As August approaches, I tend to panic at the thought that summer is almost over. (And I can't even imagine what it's like for those of you whose kiddos go back to school in the next week or two!)
The feeling is especially acute this year as the summer weather in our area was slow to arrive. But I'm determined to enjoy what remains rather than dwelling on the fact that the days are bound to slip through my fingers too quickly.
I have set this as my laptop wallpaper to daily remind me to embrace what's left of these warm, blue-skied days and to take lots of photos as evidence.
If you'd like to do the same, you may download the frame with the quote here. (For a full, free set of Polaroid frames, visit fuzzimo.) Add a photo and use it as a computer background, post it in the sidebar of your blog, or print and frame it. And if you agree with me that it's not complete without that sweet banner, I highly recommend Crystal Wilkerson's Colorful Banners set available in her digital shop.
So go enjoy your weekend and take to heart the words of John Lubbock: "Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
Thank you for letting us know some of your troubles. We look forward to helping you with those in the future.
And until then, we hope that Diane has lots of fun in Amy's class, and reading Rebecca's book!!
Congratulations Diane! We look forward to hearing from you soon! Our email address is writeclickscrapbook at gmail dot com. In your email, could you include your Big Picture username if you have one? Thank you!!
And the best news? Ella Publishing would like to offer all our readers 10% off Rebecca's book, Don't Say Cheese!, through September 1. Just enter the coupon code, GORGONZOLA. Thank you, Ella!
Hi again, Jody here! I don’t know where you may live, but where I am from this past week we reached record high temperatures. I’m talking 108 degrees. Yes, 108! And wouldn’t you know that same day my central air conditioning stopped working in my house and the next day I went to work and the air conditioning was broken there as well. I work in a restaurant where the kitchen normally is make-up melting hot. This makes for a very unhappy Jody. So in honor of this heat wave that I just experienced I give you…
Christmas in July!
Now I am a procrastinator normally, so I really hadn’t scrapped any pages from this past year’s Christmas photos. (For the W.C.S. for the Holiday pages, I used the previous year’s photos) I dug out some older Christmas papers and embellishments and went to town.
My youngest daughter loves to make gingerbread houses and October Afternoon’s older but still adorable line “Very Merry” fit my photo to a tee!
Next up, I got a great shot of all three of my daughters opening their gifts on Christmas morning. What I love most about this photo is that fact that I didn’t crop it too tightly. I am notorious for taking close-up portraits of my girls but I am trying not to do that as much because it crops out little details of our life that we may not remember years from now. Like the decorations in the wall unit, the cotton ball Christmas tree that my youngest made in pre-school or the nutcracker that has been played with so much that it is missing a foot. I want to remember these details always.
It is embarrassing the amount of photos I take in front of our tree every year in hopes of getting the perfect picture. But one of my favorites last year was this one of my middle girl and her dog Sweetie. I added the mini alphas into the center sticker so I could title this page "Have Yourself A Furry Little Christmas" I like punny titles, it's my "thing" if you will ;)
I hope you enjoyed a little break from the heat, or a little Christmas inspiration in July.
Oh, and and if you were wondering, it's never too early to start shopping...there are only
Journaling is the heart of our craft. It's where we add emotion and story and significance. Depth and detail, humor or sadness or sheer, exuberant excitement.
Photography is the soul of our craft. It's where we add evidence of our stories. Color and emotion, faces, places, thing.
But they aren't always the easiest part of scrapbooking.
There are just so many ways you can get stuck with journaling: maybe the story feels too sentimental, or not emotional enough. Maybe it feels like a big drain on your scrapping time. Maybe you get all anxious over sticky grammar issues. Or maybe you just downright don't know what to say.
And our children don't always let their natural selves shine through. Cheesy smiles, angry glances, frustrated faces--sometimes it seems daunting to capture their joyful, calm sides.
