May 2011

4 posts.

Valerie’s Back with a New Sketch!

We’ve got another fun sketch for you!  This one features two photos and a variety of circle shapes, which can utilize patterned paper scraps.  As you will see in the following examples below, there are many ways to mix this sketch up to show you how flexible and adaptable this design is to fit your scrapbooking needs.

Designed by Valerie Salmon of Got Sketch?

It’s hard to believe the scrapbook layouts below are based on the same sketch!  See how each designer made it her own, personalizing the page by changing up the number/sizes of photos, moving elements around, and even changing the circles for another repeating shape.

“Kiwi loves Ian”

Designed by Valerie Salmon

SOURCES  Cardstock:  Bazzill.  Patterned Papers:  DCWV, Basic Grey, Crate Paper.  Chipboard shapes:  American Crafts.  Foam Alphabet:  American Crafts.  Circle punch:  Fiskars, EK Success.  Heart punch:  Marvy Uchida.  Computer font:  Cambria.  Other:  foam adhesive.

Designer’s Notes:  

I altered my layout to fit my photos.  I used 2″ circles and added 2 additional circles to make it work.  Instead of using a large shape-paper for the photo grouping, I just matted everything with a simple square cardstock because I wanted the existing pattern on the page background to show through.  


“Cool Hat”

Designed by Lisette Gibbons

SOURCES  Patterned Paper: Little Yellow Bicycle, Jenni Bowlin, October Afternoon.  Alphabet stickers: American Crafts.  Clear Stamp: Autumn Leaves.  Ink: Stampin’Up (Pretty in Pink).  Marker: ZIG.  Felt Butterfly: Jenni Bowlin.  Rhinestone Swirl: KaiserCraft.  Circle Punch: Fiskars.  Roses.  Lace flower.  Pinking Scissors

Designer’s Notes:  

Since I love using coloured pictures, I find it essential to find patterned papers that compliment them and don’t dominate. I kept pretty much to the original sketch, but I just angled my pictures.


“Up Up High”

Designed by AnnaMarie Mondro

SOURCES  Patterned paper: Crate Paper. Alphas: American Crafts, Crate Paper. Buttons, fabric brads, ribbon/trim, stickers, die-cuts, chipboard: Crate Paper. Punches: Fiskars, Martha Stewart Crafts. Marker: Bic Mark-it.

Designer’s Notes:  

I absolutely loved the balance of this wonderful sketch and chose to keep my interpretation within the framework of the original design, even while making slight changes with the photos and elements shown in the original sketch – Valerie’s sketches are that easily adaptable!  Here, I went with two vertical 3×5 photos in place of the horizontal 3.5×5 photo, and also substituted a 3.5×5 vertical photo in place of the original 5×5 photo. Because of the more playful feel of my layout, I strayed from the linear lines of the sketch by tilting the photos and title-work, and also substituted fun die-cuts and buttons in place of the patterned paper circles. Strips of patterned paper and ribbon were also arranged at the top and bottom of the page in place of the die-cut background on the original sketch.


“My Airman”

Designed by Kimberly Neddo

SOURCES  Patterned Paper-Studio Calico, Pie Contest (State Fair); Fabrips-Yellow; Studio Calico Die-Cut tags; Mister Huey: Clover; Chipboard Alpha: State Fair; Buttons:Jenni Bowlin Green.

Designer’s Notes:  

I used a mask to create the shadow framed background, then I sewed around it with a cream color thread. For the photographs, I sized them to fit the sketch theme and printed them out. After printing, I adhered them down on the paper. For the title, I added a little dimension by using pop dots behind a few of the letters for a fun look. I love to use my photographs to tell a story, so for this sketch, I chose to do a photo collage with this design.


“Bloom & Grow”

Designed by Virginia Wong 

SOURCES  Pink Paislee (die cut pattern paper, pattern papers); Scenic Route (pink script pattern paper); Quick Kutz (nesting hearts dies); Kaisercraft (pearls); American Crafts (foam letters); stitching

Designer’s Notes:  

Add zip and zing easily to a “neutral” background by die cutting leftover pattern papers with a similar degree of colour saturation. (Did you know there are 6 different sheets of pattern paper on this layout?) Use small dynamic prints sparingly to direct the eye around the layout. Fussy cut images from pattern paper to create perfectly coordinated accents.

Now available in Download Format!
Ultimate School Album 
Got Sketch ends the school year with the introduction of the “Ultimate School Album” in an instant download format.  It’s the “ultimate” because it covers Pre-K through 12th grade with lots of extras that can’t be passed up.  

Check out all the details by clicking here.





Visit Valerie’s sketch blog, Got Sketch?, for 100+ sketches ideas and classes!

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Color My World

As scrapbookers, we can’t deny that we are color fanatics. Something my husband may describe as simply “blue”, I can’t help but take it one step further and call it royal, periwinkle, or robin’s egg. It’s not always been my most endearing quality to him, but I trust many of you are just like me. I love color!

When I choose colors while scrapbooking, I almost always let the photos dictate my main color, but from there the color scheme can often go different directions. Every now and then I get my color wheel out to get me thinking outside the box, but I still get into a rut pairing some of my favorite tried-and-true color combos.

We’ve been in the midst of updating our 20+-year-old home for the past few years, and one of our favorite magazines is Family Handyman. I was reading through the April issue recently and found a little tip about choosing color schemes from an online paint service. I’ve used paint swatches on layouts in the past, but I hadn’t thought about what a terrific resource these online tools would be for choosing colors for my pages.

