Guest Blogger: Dream Team Member Cindy Tobey

04/09/2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in fonts, guest blogger, How-Tos, product, technique | 16 Comments
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Hello! It’s Cindy Tobey here, a member of the 2010 Creating Keepsakes Dream Team. Don’t you just love spring? I sure do! There are tiny buds forming and starting to bloom, bunnies are hopping from yard to yard, and my favorite, the chatter of birds outside. I’ve stopped by today to share a layout and spring themed accent that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Handmade paper flowers are all the rage right now, and I’ve used the same technique used to make spiral flowers to create a sweet little bird’s nest for my page below.

Climb by Cindy Tobey. Supplies: Patterned paper: American Crafts, Cosmo Cricket, Crate Paper, Hambly, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Jillibean Soup, and My Mind’s Eye; Stickers and paper border srtip: Doodlebug Design; Journal tag: Jillibean Soup; Ribbon: SEI; Felt: Prima; Leaves: Bazzill Basics Paper; Font: Century Gothic; Adhesive: Beacon and Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L; Other: pom poms.

Step 1: Cut a 4″ circle from patterned paper. With a pencil, sketch a spiral onto the back of the circle. Cut along the sketched line.


Step 2: Roll the paper to form a nest shape, securing with adhesive in just two or three spots as you go.

Step 3: Use liquid glue along the bottom edge of the spiral to secure it to the base. Note: The base is the center of the paper circle that you cut into a spiral.

Step 4: When the glue is dry, take the palm of your hand and push down on the nest gently, to slightly flatten it. Work the edges of the nest with your fingers to get the desired shape.

Step 5: Finally, glue pom poms into the bottom of nest.

Tip: Use whatever you have on hand for the bird eggs. Buttons or beads would work great too! You could even add dots with a marker to buttons or beads for speckled eggs!

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning this technique and will give it a try! Thanks for reading, and happy spring!

Cindy

P.S. Don’t forget to download today’s font as part of Free Font Friday! This weeks’ font is CK Weez. Download it today at Creating Keepsakes.

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Special Guest Blogger: Mandy Douglass

04/02/2010 at 8:10 am | Posted in fonts, General Inspiration, guest blogger, Holidays, How-Tos, product, technique, Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Hey all my favorite CK Readers! It is me, Mandy Douglass! I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for this upcoming Easter holiday weekend. Now that I have two little boys, it just keeps getting more and more fun each year. I love easter egg hunts, easter baskets, easter bunnies, and those little peeks from the tulips that will soon turn into beautiful flowers.

Last year was the first year my son, Bryson, could start to understand the whole easter egg hunt idea. So today, I thought I would share a photo tip and a ribbon tip with you from this fun new page I created about his first hunt!

The Race is On by Mandy Douglass. Supplies: American Crafts.

Photo Tip:

Bryson was just learning to walk, and he really didn’t have enough balance to pick up eggs, so crawling was his only way to get those funny looking round things! I thought this photo was perfect to use on my layout, because it captures his perspective on the easter egg hunt. There weren’t a lot of kids around to “race” him for the eggs, but the faster he got them, the more excited he was. I challenge all you CK readers to get down in the grass this weekend and get some true perspective photographs!

Ribbon Tip:

Next is a fun tip a friend taught me a while back. I often find it hard to punch through a page or get a knotted ribbon to stay in place without gargantuan amounts of glue! So here are a few steps to show you how to get that cute ribbon knot to stay in place and avoid getting sticky.

First cut a piece of ribbon about 3″ long. Then staple it to the area of the page you would like the ribbon to be.

Then simply tie the knot (I usually only tie one knot and it stays in place).

 

Then cut off the remaining ribbon.

Simple, huh!

Bonus Gift-Bag Topper Tip:

I decided to use the same technique on some cute treat bags for Easter. (Not only did I get a cute bag out of it, but it also gave me a great excuse to open those Cadbury Mini Eggs that have been staring at me for a week!)

