Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

A Little Giveaway and a Mini Album Idea

I finally finished my most recent mini album! As I mentioned earlier, I had gone to Michael’s to pick up some of the goodies from the Nursery Tales Collection by Prima.  I got some great deals because I had a 30% off your entire purchase coupon and I also went back on another day to use a 40% off coupon for the paper pack.

Want to see what I bought?

Nursery Tales Collection by Prima

As many of you know, I am expecting a new baby in September, so I was thrilled to see this new collection!! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect too because I wanted to make a mini album just for Gabe and the Nursery Tales Collection worked wonderfully for this project.

Mini Album Idea for Older Siblings

My son Gabe will be turning three just before we expect his new little sibling to be born. We have been trying to prepare him for our new arrival and get him excited about the new addition to our family. I want him to feel like he is a big part of what is going on. Gabe loves books, but I had been having a hard time finding one that I thought was really sending him the right message. Then it hit me, Gabe LOVES to look through all of my mini albums – why not make him his very own mini album about his early days as a newborn? I used photos from Gabe’s first few days to show him what life with a newborn baby is like.

I love this idea because it accomplishes at least three goals:

  • Help the sibling learn about everyday life with a newborn by sharing photos of bathing, changing, feeding, sleeping, cuddling and even crying.
  • Use photos of the sibling as a baby, so that they can see that they were once a newborn and were cared for in the same ways.
  • Give the sibling a special mini album of their very own – Gabe loves his even more than I expected him to!

I used a 5×5 Accordion Album, which also comes with its own keepsake box – too cute :)! Here are some pics of the finished box:

Altered Keepsake Box using Nursery Tales, by Prima

And a close-up one so you can see the adorable mini roses and beautiful flocked paper:

Keepsake Box using Nursery Tales, by Prima

Here’s the front of the album – I love the rub-ons in this collection!

Mini Album Cover using Nursery Tales, by Prima

I love the little bunnies too :)!

Nursery Tales Collection, by Prima

Now for some pics of the inside of the album – awww, was he really ever that little?

Mini Album using Nursery Tales Collection, by Prima

I love that the album has built in pockets and frames – it really is the perfect thing for a preschooler! Plus, you can add extra photos on the backs of the tags.

Mini Album using Nursery Tales, by Prima

What a great photo for the last page ;).

The Nursery Tales Collection, by Prima

Tips and Tricks for Mini Albums for Kids

  • I used the distressed look, with rough, inked edges – that way, if the book suffers some wear and tear at the hands of my preschooler, it won’t be as noticeable.
  • I attached clear transparency sheets over each of the photos to protect them from little finger prints.
  • I made double-sided tags for all of the pockets in the album, making it more interactive and fun for young viewers.

Still with me? How about that giveaway :)! Leave me a comment on this post with your guess about the color scheme of the new baby’s nursery… PINK or BLUE? In a couple of days I will randomly choose somebody from the winning group of answers to receive a special sampling of the Nursery Tales papers and embellishments :)! P.S. If you are a friend or family member who already knows, please keep it our little secret for a few more days, OK? ~xo Jess

Custom Greeting Cards Tutorial

Here’s a gift idea to try – handmade custom greeting cards! I made this set of cards as a birthday gift for my sister-in-law. The bold colors and designs remind me of her fun personality. The cards can be used as-is to send a quick note, or she can choose from a variety of greetings to stick on the front of the cards to suit a special occasion. As seen on the Prima blog.

Custom Greeting Cards Tutorial

Handmade Custom Greeting Cards

Digital Supplies: Tea and Silk chipmates sticker sheet

Physical Supplies (all by Prima): Life Colors papers (#910013, #910099, #910068), Say it in Crystals (#529314), Say it in Crystals packaging (#517328), Loft 18 felt flowers (#520052, #520045), Scribbles flowers (#528607), Center Kisses (#520724, #520717), Die-Cut Chipboard (#400026), Clear Epoxy Stickers (#400002), RFH Sticker Sheet.

