3 Sep

Cadell, my 2 1/2 year old grandson, loves anything electronic. He can operate a phone, remote, computer, etc with ease and confidence. I recently got him a bag of accessories for Mr. Potato head and his favorite add-on was the little plastic camera that fits in the potato head hand. He ran around the house with that little 1″ toy pretending to snap pictures. It got me  thinking about getting a toy camera for him for Christmas and then I remembered that I had an old digital camera that I wasn’t using, so I decided to give it a go. HE LOVES IT. It is a Kodak easy camera with a charging base, so he has to wait (impatiently) for the 3 lights to be green so that’s it’s fully charged and he can snap away. We rarely make it past 2 lights and we have to charge it several times a day.

Yesterday, we took him to the Seattle Aquarium and he had his camera. OH MY-he snapped pictures of everything. He looked like such a tourist with that camera around his neck. Every fish tank and display he saw-he snapped. Every time I tried to take his picture, he would take my picture, making it very difficult to get a picture of his face. He took pictures of every fish, every floor covering, every little child, every person who smiled at him, literally  everything! I just kept reminding him to be sure he could see the people in the display screen before he clicked. SNAP, SNAP, SNAP. He had over 150 pictures from this one adventure. To my surprise, there were some great photos in the bunch and quite artistic. I think his style of snap, snap, snap might work!







Today, he wanted to see his pictures loaded on my computer. He started drawing and snapping pictures….I think he’s scrapbooking already! I guess you are never too young to scrap your first page.

l.e.summers, designer at Scraptacular


1 Sep


Keeping all your scrapbook supplies organized can be very challenging! How many times have you forgotten what you own and bought the same item twice?

Here are some ways I organize and make the most of my scrapbook storage. I typically organize into 3 different systems:



Project Folder

As soon as I have an event to scrapbook, I start a “project folder”. This is usually a file folder or a 12 X 12 clear plastic folder. I begin gathering mementos from the event-invitations, photos, memorabilia, brochures, ANYTHING that will provide me with visuals and/or information about the event. I also take any journaling notes I may have made, especially dates for all events. Since my pictures are on the computer, I just print a contact sheet of pictures and keep it in the project folder until I am ready to design my layout. I can also use the contact sheet to look through my supplies to see which papers have colors to coordinate.


Collection Folders

When I shop for scrapbooking supplies, I don’t always have a specific event in mind. If I love the papers, I will buy materials and save them for the appropriate event. I typically buy 3-4 different papers – 2 sheets of each paper to support double page layouts. I look for embellishments that I like, title tags, and of course brads! In addition, I pick up a couple of sheets of solid color papers to match. I am always amazed at how many different shades of blue paper they make and as good as my eye is, I get home and the blue paper I have at home isn’t quite right. When I come home from shopping, I immediately put them in a collection folder, keeping everything together. I used to store all papers together, all solids together, all embellishments in bins but I wasted so much time putting things back together when it came time to scrap. Papers and embellishments that are bought together should be stored together. That doesn’t mean I don’t add other products. I frequently look at my “Collection Folders” and combine colors/papers that work together. Each folder holds a wide variety of materials to use as a resource when actually designing a layout.  My goal is to be able to grab a “Collection Folder”, add some photos and take it to a scrapbooking event-knowing that there will be SOMETHING in the folder to complete my layout.

My “Collection Folders” are stored on a shelf by color or theme. That way when I have photos that I am working with, I can determine a color focus and take a look at all my “BLUE” collections. I also have a section of folders for “KIDS” and “SPECIALTY” (such as Harley Davidson motorcycles).



Common “themes” such as birthdays, dogs, and baseball are stored in larger plastic bins as they typically outgrow the collection folders. I put all papers, ribbons, stickers, brads, rubber stamps, ANYTHING that supports the theme in my “Theme bins”. Theme bins are labeled and stacked in the closet. Some themes-such as Christmas and Baby have multiple boxes so I can be more discriminating in the sorting process. I have Traditional Christmas, Vintage Christmas, Gingerbread, Cutesy Christmas and even Reindeers.

When I am ready to scrapbook, I combine my PROJECT FOLDER with an appropriate COLLECTION FOLDER. Last minute add-ins include dot paper and stripe paper to match. Most importantly, when I complete a layout, it’s important to unpack and leftovers and put them away in an appropriate folder. I have to be careful and not gather PILES and PILES of stuff I don’t know what to do with it. Everything needs a home in order to be able to find it again when needed. Being organized helps me to make the most of my scrapbooking time.

L.E.Summers designer at Scraptacular Kits


29 Aug

I have now taken scrapbooking to an all new pain level! I can’t wait to be scrapbooking like normal as I IMPATIENTLY waiting for my thumb to work  following reconstructive surgery. Impatience may be a negative trait but when combined with determination, persistence, and a little stupidity, there are always ways to overcome obstacles.

I have been waiting 6 weeks to design a new project featuring Bo Bunny’s “Little Miss” collection. Those of you familiar with my scrapbooking kits know that I try to release a new “purse album” each quarter and this new paper  and adorable embellishments were perfect for a “Tea Party Purse” mini album.

With limited use of my right hand, designing takes longer and techniques are a little odd (like scissor cutting with middle and ring finger!) but it hasn’t been too bad UNTIL YESTERDAY. For this design, I wanted to have stacked buttons with twine through the button holes and tied in a bow. Thus began my 45 minute workout.

