Weekly Warmup: Artsy Made Easy

06/30/2009 at 3:06 am | Posted in weekly warm up | 3 Comments
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lori-andersonYou know who you are. You are the serious scrapbooker who loves your go-to tools. You stick to your tried-and-true methods, and you sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed when trying a new technique. Maybe you are fearful to try because you aren’t sure how to complete all of the steps involved. Perhaps you’re afraid the technique won’t turn out “like the picture” you see in the magazine and you don’t want to ruin your page.

Never fear! It is possible to be artistic in your scrapbooking (even if artistic isn’t your “comfort zone”). In this month’s Creating Keepsakes, 2009 Dream Team member Mou Saha steps you through easy and achievable techniques in her article titled “Artsy Made Easy”. You (you know who you are) really can add artistic touches to your scrapbook pages.

This is one of the adorable layouts Mou created for her fantastic article. See the cute watercolored stars in the layout? She created these stars using liquid-watercolors and glossy photo paper. Follow her steps below to create these adorable embellishments.

All American by Mou Saha

All American by Mou Saha

Step 1: Lay glossy photo paper flat. Hold liquid-watercolor bottle upright and spray. Let watercolor dry.


Step 2: If using a second color, rotate your paper and spray a blank location with watercolor. Repeat if desired.


Step 3: Die-cut, punch or hand-cut shapes out of the paper to use as accents.


Be sure to check out Mou’s article in the July issue for more easy-to-follow instructions. Being artistic is easy. You just have to give it a try!

Lori Anderson
Senior Editor, Creating Keepsakes


Special Guest Blogger: Tiffany Tillman

06/26/2009 at 12:56 pm | Posted in guest blogger, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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TT_HeadshotHello, hello!

I’m Tiffany Tillman, a member of the 2009 Creating Keepsakes Dream Team. It’s a pleasure to be this week’s guest blogger!

It’s finally summer–woo hoo! It’s hot where I live, and my family and I love to brave the heat every day. We’re at the park or in the swimming pool, catching waves at the beach or barbequing with our extended family . . . the list goes on and on. And like every scrapbooker, my camera is always right there with  me.

One thing is for sure–just because I’ve decided to haul my camera with me does not mean the midday sun is forgiving. Shade? What shade? Wait for a cloud? I can see clearly with no clouds in sight. The only thing left to do is remember a few key tips and get the shot, midday sun and all! Here are a few photography pointers for making the most of a sunny situation:

TT_lightingPositioning: Focus on the Face

My main concern is always the face. I want to make sure I can see my subject’s eyes as wide and candid as possible. So instead of allowing the light to stream onto the face (as in the 3/4 sidelighting example), I position my subject with her back to the sun (also known as backlighting). Backlighting eliminates  harsh lighting on the subject’s face, though the top of the head will still be overlit. But my concern is the beautiful face, so I’ll live with the hot spot on the head on a sunshiny day!


The Trinity: ISO, Aperture, & Shutter Speed

Some of you may feel intimidated by all the functions on your camera, but once you’ve read your camera’s manual—it IS an invaluable resource—you can practice and see great results when shooting in full manual mode (when using DSLRs). When it’s a scorcher outside, my “quick, get that shot” go-to camera settings are ISO at 200, f/5.6, and a shutter speed well over 125. If I want the background to be a bit fuzzy and don’t mind a few hot spots, you can reduce the aperture value to f/3.0. The photo above was taken at ISO: 200, f/5.0, with a shutter speed of 1250. Check your camera’s manual for how to adjust these settings and play around with them. The payoff can be phenomenal!

Use the Histogram, Not the LCD

I don’t know about you, but the glare on my LCD in midday summer sun blinds my dream of a nicely exposed photo. Enter the histogram, which sees all! Basically, it will let you know at a glance if your exposure is under or over exposed. Here’s an easy way to tell if you’re under or over exposed: If the reading on the screen is to the left, it’s under. To the right, and it’s over. If it’s in the middle, keep it! Most point & shoots and DSLR’s have a built in histogram function in the camera, which allows you to view the histogram and the image simultaneously. Again, if you consult your owner’s manual, you can learn how to find and read your histogram. It’s worth checking into, I assure you!




