Weird Gadget

This layout was inspired by a punch.  You see, one of my friends gave me some of her old scrapbook supplies.  There were eyelets, ribbons, and this really odd punch.  The punch caught my attention, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  So, it sat with my other punches for a couple of years.  What do you do with this weird concave square-ish thing with no lines of symmetry?  Every time I saw that punch, it would just get under my skin.

Finally, after a night of insomnia, I grabbed that punch and started in on some of my small scrap pieces like a wild woman.  I chose mostly pastel papers and punched each scrap as many times as I could.  Some of my scrap papers are much too small to justify keeping.  This was a good way to clean out my paper bin.  I knew that if I wound up hating the design, the only thing lost was time.


I found some photos of our yard when we had it redone.  They seemed like a good match for the spring-like color palette.  Then I matted them with that pink floral and added a yellow punched border. Normally I would have gone through my larger scraps to find the photo mat.  However, I have SO MUCH PAPER right now, that I find myself being a little less frugal.  I actually want to cut into and get some full sheets used.

Now it was time for the real work… laying out all of those punched pieces.  At first I utilized a ruler.  I was going to use the straight edge and make sure everything was lined up perfectly.  Yeah, my patience for that didn’t even last through the top row.  Instead, I eyeballed the whole thing.  (It’s a weird shape!  Does it really matter if it isn’t perfect?)  I didn’t do any gluing until I had every punched piece where I wanted it.  Then I used some Tombow liquid glue to get them all down.

After everything was dry, I started digging through all of my small embellishments.  I can’t believe that I found exactly what I was looking for to finish off the page.  What you see is a mix of resin flowers, chipboard pieces from American Crafts and Basic Grey, puffy stickers, and enamel hearts.  I wanted the embellishments to be the same color as the punched paper.

I love how this page looks.  I was actually excited as I put it together.  That little punch took me out of my comfort zone, making me try something new.  Now I need to go thank my friend for giving me the gift of creativity… even though she won’t have any memory of giving me that superbly weird punch.

Close up


The Paper’s So Bright

I don’t do a lot of super bright scrapbook pages.  When you live in the dark and dreary Pacific Northwest, bright colors just don’t work with a lot of your pictures.  I really liked the look of the DIY collection by Simple Stories when I bought it online eons ago.  However, once it arrived, I realized how bright the B sides are.  Since I do a lot of B side scrapping, I’ve had some trouble using this collection.  For the most part, it’s been sitting untouched on a shelf.  It was time to get it onto a page.

My first challenge was to find some appropriate photographs to go along with those neon colors.  It really didn’t take much digging to find some water photos that featured bright yellow kayaks.  Yes!  That would work perfectly… well, almost perfectly.  I knew that the red life jacket would clash with the pink that I had in mind.  You know what?  Rules are made to be broken.


I knew I wanted a patterned paper to tie everything together.  Though flowers may not be the first thing you think of when kayaking among the dry hills, I chose it anyway.  (Yes, I am in full on rebel mode it seems.)  Not only did it contain all of the colors in the collection, but it was on a black background.  The water in the top photo is so dark that it looks black.  I felt it connected the colors of the photo back in with the colors of the paper.  Additionally, I matted the photo with green.  The dark pictures on top of the dark paper didn’t work well.

I swear that I never have embellishments in the right colors.  It took me some digging to find the right things for this page.  First I found the bright pink journaling card.  I couldn’t believe how the flowers on the card matched with the collection.  It was almost like it was meant to be.  Then I found the tag and pieces for the top cluster.  It always amazes me when I can put together a cluster made from multiple different collections.  The bottom circle cluster was a bit more difficult to make work.  I liked the globe from one of Shimelle’s collection.  This certainly was an adventure for me.  Then I found the “happy DAY” sticker.  And then I couldn’t find anything else.  Finally, I decided to punch a circle out of the paper I used for the mat.  It looked much too plain.  After quite a bit of trial and error, I decided to add that bright pink brad.

