Saturday, December 31, 2016

Amazing Family Layout

As I sat in my scraproom today with the rain drizzling down outside, it was very cheering to be using such a bright color scheme to create my layout! I combined a variety of papers from different CTMH kits to scrapbook this photo of my beautiful family. Hope it brightens your day, and Happy New Year, everyone. May 2017 bring many blessings and lots of scrap-worthy moments.
Tiny Typewriter stamp set
Buzz & Bumble, Dotty for You, Jeepers Creepers, Skylark, & Timberline Level 2 papers
Lagoon, Cocoa, Desert Sand & Buttercup cardstock
Lagoon, Cocoa & Creme Brulee ink
Sunset grosgrain ribbon
Paradise & Flutter Just Blooms paper shapes
Sunset, Sunkiss & White Daisy craft buttons
Lagoon & Sunset baker's twine
Sunset corduroy brad
Mocha Opagues pearls
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: family
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: tag
Pattern: Sketches in Thyme 255

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2nd Christmas Layout

I know most people are counting down the days until 2017, but I'm counting down the layouts until I'm done scrapbooking 2013 (only two to go), so I kept this one pretty simple! Ever since we saw The Lord of the Rings movie wherein the two hobbits are astounded that Aragorn doesn't seem to know about "second breakfast," it has become a catch-phrase in our family for any time we do something twice. So it seemed perfect to adapt the idea as the title for this layout featuring our second Christmas celebration of the day! I started with a sketch from Stick It Down and added a bunch of closely-cropped photos, then looked through my Cricut cartridges to find the fun font for the title. A few embellishments and I was done.
A Timber & A Typeface stamp sets
Mistletoe Level 2 papers
Cranberry, Olive & Colonial White cardstock
Cranberry, Olive & New England Ivy ink
Black marker
Cranberry baker's twine
Gold Stickles (Ranger)
Gold brads (from my stash)
Cricut Simply Sweet cartridge: title, tab
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: banners, postage stamp frame, heart
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: hugs frame
Pattern: Stick It Down December single page sketch
Challenges: Splitcoast Stampers Run, Run Rudolph lyrics challenge (my journaling is from the song)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dog Days of Christmas Layout

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying some much needed time off. As I was scrapping Christmas Day pictures from 2013, I noticed I had quite a few pictures of our dogs, so I created this layout to remind myself that they are part of our family celebration!
A Typeface, Notice the Details, and Cherish the Day stamp sets
Pear & Partridge Level 2 papers
Cranberry, Desert Sand, Saddle, Champagne & Cashmere cardstock
New England Ivy, Cranberry, Desert Sand & Cashmere ink
Sap Green Shin Han Twin Touch marker
Cranberry grosgrain ribbon
White Pines Assortment flair
Red Glitz Glitter Gel
Red Glitter gem
Cricut Artistry cartridge: wreath, holly leaves, dog
Cricut Teresa Collins cartridge: Christmas
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: tags
Pattern: Scrap Our Stash December sketch + 3 (I used bows, red, flair, green, glitter, and tags)
Challenges: Rochelle Spears Glitter challenge (I added glitter glue to all the berries for an extra-festive touch)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

With the Dawn Layout

December has been the month of double page sketches for me, since this is the senocd one I have created and posted for Splitcoast Stampers. Feel free to play along! For my sample layout, I had no idea what title to use  (I've probably used "Christmas Morning" and "Opening Presents" each several times!), but the Music Challenge over at came to my rescue. Amanda challenged us to use lyrics from "Silent Night" as inspiration for our layout, and I found the words "with the dawn" in the second verse. Although my layout has nothing to do with Jesus' birth, the phrase seemed to reflect my children's propensity for rising at dawn on Christmas morning. Can anyone relate?

The sketch:

My layout:
In the Background & Spot On Backgrounds stamp sets
Jingle & Key to My Heart Level 2 papers
Tulip, Juniper, Olive & Creme Brulee cardstock
White Daisy textured cardstock
Tulip, Juniper, Olive & Creme Brulee ink
Black marker
Animal Cookies My Stickease
White enamel star
Green Epoxy bubbles
White Daisy embroidery floss
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: stocking, presents, ticket
Cricut Artistry cartridge: title, tree, arrow
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: sun
Challenges: Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge Christmas (this is a new challenge site for me, and I'm excited to participate in more challenges in 2017!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Adrian's 12th Birthday Layout

I was invited to be the December guest designer on Stick It Down sketch challenge blog, and the sketch they sent me was a doozy! I had several ideas about how to use this sketch, but I finally settled on scrapping the tons of photos we had taken at my son's 12th birthday party. With the big heart in the center of the sketch, this seemed like a great way to create a photo montage and use lots of pictures.

• I cut a heart on my Cricut using the "fit to page" function, and then used the negative space as a frame for the photo montage.
• I replaced the banner with more photos, and shifted my title to the empty space on the other page.
• On the right side of the page, I added a rectangular photo and journaling mat to balance out the rectangular photos on the left hand page.
• I had to piece together the blue sections of the background because of the heart cut-out in the middle of the layout, so that's why I allowed a piece of the background to show through on my right hand page. Plus it accents the matted photos of my son quite well, don't you think?
• I used no patterned paper on this layout because I didn't want anything competing with all those photos, but I did use a random dot stamp set to add a little texture to the Lagoon cardstock.