Here are a few more tricks:

1. Use the flash. It sounds silly, but it’ll fill in harsh shadows on a subject’s face and create a more evenly lit image.

2. Shoot, shoot, shoot! Summer is full of action! Photos from quick clicks of the shutter make great story boards. How can a scrapper say no to a sequence of action photos?

If you aren’t taking as many summer photos as you like, challenge yourself today to take a few using the tips above. You’ll love looking back at them when cooler weather (and more time to scrap) snuggles up to you!

Happy Scrapping!


For more inspiration from Tiffany, check out her work in 101 Expert Solutions for Scrapbooking and visit her on her blog.

CK & Me: June Edition

06/24/2009 at 9:32 pm | Posted in CK & Me | 3 Comments
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meganHi there, Paper-Lovin’ Peeps!

It feels like it’s been a while since my last blog appearance, and I was starting to get blog-sick—you know, like “home sick” but longing for the blog. (Is there such a thing?) Good thing it’s time for another “CK & Me” installment. And a good installment it is, too.

Let’s begin with a sketch, shall we? I bet this one looks familiar. It was our April 09 “Becky’s Sketch” design.


Aimee saw its creative potential and turned it into this shining design. Nicely done, Aimee. For a complete supply list for this page, as well as more inspiring page designs, check out Aimee’s blog.

 Aimee W page

Inspired by a project Ali Edwards created, Jennifer DeDonado created this colorfully cool monogram letter, which hangs on the wall outside her studio. To see more of her “J” collection, take a peek at her blog.


Do you remember this rock star page designed by Allison Davis, featured on page 64 of our June issue?


Well, check out how Dana has tuned it to make her own unique chord. (Sorry. I can rarely resist a pun opportunity.) See more of Dana’s stunning work on her blog.



And, the CK inspiration doesn’t end with the scrapbook pages. Cute Christine’s creativity bloomed when she saw this delicious BasicGrey ad in our July 2009 issue (pg. 3).


Moved by the “quilting” around the ad’s edge, she created a similar pattern on this page. For close-up shots of this layout, as well as plenty of pretty eye candy, take time to visit Christine’s blog.

BG layout

You Win

Thanks so much, talented ladies, for sharing some of the ways you’ve been inspired by the pages CK with your blog readers! To show our appreciation, we’d like to send you a free special issue. Choose from any of the following and e-mail me at ckblog@creatingkeepsakes.com with your name, mailing address and the special issue you want by Monday, July 20 and I will be sure to get your prize in the mail.


What Have You Been Up To?

Have you recently made a blog or gallery post that shows how you’ve taken your CK inspiration and made it your own? I’m always on the lookout for the next “CK & Me” spotlights. If you’ve done something, please don’t be shy. Go ahead and e-mail me at ckblog@creatingkeepsakes.com with “CK & Me” in the subject line and a link to your post. Thanks. I can’t wait to visit your blog soon!


Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

P.S. Can you believe we already have over 4,000 people signed up for CK Online Summer Camp?! Whoo hoo! This is going to be one crazy-cool camp party. If you haven’t signed up, there’s still time to register. “Seeing” you there would make me one happy camper. I hope you’ll sign up and join us!

You Be the Judge Winner for June!

06/23/2009 at 10:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized, You Be the Judge | 10 Comments

Assistant Editor Joannie McBrideThanks for voting to choose which page from our online gallery we should publish!  We received the most amount of votes we’ve ever had so far for You Be the Judge—1055 total for the 5 selected pages (for more info, see my last post).

So, with no further delays. Your winner is…. (drumroll please)…..

Birthday Cake by Chrispea!

Birthday Cake by Chrispea

Congrats! This page will be featured in the November 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes in our Reader Gallery column. Thanks to all of you who voted.

Chrispea, please email me at editorial@creatingkeepsakes.com (with “You Be the Judge winner” in the subject line) so we can go over the next steps.

Thanks again for voting, everyone! Don’t forget to put your pages on the online gallery—we could pick it to be published in a future issue.

