Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Sketch of the Month

Ooops...with all my excitement about becoming a Thirty-One consultant, I almost forgot to post the SOTM for February. Well, at least I got it done...even if it is on the last day of the month!

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some pages in Sam's album and came across photos of his third birthday. Since his birthday is in June, we usually have good weather and do an outside play party. That year we put up the bouncy house and had everyone over for a family barbeque. Curious George cupcakes, special birthday presents and beautiful sunshine for my boy made it a grand time!

Keeping my 1-2-3 formula in mind - 1 piece double-sided paper, 2 pieces cardstock and 3 cuts - I chose a bright, happy, double-sided paper from an old Creative Memories power palette called "Candy Shoppe". The bold stripes echoed all the colors in the photos and the more subtle blue and white stripes on the opposite side were a great backdrop for the photos. I used two sheets of white cardstock as the base and I had letter stickers and some epoxy embellishments from the Candy Shoppe kit to complete the layout.


Here's the sketch I came up with for this layout...


 ...and the cut diagram:



Cut #1 is made at 2.5 inches to create a 2.5" x 12" strip. This is Piece ATip: When you are using a striped piece of paper,  you probably want to see all the colors in the stripes, so make sure you cut across the stripes in this situation.


 Cut #2 is made at 5 inches, creating another 2.5" x 12" strip - this is Piece B.



Make cut #3 by turning the remaining piece and cutting at 7" to give you a 7" x 7" piece (Piece C) and a 5" x 7" piece (Piece D).


Now, assemble the layout. First place pieces A and B across the lower part of each of the cardstock pages as shown (about an inch up from the bottom edge) to form a continuous border across the layout.


  Next add pieces C and D just above the border with their edges touching the sides of the cardstock bases that meet in the middle of the layout.


Place your photos. I used three horizontal 4" x 6" photos, one vertical 4" x 6 photo, and trimmed another horizontal photo into a 4" x 4" square.


This was super quick and easy to put together - about two minutes to cut and place the paper strips and another couple of minutes to trim and place the photos! Now you can embellish any way you like. I knew I would use the letter stickers for the title, and I initially thought that maybe I would write my journaling about the photo as shown on my sketch. But then I found a 4 x 6 filler card in the Candy Shoppe kit that said "Awesome" that I wanted to incorporate somehow into the layout.


I decide to trim out the word and pennant. After, I was left with two other pieces from the card.


When I turned them over, I found that on the back side of the scraps there was another sentiment and part of a journaling box that I decided to use instead! How lucky!


I adhered the "Awesome" pennant, the "Today" strip and the journal block and then added the title stickers above the 4" x 4" photo. Once I completed the journaling, I realized there were so many straight lines that I wanted to add some circles to break up all the edges and add some softness and variety. I used some scraps from other papers in Candy Shoppe kit and punched out various sizes of circles to dot across the layout. I finished a few of the circles off with the epoxy stickers shown in the materials photo at the beginning of this post.

Done!


And in only about 15 minutes! I guess the reason the final layout comes together so quickly is that I spend the majority of the time planning it out in advance - and I truly enjoy the process of figuring out new ways to cut a 12 x 12 sheet of paper and use it in a different layout. So, when you use these 1-2-3 layouts, YOU can benefit from MY planning - just choose your photos and paper then follow the steps for a quick, foolproof scrapbook layout!

I hope you give this layout a try this weekend - if you do, I'd love to see it. Simply leave a link to it in the comments below.

Happy scrapping!








Thursday, February 19, 2015

Packing for the Cabin with Thirty-One bags

I can't wait for my starter kit of Thirty-One products - a big pink box full of fun - arrives! In the meantime I thought I would share some ideas of how I use the Thirty-One products I do own and have been using for the past several years.

My family is so fortunate to own a small cabin about an hour away from our home. It's winterized so we can use it year round, and close enough that we can get up there practically every weekend. I keep an extra set of personal care products and pantry staples up there, so when we want to head up, we just need to throw a few clothes and fresh groceries in a bag and we're gone. Typically I use my two Thirty-One Large Utility Totes for clothes and dry goods, my Picnic Thermal for the fresh groceries and one of my Organizing Utility Totes for everything else!





