Gina - November Cut Challenge - A Moment to Cherish

I think the best thing about using the Silhouette store is the ability you have to find a phrase that perfectly fits a photo or a memory that you have and that is certainly the case with the layout and die cut shape I picked for this month’s challenge.

Stew and I headed south Labor Day weekend like we do every year to visit my brother Shawn and his family.  One of the greatest treasures of my life (and if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you already know this) is the relationships I have with my nieces and nephews.  This niece in particular is pretty much my mini me – though, thankfully for her, she gets her fashion sense from her mother! 

I was over-joyed to learn that she has begun to keep a journal.  I very much want to cultivate this joy for journaling and this habit for her because I think it will be a wonderful thing to look back on over the years and discover how she’s moved from who she is now at seven to the adult that she will become. 

Before bed on this particular evening – and honestly, I can’t believe I’m sharing this picture considering that I’m in my pajamas and glasses and the face has been washed clean – she and I sat down in bed to capture the moments of the day.

She wanted to journal about the events that occurred on Tuesday when she met her friend’s mother for the first time because, and I’m quoting here, “nothing special happened today.”  With me sitting next to her, she says this – thanks, Kid! 

Since the layout is all about us girls, I took this opportunity to use supplies that I don’t pull out often.  I had bling, and pearls and flowers and the list of girlie things goes on and on.  Even still, from that stash, I only ended up using a few pieces of bling and the flowers and butterfly from Prima. 

I started this layout using a sketch from   If you haven’t seen Gretchen’s work, I highly recommend that you get over there and check it out.  She’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.  You can see the sketch and her layout here.  Using a sketch was a great way to quickly figure out what has been troubling me in my scrapbooking lately – it’s all about the layering of those papers.  Somehow I’ve forgotten how to do that and it’s creating much frustration.  The more I do it, the better it will become again, but like with everything else in life, if you don’t use it you lose it – let’s not talk about my math skills, okay?  I’ll be practicing that in my next couple of layouts, but in the meantime, using the sketch as a starting point did make jumping in easier.  I quickly veered away, but came back again when it was time to add the cluster in the upper left.  What a novel thought, that I don’t have to have every element on my page touching.  Ahhh, how freeing. 

In the end, this may be the happiest I’ve been with a layout in some time, so thank you Gretchen!  Believe me, I’ll be coming back for some more sketch inspiration very soon.

Unfortunately, there will be no process video for this layout.  I made the video, but when I uploaded it, I sounded like a chipmunk - of the Alvin variety.  I have no idea what sound a real chipmuck makes.  The raw files for this one are gone - so we'll have to admire just from the stills.  Hope you still enjoy and I'll be back later with process videos coming your way.

Until next time, Gina

Gina - October Cut Challenge "Always By My Side"

The cut file I used for this month’s challenge, I bought a long, long time ago, but I always intended to use it with a picture of Stew’s mom and dad.  They’re bird watchers and mom loves owls, so this silhouette file was just perfect for them.  When their 46th wedding anniversary came around this year, dad posted this picture of them from their wedding on Facebook, as he does every year.  I just knew that this was the perfect opportunity to meld that photo and this die cut together.

I always print my die cuts on American Crafts white cardstock.  It’s the best I’ve found for cutting and it accepts colors pretty well.  I thought at first that I’d color the die cuts with gelatos, but decided spraying them with mist would be easier – or so I thought.  Most of the mists I pulled out to use on this layout are clogged.  I’m going to have to do something about that – what that is, I haven’t a clue, other than I think this is a sign that I need to use my supplies more.

I wanted the layout to be black, white and red – a combination that is one of my favorites and I think is perfect for wedding layouts.  I decided to spray the tree with silver from Mr. Hueys, the hearts with a red from Heidi Swapp and the owls black, also from Heidi Swapp.

