December 31, 2013

Pages Scrapped in 2013

I was curious how many pages I scrapped in 2013, so I went looking through my files, and this is what I came up with. 205 pages. Not too shabby. Before I looked up these numbers I was feeling a little behind....a little overwhelmed at how behind I was...or thought I was. Now that I look at them I see 2 finished albums (Instagram and Lydia), an album that is almost finished (2012) and album that, even though I feel like is WAY behind, at least has 26 pages done (2013) and then Matthew, who isn't even home with us yet, already has 3 pages complete.

I'm going to feel good about completing 205 pages...because how can I feel bad about that?
Look at what you accomplished in 2013....not at what you didn't accomplish.

December 28, 2013

Arms Wide Open

Across the Miles by Tracie Stroud and Amber Shaw

How can I miss a little boy I have never met? How can I long to hold a little boy I have never touched? Your smile melts my heart. My heart aches for aches for our family. We are not complete until you are home.

I had a little time to scrap on Christmas night after the festivities had died down. Everyone was playing with their new toys, and I decided to hop on the computer and scrap. I scrapped what was on my heart. Matthew. How I longed for him to be with us this Christmas, even though I knew it was impossible. I longed for him to open his presents, for him to be playing new games with his sisters, for him to be playing with his cousins at Grandma and Grandpa's sit on Grandpa's lap while Grandpa read him a story. 

Next year he'll be here. Next year he'll know the love of a family. Next year he'll be in my arms. I'm welcoming 2014 with arms wide open!


P.S. His pictures are blurry because I can't quite share them with you yet!

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to pop in and wish you a Merry Christmas! You all have been such a blessing to my family in so many ways. Thank you for supporting my business. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and very Happy New Year!

Info Newsletter Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Snapshots by Tickled Pink Studio


December 18, 2013

DIY: Chalkboard, Baby Shower, Christmas, Advent

This post is kind of a collection of some of the other (non-digi) crafty things I've done this month.  I always have grand plans of doing different posts for each project....but well, it never happens. There are just not enough hours in the day. The photos always just sit in their folder waiting to be blogged about. So today I'm going to share a few photos of some of the projects I've done around the house this month....before I forget about them!

First is my chalkboard. Remember my Christmas chalkboard from last year? Well, it was time to make a new one. I searched different Christmas chalkboard art on pinterest and mixed and matched a few that I like, and I ended up with this.

Oh my goodness. Look at how much stuff I've added to my bookshelves! #homeschoolhastakenovermylife

I decided that this Christmas season we were going to start a new tradition. All the kids are going to make a Christmas ornament each year. When they are grown and have their own tree they'll get to keep all the ornaments they've made through the years. There were plenty of ideas on pinterest, and we came across these pom pom ornaments, but we made them our own by using different scraps of ribbon I had on hand. I decided the twigs that I found in my back yard (free is awesome) needed some dressing up. We hung them on the twigs instead of the Christmas tree.

I decided to do an advent countdown with journal cards. I found these cards from Amber Shaw, and they were perfect. I used Persnickety Prints to print them...they have a nice journal card printing option with rounded corners! Perfect. Each night, after reading different Christmas themed verses from the Bible and reading a Christmas book, we write down (on the back of the card) our favorite memory from the day. My plan is to keep the journal cards and make a little book out of them. It will be fun to look back on them throughout the years....this is another new tradition I've decided to start this year. I'm hoping all these new traditions stick....we'll see!

The above photo holder usually holds instagram photos. Since I had all those photos hangin' out I decided to make this little instagram tree. It hangs on our magnet board downstairs...all by its lonesome with no other Christmas decorations. It's kind of cute. My 6 year old made the star for the top.

And then there was a baby shower. One of my dear friends is welcoming a new little boy into the world any day now. I decided to utilize my chalkboard and use it as some of the shower decor (this was the day before I made the Christmas chalkboard).

I made little onesies for her then used them, along with the leftover scraps, to make a little banner. Yes, I'm getting into sewing and applique a little I need another hobby. Actually my girls are mostly getting into it. I just kind of do it when I need a break from scrapping or working!