The sketch challenge is open until December 31, so be sure to check it out and play along!

The sketch:

My layout:
Itty Bitty Backgrounds stamp set (SU)
Lagoon, Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta, Tulip & White Daisy cardstock
Lagoon, Goldrush & Autumn Terracotta ink
Black marker
Aqua Dots
SIlver bitty brad
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: hearts
Cricut Artiste: title, bow

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Mall Madness Layout

The grungy look is not my normal style, but it seemed to fit this photo about a youth group event. I started with a sketch from Let's Get Sketchy that had some fun diagonal strips, and, contrary to my usual instinct,  I challenged myself to not straighten them! It gave the finished layout a fun, funky vibe that I'm really enjoying. Hope you love it, too.

I also made a card with a couple of the left-over scraps, and this one has some fun diagonals, too!
Wide Journal Block stamp set (Scrappy Cat)
Red Infuse paper (Basic Grey)
Stripe & polka dot papers (KI Memories)
Floral papers (DCWV)
Argyle paper (SU)
Cocoa, Twilight, Black, Blush & Colonial White cardstock
Cocoa, Twilight, Whisper & Fern ink
Black marker
Ruby sparkle button
Ruby baker's twine
Lollydoodle Assortment bling
Cranberry grosgrain ribbon
Cricut Artiste cartridge: title
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: decorative square, banners, circle tag
Pattern: Let's Get Sketchy December week 1
Challenges: Lasting Memories one photo

Card Recipe:
Thank You stamp set
Floral paper (DCWV)
Pear, Cocoa, Lagoon, Ruby & White Daisy cardstock
Pear, Cocoa, Lagoon & Ruby ink
Cricut Artiste cartridge: thanks
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: hearts
Cuttlebug embossing folder: Swiss Dot
Pattern: December card sketch #1

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Buzz & Bumble Thanks Card

My mom is one of those lucky people who have a birthday right before Christmas, so in the midst of my hectic schedule I've been trying to come up with a gift for her. I finally decided to send her a bunch of hand-made cards that she can give to friends, a gift she's really appreciated and used in the past. Here's one I came up with using the Atlantic Hearts weekly card sketch! I went with a vertical rather than a horizontal orientation and I tweaked a few elements, but it was great having the sketch as my inspiration point.

Buzz & Bumble Level 2 papers
Cocoa, Goldrush, Sweet Leaf & Colonial White cardstock
Cocoa & Goldrush ink
Colonial White grosgrain ribbon
Cricut Artiste cartridge: thanks, flourish
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: flowers

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Stockings Were Hung Layout

This layout was a real challenge for me, but it was fun overcoming the creative obstacles in order to get it completed! I knew I wanted to create a fireplace scene with stockings, but my first idea to use full size 4" x 6" photos didn't look that great, so I decided to  crop the photos to 3.5" x 5". This meant I couldn't add extra photos behind the main photo using Flip-Flaps, so instead I stuffed the stockings using photo tags that pull out of the stockings. Next I built a fireplace using cardstock mantle, bricks, and mortar, and cut flames on my Cricut for a cozy scene. I was just going to use the quote from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas as my title, but I ended up adding my own lines because I realized the pictures focused more on opening the stockings than on them hanging. Hope you enjoy viewing the finished product as much as I enjoyed making it!
Cashmere, Saddle, Autumn Terracotta, Goldrush & White Daisy cardstock
Cashmere, Saddle &Whisper ink
Black marker
Green stocking recipe:
  Christmas Brights Plaid patterned paper (BoBunny)
  Ponderosa Pine cardstock
  Ponderosa Pine ink
  Green grosgrain ribbon (Offray)
Blue stocking recipe:
  Everyday Celebrations Level 2 papers
  Dutch Blue cardstock
  Dutch Blue & Chocolate ink
  Sweet Leaf Ribbon Rounds
Red stocking recipe:
  Poinsettia patterned paper (Paper Adventures)
  Cranberry cardstock
  Black ink
  Black Ribbon Rounds
Pink stocking recipe:
  Unknown patterned paper scraps from my stash!
  Blush cardstock
  Blush ink
  Blush Ribbon Rounds
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: stockings, bricks
Cricut Artistry cartridge: flames
Challenges: Lasting Memories 4 Photos; Bitten By the Bug 2 holiday symbol challenge (stockings may be stretching the definition of symbol a little, but when I see this shape, I certainly think Christmas!)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

'Twas the Night Before Christmas Layout

For this Christmas Eve layout, I combined some old paper from 2005 and a brand new sketch I created for Splitcoast Stampers with photos from 2013. If you would like to play along with the sketch, please be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments below so I get to see what you created!

