Special Guest Blogger: Anna Griffin

07/31/2009 at 2:00 pm | Posted in guest blogger | 68 Comments
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AG-Anna headshotHello everyone! I am Anna Griffin, paper personality and designer of beautiful scrapbook papers and craft products and I am thrilled to be a guest blogger for CK this week! Hopefully, you have all been busy doing fun and fabulous things this summer. I had a great vacation in Napa Valley, where I did lots of wine tasting and many luxurious spa treatments! When I’m not traveling, I’m spending my free time at home enjoying all things reality TV, like “Big Brother” and “The Bachelorette”. I hope Jilly picks the right man! But enough about travels and secret indulgences, let’s get down to crafting! Most of you know me for my love affair with florals, but we have been up to some new and exciting things lately and you might be surprised to see our newest collection, Darcey!
AG-Darcey collection

Darcey is an electric collection charged with geometric motifs, bringing urban sophistication to life with bold black and white patterns punctuated by lime green, ruby red and cobalt blue color ways.

AG-mylar card

The collection boasts mylar sheets that are covered in dreamy watercolor florals (what would a collection be without flowers!) and graphic chevron patterns for a fashion-forward experience.  Brilliant colors mixed with floral silhouettes and clean lines give this collection its appeal.

AG-die cut page

Here’s a great layout using the 12 x 12 diecut sheets from this collection, which are a simple way to add dimension to your crafts.

AG_punch card
And finally, here is a card using our BRAND NEW 3-D punch. These are so fun, because they literally POP of the page! AG-bow punch 
Now that you have seen my newest collection, I am calling on five Darcey fans to win their very own 3-D bow paper punch (used on the card above). Simply leave a comment from now until Sunday, August 2 and we’ll randomly select five lucky winners, which will be posted on under the “Giveaways” tab on this blog on Tuesday, August 4. (Be sure you check back to see if your name is listed.)  

As always, I hope that the world of Anna Griffin continues to inspire you. Thanks for taking the time to check out our new line and good luck!
All the best,
Anna Griffin

For more amazing ideas from Anna Griffin, check out her company website and blog.


You Be the Judge (July edition)

07/28/2009 at 9:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, You Be the Judge | 1 Comment
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Assistant Editor Joannie McBrideHappy July everyone! Summer’s in full swing—with so many fun things to see and do! I loved seeing all your warm weather pages this past month in our gallery. So many great pages! Thanks to everyone for sharing your talent and your styles with us. This month we are including 3 wonderful pages for you to vote on, like the one below.

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 December issue.  That’s it – simple, huh?

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 Thursday, August 6th.  A special sneak peek for you, our blog readers. Thanks for your votes. May the best page win!

Joannie McBride, Assistant Editor

Slide With Me by Brit_Chick

Slide With Me by anke55 is one of the pages you can choose from this month.

Weekly Warm-Up: Inspiration Sites and Camp Crafty Challenge Winners

07/27/2009 at 8:16 am | Posted in weekly warm up | 8 Comments
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Happy Monday, O Creative Ones!

At Creating Keepsakes we are often asked, “Where can I look to find scrapbooking inspiration?” The answer, my friends, is simple—ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.

However, we understand that you’re probably looking for a little more specific direction than that. So today, we present you with some cool internet sites that might tickle your creative fancy.

How to use these sites? Though they cover topics ranging from fashion to party themes to general  trends, look for appealing color combinations or accents or texture play or typography treatments.

We’ve highlighted a mere three in each category, which doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what’s out there. But we’ve got to start somewhere, right? So hop aboard the Inspiration Train and prepare for some major creative stimulation!

Event planning sites:


Fashion sites:

  • Polyvore: Create outfits or rooms by combining products from anywhere on the Internet into a set. Anyone can be a stylist!
  • Anthropologie: Funky, trendy retailer with a handmade, vintage vibe. Check out the accessories for lots of embellishment inspiration.
  • JCrew: Classic duds with a twist. It’s the twist part that will stimulate your imagination.


Home decor sites:

  • Decor8: Fresh finds for hip spaces.
  • Creative Closeup: Must-visit destination for the self-described decor and gadget geek.
  • Sensational Color: Beyond pleasing palettes, this site explores the theory of color and how it affects mood.