–Joannie McBride, Assistant Editor

Weekly Warmup: Half Way

06/22/2009 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, weekly warm up | 1 Comment
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lori-andersonIt’s hard to believe that we are “officially” half-way through 2009. Where has the time gone? Summer’s here, and, before you know it, we’ll be speeding into a new school year, the holiday season and directly into 2010.

Have you scrapbooked the pages you set out to complete this year? Do you find yourself wondering how you’ll put together scrapbook pages that are fun,  inspiring and capture the events of your life in a fresh, new way? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of time left, and we’ve got help for you!

In each issue of Creating Keepsakes, Amanda Probst (one of our amazing contributing writers) has compiled a list of monthly to-dos to help inspire your scrapbooking. These are not more chores to add to your “to do” list—they’re easy, do-able ideas that Amanda shares to inspire you in your scrapbooking each month.  Complete with an adorable layout she’s created and a sketch to start scraplifting it easily, this column will inspired even the busiest of scrapbookers. You’ll also find additional ideas from Amanda online each month, inspired by her book, Month by Month Scrapbooking.

Here’s her sweet layout from her online column for July. It’s about the fabulous faces her son makes when he chases bubbles.

Bliss by Amanda Probst

Bliss by Amanda Probst

Bliss by Amanda Probst. Supplies Cardstock: Prism Papers; Acetate letters: Heidi Swapp for Advantus; Alcohol inks: Ranger Industries; Letter stickers: Making Memories; Stamp: Hero Arts; Ink: VersaMark, Tsukineko; Adhesive: Scotch, 3M; Other: Transparency.

There are lots of ideas to get you started on your way to a wonderful summer of scrappin’ and pages and pages to fill your albums! For even more inspiration, be sure to check out Amanda’s book Month by Month Scrapbooking (you can see a few layouts from the book here). And for free downloadable sketches, head over to Amanda’s online column today! I promise, these ideas will have you ready to send the kids outside for a few hours so you can scrap you heart out this afternoon.

Lori Anderson
Senior Editor

P.S.  For even more creative inspiration this summer, join us for our online Summer Camp July 13-17. For more info, and to register for fun prizes, see our kick-off post.

Did You Know? (for dear old Dad)

06/21/2009 at 1:41 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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IMG_2057Hi Again, Blog Pals!

Here at Creating Keepsakes, we are feelin’ pretty festive today. We’re not technically here as in at the office, of course, since it’s Sunday, but we’re thinking about dads and how they rock.

The third Sunday in June is America’s special day to celebrate our fathers. Here are a few tidbits about Father’s Day that you may not have known:

Did you know that

*the concept of Father’s Day was first proposed in 1909 by Washingtonian native Mrs. John B. Dodd? Her inspiration for the holiday was to honor her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran and single dad, widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mrs. Dodd’s vision did not become reality until 63 years later. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

*Americans aren’t the only ones to celebrate their dads? In the United States and 52 other countries around the world, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

*many child development experts believe the influence of a father on his children is most critical from the ages of six to 14? Former President George W. Bush, himself a father of two, agrees. As he wrote in the 2008 Presidential Proclamation for Father’s Day, “By providing their sons and daughters with a positive example, fathers help give their children the necessary foundation they need to make wise decisions throughout their lives.”

*since the 1950s, TV dads have wielded tremendous paternal influence over generations of American families? Some of the most popular fathers to grace our sets have included Leave It to Beaver‘s Ward Cleaver, The Brady Bunch‘s Mike Brady, Happy Days‘ Howard Cunningham, The Cosby Show‘s Cliff Huxtable and Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Ray Barone.

*there are 64.3 million fathers in America?

*nearly a quarter of all married dads have three or more children living at home?

*11% of Dads are stepdads, living full-time with their spouse’s children?

*one in twelve men serving in the Army are dads?

*38% of working dads say they would take a pay cut to spend more time with their kids?

