Monday, June 30, 2014


Welcome!  If you are new here, let me tell you a little about my blog, YouTube channel and newsletter.  I also have two classes and e-books available.

On the blog, I post almost every papercraft I create - mostly scrapbook pages these days.  I also do some cards and mixed media.  Many projects also have a process or technique video on...

YouTube.  My YouTube channel is   Each week, I have at least one video.  Most are process videos with several technique videos, too.  Occasionally, I do a shopping video.  It is very important to me to focus not just on the HOW but the WHY I do what I do.  There is no right way to scrapbook.  I just like sharing my methods and ideas and love watching other papercrafters' videos as well.

Newsletter.  Recently, I started a monthly newsletter.  This one is definitely news.  While I do promote my classes and e-books, each month I share a tip and an exclusive subscriber-only video.  So be sure to subscribe to the newsletter on the sidebar of my blog.  I will be resending June's newsletter with a video on die cut tone-on-tone background in the next few days to new subscribers.

Classes.  I spent many years as a corporate trainer and I love to teach which is why I started doing YouTube videos.  Last fall, I published my first class.  All are self-paced with tons of techniques and tips beyond the key points of the class.

Creative Cardstock
Cardstock is something almost every scrapbooker has and I bet you don't think too much about it.  Yet there is gold in those pages.  Inexpensive and available everywhere, cardstock is the ultimate supply.  See how creative you can be with this versatile supply.  Over 2 hours of video instruction, 10 sketches and PDF's.  More info here.

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Two Page Terrific
Two pagers have their own challenges for scrapbookers.  Let's tackle them in this 7 lesson class with over 2 hours of instruction.  Lots of layouts and sketches with many extra tips relevant to any type of page.  Find out more about the class here.

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A Year in Sketches:  52 Scrapbook Sketches 2013
As you have seen, sketches can really set you free to be more creative.  Each of these sketches used in my 2013 YouTube process videos is now in one collection in order by the number of photos.  There is a link back to the process video.  It's a great reference to get you unstuck or just to save some time when scrapping.  More details here.

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No Photo?  No Problem!  
This project is very dear to me as I have so few photos from my childhood through my 20's.  We just didn't take pictures and the ones we did seemed to have gotten lost along the way.  Sometimes I still miss the opportunity to take a photo.  So I had to come up with ways to work around having the perfect photo.  The class has no-photo pages and pages with all kinds of photos substitutes to still tell your story even without the perfect photo.  More details here.

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6x6 Paper Pads for 12x12 Pages
Did you enjoy the Sketchbook Secrets Scrapinar?  I hope so, I enjoyed created the projects and video.  Last June, I did my first Scrapinar for Lain on using 6x6 paper pads for traditional scrapbooking.  Lots of layouts and tips are packed into this Scrapinar.  It is available here:

Click here to view more details

On the sidebar, you will also find links to Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook.  When I update the blog or YouTube I post to Twitter and Facebook so you can follow along on your preferred social media.

Thanks so much for visiting!  It is so wonderful to have a hobby where you can share your passion with so many other creative people, isn't it?

Reminder: Sketches Scrapinar tonight

Just a reminder, I'm the guest presenter for Lain's Scrainar this evening.  Our topic will be all about sketches.  If you can't make it tonight, you can still catch the replay for a few days following but you do have to preregister.  There is still time to sign up...

There is a 20 minute video and lots of Q and A time.  I look forward to chatting with you all!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Christmas in June

It is 91 degrees here this afternoon so it is very hard to think about Christmas time.  The other day though I did just that as I shopped my stamp collection for a stamp that hasn't gotten as much use as I'd like.  The For the Birds set from Stampin' Up! is very cute but not that versatile in my opinion.  I had never used the Merry Christmas one.

This little bird needed a showy backdrop to rest on.

For the background, I used a stencil and metallic craft paint for a tone-on-tone affect.  So now I have 2 Christmas cards done!

Here's the process video at YouTube:

Just a reminder.  The last day for the current price on the Creative Cardstock class is Friday, June 27.  You can sign up for Monday's free Sketches Scrapinar for a few more days.

