SWAT- Drill 21 Caroling we will go

Drill 21 for SWAT is a fun take on the holidays; we challenge you to create a project with a Christmas Carol for the title. Any song new or old, fast or slow, any song that makes your heart fill with Christmas cheer!

For my take, I used a line from the song "White Christmas" for my title: "May your days be merry and bright." I fell in love with these photos of my youngest admiring the sparkly ornaments on the tree, and that line reflects her viewpoint on the holiday season. She adores anything sparkly about the holidays including snow, glitter, lights, ornaments, sprinkles, and ice!

And just for a little Carol Creating motivation, one lucky winner will be randomly selected to win this prize pack from S.W.A.T.

***We are only able to ship to the US & Canada

As always, I cannot wait to see your creations!

Hump Day- Love

 Hi! Venetia here to share some Wednesday love! I wanted to make a canvas to decorate the kitchen, and take a new spin on the Est. YYYY plaques that are popular right now.

This is a simple project to recreate. The background is a single 12x12 patterned paper, and the letters are cut from a "Little Black Dress" from Basic Grey. Any collection kit would work; I wanted a neutral feel. I decoupaged everything to a canvas.

For your Wednesday, I challenge you to share something you love on the SWAT Facebook page! Instead of Oprah being the only one sharing her favorite things, put your two cents in!

Happy Wednesday, you're almost to the weekend (and a short week for our US friends!)





SWAT Drill 20

It is time for another SWAT Drill! This time, we have a sketch with a twist, feathers!

For my project, I chose a picture from my daughters' end of year celebration at school. They did a world traveler theme with Australia, France, and Rio! We got to pet a wallaby, play with French fashions, and make Carnivale masks!

Of course, my youngest had to have the pinkest, featheriest mask of them all. For this layout, I wanted to mirror her love of the feathers. I hand-made the title, pink princess, which is my daughter's self-proclaimed title.

The sketch was perfect for this project. As always, we want to see your take on the challenge. Make a project using the sketch and feathers, and link up to us at SWAT!

So shake your tailfeather, and share to enter to win the BoBunny prize this month.


SWAT- Drill 19

It is time for another SWAT drill! For drill #19, we are going to gobble till we wobble! Share a layout with a favorite recipe, or a food picture.

For my take, I shared my recipe for a great date night and a few beverages at the local Tiki bar.

To follow my recipe, find some good friends. I love adding adult time to date nights, so the conversation doesn't fall just to the kids! Of course, if you have children, a sitter is also a necessary ingredient. We also add a taxi or designated driver to our mix if we add my favorite ingredient, Handcrafted drinks.

Locally, we have several small distilleries, and many local spots that have turned away from commercial mixes and are creating mixed drinks from real ingredients. I love real juice and infused spirits. The craftsmanship in these drinks is incredible, and I adore the creations the local bartenders are creating.

To create this layout, I hand wrote the recipe card, and I kept my paper selections neutral to match the feel of the Instagram photos. I added a pop of color by pulling from the pink in the embellishments, and added a little sparkle with sequins.

Of course, all of us at SWAT want to see your creations! Share by linking to SWAT a creation with a recipe, or pictures of some of your favorite meals, and you are entered to win our prize for the month. I am excited to see what you create, and I hope to find some new favorites!


Authentique Guest Designer!

Hey Everyone! So happy to share this guest post with Authentique. If you're new, please follow. I love sharing with friends!




Guest Designer: Venetia Holbrook

Hello! I am Venetia from Atomic Venetia. I am from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where I enjoy crisp grey days with coffee, and warm evenings in front of the fire with my family. My whole life I have created objects and art across many media.

I am incredibly happy to be sharing some projects I made with the gorgeous collection from Authentique, Natural. As soon as I saw this collection I was in love, and the collection pairs well with both warm and cool neutrals. It was a breeze to make projects perfect for host gifts for upcoming fall and winter celebrations.

