Shellie: Adventure 2016 - Memories of Maine - 12x12 ROUND layout using new interactive Viewfinder cut file set

I will be honest and admit that when I cut out this latest file, I had absolutely no idea what project I was going to use it for.  I cut it out and and I was so excited about the file and the idea and then I was like.... but what am I going to use it for?  I knew I needed and wanted a project to showcase the new cut file for the shop but how to choose what to use in it?

I seriously considered using photos from our trip to Disney last year and I think I will still make one using those images.  But there are SOOOO many images to choose from that the task just felt daunting.  I remembered I had already started narrowing down some photos that I want to use on a mini book about our most recent Road Trip to Maine so I knew that folder would only have a few (relatively speaking - when compared to 3000 originals)and I decided to go there.  As I progressed through my photo selections I ended up deciding to use only pictures of us.  Either selfie's (we always take the selfie stick with us!) or shots we took of each other. 

There is one picture that doesn't have our faces, only my feet, but technically I am in the picture.  :)  Plus I just really wanted to use it.  The name of our trip written in the sand was kind of a subtitle for the project in my mind. 

Above is the finished project.  It is not attached to a background paper and because of the way the file works, there really isn't a "top".  I used the photo template (I originally made it to make my life easier while working on this project and decided I had to include it in with the cut file!) to print my photos and then I cut them out with scissors.  Using the silhouette just seemed a bit like overkill for just cutting out the pictures so I cut them out, decided in what order I wanted them and just taped those suckers on the back of the template using washi tape. 

Next I placed the journaling template onto my background piece and used a bit of washi to hold it in place. (Washi is handy stuff but I often use it for something other than what it was meant for - you too right?)  Then I did my journaling - just write then spin, write then spin until I had each photo documented.  Finally I simply removed the template and I'm left with all of my journaling in perfect alignment.


Next I took the top "spinner" and placed it on top.  There are tiny center holes in both the front and back pieces that you can use to put your brad into so that they line up perfectly.  I attached the piece and tested it out - I had to see how it worked and it worked beautifully!


Finally I did my embellishing.  Not too much because with so many images, too many embellishments could make it look a little crazy I think.  But I used these number wood veneers that I think came in a December Daily kit and the adventure wood veneer from Heidi Swapp.  I decided to add the little tab as a handle of sorts to make the spinning easier and I love how it turned out. 

There are a few other nautical themed die cuts/stickers that came from a Just Jaimee digital planner sticker kit for August that I bought from the Lily-Pad online store and printed and cut with my silhouette of course.  That's it.  By the time I was finished, this had become a project I loved instead of just one I made to showcase the cut file. 

I'm already planning that second one using Disney pictures - I can picture it in my head and can't wait. 

I hope you enjoy using the file as much as I did.  You can purchase it here on our web site in the shop, or if you prefer, in our etsy store

Keep crafting!


Shellie: My favorite childhood Easter photo - 12x12 Layout

I actually made this layout on the Easter holiday weekend this year.  I recorded a video of it which I wanted to be my first ever youtube video but haven't gotten my act together with the editing of that video so this layout has been sitting unposted since then.  Shame on me.

I wanted to do a paper layout and double-clicked on my Photos file on my computer and just hanging out in the folder was a scan of this image.  This is me and two of my cousins from Easter at my Uncle's house about a billion years ago.  (Okay, probably like 37?)  I'm not positive how old I actually am in this picture but I'd guess between 2 and 4.  That's me on the right with the bowl cut.  That big basket in front of me was my Easter basket my entire life until I think it finally just disintegrated from old age. 

I'm not sure why exactly, but this has always been one of my favorite photos from my childhood.  I just love it.  So I decided it was the perfect time to scrap it since it was Easter weekend and all. 

I started by fussy cutting a bunch of those butterflies.  I generally enjoy fussy cutting so it wasn't an annoyance to me.  The rest of the page, being fairly simple, didn't take a long time to come together.  I think the most time consuming part was deciding where to place each individual sequin so they looked random.  Irony, right?  Haha.  The small square frame and "favorite" script word are both by Heidi Swapp and the sequins and flair came in a Scraptastic kit once upon a time and have been in my stash.

I still want to try to get the video up for this project and if I do, I'll add it in to this post.

I've found lately that the idea of scrapping old photos from my childhood actually quite appeals to me so I will likely be doing more of it.  Those are the memories I want to keep. 

Thanks for stopping in to visit.  I believe that Gina scrap-lifted this idea and should be posting her interpretation of this layout soon.

See you soon.