The sketch:
My layout:
Tiny Typewriter stamp set
Scrap'n Fun patterned papers (Creating Keepsakes)
Ruby, Saddle, New England Ivy, Cocoa, Goldrush & Colonial White cardstock
Ruby & New England Ivy ink
Black marker
#Life cards
Red Glitter Glitz Gel
Gold star brads (Creative Impressions)
Green grosgrain ribbon (Offray)
Green gingham ribbon (Offray)
Wicker Weave Cuttlebug folder
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: round tag
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: arrow, scalloped border
Pattern: Splitcoast Stampers Sketch16Dec1
Challenges: Picture This shapes challenge (I used rectangles, a triangle, a circle, stars, and squares); Use Your Stuff layers challenge (I managed to get lots of layers in this layout!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cherish Layout

Although I love these photos of my son, they were not easy to scrap! I wanted to go with fall colors but was struggling with the pink fence in the background, so I finally decided to ignore it and just use some papers I liked. Pretty sure it was the right decision, because I love how it turned out.
Olivia & Twitterpated Level 2 papers
Cocoa, Garden Green, Barn Red & Cashmere cardstock
Cocoa, Garden Green, Barn Red & Cashmere ink
Black marker
Burlap ribbon
Green grosgrain ribbon (Michaels)
Wooden craft buttons
Baker's twine
Liquid Glass
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: title
Stripe embossing folder
Challenges: Studio Challenges photo inspiration (I was inspired by the fall theme, the burlap, and the wooden buttons); Music challenge (I used lyrics from Tim McGraw's song Humble and Kind to remind me to not take loving my son for granted)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Santa Claus is Coming Layout

Now that Thanksgiving is over and my house guests have left, I have a brief lull in the craziness of life and am trying to get a few layouts scrapped. My goal is to finish 2013's layouts before 2017 hits. I only have a few to go, so wish me luck! Here's the first of (hopefully) several for this week.
Here's the journaling card that will be inserted into the accompanying pocket page. I used this sketch from the Sketches in Thyme Project Life Style challenge blog, but I switched it up a little to fit my horizontal space.
And here's the completed pocket page:
Santa Claus, Trim the Tree & Save the Date stamp sets
Mistletoe Level 2 papers
Colonial White cardstock
Cranberry, New England Ivy, Garden Green & Versamark ink
Black marker
Carmine & Mahogany Shin-Han Twin Touch markers
Silver metallic marker
Silver embossing powder (JoAnn Craft Essentials)
Sparkles Holiday Shapes
Red shimmer trim
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: trees, stars
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: oval
Pattern: Splitcoast Stampers Sketch16Sep3
Challenges: Lasting Memories Glitter & Glam (I used sparkles, glitter tape & silver embossing); Heart 2 Heart Changes (I journaled about a change of venue for a Christmas party); Use Your Stuff Christmas card or scrapbook page

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

So Happy Together Layout

Gotta confess, I only know one person in this layout, but when I asked my hubby if he wanted me to scrapbook his office Christmas party, he said, "yes." So honey, this layout is for you!
Snowhaven papers
Traditional Christmas paper (KI Memories)
Black & White Daisy cardstock
Glacier ink
Clear craft buttons (I backed them with paper cut from the Snowhaven kit)
Liquid Glass
Cricut Artistry cartridge: title, snowflakes
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: cursive "happy"
Pattern: Sketch-n-Scrap #117 (for the left page)
Challenges: Heart 2 Heart anything but a card; Lasting Memories  any shape (I chose snowflakes)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

O Christmas Tree 2013 Layout

I got a chance to scrapbook today and it felt good to get back in the groove! For this layout, I pulled out an older sketch from my blog (see the link below if you'd like to use it, too) and added leftover scraps from my Pear & Partridge kit, plus a cut up journaling card from the coordinating Picture My Life line. A few Cricut cuts and a pretty organdy bow helped put the finishing touches on the layout.
Distressed Backgrounds & Typeset stamp sets
Pear & Partridge Level 2 papers & PML cards
Kraft, New England Ivy, Olive, Cranberry & White Daisy cardstock
Cashmere, Desert Sand, Smoothie & Olive ink
Black marker
White gel Pen (Sakura)
Cranberry organdy ribbon
Pink Glitter Dots
Fiskars scalloped border punch
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: O, Tree, ornament frame
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: Christmas
Cricut Artistry cartridge: tree tag
Pattern: EMS Sketch Challenge 30
Challenges: Heart 2 Heart Get Your Kraft On challenge; Lasting Memories Circles challenge

Monday, November 21, 2016

White Pines Embossed Christmas Card

I haven't been posting much on my blog this month, but I have been crafting! Last Friday night was my Christmas card workshop so I've been busy designing cards and cutting out all the pieces for my gals. One of my cards took me a while to design, but once it started coming together, I loved it. Hope you do, too. I used an emboss resist technique to stamp the trees and stars on white cardstock, and then sponged over the embossed images. After wiping off the excess ink from the image, I was left with a pretty scene as a focal point for the card.
Back to Nature, Christmas Love & Holiday Jingle stamp sets
White Pines Level 2 papers
White Daisy & Kraft cardstock
Sapphire, Desert Sand & Versamark ink
Clear embossing powder
Blue grosgrain ribbon (Michaels)
Challenges: Heart 2 Heart Holiday Color challenge (no red or green on a Christmas card)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Deck The Halls (SVCC 2013) Layout

