i love studio

This week was the ideal example of the reason I love studio.  We were working  on a project for a structures class we’re all in where each team builds 2 bridges and a cantilever, then we load them all with weights until they break.  The grading is a competition and you get points based on your bridge/cantilever being lightest and/or holding the most weight + beauty points.  So all of the teams are currently working on designs in studio and this project has brought about a beautiful combination of friendly advice between teams, closely guarded bridge design secrets, and of course, heated debates about which kind of glue will work best. The stress of making a bridge that can hold a weight, the long days and nights spent gluing, and the inevitable breaking of test models (like when we high-fived too near our model and it collapsed after holding the weight for several seconds), make a really energized atmosphere in studio.


I love it, because I love wandering around looking at my friends’ creativity, being excited when their structures work, and sharing their disappointments when it fails.  Studio has added so much to my college experience, and I wish every major had a similar thing.  It’s nice to be able to discuss what you are working on with like-minded people, to be able to wander around for inspiration, to just have a place where you can always find your peers.  And studio is the most fun on the busiest weeks, because there are impromptu pizza parties, and Frozen sing-alongs, and everything else that comes with putting 40 sleep deprived students together in one room.  So even though (and partly because) it’s pretty stressful and a little chaotic, studio has become my second home, and I’m gonna miss all of my classmates when we graduate.  Here’s hoping our bridges hold all the weight and some fun times when we break them.


Choosing Colors

Whenever I go to start a scrapbook page, I immediately become overwhelmed with the first choice I have to make: what colors should I use?  I tend to flip through paper and hold photos up against it to try to find what matches best, or pick one color and stick to that hue.  But when it comes to picking several different colors, I never know what to pick.  However I recently stumbled upon a method I really like: using paper patterns I’m drawn to and taking the color palette right from that.  In my most recent page I took a journaling card I loved and took the colors on it as inspiration.

Journaling Card

I knew I wanted to use this journaling card so I used the red, yellow, and teal as my color palette

IMG_0785This page featured pictures from a Jason Mraz concert I went to with Tim, so I wrote my favorite quote from a Jason Mraz song on the card.   The quote was  from “Sunshine Song” so I used sun embellishments throughout the page.  I also took the rounded corner style from the journaling card and used it on my photos.


Final Page

How do you pick colors for your layouts?



Simply Scrapping: Scrapbooking on a College Budget

Since I’m currently a poor college student, I don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on scrapbooking.  But I don’t let that stop me!  I’m really good at finding deals, reusing things (and buying things I can reuse), and limiting what I buy.  I did receive a Silhouette Cameo die cutting machine (a pretty expensive, outside my college budget scrapbooking tool.  Thanks Mom and Dad!) for my birthday that I use pretty often, but I’m going to show you some ways to create great pages without breaking your budget.  I have lots of ideas on this topic, so I’m going to split this into a couple posts.  This first one is about figuring out what you really need, and letting the rest go.

Here are the scrapbooking essentials, and some tips for ways to get them on sale:

02Patterned Paper – Subscribe to JoAnn’s mailing list and Michael’s, they’ll often give out 40-50% off coupon, and you can then buy a pack of up to 180 sheets of patterned paper for $10-$12.  They’re typically $20.  I have never spent more than $12 on a stack of patterned paper and I have several packs that I love.  The nice thing about buying it in packs is the patterns all coordinate pretty well, so it’s easy to combine different patterns.

*  Another tip – buy paper packs in store because it’s easier to see what you’re getting.  I once bought a pack of paper that I loved online, but when it came in the mail it had metallic elements I wasn’t a fan of.  Had I seen that pack in the store I wouldn’t have bought it because I prefer plain paper without metallic embellishments.

03Paper Trimmer – This makes it way easier to trim down images (which I do with almost every image) and patterned paper to the correct size and still have 90 degree edges.  They’re around $20 typically and if you’re looking to buy one, shop different prices, and look for coupons at craft stores.  Also consider about what size you’ll need.  (If you buy a lot of 12″ by 12″ paper that you want to cut smaller, you’ll want a trimmer that can cut 12″.  Mine only cuts 9″ so I usually have to pre-trim my paper.)

01Journaling Pens – Micron makes great ones (that are acid-free and photo safe) and Stabilo makes colored pens in a great variety of colors.  I recommend buying an assorted color pack with a coupon.  Pens are a good investment and I also recommend a few good fine-tip black pens (the color packs often include black).

04Album – Again, shop sales/coupons for these.  I like Pioneer brand albums because you can buy and add unlimited refill pages.

Photos – I will have a whole separate post for photo-printing tips!

