Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas retreat

Thanks ever-so-much to Peter and Ida Wilson for donating a scrapbooking retreat weekend to raffle at our  Pam's Pals cause!  After all was said and done, we wound up with a group of 9 for the weekend of the 11th and we had a great time.  A lot of people passed on this great opportunity because it was "too close to the holidays" or they were too busy, but I tell ya', you don't know what you're missing!  December is the perfect time for a scrapbooking retreat, because it takes you away from the chaotic hustle and bustle and gives you time to just breathe, relax and do a little something for yourself (and you know you've been neglecting yourself for a long time!).  I also found that it was the perfect opportunity to finish up a lot of the handmade gifts that I hadn't been able to finish at home.  So thank you Scrappin' Around the Corner in Denton!  I'm sure we'll be calling you again next year!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Boy Scout Layout Ideas and more....

I teach a beginner scrapbooking class for the parents in our Boy Scout troop each year.  My focus is on teaching them proper preservation of photos and memorabilia as well as some easy techniques for embellishing pages without breaking the bank.   Here are a few pages we've made in these classes and a few I've done for my own scrapbooks.

For this "Court of Honor" page, I used a flattened bottle cap, a couple of circle punches with some leftover paper, and ribbon to create a cute doodad.  The photo mats were embellished with a corner punch I bought for $1 at a garage sale.

How simple is this one?  We used a Crop-o-dile to punch holes at intervals around this photo mat and then laced it with some hemp cord purchased at the dollar store.

A tag, some buttons, ribbon and a Dymo label maker were all I used on this color-blocked page.

The "pole" on this fishing page is made from a grill skewer stained with distressing ink.  The "fish" were a graphic found on the internet that we printed onto shrinky dink paper.  The "lures" were made from jewelry eye pins, construction paper, and some loose feathers from a boa -- and don't forget the googly eye!

Even a more formal page is dressed up with a bit of ribbon and a bit of glitter.  The fleur-de-lis was stamped on cardstock with a glue "ink" pad and then glittered.  The title is a combination of stencil, die cuts, and a stamp on a tag sticker.  A dotted outline around the word "scout" makes it standout from the background.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Learn from Crafty Neighbor!

Come to one of our Crafty Neighbor crops or retreats, and you could learn how to do one of these great projects.

Learn a simple stamping technique to make this beautiful card!

These cute picture frames are made from Kleenex boxes!

These notepads will make great teacher gifts.

Your family will love you for making one of these beautiful photo frames.

A simple glittering technique that produces breathtaking results.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cards, Cards, and more Cards 2!

Heat embossing. The text is done with a silver marker and a brass stencil.

Cow-nting down to 40! Little sister loves black and white cows, so I stamped and heat embossed this one on white paper before cutting it out and using pop dots to gift it a little lift.

The ornament in the lower left corner was cut out from a foam stamping onto black cardstock and then lifted with pop dots.

"Fifi" was printed onto white cardstock and then "colored" with a puff pen (Liquid Appliqué by Marvy/Uchida). The inside of the card reads "Fifi says, 'Have a great Birthday, [name]!'."

Metallic stickers (Peel Offs by Magenta Style)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Scrapbooker's Challenge from May 2008

Introducing our first ever Scrapbooker's Challenge!  Each challenge will feature some odd bit of leftover scrapbooking or crafting supply.  The challenge is for you, the reader, to come up with some useful things we could do with it.  Post your solutions as a comment, or even better yet, send us a photo at  We'll review the answers and the one we think is best gets a prize!

This challenge features some stray scraps of green cardstock left over from Cindy's Christmas Cards. There's about 75 of them, measuring 8" x 1.5". Cindy's thinking bookmarks...what could YOU do with them?

As of our move to on 11/13/10, this challenge was still open.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Something for the Graduate

The block in the center is an ArtLenz hologram. The effect can't truly be captured in a photo, but the diplomas in the background of this card appear and disappear when the card is tilted.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Pack Rat's Guide to Getting Organized Part 2: All's Well That's Planned Well

I've often heard my husband use an expression he refers to as "The Seven P's—Perfect Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. Basically, he's saying that when we plan ahead and know what we're doing before we tackle big projects, we'll have better results. It's true. It's always the things we don't plan for that wind up causing problems! Organizing a room is no different than planning a banquet or building a house—you have to decide what you want to accomplish before you can start any work. Otherwise, you'll waste a lot of time thinking and rethinking everything after the fact. 

The best place to start when getting organized is to think about how you want to use the room. Is it *just* for scrapbooking, or do you plan to do other crafts as well? My room also serves as a sometimes dance studio where my daughter and I practice belly dancing. Because of this, I have to have large amounts of open space. I also do a lot of other crafts like sewing, crochet, and of course I store some of the supplies for our Crafty Neighbor products. If you need to share a room with the rest of the family, it might mean keeping some supplies out of reach of children. Knowing how you plan to use the room is a big step in designing the perfect space for your needs. Once you know what your needs are, you can start planning how to deal with them. 

