Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We're Back! (Well, sort of!)

Here's hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know my family and I did! There was lots of time spent with friends and family, lots of great food and lots of lovely presents. Who could ask for anything more?

I was able to take some time to work on a few personal projects - getting my Project 365 up to date, finishing off some pages for my son's baby book and creating a new decorative piece for my scrap space. If you follow Ali Edwards's blog, you may know that each year she adopts a word that she uses as a guide for the coming year. I have never embraced a word as a motto or matra, but this year I decided that the word SIMPLIFY was the one word that might help me focus on getting things in my life organized - and there are so many areas to work on! I created this little sign to hang up that would remind me on a daily basis to simplify:

 

I recycled an old picture frame and used some of my favorite alpha stamps from Kaisercraft. I used some watercolor pencils to add my favorite bright fun colors and decided that in the spirit of simplicity, it didn't need any other embellishments! I hope this visual reminder helps me in my journey this year.

Have you chosen a word? Why not create a little reminder sign for yourself?

I'll be back next week after the rest of the holidays wind down. Some of the things to look forward to in January include new product designs, a DESIGN TEAM CALL and of course our all-day workshop on January 30th  for those of you in the Calgary area. Thanks once more for all your support in 2009. I am thrilled at the growth we have experienced in such a short time and I am very much looking forward to expanding Sharing Memories Scrapbooking in the future!

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year! See you in 2010!

Noreen Smith

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Well, I think I am ready for Christmas...it's coming no matter what! I have enjoyed the past couple of weeks of preparations and although I mentioned I wouldn't be posting until after Christmas, I just wanted to post a very quick "Merry Christmas" wish!

Thanks for all your comments and your support of Sharing Memories Scrapbooking over the past few month as this little business got up and going. I truly appreciate your response to the products and ideas we have here.

Our Christmas sale will be ending tomorrow, so you still have a little time to shop. All orders from today and tomorrow will ship out on December 28 after the Christmas weekend. Thanks for your phenomenal response!

I hope you enjoy this winter holiday season with your friends and family. And I hope the memories you make last forever! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 12 - Christmas JOY Frame

*** So sorry about the late posting...Hubbie and I went out of town this weekend to attend a Christmas party. I left everything ready to post yesterday, but somehow it didn't set right! Sigh...anyway...here is the final project of our 12 Days series - just one day late! Enjoy!

I can't believe 12 days has gone by so fast! Hopefully you got lots of new ideas for gifts or projects for yourself. For our last project, I want to share some JOY with you!

JOY

Lately I have seen a lot of home decor projects using scrapbook supplies around the web. I had a three opening frame from Ikea at home that I wasn't using so I thought I would make a decorative piece for Christmas. Since the frame had three openings, I immediately thought of using the word JOY. I was planning on cutting letters from scrapbook paper and adding embellishments. But then I thought maybe I could create a digital version so that I could share some JOY with you!

This couldn't be easier. Click on the links below the images to download the J-O-Y letters as 2 PDF files. Print on a color printer and cut out. Place letters in a frame and that's it!

I formatted the letters to fit the frame I had, but you can trim them smaller if you are using 4 x 6 frames/openings. And if you don't have a single frame with three openings, conside placing each single letter into it's own frame and lining the three frames up together on a table or mantle.

(By the way...the digital papers and embellishments used in the J-O-Y letters are from a free digital scrapbooking kit from Epson Creative Zone. You can download a free copy here and use it to make lots more bright and fun Christmas projects!)

 Christmas JOY - Page 002Christmas JOY - Page 001





















Well, I hope you have enjoyed the last 12 days as much as I have enjoyed putting the 12 projects together! I am going to take a little break from posting over the holidays, but don't forget that the Christmas Sale runs until December 24th!

Oh...there are also two other things to let you know about as well -

1) If you are in the Calgary area, mark Saturday January 30th as a day for yourself! Join Calgary Crops for a full day (10:00 am to 10:00 pm!) of scrapping at the Triwood Hall. Get all the details and register at  http://www.calgarycropsscrapbookingclub.com/

2) Sharing Memories Scrapbooking will be putting out a DESIGN TEAM CALL right after Christmas! Yes, this little company has grown so much over the past 6 months that I can't do it all by myself anymore! I will be looking for scrapbookers, cardmakers, sketch artists, altered project artists and writers to help me bring more fresh & fun ideas and projects to you throughout 2010! I hope you consider applying!

