Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Favorite time of day

This layout was so much fun to make. I repeated my favorite script stamp down the blue paper. Next I took a piece of the pink paper and sprayed it with water to make it damp and then simply crumpled it up into a ball. Once it was sufficiently crinkled I unrolled it and dried it with my heat gun then placed it on the page as a mat for my photo.
I printed my title on the computer and adhered a chip board frame around it before adding it to the lower right hand corner of the layout. I inked the edges of my journaling card and made a pull tab for it by attatching a small piece of ribbon to the corner with a staple then I tucked it behind my photo. The jounaling for this page was short and sweet
The two of you are so active... its no wonder that my favorite time of day is when you are ASLEEP
I hope I've inspired you!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bits & Pieces

When you see the lovely American Crafts "Letterbox" line, spring and sunshine and babies come to mind. Butternut squash baby food probably doesn't... but that's what I decided to feature in one of my layouts. I grabbed some of the Bazzil swiss dot paper in a convincing "squashy" shade and some kraft cardstock. A few embellishments - brown rick rack, a Jenni Bowlin sticker, and an American Crafts button - finish everything off.

thanks for stopping by!


Monday, March 29, 2010


Had enough of cards? This American Crafts line is so versatile - you can really adapt it to your style. How about one more?

I'm not a huge flower person. But I went absolutely crazy when I saw these mulberry flowers by Petaloo in the store. And if Debbie ever gets more in other colors... well, I'm a goner. I paired it with the lovely green swirl paper from our kit, a bit of ribbon and some floss. And while I don't have a cricuit, I do have some edge punches!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cards, Cards, Cards!

The papers from American Crafts are perfect for creating cards.  I created four cards in different styles this month.  I love to search for card making tutorials and I loved this design.  The base of the card is fast and easy to create.  The hardest part will be deciding which papers to use on your base.

Die cutting machines offer a wide array of card designs.  I used my Silhouette to create this card base.  All embellishments are from American Crafts.  The Letterbox collection is like a one stop card making shop.

I used a set of three die cut templates to create the layers on this card.  Each layer is attached using foam squares. 

The "wiper" card was the most fun to create.  It features a pop up element when the card is opened.  Again, the card base is fast and easy, choosing the papers and embellishements may take a little time.  I added a beautiful Prima flower to the front and the sentiment "Friend to Friend."  The sentiment is part of the American Crafts Letterbox collection - Remarks - Cordial Phrases. 

Handcrafted cards can make a beautiful gift for someone special.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Armchair Comedian

I absolutely love all the papers in this American Crafts "Lettbox" line. There are so many beautiful prints to choose from. As I was working on my projects for this month there was 2 feet of snow on the ground so working on spring photos was very refreshing. I turned the heat up and pretended it was spring!

For this layout I used the Cheers paper as my background. The "Armchair" portion of my title was done with yellow cardstock that I ran through my Cuttlebug and distressed with Tim Holtz Walnut Stain ink, "comedian" is Maya Arts chipboard letters painted with Smooch inks in Gold Lame, available at ScrapbooksPlus.

The tag that the number "3" is on is also Maya Arts and covered in Walnut Gold Glitter Mist. I ran the tag through the Cuttlebug. The brads and buttons are from the "Letterbox" collection. The flowers are Heidi Swapp & Prima that I had gotten from ScrapbooksPlus awhile ago and wasn't sure what I would use them on.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bright Blooms by Esther

These floral pictures of different orientations seemed like a problem to arrange at first. After moving them around the green cardstock, they began to fit the page. They were cropped to have two the same size & orientation on each page and one smaller that is divided. All of them were mounted on the orange cardstock to bring out the bright orange of the flowers. The pearl brads by American Crafts and the ribbon offer more bright touches.

