Scrapbook Ideas

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Category Archives: Product Review

Scrapbook Journaling with Paper Mate InkJoy Pens {Review}

July 2012 UPDATE: As much as I enjoy these pens, I need to come back and let you know that two of them have already “exploded” :(. I don’t know the technical term for this, but ink started pouring out of the inside of the pen and was getting all over the place, so I had to throw two of them away already. I have also started noticing some “clumpy” ink coming out as I write. I really dislike having to come back with a negative report, but I needed to let you know!

I have a new scrapbooking tool to share with you today – Paper Mate InkJoy pens :)! I was contacted by Paper Mate with an offer for free product in return for a review of these cool new pens (everything in this review is my own opinion, not influenced by Paper Mate). Knowing that I would want to use the pens for scrapbooking, my first question to Paper Mate was “Are these pens photo-safe”? I was happy to learn that the pens are acid-free and archival – music to a scrapbooker’s ears :). As soon as my new pens arrived, I had to test them out! I tried writing, and of course doodling too – they work great! Like my little picture? LOL, I’m a nerd, I know! I am totally the type who gets excited like a kid in a candy shop when I’m in an office supply store or craft store. I also used them to make a little doodled quote for the Hawaii Trip scrapbook I’m working on (yes, that trip was in 2010… I am way behind on my scrapbooking, OK?). Here’s the layout with the doodled title:

Here’s a close-up – I love all the bright colors these pens come in!!

Here are some of the claims Paper Mate makes about the InkJoy pens (as seen on the Amazon website):

  • Features Paper Mate’s revolutionary new writing system, giving you the best in effortless writing
  • It starts quickly without dragging, requires minimal pressure from your hand, and delivers crisp, clean lines every time
  • Extended rubberized grip for optimal comfort
  • Metal clip provides long lasting durability
  • Set of 8 Colored Ink Pens includes 1 each of Black Ink, Blue Ink, Red Ink, Purple Ink, Green Ink, Turquoise Ink, Orange Ink and Magenta Ink

I totally agree with the above! The pens are super easy to use. They write very smoothly, much smoother than the average ballpoint pen. You know when you go to write something with a pen, and the ink refuses to come out, so you have to find a scrap piece of paper to scribble like crazy on until the pen starts working again? This hasn’t happened at all with the InkJoy pens! They instantly start writing when the pen hits the paper. They only require a very light touch – even brushing the paper they will draw, so you will ot be experiencing any writer’s cramp with these, especially with the comfy grip! If you’re looking for a new set of colorful pens for doodling and journaling, I think you’ll like these new InkJoy pens, by Paper Mate :)!

Beach Trip Photo Book {AdoramaPix Review}

My New Favorite Photo Book Company!

I was so excited when a new photo book arrived at my door step recently, and even more thrilled when I opened the package to see such a gorgeous, professional-quality book! AdoramaPix had contacted me a while back to offer me a free photo book in exchange for writing a review (I assure you that the following review is my opinion only, and is not influenced by the opinions of AdoramaPix). As my faithful readers know, I have become quite the photo book addict in recent years. Time with my little kids has top priority, so my scrapbooking time is very limited. This is why I always take advantage of every photo book offer I come across :)!

We LOVE Our New Photo Book!

I may not have celebrity clients to present my photo books to, like pro photographer David Bergman, but the look on my sweet girl’s face as she looks through my books is enough for me :).  As you can see by the photos of my cutie pie below, I am still way behind on my scrapbooking – this book was not about this year’s spring break, or the year before, but for 2010 – the kids have grown up so much since then! Luckily, the book was fast and easy to put together, so it was ready in no time :)!

Vivid Colors, Archival Photo Prints 

I looove the print quality of the AdoramaPix photo books! The pages are actually printed on true archival photo paper – they are much thicker and higher quality than the pages of other photo books I have tried; like Shutterfly, MixBook and Snapfish. Even though this book is more expensive, you really get your money’s worth. Check out how well-made this book is! According to the site, the books are hand crafted and each one is inspected by their experts – I believe it!