Simple, simple, simple thing to do. Pick out 2 buttons, stack them on top of each other and thread a twine through holes of both buttons. Then tie a knot, tie a bow and trim the ends. OH MY! Try picking up a button without using your thumb. Try threading a piece of twine through a hole in a button with fingers only. Even with the floss threader, imagine trying to align the buttons with the treader in the holds, inserting the end of the floss into the loop and then pulling it through the holes. I started out sitting, then standing, then practically standing on the table. At one point my good hand cramped up from all the tension. I resisted the urge to use my teeth since this sample will be on display in stores! Trying to tie the bow almost sent me over the edge. I would loop it around and then couldn’t grab the thread to pull it through. I almost had it so many times. I kept thinking, I could wait and ask my husband to help but I still think mine would look better than his! I didn’t quit and I finally got a bow- a very big bow – then I worked to tighten it and make it smaller and smaller and smaller. 45 minutes later it was done and I thought to myself….this entire project will be made in a 2 1/2 hour class and I just spent 45 minutes making 3 bows on buttons. I am crazy.

I was wringing wet with sweat when this was all over and then it hit me….how many calories did I burn up???? I earned a slab of grilled pound cake and a freshly cut peach. YUM…the pain of scrapbooking.

L.E.Summers, designer at Scraptacular Kits


29 Aug

I’m a MESSY scrapbooker!

I look for any support to keep my desktop organized when scrapbooking because I tend to pull EVERYTHING out during my design process. I have a work mat in front of me but the rest of the space is covered with possible papers, embellishments, scraps, etc. I don’t want to lose my tools in this mound of “stuff” so I invested in 2 small totes. One is for tools and 1 is for adhesives. I love the SMALL size because everything is visible and I don’t lose things in deep pockets.

“Must Have” Tools

Tool Caddy

My tool kit holds these basics: Scissors, Exacto knives (straight and swivel), Craft pick, Flower petal roller, Brayer, 6” metal ruler, Threaders (for twine and floss), small cutting mat (3” X 3”), pens and pencils, Sanding block, Distress ink pads, and wire cutters (for binding wires)

Adhesive Caddy

My adhesive kit holds these basics:1/8”, 1/4” 1/2” scor tape, Glue stick, Liquid glue, Quick dry adhesive, Quickie glue (pinpoint roller pen), water pen, spritzer bottle, glue dots, tape runner, pop-up dots, and Un do (a MUST!)

When traveling, I first wrap the tote with sarah wrap and then take a small garbage bag and tie it around each tote and then put them in my travel bag. TSA almost always looks in my luggage and they have NEVER removed the saran wrap because they can SEE everything inside easily. The plastic also keeps everything contained and the bag would keep any loose items from getting lost if it did come loose. I love the size of the small totes when trying to pack a suitcase for “travel scrapbooking”.

So what did I do what the BIG tote that I bought years ago…’s now my back stock for extra tools and adhesives. I grab it, refill my little totes and put it in the closet. These little totes help keep my work space a little less messy and I need all the help I can get!

L.E. Summers, designer at Scraptacular Kits


27 Aug

I have never gone scrapbook shopping without buying brads! I own them all….mini, medium and large circle brads; circle, square, fancy shaped brads; pearl, patterned and fabric brads; glitter and gem brads.

I own every color so it’s rare that I don’t have a brad that works on my layouts. My brads are organized by color and size, making it easy to grab and go when preparing for a scrapbook layout. I ALWAYS have brads as one of my basic resources when designing a new layout and it’s rare that I don’t use them. Even after completing a layout, I take a good look to see if a brad could add a special touch to the page. I often buy the coordinating brads from paper collections and keep them stored with the matching papers so I don’t forget that I own them.

I make my own brad embellishments by using punches and plain brads. Circle, square, and flower punches are great for starting a layered look that ends with a brad in the center. It helps to have circle punches in concentric sizes (every 1/4”) for double circle brads.

I used to organize my brads in small baggies. I would hole punch the bag (above the zip seal) and then organize them by color on a ring. I loved this method! Rings could be organized by color and easily reorganized to a new ring for any given project. I had a blue ring, red ring, orange/yellow ring, silver ring, gold ring, white/black ring, etc. The baggies took up little space and were great to throw into my bags when packing for a scrapping event. ONE BIG PROBLEM-the arthritis in my thumb made it impossible for me to open the little zip baggies and get the brads outs so I was forced to find an alternative system.

I found these 7 compartment plastic storage bins (Lockables by CraftMates) as my 2nd choice. I love that they LOCK so that I don’t accidentally have 52 pick-up with all my brads. When I do want to open them-I can open just the one compartment I want and keep the other 6 locked, allowing me to dump out the brads rather than trying to pick them out of the small case. The containers take up more space than the baggies and aren’t as easy to see all my colors but they keep me organized. I actually use 14 compartment cases for certain colors when I have LOTS of different brads. I like the ease of grabbing the BLUE case and seeing all my options. I use one large handled storage bin to hold all the little bins.

Now that I have had reconstructive thumb surgery, I HOPE I can return to my baggies because I will NEVER give up on using brads in my layouts and projects.

L.E.Summers, designer at Scraptacular Kits


26 Aug


It’s been 5 weeks since hand surgery and I have finally admitted that I am USELESS without my right hand.


Here’s what I learned….

