Friday, December 14, 2012

I'm moving

I've decided to pack up and move to a new blog...
Come visit me here, and PLEASE follow my new blog.  I have some great fun planned after the soft launch!
Atomic Venetia

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Product Review- Collage Pauge

My absolute favorite collage material is Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage from Aleene's.  I picked this up one day at  Artco, which is my favorite local (5 miles or less) craft store.
If you read my Urban Grunge Heart Tutorial, you know I bought this because one day when I went they were making glass magnets in-store, and my oldest daughter adored making the project, and begged me to buy all the stuff to make them at home, which included the Collage Pauge.

I bought a 16 oz bottle over a year ago and still have plenty left, after making magnets, canvases, altered items, plaques, and more. I have been very impressed at how long this stuff lasts.

I purchased the glossy version, but it comes in a matte, and the website says there is a sparkly option as well. This dries clear, and does not have that sticky feeling that some products have even when dry.  The texture is thick, and it has a greenish purplish cast when it is wet, but that goes away after drying.  I've managed to get this stuff to stick to paper, wood, canvas, plastic, glass, and cardboard. Once dry, this is pretty durable stuff.  I can't get this off my kitchen table, which is also the craft table, and kids table, so the whole thing is pretty much a mess with stickers, collage pauge, acrylic paint, markers and whatever else. Thank goodness for tablecloths!
 I have not had problems with this bubbling, and it seems to level itself as it dries, so paper I adhere has warped wet, and then dried flat.

I had to google the lady on the front to see who she is, because I had no idea. Traci Bautista is a mixed media artist with a bright and eclectic style.  According to the Aleene's site, Traci designed the art on the bottle. 

The only caution I can give for Collage Pauge is to test any ink you are using on scrap paper before you use the medium on it, as many inks such as pens and markers are picked up by this product despite being permanent or waterproof. If you test first, you know how it will react, and what to expect in your finished product.

My overall rating: 5/5

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Summer revisited... Play!

I found this Layout that I hadn't shared from summer.  It is using Authentique Lively.

The colors and patterns of the paper are perfect for the sunshiny photos of my daughters and their best friend playing in the yard.  These photos are not the most perfect shots, but I love that about them because it shows how energetic the girls are when they are playing together.

This layout was based off a sketch, I believe by Van Nguyen.  It was such a fun sketch to work with.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Daily- Forget it!

Right now, all the scrappy blogs, message boards, and pinterest pages are filling up with ideas and pages of December Daily books.  Many kit clubs offered December Daily album supplies for upwards of $90. It seems that anywhere I look in the scrappy world, my month is going to be filled with reminders to do a December Daily. Let me state clearly, I WILL NOT be completing a December Daily this month.

I adore the holiday season.  The day after Thanksgiving, the tree is up, like clockwork. I bake cookies with my kids, give them advent calendars, help them make cards and presents to give.  Our traditions include visiting the zoo on Christmas Eve, and hosting an appetizer dinner that night.  We enjoy a family dinner with the mishmash of relatives we have accumulated through a couple of marriages apiece. The day after Christmas, the tree is immediately taken down so that my oldest daughter “feels” a break between the holiday and her birthday.  I feel like the holidays are such a whirlwind, and as much as I would like to document every wonderful moment, I can’t imagine trying to fit in the time between the holiday festivities and the mundane grind of real life that continues despite the season.

I am grateful that the lack of documentation blurs the dreary, rainy northwest days into the bright magical holiday season.  If I really think about my Decembers, I probably have 10 awesome holiday filled days and 21 uninspiring days.  I found myself thinking “Do I really want to document this?” For me, part of the magic of the holiday season it that it seems like everything is different.  Despite having to go to work, pay bills, do laundry, make dinner, go to swimming lessons, breakup sibling fights, and on and on, when I think about the holidays, time seems to mush together the regular with the merry. I suppose I could rack my brain to find the constant holiday reminders in each day, like red Starbucks cups, decorations on houses, and Christmas carols. However, I feel like there is a December Daily trap in which scrapbookers find themselves. It appears that many people are “manufacturing” magical moments to create a month of holiday activities. 

