Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I Love Thursday...

-Echo Park and Crystal Wilkerson have teamed up for a brand new line, called Little Boy. It just went to the very top of my wish list. I literally can't wait to get my hands on it.
Seriously? How stinking cute is that?  November can't get here soon enough!

-I have a Making Memories Slice die cutting machine and about 6 or 7 cartridges. {I also have a Silhouette machine but I hate lugging it out for one or two cuts.) Slice just came out with a bunch of new design cards and I have my eye on the Zootopia one. I'm a sucker for cute animal die cuts.

We have Trunk or Treat tonight at our church, so I'll be in the mood to scrap some Halloween photos this weekend-good thing I still haven't got around to working on last year's pictures! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I Love Thursday {Inspiration Edition}

So I mentioned in my magazine post that there is all sorts of fabulous (and FREE) scrapbook inspiration on the internet. This week's Things I Love Thursday post, is all about inspiration-the places I go to get inspired!

-Two Peas in a Bucket-this is the very first place I found on the web for scrapbook inspiration and a place I visit daily. Two Peas has message boards, galleries, shopping and more. For a long time, I didn't really know anyone who scrapbooked in real life. Two Peas was the ONLY place I had to talk to other scrappers. {My pea name is twinsandtwo {because I have twins and two singletons-get it?}-if you see me on there, please say "hi".}

-Monika commented on my last post the she really missed Simple Scrapbooks magazine. I do too. BUT...a group of contributors from Simple have formed a wonderful website called Write. Click. Scrapbook. WCS is chockful of great ideas, downloads, and more. And did I mention the weekly give-away? :)

-Another brainchild of former Simple writers is Ella Publishing. Ella publishes eBooks that are priced at about what one magazine would cost at newstand. But they are BOOKS-that you can print at home or download to your Kindle {or like me-your iPhone to read at football practice}. Ella also has a blog and a newsletter that are completely free and have tons of amazing ideas!

-Blogs, oh how I love blogs. Do you have a favorite line of patterned paper? Google the manufacturer. Odds are pretty good that they have a blog and likely a design team {who each have blogs of their own}. I've listed a few of my favorite over to the side of this blog.

-How about a FREE MAGAZINE! That's right I said free magazine. Okay, you have to print it out yourself or download it to your computer {or, again, like me put it in iBooks to read at football practice}. But, Scrapbook & Cards Today is totally free to download. How cool is that??? And it's good-with articles by Stacy Julian and Aly Dosdall, it's almost like having Simple back.

So, there you have it- tons of free inspiration right here on the web. What about you? Do you have a favorite website for inspiration? Leave a comment with a link!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Magazine Wars

I love magazines. I always have. Love the thrill of opening up my mailbox to see that glossy 8 1/2 x 11 piece of goodness. My favorite part of my old job was sitting next to the media department and getting all the free magazines I wanted. {They still hook me up with People magazine because they know I am hopelessly addicted.}
Sadly, the optical company I work for does not advertise in scrapbooking mags, so I subscribe to two-Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks, Etc. I've had my CK subscription for about 4 years, and sadly, this month it runs out. My SBE subscription is about 3 years old and I recently ran into a smoking hot deal on Tanga for a year's subscription for $8, so somehow(?) I'm good through 2012.
So this month, I have a decision to make-do I renew my CK subscription? A lot has been said about the changes at CK. There's this article at Scrapbook Update and this thread on Two Peas. I'll be honest, I miss seeing columns by Becky Higgins, Jessica Sprague and Ali Edwards. I like the columns by Mandy Douglass and Jennifer McGuire but are they enough to justify the high (in my opinion) expense of a subscription? Especially considering the issues with customer service and how their parent company has treated some of it's designers?
So I did what I am trained to do: I sat down and looked at this month issues from an analytic point of view.
Creating Keepsakes
What I liked:
  • Mandy Douglass's article on Recipes for Quick & Easy Layouts-loved that she used common photo print sizes and the layouts were adorable.
  • I loved the article on Kraft-I'm just learning to love kraft, so this was great for me! 
What I didn't like:
  • The scrap room article. I usually really enjoy this feature but this month the photos were taken from such a distance that you couldn't see much detail.
  • The CK Shows You How article on paint, seemed amatuer-ish and thrown together. 
  • Overall, the whole magazine seemed off. I can't put my finger on what it was, maybe it's me and I've outgrown it but I wasn't feeling it. :(
What I wanted to like:
  • The Scrap Your Faith article and The Deck Your Pages article-both just missed the mark for me. The faith article was pretty superficial and the deck your pages article didn't address the most common concern with adding that type of texture-how to limit the bulk. I just found both a bit lacking.
Scrapbooks, Etc.
What I liked:
  • Ali!!!! You are back! Yay! Ali Edward's article on her December Daily was great-concise and informative. If you visit her blog, you probably are already familiar with it but if you don't you got all you needed to know from the article.
  • Jen Lessinger's tip on how to create those cool scratch off cards was awesome. I'm totally doing that with the boys, just for fun. {Jen needs a blog-I love her layouts and sense of humor!}
  • Loved the last minute gift ideas article. I have so many gift idea lists bookmarked on my computer, it's nice to see them in a magazine article for once.
  • I've made no secret of the fact that I hate sewing but I actually enjoyed the article on sewing in this issue-in fact {i kinda want a teeny little sewing machine to try to do some sewing} there I said it out loud.
  • Yes, this was a holiday issue but they didn't beat us over the head with holiday layouts, there were plenty of non-holiday layouts too.
What I didn't like:
  • Ummmm...maybe the paper piecing? That's about it though, because I seriously wore this issue out looking through it!
Conclusion: I'm super happy my SBE subscription doesn't run out until 2012-I have literally looked through this month's copy like 12 times! I'm sad to say that I will likely let my CK subscription go. I might eventually pick up past issues on eBay or at Half Price Books but it's not a "must have" for me anymore.