  • A soft cast is more challenging than a hard cast-you can’t pound with it, push with it, or balance on it!
  • Just because the cast comes off, it doesn’t mean you can use your thumb (6 weeks is the timeline for having any resistance on the new thumb!)
  • Life without a hand is harder for women than men-try putting on a bra with 1 hand, try pulling up panties with 1 hand, try putting on make-up with 1 hand, try styling your hair with 1 hand, try shaving your legs with 1 hand…especially if that hand is NOT your dominant hand. When I do this same surgery for the other hand, I will switch to boxers, go braless, let my leg hair grow, and forget the make-up and hair.
  • 12 week recovery REALLY means 12 weeks-who knew??? At week 5, my thumb is still 80% numb and the joint area is still swollen and quite stiff.
  • After 2 weeks of physical therapy, I can now bend the tip of my thumb. I still haven’t figured out what I can do now that I have this BIG movement.
  • My daily exercise involves eating  a bowl of popcorn, using my new thumb and my first finger to pick up 1 kernel at a time. My dog Olive loves to sit near me during this time since I often drop the kernel. After 2 weeks, I am finally eating more of the bowl of popcorn than she is!
  • I FINALLY did some scrapbooking this week with adaptations to my techniques. No scissors-but the finger exacto on my middle finger works well!  The large paper cutter is my tool of choice, as long as I hold the paper down with my right arm and cross my left hand over top to bring down the blade. It’s not pretty but it works and I haven’t cut any sleeves (or my arm) in the process!!!

I have many blog ideas ready to submit and I finally took some pictures today so I intend on blogging every other day this week, just to catch up a bit! I spent lots of time reorganizing and putting things away during my recovery days, so lots of hints and tips coming your way.

L.E.Summers, designer at Scraptacular Kits

1/8″, 1/4″, 1/2″ or more!

1 Jul








It is amazing to me how 1/8″ can make a difference. When matting photos in your layouts, considering using a variety of sizes to give added emphasis to certain photos.  My mat frames will vary from a very narrow edge, 1/8″, 1/4″ or even larger as shown in these layouts. The 5 sequenced photos along the bottom are simply matted with 1/4″ white and narrow red while the focal photo has 3 levels of matting: 1/4″ white, 1/2″ blue circle paper, and narrow red. Notice that the photo in the tag has no matting and the corners were clipped to match the tag shape.

These little differences add enormous visual appeal when looking at layouts and it’s not just in the matting…look at the base paper. I NEVER use one piece of paper for my base. I typically choose 3-5 pieces of paper and strip-build the background. If you look closely, the layout on the left has multiple pieces to “patchwork” a 12 X 12 page:

1. Dots on blue paper

2. Orange and white lines paper (only 1/4″ of this paper shows!)

2. Happy birthday (printed clear acetate) on white paper

3. Birthday presents patterned paper

4. Striped paper

5. White paper strips at top, bottom and middle to separate the patterned papers

I never just buy 1 piece of paper. After selecting multiple patterns with related themes/colors, I then come home and merge it with other papers and patterns that coordinate. When I begin designing a layout, I have lots of options to select from. My fall back papers are usually stripes and dots to help tie everything together. Although the paper and patterns are important to my design, the photos take top priority. This very special 2nd birthday layout has 9 photos of my grandson “Cadell”.

L.E.Summers, designer at Scraptacular Kits

Splish Splash! Splish Splash!

28 Jun

Certain things are worth REPEATING!  When I scrapbook, I look for design elements in the papers and embellishments that I can REPEAT somewhere else in my layout.








In the “Bathtime” layout above, I started with the blue title block with the yellow duck. I knew I wanted to use this embellishment but I had nothing else to go with it. I went in search of related pieces for my layout. Ducks and bubbles aren’t hard to find but I am very picky!







I was especially happy when I found this paper with the same curvy wave line and ducks in beautiful soft colors but I needed a 2nd patterned paper to create a more interesting page. I hand cut the top and bottom edge of the paper to emphasize the wave line and paired it with the striped paper to build my 12 X 12 base. But I had a problem-although I liked the contrast of the stripes and waves, it really didn’t match. The striped paper didn’t have any blue on it and the duck paper and title block didn’t have any teal on it. I needed to REPEAT that color to tie it all together so I hand cut a narrow wave of teal paper and added it to the title block. I have to admit-I momentarily considered adding an occasional blue stripe to the paper but talked myself out of that laborious task! I then added real buttons to the title block to REPEAT the bubble shape in the paper design. I used both the blue and the teal colors for my photo mats to bring it all together. And then, I found one more design piece that would REPEAT the wave shape…..3-D plastic phrases (“Fun-in-the-Tub”) that were actually shaped in the same curvature as the wave printed paper! PERFECT!


L.E.Summers, designer at Scraptacular Kits

Magical Madness Continues

26 Jun

Having just returned from a quick trip to Orlando, I continue to be amazed at the madness surrounding Mickey Mouse! I remember when the basic black mickey ears with your name stitched on the felt was the best thing to get at Disneyland. NOW-so many different choices for ears in every color, pattern and theme!

12 X 12 Disney Layouts

Easy to assemble kits with precut papers










My layout class at ScrapVille is coming up….join us to create 10-12″ X 12″ layouts for your Disney memories. There’s still time to sign up! Our kits have the very best in Disney papers and embellishments, with everything pre-cut and ready to attach.