To make the bag topper, I made a simple flap using Sizzix’s scallop square die cut, then I folded it in half. I added some darling egg paper from the Dear Lizzy line by American Crafts and stapled the decorated flap to close the bag and keep the ribbon in place. 

Last, I made a cute little tag using a Quickutz oval die, some scallop scissors by Fiskars, and Dear Lizzy Dimensional Sticker. Then knotted it all in place! 

Such an easy way to do lots of Easter treat bags.

“Hop” that you all have a great holiday weekend!

Mandy Douglass, CK contributing writer

P.S. Don’t forget to download today’s font as part of Free Font Friday! This weeks’ font is CK Day Dream. Download it today at Creating Keepsakes.

Weekly Warm-Up: A Scrapbooker’s Springtime Welcome

03/22/2010 at 1:59 pm | Posted in technique, weekly warm up | 112 Comments
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At last, springtime is upon us. Can I get a “hip hip hooray”? This is the season for new beginnings and colorful moments. Let’s celebrate with a few new and vibrant techniques for creating egg accents, since Easter is also a part of early springtime. If you’ve had a chance to check out the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine, then you know that we have an entire feature dedicated to this happy topic, complete with a dozen unique ideas (and an additional dozen online). If you haven’t yet seen the issue, consider this your sneak peek. We’re going to crack open the creative carton and take a look at a few of the egg ideas inside.

Egg Technique #1: Create a Center Attraction
Remember those hollow sugar eggs that used to be so popular? Erin Lincoln took that sweet approach to create this paper-pieced cutie. She used dimensional adhesive to give it depth.

"Easter Wishes Egg" by Erin Lincoln, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 88.

Egg Technique #2: Try It with Chocolate
Okay, so maybe this isn’t a real chocolate egg, but it sure does look like one. Erin Lincoln dry-embossed dark-brown cardstock for a look that’s simply mouthwatering!

"Chocolate Egg" by Erin Lincoln, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 88.

Egg Technique #3: Tie on Some Texture
On this layout, I colored my eggs with bits of tied yarn. Here’s how to create your own:

1. Cut an egg shape from patterned paper or cardstock.

2. Punch holes throughout the egg.

3. Tie yarn through the holes, and trim the ends for a fuzzy finish.

"Easter '09" by Megan Hoeppner, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 87.

Free Stuff
Now that you have a few creative ideas for adding spring to your pages, how about some springtime giveaways to celebrate this joyous season? Since spring cleaning is another item that usually comes with spring, we have a few projects we want to clean out of the CK office and send to new homes. The first is the darling egg-accent flip book created by our own Joannie McBride. In it, she’s created a dozen unique eggs, each with a fun texture (like the pom-pom egg shown here). See the full project on the Creating Keepsakes website. What kid wouldn’t love to keep entertained with this tactile treasure?

"Egg Flip Book" by Joannie McBride, as seen in the March/April 2010 online issue of Creating Keepsakes.

And these flowers are looking for a new windowsill on which to rest. I created them for my March/April “Tips & Tricks” column as a way to organize smaller scrapbooking supplies. (Thanks to reader Laura Stoller for the fresh idea!) Whether you use them to decorate your craft space or you disassemble them for parts, I’d love to have this spring bouquet of buttons, brads, and flower accents delivered to you.

"Flower Organization" by Megan Hoeppner, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 52.

How to Enter
Simply leave a comment on this post and state your favorite aspect of spring. From the comments received on or before Monday, March 29, 2010, we’ll randomly select two winners—one for the book, and one for the flowers. The winners will be posted under our “Giveaways” tab on Thursday, April 1 (no foolin’).

Happy spring!
Megan Hoeppner, CK creative editor

P.S. We’d love to know what you want to see in CK’s 2010 “Top 10 issue”! Leave your ideas here. (Note: You will need to sign in to Club CK to comment. Registration is free.)

