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Monthly Archives: January 2012

The rest of the scrapbook for my sister

I was finally able to get pictures of the rest of the album I made for my sister. Here it is!


They’re not the best pictures, but you get the idea!!


Changing it up a little bit

We all get stuck in a rut sometimes. Lately I feel like every project I work on has been coming out the same way. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. It could be that it’s the style I like to do work in. However, I felt like it was time for a change!

I decided to try to change things up a little. So, I needed some inspiration. On YouTube I subscribed to a website’s videos called They have different designers, challenges, instructional videos and also happen to sell products. I visited their page and they have past classes (for free!) so I thought I’d watch some and see if I could gather any new techniques for some inspiration.

The videos were monthly and featured stamping techniques and ideas and then you could submit a layout from either the sketch that the presenter gave or your own design, as long as it featured what the topic was. For example, one of the topics was to create an all stamped title. The instructor used stamps from different collections and in different colors to create a vertical border. I thought this was different because you usually see horizontal borders.

While watching several of the videos, I got an idea. I wrote down some of the techniques she taught and found that my list was quite extensive. Then I wanted to challenge myself. For the next couple of projects I do, whether it be cards or scrapbook pages, I was going to incorporate something from that list onto each project.

Tonight I decided to start by making a Valentines Day card. One of the suggestions in her tutorials was to use stamps from a different collection or themed pack for an occasion that the stamp wasn’t meant for. I looked through my cling and wooden block stamps and found a pack of “Thank You” stamps. There was one that said “you’re so sweet”. Even though it wasn’t meant for a Valentine’s Day theme, I thought it would work.

The next element I decided to use had nothing to do with stamping. There are another set of videos on this website where the instructor picks a thread from their “Help” site and answers a viewer’s questions. This weeks particular video had to do with layering to make a more complete looking background. I don’t do much with this technique so I thought I’d try it out on the card – you know, start small! I took a bunch of different sized pattern and plain papers and cut them to fit on the card. I also punched out 4 squares from a double sized patterned paper to use as a border between two of the layers. I used Perfect Pearls mist on a piece of plain red paper to give it some shine. I also used border scissors to create a small border on which to stamp my sentiment. I laid the pieces out to make sure they were in the order I wanted and then decided that the piece of pink paper I had at the bottom looked too plain. So, I stamped that with Worn Lipstick distress ink on a dots background stamp. It still didn’t look right to me so I used a heart punch to cut out a shape and then a piece of dark pink paper to go behind the cut out. Finally, I added red stickles around the heart to make it stand out a little bit. Here is a picture of the card:

I will post more pictures of the other projects I have worked on. Challenging yourself is always a good idea, especially if you are stuck for new ideas and you feel like your work all looks the same. It’s also a great way to learn new techniques. Hope that this inspires you to try something new in your layouts!

Can I use embossing folders, VersaMark and embossing powders together?

Have you ever tried to emboss an image and found that even though it is raised, it still needs something else? Like maybe a second color? Or, if it’s an image like a flower and you use just red paper, it looks a little strange because the leaf is red too? I’ve seen a lot of videos where they show you how to use ink in your embossing folders to create a two – toned background. That’s great because then you can use green paper for the leaf and ink the flower in red. I wanted to try a new technique – using VersaMark ink and then embossing powder to make the image stand out!

The first time, I took the embossing folder and put the VersaMark ink on the front side of the folder. I inked up all but the leaf, put my paper in and then ran the folder through the Cuttlebug. Once it came out, I chose a raspberry color embossing powder and this is the effect:

The second time, I put the ink on the back of the folder everywhere but the leaf and ran it through my Cuttlebug. I used the same embossing powder, but had to use the backside of the paper that was embossed because that’s where the VersaMark was. Here is the result from my second attempt:

Here is what the Sizzix embossing folder looks like:

They didn’t come out great, but I think with a little more practice I’ll get the technique down! I think the first one came out better. Hope you like this new (or new to me) technique!

Single vs Double Layouts – How do I know what I want to do?

Up until recently, I have only done single layouts. I had never attempted to do a two page layout because, well, I never thought about it and I didn’t really know how to pull one off. When I was putting together the almost 80 page scrapbook for my sister, I realized that I didn’t have months to complete it and that maybe I should look into this two-page layout idea.

Of course one of my first places I go to when I need to see how something works is YouTube. When I watched some of the videos I thought, hey, I can do this! It’s not that much different from creating a one page layout, but there are some things that you have to consider.