3-D stickers

Die cuts

Themed papers

Foiled papers

Fancy brads

Gems (star template)

Washi tape

Buttons and Twine





























All Layouts hold  5 X 7, 4 X 6 and wallet photos!

Class: ScrapVille in Snohomish, WA on Saturday, July 14th. Call for reservations. Live out of town??? Kits can be ordered with comprehensive directions and photos for easy do-it-yourself . Visit ScrapVille online or call today and reserve yours!

L.E.Summers, designer for Scraptacular Kits

Magic Madness

18 May

What’s with this crazy love affair with that magical mouse and everything black, white, red and yellow? Scrapbookers are in love with everything Disney and I am no different. Even without a trip planned, I have spent the past few years collecting my favorite disney papers and embellishments knowing that SOME DAY I would need them. What a collection! A stack of papers, stickers, ribbons, brads, punches, even a black album with a Mickey Head on it. The crazy thing is that I have multiples of the same item. I’d like to say it was because I intended to make duplicate books for my boys but the reality is that I think I just forget what I buy and buy the same things over and over. At least I know what I like.

Christmas in Disneyland 1992

Too many pictures to choose from!











I haven’t been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld in quite some time but I do remember my favorite Disney trip ever.The boys were in kindergarten and 3rd grade and we planned a surprise trip to Disneyland for Christmas! On Christmas Eve, we pretended to drive a friend to the airport but when we got there, we shared the surprise by giving them a Mickey shirt as an early present and then got on the plane. Ryan was beyond excited but Jake was so hesitant. “What about my pajamas?”, “What about the lemon merringe pie you promised for Christmas Day?”, “What about the ornament I made for you in school”? Once we convinced him that we had EVERYTHING, he was ready to go but I think we were half way to California before that happened.  It was a fabulous way to spend Christmas Day. The park was beautiful, the weather was fabulous, and the boys were so happy. My scrapbooking style certainly has improved since those 8 1/2 X 11″ pages 20 years ago and so have the resources to create beautiful Disney pages. I am amazed that I tried to hand-cut puzzle pieces back then and now there are punches to make this all so easy!

Scraptacular Kit mini book

I recently designed a ‘Magic Vacation Memories’ mini book for Scraptacular Kits and a 10-page (12 X 12) album for ScrapVille. Kits and classes are available. Check them out at and (see the video of all 12 pages for the album and sign-up!)

Redos are NO PROBLEM!

3 May

I have never designed a project that didn’t require removing a piece of paper after attaching it. Whether it ended up crooked or I just changed the design, I often need to remove paper. There have been many “tricks of the trade” for removing papers such as using temporary glue instead of permanent or sliding a piece of dental floss underneath the paper and gently prying it off.  These worked-sometimes! I really wanted a FAIL-PROOF option and I now am in love with“Undo”.

Gently insert at edge.

Saturate paper as you go.

Even if your natural instinct is to try and remove the paper gently, don’t risk it. With “Undo” you can remove anything and reuse the paper.  The trick is to not be afraid to get your paper wet with “undo”. Gently slip the plastic edge of the tool attached to the bottle under a corner of the paper you want to remove. If it’s resistant, make sure you have enough undo liquid to saturate the paper. It ALWAYS dries so don’t worry about damaging the paper. It will come off easily if you saturate it generously and slowly work the tool between the adhesive and the base. If you hear paper tearing, STOP…you need more UNDO. Position the plastic tool (that is attached on the end of the bottle) between the paper and the glue and squeeze so that more liquid saturates the paper.

Once it has dried, apply additional adhesive as needed and reattach.  It is simple and always works. It is always a “WOW” response when I demonstrate this during my scrap classes. Everyone ends up buying a bottle and adding it to their tool bags!

No more sticky blades!

Undo is also very useful for clean-up. Scissors, piercing tools, workspace, etc will end up with sticky residue but can easily be cleaned up. Use a soft cloth and saturate with Undo. Apply enough pressure to rub off the residue and quickly your tools will be perfectly cleaned. No more sticky scissor. No more torn papers. No more discarding project papers and recutting. No more mistakes! Just UNDO and REDO!

L.E.Summers, designer

Scraptacular Kits

Scrapbooking Pet Peeve #3

21 Apr

I’m getting old! The eyes and hands just don’t work like they used to but I noticed that one problem I have with tyeing floss in buttons and pulling ribbons through holes is NOT limited to just the old! The young scrapbooker ALSO struggles with this. Good news! I recently learned the  greatest  little trick for making this painful task EASY. Go to the drug store and look at the dental care aisle. You will find “dental floss threaders” for implants/bridges. This little plastic loop is PERFECT for pulling your embrodery floss, thread or narrow ribbons through those tiny holes in buttons.

Using dental floss threader to thread buttons

Just put the straight end through the hole, put the floss through the large loop and pull it through. This is so much easier than trying to thread a needle and having the thread separate. No more sucking on the end of the thread or wrapping tape around the end to make a stiff point. This trick also works well with ribbons that may be slightly wider than your hole-the threader makes it very easy to pull that ribbon through any size hole.  Trust me-this little trick will save you time and many “bad words” as well as allow you not make this one of your pet peeves!