This layout has been done for several days, but I had a hard time scanning it due to the thickness of some of the embellishments. I finally ended up taking a picture of it, and that came out much clearer. I love the Sparkle and Shine collection that CTMH came out with a few years ago, and you'll find quite a few pieces of it on this layout.
Spot On Backgrounds & Tiny Typewriter Alphabet stamp sets
Sparkle & Shine Level 2 papers and Complements chipboard
Juniper & Whisper cardstock
Juniper, Whisper, Ruby & Slate ink
Black marker
Ruby baker's twine
Silver shimmer trim
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: photo corner, scalloped circles
Pattern: EMS Sketch Challenge 30a

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Tree Checklist Layout

Can't believe I'm already scrapping Christmas pictures! Oh wait, these are pictures from 2013 - LOL! Hopefully I can finish up the rest of December 2013 before 2016 ends, right? I had to dig deep into my CTMH stash to find wood grain paper in order to play along with Heart 2 Heart's wood grain challenge, but I finally came across a woodsy print from the Back County paper pack from 2009; how's that for a blast from the past? I used a whole sheet and combined it with the Pear & Partridge Christmas papers and Picture my Life cards. My design went through several modifications before I was finally done with it, and I'm still not sure it doesn't look lopsided, but I'm just going to keep moving and call myself happy this memory is in the album.
Checklist & Moments in Time stamp sets
Back Country & Pear & Partridge Level 2 papers
White Daisy cardstock
Cranberry, New England Ivy & Cashmere ink
Black marker
Pear & Partridge Picture My Life cards
Cranberry baker's twine
Cranberry grosgrain ribbon
Red sparkle trim
White Pines badge button
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: pennants
Pattern: The Memory Nest Make It Monday #73
Challenges: Use Your Stuff challenge #238 - Mixing Up the Stamps (I used two stamps for the checklist and the little red checks on it)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Carving Memories Layout

I hadn't played along with the Let's Scrap sketch for a while, so I decided to give it a whirl. I really liked the squares on either size of the sketch and thought I could do some fun things with them! I pulled out the Jeepers Creepers paper pack plus the coordinating accessories, and added a few die-cut pieces using my Cricut cartridges. The title was a happy accident; I cut out the letters on the Cricut and, when I pulled off the negative space piece, I actually liked it better than the separate letters. Love it when something like that happens, don't you?

Jeepers Creepers Level 2 papers & Complements
Slate, Pansy, Tangerine & Black cardstock
Black, Gypsy & Goldrush ink
Black marker
Jeepers Creepers washi tape
Cricut Artistry cartridge: title, Eek!
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: fence
Challenges: Lasting Memories favorite fall activity challenge;  Picture This! mood board inspiration (The Halloween colors were a perfect match for these papers)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Gratitude Layout

For this layout, I used one of my older sketches and played along with the October scraplift challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers. Sharon challenged us to scraplift a card from the SCS gallery; I actually lifted elements from three separate cards! This card inspired me to do some coloring using my Shin Han markers, something I'm not very comfortable with, but I had fun experimenting anyway. This card inspired me to combine a larger title with a fancy font and a smaller subtitle with a plain font. And this card inspired me to add embossing, leaves, and ribbon to my layout.
November Word Puzzle, Recipe Box & Blessed Beyond Measure stamp sets
Pathfinding & Splendor Level 2 papers
Chocolate, Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta, Sweet Leaf & Colonial White cardstock
Chocolate & Goldrush ink
Autumn Terracotta marker
Coffee marker (Zig)
Shin Han Twin Touch markers
Chocolate grosgrain ribbon
Leaf punch (Family Treasures)
3-D foam tape
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: leafy flourish, frame
Pattern: EMS Sketch challenge 9
Challenges: Lasting Memories elements of nature challenge - harvest fruits, leaves

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Unlock the Fun Layout

I just love challenges because they inspire my creativity and help me go in directions I may not have otherwise thought of taking! For this layout, I played along with a bunch of challenges. Lasting Memories inspired me to use fall colors (oranges, browns, reds), even though this wasn't a fall layout. The title, clock, and key elements were inspired by the Scrap Our Stash October book cover challenge. Rochelle Spears wanted to see tags or tickets on our layouts; I could have gone with either for this layout, but decided the key tag worked better for my theme. I'm filling in hosting the Splitcoast Stampers' Stash Busters challenge, and I picked the following items from my list: 2 or more patterned papers, stickers (keys, locks, clocks, title), something metal (studs, brads), twine. The list also contains felt and chipboard, so feel free to play along at SCS if you think you can throw at least three of those items onto your next layout!
Sarita & Proplayer Level 2 papers
Desert Sand, Chocolate, Goldrush, Cashmere & White Daisy cardstock
Desert Sand, Chocolate, Goldrush & Ruby ink
White gel pen (Sakura)
Coffee marker (Zig)
Chocolate baker's twine
Durable Artisan Studs - antiqued gold
Antiqued gold brads (Making Memories)
Love Letters rub-ons
Color Ready cork alphabet
Nostalgiques Keys & Locks stickers (Rebecca Sower)
Layer It On Borders - clock stickers (Creative Imaginations)
Timberline Assortment wooden shapes - arrow
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: notched rectangle, key tag
Pattern: Splitcoast Stampers Sketch16Sep3

Monday, October 10, 2016

Scary Fun Layout

I love the Jeepers Creepers papers but am not sure I'm loving how this layout turned out. I started with a sketch from Stick It Down but I switched out the photo sizes for what I needed to use. I wanted to use one of CTMH's new photo storage pages that holds six photo (3 back to back) in between the two pages, so I shifted some things around so the separate pages would still look fine even when you could only see half of each page. Not sure that makes sense but please humor me and pretend it did! I forgot to add a piece of paper in the bottom right corner of the layout per the sketch, so I may have to go back and do that later. . . or I may feel lazy and leave it as it is!

