Thursday, February 28, 2013

Winter Snowflake Layout


Happy Thursday gang!  Welcome to the start of another challenge over at Mark's Finest Paper.  This week, we have a theme challenge...one of my favorites actually...WINTER!  I love doing winter layouts and projects since I love snowflakes and snowmen and penguins and all the other adorable wintery paper piecings that are available on the web.


This week you have another shot at winning the cute Sand Dollar stamp set!



For my layout, I used a friend's pic of her adorable cute puppy playing in the snow for the first time.  I couldn't find ANY snow or winter-looking pic in my stash!!  So my friend helped me out with a photo.  I keep telling her I'm totally going to kidnap her pup one of these days!

I used a Silhouette cut (Ornate Snowflake) for the background, doing an offset to give the snowflake a shadow. The title is also from the Silhouette store.   I used the cute All Postal stamp set and a retired Christmas set, both from Mark's Finest Paper and popped it off the page.



Don't forget to come join us this week. You have until next Wednesday to link up your layout!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Green and Blue Accordion Fold Christmas Card


Happy Wednesday!  Welcome to week 9 of my affirmation to get my Christmas cards done early!  If you're here for the first time, you're welcome to jump in and join me!

This week's card was made from a file in the Silhouette store (yet, again!) and it's called, Accordion Card Snowflake."


I used green, blue and white cardstock for the cuts.  I embellished with teeny tiny green heat-set gems at the points of the snowflakes. I still need to stamp a sentiment inside, but haven't quite decided on one yet.



I hope the rest of your week is awesome!!  Don't forget to come back tomorrow to find out what's in store for the Mark's Finest Paper Scrapbook Challenge!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Monday, February 25, 2013

More Space To Craft: Computer Printer Storage Solution


Welcome to Money-Saving-Monday #25!  I hope you are having a fabulous start to your week!  Based on web traffic and Pinterest hits,  I've been noticing that a lot of you have been loving the storage solutions lately.  The graphic from last week's post got pinned a bunch!  Woohoo, and thank you!

As my new craft room started to fill up, (I'm not sure how that happened *blush*) I noticed desk space was becoming more scarce.  I took inventory of what really needed to be there and what didn't. I knew I needed my computer printer in that room, but didn't use it every day, and it was taking up valuable desk space.  My solution?




A trip to Goodwill and a really ugly cart for $5.99!  We painted it and added wheels and a pull handle.  It was the perfect fit for my printer and supplies, and the cabinet also housed all my cleaning supplies!  I have curtains under my desk (so I can hide all sorts of unsightly goodies) and they cover the printer cart completely when it's not in use.  It's there when I need it, and not when I don't!

I'm dying to hear about your money saving tips and storage solutions!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Friday, February 22, 2013

Free Cutting Files!


Happy Friday!  Are you ready for some more freebies?!?  Well here ya go!

This week, I'm shining our little spotlight on the cutest little mouse ever from KaDoodle Bug Designs!  He's wearing a chef's hat and working on building a cupcake.  How cute is this little guy???




FREE SVG FILES:

New file DAILY - 

Paper Piecings By Nikki offers a free file each day, and I must say, I'm surprised that the quality of them is so high.  A lot of companies that offer free files gie you ones that are very simplistic, but Nikki's are not.  They're really great!  Once the day is over, the freebie file gets moved into a folder where you can purchase it for 50 cents.  All of her other cutting files are only 99 cents.  What a deal!  I'm in love with today's file!  It's a little girl hugging her teddy bear, and it's called, I Need A Hug.

Miss Kate Cuttables actually has a DAILY freebie too!  Today's freebie is a cute rainbow with clouds on both ends.

New file every MONDAY - 

Little Scraps Of Heaven  You can access their freebies through their blog or their Facebook fan page.  This week's file a cute little guy holding a four leaf clover...perfect for St Patrick's Day.

KaDoodle Bug Designs publishes new free files on Mondays and corresponding digi files on Tuesdays.  This week, there is THE CUTEST little mouse and cupcake.  I can see myself making lots of birthday cards with this cut!  They are also offering a collection of simple tags...lots of different ones!

New file every TUESDAY - 

For those of you that own a Silhouette machine, don't forget that the Silhouette store has a free cutting file each Tuesday.  You need to download the free program to your computer (even if you don't own a Silhouette machine yet) to access the store.  Please keep in mind that the files aren't SVGs...they will only cut on a Silhouette brand machine, (SD, Cameo, or Portrait) so this will be a great option ONLY if you're planning to purchase (or already own) a Silhouette. You can download the free program HERE.   This week's freebie is a collection of borders.  They have a great tutorial on their blog showing lots of different possible ways to use them.

