5 Tips on Improving Your Flat Lay Photography

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…a year ago, I didn’t even know what “flat lay” meant.  It didn’t take me much time to learn all about flat lay photography.  A quick Pinterest search and you’ll be eyeballs deep into a million blog posts that explain what it is and how to do it.  But not a single one of those blog posts explained how to flat lay with scrapbook layouts.

I mean, I guess it’s not much of a stretch to replace what they were photographing with a scrapbook layout.  But I felt like my photography subject of choice was really underrepresented on Pinterest.

So I learned what I could, and started applying it to my Instagram photos.

I’m going to let you in on another (albeit completely random) little secret…I hate taking pictures on a wood grain background.  Not because I don’t like the look of it, because I LOVE the look of wood grain.  But I was using it for awhile and I could never match up the color, so my feed looked like this:

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What in the actual heck, guys.  Not a single one of these photos matches!!  Ooof.  And I’m not saying my photos look horrible or anything.  But it makes me cringe just a little.

After experimenting with this background for awhile, I switched to layout only.  Which I think can look amazing on an Instagram feed.  Paige Evans has a mix of layouts and other photos on her feed, but none of her layout photos are staged, and it’s gorgeous y’all.  (Some other great “layout only” Instagram pages are Heather Shank, Rachel Lowe, and Anne Keller.)  But I’m, sadly, not Paige, so my feed looked like this:

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Not horrible, just not exciting either.  Also, it read a little like an advertisement for all of my design teams, which wasn’t what I was going for either.

I started experimenting with flat lay in April 2018.  It’s a learning process for sure.  Here’s a peek at my first flat lay after all my Pinterest research:

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My suggestions to past Kira would be:

#1:  Tilt the layout less.

#2:  Increase brightness and contrast.

#3:  Add a larger element than the bowl OR add more smaller pieces around the shot.

So why in the world am I telling you all of this???  Recently, I have had a few people approach me asking for advice on staging photos.  And while I am still learning myself, I am always happy to share any tips or tricks I have learned along the way.

For simplicity purposes, I am going to be talking about Instagram photos. 

Tip #1: Decide the “theme” you are going for.

Do you want your Instagram page to read as bright and colorful?  Or simple and clean?  Perhaps you love the look of wood grain and feels it works well with the aesthetic you’re going for.  Whatever it is, go for it!  I’m not here to tell you, “I use a white background, so you should too!”  Pick what works best for your “look”.

Tip #2:  Choose your background.

This doesn’t mean if you’ve decided on white, you have to stick with white.  Or choose a single color and stick with that.  I actually love what Zinia does with her Instagram and how she switches between multiple poster board backgrounds.

Full disclosure:  I went with white, because its easy to edit.  White will always be white, if it looks grey, you brighten it to white.  If it looks yellow, you decrease the warmth and make it look white.  It’s just easy.  And I am just lazy.

If you are still fine tuning your photography, I wouldn’t suggest a wood grain, or something that would be difficult to edit in different lighting.  It was frustrating to me to try and match the color of my wood grain, and I spent more time than necessary editing when I could’ve easily cut that time in half by choosing a white background.  But if you are set on woodgrain, by all means, CHOOSE THE WOOD GRAIN!

I do, however, use a wood grain background for my Jillibean Soup blog posts, and I think they end up looking great!

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Tip #3:  Props, props and more props

I didn’t start with a million little trinket trays around my craft room.  I collected them over time because of my photography staging obsession.  I even have two of the same wooden tray because I got sick of unloading it with practical tools, staging it with other items, and reloading it back up.  So I have an empty one for staging and one that actually serves as a desk organizer.  Seriously, it’s gotten out of hand.

I like to have “medium” sized props, “small” props and then the little bits and bobs that really set your staging apart.

Medium sized prop ideas:  typewriter (as long as you are only adding in a small corner like I did with the above layout), desktop organizers like this, trays, cupcake tins and bowls (think cereal bowl sized, not trinket sized).

Here are a few of the medium props I use:

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Small sized prop ideas:  small jewelry trays, small trinket dishes, and small bowls.

And some of my small props:

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Most of my stuff was purchased at Tuesday Morning, Hobby Lobby, Target or IKEA. 

Bits and bobs:  buttons, sequins, paper clips, safety pins, clothespins, etc.