Click here to view more details

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thoughts on 2P's, Scrapbooking and Business in general

Today is a sad day in the scrapbooking industry.  Two Peas in a Bucket, a long time on-line retailer of scrapbooking products, announced they are closing.  This was not unexpected as many of us had noticed they were not getting in as many new products.  Still it was a shock.

Anytime we lose a business in our industry, the inevitable conversations pop up about how the industry is dying.  I want to share my thoughts about the industry and business in general for what it is worth. I would like to preface this by saying that I do not know why Two Peas went out of business.  There could be many reasons.

I'll start with why I closed my 16 year window treatment business last year.  I got tired of it.

There are certainly other factors. I didn't feel I made enough money for my efforts.  I despaired quoting so many jobs in the last couple of years I didn't get.  The price of fabric had gone up so much it was almost embarrassing to quote the price.  But it really boils down to, I wanted to do something different.

Could I have made this business more successful?  Sure.  Would it have been harder than it was when I started in the late 90's?  Yes it would have.   Four main factors affected my business IMO.

Number 1 - Home and Garden TV (which I despise) in general not just the specific network tells us that we can just take a few things we find around the house and with a twist of the wrist turn them into the same fabulous creations we would pay hundreds of dollars for somewhere else. Nonsense.  There are people who can create beautiful window treatments for themselves.   They have sewing skills and they take the time to find patterns, study completed creations, invest in new quality fabrics and work hard at making something beautiful for themselves.  They put in the effort and are rewarded. You can not through a sheet over a cheap rod and get the same result as a professional or the accomplished home sewer.   If you like the sheet draped over the rod, that is fine.  It just isn't the same as lined draperies custom fit to the window.  Yet the TV shows will have you think it is.  (ok, that rant is over now.)  So, yes a custom treatment costs money because it is a quality product.

On the opposite end of the scale, these shows will have you think it cost $80,000 to remodel a kitchen.  it does not.  (ok, now I'm really done.)

Number 2.  We have changed the way we shop. We shop on-line far more.  Even when we don't buy on-line, we research on-line. We know far more about what things cost than ever - or what we think they should cost.  This isn't all bad of course.  In fact it is mostly good although it sometimes leads us to think we can get ANYTHING with free shipping.  It still costs to ship and that cost is in there somewhere.  It used to cost me $17 to get a small box of trim from Des Moines to my house.

Number 3 - The economy.  In our area, it still hasn't recovered.  Employment is back up but houses are not selling and new home construction is slow.  Interest rates are through the floor and that is terrible for investors particularly the over 55 group which were the main market for my type of products.

Number 4 - Styles have changed.  In the window treatment industry it is now all panels and Roman Shades.  Customers just don't want valances and this affects profit margins.  As in any business, you make more on some products than others.  When trends shift, it affects the bottom line.

Now you can take every point I just made about my industry and apply it to scrapbooking.

1 - Everyone, including me, is showing you how to use what you have to create beautiful pages.  There are tons of technique videos for finding or creating product substitutes.  Not everyone wants to make their own shimmer paint but it can be done and there is a YouTube video to show you how if you want.  The question is do you want to make your own or do you want the convenience of buying.  You have to decide but inevitably this will lead to changes in what we buy.

2 - More buying on-line may have helped Two Peas but it certainly hurt local stores.  Shipping is a much complained about topic and as I said before, it costs to ship.  We have to remember that resellers like Two Peas and all the others have to have product shipped to them first so that shipping must be figured in too.  Shipping costs have really gone up in the last few years.  And no wonder, have you bought gas lately?

3 - The economy affects every industry - up or down.

4 - The type of products we like has changed and I don't know which ones have better margins than others in the scrapbooking industry but it is bound to make a difference.

So there are tons of reasons why one retailer may not make it.  Is the industry in trouble?  Maybe, but I've been hearing the doomsday call for a long time now.  I'm not that worried.  I was scrapbooking years before I'd ever used a single sticker, heard of Ranger inks, or touched a 6x6 paper pad.

