Christmas Countdown


I know, I know….it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet and I’m already talking about Christmas!

I’m one of those that likes to truly savor and celebrate Thanksgiving before even thinking about Christmas, but this year Thanksgiving is so late thanks to Nov 1st being on a Friday. That, coupled with a birthday celebration and a vacation tucked in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, has me just a wee bit concerned about how I will accomplish a stress-free holiday.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to document our December this year. Since the girls were little I’ve made countdown calendars. Some were socks clipped to a ribbon with a simple punched/stamped countdown number, some have been altered drawers elaborately embellished, and other just an envelope system. We’ve been so focused on our countdown to vacation that we haven’t even thought about our countdown to Christmas. There’s only 10 days between our return and Christmas Day. Mini countdown, maybe?

I’ve never really documented much of the countdown itself or even scrapbooked more than two of our Christmas photos. Something about Christmas gatherings and birthdays have me perplexed in the documenting department.

As you see above, one year, I did actually duplicate our advent countdown activities onto a layout using simple punched circles and scallop embellished text strips. As busy as it looks, it is still one of my absolute favorite layouts because of the memories it conjures up. I really do need to dig out photos from years past and get them on a layout.

Tell me about your own holiday crafting and memory documenting….I’d love to hear. I need the inspiration, desperately!

Scrapbooking MANY Photos on One Layout


Several years ago, as the scrapbooking industry exploded, and layouts became more of an expression of art loaded with emotion, rather than just a placeholder for precious photos and memories, the trend leaned toward recording moments with single photos and photo enlargements. I’m sure many of you agree.

Once that trend became a thing of the past, we started seeing lots of photo strips, and groups of small photos being used as people were taking advantage of using their photos posted to social media such as Instagram and Twitter. We even started seeing Instax photos and micro-minis on layout. Rarely do you see full-sized 4×6 photos used these days.

Many of you don’t use Instagram, so where does that leave you in testing out this smaller, multiple photo trend? Stuck in the mud, perhaps? Well, let’s just get you unstuck, why don’t we! :)

Today, I wanted to share an idea for not only showcasing MANY photos on a layout, but a way to share MANY SMALL photos on a layout. And, before you discount the idea that they are wallet-sized and that’s just toooooooo much work resizing, or being discontent that you don’t even have a program that you can use to resize, let me just introduce you to the coolest thing since sliced bread (and, well, Fiskars tools, too!)………it’s a FREE program called PhotoSheet by Photility.

PLEASE NOTE: You need to click on the red DOWNLOAD button in the LEFT column to get this program. It takes less than 2 minutes to install. The large green arrow in the RIGHT column is an advertisement on the website and NOT the program you want.


You may have noticed where you pick up your local prints that getting 1 wallet-sized photo is double or even triple the cost of a 4×6 print. Makes no sense at all. But, with this program, you choose a photo (or two photos) tell it the orientation you want (i.e. 2 wallets on a 4×6, 4 minis on a 4×6, etc.) and then save it to print at home or upload to your local print shop. This is a super fun program that makes printing wallet-sized photos and index prints, very economical. Since it allows you the opportunity to print 2 wallets onto 1 4×6 so you’re only paying the 4×6 price. You just have to cut them apart yourself—but, I know you have scissors for that!

You can also print a collage of photos onto and 8×10. Just drag and drop the photos into the program, or browse for them individually, change your settings to the 8×10 grid and print!

Seriously, EASY!

That’s exactly what I used to print up the photos for this particular layout of a trip I took out to Anaheim, California. I wanted to preserve the memory behind each of these photos, but many of them as a stand alone didn’t evoke the emotion I needed. By arranging them together, yet overlapping, I was able to add more of a fun flair to the layout with my embellishing and bring focus to the photo that started the whole adventure with a border-cut frame highlighting the photo. The rest of the embellishing was done by fussy-cutting accents from patterned paper and arranging them so they formed a visual triangle on the page.

Give PhotoSheet a try! You won’t be disappointed. :)

CHALLENGE: November Shapes Challenge: Hearts


It’s the first Monday of the month, and you know what that means…..challenge time! Sorry to keep you waiting on pins and needles all day long to see what the next shape would be. Good thing you’re a patient bunch. :)

November’s Shapes Challenge is HEARTS. Fiskars has some heart options to help you meet this challenge, both in the tools department and the stamping department, but you can also just use your good ‘ole scissors and hand-cut some hearts like I’ve done for my project.

Feel free to make any type of project that suits your fancy (i.e. papercrafting, sewing, home decor, etc.). If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe even try to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and try something you’ve never done before.

My project was inspired by a giclee print I pinned to one of my Pinterest boards looooooong ago. You see that I’ve used the tone-on-tone circles in the background, a very simple technique I taught you earlier in the year–one of my favorite ways to add texture. Then on top of that I’ve built the piece up further by using handcut letters from coordinating patterned papers and then added in some bird stickers to finish off the look. I completely adore how it turned out and have since sent it off to live with a best friend who lives in Texas. This would be a great project for that revolving frame concept too!

Anywho. Once you are done with your project post it to the gallery with the title ‘Shapes Challenge: Hearts’ and link me to your project in the comments of this blog entry so I can find them easily and your fellow Fiskateers can leave you some comment love. You have until Sunday, December 1 at 11:59pm Central Time to post your finished project.

Rules: The projects you submit must be new for this challenge and contain the title: Shapes Challenge Hearts. Winners must reside in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec). Most of all………have fun with it! :)

Leftover Stickers Turned Into A Focal Point


Over the summer I shared a way to use a random assortment of leftover stickers to create a background in a mixed media project. Today, I have another idea for leftover stickers, but this time they are all from the same sticker sheet.

These particular stickers were much smaller than I normally use, so I didn’t see myself using them all that often, plus they weren’t incredibly sticky. You know the type….the ones you stick down and before you’re even done with your layout they are all lifting up. So frustrating, isn’t it!? For some reason or another they have low-tack adhesive on them and I’m not a fan of having to put more adhesive on the back of something that should already be sticky, so instead I try to be resourceful and make the most of it.

That’s exactly what I’ve done here.

I took all those leftover, low-tack stickers that I didn’t plan on using again and instead of throwing them in File 13 I chose to turn them into a tree. But, but, but……they aren’t sticky? Why would you do that? I hear you, loud and clear. :)

Here’s how I solved that little issue. After arranging them into the outline of a tree with branches, I took it over to my sewing machine to add random stitching all over the design with brown thread. This not only helped hold them down, it also gave the design much more definition and dimension. Then, I used brads and the centers of the alphabets (you know, the centers of the a, b, d, g, o, p, q letters) from another set of stickers to add fall-colored leaves to the my custom tree.

Cute, eh?

I hope to have you looking at your alphabet stickers that may have low-tack to them, or just the ones that have been collecting dust in a whole new way.

If you have plenty of those stickers around, but they aren’t the right color, consider changing up the color. You can mist them, paint a few thin coats of craft paint over top, or even spray paint them. Once they dry you’ll be ready to use them and turn them into a one-of-a-kind embellishment!

Are you up for the challenge of using up some of your leftover stickers this week? I’d love to see your attempts flood the gallery.