Spellbound stamp set
Jeepers Creepers Level 2 papers & Complements
Pansy, Tangerine & White Daisy cardstock
Black ink
Black marker
Black shimmer trim
Cricut Artiste cartridge: spider, cat, skull, tombstone
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: journaling shape
Pattern: Stick It Down October double sketch

Saturday, October 8, 2016

You Make My Heart Melt Layout

For those who are scrapping this weekend, here's a fun sketch for you! I decided to challenge myself to create some white space on this sketch, and then not try to fill it up when I scrapbooked a layout using the sketch. Hopefully you think I've succeeded, despite the background snowflake paper.The sketch is posted on Splitcoast Stampers, so feel free to play along there, or you can post a link to your finished layout on this post so I can check out what you've created.

The sketch:
My layout:
Jennifer's Hand stamp set
Wonderland Level 2 papers
Snowflake paper (My Minds Eye Wild Asparagus)
Chocolate, Twilight & Whisper ink
Twilight & Black markers
Shin Han markers - Marigold & Mahogany
Black epoxy bubbles
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: snowman
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: title, hearts, teardrops
Challenges: Use Your Stuff #236 - make your own embellishment (I used my Cricut to cut out the snowman in several layers, then I added epoxy bubbles for his buttons)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day Is Dying in the West Layout

I dug deep into my stash for the papers to complete this layout, but then I combined them with a brand new challenge from Lasting Memories: their "all around" challenge was to add anything showing direction to your layout, so, since my pictures were taken facing west towards the setting sun, I used the direction of west in my title! I repeated it in my journaling, which is actually the beautiful lyrics to an old hymn.
Day Dream & Cocoa Cafe Level 2 papers
Canary, Black & White Daisy cardstock
Canary, Blush, Lilac Mist & Whisper ink
Black marker
Bitty sparkles
Cricut Wall Decor & More cartridge: title (welded together in Craft Room)
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: sun
Cricut Artiste cartridge: clouds
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: journaling box
Pattern: Sketch-n-Scrap #113

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: Comparing Pioneer and Close to My Heart Post Bound Albums

For anyone who is interested, I thought I'd do a little review of CTMH's new post bound albums verses the Pioneer post bound album. I was really bummed when CTMH discontinued their solid color albums a few years ago, but they re-introduced a few new ones this year, so I thought I'd give them a try. Here's what I found.

I had placed my completed pages temporarily in a Pioneer album, and had been disappointed at how rickety the album was. I also had trouble finding extender posts (you can order them online but they seemed a little pricey to me), so I bought some from Recollections that Michaels carried, and they worked okay except I had to replace the whole post since the Pioneer ones won't thread with the Recollections ones. With the extender posts, I was able to jam 31 standard Memory Protectors sleeves plus 13 photo storage pages (similar to Project Life style sleeves) in the Pioneer album, but as I previously mentioned, the album seemed a little rickety. I also hated that you really couldn't use the bonus expansion back (it covers the album's spine) until you had fully completed your album and were positive you wouldn't be adding more pages, since once you hole punched it for a certain size, you couldn't really change it without the first punched holes being visible. Overall, not really happy with the Pioneer album.

I just took out my CTMH album, and the first thing I noticed was how sturdy the cover is. It's probably twice as thick as the Pioneer one. The album wasn't assembled and there were no directions, but it seemed pretty self-explanatory, so I got to work. The album comes with three album posts (Pioneer only has two, another drawback in my opinion), and each one ends with a screw that has a flip out handle to make it easier to screw it back into the post once your album is assembled. After struggling with the screws on the Pioneer and Recollections posts, this was a huge plus in my book!

I noticed the posts were a little tough to push through the holes in the album cover and was prepared to be bugged by that, but then I thought it might actually add to the overall sturdiness of the album if the posts didn't have lots of wiggle room. I started adding pages, and managed to transfer all the Memory Protectors and photo storage pages I had had in the Pioneer album into this album. It's a little thick, but even with three spine expanders (the little plastic insert to properly space your pages and make sure your album lies flat), I still had no trouble slipping the back cover onto the posts and fastening the screws, which went on like a dream. For those familiar with my scrapping style, I usually have a little dimension on every page, so that gives you an idea of what can fit in these albums. CTMH doesn't offer extender posts, and the Recollections ones don't fit on the CTMH posts, so you are stuck with the size as is, but I honestly think any thicker and you wouldn't be able to lift the dang thing! The hardest part of the assembly was sliding the spine cover into the openings on the ends of each cover (the fit is pretty tight), but at least I'm assured the spine cover won't slip off, right? One last observation: the covers of the CTMH album are about an inch wider than the Pioneer one, so my page are completely covered, verses the Pioneer one where they were right up to the edge and, due to the rickety nature of the album, even tended to hang out a little as the album shifted around.