First, a two page layout usually requires you to have the same background on both pages. This helps tie in the two pages. You can have coordinating backgrounds, but I find it looks best with the same page. The other option that I found worked for me was to take two of the same doubled-sided papers and use one side for the left page and one for the right. I did this for the Easter layout in my sister’s book. The two pages were slightly different colors but went well together, but there were items that tied the two pages together so that you knew it was a two page layout.

Another reason to do a two page layout is that it can be a time saver. When you create (2) one page layouts, you have to coordinate the colors and make sure that the two tie in well together. If you do a two page layout, the pages don’t have to be mirror – images of each other, but it will cut down on the fact that you have to come up with a brand new layout. Often, the pages contain the same or similar elements, maybe in different colors or size of shapes. For example, in that Easter layout, I created a chick and a person dressed as a bunny from a Cricut cartridge and placed those on the pages. The embellishments were not the same, but I didn’t have to come up a whole new layout for the second page – it just mirrored the first page’s design.

A third reason to create a two page layout is that the two pages are about the same topic. In the album I created for my sister, I had a bunch of pictures from the early years of both of their lives. When I created the page, I used the same color background, the same scalloped circle to put their name in and then since the pictures were about the same thing, I titled it “Early Years”. I put one word of the title on his page and one on hers. It helps to keep those pages cohesive and I think it looks more appealing.

There are reasons to do single layouts too. For example, if you are doing your scrapbook for the year and you have pictures from one event on the left and a completely unrelated event on the right, it can be tough to tie them together. If the people and places in the photos are not similar and you can’t find any way to tie them together, a single layout can work. You still have to choose paper that will look appealing next to each other, but you have more choices here. If you have a white background with red snowflakes on it because you have snow pictures on the left and then Valentines day photos on the right, the background for the Valentines day page wouldn’t look right with snowflakes. You can choose a background paper that has red hearts or even a solid red paper to put the pictures on.

Another reason for a single page layout is that you want a different title or quote on each page. Traditionally, a two page layout has a title or quote that spans both pages and is either mirror image or pretty close. The page that I did for the Big Brothers in my sister’s album was a two page layout because the quote went from the first to the second page. I used three different quotes for the Big Sister’s pages and I wanted two specific ones on mine and hers and the other on Andy and his sister’s page. Even though I used different background paper on the Big Brothers pages, it was tied in with the quote. I used different background pages on the Big Sisters pages, but separate quotes.

I hope this helps you when you are trying to decide between one and two page layouts. You don’t have to make your scrapbook all one or all two page layouts – mix them up and have fun!

How to make a scrapbook for a couple

For my sister’s bridal shower, my mom and I both thought I should make her a scrapbook. I thought I would just add some pictures of both of them when they were little, some family pictures, some with friends and then them together. But my mom had a better idea!

I asked the groom’s mom for a bunch of photos of him when he was little. His brother gave me a huge box of photos so I had a ton to choose from. My mom and I then went through those pictures and pulled ones we liked (nothing too embarrassing!) or ones we thought that would match up with something from Jackie’s pictures. For example, when we went through the pictures, we found ones from his first Christmas. We then found her first Christmas and then also pictures from Christmas 1985 for both of them.

The first part of the scrapbook was all matching – his event on the left and hers on the right, with the first page containing a picture of them from their engagement dinner and a heart saying “The Story of Jacqueline and Andrew”. I found Christmas, Christenings, Communion, Confirmation, Halloween, Easter, even pictures of them from events in 1986 of them both wearing blue outfits! Probably my favorite one was of him on one of those rocking horses that had the springs on the side and one of her in a car at Disneyland and I titled it “Horse Power”. (My mom’s idea!)

The second part of the book was entitled “All About Andy” and “Just Jackie”. Instead of alternating Andy’s pictures on the left and Jackie’s on the right, I gave each of them their own section. I put pictures of them when they were younger, pictures with friends and family and them in sports. To narrow the sports part down was hard for Andy as that kid is super athletic, but I tried my best to incorporate all the sports! At the end of that section I did a “Look into the future” page. I found pictures of Andy playing baseball and soccer and decorated one of the paperdolls from the Cricut cartridge “Everyday Paperdolls” in a soccer outfit with the net behind him and a soccer ball, baseball bat, glove and baseball. For Jackie’s, I found a picture of her playing dress up in a dress and heels that were way too big for her and labeled it fashonista and also found a picture from a birthday party of hers where she got a Fisher Price mixer and baking set. The girl loves to bake and I thought it was a great foreshadowing into the future. I also made her a paperdoll that was dressed in an apron, oven mitts, rolling pin and accessorized the page with cake, cupcake and cookie cutouts from that same cartridge.