Did I mention before that I really like the corner shaping tool by WeR Memory Keepers? When I learned that there were three other Corner Chompers, I was delighted. They are - Stub/Deco, Angle/Photo and Scallop/Cloud. All three are must-haves for me. They are so easy to use. ScrapbooksPlus has them near the front of the store, not far from the bling and punches. My second Chomper is the “Deco” cut. For this layout I used it to give a decorative touch to the corners of my cardstock layers.

The title was cut with the Cricut Expression. Letters were welded together with the Gypsy. They were stacked with a different color as a shadow that is placed slightly to the right. A button with floss was added for dotting the letter “i” & around the page. In this case, the lettering is adhered on top of the pictures. These are duplicates so it is ok, this time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easy Cards!

Instead of spending all that money on cards for that
special occasion, you can easily make your own. The embellishments can be as simple as a couple of brads or buttons, some ribbon, extra strips of different color paper, and a special greeting. If you don't have any greeting stamps, you can type it on the computer or use any kind of alphabets that you have. Most people love to receive a home made card vs. a store bought one. It is just more personal. Make it even more personalized by writing your own message inside. You will be a hit with your friends and family. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have wanted to do this butterfly page for ages! I was inspired by the scrap magazines that have the layered flower look, but decided to change it up. Using the papers from the Letterbox DT kit I cut butterflies with my Cricut & layered those. They in turn inspired the title because the layers seem to flutter. I cut the title, stamped the letters & heat embossed them adding some dimension. On the background paper, I glimmer misted using a butterfly stencil. I actually like the way the paper buckles from the mist but if you don't use a heavier card stock. The heat embossed swirl & yes, yet another butterfly completed the look I was going for. I like that the embellishments pull your eyes around & around just like the cute butterflies did that day. Don't forget to take time to watch the butterflies flutter by!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quick and Easy Card

I love using cardstock and patterned papers that have a die-cut edge. And although there weren't any cool edges in the American Crafts Letterbox line of papers, one of the papers was just perfect for fussy-cutting around the edge. After getting a piece the right size for my card front, I added a scrap of BoBunny double dot paper stamped with my greeting. A flower pieced together from scraps of paper, an American Craft chipboard accent and pearlized brad finishes it off.

thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sweet Treat

You know those 12x12 die cut papers that everyone is using right now, the ones that are in all of those yummy shapes. Well in an effort to get more bang for my buck I used one as a stencil to create this layout. I traced it onto a piece of white cardstock then adhered my pictures to it and trimmed the excess off of the photos so they took the shape of the page. I'm sure there is some really easy way to collage these photos on the computer and Jessica Sprague or another digi girl could tell me how but this method worked out just fine for me in a pinch. The best part was that in the end I still had my original shaped paper left to use another day on another layout.

After I made the photo collage I adhered it to the patterned paper and cut the patterned paper 1/4 inch larger to make a border for the photo collage. I added the flowers and button to embellish and I was ready to move on to the rest of the layout.

I stamped this title using Technique Tuesday's Savannah stamp set and Distress Inks {color~worn lipstick} then I sprinkled on some Distress Powder {color~worn lipstick} embossing powder and heat embossed with my heat gun.

My journaling for this page was the recipe my 5 year old daughter made up for "sticky rocky road" dessert. I made up the "recipe card" in a word document and printed it on scrapbook paper that I trimmed down to fit my printer. I also inked the edges with Distress Ink {color~brushed corduroy}. I love this ink. It doesn't dry instantly so you can manipulate it. That is how I can get this soft glow around the edges instead of the harsh edge you get from using archival ink around the edge.

So that's it! That is how I made this layout... I hope it has inspired you!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I made this 8x8 layout using the monthly DT kit. The color of the paper doesn't show well from the photo but it is a soft lime green. I made the photo B&W so it would pop. The flower stamps are Basic Grey, letters are Tim Holtz available at Scrapbooksplus. I embossed the letters with my Quickutz & rubbed the Ranger Distress "Peeled Paint " ink pad across the surface so the ink picked up the embossed pattern. Under the letters I used the Ranger Crackle Paint in the same color, "Peeled Paint" so it has a cool cracked look. Love those Ranger products!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mixing Supplies

It's always hard to resist whatever Debbie's put up on the new wall -- and I usually can't. Even though our kit is 100% American Crafts, don't feel you have to stick with just one brand. I found some fun coordinating items to add to my projects.