To me, the idea of creating moments each day of the month is about as appealing as a daily album with 21 days of the messes the kids never pick up. Making every day in December magical has to be exhausting. I suppose that is why there are lists and lists of ideas for December Daily. It seems empty to me to host activities and events to fill a 31 day album, so I’m not doing it.  I refuse to jump on the bandwagon on this one.  Instead, I’m going to continue my regular scrapbooking pattern of documenting what is important to me this season. 

If you’re a December Daily girl (or guy), more power to you! I look forward to seeing your creations.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the whole idea, then I give you permission to blow it off.  Your holidays will be merry no matter how many days you document!

Friday, November 23, 2012

You and Me

My oldest always will have a special piece of my heart because for a long time, it was her and I spending a lot of time alone together. We filled or days with adventure and play.

Now, I always get excited when she and I get to spend some alone time together, especially when we are working on a project, or searching for adventure.  She is such a sweet, happy soul, and I can't help but laugh spending with her.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 2 of Luck- Card

I wanted to make my friend a good luck card for some news she has been waiting patiently to hear. I put together this card for the occasion.

However, with me being me, I forgot to send it, and probably won't get it to her before she hears. They say that it is the thought that counts, but I am kind of wondering if that is really true in this case.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lucky- a layout

Somehow, as the years go by, I get more and more perspective on my wonderful husband. We have been through a lot, and somehow, it still keeps getting better as time passes.

I wanted to make a layout that celebrated the warm feelings I have had lately about the direction we have taken together. I'm not saying life is perfect, but I truly have been feeling lucky each day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Focus- A layout

My sweet youngest child spends most of her time in  her own little world.  She moves at her own pace, which is usually a meander, and she has to look at everything as she goes.  I struggle with this sometimes because getting her to do what I need or want her to do can take quite some time, and I really wish she would focus. The thing is, she really is focused, on what the sun is doing, where the clouds are, the shape of the moon, the color of the leaves, and the amazing world in which she lives.

Today, when were leaving the house, she found a spider web tucked between a bush and the stair railing.  She insisted I stop, look at the spider web, and hear her opinion of spiders (she does not like them, for the record). It was so sweet, and so very her.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gift Box

 I first learned about Kiwi Lane through, and I picked up a few templates to play with.  I've done a few layouts that I will share later on, but I also used the templates to make this gift box.

I started with a Kraft colored paper mache box, and selected some papers that I wanted to use for the holidays. 

I used the mini wildflower templates, scallops, and the strip templates.  I plan to give my Mother-in-Law this box with her Christmas gift (nope! it's not bigger than a bread box!)

For me, the magic of the holidays is beautiful wrapping and decorations. It makes everything seem so very special, and I try to make sure my family gets to enjoy the beauty in even simple gifts.
Have you begun your holiday planning yet?



Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude- 8-11

Another few days of gratitude to share for November.   One, my oldest daughter's gorgeous eyes.  They are just amazing.  Next, our cozy little home.  I adore how my house feels, and it is always a treat coming home to the warm welcome of my family.  Then, of course, I am so grateful that I feel loved.  It is such a blessing to have friends and family that support me and encourage me.  Finally, I am grateful for Facebook, because I am able to connect with people that are true friends daily. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude Days 4-7


Another November gratitude post.  It is amazing to think of the things that make me happy, and a really good exercise because I usually struggle in November emotionally.

Simple thing- My fuzzy slippers.  In the evenings and on the weekends, I live in these slippers.  I adore them. They are just the Costco knockoffs, but I adore them so much.

Silly thing- My youngest and her tippy toes.  She is forever on tippy toe and I wanted to capture that sweet moment, because it always makes me giggle.

