Friday, November 21, 2014

inspiration: top 5 trends

I love to browse the internet for inspiration. My favorite places for crafty browsing are Pinterest (of course) and some crafty blogs. I turn to those sites when I need a little crafty mojo or when I'm waiting in line at Costco. =)

Here are five trends that I've recently found in abundance online, and that I'm loving right now.

1. Confetti--love it. Perfect for celebrations, holidays, and girls.

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2. Insta-frames--perfect for photos, embellishments, cards. Can't get enough of them!

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3. Project Life/journaling cards--these little guys are so useful! They make great mini albums, perfect sentiments for cards, and awesome layers and titles on layouts. A must-have for any crafter's stash.
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And finally, here are a few things that inspire me for this holiday season:

4. Kraft, white, and gold--I love that tone-on-tone look of gold with kraft and the unexpected sparkle that differentiates the two. The crisp white reminds me of snow. Yum!

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5. Non-traditional holiday colors paired with...you guessed it. Gold!

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How about you? What are your favorite trends? Where do you do to find your inspiration? Share your favorite sources in the comments section below.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

15 days of gratitude: week 1

It's now officially been one week since I started recording five things I'm thankful for each day in my gratitude journal. So far it's been such a great way for me to stay focused on the positive. I truly believe that when we're counting our blessings we feel happier--even during the hard times.

gratitude journal 2_aly dosdall

gratitude journal 1_aly dosdall

I added some mini alpha stickers to the page tabs to designate the number of the day. I also added a date stamp on a tab on each page.

gratitude journal 3_aly dosdall

gratitude journal 4_aly dosdall

Some of the things on my daily lists are deep and big, and some are fun and frivolous. I think it's important to appreciate everything--loved ones, faith, and even iPhones and Mega M&M's! =) Most of the items on my lists have to do with things that happened during that day. That way I'm also including a bit of a daily record in the process of counting my blessings.

gratitude journal 5_aly dosdall

gratitude journal 6_aly dosdall

To see the rest of this week's pages, and for some tips about finding internet photos to use in your albums, visit the We R Memory Keepers blog HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

giveaway today!


My dear friends at Scrapbook and Cards Today are giving away two free seats in my Playful Layouts class over at Craftsy. The giveaway closes tomorrow, so don't miss out. Plus there's a link to register for the class at 20% off. Follow this link to their blog if you're interested: http://bit.ly/1EVgPQ3.

Here are a few of the fun layouts you can learn how to make, each with great techniques and clever ways to use your scrapbooking supplies:



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

pilgrim hat place cards

Place cards are a great touch to your Thanksgiving table. They're not only practical, but they can add a unique crafty feel to your spread as well. Here's a fun idea for Thanksgiving place cards--create a pilgrim hat to mark your guest's seat at the table.

Pilgrim Hat Place Cards by Aly Dosdall

To make the pilgrim hats I used the Pilgrim Hat Shape Die and my Evolution Advanced. I cut the hat pieces out of some Indian Summer semi-sold 12x12 papers, assembled them, and then used glue dots to secure them.

Pilgrim Hat Place Cards by Aly Dosdall 1

Then I die cut some banner shapes using a die from the Banner It Kit, used some rub-ons to add names to the banners, and then embellished the banners with some die cut feathers. To add the banner to the hat I simply cut a small slit in the top of the hat on each side and inserted the bottom of the banner inside the slits.

Pilgrim Hat Place Cards by Aly Dosdall 2

Learn more ways to use this darling Pilgrim Hat Shape Die on the We R blog HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

pillow box utensil holder

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love to find multiple uses for my crafting tools! It makes me feel like I'm getting a little extra bang for my buck. And if you can get more bang for your buck during the holiday season, even better. Here's a great way to use your Pillow Box Punch Board this season--create a Thanksgiving utensil holder!

