Friday, December 20, 2013


In most years, making my own Christmas cards is not high on my priority list. But this year, for some reason, I was very focused on making cards for people that mean a lot to me as a way of showing my appreciation and friendship.
For example, I really wanted to make cards for the scouts in my son's Cub Scout Den. I am the Den leader and those boys are often the highlight of my week.
But making cards for pre-teen boys is not easy. These boys are all between 10 and 11 years old, and they really aren't Santa, reindeer or candy canes anymore.
So, I settled on a snowman card with a title from the Winter Frolic Christmas cartridge. It says There is Snowman Like You! And I made each snowman a little different -- notice the noses?

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Chalkboard paper is among the newest rages in scrapbooking and paper crafts. I love the look, but honestly, I don't know how I would use it in my everyday scrapbooking. But when my friend, the scrapbook store owner, asked me to design a display with the new Reminisce Chalkboard Christmas collection, I had to get a big creative. 

For the page above, I used my Cricut to cut a title and some snowflakes out of white vinyl and adhered it to the page. I liked how the vinyl looked as though it was printed on the page. The chalkboard paper seemed to move into the background, creating a dimensional effect. 

On the second page, I used vinyl cut on the Cricut as a stencil and traced the stencil with a chalk marker, such as the title and the trees at the bottom. It is  a bit busy for me, but I still liked the chalkboard paper and the chalk markers together. 

Monday, September 16, 2013


When I look through scrapbooking magazines and websites, I see lots of very neat, creative and amazing layouts. But I also find myself struggling to find a way to use those ideas because so many of them have only 1, 2 or 3 photos on a page. Right now, the emphasis on scrapbook pages seems to the stuff on them -- not the photos. 
But I try to fit as many photos on a page as possible. So I decided to show you my latest layout and give some tips on how I put together a page with multiple photos, and still give it some flair. 

First, the whole layout...

My first step is always to crop all the photos so I only have the best parts of the photo. This definitely allows me to get more pictures on a page. 
Then, I mat all the photos in white. I mat just about every photo in my albums. That is just what makes a layout stand out for me. Everyone has their own design foundations. 

With this layout, the colors were pretty much pre-determined by the colors in the photos. But I tried laying out the photos on several other colors, including aqua and royal blue, before deciding on a patterned paper from Echo Park.
I knew that I wanted that big picture of my son's face to be the focal point, so I moved the pictures around until I found a placement that worked for me.
After that, the trick for me is even out all the colors and create balance. When I taught scrapbooking at Michaels, they taught us about the law of 3s, which is essentially and creating triangles with colors, embellishments and other elements. That is the basis of most of my pages. 
One of my main tricks for squeezing more photos on a page is overlapping the photos so that the best parts are highlighted and the boring parts are covered. 

This page above was a little harder. It took me awhile to find a color balance that I liked. And I can say that I definitely like the first page much better. I wish I would have had a second page of the Echo Park sun paper for the base. But I didn't have another one and I wanted to finish this layout sooner rather than later. 

When I am doing a layout, I usually have an embellishment or two, and a title, in mind before I start. With this layout, I choose the swimmer boy from the Cricut H2O cartridge and made it look like my son. 

This title was actually cut out of a spare picture I took of pool water, then I added the blue shadow and the yellow 2. This is one of my favorite titles in a long time. Never be afraid of using spare pictures to use in your die cut machines. I often take photos of water, leaves and rocks to use for cutting out die cuts later. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I just finished a huge project and I am so excited to finally share it with all of you. I've been waiting to post it until I got it shipped. Hopefully, my brother will get his gift in the mail today, and won't happen to stop by the blog before he opens it. 
So, there have been tons of babies born into my life this year. My brother and his wife welcomed their first child, my sister and her husband brought home a second child and a good friend had twins. Funny enough, they were all boys. In fact, of all the babies I know that were born this year -- only 1 out of about 12 was a girl. Things that make you go hmmm.....
Anyway, so I wanted to make them something they would could use -- and cherish. After seeing something similar on Pinterest, I decided to make a photo album shaped like a baby onesize. 
First the pictures....

I chose greens, blues and browns for the main colors.

I used several Cricut cartridges, including Baby Steps, New Arrival and CM Stork Delivery. 

I used titles on some pages and left some for general pictures. 

For pattern paper, I used Echo Park's Bundle of Joy papers. 

This baby embellishment is one of my faves! 
I added some special details on some pages, such as liquid glass on the whale.

This bowl, spoon and title took me days to complete. I just wasn't satisfied. 

