Tag Archives | May Flaum

Big CHA Releases, Small Budget: What To Do?

Twice a year the scrapbook industry reveals it’s latest and greatest. CHA is not only a huge event for buyers and manufacturers, but those of us watching from home get to see all kinds of peeks into what is coming to stores in the near future. Seeing all of the sparkly new scrapbook supplies through blogs and twitter, not to mention video tours of booths from the show floor, can be overwhelming – both visually and to my budget! How is a crafter on a budget to choose without having to take a loan? Today I have some tips and tricks that I utilize, and that I hope you’ll find useful.

By taking some time to look around and see what is coming, and what is available, from various manufacturers and educating yourself on what your choices are, it becomes easier to resist impulse spending. Knowledge is power – and often by looking around you’ll find lines that complement each other, or are very similar, and products that truly are your “must have” items.

Here are my six rules for scrapbook supply shopping on a budget:

Rule #1: Be picky. Perhaps this sounds too simple – but when you find yourself in love with a particular line of products, it’s often the impulse to buy one of each. Instead, stop and pick no more than 2- 3 items from that given brand or line. Pick your absolute favorites that will be most useful rather than binging on any one brand or line.

Rule #2: Watch for the great bargains. The above sticker sheets from Tim Holtz and The Girls’ Paperie have an MSRP of $4.99 for seven sheets of stickers. Not only that – but the sticker designs showcase many of the best design elements from the lines so that you get a lot of value (not to mention a ‘sample’ of the entire lines) for a great price.

Rule #3: Beware of patterned paper. While seemingly inexpensive, sheets of patterned paper can add up quickly. Often new papers, while lovely, can be substituted out with older versions of similar designs. This especially goes for ledger, stripes, dots, gingham, and other classic designs. Choose carefully, and keep your existing stash and your personal creative habits in mind.

Rule #4: Invest in classics. Cardstock is a great example, or ink pads, or useful stamps or basic punches. When a product comes out that is clearly going to last a long time and be a timeless classic in your stash – it’s worth spending money on.

Rule #5: Keep an eye out for new designs that will blend nicely with your existing stash. Studio Calico (pictured above) has some items this release that I know already will work well with other brands and lines I want to work with. When choosing items, I try to be aware of what I already have, and what will complement (vs repeat) what I already have on-hand.

Rule #6: Beware of repeats! There were several lines at this CHA that reminded me a lot of lines from a few years ago. Before you invest in new stuff, check out your own stash to make sure you’re not causing history to repeat itself.

By putting thought into your purchases, and carefully selecting the few items that you love the most, you can infuse the latest and greatest into your craft projects while using up what you already have in your existing stash of supplies.

[Disclaimer: May Flaum has done design work for both Tim Holtz and The Girls’ Paperie.]


May’s Solution for Ho-Hum Holiday Scrapping

I love scrapbooking special events. It was summer vacations that I first started scrapbooking as a kid, and holidays, vacations, and big events (weddings, babies) tend to be the introduction of most people I know into this fabulous hobby. That said, one of the more common things I hear about holiday scrapbooking is that it’s dull, or that people aren’t sure how to keep it fresh or interesting.

First and foremost, I think letting go of expectation, and anticipating having a good time with your photos and memories is key. Embrace each year as unique, and let yourself do what you’d like – whether that’s just one layout recapping it all, or many layouts detailing your holiday season (or something in between). There are no scrapbook police who will fine you if you don’t have enough meaningful details, a minimum amount of pages, or a certain number of photos scrapbooked.

Second, it’s important to realize that every year is more different than you realize. In my family, we skipped a lot of our usual traditions (hosting parties, baking, etc) in favor of a trip to Disney World earlier this month. This means I will have a lot fewer traditional holiday pages- and that’s ok too! Your holiday season might not be drastically different from last year, but each year is unique and different with it’s own memories to capture.

