Wednesday, June 30, 2010

:FIVE FAVES: 4th of July

The 4th is just about here! It's one of my favorite holidays...we always spend a good part of the day with my husband's family and, of course, Kaitlin and Justin always have fun shooting off fireworks.

I'm also a pretty big fan of fireworks displays, so every year I have a new collection of fireworks photos to scrap!

Here's a few products that I think are perfect for the job this year!

Bo Bunny Press - Block Party Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Block Party Sparkler
This is a BRAND NEW collection from Bo Bunny and I just love the whole thing. Although perfect for the 4th, it's would be great for picnics and so much more as well. I love the bright, yet distressed colors!

DigiKit - Star Struck Brushes by Betsy Tuma
I LOVE these digital star brushes from Betsy Tuma. Very fun and versatile!

Fiskars - Lever Punch - Extra Large - Two Inch Star
It's always fun to custom create your own embellishments. While this star punch would be great for dressing up your 4th of July layouts, it can cross over into an endless number of other projects as well.

Pink Paislee - Starlight Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Bright Starlight Collection
The Starlight collection from Pink Paislee is just great! The colors, motifs and distressed feel make me think of vintage flags.

We R Memory Keepers - Old Glory Collection - 12 x 12 Die Cut Paper - Frontier Old Glory Collection
Like Starlight, the Old Glory collection from WRMK also has colors, motifs and distressing that offers a vintage feel. Both are can't-go-wrong product lines for scrapping your Independence Day memories!

What products will you be using to give your 4th of July layouts a little extra sparkle this year? Share a link to your favorite product!

(Note: The links above lead to further information on the listed products either at or Remember, the Two Peas FREE SHIPPING code for June is DDSDAY. Hurry, this coupon code ends TODAY.)
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

:GIVEAWAY: Mr. Campy Crafting Kit by Cosmo Cricket [CONTEST CLOSED]

I realized that I haven't done a scrapbooking product giveaway in a while, so here's a good one for you!

I thought some of you might be enjoying some camping trips this summer and Mr. Campy by Cosmo Cricket is just the ticket for scrapping those wonderful family memories. Of course, it could be used for many other great layouts and projects as well.

To enter for your chance to win the complete Mr. Campy Crafting Kit, leave me a comment about your vacation plans for this summer - no matter how small or large, near or far.

You must leave your comment by 5 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, July 1, 2010 in order to be included in the drawing. Be sure to come back to find out if you're the lucky winner on Friday.

:GIVEAWAY: Mr. Campy Crafting Kit by Cosmo Cricket [CONTEST CLOSED]SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, June 28, 2010

:REVIEW: Building Pages from Debbie Hodge

Debbie Hodge first introduced the Building Pages class in workshop form in February 2010 and it received rave reviews.

Just last week, Debbie has brought this amazing learning experience to scrapbookers everywhere in a self-paced, downloadable version complete with a variety of instructional material including a 135 page PDF, 12 video lessons (one for each topic covered in the class, over 100 minutes in total) and 22 sketches which are also offered in the form a layered templates that are compatible with Photoshop.

The TWELVE lessons in the class include:

Lesson 1 - Blocked
This lesson illustrates how an underlying framework of columns and rows can lead to a solid design.

Lesson 2 - Golden
All professional designers know and love 'the golden ratio'. Debbie explains where the concept originated and how to use the theory to enhance your scrapbook designs. Some of you may know that the golden rule is based on a rectangular shape, but she shows us how to adapt it to square layouts.

Lesson 3 - Spacious
Debbie explains that scrappers should avoid the urge to always "fill up all available space" on every layout and that white space (or empty areas) can actually greatly enhance a design.

Lesson 4 - Foundations
On non-blocked layouts, the first layer can act as a foundation. Debbie offers several options for placing this important layer to support a successful design.

Lesson 5 - Teeter Totter
This lesson offers strategies for creating asymmetrical balance between the parts of a composition.

Lesson 6 - Layers
There is a fine line (and grey area) between layered and collaged backgrounds, but Debbie does a wonderful job of distinguishing the two and gives wonderful examples of how each can lead to beautiful designs.

Lesson 7 - Shelved
This lesson illustrates how to ground elements (and avoid that floating feeling) on a layout through the use of a shelf.

Lesson 8 - Banded
The benefits of arranging in a row (or band) are discussed and illustrated in this lesson.

Lesson 9 - Divided
In this lesson, Debbie challenges us to use a divide as the starting point for a essence, to grow from the divide while maintaining balance.