So I hate to lose a good supplier, a good source of training and a fine community.  I'm sad for those who put so much effort into this business.  Losing a business for whatever reason even if you had a good run and are just ready to quit is still sad.  (I grew up in a family business and it was hard on my Dad to finally retire even though he had been successful for 40 years.)

Yet, we scrapbookers are passionate about our craft. We are naturally do-it-yourselfers who can create things that please us with all kinds of materials. We will find new products and continue to connect on-line one way or the other.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Plans

You know part of my summer plans is to do a lot of crafting.  I also have a few other things I want to do this summer like getting an eye makeup makeover as I haven't bought any new eye makeup in years now.  Thanks to YouTube I realize I've been downright unfashionable.

We enjoy day trips to Blowing Rock, NC which is less than an hours drive but about 10 degrees cooler.

So I took a few photos to represent my plans and made this page using a sketch from Shimelle at  It is called grid collage She has challenges going on for a few more days.

Papers and chipboard are from the BasicGrey Herbs and Honey collection.

I also got in a few stickers I've had for a long time and got my Basic Grey Magnetic mat out of the closet.  It was really helpful in getting the grid down straight.

Here is the Process Video at YouTube:

Thanks for all your wonderful comments on crafting this summer.  Many of you are like me having a lot of things in our stash we want to put to good use.

Reminder:  Creative Cardstock class is just $15 through this Friday.  10 video lessons with over 2 hours of content.  Sign up on the right side of the toolbar.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Silhouette Wedding Card and Decoration

Oh, boy, I really should have checked the photo quality before giving this card.  Sorry about the very blurry photo.

The card was super easy to make using the flourish cake image from the Silhouette store.

The hibiscus is also from the store. I added a bit of stamping with Stampin' Up!'s Itty Bitty backgrounds stamps and some distressing around the edge before assembly.  The bride and groom are having their wedding in Jamaica so everything has a tropical theme.

Lenny and I will attend their reception here in late July.  I already have picked out tropical print skirt I wore in Hawaii years ago.  I think it will be perfect.

Thanks for stopping by!  I have 3 videos recorded this weekend. One is already edited and uploaded so lots of stuff coming along.

Don't forget the free Scrapinar next Monday, June 30.  Register here.  I will be talking about lots of ways to use sketches.

Also the Creative Cardstock class introductory price expires this Friday night.  Just $15 for 10 lessons on using cardstock for all types of elements for your scrapbook page from backgrounds to titles to embellishments.    Click here for more info.  The purchasing button is on the sidebar.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

We Craft

Happy Summer!

I'm attending a bridal shower on the first day of summer.   So it will be a celebratory start to the season, I'm sure.

Such wonderful feedback on yesterday's summer plans video.  Thank you!  We are all anxious to get crafting so let's get to it.

Today's page is to celebrate crafting with my best friend over Easter weekend.  We did a lot of mixed media so it seemed appropriate to add that to the page.  One of the products I wanted to use this summer was sticky back canvas from Claudine Hellmuth.

The page also features some older stamps in the title.  I no longer buy alpha stamps because I just don't use them. This large alpha set has worked out on a few pages.  I have another idea for it so I'll tuck that away for a future layout.

The little chipboard frames are from Maya road.  The photos inside are closeups Karen's husband took of our crafting adventures.

The process video on YouTube

And here is the sketch for this one:

Thanks for stopping by today and Happy Summer - or Winter - depending on where you live!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Scrapbooking

This summer, I want to CREATE.  I want to put to use all those great products I have in my stash and find new ways to use the tools, stamps, mists, etc in my stash.

Are you in?

Leave me a comment here or with this video and let me know what you have languishing in your stash you would like to put to use this summer.

Watch at YouTube

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Faith versus Fear

A light bulb went off the other day while I was on my walk.  I had been thinking about summer and fun things I wanted to do.  I was tempted to make a list but reluctant.  I just knew if I made a list something would come along to kill my plans.  I'm often like that in my personal life, not planning things anymore because someone will get sick, or something else will happen that keeps me from doing what I said I would do.