Versatile, Easy to Use Software

AdoramaPix has plenty of options for pre-made templates, or you can design your own using the design software right on their site. I did a little of both – my 50 page book is a mix of their templates, my own layouts, and their layouts which I’ve tweaked to suit my needs :). I used several digital scrapbooking kits by Shabby Princess to create this book including Island Chic, Miami Beach, and Splash. You can upload digital scrapbook paper to the site right along with your photos,  to use for backgrounds on your layouts. If you want to add digital scrapbooking elements, like the flowers I added to the front cover, you will need to create the page using your own software before uploading.

Lay-Flat Binding, Perfect for Panoramic Layouts

Because of the way the books are bound, the pages lay completely flat, for a beautiful seamless look. I really regret not taking more advantage of the option to span photos across both pages in my book, because they look amazing in the lay-flat layouts. I have experimented with spanning images across two pages in other photo books, but have always had to be careful about the portion of the photo that gets cut off in the “gutter” between the two pages. You don’t have to worry about that at all in the AdoramaPix books, so you can really make an impact by including lots of panoramic shots.

Professional Quality Photo Book at an Affordable Price

I thought you might like to get a close-up look at the binding and pages of this photo book – they’re much more sturdy and polished looking than any of the other books I made. If you look back at the first photo in this post, you can see how the thick photo paper is bound separately from the hard back cover. The first and last pages are attached to the cover, with no blank pages in between. There is also no logo or bar code printed on your book, unlike most other photo books I’ve used. You really get the special features of a professional book, at a very reasonable price for the quality.

Besides my wedding photo album, which was professionally designed and cost a small fortune, this is definitely the best photo book I now own! I would feel totally confident using AdoramaPix for scrapbooking even the most special occasions :). Thanks AdoramaPix!!

My Photo Book Ideas PLUS Free Greeting Cards

Hi Friends! I’m so excited to get caught up with you after taking a little break ;). Things seem to be calming down a bit around my house and I am finding more and more time for crafty projects these days – yippee!!

I’ve made some great Shutterfly photo books I’d love to share with you – just click on the image of the book to be taken to my Shutterfly share site if you want to peek inside :).

This Creating Keepsakes pre-made scrapbook called The ABCs of You turned out to be a super fun birthday gift for Gabe – and it was easy to put together too! TIP: There are several extra layouts available to add to this book, in case you want more than one page for some letters.

Here is the HUGE 12×12 Memory book I put together with all my favorite photos from 2009. I was short on time (during the holidays, with a new baby) so I just used Shutterfly’s classic everyday layout style which really put the focus on my photos. TIP: To give my photo book a beautiful, yet simple cover, I uploaded a digital scrapbook paper by Shabby Princess to my Shutterfly album to use as my custom photo cover!

This is one of my favorite photo books – I made digital scrapbook pages using Photoshop and a beach-themed kit by Shabby Miss Jenn, then I uploaded them to make a Shutterfly Digital Scrapbook!

I also made three photo books about our trip to England last fall to send as gifts. The great thing about making photo books through Shutterfly is that once you make a book, it is saved in your account so you can easily order duplicates or even save a book as a new project and make changes to customize the book for a specific person, as I did for my England trip memory books.

Last but not least, I wanted to share some real – life photos of another Shutterfly book I made a while back.

I had promised to share pics of what the finished product looked like with my digital layouts which spanned the gutter (where the pages meet in the center at the binding). Here are a few examples:

I created these layouts in Photoshop as one continuous image, then split it into two pages, which I uploaded into Shutterfly and added to the photo book.

As you can see, some of the image gets lost in the center where it folds into the binding, which is why you shouldn’t put key text or images in that area.

I think in these examples, though, it is worth losing a little of the image to have the effect of a large image spanning the two pages – I was happy with the result!

Shutterfly has a 20% off sale on photo books going on right now, along with lots of other great deals, including three free greeting cards (use this coupon code: SUMMERCARDS by September 1st). Here are the custom cards I just ordered :)!

Well, it’s GREAT to be getting back into scrapbooking – I have tons of wonderful new photos to use so I hope to be blogging much more often! Please leave a comment to say “hi”, I can’t wait to hear from my fellow scrapbookers – I miss you :)!!

