Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year! Make one last donation to help others this year!

I know most of you probably read my post about my husband Dave's best friend, Brent.  Brent passed away 6 years ago from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  He was passionate about raising money to help others with the disease and so we participated & fundraise for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk.  Our local walk is held here in Portland each October.  I typically fundraise for a few months before the walk and then put it out of my mind for another year.  This year, however, I have a special reason for sending out one last fundraising reminder.  An anonymous donor has stepped up and offered to match all donations received by LLS by December 31st, up to $100,000!  I'm very excited about the prospect of such a wonderful organization receiving such a generous gift!  So if there is any way you can donate, in any amount, no matter how large or small, your gift will be doubled this year!

Please take a look at my fundraising page for a bit of Brent's story and to see the last photo of he & Dave.  And click HERE to read the flyer about the anonymous donor's offer.

Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to learn about our friend and the organization he was so passionate about!  Enjoy your family and friends, and take a moment to remember those close you who are no longer with you, this New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Layout of the Week - 'Tis the Season!

I'm so sorry I missed posting this layout as my Layout of the Week for last week!  Forgive me!  I was 'a bit' crazy trying to send out packages, cards & deal with Delaney's class party.  Oh, gee, I can hear so many of you who know me saying, "Shocking, Julie took on too many things at once!"  OK, I admit it, YES I DID!  But it's all over now & I'm on to taking on too many baking projects in one week!  But boy those cookies sure taste good!  Apparently my problem with not knowing how to say NO extends to cookies too!

Well, this layout is one of my favorite recent projects.  It's a photo taken last Christmas of Jake in his Christmas jammies just after he opened his Toy Story phone.  He was SO excited!  Who knew he would later eat off the number sign & I would have it handed to me by the nice lady who works in the nursery at our church.  She just laughed, having a little guy just a month older than Jake.  Then she told me what Delaney had said when she found the rubber key in his mouth, "You know, I told Mommy that the phone says it's for ages 3 and up!"  Out of the mouths of babes....  But still, his expression and those two teeth are priceless.

As far as the layout goes, the wood background is from LUXE (which sadly has closed up shop) and the other papers are new this year from Creative Imaginations.  I used three colors & two sizes of the Mark Richards mosaic tiles on this one, along with two different sets of THICKERS.  I'm always trying to create just one more title out of a set of these and darn if I don't use each set on 3 or 4 layouts!  Just mix & match if you don't have enough to write out your whole title.  And if you're, just a bit psycho, about color like I am, don't be afraid to paint them or just add a coat of glitter glue to them.  On the " 'tis," I used red paint & red glitter.  On the "season," I left them brown & added a coat of red glitter.  The "the" is created from Mrs. Grossman's stickers, an old set I have used many times.  The cute little letters at the bottom are some of my current faves from My Little Shoebox.

And do take a look again at Mr. Jake's darling smile, my next post will be yesterday's visit to Santa and he certainly isn't the one smiling!


Again, I'm mentioning Costco, but they really do make great large prints, like this 8 x 8 one.  Give them a try for your next printing job.

Don't be afraid to mix your font styles in your titles.  Just stay with one or two bold ones and try to stay with the same color or coat of glitter.

When mixing patterns, try a few large rectangle blocks on your page and round the corners for a unique look.


Background paper - LUXE Designs - :( not around anymore
Patterned papers - Creative Imaginations
Tiles - Mark Richards
Titles - THICKERS - American Crafts
            Mrs. Grossman's
            My Little Shoebox

Friday, December 11, 2009

Layout of the Week - Christmas Past

Sorry I've been away so long! In the middle of my holiday prep and school holiday party prep that I haven't posted a Layout of the Week yet. I have a couple Christmas projects all ready to go, just haven't written anything about them. Time sure flies by this time of year. And maybe I forgot because my fingers have been too cold to type! It finally "warmed up" this morning...my car said it was 15, for the last few days it's said 12 on the way to school.  I know that many of  you are laughing at me right now, you know who you are...you're from the Midwest, Canada or maybe Antarctica!  But really, I'm in Portland and it doesn't get cold like this here for this long!  OK, we did have snow on the ground for 3 weeks last year, but that was a fluke...or climate change.  Of course just as many of you just ran to get your coats when you read 12, you're from SoCal, Australia or maybe the Sahara!  But I'm tired of pasting my daughter with Burt's Bees Lip Balm & that smelly, but wonderful hemp cream from The Body Shop.  And who wants to wear long johns under their clothes to school everyday?  I'm sure some of your kids do, but they probably also get to play in the snow at recess, we have no snow, just cold and a pond that's frozen over in our backyard.

Well, that's enough of me complaining, it certainly isn't that I'd like rain better, no way!  I just want summer back whenever it's convenient for me!

I think it's time to share one of my recent creations!  I created this layout with Graphic 45's Christmas past collection.  My mom recently gave me an envelope full of photos of me that she saved from photos she had sent my grandma over the years.  Grandma Muriel passed away a few years back and she had saved photos of all her grandchildren from the time when we were born.  I found these photos in my envelope.  They were taken when I was about 2 1/2, a few months before my brother was born and I didn't get all the attention any more! :)  I love how these old photos are square with white borders and the dates stamped on them.  I thought that they went perfectly with Graphic 45's style.  To me their retro papers go perfectly with sepia tone photos and the slight natural yellowing of these photos looks great with them.  I didn't want to crop the photos at all, so I let their shape dictate my layout and how I cut the yellowed catalog page to back them.  It's so fun to see my clothes and little pig tails, but my favorite part is seeing how my dad dressed in 1972!  I guess style really does come around again...check out those sideburns!  I can also see a few ornaments on this tree that I still hang on my tree!

I wanted to keep this layout from being very sparkly...I've been using tons of sparkle lately.  So I used a pack of Little Yellow Bicycle's felt die cuts along with felt ribbon from Creative Cafe and a few red pearls from Kaisercraft.  The next time you're scrapping photos from your childhood, or someone else's, check out Graphic 45's wonderful retro papers.  I've got a great project using their Transatlantique papers to show you soon! (probably after Christmas)

Don't forget to stop by Ann's Virtual Girls' Night Out, to get a few more comments for your blog, meet some new bloggy friends and maybe learn something new!


If you've got some older, maybe slightly yellowed, photos you want to scrap, check out the beautiful retro papers from Graphic 45.  Sepia tone photos look great with their papers too!

Remember not to crop all the background out of your photos!  Choose a few photos where you will leave in some of the background, especially if it's your home or shows a little slice of how life was at the time.  It's fun to look back & remember what life was like for you as a child or for your kids to see how life was for their grandparents.