So there you have it, fellow scrappers, a comparison of Pioneer and CTMH albums. I have to say, very pleased CTMH brought back the colored albums, since they win hands down for quality and ease of use in my book!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

ABC Album S - U Layouts

I have a confession to make. This past June, I started making an ABC album to give to my son's kindergarten teacher as a thank you for all her hard work with him. Well, a couple things happened to prevent me from finishing the album: I realized I was running out of time and had too many layouts and not enough days to get it done before the last day of school, and the album was turning out so cute I was having a hard time even thinking about parting with it! So I changed tracks, put the album away, and gave his teacher another gift, and decided I would eventually give this to my son as a momento of kindergarten. I finally pulled it out this week and I am determined to finish it before the end of September, so here are two more layouts.

For the S/T layout, I used a sketch from GrandDiva's Creative Corner. I had to compress the elements on my layout since I used an 8" x 8" canvas and my photos are slightly cropped 4 x 6s, but I think you can still see the bones of the sketch. The story behind the tickets is that my son has issues sitting still in class, plus he struggles with impulse control, so his teacher and I came up with a behavior incentive using tickets and rewards. It mostly worked!

For my U layout, I used a sketch from Let's Get Sketchy. Once again, I compressed the sketch for my smaller format and I eliminated one photo, but this sketch seemed to lend itself to the smaller size quite well. This was my least favorite rhyme out of the whole album, but I just couldn't come up with another thing for "u," so I let it stand.
Snowhaven Level 2 papers
Black, Glacier, Whisper, Cashmere & White Daisy cardstock
Black, Glacier, Whisper & Cranberry ink
Black marker
Silver metallic pen
Picture My Life tabbed journaling cards
Licorice Opaques pearls
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: title, pennants
Cricut Artiste cartridge: scissors
Cricut Artistry cartridge: light bulb
Fiskars scalloped scissors

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Haunted House Layout

I needed some Halloween inspiration for this layout, so I searched online and found a fun tune from 1964 called "Haunted House" by Jumpin' Gene Simmons. I liked the lyrics about bells ringing and chains clanking, so I added them around my frame and then stamped the title on some banners to make it stand out from the rest of the words. I had lots of fun with the frame, adding a cobweb in the corner (hard to see but trust me, it's there!), the lyrics and puffy shapes around the edges, and finally a die-cut fence and the stamped and fussy-cut owl.
Hodgepodge Alphabet & Spellbound stamp set
Itty Bitty Backgrounds (SU)
Jeepers Creepers Level 2 papers and Complements (stickers, arrow)
Black, Sunset, Pansy & White Daisy cardstock
Black, Whisper & Clover Meadow ink
Black marker
White gel pen (Sakura)
Jeepers Creepers Assortment puffy stickers
Black shimmer trim
#Life cards - Enjoy
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: frame, cobweb, fence, haunted house
Pattern: Let's Get Sketchy September Week 1
Challenges Lasting Memories forward or use arrows (I went with a big, sparkly arrow!); The Studio Challenges use a frame; Rochelle Spears September This or That challenge - enamel shapes or puffy shapes (I chose to use puffy stars and eyes); Picture This! Wish Upon a Star challenge (my puffy stars arrived just in time for this layout)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Wake Up, Little Men Layout

This was one of those layouts that I kept fussing with, pulling things off and trying something different, until I finally decided to just let it be! Hopefully I achieved something resembling my original idea. I had no idea what I wanted for my title, but the Lasting Memories' challenge for this week was the word "up,' and that inspired my title. Thanks, LM!
It's Your Day, Picture Perfect & Jennifer's Hand stamp sets
Superhero Level 2 papers
Cranberry, Moonstruck, Kraft & White Daisy cardstock
Cranberry, Moonstruck, Desert Sand & Black ink
White gel pen (Sakura)
White enamel stars
Milepost Shapes stars
Cricut Artistry cartridge: title letters, title box, stars, pennant
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: arrows
Pattern: Sketches in Thyme Sketch 218
Challenges: Heart 2 Heart stamping challenge (the subtitle, pennant, and circle sentiment are all stamped)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

How Many Firemen??? Layout

October 2013 must have been the month for freak accidents, because on top of my younger son cracking his two front teeth, my older son got his finger stuck in a hole in our fish tank lid and had to be extricated by the fire department! As I was trying to think of a title for this layout beside "Stuck Finger," the old rhyme about "Cinderella, dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss a fellow . . ." with its tag line of "how many doctors did it take?" flashed through my mind. Since the fire department ended up sending out five firemen, this seemed like a good fit for my layout!
Lucky Level 2 papers & chipboard accents
Desert Sand, Sunset & Outdoor Denim cardstock
Desert Sand, Sunset & Outdoor Denim ink
Outdoor Denim marker
Milepost shapes
Outdoor Denim brads
Sunset stripe grosgrain ribbon
Cricut Artiste cartridge: title
Pattern: Splitcoast Stampers Sketch16Jun3
Challenges: Picture This Boys Rule challenge - tell a story about a guy in your life. Not only is this layout about my little guy, but about five great guys who came to his rescue!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Retreat Time Layout

For this month's sketch for Splitcoast Stampers, I experimented with some diagonal lines, a little departure from my usual style. On the sketch, I think it looks daring, but after creating a layout based on the sketch, I kinda think it just looks lopsided. Hopefully someone else will come up with something fabulous that will make me like it more! For my layout, I really didn't want to try to match the bright reds found in two of the photos, so I went with more muted tones. Still working on silencing that inner voice that says it all has to match perfectly!