Here's a couple of things I picked up for this layout: My Mind's Eye die cuts (I love the birds!), Jenni Bowlin alpha bingo cards, Thickers, and Wild Honey distress ink. The bingo cards are designed for you to cut out the letters you'd like to use to make a title or whatever. But I liked the way they looked in the card, so I used most of the card! I also cut out the "free space" from the second card and adhered it with a pop dot, inking it first so it would stand out.

I also pulled out one of my stitching templates from Bazzill to make a border with floss. These templates are super easy to use. All you do is line them up, put a little pencil mark in the dots and use a paper piercer to make a pilot hole for your needle. In addition to packs of Bazzill floss, ScrapbooksPlus also has new bling templates from Bazzill! The templates have different sized holes to place the corresponding Bazzill bling. I picked up a flourish template and some clear bling to try out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Butterly Thank You Card

For this card I was able to use a little bit of all the Letterbox papers. I used the "Cheers" paper on the bottom half of my card and the pink from "With Love". I punched 3/4" circles from the "Signature" paper and placed those on the pink paper. I punched two butterflys from each piece of the Letterbox paper. I adhered the bottom butterfly flat and folded the top butterfly at the body to make it look like it was in flight. I painted my pink American Crafts scalloped circle with Smooch "Taffy" for some sparkle, available at Scrapbooksplus. The "Thanks" stamp is a generic one I have had for years.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lots of Layers

The American Crafts Letterbox Collection is just perfect for layering.  The colors and patterns flow together beautifully.  This is an 8x8 layout but the design could easily be adapted for any size layout.

One of my favorite things to do is to layer.  I have found that the more I layer, the less I have to embellish.  Punches have become a key element in my designs.  I used a Martha Stewart Crafts punch to create the lattice edge on the green patterned paper.  Punches are simple to use and they give your layouts that extra "punch!"  If you haven't tried using edge punches in your designs give it a try.  I promise, you will be pleased with the result.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Flowers - Flowers - Flowers

The one nice thing about getting different pattern papers in our monthly kits is that you can be so creative. The fun part about working with a paper line, like Letter Box above, is that everything coordinates with each other. The colors blend together perfectly. It is so much easier to complete a layout. I titled this layout "every day" using "Thicker" letters, because the photos show everyday actions of my granddaughter. Funny, silly, sassy and smiley. Instead of journaling in sentences, I like to add a list of single words to tell the story.


I wanted to do something different but still wanted to use flowers on this layout. I think of Spring when I look at these papers so flowers it will be. For the flower on the left I used scallop punches in different sizes and different color papers. I scrunched them in my hand and layered them on top of each other. I cut out a small circle and popped it for the center. The flower on the right, I cut out strips of different papers, sewed around the edge on the sewing machine (you can do by hand). I used a button with floss for the center. On both flowers to make the stems and leaves, I cut strips of paper. I sewed them on the sewing machine as well. What you can take from this layout is, if you don't have flowers to coordinate with the paper, make circles, use different shape punches, or strips of paper and you still can have a flowery scene. Come back soon for more ideas or stop by ScrapbooksPlus and check out all the layouts hanging up around the store.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Travels by Esther

When you have photos from different locations to crop, use smaller sized photos. This time I wanted to remember cruise destinations to Aruba, Costa Rica and Grand Cayman. The photos were reduced to a small size 2.5"x3.25" and cropped to fit the layout space for the pagemap. In order to bring some unity to the look, the striped "Many Thanks" cardstock by American Crafts was used behind them. That also helped to line them up. Brown Cardstock by Bazzill was used as a base for the layout.