Steps: Use a pre-made set of blank cards with envelopes or create your own out of sturdy cardstock. Trim patterned cardstock to fit the card fronts (I left a slight border showing on mine).Custom Greeting Card Stickers For unity in the set, I chose coordinating papers all from one paper collection. Next, add simple embellishments, leaving room for the greeting to be added later if desired. TIP: I used strips of polka dot paper on most of the card fronts, this creates even more unity between the cards and makes them look like a set. The polka dot paper is actually from the packaging of some Prima Say it in Crystals :). Once your cards are ready, you can create some custom greeting stickers. I created mine on the computer, using the digital Tea and Silk chipmates sticker sheet. I just opened the sticker sheet in Photoshop, used the “eyedropper tool” to select a coordinating color, and used the type tool to place messages on the stickers. TIP: once you type a message, you can rotate it to fit the orientation of the sticker by using the “move tool”. When I was happy with the custom stickers, I printed them out onto the RHF sticker sheet, stuck them onto the coordinating chipboard pieces, and placed matching epoxy stickers on top.

That’s all there is to it! Here’s a close-up view so you can see those funky flowers :).

jessgordon_customcards_details_blog

Free Hybrid Photo Box with Tutorial

Yay! I can finally show you the project I made for the December 2008 issue of the DST Insider :). Every member (even the free memberships) of digishoptalk.com can download the free monthly ezine – so if you aren’t signed up already, I highly recommend it! You will join over 18,000 members who already have access to everything the DST Insider has to offer. This month’s issue is of course exploding with Christmas craft ideas – HYBRID HEAVEN :)!!! I have a few projects in there, plus this free project download created with papers from my Christmas Heart kit.

Update: Since this was a free download from the 2008 issue (no longer available) I have uploaded the link for you:

Link Expired, Sorry! *Click Here for the Free Printable Photo Box Download Page*

The project is a little paper box which opens up to reveal tiny scrapbook pages :). You can place single photos on the pages or size-down your favorite digital scrapbook pages to put on there. You can also easily turn this box into a Christmas tree ornament like I did in the example below. What fun :)!

Hybrid Photo Box

Credits: Free printable project by Jess Gordon, flowers and gems by Prima.

Open Hybrid Photo Box

Hybrid Photo Box Tutorial

Hybrid Photo Box Step 1Photo Box – Outside

This is the outside of the box, it just needs to be printed. If you print it first, before getting started on the box inside it will have a chance to dry before you print the opposite side.

IMPORTANT: Before printing, be sure to select “printable area: center” in your page set up (wording may be different depending on your printer), so the edges will line up when you print the other side. Do not cut this shape out until you have printed the other side of the page!

Tips: for best results, print on double-sided, matte photo paper. To save ink and paper, you can draw a white box over the text on this and other pages before printing, using your photo editing software.

Making the Inside Pages
Hybrid Photo Box Step 2

Step 1 – Open the .psd file called “JG_Hybrid_Photo_Box_Layers.psd” in your photo-editing software. These are the photo pages. Place photos or tiny layouts resized to 2”x2” behind the frames in the spaces indicated. Turn off the text layers before printing. You can make as many or as few of these layers as you like – two color options are available :).  They look best if the images are all facing toward the center.

Step 2- Print all of your pages. If you use double-sided, matte photo paper, you can print on both sides – just make sure to choose “center” in your printer settings so that the pages line up properly, and do not cut the shape out until you have printed the other side of the page!! If you decide to print on both sides, at least one set of pages should be printed on the opposite side of the striped outside layer.

Hybrid Photo Box Step 3
Step 3 – Cut out all of your pieces. Fold each page upward to create a box shape.

Step 4 – For multiple pages, attach each new page layer to the one below with a bit of adhesive around the center.

Making the Photo Box Lid

Hybrid Photo Box Step 4Print, cut out. Cut along solid lines, fold along dotted lines. Adhere the little flaps at the corners to the insides of the box edges using tape or any other adhesive. Note: If you plan to make the box into a Christmas tree ornament, you may want to punch holes in the centers before folding.

