42 posts.

Check out this Advent Calendar!

There’s no more visual (and fun) way to count down to the holidays than with an Advent Calendar. Silhouette America has a new Limited Edition Advent Calendar we think you should know about.  We’ve asked Designer Tania Willis to share her version of this vertsatile shadowbox calendar with you!

The Silhouette Advent Calendar’s a fully-assembled,  well-constructed, crisp white shadow box that measures just shy of 15″ square, with a depth of 3 3/4″.  The calendar comes with a download card to retrieve 48 different box and drawer shapes to use along with a Silhouette system.  You’ll need 25-50 pieces of patterned paper/cardstock to construct your calendar.  For the design I created, I used approximately 30 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock.

I went with a non-traditional Christmas color scheme and cut a mix of boxes and drawers to add a little more character. Instead of cutting my boxes in numerical order, I chose to cut one color at a time to make sure that each color was visually balanced throughout. Cuttting the boxes took some time, but once they were all cut, I was able to assemble all 25 in less than 30 minutes.  The BEST part was giving each box its own personality as I decorated them with my favorite SRM Stickers and other miscellaneous Christmas-themed products.

This is one of those projects that can easily be completed in a single weekend, with the majority of the time spent cutting the boxes and/or drawers. It is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever completed and I look forward the delight it will bring to my children year after year. I have a strong feeling this will be the most popular alterable item this holiday season!

You can find additional detail images of the calendar on my blog, and you can buy your own Silhouette Advent Calendar ($39.99) directly from the Silhouette Store. Now through November 11th ONLY, you can purchase the calendar at a $10.00 discount, for only $29.99 by using Promo code: SRM.

For more ideas on how to use the Silhouette Calendar, check out Silhouette’s collection on Pinterest.

For a variety of advent calendar ideas, check out this slideshow with instructions! 



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Ghostly Fun with Halloween Photos

Halloween 2011 may have come and gone, but Contributing Editor Erica Hernandez has a ghostly effect you can use with those adorable trick-or-treat photos you still have on your camera. Download them, and get started today!

By simply taking a photo of your subject, and then an identical photo of the same location sans subject, you can emulate the look of a transparent figure wafting through the frame.



1. Layer photo WITH subject over the second photo in your editing program (I use PSE.)

2. Reduce the opacity of the top photo to your liking, aligning the background of the photo to the bottom photo layer.
3. Convert to a gritty black and white and add a subtle texture layer to grunge it up a bit.

4. Scrap and enjoy!





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Valerie’s Sketch for One Great Photo

We’re excited to welcome back our good friend Valerie Salmon who’s got another great sketch to jumpstart your creativity!

Some of the most stunning scrapbook layouts feature a single enlarged photo that speaks volumes.  

When you have a picture that is “worth a thousand words,” you can keep the page design clean and simple.  The sketch below features basic elements that will keep the focus on your photograph.  Keep in mind that in this instance, the term “less is more” applies.  The layout will be quick and simple, but the end result will be striking.  Now, grab your supplies, scrap, and have fun with this sketch!

Designed by Valerie Salmon of Got Sketch?

“All Star”

Designed by Valerie Salmon

SOURCES  Cardstock:  Bazzill.  Patterned Papers:  Bo Bunny (green dot), Kaiser Craft (black dot). Metal “Score” accent:  K & Company. Metal star badge:  Pink Paislee.  Circle punch:  EK Success.  Arrow punch:  Fiskars.  Chipboard alphabet:  The Paper Studio.  Computer font:  Futura.  Other:  baker’s twine.

Designer’s Notes:  

With this 12×12 sketch, I created an 8″ x 8″ page layout.  By sizing everything down and using a 4″ x 6″ photo, this worked nicely.  For the journaling strip, I used the tip of an arrow punch (Fiskars) to cut the notches on the ends.  I love quick and easy pages — This is definitely one of those!