Having trouble with journaling or figuring out what to scrapbook about this holiday season? I have some suggestions:

  • Compare/contrast this year to a previous year.
  • Ask family members what their favorite (gift, food, event, detail, tradition) is this year.
  • Journaling can be light! Not really feeling up to entire stories? That’s OK! Make things more photo or embellishment focused.
  • Focus in on older traditions. Document them and what they mean to you (from doing puzzles to cooking specific foods to activities or places you visit).
  • Take a news story approach. Detach a bit, and tell all about your special event or family gathering.
  • Record a story that always gets brought up or thought of this time of year.
  • Put a bit of extra effort into embellishing! Like your home decor, perhaps this is a time of year to step up the fun!
  • Focus on a few small details: the decor, the food, a specific game you play, or anything else very particular to December.
  • Focus less on the actual holiday or big gathering, and more on smaller events and special details surrounding the season!

If you feel like every year you do the same thing, that there just isn’t anything new to scrap and you’ve told every possible story then I have three suggestions. First – look at the differences. Who isn’t here? What did or didn’t you do? Second- start something new! If you truly do the exact same thing with the same people every year, aren’t you bored? Mix it up! Then document the new, and share if you think it’ll become tradition! Finally, consider saving photos but not scrapbooking one year. This might seem odd coming from me – but if you’re just really not wanting to document one year, then just let it go!!

I have not missed scrapbooking a Christmas in the last decade, but my number of pages widely vary from just one, to many. One thing that never changes is my deep love for all things Christmas, especially scrapbook supplies! I especially love supplies that can be used beyond the holidays (just in case I over-purchase!) Today I have a new layout to share with you using all kinds of fun stuff:

With the decorations in full swing, I know that our “in place of gifts and many regular traditions” pre-Christmas Disney World trip is going to use up some lovely red & green supplies. I had such a blast pulling this together – and making the opening page to my vacation album all at the same time!


The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig patterned paper
The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig letter stickers
Elle’s Studio ( journaling papers
American Crafts Dear Lizzy Christmas Collection Felt Pieces
Studio Calico Elementary Collection Notions – Vintage Pattern Flowers
Tim Holtz flourish stamp
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Forest Moss
CatsLife Press date stamp
Making Memories Noel Collection Trims
Making Memories Paper Reverie Trims in Sienne
Core’dinations cardstock
unknown pom and lace trims, rhinestone, sequin

Before you write off the holiday season as a time to not scrapbook, or as something that’s “been done”, I hope you’ll reconsider. Looking back on scrapbooks of years past to see classic family gatherings (and not-so-traditional ones), and reminiscing, is a favorite Christmas tradition of mine – and one that wouldn’t be possible if not for my creative time and love for the season.

If you have a favorite holiday detail you like to scrapbook, or a tip for staying inspired, please feel free to share it with us all in the comments!


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May’s Trend Watch: Steampunk

Take a time (usually 1900’s) when steam was the power source for so much (trains, etc), add a lot of scientific funky inventions, and a whole lot of fiction – and you’ve got “steampunk”. It’s not a new genre, but it is one that continues to gain steam in first books, and now crafting as well. It’s a trend I’ve noticed more and more as I cruise the isles of my local bookstore. Recently with vintage inspired crafting products being on the rise, I’ve also noticed steampunk showing up in crafting stores as well. From jewelry to mixed media arts and everything in between – this funky vintage sub-genre isn’t limited to works of fiction anymore! It’s officially crossed over into crafting.

Doing a search on for steampunk crafting books turned up some interesting options:

Steampunk Style Jewelry, by Jean Campbell:

Steampunkery: Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Projects, by Christi Friesen:

What I find really interesting, is that a number of books are available only for pre-order, meaning they haven’t been published yet. In other words, I think that this steampunk stuff is going to keep growing in crafting as a trend for awhile, thanks to titles like these –
1,000 Steampunk Creations: Neo-Victorian Fashion, Gear, and Art (1000 Series):

Steampunk Softies: 8 Scientifically-Minded Dolls from a Past That Never Was, by Nicola Teadman and Sarah Skeate:

While the books coming out are very cool, they are all over the craft spectrum. What about paper crafting?

