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: 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

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.

ode to maurianne

08/26/2009 at 5:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments
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We’re feeling a little blue today. Tomorrow an amazing editor and a total doll of a person is packing up and heading on her way. Maurianne Dunn, who has been a vital cog in our company machine, is moving on to continue her education. We wish her well in her life after CK, but we will miss her! Add your greetings to those of our team by leaving a comment for our darling girl.

We love this girl!
We love this girl!

Maurianne, you have been nothing less than a complete pleasure to work with. Thank you for everything, for every way that you contributed to CK! All the best.   – Becky Higgins, Contributing Editor

Maurianne is the quiet, calm member of our team. She always brings such a fresh, well-thought-out perspective to our team (and she is never frazzled). I will miss her adorable outfits every day, her keen eye and attention to detail, and most of all her little comments that catch me off guard and make me giggle. You will knock them dead, Maurianne. Good luck and I wish nothing but the best for you. You are a shining star!   – Lori Anderson, Online Managing Editor

Maurianne is the greatest friend and editor anyone could have. I have sure enjoyed getting to know her through emails. She is one TALENTED woman and CK sure will never be the same without her. Thanks, Maurianne, for all you have done!  LUFF    –Mandy Douglass, Contributing Editor

Ode to Maurianne (a double haiku)

 Helpful, skilled, cheerful,

Fashionable and smart, her

Cleverness inspires.

Maurianne’s so great,

Talented and wonderful,

Words cannot express.    

– Jennafer Martin, Editor-in-Chief

Maurianne, you’re a class act! Your calm, friendly energy always puts me at ease and you never cease to impress me with your intelligence and creativity. You’re a wonderful problem solver, a fantastic writer/editor and one snazzy dresser. I’m going to miss all of these things about you. But most of all, I’m going to miss you. However, knowing that you’ll be off following your dreams makes all of this easier. I’m proud of you for taking this leap. You’re going to rock grad school, just as you rock everything else that you put your mind to!           –Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

Maurianne, you are amazingly talented and will be much missed. Thanks for always crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s. I appreciate your eye for all things cool. It has been fun to be inspired by things that inspire you. I love your lovely classic fashion sense that makes you appear as much of a lady on the outside as you truly are on the inside. I wish you the best in your future and know you will accomplish great things!   – Erin Bayless, Art Director

Words to describe Maurianne as a coworker: Thoughtful, professional, organized, conscientious, reliable.

Words to describe Maurianne as a person: Classy, witty, intelligent, generous, devout.

Words to describe Maurianne as a friend: Amazing, patient, kind, supportive, irreplaceable.

Beth Opel, Online Senior Editor

I’ve loved working with Maurianne—she’s kind and helpful, has a fun personality and a great style. She’s a fantastic editor with an inspiring command of the English language. We’re sure going to miss her around here!   – Lori Fairbanks, Product Editor

Maurianne is an incredible person and has been a pleasure to have in the CK family. I will miss having her on our team for so many reasons:

  • She is an amazing friend.
  • She is organized, dependable and efficient.
  • She shares a love for the Chicago Manual of Style and understands why rules of grammar and usage are fascinating.
  • Her behind-the-scenes work has helped the magazine be the incredible publication it is.
  • She is a team player and willingly helps out with any project as needed.

We’re excited for Maurianne’s new adventure, but we are sure going to miss working with her each day!   – Brittany Beattie, Managing Editor

 Keep in touch, Maurianne! Go reach for the stars!


An Insider’s Look: CK’s June Issue

05/07/2009 at 10:31 pm | Posted in Insider's Look | 39 Comments
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maurianneHello everyone! I’m here to give you the insider’s look for the June issue of Creating Keepsakes. It was such a fun issue to work on!

Idea Gallery lyout

Here’s a sneak peak at the huge gallery of layouts (pages 50 to 89) we put together. It includes layouts on topics that CK readers say they scrapbook the most (birthdays, pets and more), and we planned this issue a little differently than normal. Here’s how we did it:

–        We sent out page calls for many different topics, and the response was incredible!

–        We each brought layout submissions on different topics and met together to decide which layouts to use. You should have seen the room full of beautiful layout inspiration! When we saw that array of possibilities, we knew it was going to be a good issue. I think Beth exclaimed more than once, “I just have to say that I love my job!”

Next, you’ll notice the beautiful space of Megan Hoeppner on pages 34 and 35. But Megan has a secret: this pink paradise doesn’t always look this way. Being a Creative Chaos organization girl, she actually hid some things away in the guest bedroom before her space was photographed. You can see more of Megan’s space online here.

CK at CHA 09

(Photo courtesy of Mandy Douglass)

Lastly, on pages 91 to 95, you’ll see our favorite product picks from the CHA trade show. You got a little bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what we do at CHA when we first started the blog, but here’ a little extra insight into what we do when walking the show. Everyone who goes to CHA takes a portion of the show floor to walk and take notes on what we see—we visit every scrapbooking booth. (I had someone ask me at the Winter CHA show if I ever looked at the notes I took. I told him I refer to them over and over!)

