Friday, October 26, 2012

6 x 6 Hocus Pocus Stack Pack Tutorials

The other day I shared a couple of 12 x 12 layouts that used the 6 x 5 Hocus Pocus Stack Pack with you. Today I want to show you some other ways to use this handy size of paper, so here are THREE quick step-by-step tutorials to show you how to make an 8 x 8 scrapbook layout, a banner and a card!


The 6 x 6 size lends itself to 8 x 8 pages as well. Here I used a favorite photo of me and my boys on Sammy's first Halloween, on an 8 x 8 page for my "Photos I Love" album.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Trim a 12 x 12 piece of Gold Cardstock down to 8 x 8 to use as the base. 
  2. Place a single 6 x 6 sheet from the Hocus Pocus Stack Pack in the upper right hand corner.
  3. Cut a 4.5 x 8 piece of Black Cardstock. Place it as shown over the patterned paper.
  4. Mount your photo on the black cardstock, equal with the edges of the patterned paper underneath.
  5. Place the large tree die-cut, a colored tab, a word die-cut, and half of a banner die cut as embellishments. All these die-cuts come from the first four pages of the stack pack. (Of course you can use embellishments that suit your photos and place them as you like!)
  6. Add a handwritten title in white on the black cardstock, and journaling in black at the bottom.


I also created a Halloween banner for the mantle in the family room. Over the last year I have seen so many cute banners, but have never made one myself! It was pretty quick and easy - it only took me about half an hour to put this together.

Let's make it:

1. Select nine 6 x 6 papers from the stack pack, or one for each letter on your banner (I wanted to spell "Halloween")
2. Measure the centre point (3") along one edge of a paper and mark it.

3. Trim a straight line with your paper cutter from the opposite top corner to the mark you made on the bottom edge. Repeat with the other side to form a long triangle. Do this with all nine papers.

4. Repeat the steps above with nine pieces of 7 x 7 solid cardstock. (I used Black, Gold, Grape and Green Apple). These will form a heavier base for the banner behind the patterned paper. For an added detail, I cut mine using the Pinking Blade on my Rotary Trimmer.
5. Adhere patterned paper triangles to cardstock triangles.
6. To spell your message you can use large letter stickers like CM's monograms stickers, or you can cut some letters to whatever size you need with a Cricut or other die-cut machine. I used the White Swirly Monograms (but in retrospect I would have used black if I had some handy - just to have them stand out a little more.)
7. If you want additional embellishments, you could add a few punched shapes, some of the die-cuts from the stack pack or the matching Hocus Pocus Layered Stickers to some or all of the banners.
8. Punch a small hole in each top corner of each banner piece. It helps to use the first one you do as a template for the rest.

9. Thread string, yarn or ribbon through the holes to loop the banner pieces together. I used some natural cotton yarn and started by going in at the left hand corner of the banner, keeping the string behind the banner piece and then up and out the right hand corner.

Tie off the ends in a little bow, then hang from a mantle or wall!

I can see doing this for Christmas as well (although the new CM Holiday Frames and Tags Cartridge includes a banner shape, so I might try that! Watch for the new cartridge and the entire new Christmas product line launching on November 1st!!!!)


6 x 6 Stack Packs are also perfect for cardmaking...the smaller pieces are easy to work with and you don't have to cut into an entire 12 x 12 piece of paper. Here is a SUPER EASY card I made using some the leftovers from the banner project.

Get 'er done:
  1. Punch twelve hexagons from the scrap pieces of the Hocus Pocus papers using the Hexagon Place and Punch.
  2. Line up four hexagons along the top edge with one point going off the edge. Adhere. Trim off the overlapping pieces.
  3. Repeat with four hexagons along the bottom edge. Adhere. Trim off any overlap.
  4. Places three hexagons in the approximate centre of the card, lining up the points with the "valleys" created by the other hexagons.  This creates a neat chevron effect above and below! Adhere. Trim the last hexagon in half from point to point and adhere at either end of the middle row of hexagons with the cut edge to the outside of the card.
  5. Add the letters B-O-O to the three solid hexagons in the middle row!