This four-week class, which starts on August 4, is designed to develop your journaling skills—quickly. Good, strong journaling doesn't have to take hours to write; you can do it in about ten minutes, and Amy's class will show you how. Filled with techniques, advice, journaling prompts, story structures, and guided assignments, Write Now! will help you overcome whatever journaling issues or anxieties you might have. You'll finish the course knowing exactly how to quickly write authentic and significant journaling.
Rebecca filled her book with strategies for getting the most out of your photographs of children, both spontaneous and posed. You can get a taste for her style in her eZine article for Ella Publishing, where she discusses the photo games chapter. And don't forget to stop by Rebecca's blog where she will be sharing more quick photo tips over the next few weeks.
If you would like to be considered for today's giveaways, please leave us a comment telling us you number one journaling or photography issue. Comments will remain open until Friday morning. The lucky number will be drawn at random and posted on Saturday. Please remember it is your responsibility to check back and to claim your lucky number by midnight on Monday. Thank you for stopping by!
Hello there WCS readers! Last month, I decided to save some time by scrapping all my June layouts using the same sketch. It worked...until I got really bored of that sketch :) That's when I decided that I needed some new inspiration for my summer layouts. Enter Pinterest. I don't know about you but there's something about Pinterest which sucks me in.Before I know it, I've spent hours viewing and pinning items and inevitably feel a little guilty about having wasted the day away. Surely, I'm not the only one to feel this way?
To lessen the guilt, I decided to actually do something with my pins this month. When I saw this particular idea, I knew I had to use it to scrap a layout because it is such an awesome way to capture what my kids love right now.
I took pictures of my kids and basically replicated this idea by typing on the picture in Photoshop. I then used the pictures on a layout as follows:
Have you made any cards/layouts/minis inspired by Pinterest pins? If so, please link them in the comments section...I'd love to check them out!
Are you like me and have hundreds of photos so far this summer? We were lucky enough this summer to go on 3 trips and spend lots of time together. For me that equals an overwhelming amount of photos and kind of makes me want to crawl under a blanket until winter.
Sure, I'll get all these photos onto paper with pretty stickers, but that isn't my favorite part of scrapbooking. I'm not an event/holiday/travel scrapper at all and it takes me months and months to get to it all. What I do enjoy doing is taking some of those photos and scrapping not what we did, but what we were feeling at the time, what was so special about that moment or a funny story.
So today we're going to talk about just that. Look through those hundreds of photos that are making you hyperventilate and pick out one or more that speak to you or just make you stop and say "WOWEE that is a great picture!". Now, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at it? Is it the first time your child went into the ocean, their first dive, the fact that they were timid at a point when you would think they would be the clown or the loudmouth?!
I took a few photos from a Washington Nationals baseball game earlier this month, including these:
The game? Not all that memorable in and of itself. Sure the Nationals won, but I'm not a big baseball fan so not something I'm going to get down anytime soon! I saw the goofy picture of my youngest and decided I would scrap something completely different.
Her obsession with gum! It has nothing at all to do with the game, but I wanted a fun photo to go with this part of her personality. When I look at this photo I don't think of baseball, I think of Ella and her silliness and her constant asking for gum!
We go to Myrtle Beach each year, which means I take very similar photos each year. Yes, we all have on different swimsuits and the girls are more grown up, but all in all, the same. That doesn't mean I don't take photos because I still take hundreds!
I did do a large layout about our trip, but I took the middle photo and made this layout about a completely different topic:
My youngest daughter gets told ALL.THE.TIME. that she looks exactly like me, so my oldest wanted to make it clear that she also looks like one of her parents, it just happens to be her dad! It's something I wanted to document, and since I was able to actually get a fabulous photo of the two of them I had to document it!
Last one I promise!
These are older photos from last year on a field trip with my oldest daughter. We went to a great wild animal sanctuary and learned a lot and had fun with with her classmates.
