Quick Tip | Use Your Stash Twofer

I was going through some older paper collections recently and came across a sheet of pattern paper that I have always loved but have never figured out how to use. You know the ones I’m talking about. Super fun designs that you just had to have…but what to do with them?

This was my challenge:

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This paper came from the City Park Collection from American Crafts. Circa 2010. There was so much to love: the colors, the not so perfectly round circles, the glitter texture, the whimsical and playful nature of the design.

But for all the love, I could never figure out what to do with it.

Quick Tip One: When in doubt, cut it out.

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Thanks to my trusty circle punches, I was able to pull out the elements of the paper that I loved, but use them in a way that suits my style. Layered clusters.

Quick Tip Two: Circles are perfect for grounding smaller embellishments.

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Think brads. Acrylic pieces. Buttons. Enamel dots. Epoxy shapes. Chipboard pieces. Word stickers. All the little pieces that accumulate that are so easy to forget about.

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How did I use my fun embellishments? Stay tuned. I will share the full page later this week.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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Quick Tip | Mini Blending Tool

Today I wanted to share a quick tip.

Tim Holtz recently released his Ink Blending Tool in a new size. It’s smaller with a round end. I watched a couple of videos that Jennifer McGuire recently shared (one here with her review of why she loves this size and another tutorial showing the mini blending tool in action).

I have to admit, she totally sucked me in. After watching these videos, I wanted a set of these mini blending tools because the smaller round size is awesome.

The only problem? I’m not really interested in buying new tools. I only have 6 tools now. I never saw a need to have more than that. I have enough foam refills for all of the distress colors I own and just change the foam out for whatever color I need. Now I have to buy new tools to get the smaller size?

Actually…no!

My Hobby Lobby had a package of the mini foam refills and as I stood there in the store, I wondered…why wouldn’t they just work on the tools I already have?

And YES! It totally works.

I am not bothered in the least that the tool I have is rectangular and these new foam pieces are circles. Because the foam adheres to the tool via the Velcro, it does not matter what size the foam piece is.  You still get the benefits of the smaller round size even when you adhere it to the larger block.

I also thought I would share with you how I store ink blending tools and my foam pieces.

I keep the foam refills in small plastic bags labeled with the color name.

The bag is large enough so that I can just add and store the new small round foam piece in the same bag!

I can keep everything together in one small bin!

So trust me, just buy a package of the round refills and add them to the tool you already have. But if you don’t have any Ink Blending Tools, go ahead and get the smaller ones. The smaller size is more versatile than the original size. And the new ones come in a package of two so you only need to buy one or two sets.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Piecing Together A Stable Background Page

When I was pulling supplies for this particular layout, I faced a little dilemma. I really wanted to use the top half of one of the papers for this layout and the bottom half for another project. Same with the floral paper – I had to cut both sheets into 6×12 pieces.  I could have just taped them together and moved forward, but tape alone does not give you a stable background to mount photos and embellishments on.

I could have just added both sheets to another 12×12 paper, but that seemed like a waste. Instead, I added a two banding strips to bridge the two halves together and I added a third stabilizing layer with a strip of washi tape across the back.

Adding the additional layers of pattern paper across the seams and then adding the washi tape made all the difference. Now, I have the perfect background and I’ll be able to use the remaining 6×12 pieces in other projects.

Just one more way to get your stash to go a bit further!

For this layout, I rescued some childhood photos of my brother and I. They were in a side-by-side frame that did not survive my move earlier this year. Because they are already so discolored, I thought it best to get them onto a layout and into an album.

I knew that floral paper was perfect for this layout first, because it reminded me of wallpaper that we might have had in the 70’s and second, because it helped mimic the flowers in my dress. I wanted to bring in something with a vintage feel, so I misted a doily with Mister Huey’s Sunshine and then added some splatters of Mint Julep.

Because the photos were so discolored with red/orange/yellow hues, I wanted to bring in a contrasting color and went with the aqua color from floral pattern paper. Aqua isn’t a color I would have normally added in with these colors but it does contrast well with all the neutrals.