Then the struggle began.  I wasn’t sure where to place anything on this layout.  But after moving things around and fiddling with it some more and leaving it to go watch some tv – I came back to it and realized that the major problem I was having was the longest branch on the tree was going the wrong way.  Flipped that over, sprayed the other side, and finally, I settled on a layout that I was happy with.  The thing I think I love the most about this layout, other than the cute as heck picture, is the hearts I put on the owls.  I just think with the way they are looking at each other and the way Mom and Dad are looking at each other in the photo, the love is so evident – it’s perfect.

I’m super happy that this photo is now a permanent part of my scrapbook, since really, this moment truly captures the very, very beginning of Stew and my story. 

If you’d like to watch me put this layout together, as always, you can follow the link below to my YouTube channel…

Until next time, Gina

Gina: October Challenge #1 TV Show - "Surprise Favorite"

Shellie picking television as the theme for this month’s second challenge was a bit overwhelming.  You see, I watch entirely too much tv, so deciding what I was going to scrap for this was certainly a challenge.  I surely didn’t want to make a list of all of the television shows I watch, because I just can’t even admit that to myself (by the way: Code Black – new favorite!).

So I decided to talk about a show that we recently stumbled upon and once we did, we binge watched until we had caught up – just in time for them to end the series.  I’m like the kiss of death to new tv shows – if I like it, it’ll for sure be cancelled.  Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned Code Black up there in case the tv Gods are listening.

Stew and I were bored one night, I mean, come on, summer tv…blah, so we were searching through Amazon trying to find something to watch because goodness forbid we actually do something.  HA!  We decided to start watching this show called Strike Back.  I’d never heard of it, but after reading the description, watching the preview, and knowing how much I loved The Unit, this seemed right up my alley.  It was awesome!  So, that’s what I’ve scrapped for this month’s challenge.

Have you ever had an idea for a layout so clear in your head, but when you sit down to actually scrap it, you don’t know what happens?  That’s what occurred with this layout.  In the end, I have to be honest, it’s not one of my favorites.  I wanted gritty and messy, but I think what came to life on paper is tortured and overdone – but you know, it’s in the book and it captures like a week and a half of our life, so it’s important.  I’m serious, except for work, all we did was watch this show!

I’m glad this challenge is over and I’m looking forward to next month’s challenges.  Hopefully, one day soon, scrapping won’t be as frustrating as it has been recently.  I think I just need to do it more, ya know….

If you’d like to watch me put this layout together, as always, you can follow the link below to my YouTube channel…

Until next time, Gina

Gina: RED September Challenge, Sew

If you read my post about our other September challenge, you know that there is a machine in my room that doesn't get the love it deserves.  What you may not know is that the Silhouette isn't the only machine in my room that gets neglected.  Ahhh, that wonderful sewing machine that I just had to have.  You do know how wonderful stitching looks on layouts, don't you?  I certainly do - yet, every time I look at the sewing machine, I shudder, turn around and try to pretend that it doesn't exist.  So, around here, we're giving ourselves challenges that inspire us to create and/or force us out of our comfort zone.  The sew on a layout challenge was born.

To be honest, I was in full on procrastination mode.  I'd look at that sewing machine, turn back to my craft table and say to myself, how about another day, until I was discussing this problem with Shellie and she kindly pointed out that nowhere in the challenge did it say that we had to use the sewing machine.  The challenge was simply to sew on a layout.  Well, that certainly changed things.

Off to the drawer with the Amy Tan stitching templates I went and the rest as they say....well, you get the idea.

The layout captures a picture of Stew and me.  We were in Baltimore for a show at the Hippodrome and decided instead of driving home that night (we live about 45 minutes away) we'd just get a room and go home in the morning.  It was spontaneous and lovely and this picture I think captures those emotions.  The background paper I used gave me almost all of the embellishment the page needed, but I added some die cuts and vellum pieces along with the hand stitching and used a die cut as my title and that my friends, wrapped up this layout.

I recorded the video for this layout in real time, so if you'd like to see it come together from start to finish, please head on over to my youtube channel and take a look.

