December 6, 2014

Project Life Senior Year Album

Hi there! I really have been meaning to get some blog posts ready for you. But my business/work plans have really taken off since October. I’m very excited and working SUPER HARD right now! This year my One Little Word has been THRIVE. I’ve been horrible at keeping up with my OLW album. I’m thinking of keeping this word next year and going back and doing the prompts each month. After my dad passed away in February, I was lost and not thinking creatively for a while. But after the kids got back to school in the fall, a lot of my plans started falling into place. I’ll get more into detail on all I’m up to soon, I promise!

But one of the projects I took on, around the time my dad passed away, was a Senior Year Project Life Album. I haven’t made a Project Life album for anyone else before, but I knew this was the perfect way to approach this album for a friend and past co-worker of mine. She wanted me to create an album for her son’s senior year and we decided that the Project Life/Pocket Scrapping approach would be perfect. The album is for her son and I’m using the Midnight Project Life core kit, as well as lots of paper and embellishments she purchased, thinking she would have time to do a traditional album herself. Well, life gets in the way, so I’m working on her album for her, using her supplies, the high school “Life Cards” I have designed and my trusty Silhouette Cameo.

Here’s a look at the project!  Let me know if you have any questions or would like me to design a set of custom Life Cards in your high school colors. With the all the time involved in designing each set of cards, printing & cutting them, I’m thinking of selling them as digital files now, so you can print as many as you need.

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Album created by @juliechats

Project Life Senior Year Album created by @juliechatsCheck back soon!  I have some fun project being featured in a Technique Tuesday video and some project for Plus Corp’s CHA booth to share!


October 31, 2014

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

After I made this fun fall layout, I thought I’d share a tutorial with you on how to create a script chipboard word using the Silhouette Cameo.  You can see more details of the whole layout over on the Craft Warehouse Blog, where I’m a Design Team Member.  I don’t know about you, but I love the look of the chipboard letters, like THICKERS, on all my papercrafting projects.  But for this project, I wanted to use as many of the beautiful patterns as possible.  My Design Team assignment was to create a layout using the new Grateful collection from Authentique Papers.  The collection features a variety of patterns and colors that are perfect for fall.  For my title, I used two different alphabet sticker fonts from the collection, but I wanted the word “leaves” to have a little more oomph. So, I decided to use my Silhouette Cameo digital die cut machine and the Silhouette chipboard to add some dimension to my title.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

I created the design for my layout in the Silhouette Studio Software, so I opened that file and chose a script font (Mistral) from the font list and typed my word approximately where it would appear on the layout.  I sized my word on the layout for this project, but I could have, just as easily, measured the space available on my paper layout and sized my word according to that.  As you can see, there are small lines between the letters of my word.  These lines are breaks in the word.  In order to weld your letters together and create a true script shape, there are a few more steps to follow before we can cut.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

It is necessary to Ungroup your word in order to move the letters closer together, so they overlap.  I Ungroup my words by holding down CTRL and the “U” key.   You can also find Ungroup in the lower left hand corner of the software. (It’s in the far left box, the first icon is Group and the second is Ungroup.  You’ll see Ungroup has already been selected in this screen shot.)  You can tell that a shape is Ungrouped by looking for the thin boxes around each letter, as shown above.  The word “leaves” has already been Ungrouped in this shot.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

Next, click outside the area of your word, to deselect it.  Then click each letter, one at a time and nudge them toward the left.  I typically select the second letter and nudge it so that it barely overlaps the first letter and then do this with each subsequent letter. (You can move or nudge a selected item by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.)

