pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}

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Scrapbooking with the True Stories collection & a free printable for you!

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
This week, it has made me giddy to see what the talented design team at American Crafts created with the True Stories collection. You can find a whole week of scrapbook pages, cards, and home decor ideas with all that saturated colour and pattern on the AC Studio blog.

There’s also a little bit of the surreal for me in that week of posts, as we filmed quite a few videos with the new collection in January just after CHA, and it’s time to share them now! I usually share videos with you a few days after they are filmed, so it feels a little different, but it was lovely to film with the whole crew in the AC studio. There was even someone to remind me not to make stupid faces while cutting and sticking. I know, that probably would have been your favourite part. Let’s just say sometimes the concentration face is right to be hidden away with just my hands on show! My hands never stick out their tongue to concentrate.

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
True Stories products are just starting to ship – there are a few that have made an early appearance at Hey Little Magpie here in the UK. I’ve been keeping an eye on the US retailers but haven’t seen it show up just yet. Very soon – and I will shout when it does! And I’ll have plenty more ideas and videos to share with you as it hits stores and kit clubs.

there's always time for tea & cake - free printable @
And because I truly believe in the power of hot beverages and baked goods, please feel free to save this printable! Click here to download as a full size PDF.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend with any problems cured by tea or the remainder of the Easter chocolate. Happy scrapping!

As it Happens scrapbooking video :: Is Disney about the queue or the ride?

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
If it’s working, carry on with it, right? And so goes the idea of just turning on the camera to capture a scrapbook page as it happens, the supply set of Studio Calico’s Walden scrapbooking kit and Underground Project Life kit, and the idea of scrapping Disney in colours other than red, yellow, black, and white.

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
I said last time that I made one terrible error in taking Wonder Boy to Disneyland. It was not remembering that the Peter Pan ride is entirely in the dark. It was the first thing we took him on and it scared him to bits. Apologies to the lovely, well behaved young ladies in the next ship who wondered why someone was screaming as if it were a death-defying roller coaster! But he soon recovered in the sunshine and that was really our only meltdown of the day. (Truth be told he wasn’t hugely keen on Dumbo. But he loved-loved-loved the Toy Story laser tag thing. A story for another page.)

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
Thankfully the queues weren’t all that bad since January is the off-season, but in truth, the queue was pretty fun with the combination of baby and friends! Plenty of conversation and plenty of giggles, and of course plenty of him flirting with strangers. We took quite a few of our photos while we were waiting for rides, and that difference of what sometimes seems like drudgery was something I really wanted to record somewhere in these pages. This seemed as fine a time as any!

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

So many thanks for the amazing response to Monday’s flash sale on classes. All registrations have been processed now, so you should have a welcome email and the ability to see your classes at our forum. There are a few orders here and there that didn’t specify a class or the email came up as invalid and I’m trying to track all of those down. If that’s you or you don’t think you’ve received what you should have, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you missed the sale, I’m sorry to hear that, but I hope you’re happy to hear there are new classes on the horizon. All existing classes are always open for registration, always include permanent access, and I always endeavour to make sure you’re getting good value for the purchase price, not just on sale days. Thanks again for your support!

Scrapbooking our Disney trip (& a 24 hour offer on online classes)

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

Of all the years I’ve been attending the winter trade show in Anaheim, I’ve basically ignored Disneyland until last year. This is somewhat ridiculous, as it is literally across the street from the trade show, but for whatever reason it just never crossed my mind to book extra time in California to take in some Disney fun. Until last year, when some local friends convinced me to wobble around the park pregnant before I caught my plane, and then this year, now known as ‘let’s take the baby to Disneyland’ day.

For the months ahead, I kept having this conversation with people that I’m sure he would be too young to truly appreciate the park and would get just as much joy from the Downtown Disney shopping area (which requires no ticket, of course!) and truthfully, he loved Downtown Disney and Downtown Disney loved him. He flirted with strangers and they talked to him and staff at the biggest Disney Store I’ve ever walked through gave him tiny souvenirs to keep. There were no real life characters but there were many fountains, a giant fish tank, and an animated chalkboard in Starbucks of all places. He loved it.

He loved it so much we decided to go ahead and go to the park after all. Aside from one significant error on my part, he loved Disneyland and I take back everything I ever said about how he wouldn’t be able to appreciate it. I’m now convinced that those creative people behind Disneyland have really thought about the experience for all ages.

