Happy Easter!

04/04/2010 at 8:17 am | Posted in Holidays, Uncategorized | 151 Comments
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Happy Easter, and thanks for stopping by the Creating Keepsakes blog today. We hope the day is bringing you at least some semblance of spring weather. 

No matter how old my siblings and I get, we still get together every year to color Easter eggs. For some reason this activity has never lost its appeal for us. Maybe because we’re always a bit goofy while we do it. 

One of the (many) great things about the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes, is the article, “The Good, the Fab, and the Spectacular” in which we show you how to take an event you celebrate every year and mix it up to create some spectacular Easter layouts. 

I especially like this layout from Susan Weinroth. I love how she created the grass and highlighted her photos within egg-shaped frames. 

"Easter Egg Clean-Up” by Susan Weinroth, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 87.


I also love the various textures Erin Lincoln used for her egg accents on her layout. 

“Easter for Grown Ups” by Erin Lincoln, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 86.


Leave us a comment and let us know how you add “egg-tra” special touches to your Easter layouts. I’ll choose two lucky comments to win this great Easter product from Jillibean Soup. Winners will be chosen on Friday, April 9, 2010. 


And if you haven’t actually gotten around to coloring those eggs yet, check out this video from Martha Stewart Living on how to use a fun masking technique to create some pretty amazing eggs. (The video will play on the lower-right side of the screen after a quick ad.)

Happy Easter!


Lara Penrod, managing editor


Happy April Fool’s Day!

04/01/2010 at 11:12 am | Posted in Holidays, Uncategorized | 54 Comments
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April Fool’s Day is traditionally marked by committing practical jokes or sending friends, family, or co-workers on fools’ errands. But there’s no jokes or fools’ errands on the CK blog today. Instead, we’re giving you a couple of quick, fun, practical techniques, plus a chance to win a fabulous prize.

To start, did you know that you can mix flock colors to come up with completely new custom-made flock colors? No joke! Watch this great tutorial from Stampendous on how it’s done. (Note: Watching the video will take longer than creating great new colors.)

After you’ve checked out that great technique, take a look at this one. It’s probably the best thing we’ve seen in a long time!

Now, before you go off to create some fantastic layouts using these fun new techniques, leave us a comment about your favorite part of April Fool’s Day, the best joke you’ve ever played, or how you plan to use one of these great techniques. Next Monday, April 5, I’ll randomly pick five readers from the comments we receive to win the book “Snippets: Mostly True Tales from the Lighter Side of Scrapbooking.

Happy April 1st!

Lara Penrod, managing editor

Top ’O the Morning to Ye! And Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

03/17/2010 at 2:15 am | Posted in Holidays, Uncategorized | 267 Comments
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As part of the holiday, enjoy some St. Paddy’s Day fun in many areas.

Fun Holiday Fact

Today’s Fun Irish Fact (courtesy of History.com): “Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks.”

Fun Page Title You Can Download for Free

You can get your green on with this page title featured in the March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes.

Or download the P22 Kilkenny Swash font, which was used to make the title block above, from Veer for only $19.95.

Fun Scrapbook Page Topic

Even if green isn’t your thing, you can still celebrate the holiday. St. Patrick’s Day is associated with luck, so why not create a layout on why you feel lucky today. Maybe you feel lucky because you’ve learned a new skill, have a great education, have recently seen your life in a new light, or have great friends by your side. Whatever the reason, make a plan to capture those lucky feelings, just as Piradee Talvanna did with her “Thank You” layout.

“Thank You” by Piradee Talvanna, as seen in the March/April 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 41

Fun Luck-Themed Quotes

Speaking of luck, check out Club CK‘s Quote of the Day blog this week for luck-themed quotes you can use on your layouts.

Fun Giveaway

Then try your luck with our great giveaway. Leave a comment on today’s blog post by March 21, 2010, for the chance to be one of five randomly selected lucky winners to receive all of this great St. Patrick’s Day product.

Fun Websites

If you’re in need of even more St. Patrick’s Day fun, check out this website to find a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in your hometown. And for a little Irish fun for the whole family, check out theholidayspot.com.

Fun Recipe

However you spend the day, don’t forget to eat your greens. Here’s a great recipe to get you started.

Corn Beef & Cabbage

1 small can corned beef                          1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 large head cabbage                           1/8 tsp. pepper

2 Tbs. butter                                               1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 Tbs. flour                                                 1/4 tsp. celery seeds

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 1.5-quart casserole dish. Cut cabbage up coarsely, and cook in boiling, salted water until done. Drain. While cabbage is cooking, melt butter in saucepan over low heat, stir in flour until smooth, add milk gradually, and then cool, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth and has thickened. Stir in salt, pepper, and celery seeds. Mix cream sauce and cabbage together, and mix with corned beef. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake 30 minutes.