Tools:  Sometimes its nice to add in some of the tools you used on your layout.  I consistently add in my tiny attacher and date roller stamp because they add a pop of black to the layout.  But I don’t usually add in my cutterbee scissors because they’re bright yellow.  So if you are adding tools, choose some that look nice.  Gold stapler=good.  Dirty fineliner bottle=bad.  You get the gist.

Tip #4: Your layout should be the star of the show!

This seems obvious, right?!  But even just angling a prop at an awkward angle, or adding too much stuff to your “square” can quickly turn your layout from the star to a secondary component.

Tip #5:  Start setting up the shot.

Since Instagram is set up in a square format, I like to keep my flat lay photos in a square.  It’s just easier and looks nicer when you’re looking at your Instagram page as a whole.  So when you are setting up your flat lay, you need to imagine that square when working on placement of layout and props.

I start with my layout, the star of my photo.  When deciding which side and angle to place my layout, I look at the layout itself.  If the layout is heavy on the left, I want the left side in my shot and have the right hanging off the side.  You can always choose to have your layout fully in the shot too!  No rule saying you need it peeking off like I do mine, I just prefer to give my followers a little sneak, then post another full shot so they can swipe to see the entire layout.  (Did you know that the Instagram algorithm likes when you use that multi-photo feature?  Yeah, that’s why I use it.)

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Next, I start “building” my shot up.  I have my layout placed, so next I choose a medium prop.  I try to be conscious of what prop I use so I don’t have the same tray used twice in a row, or in the photo that will be below my new photo.  I don’t go in a specific order or anything, I just want it to look a little staggered.

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If I choose to go with a small prop as my 2nd piece, I may choose to use two to make it a “medium prop”.  So instead of a desktop tray, I could use a trinket dish and a small bowl.

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Finally, you will start adding those bits and bobs.  For the most part, I like to stick with similar items that are on my layout.  For example, if it is a layout using my August Citrus Twist kit, I will pull items from that kit.  That way I know my colors will coordinate and it gives me an opportunity to show off more of the kit.  But generic items like paperclips and sequins are great to “fill in” empty space.

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If I am being honest with this photo…it’s looking a bit cluttered.  I’d remove the ribbon, “you are loved” piece and tassel and just keep the sequins.  But I’m lazy, remember?  So I’m just going to say that and not re-shoot the photo. 

Staging photos is a constant learning opportunity.  I am always trying new things and experimenting with what I think looks good.  And it’s not always easy either.  I spend more time staging one photo than I do on taking and editing ten photographs.  So take your time, find what works best for you, and try and have fun with it!

I hope all these little tips helped you!  Feel free to comment any questions you might have about staging your photos!

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So You Want to Be on a Design Team…

I will never forget receiving my first design team (DT) acceptance email. It was 11pm and I was having trouble sleeping, so I got my phone out and did the typical browsing…Facebook, Instagram, email. And there it was: 2017-2018 DT contract for The Wild Hare Kits. I contained my excitement so I didn’t wake up my husband. It took everything in me not to shake him awake to share my news.

I had been scrapbooking for seven months when I made this team. I had no design team experience. I had just moved across the country weeks before I submitted my application. And I didn’t feel prepared to be showcasing a company’s products. But I had set a goal in December 2016 to make a design team and I did it!

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After I made The Wild Hare Kits in May, I kept applying to more. It gave me a boost in my confidence level and made me set my sights on even more teams. I applied to 16 teams in 2017, was asked to join one team and made four teams total. By April 2018 I had applied to one more and asked to join another, bringing my total number of design teams to six.

At the end of 2017, a pen pal of mine asked for advice for how to get on a DT. She had been scrapbooking a little longer than I had, had a YouTube channel for a bit longer. And had a large Instagram following. So why hadn’t she made any teams??? I sat down and wrote out pages upon pages about my thoughts on making DTs. She took my advice and less than a month later made her first DT! So with the prompting of Lara (owner of Ink Road Stamps), I decided to take that advice and put it into a useful blog post for those of you as desperate (as I was) to make a design team.

Tip #1: Photography

I think the biggest issue people have when applying for DTs is their photography. Here’s what mine used to look like:IMG_E9115And here’s what my photos look like now:

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If you’re photographing a layout, you should be able to take a photo of it from above, as its laying on a flat surface. The colors should be bright and vivid, and true to color. You always want to avoid overexposing your photos (something I am super guilty of doing when I first began editing my photos).  I always take a full shot, many close ups (for blog posts) and a stylized flat lay for my Instagram feed. I would master the full shot before moving onto stylized shots.