Don't overlook the 6 x 6 size of paper as being'll get a lot of mileage from one of these packs! And make sure to check out these other 6 x 6 Stack Packs by CM:

Achievements -

Be Young -

And, Fluffy & Fido

Have fun creating!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Working with 6x6 Papers - Hocus Pocus

Despite the recent dump of snow that makes it feel more like winter than fall, we are getting into the Halloween spirit around here! The boys have decided on their costumes (Darth Maul & Ironman, thank-you-very-much), and I have started to put up the Halloween decorations. With Halloween on my mind I thought I would break out Creative Memories new Limited Edition Halloween Products and play a little bit.

A few ladies at our recent all-day crop mentioned that they loved the Hocus Pocus Stack Pack papers and the matching Hocus Pocus Layered Stickers, but were somewhat intimidated by the pack's 6 x6 size. They asked me how they would use the papers on their layouts when they were so small? I told them to think of their "scrapbooker's math"...a 12 x 12 page is easily divisible by 2's, 3's, 4's and 6's! I thought maybe it would be helpful to share a few ideas how you can use these little gems in your scrapbooking and papercrafting projects. I've got a couple of layout ideas for you today and will share a decorating project and some cards later this week.

Here's one way you could use 6 x 6 paper when you are working on a 12 x 12 layout. First I created the base for my layout by placing four different but complimentary 6 x 6 papers on top of Black Cardstock as my base. Staggering the 6 x 6 sheets gives me 8 places to "house" the various elements of my page.

Next, fill up all eight spaces. I decided to use six spaces for photos, leaving two spaces for the title and journaling. Since I wanted to see the patterns on the papers, I cropped a couple of the photos down to about 4 x 5. The remaining 4 x 6 photos sometimes overlapped into other spaces. Notice that I lined up the edges of any overlapping photos across the two page spread - this helps to draw the eye across the entire layout. I added die-cut banner and hexagon shapes to the last two spaces. (Yes, the first four sheets of the pack are actually die cuts...there are lots of words, frames, shapes that you can use in addition to the papers themselves!)

Finally, I finished the layout off with a title made from some (very old) CM letter stickers from my stash, a few word die-cuts and the black cat and spider/web die-cuts from the stack pack. I journaled with black and white pens and then used the white pen to add stitch marks to the black squares and faux bows between the banner die-cuts.

Here is another 12 x 12 layout - this time a single page. This one was scraplifted from this great layout at CM's Project Center:

To start, I used two pieces of identical 6 x 6 papers and lined them up on my Gold Cardstock base. Photos of Grayson and two buddies from three years ago own were placed on top of the papers and slightly off centre on an angle.

The new Rustic Fence Border Maker Cartridge on Black Cardstock made a quick fence and the Pumpkin Chain Border Maker Cartridge produced several sweet row of pumpkins from Gold, Carrot and Green Apple Cardstock!

I cut the large pumpkin from CM's Cheerful Seasons Cricut Cartridge (at size 3.5) from the Gold, Carrot and Green Apple cardstock scraps, and used that as my journaling box.

The title was also cut from the Cheerful Seasons Cartridge using the Basic Font at size 1.5.

Here's my take on the above layout:

If you like these Halloween products, you'll want to order them right away before they are gone! Creative Memories is moving to offer seasonal products for a limited time only. They will be available only while supplies last or until the end of the campaign (October 31st). This is to eliminate stocking products long after the seasonal celebration is over. This will be the way they offer their Christmas products as well this year...the new line will launch November 1st and will ONLY be available while supplies last (WSL) or until the end of the campaign (December 31st). After that, they're GONE! (And you don't want to miss out on this years amazing products, believe me!)