Until next time, Gina 

Gina: RED September Challenge, Use Your Silhouette, Grade 3

Hey guys, 

So, I'm finally getting around to actually writing the post for my challenge layouts on September 30th - not quite what I had envisioned when the month started, but as you know, real life gets in the way and soon you turn around and a whole month has passed you by.  Even so, I did complete our challenges and I'm super happy about that.

The challenges were posted on September 3rd and each month, we have two of them.  The first challenge is unchanging.  We both own these wonderful little machines called the Silhouette.  They look gorgeous sitting on our desks, but I'm sad to say, that neither of us use them as much as we should.  So, the challenge was born.  Use this very powerful (and ahem, too expensive to be a dust collector) tool.

September around here means that ten of my eleven nieces and nephews return to school.  I have a senior this year and also a pre-schooler and the youngest, well, her mother wishes she was headed off to school, but since she, and I quote, "won't be potty trained until she's twelve", we have a bit of a ways to go for that one.  She's three and to say she's stubborn, well, I really don't know where she gets that from.

The youngster I'm scrapping in this layout is heading into third grade and tells me his favorite subjects are lunch, gym and dismissal.  Typical kid.  

I'm working on all ten of my back to school layouts using this same style of die cut indicating the grade the child is entering.  Later this month, I will post the other nine as part of my back to school series.  This one is a preview of that.

I did something on this layout that I don't do very often.  I gave myself permission to not look at the clock and consider how long it was taking.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all of the projects I want to do - that I don't spend enough time enjoying the one I'm working on, so on this day, I pulled out the gesso, the gelatos, the alcohol inks, the stencils, and the modeling paste and played.  What you see is the final result.  

If you want to watch me put this layout together - at four times the speed it actually took and without waiting around for drying times or for me to find what embellishments I wanted to use, you can head on over to my youtube channel and check that out.

Otherwise, I'll see you next time with the next challenge that we gave ourselves for September.

Gina: Van Gogh at The Met - Scrapbook Layout and Process Video

12 x 12 Scrapbook Layout by Gina Beth - Van Gogh at The Met

12 x 12 Scrapbook Layout by Gina Beth - Van Gogh at The Met

 (This post and video are from June 2015 - just now getting around to uploading it.  That's real life, folks!)

Now, I’m just like anyone else who thinks New York at Christmas time is just wonderful, but there’s something to be said about New York in the Spring (ha – spring, right, it was hot as hades!), when the fountains are going, the trees are in full bloom and the overpowering aroma of the city invades your olfactory senses leaving you…happy that you’re visiting and not living here.

I am kidding, but only half way.  I have a love/hate relationship with New York City.  I love it.  I love all that it offers and yet, I hate that it is so, so dirty.  I really just want to shut the whole city down for about a week and power wash the whole thing.

But all of that is beside the point and really has nothing whatsoever to do with this layout other than the fact that I was in New York.  Stew and I decided to take a long weekend trip up there and I had two major activities on my agenda – go to The Met and see the Van Gogh exhibit and take a horse drawn carriage ride in Central Park before they do away with the horses.  I’m happy to say, we accomplished both (regardless of the oppressive heat) and that leads us to this layout.

Van Gogh has always been one of my favorite artists and the chance to see these four paintings of his in one place when they hadn’t been together since shortly after he painted them was one I could not pass up.  They were arranged on the wall in the order that he had painted them.  No pictures could be taken of the paintings themselves so I made sure to stop at the gift shop and obtain photos of them.  The first thing you notice is how faded the colors are – and that’s pretty typical of Van Gogh paintings.  It had something to do with the type of red pigment he used.  The colors of these were once very contrasting and vibrant – the roses pink and green and the irises violet and yellow.  Now the violets look blue and the roses look white, but that is the consequences of time.  As Van Gogh himself said, “Paintings fade like flowers.”