You may have noticed that this page has no title.  I decided to omit one for a couple of reasons.  First, I couldn’t find a good placement for it.  My gut told me to put it up in the yellow at the top, but that just looked funny.  Another option was in the sky portion of the bottom photo.  I thought it interrupted the beautiful symmetry.  (Forgive me.  I am a math teacher.  I love symmetry.)  In the end, I decided the page has plenty of words without the addition of a title.  Who says every page requires a title anyway?



It’s Never Too Early

If I don’t get started on my Christmas cards now, I will never get them finished.  They aren’t even that fancy.  If I were a normal person I would find a design, buy the materials for it, and then mass produce everything.  Yeah, I am not normal.  That would be much too efficient.  No, I almost always make every card unique.  (Full disclosure:  I want to use the supplies that I have.  Since I don’t buy multiples of papers, I can’t make cards in batches.)

So far I have made five cards.  My goal this year was to use my stamps because I am a notorious stamp collector.   Those beautiful stamps sit on the shelf collecting dust for years.  I chose two cards that feature stamped images.  I think both can be reproduced using different papers.

The tree card makes me happy.  I like the little banners sticking out the side.  I also like that the tree is so easy to cut out!  (Thank you Unity Stamp Company.)  Rounded edges are a nightmare for my unsteady hands.  Yay for straight lines!  I think I will go through my scraps and use this design a few more times.  The one problem I had was the sentiment.  I was trying to find something that would show up on the navy and white patterned paper.  I thought the tinsel embossing powder was my best bet.  I was wrong.  Silver would probably have been a better choice.

The season’s tweetings card was really a bit different for me.  I am not used to coloring images.  It just isn’t my thing.  So I did my best with some water color pencils.  I colored one set and then used a water pen to help blend the colors.  That didn’t work out well.  The black ink smeared and the colors ran into each other.  I may need to use a different type of stamping ink.  So I did this second set like I would with regular colored pencils.  Though simple, I liked it much better.

Then came the adventure of using the little dies to cut everything without having to use scissors.  I really didn’t think things through when I stamped the images.  They were all so close together that I couldn’t cut everything out at once.  Nope.  I had to run it through for each piece.  I also struggled a bit with die placement.  You can’t see exactly where you are cutting, so you have to do a bit of hoping for the best.  I will be far better prepared the next time I use those cute Freckled Fawn stamp and die sets.

At this point I am done with winter scrapping.  It’s time to move onto some new themes!

More Imperfect Photos

In my last post, I shared why I was scrapping the poor quality photos of my cats.  I decided to continue on with the imperfect photo scrapping this week.  This week’s subject is snow.  (Yes, I am sticking with the winter theme while dealing with 90 degree heat.)  It’s difficult to get a clear photo of snow as it comes down at night.  I am afraid that this is the best I could do.

For this layout, I decided to work with the slight purple tint in the photos.  It’s rare that I get to scrapbook using purple.  In fact, for the longest time it was nearly impossible to find purple in collections.  When it did appear in a collection, usually there was only a single sheet.  Over the years, I collected sheets here and there.  Of course, they were different tones that didn’t work together.  So I am thrilled to see the addition of purple and lavender in more papers lately.

The papers in this layout are from all different sources.  This is truly a case of mixing and matching brands.  I even cheated a bit.  Do you see that dark purple piece in the bottom right hand corner?  It is from a box of cards that I bought.  The box had index dividers that separated each design.  When I was done with the cards, I saved the colorful dividers for later use.  I simply cut off the rounded edges and it worked perfectly.

One thing I did to make the layout look cohesive despite a variety of papers in different styles was to mat everything on black cardstock.  That little black edge just pulled all of the papers together.  It also allowed the papers to pop.  Without the black outline, it just looked a little blah.  And as a bonus, I was able to incorporate a few black embellishments.


I decided to go with aqua embellishments for a couple of reasons.  Remember how I said it was difficult to find purple papers?  Well, it is even more difficult to find purple embellishments.  I simply didn’t have much to use.  My next obvious choice was aqua.  I had used an aqua mat around the photos.  The light color was a good choice for showcasing the dark pictures.  I have no shortage of aqua embellishments.  Though I could have chosen the yellow or red found in the background paper, I preferred to stick to cool colors.  This is snow after all!

