Year-in-Review Layouts

12/31/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays | 204 Comments
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I’ve made my list, and I’ve checked it more than twice. Last year was definitely a year filled with all kinds of memories—and even some tough challenges. Regardless of which, I had plenty to scrap about. I hope you were able to scrapbook the moments that defined your life this past year.

If you haven’t had the chance, it’s not too late to create a layout with a snapshot of the highlights from your year, just as Noel Cutbertson did on this page.

"I Heart this Life" by Noel Culbertson, as seen in the Decemer 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

Memories from 2009 can be a constant reminder of what’s really important in our lives and a motivation to focus on the little pleasures in life. Lori Anderson’s “Yes” layout is a great example.

"Yes" by Lori Anderson, as seen in the February 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

By documenting everyday routines, we can’t help but realize all the blessings we have in our lives! I love Becky Higgins’ “Celebrating the Everyday” layout. It showcases personalities, favorites, routines, and the love of family.

"Celebrating the Everyday" by Becky Higgins, as seen in the August 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

Speaking of celebrating, it’s also important to record the celebrations, holidays, and milestones throughout the year. I love how Lynn Ghahary scrapped a family holiday tradition.

"Santa's Visit" by Lynn Ghahary, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

For more ideas on scrapbooking a a year in review, check out the “Scrapbook a Year of Memories in One Night” article in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes.

Year-in-Review Giveaway

Speaking of the year in review, we have some great product from American Crafts and Glitz Design released in 2009, and we’d love to give it to you! Leave a comment on this post by January 4, 2010, and share your favorite memory from 2009. You could be one of five randomly selected winners!

From all of us at Creating Keepsakes magazine to all of you, have a happy holiday! May 2010 bring even more great memories—and cute scrapbooking products to use on our layouts.

—Joannie McBride, assistant editor


Trend Talk: Bird Cages

12/29/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Hot Trends | 13 Comments
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"He Loves You" by Elizabeth Kartchner, as seen in 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges

"So Very Proud" by Sasha Farina, as seen in 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges

—Megan Hoeppner, creative editor, and Lori Fairbanks, product editor

Weekly Warm-Up: Holiday Traditions

12/28/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in weekly warm up | 7 Comments
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What’s a holiday without its traditions? From blowing out birthday candles to hanging up pretty socks, we all have things we repeat year after year in celebration of an occasion or event. As the following talented ladies have illustrated, designing layouts around traditions is an awesome tradition in its own right. Rather than tackle all your holiday traditions in one year, scrap a single traditions page each year and you’ll eventually have an entire album of family memories to relive. Or, scrapbook the same tradition year after year and watch how the people involved and the activity evolve over time.

Mou Saha makes time to bake with her tiny tots each holiday season. What a sweet way to celebrate time together!

"Sweet Holiday Tradition" by Mou Saha, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

It’s a trip to see Santa that makes Mandy Douglass’s jolly list of traditions.

"Meeting St. Nick" by Mandy Douglass, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

Wouldn’t a “Traditions” mini album make a great addition to your holiday decor? Simply fill it with pictures and brief descriptions of your favorite holiday activities, and place it on the coffee table for all to enjoy. Soon, flipping through the album will become its own tradition!

One of My Favorite Traditions (and a Little Office Prank)
Now, I’d like to share a favorite tradition of mine at the expense of my wonderful coworkers. (Notice how I slip “wonderful” in there to try and butter them up.) I find this little activity impossible to resist and do it year after year. My holiday tradition: ElfYourself (and your friends)! 😉

Check out my elf-tastic videos below. You won’t be sorry.

Video #1: I join Lori Anderson, Joannie McBride, Dorathy Gilchrist, and Lara Penrod for some holiday caroling.

Video #2: Jennafer Martin, Lori Fairbanks, and Brittany Beattie catch a little disco fever!

