Yesterday I was sitting on a beach on an island with beautiful blue skies, 90 degree temperatures, and though the humidity registered at 100%, there was a delightful breeze blowing in off the Atlantic. As I lazily draped my body across a beach chair I must admit I was feeling like my day could not be one bit better. I wish that all of you could have been there with me. But being that I am not made of a gazillion dollars, and some of you might not even like sand (gasp!), I thought perhaps a terrific giveaway from SEI might be a good substitution! Because even if I take a vacation,does not! Hooray!
So on to the big reveal! Today's sponsor is SEI, an industry, and Write. Click. Scrapbook., favorite. Who doesn't love their variety (from sophisticated to whimsical) and their amazing patterns and designs! Have you seen their current releases? (Be forewarned, you may be suddenly overcome by an intense desire to run to the closest store to buy all that you are about to see!)
I warned you. Their collections are so evocative and so inspiring. And did you know you can buy digital versions of many of their collections?
And while you are learning new things, today, did you know SEI has a blog? that is not just scrapbooking, but lifestyle things, like recipes, and little do it yourself projects? Truly don't go if you only have a minute, you will be sucked in by all the loveliness.
Well, now that you are hungry and in the mood for shopping, would you like to see what you might get? This is it. A sampling of the brand new Moravia line.
You will get paper from the collection, as well as some of the accompanying embellishments, like the epoxy stickers, the designer brads, the rub-ons, and the foil chiplets. With a rich color palette, and patterns reminiscient of the Orient, you will be on your own mini-vacation in just minutes. Now aren't you glad I went to the beach?
If you would like to be considered for this remarkable giveaway, all you need to do is leave us a comment telling us your favorite summer activity this year. Please leave your comment by 8:00 pm PST, and the lucky number will be posted soon after. This time round, the person drawn must have a shipping address within the continental US. We apologize to those of you who cannot enter this time. We feel your pain. Every Thursday.
I don't know about you but I'm always looking for little ways to save time. Our time is valuable afterall and there just never seems to be enough of it so today I've put together a few quick tips for you all guarunteed to shave a couple minutes off your memory recording experience leaving you plenty of extra time for making those memories!
QUICK TIP 1: fun & fabulous family photos
Each time you bring your camera out do your children smile directly at you on demand? I didn't think so. Mine don't either but I've definately got a few tricks up my sleeve that help. This tip does not apply to everyday photography but next time you set out to get a decent portrait of yours (or another persons) family pack along:
(a) a whoopee cushion
(b) a bubble maker (this could be a store bought toy - grab one now they're on clearance with all the summer toys - or a trustee bubble blowing assistant)
c) and some small treats
My favorite are smarties, they're called rockets here in Canada and I always stock up on them around halloween time. I'm not opposed to a little bribery now and then and these little treats are perfect for a quick little reward for sitting still, etc. They're bite size, can be chewed quickly and with little mess. They are perfect for busy toddlers because for them you don't want treats that are going to end up all over their face.
These are three of my favorite attention getting tricks and they're sure to make your next little photo session that much funner!
QUICK TIP 2: journaling is easier than you thought
Did you know that you could be scrapbooking and not even know it? Next time you're jotting down that cute little phrase your toddler just said in your daytimer or on the family calender give yourself a pat on the back because you are actually scrapbooking! Yes. You are! You are gathering journaling for future scrapbook pages in those few spare moments...how efficient are you!? After I had my third child I began to find it extremely difficult to squeeze in even a moment or two for scrapbooking. Gone were the days that I could sit and scrapbook for an hour or so at a time and so I began trying to find little things I could do during the day when I had five minutes to spare that would help me make the time I did manage to squeeze in for scrapbooking most efficient.
One thing I have found useful is our family calender. I have a large desk size calender that chronicals all of our daily comings and goings and it is also where I record a lot of my scrapbook page content. It's easily accessible and visible throughout the day which helps serve as a reminder to me to be on the lookout for scrapable moments. When I'm ready to sit and scrapbook all I need to do often times is refer to my calender when I'm in need of some journaling. I record things on my calender like:
-cute phrases the kids come up with
-photo ideas to remind me to take them at an upcoming event
-important dates (first tooth, first steps, etc.)
