Thursday, April 23, 2015

You, Me & The Sea

I have a sketch challenge up on the October Afternoon blog today. I even have my talented and super fun friend, Jill Sprott playing along with me, do click over and visit OA blog to see her sample layout based on this sketch! :)

Sketch April 23rd by Sasha Farina for October Afternoon

Let me walk you through my layout so you can see where I followed the sketch and where I decided to 'bend the rules' a little. I'm not saying my sketch is a rule, but more of a guideline, a nudge, a little help for you to start your layout.

you, me & the sea

Instead of 'slicing my layout' vertically as per the sketch, I 'sliced it' horizontally, because I feel that it will be more suitable for my photo. I used the ship part of the Whale Bone Reef patterned paper, to compensate my small photo and also because I love that ship! Where we live, many ships (not pirate ships. haha!) come and go and if we pay close attention, on quiet mornings, we can hear them too! :) 

you, me & the sea closeup

You can also place patterned papers on the little squares and rectangle in the sketch. I decided to imitate the squares with random machine stitching roughly in the same shapes. I housed my title in one of the stitched squares. If you haven't noticed, I'm totally crushing on the Daily Flash 'cursive' Alphas lately. This one is in Rhubarb. Such a beautiful pink. The ampersand is in Dandelions (my favorite yellow!).
On the cluster housing my photo, I used some stickers from Treasure Map 12x12 Shape Stickers and also some Doo-dads
you, me & the sea closeup2

I can't not stamp on my layout, I really like looking through my stamp and finding one or two that will work for my layout. For this one, the 'once upon a time' stamp from our Public Library collection fits perfectly because to be frank, now we don't really have the time to spend hours and hours at the beach anymore. Work and school take up chunks of our time and when weekend comes, we only wanna sleep and craft at home mostly! :D I do miss this a lot and will have to make the time and effort to drag the girls out again! :)

I hope you'll have time to play with the sketch. I'm @sashafarina on Instagram. I usually post sneaks and my layouts with #octoberafternoon in the description.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Amazing Things Will Happen. . .

“Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

How true! Work hard, be kind. Always. At the same time, I like to remind my girls not to be too kind that people step all over you. Haha!

I'm contradicting myself, I know. I guess what I'd like to say is that balance is important. Be kind, but don't let people treat you as a doormat. You know what I mean? I'm sure you do.

amazing things

I made this layout for a challenge hosted by Suz on October Afternoon blog. Hop over to see the Inspiration Piece.

I looked at the inspiration piece and was straightaway drawn to the design of the page, which means I used it as kind of a sketch, even though it is not technically a sketch. I decided to use a half sheet of the Treasure Map Label Stickers. If you take a closer look, the stickers on that sheet goes from light blue to dark blue gradually. I cut the sheet in half vertically and used them in the order the very order they came in. Don't you just love it when that happens? :) 

amazing things closeup1

amazing things closeup2

I machine-stitched the labels with straight lines down the middle, imitating the line on the center of the inspiration piece.

I then raided my stash of Mini Market Alphabet Stickers and completed the title of my layout, adding some typewritten strips in the middle. Back to my sewing machine again to stitch straight horizontal lines across the alphabet stickers, again, to imitate the lines + bulleted points on the inspiration piece. I had to use some of the fabulous embellishments from Treasure Map, I had to! They were begging to be put onto this layout! :D I ended up using one of the chipboard, a tin pin and a banner. I also stamped the star a couple times here and there because I just love the way it looks together with my mist sprinkles. 

I must tell you this, I am in love with Treasure Map! Expect more Treasure Map layouts from me in the near future!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

This Little Story Matters

Because of you
I can feel
slowly but
the me
I have always

-Tyler Knott Gregson-

this little story matter

this little story matter closeup

this little story matter closeup2

I first came across that quote/poem a while ago, and even then I knew that I will, one day, want to scrap it, with this particular photo. What I didn't know than was that Ali will come up with Story Of My Life brush pack. Seriously, I'm so glad I've not yet executed the layout I had in mind because this is even better.

