Archive | April, 2011

Remix Your Tools: Using the Papertrey Ink Banner Builder Die Set

Trends in scrapbooking are like that awesome new song that you hear on a Top 40 radio station. You instantly fall in love with it, buy it on iTunes, and then proceed play it on continuous repeat for the next several weeks. You hear it day and night – on the radio in your car, in your headphones at work, and (in extreme cases) even in your sleep. But then, one day, it happens. You’re suddenly sick of the lyrics and can’t stand to hear even a single note of it without the urge to throw the offending audio device out the window.

Fast forward several months, though, and a slightly different version of the song is released. Someone comes out with a remix, a cover, an acoustic version, or even a club mix. The tired, old song suddenly becomes fresh and fun to listen to again!

So it goes with scrapbooking. One day everyone is using brown ink on the edges of everything in sight, or they’re doodling on all their pages, or it seems as if the “one or more owls per layout” rule is being enforced by every scrapbooking magazine on the newsstands. And then, suddenly, everyone becomes sick of the new trend and moves on. Trends move and things change, and that in and of itself is not the issue. The problem is that there are a lot of specialized tools – dies, punches, and stamps, for example – that are produced and sold in response to a trend. How is a scrapbooker to keep these expensive items from collecting dust in their stash – to continue using these tools “After the Thrill Is Gone” (The Eagles, 1975), so to speak?

The answer is to remix them! Just as tired old hit songs can be made new again with just a little ingenuity, your scrapbooking tools can have a new life if you learn to think outside the box. Let’s take a look at one such trend, mini pennant banners, and just one of the many tools being produced in response to the trend, Papertrey Ink’s Banner Builder Die Set.

This die set is designed to simplify creating those cute little banners in a variety of shapes and sizes. It’s very good at its original function, but what can we do with it once the current banner craze has passed? I have several ideas to help keep this (and similar tool sets) fresh for years to come.

“All the Small Things” (Blink-182, 2000)

When you break it down, the Banner Builder die set contains many small pieces that can be assembled to make banners. But what else can you build with this set besides banners? You can make lots of things, if you take the individual shapes away from the whole!

For instance, see those cute little rounded pennants? If you turn them upside down, they look an awful lot like tombstones. Add some “grass” cut from green paper using the decorative edge die that comes with the set, and you’ve got the makings of your own little graveyard.


Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (Stonehenge, Raven)
Patterned Paper: Basic Grey “Sultry” (Citron)
Pen: Signo Uniball (white), Zig Millenium (black)
Letter Stickers: Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type Collection (black)
Spray Mist: Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist (Haunted ShadowsJack O’ Lantern)

A row of those same rounded pennants peeking out from under the edge of another piece of paper would also make a great scalloped border!

The triangles are perfect for creating a “quilted” look with papers. I punched them out of several different colors of patterned paper and arranged them to create the background for this card.


Cardstock: The Paper Studio (JoAnn)
Patterned Paper: K&Company “Sweet Nectar“, Making Memories “Noteworthy: Hillary Collection”, October Afternoon “Fly a Kite” (Dandelions), Crate Paper “Snow Day” (Blizzard)
Stamps: K&Company “Lotus” by Amy Butler (sentiment), Papertrey Ink (Label Basics)
Die: Papertrey Ink (Angled Labels and Banner Builder)

You can also use a single row of the same quilted look to create a unique border strip.


Patterned Paper: Making Memories “Vintage Hip: Paisley Collection”, K&Company “Handmade

Any of the pennant styles would also be perfect for arranging in a circle to create your own flower accents, or use your imagination to come up with more unique arrangements!

“I Fall To Pieces” (Patsy Cline, 1961)

We’ve already looked at what we can do with this set by combining several individual elements together in a unique way, but what if we want to use just a single piece on its own?

The tiny little decorative edges look great when punched from coordinating patterned paper or cardstock and used in embellishment clusters.


Patterned Paper: GCD Studios “Ava” (Bloom)
Buttons: Scarlet Lime Kit Club
Rhinestones: Basic Grey (Bling-It “Sky”)
Rub-Ons: Pink Paislee “Fetching”

A single flag makes an adorable accent on a cupcake themed card!


Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (White, Bitter Chocolate), The Paper Studio (kraft)
Patterned Paper: K&Company “Sweet Nectar
Pearl: K&Company “Serendipity” Adhesive Gems
Letter Stickers: My Little Shoebox Mini Alphabet (Limeade)

There are so many more options for using just a single piece of this set. How about using a single triangle as an arrow? Or a single flag to underline an important letter in a layout title? The possibilities are endless!

“Inside Out” (Eve 6, 1998)

Of course, I don’t mean to literally turn the dies inside out. What I’m talking about is using the negative or empty space in a die or punch (as opposed to the piece that’s actually punched out), or even using the punch-outs to create negative space.

Papertrey’s Banner Builder set doesn’t leave a very usable negative of its cutouts (by design, since it cuts the pieces as close together as possible to save paper), but the cutouts themselves make great misting masks. I used the tiny flag pieces for just that purpose on this layout to create a subtle banner with negative space instead of a row of patterned paper pieces.


Cardstock: The Paper Studio (JoAnn)
Patterned Paper: Little Yellow Bicycle “Lucky Me” (Denim Clover and Lucky)
Letter Stickers: American Crafts “Poolside” (green), October Afternoon “Seaside” Mini Market (blue)
Journaling Spot: Anna Griffin “Darcy” Collection
Punch: Martha Stewart Crafts
Rhinestones: Kaisercraft
Spray Mist: Tattered Angels (Slate)
Date Stamp: Office Supply

All of these ideas, while specific to the Papertrey Banner Builder die set, are also general approaches you can use when remixing items from your own stash. Even if you don’t own this particular die set, try applying the concepts presented here before bidding “Bye, Bye, Bye” (‘N Sync, 2000) to your valuable scrapbooking tools!