My first project is a mixed media canvas. The patterns in Natural are a beautiful mix. This collection’s colors feel rich and bright. Canvases are one of my favorite projects because they are a fun way to mix techniques and media. I also like being able to add a sentiment intended for the recipeint. For this sentiment, I mimicked the design of the stickers in the Natural collecton pack. On the canvas, I mixed basic punches with Silhouette cuts. To add depth, I distressed with ink, added texture with gesso, and added a pop of sparkle with glitter glue.

I also created a pomander. I am so in love with how this collection pairs with gold, which reminds me of fall. I built stackable flowers with a mix of Silhouette cuts, hand cuts, and punches. I used a foam ball as a base, and used gold and pearl floral pins to place the flowers around the ball. Authentique papers have long been my favorite for paper floral designs because they are a heavy weight, allows for the manipulation of the floral to build dimension and texture.

For my final project, I created a wind chime. This time, I paired the collection with silver and black neutrals. I knew that Natural would pair perfectly with the aluminum pot when I found it, and I remembered a pin on Pinterest of a wind chime using recycled materials. I decided to adapt the pin into an altered project.

To create this, I punched circles from the papers in Natural. Then, I decoupaged the papers and sequins onto the bottle caps. I used some alcohol ink to distress the caps, and used a metal punch to create the holes. I connected the pieces together, and then added some sparkle to the pot with some ink and glitter ribbon. To hang the pot, I drilled two holes, and placed two eye screw and nut sets through the holes. I then used a chain to create a hanger.

I am so grateful to share my love of Authentique with all of you, and hope you found some inspiration from my projects. Thank you!

Atomic Project- Critical Friends

Today I am sharing the second of the creative realizations I have made. Facing these truths made a huge impact on the creative direction in my life. All work featured in this post included creative collaboration with friends.

This week:
1. Do the work
2. Find a group of critical friends
3. Ask the right questions
4. Reach out to others
5. Find you

SWAT- Sketch and Wooden Embellishments

Hi Everyone! It is time for a fresh SWAT challenge. This month, the sketch includes the challenge to use wooden embellishments!

This was the perfect sketch for this photo of my youngest playing with bubbles at her end of year party at daycare. I had been meaning to scrap this, and I knew this sketch would be perfect for this photo.

I added glitter glue to the wood embellishments, to the flowers on the patterned paper, and  to the Thickers, because I felt the shimmer enhanced the layout.

There is hidden journaling in the vellum bag, and the sequins added some sparkle as well.

The wood embellishments are veneers, and my favorite technique is to alter the wood to add something unxepected to a popular embellishment.

As always, SWAT has provided the inspiration, but we want to see your twist on the idea! Create a project using the layout and using wooden elements, and link it up to the SWAT blog. I can't wait to see what you come up with to share.



Atomic Project- Repost of do the work

This is a re-post of my Atomic Project Series. Keep an eye on Sundays for more posts like this.

Seriously, get something done. Make something awesome, or not awesome, so you know what not to do next time you try. Put the time in even if you don’t feel like it if you want a creative life. Let me share my first piece of advice on my creative realization, "Do the work" All of the pictures in this post are a result of at least one of the techniques listed in this post.

Reintroduction- Atomic Project

Earlier this year, I started a series of essays about my creative journey. My journey took a detour this year, and I am restarting the series. For the next five Sundays, I will share my project, and restart where I left off.


This is me.

I’m goofy, artistic, and for a long time, insecure about sharing any work, or the stories behind it. I found that I got stuck behind my own self-judgment, and never put things out into the world, despite a desire to share with others. Doing this was contradictory at best, and an ineffective plan for reaching a goal to share my art with others.

I read a lot written by other artists who blog. What I’ve noticed is that the question: “How do you do that?”seems common. This question comes in many forms (some statements):

“I could never do that.”

“Where do you get your ideas?”

