Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free Scrapbook Videos at Two Peas in a Bucket

One of my favorite scrapbook sites, Two Peas in a Bucket, has an exciting new feature for 2013 - daily videos Monday through Saturday!
In 2012, they had a few videos here and there with the most consistent being the popular Glitter Girl series. Now, it looks as if project and tutorial videos are going to be a regular feature over there!

On Mondays, the video series consists of a project with several prompts. At the end of 2013, they will have given 213 prompts in all of the videos combined. That is a nice little bit of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing when you are stuck. :)
So far I have watched two out of the four videos and found them both interesting. I liked Corrie Jones technique she used with mists to draw the heart on her page the second week.

This is one of my favorite of the new series! Each Tuesday, the design team members show you how to put together a layout using mood boards of their own creation. This is a fun source of inspiration, which is especially true for those of us who use Pinterest :)
Shimelle Lane's Glitter Girl is back for another year on Wednesdays solving all of the crafty problems that surface on the general scrapbooking message board. And while I love the Glitter Girl series, I wonder if there are enough topics to cover another full year. But it's a fun and creative series that usually has some great tips and tricks!

A great series where you are encouraged to use your stash every Thursday! I have enjoyed the two most recent videos by Jill Sprott and Paige Evans. But I think Jill has produced my favorite video so far out of all the series. She has an interesting teaching manner and puts together great pages. I am looking forward to seeing more videos by her in the upcoming year.

On Fridays, you will be seeing double as the design team members show how to simplify the process by using similar design elements on a layout and a card or a tag at the same time. I have yet to watch any of these videos, but plan to watch the video by Lisa Dickinson using the quilt star punch on her layout as well as a card.

And finally on Saturdays, for all of you Project Lifers, there is a series just devoted to the Project Life process. I still plan on watching these even though I am not doing PL...yet. But I think I will in the future, and it will be great to learn some tips.

So there you have it! If you enjoy scrapbook videos, there is more than enough to keep you busy over at Two Peas in 2013. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine's Day for Families

Today I'm pleased to present a guest post from Kristin Steward; she's here to share some ideas on making Valentine's Day special with your family:

Valentine’s Day is considered by most to be a day where couples buy Valentine’s Day cards for their significant other. This is accompanied by a gift, bouquet of flowers, a romantic dinner, or maybe a piece of jewelry from Kay Jewelers as all the television commercials show. It may also include a spa day, a foot massage or a back rub (love those!). Once there is a family, however, it is good to involve every member in Valentine’s Day festivities, and every holiday, to teach values and what the real meanings of these holidays are. It is a day of showing love to all including family, friends, neighbors and strangers that need a helping hand. 

Photo courtesy Shuttefly

Getting together with the kids and taking photos for your specially made Valentine’s Day cards is one activity that can be fun and creative. Shutterfly has many options to create a card that your whole family could agree on. These cards can be sent to friends and relatives, and even to classmates.  Creating handmade gifts like fruit baskets and containers filled with home baked cookies can be enjoyed together. Nestle Toll House has the best recipe to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies, and you can even shape them into hearts with cookie cutters.  

Photo courtesy Nestle

These thoughtful and homemade gifts made from the heart and given in reusable holiday tins will be a nice surprise for a lonely or elderly neighbor, or for someone like the mailman who quietly serves you all year long. When she/he takes all of your cards give him something homemade to be enjoyed.  You might also replace the Christmas vine wreath with one decorated with hearts and red and pink flowers that your family can make together. A great place to get arts and craft supplies is at Michaels. When each holiday comes around they have so many festive supplies that can be in your family’s crafted decorations. Keep an eye out after each holiday too when everything goes on sale!

Photo courtesy Ever Blooming Originals

Every holiday should be viewed as an opportunity to perform services to help others as a family as well as joining together in creative activities. It will create closeness to each other and also to those who share the same community as you and your family. Try thinking green when creating decorations and gifts as well.  Nature will thank you for it and reward you with the gift of lifelong appreciation for the earth and all of its wonder.  Holidays are more than just days to eat well. They are days to live well by helping others to do the same. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Time of My Life

It's hard to believe that we're about to start the month of February...wasn't it just 2012?  Time has a way of moving ever so quickly, and while I can't stop it, I'm trying my hardest to capture bits and pieces.  I think all of us, as memory keepers, are working toward that same goal: to preserve our family's memories before they get lost or forgotten.