Lesson 10 - Slanted
Debbie shows the various ways to design on the diagonal to induce a feeling of action and energy.

Lesson 11 - "L"s and "T"s
The building blocks of rectangles - right angles - can be a powerful design format that adds stability to the elements of your page.

Lesson 12 - Circling
Circles can be used to draw attention to a key element, deepen meaning, organize, or even provide a fun, repetitive motif. See circles in action in this lesson.

Each lesson includes several sections:
The Design - a description of the overall design technique covered within the lesson
Sketch - a sketch (also provided as a layered template) utilizing the design technique of the lesson
Variations - examples of how the design technique can be altered for a variety of fresh designs
Details - discusses finishing touches to complete and enhance the design
Your Turn  - a challenge or call to action based on the design technique covered within the lesson

The Design is always first and Your Turn is always last in every lesson, but the other three elements are sometimes shuffled or even combined depending on what best fits the design technique at hand.

By my count, there are 130 layout samples within the PDF. Within that number are some layout samples which are used 2-3 times to illustrate the different design techniques covered in the 12 lessons. I actually find this repetition helpful as it further demonstrates that you don't have to limit yourself to one design technique - sometimes one layout can be a collection of design techniques to add additional interest.

Personally, I can say that I learned a lot from this class. In looking at my own layouts, I recognized that I am already using some of the design techniques, but now I have a MUCH better understanding of why they are successful and why I tend to gravitate to these types of designs.

At the same time, I also learned NEW design techniques that I am now eager to implement in upcoming layouts to add a sense of freshness to my upcoming designs.

If you would like to gain a better understanding of basic design principles - specifically in how they relate to scrapbooking - and learn techniques that will help you build beautiful pages faster, then this class is for you...and NOW is the time to purchase!

Debbie is offering this class for ONLY $54! The class is worth every penny!

In fact, you have nothing to lose. Debbie is offering a 30-day money back guarantee. If you're not pleased with the class after 30 days, you get your money back!

Visit the Building Pages site to get even more information about the class, read testimonials, and, if you wish, sign up to improve you scrapbook design today!
:REVIEW: Building Pages from Debbie HodgeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, June 27, 2010

:LAYOUT: Pieces of Me

Kids grow up so fast and believe it or not long before you forget a lot of those little their favorites at a certain age.

Listing favorites is a journaling technique that can be reinvented year after year without ever getting old. Even if you ask the same exact questions, there will invariably be things that change and it can be quite interesting (and telling) to recognize the things that stay the same.

Here's a layout I completed a while back to include a list of my daughter’s favorites at the time of the photo.

Her answers are hidden underneath the tag which is attached with a brad so it can be easily rotated. The pattern on the background and border paper further add to the design element of circles.

favorite cereal: Lucky Charms & Coco Puffs
favorite TV show: iCarly & SpongeBob
favorite movie: Barbie and The Diamond Castle
favorite food: Macaroni & Cheese
favorite game: Uno
favorite book: Little Critter Books
favorite desert: cake & ice cream
favorite color: pink & purple
favorite fruit: apples
favorite bedtime companion: Fuzzy (blankie) & Fluffy (polar bear)
favorite holiday: Easter
favorite toy: Barbies

Adhesive: Duck
Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Kelly Panacci
Rub ons: Daisy D’s, Basic Grey
Brads: OTC
Ink: Colorbox
Fonts: Ali’s Writing, Boopee
Corner Rounder, Circle Punch: Marvy
:LAYOUT: Pieces of MeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, June 25, 2010

:QUOTES: on LIVING IN THE MOMENT according to Buddha, Doisneay, and Winfrey

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mennurn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

"A photographer who made a picture from a splendid moment, an accidental pose of someone or a beautiful scenery, is the finder of a treasure."

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

Vote for your favorite quote and I'll create a word art freebie with the 'winning' quote to share with you sometime next week. In the meantime, check out my other word art downloads.

(Image Source:
:QUOTES: on LIVING IN THE MOMENT according to Buddha, Doisneay, and WinfreySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 24, 2010

:REVIEW: 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges by Elizabeth Kartchner

Authored by the Creating Keepsakes' Scrapbooker of the Year, Elizabeth Kartchner52 More Scrapbooking Challenges is a great book for sparking your creativity!

As the title suggests, there are 52 challenges in this edition to stretch and inspire you. The challenges are divided into 8 sections and each challenge features two sample layouts to give you examples of how to execute the challenge effectively.

