Anniversary Week – Day 1

{this is part of a series I wrote for You can find the full post here}

Hello! Our theme for the week is Anniversaries. I figured this would be a fitting theme for this week, given that’s 5th anniversary is coming up, and it happens to be my wedding anniversary as well. 🙂

Throughout the week we’ll be talking about documenting anniversaries and relationships, how to scrap milestones, anniversary cards, mini albums, and ideas for anniversary gifts.

Documenting Anniversaries

Here are a few tips for your anniversary pages: focus on the photograph, feature the numbers, and tell a story.

Focus on the Photograph

This tip is simple enough: just let the photo speak. Here is my Second Anniversary page.

And here is our Third Anniversary.

Feature the Numbers

I also love to feature the anniversary number on my pages.

Can you spot the number 5 on my Fifth Anniversary page?

The numbers on my Sixth Anniversary page aren’t as subtle. 🙂

Tell A Story

Another tip is to add some journaling about your couple, or about what you did on your anniversary. For my Fourth Anniversary page, I wrote a couple sentences to document how we celebrated it.

Documenting Relationships

All these tips work not just for anniversary pages, but also to document relationships in a broader sense.

A Word About Taking Photos…

As you may have noted, all my anniversary pages feature photographs of my husband and me. But I don’t think I am the only one with a husband who hates being in photos.. am I? So I wanted to share a few tips on how to get those photos taken.

  1. Choose your camera wisely. My husband has a particular aversion to my D-SLR, while he is much more ready to take iPhone pictures. So I pick my battles and only insist on using the big camera when I feel it’s worth it.
  2. Be prepared. Whenever I want a photo with my D-SLR, I know I need to plan in advance, set up the tripod, etc. and have everything ready to snap quickly.
  3. Keep it light. Don’t expect to take 100 shots, one or two good ones will suffice.
  4. Set the mood. The best way to get some good pictures with my husband is to make him laugh. I remember a particularly tough photo session – I had my tripod set up, the cherry trees were in bloom, but he was in a lousy mood. But while I was taking a couple shots of him alone, he started taking a selfie, and I took a photo of him taking a selfie, and that made us laugh. After that, everything went smoothly and I got some great shots (check out my Sixth Anniversary page above for proof).
  5. Share/Motivate. Show him the previous photos you took and how you documented them, and perhaps he will be moved to take new photos. (Sadly, this one doesn’t work at all with my husband..)
  6. Bribe. If your husband is anything like mine, he’ll be open to posing for a few shots in exchange of something he wants – in our case, it’s usually a nice meal ;).

I hope you enjoyed these tips and the inspiration! Tomorrow we will be talking about how to scrap milestones!

Calendar Week – Day 4

{this post was originally written for}

So far, in this Calendar Week, we have been focusing on calendars in their most traditional use, and as standalone projects. Now, let’s look at how to incorporate calendars in mini albums and other projects to keep track of time.

The reason I include calendars in these projects is to add a time reference, but I always like to make the calendars part an integral of the design. I usually accomplish this by customizing colors and themes.

Mini Albums

For mini albums, especially ones that are dedicated to specific periods in time such as December Daily, I love to include a calendar. Here are two examples for my two past DD albums.

In 2011, I included a printed digital calendar element to the inside cover of my album. That year, my album had a red+aqua color scheme, so this calendar was a perfect match.

Last year, I layered the calendar on top of a digital paper, and used it on the first page of my album.

Pocket Page Scrapbooking

I am a huge fan of Becky Higgins’s Project Life concept to document our everyday life. I make weekly 2-page spreads, and each week I like to include a way to keep track of time. Calendars are a great way to accomplish this purpose, and also add visual interest.

For this card, I used Amy Tangerine’s customizable calendar stamp by American Crafts. Since this particular week was spanning two months, I thought this ampersand card would go be a good complement.

Here is another example of how I included the calendar stamp in another pocket. I added some arrows to highlight the particular week.

