Archive | April 23, 2011

Layout | Absolutely The Sweetest

These photos just screamed to be scrapbooked as soon as I took them! It’s rare for me to scrapbook photos this fast, but then again I have motivation now to scrapbook stuff fast to send it to my husband in its scrapbooked form.

Once again, this project is digital. And…drumroll please…this is the first digital layout that I have made that wasn’t created from a template! This was created entirely from scratch on a blank canvas, the same way I create my paper layouts! I felt like this was a big step in my digital skills, that I felt confident enough to try that (although I’ll admit I was only pushed to try it because I had a look in mind for these photos that didn’t match the templates in my library).

This layout is also another first for me. I’d never done a horizontal-oriented 8.5 x 11 sized layout before. In fact, I’ve never been particularly found of the landscape orientation for layouts. But with these photos it seemed to work so much better so in desperation I tried it after struggling for quite awhile with a portrait version of the layout, and was really pleased with the results.

I was going for a grandma’s garden & kitchen kind of look. That look is probably typically busier than my usual style, but I am happy with the suggestion of it that I was able to make here with my simpler style with a few carefully chosen elements. The torn paper blocks are layered templates that any patterned paper can be inserted in. I think I tried 4 different papers in the journaling block before I was happy with the look I got. This layout is a fabulous case for organizing your supplies with tags by color, etc. (which I don’t currently do) because no two of the elements in this layout are from the same kit, except the two torn paper blocks!

Also, don’t ask me how long it took me to draw the circle around the number 19 with my finger on the trackpad and get a result that I was happy with. Thank goodness for the Undo button!

Supply List (all from Designer Digitals):

Patterned Paper: Jesse Edwards – Apache Solids, Katie Pertiet – Vintage Book Paper Pack No. 2, Lynn Grieveson – Beth Paper Pack
Title: Lynn Grieveson – Strawberry Patch Mini Kit
Frames: Katie Pertiet – Filed Photo Frames No. 4
Embellishments: Katie Pertiet – Harmony Grove Elements, Katie Pertiet – Digital Date Stamps Vol. 20, Lynn Grieveson – Ripped & Stitched Do It Yourself 2


Review: We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile Big Bite

It was a cold winter’s day, and my hands had taken a real beating when I walked into the craft store. I was there for some more canvas and cardstock, but I had to pause at a display of We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-dile products. Covered in craft knife slices and jabs from paper piercing tools, and with every single finger either protected with a band-aid or bearing a wound farther along in healing, I had a moment of total madness – or utter clarity, depending on how you look at it.

Without a second thought, I grabbed the Crop-a-Dile Big Bite that was on sale and threw it in my cart.

It took a pre-CHA crazy week of intense creative deadlines, but I finally caved into one of these very popular cutting tools.

So there it sits on my desk, as it has since the day I brought it home. Today I can honestly say that I wonder what I ever did without this tool. It’s one heck of a hole punch, essentially. Sure, it has eyelet setting tools, but I haven’t used an eyelet since 2004, so that part has gone wholly untested. What really works for me about it is that because of its design (it has a 6″ reach), I can punch a small (1/16″) or a large (3/16″) hole anywhere on almost any scrapbook project I make. Also, because it is so heavy duty, I can punch through almost anything. From fabric to chipboard, canvas to thick paper and even acrylic,  I’ve chomped right through many materials to make holes for ribbons, brads, or any other reason I might have.

The key to actually using it is that it is right on my desk. I don’t have to dig it out from some hidden space. – when I need holes punched I just run my project through it! Since purchasing this tool, my need for band-aids and Neosporin due to craft knife and paper piercing tool injuries from putting holes into projects has become all but non-existent. In short, I’m loving this tool!

On the flip side, despite my passion for my Big Bite, I still don’t have any interest in the original Crop-A-Dile (pictured above). Not only is it very limited in depth as to where it can punch or set eyelets, but because of the design the punched circles of material can potentially fly out of the tool – potentially causing injury. Scrapbook Update’s own Betsy Burnett experienced this first-hand when a piece of laminant she was punching flew out and got embedded in her eye. I’m sure this isn’t common – but if you’re like me and putting all kinds of materials through your tool, it would be better to just get the Big Bite – where any debris goes down through the hole (and onto your work surface) – and it would be nearly impossible to injure yourself with debris.

So that’s my story of impulse purchase turned craft staple! Since I put brads through many of my layouts (and often in the center and through multiple layers) what previously required bravery and a kraft knife now just is a push of an orange handle. In short: the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite is fabulous. I have not used a regular hole punch even once since this tool came into my studio, and I’m so glad that my deadline madness led me to discover this great tool!

The Crop-A-Dile Big Bite II is a product of We R Memory Keepers. currently has the Big Bite II for $24.99, and is featuring an informative demonstration video of the tool as well.


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