Travel Journal | Part II

Now that I have my book assembled, it's time to figure out what supplies I'm going to bring with me. Things are going to be kept to a minimum so no embellishments and Thickers will be making the trip. I want everything to fit in this beautiful Supplies canvas bag that was a gift from my dear friend Jamaica. It's the perfect size and keeps me from trying to bring more than I need which is a huge fault of mine.

So what supplies made the cut? Here's what I consider to be most important in my creative documenting.

-roller date stamp + ink pad -a few pretty paper clips -brush pen -waterbrush -Neocolor water crayons. (some of these were already broken in half during use so I just snapped the remaining ones to fit into the plastic box) -1 roll of skinny graph washi -tiny tape roller (found at Micheals in the $1 bin) -pencil + pencil sharpener -Frixion pen (a pen that erases completely. what is the this magic?) -Studio Calico vellum letter stickers.(these are nice and thin and fit nicely in the bag because you never know when you're going to need to spell out a word using letter stickers) -a small envelope of flat paper ephemera like tickets and tags. -Fuji Instax 150 (Jamaica let me borrow hers. At this point, I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest in one since I already own a Polaroid mini but when she told me you could turn the flash off, that peaked my interest. Now that I've tested it out at home, I know I've got to have one for myself.)

I also plan to purchase a few supplies during our stay in the PNW as well. I've got a few places mapped out on Googlemaps like Moorea Seal in Seattle (there's a tape there that I need) and Ecru in Portland. Thinking about shopping in these places makes me soooo giddy. Not the clothes or shoes but PAPER and fun things that will fit into a plastic pocket. :)  How many of you can feel me on that?

Any other places I should hit for paper and cool things in?


Making | Travel Journal part 1

Every time I return from a trip, I have great intentions of creating a super mini dedicated to said trip. Never happens. I have several boxes full of photos and travel ephemera dating back to the late 90's. Maybe one day I'll get to those.

I'm going to switch things up a bit and document while on my trip. I don't plan on spending hours working in this book while I'm away. I want this to be a quick and simple process...something I can work on with the downtime we'll have which will be a fair amount since my traveling companion is an almost 4 year old.

I'd also like to note that before assembly, I searched Pinterest for travel journal ideas. Lot's out there but Kelly Purkey's travel binder really sparked this idea of creating on the road.

Here's the construction of the book.

1. envelopes and pockets are essential since there will be lot's of ephemera and found objects. Collecting is the best part of traveling!

2. fun post its and tags.  I'll use these as journaling spots.

3. overlays. because why not?

4. hole puncher + d rings. I thrifted the hole puncher the day after I read KP's travel binder post. The thrifting/crafting gods were on my side that day.

5. cover pages. both are LLP screen prints that were cut down to fit. I thought about making the cover slightly larger to hide the index tabs but I liked having them be even with the pages which measure 4x6.

6. index tabs. these were part of the most recent LLP paper pack. I simply typed our destinations on the tabs. Glad I kept a few for myself. :)

7. watercolor paper. I plan on bringing a waterbrush and Neocolor water crayons with me just for fun.

8. inside pages. I knew that I wanted to use up some of the excess 4x6 Project Life cards from past Studio Calico kits in this book. I went through my stash and picked patterns and colors that fit the mood of our destinations. I plan on adhering Instax photos and journaling on these cards.

I'm still adding in things and finishing it up and trying to find some type of packet/bag/box to hold the journal and the few supplies I plan on bringing. That will be part of 2!

How do you go about documenting your travels? Do you take this approach of documenting on the road or do you bust out all your findings once you're home?


the unicorn paper pack

The LLP paper pack has become a sort of mythical creature.

I wrote back to a few of those who emailed stating I was still waiting on a few items to arrive. I wish I had more local resources up here so that I wouldn't have to wait for shipping, etc. But, it'll come together, just a little slower than anticipated. The pack will still ship to those who purchase the presale on August 1st along with an extra printed piece that will only go to those who do purchase the presale.