When I went looking for embellishments, I was searching for a few  particular things.  Though I originally only pulled in aqua pieces, I quickly realized I needed a bit of black as well.  It just looked a little off when I first placed my embellishment clusters.  The black tied in with the mats around each paper.  I also needed something to break up the harsh blocks.  Pieces with curves would help soften the look.  Lastly, I needed something to add dimension.  Stickers and die cuts are flat.  (Though I did use some foam dots to help raise the house and large snowflake.)  The pearls were a good option.  They provide texture without adding in another color.

This is one of the layouts that I really loved when I finished.  It’s just enough different from my normal layouts to make it stand out a bit.  Both the color scheme and addition of black make me really happy.

Fa La La La La

I know it is August, but for once, my scrapping is sticking to a theme.  I am on a mission to finish up my Christmas pictures from the last decade.  Be honest.  That sounds impressive… at least until you find out I rarely take Christmas pictures.

Originally, I hadn’t planned on scrapping a lot of these kitty photos.  They aren’t great pictures.  And then my little Dakota passed away right before Christmas.  Suddenly, I felt like it didn’t matter if the photos were “good enough.”  I just really wanted them given a place in my scrapbooks.  It’s funny how even the smallest of priorities change when you lose a furry friend.

Enough with the sadness, and on with the layout!

Under the Tree

This is a pretty common design for me.  Most of the time I have one plain background paper with a more elaborate patterned paper on the bottom two thirds of the layout.  In this case, I didn’t use one patterned paper.  I used strips from both sides of an old Fancy Pants paper.  In this case, I really liked the added dimension of overlapping the strips, as well as including the beige ribbon.  I also didn’t stick to the 1/3 and 2/3 rule.  In this case, the strips cover just over half of the layout.  I wanted to leave some room up top for the title and tag.

The embellishment, like always, is pretty simple.  I started with the tag for journaling and the large quote sticker.  I love that sticker for this layout.  I feel like the kitties under the tree are a more important Christmas tradition than the gifts that get put there.  (The kitties are not happy about their spot being usurped by presents.)  A few chipboard pieces and sequins sprinkled, and the layout is done.

Oh, I do want to point out the title.  For once it wasn’t an afterthought!  I knew I wanted to mix 2 small fonts and have it intermingle a bit with the embellishment above the tag.  My crowning achievement was using tile stickers.  They actually are straight and don’t look awkward!  Score!  Yes, I am overly proud of myself for a very small achievement.  Just give this to me.  🙂

If you take nothing else away from this scrappy post, please remember that it is alright to scrap the less than perfect photos.  They can’t all be professional quality prints.  Well, unless you are a professional photographer of course!


Why I Don’t Do 2 Page Layouts

There are a lot of fabulous 2 page layouts that you can find on the web.  Some people have a gift for making creative multiple photo pages that work together perfectly.  Those people have super powers.  I am not one of those people.

In 12 years of scrapping, I have attempted 2 page layouts twice.  Sigh.  Both were lacking creativity.  Seriously.  I know that I am an average everyday scrapper.  But still, how is it that I can’t get beyond throwing some paper down and lining photos up into a neat and tidy row?  Here is my proof…

it bounces

I based this off of one Shimelle Laine’s layouts from her 4×6 photo love series.  If you love scrapping 4×6 photos like I do, look it up on YouTube.  She has ideas for scrapping anywhere from 1 to 12 photos on a layout.  In this case I used her June layout that incorporated 6 photos.

So let’s talk about the good, bad, and ugly.  I love using scraps.  Everything except the kraft background papers are scraps that I had in my stash.  I am going to count that as a win.  I also like the title.  That sweet kitty loved that the tree limbs bounced.  I am sure every year that the tree went up she thought, “it bounces!”  I am also pretty happy with that white lace sticker next to the snowman.  It’s pretty and makes me smile.

Onto the bad and ugly… Something isn’t quite right with the sraps I chose and how they work with the photos.  I almost think that because they match the color of the photos, it is hard to distinguish between the blocks and the photos.  Your eye doesn’t move smoothly over the pictures from left to right.  A page should draw your eye to the photos, and that isn’t happening.

