December 2011

10 posts.

Valerie Salmon’s Lucky #13 Sketch

If you are a linear-lovin’ scrapbooker like me and like everything leveled, this sketch will beg you to step out of your comfort zone and do something a bit daring — tilting.

By simply shifting the elements at a slight angle, it turns a seemingly ordinary page to one that is worth a double-take.  So, go ahead, give this one a try!

We have several interpretations below to get you started.

Designed by Valerie Salmon of Got Sketch?

“Together. life. family. love.”

Designed by Valerie Salmon

SOURCES  Cardstock:  Bazzill.  Patterned Papers:  DCWV.  Transparencies:  My Mind’s Eye.  Flowers:  Prima, K & Company.  Glitter flourish chipboard:  Making Memories.  Journaling Die cut:  K & Company.  Green velvet trim:  Creative Imaginations.  Punches:  Fiskars (Corner Rounder), Martha Stewart (scallop border).  Date stamp:  Office Max.  Other:  Twine, button.

Designer’s Notes: 

I admit I don’t typically tilt elements on my scrapbook layouts, but I am so pleased about how this page turned out.  I’ll surely be doing this more.  I used two photos instead of three, to highlight the fondness that my son and my mother have towards each other.  Below the photos, I used a simpler approach by adding strips of paper and a velvet trim for texture. Although I haven’t used transparencies in such a long time, it was good to break some out for this layout.

“So Blessed”

Designed by Chrissy Greenman

SOURCES  Patterned Paper, Embellishments, Banner: Pebbles “Ever After”, Journaling Tag (“I Love You”)- Bella Blvd. Sophisticates, Small Alphabet: Adornit, Large Alphabet: SEI, ZIG pen

Designer’s Notes: 

Upon first glance at the sketch, the one thing that caught my eye was the circle border under the pictures and strips of patterned paper.  My  mind immediately went to a row of pumpkins, or apples, or Christmas ornaments, or…..etc.  Once I skimmed through my pictures and found the paper I wanted to use, I saw that one of the pieces of patterned paper in the Pebbles collection was filled with banners.  The best part was they were printed on a diagonal so it would be perfect to cut out and adhere to my layout in place of the circle border.  It’s small details like this where you can let your imagination run free.  Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and change one part of the sketch in your own creative way!

“Perfect Trees”

Designed by Kimberly Neddo

SOURCES   Bella Blvd Christmas Wishes: Patterned Paper- North Pole, Star Stripe, Trees for sale and Cute Cuts; Stickers- Christmas Wishes Miniatures and Alpha and Bits; Chipboard- Ciao Chips- Simply Simona McLintosh.

Designer’s Notes: 

I loved the way there is a stitched circle boder with this sketch…I immidiately thought of garland, so I went with that. I wanted something colorful, so I cut strips of patterned paper and making a kind of flower ball embellishment for my border. Instax pictures work AWESOME with this sketch too.


Designed by Diane Payne

SOURCES   Cardstock: Bazzill, Patterned paper: Sassafras, Stickers: American Crafts, Glitz, Sassafras, Glitter: Ranger, Thread: DMC Floss, Punch: EK Success

Designer’s Notes: 

The elements of this sketch are so versatile making it easy to change out photo sizes, journaling spots and embellishment locations. I used one 3 1/2 x 5 photo in place of the three small photos. I also added the journaling to one of the blocks of patterned paper and embellished the original journaling spot with stickers.

“Snow Day”

Designed by Christine Ousley

SOURCES  Cardstock: Bazzill.  Patterned Papers:  Echo Park. Alpha and Image Stickers: Echo Park. Circle Punch: EK Success. Computer Font: Didot.  Foam Dimensionals: Stampin’ Up!. Other:  Corner Rounder

Designer’s Notes: 

I loved the linear design of this sketch.  The slant of the pictures and papers gave me that whimsical feeling that these fun snow pictures needed.  One of my pictures was a bit bigger than the others so I put it in the middle of the row to to balance them out.  When stitching the circles on the page, I put just a little bit of adhesive on the back of each one so that they would stay in place.  Too much adhesive will gum up your needle so use it sparingly.  This sketch is so much fun and so easy to use. I know that I will be coming back to this sketch again and again.

