My Forever & Always Valentine Layout

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hello friends,

I’ve been busy in my scrapbook room lately continuing to catch up on some layouts, cards, and other projects. There’s honestly so much to get through, but I'm definitely not complaining! I’m having so much fun crafting again with some regularity. When I was still working full time, I was lucky to sit in my room once a month, let alone on a weekly basis as I have been.

I do have quite a few projects to share with you over the next few days but wanted to start off by sharing a Valentine’s Day layout of my hubby and I. We took advantage of the time alone we had together while our daughter was off attending one of her friend’s birthday parties. We ended up on a lunch date at one of our favorite restaurants where this photo was captured.

I used an older line from Pink Paislee called Pen Pals. Although this line has a lot of focus on it’s namesake, I loved how it also incorporates the hearts, reds, and pinks which could be repurposed for a love themed layout as I’ve done here. I found the paper pack from my local Michael’s store when they were having one of their awesome paper pack sales and I also lucked out and found the matching chipboard stickers at my Hobby Lobby on clearance. 

Here’s a close up of some of the embellishment clusters:

I’ve used a lot of punches on this particular layout. I’ve been inspired lately by some of theYouTube videos that challenge you to “Use your Stash”. Sadly I haven’t been reaching for punches as often as I should. I invest so much money on my tools that I feel like I really need to almost force myself to use at least one on each layout or project that I work on. I’m happy to say that for these next few projects I share, that has certainly been the case! I’m also happy to report that I continue to use up some of the supplies during my recent haul at the Scrapbook Expo. This most definitely is progress for me, my friends! 

Thank you for stopping by today everyone. I hope you’re all doing well! 


*2016 Scrapbook Expo Haul

Sunday, April 17, 2016

*(Disclaimer: Enabling may ensue, read with caution!) :-)

Hello everyone,

As mentioned, I wanted to share a post on all the crafty goodies I was able to score at this year’s Scrapbook Expo that I attended in Anaheim, CA. It was held from April 7-9th at the Anaheim Convention center, which is the same venue where CHA has been held in past years. Please grab your tea or coffee, kick your feet up and relax because this is going to be a longer post than normal! Also since my haul was pretty substantial, I couldn’t really get it all in one picture and still be able to show what products were picked up.

Dating back as far as 2006, my sister(s) and I have been attending the Scrapbook Expo on and off. We’ve been able to attend these last 2 years in a row now. In addition to the great deals we find, it’s always wonderful to have the quality time together since I live an hour and a half away from them and it’s not always convenient to spend time as often as I’d like.

My sister and I stayed pretty organized during our shopping trip, highlighting the booths in numerical order we planned on visiting them on the night before the show. We registered pretty early as well so we were able to attend early bird hours on the first day. In addition to our "booth hit-up strategy”, we were also armed with our shopping lists. :-)

All that to say, here’s the first photo of my haul:

The items on my shopping list included the stitched circle and rectangle dies from Stephanie Barnard's The Stamps of Life and the new foam front cards from Queen & Co (show special of buy 5 get 1 free). I also knew wanted to pick up enamel dots (most I got at Scrap That! booth which is one of my all time fave booths to visit when I attend the expos - more on this later), Lawn Fawn stamps and dies (Which were buy 3 get 1 free at Scrap-Mart), ephemera packs to match my Echo Park paper packs that had been picked up in previous expos, 6x6 paper pads mostly from Echo Park, and additional random dies (the dies that rank high on faves during this haul would definitely be the hot air balloon and light house dies from Elizabeth Craft Designs - and bonus, they offered a show special of 20% off all dies!) 

I would say overall I did pretty good and checked off almost all of what was on my shopping list with the exception of the Mini MISTI Stamping Tool and the Crate Paper "Little You” Boy collection (sadly this is sold out pretty much almost everywhere and I will have to collect bits and pieces from several online retailers as American Crafts works out their warehouse issues and start shipping again). Although there was one booth I found that was selling the MISTI, they were also selling it for $15 over the retail price! NO THANKS! When I got home, I managed to find and order it online for regular price plus got free shipping to boot (score!) 

2nd pic: 

So this second picture shows some of what I picked up at Scrap That! and Echo Park Paper. The two booths at which I spent the most money but got the most bang for my buck! They’re hands down my two favorite booths at the show. Scrap That! advertises themselves as “bottom dollar scrapbooking supplies” and I would have to agree wholeheartedly with that statement. I didn’t pick up anything at that booth for more than $2.50. This is the booth where I also picked up the majority of the enamel dots that were on my list; all for 1.50/piece. I also picked up My Mind’s Eye papers from relatively newer collections including the “Now & Then” and “On Trend" collections. If you bought 40 sheets (although I probably walked away with closer to 70 sheets!), they came out to $.25 a sheet (amazing bargain!!) and the icing on the cake being that I was also able to find matching embellishments for these collections ranging in price from $1.50-2.50. You cannot beat that!  