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Lara Penrod, managing editor

Weekly Warm-Up: Boost Your Layouts

02/15/2010 at 3:41 pm | Posted in weekly warm up | 2 Comments
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Dude! Are you ready to bust some huge air? The world’s best snowboarders take to the Vancouver slopes today, but they’re not the only ones ready to boost.

In snowboarding terms, “boost” means to catch air off a jump. Today, we’re going to take a few tricks from those snowboarders and catch a little air of our own as a weekly warm-up: boosting our layouts to the next level.

In some of the most spectacular tricks you’ll see today, snowboarders will use the walls and flat of the half-pipe to pull off some pretty amazing jumps, spins, and turns. It’s the very structure of the half-pipe—a vertical u-shaped structure—that makes those tricks possible. Snowboarders use the lines of the walls to generate enough speed and air to pull off those tricks.

And just like a snowboarder makes the most of the structure of the half-pipe, you can use the structure of lines to boost your layouts in the following five ways.

Use Grids

Rather than spend hours figuring out how to position numerous photos on a layout, use a grid positioned on a large photo mat to organize multiphoto layouts, as Jennifer Larson did here.

“My Best Buds” by Jennifer Larson, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 42

Draw Straight Lines

There’s nothing wrong with a straight line. Lines actually help lead the eye through a layout—a particularly useful tool when leading the reader from the beginning to the end of a story. The trick is to mix it up by adding a larger photo as a focal point, just like Ria Mojica did on this layout.

The Long and Short of It” by Ria Mojica, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes,page 43

Create Borders

Use your photos to create a border, placing your journaling in the middle of your layout like Brigid Gonzalez did below. This approach allows both your story and your photos to share the spotlight. Check out this design tip: make sure all of your photos are facing into your layout, to keep the reader’s eye on your pages.

"How to Have Fun on a Rainy Day” by Brigid Gonzalez, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 45

Add Motion

By adding a line through a layout, you can not only move your viewer’s eye through the layout, but also add motion to your pages. Notice how the line in Amanda Probst’s layout below mimics a sledding hill, reinforcing the theme of her layout.

"March in Colorado” by Amanda Probst, as seen in the Scrapbooking Tips & Tricks organization issue by Creating Keepsakes, page 18

Break the Lines

When designing, we tend to think of lines as boundaries—areas we cannot cross. But crossing those lines can actually add fun and whimsy to your pages. Take a look at Annette Pixley’s title on her “Dreams Come True” layout below. She could have confined her designs to the natural box that her focal photo and red background paper created, but she would have lost the whimsy created by overlapping these two elements with part of her title.

"Dreams Come True” by Annette Pixley, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, page 45

For your weekly warm-up, try one of these five ways to boost your layouts. And once you’ve finished busting some air, upload your completed layouts to our new gallery.

Weekly Warm-Up: New Year’s Resolutions

01/04/2010 at 12:16 pm | Posted in weekly warm up | 1 Comment
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With the world economy the way it is, many of us have resolved to save more money or, inversely, spend less money as part of our new year’s resolutions. But many of us also have a goal to scrap more this year. Think these two worthy goals can’t coexist on your new year’s resolutions list? They can! And happily too. Let Creating Keepsakes show you how you can create more without spending more: just check out two of the great articles in our January 2010 issue.

Fast, Frugal & Fabulous

“Fast, Frugal & Fabulous” will help you save both time and money while still creating great pages. Contributing designers Allison Davis and Brigid Gonzalez show us two examples.

"Frosty Fun" by Allison Davis, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

"Hot Chocolate" by Brigid Gonzalez, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

Make the Most of Leftovers

Once you’ve stored up some fast and frugal ideas from that article, for additional fabulous ideas turn to one of our new columns for 2010: “Make the Most of Leftovers.” In this column, you’ll learn how to make the most of your leftover scrapbooking supplies. Every month, we’ll feature a different contributor using a variety of products in new, surprising ways. In the January issue, Suzy Plantamura shows you how to use leftover paper, sticker negatives, and pages from your journal to add surprising and fun details to your layouts—all without spending a cent.

"CHA Winter" by Suzy Plantamura, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

So if you’re one of the many scrapbookers who want to save money and still create more layouts than ever this year, let CK help you out! We hope you enjoy our January issue and all the new columns it contains.

If you have a great use for your leftover supplies, we’d love to hear from you. Shoot us an e-mail at editorial@creatingkeepsakes.com, and put “Make the Most of Leftovers” in the subject line.

Best wishes for a fabulous and frugal new year!