“But I’m not creative”

“I just don’t see stuff like you”

Those questions and statements are mostly excuses. I know. I do it. When I look people inspiring me, I have those same doubts. Honestly, I found myself sitting in the self-pity section and wondering why nothing happens. I decided to focus more on my creative life this year, and through the process, I have come to a few realizations:

1. Do the work

2. Find a group of critical friends

3. Ask the right questions

4. Reach out to others

5. Find you

Over the next five Wednesdays, I am going to address each one of these. Facing these truths made a huge impact on the creative direction in my life. They’ve become a part of my plan for a year focused on joy. As I’ve shared, my word of the year is joy, and one of the things that I came to realize was I found great joy in intentionally pursing my artistic endeavors. It’s become my “Atomic Plan”, which sounds kind of evil, but really, it is a plan to break through self-imposed barriers.

I’m sharing my story because it is real. This has been my personal focus, and as I read about other’s journeys, I realize that humility in the process fosters true creativity. I don’t want this to be a blog that just shouts “Look at what I did!” I want this to be a place to find inspiration, to discuss challenges, and to understand that no matter what, someone has or is facing the same frustrations as you.

Please join me the next few Sundays. Next Sunday: Do the work

SWAT- Fussy Cutting

This week's drill is fussy cutting.  I adore fussy cutting. Paper is definitely my favorite scrapbook element, and I love making embellishments from paper.  This layout is a tribute to the memorial we had for my dad two weeks ago.  His ashes were given to the sound off the Bremerton to Seattle ferry, just off Alkai beach.
We set roses out to sea to mark the path, and the red and pink set against the grey of the day, the blue of the sound, and the wake of the ferry was gorgeous.
The layout turned out simple.  I just wanted to mirror what was left, the flowers against the sea. So I fussy cut a variety of roses, and let them float about the page.
The SWAT sponsor for Drill #17 is Creative Embellishments. Upload your fussy cut project to the page for a chance to win this awesome  prize pack!

Creative Embellishments is a new family owned company that was created by Michael and Nicolle Kramer. We are a husband and wife team who design and manufacture unique, high quality  chipboard and wood products. It is our mission is to offer fun and inspiring products to bring out your inner creativity that you can add to any project. In the near  future we will be expanding into other mediums such as rubber/acrylic stamps and acrylic embellishments. Please stop over to the Creative Embellishments store and have a look around.

This is what they are giving away as a prize:

SWAT- Sketch With a Twist

It is time for another SWAT sketch! The amazing and talented Bev came up with this gorgeous sketch to work with this week. The twist? Add twine!

I ended up taking a lot of liberties with this sketch. I wanted to use a couple of pictures from a pre-combined birthday party. I was modeling some SWAG to wear to the Tiki Bar, because flowers and fez got discounts! I created the fez and hair flowers out of my stash and was playing around showing them off on Instagram.

For the layout, I started with a base and added twine stitching. Then, I used some paper whimsies to add the numbers of my age. It felt better to do that than actually say 37, I mean when did that happen! I added the pictures, and embellished with some Silhouette cuts and more stitching. The outcome was bright and fun, which reflected the event well.

As always, play along with the sketch and share with us at SWAT. The winner gets a gift code for 3 Scrappy Boys!


SWAT Challenge: Stamp, Stitch, Spray/Splatter.

SWAT has its new challenge up, The 3 big S's! This time, the challenge is to create a project with Stamping, Stitching,  and Spray/Splatter.

I'm not usually a huge stamper, but I used this challenge to push the boundaries of how I would use stamps on a layout to create interest and dimension. 

I started with a Sassafrass Lass paper as a background, and used some Powder Puff inks to stamp on the circle images. Then, I used a gelato to add some blue and green to the background to add depth. I sprayed the gelato with an alcohol/water mix to soften the lines, and walked away for a while. For me, the challenge of working with spray and water-based media is not overworking the project wet. I have found that messing with things too much creates a muddy mess.

After that dried, I added a mist to get some splatter, and used the stamp with some acrylic paint to create depth in the pattern.

I trimmed the paper, and mounted it on a MME Kaleidoscope paper (Circa 2005- use that stash!!), and began building my layout.


I hope you play with us at SWAT!