L.E.Summers, designer

Scraptacular Kits

Excuses Why I Don’t LIKE to Journal

7 Apr

I admit it. It seems odd to be blogging about why I don’t like to journal! But when it comes to my scrapbooks, I always struggle with adding journaling. I’ve heard all the reasons to journal on my pages: remembering details, feelings, sharing thoughts, etc. However, I have my own list of excuses.

1. I don’t like my cursive writing

2. My printing has gotten worse over time.

3. Handwriting is too imperfect.

4. Can’t do it right the first time.

5. Can’t ever repeat it after I practice it perfectly.

6. Need lined paper to avoid uphill writing.

7. Don’t like papers with lines.

8. Content seems insignificant at the time

Journal simple memories

Remember the story behind the photos

HOWEVER…..when I look back at my albums, I ALWAYS read the journaling. It warms my heart and brings back such memories. As I work on my grandson’s album, journaling has taken on a new importance. I am actually writing TO HIM, telling him what I love about our time together, making note of his likes and dislikes, and creating a written and visual memory of time with “Dam-Ma!” Pictures are fabulous but the words are important. SO…I look at my list of excuses and I know that with computers, I can throw my excuses out the window and just journal my way…short, sweet, “PERFECT” journaling.

L.E.Summers, designer

Scraptacular Kits

Scrapbooking Pet Peeve #2

5 Apr

I am sorry to say that pet peeve #2 is ME! I can’t believe how mad I get at myself because I don’t change blades on my cutting tools often enough. Every time I do change the blade, I ask myself….”WHY did I wait so long?”.


My very favorite cutting tool is the finger exacto blade (both straight edge and swivel). The straight edge gets used much more often and is especially effective when making chipboard mini books. No matter how careful I measure and cut, the board and the paper might not be an EXACT fit. When I attach the paper, I align it to 2 sides of the board. Then I can easily go back with my exacto knife  and trim off any excess paper, using the edge of the board as the straight edge. If the board is larger, I use my metal ruler and trim the board to fit the paper. Either way, the page looks pretty darn perfect for a home-made book. The trick here is a SHARP blade. Then I go back and sand the edges which actually bevels the paper and exposes a white core for most papers, adding an even more distinctive look to my pages. I will often ink the edges as well to get a distressed look. All these little things just make the book look less homemade! Blades are cheap-buy them in large quantities and change them OFTEN. You won’t regret it and it may eliminate pet peeve #2 in your scrapbooking life.

L.E.Summers, designer

Scraptacular Kits

Bike Time

2 Apr

Although the weather report for EVERY day this week calls for rain…today looked like a BIKE DAY to me! I admit it-I am a fair weather cyclist. It must be dry, bright out, and at least 50 degrees for my to get out on my bike! It’s getting closer and I’m getting ready. The bikes have been in for a tune-up, I’m getting a new hitch for the car so the bike rack can go on EITHER car (no excuses when Bud’s at work!), and my knees just had their cortizone shots!

Tag Mini Book: Bike Trip Memories

Envelope Page and pull-out Tag from Wenatchee Bike Trip

I spent the past 2 days completing my Design Team project for ScrapVille and it’ a BIKE TRIP BOOK so I’m ready to grab my camera, enjoy the trail and add photos to this great new mini book. It’s on display right now at the store in Snohomish, WA or it can be seen online (see link on this page).

It features the Basically Bare Album and Crate Paper’s “Storyteller” collection of papers. This great little chipboard book was easy to transform into my “Memories” tag book with little tags on the cover for each bike trip and inside envelopes with pull-out pages and flaps to showcase the incredible sites we see on our bike trips. Last year we went to Wenatchee and Portland….this year???? Send me any good suggestions you have for relatively EASY trails for this old lady!

Scrapbooking Pet Peeve #1

31 Mar

I hate it! You work so hard to create beautiful scrapbook pages only to shove them in a plastic album sleeve. It isn’t easy. With all the embellishments and layered papers, it’s a battle to squeeze the page down to the bottom of the page protector. Over time, the page gradually slips up and the edges of the paper get crushed, torn, frayed and basically “distressed”. I like the distressed look but this “natural” distressing looks odd when it’s only on the TOP edge of your layout. I’ve even resorted to cutting my page 1/16″ shorter to help but that paper still creeps up and out. If I keep cutting off this worn edge, my albums may end up 10 X 12 instead of 12 X 12.

Clear, permanent mailing seals

I finally found a doable solution! Avery sells clear mailing seals that are 1″ round labels (Avery #5248). They are  scored to fold in half and work perfect for closing the top of the plastic page protector so the page can’t get out! They don’t affect the look of the page because they are clear and they keep everything neatly tucked in! A pack has 480 labels. It’s the best purchase I have ever made at the office supply store and it eliminates pet peeve #1. No worries-there are plenty more peeves on my list!

Count on it!

29 Mar

Make a list and scrapbook it! List making has always been the perfect way to remember something…..a trip to the grocery store, a “to do” list, your “bucket list”, etc. When it comes to scrapbooking, pick a number and make your  list. Shown here is my list….7 things my grandson likes to do at “dam-ma’s” house . He can’t say his G’s yet so my name has become “dam-ma”.

7 Things I like to do at "Dam-ma's"

Featured photo: blowing bubbles

Seven seemed like a great number for this layout and the embellishments had numbered tickets 1-7. I had a few favorite photos already but I needed a few more so I grabbed my camera and just followed him around for the next hour. Before I knew it, I had my 7 things.

