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Ellison Sues 5 Companies, Alleging Patent Infringement

Ellison Educational Equipment, the parent company of Sizzix brand, has sued five companies over the past few months alleging infringement of a die technology patent that they own. Since November 2018, the company has sued Prima Marketing, Stephanie Barnard (and her The Stamps of Life company), Hero Arts, Avery Elle, and Heartfelt Creations.

Ellison logo banner

The ‘325 Patent

The patent at issue in the lawsuits filed by Ellison is No. 9,079,325 (referred to here and in court filings as the ‘325 patent for the sake of brevity). The first paperwork related to the application for this patent was filed on July 15th, 2011. The formal patent application is dated July 26th, 2012. The patent was ultimately granted on July 14th, 2015.

The ‘325 patent has three elements, or “claims” in patent law terminology. All of these claims relate to the construction and use of chemically etched metal dies. These are the dies commonly called “thin metal dies” by crafters.

Claim One: The first element of this claim is the actual structure of the die. The patent claims ownership of the technology of manufacturing dies with an open center – as virtually all thin metal dies manufactured today are – that do not have a lip extending past the cutting edge into the center of the die.

A method for cutting out, by means of a first die, a shape that is printed on a sheet material, wherein the die includes an inside opening that corresponds to the shape to be cut from the sheet material, a flat outside border having first and opposite faces that surround said inside opening, and a cutting edge that projects from the first face of the flat outside border, such that said cutting edge surrounds the inside opening of said first die and corresponds exactly with the shape that is printed on the sheet material and none of the flat outside border of said die extends into the inside opening of said die

To put that description in graphic terms, it means a die with the profile below. (Graphic taken from the patent.)

325 Patent Illustration - figure 4

325 patent illustration - figure 6

Claim one goes even further though, taking ownership of the technique of using dies designed like this by aligning the die with a shape (such as a stamped image) on material (such as paper) and then putting the die and material through a die cut machine to cut the shape out.

said method comprising the steps of:

locating the shape printed on the sheet material to be cut therefrom;

placing the cutting edge which projects from the first face of the flat outside border of said first die directly against the sheet material, and looking through the inside opening of said first die so that the shape printed on the sheet material is located entirely within the inside opening of said first die and the cutting edge which projects from the first face of said flat outside border is automatically registered so as to surround the shape to be cut from the sheet material;

positioning said first die and the sheet material having the shape to be cut therefrom within a roller press; and

moving said first die and said sheet material through said roller press for causing a force to be applied to the opposite face of the flat outside border of said first die after said cutting edge has first been placed against the sheet material and said first die and said sheet material have been positioned in said roller press for pushing said cutting edge through said sheet material to cut the shape outwardly therefrom.

An illustration accompanying the patent shows a basic die cutting out a stamped shape:
325 patent illustration - figure 8

Claim Two: This claim stipulates that the die utilized in step one is created using a chemical etching process from a flat sheet of metal.

Claim Three: The last claim patents ownership of the invention of nested dies that are shaped like the image above.

forming at least a second die by chemically etching the flat piece of metal, such that the second die is nested within and spaced from the first die so as to lie at the inside opening of said first die, whereby the size of the inside opening of said first die is larger than said second die.
The patent’s illustrations show the nesting concept in product form:
325 patent illustration - figure 9

The Lawsuits

Ellison is being represented in the four California cases by lawyers from Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C. The case against Heartfelt Creations is located in Indiana and required hiring local counsel, so their representatives there are attorneys from Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. Various attorneys are representing the different defendants in the case, although several of the companies have called on creative industry intellectual property law specialist Tammy Browning-Smith as an assistant counsel in their cases.

Ellison has not responded to a request for comment on their pending litigation.

Stephanie Barnard Designs

The first suit was filed against Stephanie Barnard and Stephanie Barnard Designs (dba The Stamps of Life) on November 15th, 2018. In addition, the suit names as defendants unknown parties referred to as Does 1-10. Barnard has been a licensed product designer for Sizzix for nearly a decade, but the suit alleges she and her company are violating the ‘325 patent by producing products for The Stamps of Life that are covered by the patent that aren’t licensed from Ellison.

