Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Do your own embellishments - Week #45

Hi Ladies.. Thanksgiving is almost here and I would like to share my Thankful & Blessed Layout for this week and show you how easy is to make our own embellishments!!!
Sometimes we have a lot a papers and we realize they are so busy to use in our projects and maybe they are waiting in our stash for months and sometimes years for the perfect project....So I decided to use my old papers.. and this piece of paper is perfect for my Layout!!!

This piece of paper is so busy to use alone but I fussy cut the leaves using my marvelous Westcott scissors and they will be perfect to embellish my layout.

Did you heard about Scrap Free Scrapbooking?? Well Jennifer Priest come up with a great idea to Scrapbook Free! don't you like the idea to Scrapbook with the papers and embellishments we have and don't spend money? well she has a lot of tips and templates that she develop to scrapbook without scraps!! YES>>> No Scraps!!! yey!!!!

Using my brand NEW Trim Air - Westcott Rotary Paper Trimmer and using Scrap Free Scrapbook ideas I start cutting my paper!

Once I cut all my pieces I use my Xyron Mega Runner.. another gadget I love!

I use two pictures I don't really like to journal.. I'm more into titles and photos some times I love clean and simple and today is one of those days!

Another embellish I did was the title.. I use my electronic cutter .. you can use also dies.. the thing is we need to use what we have!!!!

This Layout is so simple but I like the results..

To finish .. I add some tags I had also from my stash and voila!! One Layout with out using anything new!! I'm so thankful and blessed to have a lot in my stash and I'm decided to use it using all the Tips from the book "Scrap Free Scrapbooking" isn't a good idea?

If you want to buy this book use code MAGDA to save $3.99 at checkout.


Supplies used:
Westcott Brand - Titanium Non Stick Scissors
Westcott Brand - Rotary Paper Trimmer
Westcott Brand - Self Healing Mat
Xyron Mega Runner
Silhouette Cameo Electronic Paper Trimmer
Cardstock and papers from my stash

Thanks for your sweet comments and don't forget to come next Tuesday for another Layout-A-Week!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Make the Most of Your Scrapbook Paper and Bling- Week #44

The upcoming Black Friday sales serve as a reminder for me. I have a lot of stuff in my scrapbook stash. If I see a good deal, I have a tendency to give in, especially if it is papercraft related. In years past, one of those impulse purchases involved bling. A lot of Bling...the kind that makes nice decorative 12 x 12 inch long borders. I love to use decorative jewels on my scrapbook layouts but often I find that I use them best in moderation. The long strips of bling sat unused until recently.

Chances are good that if you are hitting up sales for the best value, you are also very budget conscious when it comes to using your supplies (I know I am). Today's layout is in many ways quite minimalist.We are going to complete it with just 1 full 12 x 12 sheet of patterned paper (should be a double sided print), a scrap of patterned paper, a small bit of vellum, some bling and a few embellishments.

After selecting your photos, cut down that scrap piece of patterned paper into a square that accommodates them with a little room to add items along one side. This type of layout works well with multiple 3 x 4 inch photos or instax prints. Adhere that square scrap of paper to the B side of your 12 x 12 paper.

Carefully cut it out using a craft knife and leaving a thin edge along the side to provide a matte for your patterned paper scrap. Flip it over and adhere it so that it covers the hole.

If there are gaps (which happens to me because I cut unevenly), adhere your patterned paper block to a sheet of cardstock, leaving space for a thin edge. You can do this multiple times to add more layers if you desire. Place your photos and begin adding your embellishments. I chose to add a strip of vellum and some washi tape to visually anchor the photos onto the block.

I like bling but a full 12 x 12 inch strip is just too much for me. I often cut these longer strips apart. In this case, I cut just a few bits of these chevron bling strips to add to the layout. Long before I bought sheets of pearls and enamel dots, I would buy these strips of bling and sometimes full bling shapes on sale to cut apart for use as accents. You can easily cut a large strip or just one single jewel to use on your layouts.If the glue on the back falls off when you cut the shape or strip apart, use a tiny dot of liquid adhesive on the back of the jewel.