But I'm getting ahead of myself...let's get Halloween over first! How are YOUR Halloween projects coming along? As I mentioned I'm working on a few more featuring this stack pack, so be sure to check back in a couple of days to check them out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Keep Calm and Scrap On

I've always loved the "Keep Calm" signs, and now I've made my own. I plan on getting a poster made of it for my scrap room - love it!

You can make your own Keep Calm poster at this cool site.

Have fun!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nancy O'Dell Promotes her CM Products!

If you watch any daytime TV shows such as Anderson Cooper, Rachael Ray or Better TV,  you may have seen Nancy O'Dell talking up her new CM products on their shows last week! With a gal like Nancy spreading the CM good news, my work in helping people preserve their memories is so much easier! Ha!

If you missed the shows, have a look here:

Here Nancy makes an album with Anderson Cooper and teaches him about double sided tape! It showcase the amazing Fast to Fabulous Joy album that has pre-printed pages already loaded in the album and can be completed in about an hour!

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Here Nancy talks about how saving memories is much hipper these days, her  new "Here's to Fabulous You" book, and gives Rachael Ray a cute custom scrapbook of her pup, Isaboo!

And here she talks about the types of things she puts in her own "Here's to Fabulous You" book to remind her of what is important and how fabulous her life is, even when she has to wear her curlers to take her 5 year old daughter to school! One of the things I like about Nancy is that she is pretty "real"!

The book itself is like a personal, visual journal.
When I was a Fine Arts Consultant for the school board, I remember giving inservices on visual journaling. The idea behind it is to capture aspects of your life (or any other given topic) in words, photos, drawings, clippings etc. I have seen visual journals used with kids aged grade 1 and up as a place to collect research or simply to record their experiences. My own visual journals are pretty personal - they document the highs and lows in my life in pictures and words. I think that scrapbooking is a natural off shoot of visual journaling and vice-versa, and I'm thrilled that a celebrity like Nancy O'Dell has created  an easy to use versions and is promoting it so widely. The more people who hear the message about the importance of preserving our memories, the better!
I have been slowly adding to my own "Here's to Fabulous You" book since I received it in September. It's really easy to jot a note down here or there, or add a photo to one of the cute pages, plus there are two pages of stickers to embellish the pages with! I like the way it is organized into four sections - Relationships, Aspirations, Feeling Good and House to Home - an area for all the important aspects in your life. You can see all the pages inside the book by clicking here.

You can purchase your own copy of "Here's to Fabulous You" on my secure CM website!
What will you put in yours?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Falling for Apples

I love fall...the colors, the holidays, and of course the food! This year I was up to my ear in apples from our backyard apple trees and I had to come up with several ways to use them up. Most experiments were very yummy so I thought I would share a layout, AND a few of my favorite apple recipes!