Detail Shot - Van Gogh at The Met by Gina Beth

Detail Shot - Van Gogh at The Met by Gina Beth

In making this layout, I kept with his pink and green color scheme and was careful not to overpower the pictures.  I used a quote card that came from The Clique Kit and a 3x4 journaling card from Heidi Swapp.  One flair, some Thickers and some My Mind’s Eye alphabet stickers and some Tim Holtz Adornments.  All in all, I think the layout does what I wanted it to do – displays the paintings as the main focal point, brings out a color combination that Van Gogh intended but which is now faded, and preserved my memories of standing before these works.

Here is the video I made showing my process.

I hope you enjoyed and if you get a chance – go see these paintings.  They’re pretty incredible.


Gina: "What Can I Say? It's A Monkey Thing" Scrapbook Layout and Process Video

feature-image-full-layout-on-background Sometimes when I look over the pictures that I take, I notice that I take pictures of seemingly inconsequential things; however, upon further introspection, it becomes clear that I take the pictures because I want to remember how something made me feel. The picture that I scrap on this page falls in this category. It’s a picture I took of a toy monkey. He has boxing gloves on and you can’t tell this in the picture, but if you squeeze his stomach, he punches out. It’s quite entertaining, but inconsequential, right? I mean, it’s a toy and while that’s true, the story behind the toy is so important. I’ve liked monkeys and have collected monkey statues and stuffed animals and every other iteration of the monkey motif for as long as I can remember, so you may be wondering why this one is so important. To answer that question, I have to talk about the person who gifted the monkey to me.


You see, everyone in Stew’s family has an animal. Stew’s dad begrudgingly picked the walrus because he thought no one would ever be able to anything having to do with a walrus – well, we’ve proven him wrong time and time again, but I digress. Every year for my birthday and for Christmas since Stew and I started dating, Stew’s mom has found me the most interesting of little monkey toys. I have one that slings across the room like a slingshot and screams like a loon while it does so, I have one that walks across the table, one whose eyes light up like flashlights, the list goes on and one. What these monkeys are or what they do is not the important part of this story. The heartwarming part to me is that Stew’s mom takes the time, puts forth the energy to find these things for me. They’re more than just simple toys. They’re symbols of how much I’m accepted, how integrated into the family. When I married Stew I gained so much more than a husband. I gained a father unlike anything I’d ever experienced and I gained another mom – one who doesn’t hold back in speaking her mind when I need to hear it and who shows me through all that she does the continued love of the mother/daughter relationship.


So that’s the story behind the layout – so let’s talk about what I did to capture these memories. I used mostly the Scraptastic Kit from May and ignored the colors in the photo and went with a pink/yellow/gray/black color combination. I originally titled the layout “It’s A Monkey Thing” but when I created this weird gap between the acetate “feeling the love” embellishment and the picture, I had to fill it in somehow. I chose to do that by adding the “What Can I Say?” part of the title. The picture was originally printed at 4x6 but I used the frame that came in the Pink Paislee, Bella Rouge sticker collection and cut off the excessive negative space of the photo. The acrylic Xs lend balance and fill space around the title. Using the negative letters of the We R Memory Keepers little stickers brings emphasis to the word “monkey” in the title. The black bow above the photo keeps balance with the very heavy black sentiment in the lower right that says “to think of you is to smile”. I also outlined the chipboard hearts to give them more weight across the layout. I rounded out the layout with some Freckled Fawn accent pieces and some American Craft puffy stickers.


Full supply list as well as the process video follows. Hope you guys enjoy and I’ll catch you next time.

Supplies Used

Paper Text Paper: Pink Paislee, Bella Rouge, Heartfelt

Yellow Cardstock: Scraptastic, May 2015

Background Paper: Pink Paislee, Bell Rouge, Shine

Arrow Paper: Kaiser Craft, Shine Bright, Bumblebee


We R Memory Keepers, Alpha Black Stickers, Love Notes


Journaling Pen: Zig


Fabric Border Doily Strip: Freckled Fawn, Oh Deer Me Kit

Precious Happy Little Moment Diecut: Elle's Studio, Cienna, Cut outs

Smile & I Love Right Now Puffy Stickers: American Crafts Dear Lizzie puffy stickers

