Hello my friends, and welcome to the Christmas in July Bundle Blog Hop!

I’m so excited to tell you that the Creative Christmas Bundle is going to be rereleased – for a very limited time run – in just a couple of days! I wanted to share a little bit about my own product being featured in the bundle and also give you a little taste of it in the form of a quick tutorial.

Santa's Helpers Workshop

My contribution to the Christmas bundle is called The Santa’s Helpers’ Workshop. It consists of ten easy to make, easy to gift, handmade project tutorials. The projects are made using simple supplies that you may already have on hand, and each of them is an adorable way to package a small treat or gift. You’ll be able to jazz up things like notepads, tealight candles, microwave popcorn, hot chocolate, and all kinds of candies. These gifts make great stocking stuffers or secret Santa items at Christmastime, but they can easily be adapted to other types of events, such as favors for wedding and baby showers, or just for little “thinking of you” treats. You’re only limited by your imagination as to what you can do.

This product is delivered as a PDF download, and in it you’ll find a complete supply list and ten step-by-step photo tutorials with cutting and assembly instructions.

Want a sample? Here’s one of the projects that’s included – the Winter Fresh Breath Mints Holder.

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Supplies:

1 sheet 12 x 12 solid color cardstock
1 sheet 12 x 12 coordinating patterned
paper
8” length of ribbon
Circle punch
Corner Rounder
Stamps, inks, etc. for embellishing
Insert: One box of breath mints, such
as Tic Tacs ®
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Step 1: Cut one piece cardstock 5” x 3”

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Step 2: Round all four corners

 

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Step 3: Score on long side at 2 ¼”

 

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Step 4: Score again at 2 ¾”

 

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Step 5: Cut three pieces of patterned paper 2” x 2 ¾”

 

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Step 6: On each piece, round two opposite corners on long side

 

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Step 7: Adhere two patterned pieces to inside of card , as shown

 

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Step 8: Adhere third piece to front of card, as shown

 

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Step 9: Punch hole near bottom of front cover

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Step 10: Tie ribbon bow to close

I hope you enjoyed that peek into the bundle. To learn more about the other designers and products in it, be sure to go through the entire hop. The best part? Leave a comment on each of the blog hop posts before 9:00 PM EST on July 10, and you’ll be entered to win on complete Christmas in July bundle. Each comment equals one entry, so the more blogs you visit, the more times you can enter!

Next up, wait till you see what Beth from Scrapping Wonders can do with her iPhone – and you can, too! Leave a comment, then check it out and follow the hop all the way through!

 

Hello, and welcome to another month of Monday Mojo prompts and projects! I hope your Fourth was fun and safe, and that you were able to make tons of happy memories, and that this month’s prompts – gleaned from my Pinterest boards – will help inspire you to capture some of them on a project or two!

1. Color Scheme

Color Scheme

This gorgeous, rich toned color scheme is from the Color Palettes website. These bright, rich colors are perfect for summer-themed pages and cards.

2. SketchSketch

July’s sketch is from the Pink Paislee blog. Its multi-photo, wallet-size prints layout is perfect for displaying a series of fireworks photos with pizzazz.

3. Embellishment

Embellishment

This super-fun doily-with-pennant-banner embellishment idea comes from Creativeladle. The blog is written in German, but the photos clearly communicate what the projects are all about.

4. Technique

Technique

This month’s technique, all about embossing with inked wax, comes from the Silverscrapper’s Craft Space blog. There’s a complete tutorial, and it looks like a lot of fun, with loads of possibilities.

5. Topic Prompts

Topics

And, finally, our list of topic prompts comes from – of all places – the Fit Approach website. There are some really great page ideas here. Some are deep thinkers, and others are simple and lighthearted. Whatever you’re in the mood for, this list will have you covered.

So now that you’ve seen the prompts, it’s time to get creative! Make a page, a card, or whatever your heart desires. Then come on over to our Facebook group and share your work. We’d love to see and be inspired by you, so join in the discussion!

This week I simply ran out of time to study and take some new photos. (I’ve been working on a new project that you’ll be hearing about very soon. Hint: I ho-ho-hope you’ll be as excited about it as I am! 🙂

But I still have photos I’d like to share, so I went into the archives and dug out some of my favorite landscapes taken by yours truly, proving that a person who takes volumes of photos, odds are there are sure to be a FEW lucky shots that turn out amazing regardless of the photographer’s skill – or lack thereof. In fact, I love these photos so much I actually printed them and hung them on my living room wall.