The next section were set up the same way – all of Andy’s pictures, then Jackie’s. I tried to keep this section about family. Almost every kid has those pictures with their siblings that were taken at the mall, especially if you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. Needless to say, both families had plenty of these so I had a bunch to choose from. I found some cute quotes online about family and also used some saying from either the Damask Decor or the Sophisticated Cricut cartridge about family.

In between Andy and Jackie’s family sections, I did a special siblings page. Since they are both the youngest, they both have big brothers and big sisters. I did a page with just Andy and his brothers and then next to it, a page for just my brother and my sister. The next two pages were of Andy and his sister and then my sister and me. Again I found some cute quotes about siblings online and wrote them on tags made from a Cricut cartridge.

The second to last section were all pictures of Jackie and Andy throughout their relationship. I tried to get as many important events included in there as I could. They range from their trips to places like North Carolina and the Dominican to a baseball game with friends to their engagement dinner.

The last section was all about weddings. In the box Andy’s brother gave me, there were two of his parent’s wedding pictures. I wanted to include the parent’s weddings in all of this because, well, that’s where all of this started. My dad thought this should be the start of the book. I thought it would be nice to include all the wedding pictures at the end. So, I took some of the paper from their wedding invitations and created his parent’s wedding page on the left and then my parent’s wedding page on the right. The last page of the book is just a double matted blank page with a champagne bottle for decoration and is where their wedding picture will go. At the bottom of each page I wrote Mr. and Mrs. (and then each of their names) and their wedding dates.

Here are some of the pictures of the pages. My iPhone died so I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of the end of the book, but I will take some this week and post the rest.
First Page First page

AndyJackie Beautiful Babies Double Layout

Christening Double Layout

First Christmas Double Layout

Early Years Double Layout

Babes in Blue Double Layout

Halloween Double Layout

Snow Days Double Layout

Horse Power Double Layout

Baseball Double Layout

Pre-K Double Layout

First Day of School Double Layout

Looking into the Future Double Layout

If you notice, the majority of these are double layouts. The next blog will be about Single vs Double Layouts.

Bridal Shower Ideas

FINALLY! I am so excited to be able to post the items that I have been working on for what feels like forever. Yesterday was my sister’s bridal shower and I was responsible for making the centerpieces, the name tags for the favors and the card for the present from the bridal party.

When we first started planning the shower, we were trying to think of a theme. My sister is a real girly girl and loves shoes, purses and dressing up. I came up with the theme “Sole Mates” and thought we could do a shoe-themed shower, since she LOVES shoes!

The idea for the theme got tweaked a little and evolved into a shoes and purses themed shower. At one of the stores I work in, I found a purse shaped cake in the bakery. I thought those would make great centerpieces. Another idea for the centerpieces would be to take photo/shoe boxes from AC Moore and make a pair of shoes and a purse to sit on top of the box. The girls in the bridal party took a vote and liked the boxes better than the cakes. Project number one on my list!

The second project I worked on for the shower was the favor tags. We threw around the idea of doing assigned seating and making the tables have designer shoe or purse names instead of numbers. In the end we decided not to do that, but instead just had everyone’s names on the handmade tags. Since the favors were pink and black purse shaped manicure sets, we couldn’t give them to the little girls. The two older ones got the same purses that were on the table filled with chapstick. The youngest is only one so we got her a box of animal crackers that she could carry around like a purse!

The third project on my list was to make letters for the “What’s in Your Purse” game? We chose the word BRIDE and I made capitalized pink letters with a black shadow background that the MOH held up as she asked the guests to first look in their purses for something that begins with the letter “B”, then “R” and so forth. We did this about halfway through the bride opening her gifts to give her (and us) a break!!

The last (and most important) project on my list was to make my sister a scrapbook. A couple of months ago, I asked the groom’s mother for some baby pictures of him. I went to my mom for pictures of my sister. Even though it was a lot of work, it was worth it to see her cry when she first looked at it!

