May 24, 2013

Give Help and Hope to Tornado Victims

Simple Stories has partnered with We R Memory Keepers and Bo Bunny to do something to help the victims of the tornado in Oklahoma. See the graphic above for all the details. The donations and cards will the distributed through Catholic Charities. Please note the deadline, cards must be sent in by May 31st

Even if you are not the crafting or card-making type, you can still help. Catholic Charities is providing both immediate help and help in the long-term and they need our support to do it.

Call to Give:

Mail a Check:
Catholic Charities USA
P.O. Box 17066
Baltimore, MD

or make a donation online.

May 10, 2013

Creative Bliss

Part of why I took a couple of months off from blogging is that life had gotten a little more than crazy around here. We had a very unusual March. Truly. I don't need to go into all the details; they aren't important now. But it was rough, I won't lie. And I have been asked, how do I deal with all that is going on in life and still have time to scrapbook. I have always said how fortunate I feel to be part of such amazing design teams. I actually like having assignments! Really. Sometimes if it weren't for an upcoming deadline I might not create at all. And the thing is, I tend to get antsy if I go too long without being creative. Those deadlines, in a strange way that may not make sense, help feed my soul. 

Today I want to share with you three cards I made using Vintage Bliss. I made these for the Simple Stories blog some time ago, but with Mother's Day quickly approaching I thought this would be a good time to finally share them here too. When I made these cards I was in a pretty bad mood. Even though I don't have little girls and don't tend to use this style of paper in my scrapbooking pages, I do like using more feminine lines when making cards. With it's beautiful springtime palette and butterflies, I was hoping creating with this collection would put me in a better frame of mind.

You probably know by now that Simple Stories released embellishments along with their new collections at CHA this past winter. I am in love with all the options. My favorite are the brads... I have a thing for buttons and brads. But the adhesive chipboard stickers are very cool too. The frame, saying, and butterfly in the close-up above are all chipboard. I don't care for too much bulk in my projects (this is my own personal preference) and these are a super-easy way to add just the right amount of dimension to a project.   

The bingo cards that are a part of each collection make card making so easy. No need to stamp a sentiment or agonize over placement. I really love layering them with other elements like patterned paper and butterflies or flowers. Easy and fast.

This last card is small, only 3.5 x 4.5 inches. To make the previous two cards I cut a 12 x 12 inch sheet of cardstock down to 8.5 x 11 and then cut that in half. This was the scrap of cardstock leftover from those cuts. It ended up being the perfect size for one of the Sn@p! pockets.

You can tuck a gift card or photo into the little pocket as a small present. Inside I lined the card with grid paper so that I can write a note or short greeting for the recipient. A lot of fun to make and I made use of something that would have otherwise been thrown away.

So, did my experiment that day work? It did. I spent a couple of hours crafting and just enjoying the process. As always, I have to thank Glen for watching the boys for me. He knows his wife is an introvert, and sometimes I really do just need some time alone. He gives me that time to recharge and then I come away feeling so much better and able to tackle the madness again!

These next projects were made for our product swap with Petaloo. You can probably guess that I am not much of a flower girl, but these were perfect for card making, and they coordinated quite well with Vintage Bliss.

I decided to layer two flowers for this first card by removing the stamen from the larger blue flower using jewelry wire cutters and then I adhered the smaller pink flower to the center. You can see a close-up here,

To match the gold center of the little pink flower, I embossed my sentiment with metallic gold embossing powder. I am still completely in love with metallic embossing powder. It is just so much fun to watch the powder melt and go from matte to shiny as it sets. Plus, it is a simple way to add an elegant touch to a card.

This last card has lots of simple layers including my favorite card embellishment, a layered butterfly. I loved the bold color of this flower, and wanted it to be the focus.

And again, to customize it I removed the stamen, this time placing one of the brads from the Vintage Bliss collection in the center. Instead of punching a hole through the flower though, I used my wire cutters to remove the prongs from the back leaving me with a flat surface. I then used a glue dot to adhere the brad to the flower. The chipboard embellishment was the perfect final touch and an easy way to add a sentiment to this card.

Do you have any plans for Mother's Day? We are still deciding... I think we may go out for gelato. Keep it simple. We'll see. =)

Happy Friday, and I hope you have a great weekend!

