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Back in October, I attended our church’s annual women’s retreat. The organizers asked if I could lead a craft activity, and after some brainstorming, I came up with the idea of making a tag mini album. The ladies were welcome to make anything they wanted with the craft supplies we provided, but for the sample, I decided to use the group photo we take (almost) every year as the basis. The idea was that they would have one tag “page” featuring the photo and could add more tags with thoughts about the retreat, moments they wanted to remember, and/or more photos from our time together.

I am so pleased that the ladies who participated enjoyed this crafting time. Several of them commented to me about how relaxing it was to just play with pretty paper. That was the goal!!

Since I was preparing the sample in advance, I had printed out a few 3″x4″ group photos from past retreats. This led me to the idea to make my own mini album a summary of all the retreats I’ve attended since coming to this church.

I made a “cover” tag for the album and on the reverse, I wrote a tiny bit about why I made the album.

I have one tag for each year: On the front of the tag, I added the group photo, a label for the year, and a little cluster of embellishments.

On the reverse of each “page,” I have a little bit of information: the dates, location, and speaker for the retreat.

There were a couple unusual years, and so I used a little die-cut tag to write out some thoughts.

In my mind, mini-albums should be full of texture, so I added layers, doilies, and ribbons that spill over the edges.

I have a few blank tags left, and I saved a small collection of the leftover supplies for myself so that I can keep adding to this album each year!

~

For reference, here is the starting set of supplies we used.

Supplies:
tags for album pages: manila shipping tags from Amazon (aff. link)
patterned paper: Recollections paper pads
doilies: “Sunny Side Up Bakery” from Hobby Lobby
ribbon: Michaels
twine: Christmas Paper Crafts from Hobby Lobby
flowers: The Paper Studio from Hobby Lobby
die cut tags: The Paper Studio from Hobby Lobby
leaf punches: Craft Tools from Hobby Lobby
labels: print-and-cut via my Cameo 3
pens: various fine-tipped Sharpies

In advance, I trimmed at least one sheet of each pattern to the width of the shipping tag bases, and I pre-cut all the cut-apart sheets from the paper pads. I laid out all the materials on a table in the room where we were doing the craft so that the ladies had a buffet of pretty bits and pieces!

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This is the very first first-day-of-school layout I’ve ever made! I guess it’s because it seems like the first day of school is a fairly momentous occasion each year… and I didn’t even tackle her VERY first day of kindergarten…yet. I decided to start with first grade!

This layout is published in the Fall 2021 issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today; you can see it on page 65!

I’ve had this title planned ever since that first day of first grade– “It was awesome!!” was her immediate answer to my “how was your day?” upon getting off the bus that day! In fact, I jotted down a little sketch almost right away, which I’ve saved all these years! The end result is completely different, but that’s ok! (and yes, I finally recycled this scrap of paper as soon as I finished taking this photo!)

As you can see, my original thought was to make this a single page layout, but when I started looking back through the photos, I wanted to include so many more than would comfortably fit (and still be big enough to see well!) on one 12×12. I expanded my design to 2 pages, using nine 3″x2″ photos and one 4″x6″ feature photo.

left side
right side

Even though starting school makes you think of fall, in our area, it is still very much summer weather! I decided to use a color palette that bridges the two seasons– and included a lot of red because our red front door is hard to miss in the pictures!

I arranged the small photos in a grid and filled the spaces with a dark blue patterned paper. I stitched around the perimeter of the blue pieces to add a bit of texture. These blue spaces were also the perfect spots to add embellishment clusters.

I stamped and heat embossed cameras in white on aqua patterned paper and cut them out to be the feature embellishment in each cluster. To bring in more of that fall flavor, I die cut leaves from textured orange cardstock and golden yellow patterned paper to add to each cluster, along with bright yellow puffy stars!

I combined three different alpha sets to make my title and subtitle: I used all capitals for the main title, and lower case alpha for the subtitle, and the tiny letter tiles unify them.

Supply list:
patterned paper: Close to My Heart “Mix In” (Mar-Apr), Close to My Heart “Blue Skies,” Echo Park “Spring” (Journaling Cards –B-side is striped)
cardstock: American Crafts (white textured), The Paper Studio (orange textured)
vellum: The Paper Studio
alphas: Amercian Crafts Thickers (Daiquiri white foam), Close to My Heart (white alphabet foam stickers), Glitz Designs Teeny Alphas (white)
stamps: Shimelle “Head in the Clouds,” Hampton Arts “Vintologie”
puffy stickers: Close to My Heart “So Much Happy”
label: print-and-cut via Silhouette Cameo 3
cut files: SCT Oct 2020 freebie, Kerri Bradford Studio (“Leaves”)
font: Gill Sans Light (bold)
other: machine stitching, craft foam, ATG adhesive, Zing embossing powder (white)

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This is another layout I created over the summer for a fall call, but I decided not to share it until it was more seasonally appropriate! We’re in full costume-making mode here now that it is October (we actually got an early start this year! Hooray!), so in the meantime, I’ll be posting a couple projects that I’ve not yet shared.

