Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // It's the Great Pumpkin layout, The Crafter's Workshop Zinnia template, stencil, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Aged Mahogany, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive, pumpkin patch

It’s the Great Pumpkin {Feeling Crafty}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // It's the Great Pumpkin layout, The Crafter's Workshop Zinnia template, stencil, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Aged Mahogany, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive, pumpkin patchIf you’ve poked around my blog at all, you know that besides photography, I love getting crafty! Making cards, home decor, scrapbook layouts… it all makes me happy! On of my favorite times of the year is right around the corner… February is LOAD (layout a day), when we focus on creating a layout every day for the month based on a daily prompt. This page was made a while back, but it’s still one of my favorite LOAD pages!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // It's the Great Pumpkin layout, The Crafter's Workshop Zinnia template, stencil, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Aged Mahogany, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive, pumpkin patch

I created the background paper using The Crafter’s Workshop 12×12 template Zinnia with blending tools and Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Aged Mahogany, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, and Crushed Olive.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // It's the Great Pumpkin layout, The Crafter's Workshop Zinnia template, stencil, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Aged Mahogany, Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olive, pumpkin patch

Pumpkins were cut with the Slice Elite and Spook Alley design card, then colored with Tim Holtz Distess Inks in Wild Honey and Spiced Marmalade.

If you’re ready to get daily inspiration and have a great time making layouts, join us for LOAD214! And no, there are no LOAD police saying you have to make a page every day, so don’t let that intimidate you! It’s really a matter of creating, documenting, sharing. We get to take those photos off our hard drives and create beautiful layouts for our families to enjoy for years to come. Find out more here.

lain-load214-1024x491

Did you follow along the LOAD214 Blog Hop? Lots of great info shared by a bakers dozen of creative crafters (including yours truly!) about this amazing experience known as LOAD! You don’t want to miss this read / blog hop – amazing crafty goodness!!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

P R O D U C T S   U S E D
The Crafter’s Workshop 12×12 template Zinnia
Inkssentials blending tools
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Aged Mahogany
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Wild Honey
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Spiced Marmalade
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Crushed Olive
Slice Elite Digital Cutting Machine
Spook Alley Design Card

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Top 5 for an amazing LOAD layout-a-day

Top 5 Tips for an Amazing LOAD {Blog Hop}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Top 5 tips for an amazing LOAD layout-a-day

Hi! I’m Connie and welcome to Clicky Chick Creates! If you’re following along on the LOAD blog hop, you should’ve come to my crafty corner of the blog world via the super adorable and creative Danielle of EcoScrapbook. She blows my mind with her recycled and upcycled creations!

Whether you’re new to LOAD (welcome!) or a veteran (like Lisa H who has completed 14 LOADs and over 400 layouts!), I hope my Top 5 tips for an amazing LOAD helps you! So, here we go:

1. Clean Up! If you’re anything like me, your desk or crafting space ends up becoming a magnet for every thing that once was neatly put away in a drawer or closet or bookshelf! What is it about the mess that’s created when crafting? Oh yes, it’s called CREATING! But before LOAD starts, be sure to clean off your space. Starting with a clean slate really helps start off on the right foot and not get overwhelmed from the word go! And along with starting off with a clean space, be sure to tidy up after each day/night. Set 10 minutes aside to put away all those goodies that came out to play so you can start with a clean space for the next amazing prompt!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // All In scrapbook layout using The Crafter's Workshop Zinnia, Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Fiskar punches, embossing powder

2. Plan Ahead: Meal Planning and Prepping! We have just a bit under a week before LOAD kicks off – it’s a perfect time to get a jump start on some… meal planning! Did you just hear a record scratch? Wait, do they still make records and record players?! Yes, I am still talking about LOAD. Planning out meals – especially crock-pot or quick and easy dinners – really helps for an amazing month of creating! As much as we get into our lovely creative time, we do still need to think of our families and their needs! Some of my go-to’s are pre-marinating and freezing chicken and steaks, I just have to remember to grab it in the morning to thaw. Another go-to is making crock-pot meals in the morning – less to stress about later and gives me more time to create. Family favorites include my crock-pot chili and parmesan garlic chicken – yum!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // The Legend of Anna Meatball scrapbook layout using Sweet Stamps Distressed Chevron stamp, Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Picked Raspberry, Dylusions Spray Ink in Bubblegum Pink, washi tape

