Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I did this last year - paid someone to do it, but this year I asked around and got the "how to" to do it myself! Here is my plan for today! I have not done this this way before, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. It is a common thing for this post office to do, so I am going to give it a try!
YOU write the letter to your child or grand child "from" Santa. Find some nice stationery - google: stationery and see what free things you can find. Just make sure you use stationery that the child DOESN'T know you have! Or just go to Michael's or Joanne's and choose some 8x10 Christmas themed sheets to print on.
Create the letter from Santa's point of view. Inlcude things specific to the child that "Santa" would know. Mention family, friends, their pet, school, anything that is important to the child and would be something that "Santa" would know. Of course, include things the traditional things Santa would say like, "I know you have been good this year" or "It was very nice of you to have helped ___________this year" or "I know you had some sad times this year, but I will bring you some holiday happiness........" Anything that will relate to your child specifically.
Of course, sign it with a beautiful signature by Santa!
Choose an nice festive envelope and address the envelope to the child. Place a stamp on the envelope. Go to the PO and get some holiday or christmas themed stamps. Something the child has not seen!
This late in the game you might want to use USPS Priority FLAT RATE Mail - ($4.05 and 2-3 business days)
In the Priority FLAT RATE envelope (free at the Post Office) place your sealed and stamped letter(s). In this case you can write letters to many kids, place in their own envelopes and place ALL of those letters in the same Priority FLAT RATE envelope. It is $4.05 for as many as you can fit in the envelope and the envelope close properly. Great if you have a group of kids!
Mail it to:
North Pole Christmas Cancellation,
5400 Mail Trail,
Fairbanks, AK 99709-9999.
The post office there is perfectly accustomed to this, and will take care of opening the Priority Mail envelope you sent the letters in and mailing the individual letters for you to the children.
On that surprise day - the little ones get a letter from Santa! I can already hear the squeals of excitment and wonder! Have your camera ready for that wonderful photo of that adorable face when they open the letter!
THEN........... after Christmas......... a scrapbook layout is created! And all you have to do is make a pocket for the letter so it can be taken out (repeatedly I am sure!) and looked at, matte the photo(s), add a title, and you are done with a most wonderful and precious memory!
Free scrapbook supplies are all around you this holiday season! There are not hard to find, you just have to be creative and look around! In a way, these are cheap scrapbook supplies! Someone else's trash is a scrap booker's treasure!
Here are 10 things that can be used as scrapbook supply that you might keep your eyes out for. Just think… you'll have some great new supplies ready and waiting to create your Christmas themed scrapbook layouts! And they will have the additional memory of "where" and "how" you found that particular scrapbook supply!
Gift tags - These are cute to use "as is" in a scrapbook layout. If you have any extras, don't throw them away or store them for a year. Use them on your Christmas themed scrapbook pages! They come in all shapes and sizes, so you could even pick up a package on the After Christmas Sales! They are perfect for the title and date. You could add fiber hangers to embellish them a bit better. Or you could just cut off the little end that has the image on it and use it as a sticker! Add a pop-dot and the sticker is now 3-D! Line several of them end to end along an edge of your background paper and create a border! Use them to "name" the photo. Often the tags say "Merry Christmas" or something so just add the person's name and you have your photo description!
Paper plates and napkins - Just cut out the design or image and use them as a sticker-style embellishment! I cut out these figures off of the napkins and used them sticker-style and they worked out great in this layout if Baby's First Birthday - a character over each photo!
Ribbons - Those thin curly ribbons are great for making tag hangers, confetti or lines pointing to something. You can get several colors and weave them together to make a photo matte or a square embellishment for the scrapbook page. Thicker ribbons are great to make borders or frame a photo, Take a small length of a piece of ribbon and using gel pens, JOURNAL on it and place it under a photo for the photo description. Ribbon is great for tag or envelope pulls. The thick, red, velvet ribbon would be a great enhancement to a Christmas themed scrapbook layout!
Family Recipes - I would probably say that no one is going to give you their recipe card, but jot the recipe down while you are there and then check out some of these great freebie sites that offer free recipe cards. Some you can type the recipe then print it out, but others you print out the card and then use your own handwriting to write out the recipe. Not only will you always have the family recipe for that wonderful dish, but it now becomes a memory to be passed on to generations so it can stay in the family!
