Monday, August 9, 2010

School Daze

I am about to embark on my sixth year of teaching and each year I have saved odd mementos - photos, newspaper clippings, ID tags, letters and pictures from my students - to help me remember the year. I decided to scrapbook my collection this summer. Well, school starts in a week, so I've been scrapping like crazy this weekend, hence the title of this post. I have three years completed and am hoping to get the other two done this week. Each year's layout is titled with the team name that the students select for the year. They are pretty silly, but the kids like them.

I apologize for the glare, but I didn't feel like taking the pages out of the sleeves to photograph them.

Catching Up

Here are a few pages I completed recently. The green/yellow layout is comprised of photos from Kids' Fishing Day at the National Fish Hatchery in Neosho, MO. I used some beach paper that I had and sort of tried to cut out or cover the lighthouses and sandcastles on the paper. I had one page of forest green paper and a few scraps, so I used that as an accent. I also used two fish buttons that I got in a swap (STL) and a few odd stickers I had laying around. I inked the edges of the paper with a forest green color.

This 6x6-inch page is for my son's album. I had a photo of his mobile he made for Cub Scouts. I basically was on a mission to use up some scrap paper.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A little 6"x6" page I whipped out for my daughter's book. A couple of years ago a friend gave me three six-inch albums, so I have one for each of my three children for those random single shots and such.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I've been experimenting this morning with paper layering, something I usually forget to do in my attempt to "power" scrapbook.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Burst of Creativity

I've had this one piece of weird paper for quite some time. I think it was designed for a Mardi Gras themed layout or something. No chance of me using it for that anytime soon, so I decided to use it to showcase our new living room furniture. My Sticky Alpha Stax letters by Colorbok are one of my new favorite things to use because you get LOTS of letters to use, not just a sheet.

A blue and yellow combination sums up the hot, sunny, summer day we spent on a local lake. My favorite item on this page is the yellow metal dragonfly and the chipboard tag from the Chloe's Closet collection by Making Memories. The tag reads "Fortune Smiles."

The embellishment on this page doesn't show up too well on camera. Trust me, this page looks better in person. lol


The five pages pictured below are comprised from photos of dress-up days at school this past spring. The double layout is from our Rock the Test assembly. The third page of the layout holds 9 photos. Yeah, I kind of crowded them in there.

I used some decorated Post It Note strips to journal on the page above. I quite like how they look.

On the page below I used a bit of fringe that I received as part of a Scrap to Lose swap I participated in last January. Some chipboard flowers and rhinestones complete the look.

This last page is for 50's day so I used After 5 Elevations Dimensional Stickers by American Traditional Designs (gifts from a dear friend) and doodled some music notes on the page.


Haven't crafted in a while, but I recently spent a weekend with a friend and got a few pages completed. Better than that, though, is my new scrapbook center that I just set up on our old computer desk that I reclaimed from my husband! I'm so excited to have a dedicated place to scrapbook!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On to the Christmas Photos!

I finally got to some winter photos! This first page shows our after Christmas Boxing Day celebration where a few friends came over to play. I actually got seven photos on this page, however three were cut up or cut apart.

The next two pages are a little photo story showing the kids doing their holiday baking. We were making stained glass cookies - several batches of stained glass cookies. So many batches that it is March, and we still have some in the refrigerator. I think these two pages turned out super cute! I used the poinsettias and vellum quotes that I received in two recent swaps from the S2L team on Sparkpeople. I also used the die-cut embellishments I recently purchased. I love, love, love the way the swirls and curlicues look on these pages!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yet More Summer Photos

At a local summer festival my girls got their dancing shoes on to the tunes of a local band. They started dancing in front of the stage. Before long, they were ON the stage. I didn't know whether to be embarrassed, proud or jealous!

Hard to tell by the photo, but my layout is actually a deep pink and mint green. I used some of my new products here - the metallic hearts, the chipboard flowers and the rub on stitches. The transparent frame for the girls' faces is by Colorbok. I bought a package of them a few months back, but this is the first one I've used. I really like the effect.

New Toys!

My latest trip to my LSS yielded a few goodies that I can't wait to use. Pictured below are (from left) chipboard borders (Melange by Creative Imaginations), die cut chipboard and sticker paper (Adorn It by Carolee's Creations), silver metallic hearts (Metals, Mark Richards), and a package of 55 chipboard flowers and leaves (Making Memories). I got a package of rub on stitches by Kaiser Scrapbook, too, but apparently I forgot to get them in the picture. I had a half price coupon and a couple of the items were on a clearance rack, so I only spent $10! Fab!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Summer Was Busier Than I Thought.

I just finished three pages documenting yet another local summer festival. I was really struggling with a layout because most of the photos were of the kids playing in large inflatable slides and such. The photos were pretty colorful, so I decided to just go with a mix of candy colors. I like the title page best. The other two have a more desperate feel. I did use a button, brad and the bright pink brackets I got as part of my S2L Themed Embellishment Swap! I really like the felt brackets. I need to get some more of those. And, Becky, I used my glitter glue!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Summertime Photos!

