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Counting Down to CHA 2017: and then we whispered 'Go Now...Go!'

 use a random embellishment // scrapbook page by Sheena Rowlands

Go Now Go came out at the end of last summer, so it still feels quite new to me on my desk even if we were designing it at almost this time last year. Inspired by our big backpacking adventure (which I cannot believe was six years ago now) as well as autumn in the beautiful park at my doorstep, I originally imagined this collection with the name ‘Round the World’. When we scheduled our trip, that’s what travel agents and the like call the sort of plane tickets we booked: RTW. You pick a direction and just keep flying in that direction until you return to your home airport again, choosing the cities and countries you visit along the way. It’s a thing that is always at the back of my mind, just waiting for the right opportunity, because there is such potential to never have a remotely similar adventure twice! But once we had all the designs in front of us, RTW didn’t just seem right. It fit the few overtly travel-themed items but left the rest feeling like outcasts, and I don’t want to have lonely overlooked papers getting sad in the corner. With a bit more thought, I was drawn to something I’d heard whispered many, many times. Go now go is the whisper that starts the very beginning of a TV show I watched over and over and over again through my teens and twenties. It became a lovely little voice I would hear in my head when I was lacking the confidence I needed for whatever life was presenting. It linked to travel. It linked to running in the crunchy autumn leaves. It was all about the moment and not about the rehashing the past or trying to control the future. Whatever it is you need to do, just go. Now. Go. Once it hit me, it was that through and through and I would accept no substitute.

Anyway, enough of me rambling about collection names. It’s nearly time for CHA, and I’m delighted to share a Go Now Go page created by contributing designer Sheena Rowlands with you today!

 use a random embellishment // scrapbook page by Sheena Rowlands

Over the past few years I’ve noticed some new paper collections have some more unusual shapes in their die cut packs and sticker sheets, usually they just gather at the bottom of my die cut box but this photo had me digging them back out to use. Cacti on an English autumnal layout?! why not, their colour & shape fit perfectly with my outdoor theme and the Go Now Go patterned papers I used. I’ll certainly be more open to random embellishments in the future.
- Sheena

I’d love to see what you’ve been making with Go Now Go! Share a link in the comments or add the hashtag #ACgonowgo to your posts on Instagram so we can all see.

My bag is packed – next time I write, it will be from Phoenix! See you soon, Creativation!

Counting Down to CHA 2017: Handmade Cards with Starshine and Go Now Go

Handmade Cards with Starshine by May Flaum

Contributing Designer May Flaum recently shared a 1-2-3 approach to card making on her blog, with plenty of Starshine stickers to embellish. I love her take on how simple it can be to make your own cards, so I followed her steps but changed the collection. In just a short little window of time, I had three cards ready to send, so I know this will work with your stash favourites too.

Handmade Cards with Starshine by May Flaum

May’s 1-2-3 approach starts with a simple combination of choosing one patterned paper to become the card, one sticker or embellishment to become to the focal point, and a matted square between the two.

 Handmade Cards with Go Now Go  // handmade cards by Shimelle Laine

The only thing I did differently when working with the Go Now Go collection to add a word strip sticker below the compass. That compass square comes from a cut-apart sheet of paper, and that washi-styled background paper is one of my favourites for cutting into journaling boxes.

Handmade Cards with Starshine by May Flaum

For card two, May sticks with the patterned paper background but looks within a collection for something that has a frame, like the chipboard stickers in the case of this square. She still uses a big sticker or die-cut as a focal point, but dresses it up with things like her collection of beautiful sequins and buttons.

Handmade Cards with Go Now Go // handmade cards by Shimelle Laine

There’s a chipboard sticker frame in the Go Now Go collection too, so that was an easy choice to follow her formula. Both the bicycle and the floral washi tape stickers are from the sticker book, and instead of sequins and paint, I used a few enamel dots and some gold mist.

Handmade Cards with Starshine by May Flaum

It’s step three in that 1-2-3 card making process when May lets loose with a more collaged look that can incorporate leftover stickers, die-cuts, and paper scraps. Starting with kraft cardstock instead of another sheet of patterned paper makes it easier to see all the elements she selected and layered across the front of this card. Plenty of sparkle from glitter glue and sequins makes for something very special!