A word stamp was used to stamp the lettering. The title was cut on the Acucut at ScrapbooksPlus. I really like these letters. They were cut in both chipboard and various colors of cardstock to layer. That gave a happy and playful look. When attempting to get lettering straight and even looks like a task, turn them in slightly different directions. (Less stress.) Green glitter cardstock by Best Creation and green crystals were added to give a little glitz. An American Crafts sticker at the bottom sums up the vacations: "Absolutely Fabulous." See The Wall for a better view than my photography shows.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Touch of the Irish

I know I'm a few days early for St. Patrick's Day. I used the green papers from this month's kit to put together a card. The shamrock template is from Martha Stewart Living. You can download it here.

Because I wanted to make multiple shamrocks, after printing out the template I traced it onto a scrap of chipboard. I used the chipboard template to trace my shamrocks on patterned paper (and I made lots -- much more than the three on this card). Then I inked the edges with Tim Holtz's Peeled Paint distress ink using his ink blending tool before lightly folding the shamrocks.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Fun Title!

Love these colors with the fun photos. What a better way to show them off. The Letter Box paper line by American Crafts is so bright and cheery. It was very easy for me to create this layout. An easy way of using a little bit of each pattern paper is to cut strips and frame the photos. This way you use the pattern paper as well as the solid side. I think the pink solid background paper works well with this layout. The strips of paper around the photos make them stand out. I also cut out 3 flowers from the pattern paper in the kit and used a button with embroidery floss to pop them.
Another fun technique that is popular right now is the hanging pennant. I made a template out of chipboard and cut out 7 triangles using one of the pattern papers in the kit. I thought it would be fun to hang them as part of the title. I sewed the triangles on some floss with the sewing machine. I then used "glue dots" to hang it on the paper. I put small letters on each one to read "friends". You can use any die cutting machine, stickers or "Thickers" to complete the title. I used one of the pattern papers and cut the letters out of my "Cricut" for "emily &". Use different techniques on your title to make it more fun and exciting.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Perfection is Possible!

I love nice, clean, sleek layouts. I love when everything is lined up just so. It can be absolutely gorgeous!

But perfection can be hard to come by... especially when you're a scrapper like me who doesn't like to measure. Now, really I can measure, but I lack a certain exactness necessary to create neat rows of photos perfectly cropped. {sigh}

Luckily, I'm also a scrapper good at cheating things so that you can't tell that I'm a scrapper that can't measure well. :) Here are a couple of my tricks....

Trick 1: Ink

When all of your edges are inked, it's not so easy to tell exactly where the edges really are. So if everything is pretty close to perfect, the ink will hide any tiny measuring imperfections.
Here I tried to carefully crop everything, but I inked each photo and photo mat just to be on the safe side. Plus I like inking anyways! I measured and drew pencillines around the top and side edges of the layout to butt my photos against and avoid misgluing.

Trick 2: Cut Pieces As One

When I have two photos I want to trim to the exact same size to place in a row, I like to cut them together as one larger piece. First I glue a scrap of cardstock on the back of the photos, butting them up next to each other.
Now when I cut, I'll be cutting them both at the same time and they are guaranteed to be the same size. Here I matted the photos after trimming. The yellow paper is Bo Bunny's double dot paper. It comes in a wide array of colors and I love, love, love it! You can find it at Scrapbooks-Plus right across from the American Crafts brads. These are some of my favorite go-to papers for mixing with almost any paper line.

thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Using the beautiful limey green American Crafts paper for this layout I managed to find a photo of my son in a perfect matching shirt. He was almost 3 when we lived in Rabat, Morocco for a year.This paper has a very Moroccan feel to it. I matted the photos with white Bazill card stock painted with blue acrylic paint. The great thing about using paint on a layout is you can control the color! The tag is distressed with the new line of Tim Holtz RangerDistress Inks, which I got at ScrapbooksPlus & totally scrap lifted from Jen Starr's class. I glimmer misted the journal tag which is a Basic Grey stamp, & added the Petaloo flowers.
I hope you like it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Family Moments

I added this month's sketch to my two page layout. This paper was perfect for some spring photos I have been wanting to crop. For my "Family Moments" page I used "Signature" as my background paper and for the "Family Moments" title. I used a strip of "Hello" paper and the American Crafts ribbon in the center of my page. For the flowers I used a branch from some purple Prima flowers I had gotten at ScrapbooksPlus and made my own flowers using Glimmer Mist and the American Crafts buttons.

