Thursday, January 31, 2013

Goals Review and January SOTM Winner!

It's hard to believe it's the end of January already! It's time to review how I did with my scrapbooking goals this month...
  1. Complete 10 personal pages per month. Almost...I did 8!

  2. Take an online class from Big Picture Classes to stay current and learn something new. I've registered for Photo Freedom which starts February 7th! Can't wait to tweak my photo system and once again be inspired by Stacy Julian. There's still time to register and join in, but even if you don't take the class, make sure to check out the info about this great system!
     
  3. Sort and organize the three Rubbermaid boxes of photos and memorabilia. Not yet...but I did do some organizing in my scraproom. I have a feeling that a lot of sorting will be a big part of my work in the Photo Freedom class this year.

  4. Offer "Naked" Scrapbooking, Beginner Digital Scrapbooking and Power Layout workshops. Naked Scrapbooking is on the calendar for March...watch for details next month!

  5. Provide a Sketch of the Month link party with a prize. Yes, and I had one scrappy lady play along! YAY! At this rate maybe I'll have 12 ladies scrap along by the end of the year! (Scroll down further in this post for the winner and her layout.)

  6. Apply for publishing calls and design teams.Yes! This is my BIG news...I applied for and was accepted to be on the design team for Scrap it with a Song! I am beyond excited to be able to play along with this great group of talented scrapbookers each month! My first reveal will be next week...I'll be sure to post and link up so you can see all of the great layouts the team comes up with! This has really gone a long way in building up my confidence, so next I'll definitely be answering some publishing calls!
What a great month!

And now I'm so happy to share with you the winning layout for January's SOTM by a customer and friend, Shauna P. 

Shauna doesn't have a blog, but she emailed me this layout that she created for HER 2013 goals...


Shauna used CM's Reflections Power Palette for this gorgeous layout! I LOVE the paper flowers, the decorative alpha stickers used in the title, the quote and the way she created a checklist of her 2013 goals! LOVE IT ALL! (And such a lovely photo of a lovely gal!)

Super job Shauna! And for playing along, Shauna wins the prize! YAY!

I hope this inspires YOU to play along with February's SOTM (which will be posted in a couple of days), or work towards achieving some of your own scrapbooking goals. It's never too late to make them and get started working on them!

Have a great, creative day!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Fast to Fabulous Pages

I'm interrupting my mini-series on organization to show you one of the ideas I shared with the ladies at our all-day crop this past Saturday. We had about 40 ladies scrapping with us and Carla and I always like to do some make and take projects with them. Carla made a cute Valentine card while I focused on a super fast scrapbook page.

Since most of the ladies had not heard about them, I did a show and tell about CM's new Fast to Fabulous albums that were introduced last fall. Then I gave them a sample F2F page to complete along with tips and a sheet of cardstock embellishments. They were amazed that you could create a double sided page for your album in minutes.

The pre-designed page I gave them featured the artwork from the Nancy O'Dell JOY Fast to Fabulous album. Here is the front....



and the back...

 

I also did up a sample of each side. These pages are so fast to complete - I just added two 4 x 6 photos (no trimming necessary) and one photo that I cropped down to 2.5 x 3.5, wrote my journaling and added a title and it took me about 4 minutes to put the page together! (OK...it did take me an extra minute or two to set up the cricut cut! I used the "Be Happy" font from our Be Young Cricut Cartridge)


At this point I could have stopped and called it done, but I had created a sheet of embellishments for the Make & Take, so I trimmed out a couple and added them onto the layout with some foam adhesive squares for a little lift (which took a whole additional minute!) I had a fully finished page in under 10 minutes!



Since some of the ladies at our crops do not use CM albums (although I am working on converting them!) I showed them that they could simply take the jeeping edges off with a craft knife and have a double sided page they can slip into a regular page protector. taking the edges off also allows you to turn the pre-designed page to whatever layout configuration you desire. I flipped mine over to have the journal box at the top and added two vertical pictures to it. Again, adding the title cut from the Be Young cartridge was the step that took the most time! 



I like the clean look of this page and it could go in my album as-is, but since I had a few more embellishments leftover, I added them in. Another page done in under 10 minutes!



Here's what's great about the Fast to Fabulous Albums:


1) They are Super Speedy. As the name suggests, these albums are faster than anything you’ve tried before. Adhere your photos, write some journaling, and add a couple of the coordinating embellishments and you can have an entire 32 page album done in about an hour and a half! Can you imagine getting albums completed and on your shelf that fast? Awesome!

2) They are Customizable. Even though the pages are pre-designed, you still have lots of options for making them your own. Add stickers, titles and journaling…or not. It’s up to you!