Add your title and then add the journaling to the scrapbook layout. I like to use journaling strips because they add an extra layer to the page while also using up scraps. The size of the title and the amount of journaling I did on this page helped me determine just how much extra embellishing I wanted to add. Both took up a lot of real estate on this page. Given that I also used quite a busy patterned paper and bright colors, I chose to keep embellishments minimal and in a fairly neutral color.

Do you love bling? Or do you prefer something less shiny on your layouts?

About this layout: We recently moved overseas to the United Arab Emirates. I wanted to document our temporary living accommodations in the hotel while also conveying how thankful I am for them.

Supplies Used: 
Patterned Paper: Bella Blvd.
Letters: Lillybee Designs
Tape: My Mind's Eye
Cork: Shimelle
Jewels: Duck Brand, Freckled Fawn
Vellum: Studio Calico

Visit me at MyScrapbookEvolution.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paper Strips For Quick & Easy Scrapbook Pages - Week #42

Halloween is over, and the candy has been eaten. Here in the U.S., that means our thoughts are now turning to turkey and stuffing!

Thanksgiving means family gatherings for most of us, which means lots of photos of course. I still have lots of photos that haven't been scrapped from when my daughter was small and the demands of motherhood limited my creative time. It's my goal to get some of these in albums! For this layout I dug out photos from her second Thanksgiving, when she was 18 months old.
We don't tend to think of our paper trimmer as a primary creative tool. Instead, we see it as a utilitarian support tool. But one of my favorite techniques for creating quick and simple pages is to use paper strips. Strips let you get a taste of a pattern without it overwhelming a page, and it also lets you add multiple colors to a page in only a small area.  This entire layout is created pretty much with only a paper trimmer. 

While the strips look random, their placement is actually very carefully determined. How do you decide where to put the strips? In this layout, the photos were placed first when planning the layout, and then the plaid and green strips were placed to ground them. then the blue strip was used to ground the title chipboard piece. 

I find that 5/8" is usually a perfect width for paper strips on most layouts, and this Westcott trimmer makes it super easy to cut them. The edge of the metal base on the right side of the blade in the photo below is 5/8". There's no squinting at small marks or measuring needed - just line your paper up with that edge and trim! 

Besides the trimmer, the only other tool that I used on this layout is a set of food planner stamps by Clearly Kelly. Many planner stamps are also perfect for pocket scrapbook and event pages. After all, if you think about it, planner stamps are designed to record in our planners the things that we are taking photos of! Their small size makes them particularly suited to using on pocket cards, like this one from the Pumpkin Size collection kit that I added to my layout as a journaling block.

Chalk ink like this Colorbox archival one (in Chestnut Roan) gives a matte finish that is a great match to the finish on quality papers like these Simple Stories ones. Thanks to the chalk ink, the stamp looks like it is part of the original paper design.
Strips don't always have to be paper, either. At the bottom of the page I mixed in some sticker pieces to the strip design. Some word strips combined to form a longer strip underneath the "thankful" title, making the title blog a git more bulky and inserting a few more colors into that area of the layout. Then the journaling card was grounded using a patterned border sticker that matched an element on the top of the card.
Strip layouts are extra easy to do when you start by using a coordinated collection pack. You know then that no matter what you choose from the stack, it will match. And sometimes that leads you down unexpected paths.

I used to only buy open stock paper so that I could "cherry pick" collections and only buy the sheets that I was sure that I absolutely loved. If I had done that, I would have passed by that plaid in the top strip because, well, as a child of the 70's I became somewhat traumatized by bad plaid experiences (and have the pictures to prove it) - especially brown plaid. But since it was in the collection pack, I was willing to give it a try...and I'll admit, I love the results!

If you don't have the exact elements on my supply list, you an substitute letter stickers or a die cut element for the title, and a punched or die cut element for the sticker on the top left. Get out your trimmer and start cutting!


  • Simple Stories Pumpkin Spice collection kit
  • Simple Stories Pumpkin Spice Chipboard
  • Simple Stories Pumpkin Spice Simple Basics paper kit
  • Colorbox Chalk Archival ink in Chestnut Roan
  • Kelly's Food Planner stamps by Clearly Kelly for Hero Arts stamps
  • Westcott Titanium Bonded 12" Multipurpose Trimmer
  • Black pen

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day of the Dead - Week #41

Hi Ladies!
Today I'm going to share my layout and it is all about the "Day of the Dead"  and a little of what is this Mexican holiday.