Wrapping paper - Cut out the designs and use them as die cuts on your scrapbook layout! You could also make envelopes out of the beautiful wrapping papers. Click here for the pattern.
Depending on the paper, use it as the background paper. (Acid-free issue at your own preference). There are some papers that have a beautiful scene on them - like a snow scene or a fireplace scene. Cut that out (silhouette it) and use it for the embellishment on you scrapbook page. Add glitter or other "add-on's" to dress it up or make it stand out. To make additional safe guards for the acid-free issue, you could laminate the front side and then run it through a Xyron sticker machine, then stick it to cardstock and cut it out, then run it through the Xyron machine again. This covers the front and back of the wrapping paper item and if there was an acid issue, now there is not!
Christmas Cards - What a great place to find images to use as stickers! Silhouette-cut an image to use as a sticker and use pop-dots to raise it up a little bit for a wonderful 3-D effect. Cut the INSIDE of the card out creating a frame and use that frame portion to frame your photo or journaling. If you really want to keep the card for a sentimental reason, don't cut it up; just use it as the embellishment on the scrapbook page. Adhere it to the background page and put a slice in your page protector and it can be opened while admiring the page!
Tissue Paper - Tissue paper adds a bit of delicacy,and frill. Use is similar to as you would vellum. You can crinkle it up and the smooth it out and add it to a tag or other punch art item. Or just keep it crinkled for the 3-D effect. In this layout I used it to make cotton candy!
Window Clings: Odds are they won't hold up till next year, plus, do you really want to bother with all that packing and storage over a few little clingies? Scrapbook them! Depending on what they look like, use glue or double sides tape runner to adhere them to the scrapbook layout page. You might treat them like Vellum as far as the adhesive goes so you don’t see the glue through the clingy.
Tiny Ornaments - Seems to be a common thing now, that stores carry these little, tiny ornaments that are figurines. They come in sets of 6 or more and they are a theme and are about 1 inch tall. A cartoon character and his friends, 6 different styles of snowmen or trees or several styles of reindeer. So many to choose from! These are great embellishments for "hanging" from your scrapbook layout! Use the hanger that came with them and string them across the page. So many ways you can use these little treasures!
Other household decorations - Do you really want to store all that for next year and probably not even use it again? Take your scrap bookers eye and look at it and see what you can cut, silhouette, adjust, take part of, or whatever else you think of to do to use all or part of that decoration in your scrapbook layout.
Just have a look around and see what you can find. Remember, collect it now, and if you can't think of a use, you can always trash it later! But while you have the opportunity to collect some free scrapbook supplies that will help you create some wonderful scrapbook page layouts, why not take advantage of saving some money, while you save your memories!
Saturday, August 08, 2009
I started by doing a Personalized Title Page. this one is for my brother - he was a fantastic musician all his life, so I hand cut the musical staff and found pictures of him (his face only) at different ages in his life, and with a circle punch, made the face circle the circle part of the musical note.
Below is a 2 page spread of "the years". With four of us, Dad always had us posing group style wherever we went... so 4 "Group" photos per each of the 2 pages... covered 18 years!
This is time spent with my grand parents and what I remember about those 2 wonderful people and that wonderful house grandpa built with his own hands! It is a 4 page spread with journaling and photos on all pages.
It might not be this great and wonderful chronologically specific scrapbook, but it does have my memories and that is what really matters. Actually the AGE or YEAR isn't the topic of the memory, it is the EVENT and what happened that you are wanting to remember, not really how old you were or what year it was. I look at this album often. It is nice to just remember.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Photos are nice but they just don't always capture the experience. A photo of the ocean is a photo of the ocean. Nothing specific to point out. But my feelings and emotions ABOUT the ocean were so strong, in this case the memories couldn't be accomodated by photos. That is when journaling became the point of memory.
The Title Page and Photo Letters
Title Page: I had seen this letter technique and decided it was time to use it. I took a photo of the ocean, and using a 3" tall by 1 inch wide stencil (got it in the art section of the craft store - no where near the scrapping section!) I turned the photo AND the stencil backwards. Now I am tracing the letter backwards on the back side of the photo. Make sure you do the word in spelling order even though you are tracing them backwards. This way, when you turn them around, the letters spell out the word and the picture scene stays correct. Now I have FLORIDA spelled out in an ocean view!!! I purchase a pattern paper of clouds and glued them on adding only a die cut of a sea gull. Quick, cute, perfect and wonderful!!!