A lot of people think you need a nice, fancy camera for good photography. But my photos are all taken with an iPhone 6 that I’ve had for two years. Nice cameras are not necessary for decent photos. (Although if you HAVE a nice camera, USE IT!!!)

My set up looks like this:

I mean, that’s about the least amount of fancy you can get right?!  (Also, we need to tend to that neglected lawn outside ASAP!)

I have a window in my house that provides perfect lighting between 9am-11am on overcast days. I set my projects on a white foam board, and bounce the natural light onto my project with three other foam boards. I like overcast skies because they don’t cast a blue, or yellow light onto my projects. Although if I’m in a pinch and need to get something photographed, I will take it in bright light, and edit the blue out in the editing phase (this is called “white balance” in most editing software).

Then I edit on my phone with the app Snapseed. There are plenty of editing apps on the market, all with their own learning curve. I’ve heard good things about A Color Story and Pic Tap Go. But I’m comfortable with Snapseed and am happy with my results. Choose an editing app you like, and then practice, practice, practice until you get the editing to where you like it.

If my photos are being used for a blog post, I edit further after I upload them to my computer. I have a PC and do not use Photoshop. Scrapbooking is a hobby that I already put lots of time and money into, I’ve yet to invest in decent photography/editing software. I do, however, use GIMP which is a free photoshop-like software. There is a steep learning curve with this as well, but found that it can really brighten and bring contrast to my photos like Snapseed can’t. It also allows me to scale down my photos to look sharper on blog posts.

Tip #2: Curate your Instagram feed

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Instagram is where you want to be if you’re interested in being on design teams. It’s the easiest way for companies to get a comprehensive view of your style. It’s much easier to scroll for a second to get an idea of what your style is like, than have to scroll through pages of blog posts to see.

You can look at my Instagram feed here. I’ve spent the last two years fine tuning my feed to exactly how I want it to look. If you scroll far enough, you’ll see how it’s grown and the changes it’s gone through. My feed is also strictly craft related. I don’t post personal photos in my feed at all. I’m not saying you shouldn’t, it’s just my preference to keep my feed crafty. I think using the stories feature is a great way to post personal photos, or non-crafty photos, without messing up your curated feed. (You can also create highlights that will save these photos so they won’t disappear in 24 hours).

Some of my favorite accounts with curated feeds are Suse Fish, Kathleen Graumeller and Jennifer Gallacher. (Note that each of these people have a strong presence in the scrapbooking community).

Tip #3: Alternate social media

Along with Instagram, I have a YouTube channel (now inactive) and a blog (sporadically inactive). Do I think these contributed to me getting on DTs? Not in the least. I started a blog with the thought that blogs are what DTs want, I mean, they all say “Link your blog” in the application right? And maybe some of them do visit my blog. But I guarantee it isn’t impressing them to the point where they want me on their team.

My blog is a sad, neglected place that gets 3 views per post. I post infrequently and sporadically. My posts usually direct the reader to another blog. But I have a blog. And maybe that’s all the DTs want to see. Who knows.

My YouTube channel on the other hand, until recently, got regular videos added. And a steady increase of subscribers since I started it. I usually add something about my channel in my DT applications, not because I think it increases my chances of making the team, but because it’s something I’ve worked hard on and I’m proud of and it’s a good showcase of my work. Do I think you need a YouTube channel to make a DT? Nope!

All that said, I think if you choose not to have a blog or a YouTube channel, your Instagram account should be 100% curated and crafty to really showcase your work.

Tip #4: Experience NOT required

The biggest complaint I hear from people trying to make DTs is “They want experience but how can I get experience if I’ve never made a DT”. And while I think DT experience does help in making a team, I don’t think it’s a requirement for most teams. I made four of my six DTs within three months of each other. My “experience” with being on The Wild Hare Kits team was not a contributing factor to making the Citrus Twist Kits team two months later.

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If a design team has set deadlines every month, with strict guidelines, they might prefer someone with DT experience because it shows them you will know what to expect and won’t require a lot of guidance. But in my experience, most DTs have loose guidelines and requirements that work around your schedule. So while experience might be preferred, it’s not required in most cases.

Tip #5: Guest Designing

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If you still aren’t convinced that DTs want DT experience, maybe you need to add a “guest design option” in your application. There’s nothing wrong with mentioning that if all the positions get filled, that you’d be more than happy to be a guest designer for that company. And let me tell you, guest designing is literally the greatest. I have guest designed for over five companies. It’s like being on the design team without the monthly pressure. It’ll provide experience, and show what it’s like to be on that SPECIFIC team. (All teams are different and not all teams will be an ideal fit for you. Perhaps you guest design and realize that team isn’t the team for you, you’ll have realized that without making a 6-12 month commitment that you’d possibly have to break.)

