Sunday, 16 November 2014

is this the end of the In the Making blog?

Is this the end of the In the Making blog?
I think it is my friends.

I started this blog in December of 2007, and it's been a long ride. There have been ups, and there have been downs. Mostly there have been ups. Being creative, in whatever shape or form it might be - photography, paper crafts, party hosting, digi scrap or interior decorating, is incredibly important in my life. It is what relaxes me, what gets me excited, and what makes me feel like I am actually good at something in this world. Having had a place to share my joys has been so very gratifying and I am eternally grateful for all the love I have been shown throughout the years here on the blog.

But life doesn't always go as smoothly as planned. Sometimes life takes you on a crazy and exhausting ride. As you might know, I have been on such a ride for over a year now. I have been trying to get through a really tough time due to burnout, exhaustion, and depression, and it has forced me to change large parts of my life. Part of that was to go low tech and log off the computer, to allow myself to "just be" and not feel like I have to perform and excel in everything I do. I struggled with this for the longest time, but when my computer died in a couple of months ago I finally got that last push.

So, I have quit my creative team gigs and put all my online obligations on hold. With the downtime I have felt a lot less stressed and less inclined to create content for the blog. I feel like it's ok for me to be tired at the end of the day, it's ok for me to just be me with the people I love, to not constantly try to "make and share". And to tell the truth, I like it. I like the more relaxed approach to life that is starting to peek through that high wall of performance anxiety I have built up all my life.

And as a natural result of this, I have decided to put this blog to bed.
Will I return to blogging again? Perhaps I will, but then again, perhaps I won't. I don't know what the future will bring.

So thank you, and take care!
I know I will!

Monday, 22 September 2014

cocktail party invitation

We're having a party! The husband and I are both 40 this year, and to celebrate we have invited family and friends to a cocktail party. If you know me, you know I made the invitations to the event.

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The theme is as you can see black and white, with some gold thrown in for good measure. We're shooting for the oxymoron of relaxed sophistication for this thing; cocktails and bite size nibbles, glitter, and jazz music but nothing stuffy whatsoever. I think the combination of the stripes and white space with the fun font conveys that pretty well.

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I hand glittered the ampersand on each invitation. It took a while, but I think it added that little bit extra. I really like how it turned out.

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I also lined the envelopes with stripes to carry on the theme from the top of the invitation and threw in some of that gold confetti before I closed it up. Lining the envelops took me an eternity (I think four episodes of The Wire), but I think it was so worth it.

Now I have about a month to make the decorations for the party!

Monday, 1 September 2014

hybrid hotness | balloon mobile

I have a little niece due in just a few weeks, and I wanted to make something for her arrival.
It ended up being the cutest thing I think I have made. It was a good deal of work; cutting and gluing paper, but it was so well worth it.

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So the thing is a mobile with 3D balloons and clouds. I created it with digital papers from the Happy Life Mini Kit by Robyn Meierotto at Pixels and Company, some string, and an embroidery hoop.

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Making the mobile is technically easy, but takes a good deal of time, energy, and patience. This is especially true if you don't have a cutting machine like Silhouette. I don't have one and it took me about 10-12 hours to make it from start to finish.

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The steps to making the mobile include:
- Creating the shapes in Photoshop
- Printing 5 balloon baskets (one on each strand),10 mini clouds (making five 2D clouds, one on each strand), 40 balloons (making five 3D balloons, one on each strand), and 40 large clouds (making five 3D clouds, one on each strand)
- Folding all balloons and large clouds in half
- Assembling the 3D balloons and clouds with doublesided tape (a lot of it)
- Creating the baskets
- Assembling each strand of the mobile on an emroidery hoop with a glue gun
- Finishing up with ribbon and rings for hanging

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I am very happy with the finished results. I hope the little girl will enjoy it for many years to come!

