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Teaching craft by encouragement

teaching craft by may flaum

Last weekend, I was in Germany to teach some scrapbooking classes on strong design without spending a fortune on embellishments. One thing I love about that concept is it automatically answers one of the most common reasons I hear for people taking an interest but not actually trying paper crafting: ‘it’s expensive’. Like many things in the world, it can be expensive if you want to take those options but it definitely doesn’t have to be! I came back from Germany to find contributing designer May Flaum with such a complementary train of thought, and today she’s here to share her philosophy for introducing new crafters to the glorious world of pretty paper.

Crafting with people who don’t normally craft, or who are new to it can be quite the challenge. You want to make it inviting and fun, yet not overwhelm them. Hey there, May Flaum here and today I am excited to share an idea and video with you to make card making fun with yourself or with a group!

I often get asked how I teach my kids to craft and my short answer is: I don’t. The thing is I try to encourage them to play, explore, and discover on their own. One key idea is to come up with a simple formula as I have here (shape + paper scraps + simple sentiment + embellishments) and give just enough structure that people aren’t left wondering where to even begin. You want to inspire a person to try, to play, and to have fun. You don’t want to bog them down with rules and too much structure. Ah, but you don’t want them without a starting point either!

teaching craft by may flaum

Clear as mud? Don’t worry, I’ve got a video to help explain as well as show you how I’ve made my card. Here is my video tutorial for creating a card like mine:

I just love how this card turned out, and that it has the benefits of using up scraps and bits of my stash as well as giving a lot of creative freedom to the teens, tweens, and anyone else I might happen to want to create with.

teaching craft by may flaum

I also love this as a warm-up for myself when I’m not feeling especially creative, or a maneuver to avoid cleaning off my desk. Just use the scraps! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this video today and that I’ve inspired you to go make some cards with someone today. Crafter or not – we can all enjoy playing with pretty papers and fun embellishments.

Do you need a crafty warm-up today? Give May’s formula a quick try and share it with us!

Glitter Girl Adventure 138: On a Minc Mission

I recently purchased a Minc machine for metallic foiling and have used it easily enough for cards and gift tags, but I’m at a loss as to how to use it on my scrapbook pages. I have plenty of foil, so it seems only right to make this investment work for all my paper crafting, including my layouts! Glitter Girl, can you help?

Of course I can! This week, Glitter Girl takes on the challenge to use the Minc on her pages by customising 3×4 Project Life cards with metallic foiled fish to match some toddler artwork that needs a spot in the scrapbook.

I have the full size twelve inch Minc but the foiler is also available in a smaller six inch machine if that better suits your budget, your space, or your needs! This project would work perfectly fine with the smaller size, since the journaling cards are 3×4 inches. Do be sure you buy the Minc for your part of the world: as it plugs in and heats up, you’ll need the version with the right plug. They are available!

Other supplies for this page include the Color Chaos collection and Sand & Surf papers from Bella Blvd, enamel dots from Doodlebug Designs, letter stickers by October Afternoon, word stickers by My Mind’s Eye, flair badges by American Crafts, and a variety of washi tapes.

In terms of kids and artwork, I can already see why this becomes such a challenge over the years! He’s only just turned two and of course I already have a significant stack of paint strokes, colouring sheets, and other creative projects! (Stickers are big here. Of course stickers are big here.) We have a big art-student-style book with plain pages to paste things in and leave a little label with any relevant notes, but I’d like to include just a sprinkling of the actual pieces in our chronological family albums, and it struck me that it will work perfectly to include things that are a) the right size for a 12×12 page and b) have a corresponding photo that helps tell the story. Aside from letting him doodle on a card in my Christmas journal, I’m pretty sure this is the first page where his artwork appears right in the album. It was a delight to show the page to him when it was in the album and he clapped! That’s probably the biggest accolade I’ve ever had for scrapping, so I’m flying high now!

