Archive for May, 2008

Inspired Ideas: Ribbon Cake

I found out about Inspire Company from this blog post

over at Scrapbook Ideas. I absolutely love that cake idea (instructions here) enough so that I printed out the templates and instructions and put them in my idea journal/ Each template gets its own pocket, as do the instructions. I’m considering a variation without the use of contact paper, but I can’t wait to make a number of birthday cards using this idea. If you need inspiration, I highly recommend you check out Inspire Company’s free web magazine, Inspired Ideas.

Organizing Scraps for Collage

As I was debating what to do with tiny paper scraps that I didn’t want to waste, I came up with this idea. While I can lay larger pieces of paper in a file folder, it isn’t a practical solution for the tiny scraps. Well, with an eye toward collage, I’ve also started cutting larger pieces of solid colors (great colors in Real Simple magazine) and have decided to organize my tiny scraps by color. I took a file folder (re-used, of course) and have designated a regular envelope for basic colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and also pink, pastels, metallics and black. In addition, I made envelopes for “words” (that I might cut out of magazines) and “pictures.” I fit two envelopes on each side of the file folder, making sure the bottom of the envelopes faces the fold of the folder (this is so you can store the folder upright without the scraps falling out). Each envelope is labeled with its color/contents–you can see examples below. You could use more aesthetically appealing file folders (or cover manila folders with fun paper), but I didn’t want to spend time on these instead of a layout or card!

Charity Walk Thank You Cards

I just recently participated in a charity walk, and many of my friends and family sponsored me (ok, so not that many, but the ones who did gave rather generously!) So, I ordered prints of my team’s group photo, and incorporated them into the cards going to er…the relatives. Everyone else got a print inside the card which they can throw out if they please. I felt this was a good way to a) personalize a thank you and b) encourage sponsorship for next year’s walk :-). As you can tell, it was a music-oriented walk, so that would explain the theme. 🙂

MATERIALS: Papers: Marah Johnson for Creative Imaginations (#11048 Red Music & 11045 Music); Renae Lindgren for Creative Imaginations (#11117 Melody) Appliques & Lettering: Sticko Letter Transfers (AXRBA05); Crystal Stickers “Pearls” by Mark Richards (Style #1952 5 mm); Paper Source “Thank You” letterpress tabs


It has arrived!

I’m very, very pleased with my beautiful new grocery tote from SewShaz.  I can’t bear to put wet lettuce in it (I’ve got some nasty plasticky ones from Trader Joe’s for that, so I think this is going to be a book bag (much more aesthetic than the hoard of “McGraw Hill” bags I have)!

If you haven’t already, check out her Etsy shop…these bags are fabulous AND your money goes to help support worthy causes!

SewShaz Grocery Tote

Pinking Shears

It might seem strange to write an entire post about pinking shears, but do not fear–that isn’t really what this post is about.  But inasmuch as my crafting is a form of soul-searching, I find myself letting my mind drift back into the memories of times long ago.  While most of my scrapbooking endeavors deal with the recent past or present,  sometimes the process itself brings up the distant past.

And so it was today, as I used my pinking shears to create a series of thank you cards. I’ve always loved the way pinking shears can add such an easy ounce of “finish” to any craft project.  As I sat there cutting strips of of music-themed paper, I thought about Louise.

When I was very young, my parents would occasionally use a babysitting service made up of rather senior ladies who were all about the discipline and rarely about the fun.  Most often I would get Louise, who, while probably in her 70s, seemed to be the ancient of ancients to me at my tender age. She appeared to be quite frail, and I remember that her lips seemed to be permanently pursed.  It was from Louise that I learned the word “cross” could mean something other than what I knew it to mean in church.  I came to hate that word:  “cross.”  She was always saying “I’m very cross with you.”  It was as if she had been brought to my house from another century.

At any rate, when my parents would go out and leave me with a babysitter, I would dread the moment when my father opened the front door and I’d see her.  Louise.   Old, crotchety, Louise.  Complete with old lady smell and old lady polyester and old lady voice.

Well,  as it turns out, while Louise may not have been up for a game of Red Rover, she was fairly well-versed in babysitting and would bring craft projects occasionally.  One day, she pulled these strange looking scissors out of her old lady bag, along with a pile of old Christmas wrapping paper.  I watched her as she began to cut squares of paper and much to my amazement—the lines were zigzag!  I’m pretty sure her old lady eyes saw my face light up and she probably risked a small smile. “Would you like to try the pinking shears?”

I enthusiastically began to cut every piece of paper I could find.  I loved running my hands along the edges of the paper.  I loved how she would layer different pieces together and the zig-zagged edges were so perfectly matched to one another.  After our first session, I asked her if she could bring the “zigzag” scissors next time she came.  She promised she would.

And so she did.  She’d bring two pair of pinking shears, one for me and one for her.
And I found, during these visits, that she had much less reason to be “cross” with me.

Now I’m no longer a little girl fascinated with zigzag scissors, but instead a woman who is much older, a little wiser, and still likes to run her fingers against the edges of the paper.

Thank you, Louise.


I hung up the phone feeling helpless and angry. My friend, through many tears, explained that she felt worthless because her committee had kicked her out of the PhD program. I know that I have to give her some time to just be angry and hurt, but I was very concerned when I heard this. NO ONE should be able to kick her out of her sense of self-worth. I immediately scheduled a coffee date for today, and then I got to scrapping and came up with the card below. I’m really really pleased with it and I dare say I think the inspiration helped! It took me longer to select the right quote than it did for me to figure out the layout.

The quote reads: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

As usual, my photograph does not do it justice, but you get the idea. And that right edge really is straight–that’s some digital distortion.

MATERIALS: patterned paper and silver paper from Paper Source Thank You Card Kit, “natural” card stock (Paper Source) and a vellum with rose petals and grasses( unfortunately I can’t credit the source).

I hope she’ll put it up somewhere she can see it and remind herself.


I started an idea book to plan out some of my ideas. My first experiment came out OK, but I learned that rectangles are hard to work with! I’m not at all mathematically inclined, so that I ha d the patience to do this is somewhat astounding. At any rate, I may try a few other “paper quilt” cards.

The postcard itself is made with papers from Provo Craft’s 8″ x 8″ “SLAB” package (#42-9850) on Paper Source’s “SAGE” scalloped 4 1/4″ x 5 1.2 ” postcards.

And finally, I put this little guy together this morning. I used a sage card (trimmed to a square) and patterned card stock from a Paper Source Thank You Card Kit. The tag is Paper Source, 10 Pck. assorted letterpress Birthday Tags (#3905125411) and the frogs are from Paper House Productions Sticky Pix (ST-2153). I like frogs–a lot. I don’t know if the recipient of this card does, but I’m figuring he will find it appropriately whimsical.

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May 2008