Friday, June 29, 2012

Pete and Repeat

There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing.  Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess, right?  When it comes to page layouts, I think so!

I’ve mentioned before that I like to repeat layouts.  Sometimes I just don’t want to think too hard; I want to get the page done and move on to the next project.  And if something worked once, chances are it will work again, and again, and again.

I didn’t intend to repeat the same page layout three days in a row, but when I got to Day 24 of LOAD, I made what I thought was a really cute page.  And then when I sat down to work on Day 25, I was really busy, so I just made a few changes and copied it.  So then, when I sat down to work on Day 26, can you believe what the prompt for the day was?  You guessed it – Scraplift Yourself!

Here they are…three not-so-identical triplets.  As you can see, they are alike in many ways, but each page still has a personality of its own.

Day 24:  Overheard conversation

Lain challenged us to use snippets of over-heard conversations for this page, so I chose to concentrate on my daughter’s first words.  I wanted to keep the page simple, but cute.

Day 25:  Taste

I got really busy on Day 25, so when Lain prompted us to use the sense of “Taste” for our layouts, I was at a loss until I ran across some pictures of my son making a mess while eating.  And rather than waste even more time trying to come up with something original, I just opted to repeat the previous day’s page in a mirror image.  The two layouts will wind up in two separate books, so it really doesn’t matter that they are the same.

Day 26:  Scraplift Yourself

Imagine my surprise (and laughter, too), when I discovered that Lain’s prompt for Day 26 was to scraplift the previous day’s page.  Uhm…hey, Lain…I already did that!  Never-the-less, I had fun creating this page in triplicate, and I doubt it will be the last time I copy myself (although it probably won’t be on the very next day!)

Garage Sale
If you are in the Dallas area next weekend, stop by our Scrapbook Garage Sale at 6001 Summerside Drive, Dallas, inside the Joann Fogg Girl Scout Service Center.  We have about 20 sellers who are anxious for you to come see all their old scrapbooking supplies, tools, and embellishments.  Unfortunately, we do not have any space for more sellers, but there will be lots of good deals, and you do not want to miss out!  For more information, please visit our website.  The sale runs from 10:00 AM until 3:00PM.  Please use the entrance at the rear of the building.

Scrapbooking Cruise
Yep, I know…I sound like a broken record.  But did you know that we still have space on our 2012 scrapbooking cruise and time is running out to get in on this great deal!  We had some cancellations last week, so we now have 6 cabins we need to fill.  Give us a call or email before July 1 and we will make you a very sweet deal!  Payment plans are available, and you will not find another scrapbooking cruise at this low, low price!

Breast Cancer Crop
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pam’s Pals, it is our annual breast cancer benefit crop.  In the past, we have given the proceeds to breast cancer patient, Pam Wilemon, but now that she is celebrating FIVE YEARS of survival, we want to help others be survivors, too!  All profits are donated to breast cancer charities.  So come out and help us celebrate by helping us raise money to save more lives!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Four LOAD Layouts

Okay, so I started a post on Father’s Day that was going to include the next three layouts for LOAD 512.  Coincidentally, they were all pages themed for men.  And of course, I never got them posted.  So here’s three masculine layouts from LOAD, and a bonus ½ page:

Day 20:  Sketchy Sunday

For Load 512, every Sunday is Sketchy Sunday and our challenge is to work from a sketch.  I work from sketches all the time and have become pretty adept at transfiguring them into something entirely different.  This layout isn’t entirely different, but I did make a few changes.  This is a very simple layout for me.  I didn’t use a lot of embellishments or paper.  I wanted the focus to be the photos.

Day 21:  5-5-5

This challenge was a little harder, though.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a very fast scrapbooker.  That’s one of the reasons I like doing LOAD, because it forces me to make decisions and get the page put together quicker than I might if I weren’t tryng to beat the clock.  This time we had 5 minutes to choose the photos, 5 minutes to choose the products, and 5 minutes to journal.  I am very pleased to say I managed to do exactly that – barely.  Lain had some great tips for helping us break that speed barrier, including using song lyrics or lists for journaling and using kits for product selections.  I did us parts of a kit for my products – they went perfectly with the photos.

