Lessons Learned: 2014 Scrapbook

Welcome to a new mini-series. I’m going through and checking for “holes” in stories, bigger things I skipped and want to make sure to scrapbook, etc. and as I do I’m making note of what I am learning from past years/older scrapbooks and will be sharing…

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1. I love little detailed clusters. I can never have enough of those.

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2: I have fully embraced the strip or “Pocket Page inspired” style 2-page layout for bigger/lots of small into 1 page stories. I can cram a whole lot of detail into a single layout.

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3: I’m getting better at titles not just being slapped on without thought/as a last minute thing. At making titles a part of the planning process.

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4. I love “right now —- is into—-” layouts. LOVE. So great to see that snapshot of pop culture and details from right now.

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5. I will never get enough of Maggie Holmes + Crate Paper. So much love for her lines, they are perfect for so much in my crafty life.

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6. As great as ‘feelings’ pages can be…. I want the specific details of the right now. I want pages about first time at sleep-away camp. That time we ate at — restaurant and it was amazing. I want the good, bad, funny, and awful of that exact moment in time in the books. These are the pages we most enjoy and look at again more than all others.

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2014 has a LOT missing from the second half. I took October – December last year totally off from scrapbooking (taking a few months when feeling burned out is very normal for me from a type of craft. Got to mix it up!) so I have a lot of space still to tell stories, and a lot of stories to tell. My favorite thing about the 2014 book so far? It has to be that every page in there is special. There is no “oh yeah I made that because I needed….” or “ah yeah, hate that one” at all. 100% special stories and pages I love. I like that I’m now creating not as many layouts in recent years vs say 4-5 years ago, and that the quality level is visibly better for it.

I believe I’ll do this in order and keep stepping back in time, with 2013 being my next review… So much to be learned from looking back at my past books – I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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ScanNCut: Quick! It’s a party!

Disclosure: I am a paid consultant for Brother International Corporation and have received a ScanNCut from Brother to evaluate. However, the opinions expressed are entirely my own and based on my use of the product.


It’s no secret that I’ve been doing some work for Brother + ScanNCut. It’s super fun stuff and I really love being able to share what I’m up with here on my blog with you as well! I will say that if you’ve been considering a ScanNCut… exciting things are coming! This month I’ve been working on a video + some party projects for the Brother site and today I wanted to do a blog post sharing the quick tips I’ve been coming up with as well as how I get the kids involved. They aren’t always – but when I take over the dining room to create a faux party? Well they want in on the action!


I taught Becca how to cut designs I already had set up on the ScanNCut. She changed the paper, pressed cut, and kept flowers rollin’ out of that machine! I am not ready to try and explain the whole “how the machine works…” but letting her watch me set it up then putting her in charge of supervising the machine while it cut? A great success.


Input on treats! This is always a favorite of the girls. A tip- sometimes 1 homemade treat mixed with a few store bought ones? The perfect time saver of a mix! We made and decorated cookies (I got pre-made dough) and dipped strawberries – but had some store-bought desserts as well so the kitchen stayed clean and things moved along quickly.


Ideas and input like “hey can we have tags like in Alice in Wonderland? with magical candy pills?” plus a ScanNCut? brilliant! It allowed for fresh ideas plus designs like tags are in the machine and ready to make your projects a reality.


Use candy coating instead of frosting on sugar cookies! Trust me. It dries completely. Is yummy. And doesn’t make nearly as much mess when kids eat those cookies.


Need that table to shape up without a lot of expense or fuss? Grab a bunch of one thing. In my case – balloons and doilies. Ok so in my case this actually took quite a lot of time to make just right… but it would have been a lot longer without all those balloons filling up the big unattractive gaps of wall showing up in my photo shoot! The kids had a BLAST blowing those balloons up as well.


The final and most important thing? Have FUN with it! I believe that whether you’re staging a party for a photo shoot (as I was) or you’re rushing to finish up a birthday party – have a good time with the details. My ScanNCut machine (for about 2 years now) has helped me with every party!

  • shapes from small confetti sized to big splashy décor for the wall cut out of cardstock and patterned paper
  • letters for banners
  • flags & tags for toppers (gift bags, party favors, cupcakes…)
  • stencils for cookies!
  • place cards (letters, shapes, etc)
  • shaped banner pieces

and more! Things that used to be impossible or require way too much hand-cutting? Now a breeze! Got to love that.


Thanks to my kiddo helpers (and teenage visitor who was pivotal in helping me pick the colors, and dessert for this set-up!) that assisted in this dessert wonderland table in being made. Don’t worry – they all got to share plenty of the treats!

I have a “luau” birthday to plan later this month – I know the ScanNCut will come to my rescue then as well! Got party questions? DIY requests? Be sure to let me know! I’ve got several ideas planned but I’m always happy to take requests!

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Simon Says: August 2015 kit project #4


I’m still using, loving, and generally having a ball with the August 2015 Simon Says Stamp card kit! Some of the papers are destined to become punched or die cut, and some things will stay here on my desk until used up.

I made a video for this project:

link to YouTube

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SUCH a fun tag to make – and now I’ve got a fun delivery system for this gift card! If I’m sending a package or something to someone it isn’t uncommon for me to put a fun tag (vs card) inside.

I’ve had SUCH a fun time featuring the August 2015 Simon Says Stamp kit this month! If another project gets made in the next week or two with this kit I’ll be sure to post it. And remember – each month  I’ll be featuring a different kit here on my blog so stay tuned!


Links to the previous posts featuring this kit:

“bits and pieces” card

grid layout

card #1 and kit walk-thru

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no ordinary paper…


The challenge this week? “No ordinary paper”… so I colored watercolor paper. I also inked, stenciled (with glossy gel), and inked again some manila cardstock.

Manila cardstock is totally fantastic for stenciling, gel and paste mediums, and it takes distress ink so well. It doesn’t ball up as quick as plain average weight cardstock either.

Watercolor paper is so absorbent, and I always love playing with blending colors. In this case coral and mermaid were the only two colors used! Then I stamped onto it for more depth, and I sprayed with beloved perfect pearls. All of this and it never warped because I use the super heavy kind!

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As you can see from the results – these “not ordinary paper” papers really helped me create a fun tag!

Supplies Used:


Simon is offering a generous $50 voucher that will be randomly drawn from the eligible entries each week. Join the fun by creating a project this week – and for your chance to win a $50 voucher you should hop on over and join in the challenge here.

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