Christmas Ornament Variation

Follow steps 1-3, except punch a hole in the center of the lid and all pages before folding. If you have multiple pages, adhere them at the centers, carefully lining up each hole. Thread a looped piece of ribbon, yarn, string, etc through the box base and lid, allowing enough room so that you can lift the lid easily without removing it from the loop, then knot at the bottom of the box.

There you have it! I hope you get a chance to make one of these – I really love how mine came out :). Remember, this project is a free download as part of this month’s DST Insider :)!

More pages and news from CRD

Guess what?! My things are still available at CRD until tomorrow!!! Here’s part of the most recent message Christina sent out:

Hi everyone, we wanted to let you know that Christina Renee Designs and the Block Party Designers agreed to continue our sale and all the blog freebies through Tuesday, November 4th, CST. Our servers went down during this event for a while and we want to make up for that.

Christina Renee

So if you wanted to pick something up but didn’t have a chance to this weekend, you still have time :)!

The fall foliage is really beautiful in my neighborhood right now! We drove to the local research park the other day to take a walk, and I got lots of great photos. Luckily, there was another family there taking photos, so we offered to take a family photo of them in exchange for them taking one of us :).  I love how the beautiful colors are reflected in the water behind us. I actually took lots of photos with even better fall colors, but they don’t have all of us in them – I will have to scrap those later.

Here’s a page I made with our fall family photo, using the Cozy Sweater kit and my freebie Autumn Word Art:

Photoshop Tips (in PSCS3 – other versions of PS may differ)

  • To get the angled look above, I cropped the photo before placing it on the page. I duplicated the photo layer, used the move tool to rotate it, flattened the image and cropped it into a rectangle. Then, I added the cropped photo to the page, and rotated it until the horizon line was level again, stretching the edges of the photo off the sides of the layout.
  • Even though it is at an angle, it was still easy to matte the photo above: in the layers palette, I right-clicked on the thumbnail of the photo layer and chose “select pixels”, then, from the pull-down menu: select>modify>expand>50 pixels, and in the same menu: select>inverse. THEN: I switched to the yellow paper layer I had placed below the photo and clicked “delete”!
  • I created the subtle, stitched leaf pattern on the orange paper by arranging the felt leaves on the background and changing their blend mode to “lighten”.
  • To make the red felt “AUTUMN” in the title, I used the type tool to write the word (with the Impact font). Then, in the layers palette, I right clicked the layer and chose “Rasterize Type”. Lastly, I layered a couple of the felt hat elements from the kit over the word, and used ctrl+alt+g on them to create a clipping mask. I also selected the layers and merged them (ctrl+e), then duplicated the felt layer and changed the blend mode to multiply (lowering the opacity a bit) to darken it a bit.
  • Don’t forget that when playing with blend modes, you can duplicate the layers to incorporate even more blend modes – I used this technique on all three parts of the title :)!

Oh, and here are some other great sightings of the Cozy Sweater kit at CRD:

Ruth

Ruth

Rachel

Rachel

Cozy Sweater Inspiration

*Please note: due to all of the excited digi scrappers flooding the CRD store and blog to get their sale items and freebies, things seem to be running slower than usual. If you are experiencing problems with the site, please check back in a little while – I’m sure things will be smoothed out soon!*

As promised, here’s a layout about Gabe and his famous sweater :)! This sweater and crisp fall days were the inspiration for my new kit: Cozy Sweater, available this weekend only at the CRD block party.

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • To recolor some of the letters, I used the magic wand tool (with a tolerance of about 30) to select the letter portion, then I used Select>Similar to make sure the whole letter was included. Then I copied the selection to a new layer and used image>adjustments>hue/saturation to choose the new color.
  • To make the border of squares along the photo edge, I created a new 1.5×1.5 photoshop document and used the rounded rectangle tool to make a shape cutter. I used this new tool to cut all of the papers into perfectly sized, matching squares before adding them to my layout.
  • I lowered the opacity of the yellow square to about 88% so that the bright color wouldn’t detract attention from the elements on the rest of the page.