Those are my tips from someone who has made the design team cut. But I thought it would be interesting to hear from someone on the other side of the email, the one choosing the DT. So I asked Lara of Ink Road Stamps a few questions about the process:

About how many applications do you receive for a design team call?

This time it was 200+, last time it was maybe 100 or so.

(Guys, that is A LOT of crafty people you’re trying to beat out!  And keep in mind that Ink Road Stamps is a fairly new company, so those larger companies that have been around awhile, could have even more applicants than that!)

What’s the number one mistake people make when applying to your design team?

Good photos are a MUST and neutral backgrounds.

(I want to touch back to my photography tips here, I will never submit staged photos for a DT call.  I love my staged photos, I think flatlays are amazing, but when I submit an application, I submit photos of layout only, on a white background.  Period. Don’t try to get fancier than you need to.)

Do you require a blog or YouTube channel for your design team members?

No blog or YouTube is required, but SOME sort of social media is.  It’s 2018, that’s where people find you!

Which social media platform is the most important for an applicant to have?

For Ink Road, Instagram is most important, but I’m sure it varies by company. 

How important is past design team experience?

Not important at all if they have beautiful projects that can showcase my products!

(FYI, Lara was the second person to take a chance on me with only 9 months of scrapbooking under my belt and absolutely no design team experience at the time!)

When submitting projects in an application, do you want to see a variety of projects (scrapbook layouts, project life, cards, “off the page” ideas, etc.) or would you prefer the applicant stick to their main strength?

Stick with your strength!

(When I first started applying for teams I was submitting it ALLLLLL:  layouts, project life, snailmail, EVERYTHING! Now I stick to layouts only, with the exception of the Jillibean Soup DT call. They specifically mentioned wanting to see crafters who can work with their Mix the Media products.  So for that call I submitted 2 layouts (my strength) and an embroidery hoop.)

Anything else future applicants should know?

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get picked! There are TONS of design teams and fresh design team calls in the future, keep applying!!

(Seriously.  Keep applying!  I applied to 16 DTs in 2017!  16!!!  It was a lot of rejection, but you can’t make a team if you don’t put yourself out there.  I promise, the rejection is worth it when you make your first team.)

So there you have it!  I hope you found this information useful.  I don’t claim to be a DT expert, but I wanted to share the tips that worked for me!  Extra special thanks to Lara for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions!  If you have any further questions, feel free to comment below!

xo, Kira

Why I Quit YouTube

So yesterday I did a thing.  I quit YouTube.  My channel is still alive, and I don’t plan on deleting it any time soon.  (Why put in all the hard work to make those videos only to delete it all???)  But I am done.  I am done being a YouTuber.  I am done creating videos.  I am done with YouTube.

Before I go into my reasons why I’m quitting YouTube, I feel like you need to know my reasons why I started a channel in the first place.  Rewind to Fall 2016…

I started out paper crafting in July 2016.  It was simple really, I had an idea for an anniversary gift for my husband, I searched Pinterest and got sucked in to the snailmail community.  (If you’re unaware, there’s an entire community of crafters that just create paper crafting projects that they mail to each other, usually in some sort of swap form where other goodies are given as gifts.)

I joined Instagram, started my following, and got a few pen pals.  Enter Mary.

Mary and I started as pen pals, but she was pretty persistent that we needed to be actual, real life friends.  So I caved.  And soon we were texting each other everyday.  I have Mary to thank for convincing me to start scrapbooking instead of snailmailing.

By September, Mary and I had concocted a plan to start a YouTube channel.  It would be a YouTube channel like no other, where two friends would address each other in their videos, with a back and forth style, essentially crafting with each other.

We were pumped!  The channel would be called Create Craft Repeat (a play off of our Instagram names @createdtocreate365 and @kira.gets.crafty).  Our launch date was set for October 1st.

The channel was nothing like our vision.  Mary had too much going on to post consistently, so the channel was about 75% Kira and 25% Mary.  But whatever, we had subscribers, we had views, we were gaining a following!

Besides wanting a fun crafty outlet with my friend, there was a second reason I started a YouTube channel…I wanted to be on a design team!  No, I was DESPERATE to get on a design team.  My whole goal in life was to make a design team.  And I thought this was a necessary step to make that dream a realty.