Sweet thing- My husband.  There is so much I could say here, we've been through so much together, so many good things, so many bad. Right now, I am at a point where I feel like we are reconnecting and realizing how much things have changed, all for the better.  Every day I feel luckier to have him in my life.

I couldn't think of another "s" thing- Wine.  In the fall and winter I love a glass of wine. 


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Mid-Week Mojo!!!

OMG!  It was sooo hard to keep the secret that I got to be a guest Mid Week Mojo sketcher at !!

Check out my post here!!!

Here is the sketch so you may play along!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Urban Grunge Tattoo Heart Tutorial

  I wanted to create a 3-D version of the classic winged tattoo. You will learn the ins and outs of creating this project, and a little of my creative thought process. I’m a klutz, and kind of messy, so have fun! 


Pre-made paper-mache heart
Decoupage Glue
Black Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens: Small, Medium, and Brush
Faber Castell Pitt Monochrome Graphite Pencil
Painter’s Tape
Sepia Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens: Brush
Faber Castell Art Grip Colored Pencils: Blue and Red
Faber Castell Metallic Gelato: Gold
White Ribbon
Flower Embellishment
Glue Gun
Plastic Garbage Bag
Sponge Brush
Plastic Clothes Hanger
Shrink Plastic


1. Cover the work surface with a flat garbage bag. If you are like me, decoupage can get messy. If you are not like me, then you may disregard the need for the bag. Gather your pre-made heart, and a 12x12 sheet of red (or your favorite heart color paper). At this point, you have to make a choice, some people are precise, and the torn edges on the finished project would drive them nuts. If that is you, cut the paper with scissors. If you like the torn look, then sit down and tear up some paper. Take all your aggression out on it. You’ll feel better.

2.Get your decoupage material and sponge brush.  I use Collage Pauge, mostly because my craft store did a demo of it one day and let my kid glue marbles to their table for a half hour or so while she was supposed to be making magnets. She wasn’t intentionally gluing them, but when you are six, more glue is better, and everything gets glued together. When we were done, she wanted to make more, and I had to purchase the products they used, because when you are six, you do what the teacher says. I guess the lady on the front label is famous, I don’t know, but she does make a good decoupage medium.  
3. Use the garbage bag as a palate, and just squirt the decoupage medium on the plastic. If this would drive you crazy, then go get a plate, or something in which to put the medium.  Brush the medium on the paper mache heart and all over the paper.  For me, using the brush lasted about ten seconds, and I ended up dipping the paper in the pool of medium, placing it on the heart, and smoothing it out with my fingers. Either way works. Place paper all the way around the heart. If the paper doesn’t want to smooth, tear it into smaller pieces.  When you are done, hang the heart to dry.  I didn’t really think of that part beforehand, so I was wandering around with a sticky heart and hands trying to figure this mess out. The beautiful thing is that once I figured out to hang it from a kid’s plastic hanger, the garbage bag folded up nicely, and my mess was gone.

4. For the wings, I used shrink plastic; remember shrinky dinks? This is the same thing, but not preprinted, so it can be whatever you want it to be.  I wanted it to be wings, so I sketched out a wing with a  Graphite Pencil. If you prefer, you can find a wing image and trace it.  Whatever works best for you.  I secured the shrink plastic with painter’s tape because when I do not, it slides all around, and I mess up my tracing. I used Black Artist Pens to trace the sketch, and build up the lines for more dimension. Be careful tracing, as the artist pens and the shrink plastic work like a whiteboard, and if you drag your hand across tracing you have already done, it will rub off.  I learned this the hard way, so don’t be like me on this one, or you’ll end up with missing lines and a black smeared hand.  This is useful, however if you mess up, just rub it off and try again. Flip the image on the second sheet so your wings face out opposite and complete the second wing.