That's why I love making calendars - they're the best of both worlds; I get to preserve moments while planning and making new ones!  Over the past several Christmases, I've made calendars for my husband to hang in his office, and they've become cherished gifts for him.  (Of course, this year, I forgot to take pictures before he took it in to work!)

At the end of each year, I cut apart the calendar, and save the monthly layouts in an album that sits on a table in our foyer.  It's fascinating to skim through this scrapbook and see how our family has grown over the past few years (my first year making a calendar was 2008).

Here are a few glimpses of our calendar scrapbook:

This year, I ended up making three calendars: one for my husband, one for my Dad (which is in his office), and one for my kitchen. The one in my kitchen is from a My Mind's Eye kit that I found at Michael's.  These pages are 8.5 x 11, so I'll need to start a new album next year to hold the layouts:

I also just created a mini-album/calendar from a Teresa Collins kit.  I added lots of inking and glimmer mist (though I'm not sure they show in the photos), and I'm really loving this little book:

In a house full of boys, a little bling makes me happy.  This album has over 30 pages - there's a mini-calendar for each month, plus tags, pocket and journaling pages.  I'm looking forward to filling it in as we move through 2013.

And one last mini-album before I go.  (I actually meant to share this one last week, but I got an unexpected call asking me to fill in for a sick co-worker, and I've been busy planning lessons and schedules for two math classes.)

This is another one made from a Teresa Collins kit.  My boys are big fans of Christmas countdowns, so this is right up their alley:

The papers are cut down to 4" x 8", and they were designed to be bound with a single ring at the top, but I switched to double rings on the side because it's so thick. The idea is so simple...I think it could be adapted for just about any holiday. If only I could squeeze a few more hours out of the week, I'd make one for Valentine's Day.  :)

Are you a calendar maker?  Or do you make year-in-review albums? I'd love to tackle Project Life one year, but I'm not quite there yet (though I'd love tips if you've made one!).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Do Something Different

Hello and Happy Friday!  I decided to do something that I haven't done for a long time ~ stamp.  I mean with a rubber stamp and ink.  I've been in such a digital stamp mode for a couple of years and have to admit that I love them ~ but I just felt like "doing something different".

Before I get into talking about what I created with the stamps, I want to take a small detour.  Wednesday, Mary Jo blogged, about WOYWW (which stands for What's on your Workspace Wednesday).  She posted a picture of what was on her workspace and some of us posted similar pictures in our Facebook Group.

Here's the picture that I posted.

I was just starting to work on a vintage tag that I was going to put a stamped picture of the Eiffel Tower on.

Later on in the day, I took another picture of my "creative chaos".

I get "everything but the kitchen sink" out when I'm working on a project.  I never know for sure what I'll end up using, so I just start pulling anything out that I think I might use.  I didn't even end up using the stick pins that are in the top picture.  I had a mental picture of how I was going to use them, but it just didn't materialize.

Here's my finished tag.  I used two rubber stamps ~ the Eiffel Tower and Create.  I stamped both of them out on tan cardstock and cut them out and attached them to my tag.  I inked the Eiffel Tower stamped image all the way around with black distress ink and I attached "Create" with pop dots.

I made a fun "discovery" that I'd like to share with you:

See that silver beaded trim?  While I was playing around, some of it got flipped upside down and I discovered that the wrong side was really very cool!  I ended up using the wrong side of the trim ~ I had fully intended to use the silver side, but the black side looks so much better with my tag.  Love that!

Have you done anything different lately?  It was really a nice change of pace for me to get out some rubber stamps and ink.  Have you tried a brand new technique, maybe - something you've never tried before?  We'd love to hear about it or better yet, see something "different" that you've been working on!  I'd love to read your comments here and we'd love to see your pictures in our Facebook Group.

Don't forget about my "Photo Inspiration Challenge", too.  It doesn't end until February 18th.  We have a couple of entries and would love to see more!  Here's a picture of the 1st prize:

See that silver trim at the top?  That's the trim that I flipped over to the black side on my tag.  If at least 6 different people participate, I'm going to give a 2nd prize, too.

Thanks for stopping by today and have a wonderful weekend!

~ Cheryl ~

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What's on Your Workspace today!

I used to participate in a fun little group called "What's on Your Workspace Wednesday?" A crafter named Julia hosts it every Wednesday on her blog here, and she has a pretty big following now. Lots of crafters link up to her blog and share what they are currently working on. It's a lot of fun to get a peek at scrap spaces all over the world. I have been inspired, awed and met a lot of really nice women through WOYWW as it's known.

