Weekly Warm-Up: Spring is in the Air

04/12/2010 at 1:12 pm | Posted in Uncategorized, weekly warm up | Leave a comment
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Good morning! I hope you’re enjoying some beautiful spring weather and have had the opportunity to get out and take some terrific photos of your springtime activities and happenings.

Looking for fun ideas for scrapbooking them? You’ll love our March/April 2010 issue particularly Mou Saha’s “Spring is in the Air” article. She shows you how to use pre-made products like stickers and patterned paper to create seasonal accents like rainbows, kites, and clouds for your spring-themed scrapbook layouts. Here’s a sneak preview of two of the darling pages featured in this article.

I love how Mou used patterned paper featuring clouds as the background for this page, and it’s so clever how she used photo corners to create the kite.

"Let's Fly a Kite" by Mou Saha, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

Look how cute the buttons make this rainbow patterned paper. If you want to recreate this look but don’t have this particular patterned paper, don’t fret! Use a circle cutter or a dinner plate to cut concentric circles or rings in several colors of cardstock. Then just ink the edges of each piece, arrange them to look like a rainbow and adhere your buttons.

"You Are My Rainbow" by Mou Saha, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

How about some fun products to scrapbook your photos with? Check out the cute bees and flowers on the Bee Happy line from AdornIt – Carolee’s Creations:

Another cute line you won’t want to miss is Quite Contrary from My Mind’s Eye:

And, if you’re feeling spunky, you’ll want to check out this energetic line from Sassafras called Nerdy Bird:

Want to win one a sampling of one of these great spring lines? Leave us a comment by this Friday, April 16, 2010 and let us know what you like to take photos of in the spring. We’ll choose three lucky winners from the comments to win one of these three great lines.

–Lori Fairbanks, editor

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Trend Talk: Ruffles

03/31/2010 at 5:00 am | Posted in General Inspiration, Hot Trends | 7 Comments
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-Megan Hoeppner, creative editor, and Lori Fairbanks, editor

March/April 2010 Issue: An Insider’s Look

03/11/2010 at 3:52 am | Posted in General Inspiration, Insider's Look, Uncategorized | 57 Comments
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Hey there! Are you as antsy for spring as I am? If so, make sure you check out the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes. It’s got so many great ideas for spring-themed pages and techniques to try on them that you’ll be thinking warm, sunny thoughts, even if it’s still a bit chilly outside.

Here are three of my favorite items from this issue, along with a couple of tidbits from our team:

1. Stamping with a template and spray ink

Spritzing and stamping? Ooh la la! Stamping makes me happy, so I was so thrilled to learn about this technique from Liz Hicks, education coordinator for Tattered Angels. I love how Dream Team member Kim Watson interpreted the idea on her page. Want to learn more? Get step-by-step instructions in this month’s “CK Shows You How” column on page 23, and  see Liz’s video demo.

"She Has Spring in Her Step" by Kim Watson, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 26

2. Lots and lots of beautiful pages

If you need a little scrapbooking eye candy, then you’re going to love our “Scrapbook Your Life” article as much as I do—it’s packed with fantastic layouts like this one from Shelley Jaquet. I love how she fit 17 photos on her layout and that they show so many fun family activities.

"Our Family . . . Everyday Life" by Shelley Jaquet, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 72

3. Cool ribbon techniques

Jennifer McGuire always has many creative ideas for using products, and this month’s “Tools & Techniques” column is just too much fun. Check out the grass on this darling “Monster” accent—can you believe she created it by fraying green ribbon? Too clever! (You’ll find additional tips from Jennifer on getting more from ribbon in her column.)

"Monster" by Jennifer McGuire, as seen in the March/April 2010 Creating Keepsakes, page 106

Here are some fun tidbits about this issue from the team:

  • Creative editor Megan Hoeppner designed the adorable layout featured on our cover—didn’t she do a fabulous job? What you may not know is that the photo on the layout was taken by reader/contributor Brigid Gonzalez. She e-mailed it to us at editorial@creatingkeepsakes.com, and it was chosen for this cover! If you have a great photo with strong eye contact and good lighting, send it in for consideration. Your photo could end up being featured in a future issue!

  • Reader/contributor Stacy Cohen found a way to use her instant-coffee purchase on a layout about her morning fix. See the idea on page 108.
  • Editor-in-chief Jennafer Martin had a ball working with contributing writer Mou Saha on the “Spring Is in the Air” feature for this issue. “Mou had so many creative ideas and her enthusiasm for this springy topic brightened up the dreary fall when we worked on it,” says Jennafer. See more of Mou’s work in future issues of CK or on her blog.