“Learn to Ride”

Designed by Lisette Gibbons

SOURCES  Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (white) | Patterned Paper + Elements: Echo Park (Country Drive) | Alphabet Foam Stickers: My Little Shoebox (Pink) | Rubber Stamp: Hero Arts (Bicycle) | Ink: Staz’On (Jet Black) | Computer font | Black Marker

Designer’s Notes:  

Because of the large negative space in the picture, I’ve added a few elements in the top right corner to take your eye through the layout in a natural flow. I mirrored the colours from the picture in my papers as well.

“The Patch”

Designed by Kimberly Neddo

SOURCES  Noel Mignon’s October kit include:  Cardstock- Bazzill;  Patterned Paper- Fancy Pants: Oct 31- Night, Shadows and Cards; American Craft: Night Fall-Starry Night and Night Watch. Thickers-  American Craft: Elm Black.  Brads- My Minds Eye: Mischievous.  Stickers- Authentique: Diction

Designer’s Notes:  

I flipped the sketch upside down to work with an idea I had for the scalloped boarder. I have a fun pumpkin carving cartridge for my cricut express cutting machine, and I had an idea of shrinking the images down to 2 inches. I cut a few different papers with the images chosen to cut to give some variation to the border. I placed them over green cardstock to help them pop. I love how this turned out for this simple sketch. Sometimes with a simple design, you can make it really stand out with something fun like this.

“Sweet Dreams”

Designed by Angela Lauchengco


Cardstock:  American Crafts.  Patterned papers:  Making Memories Love Struck line and Little Yellow Bicycle Sweet Love.  Adhesive border:  K&Co. Sweet Simplicity.  Clear sticker & Chipboard sticker:  Little Yellow Bicycle.  Alphabet stickers:  American Crafts.  Other:  Satin Flowers from a local fabric store.

Designer’s Notes:  

Valerie’s sketch was perfect for the photo I recently took of my nephew’s newborn daughter.   I kept the layout simple so that the main focus is on the photo. 

Local fabric stores are a great source for beautiful ribbons and laces that you can use as embellishments for your pages.

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





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Beautiful Order from Ribbon Chaos

We wanted to share with you an ingenius idea we found on the blog, Bee-Inspired. The blog’s author, Gabi, is a South African teacher, living in South Korea, who teaches English and loves to craft and cook. She sure inspired us…welcome Gabi, and thanks for sharing your idea with us!

I’m always amazed at how quickly my craft area goes from organized to absolute chaos. I have also realized that I often don’t use certain things because they get lost in between all the other stuff and I forget that I have them. My ribbons, lace and elastics are usually all tangled up and sometimes I find a ribbon and think: “this would have worked so well in my previous project, if I had known that I had it.”

I took science at school and although I didn’t always understand (listen) much I did get one thing. The Law of Energy Decay states that every system (in this case my crafts) left to its own devices always tends to move from order to disorder (chaos). There you have it – the reason why my room never stayed tidy when I was in school and the reason why my craft corner looks the way it does now.

Here is a simple project I made to store my ribbons and lace, and I even recycled a bit (patting myself on the back) while doing this.

You will need:

Toilet rolls (the amount depends on the size of your hanger)
Hanger of your choice (a multi-level pants hanger works well for this)

1. Cut the toilet roll
2. Place it around the hanger and tape it closed
3. Wrap ribbon/lace/whatever around the roll and do this with as many rolls as you need. (If you don’t want the ribbon unwinding every 2 seconds I would advise using a pin to secure it)
4. Ta DA!!

Some superheroes have one archenemy that they fight continually throughout their lives. One of mine is the ‘tendency towards disorder’ – the score for battles won is not in my favor BUT at least I’m on the scoreboard now:)

I hope this helps you sort through your ‘missing’ treasures, although I’m sure you are all very organized ;)

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A Little Fall Color

Today we’re welcoming graphic designer and blogger Jessica Tierney, who’s sharing with us an inspiring color board full of beautiful seasonal color. Jessica shares her passion for food, photography, and design on her blog, Jessica Tierney Designs. 