In no particular order:

1. Cinderella Castle

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The best Cinderella Castle shot EVER (ignore the ugly date stamp)

We were walking from one attraction to another following a little footpath, and I happened to notice that the flower hedge completely blocked the throngs of people that are literally ALWAYS surrounding the castle. Although they take up almost half the scene, I love the way the flowers and the tree frame the castle.

 

2. Tranquil Toledo Bend

Sunset on Toledo Bend

Sunset on Toledo Bend

I had a rare moment to myself during our visit to Toledo Bend, and I managed to capture the moment just before the sun set behind the treeline on the far shore.

3. The Gulf of Mexico

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Nothing but clouds and ocean as far as the eye can see

I took this shot off the side of the ship during our cruise to Mexico. It’s hard to describe the sense of smallness that you feel in the midst of the ocean, with nothing but clouds to see, but I almost captured it here.

I hope to continue studying my newly procured photography lessons and experimenting this week. I got a new smartphone, so I’m eager to see what it can do. Plus, I’ll be spending a few days in New Orleans, and there is no shortage of beautiful things to photograph there.

What about you? What’s the most recent snapshot you took? Leave a comment below, and if you like, a link to your photograph. I’d love to see!

 

Several years ago, when my brother passed away, I joined a grief recovery group. One of the members was a counselor – she wasn’t there in her professional capacity – just another member of the group.

I remember very clearly her advice to me to take up journaling as a way to process my emotions. I mentioned that I am a scrapbooker, and that I might consider making a page or two about my brother. Her reaction was less than enthusiastic, and she seemed to dismiss the idea in favor of “real journaling.”

Now, she wasn’t one of those scrapbook haters you hear about. She meant well, and I respect her thoughts and opinions. She just didn’t understand the cathartic power of truly meaningful scrapbooking.

And she’s not alone in her views. I think a lot of people think of our hobby as a “cute little phase,” like grandma’s macrame plant hangers phase, or  sister’s jewelry making phase. But I’ve known scrapbookers who have been going strong for decades, and they aren’t showing any signs of ending this “phase” any time soon.

Now I know scrapbooking means different things to different people. For some, it’s a way to make really pretty photo frames for their pictures. And I honor that. I love pretty photo frames!

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Not a lot of story here – just pretty pictures and pretty papers

For some, it’s a way to document the past and record family history for future generations. I honor that as well.

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And for some, it’s a way to process the really tough stuff. The really hard things that you just can’t seem to fully express without photos, words, and supplies that help you piece together the fragmented parts of your heart and get them all out onto a page – or two, or ten. That is honorable as well, and can be just as healing – maybe more so – as “real journaling.”

Ronnie 6

Layout coming soon that deals with a really sweet story my mom told me shortly after Ronnie’s passing

I think, for most of us, it’s a mixture of these, and more. But I’d love to hear what you think. Has scrapbooking ever served as a healing or therapeutic tool for you? And what are your experiences dealing with those who doubt or don’t “get” this hobby? Leave a comment below, and let’s talk.

Cheers,
Lisa

P.S. For more on scrapping the tough times, check out this episode of the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast.

P.P.S. And just so you don’t get the wrong idea, I have mad respect for people who dig “real journaling” – it’s just not my thing.

Welcome to the final week of June’s Monday Mojo inspiration! This week I am so proud and excited to introduce you to my friend and scrapbook designer, Cathy Sanders. Cathy will be adding her fresh perspective to the Mojo prompts each month, and I am thrilled to have her on board, and I know you’re going to love seeing her take on things! Here’s a little bit about her:

Cathy

My name is Cathy Sanders and I hail from Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa.  I am married to Keith and we have one son, Aaron, who is 13 and a half. I was introduced to scrapbooking by my best friend in 2002 and haven’t looked back.  I love scrapping, and my happy place is playing with paper, ink, and glue every weekend in my scraproom. I have been on a few design teams in the past and these have helped me grow.  For the past year I have been attending technique classes with our local celebrity, Jowilna Nolte, and now I am learning to include more and more techniques into my layouts. I am enjoying the space I’m in at the moment with my scrapping and hope to only grow more and more in the years to come. You can read lots more about me and my scrapping on my blog  http://whatsupwithcathy.blogspot.com/

And here’s Cathy’s layout for June:

Cathy June Layout

She’s interpreted the sketch prompt with blues and browns, and I just love the way she’s artfully spritzed the background. Plus, she gets bonus points for using her own handwriting for the journaling!

