Creative Announcement

SO excited to announce that I have been invited to join the 2018 Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping Team!

I’ll be starting in November along with a bunch of other extremely talented women. Can’t wait to share these gorgeous kits with you!

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World Cardmaking Day: The Aftermath

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First things first: cards are out of my comfort zone. I love them, but I just have a bit of a hard time making them.

I LOVE online crops. LOVE ’em. Getting crafty + being inspired by other crafters – all from the comfort of my craft nook? AND wearing cozy jammies while I do it? That’s my jam. I enjoy creating in my own space + not having to lug all of my supplies to a hotel basement – I’m a homebody for sure.

Anyways, a few weeks ago on World Cardmaking Day (umm…great idea), my favourite scrapbooking store hosted an online cardmaking crop. I was hesitant at first due to my lack of cardmaking prowess, but I decided to just go for it and try to whip up some cards.

Spoiler alert: it actually went pretty well.

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I ended up using 6 of the 13 sketches; each one counted as an entry to the grand prize – which I won!

Here are a few of the cards I managed to finish between moving + unpacking + cleaning:

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Paper scraps, a paint swatch, vellum, and a wood veneer piece helped this grid-style card come together easily.

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I’m still loving the Maggie Holmes: Chasing Dreams, obvs.

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I actually pulled out my Minc machine for this one! I find that I don’t use my Minc nearly as much as I planned now that I’ve had it for awhile, but this card background just screamed for some gold foil.

Here’s my prize:

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Right?! I’ve loved the Hazelwood collection since forever, and I love winning product I will actually USE! Bonus: the patterned paper + cardstock was a gift just for participating. How nice of them is that? P.S. drooling over the Crate Paper Falala line. Will definitely try making some holiday cards with it now that I’m well practiced.

I was super inspired by the new product, so I made an 8.5×11 layout with some of it + some stuff from my stash.

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Cardstock: Bazzill. Vellum: Stampin’ Up. Background stamp, wood veneer, label, badge: Studio Calico. Patterned paper, phrase sticker: American Crafts. Enamel dots: Simple Stories. Woodgrain paper: Lawn Fawn. Diecuts, puffy stickers, date stamp: onecanoetwo.

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The 2×3 photo is us on our honeymoon in the Mayan Riviera, right in front of our resort. The blustery, snowy weather today makes me really miss those 2 weeks.

As always, I use minimal adhesive and sew most of my elements on.

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Since I also won this book:

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I knew I needed to make at least one card using it.IMG_8066 (1)

Doesn’t this diecut from the Hazelwood collection make a perfect card? I also continued the background stamping from my layout for this card base.

And then one more simple one:

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This online crop definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone + got me creating. I guess it worked, huh?

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Thanks again, Scrapbook Cottage, for hosting the online crop! I can’t wait for the next one!

An Ode To Martha Stewart

It’s no secret that I worship Martha Stewart. She’s a goddess.

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She runs a mothereffing empire AND chills with Snoop Dogg? Seriously, sign me up.

M.S. is everything I aspire to be.

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I love her whole image, but most of all I love her craft products.

When she announced her new craft paint line I knew I HAD to try it. I got my hands on the watercolour soft gels ASAP and…I fell in love.

copper paintBasically, it’s acrylic paint with watercolour properties. Right?! It’s hella cool.

You can use it as regular acrylic paint or you can dilute it with water so it acts as watercolour paint. I picked mine up at Michaels (of course!) and I can’t recommend it enough.

 

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Cardstock, puffy sticker, alphabets: American Crafts. Paint: Martha Stewart Crafts. Acetate flowers, card, word sticker: Crate Paper. Number diecut, stamp, label: Studio Calico. Flower: Prima Marketing. Enamel dots: Simple Stories. Patterned paper: Fancy Pants Designs.

 

By far, my favourite colour option from the watercolour line is metallic copper. 

The background of this layout came together super easily; all I had to do was swipe the paint over the cardstock with a wide flat brush. I diluted it slightly with water – just to thin it out a bit. I think it makes a good “anchor” for my photo grid.

Scrapbooking tip: if I’m ever unsure of what direction I want my layout to go in, I start with a grid. Simple, yet super helpful. It’s a great starting point for building a design.

I enhanced the grid with some sewing + then added simple embellishments.

I’m super excited to try these paints out in a mixed media project next. I think it will be really cool to incorporate into my art journal or maybe on a watercolour canvas. Whaddya think? Do acrylic + watercolour paints seem like something you would use?

B.

 

Only The Good Die Young

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A few months ago I decided to divide my zebra cactus (haworthia attenuate if we’re being persnickety), and it’s one of my favourite plants so I wanted to be careful. I’ve had the mama plant for about 4 years, and can I just mention how proud I am of that gorgeous root system? Zebra cacti are suuuuuper slow growing (it was about 2 inches tall when I bought it at Superstore of all places), but it had finally outgrown its pot and had teeny little babies hanging out around the base of the mother plant. But…how to go about propagating them?

Propagating succulents is generally pretty simple;  they basically “re-grow” themselves. With zebra cacti though you need to slice the babies off of the mother plant much like how you would handle aloe vera. Yes, you have to chop up your plant. Carefully.

