Monday, September 25, 2017

Scribbles From My Scrap Studio – September 2017


Memorabilia – big word, big challenge.

It was the Project Life craze that started me on saving a much greater amount of “stuff” than I did previously.  I came from a family of six children, so by necessity, my Mom didn’t save every piece of our school artwork.  In fact, with many kids and a tight budget, she could not always purchase the annual school photos.  From my school days, I only have my grade school prayer book, three school photos (kindergarten, sixth grade, high school senior), and a single report card.


With only 2 children of my own, and scrapbooking as my “excuse” to hold onto stuff, I ended up with boxes of memorabilia stacked up in closets – and a few too many boxes to fit inside the closet as you see here.  It has been my dread of sorting through and narrowing them down, rather than sentimentality, that perpetuated my hoarding. This summer I have started tackling it, pared the volume down by 50%, and hope to do an additional 25%.  Let me share notes from the process – not just for school mementos but other things as well.

  • First of all, DO save all school portraits and all baby/toddler studio photo shoots too – both in the large size and a wallet or two (but no more).  I have an album for each of my kids containing these “official” portrait layouts.  The wallets would make a nice keepsake album for a grandparent and would cut down on their clutter.  Sure, you’ve sent them those photos over the years;  but if they aren’t putting them in photo albums of their own, how much nicer would  small albums covering long time spans be instead. I know because I have gotten many loose photos back in the past two years when the older generation had to downsize.

  • Look for ways that your children might have similar items.  If they went to the same schools with some of the same teachers, they may have had the same assignments.  Here are two of my children's art assignments based on the Fibonacci match sequence.  I like having layouts for their artwork, more so because they both did this.


  • There are many ways in which my kids are different, so I picked a sampling of my children's other assignments – that showcase a particular talent – like whiz test papers in math, or poems they wrote.  Something showing their printing as well as their cursive handwriting. Papers are especially nice when the teacher has written more than the ubiquitous “good work” comment.  That is also the rule I apply to report cards, pick 1 or 2 that are especially nice in performance or commentary and forgo the rest.

  • For oversized artwork and science project display boards, just take photographs of them.



    In one case where my son won the school science fair competition there is a layout with other photos.  Otherwise, all school stuff, not on layouts or pocket pages in their albums, have been limited to 12 x 12 large pocket project life protectors, one each for grade school and high school/college. Here is a shot before they’ve been through a final purge.

  • Moving on – what about vacation travels.  It is easy to “stuff” your purse or tote, transfer to your suitcase, haul home and toss into a box, much too much stuff.  When I eventually scrap trip photos, time and again I found that most of what I accumulated no longer held my interest.  Guide books, attraction brochures and those slick tourist magazines highlighting what is available at that vacation spot often end up in the round file or recycle pile.  The notion I would cut items out for my pages, rarely happened.  Maps, unless I am planning on going back relatively soon, or a handy mini map in a brochure, are no longer saved.  If I plan on a return trip, it will be worth getting an updated map.  Sometimes it is fun to lay all the memorabilia out, snap a photo of it, and happily toss the entire space-sucking lot. In fact, my approach to everyday memorabilia increasingly is to take a photo of it, preferably while someone is holding, wearing or otherwise using it.

  • When I have gotten behind on scrapping vacation spots we visited more than once, I purposely scrapped one trip right after another.  That way it is easy to include a few items for each trip, have more interesting variety or even repeat similar items from different trips for a sense of continuity.

  • One major exception to my new memorabilia frugality:  I am an avid fan of postcards or notecards.  Yes, I took a photo of that famous building, but it would no doubt, have lots of random unrelated people obscuring part of the view.  So I will buy a postcard or two, and include them in the scrapbook.  Here are two examples:  in the first I have actually attached the postcards to layout, as the information on the back was not important to me (photo corners decorative, not functional).


    On the second example, I originally thought I would frame these oversized postcards, so I have used photo corners that allow me to withdraw the postcards later if I prefer.  Now you are thinking: really S?  How likely is that, S?


Quite likely, actually!  In fact, here are some framed mini notecards of Rachel’s Garden at the Hermitage – one of many historic mansions that hubby and I enjoyed visiting.  This has been hanging in my home for years.

I hope you found a tidbit of info here that will inspire you to deal with your memorabilia. Let me end with this

Two last pieces of advice:  do it sooner rather than later, and if your kids are young, develop a plan now!

