Twine tips

If you've spent much time around this blog, you've probably noticed my affinity for baker's twine. I use it on everything from buttonholes to flower stems. Often, I combine my twine with another love: banners.

Here are a few ideas for working with twine on your projects:

1. Embrace color. The thing I love most about baker's twine is that you can get it in every color in the rainbow. Some manufacturers even sell an assortment of different colors in the same package. Using a coordinating color of twine gives that extra little "oomph" that really finishes off a project, so don't be afraid to branch out from the standard black and white or brown and white varieties. If in doubt, lay a few colors down on your project and stand back to see which one catches your eye.

2. Attach creatively. I've experimented with different adhesives, including dipping my length of twine into a wet adhesive before placing on the page. But I prefer to adhere the twine only at a few points on the page for a looser, more casual feel. Use a staple to fasten it to certain points. You can even work a couple of loops into the design. Another trick I use is rolling a glue dot between my fingers to make it really thin, then slipping it behind the twine to hold it in place.

3. Hang loose. Twine is relatively cheap compared to other scrapbook supplies, and you only use a few inches at a time. So be generous with your cuts and leave the ends a little longer. You can always trim them down, but having a little length allows them to lay freely on your project, like they're blowing in the wind.

What are some creative ways you've used twine on your projects? Leave me a link to your projects so I can check them out!


On this day in 2006, I brought home this sweet, cuddly baby...

For most of that first year, I wore her in a wrap as many hours a day as I could because I knew she was the last baby I would have to hold and cuddle.

In fact, I wore her around so much that Avery (at age two) thought that's how all babies, including baby dolls, were supposed to be carried.

Even when she was too big to hold, I still thought of her as my baby. Admittedly, I sometimes tried too hard to protect her and comfort her. But I liked the thought of her needing me, so I kept wiping the tears and holding her close as she went from a baby to a toddler.

And now, she's six years old! Six?!

She is beautiful...

And full of life...

And definitely NOT a baby. There are still tears to wipe, but not as many. The opportunities to hold her close are fewer and further between. But I love the girl she has become -- confident, curious, funny and a total chatterbox.

I'm so proud of her.

The best laid plans...

Well, the weekend didn't quite go as planned.

It started on Thursday, when I noticed a little tickle in the back of my throat. "Hmmm. Better take some zinc," I thought to myself.

As it turned out, the zinc was pointless. Somewhere in the middle of the night/early morning hours, that tickle turned into a full-blown sore throat, and by Friday morning I was a miserable wreck. The Sick had set in.

Impeccable timing because:

(a) I had 27 gifts to wrap for a corporate client, due on Monday


(b) Cecily's 6th birthday party was scheduled for Saturday.

To make a long story short, I did deliver the gifts on time, and Cecily's party did go off as planned. But it wasn't easy. It was exhausting. And some things just didn't get blogging (and FRAK!) and laundry.

Hopefully, I'll get caught up this week -- if I can evict The Sick and reclaim my productivity.

Since I have no projects to share, I'll leave you with something that's equally fun: a few photos from the birthday party. It was a Polymer Party at a place called The Lab, and the kids had a blast playing with the critters and making all sorts of slime and goo.

 Avery with her old pal Einstein the Ferret

 That's a bowl full of "super-absorbents" (a.k.a. beads that feel like Jello)

 I'm not sure what I love most about this photo: the serious look on Cecily's face or the "oh. my. goodness." look on her friend Alex's face

Lesson of the day: the only thing better than slime is slime with glitter in it!

 Yes, that is a cake made out of donuts. Her request. Second year in a row.

Not a baby in sight

I'm back with another project from the We R Memory Keepers Baby Mine collection. Except this one has nothing to do with babies.

This collection has the most beautiful color combinations and patterns -- most of which are not baby-oriented at all. They remind me of quilting fabrics, and there's so much you could do with these sweet, simple patterns. I especially love the blue/green/yellow papers. Yes, they'd be great for baby boy pages, but they work just as well for photos of a pretty eight-year-old girl.

I chose to skew my design a little and create the grid on an angle.

It was a great way to use the Baby Mine 6x6 Paper Pad -- I simply cut 1.5" strips and started laying them down with my photos to piece together the lines in a staggered way. You'll notice some are thicker, some are thinner. And I filled in any empty space with Sew Easy stitches.