In an amended complaint filed against Barnard in December, the company also alleges Barnard and The Stamps of Life are violating the ‘325 patent by teaching the method described in Claim 1 of the patent in videos on the website:

In addition to directly infringing the ‘325 Patent, Defendants indirectly infringe on the ‘325 Patent by instructing, directing and/or requiring others, including customers, purchasers, users and developers, to perform some of the steps of the method claim, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents, of the ‘325 Patent, where all of the steps of the method claim is performed by either Defendants or its customers, purchasers, users and developers, or some combination thereof.

Barnard filed a response in mid-January, categorically denying Ellison’s claims of infringement. She also filed a counter-claim against Ellison, alleging the ‘325 patent is invalid and therefore cannot be enforced:

An actual case or controversy exists between Counterclaimant Barnard and Counterdefendant Ellison concerning validity of the ’325 Patent by virtue of Counterdefendant Ellison’s assertion of infringement of the patent.

The claims of the ’325 Patent are invalid on the ground that the purported invention, attempted to be patented therein, fails to meet the conditions of patentability specified in Title 35 of the United States Code, including, but not limited to, the conditions specified in 35 U.S.C. §§ 101, 102, 103, and/or 112 of the Code.

The sections of U.S. code cited refer to specific things regarding patents. Section 101 refers to patents only being granted to inventors of an item. Section 102 refers to prior art and when its presence does and doesn’t impede the ability to patent. Section 103 is very brief, simply precludes granting of patents ” if the differences between the claimed invention and the prior art are such that the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention pertains.” Section 112 deals with how an inventions specifications must be described in a patent. (Read the entire text the U.S. code on the U.S. PTO website here.)

A Special Master has been appointed in the case, and the parties are entering the discovery phase of the litigation. Trial is scheduled for September 2020.

Stephanie Barnard declined to comment to Scrapbook Update on the pending litigation.

Prima Marketing

Ellison filed two lawsuits on December 21st, 2018. One was against Prima Marketing. Like in the previous suit, the Prima Marketing suit also alleged infringement against who it called Does 1-10 that it said it was “ignorant to the true names and capacities of” but who it alleged “were and are a moving, active, conscious force behind the infringement of Ellison’s rights.”

Prima has never been known as a major die producer. Its only product line that incorporates dies in a major way is the Julie Nutting paper dolls line – and that is the product line cited repeatedly in Ellison’s court complaint against Prima. Other than the company-specific details, the complaint is generally a duplicate of the one against Stephanie Barnard.

One difference of note from the previous suit is that Prima was sent a cease & desist notice shortly before Ellison took the matter to court, a step that isn’t mentioned in the Stephanie Barnard filings. One of the demands in the cease & desist was that Prima “provide information on the manufacturer(s) or source(s)” of the allegedly infringing products. Another notable difference is that where no time frame is used in describing Ellison’s discovery of Stephanie Barnard’s alleged infringement, Ellison’s court filing in the Prima case says that “Ellison recently discovered that Prima is making or having their patterns made into chemically-etched dies that perform the method taught by the ’325 Patent.” [emphasis added]

in mid-February 2019, Prima filed a response to the suit taking much the same position as Stephanie Barnard and challenging the validity of the ‘325 patent based on the same sections of U.S. code. However, by mid-March, the parties reached a settlement and the case was quickly closed. Terms of the settlement are confidential and neither party has responded to a request from Scrapbook Update for comment. But the Julie Nutting dies (and all except a handful of their other ones) have disappeared from product listings on the Prima website, and the video cited in the suit as infringing has been removed from Prima’s YouTube as well. (The Julie Nutting and other Prima dies can still be found for sale on sites such as Scrapbook.com and Amazon.com, though.)

Prima has not responded to a request from Scrapbook Update to comment on its settlement with Ellison.

Hero Arts

The second lawsuit filed by Ellison on December 21st, 2018 was against Hero Arts. Like with the previous suits, it also names as defendants unknown persons or entities as Does 1-10. According to the filing, Hero Arts was sent a cease & desist order on December 12th, 2018. Like with the Prima c&d letter, Ellison demanded information on the source of the products from Hero Arts.

The Hero Arts complaint is largely the same as the Prima one filed the same day, with the exception of the company-specific information. It contains the same language about recent discovery of the alleged infringement. Ellison alleges infringement by dies Hero Arts make that match their stamp sets. But the filing also returns to a theme from the original Stephanie Barnard case by alleging the company is also infringing the method in the ‘325 patent through video content produced by their design team that is “teaching members of the public how to infringe the ’325 Patent”.