Chipboard frame and Hearts: Pink Paislee, Bella Rouge, Stickers

Acrylic pieces: Scraptastic Club

Acetate Feeling the Love: Stash

Emoticon Diecute: Kaiser Craft, Shine Bright, Die Cut Shapes

Fabric Bow: Scraptastic Club

To Think of You is To Smile Diecut: Kaiser Craft, Shine Bright, Buttercup



Gina: Hello - scrapbook layout and video

Hey Guys! I’m still trying to finish the blog posts and videos from the three layouts I made on National Scrapbooking Day. I realize that it was over a month ago now, but I made the layouts and the videos, so I thought I’d still go ahead and share them. hello layout 90

This layout is of a picture Stew and I took while we were on a hike through a national wildlife refuge. As we walked along the pier through the woods and over the shallow swampy area, we noticed these small paw prints. They looked like a raccoon or some other critter and they were wet, like we had come upon him and he scrambled away. I wanted to document that moment.

hello details 3 700

On the layout itself, though I used a 4x6 photo, I used a frame around the portion of the photo I wanted to highlight and I emphasized it further by using those acrylic arrows. I matted that hello paper on black cardstock and gutted the black cardstock to use as the main paper layer on which I adhered my photo and other embellishments. I do that often using a 12x12 paper to frame the full layout and cutting out the part you can’t see so that I can use that on the visible portion of the layout. It’s like more bang for your buck or something.

hello details 2 700

The one embellishment I really wanted to make sure I used on this page was that hanging banner chipboard piece. I struggle with using those shapes so bad that I challenged myself to make sure it was used. I really like how it frames out the bottom of the photo. A bow, a little tulle flower and some diecuts round out the embellishing.

hello details 1 700

Most of the supplies from this layout came from the Scraptastic April and May kits.

hello details 4 700

If you want to see the whole process, the youtube process video is linked below.

Hope you enjoy this layout – and I’ll talk to you again soon!

Date of Photo: January 1, 2014 Date Created: May 2, 2015

Supplies Used:

Paper Pebbles, Jen Hadfield, Homemade, Hello Black Cardstock, Scraptastic, May 2015, Darlene Kit/Add On Yellow Polka Dot, Scraptastic, May 2015, Darlene Kit/Add On, Dot

Alphas Lily Bee Designs, DDS185

Ink Mister Huey, Color Mist, Taxi Zig Millennium, MS-05, Pure Black

Tools Zutter Distrezz-it-All It's A Mat Thing, Dillon's Laser Designs (

Embellishments Black bow: Scraptastic, April 2015 Kit Acrylic Arrows, Scraptastic, May 2015, Darlene Kit/Add On Yellow Flower, Pink Paislee, Bella Rouge, Flowers KaiserCraft, Collectables, Shine Bright, Die Cut Shapes (Hello) Pink Paislee, Bella Rouge, Stickers (Frame) Simple Stories, I Am, Chipboard Stickers (Banner) October Afternoon, Sidewalks, Label Stickers (Yellow Label) Simple Stories, I Am, Bits and Pieces (On a Journey)


Gina: I Am a Successful Fisherman - scrapbook layout and video

Another of those layouts made on National Scrapbooking Day that I’m just now getting around to completing for uploading. Whew! I’ve had those three layouts hanging over my head for a full month. I’m ready to move on to something new. Shell and I have some really awesome things going on around here for June. We’re just getting started, so stay tuned for all that we’re planning. Now, on to this layout…

layout 900

Another one from Stew and my trip to Dewey Beach Delaware over New Year’s in 2014. We had the delight of seeing a Great Blue Heron fishing while we toured the nature refuge. Now, don’t go looking too closely at the pictures – I know they’re backwards. The bird has the fish in the top picture and is looking for it in the bottom picture, but I have to tell you, I had no desire to re-open Photoshop and mess with this, so, I just scrapped it the way it was. The title “I Am A Successful Fisherman” is a teeny, tiny (HUGE) jab at Stew, his brother and his father. It seems like every time those three go fishing, they don’t catch anything and in a matter of minutes this Heron out-fished all of them, so of course, I had to rub that in their face. (I know the heron has to fish to survive, but I don’t want to hear it!)