I’ve long had the Paislee Press Mini Masterpieces project in my bookmarks, thinking that big student portfolio may become unwieldy over the years to come and thinking a Photo Book would be a lovely way to keep the evidence without the complication. I’d love to see other ways you’ve kept child art, be it in your scrapbooks or another system of saving things. If it’s something you’ve shared online, by all means leave us a link in the comments. Or feel free to just share a thought of what has worked for you. I’m sure many of us go through this stage of wanting to find some sort of guidelines for which pieces we keep and which ones go from the fridge to the recycling bin!

And of course, links to your projects with the Minc are also welcome! If you have the Minc, do you find you use it more for small format projects like cards and gifts or is foil becoming a definite design theme in your scrapbooks?

Disclosure: Product links in this post are affiliate links. All are supplies I use and enjoy! Affiliate commissions on blog posts pay the guest artists who share their work here. Thank you for your support.

How to incorporate books into your crafting

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

It’s so exciting when one idea leads to another and another, and I love it when that happens in crafting. I love it when it happens for other crafters too so we can see their train of thought and how one idea jumps to another and another. That’s why this post from contributing designer Sheena Rowlands made my day. I hope her series of ideas sparks a few for you too!

I’m a real lover of books. I really enjoy reading when I get the chance, I like how they feel in my hand and the smell of the pages. I also like to collect books specifically to use with my hobbies. These are usually out of date or damaged or bought from markets or second hand stores. I like to think I’m giving them a new lease of life when I use them in my projects. I always use a digital copies of photographs in my scrapbooks so I’m not concerned that the books I use are not acid free. Here a few of my favourites.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

I like to use books and book paper in a variety of ways and today I’m sharing with you four different projects showing how versatile and easy it is to use.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

For this scrapbook page I wanted to use the book paper to help tell a story from my childhood. The journalling reads – As the daughter of an avid gardener, I spent my summers outside & my winters surrounded by gardening books and seed catalogues galore. This was the feel I wanted to get across when I looked at this layout. I took pages from an old gardening book,inked the edges lightly to evoke the look for being well thumbed and layered them up.The book cover is cardstock providing a base for the pages. To create the open book look I’ve cut the pages at a slight angle to give the impression it was intentionally open at these particular pages. I also cut some of the flower illustrations from the book to embellish the layout. The pastel tones of the Starshine papers and embellishments were perfect for matting my grainy old photos on giving a lovely spring feel.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

For this Project Life spread I wanted to evoke the feeling of distance, travel and culture. Two of my children travelled to Japan last year for the World Scout Jamboree. They brought back with them from their trip booklets, tour guides, maps etc. Rather than use the originals for this page I scanned and copied pages so not to damage their souvenirs. Whenever I go travelling I always try to pick up a book in the launguage of the country to add to my collection.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

I created a pocket to hold journalling tags with a train map and punched decorative circles from text paper to embellish my journalling all adding to the overall feel of the Project Life spread.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

Book paper is great for making embellishments with too and for this card I made one large embellishment for the front using old school maths text book paper.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

I drew out the star in pencil on the back before hand stitching around the edge. When I had sewn two thirds of it I added a little toy stuffing between the layers to add dimension before sewing it up. The background features the star stamp from the Starshine Collection heat embossed in clear on white cardstock before adding water colour paint over them. The Starshine chipboard sentiment finishes it off perfectly.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

Finally an off the page project. I’m a scrapbooker first and foremost but I do like to dabble in other crafts, like I need another hobby! but I thought I would share a book fold I did as a gift for my Brother & his bride last year. There are lots of free patterns out there on the internet & its really easy to get the hang of once you get started. I’ve covered the covers of this book as they were damaged but you could also theme your fold with the book you choose too.

how to incorporate books into your crafting @ // layout by sheena rowlands

I’d love you to join me and create incorporating book paper, please share with us your creations.

Weekly Challenge :: Make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Shimelle Laine

I’m a firm believer that we all have our own unique blend of why we scrapbook. For some it is 95% about the photos and 5% about trying new stamps. For others it is 33.3% a love of pretty paper, 33.3% a love of pretty photos, and 33.3% a love of a little quiet time not to worry about much else in the entire world. And as much as I love the pretty paper and as much as I love the pretty photographs, my personal blend weighs very heavy on the writing. Sometimes it’s a lot and sometimes it’s just a little, but for me, the journaling is what makes it part of a bigger story I tell page by page, and that makes me a collector of ways I can incorporate those words on my pages when there are times I don’t really fancy just adding a journaling box or some lines.

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Kirsty Smith

Here’s a case in point: a tutorial Kirsty Smith shared here many moons ago. It’s such a favourite of mine that I’m bringing it back this week specifically for this challenge.

I challenge you this week to make journaling the heart of your scrapbook page, taking inspiration from Kirsty’s tutorial. The subject matter and how you take the inspiration is completely up to you, so you can go in any direction you like! To get you started on this week’s challenge, take a look at these examples from contributing designer Leigh Ann Odynski and guest artist Mari Clarke. As a bonus, both have shared videos of their process today!

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

Taking inspiration from Kirsty Smith and her layout with “How to hide journaling in plain sight”, I wanted to use the journaling as a design element on the page. Typically, I add the journaling into the design already on the page and size it to fit on my computer, then print it on my home printer. This time, I thought about how I could still stay true to my style, but incorporate the journaling in a more unique way, thinking about the journaling at the beginning of the process rather than near the end. That’s how I came up with the little labels stitched to the bottom of the page. The EK Success label punch made quick work of punching out all those little journaling boxes.

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

The next portion of this teen layout came about really quickly once I found this free cell phone cut file from Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine. What goes together better than teens and cell phones? After I chose a variety of patterns from the Shimelle Starshine line – I used 12 in all – I cut the shadow from the patterned papers and the cover in white. Added a vellum “screen” for the phone and they look so cute!

Next, you can add vellum, transparency, or printed cellophane like this one from Heidi Swapp, under the die cuts at the top of the page for added texture and interest.

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

Then, you can add more patterned papers under your photo to tie in all the color at the top of the page. It was so much fun adding in different layers of embellishments with the Shimelle stickers, wood buttons, enamel shapes, epoxy paper clips, and cardstock and acetate pieces from the die-cut pack.

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Leigh Ann Odynski

My focus for this layout was teen life now, so the title “Life @ 17” came to mind. All the little journaling labels tie in with facts about life and technology, and facts from the US Census Bureau on US households and computer and internet use. Use your country’s stats to personalize your page, and have a go at this fun challenge! You can capture this moment in time for your teen, and wouldn’t you love to have a page like this from your teen years, or your parents’ teens? What a different set of pages they would be!

Thank you for stopping by today, and enjoy the rest of your day!
- Leigh Ann

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Mari Clarke

I love to scrapbook using photos of my son and daughter when they were teenagers. They were such fun years, and I love to document the stories of those days so we won’t forget the details. Teenagers can be very sensitive when it comes to what parents share about them. When I was creating this layout, I chose to keep the majority of the journaling hidden to ensure that the big story would remain a mystery when first glancing at the layout.

weekly challenge :: make your journaling the heart of your scrapbook page // scrapbook page by Mari Clarke

The ‘hidden in plain sight’ technique from Kirsty was just right for this page, and something that was refreshing to try without being difficult or time-consuming.

The journaling is handwritten on 12×12 white cardstock; I then placed a piece of vellum over the journaling and created the rest of the layout on the vellum overlay. I secured the vellum to the cardstock with a paperclip from the Starshine collection. Just remove the paperclip and slide the journaling out to read the details. The floral washi tape from Starshine made for a beautiful but super easy detail to divide the page and add colour.
- Mari

You have a week to complete the challenge and share a link – but of course you’re welcome to set your own time schedule. Whatever keeps you happy and creative!

Today’s Guest Artist: Mari Clarke loves creating, teaching, and drinking lattes in the sunshine. You can find more from Mari on Instagram, YouTube, and her blog.