I didn't visit every single blog linked because most days there are between 150-200 participants now.
But I had at least 30 women I would try to stop by regularly each week. And then maybe rotate an extra 10 or so to see some new faces and spaces as well.

I have taken a break from officially participating because Wednesdays have just been too busy for me during the school year. But I am hoping to return this summer for awhile.
In the mean time, in honor of WOYWW, I would like to share what's happening in my space today.

I am about to finally put together an album for our Florida trip from way back in 2007. It has been almost six years that I have had these photos, and it's time for them to have a home :) I am pretty excited to get started!

How about you? What is on your workspace right now?
Please come join us over at our Facebook group (link top right) and share a photo of your current project or workspace. :)
I am always looking for a little inspiration!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chapstick Purse Freebies

Howdy, Nesters!  I've got a quick post for you today, but I'll be back later this week - I'm not sure if that comes across as a threat or a promise!  :)

The kind folks at MyMemories have three adorable Chapstick purse downloads to share with us this week.  Each download contains two purse patterns - one rounded and one square, plus some digital scrapbook papers and embellishments.  And the best - they're free!

The first kit is called "Artichoke Hearts" and can be downloaded by clicking here.

The second kit is Valentine's Day-themed and is called, appropriately, "My Valentine"; you can download this kit here.

Here's what one of the purses looks like when opened:

The last kit is titled "Seize the Daisy" and you can download this one by clicking here.

As always, you can download one (or more) of these kits without any obligation to buy a thing.  However, the links are only good until next Monday, so if you want these, you'll need to download them before then.

Before I leave, I want to remind y'all of Mary Jo's sketch challenge and Cheryl's photo inspiration challenge.  Cheryl's even got a nice Webster's Pages prize up for grabs!  We've got family coming into town (any minute now!), but both challenges are on my agenda as soon as I can squeeze in some quality scrap-time.  :)

Have a great week!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Photo Inspiration Challenge

Hello and Happy Friday!  Well, again this year ~ I'm attempting to do the "Photo-A-Day".  I started last year and made it for about three months until my life got a little crazy and I had too many other things to worry about.  I'm going to try to take a photo a day again this year.  So far, I've taken at least one photo a day ~ some days I take more.

We had a white Christmas and had lots of snow on the ground for several weeks so the first few pictures of the new year are pictures I took of the snow and ice.  I'm holding a Photo Inspiration Challenge at one of the sites that I'm active on and thought I'd offer it here too if any of you Nesters are interested.

Here are the photographs that I'm using as inspiration pieces and you can go wherever the "inspiration" takes you.

Here's Photograph #1:

Here's Photograph #2:

Aren't they "icy looking" and the first photograph is very "blue" and cold looking.

I figured that I have an awesome new phone and it takes awesome pictures that I would try to take some of my Photos of a Day with my cell phone and put them on Instagram.  Here's my "stuff" on Instagram is you'd like to take a look at any of it.

SO ~ here's my proposal ~ if you'd like to create something that inspires you after looking at my two pictures ~ I'd LOVE to see it!!  I'd ALSO like to know what made you choose the specific photograph you chose and what inspired you the most about it.

Since today is January 18th already I'll leave this challenge invitation open until February 18th.  That will give you plenty of time to become inspired and think of a project that you'd like to complete.

Of course I'll be offering a RAK (maybe two).  Want to see what you'd be playing for?

How about a package of unopened, Webster's Pages Designer Trims?  This will go the first place winner, who will be selected by Random Generator.  If we have at least six people participate, I'll have a second prize too ~ also selected by Random Generator.  The time that you post your project in the Facebook Group will determine your number in the drawing.  (Make sense?)  Want to see the second prize?

Two packages of brand new, never been opened Webster's Pages Florettes {two different sets} + a box full  (never been opened) of  Webster's Pages Deluxe Journaling Card Set.  Worth winning?  If you think so, get busy and let us see what inspires you about my two photographs posted up at the top.

Remember, you can post your projects in our Facebook Group.  Be sure to tell me which photograph your creation is based on and how it inspired you.

Your project must be new as of today and the challenge ends on February 18th.  February 18th is on Monday, and I won't post again til Friday Feb 22nd so the winner(s) will be announced in my post on Friday February 22nd.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I've tempted you to try my challenge.

~ Cheryl ~

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sketch Challenge!