As usual, I started my layout in Photoshop. Played with the placements and generally sketched where everything will go. I don't do this blindly, though. I take my embellishments tub out and (roughly) physically measure them and I also use the ruler in the software to make sure I have enough space for what I want to have on my layout.

I don't always get things perfect though. Sometime, I screw up, in photoshop and in real life (personally, I think motherhood is bloody hard, I told you that already, I think) but who doesn't eh? :)

I'm mommy. What's your super power?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I choose you.

A new Inspiration Challenge is up on the October Afternoon blog! You'll have to hop over there to see the inspiration piece, but here's my take on it! :)

I'm a hopeless romantic if you don't know that already. Ha!

i choose you

i choose you closeup

i choose you closeup2

The first thing I did on this layout is the random rectangles machine stitching. There was no template or any guide at all. It was fun! Then, can I have a 'YAY!' for labels? :D I rounded up all my Daily Flash Double Take sticker sheets and stamped on the labels. I started with one and just keep on stamping until my sentences were complete. I didn't even pay too much attention on making them straight! I couldn't if I wanted to anyway as I was using my old wooden stamp set from studio G, just in case you're curious. 
You can say the labels made the layout. The rest of it came together pretty fast. Some chipboard embellishments (arrows), Daily Flash alphabet stickers (xoxo), some stamping (once upon a time,✭✭✭✭✭date stamp) and a couple of pop drops and my layout is complete. I added the two bicycle wood veneer because well, marriage to me is a journey where two people try their best to balance each other. It's a ride for sure. :)
Let me know if you play along, I'm @sashafarina on Instagram. I usually post sneaks and my layouts with #octoberafternoon in the description. You can also share your creations with us via the October Afternoon Flickr Gallery.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Daily Laugh. Laugh Daily

March 2015.
A wedding. My youngest sister got married
A funeral. My uncle passed away. 
On the same day. 
I chose to leave the wedding celebration to say goodbye to my uncle for the last time.
Bittersweet I must say. 

One week after the wedding and the funeral, the people of Singapore lost Lee Kuan Yew. The nation wept and was in mourning until yesterday. Another funeral. 

A wedding and two funerals.
I don't feel like laughing much right now, but that's just why this layout is so important. :)

Laugh Daily

Laugh Daily closeup

I used Simple Stories Layered Template No.10 as the base of the whole layout. Instead of using it purely in digital form as I did the Selfie layout, I decided to use the template as my stitching guide.



I worked in Photoshop so first, I added the text, the Audrey hepburn quote in this case, then I linked all the layers and resized the whole template until it looked like what I have in my head. I lowered the opacity for the circle frames and turned the photo frames into white with light grey stroke and I printed the whole thing onto a piece of 8.5 x 11 cardstock.

I then take my paper piercer to all the circles and get to stitching. This is tedious but if you do this while watching a movie, it's painless. When the stitching is done, the layout practically scrapped itself. :)

Let me know if you ever try using a digital template as a stitching guide!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Thanksgiving Morning

My first two page layout in forever, I think. I sure had a lot to say on this layout :) While I knew I wanted to use this photo with my layout, I didn't plan for this layout to be so 'wordy' actually. I just kept on typing whatever I can remember, then I realized my story had taken almost a full page. That was when I started thinking about design. 

thanksgiving morning

thanksgiving morning closeup

I'm digging the large photo. I could've used any photo of the bands or the many giant balloons we saw, but I chose this photo of my boots. I love this photo for many reasons - I don't wear boots in Singapore, our weather is way too hot for boots and on that very morning, this was my spot until the parade ended. I didn't budge even though it was so cold my belly button was shivering. Haha.