Graphic 45 Christmas Past paper collection (Graphic 45 Blog)
Creative Cafe red felt ribbon (Creative Cafe's Blog)
Little Yellow Bicycle self adhesive felt die cuts
Kaisercraft red pearls (Kaisercraft's Blog)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Layout of the Week - Christmas DVD Case

If you're a reader of my scrapbook store blog Whimzee's Girls Online, you may have already read about this Christmas DVD case. But since I've been "a little busy" this week, getting ready for Thanksgiving and because more of you read this blog than that one, I thought I'd cheat a bit and post the same project on each blog. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had dinner at our house this year, it was great having all the kids' grandparents here. We hope to spend Thanksgiving with even more of our family next year. We're thankful for all our family and great friends this year!

This DVD case is a fun holiday project if you're looking for a great way to package those DVD's of photos you're sending to the relatives this year. I created this project in the EK Success Craft Fest I attended a couple weeks ago. Don't worry, if you aren't sending out photo DVD's this year, our instructor had a great idea for this case. She said that she uses it to house a special holiday music CD she creates each year for family and friends. Not being a big baker, she uses gives it as a hostess gift when others might give baked bread or goodies. And if you aren't looking to give DVD's or CD's this year, take a close look at the project and 'scraplift' it into a card or scrapbook page.

The DVD case project features K & Company's new Christmas collection Evergreen by designer Brenda Walton (I saw a few of the items we used in Michael's this week). We used the small paper pad from this collection which is perfect for card makers and those of you who create albums smaller than 12 x 12. Another winner is the adhesive border pack, this pack is full of borders that are great for trimming to the size you need or using as is. While we didn't order from this collection, you may be able to find it elsewhere. We did order the small paper pads and adhesive borders from a couple other collections, so be on the look out for those in the store. We loved using these products in creating the DVD case and we're sure you'll love them too!

One last thing...if you're looking for more scrapbooking inspiration, stop by the ning.com site I'm moderating for the store. I've set it up as a place for our customers & fans to share their creations and chat about scrapbooking and papercrafting. Come on by the Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio online scrapbooking community and check out all the new projects that our members are uploading daily. If you're in the Portland area, you'll find the site especially helpful, we have an event calendar over there with all our crops & events listed!

I'm ready to have a fun weekend, my sweet husband's birthday is tomorrow and I'm all ready to decorate for Christmas! Hope you all enjoy your weekends and be sure to join me at Ann's Virtual Girls' Night Out! Ann's a fellow Portlander (not sure if that's the correct word), but it's been great to meet someone cool from my area who understands the whole "Oregonian" thing! Meet tons of other cool bloggers and get lot's of those precious comments we're all looking for! Oh, that reminds me, I'd love it if you'd leave comments for me, even if you're not a blogger! I love to see what everyone has to say about my posts. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Layout of the Week - Christmas Folding Mini Album

I've been busy this last week working on tons of different things for the store and trying to sneak in a few holiday projects. In between working on the email newsletter and trying to get the Pazzles cutter working, I created this cool little folding mini album. I'm teaching a workshop on this format on December 5th from 10am to 1pm, in case you're in the Portland area and want to learn to create these fun albums. The scrapbook store where I work is Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio, check out the blog I write for them, if you're looking for more scrapbook inspiration. I do occasionally post some of the same projects on both blogs, but I have created some step by step classes over there, so click on Classes in the list of labels.

OK, back to this project! Using 6 12 x 12 cardstock pieces, up to 14 different coordinating patterned papers (I used doubled sided sheets), a yard of ribbon and lot's of adhesive, these little albums go together quickly. I used a grassy green Bazzill cardstock and the Season's Greetings patterned papers from 3 Bugs in a Rug in my project. This album is a great way to finally use that little black blade that came with your Fiskars cutter! (That's a scoring blade!) Or you can use one of those cool new scoring boards. I saw one at the EK Success workshop last week, putting it on my Christmas list!

I used the Cricut at the store and the Stretch Your Imagination cartridge to create the little die cut holly for the album cover.

I plan to create a couple more of these albums to display during the workshop. These would be great to make to commemorate a special vacation or birthday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy 100th Post to Me!...and boy, did I have fun being creative this week!

As I came to the blog to write this post I realized that it's my 100 Post! YEAH me! (as London Tipton says...if you're forced to watch Disney Channel as much as I am, you'll know just what I'm talking about, if not...count yourself among the lucky ones!) Help me celebrate my 100th post by signing up to be a follower while you're here! I'm hoping to get to 200 followers by the end of the year, so tell all your scrapbooking friends, bloggers or not, to stop by JulieChats. I promise to bring you all the greatest new scrapbooking products & techniques. And of course, if you're looking for more inspiration, be sure to check out my "Get Your Creative On" section, for links to other creative blogs all around the world & the web!

You'll probably notice that I don't have a Layout of the Week this week! Well, it wasn't because I wasn't creative...I did create a Christmas layout, it is quite cute, if I do say so myself. But since I submitted it in Ella Publishing's December cover contest, I can't share it right now! Hopefully I'll be back to tell you that it's going to be on their cover...if not, I'll share it with you soon! I used LUXE's wood design paper for the background and Creative Imaginations' bright new Christmas paper, a couple types of American Crafts' THICKERS, 6 different mosaic tiles from Mark Richards, those cute little black letters that look like they came from my mom's Dymo Labeler, my large corner rounder and an 8 x 8 photo of the cutest boy in the world...you want to see it, don't you! Well, soon you will, one way or the other, did I say to wish me luck! Oh, and be sure to stop by Ella Publishing's blog and website to check out all their great scrapbooking ebooks available for download, they're only $5.99! I just downloaded two and can't wait to share all the great layouts I create with them!

But even though I can't inspire you with my Layout of the Week this week...don't fret! :) I was lucky enough to attend a fun creative workshop put on by EK Success and Petersen Arne this week here in Portland. The event was for scrapbook & craft stores and Twila, the owner of Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio, where I work, invited me! And boy did I have fun! We got to create some wonderful things with products that aren't available in stores yet and some that we just hadn't gotten a chance to try out! After getting our kids off to school & driving across town, we were a little late, but arrived just in time to create THE cutest canvas bags with Jolee's Jewels and the Hotfix tool. The bags, even without all the bling, are so cool. And I mean COOL, my 8 1/2 year old was so sad, as she grabbed the bag & started carrying it around, showing it off to her friend....I had to tell her, "You know, Delaney, that bag is Mommy's!" So when I say cool, I mean it, just check it out for yourself:

Cool...right??? :) Well, I wasn't really so mean, I did tell her that we'd have these pink bags designed by Carolyn Gavin and the other cool turquoise ones in the store soon and she can make her own. The crystals are kind of difficult to see on the first photo, so I did take a second close up photo. But really, the photos don't do the crystals justice! They certainly aren't your run of the mill rhinestones! So if you're looking for a way to put some bling in your life, don't miss the Jolee's Jewels Swarovski crystal collection and be sure to pick up EK's Hotfix tool too! We'll have them at Whizmee's soon, so if you're in the Portland area, stop by the store to see our cool bags!