Shellie: Selah / Happy Place - 12 x 12 Layout - Felicity Jane Kit

I haven't done many actual 12x12 paper layouts.  I don't have anything against them, I just always did another type of project or I did them digitally.  I think that officially this makes number 4 or 5.  Seriously.  But I decided I wanted to make an actual 12 x 12 paper page using my Felicity Jane kits and looked up and saw this black and white photo of my niece clipped to something on my desk and it was a done deal.  I knew the black and white photo would go well with the colors in the FJ kit as they all have a black and white base.

In the end I decided to go mostly with pieces from the February kit.  I didn't plan on it having only two other colors besides the black and white - teal and gold - but that's just how it turned out.  It's simple but sweet.  I keep thinking I should have added some paint splatters or something but I'm holding off for now and just letting it be.

The teal chipboard hearts actually came from an Ali Edwards kit but they matched so perfectly and I decided to see if I could color block the bottom of them in gold like the letters were and used a gold Sharpie.  It totally worked. 

At the last minute I decided to add the strip of black lace along the bottom with my sewing machine and I adore it so much I did it again on my next layout which will be on the blog later in the week.

I didn't video making this one, but I'm testing the waters of recording process videos and hope to have some up soon.

Back soon!


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

Shellie: Disney Travel Journal

Disney Vacation Travel Journal - "as it happens" but not really.  :)

Disney Vacation Travel Journal - "as it happens" but not really.  :)

In July, Gina and I went to Walt Disney World in Orlando to celebrate my 39th birthday.  It was hotter than the blazing fires of hell, but we still had an amazing time.  I lived in Orlando for more than 12 years and even worked there for several of them but this was still one of the best times I've had at the park.

Gina drove down from one of the sites she visits for work and then we road tripped it from my house.  I do live in Florida, but most people just don't realize how long it actually is from one end of Florida to the other.  From where I live to Orlando, it's about a 7.5 hour drive.  (Depending on how fast you drive and how often you have to stop to pee, of course.)

This is what the welcome sign looks like at full speed. :) I love how this picture came out.

This is what the welcome sign looks like at full speed. :) I love how this picture came out.

We arrived about 10:30pm and the very first thing we did was set up our on the road crafting space on the hotel table.  We both brought a crap load of supplies that we had such good intentions of using.  Little did we know.

The crafting spot.

The crafting spot.

See we planned to make little travel journals during our breaks and in the evenings.  And we did... for about half a day.  But then sheer exhaustion kind of killed our plans and our beautiful little crafting area just sat abandoned.

I did a few pages of journaling while I was there.  I may have made it through the first day but maybe not.  The rest of my journaling I did from home.  But I still wanted to make the book so I continued on the same path I'd intended to take while I was there.  I journalled about each day and tucked and clipped in the corresponding photos.  I didn't want a neat and organized book, I wanted it to be very cobbled and clipped together.  Collected.  And I think that in the end it came out as I'd hoped.

I use bit and pieces from a lot of sources and I'm not going to look at each piece to try and determine where they came from.  But for the major pieces I used 3 main sources.

And so it begins...  Notebook by Heidi Swapp and the Sn@p Pack by SN@P.

And so it begins...  Notebook by Heidi Swapp and the Sn@p Pack by SN@P.

The notebook was by Heidi Swapp and I bought it on sale at JoAnn before the trip.  It says Notes on the front in gold lettering but I covered that up.  It turned out to be exactly the right size.  In fact, I think that I only ended up with the back side of the last page blank.  It couldn't have been more perfect. 

I used a Simple Stories Sn@p Pack that was Disney themed and I bought at Michael's.  Most of my stuff came from this.

I also used a few prints and cuts I made using two digital kits.

1. Project Mouse from Sahlin Studio that I purchased at The Lily Pad online store.

2. Dreams Come True from Scott Girl that I purchased at The Digital Press

I used a ton of different clips and after doing the journaling for the entire trip, went back and printed and just clipped a bunch of photos into the book.  It came out fat and jumbled with stuff sticking out on all sides and I love it.  The only thing I don't love is my cover.  It needs something else and I just don't know what that is.  So for now I'm calling it done and moving on.

Gina (left) used YouTube for a quick lesson on how to use chopsticks.  And (right) there was a total tool making a fool of himself in front of the Mexico spot so I covered him with the geotag.

Gina (left) used YouTube for a quick lesson on how to use chopsticks.  And (right) there was a total tool making a fool of himself in front of the Mexico spot so I covered him with the geotag.

Gina and I took literally thousands of photos on this trip and I'm going to do a mega mega Disney trip book with them and so I'm not going to go back and worry about this one any longer. 