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

Now I have a stack of heart-warming photos from our day and a mind of memories I want written down before he gets much older and they grow fuzzy around the edges. I honestly didn’t take enough photos for an entire album, so plan on splitting these between a good number of 12×12 pages in my chronological album for 2015 and some further photos (including some duplicates) in his Project Life baby book documenting his first year. That was an easy decision. What was not an easy decision was supplies, and I think that is because there have been so many gorgeous product collections and beautiful pages made with that traditional red, black, white, and gold colour scheme that is now synonymous with Mickey and Disney. When I look at the actual photos we have taken, I just don’t see those colours. I see the blue of the sky, the warmth in skin tones, quite a bit of greenery – really it is only our photo with Mickey Mouse that alludes to those traditional Disney colours. So decision made: I’m not going with one set colour scheme. I am simply happier crafting when I choose the colours based on the photos and story I’m telling on any particular page and I think if I tried to stick to that colour scheme here I would find myself blocked and then not get the pages done.

If I can imagine it would make me stop scrapping those photos before I even get started, that is a big sign of which direction not to go!

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

I’m also finding as I start working on these photos in particular that I have a new appreciation for that conundrum of what to write on each page. I’ve not really struggled there for years, but I find now some photos really do evoke something that is just such a simple and wholesome feeling that it is difficult to find words that feel right! I think maybe that is why the ‘we had fun at the park’ became the big journaling example years ago – because when you look at the photo and remember a smiling child on the swings, you can be filled with enough emotion that in the end, you don’t know what to say other than something obvious and simple. Plus most of us get a little self-conscious with anything that seems too gushing. But really, what else can you say about something so random as how a baby gets the never-ending giggles at a fountain to the point you’re nearly in tears other than calling it a whole new level of happiness?

(I’m going to come back to this topic soon. It’s been something on my mind as I work through these pages and I did eventually start to turn a corner and get to something that is not just gushing but is also not ‘we had fun at the park’.)

disney scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

Instead of using licensed Disney embellishments or creating Mickey shapes on my own or anything, I’m just going with the type of supplies I tend to collect, which includes plenty of travel themed items and I haven’t done so much traveling in the past two years! No reason not to pile it on to the travel pages I do assemble then. Much of this comes from the Crate Paper Open Road collection but there are also some Heidi Swapp enamel words and stars, BasicGrey and October Afternoon labels, Studio Calico map stars, BasicGrey map paper, and vellum strips by Ormolu. The woodgrain paper is an old favourite from American Crafts Campy Trails. The title letters are a small sticker set by Pebbles, blue Amy Tangerine Thickers, and map print chipboard letters by October Afternoon. Definitely a mix of new and old supplies.

I’ve filmed a few Disney pages too, so look for more non-red-and-black Disneyland scrapbooking here this week!

This offer has now closed and registrations are being processed. Thanks so much!

Getting back to work has meant lots of different things starting at once: making pages, filming and editing videos, and composing blog posts like you see here, but also some things you don’t see here, like boring accounting jobs, tedious software updating, and exciting creative work on new classes! Let’s skip to that last point and I have three things to share with you on the class front:
1. New classes are in the works and will be available here very soon.
2. Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scrapbooking and Glitter Girl’s Scrapbooking Survival Guide (workshops I taught at Two Peas in a Bucket) will be up and running here even sooner. I think this will be next week, to give an estimate. I am also working on transferring content from my older Two Peas workshops, but those newer titles are my first priority. I will be emailing students through the list I was given, but I will also post here so if you miss the email you’ll be able to get in touch. (And those classes will then be available here to anyone who still wants to purchase them.)
3. Right now for just 24 hours, you can take your pick of the existing class line up for just $10. Choose from The Perfect Collection, Return to the Collection, Scrapbook Remix, Pretty Paper Party, Blogging for Scrapbookers, Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers, Cover to Cover, Learn Something New Every Day, Journal your Christmas, Something from Almost Nothing, True Stories, and Love your Pictures, Love your Pages. Each of those links will take you to the class info page, but do not use the sign up buttons on those pages if you want to take the $10 offer! To take up the discounted price, click the button above on this page, which will take you through for a $10 payment, and includes a box to name the class you want to take. Presto! By default, your class registration will be emailed to the address on your payment. If you want materials sent to a different email address, please add it in the comment box with the name of the class.

