Sunday, July 29, 2007

Valley Forge Review

Let me just get this off my chest, and I promise I won't mention it again, but next time I consider driving up I-95 in the summer - on a weekend - please stop me. I spent more than eight hours getting to and from Valley Forge. Fortunately, though, while there were storms, none were strong enough to knock out the power. :-)

So, you're wondering, how was it?...

Overall, I'd rate it a B. I could never rate (1) an opportunity for "me" time or (2) the opportunity to scrap or shop for scrapbook supplies in peace badly. But, while I made some really great layouts and bought A LOT of really cool scrapbook supplies, I was disappointed that I didn't learn more technique-wise, though it does harden my determination to go to CKU next year for sure!

Here's a review of all the clases:

A Thing or Two about Boys - This was sponsored by QuikQuotes. This was simply a process of building layouts based on their kits. The one thing that I did get reinforced is a neat way to make slide mounts match your layout.

LuCKy Girl - This was sponsored by CK and taught by Creating Keepsakes, Managing Editor, Brittany Beattie. We made a little scrapbook of the things were are most grateful for that fit in a little tin. Definitely very cool scrapbook...I see Christmas presents

All About Heritage - This was also sponsored by QuikQuotes. Again, it was simply a process of creating layouts. Neat way to do photo corners out of vellum.

Boys Go Zoom! - This was a class on board books, which I wasn't quite expecting. The board book was made with glossy chipboard - I had been thinking of natural chipboard. But...I did learn a cool way to make photo corners with ribbon (if enough people are interested - write me to let me know - I'll write something up about this, the vellum photo corners and slide mounts).

You've Been Framed! - This was a class on creating unique frames with your scrapbook supplies and was sponsored by Simple Scrapbooks. Nothing fancy or complicated, but a super-cool idea!

10 Things Every Scrapbooker Should Know - This too was taught by Brittany Beattie and was full of great little tips that "every scrapbooker should know," such's OK to scraplift, it's OK to create a layout without pictures, it's OK to take LOTs of pictures and more! Definitely recommend it if they offer again next year.

Now, by the time I was coming to my last class...I was exhausted and knew that I had a long drive in front of me, so what probably would have been a lot of fun ended up being disappointing in a way.

Keep it Simple, Make it Quick, Get it Done with Metropolis - It's a really long title and was set as a two-hour class, but as the title states, it was simple. In fact, too simple for my liking at the time. I wanted to be challenged, but instead I was given a pack of Scenic Route scrapbook supplies with instructions to make four two-page layouts. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about great supplies, but I wanted to learn something different and quickly realized that wasn't going to happen in this class. So, about an hour in, I decided to pack up and hit the road - even if I was giving up the chance to win a door prize.

Another year is done and I look forward to what next year will bring in my scrapbook education!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Valley Forge (Part Deux)

I'm heading out this afternoon for my second Creating Keepsakes Convention. Much like last year, I've loaded up on classes (I've always liked school). To be specific, I'm taking the following:
  • A Thing or Two about Boys
  • LuCKy Girl
  • All About Heritage
  • Boys Go Zoom!
  • You’ve Been Framed!
  • 10 Things Every Scrapbooker Should Know
  • Keep it Simple, Make it Quick, Get it Done with Metropolis

While my true goal is to make it to CKU one day, my experience last year was incredible and I learned so much (and came back with so many scrapbook supplies...I'm still digging out of that pile). Just keep your fingers crossed that the power doesn't go out!!

I will report back as soon as I get home on Saturday evening and share with all of you what I've learned.

Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Harry Potter Month

Platform 9 3/4
Originally uploaded by choubox

July 2007 is officially Harry Potter month!! With the release of the seventh and final book and the premiere of the fifth movie, it's all about Harry!!

Watch for Harry Potter scrapbook layout ideas all month long on my site!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sketch of the Week

The votes for this week's Sketch of the Week are in and it's another 12" x 12" double page layout. This sketch calls for four photos and has LOTS of room for journaling.

