Finger Pointing – December 20th

Happy Holidays everyone!  I thought I’d start with that greeting today since this will be my last blog post for the year. Man, where did 2016 go?!  That whole ‘downhill slide’ from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year, and bam! We’re in 2017 … well, almost. I love looking around the galleries during the holiday season; everything is just so festive.  I have a few holiday-themed pages in my picks today, but a few others, too.

Starting out today’s selections is Gingerbread Village from KateO. I love the clever mixing of brushes and dimensional elements, especially the holly stamps offset with the pine needle branches.  The paper stacking is great too, with just little pieces peeking out (and I’m a sucker for the spiral-bound notepad papers!). The use of literal white space here is well done and helps give the layout some breathing room.  While this is a holiday-related page, it doesn’t “scream” the traditional red and green colors you might associate with the season, and yet that’s exactly what Kate used.  Nicely done.

This next layout – well, layouts, plural – is a double-page from Melissa Marti, titled Welcome Winter. Now, if I gave you the title, alone, you might immediately think of something like snow, right? (okay, so that’s what I thought of)  Nope.  This is a wonderfully-composed celebration of family. I love that Melissa not only captured the entire family, as a group, but that each child also got their own, individual, spotlight photo, too. What also caught my eye here was the color palette. As we just saw with Kate’s layout, we might think of something along the lines of red and green being a more a-typical color scheme for this time of the year … but Melissa’s use of a kit that has green, blue, and then that neutral beige is striking to me — and see how everyone’s clothing seems to coordinate with the kit selection, too? Very clever. I think this layout would make a great family holiday card.

From a technical viewpoint, Fiona (Applechick) had my attention with not one, not two, but three extractions on her page, Bubbles.  Three! The careful layering of the extractions, coupled with the masking and brushes placed behind the images is really well done. I love the added touch of the whimsical bubbles on the page, too. The whole layout has a fun quality to it, which I think is perfect for the subject matter.

Another fun page, Bathtime Hijinx from aurian just cracked me up.  From the thumbnail in the gallery, I saw the journaling card: Find beauty in the chaos … and I just had to take a closer look. Oh boy, what a handful these two look like they might be!  From a design perspective, I really like how the photos create a circle around the page, which is mirrored by the paper shapes in the background. I wonder of Aurian feels like she’s going in circles with these two?! The color photos capture two toddlers at play – a beautiful moment and snapshot of time, and the black and white head shots hint at innocence with just a hint of cheeky thrown in there. A great choice to blend the two photo styles.

Dark background papers can be challenging and sometimes hard to pull off, but they can be an excellent choice as a foundation for brushwork — and that’s exactly what huguytom220 used here in her page, Have a Little Faith. The pinks and greens of the brushes sit really nicely on the charcoal grey of the background, and I love how everything is cascading from top to bottom on the page. The peek-a-boo photo spots are interesting in that they are circular, but with the layering and other cut-outs, they – too – appear to be cut-outs of slightly different shapes.

Rounding out today’s selection is a Project Life page, Week 49, by Anke. I so admire scrappers that commit to Project Life and see everything through to the very last week in the year – sometimes taking on the project year after year, too!  I was drawn to the softness of this page with Anke’s use of grey and white. Even the elements she added, like the buttons, flower, and snowflakes, are quietly understated. The stitched grid design allows for many photos (and Anke included eight on this page!), as well as several squares for journaling. It’s a simple design that has quite an impact and allows for a lot of storytelling … perfect for capturing those everyday moments.

Well, that’s it for today.  With less than a week away until Christmas, I hope you are able to find some “me” time during the season and also have the chance to stop, breathe, and enjoy the festivities with family and friends. I wish everyone the happiest of holidays, and a great new year!

Finger Pointing – November 26th

Evening everyone – well, it’s the start of the evening here on the east coast of the U.S.  After a busy day of house project, like painting the entire living room, and then straightening up the spare bedroom, I’m ready to just sit down, browse, and maybe even get my scrap on for a while.  It’s a good night for my turn here on the blog – so much inspiration out there with the galleries filling up with weekend layouts!