Monday, September 18, 2017

September Challenge #2: Lessons Learnt or Learned

Taking our inspiration from the 'School House' Washi included in the Lost River Scrapbook Kit - and, of course - from the start of a new term, create a layout which documents a lesson learnt/learned.

Your lesson may have been learnt at school, or the university of life, or from nature (we are celebrating the outdoors, after all!) Whatever the source of the wisdom, remember to share it with us!

Shall we see what wisdom our Guest Designer, Jess-Claire and Master Forger, Susan, have to share?

Jess-Claire says "This is my favourite layout this month.  I printed my photos in a grid and added large black alphas to the photo itself.  I added a layer of tissue paper (my fave!) behind my photos and minimal embellishments. Well minimal for me. I added some sequins and I decided to type my journaling just because it made it easier to get my thoughts down without taking up too much room."

You can see Jess-Claire's Process Video on her YouTube Channel here:

Susan made a traveler's notebook to impart some life lessons.

You can get the details and see more pages on her blog here.

As always, we would love to see your take on this month's kit and anything that you make using it, so make sure to include them in our Monthly Link Up.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September Challenge #1: Love This Place

The cards in the Lost River Documenter Kit make some fabulous 'starters' for journalling prompts or for use as titles. For example, Our Stories Matter; Let's Go Outside; Weekday Ventures; I Can't Go Because I Don't Want To; Go See Do; Let The Adventure Begin - and that's only a few of them!

For this challenge, choose any one of the cards as inspiration - and create a layout, card, or ... well, anything, using one of the phrases as a prompt for your storytelling.

Let's see what the Master Forgers Julene and Leslie, and our Guest Designer, Jess Claire, have created.

Leslie got a double inspiration from the cards as explained on her blog post.


Jess-Claire said "I went for the challenge title as my sentiment for this one and used gold alphas to form the words around my two photos. I used a label and word stickers to represent journaling on the page and also used the tag for some hidden journalling too."
 You can see Jess-Claire's Process Video on her YouTube Channel:

And Julene's layout - find it on her blog here - took travel inspiration from the journalling card featuring "Love this place".

As always, we would love to see your take on this month's kit and anything that you make using it, so make sure to include them in our Monthly Link Up.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September Mini Kit Reveal

Love this month's inspiration kit, but not entirely sure if you can play along this month?
  • Maybe you're not sure if you have the time and energy to play along? 
  • Maybe you feel like you haven't got quite enough stash to make a full kit? 
  • Or maybe you're still working with the remnants of last month's inspiration kit and only need a small selection to work with? 

Whatever the reasons, we've been busy working on a new feature which we hope will help out when time, energy or stash are a little bit lacking! In addition to the main kit reveal on the 1st of the month, we'll also be creating our own smaller 'Mini Kit' versions of the inspiration kit, along with some ideas for using them up quickly!

Mini Counterfeit Kits can either be simply smaller versions of the main kit, or they can be specifically aimed at use as card kits, mini album kits, pocket style albums or planners. It's entirely up to you and, of course, you can use the mini-kit option whenever you like!

Shall we see some examples from the Master Forgers?


Kelly noticed the circles in this month's inspiration kit and fashioned her mini-kit with a circle motif. Globes, polka dots, flair, and brads all play a starring role in her collection.

With this kit, she created this layout for her Project Life album. With the circles, Kelly included straight lines in the banners, striped card, and phrase sticker to give the layout interest and balance.


Clair's Mini Kit was made almost entirely of little, leftovers from other scrapping sessions - all of which echo the colours and textures of the Main Kit. There was lots of Black & White, Aqua, Turquoise and Gold. Clair also added in some Simple Stories sticker sheets and small sentiments, for a little variety, as she intended to use the Mini Kit to make some Project Life Cards. However, in the end, she ended up making a Pocket Letter that looks so different to the kit that it's difficult to believe it started out as the leftovers below!

You can see that Clair has used a lot of the Grey, Aqua and Turquoise from her Mini Kit, but there's a lot of colour that's come simply from using the 'B Sides'. She's also made a lot of her own embellishments with her dies, but has also added a lot of embellishments from the rest of her stash, including some amazing vellum circles (that echo the Inspiration Kit) found by accident when looking for something else! Never feel that you can't add to your kit once it's made - it's always okay to use that stash! Head to Clair's blog, Obstinate Pursuit, for more details!

