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Author Archive | Nancy Nally

Craftsy Bought By NBCUniversal

Online craft education and retail portal Craftsy notified its staff and customers on Wednesday that the company has been bought by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast.

craftsy logo

Denver, Colorado-based Craftsy, which grew out of a start-up called Sympoz Inc., was founded by former executives of eBay and ServiceMagic.com and went live in 2011. By the end of 2014, the company had received four rounds of venture capital funding totaling nearly $100 million. No terms have been announced for the company’s acquisition.

Although it has never been profitable, Craftsy has boasted of having over eleven million users (and a million visitors per week) in recent press statements. The site’s online classes in creative arts include such topics as papercrafting, photography, quilting, sewing, knitting, cake decorating, drawing, painting, cooking, and crochet, among others. Craftsy also sells craft supplies and patterns via their online platform.

In a letter to the site’s users and staff, founder & CEO John Levisay indicated that he will be remaining with the company for the next four years. Levisay also indicated that the company’s offices in Denver and Indianapolis will both continue to operate. NBCUniversal also has an office in Denver. Levisay also revealed that Craftsy had been approached by multiple prospective buyers previously whose overtures were rebuffed, but that he felt that NBCUniversal was a good fit for the company.

For those looking to join the newly acquired company, Craftsy posted a job opening two days ago for their Denver office for a Community Manager position.

The streaming craft educational content market has has seen a few interesting alignments in recent months. In early March, Craftsy announced a new partnership with Michaels Stores that would provide exclusive offers to Michaels customers for the site’s classes and provide the site’s customers access to Michaels’ product offerings. This was followed in April by the announcement that Creativebug had been purchased by Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. It seems that the major players in the space – and the major players interested in the space – are picking sides and placing their bets.

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Project | Travel Album: Auf Wiedersehen

Sometimes, for workflow reasons, I like to do things in an album project out of order. That’s the case with the Frankfurt trip album that I’ve been plugging away on for quite awhile. I recently completed what will be the final page of the album, even though I still have a massive section of it to do that deals with the day that I spent in Heidelberg.

[Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links or advertiser courtesy links.]

So why would I choose to do it this way? When I ordered my photos, I actually planned to do it this way. I took a massive number of photos on this trip, so I decided to edit and order them in two batches. The first batch was all of the ones that I took while flying and in Frankfurt itself. This included my photos from the last day at the airport. Then the second batch will be the Heidelberg photos. My reasoning for breaking it down this way was that I planned to scrapbook these two groups of photos with fairly different styles, so it made sense to order and scrap them in batches, even if they weren’t entirely chronological.

travel album back page

Supplies:

This page is pretty simple. All of the cards are from the Project Life “Wander” Core kit, although I embellished a few of them. The today journaling card had a stamp from the Kelly’s Food Coma set added to it that said “#delicious” to make it more food themed. Then I used the Kelly’s Outline alphabet set to stamp “Auf Wiedersehen”  – German for goodbye – on the title card. Hey, that high school German comes in handy sometimes (the three words I remember, anyway).

Besides the stamping, the only other real embellishment was a few phrase stickers from a Tim Holtz sticker set. I used the stickers to create a bit of mini journaling on two of the photos.

travel album back page title

The biggest design feature on this page was actually a functional feature. I used my Fuse tool and added an extra pocket as a flap on the bottom left of the page. On the front, my boarding pass from my flight is visible. But if you flip if up, there is a white card with typed journaling telling the story of my trip home while I battled an unwanted souvenir – the flu.

travel album hidden journaling

In addition to hiding the journaling, the add-on pocket also hid the photo that I had put on the bottom left. While I enjoyed the novelty of my German chicken nugget box and wanted to record it, it really didn’t match the rest of the layout. So obscuring it behind the pocket for the boarding pass was a good way to include it without it looking too out of place.

Now that the Frankfurt section of my album is done, it’s time to move on to the Heidelberg section…I guess I better make that photo order!

Check out the rest of the album so far:

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Telling A Story With A Must-Scrap Picture

Every so often one of these pictures comes along that you know you just must scrapbook. For me, this relatively ordinary looking image of my daughter is one of those pictures. There’s a story behind this snapshot!

[Disclosure: Graphic 45 provided some of the product that was used in this layout, and my company is the social media manager for 28 Lilac Lane’s manufacturer. Some links in this article are affiliate links that provide a commission to this site when a purchase is made after a click.]