I hope you and your families and friends have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Day 11 - Folded Card

This easy to make card is a nice way to include a few pictures and information along with your seasonal greeting.

first and last finished fold out card

All you need to make it is a 12 x 12 sheet of DOUBLE SIDED paper, a few scraps of solid paper and a piece of ribbon. Let's make it:

1) Use a scoring blade in your paper cutter or an embossing tool or stylus to score the entire length of the paper at 4 inches and 8 inches. Turn your paper a quarter turn and do the same. Your paper should look like you have divided it into nine 4 x 4 squares.

1 scoring

2) Cut away the top two outer "squares" and just 2 inches off the bottom two outer squares. Fold up the two remaining 2 inch pieces on either side. These will make two inner pockets.

2 pieces cut

3) If you like, you can cut a decorative edge along the top of what will be the pocket using decorative scissors or cutting blade.

3 decorative trim

4) Use adhesive along just the outer edges of these pieces, fold up and secure to make the pockets.

4 fold flaps

5) Trim a decorative shape on the front flap. I chose to make a circle shape, but you could also cut this into a "V" or other shape. I used Creative Memories Circle cutter to trim the circle shape.

5 cutting front flap

6 cut out front flap

7 finished front flap

6) Now that we are finished the card base we can decorate it. First I added a 2 x 4 inch strip of black paper across the front flap.

8 add paper strip

7) Then I used a circle punch to cut out several circle shapes from the leftovers pieces of paper I trimmed from the original 12 x 12 paper. You could also use any embellishments that would coordinate with the paper you chose.

9 punch embellishment

8)Add your photos inside the card. I matted two small photos on tags to place in the pockets. These are fun to pull out and look at more closely. You could also write some journaling on the back of these pull-outs. I then added a photo to the centre piece of the card...again I matted it and left room at the bottom to write a caption. I only added three photos, but you could add them to any of the inside or outside flaps of this card. You could also add journaling, seasonal wishes etc. Consider stamping or handwriting these. Add a few of your embellishments through out the card.



11 inside

12 inside closeup

9) Now we'll add a ribbon closure. (If you are mailing this card you would want to use an envelope instead...you would need to find or make a 4.5 x 4.5 square envelope to fit this card.) Glue a piece of ribbon along the centre back of the card while it is folded. Leave the ends unattached.

10 glue ribbon on back

10) Finish off the front of the card with a greeting and embellishment.

13 front greetings

11) Tie the ribbon across the front of the card. So cute!

first and last finished fold out card

If you make one of these cards, don't forget to post it on your blog or on an online photo sharing site life Flickr and send us a link to it in the comments below!

Tomorrow is Day 12 - the last day of our 12 projects! I have a joyful idea to share with you to close out the series!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10 - Quick Christmas Layouts

I don't know about you but I haven't had a lot of time to actually complete any scrapbook pages lately. With Christmas fast approaching my creative efforts have been going into making gifts and Christmas projects, not pages! But I was itching to scrap so I came up with an easy page plan and used one of our Christmas Page Paks to whip up a couple of layouts featuring photos from LAST Christmas.  Anyone else out there have some photos you've been meaning to scrap from last Christmas? Grab them and let's make two really quick and easy layouts!

The kit I am using is our "Christmas is for Kids" Page Pak:

Christmas is for Kids Page Pak

It contains 2 fun patterned papers (a red, green and white stripe and an all over pattern with toys, presents, stockings and Santa images), 2 pieces of solid cardstock (red and green) 2 journaling spots, 2 tags, a pre-cut title, 9 decorative die-cuts and a 12" length of green and white polka dot ribbon. It's traditional Christmas with a fun, young twist. All our Page Paks give you enough papers and embellishments to create at least two 12 x 12 layouts. I usually have enough leftovers to make a card or a smaller 8x8 layout as well! The best part is they are pre-coordinated for you and they are only $5.00 each! (Ummm...oh yeah...this one is part of the Christmas Sale so it's actually only $3.75 until December 24th! Bonus!)

I created a new Page Plan for us to use with this kit. If you have browsed around our website you may have already found our archive of Page Plans. They are such an easy way to get your pages done quickly - you don't need to waste a lot of time deciding where to put your photos, journaling and embellishments - just place as indicated on the plan! Another way to save time is to choose a Page Plan that uses un-cropped, standard 4x6 photos. This latest plan (#26) features space for three 4x6 photos (2 vertical and 1 horizontal) some blocks of patterned paper and room for a journaling spot, titles and embellishments.

Page Plan 27 - Page 001

Let's make it - quick!
  1. Choose a background piece of cardstock - in this case I used the red from the Page Pak.
  2. Place 3 photos into approximately the right spots on the page.
  3. Trim one piece of striped patterned paper with the lines going horizontally and one with the stripes vertically. Place according to the Page Plan.
  4. Next (although it doesn't show this on the plan), round the outside corners of the two top photos and the two pieces of patterned paper (it makes the photos and the papers really work together as a cohesive shape).
  5. Add one of the two journaling spots from the kit, the pre-cut title and the three die-cut stars as shown.
  6. Write your journaling (in my case it was the record of how making gingerbread houses has now become a family tradition).