One section of the Ellison complaint against Hero Arts appears erroneous. It shows photos of two of Hero Arts’ layering stamps, under a caption that labels them as infringing products. There are no dies (the product covered by the patent) in the images. I wasn’t the only one confused by this, since Hero Arts’ response to that paragraph in their next filing says “it does not understand the allegations of that paragraph.”

Hero Arts filed their response to the suit on March 8th, 2019. Like the other defendants, they are challenging the validity of the ‘325 patent in a counterclaim against Ellison. But they are taking their defense further, asserting fourteen different affirmative defenses.

Under the proposed schedule, which hasn’t yet been made final, the case would be scheduled for trial on August 24th, 2020.

A representative for Hero Arts responded to Scrapbook Update with the following statement when asked for comment:

Hero Arts firmly believes this lawsuit is without merit.  Hero Arts does not infringe Sizzix’s patent nor does it encourage anyone else to do so. Hero Arts intends to fight this lawsuit and win.   But mostly, I am very disappointed in Sizzix’s decision to sue before even trying to resolve any issues they have in a respectful manner that involves talking as opposed to engaging in a blunt legal process, which is bad for everyone — Hero Arts, Sizzix, and the entire community.  We are fortunate that we all get to play, craft and create together in this wonderful industry, and I, as one of the members of this fine community, intend to do what I can to keep this misguided action from fracturing the cooperative, family spirt that has been the norm for so many years.

Avery Elle

Ellison filed suit against Avery Elle and unknown defendants named as Does 1-10 alleging infringement of the ‘325 patent on January 25th, 2019. Ellison says in court documents that it served Avery Elle a cease & desist notice on January 15th, 2019 – two days before the first education day at the Creativation trade show at which both companies exhibited.

The court filing against Avery Elle is again largely a duplicate of the previous filings, with the exception of the company specific material. Ellison alleges that Avery Elle violated the ‘325 patent both through its product sales and through indirect infringement by instructing others on how to do the method included in the patent. A video on the Avery Elle YouTube channel (that has since been removed) is cited as evidence of the indirect infringement.

Avery Elle filed a response on March 6th denying infringement of the ‘325 patent, challenging the patent’s validity, and also claiming several affirmative defenses. The same day, they also filed a counterclaim response asking for a judgement declaring the ‘325 patent invalid, as well as a judgement declaring their non-infringement of the patent.

Ellison responded to the counterclaim in a filing on March 27th, 2019 asserting the validity of the ‘325 patent and denying Avery Elle’s arguments of a right to relief.

No schedule has yet been set for trial or further hearings in the case.

Avery Elle’s representative has not supplied a comment to Scrapbook Update as of publication time of this article.

Heartfelt Creations

The most recent case filed by Ellison alleging infringement of the ‘325 patent was filed against Heartfelt Creations (and unknown defendants Does 1-10) on February 18th, 2019. It’s the first of the suits to target a company outside of California, where Ellison is headquartered. Ellison says Heartfelt Creations was served with a cease & desist letter on December 21st, 2018.

As with the previous lawsuits, Ellison is alleging that Heartfelt Creations is violating the ‘325 patent with both the products it sells and by instructing others on the method included in the ‘325 patent. The court filing cites content from the Heartfelt Creations YouTube channel as proof of the indirect infringement by teaching of the method.

Heartfelt Creations has until April 23rd to file its initial response in the case. The company, when asked for comment, confirmed the existence of the suit and told Scrapbook Update that “We are investigating their accusations and will be able to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.”

The Analysis

Ellison is claiming ownership via the ‘325 patent of not just thin metal dies that have a completely open center (with no lip that extends past the cutting edge towards the middle), but also the technique of aligning them with a stamped image and running them through a die cut machine to cut out the image. The ‘325 patent also claims ownership of so-called “nested” dies created with the open centers.

Several designer/bloggers are called out by name in the various court filings as examples of infringement of the patent by teaching in videos this method described in the ‘325 patent. This will almost certainly have a chilling effect on the production of influencer content using stamps with matching dies until more clarity is brought to the legal situation regarding the ‘325 patent.

This isn’t the first time, of course, that craft industry companies have fought over technology that involved chemically etched dies with open centers. Spellbinders fought for several years to enforce a patent it had on chemically etched die technology against QuicKutz, ultimately losing both the case and the patent in 2013. The ghost of that case will almost certainly come back to haunt the new Ellison-filed cases, for multiple reasons.