I love the contrast of light and dark in trick-or-treating photos, and I was so glad that Husband captured these pictures in 2019. I was unable to walk around the neighborhood because I was still in a boot and on crutches, so he took on the photographer duties!

For this layout I combined Shimelle’s “Go Now Go” paper with some newer Close to My Heart papers for accent layers, and then I brought out some really old Little Yellow Bicycle Halloween products, most obviously these journaling circles.

I arranged my photos in a grid that shows the progression of the evening, and I plopped my title right on top!

I combined some delicate outline and solid leaves cut on my Cameo 3 with some detail cut cameras from another “Go Now Go” paper to make clusters around the layout. Layered clusters are my favorite!

Supply list:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Go Now Go” (Park, Action), Close to My Heart “Mix In” (Mar-Apr)
cardstock: Shimelle Sparkle City project pad (navy), The Paper Studio (orange textured)
alphas: American Crafts Thickers (cloud puffy letter stickers)
epoxy stickers: Little Yellow Bicycle “Trick or Treat”
enamel dots: The Paper Studio
journal spots: Little Yellow Bicycle “Trick or Treat” Journal Tablet
labels: print-and-cut via Silhouette Cameo 3
punch: Fiskars “Apron Lace”
cut files: SCT Oct 2020 freebie, Kerri Bradford Studio (“Leaves”)
journaling pen: Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005other: craft foam, ATG adhesive

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This layout is out of my “style comfort zone!”

I’ve had these photos out on my desk, shuffling them around as I worked on other projects, ever since I made the Dragon Boats layout (another adventure on the same day). When I saw the SCT 2021 Fall Issue recipe challenge (use a journaling card or die cut, patterned paper, an alphabet sticker and any kind of stamp), I knew it would be the perfect motivation to get this layout into my scrapbook.

I started out trying to use my “typical” grid-type arrangement of photos, and it just wasn’t working. I changed gears entirely and decided to use a fish-filled background cut file from Paige Evans, and I used watercolors on the background. This is out of my comfort zone in two ways: I don’t often do mixed media at all, let alone the whole background; also, I don’t often use themed/on-the-nose supplies for my layouts.

I made two little clusters on the page, framed by the fish. At the top, I used my two tiny photos (tiny due to the image quality) on a block of patterned paper and embellished with my stamp “ingredient”– I heat embossed cameras from two different stamp sets with white on a scrap of purple striped paper, then cut them out to add in three places around the layout.

After this particular day of adventuring, I had asked my husband to write a bit of journaling, and I gave him a couple of my leftover Project Life cards so that it would be in his own handwriting. I love that it’s his words telling the story of the fun he had with our children.

I did a bit of tricky work with the title: this is an old set of chipboard Thickers, and I didn’t have enough “A” or “U” letters to spell “aquarium.” I ended up using two “V” alphas to replace them: can you tell? 😉 I love this pop of orange as a complement to the blue/purple/teal background. It picks up on my daughter’s dress color, and it ties the color scheme with the companion Dragon Boats page.

In all honesty, I’m not loving this page right now. But I am so glad to have this story in my album, and I think it might grow on me with time!

Supplies:
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
patterned paper: Damask Love “Wild Card- Spirit Animal;” bits from my stash
alphas: American Crafts Thickers “Dots” (chipboard), Glitz Designs “Color Me Happy” Teeny Alphas (rainbow)
stamps: Shimelle “Head in the Clouds” acrylic stamps, Hampton Art “Vintologie,”
cut file: Paige Evans “Fish Background”
journal card: Project Life “Jade” edition

wood veneer: Studio Calico
other: watercolor, Liquitex clear matte gesso, print-and-cut labels, Scotch ATG, US ArtQuest PPA Matte adhesive, craft foam, Ranger Big&Bossy embossing ink, Zing embossing powder

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I can hardly believe that I get to say this again: I have another layout published in Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine! The Fall 2021 issue came out today!

As usual, the print version is lovely with thick pages and super high quality printing…and you can also download the entire magazine digitally on the SCT website (for free!). Turn to page 65 to have a look at my layout!

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This was one of those layouts that almost made itself– I had so much momentum from finishing the Test Track layout that I just turned the page and kept going!