Now that you know one of my favorite (and admittedly silly) traditions, I’d love it if you’d share one of your holiday traditions with us. What do you insist on doing year after year? Maybe it’s silly, maybe it’s sentimental, or maybe it’s spiritual. We’re, ahem, all ears! 😉

Megan Hoeppner, creative editor


Merry Christmas! (and Free Font Friday)

12/25/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in fonts, Holidays | 12 Comments
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Merry Christmas!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy holiday to check in with CK! I hope Santa found your house and checked off everything on your wish list. If he didn’t, well, the scrapbook store will be open soon. 😉

And then you can get back to creating fabulous holiday pages like this one:

PJ's scrapbook page

"PJs" by April Massad, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes.

But I won’t write a very long blog post today—you’ve got to get back to taking the millions of pictures that will make up your Christmas layouts. Just know that our team here at Creating Keepsakes wishes you the merriest of Christmases. We hope you’ve been able to enjoy the blessings of family and friends, the warmth of participating in long-standing traditions, and the merriment of making new memories.

Free Font Friday

As our gift to you, we’re providing FIVE festive, free holiday fonts instead of just one this week for Free Font Friday. You can download all five fonts here.

sample dingbats from the CK Holiday Symbols font

Have a very merry Christmas!

—Lara Penrod, managing editor


Not-To-Miss Christmas Photos

12/24/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays | 2 Comments
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Happy Christmas Eve! We hope your Christmas shopping is done, your gifts are wrapped, and all your preparations for the big day are well underway. With so much to do, it’s easy to forget to prepare your camera for the holiday and to remember the shots you want to take. The CK team wanted to lend a hand with that preparation, so I’ve made a list to help the photography part of your day run smoothly.

First, prepare your camera:

1. Check your memory cards. Make sure you’ve uploaded the last batch of photos to your computer and that your memory cards are formatted and ready to use.

2. Charge your camera’s battery.

3. Keep your connection cables accessible in case you need to upload full cards or recharge your battery later in the day.

Next, take a few shots before the celebration. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. The decorated tree lit up
  2. Close-ups of favorite, new or signature ornaments on the tree
  3. Your favorite decorations around the house
  4. The wrapped presents tucked under and around the tree
  5. Your family or just your children sitting in front of the tree
  6. The decor on the outside of your home

Photograph the details of your Christmas tree, as Greta Hammond did. "Celebrate the Season" by Greta Hammond, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

During the celebration, keep the following types of photos in mind:

1. The People. Take note of everyone attending your Christmas festivities. Be sure everyone (including you!) is in at least two to three photos.

Photograph everyone at your event, as Paula Gilarde did. "December 24, 2007" by Paula Gilarde, as seen in the December 2008 issue of Creating Keepsakes

2. The Activities. Consider the photo ops as family members participate in the following :

  • Handing out gifts
  • Opening presents (if Santa’s given you the inside scoop on a special gift, be sure to have your camera ready when it’s opened)
  • Have your camera ready to capture facial expressions when gifts are opened, as Barb Wong did. "Favourite" by Barb Wong, as seen in the December 2008 issue of Creating Keepsakes

  • Interacting with other family members
  • Preparing the food—and all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen
  • Celebrating specific family traditions, such as reading the Bible or donning new Christmas pajamas you received on Christmas Eve
  • Playing with new toys

Photograph children enjoying their new toys, as Emily Falconbridge did. "Christmas" by Emily Falconbridge, as seen in the December 2008 issue of Creating Keepsakes

3. The Food. Be sure to capture:

  • The set table
  • Special dishes you make only at this time of year
  • Family members enjoying the food

That’s it! You’re ready to take your Christmas photos. Enjoy your time with family and friends, and have a very Merry Christmas!

—Lori Fairbanks, product editor

Wreath Page Template courtesy of Pam Callaghan

P.S. Once you’ve taken all your photos, you’ll want a creative way to arrange them on a layout. Use this page template from Pam Callaghan as a fabulous option. For more templates and for ideas on using templates, be sure to check out Pam’s blog: Ideas for Scrapbookers. To download the wreath template, click here, then right-click your mouse, and then save the image to your desktop to open in your software of choice. Click here for Pam’s helpful tutorial on using the template in Photoshop Elements. Thanks, Pam!