My revelation was that I never did that with my work and I still don't.  I committed to doing the Scrapinar on June 30.  Oh it crossed my mind that my father who was having some health issues in May could be having surgery (he isn't and is doing better) but I knew I could still prep for the Scrapinar.  I didn't worry about all kinds of other things that could come up.

I made a work commitment and I intend to keep it if at all possible.  I've always been that way about work.  I never took window treatment jobs with the idea I might not get them done.  I have taught training classes when I should have been in home in bed with a bad cold or when I was dead tired or when someone probably needed me somewhere else.  I learned early that when you make a commitment to a customer you honor it.

So why are I so shy about making commitments to myself?  Sure it is far more important to take my Dad to the doctor if he needs to go than to go to a movie. But I have a whole summer.  I can do more than one thing.  Just because something might happen doesn't mean it will.  And so the sentiment on this canvas is one I really need to work on.

And I came home from my walk and made that list of fun summer activities. So onto the project.

I started this canvas one day in April with no idea what I wanted to do.  I just wanted to play.

The background came out a bit busy so I turned to Pinterest for ideas on the foreground.  This piece by Jill Foster has been pinned in my Mixed Media board for a long time.  She used white for the leaves but you know how I like color so I did mine in a kiwi green.  It was bit bright so I went over it with some Peeled Paint ink mixed into Mod Podge.

The butterflies are cut on the Silhouette from some October Afternoon book paper printed pattern paper.  It had more stability than regular book paper and held up to several coats of Mod Podge after being stamped and having some white rubons.

The phrase is also from Pinterest.  I see this often as it hangs just outside the bathroom door.

This is one of those that the more I look at it, the more I like it.

And I really need to take this sentiment to heart.

(It's almost monthly newsletter time!  If you aren't a subscriber already, sign up on the sidebar.  It's free.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Making Your own Epoxy Letters

Epoxy letters look slick - literally and figuratively.  You can easily make your own with a little glossy accents.

This is a great way to add a little zing to your cardstock, too.  Cut letters from cardstock or pattern paper as thin as you like and then add a layer of Glossy Accents (or Stampin' Up! Crystal Effects) for the epoxy look.  You get whatever color and size you want in professional look.

The technique also works with regular stickers to give them a bit of lift.

Here's the process video:

I mentioned this is a trick to enhance cardstock. There are tons of tricks for using your cardstock in the Creative Cardstock class.  When I published this self-paced class last fall, I listed the introductory price at $15.  That price is about to expire.  It will be available for $15 through June 27.  Then the price increases to $20.

Click HERE for more details and there is a link on the sidebar for purchase at the $15 price.  10 lessons with videos, sketches and tons of tips.  Once purchased, you can complete the class at your own pace.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

To my father and my husband and all the Dad's out there, Happy Father's Day!

For my card, I stenciled over a white woodgrain paper with a Crafter's Workshop Stencil and two shades of yellow craft paint.  It sort of looks like a painted floor.

The words are cut with the Silhouette. I just typed them in with basic fonts and added rectangles to connect the words.

It was so nice getting back into my craft room yesterday. I also did some wedding cards I'll share later in the week. Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Still catching up and in the meantime...

The week of Memorial Day, we went to the beach.  And I'm still catching up.

In truth, I got caught up last week except for that one stubborn beach towel that refuses to walk itself into the closet and go back into hibernation for a year.  I think it is just laying there taunting me that I won't use it for so long.

Anyway, the last couple of weeks we caught up on most of the doctor visits.  I've taken care of several household chores.  Yet this week brought a new round of opportunities.  This weekend brings a birthday, Father's Day and our anniversary - I still haven't made cards for the last two.

I got in my new laptop - Yeah! - so I'm learning Windows 8 and installing stuff. I'm currently typing on the old one because I have no photos moved over to the new one yet or any photo editing software that I know of.  To reinstall Photoshop Elements or not, that is the question today.  Oh and I have to order a new microphone as I have no plugins on the new laptop to match the old mic.