Stationery sites:

  • Whimsy Press: Quirky designs and whimsical (naturally!) wrapping papers and cards.
  • Olive Paper: An eye for green in more ways than one—you’ll love the sumptuous combinations of patterns and ribbons.
  • Papyrus: Gorgeous note pads, writing papers and more.


 Trend sites:

  • Print & Pattern: Celebrating the world of surface pattern and design.
  • Design*Sponge: Soak up the trendy finds from every possible category.
  • Muse: Cool haven for the hippest looks in graphic design.


And just one more. Can’t talk trends without giving a shout out to our Paper Crafts colleague Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog, the place for all things hip and cool in the world of paper crafting and wayyyyyyyy beyond.

moxie fab

Anything pique your interest? Let us know what really gets your creative motor revving. Now, there are countless web destinations that we haven’t mentioned, so if your favorite is missing, give them a shout out in your comment.

One last order of business—our Creating Keepsakes Summer Camp Crafty Challenge winners! The following ladies win a prize package such as the sample below . . . thanks to all our generous manufacturers!


Adornit - Carolee’s Creations, American Crafts, BasicGrey, Bo-Bunny Press, Chatterbox, Die Cuts With a View, Dream Street Paper, Glitz Design, Heidi Grace Designs, Imaginisce, Jillibean Soup, K&Company, Karen Foster Design, KIMemories, Little Yellow Bicycle, me & my BIG ideas, My Mind's Eye, SEI and Spanish Memories

Winners: DragonFlyScrap, McBuff, leeza 898, TimelessMemories, Gina B

 Campers’ Choice: Pinecone Birdfeeders Inspired Layout by DragonFlyScrap

Editors’ Choice:  “Egg Harbor” by McBuff

Best Layout Inspired by Craft:Hippie Day” by leeza898

Best Non-Layout Inspired by Craft:Camp Lindgren” by TimelessMemories

Best Spirit of Camp: My Camp Challenge Entry by Gina B

Ladies, click the “Giveaway” tab at the top of the blog and follow the directions…congratulations to you all!

Beth Opel

Senior Writer, Creating Keepsakes

Special Guest Blogger: Allison Davis

07/24/2009 at 2:00 pm | Posted in guest blogger | 21 Comments
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AllisonDavis-NEWHello!  I’m Allison Davis, member of the 2008 and 2009 CK Dream Team. I’m super excited to be the guest blogger this week! 🙂

I am a two-page, multiphoto kinda gal. Mostly because I take too many pictures and have way too much to say for any other format.

I try to fit lots of pictures on my layouts. This can be blamed on my complete lack of control over the photo selection process. It’s just so hard to narrow it down to only a few!

Sometimes (and by sometimes I really mean all the time), I can get a little photo crazy and leave myself without a spot or enough room for my journaling. Of course, I could remove a picture or two, but at times that just doesn’t seem possible. Each picture I have chosen for that layout is important to me and is important to the story. In these situations I instead create a little booklet for my journaling. One teeny little spot on my page can be transformed into unlimited journaling space.

AD-brotherly page

"Brotherly Bond" by Allison Davis

 Here’s how I created the journaling booklet (lower left corner of right page above) on my layout:

1. First, cut several different lengths of cardstock. All of mine are 3″ in height and 6″, 5 1/2″, and 5″ in width. (The two pieces for the cover and the first page are both 5″ wide.) AD-cut paper

2. Use decorative-edge punches on the ends of each piece. I used a corner rounder on one, and then three different edge punches on the remaining pieces. AD-punch edges

3. Ink the edges of each piece. I did this so the design of the decorative edge would stand out. AD-stamp cover

4. Embellish the cover. I stamped on mine and added a torn piece of patterned paper, some stitching and stickers. AD-lucky album

5. Fold the edges of each piece, except the bottom one. I folded mine over about 1/2″. By folding the edges first, you know exactly what space you have for your journaling. AD-finished

6. Add your journaling on each page, making sure that you don’t go inside the fold line. AD-journaling

7. Add adhesive to the folded edge and adhere the journaling book together. I would suggest a strong adhesive, since the book will need to stand up to being opened and closed.AD-adhesive

This little journaling book is also great for a page with a very personal message—one that you might not want everyone to read. The other great thing is that you can add as many pages as you need to fit the amount of journaling you have.

I hope that this space saving journaling solution will work for you the next time you have trouble fitting everything onto your layout! Have a great day and happy creating! 🙂


For more two-page scrappin’ ideas from Allison, visit her blog and check out her layouts in  Creating Keepsakes.

