Saturday, November 21, 2015

Interactive Mini Album

On our last day of the birthday contest, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite scrapbooking projects from our cruise – this gorgeous mini album designed by Karrie Allen of Scrapp’n Savvy. 

Karrie joined our team of instructors for this cruise, and I have to say she has been a fabulous addition to our group!  You can read all about her here, but I wanted to share that I’m really excited she will be joining us again for our next Crafty Neighbor Scrapbooking Cruise* sailing in January 2017.

I think I mentioned earlier in the week that I am driving down to Spring, Texas to hang out with Karrie (and a few of our new cruise friends).  The intention is to finish some of the many projects I started on the cruise, but did not have time to finish, like this album. 

I don’t know why, but I always bring a bunch of stuff to work on while I’m cruising, and I wind up being so busy playing hostess, running contests, teaching classes and make-n-takes, etc., that I just don’t ever get much done.  This year I brought my Christmas cards (I did start on them) as well as my art journal and Bible journal, neither of which I ever touched.  Of course, if I left it all at home, the universe would conspire to give me tons of free time with no projects to work on, so I’ll just keep lugging this stuff around just in case, and I’ll gladly bring my unfinished workshop kits with me as an excuse to go visit my new friends I made on the last cruise. 

So hopefully this mini album is what I’m working on today as you are reading this, or maybe I’ve already finished it (wouldn’t that be nice?!).  Either way, I wanted to share it with you because it’s been a truly awesome project, and I just love all the detailed elements Karrie added to it.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for next year!

That's it for today.  Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and then go enter the birthday contest.  You can find more info under the “Cruises, Crops and More” tab above.  Until then, please enjoy more pictures of this fabulous album!

*Not to be confused with our new Crafty Neighbor Scrap Cruise Lite sailing October 3-8, 2016.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Games People Play

Hey Crafty!  I hope you’ve been following along the last few days while we celebrate my daughter’s birthday, celebrate life, and take a closer look at a Crafty Neighbor Scrapbooking Cruise.  If you’re paying attention, you can win your choice of either a $50+ goodie bag of scrappy goodness, or a $25 gift certificate good towards any Crafty Neighbor Event.  You didn’t know YOU could get gifts for someone else’s birthday, did you?!  For all the details, go back to my blog post on November 18.

When kids are little, we often have games at their birthday parties, but grownups like to play games, too, so we always have some fun things going on during our Crafty Neighbor cruises.  One of my favorites is Cruise Ship Bingo, which is actually more like a scavenger hunt on a bingo card.  I just love the clever ways ladies find to prove their Bingos!

Speaking of scavenger hunts, Royal Caribbean hosts a fantastic audience participation game called the Quest that we love to attend as a group.  It can get pretty funny watching your best friend stand up to do something you never thought they would do in a million years.  Let’s just say this game is adults only, and it will make you laugh until you cry.

Instructor, Karrie Allen laughs as her husband jumps down from the audience to participate in The Quest

Secret Sister, card swaps, tag swaps…we just love to give stuff away, don’t we?  This year we had a tag swap and a Secret Sister swap.  Some scrappers can get pretty sneaky about leaving little gifts for their sisters.  I love this game, even though I can’t participate.  Why, you ask?  Because I know who all the sisters are.  Of course, that didn’t stop a few special someones from leaving goodies for me anyway now and then.  Weren’t they sweet?

My sweet roommate, Sixta, left this little goodie for me!

The tag swaps became popular a few years ago, and they are so much fun.  Here’s the tags I swapped.  My tags used gesso, cheesecloth, lace, chipboard, distress embossing powder, shells, pearls, yarn, distress inks, tissue paper, Dylusions ink spray, and more.    They were a complete and utter messy experiment!  Let’s just say I had to do a lot of scrubbing on my hands when I was done.

And here are some of the tags I collected from the swap.  Aren’t they beautiful?

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope the tags have inspired you, and that you’re reading the blog so you can enter the contest on Saturday.  One more post, and then the contest form will be open for entries!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Celebrate Life!

The theme for our 2015 cruise was Celebrate Life!, and our cruise instructors designed many fabulous projects to express that theme.  Here’s is a picture of the door decorations we made for all the participants. 

The decorations help make it very easy to find your room on these huge cruise ships!

One of our first classes on the cruise was a Basic Copic markers class taught by Debby Worthington.  Debby shared some basic insights on working with Copic markers and then everyone completed these cute cards and a 2-page layout using the techniques we learned:


If you'd like to know more about Debby, you can read all about her on our Instructor page of the Cruise FAQs website

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Happy Birthday, Christen!

Most of you probably don’t know, but today is the birthday of my very sweet and sassy daughter.  Thirty-two years ago, she came into this world like a boss, and she’s been ruling my world ever since!  Seriously though, my Christen is the craftiest and most artistic person I know, and so I can think of no one better to be the inspiration for today’s post.

Why should you care?  Well, for one thing, we’re giving away a PRIZE and YOU could WIN it!

Yep! That’s right…we’re having a little birthday contest here on the blog.  In honor of Christen’s 32nd birthday, I am giving away your choice of a grab bag of supplies valued at over $50, or a certificate for $25 off your registration for one of our events!  It is not going to be announced anywhere else, and only blog subscribers are eligible!  All the details can be found here on the blog.  So read the blog every day throughout the contest, and on Saturday, fill out the contest entry form.  On Sunday, I will draw the winner!