The "Signature" paper was once again my background paper. I used "Sir" behind my journaling box. I once again made my own flowers using Glimmer Mist and the American Crafts buttons. I loved that I was able to have so many pictures on one page!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Colored Eggs

I love the colors in the Letter Box line from American Craft. These pastels are so rich they can be used for any type of layout but they are great for Spring/ Easter pages. I created the scallop edge on the coral/pink paper by using the EK Success Embossed Curve Slim Edger. I adhered it to the floral paper and I was ready to add my photos and embellishments.

I matted the photos on all of the different papers and arranged them on the scalloped paper. I added embroidery thread to the buttons, scattered them around the page until I liked the way they looked and attached them to the layout using Glue Dots. Although I do think that there is something
really special about hand written journaling I also think it is ok to type out your journaling some of the time... just make sure you don't do it all of the time!

So my favorite part of making this page was when I was putting the title together. I stamped out the title and inked the edges but something was missing. My distress inks were sitting out from another project and my daughter came into my studio to see what I was making. Something inspired me to I dip those little finger tips in the ink and pressed them on a scrap paper. I did it with a few different colors and as it turns out they looked like a collection of colored eggs. Those tiny finger prints made the perfect colored eggs to finish my title!


Crazy About You! March Sketch

The papers from American Crafts' Letterbox Collection are wonderful!  The papers, coupled with a wonderful sketch created by Lisa Hausman, were the perfect ingredients for my layout.  I used two types of embellishments for this layout, butterflies and buttons.  The butterflies were cut and embossed using my Cuttlebug.  The buttons are from American Crafts and coordinate with the papers beautifully.

I kept the elements simple and fun. Layer, layer, layer is my motto!  The white textured cardstock was punched with a Martha Stewart punch which always add character to a layout. The title was cut using my Silhouette Digital Cutter. The reason I chose this title design was because of the wonderful layers.

Have fun with this collection this month.  I know you will be pleased with all of the projects you create with this wonderful line of papers.

Thanks for joining me today.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Gift Tags by Esther

The scraps were used to make gift tags from the papers of the DT kit. I like to cut a tag to the desired size (large) and decorate it with layers of cardstock. This was cut on the Cricut by enlarging the tag. The flowered side of Signature by American Crafts was used as a tag for the first tag. Buttons were adhered to the right side. Brown ribbon was used around the top and as the hanger. The rickrack trim was cut on the Cricut and layered with Hotfix jewels added on the brown. The Chomper was used to round the corners.

For the second tag, green was the dominant color with the peach and gold patterned cardstock as accents. The swirls were free-handed and the stripped side of "Many Thanks" cardstock were used in the center. There are those shiny green jewels again. ScrapbooksPlus has a variety of colors and they are so easy to adhere with the heat tool. the word "Spring" was welded with the Gypsy so that it is a continuous diecut of the yellow patterned cardstock in the kit. They are ready for gift-giving. The to and from can be written on the back.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Six Times the Love!

