Facebook? No, Familybook.

The first and last pages of a scrapbook usually take some extra thought. For family books, I almost always start with a picture of the family, not a particular event. For my children’s books, the first page is always their school picture. But then there’s the last page. Like the first page, it’s rarely a specific event. It sometimes ends up as a miscellaneous page for pictures that had no place else to go. For our 2011 book, I got this great idea to make it look like a screenshot from Facebook. It was a ton of work but I like how it turned out. Let me know if you want the template as I’ll need to send it by email.

Creative Memories is not just for Scrapbooking!

I love it when my young adults ask me to create something for them using my scrapbooking software. They are well aware that CM Storybook easily makes me a graphic artist extraordinaire! My most recent undertaking was creating labels for my husband’s Starbucks-themed 50th birthday party but I used CM for a lot of projects before that.

A very special last-minute design was a prayer card for my daughter’s medical mission trip. She had seen a similar one at a friend’s house and knew it would be easy peasy for me to make it. After grouping all the elements and saving it as a jpeg, we had it printed as a 4 x 6 photo at Walgreens.

When my son was getting close to being promoted to the highest grade in the Civil Air Patrol cadet program, I searched and searched for a braggy car magnet but couldn’t find one so I created my own and sent it off to Vistaprint for printing.

The perfect tee shirt for my little sister cost more than I wanted to spend so I bought a cheap tee-shirt, created the artwork on CM Storybook, flattened it, flipped it and printed it on an iron transfer. She loved it!

I could go on and on but you get the picture. If you or yours need a little something and you don’t have time to create it, ask me because I will set aside my housework for a fun challenge!

Candles & Coffee


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For years I’ve been telling my children that they could plan our 50th birthday parties. Sure enough, the time finally came last week for my husband’s big celebration. On his actual birthday, we ate dinner out as a family but the following Saturday, his parents, his brother and his brother’s family joined us for a coffee-themed party. My daughter Katie loves to follow various blogs and gleans many terrific craft ideas from Pinterest so by the time the party rolled around, I don’t think she even knew where all the ideas had come from or what she had come up with on her own but no matter how you slice it, it was a terrific party.

Events like this always provide a great excuse to add equipment and supplies to the entertaining closet so even though we borrowed a few things, we bought a large black tablecloth (which has already been loaned out for a cousin’s party) and two dozen black napkins. The menus were so easy to make – I didn’t even bother using my Creative Memories Storybook software; Word was all I needed. The key was to make the type gray because black would have been too harsh (also, I had been given instructions by the event planner to make it as seen on Pinterest). I won’t go into much detail on the main course but let’s just say the Grilled Pork Chops were a big hit and the potatoes, green beans and salad were also very good.

The centerpieces, consisting of various glass containers with green marbles from a dollar store and goldfish, were a last minute idea that I recalled a friend telling me about many years ago. On Friday, the day before the party, my children bought thirteen goldfish. By morning, only two were alive. So it fell on me to go back into town to buy more. Two pet stores and twenty goldfish later, we had enough for the seven “aquariums.”

For several months before the party, my daughter and I would ask for freebies every time we bought a drink at a Starbucks. I was surprised at what all we got just because we asked. A day or two before the party, my daughter ran into a store for a last-minute purchase and after she explained what we were doing, the clerk offered her several posters on the condition that she wouldn’t tell where she got them. This was a bonus we were not counting on! We bought the apron on eBay for about $10 so overall, our theme items didn’t cut into the budget.

The dessert table was the feature of the party! Katie went to a ton of work to make two different kinds of cupcakes each kind with unique filling and all topped with a very rich buttercream frosting to look like the whipped cream on a frappuccino. I made the cupcake wrappers using CM. The cupcakes were a bigger hit than the birthday cake.

Chocolate covered raisins and chocolate covered espresso beans added an opportunity to munch throughout the evening. I made the labels using CM. Using a Starbucks logo, it was easy to block out their lettering and add what I wanted. I trust the trademark police won’t be knocking on our door seeing as we didn’t profit from the altered logo.

Katie made a quiz with questions about her daddy and about Starbucks. The two who answered the most questions correctly, won Starbucks gift cards.

As our family members were leaving, they each received a water bottle with a Starbucks Refreshers drink packet tied to it. This is one of Starbucks newest products and I think they taste quite good.

