Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Scrappiness (SUPER photo-heavy Post) May 30, 2010

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 10:00 am

My good friend, Agi, and her fiancé, Carl, are expecting their first baby around the end of June. When Agi and I went to the Odd Duck Craft Bazaar in Davie a couple of months ago she mentioned that she would like to find something to use as a baby book. We never did find anything. Because Agi is an unconventional, artsy-type chick, I knew that she wouldn’t want a traditional, “froufy”-style, baby book, so I decided to make her an album.


I used an 8”x8” Maya Road binder-ring chipboard album as the base. The papers and embellishments are mostly Crate Paper’s Mia Collection and Lillian Collection, and a few miscellaneous items and papers from my stash. I used a couple of border punches and a butterfly punch, as well. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out (this is actually the third incarnation of this baby album; the first two times I started making regular 8.5”x11” scrap pages but I hated the way they were turning out so I trashed them).


I decided not to cover the entire outer album because I liked the look of the raw chipboard, so I just used a few pieces of paper, minimal embellishments and chipboard letters from Crate Paper (Aza is the baby’s name; it’s Swahili in origin and means “reflect, think; strong”).


First page.  I made it so she could fit 4’”x6” pictures on all the pages, as that is the most common photo size, but could also use 5”x7” on some pages, or even multiple smaller photos (like 3”x3”, 3”x4”, or 4”x4”).


Pages 2-3. The “Father” title die cut was in the goody bags we received at the scrap retreat in September. The “Daughter” on the opposite page is a rub-on from Crate Paper.

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Pages 4-5. The statistics journaling block in the bottom left corner was actually lifted from Angie Lucas’ blog. You can’t see it in the picture, but the little bird on the right is glittered.

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Pages 6-7. I really tried to keep the embellishments simple so that she would have plenty of room for photos or journaling.

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Pages 8-9. The “Cute” title is from Colorbok and is glittered.

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Pages 10-11.  The journaling tag is also from the retreat goody bag. The “Princess” on the right side is layered on brown cardstock, then cut out and mounted on pop dots.

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Pages 12-13. The green flower was in my Christmas Swap gift from Vane. So pretty.

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Pages 14-15. The three little birds are from Crate Paper. I thought it would be cute to have them represent Carl, Agi and the baby.

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Page 16. I kept this one super simple so she could fill it with journaling or lots of smaller photos, whatever she wants.


I used Mod Podge and a foam brush to adhere the patterned paper to the chipboard pages, then ran the edge of my bone folder over them to smooth out any bubbles. I rounded the corners with my Crop-o-Dile Corner Chomper, and sanded the edges with a fine grit sanding block (from Home Depot). I inked all the edges with white pigment ink. Most of the embellishments were glued down with either pop dots or Alene’s Tacky Glue (for durability).


I also made her a second, smaller (4.5”x6.5”) flipbook-style album where she could record the baby’s “Firsts” (ie, first feeding, first bath, first car ride, etc.). For this one I used a plastic-covered, mini-album that I had in my stash (I think it was from Ady’s birthday party goody bag a couple of years ago), papers from the Making Memories Whimsy collection and two clear stamps from Studio Calico (Storybook Alpha and Journaling Lines). The ink I used for stamping is Ranger Distress Ink in vintage photo. The yellow alphas on the cover are vinyl AC Thickers (I used Tacky Glue to adhere them), and the flower and little tag are from K by Marcella.

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I used the same format for all the pages (12 in total).

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Friday Night, Last Orders at the Pub* May 17, 2010

Filed under: Life,Miscellany,Personal,Photography — Lulu @ 10:18 pm

* From the song “Friday Night” by Lily Allen


You know what’s funny? I could go weeks and weeks without any plans or invitations, then all of a sudden I have two things on the same night. That’s what happened this past Friday night.


My BFF was visiting from California for a few days, to help his mom with some home repairs and such, and the only time he would be free to get together was Friday night. That also turned out to be the same night that Kat, a good friend of Fanless’ and mine (me? I? whatever) was celebrating her birthday with dinner and drinks at Brickell Irish Pub in downtown Miami.


