Thursday, July 22, 2010

Party Planner

I feel like such a party planner!  I just finished up 50 wedding, 4 birthday and 9 baby shower invitations!

I did the wedding invitations with a BRIDES Magazine Invitation Kit that the bride bought at Michaels.  I have to say, it was fairly simple to use and print.  The only issue I had was that my printer didn't like printing on the shiny envelopes, so I had to use address labels, which aren't quite as pretty or fast.

The birthday party invitations were for my son's 3rd birthday.  They say to invite the number of kids for the years old the child is turning, but that just won't work for us. Try as I might, we could only cut it down to 6 'kid-friends' (as NJ like to call them).  He's a little crazy about PBS's Dinosaur Train these days so I wasn't too surprised when he chose DT for his party theme.  In past years I've been a little more papercrafty with the invitations, but I've been playing more with digital scrapbooking lately and ended up going all digital with the invites. They were very simple- a few images, a variety of text and Wa-la!

To keep my traditional paper-crafting side happy, I created little altered comp books for the kids.  I kept it fast and simple (since I was making 7 of them) by only altering the front cover of the books with an outline picture of the Ptreranodon Family to color and a full color DT Logo.  I have no idea what a 3 year old will do with a comp book, but I'm throwing in a box of crayons to help inspire them! By the way, I LOVE that NJ's birthday is near the start of school because I found the comp books for $0.25 each and the boxes of 24 crayons for $0.25 each!

Download .psd
For the baby shower invitations, I wanted to include the mom's nursery theme of purple and lambs but I was really having a hard time finding any lamb stamps. I went in search of lamb line drawings that I could print and came up flat.  When I found a nice photo of a lamb at Morgue File (great place for royalty free images) I decided to experiment with Photoshop Elements some more.  I'm not an Elements pro by any stretch, but I did manage to combine the lamb photo with other free digi elements (frames, paper, flourish...) to create a nice file I could then drop into word, 4 to a page and lay text over it. (next thing to learn in Elements is how to manipulate text in all the ways I know in Word).  If you'd like the .psd version with all it's layers (so you can change it easily), I've uploaded it here for you.  This is the first time I've shared files via, so someone please let me know how it works for you!  If it goes well, I can share more. It appears to have an annoying wait... anyone know of a better free service for sharing large files?

Taking the Plunge

I've done it. I bit the bullet. I dove in. I drank the KoolAid. I bought a Scotch Advanced Tape Glider!

Scotch ATG714 Adhesive Applicator for 1/4-Inch TapeThis puppy is 9.5 inches tall and 7.5 inches wide and a full 1.5 inches thick! Why in the world would I buy such a giant tape roller?  Well, just google Scotch ATG and you'll read the thousands of rave reviews about it.  Apparently it's the best thing since sliced bread, allowing you to roll yards and yards (12) of tape for $1! (Refills are $10 for 72 yards of the acid free tape at Michaels. Use a 40% coupon and pay only $6)

But what really tipped me over on the decision was that Michaels finally started carrying it.  Not only do they sell their Susan G Komen braded ATG with 2 rolls of tape for $35, which is about the cheapest price I've seen on line, but they also let me use a 40% off coupon for it!  So, I got my bright pink monster for $21 plus tax!

Now being the nerd that I am, I know that I usually only get 13 yards for about $3 when I buy my Tombo Mono adhesive with coupon.  If I subtract $6 for the two rolls of tape included with my ATG, my initial investment is down to $15.  So, I'll need to burn through about 100 yards or three additional rolls of ATG tape to recoup my initial investment. How long will that take? I have no idea. I only keep so much data in this little brain of mine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I've been on a bit of a break from scrapbooking. I had been working chronologically and I got to a set of pictures that brought back some bad memories and even though I tried to just skip them with the intent of coming back to them later, it kinda derailed me.  I've been making cards and gift sets and a few altered composition books, but I'm still struggling to get back to scrapbooking, which I love.

This last weekend, while on vacation in Tucson, I stopped by Bookmans, an Arizona chain of used bookstores, and found a few old issues of Simple Scrapbooks.  I discovered this magazine and decided to subscribe to it the same month (May/June 2009) they decided to stop making it. So I will occasionally buy a back issue and savor it, cover to cover.

In their Jan/Feb 2008 issue they had an article about journaling entitled Write From The Heart, by Elizabeth Dillow.  She talks about how one of her favorite writers, Anna Quindlen, wrote an article for Newsweek, Write For Your Life, about the "demise of everyday prose." (Please, go read Write For Your Life, whether or not you ever scrapbook, it's truly inspiring.) Dillow then goes on to give some tips for more prose-like journaling in your scrapbooking.  In one example (done by another scrapbooker) we can read a "note to self" where one mom tries to keep things in perspective by reminding herself about the joys her young children bring her in spite of the challenges they create.  Something about the tone and content of the note really caught my attention.  I was crying by the end, which felt very silly, but I was also wanting to do some scrapbooking and journaling so that I will never forget how sweet my boys are and how very unique this stage of life is.

here's the layout- hopefully it will inspire you too.

 Simple Scrapbooks, Vol 7, Issue 1, Jan/Feb 2008, page 61