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Grass is a funny thing. When we first bought our house in 2010, the grass was short and mostly green. A few months later, when spring rolled around, the grass exploded into a dandelion-filled green jungle that you could hardly walk through. So, we mowed the lawn and in just a few short weeks, the lawn dried up and turned an ugly brown color from too much exposure to the sun. If you looked up our neighborhood on Google earth, you’d see green grass, green grass, green grass, brown, green grass. Guess who had the brown grass?

Fast forward a few years and we’re focused on trying to maintain our green grass throughout the summer, while being conscious of our water consumption and time spent laboring on our coveted weekends. This past weekend, after our dog had an accident in the house for about the third time, I considered the possibility that the spring grass explosion might be discouraging him from going in the backyard. I suggested to my husband that it might be time to mow the lawn, and that I would like to learn how to mow it!

It’s true. I’ve never mowed a lawn before. I’m perfectly happy to have my husband mow it, and do other “man” stuff like fix things that are broken, hang things on the wall for me, and so forth. I do plenty of other things like vacuum and clean toilets. But, I sometimes wonder: if I wanted to, would I be able to do these new and unfamiliar things? So I asked my husband to show me how to use the lawn mower and for the first time ever, I mowed the lawn!

Do you ever feel a little adventurous and seek out something new? In addition to mowing the lawn this weekend, I tried a new scrappy thing as well. Snickerdoodle Designs put out a new CU set she calls Calligraphy Collection 2 (see Calligraphy collection 1 here). The set includes mats, journal cards, and masks that are unfinished (note: unfinished = go go creative spirit!).

You choose any combination of colors, papers, and photos, and combine with any kit to create your own unique page embellishments. I have to admit, I’ve been scrapping for a couple of years now and I was a little unsure of how I would finish an unfinished mat. I was surprised to find that the masks, cards, and mats come in layers. This way, you can clip or color each layer individually. I chose styles from Snickerdoodle Designs’ Take Me Away collection for my mat project.

You can find Take Me Away, the kit and collection, on sale for 50% off now in Snickerdoodle Designs PU shop. You’ll find the Calligraphy Collection 2 in Snickerdoodle Designs’ CU shop for 30-40% off now as well.

In working with the CU mat collection and Take Me Away, I created a layout that I thought would make a great quick page to get you started with this fun set. Just click on the link below to download, and consider having a little creative adventure of your own this week!

***Download No Longer Available***

sd-calligraphy-mat-gift-72dpi

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I almost didn’t tell this story. I find it slightly embarrassing actually. But to make my point, alas, here it is:

Most of you probably know me as a layout artist on theStudio CT; I joined after winning the layout artist competition here at theStudio. But, here’s a secret: I once entered the designer contest that theStudio runs every year as well. In fact, not only did I enter once, I actually started a little project to enter the designer contest again this year, but I never got past making the second element (see where my “embarrassment” comes in?). Oh, I never wanted to win, but I thought that it would be neat to try. It makes a competition more fun to have participants from all levels, from beginner to advanced. Plus, I had a great idea for a kit both times and knew that if I made it past the first round or two, that there were some neat CU prizes to be had.

You might be wondering why I’d want CU prizes if I’m not a designer. Turns out, CU stuff can be quite useful for layout artists too, especially textures, actions, and styles. I didn’t always know this, but it’s something I’ve come to realize over time. For instance, textures can come in quite handy if you come across a kit that doesn’t include cardstock or solids (it happens). I use a lot of paper blocks on layouts myself, and if all I have is patterns, things can get messy really quickly. With a set of go-to textures, though, I can always make my own matching cardstocks and solids. Alternatively, I sometimes find a kit with patterns that don’t work for me, i.e. they’re too big or bold or busy or small. With the right pattern set, voila! I can make my own to suit me. Styles can make layouts a breeze too. I love not having to ‘figure out’ how to make something look 3D or metallic or vintage.

Whether you’re a tried and true user of CU products, or a novice, you’ll find some great CU options in Snickerdoodle Designs’ CU shop here at theStudio. Like metallics? Check out this set of bronze styles

Looking for a texture set? How about these muslins

One of my personal favorites is Karen’s Vintage Cloth

Wanna hear the good news? Karen’s entire CU shop is on sale for 30% off through November 3oth!

So how about it? Will you give a texture or style product a try? To give you a little taste of what you can do with these, I’ve put together a little freebie for you using Vintage Cloth – it’s a siggy nameplate perfect for this fall season (I personally use a siggy in all forums and on both my work and personal emails – and I change them frequently to match the season!).

This siggy nameplate was created with elements from Snickerdoodle Designs’ Hay Day collection (beautiful, btw), and 3 of the styles from Vintage cloth (two for the plate itself, then a third for my name ‘Jennifer’ on the sample). If you choose, you can download and simply add your own name to the nameplate. Feel free to use it in any forum you choose (resize to 600px width after adding your name – you’ll want to choose a LARGE font size) and even use it to sign your emails. It’s a great way to show off your creative spirit.

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