So I picked up my BFF at his mom’s house at about 4PM and we headed over to the TGI Friday’s at Dolphin Mall. We were there about an hour before we were joined by some other friends from our old job. [A little background: BFF and I met when we were in the same department at my former employer. He thought I had good eyebrows, I thought he had nice hair, we hung out a couple of times and that was that. We’ve been BFFs for about 18 years now.] It was really nice to hang out with some cool people that I’ve missed seeing at work every day. (Now that I work from home, the most human interaction I get on weekdays is when the mailman or UPS guy drop off a package from Noel Mignon or Stop& Oh, and when the pest control guy comes to spray at the end of the month.)


My BFF said this picture looks like a color chart! It’s so true!



I had intended to leave Friday’s at about 6:30PM in order to make it to Brickell Irish Pub by 8pm, but you know how it is. We all got to chatting and catching up, and before I knew it, it was about 7:45PM when I finally rushed out of Dolphin Mall and headed downtown. (This is the part where I spare you a whole, long story about how I missed the exit indicated by Google maps and ended up going a different way and got totally lost, and by the time I found the place and managed to grab a parking spot – very scarce in that area – it was almost 9PM when I walked into the pub.)


Because Kat’s hubby (Fanless’ friend and coworker, Mike) does a lot of printing for this venue (and Segafredo’s, which is owned by the same guy), we got totally hooked up for the evening. He had set us up on the second floor, which is typically off-limits to patrons, so we had the entire area to ourselves and exclusive table service. Plus ALL our food and drinks were comped! VIP, baby! (Just kidding. I had no idea we were going to be hooked up like that, but it sure was nice.) The place was really cool, but super-crowded. So it was nice that we had that whole area to ourselves. There was a live band, too, which was fun. Oh, and small world – I ran into another old friend from my previous job! He was there celebrating a birthday for one of his friends as well.





(Just playing around for a photo op, The Jagermeister machine wasn’t actually functional.)


LOL! He was a little bit drunk (after like 8 beers and a vodka shot). Doofus.


Anyway, we finally left the place sometime after 1:00AM. It was such a fun night, but very, very exhausting. I was so tired the next day. Probably ‘cause I’m old now.


Peace out, yo!


Productivity! May 16, 2010

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 5:16 pm

I decided to take advantage of a day with no plans at all, and rearranged and reorganized my scrap space.


Here is the before:

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And the after:



I realized that I hardly ever used my space because I like to watch TV while I scrap, and the way the table was set up before had me sitting with my back to the TV. I had been thinking of rearranging the area for a while, but had been lazy uninterested procrastinating  about it. I finally jumped in this morning and got it done in a couple of hours. Pretty happy with the result!


Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Peace out, yo!


P.S. I’ll be back later (or tomorrow) with pics from Friday night’s festivities (happy hour with my BFF, who was visiting from California, and another friend’s birthday party).


Scrappiness May 13, 2010

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 11:28 pm

A couple of days ago I felt like making something scrappy, other than a layout, so I decided to tackle a mini-album. I’ve said before that I don’t usually make mini-albums because I find them intimidating and usually run out of steam about halfway through. But as I was browsing through the many, many scrap blogs in my Google Reader, I was inspired by several beautiful minis that I came across, and was determined to make one from start to finish. In order to stick to the plan, I had to keep it simple, so I used few supplies:

I didn’t use any premade embellishments. Instead I made all my embellishments by either punching or cutting out images from the patterned paper, then covering them with glossy accents or some glitter glue. Some I just covered in Mod Podge to give them a little “protective coating.”  (Webster’s Pages paper is a thick cardstock so it’s not as delicate as thinner papers; it’s perfect for this type of technique). 