Because the journaling was so much, I chose to use the computer to type it all out. I chose a nice "relaxing" style of font, chose ocean blue for the print color and they just started typing my memories on white cardstock. If you look at this photo - you'll see a little sea-scene at the bottom. I wanted to break up the journaling a bit, so I created this little scene with punchies. I tore the paper to make it look like "sand" against the blue water.
The opposite page, is a pattern paper of the sea shore and on top of that I just matted (with differnet matching colors) 2 photos for where I stayed so as to "start the story".
Again on this double page spread, I have included lots of computer journaling. I chose the color to match the colors in the photos and also used those same colors to create the "shadow box" of sea shells. I picked up a few crumbs of broken shells and brought them back with me. Made this shadow box out of page protector plastic and a picture frame die cut. How easy is that! And the memories!!
The weather there was so amazing! It was nice and pretty and then in minutes went to windy and then the clouds rolled in and the rain started! I couldn't believe it! And I took these pictures mainly of the sea gulls, but later noticed that if i put them all together I got that weather sequence that I remembered! And I didn't even realize it at the time that I was taking them like that. I was just taking of the birds because there were so many! But look how great it turned out! I double matted the photos, in brown and blue to match the colors in the photos and then did computer journaling talking about all the feelings I had at the time. The scan doesn't show the beautiful colors but they really are beautiful!
So remember..... journaling is so important! Don't think that you can only journal ABOUT the event. Journal your FEELINGS about the event. Often those are more important or more powerful than the event itself!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Scrapbooking is a fantastic craft, and in my opinion, the best way to preserve memories for generations. As usual though, expense is always an issue. Although I do admit scrapbook supplies have gotten a lot more reasonable in price today than they were 5-10 years ago, sometimes they are still to expensive and if you don't have the income to accomodate, well, the scrapper you are makes you look elsewhere so that you can still preserve your memories for generations to come and satisfy your craft bug!
embellishment. Cut them off the clothing item and glue them on with glue or pop-dots - great for the "bulky" look. Also look at the pattern in the fabric and cut that pattern out - if there are little trains or ducks in the fabric pattern, cut them out and run them through a Xyron machine to put adhesive on the back and they secure neatly to the background paper! Makes the perfect fabric die cut! You can do this with any fabric pattern.
Other craft supplies: When I started scrapbooking 10 years ago, I had no help from anyone. My spending money was literally next to nothing. I started with photo square adhesives, a circle template and a scrapbook spiral album. But since I have been a crafter all my life, I had others supplies. Ribbons, threads, embroidery floss, fibers, buttons, appliques, yarns, beads, gems stones, rhinestones, jewelery pieces and charms were just some of the items I had. Granted, as I was just starting, I didn't realize I could use all these kinds of things, but now - boy, did I have a treasure trove in my craft closet! Look at any craft supply at a yard sale through the eyes of a scrapbooker - you'll be amazed at what you will find!
Books and magazines: Books are also a standard at most yard sales. I don't approve of destroying books, but at the same time, if the book holds a wonderful memory, I see no problem in preserving it for generations to come. Plus, you don't know that it won't get thrown away if it doesn't sell. Look at the books and see the pictures. Anything remind you of a favorite memory from your life? How about your child's life right now? For 10¢ you buy the book and cut out the item related to the memory. Instant die cut! Cut several images and organize them on the layout page to create a "scene" relating to the memory. Magazines are also great for this but you have to watch for acid in the pages. You can buy an acid-free spray and spray the magazine page. What I did was just insert the magazine page into a page protector and the page protector onto the scrapbook layout page.
Post cards and stationery: Not often as common, but out there just the same. Whether you use the post card as is or cut images from it, you have instant stickers! Cut theimage out, run it through a Xyron machine use acid free glue sticks or photo adhesive squares and you have a sticker!Add pop-dots for a 3-D effect! You can do the journaling on the stationery as it is or cut the designs from the stationery to use as you need.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Use Vellum to focus in on specific images.