Lisa here! I took inspiration from the colours and feel of the original inspiration kit and then followed MF Susanne's "directions" in Just The Gist of It to pull together a Project Life kit for my August pages.  I know this looks like more than a mini-kit but all the sheets are 6x6 and the cards are all pocket page cards. At the moment, I'm still finding my way through the Project Life system and it's taking me some time to work out how to make things fit my own style and how much project should be in a mini-kit for one month's spreads.

I've limited the embellies to some veneers, some gold and white confetti - reminiscent of the vellum circles - and some washi tape. I included lots of alphas which didn't end up getting used and some labels which also didn't make the cut in the end. But I wanted to make sure I had at least a few options. I added in some loopy thread as well on several of the cards.

I knew there would be lots left over after making my pages, and also noted that I'm definitely missing some pocket page cards for journalling and of different orientations. And indeed, there really was a lot of the kit left over but I'm happy overall with how it came together.

And here are the spreads I completed - I try to follow the same format each month so that I get a chance to include portrait as well as landscape photos. I think this one is a bit photo heavy so I might work on trying to use fewer. Hints and tips always welcome for how to simplify and improve my PL process - this is all new for me!

You can find more detail shots over on her blog today, here.

Margie made up a digital for her mini kit this month:

She started with a card kit from the Project Life app, Celebrate Everyday, and added a few digital embellishments. And she made another page for her 2016 Disney travel album:

As always, if you're inspired to create a kit, make sure to include them in our Monthly Link Up. We want to see it! Or share on Instagram using @counterfeitkitchallenge or #counterfeitkitchallenge

Monday, September 4, 2017

Forgery on the Fourth - September 2017

 This month's inspiration has three choices:

Studio Calico September 2016 Lost River (Scrapbook Kit)
A few of the papers just beg to be forged - doodled trees underneath a blue sky, hand-drawn woodgrain, or gold glitter circles - yes, please! Free-hand vellum circles & little kraft envelopes are simple cutting jobs, especially with a handy template HERE
Studio Calico September 2016 Lost River (Documenter Kit)
 Project Life-style cards are a fun size to counterfeit, and some of these make use of photo images!  Try using some of your own photos to customize your layout & scour your stamps for great sentiments.
Studio Calico September 2016 Lost River (Planner Kit)

 Is anyone else running to your scanner with your cell phone to forge that adorable notepad???

It's time to see what the Design Team has come up with this month:

Julene has used gold mist through circles punched in a scrap of paper to create the gold dotted paper.

Being misted there is some overspray but this can be covered with photos etc.
This following paper was made by misting through Punchinella.

Image result for Punchinella

Another idea is using the glue dot holes with kindy glitz

 Ideas for Scrapbookers: Another Use for Foam Dots - they make perfect template for rows of Stickles

 Susan found a few free resources to help you round out your kit:

1.  If you're missing a woodgrain paper for your kit, there's one that you can download and print yourself here.  It's available in several colors too.  (The paper is on Flickr and the creator of the woodgrain paper has this tutorial to help you download it from that site.)

2.  Adventure is a big theme in the inspiration kit - here's a free hand-lettered cutfile that you might want to add to your kit.  And these pocket cards are definitely in keeping with that theme as well.

3.  Here's a download to a "currently" card similar to the one in the Documenter kit.

4.  If you'd like some tabs, tags and labels for your kit, you can find some here and here

5.  The downloads in #4 have text on them.  If you'd like blank labels, you can download both a PDF and a print-and-cut here.

Leslie got back in the game this month, making five (five!) different forgeries based on her In The Mood Kit. There's a fabulous run through of all the forgeries on her blog here.

Clair decided to include several counterfeited items in her kit 'Field Notes'. She's included several handmade Jounrnalling Cards, inspired by the Documenter Kit, as well as a few cards from this downloadable 'Go Outside' set of 3x4 cards from Persnickity Prints

Clair also loved the Gold Alpha from the Lost River Scrapbook Kit and made her own version with some Rinea Gold Foiled Paper; her trusted die-cut machine and a little bit of washi tape. Visit her Custom Shimmer & Shine Alpha Tutorial for more details.

A SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT to a faithful follower, Libeeti, for this easy tutorial on making faux printed washi tape included in her counterfeit kit reveal this month!

If you have included a tutorial in a post, please add the word "tut" to your post on the Linky, Facebook group, Flickr group, or Instagram to make it easier to find!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Just the Gist of the Kit–September 2017

Master Forger Clair chose Studio Calico’s Lost River kit as our inspiration this month.


