Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Designer Showcase: Occupation

Can you believe that this coming weekend is Labor Day here in the states?  Me either!  To help celebrate, our Designer Showcase this week has the theme of "Occupation".  You are going to really enjoy the artists interpretations this week.  So sit back and get ready for some inspiration.

My husband is an Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshal.  He loves his job! With the recent events of Hurricane Irene, he has been a very busy guy!  In his "free" time, he is also a volunteer Fire Chief.  He enjoys doing this and giving back to the community.  I created this layout to show how very proud I am of what he does. I used gradients and blending to create the background with photos from over the years.

Cindy has shared this really cute layout about her career. She went from being a teacher to being a stay-at-home-mom.  I think that is the most awesome promotion!  I really like the way her design with the strip of striped paper going across the page, leads your eye from the class photo and brings your attention to the beautiful photo of her with her son.

This layout from Heather makes me chuckle!  First off, isn't it just so cute in it's design?  Heather is always great at taking linear designs to a new level. She combines the square and rectangular pieces of paper with a few circles, stars and elements to add interest and dimension.  The title and her journaling has me laughing!  "The Chicken Tamer"!!  I can just see her son running about chasing those chickens!

As we were preparing for this theme it really got me to thinking about some of the things in life that we may neglect in our scrapping. The everyday things that we take for granted. It's important to record them too.  Don't forget to take some time and make up a page about what occupies your time.  It may be your career, or a hobby, or volunteer work, it could be about homeschooling or being a part of the Parent-Teacher group, reading books to your children, or even scrapping! Anything that you or a loved one spends time doing deserves to be recorded and remembered.  Even if it is chasing chickens!  Go ahead and take the time to make up a page about it. You won't regret it!

We love to see what you have made. And we love to share them, If you've been inspired by this, email your projects to me and I will include them in an upcoming Reader's Pages post. Email to me at scrappycath(at)gmail(dot)com and put "Occupation" as the subject.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I'm sure many of you are familiar with the very popular blog, PostSecret.  Readers mail in their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard.  The secrets are published weekly on the blog and have been made into books and featured at live events.  (Please be aware that PostSecret is for adults.  Some of the secrets are R-rated.  Here is the link to PostSecret.)

The fantastically-creative Angela Daniels started a PostSecret-inspired project called ScrapSecrets.  She asks readers to submit postcards of their deepest, darkest, and/or most funny scrapbook-related secrets, which she then publishes on her blog.  Check out her ScrapSecrets Archives.  (They're all rated G.)  I'm guessing most scrappers can relate to one or more!

I was inspired to make my own ScrapSecret, which I have decided to share with you.  No longer will this be my shameful secret.  I'm hoping that I can find support out there from others like me who, up until now, have been afraid to admit that:

Whew.  I feel much better getting that off my chest.  Making a postcard with my secret on it was quite therapeutic!  (For the record, I now have a stamp cleaner and scrubber on my wishlist.  So perhaps one day soon, this secret will be in my past.)

Do you have a ScrapSecret of your own?  Or a secret related to crafts in general?  Angela would love to add yours!  Simply email a jpeg of your secret to:  I'm looking forward to reading more ScrapSecrets in the near future!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Digi Tip August: How to Recompose a Photo

Good day everyone!  Cathy here with another Digi Tip for you.  Ever take a photo and then when you get it on your computer, you wish you had taken the time to do a better job composing it?  Never fear, you can use the handy-dandy crop tool to help you!

I'm going to use a photo from a recent trip. Not the greatest photo, but it will make a good example.  What do you see when you look at the photo?  Some people dab smack in the middle of a bunch of trees. Not the greatest composition.  Maybe you'd like to have a photo that really has the family as the subject and a bit closer so you can see their faces.  This would be a time that you would use cropping. The crop tool  is used when you want to change the composition of your photo.

Start by selecting your crop tool.  It's the one that looks like a weird square.