Finally, here’s a card created digitally, and printed out. I used the calendar cards by creashens. I love how the different elements on these cards come in separate files, because it allowed me to change the colors and rearrange the big numbers as needed to spell out the week number.

Do you include calendar elements in your mini albums? I’d love to see your examples, please share them in the comments!


Calendar Week – Day 3

{this post was originally written for}

Welcome to Day 3 of Calendar Week! Today I will show you a couple of ways to put together a desktop calendar.

Desktop Calendars

Due to the smaller format, I find that desktop calendars are quicker to put together than wall calendars. I also love that it’s easy for me to put them together at home. I have designed a few over the years, and in most cases I used pictures from scenes around our home.

CD Case Calendar

Here are a couple of pages from a CD case I made a few years ago.

I decorated the background with digital scrapbooking papers by Jenn Barrette, and also printed out a few digital embellishments and adhered them with pop dots to add some dimension.

I repurposed an old CD case to use as the holder for the calendar. I printed these at home, on my old but trusted printer (a multi-function printer and scanner by HP), on matte paper (my favorite for hybrid projects).

4″x6″ calendar

I recently put together a 2014 desk calendar using templates by Paislee Press. This calendar was so quick to make! The templates are in .PSD files, so you need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to use them. All I had to do was pick my photos, and print them out. The photo selection was by far the longest part of this process.

I shrunk the templates slightly in order to fit four pages on a letter-sized sheet. I love the clean design that showcases my photos.

I printed them at home on matte paper, and trimmed them.

For the theme of the calendar, I chose scenes from around our home. These pictures make me so happy – I love our home and it will be really nice to have this calendar on my desk at work. This is how I will be displaying my new desk calendar.

Once the month is passed, the calendar page can transition to my Project Life album.. which brings us to tomorrow’s theme – using calendars in mini album and pocket page scrapping!

Calendar Week – Day 2

{this post was originally written for}

Welcome to Day 2 of Calendar Week! Today we will be talking about wall calendars.

Wall calendars

Around this time of the year, I always start working on the calendar I put together for our parents. It’s now become a tradition since I have been doing this for five years, and I want to share what my process is for that. I design an 11.5″x8.5″ calendar topper (12 monthly pages + the cover), and use a blank grid for the dates. Since I am also a digital scrapper, I find it quite easy to select a few of my favorite 12″x12″ pages and modify them to fit the smaller format. I always make sure that my design is at least half an inch within the edge of the page, so it won’t be cut during the printing phase.

Several printing services offer ready made backgrounds, so depending on what your design preference is, you will find plenty of options. I really enjoy picking a few favorite pages made in the past year and turning them into calendar toppers. If you want to design your own calendar toppers like me, or use a ready made quick page, make sure that the printing service allows for custom backgrounds. I have always had my calendars printed at Artscow, because they have great prices, and allow me to customize my calendars. Other services are known for top quality, so it all comes down to what you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay for it.

To create a calendar of this size, you could also print the pages on letter sized paper, and bind it yourself. I don’t have the patience to do this, so I outsource.

The inside pages

Here’s a look at some pages from my past calendars. I always include a picture of my husband and me (I try to take them over the course of the year, but inevitably come September I need to schedule a few extra photo sessions to make up for the missing photos!). I decorate the page with colors and themes that match the month, and if at all possible I use a photo taken in that same month.

I prefer to keep the grid part clean and simple, so that everyone can use the calendar to jot down other appointments and events. I always include all the dates of family birthdays and anniversaries on the calendar (this is an option that Artscow offers).

The cover

I like to include some photos of us on the cover as well.

This project takes a few days for me. Selecting the photos and designing the calendar toppers takes a while, but the end result is worth the time for me! Tomorrow we’ll be looking at desktop calendars, and I would say that those are much quicker to put together.

Calendar Week – Day 1

{this post was originally written for}

September is almost over, summer is now a somewhat distant memory, and by this time I think we are all well settled into our regular daily schedules. I felt this would be a good time to talk about calendars. Calendars are very useful tools to keep track of time and events, but as scrapbookers I think they can take on a whole other dimension, as design elements, source of inspiration, and gift ideas.

