Monday, December 26, 2011

The Scrapbooking Studio Design Team: Quick & Easy Christmas Gift

For one of this month's design team projects for The Scrapbooking Studio I put together a 7ge Printer's Tray will some favorite images from a dear friend's wedding. I mixed it with some Teresa Collin's Notations collection papers.

While this one will be on display at The Scrapbooking Studio for a bit, this would make a great Christmas or Anniversary gift for the new brides in your lives. (I'm guessing you may know a few since Christmas is a popular time to get engaged!)

Printers tray and stand; round sticker - Seven Gypsies; Patterned papers, letter "F" - Teresa Collins; Metal frame, numbers, bottles - Tim Holtz; Black paint - Ranger; Black embossing powder - American Crafts; Purple flowers - Prima; Pearls - My Mind's Eye; Purple bead glitter - Martha Stewart; Cream letters - Momenta; Letter stickers - October Afternoon; Putple Spica Pen - Copic; Trinket pin - Maya Road; Seam binding ribbon - Craft Supply; "Oct" letters - Girls Paperie; Purple Cardstock - The Paper Company; Label Die Cut - Spellbinders; Number "11" stickers - Making Memories.

They were planning to decorate their master bedroom in cream and black with damasks, so the papers from the Teresa Collins "Notations" lines were just perfect for this project!

The photos are all 4" x 6" or less, so it was super easy to run them through my Xyron 510 (it has a 5" width) to make sure that they were evenly covered with adhesive and would be firmly affixed to the printer's tray. For the smaller pieces, I used the Xyron 1.5" (aka 150 or "X" sticker maker). I have always found the Xyron's permanent adhesive to be quite sturdy and reliable.

I used some letters from The Girls Paperie along with some findings from the Tim Holtz Ideaology line to add their wedding date to a few of the squares. The "08" letters were originally silver, which of course wouldn't show well against the cream, so I first painted them black and then heat embossed them with black powder. Their wedding colors were purple, so I filled the mini bottles with two shades of lavender beaded glitter and glued the corks shut so they wouldn't spill.

One of the things I love about Teresa Collin's lines is that she often does ones that are simply just black + cream or black + white. This versatility lets you customize your color scheme with paints and inks to fit your needs. In this case, I colored it in with a purple Copic Spica to add a little glimmer while introducing the purple wedding color. I also used some rub-ons to make a little monogram in the banner.

Head on over to The Scrapbooking Studio to see this project in person and pick one up for yourself. And don't worry about how you'll fill the little boxes, there are guides to the sizes on the Seven Gypsies website and it's a great way to use up little extra trinkets in your stash.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Family Frame

Did you have a grand plan to make all of your Christmas gifts this year? Are you finding yourself running out of time to get them done?

Here's a quick and easy project for you!

I found this frame at Staples for about $4. It has two 4"x6" openings and two 4"x4" openings. And it just so happens that the lovely people at Simple Stories happen to make pattern papers that have designs in 4x6 and 4x4 so all you have to do is pick your theme (baby, birthday, family, everyday, summer, school, etc.) and add some of their designs to the windows. For this frame I chose to use pattern paper and embellishments in all of the openings, but you could use pictures for some of them. You could also put the family's name or "est. date" in one of the windows (instead of the ruffled ribbon.)

Design for The Scrapbooking Studio
Patterned paper - "Generations" by Simple Stories; Key, Clock hands, Token, Brad, Washer - Tim Holtz; Cream ribbon - Offray; brown ribbon & rhinestone embellishment - Prima; Ink - Color box.

Since I used lumpy embellishments, I took the glass out, but it would also be cool to leave the glass in and add vinyl or something over the top of it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gifting on the Fly

As the countdown to Christmas runs down you may be finding yourself in a pickle with those hard to buy for people on your list. If you are like me, that means gift cards to the rescue! The only thing I dislike about gift cards is that they seem rather cold and impersonal so I like to present them in a handmade gidt card holder.

On my way home from work tonight  I needed a last minute gift (literally walked into the store at 5:32 and had to be at my destination with gift in tow by 6). Fortunately the giftee is a fellow scrapbooker so I popped into my LSS for a gift card. This year they are offering cute little paper bags embossed with snowflakes to put their gift cards in. Not only did I need to purchase the gift card, I needed to wrap it in store too, so I grabbed a cute little elf sticker (Doodlebug, $1.49) and a foot of metallic red cord (May Arts, 25¢) and wrapped it up at the checkout counter. (Many thanks go out to Michelle for holding it still while I wrapped the cord and for lending her finger to tie the knot.)