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

Here is what the word looks like after all of the letters have been moved so that they overlap the previous letter.  Notice the tiny amount of overlap between each letter.  This overlap is necessary for the WELD command to work.  As long as your letter, or shape, is overlapped, it can be welded together.  In this shot, all of the individual letters have been selected and are ready to be welded together.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

With all your letters selected, choose the OBJECT drop-down menu, then MODIFY and WELD.  As you can see in this photo, the letters have been welded together.  There are no red lines (cut lines) between the letters.  Now the word is a true script word and is ready to be cut on the machine.  I wanted to give my word quite a bit of dimension, so I decided to cut the word three times out of the Silhouette chipboard.  Instead inserting the mat into the machine and cutting three separate times, I used the REPLICATE feature.  With the word selected, choose the OBJECT drop-down menu again, then REPLICATE and COLUMN OF THREE.  You now have three copies of your object.  You can leave them as they are or move them closer together to save paper.  I cut one word out of my printed paper and three words out of the Silhouette chipboard, using the settings provided by the software.  I find that my machine usually cuts perfectly according to the software settings.  But, when it seems to be having a hard time cutting through my material, I lower the blade one more notch than is recommended and that usually works fine.  If I’m still having problems, it’s probably time to replace my mat and blade.  I replace mats and blades every six months, but I use my machine frequently to create designs for clients, so you may have to replace yours less often.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

After cutting out the chipboard and patterned paper words, I was very impressed with how easily the machine cut the thin chipboard.  This was my first time using it and I can’t wait to try it on other projects.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

I love the simplicity of my Xyron for projects like this.  I insert my paper and chipboard pieces in one end, crank the handle and my shapes come out the other side as adhesive stickers.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

Next, I carefully stacked all three chipboard words on top of each other, one at a time.  As the last step, I applied the patterned paper word to the top of the stack.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

You can see how the layers of chipboard give an added dimension to the word.  Time to add it to my page.

Chipboard Word Silhouette Tutorial by Julie @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper  #silhouettecameo

I hope this tutorial has been easy to understand and follow.  Please let me know if you have any questions about this process in the comments.  Thanks so much for stopping by and following along.  I post updates and sneak peeks of my projects over on my Facebook Page.  I’d love it if you’d follow me over there or on other forms of social media.  Check the buttons at the top of the right hand column to see where I hang out.  Thanks again, Julie

October 31, 2014

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album by @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper #americancrafts #silhouettecameo #aliedwardsdesign

Today I’m sharing my 30 Days of Thankful Mini Album.  This album documents every day in November 2013.  Each day, I shot a photo of something I was feeling thankful for that day and shared it on Instagram, along with a little more detail about my gratitude.  2013 was the second year I participated in the 30 Days of Thankful project.  I love how participating forces me to take a little time each day to think about things I’m thankful for.  Of course, we’re all thankful for things like families, kids and having a roof over our heads, but there are also so many small things that fly by buried in our busy days.  Those little things are important too.  The little things are what our everyday live are all about.  If you’re interested in participating in 30 Days of Thankful this year, I’d encourage you to hop over to Cathy Zielske’s blog and read more about it.  Cathy is one of my favorite “scrapbook gurus.”  She has an awesome, clean style and her mission is to take the ‘crap out of scrapbooking.  I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that’s a super cool mission!

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album by @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper #americancrafts #silhouettecameo #aliedwardsdesign

So, here’s my album for 2013.  Just in case you have some idea, after looking at my book, that I’m super organized, STOP RIGHT THERE!  Yes, I shot a photo every day last November, and I even uploaded almost all of them to Instagram.  But these photos have lived in my computer until very recently.  I’m a member of the Craft Warehouse Design Team and my first ever DT assignment was to create a layout with this really beautiful paper collection called Grateful from Authentique Papers.  After finishing my layout, I had a lot of scraps left and wanted to use them.  The 30 Days of Thankful photos I took last year just popped into my head.

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album by @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper #americancrafts #silhouettecameo #aliedwardsdesign

So, I took all the scraps and added a few sheets of different shades of brown and cut them randomly into pieces of varying sizes.  My “pieces range from 3″x4 1/2″ up to 7″x7″.  After cutting up the pieces, I stacked them, usually placing a piece of the brown paper in between the printed papers, but not always.  I did this quickly and just let the little album come together sort of haphazardly.

