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 30, 2013

Want to Win 6 Template Packs?

Last week I took a little break from the sneak peek and giveaway, but this week I'm back at it. And this week's giveaway includes 6 brand new template sets! I'm working on some super special template packs, and these are just the beginning. One set I made particularly for me and a challenge that I'm giving myself. I love the templates I made for the challenge, and I think you'll like them to. I'm going to post more about my challenge on the 1st. Make sure you come back to read about it....maybe it's something you'll want to participate in!

If you want a chance to win all 6 template sets make sure to enter the giveaway below.
Have a great Monday!

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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 27, 2013

Winter Woodland and Make A Wish Templates

This week Liz is releasing two past promotional products. So check your stash before you buy - you might already have these! The new release discounts described below are available through January 2, 2014.

If you missed any of the Winter Woodland Advent pieces, they are now on sale for 50% off, so you can still get them at a great price. Winter Woodland Templates have fun paper layering on multi-photo designs. Two of the templates work together to make a 2-page layout. Winter Woodland Templates are 50% off through January 2, 2014.

Make A Wish Templates are festive party templates filled with banners and balloons. They are 20% off through January 2, 2014.

Here are some inspiration pages from the team.

Have a Happy New Year!

December 26, 2013

Week 51

Weekly Project Templates 13 by Scrapping with Liz
Capture Life: December by Tracie Stroud
Almost there!

Since I'm trying to take a little time off this week I'm going to keep it short and simple today. Last week was filled with lots of couch time with my 6 year old (as she was battling a pretty yucky sickness), escapes on my treadmill, catching up on work by the light of the Christmas tree, and then lots of Christmas traditions. The anticipation of Christmas is in full swing as I type this on Monday night. I'm blogging a little early so I can enjoy the rest of the week with my family. I'll be back in full swing next week! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.


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 20, 2013

Text Box Alphas and Alpha Journal Cards

Liz has three alphabet inspired products this week. The two journal card sets come together as a free with purchase, in addition to the usual 20% introductory discount. When you place Alphabet Journal Cards: 3x4 & 4x6 in your cart, InstaLife Alphabet Cards will be added automatically, for free! 20% discount and FWP offer are available through December 26, 2013.

Alphabet Journal Cards: 3x4 & 4x6 is a modern styled set of card templates with an "A is for ..." theme. There are little photo clipping masks tucked in and around each letter, and most of the cards have space for journaling. These are great for pocket scrapbooking or for adding a special highlight to your regular layouts.

InstaLife Alphabet cards are similar, in a 4x4 inch format. Get these free with the purchase of the rectangular cards through 12/26/2013.

And finally, Text Box Alphas: A-Z is a set of large (approx. 12 inch tall) clipping masks with matching text boxes that fill the interior of the letter. These are perfect for all-about-me pages that might focus on a name or defining character.

And here are some inspirational pages with these templates. The team had fun with these!

We wish you all a very merry Christmas!

December 19, 2013

Week 50!!!

Weekly Project Templates 13 by Scrapping with Liz
Capture Life: December by Tracie Stroud

Getting close! Only 2 more weeks left in 2013. I can't believe it. This past week was filled with sewing, card making, singing Christmas Carols, cooking, puzzle making and sickness....and some other holiday type things that aren't pictured, like Christmas cookie making, luminaries, Christmas lights, etc... I have LOTS of other pictures to scrap this month.


The winner of my 3 new template sets is Wendy L. She won my new Text Box Alphas, InstaLife Alpha Cards, and Alphabet Journal Cards. She also won a year long subscription to Scrap N' Art Magazine along with Amber S., Brandy M., Jennifer V., Patty R., Angie K., Sarah N., Brandy R., Crystal B., and Grace L. Congrats everyone. You should have all received e-mails from me!

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 17, 2013

GSO Winner!

Please join me and congratulating Cheryl (DigiCheryl) on winning this month’s GSO!

Cheryl competed against some tough competition but her Halloween layout took home the TREAT! We love this layout using the Recyclables 27 because of its combined kits to get the perfect elements for a cheerleader Halloween layout. Its black background is perfect for the holiday and the addition of the chalk alpha and doodles is fun!

Visit Cheryl's gallery here to leave her some 'love' on her Trick or Treat layout.

We got a chance to ask Cheryl about herself and this is what she said...

