Monthly Archives: November 2013

Create Something One Of A Kind with Blurb

People love getting really creative, one-of-a-kind books for Christmas. Books that elicit a “where did you find this?” response. As the leading indie- and self-publishing platform, Blurb has an entire online bookstore full of unique books by an incredible array of undiscovered, self-published authors, artists, and photographers. And while these books probably aren’t in your recipient’s bookshelf, many of them should be. So, if you’re thinking of giving unique gifts this year, consider these titles. Each costs around $40 USD or less:

Cookie Cravings by Maria Lichty and Heidi Larsen
We all have cookie cravings. Popular food blogger Maria Lichter decided to put them into something deliciously original: A baking book featuring 30 recipes you won’t find anywhere else.



Dog by My Side by Adam Schnitzer
This charming collection of original, vintage photos shows us that as long as there have been cameras, we’ve wanted to photograph our canine best friends. As a special bonus, there’s a glossary of the early photographic methods used in the original images.



Around the World with a Toy Camera by Giorgio Giussani
Perfect for the photography or graffiti-art fan on your list. This book is an explosion of gritty color that explores the wonders of street art and analog photography.


Food Stories by Elena Scott
A short, wonderfully illustrated collection of recipes (and food stories) that will inspire you to pick up the knife and spatula—or just pen and paper.



Things I Love by Carol Nehls and Jessica Rose
Illustrated and written many years apart by a mother and daughter, this sweet rhyming story told by a fox is pure joy for all ages.



Patent Pending by Jordan Natyshen
Chicken goggles, air-conditioned rocking chairs, monkey jockeys for greyhounds… humankind has invented and sought to patent some amazing and crazy things. Illustrator Jordan Natyshen illustrates some of the strangest in this history of odd inventions.


Tiny Horses are Everywhere by Thea Lux
The perfect stocking-stuffer for fans of off-beat humor, this undeniably nutty book is based on a Tumblr blog and combines simple photo collages of small horses in human environments with incredibly funny captions.



Rouleaux by Anastassia Elias
What can you do with an empty roll of toilet paper? If you’re French artist Anastassia Elias, you create tiny dioramas inside of the discarded tubes. Inspired by art and movies, these pieces are beautifully crafted, fun, and unbelievably detailed.



Low Fidelity by Bobby Grossman
If you, or someone you love, listened to New York punk and new wave in the 70s, chances are your favorite artist can be found in this book. Bobby Grossman photographed Iggy Pop, David Byrne, The Ramones, Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol and many more. This book is a time capsule of—and a love letter to—a legendary time, place, and sound.

Take a second and head over to Blurb to see if you can end your search for that perfect gift this season!



2008: Medieval Times 2

This is the second spread commemorating our visit to Medieval Times (View spread 1). If you have ever been to Medieval Times you will know that every guest sits in a section which cheers on the individual knights. We wore our green shirts because we wanted to be in the Green Knight’s section. The green knight is usually the bad character in the plot – but green is our favorite color so there you go!

To celebrate our greeness this page is covered in green.  On the left hand page I placed one of the crowns that you can see us wearing in the pictures above it.  I also carefully cut several pictures that I took of the Green Knight’s shield and banners to place on this page.  It is important if you do this to use sharp pointed scissors so that you can easily cut the fine details.

We were given small banners as well, and you can see one of these placed at the bottom of the right hand page.  I used a corner cutter on all of the pictures, and I like the way it looks when the pictures are placed close together – particularly the four on the right hand page.

I think that this spread showcases an important part of my philosophy of scrapbooking – that the page should not only include photographs from the event itself, but also the ephemera – the items that you have collected at the experience.  In this case the crown and the banner.

Here are some other scrapbook pages showcasing other Dinner Theaters that we have been fortunate enough to visit:

2008: Medieval Times

2008: Medieval Times: 1

2008: Medieval Times: 1

We took opportunity to go up to Chicago for a weekend and we made a trip to Medieval Times in Schaumburg, Illinois. Medieval Times is a Dinner theater where there is jousting and other Medieval forms of entertainment.

2008: Medieval Times: 2

2008: Medieval Times: 2

I am particularly proud of this spread for several reasons.  The first is that the brick looking pattern on the background page I created by hand.  I used a marble paper and then used a ruler and a think point black marker to create the brick pattern.  The second is the wooden door which opens to reveal some pictures and the program for the event.  I used wood grain paper to cover card stock.  The hinges and door handle were created using my Cricut machine.  I carefully cut the plastic protector sheet over this page to slip the door into so that it could be opened.

2008: Medieval Times: 3

2008: Medieval Times: 3

I did a similar thing on the right hand side page with a professional photo that Medieval times took and I purchased. I simply cut a slit in the plastic protector over the page and then slipped the photo cover in so that it could be opened by the viewer.

