Thursday, April 26, 2012

Exploring Cricut Daily Challenge - School Days

Hello! I'm glad you came by because today is my day to share at Exploring Cricut. I decided to  make a title page for a school album. This was a lot of fun because I used quite a few cartridges. This is for an album spanning preschool through 8th grade so I tried to have young items as well as older like the lock for middle school.

I wanted a schoolhouse with a bell, but none of my carts had that. No worries, gypsy to the rescue. I found a house in Lyrical Letters and cut the chimney off. Paper Dolls for Everyday is where I found a shape that would be good for a school bell. I welded the two together. Now, comes the funny. The bell is actually an elbow pad. Yes, an elbow pad. It is from page 57 under Accessories 2. I reshaped it by widening and now it is a bell.

The science beakers were only attached to the colored papers so that the vellum would not discolor. I also used vellum behind the holes of the recorder. You can click on the picture to enlarge.

I used Argyle and Swiss Dots to make the lettering a little more interesting to look at, and hopefully stand out a little more.

The lock was fun to make. Originally I was going to make the lock with the silver paper, but decided that maybe having only the button with that paper would give more depth. I chose the teal because my daughter had a lock this color:)

Chalkboard - George and Basic Shapes 4.74" and 4.07"
Chalk and Eraser - George and Basic Shapes 0.54" and 0.69" 
Scissors - Simply Charmed 4.18"
Crayons - Simply Charmed 4.29"
School - Lyrical Letters 11.71" 
Bell - Paper Dolls for Everday 9.72"
Globe - Locker Talk 3.71"
Lock - Locker Talk 4.80"
Recorder - Locker Talk 2.53"
School Days - 3 Birds On Parade 1.31"
ABC abc - A Child's Year 1.12"
Science Beaker - Locker Talk 3.35"
Argyle and Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folders

If you are looking for a way to control school albums check out my post from yesterday where I showed how I cleaned up my kids books.

Don't forget we have a challenge right now at Exploring Cricut to create a box using your Cricut. I hope to see some of your wonderful creations too:)

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Organizing School Albums

Good Morning! The school year is almost to a close and with that, for me, usually means some housekeeping of all the papers that have accumulated over the year. Hopefully, with this post you will gain some help if you are struggling to come up with a method that works for the chaos:)  Warning this post is long and lots of pictures:)

When my oldest began school there really wasn't as much as we have today in the way of organizing. My old method was to keep artwork in a plastic container. Any awards, report cards, etc. were placed in a pocket that I attached to a Creative Memories page. The problem with this is that I had a container, like the one you see below, for every year and the pocket pages were not easily accessible in that type of album because the protective sleeve slid over the page. Also, the album was too thick to manage. I could only fit preschool through 5th grade in this album.


So, for my next child, I decided to search for a new method and at that time Becky Higgins had come out with pages that you see here. Each year had elements of pages that you could put together. For this  method I used a 3 ring binder and really liked the ease and spacious room in the album. The envelopes were 12 x 12 and I could put report cards, awards, etc. in them.I really liked this method and wished I could buy the envelopes individually for my other child. But, they didn't come that way. I still had the problem of the artwork. (I had a hard time tossing any of it) 

Since my oldest needed a new album for middle school and there were quite a few extra elements left over from my younger daughter's album, I was able to use this method. The nice thing about this is that there is a lot of journal space, which is fun for the kids to write their thoughts. Even though Becky Higgins doesn't sell this product anymore you can still recreate easily with items you probably already have:)

So, back to the artwork. I was thinking after all these years there had to be a better way for me. I went back to Becky Higgins' blog and knew that she had started Project Life. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she had a video discussing school albums. In this video she discussed the artwork. Yay!! She also sold the 12 x 12 envelopes separately. These school envelopes are different from the ones I had previously purchased. There is no pre-written title on each individual envelope, and the closing mechanism is not a snap.

 For the number in the pocket I used Joys of the Season 3.14". For preschool and kindergarten I used Locker Talk at 2.76". The word "grade" I used A Child's Year at 1"  I am also contemplating the idea of adding velcro to the flap so it does not wear, as it already is beginning to do so.

As you can see, these envelopes have holes for a binder, however, I decided to put them in the plastic container with any other large mementos that wouldn't necessarily go in the album. Each child has one plastic container (preschool through high school).  I am still toying with albums for these, but I think I would need at least 2 for preschool through 8th grade. 

Once I watched the video I decided to purchase one box with the different sizes of sheet protectors (10 each). I still have plenty left over.  I purchased 15 of the envelopes (5 come in a pack) for my older daughter. 

Now comes the hard part: going through all of the boxes for each child and making decisions. Becky suggested scanning the items. I used my dining room floor and really spread out. I chose to take pictures of each of the items I wanted to keep and then I was able to print them to the desired size I wanted. Below are a few of the different styles with artwork in them.

I also used 8 1/2 x 11 protector sheets for items that I didn't want in the envelope and wanted to keep as an original.

I cut the protector down to size if I had smaller items that I wanted to put in the book.

This is my oldest daughter's book and I am able to fit preschool through 8th grade in this book. I took apart her CM album and cut the plastic off of the pages and just slid into this album. Luckily, no recreating of my CM pages:) It is an American Craft 3 ring binder. Hopefully, you can see, it is not too bulky.

