November 24, 2013

Goodbyes are never easy...

...I've lived in Pullman a little over 20 years.  While this is a lovely place to work, raise a family, and live, the part of life on the Palouse that is a huge drag is saying goodbye to dear friends.  With two universities here, people are constantly moving in and out either for more education, teaching, or administration.  I've learned to say, "have a great life" because honestly, our paths may never cross again. 

I stopped in to Paper Pals yesterday, Karen's last day in the store.  I didn't say goodbye.  I just wanted to say, thank you, best of luck, and "I'll see you around".  I'm sure I fumbled over my words a little, but thankfully others have so eloquently expressed their feelings and mine on this blog in recent weeks. 

Karen, you have meant the world to me and so many others. I'm sure I speak for others as well.  I'll miss you immensely, but look forward to the weekend retreats full of creativity and catching up with old friends. Thank you for inspiring me, challenging me, and trusting me to be a part of your team in a small way.  Thank you for sharing your dream, your talent, and your life with me and so many others. 

Until we meet again!

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November 4, 2013

Turnining Over a New Leaf...

As I learned that Paper Pals was closing its doors, it made me realize what a great impact the store has had on my life. I am surprised at the influence that one business (and fabulous business owner Karen) can have on me!

I've spent a little time looking back, and I discovered that almost exactly 6 years ago, Karen asked me to submit some items to apply for design team. She knew that I was "dabbling in digital", and she wanted to add a DT member who would work on hybrid layouts. (Karen has ALWAYS been on the cutting edge to make sure she was serving customers with the latest and greatest in the scrapping/crafting industry!) I remember how flattered I was to be chosen for the team. Here's my very first DT layout-- a hybrid page that featured a visit to the pumpkin patch:

Thanks to her and the other design team members, my confidence grew and so did my scrapping skills. I think I really hit my "mojo" in the Spring of 2010 when so many great things were happening in the scrapping industry and with my projects at Paper Pals. Here are a few of my favorite Design Team layouts from that phase of my scraplife:


And, time marched on... I started working and my kids got older and required lots of my free time outside of work. Scrapping was an occasional hobby versus a daily pleasure. But Karen still believed in me, and kept pushing exciting new products my way that inspired me to create once again. My work was more simplified, but was still meaningful and really therapeutic. Definitely cheaper than therapy! Here's a more recent layout that I love:
So, as another autumn comes to a close, it is a reminder that all good things come to an end. What an incredible 6 years I've had as a DT member at Paper Pals, and I will always have fond memories of this phase in my life. Thanks, Karen, for believing in me and encouraging me too. I can't wait to see what is to come for the future!

Thanks for the memories. :)
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October 31, 2013

I don't have a fancy camera.  I don't live in a big expensive house on a beautiful piece of property.  I don't go on big trips to Hawaii.  But I have a big family, with a lot of really fancy memories.  How do I mince in words the absolute wonder and joy of that.  How do I capture in photo these beautiful wonderful people and the magnificent journey we have shared together.  How do I make poetry out of chaos and beauty out of mess.  Karen's showed me how.  And it has been creative bliss.  And there simply is no way to thank her and this little store of hers, Paper Pals, for years and years of glorious light at the end of a long week, and then weeks upon weeks and then months and years.  How do I say goodbye, to such an iridescent light in my life. How can I imagine not having that little store to pass by. Even when I don't have time or funding to stop in and satiate my creative appetite, I still get that little tingly happy feeling that comes with years and years of happy memories in creating and accomplishment, every single time I drive by.  In dark years Karens positive nature, her rich array of artistic possibilities have been a place of contemplation for me and creative joy.

I selected these 3 photo's but I could have put a thousand up there, all the projects I have done over the years, all the hours filled with anticipation and pure inspiration.  At the top is her Halloween paper.  I haven't scrapbooked our Halloween yet, but that Paper has been on my table, and divider and cabinet and I just keep moving it around because I don't want it out of my sight.  I get excited just planning what I want to do with that paper when I finally get to it.  It makes me happy.  I am going to make an accordion book and I can hardly wait.   

Christmas paper.  Every year I do a Christmas book.  My children look through these books every single year.  Our hearts have grown full sifting through the pages together. There is unity and gratitude that knits us gently to each other in these projects.  I look forward to making a simple book like last year, with 4x4 squares. awesome double backed paper and a hole punch with 2 rings. When I am feeling tired, I pull these wonderful stickers and tapes and buttons out of the bag and I look them over.  It makes me happy.

The last picture is a quick shot of some of my albums.  It is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg.  I have tears running down my eyes in grattitude for the years of support, and encouragement, ideas and supplies that have made our family history so incredibly satisfying and so wonderful. Paper Pals has given me a venue of which to esteem myself , build confidence and to experience so much creative growth. It has been very satisfying. There are times it has saved me. It has made an indelible mark on who I am today.