In this layout, I didn't want all that background in the photos, but didn't want to cut the photos so that they were really small. They would have looked kind of lost amongst the large photos. So I used a circle Coluzzle template and cut the photo out with the face in the center. I then cut a circle matte 1/4" larger that the photo from purple cardstock. I cut a circle of vellum the SAME SIZE as the photo and using a circle punch, and precise measuring, I punched a large circle out of the vellum exactly where her face was on the photo and laid it on top of the photo.
For my son's wedding, I wanted simple elegance. I used a love song by Garth Brooks (I think it was!) that they played at the wedding and just typed it on white cardstock. I secured it to the layout with silver stickers.
I cut vellum the exact same size as the photos and then with precise measuring, I used a Coluzzle oval template to cut out the part to just focus on the kiss. One oval is horizontal the other is vertical. I secured the vellum with metallic silver heart stickers. The vellum creates 2 views of the same photo - one is focus on the kiss, what the layout is about, and then allows you to still see their attire through the sheer vellum. Now when you look at this layout, you focus on the kiss and feel its meaning. Simple elegance.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
What went on in this glorious country that played a part in your past and contributed to who you are today? Do you remember? Got to admit, I don't either. I grew up in the 60's in elementary school and the 70's in high school. Wow, what a couple of nostaligia decades of change! So many new creations and inventions. Man walked on the moon and Archie Bunker changed the course of television. Talk about 2 extremes!
But what about you? Do you remember what happened in the country while you were growing up? Or maybe things happened that you don't remember or didn't experience personally but they made a huge impact on the country or world. I don't remember hearing about Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in July 1969. We didn't have a television or a radio. I assume the kids in school talked about it and the teachers probably talked about it but I have no recollection of its happening. But what an impact it had on this country!
So to help you do a scrapbook layout of contributions that impacted you and your kids, pick a decade and find out what happened during those 10 years. See how many you remember, how many you don't but wish you did or are glad they at least happened! Wow, the nostaligic memories will flood back and the tears will start to well up when you remember what you thought you forgot! And an extra added bonus to this method of memory collecting is NO PICTURES REQUIRED!
I did a layout like this for my daughter (now 28). I used her favorite colors of that time and just picked from the lists. Granted they might remember more than I do, but it was a general accumulation of nostaligia things in her decade.
I titled the list "You Know You Grew Up in the 80's If You Remember..." and a list of things that went on in the 80's from fashion to TV to fads and word phrases to toys and movies. Things like
...if you wore a ponytail on the side of your head
...watched Fraggle Rock.
...wore yellow construction boots.
...wore biker shorts and baby doll tops and felt very stylish.
...remember "I've fallen and I can't get up!"
...thought He-man and She-ra should hook up
And the list goes on. And how much fun I had doing this as I remember my daughter doing almost ALL these things!
In this 12 x 12 layout, I only wanted a single page spread, so I made a removable page where the list continued. Only supplies I used was brads and embroidery floss to attach the additional page. I typed the title "You Know You Grew Up in the 80's If You Remember...". I type the journaling in pink onto white card stock and then mounted it on black cardstock - this made the first "page", then mounted the first page onto the matching pattern background.
To make the additional movable page, I just made it smaller than the main page and did the same color scheme - pink ink on white cardstock on black cardstock. I used pink and black embroidery floss and attached it with brads. I adhesive mounted the first page on 3 of its four sides, leaving the one side open. I slide this page into the page protector and where I wanted the additional page to slide BEHIND the first page, I used a sharp craft knife and slit the page protector the length of the additional page. The additional page is now behind the main page, also protected by the page protector. It only comes out when you want it to!
An absolute ton of memories on one scrapbook layout!
Here are some links to places that can help you with this kind of memory search.
In The 70's, 80's, 90's Click the year at the top of the screen, then choose whatever category you like!
SCOPES SYSTEM - What Happened in History
AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE - Hollywood History
TV GUIDE - TV History
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Sometimes scrapbook products and items can get rather pricey. I have been a scrapbooker for 10 years. I have seen the prices really high.
