May 2010

10 posts.

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer. We honor those who served our country, celebrate with cookouts, and maybe even visit the pool for the first time in months! To get in the summer spirit, here are a few pages (with links to see more on our site)!


Design by Melissa Diekema

Check out our summer-theme pages!


Design by Erin Clarkson

See more outdoor activity layouts.


Design by Natasha Roe

Like this piecing? Get this pattern and 12 more free!


Design by Erica Hernandez

Scrap a Memorial Day barbecue with this cute grill piecing.

Plus, browse our collection of picnic-inspired patterns.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! Happy Memorial Day!

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From the Gallery

I may have mentioned before that one of my favorite things to do is look at all the layouts uploaded to our gallery. There’s something so inspirational about seeing other people’s pages—it always makes me want to get out my supplies! Here are a few pages from our gallery that caught my eye recently.

design by Candice Greenway

I love the use of the large photo as the focal point for this page!

design by trisha_burton

This is such a sweet, simple design.

design by devere1707649

Who can resist a page showing Velma and Shaggy costumes?

design by jacgreen

This layout inspires me to tackle my parents’ wedding photos.

Also, don’t forget that the February 2011 On Assignment challenge to make an “all about me” scrapbook page ends June 1! Read all about the challenge on our Challenge Blog, then upload photos of your pages to the gallery!

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How To Stop “Page Flippers”

We all know them- they pick up your scrapbook, flip it open, and don’t stop flipping. In a matter of seconds they have flipped through your entire scrapbook- which took days, maybe even years to make!
So what went wrong? Your photos.  I know this because I have been guilty of being a “page flipper.” The layout might have a lovely design, but unless there are several photos to linger on, I’ll get into “flip” mode. If there is just one photo, I will look at it and feel that I am done with the page. But with multiple photos, I have to stop, and then I become submerged into what is happening on that page. Multiple photos will put the breaks on someone who is page-flip happy.
But still, a layout is like a written story- while it needs good sources (good photos), it also needs beautiful language (beautiful design) to capture an audience. Having one can’t make up for missing the other. To help with your multi-photo designs, I suggest modeling your pages after some of the reader layouts featured below.

NYC“Autumn In NYC” submitted by akchristyn

Future“We Don’t Know” submitted by shannon500

GoneFishing“Gone Fishing” submitted by  rebeccas

Canyun“Having a Bowl” submitted by devere1707649



“Saucelito Canyon” submitted by  shannon500

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Fun Photo Decor

Have you seen the printer’s tray’s from 7Gypsies?

They come in a few different configurations, including one that is a 4×6″ photo tray. And there are so many different ways you can use them!

301webSOURCES Tray: 7Gypsies. Patterned paper: October Afternoon (blue circles, aqua pattern), Little Yellow Bicycle (blue grid). Photo paper: Epson. Chipboard letters: BasicGrey. Rub-ons: Close to My Heart. Pen: American Crafts. Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L.

As soon as I saw the photo tray at my local scrapbook store, I knew it would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. And assembling it was really easy! I chose three patterned papers, trimmed them to fit (which ended up being slightly smaller than 4×6″) and adhered them to the tray. I printed the photos on matte presentation paper, which was a little sturdier than my ususal photo paper, since the photos will be exposed.

Converting the photos to black-and-white eliminated clashing colors and kept the look very classic. To help them stand out, I backed each photo with adhesive foam. I added two layers of adhesive foam to a few photos to add depth.

The title letters are plain chipboard letters. I was lucky to find some in a color that almost perfectly matched the tray! I’d initially planned on painting them or covering them with paper, but didn’t end up needing to. (Simpler is always better in my book.)

This was a great gift to make, and now I want one for myself! I’m thinking about making another with some of my favorite travel photos, and I’ll be sure to post the results here if I do!

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For the Graduate

I will be graduating from Drake University this Sunday. Everybody keeps asking me what I want for a gift. This would be money, duh. But realistically, looking ahead 20 years, the greatest gift I could receive would be a way of remembering life as it is right now, by people I know. So if you are struggling to figure out a gift for the graduate in your life, here are my suggestions:

Print their pictures. Social networks like Facebook may not always be there. Someday your graduate will want to close their account, or pictures may get deleted, etc. My graduating generation overly relies on internet as a safe storage of memories. Print off all the pictures they are tagged in and put them in a box. Then, one day, your Facebook-less graduate will be able to look back and remember these days.

Write your memories. Write down all your significant memories of them. Start from the day you first met. Just keep writing until you feel like you have covered the essence of that person and your relationship. It is one thing to think back on your own memories, but it would be amazing to have someone else’s to keep as well.

Film each other. My grandfather is actually doing this for me. He is doing a graduation video and asked me if there is anything in particular I would like him to catch on film. I would obviously like footage of the ceremony and my fellow graduates. But I also asked that he film my visiting friends and family. This day is not just about me. It is about starting a new chapter in my life, which includes everyone in it. I want to remember them just as much, if not more, than how I was on this day.

Give advice. The other part of my graduation video request was that my friends and family give me advice on graduating and on life. Some of my relatives were in this exact same place many years ago and I would love to know their thoughts. I even would like advice from friends of my same age. Insights from other people, especially those that I love, are priceless when it comes to starting the rest of my life.

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Spring Cleaning

A few weekends ago, I decided it was time get organized and to purge scrapbooking supplies I knew I wasn’t going to use . I’d been toying with the idea of a few different organizational methods for the last couple of years, but hadn’t stuck with one. After a couple weeks with the new system in place, though, I think this one is going to stick!