All of the main page details, such as the titles and the monkey, are popped up on foam squares. 

I decided not to use a photo mat on the last page so they could add more than 1 photo. 
Needless to say, I am super proud of how it turned out. Now I need to start making one for my sister, my friend, and I am going to try selling them in my Etsy store to see if I can make some money -- mostly to replenish my scrappy supplies. 
You didn't know I had a Etsy store? Well, yes. But I haven't put anything up there for months. Check it out -- I Teach Scraps Etsy Store. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


With my busy schedule right now, I rarely get time to just sit and play with new scrapbook tools -- even new Cricut cartridges. 
So Sunday, while babysitting a friend's scrapbook store while she was on vacation, I actually got time to explore Cricut's new cartridge, "When I Was a Kid." 
This "When I Was a Kid" cartridge is a new type of cartridge that Cricut has designed for actually making scrapbook pages and layouts. They include titles, doodads, borders and other accessories to create whole pages. The layouts are pretty simple, and most are for 1 or 2 pictures. But the sketch ideas are basic enough that I could take pieces from one and match it to pieces from another sketch to make my own pages. The titles alone are worth the cartridges, plus it has a full font. 
Below is a Back To School page that I left for my friend that owns the store to display. I used 1 pattern paper and four solid colors -- that's it. 

There is another cartridge like this called "The First Few Years".
The trick to using these cartridges is seeing beyond the horrible colors that they use in the handbook to build a page. I know they have their reasons -- probably something to do with printing issues. But it can be hard to envision how to use a cartridge like this when the handbook has this for an example: LINK.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Happy July, my friends. I am taking some time to hang out with my family and enjoy the glorious summertime. But I wanted to stop in and share what my Cricut and my Silhouette Cameo helped me do last week. 
I had them both going simultaneously helping me crank out decorations for my son's Cub Scout Pack and their parade float. 

I did the lettering and the firework diecuts.
These awesome fireworks were from the Cricut Craft Room
digital cartridge from last year. 

This bell was a Silhouette file. 

This is my son and his pack getting ready for the parade. 

What a great float!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Wow! I've been kinda distant lately. Sorry about that. But here is a quick tutorial on building a shadow for a welded word on the Gypsy:
Shadowing a Welded Word Video

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Everyday, I am more and more impressed with my Silhouette Cameo. To me, it seems that the Cameo can do very tiny delicate things better than my Cricut can. 
Example, my son wanted to make his Pinewood Derby Car for Cub Scouts to look like an Wii Remote. Now, my son is kinda of a perfectionist (hmmm... wonder where he gets it?) and he wanted it as authentic as we could get. So, with my Cameo and some vinyl -- voila:

I sure hope Wii win!

The numbers 1 & 2 on this "remote" car are probably only a 1/4 of an inch tall and less than a 1/16 of an inch wide. And the it still cut fabulously! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Purr-fect Card

I love to scrapbook, but I am not one for making a lot of cards. While most people are intimidated by making full-size scrapbook pages, I am scared by all the options for making cards. 
Well, this weekend I decided to make a card for my mom. She's had a rough year and I haven't done my best to make her feel better. So, here is my mom's card:

Front of the card

The cat and the sentiment are from the Create A Critter Cricut cartridge. The paper, well, it was a GIANT pack of paper that my sister-in-law had for years and decided she wouldn't use it, so she gave it to me. I have used it for three or four pages now. 

Inside of the card

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Have you noticed that arrows and chevron patterns are really big in scrapbooking and papercrafting right now? Well, apparently I noticed, at least on a subconscious level. 
Here's my latest layout:

I am still working on 2009 -- yes, I have nearly 4 years behind, so what? -- and this layout is about my little girl finishing up third grade. That year was particularly tough on her. She had a tough teacher, her best friend left our school and a whole list of other things. But she pushed through and even made the honor roll. 
One of her earlier teachers had described her as "small but mighty", so that's where the title came from. 
With all the blue in the pictures, it seemed obvious that I would do a monochromatic color scheme. But I wasn't sure what other elements to use. Then I found some blue dotted paper from Bo Bunny that I had just bought a few weeks ago. It was a perfect match. 
Finding other elements was a little more difficult, until I saw this page on the Silhouette America blog: Arrow Page
I used my Silhouette to do the title and the arrows. I really am beginning to like using my own computer fonts with this machine. 
And just so you know... MLR are my daughter's initials. That space just needed something and all of the sudden, a letter M fell on the page and gave me the idea of her initals. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


One of the main reasons that people finally decide to buy a Cricut machine is for making scrapbook page titles. They usually get fed up with sticker letters, such as running out of enough letter e, and think that cutting letters on the Cricut would be so much easier. 
Well, that is true -- to a point. Cutting and gluing individual letters gets tedious, very fast. Learning to use the phrases and other elements already included in the Cricut cartridges is important in getting the most out of your Cricut machine and accessories. 
That is why I decided to design a class to showcase and teach some techniques with using titles. 
I won't show you everything about the class, but I will give you a sneak peak. 
One of the things I wanted to teach is how colors and certain embellishment techniques can change the look of a title. 