Day of the Dead or Dia de Muertos.. is a holiday we celebrate in Mexico in particular the Central and South regions.. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and help the support their spiritual journey.. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called "Ofrendas" honoring the deceased using sugar skulls marigolds and the favorite beverages and food of the departed, also visiting graves to be with the souls of the departed.. the intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.

Jose Guadalupe Posada created a famous print of a figure he called La Calavera Catrina.. as a parody of a Mexican upper-class female..

I went in 2012 to Guadalajara Mexico and as I said in central Mexico they decorate everywhere with paper mache Catrinas.. I took some pictures and some I use in my layout..

We always can use papers even if they are for a different occasions.. This paper is Christmas paper but I think it was perfect for my layout!

 This iron transfer was my inspiration for this Layout... As you know I love fussy cutting so I cut the Iron transfer with my excellent Westcott Craft Titanium non stick scissors!!! and was perfect to embellish my layout!

This is a simple-easy layout and I use 3 photos! 


The Catrina Skull is a great embellish and I add some pearls with my Pearl Pen.. 

Also I add some Molding Paste and Embossing powders from Color Box to give more color.. Day of the dead is also a lot of color!

I just did my Title with my lovely Sakura White Pen.. some flowers from my stash and ready!!! 
I hope you get some inspiration and see you next Tuesday with another fabulous Layout-A-Week!

Westcott Brand - Craft Titanium Scissors, Self healing cutting mat, TrimAir Trimmer
Fancy Pants "Oh Deer" Paper Collection
Crafty Chica - Day of the Dead Iron-on transfer
Pentart - Pearl Pens " Lilac, Morning Glory and Poppy
Aleen's - Turbo Tacky Glue
Color Box - Embossing Powders
Golden - Molding Paste
Sakura - White Pen

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to use Frames to Anchor Scrapbook Embellishments- Week #40

What is it about die cut frames that makes them so difficult to use? I usually leave them sitting untouched in my scrapbook supplies simply because I don't have the right size photo to fit inside the frame. When it comes to challenging scrapbook embellishments, you have to be willing to use them in a manner which may be quite different from their intended purpose. Today, we're going to take a look at how we can use a die cut frame to anchor a cluster of scrapbook embellishments.

Let's start by taking a look at the basic steps to creating an embellishment cluster with a frame:

 I used a large size die cut frame for my layout. Larger frames can be difficult to use simply because of their size.Cutting them down and tucking them beneath a photo adds a layer while preventing the frame's size from overpowering the other elements of your scrapbook layout. You can save the other half of the frame for another page, or tuck it in somewhere else on your layout. The large frame acts as an anchor for the embellishment cluster in that it provides a junction where it meets the heart print patterned paper matte. Placing embellishments where lines meet is a good way to create more visual interest in your page design.

 If you are have a smaller frame, you don't necessarily have to cut it in half and tuck it under. I like to layer small frames on top of photos. They act as a sort of nest for tiny embellishments.

In the video, I showed you a close up look at the wooden circle in this cluster. The circle has a wood burned phrase which simply won't work for any stories I want to tell. If you have a die cut or wood shape and don't think you can use it for your layouts, consider flipping it over so that you can use the back. They provide a nice foundation for building an embellishment cluster.

The key to a good embellishment cluster is a mixed set of scrapbook embellishments with varying weights, sizes and textures. Choose one large shape, then build it upwards with a mix of flat items like die cuts and stickers and dimensional items like buttons or flair. Choose one or two shapes or colors to repeat in at least one other cluster on the layout.

 After I filmed the video, I let the  layout sit for a bit before coming back to finish the small details. Sometimes the clusters need a little something extra to make the page feel more polished. In this case, I added some sequins. I adore sequins. They won't make your layout feel to heavy but can add a hint of glitz. 

The frame can also be a starting point from which to layer your title. Experiment with different size letter stickers. Smaller letters can be held inside the frame. Larger stickers can flow over the top of the frame, as shown above.