I think it’s only fit that we start with talking about the most traditional purpose of calendars, before we jump in during the next few days into some more creative uses.


OK, let’s say that you decided to make a calendar. Or maybe you’re just considering it and want to see what’s involved. The first step is to make a few design choices regarding

  • production
  • format
  • content.


Will you be assembling the calendar yourself, or have it made professionally? The main factor to consider here is how many calendars you want. If it’s just one, putting it together yourself might be fun, but if you need multiple copies, I would suggest into looking into printing places. Look into what formats are offered by professional services, before you settle down on one format for your calendar.


There are so many options for calendar formats! From the standard 11″x8.5″ wall calendar, to desk calendars, planners, wallet calendars and more.. Thinking about who you are making the calendar for might help you narrow down the choices.


Naturally, your calendar will include a daily schedule for all the months in a year. But what else do you want to add? Once again, there are several options to consider. First of all, you can use photographs – either of people, or of nature. Another popular choice is to use inspiring quotes.

Here is the plan for the next few days:

  • Tuesday: wall calendars
  • Wednesday: desktop calendars
  • Thursday: incorporating calendars to keep track of time in mini albums and pocket scrapbooking
  • Friday: using calendars as time keepers and/or design elements in scrapbook pages.

I would love to hear from you about how you incorporate calendars in your creations!

Hybrid Christmas Tree Tutorial

In this tutorial I will be showing you how to make a paper tree. I love three dimensional hybrid projects, but I’m always pressed for time during the holiday season, so I selected this project because it is especially easy to make but yields an impressive result. This project was inspired by Martha Stewart.


In addition to being fairly quick, this is also a thrifty project; chances are you already have all that’s needed in your home right now. You will need digital supplies (I used the kit “Once Upon a Shabby Christmas” by Haynay Designs), matte presentation paper, printer, scissors, bone folder, bamboo skewers, up-cycled foam from shipping packaging, hot glue gun or Glossy Accents, and optional decorations like glitter glue, buttons, sequins, etc.


If you look at the completed project, it might be hard to believe that it’s made only of paper circles, but that’s exactly all it is! I have used circles of 2″, 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″ diameters. If you want to make a smaller tree, skip the 6″ circle.

Once you have printed out the circles (I used matte presentation paper for this project), cut them out. Your cuts don’t have to be precise, so it will be very quick to cut the circles out. Here are the steps for making your Christmas tree:
1. Start with one paper circle.
2-4. Fold it in half using a bone folder.


5. Open up the circle.
6. Fold it in half again, at 90 degrees with the previous fold.
7. Open up the circle.
8. Make another fold in between one of the previous folds.


9. Make a fourth fold, at 90 degrees with the latest fold.
10. You have made four folds, so your circle now has 8 equal segments.
11-12. Now we’re going to fold the circle inside out and make four more folds, in between the first four.


13. Once you have completed the 8 folds, the circle is divided in 16 equal segments.
14. The folds are alternating, one towards the inside and one towards the outside.
15. Cut a small hole at the center of the circle.
16. The size of the hole has to be big enough for the skewer to fit through.
Repeat steps 1-16 for all the paper circles you have.


17-18. Cut a piece of foam shipping material into a cube and poke a hole in it with the skewer.
19. Insert the biggest folded paper circle onto the skewer.
20. Apply glue (hot glue is the easiest; I don’t have a hot glue gun so I used Glossy Accents – you will have to hold the paper in place until the glue dries) on the skewer in correspondence of where you want the next smaller paper circle to go.


21. Insert the folded paper circle and hold in place until the glue dries.
22. Repeat for smaller folded circles.
23. Cut the skewer after you have added the last folded circle.
24. Decorate the tree top as you wish. I used Stickles glitter glue.


The tree is ready! You can decorate it further if you wish, using more glitter or fake snow or beads.

These simple paper trees make such a festive decoration! You can use them as place holders for the Christmas table or to decorate the house for the season – the possibilities are endless, and nobody will ever believe they were so easy to make!