I used the same title from Graphically Speaking but did it several different ways. The first one was cut in kraft paper and inked lightly around the edges. 

Then I did the same look, but used the Cricut marker to draw the image first, then cut it out. That leaves a light outline that makes it stand out from the ivory paper. 

Lastly, I cut pieces in black. It was very easy but had a crisp look. This would be great for photos with bright colors. 

Friday, January 25, 2013


Happy Friday! 
Today I am going to share with you some photos and notes from a large-scale project that I am working on.
Basically, I am using vinyl, my Cricut, my new Silhouette Cameo and lots of patience to decorate my son's elementary school. 
My son, who is in the 4th grade, moved to this elementary school just 1 week before school started. Until last spring, both of my kids went to the same school -- a small K-8 Catholic school that we loved. But for various reasons, we decided to move the kids to public schools. My daughter went to the middle school and I found a smaller public elementary school where several of his friends already went. 
The elementary school had a new principal and she had some great ideas for putting her stamp on the building. Fortunately, they were some great ideas that I could make happen.
First, she wanted the school's pledge put on a blank wall near the coat room:

Then, we talked about putting the school's mascot, a Wildcat, on the walls in various places. But the only representation of the mascot was this:

So, I used my Silhouette Cameo machine, and its software, to trace and reproduce the above image into a one-color image that I cut in vinyl and put on the wall. See below:

And I am not done yet... come back in a few weeks to pictures of the lunchroom! 

Monday, January 14, 2013


Just popping in for a few minutes to share a quick photo of a layout that I taught last weekend at the Scrapateers Retreat in Lincoln, Neb. 

When I design my layouts, I do it with the purpose of teaching certain techniques. In this case, I focused on borders, layering and using the Center Point Function on the Cricut Expressions machine. 
I still have lots of supplies that I used to make this layout. I will make unassembled and assembled kits for sale -- $15 for assembled, and $10 for assembled. Just email me if you are interested. 
The next Scrapateers crop is in Kearney in February. This time, for the first time since I met Patsy, I am going strictly to crop!
Here's the story -- I only print photos as I need them to scrapbook. Yes, this isn't what I teach and preach, but it happens to the best of us. But I do have a digital photo frame that I update frequently.
Anyway, because I don't print photos until I need them, the latest set of prints that I printed is from early 2010. So, I decided to skip teaching for that weekend and go just to work on MY scrapbooks.
I am really looking forward to it and now I have started prepping so I can get the most of out of the weekend.

See the Scrapateers website at for more details on Patsy's crops! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Did you get a Cricut machine for Christmas? Every year, I run into tons of people who (finally) got a Cricut machine for Christmas, but have no idea where to start using it. 
That's why I usually start off January with plenty of Beginner Cricut classes to help those people out. 
This Sunday, I have a Beginner Cricut class for those who got original Cricut machines or the first Expressions machine. It runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The Scrappin Studio in Gretna, Nebraska. The cost is $15 and you will get lots of hands-on experience. 
For those of you who got Expressions 2 machine, the class for you is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Cricut Expressions 2 machine is different enough from the original machines, that it needs its own class. 
To sign up, please call the store at (402) 332-3132. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAPPY 2013

I am sure just about everyone else has told you this today, but I still want to take a moment to wish you all a very Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013. 
I am trying to keep my goals simple this year:
1. Lose Weight -- I'd like to lose at least 20 pounds by June. 
2. Keep Scrappin -- I'd like to complete 2 personal scrappy pages each week. 
3. Declutter My House -- This will probably be the hardest as the people I live with don't share my vision on this one. 

What about you?

Welcome to the I Teach Scraps Blog!

Hello! I am excited to have my own blog site. This is way cool. I plan to use this site to promote my scrapbook instruction business, as well as pass on lots of scrapbooking tips and ideas to my family, friends and clients, both past and present. I'll also through a little of my personal life in for fun.Feel free to comment, ask questions, email me, ask me to post pictures of your projects, etc. Just let me know how I can help!