One of the key reasons the Spellbinders patent fight will be relevant to the new cases will involve the question of prior art. Whether there is “prior art” of the concept is key to determining if something can be patented. Lack of prior art by other companies or individuals is typically seen by the patent office as proof an idea is unique. However, the market for thin metal dies with open centers was artificially chilled during the period of 2009 to 2013 while the Spellbinders case was ongoing. The vast majority of companies were holding out of the thin metal die market waiting to see if the patent suit was won or not. It was right in the middle of that period, in June 2012, that Ellison applied for the ‘325 patent. The final appeal in the Spellbinders case wasn’t over until the patent was declared invalid in the summer of 2013. Then the market started to be flooded with thin metal dies (including ones that matched stamps) in early 2014.

Perhaps the biggest question remaining to be answered about the Ellison suits – besides who will eventually prevail in them in court – is why Ellison seemingly suddenly chose now to go on the offense regarding the ‘325 patent that it has held since 2015. Two of the specific products cited in the court complaints were already on the market prior to the granting date of the ‘325 patent. So why did Ellison wait until late 2018 to begin enforcement instead of following the model utilized by My Sweet Petunia with their stamp platform patent to begin pursuing alleged infringement the moment the patent was approved? Ellison will have to answer that question eventually, since Hero Arts has raised it in its response as one of its affirmative defenses (the doctrine of laches).

Ellison also holds a patent similar to the ‘325 patent in China (Click here to view) that was granted in April 2016, after the U.S. patent had been granted. Online records show at least one suit filed early in 2018 in China in defense of that patent, months before the first U.S. suit was filed. Scrapbook Update has been unable to confirm the outcome of that case or the existence of any others.

44

5 Reasons to Sponsor (or Attend) a Creativation Workshop

Products from Creativation 2019 are still shipping to store shelves, but it’s already time to start thinking about Creativation 2020!

[This post is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation show, but all opinions are my own.]

The Call for Submissions is now open for proposals for workshops and business presentations for Creativation 2020. The deadline to apply is June 10th. Full guidelines and the applications are available at the link!

Thinking of sponsoring a workshop at Creativation University at Creativation 2020? Here’s five great reasons you should take the plunge:

Create Display Samples

This is the most common reason I hear from retailers for taking workshops, and from manufacturers for sponsoring them. Workshops allow retailers to arrive home from a show with design samples created and ready to go to sell newly-ordered inventory, before the product even arrives in the store. There’s no question that quality samples sell products, so it’s understandable to see so much emphasis placed on this reasoning by both manufacturers and retailers.

But samples are just the tip of the iceberg of the reasons to take or sponsor workshops at Creativation!

AFCI Creativation 2019 workshop

Build Show Buzz

Many of the hottest products at the show have already been determined by the time that doors to the show floor open for buyers to start browsing booths and placing orders. Starting with the first official event of the show on the education days, attendee buzz builds about products from workshops and events like the New Product Showcase.

All of this buzz generates excitement in show buyers to visit certain booths and order products – and buzz isn’t limited to just the attendees of a specific workshop or event. Show attendees tend to be quite social in sharing their show experiences with each other, and in showing off the samples they’ve made in workshops. Word of mouth spreads like wildfire in the Creativation community!

Build Sales Enthusiasm

For most crafters, it’s easier to fall in love with a product when you’ve been hands-on with it. And for retailers, it is easier to authentically sell a product that you are excited about. Workshops give retailers hands-on, first person experience with a product. Workshop attendees can speak crafter-to-crafter to customers and describe a personal experience making with a product. “I made something really wonderful with this” is a much more convincing sales pitch to a customer than “I saw this hanging on a booth wall and liked it”. So manufacturers, don’t forget to think of a workshop not just as an instructional session to teach the steps of a project. Make sure it is also a session that builds hype and enthusiasm for the product!

AFCI 2019 workshop

Educate Retailer Staff

It is the inherent nature of craft products that many have a learning curve of some kind. This makes user error a major driver of dissatisfaction with products, whether it is using a product improperly or for the wrong application. (No one is immune – even a relatively experienced crafter like myself can still fall victim to this on occasion when working with a new product!)

Retailers and influencers are on the front lines of contact with consumers, educating them about new products. Having a good foundation of education on products via workshop education helps to ensure they are passing along proper product usage information to their customers and followers. Educated consumers using a product properly and how it was intended are far less likely to be dissatisfied customers – and far more likely to be repeat buyers!