This is the reverse of that Test Track page, and I filled it with photos of my daughter and I in our Cinderella outfits. My previous ‘bounding page for this album was a layout and not a pocket page, I wanted to keep some of the same motifs (even if I’m the only one who realizes it!) With that in mind, I pulled out some white die cut leaves (the cut files are from Pinkfresh Studio) to embellish the photos.

I added flowers detail cut from the Echo Park “Beautiful Life” papers because they had the perfect colors to coordinate with our Cinderella blue!

As a subtle touch, I added cameras stamped with black ink on vellum to each of the larger clusters, and I added a little sentiment to one of my smaller clusters.

I used labels to tell the story of how this little photo shoot came about, and then added a tiny photo on a journal card at the bottom to transition into the next page, which is a full page layout about “Living with the Land.” To coordinate with that layout, I used scraps of patterned paper that match the layout at the top of the journal card, as well as aqua tissue paper layers behind two of my photos in this pocket page.

I filled the final space in the pocket page with a cut-apart card: the globe coordinated perfectly with the facing layout– and I think globes are the perfect embellishment for an EPCOT page! I added a bit of dimension to finish it off with an enamel dot and a tiny detail-cut flower.

supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Never Grow Up” 6×8 paper pad, Echo Park “Beautiful Life,” Shimelle “Starshine” 6×6 and 12×12 paper pads
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
vellum: The Paper Studio
enamel dots: The Paper Studio
journal card: Becky Higgins/Project Life “Baby Edition”
cut file: Pinkfresh Studio “Botanical Branch Trio”
stamps: Hero Arts/Clearly Kelly “Kelly’s Magical” and Hampton Art “Vintologie”
journaling pen: Spectrum Noir Artliner .005
other: print-and-cut labels, tissue paper, Silhouette Cameo 3, Staz-On ink, craft foam, ATG adhesive, Becky Higgins/Project Life Design G page protector


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I’ve had the car patterned paper from Shimelle’s “Sparkle City” earmarked for this pocket page for a while, and I finally made it!

I thought that the photos we had from this ride were really fun, but I didn’t have a huge story to tell, so I used an (upside-down) Design G pocket page to hold them all. My thoughts about the ride fit onto a couple print-and-cut labels.

The branding strip at the top of the car paper inspired me to use that green geometric design as an accent at the bottom, where I included a tiny photo to show/write what my children (too small to ride) and their grandma did while the rest of us went on Test Track.

I paged through the Shimelle #stickerbook for stickers that would coordinate with the theme, and I thought the lightning bolts were perfect.

I used part of the washi strip from the Sparkle City sticker folder to continue the lightning bolts at the third vertex of the embellishment triangle. I like how the detail-cut cameras from Starshine and the arrow branding strip from a page in the Starshine 6×6 paper pad were the perfect compliment to the colors in Sparkle City!

Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle Sparkle City Project Pad, Starshine “Pathfinder” (detail-cut cameras)
alphas: Shimelle Sparkle City Project Pad
embellishments: Shimelle #stickerbook, Shimelle Sparkle City sticker folder, washi tape, print-and-cut labels, The Paper Studio enamel dots
stamps: Hero Arts/Clearly Kelly “Kelly’s Magical” and Hampton Art “Vintologie” (stamped on vellum)
journal card: Becky Higgins/Project Life Baby Edition
other: craft foam, ATG adhesive, Spectrum Noir Artliner 005 journaling pe
n

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In 2019, I was in a big giant Boot, but Husband, V, and B participated in our elementary school PTA’s Fun Run and 5K fundraiser. It was a fun time, and I was really proud of my daughter and son for completing the mile-long Fun Run together. Even more impressive was that my husband had carried my son part of the way while running (jogging?) with the kids on the Fun Run course, and then went on to finish the 5K in a respectable time.

My favorite part, though, was seeing my children finish their race and cross the finish line holding hands. This called for a special layout:

I used a horizontal design so that I could show off two 4×6 photos and two 3×4 photos (small only because the quality was poor– they were screenshots from a video clip… These photos make my heart explode and they are giant in my mind!). I pieced together two patterned papers behind the photos to form the background.

Almost all of the embellishments are cut from patterned paper! The “Amazing” plane+banner and the “Remember This” strip are from cut-apart sheets… and I sneakily chopped out bits of the floral paper behind the photos so that I could detail cut some of the flowers to use as embellishments. I also detail-cut the cameras from yet another patterned paper!

I used two journaling cards to tell the two pieces of the story: my husband’s intrepid running and my kids’ display of their strong relationship.