Shutterfly Sales and FREE Photo Editing Software

Happy Monday everyone :)! For my USA readers, I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July holiday, we sure did! I posted a few pics of our fun weekend at my Lovely Lovely Things blog.  I just wanted to pop in to let you know about a couple of hot tips:

Summer Sales at Shutterfly

I found out that Shutterfly is having some great summer promotions where you can save up to 30% off on things like the photo books, prints and 18 month calendars! I put a link to the promotion in my sidebar  – sorry email subscribers, you will have to actually come to the site to access this ;). But hurry – the promotion only lasts until the 13th of July!

FREE Photo Editing Software

My sister Rebekah clued me in to this great photo editing software called Photoscape, which you can download onto your computer for free! She loves the fact that is is very simple to learn to use (unlike Photoshop, which she is a little overwhelmed by). I took a few minutes to check it out, and I love all the great features! Here’s an example of one of our weekend photos before and after a quick editing session with Photoscape:

Before:

Before Editing with Photoscape

After Editing with Photoscape:

After Editing with Photoscape

Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to give up my Photoshop anytime soon, but for those of you who are interested in doing photo editing, but don’t have the time or budget for Photoshop – this could be the solution!

That’s all for now, hope your week is off to a great start :)!  ~xo Jess

Mini Album Faithbook Idea

Happy Good Friday!

Have you been to Michael’s lately? They have some gorgeous new scrapbooking collections from Prima, so I went shopping!!!! First, I picked up some of these:

First Blush by Prima, available at Michael’s
First Blush by Prima - available at Michael's

I loooooove this new collection, and I’m especially proud of the papers by Doris Castle and Dianne Rigdon, two talented digital designers I have been lucky to work with in the past! The flowers and other embellishments are also as lovely as can be! I will be stopping back at Michael’s again tomorrow (with a 30% off your entire purchase coupon) to pick up some of the new Nursery Tales collection too – perfect for me right now :)!

Mini Album Faithbook

Mini Album Faithbook

Here’s a project I made recently with the new First Blush collection by Prima. Since the paper pack has 96 papers, I’m sure there will many more fun projects to follow! I have been trying to memorize a group of Bible verses about four topics; Kindness, Gentleness, Patience and Self-Control – areas I would like to improve on in my life, especially since I will soon be the mommy of two ;). So, I printed out the scriptures and added them to this mini album. I love using an accordion album for projects like this, because I can display the open album along a shelf and look at it every time I pass by.

Mini Album Faithbook

To add a calming, peaceful feel to the album, I included springtime flower photos I have taken at a nearby botanical garden recently. It was tempting to go overboard with the beautiful floral papers from the First Blush line, but I tried to stick to mostly muted green papers, so as not to overwhelm the flower photos in the album.

Mini Album Faithbook

I am really happy with how this album came out, and I hope it will inspire me to learn these Bible verses and serve as a reminder of them for years to come.

Supplies: flowers, patterned paper, die-cut felt strip, stickers and crystals all from the First Blush Collection by Prima, available at Michael’s stores.  Album from Oriental Trading Company. Distress ink by Ranger.

Win an Issue of Bella Scraps Magazine!

As always, I am amaaaazed at all of the ideas, beauty, and pure inspiration I found in the latest issue of Bella Scraps Magazine!!! The issue contains 76 gorgeous pages filled with ideas and how-tos. There are plenty of hybrid gift/wrapping ideas to get your creative juices flowing, including several from yours truly ;). And you will also have access to the free download – a beautiful kit by Vicki Stegall. To find out more about this issue and for your chance to win it for FREE, check out this post at DST :).1bsm_1108_600

Want to Learn How to Start Digital Scrapbooking?

The number one question I hear from Scrapbook Ideas readers is “How can I start Digital Scrapbooking?” Until now, I have never really had a great answer to this question. My own digital scrapbooking learning experience was the painfully slow trial-by-error method :). That’s why I’m so excited to tell everyone about a wonderful new program called Step By Step Digital Scrapbook.

If only I had access to a program like this when I was learning how to digi scrap – I would have saved myself sooooo much time and frustration (seriously, you have no idea LOL)! I hope you will let Karen, of Step by Step Digital Scrapbook, walk you through the learning process with her easy to follow video tutorials. Everything you need to get started is included, even the digital scrapbooking supplies!