Here’s another peek at that sketch prompt, in case you forgot:

Sketch

Be sure to visit Cathy’s blog and leave her some love.  And while you’re there, be sure to look around – I know you’ll find tons of inspiration there as well.

Come back next week for ALL NEW Monday Mojo prompts.

Happy Scrapping!

Last week I wrote a post about my favorite photos, and in that post I also discussed my commitment to becoming a better photographer. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time, but I never felt that I had the time or money to take a real class, and quite frankly, I’ve felt overwhelmed by the whole idea. I mean, aperture? ISO? Sounds like a foreign language.

But I took the leap and downloaded a free guide on photo composition (no longer available – sorry! But I will tell you later about a way you can still get that resource as part of a larger, more comprehensive resource).

The booklet had just a few composition lessons, which was perfect – start small and manageable, right? And I decided to focus on three of them this week: Focus, The Rule of Thirds, and Fill the Frame. I grabbed my iPhone (I’m not quite ready to tackle manual mode on my Panasonic) and began to practice. Here’s what I came home with:

1. Rule of Thirds

My son’s band performing at a local contest.

It’s blurrier than I wanted it to be. The lighting at the venue wasn’t great, and I couldn’t get very close to the stage to claim a steadier shot. Still, I think I managed the Rule of Thirds, placing  my son in focus on the imaginary vertical line that would divide this image into thirds. His head is almost exactly placed on the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines, and had this photo been sharper, it might have achieved greatness. (Yeah, ok – I’m such a beginner – I’m not expecting greatness yet!)

2. Focus

Who wants Arnie Palmies?

I found this product at Wal-Mart and took the photo to send to my best friend, who loves this half and half drink. Plus, it’s an inside joke between us to quote the line from the movie The Other Guys “Who wants Arnie Palmies?” (Watch it – you’ll love it!).  For this photo, I thought it would be interesting to put the signature into sharp focus, and I think it worked. Of course, lighting was bright and I had no trouble getting as close as I wanted. Not a photo for scrapbooking, but successful, I think.

3. Fill the Frame

Phoebe the Japeke

Finally, I wanted to try the Filling the Frame technique. This is one of the main reasons I think my photos lack that certain something. Too often, I am standing far away from my subject, and I struggle to capture anything of significance when I’m just shooting into a room from the doorway. So I got up really close and personal with my Japeke (that’s half Japanese Chin, half Pekingese), and snapped a few shots. She cooperated surprisingly well, though I doubt I’ll ever catch her looking straight into the lens. By filling the frame with her adorable little face, I think I caught her unique Mogwai/Ewok-ness. Yep, totally a word that I just made up. Feel free to use it.

So that’s what I came up with for this week. There are plenty of other tips still to try just in the single-chapter excerpt of the book I downloaded. As I said before, that excerpt is no longer available for free, but you can get the entire book, The Key to Taking Pictures Like a Professional Photographer, plus 18 other ebooks and courses in the Ultimate Digital Photography Beginner Bundle.

I’ve already gotten mine, and I plan to work my way slowly through each resource. As my photography skills (hopefully) improve, I plan to share my progress here, maybe on a weekly basis. I’d love to have some company on this journey, so if you feel like your photography could use some improvement, consider getting a bundle for yourself, and let’s do this thing together! We can share ideas and chat in our own private Facebook group and work through the ebooks and courses sort of like a book club. I think that would be the most fun, don’t you? Check it out today, and let me know if it’s something you’d be interested in.

Till next time,
Lisa

I was on a podcast recently discussing all things memory keeping, and during the course of the conversation, I mentioned my three favorite photos and the common thread among them all.

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My husband and his dad in a candid moment on Father’s Day.

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A simple expression of affection between my sons on Christmas morning.

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My mom and me smiling at each other affectionately.

Anytime I’m browsing through my photos, either in my physical albums or digitally, certain types of pictures always cause me to pause and reflect. And, what do you know? Almost always, they are candid shots that capture a sweet, emotional, or funny moment between two or more people.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t have nearly enough of these types of pictures in my vast collection. I’m, at best, a mediocre photographer. I’ve definitely improved since I started scrapbooking, but even now I find myself with far too many photos of rooms full of people, taken from a distance, with few or none of them looking at the camera. Or multiple shots of distant landscapes with no people and no context.