Special Guest Blogger: Jaime Echt for The Crafter’s Workshop

03/19/2010 at 12:03 am | Posted in guest blogger, How-Tos, product, technique | 108 Comments
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Well, helloooooo! [Visualize a royal wave.] Jaime Echt here, Queen of The Crafter’s Workshop. What a treat it is to be this week’s guest blogger.

I have some really fun projects to share, so let’s just dive right in. We’ve had a lot of snow in New York lately, so my Flurries template (TCW164) has been working double time. Now let me stop you right here and declare that I LOVE templates. No, not because my life revolves around designing the most fan-tabulous templates on earth, but I love them because I can create a piece of paper that has PINK snowflakes on it.  Yes, pink! Come on, have you seen the playground lately? It’s a sea of pink! And yes, my little snow angel does indeed have a pink snowsuit (pink hat, pink scarf, and pink gloves), thank you very much.  So yes, I do need pink snowflakes for my layout. And by golly, I’m gonna’ get them.

So here’s my “Frost Valley” layout. (Frost Valley, by the way, happens to be a very cool place to bring scouts, school kids, or even your family.)

Neat, huh? Are you ready for another one? The layout below uses my retro Sunburst template (TCW166), chalks, inks, pens, and my sewing machine! (And the remnants of my daughter’s hemmed pants.)

Once again I was faced with the desire to have my layout look exactly the way I wanted it to. And I’m a real stickler for color, so if the color is off, it makes me nuts! Thank goodness I have every gel pen, chalk, and inkpad known to humankind. Okay, not really, but I do love to use them on my layouts, like I did with the techniques that follow.

Here’s a close-up photo of my stitching. See? It’s not perfect.

And last, I journaled around the perimeter of the Sunburst design with a favorite gel pen, of course!

Comment to Win

Fun, right? So now I know you’re saying to yourself, “Self, wouldn’t it be nice if I had my own little Sunburst and Flurries template to play with?” Why yes, that would be lovely, wouldn’t it! So let’s do a little random giveaway to five lucky winners! Each winner will receive our 12×12 Sunburst (TCW166) and our 12×12 Flurries (TCW164). They’re two lovely templates to get us over the springtime piles of snow. To enter, just leave me a comment on this blog post by March 23, 2010. Easy Peasy.

Here’s hoping that the Template Fairy visits your home really soon. And brings you lots of lovely templates to play with!!

–Jaime Echt

P.S. Don’t forget to download a new font as part of Free Font Friday! This week, download the CK Magnificent font here!


Special Guest Blogger: Deena Wuest

03/12/2010 at 3:49 pm | Posted in guest blogger, technique | 9 Comments
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Hey CKers! Deena Wuest here. Just dropping by today to drop off a quick and fun project for you all.

We all look for ways to help the environment—recycling, taking shorter showers, switching to florescent lightbulbs, etc. And while these are all important steps, they don’t necessarily fall into the category of “fun.” Well, today we’re taking the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) and applying them to our home turf. And guess what? They not only reside under “fun,” but they help the environment and keep *your* green in your wallet as well! It’s all about using what you have in fresh and creative ways.

Today, we’re looking at fabric. If you’re one of those multitalented gems who not only scrapbooks but can sew up a storm, then you’ll no doubt have lots of fabric remnants in your craft room. Take a look at them with a fresh set of eyes, and put them to work in your albums or craft projects! If you don’t have fabric scraps lying around, do what I did and ask your local home-design store for expired fabric swatch books. On the day I went, the store had more than my family could carry! And they were 100% free! So we not only rescued the books from the landfill but had a blast flipping through all the fabric and thinking of the fun projects hiding within them.

Swatches come in so many cool designs, and they are the perfect size to make handmade gift bags or treasure bags. For my first project, I created a simple, long, narrow bag to hold old love letters.