I can think of no better palette to welcome in the fall season than these rich and warm shades that play an ever present role in our homes this time of year. Inspired by sweet macintoshes, delicious pumpkin pie, savory butternut, earthy birch and vivid shades of mustard to spice things up!

{images via Hannah of Honey and Jam, The Ardent Sparrow, Maplesyruponly}

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A Little Link Love…

Treasures abound in the blogosphere. If you haven’t had a chance to cruise around online lately, here are some links to some inspiring posts that caught our eye.

Check out what Susan Weinroth did with Studio Calico’s September kit, Glee Club.

You’ve got to see this chalkboard cake made by Jenifer Harkin, as seen on Jillibean Soup blog.  

Here’s a great idea for taking twine to a crop on the Twisted Sugar Twine blog.

Scrapbooker Roree Rumph made these adorable teacher gifts using simple die-cuts and pencils. Darling!

Follow this link to see some colorful, inspiring back-to-school cards from designer Elizabeth Carney.

Ree Drummond, better known to many as The Pioneer Woman, hosts photography contests on her site from time to time, and her most recent had photographers far and wide submitting their favorite silly shots. This link will take you to the winner, then scroll down to see some of the finalists. They’ll make you giggle, and give you some fantastic ideas to stage your own silly shots.

Found a cool tutorial by Marcy Penner for making a trendy chevron background for your scrapbook page on the October Afternoon blog.

Enjoy them all!

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Stylin’ Camera Bags

Whether you’ve got a slick DSLR with lots of lenses, or a totable point-and-shoot that’s always with you, there are so many cute bags on the market to tote your stuff in style. Here’s a sampling of some great bags. 

Found on Etsy, this yummy bag comes in different sizes and has a good amount of room inside. Sizhfleur camera bags also has several cool camera straps to personalize your equipment.

One of my favorite companies for bags of all kinds is Built. They made my point-and-shoot bag, laptop bag, wine tote, and even my lunch bag. They’ve got a great bag for toting lots of equipment

….or a little.

Here’s a sweet little number, that’s a pricey, but big on style. It’s the Libby by Kelly Moore. Removable, adjustable dividers means you can customize the configuration however you’d like. Great as a laptop or travel bag too. The site’s got lots of fashionable options, in a rainbow of colors.

You’ll find this sunny yellow tote, as well as many more, at Jill-e Designs.

Funksion‘s philosophy is that function can be fun, and that a camera bag should be a great accessory for a girl’s night out.

Here’s a bag that would shock people that you were totin’…camera equipment that is. It’s the Lyric bag by Epiphanie. Their tag line is “Liberating women from the man bag.” 

Jo’s Totes deserves a shout-out for their eye-catching line of colorful, fashionable camera bags. This ladylike bag is called the Rose.

Of course there’s nothing wrong at all with a strong, padded black nylon camera bag (especially if your significant other is averse to grabbing a pink bag and throwing it over his shoulder), but you need to know it’s not your only option anymore!

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A New Layered Card Sketch

We’re always excited to welcome our friend, and etceterista Valerie Salmon back to the blog with another inspiring sketch!

Hey paper crafters, isn’t it time for another card sketch? Got a few extra minutes? Grab some supplies and give this card sketch a try. Layer elements to create a fun and festive card!  Adhere a few items with foam adhesive to give your cards that extra pop.  Happy crafting!

Designed by Valerie Salmon of Got Sketch?

“Birthday Wishes to You” Card

Designed by Valerie Salmon

SOURCES  Paper, stickers, border (Echo Park Paper Co.), Chipboard star (American Crafts), twine.

Designer’s Notes:  Instead of making a square card, I created a rectangular one.  I chose to use all products from one manufacturer line.  Everything coordinated so this card came together in a snap.  I just added a chipboard star with the birthday boy’s age to personalize it.  

