The Studio || February Sketch Challenge

Happy February everyone...seriously, where does the time ago?

It's the first Sunday in February, which means there is a new challenge up at The Studio blog today. This one is a sketch challenge, which I always love.  Here is the sketch:

And here is my take on it:

I love sketches with a big circle in them, because I take that as the opportunity to incorporate a doily into my layout!  I'm also loving that I finally got to play with my February kit from Clique Kits.  I am so in love with the Serendipity line from Dear Lizzy/American Crafts that this month's kit is perfect for me!

I hope that you will be able to play along with The Studio this month!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper, Die cuts; Puffy Stickers: American Crafts; Doily: The Curtsey Boutique; Sequins: Clique Kits


Project Read || January Wrap-Up

Hey, everyone!  I've got a non-scrappy post for you today.  In case you haven't been following along, a few weeks ago I created "Project Read".  I set a goal for myself to read 35 books this year and document my progress in Project Life to hold myself accountable to my goal.  I'm proud to say that I am on track for the month of January, having read a total of 3 books.  It may not seem like a lot, but it's probably a third of the amount of books I read last year.  I'm so glad I'm making time to read!

Here's what I read this month:

Socially Awkward by Stephanie Haddad - This book is what I refer to as a "chick lit" book - highly entertaining, not at all thought-provoking.  These books are my guilty pleasure.  I love them and I figured this kind of book was the perfect way to ease my way back into the world of reading regularly.  This book is about a young woman who creates a fake Facebook profile for one of her classes and her life quickly spirals out of control as a result.  It's definitely entertaining, but a bit unrealistic.  

Yes Please by Amy Poehler - I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for a few months now, but wasn't totally interested to read it.  I bought it on a whim and then wondered why.  I'm not usually into autobiographies.  However, I saw a slew of good reviews for the book all at once and decided to try it.  I'm glad I did.  There were parts that had me laughing out loud and it was interesting to learn a lot more about the star of one of my favorite TV shows - Parks and Recreation.  I am happy to say that I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good laugh.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty - I LOVE Liane Moriarty's books.  I said I probably read 9 books last year - 2 of them were hers.  Her books are similar to "chick lit," but they usually still get me thinking.  I've already read The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies, so I decided to read this earlier book of hers.  This book is about Alice, a 39 year old woman who wakes up on the gym floor after an accident and thinks she's still 29.  She forgets a whole 10 years of her life - including her kids and pending divorce.  Like Moriarty's other books, I loved this one, too.  It explores relationships and some heavier topics.  This book doesn't contain the "big twist" that Moriarty fans are used to, but it's still very good.  Once again, I recommend it to anyone looking for a quick, interesting read.

So, tell me...what books have you read recently?  Any that you would recommend to me?


Blog Catch Up: 2 Layouts and a Project Life Spread

Hey, everyone!  I'm a bit behind in sharing some of my projects.  I made a lot of projects all at once and then sort of forgot about them.  So, today I'm playing a little bit of catch-up and sharing a lot at once...sorry for all the photos.

The first one is one of the last projects I made for The Curtsey Boutique.  Those sparkly butterflies will always have a place in my heart:

The next layout was made from items from the Clique Kits store.  The Wild Berry Jubilee paper pack is sold out but the Tangerine and Mint Julep packs are still available....for only $3.00!  (Extra 10% off using code KAT10):

And finally, week 1 of my Project Life.  Left side is a large photo of my Granny.  She passed away on December 30 at 100 years old.  She was beautiful and wonderful and I will miss her so much:

The right side is just highlights from the rest of the week:

Thanks for stopping in and looking at my eclectic assortment of projects!

Layout 1: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: American Crafts; Enamel Dots/Chevrons, Flower Border: Doodlebug Design;Stickers: Simple Stories; Doilies, Butterflies, Tag: The Curtsey Boutique; Mist: Studio Calico

Layout 2: Cardstock: Bazzill; Wooden Triangles: Pinkfresh Studio; Doiles: Bo Bunny; Patterned Paper, Rub-Ons, Enamel Shapes: My Mind's Eye

PL Left Side: Page Protector: Becky Higgins (Design F); Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Doily: SpiegelMom Scraps; Label: Simple Stories; Wood Veneer: Studio Calico

PL Right Side: Page Protector, Cards: Becky Higgins; Alphas: Simple Stories, American Crafts, Basic Grey, Studio Calico; Paper Tab: Pretty Little Studio; Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Wood Veneers, Sequins, Chipboard: Studio Calico; Labels: Heidi Swapp


January Clique Kits' Pep Rally || Tailor Made

Good morning, everyone!  It's that time of the month again: Clique Kits' Pep Rally time!  This month's kit features the gorgeous Stitched collection by Amy Tangerine.  Love it!

I have 2 layouts to share today.  The first goes along with the Pep Rally theme: include hand-stitching and some goals...so I went the easy route and created a layout about my 2015 goals...with lots of hand -stitching!  Here is it is:

(Yes, I used the same photo 3 times, but I did change the brightness in each of them...)

I kept my second layout very simple and really let the papers shine.  The alphas are from my own stash - from one of Amy Tangerine'solder collections.  I'm starting to play with my sewing machine a bit again, too, which has definitely been a learning experience... :o)

Love sequins?  Me too.  You can get these fun white ones in the CK store here.  And as always, use code KAT10 to get 10% your entire CK store order.  There are some really good deals in there right now - like, 6x6 paper pads for just $2.50 - seriously!