So why purchase the presale if there's hardly anything to preview? Well, that's up to you as the buyer. Great sales tactic on my part, eh? The presale was only going to be up through the weekend but I've had to change my strategy a bit. Rather than pushing back on the presale and the shipping date, I'm going to show a preivew of the papers and photos that will be in the kit. I will show more previews during the week as things come in.

Presale will end on July 20th.

There will be 10 pieces in the pack, sizes ranging from 5x7, 4x6 and smaller. There will be screen printed patterns and quotes on vintage paper and professionally printed photographs along with a hand marbled dipped card.

This is something I'm making for those who are looking to add special handmade pieces to their everyday paper crafting and for those who are looking for affordable artwork for their walls.

Presale is up in the shop along with a new poster! New watercolor prints will be in the shop later this week.

Happy Sunday! Tina

Make it Work | little paper banners

As a Handbook scrapbooker, I find that I don't fully utilize my Project Life cards that come with each month's Studio Calico kit. The reason being is that I simply don't have the space in my book. So they get filed away until I purge a few months later and rediscover a card I had loved only to file it back away for that "perfect pocket". You know what I'm talking about.

The solution? Little paper banners! These are the miniature version I did last year. Super easy and a fun little paper craft to try.

You only need a few supplies to complete this project.

a ruler (preferably a centering ruler) a cutting mat (used as a guide) scissors (or xacto blade) twine pencil bone folder Studio Calico Project Life cards (I used the cards from the Penny Arcade kit and add ons) misc embellishments (labels, rubber stamps, chipboard)


1. Line up your card on the cutting mat. Find the center point on the bottom of the card and mark it lightly with a pencil. 2. Create the first angle by measuring a few inches up the side from your center point. This can vary depending on the card design. 3. Do the same on the opposite side of the card. 4. Cut! ***you can skip the pencil and just use an xacto knife if you'd like.

5. using a bone folder, mark a straight line across the top part of the card. 6. fold and crease. 7. cut your twine and place under the fold. 8. knot and cut off excess twine.

9. sew across just underneath the twine making sure you hold the knotted part taught. 10. enjoy.

Here's another variation....

It was fun making a batch of these! I can see at least a dozen more things that can be done with them. I chose to keep it simple and used the Project Life cards that had inspiration quotes. For the patterned cards, I did a little stamping and embellishing with some chipboard pieces. I plan to use a few of these in place of greeting cards. How fun would it be to gift a friend with some good vibes to hang on their walls?

Hope you were inspired today to do something different with those special PL cards you've been holding onto. Tina

***a quick note. please excuse the not so great photography. my big girl camera is currently on the fritz. :(


Thanks for being so patient with me! I hate doing this...choosing just one so I decided to choose 2! DOREEN OBRIEN - I tried to take a photo a day but ran out of ideas so this class would be great! Thanks for the give away

SHONA - I would love to win a place in the class. I always seem to need an extra little push to get going, and lately I keep looking at my camera and thinking I should take pictures, but I’m just not getting it done. My scrapping supplies are getting out of hand so I need something to Scrap

Please email me at asap so you can get started tomorrow!

Honestly, I haven't spent much time reflecting on the past year. I've seen some great posts out there on how awesome their 2011 was but I'm all about 2012. It's been a great year for us with only a few minor bumps in the road. What would life be without them? I've got some huge decisions I'm putting into action in the next month. Something I've thought about for awhile now and I'm damn fearful about them. The good kind of fear though. The fear that is exciting and exhilaration and hopefully doesn't involve much regret. God has been so good to our family and I know if I keep trusting him and what my gut tells me, I'll be golden.