There are settings that you can set up on your tool.  They differ in Elements and the full Photoshop versions.  In Elements you can select to use the “Aspect Ratio: Use Photo Ratio.” setting. This will keep the relationship between the height and width of your photo the same as it was when it came off the camera. Most cameras produce images that will print at 4x6 ratios.  In the full version of Photoshop you can select the "crop 4in x 6in" option from the tool drop down. Be sure to keep the dpi setting the same as your original photo.

Click and drag it over your photo.  You'll see the area that is selected will be lighter than the rest of your photo. Release the mouse when you have selected the area that you want to keep.  You can move it about to relocate it on your photo.  When you are happy with the selection, press the check mark to crop your photo. 

This is my cropped photo. Notice how the composition has been changed?  The sign post and most of the trees around the peripheral are no longer in the photo.  The subject of the photo is now the family gathered on the bench.

Remember when you save your cropped photo to choose File > Save As, and give it a new name. This way you will not overwrite your original file and can retain it for future use.

Hope you enjoy this little tip to help you get the most out of your photos!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ever wonder if rub-ons work on Shrinky Dinks?

Me too.  So I decided to try it.

I put rub-ons from two manufacturers (Making Memories and Cosmo Cricket) on shrink plastic from two manufacturers (Grafix and OTC).  I made sure the rub-ons were thoroughly adhered to the shrink plastic and had no flaws, then followed the instructions for proper shrinking.

Here are a few of the pieces I made:

I was expecting quite a bit of ripping and distortion.  Indeed, some of the rub-ons did rip and/or distort, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was minimal.  In both cases the words look pretty good.  There didn't seem to be any difference between manufacturers; instead, the heat of the oven (and thus the rate and direction of shrinking) seemed to be what caused the variation.  It was also crucial that the rub-on was applied thoroughly.  If there was even a tiny bit that wasn't burnished properly, that area ripped. 

This was an interesting experiment.  I don't know that I'd try it again.  It would make a lot more sense to apply a full-size rub-on to an already-shrunk tag or charm.  But if I needed to make an existing rub-on smaller, this is the way to do it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2 Crazy Kids Template/Sketch

Hi everyone. It's Heather again! I have another sketch and template to share with you today. I kept the design really simple because I wanted to fit a lot of photos on one page. The photo size on the sketch is 3x6 inches. It's a bit different, but it worked well with the photos I wanted to use.

Feel free to right click on the image and save the sketch to your computer. I made two example layouts to share. The first one is a paper page that I did with my August Scraptastic Club kit called "Summer Star".

I also did a digital layout with the template that I created. I used the Cosmo Cricket Odds & Ends collection from as well as a neutral paper pack from Audrey Neal. I edited the photos to match the vintage feel of the papers and embellishments.

Juliann used even more photos than I did! I love how she used the arrow to direct attention from her title to the photos. The photos of her son make me so sad that he was sick! Poor little guy.

I adore the blue and green color combination on Nancy's page. She enlarged the photos on her layout so she wouldn't have crop them. The buttons near the title really draw the eye to that corner and her kiddos are so very cute!

Michelle rotated the entire sketch onto its side because she had vertical photos that she wanted to scrapbook. I think the finished product is absolutely fabulous! In fact, I'm thinking of lifting her take on my sketch!

Thank you ladies for sharing your time and talent with us! I really appreciate it. 

Digital scrapbookers, don't forget to pick up the free layered digital template! You can download it by clicking the link below.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Designer Showcase: Back to School

Oh my, it is that time again. Time for the return to school. In your area the kids may have already started back. Some areas have their first day of school coming up over the next few weeks.  Or maybe you home-school and you are gearing up for the return to that daily routine.  This week we've got some inspiration for you!
In this first layout, Heather has created a really neat vintage look with the use of colors and papers with a grungy, distressed texture.  I also like the way she broke up her journaling strips.  Adds that little bit of detail that keeps you intrigued!