  Karen, you have been so much a part of this.  You have been an unsung hero in the life of your family and the lives of hundreds of other families like  mine. You have brought happiness into our lives that has been real and has truly nourished our souls and the souls of all the members of our families. Never a minute you ever spent in your store was ever wasted, you have made the lives of so many people, so much richer.

You  will be missed!

love, Deb

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October 29, 2013

Paper Pals....

...made my soul happy!!

Saying "good-by" to Paper Pals is like saying good-by to an dear friend!  I'm going to miss having an incredible scrapbook store right here, near my home, where I can go and get the latest products, be inspired, see friends, and create memories! But, as hard as it is to see the "Paper Pals era" come to an end, I feel so very grateful that it was part of my life!  A very important part of my life. 
Many, many years ago (when I was a scrapbooking "newbie") I was in search of Bazzill cardstock!  My sister was visiting me from Phoenix and we needed some "Kraft" cardstock to complete a layout we were working on.  I had heard that there was a little store in Gladish Elementary School in Pullman that sold scrapbook supplies, so we searched for the name of the store (Paper Pals) and called them.  Sure enough....they had "Kraft" Bazzill cardstock!!  We got in the car, went right over to Gladish, walked in, and my love for Paper Pals was born!
Since that day I have had the pleasure of working at the store, teaching lots of fun classes, being a member of the Design Team, and making many, many life-long friends.  That's the thing about "scrapbookers"....we have an instant connection!!  We all develop WAYYYYY to many photos, we have an "unquenchable thirst" for the latest and greatest products, and we love to create memories through our scrapbooks.
Paper Pals will go on with retreats and crops and I am so glad!  We will still have a chance to get together and do what we love, and "make our souls happy!"  Thank you, Karen, for giving all of us an amazing scrapbook store!!  And, thank you for your friendship...YOU and Paper Pals will be missed!
I had some fun today doing what I love....
Stop by the store today....there are still lots of incredible products at even more incredible prices!!
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October 11, 2013

Bumble Bee by Adorn It

This  Bee-u-tifuly designed paper by "Adorn It" ended up being so much stinkin fun!  I had the perfect little "bizzy bee" to photograph for this little lay out, the stickers were great fun and the colors were lovely.  I loved the honey comb patterns, the stripes and the little flying bee's on the blue wood background.  There is so much to play with.  It is so versatile, you can photograph anything and this theme can be applied, there are lots of stickers, cards and cut outs with family sayings on them as well.  This was great fun!  Please ignore the little pony in the corner, Zoe, (my little helper pictured in the photo's) insisted on it being there.
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September 26, 2013

Farm Life from Best Creation

When Karen got the "Farm Life" paper by Best Creation into the store, I was excited to use it! I definitely have enough farm photos to create a variety of layouts.

First, I'll share the cards. I enjoyed mixing small bits of the pattern paper with solid color cardstock. When you use such small amounts of the pattern paper, you can make a whole lot of cards with one sheet of your favorite pattern!

For one of my layouts I used the project life page protectors with 9 4x4 squares-- it was a very easy way to slip some photos and pattern paper and build a simple yet creative layout.

And my second layout was simpler... I used a polkadot pattern paper and cut a creative edge to make it unique.  I printed an 8x10 photo but trimmed it to a 6x10 to give it a longer rectangle shape for the layout.

Do you have any farm life photos that you could use with this super cute paper?

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September 2, 2013

Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells

Even if you're not into the steampunk look,  Graphic 45 does it right with the Steampunk Spells line.  Steam powered machinery plus the Victorian era plus Graphic 45s bold colors and  awesome designs equals funky, colorful scrapbooking layouts.  Karen has this line in at the store so you can be ready for fall, Halloween, and so many other things using your creativity!

At first glance at Steampunk Spells, you'll probably think Halloween.  Look again.  I focused on the papers and elements with clocks and created this simple, straightforward layout about my oldest son, Spencer.  The photos, taken 17 years apart, captured my sense that time is flying by much too fast!  One of his senior photos and one from when he just had learned to pull himself to standing by the sofa, prompted some reflective Mom-journaling.  Yes, this paper is busy, but by adding pops of color (the blue paper and orange rik-rak) and focusing on the clocks, I believe the emphasis is on the sentiment and the photos, not the paper.
Next, I turned my attention to telling a story about last year's Halloween dream come true for my DH.  For years, he has said, "how funny would it be to rent a gorilla suit and get up on the roof and scare kids?"  Oh boy.  2012 was that year.  The Halloween papers in the Steampunk Spells line set off the goofy antics of my DH and youngest child.  I loved using the embellishment "flags" - they are double sided and oh so versatile!   And just so you know, only 1 child was actually scared.  The DH received lots of "that's awesome, man" from Dads and their trick-or-treaters !!
Look closely - of course, my projects are not complete without Glossy Accents - 
but no glitter this time!  Ha! 