Weekly Challenge :: Put a Book in your Scrapbook

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // harry potter scrapbook page by shimelle laine

After beautiful sunshine this weekend, there is a sky filled with clouds over my house this morning and it feels just about perfect to make some coffee, put on some music and do one of two things: read a good book… or scrapbook. Of course. Shall we have a challenge this week to combine those two things?

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // scrapbook page by shimelle laine

This week, I challenge you this week to scrapbook about books or reading. Go specifically to your favourite book or journal about a wider scope like books you’ve read over the years. Everything else is completely up to you, so you can take your inspiration in any direction you like! A few years ago, Glitter Girl created a few pages for my Harry Potter album, and there is much Alice influence in my albums too! To get you started on this week’s challenge, take a look at these examples from contributing designer Gina Lideros and guest artist Tanya Hubbard.

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // scrapbook page by Gina Lideros

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // scrapbook page by Gina Lideros

Quality time to myself is a big deal in my household, so I decided to scrapbook about a special moment that is sacred to me – coffee and books. When my children were younger we had a local book store that we were at every weekend – sometimes multiple times a week – and I would grab my favorite coffee while they grabbed their favorite books. I would often get lost in the books and the stories that they told. I always looked forward to a couple of moments of peace. Sometimes it was my only peace at the time because my children were little and my husband was deployed.

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // scrapbook page by Gina Lideros

Using my Silhouette software, I used a floral background available at Just Nick. I backed each flower with a different piece of patterned paper and then adhered them onto background paper (Hubble, part of the Starshine collection) I then added bits of spray mist, my photo, and journaling. Pieces from the Shimelle True Stories and original collection were used as well to help bring my layout to life.
- Gina

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // scrapbook page by Tanya Hubbard

I love the theme for this week, a favourite book. I do feel I might have stretched it a little by going with my favourite author, Terry Pratchett but I do love all of his books, so it fits. I have had in my stash a number of Shimelle’s elements from her first collection and thought this was the ideal opportunity to use them and when I looked through her sticker book, I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

weekly challenge: scrapbook about a favourite book // scrapbook page by Tanya Hubbard

I love long titles and working premade elements into them, so Shimelle’s word stickers were perfect to tie in my love of reading and getting lost in a book with my love for creating scrapbook layouts, a win-win all round.
- Tanya

You have a week to complete the challenge and share a link – but of course you’re welcome to set your own time schedule. Whatever keeps you happy and creative!

Today’s Guest Artist: Tanya Hubbard loves cats, scrapbooking, and her family (not necessarily in that order). You can find more from Tanya on Youtube.

Scrapbooking with even more photos

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

A girl after my own heart: Kirsty Smith loves globes, journaling, and finding ways to include even more photos on her scrapbook pages without losing the fun of layered embellishments. I hope you enjoy her project today just as much as I do!

All the birthday talk around here lately is great timing for me as I have just turned twenty-nine. Each time I celebrate a birthday, I like to look back on the past year and think about the highlights, the things that I have loved and the changes that have happened in my life. And then I scrapbook it! When I thought about it, being twenty-eight was a pretty big year, and I realised I had so much I wanted to include. But I also wanted to be able to use all the pictures I wanted, and say everything I wanted to while still keeping my page relevant to my style scrapbooking: using layers, white space and little details.

So today I’m going to share a way to include lots of photos and journaling in a layout without making it seem overcrowded.

To do this, we’re going to use a divided page protector to act like one half of a double page spread. I personally prefer to work on single 12 by 12 layouts, and using a pocket page to be the other half gives me the opportunity to include more photos without the need to design a full double spread.

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

Let’s start with the 12 by 12 page. I chose a single photo to be featured and used it as the inspiration for my colour scheme as I loved the beautiful blue of the sky. I paired the picture with a vellum envelope, stacking the two in a column on the page, and structured the rest of the design around this. To emphasise the vertical construction of the design, I used a Shimelle stencil to add a background of little hearts. However, I wanted it to be a subtle effect, so rather than inking or painting over the stencil, I used a pencil to produce an outline. The result is delicate but helps to anchor the rest of the design.