Come back tomorrow to see another spread from inside the castle, but in the meantime here are some other scrapbook pages showcasing other Dinner Theaters that we have been fortunate enough to visit:

2008: Farms and Birthdays

2008: Farms and Birthdays

2008: Farms and Birthdays

This spread is an example of putting two different events together in a single spread. We had a day at a farm and a few days earlier we had celebrated my Grandmother’s Birthday. Even though these are two different events I created the spread so that they blend together well.

Notice that I used the same corner punch to create the borders for the pictures on both pages, and that I used the same two colors for those borders.

If you look carefully at the picture of my grandmother holding her wrapped gift you will notice that I used my Cricut for the lettering and graphics on her gift as well.  The next picture shares what we gave her – a Thomas Kinkade print!

When we were at the farm we took a hay ride and got covered in hay.  I had to pay tribute to that by putting a hay border edge along the left hand side of the spread.


2008: Mississinewa 1812

2008: Mississinewa 1812

2008: Mississinewa 1812

We discovered soon upon moving to Indiana that there was an event held every October near the Mississinewa River called Mississinewa 1812.Free Custom Photo Mousepad - An $8.99 Value!  All of our new found friends kept talking about it, so I knew that we needed to go and check it out.

Wikipedia explains the Battle of Mississenwa as “an expedition ordered by William Henry Harrison against Miami Indian villages in response to the attacks on Fort Wayne and Fort Harrison in the Indiana Territory.”

When we arrived we discovered that much of the reenacting was not a reenactment of the Battle of 1812, as much as a display of the different kind of troops from various areas and Nations that were involved in the Battle of 1812 all around the country.  This didn’t matter too much to us as the whole experience was informing, exciting, and delicious!

For this spread I selected background pages suggested by the tan in the bag on the left hand page, and patterns that I felt fit the period.  On the right hand page you can see that I created an edge border with rough burlap. (See note at bottom of page).

I placed the program for the day inside of the page which I purchased from a vendor at the event.  We also purchased a small bag of candy at the event and that candy bag made it onto the right hand page.  The “Mississinewa 1812” over that bag is a picture that I took of the entrance sign that I carefully cut down to size.

I used a corner cutter to cut the corners of all of the pictures, and I think that this added interest to the page.

Note – Saving Scraps: The burlap border edge was left over from the San Diego Zoo project.  I used the burlap to serve as a border for the photographs in that project.  I always save all scrap pieces from projects because I never know if I will be able to use them perfectly in another project.

Another Visit to Mississinewa 1812 in 2012 with our exchange student resulted in this spread – 2012: Mississinewa 1812.

2008: Holiday World

One of the hidden treasures that we discovered in the MidWest is Holiday World. While it is not a Disneyland or a Universal Studios, it is a pretty amazing theme park.Holiday World and Splashing Safari are located in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Holiday World offers free parking, free soda fountain drinks and free suntan lotion, and for what I consider to be a low price – less than $40 per person per day.

I actually won tickets to go to Holiday world a few days after we arrived in the MidWest and we met my sister and her family there.  We spent one day together and then my son and I stayed an extra day (we got 4 tickets!).  Haklf way through the second day we started to get tired so we decided that we would get a quick bite to eat and then leave the park.  While we were eating a big storm started to descend on the park and they announced that they were going to close the park for safety reasons and gave everyone free tickets to come back during the next season!  So we got four more free tickets and enjoyed a trip back there the next summer.  It is this kind of customer service that impresses me about this park.  When I share the pages from our second trip to Holiday World I will share a great story about Pat Koch, the matriarch of the family that owns Holiday World.

Anyway, enough about the story around the experience – lets look at the page.  For the background pages I tore the dotted sheet into three pieces.  I used two to create borders for the left hand page, and then used the larger piece to put in the middle of the right hand page – which ties the two pages in this spread together nicely.

I also want to point out the border at the top and the bottom.  The top border was created using decorative thread which I pushed through eyelets made with my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite Punch. I also used the punch to place eyelets in the bottom border ribbon to hold it in place as well.

What is Craftsy?

Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Craftsy Class
Before filming even begins, hours and hours are spent determining what content will be covered in each class, and how to best teach specific techniques to the camera. Instructors work with an instructional designer to create an in-depth outline of each lesson, and decide how to best prepare props or “step-outs” that show what your project should like at different steps. Instead of a scripted class, instructors follow their outlines on camera to create an authentic and engaging teaching experience.

Most Craftsy classes are filmed in one of five Craftsy studios in Denver, CO, assuring that every part of the production process goes off without a hitch. They fly in instructors from all over the world to spend several days filming, then spend several weeks turning hours of footage into a two to three hour class experience that has been watched, rewatched, and reviewed by industry experts. The final result is an HD-quality video that takes you in-depth into specific topics in any given craft category- from cooking and fine art to sewing and knitting.