I promise to share more of the cool projects I made next week! Just let me tell you, we were all VERY excited to find out we could take home the new Martha Stewart Around the Page Punches that we made one of our projects with! I'm ADDICTED to them now, I MUST have them all!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Layout of the Week - Children of the Corn

In honor of Halloween, I created this fun layout last week. Our first outing of the Fall was a trip to The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie's Island, just outside of Portland. If you're in the area, you should definitely add it to your Fall list next year. They've got a great maze, farmer's market, lot's of food booths...elephant ears, corn on the cob, carmel apples, sausage, burgers, loaded baked potatoes...animal barn, gift shop, hayride to the pumpkin patch (or skip it if it's too muddy & pick one from the huge pile next to the market) and of course a HUGE maze. This year's maze was a tribute to the Portland Trail Blazers, check out the photo in my layout.

This layout was my first effort at designing to someone else's sketch. I have all sorts of sketches & sketch books in my inspiration pile, but this is the first one I've done right to the sketch...pretty much, anyway. I created it for a layout call from Ella Publications. It was a lot of fun to try a technique that I've recommended to so many people, but haven't tried myself. I'm near the end of a set of 6 beginning scrapbooking classes where I've designed the layout, then created a sketch and kit for the participants. We'll be starting the classes again in January if you're in the Portland area and in need of some scrapbooking support! They're at the Hillsboro Library and they're FREE! I'll post about them when we've got the dates firmed up.

I was excited to use the Eerie collection from Basic Grey. I'm a big fan of using all sorts of patterns together in my layouts and Basic Grey's collections are some of my favorites. This layout features black vinyl THICKERS from American Crafts, I was excited to be able to create this title from a set I've used for two other layouts. That just shows you that the packs of THICKERS really give you a great selection of letters. My journal box is a tag from 7 Gypsies, I filled in the blanks and then wadded it up and stretched it out again, inking the edges & creases. I inked the outside edge of the layout with black ink to bring everything together. I put my little spin :) on the sketch, by tilting my layout, trimming the edges & mounting it on one last patterned paper...sneaking in another pattern...YEAH! My favorite embellishments on this page are my trusty garden twine (seem to be using it a lot recently) and the little black spiders were in a pack in my Halloween decorations, so they practically "jumped" onto the page as I created it!

I hope you're inspired to design your next layout from a sketch! Check out these cool sites for some great sketches:

52 Sketches ... a new sketch every week

got sketch? ... they've got 92 sketches on their site right now!

Creating Keepsakes Magazine ... all sorts of FREE sketches to download and also lot's of other cool downloads, brushes for you digital scrappers, journal boxes & tons more!


Give the sketch technique a try. Maybe keep to the original sketch your first time, if you're nervous. Then let your creativity go wild! Rotate the sketch 90 degrees, flip it over for a mirror image on the facing page, set your design askew on another piece of paper (what I did on this one), use journal boxes, embellishments or patterned paper in place of some of the photos...the ideas go on & on!

Use a tag instead of a journal box on one of your layouts.

Check out your gardening supplies, use twine instead of ribbon on your next project.

Supply List

Basic Grey Eerie collection papers

American Crafts THICKERS - Daiquiri black vinyl letters

Thick Twine (not sure of manufacturer)

Mini GlueDots

7 Gypsies Tag

Small plastic spiders (not sure of manufacturer) - found them in my Halloween decorations

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I've Been Published!

I'm happy to announce the publication of my first article! Please click on the following link to read my article from the November issue of Scrapbooking.com Magazine

Scrapbooking.com -- Article - H-O-M-E Project

Posted using ShareThis

This article describes two Fall theme projects that I recently created. The two projects were created using one Rusty Pickle chipboard letter set and the same Bo Bunny papers & stickers. I created the first project for my home and then used the leftover chipboard pieces to create a second project.

Check out Scrapbooking.com Magazine's site and sign up to have their newsletters delivered to your inbox here:

Scrapbooking.com Magazine

I am honored to have my work recognized by Scrapbooking.com Magazine and hope to be published in other magazines soon!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Layout of the Week - I Love Your SMILE!

I was so excited to see the challenge handed out by the ladies at the Ella Publishing blog. They were looking for layout submissions with the title, "I Love Your Smile." That was the only criteria, just use that title. I think karma brought me to this gleeful photo of Delaney. For the past couple weeks, I've been designing baby layouts for my next beginning scrapbooking class, so I had a pack of photos of Jake when he was first born right there on the table. When I saw this page call, I flipped through the photos to see if any of them fit the title. And boy, this one jumped right out at me. This is THE happiest I have ever seen Delaney in a picture. It was taken, probably by Dave, just after Jake was born. We gave her this great I'm the Big Sister t-shirt and she was so excited, she put it right on. She was over flowing with joy that her little brother, whom she had waited so long for, was finally here! It brings tears to my eyes to look at it, when I think of how happy she was.

Her reaction to the photo, while I was creating this page, cracks me up! She looked at it and asked if it was taken when Jake was born. I said yes and that she was so happy. Being 8 1/2 now and having her brother be almost 2, she said, "I love him, but I don't know if I'm that happy about him now....he did cry a lot and...you know, mom, he's Jake." So that makes this picture that much more special to me, what a beautiful innocent smile, so excited that her baby brother is finally here. Unbeknownst to this sweet little girl are all the things about babies that aren't so fun, the SCREAMING (you have to know Jake to know I'm NOT kidding), the wet & poopy diapers, the hitting, throwing & destroying, etc. Of course she is still the happiest big sister in the world, when her little guy says her name, "Dee Dee, Dee Dee" or when he walks up to her, tilts his head, puckers his lips, closes his eyes, and cranes his neck toward her just hoping for a kiss.

Those are all reasons that this photo makes me a very happy mom! I hope you all create layouts showing something that makes you happy!

