Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Easy How to - Christmas "Step Cards" with Anna Griffin Embellishments

Side view of card showing "mountain and valleys" of how to fold

 Wanted to share some quick and easy Christmas cards I made using a very simple "step card" tutorial I found on ScorPal's Blog. 

Now their measurements are a little different than the ones I show here, because I used cards I bought from Michael's for my base. But I found it very easy to adapt the scorelines to my needs. 

Now all this step card madness began with me buying an Anna Griffin Diecut Kit from HSN. It came with, I kid you not, 600 strips of printed cardstock just 5" long x 1.25" wide.  So what the heck is a crafter suppose to do with 600 of those things.  Plus, the kit came with 480 other pretty embellishments I knew I wanted to use to make Christmas cards.  So I decided on this step format to try to use some of these strips, but I also let me use up some of the scraps of pretty holiday papers I just couldn't bring myself to throw away.  

I ended up making 5 each of 4 styles.  I used my Cricut Explore to cut the adorable deer out of bronze cardstock from Michaels for the dees in forest card.   

For the sleigh card I only used Anna Griffin embellishments.  The sentiment layered die cuts on all the cards are from one of three of my Anna's card kits I have bought over the years.  So happy to be using some things from my stash!

But I think my favorite is the nativity card.  Using images from Cricut Design Space I cut the images out of metallic double sided poster board, gold foil paper and glitter cardstock for the star.     

I have shared a pretty rough sketch of the template for cutting and scoring a card to the dimensions I used.  But be sure to head to the Scor Pal Blog or Pinterest, where there are hundreds of wonderful examples of templates and how to's to make these quick and easy but dramatic cards.  I am betting these cards will be "keepers" that make it onto the mantels of friends and family.  

Well I hope you enjoy and please share if you make yourself some!
Have fun creating, 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Happy Planner Freebie Christmas To Do List Inserts

Just a quick post to share some   insert pages I made for my Happy Planner.  

Loved making these custom To Do and List pages using vintage artwork I found on Pinterest.

I printed them on both sides of 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper then just trimmed to fit.  

Plus I shared pictures of the new cover I made for this Christmas season.  Sure thought the Peace on Earth paper was so perfect for these troubled times.  And a quick peak at how the pages look in the book.  

Please feel free to use for personal use. Happiest of holidays to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Freebie Stickers for MAMBI Happy Planner!

Just like so many of you out there, I love playing with my MAMBI (me and my big ideas) Happy Planner.  And making my own stickers for it makes me even happier!  

The first set of stickers I created for my November pages were made with some of my favorite pictures from my  Pinterest Autumn board and one of our own fall decor.  

Most of these darling stickers feature artwork from On Sutton Place's blog.  She creates and shares the most magnificent artwork and decorating ideas.  If you have never stopped by there,  take a minute and I am sure you will be happy you did.  You can easily  download some amazing printables she has created for fall and Christmas.  

This next set of stickers are the Freebies (for your personal use) that I created using Adobe's Photoshop Elements 14.  Just got the latest Elements and love it.  It is so easy to use and the new features for photo editing are easy and very very effective.  
I used vintage royalty free downloads and clipping out the background and editing colors was easier than ever!

Well, I hope you enjoy this latest batch of stickers!  


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Scrapbook Layouts..Stash Busting

Wanted to share just a few Halloween inspired scrapbook layouts I made last weekend.  I say Halloween inspired, because there will be no trick or treating for this old witch.  All the kids in the neighborhood have grown up and moved on.  And all the grandkids have all kind of safe fun things to do at their schools or churches, so alas, no excuse at all to overbuy candy, in hopes of a door bell ring. 

I love Halloween and have loads of papers and embellies, collected over the years.  So a big big thank you so much to my dear friend Pam, for suggesting we go on a 30 day long fast of buying new scrapbook supplies.   I have had so much fun making these layouts with items I have had in my stash for years, maybe even over a decade for some.  

Now I have to admit, we made the deal on Friday, October 2nd, and I had to make an amendment to my start date...I mean Anna Griffin was on HSN on the 7th and there was no way possible I was not going to buy something from that show....teeheehee.

The black glitter die cuts on these layout are made with Anna Griffin Cuttlebug dies, Flourish collections.  I just cut one of them in half to make a topper and bottom decoration for the "title" 

I printed from a darling saying I found on Pinterest.  Use this link to head on over to  my Pinterest boards and check out the Autumn, Printables and Planner boards for lots of great Halloween and Autumn art to play with.  I use Photoshop Elements 11 to resize, recolor and clean up vintage artwork.  So you will notice I have "pulled out" some parts of vintage postcards to make the cutouts.  

The papers are a fun mixture of Graphic 45, K and Company, Authentique, even some very very old Daisy D.  Then I just used some fall flowers, on sale for 60% off at Michaels, and paper flowers from my stash.  Just colored them with Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays and used stamens and bling to add some texture.  Heck, I even used some oooooold brads, keys and ribbons to add layers to the pages.  

 I don't usually like "fussy cutting", but this gorgeous page from Graphic 45's Time to Flourish October papers just had to be added to my pages.  Don't you love the title I printed from Pinterest.  I am loving how these  pages just fit into my grown up version of Halloween. Fun but candy and costume free...sigh...it's heck growing up.

Have fun crafting and have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September Happy Planner FREEBIE DIY Stickers

Well, I did it.  I gave into that voice inside my head that said I MUST BUY A PLANNER!  Yep, bought a MAMBI (me and my big ideas) Happy Planner and I love it!   