Day 22:  Inanimate Object's POV

The suggestion for this page came from the messy girl herself.  When my daughter was little, she would carry-on whole conversations with herself while she rode in the back of the car.  She had lots of different and very distinct voices and it was all we could do to keep from just busting out laughing at some of the things that came out of her mouth.  She could imitate just about anyone, and she was quite the little comedian.  So when I needed to do an inanimate object page, her messy room was a total no brainer.  I love doing stuff like this because not only does it put a little levity into our scrapbooks, which makes them more interesting for others to read, but I also love creating that little glimpse of our personal lives so that we can look back on it with fond memories.  It’s not enough to just have some pictures of her messy room with a block of journaling that says it’s messy.  That doesn’t tell us anything about the person that Christen is (was), but by making fun of her messy nature in this way, you can really see just what kind of personality she really does have.

Day 23:  Half-Sized Page

I thought I’d throw in one more for today so that I can keep the next set together (you’ll see why in my next post).  This challenge was actually something I had just asked another scrapbooker about a few days before – half-sized pages.  One of the bloggers from LOAD adds a lot of 12x6 page layouts to her albums.  This half-sized format is perfect for those times when you have a little bit that needs to be scrapbooked, but you don’t want to make a whole page out of it.  I don’t know how many times I have scrapbooked a page only to find some random photo or piece of memorabilia MONTHS later after it’s much too late to add it to the already existing page.  I don’t want to change a layout that I’m perfectly happy with to make it fit, nor do I want to make a whole 12x12 page out of it.  Making a half page is a great idea and you can add it between the existing pages.  I was really excited to try this format when it popped up as the challenge – it worked perfectly for this page at the end of my cruise.  Oh, and you can purchase the 12x6 page protectors at

Next up:  some more Pete and Repeat...sort of....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I {Heart} Stamp Club!

Have I ever mentioned my stamp club?  I am so lucky that I get to play hostess to a group of ladies every month for a Stampin’ Up card/stamp club taught by the one and only Sharon Armstrong.  I love getting together with a lot of crafty people and learning new crafty things!  We have a card swap each month, using a pre-set theme, and then we make cards or other projects that Sharon brings us.  Here’s a few of the cards we swapped this month.

I just love seeing everyone else’s interpretation of the theme, which, if you couldn't tell, was "Invitations".  These are some really crafty ladies!  And in case you didn't notice, that last one is actually made from a coaster!  Our very own Christen made that.  Isn't it just too cute?!

Another thing I love about stamp club is that I learn something new just about every time we get together.  This week, we learned a little about Stampin’ Up’s new ink pads.  They’re made out of a new felt-type material, so they are really juicy and you don’t have to tap your stamp into them as hard as you did with the older pads.  Here are the cards we made tonight.

Before all the stamp club ladies got here today, I was going through some emails.  One of my discussion groups has been sharing photos of their work spaces and I shared a link to my blog where I had posted some pictures of the crop room a while back.  But as I typed up my reply, I took a look around my room and was kind of shocked and ashamed at what a mess my room was.  Of course, I had to clean it all up before the stamp club ladies got here.  So I guess one of the things I really like about having stamp club here every month is that at least I know my room will get cleaned up before hand! 

Seriously, though, if you haven’t joined a scrapbooking or cardmaking group, you are really missing out.  Everything I know about scrapbooking I learned from other scrapbookers, and if you are crafting alone, then how will you ever learn anything new?  I encourage all scrapbookers and cardmakers to get out there and find a group where you can socialize, try new products, and learn how to create all kinds of things.  Organized crops and events are a great way to learn new ways to use your old supplies.  Some groups have swaps, and many even trade supplies! is a great place to look for groups in your area, or check your local scrapbook store or in-home consultants like Creative Memories, Stampin’ Up! And Close to My Heart.

If you live in the Dallas area, don’t forget to come out for our scrapbook garage sale!  We’ll be at the Girl Scout office at 6001 Summerside Drive, Dallas from 9:00 AM until 3 PM, Saturday, July 7.  All our seller spaces are full, so that means there is going to be a ton of stuff for you to buy at dirt cheap garage sale prices!

Also, registration is now open for our Pam’s Pals benefit crop to fight breast cancer.  Come on out and spend the whole day with us raising money for this great cause.  For more information, check out our website at:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Time for More LOAD 512!

Time marches on, and at this rate it might be March 2013 before I get all these layouts uploaded.  All kidding aside, here are some more layout samples from the May LOAD.