3. Making a list and checking it twice! Even though the prompts we receive from our fearless leader Lain are ah-ma-zing, I think what has helped me have an amazing LOAD experience is having a list of story ideas and/or photos I really want to scrap. When the daily prompt comes into my email, I let it simmer and marinade in my head and see if anything comes to mind. I’d say half the time, a photo or story comes to mind that I hadn’t thought about (LOVE when that happens! That is the beauty in LOAD, of course!) and I can’t wait to get it down on paper. Sometimes I might be a little stuck or unclear in my vision, so I review my list of story/photo ideas and bam, it all comes together! Beyond being reminders of stories and photos I want to highlight, having that list feels like a safety net for those days my mind is a little cluttered or snoozy : )

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Water Babies beach scrapbook layout using torn strips of patterned paper

4. Say Cheese! Besides actually making the layout, sharing it is what makes LOAD so amazing. In this week leading up to LOAD, find a place where you can set up a staging area to photograph your amazing layouts. Using foam core (I picked up white and black 24″x36″ boards at the Dollar Store – score!) is an easy way to get a clean, distraction free background, and a good flat surface to lay your creations against when photographing. If you need some help, I wrote a post with tips for photographing paper projects here, and my dear, adorable, uber-talented and totally-who-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up friend Jennifer Gallacher wrote a couple of fantastic blog posts about photographing crafty goodies, too. One post is “Photographing Your Projects with Jen” and the other is “Selecting Props for Product Photography” – check them out!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // You Had Me at Shoes scrapbook layout using templates, stencils, Tim Holtz Distress inks, vellum, wood veneers

5. Share the Love! – Be sure to check out the lovely, inspiring creations in our Flickr gallery and leave comments for our fellow amazing LOADsters! It is such a fantastic way to connect with others who share our passion for scrapbooking. I’ve met some amazing women through LOAD who I now consider amazing friends, and in most cases, it started with a whisper comment : ) (sorry if you now have that song stuck in your head, but I couldn’t resist!)

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // No More? Easter scrapbook layout using Heidi Swapp color magic paper, Dylusions Spray Inks, Slice Elite cutting tool

So there you have it, my top 5 for an amazing LOAD experience! I look forward to sharing in the LOAD214 journey with you! Next you’re going to hop on over to Sherrie’s blog: A Little Bit of Everything Me. Be sure to leave her some love in the comments – and check out her amazing cards while you’re there… {{{swoon!}}}

If you still haven’t signed up for LOAD214 yet, whatcha waiting for? Don’t miss your chance  – click here to find out more!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

Here’s our full blog hop – be sure to check out all the fantastic blog posts. These women are amazingly talented and have some fantastic insights to share!

Kelli www.useitscrapbooking.com/
Dani scrapperonthestreet.com
Valerie myrainbowcoalition.blogspot.com/
Karen photoskeptalive.wordpress.com/
Danielle ecoscrapbook.blogspot.com/
Connie clickychickcreates.com/ <——— You are here
Sherrie littlebitofeverythingme.blogspot.com <——— Now go here!
Cara www.vincens.typepad.com/
Heather noexcusescrapbooking.com/
Kim gma654.blogspot.com
Christy myscrapbookevolution.blogspot.com/
Lisa E lisae-design.blogspot.com/
Lisa H lisahausmann.blogspot.com

And once you’re done with the hop, if you still want to read more LOAD-love, check out my previous LOAD posts!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Up, up, up hot air balloon card for Curtain Call challenge

Up, Up, Up {Feeling Crafty}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Up, up, up hot air balloon card for Curtain Call challenge

Crafting makes me happy. I’m like a little school girl opening up a new box of crayons when I get to play with inks and stencils and die cutting machines! The Curtain Call has a fun challenge going on right now, and I decided to create this fun interpretation of the “Carnival Craze” prompt! Turns out, “Carnival” is also the theme over at Simon Says Stamp! It might be the end of summer, but nothing says summer better than carnival fun!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Up, up, up hot air balloon card for Curtain Call challenge

I cut out the letters for “UP” using the Summer Design Card on the Slice Elite. I actually cut them out three times each, stacked and glued them to give them a little more weight. Then cut a rectangle out from a piece of scratch paper to create the inked boxed letters. Using a blending tool and Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade and Squeezed Lemonade, gave me just the look I was going for!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Up, up, up hot air balloon card for Curtain Call challenge

Then I covered the boxed letters art with a piece of scratch cardstock and placed The Crafter’s Workshop cosmic swirl template over it, blending in some more Tim Holtz Distress Ink, but this time in Broken China. I was trying to create a whimsical sky. Did it work?

