March {Kit} Madness

It is that time of year—March Madness! Since I live in the ACC area, college basketball is everywhere. And as much as Iove tournament season, I love March {Kit} Madness even more.

Recently I have been challenging my scrapbooking self by purchasing a collection of products then using that kit for my layouts during the month. I have found that when I limit myself to just a certain number of products, I can complete more layouts because I am not constantly hunting for supplies that go together. Also, since I use these products all month, I tend to use almost every scrap and embellishment. (Then I do not feel so guilty when I buy more!)

This month I went a little bit crazy (no doubt due to March Madness!) and bought a few more products than I usually do. So I have quite the challenge to use up what I have purchased! However, I just received an order of about four months of photographs—I have plenty of pictures to keep me busy.

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Here is my supply list:
Bite Sized Bits from Cold Avocado Soup by Jillibean Soup 12×12 patterned paper
Pinch of Presents from Christmas Cheer Chowder by Jillibean Soup 12×12 patterned paper
Crush from Love Notes by Crate Paper 12×12 patterned paper
Beau Book from Love Notes by Crate Paper 12×12 patterned paper
Corn Maze from Apple Cider by October Afternoon 12×12 patterned paper
Social Studies from Milk Money by October Afternoon 12×12 patterned paper
Let It Snow Stripe from Let it Snow by Echo Park 12×12 patterned paper
Keeping Cool from Keepin’ Cozy by Echo Park 12×12 patterned paper
Winter Whimsy from Keepin’ Cozy by Echo Park 12×12 patterned paper
Cozy Cardinals from Keepin’ Cozy by Echo Park 12×12 patterned paper
Conversion Table from Homemade With Love by Cara Bella patterned paper
We’re Expecting by Bella Boulevard adhesive chipboard
Goodness Thickers printed chipboard letter stickers by American Crafts
Lindsay Thickers glitter letter stickers by American Crafts
You Are My Happy file folders by Teresa Collins
Milk Money memory cards by October Afternoon
Love Notes adhesive badges by Crate Paper
Sprinkles Lilac Assortment enamel dots by Doodlebug Design
Sprinkles Limeade Assortment enamel dots by Doodlebug Design
Milk Money Pop Drops enamel stickers by October Afternoon
Gems adhesive dots by Studio Calico
Wood Veneer sun die-cut wood pieces by Studio Calico
Arrow Paper Clips by Freckled Fawn
Pine acrylic stamps by American Crafts

One thing I enjoy about today’s scrapbooking products is their versatility. Some of the papers I chose for this kit come from Christmas collections. However, because they are not so obviously holiday-themed or have beautiful reverse sides, I can use them in a variety of ways. For example the Cozy Cardinals paper from Echo Park has one side with small cardinals sitting on tree branches in the snow—pretty clearly a holiday theme. (Although I could use this side with the photos of the cardinal in the snowstorm I took a couple of weeks ago!)

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But the reverse side is a nice muted print of white and grey birch trees on a pale green background, which will work for a number of different photos.

It looks like tomorrow is going to be another snow day for me, so I am looking forward to having some scrappy time with my March Madness kit.

My First Kit

When I first started scrapbooking, I fell in love with kits. I joined several kit clubs so that I could get those cool pizza boxes overflowing with goodies each month. One of the reasons I joined kit clubs was that I didn’t trust myself to be able to put together coordinating supplies myself. I would walk into a scrapbook store and quickly become overwhelmed with the choices. Would this paper go with that paper? How do I choose embellishments that will match each other as well as the paper? What colors of cardstock will best complement the patterned papers? Having someone else send me a box of supplies that all worked together was my idea of scrapbook heaven.

Over the years, I have been a member of several scrapbooking kit clubs (many of which are no longer around). However, when scrapbooking companies began coming out with coordinating lines of products, I began buying these complete lines so that I knew for sure that all of the supplies would match. One of my favorite companies was Chatterbox–I still have some of their products!

During the last year or so, I joined a couple of new kit clubs, just so that I could get products from a wide range of companies. When I bought complete lines, I tended to stick with the same companies. I wanted a variety! I quickly fell in love with several new product lines and thoroughly enjoyed mixing up products from different sources.

In the spring, I participated the Stash Bash at Simple Scrapper and was challenged to incorporate old supplies into my current stash. I took this opportunity to go through all of my old scrapbooking supplies that I still had in boxes from our move four years ago. I went through all of the paper, cardstock, embellishments, and photos–tossing what I knew I wouldn’t use. Then I combined the papers and embellishments into new kits, pairing photos with them as well. I surprised myself with how easy I found it to make these new kits. I have made several layouts using these old supplies!

The next step, of course, was to now create my own scrapbooking kit. I hit the Two Peas in a Bucket website and chose a slew of supplies that I liked and thought would go good together. Here is my new batch of goodies:

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This is what I picked out:

Grapefruit Fizz patterned paper from Pink Lemonade by Lawn Fawn
Notes patterned paper from Composition & Color by Alison Kreft
Aerial View patterned paper from Composition & Color by Alison Kreft
That Way patterned paper from Composition & Color by Alison Kreft
Family Tree patterned paper from New Beginnings by Webster’s Pages
Poolside patterned paper from The Pier by Crate Paper
Sunshine patterned paper from The Pier by Crate Paper
Country Kitchen Baker’s Dozen patterned paper from Farmhouse Paper
Wonderful patterned paper from Maggie Holmes by Crate Paper
Aperture patterned paper from Maggie Holmes by Crate Paper
Mellow Yellow patterned paper from Yellow Submarine by Echo Park
ASAP patterned paper from Farmhouse Paper
Doilies patterned paper from Beautiful Life by Laura Passage by Echo Park
To Do patterned paper from Farmhouse Paper
Cut & Paste decorative tape by My Mind’s Eye
Hearts & Stars cork shapes by Fancy Pants
The Pier ephemera pack by Crate Paper
Open Album ephemera from Maggie Holmes by Crate Paper
Noteworthy acrylic stamps by American Crafts
Pink Lemonade cardstock stickers by Lawn Fawn
Doily Thickers by American Crafts
(all products can be found at Two Peas in a Bucket)

I absolutely love the cork shapes and I can’t wait to use them! My new creations using this kit will be posted here!