“Thank You” Card

Designed by Lisette Gibbons

SOURCES  Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper | Patterned Paper: Scenic Route (Garden Grove) | Doily: Martha Stewart | Ribbon: Vandoros | Lace: Spotlight | Clear Stamps: Papertrey Ink (Big & Bold Wishes) | Ink: Staz’On (Jet Black) | Dies: Papertrey Ink (Banner Builder, Mat Stack 5) MFT Die-Namics (Rolled Rose)

Designer’s Notes:  I pretty much stuck to the card sketch all the way and kept the colour scheme simple for more impact. I always like to add different materials to add depth like lace, ribbon and the 3-dimensional flower.

“Happy Birthday” Card

Designed by Ingrid Danvers

SOURCES  Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (Straw).  Patterned paper: October Afternoon (Farmhouse).  Ribbon, twine: Papertrey Ink (Aqua Mist).  Clear stamps: Papertrey Ink (Birthday Basics).  Ink: Versafine (Vintage Sepia), Papertrey Ink (Vintage Touch Tea Dye Duo).  Foam dots: Zva Creative.  Dies: Papertrey Ink (Doily Details, Beautiful Blooms II #1 Collection, Double-Ended Banners, Banner Builder Collection).  Tools: Martha Stewart (border punch), EK Success (1 3/4″ circle punch).  Adhesive: Aleene’s Tacky Glue.  Other: resin flower.

Designer’s Notes:  I followed the card sketch closely. If I layer certain elements like the doily, circle, die-cut flower and resin flower on this card I love to use adhesive foam dots to create more depth. 

“Sweet” Card

Designed by Rae Barthel

SOURCES  Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper Patterned Paper: Crate Paper Die cuts: (cupcake, word, scalloped border) Crate Paper jSticker: (scallop border) Crate Paepr Acrylic frame: Maya Road Pearls: (pink swirl) Zva Creative; (pink) Kaisercraft Ink: (Leather Mix’d Media Inx) Clearsnap Ribbon: Michael’s Tool: (corner rounder punch) WRMK. Other: foam tape

Designer’s Notes:  I like to keep some generic or sentiment-free cards on hand in my studio, such as this card, which could be easily used as a birthday card, thank you card, congratulations or “just because”.  And when I really love a sketch (like this one!) I will make multiple cards, using different papers, and they get put together so easily thanks to the sketch!

Designed by Anabelle O’Malley

SOURCES    Cardstock-Papertrey Ink.  Patterned Paper, Gems, Fabric Ribbon-Webster’s Pages.  Foam Adhesive- Glue Arts.  Border Punch-Martha Stewart.

Designer’s Notes:  One thing I love about sketches is that I can interpret them any way I like! I played around with a couple of flowers on here, but didn’t like the way any of them looked. I decided I liked the balloons as they kept with the birthday theme, so I went ahead and used them instead. Having creative freedom with sketches makes designing cards and pages easy and fun!

Announcing the newest Got Sketch class…

Got Sketch Express! 

It’s the ideal time to bring back our most economical class format, Express!  ‘Love to work with scrapbook sketches?  Want a little push to get your creative mojo flowing?  Then, this is the inspiration you need and this class is your answer.
Unlike the usual Got Sketch classes, this Express format is a simple class structure to access the sketch-based project sheets in a “grab-and-go” manner.  It’s all about the sketches.  You literally dowload the pdf, print, and scrap.  It’s perfect for the busy scrapbooker!  This less-frills environment is easier on your budget, too — but if you pre-register, you can save even more! So, don’t think twice!  
Although this is a self-paced class, you can challenge yourself to complete 8 layouts in 4 weeks!
Class starts September 19.
Special low price if you pre-register.  It’s our lowest class price ever.
Get the details on the GSE 2 Information Page & pre-register now!
Hope to see you there!