“Just be Natural”, Designed by Virginia Wong

Duck Feeding”, Designed by Cari Locken

“Eight is Great”, Designed by Lisette Gibbons

‘Want more sketches?  Visit the Got Sketch? blog for more inspiring ideas to fit your scrappy needs.



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Capturing Your Year

One of my favorite stories in the February issue is “Cheer a New Year” on page 60, which features different projects designed to capture a year, week, or month of everyday life, including Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life album. I thought it would be fun to show you my 2011 Week in the Life album.


This was my second year participating in Ali’s project, in which she challenges fellow scrapbookers to document a specific week in their lives—even if they don’t have anything “special” going on. The project really inspires you to show what life is like on the regular days. Often many of us only scrapbook the highlights. But there is so much that goes on between birthdays, holidays, and vacations that is important too! Week in the Life helps me capture some of that—and results in some of my favorite photos of the year.

For this year’s Week in the Life project, I wasn’t able to document as much of my week as I would have liked, so early on I decided to only use my cell phone to make it easier to get photos and journaling on the go (since I always have my phone with me). I ended up with a mini album that summarized a hectic and eventful week well.


I used the Postal Pix app to print out my photo, and decided to make a mini album showcasing just a few photos each day. I used the Momento app to capture my journaling.


Simplifying the project made it easier to complete the project during a hectic time, but I’m looking forward to doing a more in-depth version next year.

You can see all of Ali’s 2011 album here, and learn more about the project on her blog. Have any of you participated in Week in the Life? If so, put a link to your albums in the comments section—we’d love to see them!

While working on the “Cheer the New Year” story, we also got inspired by Lisa Truesdell’s take on  Becky Higgins’ Project Life. So inspired, in fact, that several of us have committed to doing Project Life in 2012. I have to admit that I’m a little intimidated by the thought of a project that covers every day of the year. But I love the idea that this time next year I’ll have a detailed record of the whole year. To stay committed, though, I decided to get some help. So we’ve started a Project Life club at the office and about eight of us are going to get together on our lunch hours once a month to get caught up on our albums and share our progress. I can’t wait!

Are any of you doing Project Life next year?

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Snow Much Fun

SOURCES Stacking boxes, glass dome, patterned paper, mica, trim, stacking boxes, gems, crepe paper: Melissa Frances. Design: Carolyn Peeler.

Have you seen the pretty project at the beginning of our “Snow Much Fun” story? The talented Carolyn Peeler made it for us, and I love how ethereal it looks.

The project is fairly simple to make. Cover two stacking boxes with patterned paper and adhere the smaller atop the larger. For the rosette, accordion fold a strip of patterned paper and attach the ends before flattening into a circle. Add a gem or brooch accent to the center, then brush the edges with liquid adhesive and sprinkle mica on them. Set aside to dry before attaching it to the larger box.

Add trim to the top of the top box and fringed crepe paper to the bottom. Adhere mica to the boxes wherever you want more shimmer.

Sculpt a  2 3/4” tall snowman from white clay, such as Crayola Air-Dry Clay. When the snowman is dry, paint the eyes, nose, etc. as needed. Adhere the snowman to top of box., and add mica or glitter for shine. Then place a glass glass dome over the top of snowman.

I think I might have to make one for myself. It looks—forgive me—snow much fun!

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Mobile Scrapbook Planners

In our February issue, we show you how to make your own project planner. But if you’ve got a smart phone, there are lots of apps available to help you plan on the go. Then when you sit down to scrap, you already have plans, and journaling ready to go! Here are some of my favorites:



Bento is somewhat like a customizable database you can put on your phone, which makes sense, since it’s from the good folks at Filemaker. I use this to track all of my scrapping and crafting projects. When I decide to make something I plug it into my “Craft Projects” list, which has fields that list the projects’ craft (such as scrapbooking or knitting), the supplies I need, what stage the project is in, and when it’s due. It’s great for when I’m at the scrapbook or craft store and can’t remember what I need to finish a project, or when I get an idea while I’m waiting in line somewhere.



