabulous time as always with people who ROCK the scrapbooking world! Here is the play by play:

Arrived on Friday to settle in and found myself at a table with Sue Sykes, Amanda LePage, Janet Weser, Barb Riley, Melissa Buhler and 2 other friends of Amanda's who I felt sorry for because they ended up at such a rowdy table! LOL Hope it wasn't too disruptive for you girls!

The only class I took was a 5 tag technique class by Vicki Boutin. I am in loooove with this 7Gypsies girl! She always does such amazing work and I will never turn down her classes. Several things I had never tried like spraying your inked stamp with water before stamping your image to achieve a watercolour look, flocking, foils and rub on glitter and spraying a paint dabber with water and using it to create paint splashes...SO fun! Well worth the price of admission and Vicki is such a wonderful, free spirited instructor. There are no wrong answers BUT she does give great step by step instructions on how to avoid BIG faux pas. Just a great class all the way around.

Before Sask Scraps I had been going back and forth a bit with Lynne Mizera. I have admired her work for a while...ever since I first saw her in Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine. Then I found out she was the mother of my fave online store owner Donna Houston! Small world! Then I am sitting in Vicki's class and every time Lynne's name was called for something I shouted "Lynne Mizera, WOO HOO!" Thinking that she would recognize me and we would have our much anticipated meeting {finally!}. Well this happened a couple times and she just kind of looked at me with a confused smile on her face like "Ok! Thanks for cheering for me! Why are you cheering for me? Have we met? Who are you? And why are you cheering for me?" I thought it was hilarious and would head over to her table later in the evening to introduce myself properly.

Then my name was called for a draw prize {7Gypsies goodness baby yeah!} and Lynne drops what she is doing, jumps up and yells out "Kate Kading?! WHERE?!" So then of course I waved and yelled "Lynne Mizera! WOO HOO!" And she finally figured out who I was and why a crazy lady was cheering for her. It was waaaay funnier in person because the look on her face was just priceless! So now I can say I met Lynne Mizera. And gifted her with a little Tim Holtz. Because isn't that what scrapbooking friends are supposed to do?

The rest of the weekend was wild and low key all at the same time. I was hopped up on a triple shot Starbucks all day Saturday, the amazing ScrapDonnas who wrote a song just for Sask Scraps won the table decorating contest and I got 20 8x8 layouts done for one of the albums to go to the children in the cancer ward this Christmas. Our table rocked the layout competition with me winning the journaling category {layout at the bottom of the post}, Melissa Buhler winning the photography category and Amanda LePage taking home the Best Overall prize! That was super exciting. Then the rest of Saturday we just scrapped and chatted and enjoyed the time together. I was planted firmly in my own little world and it was fantastic. Such a renewal of the creative spirit! Thanks for such a fun weekend girls. Let's do it again very soon! xox

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Evolution of a Scrapbooker

Back in August I had a fabulous weekend at the Bloomin' Inn in Alberta. It is this delightful retreat centre for scrapbookers and quilters and I really didn't know what to expect. Come back later in the week for my full review (it's a long one) but I wanted to post this one first because it is long overdue. When Sheryl and I were at the Inn we sat with these 2 crazy gals from Calgary who had quite the Cricut set up at their station. They shared everything; it was a frugal gal's dream. A pair of sisters who were churning out the layouts like you wouldn't believe. Kari and Janis were truly an inspiration to me. They were getting it done. Beautifully. But they took one look at the eclectic makings of my Starbucks book (a new one for a friend) and Sheryl's vintage record album book and the comments started flowing about them being "beginners". SO not true but nothing I could say would convince them. We had the whole talk about how everyone starts somewhere and it's the whole point of getting your family's memories on paper that is SO important. I felt like we really gelled over the weekend...getting to know each other, teaching each other things (we let them use whatever they wanted from our stashes and they taught me how to use the Cricut machine which I had never used before!) and generally just inspiring each other. And through this all I kept telling them that everyone...and I mean everyone...has a secret "first page" hidden away somewhere. Pick your fave "famous" scrapbooker...Trisha Ladouceur. Amanda LePage. Sue Sykes. Jill Hidebrandt. Leica Forrest. Vicki Boutin. They all started somewhere. So Kari and Janis challenged me to blog my first page. Put it all out there for everyone to see. Well, I will do you one better girls. This is the evolution of a scrapbooker. Kate style.