The Sew Easy made the holes for me, in perfect formation, so all I had to do was stitch the embroidery floss through the holes to make these cute little stars.

I cut the title with my Silhouette Cameo -- I wanted something light and feminine to juxtapose the strength I describe in this layout. She really is a brave little girl, and I desperately want her to keep that fierce courage and will to win.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rainy weekends

Rainy weekends are wonderful. They toy with your mind...making you question whether you should rethink all those outdoor plans you've made. They tempt you with thoughts of all you could get done if you'd just stay in all day. And they laugh in your face when they've taunted you for an entire day, causing you to change your plans...probably unnecessarily.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up my weekend. But during those "will it rain or won't it" periods, I managed to get a lot done in my scraproom.

First, I tore into the Baby Mine Collection from We R Memory Keepers. Obviously, it's a baby collection, so I dug deep into my old box of photos to salvage a few baby pics of Cecily that never made it into her book.

I love the colors in this collection, and the WRMK die-cuts are always fabulous. I altered the "hanger" section on the onesie to hang perfectly through the hole on the plaid scalloped frame.

I tried the new Sew Ribbon tool, and it added the perfect, simple threaded border along the bottom. I think I'm going to like that tool! Lots of possibilities to change the look with lace, glitter ribbon, etc.

Perfect colors in  this collection, and the prints are really fun to work with, too. Tomorrow, I'll show you a totally different take on the Baby Mine collection  -- with NO baby photos!

If you haven't entered my Spring Training giveaway, you still have until the end of the day to do that. Just leave a comment on Friday's post for your chance to win.

Happy Friday! {winner posted}

Friday kind of snuck up on me this week. I've been running non-stop, getting the girls to piano, gymnastics, Girl Scouts, plus their school's learning night and a PTA meeting. I really needed to sleep in this morning. Unfortunately, the alarm clock didn't agree.

Needless to say, I'm hoping the weekend will bring me the opportunity to catch up on some much-needed "me-time."

But enough about me. How about a little...

Today's prize is one free registration in Ella's new Spring Training 2012, which will be happening April 23 through May 4, to help you "shape up" in time for (inter)National Scrapbooking Day!

Spring Training 2012: Get in the best scrapbooking shape of your life! Sweatbands optional. Register now >>Spring Training includes 12 days of video coaching sessions by some very talented and inspirational scrapbookers and photographers, along with training exercises, challenges, live chats, bonus downloads and...wait for it...prizes!!!

Do you have 20 minutes a day to flex your creative muscle? Sure you do! And even if you're running a bit behind, there's no expiration date on the content. You can log in any time and catch up on the videos, tips and challenges.

To win this free spot:

Leave a comment on this post by 5 p.m. Central on Monday, April 16, for your chance to win it! Be sure to include your email address in your comment if it's not already in your Blogger profile. For this giveaway, international entries are welcome!

Good luck!

FINE PRINT: If you don't have an email in your blogger profile (or you aren't sure what I'm talking about), please be sure to leave your email addy with your comment. After 5 p.m. Central on April 16, I will randomly draw a winner from the comments  on this post and list the winner's name/ comment at the bottom of this post. I will also contact the winner by email if possible. Thanks for reading! 

***UPDATE 4/17***

This week's winner is:

Congratulations, Nitasha! I'll email you with instructions on how to claim your spot in Spring Training. Thanks for playing along!

Calm for now

It's been a fun and relaxing few months. Fewer assignments. Less deadlines jotted all over my calendar. Scrapping happens whenever I get the urge, with whatever supplies I happen to grab. I think it's been a good rest, but I've come to realize that I really like (or need?) assignments. They push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to do something more than the same old, same old.

I guess the Universe figured this out too, because I have a full slate for May and beyond, which is both exciting and a little scary. Mostly exciting.

Before the madness sets in, here's a layout I haven't shared yet...

I used the Baby Steps collection from Simple Stories which, amazingly enough, works really well for girly non-baby photos, too.

Sometimes I struggle with using transparency overlays, but in this case, the swirly patterns worked great to frame the photo.

Love this fun little banner sticker. I added the buttons in between the buntings for an extra layer of dimension.

Thanks for stopping by!