Quick, Handmade Holiday Gift Tags

12/23/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays | 2 Comments
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There’s no denying that even though this is “the most wonderful time of the year,” it’s also one of the busiest times of the year. Whether you’re running around doing last-minute gift shopping, wrapping presents, baking neighbor gifts, or hitting holiday parties, your time is a precious commodity. That’s why we want to save you some extra minutes. As much as we’d love to come over and help bake those holiday cookies (especially if you let us lick the electric-mixer beaters!), we just can’t. But we can give you a creative breather with some time-saving ideas to use your scrapbooking supplies. Take a little time from the holiday bustle to create a few quick and easy holiday tags from our December 2009 issue. In just a few moments, you’ll have holiday gift tags that are almost as memorable as the gifts. And the creative break will help recharge you for the next round of holiday festivities.

Create a quick tag featuring a photo of the gift’s recipient. Just cut or die-cut an ornament from patterned paper and add a photo, monogram letter sticker, and a snip of ribbon for a festive tag that can double as an ornament when the gifts are all open. Tag by Megan Hoeppner.

For a quick and elegant tag, add letter stickers to a patterned-paper circle. Mat the circle on contrasting cardstock and add a loop of ribbon, and you’ll have an elegant, handmade tag that the recipient will love. Tag by Beth Opel.

Punch and layer two scalloped cardstock circles, add some buttons and bling, and you’ve got an adorable handmade wreath tag to add a little holiday happiness to a gift. Tag by Megan Hoeppner.

We hope these time-saving tags help your gifts stand out this season. Happy holidays!

Jennafer Martin, editor-in-chief

P.S. Once you’ve finished your tags, let your mind turn to holiday cards by checking out the Paper Crafts December Gallery Challenge. Upload your holiday cards by December 28, and you could be one of three lucky winners to receive either a one-year subscription to Paper Crafts or a Paper Crafts special issue of your choice. The three winning cards will be featured on the Paper Crafts Connection blog on January 4. And speaking of winners, we’ve posted more winners on our Giveaways tab—click here to see if you’re one of the lucky blog readers!

P.P.S. We’ve posted two new page calls in the Submit tab. Check them out and send in your layouts. We can’t wait to see them.


CK & Me

12/22/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in CK & Me | 5 Comments
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Ready for a little inspirational excitement? Good, because we have more “CK & Me” page examples to share with you. This, our December installment, has ideas taken from an issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine, one of our special issues, and a past sketch, which goes to show you there’s scrapbooking inspiration waiting to be found at every page turn.

Let’s begin with our special-issue inspiration. Rachel Wright found all sorts of ideas to scraplift in Super-Fast Pages with 4″ x 6″ Photos, Volume 2, including this page from talented Katie Anaya.

From Katie’s design, Rachel was motivated to create the adorable page below. Rachel commented: “This page was created using the AWESOME CK special issue: Super-Fast Pages with 4″ x 6″ Photos, Volume 2. I am LOVING this book!”

I like how Rachel added to the base design by attaching the ticket accent to the corner and including journaling across the bottom of the page. Fantastic interpretation, Rachel!

This sweet design by Deena Wuest, which was featured in our January 2010 issue, caught Meg Loven’s eye.

Out of Deena’s layout, the “Best Friends” page below was born. Meg relates: “The cute face on Deena’s layout attracted me first, and then the great clean lines of her layout just begged me to sit down and case her design! I love paging through CK each month—and I’m even more excited when a layout inspires me to drop everything, sit down, and create a page! CK has been on my scrapping table since I started scrapbooking over 10 years ago. Thanks for all the inspiration!”

Meg’s use of primary colors really gives the design a different look and feel, and I love how Meg added little bows to her photo frame. Keep up the happy work, Meg!

Layouts aren’t the only items motivating scrapbookers around here. Scottie Ross took her inspiration from our April 2009 page sketch.

As you can see, Scottie wasn’t afraid to modify this design, which I adore. There’s evidence of the sketch in the layout of the page, but the positioning has been shifted to create a completely new take. Scotties shares: “This is a double-page layout that was inspired by a Becky Higgins’ design in the April 2009 issue. This was the first time I tried one of Becky’s layouts. It chronicles the first ‘real’ Easter my grandson Jordy experienced. From the joy of dyeing eggs and tasting them to the horrors of a six-foot scowling bunny and two feet of snow—in spring.” Bravo, Scottie!