New file every FRIDAY - 

Designs on Cloud 9 They have adorable Teddy bears and other characters.  Lots of cuteness on this site!  This week's file is a little different, but super cute...it's a dress form and a title that says, "Your friendship always fits."

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons offers a new free SVG file each Friday.  She even offers a newsletter subscription to remind you.    This week's file is a cute collection of shamrock faces.

My Scrap Chick offers a new file each Friday to her newsletter subscribers.  Click the link to subscribe.  This week's file is a card that says, "You are the best."

RANDOM days, but new files regularly - 

Birds Cards - is an awesome blog with all sorts of amazing freebies!  This week she's offering an incredible card that's actually shaped like the United States.

SVG Cuts offers TONS of free files!  I believe they have said that there are over 200 of them available right now.  Make sure to sign up for their newsletter too. Every time they send a newsletter, they include a new free file!  The latest free files include some cute Polariod frames an a collection of borders...borders seem to be big this week!

Stinkin' Cute Paper Piecings is a company I've just found so I'm not sure what day they post their freebies each week.  This week the file is a sweet little teddy bear dressed up like a bee.

Happy downloading and shopping!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Scrapbook Layout Challenge #3 At Mark's Finest Paper


Happy Thursday and welcome to edition #3 of the Mark's Finest Paper Scrapbook Challenge.  I've been having so much fun with these challenges and am so excited to be on their design team.  Their stamps are just incredible!  I've been playing around with a few of the newer sets, and am just so impressed by their quality. Wow...I sound like a commercial!  Okay, moving on...



Don't forget...you also get another shot at winning the super cute Sand Dollar stamp set!

This week's challenge is a sketch challenge, and although I hesitate to use the word "challenge" too much in one sentence, this challenge was SUPER challenging for me.  (okay, was that too much?)  Although I've been meaning to do it for years, this is the first time I've ever actually used a sketch to make a layout.  Here's the one we're using this week...


Here's my interpretation of the sketch.  For those of you who have been readers for a while, I've mentioned, in the past, that my sweet and adorable husband Rob, is a three-time cancer survivor (Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.) One of the activities we love to participate in each year is the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life


The pictures on my layout are from the event at the University of Washington back in 2005.  It was an extra big deal that year, because it was my daughter's first time participating at her University, and because the guest speaker turned out to be the Governor of the State of Washington!  Apparently, our governor (back in 2005) was a breast cancer survivor.  She got up and gave a very poignant and motivating speech, sharing her experience.



Afterwards, we got to walk with her in the Survivor's Lap.  That's always the first lap that kicks off the Relay each year. It was incredibly moving as nearly 2000 UW students circled the track and cheered the survivors on the whole way around.  I think I cried from beginning to end!  I still get emotional thinking about it even though we do it almost every year.


In the close-up above, you can see the sweet little stamp stamp (I'm not sure what else to call it other than a stamp stamp!  Ha ha!) in the corner of the photo and the "Forever" sentiment below the pic.  These stamps are both from the newly released set, All Postal.  I can't wait to play with this stamp set some more.  I've seen some really cute things done with it.

The other supplies used were all papers and a sticker set (and a Quick Quotes quote) purchased from a local scrapbook store a few years ago. I bought the last of this paper line since they said the company had stopped making it :(

Please make sure to stop by the Mark's Finest Paper Challenge page to check out how our other talented design team members interpreted the sketch!  And then join in on the fun!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blue Snowflake Christmas Card


Happy WEEK 8 Christmas peeps!  I'm so excited that I'm still at this and it's coming to the end of February. I think I'm actually going to be sending out Christmas cards this year...for real!  Woot!!

So here's today's offering...


I made this card using another Silhouette cutting file (surprise surprise! Haha!)  I had to cut the snowflake swirly thing three different times because I was trying to use a Xyron and glitter, and having a terrible time of it.  I finally gave up and used good old Stickles.  I love that stuff!


Here's a shot of the card closed and laying down.  I haven't stamped the inside of it yet, but I'm sure I'll find an awesome sentiment to put in there!

How are you guys coming with your Christmas cards?