December 11, 2013

Storybook Creator .page File Tutorial

If you use SBC Studio or Artisan, you are probably aware that Scrapping with Liz has *.page files that you can use in your scrapping program. But I understand that some of you need a little help on knowing how to use them.  Great thing is, the *.page file format works in Artisan, SBC 3.0 as well as SBC 4.0! How versatile is that?

SBC 4.0 and Artisan
If you have SBC 4.0 or Artisan, you should simply be able to click on the *.page file and it will open up in the program.  But what if you want to join a project you already have in progress?
Open up SBC4.0 or Artisan and go to the Home ribbon.  Select “Add page” and then select “From My Computer”.  Navigate to where you have saved the template you want to use, select it, and it will be added into your project.

SBC 3.0
If you still are using SBC 3.0, I’d suggest you check out Panstoria’s Artisan program to upgrade if for no other reason than it allows you to see thumbnails of all the page files in Explorer!  Plus it has a few other features that you’ll love. But if you’re sticking with 3.0 no matter what, here’s what you do. Again, go into the Home ribbon.  And then select “Import page”.  Now navigate to where the template is that you want to use and it will be added to your project!  Easy peasy!

Using the templates
Now you have the templates in the program and we’re ready to go.  When I turn Liz’s templates into page files for you, I try to make the photo spots “live”.  Actually, if it’s possible, I try to make all the major regular shapes live for you to use.  This will allow you to drag and drop papers into the spots and zoom in or out and move the paper around within the shape.  I love that!  How do you know what shapes are live?  If you click on it and a set of yellow arrows appears in the middle, the shape is live.  You can just drag your papers or photos into the shape.

What if it’s not “live”?  Some shapes are too difficult to make or are intended to be changed into elements available to you in a kit.  So, hearts, flowers, leaves, etc. aren’t live.  Substitute those with kit elements to your heart’s desire!  Sometimes you want to fill a shape with paper, though.  How do you do that?  

Select the shape you want to fill with paper that isn’t a live photo spot.  Select the paper/photo you want to use either from your Photos group our your Content group.  Right click on the paper and select “Fill selected shape”. The paper will fill that spot!  Yay!  You’re well on your way to making a beautiful page!!


December 4, 2013

A Few Pages

I've scrapped a few pages over the last month or so....not as many as I would have liked, but I'm plugging along.

Want to see them? Well, I'm going to show them to you right now.

I designed some info graphic templates about a month ago, and I just had to use them right away. I went ahead and made our Christmas newsletter. And yes, that picture was not taken specifically for my Christmas newsletter, but I'm afraid it's all I'm going to get this year.

Info Newsletter Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Snapshots by Tickled Pink Studio
Lately I've been in the mood to scrap current pictures. The next four pages you see are pictures from this October or November.

Template Revisited 17 by Scrapping with Liz
North Country by mle Card

Capture Your December - Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Gathering by Amanda Shaw and AH Designs

Wavy Templates 1 by Scrapping with Liz
Storytime by Kristin Aagard

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 11 by Scrapping with Liz
Thankful by mle Card and Tracie Stroud
 This was an artsy journal page where I felt like journaling out some of my adoption thoughts.
Artsy Journal Templates 3 by Scrapping with Liz
Carry On Artisan Bundle by Tracie Stroud
Then I've still been slowly working on finishing my 2012 album....not doing a good job at it though! Only two pages in the last month. But I love them both, so that's good, right?
Capture Your December Templates by Scrapping with Liz
In the Forest by SO Designers

Upcoming Free Template in Scrap 'n Art Magazine
That Girl by Sugary Fancy Designs
Hafta Craft Alpha by Bella Gypsy Designs
Eight pages isn't too bad I suppose. I finished a few current pages, a couple of 2012 pages, and then our Christmas's better than nothing! What did you scrap last month?


November 27, 2013

$350 Prize Giveaway for Digi Scrappers, $1 SALE & FREEBIE!

Unless you’re passionate about digital scrapbooking finding the perfect gift for a digital scrapbooker can be challenging.  To help, I’ve put together a list of potential gifts that just about any digital scrapbooker would love to receive.