Handmade Cards with Go Now Go // handmade cards by Shimelle Laine

I kept that kraft cardstock look for the background and piled on pieces from the cut-apart papers, labels punched from patterned paper scraps, die-cuts, stickers, and chipboard, before sprinkling with more gold mist. May used her sewing machine to add the stitched frame, but I cheated and used a stitched border stamp design to try something just a little different. As soon as I finished this card, I knew exactly who would receive it: a friend who always has a serious longing to be in New York!

Handmade Cards with Starshine by May Flaum

I love May’s philosophy on making cards like this, and following the steps made it a much more streamlined process than my usual card making endeavours! I always seem to forget how paper works for at least an hour if I start on a card rather than a scrapbook page, but not this time. All three were done in a flash and with very minimal mess to tidy. I think this process works well in both directions: if you have a collection you love and want to use in every way, make a set of cards you will send to others, whether they be for an occasion or just for little notes. If you prefer to work with scraps, you could choose a nice combination to use then create sets either to write and send yourself or to bundle together and give as a gift. Thank you, May!

And thank you for your love of Starshine. If you have a favourite Starshine project you’d like to share, please leave a link in the comments. I’d love to see! Tomorrow we’ll talk a bit more about Go Now Go, while I get my bag packed for CHA 2017!

Counting Down to CHA 2017: Looking out to the Starshine

can you scrapbook with just paper? // scrapbook page by Wendy Goodman

Four collections in brings us to last year’s CHA show and the release of Starshine. Every collection is fun to develop but this one was extra special. It took all my childhood dreams and styles and mixed them with my current perspective. I loved that there was just the teensiest touch of Lisa Frank inspiration from my junior high days of pen pals and sticker books nestled below layers of other things that became more important as I grew up. In the original pitch for this collection, I told the team I wanted to turn 2001: A Space Odyssey into a paper collection. It turned out to be a more outlandish request than the mix of coffee cups and rocket ships, but when we broke it down, it started to click. There’s a red hexagon b-side pattern inspired by all the white bars on the space craft. There’s a colour blocked pattern that turned out to be super useful for layering (because you could have all the colours and a variety of patterns all on one sheet you could easily cut into small pieces) that was actually inspired by the lunch trays in the film. I will stop or else I will tell you the layers of backstory to every single piece in this collection and that might just get a little much. Suffice to say, the girl who spent her summers learning about space travel was ridiculously happy to create a paper line that embraced those stargazing dreams.

We’re going to spend two days talking Starshine in this CHA countdown, and today I’m so happy to share with you a project from guest artist Wendy Goodman. She’s done something that always makes me giddy: a layout without pre made embellishments – just paper. Paper, and in this case, a stamp. I’m not the only one who needs to get a bit more use from her roller stamps, right? That’s what I thought.

Starshine roller stamp and notepad from Shimelle & American Crafts

I loved the challenge of using only paper on my layout. The Starshine collection was perfect for a page about a moment at the beach I want to remember. I brought out my favorite punches and went to town punching out colorful patterned paper circles and arranging them in a grid. All of the circles were stitched down and I snuck in some vellum stars. Other punches I used included the label, tab, star, butterfly and even tiny circle punches to create faux ‘enamel’ dots. I cut a globe and camera from the papers. The globe happened to be exactly the right size to match the other circles.

can you scrapbook with just paper? // scrapbook page by Wendy Goodman

I used my favorite phrase stamps on the labels. I arranged my paper embellishments equally around the page for balance. I even cut my title out after tracing the letters onto cardstock. I love that even though I only used paper, this page still rings true to my style of using a white background, grid design, and the primary focus is on the photo and story of this adventure at the beach.

can you scrapbook with just paper? // scrapbook page by Wendy Goodman

I love how there is so much detail in Wendy’s page without needing to spend a fortune on embellishments or feel like her page is filled with things assembled by others, which creates a never ending mental battle for me when crafting. I love all the pretty embellishments in packages! Must buy more! But then I also like it when I spend less on stuff and make more by hand, even if it’s just cutting things out from plenty of different patterned papers. So which side wins? It changes by the day.

scrapbook page and process video by Shimelle Laine
There’s basically a little bit of every collection in this layout! I love the rocket motifs from True Stories with the papers from Starshine.