I found this sketch...
on the Pretty Little Studio blog last week and decided to give it a try. You can see the full post here!
And here is my personal take...
I love the grid design for this sketch! Although, I did change a few things up. My title is at the top while still leaving a cluster of three at the bottom.

So while the challenge on the PLS blog is over, I think it is a great sketch!
If you do end up creating any cards or layouts using this sketch, I would love to see them. You can link here or post on our Facebook group page :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's that Time Again...

I have enough scrapbook and crafting supplies to last me at least a decade, but I still get excited when the CHA show rolls around twice a year.  This year, I'm really making an effort to buy less, but that doesn't stop me from checking out the new product being released. :)

I'll be honest...I don't follow the blogs of any of the scrapbook manufacturers (maybe it's me, but I just don't have the time to keep up with them all!).  Thankfully, the gals at Scrapbook Update kept a running list with all the previews (they're also posting pictures and updates from the show - like these adorable trays from Adornit).  

And I'll admit, I did make the time to go through almost every sneak peek on the list.  However - much to the delight of my husband - my personal "wish list" is on the small side this time around.  I thought I'd share with you what caught my eye from the winter releases.

First up is a long-time favorite, My Mind's Eye.  I am really loving the Collectable collection...especially Remarkable and Notable.

I'm also digging the Photo Freedom collections from Echo Park.  I've already put in pre-orders for both of the Photo Freedom Volume 1 collection kits and the Happy Go Lucky kit.  What can I say...they make me really happy.  Plus, I'm a huge fan of Stacy Julian and her approach to scrapbooking - anything that can help save time is a win in my book!

The last two collections have a common theme: they're both nautical.  I am in the process of decorating my boys' bedrooms.  A few weeks ago, we made the decision to go with a nautical theme for my oldest son's room.  You can imagine my happy surprise when looking at sneak peeks and finding TWO nautical collections!

The first is Down by the Shore by Fancy Pants.  I absolutely love the color scheme - it makes me smile every time I look at it.

 The second nautical-themed line is Uncharted Waters from Glitz. I mean, how cute is an anchor roller stamp?

And don't forget the matching tape!

Save a small stamp set and a couple stencils, that's my wish list for Winter CHA.  (I told you it was small this time!)

Have you been following the sneaks for this CHA show?  Which companies and/or collections have caught your eye?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Valentine Collections

Hello and welcome back to my regular Friday posts.  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!  

I've been making Valentine's Day cards this week.  I bought three Valentine's Day collections this year ~ Pink Paislee, Crate Paper and Echo Park.  Part of these collections are made up of stickers that match the patterned paper.  That brings me to the subject of today's post ~ the matching stickers.

Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE the matching stickers that come with any collections!!  I don't know if it's just one of my "peculiarities" but those stickers are really sticky.  How many times have you not gotten the sticker just exactly where you want it?  I have done that and by the time I realize it's not exactly where I want it ~ it's too late.  Those little rascals are so sticky that if I tried to move them, I usually tore the paper.

Here's a picture I took of some of the gorgeous patterned papers and some of the matching stickers.

I have a little "secret" that I'd like to share with you.  Want to see my "secret"?

It's baby powder and a paper plate.

Sprinkle some baby powder on the paper plate.

Pull the sticker off the sheet and "dredge" the sticky side in the baby powder.

Here is a whole sheet of gorgeous stickers all "dredged" and brushed off, of course, and ready to put wherever I want to put them.  I now have total control over where these stickers end up.  (And they smell really good too.)

Here's just one of the cards that I created using one of the stickers above.  I attached it to the doily with pop dots.

Here's a close-up photograph of this sweet sticker.

Like I said, you might already know this "secret".  Maybe the stickiness doesn't bother you, but once I have an entire sheet of stickers "de-stickied" I'm ready to start creating.  (I just had to come up with a remedy for my "peculiarity" and thought I'd share it.)

On a more serious note, I made a lot of Valentine's Day cards this year because I'm donating most of them to a charity.  I found a wonderful card charity called "Snail Mail for Seniors" and you can read all about their mission on their Facebook page.  I'm planning to donate most of the cards I make this year to them ~ they're just asking for Valentine's Day cards until the 20th of January.  If you'd like to see some of the cards I've created, I'm putting them on my blog as I get a few of them done and photographed.

Thanks for stopping by today and I'll be back next Friday.

~ Cheryl ~

Images by Freepik