For my photos, I gathered all my November 2013 photos into one file and opened them in PhotoShop.  I placed them onto a 4″x6″” template that was divided into two 3″x4″ sections.  Once the photos were on the templates, I added brushes from a new digital collection by Ali Edwards called, Thankful for This Day.  I recolored an entire set of brushes, so that I would have a white set and a black set to use on my photos, depending on the lightness or darkness of the photo.  After adding the brush to a photo, I also added the date in my handwriting font.  I love having my handwriting in a font to add to my projects.  It’s amazing how much it looks like my handwriting.  I bought mine a few years ago, but just Googling “my handwriting font” brings up tons of resources where you can create your handwriting font and some are free.  Give it a try!  I then saved my photos as JPEG’s and uploaded them to Costco, where I printed 4″x6″ photos for 13 cents each.  I trimmed them with scissors and was ready to go.

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album by @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper #americancrafts #silhouettecameo #aliedwardsdesign

Back to creating the album, after I had a mish-mash stack of papers, I punched them one by one on an old double hole punch left over from my days at the escrow company.  I mounted the papers on small copper rings, adding a few journal cards and die cut pieces, leftover from the Grateful collection, in between my papers.  I added my photos to the pages and also added a few die cuts and stickers inside the album.  I journaled in brown pen directly on the pages or on the journal cards.

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album by @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper #americancrafts #silhouettecameo #aliedwardsdesign
This is the first project where I have ever designed the cover of my album last.  For some reason, I usually spend a huge amount of time deciding on the cover design.  This time, I used a piece of adhesive cork from American Crafts as my cover.  I cut 6″x6″ pieces of the cute polka dot cork on my Fiskars trimmer.  It’s super simple to cut.  Then, for a little extra stability, I adhered the cork to a piece of plain chipboard and placed a piece of cardstock on the other side.

30 Days of Thankful Mini Album by @juliechatsblog @juliechats @craftsavvy #craftwarehouse #minialbum #scrapbook #thankful #gratitude #authentiquepaper #americancrafts #silhouettecameo #aliedwardsdesign
To finish my album, I used some cut files downloaded from the Silhouette Online Store.  I love being able to download designs and quickly cut them on my Cameo.  This machine is amazing!  I cut the gratitude banner and the word THANKFUL from cut files and the “30” and “days of” from fonts on my computer.

I’m really happy with the way my 30 Days of Thankful album turned out and I’m especially glad I have it finished in time to take it on our Thanksgiving trip this year and share it with my family.  I know they will all love looking through it and catching a glimpse into our everyday lives.

I encourage you to join in the Thankful project this year!  Also, take a little time to create a simple album to share with your family. This album shows you that just a little stack of coordinating papers and a couple hinged rings can help you preserve those memories.

Thanks for stopping by!  All of these supplies are available at a Craft Warehouse store near you or at your favorite online store.

September 2, 2014

Teen Girls Room Wall Organizer

This summer, we did a total room makeover for my 13 year old daughter.  I’ll be sharing parts of the room over the next couple of months.  Everyone who comes over loves all the pieces that make up this new “teen” room.  One of the first things people notice is the Teen Girls Room Wall Organizer that we updated for the new look!


Three years ago, my daughter, Delaney, was 10.  She was just at the stage where she was wanting to change her bedroom from little girl to more of a “tween” style.  So, out went the happy, yellow, floral Pottery Barn bedding she’d had ever since moving into her twin bed.  Also, gone was the AMAZING red Pottery Barn rug!  (I stole the rug for my craft studio and I still love it as much as I did when I found it on clearance for $99 when I was pregnant with my girl.)  Delaney wanted to move into more blues and purples in her room, along with some fun Bohemeian prints.

She also loved the wall organizers that covered the pages of the Pottery Barn Teen catalog at the time.  These organizers were made up of 12×12 frames, some magndata:text/mce-internal,etic, some cork and some calendars.  After I added up the different options Delaney was interested in, I was shocked to see that our options totaled about $200.  I consider $200 WAY too expensive, so this wall organizer idea stayed in my mind, until I found just what we were looking for at a MUCH BETTER price.