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

Next comes the detail and the layers. I love to use vellum envelopes as they offer a sneak peak of the goodies inside. In this instance, I used leftover scraps of some of the Starshine papers to punch out little circles of confetti in yellows, blues and greens. I filled the envelope and sealed it.

I love all the little die cuts in the Starshine collection as they are just perfect for adding little layers of detail. I pulled out any that fit my colour scheme and stacked them up with a paperclip, topping the layers with a globe cut from patterned paper. I like to ink the edges of papers and die cuts as I think it helps to add definition to the different layers, and using different elements such as transparent die cuts will add texture.

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

I felt the page needed a little something else however, so I hand-cut a title inside square frame, to echo the photo. I placed this over my picture, and I like how this tied the theme of adventure and exploring through the embellishments and into the title. That’s how I like to think of the last year; as an adventure!

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

With the page coming together, it was time to write my journaling. I had a lot to say, even though I was just drawing together a few highlights. I used a little journaling pad to pen my thoughts and to write as much as I wanted. Once finished, I put the sheets into a little stack and slid them behind the vellum envelope. As the envelope was full of confetti and sealed, I couldn’t put them in the envelope, but by sticking the vellum down on only 3 sides, it effectively makes a secret pocket where I can conceal as much journaling as I like without affecting the appearance of my page. I also like that if you look closely, you can see a hint of writing just peeping through.

To finish off, I added a splash or two of ink, and some of the lovely little puffy stickers from the Starshine collection.

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

Now comes the time to turn this into a double pager! I filled a divided page protector with photos that I wanted to feature. Any size photos can work for this – just fill the pockets! Equally, a 12 by 12 page protector will work just as well if you stick your pictures to a sheet of cardstock to keep them in place.

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

I used 4 by 4 photos with a white border to match the picture and frame on my page. Having repeating elements in your photo page is a great way to tie the two together and create a sense of cohesion. Finally, I used a transparency featuring the word ‘adventure’ as an overlay, with a couple of pops of embellishment to link back to the scrapbook page.

scrapbooking with more photos // scrapbook page by kirsty smith

And there we have it: an almost-double-page-spread featuring ten photos and log journaling…and you’d never know it! I hope this idea will help you to incorporate more into your pages.

Glitter Girl Adventure 136: Multiple Photo Mayhem

birthday scrapbook page by shimelle laine - with Glitter Girl process video

This week, Glitter Girl is on a quest to help with those situations where you have lots of photos and quite like the idea of using more than one size of photo, but that’s where the stumbling block hits. I’ve She’s chosen Wonder Boy’s first birthday party as the plentifully-photographed event, and a year on, there is just one page in my scrapbook from that day. There are about fifty photos in a folder on my computer so perhaps it’s time to make some progress with that!

I won’t scrapbook all fifty, but I do think I’ll make about four 12×12 pages on this, and I know two of them will be single photo layouts – the one I already made and one I have in my mind with a photo that doesn’t really match the look of the other pictures I have from that day. That leaves me with two pages left and forty-eight photos to choose from!

birthday scrapbook page by shimelle laine - with Glitter Girl video on scrapbooking with multiple photos

Going through that folder and thinking about the day helped immensely: I knew I wanted a big picture of the cake, then I have a bunch of other snapshots from various moments of the day that aren’t really stunners in the same way as those two that will get their own layouts, but they capture the way I remember that day now and that’s exactly why I want to get them in my book. I knew it would be way too many to include all those on just one page, so combining two with the cake worked for me.

birthday scrapbook page by shimelle laine - with Glitter Girl process video

There’s lots of True Stories supplies on this page, though in the complete layout there is actually at least something from all four of my collections with American Crafts, since the red letters are from Christmas Magic! But definitely plenty of True Stories rockets, as that was the big design feature of the party. Is using a particular paper line for the party decor and then using it again to scrapbook those photos venturing into the territory of buying patterned paper or die-cuts first then going out to buy clothes to match? It just might be. I think I’m okay with that.