And both these videos feature lots of Starshine to create the pages, along with things like vellum and Distress Inks. We’ll take a look at some more Starshine fun tomorrow, but please don’t hesitate to leave a link to any Starshine projects of your own in the comments below!

Today’s Guest Artist: Wendy Goodman loves big cups of coffee, travel adventures, and superheroes. You can find more from Wendy on Instagram and her blog

Counting Down to CHA 2017: A bit of Christmas Magic

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

With True Stories in the spring, collection three arrived for the holiday season and brought a bit of nostalgia along for the fun. Christmas Magic was actually named after my childhood puppy! This is the most limited colour palette I’ve worked with in the paper collections: predominantly evergreen, brick red, and cream, but actually you’ll find some shades of blue and turquoise in there too. Plus silver and gold! I think my favourite part of this collection was two vellums – one with stars and one with snowflakes, each with a bit of special shimmer. But I also love the stories told in the ephemera and sticker motifs: the Christmas records my family would pull out year after year, the toys inspired by the look of Christmas TV specials, like Rudolph and Frosty. I also loved a product that was very different for me: a die set to cut paper chains to put on the Christmas tree. The challenge was to make a set that would have an interesting pattern even with plain cardstock (so you’d feel better about cutting plenty!) while also making them possible to assemble without any adhesive. Last Christmas, I made lots of these with crafters in pubs across London, and I got such a thrill from an email from someone who used the die with a Brownie troop to make seemingly endless paper chains to decorate their community centre.

Today contributing designer Leigh Ann Odynski has a beautiful page to share with you, featuring Christmas Magic.

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

_My design for this Christmas scrapbook page was inspired by Heather and Laureen who shared their pages here at the last online crop weekend.

I love how the quilted look works with the Christmas Magic Shimelle collection. To start off, I took the 6×6 Christmas Magic paper pad and picked out patterns in my layout colors. Turquoise, red, and black and white. Try for a variety of pattern styles. All over, tone on tone, text, and scenes are some of the patterns I chose. Punch four to eight squares of each pattern and then trim them all into triangles.

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

To lay them out on the page, I started at the very top left corner, by placing a triangle even with the edges of that top corner and then flipping it over. You can line up all the triangles quite easily in this way. A T-Square ruler helped me keep the horizontal line of the diamonds lined up.

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

After your triangles are all glued down with a tiny dab of glue, then you can stitch as shown, through all the triangles. I chose to keep the embellishing to a minimum so that the patterned papers and the quilted design are the focal point of the page. A 3×4 photo and snowflakes cut from the patterned papers, new Go Now Go enamel dots and some die cut pieces are all you need to finish out the page. You can add a few drops of Mr Huey’s “Dewey” color to coordinate with the colors in this line if you like!

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

Notice how I kept the embellishments in three small areas around the page. They form a triangle, but are kept close to the diamond shapes of patterned paper.

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

I love how Leigh Ann’s tiny triangle technique could be used to make gorgeous Christmas cards out of the smallest scraps. I’m trying to tell myself to let go of some Christmas scraps I’ve kept for years, but this idea is not helping that effort, I’m afraid!

Christmas Magic scrapbook page by Shimelle Laine

Much of what I made with Christmas Magic was part of my Journal your Christmas project in 2015, but there is one very Christmassy process video should you require that sort of inspiration! Again, please feel free to link up your own Christmas Magic projects in the comments! The more the merrier.

Not long until CHA now. I’ve even started putting things in a suitcase! Tomorrow, we go to infinity and beyond in terms of paper collections. See you then!

Counting Down to CHA 2017: And then came True Stories

scrapbook with an envelope // scrapbook page by Sarah King

With that first collection meant – if only in my mind – to be called Pretty Paper, the next one had to be True Stories. There was the idea that we could just start with Pretty Paper in collection two, but I already had ideas for what True Stories would be and I was just too stubborn far down the path to go back and change my mind. True Stories it would be. This is always what I find scrapbooking to be: pretty paper and true stories.