In hind sight, I didn’t need the channel to get on a design team.  I needed to improve as a crafter, improve my photography, and be a presence in the community.  But I was younger back then, and was convinced YouTube was going to get me on my first design team.

Fast forward to Winter 2017…Mary was going through some stuff in her personal life (that’s her story to tell, but you can catch the details in this video).  And was posting to our channel sporadically.  And after months of bugging her, Mary finally posted a farewell video March 2018 so I could take over the channel for myself.

If you are curious about that friendship, I’ll just say this:  we haven’t spoken in five months.

But after Mary left the channel, I had big plans for it.  I was going to start a new series, I was going to post more frequently, I was going to ask some of my friends to do collaborations.  Big plans.

But then the views started dwindling.  I went from getting 500+ views per video to 200+ views per video.  My confidence was wavering.

Did all of our subscribers only subscribe for Mary’s videos?  Was anyone here just for me?

Around that same time (May 2018) I had reapplied for one of my design teams (I had made six by this point, by the way, none of which I believe is thanks to my channel), and I was starting to question if I would be chosen back on.  Days went by and I started to become more complacent that I would not be joining the team for a second term.  And my confidence was shook some more.  I could barely craft, my mojo had completely disappeared.

So I stopped making videos.

And then I was asked back on the team I was convinced didn’t want me.  Phew.

It took a few days to start getting my mojo back.  And I am not super proud of what I made.  And probably less proud of how much I let something so silly affect my confidence.

I started making videos again at the end of June and thought, now is the time I get serious about making some changes to this channel.  But the views dropped even more.

THEN…our computer stopped being able to recognize my phone when I plugged it in.  It was an old computer, it was time for an upgrade.  But I was using Windows Movie Maker for my editing, and you may have heard that there’s not a great FREE alternative to Movie Maker on newer computers.

So I played around with new software, all of which was free.  And I struggled.  Nothing was quite as simple and streamlined as Movie Maker.  I spent 4 hours one day editing a video.  Four.  Hours.

Now here’s about the point I started really contemplating if YouTube was right for me.  And here’s my list of why I ultimately decided to quit:

  1.  I don’t even watch YouTube, guys.  Maybe a video here and there, mostly my friends who I want to support.  But I don’t go to YouTube for inspiration.  It’s just not my jam.
  2. My views were waaaaay down.  I don’t think this is anyone’s fault but my own.  I was consistent and then I wasn’t.  I started with snailmail videos, diy embellishment videos and process videos…then focused solely on process videos.  There was a lot of change, so it’s not the subscribers’ fault if they weren’t interested in process videos only.
  3. My original reasons for starting the channel were gone.  My friend doesn’t exist as my friend anymore and I made design teams.  C’est la vie.
  4. My children are no longer taking naps.  This may seem like an odd reason, but for those of you with small children, you’ll understand.  I was usually spending nap time (2-3 hours per day) either creating, recording a voice over or editing a video.  Then that 2-3 hours a day vanished.  So to get that back, I would be missing out on either time with my children or time with my husband.
  5. Time.  With my new computer, time to edit increased substantially.  And I just don’t have that time.
  6. Cost.  I tried the free version of Filmora, and it’s great.  If you are looking for an alternative to Movie Maker, I can’t recommend this software more!  But the free version puts a watermark on your videos (which I didn’t want) and the not free version cost $60 (that I don’t have).
  7. Everyone knows you can monetize your videos on YouTube and its a great way to supplement this hobby…but you probably don’t realize how much people are actually getting paid.  I am lucky to be on 6 AMAZING design teams.  So I don’t have to pay for 95% of the product I use on my projects, which is nice, because I am a stay at home mom and my husband’s salary is just enough to get us by.  Without design teams, I would definitely not be able to create the layouts that I do, it’s thanks to them that I can afford things like photo paper, and printer ink to print my photos.  YouTube supplements the rest of my budget, or, it did.  When Mary was creating videos with me, we made $100+ every three months, so about $50 each, every 3 months.  This paid for my paper, adhesive, you know, the “essentials”.  I haven’t received a single payment since she left the channel…that’s how low my views are.  So while I could justify the time spent creating videos before, it is now impossible to justify.
  8. It stopped being fun.  I started focusing too much on views.  And thumbs up.  And the dreaded thumbs down.  And it stressed me out.  And it stopped being fun.