Do you know how sometimes a small idea grows?  That’s what happened to me while making this list.  In talking to my CT and other scrappers, an idea emerged, what about a digital scrapbookers giveaway?  Well, guess what?!  I’ve compiled an AWESOME giveaway that includes several of the items from the list!  By awesome I mean, over $350 of digital scrapbooking joy that my CT would love to win but can’t because this is just for you!

In no particular order:

Prints: Most digital scrapbookers want to print their pages. A Persnickety Prints gift voucher would be a perfect gift for the digital scrapbooker in your family. It's where I do all of my individual scrapbook page printing. They offer several sizes of individual prints as well as photobooks. The most common size for individual prints is 12x12, by they offer so many options, you're sure to find exactly what your scrapper prefers. I'm certain a digital scrapbooker would love $$$ to print their pages. Did I mention that they have phenomenal prices and quality? The giveaway includes $25 to their shop!

Photography Classes: Photographs are at the heart of digital scrapbooking and I'm confident that any scrapbooker would love to learn how to take better pictures or even learn their camera better. In fact, I just got finished taking a photography class from Katrina Kennedy. I loved it! Here's a little info on her upcoming class:

Have you moved your camera to manual mode? Do you "kind of" get it, but really wonder what else you need to know to improve your skills? 

Join Katrina Kennedy for her popular class, Exposure. Improve your understanding of manual mode and grasp the art of exposure, from correct to creative.  Katrina will teach you how to take beautiful photos in a variety of situations, both  everyday and in challenging lighting conditions. Class is best suited for those with a dSLR and some understanding of manual mode.

Cost: Save $10 off the regular registration of $124 at this link.
Class Begins: January 6th 

It's perfect for digital scrapbookers and this class is included in the giveaway!

Photo Books: Not into printing individual pages? Do you love the look of a bound book? Adoramapix prints beautiful lay-flat photo books. They are truly gorgeous. My creative team and I have printed several books with them.  You can check out my review here. Adoramapix has generously donated a 26 page 10x10 book! Wow! That's a $70 value.

Daily Digi: The Daily Digi is a great resource for every digital scrapbooker. Not only do they have great tips and tutorial on their blog they also have something call the Digi Files. Each month the Digi Files include over $50 worth of product from top digital designers all over digi-land all for $7.50 a month. It's a great way to try out new designers and stock up on digi products at a very low price. I'm certain that most digital scrapbookers would love to have a subscription to the Digi Files. Steph is including 4 months of the Digi Files in this giveaway!

Camera Accessories: How about a little bling? I'm thinking fun and functional. A digital scrapbooker has to use a camera, right? Why not get them something snazzy to dress up their camera like a fancy camera strap from Something Strappy? Kimberley, one of my creative team members, told me about them. She loves hers and highly recommends them. These straps are designed to replace your current black one...a whole new comfy strap that's pretty to boot! Check them out, they are really cute. And Something Strappy is generously donating $25 to her Something Strappy Etsy shop in my giveaway. You may also like to stay connected with Something Strappy through her Twitter feed.

Digital Scrapbook Classes: Every digital scrapbooker has an area they would like to improve or learn about. It may be basic composition or shadowing techniques. Others may be interested clustering techniques or blending styles. Tamara, over at Scrap Orchard, offers some great digital scrapping classes. She's graciously offered to include one of her classes in my giveaway! Be sure to check her out on facebook as well. She's sure to link you up to great freebies and sales.

Digi Gift Cards: Whether new to digital scrapbooking or a seasoned pro, nearly every digital scrapbooker would love to add to their digi-scrap stash. Why not get them a gift card to their favorite store? It's no secret that my favorite is Scrap Orchard. Who wouldn't want to win a $25 gift card to Scrap Orchard? What about $10 coupons to Amber Shaw, AH Designs, WM Squared Designs? This giveaway has them all! Don't forget to check out their stores this week because you can grab lots of fantastic goodies for only $1.00 each!

Lastly, I'm including a $25 coupon to my store as well!

All of the above items are included in the giveaway! That's over $350 worth of digital happiness in one giveaway!

So go ahead and enter the giveaway below. I'll be announcing the winner, here on my blog, on December 2nd.

