Saturday, January 28, 2012

52: Use Color to Fuel Your Creativity

I spent a good chunk of time sorting and purging my scrapbooking supplies today. I had so many papers and embellishments I wasn't using so I am letting them go to someone who WILL use them! How did I end up with all that stuff? I know I liked it when I bought it, but most of it never seemed to work for me. I got to thinking about which colors I use in my scrapbooking and which I don't. It may seem obvious, but the colors I use in my scrapbooking are, for the most part, the colors I haved used in my home, the colors I wear and the colors of nature. It makes sense when you think of it, because those are the colors that show up in my photographs!

I have a lot of neutral wood tones, reds, coppery colors and chocolate browns in the public areas of my home, and our bedrooms are done in shades of blues, reds and greens. Similar colors are found in my closet...blues, greens, reds, grays and browns. And of course, our outdoor photos show a lot of green, blue and white (with all the snow we get!) So it's no wonder that I was NEVER using the yellow, purple and pink papers and embellishments that were in my stash - I had no photos with those colors in them! Knowing that, it was easier to pack them up and send them off to someone who will use those colors in their scrapbooks and enjoy them!

Thinking about color all day long made me want to share a few ideas and resources with you...

How do you organize what you have? I organize my scrapbook supplies by color for easy access. It makes them really easy to find and coordinate. For eaxmple, when I am using a patterned paper that has green, blue and turquoise in it, I know exactly where to look when I need a brad or button to make one of the colors pop. I store my small embellishments in clear plastic shoe boxes in one of my wall cabinets so they are tucked away, but still close at hand and all my papers are sorted by color as well:

My color bins are not half as inspirational as Stacy Julians though! Read about how she organizes and scraps by color here on her blog.

If you like to play with color, you will enjoy COLOURLovers, an international creative online community where you can find and share color ideas and inspiration. There are gorgeous combinations, tools and patterns that you will love and that will definitely jumpstart your creativity!

If you sometimes have trouble figuring out which colors of paper and embellishments would work with your photos, try the color palette generator from Big Huge Labs. You can upload a photo and it will create a palette of all the colors in it so you can easily identify colors that will match. (Lots of other cool stuff on this site too!)

If you want to start from scratch and create a color scheme (maybe for a card or papercraft project) check out Color Scheme Designer. It's so easy to use, but it creates professional schemes in seconds! Love it!

You've probably heard of Pantone...they have been the gurus of color in the graphic design world for over 45 years - analyzing how we use color and influencing industries such as home decor and fashion. One of the things I find amazing is that each year Pantone chooses a color of the year based on all their research and all of a sudden it shows up everywhere! Do you know what the color of 2012 is? Tangerine Tango:

I love this energetic orange! I think I need to get this cover for my iPhone:

I received the venerable Sears Spring Catalog the other day and wouldn't you know it, there was a lot of orange in it too! Orange sweaters and tops and accessories were mixed with neutrals and showing up with names like "Light Cayenne", "Fiery Orange" and "Coral". Yummy...I may have to start adding more orange to my closet this spring!

And how does this all relate to scrapbooking! Well, maybe you guessed that Creative Memories would be on top of trends and would probably feature some orange in their spring lines? Your guess would be right! Have a look at the new Enchanted line that will be available this March:

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Once again, CM is right on trend. And since I figure I'll be wearing some Tangerine Tango shades of clothing this spring/summer, I know that my photos will look awesome on my scrapbook pages thanks to this amazing line! I can't wait to see it in person (that's one of the benefits of being a consultant that I love - seeing all the goodies ahead of time!)

I hope this inspires you to spend some time browsing some of these color resources and to think a little about what colors you love, wear and use. Then see how your scrapbook stash matches up. I'll bet you'll be surpirsed how it re-energizes your layouts!

Happy (and colorful!) scrapping!