  • There’s more than one way for your page to be published in CK. Fresh Face Donna Creedon, whose “Cheeky Grin” layout is featured on page 96, had originally posted the amazing layout on her blog, where creative editor Megan Hoeppner spotted it. It fit so well with the “Spring Is in the Air” article that we snatched it up right away. You never know when one of your layouts will be spotted by our roving talent reporters!
  • Accident or accent? After dropping an ink applicator on her page, reader/contributor Iris Uy turned the unfortunate ink spot into a really cool embossed accent. See it on page 16.
  • April Fools for photos. In the editor’s note, Jennafer Martin wrote a sidebar mentioning a couple of sites to play with your photos. “We didn’t end up publishing it, but I played with my photo on Faceinhole.com to become one of my favorite superheroes. You can be anyone you want to be by putting your head on a photo there,” Jennafer says. Try it today!

What were your favorite items about this issue? Leave us a comment by Friday, March 26, 2010, and you could be one of three lucky winners to receive a sampling of some fun, new scrapbooking products.

—Lori Fairbanks, editor

Celebration Pages in Honor of the Closing Ceremonies

02/26/2010 at 5:47 pm | Posted in fonts, General Inspiration | 5 Comments
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Hey there! I hope you’ve enjoyed the 2010 Winter Olympics and our Olympic-inspired scrapbooking ideas these past two weeks. In honor of the closing ceremonies scheduled this weekend, we’re pleased to bring you celebration-themed pages—layouts that rejoice in and commemorate happy events, accomplishments, and relationships. Take a look at the following categories, and then scrapbook a layout celebrating something wonderful in your life.

1. Firsts and milestones. Many first-time experiences are happy events that mark a significant moment of your life—your first day at a new job, your first car, or your first home, for example. Smaller firsts may also be meaningful to you and worthy of mention on a scrapbook page, such as your child’s first day at school, the first spring flower in your garden, or your pet’s first successful attempt at a new trick.

“Our First House” by Kim Arnold, as seen in the "Super-Fast Pages with 4" x 6" Photos, Volume 2" special issue

2. Birthdays. Commemorate your special day with a scrapbook page. And yes, that’s your birthday too—not just the kids’ birthdays!

“Happy Birthday” by Cindy Tobey, as seen in the June 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

3. Weddings, anniversaries, and engagements. Keep these important celebrations fresh in your memory with pages highlighting the most memorable images and happenings from the event.

“The Perfect Day” by Kelly Noel, as seen in the June 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

4. Babies. If there’s a baby in your life, then chances are good you also have thousands of photos of the little one on your computer. Choose your favorites to create special pages that document how tiny and sweet your baby is.

“Elsie, 4 Weeks” by Jamie Waters, as seen in the June 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

5. Accomplishments. Scrapbook your successes—from goals met to obstacles overcome. Possible topics include graduations (from preschool to college), promotions or raises at work, sports achievements, and more.

“Mike’s Graduation” by Kelly Purkey, as seen in the February 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

6. Your favorite things. Remember to celebrate the little things as well by recording what makes you happy right now. Your favorite song, your favorite color, the funny nickname your two-year-old has for the dog. Make a list and scrapbook it. Include photos if you have them, or make the layout design all about your words, like Deena Wuest did on her page.

“100 Things I Love” by Deena Wuest, as seen in "Get Creative with Type"

7. Very good days. Record the everyday happenings that make your life happy. Maybe the moments special to you are starting the day with a favorite breakfast, taking an evening stroll with a friend,  or spending time in your garden.

“Thursday Morning Waffles” by Jennifer Davis, as seen in the February 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

Whatever celebrations you choose to scrapbook, we hope you’ll share your happy pages with us by posting your celebration pages on our idea gallery at Club CK.

—Lori  Fairbanks, product editor

P.S. Don’t forget to download your free font as part of Free Font Friday! This week, you can download CK Lounge Act here.

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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Opening Pages: The “Opening Ceremonies” of Your Albums

02/12/2010 at 11:48 am | Posted in General Inspiration | 5 Comments
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Hey there! Are you watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympics? Millions of viewers around the world will be tuning in tonight and over the next two weeks to catch ceremonial fanfare and incredible feats of athleticism. If you like to scrapbook while you watch TV, you’re in for a fantastic two-week stretch of scrapbooking bliss—what a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles and achieve your scrapbooking goals!

Tonight as you’re watching the Olympics from the front seat of your living room, think about special ways you can celebrate the contents of your albums and mini books. Decorative album covers and opening pages are the “opening ceremonies” of your album, providing an introduction to your topic or theme, setting the stage, and building excitement for the content yet to be viewed in subsequent pages.