This is the perfect kit for September – let me tell you and Clair why. (wink, wink)

Did you know that “September (from Latin septem, "seven") was originally the seventh of ten months on the oldest known Roman calendar, with March (Latin Martius) the first month of the year until perhaps as late as 153 BC. After the calendar reform that added January and February to the beginning of the year, September moved places to become the ninth month, but retained its name. It had 29 days until the Julian reform, which added a day.”  Thank you Wikipedia, because I did not know that. It’s always good to learn a little lesson on history, isn’t it?

Okay, S, that seems rather a random start to explaining this gist of this kit.  Have you meandered too far, are you lost?  Where will you go from There?

Aha, readers, that is the whole point.  Where do we go from There?  How about taking some direction from these 7 road signs:

1.  Black
2.  and white, to complement it.
3.  Yellow
4.  and blue, to complement it.
5.  Gold – either textured like glitter or shiny smooth, or both, depending on your mood.
6.  Something inspired by the great outdoors, maybe the thrill of mountains and the calm of lakes.
7.  A sense of adventure, a willingness to explore.

Yes, try picking out your elements two at a time, like traveling buddies setting out together along an unknown path. It's good to have a friend along in circumstances like these.

Does that give you a road map to compiling your September kit? 

Please do share your kits and layouts with us this month, we want to know what you've discovered on your explorations.

 Happy traveling, scrappers.

PS  For those of you thinking September kits have to have 9, not 7 elements (‘cause we’re not in ancient Rome, S!) just add circles and wood grain. 

PPS  There were actually clues in that diversion paragraph of mine to this month's two challenges.  Let your mind wander about those possibilities!

Friday, September 1, 2017

September Counterfeit Kit Reveal

Hello Counterfeiters! It's September and that means that it's time for a new Counterfeit Kit Reveal! It's been a fun summer, but I've become a wee bit tired of kits with Flamingos; Palm Trees and Cocktails! 

So, I've chosen a kit from September 2016 that, to me at least, seemed like a nice transition between summer and autumn. It makes me think of the outdoors, camping, cold evenings and warm cider! It's the Lost River Kit from Studio Calico. I hope that you like it! 

Shall we have a closer look at those amazing papers? (The Digital Versions are still available. It's not enabling, if it's counterfeiting!)

There's a 'Documenter' Kit for scrappers who keep their memories with Project Life / Pocket Life. Look at the amazing stamp set that was included - and see if you can include something similar?

There's even a 'Planner' version that includes a really cute 'Mobile Phone' note set, but I'm not sure if there'll be any reception in the hills!

Let's meet this month's Guest Designer, Jess, from Jess Claire Creates.

Hi everyone I am so super excited to be the guest designer for September!

So a little bit about me: I am 29 (for another few months) and I am a single, stay at home mum to Ben who is 2 and a half and, although I don’t share his face online, he is often the main focus in my scrapbooks. I have a lovely fella who often pops up in my layouts, we love going to the cinema which we will no doubt be doing more of during the Autumn/Winter months.

I live in Yorkshire, England and I love scrapbooking. I’ve been scrapping since 2015 and Project Life is my main jam. I also do some traditional layouts (mostly 8.5x11) and I am getting more and more into travellers’ notebook scrapbooking.

I totally fell in love with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge back in June and I made a kit which I used for almost all my layouts that month, I became kind of known for including tissue paper in my kit.

I was so happy to be asked to guest design this month and I love September’s kit, it’s just what I need to break my hold on summer colours. Actually, let’s be honest I’m still holding on to colours from spring. I need some variety right now.

Using a kit just seems to really fit with my scrapbooking style and it makes it so quick and easy to put layouts together because you have already selected pieces that go together. My tips would be, include some black and white because it breaks the colour up and goes with everything, make sure to include pieces you use often (tiny word stickers for me), don’t be afraid to go back to older photos if they fit with the kit's theme because it’s great to get those stories told too. And have fun with your kit!

You can find Jess at Jess Claire Creates, on Instagram (@jess.claire.creates) and on her fabulous YouTube Channel.

Now, I'm ready to see the counterfeits, are you? Grab a cuppa - and a biscuit - and check out the Master Forger's versions of this month's inspiration kit!

As always, if you're inspired to create a kit, make sure to include them in our Monthly Link Up. We want to see it! Or share on Instagram using @counterfeitkitchallenge or #counterfeitkitchallenge