All You Need is Love: Shabby Boho Chic Layout

Shabby Boho Chic Scrapbooking Page Layout in purple, pink, sage green, and baby blue with Blue Fern Studios and Wild Orchid Crafts mulberry paper flowers, Sizzix Big Shot die cut leaves, with mixed media background pearlescent watercolors & Paper House Productions Wedding Day B side papers & chipboard title

Hello scrap friends! It's been a crazy couple weeks here in the Williams' neck of the woods. So what do you do when you're feeling stressed and drained? You get to scrapbooking with pretty papers and delicious flowers. You splash around some paint and you distress the heck out of everything, because there is nothing more soothing than color therapy {and paper tearing}.

And reminiscing about those early days just after Zae was born doesn't hurt, either. This photo was taken on an unseasonably warm (in Minnesota) November day when he was just about 2 months old.

Never Lose Your Shine: Encrusted Jewel Technique Mixed Media Layout

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.

Pocket Letters: Find a Pal & Get Started

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

Meeting My Grandma: Case File 226

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.

Blow Out The Candles: Dear Zae is One!

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.

Shop at NOW!
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 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 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!

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

When I first started scrapbooking in 2011, 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. 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.

It took a long time, many {many} trials and errors, and lots of research to find the best tools for scrapbooking. 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.

Alphabet Punch BoardWe R Memory Keepers Alphabet Punch Board

If you're ever frustrated that you don't have the letters you need in your alpha stickers, you'll get plenty of use out of We R Memory Keeper's alphabet and numeric punch-board. I love it because I can create custom titles on the fly, like on my Magic! layout.

You also have the flexibility to use coordinating papers to match your scrapbooking projects exactly. It's also a great way to use your paper scraps. We R Memory Keepers also makes a frame punch board, which is fun to use. There's a small learning curve, but if you cut your pieces to the precise size (1.5x2.5 inches) you'll have no problem.

Prima Marketing Comfort Craft Distressing Tool

Prima Marketing Comfort Craft Distressing Tool
Prima's Distressing Tool is one of my favorite go-to tools. I use it on almost every project to add interest through dimension and texture. The tool has a rough and fine rasp surface; metal distressing brush and edge scraper and bone folder fixture. I use it to distress the edges of my papers, like you'll see on my Ampersand layout, as well as my photos. Use the rasps to distress the surface of papers, like you'll see on my Treasure the Moment layout, which created a snow-like background (if you're using a white-core paper). This technique is perfect if your scrapbooking style is shabby chic, grunge, or vintage, but you'll find it handy for any style. There is no other tool that will give you the look of a pro like this tool. My only regret? That I didn't buy it sooner.

Mcgill Paper Blossom Tools

Mcgill Paper Blossom Tools

If you've ever wandered the aisles of you favorite scrap store, you know flower packs are expensive. I love making my own flowers. You can see examples in lots of my work. Before I found these tools, I used the end of a paintbrush with varying degrees of success, but these tools make creating realistic flowers a breeze. You can also use the smaller tools in place of a die pick on intricate dies if you don't have a die pick tool.

The best part of this kit is the reverse tweezers. I use them all the time when heat embossing chipboard. With fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel, I have a hard time maintaining pressure with a normal tweezers, which has led to more than one dropped chipboard, but these tweezers take all the work out of it. There is a second kit that includes a paper roller and piercing tool. I use both kits frequently, and they come in handy for more than just making flowers.

Heat Embossing Kit

Heat Embossing Kit

If you're new to heat embossing, try this kit. It's inexpensive and take the intimidation out of learning a new skill that looks complicated but really isn't. This kit includes everything you need to get started. If you want to do larger pieces, like chipboard, you'll definitely want to invest in an embossing pad like VersaMark's clear ink pad