I never did document this field trip (I know, don't tell the scrapbooking gods!), but the third photo stopped me in my tracks. It screamed Maya and the trials and tribulations she had gone through over the previous 2 years so that is what I chose to focus on for the layout.
Absolutely nothing to do with the field trip, but I go with my gut when I look through the photos.
So I challenge you to look through those photos and see what stands out to you beyond the who, what, where and when of the photo. I find that when I scrap the one or two photos that "speak" to me, then I'm ready to tackle the event or trip as a whole and document our fun!
Hi! It's Amy again. Welcome to part two of my summer photo series. Today I want to challenge you to watch for—and photograph—something you might not otherwise pay attention to: shadows!
There's something about summer shadows I love. I think it has to do with the heat of the season and the way that a shadow hints at shade, so it evokes the entire spectrum of summertime emotions. Plus, there's a certain color to a shadow in the summer that lets you know it's not an autumn or a winter shadow.
Here are a few summer-shadow photos mixed with a few tips for photographing shadows:
Look for shapes that relate the season. Here, the shadow of a soccer goal post screams "summer" to me:
What summer shapes are particular to your summer experience?
Develop the story in your photo by paying attention to what's in the background. In this picture, the shadow the net makes is interesting, but the water in the background lets you know it's not a typical basketball hoop:
Watch the direction you shoot from. You can photograph a shadow so that the sun is behind you (try to keep your own shadow out of the picture in that case!), in front of you, or from the side. Each angle gives a different result.
Pay attention to where your focal point is. You can focus on the object or on the shadow itself—each one gives a unique feel to your photo.
Consider exactly what to include in the photo—just the shadow itself, or part (or all) of the object casting the shadow?
Up the contrast when you process your pictures. This helps enhance the lines of the shadows.
Time of day will change the feel of your shadows. The light is a different color in the morning versus the evening, and shadows are longer at those times. in the middle of the day, shadows are short.
Get an "action" shot by focusing on a shadow while the subject is moving. This might take some practice shots; change your camera settings to "Action" or "Sports" mode, take a fast series, then pick the best one.
Try taking a self-portrait of your own shadow (this is about the only way I'll allow a photo of me in a swimsuit to be taken!) Or hand your camera off to your kids and challenge them to take some shadow portraits. Watch for items that cast interesting shapes. And have fun! I think you'll enjoy this challenge, no matter the season!
Hi! It's Marnie. In lieu of today's Sunday Photo & Words, I have prepared for you a summary of the things that caught my eye while I was in Chicago this past week at the Craft & Hobby Show.
As a little background, CHA is held in July, most often in Chicago. The manufacturers bring their new releases so that the stores can send their buyers to place orders for product for the next 6 months. With the decline in the industry and the increases in digital abilities, the show is smaller than it once was, but still remains a fantastic place to see what is coming. And to build relationship and reconnect with industry peers.
Overall, the show was a tremendous success. Every company, without exception, with whom I spoke was pleased to have attended and pleased with the purchasing. This is good for us, as consumers, as it means that those companies that remain standing should be here another year, and that the scrapbooking industry has found its foothold in this new economy.
The first time I went to a show, as I tried to watch for trends, I realized that I was too giddy from all the product to notice anything but the speed of my heartbeat and the saliva drooling down my chin. Silly, huh? But to this day, it still happens, so now I go slow and don't try to notice trends as much as I let them reveal themselves to me.
Generally, I noticed that most brands have clearly established their identities and their new products were true to our sense of their brands. No one tried to be anyone else, and no one tried to step too far outside their zone. I do not mean to say that there is nothing fun coming, not at all! Rather, that everyone produced a message consistent with their history and purpose. For example, Jillibean, Bella Blvd, October Afternoon, and Doodlebug remained true to their color palettes. Imaginisce, Jenni Bowlin, Studio Calico and Webster's Pages held true to their design aesthetic. American Crafts and Maya Road offered up patterns and items that we have come to love and appreciate (and maybe even expect?! teehee!) from each of them.