I keep one of the Large Utility Totes handy and during the week I toss in any items that I need to bring up to the cabin that coming weekend. Then, before we leave, I top it up with some snacks and staples that I have on hand. (Please don't judge the nutritional value of items pictured...cookies and chips are just part of a weekend at the cabin!) 

 
Then I grab clothes and pjs from our drawers for all of us and throw them in the other Large Utility Tote. Two days worth of clothes for four people fits in easily, with room to spare.


A container of milk, some fruit and veg, cheese sticks and a pack of hotdogs or hamburgers goes in the Picnic Thermal along with an ice pack and a bottle of wine! I need to bring more food if we stay up at the cabin for more than a day or two, or if we are having guests up. I typically end up hauling out our big camping cooler, which is a bit of a pain. I'm looking forward to seeing the capacity of the Fresh Market Thermal as I'm thinking it might be the perfect size for our weekend needs!


My workhorse is my OUT...my Organizing Utility Tote (now affectionately called the ZOUT because it now has a Zip-top!) I use it instead of a purse ('cause who needs a purse at the cabin?) and it has room enough for 2 iPads, magazines and books, the sleeve of movies and CDs for the car trip, the boys' DS cases, gloves, mittens and hats etc. plus my wallet, sunglasses, makeup case etc.


And I still will have room for the water bottles in the outside pockets. This is the bag that initially introduced me to Thirty-One Gifts and I LOVE IT! Over the last three years it has been on many family road trips through BC, California and Montana. It was my tote during days at Disneyland, the beach and ski resorts. I've taken it to swimming, skating and karate classes. It's even gone to meetings and conferences with me as it is wide enough to hold my laptop (although it's not padded...I can't wait to see the new Jewel Fashion Editor Tote which has a padded sleeve especially for your laptop!)

So here are all my bags packed and ready to go. It's easy to load them into the car and then bring them into the cabin because of the strength and size of the webbed straps. Even when they are loaded up, the straps of the Large Utility Tote easily go over my shoulders and I can carry both totes out to the car and into the cabin at once. The strap on the Picnic Thermal is adjustable and Shane has even carried as a cross body when we have gone on a hike and taken our lunch with us. 


Once were at the cabin, it's easy to unload the bags, squish them down and store them flat under a bed or in a closet...you just can't do that with suitcases and hard sided coolers! And when space is at a premium like in our tiny cabin, you appreciate those details.

Although we' re blessed to now be able to getaway to our cabin, in the past I used these totes for camping as well. When we would go out in our trailer, the boys clothes, books and toys would be packed into one tote and would live at the bottom of their bunk for the duration of the trip. The open top made it easy to pull out clothes and toys and to put them away again at the end of the day. I would pack Shane's and my clothes sideways in the other tote and then stand it up on end inside the closet, again making it easy to grab what we needed. They worked great. And now Thirty-One there has so many more great totes and thermals that I think would make camping even easier.

Finally, I can't forget the Bleacher Blanket shown in the first photo. Mine is the older style, but it's still amazing. I keep it in the car most of the time as an emergency blanket, but I make sure it gets packed when we go to the cabin as it is perfect as a "sit-upon" on a cold outdoor chair, and for use around the campfire. It packs small, opens up to a generous size, is fleecy and soft on one side and has the nylon exterior on the other side. What more could you ask of a blanket?

















I've appreciated the convenience and quality of these bags since I got them and I am so glad to be able to bring them to ladies in the Calgary, Alberta area! Check out my website to have a look at the whole collection and to learn about the phenomenal hostess plan!

I'll be sharing the bags I use everyday going to work with and of course the contents of my starter kit as soon as it arrives. And I haven't forgot about scrapbooking...I'll be posting the February Sketch of the Month in the next day or so.

Take care friends...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Big News #2

Note: Our garage sale was a huge success! We really enjoyed re-connecting with lots of ladies and helping them get some great deals. Our upcoming scrapbooking retreat is almost full, but if you are interested, certainly send me a quick email and we'll do our best to fit you in!

Big News #2 is that I have signed up to be a 


Thirty-One Gifts has finally come to Alberta and I am so pleased to now be one of the first consultants in the province! 