As far as the layout, I used the Cricut to cut the circles, placing my matted photo inside the largest circle to draw attention to it. I placed the title around the circle, also in an effort to draw attention to the photo. I chose journal strips for this page because a journal box might draw attention away from my photo. Inside the strips is my jounaling, "a girl was never so happy to have a little brother." I think that all the elements of this page help draw attention to Delaney's photo. I think it's important for her to have some pages in her album commemorating her brother's birth that show her reaction. He will have tons of blue pages showing all the exciting happenings after he was born and big sister needs a little attention too!


Try mixing chipboard styles when creating your titles. The mix will give your layouts a whimsical look.

If you aren't happy with the color of your chipboard, so ahead & paint it. Here I painted chipboard with both paint and glitter glue.

Don't be afraid to add other embellishments to your chipboard. Here I added ribbon, rhinestones & stickers to my chipboard shapes.

Supply List

Basic Grey June Bug collection papers
Admiral: used the back side
Park Bench: used the back side
Picket Fence: used the back side

Prizm light & medium pink textured cardstock

Pink Metallic Ribbon

KaiserCraft Basics: Rhinestones - light & dark pink and Rhinestone strips - pink

Creative Cafe pink chipboard shapes

Circle shapes all cut with the Cricut

"I" - Tim Holtz Grungeboard harlequin alphas

"your" - American Crafts THICKERS hat box plain chipboard

"SMILE" - Die Cuts with a View foil chipchatter uppercase - pink

Mrs. Grossman's casual alphabet stickers

American Crafts Memory Marker pen - soft black

Scrapbook Shades by Li'l Davis Designs - marshmallow

Ranger Adirondack Brights Acrylic Paint Dabber - raspberry

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finding Inspiration with Photography

After a morning of trying to get some creative work done, but not being able to become inspired, I headed out to my backyard with my camera. I left my steaming cup of coffee on the end table next to my laptop. I had just been reading my bloggy friend Yaya's great blog post about her favorite color, orange. I noticed that the sun was peaking out from behind a cloud shining dappled sun down on my newly orange Japanese maple. I decided to take a photo of it to email to Yaya, her favorite color & all.

After I shot numerous photos of Leafy (Delaney named the tree when we planted it), I glanced around the yard. Although it's a pretty gray day, here in Oregon, the sun would peak out for a few moments here & there. I wandered the yard, purposefully looking at everything I could find. I shot photos of my maples turning on their Fall best. I shot photos of some strange mushrooms growing in the yard. Yes, Dave, I know this is strange, but their color & shape was interesting. I shot the ducks sleeping on the island in the middle of the pond behind our yard. I shot a huge yellow zucchini flower growing through the fence from the neighbor's yard. I shot the swings, lonely & empty, barely moving in the light breeze. I noticed how quiet it was for almost noon. All the neighborhood kids back to school & Jake napping upstairs. I shot my last bright red & orange cherry tomatoes of the year. Then I started to realize that I had just taken a rainbow of photos from around my yard. I was just missing the color blue. I stopped to take one last photo of the blue lobelia, still hanging on in my summer containers. As I shot the photo, I noticed one more harbinger of Fall. There was a Preying Mantis, hanging upside down,from the lobelia, watching me. After shooting her photo (Delaney & I always call them girls), I headed back inside to my now cold cup of coffee.

Who cares about warm coffee, when you can spend half an hour outside with your camera finding the inspiration to create all sorts of wonderful projects. So next time you find yourself needing inspiration, grab your camera & head outside. Shoot photos of whatever interesting things you find. You may find beautiful Fall leaves, white drifts of snow, gray puddles of newly fallen rain or just the shape your boot makes in the mud. But if you look at them with a creative eye, you will find the beauty in the simple creations of nature.

Try it sometime & let me know what you find!

(I wrote this last Monday and have just had the time to attach all these photos to it! Hope you enjoy them!)

By the way, I shot all these with my little Sony Cybershot digital camera, I don't own a DSLR, but it's on my wishlist! Almost all the photos were shot in the "soft snap" setting, where you shoot the subject with a soft background & no flash. Your camera might have a portrait setting, try it for your photos. I love the camera knowing to focus on my subject & then blurring out the background.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Layout of the Week - Our Little Monster

When I first saw the new Monster collection from Reminisce, I just knew I had to use it for a new Jake page. I had just taken some funny photos of him. Our own little monster turns into a tornado every day. The little tornado moves quickly across the living room to the hearth, where we store his toys, grabs things and starts dumping, tossing, throwing them across the room. He plays & plays in the middle of this mess. We reorganize & straighten up his stuff about five times everyday. All the little cars in their container, books stacked nicely, balls in the toy box, etc. And then he wakes up! And it's back to tornado mode! So one day, I decided to take photos of all the little messes he made that day, all over the room. Of course when I looked at the photos, the room didn't really look as messy as I thought it did. But still, picking up the same toys so many times everyday, I guess it just adds up!

I used my new favorite embellishment on these pages! I outline the edges of paper, stickers & photos with the thick end of my black Zig Writer. I love how the black helps make things on my pages stand out.

The pages have so much going on with all the color & pattern of the paper and stickers. And then there is also the size of the stickers to take into consideration. I wanted to add a little more embellishment, so I added a ribbon to the tag sticker on this page. It gives a little more dimension to the page, while not competing with all my other elements.

That day, as I was photographing his disaster, he just stood, leaning against the couch, smirking at me, as if to say, "Look how cute I am! There's no way you can be made at me about this!"

But wait...could he be turning over a new leaf? As I'm writing this, he just brought me the Swiffer Sweeper, out of the coat closet & had me turn it on so he could vacuum...we'll see...


After you finish a layout, add a thick black outline to some of your page elements to help them stand out from a busy background. I use the thick end of a black Zig Writer.

Try adding a thin solid color ribbon to your page, for a little extra dimension that won't take away from your page design.

Don't be afraid to cover up portions of your photos with large scale stickers.

Use a few smaller photos or wallets (as I've done here) grouped together. They give the feeling of one large photo, while telling more of the story than one photo would.

Supply List

Reminisce Monsters collection papers and 3 different sheets of Monsters self adhesive stickers: words, tags & journal boxes & large monsters

Thin Grosgrain ribbon, navy & orange

Zig Writer, black

Monday, October 19, 2009

Layout of the Week Bonus - Girlfriends

This week I have two layouts to share with you. Today I'm featuring one of my favorite layouts using the American Crafts Teen collection papers. I created this layout for Delaney, as a way to remember a fun day out with her girlfriends. Some moms & I got together and planned a little surprise for the girls. We took them out for lunch and to see the very first showing of the Hannah Montana movie. The girls were lucky enough to be out of school that Friday and they LOVED getting to see the movie before any of their other friends.