Starting out today’s picks is Wo69b from Hilu1956. This is the second page of a two-page layout (you can see the other page here), but I love that this one can easily stand alone. I love the balance this scrapper has achieved with the larger photo grounding the layout on the bottom, but still leaving plenty of room up top for more detailed pictures.  Also, great choice to use a mask on the large picture – the messy edge along the top helps break up the lines and also allows for a little white and separation on the page. And besides, how cute is that garden shed?  I want one!

Changing things up a bit, how about a hybrid project?  One of the things I love about the digital world is that as large as it might seem, sometimes there are opportunities to meet scrappers in person – and I’m pleased to say, I know this girl!! Kate’s hybrid projects are awesome and when I saw her Hybrid Christmas Tags, I just had to include them in today’s post.  What fun would it be to receive a gift with a handmade tag like this attached to it?  The machine stitching is great, and I love that everything is carefully placed on each tag so the stitching helps to keep everything secure. Fun colors, and a great mix of small elements, stickers and labels. Just fun all around!


The galleries are filling up with holiday-themed pages, so I just had to include one or two here – and Vrielinkie’s Throwback Christmas Photo is the first of two Christmas pages for today. Looking at the thumbnail in the gallery, this page caught my attention with the vertical design elements – even the song words for Jingle Bells are vertical! The repetition of “3” here is clever, too, from “Ho Ho Ho” to the numbers 1, 2, and 3 representing the three children, and even to the three strips of red patterned paper under the photo. Great color combination, with hints of red and green for the traditional holiday colors, mixed with the vintage-y browns.

My second holiday page (well, I guess third, if you include the gift tags), is just adorable and that photo is too precious (and that’s a very patient dog to have not only a scarf, but a hat on, as well!). Miranda’s page, Homemade Christmas, has so many details to look at – all in tiny miniature – and yet the photo is still, quite obviously, front and center. A perfectly plain neutral background allows for everything to pop off the page, too.

Pulling off a guy page with flowers can be tricky to do, but Sweeet (Jenna) manages to do just that in her page Thankful for You. Jenna’s clustering is amazing, and the muted color palette and kit selection here make it perfect for a page about her guy. In addition to the wonderful soft tones, I love that she chose to repeat the journaling, over and over, down the left hand side of the page.  The narrow width of the journaling makes an impact, but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the layout.

My final pick for tonight is an awesome blend of photos with artsy elements.  In jcaruth910’s page, NYC Skyline, the blue sky in the photos really stood out in the gallery and that made me look at little closer. I love the doodled skyline which is placed over the other images and brushes. I’d love to see the layers here to figure out what’s what! The addition of the apple is a great nod to the “Big Apple”.

Well, dinner is calling, so I’d better get that finished so the boys don’t starve! Happy scrapping everyone, and don’t forget to leave some love in the galleries for these and other scrappers.  Until next time …

Finger Pointing – November 23rd

Happy Thanksgiving Eve in the US!  Tomorrows plans are to eat too much, slip into a food coma, and crash on the couch to watch some football. Perfect. Tonight, though, it’s all business with my gallery picks for the Standout blog.  Once again, perfect!  Let’s get started, shall we?

My first pick today is Boom by aliba2. I love exploring new-to-me galleries and that’s how I discovered this digital artist. Isn’t this fabulous?! Texturally, there so much to look at with layer upon layer of brushes and masks. The treatment of the layers is also interesting, perhaps a Liner or Color Burn application. I’ll admit to using a language translator to see what this picture was all about, and the scrapper describes the layout as a photo of trees in the fog taken during their holiday or vacation. Fabulous!

Turning things completely around 180-degrees, I adore Nate’s Let for the pure simplicity of the page. Although there are several photos on the page, it’s pretty obvious which one is front and center – and so it should be.  This is one half of a two-page layout, and when you put the two pages side by side, the photograph pops even more (you can see the other page here). The clean and simple style can sometimes lend itself to a grid-style layout, but don’t let the apparently simple design fool you! A page like this can still take much planning. I love how, through the photos, we have a snapshot of the day’s activities at Lake Gringny (Lac de Grigny). The title for the layout is also an awesome choice, just a single word, Let.  Seems very appropriate to me.

