National Craft Month Mini album Challenge from Citrus Twist! -- #Hope album

Hello there! It's Andrea here and today I want to share with you a fun little album that I made using the super lovely and awesome Citrus Twist March kits! The main kit this month is perfect for making a mini album as it includes a couple of chipboard pieces and a couple binder rings in it! This month, for National Craft Month, Citrus Twist is inviting you to make a mini album as part of a special challenge! I myself absolutely love making mini albums and I had such fun working on this one!

I decided to make a mini album that was about hope and all the elements right now in my life that are helping me stay hopeful during what has been a really difficult time. These three things are – happiness, bravery and love! I chose to divide my mini into three sections (called “be happy”, “hi brave”, and “so loved”, for this reason).

As some of you may or may not know, I have a very serious health condition called CRPS and it causes constant pain every day of my life. Lately my CRPS has been particularly bad. I am used to some good days and some bad, but the number of bad days has definitely gone up. However, I refuse to give up on hope and a happy life and therefore I am trying to really live in all of the precious happy little moments that I have, really appreciate the good days and take advantage of them! I want to document this journey through the good stuff and the bad stuff, focusing on the beauty and acknowledging the struggle.

A mini album is perfect for the purpose of reflecting on the thoughts and feelings and circumstances that you are experiencing at a particular time in your life. The good and the bad.

I created this album to be a reminder of hope but also to show really the contrast between the good days and bad days (the days out, the days stuck in bed, and the importance of happiness and bravery and love for both). I wanted to create a mini that shows the reality of my situation.

Not all of our stories are pretty, perfect stories, but all of them are important! For this reason, I challenge you to create a mini album that reflects not only what is good and sweet in your life, but also what is difficult and bitter. Try including the perfect picture moments and the not so perfect ones...try journaling in a way that goes deeper than just...”what a great day!” Write about your thoughts and emotions. Be real!

The hard stories in our lives are often the ones that get overlooked as far as memory keeping, but I think they are usually the ones that most need to be documented. Telling stories like this one have proven to be very helpful, cathartic and uplifting to me.

[Note: try breaking your story into two or three different parts/thoughts so it is easier to convey. When you are documenting more complex stories with emotional depth, it is always a good idea to divide your album into sections so that you can gather your thoughts and get your points across clearly, both for your own benefit and that of whoever else sees your album].

I hope that telling a story that is real and important for you, and looks at both what is difficult in your life and what is good and helpful and beautiful, will help you to learn more about yourself and to feel good about the person that you are. 

For more of a “light” and technique based challenge, try using some of your packaging in your mini album, like using the backing to create a tag or using the plastic covering to create a fun shaker pocket!

I hope you have enjoyed my mini album and that I have inspired you to make something that tells an important story in your life.

Life is not perfect but it sure is beautiful! 

I hope you enjoy this special National Craft Month Mini Album Challenge from Citrus Twist! Please check out the other minis created by Citrus Twist Design Team members this month too (check out Michelle Wedertz, Veera Saarivuo, Elsie Robinson, Emma Wood)! 

And remember that we all write our own be brave, document the good and the bad, create beautiful things, be the heroine of your own story and live your life as a fairytale (one precious, hopeful, memorable moment at a time)!

Hugs! – Andrea

p.s. There is a cool “how to” video for this mini album on my YouTube channel, Fairytale check that out too when you get a chance!

"Hello Happiness" Layout Tutorial | Citrus Twist Kits

Note: Here is a post that went up on the Citrus Twist blog in February...been meaning to share it on here here you go and I hope you like it... :-)

Hello there! Today I want to share with you a fun tutorial!!! Yaaaaay! I made a fun video that you can watch and follow along to make a lovely love letter layout with the oh so pretty “Bright Side” add on kit for February from Citrus Twist! 

I loooooove all the kits from February! I always love the kits but February may be my fave month ever as there are so many dreamy and girly and really sweet goodies in all the kits!  I love the February kits so much that I think all that love just put me in a super duper lovey dovey probably helped that it is the season of love as Valentine's Day is fast approaching... Anyways, all this love made me feel like making something special for and about my hubby Ryan! So today, I want to show you how to create this special love letter style layout that is perfect for the one that you love!

I love writing love letters to my hubby! We write them to each other all the time (even after eight years of marriage) and especially for holidays like Christmas and of course, Valentines Day! If you have never written a love letter before, here is your chance to start!

