A Happy Challenge

By Marisa Lerin Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:36

I started to see this hashtag pop up on Instagram yesterday, so I did a little searching to figure out what it was. It sounded like it would be wonderful, and I think it is!


The hashtag originates with this challenge to document for 100 days something that makes you happy. As scrapbookers we're already committed to capturing and saving daily moments, but I know for me it's sometimes tricky to figure out what to capture in the day to day when things seem so mundane and the same! A little outside encouragement and challenge is always appreciated and I'm looking forward to joining this internet sensation.

I'll be sharing my photos on instagram, and I'd love to follow along with you! So leave a comment below if I can find you on Instagram too.


New Bundle: Coastal

By Marisa Lerin Mon, 03/24/2014 - 09:56

We just had the sunniest and most wonderful weekend. On Saturday we drove to Salem, the state capitol to enjoy some tremendous cherry blossoms. We didn't even know the blossoms were going to be there, so it was really a happy coincidence that we went right when they were in full bloom. Needless to say I have a lot of scrapping ahead of me because I am not capable of taking less than 100 photos when I see cherry blossoms.

Lovely afternoon in Salem #springishere

In other news my second ocean bundle is finally available. Enjoy the muted colors while you can! The creative team has some wonderful inspiration for you.

Coastal Bundle
CT Layout

By Cintia

CT Layout

By Elif

CT Layout

By Nadia

CT Layout

By Shellby

CT Layout

By Sharon-Dewi


Scenes from the Office: Breakfast

By Marisa Lerin Fri, 03/21/2014 - 09:36

I realize now that my title may have been misleading as I'm not going to discuss the famous TV show, but rather my own personal office. Hopefully that's not too disappointing for you.

Some of you may be blessed by working from home, but some of you may not realize entirely what this means. Jordan and I recently joined a Meetup group in our town for home-internet business owners. At this group we talk about the difficulties of working from home: seeming like a crazy person to everyone you meet in real life, and being isolated most days from these real life people who will likely find you somewhat strange after a little conversation.

This is all a lead up for me to contradict myself because my life desire is to never leave my home office. I could spend a few paragraphs explaining all the perks, but instead I will share a little behind the scenes.

2014-03-21 09.07.40

A view of the office from the kitchen.

In the morning I wake up and have a little quiet time with my tea, and then make my way to the computer with my breakfast to check in with email and the forums and then to decide where to go from there. My Todoist account keeps me generally on track. Although, sometimes the fact that my office is almost in the kitchen leads to a few distractions.

2014-03-21 09.10.23

The form my distractions took this morning.

I usually eat yogurt and granola for breakfast. But it's Friday and Jordan was eating something "unusual" (aka Raisin Bran, which inspired me both not to eat yogurt or Raisin Bran). I remembered that we had a bit of pancake mix left and there was no going back. What's the point of working from home if you can't have pancakes when you feel like it? As previously mentioned, the kitchen is more or less the same room as the office, so I can have a "work meeting" with Jordan while making pancakes. Here's what we talked about this morning:

Marisa: Should I use chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips?

Jordan: (unhelpful stare as he contemplates why we have both.)

Marisa: I love America! (These are my first chocolate chip pancakes in a very long time. Chocolate chips of any size can be hard to come by overseas.)

Jordan: I just saw on Facebook that there was another program in Japan about how Americans are fat.

Needless to say I took that as a personal insult and did not give Jordan any pancakes. They were delicious.

2014-03-21 09.15.25

Crazy for Color

By Marisa Lerin Wed, 03/19/2014 - 09:37

Many of the comments I received last week in response to my design epiphany posts talked about color, and somewhat fittingly before I managed to type out those posts, I wrote down several paragraphs about color and my (crazy) feelings about it. I've decided to share in case it's helpful to you, but I'm hoping I don't come across as too obsessed.

I've known for a while now that the colors I pick for a kit will make or break the final result. There have been several occasions when I've designed myself into a corner based on poor color choice at the beginning. From these experiences I've learned that it's better to have a loose idea of color choice at the beginning. You can't really have a good idea about a palette until you've actually worked with it. For this reason I now expect to remake my papers a couple times. Sometimes it's just a matter of redoing a few, although it does sometimes require a complete revision. For my Lake District Bundle, I tried 3 very different color palettes before I finally figured out what exactly I was going for. Don't be afraid to scrap something if it's not feeling right. It will just get more and more difficult if you aren't completely sold on the colors you're using.

palette indecision

Third times the charm!

When it comes to actually choosing a palette, I rarely settle for one that's been pre-made. There are lots of great palette options out there, but most of them are limited to four or five colors, which is rarely enough for me. Sometimes it's a simple as adding lighter shades to a pre-made palette I love. But more often than not, I pick several palettes that have similar colors and then mix and match until I have something I love.


A look inside my color planning folder.

Also, an interesting fact I've learned is that I don't like to design with colors that I love in real life. As in, the colors I love to wear and surround myself with are not the colors I like to design with. This could be related to the fact that in real life if it's not neon or found in a Lisa Frank sticker, I don't want to see it. But those super bright colors just aren't as versatile, and let's be honest, they're pretty overwhelming. So I've learned that I always need to tone down the colors I pick. I also love to design with some colors that I hate in real life (brown and navy I'm looking at you). Some colors I really can't handle anywhere except with extreme caution (purple and green). And I know I said earlier that I like to work with muted colors, but that's only muted in relation to neon. If I mute things too much I will be so miserable that I have to toss the whole project (this Footsteps Bundle just barely made it out of my folder. I still can hardly bear to look at it).


I can't heart this photo enough. Photo by Manitoba Coupon Maven.

Now that I've just typed out that last paragraph, I feel perhaps like I react a bit strongly to color. The more I work with it, the more I find that my reactions to it strengthen and in some cases become unreasonable (I have certain feelings about the color blue in real life. You don't want to be around if I see my nemesis shade. I feel a bit like I'm living in "The Yellow Wallpaper.") So a friendly warning, too much thinking about color may make you a little crazy.