Each night we discuss what we saw and then once we get back to the office, we meet together to decide what to feature from the show. It’s such a difficult decision to narrow down what to feature. Because we saw so many amazing products at the Winter show, you’ll also see some of our CHA picks in next month’s “Latest and Greatest”!

So here’s the question: what inspired you the most in the June issue of Creating Keepsakes? Leave a comment for this post by Monday, May 11, and I’ll choose a random winner to receive some scrapbooking goodness! Or–better yet–show me what inspired you the most by participating in our CK & Me challenge all through the month of May.  Either way, you could be a winner!

Maurianne Dunn, Associate Editor

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.

Special Guest Blogger, Mandy Douglass

03/27/2009 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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mandy-douglassHi. I’m Mandy Douglass, CK’s 2008 Scrapbooker of the Year. One of my exciting responsibilities as a SOY winner is to write a monthly column for the magazine called “Mandy’s Challenge,” which poses a challenge and shows how several different scrapbookers interpret that challenge. In April, my challenge was to incorporate hidden elements on layouts. In response to this column, I was asked the following question by Lisa, who is a reader of my blog:



Q. LOVED the feature on the hidden elements. How do you put these into page protectors so they can be seen and used? I really like the concept to show more photos on a page but not sure how to make it useable in an album.

A. Thanks for the great question, Lisa. I have a couple of answer for you.

 1. Cut Creatively: Place your page inside a sheet protector and use a craft knife to cut the sheet protector around just the opening element. This keeps your interactive element accessible while also protecting the remainder of your page.

 2. Keep Things Private: One of my favorite elements to keep hidden is my journaling. Often times I don’t want my journaling to be read by every person looking through my scrapbook. It can be very personal at times, and there are certain things that are intended for only certain eyes. For this reason, I have chosen to show you three pages where I’ve purposely kept my thoughts a little less accessible. No cut page protectors here.


Here are a few examples of pages I’ve designed using hidden elements:



This spread is of my son Bryson’s baby blessing. As you can see, I sewed vellum to my page to create a pocket, which holds my journaling card. By taking this approach, the general details of the event are visible, while the more intimate details are hidden. How? Well, when you take the journal card out, it opens up and the actual blessing is recorded. This gives Bryson access to it as he grows up, without making the intimate details known to the world (or at least to those who flip through my albums).












This page was actually one of my entry pages for the Scrapbooker of the Year contest. I chose to hide the journaling behind the picture of my husband holding Bryson, because these are words I want to keep for Bryson’s eyes only. I did, however, decided to slice my sheet protector on the right seam for easier access to the card. This is subtle enough that those flipping through my album likely won’t notice, but the journaling is still easily accessible to our family. You might say it’s the best of both worlds.








The details of this trip to Chicago are very important to our family, as this was one of the last trips we took together before my husband’s brother passed away. Plus, I had a lot to record and not much room to record it. Thus, I hid the journaling behind the pictures on the left page. I like large pockets like this. Besides containing larger amounts of journaling, they’re great for holding memorabilia (postcards, brochures, etc.), extra pictures and more!

As you’re thinking about how to incorporate hidden elements on your pages, I encourage you to answer this question: do you want the element easily accessible to any audience or is it something you purposely want to keep somewhat out of view? The answer will help you decide on the approach to take with your positioning.

I hope this additional look into my April “Mandy’s Challenge” column has given you more ideas and motivation to try hiding an element on your page! For more inspiration, be sure to join my group on the CK website and see what other scrappers are doing with my challenges each month!

Mandy Douglass

Do you have questions for Mandy about anything you’ve seen in her “Mandy’s Challenge” column? Leave her a comment here. Continue Reading Special Guest Blogger, Mandy Douglass…

Hide and Peek

03/24/2009 at 6:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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loriaWith the spring comes a favorite tradition that many people enjoy—a good old fashioned Easter egg hunt. Who doesn’t love heading out on an adventure and seeing what fun treasures they can find? This month, in our April issue of Creating Keepsakes, our 2008 Scrapbooker of the Year, Mandy Douglass, challenges you to try fun hidden journaling techniques on your layouts. Finding hidden surprises on a page is always a fun for everyone, don’t you think?!

Egg Hunt by Mandy Douglass

Egg Hunt by Mandy Douglass

Inspired by Mandy’s challenge, I incorporate hidden journaling on this layout I created about my son’s birthday. I wanted to showcase some of the cool things he had done while he was nine, and he and I decided that it would be fun to write down his “top 9” favorite things for that year.

Nine by Lori Anderson
Nine by Lori Anderson

Because I enlarged a few of the photos, I didn’t have quite enough space on my one page layout for his list, so I placed a tab on the list and tucked it behind the main photo on my page. Now, I have the memories of his “top 9” recorded, and he knows that his memories are always tucked in a special place on the layout.

Nine by Lori Anderson

Nine by Lori Anderson

Check out Mandy’s challenge today on page 107 of our April issue, and don’t forget to take Mandy’s challenge to place a hidden element on your next page! Be sure to post your creations in our gallery so that we can see the wonderful things you create!

Lori Anderson
Senior Editor, Creating Keepsakes

P.S. Join Mandy this Friday, as our guest blogger right here on the Creating Keepsakes blog. She’ll be sharing even more creative ways to incorporate hidden journaling onto your layouts!


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