I turned the 'morning' digital stamp from AM/PM Digital into a cut file then I layered some papers, added my title and stitched them all onto the photo.

thanksgiving morning page 2

thanksgiving morning page 2 closeup

The true story and nothing but the truth came from For The love Of Words brush pack. I spared nothing (LOL!) - from the little people hammering nails onto my skull from the inside to when I was absolutely clueless on where to go to watch the parade. :)

It was a good Thanksgiving though. I had my girls with me, we were in New York City, we caught the parade and we even went to a playground at Central Park after that. It was a mighty fine Thanksgiving. 

thanksgiving morning (two pager)

I miss New York :)


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SFO - Guest Designing for Feed Your Craft

Hi everyone :)

Elise from Feed Your Craft invited me to be their first Guest Designer and I couldn't have been more honored to do so! I used one of the flair from the Travel Mantra set for this layout :)

see the world

Just look at that 'See The World' flair and how it is 'at home' on my crushing-on-yellow-machine-stitching layout. :) To be honest, I think I really have a 'thing' with travel embellishments - they're so easy to fall in love with. I also have a thing for travel, especially with my girls. I love discovering new places with them,  or revisiting old places and seeing the wonder of it all through their eyes.

see the world closeup2

That quote - I read it once and it stayed with me for a long time. How true and how smart is Mr. Bourdain?

On traveling with children, I have been asked "But how did you get around New York/San Francisco? Taxis are so expensive!" I said "Subway/BART and we walked a lot!" Then they told me that they can't do that to their children because that would be torture. LOL. I rest my case, then :)

I tell my girls - you want something, you better be prepared to work for it. :)

see the world closeup

Elise was so generous and sent me more than one set of flairs. You definitely will be seeing more Feed Your Craft flairs on my layouts in the near future.  :)

I urge you to give Feed Your Craft a try! Use SASHA20 coupon code for 20% off until Saturday midnight EST.

Thank you Elise for having me!

Monday, March 9, 2015

My Hero

I'm hosting a scrap recipe challenge on the October Afternoon today.  Ink splatters and white background optional, I just really, really love them! ;)


My take on it

my hero

my hero closeup

my hero closeup2

I used the Saturday Mornings Journal Cards patterned paper to cut the title from 4 'journaling cards' and make it the focal point of my layout. Just look at those beautiful colors!
I typed my journaling with my manual vintage typewriter and stamped the cute bird and scissors with perforated line with black ink to kinda balance up all the sweet colors in this layout and added some pink pop drops, a pink heart chipboard and a pink brad
I machine-stitched all around the layout, part of my title and my journaling several times, then hand-stitched some pink straight stitches onto the letter H E R and O :) I really, and I mean really love how this layout turned out. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our Everyday Moments

“It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now ­­– the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”
Katrina Kenison

our everyday moments

I was going through the photos the other day, feeling all nostalgic. We used to spend many days at the park during their younger years. It was something mundane at that time, but definitely special now. I'm glad I have some photos of them at the park.

our everyday moments closeup

I made my own 'patterned paper' for this layout. I used Everyday Life Cursive brush pack by Ali Edwards. In photoshop, I stamped it to fill my 8.5x11 canvas, then printed it out and using it as I would a normal piece of patterned paper.

I absolutely adore the gray on white on this layout. Subtle and oh so pretty if I do say so myself.

Monday, March 2, 2015


The stitching challenge is up on the October Afternoon blog, hosted by my super talented friend, Patricia Roebuck! Go check it out please! Her layout is beyond amazing!

Here's my take on it :)


brave closeup

brave closeup2

You might say, stitching? that's not much of a challenge for Sasha! While you may be right if I decided to hand stitch on this layout, the same can't be said when I'm machine stitching. Haha!

I love adding machine and hand-stitched elements onto my page and have been doing so for a long time. If you've never tried stitching before, you should. You have to let go of some things though. 
You have to be able to accept and see the beauty in imperfections, at least for me. My sewing machine is quite temperamental. But hey, that's what I love about it.

On this layout about my brave girl, I cut out the letters from Encyclopedia patterned paper from ourPublic Library collection to form my title, then I stitched around each hand-cut squares and layered them with various scraps leftovers from previous October Afternoon layouts.
My three photos were cut into circles and added to the layout before I typed out my journaling strips and adhered them to the page. I added a tin pin,  a couple arrows, some chipboard stars, because, really, for her bravery, my girl deserved all the stars in my world. :)  For even more fun, I sprinkled some sequins, stamped some phrases and splattered some paint onto my layout, then I stitched all around it with my sewing machine.

Tag me on Instagram if you play along! I'd love to see it!