The details in this layout that Heather created are so cute! The colors and designs of the papers are so "preppy" and really carry out the overall feel of the page.  The little elements are so precious, that school chair is really sweet!  Even little details like the border punches used really add some zing to the design.  The bracket punch along the top with the polka dot paper is dressy, yet blends right in with the uniformed attire of her daughters, and the notebook edge used on the block of paper in the middle is perfect for the school theme!

Last year was the "last" back to school for my oldest son.  So to speak.  He graduated from high school and will be starting college this Fall.  He groaned something about being too old for this, when I asked him to let me take photos on the first day back to school. Since it was a special "back to school" I wanted to draw attention to the journaling. I used the arrow to highlight it.

As you think about back to school, I'll leave you with one more project to get you inspired. This is an altered organizer that I created as a thank you for a very special teacher.  It started out as a plain wooden organizer with a drawer. I covered it with papers and elements and created a "teacher survival kit".  I found some great ideas for the contents at this link.

Whether you look forward to this time of year with excitement, or like me, you wish for just one more week of summer and more time to spend with the kids, I hope you've found some inspiration in this weeks Designer Showcase.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Turn Blah In To TA-DA!!

Many people look at raw chipboard and think 'this looks so blah, how do I use it?'  Well, I happen to like raw chipboard because you can coordinate it to anything your working on!   I recently got some raw chipboard butterflies in my kit from Sweet Peach Crop Shop.  These butterflies were amazing becuase they each had 2 layers so that you could really give them a unique look!  Today I wanted to share one of my butterfly transformation with you.

One of my favorite establishments this months Sweet Kit is the many chipboard butterflies!  I love that they are raw chipboard so you give them any look to coordinate with your layout.  Plus they fact that you get the second layer that goes over the top – great dimension and a unique look!
I am going to show you step by step how I transformed one of my butterflies from blah to ta-da!

Here is a base and top layer of a butterfly that coordinate.

First I am going to work on altering the base butterfly with these products.

I covered the butterfly with yellow ink, then a touch of green and topped it off with copper glimmer mist.

Now on to the top layer with these products.

First I covered the butterfly with my purple ink and then went back in and added a touch of yellow in to inside and outside edges.

I used my black ink with my swirly stamps to give this butterfly a pattern.

 Then a touch of glitter!

Now its ready for the layout!  So easy to make!  Now lets see how you can make your butterfly beautiful or ANY raw chipboard for that matter!

Happy Scrappin!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Contributor + first post by Cindy!!

Happy Monday! Today I am honored to introduce our newest contributor, Cindy deRosier. If you have been following the blog, you would notice that Cindy has been a featured artist three times. I was so excited when Cindy accepted my invitation to be a contributing artist ;) Cindy has a great scrapbook style and so many neat ideas to share. Get excited for some great contributions! Let's get to know Cindy again from her bio and I will also be sharing her very first post as a regular contributor!

I have an MA in Education and taught 4th/5th grade for 11 years.  I am currently a stay-at-home mom to Trevor, age 5.  I've been scrapbooking for as long as I can remember.  As a young child, I glued photos onto paper and cut shapes out of construction paper to decorate the pages. Around 1998, I discovered the scrapbook industry, such as it was at the time.  I couldn't believe that there were all these beautiful papers and special adhesives that would forever replace my construction paper and rubber cement pages!  I love everything about scrapbooking.  I consider my scrapbooks to be my greatest treasures and hope that someday Trevor loves them as much as I do.

You can see more of my work at my blog:  You can also find me at (cindy312), on the Fiskateers message board (Cindy #4113) and on the Design Teams at Flamingo Scraps ( and The Scrapping Stamper

Here are some questions I gave Cindy to Answer:

1) What is your favorite aspect of scrapbooking?
I love using scrapbooking to tell my stories.  Simply putting photos in an album is nice, but for me it's the stories that transform an album into something special that will be cherished by future generations.

