December 2, 2011

Zutter Bind-it-All — The tool I just couldn't live without!

I just purchased a new tool that I'm very excited about—the Zutter Bind-it-All.  I know it's been around awhile, but until recently I wasn't familiar with how it worked and how much I needed it! I will be using it on mini albums and anything else I can imagine using it for, but here's the project that prompted me to get it.

I wanted to make photo calendars of some of my pictures for my co-workers this year for Christmas gifts. I have eight co-workers in my department. I priced out how much calendars cost to have printed and bound.  They are NOT cheap! The least expensive I found for a desk calendar was $11.00 plus shipping. Multiply that by eight and it's not very economical, especially these days. So I started looking for other options which brought me to the Bind-it-All.

Not including the price of the tool itself, printing and binding my 5 1/5 x 8 1/5 calendars only costs me about $2.20.  That's right folks!  For nearly the same price as having eight calendars made by some online company I was able to purchase an AMAZING tool that I can (and will) use over and over, plus make my calendars and say I did it all myself.

As far as I know, Paper Pals is the only local store that carries these and you can find so many samples in the store of how they use it. There's some SERIOUSLY cute stuff!  There's lots of ideas online too. Here are some of the ideas I've either found or come up with.
  • Mini albums
  • Smash books
  • Notebooks and journals
  • Calendars for co-workers, friends, teachers, etc.
  • Bind your kids' artwork and/or school work
  • Bind greeting cards from special events so you never lose them (Christmas, birthday, baby shower, wedding, etc.)
  • Rebind books that are falling apart
  • Coloring books
  • Travel activity packet - laminate games such as dot-to-dot, tic tac toe, car bingo, etc. and bind them all together and attach a dry erase marker.
  • Just use it as a border punch and run string or ribbon through the holes.
  • Limitless possibilities!
I haven't even touched on all the accessories and products that make creating albums so simple and easy. Go into Paper Pals and check out this amazing tool today! I bet if you ask nicely, they will even show you how it works in person! ;o)
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November 16, 2011

What's Up Wednesday

Did you take note of what Amber mentioned in our last post?

Holiday paper does not always need to be used for holidays.

Here's my example!

First off, my holiday paper:
(Who doesn't love a little Fourth of July with Christmas?)

Then, the FLIP SIDE of my holiday paper:
(Looks like it would work for a project for a Coug fan, huh?)

I was creating an extra special project for a fantastic family here in Pullman who are big Coug fans. Dad was going in for a major surgery and this banner was created to cheer him with a "visit" from his kids while he was recovering.

I used holiday paper, ribbon, WSU stickers, Bazzill Borders, and some fun flowers... all items from Paper Pals!
Their greeting: We love you. Get well soon!
A shout out to Team Davis-- we hope the hardest part of your battle is done!

Come up with a fun project that you could do for someone else... and use your holiday paper in a new way!
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November 12, 2011

Holly Jolly Christmas Collection by Echo Park

I had a great time playing with the Holly Jolly Christmas line by Echo Park. The colors are so vivid and playful, plus the patterns aren't all Christmas so while you can use them for Holiday projects and layouts you can also use them for other projects not related to Christmas.

On this layout I used the Sew Easy large paper piercer and fancy floss to stitch the fun swirly border then cut out the stockings and attached them with dimensional dots.

For the Christmas tree card I used an EK Success border punch then curled the paper up using the shaft of a pen to give it more dimension.  For the reindeer card I cut out the scalloped circle using Nestabilities dies. I love those things!  I added a jewel to the reindeer's nose and colored it using a Copic marker.

This card is pretty simple. I used my border punch again then raised the two pieces of paper with dimensional dots. I also added a little stickles to the snowman for some bling.

The last project I did was to make some fun ornaments. On the back of each ornament I attached a small B&W photo.

As always, these samples can be seen in person at Paper Pals. I hope you have as much fun with this line as I did!
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November 9, 2011

Whats up Wednesday!

I am primarily a Scrapbooker and so I usually wait until after Halloween to scrapbook Halloween pictures and so I hope it does not feel unexpected to see Halloween ideas after Halloween has already past! I am so in love with the "My Minds Eye" Halloween paper "Mischievous"! It is my favorite of all Halloween paper EVER! I love that it has orange, black and white combinations and a pale ghostly blue. The patterns are awesome and workable for any pictures with any color scheme. It is two sided and the patterns are varied and scrumptious. My kids this year could not stop picking up the accordion album I made in 2009 and just looking at all their costumes. I made another book in 2010 they also liked, but the Accordion Album really stood out as part of our Halloween decorations, so I decided to do another for 2011. I was surprised how excited my kids were for me to finish( apparently they like my scrap book projects better than my cooking!) It was easy and fun, I slapped it together with a minimal of embellishment and just a few light touches. My family loves it and it is so easy to pack away in it's little case for next year! Enjoy!
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November 2, 2011

What's Up Wednesday - DIY Christmas Ideas

I don't know about you, but this year has gone way too fast!  I can't believe it's already November, which means, it's time to seriously start thinking about handmade Christmas gifts and other Christmas-type ideas. 

Sometimes it's hard to come up with something new, unique, and memorable so I go looking for inspiration online. Here are a few great ideas I've found so far.

I've wanted to make one of these scrappy photo collage stars for a few years now and finally found a tutorial! Yay!

I'm in love with this personalized monogrammed tote bag. Elegant, easy, and best of all, inexpensive.

Check out this goodie box! Filled with cookies or other yummy treats, it would be perfect for coworkers, neighbors, church members, etc. It's made out of a single sheet of 12x12 paper. So simple and adorable. Check out the tutorial here.  Paper Pals has so much cute double-sided Christmas paper to choose from.

SPECIAL NOTE: Speaking of cute boxes and packaging for Christmas, Paper Pals has got a class coming up called Tags, Bags, Boxes, and More! where Karen will teach you how to make unique and fun Christmas packaging.

Here's a great project for the kids in your life - page corner bookmarks.  They would have fun making these for their classmates or maybe even a teacher.

Here's another project to get kids involved.  They can make their own bows! Give them a sheet of white paper, have them go crazy drawing and/or stamping on it and use that for the bows. What could be simpler? You could also use scrapbook paper that coordinates with custom tags!

I love these glass candle holders! These glasses can be found at any thrift store or dollar store.  Take rubber bands and stretch them around the glass at different angles, then take a can of spray paint to it. Wait for it to dry, then remove the rubber bands. Easy peasy!

This may be the most brilliant idea I've come across and I WILL be doing it! Transfer a photo onto a block of wood. AWESOME!  Here's a great little video tutorial. I had no idea it was so simple!

Now before you go thinking 'I don't knit,' this scarf is super easy and doesn't require any knitting. Isn't it adorable?!  I'm thinking this might be a good gift for the nieces this year.

These ornaments are absolutely adorable and what better way to use all that fun Christmas scrapbooking paper you have?

I absolutely LOVE these little guys too! Clear, glass ornaments decoupaged with vintage papers, sprinkled with glass glitter and tied with a "Noel" stamped tag. The Lost & Found Christmas collection by My Mind's Eye that is currently at Paper Pals would be PERFECT to make these.

I thought this was a cute idea for the envelopes for Christmas cards this year.

Mix up the tree decorating with this fun and easy twisted felt garland. What a cute idea!

I came across so many great ideas. There's no way I could share them all, but hopefully these few I chose will inspire you.
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October 29, 2011

Amy Tangerine from American Crafts

Hey all, I recently had the chance to play with some really fun new papers from American Crafts-- their Amy Tangerine line!

It's fun, versatile and appeals to all kinds of hobbies and pleasures. Quirky and bright!

There were a few different layouts I created with the papers, and they're all very different.

The first was a feature of me-- a photo I took on my 37th birthday. Only thing missing: the letter I want to write to myself and tuck among the layers for posterity. My favorite part is the "banner" of pieces I cut from a pattern page and strung with bakers twine! I also used Martha Stewart fringe scissors to cut some fringe on the fabric paper.

My daughter dressed up for a rock and roll birthday party, and was a great model for me before she headed to the party. I think it will be fun for her to look back on the crazy outfit and hair she donned that day. I used little frames from a pattern page to create my visual triangle with the quirky objects in this line.

And lastly, my family layout. It's a recent photo of me with my siblings... and all our children. Wow. What a crazy fun crew! The matching dimensional stickers worked great for this layout.

Lastly, I used scraps to make simple cards. The bright colors made them fun to make for multiple occasions.

Have you used this line for any fun papercrafts?
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October 23, 2011

Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium - easy to use and love!

Graphic 45’s Christmas Emporium line was a perfect choice for one of my favorite old photos of my Mom and her sister as little girls. The photo itself is in need of more “correction” than I can manage, but nonetheless, I think it is complemented by this new line really well!

This layout is really quite simple. If you follow this blog and “know” me, you know that I comfortably use patterned paper. However, the piece with the Santa scene was a challenge for me when I initially thought I should use the piece in its entirety. How freeing is was dissect it and use the Naughty or Nice list and Santa as embellishments instead of as part of the background. Because the paper is double sided, I was able to use pieces and parts from both sides to create the horizontal stripes on the bottom of the layout and the tag from the paper that is full of tags and small embellishments. After inking nearly every piece and edge to bring out the rich brown undertones, the layout came together in a snap.

The cards came together in similar fashion. Using both sides of the patterned paper, and parts of the papers as embellishments and tags, these cards came together quickly. Of course I utilized Diamond Glaze and glitter to add a little extra pizzazz to the cards.

Finally, I just hated to see the really small “bits” got to waste and the decorative Christmas tree was born! I simply cut the paper to size, used Diamond Glaze to adhere each piece to a Tim Holtz acrylic tile, glued the jute twine to each ornament, and added some bling for the final touch! My circle punch came in handy to create a simple garland for the tree that perfectly complements the ornaments! Simply use a hole punch on each piece and thread them onto a long piece of jute (don’t forget to tie a knot behind each one to keep them more evenly spaced).

You can get many more ideas for using Christmas Emporium after a quick Google search!


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October 17, 2011

What's Up Wednesday - easy, peasy photo editting!

Maybe you have such a fabulous camera that 100% of your photos look absolutely flawless 100% of the time. Or maybe, you have a less than fabulous camera, that takes flawed photos, and because you're not a computer wizard, or a graphic designer, you think you have to just settle for this mediocrity!

Not true!

If you are taking the time to document your family's life through photos, then you really must give Picasa, a free download from Google, a try! This may be really old news to some of our blog readers. If so, you can quit reading and just head to the store to see what new goodies Karen and Kristi have to compliment your fabulous and flawless photos.

Or, take a look at this quick tutorial and testimonial, then head over to, then over to Paper Pals once you are really inspired by your awesome photos!

Once you are at (which looks like this), you can watch a couple of tutorials (which are not really necessary, this software is soooooooooo easy to use). Follow the steps to install Picasa. Be patient, this may take a few minutes while Picasa finds all the photos on your computer and sorts a copy of them into the program. Don't panic, it sorts by date, and is really easy to re-sort into other folders/groupings if you want to later.

In literally a few clicks, you can adjust almost everything in your photos!

Admit it, you're not happy with mediocre photos. You do your best, and still get average results, and sometimes even worse results when you hand your camera to someone with less experience behind the lens than you. Fear are two examples of what you can do in Picasa in under 60 seconds per photo:

Edits: red eye corrected, color adjusted (from very "yellow" to a cooler shade).

Edits: cropped to a more flattering landscape view, soft focus (to blur the background distractions), retouch tool (used to remove the piano lamp that was coming out of my head in the first photo), fill light, and slight adjustment to color saturation.

You can do so much more than simple editing in Picasa. You can upload photos to web albums or to order them from print labs. You can create collages* and many other sizes of photos for printing or web posting purposes. Basically, you can enjoy your photos more than ever before!


*Visit my personal blog and you'll see how handy collages can be!
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October 13, 2011

ADORN it-Holly Jolly Collection

I can't get enough of Christmas paper.  This paper from ADORN it is called the Holly Jolly Collection.  The papers I got to work with were Christmas Potpourri, Mix and Mingle, and Star Jazz.  I also got a sticker sheet that worked perfectly with the paper.  I almost used up every sticker on that sheet.  Cards are easy to do with these stickers.  I am having an obsession with baker's twine.

 This page was a scrap lift from Creaking Keepsakes September 2010 issue, page 54.  It is hard for me to leave that blank space at the top. 
This is the Mix and Mingle paper.  The back side has a pretty green pattern.  I didn't want to cut this page up.  I thought it would work great as a page.  I just cut my photos to fit over some of the journal spots.  I really liked the doodle design in the top left corner.  I had to resist the urge to color it all in.  I am sure it would look great colored if I had some of those copic markers.  Hmmm. Thanks for looking. 
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