I was shopping at Craft Warehouse.  I’m a papercrafter, so this store has always been one of my favorites.  It’s also great for trendy home decor items at amazing prices.  I can’t remember exactly how much I paid back in 2011.  But I know that I spent way less than $100 for a set I created on my own.  I purchased four 12×12 white frames, a 12×12 chalkboard insert, two 12×12 metal (magnetic) squares and a 12×12 calendar printed on thick acetate.

Craft Warehouse Teen Girls Room Wall Organizer from

Once at home, I replaced the glass in one frame with the chalkboard square.  Then I opened two of the frames and inserted pieces of scrapbook paper (We used some fun American Girl paper in colors that coordinated with Delaney’s room).  After inserting the paper, I put in the metal squares to make these frames magnetic.  My husband hung them on the wall and Delaney covered them with all sorts of very important photos, cards and other memorabilia.

Now, three years later, as we did our Teen Room Makeover, Delaney wanted to keep the pieces of the wall organizer.  She did have one request, she wanted a new acetate calendar, since there was an accident a while back with some permanent markers instead of the dry erase kind!

So, I ran down to Craft Warehouse and grabbed a fresh, clean calendar and some new, coordinating scrapbook papers: Turquoise Stripe from Bo Bunny (we used the back side, which is a super cool hexagon pattern) and Aqua Chevron from Pebbles.

We used the papers to give the wall organizer an update to match the new ombre paint treatment that Delaney created. (Yes, I’ll be sharing the details on the paint treatment including photos and instructions soon.)  The only change to the wall organizer is that Delaney said that most magnets weren’t strong enough to stick to the magnetic squares when the glass was between the magnet and the scrapbook paper.  So I removed the glass on one square and put it in the frame behind the scrapbook paper and voila, the magnets stick just fine now.  Delaney is thinking of getting a square piece of cork on our next Craft Warehouse run and making one of the squares into a cork board.  (Maybe we’ll even paint the cork to match or stamp a coordinating design onto the cork.)

Teen Wall Organizer Created by Julie @

We love the look of the “new” Teen Girls Room Wall Organizer!  I hope you grab the pieces the next time you’re at Craft Warehouse and create your own organizer to match your decor!  If you do, I’d love to see it!

August 20, 2014

Core’dinations Design Team Call

Ask me what my favorite cardstock is…Go ahead, ask!  Well, that’s easy!  I really LOVE Core’dinations Cardstock!  I love that it comes in a TON of colors!  I love that it textured!  But most of all, I LOVE THE COLOR CORE!  I can tear this paper and see a coordinating color inside.  I can also emboss and sand it too (or just sand, for a distressed look).  And I can’t forget my most favorite thing to do with Core’dinations papers is to cut them in my Silhouette Cameo digital die cut machine.  All of their beautiful papers cut like butter in the Silhouette!