I used some gel medium, some white acrylic paint and the stencil that came in the Scraptastic kit to add the feathers down the side and because I’m as messy as one can get, I got paint outside of the stencil. In my “just go with it” mood, I used the rest of the medium I had left and just painted a portion of my background to cover up the parts that leaked outside of the stencil. And it looks like I meant to do it – well, it kind of looks like that. Let’s just go with it. Full supply list is below as well as the link to the YouTube video if you want to check out the entire process.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be in touch – real soon…

Date of Photo: January 1, 2014 Date Created: May 2, 2015

Supplies Used:

Paper Teal Cardstock, Background: Scraptastic, April 2015, Darlene Kit Green/Black Polka Dots and Cream/Black Stripe: Crate Paper, Confetti, Blast Pink/White Chevron: Scraptastic, April 2015, Darlene Kit, Dots Yellow Floral and True Story: Scraptastic, April 2015, Darlene Kit, Journaling Cards

Alphas Crate Paper, Open Road, Cardstock Stickers

Ink/Media Golden Soft Gel Medium Liquitex Acrylic Color, Basics, Titanium White Memento Tuxedo Black, Dye Ink

Stamps Scraptastic, Darlene Stamp Set Office Depot Date Stamp American Crafts, Amy Tangerine, Ready Set Go, Roller Date Stamp

Tools Feather Stencil, Scraptastic, April 2015 Darlene Kit

Embellishments Enamel Hearts: My Mind’s Eye, Fancy That Feathers, Gold Hearts, Globe “I AM” title words: Simple Stories, I AM, Chipboard Stickers Bird: Simple Stories, I AM, Bits and Pieces, Cardstock Shapes Flair: Stash Yellow Felt Bows: Scraptastic, March 2015 Kit Heart Die Cut: Scraptastic, April 2015, Darlene Kit

Gina: Sunshine - a scrapbook layout and... following my own advice

National Scrapbooking Day came and went and I finished three layouts. I know, I know, you’ve only seen one. I’m working on it. I promise. The past four weekends have been insane and as I travel during the week for work, often gone from Monday night through Thursday, I don’t have a lot of time during the week to craft. I’m going to try to change that by finding things I can do on the road – like learning how to knit or doing voiceovers or something that will keep my creative energy engaged while I’m hopping from one hotel to another. When I noticed that Stew and I had nothing on the calendar for this weekend, I blocked it off. I told him, he’s having Xbox time and I’m going to spend the weekend in my craft room. There was that little issue of the mess I left on National Scrapbooking Day and the piles that had been amassed since I was last in this space….

messy craft room 900

So after a bit of cleaning…

clean craft room 900

I found an unfinished layout on my desk. I wish I had taken a picture of what it looked like when I found it, but I wasn’t thinking about that. I was thinking about just getting the layout done so that I could clean up the space and move forward. I’m not the type of scrapper that has many layouts going at once. I start one, finish it, and then start another. What that means is sometimes, if I get stuck on a layout, it sits on the desk for a few days, and in this case, a few weeks. But, I have to say, sometimes that works to your advantage. Without the camera on, with just the materials that were sitting on the desk, I was able to finish this layout in minutes rather than stressing over where every little piece should go. And here’s the final product:

Sunshing layout 900

There’s no video for this layout. I did record the first part of it, but not the second, so what would be the point of posting it? The real lesson I learned this morning was to stop thinking so much. Go back to doing my layouts based on only what looks good to me. It’s like my scrapbooking motto and I’ve lost sight of it. DO WHAT YOU LIKE. No one else opinion of it matters, it’s your memories. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you’ve read that or heard me say that more than once and I’m sorry to admit that I didn’t heed my own advice. So, no more. Now, I forget that the camera is rolling, pull out my adhesive (Tombow – my favorite) and start pasting down what is pleasant to my eye. They’re my memories after all.


~ Gina