2) What products are a must-have for you?
I can't scrap without my Fiskars tools, ColorBox ink, and Tombow adhesive.  I use them on absolutely everything I make.

3) Is there any secret advice on how you complete your pages?
I have a dedicated scraproom with at least six layouts in progress at all times.  Whenever I get stuck or feel like working on a certain thing, I switch projects.  It's not unheard of for a layout to sit unfinished on my desk for 6 months while I wait for inspiration. Unless it's for a timed challenge, I have never started and finished a layout on the same day.

4)  Name 5 of your favorite fonts.
I don't actually have any favorite fonts!  I know this makes me unusual as a scrapper, but I don't collect fonts and would have a hard time naming more than 5.  I use my own handwriting on 99% of my layouts.

5)  What things are you excited to share on the Ideas for Scrapbookers blog?
I'm excited to share some unique topics to scrapbook, ways to incorporate a variety of materials into scrapping, and ideas for getting the most out of the supplies you already have.

Here are two of Cindy's favorite layouts!

Cindy also created a post for today! Check this out!

Time and Date Dot Com

Have you ever been to  It's an extremely handy website if you need to do a time zone conversion, look up sunrise/sunset times, or find out when Daylight Savings Time starts or ends.  It's also incredibly useful in scrapbooking.

Here's how.  Imagine you have an awesome picture of yourself with your child.  You'd like to do a heartfelt layout about how much motherhood has changed you, how your life is so much richer since the day he was born, how you can't imagine life without him.  Simply enter the date of your child's birth and the date the photo was taken into the Date-to-Date Calculator.  It will tell you how many years, months, days, hours, minutes, or seconds have elapsed.

This layout is about the best 1,795 days of my life.

I encourage all of you to play around with the Date-to-Date Calculator.  There are so many possibilities just waiting to be scrapped!


We are so excited to have you on the team, Cindy! Welcome!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Reader's Page

Hey all! I have another fantastic reader's page to share with you all! This reader's page comes from Linda who used one of the templates twice to create a two page layout. The reader's pages from last week also feature this technique! Linda used the Star Page Template which you can download for free here.  Linda's fun page also features the amazing Digital kit called Monster Scientist which you can download here. This kit is from the fabulous digital site called Amanda Creation. I love how Linda's page features the two stars, check out her page!! The monsters all around are so cute.

Thanks Linda for sharing you neat page!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fantastic Friends Sketch/Template

Hi everyone! It's Heather, I'm back to share a new sketch and template download. I had a bunch of volunteers to create examples for this particular sketch. I'm sure you'll love all of the inspiration they provided. This is the sketch...

Please feel free to right click on the image and then click on "Save Image As" to download the sketch to your computer for future use.

The next four pages were created with kits that are available at Scraptastic Club. You can visit the blog here to find out about the kits that were used. Here is my interpretation of the sketch. I really loved the big butterfly and you can probably tell that I designed the sketch around it.

Michelle created this lovely layout with family photos taken at a wedding. The pinks in the paper go so well with her photos and I'm a big fan of the bling accents she added.

Juliann converted the sketch to work with an 8.5 x11 in. page. I really love her stitching and the way she painted parts of her Thickers. The little monster she added is very cute too!

Jessica made this adorable page. I really think the sunny, yellow background was a great design choice. It makes her whole page pop! The stitched butterfly trail is a neat addition to the page as well.

Nancy's page is next! I really like the color combination on her page. The bright lime green and peaceful blue are perfect for scrapping about her kids' swim team activities.

Last but not least, Cathy used my layered digital template to create this fun layout! Be sure to zoom in so you can read her journaling. The story behind the photo is too funny! I think it's really neat that she changed things up by adding the photo strip along the bottom.

Thank you all so much for helping with the example pages! I really appreciate each and every one of you.

Don't forget to download the layered digital template if you are a digital scrapbooker. Click on the link below to go to 4shared!