Monthly Archives: May 2012

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Friday’s Faves: My Go-To Alphas

Good morning!  I thought I’d share a few of my faves today in the way of alphas, I’ve got a few of my digi faves and some paper faves too and I’ve rounded them all up into one fun little post–so here they are the six alphas that I love to turn to time and time again in my scrapbook pages.

Anna Aspnes’ Acrylic Alpha and Number Set 

These aren’t your regular old acrylic alphas–oh no–they are SUPER customizable but yet so easy to use!  Anna has included psd files (along with the customary png) for each alpha to help you customize color and opacity for a truly realistic look.  I’ve had them for a little over a week now and have used them in four layouts already!  Click here to check them out in Anna’s store.

Amy Tangernine’s Goodness Thickers by American Crafts

I simply love these printed chipboard alphas, for their soft color, subtle print and their versatility.  You can leave them natural and they’ll go with just about anything or then are also lots of fun to customize with your favorite mists.  My first set came with my Studio Calico kit and I’ve been buying them ever since.  I’m currently on my third sheet!  Click here to find out more about these alphas over at Two Peas.

Sahlin Studios’ Black Rimmed Plastic Alpha

These are another new set of alphas that I can’t seem to put down.  They go with everything and I love how they are dark enough that they stand out on your page without being too overwhelming and while still allowing your layers underneath to peek through.  They’re also great for pairing with other alphas or fonts to create interesting title work.  Click here to check these out in Krista’s shop.

October Afternoon’s Mini Market Alpha Stickers

These mini alpha stickers are perfect for drawing attention to subtitles or journaling on your pages and best of all they come in a great variety of colors.  They’re not too small, not too big–just right in my opinion–plus the sheets last a lot longer than your average consumable alpha because they give you a bunch of extra vowels!  Click here to check these alpha sticker sheets out on Amazon.

One Little Bird Designs Billet Doux Alpha

While you can’t buy this alpha separately–the kit that it comes with is simply adorable and I find myself using the alpha that comes with it all of the time!  Its got a nice soft color that allows it to look right at home on almost any page, but its also super easy to recolor should you decide to do so.  It adds a lot of dimension to your digital pages and looks so realistic. Click here to check out OLB’s Billet Doux Kit in her shop.

SEI’s Corrugate Cardboard Alpha

This alpha has so much texture and dimension and I love the organic feel it lends to my pages and projects.  Its easy to sew over top of, its fun to ink or mist.  It really is a fabulous all-purpose alpha.  I love this alpha so much that I even use the negative spaces when I’m done with a sheet, by just simply cutting tiles from the leftover sheet and creating my title from the voids.  Click here to check this alpha out in the SEI shop.


So how about you–do you have any favorite alphas?  Share them with us in the comments below!

The Inspiration Station: Challenge No. 2

Hi there everyone!  And thanks for joining me again this week for another inspiration challenge. This time we’re going to have a little bit of fun with color.

Here’s a look at this week’s inspiration piece:

This color palette is from Design Seeds–one of my favorite spots to find color inspiration online.  If you’ve never been by but you love color you’ll definitely want to put them on your bookmark list!


And here is my take on this week’s challenge:

Raspberries | Supplies: Summer Camp by Sahlin Studio, A Spring Day by Sahlin Studio, Black Rimmed Alpha by Sahlin Studio and All Stitched Template by Pink Trike Designs.


Beginning a page with a color palette can be a fun and fresh approach to your scrapbooking that also shakes up your process a bit. Many of us begin our page with a story or photo and there’s no reason you can’t use that same approach here. However beginning your page with color inspiration can also offer you the opportunity to start your process with choosing your products and experimenting with your page design before evening thinking about your photos or story.

To some of you this might seem like an odd way to go about things but I assure you it can also be lots of fun.  Below are some steps to help you give it a try in your own pages.

Steps for Using a Color Palette to Help You Build Your Page

Step 1-Search your stash for a collection or kit that is a good fit.

It doesn’t matter if the colors in the kit or collection that you choose match your initial color palette exactly but rather that the collection speaks to you and will motivate you to have some fun in your design.

In my page “Raspberries I began by using the color palette above to choose the following collection by Sahlin Studios–whose color scheme was near perfect and whose paper patterns were equally inspiring.

 Step 2- Play around with a design that will really make these colors POP!