3) They come in a Variety of Styles. Currently there are Everyday (the Joy artwork featured), Recipe, Travel and Love themed Fast to Fabulous album sets, with more themes on the way. Colors and artwork are carefully selected so the albums will suit a wide variety of photos. 
 
4) They are very Cost Effective. You probably pay over $90.00 to complete an average 12 x 12 album –but F2F albums are only $70.00! They are pre-loaded with 16 double sided pre-designed pages, and come with stickers, die-cut embellishments, foam adhesive squares, an idea sheet and 16 page protectors. These albums truly save you both time and money!


I love this album concept and was excited to hear that more options will be available in our next full line catalog coming out on March 1st! Secret sources tell us there are baby F2F albums, which will be a godsend to busy moms who want to capture and record all the details of their little ones first days, months and year!

You can see all the current Fabulous albums here and can order them from my website and have it delivered right to your door! 

Now that our crop if over, I'll continue with more organizational ideas in the next post.
Have a great day!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Organizing with Creative Memories - Paper Storage

Sorry I've been AWOL...my older son had ear and adenoid surgery the week before last and my younger son has been battling yet another cold. Sigh...but I guess I can be thankful that we are not suffering from the dreaded flu like so many across North America are.

I don't know about you, but the New Year inevitably gets me going on an organizational roll around the house. So far I've revamped closets, drawers and cupboards and I showed you how I used a CM product to help me stay on track in my kitchen, but one of my favorite areas to putz around in and organize is my scrap room. Nothing gets my creativity going like seeing lovely papers and embellishments ready for the next project!

Scrapbook supplies are a storage challenge, but thankfully manufacturers are coming up with more and more solutions that make it much easier to get and stay organized. One of the big complaints I hear from my customers is how to corral all that scrapbooking PAPER. Creative Memories has a few great options for paper storage that are working for me...

Power Palette Folders - I've tried other brands of paper keepers, but these are by far my favorite! They are are so user friendly and useful! I store all my full power palettes in them as there are specific spaces for papers, stickers, and embellishments - they are a perfect fit!

Your 12 x 12 papers go in the centre section of the folder, long sticker sheets have spots on the back and there are three spaces on the front for your photo mats, coordinating embellishments and any scraps you might hang on to. Labels that are included with the folders slip into slots on the top edge and make it easy to see which palette is inside.

After I sort my power palette components into each folder and label them, I store them in the upright slots on one of my storage cubes. (I have several of these that I purchased from Michael's that I stacked and used to support my desktop and provide storage.)



If you don't have any of these handy cubes with built divided slots, the folders also fit beautifully in our Racking System with its Hanging Folders.



You could also store them in a bookcase that holds 13 x 13 cubes (like the Expedit line from IKEA) or simply place them in a desktop file folder holder or basket for easy access on your cropping surface.



One of the things I love about the Power Palette Folders is that I can grab one or two when I am getting ready for a crop or retreat, slip it into my bag and I know I'll have lots of choices of papers and coordinating embellishments at my fingertips! (Psst...I'll be doing a post on packing for a crop soon!)

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12 x 12 Daisy File Mate - This file folder has 13 compartments to sort and store papers, memorabilia, sticker sheets etc.  It is made of the same durable polypropelene as our Power Sort box and is photo safe, so it's great for photo elargements as well.



I store all my CM papers that are not part of a Power Palette in this, and label each compartment for easy reference.




It would also be a great place to store your solid cardstock or reusable scraps sorted by color, or your stickers and flat embellishments sorted by theme.

The accordian style bottom means it can expand to free-stand on a desk or bookcase, but can compress to store flat or take to crops. It also has a velcro closure, so whatever you're storing in it stays dust free and protected.

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Racking System and Hanging Folders - This is a great table top solution for keeping your papers or kits organized and accessible within easy reach.


I have two of these siting on top of a bookshelf to keep all my cardstock in. It's SO easy to see what I have...I can easily select and pull out a few sheets for consideration when I am starting a project, then put the sheets I am not using back quickly and efficiently. And my cardstock has no bent corners!



You can place this handy rack on your desk, or leave it on shelf or in a cupboard. It also fits perfectly into our Daisy Wheeled Cart for storage or to take along with you to a crop.

I hope that gives you a few ideas on how to organize your scrapbooking papers. In the next post I'll share some ideas for sorting and storing all your lovely little embellishments!

Have a great day!



Sunday, January 06, 2013

Organizing with Creative Memories - the Kitchen

The new year always seems like the perfect time to clean up and re-organize your space. One of the first spaces to get organized is my kitchen command center - the old calendar comes down and gets switched out and all the bits and pieces on the bulletin board get cleaned off, freeing up space for info about the new activities ahead.

I have a very small space in my kitchen for all this stuff and despite my best efforts to keep it under control, it gets a bit crowded...witness the "before" photo!