Take the time and write out something special for someone you love. It can be a friend, your son or daughter or your spouse...anyone you love! And if you aren't feeling the love letter thing, you could also just do a little fun handwriting on your layout and list out all of the things that you are loving right now or maybe even a little letter to yourself where you talk about what you love about you! There are so many fun ways to adapt this idea to your life, so go ahead and have fun and do what suits you!

This tutorial was so much fun to do! And I think you will find there are a lot of fun tips and tricks and techniques in this layout tutorial! I show you how to make a cool decorative paperclip, how to add a touch of watercoloring to your layout, a different way to incorporate journaling onto your layout, and how to make your embellishments pop off the page!

Most importantly though, I hope that this tutorial really inspires you to make something special for someone you love this Valentines Day! Watch the video tutorial and have fun!

Xoxoxoxo --- Andrea

3 to Inspire: "Little Moments" Layout | Citrus Twist

This is my first "3 to inspire" and I am super duper excited!!! So for this "3 to inspire", I would like you to do the following things:

1) use a shape punch to create one or more embellishments out of the pretty patterned paper/s in your kit
2) do some sewing (hand-sewing or machine)
3) use repetition (repeat a shape, a product, a word...whatever you like!)

Okay, are you gathering your Citrus Twist kit goodies so you can start the challenge...good! I can't wait to see what you all make!

In the meantime, let me share with you a bit about what I made for this "3 to inspire" challenge. I decided to make a lovely 12x12 layout using the awesome November "Emerson" kit to document my love of scrapbooking! For my "I love to scrap!" layout, I used the pretty, light peach heart patterned paper from the Maggie Holmes Gather collection by Crate Paper as my background.

I used a 3x4 photo of me scrapbooking and layered up a few pieces of various patterned papers from the kit to create a kind of frame for my pic. This layering helps draw focus to my photo. But to bring even more attention to my photo, I used embellishments like sequins, gold heart confetti, enamel dots, and a wood veneer heart and a cork circle that says "ok", on either side of my picture. I also wrote "paper and pics" on a little round label (since that is what scrapbooking is all about) and did some doodeling here and there because I wanted to create a "scrapbooking" theme for my page.

Under my photo, I used the white foam thicker words "little moments" from American Crafts. And to the left of my photo, I washi-taped on a little note paper that I cut from the Citrus Twist exclusive cut-apart peices (sans the yellow border), to write the words "I love to scrap!". This serves as my title. Even though the words, "little moments" are larger, they are not my title, but a sort of sub-title if you will (since it is the little moments in life that I most love to document in my scrapbooking).

For number 1 of the challenge, I used a heart shaped punch to create my layered hearts that I spread across my layout in a kind of diagonal line from the upper left hand corner to the bottom right.

For number 2 of the challenge, I used my sewing machine to sew the layered hearts together. I also sewed a zig-zag stitch at the bottom of my layout, where I added a couple border strips for a lovely detail to create some interest at the bottom of the page in order to ground things.

For number 3 of the challenge, I repeated the heart shape all over my page. I did this with my layered hearts, but also with the gold confetti hearts that come in the Citrus Twist Sprinkles Kit for November, the wood veneer hearts that come in the Emerson kit, the cork heart stickers from Fancy Pants that are in the Emerson kit, the little heart I used to dot the "i" in my "I love to scrap!" title, and even the hearts that are in the background peach paper that I chose to build my layout up on.

To finish my layout, I clustered some embellishments at the top of my page. To promote the theme of scrapbooking, I specifically used a puffy camera sticker, a bit of patterned paper (to make a kind of "photo corner" at the top of my page) with a paperclip, and a few labels on which I used the exclusive stamp set to stamp words like "photo", "document" and "smile".

I hope you enjoyed my "I love to scrap!" layout and that I have inspired you with this "3 to inspire" challenge to use the November kit and my 3 challenges to document something that makes you as happy as scrapbooking makes me...I'm going to take a wild guess though and say that you will probably pick scrapbooking too!!! :-)

Remember to share what you create with this "3 to inspire" challenge by putting them here in the gallery and/or on the Citrus Twist Facebook Forum. And you can share on Instagram too so tag with @citrustwistkits and hashtag with #citrustwistkits and #ctk3toinspire so we can see your awesome creations!

xoxo...Andrea :-)