You could use this sketch as a basis for a layout to scrap your children's end of year party at school (focal shot is a class photo and the smaller ones can be more candid shots). can flip your focal shot to make it vertical and it can be used for a birthday layout, with your child's birthday photo along with more pictures from the party.

Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Need Sketches?

Recently, as part of the voting for the Sketch of the Week, I've noticed that a lot of you are looking for a variety of sketch sizes, from 6 x 6 to 8.5 x 11 to 8 x 8, yet the 12 x 12 typically wins out in the voting.

So...I'd ask that you take a minute and fill out this little survey to see if we can make everyone happy.

I'd love to hear from you. Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 27 May 2007

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Memorial Day (and getting a little extra time to scrap). This week's Sketch of the Week is an 8.5" x 11" single - many thanks to those who voted this week. While I do love to make 12" x 12" sketches, it's a nice break every once and a while to do something different. :-)

I chose a single photo layout, as one of the voters asked for it specifically. Each of the strips behind the picture is .5" high. The gray corners can serve any real purpose you'd like to, but are meant to just create a little visual interest by displaying a different color or pattern underneath the primary background.

If you'd like to vote for the Sketch of the Week, please check me out at the Choubox Sketch Pad.

If you have any general scrapbook questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Precious Moments

Precious Moments
Originally uploaded by choubox.
To all the Moms and Moms to be, wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 22 Apr 2007

This week's sketch is another 12" x 12" single. If you like this sketch, and want more like it, don't forget to vote for the Sketch of the Week at the Choubox Sketch Pad.

I've also started a new feature on my website - Scrapbook Challenges. The current challenge is
using lyrics in your scrapbook layouts.

Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 8 Apr 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like....Easter...but the first "white" Easter that I can ever remember. I'm just hoping we're not going to redefine the meaning of snow bunnies tomorrow morning.

Any is this week's sketch a little early, as I'm sure we'll be otherwise occupied tomorrow. Wishing you all a joyful Easter!

Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Planning a Layout

I first want to thank all of you who have submitted article requests, whether they are for tips and techniques or general content. I am posting them as quickly as my little fingers can type along with articles I already had in the queue.

But, over the past several weeks, several of you have requested articles that all revolve around the same theme, planning layouts. So, in the coming weeks, I will be making these articles my priority as, in the end, the basics of designing layouts are at the heart of scrapbooking.

Thank you again for all your input and Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 18 Mar 2007

This sketch, along with its 12x12 cousin, are this week's sketches.

You're getting an 8x8 single page layout because that's what my son picked, but you're also getting a 12x12 version because of his twin brother. :-)

I have to's been a crazy month and while I've kept up with my sketches...I've been lagging behind in just about everything else, thanks in part to a week's worth of illness and the preparations for my boys' 3rd Birthday Party. It seems like these past two weeks have gone on forever, but I'm very glad that they're over (and that the birthday party was a huge success). I'm very much ready to get back to my "normal" schedule.

Hope you have a great St. Patrick's Day!! Happy Scrapping!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How Do You Make Your Scrapbook Layouts?

I was posed this question today by a fellow scrapper. Well, I do a mix of digital and traditional (paper-based) scrapbooking. I do digital because it saves me time and traditional because I still LOVE to work with my hands.

If I had to define my own style, I would describe it as simplistic with a BIG focus on pictures. I don't have a set way in which I create my layouts (I don't do them the same way every time), but I do follow a few simple rules…

(1) Always keep the focus on the pictures.

To me scrapbooking is not about getting as much "stuff" (embellishments) on a page as possible, but it's about telling a story…preserving your family's history. So when I create a layout, I make every attempt to use as many good pictures as possible. I won't try to put every single picture from an event on a layout, but I will try to put more than one. I will also make room for journaling or, at the very least, a quote, song lyrics, etc. that convey the way I feel about the event, person, etc. in the pictures.

(2) I like lines…

There is a common held notion that using lines helps to move people from one design element to another. Whether it be scrapbook layouts, brochures or any type of graphical design, our eyes will naturally follow a line from one item to another, so whether you use ribbon, embellishments or just strips of paper, a line in your layout will help the "flow."