All these reasons came to mind when I saw that Core’dinations is having a Design Team Call!  I was recently chosen to be a part of the Craft Warehouse Design Team and I think that being a part of the Core’dinations team would be the perfect match for me.  I use Core’dinations papers on almost all my scrapbook layouts and papercrafting projects.  I can’t imagine a project that wouldn’t look a little nicer with some textured cardstock that has a fun colored core!
So, here I go…Core’dinations asked to see three projects featuring their amazing papers.  These projects are  some that I think show you lots of options for using Core’dinations papers and ones I think you’ll enjoy seeing.  As always, I use a lot of color in my projects, along with some fun cuts from my Silhouette.  I hope you like them!
For this layout, the kids jumping in the pool reminded me of a clothesline.
I found the Loads of Fun die cut shape from Samantha Walker and altered it to fit my vision.
I added the flower & number 12 to the shirts and then I wanted to find a fun girls’ swimsuit for
my clothesline, I found the Bikini by Sarah Bailey.  It was perfect with the addition of tiny holes for polka dots.  I love the way the Silhouette Cameo cuts such intricate shapes into the
Core’dinations papers!  Next, I used some tiny sanding tools to add a little texture to
my die cuts.  Distressing my little clothes lets you see the coordinating color inside the textured
cardstock and gives this layout that extra ‘something’!
Here are some close ups of this fun summer layout:
Next, I want to share a card I made this week with my favorite collection from Core’dinations,
the Vintage Collection.  I LOVE the Vintage Collection because you can see both colors of the paper in the texture without tearing or embossing it!  The Vintage papers give every layout an added color and texture without me doing a thing! My most favorite of all the hundreds of Core’dinations papers is Kisses from the Vintage Collection.  Kisses is the most perfect red for all my projects and, of course, its texture and colors give my projects and added depth I can’t get with any other cardstock.
But back to my project!
I found this rainbow quote and the design of this card just popped right into my mind.
I used my Silhouette Software to design my own rainbow.
(I can explain how I did this, just let me know if you’re interested in a post on it in the comments!)
I cut the entire rainbow out of each of the six yummy sheets of Core’dinations Vintage Collection papers.
Then I chose one of each color (in different sizes) and laid them together on my embossing folder.
This one is from Lifestyle Crafts.
After embossing the pieces, I used a sander to sand over the textured sections.  In this photo, the red and purple pieces have been completely sanded, while the blue piece has only been sanded on the right half.
You can see how much the design ‘jumps’ out of the Core’dinations papers when they are sanded
to reveal the inside core color of the paper.
I found this banner in my Silhouette library.  I used a Silhouette Sketch Pen and my own handwriting font to print the quote onto my banner.  Then, I cut the center of the banner.  The paper for the center of the banner is from the Core’dinations Whitewash Collection, and is called Washboard.
I cut the ends of the banner from metallic gold paper to symbolize the gold at the end of the rainbow.
I was very happy with the way the Silhouette Sketch Pens worked perfectly with the textured
Core’dinations paper!
For my last project, I want to share a double page spread layout I created to showcase
my daughter’s birthday photos.
On this layout, I tore and sanded to reveal the coordinating bright colors inside the cardstock.
I love the way this paper adds just a little extra flair to my page!
 Here are some close ups of the Core’dinations papers at work!
I hope you enjoyed my projects featuring Core’dinations papers!
Stop over and LIKE my Facebook page  & add it to an Interest List to see my updates in your Feed!
Thanks for stopping by!
August 8, 2014

Announcement: Craft Warehouse Design Team

Hi everyone!

I’m SO EXCITED to announce that I’ve been chosen to be a part of the Craft Warehouse 2014 Design Team!  I’ll be sharing my scrapbook creations soon on the Craft Warehouse Blog.  I have all sorts of project photos that I’ve been waiting to post because I’m also moving my blog to  If you visit me at, you’ll be redirected here for the time being.  I’m still figuring out all this website stuff. 🙂

But for now, I wanted to share my news and say YIPPEE!  I am SO HAPPY to be a part of such a great group and get a chance to share my creations with all of you!  I’ll be back next week with some fun projects!  Please let me know if you have any specific questions or things you’d like to learn about scrapbooking and papercrafting.  I’d be happy to return your comments and/or create a post to answer your questions.

Here’s a little about me:

I’ve been creating scrapbooks for 21 years.  (Not including my pseudo-SMASH books from the 80’s!)  I worked for my local scrapbook store for 8 years, doing marketing, social media, designing samples and make & takes and teaching at workshops and events.  It was such a great time and I love all the wonderful, crafty friends I’ve made over the years.

Now, I’m ready to put my designs and creations out to a larger audience.  And I’m really excited that you are a part of my new chapter.  I hope you join me here on my blog (you might want to bookmark over on my Instagram, where I’ve met tons of super creative people from all over the world, I’m @juliechatsblog over there.  My blog also has a Facebook page.  OH, and if you’re looking for more creative inspiration, head over and check out my Pinterest boards.  I can’t say enough about how much fun it is to find papercrafting projects and share them with you on Pinterest.  I have 132 boards over there, but you’ll probably be most interested in my Scrapbooking, Card Design Ideas, Project Life & Pocket Style Scrapbooking boards.  But you might also enjoy my Craft Studio Ideas, Craft Ideas & Silhouette boards too!  Just look around & see which boards inspire you!