I really struggled with the embellishment.  To be fair, I always struggle with embellishment.  In this case, I had a lot of little blocks to figure out what to do with.  That really is a weakness.  To add to the challenge, my Christmas supplies are limited.  I pulled some old Basic Grey chipboard pieces and some Fancy Pants Saint Nick stickers (Hello 2011).   I added some stamping with embossing in 2 of the blocks, but gold on brown doesn’t show up well.

I gave it a shot, right?  That counts for something.  If you have any double page layout tips, I would love to hear them.  Until then, I am heading back to the world of single page layouts.

Christmas in July

I do so appreciate a good Christmas in July challenge.  For some reason, I don’t like to scrap Christmas layouts in the winter.  Let the temperature hit 90 degrees, and suddenly I am in the mood for the green and red of the holidays.  Fa la la la…

In this case, I was challenged to work from a sketch that was a bit unlike my normal layout.  The photo placement is not something I would have considered on my own.  I don’t think I have ever scrapped photos on a diagonal like this.  Sometimes it pays to stretch yourself.  Honestly, I very much like the final result.

Happy Holidays

Most of you know that I tend to use a lot of scraps on my layouts.  This time, I pulled mostly uncut papers.  I just didn’t have scraps in the colors I wanted for this page.  I was going for the greens and brick red that are found in the photos.  So I went through a stack of older papers, and found what I needed for the background along with the two large blocks in the middle.  The photo mats were cut from Photo Play’s Luke 2 6×6 pad.  I added one more tiny layer behind each mat from my scraps.  (You know I had to fit a scrap in there somewhere!)

Finding embellishments was a challenge as well.  Again, most of my embellishments were not the correct color.  Luckily, I had the reindeer diecut in my stash.  It did a nice job of filling space and connecting the photos.  I couldn’t find anything else that would work well, so I decided to pull some neutral pieces.  Wood veneers, gold sequins, and some naked chipboard snowflakes fit the bill quite well.

Happy Holidays2

The naked chipboard snowflakes didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted.  I planned on coloring the chipboard with Tim Holtz’s Bundled Sage distress inks.  Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find that pad anywhere in all of my mess supplies.  Instead, I used Peeled Paint.  It was a bit darker than I was going for, but I thought it would be fine.  Then I used some clear thick embossing powder to make the snowflakes shiny.  Somehow that made the snowflakes look black.  If I ever use this technique again, I will make sure my ink is lighter than what I want as my final result.

There’s still a week left in July!  Anyone else want to get into the Christmas spirit?  Why not make a holiday layout or some cards?  Oh, I think cards are next!

New Supplies

Do you remember how fun it was to get new school supplies when you were in school?  There was nothing better than picking out the newest style of Trapper Keeper.  (Yes, I am fully aware that I am giving away my age.)  Now that I am a teacher, the shine has worn off a bit.  (No one wants to see back to school commercials the week after school gets out!)  I think it may be even worse for parents.

Today I feel that same sort of excitement when new scrappy supplies arrive at the door.  The most fun for me is that I have often forgotten what I ordered.  There is a wonderful company that will hold your order until you’ve met their $100 threshold for free shipping.  So, over the course of many months, I order here and there until finally the package gets shipped.  It’s always a wonderful surprise.  This does mean that I may not be scrapping with the newest collections, but let’s be real.  Most of my scrapping uses older supplies.  What’s a few months when I usually scrap with things that are many years old?

Here are a few of my new acquisitions.


Echo Park seemed to catch my fancy for this order.  In this case, I am preparing for a Disney trip.  You know, in case you couldn’t guess by these 2 Disney themed collections.  The first is in classic Disney colors.  I like that the color scheme is pretty versatile.  Chances are, I will be using the B sides that are a bit less busy.

The second collection has an Alice in Wonderland theme.  I honestly put these in my cart, took them out, put them in, took them out… You get the picture.  The colors aren’t quite me and the papers are *extremely* busy.  So in this case I only ordered a few papers and then the matching solids.  I am hoping that the solids will help break up and tone down all of that pattern.  After ordering it, I realized that now I HAVE to meet Alice during our trip.  What good does Alice paper do if you don’t actually meet Alice?  Oh, the sacrifices I make!