The supplies I used, in addition to the digital papers:Epson Archival Matte Paper, A3 sizeScrapbook Adhesives Crafty Power double sided tape
Glue gun and glue
White string
Large emroidery hoop
Ribbon

Sunday, 4 May 2014

photography | blooms

It's been a while since I posted only photos here on the blog.
I went for a short, but wonderful, walk in the nearby woodsy area yesterday and captured a few things with my camera. I really loved two of the shots and wanted to share them here.

One of my very favourite things about spring and early summer is definitely the life and growth of all the blooms. So very pretty!

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

photography | autumn walks

I try to take a short walk everyday, just to get some fresh air and to move a little more than between my bed and the sofa. It's been raining a lot lately but I have been able to get some half decent shots in the last couple of days.

Autumn is good when it comes to photography because the sun isn't too strong, and the colours are amazing. So even when it's raining (not too much) and cold it can be a good idea to get that camera out.

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Now if only I didn't feel so cold all the time, I'd be a fan of autumn any day!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

shabby chic 40th birthday invitation

A friend of mine is turning 40 next month and she asked me to create the invitations to her birthday party. She was very specific about two things; she wanted pink, and she wanted shabby chic.

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With an all script font, a rose pattern background, and some pink dotted flags to set it off, I think it met her description pretty well. To finish it off, I added an intricate doily and a satin ribbon for the guests to slip off and reveal the card. I backed the card with a pink paper in the same texture as the front so the card was really thick and lovely. The card was sent in a pink envelope, of course.

And yes, my birthday is at the very beginning of August. And yes, my name is Linda. But no, I don't turn 40 this year. I really do have a friend with the same name as mine, and with a birthday very close to mine. She is just a year older! LOL!

Friday, 15 March 2013

hybrid | birthday box

My sister, who lives in Italy, had a birthday this week and I wanted to make a little something extra with the packaging of her gift (that was sent with our mother on a plane to visit the girl) since I couldn't see her.

The gift was small but fragile and so it was perfect with a decorated box to hold the stuff.

(Supplies: It's My Party by Robyn Meierotto at Pixels & Co, fabric flower and aqua gem from my craft stash, cardboard box, double sided tape)

Since I wanted the box to be extra sturdy I decided against making it out of just cardstock and instead get a thick cardboard box from our local craft store.

I made a print file with the paper for the top and bottom of the box. I made shapes in the right sizes for each side of the box, including the foldover flaps and clipped the digi paper by Robyn to the shapes. This made it very easy for me to print, cut, and then just attach to the box and fold over.

I also made shapes for the banners and rosette to which I also clipped the papers to and printed. Lastly I also printed the flags and cut out as best I could - I do not have a cutting machine and it was difficult to cut such small shapes perfectly.

I think the finished box is super sweet and festive. I am so happy with the finished result.

Question: would anyone be interested in a tutorial on how to cover a cardboard box with printed digi products? I would be happy to put one together and share here!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

paper crafts | giftbag



A friend of ours turned 40 the other day and we were invited to help him celebrate. I made this giftbag to hold the gift.

The bag was made with papers from Echo Park's Note To Self digi kit, which you can find at JessicaSprague.com, and printed onto two sheets of 12x12 cardstock, cut to size, and assembled.



What you see on the front of the bag is a pocket that holds a card that can be pulled up and out with the greeting. The pocket and card were also made from the same kit, designed in CS6, printed and cut, and then attached to the bag.



I looked and looked for a suitable template to use for the bag. Unfortunately, due to the size of the gift, I had to create my own. I made two identical pieces; each containing the front/back, one side panel, and half of the bottom. Each piece fit on one sheet of 12x12 cardstock. The pocket and card was cut from a third sheet of cardstock.
Otherwise, here is a great tutorial by Nexttonicx on how to cut and fold a giftbag from one sheet of paper.

Once I had the size of each panel figured out, it was easy to clip in my papers and then print and cut. The assembly took about 15 minutes or so with cutting, folding and putting on double sided tape. The finished result is a truly custom gift from start to finish that was very easy to make.