The Scrapbook Process - A New Online Scrapbooking Class!

scrapbook page by shimelle laine

It’s (almost) finally time for an all new class here. It’s been a while since I’ve developed a big workshop with daily emails and all new content and a specific direction. I’m excited, and I really hope you’ll find it worth the wait!

My favourite classes all come from a key personal experience in my own crafting. Journal your Christmas came from keeping my own diary one year, Cover to Cover came from my frustration at stacks of layouts and no order and no easy way to show someone what scrapbooking could really be. Both of those experiences completely changed the way I worked going forward, and I’ve had more changes in the past year as I got my head round this craft again. The changes all came in my process, and most importantly realising that one single process is not the way I work best on every project.

I kept coming back to this word, process, and it wasn’t lost on me that a film of a scrapbook page being made from start to finish is now commonly known as a process video. We tend to think of a process video as just one layout being created, and like I talked about so much in Cover to Cover, one layout at a time is not where I find the greatest value in this craft. I love the book in scrapbook. I needed a way to go beyond the page at a time of a process video and share how each of those layouts is just one small part of my process of creating a bigger and more valuable project. That’s where this class comes into fruition.

The Scrapbook Process is an online class that begins Monday the 2nd of May 2016 and runs through to the end of the month. It includes 22 videos, each accompanied by a PDF, emailed directly to you Monday to Friday, plus a weekly review sheet for weekends to help you put the ideas into practice with your own scrapping, no matter the style or subjects you scrap. The class also includes a private forum to chat and share your work with other participants, and you’re welcome to email me at any time to discuss anything you’d rather not take to the full group. Like all classes, this course comes with permanent access, which is something I take very seriously and I’m happy to discuss with you if you have any questions about what that means here. I’ve been teaching online for twelve years now and all of those classes have archives available to the participants. Work at any pace and return at any time, so if the schedule of materials throughout May doesn’t suit you, you can make it work with a better time on your calendar.

In those twenty-two videos, I’ll take you through three specific albums in depth, including creating new pages (one and two page layouts are both covered) as well as other relevant topics dealing with printing photos, selecting supplies, and writing your stories. One is a plain old family chronological album with no specific theme and the other two albums have a narrower focus, but I promise you do not need to have an album with a similar topic to apply the ideas to whatever themes you want to document. Each of the three albums has a different process, each with its pros and cons, each with its way of being just right for a given situation. You may find one process is the best for how you work or you may find it useful to flit from one to the other. Both options are worthwhile! Along the way, we will talk extensively about making it your process, and that means that everything is just how it works best for you, from choosing what to scrap to creating the embellishments on your page. This is definitely not a ‘now do this just like me’ class and more a class for picking, choosing, and adapting to find things that not only work for you right now but invigorate your process and leave you wanting to push everything else aside and scrap!

There are no specific supplies needed for this course, and it’s quite likely you’ll want to use supplies you already have on hand.

I’ll share a bit more about The Scrapbook Process throughout April as we near the first day of class, but I think that’s enough food for thought for now. The class is $30 US dollars or £20 UK pounds, and if neither of those is your currency you can click on either option and it will automatically convert to your currency. XE gives currency exchange rates if you want to see what that works out to in numbers that make sense in other countries.

To sign up in US Dollars:

Email Address for Class:

To sign up in UK Pounds:

Email Address for Class:

Thank you so much for the tremendous response to the early bird offer. I had hoped to open the forum today but today we have been finding a remedy for a technical hiccup that was preventing some participants from accessing their classes. First thing Tuesday, I will verify that everything is indeed working and open the forum! Don’t worry, there are no class materials until the 2nd of May, so it’s just for friendly chat between now and then.

Happy scrapping!