Click HERE for a list of all 52 Creative Prompts

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review: "Full of Love" by Nancy O'Dell

When I reactivated with Creative Memories in early January, I was happy to see some new partnerships with companies such as ProvoCraft and Pixels 2 Pages. I was also pleased to learn more about another partner new to CM - Nancy O'Dell. I didn't know much about Nancy, except that she was an entertainment reporter and had been on one of my favorite reality shows, Dancing with the Stars. I ordered her first book written in conjunction with Creative Memories, "Full of Love", and now that I have read it I have to say there is lots in to love about this book!

I was surprised to learn that Nancy's family has been scrapbooking for four generations and that her mother created 52 albums about Nancy and her family! As a result, Nancy is an avid scrapbooker and creates albums for her own young daughter, stepsons and husband. She also documents the interesting celebrities she has met and interviewed on the red carpet and on her TV show, Entertainment Tonight. It was interesting to read about Nancy's background, her family life, her values and ideals, and to see photos of her growing up.

The first part of the book also includes an interview with Dr. Kenneth Condrell (a noted child psychologist) that explores the importance of a family photo history, as well as some wonderful tips for getting better family photos from Ulrica Wihlborg.

In the second half of the book, Nancy shares her suggestions for essential tools and techniques as well as the shortcuts she uses as a busy working mom. Finally, more than 60 pages of great layouts finish off the book, along with a username and password to access instructions to exclusive layouts - like the one below - online!

I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would, and I took away some fresh ideas and a new appreciation for a celebrity I knew little about. I would recommend the book to any mom who scrapbooks! I am looking forward to reading Nancy's second book with Creative Memories, "Secret Ingredients", which gives ideas and "recipes" for gifts ideas made from the heart.

The book retails for for $21.95 CA and can be ordered from my CM website along with all other items from Nancy's exclusive scrapbooking collections.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

52: Photo Album Scrapbooking

Apologies for lack of posts this's been fun, but crazy busy.

Today I am at an all-day crop with 25 lovely ladies who are scrapbooking their hearts out, but I couldn't let the week end without your creative prompt!

Each year I make lots of scrapbook pages based on themes, events and just plain cute photos of my kids. But I also like to create an album of highlights of the events of the past year. I have done these albums with traditional scrapbook pages and digital storybooks, but this year I am using a different type of scrapbook album - a Picfolio - to scrap an entire years worth of photos super fast.

CM's Picfolio Album is basically a photo album made so much more accessible and attractive. Each page has slip-in slots for both landscape and portrait format 4 x 6 photos. CM also makes a wide variety of pre-sized journaling and decorative boxes to slip into the empty slots to spice your pages up and get the album done in record time.

Here is sample of one month from my year-long album - the September page:

I simply chose the photos for each spot, slipped them in and then added some title letters and journaling to two of the pre-decorated Cheerful Photo Accents! It was so fast and easy that it almost felt like I was cheating!

Although I am biased and love the CM products, you can easily adapt this idea to any photo album you have - slip your photos into the spots in any photo-safe album and then cut down some of your patterned paper to fill other spots. Add a premade journaling box or write your journaling on white paper and adhere on top of the patterned paper. It's such a fast and easy way to tell your stories that I hope you try it!

(If you are interested, select colors and styles of Picfolio photo albums are on sale for 40% off! Click here to shop.)

I'll be sure to have more posts for you next week, so make sure to drop by!
Click HERE for a list of all 52 Creative Prompts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

52: Straight vs. Curved

Hope you had fun using last weeks creative prompt of putting yourself on the page!

This week's prompt is to:

Balance the Straight with Some Curves

I was working on a layout about how busy my young son is and wanted to include seven pictures. I had trimmed a few down to 4" x 4" and had left the rest as 4" x 6"s. I matted them all onto some Cheerful Storybox photo matts to give some bright pops of color, and arranged them on the page. But even though the photos were cute, it was too..."straight", and by straight, I mean boring! I tried placing some of the photos on an angle to make it a bit more dynamic, but it still was...straight. I knew I needed to break up all those straight lines with some curves.