This is the front cover:

1 - cover

The blue ruffle was made by punching a strip of paper with the Martha Stewart border punch, then crumbling it up to “soften” it. I glued it down with Tacky Glue across the top of the strip, but left the bottom loose to give it some texture. The butterflies were punched and cut out. The large yellow one and the little brown one were covered with Glossy Accents. The blue one was simply inked and bling was glued on for the body.


It’s hard to tell from the pictures but I used pop dots on some of the embellishments to give the pages some dimension. The wings of the larger butterfly (on the left of the chandelier) are lifted off the page, as are the roses and leaves in front of the birdcage on the right.

2 - page

The dress form was cut out from one of the patterned papers, covered in a layer of Mod Podge, and pop dotted onto the page. The stamp I used is the pink frame on the page on the right.

3 - page

For the page on the right the butterflies were treated in the same manner as the blue one on the cover. You can see the stamp again just off the left side of the page. For the page on the right, the hot air balloon was cut out of patterned paper, and the butterflies were punched. The two darker butterflies are glittered.

4 - page

The yellow hot air balloon on the left and the large one on the right were cut out of the patterned paper and accented with glitter (you can’t see it in the picture, but it’s there). The two ruffles on the bottom of the page on the right were made using the same technique as on the cover, then layered.

5 - page

This is the back cover. I kept this simple, with just a punched butterfly that was glittered. I didn’t want to put too much embellishment or dimension on here, as I didn’t want anything to get damaged or fall off.

6 - cover

The binder ring (as seen in the first photo) was decorated with a few pieces of ribbon and trim from my stash.


And that’s that. I really like how it came out. It was simple to make and only took a couple of hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, and most of that was waiting for the different glues to dry. I think I might try a couple more of these, just for fun.


Peace out, yo!


P.S. I think I’m going to count this as two for the 100 Layout Challenge. Just because I can. =) So that makes the tally 45.


P.P.S. Oh, I almost forgot! I have to confess… I fell of the (scrap)wagon. I just couldn’t help it when I saw the Lemonade Stand kit (below) from Noel Mignon. It is GORGEOUS!! And can I just tell you, I ordered it on Tuesday (I think; maybe Monday night), and I ALREADY RECEIVED IT! It was delivered today. Awesome!! I do feel somewhat guilty, but whatever. I’ll get over it. =)


Scrappiness May 10, 2010

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 12:41 pm

I managed to get a little bit of scrapping done over the past week. Four new layouts, bringing the challenge count to 43.


This one uses MAMBI paper, a K&Co orange glitter bird sticker, and glitter Thickers. I can’t remember who makes the chipboard butterflies.



This one uses all K&Co Que Sera Sera and Serendipity, and glitter Thickers. The orange cardstock is also glitter and is from DCWV.



This one was inspired by a challenge on one of the scrap blogs (can’t remember which one) to scrap about the origin of your name. It is all Prima Rock On, except the alphas and the flowers. I can’t remember who makes either of those. The flowers were plain fabric flowers, which I inked with Versamark, covered with UTEE, and then heat embossed. Once they were dry, I used an iridescent glitter glue all over the surface. It’s hard to see in the photo, but it gives them a really nice ceramic-y look, with a bit of sparkle. (Check me out, using techniques!)



Everything on this one is from a Noel Mignon kit, except the pink flourishes. Those are from K&Co. Also, since my journaling is in Spanish, I’m sure there are more than a few grammatical or spelling errors. Translation: “My dad is the best I know of. He’s always been very loving with us. He’s a hard worker and he’s always done everything he can to make sure his girls were taken of.”



Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. Peace out, yo!


Happy NSD!* May 1, 2010

Filed under: Scrapbooking — Lulu @ 3:05 pm

* National Scrapbooking Day.


In honor of NSD, I am posting layouts that I made last weekend with the Scrappy Girls. I wasn’t super productive (only 4 layouts completed), but I was happy with the way they turned out. These were all made with various Noel Mignon kits and some miscellaneous items from my stash.



These are older ones that I made a few weeks ago and never got around to posting.


Enjoy your weekend!