When I look through scrapbooking galleries, I love seeing designers who scrap and my next pick for today is just that, a designer (I didn’t realize this at first!).  The page design of Winter Berry by Tiramisu (Natalie) caught my attention with everything being focused around the edges of the page and the expanse of nothing-ness in the middle of the page. I love the pop of red from the photo (I wonder if this is a favorite holiday ornament?), and how it works so well with the green on the top half of the page – not a traditional evergreen-type green that you might see at the holidays, but that wonderful blue/grey/green. I love all the texture that’s here on the background with the paint and gesso swatches, too.

Pumpkin Homework by Kim_R had me with the wood background. I love seeing how scrappers use backgrounds such as this, especially with adding brushes that partially blend into the paper – see the faint newsprint ones on this page? The star bursts popping off the background add a nice brightness to the layout, mimicking the sun starburst that’s carefully placed behind the leaf clusters. There’s so many details here to look at, from the itty-bitty leaf flair to the screw head holding the string on the photo. Everything so carefully and deliberately layered to frame a cute photo – and that’s someone who is obviously very proud of her craft homework assignment!

Another artsy page, Beckturn’s layout Falling Leaves jumped out of the gallery in the thumbnails for what I thought was a simple, white space page – and I mean, literally, white!  Boy was I wrong – there’s nothing “simple” about this!  The small details here are fabulous, from the birds flying into the sky to the oh-so-faint tree brushes. The photo treatment is interesting, almost washed out, and the shadows on the leaves just add to the illusion that they are falling.

Rounding out the selections for today is a layout that made me giggle – we’ve all be here, right? The anticipation of a gift, opening it up and then the fist pump and a quiet “Yes!” that it is all that we’d hoped for.  No doubt, the parents and grandparents among us have seen this look on our children or grandchildren.  Special by IntenseMagic (Jan) captures just that moment. The tight cluster of the design, as well as the central location of the picture and elements, just speaks so much to my white space tendencies.  However, today, I picked this layout more for the photo and the moment of joy that it recorded.

Well, that’s it for tonight. I hope you’ve enjoyed my selections.  Happy scrapping everyone, and to those of you celebrating the joys of family and friends tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving!

Fingerpointing – November 9th

Evening everyone.  Well, it’s certainly been an interesting 24 hours in the U.S., but I’ve kept myself buried in the digital galleries looking at all the inspiration – well, that and kind of working on a layout of my own at the same time. Multi-tasking! Don’t you love how browsing galleries can spur on your own mojo?  I do.  Let’s see what I found today.

Starting out today’s picks is Darling by melscrap.  I love the choice here of the blue, brown and greys – so soft. The processing on the photo, too, echoes that same softness, as does the whisper of shadowing on the layout. I am drawn into the photo, wondering what is going on in this little girl’s mind – she seems so far away, deep in thought. From a technical standpoint, nice job on the stamped title with the gap in the stamp from the edges of the patterned paper, a detail sometimes overlooked by scrappers.

As we approach Veterans Day on Friday, Remember by taxed4ever (Trudy) tugged at my heart strings, being a child of a Veteran now lost to me. I love how Trudy was able to mask and blend together so many photos to create the collage at the top of the page. The pop of red from the poppies is a great touch. And the addition of the tree? That reminds me of the tree of life.

At first I thought Cristina’s layout, Day in the Life, was based on a template, but nope.  This is simply a piece of digi scrapping paper – what a clever way to utilize the pattern on the paper to its full advantage!  With spaces filled with smaller photos, Cristina has been able to give us a little snapshot into her day using minimal elements and really just letting her story be told. The painted leaves hint towards the Fall season … but oh my, snow already where she lives? Um, no thank you!