Katie put a lot of time and effort into planning and executing this event and it was all very worthwhile. Her (50-year-old) daddy loved it.

A Pretty Straight Line

One of my friends and customers asked me recently about cutting a scalloped edge. I was kind of surprised that she would ask me this but then I realized that the fancy edges are hidden under the “Straight” option of the “Cut and Fill” tab. Turns out you can cut a pretty straight line (punny, I know) with just a few clicks.


Going back through pages already made, I found a straight line that needed some prettying up. I chose the half-circle shape and moved the other options around until I found the look I wanted. If you click “cut” and decide you don’t like it, the “undo” button is your go-to friend. It’s in the upper right corner, right above the ruler and looks like a squared off u-turn.

This page was made using the Love Digital Kit. What’s not to love about Savannah’s azaleas in spring? The font is GeeohHmk.

To make a dotted circle: Insert, Content Shape, from Art Kit, Circle, Fill – transparent, Line Color – your choice, Line Width – 1/4″, Compound Style – solid line, Dash Style – dotted, Dash Caps – round.


No Photography Allowed

The largest privately-owned home in the country does not allow indoor photography so when we visited the Biltmore, I bought postcards. After scanning them with the quality control set higher than usual, I added them to my scrapbook just like regular photos.

The title was made using the Freebooter Font. To get this look, type the letters, Flatten (Arrange tab), select Filters (Format tab), 3D Edge, Amount 100, Softness 100, Width 20.

Open Type Fonts vs. True Type Fonts

There are so many free fonts available that it seems silly to pay for one but my daughter found Lavanderia and was able to buy it for one dollar. It was too pretty to pass up. Unfortunately, it’s an Open Type font and with CM you can only use True Type fonts. There is a way, however, to get around it.

1. Type the word(s) you want in Word. Set the font size rather large so you’ll get good quality.

2. Using the Word Snipping Tool (I keep the icon on the bottom of my screen) hilight the word(s).

3. In the Snipping Tool window, click Edit, Copy or click on the copy icon. Go to the CM page you are working on and click Paste.

4. Select the word(s) you just pasted in and click on Cut & Fill, Wand, click on the white background around the word and inside any letters as needed and delete all the white. Now you have your word(s) as an element and you change the color, or add effects as desired.

Note: With the wand tool you can select more than one area at a time by holding down the Shift key. Also, if you want to fine tune the background removal, zoom in to 200%. Anything that looks good at 200% will look even better at 100%!

Attached is “A Day at the Beach” which was made using Lavanderia. Be sure to save it as a png file so that the background will be transparent.

St. Patrick’s Day Freebies

I understand why stores and websites that sell scrapbooking supplies advertise papers and embellishments for a specific holiday on or around that holiday but I’m still a bit amused. After all, who is actually going to be making their 4th of July pages on the 4th or even the 5th of July? Perhaps they should be more realistic and run about six months behind (or maybe they are actually a year or two behind and are on target for some scrapbookers!). So, in the spirit of being a bit more realistic, I’ve attached the papers and embellishments I made from one shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day as well as a page I made using these elements.

And yes, I also used the opportunity to show that my son is leading the cadets in the parade. Moms can be proud, right?

Paint Nolish

My sister-in-law’s niece came up with the adorable term “paint nolish” for those little bottles that are loved by girls of all ages.

I’m not sure why we love to paint our nails but somehow Katie and I have amassed quite a collection of colors from all over the rainbow. Perhaps it’s because, like hair styles and hair color, it’s something we can afford to change frequently.

Yesterday morning as we were scurrying to get out the door, I wanted to quickly paint my toe nails. OPI’s Rose at Dawn and Cara Mia Crimson have been my favorite colors for many years but my daughter suggested I try a new color. After paint nolishing with Come to Poppy, it immediately rose to the #1 position.

I could not write about nail polish and leave out Essie’s 3-way glaze. This is the best base and topcoat that we have ever used. I frequently quickly brush it on my naked nails on Sunday morning seeing as the drive into town is long enough for the polish to dry well and leave a nice shine. My son jokes that if I’m walking around with my fingers protectively pointing up (like a doctor who has scrubbed for surgery), and asking others to grab my purse and Bible then it certainly must be time to leave for church.