So goodbye YouTube.  It’s been…something.  I love and appreciate all the loyal subscribers of mine who watched my videos and commented on them and just shared a little bit of their love and appreciation with me.  And I can’t say you’ll never see me again, because maybe someday I will decide to go back.  But for now, goodbye.

xo, Kira

Citrus Twist iNSD Challenge #10

Hello friends!  I am so excited to bring to you the 10th challenge in the Citrus Twist NSD challenges.  I am teaming up with my friend, Ashley, so make sure to check out her blog to see her take on the challenge too!

For this challenge, you’ll need to create a layout/card/paper craft of some kind in a monochromatic color scheme.  I’m not going to lie…this challenge was, uh, challenging.  Lol.

I always sort my die cuts by color, so I started by choosing the color I had the most of…green.  Clearly, this is not the color I ended up with.  I flipped through my papers, and just really wanted to use the Confetti Wishes Paper 03.  I love those huge palm leaves, and the colors are gorgeous.

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I printed my photo in black and white so it wouldn’t clash with the colors I had picked.  And then I picked out the embellishments I thought would coordinate well with the paper.

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I decided to go with a TN spread since there’s not much of a story to this photo and cut the paper down so there was mostly pink and just a hint of yellow and orange…is that cheating?  Lol.  I built three clusters on my spread using pieces from the main, embellishment and and pocket life kits from Citrus Twist.

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When I went to pick a title, I chose one of the phrases from the gold puffy words.  So I added touches of gold throughout my page to serve as a neutral.

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I can’t wait to see what you come up with during this monochromatic challenge!  Make sure to join us on Facebook to play along!

xo, Kira

P.S. My blog hop bonus word is “Paper 03”.

Citrus Twist iNSD Sketch #2

Hey everyone!  I decided to play along with one of the Citrus Twist challenges this weekend!  Have you headed to the Facebook group to check them all out?!  Here’s the sketch I am working with today:

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I knew immediately which photos I wanted to use.  I took a couple selfies of me and my youngest during our trip to the strawberry festival recently.  And they were so perfect at capturing his personality.  I knew they needed to be scrapbooked.

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I stuck fairly close to the sketch, even that orange pattern paper is pretty perfect, right?

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I love the colors in the kit, and thought they worked perfectly with the colors in my photos.

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And here’s my final layout:

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I hope you play along with this sketch too!  And make sure to join us in the Facebook group for more challenges and giveaways!

xo, Kira

Free iNSD Wild Hare cut file

Hey everyone!  I’m here to share a layout for The Wild Hare Kits.  There’s a free cut file being offered over on the blog, so make sure to head over and download it!  I couldn’t wait to use it!

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I started by cutting it out on some white textured cardstock.  And wouldn’t you know it, 90% done with cutting and my Cricut blade crumples up the cut file!  AHHHHH!  It was my fault, I need to change my cutting mats.

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Anyway, I made lemonade out of lemons and just used it as a 3/4 wreath instead.  I backed the cut file with scrap papers from my stash.  And then bumped the entire cut files up on foam.

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Since I had cut the wreath out of white cardstock, I wanted to use a background that really made it pop off the page.  I have been hoarding this beautiful blue patterned paper and just loved how the cut file looked against it.

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I had a few loose pieces of the cut file that I backed with patterned paper and used to back my photos with, which I “hung” from my cut file with bakers twine.

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I embellished with stickers and ephemera from my stash, and finished it off with some white splatters.

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I can’t wait to see how you use this cut file!  Make sure to tag @thewildharekits on Instagram so we can all see it!

xo, Kira

The Cut Shoppe iNSD challenge

Hello friends!  I am here with my first challenge for National Scrapbooking Day weekend!  The design team at The Cut Shoppe was asked to participate in a handful of challenges this weekend and I chose the stitching challenge…no surprises there, I’m sure.  Anyway, after two failed attempts at hand stitching, I pulled out my machine to make my life a little easier.

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I used the Girl Power cut file and enlarged the arrow pieces to about 2.5″ x 11″, and cut out four of them.  I cut them on a blue and gold foil patterned paper.  I used a tiny bit of glue to adhere them to a white background and used my sewing machine to stitch them to my page.

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The edges were all folded up just a bit to give it some dimension after stitching.  I love using this technique because it gives you a patterned background, along with texture and dimension.

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Then it was just a matter of choosing my photos and embellishing my page! Here’s the final result.

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Make sure to head to The Cut Shoppe blog to participate in some challenges and to download some FREE cut files!

xo, Kira