Burlap love

What is it about burlap? All of a sudden the material used in feed sacks is taking over the craft industry. Go figure! But I have to admit, I really do like it. The open weave makes it fun to mix with paper, metal, glass...pretty much everything. 

So I turned my infatuation with burlap into a class project:

This one is called Adventures in Burlap and it uses the 12x12 Burlap Fabricpage from Canvas Corp as the base for lots of canvas, ribbon and dimensional embellishments.

The dimensional stickers, flags and butterflies are from the Pebbles Fresh Goods the bright, happy colors on the burlap background. This is the last of the three classes I'll be teaching at the Great American Scrapbook Convention in Chantilly. The dates are June 22-23, and registration is open!

And there's still time to enter my FRAK giveaway with the Echo Park goodies. I'll be choosing a winner tonight!

More news...and FRAK is back! {winner posted}

Happy Good Friday! What a week this has been...scary tornadoes, way too many activities and some happy news I'm excited to share.

Yesterday, I had a wonderful phone conversation with Julie Young at We R Memory Keepers, and she invited me to join their Design Team. I've been working with their products for years (my Crop-a-Dile never strays outside of arms-reach), so I'm really excited to have this opportunity, and I can't wait to dive right in! If you're not already a fan of We R Memory Keepers on Facebook, be sure to check it out. There are videos and tutorials posted there every week. (And soon there will be some from me!)

And finally, it's that time again...FRAK is back!!! It's a good one!

Up for grabs this week is a selection of paper and stickers from Echo Park's For the Record collection. I loved this collection so much and bought the whole pack, then only had time to make one layout with it. There are seven double-sided sheets of paper (uncut) and two sheets of coordinating stickers (a few used, but plenty left for you to play with).

Leave a comment on this post by 5 p.m. Central on Monday, April 9, for your chance to win it! Be sure to include your email address in your comment if it's not already in your Blogger profile.

Good luck!

FINE PRINT: If you don't have an email in your blogger profile (or you aren't sure what I'm talking about), please be sure to leave your email addy with your comment. After 5 p.m. Central on April 9, I will randomly draw a winner from the comments  on this post and list the winner's name/ comment at the bottom of this post. I will also contact the winner by email if possible. If you live outside the U.S., you are welcome to enter, but I'll ask that you cover the extra postage cost. Thanks for reading!  

UPDATE 4/10 ---
Congratulations to this week's winner:

I'll be emailing you today, Barbara!

Shaping up

Do you hate working out as much as I do? Because I pretty much loathe it with every fiber of my soul. Yeah, not much of a fitness fanatic. But there's a fitness program starting this month that I'm pretty excited about:

Shape Up Your Scrapbooking in Spring Training 2012

Flexing your creative there's a workout I can get into!
Training starts on April 23 and continues through May 3 in the exclusive Spring Training craftnasium. There you'll find a series of bite-sized daily "exercises" — led by five pro scrapbookers, including Nichol Magouirk and Lisa Dickinson — that are guaranteed to:
  • jumpstart your creativity and exercise your scrapbooking muscles
  • inspire you to lead a healthy and balanced crafting lifestyle
  • give you new skills to try AND remind you of important foundational principles
  • get you in tip-top scrapbooking shape just in time for (inter)National Scrapbooking Day on May 4
Sounds like fun, huh? Definitely better than the other kind of "spring training" -- you know, the one that makes you sweat like a pig and feel like a truck ran over you? Yeah, I think we should go with the Ella version. For more information, head over to Ella Publishing.

Oh, and there's a promotion code that'll save you 10%. Just enter the code SPRINGTIME at checkout.

Hope to see you in the Craftnasium on April 23! (I'll be wearing my best Olivia Newton-John sweat-bands...promise!)

Happy things

Mondays usually aren't the happiest day of my week. But today is an exception because I can finally share some news I've been keeping secret for a while. I'm joining the My Little Shoebox Design Team!

Here's one of the projects I created for the call:

It's a multi-fold mini album with lots of different panels. Some have paper, some have photos, some are stamped. Lots of options! I used this tutorial to figure out the folds.

On Saturday, I got my first shipment of product -- a box stuffed to the brim with the four most recent collections. I'm so excited to dig into this...

Head over to the My Little Shoebox blog to see the full announcement and new team.

I'm looking forward to a fun year of working with some really adorable products! Thanks, My Little Shoebox, for welcoming me to your team!