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Patterned Paper Scraps Storage


Whoopsie!  I promised you a couple of weeks ago that I would show you how I store patterned paper scraps, and then last Monday, I went a completely different direction and talked about cutting mats instead. And double oops for me getting my Monday post out on Tuesday!  My daughter came and surprise-kidnapped me for a day of fun yesterday!

So, two weeks ago I showed you how I store my solid cardstock scraps in this post.  I'm pretty sure I could do something similar for patterned paper too, and I've seen a lot of people who file theirs away according to color.  This has never worked for me though, because I get thrown off when there's a bunch of different colors on one page.  So here's an idea I saw a really long time ago (and I'm SO sorry, but I don't remember where I saw it...if anyone recognizes it, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due) where someone had used this system for their 6 x 6 paper pads. I'm thinking...why not do this for all of my 12 x 12 paper pads too?

I found some packages of mailing envelopes at my local dollar store.  I bought both sizes, 9 x 12 and 6 x 9 inches.


I cut the tops off of them and then, with strong adhesive, I attached a 9 x 12 envelope to the back of one of my 12 x 12 paper pads, making sure to glue the clasp-side down so that it wouldn't catch on anything.


I now have a pocket on the back of my paper pad, to store any scraps that came out of that particular pad.  I do the same thing with my 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 pads.  I just use a 6 x 9 inch envelope, and cut it down to 8 inches tall for an 8 x 8 in pad, and 6 inches tall for a 6 x 6 inch pad.  That way, I can keep all of my patterned papers with their coordinating brethren!

And just an FYI, when I'm using a sheet of paper that didn't originally come in a paper pad, I still store the scraps the old fashioned way...in a plastic drawer.  I find that the drawer stays neat and tidy though, with the majority of my scraps going back with their paper pads.


Do you have a different way of storing your scraps?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Friday, February 15, 2013

This Week's Free Files!


Happy Friday folks!  Are you ready for some more awesome freebies?!?  Here ya go!!


Today's cutie comes from Paper Piecings by Nikki.  She's put out some AWESOME stuff lately!  She does a freebie each day, so remember, if you're interested in this adorable giraffe, grab it today (Friday) for free, or you can pick it up in her 50 cent folder after that.

FREE SVG FILES:

New file DAILY - 

Paper Piecings By Nikki has just starting adding a new free file DAILY!  They're really adorable!  Also, she has reduced the cost off all cutting files in her store to 99 cents (or less) each!  What a deal!  Today's freebie is an adorable giraffe!

Miss Kate Cuttables actually has a DAILY freebie too!  Today's file is called happy monsters.

New file every MONDAY - 

Little Scraps Of Heaven  You can access their freebies through their blog or their Facebook fan page.  This week's file is called a heart mat. 

KaDoodle Bug Designs publishes new free files on Mondays and corresponding digi files on Tuesdays.  This week they're featuring a little girl holding a heart key.  The  package of 5 different titles, and  a Facebook fan appreciations file called Love Puppies is also still available.  

New file every TUESDAY - 

For those of you that own a Silhouette machine, don't forget that the Silhouette store has a free cutting file each Tuesday.  You need to download the free program to your computer (even if you don't own a Silhouette machine yet) to access the store.  Please keep in mind that the files aren't SVGs...they will only cut on a Silhouette brand machine, (SD, Cameo, or Portrait) so this will be a great option ONLY if you're planning to purchase (or already own) a Silhouette. You can download the free program HERE.   This week's freebie is a heart tree.

New file every FRIDAY - 

Designs on Cloud 9 They have adorable Teddy bears and other cute characters!  This week's file is a cute little love bug

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons offers a new free SVG file each Friday...cute stuff!  This week's fie is a happy rainbow!

My Scrap Chick offers a new file each Friday to her newsletter subscribers.  This week's free file is a "thank you so much" card.

RANDOM days, but new files regularly - 

Birds Cards - is an awesome blog with all sorts of amazing freebies!  This week's free files include an awesome "bendy" Mother's Day card and a super cute teddy bear digi.

SVG Cuts posted a new file this week with the release of their newest kit for purchase.  They offer TONS of free files!  I believe they have said that there are over 200 of them available right now.  Make sure to sign up for their newsletter too. Every time they send a newsletter, they include a new free file!  The latest free files are some cute borders and a Happily Ever After title, card and envelope.

Stinkin' Cute Paper Piecings is a company I've just found so I'm not sure what day they post their freebies each week.  This week the file is still the deer kissing file.

