Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Basket Freebie!

Easter is NEXT WEEK...can you believe it? I just stocked up on Easter treats for the boys baskets and will have to figure out a way to smuggle it all in the car as we are heading up to visit Shane's dad for the holiday weekend!

DT member Jamie Cripps is a whiz with creating the cutest templates for just about any occasion for use with the Cricut and SCAL and she has created a super cute Easter Basket template exclusively for Sharing Memories Scrapbooking!

The template itself is very can use it as a gift basket/bag for any occasion and wouldn't it be cute as a loot bag for a kids party? Just cut it out on your Cricut from any type of paper and decorate it with ribbons, die cuts, word art etc. - the possibilites are endless. (For more information on purchasing and using the Sure Cuts a Lots software with your Cricut machine, please visit the Sure Cuts a Lot website.)

This version is ready for Easter treats and features a sweet little bunny and some of our new Spring Embossed Flowers (coming soon, I promise!) Jamie also created an SVG file for the bunny, so you can cut him out and add him to your Easter cards and scrapbook pages.

And here's another example - doesn't it look great when cut from double sided paper?

[caption id="attachment_1394" align="aligncenter" width="262" caption="Front View"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1395" align="aligncenter" width="204" caption="Side View"][/caption]

The best part is that Jamie made these templates just for us and they are FREE!

Grab the SVG file download for the Easter Basket here.

The bunny SVG file is available here.

And the instructions for scoring and folding the basket are located here.

Have fun creating and we'd LOVE to see what your Easter Baksets look like. If you create one, post it to your blog or on a photoshare site and send us a link!

And make sure to check out all of Jamie's SVG designs on her fantastic blog - Bits of Paper.

Thanks Jamie and happy cutting everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 Tips for Moving Your Scrapbook Stash

DT member Michelle Roycroft recently undertook a household move in a very short period of time. We asked her to give us her best tips gained from the experience of packing up, moving and unpacking her scrapbook stash.

10 Tips for Moving by Michelle Roycroft

Whether you’re packing to move to a new house or to a new scrap room down the hall, the more thought you put into the packing, the easier it will be to get everything out and organized once you get to wherever you are going. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up through experience.

1. Boxes, labels, and packing paper – Oh My! Get a variety of boxes. The more sizes, the better. But most of all, make sure you have something that your 12x12 paper is going to fit in!

Now for the labels. You can use a sharpie to write straight on the box like me or you can be the crafty little thing that you obviously are and make some cute little labels. Either way, just label it.

You can go buy that wonderful packing paper or you can be cheap and use kitchen towels and dishcloths. Speaking from experience, the kitchen towels work just fine! If you do use packing paper, keep some of it because it makes great drop cloths for kid’s projects or for the glimmer mist projects that always tend to leave little droplets everywhere.

 2. Clean out before you pack. Don’t waste your time packing up stuff that you know you are never going to use. This is one piece of advice that I wish I would’ve followed. I’ve been scrapping a long time and for some reason I still have some of my first scraps of paper. I know in my head that I’m never going to use those papers or stickers or embellishments. I should’ve given up those papers before I ever put them into a box. Take my advice – donate, sell, or just trash the stuff you’ll never use.

3. Pack albums vertically.  You should never store or pack your completed albums horizontally. It smushes your beautiful embellishments.

4.  If you have something already stored in some sort of container, leave it there. There’s no point in repacking something that is already practically packed. My magazine holders, baskets, and jars just got wrapped up and put straight into the box with the contents still inside. It made it so easy to pull the containers out and set them on shelves at the new house. One warning – if you are storing something breakable in those containers, take it out! Don’t pack something that might rattle around inside and break.

[caption id="attachment_1389" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Keep items in their containers"][/caption]

5. If something unbreakable is in a drawer, keep it there. I store my stickers and rub-ons in drawers in my hutch and instead of taking them out, I just stuck some crinkled up  packing paper in the drawer to keep everything from going crazy in there and let the guys move it the way it was.

6. Pack your paper wisely. If you are like me, you spend a small fortune on paper. One of my biggest fears of moving was that my pretty paper would get all wrinkled up.  Check your boxes and whichever box will give your paper the least amount of wiggle room will be the best. Horizontal or vertical doesn’t matter. Just fill the wiggle room with packing paper (or tea towels) and mark the box as clearly as possible. You don’t want your paper box getting turned upside down and messing everything up.

[caption id="attachment_1388" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Carefully pack your paper"][/caption]

7. Keep similar things packed together. Punches and scissor; brads, buttons, and eyelets; you get the idea. This way if you forget to include something on your label you’ll be able to use you mighty powers of deduction to figure out which box it is in.