-thoughts I have about layout ideas based on events that have happened that day
-sweet interactions between my children or other little daily happenings that are worth mentioning
QUICK TIP 3: from simple to shabby in less than 5 minutes
Being a very straight lined, simple scrapbooker I have always admired those 'shabby chic' scrappers with their ellaborate layouts and beautiful techniques! I made an attempt or two at a 'shabby' page but it wasn't until I tried a simple spin on 'shabby' that I was able to create anything I was really happy with. Simple shabby is where it's at baby!
From simple Layout:
To Simple Shabby layout in just 5 minutes!
All I did to add a little 'shabby' to this layout is use my Heidi Swapp edge distresser (before I bought this I would just use my fingernail) and a few dabs of white paint. To keep the painting easy and quick I rarely use a paint brush, I simply squeeze out a bit of paint onto my finger, dab off the excess on a scrap paper and apply directly to my page leaving no brush to wash and keeping the whole process very simple and mess free.
QUICK TIP 4: a simple guide to posting your layouts online
The last tip of the day is a quick tutorial on how to get your layouts looking their best when sharing them online with friends and family. First I'll speak to those of you who prefer to photograph your layouts or those who do not have access to a scanner (that would be me). Most of the time when I photograph my layouts I end up getting something that looks a little like this:
Not too bad really, but it's hard to read the journaling and the background is a little distracting. So next time I photographed my layout here's what I did:
1. I mounted my layout on a blank wall with some scotch tape making sure it was nice and flat
2. I took my photo using a small aperture (use a large f-stop or flip your camera to the landscape setting) to make sure all of my layout was in focus. I was also sure to keep my layout straight and centered in my view finder
3. Next I opened my layout in Photoshop and got ready to crop it. To get your crop in line with all the edges of your layout all you need to do is open the crop tool, define the area you wish to crop but before you actually crop click on the little box at the top of the screen that says PERSPECTIVE and this will allow you to move each edge of your crop box to the exact dimensions of your layout. See the little perspective box up there:
Once I cropped around all the edges of my layout I added a little drop shadow around my layout and here is what I ended up with:
Looks pretty nice don't ya think?? :) Well whether you like to scan your layouts or photograph them adding a simple drop shadow around your edges is easier than you think. I have always admired the clean, professional look I'd seen others achieve by doing this and was fortunate enough to have some of my fellow collective members help me come up with these simple steps to achieve this look.
Adding a drop shadow:
1. With your layout cropped and ready to go in Photoshop open up a new document with slightly larger dimensions than your layout.
2. Drag your layout into the new document
3. In the LAYER window double click on the layer containing your layout as seen here on the right of the screen:
4. Once you've double clicked on the layout layer a layer style menu will pop up. Within this menu check DROP SHADOW and apply the following settings:
5. Now simply flatten your image save and you're ready to upload it to your favorite online gallery!
PS. If you are an elements user or you'd be more comfortable using a premade action to add a drop shadow to your next layout then this drop shadow action is for you!
Well, I think that'll do it for today. Stay tuned for a FABULOUS give away tommorow (hint: it will be from one of the companies I mentioned in my list of favorite products post on monday!) and in the meantime if you've got some other quick scrapbooking tips to share we're all ears!
I have to admit I am a creature of habit as may have been illustrated by my last post (ok, maybe the fact that whenever I eat at Subway I always order the EXACT same sub says a little something too??) Is that sad? Boring? I don't think so...I just like to think that I know what I like, I know what works for me and I'm sticking with it! That's not to say I don't venture from my standard list of scrapbook supplies once in a while or my usual way of creating every now and then because there always needs to be room for variety. But when it comes right down to it I've been scrapbooking long enough now that I feel like I've kindof found my niche and a system that works well for me. Because I've got my little 'system' (I'm using that term fairly loosely here) down it means I spend less time trying to find myself and more time finding that darn pair of scissors!
Here is how I tend to work:
1. select a group of photos & pull out a trusty piece of white cardstock to use as my blank canvas
2. select a piece (or two) of coordinating cardstock and possibly some pattern paper or embellishments
3. next I start arranging photos & elements on my white cardstock, maybe eliminating 1 or 2 photos in the process and on a scrap piece of paper sketching out some possible design ideas
4. once I have a design worked out I begin cropping, placing (unglued) the elements on my page leaving room for my journaling
5. once i know the size of my journaling space I'll open up microsoft word, create a textbox the size I need and work on my journaling
6. when my journaling is complete I am then ready to stick everything down on my page & finish up
Sound similar to the way you work? Once in a while I'll start with some fun paper I've been dying to use or start with a sketch and find photos to go with it but for the most part this is the way I create and I'm comfortable with it. Because I know how I work best it makes the scrapbooking process a whole lot faster (and who doesn't need to save a minute or two?) and less stressful because it comes more naturally.
As I've looked through my scrapbooks I've also notice tiny similarities between some of my layouts, ways of placing embellishments, certain fonts and colors I'm drawn too. I like to think I have a few little 'signature' scrapbook moves and so do each one of us! I'm not kidding! It's true. Don't believe me...well that leads me right into this weeks challenge.
The challenge is this:
Have a look through some of your recent scrapbook pages - notice any similarities? Any certain scrappy quirks that are uniquely you? Maybe you don't even need to look at any of your pages to list some things that make your style...well...your style! This week create a layout simply sticking with what you do best and share your layout in the flikr group. Show off some of those killer scrapbook moves! Come on! It'll be fun!
But wait, if you're a scrapper who likes to start with a sketch, then here's a few to get the creative juices flowing:
Or if you're a scrapper who must think color first then here's a few fun color combos just for you:
Embrace who you are as a scrapbooker...where your strengths lie, what you do best and don't be afraid to just stick with it! Let go of some of that pressure to create this way or that and I guarantee you'll LOVE the results!
Now tell us, what are some of your killer scrapbook moves or a funny scrapbook quirk uniquely you? Me, I obviously have a thing for white cardstock backgrounds and garamond font but I also have a thing for straight lines...I'm just not really a tilt your photos kind of person. I have forced myself to try it a few times but for the most part I like things straight. Makes me breath easier.
I'm so excited that it's my turn to be here with ya'll this week!
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Rebecca Cooper. Me and my family - who consists of my husband Randal and our children Emily (6), Carson (4), Addie (22 months) and one more little one who is expected to arrive sometime in January - all live in Alberta, Canada. I sure love to scrapbook and take pictures...and chocolate! In addition to playing mom to our three (soon to be four...wow!) kiddos I also run my own photography business and a couple of years ago had the fabulous opportunity to author a book entitled Real. Life. Scrapbooking.
This week I'm looking forward to sharing with you a few of my scrapbooking loves - from some of my favorite go-to products, to journaling tips and tried and true time saving tricks. It's going to be SO fun so stick around!
Until tommorow enjoy a peek at some of my favorite go-to scrapbooking tools/products! You know the ones? They're like that comfy old sweatshirt you have hanging in your closet that has too many holes in it to count (or maybe that's just in my closet??)...you always know they're going to fit just right! No matter how many new products I seem to buy or how many new techniques I experiment with I always seem to keep coming back to my 'comfy' scrapbooking supplies.