It’s SO NICE to meet you!  I’m excited to share my projects with you and to see what you’ve been making too!

I can’t wait to see what fun, crafty things are in store this year, as I join the Craft Warehouse Design Team!

I’ll be posting my projects and answering your questions here on my blog and over on my JulieChats Facebook page!

As soon as I finish last year’s December Daily (Yep!  10 days left!) I’ll share it!  It’s one of my favorite mini albums ever! 

See you soon on the Craft Warehouse Blog!
🙂 Julie

August 4, 2014

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

May 8, 2014

Quick Mother’s Day Gift with Free Printables

I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I’m doing everything at the last minute! Too much to do, too little time…yada yada yada! Well, I sure don’t have time to stop & complain!  I just need to find ways to get more done in less time!  Last night & today’s issue was how to make my mom a Mother’s Day card, wrap her gift, get the kids to make her something special AND get it all in the mail today!  I’m like so many of you, I LOVE making personalized gifts and using my imagination to create something special for my loved ones.  But that whole issue of too little time enters the picture way too often!  I did make it to Costco to pick up my mom’s gift, something she loved but didn’t buy herself on her recent visit.  No, I’m not saying what it is on the off chance she’s reading this! So, I had the gift, which was good.  But still, how do I squeeze in a post office visit into my Wednesday…it just wasn’t in the cards!  Then it came to me, at Christmas I was too late to do this (Yep, this lateness seems to be a theme for me recently!).  The Post Office has a print online option for postage and thankfully, I had remembered to pick up some of those flat rate priority mail boxes on my last trip to the physical Post Office.  So, a quick trip to the garage solved part of that problem.  The medium box was the perfect size.  Then I went online and printed out my prepaid label on

Even though I was running short on time, I did find a quick minute to check Facebook.  Yes, I’m sort of a procrastinator….  But this time, my Facebook visit actually saved me some time!  Yes, I’ll be telling my husband about this when he’s back from his business trip because he swears Facebook is the biggest time sucker ever invented.  But, I digress!  There at the top of my news feed was a post from Kim over at Today’s Creative Blog, she had a new free Mother’s Day printable designed by Michelle from Elegance and Enchantment.  And Michelle also had coordinating pieces for free on her blog!  Lifesavers those two!  I grabbed some white cardstock and quickly set about printing one page of each Mother’s Day printable.

I only had time to get everything printed before I had to get kids to bed and work on one of my other business projects.  I do a few freelance contract type jobs that I squeeze in between being a mom.  So I got back to my Mother’s Day project this morning before Jake’s swimming lesson.  I looked through my cardstock stash and found a nice dark green that complemented the printables and made a card out of it.  I cut out the printable tags and note card and used them to decorate my card, with the addition of some coordinating printed papers and wood veneer pieces, sequins and twine as embellishment.

After Jake woke up, I had him fill out a cute Grandma printable that’s free over on 30 Handmade Days.  He had a great time answering the questions about Grandma and drawing a picture of them together.  He didn’t have as much fun doing the writing and having to ask me how to spell words, but I really wanted it to be his handwriting she was reading with his comments.  I rolled his photo and a letter that prints with it in some baker’s twine for Grandma to open when she gets our package.  My daughter, Delaney, had made Grandma a special card with a drawing on the front and a poem inside.  My mom always loves seeing what her little artists come up with.

Next, I wanted to wrap my present so it looks special inside the box when Mom opens it.  I used kraft paper I picked up at The Container Store a couple weeks ago and taped it with pink washi tape.  Then I combined pink & yellow baker’s twine with a medium garden twine for the ribbon.  (I use garden twine in different sizes in tons of my projects.  It’s one of my very favorite go-to “ribbons”.)  I added a couple of the cute Mother’s Day tags from Elegance and Enchantment to the twine and taped one to the package with a bright floral washi.

With time running out before swimming lessons (the mailman comes while we are at the pool), I grabbed some white tissue paper and ran everything downstairs and started filling my box.  I put the gift in first and then layered our other items between tissue.  I added a couple of the printable tags, tied with baker’s twine in between the layers and put my card on top.  After it was perfect, I taped the box closed and added some of the printable circles to the outside of the box, so mom knows it’s special the moment she picks it up at the Post Office.