Use this as the perfect opportunity to try something new and exciting on for size!  Remember you don’t have any photos or story yet to hold you back–just have fun!

Knowing that I wanted the funky colors and patterns from the Summer Camp Kit to really shine on my page, I chose this fun template by Pink Trike Designs.

Step 3-Let  the colors and overall design of your page help you find your story.

Once you’ve pieced together the basics of a design that you love, study its parts: the colors, the shapes that you’ve created in your design, etc. then start looking through your latest batch of photos for one/some that for whatever reason jumps out at you and inspire you tell an untold story. 

When it came time to choose my photo and tell my story I looked over what I had in front of me as far as the colors and design–hoping to take in details that would act as cues as I started looking through my recent photos.  This photo of my son making “raspberry” faces jumped out at me first because the colors in his sweater seemed to be a good match, but as I thought more I was taken back to the original photo which inspired this color palette.  And from there I was inspired to tell the story of my son and his raspberries.

Step 4-Now embellish your page with meaningful elements that help to tie together your story and your design.

Once you’ve got your photo and your story on the page start using your embellishments as way of connecting the two by recreating the details of your story and/or photo within your design.

I used my embellishing as an opportunity to help to fuse my story with the design of page by adding elements that provided context. Specifically this includes the berry-like cluster that I created over the top left corner of my photo and the wire title which is noticeable but not overpowering when paired with my design.  Here’s another look: 

Good luck on your own pages–I can’t wait to see them!

Frame-tastic Friday: 4 Alternative Ways to Use Frames in Your Scrapbook Pages

Most of you are probably familiar with the most common purpose of a frame in scrapbooking–to pull the eye into our page and help it to find our photos.  But frames aren’t just for photos–oh no!

Frames create focus because they provide a visual cue to the viewer that something is “on display.”  With this in mind we can also use frames to draw attention to other key elements on our page.

Below are four ways that you can use frames in your scrapbook pages that have nothing to do with your photos!

1. Let frames help you highlight important information.

By framing a subtitle, date or other pertinent information on your page you can help provide context for your memories.  In my page “Feathered Friends” I’ve created a frame-inspired tag to draw attention to the location in which my photos were taken.

Feathered Friends | Supplies: Sketch from Simple Scrappers Premium Collection (May 2012)Field Notes Collection by SEI, Red and Navy Puff Alphas by SEI, Desert Springs Alpha Stickers by SEI, Masking Tape by 7Gypsies and leftover cork.

2. Use frames to zoom in on subtle details.

If you are afraid of losing subtle details in the mix of your design, try using a frame to help them stand out.  In “Willard Bay” I’ve placed a fun warped frame around this ever so faint sail boat doodle to keep it from getting lost on my page.

Willard Bay | Supplies: Wander ArtPlay Palette by Anna Aspnes, Special One ArtPlay Palette by Anna Aspnes, Adventure Art Play Palette by Anna Aspnes, Travel Word Mix by Anna Aspnes, Dripped Stains No. 6 by Anna Aspnes and Travel Americas No. 3 by Anna Aspnes.

3. Put your embellishments on display inside of frames. 

Framing embellishments on our scrapbook pages can help us to create focal accents within our designs, while showcasing beautiful handmade techniques and elements as miniature pieces of art.

After going to all the trouble of extracting these exquisite butterflies from a piece of patterned paper–with a not-so-sharp craft knife I might add–I wanted to make sure that these beauties stood out on my page, “Change.” So I framed them and went for a “gallery-style” effect–making them look like they were hung from my background paper.

Change | Supplies: Field Noted Collection by SEI (papers, embellishments, tags, etc.), Corrugate Cardboard Alpha by SEI and Tumble Dye Black by SEI

4. Showcase your design as a whole by framing it.

Utilizing a frame as a border can be a nice way to tie things together in your design and give your scrapbook page a finished look.

In “One Inspired Soul” I’ve used an enlarged digital frame to create a border for my page.  This particular frame adds to the elegant feel of this page while giving it a nice finished look.

One Inspired Soul | Supplies: Instinct by One Little Bird Designs and Flight Plan No. 6 by One Little Bird Designs


Do you have some creative ideas for alternative ways to use frames in your scrapbook pages?  I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Have a Frame-Tastic Friday! 