I have found there are a number of products available that can lend themselves to a steampunk look, as well as a whole collection devoted to the genre. I’m talking about Graphic 45, who is leading this trend’s charge into paper crafting with their Steampunk Debutante line. I love the funky designs and the choice of color palette in this line, and I can’t stop playing with all the bits and pieces!

While this line has a feminine feel to it, the steampunk look can be equally masculine. Traditionally, the genre seems to lean towards the Victorian style and era. However, there really aren’t rules here. You could go for a high-tech wild west cowboy look (see Will Smith’s Wild Wild West movie for inspiration), focus heavily on trains and the mechanical aspects, or do your own thing entirely.

What elements in craft supplies work for a steampunk-inspired look? Mixing a vintage look with clocks, time pieces, gears, steam engine/train inspired pieces, cogs, wings, and other aged metals and funky stuff works great. Add some grunge with paints and inks, distress with sand paper, and have a ball. Once I started looking into this trend I realized that a lot of the products Tim Holtz designs would work incredibly well.

Above: Gadget Gears die cuts by Tim Holtz Alterations from Sizzix and sprocket gears from Tim Holtz Idea-ology.

Below: Timeworks masks and game spinners from Tim Holtz Idea-ology.

7 Gypsies has a line of Steampunk rub-ons, each filled with small images that could be used any number of ways.

There are many other products out there that could work great too. Just look for the elements and general feel that you’re aiming for.

What kind of projects could you apply this style to? I think just about anything! I could see some really great masculine pages taking advantage of the gears and such, but it works just as well for themes like travel, memories/time, girls, or anything else you’re scrapping about! I chose to use the gears as inspiration to do a page about my mysterious three year old (aren’t they all a mystery at this age?!).

My layout shown above features both Graphic 45 papers and Tim Holtz elements. I had so much fun with this! I used the sprockets with flowers and other embellishments, and often in place of where I’d normally lean towards buttons or flowers. This is such an easy style to try. I love it!

Supply List:
Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante Paper Pad
Tim Holtz Idea-ology sprocket gears, game spinnersbrads, Locket Key, and metal charm
Girls’ Paperie letter stickers from Toil & Trouble and Tinsel & Twig sticker sets
Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous flourish stamp
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Brushed Corduroy
Tim Holtz Distress Stickles in Antique Bronze
Making Memories Paper Reverie rose brad and letter stickers
Prima white flower
Tim Holtz Tissue Tape (Traveler)
Tattered Angels Chalkboard Glimmer Mist in Peacock

Why not add a bit of steampunk to your next project? The Graphic 45 line of papers is so lovely – I could see it working well for a number of subjects and also for cards, tags, and altered or mixed media projects too. Some of the designs are simply too pretty to cover up!

Or just try your hand at mixing more metal and punk into your vintage papers and see what turns out. I love the possibilities this trend has for all kinds of paper crafting – especially since it’s more masculine and boy friendly than many trends we see.

Now I’m off to watch the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or perhaps read a good novel, and get some fresh ideas for my {steampunk} crafting!


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May’s Product Picks: Vintage Halloween

[Editor’s Note: Increased focus on Halloween as a holiday has led to an explosion in the offerings of Halloween-themed scrapbook supplies the past few years. This year, it seemed there were as many Halloween lines on display at CHA Summer 2010 as there might have been Christmas lines five years ago. Halloween is hot – even if you don’t live in Florida like I do! In this piece, May brings together two huge trends – vintage and Halloween – to show off red hot (or is that smouldering orange) seasonal picks!]

One of my favorite aspects of scrapbooking holidays is that vintage inspired products are easy to put to use with my photos easily. Thanks to twists on tradition, color combinations that work for a variety of photos, classic designs, and new ideas the scrapbook market is filled this year with vintage inspired bliss. I can’t wait for Halloween to be over just so I can have more photos and reasons to scrapbook!

Today I have five picks to share with you:

Graphic 45’s “Halloween in Wonderland”  [] is probably the Halloween collection I’ve heard the most buzz about. The designs are so much fun – it literally is “Halloween in Wonderland!” My personal favorites, though, are the more neutral (black and cream) pieces that could easily lend themselves to many of my non-holiday scrapbook needs.