What IS the Craftsy experience?
Craftsy classes are designed to have all the benefits of an in-person class, with none of the drawbacks. Available online and on-demand, you always have world-class instructors at the tip of your fingers. You can retake the class as many times as you want, and the 30-second repeat feature allows you to watch the same section over and over again until you get every technique just right.

Watching a Craftsy class is like having a first-row seat with some of the best instructors in the world. Even better, classes have a 100% money-back guarantee.

Try online learning today with a free mini-class from Craftsy! Choose from 23 Free Craftsy Classes ranging from drawing and painting to sewing and quilting, from knitting to cake decorating and more.

2008: Springhill Camps

2008: Springhill Camps

2008: Springhill Camps

Since we had just moved to the Midwest I felt like my son needed to experience a good MidWest Summer Camp.  We had a friend that used to work at SpringHill Camps and so I sent my son to camp for a week.

At first he was nervous about going, but once we were there he decided I needed to leave and he enjoyed the entire time.  He was glad to see me when I went to pick him up at the end of camp – but he fell asleep in the car before we had even left the campgrounds – they had worn him out!

The camp takes pictures of the kids which you can purchase from their website – so the pictures on this page include one taken by me, several by the camp, and a couple from the disposable camera that I sent with my son.

This spread has a very simple layout – a forest photographic background page, traditional square layouts without borders or corner cuts, and simple use of Jolee’s stickers. I chose to use red for the title page to match the red shirts that my son is wearing in every picture!  Please don’t judge him or I and think he wore the same shirt all week – they are three different shirts!  Apparently he liked red that year!

What was new for me on this page was the titling on the left hand page.  If you look carefully you will notice that the letters actually slightly overlap each other.  This is called “Kerning”.  Wikipedia defines Kerning: “In typography, kerning (less commonly mortising) is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning adjusts the space between individual letter forms, while tracking (letter-spacing) adjusts spacing uniformly over a range of characters. In a well-kerned font, the two-dimensional blank spaces between each pair of characters all have similar area.”

The Cricut Design Studio program that connects a computer to my Cricut Machine has a feature which allows you to move the letters towards each other (or farther away) in order to achieve this effect – and this was the first time that I had tried this.

2008: Cirque Du Soleil: Kooza

We had the wonderful opportunity to see Cirque Du Soleil‘s Kooza with my parents. I have been a long time fan of Cirque Du Soleil, and have seen many of their productions.  I had previously taken my son to see Corteo and La Nouba.  My parents had never been to see a Cirque Du Soleil show and we wanted to treat them to the experience.

Cirque Du Soleil does not allow photography inside the performance and therefore all of our pictures are outside of the venue.  I also cut pictures out of the program to add to the spread as well.

I chose the crazy purple colored background to match the program colors that you can see on the left hand page.  On the right hand page I used a solid purple background page, but used the same background paper to border the pictures and to create a right hand side torn border.  This helps to unify the two pages.

You will notice red, blue, white and purple pieces of paper on both pages.  These were actually part of the special effects of the show – at one point they came shooting out of the air onto the audience and we collected them for the scrapbook.

The two figures on the left hand page and the acrobats on the right hand page were cut from the program.  The figures on the left hand page I carefully cut out the silhouettes using a pair of sharp pointed scissors.

I used a corner cutter to cut the pictures and the programs to add energy to the page.  I was very careful when I did this with the program because I only had one copy and didn’t want to mess it up.

You will also notice bronze colored ephemera – left and page “Kooza”, right hand top corner – a kite, and on the right hand bottom corner a silly face.  These both came from a key chain that I bought at the show’s gift shop, and were affixed to the page with clear glue.


2008: San Diego Padres – Petco Park

2008: San Diego Padres - Petco Park

2008: San Diego PadresPetco Park

Find authentic game-used jerseys at Steiner Sports!One of the last things we did when we lived in San Diego was go to a Padres game at Petco Park. It was a themed day where kids were allowed to go into the outfield to get pictures and autographs from the players. We were fortunate enough to get this picture with Adrian Gonzalez who unfortunately now plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I designed the background paper for this spread as well.  I used a straight-line cutter to cut the brown diamond and the blue “spectator stands” and placed both of these on top of the green “field” paper.

I bordered each of the pictures in “Padres tan” which matches the uniforms and the ticket on the page.  I like to use tickets on my pages because they often have the date and time printed on them, and they serve as my journaling of the event.

If you notice in the middle bottom of the spread it looks like there is a plastic packet of dirt — well you are right.  We picked up a little dirt from the outfield to add to this scrapbook spread!

The rest of the items on the page are Jolee’s stickers and Padres scrapbook stickers that I found at a local scrapbook store.

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