The Inspiration Station: Challenge No. 1

Hi everyone and thanks for joining me for my new weekly inspiration challenge: The Inspiration Station!

I’ve started this challenge in the same spirit that I created my workshop Finding Your Inspiration Station–as a way to help scrapbookers to start taking all of the inspiration out there and begin channeling it in their pages!

Each week on Thursdays, I’ll post a new inspiration piece for you to interpret however you choose.  The inspiration will range from color inspiration to technique inspiration to product inspiration and more!  I will also post my own take on each inspiration piece and leave you with a few useful tips for working with inspiration in your scrapbook pages as well!

This challenge is for paper scrapbookers and digital scrapbookers alike and I would love it if you’d link us up to your creations in the comments.

So Welcome to The Inspiration Station…let’s have some fun!


Here is our first piece of inspiration:


And here is my take on it:

Now you could have easily been inspired by the color scheme in the image above or the clean design or even the organic feel–but for me it was in fact the overall placement of things in this photo that inspired the design for my page “In the AM.”

In the A.M.| Supplies: Sketch Pad Papers by Sahlin Studio, Grandma's Dresser Papers and Elements by Sahlin Studio, A Wonderful Day Papers and Elements by Sahlin Studio, Key to My Heart Elements by Sahlin Studio, Foto Blendz Masks by Anna Aspnes, May 2012 Template A by Amy Kingsford.


Tips for Using An Inspiration Piece to Achieve Good Placement in Your Scrapbook Pages

Tip No. 1:  Consider The Big Picture

Consider how all of the parts of the inspiration piece are coming together to create what you are seeing as the final composition. 

When I first spotted this source of inspiration, I was taken with how all of the pieces worked together to create a clean, yet informal blocked design.

Tip No. 2 : Explore All of The Angles

Don’t be afraid to look at your inspiration piece from a new perspective.  Try rotating your image,  flipping it or moving things around to suit your needs.

To begin with I rotated the inspiration image 90 degrees clockwise in order to find the design that I ended up using in my own page.

Tip No. 3: Think In Basics

When studying your inspiration piece think about the shapes and lines that are present and aim to replicate them in your own design.

In my page, I’ve taken the rectangular shapes of the printed materials in the inspiration photo and substituted them for similar shaped and sized photos and tags. Then I’ve used a scattered array of paper strips to create the same basic shape achieved by the bundle of sticks.  And finally I’ve used the talk bubble and button at the top of my page to create a cluster similar in shape to the pine cone and feather.

Now you try…I can’t wait to see your interpretations!

May 2012 Scrapbook Page Sketch and Template Pack

Here is this month’s free sketch and template packs for you!

This pack contains two single-page designs perfect for telling your stories about being a mom or great even for your everyday layouts as well! I’ve got sketches for you paper scrapbookers and templates for the digi scrappers–so click on the links below to download the format that will work best for you and get started!

Download May’s Sketches in pdf format

Download May’s Templates as psd files


And feel free to link us up to your pages inspired by this month’s sketches in the comments below–I can’t wait to see what you all come with!

Happy Mother’s Day

We all celebrate Mother’s Day in different ways…

Some of us call or spend time with our own mothers, while some of us take the time to pamper ourselves for a job well done.

This year I’m taking Mother’s Day to reflect back on both my triumphs and shortcomings as a mother.  To rememeber and cherish the delightful moments of motherhood that I have been blessed with, but also to consider how I might be a better mother to my two wonderful boys.

This morning I made the following layout–one mother’s manifesto so to speak.

A Mother's Manifesto | Supplies: Sun Fun ArtPlay Palette by Anna Aspnes, Blossom Art Play Palette by Anna Aspnes, Warm Glows No. 2 by Anna Aspnes, Imperfect by Kitty Designs.

The journaling reads:

I am a mother and this is my manifesto:

To kiss your knee promptly whenever you fall.

To read to you each night before bed.

To keep you warm and fed and safe.

To slay the monsters that live under your bed.

To support your dreams, your goals and your ambitions.

To be there routing you on at every recital, game and program.

To love every part of you for all eternity.


And here is a little Mother’s Day gift for all of you wonderful women out there:

A set of journalers that you can use to help you record what being a mother means to you–available in both PDF and PNG.

Download PNG file (for you digi gals)

Download PDF file (perfect for printing)

Happy Mother’s Day

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