All materials Creative Memories:
"Cheerful Fall 12 x 12 Additions" papers and stickers (retired)
This layout was quick and simple - like all my layouts! I don't often use photos larger than 4x6, but I was so impressed with the size, color and beauty of the apples from our tree that I had to feature them more prominently.
Although this particular autumn themed kit is now retired, Creative Memories has lots more papers and digital kits to choose from to complete your fall layouts. I particularly like the 12 x 12 Autumn Addition kit,
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OK...on to some apple recipes!
First I made Crock Pot Apple Butter. Super Easy!
24 apples
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp all spice
1 tbsp cinnamon
Peel core and roughly chop the apples. Place in a large crockpot (I have an oval one...not sure of the capacity, but it's big enough for a large roast or chicken).
Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.
Set the crock pot on low and leave it. FOR A LONG TIME. Yes, it took about 13 hours to get the apple butter to turn into a dense, thick, jam like consistency, so it's best to start this early in the morning or leave it overnight. I stirred it a few times throughout the process to break things down a little more. I didn't bother running it through a food was smooth enough as it was.
I packed the cooled butter into 1 cup plastic freezer containers to freeze, although I'm sure if you were inclined you could preserve it in jars...I'm not a canner, so I can't offer any advice there!
Apple butter is super yummy on toast and pancakes, and I also used it to make a very moist Apple Butter Spice Cake. I made it in a bundt pan and it was delicious!
I also made a small batch of Applesauce using mostly the same recipe as the apple butter. I basically halved the amounts - 12 apples, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. all spice and 2 tsp. cinnamon. I dumped it all in a smaller crockpot (the old round ones from the 70's that was my moms!) and left it to cook for about 5 or 6 hours on low. It was chunky and had the applesauce texture. No need to preserve was gone in a day!
The last recipe is a family favorite...Marie's Apple Brown Betty. My mom used to make it for Sunday suppers in the fall and winter. This is different than most apple crisps or cobblers in that the topping doesn't have any oatmeal in it. It produces a yummy, crispy, crusty topping, and is best served warm out of the oven with a little bit of vanilla ice cream melting over the top! Mmmmm!
8 apples (I used our backyard apples, but use tart Granny Smith is you need to buy some)
brown or white sugar, about 1/4 cup
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
Peel apples and slice very thinly. Layer into a glass or corning ware baking dish, then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Layer more apples, sugar and cinnamon, repeating until your dish is 3/4 full.
In a separate bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and flour with your fingers until it is a coarse, crumbly mixture. Pack this mixture over the apple layers. (If your dish is very wide, you may have to make a second batch of topping.) Bake at 350 degrees until apples are very soft and topping is golden brown - about 30 minutes. Pop it in the oven while you are eating supper and it will be perfect in time for dessert!
I hope you have time to try some of these family loved them!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October Kit of the Month

I have prepped all the kits for the ladies coming to KOTM club tomorrow and thought I would share them with you.

This months kit features papers and embellishments from Nancy O'Dell's "Gratitude" line, which is very appropriate for (Canadian) Thanksgiving this month! Each kit has eight double sided papers, sixteen photo mats, an embellishment package, two die-cut titles, word art, two sheets of cardstock, a blank composition book and a step-by-step instruction sheet. You'll create a double page spread, a single page layout, two cards and a Gratitude Journal, and still have lots of leftovers to make more gratitude themed projects!

Here is a close-up of the double page spread:
The great thing about this layout is that it is all about flexibility. In the step-by-step instructions in your kit, you will learn how to take the basic sketch and adapt it for use with any number of photos in any orientation. It's not just another layout to's a foolproof method to quickly create layouts over and over again!

The single page layout in the kit is just as versatile. Here is my sample layout...

... but you'll be able to adapt it to YOUR photos!

If you can't join us tomorrow evening for our monthly workshop but would like a kit, you can still purchase one and I will arrange to get it to you (free of charge local delivery in Calgary area or additional S&H fee if out of town). Contact me to order yours today!


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Getting my mojo back

Apologies for the lack of posts recently...I'll blame it on family illnesses, getting ready for a large all-day crop and traveling. But more importantly I should blame my lack of's amazing how fast you can get out of the habit of doing something and how hard it can be to get back into it!

We travelled to visit family this past Thanksgiving weekend and during the trip I had the chance to do some digital scrapbooking using my Storybook Creator 4.0 Software. I used the amazingly simple Click and Fill Templates to finish off several pages - I couldn't believe how fast they were and what great results I got. The Click and Fill pages are like blank sketches...the page design is done for you, and you just click on each element and fill it with any digital paper, color or texture that you have in your collection! So easy!

This layout looks like pockets with photos tucked into them. I chose this template from the Click and Fill IV collection, then used papers and embellishments from the digital Primary Power Palette to complement the photos of Sam's recent field trip to an art studio.

As much as I LOVE traditional paper scrapbooking, I like being able to go digi when time and circumstances don't allow me to cut and paste. I didn't have to pack up lots of paper or tools and I still was productive and preserved several more memories while on the go.

I'll share more digi pages in the next few days and try to get back into the habit of creating and posting. Thanks for visiting my blog even when there isn't much going on - I sure appreciate it!