SWAT: Sketch and a twist stickers

This week's SWAT sketch has a twist, use those stickers. I decided to mix some realistic flowers  from Cosmo Cricket with some abstract style flowers from Basic Grey. Flowers are definitely one of my favorite things to add to layouts.

I used a sheet of My Mind's eye Kraft Funday as my base, and a Cosmo cricket paper as a anchor for my photos. Budgie got a lollipop from the Hammond's Candy tour, and she loved getting to eat a big lollipop. She just happened to wear a dress that matched her treat, which probably wasn't that unlikely, since she always picks pink when she has a choice.

The Basic Grey flowers were too pale for the layout, so I darkened them with Prismacolor colored pencils. If stickers are not glossy, it is easy to adjust the color with pencils. If they are glossy, some acrylic gloss or ink would have worked as well.

I hope you like my take on the challenge! Here's the so you can play at SWAT.


A lesson in noise

I'm working with young adults and trying to teach that negative noise is a part of life. Sometimes it's good, but mostly it's not. Here's my assignment, when its real I believe in sharing my raw side too

SWAT- Trendy Triangles

HI! If you are looking for the Scrapbook Steals blog hop click ----->HERE

SWAT's new challenge is Trendy Triangles! Do your best interpretation, and link up your work to the SWAT Blog for a chance to win a 3 Scrappy Boys Gift Card!

I chose to make my own background for the Trendy Triangles. I started with a sheet of kraft paper, and drew 1x1 inch squares on the paper, then I rotated the paper, and drew the grid again to create a paper grid of triangles. I then used Derwent Inktense Pencils and colored in triangles as I liked. Once I was happy with the design, I misted the whole page and then used a paper towel to blot up the extra water. I pressed the paper towel on the page like a stamp, and let the kraft dry. Then, I used Prismacolor Colored Pencils to bump up the color, and add some dimension. I colored some of the remaining lines with the colored pencil, and erased the plain pencil lines. Finally, I embellished and used this picture of my showing my girls to use Robin's Eggs as blue lipstick.

I love how dreamy this layout turned out. Give us your best go at SWAT! I can't wait to see your take on the trend!


Scrapbook Steals Blog Hop!! 7 Gypsies Vintage ATCs

I am so excited to be a part of the Scrapbook Steals blog hop for 7 Gypsies ATC Vintage ATC scrapbook supplies. These were so much fun, and I am really excited about the cards I was able to make with these products. You should be visiting me as the first stop after the Scrapbook Steals Blog.

I absolutely love making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I find they are a great way to try new techniques and to share with other artists.

For this card, I started with the 7 Gypsies Vintage ATC as a base with a touch of inking, and added my sentiment, some May Arts ribbon, and a die cut flower that I embellished with some Smooch.

I used another 7 Gypsies Vintage ATC for the base of this card. I stamped on the floral image, and colored it with Prismacolor colored pencils, then I added some Little B washi, a Basic Grey Brad, and finally altered a Studio Calico wood veener to add some dimension to the card. 

Chalkboard style elements are a HUGE trend, and when I saw the black 7 Gypsies Tab Divider in black, I had to try my own take at the trend. The paper is perfect for a chalkboard feel, and a white Prismacolor pencil worked perfectly for the chalk look. I varied the pressure to allow the grain of the tab divider to show through. I hand drew this letter, but if you aren't sure about drawing, find a font you like, print it out, heavily pencil the back, place it over the tab divider, and then trace over the printout. Finally, use a white pencil or pen to trace over the image.

The 7 Gypsies Vintage folders are perfect for making a gift card holder. Recently, our Starbucks added a Clover machine, and they have reserve coffee to brew. I used a card from the reserve coffee for the image, used Smooch to alter the folder, and embellished with ribbon, rhinestones, and flowers. Inside, you can see a coffee card peeking out, waiting for the perfect coffee break.

I was surprised at the versatility of the products. There are so many uses: ATCs, gift card holders, journaling tags, mini albums, recipe albums, and more. Don't forget to comment, so you are entered into the Scrapbook Steals gift card giveaway, and please follow me if you found some inspiration.