Pillow Box Utensil Holder by Aly Dosdall

It's easy to make this utensil holder with the punch board. For a full tutorial on how to do just that, visit the We R blog HERE.

utensil holder 3

I added some die cut feathers, an embossed sticker, some cotton twine, and some enamel shapes. Though I chose not to, you could also add a sentiment or the name of the guest you'd like to sit in that seat--perfect place card.

Pillow Box Utensil Holder by Aly Dosdall 2

While my utensil holder is Thanksgiving themed, you can make them for any holiday or occasion--Christmas, birthdays, showers, etc. Just swap out themed papers and embellishments to fit your needs.

Friday, November 14, 2014

paper weaving card


Give Thanks Card by Aly Dosdall 1

Today I'd like to share a fun Thanksgiving themed card with a cool paper technique. Patterned paper is one of my go-to products, so I love using paper as a unique design element like I did with the woven paper strips on my card. This paper weaving technique can be used on a card like mine, a scrapbook page, or other paper craft projects.

Give Thanks Card by Aly Dosdall

This card features the beautiful Shine collection, which is perfect for seasonal projects like this. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to create this card, visit the We R blog HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

15 days of gratitude 2014: the journal

I'm super excited about this post! I've finally finished the inside pages of my gratitude journal and today I'll share those with you. Seeing as today is exactly two weeks before Thanksgiving, it's perfect timing since today's the first day I'll start recording things I'm thankful for in my journal. You can find more details about the first half of this post of the We R Memory Keepers blog HERE. If you've arrived here from the We R blog, you can scroll down to see the rest of the pages from my gratitude journal. Thanks for stopping by!

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall

There are fourteen double pages in my journal, plus an envelope at the end where I will keep my written thoughts after I finish recording blessings for two weeks. All of the pages are made with paper--some just 6x8 blocks, some file folders I made with my Envelope Punch Board, and one envelope at the end of the journal.

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_close 1

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_close 2

Each double page spread has a tab on the right edge of the right page where I'll add the number of the day (1-15). Each spread has a journaling spot on one side, and a spot for a photo(s) on the other. I'll also add a date stamp to each spread on a tab as well.

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 1

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 2

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 3

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 4

The plan is to write down 5 things I'm grateful for each day (starting today) until Thanksgiving day. I can also include a photo (or more than one if I want) on the same page.

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 5

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 6

Here's an example of one of the file folder pages I created with my Envelope Punch Board. I love having a few of these in my journal. To learn how to use your punch board to create mini file folders, CLICK HERE.

So Blessed 2014 by Aly Dosdall_pg 7

The above photos show the first half of the pages in my journal that I shared on the We R blog. Below are the rest. 









The last page is an envelope where I'll store my written thoughts about what I learned from this project. I love that the Envelope Notcher makes it easy to open and close the envelope.

Next week I'll share the first seven pages of my journal all filled in with photos, journaling, etc so you can see how it works. If you've created a gratitude journal or album of some kind be sure to share a link in the comments below. I'd love to see how you remember your blessings at this time of year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

thankful turkey

There's great value in keeping my own personal gratitude journal, but my family has also had a long tradition of recording things we're thankful for during the month of November. Some years this record has been a list we keep on the fridge; some years it's been a turkey poster on the wall that we add feathers too with blessings written on them; some years it's been a thankful tree. This year we made a Thankful Turkey.


I used the American Crafts Autumn Crisp collection to match my folded leaf garland. You can purchase the Autumn Crisp kit HERE at Craftsy with my free video lessons teaching how to make three beautiful fall wreaths. With a giant 12x12 paper pad, ribbon, buttons, die cuts, and three 15 minute lessons for $12.50 right now it's a great deal!

Here's a close up of the little guy.