There wasn’t room on this page for journaling, so I added it to a tag behind my photo. I didn’t have a specific story to go with these studio portraits, so I journaled about how much I disliked that hair cut. My Mom wanted it cut this short because then she didn’t have to brush it or fix it. If I wasn’t wearing a dress, you’d never know I was a girl! So when I was old enough to assert my personality, I insisted on longer girly hair. And I’ve never looked back!


Other: Doily, Sunshine Mister Huey, dark pink cardstock, MME date sticker, Prima flower, Basic Grey flag embellishment.

Have you scrapbooked your own changing hairstyles through the years?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Embellishment Storage

When I was unpacking all of my supplies last month, I noticed that I have been keeping too many embellishments in their original packaging. These packages take up a lot of room and now that I don’t have a big crafting space, I had to come up with a better solution.

To open or not to open?

It really is a dilemma for me. I hate to take things out of their packaging too soon because once it’s out of sight, it’s too easy to forget you have it or who made it or what line it came from. But if you don’t have a ton of storage space, these packages can pile up quickly.

My tip is to keep these embellishments in their packaging when something is new. In our scrapbooking world, that’s about 3 to 6 months. I keep a bin full of new products right in my work area for easy access. (I talked about my “new” bins in this post.) When a new product release comes out and I buy the newest, latest and greatest embellishments, I remove whatever is left over from the bin and mix it up with the rest of my stash.

I’m starting to collect brads in these tool box drawers. It’s easy to dump the contents out and find the right color or style for the project I’ve got in progress. I’m using some of these brads in a layout on my desk right now. Out of the package, some of these more theme specific brads no longer feel so theme specific.

I was worried about taking the paper embellishments apart because it’s always good to keep the coordinating items together. But I’m actually finding I’ve been using them more now. Rather than having to open four different packages to find the right color and right size, I can just go through everything at once and pull out what works.

I may regret this one day, but for now it’s working!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Quick Tip for One Photo Layouts

I have a guess that most of us take far more photos than we will ever scrapbook. When I am overloaded with photos from a big event or a trip, I love to find two page layout designs that will allow me to get as many photos on a page as I can.

There are also times when I only have one 4×6 photo for a layout. That great big 12×12 canvas can be overwhelming for one photo, especially if you are not into major embellishing.

Today I have a tip for creating a canvas on a 12×12 background that will make working with one photo that much easier: narrow the page.

In the layout above, I added two scalloped borders on each side of my 12×12 background. The borders and contrasting mat draw the eye into the center of the page. The result is a 6×12 area that can easily accommodate one 4×6 photo. There is still plenty of white space in the background but the focus of the page is right along the center and my single photo.

I punched the scallop borders with an EK success border punch. To make sure that all of the scallops would align with each other, I started punching each strip with the paper lined up with the edge of the punch.

Do you have any favorite design tips for using one 4×6 photo on a 12×12 page?

In other news, the townhouse I was planning to rent fell through. Long story. But all is well because I found something else in the neighborhood where I lived for 12 years. The rent is less than the other places I had looked at and I can move in Monday! My storage containers are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, so by this time next week I’ll be unpacking and finally settling in.

There are only two bedrooms and I have furniture and a bed for a guest room, so there’s no place for a craft room. My crafting/scrapbook stuff will have to be integrated into the great room (living room/dining room area). There is a large closet in the hallway where I will be able to put my albums and things I don’t need all the time. I have a feeling there were be some organizing posts in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Packing Kits

I am making progress on packing up the house. Per my countdown, I only have 24 days to go! So much to do, so little time…

A few months ago, I shared some packing tips for packing paper and embellishments. Except for the essentials and new supplies, most of my craft room is now packed. I still have a pretty big stack of items in the “must have” pile, so now I am thinking about what to take with me. I’ll be staying with my parents temporarily and their house does not come with a craft room for me to create in. I need to arrive prepared to work on a small table.

My solution? I am making kits. I am planning a combination of individual page kits for layouts I know I’ll be creating and putting together a few larger Counterfeit style kits with products I’m loving right now.