Wishing you all the best for 2012!



make it work

I bit the bullet and purchased a Cameo a few weeks ago and I have to admit I was regretful at first. It sat on my counter top for a good week before I even plugged it in. I thought to myself, "did I just buy this because everyone's talking about it?" I read tons of reviews on this. How awesome it was. How much you could do with it. I already own a Slice which I never use. Why do I NEED this? So here I was with SC's January kit staring at me. What to do, what to do. I finally took all the styrofoam bits out of it, skimmed the instruction manual and purchased a few dies through their online store. We (me, Jeff and Tyler) gathered around after inserting a 12x12 sheet of patterned paper. (The Denim Crate paper in the Ring Toss add on to be exact.) Tyler was startled by the noise at first but we all ooo'd and aahh'd watching it cut. Pretty cool seeing this machine at work. And then it's done. Being impatient and not realizing just how sticky the blue mat was, I forcefully pulled up the paper only to rip one my of cuts. Ooops. Newbie mistake. So I gingerly unstuck the rest of my die cuts, laid them all out and stared at them admiringly. I take back any regretful feelings I had before. This machine is really really cool and it will change the way I use a kit for sure. I will no longer put aside papers I never thought twice about before. (like said Denim paper) Is it worth the money? My honest answer..yes, it is. (this coming from a girl who fears big purchases and is a bit on the thrifty side) It's built really well and more importantly, it cuts like butter. I'm able to utilize a full sheet of 12x12 paper now or maybe just a smidgen of it. My only complaint is the tackiness of the blue mat and what it does to the rest of my paper. But again, that's a very minor complaint.  Overall, I give it 5 stars. The online shop makes it that much cooler. I think I may have Cameo'd on almost all of my layouts. I will be getting some great use out of my new machine.

Ready for the giveaway I talked about?
I've got one free spot for the first ever Studio Calico class!

Class starts January 1st! Post your comment here and I'll choose a winner on Friday!

I told myself I wouldn't let my blog go into sleep mode as Christmas nears but it did of course. Too many things to get done not to mention just enjoying the time, you know? So that's what I've been up too as many of us are. I'm working on a couple of giveaways next week, something to kick off the new year. :) Merry Christmas everyone! Tina


My December Daily is now in the works...I think not having a cover or size nailed down was keeping me from moving forward. I had this freebie Starbucks cd in my car for a few years, still wrapped in plastic. While waiting at the bank drive thru, I finally opened it up and listened to the few songs on it. I looked at the cd cover and thought....hmm...this could be of use for the inside pages. I never thought of making it the actual cover until this weekend when I told myself to get this thing started now or you'll regret it. So here it is and I'm loving the process, even if Christmas is less than a week away.

Evidence of the process. My messy dining room table. I no longer find it inspiring or productive to create in my designated scrap room. I hate being away from my guys. Everything in that room...all the supplies and over abundance of scrap stuff is weighing me down big time. I purged quite a bit already but I'm thinking of taking it even further. It's just hard to let that stuff go, especially when you start going through it. I think "oh, I can use that" and "I love this paper, I can't part with that". Creating here is working for me now. I basically have everything I need in a carry tote...simplicity is the best inspiration. That combined with a view outside and a pretty bouquet of flowers.

Tyler slept over at his aunt and uncles Friday night as we enjoyed a night out to ourselves. Oh the holiday office party was was good, desert was even better but we didn't stay too long. We made our exit after shots of Crown were being poured. It just gets too crazy around there and from what I've heard today, a few fellas were actually cut off and escorted out, another man's wife was aggressively kissed and some not so kind words were exchanged. Yes, this is a company Christmas party I'm speaking of. Jeff and I had a much better time getting home and watching a movie. I know, we sound like a couple of duds, right?  Think what you will but this was one of the best nights we had together in awhile and although we missed our baby boy immensely, it was so nice to be able to have the volume up as we watched Fright Night and kick back a few beers and not worry about waking the boy. I was grateful for the night but Tyler was super clingy the whole weekend. I couldn't step anywhere without him being right next to me. I missed him so much, I even smelled his blanket before going to bed that night. Crazy momma thing I suppose.