To choose the color scheme for the April issue’s cover, Family Handyman used an online paint selecting tool from a Canadian paint company called Sico. When you get to their site, click on “colour schemes”, and then choose the color family you’re interested in. Once you’re into that color, refine the search further by selecting an “ambience” for the room. It’s fun, and may just provide you with some great inspiration for your design.

Naturally, I couldn’t stop there, and next found a great online paint selecting tool from Sherwin Williams. Follow the link, click on “Color Ideas and Tools” first, then on “Color Ideas”, and you’ll find several inventive color combinations that are as fun on a layout as they’d be on your walls. has another cool feature. Follow the link and click “Start With Color”. Choose from a color family (like “Oceanic Blues”), then pick an individual color you’re working with. Click on the type of room you’d like to see the colors used on, and they’ll suggest different palettes using your base color. Its actually pretty addictive to just sit and change color schemes to your heart’s content.

The next time you’re stumped for a creative color combination, head to your favorite paint store site, and see what great ideas they have for you! Polly

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The Wedding We Didn’t Have to Wake Up at 4am to See

With much anticipation, we waited for last weekend’s wedding to arrive, and when it finally got here, boy we were we happy this wedding was an afternoon affair. While we send our congratulations to Will and Kate, the wedding we couldn’t wait for was the nuptials of our dear editor Michelle Rubin, and her beloved, Steve (who, by the way, chose their historic date before Buckingham Palace announced theirs).

When someone as creative and clever as Michelle gets married, you find yourself expecting great things, and no one was disappointed. Michelle and Steve married in a quaint chapel on the grounds of an old local military establishment. The fort has now been turned into a beautiful museum honoring the Army’s first officer candidate class for African American men (1917), and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (1942). The setting was historical, and charming.

After the wedding, guests walked from the chapel towards the museum, where a group shot was taken with Steve and Michelle front and center, and a beautiful reflecting pool and the chapel in the background. When we walked up the steps of Clayton Hall tables of colorful drinks (in the wedding colors no less) awaited us, and man were they tasty. (The opposite table held glasses of orange cocktails garnished with lemon wedges.)

As guests walked inside, we were met by a roving cart filled with cones of scrumptious french fries, along with several creative dipping sauces like Wasabi Mayo or a Thai Peanut Sauce. We were then led through various rooms of the museum, being treated to incredible food while the wedding party took photos outside. 

We made our way into a larger dining room decorated with vases of flowers, each wrapped in colorful yarns in the wedding colors (aqua and orange). Each table’s arrangement was unique. So simple, so affordable, and so striking. (The handsome gent in the background is our Brittany Hopkin’s intended, Tim.)

Overhead, Michelle decorated with more ultra-simple, but ultra-cool, yarn decorations suspended from the ceiling. They reminded me of the craft projects we did years ago where you wrapped ballons in yarn and paper mache, and then popped the balloons. (Wouldn’t that be such a fun way to decorate in a bedroom or craft space?)

Inside the dining room a lovely table was set up with Steve and Michelle’s wedding cake. Their cake was about the size of the smallest tier of a traditional cake.

The rest of the cake table held an assortment of incredible cupcakes topped with colorful handmade pinwheels. The cupcakes flavors included Vanilla Malt, Triple Chocolate, Chocolate Cheesecake, and Orange Marmalade.

Michelle thought of everything, including her youngest guests. She and Steve set up the most inviting kids table with everything to keep them happy and distracted as the adults enjoyed the reception.

They set up their own photo booth, and encouraged guests to have fun using the props!

At the guest book table, guests were offered a selection of sporty little buttons designed with their photo, initials, or the most clever one of all that read, “At least I didn’t have to get up at 4am to see this wedding”. Their buttons are featured on this website.

Wedding guests signed an 8×8 photobook filled with Steve and Michelle’s favorite engagement photos. A yarn-wrapped monogram was propped near the guest book.

It was a picture perfect spring day, and the weather was nothing short of spectacular for them.

We love you Steve and Michelle, we wish you a very happy lifetime together, and hope you’re enjoying your much-deserved honeymoon!

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SRM Stickers Magic Wands and Tubes

Scrapbookers are crafty people, and its so natural for us be creative off-the-page as well as on. I wanted to tell you about one of the simplest, but cutest, darn things I found from SRM Stickers that are just right for a quick little gift item or party favor. SRM Stickers has been one of those consistently great companies that knows what they do best, and they do it really well. Their stickers are clean and classic, but have a whimsical up-to-date feel that work with any trendy project. 

This year SRM introduced their plastic Magic Wands and Tubes. Basically, they’re just inexpensive, clear plastic tubes (with caps), but oh my, wait ’til you see what the SRM designers have done with them. The tubes are about 6 1/2″ long and are a little wider in diameter than the wands, which are 12″ long. Think of them for party favors, dimensional invitations, or a little happy gift for the school secretary, or your co-worker. Fill them with m&ms, Skittles, pennies, mints, gumballs, chocolate-covered espresso beans…you name it!

I wanted to share some of the projects using the wands and tubes that caught my eye, but you’ll find more projects like these on the SRM Sticker blog. It’s a daily treat of inspiration. Check it out! 

Check with your local store first to see if they carry SRM products, but you can also find them online here. Have fun! Polly

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