Here is some inspiration from my Cozy Sweater “One-Kit-CT” – I LOVE these!

Lime

Lime

Wendy

Wendy

Rhoda

Rhoda

Sandra

Sandra

Melinda

Melinda

Wendy 2

Wendy 2

Sory

Sory

Jess (Me!)

Jess (Me!)

Anniversary Memory Book

Today my husband and I celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary!! Each year that goes by is more wonderful than the last and we have made so many memories, which will be cherished always. He is my best friend and he knows how to fill my heart with pure bliss! I’m working on a special memory album to celebrate romantic highlights from our first five years of marriage, but it isn’t ready yet. I am taking my time because I want it to be perfect :)!

Last year I made a Shutterfly photo book as an anniversary gift for Chris, and that one wasn’t done in time for the actual day either – and I also never had a chance to post photos of the finished book here. So, in honor this special day, here is a gallery of photos from my all time favorite Shutterfly photo book: “Autumn in New England”!

If you click on the thumbnail photos below, you will be able to see a larger image and a description of the photo – PLUS Shutterfly photo book tips for those interested :)!

Credits: I believe all of the digital designs used in this book were created by Shabby Princess, Shabby Miss Jenn and Lanne; except for the last layout, which uses this collab kit (which is on sale now and actually about to be retired). I created this photo book almost a year ago, so I may have forgotten something – if you see one I missed, please let me know!

CRD Block Party, Sale and Freebie!

Have you been over to Christina Renee’s site lately? For the month of October, she is throwing a fabulous block party with products from over 20 designers – I’m just blown away with everything these talented ladies have in the store!! Each week there will be a new release so there is even more to come. I am so happy to be joining in on the fun this week too – for this new release I have created six 12″x12″ digital quick pages, using tons of Christina Renee’s classic designs.  I also made a set of hybrid cards, inspired by some cards I’ve made with CRD designs in the past. Christina has a totally unique style, which I find really inspiring and it has been a blast teaming up with her to bring you these new products!

Here are the quick pages (Click image to purchase. P.S. they’re on sale for 30% off today):

Here’s a close up of one of the quick pages. I love the time-worn feel of CRD’s designs – they create an instant sense of history and romance to a layout. I wish this preview could show the true detail of the pages, but I just can’t get the low resolution preview images to look as pretty as the full size pages do –  you’ll have to take my word for it, they look much better in real life :)!

Here is the hybrid card set, (Click image to purchase. Also 30% off today):

This is a close-up look of some of the cards I made using the set. I love how fast these come together! They all have a vintage artistic feel to them. They are not too frilly or pretty, so you could give them to a guy too – it’s tough to find creative things to give guys, isn’t it?

This is the card I made for my brother’s birthday this summer, which was what inspired me to make this set. Tip: I used double sided photo paper to print the card on, then I printed a patterned paper on the opposite side, so the inside of the card would look good too. Then I made a hybrid design as the birthday message, and adhered that inside the card. Fun stuff!

Oh, and I just remembered the other super cool thing I wanted to tell you about the Block party at CRD!! If you are in the mood for a digi shopping spree, this is the time to do it – there are two huge collaboration kits up for grabs over there: one is free with a $10 purchase, and if you spend $20 you get BOTH kits for free :)!

Here are the kit previews:

OK, I think that about wraps it up for block party news :). Are you ready for the freebie?

I have had a digital pen and tablet since spring, but I really haven’t had the time or patience to learn how to use them yet. This little owl sketch is one of my first feeble attempts at digital drawing – don’t laugh at me :)! Hopefully I will get much, much better with more practice LOL! There is also a stamp and a pumpkin in there created from some of my photos from previous Octobers.

*Click Here to Download the Freebie*

I hope you have a fall layout or project you can use these with – enjoy!

Lots to Share!

I know I have been away from Scrapbook Ideas a lot lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy creating :)! I have lots to share with you over the next few days, so I hope I will have time to post as often as I’d like. So let’s get right to it, shall we?