Complimenting this line is the beautiful sheet of blue flowered paper.  I loved using it to create a couple of unique cards. The back side of this paper is a two-tone orange houndstooth print, a nice unexpected surprise with you open the tri-fold card pictured below. 
Ali Edwards stamps lend themselves well to both scrapbooking and card making!  Karen has many to choose from - check them out!
Using dark paper for stamping or adhering sticker letters provides an interesting contrast and departure from the norm.  I used white ink on the Saying Hello card and went back over the stamped lines with a white embossing pen to make it pop a little more.   

There are so many other papers and embellishments in this line that the combinations are limitless!  Mini books, theme books, home/holiday decor (printer trays, wreaths, paper-pumpkins - just google these ideas or find them on pinterest) and enjoy!

To learn more about this line, click here - 

 click on the photos and they will open to full size so you can see details:)

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August 28, 2013

"Mistletoe Magic" by My Mind's Eye

I'm keeping cool this HOT August afternoon by playing with the newest Christmas collection from My Mind's Eye..."Mistletoe Magic!"  The color palette moves away from what I think of as the "traditional" holiday colors,  and I love that.  It was fun to work in the "non-traditional" shades of greens and reds. 

Besides using Bazzill Basics cardstocks, I mixed in the double-sided printed cardstocks and the coordinating chipboard elements from the collection.

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August 22, 2013

Vintage Christmas

For this month's assignment, I got to work with the Vintage Christmas line from My Mind's Eye. It's been so hot around here that I welcomed a chance to envision colder weather!

 I don't usually choose papers that have too much of an already printed "story" on them, but this "Merry" one drew my eye immediately; I knew exactly the picture for it, taken ten years ago and waiting for a home! I wanted to ground that busy piece of background paper so I cut it down by 1/2", rounded the corners and layered it on top of a green piece of cardstock. I added a piece of red damask to the bottom to give a little more balance to the layout and stuck one of their adorable wooden buttons threaded with some ribbon on top of a circle cut from another piece of paper with my scallop punch. So cute!

And of course I played around with these fabulous papers in my Project Life system. I had all these great snowy pictures hanging around, so I decided to make a page dedicated to the garden at Christmas. The title slot is simply a piece of their "Joy" paper cut down to 4x6 and trimmed with a slice of a different paper. And since it was winter, I had to add sparkles. One little trick I've learned is to put your bling on the outside of the page protectors so they don't make the pockets all bumpy. And the rhinestones sparkle more on top too!
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July 2, 2013

Wow! That was EASY!

I got to try out the Project Life style of scrapbooking for the first time this month. I was both nervous and excited. I was nervous because it pushed me outside of my usual style and excited because I loved that I could get more done quickly. It was quick, easy, and quite liberating, to be honest! I think it's perfect for the thousands of sports photos I take of my boys (you think I'm exagerating, but I'm really not!). This is going to change how I scrapbook those... okay, let's get real... I currently don't scrapbook 95% of the sports photos I take because I just don't have the time. Looks like I don't have that excuse anymore.  Sure, I'll still spend hours creating a layout for that one special picture, but now I'll also be able to get all the just-as-important extra shots in the boys' sports books using this method too.

Because I'm a texture and dimension-type of gal I decided to add elements, like these foam stickers on the outside of the plastic.

And check out what you can do with molding paste, stencils, and PanPastels. All of these items are available at Paper Pals! The molding paste isn't coming off either!

I also used my stencil and PanPastels on the team card. Just be sure that when you pick up your pastels that you pick up some fixative spray as well!

I just love the sheets of sports-themed papers that Paper Pals carries! All of these cards make journaling a breeze! Check out the full collection available a the store on the Paper Pals blog here.

Adding more texture and elements!

Such fun designs to choose from!

I decided to round the corners on the cards for this layout.

The other thing I like about this style of scrapbooking is that they will fit nicely into my D-ring binders!

I will definitely be incorporating more of these pages into my scrapbooks! I hope you'll check them out in person at Paper Pals, along with all the great products available to customize your Project Life!
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July 1, 2013