Here’s what I have so far:

I am loving the blues + yellow + grey. I may be digging into this kit first!

I suppose this is a lot of trouble to go to, but the alternative is to do doing nothing while I am there.  That is just not an option. I already know I will have plenty of free time on my hands in between interviews and showings. Crafting keeps me busy and more importantly, helps me preserve my sanity.

I love that in creating these kits I can mix new products with old products. A great way to use up your stash! I actually like working with kits. It doesn’t work all the time, but when you want to be productive, limiting supplies by using a kit can help you scrapbook faster.

Do you like creating from kits?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Documenting December

December is right around the corner and I know many of you are planning December Daily albums or at least thinking about how to document some of your December activities. My holidays will be pretty low key this year so I’m not doing a full album. But there are some things I want to document so I need to figure out something that will work for me this year.

I started looking for resources to help me generate some ideas of how I wanted to document the holidays ahead. I found some cool things and wanted to share these with you too.

1. 25 Ideas and Story Inspirations from Ali Edwards – Ali culled through all the December albums she’s done these past years and listed her very favorite ideas. My favorites: Letter to Santa, self portraits, shopping and grocery lists.

2. 25 December Daily Photo Ideas from Katrina Kennedy – here’s a list of prompts to keep in mind. Maybe for the day when nothing exciting happened and it’s 10 PM and you haven’t taken one photo…this list can help. This was last year’s list, so for some new inspiration, check out this year’s list on December 1st at Capture Your 365.

3. Journal Your Christmas from Shimelle Laine – this is the 8th year Shimelle has taught this class. She updates and freshens up the content every year. Her prompts are delivered to your inbox every day through the month of December. Shimelle’s prompts may spark an idea for documenting something you hadn’t thought of. (Remember, if you have taken this class before you have lifetime access to this class – just log back in to see this year’s material.)

4. December Not-So-Daily Album from Jennifer Ingle – if the idea of capturing every.single.day terrifies you, check out this album over at Just Jingle. No dates, nothing specific, just a place to capture the memories of the holiday season. Really, it all comes down to the memories and the photos, so document them however it works best for you…no pressure…no stress.

5. 12 Days of Christmas from Big Picture Classes – if you are looking to simplify this year and document your Christmas in a different way, Big Picture Classes can help. This class will give you ideas and prompts from 12 different Big Picture teachers. You will take photos and gather supplies during the 12 days leading up to Christmas and then start creating the pages after the holidays are over.

I hope this gives you a few ideas on how to document your December. Whether it’s one or a combination of ideas, make sure you put your plan in place now. Once December gets started, it all flies by in a blur.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Packing Your 12×12 Paper

Paper is possibly the hardest thing to pack when you have to move your scrapbooking items. It’s easily damaged and the size makes it hard to protect.

Finding boxes with the right dimensions

I found these Duck brand 14×14 boxes at Walmart (in the school supply isles).

They are like $0.68 each (locally for me anyway). Super cheap. But I will be honest and say the cardboard isn’t as sturdy as the boxes you get at Home Depot or U-haul. But the size is right and that was more important to me.  Standard moving boxes come in sizes that do not work for 12×12 paper – the 1.5 or small boxes are 12×16. That sounds like it would work but there’s no clearance between the lid and the papers so there’s no protection. The 3.0 boxes or medium size are 18×18. So paper fits but the box is too large and gets too heavy to lift if you fill it with paper. All of that is to say, these 14×14 boxes are perfect.

My paper packing process

Step One – line the box with a garbage bag. There’s no way to know what will happen to your things during the move. If it rains while they are loading, the boxes get wet. If it rains in transit and the truck isn’t sealed, the boxes could get wet. The movers could spill a can of soda on the boxes. You just never know. Take the precaution and line the box with a garbage bag.