I will never forget our original pitch meeting for designing this collection. It was on a computery-conference-call thingy with me in London and the American Crafts team in Utah, and a seven hour time difference that may have been enough to make for plenty of ‘huh?’ opportunities. But I started with one clear vision: ‘I want coffee cups and rocket ships. And now I need to find a way to bring those things together.’

The thing that brought them together – along with a few other motifs, including the pastel plastic radio I carried onto the school bus every day in the fourth grade – was ‘everyday daydreams’. A sort of place where the mundane of everyday life collided with the fantastical. Coffee cups and rocket ships. Actually, for a while this collection had the alternative name Six Impossible Things, based on the Alice in Wonderland quote that sometimes I’ve believed six impossible things before breakfast, but it was deemed a bit too confusing so we scrapped that name but did keep some text from Alice, including that line, if you look at some of the less bold patterns.

Today please welcome guest Sarah King to share a new page with the True Stories collection!

scrapbook with an envelope // scrapbook page by Sarah King

I used the Shimelle, True Stories collection to create this layout about one of the major things I craved while I was pregnant. Strawberry Shortcake!! Yum! I used a Fancy Pants, Park Bench envelope to keep my moms recipe I used to make my yummy snack, I thought this would be a good way to keep the recipe for my kids when there old enough to cook too.

scrapbook with an envelope // scrapbook page by Sarah King

I love how the little envelope here hides something practical like the recipe, but given a different story, it could just as easily be used to hold journaling you really want in your album but don’t particularly want read by every casual visitor to your home who takes a look at your pages.

online scrapbooking class from shimelle laine

Each of these is clickable for additional layouts and videos from the archive here, with those projects I made and a mini class I taught with True Stories. The next collection? It was all inspired by a scrapbooking class. I’ll share that one tomorrow!

Today’s Guest Artist: Sarah King loves scrapbooking, her family, and coffee. You can find more from Sarah on Instagram, YouTube, and her blog.

Counting down to CHA 2017: Remember this collection?

scrapbooking with a mix of die-cuts and embellishments // scrapbook page by Meghann Andrew

With just a week until the doors open upon Creativation, the CHA trade show for 2017, it feels like a perfect time to think about using (or at least earmarking) all the supplies we’ve gathered over the years. Every day for the next week, I’ll share ideas for scrapbooking with my previous collections with American Crafts. Today we head all the way back to that original collection, which was just called ‘Shimelle’. Trivia: I had hoped it would be called Pretty Paper, but for marketing reasons, it was name only. In my head, this is still my Pretty Paper collection! First up, here’s a beautiful project from contributing designer Meghann Andrew, mixing that original collection with paper from Starshine.

When creating a layout, I typically try to match the style of the layout with the mood in my photo. When I came across a photo of my daughter asleep on the floor after playing with her toys, I wanted to create a playful layout, almost as though toys were scattered around my photo.

scrapbooking with a mix of die-cuts and embellishments // scrapbook page by Meghann Andrew

As soon as I saw the Phoenix paper from the Starshine collection, I knew that it would create the perfect background for this fun, colorful page. It also helped me to dictate the design of my layout, using a circular photo to match the colorful, circular lines on the paper, and arranging my embellishments in a circular frame around the photo.

scrapbooking with a mix of die-cuts and embellishments // scrapbook page by Meghann Andrew

I typically use several different patterned papers on my layouts, but I didn’t want to compete with the lovely background paper. So, I decided to die-cut part of my title from Starshine patterns. This added more color and different patterns to the page. Since I also kept the title on the radial axis, it became a starting point for my embellishment cloud around the photo.

scrapbooking with a mix of die-cuts and embellishments // scrapbook page by Meghann Andrew

Mixing and matching several of the Shimelle collections from American Crafts was easy, and gave me so many different options to add embellishment. I’d love for you to take a look at how this layout came together, and how I mixed and matched several collections. It certainly was a fun layout to create!