What layout are you currently working on or planning to start next?
I've been making pages about my husband's trees he has planted from seeds all our lives. He picks up acorns from trips we make and plants them when we get home, and he has had great success with it. He loves white oaks and recently lost one to a construction accident, so he wants to replace it. But, he also has planted several cork oaks, and these are his favorites. He says they are his retirement plan (ha ha ha). Recently, we visited the Redwood forests in California, and he wanted to bring home cones from the giant Sequoias, but the kids and I wouldn't let him.

What is on your Christmas wish list?
The first thing on my list is a donation to Show Hope, an adoption agency founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. I love to support worthwhile charities for Christmas, and this one has recently come to my attention for personal reasons. I don't really have much on a "want" list, but I always love camera gadgets.

What is your favorite layout you created using a Scrapping with Liz product?
My favorite layout using one of Liz's templates is this page about San Francisco. I used one of Liz's Blocks, Block, Blocks Templates. It's a favorite because I love the photos I was able to get while visiting that beautiful city in May of 2012. It was a clear day and I captured the Golden Gate Bridge in its entirety! I merged the smaller squares together on the upper left and lower right of the template before clipping the photos to them.

Thank you to all you voters! Random-dot-org selected number 23, Spudgeon, as the winner of $5 to Liz's store in the Vote and Win drawing!

December 16, 2013

Sneak Peek & Scrap N' Art Giveaway!

I have a couple of special things for you today. One is the sneak peek above. They are not your typical templates but definitely something fun you can use with your digital scrapbook pages. Enter the giveaway below to win these new goodies!

But that's not all. Have you all heard of Scrap n' Art Magazine? This is what they are all about (straight from their blog):

Scrap n’ Art is a traditional and digital scrapbooking, card making and paper crafting magazine. Our publication is distributed monthly. We are NOT a paper magazine. We ARE a revolutionary newer form of media, providing eco-friendly access to inspiration for scrapbookers and paper crafters of all skill levels and interests. We are an education based publication.

I was a featured designer this month in a special feature called 1 Template 3 Ways. This is just one example of what they did with my template....the other pages are just as beautiful.

You have to subscribe to their magazine to read all of the features...and you get freebies along with it. It's $24 for a yearly subscription or $5 for a monthly subscription. And guess what? They gave me a few magazine subscriptions to give out! 10 of you (yes, 10!) will win a 1 year subscription to Scrap n' Art.

Just enter the giveaway below. 1 person will will my new template set and then 10 others will will a subscription to Scrap n' Art Magazine.

You have until Wednesday 12am EST time to enter and then I'll be picking and announcing the winners.
Have a great Monday!


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December 14, 2013

Boy Clothes

Just thought I would let you all know that I received my first boy clothing purchase in the mail this week. Tea Collection was having some awesome Black Friday sales, and I got this shirt for $12! I'm still not too sure on Matthew's size. This was the first clothing item that I've purchased for him. I couldn't pass up that deal. I'll be keeping my eye out for awesome deals on boy clothes. Keep me posted if you see any!

That is all.

December 13, 2013

New Project Templates - Free with Purchase

New project templates are in the Market, with a Free with Purchase offer. When you place Double Monthly Challenge Templates 12 in your cart, Weekly Project Templates 13 will be added automatically for free. And they are 20% off on top of that! Discount and Free with Purchase are available through December 19, 2013.

Double Monthly Project Templates 12 is the second to last set in this line. These are designed for making double page monthly summaries, but you can use them any way you want - within an album or as stand alone pages. And they work great as single page designs too. This line of templates has really been a favorite with the team.

Weekly Project Templates 13 are the last in this photo-a-day album project. They have weekly titles and numbered photo spots with journaling.

And here is some inspiration for you.

Thanks for stopping by!

December 12, 2013

Week 48 & 49

Weekly Project Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Capture Life: November Elements by Tracie Stroud
Capture Life: November Papers by Tracie Stroud
Capture Life: Kaleidoscope Papers by Tracie Stroud

You didn't see a page from me last week because my blog was so busy that I didn't have a day to post my page. Today you get to see Week 48 and Week 49. The week before last we were in Florida visiting family for Thanksgiving. We enjoyed the warm weather, time with family, and food! Then it was time to come home for the local Christmas parade. The kids always ride on my dad's "American Mobile". Lots of fun was had passing out candy and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

*NEW* Weekly Project Templates 13 by Scrapping with Liz
Capture Life: December by Tracie Stroud
Then last week I spent a lot of the week sick and on the couch. We also started our advent countdown by reading a special Christmas book each night. Then it was co-op, decorating for Christmas, receiving my first purchased boy clothes....and school work. Can I say that I'm really looking forward to a little break!