Step Two – If you have 12×12 paper cases – like the ones from Iris or Cropper Hopper – put them on the bottom. Because the box is 14×14, the cases fit. There is plenty of clearance to get them in the box. Not will the cases protect the paper inside, but the case adds more stability to the box. I am lucky to have enough cases for all of my paper. If you need to stack loose paper, try to stack it between two cases, folders or even two cardboard sheets. Anything that will help keep the paper from shifting.

Step Three – don’t fill the box to the top with paper. Paper is too heavy and if that’s the only thing in the box, it could fall apart from the weight. That happened on the first box I packed so I had to change my strategy.  I fill my boxes with about 2/3 paper, fill in the rest with stamps or embellishments or whatever else I could put in there.

Step Four – fill in voids with crunched up newprint or packing paper. It wasn’t until I worked part time for a moving company that I came to realize just how important the packing paper is. Not only does it add padding to whatever is inside, but it will fill in the empty voids. If you stack boxes heavy boxes that are not full on top of each other, the boxes will cave in. Fill all the empty space with crushed up packing paper and you’ll be able to stack these heavy boxes on top of each other in a nice straight line.

My last tip is to use some extra tape when you seal these boxes. Run a few lines all the way around the box in both directions, not just on the top and bottom. It’s not pretty, but tape is one more layer to to help reinforce this box that is less sturdy to begin with.

I hope these tips help you if you are moving soon or need to packing up your stuff temporarily!

Do you have any fun tips to share about moving your supplies?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Quick Tip | Packing Your Embellishments Part 2

Time for another quick packing tip!

Last time, I shared that small bags were a life saver for keeping all your embellishments together when you have to pack them up. Today, I thought I would show this same idea from another perspective.

When I packed up my scrapbook room, I also used these small bags to keep a selection of embellishments. My supplies are going to be packed up for months, so I held back enough to keep me going for awhile.

To make it easy to store them, I bundle all the bags up in a Rubbermaid latching box. I can slide this into the closet easily and bring it out anytime I’m searching for embellishments.

I’m not thrilled to be working from limited supplies, but I can tell that I have been using up my stash more efficiently. I don’t always find exactly exactly what I need, but there’s enough here that even if it’s not perfect, I can figure out how to make it work.

For my next packing tip post, I’ll be sharing how I packed up my 12 x 12 paper. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by today.

Quick Tip | Packing Your Supplies

Since my house is for sale and I had to pack up most of my scrapbooking supplies ahead of the move, I thought I would post a few a few of my favorite packing and moving tips over the next few weeks. It might not come up for everyone, but if you are ever faced with packing and moving your scrapbooking/card making/crafty stuff, you know what a big task it can be.

Small Embellishments

The easiest way to get small embellishments from point A to point B is to put them in small plastic bags. Not only will the bags contain them and keep them from getting loose in your boxes, but the bags will also protect whatever is inside.

This is where I keep my small embellishments that are out of the packages:

It’s a Sterelite narrow 3-drawer storage container that can hold 8.5 x 11 sized paper.

The trays inside each drawer came from an inexpensive tool storage case like this one. I used to have several of them, but that ugly maroon color just didn’t add to the decor of my scrapbook room. When I discovered that the trays fit perfectly inside these units, I ditched the maroon cases and kept all of the trays.

For the move, I put the embellishments into a plastic bag and returned them to the tray. I still have access but everything is sealed and ready to move whenever I am. The bags keep like items together and everything won’t get mixed up when I place these units into boxes to move them. I also store my loose alphabet letters the same way and I’ve already bagged them up as well. A’s went into one bag, all the B’s went into a bag, etc…

You can find these bags in a variety of sizes at your local craft store. I usually find them in the jewelry section. I also like the small snack size bags you can find at the grocery store. It may not be the most environmentally sensitive way to go, but the bags are reusable. I always have a stash in my craft room to keep embellishments together when I create kits. The largest ones worked perfectly to hold my various journaling cards.

If you store your small embellishments in small jars or containers with lids and you don’t mind everything inside the jar/container getting mixed up, this step probably isn’t necessary. But for anything that you want to keep separated, these bags are a lifesaver.

Do you have any great tips for packing and moving your stash? I’d love to hear them!