8. Heavy things should be packed on bottom. But you already knew that!

9.  Little things should be contained. I have millions (well, not quite) of pens and they are never in one place. I hunted them all down and stuck them in a ziploc bag. Now at least for once, they are all easy to find.

10. Be prepared to rearrange! Even with the same furniture, much of my stuff has been moved to a different spot. But that’s ok. If you don’t like it, you can always move it again!

[caption id="attachment_1387" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Unpack and rearrange"][/caption]

Thanks Michelle for all the great tips! I know I will be using them when I move later in May! Good luck with settling in to your new house!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Charity Crop a Huge Sucess!

Saturday's 2nd Annual Crop 4 Kids was a huge success! 100 ladies joined together at the Lake Bonavista Rec Centre in Calgary to crop their hearts out and raise money for the Alberta Children's Hospital. Last year over $4500 was raised and since there was double the participants this year, hopefully there will be double the funds raised too!

Croppers received great goody bags full of scrappy treats donated by local scrapbook companies. Then, throughout the day they participated in classes, make and takes and mini-contests for prizes.  Everyone was eligible to submit layouts to win a chance to be published in Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine!  There was also a silent auction, a 50/50 draw and a contest to win layouts and altered projects from some of Canada's well-known scrapbookers. All the proceeds of the costs of the auctions, draws, classes and make & takes went directly to the hospital. And because Jennifer Rowsell (organizer extraordinaire!) was able to get a lot of sponsors for the food and beverages served throughout the day, a good portion of the crop fee will go to the charity as well. Hopefully Jen will post the total raised in the next few days so we can all celebrate!

Here's some pics...

Event organizer Jennifer Rowsell (centre), her daughter Megan and one of the many volunteers that help make the day run smoothly (sorry I didn't get a name!) I love that the venue was decorated with banners (oh-so-current!) to indicate the various aspects of the crop and they were all named after places your might find in the hospital - triage, lab etc.!

The room was jam packed with excited women all eager to have time to crop, to learn new techniques, win prizes and of course,  SHOP!

I loved this table where all four gals were wearing their "Scrapbook Heroes" t-shirts that were sold as yet another fundraiser for the ABCH!

Three great scrapbooking companies - Scrapshotz, Monday Night Class and Inspired Designs - had booths offering lots of great goodies for the ladies to choose from, and there was a consultant from Creative Memories, Close to My Heart and Stampin' Up along with little old me! I had a table and business was brisk!

I was also so honored to be a featured teacher along with talented scrappers such as Leica Forrest and Kimberly Collis...

...and Christy Riopel.

The prizes donated by all the sponsoring companies were awesome and I loved the idea of asking well-known scrapbookers (like Vick Boutin!) to donate items they had created!

It was a super fun day and I can't wait to find out the total amount raised for the hospital! I'll post it as soon as I know or you can visit over the next few days to see for yourself! And if you are interested in attending or volunteering for next years event, make sure to bookmark the site so you can get all the details as they are posted. The date will be set for sometime in March, and registration will commence in November. This year all 100 spots sold out very quickly, so you'll want to make sure you get a seat so you don't miss out on this amazing crop-portunity!

Congrats to Jennifer on an amazing event! Can't wait until next year!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Five

It's been a while since we we did a Friday Five Roundup! Here are some great sites, freebies and ideas to check out over the weekend:

1) FREE Ella eBook Sample!

I have been a fan of Ella Publishing Company since they opened last year. Angie Lucas and Wendy Smedley are currently at the helm of this great eBook publishing company, so you know you are going to get a good dose of Simple Scrapbooks philosophy! The free eBook has tips and tricks from all six of the eBooks Ella has already published, and includes tips from Stacy Julian, Rebecca Cooper, Cathy Zielske and more. Get yours here!

2) Cathy Zielske' Digital "School of Life" Albums

Are you a digital scrapper looking for a way to create school album for your kids? CZ to the rescue! She has created a set of digital templates to capture your kids special school moments easily and cohesively.

[caption id="attachment_1355" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cathy Zielske's 12 x 12 School Album Templates"][/caption]

Not a digi scrapper? Read the post'll still be inspired to get your kids school albums and get lots of ideas!

3) Scrapbooks & Cards Today Magazine

I re-discovered this little gem last week when Jamie Cripps (one of our DT members) had a layout  featured on their site. I had forgotten that you can download the entire magazine for FREE! Love that! Currently you can download the Winter issue, but the Spring issue is just around the corner. AND, you can access and download all of their archived issues! Yes! It's like a scrapbookers goldmine! And check out their blog and sketches featuring Becky Fleck. Lots of inspiration here!

