Scrapbook Layout, Scrapbooking

Scrapbook Layout with Free Cut Files

Hey, everyone!  I wanted to give you a quick peek at my latest scrapbook layout.  This is a layout from the scrapbook album I made for my daughter and my new any-day-now grandson.

I was completely inspired by Paige Taylor Evans Silhouette cut file with the moon and stars.  You should totally check out the Paige Evan Silhouette Store page because her designs are AMAZING and beautiful and always inspiring.  Her Silhouette Store page is here. Then go check out her blog, where you can grab some inspiration for layouts.  I LOVE one of her latest layouts where she used embroidery thread and a heart cut file.

I grabbed a generic crescent moon from Google images (one of those licensed as free and editable) and got to work in Silhouette Studio.  I used the Magnolia Sky font and love the way it came out.  I made two versions of this file and they’re both available to you to download here:

To the Moon and Back 1

To the Moon and Back 2

After I cut the file, I grabbed a piece of my go-to white cardstock – Bazzill Smoothie in Coconut Swirl.  Starting at the bottom, I used Distress Oxide inks and a round Ranger Blending Tool with one blending sponge and created the background.  I used Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, Faded Jeans, and Black Soot.  Since I used the same blending sponge for the whole project, I got a really smooth blend from color to color.  When I had all the colors on, I went back in with a clean sponge and blended one more time from bottom to top. This may have been overkill, but I liked the way it took away any leftover blending lines.

The rest of the layout is from my stash and it’s old enough, I couldn’t even begin to tell you where most of it came from!  I used silver sequins for stars, a couple of old cut aparts around the photo mats, and some water-lily die cuts as my only embellishment.  I didn’t want to take focus away from the photos or the moon, so I kept the embellishments to a minimum.

As a final touch, I slipped a scalloped circle that I cut out with a EK Success punch behind the photo mats.  This will give my daughter a place to add the date and journaling when she adds pictures after the little guy is born.

Quick Tip Tuesday, Scrapbooking

Project Life App and PicFrame App Review Using the Canon Selphy 910

Welcome to Quick Tip Tuesday! Although this may not become a weekly feature of my blog and YouTube channel–I would like to have a weekly feature, but best laids plans of mice and women, you know–I am going to add it as a monthly feature, at the very least.

Today’s video was a request from a subscriber regarding what apps to use to print pictures on the Canon Selphy.  I’ve tested a lot of collage-type photo apps and discovered two that work well for me, once of which stands out upon comparison and will become my go to.

PicFrame has 36 layout possibilities. You can choose to round the corners on your photos. You can add color and patterns to the collage borders. Unfortunately, you can’t remove the borders, so you cannot print photos without the collage border.  It’s a big downfall for me.

Despite that, PicFrame was my favorite collage app until I realized that the Project Life app, which I probably won’t use for actual scrapbooking very often, also gives its users the ability to print photos in about 19 configurations ranging in size from 12″x12″ (assuming you have a wide format printer or are planning to have your photo printed elsewhere) to 4″x6″ to 6″x8.” Each size (except the 12×12) has multiple layout options, allowing for 1 to 6 photos per collage. None of the layouts have borders between photos, which is exactly what I wanted.

All of which brings me to today’s video in which I test these two apps with the Canon Selphy.  The Canon Selphy is an amazing sublimation printer and I absolutely love mine.  But I do know some users have taken issue with the way the Selphy crops photos during processing, and I’ve found I often face the same issue. The Project Life app, with appropriate settings, changed that for me and I ‘m even more happy with the Selphy than I was before.

Please let me know in the comments if you have another favorite app to use with the Canon Selphy.

Watch the review video here:


process video, Scrapbook Layout, Scrapbooking

Scrapbook Layout Process Video Using Faber Castell Gelatos and Liquitex Gesso

After a brief hiatus, I’m happy to show you  my latest layout process video!

I love doing mixed media layouts because it lets me just play with products and see where it takes me. When I do layouts like this, I’m not trying to adhere to a sketch (a process I also love) or scraplift someone else’s layout, which I often do when I’m not feeling terribly inspired. But this type of mixed media layout is a different creative experience for me.  I pick my medium, background, color scheme, embellishments, and just start building layers. It’s very unstructured and I usually like these layouts far better than those I create with a specific plan.

Many of the products I used are listed below, as is the process video.  Thanks for visiting!





The 5-7 Formula Layout System to Create Scrapbook Pages Quickly and Easily

A few years ago, I became completely obsessed with the concept of Phi.  Some people call it the ratio of beauty, some call it an emerging property, some call it the Golden Ratio.

It’s a ratio that appears repeatedly in nature, in things like seashells and flower petals.  It’s connected to the Fibonacci sequence.  Basically, Phi is to lines what Pi is to circles.  It’s a special number found by dividing a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part.

What I learned from my obsessive reading is that the ratio results in sections and spaces that are uniquely appealing to the human eye and I knew I could apply it loosely (very loosely) to scrapbooking layouts.