—Lara Penrod, managing editor

Happy New Year! (and Free Font Friday)

01/01/2010 at 4:00 am | Posted in fonts, Holidays | 170 Comments
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I can’t believe the new year is already upon us. Where does the time go? If your life is anything like mine, then 2009 flew by before you could take in all that was going on. The year had its ups and downs—the expected and the unexpected. It was full of change—some of it good, some of it not so good; some of it by choice, some of it not by choice.

As I contemplated the past year, I decided my main goal for 2010 is to make more of life’s changes be determined by me. Not just changes in circumstances, but changes in me. Stampin’ Up! makes a stamp set entitled “Define Your Life.” I love this set, not just because it makes great scrapbook pages and cards (which it does), but because its title speaks to me as well. I, probably like most of you, feel I can use a little more definition in my life.

This year, I’m determining to define my life. To define what I want to be, where I want to go, and how I’m going to make that happen. To not just let life happen, but to make it happen.

It’s said that in order to achieve your goals, you have to write them down. I’m going to take a little spin on this theory and create a Define Your Life journal for myself, with a 6″ x 6″ page dedicated to each aspect I want to be, do, or learn over the next year. I’m not worried about creating every page right now. I’ll be adding to the journal as the year goes on.  I’ll still be working on scrapbooking the events in my life, but I’m hoping that having these other types of pages will remind me to actively work toward making my life what I want it to be.

Maybe you’d like to spend more time with family,

Ready, Set, Bump scrapbook page

"Ready, Set, Bump" by Pam Callaghan, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes.

travel more,



Downtown scrapbook page

"Downtown" by Kelly Purkey, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes


achieve something big,

Paris Marathon scrapbook page

"Paris Marathon" by Sande Krieger, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

work on a talent,

garden scrapbook page

"How Does Our Summer Grow?" by Jing-Jing Nickel, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes

or just delight in the little things this year.

details scrapbook page

"Delight in the Details" by Amanda Johnston, as seen in the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes.

I’d love to hear from you about it. How do you keep motivated to make positive changes in your life, and how do you document those changes? Drop me a line in the comments section of this post, and let’s keep each other motivated to make 2010 the best year yet.

May this new year bring everything you hope and dream it will.

To help some of your dreams come true, two lucky winners will recieve a selection of Stampin’ Up! clear mount blocks, a stamp set, and either a package of patterned paper or a corner punch. Simply leave a comment on this post, and two lucky winners will be drawn on January 5th.

Happy New Year!

—Lara Penrod, managing editor

Free Font Friday

As you celebrate the new year, enjoy this holiday treat to you as part of Free Font Friday—a free download of the CK New Year’s Day font.

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/26/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays | 2 Comments
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I love this time of year. The leaves have all turned colors. The air is crisp. And pies are baking in the oven. In my family, Thanksgiving means pie season! My mom hates to make pies, so she only does it at Thanksgiving. But she makes everyone’s favorite, so we end up with about a dozen pies. What’s not to love about a dozen pies? (I think Joscelyne Cutchens agrees.)

Homemade Pie

"Homemade Pie" by Joscelyne Cutchens. Creating Keepsakes, Nov. 2009

I also love this time of year because there’s a built-in reason to be more consciously grateful for all I have in my life. I’ve made it a tradition to write down each of the things I’m grateful for as I think of them throughout this month. The list gets pretty long, and I realize how truly blessed I am and how great my year has been.

A few years ago, I decided to add to that tradition by letting the people in my life know how grateful I am that they are the people in my life. To that end, I’ve been making thank you cards and sending them to arrive the week of Thanksgiving. Inside the cards I write a little note about why I’m grateful the person is in my life. Each year the list for cards gets longer too, and I’m grateful for that. You can never have too many great people in your life.

Thankful card

"Thankful" card by Mandy Douglass. Creating Keepsakes, Nov. 2009

This year, I’m grateful to be at Creating Keepsakes with all the wonderful, creative and caring women who work here. They’ve made my new job a joy, and I’m grateful they are in my life. (In fact, I may even create a card for each of them based on the Mandy Douglass design above or this Becky Higgins design below.)

So Thankful for You card

"So Thankful for You" card by Becky Higgins. Creating Keepsakes, Nov. 2009

And all of us at Creating Keepsakes are grateful for you. We love that we get to share your creativity and passion. We’re grateful for your support. We’re grateful you are open and honest in sharing with us what will make Creating Keepsakes a better magazine for you. Thank you for being the people in our lives who give us a reason to come to work, to create and to share our passion for scrapbooking!

Don’t forget to photograph the fabulous feast you enjoy today, like Christi Spadoni did for the layout below!