I shot some photos of everything and put the box out on my front step just before we had to leave for swimming.  When we got home, it was gone!  Off to Mom’s house just in time for Mother’s Day!

I hope you stop over and check out the printables on Kim’s, Michelle’s & Mique’s blog (there are tons, not just these!).  Pin them to a special Printables board on Pinterest and next time, you’re in a time crunch, you’ll know just where to find what you need for that someone special.  If you’d like to see some of the variety of printables that are out there, stop over on my Printables Pinterest board.  I’ve got lots for you to check out.  I also categorize my finds on the internet a bit differently than most people.  I like to use monthly Pinterest boards to help me go back and find what I need in a particular month.  My May Pinterest board has pins for Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Teacher Appreciation…really anything I think I might need in May.  I have boards for each month of they year, stop over and check them out when you get a chance.

Hope you enjoyed my take on these beautiful free printables!  Happy Mother’s Day!

April 29, 2014

Inspired to Create

I love all sorts of quotes about Creativity!  I’ve always considered myself a creative person and I believe EVERYONE can be CREATIVE!  Through the years, I’ve worked with many people through my classes, workshops and quick make & take sessions at the store and at vendor gatherings and trade shows.  It never fails that some of these people say, “I’m not creative!”  I do not agree!  I think that creativity lives inside all of us.  I admit that sometimes my creativity or need to create fads into the background.  At the end of February, my dad passed away.  Since then, I have had a hard time being inspired to create…even though I’ve had some projects with deadlines and a huge event at the store during this time.  But, for those things, the creativity came to me more like I was a dentist pulling someone’s teeth without anesthesia instead of blowing in like a warm summer breeze of inspiration.  In the last week or so, I’ve been looking at some of my projects, and cruising Instagram & Pinterest (you know…”just for a minute or two”) 🙂 (Hey, stop over and follow me there, I’m finding some AWESOME stuff! I’m @juliechatsblog on Instagram and Julie Chats on Pinterest.)  But, I digress…somehow, for no apparent reason, my feelings of inspiration and creativity seem to be on the rise of late.  You just never know what’s coming next.

Just as I was beginning to feel the need to create again, but wasn’t ready to pick up the mess from that last bout of “forced creativity,”  I opened my email and found the sweetest note from someone who said, basically, “I hope you don’t think I’m a craft stalker, but I’ve been checking your things out online and I’m impressed!”  Nope, that isn’t a stalker, it’s another little step on my road to inspiration!  After a few email chats with my new friend, Nancy, I was on the road across town, “halfway to the mountain,” as I explained to Jake.  To experience Nancy’s craft heaven…it’s really called Domesticraft, but to me, just being there, hanging out for the afternoon, chatting about all things creative, with Nancy was such an inspiration.  Nancy has turned a huge daylight basement space into, seriously, what I can only call CRAFTHEAVEN.  Today, she has a sneak peek of the space and on May 1st, she’s opening her version of heaven to crafters.  Nancy has all sorts of creative workshops and events planned for May.  She’ll also be open so you can sign up to work on your own projects during her Open Studio times.  You can find Nancy on Pinterest and Facebook too!

I know all my friends on the east side of Portland will want to check out Domesticraft, it’s off of Orient Road just outside of Gresham, on the way to the mountain, as I told Jake.  It may be a little far for us “westsiders,” but I promise you’ll be inspired, just like I was, if you make the trip out to visit Nancy.

Nancy & I chatted about all things creative and shared our lastest projects yesterday.  I could sit for days like this, getting inspired, especially in a place like this…packed with creative treasures, vintage antiques and more craft supplies than I have ever seen in one person’s collection!  Nancy has TONS of things you can use while you’re working in her space…so many, I couldn’t even hope to list them all!  So, I hope you check out Domesticraft for yourself and escape to CRAFTHEAVEN!