These three pages are from a gathering at a nearby canoe camp. We met with some friends from work for a relaxing day of swimming and fishing. Well...mostly swimming. My friend showed off her prowess as a campfire cook. I swear there's nothing she can't cook over a bunch of hot coals! I used some word stickers that I purchased not too long ago. I think I went a little overboard with them. To fill up the last page I created a campfire out of scrap paper. I also used large coordinating metal brads on each page.


So I'm still catching up on photos from last summer. I really think it's a losing battle at this point, but I'll trudge on. This first layout is from a local festival. It is a big collage of magazine clippings and photos with some stamps, doodles and metallic dots thrown in for good measure. The highlights of the evening were the grape ice cream and recording artists Joey and Rory taking the stage!

This second layout depicts a girls' night at a friend's house. I was inspired by the flower that my daughter made a couple of nights before when she was playing with my supplies (she's 8). Her flower perfectly matched the fresh mango margaritas we whipped up that evening. The strawberry ones were good, too! Oh, and this is the layout I used the infamous photo corner brads. As you see, they are crooked. Grrrrr.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Product Review - Photo Corner Brads

I recently picked up a clearance marked package of photo corner brads. These were "Spare Parts" by The Paper Studio, a line specifically marketed at Hobby Lobby Stores. I thought they were cute and colorful - bright pink, yellow and green - and would add some interest to my layouts. I finally got around to using some of them yesterday.

I was really disappointed with this product. Take another look at my photo. Because the prongs are short and are positioned on the edges of the brad I found the brads really difficult to use. First, I had a hard time figuring out the placement of the brad. Then, I had to make two incisions into my paper instead one. Finally, when I was done, because the prongs were kind of pulling against each other, I had a hole twice the size of the prong visible on my layout. I was not happy.

I took the brad out and thought about trying to reposition it, but was afraid I'd do irreparable damage to my photo. In the end, I bent the prongs until they popped off, and then I just stuck the brad to my page with some sticky dots. I used four of these photo corners on my layout, pulling the prongs off each one before use. What's worse? They look okay, but they don't really "pop" off the page like I hoped they would - no more so than paper photo corners would, and paper corners would have been a heck of a lot easier and cheaper!

I checked Hobby Lobby's website and found more of photo corner brads, although most of them have prongs in the center of the brad, not off the edges like those that I purchased. Their design does look a little easier to use (one hole vs. two). I might like to try them one day, but I'm in no rush.

Enjoyment? None
Frustration? High
Enhanced Layout? Not enough to outweigh frustration level
Purchase Again? Not those same brads.

Product Reviews?

Okay, so if you read my last post you know that I'm relatively new to this whole scrapbooking thing, but I LOVE it! One other thing that you must know about me is that I am pretty frugal. Now you might be asking yourself, how do I reconcile these two thing things? Can you scrapbook on a dime? I do.

I don't spend a lot of money on my paper and embellishments. I was lucky enough to have some great friends pass on a ton of scrapbook paper to me along with a lot of embellishments. What supplies I do buy I get off a clearance rack or an everything's-a-dollar store, or yard sales. But this post is not about my thrifty crafting. This post is about me potentially writing product reviews.

I'm sure there are others out there like me who either can't or won't spend a lot of money on scrapbook stuff. So when a friend suggested that I write a few product reviews, I started thinking about it. Would anyone care what I thought of a product? Why should they?

In the end, I decided I would try writing a couple reviews primarily because 1) I might save someone a bit of aggravation by identifying an item as a dud and 2) I'm just a regular gal fumbling my way through most of my layouts, and if I can use it and love it, chances are you will too.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Those Women

I have an admission to make.

I was once one of those busy women who didn't have time to scrapbook. I had even previously, dare I say it, poked fun at the whole scrapbook phenomenon - back when supplies were peddled in a friend's living room. I guess I thought it was more important to be out living your life rather than be shut in memorializing it. I just didn't get it. There was no way I was going to become one of those women, those SCRAPBOOKERS.

Then I made a new friend at work. This friend was very unconventional - definitely NOT one of those women, and yet, my friend was a scrapbooker. Stranger still, my friend invited me to a scrapbook conference! Desperate for a weekend away from my screaming kids, I accepted.

So... in the fall of 2007, stocked with borrowed supplies, I scrapbooked for the very first time, alone, stuck in an "intermediate" class, in a room full of those women who it seemed could all trim a 12x12 sheet into 3-inch squares in record time.

And do you know what? I LOVE IT!

Those women, the scrapbookers, were chatty and witty, and if I watched closely I could see a few others who were struggling with the rapid fire directions as much as I was. I had flashbacks to kindergarten when you could cut and paste and make something beautiful that someone would love. All I needed now was the elbow macaroni, and I'd be all set!