Other details on this offer:
*Valid 10am GMT Monday 23 March 2015 to 10am GMT Tuesday 24 March 2015 only.
*There is no limit on how many classes you can purchase with this offer, but you will need to click and pay separately for each class.
*There is no refund for purchases made at the full class price today. Please use the button above on this page to get the offer!
*Purchases for this 24 hour period do not include the standard £1 donation to Plan UK that is normally included in the class price. (Happy to be working on some Plan projects very soon though!)
*You can purchase from anywhere in the world, and the US dollars will be converted to your own currency. For current market rates to any currency, please see
*I aim to process class registrations within 24 hours. If you have not received your welcome email by that time, please check that it hasn’t gone to your spam folder, then email me so we can find out what’s gone wrong. You can also email me on that link for any questions that I haven’t answered here.

Thanks so much for your support and I hope you have a wonderful and creative week ahead!

On deciding what goes in which scrapbook

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

Last week one of the questions that came up was how do you decide what goes in the Project Life album and what makes it to a 12×12? and I thought about this all weekend. I kept thinking perhaps I could come up with an amazing answer that would have real sparkle and clarity and insight.

I don’t have that answer. Shame.

Basically, I am totally going with the moment and just not worrying about it. So far every photo that has appeared on a 12×12 page about Wonder Boy is also somewhere sitting in a pocket in his Project Life baby book. But the journaling isn’t duplicated, and at the moment I feel the two types of album have a different feel. The baby book is for him, basically. Not that he will appreciate it in the immediate future, but that some day he will be able to look at that first year. He looks so much like his father that I have found much joy in comparing pictures of the two of them at the same ages. With a book like this, perhaps he will do the same one day. Or maybe he will not be the nostalgic type and it will continue to live on my shelf forever. I’m okay with that too. But that album is written and compiled with him in mind.

The 12×12 pages, however, are all for me. They go in the standard chronological albums I’ve always kept, and will be mixed right in with whatever any of us are doing. I write more on these pages about what has been going through my mind and how life has changed and what running factors have stayed the same, like how this page documents the love of handmade.

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

But I will also say I am just grabbing prints that inspire me at any given moment. I have no shortage of photos to scrap right now, that is for sure! And I’m inspired by colours and textures and moments that I see in the photos. If something grabs my attention as I flip through the prints, I just run with it. No master plan. Much like the way I have always scrapbooked in a seemingly random order of topics and chronology.

This weekend I have had knitting on the mind (I have knit for many years but I am dreadful at actually finishing things) and seeing this photo in the stack made me excited to get started. The colour scheme comes from the quilt in the background of the photo (a lovely gift handmade by SJ) and made with papers from BasicGrey Second City and My Mind’s Eye Jubilee, then quite a few die-cuts, including Cosmo Cricket tags, ephemera from Maggie Holmes and Amy Tangerine collections, Jenni Bowlin rhinestones, Ormolu stamps, Prima enamel hearts, and sparkly Sassafras letter stickers. (I did tell you the old is new again in my world!) All to document a tiny cashmere sweater made without knowledge that his first summer would be one of unbelievably beautiful weather and basically three days total of any slight dip in the temperature. But I love it so much, it will live on the wall on a cute little hanger to remind me how small he was in those early days.

(For those who knit, the pattern is here and very well written with lots of options.)

Hoping I can knit a row or two on my current project at some point today. What creative things are you hoping to make this week?

That Project Life Baby Book... an update

project life baby scrapbook by shimelle laine @

Many months ago, I shared my original plan for keeping a baby’s first year album in the Project Life format. Time for a bit of a reality check, I think.

So far, this album has four printed 4×6 landscape images for every week up to three weeks ago (I order prints roughly monthly, so that makes sense), all placed in the correct pockets, with each week’s page protectors labelled with a post-it note for the date. All of those weeks in 2014 also have the additional photos printed (at a smaller size) and just stored in one of the pockets for that week, uncropped and not planned for placement for most of the weeks. There are notes for each week in one of three places, which seems disorganised but worked well for me, as depending on my location it would be easiest to jot something down in either my planner, a small notebook I keep in my bag, or my phone. They are all small enough and organised enough within themselves that it’s no problem to have all three with me when I go to scrapbook a week.