5. Once you have the tracing done, you can add some color with Colored Pencils.  Don’t color against the black lines, or you will rub off the black. Then, cut your wings out, and place them on a baking sheet.   At this point, I noticed I forgot to flip the wing so they would each point outward correctly, so I quickly retraced the image through the plastic.  I like to live under the rule that if I mess up and it turns out ok, then it was on purpose.  So, I on purpose decorated both sides of the wings. After your oven has preheated, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for shrinking the plastic.  Don’t get too creative here, no one wants melted plastic in their oven.  It smells bad and is a pain to clean. 


6. Take your ribbon and distress it by running the SepiaPen along the edge, and by rubbing the Silver Metallic Gelato on the top of the ribbon.  I used a plain white grosgrain ribbon. Once I was happy with my distressing, I laid out another garbage bag and set up some more collage pauge and ran the ribbon through the medium, and then laid the ribbon across my heart artfully.  Then, I placed the heart on a new garbage bag, and set it so the ribbon had a bit of a wave to it and let it dry.  The medium gives it a bit of stiffness, which works well with the end project.

Once the heart is dry, you can use the Black Art Pens to add wording to your ribbon.  Glue on the wings and flower embellishments, I use a low temp glue gun because I am clumsy and burn myself on high temp, but you can use your preferred adhesive. You too now have an Urban Grunge Tattoo Heart to call your own!

Hope you liked my tutorial!



Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Here's my first three days of gratitude. Done in pen and ink.

I love my pen collection, and it was an easy place to start. A flair and a Zig Pen, two favorites.

Red cups at Starbucks always make my day. I don't know why. Maybe the shade of red, or perhaps the reminder of the season.

Tacoma us a beautiful city, and although I doubt you could ever catch the landscape in this precise layout, I love downtown best.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This time, it is about me

I don't usually do layouts only about myself, but recently, I have been rethinking how I am spending my time, and came to the realization that the balance in my life was a little off (anyone notice a blog hiatus)? I've decided to take the jump and do something about it.  Many people have thrown their two cents in about my decisions.  Those close to me all think this new direction is the right choice, and that it was a long time in coming. Those close to my work think I am making a mistake, and giving up a great opportunity.  Ultimately, I want to live more creatively, spend more time at home, and make things I love, especially for people I love. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another card... Smile!

Who doesn't need a reminder that life is sweet sometimes.  I have been lucky to have people in my life to remind me that life is sweet. Sometimes, life doesn't always seem so lovely, and it is do easy to get bogged down in the things that are upsetting, depressing, or just uninspiring.  My biggest cheerleaders are my dear husband, my beautiful girls, and my very best friend, Heather.  Each of them have brightened a dark day for me at some point, and I am so grateful to all of them for helping me to see the bright side of things, and to remember to spend time working on things I love.  So, what makes your life sweet? What makes you smile?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Masculine Birthday card

For some reason masculine cards are a challenge for me. I liked how the green in this paper mixed with the floral. I also liked how the doily shape mirrored the pattern on the green paper.  Now, I  can imagine, "Doilies, Flowers?? That's masculine??"

Somehow this worked, despite the elements sounding frilly.  I think the simplicity of the card, dark elements, and use of geometric shapes made this a gender neutral card that worked well for the male recipient.

Friday, September 7, 2012


My sweet girls are best friends and have been since day one. I love how this photo captured their sweet faces.

They are certainly charachters, and incredibly different from each other.  My oldest is strong, clumsy, and joyful.  My youngest is delicate, graceful, and bent on ruling her world.  Somehow this odd pair has always had an incredible relationship.  About the only person my youngest bows to is my oldest, who she is happy to follow. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jillibean Soup

My dear friend Heather gave me some Jillybean Soup to play around with, and this adorable layout of my oldest is my first Jillibean creation!!!

I adored the fun floral prints and the clean colors of this collection. Can't wait to play more!!!

Another Look at ATCs.