Note: The author apologizes for any musical trauma that may have been inflicted during this article, but is not responsible for injuries related to having any particular song stuck in your head. Especially that last one.

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House of 3 Shutting Down

In a move that surprised most in the scrapbooking world, House of 3 announced via their blog Monday that they are shutting down the popular scrapbook design collaboration.

House of 3 was founded in 2009 by Janet Hopkins, Heidi Swapp and Rhonna Farrer. The company originally sold only digital products through their website. At CHA Summer 2010, House of 3 expanded into paper production when it launched a licensed line of products with Pink Paislee. House of 3 has produced three total collections with Pink Paislee: Parisian Anthology launched at CHA Summer 2010, and Daily JunqueSoiree launched at CHA Winter 2011.

Co-founder Rhonna Farrer had already announced on her blog three weeks ago that she was departing House of 3. Following her departure, the remaining co-founders decided not to continue House of 3, resulting in Monday’s announcement.

The House of 3 website will be available through May 31st, 2011 so that the company’s digital customers may secure all of their purchased downloads. Their digital store will be holding a 50% off sale through May 8th so that House of 3 fans may make last-minute purchases before the company’s digital products are retired from public sale.

Paper forms of House of 3 products will continue to be available from Pink Paislee through 2o12. House of 3 designer Rhonna Farrer told Scrapbook Update that House of 3′s Pink Paislee released lines moving forward will be already created designs previously available only in digital from House of 3.


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Cricut Competitor Black Cat Lynx Announced

World Innovations Ltd. has announced the addition of a new machine to their line-up, the Lynx. This machine is a version of their popular Black Cat Cougar electronic cutter model designed for the craft market. The Lynx is intended to be capable of cutting a wide variety (such as cardstock, vinyl, cereal weight chipboard) of crafting materials up to 12″ in width, and will work with the full line of Cougar accessories already on the market. In addition, the Lynx is reportedly compatible with many of the software programs already on the market that are designed to work with electronic cutters (such as Makes the Cut and Sure Cuts Alot), and it will also be fully compatible with the company’s upcoming “Black Cat Cutting Studio.”

The Black Cat Cougar Line of die-cutting machines was launched in December of 2008 as a collaboration between Colin Russon and craft industry designer and teacher Dawn Grantham.  Russon is the partnership’s technical expert, while Grantham has knowledge of the craft market.  The Cougar is based on a machine originally designed for the sign making industry, but is modified to appeal to crafters.  The Cougar machines vary in size depending on the maximum width needed to cut various materials. Machines range from a 13″ cutting width to a 24″ cutting width. They are designed to cut everything from paper and cardstock to vinyl and heavy chipboard. There are even cutting tips designed to etch (toughened) glass, emboss metal, cut stencils and do intricate cutting work. For more examples, visit Grantham’s website Thyme Graphics.

The Lynx is priced at $499 retail.  The Cougar starts at $689, and increases in price based on the cutting width desired. Additional accessories available (for additional cost) include specialty blades/blade holders, cutting trays and more. For more information on the Black Cat line of cutters, visit the company’s website.

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Layout | Celebrate Spring

OK, it’s been a little dead around this place…but it’s time to blow the cobwebs off of it because I’ve got a lot of stuff I’m hoping to share with you in the immediate future!

First up, here’s some more info on the digital layout that I talked about on this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable episode.

I made this layout to record spring at our house, and share spring at home with Mike. It’s 8.5 x 11 for ease of printing and mailing. More of what I do now will likely be that size for that reason. It’s also the reason that I’m working more in digital when I’m not working on things like Big Picture classes and my Project Life.

Supply list: (all from Designer Digitals)

Cathy Zielske – Layered Template No. 5
Katie Pertiet – Lovely Damask paper pack
Jesse Edwards – Come Spring solids paper pack
Michelle Martin – Lovisa solids paper pack
Andrea Victoria – Whisper Song paper pack
Lynn Grieveson – In Distress: Got The Blues paper pack
Lynn Grieveson – Rosalie paper pack
Katie Pertiet – Crocheted Doilies: Reds No. 1
Ali Edwards – Spring Celebrations Elements Kit
Ali Edwards – Spring Sentiment Stacks
Font – American Typewriter

Notes on the layout:

  • The bottom of the blue block of patterned paper was scalloped in the template. I removed it by spinning the block and hiding the scalloped edge under the photo block. (The scallop didn’t work well with the patterned paper I wanted to use, which is why I removed it.)
  • The doilies form a visual triangle, as well as the three white text elements.
  • The border of the journaling box was created from patterned paper to give it some texture.
  • The photos were positioned so their visual lines pulled the eye through the grid.

Paperclipping Roundtable #63: Strangely Obsessed & Sick Group

Lisa Dickinson and Debbie Hodge joined the Roundtable this time around to talk about creative process when we are creating layouts. And we even have visual aids in the show notes this week so everyone can follow along!

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The Panel


Art Journaling 103 from Check out “Art Journaling 103″ from Dina Wakley – and hurry because coupon code APR2011PRT is only available to the first 50 people who use it in April! (The coupon code is good for any class from GetItScrapped, not just the one we talked about.)

Big Picture Classes! Big Picture Scrapbooking has a new name! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any one class at Big Picture Classes! (Don’t forget that you can still use the link to support Roundtable even if you’ve already used the one-time discount code.)

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(For the supply list and more information on my layout, visit The Nally Notes.)




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