Here's the result. It literally under 5 minutes including checkout!

Please excuse the sideways photo. I am blogging from my phone and can't find a way to rotate it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dec. 25th Basic Grey

A few weeks back I shared the "foundation" of this layout on the blog. Sometimes when I have supplies I need to work with, I just go ahead and create a layout and then look for the right photo later.

The foundation page was nice, but today I thought I'd share with you how a few added touches can really bring your layout up a notch (or two, or three).

Adding texture and dimension to your pages always helps add visual interest. I like to create different vignettes within the page in order to attract your eye and draw you attention to key elements on the page.

In the image below, the "Merry Christmas" text and pleated ribbon draw the eye into the center of the page where the date of the photo is featured.

Look for this project in the Cricut Holiday Ideas Book.
This project will return in November 2012.

The cluster of embellishments on the lower left corner help ground the photo and connect the page title "Merry Christmas" to the photo.


And last, but not least, the white snowflake border strip helps connect the left and right sides of the page.

Supplies: Basic Grey "Nordic," Tim Holtz; Martha Stewart, BoBunny, Bazzill, Recollections, Cricut, Tsukineko, Making Memories

Using these simple tips, you too can create pages that are fast and fabulous.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My first published page!

The January edition of Creating Keepsakes Magazine is out and it includes my first published page! (See page 73). I'm so excited to be part of a publication that has brought me inspiration for years.

Page 73 from the January issue of Creating Keepsakes Magazine

If you want to make your own version of this layout you can download a free template from Creating Keepsakes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12 Tags with Tim Holtz meets Ali Edwards December Daily

Every year I follow the tags that Tim Holtz makes as part of his "12 tags of Christmas" event. (It's safe to call it an event right? I mean for us scrapbookers, it might even be THE event of the season!) I love the artistry of his designs and being a card-carrying tools and technique junkie, well lets just say it's like giving crack to addict (Distress Crackle that is).

I also love Ali Edward's December Daily project, but my holiday season is usually pretty mundane. This time of year is typically my busy season at work, we don't have kids, and for the last few years, I haven't even bothered to decorate. *gasp!*

So this year I had an epiphany... what if I combine the Tim's Tags with Ali's December Daily concept? I mean after all, Tim doesn't do anything with the backs of the tags and they ARE are just BEGGING to be completed.

Thus my hybrid approach was born. *Que the chorus*

First, I designed some daily jounaling cards (a la Becky Higgin's Project 365) that I could print out ahead of time. This way, at the end of each day I could grab one to jot down what I wanted to record for the day even if I don't have time to make a tag. Some days they will be things that happened, other days will be things I want to remember or thoughts of the season. I printed them on some grid paper from October Afternoon because well, I had a scrap of it laying there and it fit in my printer. Yes folks, there are very scientific design choices happening around here.

Click to bigify.
Supplies: October Afternoon, American Crafts, KaiserKraft, Martha Stewart, Epson, Colorbox

Once those were printed and trimmed, I set to work creating Tim's Tag No. 4. I started with this one for a few reasons:
Reason #1 - I had most of the supplies.
Reason #2 - It snowed here on December first.

For this tag I pretty closely followed Tim's design, but with a few modifications. For example, I don't have a bird named Coco to share feathers with me, so I used some holly leaves cut out of grunge paper that were leftovers from some other project. I also wanted to work in the new October Afternoon Holiday Style line, so I introduced some elements from that line as well as Very Merry.

Click to bigify.
Supplies: Tim Holtz, Sizzix, October Afternoon, Making Memories, Copic, Ranger, Kaiser Kraft, Bazzill.

The holly on his hat was cut out of grunge paper using a Cricut. The awesome thing is that since grunge paper takes alcohol inks, I was able to color it using Copic markers. Now lets keep in mind that I'm totally a Copic novice. I actually only own them to recolor embellishments. So I was pretty pleased when these turned out quite nicely!

I also made a few modifications to the snowflake border. Since I didn't have any packaging to cut up, I used a piece of acrylic I had left over from cutting out my own acrylic album pages. Then, I wanted it to have the look of glistening snow, so I painted the backside with pearl paint. In hindsight, the pearl came out looking pretty metallic, so if I was to do it again, I'd probably use the Making Memories pearl white paint instead. It has more of an iridescent shine to it.
I think Tim said not to heat the acrylic, but since I tend not to follow directions well, I went ahead and did it anyway. Don't you like the texture it adds?