Friday, 28 December 2012

faves | wrapping up 2012



With only a sliver left of 2012, I thought it fitting to do a little round up of the year, looking back at some of my faves when it comes to digi scrap and photography.

It's been a whirlwind year with twists and turns lurking behind what seemed every corner and with big changes on many fronts for me. I gave up designing, which was so very hard and sad, I started a new position at work and it's having a field day with me. I know I haven't talked about it here, as I like to keep my corporate self seperate from my creative self, but it has been a huge deal for me in the past six months. I hope I can start to feel a bit more at ease in the coming months. But I digress! I also vowed with my friend Liv Esteban of Liv.e Designs to scrap more this year than the last few ones. I haven't checked on her for a while, but I made good on my promise and created 50+  layouts (even more if I count the Rome album I'm working on and the two wedding photo books I've created this year). I haven't scrapped that much in years! And yeah, the weddings! I shot two weddings! Granted, they were family or I wouldn't have accepted the requests, but it was nerve wracking and fun. So yeah, many challenges this year for me! Not all good, but certainly not all bad either.

Let's get back to the faves part; I thought this post should showcase what I consider to be my top five favourite layouts and my top five favourite photographs. Just for kicks, I will also throw in links to my favourite kits that I've come across this year - so that you can add to your stash if you haven't got them already.

layouts

number 5:


(Supplies: Free Spirit Paper Pack, Kickin' It Elements Pack, Get Happy Elements Pack, Modernist Elements Pack, La Storia Elements Pack by In the Making Design, Stitches by Anna 3 by Anna Aspnes)

This very colourful layout is a step out of my comfort zone for sure, but I so love the series of photos of the little ham that is my nephew and the placing of the paper flags under them.

number 4:


(Supplies: Buku Bokeh Overlays by Splendid Fiins, Retro Spring Kit by Nancie Rowe Janitz, Everyday Eclectic Full Collection and Note To Self Full Collection by Echo Park, Declaration Element Pack by Pink Paislee, Marrone Paper Pack and Indulgence Elements Pack by In the Making Design, Stitched by Anna 3 by Anna Aspnes)

This layout was created when I was struggling to keep my chin up this summer and all I wanted to do was to go on holiday. I love the photo and the simplicity of the page (not reflected in the supplies list).

number 3:


(Supplies: Rockin' Template by In the Making Design, Fairytale Kit by One Little Bird and Paislee Press)
This one I love because of the love in the photo, and the gorgeousness of the kit

number 2:


(Supplies: Sleigh Ride by Crate Paper, Kringle & Co by American Crafts, both for AC Digitals)

This one quickly became a favourite. I think it's the colours. Or the patterns. Or the layers. LOL, it's all beautiful!

number 1:


(Supplies: Note To Self Full Kit by Echo Park, Stitches and torn paper edge by Anna Aspnes, Staples by Vinnie Pearce)

I think this is my favourite layout of all times. The importance of the topic and journaling for me is the main reason. But I have to say that the utter fabulousness of the elements and papers of the kit by Echo Park gets me every time.

photographs

number 5:



I just love the tenderness between them in this shot! Could it have been better technically? Yes. I am certainly not going to try to talk myself out of that, but I did my best under the circumstances, and I am happy that I was able to catch the love in that moment.
You can see more of the wedding shots here.

number 4:



I love this one because they are just so beautiful, and the glow in their eyes makes my soul happy. Now that I look at it, I think I could have edited it a little better as it seems awfully bright, but oh well.
You can see more of the wedding shot here.

number 3:



I am so in love with the lines in this photo. It's almost mesmerizing to me. It also holds great memories of our trip to Rome.
My album of the trip is still in progress, but you can see the state of it so far here and here.

number 2:



Oh the eyes! Oh those little teeth! Oh the pure joy! I cannot say how much I love this little guy. I am also quite chuffed with the technical aspects of the shot. Yes, the white part behind him to the left is distracting, but I like the softness of the light and the catchlights in his eyes.
you can see a layout with this photo and two others taken at the same time here.

number 1:



I fought hard to get this shot. I fought a bad head cold, a very strong wind, cold fingers, slippery rocks, and a camera on strike. It took me many tries to finally get it right. Because of all these things, I am so proud of the outcome.
You can see more photos from our hike here.

products


Alright, so I promised you links to the stuff I have enjoyed working with the most this year. Oh boy, narrowing it down to five was difficult to say the least. But here they are, in no particular order:

Hometown Proud by Design by Dani - gorgeous colours and patterns
Note 2 Self  by Echo Park - one of my favourite kits ever with masses of awesome elemets
Sleigh Ride by Crate Paper for AC Digitals - the coolest Christmas kit I've seen
Worn by One Little Bird & Sahlin Studio - everything is so gorgeous in this kit and so perfect for me
Foto focus by Liv.e Designs - the perfect photo album template set, created for me by my dear friend Liv Esteban


So that is it my friends; my faves round up of layouts, photos, and products (not created by me but loved by me)! Let's hope next year will bring lots of time for making pretty things!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

christmas card | 2012

I love sending Christmas cards almost as much as I love getting them. Usually I also love making them and most years I go old school and make them by hand with glue and glitter and actual pretty papers.

I had big plans for our Christmas cards this year. I had the coolest photo shoot planned for the husband and I, and when the snow arrived I was quite giddy to get it done. But alas, the husband wasn't as gung ho as I was, and the one day where we was actually at home during the daylight hours, I was so stressed out with getting a bunch of other stuff done that we missed the slot. I was totally bummed. I suspect he wasn't. Ha!

So, this left me with one other option - this since I had waited so long to start those damn cards that handmade was out of the question unless I wanted to give up a week's worth of sleep to make them - and that was to go digital.

So digital, not a huge problem for me, really. I quickly designed a postcard style card with a big graphic greeting on the front, and a more personal note on the back. I wanted something retro looking but still very graphic and clean. I also needed something that was easy to alter as I needed versions in three languages (Swedish, English, and Italian). I also wanted several Swedish versions.

Here is one Swedish version, with a line from a traditional Swedish Christmas song.


with the back


And here is the English version with a traditional sentiment


with the back

(Supplies: Sleigh Ride kit by Crate Paper from AC Digitals)

I printed the front and the back on seperate sheets of paper and then attached them to eachother, thus giving me a super thick card. I also decided to go large and made them 14,85cm x 21cm (half of an A4 sheet).

I love how they turned out. Granted, they aren't traditional at all, but then again I don't mind stepping out of the box for the sake of good looks.

I would love to see your cards, if you want to share them!

Monday, 26 November 2012

laying it out | december day

I created this double spread layout the other day when I was feeling like I needed some Christmas cheer.

The photos are from the Christmases of 2010 and 2011 and the journaling talks about the day before Christmas Eve, when we in Sweden celebrate the holiday.



I used a template from the fabulous LivEdesign's new template album set called Center of Attention. This album set would be the perfect product for those of you who are planing on doing December Daily using digi supplies.

Here's the left page on its own.


(Supplies: Center of Attention Album Templates by LivEdesign, Be Merry Paper Pack and Journaling Cards Pack by In the Making Design, Staple and heart by Vinnie Pearce)

Saturday, 3 November 2012

laying it out | fairytale

Happy digital scrapbooking day!

How are you celebrating this momentous holiday of great importance?
I have spent it trying to nurse a bad cold by sleeping, watching TV, and reading. I can definitely say that it was nice. I only wish I hadn't felt so bad, maybe then I could have enjoyed it a little more?

I also took advantage of some of the sales going on in the digi scrap world. I mean, who can say no to a sale? Judging by my shopping habits, I guess I would have a hard time with that. LOL!