(3) I also like squares…

Huey Lewis once said that it was hip to be square…and I tend to agree. I usually create 12x12 layouts because it gives me the most space to play with, but I also love the smaller sizes like 8x8 and 6x6 because it forces you to be more efficient. You don't have a lot of extra space on the smaller formats, so you don't necessarily have to worry about filling your page up with a bunch of embellishments. You get a picture or two on there; a title and some journaling and you're done!

(4) I love to play with color…as long as it matches.

I'm a big believer in experimenting with colors, but I'm also a big believer in less is more. To me, when using color, there is a fine line between just right and too much. As such, I will let the "colors do the talking" when I create my scrapbook layouts. I will find two to three colors that will really make the pictures pop and stick with that instead of going hog-wild with five different patterned papers. You'd be amazed at how much patterned paper alone can do for a layout.

(5) I like to "live" with my layout for a few days.

I was working on a layout for a recent article and once I got the basics down (sketch, title and photos)…I walked away. I didn't look at the layout until the next day and then added the patterned paper…and walked away until the next day and then I added the embellishments. I was absolutely thrilled with the finished layout because I took my time.

I do this partly because I don't necessarily have a ton of time (in one uninterrupted block) and I've found that I am SO much happier with the end result when I don't try and rush things. Are there times when I can sit down and, from sketch to finished layout, have one done in 30 minutes?… Sure, but I don't want to finish a scrapbook layout just to "pad my stats" and say I created 200 layouts in a year. I'd rather take quality over quantity. Why? Because what's the point in hurrying to finish a scrapbook layout, if after three days you look at it and say, "Oh, well, I could have done this…" or "I could have done that to make it look more balanced." I just like to take my time. If that means I only do 50 layouts a year – so be it.

I hope this helps to provide a little insight into the scrapbooking side of my brain. If you have any questions, please don't ever hesitate to
send me an e-mail.

Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 25 Feb 2007

As I mentioned in my previous post, most of you have asked for future Sketches of the Week to be 12x12 double-page format. you go! I hope you enjoy it.

Also as a request of your
requests, I'm in the process of finishing up my "Let's Get Organized" section and just launched my latest set of articles on scrapbook Tips and Techniques.

Have a great week and Happy Scrapping!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Masses Have Spoken...and Keep Speaking!

I've had a great turnout to my Sketch of the Week Survey. I thank all those who have participated for sharing your thoughts!!

As you can see, when you complete the survey, most of you scrap in a 12x12 "world" and tend to make double-page layouts when you do. future Sketches of the Week will tend towards that trend.

But...since this is a scrapocracy and I always learned that you have majority rule with minority rights, I will be mixing in some of the smaller sizes along with sketches for cards.

As always, if you haven't filled out the survey...let your voice be may end up swinging the balance to another size layout!

Happy Scrapping!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 11 Feb 2007

This week's sketch is a 6x6 double-page layout and I'm sure you're all wondering...what is a journaling flap?

Well, it's pretty simple actually (and a great use for double-sided cardstock). You just take a piece of paper, cut it to the size you need and then fold it in half. Why?... Because then you've just doubled the space you get to work with and since a 6x6 is pretty small, you can use all the space you can get.

You put pictures on the outside of the flap and have journaling on the inside or have photos on the inside and the outside. It's all up to you!

In this example, since the finished size is 2.5" x 2.5", you would need a piece of paper 2.5" (w) x 5" (h).

Let me know if you have any

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Valentine's Day

It's just around the corner and while I used this design as a recipe card, it can do double-duty as a Valentine's Day card with a few modifications.

I used the new "Smitten" line from Paper Salon. Specifically, I used the Tiny Dot, Polka Hearts, Posy Paisly and Heart Paisley papers. This is a great double-sided cardstock line, so the inside of the card is a dark red pink.

Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

They Grow Too Fast....

