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30% off State Stamps w/code + 30% off Canada Stamps w/code

Guest Designer | Kelly Ishmael

We're thrilled to have the lovely and talented, Kelly Ishmael, as one of our guest designers this month, and excited to get to know her better today! Be sure to follow Kelly here at Studio Calico to keep up with her and see more of her beautiful work.

My name is Kelly Ishmael.  I share my life with my husband of 25 years and our two lovable dogs.  Meanwhile, our delightful daughter is chasing her dreams and making a new life for herself now that she has graduated from college.   

I got started with papercrafting over 20 years ago when a friend invited me to a Creative Memories party.  After that day, I was completely hooked, and so I spent the next several years documenting the life of my family.   Birthdays, holidays, vacations…I have dozens of scrapbooks full of our family memories.  But things changed as my daughter got older.  Like most teens, she didn’t enjoy having her picture taken as much, and so with fewer pictures of my favorite subject, I struggled to find the same kind of delight in my projects that I use to enjoy.    

After my daughter graduated from high school and went off to college, I found myself returning to photography.  But this time, rather than taking photos for a scrapbook, I started shooting for myself.  I often tell people that photography changed my life, because it taught me how to see things differently. My photography journey opened my eyes to a whole new world of beauty and wonder, and in learning to see the world with new eyes, I learned how to see life with new eyes. As a result, my empty nest didn’t seem so empty anymore.  

In recent years, I have come back to memory keeping with a renewed passion.  Thanks to the gift of photography, I have found that there is so much joy and wonder in my ordinary life…all things I love to capture and document in my Project Life albums.  Plus, now that my daughter is older, I am finding that there are so many new opportunities for making memories and so many new stories to tell.  

A few random facts just for fun… 

  • I am recovering Diet Coke addict!
  • I believe chips & salsa should be their own food group!
  • I tend to overuse air quotes.

I loved working with the Studio Calico February kits—here's a look at my projects!

This year I am planning to use a Traveler's Notebook to document some of my special 'everyday' types of stories. The stamps and stickers from the add-on kits are perfect for adding a little color and embellishment to these pages without making them too bulky.

I love this recent photo of my daughter and wanted to document this time in her life.  The embellishments in the kits were so fun to play with – so love those hexagonal stickers!  Plus I love how all of the colors work so well together.  The perfect complement for my photo!

I so loved the bright, bold colors of this month’s documenter kit, especially the heart/love themed journal cards.  They were so perfect for helping me document our 25th wedding anniversary!

See more from Kelly:





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  1. iScrap says…

    Beautiful projects! Love how you used the kits.

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  2. mugsie says…

    Beautiful! I love those cork embellishments :)

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