The sketch:
Click here to play along with the sketch!
My layout:
Make It Count & You & Me stamp sets
Typeset Level 2 papers
Black, Vineyard Berry & Juniper ink
Vineyard Berry, Juniper & Colonial White cardstock
Black marker
My Crush Wildwood Assortment (Juniper notepaper)
Pewter brad & bitty brads
Creme Brulee ribbon
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: title, title box, arrows, flourish
Cricut Artiste cartridge: clock
Challenges: Heart 2 Heart Hip to Be Square challenge (all my photos plus the Juniper notepaper are square)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A New Definition of Fall Layout

I wasn't sure where I was going to go with these photo and the sketch from Stick It Down, but I am pretty happy with what I eventually came up with. When I printed the photos, I had the idea that I wanted to talk about something sad that happened while on the way to the pumpkin patch, so it inspired me to create the title and journaling as I did. If you are curious about what happened, click on the photo to get a better view of the journaling!
Hello Friend stamp set
Newsprint Alphabet stamp set (SU)
Pathfinding Level 2 papers
Glacier, Goldrush, Kraft & Colonial White cardstock
Glacier, Goldrush, Autumn Terracotta, Saddle, Chocolate, Barn Red & Olive ink
Black marker
Kraft Color-Ready border
Antiqued copper photo hangers
Sunset Ribbon
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: title block, circle
Pattern: Stick It Down August single page sketch

Monday, August 29, 2016

Our Little Goalie Layout

I am not a speed scrapper by any means - I've been known to take days over a layout - so when Lela over at Splitcoast Stampers posted a challenge to complete a layout in under an hour and a half, I wasn't sure I could make it! I decided to "go for the gold" and threw together this layout. Even though it's really old school, I really wanted to use the grass paper because I have a bunch of it, so I painted the white section across the middle of the layout so my photos wouldn't disappear against the grass background. While waiting for the paint to dry, I put together all the other elements, so I managed to make it within the time frame. Who knew I could scrap that fast?!
Elemental, Bella & Olive Paper Fundamentals Level 2 papers
Grass paper (from a mystery box donated to me by my neighbor)
Pacifica cardstock
Creme Brulee ink
White gel marker (Sakura)
Elemental Complements chipboard
3-D foam tape
White Delta Ceramcoat Paint
Cricut Simply Sweet cartridge: title, stars, ring
Pattern: Scrapbook Challenges Sizzlin' Summer Sketch #11

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Family Always & Forever Layout

After a long hiatus, the Picture This challenge blog is back, so I really wanted to jump in and participate in at least one of their challenges this month. I decided to go with the Not So Picture Perfect challenge, because this photo of my family certainly fits the bill! In fact, it was a deciding factor in getting a new camera, since all the photos from this weekend, including my brother's wedding, turned out grainy and overexposed. I was so bummed, but I really wanted to scrapbook a photo of my family with two of my sibling and my parents, so I overlooked the poor picture quality and the fact that my dad is scowling, and used it anyway!
Family Ties - Adults, Family Ties - Children & Alphabet Solos "F" stamp sets
Brushed & Lollydoodle Level 2 papers
Pixie, Thistle & White Daisy cardstock
Black pigment ink
Canary, Pixie, Thistle, Juniper & Lagooon ink
Black marker
Aqua Dots
Junebug Puffies stickers
Lagoon washi tape
Watercolor pencils (Prismacolor)
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: title
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: flowers
Pattern: Sketches in Thyme #213
Challenges: Lasting Memories add an image you color to your layout - the family grouping at the bottom is all stamped and they took me a long time to color, but it was fun to do.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Go Bolts! Layout

2013 must have been the year of the Chargers for my hubby, because this is the third Chargers layout I have scrapped from that year! I'm running out of creative ideas for football layouts, so I'm going to have to re-charge (pun intended) by checking out Pinterest or Here I used older papers but a new sketch from Brenda Ragsdale that I rotated side-ways to fit my picture orientation. Loved this sketch, so I'm going to have to save it in my archives to use again.