Break it into smaller projects/set small goals

Sometimes getting organized can be overwhelming. A big mistake people often make is in only seeing the big picture. You may know what you want, but getting there can be a scary process. The key is to not think of your room as a whole, but instead to break it into smaller projects. Tackle one small job at a time and make it work. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about the rest of it.

For a craft room, you might want to work on a single area, like cleaning up a specific corner of the room or simply organizing one shelf. If you want to break it down even smaller than that, you could sort all your scrapbook paper or organize all your knitting yarn. The key is to work on only one thing at a time. When you get it the way you want it, then you can move on to another project or area of the room. 

Deciding where to start was pretty obvious for me; I started where I had the biggest "emergency"—with my photos. The photo bug bit me at a young age. I just love having pictures of all my favorite memories, and so I take pictures of everything. Lots of pictures. Rolls and rolls and rolls of pictures. I take pictures faster than I can scrapbook! As a result, I had a lifetime of photographs stuffed into every conceivable place. Pictures were glued into construction paper scrapbooks; pictures were slapped into "magnetic" photo albums—I even had pictures stored in shoeboxes! And we won't even talk about what happened to all my digital photos! Unfortunately, when it came time to make a scrapbook page with those pictures, I could never find the ones I wanted! 

In my next installment, we'll talk about some different ways to safely store photos and negatives along with the importance of digital archives and the care and treatment of other kinds of memorabilia. Until then, start thinking about what you want to accomplish, make your plans, and remember to break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Pack Rat's Guide to Getting Organized

Just the other day, I was asked by one of my husband's coworkers to send her some photos of my craft room. Apparently, another coworker was trying to set up a room of her own, and she needed some ideas. You'd think I would be honored by the request, but actually, I was a little embarrassed. For you see, what had once been a spacious den with ample room for 6-8 croppers looked more like the infamous closet that you’ve seen on TV. You know, the one that bursts forth, spilling its contents on some poor, unsuspecting soul who happened to have the poor judgment to open the door. Except my junk wasn't tennis rackets and soccer balls -- it was craft supplies.

Okay, so it wasn't that bad, but from the perspective of an over-achieving, obsessive-compulsive neat freak, the room just didn't work for me any more. Crochet supplies were mixed in with the beads, and scrapbook paper was stored in three different places! It wasn't very organized, and it certainly wasn't conducive to getting anything done. There was no workspace left, and I couldn't even invite other people to join me unless I moved everything around. Whenever I needed something, I had to hunt in several different places before I found what I was looking for (if I ever found it), and several times, I purchased something only to discover I already had one stashed in some out of the way place.

How did my studio get so messy? Was it the dozen or so different, and apparently unrelated, crafts, each with their own unique set of supplies and storage needs? Or was it the "I'll put this away later" syndrome that always seems to sneak up on me when I get really busy? Maybe it was the fact that I absolutely MUST have the latest and greatest new tool, gadget, or kit for whatever craft-du-jour I happen to be enthralled with at the time.

Whatever caused my out-of-control mess, I had to tidy it up before I could present it to anyone. Unfortunately, my mess didn't just happen over-night, and it wasn't going to go away that quickly, either. It was going to take some deep cleaning, some REAL organization, and some realistic expectations on to how I want my room to function for me. So rather than just tidying the place up a bit (which I did before I took the pictures for the co-worker), I'm working on a plan to make my crop room into the dream room I've always wanted, starting from the ground up. After all, it is April, and this is the time when we normally turn to our closets and start some of that serious Spring Cleaning.

So in honor of Spring Cleaners everywhere, I'll be spending the next few weeks sharing some of the great organization ideas I've discovered over the years. I'll take a look at some of the techniques shown on such TV shows as "Clean Sweep" and "Oprah Winfrey", and I'll use them to turn my cluttered up mess into the craft room of my dreams. I'll be posting some pictures of my room as we go, and I encourage you to share some of your tips as well.

So get ready, get set, let’s CLEAN! 


Friday, March 13, 2009

Four New Layouts

Be sure to caption your photos. Kids grow and change quickly, and others may not recognize the people in your photos.

Two-page layouts are great when you have lots of photos!

Here's another great way to use lots of pictures -- make a collage!

Cindy wanted to poke a little fun at her son's second trip to a popular Boy Scout site.  This digital layout captures the essence of a website hawking software upgrades.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearts and Flowers

Cardstock bleaching.

Rub-on doodles.

Rub-on lace.

The hearts were cut with a Cricut and then the edges were decorated with Stickles.

A Diamond Fold heart.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cards, Cards, and more Cards!

Inking and resistance technique.

Distressing inks and stickles

Diamond Fold stencils

Diaimond Folds. The text is done with embossing paste and a brass stencil.

More Diamond Folds.