Introducing CK’s New Editor-in-Chief, Jennafer Martin

07/21/2009 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 35 Comments
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 Hello, my talented chums! I want to tell you a little bit about a dear pal of mine. But, before I get to that I want to inform you of a change that has taken place with our company.

As you may have heard, CK Media has been sold. We’re now the Creative Crafts Group, which is an affiliate of New Track Media. (Read more about the sale here.)

As part of the sale transition, our team is delighted to introduce Jennafer Martin as our new editor-in-chief. Jennafer has been with our company for nearly nine years and has an impressive resume. Here’s an overview of what she’s accomplished in her time here:


* Managing editor/special issues editor for Crafts magazine

* Managing editor of Paper Crafts magazine

* Editor-in-chief of Simple Scrapbooks magazine

* Editor-in-chief of Digital Scrapbooking magazine

Before joining our company, she managed several trade publications for Rector-Duncan & Associates and also worked for Red Hen Press, a small literary press. She holds a degree in English/Creative Writing and is even a published children’s book author. In other words, she has vast experience in writing, editing, managing and growing/strengthening brands. But, more than that, she brings a great enthusiasm and energy, which has us excited to welcome her into this role.

Welcome, Jennafer! 🙂

JMa Headshot

We plan on sharing some fun facts about Jennafer in a future post, including the fact that she looooves funnel cake (said with sarcasm). In the meantime, we wanted to provide this news update and keep you in the loop on what’s going on around here.

Thanks for all you do to support us, dear readers. We couldn’t do it without you! If you have any questions for Jennafer or simply want to share a word of congratulations, please feel free to leave her a note here.


Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

Weekly Warm-Up: Summer School

07/20/2009 at 10:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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IMG_2057Howdy, Blog Buddies!

Have you seen the movie “Summer School“? A slacker teacher is assigned to teach a bunch of slacker/oddball students, and of course much hilarity ensues. It’s the common stereotype . . . as punishment for not doing their work during the school year, the “losers” have to forfeit their glorious summer vacation.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to another type of summer school student—the one who wants to get ahead, take advantage of the relaxed summer schedule, and use the extra time to improve herself. She exists! And if you grab a mirror, you’ll be looking at her.

You—yes YOU—can gain lots of scrapbooking know-how during the summer months by checking out online classes. From the comfort of your own home, moving at a pace that suits your life, you can benefit from the expertise of talented designers. Here are just a few online sites that offer classes:

Big Picture Scrapbooking:  Tons of themes and ideas from the likes of CK friends Stacy Julian, Cathy ZielskeWendy Smedley and many more. Our own contributing editor, Ali Edwards, will be teaching “Yesterday + Today” this October through December as part of the 4 Experts class.

Renee Pearson Digital Training: Digital guru and friend of CK shares her wealth of knowledge.

Jessica Sprague: CK Contributing Editors Jessica Sprague and Candice Stringham, among others, offering classes in scrapbooking (digital, traditional or hybrid), organization and photography.

Two Peas in a Bucket: Great options from techniques to albums to sketches (the latter taught by CK Dream Team member Kelly Purkey).

Scrap in Style: Loads of trendy and fun classes on any topic you can think of.

Scrap Tutor: Lots of basics and technique classes to improve your skill set.

Get It Scrapped! Paper and digi classes taught by the talented Debbie Hodge and friends like Digital Scrapbooking’s Pattie Knox and CK Hall of Famer Paula Gilarde.

Which appeals to you most?  Do you know of other online offerings that rock? Tell us about them.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a class today and show the world how cool summer school can be!

Beth Opel

Senior Writer, Creating Keepsakes

Special Guest Blogger: Becky Higgins

07/17/2009 at 8:55 pm | Posted in guest blogger | 6 Comments
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BH-headshot-5057Hello there! I’m Becky Higgins, contributing editor to Creating Keepsakes and lifetime family historian. Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re the family historian too. Happy to be sharing a bit of a solution-based idea with you today.

Problem: So many pictures, so little time. (Why do I have the feeling you relate to this?)

Solution: Summarize!

Details: With 3 kids and 4 ongoing albums series to keep up with (the fourth being the family albums) … I look for ways to be realistic in my approach to scrapbooking instead of throwing in the towel and giving up. Summarizing an entire season on one layout totally speaks my language. This approach keeps the hobby manageable for me, instead of overwhelming.