That’s a fair amount I was able to keep up with as we went through the year, but completed pretty pages are pretty lacking. There are about ten complete weeks and an additional six that have the photos and supplies picked out and in the album, ready to put together. It does make it all come together relatively quickly for me if I’m not interrupted but it’s also possible to do bits and pieces in two or three minutes here or there. So that seems pretty balanced and practical to life as I now know it.

project life baby scrapbook by shimelle laine @

I’ve kept the ideas of choosing two colours for each week, using white borders on the 4×6 cards, mixing my handwriting with the old typewriter, and the label stamp with text on the four larger photos. The second 3×4 slot from the far left is always an accent card, but the other cards mix and match from accents, photos, and journaling. Supplies for this particular week include Sassafras Sunshine Broadcast, Carta Bella Hello Again, a WRMK 3×4 tablet, glitter stickers from Pebbles’ Jen Hadfield collection, my grey letter tile stickers, some Studio Calico chipboard, twine, and stickers, and the sticker book from Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic, so it’s safe to say I am embracing quite a few old favourites in this album! I’m finding that quite refreshing.

I love seeing this book come together, but I feel most of the emotion in it will come when the writing is in place for far more weeks! I’m not particularly concerned about finishing it all by any certain date, as I really just don’t work well on those sorts of personal project deadlines, but I’m still glad I had a plan from the beginning and so happy that including all those landscape shots has reminded me to use my proper camera rather than just relying on my phone, as all my favourite shots from Wonder Boy’s first year are those lushly lit, better composed photos I capture on my DSLR – though I am still glad I have snapped so many pictures by having my phone to hand. Hurrah for modern technology.

I’m not sure any of that is a revelation, but it seemed worth sharing. Thank you so much for the warm welcome back this week, whether you are reading and watching quietly or saying hello or sharing something yourself. It still feels quietly odd, but it is lovely to craft and talk about craft again!

As it Happens :: An Autumn Scrapbook Page

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

I know it’s early days, but so far I’m making good on my quest to get using those supplies I ordered when I wasn’t really stepping anywhere near my scissors and glue. It means I have a page that is out of season for this hemisphere, but I’ve never really been one for having to scrap in line with the calendar anyway, so why not a bit of crunchy leaves and knitted hoodies?

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
In pretty much every video I’ve ever shared, I’ve had a specific goal from the beginning, like a technique, design concept, or some sort of problem and solution that guided the process. I decided to throw all that out the window and see what would happen if I just made the page and narrated it as I went, and kept the editing pretty minimal. The answer is about thirty-two minutes long. Sigh. That will not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m warning you now, so if half hour videos of a single scrapbook page are just not your style, please don’t watch and then invoice me for those thirty-two minutes of your life. I can’t give them back, I can only warn you in advance.

On the other hand, if you want to see what random thoughts come to mind as I scrapbook in pretty much real time, then the ‘As it Happens’ concept is for you. You just may want several cups of tea ready to go before you press play.

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
The supplies for this page came from two Studio Calico kits I purchased a few months back: the Walden scrapbook kit and the Underground Project Life kit.

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @
May your autumn bring you plenty of pretty, crunchy leaves… whether that is now or in six months!

A Rainbow-filled Colour Story

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

Back in the Scrapbook Inspirations days, I used to write a piece about colour stories – sometimes it was something we used just in planning and when we went to the book format, we actually developed it into an article. And I found all the inspiration for those was purely visual. In recent weeks, a specific colour story has jumped to mind and it didn’t come from the visual at all. It came from a song that has been stuck in my head for what seems like an eternity.

We very much like They Might Be Giants in this household. In fact, it is one of the reasons I went on a second date with The Boy: I met him when he was working in a record store and I figured anyone working in a record store could at least have one date of decent conversation in them by talking about music. When the two bands he name dropped first were the Pixies and They Might Be Giants, I knew there would be more than one date of decent discussion! Even my grandmother will tell you that I have loved this band since my youth, and I thank her profusely for letting me use her phone on occasion to call their Dial a Song hotline to cheer me up on rotten days. (Dial a Song is back but weekly on their YouTube channel. I rejoiced, I tell you.)

In the years since I joined an epic conga line at my first TMBG show, they added children’s albums to their repertoire and I remained aware but blissfully ignorant of most of them. Until six months ago, when Wonder Boy was giggling so much at their back catalogue that it seemed appropriate to pull out the children’s tracks, even if Meet the Elements is perhaps a little beyond his comprehension at present. That song may indeed inspire a colour story and a layout on another day, but today it is most definitely a song about a magical little elf called Roy G. Biv.

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

That song plus the blanket in the background of the photo set me in a spin of finding a rainbow of colour to use on a layout. There is a bit of True Stories on this page (in stores next month!) and also some Simple Stories Daily Grind, paper from my first 6×6 tablet, and that yellow sheet is an older Studio Calico paper.