Wow, six months of photos already! Makes me feel all "Springy" inside. Just like the American Crafts Letter Box papers we used for the March kit. You too can get into the "Spring" mood after having all this snow, since this paper line is available at scrapbooksplus. I just happened to have some photos that were color coordinate of my granddaughter to use with this paper. It all worked out well with the page map that Lisa chose for this month. This is a great page map design to use when you have several photos to scrap. Another technique I used on this layout is punching the brown cardstock to make it look like a large stamp. Just use a small circle punch and follow the sides using your punch as a guide. It gives a different look.
For one of the square blocks, I cut out some of the flowers on the pattern paper and popped them for dimension. To make my granddaughter's name shine thru, I used a large cardstock letter "e" and also popped it. I then used small sticker letters to spell it out.
When you just can't think of another design for a layout, use this page
map design as we did. It's easy and you don't need to think about it alot.
Have fun scrapping!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flowers from Cardstock by Esther

Fowers add to the decorative elements of a layout page or card. After arranging this card, something was missing. The inspiration to make flowers of paper came from the April 2010 issue of Scrapbooks etc. Magazine. “Flower Power” is the title of the segment that introduces many ways to make flowers of paper and other embellishments. The first one was made by Vicki Boutin.

Circles were cut so that they layered with edges showing from each. I used Deckle Fiskars Paper Edgers for my edges then cut into the circles in order to ruffle the edges. American Crafts pearl brads were used to dress up the centers. The papers are from the DT kit: American Crafts Letterbox “Sir”, “Signature”, & In addition, I added circles of Bazzill (green for leaves & apricot) cardstock, a green glitter cardstock, “Pear Gem”, by Best Creations to give pizzazz. Cutting various sizes of circles and just playing with the order of assembly was quite a joy. Patterns were interspersed with the glitter and a solid color. Scraps can be very useful for making this embellishment. See the actual card for a better color idea on The DT Wall at ScrapbooksPlus or on the website.

The rectangle pattern is “Madam” by American Crafts with pinky peach ribbon wrapped at the bottom. Green Copic Marker was used to edge the card and leaves. Try this card with the flowers and think Spring is coming soon.

Deborah's Challenge Layout

I altered the scale of the photos for this month's sketch challenge, squishing them to the right. This allowed me to add my title and an embellishment grouping to the left of my photo block. I, too, added a few other things I picked up at ScrapbooksPlus - the brown and white brads from the My Mind's Eye Lush collection, the cute Jenni Bowlin love tickets, and the pink Prima flower.

And since my homemade flower turned out really extra bumpy, I had to take a photo instead of scanning this one. Hope you don't mind. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Karen's March Challenge

OK gang I am going to try & throw out a challenge at the beginning of each month. I decided to finally do a page that I have been meaning to do for years. I took the photos of some of my coffee mugs in January 2006. Some of them were cracked & headed for the garbage but I wanted to document them. I LOVE, LOVE, coffee & need to drink it from a "happy" mug. So the challenge is: what collection have you been meaning to document but haven't. Is it your collection of Christmas ornaments, your favorite shoes or maybe your favorite movies (that is on my list). This months page map challenge is perfect for a collection layout.I supplemented this months DT kit with products I found at scrapbooksplus. In hind sight I would mat all the photos or use a lighter color card stock. There is just something bla about this layout. I do realize that not all layouts will be my favorites (I do love my tag). The real question is, what collection are you going to document? Take the challenge!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yellow Makes Me Smile!

I love yellow! This time of year, I start itching for a little bit of yellow, as well as any other springy-feeling colors. This month I was in luck and found some fabulous springtime colors in the American Crafts Letterbox papers. The other thing I love is Thickers... so when I saw the light blue dot Thickers on the new wall at ScrapbooksPlus I decided to create a layout around them.

This two pager features the yellow and white American Crafts paper paired with some of the solid brown reverse. The chocolate-colored chipboard pieces are favorites from Bo Bunny and the frame is filled with the green mini-dot American Crafts patterned paper sprayed with just a touch of Robin's Egg Blue Glimmer Mist to help tie it into my Thickers. I also added some Coral Glimmer Mist to the solid coral and used it to frame everything. Some handcut flowers and cute American Crafts buttons finish it off.

thanks for stopping by!


PS. This layout only has three 4x6 photos on it... but the pictures feel a lot bigger. Part of that is due to the extra white mat around each and part is because of how tight the photo is on the subject. I actually didn't crop these, that's just how dear husband happened to take the photos!