The marketing slogan for Evernote is, “Remember everything,” and it is similar to a searchable notebook.  I love it for keeping notes on things I want to scrapbook later—either the idea for the project or journaling for it, from the way I was feeling about a particular event to a great quote I want to use later. Just jot down a thought, and Evernote saves it by the date. You can also add tags or photos. So you can take photos with your phone, then add journaling in Evernote and search for it later when you’re ready to put your scrapbook page together!



Flava helps you save photos, notes, links, voice recordings, and even locations together by date. It would be awesome for recording a trip—you can plug in a location, take a photo and journal your memories at one, then you’re ready to scrap them all when you get home!



I love Momento for recording journaling on the go. It s another one that lets you add photos, tags, and locations, but my favorite part about it is it can collect your social media posts, such as Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, and Foursquare. I used this for my 2011 Week in the Life album, and I loved how easy it was to just go to a particular day and see all my journaling and social media posts in one place. It makes for a fun snapshot of your life!


Those are the apps I use for organizing my scrapbooking. How about the rest of you?

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Leah Fung’s Quick Collage Christmas Card

Season’s greetings and Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying the season. As always, it’s a very busy time of the year for me and my family. Even so, I do try to take the time – even if it’s just an hour – to send out greetings to my family and friends around the world. This year, I’m going all digi and sending these out in emails. I got several greeting cards in my email inbox last year, and I loved it! So I decided to make a digi greeting card of my own using one of the photo card templates here on the SBE website.

(Photos by Aubrey Harns)

For this card, I used  Quick Collage 302. There are lots of other template choices as well, which I have used for both cards and scrapbook pages. Here’s a general how-to if you’re not sure how to get started.  For your cards and pages, you can follow the template exactly as it’s laid out or customize it however you like. For this greeting card, I replaced the center row with a single block of text. I also added a block of text along the bottom right.

Here are more greeting card ideas  using the collage templates.

Get creative, have fun, and enjoy the season! Leah

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Holiday Crafting Charities

It’s the season of giving. While we may not always have the money to give, we definitely have the talent! Put your scrapbooking skills and supplies to good use this holiday with these ideas.

Scrapbooks Etc.’s Craft It Forward campaign is in its last month. The campaign features a monthly craft project and encourages you to donate that project to someone in need or an organization that can help spread some cheer. This month’s project is an easy paper Christmas tree. Go here to download instructions and see ideas. We recommend you donate the trees to an assisted living facility, a transitional living facility, or a domestic violence shelter. Or make the craft a charity in itself by volunteering your time and supplies to help a group make these trees. When you’re done crafting, upload a picture of your tree for a chance to win $500 AND $500 to the charity of your choice.


Michaels craft stores are hosting a “Make It! For Good” contest on their Facebook page. Simply submit photos of your homemade gifts and Michaels will donate $1 to charity for every submission up to $25,000. You can also vote daily for your favorite entry and Michaels will donate $1 each time you vote. One winner will receive a craft room makeover. Michaels is also offering a special blue gift card (see stores) that donates 5% of the amount loaded to a national charity.


Operation Write Home is always in need of cards. These cards can be blank themed cards that allow soldiers stationed all over the world to send cards home to their family and friends or cards with encouraging messages inside. Currently, OWH is looking for Valentine’s Day cards, as well as general birthday and miss you cards. See the deadlines here.


Susan K. Weckesser is hosting her 3rd Christmas Love Campaign. It’s goal is to inspire others to use their crafting skills to spread love and kindness. Simply craft anything (a card, jewelry, knitted projects) and give them to anyone–this act can brighten someone’s day. Upload your project pictures to their Facebook page, share your story, and be entered to win prizes.