Adhesives – Pretty inexpensive, make sure anything you buy is acid-free or it can ruin your photos.  I recommend photo squares, roller adhesive, and glue sticks.

That’s really all you need!  It isn’t a lot, and if you spread out your shopping you can find a lot of these items on sale or use coupons to minimize the cost.  With one-time purchase these items will go a long way, so it’s worth the initial investment.  Also keep in mind that Joann’s will let you use multiple coupons at once (unless there are restrictions on the coupon).   Other stores like Michaels limit you to one coupon per person per day (at least the Michaels I shop at).

Finding Inspiration

If you’re making a scrapbook page, you may be having trouble getting started.  You’ve printed your pictures, you have a box full of embellishments and a million pieces of patterned paper but you can’t figure out how you want your page to look.  Here’s a couple tips if you’re stuck with pictures and no idea what to do with them.

First, I recommend following Scrapbooking blogs.  I love http://aliedwards.com/, and http://www.writeclickscrapbook.com/.  Look at their different layouts and  make note of what sticks out in the ones you like.  Maybe one has embellishments you love, a different one has a great title, and another has a great combination of colors.  When you recognize what you like in other’s layouts you can start to incorporate those design ideas into your own page.


Architecture Bookjacket Covers


Mosaic Art

Another way is to become a collector of inspiration: take pictures of things you find that you love.  On the left is a mosaic art piece I saw that I loved because of how it reflected light onto the wall next to it.  I also literally collect things I love, the picture on the right is a stack of book sleeves the architecture library was giving away.  I took home armfuls of bookjackets to be used in a future scrapbook layout or collage, or just because I liked how they were laid out.

Finally, you have to put that inspiration to good use.  Here’s a pillow I saw once when I was online:

I loved the cute design on it, so I turned it into the border of this scrapbook page.  Find something you love, put a new spin on it, and put it in your scrapbook!  But don’t overthink it.  Sometimes we let lack of inspiration get in the way of scrapbooking our memories, but if you keep track of the inspiration you see everyday, you’ll be documenting your life in no time.


Framing Memories – Why I Scrapbook

I inherited many of my hobbies from my Mom.  She is a crafting genius, seriously, she taught me how to crochet, sew, cross stitch and scrapbook.  I love making things, I think that’s half of the reason I’m an architecture major, and my mom shares this love.  She is my go-to when I’m brainstorming ideas about a particular craft project I’m working on, and is always up for a trip to the craft store.  My mom inspired me to start scrapbooking because I always loved looking through her beautifully composed albums of our family.


Most recent scrapbook page – in process

My mom has done scrapbooking for as long as I can remember.  Each of my brothers and I have scrapbooks from when we were younger as my mom would print out ALL of her pictures and put them into scrapbooks.  She did a lot with the Creative Memories brand and took a break from scrapbooking as she got busier.  I think scrapbooking has changed a lot since my mom was scrapping but a lot of my scrapbook inspiration is based on looking through my mom’s albums.


When you first start scrapbooking, you have to adopt your own style for which is definitely not an easy task.  In fact, I think it takes a scrapbook or two to really figure out what you’re doing.  That said I’m definitely not an expert, but I’m learning and hoping to share some things I’m learning as I go.  I scrapbook very simply, often I’ll browse pinterest or other sites for inspiration and every page is filled with one tiny picture buried under embellishments.  I, however, have a modernized version of my mom’s scrapbooking style.  Our philosophy is to let the pictures shine through!  Scrapbooking is all about framing memories, and I think that’s hard to do when you use the pictures as minor design elements.  My mom’s scrapbooks were very simple, most pages just have white or single-color backgrounds, but that really allowed her to use embellishments and color to highlight the pictures, which is something I try to do too. Scrapbook_02

I actually started out with stamping, not scrapbooking.  I would use scrapbooking supplies to make birthday/valentines cards and I enjoyed doing that, so one year I decided to make an album for my boyfriend as a gift.  One winter break, I created an entire album, and I was hooked.  I love to scrapbook because it gives me practice creating graphically appealing layouts, which is a skill I use every day in for architecture.  It also allows me to display the pictures I take with my friends and family.  I hate the idea of my pictures only seeing my computer’s hard drive and maybe a couple albums on Facebook.  Scrapbooking enhances the artistry of the pictures and helps me focus my picture-taking to the stories I want to tell in my scrapbooks.  Scrapbooking is one of my favorite hobbies because it adds a compelling story to the pictures and captures my life how it is in the moment, and not just captures what is happening, but also my writing style and my design style.  I always get a kick out of looking back and seeing how my layouts change and improve over the years.

Any other scrapbookers out there? How did you get started?