My basic steps for the process of dividing zebra cacti:

  1. Once your plant is mature and has a viable baby plant you can try dividing them
  2. Disinfect a small, sharp knife (I run mine under the hottest water possible) for cutting
  3. Slice the baby off of the mama plant by placing the knife at the very base of the plant where the 2 plants join and making a clean cut. Try not to “saw” at it – again, make sure your knife is sharp
  4. Let the baby dry out for a couple days until the “wound” dries out a bit. This prevents the cutting from rotting once it goes into the dirt
  5. Once the babies have dried you can plant them in a well-draining potting mix (you can find my fave blend here)
  6. I generally wait a few days to water the babies once they’re in the soil just to try to prevent root rot

That’s it. Really. Not so bad, right?

It’s been a few months and I’m happy to report that most of the babies have done well! I lost the 2 itty bitty ones, but I kind of figured I would. They were simply too small to be able to survive the trauma of leaving their mama, I guess.

K gimme a sec, I’m having first year of college flashbacks.

Maybe you have a zebra cactus that you want to propagate in the future, and you want to support that mama plant as much as you can (i.e. not kill it). Here are a few tips to give your plant the plant lady love it needs.

  • DRAINAGE. Zebra cacti need good drainage! They’re prone to rot (no thanks) so make sure you use good soil, and for god’s sake use a pot with a hole in the bottom. Your plant will thank you.
  • Don’t overwater your plant. The most you should be watering it is every 2 weeks; they’re pretty hardy.
  • Good light. Bright indirect sunlight is best for these aloe vera-like plants.

I was so happy about the teeny plant babies I propagated that I decided to document the process. After all, my first love will always be scrapbooking – ya feel me?

This layout is unusually simple for me; I tried to keep the design minimal for whatever reason. I was probably just feeling lazy that afternoon, who knows?

 

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Alphabet stamps, gardening phrase stamps, flair button, puffy sticker, washi sticker – Studio Calico. Metal brad – Simple Stories. Phrase stickers – Crate Paper. Label sticker – October Afternoon. Enamel dots – Tonic Studios. Patterned papers – Heidi Swapp. Cardstock – American Crafts. Foggy Nights Ink – Prima Marketing.

 

To achieve the different shades of the word “grow”, I simply re-used the stamp without reinking first. I wasn’t overly careful about the placement or the overlap; I wanted it to be a bit wonky.

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How perfect is that metal brad with the itty bitty plant on it? I don’t even remember the last time I used a brad, but I’m stoked that Simple Stories is bringing ’em back!

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Oh a little tip…let your Nuvo drops dry completely before you stack stuff on top of them (unless that’s the look you’re going for). If that’s the case, then you do you, babe.

Overall, a fairly basic propagation process + a really simple bit of layout inspiration.

If you’re interested in seeing some more behind the scenes details of my plant lady/craft lady shenanigans, you can join me over here!

 

 

The perfect gift for the traveler in your life

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What’s something you’ve been seeing constantly on Pinterest + Instagram? For me it’s traveler’s notebooks. They’re everywhere! It’s definitely a trend I can get behind – they’re super functional + can be used for a bunch of different things like planning, bullet journaling, + scrapbooking.

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When it comes to the traveler’s notebook, I decided to take the name pretty literally this time around – meaning, I made a traveler’s notebook FOR traveling.

IMO, a personalized traveler’s notebook is the perfect gift for the traveler in your life!

A bit of back story:

In October, my sister and our dad are going on a crazy 3 week trip to Asia. Yes, THREE WEEKS. I know, right? She’s actually been blogging throughout the planning stages and will continue to document their entire journey – if that kind of thing is your jam then follow her here! Anyway, my sister will be celebrating her 25th birthday while they’re away and I knew I wanted to make her something special/meaningful – hopefully something trip related. Enter: the traveler’s notebook.

I came across these cool (and thrifty!) traveler’s notebooks at Michaels:

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Cute, right?

I love traveler’s notebooks, but they do tend to be a bit pricey (try A LOT pricey). Thankfully Michaels has provided an inexpensive alternative! The notebook cover with a pocket insert + journal only cost me a little over $10 after my 40% off coupon. You can definitely tell that this particular brand of traveler’s notebook (Recollections) is of lower quality than your typical Midori, but at this price point it’s cool with me! They also have graph + lined paper inserts and pocket inserts that you can buy separately – also at a really good price point.

My sister has a serious case of wanderlust, so this gift fits her perfectly.

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I tried to keep the notebook as simple + light as possible – it had to be compact/lightweight since they will primarily be using travel backpacks on their trip.

4 things I knew I wanted to include:

  1. Lots of space for journaling!
  2. Pockets/envelopes for collecting ticket stubs, leaves, brochures, etc.
  3. Spaces for photos which she can add in once she’s home
  4. Journaling prompts

I know it can be overwhelming to journal while traveling, so I made sure to include different journaling prompts to jump-start her writing. I added in prompts like flight details, favourite restaurants, and memorable quotes – just a few things that I know I would want to remember about a trip.