Day 17:  Cartoon Connection

Lain’s prompt for this day was Cartoon Connection.  As mother to a family of cartoon and anime lovers, I could certainly have gone any number of directions with this prompt, but in the spirit of keeping it simple and getting things done, I opted to work on one of Christen’s dance layouts.  This actually kills two birds with one stone – not only do I get to use up some of those old film photos that have been laying around here for years, but I also get to work on eliminating stuff in the file cabinet where I keep all the documents and memorabilia like dance recital programs.  This particular program was very large and didn’t match my page, so I attached a file tab to the top and it will slide behind the page when I put it in the book.

The page itself is a very simple one.  Since the theme of the recital was Disney, I went with the Disney Castle and used “Once Upon a Time” as my title.  The title is actually a die cut from the Cricut cartridge “Storybook”.  The journaling medallion was die cut using my Big Shot and Stampin’ Up!’s nesting dies after I printed onto the cardstock with my printer.  The castle came from the Cricut cartridge “Life is a Beach”.  The paper came from a Die Cuts with a View paper stack called, of course, “Once Upon a Time”.

Day 18:  Smell

This Five Senses Friday prompt had me stumped for a while.  There are lots of smells I could scrapbook, but I really didn’t have pictures or paper for any of them, and one of the main reasons I did LOAD was to knock down the piles of photos, paper, and embellishments that are cluttering up my workspace.  So after a lot of thought, I settled on the smell of burning rubber.  This is a really simple page with no elaborate embellishments or techniques.  I like it that way.  I know a lot of scrapbookers who scrapbooked all their albums chronologically and who now look back on their early work with disdain because the pages are plain and simple.  The more techniques we learn, the more likely we are to clutter up our pages with them.  Don’t get me wrong, as you can tell from some of my layouts, I like a lot of glitter and bling as much as anyone, but sometimes layouts need to be simple, and there is nothing wrong with that.  One of the reasons I love scrapbooking my albums out of order is because styles and techniques change.  I like a mixture in my books and I don’t want to flip through it years from now and dislike what I see.

Day 19:  Pete/Repeat

Pete and Repeat were in a boat.  Pete fell out.  Who was left?  Repeat.  Pete and Repeat were in a boat.  Pete fell out…. It’s a silly joke that kids love, and it was also our theme for Day 19.  On this day, Lain challenged us to use something from the previous layout again.  Some suggestions included: use a photo over again, use scrap paper to make embellishments, use the same title, design, or color scheme, or even scrap the same subject from a different angle.

Didn’t I just do a blog about that?  Oh yeah…it was this one from the February LOAD:

For this layout, I actually repeated several elements of my previous page. Not only did I repeat the strip of cardstock on the right hand side, but I also used a round embellishment as an accent on the title. The color scheme is also a variation of the muted pink, yellow and green that was used on the previous page. Even though the subject matter is not a repeat, they did both occur in the same year.

Tip of the day:

Do you own a Cricut?  Are you tired of thumbing through all the books looking for just the right embellishment?  Are you frustrated when you search for images on your Gypsy?  Do you wish there was a simpler way to find a specific die cut you are looking for?  Well there is! is a great search engine for locating Cricut designs. Here’s what the website has to say: will save you time when working on your scrapbooking, card making or paper crafts.  You will no longer have to flip through all of your Cricut handbooks or cheat sheets to find the perfect image to complete your crafting project.  Just type it into the search box and we will show you all of the choices you have.

Make sure to save the link to on your computer.  Next to your scrapbooking paper, paper punches and tape runner, could be your most important scrapbooking and card making tool.  When you think of scrapbooking and card making we hope you think of

I used to locate the castle I used on the Disney recital layout.  I love that I can search ALL cartridges, not just the ones I own.  Using the site has actually helped me decide to purchase a few cartridges I wasn’t sure I wanted.  A search turned up images that I thought I might use, and since Provocraft doesn’t put all the images on the outside box, I would never have known they were on the cartridge if I hadn’t used the search.  I also like that the website displays the images exactly as they appear on the font’s handbook – way better than the terrible drawings that pop up on my Gypsy.

Oh, one last thing….don’t forget to check our online calendar for upcoming events!  We have a lot of great scrapbooking opportunities coming up over the next couple of months.  You don’t want to miss it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tip of the day:
Two of yesterday’s layouts featured the technique of printing onto prepared journaling cards.  The cards I used come as a 12x12 sheet (often double sided) with an assortment of different sized and shaped cards such as the one seen below.  