(Source: Holidays on the Net)

Here are some photos of CK staffers with their dear dads or their dear hubbies being dads:

Father's Day

And last, but certainly not least, Brian Tippetts (in the center) on his first birthday, being served cake by his dad.

fathers-day-BrianLove quotes? Here are our top ten Father’s Day quotes:

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!  ~Author Unknown

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.  ~Bill Cosby

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.  ~Gloria Naylor

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.  ~ Mark Twain

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.  ~ Henry Ward Beecher

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person—he believed in me.  ~ Jim Valvano

To her the name of father was another name for love.  ~ Fanny Fern

I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.  ~ Mario Cuomo

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!   ~ Lydia M. Child

So if you’re able, hug your dad today! Tell him how much you look up to him, appreciate him, respect him. And get a picture taken with your dad. It’ll be a keepsake you’ll treasure forever.

Beth Opel

Senior Writer

Special Guest Blogger: Maggie Holmes

06/19/2009 at 9:14 pm | Posted in guest blogger | 6 Comments
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MaggieHi there everyone, I’m Maggie Holmes, a member of the 2009 Creating Keepsakes Dream Team. I’m excited to be this week’s guest blogger! Even though it is Summer, I am in the mood for cleaning up and clearing out. Well, actually, it seems like I am always in that “Spring Cleaning” mode around here—always trying to keep control of the constant inflow of papers, packaging and stuff! And especially here in my scrapbook room; it can be hard to keep it under control!

And even though I do love the feeling of purging and throwing out the excess, I also feel bad about just throwing things away—especially if they are cute and usable! I have always been a fan of cute packaging and I love to repurpose it and use it on my scrapbook layouts when I can. And it means that I am throwing out less and being a little more “green.” You gotta love that, right?

I have found that manufacturers seem to be making their packaging cute and reusable even more so lately, which is so fun! A few of my recent favorites that I have added to my stash are these adorable ones from Sassafrass, Making Memories, Studio Calico and Elle’s Studio.


Another one of my favorite things is to use my punches to create custom accents for my scrapbook pages. Then I can make things the exact size, color and shape that I want them! So, combining both of these—packaging and punches—makes me a  happy girl!! Doing this very thing, I created a layout of my little girl, Emily, and I managed to use all four of pieces of packaging on my page! Plus, I still have quite a bit of each one left that I will be able to use again in the future.


In case you can’t tell where I have used the packaging, here are the details:

1. I used my favorite corner punch from EK Success to create both of these photo corners from the Elle’s Studio and the Studio Calico Packaging. After punching them I used a black marker to outline the edges just to give the corners a little more definition.


2. I used the upper crest border punch from Fiskars to punch a strip of paper from the Making Memories packaging.

3. I cut out a strip from the Sassafrass packaging and tucked it under the other strip. I LOVE to add little strips of paper to my layouts and packaging is perfect to use for these. I will often use my scallop scissors to cut strips from packaging as well.


3. I used a square punch and the Sassafrass packaging to create these two boxes. Then I simply used a marker to outline the box and a rub-on for the check marks.


If you aren’t already saving your packaging to use like I do, I challenge you to look more closely at it before you toss it into the trash. You will probably find that there are lots of cute things you can save to use on your scrapbook layouts. Once you learn to see the potential in those typically tossed scraps, the sky is the limit!

Have fun!

For more from Maggie, check out her work in the July issue of CK and visit her happy blog!

You Be the Judge (June Edition)

06/16/2009 at 10:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Assistant Editor Joannie McBrideHappy June! The weather’s warming up—and so are the choices for our Reader Gallery pages! You’re posting so many fun, inspiring pages in our online gallery that it’s getting harder to narrow down our choices each month. But we chose five pages to consider for publication in our November 2009 issue. We can’t choose, so we’d like you to do it for us.

Here’s how: check out our survey here. Look at the pages and pick your favorite. You can vote as often as you like. The page that gets the most votes will be featured in our November issue.  Super easy, right?

But you don’t have to wait till the issue is published to see if your voting efforts paid off.  We’ll show you the winning page here on the blog on Tuesday, June 23. A special sneak peek for you, our blog readers. Thanks for your votes. May the best page win!