Have you been participating in the 12 Tags? Leave a comment and share a link to you tags with us!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Cards on Wednesdays

What can I say? I just can't resist a good kraft paper base!

Still working on getting those cards made and ready to send? No problem, here's another simple (and easy to replicate) design to add to your repertoire. Hey, sometimes simple says it best, right? ;)

Design for The Scrapbooking Studio
Patterned paper - Teresa Collins; Kraft paper - DMD; Black cardstock - Bazzill; Corrugated heart - Jillibean Soup; Star stick pin - Maya Road; Stamp - Inkadoo; Ink - VersaFine; Green ribbon - May Arts

Although, the star is a wee bit lumpy, so you might want to save this one for hand delivery.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Cards on Wednesdays

Well, since it's the last day of November, it's fair to switch over to Christmas projects, right?

So today I bring you a quick and simple little card to make it easy to whip up enough for your entire list!

Supplies: Pattern paper, chipboard accents - Teresa Collins; Kraft Cardstock - DMD; Black - Bazzill; Circle Punch - EK Success; Stamp - Inkadoo; Ink - VersaFine; Pen - Copic; Jute twine - May Arts

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy peasy!

...lemon squeezy?

I have no idea how that really goes, but let me tell you. I've found a new product that I'm totally in L-O-V-E with!

Well... if you love it so much, why don't you marry it?

Well... I just might! :)

Recently I had a little bit of a run-in with the Bind It All machine when I was making the Teresa Collins Christmas planner. To make a long story short, many planner pages were ruined, explatives shouted, and the tool cursed. It went back in the box and straight back to the store. (Honestly, I'm not sure it even made it a full 24 hours in my house!) "There HAS to be a better way to do this, "I thought. And it turns out there is!
The Cinch from We R Memory Keepers, MSRP $109

The Cinch binding tool from We R Memory Keepers! This thing is slick! Cuts through chipboard like buttah! Holes are easy to line up when you're doing longer runs of binding. Everything lays flat while you're punching so there's no ackwardness as you try to keep the pages level and punch the holes. The punch-fetti goes straight into the little tray-it doesn't sit in the paper area blocking the pages from sitting even (unlike the Bind it All). The holes are a lovely circular shape (hey, little things make me happy) instead of rectangular like most wirebinding punches. The tool sits nice and stable on the table while you are punching and binding. You push in or pull out the little pegs to punch exactly the right number of holes and to center them based on the length of your binding run. They even put the punching instructions right on the tool so you don't have to worry about misplacing the instruction booklet. Plus, if you destest wire binding like I do, you have the option of spiral binding as well.

Oh, and if you don't want to use
 spiral or wire binding this tool works great to create you holes for other binding styles too. Because the Cinch lets you push in the peg to select which holes you want to punch and pull out the peg for the holes you don't want, you can punch holes spaced apart for binding rings or ribbon and they'll be perfectly aligned. How cool is that!?

I've purchased several We R Memory Keepers tools over the years (the Crop-a-Dile, the Big Bite, the Corner Chomper, and Sew Easy) and I have to tell you, they have never disappointed me! Their product quality and design have always been top notch!

FTC Disclosure: This is an independent, uncompensated product testimonial.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crate Paper Card

Hello blogosphere! Sorry to have neglected you these past few weeks. I've been under the weather :(

Here's a cheery little "everyday" card for you. I have started making card bases up so that when I'm in a pinch and in need of a card I can just add a quick sentiment and be on my way.

Supplies: Kraft paper - The Paper Studio; Patterned Papers - Crate paper 6x6 pad; Flowers: Prima; Button - vintage find; Scalloped Card Die - Sizzix.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let it Snow!

Whew! It's been a flurry of activity in my world lately. Last week I worked 40 hours in 4 days at the real job, hosted a scrapbooking retreat, attended an all day auction, and traveled a whopping 400 miles. That's just plain crazy!

In typical Iowa fashion, it was 76 degrees yesterday and now there is snow in the forecast for today! Since the flakes will be flying, I thought it was only fitting to share the a spread from a series of layouts about a blizzard we had two years ago.