click to view larger
from left to right: 1. American Crafts tape adhesive. A friend of mine introduced me to this and I've been hooked ever since. You just rip off whatever size piece you need and go! 2. Anything by My Mind's Eye! 3.White cardstock: I buy mine in a bulk package at my local office supply store. 4. American Crafts precision pens suit are perfect for all my handwritten journaling needs! 5. SEI brads are my fav! I love the colors they come in and have you ever seen their pearl brads? So pretty! 6. I'm a huge fan of sketches 7. I use white chipboard (or foam) letters all the time. Love the little bit of added dimension they give to a layout and bonus: they match with pretty much everything! 8. Who doesn't love a cute flower embellishment once in a while!? I tend to buy my flowers from the local craft store in bunches when they are on sale and have even found some cute ones at the dollar store. 9. My fiskars rotary trimmer is by far my most used scrapbooking tool. I don't scrapbook without it. 10. Pink polka dots, green polka dots, big ones, little ones...I love them all! 11. Gluesticks are another favorite adhesive. Hint: if you're a gluestick lover like myself stock up on them now while they're on sale with all the back to school supplies. 12. Ooops. How'd that get in there? 13. One of my most used punches is my little 1 inch circle punch. It just punches the perfect size circles for making page tabs with & the circle is also the perfect fit for the inside of a metal-rim tag. 14. SEI preservation albums are my favorite mini albums. I don't know why...they just are! 15. A favorite go-to font (among many others) will always be garamond. I love you garamond! 16. And last but not least I always have on hand plenty of binder rings in varying sizes. They're just so cute and easy to use to hold together a quick mini album or handmade notepad.
So those are just a few of my must have scrapbook supplies, what are some of the things in your stash that you just CAN'T live without!?
If you're checking in, you're likely wondering who the winner is for this week's challenge. I write the names of the layouts from the gallery down and drew one out of a hat. How's that for totally unscientific & totally random. :)
The winner is... HANNAH!
She created this darling mini album for her BFF, remember? In case you forgot, here's a little peek at the cover and one of the inside pages. I love how she adapted the recipe to work for her circle album.
Hannah, please leave a comment below and I'll email you to get your shipping details. :)
In case you're wondering what she's won, here's a peek:
All of the above are from another favorite company -- Little Yellow Bicycle. My favorite nearby scrapbook store always carries their stuff. I just love all the different pieces!
Thanks for a great week, everyone, and a special thanks to those of you who took part in our challenge this week! I look forward to the next time I get to blog with you. In the meantime, check back tomorrow for a whole week with a different designer.
Happy Saturday Evening!
OH! I promised an oatmeal cookie recipe, didn't I?
Here it is.
Just Right Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. butter
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. flour
1 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
3 c. oatmeal
1 c. pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cream the first 3 ingredients together until fluffy. Add
eggs and vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together the following: flour, baking
soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Do
not over mix.
Add in the oatmeal and finely chopped pecans. Fold in until
Drop cookies using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon onto an
ungreased cookie sheet.
minutes until lightly brown. Cool on a rack before serving or freezing.
And for those of you who'd rather download the printable version, here you go -
Happy Saturday morning, everyone! I'm looking forward to our last day together -- lots to share! I have a few more Cosmo Cricket projects to share, along with another designer's album, which you're SURE to drool over! But those will have to wait until the end of my post. I simply can't wait another second to share the goodness from the Flikr Gallery!
Have you been checking the gallery lately? If you haven't, you're in for a sweet surprise. The responses to the recipe challenges have been awesome and so inspiring! Check it out!
(Click on the images to view them larger)
By Aly Dosdall
By Heather C.
By Amanda V.
By Etta Linton
By Stephanie D. Shepherd
Awesome work! That was fun! Thanks for participating, everyone. I'll draw a random winner this evening at 8:00 and will post the winner shortly after. If you're still working on a challenge, you have until 8:00 tonight to post it in the gallery. Don't forget to write the word "recipe" in your title so that I can find it, or link me in the comments. :)
As if that isn't enough, check out her take on the recipe album:
What sweetness! And you'll notice Marnie covered the backside of the pages with coordinating patterned paper. Very cute, indeed!
Let's end today with a few more projects, shall we? Two are made from my Cosmo Cricket scraps, and one from my random basket of scraps.
Here's my layout using the Girl Friday line. You can see I used it for a layout about my son. I think it works. ;)
You also may have noticed by now that I used the recipe on this page. Remember this?
I just switched it around a bit. I put my multi-photo grid on top (I created another one to work with the photos I had of my little guy), and my journaling strip down the left hand bottom side. I created my layout as a 8x6, just like the mini album, then mounted it on another piece of patterned paper.
I just love recipes!
