Never Lose Your Shine: Encrusted Jewel Technique Mixed Media Layout

Monday, March 27, 2017

Scrapbook layout challenge - black cardstock background with stars, mixed media with heat embossed chipboard, mica flakes, glitter, blue fern studios chipboard, signo pen doodling, paint splatters, in gold, silver, black, and white with moon and stars using encrusted jewel technique from stampendous

Greetings friends! I'm in today to share a mixed media layout featuring a cool technique for creating ultra sparkly embellishments.

Let's Get Sketchy March 2017 sketch
I've been feeling lousy lately (and by lately I mean most of this month), so I've had this layout laying about for weeks, half finished and half starved.

I had this vague idea floating around about really sparkly stars in a night sky. Then I saw this sketch from Let's Get Sketchy and got that little spark I needed to create.


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Pocket Letters: Find a Pal & Get Started

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to create pocket letters, how to find pocket pals, winter themed pocket letter with chipboard, snowflakes, lace and sparkles done in blue and beige neutrals

Have you joined in the pocket letter fun yet? If you're hesitant because you're unsure of where to start, you've come to the right place. This article will everything you need to know to get started creating pocket letters of your own. 


  • What is a pocket letter?
  • Where to find pocket pals
  • Theme & style inspiration
  • Supplies list to get started
  • How to make a pocket letter
  • What to include in your pocket letter
  • Pocket letter etiquette


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Meeting My Grandma: Case File 226

Friday, March 17, 2017


A pink, blue, and green scrapbooking page layout with K&Company die cuts and Prima Marketing velvety symphony flowers and enamel dots


Isn't it wonderful when precious moments are captured on film? As I mentioned in my last post, my dad was an aerial photographer with a personal passion for candid portraiture. This photo was taken over the Fourth of July weekend, shortly after I was born in the summer of 1982.


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Blow Out The Candles: Dear Zae is One!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

This article contains affiliate links to products I use, paid for myself, and love. Read my full disclosure here.

Zae is only a few months older than my blog, so it's been a wonderful year watching my dear Zae and the eponymous blog grow. Thank you so much for your support on this journey, for being here, for getting to know me, for inspiring me to create, for letting me share with you, and for trudging onward through the text when I ramble on about nicknames and other random topics.


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This last year, my scrapbooking page output has increased drastically since setting up this blog and a room dedicated strictly to scrapping. I do something scrappy every day during Zae's naptimes and after he goes to bed. If I'm not working on a layout, I'm blogging about it, looking at other blogs or scrapbook.com galleries, working on pocket letters, or endlessly reorganizing and cleaning up my infamous "stacks of stuff." I do the the latter way too often, but that's the way I roll {and at least now I can shut the door at the end of the day instead of packing and unpacking my pretty mess off the kitchen table that otherwises ruins a perfectly good selfie}.




Since Zae was born, I'm determined to capture the memories before they whiz past! {my mind's eye visualizes myself running around with a little butterfly net trying to catch memories like fireflies} I used to feel guilty about coming home from the craft store with a bag full of supplies when we could really use a new toaster, but really, memories are priceless and they deserve to be treated well. {plus I just like pretty flowers and if I have to justify it, that's my reasoning--feel free to use it for your own!}


In lieu of a party, I thought I'd share some of my favorite posts from this year. Some of these were created before I created my blog, and my style and technique has grown so much since then. It's fun to see the evolution

Princess Adeline (Created 2012)


I love this picture of my niece, Adeline, with her shock of untamable hair that stuck straight up for her first year of life. She's the princess of my sister's family. My sister is not a princess; she works with horses, tosses a hay bale like it's a feather {maybe a bale of feathers}, and isn't afraid of bugs or dirt. Handmade baby quilts are a traditional gift in our crafty family, which inspired the patchwork background.


Love Beyond Measure (Created Spring, 2015)


On Mr. 67's birthday, a gorgeous sunny day, we took Zae riverside to feed the ducks and snap some pics. This is still one of my {820} favorite pictures of the two of them. This was a pre-made page that I made in the spring of 2015, as a way of distracting myself from an awful case of {all-day} morning sickness. Zae was being a wiggly worm and so over having his millionth picture taken. 



Seraphina (Created September, 2013)


This layout is one of my most emotional layouts, because it brings me back to sadder times, but it's also one of my favorites. We lost this little angel at 20 weeks. At the time, scrapping was a way to work through emotional turmoil. So many of my scrappy friends repeat this same sentiment, and in fact, being creative is good for your health. So don't feel guilty about your YOU time!



Shy Baby


Am I allowed to say every layout is my favorite? It's funny that you can feel so emotional about things you create. Every layout brings to mind a moment, a feeling, a hope, a memory of some kind. Since Zae was a rainbow baby several times over, you'd think I'd be constantly worried...and I did have my fears, but in my heart of hearts, I knew this time was going to be different.



Autumn, 1983


My dad was an aerial photographer, but that was his profession. His true passion was candid portraiture. He was a talented photographer, back when you had to know what f-stops were and you got 24-36 chances to get a good photo. How things have changed! My photos folder is 20k strong at least, and growing faster than I'm curating. He left me with lots of wonderful childhood photographs, and a love of photography. 


September 2016: My Buddy


Last fall was difficult. I lost my 13 year old cat to kidney failure. I had CTS surgery a few days later. Zae turned one and it hit me hard. I couldn't pick him up because of the weight limit (this was emotionally draining). So again I turned to scrapbooking. I am pretty sure I cried a gallon of tears during the making of this layout, but they were cathartic tears. 