That being said, there are tons of great non magazine sources for inspiration out there-I'll share a few of my favorites and why I love them on Thursday! See you then!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things I Love Thursday...

-I need a new circle cutting system. While I love my Creative Memories cutting system, I'm pretty limited on the size of my circles.
Erika over at Scrapbook Obsession used her 50% MS coupon to get the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter. I have a craft budget of $20 a month (includes cardstock and adhesive). I haven't bought anything at all this month. AND I have my 50% off a Martha Stewart product from my copy of MS' Living magazine. So for just $13.00 + tax, I could have this:
My dilemma is this...I also like the EK Success Circle Scissors tool.

I'm just not sure which will be easier to use. I've found MS products to be VERY well constructed and easy to use, so I'm really leaning towards the Circle Cutter.
I will do a review of whichever I end up purchasing.

-Jill Marie has a wonderful and FREE fall download on her blog HERE. If you have never visited Jill Marie's blog, I encourage you to take a peek. She has some great downloads and ideas-I have her bookmarked and visit her daily.

-Oddly enough I got both my Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks Etc monthly magazines yesterday-it was interesting to read them both in the same evening. I have a post planned that compares and contrasts them coming up for this weekend. But I LOVED having not one but TWO new scrapbook magazines to read in one sitting.

-I have no words for how happy I am for this lady. No words. Congratulations Angie!

-I'm working on wall art for my scrapbook room and stumbled on this post by the very talented Kelli Crowe. (Who was inspired by Ali Edwards.) I'm so stealing this idea. Not sure what shape I'm doing yet though. But I'm thinking I'll use my Slice to cut the design. {Full disclosure: I had no idea Kelli had a website and spent hours reading back posts and grabbing ideas for layouts-that girl has crazy talent.}

-How much fun is this Monsterville line of papers from SEI? Perfect for my rowdy boys. It's on my wish list.
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Summer Fun Mini Album

We finally got some fall weather this weekend-rain and cooler temperatures. I also got a cold, so instead of going to the boys' football games I stayed in all day Saturday and {gasp} scrapped! Rather than working on the baby albums that I should have been working on, I decided to work on my Summer Fun mini album.
I've kinda been on a mini album kick lately. I got this mini album from my friend Monika from a giveaway on her blog-but you can buy it from her etsy store here. She even has a fall version available! 
I've never done a true 4x6 mini album but boy did I have fun with this. It ended up being about 2 1/2 inches thick when I was done. Monika's kit had a ton of embellishments with it but I ended using a bunch of my own too. :) Love that the kit inspired me to go look at my stash and pull some things out.

I used photos from the summer of 2009--my six year old came down when I was almost finished and was sooo excited to look through it. Totally inspired me to do one for each season.
Here's a look at the inside{warning: pic heavy!}:

The last page is one of my favorite pictures of the summer, of our littlest looking out of the slats on the front porch, waiting for his brothers.

Of course, that baby album isn't going to put itself together, and our friend isn't getting any less pregnant, so I think I know what I'll be working on this week!