Supplies: Bags: Fabric from recycled swatch book; Tag and pink button: Pink Paislee; Metal-rim tag: Making Memories; Ribbon: C.M. Offray & Son; Other: Button.

To create this bag:

  1. Cut two pieces of fabric in equal sizes, and sandwich the right sides together.
  2. Press a fold of about 0.5″ to 1″ along the top of each fabric panel.
  3. Run a straight stitch along the sides and bottom.
  4. Turn the bag right side out.
  5. Hem the fold along the top of the bag, if desired.
  6. Embellish with buttons, ribbon, or other accessories.

I have to be honest here. I can’t sew to save my life. It’s true. But if I can manage to figure out a simple straight stitch, anyone can! Don’t have a sewing machine? These projects work great using fabric-adhesive tape or any stitch-less sewing products.

Here are a few more projects I created from old fabric swatches.

Supplies: Bag: Fabric from recycled swatch book; Cardstock: Katie Pertiet; Scallop: Anna Aspnes; Word art: Ali Edwards; Binding: Zutter Innovative Products.

This little bag was created from an eyelet fabric swatch. To keep the edge detail, simply press the fold to the outside instead of the inside, and then stitch up the sides. Super simple! This bag was created to hold a mini album I carry in my purse. Not only cute, it keeps my album from getting scratched.

Supplies: Bags: Fabric from recycled swatch book; Paper and brushes: Mindy Terasawa; Font: Avenir.

We made these little bags and loaded them with favors and candy for my son’s birthday party. Photoshop + a fun robot kit = quick and easy bag toppers. Super simple, and the kids all had a fun keepsake from the party.

Supplies: Denim fabric: Recycled swatch book; Die-cuts: Sizzix; Chipboard accents and ribbon: Little Yellow Bicycle; Font: Avenir.

And don’t limit these fun little fabric swatches to just bags! I ran denim swatches through my die-cutting machine to create this little fabric album. What was once going to be thrown away I now hold as a treasured keepsake. How cool is that!


Try these other ideas too!

  1. Use a fabric swatch as photo mat on a layout.
  2. Create an interactive mini album from old denim pockets. Bind and fill each pocket with a journaling tag or a photo.
  3. Cut a large monogram from fabric for a unique accent on a layout.
  4. Create fabric flowers to use on a page.
  5. Run fabric through a die-cutting machine (or use good-old-fashioned scissors) to create fun fabric tags.
  6. Create a fabric scrapbook by covering chipboard or cardboard with fabric and stitching around the edges.
  7. Create a fabric pocket to hold memorabilia on a page.
  8. Some fabrics can even be run through your printer! Just use a temporary adhesive to adhere fabric to paper first so it won’t jam. (And check your printer capabilities first.) Lots of possibilities here. Print journaling, titles, and photos. Even entire layouts can be printed on fabric.

What other fun and creative ways do you have to use fabric scraps in your projects? I’d love to hear (and see) them! I don’t know about you, but this whole recycling thing just got a lot more fun! Happy Friday everyone!

—Deena Wuest

P.S. Don’t miss Free Font Friday! You can download CK Shadowed Block for free here. Check back next week for another new font.

Weekly Warm-Up: Spray on Some Color

03/08/2010 at 11:13 am | Posted in technique, weekly warm up | 14 Comments
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Enough of the gray skies and cloudy days already; we’re ready for some color! It’s a good thing spring is right around the corner. In the meantime, we can always turn to color in our scrapbooking. Spray mists are all the rage right now. If you’ve never given them a squirt or if you just want to learn more about this hot topic, you’ll want to check out our March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes. Just in time for dyeing eggs, CK editor Lori Fairbanks talks about dyeing scrapbook pages (or elements of them) in the “CK Shows You How” column. In the “Latest & Greatest” column, you’ll also find this Spray Ink Review.