One of the things I love to do with Christen is cruise.  In fact, she was with me on my very first cruise (along with my best friend and Crafty Neighbor co-founder, Stephanie), and we had so much fun that I just had to get involved in cruising myself. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to go on one of our scrapbooking cruises, now is your chance to see what it’s all about!  Over the next blog posts, I’ll be sharing photos from our cruise, samples of our projects and workshops, and more.

If you’ve ever been to a Crafty Neighbor event, you know that I’m all about perceived value.  That’s why we give away lots of prizes, gifts, and goodie bags at our events.  It’s always been my goal to give participants MORE than what they paid for or expect.  I don’t ever want a cropper to go home saying, “I paid for this event and this is all I got”; I want them to go home saying, “I went to this event and look at all the stuff I got!”  I want them to feel like they got MORE than they paid for -- way more!

On this year’s cruise, we gave away goodie bags valued at over $150 each including products from top names like Lawn Fawn, Maya Road, and Quick Quotes.  Included in this was a full box of Tombow Mono tape runners (6 packages) for each participant!  We also had special treats for our guests each night.  We call them “Pillow Gifts” because on some cruises we have the ability to put them on their beds while the stewards are performing their turn-down service.  Since it was a scrapbooking cruise, I thought it only fitting that the very first pillow gift be a scrapbook kit, so I prepared this very special kit for everyone who met with us in Galveston the night before the cruise – a Cruise Friends autograph page. That way they can take down the names of all the new friends they met!  And yes, I do still have a few of these kits and they are for sale on my Etsy shop if you’d like to purchase one for yourself.

Here's the whole layout once it's assembled.
Here are a few closeups of some of the details:

Well that’s it for today!  I have to get ready for 3rd Wednesday Stamp Club tonight and on Friday, Sixta and I are driving to Spring, Texas to crop with some of our new cruise friends and work on a few projects we haven’t finished.  I can’t wait!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hidely-Ho...Back from Hiatus

Hidely-Ho, Neighbors!  I’m coming back to the blog after a very long (and not entirely intentional) hiatus and the first thing I want to do is share with you what’s been going on here at Crafty Neighbor the last few months.  I feel really bad that I haven’t posted anything in a while, but when I give you the rundown of what I’ve been up to, I think you’ll agree I’ve had my hands full.  So I hope you’ll forgive me, and I promise to get some fun projects posted here on the blog as soon as possible!

As you may know, in addition to running Crafty Neighbor, I am also a travel agent, working from home at my own little Crafty Neighbor Travel.  One of my favorite things to do is organize group cruises (especially my scrapbooking cruises!) and this year I’ve had the good fortune to be able to cruise with three of them.  We have also hosted our semi-annual scrapbook garage sale (July) and our “Think Pink” Crop for the Cure fundraiser (September) for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk (November). 

Fundraising for the 3-Day took up a great deal of my time this year, but I was determined to walk this year, so fundraise I must.  I also needed to spend a lot of time training, but unfortunately, my father became really ill in July, and he is now at home with hospice care, which has required me to travel back and forth to my hometown over 350 miles away as often as I can to help care for him.  But before I start sounding all sad, I do feel very blessed that Dad is doing a little better at the moment, I did raise enough money to participate in my 3-Day walk, and just a few short weeks ago I returned from our 8th Annual Scrapbooking Cruise where we had a fabulously amazing time!

So that’s what I’ve been up to these last few months, and I’m sorry if I’ve left you in the lurch!  But just because I wasn't’ posting on the blog doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy creating lots of goodies to share with you, so I’m really excited to show you some of them over the coming weeks, and I hope you’ll be excited to see them, too! 

One of the projects I’ve been involved in has been a great source of comfort to me throughout my Dad’s illness.  In July, right before Dad was sent home from the hospital, I took a class at Personal Scrapbook in Allen, Texas on Bible Journaling taught by Tracy Pounds, the owner of the Little Blue House in Keller.  I had seen some blog posts and pictures on Pinterest, and I was intrigued, so of course I had to give it a try. I love my regular art journal, but I especially love the time I can spend with my Bible studying the Word and illustrating the lessons I have learned.

My very first Bible Journaling page was meant to
convey my reasons for starting this new hobby.
If you are interested in Bible Journaling, you can find lots of examples on Pinterest and by Google search. There are also several Facebook groups for Bible Journaling, which makes it very easy to learn and share.  I won’t share too many of my pages, because that’s not what this blog is about, but I wanted to show my beginnings, and I may share other pages from time to time.

The last thing I wanted to share with you is the dates for our next cruise!  Mark your calendars and get ready to join us on TWO new scrapbooking cruises including the 9th Annual Crafty Neighbor Scrapbooking Cruise departing January 8, 2017 and our all new Crafty Neighbor Scrap Cruise Lite departing October 3, 2016.  You can find out more about each of the cruises by clicking on the links, or send me an email at

That’s it for today!  Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at some of the projects from our annual cruise.  I have some fun layouts, craft projects and mini albums to share with you plus a give-away later this week!  Until then, go do something crafty!