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!


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.


Special Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Kartchner

01/29/2010 at 4:13 pm | Posted in fonts, guest blogger, product | 315 Comments
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Today’s guest-blog post is a video special! Check out Elizabeth Kartchner’s favorite product picks from CHA–Winter 2010.

Comment to Win

Leave a comment on this post by February 1, 2010, and you could be the lucky winner randomly selected to win a kit of CHA-release product goodies!

Free Font Friday

Don’t miss this week’s free font: CK Doodling. You can download it free here.

Holiday Trimmings—Which Trimmer Do You Choose?

12/16/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in product | 156 Comments
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In the January 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes, you learned tips for cropping photos in the “To Crop or Not to Crop” article. But when it comes time to crop, which trimmer should you use? Consider these factors when selecting the perfect model for your holiday trimmings.
* Length of the Cutting Area. Some trimmers have a 12″ length between the ends of the blade track. That length works fabulous for cardstock, but it can be difficult when your patterned papers have the extra border strip that contains the manufacturer’s information. If you like to keep those borders intact, look for a trimmer with a 12.5″ length instead of just 12″.

Notice how the manufacturer strip on this paper still fits within the blade track because of the 12.5" track length.

* Interchangeable Blade Styles. If you love the look of scalloped or pinked edges, look for a trimmer with interchangeable blades. If you frequently cut long edges, using these blades will save you more time than always pulling out decorative scissors or punches.

Many manufacturers offer a variety of interchangeable blade styles that come with the trimmer or can be purchased separately.

* Blade Types. Factor in the price of replacement blades. Or look for trimmers with titanium blades or self-sharpening blades that won’t need to be replaced as frequently.
* Visible Cutting Area. Before you buy, try out the blade. Picture where your photos or cardstock will be placed in the trimmer. Will you be able to see where you’re cutting, or will you have to guess what part of your photo is approaching the cutting area if that area is covered around the blade? Some trimmers offer extra guides to help you see where the photo or paper will be cut, like a laser or wire guide.

Check out how the wire guide on this trimmer helps you see exactly where your cut line will be made.

* Clear Measuring Guides. Most trimmers have a base with marked guides to help you identify inch marks, but some guides are easier to read than others are; find a style that suits you. Also look for guides marked for basic photo or card sizes, like 4″ x 6″ and 5″ x 7″, for quicker measuring.
* Swing-Out Ruled Arm. If your trimmer base has a width less than 12″, look for an option with a swing-out arm that will allow you to measure long lengths on 12″ x 12″ sheets.
* Cutting Style. Watch for safety features, especially if you have young kids around. Look for guillotine blades that lock down and blades that remain covered when they’re not in use.

Now that you know the factors to consider when searching for the right trimmer for you, check out these four fabulous options.

The Laser Trimmer from X-acto features a laser guide for cutting, a self-sharpening metal blade, non-skid rubber feet, and a locking blade.

The Premium Crafter’s Trimmer from Fiskars Americas offers a 12.5″ length on the blade track, a wire guide to help you see exactly where to cut your photos and paper, rubberized feet, and a swing-out arm.

The 12″ Titanium Personal Trimmer with Cut & Score Blades from Westcott comes with scoring and cutting blades, a swing-out arm, a titanium blade, and a 12.5″ length on the blade track.

The Ultimate Trimmer from Purple Cows features 11 blade styles for creative crafting.

Win a Trimmer
Let the Creating Keepsakes team help you add to your holiday trimmings this year. Leave a comment on this post by December 19, and tell us what your favorite trimmer is. We’ll randomly select three winners to receive a portable trimmer from Fiskars Americas or Westcott. Check the Giveaways tab on our blog next week to see if you are a lucky winner.

—Brittany Beattie, online senior editor

Weekly Warm-up!

03/23/2009 at 1:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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img_20574Happy Monday, Friends of CK!

You know how certain songs can just whisk you back to a very specific moment? That’s how the song “Borderline” by Madonna is for me. I vividly remember a lovely walk on a spectacular Michigan summer day, among country creeks and cornstalks, skipping along to that catchy tune . . .

Today, we invite you to embrace the borderline in your projects. Particularly, we propose that you get creative with border rub-ons, just like our technique guru, Jennifer McGuire, does in her column on p. 47 of the April issue of Creating Keepsakes. Try one of Jennifer’s suggestions:

  • Add border rub-ons to plain ribbon.
  • Apply rows of border rub-ons to create your own patterned paper.
  • Use border rub-ons to create journaling lines.
  • Decorate a die-cut shape with a border rub-on outline.
  • Apply a border rub-on along a curved edge.
  • Accentuate border rub-ons with gems.
  • Decorate craft supplies with rub-ons.

Or, come up with your own inventive use for border rub-ons. And don’t forget to share your projects in our online gallery. Check out just some of the snazzy products that manufacturers are offering:


Border rub-ons by: GCD Studios, Hambly Screen Prints, Jenni Bowlin Studio, K& Company, Kaisercraft, Maya Road and Rob and Bob Studio, Provo Craft.

Finally-wow! We really enjoyed all your Irish toasts and blessings…what a great smile-inducer last week. The LUCKY winner of our green giveaway? None other than the lovely Teresa M., who shared this little ditty:

May the Irish hills caress you
May her lakes and rivers bless you
May the luck of the Irish enfold you
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you

 Teresa, please send us your address to so we can get your green goodies in the mail!

Back row, L to R: Matt Anderson, Brian Tippetts, Jennifer Schaerer, Janice Barfuss, Andrew Johnson; Center: Lori Fairbanks, Susan Opel, Jennafer Martin, Maurianne Dunn, Neko Carrillo, Brittany Beattie; Front, standing: Carma Calder, Joannie McBride, Beth Opel, Erin Bayless, Cath Edvalson; Front, kneeling: Kim Blackinton, P. Kelly Smith, Brandy Jesperson, Megan Hoeppner, Brenda Peterson.

Remember to mosey on over to our Facebook page to become a fan and receive mailings with even more fun ideas! 

Beth Opel

Senior Writer, Creating Keepsakes

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