These have become a very popular product in many scrapbooking lines, and I’ve found them to be very handy to keep on hand for everyday use.  I actually started gathering them to put in my smash book box, a plastic bin I use to keep random things I might want to use in my smash book.  I have the book in the box and everything is ready to go at a moments notice just in case I have a few minutes to spare and want to work on a page in the book.  I thought the journaling tags would be handy to keep in the box for adding texture, contrast, and of course, handwritten journaling.  But I’ve actually found the cards to be quite useful for my everyday scrapbooking as well, and, as I discovered during the LOAD challenge, they don’t even have to match the paper you’re working with!

I like to use a lot of type-written journaling on my pages.  I’m a bit anal-retentive, and like everything to be aligned and spelled properly.  Plus, my handwriting is atrocious, so it’s better to be able to actually read the story than to admire my chicken scratchings.  It’s easy enough to just stick a piece of cardstock into the printer and then cut it to the size I need, but sometimes that’s wasteful, and what if I only have one little piece of paper that’s too small for the printer?  That’s when a little patience comes in, along with a great trick I learned from some random scrapbooker a long, long time ago.

The first step is to measure your piece of paper (or journaling tag) and determine what size margins and text area you need.  I generally leave ¼” to ½” margins all the way around my tag.  In my example from yesterday, the card itself was 2 ¼” by 3 ½” but I needed the journaling to stay within the vanilla colored area and not on the green, so I added another ¾” of margin to both the top and left side.  Microsoft Word already defaulted to 1” margins, so I added the extra that I needed to ensure that there would be space between the edge of the paper and the start of the tag.  I also set the text boundary on the right side to make sure my text didn’t run off the right side of the page.  You can do this with the right indent or with the margin setting.  I needed about 2” to fill the space available from left to right.

Once you have your measurements, you can type up your journaling or title.  Check your spelling and grammar and then pick your fonts.  You can start playing with the size of your text, adjusting until everything fits in the desired space.  Keep a close eye on the bottom of your text to make sure it doesn’t run off the bottom of your tag. 

When you feel like your text will fit on the tag or cardstock the way you want, it’s time to make a test print. Print onto plain paper, not your cardstock or tag, then hold the journaling card up against it (in front or in back, wherever you can best see both the shape of the card and the text). If it’s still hard to see the text through the card, or vice versa, try holding it up to a light or using a light box. Sometimes it might take me 3 or 4 tries to get the text to fit just so.  Just keep playing with your margins and text sizes until you get exactly what you want.  I keep a lot of scrap printer paper around just for this reason, and you can always turn the paper around to use the other end or flip it over to use the back side. 

You’ll also want to make sure that you know which direction the paper feeds into your printer so that you print on the right part when you put your cardstock in.  If you’re not sure, you can mark a small “X” in the top right corner of the next piece of paper to be fed.  Then note where the “X” is when the paper is done printing.  If your paper feeds upside down you will want to remember that when you are putting in your cardstock or tags.  As a general rule for desktop printers, if the paper comes out upside down, then it probably went in right-side up, and vice versa, but test it just to be sure.

Once you are satisfied that the text will indeed fit onto the card where you want, you will need to use some repositionable tape to secure the card to the paper.  Tape it down so that the text is exactly where you want it under the card.  I like to use Scotch brand Removable Tape by 3M.  It is tacky enough to hold just about any card or paper, but it peels off easily without tearing.  Plus, it’s reusable!  I use it and then peel it off and save it again for a later project!  Waste not – want not, I always say!  

Tape your card to the test paper all the way across the top of the tag.  This will keep the tag from popping up or moving while you are printing.  It is not necessary to tape the bottom or sides.  Now just put the taped up paper in the printer and print a second time, making sure you feed the paper the right direction.  Voila!  You should have a neatly printed title or journaling block on a very small scrap of paper.  This technique works on all sizes of paper – as long as you can tape the cardstock to the test print without taping over the text area, it will work! 

I do advise testing this technique on a few scraps of cardstock just to get the hang of it before you try printing on that treasured, one-of-a-kind journaling tag, but other than that, once you’ve figured out how it works, it is pretty much the same every time.  It does take a little patience to figure out exactly what size font and how wide to make your margins, but I’m confident you’ll be using this technique all the time once you figure it out!

That’s all for now.  Look for some more layouts tomorrow, and maybe a Father’s Day card or two!