When I first saw this line of paper and embellishments from “My Mind’s Eye” I wasn’t sure i liked it. The craft paper and color was too muted for my taste but then I received a packet of materials for a “challenge project” and I started playing with it. The first thing I did was look for one more sheet of paper to add to the collection-something with the same colorations but just a bit brighter. And there it was…by the same manufacturer…but another collection. The colors were perfect and the light background provided just enough contrast to highlight the layout a bit. The other thing I did was reduce the saturation of the color in my photos. By muting them just a little, they felt softer against the kraft paper. The white borders on the photos were too intense, so I cut them off and matted the photos on the blocks from one of the papers. The white around the featured photo and the journaling blocks was just enough white to create a focal point on the layout. This page is for Cadell’s album but still not sure if I will ever give it up!

Almost First Pitch!

20 Mar

FIrst quarter is boring. The holidays are over, football is wrapping up (especially for Seattle!), but spring training is the highlight. I love baseball. It all started with T-Ball when my kids were little. My favorite T-Ball story comes from my youngest son’s coach and first day of practice. I sat on the side and watched those little guys and their coach stand in the outfield, all in a circle, with the heads in the middle and their butts facing the parents. For 30 minutes they stood there. I couldn’t imagine what they were doing. On our way home, I asked my son what he thought about t-ball and he was SO EXCITED! “What did you learn today?”….”The coach taught us the MOST important thing about baseball….how to chew sunflower seeds and spit out the shells.” That was the start of a great interest in baseball for our family. Our lives were full of little league games (mostly losses sitting in the northwest rain), Seattle Mariners games (mostly losses sitting in the Kingdome while it rained outside)  and a million wonderful memories as we traveled across the country to visit as many ballparks as we could.

Taking Dad to the Ball Game

PNC Park-Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates











My baseball scrapbook is one of my early books and was designed on 8 1/2 X 11″ pages but each page is jammed with memories of the many ball parks we’ve visited. We always arrived as soon as the gates opened and stayed until the last pitch-no matter the score! One of my favorite game trips was taking my  father to the new PNC Park in Pittsburgh. He always talked about the 1960 World Series in Pittsburgh and I wanted  him to see the new park. It was an adventure as he suffered from dementia but we both survived! I love these pages and again-my style is quite simple. Notice the photo matting. It is not always necessary to mat on all 4 sides of your photos.  I only matted the photos on top and bottom and allowed the natural edge of the photo to sit adjacent to the photographic baseballs in the background paper.  Since it was bobblehead giveaway night at the ballpark-I used my fine-tipped micro scissors to create my own “dad” bobblehead doll. Add a pop dot, tilt his head, and my page is done!

It’s March 20th and first pitch is almost here! Another season, another opportunity to visit a ball park. This year-check off Petco Park in San Diego!

Countdown to Graduation

14 Mar

Only 3 months until this year’s seniors will graduate. Remember all those photos and memorabilia you’ve been throwing in a box? It’s now time to do something with them. One of my favorite scrapbooking stores, ScrapVille in Snohomish, WA has asked me to design a High School Album that can be made in 1 day!

Custom papers for Snohomish HS, Glacier Peak HS, and Lake Stevens HS

1 of 21 pages in album

They have custom albums and papers for Lake Stevens High School, Snohomish High School and Glacier Peak High School and now you can join me for class on Saturday, April 14th and walk out with an album that just needs your photos and journaling. How easy is that! This special album has 21 pages, designed using “strip building” techniques to create incredible looking 12 X 12 layouts. Everything is precut for class so bring your adhesive and let’s get this project done NOW so that you are ready for graduation.

Stop by the store, see the sample album with 21 pages, and sign up for this Saturday class, April 14th from 10-2. ScrapVille is located in Snohomish Station, by the Starbucks!

Mix It Up!

13 Mar

Don’t be afraid to mix patterned papers on your scrapbook page. I don’t think there is anything more boring that a scrapbook layout that has 1 12 X 12 paper as the background. When I buy for my pages, I try to find 4-6 different pattern papers that work well together. That means looking for common colors and design elements.

Strip-built background

Meeting My Great Aunt, pg 1

On the page shown here, from my “Grandma & Me” album, I actually build this paper using many different strips of papers. The rows of vehicles are 12 X 1″ strips, the clouds with words and stars are 12 X 3″ strips, and the rest is dot paper, solid blue paper, small blue hatched line paper, and blue diagonal stripe paper. Sometimes the strips are all attached to a 12 X 12″ white sheet but most often I attach all the strips together using 12 X 1″ white strips that are hidden behind my papers. Using my 1/4″ grid work mat, I align the pattern strip on top of the 1″ strip, leaving .5″ exposed. The exposed piece of the white strip becomes the attaching point for the bottom of the next strip. This takes a little more time but saves a lot of paper and I love the look of multi-patterned pages. Once you get the hang of it, it goes quite fast. I would be lost without my 1/4″ grid mat and it helps keep my  page square while building.

Notice the careful positioning of the dot papers on this layout. I try to cut dot paper so that all dots are left whole. When bordering a photo, I try to leave the same number of dots around each photo as shown – 1 on the top, bottom and both sides. This little attention to detail makes the page look so much more professional. Next time you see a layout with dots-check and see how the dots are cut. It does make a big difference.