I created this layout with one of my newly purchased kits.


(Supplies: Fairytale Kit by One Little Bird and Paislee Press, Rockin' Template by In the Making Design)

I now feel I can retire back to my pillows and blanket feeling like I actually accomplished something today.

Monday, 29 October 2012

closing up shop

Let me tell you a story. It's about a girl who took a few classes online and found a new way of expressing her creativity. One day she got the amazing opportunity to not just use that creativity for her own pleasure but also share it with the world. From this opportunity a dream was formed. A dream to maybe one day being able to create all the time, every day. It was a beautiful, shiny, and colourful dream.

The only thing was that the girl was growing increasingly run down from not only working on that dream of hers, but also holding up a steady job, a demanding one at that, and trying to be a good wife, daughter, sister, friend, and not the least healthy person. There weren't enough hours in the day or energy in her body to juggle it all. The girl was starting to lose sleep, to forget things - both big and little things - and to show signs of several physical problems related to severe stress syndrome.

The girl faced a tough choice; to power on and hope for the best or to make changes. Changes that would make her function better in her day to day world, to be a better person to her loved ones, and to be able to get up in the morning without having to rely on pain killers and medication to get through the day. Changes that would mean that her dream had to die.

Facing the fact she was just a simple girl with a dream bigger than her mind and body could handle was very difficult and needed many tears and long talks with her husband. But in the end, she understood it was for the best and she did it. She made the changes.

That girl, she was me. I was the one who had a dream of designing. I was the one who a couple of months ago said enough. I stopped designing and slowly started on my road to recovery. After six months of taking care of myself, and getting back to just expressing my creativity for fun when I have the time and energy for it, I know that even though it breaks my heart it was the right decision.

So, it is with very heavy heart that I am now closing my shop at JessicaSprague.com. From today and a week forward everything in my shop will be 50% off. After that all my designs will be gone for good. If there is anything in my shop that you like but haven't already bought, now is the time!



Please come over and visit my shop at JessicaSprague.com!

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement in the past couple of years. For all the shout outs, the emails, the comments, and the praise I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to all those of you who bought my products - I will forever be grateful for your business. You all have my eternal love!

I hope you will all continue to come over and visit me here on my blog. I will continue to scrapbook, take photographs, create books, and throw over the top parties. And who knows, maybe there will be another adventure waiting for me around the corner?

All my love
Linda

Monday, 17 September 2012

laying it out | wild life

Just a quick page with pics from our zoo trip!

(Supplies: Wild Life Paper Pack and Elements Pack by KI Memories, It's a Start Templates 6 by In the Making Design all from JessicaSprague.com)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

card making | wedding gift

I know it's been really quiet around these parts for a while. I have been working really hard to finish all the stuff for the wedding this weekend. It's over (took place yesterday) and it went really well, but I am wiped and need rest. But in the meantime I thought I could share the card and gift that we gave the beautiful couple.

I made a large card with a bit of a retro design based on an ad I saw on Pinterest a while ago. It's actually one full 12x12 paper folded in half. Pretty cool with big cards, I think.





I used digi papers from Hometown Proud by Design by Dani and Country Lane by Pink Paislee for this card.

We decided to give the couple some good wine to enjoy at specific dates; a Brunello for the one monthiversary, a Portuguese wine for the six monthiversary and a champagne for the first anniversary. I arranged the bottles in a wooden box that the husband was able to charm his way into at the wine shop with two red wine glasses (they will have to use their own champagne glasses in a year). The box originally contained wine from the Priorat district in Spain, but I don't think that really matters as it is pretty.



I also created tags that matched the card for each bottle that stated the date when the wine is to be enjoyed.


The husband and I both commented that we were jealous of the gift, LOL. And I can't even drink red wine!

Hopefully I will be able to share some pictures from the wedding in the coming week.