As for repeating elements, there were rulers, cameos/silhouettes, and carnival monograms in full supply. I tried to photograph them as I saw them. Banners are still plentiful as are owls, penguins, and twine. Misting is steadily growing. Tool advances were best seen, again, in the punches.
Having established themselves as a veritable tool maker, Imaginisce wins again with a new giant i-top, colored foam tape, little snippers, and a rotating punch that reminds me of a leather punch. (But pink, of course!)
They have four new lines: a school line, a fall line, a grown up travel line, and a Christmas line. All produced with the colors, icons, and whimsy that we know and love from Imaginisce. Just look that little Christmas tree person. So sweet. Just like I want from my Imaginisce.
Nikki's new lines include germs, monsters, and school schtuff. (If you look closely you will see new Unity stamps and also some awesome burlap buttons!!)
One of my favorite things about coming to the show is seeing how well the design teams showcase the products. Like this monster killing spray bottle, and this tipped acrylic photo frame made into teacher's gift.
Bella was busy! They have such a way with patterns, color, and embellishments. After taking a year off, they are back with a Christmas line again.
The colors are great and include unexpected by well placed bits of yellow. They also have cardstock alphies but numbers (numberies?). A brilliant strategy for those who like to make December dailies, with loads of 0s, 1s, and 2s.
Bella also has new Unity stamps to coordinate with each of their lines. They were only one of several companies to have outsourced their stamps to Unity.
Their fall line maintains last year's color scheme which seems brilliant to me. It allows the two lines to intermingle, as well as allowing to create new home decor projects that will coordinate perfectly with those from last year.
Also new is a sports line which might very well be the most understated sports line ever made. I love it. So very smart. And this layout took my breath away.
The Halloween line wins twice with sweet little ghoulies and clouds with lightning bolts. Love love love this paper line.
Cosmo showcased three lines this show with the colors that we love them for.
The butterflies in the Clementine are delicious; I liked the stark black additions to the Christmas line; and the dreamy pastel brights of Odds and Ends are interestingly juxtaposed against the green apple.
I missed getting a shot of the new big glubers. Fun stuff. And the picture is too small to properly show the new Tiny Text sheets. They remind me of the old text sheets from Making Memories. And I can't remember where, but I did see them at a couple of other booths as well.
Notice their carnival monograms. Trend trend trend.
Susan, owner and genius behind SRM is kind, sweet, and incredibly devoted to her product. Their stickers are nearly invisible making them perfect additions for any projects. And coming up for next year are mini calendars
and new additions to their cardmaking sheets. Would you like to see another blog swap? hmm....
This company is new but the founders are anything but. Longtime industry biggies who have just sat out a non-compete clause, Authentique burst onto the market with six lines. Four are color based (yellow, blue, pink, and multi-colored), and two holiday lines (Halloween and Christmas). Something unique to this line is a bi-fold paper.
When we asked about it, they explained that every line needs good foundation papers, but they are sort of boring to see on the shelf so they put all four foundation papers into one sheet, freeing up shelf space and letting the patterns take center stage. Clever!
And speaking of clever, all the little bits have a patterned backside. Ooh, perfect for our mini albums.
The Crafter's Workshop sells stencils. And to help you understand how fun they are, they set up a whole table of creative mediums, a stack of tags, and instructions by Julie Balzar. A very very good idea for helping us realize the benefit and versatility of stencils.
And a great excuse to get our hands dirty. Literally.
Oh how we adore thee. There was terrific buzz around Amy Tan's new line. We couldn't be more excited for her. The colors are current without being too trendy, and the textures are amazing. Fabric, tapes, buttons, and funky paperclips are just part of the fun. And did we mention fabric Thickers?
One of not-just-our favorites was her mini album--an eclectic gathering of papers and tags, with a stitched binding. So very Amy, so very fun. And a great price at $7.99.