I chose to print this photo in black & white because lunch that day was at Red Robin and their restaurant colors didn't coordinate well with my paper choice. This is one of the reasons I love black & white photos...they go with EVERYTHING!

I love the bold papers of the Teen collection and it was fun to combine them with American Crafts' THICKERS vinyl letters and accents. I framed my photo with Prizm cardstock and added black & white floral papers from LUXE and black rhinestones from Kaisercraft.

I know that I have featured this layout before without the photo. I thought it might be fun to have an extra Layout of the Week this week so I could share the finished product with you.

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Layout of the Week - Fall Leaves

These pages commemorate one of Delaney's favorite Fall activities, jumping in the leaf piles. Every year, Dave heads out to blow & rake the leaves in our backyard. He piles them up & puts them into the yard debris bin so they can be hauled away and turned into mulch. And it never fails, Delaney runs out into the yard, yelling for him to wait to put them in the bin until she gets a chance to run & jump into the piles. Of course being a mom who is always thinking of the laundry & stains that will be created by her kids' adventures, I remind her to run upstairs & put on some old clothes so I won't have to spend hours getting the wet leaf & dirt stains out. Then I grab my camera & head outside with her. I sit behind the leaf pile shooting tons of photos, so that I'll be sure to get some great action shots.

For the layout, I had a couple things to take into consideration. First, I was given sample sheets of the Shades of Autumn collection from Reminisce to create a sample for the store and I wanted to use as many of the patterns in my layout as I could manage. Next, I wanted to include as many photos as I could and still have the layout look balanced. Since this was one of my first forays into using many mixed patterns on a layout, I chose a neutral background for them. And then chose to use strips of the patterned papers so everyone could see how they worked together. Strips of paper are one of my favorite simple layout techniques. You can adhere them in a jumble manner, like I did here or place them in horizontal or vertical stripes or perpendicular to each other in the corner of your layout. I placed mine in a jumbled way to echo the way leaves fall into piles with colors and shapes all jumbled together.

With so much going on in my layout, I chose to mat my photos in a mix of neutral fall colors pulled from the patterned Reminisce papers. I used stickers from the Shades of Autumn collection on both pages. For a some extra texture, I added ribbons from American Crafts. And for one last embellishment, I placed four square bronze brads on the floral ribbon on the right page and one under the column of stickers on the left page.

For me, this is a fun layout, with a lot going on! And that's just how I feel about Fall, so many fun things going on to enjoy & photograph! So grab that rain jacket & scarf (some of you probably need ski jackets & snow boots too...) and don't forget your camera!


When shooting photos of the kids jumping in the leaves, try sitting down & stabilizing your camera by leaning your arm on something steady, like a tree, rock or even just your leg. If your camera has a setting for action, use it, if not, just use your auto setting. Next, focus the camera on the pile of leaves & send the kids running toward you, pressing the shutter when they reach the leaves. Try this a few times and you should end up with some fun photos.

If you're new at mixing patterns on your layouts, choose a few patterns from one collection and find a neutral that is common among the patterns and use it as your background.

Using strips of the patterns on your layout allows you to showcase a few patterns without having them overwhelm the photos on your page.

For an added embellishment, place brads on your ribbons.

Supply List

Shades of Autumn paper collection from Reminisce
dark brown cardstock from Prizm
ribbons from American Crafts
bronze square brads from unknown source

Monday, October 5, 2009

JulieChats Wins Blog of the Week Award from Scrapbooking.com Magazine

I am so excited to be chosen to receive this honor! To read the announcement & description of the blog in this week's newsletter, click HERE. Please check out Scrapbooking.com Magazine! Their weekly newsletter is filled with great ideas that you can use to create wonderful new projects. Every week a new blog is featured as blog of the week. So be sure to sign up to receive their magazine in your inbox and meet a new scrapbooking blogger every week!

Scrapbooking.com magazine has also asked to feature my HOME project in an article next month. It's exciting for me to see that people are reading my Layout of the Week features. I'll let everyone know when the article will be published. It includes a special bonus project I created using the scraps left over from my original HOME project.

So stay tuned to JulieChats & send all your scrapbooking friends my way, I've got all sorts of fun projects in the works to share with you in the next few weeks!

Layout of the Week Basic Grey June Bug

The bright colors & bold patterns of June Bug jumped right off the shelf & into my basket. At first, I wasn't sure what type of layout I would design with them, but I knew I had to have them. When I set the papers out on the table in my studio, I moved them around thought about their patterns. After some thought I decided that these great bold patterns deserved a bold layout.

I chose Cabana, the navy paper with the white plaid design as my background. Next I wanted to use some of the large flowers from the Fresco print. I decided to use the flowers in two corners of the paper. And instead of cutting a strip or square from this paper, I chose to trim around the flowers and leaves, to help them stand out from the background.

With all of the patterns in this layout, I wanted to include a nice solid that would help divert some of the attention to the photos and away from the design of the page. The June Bug collection didn't have the paper I was looking for, so I decided on Lime Cooler from the Lemonade collection. I used Lime Cooler as journaling strips and the first mat behind my photos. Photo mats are typically created in the shape of the photo set on them. I kept with this idea for the second mats behind my photos, although I mounted these mats and twisted them a bit. Then I veered away from the idea of a traditional photo mat when I included the circles behind my first two layers of photo mats. I liked the idea of using the circle pattern of the Chicken Pox paper, cut into a circle as my non-traditional spin on a photo mat.

When I finished this layout, I was happy with how it turned out. But I really thought it was still missing something. Normally, at this point, I would wander around the store or dig through the stash in my studio to find the perfect embellishment to finish a layout. This time I felt that the strong graphic colors, pattern and design could easily stand on their own. And I really liked the idea of creating a great layout on a budget (5 sheets of paper), without the addition of pricier designer brads, rub ons or stickers. I had used the thin end of my Zig Writer to journal on the strips and realized that its thick end would create the perfect final embellishment for my page. I used the Zig Writer's thick end to draw an edge around my trimmed flowers and non traditional photo mats. After creating this edge, I was very excited with my final product.

This was a fun layout to create and lead to a long list of tips that will help others create similar layouts! I can't wait to use my idea of outlining a layout with a pen on another project soon!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the story shown in the layout. These photos are from Delaney's very first gymnastics performance. She was nervous, but very excited to perform with her team before our local professional soccer team's game this summer. I only have these two photos because I was video taping the performance with my camera. It was important for me to create a memorable layout for this memorable occasion.


If you're nervous about mixing patterns on one layout, try using patterns gathered from one collection.

Remember to include at least one solid in the mix to use as a mat for your photos. You want people to pay attention to both your design and your photos.

When adding a bold pattern to your layout, use just a portion, trimming around the items you want to include.

Use small strips of your solid as journal strips. This is especially helpful when you want to include a little journaling, but don't have a "book" to write for the page.

Add some non traditional shapes to your mats for an original look.

Save money, by using a thick black pen to outline portions of the graphic papers in your layout. You can choose which items to draw attention to, and let others fall into the background.

Supply List

Basic Grey, June Bug collection
Chicken Pox
Tea Party

Basic Grey, Lemonade collection
Lime Cooler

Zig Writer pen, black

Monday, September 28, 2009

Layout of the Week Relaxing in the Hammock

In our family, the hammock is one of our favorite places to relax. These photos were shot on the 4th of July a couple years ago. It was very hot, over 100 degrees. After our morning neighborhood parade, Delaney & our neighbor girl painted their nails, then relaxed in the shade waiting for them to dry. I shot some photos and was very excited about these ones.

When I combined the bold striped pattern of the hammock in the photo and the bold patterns of the fun Creative Cafe papers, I had to rethink my plans. The colors in the photos and the papers coordinated well, but the combination took the focus of this page away from my subject, Delaney. I loved the photos, so I reprinted them in Black & White. I was very happy with the result.

I chose these papers because they all have at least a little red, white or blue in their patterns. It was fun to add the multi color star ribbon from American Crafts. I like how the combination creates a subtle look for this 4th of July layout. Subtlety is not usually a trait I see in my layouts. Most of my 4th of July layouts are "in your face" red, white & blue with fireworks, stars & glitter. It's so nice to expand the horizons of my creativity. I did use my typical m.o. of combining lot's of patterns on this one though. I didn't want to change all of my habits on one layout, it was nice to just change it up a bit.

Go ahead, try something outside your comfort zone on your next project!


Try printing your photos in Black & White when your papers have bold patterns or a combination of patterns.

Try a subtle approach on your next holiday layout. Use colors to convey your holiday message without using holiday themed papers.

Supply List

Creative Cafe Papers, Buttons, Chipboard Shapes, Rub-Ons, Felt Words & Tag

American Crafts Ribbon

Monday, September 21, 2009

Layout of the Week Apple of My Eye

If you've never been apple picking in September in Oregon, you've really got to try it. Delaney was three on this particular apple picking trip. One of the ladies in our mom's group set this trip up as a photo opportunity. She recommended we dress the kids in denim & white shirts, which is always a great combo when you're having photos taken. I probably shot a few hundred photos on this outing. At the time, my digital camera had to be changed from color to black & white and then back again. I did shoot a few color photos that day, but my most favorites, as usual are the black & white ones. There is just something I love about removing the distraction color creates and just concentrating on the subject. Of course I thought I had the best subject in the whole wide world, my daughter!

The large photo on the left page is the best photo I've ever taken of Delaney. It may be the best photo I've ever taken, period. There is just something about her holding out the apple toward the camera to show me the bite she took out of it, the look on her face and the dappled sunlight. When I first had these photos printed, I sent them to all the family members & gave them to a few friends. I even had the friend of a friend ask me if she could have one just because it was such a great photo. Now I didn't do anything special to achieve this photo, there was no coaching or retrying over & over again with the pose. It isn't posed at all, I just happened to click the shutter at the perfect moment. I guess I could say it was meant to be, but I'm pretty sure that good photos come from taking TONS of photos. It probably just boils down to math. The probability that you will take a good photo rises along with the number of photos you take. So keep clicking that shutter & you're bound to end up with a great photo for your next layout!

I shot so many photos that day, I couldn't just use one on my layout. My other favorites are shown on the right page. I love the sequence of three verticals. I just told her to show me her favorite apple & she came up with the poses all on her own. Now, the one in front of the barn was set up by mommy. I do like to plan things from time to time (ha ha!), and having the big barn in the background while the little girl with her bucket of apples stands in the foreground tells the story of the day and helps create the feeling of being there on the farm with her.

I love the red apple paper combined with these black & white photos. You don't have to see a red apple in the photos to know that those apples are red. The red apple diecuts seemed to be perfect backgrounds for my white Sizzix letters. And I was very happy with my decision to use my Creative Memories square punch to punch the scrap paper and leftover photos from this layout to create an eye catching grouping.

This is one of my favorite layouts that I've created in the last few years.

On your next project, use squares of left over paper & photos to create an almost free eye catching element on your layout.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Layout of the Week - Tropical Jake

The photo on this page is the best one I've ever taken of Jake. I knew it was as soon as I saw it on the digital camera screen. Such a cute little boy! I wanted to create a special page for this photo and when these Best Creation papers came in, I knew they were the ones to use. A little sparkle & glaze adds a fun dimension even to a "boy page". I mounted the photo on two layers of cardstock, turquoise and dark brown. I wanted to draw extra attention to the photo with the busy-ness of the photo. I couldn't find an embellishment that really spoke to me. But I did find some pop out die cuts of arrows from Scenic Route. The color palette of the arrows didn't match my papers or photo, which went with each other very well. So I traced my favorite arrow onto the striped paper and cut it out. Then I used my exacto knife to cut a slit along the circle just large enough to slip the end of the arrow through it.

I really liked how the layout looked but something was still missing. I needed to draw a little attention to the arrow, so I drew an outline around it with my dark brown Zig pen.

Even though this layout was very simple and quick to complete, I think it has a bold modern look. So when you're looking for papers for a "boy" page, don't overlook the sparkly, glazed ones...they may be perfect for your project!

Don't forget to snap tons of photos! It will increase the odds of getting just the shot you're looking for!


Use cardstock mats and arrows to set your photo apart.

Try outlining your photos or embellishments with a thick pen. They'll stand out quickly and for FREE!

Don't dismiss sparkly, glazed papers for your boy pages, take a second look.


Best Creation paper

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GNO - with Delaney at the Miley Concert

This is so cute, I just had to share! Miley Cyrus opened her concert tour in Portland on Monday night and Delaney & I were there. I must say it was a great show, lot's of cool stuff, including a red Harley descending from the ceiling & Miley riding on it over the crowd singing "I Love Rock N Roll"...took me right back to the 80's. It was a fun Girls' Night Out with our friends! If your daughter's a fan & you get a chance, you should definitely go! (One little disclaimer though, Delaney's 8 1/2 & loves Miley latest CD, which has some really rockin' music, I'm not sure if the younger only Hannah Montana music fans would have quiet as much fun, but I did see tons of littler ones there.)