Please let me know if there's any really great companies or artists that I missed, that offer freebies on a weekly basis.

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Scrapbook Layout Challenge at Mark's Finest Paper



Happy Thursday and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  I hope you're all having a glorious day.

I'm super excited to unveil my second project for the Mark's Finest Paper Scrapbook Challenge.  It's so much fun being on a design team, and the other 2 ladies on the team have made things a lot of fun!!  This week in honor of Valentine's Day, the theme is Love and/or Valentines.  And this week, you also get another shot at winning the super cute Sand Dollar stamp set!





So, as you probably saw above, I made a two page layout this week.  I cheated a little (shhh, don't tell!) by using an AWESOME page kit from Quick Quotes that I picked up at their Warehouse sale a few months ago.  The colors and the hearts on the page just screamed at me to find some cute pics of my daughter and her boyfriend, so those are the lovely faces gracing my pages.


This was a really cool page kit to play with because each of the half-hearts on the edge of the pages open up to reveal more photos or journaling or whatever you would like to put inside.  You can even slip your pages down into their plastic page protectors, cut a slit where the heart would go, THEN insert the heart and adhere it.  That way, when you're flipping through your scrapbook, you can open the heart to see what's inside without pulling the page out of it's plastic sleeve.  Cool right?






I just love the colors on these pages.  Yup..I'm a purple girl!  Below, you can see a close up of the stamp I used on the second page that's currently available in the Mini Christmas Wishes set over at Mark's Finest Papers, A Heinrich Co.




I hope you guys will join in on the fun challenge this week over at MFP!!   You have until next Wednesday to link up.

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Christmas Card Catch-Up Week 7


Woohoo!  Seven Christmas cards in the bag so far this year!!  Here's my newest offering.  I think this is one of my favorites so far.



I found this cute cut file in the Silhouette store.  It had a wreath, bow and doorknob that you cut from paper, but you know me...that wasn't good enough!  I used my Martha Stewart branch punch again and made my own wreath.  I found some adorable glittery brads in my stash that were perfect as ornaments, and used some ribbon for a sweet little bow. I popped up the overlay of the door and inked it for some dimension.


How's your Christmas card making coming?  Are you keeping up with me? Or are you way ahead?!?

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Monday, February 11, 2013

How To Use A Cricut Mat With Your Silhouette Cameo


It's Monday again and time for Money-Saving Monday tip #23!  Today's tips come from my sweet friends Becky and AJ. Did you know that you can use Cricut mats in your Silhouette Cameo?  I did, but I couldn't quite get everything to line up and cut just right.

It didn't take too long after I got my Silhouette Cameo to completely wear out the cutting mat that came with it.  I started using an old Cricut mat I had, but the cutting area seemed off from what it was showing on my computer screen.  No biggie unless I was trying to fit something in a tight area, and then I would miss the mark every time and waste the paper I was using.  I found a couple of things that helped with this problem, and now the Cameo cuts like a champ again.


The first thing to do is to adjust where you line up your paper on your cutting mat.  Instead of using the regular Cricut lines, move the top of your paper up to the guideline at the very top of the mat, where it shows the tick marks for measurements.  See the photo above.

When your paper is lined up correctly on your mat, it should look just like this...


Edit:  Click HERE to see how to line up your paper in the newer style Cricut Mats!

The next trick is finding where to line up your mat once you are loading it into your Cameo.  If you look closely on your Cameo, there's an extra, smaller line at the left side of your machine...


Line the edge of your mat up with that small line just like this...


This is actually where you're supposed to line up anything that goes into the Cameo...mats or vinyl.  I never even noticed that little line until Becky pointed it out to me!

Since I've learned and implemented these two tricks, I haven't lost a single piece of paper to a bad cut!!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Friday, February 8, 2013

Free-For-All Friday


TGIF gang!!!  This has been a long week and I'm happy to say that I'm ready for it to be over and to move on to the next one!

The cuteness spotlight this week is on the ADORABLE file that KaDoodle Bug Designs is offering their Facebook fans for reaching the 2800 mark.  Congrats to them!!

Below, you'll find an updated list of all the free SVG cutting files offered this week. There's some super cuties! 
FREE SVG FILES:

New file DAILY - 

Paper Piecings By Nikki has just starting adding a new free file DAILY!  They're really adorable!  Also, she has reduced the cost off all cutting files in her store to 99 cents (or less) each!  What a deal!  Today's freebie is a teddy bear dressed up like Elvis called The King!!