Hands up if you have any of this original collection sitting in your stash to this day! If you have pages in your gallery or on your own blog that you’ve created with this collection, please share in the comments – the more the merrier!

scrapbook page with the Shimelle collection by American Crafts

Each of these is clickable for additional layouts and videos from the archive here, with those projects I made in the early days of this collection with American Crafts. And what came after this collection that was called Pretty Paper but was not called Pretty Paper? That would be something we’ll review tomorrow!

Little by Little: My New Collection with American Crafts

Little By Little scrapbooking collection by Shimelle for American Crafts

It’s nearly time for CHA, so that means plenty of new papers and embellishments! Today I’m delighted to share my newest collection with American Crafts: Little by Little!

Little By Little scrapbooking collection by Shimelle for American Crafts

My box of Little by Little literally arrived this afternoon, so I’ve just filmed a video of these products! I hope you enjoy the commentary.

Little By Little scrapbooking collection by Shimelle for American Crafts

There are plenty of papers and a lovely little collection of embellishments, including a sticker book with cardstock, clear, and washi stickers all in the same book. It includes two small alphabets as well, to make sure you have plenty to use with that big colourful set of Thickers.

Little By Little scrapbooking collection by Shimelle for American Crafts

As always, I design my collections to be equally useful for boys and girls, young and old, so you’ll find plenty of whimsy here but also the types of patterns that can just be used again and again, with geometrics and black and white patterns thrown in there too. And if you like special papers for special things, there’s a gold foil metallic printed on navy blue cardstock. I’m ridiculously excited about how pretty it is. I wish it was a dress so I could wear it, but I guess that’s going a bit far with a 12×12 sheet of paper.

Little By Little scrapbooking collection by Shimelle for American Crafts

The sticker book includes a page of stickers that let you build your own wreath, perfect for framing your journaling or the sentiment on a card.

Little By Little scrapbooking collection by Shimelle for American Crafts

I can’t wait to see what you make with Little by Little! When you share something, please tag it with #AClittlebylittle and #shimelle so we can all see your fabulous creativity! Little by Little is shipping to stores now, so you’ll see it at your favourite shops very soon.

Stop by the American Crafts Blog for a chance to win a Little by Little prize pack too!

Christmas in a Box and Christmas stamps for 2016

Christmas in a Box scrapbooking supply kit

It’s nearly time to start keeping a Christmas journal for many of us, and the annual Christmas in a Box is boxed up and ready to help you with all your December projects! After keeping a similar format for the last several years, this year’s kit is just slightly different. I’ve heard from so many of you that your box of Christmas embellishments is positively overflowing, but of course we all love a bit of new Christmas fun to make our albums an inspiring project. I’ve combined that feedback with my love of patterned paper and created a kit that will complement a running theme of Journal your Christmas this year: making the best with our old and new. Christmas in a Box (or just the stamps!) can be your ‘new’ element to mix with your existing stash of supplies as the ‘old’. It also means this year’s kit is less expensive!

Christmas in a Box includes:
18 12×12 patterned papers (all double-sided, 2016 releases)
1 12×12 metallic vellum paper
1 set of red and white Christmas striped Thickers letter stickers
1 pack of puffy heart stickers
1 pack of textured snowflake stickers
2 sets of 4×6 limited edition clear stamps: Christmas words and Christmas numbers
and a few tiny little things (just a small sampling of buttons, wood veneer, and thread) that coordinate specifically with one of the JYC videos)
PLUS a handmade gift from me made just for each of you, which is a little surprise.
Christmas in a Box (including stamps) is £32 including UK postage. Postage to other countries is available, but costs a little more.

The stamps are also available as a pair on their own, which may be helpful if you want to order from overseas but would prefer a lighter shipping bill. Stamps on their own are £18 GBP (or about $23 USD) including shipping to anywhere in the world.

Christmas in a Box scrapbooking supply kit

To order Christmas in a Box as a full kit:

If your Christmas in a Box kit should be shipped outside the UK, you will receive a second invoice for shipping and have the chance to change your mind if the shipping is prohibitive.
If you would like to order the same items from a US-based shop, you can find the papers and stickers on this shopping list. Most everything on the list is also available at Blue Moon Scrapbooking, also based in the US.

To order just the stamps:

Stamps can be shipped anywhere in the world at no extra charge.