Archive | August 22, 2011

Layout | Second Grade Changes

Another school year started today at our house. It’s hard to believe that my little girl is a big 3rd grader now! While she was on summer vacation the past couple weeks, I was reflecting back on how much she had changed during her 2nd grade year and decided to make a layout about it.

I normally don’t scrap a lot of school stuff for some reason (probably due to Bridget’s school experience being so different than normal because of her disability – I don’t have a ton of opportunities to take pictures in a school setting) but as she enters 3rd grade this week, I’m finally planning on taking the few school layouts that I’ve already done and making them the basis of a “school” album that I can build over the years for her. I figure it will be a good way to chart the basic process of her growth and development in a single album.

Since the photos didn’t have a lot of cohesive colors in them, taken on different days in different outfits, a neutral kraft background was perfect. Then a collage of embellishments was the perfect way to tie all the jumble of colors together into something resembling order (I like even my collage-y pages to feel orderly – kind of a contradiction, I know!).

Supplies – Patterned Paper: October Afternoon Farmhouse (Button Box), BasicGrey Basics (Blueline). Ink: Ranger Tim Holtz Distress (Antique Linen, Faded Jeans), Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Stain (Spun Sugar). Embossing Powder: Ranger (Clear Super Fine Detail). Rub-Ons: October Afternoon Thrift Shop (Image). Stamps: Tim Holtz for Stamper’s Anonymous (Seamless Experience). Alphabets: Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type (Blue), Sassafrass (Cool Gray). Embellishments: Elle’s Studio (Vintage Month Flashcards), BasicGrey (Out of Print Bloomers), Recollections (rhinestones), Making Memories (Sabrina Buttons), Hero Arts (Hero Hues Woven Lace Ribbon). Other: unknown buttons, DMC floss.

Journaling: Your second grade was stressful and full of change. First, there was your Daddy’s legal problems and last months at home. Then, “he went away” as you put it so sadly when we would talk. I worried so much about how you would handle it all, but you just continued to amaze us. At the start of the year you were a shy uncertain child, tentative. By June you carried yourself a whole new way: more mature, more confident. You made so much progress in your speech and other things! I’m so proud of you!

The title block is one of the trendy “button card” blocks that make up the back side of a patterned paper in October Afternoon’s upcoming new Farmhouse collection. It turned out to be a great way to “ground” the title block. I used buttons at three points in the layout to create a visual triangle and lead the eye through my design (I have a thing about doing that with embellishments). The notebook paper for the journaling, and the ruler, reinforces the school theme while also working with the collage style of the page. Most of the other embellishments are fairly random, chosen for size, shape and color, although the buttons do work well to pair with the theme of the button card in the title.

It was while trying to find a home in one of my albums for this layout that I decided that I think I will start a whole new school album for Bridget. I came across several other layouts that were from first days of school and couldn’t believe how much they showed stair steps of change in her life. So as soon as I get an album purchased, Bridget’s school years is going to be the first album in my new system of organizing my layouts, based on Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories system. Noell Hyman, my Paperclipping Roundtable co-host, posted a new Paperclipping episode today talking about doing the same thing with her albums!


Back to School 2011 | May’s Trendwatch

What is hot for Back to School in paper crafting? The surprising answer is: a return to classic designs and motifs. From office product inspired goods to classic symbols of back to school like chalkboards and apples, the hot trend is to kick it old school! The new products and lines coming out that will work for school pages have one significant difference from past lines, however – they are more versatile, and better designed. They make me glad to have a use for them!

Today I am going to share my hot picks and trends for Back to School 2011:

Apples are popping up all over this season’s product lines. They can be seen from the Bella Blvd fall line to Jillibean Soup’s Apple Cheddar Soup line, to accenting tags, embellishments, and more. Perfect for accenting any fall, school, or even an ‘apple of my eye’ kind of page, this fruit is the hot item of the season. From layouts to cards, to teacher gifts or a decor project featuring your child’s back to school photo, whether they are red or green – apples are super trendy!

Chalkboard, one of the biggest parts of any classroom, is being recreated in sticker form by some of my favorite companies. Pictured above (left to right) are American Crafts, Fancy Pants, and Pink Paislee’s offerings. You could use products like black gesso or a matte finish mist or paint to create a blackboard-like finish on your project as well.

Looking to stamps to add detail to your school projects is another great idea. With designs inspired by rulers, lined paper, and other school icons, you can add some inked goodness to your pages. (above left: Hero Arts, above right: Tim Holtz) These kinds of stamps are a must for me – I use them for journaling and in all kinds of layouts. These school design elements are good for a variety of topics!

Stitched detail, textured elements (such as felt), classic patterns such as argyle and plaid, and so much more are popping up in school craft supplies. Watch for animals like worms and owls, and scour your stash for items you may already have that will work well. The classic red and yellow combo is definitely reigning supreme this fall for back to school, but in combinations and with other colors that give it a fresh look, not stale or overly bright.

Now that I’ve looked at some trends, here are three new scrapbook lines that are hot off the presses and available now in scrapbook stores:


Nikki Sivils has a new school collection called “School is Cool” that would work well especially for younger kids or school-themed paper crafting off the scrapbook page. I like the lined paper, the cute little worm, and use of argyle as well.

Basic Grey has a really versatile school themed line called Oxford. Playing up those classic school motifs – and adding in patterns and colors that will work for so much more beyond the school layouts – this collection is sure to be a hit. From apples to chalkboard to rich patterns, this is a great line for the new school year.


Digital Scrapbookers should be on the lookout as well – in browsing I found all kinds of wonderful school themed products, including these word overlays by Ali Edwards. There is so much available – be sure to check out your favorite sites! I really like the fonts and phrases used on the above overlays.


Fancy Pants does a great job of combining so many classic school elements in their new line “Off to School” which is now available. This collection pack contains stickers and papers, they also have some great embellishments that work with this muted color line. I will be showcasing this line in a video today on my blog if you want to see more!

Stay tuned here at Scrapbook Update as well. I have been doing my homework, and I have more back to school inspired posts coming throughout this week!

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