Our daughter has always had really long hair. But recently, it had become very dry due to her medical treatments. Her hair being so dry led to really nasty tangles that were virtually impossible to get out, especially since one of her autistic sensitivities is having her hair brushed. Many battles were fought and tears shed. We finally decided that long hair was not worth the trouble and reluctantly took her for a haircut.

We weren’t prepared for the result…our little girl grew up right before our eyes in just a few minutes! She adores what she calls her “Taylor Swift hair” and there’s no more tears when it comes time to do her hair!

A couple of days later, I had her model a t-shirt for me that I’d made for a website project. My normally awkward and shy in front of the camera child flashed a rock star smile and posed like a pro. Where did this grown-up kid come from?

I’ve been dying for a reason to use this Portrait of a Lady collection that Graphic 45 sent to me, and this seemed the perfect reason! It’s even covered in roses, and Rose is my daughter’s middle name. The pink on the t-shirt was a bit bright for this collection, but since this image isn’t about the t-shirt, I just printed the photo in black & white. Problem solved!

Hello Beautiful scrapbook layout

Supplies:

Patterns like the large roses are gorgeous but can be visually overwhelming. I prefer to use them in small doses, like this vertical strip that takes up 1/3 of my layout. The roses are carried over to the right side of the layout in the borders of the two cards that I used on that side, to create balance.

The secret to layering visually busy papers is to create the pattern version of contrast. Layer a pattern with a light base over a pattern with a dark base (such as the pink text paper in the photo mat being layered over the rose pattern). Or layer a more open pattern over a more dense pattern (such as the green text paper that is over the tan background pattern). And of course you can layer different sizes of patterns to create visual contrast, as well.

Hello Beautiful scrapbook layout

To enhance the visual divide between busy patterned papers, I like to ink my paper edges. Sometimes I just barely run an ink pad along the white edge of the paper to darken it. Other times, such as on the photo mat on this layout, I shade more in from the edges to create more of an edge.

What’s your favorite trick for working with busy patterned papers?

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Easy Happy Father’s Day Shaker Card with Cricut Explore Air 2

One of my favorite things about the new generation of Cricut machines is the way that Cricut Design Space makes it easy to visualize what I am cutting on my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, and to place your cut shape precisely where you want it in relation to other elements. Without that ability, this Father’s Day Shaker Card would not be possible. With it, the card can be created and cut perfectly in a matter of minutes!

Cricut Father's Day Card

Supplies:

This card is created from several colors of Cricut cardstock, along with two other specialty items from the Cricut supply closet. One (which I am totally in love with) is the black 0.8 gel glitter pen from the black Multi Pen Set. And because that just wasn’t enough glitter, I also decided to use the gold sheet from the Classic Sampler of Cricut Glitter Cardstock!

Cricut Father's Day Card supplies

I designed this card from scratch in Cricut Design Space, and it’s surprisingly easy! It’s simply a series of basic shape and text elements layered together and with their properties set to make them behave a certain way to create the design I want. Below on the right side, you can see all of the layers of the design.

Since I wanted to make a 6×6 card with a 1/4″ border showing all of the way around this blue center part, I started by setting my canvas to be a 5.5″ square. I colored it cream – that is what you see peeking through the large star.

Cricut Design Space screenshot

To create my background “paper” I first drew a square exactly on top of my canvas, and colored it blue. Then I added my 3 stars to the top of the card front’s design, making two varying smaller sizes and one larger. (We’ll get to that really big blue star in a minute.) I colored the smaller ones a bright yellow to signify the gold glitter paper.

Once I had the three stars in place how I wanted them on the card front, I turned off the visibility of the smaller ones. Then I drew a box with my mouse around the blue paper and the large star on the card and hit the “slice” button. This cut the star out of the blue background, and I moved the blue star that it created off of the card front and to the side. Once there, I enlarged it quite a bit to serve aa a backer for my shaker box.

Finally, I added my text elements. For the “one of a kind” I made sure to choose a “writing” style font and set my text to writing. I chose a nice clean sans serif Cricut font in a deep red color to cut the text for DAD. Then I turned off the visibility of the “DAD” letters, drew another box around the blue background, the star cut out, and the “one of a kind” writing, and clicked “attach”.

I made the yellow stars and “DAD” text visible again, and the card design was done. I hit my “Go” button and started feeding my different papers into my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine. I almost forgot to insert my pen in the machine before cutting the blue piece, but fortunately Cricut Design Space is smarter than I am and reminded me!