Take 12″ and divide it by 1.618 and you have 7.41″  The remaining section is roughly 4.65.” I trimmed a piece of pattern paper down to 5″  (remember, I said I applied the concept of Phi quite loosely) and laid it along the bottom of a 12″ piece of pattern paper.   That gave a good space for photos, a nice clean horizontal line for photos or a border, and it was appealing to look at.

I discovered I could rotate the page for a different look, but the same use of overall space.  I put the 5″ strip directly in the center of the 12″ page and found that it gave a completely different look again, but again, the same use of space.  In other words, the 7″ space visible of one pattern was the same no matter where I placed the 5″ strip of the second pattern.

I quickly put together 5 different layouts, without photos or titles.  Just the 5″ strip over the 12×12 background paper, in various configurations. At the top.  Along the bottom.  On the right.  On the left. Directly in the center.

What I discovered was that even though I used different papers on each layout, because the layouts were similarly balanced with 5″ showing of one pattern and 7″ showing of the other pattern, the five layouts seemed to work nicely together.  I started calling it my 5-7 Formula. I created a baby album and used variations of the 5-7 Formula for all the monthly, double page spreads.  I used two different collection packs.  The resulting album went together very quickly and created a sense of continuity throughout the album. I used it again….and again. Because it’s worked so well for me, I thought I would share the basic principles with you in this video:


I now use the 5-7 Formula often and have for several years.

  • When I’m short one time but have some photos I want to get scrapbooked.
  • When I’m not feeling particularly creative but have time set aside to scrapbook.
  • When I have a lot of photos that represent a progression of time, like school pictures or the first 12 month’s in a baby’s life.
  • I also use it when I have pictures in which my child or grandchild isn’t necessarily the focal point: school field trips, class group pictures, etc.  Those are the photos that I want to include in my scrapbook, but I don’t want to necessarily want to take the same amount of time as I would for, say, a beloved candid shot of a toddler asleep in a swing.  (I have one of those.  I love it.  It’s been scrapbooked.  Twice.)

Please let me know in the comments below if you try the 5-7 Formula and how it worked for you.  I’d love to get your feedback.




Random Thoughts After 7 Years of Scrapbooking

For a long time, I wanted to scrapbook, but I looked at the scrapbooking section in craft stores or big box stores with trepidation. I had friends and family who started scrapbooking (usually as the result of attending a Stampin’ Up or Creative Memories party) and gave it up because of the expense or the time investment or never feeling like their pages were good enough. I worried that my experience would be very similar. As a single mom, I worried about the expense and the time.  As a chronic over-achiever, I worried that my pages wouldn’t measure up to the pages I saw in magazines.

When my mom passed away in 2007, I went through a pretty significant depression.  I was only 36 and my mom would never get to see me graduate college, never get to see my children graduate high school.  I started looking for a way to deal with the grief and loss, but also celebrate her life.  So one day, I went to a big box store, picked up a K&Co paper pack, some solid cardstock in coordinating colors, and some inexpensive tape runners, and got to work.  Less than six months later, I bought a Cricut for titles and embellishments in the ever-growing Mom Memory Book. A few months after that, my fiance built a cabinet to hold my growing stash of scrapping supplies, and installed it in a corner of our bedroom.  Fast forward to 2015 and I now have an entire room, complete with two different kinds of printers, a Silhouette Cameo 2, a large u-shaped work space, and more supplies than I could begin to count. (And a rose-hair tarantula named Fluffy, but that’s another story.)

I’ve since completed my Mom book, four baby albums for the grandkids, and I don’t know how many layouts for my own scrapbooks.  I’ve made good purchases and some really terrible ones.  I’ve designed layouts I loved and those I despised.  I’ve thrown up my hands in despair when I did something that looked awful and blushed with pride when an album made as a present received praise.  Along the way, I learned a few things that made my scrapping life today a far different experience than I imagined when I looked upon the hobby as something daunting and expensive.