4) Club CK

Did you know that Creating Keepsakes magazine has scaled back their publication from 12 issues per year to only 8? I guess this is another casuality of the decline of the magazine industry that we first saw happening last year when Simple Scrapbooks magazine ceased publication. CK has also lost a few of their big names - Ali Edwards, Becky Higgins, Elizabeth Kartchner and founding editor Lisa Bearnson are no longer regular columnists with the magazine, (but I am told that they will continue to contibute or be open to contributing as their time permits!)  But CK is rallying with a cool new idea - "Club CK"! I first found out about it when I picked up this special CK issue:

I researched this new club and wanted to let you know what kind of perks they are offering to Club CK members. For $34.95 you receive 4 issues of the new Tips and Tricks publication, an exclusive welcome gift, discounts on CK events, discounts from partner sponsors (there are 12 so far and the number is growing), a huge font library to access, and (what I think is the most valuable part) access to hundreds of back issues of CK, Simple Scrapbooks and special issues! There is also a great new site for members - I signed up for it because of all the back issues...there were lots of SS issues I never got my hands on so I was thrilled to have access to them this way! You can sign up here (and no, I am not an affiilate or anything...I just think it's a cool idea!) 


I wrote about this super cool site a year or so ago, but it is so useful and fun that it bears another post! It works with flickr and has some wonderful applications for your photos...a color palette generator, mosaic maker, CD cover, calendar, Trading cards, badge maker, magazine cover, photo booth strip and so much more. Get a load of this cool Andy Warhol style photo I made using my profile pic:

Check out all the applications here and have lots of fun playing!

I am off to get ready for one of the largest charity crops in Calgary - Crop4Kids - which benefits the phenomenal Alberta Childrens Hospital (a place we know too well, I'm afraid!). I am teaching a class and doing some make & takes for the 100 ladies who will be in attendance. I am SO excited to help raise money for this amazing cause. I'll have a report and some photos on Monday.

Also next week we'll have the launch of our new products for Spring, some great ideas from our DT and an Easter freebie you won't want to miss! Have a great weekend and we'll see you next week!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lucky Me!

Top O' the Mornin' to You!!

I am half Irish (my mom was born in Belfast Northern Ireland) so March 17th is a special day in my family. When I was growing up, green of course was the color of the day and we always had traditional Irish food like Irish stew, potatoes and soda bread. As I got older I was introduced to the ritual and pleasure of making REAL Irish delicious! Today my older son will be wearing green to pre-school and we'll make sure to have some green food (broccoli!) and some special green cupcakes tonight for dinner. I will be visiting mom and bringing her a cute wooden plaque with Irish sayings for her room at the nursing home. And tonight we will sign the final papers for our new house. It's a lucky day indeed!

I decided to use our St. Patrick's Day thematic Page Pak to create a quick layout to show how lucky I am to be a mom to two great little boys. The luck of the Irish was surely with me when I had these two!

Instead of using just one photo, I had a few photos of my boys, so I blocked them together to take up the same amount of space allocated for the photo in the sketch. Then I used the papers and embellishments from our "Lucky, Lucky Me" Page Pak (which will be in the shop later today!). I backed the LO with the solid black cardstock and cut a 10 inch square of the darker green as a matte for the photos. To make the strips of paper that run alongside the photos I chose to use the fun patterned paper, a solid green and the strip of ribbon from the Pak. Another wide strip of the lighter green acts as my journaling box and is anchored by one of the black and white chipboard embellies from the Pak. Two other coordinating B&W chipboard buttons balance it out on the other side of the LO. The only other supplies I used were black ink (Staz-on) to edge the photos and paper, and also to create the title with some cute Kaisercraft stamps. (And because of the orientation of the boys in the photos, I chose to run the title across the page rather than up and down as in the sketch.)

As always, our Page Paks come with enough materials to make at least two 12x12 layouts for only $5.00, usually with leftovers! Hmm...that means I can go make another layout and maybe some St. Patricks Day cards! Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Note: Make sure to check out DT member Jamie Cripps St. Patrick's Day LO that was featured in Scrapbook and Cards Today Blog last week! Congrats Jamie!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Organizing Your Flat Embellishments

This article is part of a series on scrapbook organization. If you would like to see more, please click here to go to the first article.
To badly quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Oh do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
Now, if I were to actually count the embellishments I have, it would probably number in the THOUSANDS. Yikes! We scrapbookers just love the variety of enhancements that are available on the market today and most of us just can't help ourselves. We see these cute little bitties and we simply must have them. I truly hope that you regularly USE up your brads, buttons, ribbons, die-cuts, gems, stickers, rub-ons etc. but sadly if you are like most of us you have a huge amount of these pretties cluttering up your space or lurking in the depths of closets, boxes and bags.