Thanks for stopping in.  Next up on the hop is the lovely Kim and in case you just started, here's the order of the hop...lots of inspiration to share today!!

Kat (you are here!)

Both layouts: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper, Alphas: American Crafts; Sequins: Clique Kits


Project Life & Project Read (& a request for you to tell me you favorite books, pleeeeease?!?!)

Three posts in three days?!?!  I can't even remember the last time I did that (if ever).  I'm way behind on sharing and I've created a ton of stuff recently that I still have to wait a while to share.  Seriously! I've already made 11 layouts this month.  That's some kind of record for me!

I did want to pop in and share week 2 of my 2015 Project Life.  I've done weeks 1 and 2 already but I still haven't created my title page.  I guess i'm not inspired to yet, so I'll wait on creating it until I'm ready.  Anyway, here is week 2: 

I'd love to point out the Project Read concept with you.  This year I have set a goal for myself to read 35 books this year.  That may not seem like a lot, but I have a full time job and work 10-12 hours Monday - Friday, so finding time to read can actually be somewhat difficult.  But it is something that I have decided that I need to make time for again.  I love to read and I used to read all the time, but in the past few years, I haven't done as well.  So, I came up with this challenge in week 2 to hold myself accountable.  And now that I'm telling all of you about it, I will hopefully hold myself accountable even more.  Sometimes I will read silly "chick lit" books (which is what I read in week 2, if we're totally honest here), which I love and are my guilty pleasure, but are not very thought provoking and sometimes I will read more serious books.  At the end of every month, I will give a run-down of what I read that month and hopefully people will share some of their favorite books with me.

I picked 35 books because that will make it so I need to read slightly more than 1 book every 2 weeks...which I think I can do.  Wish me luck...and pretty please, recommend some good books to me!  :)

Page Protectors: Becky Higgins (Designs A & F); Cards: Amy Tangerine for Becky Higgins; Alphas: American Crafts, Studio Calico, Teresa Collins; Wood Veneers, Chipboard, "Oh Dear" Card: Studio Calico; Labels: Hello Forever, Heidi Swapp; Mini Paper Bag: Paper Source; Sequins: Clique Kits, Doodlebug Design; Staples: Tim Holtz


The Studio || Clean Off Your Desk Challenge

**If you're looking for The Sparkler DT blog hop, click here.**

Good morning, everyone!  There is a new challenge up at The Studio today -- and I LOVE it.  It's a little different than regular, but it really pushed me out of my comfort zone - in  a good way.  The challenge today: take whatever's been sitting on your desk for awhile and FINALLY use it in a project.

For me, it was my September Cocoa Daisy kit.  It was the last kit I got before cancelling my subscription and joining Clique Kits.  I loved Cocoa Daisy's kits, but in order to keep myself from accumulating waaaaay too much stuff, I have to be a one kit girl.  Their September kit was gorgeous - and totally not my style.  But I didn't want to get rid of it because I thought everything in it was so pretty.  So, when we were given this challenge, I  knew this kit was going to get used.  I was inspired by this beautiful layout by Tanya Privalova as my starting point.  Here is my final result:
I'm actually really happy with how it turned out, even if it is a bit outside my comfort zone.  I'm trying really hard to incorporate more patterned paper into my layouts this year, and I really like this technique for doing it.  You'll probably be seeing it again in the future :)

I hope you can play along with us at The Studio this month!  We always love to see what everyone creates!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Cocoa Daisy; Alpha: Heidi Swapp; Wood Veneer Alphas, Sequins, Gold Star: Studio Calico; Frames, Tag: Crate Paper; Badge: Evalicious


I'm a Sparkler! (Blog Hop)

Yay!  I'm so excited to announce that I am a member of Spiegelmom Scraps' design team, aka: a sparkler!!  In honor of the new team, The Sparklers are doing a mini blog hop and for grabs is a $15 gift card to the shop!!  Just leave a comment on every blog!

Spiegelmom Scraps is an Etsy shop owned by the awesome Jody Spiegelhoff.  She sales sequins, wood veneers, washi tape and other fun scrappy embellishments - I love pretty much everything she's selling, so I'm really excited about this opportunity.  The thing I love about her store is that by purchasing from it you are supporting the larger scrapbook companies, like Studio Calico, but you are also supporting her small business.  I think it's great.

For the design team call, I sent a few of my projects from last year that prominently featured sequins, including this layout and these homemade Project Life shaker cards:

(For full supply lists click here and here.)

I also recently created this Project Life spread with some of the products in the shop:

My Project Life spread features the following items from her store:

She also carries a lot of seasonal sequin mixes, like the white stars, red sequins and green tree mixture highlighted above.  That mix is not in the store anymore, but there are other cute mixes sold there right now.

And the best part - I have a special 10% off discount code for you: KAT10 !  Use it in the store at ANYTIME!

So, here is the order of the blog hop...keep hopping for some inspirational goodness and thanks for stopping by today!!

Kat Benjamin (that's me!)

PL Spread: Page Protector: Becky Higgins (Design A); Journaling Cards: Becky Higgins, Studio Calico, Hello Forever; Alphas: Bella Blvd, American Crafts, Basic Grey; Wood Veneers: Studio Calico; Sequins: Spiegelmom Scraps; Staples: Tim Holtz; Enamel Dots: Basic Grey, Queen & Company