And I've been busy getting ready for the Scrapinar on the 30th.  All my new layouts are done!  I've got a bunch of video to edit and then get everything to Lain.  I'm excited about what I have to show you.  If you haven't signed up, there's still time here...

Click here to view more details

Lain has TrueStamp classes on sale, too.

Click here to view more details

Also, I have plenty of summer crafting plans and I'll have more of those next week.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mesmerized - Video and Sketch

It doesn't take a genius to guess what is keeping these two active boys entranced.  I'm guessing the TV.  I think Jaime said they were watching something at the end of a busy day.  She was baby sitting her sister's children and got a couple of photos for me to scrap.

I did one last week of the little girl in her bouncy swing. For that page, I used BasicGrey's Mon Ami and repeated just a bit of that here on this page along with some birthday papers from Carta Bella.  I ordered them for the colors and I love the texture of these papers.

They are cut in strips and form an angled frame around the layout.  The center is a calm green with some Heidi Swapp mist.  I wanted to show the calm part of the day.

The TV is from Prima.  It is a pack of chipboard meant to go with some doll stamps.  I love the furniture shapes.  I'm still working on the coloring techniques.

Here's the process video:

And the sketch:

If you haven't already, I hope you will sign up for my Scrapinar/webinar on Sketches.  It is on June 30 and is a free class with video and plenty of Q and A time.  It's going to be fun!

Click here to view more details

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A FREE Class - Sketchbook Secrets

I'm so excited!  Lain Ehmann's has asked me to do her latest Scrapinar - Sketchbook Secrets on June 30.

This interactive FREE class is all about getting more out of your sketches including:
  • How sketches can help you save time and be even MORE creative
  • Simple tricks to use a single sketch multiple ways
  • How to convert a one page sketch to a 2 page layout
  • Ways to create your own sketches

The Scrapinar will last about an hour with a 20 minute video from me and lots of Q and A with Lain and me.  You can chat real-time with us or you can watch the replay for a few days following the 30th.

So if you are busy that day, sign up anyway and catch us on the replay.  I did a scrapinar "6x6 Paper Pads for 12x12 Pages" last June and had so much fun meeting new people and sharing ideas.

I'm really looking forward to this month's event sharing ideas on sketches.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will join us on the 30th.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oh, the shopping we will do...

if it has been awhile since our mouse has gotten to click on that magic "Add to Cart" button.  It has been since February! that I purchased an on-line order of supplies.  Time to update the stash with a few new lines.

My order from A Cherry On Top just arrived brimming with October Afternoon Public Library and two lines from BasicGrey - Highline and Herbs and Honey.  I'm selective and don't get everything trying to keep it to what I'll use.  I added a few extras here and there from other manufacturers that I though matched up.

Also, I bought the 6x6 pad from Bo Bunny for Enchanted Garden because it contains purple.  Yeah!  Such a hard color to find in scrapbooking.

Here's my haul:

Also, I hope you will join me for a FREE Scrapinar on June 30 called Sketchbook Secrets.  Lain Ehmann and I are hosting and it will be such fun.

Click here to view more details

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

True Stamp Classes Available

Lain Ehman's 2014 True Stamp individual classes are now for sale.  Through June 30, they are $9 each.  You can get all six for a special price.  See all the details and class descriptions here.

Click here to view more details 

Hope you are having a great week!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bouncing Baby Girl

Jaime was babysitting her niece and nephew, my stepdaughter Amanda's children, when she took this photo.  The little one is in one of those bouncy seat things, I think.  You'll have to forgive me.  I know next to nothing about babies and baby stuff.  But anyway, the page made me think of circles.

So I have a very simple circle layout to show off this cutie. Some of the letters are the Scrabble style Thickers that are bouncing along as well.  That is a stretch for me as you know I have this obsession with putting my lettering on straight.  At least I try to get it straight :-)

j'adore is a sticker from the Mon Ami collection.  Here are the process video and sketch:

We just returned from vacation and my to do list runneth over.  In fact, I have list items to make more lists!  So a busy week ahead for sure.

Thanks for spending part of your busy week with me.
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