When my two precious boys were little, they would always sleep with their arms above their heads and their hands in loose fists (call it a product of being twins - they have a need to stretch)...both of them in the same crib able to fit (lengthwise) across the width of the crib. Yesterday, I went to check on them before going to bed myself and noticed Zach sleeping with his arms above his head and his hands in loose fists, but now...almost three years later...he's almost the entire length of his toddler bed.

Where does the time go?... and can someone please tell me how to slow down the clock?!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Six 6" x 6" Scrapbook Layout Sketches

In one of the responses to my Sketch Survey, I was asked for some ideas on how to make 6" x 6" scrapbook layout pages.

As you have seen, I do tend to focus on 12" x 12" layouts, but I will be the first to admit that smaller scrapbook pages are actually much easier to make. You don't have to focus so much on filling space, so you become very efficient and your emphasis is turned automatically to the pictures.

Since you don't have that much room to work with on a 6" x 6" page, the biggest picture you can use is a 4" x 6", which is perfectly acceptable (and makes the same kind of visual impact that a big picture would make on a 12" x 12" layout), but leaves you with little room for any journaling or embellishments.

So...that leaves us with 3" x 5" pictures or, better yet, wallet-size pictures. I love wallet-size pictures! Why? They have the same shape as a 4" x 6", but they take up less "real estate," so you can put lots of pictures on big scrapbook pages and more than one picture on a 6" x 6" scrapbook page.

While it's hard to find on my site, I do have a collection of sketches that I did almost a year ago (
click here to open the file) that includes a set of 6" x 6" sketches. I just haven't gotten around to getting them loaded into Flickr.

To the person that asked, I hope this helps (and I'll work on getting more 6" x 6" double-page layouts drawn up), and to anyone else who has any other questions...don't ever hesitate to
send me e-mail, I'm always ready and willing to help!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Winter Has Arrived...

OK... For those of you in the mid-west, winter arrived a long time ago and you're more than ready for it to leave.'s snowing on the East Coast!!! :-)

I'm very big on needing my four separate seasons and a winter without snow...well, isn't winter in my book. So, I am happy to report that it is snowing in VA - FINALLY!

Now, let the fun begin as the meteorologists begin to hem and haw over how much we might actually get!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sketch of the Week

I hope you are all enjoying the Sketch of the Week and that it's helping to get your creative juices flowing. I realized that while I tend to live in a 12" x 12" world, there may be some of you out there that prefer to scrap on a smaller scale. me, help you. Take two seconds to answer these questions and future Sketches of the Week will lean with the majority. This is a "scrapocracy" after all!

Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'm Back...and so is Jack!!!

Hope you all had a nice week. I'm back from what can only be described as a somewhat lackluster trip to Atlanta. I will admit...the onion rings at The Varsity are the best I've ever had and the CNN tour is a must see, but the weather was yucky, so it put a little damper on our trip.

Anywho, I'm back and trying to catch up on things. Since I'm buried beneath five piles of laundry (and Jack Bauer (24) is back tonight), my Sketch of the Week will be up tomorrow instead of today.

And since tomorrow is Martin Luther King Day, let us take a minute and remember the sacrifices of those who came before us. As I sat in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Friday evening, they had one of Dr. King's sermons playing and his words, spoken more than 40 years ago and during a very different time in our country's history, were eerily relevant. He spoke of today's young people being cynical and disillusioned and our men only having war to "look forward to." Let us all be thankful for the freedoms we have, for the freedom our Men and Women in uniform continue to protect and for those who are willing to stand above the crowds and have the courage to give those who still don't a voice...a chance.

Take care and happy scrapping.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sketch of the Week - 7 Jan 2007

Sketch of the Week - 7 Jan 2007
Originally uploaded by choubox.

Here is your sketch for the week. I realized after I posted this that I forgot to put the measurements on here. The big picture is a 5"x7" and the three small pictures are wallet size. The thick black stripe is 3" wide and the smaller gray stripes are 1.25" high.

I'll be partially out of the loop in Atlanta this week. After my success in Vegas at a LSS, I was hoping to stop by the Archiver's down there, but it's just too out of the way... Oh well, I don't need anymore paper anyway.

Happy Scrapping!! :-)