I’d like to share layout that I created for both of my kids’ albums. It’s a summary of last summer (our 3rd wasn’t born yet, hence just 2 layouts) and what you’ll notice is that they’re pretty much the same.

Here’s the layout in Porter’s album:


And here’s the layout in Claire’s album:


Summer ’08. Pages by Becky Higgins. Supplies Textured cardstock: Bazzill Basics; Letter stickers and patterned paper: American Crafts; Computer font: Gill Sans, downloaded on the Internet; Digital frame: Downloaded from Katie Pertiet on www.designerdigitals.com.

I saved myself a lot of time in these ways:

  1. The right page is completely digital. In Adobe Photoshop, I created a 12 x 12 canvas. I then resized a dozen favorite pictures from that summer – all 4″ x 3″. Next, I dragged & dropped, placing them all on the larger canvas. I added captions (just click on the “T” icon to add text) and finally, a simple digital frame over my favorite picture. I saved this file as a jpg and printed it at Costco, just as I would any other picture. Just bigger.
  2. I used the very same file, but replaced some of the pictures of Porter with pictures of Claire for her version of the layout. It took only a few minutes to make a second version, or rather, a second layout.
  3. The left page is pretty similar, only a couple small changes. But I used the same patterned paper (cutting a couple strips at the same time) and did the journaling at the same time so that I only had to tweak the text a little, to work for each of their layouts.

As you go about your summer, taking all those vacation and lazy-day pictures that you love to take, don’t feel overwhelmed thinking that you really have to “scrapbook it all”. Because you don’t. You can summarize it in a layout and still accomplish a great deal.

Then, copy the layout for another kids’ album.

I’m always looking for new time savers. What are some of your summertime shortcuts?

Becky Higgins, Contributing Editor

Check out Becky’s blog for more creative album inspirartion (and some great recipes!)

Disney Alphabet Answers Revealed

07/17/2009 at 1:34 am | Posted in Insider's Look, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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maurianneHello everyone! I’m back with the answers to our Disneyland Alphabet challenge. No one got all of the answers correct, so it seems Brittany is still our reigning Disneyland expert! Here are the answers to each of the letters:

A: Space Mountain (Note: The long tail on the left was added.)

B: The Briar Patch

C: Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes

D: Downtown Disney

E: Toy Story Mania! (Note: The “E” is on a sign inside the pavilion for the line.)

F: Off the Page

G: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

H: Matterhorn Bobsleds

I: Indiana Jones Adventure

J: Jungle Cruise

K: Enchanted Tiki Room

L: Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

M: Splash Mountain

N: California Screamin’

O: Tiki Juice Bar, hosted by Dole Pineapple

P: Popcorn stand

Q: Disneyland Railroad: New Orleans Square Station

R: Orange Stinger

S: Professor Barnaby Owl: Photographic Art Studio (Note: This sign points to the photo center at the end of Splash Mountain.)

T: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Note: The “T” is on an “HTH” plaque by the entrance; “HTH” stands for “The Hollywood Tower Hotel.”)

U: Dumbo the Flying Elephant

V: Plaza Pavilion

W: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

X: Disneyland Mailbox

Y: Critter Country

Z: Zip-a-Dee Lady (Note: This is the name of the boat inside Splash Mountain.)

We’re happy all of you played along. On your next trip to Disneyland, you’ll have to look for these letters. Our random winner of the fun summer products package is readmorebooks. Congratulations! You can see more information about how to claim your prize on the Giveaways tab at the top of this page.

– Maurianne Dunn, Associate Editor

CK Summer Camp Update

07/16/2009 at 1:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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meganCalling all campers! Today marks the halfway point of CK Online Summer Camp. Can you believe we’ve already come this far? I can’t. I hope you’re having a smashing time playing with your fellow campers. Here at camp headquarters, we’ve definitely been in the spirit. Naturally, food has been the center of our celebration. We had s’mores on Monday to kick things off (in the form of granola bars—management would probably frown upon a campfire in the office), and today we enjoyed Monday’s camp recipe, tasty ants on a log. And look, Camp Counselor Jennafer even brought in my favorite—spray cheese on a log. Mmmm…


Have you had a chance to participate in any of our crafty camp challenges yet? I was inspired by the lanyard idea. One of my favorite things to do at camp as a child was make boondoggle key chains, so I loved an excuse to pull out the old craft. (They may call it “Plastic Lacing” these days, but it will always be boondoggle to me.)