"Spray Ink Review," as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 49

After seeing how much fun Lori was having, I couldn’t resist getting in on the act. In my “Tips & Tricks” column, I show four fun ways to create a background from mist and around-the-house items or scrap supplies. I’m not going to give all of those techniques away here, but I will share my favorite one. I used mesh from Magic Mesh and Maya Mist from Maya Road to create a polka-dot background. So easy. So fun.

Speaking of “Tips & Tricks,” this page by Steph Devlin comes out of the column’s archives (featured in the July 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes). Steph punched circles from tissue paper and misted them with Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels to create her awesome circle flower. Talk about a textured treat!

"Balance" by Steph Devlin, as seen in the July 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 107

Want to see a little misting in action? Check out my recent “Studio 5” TV segment for a quick demo on misting and a look at some of the happiest color-adding products on the market right now. Plus, see a review of four additional must-try trends and tools.

A Colorful Question for You
The quickest way to cure a case of the winter blues is with a little color. Besides misting, what are some of your favorite ways to brighten up your designs? Leave your thoughts in a comment below, or e-mail editorial@creatingkeepsakes.com. We always love hearing from you.

Happy soon-t0-be-spring!
Megan Hoeppner, CK creative editor

Weekly Warm-Up: Melt the Ice

03/01/2010 at 1:00 am | Posted in Holidays, How-Tos, technique, weekly warm up | 1 Comment
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Kim JacksonWelcome to March, everyone! You know what they say: if March comes in like a lion, it’ll go out like a lamb. Since most of us are still digging out from February’s snowstorms, we can certainly hope that warm, sunny days are right around the corner. In today’s weekly warm-up, we’re going to focus on techniques that are sure to heat up the last of your winter layouts and coax all that ice to melt.

Heat Emboss Accents

Turn up the heat on that last bit of wintertime fun by adding heat-embossed accents to a sledding, skiing, or snowboarding layout. Wendy Sue Anderson embossed her stamped title in addition to her accents on this adorable layout.

Sledding by Wendy Sue Anderson

“Sledding” by Wendy Sue Anderson, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 27.

Iron on Designs

Next, fire up (okay, plug in) your iron! If you’ve ever ironed on patches to clothing or bags, then this technique is for you. Mou Saha applied an iron-on rhinestone-heart design to canvas to accent her darling “Valentines” page. Look for iron-on flower designs to add a little spring to your layouts.

Valentines by Mou Saha

“Valentines” by Mou Saha, as seen in the February 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 78.

Create Hot-Glue Art

You’ll want to reach for your hot-glue gun for this next irresistible idea. On her “Forever Friends” layout, Mou Saha drew a simple shape using a low-temperature hot-glue gun, and then she painted over it. Try drawing some fluffy clouds or four-leaf clovers for a March-inspired look.

Forever Friends by Mou Saha

“Forever Friends” by Mou Saha, as seen in the February 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 79.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get warmed up with some ice-melting techniques! Try one of these ideas this week, and upload your completed layout to our gallery. We can’t wait to see what you create.

— Kim Jackson, senior editor

P.S. For step-by-step instructions on these layouts, check out the January 2010 and February 2010 issues of Creating Keepsakes.

Trend Talk: Bingo!

02/23/2010 at 11:15 am | Posted in General Inspiration, Hot Trends, How-Tos, product, technique | 12 Comments
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Special Guest Blogger: Deanna Dieudonné

02/19/2010 at 12:20 pm | Posted in guest blogger, technique | 11 Comments
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Happy Friday everyone! My name is Deanna Dieudonné, and I am very excited to be the guest blogger—yeah!

I have been scrapbooking for about five years and make a lot of handmade cards. I attended my first CKU convention a few years ago. Not only did I meet a wonderful group of people there, but I returned with a passion for all things related to photography.

I’m also a mother of two active little boys who are full of energy and always on the move. If they’re not running, jumping, or climbing outside, then it must be bedtime! But photographing kids on the move isn’t always easy. So in honor of the Olympics, I want to share tips on how you can capture some gold-medal moments on camera while your “little athletes” play outside.