You all ready for Christmas?!?! I sure am. :) I even purchased myself a little something from my own list and use them in these photographs. It's the Visual Supply Co film presets for ACR (available for Lightroom too). I told myself I would never buy another set of actions again but I couldn't say no after seeing the before and after. Love the grain and it's so spot on to film, it's not even funny.


currents (and a sneak)

time: 8:57 pmlocation: in bed (I really love blogging in bed, esp. in the winter) watching: Top Chef ('s background noise) eating/drinking: nothing/water (I'm on a must drink as much water kick) feeling: tired. (my body feels like jello) wondering: if the free ship option from Amazon will arrive before Christmas. (better not chance it) loving: how white it is outside (the roads are crap but the beauty of my surroundings makes up for it) thinking: about what I'm going to wear to the Friday's Christmas party. (I've purchased 3 dresses...none of them make me feel good)

a quickie peek before I turn in...

There's not one thing I don't love about this particular add on. The colors, the alphas, the Amy Tan stickers and the stamp. Oh..the stamp. xot.

edited...I had to pop back in to post the release of a new class starting January 2012 at Studio Calico.

check out that line up! It's going to be amazing guys and if you're planning on starting your Project Life for 2012, I would highly reccommend this class. And for $12 there's really no excuse not to sign up!

it was a good thing...

...that I took a some time away from blogging because all you would be reading is ranting and crying and rage.That is how the past 6 days have been. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad but I've just felt as though the universe has been against me. Being a true believer in karma, I had to have done something wrong to deserve all this bad luck, right? It's all good now. (knocking feverishly on wood) I will be minding my p's and q's from now on. No testing fate any time soon. I know, this all sounds vague but trust me, some things are best left unblogged. In the meantime, I still have not fully done my December Daily in the scrapping sense. In the photo sense, yes...I have been partaking. And note taking. And ephemera keeping. It'll all come together soon. Maybe during Christmas break. Pffft. Who am I kidding.

Day 10: My niece stays over and after she leaves, we breath a sigh of relief and now feel like Tyler is a breeze to handle. This girl is a ball of chaotic energy. Zoom, zoom, go there, now I'm here, what's this, why that, etc, etc, etc. Love her though. She's still my little photo muse. Always will be.

Day 12: I have a 1/2 hour of daylight to work with and I've been wanting to get this bokeh shot for like ever. He wasn't feeling it so much, mostly because I was rushing the process and held off on lunch for said daylight. Also because his jumper was too tight but he got it for his birthday and I loved it. There's a moose printed of the front which of course is being covered by the tree. It's been an exhausting week and it's only Tuesday! oy. xot

currents: december edition


time: 11.08pm location: in bed weather: getting colder, snow is in the forecast. ( we had some nasty wind and rain this past weekend. looks ugly out now) watching: Top Chef (not really into it this year but there's nothing else on) loving: white twinkle lights (I should say obsessed) thinking: about how awesome I am for getting the majority of my Christmas shopping done early and online. wondering: if the dress I ordered will show up in time for next weeks office party. (MYHABIT is addicting) enjoying: this quiet time by myself. (I love my boy and my mans but I've really grown to appreciate the little time I get to myself.) drinking: water eating: nothing. (tummy is a little upset from the pulled pork. I over did it but it was so tasty!)

I was going to explain why I love this quote so much but I'm getting a good way and in a sad way. The good? Knowing that vacancy in my heart is now occupied with kisses and full belly laughs and the tightest hugs from my baby boy. The way he wraps his arms around my neck makes me week in the knees. The sad? Knowing this will be the first Christmas since my Grandmothers passing this fall. I pray that my family, mostly my Grandfather will be able to cope with her absence. This was her time to shine with the numerous recipes under her belt  apron that made so many people happy. I miss her Divinity...that stuff was so sweet and fluffy. I see it at the grocery store but I know it doesn't come near what my Grandma made. I've been doing what I can in her honor. Like bake Tyler's first birthday cake from scratch. No way I would buy a cake. She would be so dissappointed. I wore one of her vintage aprons while I mixed and frosted. She's here with me, I know it. I feel her, I can still smell her distinct smell, I hear her voice in my head like she were in the other room. "Tina!" in that thick Georgian accent. It's strange and comforting at the same time. Leave it to the Holidays to bring out this range of emotions. You miss loved ones who are gone. You find happiness in the loved one who are here. You reconnect with friends. Your heart feels lighter but heavy too. Christmas is so much more than decorations and presents. It's certainly a state of mind. Hmph. Guess I ended up explaining myself after all. :) xot.

p.s. the "currents" method of journaling is a quick and easy way to add to your December Daily. Give it a try, especially great on days when your mind is buzzing with all the holiday to dos.

feeling a bit uninspired at the moment.