Build Instructor Reputations

Having a nationally known designer/instructor traveling to teach at local stores and events is a powerful promotional tool for manufacturers. And bringing in an outside instructor for a special event can be a great excitement (and revenue) generator for a local store. These events, however, entail big commitments of resources for store owners, especially for international events. Ensuring the quality of experience for their customers is critical.

Creativation workshops allow storeowners to essentially “test drive” company instructors, to see if they are a good fit for their store’s customers. They can meet an instructor, and experience their teaching method. A successful Creativation workshop can be the first step in partnering with store owners nationwide and worldwide on events to promote your products in their stores!

A workshop isn’t just a chance to sell buyers on a single product. It’s a chance to sell attendees on your company, your people, and your marketing support system. It’s a chance to build a relationship – or enhance an existing one.

Interested in sponsoring a workshop or business presentation at Creativation 2020? Click here to see the guidelines and apply!

0

Project | Travel Pocket Album Pages with Simple Vintage Traveler by Katie Pertiet

Travel is always one of the big themes of the winter show, and it’s also one of my favorite scrapbooking themes! Today I’m trying out another one of the new travel collections to make it into my personal stash – Simple Stories Simple Vintage Traveler by Katie Pertiet.

[Disclosure: Some products in this article were provided to me by Simple Stories as editorial samples. This site participates in the Amazon affiliate program. Some links in this article are affiliate links that provide support to the operation of this site at no cost to the user when a purchase is made after a click.]

Many of my loyal readers may remember that I’ve been gradually plugging away at a pocket scrapbooking album of my 2014 trip to Germany for the Creativeworld trade show in Frankfurt, and the day I spent touring in Heidelberg during that trip. As soon as I saw the new Simple Vintage Traveler SNAP Cards that Katie Pertiet designed for Simples Stories, I knew they would make some great pages to help finish my album!

(Click here to view the other pages from my album.)

Katie has long been one of my favorite designers in the industry, since the days when I was hoarding the products she was designing for Autumn Leaves, so I couldn’t wait to use it when I heard she had a new travel collection coming!

Simple Vintage Traveler Snap Cards

The Simple Vintage Traveler SNAP Cards pack contains 48 double-sided cards in various standard pocket album sizes. For those wanting even more pocket card designs, the paper collection also contains three cut-apart sheets featuring 4×6, 4×4, or 3×4 card designs on one side.

Travel Album Discover Side Streets

Supplies Needed:

I started this two page layout with a pile of what seemed like random photos from my time in Heidelberg’s alt stadt (old city). Two of them were vertical, so I was just going to use the page on the right to hold those and arrange the rest wherever. But then I discovered as I shuffled my photos around that it seemed like three of them did have a theme. They were all views of the city’s narrow side streets. I decided to separate those out onto a page together, and do two single pages instead of a double page spread. But only one of those photos was vertical, messing up my plan for using those two vertical pockets on the page protector on the right side!

discover Heidelberg

The solution was to try a technique I hadn’t attempted before but often admired in other people’s pages: spreading a large photo out over several pockets! I reprinted one of my photos in a 6″ x 8″ size. Its composition worked perfectly to allow it to be cut to fit across 3 pockets without slicing anything critical.

I arranged several of the other photos around it, and was left with just enough room for a title and journaling card.

discover title card

My title card is a 4×6 card from the Simple Vintage Traveler SNAP Cards set. I added some strips of the Simple Vintage Traveler Washi Tape to it to make a background for my title. Then I cut my title out of a sheet of paper from the 6×8 paper pad. I used a pre-designed title on my Cricut Maker. All I had to do was resize it to the size I needed, load my machine and hit go!

To adhere my title, I sprayed the back of it with new Mod Podge Ultra. The amount of handling needed to adhere a die cut with other adhesives has frequently damaged them when I’ve been working on projects. The Mod Podge Ultra spray is a no contact method of applying adhesive, so it reduces the chance I’ll damage the item! Then I can just gently pick it up and lay it in place. And it will adhere without a lot of pressing in place – another way to avoid tears and creases in delicate parts of the die cut.

Simple Vintage Traveler journaling card

For my journaling card, I added a few pieces from the Bits & Pieces die cuts collection to it. Before adhering the stamp, I trimmed a bit of the white off. Then I used the paper distresser on it to give the edges some dimension similar to a perforation.