I just adore how these ATCs turned out.  The hand drawn elements balanced well with the papers I selected and the inking.  The hardest part was not getting burnt out on 30!!! little hearts.  However, I enjoyed the challenge and loved the process.

What's a favorite project you've done?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Stuff I use on my Layouts

Here is a review of a pen I use often on my layouts, the Stablio Point 88.  Can an $.88 pen be a useful crafting tool? Here are some projects I have done with the point 88.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Born this way

My youngest loves the song "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. She sings it all the time, and begs me to play it on the iPod.

The song truly fits her. She is so particular and precise as she goes about her day, she can only be herself. She is always steadfast in her actions, even when her friends gets in trouble. I'm not saying she's perfect, because she has a definite view of how the world should be, and if it fails to suit her liking she throws a royal fit.

The thing is, if I ask how she was if I wasn't around the answer is always "She was Budgie" and I know exactly what that means. I adore that about her. She was born this way.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Journaling Prompt: Summer days make me...

It's time for another journaling prompt. Today is a beautiful almost summer day.  Here's my go at the prompt.

Summer days make me...

Crazy.  Something about the heat and sun in downtown Olympia fills the streets with oddities, curios, and the buzz of a burgeoning freak show.  Don't get me wrong, something about the brightness and the heat bring out the need of the street goers to celebrate their inner selves. Among the many amazing things I have seen in Olympia, here are my favorites:
  • Numerous shoulder cat walkers.
  • Camouflage outfit guy with a tail
  • Tutu guy who dances in the park
  • Hula hoops girl (many hoops at once)
  • Solo kung foo fighter, who sadly, loses every time.
  • Street kids, so hipster it hurts
  • Homeless guy yard sale
  • Pro-Pot advocates passed out with their signs in the park
When the scales tip, and the streets become a festival of strange, I find it fascinating and maddening, but mostly confusing.  I ponder the larger questions. How does one train a cat to sit on your shoulder? Why does camo guy have a tail, and what would happen if I pulled it? Why are you dancing in the park with a tutu? How can you have 4 hula hoops going and still walk? Who are you fighting with, and why do you always lose? Street kids, why do you think I am dumb enough to believe you live on the streets? I come here every day for work, and I am quite familiar with who spends their time on the streets, the real homeless are outside no matter what the weather. Is it cool to pretend to be homeless? Where did the homeless guy get the stuff for the yard sale, and why was I so impressed with this venture? Really potheads? Standing up with your signs was too much?

I love Olympia, but some days it is just crazy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Blogger: Scrapbook!

I am so excited to get to share a How To’sday tutorial on ScrapbookSteals! Let’s weave some fun into a couple of layouts!
First Weave Idea–

  • Grab three pieces of cardstock. Two to weave and one to use as a base.
  • Cut the same size strips of your weaving cardstock. I did one inch, but any size works.
  • Gently tack down the very edge of a set of your strips, alternating the end you tack down.

  • Start to weave the other card stock over the tacked down piece and under the loose piece. Then alternate the over under and continue across the page. You need to tighten your weave as you go.
  • Once you’ve finished, tack down your loose ends and trim the edges if needed.
  • Cover the top edge with a border and design your page!
Second weave idea-
Every little kid has done this, but a redo is great for a hidden journaling element on a page.
  • First, cut two rectangles.
  • Next fold them in half and trim the edge to a half circle.
  • Cut even size strips from the bottom fold to just past the width of the paper when laid across at 90 degrees. I cheated and used a pattern paper with lines so I could free hand the cuts. I stacked my papers so the cuts would match.
  • This part is hard to explain. Think of the bands of paper as arms, and they’re giving bear hugs, (you know when someone grabs you around the arms and you can’t move?) alternate the bands around and through each other. As you go, it gets tighter, so be patient.
  • When you’re done, you should have a heart basket that you can punch or cut hearts into for a hidden journal pocket.
I hope you loved my weaving magic!