Done! And because we followed the Page Plan, this page will probably only take you about 15 minutes to put together!

Merry Christmas LO

Well, I had lots of leftover supplies from the kit and a little more time, so I decided to make another layout. I grabbed 4 photos of the boys and hubbie on Christmas morning and cropped them into 4x4 squares. Page Plan #12 is perfect for four square photos.

PagePlan12 - Page 001

Let's make a second layout!
  1. Use the other (green) piece of cardstock from the kit.
  2. Place three photos to one side stacked on top of each other in a cloumn.
  3. Trim three long strips from both the patterned papers to place on either side of the three stacked photos as a border.
  4. Use the overall patterned paper with the cute images on them as a matt for the fourth photo and mount it on an angle to the right of the stacked photos. Make sure to place adhesive only on three sides of the photo so you can slide one of the tags behind it.
  5. Staple a small piece of the green and white polka dot ribbon to the top of the red tag so it will act as a pull tab for the tag. (I love doing hidden/interactive elements like this on my pages - it makes things a little more fun!) 
  6. Write your main journaling in the empty space under the angled photo, and write any other thoughts on the hidden tag (I wrote about the events of Christmas morning in the main journaling area and a list of the gifts that were received on the tag).
  7. Use a circle (or square) punch to cut out three different pictures from the overall patterned paper and mount them across the bottom of the page under the journaling. 
  8. Create a title. You can hand write it, cut out letters from leftover papers or use letters from your own stash.

Christmas Morn LO

Again, because we used a Page Plan and a pre-coordinated kit, this page comes together in just a few minutes as well (in fact, it probably took me longer to photograph these layouts and upload them from my camera to share with you in this post than it did to actually create both of them!)

Hopefully you get a chance to use these ideas to quickly scrap a few of your own Christmas photos! Feel free to browse all our Page Plans here for more ideas, and if you like the Page Pak featured above you can purchase it along with lots of other goodies from our Christmas Sale here. Happy scrapping!

Tomorrow I'll have one more uniqe card idea for you, so make sure to check back!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Day 9 - Paper Ornaments

Remember how I mentioned that I love tags? Well, I love any variations on a tag as well, and at Christmas time one lovely variation is a paper ornament. They really are a like a little round tag with a built in hanger on them!

I recently made a bunch of paper ornaments - solid shapes, open circles and decorative cut-outs. Let's have a look at each one and what you can do with them!

Solid ornaments are really versatile.

You can use them on a scrapbook page or card as an embellishment, add stickers, rub-ons etc to enhance them, write journaling on them or even mount a photo on them. You could also use them as tags on Christmas packages!

The open circle ornaments were designed specifically as photo frames.
Simply crop a photo to the same overall size as the paper ornament and mount behind the frame. It's a really lovely look and would be great to actually hang on the tree, use on a scrapbook page or use as a picture gift tag...place a picture of the recipient in the photo frame and there will be no doubt who that gift is for!

The paper ornaments with the decorative cutouts are just plain fun!
Hang them on the tree as is, or place a solid ornament behind them to enhance the decorative shape. Imagine how gorgeous they would be if you added a little glitter to them! Again...they would be fab on a scrapbook page or card as well! My head is spinning with all the possbilities!

You can contact me to purchase any of these ornaments! Each type of ornament comes in a Pretty Pak of six - you get one each in the following colors: Dark Red, Red, Dark Green, Lime, Sugarplum (purply-mauve) and Dark Gingerbread. Each ornament is approximately 2.75 inch. AND, you get enough silver cord to hang them on a tree or add to packages! All for $1.00 per pak! Stock up on all three types of paper ornaments - I promise you'll find so many uses for them!

Tomorrow...let's scrap! (After all, we are called Sharing Memories SCRAPBOOKING!)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Day 7 - Treat Bag Toppers

Yesterday we made a little something extra to add to homemade goody packages. Today let's make a simple topper for treat bags. These toppers make a simple little bag of candies or cookies seem much more special and festive. And they're quick and easy, which makes them perfect for when you have to get a bunch of treats ready - like for your kids classmates or teachers, neighbours or office colleagues.

I did two different designs - one for candy treats -



 and one for cookie treats -



These are embarrassingly simple to make, but here are the basic instructions anyway!

Measure the width of your cellophane bags. (If you don't have cello bags, you can use zip-lock type bags -the zipper will be hidden by the topper anyway!)