Thanks for visiting. Next, you get to visit Lisa and see her amazing work!

In case you get lost here is today's lineup:

SWAT sketch

I'm so excited to share my interpretation of the SWAT sketch! I got to play with some Authentique Sweetness on this layout.

The story is kind of sad, if you follow my blog, you know my Dad has been sick, and a couple of months ago he spent a handful of weeks in the hospital. This picture is of my oldest at one of our visits. I was pretty upset, and I looked down at her sitting on a stool below my chair, and saw this little smile.

My oldest has the sweetest, biggest heart that I have ever known. She is everybody's friend, and in this moment, she knew exactly what I needed.

Winner- Scrapbook Steals Birthday Blog Hop!!

Thank you to all who played along with the Scrapbook Steals birthday blog hop!!

The winner of the mystery 4-pack is....
Charissa Miller!!

Contact me with your mailing information by Monday 7/23/2013, and I will get this out to you!

Scrapbook Steals Birthday Blog Hop!

Happy Birthday Scrapbook Steals! I am so happy to be a part of your birthday blog hop!
You should be visiting from my wonderful friend Cristine!

I'm happy to take a turn on all four birthday challenges!

Challenge #1 - happy 4th birthday – use 4 items
Use four items and ONLY four items for your project.

My four items are:
Ink (pads and mist)

I chose to make a layout celebrating my sweet love, Gregory. He is a reluctant photography subject, but he has a sweet smile that melts my heart. The journaling is hidden in the folder.

Challenge #2 – 2009
Since we launched in 2009, do a project remembering your favorite part of the year.

2009 was the year I married my husband, and we became our unique little blended family. Later that year, my youngest was born. For my family, 2009 was a big deal. I've wanted a canvas celebrating our year, but never made one. Luckily, this challenge was the perfect motivation. I want to frame this black and hang it.

Challenge #3 – Favorite Vendor
Choose your favorite scrapbookSTEALS.com vendor and create a project using their products.

It's not a surprise that my favorite Scrapbook Steals vendor is Authentique, and their steals with Scrapbook Steals have been nothing less than amazing! They have offered many mega packs that I have stolen. This layout uses papers from several of those steals, highlighting the beauty of many Authentique lines. Bridget, my youngest, put stickers on her dad and I. I thought the picture was too cute not to scrap. I adore playing with her, and our matching stickers were fun to model in a photo.

Challenge #4 – Washi Fever
Create a project using everyone's newest obsession, washi tape. On this project you must use 4 different tapes (since we are celebrating our 4th birthday).

I chose to do a mixed-media plaque for my washi project. "Love" is a word that came to mind often when working on a project for Scrapbook Steals! I used washi as part of this project, and the four types are zebra, red print, turquoise print, and turquoise stripe.  I used washi to finish the edges of this plaque, and it finished this project nicely.


Of course, there are prizes! Create your take on any or all of the four challenges, and link up your projects to Scrapbook Steals by Wendesday at Midnight Mountain Time. Also, follow my blog and comment on this post, and you will be entered to win a mystery 4 pack grab bag! Comments posted before Wednesday at Midnight Mountain Time will be entered to win!

 Next, you get to visit my extremely talented friend, Cyndee!

Happy Birthday Scrapbook Steals!

In case you are lost, here is the whole line up!

Cathy Caines:   www.inthecatcave.com.
Venetia Holbrook:  www.atomicvenetia.blogspot.com
Erin Colby: http://oursliceofcheese.blogspot.com                                

SWAT Neon!

This time, the SWAT challenge was neon! I wanted to do a bright version of neon using both neon colors, neutrals, and brights. I started by looking through my papers and creating a kit that worked well together. I knew I wanted to use this picture of my youngest because the facial expression is so cute.

I wanted to have wild feel to the layout, so I heavily distressed the floral background and several of the elements.  I was scrapping with my dear friend Heather, so she was along for the whole process adding her eye and suggestions. I really love crafting with a friend!

So who's your favorite crafty friend? Leave a comment and tell me all about them.