Next trip I hope to do better at my on the spot journaling and since we hopefully won't ever do Disney again in July (LOL) then it shouldn't beproblem in the future.  Sorry for the picture overload.

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.

Shellie: #1 "Roots" - Transforming 6 Ali Edwards kits into 6 mini books

Using the Ali Edwards "Roots" Story and Stamp Kits in a Mini Album - Project 1 of 6 in this Series

Using the Ali Edwards "Roots" Story and Stamp Kits in a Mini Album - Project 1 of 6 in this Series

In March I signed up to receive both the Story Kit and Stamp Kit from Ali Edwards.  They come in these cute little envelopes and have all sorts of fun things inside.  Each month I would get my kit, open it up and smile and pet all the pretty pieces.  Then I'd pack it all back up in the envelope and set it aside to use "later."

6 months pass and instead of awesome projects, what I have is a pristine collection of kits that have never been used.  Not one single item.  It's a problem.  So I officially paused my subscription and pulled out all of my kits. Time to get busy.

All 6 Ali Edwards kits laid out in a row.

All 6 Ali Edwards kits laid out in a row.

I've challenged myself to use these 6 kits and turn them into 6 mini books based on their themes: Magic, Click, Roots, Build, Go and Little Things.  I think this will be a fun way to kill two birds with one stone - use up the kits and get back into the groove of making my mini books.

I picked one of the more recent kits to start with, "Roots".  Ali Edwards describes the reasons behind this kit in this way: "Roots have been planted by past generations and are being planted by you today. These stories give insight into the who, what, where, why, and when of our existence."

I was immediately drawn to it.  It made me think of my parents and my grandparents and I wanted to celebrate them in this mini book project.  I'll walk you through the process I used to complete this album.

First I pulled out all of the pieces in this kit and laid them out on my desk to really take a look.  I wanted to know what the available sentiments were when I started mentally planning the book.  I flipped through the cards and begin to assign photos to each with small post it notes. 

roots process 2.jpg

Next I reordered the cards until their message and the photos I selected were in a cohesive order.  Then I considered how to hold them together.  I knew I wanted to use the Tim Holtz (I think) book cover as my cover but my original plan was to use twine to tie the covers and pages together through punched holes.  But while looking through my box of mini book supplies, I found these 4x6 pocket pages by We R Memory Keepers and knew that they were the way to go for this project.  It didn't include any 3x4 pockets which was a bummer, but I decided to sew a couple of the 4x6 down the center to create my own.

Next I slipped my cards into these pockets and added pieces from the chipboard sticker card included in the kit. 

I had to take a break in the middle of this project because I needed to go and get the pictures I had planned from my mom.  I knew I wanted to include photos of them as children and of their wedding and of my grandparents.  I took quite a few from her and brought them home and scanned them and printed my own out on my Canon Selphy so I can return the originals to her.  They came our really well.

Roots Mini book details

So next I went back through the pages and tucked the photos into their planned pages and looked for places where I needed more photos and repeated the scanning and printing process until I had filled all of the photo spots except one, the collage I wanted to include in the front.

Page by page I pulled the cards, embellishments and photos out of the pockets and begin to assemble my pages by attaching the photos, chipboard stickers and and the phrase stickers.  I stuck almost completely to the kit itself, only adding a very few pieces that did not come with this collection - part of a doily and a few pieces from what I believe is the the Oh, Darling vellum die cut pack.

I saved my inside title page for last.  When I'd pulled out the kit contents originally I laid the little word veneer pieces one on top of another for fun and liked the way they looked so much that I decided to use them that way in the project.  I created their background by cutting a 4x6 card from a wood grain print paper and then attached the words to the front one on top of the other as they'd been before.  For the back of this page, I knew I wanted to use the clear acrylic printed card so I took my favorite pictures of my family and made a collage from the photos and then printed it out and attached it to another piece of wood grain paper.  I did not attach the clear sheet to the collage, but just tucked it in the pocket on top so that it can be removed and the photos can be viewed uncovered.

Finally I assembled the book, using an awl to cut the holes into the cover.  For the cover I want to attach the plastic word that Ali includes with each kit.  It's so white and new and modern looking though, that it doesn't go with the look and feel of the rest of my book, so my intention is to paint it gold before permanently adhering it.

And that was it.  Finished mini book #1 of 6.  I loved making this book and the meaning behind it.  Looking through the old photos and choosing ones that meant something to me or that I didn't even know existed was the best part. 

I look forward to seeing what else I can create with the remaining 5 kits.

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.