Sunday, April 29, 2012

Effective Embelishing on a Creativity Journal

Today's exercise over at Ella Publishing's Spring Training 2012 is all about Effective Embellishing with Design Coach, Lisa Dickinson. The challenge is to pull out a layout that needs embellishment help. It could be in progress on your desk, or tucked away in an album. Pick one of the tips we learned today and spend 10 minutes implementing it on your page. This is what I learned . . .
1. Go With the Odds - Cluster odd numbers of items together in groups of 3 or 5. 
2. Use Like Items -  Use like items on a page, such as hearts, flowers, or similar items.
3. Create Visual Triangles - Group embellishments together to create a visual triangle on the page. See example below.
4. Use a Boundary - Use a boundary such as pennants or tags to cluster embellishments and keep them in their own space on the page.  
The inspiration for this little Creativity Journal came from the previous Stampin' Up! Sale-A-Bration catalog (page 4). I altered a little notebook that I purchased from the dollar bin at a big box store. I created my own chipboard scallop butterfly using recycled cardboard and the Bigz Beautiful Butterflies Die & Bigz Clear Scallop Square Die. It features the Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper and the Fresh Vintage Stamp Set. 
Example: Using groups of embellishments to create a visual triangle.
If you'd like more Creative Challenges, check out this post by Stampin' Up! Trainer, Carrie Cudney at

How I Like to Spend a Lazy Sunday with MDS

Here is my layout, inspired by the photo taken in low light below. Click on the layout for a larger view. I used My Digital Studio and added a PNG overlay from Ella Publishing's Take 12 Guided Inspiration Kit.

Shooting in Low Light

Shot with a Canon Rebel T3i; 50mm f/1.8 lens; Shutter Priority Mode 1/320; AV 1.8, ISO 3200
Yesterday's exercise with Spring Training 2012 at Ella Publishing was to practice taking photos indoors in low light. Erin Cobb, Photography Coach had some great tips like, holding your arms in toward your body to steady the camera and spread your legs when you take the photo so your body act as a tripod. Then hold your breath and shoot. I still need a lot of practice in low light, but this photo inspired the digital layout in the next post. I used My Digital Studio and added a PNG overlay from Ella Publishing's Take 12 Guided Inspiration Kit.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Three Ways to Use Window Light

As I was creating this digital scrapbook page with Stampin' Up!'s My Digital Studio on the computer, my 8-year-old came in the office, looked at the monitor and frantically asked, "What are you doing?!" I said, "What do you mean?' and he pointed to the digital layout and said, "THAT! You can't do THAT! You have to get everything out!" I assured him it was okay and that we can still get everything out later for a different project.

Today, I learned three ways to use window light to take pictures with Erin Cobb, Photography Coach over at Ella Publishing's Spring Training 2012.  I photographed my oldest son indoors using a window with Side Lighting, Back Lighting and Front Lighting. Then another one outdoors just for fun. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Photographing Expressions

This morning, Erin Cobb was my virtual photography coach at Ella Publishing's Spring Training 2012.  Her video presentation was on Shooting for Expression. My assignment was to grab a kid in the 10-and-under crowd and give myself a 5-minute time limit. The challenge was to get as many different expressions in those 5 minutes as I possibly could.  Here is my very favorite photo and a digital scrapbook page below with some of my other favorite pictures from this afternoon's photo shoot.
I created this 12 x 12 scrapbook page using Stampin' Up's My Digital Studio and the Summer Home Template which comes with the software package. And now there’s My Digital Studio Express™, a downloadable version of our exclusive software for just $39.95! You can even try it free for 30 days HERE.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Creative Banner

 I was so inspired by my organized craft room that I sat down today and made this for friend who is moving out of state. It's for her new craft room. I used the Pennant Bigz XL Die which retired last year. The letters are the Bigz Serif Essentials Alphabet (113464).  I used Soft Suede card stock and Beau Chateau Designer Series Paper. Each of the letters are shown below and you can click on the photo for a closer look.

Storage Solutions

It's Day 3 of Spring Training 2012 with Ella Publishing and today's topic is Making Sense of Storage Options. Yesterday I showed you how I organized my collection of Stampin' Up! stamps. Today, I'd like to show you how I organize my Stampin' Up! re-inkers.  I found this cute wooden display case at an antique store and I knew I had to have it. I like to be able to see everything. I find that if it's out and visible then I'm more likely to use it. Inside, I grouped them together by color.  Here's a link to a previous post describing how to watercolor using your re-inkers and an Aqua Painter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Organizing Clear and Wood Mount Sets

This morning I did some more organizing with my stamps along with Wendy Smedley, Organization Coach and Ella Publishing's Spring Training 2012. Today's exercise was to work with the Keep Pile that I created yesterday and consider different ways to organize it. I normally organize my stamps by theme and holiday like flowers, Christmas, birthday and sentiments.  This time I decided to try something different since my stash was considerably less than normal after all of the purging. I always separate my stamps by Clear Mount and Wood Mount for shelving purposes. I created a shelf using an embellished photo box and shoe box lined with Greenhouse Gala Designer Series Paper which I just screwed into the wall. This way I can read the title of the stamp set. I organized the Clear Mount sets alphabetically. For wood mount sets, I always put the sticker label facing the same way on the box, in the front left, with the lid opening like a book. I organized these by box shape. That probably doesn't seem like it makes much sense, but it's easier for me when I rummage through the sets, to just stack them back on the shelf when I've found the one I want to use. Please leave a comment.  I'd love to hear how you organize your stamp sets. Do you keep wood and clear together?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Going, going, gone!