Echo Park pink floral

Sticking with the Echo Park lines, I also picked up just a bit of the “Just Married” collection.  Really it is only this beautiful floral and some solids.  That light blue solid is from a different collection, but I kept it together just in case I choose to use it on the same layout.  I really love that sweet floral.

Cat papers

This is a mishmash of various cat papers.  When half of your layouts involve cats, well, you buy cat papers.  That top paper just makes me grin.  I am a big fan of whatever genius decided to put glasses on cats.  Are those cateye glasses?  I love it.

Kaisercraft holiday

Lastly, I have these Kaisercraft papers.  The top and bottom papers are from the same collection.  The two in the middle are from 2 additional collections.  Dear manufacturers, I love when you do this.  When you repeat colors in various collections, I can mix and match to my heart’s content.  I will definitely be using the pink wood grain with at least one of the holiday papers.

There was a lot more in my box of heavenly goodness.  Many of the papers are stand alones.  I often purchase something that I love and then see what in my stash will go with it once it arrives.  At this point, there is always something in my stash that will work.  Perhaps I need to stop shopping.

Paper Inspiration

Do you ever sort through your paper and find something you just simply must use right this moment?  In all honesty, I have so much paper at this point that I forget what I have.  So when I ran across this multi-color raindrop paper by Pink Paislee, I was inspired.  It is just too cute to sit in a file any longer.  Then I spent a little time pulling some matching papers from my stash.  It wasn’t too hard to find pink, yellow, green, and orange papers to go with it.  Sadly, the green paper didn’t make the cut this time.

Once it was time to create the design, I turned to another muse, an online class.  After watching a video, I took one of the pages and put my own spin on it.  I focused on having an area of embellishment at the top and bottom, and then a small one next to the title.  The embellishment was kept quite simple because the paper is so busy!

great grandpa

Though I don’t often reach for chipboard embellishments these days, I knew I had some pieces that would match the color scheme.  Those “Adorable” and “You & Me” pieces were just perfect for these photos!  I mean, really, both that little girl and her great grandpa are adorable.  I also picked out the chevrons to point at the title.  A few brads, three puffy asterisks, and some die cut circles finished off the page.

I did want this page to include journaling.  I couldn’t find a way to insert a block of writing that would look right.  So, in this case, the journaling is on the back.  Another way I could have included journaling would be to  create a pocket behind the yellow polka dot paper.  I could have placed a pull out journal card there, with a small tab that stuck out.  Of course, I didn’t think about any of this until everything was all glued down.  *Sigh*  Isn’t that always the way?

My challenge for you is to thumb through your papers and find a piece that speaks to you… Something that calls out to be removed from your stacks and onto a page.  Use that paper as the beginning of your next fabulous layout!


The One Created by Cleaning

This is the layout that I had not anticipated on making.  You see, I went up into the scraproom to clean.  Every surface in the area was covered by random papers, embellishments, and creative whatnot.  As I began cleaning, I realized some of the random papers went well together.  And amongst them on the table, was a photo that I adore.  It was almost as if it this layout was meant to be.  (Or, the siren song of scrapbooking overpowered the desire to clean.  You be the judge.)

I do admit that the darker teal floral by Kaisercraft was something I pulled from my 6×6 pads.  I wanted a paper that would pull in that black cardstock scrap better.  All of the other papers, including the white cardstock background (difficult to see in this horrible tilty photo), the grey heart paper, and smaller scraps came from my mess.


Embellishments for this page really come from a random assortment of older items.  The white flowers as well as that little grey border sticker have been in my collection for about a decade.  The butterfly stickers and clear sparkly enamel dots, which make me swoon, are more than a year old.  If it was in the correct color scheme and nature related, I tried it out.

I do acknowledge that the bird is a bit more green than teal.  Though it doesn’t quite fit the page, it does fit the people in the page.  They are avid bird watchers.  It was the perfect embellishment for them.  In this case, I ignored the aesthetic for the content.  It’s my layout, I will mess up the color scheme if I want to.  (And yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition.  I am feeling *that* rebellious today.)

This was some of the most fun I have had cleaning in quite a while.  Now if only wiping down the kitchen were as entertaining.