  1. Start simple and accumulate slowly.  Start with a paper trimmer, scissors, a paper collection pack, a fine-tip archival-safe pen, a tape runner, and maybe some basic letter stickers, if your paper pack doesn’t include them.  Make layouts until you run out of your first paper pack.  Did you enjoy it?  Is it something that brought you joy or frustration?  Buy another paper pack and keep going. Do you find yourself wishing you had something specific that would make the process easier and more enjoyable?  A paper punch or date stamp or a different kind of adhesive?  If so, by all means, purchase it.  But don’t buy every color of a specific kind of ink because you watched a video that showed how awesome the colors are and how it would make your scrapbook layouts stand out. Be selective in your purchases until you’re sure you’ll stick with it.  If you decide after six months that it just isn’t for you, you’re probably not going to be able to recoup 10% of your investment.  Spend wisely until you are as hooked as the rest of us. If you never purchase anything other than the items mentioned above, your scrapbooks are going to be beautiful and unique and perform the same function as the scrapbooks created by someone who has purchased every tool and embellishment in the Hobby Lobby or Michael’s scrapbooking section.
  2. It isn’t perfectbooking, so don’t try to make it perfect. There is no such thing.  Tell your story in words and pictures in a way that helps you remember the details and will allow future generations to know your story and share your memories of a time, place, or person.  So what if your page doesn’t look balanced or if the colors are off or if you find a spelling error in your journaling?  Fifty years from now, with luck, your great-grandkids will look at the pictures and read the stories and be enthralled by details of our lives today or your life during your childhood.  They won’t care that the blue paper didn’t match the letter stickers or that you spelled Kansas with three S’s.  (Been there, done that.) Lighten up
  3. Don’t get married to a particular style of scrapbooking. This is an ever-evolving craft.  Trends come and go but the purpose remains the same.  Tell your story.  Be creative.  Get your photos where your friends and family can see them.  Everything beyond the basic words and pictures is just a bonus, not a necessity. Try new styles or techniques when you have time and can afford the investment if there is one, but don’t be afraid to give it up if it isn’t for you.  I signed on to the Swirlydoos kit club pretty early in my scrapbooking journey and have some heavily embellished, bulky pages to show for it that are beautiful, but just not something that appealed to me after a few months.  I gave it up and moved onto other techniques.  I tried to do a scrapbook that was only Project Life/pocket page style layouts and discovered I missed my 12×12 pages, but I loved the opportunity to add in more photos quickly, even those that aren’t necessarily ideal to be the focal point of full 12×12 layout.  So now, my albums are a conglomeration of 12×12 layouts interspersed with pocket page layouts. I developed a fondness for the mixed media pages that became popular over the last few years, so you’ll find a lot of them in my albums.  More recently, I discovered the Kiwi Lane templates and after playing with a few of them and trying their layout techniques, I determined that they make a great counterbalance to both the unstructured look of the mixed media layouts and the more linear look of the pocket page style layouts. So now you’ll find them mixed in with my other layouts, as well.
  4. Follow blogs and boards on Pinterest and YouTube channels.  Take advantage of all the information that’s out there for free before you invest in books or magazines.  I have a ton of books and have spent more money than I’d like to think about on magazines.  They sit in a closet for most of the year, generally until closet cleaning time when I go, “I should really start using these,” flip through them, and put them back on the shelf.  I find inspiration and ideas more often on Pinterest and YouTube than anywhere else.  I’m more likely to use them as resources than the books and magazines because they’re constantly changing and very diverse.  I’m not limited to the style and insight of the author.
  5. Whatever you do, be you. Get your stories on paper.  If you don’t like your handwriting, journal on Word and print it out.  There are beautiful, free fonts available that look like handwriting. Pick one or two or a dozen and start writing your memories down in your words, the way you talk.  That’s going to be the most memorable and amazing thing about the scrapbooks you produce for the people who love you. I have a two page spread that I made in 2009 or so.  It’s the story of my middle son, some ugly gourds, and a goat. The layout is a cluster-yeah. I put too much in too small of a space, used way too many colors, and used lots of really exaggerated angles on the pictures so you have to hold your head just right to enjoy them.  But it’s the one that my kids and family spend the most time reading and giggling over.  Because I told the story as I remember it, in my words, and took pictures to commemorate the occasion that made my son hate goats to this day. So even though I still don’t love the layout, the story is something I cherish and now others can see it as I remember it.

I love scrapbooking.  I’m rarely happier than a day I get to spend puttering around my office, scanning pictures, pouring through the bits and bobs of memorabilia I’ve collected, sorting through my paper stash for the right combination of patterns, But after seven years and several times of purging stuff I’ve purchased and will never, ever use, I wish I’d had this list when I started.  If I’d known then what I know now, I would have so much more money….to buy more paper!

Mixed Media, Scrapbooking

Mixed Media Scrapbooking Layouts

Lately, I’m obsessed with the mixed media trend in scrapbook layouts.  I love the freedom I feel when I start covering a blank canvas with ink and gesso and paint and texture medium.

It’s a little like art class in school, when the teacher had you put someone’s worn button-up shirt and roll up the sleeves.  You knew you were going to get messy and there were just no better days.  I mean, construction paper ring garlands were great, but nothing compared to the papier mache days.

I used similar technique on both of the layouts below.  I started with Claudine Helmuth sticky back 12×12 canvas, and then started layering on ink.  I like my layouts to give the illusion of a lot of texture without bulk.

I went through a very brief Swirlydoos-inspired phase when I first started scrapbooking.  The result was one album that held about 12 completed layouts because the bulk filled up the album quickly.  I learned after just a few months that the super-dimensional layouts were not for me. Don’t get me wrong.  They’re gorgeous and some of the ladies over there are pure artists.  But it isn’t my style anymore.

The titles and/or names in these layouts were cut out on my Silhouette Cameo 2.  (LOVE it!!!!) The wooden embellishments and hearts are Studio Calico.  The sequins are from Doodlebug.  The paper came from my stash of scraps.  I used Tim Holtz stencils, Ranger Distress Ink, Studio Calico Mister Hueys, and some Plaid Folk Art acrylic paint.

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