One of the great things about technology is our ability to take photos and video pretty much anywhere. The challenge to documenting the videos is finding a way to include them in your scrapbooks too. This layout features a series of stills taken from video of my husband leaping the drift at the front door in order to get out of our house so we could start digging out. There were some crazy drifts at our house that day! The one at the front door was about knee high at the threshold and our front door is about 2 ft higher than the front yard. Crazy, huh?

Design Team Project for The Scrapbooking Studio.
Click to bigify.
Supplies: Patterned paper, chipboard shapes, small letter stickers by Basic Grey; die cut snowflakes and banner by Lifestyle Crafts; cardstock - Bazzill; large letter stickers by Bella Blvd; snowflake punch by Martha Stewart Crafts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Techniques on Tuesdays: "All I want..."

In this case, all I want is for a technique to go right!

So typically on Tuesdays I try to share helpful little tips and techniques for enhancing your scrapbooking endeavors. What I don't usually share is the epic fail moments that come along in the process of developing these techniques. So in the spirit of "everything that can go wrong, did go wrong" I thought I'd share a little behind the scenes info on the making of this particular layout.

First up, the list numbers.

These look pretty simple right? A little grungeboard + a little ink. Surely an easy way to add numbers to your layout, right? Wrong! I didn't want to "mess" with painting the grungeboard, so I thought I'd color them with pigment ink instead. Well... that definately didn't go as planned. The ink wouldn't dry! And of course I had already adhered the numbers to the layout. In an attempt to get the ink to set, I tried: (1) Setting the ink with a heat gun, (2) blotting the "wet" ink off with a paper towel, and (3) letting it dry overnight. How did I finally end up compensating for this problem? I added Glossy Accents to seal it in. I don't care for the glossy, 3-D look as well as the original ink, but hey, at least it won't leave ink all over everything anymore!

Lesson learned: Colobox metallic pigment inks never dry when applied to Grungeboard.

Second, inky fingerprints

My other problem was that the wet ink got on my fingers and then I accidently left finger prints on the paper! Totally another "ut oh!" moment.

Saving your layout solution: Use a paper towel to rub the ink and blend it into the background papers. i actually ended up "finger painting" on my layout to work additional ink splotches into the layout so it would look intentional. It's a good thing that Basic Grey papers are grungy!

So anyway, if you find a few mishaps occur as you work along, there are always ways to still salvage the layout!

Leave a comment and share what layout mishaps have you encountered and how you "saved" the layout.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Techniques on Thursday.

I'm not a huge fan of things that are cutesy so I tend not to use my Cricut for making embellishments. Instead I often make background elements like the artisan label shown in the layout below.

Look for this project in the Cricut Holiday Ideas Book.
This project will return in November 2012.

Layout created for The Scrapbooking Studio Design Team.

Cutting instructions for the Cricut page elements
  • Storybook cartridge
  • 1.75"
  • No additional settings for the shapes
  • Cutting settings for Grungeboard: Pressure - High; Speed - High; Blade - 6; Multicut - On
Green label shadow
  • Elegant Edges cartridge
  • Shadow = on
  • Shape =  swirl1
  • Cut size = 10.25"
Green patterned paper label
  • Elegant Edges cartridge
  • Shift + Shape = Swirl1-s
  • Cut size = 10.25"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Merry Christmas Layout with new Basic Grey

I've never been much of a fan of Halloween. I think I stopped trick or treating after the 5th grade actually. So today I'm skipping straight to Christmas to share with you a layout for The Scrapbooking Studio featuring Basic Grey's new Christmas line, "Nordic Holiday."

I like Basic Grey designs and often buy it, but I have to confess I really struggle to "make it work." Partly because the papers themselves are so interesting that I always want to do fussy layouts with lots of details and embellishements. Unfortunately, I always feel like that detracts from the focal points (the photos) and I've kind of come to decide that with Basic Grey, less is often more.

Supplies: Patterned Paper - Basic Grey; Cardstock - Bazzill (red is Barkley); Die cut - Martha Stewart; Stamps - Unity, Stampin' Up, Tim Holtz/Stampendous; Ribbon - Making Memories from their "Noel" line; Pen - Sakura in Stardust; Inks - Versafine Vintage Sepia, Versa Color Vanilla, VersaMark Dazzle, Colorbox chalk in Charcoal; Numbers - cut from Grungeboard using the Storybook Cricut Cartridge.