A very traditional Christmas line with candy cane stripes on the Thickers, tinsel in the trims, and elves to help Santa.
Daydreams is classic American Crafts. Again, a company staying very true to their brand.
A Fall-oween line with a new vanilla background paper, very thin puffy Thickers, and blackboard labels and paper. Curious and cool.
Garden Cafe, a fall'ish line with houses and embellies like fanned flowers, and cafe foods. (Notice the small patterns of paper creeping onto the embellies?)
A cutting mat that is not only thick but boasts white lines on one side, black on the other.
A new trimmer that seems safe. (But will it be straight?? Jury hopes so...)
Knockout punches are shipping soon.
Their first stint into the assorted pen package.
(With a retail value of $19.99--woohoo!)
And a value pack of cardstock (100 sheets!!) for $19.99. Did I just hear you shout woohoo? Thought so.
Glittery ribbon, tinsel-y ribbon.
And lastly, microbeads are seeing their comeback. Whodathunkit?
All in all, a really strong showing for American Crafts. Such a stable industry powerhouse. And the nicest family.
First, I must confess that October Afternoon makes some of my favorite paper lines. So I went in looking for love. And was not disappointed.
Sasparilla is filled with iconic and cartoon images. Not usually combined in the same line, it somehow works. The colors are vintage OA hues with some uncharacteristic, but not unpleasing, larger scale images of wood and denim.
A cartoon page was very eye catching, as was the clouds paper. Oh, clouds, how I love thee. (You may also notice a variation on the carnival monogram theme. Trend alert!)
Each new line comes complete with a shaped mini album, trim, buttons, and flair.
Sasparilla also includes toothpicks and flags. So cute!! but not as cute as my girl singing cowboy poetry at the campfire...
Boarding pass is their new travel line. But before I saw the papers I saw Marcy!
Or at least Marcy's son's feet! The album for this line is a camera. Which reminds me of an old KI Elsie camera album. (Not a bad thing.)
Farmhouse is so perfectly me that I turned to Kim, the owner and designer, and begged her to come a decorate my house. In those exact colors. Sigh...
And how could one not fall in love with eyelet lace trim and an armoire mini?
Hey, look! It's more rulers! and monograms.
and my perfect paper.
Sidewalk. Another tdf line for me. (Sorry. I try to be thoughtful of your needs, too, but I have such a hard time looking past my own pleasures in this booth...)
More Marcy - oooh, Sidewalk + Marcy = TLF.
And this mini album is a conversation bubble, and the trim has twine. I am weak in the knees.
And now back to regularly scheduled programming wherein Marnie regains a little drool control...
This booth was huge and a sight to behold. Everywhere you looked there was something fun to see.
The trinkets were stellar with wooden and painted (black mostly) clothespins of all sizes, spools, packaging, boxes, etc etc etc. It went on and on. Delightfully. But in great measure. Think of it as the Martha Stewart decorating line in rough farmhouse style.
One thing that caught my eye were frames wrapped in burlap and denim.
And they had paper for babies, and the holidays. Logical pairings for packaging and celebration.
But to me the greatest thing is still their canvas bits.
MLS has five new lines!! (Somehow I missed getting photo of their Halloween line.)
Each has five double-sided patterned papers, one diecut paper, one sheet of tags/journaling squares, two full size alphas (with sealed in glitter!), three mini-alphies, a sticker sheet, AND newly added, Unity stamps, a coordinating diecut die, and a sheet with punch out roll up flowers. Whew!
With papers with kites, darling little girls, flowers large enough for fussy cutting, and vespas, there is something for everyone to love. And Helen and Erin are not only talented but extremely kind and lovely. Such a lovely company.
Every year, Tara from New Jersey gives me my EK tour. But sadly, this year, there was no Tara from Jersey. Another lovely salesrep showed me around the booth. She was helpful but I was disappointed to not hear Tara from Jersey's lovely accent.
On to more important things...