If you go, get there early so you don't miss a chance to have your girl's photo taken with Miley. It's sponsored by Walmart, as is the whole tour. The girls get to put on some jewelry & grab a mike then they stand in front of a green screen for their photo. Then the ladies at the computer put your girl in her choice of venues with Miley, either her dressing room, her tour bus or her on stage. (Usually the girls can only pick one, the line was 30 minutes long, but since there was a mix up & they put Delaney in the wrong venue, they took an extra photo of her.) You get a little lanyard with an email code & some photos of Miley on it, so you can look up your photo & share it at home. This is all FREE, which is awesome, considering the t-shirts are $35!!!! Of course I still bought one for my little Miley fan, but really, they could still make a ton charging 1/2 that!

So here's my little angel in her rock star moments!

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Powered by PromoPix.net

Friday, September 11, 2009

Layout of the Week - Kraft Kuts Boy Layout

I created this week's Layout of the Week as the right half of my last Layout of the Week. I wanted to have pages of both my kids on their swings. The two layouts make a nice double page spread. But either layout could also stand on its own.

For Jake's page, I used the same basic layout as Delaney's: a gold background for the Kraft Kuts bracket die cut paper, a single tinted 4 x 6 photo, matted, journal strips and silver nailhead accents. I really like how the Fancy Pants Kraft Kuts collection has both girl and boy papers.

I printed the photo for this page in color, sepia & blue tint. I really liked how the blue tint looked with the papers used on this page.

I used the same journal strips on this page, but at first, I wasn't sure what to write on them. When I thought about writing on Jake's page, I knew I wanted to write something about his swing. Since he's too young to interview about it himself, I thought it would be fun to ask Delaney his questions. It was a lot of fun to listen to her answers about her little brother.


Use one of the large die cuts that are all the rage right now and center it on a solid cardstock background. These die cuts can also be cut in half or quarters and placed on a solid background.

Create a cohesive layout across two pages by placing the same embellishments on both pages. Nailheads are used in the center of the shapes in the die cuts on both pages.

For a new twist on journaling, try interviewing a sibling of a child too young to talk for himself. It's a lot of fun to hear another point of view, especially one of a chatty little kid!

Supply List

Fancy Pants Kraft Kuts Collection Star Bracket die cut paper
Cardstock in Gold
Cardstock in Navy & Green
Silver Nailheads from Mark Richards
Tinted Photo printed in pink at Costco.com

Don't forget to check out Ann's Virtual Girls' Night Out! My favorite place to party on Friday nights...at home in my pj's anyway! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Whimzee's Girls Online: FREE Beginning Scrapbooking Classes!!!

I'm excited to share a post from my other blog Whimzee's Girls Online. I write this blog for the scrapbooking store where I work part time as a "Designer & Blog Girl", well...that's what my business cards say! So if you're in the Portland, Oregon area & looking for a FREE Beginning Scrapbooking Class, we've got just what you need! Beginning Saturday, September 12th, the Whimzee's Girls are teaching a series of 6 FREE 2 hour classes at Hillsboro, Oregon's Main Library and its Shute Park Branch. Check out this post for all the info. As you can tell, I'm pretty jazzed about this! I have put designed all the sketches & kits for the class and I'll be teaching four of the sessions...my first foray into scrapbook class teaching! Hope you can make it to a class or all six!

Whimzee's Girls Online: FREE Beginning Scrapbooking Classes!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Layout of the Week - Kraft Kuts Girl Layout

I take photos of everything! Since joining yearbook in junior high, all my friends & family could count on me to always have a camera (sometimes 2 or 3) ready at a moment's notice.

I think it's important to have photos that capture what our every day lives are like. so this day, I shot tons of photos of my kids on their swings. I ended up with one great shot of each kid. that's why I love digital cameras - take tons of shots and only keep the best ones!

I chose the papers for this layout without knowing which photo I'd use. I just knew I loved the Kraft Kuts Floral bracket paper. Then I chose some solid cardstock to match and used silver nail heads as accents.

Because the paper has such a beautiful bold pattern, I chose just one photo for this page. I wanted to end up with as many of the flowers showing as possible. that's how I chose where to place my photo.

For journaling, I thought I'd try the strip technique. I had seen it a few times in other people's layouts and liked how the little blurbs of type looked on the strips. I needed a change from being the one doing all the writing on my pages, so I "interviewed" Delaney about her swing for this page. It was fun to hear her opinions & comments.

And in the spirit of trying something new, I had my photo printed with a pink tint for this page. If you've read many of my posts, you know I have my photos printed using Costco's website. On their site, you have the option of having your photo printed in all sorts of tints. I'm a big fan of sepia and black & white photos, so I usually stick with those, but I decided to branch out for this page. Since I don't trust the computer screen when it shoes me what a color will look like, I had my photo printed in color, black & white, sepia & the pink tint. Yes, I do tend to go a little overboard (I have been called a perfectionist....). I wanted to be sure the pink tint wouldn't clash with my papers. I was pleasantly surprised & love how the pink tint adds that little something special to this layout.


When you really love the pattern of your background paper, use just one photo on the page. This lets the pattern share center stage with your photo.

Use strips of paper for your journaling. They let you write down quick thoughts instead of feeling like you have to write paragraphs for your page.

Interview your kids for your journaling. It's fun to look back & see what they were thinking or what liked when the photos were taken.

Go "outside the box" when printing your photos! Try something new, go with sepia or black & white if you always have your photos printed in color. Or go wild, like I did, and try having your photos printed with a tint.

Supply List

Fancy Pants Kraft Kuts Collection Floral Bracket die cut paper
Cardstock in Gold
Cardstock in Pink & Green
Silver Nailheads from Mark Richards
Tinted Photo printed in pink at Costco.com

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Layout of the Week - Gymnastics

Delaney has been a gymnast since she was two. These pages commemorate her 2007-2008 year. Her individual & group photos are included along with coach & friend photos.

I was excited to find gymnastics paper that matched her Mini Olympic leotard for that year. Reminisce's Gymnastics papers in Perfect 10 and Gymnastics were fun to work with. I designed my layout to fit in as many of the "I Love Gymnastics" sayings as I could.

When I set my photos on the blue textured paper, I realized they would look find without mats. Not using mats made this a quick, easy layout.