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // Up, up, up hot air balloon card for Curtain Call challenge

After cutting out the hot air balloons in various sizes, I added a little Stickles in Cotton Candy to the main balloon and adhered the balloons onto the card using foam dots. Used a decorative corner punch from Fiskars, and added some alpha tabs, and card is done!

I love the way these colors all work together, don’t you? Oh, that reminds me… Don’t forget to sign up for the FREE “Color Me Scrappy” webinar happening this coming Monday, August 26th. I’ve been attending the free monthly webinars over at Layout A Day for over a year now and I have to say, not a month goes by that I don’t learn a great tip or two that can apply to my crafty creations, and sometimes even my photography. Hope to “see” you then!

Color Aug free Sawaya

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c

PS. A blogger {CompletelyDisappear} recently posted a song called “Clouds” by Zach Sobiech and I would be remiss to leave out how much his song has touched my heart and definitely inspired my card today! I’ll warn you: get a tissue, the youtube video is a touching story about his life…

* A F F I L I A T E   L I N K S  U S E D   F O R   P R O D U C T S   L I S T E D

Paper, Crafts, Layouts, Tags {Photo Fridays}

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Yes, I really am doing a post on my blog, about a layout, about my blog! Silly, but I really want to offer my fellow crafters some tips on photographing layouts for online posting. I created the page and took these photos early February, but haven’t had the opportunity to share them, so here we go!

1. Natural Light
Remember my post about natural light? Whenever possible, use natural light to photograph your pages / tags / layouts / cards / etc. It makes a huge difference! There are plenty of times I’m scrambling to upload before midnight during LOAD, using my camera phone, in my not-very-well-lit craft space, but I usually go back and rephotograph my pages during daylight hours with my DSLR. Natural light really shows the lovely details!

2. Make it Flat
One of the best ways to photograph a page and keep it flat is to stick it on a flat surface. For Christmas, we gave my daughter a bead making kit and jewelry box from Costco and it was tucked into a white box inside the packaging – it was the perfect size to tape 12×12 layouts onto for photos! I’ve seen a post where Noell Hyman from Paperclipping.com uses a small square end table (I think from Ikea?) that she lays on its side and props on a table to use for photographing her layouts.

I add a couple spots of removable tape to the corners of the box and stick on my layouts. I can usually photograph several pages using the same little spots of tape. This really helps me keep my pages flat, especially since I tend to use lots of mists and sprays, which inevitably make the paper curl.

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3. Get Close and Personal
Be sure to get close up shots of some of the details. Layered embellishments, title treatments, tiny accents, etc. all need their time in the spotlight! They were important enough to add to your layout, so show those clusters and details some love!

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4. Variety, lots of variety!
Get variety in the angles you shoot. I always get one where I’ve included the entire page head on, and I’ll crop it square, and usually fills the square perfectly. Sometimes it’s a little off, but that’s ok.  Stand directly in front of your layout. Having it flat on an item you can stand is perfect, especially since you can be perfectly perpendicular for the shot.
{paper}| <——— {camera lens}

For the close up shots, especially if there are layers or dimension, shoot at an angle. Meaning – get a little sideways on the shot. It adds visual interest and when you shoot with a wide aperture (meaning small number, like f/1.8 or f/1.4) make sure you select your focal point. That will definitely lead the eye where you want it, and the rest of the photo will be a bit out of focus. I love that look!

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5. Create a setting
Add products, tools, or decor when photographing your piece of art. I didn’t do it with this example specifically, but I did it with a post earlier this week – Green Tags. It helps tell the complete story, so to speak : ) It’s also nice to use household decor pieces, or cute trinkets too!

I hope these tips help on your next paper-based photos! If there are any questions you have, or tips you’d like to see, let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!
xoxo,
/c