This page has lot of little details but really is a simple layout. It follows the design format I created for this album, starting with the 1/3 page banner down the left side for title, journaling, embellishment and intro photo. The firetruck was cut using my Cricut so that I could match the colors in the paper exactly. Notice the use of double mats around focus photos and some photos have nothing but the white edge of the photo paper. Pages will look more attractive if the matting isn’t exactly the same for all your photos. And of course…..brads have been added at random places in the clouds. A simple layout, lots of color and pattern and don’t forget the photos. There are 8 photos in this 2-page layout and a great reminder of a fun day with Great-Aunt Linda!

Don’t Take That Picture!

6 Mar

I really don’t like photos of me and I found that my scrapbooking showed it. As I looked back at my boys books, I am in very few of the pictures.  How odd since I was the official family event planner and I never missed a fun excursion (except for opening day at Safeco Field but that’s another blog for another day!). The reality is that I don’t want my family to remember all our fun outings, vacations, and every day life moments and think that Mom wasn’t there. I now make it a point to hand the camera to someone and say TAKE THIS PICTURE so that I too can be in the scrapbook.

Cadell is born

I am now making a “Grandma and Me” scrapbook for my grandson and I make every effort to have a picture of me on every page. It doesn’t have to be the focal photo, but just a picture of the two of us so that it truly is a recap of our experiences and times together. All my journaling in this album is written as if I am telling him about the event. Some day I may part with this album and give it to him, but right now it’s my favorite book.

From a design perspective, I am using a grid template for the pages. Each left hand page has a vertical strip (@ 1/3 of the total page) that usually has a title, journaling block, date, a small photo, and special embellishment. The rest of the page has a horizontal strip that divides the page into sections for more photos. When I shop for papers for this album, I try to find 3-4 coordinating papers as well as a stripe/plaid and dot that matches. Shown is page 1 of the album…his birth. I loved the pre-made carousel embellishment but it was all the wrong colors. I had to customize it by changing out the papers on the top and using watercolor pencils to change the colors of the animals. It was so worth the effort to make it match the other papers.

His birth was an amazing day that we actually missed because our phones were accidentally silenced. We never heard any of the many calls and voicemails telling us that they were heading to the hospital, that things were progressing, that he was born and “WHERE ARE YOU???”  We did get to meet him 8 hours later and I have the photo to prove that I was there!

G is for Grandparents

5 Mar

Embellished with Grandma's hankie

Martha Edwards Powell









In my ABC Heritage Scrapbook Album, G is for Grandparents. I had 2 very loving grandmothers and I spent a lot of time with each of them as a young child. Shown are the first 2 pages for the letter G and they focus on my dad’s mom. I loved going to my Grandma’s house. She always made my favorite foods (usually chicken wings and root beer fizzies) and played gin rummy with me. Today, as I spend time each week with my grandson, I remember that I don’t have to take him anywhere to have a memorable day. He is quite happy to just have my undivided attention at my house, just like my grandma did for me.

When designing this page, I started with early pictures of her. The portrait on page 1 shows her wearing a cameo necklace. My father gave me that necklace when she passed away but I didn’t find this portrait until 20 years later. I included one of her actual hankies on the page as part of the design. That generation always used hankies and we found boxes of beautiful hankies when she passed away.  It only seemed appropriate to work one into the design embellishments on this page. The paper squares turned on edge repeat the shape of the hankie corner and provided simple backgrounds for eyelets, heart brads, wire and the metal letter G on the tag. Nothing complicated here-just simple elegance!

L.E.Summers, designer

INK, INK, and INK some more

29 Feb Girls Getaway to Bend, Oregon

Butterfly  Embellishment: emboss & InkGirls Getaway to Bend, Oregon

I like to add depth to my scrapbook pages and find that chipboard embellishments are great for this. I have used many pre-made ones but also like making my own. There are lots of different chipboard shapes (butterflies, snowflakes, etc) available or you can just cut chipboard into shapes. The white, pre-made shapes can easily be decorated using papers, glitters, stamps, embossing powders, inks, etc. One of my favorite techniques is to clear stamp the shape with a random, repeating patterns, emboss with white powder, and then dab ink the background.

Emboss, Ink, and Ink some more!

Try building your inking with many layers of different colors on top of each other. You will find that the ink doesn’t stick as well to the embossing and can actually be almost wiped off the embossing, leaving you with a marbleized background color that can be shaded to your liking. I like the Color Box Chalk inks that come in the circle set because the pie wedge shape allows me to use the point to get into narrow areas and the rest allows me to shade large areas. Don’t forget your white ink. It can soften your colors if you get too intense and can also bring the white embossed areas back to white. It’s impossible to make a mistake but it’s best to have many light layers of color to build intensity rather than a few dark, heavy layers. The more layers you do, the easier it is to blend and shade the colors as the ink builds up. I think there are 6 different colors of inks on the butterfly in this layout. It’s fun to play-you can’t make a mistake.

L.E. Summers, Designer

Scraptacular Kits

30 Photos on 2 Pages!

22 Feb

Cruise, Monterey Missions pg 1

24 Photo Layout

Yes, it can be done.  I took SO many pictures on our Wine Tasting Cruise that it was quite difficult to decide what to include in my scrapbook. I limited each port of call to 2-12 X 12 pages. I had designed a format that would allow @10-12  pictures per spread but then I came to all those pictures of the Missions. I loved the architecture, the history, the landscaping and everything about those tranquil moments. I tried sorting out pictures but there was always something little in each picture that I really liked. SO….I decided to scrap those “little things”. I started cropping the photos down to what it was I really liked in each one. After a LOT of matting and a LOT of mini brads, I started arranging and managed to come up with this layout that showcased 6 photos on the left and 24 photos on the right! Don’t be afraid to crop.