These sample layouts come from an all-star list of talented scrap artists including the author herself, Amanda Johnson, Beth Opel, Cindy Tobey, Keisha Campbell, Kelly Purkey, Mou Saha, Sasha Farina, Shelley Aldrich, and Sheri Reguly.

The 8 sections include:

Inspired by...
This section gives several examples of how to let yourself be inspired by the everyday things around you such as fashion to CD covers.

Take a number...
This section shows us how to use numbers creatively such as creating a 'snapshot in time' layout to challenging yourself to a timed scrap session. (Do you perform well under pressure?)

Design and color...
Two of my favorite aspects of this craft, Kartchner offers innovative ways to design "in the round" and to go monochromatic without going stale.

Use your stash...
Don't let those 'old' supplies go unused! Kartchner shows how you can successfully marry old products with new for a dynamic layout. Also in this section, she shows you to go beyond the product to even using product packaging in creative ways.

Around the house...
How about using a beautiful note card for hidden journaling or sheet music to create accents? This chapter features layouts examples for these great ideas and more.

For many, this is the hardest part of scrapbooking, but Kartchner offers several ways to make it simple and spice things up at the same time such as using quizzes and custom Mad Libs to tell the story.

In this section, you'll discover all-new ways to use basic supplies such as glue and innovative ways to construct handmade embellishments.

Photo fun...
Kartchner encourages one not to be afraid to write directly on a photo or use a enlarged photo as the background of a layout.

Also included in the book are segments entitled "Quiz," "Lizzy's Last Word" and "Try This."

There is a quiz featured at the end of each section to help you learn more about your own creative process in relation to the topic covered in that particular section. Some of these quizzes would even make great journaling for a layout about your own creative process.

Lizzy's Last Word is also featured at the end of each chapter with additional tips and advice from the author specifically related to the topic of that section.

The Try This segments are scattered throughout the book - 14 in all - and include detailed step-by-step instructions for techniques featured in various sample layouts in the book.

All in all, I was quite impressed with this book and hope to be trying a few of the ideas included myself soon.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? What was your favorite challenge featured in the book?
:REVIEW: 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges by Elizabeth KartchnerSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

:SNEAK PEAK: Summer 2010 CHA

And so the sneak peaks begin...I LOVE the period of time a month or so before each show! It's so exciting to see all the great new stuff that will be coming out soon!

Here's four great new collection peaks from one of my favs, Pink Paislee. You can see a short description of each at their blog.

It may be too early to pick favorites based off these, but I must admit that I am immediately drawn to the Hocus Pocus and Old School peaks. I am a lover of greens and reds!

However, I am VERY curious to see more of the Perisian Anthology collection as it is a collaboration with the House of Three crew which has previously focused mainly on digital products.

How about you? If you had to pick an early favorite based on the above sneaks, which would it be an why?
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

:SALES: 20% Off ALL Ella eBooks! has a great Daily Deal today!

You know how I love Ella...and if I didn't already have all of their eBooks, I would definitely be taking advantage of this deal!!

TODAY ONLY, all Ella Publishing Co. eBooks are 20% off.

No coupon code is needed! The discount will automatically be credited when you add an eBook to your cart...

If you need some help deciding which one(s) to purchase, check out my reviews for the numerous Ella eBook titles I've covered.
:SALES: 20% Off ALL Ella eBooks!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

:LAYOUT: Father's Day

We spent most the day at home for Father's Day this year...resting up after Czech Days.

We did go out to dinner with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, though...good eats.

Here's a layout that I did for last year's Father's Day.

The double mat/journaling block create a great grounding element for the photo grouping. Putting the title on the vertical adds some visual interest to the page.

Kaitlin had a great time making Play-Doh cookies for her dad and Grandpa Rahn on Father’s Day 2009.

Patterned Paper: Fancy Pants
Chipboard: Fancy Pants
Rub ons: Fancy Pants
Journaling Spot: Fancy Pants
Ink: Colorbox
Scallop Punch: Fiskars
:LAYOUT: Father's DaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, June 21, 2010

:TOP TEN: Summer collections to heat of your scrapbooking...

While summer unofficially begins for many with Memorial Day weekend, it official begins today...or when the temps top 70 degrees...whichever comes first.

Either way, summer activities are in full swing for many and if outdoor fun means more pictures to scrap, you'll be at no loss for great summer collections to help you capture all your summer 2010 memories.

