Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Within Reach Doctrine

The InspirationWe were watching the History Channel President series this week and I was reminded of the Monroe Doctrine. While the Within Reach Doctrine does not have such lofty ambitions—I have arbitrarily created it and I highly recommend adherence in the world of paper art. The benevolent dictator hath spoken…smile.

I finished the second layout for my wedding book on Saturday. Not that I’ve actually come near finishing the honeymoon album, but back to the topic at hand. Often, when I haven’t finished a theme album I conserve the scraps to use on subsequent pages. In end, I have a huge pile of scraps instead of the smaller ones after a two-page layout.

The best solution for a theme album is to create page elements for upcoming layouts. However, even that can backfire on me and while the scrap pile is smaller, the pile of pre-made elements that need to be put on cards or SOMEwhere is now too large.

The Doctrine
Hence The Within Reach Doctrine which reads as follows: Use the leftover supplies from the completion of a project along with any items within reach of your workspace to create something from the scraps. In other words, leave no scrap unturned.

The Doctrine in Action
The projects shown here are from my most recent adherence to the WR doctrine. The layout is called “dance” and features a professional 5” x 7” photo taken by Palm Beach Photography. I used a sketch to make designing easy and papers from multiple manufacturers including Club Scrap (background) DCV (prints from two different collections) and Marko Papers (the stone finish mauve). Other supplies include letter stamps by Tim Holtz, Ranger ink, Offray ribbon, Sakura ink pen, pastels, Spellbinders scalloped circle and doodles die cuts with the Wizard machine.

Once the page was finished, I created a 5.5” square card with same papers, a Tim Holtz stamp, and even a variation of the sketch. I scored the stone mauve card stock to make the top lift up and reveal a message underneath.

Now that I’m in full compliance with the WR Doctrine, I will be sending neutral inspectors commissioned by the United Paper Crafters to inspect your work area. Be on the look out….

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh my, oh my

I've waited too long and now I have too many different things to write about. I've been on a bit of digital kick lately so I'll start there. The layout above is not quite right, but I can't decide how to fix it. PLEASE, if you have suggestions let me know.

The papers on the layout are what's got me excited. I found a new resource for digital elements on a site called Marks paper company. Their digital and traditional papers all look like fabric and I love the texture. The kit I bought featured more florals with these papers and I added holiday elements and a quote from my favorite resource, Designer Digitals.

Marks Paper Company is looking for designers to join their team. The information is on the site. They look like a fun new company to me.

Speaking of digital scrapping (and beyond) I've joined a cool new art community called Jean's Art Dolls. It's a forum and gallery of about 200 members registered and I estimate about 30-40 active. I love this group because they are very friendly, supportive, and open minded. They really foster the daring and the different yet they embrace the traditional and the beginner too. You can join them by visiting

Jean invited me to be a part of their design team and I happily agreed. So far, I've taken more of a digital role since that area seemed to need some attention. This attention to digital has been the impetus for my new series of articles on digital paper crafting. You can follow along with me at

Alrighty, I think this sums up most of my topics of the moment. Hopefully in upcoming posts I'll touch on the What Works series, templates, sketches, and some other fun things running through my mind. Be kind to yourself--it makes you strong.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More calendar pin ups

The hybrid calendars were just so much fun. Hybrid Calendars -

The top photo is a page illustrating the reverse hybrid technique I'm coming to know and love. When you want to get more from your scrapping and crafting --scan and reuse designs on digitial projects.

I've been trying to add a slide show of all the interior pages and my competency has been stretched. If you click on the button "view all images" you can see the slide show on their site, but I can't seem to get it pretty here...I'll keep trying.

In the meantime I'm working on finishing ours which will be lumpy, bumpy, and glittered. I've had a tight budget lately, PLEASE hire me if you can--smile. However through the generosity of friends I cropped yesterday and got some of the newer Distress Stickles from Ranger. I can't wait to get them on our calendar and other projects.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Being (creatively) Kind to Yourself

Figuring it Out
One of my greatest “ah-ha” moments was when I accepted (and subsequently incorporated into my life) the phrase, “Being Kind to Yourself Makes You Strong.”
I was studying “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron at the time learning about creativity. The whole AW course was begun in response to my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I was feeling helpless, critical, and angry.

My first reaction to the being kind premise was that it sounded very selfish and self-indulgent. I had a vision of myself in fluffy high heel shoes and a lounging gown eating bon-bons. After all, I was heavily influenced by generations of hard-working, long sacrificing women who believed idle hands were the devil’s playground. Something wasn’t worth doing unless it was worth doing for the benefit of someone else.

Insert Light Bulb on Top of Head
What I finally grasped was that being kind to yourself doesn’t mean being selfish, it means nurturing yourself which ultimately benefits you and those around you. When you can give fully of yourself because you have been kind to your body and soul—everyone does benefit.

There are scads of ways to be kind to yourself. Simple, yet hard to achieve at times, activities such as exercising, taking in proper nutrients, resting, going for a walk, reading a meditation, and, of course, creating for creativity’s sake. Create something you will enjoy without regard for other’s opinions or tastes.

Doing projects like my art journal, pages of words and images created for myself, inspires me to create more traditional projects for others. Handmade gifts for the holidays are a staple in my life. They allow me to do more than I could if just buying things in the store.

When I create a gift for others though, I do give thought to the recipient’s tastes and d├ęcor since I want to communicate love in ways they understand. By allowing my self free reign in my journals and scrapbooks, I can better create for others as gifts.

Try a Project Just for Yourself

This year Sir Henry and I made handmade calendars for our generation and parents along with customized potato chip cans for nieces and nephews. I’ve created a web page with instructions and more photos of both projects:

Hybrid Calendars -
Digital Snack Can Covers -

We couldn’t show these projects before Christmas because we understand we have a few blog readers in the family (love you). So here are the projects now with the encouragement to creative souls to try them for YOURSELF and enjoy the freedom of no-restraint art to start your year off right.