 So here's the idea:

  • buy a pumpkin on Halloween--they should be pretty cheap
  • die cut or free hand cut a turkey head and some feathers
  • write blessings down on the feathers and tape a bamboo skewer to the back of each one
  • tape a skewer to the back of the turkey head
  • use a large nail and hammer to make holes and stick the skewered feathers and the head into the pumpkin
  • add more feathers during the month of November and read all the blessing feathers on Thanksgiving Day

I encourage you to choose some way this month to write down your blessings and take some time on Thanksgiving to read them. Reflect on all the good in your life--it does great things for your mind and soul.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

15 days of gratitude 2014: the plan

A couple of years ago I began an annual project of keeping a gratitude journal for two weeks before Thanksgiving. I call it 15 Days of Gratitude. It's a great way for me to focus on all the wonderful things in my life at one of the busiest and sometimes most stressful times of the year. Each day during those two weeks I write down five unique things I'm grateful for and include a photograph of some of them. Then at the end of the two weeks I journal about what I learned through the experience. Since November's here it's about time for me to get started. So I decided to gather up the supplies I want to use and begin planning out the structure of my journal.gratitude journal suppliesThis year I want to include some fun features--envelopes, pockets, mini file folders, and even some coordinating fabric. So I know I want to use my Envelope Punch Board, my Evolution Advanced, and a Pocket Template Die. I chose to use some paper and embellishments from the Shine collection, and I may include some papers from the Indian Summer collection as well. The rich fall colors and cork elements of those collections are perfect for this time of year. 

I'm going to use 8x8 chipboard covers and bind them with my Cinch, though I'll be trimming them down to 6x8. That way I can fit two 4x6 photos on the inside pages if I want to. My plan is to use fabric to cover the chipboard somehow. I love the texture and depth that fabric adds. Plus it really captures the organic, homemade feel I'm going for. This journal is all about me and my home sphere so I want it to have that personal touch. 

Each day will get a full spread (two adjoining pages) so I can include journaling and a photo or two. I'll add a tab to each spread with my Tab Punch to indicate which number day of the 15 it is. Some days I may include a collage to sneak in more photos. 

I'll be taking most of these photos on my phone, so I'll use one of my favorite photo editing apps (PhotoGrid) to create the collages. If you're interested in joining me for this project I highly recommend it. You can use whatever type of journal you'd like. To see several beautiful album/journal options from We R Memory Keepers visit the post about this project on their blog HERE.

I'll be writing more posts about this project as I complete it, so if you're interested in playing along check back over the next two weeks. If you create a journal for this project be sure to share it a link in the comments below. To view my journal from last year using the beautiful Harvest collection, CLICK HERE. And HERE'S my gratitude journal from the year before.

Monday, November 10, 2014

shutter family photo display

As a scrapbooker I take lots of photos. I truly believe it's important to capture and record memories. Many of those photos end up in my scrapbook albums, but I also love to put some of those photos on display where we can look at them during the day. Creative ways to display those photos really get me excited, so imagine my delight when I received this gorgeous burgundy slightly distressed Shutter Memo Holder in the mail!

Shutter Family Photo Display by Aly Dosdall

While these shutters can be used to store and organize papers, notes, and mail, I thought it would make the perfect photo display for my family room. The rich color fits perfectly with the color scheme and decor in our home, so I wanted to hang it somewhere visible.

Shutter Family Photo Display by Aly Dosdall1

I printed several recent family photos in black and white at 4x6 size with a white border around each one to unify them. I decided I also wanted to add some visual interest to the display so I included some Shine journaling cards. The colors of the Shine collection go perfectly with the shutter and my family room. Yay!

Shutter Family Photo Display by Aly Dosdall2

To create additional visual interest I tilted some of the photos and placed them in random order in the shutter slats rather than in a grid pattern. I've also got some vertically oriented photos and some horizontally oriented photos--same with the journaling cards.

Shutter Family Photo Display by Aly Dosdall3

What I love about this shutter display is that I can easily swap out photos since they're not adhered to the shutter in any way--they simply sit in the slat pockets. Designer tip: when printing and sizing photos to display on the Shutter Memo Holder be sure to consider that the bottom part of the photo or journaling card will be covered behind the slats.

For more ideas on how to use these adorable shutters, visit the We R blog HERE.