Brenda's sketch:
My Layout:
Universal Backgrounds, Connections, My Game & Save the Date stamp sets
Stardust Level 2 papers & My Stickease
Bamboo, Honey, Sapphire & White Daisy cardstock
Moonstruck, Topiary, Sky, Honey, Chocolate, Dutch Blue & Bamboo ink
Moonstruck, Autumn Terracotta, Baby Blue & Topiary craft buttons
Moonstruck, Autumn Terracotta & White Daisy embroidery floss
Cricut Artistry cartridge: title, lightning bolt
Challenges: Heart 2 Heart Boys Will Be Boys challenge - what could say boys better than a football game, right? I used older paper and supplies, but hopefully a few people recognize it as being CTMH products!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Coolin' Off Layout

For someone who doesn't even like the beach, I sure am scrapping lots of beach layouts this summer! My hubby usually takes the kids to the beach so I don't have to deal with all the sand, so I still get to scrapbook beach photos. For the layout design, the sketch had the pennant on the left, but I switched it to the other side so it wouldn't cover up the surfer on the patterned paper. Instead of journaling on the pennant, I added another photo and some embellishments, and the wave overlay lifts up to reveal hidden journaling underneath. I haven't used Liquid Glass in ages, but adding some to the die-cut surfboard gave it a nice, shiny effect like a real board.
Surf's Up Level 2 papers
Crystal Blue, Saffron, Sorbet, Surf's Up Teal & White Daisy cardstock
Crystal Blue & Saffron ink
Hopscotch Assortment Flair
Junebug Puffies sticker (flowers)
Liquid Glass
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: title, pennant, wave overlay, surfboard
Pattern: Scrapbook Challenges Sizzlin' Summer Sketch 10
Challenges: Lasting Memories Summer Nights inspiration (I was inspired by the pinks and blues in the photo, so I picked papers that featured those colors).

Sunday, August 14, 2016

@ The Beach Layout

A sketch is usually the starting point for my layouts, but I couldn't find one for these photos so I wasn't sure what to do with them. Then I remembered the scraplift challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers was summer themed, so I checked out the summer gallery and found this layout to use as my template. My photos were larger, so it was a challenge fitting all those layered papers on the page, but I did my best.
Perfect Day Level 2 papers
Paper Fundamentals Basics Assortment cardstock
Kraft, Tulip, Cocoa & White Daisy cardstock
Tulip, Cocoa, Juniper & Bamboo ink
White gel pen (Sakura)
Hopscotch Assortment flair
Let's Go tags (ChicTags)
Fundamentals stickers (CM)
Wonders of the Deep Border stickers (Personal Stamp Exchange)
Wonderful Words Beach stickers (Deja Views)
Aqua Dots
Bling (Scrapbook Bitz)
Cricut Artiste cartridge: title

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Awesome Party Journaling Card

Today's project was a UFO - Unfinished Object! I had a bunch of photos from my son's birthday that needed to be put into a photo storage page, and then I needed to make a journaling card to fill in the one empty spot on the page. I used the current sketch from Sketches in Thyme Project Life Style to create my own journaling card. It was a relief to get this finished since I scrapped the rest of the pictures last year!

Here's the card:

And here's my finished page:
Celebrate the Everyday stamp set
Free to Be Me Level 2 papers
Buttercup & White Daisy cardstock
Juniper, Cranberry & Creme Brulee ink
Black marker
Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge: banner
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: arrow

From Germany with Love Layout

I'm hosting the Stash Busters Challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers this month in order to give Ann a break, so I had lots of fun piling stuff onto this layout! I'm also playing along with several other challenges, so feel free to check out the links at the bottom and jump right in. FYI: the butterflies didn't come out very well in my scan - they are actually pink - but I wanted to include them since they were a gift from one of the exchange students.
World Traveler & Timberline stamp sets
Sweetheart Level 2 papers
Cotton Candy, Black & White Daisy cardstock
Cotton Candy, Black & Baby Pink ink
White gel pen (Sakura)
Paradise & White Daisy Just Blooms - flowers
Butterflies (Rossler)
Black craft button
Black button brad
Baby Pink embroidery floss
Blush ribbon
Cotton Candy polka dot washi tape
Stuck on You Puffies - mini arrow
Black label tape (Dymo)
Cricut Artbooking cartridge: arrow overlays
Cricut Artistry cartridge: globe, hand
Cricut Art Philosophy: tag
Pattern: Creative Scrappers Sketch 297
Challenges: Scrap Our Stash book cover challenge (I was inspired by the hand and the map to scrap these pictures of our German exchange students. I had no decorative paperclips, so I made one using a paperclip and some pliers - hope it counts!); Rochelle Spears' This or That challenge - use washi tape; Lasting Memories' Black and White plus one additional color (I guess you can tell I chose pink!)

Monday, August 8, 2016

EMS Sketch Challenge 61- Toes in the Sand Layout

For the last year and a half, I've been the scrapbook sketch designer for Splitcoast Stampers, so it's been a long time since I've posted an EMS sketch on my blog, but today I need a design for a layout and couldn't find one on any of the sketch blogs I usually visit, so I made up one myself! There was a die-cut in my stash that I was dying to use (pun intended), so I substituted it for the title circle on the sketch. Hope you enjoy the sketch and, if you have a chance to play along, please post a link to your layout in the comments below!

The sketch:

My layout:
Distressed Backgrounds stamp set
Moon Doggie & Grace Level 2 papers
Cranberry, Honey & Garden Green cardstock
Cranberry, Honey, Gadren Green, Indian Corn Blue & Autumn Terracotta ink
Petal marker
Toes in the Sand die-cut (Dancing Daisy)
DE Framed Fun & Awards chipboard
Autumn Terracotta spiral clip
Indian Corn Blue embroidery floss
Challenges: Lasting Memories rainbow challenge (I used all the rainbow colors ROYGBIV); The Studio Challenges summer layouts