Anna Griffin’s “Esmerelda” collection [] is a dream come true. I usually find her product to be stunning – but my photos never seem quite formal or fancy enough to work well with the product. In this case, I feel like the intricate designs are perfect for any eerie, pumpkin filled, or spooky Halloween photos I might take.

Jenni Bowlin’s chipboard buttons [] are a wonderful addition to any stash! I love the jack-o-lanterns and children pieces mixed in with the labels.

Echo Park Paper’s digital Apothecary collection [at] combines a classic spooky Halloween look with patterns and designs that could be useful beyond the 31st of October. I love the damask and polka dot pieces especially.

Finally, I may be on the Girls’ Paperie design team, but even if I weren’t I still love their new line Toil & Trouble. It is vintage inspired Halloween product at it’s finest. It doesn’t matter how many projects I make with it – I still adore it! The Crepe Paper embellishments and the stickers (a great value!) are among my favorites – but you can’t go wrong with any of it.

Supplies used on layout:
Girls’ Paperie Ghost Story Paper
Girls’ Paperie  sticker market
Girls’ Paperie crepe paper flower market
Girls’ Paperie stamps
Girls’ Paperie  metal glitter charms
Girls’ Paperie flower market
Tim Holtz  distress stickles in spiced marmalade
Ranger enamel accents
Ranger UTEE in Platinum
Other: buttons, pen, white cardstock

I could go on all day – My Mind’s Eye’s [], Tim Holtz [Two Peas], and Pink Paislee [] all have  fantastic offerings as well just to name a few more. There is so much great product to choose from – whether you want elegant or grungy, spooky or whimsical, or something in between you’re sure to find the perfect product for you.

Do you have a favorite supply for Halloween scrapbooking? Feel free to comment here and share with us…

Check out the latest e-book from Ella Publishing by Angie Lucas & Kelly Jeppson:

Journaling that Matters: Simple strategies for finding the right words (by Angie Lucas and Kelly Jeppson)


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Paperclipping Roundtable #39: Halloween Scrapbooking Ideas

Something spooky is taking over the Roundtable, as Amy Coon joined Noell and Izzy and I to talk about Halloween projects.


To listen to this week’s episode, you can use the player embedded above, right-click on this link to download the file to your computer, visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

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The Panel


Building Pages from Click Here for the course information, and make sure you use coupon code building4prt at checkout.

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.)

Picks of the Week

Show Notes:

Scrapbook Update Contributing Writer May Flaum very kindly volunteered to share a photo of the house that she made using a birdhouse and textured grunge board that Amy talked about on the show this week:

To see her full article on the project, including technique close-ups, visit the Spooky Halloween House article on her blog.

And here’s some samples of the iPhone HDR photos that I took, both with the built-in HDR capability in the new iPhone camera software and the PRO HDR app that I talked about.

The top two are from the Pro HDR app, and the bottom one was from the built-in feature. All are incredibly crisp given they came from a camera phone. While the foregrounds are a bit dark, that can be fixed in only a few seconds in Lightroom with some fill light:

Voila! It’s a much improved shot, but because of the HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, the sky isn’t blown out. Not bad for a camera phone!

Now Shipping from – Scrapbook Page Maps 2: More Sketches for Creative Layouts and Cards


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Review: Tattered Angels Chalkboard Mists

I admit the tie-in is loose at best, but I thought it would be fun to turn in my Chalkboard Glimmer Mist “report” during the school themed week. A favorite from the Winter CHA show, this product is finally becoming widely available, and I find myself wanting every single color. I was lucky enough to have three test/sample bottles sent to me before they were available, and now that I’ve been able to buy more colors I am even more addicted.

Currently I own eight of the twelve colors. The twelve colors are ApricotBanana Pudding, Chalk, Charcoal, ConcordCornflowerCotton Candy, Evergreen, Hot Chocolate, Mint Chocolate ChipPeacock, and Strawberry Shortcake. What really appeals to me about these is that they manage to show a bit of sparkle without being over the top. Even if you do a lot of boy pages, these would be easy to get away with. I also appreciate that they’ve been very useful all around in my craft room.