How has something in CK inspired you? Whether it’s a layout, a technique or even an ad, we want to hear from you. Send photos or scans of your “CK & Me” examples to the CK team at—put “CK & Me” in the subject line. Your page could be the next one featured on our blog or in our magazine. Plus, if your page is selected for the blog, you’ll receive a free special issue, which will give you even more ideas to scraplift and enjoy!

Megan Hoeppner, creative editor


Weekly Warm-Up: Last-Minute Gifts with a Handmade Touch

12/21/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays, weekly warm up | 5 Comments
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With only a few days until Christmas, there’s not much time left to finish up your last-minute gifts. Rather than face the crowd of mall shoppers, consider one of these fabulous gift ideas you can create at home (although you may need to run to the photo developer if you don’t have a printer at home). The best part is that each gift offers an element made by hand—a touch that makes every gift a little sweeter.

Page Planners

For a free and fantastic option, check out the incredible 2010 page planner set for download shown below that’s created by Brenda Arnall. Click here as well if you want to bind it with Brenda’s calendar format.

Paper Wreath

Wreathes don’t need to be reserved for just the holidays. This beauty would look fabulous on a door or a wall in your crafty friend’s home. Plus, it’s a great excuse to pull out the stash of paper scraps lying around your home. Thanks to Wendy Smedley for recommending it.

Personalized Photo Collage

And who wouldn’t love a specialized photo collage like this one from Laura Vegas? This gift is perfect for even those hard-to-buy-for-so-I-still-have-no-idea-what-to-get-them recipients on your list. [Cough, cough, dad.] Whether you create one digitally and print it like Laura did (check out the step-by-step instructions on her blog) or you create one with squares punched from photos you’ve already printed, this gift doesn’t have to take as long as you may think it will. It sounds like the perfect gift solution for a loved one who has everything!

If you’ve created a last-minute gift from your scrapbooking supplies, feel free to share a link to your project in the comments section below. I’m sure we could all use the extra inspiration.

—Brittany Beattie, online senior editor


Special Guest Blogger: Pam Callaghan

12/18/2009 at 12:06 pm | Posted in fonts, guest blogger, Holidays | 142 Comments
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Hello, my name is Pam Callaghan. I am so honored to be featured today on the CK blog! I have been scrapbooking for seven years. I currently design for Anna Griffin and Pebbles, Inc, and I do freelance work for GCD Studios.

I also run my own blog called “Ideas for Scrapbookers.” You can find tons of ideas for scrapbooking, including templates, sketches, digital items, tutorials, contests, and so much more. I created many of the templates (which are free!), and you can print them out to use directly on your scrapbook pages. I also have an amazing group of ladies who contribute to my blog.

I have some fun ideas for your holiday projects, so here we go!

"Our Traditions" by Pam Callaghan. Supplies: Cardstock: Anna Griffin and Bazzill Basics Paper; Patterned paper, stickers, and die cuts: Anna Griffin; Cutting tool: Provo Craft; Font: Bangle; Adhesive: Tombow.

I’m sharing two projects with you today about getting inspiration from holiday decor! This first project, “Our Traditions,” features five of my favorite photos from last Christmas. I was inspired by the ornaments on our Christmas tree for this design. I love how ornaments hang from the tree, and I wanted to make it look like my tree page had ornaments hanging from it. To achieve this look, I used the following steps:

Step 1: Below I have included a sketch of the page I created in Adobe Photoshop Elements. Use it as a guide on how to crop your photos and type your text.

Step 2: Print out one large and four small photos to use on the page. You can use a circle cutter such as the Coluzzle from Provo Craft to cut out the circles from your photos.

Step 3: If you want this exact shape in computer text, open the sketch in a program like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Create a new layer and type in your text where I have indicated on the sketch. Delete the sketch layer and print out your new layer of text onto white paper.

Step 4: Add lots of fun holiday embellishments and a title to the page. I used the Hannah Christmas Collection by Anna Griffin.

"Christmas Wall Hanging" by Pam Callaghan. Supplies: Cardstock: Anna Griffin and Bazzill Basics Paper; Patterned paper, stickers, and die cuts: Anna Griffin; Ribbon: May Arts; Adhesive: Tombow.