May 3, 2013

3rd Annual Creative Crop & a Giveaway!!

Tomorrow is National Scrapbooking Day!!  If you don't have any plans yet, I'd like to invite you to join me along with nine other teachers from Big Picture Classes for a 10 hour FREE crop.  You can register here, or by clicking on the image above.

So what is the Creative Crop 2013?
10 hours of free scrapbooking challenges, prizes, chats, and more!  Every hour on the hour, for 10 straight hours there will be a new scrapbooking challenge that will inspire you to create, stretch, grow, and play. Throughout the day, you'll also have the opportunity to live chat with industry experts, amazing prize giveaways from the event sponsors, and constant inspiration and interaction!  The fun starts May 4th, 2013 at: 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain / 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern

I'm going to be in the chat room from 1:00-1:30 pm PST and I hope to see you there!!

In honor of the big day, I have one spot to give away in Lisa Day's upcoming class 28 Days of Sketches: Round 2.

Here is a little more about the class:

Lisa Day is back with another round of 28 sketches—again! 28 Days of Sketches: Round 2 delighted nearly 400 scrapbookers last summer, and this is your chance to get in on the action.

In this daily email class, you'll receive a new 12" x 12" sketch every day for 28 days, each accompanied by a layout from Lisa and a layout or card from one of eight fabulous guest stars! In addition, you will see each sketch adapted to a double-page layout and an 8 1/2" x 11" sketch.
There are 60 exclusive projects in all to inspire you to create beautiful layouts and cards quickly. All this means MORE inspiration and MORE ideas of how to make a sketch work for you!

I was asked to be a contributor to the class along with these amazingly talented scrapbookers.


Lisa was a contributor to my new eBook, Stretch Your Sketches 2.  While our sketch styles are very different, we both believe the same things about them:  sketches provide a foundation for your creative process.  They are not meant to limit or control your creativity, rather they give you the freedom to focus on other aspects of the scrapbooking process such as product choice, color, techniques and storytelling.

If you want a chance to enter this giveaway leave a comment telling me what you love about sketches.  When you comment, please be sure to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win.  Comments for this giveaway will remain open until Monday, May 6th, 11:59 pm PST.  I will select a winner at random and they will be contacted shortly thereafter.

Happy Friday!

May 2, 2013

Super-big, huge, exciting news!!

Well, how's that for a blog post title?!  But it's true, I am thrilled to announce the release of my second eBook, Stretch Your Sketches 2!  With this second book we pick up where the first one left off.  The first eBook covered one-photo to seven-photo sketches, while the sequel covers 8-photo through 14-photo sketches.  However, you'll find a huge variety of pages within that framework.  For example, an adaptation that will accommodate up to 20 photos!  Just like the first book this second book teaches principles that will help you adapt any sketch to the number of photos you have, to a different size or orientation, or from a single page to a spread.

Writing this book and creating the layouts for it was a true labor of love.  I really wanted to include a wide variation in the types and styles of sketches you'd find.  Putting 7 or 10 or 14 photos on a layout is not easy.  And I didn't want to do all grids.  Although you will find a couple of grids in the book, the goal was to keep the content both fresh and timeless.  I am a practical girl at heart after all.

I was joined by four fabulous designers who helped create layouts for the book:  Monica Bradford, Lisa Day, Aly Dosdall and Marie Taylor.  The pages they created are beautiful and creative and I couldn't be happier with their contributions.

Here is a basic overview of the book, you'll get:
  • 7 main sketches for multi-photo layouts, each adapted 3 original ways
  • 18 sensational bonus sketches for multi-photo scrapbook pages
  • 21 gorgeous layouts based on the main sketches

And here is a sample page,

This happens to be one of my favorite layouts from the book.  My first eBook featured a layout of Nathan titled, "One of a Kind" and this second layout sort of elaborates on that idea.  Truthfully, I am so happy with the way all of my layouts turned out.  As I said, it was tough creating that many multi-photo sketches and layouts!  But in the end, I am truly proud of what I created. 

You can find my books at the Big Picture Classes website under the eBooks tab.  Here are direct links to both books:  Stretch Your Sketches and Stretch Your Sketches 2.

As always, thanks for stopping by and for sharing in my excitement!!


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