Even the pen I used for my journaling carries a piece of the story of my trip with it…it is part of a set of Pigma pens that I bought at the airport in Frankfurt on the day I flew home!

Side Streets Heidelberg

The other page in this two page layout went together quite quickly once I had figured out that the photos had a theme. Normally I like to use a 4×6 card for a title but this pocket page has a 3×4 card in the top left. So I made a mini title card!

Side Streets Title Card

I started by fitting the title on the card. (Only I could come up with a title that uses up all the E, S and T stickers on a sheet!) Because the title filled in all the white space on the bottom left, I wanted to fill in the top right to balance it. So I stamped the compass stamp. For similar reasons, I put the Explore die cut on. (That item I raised on foam adhesive for some dimension.)

The final touch was the journaling card for this page. I had a big empty vertical 4×6 slot to fill in my pocket page. But the SNAP pack’s cards were all designed horizontal. So I needed to make a card.

Side Streets journaling card

I started with a 4×6 card base cut from a sheet of paper from the 6×8 paper pad. Then, I layered a 4×4 card from the SNAP pack over it. I wanted to make the card appear a little more “finished”, to fit in better with the other items. Covering the seam at the top with washi tape helped. Then I added a piece from the Bits & Pieces pack to the bottom after using a craft knife to cut off the white edge from it.

I’m really excited to be making progress on this album again, and I can’t wait to make more layouts with this collection! Watch for more pocket page and 12×12 pages coming soon with it!

1

Make a 25th Anniversary Album with Cricut Maker!

Every wedding anniversary is special, but the big ones are even more special! Last year, my husband and I celebrated a quarter century of married life. I decided that milestone called for a special 25th anniversary album – and it was the perfect project for my Cricut Maker!

25th Anniversary Album

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cricut. Cricut and Plaid provided some products used in this post. Some links are affiliate links that pay this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click. This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.]

My album combines basswood with a gorgeous paper pack by Natalie Malan. Its minimalist design lets the memories in our photos take center stage.

Supplies Used:

I started by cutting out the wood parts of my album, four of my pages. (Since I knew I wanted to paint them, they needed time to dry later in the process.) I used 1/16″ thick basswood bought from a craft store, but you can save a few steps because Cricut sells Basswood now that is sized perfectly for using on the Cricut Maker! This means you won’t have to waste time cutting your pieces down to the size of your mat. And they even sell 11×11 sheets, much wider than I could find locally. This means you can increase the size of your album over what I made if you’d like!

Cutting wood on the Cricut Maker is simple if you remember two things. First, you have to slide the white rings on your machine’s roller over to the right, out of the way of your wood. And second, you need to use painter’s masking tape to fasten all the edges of your wood down to your strong grip mat. Other than that, just pop in your knife blade and then the gear that you can see above it (in the tool slot on the right below) does all the work!

Cricut Maker cutting wood

After I cut my wood I out, I wanted to give it a little color so it wasn’t bare. But I also wanted it to still look like wood! (If you’re going to have the ability to cut wood, you want to show it off!) The solution was to use Plaid FolkArt Pickling Wash. By using the Cottage White color, it created a whitewash effect that still let the grain of the wood show through. (Click here if you’d like to see another project made with Pickling Wash that makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift!)

Plaid Pickle Wash

While my two coats Pickling Wash dried, I started to cut the elements for my album’s cover. For this, I got out my Cricut Portable Trimmer and some Cricut Pink Pearl Pastel Premium Vinyl. I didn’t want to waste a single piece of that gorgeous vinyl so I cut a perfect size piece to put on my mat for making my cover frame!

Cricut Trimmer

In case you were wondering if a machine with the power to cut wood can still cut intricate details…I used my fine point blade with the pink pearl vinyl to cut the cover frame.

Cricut Maker cutting vinyl

And this was the result – perfect, intrictate detail, even on the spots that were almost too tiny for my weeding tool to poke into! Even with all this detail, though, the weeding tool from my Cricut Basic Tool set made quick work of removing the waste areas.

Weeding Cricut Vinyl

After adhering the pearl vinyl frame, I cut a photo to fit inside it and adhered it. The number “25” was cut from Matte Adhesive Foil. Inside the album I used regular vinyl, but for layering over the pearl vinyl on the cover the thicker foil I think looks better.