This second project was made from a template by Heather Landry, who is a contributor for my blog. This shape reminds me of a beautiful cross-stitched wall hanging I saw at a friend’s house when I was young. You can make many neat projects from the template. I made a wall hanging, but you can use it on cards, layouts, and other projects! To create this project, follow these steps:

Step 1: Download the “Christmas Tree” template here. Print and cut out the design.

Step 2: Trace the outline of the template onto patterned paper.

Step 3: Print out 1–3 photos and crop them to fit into the template space. Assemble the photos onto the paper.

Step 4: Embellish as desired with stickers, title, and ribbon.

Step 5: Tape a ribbon to the back of the project so it can be easily hung on the wall.

Free Giveaway

Anna Griffin is giving away the beautiful Hannah Christmas Collection filled with a 12″ x 12″ cardstock pack, a mat pack, a journaling pack, decorative ribbon, felt borders, vellum quotes, and epoxy stickers to one lucky winner (randomly selected). To be in the running for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post by December 20.

Hannah Christmas Collection from Anna Griffin

I hope you are inspired by the ideas I posted today!

—Pam Callaghan

Free Font Friday

As part of Free Font Friday, check out two sentiment-based dingbat fonts you can use on your holiday cards and tags. You can download both fonts for free here.

Sample sentiments from the CK Card Starters font

Sample sentiments from the CK Card Starters 2 font

For more card ideas, check out the blog of CK’s sister publication, Paper Crafts, and look for their new special issue, Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4.


An Organized Start to the New Year

12/17/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in organization | 12 Comments
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We regularly receive requests for more organizational ideas, which is easy to understand. After all, scrapbooking is more efficient and enjoyable when you’re organized. Right? Right!

If you had a chance to check out my “Tips & Tricks” column in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, you’re already familiar with our inventory solution. This easy-to-use tracking system helps you remember the supplies you have, which means you’re much more apt to use those supplies. Download the Inventory Tracking Sheet here. Below is an example of how I transformed the sheet for my supply of pink and red inkpads.

Inspired by these sheets, I want to share a few additional ways to keep track of the product manufacturers on your supplies, so you can toss the packaging but remember all the information you need. So often as scrapbookers, we sort our goodies by color or type, which can complicate replacing and/or sourcing products for layout (such as when you submit your layouts to CK, of course). Here are a few easy tricks for remembering where your product delights came from, long after you’ve tossed the packaging.

Thanks to digital cameras, snapping pictures is free and easy. Create a product file on your computer and take a pic of your product packages before you discard/recycle them. If you want to take this idea a step further, print small pics of these images and write the product info on the image. Here’s how I created an inventory card for photos of some of my accents before I separated them.

Inventory card for accents

Patterned Paper
If, like me, you file patterned paper by color and occasionally find yourself wanting to reunite a collection, you’ll like this simple solution. Punch out small samples from the collection sheet (the one that comes in the paper pack) and adhere them to a note card with the collection name and the manufacturer.

Inventory card for paper

Stamps (Clear and Rubber)
Remember which images came together in a stamp set by visiting the company website and saving the image of each stamp set you own. Then write or type the name of the set and company on a card with the images. Don’t forget the name of the stamp set, the item number (if you want to get that specific), and the company name. This way you can keep track of your original sets, even if they get divided up over time or due to your unique filing system.

Inventory card for stamps

Ribbon scraps oftentimes end up in jars, which can make sourcing them a challenge. Remember who made your favorite trims with cards containing small scraps of the ribbons.

Inventory card for ribbon

With the new year around the corner, I hope these tips get you off to an organized start. I also hope you’ll help us respond to your request for more organizational ideas. Share your favorite tips in the comments section of this post. Not only will they be enjoyed by everyone who reads this entry, but there’s also a chance we’ll contact you to use your idea in an upcoming issue of CK.

Megan Hoeppner, creative editor

P.S. For more ideas on getting your creative environment in order, check out the “Shape Up Your Scrap Space” article found in the January 2010 issue of CK. It’s full of quick cleaning “workouts” that can all be done in under an hour! So turn on your favorite oldies record and let the sweating begin. 😉

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