I first learned about Thirty-One Gifts about three and a half years ago. I was at one of our scrapbooking retreats which was attended by a gal who brought some of her supplies in this cute plaid bag with all these pockets. I asked her about it, found out about Thirty-One Gifts and learned that her sister was a consultant in North Dakota. I placed an order through her sister and then waited for several months until she was able to visit and bring the bags up to Canada. It was worth the wait, because when I got them, I absolutely fell in love with the products! I've been using those items for over three years now - and they are still going strong!

I've had lots of friends, family members and people I meet ask me about the bags and how they could get their hands on some. I reached out to Thirty-One Gifts at their home office in Columbus, Ohio to see when they were coming to Canada. They opened in Ontario in 2012 as a test market and expanded into Alberta as of February 10, 2014. After over three years of waiting, I am beyond thrilled to now have easy access to these great products and to be able to share them with you here in Alberta!

I invite you take a look at all that Thirty-One Gifts has to offer - fun and practical organizing solutions for you, your home and your family; fabulous Hostess benefits; and an amazing ground floor opportunity to own your own business with a company that Celebrates, Encourages and Rewards women. You can view the entire catalog on my Thirty-One consultant website, see all the specials and place an order anytime.



And if you have questions about the organizing solutions, to order products, book a party or to chat about becoming a Thirty-One Consultant, just contact me and I'll get back to you ASAP!

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This doesn't mean that I will stop scrapbooking....I could never give up my favorite hobby all together! And I will still watch and wait for Creative Memories to allow us in Alberta to sell and buy the product again - but that might happen next week or not until next year.

What this does mean is that I would like to branch out a bit here on the blog and post ideas about home, family, organizing and decorating and all the other things that go on in my life. I'm considering the possibility of starting a new/different blog that could encompass all theses ideas to share. (I'll get back to you on that...perhaps that will be my next big news!)

Happy scrapping...and organizing!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Big News #1

I've got so many exciting things on the go that I'm just about bursting! I'll be sharing more Big News in the next few weeks, but here is Big News #1...



DON’T MISS IT!   WE ARE CLEARING OUT OUR INVENTORIES!   TONS OF GREAT PRODUCT AT ROCK-BOTTOM CLEARANCE PRICES!   IT ALL HAS TO GO!!

Including new & retired:  
 Creative Memories
Close to My Heart
Lia Sophia
Partylite
Epicure
...and lots of other crafty & creative stuff from various brand-name manufacturers, 
and even some handmade stuff too!

Come pick up some great deals – buyers will be entered to win prizes & giveaways!

Sale attendees will also be given first chance to register for the next Calgary Crops weekend retreat in Canmore being held April 24 – 26th. Online registration will begin February 1stwatch the blog for more details!


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I am still patiently waiting for the new CM group to open for business in Alberta and as soon as they do I'll be signing up as an advisor so I can once again provide quality scrapbooking supplies. I am excited that Carla and I will be once again hosting a great weekend retreat in Canmore this spring and will be looking forward to reconnecting with the great ladies who usually attend.

I also have another new venture on the horizon and some big plans for my little blog! I hope to share that Big News with you soon! 

Have a great weekend...
 
 



Monday, January 12, 2015

1-2-3 Sketch of the Month - January

In the past, "Sketch of the Month" features were always among the most popular blog posts here, especially when I started sharing my 1-2-3 formula  - a layout that uses 1 piece patterned double-sided paper, 2 pieces of cardstock for the base and has only 3 main cuts to do. I plan to offer a 1-2-3 Sketch of the month each month this year, so make sure you check back for more fast, easy layouts.  (And check out previously posted 1-2-3 layouts here.)

I've always loved the layouts designed by Allison Davis. She and her mother Debbie Saunders own and run Scrapbook Generation a family run company that sells scrapbooking supplies, creates their own kits & classes and even publishes books and a monthly magazine! Allison's style is very linear (which I relate to) and I love the fact that she regularly plans to incorporate many photos. I was inspired by her work to create a layout with space for 5 photos. Here's the sketch I came up with:




And believe it or not, it really only uses one sheet of double sided paper and two pieces of cardstock! The magic of using so few supplies is the double-sided paper, so make sure both sides of the one you choose works with your photos and/or theme. (Most manufacturers today do such a great job of coordinating that it's pretty much foolproof!) Then, start cutting...here's the cut diagram and instructions:



Make your first cut across the page at 7 inches to give you a 7 x 12 piece. This will be piece "A". Set aside.