First, I created the left page. Then I measured everything and created a mirror image layout for the right side.

This is a quick, simple, economical layout, using just two textured cardstock sheets, 2 printed sheets and one set of epoxy stickers as embellishment. For approximately $6, you can create a beautiful double-page spread, with some gymnastics papers leftover for more pages.


When using a solid background paper coordinates well with the subject matter of your photos, try laying them out on the paper to see what they look like. If they stand out nicely, consider not matting them. I love matting, but it does take extra time and it increases the cost of your project. So consider going without every once in a while!

Try creating the left side of a layout and then using its mirror image on the right side. This works best when you have photos that are the same size or photos that you can crop to the same size.

Use printed paper as an embellishment. I embellished my page with, not only the epoxy stickers, but with pieces of the gymnastics designed papers.

Supply List

Textured Royal Blue Cardstock (2 sheets)

Reminisce Gymnastics Collection Papers - Perfect 10 and Gymnastics

Creative Imaginations Epoxy Gymnastics Stickers from the Sportz Collection by Danelle Johnson

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Layout of the Week - My Birthday

Delaney loves to cook! For birthday last year, she decided she & Dad would bake me a birthday cake. The cake was a first for both of them. I stayed completely out of their way. they baked, frosted & decorated my chocolate cake with chocolate frosting all by themselves. They even took photos of each other as they went.

They were both pretty proud of their creation and I of them. We all had a HUGE laugh when we realized the frosting on top was thinner than the flour on the bottom of the pan!! Just so you know, we've had a "grease & flour the pan" lesson since, stressing the need to dump the excess flour out!

All in all, it was a great cake & a great birthday for me!

In designing this page, I wanted to include all the photos Delaney & Dave had taken of each other during the cake making process. Lately I've been working with the "less is more" philosophy with my layouts, trying to lower the number of photos I use on each page, thereby letting the very special ones stand out. But this time, I just couldn't leave any out. So, I decided to print all the photos of my bakers as wallets. I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I really do love the fact that I can easily choose to print any of my photos as wallets, 4 for only 13 cents, on Costco's website.

With photos in hand, I made a trip to Whimzee's. (Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio, down the street in Beaverton, where I work part time...check out the blog I write for the store, Whimzee's Girls Online...but I digress....) Right there in the front of the store was a new collection that had just arrived, it was perfect. It seemed that Early Bird from Cosmo Cricket had jumped right off the shelf & into my basket. This collection is kitschy & retro, bright & full of pattern, all things I love in scrapbook paper. The cute tags & sayings would be just right with my birthday cake photos. I found two pieces of Bazzill's swiss dot paper to match, dark red & butter (these probably aren't their real names). Loving ribbon the way I do, I loved the way the dark red twill from Creative Cafe reminded me of apron strings. And since I've been caught up in an inking frenzy lately, I grabbed a dark red ink from Studio G's $1 line. Never being happy with just a couple embellishments, I added some mini buttons from our bulk embellishments on another visit to the store.

While I was working on this layout, all the ladies at the store reminded me that I should be very thankful for my wonderful family. They couldn't believe that my husband, first of all, baked a cake with his daughter and second of all, remembered to take photos for me as he did it! Thanks honey! And thanks Delaney for coming up with this great present for mom! :) I love you both!


I haven't used my corner rounder in a long time, but I had a feeling that rounded corners on my papers would go nicely on this layout. I used my old Creative Memories rounder for the tags, but I wanted a larger curve on my larger paper pieces. Not having extra money in my budget right now to go out & buy a cool new tool, I looked around my work area and found something that would work just as well. For the rounded corners on my larger paper pieces, I flipped them over and traced the curve from the lid of an acrylic paint bottle onto the paper and cut along the line with my scissors! Another MacGyver moment for Julie! I do kind of come by it naturally...you should see what my dad can do with a pocket knife & duct tape!

One more tip...if you're looking for a way to create a cohesive look on your pages, try inking the edges of your page elements. Here, I used a dark red ink to ink the edges of almost everything on my page, including the background papers. Try it sometime, I love the way it brings everything together and gives my pages sort of a "worn" feel.

Supply List

Cosmo Cricket Early Bird Collection: Elements, Ribbon Sandwich, Sunrise & Apron Strings

Bazzill Swiss Dot dark red & butter yellow

Studio G ink dark red

Mini Buttons unknown manufacturer

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Layout of the Week - Envelope Mini Album

My mom's 60th birthday was last weekend. For the lady who has everything, I like to create small personal gifts. She has something fun to enjoy and it fits into my budget too, which makes us both happy! For Mom's birthday, I took the kids camping with her & my Dad. So I didn't have much time to work on a project this week. Thankfully, I thought ahead, knowing I wouldn't have a lot of time. I am kind of a control freak...OK, no one I know would say "kind of" about it. So I do TRY to plan ahead, it's just that lately my plans have taken so much longer than I anticipate. I blame it on the kids...but I digress.In my planning, I remembered a cute envelope mini album I made in a class at the store a couple years ago. I had saved it to use as a gift and boy did it come in handy. The album is made of 7 envelopes. Two for the front & back covers and 5 for the middle pages.On the front & back covers, the flaps are turned toward the inside of the album. Small blocks of paper are adhered so that only one side is attached, while the other holds down the flap, this way you can put fun things inside the envelopes. I used them to hold notes from Delaney & me to Mom. I also let Jake draw on a small piece of paper & stuck it inside too.The front cover of this album is embellished with papers, an embossed stamp, silk flowers and a dragonfly charm. Any fun group of embellishments could be used to create the look you want.The flaps are cut off each of the inside envelopes. A slip of printed paper is trimmed to fit inside each envelope. For this project, little metal tabs are added to the slips of paper. Ribbons or small paper tags would also be nice additions.To hold the album together, use a small circular hole punch to punch 3 holes down the left side of each envelope. (I punched one set of holes and used it as a template to punch the rest.) Place a hinged ring in each hole to hold the book together. Embellish the rings with ribbons or attach small pieces of painted chipboard with twine for a fresh look.This album is a great gift to give to someone who will fill it up herself. Or do like I did and fill it with all sorts of fun photos & memories. To coordinate with my album colors, I printed my photos in sepia tone. (This is one of my favorite tips when the photos you love don't coordinate with the papers you love!) I printed a few 4 x 6 size prints and cropped them to fit. But most of my photos were printed wallet size on Costco's Photo Website.

Give this envelope mini album a try the next time you're in need of a personal gift that fits into both your budget and your busy schedule!


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