This next layout, My Glove by britgirl, had me laughing so hard. I promise I was laughing with britgirl, not at her, because I’ve seen that face many a time with my own dog, the “I don’t know what you’re talking about – what glove??” kind of look.  Winnie, the dog in the picture, seems totally clueless and oblivious to the glove hanging from her mouth. I love the use of the arrow to connect you from “Hey!” to “that’s my glove!”  The use of the brushes and stamps on the background are nice, too, echoing the outdoorsy environment where the pup was obviously caught in the act.  On this page, a single photo tells the story.
Fly by Scrapmemories (Lorraine) takes things in a totally different direction and this is one of the reasons I love digital scrapbooking: the ability to create art. With the addition of just a few elements, like the stitching, and stamped lace, Lorraine has created page that is seemingly full of texture. I love the large butterfly placed over the face, and the every so slight shadow that’s been applied, giving it the appearance of having just landed right there. The brushes that surround the face help frame it, mimicking hair, and yet, those piercing eyes still shine through. Love.

Rounding out today’s picks is a happy, bright and cheerful layout, Sparkle Plenty by Roboliver. What caught my eye here was not only the somewhat monochromatic color choice (and a bright one, at that!), but the angled papers. Had they been vertically placed behind the photo, for example, the page would have had a different “feel” about it. Great photo – and the black and white processing was a good choice and helped it stand out against all the pink. I tend to struggle with titles and where to place them, but here, the use of a transparent alpha, and placing it right on top of the photo, was a great choice – enough to let us know what the page is about, but not so much or so big that it distracts from that cutie in the picture.

Well, that’s it for today.  As we look towards Veterans Day in just a few days, please remember to thank those who have served, or who are currently serving, in any branch of the military.  Dinner is calling – got to go.  Until next time, happy scrapping!

Finger Pointing – October 22nd

Hi everyone!  After a day full of running errands, I’m happy to be here while I wait for dinner to cook. Feels good to sit down for a while – and even better, to look through the galleries and see how creative everyone’s been in the past 24 hours or so. Let’s get started!

Today’s first page is intriguing to me. No title, no journaling, but an awesome collage of autumnal colors and seemingly random elements.  In sbpoet’s page, Mysteries, there is certainly an air of mystery about the items chosen and how they all go together – and yet, at the same time, they really have very little in common. Although a simple grid-style design, this appears to be much more complex with textures and overlays added that given an old-world feel to the page. The small paint splatters, the way the flower brush spills over into the surrounding squares … love it. I would so enjoy seeing this on canvas hung on a wall!

Changing things up a bit, Just Imagine from y-baros is a great art journal-style page.  Bright, cheerful colors echo the feeling of imagining all the possibilities that are within our fingertips. The blending of artsy scribbles with paint and even small hints of lace is just so fun. I love how there’s something to look at on every inch of the page, and how some embellishments are more layered than others, creating an edge border around the layout. Great choice to add the large white swatch in the middle so that the title has a place to “sit” and stand out.

The design sensibilities in chickypow’s page, October is Rad!, caught my eye right away. I love the choice of minimizing the element grouping and just utilizing two corners of the layout. This creates a great diagonal flow to the page (and I love the white space it creates, too). The use of the textured and almost slightly wrinkled kraft paper for the background adds additional interest, and the somewhat neutral color palette allows the pink jackets in the photo to really pop.

Candid photos that capture the “real” you or your family can often provoke some of the best feelings – a smile, a laugh … and this layout certainly had me giggling. As a parent of a child who constantly pulls silly faces for the camera, even in his [now] early 20’s, I can relate to ~jak’s layout, My Kinda Crazy.  The photo is hilarious, but even more, I love the frantic feeling of all the scribbles and elements on this page. The little owls peeking out, paper strips, paint, flowers, stars – just about all the elements you could possibly think of!  What a great selfie that, I’m thinking, most likely captures what everyday family moments are for these three.

Angel by Cathrineblan is just … well, gorgeous in it’s blending and ethereal qualities. I would love to see this scrappers workspace, just to see how many layers there are here, all so carefully placed. The butterfly brush, the addition of the feathered wings, even the way the gold flowers mix to create a “skirt” almost like a mermaid on the figure. There’s a nice balance of dark and light, with the edges and borders being off-set by the light streaming through the window in the center of the page. Such a great fantasy-style page.

