July 2011

5 posts.

Spooky Halloween Finds

We just returned from the Craft and Hobby Association summer trade show, where we saw a ton of fun new Halloween products. Here are some of our favorites! (Click on the title of each to see better images of them.)

American Crafts: Nightfall

This whimsical collection is appropriate for Halloween- or fall-theme pages. My favorite part was the chalkboard paper and stickers—these were some of my favorites from the whole show (and they look great with AC’s Galaxy Markers).

Fancy Pants Designs: Oct. 31

This pretty collection combines turquoise (which looks blue in my photos) with traditional green, purple and orange.

Doodlebug Design: Monster Mania

This line is just downright cute, but many of the patterns could be used on non-Halloween pages (that versatility is one of the many things I love about Doodlebug), and those monsters are adorable. Note the use of turquoise in this line, too!

Teresa Collins: Haunted Hallows

Teresa Collins offered a fun Halloween line featuring crows, cameos, and candelabras.

Bella Blvd.: Too Cute to Spook

The name of the line says it all; it’s killing me with the adorableness! (And check out the turquoise—again! I didn’t get a good picture at their booth. So this one is from the Bella Blvd. blog.)

Pink Paislee: Phantom

This House of 3-designed line may have been my favorite—I loved the chartreuse combined with orange and black, and the patterns are rich and pretty, with just a dash of haunting images.

My Mind’s Eye: Mischievous

This line took a folk-art angle, complete with cute characters and some great distressed patterns (and notice the hint of aqua). (I wasn’t able to get a photo at the show, but here’s a sampling from My Mind’s Eye’s site:

We R Memory Keepers: Spookville

This line uses classic colors and a design with a retro vibe. (My apologies—I ogled these papers for a while but forgot to snap a picture!)

What are your favorite new Halloween lines?

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DIY Wedding Projects: Save the Dates

Welcome to the second installment of my series on do-it-yourself wedding projects!

One of the first wedding projects we tackled was our save-the-date cards. Save the dates are exactly what they sound like: an announcement of your wedding date, possibly accompanied by travel info for out-of-town guests. They can take many forms, from a simple postcard with the date and location of the wedding and a photo of the happy couple to a themed piece (we almost used this Mad Men-inspired template from Wedding Chicks). Some people send them as a magnet (to hang on the fridge as the reminder it was meant to be), e-mails, or even as an elaborate video.  It’s whatever you want to make it.

Be forewarned, however: It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that this is the first little bit of your wedding anyone will see, so IT MUST BE SPECTACULAR. And that can be a lot of pressure you don’t need when you’re starting to figure out all of your wedding plans. So just remember that your guests will likely just be excited by the promise of a wedding!

I opted to design ours as a two-sided card. Since we didn’t have any engagement photos at the time and we needed to move on to more pressing issues, I decided to design ours digitally and send it to an online printer.

At that point that we knew we wanted our wedding to be a fun, relaxed celebration of our relationship, so after brainstorming, we thought it would be fun to mimic a doodled page torn from a notebook. So I found a digital scrapbooking paper design that looked like a piece of notebook paper, and added the details in our chosen color scheme. This is how the digital image turned out:

Then when our printed cards arrived a week later, it felt like it was missing something. So a notebook border punch helped us finish the look:

We only sent ours to close friends, family, and out-of-town guests, so that helped keep the cost down. (Only send save-the-dates to people you are sure to invite—otherwise you face the choice between an expanded guest list or certain awkwardness the next time you see someone who was asked to save the date but didn’t get an invitation!)

We also created some special wrap-around mailing labels, but I’m saving that for its own blog post!

What I learned: Make it simple! Don’t get burnt out on the first big project

What I wish I’d done differently: I should have made the note at the bottom, which reads, “Formal invitation to follow,” a larger and easier to read. Some of our older guests mistook it for the invitation. Yikes!

Next up: Invitations!

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Leah Fung’s Address Card File

On the blog today we’re welcoming Contributing Editor Leah Fung with a quick, and oh-so-fun etc. idea.

I came across this cool address card file that used to be sold at Anthropologie.com. At first, I was bummed to find out it was no longer available. But then I thought, “Hmmm, I think I can do that”.

So using Scrapbook Factory Deluxe, which is a very easy to use digital scrapbooking program, I created my own address cards and index tabs. I printed the address cards on plain white cardstock then cut them out using my paper trimmer. After that, I adhered strips of heavy weight patterned paper along the top and bottom of each (adhering behind the address card) just to perk them up.

For the index cards, I printed letters onto cardstock then punched out tab shapes and adhered them to blocks of the same type of cardstock. I added a staple to each tab just for fun.