When you live for shooting in natural daylight and you reside in a state where it's pretty sparse several months out of the year,  it kind of puts a damper on ones mood. Every time I try to take a photo, it's too dark or too yellow. And with all the lovely December Dailies out there, it's been hard to be fully inspired to go forth with the project when you dislike everything you upload from your camera. Thank goodness for my Iphone and Instagram app. Seriously.I'm not giving up though. Just waiting for that aha moment. I'm sure it'll come soon. :) Some examples of unispired photos: Failed photobooth attempt at Tyler's first birthday party. In hindsight, I should have started at the beginning of the party. I also should have placed the backdrop in a different location and I needed to be back farther. All things I've noted for the next round. My undecorate tree. Partly because I know Tyler will tear down any decor I put up and I'm afraid he'll break the glass balls. I'm in the process of fringing up some felt for the garland. I want a simple tree this year. For now, star shaped bokeh will have to do.

Let's go Monday! (this is my attempt to be positive this morning. not working so much) xot.

a year?

It feels like I just brought my guy home from the hospital just yesterday. I know time goes by too fast but I'm happy to say that I've enjoyed and documented almost everyday of his first year. At a year old, he's walking. Not like walking walking but taking about 5-6 steps. His vocab consists of Dad, Mom, Jesse (our dog), baba (he babbles this a lot) and nini (night night) Clothing size is 18-24 months. His limbs are long and I already foresee the same problem his dad had with clothing. Eats just about anything I make him. Loves Chicken and Peas. Favorite toy is his walker. Has grown very attached to his boo (gray elephant his cousin gave him) Loves watching Sid the Science Kid in the mornings with his dad. Loves his dog. Loves making silly faces and sounds. The boy in him is really shining through. He makes car sounds when he plays with his cars and roars a lot. Our little photoshoot didn't go off as planned but I'm all about improvising and loving the end result of what's really going on. He's not the kid that sits still, even for a brief moment. All he wanted to do was rip apart the felt garland I worked on for 2 days.

He's such an awesome little man. How did I ever get to be so lucky? xot.

make it work

Confession: Baker's Twine is not an easy embellishment for me to work into my scrapbook layouts. Doesn't mean I don't like it. I use it in my packaging and gift wrapping but when it comes to scrapbooking, I'm always at a loss. I adore the twine that came with the Snow Cone add on and I had to make it work. Here's how I did it. First, ***tape down your letter onto some scrap cardstock. Straight lines work best but I'm sure if you're careful and determined enough, you can manage a curvy letter. :) Snip pieces of twine and place onto your taped letter as shown above. You want your twine to extend beyond your taped letter. Get your sharp scissors out (Honey Bees work great for this) and snip out your letter. Fun, right?


Ha...did you think I forgot about choosing a winner for Maggie's class?? Fooled ya.

NANCY - This is my first attempt at a Dec Daily!! Need all the help I can get. Can’t wait to see your full reveal!

Nancy, please email me at by Tuesday at the latest to claim your winnings. The Studio Calico blog is giving away another spot so be sure to comment there for another chance.

**The ProGlide Tape Runner is great for this. It's nice and tacky. I wouldn't recommend any other plain tape runner for this. You can also use that redline tape as well...will probably be better if you are creating O's and S's.


Time: 10:33 p.m. Location: In bed Mood: Energized (shouldn't have had that last cup of joe) Watching: How To Make It In America (I love Domingo) Loving: a lot Thinking: I can Knowing: I will Thankful: for those who believe in me