Here are some samples of digital pages Karen will show you how to make:

Want to get started? Click Here to learn more!

Have fun, and please come back to show me what you’ve created :)!

As You Wish Designs

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? I had a wonderful long weekend celebrating the Fourth of July with my husband and son. Now I’m all rested up and ready to get the week off to a great start :)! The first order of business is to tell you about a new digital designer: Janet, of As You Wish Designs!! Janet has been a familiar face around DigiShop Talk for quite some time, so it was fun to see her join the world of designers recently when she set up shop at Shabby Pickle Designs. And I was totally thrilled when she sent me a gift certificate to her new store (thanks girl)!!!! It took me forever to decide what to pick up, her store is filled with such beautiful things! I love her bright, bold colors and patterns, so I just had to make some extra bold pages! 

Credits: A Pocketful of Daisies by As You Wish Designs; Felted Wool Flowers – As You Wish Designs; Fonts: Cry Kitty and Generic Font.

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • To make the pocket look “full” I used the burn tool around the outer edges to darken them a bit and the dodge tool in the center to make a highlight (I also duplicated the pocket layer and set the blend mode to color dodge (43% opacity), but that was just to make it look funky ;).
  • I used the overlay blend mode on the word “Joy” to make it look like it was part of the pocket.
  • There are tons of other blend modes in use for all of the text and most of the other elements of the page as well – no particular method, I just played around until I liked the look :)! 

Credits: A Pocketful of Daisies by As You Wish Designs; Free page template (altered slightly) by Michelle Filo. Fonts: Jailbird Jenna, Outwrite, 39 Smooth.

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • This page came together SO quickly, because I used this great template by Michelle Filo (I have seen TONS of pages using this one, but I figure the world of digital scrapbooking can hold at least one more LOL).
  • To add a little extra interest to the title, I alternated between smaller and larger font sizes for the word “sandbox”.
  • As usual, I played around with blend modes for all of the text. Don’t forget that to try changing the font colors as you experiment with the blend modes will create even more effects :).

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I’ve really enjoyed working with these As You Wish Designs! And I haven’t even had a chance to try the great alphas I picked up from her store (I especially like the Ephemera Bets). If you like what you have seen so far you should definitely take a look at the rest of Janet’s store, she has a great sale going on – everything is 30% to 50% off :)!!!

ScraPerfect Product Review (Plus a Tutorial)

Being a hybrid scrapbooker, I have tried printing on LOTS of different surfaces. Sometimes with great success, sometimes… not so much – LOL! But I love to try new techniques and my printer is one of my all-time favorite scrapbooking tools. So when the inventor of ScraPerfect, Amy Roszac, sent me her “Perfect Printing Pouch” I couldn’t wait to start experimenting with it! Here’s what she sent me (not actual size):
ScraPerfect Printing Pouch

Description

The pouch is roughly 2.5″x2.5″ inches, and has a soft piece of felt on top to hold it with. It’s filled with a fine white powder. Some instructions for how to use the pouch are printed right on the back of the package (above), also more detailed instructions and tips are included in the FAQ section of Amy’s site. There is even a step-by-step tutorial with photos for how to print on vellum. To use this product, all you need to do is rub a light coating of the powder onto your printing surface, then blow/shake off the excess powder before printing. The pouch is meant for virtually any difficult to print on surface and virtually any type of ink (not just for printers, but stamping, markers etc).

Before and After ScraPerfect Comparison

Printing on a silk flower before and after ScraPerfectOf course I tried it on a few different Prima flowers right away. For a couple of my experiments I tried stamping on flowers, and although you can see a slight improvement if you look closely, it was not noticeable in the photos I took (I don’t have a very fancy camera). But there was a HUGE difference when I tried printing on silk flowers! Now, before I continue, I need to put in a disclaimer here: printing on big bulky silk flowers is probably not the safest thing to try with your printer!  I had visions of the flower getting stuck in there or coming out all mangled and torn. But my printer is getting pretty old and worn out these days, so I put it through its fair share of abuse anyway :). Luckily nothing broke, but please only try this at your own risk and don’t blame me or ScraPerfect if something tragic happens – LOL! OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about printing on silk flowers!! As you can see in the photo above, I have printed some word art (by Weeds and Wildflowers) on one of my big silk Prima flowers. First I tried printing on one of the flowers without treating it (top flower in above photo), then I treated the next flower with ScraPerfect before printing (bottom flower in above photo). What a difference! I included darker colored flower in the photo because it shows the rippled surface of the flowers better. They are by no means flat, so with each pass of the printer head the edges of the flowers were brushed with a little extra ink. On the untreated flower the ink instantly started to bleed and smear, whereas on the treated flower the extra ink that brushed over the edges and bumps stayed put :)!