So this year I decided to streamline a bit and use one of CM's 12 x 12 write-on/erasable Photo Panels as my kitchen calendar instead of a regular paper calendar that takes up the whole wall. I first saw the idea of making the photo panel into a calendar back in the summer in a post on the CM Digital 411 blog that featured this one made with one of the gorgeous Enchanted papers as the background.




It's lovely, but unfortunately it didn't go with the colors and decor in my own kitchen. I had already painted my command center bulletin board and a little wooden box that holds pens and notepaper in my favorite accent color (red!) so I created my own photo panel in Storybook Creator 4.0 and gave it a simple red and white checkerboard background and left as much space as I could blank for each date space. I uploaded it to the CM digital centre and it was on my wall within a week and a half! (Please excuse the glare...the photo panel surface is very glossy!)
 



It only takes up half the room that the old style calendar did, and now I have room to mount a large double wall pocket (from the Martha Stewart office line at Staples) to keep the boys school papers in below the calendar. I have another small Martha pocket mounted on the bulletin board where I keep a small paper calendar that I record dates for coming months in, and then I just wipe the photo panel calendar clean and update it each month. It's so easy to change and always looks good - no more scribbled notes and scratched out events. Now granted, we are only 5 days into the month, but so far it's working out fine! I love how my command center looks now, and that's half the battle to staying organized, right?





If I had a little more wall space I might have gone with our traditional 12 x 18 calendar hung on one of the new Calendar Frames! They are gorgeous, and I love the idea of having the calendar and white board integrated into one piece.


There are two sizes of frames - one will hold CM's 12 x 18 size calendar and the other fits our 8 x 12 calendar perfectly! The fact that you can personalize not only your calendar but the the actual whiteboard is a huge bonus! (PS: If you are thinking about purchasing a Photo Panel or a Calendar frame from the CM digital center, you will need a consultant ID#: mine is 75483791, and I would love it if I could help you out in any way with your digital projects!)

The other two organizational projects I have planned for my kitchen include organizing my recipes using the Nancy O'Dell Recipe Collection Quick Album (which is on sale right now!)...


...and updating my household binder using the same artwork as in the recipe kit above, but in digital format.




Who would have thought Creative Memories would help me get my kitchen under control? I'll be sharing more organizational ideas in the next few days, so be sure to stop by. And don't forget that the Creative Memories Awesome Annual Album Sale is on until Monday January 7th with 30% off albums, pages and protectors. The sale does continue through until January 21st, but with only 20% off, so shop early for the best selection and prices!

Are you organizing today? Whatever you are doing, have a great Sunday!



Thursday, January 03, 2013

January Sketch of the Month and PRIZE!

Hello 2013! I am excited to shift gears this year here on the blog and try to provide you more ideas and inspiration than ever.

If you follow me or have visited before, you'll know that last year I offered a Kit of the Month each month with layout ideas, a 12 x 12 CM Additions pack and all the extra die-cuts and instructions needed to complete the projects. But since CM is reducing the number of new Addition packs they are releasing, I decided to discontinue the KOTM and instead provide you with a sketch each month here on the blog! I figure a sketch may be more useful to you than KOTM was, and it makes me happy to think that more of you might be out there scrapbooking!

I'll be posting the SOTM near the beginning of each month along with the prize for each month. Yes - PRIZES! Yay!

You'll have all month to create a layout based on the sketch, post it on your blog and link up to your post. Don't have a blog? No problem! Simply email me a JPG of your layout and you can still be eligible to win! On the last day of the month I will randomly pick a winner using a number generator and arrange to send off the prize to the lucky winner! How fun is that?

So, are you ready to have some fun? Let's go!

Here is January's SOTM:



Like most of my own sketches or page plans, its straightforward, multi-photo and has room for journaling. Its open for lots of interpretations, occasions and themes and I can't wait to see how YOU use it!

To get some ideas flowing, here is my own layout based on the sketch:


Digital Layout created with Storybook Creator 4.0 by Creative Memories
"Family", "Serene" and "Christmas Is" Digital Art Kits by Creative Memories
 

 
Remember I mentioned a prize? Well, to kick things off this month, I actually have TWO prizes! In honor of the inaugural SOTM, the first person to post a layout AND the randomly generated winner will both receive a LOVE 12 x 12 Addition which has four double sided papers, eight 4.5 x 6.5 photo mats and two sticker sheets!
 
 
 
 
I can't wait to see your layouts, so don't leave me hanging! When you are ready to share your layout, scroll to the bottom of this post, click on the little blue frog, then follow the instructions. Don't forget to use the link to the blog post that features your layout, not your home page. If you are emailing a JPG of your layout to me, make sure you have January SOTM in the subject line. You have until January 31st to enter - good luck!