I thought a plain white strip of paper through the middle seemed a little too boring. I was hoping to give it some visual interest and a little sheen while still keeping an open feeling about it. I used the new Christmas stamps from Tim Holtz to create this background. First, I inked the stamp with the VersaColor Vanilla and then I inked over that with the VersaMark Dazzlein Champagne. Overall, I like how it came out, but think it maybe needs to be just a tinge darker. How well you can see it really depends greatly on the angle of the light.

Click to bigify.

And of course, what is Christmas without a little sparkle, right? In addtion to the shimmer from the VersaMark ink, I also used a Stardust gelly roller pen (made by Sakura) to add a little more glam to the page by highlighting the little berries in the pointsettias. Having never been one to resist some shine, I added sparkle to the "25" numbers with some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist (in Tattered Leather).

And there you have it, a simply elegant layout ready to accomodate two 4"x6" photos, a 5.75"x8" photo collage, or a 5"x7" photo.

Techiniques on Tuesdays is moving to Thursday this week. Check back for instructions on how to make the artisan label background using the Cricut.

Monday, October 17, 2011

40 hours of scrapbooking time...

Don't forget, this is the last week to sign up for the No Frills Scrapbooking Retreat in Coralville, Iowa. You'll enjoy 40 hours of scrapbooking and a minimum of 6 feet of table space all to yourself!

Learn more here:

Or, register here:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tutorials on Tuesdays: Corkboard background

First, let me apologize for the image quality in the post. Let's just say my creative juices tend flow at night, very late at night. You know, when the sun hasn't been shining for hours, and won't be shining again for several more hours. But despite the lack of light, I wanted to share this fun idea to make your own "pinboard" for your pages.

Lifestyle Crafts (Quickutz) sells a pack of self-adhesive cork for use with their dies. The pack comes with two different types of cork - a tight, smooth sheet and then one that looks like this and has larger, chippy pieces of cork.

For this background, you'll need two sheets and you'll want to cut them down 6" wide by 4" tall.
Then stack the two pieces on top of each other.

Once you've created the corkboard, you'll want to cut strips to create the "moulding" around it. In this case, I used some old school Making Memories metal moulding strips that I painted. You could cut chipboard and emboss it with one of the Lifestyle Crafts border embossing folders instead.

Once your moulding strips are ready, cut the corners at an angle to match up picture frame style and glue them down around the edges.

Voila! Instant corkboard!

Try it on a page and leave a comment with a link to your creation.

...Oh, and if you need some fun "pins" for your pinboard, Recollections makes a set of chrome colored flat pearls that work wonderfully!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Going to the retreat? The hotel discount ends soon!

If you're planning to go to the No Frills Scrapbooking Retreat and you haven't reserved your room yet, hurry! The room discount ends on Oct. 14!

Hotel Accommodations
  • Rate per Room: $ 84.00, plus tax per night (by separate reservation)
  • Room Type: Standard Room with 2 Queen beds (up to 4 person occupancy)
  • Arrival/Depart: 10/28/11-10/30/11
  • Payment Arrangements: Hotel room & tax charges are separate from the retreat registration fee and must be paid for separately.
  • Call 319-545-8464, ask for the “No Frills Scrapbook Retreat” block
  • On-line reservations can be made at using the Promotional Code: SCRAP

Room type availability is on a first come/first served basis. Individual room cancellations will be accepted up to 6pm day of arrival. The rooms reserved for the retreat will only be held through Oct. 14, 2011. After that date room availability will depend upon general hotel availability.

Hotel is conveniently located near: Coralridge Mall, Memories on Fifth, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels as well as several restaurants.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Holiday Planner - New Teresa Collins "Christmas Home" Line

Okay, so I know it's not even Halloween yet, but I have to confess. All of this cooler weather last week has me dreaming of snow and thinking of Christmas already!

Click to Bigify.

To make matters worse I happened upon this site the other day:

Be still my heart! It's a sited filled with Christmas AND Organization! (I will totally be hot gluing punch cups to sheets of cardboard to store my ornaments in soon.) But then I started thinking. Every year I do keep my own holiday planner of sorts. It's nothing fancy. Just a notebook with gift and to do lists. So I thought hey, I've got time. Why not make a pretty holiday planner? So with that idea and a little inspiration from the Organized Home web site, I set out to design my own planner using the new Teresa Collins "Christmas Home" line that I got from The Scrapbooking Studio. (Even if you don't live near by, they'll ship you supplies. Just give them a call. That's what I do. *wink*).