Let me know what you think!  I can’t wait to get back & spend more time with Nancy!  She’s got a May schedule packed full of events and workshops that she’ll be teaching.  And, Nancy & I are hoping to collaborate on some workshops in the future.  I’ve got some big plans and can’t wait to teach some fun workshops this year on both sides of town.

February 18, 2014

Family Love Layout – Layout of the Week

This week I’m sharing another layout I created Plus Corp’s CHA booth at the Winter 2014 show.  When I saw the new Vintage Camera Decorative Roller Stamp from Plus Corp., I almost jumped up & down!  I LOVE anything with a camera on it!  I immediately knew which paper I wanted to combine with this awesome stamp.  The Camera Bag paper from October Afternoon’s Travel Girl collection was the PERFECT paper to complement the camera stamp.  Once I had the stamp and my paper, I headed to Whimzee’s Scrapbook Studio (the LSS where I work here in Beaverton, Oregon).  I knew that we would have some great solids to coordinate for my layout.

When I first started planning this layout, I didn’t know which photo I would use, only that I just HAD to make a layout with this super cute camera stamp.  I started to consider photos and realized that we had just had our family photos taken right before our Disneyland trip.  I have a friend who is an AMAZING photographer and a teacher too (in her spare time…ha ha!)  If you’re in the Portland-Vancouver area, please consider her for your family and senior photos! Check out her website Stacy Major Photography.

I decided to use my shiny silver metallic paper as the background and layer gray and aqua on top of it.  I mounted my photo on a black matte and placed it on a horizontal strip of gray textured paper.  Next, I rolled my Decorative Roller Stamp with its cute cameras across a piece of textured white cardstock from American Crafts.  I really like the vintage look the textured cardstock gives to this stamp.  What would normally be a solid black impression is distressed using textured paper.  I worked at getting the stamp straight by laying my paper down next to a ruler and making every effort to roll my stamp perfectly along the ruler.  I think it took about three tries to create a camera strip to my liking.  And, just in case you have one of the Decorative Roller Stamps from Plus Corp. and are unhappy with the impressions you get at first, be sure to grab a piece of printer paper and roll the stamp around until your image is clear and perfect.  The images on the stamps I used did not come out perfectly on the first try.  Some black ink was printed in between the cameras and other images on the other stamps I used for my projects.  After rolling them around on printer paper a few times, the images began to come out perfectly clear with no black ink in between. To create a focal point, I used a vertical strip of the camera paper behind my photo, tearing and distressing its edges by rolling them back & forth between my fingers.  
Even though we are wearing gray and white in our photos, I decided to print my photo in black & white for this layout.  I really love the look of black and white and it looked perfect with the palette of aqua, gray and silver I chose to go with my October Afternoon paper.  I used my SMASH date stamp next to my photo, so we’ll remember when we had this fun family photo shoot.  After stacking and adhering my papers, I used my sewing machine to machine stitch aqua, gray and white thread in a combination of zig zag and straight stitches.  I like the effect the stitching adds to my project, it coordinates with the vintage look of my camera stamps stamped on textured paper.  It also contrasts with the shiny silver paper and bold sans serif  Bebas font I used for my title.  Last summer, it seemed like everyone on the internet was hashtag (#) crazy, so I thought it would be fun to use one of the hashtags I use on Instagram as my title.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the title.  #familylove is a hashtag I try to use on all my family photos, so I will be able to easily find them when I want to share them.

For embellishments, I chose a couple groupings of sequins and one tiny wood veneer camera from Studio Calico.  I painted this camera just like the cameras I used in my Wood Veneer Camera Shadow Box blog post.  I used pewter mist from Luminarte as paint, read about it in my shadow box post.
This was another fun chance to create with a brand new product.  I have some more projects created for Plus Corp.’s booth at CHA and I’ll share them soon!  In case you missed last week’s post, I shared my Disney Carsland Layout using another new roller stamp from Plus Corp and 2014 winter release stamps from Technique Tuesday.
Sharing this project over at 
So much fun over there, be sure to stop by & check out all the great St. Patrick’s Day & Easter theme projects!

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