Following are great examples of album topics where decorated album covers and opening pages are particularly effective. All images are from the Quick & Easy Photo Albums special issue from Simple Scrapbooks magazine.

1. An album about a loved one. If you’ve made an album about someone special in your life, embellish the album or the photo opening of the album to make it extra special.

"Bill" by Angie Lucas

Choose a favorite photo to introduce the theme of the album. Be sure to include your thoughts about why the person featured in the album’s pages is so special to you.

You can add specific details and share more in-depth stories on the album’s interior pages.

2. An album about an event. If you’ve created an album about a special event or celebration, take time to make the album cover reflective of that topic.

"Happy Birthday" by Wendy Smedley

Tell the who, what ,and where on the opening pages on an event-themed album. Select a photo that includes either the star of the show or all the participants.

Include memorabilia on the interior pages.

3. An album documenting a set period of time. If an album covers a specific time period, be sure to note it either on the cover, the album spine or the opening page. In this album, it’s included on the opening page.

"My Childhood" by Erin Sweeney

Notice how the same patterned papers were used on the interior pages to add a coherent feel.

More Olympics Fun

We’ll be commemorating the Olympics here on the blog with Olympic-themed scrapbooking inspiration and ideas spread over the next two weeks. We hope you’ll enjoy the celebration with us!

–Lori Fairbanks, product editor

P.S. In honor of the Olympics, our Free Font Friday download celebrates the Olympians from all over the globe, including the Netherlands. Download the CK Holland font for free here.

Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks: An Insider’s Look

02/10/2010 at 11:44 am | Posted in Insider's Look, organization | 61 Comments
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Hey there! Did you pick up your new CK special issue yet (it’s only $5.99)? The Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks organization issue focuses on all things organization in a variety of scrapbooking topics. We hope it will give you great ideas for whipping your scrap space into shape and arranging it in a way that’s both beautiful and functional, along with tips for organizing layouts, albums, crops, and more.

Here are three of my favorite things from this issue, along with other tidbits from our team:

1. “Design Solutions” column

This issue, the “Design Solutions” column helps you organize your layout designs for stunning pages. I love seeing the difference a little design tweaking can make on a layout. It’s like the seeing the big reveal of a makeover show (but better, because you don’t have to watch the 45 minutes building up to it). Here’s the before and after of Autumn Baldwin’s layout called “That’s Love.” Notice the difference a few pieces of patterned paper placed in a visual triangle makes on her “after” layout.

Before

After

2. Colorful vertical files

Storing paper vertically makes so much sense because of the space it saves and how accessible the paper is when it’s stored this way. Romanoff Products made vertical files more fun when they introduced their colorful vertical files. A few other features about these files make me happy: they’re very sturdy files that would do just fine sitting on a tabletop or a shelf, they fit perfectly in Ikea’s Expedit bookshelf, and they have a little lip to make them easier to handle.

And sure, they look great as-is, but what’s a scrapbooker to do when she sees such a lovely blank canvas? Embellish it, of course!

The rub-ons I used on the pink file are from Glitz Design. Check out some of their other rub-on designs that would look awesome on vertical files. Imagine these great gold dots on the orange files:

Or this black damask print on the green files:

3. Inspiration frame collage

I love this variation of the inspiration board using a collection of old frames. I snagged these from our design team when they were cleaning out their photo props. You could pick up similar frames for a song at your local thrift store. Check out Club CK later this week for information on how to put old frames to work as dry-erase boards, corkboards and magnet boards for use in your scrap space:

Here are some fun tidbits about this issue from the team:

  • We were super-exited to work with Stacy Julian on her “Creative Album Organization” article for this issue. “When we were planning this issue,” says editor-in-chief Jennafer Martin, all I could think was that ‘Stacy Julian’s philosophy would be PERFECT for this issue.’ She’s not only a talented scrapbooker but she’s also so motivating. She encourages scrapbookers to find a system that liberates them from the stress that often accompanies chronological scrapbooking.” We hope this issue will help readers feel the empowerment that Stacy brings and also enjoy a little touch of Simple Scrapbooks in this issue.
  • The rooms featured in the “Creativity under Cover” issue were shot at the homes of several CK staffers. Some of the furniture was already in place, while other pieces were brought in and propped especially for this article shoot.
  • Speaking of the “Creativity under Cover” article, our team was thrilled with the illustration for the article opener. Look closely at how many scrapbooking items the artist wove into the illustration—check out the umbrella stand, the vases and all the items in the armoire. So clever!

  • Several members of our team use the solutions featured in this issue in their own scrap spaces. For example, associate editor Dorathy Gilchrist uses the towel hanger and media storage boxes from the “10-Minute Tricks” column as well as the ottoman, hanging accessory bag, and sweater hanger from the “Creativity under Cover” article.
  • Love flowers? Our contributors sure do! All three party themes for the article “Stop, Drop & Crop,” were originally submitted as floral themes. Cindy Tobey graciously agreed to transform her items into a jungle theme—we’re delighted with how it turned out!

  • Creative director Erin Bayless commented: “My office was overrun by storage units and cabinets that we were planning to photograph and feature. I had only a little path to my desk! Someone even asked me if I had just moved into my office on account of all the boxes.”

What were your favorite things about this issue? Leave us a comment on this post by Friday, February 19, 2010, and you could be one of three lucky winners to receive a sampling of fun, new scrapbooking products.

—Lori Fairbanks, product editor

Special Guest Blogger: Beth Gerlach for Bella Blvd

01/15/2010 at 4:00 am | Posted in fonts, guest blogger, product | 269 Comments
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Ciao, Ciao! I can’t tell you how thrilled and honored I am to be guest blogging on the CK blog today. My name is Beth Gerlach. I’ve been designing as a Bella Blvd Artista since the company launched in July 2008, and soon after I became Bella’s Special Projects Coordinator.

Bella Blvd and I have a huge surprise for you today. We are kicking off our official CHA Winter product sneak peeks right here, right now. Our latest collections are new new new! Everything’s new from the cardstock stickers to the patterned-paper styles and more. We are confident you’re going to LOVE all the new yumminess!

I created this sketch and used it to make three different layouts—each with lots of the new stuff. I hope there’s a style—from simple to advanced—that appeals to you. The next time you have a creative block, draw your own sketch and see what you can create with it.

My “Beach” layout shows a line that’s bright, adventurous, and full of splash! (All products used are by Bella, with the exception of the crystals and thread.)

The new products on the layout below are full of wisdom, character, and class. All the edges are distressed and inked, and I added several layers and quite a bit of stitching and sticker flocking. (With the exception of the thread and the Doodlebug Design flocking powder, all products are by Bella.)

And last but not least, the products on the “Little Girls” layout showcase Bella’s take on vintage, eclectic, and chic. (All products used are by Bella, except for the Making Memories and Fancy Pants Designs stick pins.) Notice how I rotated the sketch around for this one.

Win the Complete Collection of Bella Blvd’s Newest Product Release!

That’s all I can show you for now, but rest assured, Bella Blvd will continue the sneak peeks next Monday (January 18). Be sure to check out the Bella Blvd blog for the latest updates. I just can’t get enough of it! I’m so excited that I have to give some away. That’s right, this is your win-it-before-you-can-buy-it chance to get it in your hands. Leave a comment on this blog post, and you’ll be entered to win one complete collection of Bella Blvd’s newest product release.

Good luck!!

—Beth Gerlach

Free Font Friday

P.S. In honor of Beth’s fabulously fun post, CK is offering the CK Fun font for free download today as part of Free Font Friday. Check back next week for a new font as well!

Special Guest Blogger: Kim Watson of the CK 2010 Dream Team

12/04/2009 at 2:14 pm | Posted in guest blogger, How-Tos, Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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Hello, everyone! I hope you’ve had a super week so far and are looking forward to the weekend. This is my first time contributing to the CK blog, so I suppose I should officially say “Hi!” It’s great to be here!

With the glimmer of the festive season all around us and the twinkle of frost on the windows, I thought I’d share one of my favorite techniques with you: glimmer misting.

"Big Chill" by Kim Watson, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

As showcased on my “Big Chill” layout in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, I created a unique, inexpensive background by misting over snowflake masks. When it comes to selecting masks (and templates and stencils), you have many options to choose from. Some of my favorite designs are from The Crafter’s Workshop, Maya Road and Heidi Swapp for Advantus.

For this layout, however, I made the masks myself. You’re probably thinking, “Whoa, I could never do that,” but actually, they are so simple and fun for the whole family to make. I put together a simple step-by-step tutorial for you to try.

Here’s how to do it:

* Fold a square of thin paper in half diagonally, and then fold it in half again to create a triangle shape.

* Fold the triangle into thirds, with the corners to the middle.

* Trim the overhanging edges on the bottom of the triangle to the shortest length.

* Draw custom cutout shapes on the triangle, and cut them out using sharp scissors for best results.

* Open the paper and flatten it.

You are now ready for misting. To show you just how versatile and fun misting can be, here is another page I created using the same method as above, except this time I made star shapes instead of snowflakes.

Fa La La by Kim Watson. Supplies: Cardstock, button and snowflake and scallop stickers: American Crafts; Patterned paper: Bo-Bunny Press (green dot and mini die cut) and Cosmo Cricket (music and snowflake); Journaling tag: Cosmo Cricket; Date label: October Afternoon; Letter stickers: Pink Paislee; Color spray: Glimmer Mist, Tattered Angels; Punches: Fiskars Americas (bracket) and Marvy Uchida (circle); Pen: Sakura; Adhesive: GlueArts, Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L, Therm O Web and Tombow; Other: Thread.

If you’ve never tried misting using shaped templates before, give it a try! I’ve put together an easy step-by-step tutorial for you.

Here’s how to create a background with color mist:

* Use repositionable aerosol adhesive to lightly adhere the masks to your cardstock background. Note: I recommend a light-colored background to ensure crisp-looking images.

* Lightly spray Glimmer Mist in layers until you achieve your desired color, positioning your hand about 8″ from the paper. Note: Make sure you mist outdoors or into a box with sides to avoid overspray inside the house.

* Once you’re happy with the color intensity, let the page dry for a few minutes before carefully lifting your masks off using tweezers.

* Allow your page to dry completely before you start scrapping; otherwise, you could end up with ink on everything. (I use my hair dryer on a low setting to speed up the process, because I am too impatient to wait on it drying au-natural.) 🙂

Once the color is dry, you’re all done and are ready to scrap your page.

If you try this technique yourself, I would love to see your pages. To submit your work, read the “CK & Me” information here.

Have a super day!

Kim Watson

P.S. Speaking of snowflakes, enjoy the festive CK Snowflake font download available free today on the Creating Keepsakes site. (Click on the image below to see the snowflakes on the font in better detail.)

The Secret to Scrapbooking during the Holidays

12/03/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 428 Comments
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Bells on bobtails are ringing. Chestnuts are roasting on open fires. And Jack Frost is nipping at our noses. Plus, who can forget about the parties for hosting, the marshmallows for toasting and the caroling out in the snow? Whew—life is getting busy this month. Amid the hustle and bustle, we’re bound to get a little maxed out unless we have creative time to help us unwind. But some days it’s hard to find much time for thinking about the next scrapbook page when the holiday to-do list is growing by the minute.

Thankfully, the CK elves have just the item for Santa’s big, red bag. (And I hear Mr. Claus will be making a visit before the 25th this year! See below.) The secret is 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges by Elizabeth Kartchner, CK’s 2007 Scrapbooker of the Year. As the sequel to 52 Scrapbooking Challenges, this book is jam-packed with ideas to inspire your creativity.

For example, challenge #3 is to “lift a design idea from a home-decor item,” as Elizabeth did in turning this Amelia rug from Pottery Barn Kids into inspiration for an incredible page element. I love how Elizabeth used the rug design as just a portion of her layout instead of the entire background.

"Wishes & Kisses" by Elizabeth Kartchner, as seen in "52 More Scrapbooking Challenges" (page 15)

And challenge #15 to “stick to a single color” is a perfect jump-start for creating my own holiday layout like Elizabeth’s. In fact, I might just scraplift Elizabeth’s design. It’s fabulous.

"Traditions" by Elizabeth Kartchner, as seen in "52 More Scrapbooking Challenges" (page 50)

Yes, this book is sure to be the spark for creative scrapbooking during a busy season. I’m glad I have my copy in hand! (If you still need your copy, you can order it here, where you’ll also find a link to more layouts from the book.) You can also make an e-visit to Santa and let him know the book is on your wish list. I heard that anyone who leaves Santa a comment on this post by Sunday, December 6, and lets him know what’s on her Christmas list this year will be entered to win one of three autographed copies of the book. Speaking of giveaways, remember to check here to see if you’ve one any of our past giveaways.

For more chances to win a copy of Elizabeth’s book, you can also check out the blogs from these Dream Team members and CK contributing writers:

* Wendy Sue Anderson

* Jen Jockisch

* Elizabeth Kartchner

* Jennifer McGuire

* Suzy Plantamura

* Mou Saha

* Cindy Tobey

* Laura Vegas

* Kim Watson

* Susan Weinroth

And if you know Sara Winnick, she’ll be giving away a copy on Facebook.

I’m off to make my list now!

—Brittany Beattie, online senior editor

P.S. When you make a layout based on an item in Elizabeth’s book, we’d love to see what you create! To submit your work, read the “CK & Me” information here.

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