Supply List:

Tattered Angels Chalkboard Mist in Mint Chocolate Chip | Two Peas
Tattered Angels Chalkboard Mist in Evergreen | Two Peas
Tattered Angels Chalkboard Mist in Hot Chocolate | Two Peas
Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam in Chandelier | Two Peas
Pink Paislee patterned paper, glittered stickers, metal accent: “Old School” collection {coming soon}
Jenni Bowlin brad
Jenni Bowlin butterfly | Two Peas
Prima flower
American Crafts Alphabet
Fiskars border punch
Ranger Ink Studio by Claudine Hellmuth Multi-Medium | Two Peas
Sakura journaling pen
Bazzill Kraft cardstock | Two Peas

Above is an image of a black sheet of cardstock sprayed with the peacock mist. You can’t see the blue tone, but all that lovely sparkle does show up. So even on dark paper it still adds something! I have used Chalkboard Mist on Pink Paislee Artisan Elements (shown here), chipboard, and paper, as well as on stickers and anything else I need a color wash type product for. I loved using them on chipboard in combination with the Chip Art tool (review here), and every time I pull these out I have a great time.

I will be the first to admit that on plain white cardstock they are not all that different from their Glimmer Mist siblings. That said, most of the time I’m not trying to work on white cardstock. In my creative play, I’ve found that it tends to take more Glimmer Mist than Chalkboard Mist (due to their difference in opacity) to get a good strong color on most surfaces.

So how do I use them?

There are three ways I tend to use them. The first is to open the bottle up and use a paint brush to apply the product. This appeals to me greatly as I don’t like to get mist all over my stuff, and I get a more precise application. I love that the Chalkboard colors tend to show up better on colored papers than their Glimmer Mist counterparts. I like that they have a subtle sparkle and shine while being matte.

The second thing I do is to combine a few drops of the mist with Multi-Medium, liquid adhesive, or white acrylic paint to create a sparkly color with more body and more presence. In other words, the result is to make it more like paint than a mist or wash. This is a great way to multi-task with your stash too. There is no need to have every color of paint – you can use mists! (This works great with Glimmer Mists too.)

The third option I use is to mist directly from bottle. Above you can see a piece of paper both misted and splattered with some of my Chalkboard Mist plus Multi-Medium mixture from the previous photo. I tend to avoid misting because it has the most waste, it makes a mess, and it needs a more controlled environment.

I have the following advice if you’re going to mist straight from the bottle, as it’s the messiest way to use the product:

  • Check the pump first! Sometimes they get jammed up and need some TLC.
  • Have a dedicated ‘spray’ spot. I use a gutted USPS priority cardboard box
  • Don’t mist too much! Do one, maybe two squirts at a time, allow it to dry, and then spray again. Repeat as needed. This will keep your paper from curling up due to over-saturation.
  • The Tattered Angels website is a must-see, especially their projects, ideas, and FAQ.

In this image I am applying the Mint Chocolate Chip color (mixed with Multi-Medium) with a paint brush to fill in a thin area. I have been lucky enough to work with this product for awhile now, and I can tell you it’s wonderful. I love it! I really like that it’s something I reach for and use – far more than the traditional glimmer mists too. I wish there were more colors, I can only hope for some soon!

If I had to pick three colors to recommend, what would they be? That’s a hard one! I would tell you that they all seem lovely to me, but I tend to use the darker/brighter colors more often. I would not recommend picking your favorite colors based on what you like, but rather what colors would be most useful in your scrapbooking (which isn’t always the same thing). So, that said, if I were shopping for one of my scrapbook friends and buying them three colors, I’d pick:

I might be tempted to change my vote to the Charcoal (chalkboard-like color) or the Chalk, but as I’ve not tried those colors I can’t say for sure. If you like a subtle sparkle, a semi-opaque color wash, or spritzing color… you’ve got to check these out. They’ve got two big thumbs up from me.

One thing I can promise is that you’ll continue to see these featured in my work often. I’m a big fan!

Now Available on the Teresa Collins Stampmaker!


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