For stamping, you might also like the Inkadinkado Embossing Magic powder pouch to keep your projects clean and crisp (it keeps the embossing powder from clinging to your paper where you don't want it). The "magic" powder makes sure your embossing powder doesn't stick where it isn't wanted.
I asked Santa for a Big Shot last year. I must have been a good girl, because it found its way under our tree. The beauty of the Big Shot is that it's far less expensive than die cutting machines that use cartridges. The dies are generally inexpensive (a few dollars for a set of thinlits). A die tool like Spellbinders Craft and Die Tool is useful for intricate dies. The best part is using scraps to turn into beautiful foliage or pieces to turn into handmade flowers, besides creating perfectly sized photo mats.
Paper Trimmer
My first cutter was 9 inches. Why? I don't know. There was a time when I didn't research my purchases (perhaps why I'm now creating this post). Choose the 12 inch trimmer if you're creating anything larger than a mini album (and even then you might find yourself wanting to cut 12x12 paper). This cutter will cut about 7 sheets of standard paper, and 3 or so pieces of cardstock. It works for stuff around the house, too. It's great for cutting coupons, mailing labels, photos, etc. There is a guide so you get perfect cuts. A truly indispensible tool, and truly a must-have.

Scotch CAT Advanced Tape GliderScotch CAT Advanced Tape Glider

Easily the most used tool in my arsenal of scrapbooking tools. Every papercrafting project will undoubtedly need some sort of adhesive, and this tape runner makes it so simple and fast. There are more expensive tape runners, but I've never felt the need to upgrade. This one is a little on the large size, but it's worth the space on your desk for the convenience and speed of applying your adhesive. 

Martha Stewart Scoring Board

Martha Stewart Scoring Board

This scoring board was one of the first things I bought when I started scrapping. It's indispensable for card making (you can make both cards and envelopes with perfectly straight, easy-to-fold, crisp lines). 

Plus you can make your own embellishments like accordion flowers or journal pockets. For a first investment into scrapbooking tools, this one offers a lot of versatility. 

Tidy Crafts Tidy Tray

I wasn't sure about these trays right away. I actually returned them, then re-bought them a week later. I missed having them! Use for embossing powder, glitter, prills, beads, and more. The funnel end makes it easy to get your materials back into their containers. 

My tips for using the tidy tray for embossing powder or glitter is to first use the Inkadinkado Embossing Magic, or in a pinch use a dryer sheet, to reduce static cling. A medium sized paintbrush is also useful to get every last bit of your powder or glitters.

Cutting Mat

Self healing Cutting Mat for scrapbooking
Cutting mats come in a huge variety. I've tried a few, and this is my favorite. They are the perfect way to measure and line up your elements (using an extra-long transparent straight-edge like Fiskars Acrylic Ruler). You can choose from a variety of sizes. I use an 18x24, which is adequate for my needs, and anything of a deeper length would not fit on my desk, though wider wouldn't interfere. However, working with 12x12 papers you shouldn't need to go as large as you would for quilting. 

Create a Sticker Machine

Create a Sticker Machine Xyron
My latest investment is my own sticker maker. I plan to do whole post on how fun this is. I had no idea I could make my own stickers without spending a ton of money. The price of this machine is a few cups of coffee, and how much fun is it to make your own stickers? That's like your little kid dreams come true (or am I the only one who hoarded stickers, showing signs of my future passion for scrapbooking)? 

Tracing Lightbox

Tracing Lightbox
Back in art school, one of the things I always wanted was a lightbox. Maybe I was just a broke college kid, but back then it seemed like they were insanely expensive. I was shocked when I finally looked into them and found them so reasonably priced! I had drawing in mind for this purchase, and I was pleasantly surprised to find how many uses there are for scrapbookers, too. Make your own embellishments, sketch out designs, use for calligraphy, stamping, dry embossing... While a lightbox isn't part of every scrapper's toolbox, I love having a variety of tools available so the only limit is your imagination.

Laser Square & Mat

Laser Square Mat Layout Level for Scrapbooking

If you're serious about making perfect layouts, the laser guide is the ultimate in precision for arranging your elements. Also use it when you're writing, especially directly onto your background, so you don't end up with the dreaded arcing text. 

Bonus: Since I don't [yet] own a Cricut, I didn't include it in the list, but a scrappy friend of mine brings hers to crops, so I've experienced it firsthand enough to have Cricut envy. The amazing thing about the Cricut is that you aren't limited to dies; you can upload and cut your own artwork for complete customization. There are also a ton of files available through Cricut Access. For the serious crafter, a definite must-have.

The Best Machine for DIY Projects

Have I missed one of your favorites? I'm always on the lookout for amazing tools to add to my scrapbooking tool kit, so let me know!