What other organizations do you donate to? How do you spread cheer during the holidays?

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Trend: Nautical Cards

Nautical motifs are one of our top trends of 2012. Add nautical flair to any project using elements found in these cards.



Design by Lindsay Fullington

A trio of directional brads plays center stage on this card. A striped background and patterned paper in nautical colors add fun accents. Twine wrapped around the brads adds a mapping element. An appropriate quote on the front make this card ready for an occasion.

SOURCES: Patterned paper: Fancy Pants Designs (red striped, red), GCD Studios (yellow). Brads: GCD Studios. Twine: Canvas Corp. Marker: Sharpie. Adhesive: Zots.



Design by Lindsay Fullington

Create a simple nautical card with lots of impact by using a bright and bold background. Patterned paper cut from similar colors and designs frame brads. A jute string adds a natural embellishment and breaks up the card.

SOURCES: Patterned paper: GCD Studios. Brads: Pebbles. Jute: Canvas Corp. Marker: Sharpie. Adhesive: Zots.




Design by Lindsay Fullington

A bright chipboard banner  hanging from jute adds a nautical element to a tone-on-tone card. Stamp a simple message in the white space.

SOURCES: Patterned paper: GCD Studios. Chipboard: Bella Blvd. Jute: Canvas Corp. Stamps: Studio G. Adhesive: Zots.






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Holiday Photo Checklist


Download our holiday photo checklist here. Print it out and pin it to your fridge so you get all the snapshots you need for documenting the holidays.

What other photo opps would you add to the list?

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Jennifer’s 12 Days of Christmas Album Details

Yesterday, Jennifer introduced us to one of the special albums she made for her son. (See the post here.)  Here are the details and supplies she used in the book.


Some notes are tucked in envelopes, others hidden behind flaps. 




Because the photos of hands were my inspiration, I tried to find quotes that fit with the theme and included them throughout the book.


I’m way more into embellishments than my 20-year-old son, so I tried to pace myself throughout using just a few stickers, baker’s twine, and brads. I thought the look of classic photo corners meshed well with the combination of Tim Holz and 7Gypsies materials I used throughout.



I found some fun letterpress cards and envelopes at Paper Source that had preprinted “I am thankful for:” on them. Each book contained two of these. My husband and I had fun filling them in for each of our children. It was interesting for us to read each other’s notes to the kids to see what qualities in them we most appreciated.


I love that the notes are in our handwriting. Some of my most treasured possessions are letters written to me by my parents and grandparents. It means a great deal to me (and the kids) that my husband is committed to writing several notes to each of the children.


I hope the books will be a lasting reminder of what our children mean to us.

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Jennifer’s 12 Days of Christmas Album

In 2010, our staff participated in Ali Edwards’ December Daily challenge. Thinking I couldn’t commit to an “every day of the month’ adventure, I opted to make three 12 Days of Christmas books—one for each of my college-age children {see last year’s three albums here, here, and here}. They were an overwhelming hit and so began a new tradition for my children. This Thanksgiving, I give them a handmade book to begin reading on December 1. Each day contains a handwritten note from their dad or me. The note might be a pearl of wisdom or a personal thought meant just for them. It’s a way to keep them close at heart, even though they are all away at school. For all of them, it sees them through the stressful finals week and hopefully lets them all know how much they are loved and how proud we are of them. I wasn’t sure if this year’s book would be a welcome surprise or not…but I’m happy to report that Thanksgiving Day they were all smiles when they saw their 2011 books. Here’s a preview of my son’s album.

Last year’s books didn’t have photos, but this year, I planned ahead with a theme in mind. I confess, I have a fascination with hands. I love to look at people’s hands and I am constantly amazed at what they show about a person. Perhaps it is because I am a maker of things, but when I think about the power to create that each person possesses in their hands, it inspires awe. To that end, I took photos of my children’s hands (telling them it was a project for work), their grandparents’ hands, and their parents’ hands. On various pages, those photos are used throughout the book.


See the rest of the book here.

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