First, up, new punches. There are now punches that pull all the way apart so you can punch in the very middle of the page, if you would like.
There are also punches that make garlands. The shapes are two sizes and work together to create a line of punched shapes. Think hanging monkey lines. Pretty cool. (And the last show had spiders. How fun would that be?)
And lastly, there are fancy, detailed punches.
Martha's party line has expanded. So many do it yourself items from decor to food packaging to invitations. It's all there.
The Smash Box line has a few new items, but many more items are scheduled to preview in January!!
In their do-it-yourself-accessories line, there are new pre-assembled items, component parts awaiting your creative assembly, and a new line by Jule Comstock, owner of Cosmo Cricket.
There were also new stamps, new stickers, and some cool cross-stitch kits. Oh, if only there were more hours in the day.
Webster's pages debuted four new lines. The party line had a very lovely color scheme. The hues on the pastel brights were perfectly comprised of lights and brights.
There was a traditional Christmas, and one for people with no snow. Unique. Smart.
And a western theme. With hanging petticoats.
And every new line has feathered flowers, and a plastic mini cd holder filled with journaling papers and cards.
Cameo pin toppers, thin (hooray!) crocheted embellies, and trims. Bestill my beribboned heart.
Did you happen to notice the raw edged lace?
Sigh... pure love.
All so we can make lovelies like this one.
And lastly, Webster's has created a new program called NovelTree, for printing photo books. (You know how very very happy this one makes me!) With thick matte pages and a cover with a gorgeous matte finish, the pages lay perfectly flat and had beautiful designs. Hopefully there will be more on this soon.
was not at this show, but they did have two Fiskateers browsing in paper dresses with new Fiskars paper. And someone to help sew them in and out of their dresses (hopefully potty breaks were minimal... :) ). That's dedication.
The only surprise in that Doodlebug won the booth award is that it hadn't happened before. Each year the booth is a visual wonder: colorful, balanced, amazingly well-merchandised, and in every way set up to help you fall in love with their product.
With five new lines, Doodlebug holds true to their roots, with sweet images, whimsical delights. and all sorts of ways to help you make cards and quicker albums.
Debuting their own twine, it is not only very reasonably priced, but the holiday twines are actually three color. And did I mention the twine alphabet stickers?
This year they added dimensional elements to add to their cards. Such magic and only $1.49. Woohoo!
And their albums and page protectors have some great features like 6x12 inserts. Fun!
Congrats to Tonya, Cynthea and team. We are so thrilled for you!! And thank you for an elf with glasses! she was my fave...
Oooh, and in other very exciting Doodlebug news, Riley Blake fabric will be creating a line of Doodlebug fabric, due out in November. And there will be oilcloth! I can't wait!
Remember how last year, Pink Paislee showed off their new paper with a resist that meant you could do all sorts of cool things with it? And remember how it didn't really resonate with me? and maybe not with you either? Oh, no! We were so misguided. It is awesome. Check out these tags and bits.
Many of them are misted resist paper. Oh, I think I have fallen in love with a new technique and product. So can't wait to try more.
And look at the new lines.
Pink Paislee always does Halloween so well. So very well. (Oh, and did you notice the silhouette? trendy trendy... :) )
How much fun is it to just have hanging papers floating all aournd you?
While Crate Paper scaled down its booth, there was nothing scaled down about the team examples--they were amazing. With three new lines, Farmhouse, Random (how awesome is that name?) and Peppermint, Crate will surely maintain their share of consumer love.
Can you see the little bits of yellow in the Christmas line? (does two sightings make a minitrend?)
Mini paper pads and cool trinkets for every line. Can't wait to get some.
So that's it. There were many many many more booths, but never enough time. We found some great items for giveaways and some new understanding of how important it is to know how to use products!! As with each each, we tried to help spread the news of our site, so that we can stick around and help provide you with amazing content.
We are looking forward to a terrific autumn and holiday season of amazing new products and techniques!