Her main attraction to Asia is elephants; she’s spending time at an elephant sanctuary while she’s there. Since she has a penchant for elephants, I added in metallic gold elephant-themed paper so it would be a bit more personalized.

I filled up the blank notebook with “guided” journaling, but wanted to leave her space for her own ideas + drawings + memories. When I picked up the traveler’s notebook at Michaels, I also grabbed a graph paper notebook to add. I chose graph paper to make it easier for bullet journaling + drawing.

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I hope that this journal will serve her well on her adventure + preserve her memories so she can continue to enjoy the experiences.

Haleigh, happy early birthday + Bon Voyage!

xo,

B.

5 Mistakes I’ve Made (SO FAR)

This might be a long-ish post – so grab a cup of tea or wine and let’s chat.

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Lately I’ve been reconsidering what direction I want my life to go in. Ooh, deep right? But seriously, I’m lost.

I know it’s not the end of the world to be 23 and not know what you want to do…but it still bothers me. I feel like a lot of millennials can relate to that pressure – the pressure to follow a specific path that’s considered the “norm”. The “ideal”. You know, the go to school to get a degree, travel a bit, immediately get a job in your field, find the love of your life, buy a house + car, then settle down and have kiddos.

That’s not what I want.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that type of plan – hey, that WAS my plan – it’s just not for me anymore.

Over the past year I’ve had to completely reevaluate my mental health, my relationships, + my purpose. I went for counseling. I meditated. I did yoga + clean eating + therapy.

And I realized something. I don’t want to invest my time in anything that doesn’t bring me joy.

So here’s my list of 5 mistakes I’ve made while trying to figure out what I want to do with my life:

  1. PURSUING MONEY INSTEAD OF HAPPINESS

When I graduated high school I went straight to college. Without a doubt I knew I wanted to get an education, but making that HUGE of a life decision at 18 is pretty daunting, right? Because I felt pressure to decide on a career immediately, I chose something at random, committed to that for 3 years, and then realized I had wasted my time. While I’ll never regret my education because I value the skills I’ve developed + I’m lucky to always have a trade in my back pocket just in case I need it, I wish I had chosen what I wanted to do rather than a career that I thought would impress other people.

I constantly find myself trying to explain to people that I have a diploma in a trade + I have student loan debt, and yet I have absolutely no desire to work in the field I’m trained in. It’s a perfectly good field, a perfectly good career. The career I tried to convince myself I wanted for a long time. I wish now that I had waited to choose something I enjoyed…rather than listening to other people and just choosing something that would make me money.

If I could do it all over again now, I would pursue my passion instead of a paycheck.

2. INVESTING TIME IN PEOPLE WHO AREN’T WILLING TO INVEST THEIR TIME IN ME

It took me a long time to realize that my worth does not and cannot come from other people. It has to come from me. If I don’t value myself and realize my full potential, other people won’t either.

I used to think that the more effort I put in, the more I gave, the harder I tried, the more someone would appreciate me. But I was wrong. So very wrong.

Because nothing changed and all that happened was that I ended up losing myself, my joy and my self respect in the process.

You have to appreciate your own worth, know your value, and refuse anything less than to be treated the way you deserve. Don’t let a bad boss or a toxic friend damage your self worth.

If someone hurts you once, forgive them. If someone hurts you twice, be cautious. If someone hurts you again, fuck them and move on.

3. PUSHING AWAY MY LOVED ONES 

Take the help you’re offered. If I hadn’t wasted so much time suffering alone instead of accepting the help I was offered, I would be a lot better off. Having a good support system is extremely important and makes the struggle easier.

4. DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN, BUT EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS

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Albert had it right.

It has taken me too long to realize that unless I make changes, nothing changes. I tried to convince myself that things would change + work out on their own, but I knew I had hit a solid brick wall and I needed to do something.

I’ve been stuck in a rut, feeling really unhappy and directionless. And I felt like that for years before I did anything about it.

Moving on and realizing that I value my happiness over other people’s approval has been a big change for me. Pursuing joy rather than money is scary, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about what’s going to happen in the future.

I want to open myself up to new and exciting opportunities, continue to grow, and do what’s best for ME. This decision has challenged me to my core, and yet I’m extremely happy to be on this progressive path instead of going around in circles.

 Bottom line: don’t be afraid to change.

5. CARING TOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

Classic mistake.  I always felt like I needed to do better for someone else, compete with someone else, or change someone’s opinion of me. 

Then I realized…

If I’m lucky, I’ll be liked by many and hated by a few. But I had made the mistake of forgetting that everyone is disliked by someone and that’s totally cool.

I can’t make people like me and I sure as hell can’t make them change their minds. I’m better off forgetting what people think and concentrating on being the best me I can be. Even though that’s really tough sometimes.

If you’ve hung in there with me for this whole rambling post, kudos to you.

I know that these mistakes are just the first of many I’m sure to make, but I’m glad that I’m letting myself grow and improve now instead of later. Hey, I still don’ t know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I know that my decisions will be based on pursuing my passion.

Hopefully you’ve related to something in this blog post, but even if you didn’t… remember that sometimes you just have to be a Boss Bitch and make the choice to pursue joy.

xo,

B.