Winnie-the-Pooh cross stitch for Baby Girl

The holidays were a great time to work on some crafty projects.  I just finished up a wall hanging for the baby of a dear friend.  I’ve done a Winnie-the-Pooh cross stitch for each of her children, and this was for her first girl.

I got the pattern from a book called “P is for Pooh” that I bought a few years back.  I actually mixed two patterns: the Pooh+flowers design is from one pattern, and border is from another.  I adjusted the size of the border to fit the frame and mat I bought.  The text font is actually from a third pattern.

I love doing these for friends and family, but I’m a little behind.  I haven’t even started the kit I bought for my niece that was born last year!

Step-by-step scrapbook page design

Last weekend I attended a scrapbooking retreat, which is exactly like it sounds.  I made a quick album of my photos from last year’s trip to Disney World and Harry Potter World at Universal (using this pre-designed album from Creative Memories).

I love making scrapbooks, and I’ve done all kinds.  Besides obvious ones for vacations and my wedding, I also made one of pictures of my cat when she passed away, and I made one of favorite places in my Florida hometown when I moved to Ohio.  For me it’s always been a great way to relive meaningful memories while using some artistic creativity.

I use pre-designed pages and digital software a lot, but I also just enjoy starting with some printed 4×6 pictures and a blank page and decorating from there.  Here’s my step-by-step process for scrapbook page design that gives me something a little different every time.

1.Sort photos and group them onto pages.

I’m a planner, so I like to set out which pictures are going on which pages; otherwise I would run out of pages!  This often results in my putting up to 10 pictures on one page, which is fine, I just have to get creative about placement.  I usually work in double page spreads for coordination, even if the two pages are about different events.

2. Crop photos.

Unless I already had a specific layout in mind for the page, I usually just crop each photo for content and focus in the best way I can.  Sometimes I do all squares or something, but usually it’s a mix of shapes.

3. Lay out photos, etc. on the page.

This is the fun part where I actually have to fit all the photos on the page, while ideally leaving some room somewhere for writing, and any other memorabilia that go on the page.  These pages of 6 and 8 photos are pretty typical for me (that’s why cropping is so important!).  I am not a fast scrapbooker (or “scrapper”); this step can take me a while.  There’s always that one photo that just doesn’t want to fit.

I often take a picture of the page at this point so I can remember how I had everything arranged, because I’ll have to move the photos to add any paper behind them.

4. Add decoration.

Now I’ll select background paper, borders, or stickers based on the colors or theme of the photos.  I rarely “wallpaper,” or put a whole sheet of paper covering the white page behind the photos; I typically just add some photo mats and pieces and parts here and there.  I’m always saving scraps from previous pages because you never know when they’ll come in handy.

Sometimes I’ll use coordinating papers/embellishments I purchased as a set, but more often I just go through my whole stash and find things I like together (I don’t think any of the embellishments above are from the same “set”).

I’ll also do some journaling on the page; writing is an extremely important part of scrapbooking.  Looking at photos is cool, but it’s even better if you know who exactly is in the photos and why you were taking them.

Do you guys like to scrapbook? Do you prefer digital or “traditional” scrapbooking?  Do you prefer pre-designed pages or designing your own?  

Spring Centerpieces

My grandmother recently celebrated her 85th birthday!  Family and friends gathered for lunch, looked at old photos, and played Telestrations with secret words relating to my grandma.

It was a pretty low-key affair, but I helped spruce it up by making some table centerpieces.


The components, from the bottom up:

    • Books form the bases
      • Children’s Fables she gave to me and my sister as children
      • A dictionary–she’s a writer
      • River of Grass–she loves nature and has visited most of our National Parks
      • A copy of Heidi Grows Up that was hers as a child
    • Doilies on top of the books
    • Stemless wineglasses, which I already owned, for vases
    • Blue and white decorative rocks for inside the vases
    • Assorted small bunches of spring-like flowers, bought from Jo-Ann Fabric
    • Tags from Creative Memories’ Simply Beautiful collection
    • “Happy Birthday” with Scrabble tile letters, made digitally using CM’s Vintage Chic alpha set in Storybook Creator 4

I was going for form AND function, something that would look pretty but simple, and would also have meaning.  I wanted them to be cheerful and springlike, since we are still having snow here in Ohio.  I wanted them to not be obstructing any views around the table.  And most importantly, I wanted them to have special meaning for my grandmother, which is why I tied in all the books and the Scrabble tiles (she loves word games).

I used a lot of supplies I already had, and the things I did buy at JoAnn were 1) under $20 total and 2) able to be re-purposed for my own crafts or decorating.

The party was great fun and it was nice to be able to put my crafting skills to good use!



Galapagos PicFolio album

Well, guys, today was the last day to buy supplies from the Creative Memories site; you can still print digital stuff until September 23.

So here’s a look at one more wonderful album that Creative Memories helped me complete.  My junior year in college, I took a week-long trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands as part of a zoology class.  I am no great photographer, but I did get many beautiful shots of scenery, flora and fauna.  The PicFolio album (no longer available) has pockets to just slide in 4×6 photos, so it’s very quick and simple and lets the photos be the main attraction.  Of course, I still added my own touches.

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Life in scrapbooks

Well, Creative Memories’ “last chance ordering” has been extended until noon on Friday, so now’s the time if you want to stock up on high-quality basics.

Today, let’s look at some more personal albums.

My cat, Popcorn, passed away 2 years ago, and I still miss her terribly.  As part of my grieving process, it was really helpful to make a small album with lots of pictures of her and all the good times we had.  She lived with us for almost 15 years.  This album was a pre-designed “kit” where all the pages were already partly decorated and all I had to do was add pictures and stickers and journaling.  This is the kind of product that Creative Memories will be continuing in the future.

I recently celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary with my husband; we took the day off work and played board games and TOR all day.  I completed a “traditional” album with my wedding photos within a few years of the wedding (practically a record for me).  Here are some of my favorite pages (all original layouts).  (Maybe someday I’ll post the wedding pic of us in front of the giant X-Wing)