New Collection and Sale at Vera Lim Design

Firstly, I wanted to tell you about an awesome new collection by Vera Lim, called A Walk Down Memory Lane. It is huge: 5 paper packs and 5 element packs, and they are ALL on sale until the end of today!!

I have been a big fan of Vera’s gorgeous designs ever since I met her through Prima Hybrid. She has a unique style all her own, which features lots of bold colors and patterns (plus some soft and sweet kits thrown in every now and then), fun and inventive elements, and fantastic grunge that somehow still looks more pretty than messy :).  I love her ability to mix realistic, 3D looking elements in with doodles and other more traditional digi style embellishments.

So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when Vera gave me opportunity to play with the beautiful kits in her newest collection!! Yippee!!! I love them soooo much and I could seriously scrap for days and days with them :). My favorite thing about all of these kits is that they are filled with really cool elements – I especially love all of the whimsical trees and birds. Here’s a page I made using pieces from all five of the kits:

ETA: This is actually a picture of my sister with Gabe, which I LOVE! He doesn’t get to see her much, because she lives so far away. But that could change in the not too distant future….

Digital Techniques:

Here’s my technique for the word art layered over the cloud element:

  1. I duplicated the word art layer. I changed the color of the new layer to a light yellow (originally black), which I had picked up from her shirt.
  2. I positioned the cloud element behind the word art layer and selected the pixels of the cloud layer.
  3. I switched to the yellow word art layer and deleted the selected pixels. This makes the word art inside the cloud appear dark in color, while the rest is yellow.
  4. Using a green color picked up from the grass, I recolored the original (black) word art, then I changed the blend mode of this layer to “color burn”. Lastly, I duplicated this layer and reduced the opacity to 65%.

Here’s my technique for the glitter overlay, which looks great as-is, but I felt like tweaking it anyway :):

  1. I placed Vera’s glitter overlay over the inner scrapbook paper, and I changed the blend mode to “linear dodge”.
  2. Then I duplicated the glitter layer and changed the blend mode of the top layer to “screen”, and lowered the opacity to 34%.
  3. The only other thing I did was to erase little bits of each of the glitter layers to create some variation and to remove the glitter from the area over the photo.

Faithbooking Article at The Daily Scrapper

I also wanted to let you know that I have a new article about faithbooking in the current issue of The Daily Scrapper :)! I am really enjoying working with this publication – every issue is bursting with ideas and inspiration for digital and hybrid scrappers, and the best part is that it is totally FREE! Speaking of free, be sure to check out the freebie section which has new goodies with each release :).

Shabby Miss Jenn Featured at DST

Finally, as most digi scrappers know by now, the featured designer this month at DigiShopTalk.com is one of my favorites: Shabby Miss Jenn!!! Even though I had already left her creative team by the time she was featured, she was sweet enough to let me scrap one more page for her using this fantastic kit, Harvest Road! The kit is available to DST members for the month of October. Here’s the layout I made with these yummy fall goodies:

Tip: I wanted to cover the letters of the word “patch” with a piece of plaid scrapbook paper from the kit, but the letters in the kit have built-in shadows, which I didn’t want to cover up. I used the quick selection tool (PSCS3) to select just the letters, but not the shadows, then I created a new layer and filled the selection with black. I used this new shape to clip the plaid paper, so the shadow is still visible behind it.

OK, that’s it for today, but please check back soon for some SUPER exciting news I can’t tell you about yet ;)!

Featured Scrapper: Cindy Gilchrist!

Cindy Gilchrist If you’re anything like me, you are going to just LOVE the next featured scrapper, Cindy Gilchrist! Cindy’s altered creations are bright, bold and cheerful – I’m always happier after I visit her blog or gallery :). And of course I love the fact that she is a hybrid scrapper like me  – she currently serves on the hybrid teams for Sweet Shoppe Designs and Prima Hybrid. She’s also the Hybrid Editor for Digi Shop Talk’s monthly newsletter called the “Insider” and she’s on the design team for My Creative Scrapbook, a traditional scrapbooking kit club. Check out her impressive scrapbook resume to see a list of her published work.