I came out of my first class that day with a big smile on my face, and it hasn't left yet. I absolutely adore the time I spend creating layouts for my family to enjoy. It is an easy, creative outlet for me, and I've found that when I'm focused on a page, I forget about all the other stressful events of my day. And scrapbooking doesn't take time away from living my life. If anything, it makes me more conscious - more aware - of those moments that become cherished memories.

My daughters, now 8, both clamor to get their hands on my scrapbook supplies so they can create their own pages, and I have since turn on another friend to the joys of this hobby, and then there's this blog... Listen to me! What have I become? Make fun of me if you must, but, yes, my name is Lea Ann, and I am one of those women. I am a SCRAPBOOKER!

Too Many 2009 Photos!

I'm starting to think I'm never going to finish up my 2009 photos. Ever. Both of these pages are from our Thanksgiving weekend.

On this first page, the "Outdoor Adventure" page, I used up the last of my camo paper (I hope!). I HATE to throw photos away even if they aren't so great, so I wrote a short journal entry on the bottom left paper and then hinged it to hide a couple not-so-hot photos of the kids underneath.
The kids love to explore in the trees just outside of my friend Becky's yard, but they had to wear orange vests because of hunting season. They looked so cute wandering around all decked out in matching vests.

Crafty Kids: I really like this next page, and I didn't expect to. I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to combine these photos of my kids and the stepping stones they made for "Auntie" Becky's garden. In the end, I trimmed down two of the photos to fit them in and finished it off with some little gem embellishments to mimic the glass beads in their stepping stones. I think this page has a lot of visual interest, and it captures the excitement of their craft project. It also uses seven photos so it fulfills the requirements of my S2L weekly challenge for this week. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday = Scrap Day

More of our Thanksgiving weekend festivities. On this purple layout I decided to add some bling by using some adhesive rhinestones my daughter gave me.

Pumpkin Day Downtime. I'm trying to get creative and use up odd letters. If anyone knows of any great ideas for using up leftover letters and numbers, I'd love to hear/see them!

Hayride layout. I matted my photos on tissue paper that I aged by crumpling and inking. I think I like it.

Scrap to Lose Weekly Challenge - Food

Do pumpkins, squash and apples on my Thanksgiving Day layout count?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rare One Photo Layout

I rarely get to complete a one photo layout because I'm a bit snap happy with my camera, but I actually did one the other day. I'm a bit disappointed with this photo. The colors are much prettier in person, for instance, the velvet ribbon looks almost black in the photo, but it is a maroon that is an exact match to the flowers on the paper. I made a little pocket behind the photo for a journal card and other memorabilia.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I just finished my first accordion book layout. The accordion book was a gift from one of my former students. She had decorated the book with a cat stamp on the cover. I've been holding on to this book a couple of years, waiting for the right time to use it. Rosie, my husband's cat of 17 years passed away last year (she'd been with him a lot longer than I have). It hit him pretty hard. When I recently ran across photos of her, I remembered the accordion book and, well, the rest is history!

I purchased a little package of cat embellishments (stickers and ribbon) by Miss Elizabeth's Scrapbook Accessories at the Dollar Tree , used some coordinating scrap paper and finished it off with a little silver crown sticker atop Rosie's head. I think the book turned out cute, and my husband loves his little memory book.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Final K.C. Photos

Whew! I finally finished our Kansas City trip photos that I started in my last post. Pictured below are the pages I've completed in the past two days. I did 8 in one day and you can tell that I was sort of running out of steam because they lack a lot of embellishment. I got to that point where I just wanted them done. Do you know what I mean?

I like the colors and the layout of this first one. I trimmed the corners of the photos with scalloped scissors and matted the photos, so they look like I've used photo corners on them. That gave me the idea to cut the corners for the page. Then I got lucky and found some coordinating scrap ribbon. I think this page is my favorite of the bunch.

For the wildlife preserve layout I tried to cut out little hoof prints for the bison and the elk. I think it works.

These next two pages are kind of strange. The first one includes photos of my kids on a spinning seat from a park we visited hence the title "You Spin Me Round" and the busy circle paper. I used the same paper to show my son first big catch. Those two photos were taken with a cell phone camera and are a little out of focus, but it was such a big event I decided to use them anyway. They are not my favorites, but there are elements on each page that I like.

T-Rex Cafe. What can I say. The papers don't quite coordinate, the color scheme is strange. It was late in the day.

We went to the Cabella's store. My husband wanted to compare it to Bass Pro. Anyway, again, papers just don't quite work together. I tried to pull them together with the use of more of that camouflage paper, but... I do like the little cloth sleeping bag and camp cabin stickers. They help.

My last hurrah here. Some random photos that I just decided to throw onto a page together. No real design here. Again, it was late in the day, and I was ready to move on to something else. lol