We R Memory Keepers - 72 & Sunny Collection
How much fun is this big old sun?! Even better, if you summer is too full with activities to get much scrapping done, this collection from WRMK actually features premade page kits! Check them out here and here!

American Crafts - Heat Wave Collection
Filled with great patterns and bright colors, the Heat Wave collection is sure to make a splash in your summer scrapping!

Bo Bunny Press - Flower Child Collection
Bo Bunny has really moved up on my list of favorite manufacturers in the past year or so. The Flower Child collection is another step in that direction.

Bo Bunny Press - Paradise Collection
...and another...

Although it's a little early to be dreaming for an Indian summer, it is one of my favorite times of year. The colors and patterns of this collection are just perfect.

I'll be honest...I've yet to use JS in my scrapbooking, but I do love this particular collection and it might be the first one I add to my collection. I love the dreamy lanterns on this piece of patterned paper.

If this collection doesn't make you think of summer road trips with family and outdoor music festivals, I don't know what will!

I love OA...I love the addition of the sweet strawberries to this cute pattern!

Beautiful pattern...beautiful color. I also love the lined pattern on the reverse. I'm always on the lookout for patterns that make handwritten journaling a little easier.

Sassafras - Cherry Delicious Collection

Which is your favorite summer collection listed above? Is there one I left out that you can't wait to add to your collection?
:TOP TEN: Summer collections to heat of your scrapbooking...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, June 20, 2010

:WORD ART: Rich Man Quote Word Art


Here's a freebie that's perfect for a layout about the dad in your life...or a last minute card. :-) Hope you like it!

:WORD ART: Rich Man Quote Word ArtSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, June 19, 2010

:SALES: Great discount at ... TODAY only!

Today's a great day for some scrappy shopping! They're offering $5 off any $50 only!

Just enter the code fivejune5 at checkout!

Happy scrap shopping!!
:SALES: Great discount at ... TODAY only!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, June 18, 2010

:FIVE FAVES: Celebrating Dads!

Sunday is a day to celebrate the dad's in our lives. Here's a few great products that will make it easy!

BasicGrey - Basic Kraft Collection - 12 x 12 Collection Pack
Most of our guys don't want flowers and frills, so these ledger-style krafts would make the perfect backdrop for any manly layout.

Bo Bunny Press - Mama-razzi Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Mama-razzi Stripe
While this collection certainly wasn't created with father's specifically in mind (after all, it has 'mama' in the title!), the distressed browns, blues and greens make this striped pattern a great choice for a layout about dad. You should check out the rest of the collection as well as there are several other pieces that would cross over to a manly theme stunningly!

Die Cuts with a View - The Guy Collection - Gloss Paper Stack
Here's some more strips and checks and even a little argyle that just screams 'DAD'!

Fancy Pants Designs - Like Father Like Son Collection - 12 x 12 Paper Kit
Fancy Pants never disappoints me in their collections. Like Father Like Son is wonderful and anything-but-boring as usual!

How about using some fun corrugated alphabets to create your title? Leave them as is or rough them up a bit with paint or ink.

What 'manly' products will you be using to highlight the men in your life this Father's Day? Link us up to your favorites!

(Note: The links above lead to further information on the listed products either at or Remember, the Two Peas FREE SHIPPING code for June is DDSDAY.)
:FIVE FAVES: Celebrating Dads!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 17, 2010

:LAYOUT: Czech Darlings

Tabor Czech Days starts tonight with a Tabor Bluebirds baseball game, fireworks and the opening of the midway rides. Woohoo!!

For us Czechs (I'm 100%, Kaitlin is 50%), Czech Days is a BIG deal! (You can read more about past Czech Days - at least since I've had this blog - here.)

Here's a layout that I completed after last year's celebration. We had some visiting relatives which made it extra special and Kaitlin had a great time celebrating her heritage with her cousin.

I cut the die-cut patterned paper down slightly to leave a clean background for the title to span the top of the page.

The strip across the center hides the seam and also helps to anchor the photos and the lines on the paper serve as the perfect place to hand write the journaling for this page.

The calendar block is from a set of my very own design.

This year Kaitlin’s second cousin Kierstyn came to visit us over Czech Days with her mom, Traci.

It was Kierstyn’s first time experiencing Czech Days and I certainly felt a little bit of déjà vu as I watched them enjoy this annual celebration together like Traci and I had several times when we were kids.

On Saturday, the two girls decided to go through the Kiddie Parade and had a great time ‘Fishing for Kolaches!’