We R Memory Keepers - Memo Journaling Cards

It is hot outside!  What better way to avoid the heat than to spend an hour in a cool, quiet part of your home, to scrapbook something? Even in the summer, you CAN find time to document your memories. 
These pages came together in about 15 minutes!  It took me longer to decide which of the amazing colors/patterns to use from the We R Memory Keepers - Albums Made Easy Memor Journaling Cards than to actually complete the layouts!
If you are busy like me, you really should consider adding pages to your albums quickly using a memory keeping system like this one, or perhaps the new Project Life by Becky Higgins that Paper Pals now carries! If you haven't been printing photos, because you feel overwhelmed by how many there would be, this system could be a great solution for you. After all, photos in a book get seen, photos on a computer...not so much.
These cards came together really quickly as well.  Because the journaling cards all coordinate, you don't have to think about it much to create a card for practically any occasion, or even a set of cards that you could give as a give to a friend. 
Sure, a TV on the front of a card is random, but inside that card, it says, "in other news".  What a fun way to tell someone about a big change in your life?  We've lost the art of writing hand written notes...let's bring it back!
OK, I miscalculated the time it took to create these layouts and cards.  We need to count the 15 minutes it took my Glossy Accents to dry as well! 
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June 23, 2013

Six Sides of Creativity

The number six is one amazing number. Consider the mathematical combinations: its sum is the product of its factors (excluding itself) one times two times three. Moreover, one-sixth of it, the number one, plus one-third of it, the number two, equals one-half of it, the number three. If you draw six dots and pile them up, with one on top, two dots centered under that, and the final three under that, you get a triangle (which happens to be one of my least favorite shapes but doesn’t reflect negatively on the number).

I prefer to see it as a far more fun and interesting shape – the hexagon. Unfortunately, there’s no fascinating history behind this shape, although it does appear in nature in various places, including the bee’s honeycomb and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural rock formation found on the coast of Northern Ireland:


In the ever-expanding art world, the hexagon has become quite popular. Paper Pals is, of course, no exception to this. On a recent field trip through the store I found over two dozen examples of product and samples of creations that contain hexagons, and I would like to share some of it with you.


First we’ll start with stamps. As you can see, there are several options, and they offer some great options for different areas of paper crafting. On the far left is a great set for greeting cards and journal spots in scrapbook layouts, called Hero Arts Clear Hexagons. Next to it is another Hero Arts stamp, called Hexagon Background, that makes really fun backgrounds for cards, as well as mixed media projects like canvases and art journals. I think it would be fun to just stamp it and color all of the hexagons in with some of the Copic Sketch Markers (also conveniently available at Paper Pals). That would make a unique and colorful little wall hanging or greeting card front!

The two BoBunny stamp sets are Distressed Textures (left) and Geometric Patterns (right). Each has one hexagon stamp, along with several other fun options for backgrounds and borders. Another great feature of all of these sets is the size – the largest one is the Hexagon Background, which I believe is about 5” x 7”.

The set in the middle is called Mixed Media by Stampers Anonymous (Tim Holtz), which includes four options. The top one features the hexagon in a popular chicken wire pattern. These are another great choice for backgrounds in mixed media projects, such as these canvases for sale (handmade by Karen):

DSCN3730             DSCN3758

Actually, the one on the right uses a different hexagon pattern (inside the heart), probably a stencil with the chicken wire pattern being the positive, the hexagon the negative (meaning the hexagon is the missing part, the chicken wire the stencil material). There are other hexagon stencils available at Paper Pals as well:

DSCN3748  DSCN3749  DSCN3750  DSCN3752

Here you can see examples of some negative hexagons in various sizes. The one on the far left, The Crafter’s Workshop Honeycomb takes the shape to a whole other level with the smaller (yet still six-sided) shapes connecting the hexagons. I’ll be using it, along with some other fun products, for posts on my personal blog this week, Random Rambles. I’ve decided hexagons will be my “technique of the week”, so I have some fun projects planned to share with you (mostly in my art journal).

One more stencil available at Paper Pals, The Crafter’s Workshop Hexagons, I already used on an art journal page. Here’s the page and the stencil:

week 01 finished (040113)                    DSCN3751

As you can see, I only used the smallest of the five sizes for my background, but it would also be very interesting to do one with all of the sizes.

A few other products with the hexagon shape include (from left to right below):  stickers, washi tape, embossing folders, and die cuts. Below those are the various pieces of paper found all over the store (see a list of names at the end of this post). This versatile six-sided shape is obviously great for more than just decorating like honeybees!



Now it’s your turn friends! Head over to Paper Pals for some of this great paper, pick up a few stencils and stamps (and get your Passport punched!), and see what inspiration brings! Oh, and be sure to post your projects and experiments in the Comments section here, and send a copy to Karen to share on the Paper Pals blog and Facebook page. Happy crafting!

Paper (from top, left to right):  BoBunny Prairie Chic “Laundry”, Authentique Genuine “Friendship”, Crate Paper  The Pier “Heatwave”, Glitz Cashmere Dame “Honeycomb” (two pictures, both sides of paper), Authentique Carefree “Jovial”, Seasons “August Cut Apart”, My Mind’s Eye Boy Crazy “Mechanical” (two pictures, both sides of paper), Studio Calico Snippets Collection “Me Oh My”, and from the new Project Life Designer Paper “Honey” edition.

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