Want a few more gift ideas? Here are a few that I'm certain would be a hit:

RadLab - This is a great photo editing software.

Newer version of their favorite scrapbooking software - Or maybe a switch from the software they are using to the one they've been dreaming about?

Silhouette Cameo - Many digital scrapbookers do a mix of traditional and digital scrapbooking. Does your digi-scrapper love the look of hybrid projects but isn't very scissor savvy? This would be the perfect gift for them! It's actually on my wishlist.

External Hard Drive - If there is one thing we digi-scrappers ALWAYS need, it's more space to store our digi-stash..

Tripod - If the digital scrapbooker in your family doesn't have a tripod I'm sure they would love one. I use mine quite a bit.

An On-Line Back-Up Service: The digital scrapbook forums are riddled with discussions about hard drive failures and crashes. Those discussions inevitably morph into on-line back up recommendations. While I don't have one to recommend, I've heard that I really should get one! Maybe I should add it to my wish list.

Coupon to the Photojojo Store: They have some awesome phone accessories. This is perfect for any family member who takes a lot of photos with their phone because that's what they specialize in! They have some really cool and fun ideas.

Hopefully, I have given you some great gift ideas for the digital scrapbooker in your life. If you are the scrapbooker you might want to pass this along to friends and family....they might just take the hint (wink, wink)!

Before you leave I just want to make sure you all know that it's the big $1.00 sale over at Scrap Orchard. I have over 30 products on sale for just $1.00 each, including 4 new template packs! Make sure you check it out after you enter the giveaway!

Oh, and make sure you head on over to my facebook page to grab this free template.
Have I mentioned how thankful I am for each and every one of you!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Chalkboard

While I'm sitting here (not really sitting....I stay quite busy with 4 kids, homeschooling, and running my own business...but you know what I mean) waiting for our immigration paperwork (yes, it seems like it's taking forever), I thought I would share a little something I made for Thanksgiving on my DIY chalkboard. A couple of weeks ago I wrote out Be Thankful on my board, and each week the family has been writing what we are thankful for on it. By Thanksgiving it will be so full of things we are thankful for. I know I'm going to love reading back over it with the family around the dinner table. I think I'm even going to scrap a page with the list of things that are written on the board. Wouldn't that be a cool thing to do each year?


*Note for next year: No one is allowed to write something already written on the board.
I think that will allow for more creative thinking and thankfulness. 

November 16, 2013

I Love Matthew

Double Monthly Challenge Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Thankful by mle Card and Tracie Stroud Designs
Journaling: Kyla has written this sign out multiple times in the last few day...all on her own. She’s so proud that she can write his name without any help....but mostly, I think she’s proud that she has a little brother.

We are still just sitting here waiting for immigration approval. In the meantime I'm just taking photos and scrapping pages for him.


November 13, 2013

Gifts with Photos

I don't know if it's the digital scrapbook in me but I love making gifts that include photos. Since it's almost that time of year I thought I would share a few ideas for photo gifts.

I saw this on the Persnickety Blog a couple of weeks ago, and I instantly fell in love (no pun intended...well, maybe). These would make such a fun gift. There's even a free download for the template. Just put in your photos and order your calendar!
I just received a little Shutterfly flyer in the mail this week, and I browsed through it to see if there might be any gifts I could make for family members. The notebook, I-phone cases and little note pad stood out to me. I'm tempted to get the notebook myself. They have a lot of other photo gifts but those were my faves. 

 Isn't the notepad so cute?
This is actually a gift I made last year (with the help of my SIL and sister). My SIL had seen this idea on pinterest, and we thought it would be perfect for Grandma. Make a t-shirt with a number for each of the grandchildren (each color represents one family), line them up and take a picture. It sounds so simple doesn't it? Well, with 11 kids you can imagine how much work it took to get this photo! I also took individual pics of each of the sets of grandchildren, and then I framed those along with this shot. It ended up being really cute, and my mom loved it.

Two years ago I made some poster prints for a few family members. Here's one of the posters. Click the photo to read more about how I made them.

Here is the template set I made to make the above poster. Make sure you check out my store to see the other poster templates I offer.