Your second cut will divide the remaining 5 x 12 piece of paper into two 2.5 x 12 pieces.




Finally, stack the two 2.5 x 12 pieces and cut through both at 1/2".




The two 2 x 12 pieces are pieces "B" and "C", and the two small 1/2 x 12 pieces will be "D" and E".




Flip pieces "B", "D" and "E" pieces over to the opposite side. This will give you all 5 pieces of paper needed for the layout.




Now assemble your layout following the sketch. The three vertical 4 x 6 photos are mounted on the 7 x 12" piece and then bordered by the two 1/2 x 12" strips. Note that I made the two 2 x 12' strips into pennant strips by cutting a triangular piece from each - and adding those pieces to the first page of the layout as shown. (Oops...I guess this technically makes 5 cuts all together, sorry! Well, we'll pretend that minor scissor cuts don't count - wink!) Finally, add your journaling, a title and/or embellishments. I used four die cut embellishments that came in the stack pack with the paper, one of which serves as the title.

Here's my finished layout...




The photos were taken up in Banff on Canada Day 2012 and I used paper and die cuts from the "Freedom" kit by Creative Memories, which was released only a short time before they went under in 2013. I see that the new Creative Memories has just released some new papers, albums, slide in cards and custom cutting system blades! And, cardstock packs, and a revamped corner rounder and photo trimmer are all set to be released soon! I can't wait for my province to give the green light for CM to sell here...I'll be signing up as an advisor as soon as that happens! And you should definitely take a moment to check out this sweet CM video...their renewed mission statement reminds me why I love scrapbooking and helping people preserve their memories and share their stories!

I hope you like the sketch and that you give this 1-2-3 formula a try. Leave a comment or link below if you do...I'd love to hear what you think and see what you create!

Have a great week...


Friday, January 02, 2015

Up-cycled Organizer

Happy 2015!

We had a quiet New Year's Eve at home, and one of the snacks I had set out was a refrigerated/prepared dip assortment. Yesterday as I was cleaning up and rinsing out the dip container for the recycling bin, I thought, wow, that would make a great little tray for organizing nails/screws or scrapbook embellishments!



The small fruit or veggie trays that you can buy in the deli sections of supermarkets are great for this as well as the plastic trays from chocolate boxes and cookies. If you've been entertaining this holiday season, consider those treat containers before they hit the garbage or recycling bin...you just might be able to use them again in the craft room!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Daily Update

I'm back from our wonderful Christmas getaway. We had a great time - lots of festive food, beverages, outdoor fun and indoor relax time. I DID find time to update my December Daily pages - and I have to say I loved scrapbooking at the little kitchen table, looking out at the woods and snow.

Truthfully, I hadn't done much in the actual album since I showed you my initial set-up in this post. But knowing I'd have some downtime while we were away, I printed out the daily photos and packed up my album kit and brought it with me. I got up early on Boxing Day morning before the rest of the family to work on them. (Funny enough, the one thing I forgot to pack was my photo trimmer, so I hand trimmed a few photos down to the 4x4 size with the kitchen scissors...it brought back many a memory of my early scrapbooking days before I had all the trimmers and tools!)

The album came together easily as all I had to do was adhere the photos, do a little journaling (I used a simple 4 line stamp I've had in my stash forever to add the journaling lines - sorry, I have no idea of the manufacturer) and add the date circle and any embellishments. It took me about an hour to finish the pages for the 22 days I had brought photos for. Here they are...















I'm liking the overall look of the album...its cohesive, but not too matchy-matchy or precise, which is sometimes a downfall of mine with my perfectionist tendencies. Once I committed to the plan and the pre-made page layouts, I tried to let go of the other little details and not worry about which paper ended up with which photos. Luckily, everything has blended together nicely! As you see, some days ended up being a two page spread, and some are only single pages. Some days I had so many photos that I had to narrow it down and choose which ones to use, whereas on other days there was only one, lone picture to use plus the one I took every day of the Santa countdown. (And a couple of pages still need photos - I obviously missed them when I was selected photos to send to the printer.) I didn't worry about the little details and just enjoyed seeing all the moments - holiday and everyday - captured together in one place.

I'm working on finishing our yearly family album as well so I'll be sorting and sending a big batch of photos in tomorrow and then finish up the December 23-31 pages in a few days.

Until then, I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year!