Hundreds of Stampin' Up! stamps are retiring and this is your last chance to get them before they're gone. You can check the RETIRED LIST HERE and order before May 31st at
Thanks to some motivation from Ella Publishing's Spring Training 2012 and Organization Coach, Wendy Smedley, I just completed the task of organizing my stamps. It's hard to say goodbye, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to saying hello to some new friends on June 1st when the new Stampin' Up! catalog comes out.
This is how I said goodbye. . . The first step is to DUMP and sort. I dumped all of my stamps out on the bed and sorted them alphabetically.
I started out with 114 Stampin' Up! Stamp Sets.

The second step is to PURGE. Using the Retired List, I went through and separated the sets that were retiring from the sets that were carrying over. I ended up with 35 sets that are carrying over and 79 sets that are retiring.

Last, I SORTED the stamps into four categories:
1.) KEEP - These are the 35 stamp sets that I am keeping that are carrying over.
35 out of 114 are keepers!
2.) SHORT TERM STORAGE: These are sets that are retiring, but they aren't gone yet, so I'm keeping them to use at stamp club next month and demonstrate. This pile also has some sets that I like, and I can't decide if I want to keep them long term or not, so I will re-evaluate them in a few months.
Short Term Storage Pile (not quite willing to part with these yet).

3.) FILE AWAY: These are sets that will be retiring, but I am keeping them in a separate area,  away from my current stamps that I use for workshops .I usually keep the font and alphabet sets for monogram cards or scrapbooking page titles. I'm a font collector.
Filed away for personal use.
4.) TOSS: These are sets that I will sell, donate or swap when the new catalog comes out.
Goodbye my friends!
It's not too late to take Spring Training 2012 with me. I feel like I had a productive morning!

Spring Training 2012 - Purging and Sorting Supplies

Today I'm participating in a LIVE online event with Ella Publishing called, Spring Training 2012. I'll get inspiration from 5 expert scrapbook coaches and training exercises over the course of two weeks. Each day, I will participate in daily challenges and blog about it. Today's exercise is all about organization with Wendy Smedley, Organization Coach on purging and sorting supplies. It's not too late to sign up if you'd like to play along with me. Dedicate just 20-40 minutes a day to “power crafting” for the next two weeks, and you’ll walk away with ideas and inspiration that will keep you motivated long-term. At the end of this event, Ella guarantees that you’ll enjoy a more organized scrapbook space, refined photography skills, 12 completed projects, and concrete ideas for at least 33 more.

This couldn't be better timing for me since Stampin' Up! released the Retired List. So, I'll be working on organizing my stamps this morning. I'm going to start with 5 Piles and label them: 
1. KEEP:  these will be my CURRENT stamps that are NOT retiring on June 1st.
2. SHORT TERM STORAGE: these will will be stamps that are retiring from my previously current stash, but I still need them. These will be a few sets that I will demonstrate at May's stamp club as a "get them before they are gone" promotion.
3. TOSS: Toss out stamps!! NEVER!!! My toss pile is actually going to be a GARAGE SALE pile. 
4. FILE AWAY: This pile will include previously retired stamp sets that I am keeping because I love them and I can't live without them. This pile is really really big.

Check back for a photo of my Keep Pile. This is where the creativity happens:

Friday, April 20, 2012

National Scrapbook Day Coming Soon

Big Picture Classes

Who wants to sign up with me? It's FREE! Big Picture Classes and Creating Keepsakes Magazine are teaming up to bring you their 2nd annual, fun-filled Creative Crop for National Scrapbook Day! The online event will kick-off Saturday, May 5th at 9am PST. You can look forward to 12 jam-packed hours offering creative challenges every hour, live chats with industry professionals, amazing giveaways, and constant inspiration and interaction! Best of all, you can use your Stampin' Up! supplies that you have on hand for the challenges. 

Need a Simply Scrappin' kit? Order one online now and receive it in time for the big day. Stampin' Up! has a section just for scrapbooking at:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hostess Gift - Easy Events Tags

Here are some cute little tags that I made as a gift for my workshop hostess as a thank you. I CASE'd the idea from a set of tags that we made last year at Convention.  I used the Easy Events stamp set, stamped in Black Craft Ink and heat embossed with Black Embossing Powder. I used Stampin' Write Markers and a blender pen to color the images. I also used the flower punch from the Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack to add interest to the flowers. My tag base is Temping Turquoise and the little cello bag features the Summer Smooches DSP. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summer Smooches Promotion

Summer Smooches!  Purchase a suite of brand-new products from the 2012-2013 catalog, including two products that are only available April 1-30.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creating Pretty Cards and Purses with Summer Smooches

To create these pretty cards I used the Creating Pretty Cards Sketch Challenge #10 on Craft Project Central. I'm using the new Summer Smooches Designer Series Paper which is a Stampin' Up! promotion this month. This is a sneak peak of new product coming out in June, but Stampin' Up! made it available to purchase early, this month only. I also created little purses to go with the cards. These are made with a new Stampin' Up! die called Petite Purses which is also part of this promotion. I used the Pursuit of Happiness stamp for the sentiment.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Creating Pretty Cards Sketch Challenge 10 - Just for Fun!

I am honored to design April's Creating Pretty Cards Sketch Challenge #10 for Craft Project Central. This month they are trying something different with their challenge. You get to vote on your favorites.  You can vote whenever you want, and as many times as you want.  This is going to be a just for fun card challenge.  No pressure to try to win a free subscription, or worry about your entry taking away someone else's chance to win.  And again, feel free to create as many cards as you like and share your pretty creations with us all!

For the sample card, I featured the Dinoroar Stamp set and the Just Add Cake Designer Series Paper. I designed this card to be over sized measuring 6" x 6" folded for a fun child's birthday card. You can even make custom envelopes using the NEW Simply Scored Diagonal Tool.

Click HERE for the Sketch 10 Mini Tutorial. I can't wait to see what you create! See you over at Craft Project Central.

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