I made these address cards for my desk, so I used pretty patterned papers and flowers to embellish. But I think this card file idea would work well for men too – just switch out the pretty prints with something more masculine or even just cardstock.  If you want to give it a try, come on over to my blog where you can download the address cards (and index prints) to print.  You can also adjust the size of the cards and tabs before printing if you like. 

Here are the sources for the products I used: Patterned Paper: Pine Cone Press. Flower: Prima. Button: Making Memories. Tab punch: Stampin’Up. Mini staple: Tim Holtz. Have fun! Leah

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GelaSkins from Cosmo Cricket

I came across some news a little while ago I wanted to share with you, but not until the mail arrived, and I could show you my new find! In May, Cosmo Cricket announced eight of their patterned papers would now be available as GelaSkins for your electronics. Eight of their popular patterns, including Sea Garden, Flagstaff, or Measuring Up, are now available to decorate your iPhone, laptop, e-reader, or whatever else you tote around. I don’t have a cool phone, but I do have a laptop I’m rarely without, so I thought I’d go for it!

Look at that poor, unadorned PC. So sad.

Skin 1I opened up the envelope that arrived in the mail, and found this!

Skin 2Within minutes, my plain, silver laptop looked like this! I loved the Key Caps pattern (so appropriate for a laptop), and it was a breeze to apply.

Skin 3

Word to the wise: Measure twice, order once. As you can see, I thought I was getting the right size, but undercut myself just a little. I still love it though, and may update it in the future. (See update below!) Check out how cool these are…




What’s even better is that Cosmo Cricket has plans to introduce more patterns as GelaSkins. If you’ve got a favorite pattern you’d like to see as a skin, give them a hollar.

UPDATE: Being the recovering perfectionist that I am, I just couldn’t let the almost-fitting skin be. I contacted GelaSkins and they were terrific! I got an immediate response from them inviting me to send the skin back to exchange it for one that fits to a tee. Turns out my laptop is pretty close to the standard size, but if your gadget’s like mine and needs a custom fit, they’ll take care of that no problem. Just send them the measurements. I’m one happy customer!

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Greetings From the Happiest Place on Earth

Hi! You get three guesses as to where I’m at right now, and the first two don’t count. We decided with our oldest about to be a senior in high school, it was high time we “did Disney”. (And by the way, that adorable hand happens to be some shaped bling from Queen & Company.)  Technically, it will be our family’s second visit to the happiest place on earth, but our first was just one day at Disneyland a few years ago with my husband’s whole family. We did love it, but this time it’s just the four of us going for a full-on Disney vacation, and you know I’ll be all about recording the memories while we’re here, and scrapping them when we get home. I know we’re not alone (judging by the lines we’ve been standing in). We’re in peak vacation season, and I’m hoping you have something on the calendar you’re equally as excited about preserving in your scrapbooks.

One of the best reasons I keep scrapbooking is that it helps me supplement my very poor memory. For that reason, I’ll be taking notes throughout our trip that will find their way into my journaling later. On many trips I’ve purchased postcards to use as journaling cards. I used to bribe my kids to journal on them as well, but with teenagers, let’s just say I’m doing well to get their photo snapped. If you’re keeping friends and family updated on your trip progress, the emails or texts you send will hold some great journaling for you. If you’re a tweeter, pair your trip tweets with your photos when you get home.

If you’re into keeping a real travel journal, you may enjoy this journal from Journals Unlimited. It’s got prompts to help jumpstart your journaling. 

I like the mini version of this journal. It fits better in my travel bag. 

For an alternative way to document your trip, take along a Smashbook from K&Company.  The glue stick/pen goes along for the ride so you can attach ticket stubs, wristbands, pamplets, or other memorabilia you acquire. If the cover gets a little messy from a monster ice cream sundae, or the pages get a little dog-eared in your travel tote, it just adds to the charm of the book.

Fancy Pants Designs also has a fun brag book that would be equally fun to jot down your travel memories.

Often when we take a trip there are so many photos I wind up creating photobook. I’ve pondered ideas for a Disney scrapbook for so long though, this time I think I’ll make a traditional album instead. As we’ve toured the parks I’ve taken note of the inspirations of color, pattern, and shape from Disney, and can’t wait to get started. We’re still trying for that great family photo. You know, the one to put on title page of the album, the Christmas card, and share with family and friends. We’ve taken advantge of the Disney photographers, but I need one on my camera. The photo below’s missing my husband, a second attempt has half of Claire’s face cut off, and the third was taken by an ever-so-willing Disney cast member, but my camera was in a setting that came up with a crystal clear Epcot icon, and a blurry family in the foreground. We’ll keep trying today. Have fun! Polly

Disney blog

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