Celebrating a little princess

I was recently talking with my friend, Heather, who mentioned her daughter’s current fascination with all things princess. That sparked a crafty idea in my brain, so I made Sydnie this banner for her bedroom.

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I hope my friend's daughter likes her new princess banner. :-)

I cut the base pennant shape and the lettering on my Silhouette. Then I embossed the background to give it texture and mounted these darling Pebbles Everafter glittered patterned papers on each flag. I topped it with a scalloped strip I punched and tipped each point with a star.

I know a true princess doesn’t need to be reminded of her status, but it doesn’t hurt to remind her subjects. ;-)

Talk to the animals

Twisted Sketches has revealed its latest sketch, #112, and the twist is “fun.” Be sure to head over to the site to grab the sketch, then create something and link it up! :)

Here’s my Design Team layout inspired by the sketch. The patterned papers I used on this very colorful layout are from Jillibean Soup. The colors just went so well with my vintage photo.

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This photo is from August 1974, when we visited the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania.

That’s Phil and me at the Erie Zoo in Pennsylvania in August 1974. There’s so much I love about this photo: the great outfits Mom always picked for us (I adored that quilted skirt and remember looking down at those sandals on my feet all summer), that we’re not cheesing for the camera but engrossed in a moment and the signs of 1974 hairstyles and clothes on the people in the background. It’s a great snapshot!

I cut those animal embellishments with my Silhouette using a free dingbat font called Zoologic. They cut out beautifully, and I really think they added a lot to the design.

Here’s a fun fact: I chose to include images of the giraffe, lion and camel for a reason. It’s because most mammals move both legs on one side and then both legs on the other side. The only mammals that walk by alternating their legs in sequence are…you guessed it…the giraffe, the cat and the camel! Cool, huh?

Easter chick

I scrapped more vintage photos this weekend, which is always lots of fun for me. These are from my first Easter. On Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967, Mom and Dad were 26 and 33 years old, respectively, and I was four months. My parents (when they were first married) and then our family (once they had us kids) always drove the two-hour trip to Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, to spend holidays with relatives there. So these photos are taken with my Nana and Papa (on Dad’s side) in front of their home on Fourth Avenue. Don’t you just love Mom’s Easter hat?

I created this layout using the PageMaps sketch shown below and am entering it in their Freehand Scraps sketch contest. Please wish me luck, and I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

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My Easter 1967 layout is based on a sketch from the PageMaps site.

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This is the PageMaps sketch I based my layout on.

My kind of bouquet

Twisted Sketches has revealed its latest sketch, #111, and the twist is “buttons.” Be sure to head over to the site to grab the sketch, then create something and link it up! :)

Twisted Sketches #111

Here’s my Design Team layout inspired by the sketch. The patterned papers I used on this very colorful layout are from American Crafts’ Margarita line.

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My darling man brought home a bouquet of Copic markers for me "just because." He's a keeper!

The journaling on my page reads: “Matt came home from work on Thursday and said, ‘I got something for you; it’s on the table.’ It was a bag full of Copic markers! I was so surprised…and excited…and touched. What an amazing thing to do just because.”

I cut that 3×3 envelope with my Silhouette and added it so that I could tuck in a thank you card to Matt (my way of including a more personal thank you to my generous and thoughtful honey). It’s the first thing I’ve ever made using Copics. And so my new obsession begins. :-)

This hydrangea card was made using my new Copic markers.

7 tips for packing for your next crop

The first time I went away for a weekend crop with a friend in 2003, I about lost my mind while I was packing for it. I kept running from pile to pile in my craft room, sure that I would “need” some of everything. In the end, I filled the back of my SUV with scrapbook products. I took so much more that I could have possibly needed. I felt overburdened with stuff to lug around and overwhelmed with choices; it just about paralyzed my creativity that weekend!

These days I crop monthly with a few friends at my neighborhood Archiver’s. After our first outing together I realized that the only way I could look forward to these get-togethers on a monthly basis was if I stressed a lot less about the packing. I have a little system now that works quite well for me, and while I was packing for this weekend’s crop I thought I would take a few photos to share with you (as well as the resulting layout at the end of the post).

Tip 1: Pack a limited number of photos

My first big tip is to choose the photos you want to work with ahead of time. That way you can pack products only for those photos. I know we all have tons of photos we need to scrap, but if we take several stacks of photos along we have to try to pack products that could go with all of them. So for my six-hour night of scrapping I start my process by selecting photos for just four or five layouts. I hardly ever get even that many done!

Tip 2: Plan each layout on paper (or in your head)

I start all my layouts with sketches. It’s just how I get down. So for each set of photos I choose a sketch to go with them. This quickly leads me to the product-choice part of my process because I know how many patterned papers and embellishments I’ll need. If you don’t use sketches when you create, try to envision a rough draft of your final layout so that you can pull products from your stash that will work together.

Tip 3: Pull all the products you might need for each project/layout

I look through my stash with sketch and photos in hand and pull products that I like together. Even if I see something that could work for one of my other layouts, I try to focus on one page plan at a time. I’ve fallen into the trap of packing for all the projects at once, a little here and a little there, but it just makes it take longer to pack in the end.

Pull together your products

Tip 4: Create a page kit for each layout

Put everything that’s flat enough to fit into a 12×12 envelope. I just put it all in this one place so I don’t have to dig through my bag for it or remember what I had thought would work well together. That kit is done, so I can move on to the next.

Create a page kit

Tip 5: Pack the bulky items and tools

After I’ve packed my separate page kits, I pull together all the tools and extras that I’ll need. There are the constants—like my Basic Grey magnetic mat, paper trimmer, bin of patterned paper scraps, etc. And there are also things that I think I’ll want to use with the page kits but that won’t fit in the envelopes. This includes things like punches, bags of buttons, etc. I pile that all into my rolling organizer (one that I purchased at Costco years ago and still love).

Pack the bulky items last

Tip 6: Grab your tool bag

I keep my small-stuff tool bag packed all the time. It sits next to my craft desk, so it’s always in use and ready to go. So, that’s the last step—grab the tool bag and get out that door!

Grab your tool bag

This process of mine takes a little more planning, but it saves me so much packing angst! I kid you not, there’s a woman who sometimes crops on the same night I meet my friends who wheels in a big flatbed cart chockablock full of scrapbook supplies! The time and backache involved in packing that way…well, I’ll just say it’s not for me. I prefer to walk in pulling my little cart and carrying my tool bag. I’ll tell you what, I usually still have more supplies than I need for a night of fun scrapping.

Bonus tip 7: Share

Another way to really cut down on what you pack is to plan on sharing. If your friend always brings her die-cutting machine, offer to bring your dies to share with her each time in exchange for the use of her machine. Or perhaps you have a great collection of punches that you can share, and your buddies can bring their circle cutters or Crop-A-Diles. You get the idea.

I thought after all that, I should share the layout I made with the page kit shown above. :-)

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My baby bro after a day of teaching.