The title has a double meaning… not only were they all running on the road, but the mascot for the elementary school is Rudy the Roadrunner!

Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle “Go Now Go” (Botanical, Action), Close to My Heart “Mix In” (Mar-Apr), Shimelle “Starshine” (Odyssey, Orion)
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
alphas: Close to My Heart white alphabet foam stickers
kraft tags: Jillibean Soup
journal cards: Project Life (Jade Edition)
enamel dots: The Paper Studio

journaling pen: Spectrum Noir ArtLiner .005
other: craft foam, date stamp, crochet thread, ATG (adhesive)

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This 6×12 pocket page precedes my “Hello, Grey Stuff” layout and tells the story of our lunch at the Be Our Guest restaurant in January 2016. It was our first time there, and it was one of the most-anticipated parts of the trip for me! I was so amazed by the theming and atmosphere and wanted to highlight some of the photos I took inside.

The embellishments and paper on the front side of this pocket page coordinate with the layout that immediately precedes it, Tea Cups with BaBa. I was happy that the tea cup washi tape was also perfect for a Beauty and the Beast-themed area! Gotta love little Chip.

However, I did also add the detail-cut flowers, doily, and label to begin the transition to the style of the second side, which directly coordinates with the Grey Stuff layout.

On the other side, I added more labels and embellishments to include everything I wanted to say about the restaurant and the meal we ate.

I had to add a label to the top photo because I needed more room for my words!

The middle section holds two small photos of our food (the lighting was low and so my photo quality is poor) and a larger embellishment cluster with my journaling. The background paper is from a piece I “gutted” from the Grey Stuff layout, since I only had one sheet in my stash.

It’s amazing how quickly this pocket layout came together when I used the surrounding layouts to inform my decisions on papers and embellishments!

Supplies:
patterned paper: Making Memories Tie the Knot “Glitter Stripe;” Shimelle Starshine “Mercury”
cardstock: white textured from American Crafts
vellum: The Paper Studio
stamps: Hero Arts/Clearly Kelly “Kelly’s Magical”
embellishments: Shimelle #stickerbook, Shimelle Head in the Clouds washi tape, The Paper Studio (enamel dots), silver thread, paper doilies, print-and-cut (Cameo 3) labels

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I love a good sketch, and that’s why I couldn’t resist joining in with the Disney Creative Co.’s first sketch challenge! When I saw the Incredi-sketch, I knew that these two photos highlighting my Grey Stuff cupcake at Be Our Guest would be the perfect fit. Plus, look at all the labels! I love labels! (p.s. mine are print-and-cut with my Cameo 3.)

Taking my cue from the colors in the photo– and the fact that we were talking about GREY stuff, I decided to go with a grey-with-yellow-accents color palette.

I have had the background papers in my stash for years!! They are from a Making Memories wedding collection, but they aren’t so themed that they can’t be used for something completely different. Throughout the embellishment cluster, I layered bits and pieces of scrap patterned papers (I keep all of my scraps from this project together in a box so that I can use them elsewhere for continuity).

I have a coordinating pocket insert for this page (coming soon on the blog) that tells the rest of my thoughts about dining at Be Our Guest, but this layout focuses specifically on how excited I was to get to try “Grey Stuff.” I had this package of sparkly white foam script titles earmarked for some other layouts I’ll be adding to this section, and I realized that the “hello” would be perfect on this layout as part of the title. I sprinkled some of the matching hearts around the layout, too.

I have been so inspired by how Kirsty (@journalofcuriousthings) stamps on vellum to make hand-cut embellishments for her (seriously lovely) layouts, and so I decided to give it a try. I used Staz-On ink so that it wouldn’t smear, and I stamped a whole lot of images and spent a little while just trimming and punching them out. I tucked them throughout the vertical cluster of labels and embellishments, along with the floral elements I detail-cut out of patterned paper and

Do you see the hidden Mickey??

For a final touch, I added some (also very old!) pennant stickers and some silver thread tied into bows.

Supplies:
patterned paper: Making Memories Tie the Knot “Glitter Stripe” and “Handkerchief Lace,” Fancy Pants Happy Place “Hello,” Shimelle Starshine “Mercury”
cardstock: white textured from American Crafts
vellum: The Paper Studio
alphas: “Daiquiri” white foam Thickers, Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss foam stickers
stickers: Jenni Bowlin Studio “Play Date” banner stickers, Shimelle #stickerbook , Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss foam stickers
stamps: Hero Arts/Clearly Kelly “Kelly’s Magical,” Hampton Arts “Vintologie”
embellishments: The Paper Studio (enamel dots), silver thread, paper doilies, print-and-cut (Cameo 3) labels

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