Now keep in mind, I only decorated the cover. I left the divider pages flat so that you could write on the planner pages without contending with a lumpy and bumpy surface underneath.

If you have Cricut Design Studio, here's my cut file for the tabbed divider pages. (Must have the Fabulous Finds cartridge for it to work.)
Click to Bigify.

 Supplies from The Scrapbooking Studio: Teresa Collins "Christmas Home" patterned papers, decorative brads, and Covers. Theresa Collins Zach's book plates. Kraft snowflakes, kraft journaling spot, acrylic letters, star stick pins, and ledger transparency all from Maya Road. Black and green paint - Ranger. Black cardstock - Bazzill

Want to see this project in person? Head on over to The Scrapbooking Studio!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tutorials on Tuesdays: Top secret information...

Today I'm going to let you in on a little secret about my scrapbooking process. Yes, a S-E-C-E-R-E-T. So pull your chair in , move a little closer to your monitor, and get ready for my big reveal.

Are you ready? Here it comes...

I don't start my page design process with photos.

Whaaa??? You say?

That's right. I don't start with photos. (Okay, so that's only like half true -I do have a contact sheet at hand.)

Let me explain.

I find that when I start with the photos I focus too much on trying to figure out how to fit them on the page. This one here, this one there. Too many to fit, too large to fit. The puzzle just doesn't come together.

Then one day I had an ephinany: You can always resize photos and you can always make more pages. What you can't do (well, at least not easily) is resize embellishments or make the page itself bigger (12x12 is it).

So rather than fight with the page elements, I find it easier to build the page and then edit my photos to fit. Sometimes it's editing them for scale (size), sometimes for color, sometimes for style (vintage effects), and sometimes for emphasis (have you checked out the lomo effect in Photoshop Elements? It rocks!).

Freeing myself from the "photos first" mindset has helped me use my supplies to build a backdrop that highlights my photos instead of fighting with them. Try it next time you make a layout and leave a comment. I'd love to hear if it works for you too.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Crate Paper "Farmhouse" i pick u

Today is my sister's birthday, so I thought it only fitting to make today's post a layout that I made for her. We have quite the deal going.... She does fun things, takes pictures and sends them to me. I in-turn scrapbook for her and she gets to keep the layout. (Oh, and um... this one counts as your birthday present too, right?)

Anyway up for your viewing pleasure is a this two page layout using the all new Farmhouse from Crate Paper. Crate Paper has long been a favorite of mine. I love the weight and texture of their paper and just can't resist their chipboard shapes!

Isn't this little berry basket just adorable? It was really simple to make by cutting up a piece of corrugated paper and gluing on a stack of buttons as berries.

The chipboard apples and the word "sweet" are just perfect for the theme of this layout. And of course the doily punch by Martha Stewart is always one of my "go to" tools.

And here's the whole spread!
Click the image to bigify.

Thanks for stopping by today. As always, you can stop by The Scrapbooking Studio to see it in person and "pick" some supplies for yourself :)


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Neglecting the blog while I'm busy "Reaching for the stars"...

Hello blog followers! First let me just apologize for being a little sparse on the blog lately. I've been so busy designing for things with deadlines, balancing a demanding professional life, and helping with some family things in my personal life that I just haven't had time to get all of the blog content pulled together and posted. The good news is that I have lots of things in the works to share with you soon! :)

Today I'm doing a little project catch-up and thought I'd share with you a layout I did for a Club CK  "Two-hour challenge: Independence Challenge from Scrapbooking from the Inside Out" last month. I tend to be an event scrapbooker so I like to do these every once in awhile because it gets me to scrapbook the everyday and snapshots of "me." This particular challenge was about "money" and I chose to scrapbook about my own inner struggle between my desire for financial security (offered by my current job) and wanting to pursue my dream of working in the scrapbooking industry (the financial insecurity of getting started in a new profession).

Hence the following layout was born using October Afternoon's Space Age line.
 Click to bigify.
Supplies: October Afternoon, Heidi Swapp, EK Success, American Crafts, Making Memories, Tim Holtz

Speaking of top secret things... I've got some big news (for me anyway) in the works, but I can't share it just yet. Man, the suspense is killing me! Guess you'll just have to stay tuned! In the mean time, I'll share the "top secret" hidden journaling with you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tutorials on Tuesdays: Paper Flower Made from Scraps

I was working on an ATC tray and needed to trim the journaling cards down to fit. This left me with a pile of scraps.