L.E.Summers, designer

Scraptacular Kits

Albums Need a Table of Contents!

19 Feb

Wine Tasting Cruise Port of Call, Page 1

Wine Tasting Cruise, Page 2-16 photo layout

I generally make two kinds of scrapbooking albums:

1. A book dedicated to a specific person or family.

2. A book dedicated to an event or topic.

When creating scrapbooks for events, such as a vacation, I often concept a common theme that follows throughout the entire book. This theme could be colors, patterns, embellishments or common design elements.

Page layouts shown today are from a Wine Tasting Cruise we went on from California to Canada. Each port of call has a 2-page spread. Each spread has the same band on the left hand page with the location journaled on a tab and a collage of photos. This is a great way to show quite a few photos in a small space and still have room for featured photographs. In this 2 page layout, there are 16 photos from one day! Throughout the album, there are repeating elements of tabs, journaling font, circles, and brads, on each page, making the pages look related throughout the entire book. Each spread also has unique elements as well such as the cork paper and 3-D stickers shown here.

Scrapbook Album Table of Contents

Because all the pages are related, they often felt like they need some sort of introductory page so I created a Table of Contents for the album. What a great way to organize and introduce the overall contents of each scrapbook! The  table of contents for the Wine Tasting Cruise shown here outlines each of the 8 days and where our ship took us each day.  The next time you make an event or topical scrapbook, consider adding a Table of Contents page.

L.E.Summers, designer

Scraptacular Kits

I’m Up a Tree…the Family Tree!

18 Feb

Heritage Album: O is for Origins

I wanted to include a Family Tree in my Heritage Album but really didn’t like any of the commercial designs. I ended up creating this one on my computer. It works nicely because it clearly shows my family lineage and highlights my immediate family line. I really like the photo border with cross reference numbers to the family tree. It’s a great way to see who’s who and how we are all related. Page 1 (shown) is my Father’s Family Heritage and the facing Page 2 (not shown) is my Mother’s Family Heritage. Following the style of the rest of the album, this page also has a hand-made tag with the metal alphabet letter “O” for Origins.

L.E. Summers

Scraptacular Kits

Heritage Scrapbooking is as easy as ABC!

15 Feb

Embellishments: buttons, stitching, tag with metal letter and handmade knickers on hanger

Heritage Album 2-Page Spread : K is for "Knickers"

I wanted to do a Heritage Scrapbook but my families heritage information was sketchy and scattered. My sister and I decided to tackle this problem together which created many more problems since we live 2000 miles apart. We had lots of photos but little information and certainly not a comprehensive story from beginning to end. Trying to plan an album covering both sides of the family was overwhelming.

My background as an elementary teacher actually helped here. Why not make an ABC book! We can look through the pictures and come up with TOPICS for each letter of the alphabet and quit worrying about chronological order and mixing up the different sides of the family. That way we could create a page about something like “old bathing suits” and we could include photos from both sides of the family.

We started with a file box and many file folders. As we sorted photos, we came up with topics for A-Z. Sure, we had to get creative with certain letters but we ended up with a topic for each letter of the alphabet AND photos for each them. This was actually the easy part. The hard part was preparing and restoring the photos but my sister is a Photo Shop Expert so it became quite easy for ME and not so easy for her! Our family was small and many had passed on already but we started sending photos to people and asking them for details. Heritage scrapbooking wasn’t as popular when we started this project so finding papers and embellishments was a little difficult at first. Fortunately, I traveled for work so I started shopping all across the country and buying 4 of everything I could get my hands on. By the time we met for a work party-we had many mounds of “stuff” to work with.

We decided on some common elements for our design.

  • A tag on each page with a metal alphabet letter and explanation of what the letter stood for.
  • We chose neutral colors (black, white, cream etc) to match sepia tone photos that we reprinted (no original photos were used in this book).
  • We tried to incorporate a heart embellishment on each page to represent the love of family.

Maybe our list of ABC topics will get you thinking of a unique way to represent your family heritage. You will have to adjust to include your own family names but it’s a start.

Table of Contents, pg. 1

  • A is for Aunts
  • B is for Bathing Suits
  • C is for Cousins
  • D is for Daher (Family Name)
  • E is for Edwards (Family Name)
  • F is for Family Portraits
  • G is for Grandparents
  • H is for Horses 
  • I is for Infants
  • J is for Jobs
  • K is for Knickers
  • L is for Lovely Ladies
  • M is for Military Service
  • N is for Navy Attire 
  • O is for Origins (Family Tree)
  • P is for Parents
  • Q is for Quite Cute
  • R is for Relatives
  • S is for School Days
  • T is for Table Times
  • U is for Uncles
  • V is for Vehicles 
  • W is for Weddings
  • X is for Christmas
  • Y is for Years 
  • Z is for Zoom

It took 3 years, many airplane trips to get to the same city to work on the albums, and countless hours of work but we did it! We each got a scrapbook of our Family Heritage and this scrapbook gets more compliments from viewers than any other we have done. You should try it…..ABC’s are easy!

L.E.Summers, designer