The bright colors made me think of some of two bright and beautiful friends I have who have both landed new jobs recently. I thought I’d make this card for them to congratulate them on being superstars, but this card could easily be used as an encouragement card, a friendship card or even a birthday card. Please post any projects you’ve created in response to our challenges here.

Shine Card

It’s a Beautiful Day to Shine by Megan Hoeppner Supplies Cardstock: American Crafts; Letter stickers: American Crafts and Making Memories; Word stickers: me & my BIG ideas; Gems: Doodlebug Design, K&Company and Little Yellow Bicycle; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L.

Lacing boondoggle through paper isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Here are a few tips that might help you should you choose to incorporate this colorful trim into your projects:

1. Use heavy weight cardstock to avoid tearing your paper.

2. Draw your design on the inside of the pattern, pierce your holes and then erase the lines. I made the mistake of drawing my lines on the card front and, if you look closely, you can still see evidence of them, even after erasing.

3. Cut the boondoggle to a super pointed edge. This will help when it comes time to pull it through your holes.


In addition to eating and crafting, we’ve been preparing the Snack Packs that go out to our lucky campers. (We award new winners every day.)

snack packs

There are two more days to win, so there’s a good chance one of these babies will be going home with you. Click here to see if you’re a winner. Announcements are made daily.

 snack packs1

We’ve been so impressed by your spirit and enthusiasm, dear campers. Thanks so much for attending and embracing our first year of camp. I’m going to leave you with some of the wonderful things our cute campers are saying!


Megan Hoeppner, CK Camp Counselor

Camper DragonFlyScrap said: “This is awesome. I am so glad to see all the activity on the board because of this. Also it is a lot of fun to know EVERYONE is out there scrapping. THANKS CK!”

Camper Gina B. said: “I’ve had a great time at camp and so far have completed three projects, a frame, a note board and now a decorated desk top organizer. I so glad I came to camp as I have the raw products for ages and never got around to starting them. I still can’t believe I completed three things. I hope everyone is enjoying themselves. I’m off to start something new. Bye for now.”  

Camper Leeza898 said: “Me and my kids had so much fun making a tie dye shirt. My daughter even insisted making a Title Page for my LO when I scrapbook this camp. My younger daughter couldn’t wait to do the bird seed project tomorrow. First, we need to walk to find some pinecones. Thanks CK. I’m not the only one having fun here, my kids are so excited too.”

Thanks for the great comments, ladies. We’re so glad you’re having a great time! It’s because of you and your participation that this summertime event has been such a success.

August CK: An Insider’s Look

07/14/2009 at 11:00 am | Posted in Insider's Look, Uncategorized | 23 Comments
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maurianneWith summer in full swing, I’m happy to bring you a few fun behind-the-scenes facts from the August 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes. So make yourself a glass of lemonade (make sure you add some fresh strawberries), and enjoy.

First up this month, I’d like to tell you a little bit about how the color palettes are chosen in “Seasonal Solutions” each month (page 27). These colors aren’t just randomly chosen—Lori Fairbanks, our Associate Writer, researches the popular colors of the season as well as which colors are being paired together. She then pulls together combinations that feel current and fit with the month’s theme, and she imagines how they would look together on a scrapbook page.

aug color palettes

Next, let’s talk about vacations. We wanted to provide lots of fun travel and vacation ideas this month, so you’ll see those throughout the magazine this month.

One of the vacation features, Brittany Beattie’s “Enjoy a Creativity Vacation,” has many fun ideas to take a creative vacation near home. On page 94, you’ll notice her “Disneyland ABCs” framed wall display. This is very fitting of Brittany because she’s a huge fan of Disneyland—she has been many times and knows all the secrets. On her last trip, she decided to add a creative spin to her Disneyland picture-taking. She took many pictures of signs throughout the park and created this wall display. The fun part comes on their next trip—her family can go on a letter scavenger hunt with the photos she took!


How familiar are you with the ABCs of Disneyland? Post your guesses of where each letter came from in Disneyland in the comments section here, and I’ll randomly choose a person to win a fun package full of summer scrapbooking products perfect for recording your summer adventures! I’ll post the correct answers and winner on Thursday, July 16, 2009 .

Happy summer!

– Maurianne Dunn, Associate Editor

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