October: L-O-V-E (Created Spring 2015)


Like the "Love Beyond Measure" page above, I made this one while I was pregnant with Zae. Back then, I couldn't picture having a son, so I just kind of rolled with the idea of having a girl (plus I like to scrap pink). Of course, when my doctor announced that we had a boy, I had a moment of surprise, then everything was just as it was meant to be.

November: Be True 2 You


I began moving into the mixed media realm in this layout, using lots of glimmer mists and watercolors. I also challenged myself to use a color other than pink. What I really meant by that was something less girly. So I started with blue...which turned into purple. With flowers. {Whattayado?} I'll have to keep the flower room drawer under lock and key if I'm ever going to create a layout that really says "boy." {it ain't happening, folks}


December: Love 67,  Forever


I asked Santa for Big Shot (by Sizzix) for Christmas, and not only did he deliver, he had my husband deliver it three weeks early. That Santa. He's great, isn't he?

I ordered the Garden Greens dies and Handwritten Love dies to get started. Then I die cut every scrap of paper I owned, which I've been sending along as freebies to my Etsy shop customers.




January: Happy Winter


I was still in the haze of Christmas euphoria when I created this sparkly winter layout. I love how white-core paper looks like frosty snow when distressed with Prima's distressing tool by Ingvild Bolme. We live in Minnesota, where winter has it's own zip code, and I don't much care to visit, but it gives a some fun inspiration and a chance to let the glitter fairy loose.



February: Ampersand & My Polearm


This layout is mixed-media heavy. What a great way to relieve stress: throw paint at something. I know I'm trying for more boyish layouts, but I had just ordered these gorgeous lace-like Prima leaf dies that I was dying to use...so on goes the flower {I know you totally get me, scrappy friends}!

March: A Boy and His Cat


We love animals around here. Both Mr. 67 and I grew up in the country, so there were always critters about. Zae loves animals, too. They have all been "nices" because we always said "nice kitty" when we would pet the cats. I had the chance to use some new products on this layout (Finnabair Art Ingredients Mica Flakes in gold leaf and Stampendous Frantage Mica flakes in red.

Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you who have emailed, left love in the comments, visited just to stop by, and shared invisible tea and crumpets with me in the last year. You are truly appreciated, and your kindnesses make my day that much brighter!

It's actually a little scary to think it's been a whole year since I sat down one evening deciding I was going to start a blog. Zae was still just six months old at the time. Now he's going to be 18 months in a few days. Time goes by way. Too. Fast. So live your happy, enjoy your days, and don't forget to document them! 

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13 Must Have Scrapbooking Tools (And A Few More You'll Want)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017



Must have scrapbooking tools for your scrap kit: including McGill paper flower shapers, We R Memory Keepers Alpha Punch board, Embossing kit, lightbox, Xyron sticker maker, paper cutter, Advanced tape glider, Martha Stewart scoring board, cutting mats, tidy tray
When I first started, I was overwhelmed with the products available. I didn’t know what half of them did, didn’t know what I needed, and ended up spending a lot of money I wouldn’t have needed to spend if I had known then what I know now. 

It took a long time, many {many} trials and errors, and lots of research to find the best tools for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is one of the fastest growing hobbies. And why not? If you're creative in any form, there's something for everyone: from planner addicts, pocket letter pals, mixed media artists, to the photographers and memory keepers.

When I started scrapbooking in 2011, and I didn't have any idea what I was doing. Since then, I've tried tons of products and found out which ones I have to have within arm's reach and which ones end up gathering dust on the shelf.

There are tons more products available, but these tools are the basics that will give you the ability to create the widest variety of projects.

In the hope that I can save you the time, money, and frustration that I wasted, here's a list of the 13 best scrapbooking tools that will have you scrapping like a pro in no time.


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Be You{tiful}: True Beauty

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Beauty mixed media scrapbooking page layout with heat embossed chipboard, washi tape, polka dots, die cuts, in contemporary grunge style

I've been having so much fun with all the paints I've pulled out of my basement. My uncle and mom are talented artists, and I used to paint with them, but it was never really my passion. However, painting on scrapbook pages is a totally different realm. It's sort of like coloring outside the lines. There are no rules, just good old messy fun. 

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A Boy and His Cat (You & Me)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Boy and His Cat Layout by Carrie Williams - Dearzae.com - Mixed Media scrapbook page in antique gold and soft blue with pops of red - With Blue Fern Studios chipboard heat embossed with antique gold embossing powder, handmade flowers available at dearzae.etsy.com, wild orchid flowers

By now it's clear that I'm addicted to solving case files. Maybe it's because I always secretly wanted to be an FBI agent (or CIA, I'm not that picky). Maybe it's just because they are a fun way to create a layout. Whatever the reason, I wouldn't miss one if I had to scrap in my sleep. This month's major case file has some amazing colors I couldn't wait to work with. Especially since I had just made some flowers that were the perfect color to get started.


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A Moment In Time Scrapbooking Kit

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Teal, gold, cream, beige, and ivory scrapbooking kit with handmade flowers, mica flakes, and die cut greenery

The other night when I couldn't sleep, I spent hours on these lovely flowers for a layout to be released soon{ish}. Then I made more to share in a new kit, available now in my Etsy shop

Here's a sneak peek at a layout featuring the Moment In Time flowers:


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