Kierstyn was so proud to be wearing a traditional Czech costume for the very first time!

Adhesive: Duck
Cardstock: Bazzill
Patterned Paper: Making Memories, Jenni Bowlin
Letter Stickers: Jenni Bowlin
Calendar Block: my own design
Border Punch: Fiskars
Ink: Colorbox
Pen: Zig
:LAYOUT: Czech DarlingsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: July 2010 Kit Sneak Peak - "Bon Voyage"

Take a look at the July 2010 "Bon Voyage" MemoryWorks Express Kit...

Watch for futher details on this kit coming soon! 

In the meantime, enjoy the details of a few past MemoryWorks Express Kits!

A MemoryWorks Express Kit subscription is ONLY $29.95 (plus $6.50 S&H) per month! They are chock full of the latest and greatest in the scrapbooking industry, the items are always timely in terms of the current season or holiday, and the price can't be beat!

If you are interested in subscribing or would simply like more information, please don't hesitate to contact me!
:MEMORYWORKS EXPRESS: July 2010 Kit Sneak Peak - "Bon Voyage"SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

:FIFTEEN ON THE FIFTEENTH: Favorite new products from the past 30 days

As always, there is no lack of fun, beautiful and inspiring products hitting the shelves.

Here's a few of my favorites available within the past 30 days...

7 Gypsies - Avignon Collection - Printed Paper Tape
Who said masking tape can't be beautiful? If you thought that was the case...7 Gypsies just proved you wrong! This tape could be used functionally as well as just another great way to enhance a layout.

American Crafts - Dear Lizzy Spring Collection - 12 x 12 Fabric Paper - Peony Party
Here's an extension on the amazing Dear Lizzy fabric paper!

American Crafts - Thickers - Glitter Foam Alphabet Stickers - Rainboots - Aqua
I love doubt about it. This is one of my favorite styles and glitter always adds a little something extra.

Bo Bunny Press - Sun Kissed Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Sun Kissed Splash Zone
What's not to love? The colors are amazing and I love the retro water spray. This is the kind of paper that makes me want to set up a photo shoot specifically to use the paper! :-)

Colorbox - Woodhaven Fabric Flowers
Beautiful, soft and perfect for layering...

Fun in the Sun Digital Stickers by Holly Brooke Jones
These hand-drawn doodles are just adorable! Just one of many adorable digikit items from Holly.

Creative Imaginations - Loolah Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Fanciful
Okay...I'll be honest. I'm not really a fan of the rest of the Loolah collection. I'm sure it's perfect for some, but just not my cup of tea. However, this pattern is the exception. I love the subtle dot pattern in the background and the text pattern on the reverse.

The Girls Paperie - Paper Girl Collection - Sticker Pad - Market
I actually have this on order along with all the papers from the Paper Girl Collection and can't wait!!

Inkadinkado - Earthtones Pigment Stack Multi Ink Pads
Inkadinkado has PAGES of new items newly available - inks, glitters, chalks, flocks, sprays, and more - but this one went immediately on my wish list. I use ink a lot on my edges and LOVE these earthy tones!

A great summer themed paper! Check out the rest of the Playdate collection for commemorating the season!

Making Memories - Panorama Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Exploration Words
Traveling soon? Love the text pattern and vacation-themed word collages!

Creative Imaginations - Breathless Collection - 12 x 12 Flocked Paper - Black Chandelier
Talk about DRAMA!! All you Twilight lovers just found the PERFECT collection in Breathless to scrap your love for the books, the movies, the characters!!

Studio Calico - Rub ons - Hot Air Balloon - Mustard
There is something so sweet and romantic about these mustard-colored rub ons. Honestly, I'm not entirely what I would use them on, but aren't they sweet?

Marks Paper Company - DigiKit - Time Paper Kit by Stacy Marks
I love the rich colors of this digikit! Although it's a little too early for me to think about it, these would be perfect for Indian summer type layouts.

Okay...I love the look of stitching. But I don't sew. Who's with me? I even had a sewing machine (lent to me from my sister-in-law) in my closet for over a year and never brought it out. So, here's the solution!! WRMK offers this stitched cardstock in many other colors as well!

If you could pick only ONE item from the list above to purchase, which would it be and why?

(Note: The links above lead to further information on the listed products either at or Remember, the Two Peas FREE SHIPPING code for June is DDSDAY.)
:FIFTEEN ON THE FIFTEENTH: Favorite new products from the past 30 daysSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend