Editors’ Picks: Best of 2009

01/06/2010 at 11:22 am | Posted in General Inspiration, organization | 3 Comments
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Here’s the challenge. Take your entire stack of 2009 Creating Keepsakes magazines and narrow down all the happy content to the following four “bests”:

* Best Feature (for any reason that works for you)

* Best Organization Tip (yes, you can choose only one)

* Best Technique (broad, I know)

* Best Layout (no, you can’t have a 16-way tie)

It’s a tough task, isn’t it? Well, it’s just what I asked my fellow CK editors to do. And after much page flipping, I’m happy to share the responses from Brittany Beattie (online senior editor), Dorathy Gilchrist (associate editor), Joannie McBride (assistant editor), Kim Jackson (senior editor), and myself. Ready for the results? Okay, here we go!

Best Feature
Each issue, we offer 6-10 features (not to mention the 18 columns, which we didn’t include in the mix for voting). Times that number by 12 issues, and you have a big decision to make. The votes are in, and (in no particular order) our top features—rated strictly on personal opinion—are as follows:

  • Brittany: “A Day in Your Life” (by Lisa Bearnson, May ’09, pg. 63)
  • Dorathy: “Scrapbookers Making a Difference” (by Joannie McBride, Feb. ’09, pg. 89)
  • Joannie: “Flights of Fancy” (by Beth Opel, Apr. ’09, pg. 79)
  • Kim: “The 10 Most Important Pages Missing from Your Album” (by Brittany Beattie, Oct. ’09, pg. 85)
  • Megan: “Festive Techniques for Trimming the Trees” (by Brittany Beattie, Dec. ’09, pg. 59)

"A Day in Your Life": Brittany's pick for best feature of 2009

Best Organization Tip
Getting organized is a common goal around here. These are the tips that really tickled our tidy bone:

  • Brittany: Organize ribbon spools by hanging them on the wall (as seen in “Creative Spaces” by Megan Hoeppner, June ’09, pg. 34)
  • Dorathy: Create a brad book (as seen in “Tips & Tricks” by Megan Hoeppner, Sept. ’09, pg. 114)
  • Joannie: Let your scrap space evolve with your scrapbooking needs (as seen in “Creative Spaces” by Mou Saha, Oct. ’09, pg. 50)
  • Megan: Category cleanup: set your timer for 15 minutes and choose a product category as a focus of your organization efforts (as seen in “In Just 15 Minutes” by Lori Fairbanks, Nov. ’09, pg. 77)

Store brads in a brad book: Dorathy's pick for best organization idea of 2009

Best Technique
At heart, we’re all technique geeks, which made this challenge an extra-fun one! Here are our top picks:

  • Brittany: Create glitter pillows with a transparency sheet and a sewing machine (as seen on the “Sweet Slumber” layout by Elizabeth Kartchner, 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges, pg. 134)
  • Dorathy: Create a stained-glass look with alcohol inks and a transparency sheet (as seen on the “Leaf Samples” card by Irene Tan, May ’09, pg. 112)
  • Joannie: Add glitter to self-adhesive products (as seen on the “Big Sister” layout by Ria Mojica, Feb. 09, pg. 97)
  • Kim: Create a chalked background using mesh as the template (as seen on the “Fantasy Land” layout by Megan Hoeppner, Sept. ’09, pg. 79)
  • Megan:  Create tissue-paper flowers (as seen on the “Balance” layout by Steph Caskey-Devlin, July ’09, pg. 107)

Make flowers from tissue paper: Megan's pick for best technique of 2009

Best Layout
I’m starting to feel like an announcer at an awards show. And the “Best Layout” vote goes to . . .

  • Brittany: “Drew’s View” (by Allison Davis, May ’09, pg. 83)
    “I love the idea of scrapbooking photos taken by children—it’s a wonderful change of perspective that adds great insight into our scrapbooks. What an incredible addition this layout will be to Drew’s album!” —Brittany Beattie
  • Dorathy: “Signs of Summer” (by Kim Watson, July ’09, pg. 24)
    “I love how bright and colorful the layout is without being overbearing. The layout offers a great color scheme to go with the summer photos. I also like how it has room for seven pictures.” —Dorathy Gilchrist
  • Joannie: “The Hat That Grandma Made” (by Shelley Aldrich, Sept. ’09, pg. 64)
    “I love that Shelley has photos of not only her daughter in the hat but the grandmother holding the daughter wearing the hat as well—it’s a great connection. Plus, the whimsical feel of the page appeals to me.” —Joannie McBride
  • Kim: “Yindi and Unky Tobz” (by Emily Falconbridge, Jan. ’09, pg. 79)
    “The pure energy of this design caught my eye immediately! I adore the modern look Emily created by combining red and yellow patterns and red ink splashes with the old-fashioned typeface in the journaling.” —Kim Jackson
  • Megan: “Homemade Pie” (by Joscelyne Cutchens, Nov. ’09, pg. 85)
    “What’s not to love about this layout? The pie looks delicious, the photos are vivid, the color scheme is a real eye catcher, and it’s loaded with awesome techniques!” —Megan Hoeppner

"The Hat That Grandma Made": Joannie's pick for best layout of 2009

So, do you agree with our selections? We’d love to have you join us in this challenge. Tell us what has really stuck with you from our 2009 lineup. Let’s compare notes.

Going over these results was a wonderful reminder of the amazing year we had. Now, bring on 2010!

–Megan Hoeppner, creative 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!

NSD: Find the Party

05/02/2009 at 11:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 44 Comments
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meganSo, how are things going thus far? Are you having a good time? I know I am. And I’m about to have an even better time, because I’m going to talk deals and free stuff. There’s much going on today (and this month) in the way of special scrapbooking deals and giveaways. Here’s some of the fun to be found:

CK Blog Blasts

In addition to this blog, you can find celebrations on the following CK family blogs:

  • Mandy Douglass has some tricks up her creative sleeve. Check her blog for details.
  • Amanda Probst is celebrating by giving away an assortment of scrapbooking supplies on her blog.
  • Jessica Sprague is giving away two scrapbooking classes on her blog.
  • Emily Falconbridge is doing a delightful weekend giveaway on her blog, not necessarily for NSD but she does have lots of craft goodness included.
  • Kelly Noel and Maggie Holmes are both participating in the Studio Calico NSD challenge. Visit their blogs for amazing layout ideas and even more prizes!
  • Mou Saha has posted some stunning project ideas on her blog today. Trust me, you don’t want to miss these beautiful ideas.
  • Tiffany Tillman has information on {i}NSD (International Scrapbook Day) on her blog, including discount offers and fresh project ideas.
  • Stacy Julian has information on a 50% off coupon for Big Picture Scrapbooking on her blog.
  • And I’ve even prepared a little blog bonanza of my own on my personal blog. I’m giving away goodies and sharing why it’s important to give a hoot about scrapbooking (you’ll see).

More Online Fun

There are also many manufacturers, magazines, kit clubs and online groups celebrating today. For a list of some of those participating, check out the Scrapbook Update blog.


Your Hot Spots

Now it’s your turn to share. Are you doing something special on your blog to celebrate? Or do you know where another NSD party is happening. Share your tip/link in the comments section of this post. From the tips received, I’ll be drawing two winners, who will each receive a copy of Scrapbook Play with Photos (the latest special issue from Simple Scrapbooks magazine) and a pack of American Crafts ribbon* (who doesn’t love ribbon).

26Image courtesy of American Crafts.

Be back with more soon! 🙂

Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

*Note: Ribbon received may not be the same ribbon that’s shown above. Thanks.

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