I recently interviewed Cindy, and learned even more fun tid-bits :)! Check it out:

Is there anything about yourself and your family that you’d like to share with other scrappers?

I live in Naples, FL with my husband of 12 years (Joe), 8 year old daughter (Katie) and two cats (Daisy and Prissy).

When did you start scrapbooking/altering? What first made you interested in this hobby?

I began scrapbooking before I got married so I guess it’s been about 15 years. About 8 years ago, around the time my daughter was born, I started dabbling in digital scrapbooking and card-making (we called it “computer art” then). I think my first “real” digital scrapbook kit was by Shabby Princess about three years ago. I love all types of crafts and think I’ve tried every craft out there (from basket weaving to soap-making to knitting). Paper crafts, specifically card-making and altered art just “fit” and have always been my favorites.

I know you’re a hybrid scrapper, so you use traditional and digital methods. Did you start out as a paper scrapper or digital? What made you want to try hybrid?

I guess I sort of answered that above – going Hybrid was easy for me, I knew my way around a computer enough to be able to work with digi and I just couldn’t resist all the adorable digital kits out there. Plus, living in a town that has no LSS and the fact that you have instant access….need I say more?!

Where do you get your best inspiration and ideas for scrapbooking?

There are a couple of things that inspire me, one being necessity another being want. I love to look at catalogs and window shop to get ideas and inspiration. If I see something for sale that I want or need and it can be made, I go home and try to create it. I like to look at items and think “what can I do with this”?

Do you have any favorite books, magazines or websites that are especially helpful?

My favorite magazines are Paper Crafts, Digital Scrapbooking and Paper Trends. I love to look at them but don’t really use them for inspiration. I guess if I had to pick a medium that offered the most inspiration; it would be the blogs I have listed on my blog. Those are the ones I visit the most and find inspiring.

You have a real talent for altering anything and everything into gorgeous scrappy treasures. Can you share a few tips about how to make great altered projects?

What a nice thing to say! Thank You! I guess a few tips and secrets are (they’re pretty random):

· I use a color laser printer to print all my digital papers. I love that I never have to worry about sealing my work because the ink (toner) won’t run or smear on a laser.

· Sandpaper or a new fingernail file works great for smoothing out the edges when altering items.

· White craft glue (Aleene’s Tacky Glue) is one of my favorite adhesives – It REALLY holds well on some of my heavy duty altered art projects.

· My favorite tools are: my Xyron 900, big guillotine paper cutter, Cutter Bee scissors and an X-Acto knife.

· Some of my favorite embellishments (that I can’t live without) are: Colorbox Chalk Ink (have it in every color & use it on pretty much every project), Ribbon, Buttons and Prima Flowers.

Wow, great tips! Thanks so much Cindy!

It was tough choosing just a few of Cindy’s projects to highlight, because I seriously love them all! But, here are a couple favorites I saw today:

To see the rest of Cindy’s gallery, click here!

This has been a lot of fun – thanks again Cindy.  Have a great week everybody :)!

A Bible Verse for Scrapbookers (and Faithbook Page)

I love finding scrap-related Bible verses :). OK, I admit that the verse below is not specifically related to scrapbooking, but it sure does renew my commitment to this craft, and especially faithbooking! I liked this one so much, so I made a hybrid memory verse tag to display it on, using supplies from Prima.

*click here for credits*

Also, here is my most recent faithbook page! Don’t forget, you can now see all of my faithbooking projects in one place by clicking on the “Faithbooking” tab above (or you can click here). I explain a little more about faithbooking and the inspiration behind these pages in previous faithbooking posts :).

Credits: Everything is from the Carousel Collection by the lovely Shabby Princess. Fonts: Century Gothic and Jane Austen.

Tip: I duplicated the heart and bracket layers a few times, until they were dark enough to show up on the green background. I used the same technique with the text layers as well as trying various blend modes to help them stand out.

So, do you know any good Bible verses for scrapbookers? I’d love to hear them!

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