I started buying supplies before my wedding...probably early 2002 in the hopes of actually scrapbooking my wedding. It piled up and piled up in the spare room and then we had our first child in 2004. I still hadn't touched anything. When he was 10 months old I went to a Creative Memories party. Liked the concept but hated that I paid $15 for the class! I gathered up my courage and asked for my money back. Shannon (the consultant) said I could come to 3 of her weekly crop nights and if I still wasn't happy she would refund my money. Ok, you're on lady! So I started a book for my Hubs. A sort of "this is your life" and this is what the first page looked like. No help. Just me and my "fancy" scissors. *disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the horribly quick photography. I really didn't want to waste time fiddling with these photos.*
I was particularly proud of the little metal fish. Notice the absence of journalling...I always said I could do that later. Wow. Later is a loooong time. So then I started frequenting a little local scrapbooking store in Rosthern. Terrie started trying to get me to try new things. She patiently taught me each component of scrapbooking. Here is where I learned how to round corners.

Notice no title. No journalling. This page has literally been like this for almost 6 years. I will complete it one day. LOL Next I tried adding some ribbon to a page. This is from a 6x6 album I made for the Hubs for when he was away. It took me no less than 3 hours to complete this page. No kidding. It was also the first time using the die cut machine for the title and the little tag.

First time using chalk and buttons. This page took me a whole session which was usually from 7pm to well after 10pm. I can't imagine wasting that kind of time on a 6x6 layout now. Wow! It was SO outside of my comfort zone to use different fonts on the title like that. I was really uncomfortable with it then but think nothing of it now.
Then colour blocking...I remember being really happy with how this turned out. Again, it took me over 3 hours to complete this 6x6 page and now it looks so simple and easy but at the time it was a huge jump for me. I enjoyed colour blocking. It was clean and uniform. And those words describe my early tastes perfectly.
So after the colour blocking I got a little braver and took a couple different classes Terrie had to offer and started reading Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine which led me to try something completely new. Doodling. So with my new colour blocking skills I tried this page in my wedding album. This page also embraced the belief that not all pictures have to be perfect to tell a story.
And then I completely threw caution to the wind (you rebel you) and put some colour in to my wedding album. {Gasp!} My wedding colours were black, white and silver. So I thought I was being so clever by only having those colours in my album. Do you know how hard it was to find nice stuff in those colours 6 years ago? Ugh. So armed with my new love for doodling I did this page. *The name has been blurred to protect the innocent LOL*
This was also when I fell in love with Heidi Swapp flowers. I still have a thing for flowers but I would like to think my taste has matured over time. LOL
I saw something in a magazine about hidden journalling so I thought I would try that out too. This is why a new scrapbooker should never start with a baby or wedding album. Oh look...this is where she learned embossing. And here is where she learned about brads. Sigh. It's a road map of my classes...and mistakes. But I will never change this book. I may do a new one later in life but I will never change this one. I also tried out a stapler for the first time on this page.
This was the first layout I actually felt proud of. They are great candid shots of me showing the girls my garters (first time wearing them) and little did I know that my photographer was so quick on the shutter. To this day they are still the most requested reprints of all 9 rolls of wedding photos. Go figure! Oh the bling. This page started a love affair with rhinestones that will never die.

What are we up to? Ah, the Spring Fling at Just Scrap It! My first ever scrapbooking event where I hauled everything I owned to the crop and ended up buying everything I used because I couldn't find anything in my tote. LOL

I saw this layout hanging in the store. I couldn't even tell you who did it...I just literally took it right off the wall and told Ralna I wanted everything on the page. It was a little pricey...but it was my first "Scrap lift" and was worth every penny. I felt a real turning point in my confidence.
I could post a hundred other pages. Half pages really. I have come a long way in my outlook on what is important and what is not in my scrapbooking. I don't like my handwriting but I value the meaning of it now. I still make pages I am not overly fond of but I never change them. There are no mistakes, I just move on. I feel proud of myself that I have come from that first "Gone Fishing" page to this most recent layout I took 3rd place at Camp Croppin' with this year:

From fancy scissors to handmade grunge board roses (thanks Sheryl). The evolution of a scrapbooker. What is your evolution? I challenge you to post or blog your first pages. What has shaped you into the scrapbooker you are today? Leave a comment here so I can check it out!
So there you go Kari and Janis. Hope it was everything you expected. Stickers, shapes, etc. We've all done it. It's where we go from here that matters! And no matter the experience level of a scrapbooker...we are all artists with valuable things to teach each other. Hope to see you in Calgary at Camp Croppin' in the Spring and Sask Scraps in Saskatoon next Fall! xox