In keeping with the theme for the shower, for the bridal party’s card for Jackie I made a pink slider card (I cut the card out twice on the Cricut), punched ribbon holes along the sides of both cards, strung black ribbon through the holes and tied a bow at the top. I then cut out the saying “The Perfect Pair” and the his and her shoes that coordinated in black. I traced the shoelace and parts of the shoe design in white gel pen and then adhered them to the front of the card. For the inside, I took a longer poem that I had found when I was working on things for their engagement dinner and wrote it in white on a black sheet of paper. I think that it looks like a chalkboard when you do that – personally, I really like the look!

Once I was done with the bridal party’s card, I needed to make one for the scrapbook. Jackie had her invitations designed by a friend I went to high school with and she very kindly asked me if I wanted to extra paper. I used those pieces to create the background papers for her card so that her card reflected her wedding. (I was also able to use them on the last three pages of the scrapbook for his parents, our parents and eventually their own wedding photos!!) I added another handwritten poem I found online and finished the card off with some stickers.

The very last thing I did was to wrap the scrapbook. Since I didn’t have any wedding wrapping paper, I decided to use some tissue paper I had from when I bought a Coach purse at the outlets. (Not the ones stuffed inside – the tissue paper they give you to wrap the purse in!) Since they were really long sheets, the fit perfectly around the scrapbook. I then took scraps from her invite papers and used my Martha Steward engagement ring and wedding cake punches to cut out blue and yellow decorations for the front of the wrapping. Here are pictures of some of the items that I made:

Little girls favors These are the purses that I made for the little girls. They’re similar to the ones that I made for the centerpieces.

Here is the favor with the homemade tag, stamped with a shoe image and the guest’s name.

Example of the shoes that went on top of the photo/shoe boxes.

One of the centerpieces at the shower

Adorable shower invitation

The amazing cake!!

Her scrapbook – I will do another post with pictures from it and tell all about how I made it come together.

The Martha Stewart punches I used

Card Their envelope

Front of the Card (It’s an “S” shaped design)

The interior

Here are pictures of what the card I made looked like:

Hopefully this gives you some ideas if you are planning a bridal shower.

I have scrapper’s block – how do I overcome it??

You’ve heard of writers block, but scrapers get it as well! Most often it happens to me when I am thinking too much about how a page should look or if I have done several pages in one day. So now that you know that it is a real thing, what do you do about it?
Right now I am working on an almost 80 page scrapbook. For anyone who has ever worked on a project this big (or larger) at some point you have experienced that mental block where you say, I just don’t know what to do! While it’s frustrating, there are several things you can do to break the block.
1- Walk away from the project. This may seem counterintuitive, especially if you are like me and are on a deadline. Giving you brain a ten or fifteen minute break will help you relax. Go take a walk and let your mind rest. It will restore some creativity and your sanity!
2- Look at other projects you have done. When I try to create a couple of pages in one day, I feel like they all have the same style or look. I try to overcome it by looking at other scrapbooks or cards I’ve created by inspiration. What are your favorite layouts from past projects? Can you take bits and pieces from each one and create a whole new look? You will be surprised with what you can come up with from taking your old layouts and making them new!
3- Visit YouTube. If I am staring at a page and know I want to use a certain item, such as distress inks, I type the keyword into YouTube and am amazing at how many videos pop up on the subject. Not only do they teach you different ways to use your materials, but most often they will show you what that item looks like on a completed card or scrapbook page. You can gain plenty of new ideas from YouTube!
4- Stop working on that page and move on to another. More often than not, when I move on, in the back of my mind I am thinking about that page I just couldn’t figure out. While I am busy working on the new page, I usually get a good sense of what I want my other page to look like.
5- Challenege yourself to use just the materials in front of you. Too many times I get bogged down by the overwhelming number of materials I have to choose from to create a layout. I have no choice right now to but to use the materials I brought to my dad’s house since I am staying there while recovering from knee surgery. I know that I have the Cricut at home, but I need to finish this book and my only option is to use what I brought. It’s definitely a challenge, but I am trying new things because of it!
6- Write or sketch. Right now, I am stuck. I have created 8 pages today and am trying to work on another 2 page layout. So I decided to write this blog. (I also took my own advice and watched YouTube). It can be tough to create a bunch of different layouts after a long day of scrap booking. Sketching some basic shapes onto a scratch piece of paper can also help you turn doodles into a layout.
Hope this tips helped! I will have a lot more blogs in the coming weeks.