Now most people would see this as a pile of trash right? Wait! These little strips are the perfect beginnings of a paper flower!

First, fold all of the strips in half as shown below.

Next, punch out a circle to use as a base. Then, begin gluing the strips around the circle. I've tried doing this a few ways with several different types of glue. You can either glue all of the strips to the same circle, or use a new circle for each layer of "petal" strips. I do find the multiple layers a little easier because it helps keep the strips from popping up if the glue isn't completely dry yet.

After you complete a few layers, you will have a flower that looks similar to this. The more strips you use, the fuller your flower and the better it will work.

You can even use pieces of strips to cover a circle to make a fun coordinating flower center.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ready for Fall

The crisp air is here. The cold and dreary, rainy days have made an appearance. And I swear, one of the bean fields near my house literally turned a golden yellow in a day! Lots of signs that fall is on the way are making their appearance here in the Midwest. Guess that means it's time to get out the pumpkins and start decorating!

All this fresh weather made me think I should grab some of my new Scrapbooking Studio Design Team supplies to make a seasonal banner. Wouldn't it be cute draped in front of some pumpkins?

Click image to bigify.
Supplies from The Scrapbooking Studio: We R Memory Keepers papers; Tim Holtz Rosettes Dies, Martha Stewart Die Cuts, Colorbox White ink, Sharpie white pen. Maya Road Mist and Chipboard letters

I've been rocking out the rosettes lately. I love the texture and dimension that they add to a project. Plus, the Tim Holtz dies make these waaaaay easier to make now!

Click image to bigify.

And did you know you can get two different styles of rosettes out of one die? It all depends on how you turn the rosettes when you flatten them out. Turned one direction you get a scalloped edge (as shown above). Turned the other way you get a straight pinking sheer style edge. One of the other great things about these dies... you can use them in the Sizzix Sidekick (in case you don't want to invest in a Big Shot).

Drop by The Scrapbooking Studio Blog for some more inspiring projects from The Scrapbooking Studio Design Team. Or, better yet, stop by the store and see the projects in person :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tutorials on Tuesdays: Making a distressed background with embossed cardstock

I'm a sucker for texture on my layouts, so I was really excited to find new papers from Bazzill. Their "Two Scoops" line features brightly colored, two-toned hues with fun textures. Use them as is, or distress them down. Either way, these papers are a new essential in my stash.

Check out a fun way to turn it into a distressed background as seen in this layout.

To create this look, lightly distress the background with black soot distress ink, then sand around the edges with the Tim Holtz sanding block.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer's End

Labor Day always seems like the end of summer to me. Kids are back in school. That weekend seems to come with the beginning of cooler temperatures. And of course the last big event of the summer, the state fair is several weeks past.

Sadly this year's state fair has come to a close. I'll have to wait another 365 days until I can get a porkchop on a stick, a roast beef sandwich from the cattleman's stand, or an official state fair funnel cake.

This year was my third year entering and the first that I didn't win something in every class. The judging was a little ecentric, but hey, I scrapbook for me, not a panel of judges so I'm okay with that. :)

Here's the page that I entered in the "Fair Theme" scrapbook page category.

Photos by Sabrina Gogerty
Patterned Papers - Simple Stories, October Afternoon; Small Letter Stickers - KaiserKraft; Foam letters - Thickers by American Crafts; Chicken - Ki Memories; Kraft Tag - Martha Stewart Crafts; Button - Making Memories; Plaid ribbon - sewing notions

One of my favorite tools lately is the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Rosette dies. They come in 3 sizes (all shown here). The largest one comes on a single die, while the two smaller ones come on a single die. Even if you don't want to invest in a bigshot, you can run these through a Sidekick (smaller and easier to transport plus less expensive).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Time for a drawing...

Who doesn't love free stuff right?

Okay Followers... I've assigned each of you a number:
1. Angela
2. Megan Klauer
3. Jenifer Hansen
4. Janet
5. Ivolina
6. Donna Mullins
7. Sabrina
8. Jennifer Frere
9. Regina Thompson

*Drum roll please*

... and the random husband generator draws number...