So, how can we possibly keep track of so many types and styles and colors and sizes of embellishments? It ain't easy my friends, but there are some great tricks and products that can help you get control.

Because of the sheer variety of embellishments available let's try to break them down into sub-categories and tackle them that way. Today let's talk about FLAT embellishments - things like stickers, rub-ons and other items that are produced or packaged flat.

Hanging storage is always a great option - it lets you use vertical wall space and keeps things visible and handy. I love how Scrapbooks etc. editor Leah Fung organizes hers on her wall:

[caption id="attachment_1319" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Use pegboard to hang embellies in their original packaging. (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1320" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Once opened, stash flat packaged embellies in hanging plastic bags. (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]

 Leah has used pegboard mounted on the wall, but you could also use other hanging systems like rails:

[caption id="attachment_1324" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Use S hooks to hang embellie packs from their original merchandising holes. (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]

If you like your items to be tucked away, consider good old binders. Add some page protectors and you have an inexpensive way to keep things under control - and you probably have lots of binders you can repurpose!

[caption id="attachment_1325" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

You can buy special binders that have custom protectors to slip your products into. Cropper Hopper makes a nice one:

[caption id="attachment_1327" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cropper Hopper Craft Binder"][/caption]

 And Store in Style offers a variety of divided page protectors so you can customize a binder for all the different sizes of your embellishments.

[caption id="attachment_1328" align="aligncenter" width="153" caption="Store in Style Multi Refill Pack"][/caption]

I use my old Creative Memories accessories binder for my alphabet stickers and retrofitted a few 12 x 12 page protectors by trimming them and sewing up the sides. This works great for me...I pull out one binder and can look at all my alpha stickers just by flipping through.

[caption id="attachment_1341" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Alphabet Stickers Binder - inside the alphas are grouped by color"][/caption]

Since most flat embellishments fit in a letter or legal size file folder you can also using traditional filing systems - a file cabinet, hanging files, accordian file system or even a desktop file holder.

[caption id="attachment_1331" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

I use a polypropelene accordian file for all my sticker sheets. I labelled the dividers by theme (Baby, Christmas, Summer, Floral etc.) and slipped the sticker sheets into each folder. I stash the whole accordian file on a shelf in my cabinet and pull it out when needed.

[caption id="attachment_1342" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Accordian Sticker File - stickers are grouped by theme/topic"][/caption]

If you like to store items where you can see them, a pretty way to do it it stacking them in a decorative bin or basket. Stand the items on end and just flip through your stash when you're looking for the perfect sticker or alpha:

[caption id="attachment_1332" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1333" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pic from Scrapbooks etc."][/caption]

Shelving is another convenient way to store flat embellishments - you can stack your items flat inside a small shelf you may already have:

[caption id="attachment_1329" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Reuse an old shelf (Pic from Scrapbooks etc.)"][/caption]
...or use a storage cube fitted with shelves:

[caption id="attachment_1330" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Cube from Oriental Trading Company"][/caption]
The storage cubes also come in many different configurations like shallow drawers, which are another great option. I use stacking Sterilite drawers for my paper scraps but they would work equally well for flat sticker sheets.

[caption id="attachment_1339" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Sterilite Drawers (Style # 2093)"][/caption]

I sourced many of the pics in this article from BHG Scrapbooks etc. website. They have many articles dedicated to craft storage which you can check out here.

Another great resource is Aby Garvey's organizational wesbite Simplify 101. She and Wendy Smedley literally wrote the book on getting your scrap space organized (The Organizd and Inspired Scrapbooker). Unfortunately the book is no longer in print, but Aby has some great tips for scrapbookers here.

I hope this has given you a few ideas to help you get your sticker stash organized! Next we'll tackle the itty bitty embellishments like brads and buttons and bling - oh my!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Meet our Designers - Sarabeth Burke

Our last (but certainly not least!) designer is Sarabeth Burke!

Sarabeth is an avid scrapbooker who lives in NY with her hubby of 4 years and their pup.  Her mission this year is to organize her pictures and albums so that she can catch up with her layouts. When she's not scrapbooking Sarabeth loves to read, run, travel, spend time with family and friends and of course take pictures.

Besides her design work for SMS, Sarabeth designs for Prairie Fairy, In a Scrap Creations and the "Sew Many" blogs - Sew Many Cards, Sew Many Layouts and Sew Many Challenges. She was a former DT member at Die Cuts R Us, Scrap That Poetry and Stamp Sistah's. Sarabeth's blog, Scrap Happie, is chock full of great ideas and inspiration for scrapbookers and she is always sharing her creations.