Here’s a card I made using the printed silk flower:

Queen for a Day Card

*Click Here For Credits*

Tutorial for Printing on Silk Flowers

Please Note: Printing on materials not specifically designed for your printer may damage your printer and/or the material you are printing on. Scrapbook Ideas is not responsible for damage caused by risky printing techniques!

  1. Choose a digital image or text you wish to print on your silk flower. Re-size the image if necessary so it will fit on the flower. Print a test image of the design on a regular piece of printer paper.
  2. Using temporary double sided tape, adhere the silk flower to the test image, lining it up over the image so that the design will line up just the way you want it to when reprinted. TIP: Use plenty of adhesive, to ensure that the flower stays in place as much as possible.
  3. Tap the ScraPerfect printing pouch a few times to saturate the felt with powder. Brush the ScraPerfect pouch over the entire flower. Blow/shake off any excess powder.
  4. Place the test page (with attached flower) back into the printer tray facing the same direction it was during the test print. Reprint the image!
  5. Allow the printed flower to dry before removing it from the test page.

Note: If you use a bulky flower, like I did, you are likely to have some extra ink spots on the edges and raised areas of the flower. Personally, I thought the extra ink spots added to the design :).

OK, there you have it! Thanks again, Amy, for sending me this great product!! There are more examples of how to use ScraPerfect on Amy’s site: ScraPerfect.com (the pouches are also available for purchase there).

Have you ever tried printing on any unusual surfaces? I’d love to hear all about it :)!

National Scrapbook Day Recap

Well, I hope your day has been as lovely as mine has, there’s nothing like a whole day to celebrate SCRAPBOOKING :)! I know I was only able to see a tiny portion of the events going on in the scrapbooking world – but I almost prefer it that way, it can be a bit overwhelming to see SO many sales, and SO many freebies, challenges, chats, prizes etc! Phew!

Speaking of which, I’m sorry if I have overwhelmed you by posting so many times today (especially you, email subscribers)! I don’t usually do that, but I haven’t had a chance to blog in so long, and my husband was soooooo sweet to watch Gabe for me today while I helped host the Prima Hybrid Crop, surfed a few other events, shared tons of my most recent projects, and of course, got some scrapbooking done!!! (Thanks Babe)!!!

Anyway, in case you missed some (or all) of my NSD postings in all the excitement, here’s a little recap for you. If you are reading this on Saturday night or Sunday, you might still be able to catch some of these :)!

Prima Hybrid Flower Girl Blog Party: Click here to grab my free template and blog hop to find lots more too!

Shabby Miss Jenn: Big sale with tons of super adorable kits for $1 each!!!

Weeds and Wildflowers: Click to learn more about the huge sale and my NEW quick Album :)! Also, I shared a mini review of Heidi’s revised kit.

Prima Hybrid NSD Crop Party: Click to read about my Layout Challenge ALSO Click to read about my Prima Flower Challenge, they end Sunday night :).

And here are a few other things I came across today that should be noted:

1) A fun and funky FREE kit by Emily Powers can be found here.

2) ScrapArtist is selling a super-sized collab kit for only $3.33 (for their 3rd Birthday :)!

3) If you are STILL looking for more, I’m sure you can find all you need at the DigiShop Talk {I}NSD Forum!

Wow, I blogged eight times today! That has to be my all-time record :)! Hmmm, how shall I celebrate? Leave me a comment on any of today’s (May 3rd’s) blog posts telling me your favorite thing about National Scrapbook Day, and perhaps I will choose one or two people to send a little gift too ;)!

 

 

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