To say the least, I’m a little frustrated by my lack of photography skills. I really want to be able to capture more of the moments I enjoy scrapbooking, so I’ve decided to do something about it.

I recently came across this free resource, “Free Guide to Photo Composition” by Katie Evans, and I’m excited to read through it and put all the information into immediate practice. My goal is to share my progress here on Sundays, and I hope you’ll check in, cheer me on, and even join in.

To get your hands on this awesome guide, click this link – “Free Guide to Photo Composition” or click the image below.

Photo Composition

 

Monday morning after one of “those” weekends. You know the kind that leave you more stressed out than relaxed? Yeah. One of those. In fact, it’s been a hectic few weeks, with some major health concerns with my husband happening, trying to get to the bottom of that while also dealing with my own low energy due to adrenal fatigue.

Finally, I’d had enough and decided what I really, really wanted to do was to create something pretty. So that’s exactly what I did! I had this Basic Grey card kit that I’d been hoarding for a while, and when I finally got to sit down to scrap, it just seemed to catch my eye.

“That’ll be easy!” I thought. Well, if you’ve ever assembled a Basic Grey kit of any kind, you know that simple they are not, but I had the best time cutting and scoring and folding and putting this paper together with that. I just got to lose myself in the creative process for a while, and it was amazingly therapeutic.

Sometimes mojo’s just hard to find. Even if you have a handful of kick-butt prompts to guide you. Sometimes life’s just hard. When it is, give yourself a break from all the stress and worry. Sit down and play with pretty papers. See if it doesn’t make you feel profoundly better. I bet it will.

 8 great Basic Grey cards – that just so happen to fit this month’s color scheme perfectly! Do you agree?

Color Scheme

How do you get going again after one of “those” weeks? I’d love to know – please leave a comment below.

Hello again, and welcome to another month of mojo! June is the month we all look forward to – school is out and the whole summer lies before us, full of possibilities. This month, we’re focusing on summer-themed prompts and inspiration, all gleaned from my own carefully curated Pinterest boards. Hope you find something here to get you motivated!

 1. Color Scheme

Color Scheme

This bright, citrus-y color palette is from Color Palette Ideas.  I’m envisioning the colors being used together in a dreamy, ice-creamy project.

2. Sketch

Sketch

The sketch comes from the Scrapbook Treehouse blog. The pennants make think of summer carnivals. I think they would look amazing in the pinks, greens, and oranges of the color scheme.

3. Embellishment

Embellishment

Our embellishment idea is from the Paisleys and Polka Dots blog. I love all the layers – and notice the scheme!

4. Technique

Technique

June’s technique prompt is actually a tutorial from the Keeton’s Art Supply website. Check it out to learn all about gelli printing.

5. Topic Prompts

Topic Prompts

These photo and journal prompts are actually saved on PicMonkey. They are general enough to be interpreted lots of fun ways.

 

Hello, and welcome to another week of Monday Mojo! This week, I’m linking up with the Make it Monday blog tour, and the theme is travel. Perfect for me, because I just got the second half of my Wyoming photos back, and they are so amazing, I can’t wait to get them scrapped!

This layout, titled “The Mountains are Calling” is based on May’s sketch prompt:

Sketch

I stuck fairly close to the sketch, adding in a few of my own touches. I added a couple of strips of patterned paper and washi at the top and bottom of the page, because I’ve found that this helps to break up and brighten up the seriously neutral tone of the kraft paper, which, let’s face it, can be a little boring at times.

My favorite part of the layout, aside from the photo, is the piece of an actual tourism map cut down and used as one of the patterned papers. Such a cool way to include actual memorabilia from the trip right into the page!

 I tried a couple of different versions of a handpainted title, but in the end I went with my trusty SN@P alpha stickers. Can’t go wrong with these babies!

And lastly, once the layout was put together, I splattered a bit of blue ink onto the page on a diagonal, being careful to cover the photo. Added my journaling, and ta-da! Completed page in about 30 minutes. That’s the magic of using a sketch – all the planning is done for you, so all you have to do is pick the photo and papers, and you’re off! I hope you enjoyed this little bit of mojo on a Monday morning.

Make-It-Monday

To continue the blog tour, click on over to Karen’s blog, Photos Kept Alive, where she’s also showing you how to include ephemera on your layouts – only digitally!

Take away tip: Cut up maps, brochures, and other memorabilia to layer with patterned papers on your travel layouts.