I filled 3 bags of trash and gained many plastic containers for other uses. If you have made it to here, in this very long post, here are the steps that I followed per Becky:

Step 1: Assess what you have.
Step 2: Gather
Step 3: Sort per child
Step 4: Organize (piles per grade)
  • Using yearbooks really helps if you can't remember certain pictures or artwork.
  • Sign and date everything you or your child creates.
  • Scan or print items that you have a lot of and keep originals of things that are really special.
  • Subcategorize items. Ex: Art, Formal picture, handwriting samples, etc.
Step 5: File if Needed - Using file boxes will help you sort until you are ready to work on a particular grade. Items can be scanned or use your camera to then print items to store for that school year.

Step 6: Compile Albums

I hope I have helped you tackle this project and given you some useful ideas. I would love to hear any ideas you have on this subject too:)

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Everything!

Good Morning!  Wow! Where has this month gone. I have been super busy with family and haven't had much time to spend crafting. I was pleased to be able to work on a quick card that I needed. Seems I never have the ones I really need. This one was really fun and fast.

A2 card base
Sentiment - My Pink Stamper
Lion - Birthday Bash2.69"
Circle - 3 Birds on Parade 3.31"
Papers - DCWV

Go Fish Challenge #15 - Anything Goes
Paper Playtime - Say It With Sentiments

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Exploring Cricut Challenge - "It's A Box"

Hi Everyone! Today is a new challenge at Exploring Cricut.  The challenge is to make a box, bag, container etc from your cricut cartridges. Fun, right? 

One of the nice things about Exploring Cricut is trying to think outside of the box. No pun intended:) I saw this challenge and thought of TBBM. However, I decided to really look through my cartridges and see which ones had boxes that I wasn't aware of. I found this box on Wild Card.  I really like the way it turned out and hope you do too. 

For the plastic on the box I used a clam shell from my cartridges. I have saved a few and used them for different items. This worked perfectly for this box. I just cut it with enough to overlap on the back.  


Box - Wild Card (before folding height is 7.10")
Papers - DCWV
Sentiment - Michael's
Black ink, Score Tape

Thanks for stopping by and I am excited to see what you all create!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Exploring Cricut Daily Project - Balloons

Hi! It is my turn at Exploring Cricut and I have a layout for you today. I kept the elements simple so that the pictures would remain the focal point. I typed my journaling on the computer and then cut it at varying lengths placing around the pages.

The balloon I chose was cut free hand. If you didn't want to do that I know Everyday Pop Up Cards has one too. It has more of a rounded shape to it. I did pop the center piece of the balloon up to give some more dimension and then took my black pen and drew a zig zag along the edges. I shaded the outer edge of the balloon with black ink. The clouds were shaded with black ink too. The heart was cut from the paper and then popped up onto the balloon. The title was welded together with my gypsy using Lyrical Letters.


Two 12 x 12 pages
Bazzill and DCWV
Clouds - Create A Critter 2.63:
Tree - Gypsy Wanderings 4.69"
Title - Lyrical Letters 1.33"
Black ink, black pen, pop dots

Don't forget there is still time to enter our contest at Exploring Cricut using a Cricut flower. Hope you join in:)

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Exploring Cricut - "April Showers Bring Us Flowers"

Good Morning! Did you all have a nice weekend? The holiday this weekend went by way to fast for me. But, today is super because it is another challenge at Exploring Cricut. The challenge this time is any project you would like using any Cricut flower. Simple right?

I am still catching up on my scrapbooking.  I decided, since my oldest will be 17 next month, I better get busy with last year's birthday. It seems when the kids were smaller I was able to keep up regularly with their pages. Now that they are older, I am a little behind. However, my goal is to at least try and have last year's event done before the new one rolls around. It is working so far:)

Okay, on with my project. I created this layout using Cindy Loo and Opposites Attract. "Girl" was welded together with my Gypsy. For the blue border I used the negative and saved the cut out for another page.


12 x 12 page
Basic Grey papers and Bazzill
Flower - Cindy Loo 5"
Pink Flower Mat - Cindy Loo 9.62"
Yellow Circle -  Cindy Loo 7.92"
Border - Cindy Loo 1.08"
Sweet - Cindy Loo 3.52"
Girl - Opposites Attract 1.92"
Frame - Cindy Loo 2.69"
Stickles - Stardust

Okay, now it is your turn to create a project using a Cricut flower. Can't wait to see what you have!

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Card

Good Morning! Are you all ready for Easter? Today, I want to share a card I made for the occasion. I hope you can tell in the picture how awesome this paper is. It has such great shimmer. It is also double sided. I'm also entering a few challenges. Hope you all have a great holiday:) The eggs were created by welding circles inside to get the polka dot using my Gypsy.

A2 card base - Stampin' Up
Papers - Scraps
Eggs - Doodlecharms 3.79"
Embellishments on eggs - wave Plantin .25", circles Plantin .24"
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder - Seeing Spots

Anything Goes Challenge Blog
Craft Your Days Away - Easter
Fantabulous Cricut - Project with an Egg
Getty Cricky - Easter
Wacky Wednesday - Easter/Spring theme
Scrappy Moms - Easter
The Pink Elephant - CAS

Thanks for stopping by!