After my pieces were cut, I just assembled them into a shaker box. A piece of scrap page protector went on the back behind the star opening to serve as the front of my shaker card. Then I began cutting pieces of foam adhesive tape to place two layers around the edges of the star shape on the back of the card (with the page protector scrap between the cardstock and the foam tape). After building my foam tape “walls” for my shaker box, I filled it with the metal colored sequin mix, peeled the backer tape from the foam tape, and pressed the large blue star down on top of it to seal the sequins in.

Cricut Father's Day Shaker Card-1371

Once the shaker was done, it was easy to adhere the rest of the elements (DAD text, glitter stars, and a few star sequins) to the front of the card. Then with a little more foam tape put along the edges of the back of the blue cardstock, I adhered it to a brown card base. (I made the 6×6 card base by folding a 6×12 piece of cardstock in half).

Cricut Explore Air 2 Father's Day card

This fun and easy Father’s Day shaker card will delight Dads and Granddads (and the kids too)! This same technique can be easily adapted to working with other shapes to make shaker cards for a variety of occasions and I can’t wait to see how many other variations I can make. I also look forward to trying this technique to write titles and make “peek a boo” windows in elements for my 12×12 layouts.

Don’t underestimate the basic shape tools in Cricut Design Space. They may be “basic”, but with some imagination, their possibilities with your Cricut machine are limitless!

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

Quick Card | Stamped Watercolor Butterfly Hello Card

Sometimes when I’m working on a project, another one will happen by happy accident as I’m playing and experimenting with materials. This stamped watercolor butterfly card is one of those happy accidents, a bonus project that grew out of work I did while creating another butterfly card that I made for Buttons Galore awhile back.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay a commission at no extra cost to our readers when a purchase is made after a click.]

Watercolor Butterfly Card

Supplies:

  •  card blank
  • Bazzill “Walnut Cream” Smooth Cardstock [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Amy Tangerine “A Sweet Life” 6×6 paper pad
  • Hero Arts “Newsprint Butterfly” stamp [Amazon]
  • Hero Arts “Layering Butterflies” stamp set [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Abandoned Coral” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Worn Lipstick” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Faded Jeans” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Foam Adhesive [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • water spray bottle

This card has a super simple background – it’s just three strips of patterned paper, with the sentiment stamped on one of them.

The centerpiece of the card is the butterfly, which the card was actually designed around. I created the butterfly while playing with my stamps and inks to see what effects I could get while creating the other card . When I created this particular butterfly, I first dabbed the stamp with a combination of Abandoned Coral and Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Then I spritzed it with water before stamping it. The effect was a blotchy liquid look that eliminated the newsprint design filling the butterfly but I thought was still really cool. So I decided to cut out the image and ink the edges and create a card base for it.

Sometimes happy accidents are the happiest way to create! This fun little butterfly will be flitting someone’s way to say “hi” soon!

Stamp a watercolor butterfly card in 15 minutes | from www.scrapbookupdate.com

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FTC Warns Influencers About Not Disclosing Endorsements

Instagram Money

The FTC has told Instagram influencers to “show me (and your followers) the money” in a series of enforcement actions announced on April 19th regarding violations of its endorsement rules.

After what it described as a review of “numerous Instagram posts by celebrities, athletes, and other influencers”, the FTC says it has sent over 90 letters to influencers on Instagram. The letters contained a  warning that the FTC found the influencers’ posts in violation of the FTC rules regarding endorsements, and offered assistance in learning about how to correct their postings.

The enforcement action was spurred in part by consumer advocacy done to the FTC by groups including non-profit watchdog Public Citizen. The groups have been pressuring the FTC for months about a lack of transparency in influencer marketing on Instagram.

In addition to being a warning that the agency is paying attention to enforcement of the endorsement guidelines, the announcement also offered a glimpse into the agency’s interpretation of the guidelines as they apply to influencers. Some of the warnings sent to the Instagram influencers applied to posts where the relationship was disclosed, but late in a long text so it occurred after the “more” split in the text. The FTC warned the influencers that to be in compliance with the endorsement guidelines, disclosures must occur above the “more” split to ensure they are seen. In addition, the FTC warned against inserting disclosures into a long string of hashtags where they may be overlooked.

To comply with FTC product endorsement guidelines, all social media and blog references to a product must also disclose an author’s material connection to the product if there is one. The disclosure must be conspicuous, unavoidable, and occur before the mention of the product to be in compliance. Links to disclosures on another page are insufficient. For more information, the FTC offers an FAQ with more information on the endorsement guidelines.

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