Cut a shape the same width as your bag. I used a bracket-style  square shape here, but I have also used squares and circles which are always cute. Here is a look at the toppers I made for Halloween using black cardstock circles -



Decorate your shapes. You can stamp a saying or image on them, draw or doodle, write a message, add a die cut shape, a flower, a sticker...the possibilities are really endless. For these Christmas toppers I cut thin strips of paper and stamped a holiday message on them. I also made die cut shapes of snowflakes and gingerbread boys that I  attached with a pop dot so they would stand out a bit.

Now fill up your treat bags. Fold your decorated shapes in half and staple closed over top of the treat bags. See, I told you it was easy! A quick tip to make it even easier it to set up an assembly line to make these fast. Cut out all your shapes at once, then decorate them all at once, then fill and assemble your bags all at once.

If you aren't into doing all the cutting yourself, I do have kits to make your own. You get all the materials pre cut and pre stamped - just fill and staple! You can make 5 treat bags for jsut $5.00 with the kits, and there is a kit for the candy toppers as well as the cookie toppers. Contact me to purchase!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Day 6 - Hostess Gift Idea

It happens too often - you are on your way to a holiday gathering and as you are walking out the door you realize you don't have a hostess gift to bring along. It certainly has happened to me plenty of times. Now I try to be smart and I plan to make or buy several hostess gifts ahead of time so I have some on hand just for this very situation.

This is my favorite for this year:



I enjoy bringing homemade baking or sweet treats as a hostess gift. It's always appreciated, especially by those who haven't had a chance to bake themselves! Normally I package it all up in a cello bag and tie a big bow and include the recipe. A few weeks ago I saw these Mitten Clips on Martha and I decided I would make some to clip onto my homemade goodies.

These are super easy...all you need is a piece of scrap cardstock, some felt in any color, wooden clothespin, tacky glue, self adhesive magnet strip (or recycle an old fridge magnet by cutting it down to size).

Draw or trace a picture of a mitten about the same size as a wooden clothespin onto a piece of scrap cardstock. Cut it out.

Place it on top of a piece of felt (I used the pre-stiffened felt sheets you can get at craft stores) and trace around it. Cut out the felt.


 
Adhere some baby ric-rac, ribbon or other trim to the mitten around the cuff. Let dry.



Assemble your clip...glue the felt on top of the clothespin and adhere the magnet (with tacky glue if you aren't using the peel & stick variety) on the bottom. Let dry.




I found the fun recipe cards at Michael's and they look so cute with the mitten clip. Voila...a lovely hostess gift to enjoy now (the baking) and later (the magnetic clip can hold recipes or memos on the fridge!)



Oh...the treat that's IN the bags? A super easy Candy Cane Bark! Find the recipe here.

What's your favorite hostess gift? I would love to hear you suggestions! Share them below in the comments section and on our last day (December 12) I will select one to win a prize (hmmm...maybe a mitten clip or two???)

Have a great day and check back tomorrow for another great idea to packaging up your homemade goodies!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Day 5 - Christmas Photocards

***Sorry for the late post...we have had internet issues due to the massive snow storm we have been weathering for the past two days!

Do you take and send photographs of your family at Christmas time? We do...it has been a tradition since our oldest son was born. I love receiving the annual photo cards from friends as well...it gives me a chance to see the changes in everyone - especially the kids! I keep many of the cards and photocards we receive each year in my Christmas album, and I always scrap a copy of our photocard and letter (if in fact I was organized enough to write one!)

At first I went to a large photo developer and chose one of their pre-designed cards, but once I started getting into digital scrapbooking and becoming familiar with the software, I decided to make my own. Of course I made a few Christmas cards, and then started making birthday invitations, thank-you cards, and birth announcements. A few friends asked me to design cards for them too. A new little side-business was born!

This year I have been so busy with actually making products for Sharing Memories Scrapbooking that I haven't had the time to take on custom designs. But I did create 10 pre-made designs for you to choose from:

[caption id="attachment_889" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Peace, Joy and Love - Blue and Brown"]Peace, Joy and Love - Blue and Brown[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_888" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A Joyful Holiday - Blue and Brown"]A Joyful Holiday - Blue and Brown[/caption]




[caption id="attachment_887" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Happy Holidays - Red"]Happy Holidays - Red[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_891" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Merry Christmas - Blue & Red"]Merry Christmas - Blue & Red[/caption]



[caption id="attachment_892" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Merry & Bright - Green & Red"]Merry & Bright - Green & Red[/caption]




[caption id="attachment_893" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Merry Christmas - Stripe"]Merry Christmas - Stripe[/caption]




[caption id="attachment_894" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Christmas Joy - Green & Red"]Christmas Joy - Green & Red[/caption]




[caption id="attachment_895" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Peace, Love, Joy - Brown & Green"]Peace, Love, Joy - Brown & Green[/caption]




[caption id="attachment_896" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Merry Christmas - Red"]Merry Christmas - Red[/caption]




[caption id="attachment_897" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Happy Holidays (Vertical) - Red"]Happy Holidays (Vertical) - Red[/caption]


Each of these designs is only $14.99 - $5.00 less than my custom designs!