And while the price of these neat and "I want that" things are so high, the budgets we have for scrapbooking supplies usually doesn't increase. And those that scrapbook ALOT or have several albums going ( I always had at least 4) or (like I did) scrap every single photo ever taken of you children, these extra things tend to be to expensive for our budgets. I know there is a spray can of a acid protector solution - you spray on your papers. But it is out of my budget because I do so much that I just couldn't afford to buy that stuff for every page. Granted, it you can buy a can and use it sparingly or only on certain things like newspaper clippings, but what about the rest of the scrapbook embellishments? We still want to preserve and keep our albums from damage. But you can think about what you are doing and economize and still have well preserved albums.
Always use acid free cardstock or background papers. That is a must, as we all know. You can't scrimp on this. The cardstock, back ground, pattern papers are the backbone of the layout. Somethings you just can't economize on. HOWEVER... watch for sales! I know that Walmart has several options of reams of cardstock for a reasonable price. I get the ream of 500 white cardstock for $4.97. A penny a piece - doesn't get any cheaper than that! So what if the background of every page is white - utilize the other pattern papers for the color and embellishments. Also you can color up the white cardstock with inks and chalks! But this is your foundation - you can't economize on the foundation - just find ways to make it work for you!! Joanns' Crafts OFTEN has the pattern papers on sale. STOCK UP!!! Beautiful patterns, designs, characters, pretty much, you name it, they got it! I found a 12x12 sheet for each of the Disney Pricnesses - 6 for 96¢ so I got one of each of the Princess for my grand daughters Disney scrapbook. I browsed a scrapbook store one day and saw the same papers were 75¢ EACH!!!!
Matte your photos - at least once, but 2 or 3 times also creates a wonderful layout. Lots of color, and lots of acid free!
Even if you do 8x10, buy 12x12. This gives you 2 layouts for the price of one sheet of 12x12. First, cut out the 8x10 piece. That is your background paper of the first layout that you enhance with solid paper. The piece leftover - that is now the embellishment for the second layout - which has a solid back ground! Great for double page spreads!
SAVE YOUR SCRAPS! I mean it. Save them! You will be surprised at how often you just need a small piece of something and hate to cut that 8x10 or 12x12 just to get that small piece. I have one of those 3 drawer plastic storages. The first drawer is labled SOLID, middle drawer is PATTERN and the last drawer is OTHER. Anytime I have scraps I throw them in the proper drawer. Next time I need a small piece - for like die cuts or letters, I just flip through the drawer! The OTHER drawer is for like velum, or speciality papers. This has saved me so much money!!
And since not all scraps are 2'"2" - some are larger! Take several of the larger pieces and construct them for the background and you've made your background from scraps.
The only other thing that I would suggest you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE ACID FREE is the photo adhesive. Photo squares (which are my favorite) or that cool little runner tool thing - MUST HAVES. You shouldn't glue a photo. Even if the glue stick says acid free, you shouldn't use it on photos. Use the acid free glue sticks on other paper embellishments, but NOT ON YOUR PHOTOS. Loosing the embellishment you made is one thing, but loosing that photo - there goes the memory. You can replace the embellishment, you can't replace the photo.
But you want to put other things on your layouts. Brads, buttons, washers, envelopes, anything that you think of. Are these things acid free? There is a pen that you can buy that will tell on paper, but other things, wood, metal, etc, how do you tell? I don't know. So I use this theory. WHERE on the layout am I going to be putting the item? Think about it. I have this small bottle cap with a photo in it. Is the cap acid free? I dont' know. Am I worried that it will mess things up if it is not - well, no not really. Why? Well, first because it is metal. Metal doesnt' fade. Maybe the writting on it fades. but since I am putting a photo in it, what difference does it make. It won't get wet or rust. So why worry? Remember, you can only do so much. Nothing is guarenteed even though they say "lasts for 100 years". Just use your common sense.
Where are you putting the item? I have these little envelopes I got at an office supply store, I have no idea if they are acid free. But I use them. They are laying on acid free cardstock, they are decorated with acid free papers, and the card inside is acid free, and the entire layout page is in an acid free page protector. Other than 100% guarentee, this is a close as it gets. And if the envelope does fade, what damage will it do? It will probably take several decades to fade in the first place and what have you lost? Just the envelope. Again, no 100% guarentee, but pretty darn close.
So just look at what you are doing. Think about it with your common sense, and make your decision from there.
I welcome any comments you might like to leave or if you have any suggestions about acid- free....