I have always loved school and office and art supplies.  So really, it was an absolute sure thing that I would love this planner.  Hopefully you have all seen videos on the MAMBI's Happy Planners and know how popular they are.  Now most of the videos I have watch for them show women loading each page up with fun stickers and doodles.  Treating some of the space like minature "scrapbook layouts" or pocket page type design opportunities.

So of course I had to try my hand at making some stickers for my new book.  I just opened up my Photoshop Elements 11 program, downloaded some of my favorite Pinterest pins.  Then just resized them to fit into the Happy Planner pages. 

Next, made a page full of rectangular "quote stickers" I could print and run through my Xyron 9" and voila!  Stickers perfect for my September pages.  

Hope you enjoy and feel free to print and use the "quote" stickers for your own personnel use.  Plus here is a link to my Pinterest board for Happy Planner ideas. 

My Planner Board    

Head over there and check out just  a small small fraction of all the great things happening in the planning world!  

Oh by the way, yes, I do feel so much more productive now that I am using this new planner. Plus, how much fun is it just to play with decorating and recording each days memories!  

Have fun and please don't forget to subscribe.  Just use link on top right column and you can subscribe by email!  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to Design the Perfect Scrapbook Layout

Don't you just hate it when you go to the mall and it's so crowded you can't find a parking space?  And there are just too many people crowding you in and the stores have their clothes racks just too close together?

Basic human instinct of survival are just kicking in.  You were hot wired to want to have a place of visual advantage to easily see the path ahead, lots of room to "graze" to your hearts content. and a safe exit strategy.  We just want excitement and something that touches our emotions, but not visual overload or anything too boring.

Well, there are easy design principles you can use to create a scrapbook page that keeps those same basic anxieties at bay, and allow the "star of the show",  your picture to take center stage!  Now, you know there is no such thing as a "perfect" scrapbook layout.  Styles change, moods change, but these simple principles can help you create captivating and timeless layouts.

 Rule of Thirds                                                 
"Memories Captured" VIDEO TUTORIALA very basic rule from the photography world.  Imagine dividing your layout into 9 equal parts just by drawing four lines.  Just like a tic tac toe board.  One of the  four spots where those lines intersect are where your pictures dominant feature should be placed for greatest impact.  One of the best designers at capitalizing on this technique is Gabrielle Polloco.  If you are interested in seeing more of her works, be sure to check out her blog at http://gabriellepollacco.blogspot.com/

 White Space                                                   

Okay, white space isn't really always white.  It is just a clean space for the eye to rest, and the brain to process what it is taking in.  Too little white space, or too much visual clutter and the brain gets agitated and wants to turn away. Today's trend in advertising is lots and lots of white space and make the logo or message clear and  dominant.  The same is true in scrapbooking trends.  See how both ads are selling cleaner.  But one really stands out because of the effective use of white space.  Nope I don't recommend one cleaner over the other, just the use of white space.

A line is the simplest way to have the viewer follow your lead.  A line can be curved or head off in any direction.  But your visual line  should be easy enough for the eye to follow and end in the pot of gold...your picture or message you wanted to show off.    Notice how this gorgeous layout by Ingvild Bolme  from Prima's website use two lines to frame the darling picture.  

Remember the yellow brick road? Yep lots of twists and turns, but they kept to it because it was easy to identify as the way to go and they trusted the payoff at the end would be worth the trip.

It's easy....just try to use any visual image at least 3 times to create a pattern to set a theme.  More than 3? Just keep them odd numbers, it's easier on the brain and will keep it interested.  Many practicers of Fung Sui design principles believe odd numbers of elements create movement.  I love how this BoBunny layout repeats the shades of green and the stamped images.  Really balances the layout!  

This is another great layout from Gabrielle at 
Scrapbook.com  It's not only perfect to highlight the effectiveness of repetition, but the richness that adding texture can bring to your scrapbooking story.

Remember the yellow brick road we talked about above?  Well it was filled with excitement, things that made the journey anything but boring.  Well that's where texture comes in on a scrapbook layout. Texture can be created with mixing in metals, fabrics, stenciling with modeling paste, embossing, paints, using pop dots to create raised effects...just have fun and add texture!  It will keep your eye interested in continuing the journey and yet give it some "roses to stop and smell" or fill you with a excitement that will make the trip memorable.


Can't help it...it's science...colors produce feelings and emotions in the viewer.  So use it to it's best advantage by playing with and easy to use color palette builder.  Good old fashioned color wheels are still great for helping inspire you with color mixes. But if you want something a little more new age...try some online color palette generators.  Just like with pattern, it is often more pleasing to use one dominant color, then at least two supporting, one secondary and one accent.  

Two of my favorites color palette sites are 
  • Adobe's Kuler Color Wheel  (even lets you upload an image or picture to suggest palette!)
  • Design Seed  Doesn't let you upload a pic to "match" but man oh man are her images inspiring and very often pull me off the couch and fling me to the craft table just by their pow factor!
Interested in learning a little more about color theory? See my post: 

So when it comes to creating a scrapbook layout that really pops, just remember to follow your own natural instincts.  After all you ARE an artist.  We are all wired that way!

Have fun and be fearless!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Free and Easy Tutorial for Designing Titles with Photoshop and Cricut Explore

Here's an easy "how to"  video I made to show how I use Adobe's easy Photoshop Elements and my Cricut Explore and the font bundle from the Hungry Jpeg to make fast, fun and one of a kind titles for your scrapbook layouts or cards.  Thought you might enjoy. 

Please be sure to share with all your scrapping and crafty buddies!  Can't wait to see what ya'll design! 

Have fun creating!