Hopefully this will give you some ideas for Christmas this year.

November 6, 2013

1 Photo - Multiple Photo Spots

There are so many tricks to using a template. Today I'm going to show you how to use one photo in multiple photo spots. I have a tutorial here showing you how to combine photo layers to make one big photo mat. That works most of the time, but sometimes you want to use one photo, have the freedom to move it around, and re-size each photo layer around individually. When you combine the layers you can't do that.'s another way to easy use one photo on multiple layers (using Photoshop CS3). Oh, and you'll also get a quick tip on how to flip a template!

 Here's my finished page.
Wavy Templates 1
Storytime by Kristin Aagard Designs

Since I also have a lot of SBC Creative Memories, Leslie and Lori (thanks girls!) are going to share a quick tip on how to accomplish this same technique in the Creative Memories software:
Easy way: insert the photo into each of the spots and eyeball it for zoom and location.
More precise but more difficult way: 1) Flatten the photo spots you want to put your photo into across multiple photo spots. 2) Insert a new photo spot and size it to match the grouped photo spots by using the SBC resizing tools. 3) Insert your picture into the empty photo frame that that you just made. 4) Manipulate and zoom the photo as desired. 5) Save the photo using Right Mouse - Save Selection - Export to Image File as a jpg and highest quality. Save the photo into a location you can find easily in the next step. 6) Now go to Photos - Get Photos and navigate to the location new photo was saved. 7) Select the photo spots you flattened in step #1. Fill this with your photo by going to Photos - Right Mouse - Fill the Selected Element with this Photo. 8)Delete or hide the photo spot you made in step #2.
Here is some inspiration from my team on how to use multiple photo spots for one photo. They have used both techniques (combining layers and copying photos).

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 3
Mother is a Verb by Krystal Hartley
Lions, Tigers and Bears Alpha - Sugarplum Paperie

Recyclables 25 by Scrapping with Liz
Great Escape: Alaska - The Kit by WM Squared

A Piece of Me Templates
Good Morning Love by Amanda Heimann

I hope that helps a bit and you get a little bit of inspiration from the pages.

October 30, 2013

My Latest Pages

Here are my latest pages. I've scrapped a lot of doubles this month as well as  a few "art journal" type pages.

Bold Double Templates
In the Forest by Scrap Orchard Designers
I'm trying to finish up my 2012 album. I was on a roll with these double pagers, but I still have a way to go to finish up my 2012 album.

Bold Double Templates
A Day Out by the Scrap Orchard Designers

Bold Double Templates
Kit by Bella Gypsy Designs
These two pages (the above and below) make me so happy! Actually, most of my pages make me happy but there was just so much joy those first few days we were all together.

Bold Double Templates
Delightful by Designs by Megan Turndige
 And a special 1 year later page. This one also makes me very happy.

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 10
Hard Candy Alpha and Happy Travels by Tickled Pink Studio
Celebrate Everything by Bella Gypsy Designs
I did a little something different with this page. Sometimes I like to change up my clean, simple way of scrapping and do a little something fun with my photos. I just knew I needed to scrap this photo I took of my daughter's drawing a little bit differently than my normal way. I love how it turned out.

Make It Snappy October Templates (available in my store soon!)
I Heart Dad by Big Dream Designs
More 2012 photos. I love that I was able to include so many photos on one page. It really encompasses our weekend away.

October Template on the Scrap Orchard Blog
Spunky Chick by Laura Banasiak Designs
 Then a sweet family photo page. These pictures were taken in 2012....still have to fix that date!
October Template Challenge in my SwL Group
All Organic by Sugary Fancy Designs
We had a lot of special moment sin our household the last few months. Whenever I have journaling that tells a story or conveys more of my emotions I like to put it on more of an "art journal" type page.

Artsy Journal Templates 3
Mr. Little Man by Sugary Fancy Designs

Artsy Journal Templates 3
Be True by Tracie Stroud Designs

Artsy Journal Templates 3
Sorrow by Tracie Stroud Designs
So, there are the latest pages I've scrapped. How are you doing with your scrapping this year?
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