In With the Old and the New

During a recent Stash Bash at Simple Scrapper, I went through my scrapbooking supplies, organizing, sorting, and purging as necessary. I still had, after four years, papers and embellishments stored in boxes in my basement from when we moved into our current home. I went through all of those old supplies and tossed what I did not want any longer. Afterwards, I was left with a pile of supplies that needed to be integrated into my existing stash.

As fate would have it, Shimelle Lane was rerunning a class of hers called Scrapbook Remix. The whole class is centered on mixing old and new supplies and collections from different companies. Following her advice, I made several new kits from old supplies mixed with my newer things.

I have used several of these kits so far, and I’ve been surprised how well I liked the old papers and embellishments when combined with new products. One such kit is shown below.

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In this kit I have the following:

My Mind’s Eye, Lost and Found 2, Sunshine Memories patterned paper

Authentique, Glowing, Afterglow patterned paper

Basic Grey, Origins, Authentic patterned paper

Webster’s Pages, Spring Market, Market Menu patterned paper

Bo Bunny Et Cetera Filigree Die Cut patterned paper

Simple Stories, Fabulous, All About Me patterned paper

Bo Bunny, Et Cetera, 12×12 Cut Outs patterned paper

October Afternoon, The Thrift Shop shape stickers

Echo Park, For the Record element stickers

October Afternoon, Farmhouse shape stickers

Crate Paper, Random Collection phrase stickers

Crate Paper, Farmhouse phrase stickers

Bo Bunny combo stickers

Jenni Bowlin, Flag Banner number stickers

Simple Stories 4×6 card (leftover from a 12×12 sheet)

Echo Park cut outs 12×12 sheet

Basic Grey chipboard diecuts

Ribbon

Wood tags

Canvas tags

Buttons

I made five layouts from this kit. Using the papers from this DIY kit was a bit of a challenge because many of them were leftovers from already-used collections that had large-scale or unusual designs on them. This time, Glitter Girl at Two Peas in a Bucket came to the rescue with a video on using papers with large-scale patterns. I have in the past tended to shy away from using these papers or using the alternate side, but, in an effort to step outside my comfort zone, I challenged myself to use these papers.

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The first layout above uses the patterned paper Sunshine Memories from the Lost & Found 2 collection from My Mind’s Eye. To me, this paper has wedding written all over it. While cleaning out my old scrap supplies in the basement, I also came across stacks of old photos with which I had yet to do anything. I remembered seeing a photo of me with my sister and the other bridesmaids at her wedding. I believe that this picture was in a frame once upon a time, but had been replaced by newer photos. It seemed perfect for this page.

I also used a chipboard die cut from Basic Grey, stickers from both Echo Park’s For the Record and Crate Paper’s Random Collection. I inked everything with Distress Ink. My favorite touch is the yellow rose sticker from Echo Park that reflects the rose on the paper.

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The next layout began with a sheet of patterned paper from Webster’s Pages called Market Menu from the Spring Market collection. The entire page was made up of images of small advertisements for Farmer’s Markets and old seed packets. I felt the sheet as a whole was a little overwhelming, so I cut out the individual pieces, inked them with Distress Ink, and made a border one side of a piece of Bazzill kraft cardstock from my existing supplies. We live on a farm, so it is not difficult to find photos that go along with the theme of this paper. I used pictures of our family picking blackberries last summer. The only other embellishments I added to this page were a mix of two different letter stickers, both from American Crafts.

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Among the old photos I found in my basement were several black-and-white prints that my husband and I made back when we photographed with B&W film and did much of our own developing. I knew one of these prints would work well with the Basic Grey paper called Authentic from the Origins collection. The photo is of me and our first fur-baby, Hannah. I added stickers from the October Afternoon For the Record collection, washi tape from Recollections and 7 Gypsies, glitter letters from American Crafts, a button, and two pearls. I wrote the journaling along the vertical border sticker.

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When I came across the Afterglow paper from Authentique, I assumed I would use the side that had just a cream-and-black checked print, since the other side was a Halloween print. I already have tons of Halloween paper, so I added this sheet to this kit. However, when I got ready to use the paper, I realized I had this photo of my older son at Halloween when he was two (he’s now fourteen). The subtle Halloween print worked very well with the photo, so I abandoned the checked print that I originally thought I would use.

The first thing I added were pieces of the ribbon I had amassed from various places. I used one of the cardboard die cuts from Basic Grey, stickers from Echo Park and Jenni Bowlin, and journaling block from Bo Bunny’s Et Cetera collection. I used just a few items from my current supplies—the wood embellishments from Freckled Fawn and some orange-and-black letter stickers.

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My last layout is again based on a sheet with an all-over design. The photos I used are small and very technically imperfect, but they are of the first two puppies that my husband and I got from the pound just after we were married. Both of these dogs are no longer with us, so these photos are even more precious. I simply added stickers from October Afternoon and Crate Paper along with letter stickers and rhinestones from my stash.

I still have several items leftover from this kit, but I feel good about using up many of my old supplies!