How do you like to use die cut frames? 

This layout was based on a design from the Scrap Free Scrapbooking E-book. You can learn more about the book at JenniferPreist.com. Use code CHRISTY to save $3.99 at checkout.

About this Layout: Flamingo Parade features photos of my son in Ardastra Gardens in Nassau, Bahamas. They have a flock of flamingos that roams free through the zoo. Once a day, they parade the flamingos through the park in the center of the zoo. Once there, guests are invited to walk out into the flock and join in.

Supplies Used:
Patterned Paper- Pink Paislee, Cocoa Daisy
Die Cuts, Wood Veneer, Stickers: Pink Paislee
Wood Buttons: Crate Paper
Sequins: My Mind's Eye
Ink: Colorbox

Visit me at MyScrapbookEvolution.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Simple Fall Layout of Monticello - Week #38

Welcome to October on Layout-A-Week! In most of the country, October means fall. But here in Florida, of course, we don't get much of what is considered to be "fall". So to get a taste of fall scrapbooking and get in a seasonal mood, I decided to go way back in time and dig up some pictures from a trip to Williamsburg and Virginia in October 1994. I didn't start scrapbooking until several years after this trip so these beautiful pictures have never been scrapbooked!

Fall at Monticello layout by Nancy Nally for Layout-a-Week blog
One way to make scrapbooking old photos easy is to use templates. For this layout, I used a template from the Scrap Free Scrapbooking ebook by Layout-A-Week's own Jennifer Priest. The book contains beautiful clean template designs that show you how to take a few sheets of paper and turn them into 4-5 coordinated layouts by cutting them to certain dimensions!

Working with templates like this is even easier if you work with pre-coordinated paper kits. For this layout, I worked with Graphic 45's recent collection Botanicabella. The combination of brown, green and golden yellow is perfect for fall, and the historic touches of text and other elements are a perfect match for Monticello, the historic home of one of America's founding fathers.

The fall colors of the paper set a tone, but to emphasize the fall theme, I decided to add a die cut leaf. I cut the leaf out on my Cricut Explore machine.

I love intricate die cuts but adhering them? Not so much. My Xyron 505 machine is the perfect solution for my sanity. It's a lifesaver for items like this! A large portion of what comes out of my die cut machine goes straight into my Xyron for adhesive.

Besides the leaf, there was one other thing that I added to the template design: a journaling block. I measured the area between the bottom of the picture of Monticello and the top of the title block. Then I took those measurements to my Westcott TrimAir rotary trimmer and cut a piece of just slightly textured patterned paper to insert in that space as a journaling block.
Before gluing all of the paper elements down, I added a final touch that made the layout just a bit more finished. Using this many patterns together - even if they are all beautifully coordinated - can easily start to appear a busy, muddy mess. I used a Colorbox ink pad in Expresso (dark brown) to ink the edges of my design blocks to give them definition so they appear more separate from each other. It also gives the layout a bit of dimension by creating a faux drop shadow effect.

Using the glitter Thickers for the name Monticello draws the golden highlights out of the photos.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week for more fall layout goodness!


  • Graphic 45 Botanicabella collection
  • Cricut Explore machine & leaf cut file
  • Hero Arts "Clearly Kelly" stamps (Kelly's Outline Letters)
  • American Crafts "Wisecrack" Thickers in gold
  • Brown journaling pen
  • Westcott Trim Air rotary trimmer
  • Xyron 505 adhesive machine
  • Colorbox pigment ink in Espresso
  • Scrap Free Scrapbooking Ebook (Cutting Pattern 5)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Style? Week #37

Hi! I'm so happy to be part of the Layout-A-Week Design Team!
My Name is Magda Cortez,  I live in San Diego, Ca. since 2000 OMG! it seems like forever! I'm a retired Civil Engineer and 100% Scrapbooker! 
Today I'll show you my style.. It's not easy to describe my style because I can do  Clean and Simple  or use the new Mixed Media techniques in my next project.. I love butterflies and fussy cutting so maybe you will see a lot in my future projects..

Here is a short video where you can see My Style.

Thanks for joining me today and see you next week with another inspirational Layout-A-Week!!!