Aunt Sheila's China

"Aunt Sheila's China" by Christi Spadoni. Creating Keepsakes, Nov. 2009

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

—Lara Penrod, Senior Editor

P.S. In the spirit of Black Friday tomorrow, we’re offering an incredible sale at our shop. The sale consists of discounts of over 60% off select products PLUS free standard shipping and handling (on U.S. orders only) on purchases of $25 or more. You’ll even find books and CDs as low as $5. The sale ends at midnight on Monday, November 30. Check out ShopScrapandPaperCorner.com for these great deals.

December CK: An Insider’s Look

11/12/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Insider's Look | 287 Comments
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brittanyb-headshot-smWorking on the December issue of the magazine has had me in the holiday spirit for the last several months. (We started working on the issue in July!) Now that holiday music fills the airwaves of Salt Lake City 24/7, that holiday feeling is getting even stronger.

That’s why I couldn’t help but do something festive for our inside look at the December issue of Creating Keepsakes—and the 12 days of Christmas continually came to mind. But rather than spread out this post for nearly two weeks, you get all 12 gifts in one post—a sneak peek at the 12 favorite layouts from our editorial staff. To add even more festivity to the post, you can always listen to this while you enjoy reading the reasons we love each layout so much!

Oh, and be sure to check out all the exclusive online articles for December we have waiting for you here. You can even enter to win a free advent calendar personalized with your own family members!

Without further ado, here are our team’s favorite layouts from the December issue.

Holiday Home by Ali Edwards

“Holiday Home” by Ali Edwards in “Studio A”

“This layout from Ali Edwards makes me want to capture every holiday detail in my home—and I’m going to!” —Joannie McBride, assistant editor


“Ornament a Day” by Amanda Probst in “Monthly To-Dos”

Amanda Probst has a great eye for fonts, and I can’t stop looking at her title treatment on this layout. The colors stand out. The fonts look great together and are readable but unique. It’s so clever how she uses a snippet of conversation to frame her title and photos on the left page of her layout.” —Lori Fairbanks, product editor


“Happy” by Jennifer McGuire in “Tools & Techniques”

“I love Jennifer McGuire’s simple design, nice color scheme and great photos on this layout.” —Janice Barfuss, art director


“She Says” by Lori Anderson in “Computer Tricks”

“This layout is so sweet and sassy. I can’t get enough of Lori Anderson’s adorable pictures and cute use of type.” —Neko Carrillo, senior designer


“Kitschy” by Cindy Tobey in “Tips & Tricks”

“The tree accent is so unexpected. Cindy Tobey made kitschy work for her! I love it.” —Erin Bayless, creative director

Christmas-Favorites-by-Deena Wuest

“A Few of Our Christmas Favorites” by Deena Wuest in “Festive Techniques for Trimming the Tree”

Deena Wuest’s clean and simple design balanced with the clever tree made of photos is so fresh, festive and innovative.” —Jennafer Martin, editor-in-chief


“Playing with Snow” by Suzy Plantamura in “Mandy’s Challenge”

Suzy Plantamura’s title treatment is so clever—she cut her letters by hand and then stamped on them with the letters ‘S,’ ‘N,’ ‘O’ and ‘W,’ respectively.” —Brittany Beattie, online senior editor


“January” by Kelly Goree in “Instant Gift Albums”

“I love how the design of this layout fits so many photos without sacrificing room for embellishments. Plus, each accent Kelly Goree used enhances the feel of the photos.” —Lori Anderson, online managing editor

Christmas-Bliss-by-Jill-Marie Paulson

“Christmas Bliss” by Jill Marie Paulson in “Seasonal Solutions”

“I like Jill Marie Paulson’s simple design with the focus on the photo.” —Brenda Peterson, editorial assistant


“Christmas Morning” by Julie DeGuia in “Seasonal Solutions”

“I like how Julie DeGuia fit so many photos on her layout and still kept it clean. I always take hundreds of photos on Christmas and then wonder how to scrapbook them all.” —Lara Penrod, senior editor


“Roll with It” by Kayleigh Wiles in “Reader Gallery”

“Kayleigh Wiles’s page has great flow despite how the focal point is in a small space. Plus, the beautiful script at the bottom adds charm to the flow.” —Dorathy Gilchrist, associate editor


"2008 Review" by Maggie Holmes in "Scrapbook a Year's Worth of Memories in One Night"

Maggie Holmes managed to capture an entire year’s worth of memorable events on one layout while still creating a clean, easy-to-follow design—not always an easy task. I love how the white space balances out the fun patterns and whimsical details while still keeping her photos the focus.” —Megan Hoeppner, creative editor

Prize Giveaway

What would this holiday celebration be without a gift? Leave a comment by Monday, November 16 at 9:00 a.m. EST, and let us know what your favorite layout is from the December issue for a chance to win this prize package or other December-related goodies.



—Brittany Beattie, online senior editor

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