So, I deliberately chose patterned papers with dots and large circles on them, embellished the page with some circular button elements and cut my title letters on the Cricut with a chunky, curvy font. After a little rearranging, the circle shapes softened all the straight edges of the matted photos and provided some much needed contrast and variety - which are both important elements of design. I don't think the layout is boring anymore and I love how the circles draw the eye throughout the entire two page spread.
Materials: Cheerful Power Palette (paper, photo mats and button elements) and Cheerful Seasons Cricut Cartridge (letters). All Creative Memories

So whether you are planning to scrapbook or papercraft this week, remember to balance the straight and the curvy for great results!

I also want to give you another SHARE! Remember that I'd love to see how YOU interpret the prompt each week. Post a comment below with a link to see your straight and curvy project!

Have a great, creative weekend!

Click HERE for a list of all 52 Creative Prompts

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Creative Memories, and although we knew CM would do something big, we didn't think it would be THIS big! They had already announced new products, an awesome new host reward and 20% off all albums. But that wasn't enough.

A couple of days ago they put selected Picfolio Albums on sale for 40% off, and then yesterday all consultants got an email stating that they were offering ALL CREATIVE MEMORIES PRODUCTS AT 25% OFF FOR FIVE DAYS ONLY!


25% off is substantial in an industry where current products rarely go on sale! Here are a few highlights and great deals:

Exclusive CM Cricut Cartridges - regular $60, now $45! There are 6 to choose from!

Top Picks or Featured Products (that are already bundled and discounted!) are also now additional 25% off for even bigger the Reflections Scrapbook Bundle which includes a coverset, pages, protectors, a full power palette, tape runner and pen is now only $78.75 for a $142.00 value!

Top Pick Scrapbook Bundle - Featuring Reflections
 The Nancy O'Dell Hummingbird Collection is another extraordinarily great value - $254.00 worth of beautiful products for only $166.31! Amazing! 
Nancy O'Dell Hummingbird Bundle 

And this would be a great time to purchase that big ticket item(s) you've been wanting - like the amazing Daisy Wheeled Cart - it regular sells for $199.00, but for 5 days only you can get it for $149.25!

Daisy Wheeled Cart

Of course this sale is also a great time to stock up on all the smaller items that you use most often - tape runner and precision adhesivepens, pages and protectors, albums for future products, and any paper and embellishments you know you will use down the road. You can even purchase digital product credits on sale for Storybooks, Prints and Cards, and then complete your projects when you have time (within 180 days)!

And think ahead to any events you will need gifts for in the upcoming months - the Everyday Display is perfect gift for newlyweds or families with a  new baby in the house, the Simply Said Books would be beautiful for Mother's Day and Father's Day, and all the gift items in the digital center such as Calendars, Mugs and Tee-Shirts are also included in this fabulous sale!

So, have a look and either order online on my consultant site, or contact me and I can place your order for you. But don't delay...this whopper of a sale ends on Sunday January 15th 2012 at 11:59 pm!

Enjoy shopping and saving!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Color Inspiration - Reflections

"What's your favorite color?"

It's a question that gets asked a lot, probably because sometimes you can tell a lot about a person from their answer. Folks who love fiery reds, yellows and oranges often have warm personalities, and those who love blues and greens are thought to more introspective and reserved. Our color preferences show up in our homes in our paint, furniture and accessory choices, and in our closet in our clothing picks. We are drawn to certain colors and turned off by others.

As scrapbookers and papercrafters, we make very deliberate color choices - selecting papers and embellishments to match the colors in our photos and/or to create a certain moods on our pages. Paper designers know this and strive to stay on top of trends in the color world so the papers you can purchase at any given time will blend with the colors in the world around you!

I personally love blues and greens so it was no surprise that I was instantly in love with Creative Memories Reflections Power Palette and other products. Take a look:

Creative Memories researches upcoming trends and really works at offering products that will fit with our current lifestyles. Take a look at this video to see what I mean:

I was so inspired that I just ordered some of the Reflection line of products and I can't wait to start creating with them, but for now here are a few great ideas from the CM Project Center:

I LOVE THIS LINE! Can't wait to get it, play with it and share it with you!