25th Anniversary Album

In addition to the wood pages, I cut several more from paper. The inside pages of the album were scrapped just like mini versions of regular scrapbook pages. I designed several layouts in Cricut Design Space, and then duplicated and modified them to fit my photos and title elements on each page.

25th anniversary album

Since calligraphy is far from my area of expertise, I used my Cricut Maker’s pen feature to create pretty lettered dates for each page of my 25th anniversary album. (Tip for using the pen: Don’t forget to “attach” the text layer you want to write to the paper layer you want to write on!) When I use my Cricut pens, I use the reverse side of the Cricut cardstock. That side is smoother, and gives better results with the pens.

Cricut Maker with pen

To tie the pages of the album together, almost all of them contain the same three elements: the floral patterned paper, a white date block, and a silver vinyl title element. As you can see in the sampling of the pages below, I did deviate from this pattern in creating the page about my daughter’s birth. I thought she deserved a special highlight! But even in doing something a bit different, I still stayed with the white cardstock, black pen, and the same pink pearl vinyl from the cover, so it fits right in.

25th Anniversary Album

25th Anniversary Album

25th Anniversary Album

25th Anniversary Album

It’s way overdue, but thanks to Cricut Maker we finally have an album for our 25th wedding anniversary! I can’t wait to share it with family and friends.

What occasion could Cricut Maker help you make an album for?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

7

Belle Fleur Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway to win the beautiful Belle Fleur collection from Photo Play Paper – and thanks to Photo Play Paper for sharing this beautiful collection with Scrapbook Update’s readers! It’s time to announce the lucky winner!

Belle Fleur winner

Congratulations to bookangel18…please check your email for your notification on how to collect your prize!

Photo Play Paper Belle Fleur Collection Pack

If you weren’t the lucky winner of the giveaway, you can still find your own set of the Belle Fleur collection at Scrapbook.com, or Simon Says Stamp.

Thanks for reading Scrapbook Update!

3

A Spring Travel Layout with Authentique’s Dreamy Collection!

We don’t get much resembling spring here in Florida, so it seems a waste to buy a collection that is spring themed. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get the itch to use create some projects with spring colors.

[Disclaimer: Authentique Paper, Buttons Galore, and Cricut provided some products used in this article but this is not a sponsored post. Scrapbook Update is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program. Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase after a click.]

Authentique’s new “Dreamy” collection was the perfect solution to that dilemma this year! It’s filled with spring shades, and pretty butterflies and flowers. But the flowers aren’t spring bulbs and the rest of the  designs are various geometrics and graphics. This means the Dreamy collection is usable for a wide range of topics, such as gardens, babies, and cute kids.  Authentique Dreamy collection

I did decide to pair Dreamy with spring blooms for this first layout. These spring bloom photos are from a college spring break trip to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

Supplies Used:

These photos obviously have a lot of color in them. That meant I had to be careful what other colored elements I used with them or it would both drown them out visually and end up looking like a circus.

I decided to use a very neutral blue print for my background and then use more bold prints to create pops of color in certain areas.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I used full sheets to plan the general concept of what colors I wanted where. Then I measured the areas that I wanted to fill and cut pieces. The idea was to fill some of the white space without making it feel crowded, and to balance photos in other areas of the page.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I actually ended up cutting that flower piece twice. After I cut it I decided that I wanted to create the title on it with a pen in my Cricut Maker. So I set up the cut shape in my Cricut Design Space and added the text.

Before I glued down all the paper blocks, I inked the edges of all of them to help the layered patterns stand out from each other.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I no longer have a record of the exact dates of the trip, so I just put the year and “spring break” on the date label. I decided to use the black label because it was the perfect size and added some black to balance the dark photos to the huge expanse of light color in that bottom corner.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

I had some awkward blank spaces I wanted to fill – above the title, a square area in the center of the layout – but I didn’t want to be heavy handed about it and compete with the photos. I settled on creating these white and gray stamped flowers as a subtle fill for the areas. I highlighted the title block by using foam tape to apply the flower there.

Authentique Dreamy spring layout

Even though I’m a simple scrapbooker, the patterned paper blocks by the top two photos looked a bit bare to me. I selected chipboard embellishments to add to them. The chipboard adds some dimension, and the sentiments add a touch of journaling as well. Authentique Dreamy spring layout

Want to see more Authentique Paper layout fun? Drop by our sister site Chasing Dust Bunnies to see a travel layout I made with their beautiful new travel collection, Quest!

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