Speaking of recipes... I also love baking! Especially cookies! Which brings me to a gift idea I just couldn't wait to share with you all.
The cookie scoop is an essential tool (I believe!) in any cookie baker's kitchen. To spruce this gift up a bit, I made a batch of my favorite oatmeal cookie dough and packaged it up in a freezer container. I created the label in Adobe Illustrator (but you could use Word or Photoshop) and attached a strip from the Girl Friday sticker page. Voila!
Finally, a little something anyone can make with the scraps from their scrap pile.
I started with a 3x6 piece of lined patterned paper and folded it down the center to make a standing card. Then I cut a circle in the front using my circle cutter. I added a squiggly rubon from American Crafts, along with some of their felt letter stickers, a flower and a brad. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (as my kids would say)!
Thanks for spending the week with me, everyone! Don't forget that your challenges need to be posted no later than 8:00 PM PST if you'd like to be elegable for the drawing for a surprise prize from me (think mini album stuff, folks!).
I'll be back after 8:00 tonight to announce a random winner.
Before we head away from the topic of mini albums, I wanted to share a little about how I store them. My mini albums have been homed in a number of places -- around the house standing up (this worked when there were just a few), on my bookshelf (this worked when they were all rectangular and flat), and in a drawer (this worked until I forgot where I'd put them). So these days my mini albums have been upgraded to a more prominent and most importantly, accessible spot.
I give you... the dining room table:
Those that know me well know that I'm not a huge fan of trinkets, so finding a spot for my mini albums where they would be visible, but not collecting dust, was a challenge. Because of the nature of these little books, they don't always stand up neatly, or fit together on a shelf without falling over. I decided, after searching through my containers and baskets that this pewter tray would hold them just right. I just pile them in there, mini album on top of mini album, in the center of my dining room table. Because they're contained in the tray, they don't overwhelm me. Best of all, they're visible enough that my family can actually enjoy them -- unlike when they were tucked in a drawer. The bigger mini albums (like the ones in the AC Modern Albums) are on a shelf with my regular scrapbooks.
If I can encourage you in one way today, I hope you'll make space for your mini albums where your kids and family can enjoy them. :)
So today we talk about scraps. Honestly, the Cosmo Cricket kit was so completely generous, that for today's post, I limited myself to using the scraps from the paper and materials I'd already used on the "I Love This About You" mini album from yesterday. Come back tomorrow for "Scraps: Part 2" where I'll post a layout (using the recipe) along with a super yummy homemade birthday gift your friends are sure to love.
Let's dive into today's projects! (Click on the photos to view larger)
Project #1: Girls' Night Invite
We all love hangin' out with our best girl friends! It just so happens that my favorite ladies don't all love to scrapbook and craft, which means most of our girls' nights are spent snacking, chatting and catching up on the latest Bachelorette gossip. :)
Here's what you'll need: 1 scrap cardstock - 8x6" 1 piece of white cardstock 1 scrap of super cute paper 1 digital frame -- I used these, by Kate Teague
Project #2: Girly Gift Enclosures
These are just fun to have around. This is a fun little project that takes only a few supplies and very little time. And yes, I know they're painfully simple. That's what makes them so fun!
I was planning on sharing two more projects today, but I'll save them for tomorrow, including a layout and that delicious project I told you about on Monday which incorporates scrapbooking AND cooking. I promise your friends will love it, so please check back!
Finally, don't forget! All pages in the gallery that come out of this week's challenges (below) will be
featured in tomorrow's post, and a random winner will be chosen to
receive a little something in the mail from me just for participating.
In case you forgot, here are the challenges (take your pick!):
1)Create a single layout OR a complete mini album using the recipe used in the mini album above.
2) Create a single layout OR a complete mini album using the multi-photo template.
your pages or albums to the gallery and be sure to work the words
"recipe" in the title so I can find them.
Thanks for hanging with me this week, and THANKS again for all of your comments the other day. If you have any questions about today's post, be sure to leave it in the comments and I'll do my best to respond quickly.
Looking forward to seeing your work in the gallery!