As far as "Color Inspiration" goes, I'm planning on making it an ongoing feature on my blog to focus on a variety of beautiful color combinations. I've recently started a Pinterest account (which is highly addictive!) and I am loving exploring all the amazing images and creating little collections (called "boards") of visually appealing objects. Today I created a board that focuses on these colors that I love - Blue, Green and Gray and that are so gorgeous together. Visit it here and you may find that you get addicted to Pinterest - and this color combo! - too!

So this begs the question..."What's YOUR favorite color?"

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

52 Creative Prompts for Scrapbookers

Since I have been re-inspired to scrapbook and work with Creative Memories, I decided that I want to help you be more inspired, too. So I am introducing a new feature to the blog - "52 Creative Prompts for Scrapbookers"!

As the name suggest, I'll be posting some kind of creative prompt for you each and every week this year! That's 52 creative ideas for you to use as jumping off points!

And although the title states that the prompts are for Scrapbookers, there will definitely be inspiration for projects other that just scrapbook pages. After all...we all have so much in the way of cool products that we can't help but be inclined to use it for other things, right?

Prompts may include layouts or sketches for scrapbook pages; journaling prompts; a technique to try; a tool to use; a new product to drool over; a project by another scrapbooker; a theme or title to incorporate; a challenge to use certain products or photos; a design for a card or altered item, get the idea!

And I've created a new page to keep all 52 prompts nice and neatly organized for easy reference! Just click on the "52" tab above and you'll find a list of all the prompts posted so far. Click on the title of the prompt and you'll be taken to the original blog post for all the details!

I'd love to hear your ideas for prompts...or requests for prompts of a certain type! Feel free to email them to me anytime throughout the year. And if there is enough interest I will exlore creating a link party to each prompt so there will be even more inspiration to share! (OK...I'll just take it one step at a time for now!)

So although it is already January 7th, the first prompt still sqeaks into the first week of the year! Here it is:

Put yourself on the page!

That's start off the new year, document where you are in your life, what you are doing, what you love, what you dream about. You can include photos, memorabilia, journaling...whatever tells the story of you right now!

I made this page about myself a couple of years ago (so, I guess it's time to update and do another!) I created a simple list of all the things "I am" in my life. I added a couple of squares of patterned paper and just three simple paper flower embellishments. It took very little time to create, but it's a priceless snapshot of where and "who" I was at that point in my life. Remember, if you don't include yourself in your scrapbook pages, who will?

When was the last time YOU were in your scrapbook pages?

Have a great weekend!
Click HERE for a list of all 52 Creative Prompts

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My Favorite New CM Products

I hope you had a chance to look at Creative Memories new January/February mini-catalogue I linked to the other day (if not, check it out by clicking here). I promised I'd share a few of MY favorite products and give you a little more info on them so let's get right to it with my top three!

1) Exclusive Cricut Cartridges!

I love that CM has partnered with Cricut to design cartridges that coordinate with the various product lines. The Cheerful Seasons cartridge coordinates with the Cheerful Power Palette; the Reminisce Accents cartridge is a perfect match with the Reminisce collection; the Stork's Delivery cartridge works with both the Fabulous Baby Girl papers AND the Rugged Baby Boy products; the Tis the Season cartridge was designed to match the Holidazzle AND the Noel Christmas product lines, and the Traveller cartridge features versatile images that will work with a variety of travel and vacation themed products.

Now CM is introducing their sixth cartridge, This & That!

It features a variety of images, many drawn from CM punch, digital and power palette designs. You'll find everyday, sports and seasonal icons and FOUR font choices.

And check out the images in more detail and featured on projects with the Reflections line in this short video: 

This will be a very useful cartridge and I can't wait to have our Calgary Crops ladies play with it at our next crop on January 21st. I hope you can join us so you can play, too!  Get all the details and registration info here or contact me to register.