I don’t think I grabbed that particular blanket with a specific thought in mind at that moment, but once it was printed, something really came through that I wanted to tell, and that was how much Wonder Boy’s personality changed around six months. Those first six months were pretty rough some days with a boy who seemed grumpy so much of the time, but once we were to the point where he could grab things and start to sit up, he was a bundle of happiness. I am sure much of that crabby personality was simply wanting to do things and not being able to do them, or however that translates to baby logic. I still wouldn’t trade the days with him even when he was grumpy, but that colourful personality had me hook, line, and sinker. I’ll take cheeky over subdued any day.

scrapbook page by shimelle laine @

These days we play that incredibly catchy tune some time in the morning, with an amazing accompaniment of tambourine, maracas, and blown raspberries, so even with a quieter flat and some time to scrapbook, I found myself singing about that colourful man, proudly found at the rainbow’s end. I suppose it is nearly St. Patrick’s day, after all. Maybe that calls for a rainbow or two. I’ll let you know if I find the corresponding pot o’ gold.

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @
For so long, I’ve had the mantra that I must use at least as much as I buy – preferably more – in terms of scrapbooking supplies. But somehow I forgot my mantra entirely while taking that break More than once or twice, I convinced myself if I placed an order for new supplies, I’d find a way to scrapbook.

It may have taken me a few hours to open those parcels and find my desk recently. It’s shameful. My immediate plan is to get out of this surplus situation with a new stack of layouts into albums, a file of cards ready for all occasions, and perhaps even catching up on Wonder Boy’s Project Life baby book. And so Cut, Stick, Stamp is born: one of the new series I’ll be sharing here with projects and videos. It’s a pretty simple concept – multiple ideas for one stamp. I’m starting with a Studio Calico stamp I couldn’t ignore: this Alice in Wonderland Tea Party set by Emily McDowell.

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @
Starting with just the text and teacup outline, I tried a simple photo embellishment shaded with markers. This teacup was coloured with Copic numbers G82, G24, and G99. Simple, quick, and easy to add just a bit of journaling to the empty space of a 4×6 photo to pop it into a divided page protector. But I think this stamp gets a bit better…

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @
The set also includes a large solid image to create a shadow effect that colours the cup with ink. Sets that include a solid shadow and a coordinating line drawing are always my favourites! This 3×4 card is cut from watercolour paper, with the cup and text outline stamped first (using waterproof black ink) then the shading stamp added with two shades of pink Distress Inks. For this card, I added a bit of the same watercolour shades to the top edge and some of the small flower stamps in this set, plus a label and some stitching, but the video below shows the same stamping technique step by step for use on a 12×12 page.

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @
Same idea, but quicker and less fuss: stamping the block image with a paler ink rather than adding any water to things. Just an even colour rather than the more delicate shading with the Distress Inks and water. Other supplies on this card include Cosmo Cricket patterned papers, Dear Lizzy washi tape, adhesive pearls, and a Crate Paper label sticker.

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @

My first video in a long while – I think it will take me a few to find my pace again! So you may need a hot beverage to make it through the twenty-two minutes or so, but it does include the Distress Ink watercolour technique in detail (and it’s easy, I promise). I realised after filming that my narration assumes you make the leap with me that things that are vaguely Alice in Wonderland themed should include some things that are upside down. I’m not sure if that is something that makes sense to the world or only the scrapbooker inside my head. Moving right along then…

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @
And yes, that is an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party put on entirely for babies. It was mind boggling, and included a tiny drink me vial that changed flavours mid-sip. And Wonder Boy spent most of the party trying to drink my rhubarb and custard flavoured tea. Anyway: back to the crafting.

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @

Cut, Stick, Stamp :: Card & Scrapbooking Ideas for a Teacup Stamp by Shimelle Laine @
One last card with the same sort of idea, but much bolder in colour and the addition of embossing powder in place of black ink. This was still Distress Ink, just two shades of blue, and the steps are still in the same order – I stamped the outline and text in Versamark then embossed with white powder before adding the blue. The stamp at the top is an older Studio Calico design from a kit with different sentiments, and most of the papers here are from the Pink Paislee Solstice collection.

My aim is to try this with a different stamp set most weeks, so if there is a particular stamp set or technique you want me to try, do let me know! Likewise, if you’ve shared anything with this stamp set or similar techniques and different stamps, I’d love to see. I am definitely in that soak-up-the-inspiration phase of diving back into something you love, so links and tags are even more welcome than usual! Share away, and have a lovely day!

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