What's the random husband generator you ask? It's kind of like the free internet number generators, but I can just shout to the other sofa instead of having to google for a random number generator. It's kind of like I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 9, but it goes something like this:

me: "Hey, Mr. Mollie"
husband responds: "Yeah."
me: "Pick a number between 1 and 9."
husband: "Why?"
me: "Because I just need you to."
husband: "Why?"
me: " Because I just do."
husband: "What was the question again?"
me: "Pick a number between 1 and 9. You won't even need your toes to count!"
husband: "Okay. Um.... 9."

So, magic #9, Ms. Regina Thompson, YOU WIN!!!!!
Please send an email to with your address and I'll send your stamp out to you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Doing some research...

I'm working on a scrapbooking-related research project. Would you mind taking a few minutes to complete a short, 10-question survey for me?

And don't forget, you have until Friday (Sept. 2) to become a blog follower and get entered into the drawing for a brand-spankin' new, CHA 2011 release Unity itty bitty stamp!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Use of embellishments... or perhaps overuse of embellishments?

What can I say? I like lumpy and bumpy things on my page. I'd like to blame my need for texture on my friend Jenni and claim that our during our shopping adventures she expertly brainwashed me into searching out and feeling anything with a fun texture on it. Somehow though, I don't think anyone is going to buy that story!

I've been longing to make some of the pretty satin Maya Road flowers ever since they debuted them 2 CHA's ago, but just hadn't found the right opportunity yet. Plus, I've been dealing with some really old Making Memories metal strips for YEARS now. Every time I open my "metallics" bin I have to push them aside to reach the embellies underneath and then I have to carefully line them up diagonally across the bin to make sure the lid closes. So perhaps this layout was as much about removing my organizational fustrations as it was about creating a cool layout.

Anyway, enough about my organizational woes and moving on to the fun stuff... embellishments and lots of them!

When I scrapbook I like to look to the world around me, and like many, I've been addicted to Pinterest lately. That addiction inspired me to create a vintage style page with a corkboard "pinned" with photos of some favorite finds taken during a few junkin' adventures. I love the idea of "diamonds and denim" and wanted to mix textures that were blingy and fabulous, with other embellishments that had more of a simple everyday feeling. With all of that in mind I set out to create this page.

Click image to bigify
Supplies: Patterned paper - Pink Paislee; floral vine - Prima; Scalloped boarder - Sizzix Die; Tulle - Bazzill; beaded spray - craft supply; Rhinestone button - Bazzill; cork - Lifestyle Crafts/Quickutz; Chipboard Letters - Basic Grey with Sizzix Embossing folder; kraft journaling spots, pink resin flowers black ribbon flower, yellow felt flower - Maya Road; Pearl strip - Recollections; Paint, brads - Making Memories; font - Bohemian Typewriter

Friday, August 19, 2011

Exciting News! (And a giveaway!)

I'm so excited (thrilled actually) to announce that I have the priviledge of designing for The Scrapbooking Studio as part of their first Design Team!

*insert screams of joy and jumping up and down here*

I'm totally psyched to be designing with a great team of creative women. Check them out!

Oh, and since I'm all in a "pass the good karma along" kinda mood, how about a giveaway?
I've got a new, summer CHA 2011 Unity Itty Bitty stamp for one lucky winner.

All you have to do is become a follower of my blog. You have until midnight on Friday, September 2 to become a follower. (And don't worry, if you're already a follower,  you're already entered to win.)





Monday, August 15, 2011

More Fair Fun - Flowers that never die :)

One of the paper crafting categories is "cutting/folding/decoupage." For this category I thought it'd be fun to make a bouquet of paper flowers from some vintage sheet music using a Lifestyle Crafts die that I bought at The Scrapbooking Studio. (It got an "honorable mention" ribbon). Can you believe that one piece of sheet music made all of these!?
I even found this fun vintage crystal pitcher to put them in. I ran a little short on time and wasn't able to make a bouquet big enough to fill the entire pitcher, but I found some adorable reproduction milk bottles this past Sunday and I'm planning to put the flowers in there when they come back from the fair.

Supplies: Pitcher - Thrift Store Find; Vintage Sheet Music' Gold beads (Hobby Lobby); Beaded centers (candle holders from Michaels); Raffia and Gold Leaves - May Arts

And if you're like me and you enjoy having pretties around, but need them to be maintenance free... these are the perfect flowers!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Iowa State Fair Starts Today!

So today's snippet is of a State Fair Themed layout.

A great page starts with great photos - Shoutin' out a big thank you to Sabrina for the photos!