Miss Kate Cuttables actually has a DAILY freebie too!  Today's file is an Easter Bunny!

New file every MONDAY - 

Little Scraps Of Heaven  You can access their freebies through their blog or their Facebook fan page.  This week's file is a cute little kangaroo holding a heart!   

KaDoodle Bug Designs publishes new free files on Mondays and corresponding digi files on Tuesdays.  This week they are being super generous!  There's a sweet little love bug, a package of 5 different titles, and  a Facebook fan appreciations file called Love Puppies that is just too cute!   

New file every TUESDAY - 

For those of you that own a Silhouette machine, don't forget that the Silhouette store has a free cutting file each Tuesday.  You need to download the free program to your computer (even if you don't own a Silhouette machine yet) to access the store.  Please keep in mind that the files aren't SVGs...they will only cut on a Silhouette brand machine, (SD, Cameo, or Portrait) so this will be a great option ONLY if you're planning to purchase (or already own) a Silhouette. You can download the free program HERE.   This week's freebie is chalkboard labels.  Also don't forget that all of their Valentine files are only 75 cents each through February 14th.

New file every FRIDAY - 

Designs on Cloud 9 They have adorable Teddy bears and other cute characters!  Today's file is a mouth with fangs and a title that says Love Bites.

Pretty Paper, Pretty Ribbons offers a new free SVG file each Friday...cute stuff!  Today's file is a package of 5 cool chevron borders.

My Scrap Chick offers a new file each Friday to her newsletter subscribers.  This week's file is a "So thankful for you" card.

RANDOM days, but new files regularly - 

Birds Cards - is an awesome blog with all sorts of amazing freebies!  This week's free files include an old fashioned baby stroller, an adorable teddy bear with "it's a boy or it's a girl" sentiments, and a hexagon background with a cute little bee that says, "Bee Mine."

SVG Cuts posted a new file this week with the release of their newest kit for purchase.  They offer TONS of free files!  I believe they have said that there are over 200 of them available right now.  Make sure to sign up for their newsletter too. Every time they send a newsletter, they include a new free file!  The latest free files are a Happily Ever After title, card and envelope.

Please let me know if there's any really great companies or artists that I missed, that offer freebies on a weekly basis.

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Christmas Card Catch-Up Week 6



Happy Wednesday folks!!  Welcome to our weekly reminder of all things Christmas...or Christmas CARD, at least. This is week 6 of Christmas Card Catch-Up so I have 6 whole cards ready and waiting to be sent once December gets here. It may seem silly, but that's SUPER exciting for me!

This week's card is a huge snowflake made from cut outs of Christmas trees and snowmen.  Once again, it is from a file I got through the Silhouette store and cut out on my beloved Cameo.  In the Silhouette store, it's simply called Card Snowman Snowflake, in case you're interested in looking for the file.



I cut the card on some old Cricut cardstock from my stash that has different shades of blue on each side of it.  That way you get a nice contrast when the card is closed.  I saved some of the small cut trees and snowmen to include as confetti in the card.  Someone's going to hate me!!  *Evil Grin*

How are your cards coming along?

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E

Monday, February 4, 2013

Money-Saving Monday #22


Happy new week!  Welcome to the blog!  Have a seat, kick back, and stay a while.  I promise to try to write some fun stuff for you to read!!

I thought I would touch a little on paper storage today.  Not the nice shiny new pieces of paper we all love so much, but all those scraps that just eat away at our conscience.  Should I keep it, or throw it away?  How small does it have to be to toss out without feeling wasteful?  And once I've decided to keep it, how in the world am I going to store it so that it's readily available to use before grabbing a new sheet next time?

With those questions in mind, today I'll share my storage solution for solid colored cardstock.  Next week we will touch on patterned paper and cardstock.


I have a plastic shoe box-sized bin that I keep most of my solid colored scraps in.  I cut down and inserted some old manila file folders and cut tiny circles of each color of cardstock to put on the tabs of the dividers.  That way, when I'm looking for a scrap, it's easy to see exactly what shade I'm looking for.  The box sits right on top of my desk so it's always within easy reach when I'm working on a project.

Now...for my dirty little secret!  I keep smaller scraps in a different box with all of my Smash*book stuff, to use up the bits and pieces.  I REALLY need to get over that and toss them and just revert back to my bigger scraps (which are starting to take over their own box) but I'm just not quite there yet!

Happy Scrapping! ~Amy E