2) New Paper Designs!
Like most scrapbookers, I am addicted to yummy paper designs and CM has quite few new ones that could feed my addiction.

The Shine Collection is subtle yet luxurious in shades of cool grays and blues, with touches of silver foil. And there are beautiful coordinating albums, die cut papers and embellishment in this collection as well.

The Cake and Candles Addition is perfect for birthdays, but it's bright and cheery colors will work for lots of other events, too. CM has also featured these fun desings on two other products - an Everyday Display Accents and a set of Photo Album Accents.

The newest Nancy O'Dell collection doesn't dissappoint either - it's called LOVE, and I'm sure that you will "love" it! It features a vintage feel with colors that are great for both ladies and gents. The Love line includes the 12 x 12 Paper Additions, an 8 x 8 Album and Album Kit, a Mini Display Accents, and a beautiful Simply Said Book that would be a perfect valentine gift for someone special.

3) New Display Options!

I love my Everyday Display and last year I created my own calendar to feature on it. This year CM came up with a beautiful pre-made 2012 Calendar Display Accents that I will definitely be using!

But I may have to use my Everyday Display to show off the new Welcome to Our Home Display Accents instead! This is gorgeous and it's REVERSIBLE so you can change it up throughout the year!

There are so many fantastic items to love and be inspired by! I've just placed an order so I will have a variety of the new products on hand to see at our January 21st all-day crop. Even if you are not able to join us to crop, I hope you can drop by and see the new products and pick up your own mini-catalogue to drool over! (Just contact me and I've give you the times that I'll be available during the day and the address of the hall!)

After seeing some of these items, what is YOUR favorite must-have new item? I'd love to hear your comments!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 02, 2012

A Creative Memories Constultant

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed ringing in the New Year with friends and family. It was the first year both our boys stayed up until midnight, so it was pretty special.

Now that 2012 is here, I am excited about all that it holds for me personally and professionally, especially about having reactivated as a Creative Memories consultant. As of this morning I am all set up and ready to go (isn't technology wonderful - you can sign up online and start a business in a matter of minutes!) I already introduced you to my new Kit of the Month Club a few days ago, but here are some of the other things I will be sharing with you this year:
  • "Fifty-Two" - I'll be posting a weekly prompt to get and keep your creativity going in 2012 (Be sure to check back for details in the next few days!)
  • Crops - my colleagues and I over at Calgary Crops have more fun all-day crops scheduled for you this year, starting with one on January 21st at Montgomery Hall in Calgary! 
  • Weekend Retreats - besides our crops, we can't wait to head back to Canmore for more fun-filled weekend scrapbooking retreats in February and November! 
  • Workshops - I'll be offering specialty themed workshops at my home throughout the year, starting with a Valentines Workshop on February 3rd!
  • Projects, Ideas and Inspiration - I'll be sharing lots of ideas for traditional and digital scrapbook pages, cards and other papercrafts as often as I can!
  • Newsletter - Make sure you sign up to receive my free monthly newsletter. Enter your email address on the right hand sidebar to be among the first to know about sales, upcoming events and special offers from CM and Me!
  • Rewards Club - join the Creative Memories Rewards Club and receive 15% of your purchases back as product credits! You'll also receive a special newsletter and have access to exclusive products each month!
  • Hostess Specials - because I do a lot of workshops and retreats, it's easy to forget that Creative Memories offers wonderful host rewards for getting friends and family together for a Photo Solutions Party. You can earn free products, 1/2 price product bundles and exclusive thank-you gifts. And CM parties aren't just for scrapbookers...if your friends and family members take pictures, Creative Memories has solutions for organizing, preserving and sharing them! I would be happy to help them with all their photo solution needs, so contact me if you would like to "party"!
So much to share...and since this is Creative Memories 25th anniversary year, I am betting there is so much more to come!

I'm off to familiarize myself with CM's programs and new products, and I'll be back tomorrow to share my favorites with you. But take a peek at this new January February Mini-Catalog to see what YOUR favorites might be!