The process I used is pretty simple, and it would be easy to adapt it to fit your own organizational needs.

1. Sort all supplies into piles to keep or toss. As I sorted, I made several different keep piles based on category of supply (for example: letters, stickers, stamping supplies, embellishments, rub-ons, small tools, etc.)

2. Set the toss piles aside to sell at a garage sale, share with crafty friends, or donate.

3. Place each category of supply in a clear tote so you can easily see what is inside. I bought a couple different sizes of Sterilite Latching Boxes (below) from Target when they were on sale, which made for an inexpensive solution.

Sterilite Latching Box

The only supply I don’t have in the clear boxes is paper, which I keep in a rolling tote. It’s not as visible as my other supplies, but given my limited scrapbook storage space, I’m ok with that.

How do you organize your supplies? I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you have!

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California Adventures

Greetings from sunny SoCal! Our ad sales staff and I are here visiting some manufacturers, and it’s been fun getting a peek at where the creativity happens. Here are some of the highlights from the trip.

 SoCal10 with text

At Prima Marketing in Chino, owner Pom Intra had us on camera doing an impromptu streaming video on their Web site within 10 minutes of our arrival!(Please forgive my “ums” and mild confusion!) She was showing us just how easy—and fun!—it is to produce their “Live with Prima!” spots. Luckily for Pom they have better-prepared hosts for their regular broadcasts. You can check them out here.

Then we got a tour of the warehouse and learned more about how they make all of their beautiful flowers. Did you know that every Prima flower is handmade? And get this: Of the 800 people who work at their factory in Thailand, there are 100 people who deal solely with mixing the right colors for each product? Mind-boggling.

At Ellison HQ in Lake Forest , Denzel, there showed us some cool things they have in the works for upcoming Sizzix releases. (You Tim Holtz fans will be floored!) The new eclips electronic shape-cutter will start shipping soon, so we explored that a bit and learned how it can cut shapes from multiple pieces of paper in one cutting session. Check out their ad in the June issue of Scrapbooks etc. to see an example of that feature in action.

About a mile from Ellison we stopped to see the folks at Me & My Big Ideas. Their offices are very clean and colorful, and even their warehouse looked well-organized! It is so cool to see these warehouses with stacks of boxes containing all those scrapbooking goodies!

We also stopped by Pioneer Photo Albums–where the receptionist has a fun trio of dinosaurs on her desk–and Uchida of America—which is a really colorful office with a paint scheme that looks like it could have been inspired by their markers!

Gotta get packed for an early flight tomorrow. So thanks to all our friends here who made our visit to California awesome!

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Celebrating Mexico!

In honor of Cinco De Mayo, I’ve gathered my favorite Mexico-themed reader submissions. Be inspired!

Cruise Stops

This reader took a 7-day trip down the Mexican Riviera and scrapped the postcards from each stop they made.

submitted by sandy289

Colorful Cabo

A digital layout of photos our reader took on her trip in Baja.

submitted by puffinliz

“M” is for Mexico

A hanging letter M with landscape beach photos and text “MEXICO.”

submitted by kidsmom1999

Honeymoon in Mexico

This reader celebrated her honeymoon in beautiful Mexico!

submitted by nrkohlmeier

Last, but certainly not least…

Two of our devoted readers standing in front of the Mexico flag in Ensenada, Mexico with an issue of Scrapbooks, etc!

submitted by mandytaylor82

Have you made any Mexico-inspired layouts or crafts? Please share! You can submit photos of your work (or yourself!) in our Community Gallery. While you’re at it, submit all the other layouts and crafts you’ve done lately!
Happy Cinco De Mayo!

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Book Review: BetterPhoto Basics

One of the most important elements of scrapbooking is capturing memories in photographs. If you’re looking to improve your basic photography skills, there’s a new photography resource BetterPhoto Basics that makes taking stunning photos seem achievable.

The book is divided into seven steps, ranging from learning about camera modes to more advanced techniques (like shooting fireworks or making HDR photos). And at the beginning, there’s a guide to which steps you should read depending on your type of camera, which helps you focus on the most relevant sections.

When we received a copy of the book at SBE headquarters, I was instantly drawn to the vibrant photos and accessible lessons. And even though I consider myself a fairly competent photographer with my point-and-shoot, I found many helpful tips and challenges that will help me take my photography skills to the next level.

The tips are practical and the lessons are easy to understand. If you’re a beginner or intermediate photographer, this book is a great resource to help improve your photography. And even more advanced photographers might find helpful tips and tricks on these pages.

BetterPhoto Basics by Jim Miotke; Random House; $21.99

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Graduation Cards

There always seem to be an abundance of girl-theme handmade cards and gifts for inspiration. It’s hard to find the perfect idea for a guy. This year, two of my good guy friends are graduating so I lifted a graduation card design from our newest issue (on newsstands now). Instead of pink and frilly, I went with neutral colors with splashes of blue.

Note: For step-by-step instructions, see pages 94-95 of our June issue.

Here are a few card-making tips:
• Use patterned papers from a pack for hassle-free matching.
• You can still use girly papers for boy cards and pages. Try cutting a large floral patterned paper into strips, making the blooms unrecognizable and creating an interesting pattern.
• Go an nontraditional route for graduation cards. Instead of relying on school colors, think about what colors compliment your recipient’s personality and style.

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