You’ve probably been wondering, “Where are the layouts with photos?!” … and I’ve been saving one of these just for this last spot for today – and not one or two photos, but six on this page!  Ren Fest by YupBrook is beautifully balanced with the large photo taking center stage on the layout, supported by several smaller pictures around the edges of the page.  Although the children are full of smiles, the journaling on Brook’s page reveals a “meh” kind of day at the renaissance fair – still fun, but some disappointing moments.  Kudos to her for scrapping not only the fun and awesome moments, but also recording the not-so-great (I’m a big believer in recording all of the everyday moments, not just the happy, rainbow and sunshine ones). Once again, I love the diagonal design that’s been achieved here. However, unlike the earlier page where only two corners of the page were used, here we have all four – photos on one diagonally-opposite set of corners, and journaling and title work on the other. Even with the large number of pictures here, the page still has ‘breathing room’.

Well, dinner is now ready, so I’d better get things wrapped up (before my boys starve! LOL). Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks for today – and don’t forget to browse the galleries, yourself, and leave some love for pages that catch your eye, too.

Finger Pointing – October 11th

Evening everyone! I’m sitting here with my eyes focused on the galleries, but my ears half-listening to the baseball playoffs (my home team, the Washington Nationals are playing right now). However, the galleries are kind of winning out right now – there’s so much to look at and, to be honest, I could spend hours there!  Let’s get today’s picks started, shall we?

I don’t often pick hybrid pages. In fact, I think I might have selected just one or two in my time as a GSO blogger … maybe.  So that makes this pick from me all the more special – well, to me! In Wendy Morris-Saponaro’s page, Reflect, we see a great example of how digital products can be used to create a traditional page. If you’ve got access to a printer, this is a great way to stretch those creative juices a little more, and even use up a little of that traditional stash that I just know you have (and yes, I’m looking directly at you!). I love how all the pieces have been layered and the inclusion of the camera brush and tags. It’s hard to tell what’s digital and what’s not – and that’s pretty clever! Love the color palette, too, with the white background and other white elements serving as the perfect layering foundation for the photos and other bits ‘n’ pieces.


Golden Days from AmandaJ has a completely different feel. I almost want to grab a paintbrush and see if I can paint a swatch of the scenery depicted here – a little sneak peek into the season through the trees.  The added touches of the ever-so-tiny elements are wonderful, from the scatters to the mushrooms to the acorn brush and wordart.  See that little fox peeking out, too?

This next pick grabbed me with the large photo and the way it is cropped on an angle with the surrounding paper and ribbon layers.  In VeronicaS’s challenge page, there’s a depth and richness to the colors that matches the black and white photo that has just a hint of sepia toning to it. Even the paper selections have that old world feel to them. As I looked at the page, I kept wondering if Veronica added the butterflies and butterfly wings.  The placement of the butterflies around the edge of the dress skirt makes them appears to be flitting around.  Such a pretty addition.

At this time of the year, the weather is becoming cooler and more damp, and these little things are starting to appear all over the place (and some, not quite so little!): mushrooms. Secretly, I love going on walks to find mushrooms – they’re such interesting subjects to photograph. That being said, when I saw weaselwatchr’s layout, Mushroom, in the galleries today, I just had to include it here with today’s picks. The picture here is great, with so much detail captured of the little mushroom colony. I also love the mix of elements, combining the more realistic flowers with the hand-drawn-style mushrooms – and even the little squirrel.  I’m also a big fan of white space (although here is, strictly speaking, striped) and I love her choice of keeping the bulk of the layout concentrated on the bottom half of the page.

From nature building it’s [mushroom] fort, to a fort built with legos and the creative mind of a child (how’d you like that for a segway?! LOL). Chili’s page, Imagine and Build, is full of color, and everything pops so well off the black gear wheel (a perfect choice, I might add, as a foundation piece for this layout!). Love the crops on the photos, showing both the close-up of the work in progress, and the center photo that captures the look of concentration on this young man’s face as he puts his creation together. Great choice, too, to layer the photos and elements in a curve, mimicking the circular shape of the gear.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here: I love seeing digital designers get their scrap on and share their pages in the galleries.  I didn’t pick one, but two designers in tonight’s selections.  Veronica’s page earlier in the this post, and now this one, Sweater Weather by crystalbella77. I love the really dark wood grain background here – almost, but not quite black – and all the element clusters that Crystal created to layer on top. Even the patterned papers add splashes of their own color.  The journaling stands out well against the background, and yet it still somehow blends away into the rest of the layout.  However, what absolutely “got me” here was the adorable photo of Crystal’s son.  See that little smirk on his face? What’s the bet he’s up to no good (wink!).

In the time it’s taken me to write this blog post, my baseball team has lost, so now we’re on to Game #5.  Oh well, more time to browse the galleries and scrap, right?  What a shame *wink*  Hope you’re enjoyed my selections for today. Please remember to leave some gallery love for these ladies, and drop a few comments on other layouts that you see, too.

Finger Pointing – September 22

Hi Everyone – Kat here, back with another round of gallery picks from digi-land. I was recently asked how I liked this “job.”  It’s an honor to be part of the GSO team and be in a position to share my finds from the galleries.  Job? I don’t think so – at least not in my books.  Without further ado, let’s get down to business, yes?

My first pick for today is a heritage layout with a great story of triumph and of a woman who stood her ground! In sharongrey8’s layout, Maranda, we see storytelling and memory-keeping at it’s best. The heritage photo is great by itself, but the whole memory is more complete with recounting of some family traditions, some timelines to put things in perspective, and a story that, no doubt, has been handed down from generation to generation. I love the minimal use of elements, and the delicate brushwork.  I dare say, nobody probably messed with Maranda, a woman who knew her own mind!

My second choice for tonight is probably something that we, as scrappers (and multi-crafters, many of us) can relate to: I am happiest when I create. This fill in the blank challenge page by Kythe is photoless, but it speaks volumes to me just with that simple, short sentence at the bottom. Do you ever have one of “those” days where you just need to be creative. Not want to, but need too? I do. The mix of elements chosen here provides a creative, yet peaceful page, from the brushes, to the flowers, to the butterfly.  Almost hidden in the background is a doily that seemingly blends into nothing, just like the frame on the left-hand side of the page.

We Are Family by Mother Bear takes things in a different direction. Here we have element layered upon element – it all looks so effortless, doesn’t it?  Although this starts with a template (and I love templates!), there’s movement and little touches added to make this a standout in my books: the curled ribbon, circled around and almost pointing to the title, the use of faint grid-like brushes in the background, the tucked leaves and flowers. Great choice with the photo processing, two – the brown tint works really well with the color palette of the kit that was used. I hope this Mommy has shown the page to her daughter.

Simply titled 78a, my next pick from aprilvika jumped out of the gallery and caught my eye not for the fabulous photo, or the vine that twists its way through the page, connecting the photos (which are both awesome) … but for the small space between the top two photos and the bottom ones. The space intrigues me. My own personal scrapping style has evolved over time, and continues to change, and while I lean more towards a clustered, layered page design at the moment, I appreciate the cleaner lines of this page. Just the foliage and a few staples are all that’s needed here. I would love to know the story of the lady in what appears to be a market of some sort.

So I just mentioned layered and clustering … and this page fits that bill! Another challenge page, which I’m calling To The Moon & Back, this one from Cinna, is full of paint splatters, digital gesso, and brushes. The dark background is the perfect backdrop for the artsy additions and despite the busy background, the photo – and the emotions – still shine through. Love this one.

Rounding out today’s picks is Hugs from robinsismai. This is where I think the picture really does tell the story – and it had me laughing out loud. Look at how cozy the little girl is hugging that kitty … and how horrified the cat is, almost pleading to be released from what is documented on the page as a “death grip.” Oh, that poor kitty.  The use of a single, large photo was a great choice as it holds up really well against the strong color palette of the purple, pink and gold; the picture still remains the focal point of the page.  Nice design choice of keeping the clustered elements to two diagonally-opposite sections of the layout, too.

Well, that’s all for today. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to stop by the galleries and leave these scrappers – and others – a few words on their layouts. Until next time … happy scrapping!