When Sarabeth applied for SMS Design Team she sent me a link to her gallery so I could get an ida of the breadth of her work. I was not dissapointed! Her gallery is eye candy - full of bright and fun cards, altered items, layouts, tags, ATC's, notebooks and home decor items. WOW! Here are a couple of her projects that caught my eye:

[caption id="attachment_1311" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Love Life LO by Sarabeth Burke"][/caption]

First this layouts. I loved the die cut shape of the mod paper, multi-colored letters and the oversize photo with the fun doodly frame.

[caption id="attachment_1312" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Family Life and Love accordian card by Sarabeth Burke"][/caption]

And this cute accordian style card/mini-book just made me smile. I really like the quote that continues through all four pages, the whimsical embellishments and the muted colors. So lovely!

When Sarabeth got her hands on our Artisan Journaling spots, she incorporated them into a card and layout in her unique, funky style.

[caption id="attachment_1313" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Hats Off 2 You Card by Sarabeth Burke"][/caption]

Such a cute title - I love the mix of words, numbers and pictures mounted on the journaling spot to anchor it all together.

[caption id="attachment_1314" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Snow Baby by Sarabeth Burke"][/caption]

The bright colors and the addition of stamped owl icons makes this a very non-traditional winter page - but what fun! What is traditional is how Sarabeth used the journaling spot - actually for her journaling! SUch a happy layout about a childhood memory.

Sarabeth also designs sketches (we call them Page Plans here at SMS!) and later this month we will be featuring two of her designs. We will also have new products debuting on the first day of spring, lots more great ideas from our wonderful DT, and more articles and tutorials. In case you thought we forgot, our next organizational post will be up in a couple of days and later this month DT member Michelle Roycroft (who is in the process of moving houses right now!) will share some ideas, tips and tricks to help you get your scrap stash through a move with ease! There is lots in store for the rest of March, so make sure you bookmark our site, subscribe to our blog or sign up for our monthly newsletter so you don't miss out on anything!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Meet our Designers - Marcie Morgan

I don't know where February went...I thought I would have had introduced you to all our designers by now! But we still have two fabulous gals to meet, and today, it's Marcie Morgan.

Marcie is a SAHM to two boys ages 16 and soon to be 14, and a girl age 10.  She has been married to her husband Adam for eleven years and they live in an older historical home in a small midwestern town.  They also share their home with six cats and two dogs - definitely a full house!  She has been scrapbooking for about ten years and started out wanted to do a baby album for her daughter. Needless to say she has been addicted ever since!  Besides scrapbooking, Marcie also loves to creates beautiful cards.

Marcie has been on several design teams including kit clubs, online stores, local stores, challenge sites, and manufacturers.  Currently she is designing for Amy's Creative Treasures,  The Little Shabby Box, Creatively-Green, Scrapbook Dreamer and Creekbank Creations in addition to SMS! Her work has been published numerous times, most recently in Scrap N Art's January 2010 issue and  Scrapstreet's March 2010 issue.  Marcie blogs and shares her creations at Just a Country drop by and have a visit!

When I received Marcie's Design Team application, I was impressed by her unique layouts and cards - have a look:

[caption id="attachment_1299" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="You and Me LO by Marcie Morgan"][/caption]

I love the great color combination and the fun 3-D embellishments.

[caption id="attachment_1300" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Tristan LO by Marcie Morgan"][/caption]

This is SO gorgeous and tactile - I love the felt/textured embellies and the boyish color scheme - it's grungy, but not too dark.

[caption id="attachment_1301" align="aligncenter" width="257" caption="Best Wishes Card by Marcie Morgan"][/caption]

 This card is so vintage-y and sweet with lots of great details to take in.

[caption id="attachment_1302" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Thanks Card by Marcie Morgan"][/caption]

And I really liked the shape of this card - a refreshing twist on the basic rectangle!

When I sent Marcie our Valentine Cut Outs and Artisan Bracket Journaling Spots, I was excited to see how she would use them. Her "Love" card uses one of the Valentine cut-outs as a background for the word Love and injects a hint of chocolate-brown which balances out the sweet pink and dark black colors used.

[caption id="attachment_1303" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="LOVE card by Marcie Morgan"][/caption]

And in this next LO, Marcie used a blank journaling spot as another background - this time for some sweet-heart stamps. I love the idea of of using the journaling lines as a basis for things other than journaling...who da thunk it?

[caption id="attachment_1304" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Scrapbook LO by Marcie Morgan"][/caption]

 Great ideas! We'll look forward to lots more from Marcie in the coming months!

Next up - Sarabeth Burke