Joannie McBride, Assistant Editor

Weekly Warmup: Add a Little Sunshine

06/16/2009 at 1:12 am | Posted in weekly warm up | 2 Comments
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lori-anderson“I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.” -Johnny Nash

I’m not sure about you, but here in the western US, we have been experiencing record amounts of rain. So much, in fact, that I feel like last week I went to bed in Utah (a desert!) and woke up in Seattle.  If you too are experiencing a “low pressure, wet pattern” (as described by our local weatherman), why not add some sunshine to your scrapbook pages and escape the drizzly blues?

On page 65 of this month’s Creating Keepsakes issue, Dream Team member Cindy Tobey shows you how to add a little sunshine to your projects. Her article is filled with fun, beautiful, doable ideas that any scrapbooker can try. Be sure to check out the article today and leave us a comment letting us know which tip you may try—better yet, leave us a link to your layout! We’d love to see the sun shine! 🙂

In honor of Cindy’s article, I’ve selected a few layouts to share from the Creating Keepsakes online gallery. Each of these layouts cheered me up with their bits of sunshine and I hope you’re inspired by the designs as well.

Worth Protecting by imzadi481

Worth Protecting by imzadi481

This adorable page by message board member imzadi481 made me smile. The expression on the little girls’ face is priceless and the summer colors and sunshine element in the corner make me want to cover myself in sunscreen and head to the beach.

5 Things by Anke55

5 Things by Anke55

All I need is a fruity drink and my sunglasses! Looking at this layout makes me think of the blue sea and tropical treats and flowers. Anke55, this is an inspiring layout!

destination by 2jamscrapper

destination by 2jamscrapper

The fun clouds and sunshine with the bits of green thrown in drew my eye to this fun layout by 2jamscrapper. The swirls on the patterned paper are an added bonus! Love it!

Glimpse by kayleigh

Glimpse by kayleigh

And finally, this layout by message board member kayleigh has me dreaming about a summer sunset. The graduation of colors in her title has me longing to view a glorious sunset over the ocean.

Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow for more picks from our gallery—this time ones you can vote on for publication!

Happy sunny days and sunny inspiration!

Lori Anderson
Senior Editor, Creating Keepsakes

P.S. Congratulations to the winner from our An Insider’s Look: CK July’s IssueGuillauma who left this comment: “Love the summer ‘ambiance’ … and Jennifer McGuire’s ideas, always clever. Thanks for the great inspiration every month.”

Please follow the instructions from our Giveaway tab to redeem your prize. Congratulations!

The Emblem of the Land I Love

06/14/2009 at 12:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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IMG_2057Greetings to all our blog friends on this beautiful Sunday!

You know if I’m coming to you on a weekend, that must mean it’s a special holiday of some sort. Sooooo, for us Americans, today we pay tribute to our national symbol.

It is only fitting to take a day to celebrate our flag, since it represents independence as well as unity. The flag evolved as our country evolved, undergoing 26 facelifts before taking the form we see today. Many proud Americans gave their lives defending it around the globe, and there’s even a flag on the surface of the moon!

Check out some inspiring flag quotations here.

Our fascination with the flag can be seen in our created objects as well:

flag day blog

Did you notice–one of the flags is a photo montage of flowers, another is made from postage stamps and the final one contains the words to the Declaration of Independence? I love how Old Glory lends itself to collage, because we as a nation are a conglomeration of so many different people!

Of course,  plenty of flag-waving products are available to scrapbooking enthusiasts. Here’s just a sampling:

Products from Reminisce, Creative Imaginations, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Technique Tuesday, Memories in Uniform, EK Success and E-Cuts
Products from Reminisce, Creative Imaginations, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Technique Tuesday, Memories in Uniform, EK Success and E-Cuts

So think on the flag today. If you have one, wave it, display it or even wear it if you are so inclined. Pledge allegiance to it, and rejoice in the freedom it represents!


Your flag and my flag,
And how it flies today
In your land and my land
And half a world away!
Rose-red and blood-red
The stripes for ever gleam;
Snow-white and souldwhite–
The good forefathers’ dream;
Sky-blue and true-blue, with stars to gleam aright–
The gloried guidon of the day; a shelter through the night.
– Wilbur D. Nesbit, “A Song for Flag Day.”

Beth Opel

Senior Writer, Creating Keepsakes

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