It's as easy as 1,2,3:



  1. Choose any of these pre-made designs and email me to get started. I will request a JPG copy of the photo you wish to use along with your family name(s).


  2. I will create your card within 24 - 48 hours. Once you are satisfied with the proof, you pay via PayPal and I email you a high resolution JPG image.


  3. Prints as many 4 x 6 photos as you need done at any photo developer (like Wal-Mart, Costco etc.). Regular 4 x 6 photos cost about .19 cents each but you can probably find a lot of sales on right now and may even get yours printed for less! You can also have them printed in as little as one hour, making it a very quick turnover. 


The benefits of this method are that you can print as many as you like very economically...especially considering that other predesigned cards usually start at about .99 cents each. Even paying the design fee, you still save about 50%. (example: SMS Photocard Design fee $14.99 + 50 cards at .19 each = $24.50 vs. 50 cards at .99 each =  $49.50) You get a custom look for a really economical price! Best of all, the quick turn around time means you can get these photocards off in the mail a lot sooner.

So if you see a design you like, contact me today  and we can get started on your Christmas 2009 photocard! (Please note: Customization on these cards is limited to inserting family names and changing background colors.)

 

I will try to get our 2009 family photocard posted in the next few days as well so you will have an additional choice! Note: The photos I used in all the samples above are from our 2008 family portraits!

 

See you tomorrow with a cute hostess gift idea!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Day 4 - Merry Christmas Frame

Today let's make a fun frame to display memories from Christmas past or present!

finished frame

Note: This will be a general tutorial. Although we actually sell these particular kits in our shop, you could use any frame and adapt measurements and style of paper to this type of project!  
Materials you'll need:
  • Wooden picture frame
  • Paint, brush
  • Mod Podge or white glue thinned with a little bit of water
  • Variety of coordinating patterned and solid papers
  • Flat embellishments - die-cuts, stickers mounted on cardstock etc.
  • Twine
  • Mini-clothespins

frame kit contents

Let's make it!

1) First paint the back, sides, inside frame edges and dowel. If you wish you can also paint the three mini clothespins. Set aside to let dry.

painted frame

2) Once dry, adhere your papers. I used three coordinating papers - a stripe, a solid and a polka dot.  To adhere, brush a thin layer of Mod Podge or diluted white glue right to the edges of the frame to ensure the paper sticks well. Go right over any frame openings - you can cut those out later. Set aside until the glue dries. Tip: place a heavy book on top of the frame as the glue dries to eliminate air bubbles and puckering.

all papers done 

3) When dry, flip the frame over. With scissors or a craft knife, trim away any excess paper from the around the edges. Also trim paper from the centre where the photo will be. Optional steps:  you can gently sand the edges of the frame with a piece  of sandpaper or emery board to smooth out any rough edges left from cutting the paper. You can also ink the edges to give a little definition. This will give the frame a distressed “country” feel.

sand edges

stamp pad inking 1

stamp pad inking 2

4) Mount your flat embellishments onto a piece of backing paper, and cut them out leaving a little white matting showing. This will give the pieces a little more stability as well as help them to visually pop off the background papers.

mounted embellishments

5) Tie a knot at each end of the twine. Glue each knot to one side of the frame, centered over the lower portion of the frame underneath the picture opening. Let dry.

glue on twine

6) Use the mini-clothespins to “hang” your embellishments on the twine. If you like, you can glue each clothespin in place to stop them from swinging back and forth.

clip on stocking

7) Adhere a title or another embellishment at the top of the frame and off to one side.

8)  Trim your photo to the size of the opening. Insert into the frame’s opening and secure.

9)  Optional step: You can also use the Mod Podge to protect the frame. Smoothly brush a light, even coat over the entire frame. Let dry.

And here is another look at the finished project - what a lovely addition to our Christmas decorations. And I love the sweet photo from last Christmas of my son and mother-in-law!

stocking frame

If you have been wanting to try your hand at altering or personalizing an object, give this a try. It's a wonderful project for yourself or for a special gift. Easy and satisfying!

See you back here tomorrow for more Christmas fun!