Can you believe I only have 3 weeks to being done with this album?

The winner from Monday's Sneak Peek/Giveaway was Anne H. Congrats Anne. You won my new Double Monthly Challenge Templates 12 and Weekly Project Templates 13

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 9, 2013

GSO - Vote and Win!

It's Tracy here and its time for the November GSO! I was expecting the gallery to be full of Halloween and Thanksgiving holiday layouts but we truly had an eclectic collection of layouts this month.  The only common theme was their AWESOMENESS! Make sure to vote for your favorite awesomeness, HERE, by this Friday the 13th. You will receive a 30% off coupon to Liz's store* and you will be entered into a drawing, where one lucky voter will win $5 to Liz's store! Drum roll please, the four nominees are...

Layout: Trick or Treat by Cheryl (DigiCheryl)
Template:Recyclables 27
Reasons CTM Loves: "I love that she combined kits to get the cheerleader costume for a Halloween layout. The black background is perfect for the holiday and the addition of the chalk alpha and doodles is fun!"

Layout: Ever So Thankful by PuSticks
Template: Recyclables 27
Reasons CTM Loves: "I love how the textual elements emphasize the flow of the design. The colors are soft and serene - a perfect choice for a baby page. And the photographs are precious."

Layout: Autumn by Alyna (Shunnstergirl)
Template: Recyclables 27
Reasons CTM Loves: "I love how the colors pop out and all the little details."

Layout: Master of Disguise by BJThomas
Template: Recyclables 22
Reasons CTM Loves: "The photos and title are great and I love how she kept the elements int he middle big to draw your attention around the circle. It's all put together very good."

Sneaky Peek & Giveaway!

It's time for another sneak peek and giveaway. This time it's a sneak of two new template sets I'll be releasing on Thursday. They are part of a set I've been releasing all year. Can you guess what they might be?
Personally, I think these are my favorites of the whole set.

Just enter the giveaway below and I'll announce the winner on Thursday's blog post.
Have a great Monday!

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December 7, 2013

Moving Along....

Just a few little updates for those of you who are following our 2nd adoption journey. This past Monday we received our I800a approval....basically saying the US has approved us to bring home a little boy to the states. Yay! Within two hours of receiving it in the mail we had it signed, notarized, and mailed off for state certification. Once it is state certified then we mail off all the paperwork to China and wait for our official letter of approval (LOA). It can take anywhere from 30 to 100+ days for approval. With Lydia it was an excruciating 110 day wait! I'm really hoping we make up for that in Matthew's adoption and only have to wait about 30 days. After that it's basically just planning travel with a few other steps in between. #gettingcloser

And guess what? On Thanksgiving night I happened to get in contact with a mom who had just recently picked up her daughter from the same orphanage that Matthew is in, and she had met my son! She even had pictures and video. What a great surprise....but it makes me want to go get him all the more.

Remember this little boy?

Well....he has a family now! Yay. So all of Matthew's buddies have families coming for them. That makes me happy. I'm hoping to connect with them and keep the boys in touch.

On a side note...sort of....My husband and I just watched this documentary a couple nights ago and it's VERY informative.  It'll answer a lot of questions you might have about international adoption...but a warning: it will make you cry, it will make you might even make you want to do something. Right now you can watch the documentary on Netflix.

There are so many things I want to scrap about right now....all of Matthew's pics, the I800 approval, the joy I felt when I found out Matthew's friend has a home, my anxious thoughts about bringing a little 5 year old boy home, the love I feel for this little boy that I long to hold in my arms....I need to make time!


December 6, 2013

Photo Show and Photo Strip Fun Templates

Liz shared her new products yesterday, so today I'll show off the team creations. These new sets are both great for scrapping a lot of pictures. Photo Show Templates have a more modern collage style with transparent title strips, and Photo Strip Fun Templates are a fun and wavy take on photo strips. These are 20% off through December 12, 2013.

And I'll close with a reminder about Tracy's Template Make It Snappy Challenge tomorrow, December 7th at 7pm eastern time in this tread in The Buzz forum. The participation prize is a really cute multi-photo template!

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