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Got 30 Minutes?

Shannon Zickel’s back today with tips to spice up your page if you’ve got just 30 minutes.

I hope you had fun putting together the quick project from yesterday. If you’ve got a few more minutes, the simplest and quickest way to add depth to your page elements is with just a little bit of ink. I quickly rubbed the edges of my banner flags with a matching color of ink on each one before I adhered them.


Another way to add a touch of dimension to a simple page is to machine-stitch on it. Hand-stitching will take a little more time, but put your sewing machine into action if you’ve got one. I used to be afraid to stitch on my pages, but it’s really simple! (Take these cues from a past SBE blog post by Lisa Truesdell to help eliminate your fear.) Instead of using the baker’s twine, I ran a simple stitch across the top of the banner before adding the title.

One of my go-to techniques is to replace a letter in the title with an accent. If you’ve got an “O” in your title, replace it with another element like a heart, star, flower, or in this case a simple round sticker topped with a button threaded with twine. 

Finally, go outside the collection you’re using (I used the Jillibean Soup Blossom Soup Collection for this page) and add a few elements from your stash. I added some number stickers to replace the handwritten date on the date sticker, a simple sentiment sticker to complete the date sticker grouping, and replaced the “and” stickers in the title with a colorful ampersand. 

While I loved my first 15-minute take, devoting a few extra minutes yielded a more fun and finished project. 

Hopefully you’re now inspired to use those few free minutes to get a project completed.  For more simple and fun scrapping ideas stop by my blog, I Rock Paper & Scissors

Shannon Zickel headshot


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Got 15 Minutes?

We’re welcoming designer Shannon Zickel to the blog today (and tomorrow) for some great tips on quick page designs, and layout to get you started.

Somehow you’ve found 15 free minutes in your day and you really have the desire to play with some paper!  If you’re like me you usually just brush off the idea knowing you won’t have the time to decide what pictures you want to scrap, dig through all your supplies and choose just the right ones, and then, after using the whole 15 minutes and more on just that, pull a layout together.

My formula for pulling together a 15-minute layout relies on two main things: 

Always have a stack of printed ready-to-scrap photos on hand.  I make sure I have at least 4 or 5 layouts worth in a folder I can grab and use at any time.  These can be standard 4×6 size photos or if you are a home photo printer like me, print the sizes you know you use most in your designs.

Give yourself permission to create using a single line from a manufacturer.  Scrapbook manufacturers spend a lot of time creating collections for your use.  While it’s fun to mix and match many different brands and lines together, in a time pinch you can rely on one collection and still end up with a layout you will love!

Here is the layout that you will be creating in just 15 minutes!


* You’ll need two horizontal photos, a 12×12″ piece of cardstock, four patterned papers (scraps work well for this), an alphabet option (stickers, chipboard etc.), and some coordinating accents

* Attach your photos as shown, leaving about 1.5″ space between the two photos. (My photos measure 4.5” wide by 3” tall, printed with a thin white border.)

* With each of your four patterned papers cut two 6″ long strips (one 3/4″ wide, and the other 5/8″ wide). Cut the strips into banners ranging from 1 1/3″ long to 1 1/2″ long, using any combination of the patterns you like. Snip a triangle off the bottom edge of the rectangles to finish your banner flags.

* Starting from the left edge attach the banner flags so the top of the flags roughly line up with the bottom edge of the top picture until a flap overlaps the edge of the picture. You’re not after perfection….you don’t have the time! Repeat the pattern on the right side. Cut a 24-inch length of baker’s twine and tie a small bow on each end. Using mini glue dots, attach the twine across the top of the banner flags.

* Add a large sticker or die cut to the center between the flags, then top it off with your title, and any accents you like.

 In hope in just 15 minutes you have a page that you love as much as I do!

Got 30 minutes? Check back tomorrow for some tips to enhance this simple design.


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