Zoom In. Long gone are the times when my boys sat still and posed for a picture. Lately, my boys have a tendency to make a silly face if they think I’m taking their picture. My solution: use a zoom lens to get close-up shots from a distance. I like to use my zoom lens because I can take my boys’ pictures without feeling like I’m intruding in their playtime. This approach also allows me the ability to zoom in and out without having to switch lenses.

Shoot Continuously. If your camera allows for it, shoot using the “burst” function. I love using this function with the Sports mode (the running-man icon). This continuous mode allows me to take multiple pictures in rapid succession, and it’s perfect for taking candid photos. (It’s also perfect for capturing the movement of two active little boys.)

For the set of photos below, I caught my boys trying to walk on the balance beam. I positioned myself to the side and in front of my boys as they played. I had so much fun watching them laugh and fall off.

Think Ahead. Taking pictures is like scrapbooking: a little upfront thought and planning can produce a very creative and eye-appealing result. When taking your photos, think about what elements you want to capture. Are you trying to capture a laugh, a smile, or a whole scene? Also, position yourself either in the direction that your subjects will be moving toward or away from. For example, when I took the first photo below, my son was running around the track and chasing after a remote-control car. I could have zoomed in on just his face, but that wouldn’t capture the entire scene with the rest of my family in the background. And in the photo of the monkey bars, I wanted to capture the essence of the playground fun.

Snap Away. One wonderful aspect of digital cameras is that there’s no film and virtually no cost (except storage cost, which is pretty inexpensive). I never delete a photo unless I find it absolutely unusable. Just because it’s blurry doesn’t mean it’s not a good photo. Keep those blurry shots—sometimes they add a creative effect. 😉 I like to compile a bunch of my favorite action shots into collages. I made these collages using Picasa, the free software from Google.

Have Fun. Let your children do what comes naturally. During fall, as soon as my boys saw a big pile of leaves they attacked it—jumping, kicking, and laughing (see the collage above). Some of my favorite shots are those that were taken in the moment.

Taking candid shots gives my boys a chance to be spontaneous and silly.

Now it’s your turn. Go out and have fun and see what shots you can come up with. For more ideas, check out my blog.

—Deanna

P.S. Don’t miss this week’s free font download as part of Free Font Friday! You can download the CK font for free here!

Weekly Warm-Up: A Quick Valentine & a Free Download

02/08/2010 at 11:01 am | Posted in Holidays, technique, weekly warm up | 6 Comments
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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love is definitely in the air this week. Why limit your Cupid creativity to one special someone when it’s easy to spread a little sweetheart-joy to the masses? This project idea is quick to create and requires only a few scraps and a bag of chocolates to complete. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare your scraps.

Use a heart punch, stencil, or die cut to cut hearts from scraps of patterned paper. Fold 6″ x 3″ scraps of cardstock in half to create card bases, and cut scraps of ribbon to go across the front of the cards.

Step 2: Add ribbon.

Adhere assorted ribbon strips to the center of your card front.

Step 3: Add the heart.

Adhere the heart to the card. Note: A little bling addition is optional.

Step 4: Put a surprise inside.

Adhere a small chocolate bar to the inside of the card to complete your treat.

Giving Ideas
Share your little chocolate delights in any of the following ways:

  • Put them in your neighbors’ mailboxes.
  • Send them to school with your kids.
  • Give them to co-workers at the office.
  • Share them with your church companions this week.
  • Hand them out to people you come in contact with this week—clerks, letter carriers, newspaper deliverers, and more.

There’s nothing like a little random act of kindness to make you and your recipient feel great!

Free Download
For an even faster love-note option, download our free Valentine’s Day design on our website. With it, you can either print and create heartfelt greetings, or you can prepare an e-sentiment to send and share with those you love across the World Wide Web.

Happy Valentine’s Day Week!
Megan Hoeppner, creative editor

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