As mentioned, Echo Park is also a big fave of mine. They offered full 12x12 paper collection packs which includes full sized card stock sticker alpha and embellishments for the great deal of 5 collection packs for $20. Again, that is an outrageous bargain considering they range full retail anywhere from $15-18 depending where you buy them. It was also at the Echo Park booth that I picked up a couple of enamel dot packages, clear stamps, washi tape, ephemera, chipboard embellishments, dies, 6x6 paper packs (at the blow out price of 5 packs for $10), and 12x12 sticker alpha and embellishment sheets at 2 for $1. Talk about heaven for us bargain shoppers!

Here’s another shot of the goodies from Scrap That! 

More paper from Scrap That! as well as an 8x8 album from the Basic Grey booth: 

I admit I have an unhealthy obsession with all things wood grain these days. Not only did I pick up these 12x12 wood grain papers, but I also managed to pick up a 6x6 pad of it as well. SMH. I don’t know what to say. I cannot explain it other than I might be going crazy. At any rate, these sheets in particular were part of the $.25/40 sheets at the Scrap That! booth so I couldn’t very well pass that up now, could I? 

One of the last few booths we visited was the Basic Grey booth. I don’t know if I’ve just missed this booth in the past or if they’re relatively new to the Scrapbook Expo circuit but I do know we picked up some great bargains here as well. They had various embellishment packs (ephemera, chipboard pieces, flare, stickers, etc) at 3 for $5. So of course, I took advantage of this deal and some of those products I picked up are shown in the first picture. I also picked up this 8x8 album for a whopping $3.  I’m always on the hunt for these because making mini albums is one of my favorite ways to scrap. I know I mentioned in the prior post that I rarely scrapbook a layout with less than 3 pictures/page. I tend to be one of those scrappers who has a very difficult time whittling down my photos and need to document almost every picture taken at any given event. My solution to that is to make mini albums based on said events so whenever I can find a great deal on mini albums, I immediately jump on it. Last but not least, I also picked up a couple of background stamps from the Basic Grey booth at a great deal of $5 each. Considering background stamps average $15/piece depending on manufacturer, again this bargain was too good to pass up. Admittedly, I shy away from buying too many background stamps because I have a very difficult time justifying spending full price on what is technically one stamp.  

(Whew!) So that’s it my friends. That was my haul from this year’s scrapbook expo. I’m still toying with the idea of attending the Ontario one in November but that’s going to depend on how quickly I use up these products and get through my projects between now and then. 

I apologize for the long post but as soon as dates were confirmed for the Anaheim show, my sister and I both did a lot of research on the vendors and checked out a lot of haul videos on YouTube from other 2016 expo attendees throughout the country. I found it very helpful when they shared their finds, including names of vendors where they bought their goodies as well as prices (it helps considering many booths will sell similar or same items but you obviously want to hit up the booth offering the better bargain). So I truly hope this helps for all you future expo go-ers! 

Thanks for reading and happy shopping! 


Today is a Gift Layout

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hello everyone!

I worked on this layout in an attempt to continue trying to catch up with my scrapbooking. I love this picture of my daughter and I taken over the summer about 2.5 yrs ago. We spent a family day at Newport Beach/Balboa Island, California and decided to go on the harbor cruise where the picture was taken. I do apologize in advance for the glare of the photo.

I actually attended the Scrapbook Expo in Anaheim this past Thursday with my sister where we ended up hauling quite a bit of product including the ones I used in this particular layout. (**Haul post to follow in the next few days) I’ve always been a big fan of My Mind’s Eye and found this collection at massive blow out prices from one of my most favorite booths to visit at the Expo: Scrap That! In addition to the papers in the line I was able to pick up, I was also able to find the 12x12 chipboard sheet as well as other coordinating embellishments.

I am a big fan of layering and use of lots of embellishments on my pages. Additionally, it’s a bit unusual to scrapbook only one photo on a layout as I did here. I generally scrapbook no less than 3 photos in any given layout but I’m vowing to try and stretch myself this year and it was pretty refreshing to let go of my own “personal rules”. After all, the art of scrapbooking is very subjective and I fully embrace the concept of creative freedom. I’m sure there will be days when I go back to my comfort zone and times when I’ll step out. Either way, I was very pleased with how the layout turned out.

I did reach into my stash for some of the other embellishments including the tags and acetate leaves and wreath…those actually came from the Confetti line by Maggie Holmes and that adorable camera paper clip? Well, that was courtesy of my lovely sister Kim. I tried going back to Hobby Lobby to pick up some more of those paper clips where she bought them because I just couldn’t resist. Sadly however, my local HL ran out when I went back for more. 

I had picked up some of the new Dylusions ink sprays from JoAnn’s when they went on sale and luckily, the Vibrant Turquoise just happened to match this layout and I knew I wanted to use it. So far, I’m liking those inks and will definitely be picking up more colors in the future. 

Anyhow, thank you for stopping by friends! I hope you all have a beautiful week and as mentioned, I’ll be back soon with a post on my haul from the 2016 Scrapbook Expo - Anaheim. 


Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs