Friday, April 24, 2015

snap conference 2015

I spent most of the day yesterday surrounded by over 500 super creative and inspiring crafters and bloggers. It was an amazing experience to feel the energy of so many strong, successful and positive women! After only one day I feel like I've learned so many insights that I can directly apply to my work.

Check out some photos of my day. This is the hotel that hosts the conference. It's just a short drive south for me. Not a bad deal.

Here's what greets conference goers when they arrive. How could you not get totally pumped when you see this?

This is the stage for keynote speakers. So fabulous! Balloons and glitter--love!

After the opening session, which was amazing, the first class I attended was on photo styling by Brittany Jepsen from The House That Lars Built and Meta Coleman from One More Mushroom. I learned so many helpful things, from broad guidelines to specific hands-on applications. 

They displayed some fun staged projects ready for a photo shoot. It's fun to see the vignettes from a broader view and then a more narrow, close-up view. Don't you love that post-it note backdrop? Great tip!

It's hard to get a good shot indoors without all the shadows, but you get the idea. It was a fun and helpful class.

I'll be learning more this weekend so I'll be sure to share lots on my Facebook page HERE. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

a new vision

So, what do you think? I gave my blog (and Facebook, Twitter, etc) a little makeover. It's something I've been meaning to do for a few months. I'm attending an amazing blogger conference this weekend and I really wanted to re-brand my blog beforehand, so this was the perfect motivation to get it done.

I wanted to come up with something that represented my creative philosophy and goals, and I feel like I really captured that. You see, I truly believe that each life is worth celebrating. I believe in savoring and remembering moments. I believe in creating traditions and having fun. I believe in knowing who we are and where we come from, and that we can draw strength from and build upon our roots. I believe in creativity, storytelling, and memory-keeping.

We all deserve a celebrated life.

So, today I'm off to this fabulously fun conference with a new blog, a new matching business card, and a new understanding of my goals and my place in this industry of creativity and memory-keeping. And I'm going to celebrate it!

I was up late into the night playing around with my business cards, some sequins, and my new We R Memory Keepers Fuse Tool. What do you think? Fun, huh?

Stay tuned for some photos and updates from Snap Conference 2015! I can't wait!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

using stamps with coordinating dies

I love it when paper craft manufacturers provide customers with time saving products. Our time as women is precious, and anything that can help us to use that time more efficiently should be taken advantage of!

Not only does Echo Park Paper Co offer crafters beautiful clear stamps that coordinate perfectly with their paper collections, but they also offer coordinating dies for some of those stamps and that just plain rocks! I mean who has time to sit and fussy cut stamped images? Check out how I used some coordinating dies and stamps on this fresh spring card.

I found some inks that matched the colors in the new Sunny Days Ahead collection, stamped my images, and them simply placed them all in my Evolution Advanced "sandwich" and ran them all through together. Boom! Instant custom embellishments!

I also stamped a cute sentiment and simply cut that with my scissors into a banner shape. Easy peasy! And it goes perfectly with the paper collection I used.

If you'd like a free printable PDF with full instructions and supplies for creating this card, visit the Echo Park Paper website HERE to download it. Enjoy, and happy spring!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

hello tags

I've shared this before, but I love to keep a basket of finished cards and tags on a shelf in my craft room so that I can sift through and grab one at a moment’s notice. I keep cards and tags of all kinds—birthday, wedding, holiday, etc—but the type I grab for the most are generic ones that I can give to a friend to let her know that I’m thinking about her, or that I just want to tell her “hello”.

Since I never seem to have enough of those on hand, I decided to make a set of “hello” tags that I can attach to little gifts or flowers when I want to brighten a friend’s day. I was so excited to use the Phone Home Die—I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I love the little rotary phone and “hello” sentiment in the script font. Super cute!

For these tags I used a few of the new Dots & Stripes8x8 Paper Pads. I cut my tags from the Neutrals pad using the Designer Tag Set. I love the look of the kraft paper! Then I used the white grid paper from the Neutrals pad to cut my phone shapes, which adds some nice contrast to the kraft. To add some color to my tags I die cut the remaining elements from the Spring and Brights 8x8 pads in some happy spring colors.

I love the variety of colors available in the Dots & Stripes collection. It was easy to find exactly what I needed for this project. These little tags would make a great gift as a set, or can be added individually to gifts or treats for friends.

For additional photos and tips, visit the original post on the Echo Park Paper blog HERE.

Monday, April 20, 2015

craft & create spring idea book

Great news! The spring 2015 edition of Craft & Create, the FREE downloadable idea book from Echo Park Paper Co is available now! CLICK HERE for details and to download your free copy. There are some amazing ideas for spring, baby, and Easter projects, so you'll want to snatch this up quickly.

I have a fun project included in there, and it's a first for me. A Baby Boy Mobile! (NO, this is NOT an announcement...just an assignment!)

This was my first attempt at creating a mobile, and it was a lot of fun! I used the new Bundle of Joy New Addition: Boy 6x6 Paper Pad with the coordinating dies--aren't they darling??

I used some fishing line to hang everything. To keep it all in place I added some double sided tape to the inside ring of the embroidery hoop before placing the fishing line in.

I will definitely be making more mobiles in the future. I can picture one hanging in my craft room above my work space...stay tuned peeps! ;)

Friday, April 17, 2015

DIY gold foil cards: heidi swapp minc

Gold has made a strong appearance over the past year in design, fashion, decor, crafts, and more. I have loved finding ways to include gold accents in my paper craft projects, so naturally I was thrilled to hear about Heidi Swapp's brilliant release of Minc at CHA--a tool that allows paper crafters to add custom gold foil accents to their projects.

And when I was able to get my hands on this fabulous tool I was over the moon excited! I stayed up way too late and had way too much fun playing around with my Minc and coming up with this snazzy set of DIY Gold Foil Cards. Take a peek at how they turned out!

I chose to use some of the journaling cards and patterned paper from two of the additional 12x12 paper kits you can purchase separately from the tool. I mixed those with some scraps from the Homemade collection by Jen Hadfield for Pebbles Inc. I love the way Heidi's and Jen's papers combine together with the gold accents.

Of course I also had to add a little extra sparkle and with some sequins, glitter stickers, and glitter mini clothespins.

Some of Heidi's papers have small parts of the pattern where the gold foil is added...

...and others have more places for gold foil accents.

I even ventured out and used a soft green teal foil on one of the polka papers. I love this mixed with the gold accents--yummy!

Since this was my first time playing with this amazing tool I learned some helpful tips and tricks, and I can't wait to try foiling my own laser printer creations. There are so many possibilities with this, so stay tuned for future posts with tips, tricks, and more projects.

Have a golden weekend crafty peeps!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

doily gift boxes

The beautiful new Echo Park Jack & Jill: Jill collection is one of my favorite releases from Echo Park in recent months. I love the beautiful mix of colors and the vintage inspired feel to the line. There are so many coordinating embellishments to choose from, and I'm in love with the designer dies and stamps that match this collection. In fact, these feminine gift boxes feature the gorgeous Heart Doily Designer Die from the collection. I just love it!

The papers in this collection already include bits of kraft color in them, so I decided to use the Carta Bella Kraft Cardstock to create my 2 ½ inch gift boxes. I used a punch board, but you could also use manual dies or an electronic die cutting machine to make your boxes. There are also plenty of pre-cut boxes that you can purchase from a paper goods store and assemble yourself.

I decorated my boxes by wrapping strips of Jack & Jill: Jill patterned paper and border stickers around them. Then I die cut some heart doilies from white cardstock. This die is a fairly intricate one, so I used my stylus tool to poke out the leftover bits after die cutting the doilies.

I added the doilies and some coordinating stickers at the top of each box, tied them with jute twine, and then included tags that I cut with the Holiday Tag Designer Die Set. I love the vintage feminine touch the pretty die cut doilies add to the boxes.

These pretty boxes would be great to hold little gifts or goodies for any occasion! Thanks for letting me share this fun project with you today. For a full supply list, visit the original post on the Echo Park Paper blog HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

folded butterfly garland

My obsession with folded paper projects is no secret. I’ve shared a folded leaf garlandfolded paper hearts, and a folded Easter egg frame. I just love the dimension and texture of paper folding. So, what’s next? Today I’m sharing a folded butterfly garland–a wonderful project for spring!
Folded Butterfly Garland by Aly Dosdall
Folded Butterfly Garland by Aly Dosdall 6
It’s easy to create folded butterflies in any size for any project. If you’d like to learn how to create folded butterflies like I did for this project, visit the We R Memory Keepers blog HERE for full instructions and supplies.
Folded Butterfly Garland by Aly Dosdall 1
Folded Butterfly Garland by Aly Dosdall 2
Folded Butterfly Garland by Aly Dosdall 3
I punched holes in the wings of my butterflies and strung them together on a length of twine to make a garland, but you could use these for gift packaging, altered frames, cards, or other dimensional projects. Happy spring!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

meringue cake

I'm always on the lookout for a delicious light dessert for the spring and summer months. I have plenty of yummy rich dessert recipes for the holidays and colder months, but I was so excited to get my hands on this Meringue Cake recipe from my friend. It's perfect for luncheons, brunches, and summer garden parties. Here's to berry season!

This play on strawberry shortcake consists of a delightful crust that has two parts: a light cake-like base with a delicate sweet meringue-like topping. Start by preheating your oven to 350°. Then make the cake base below:

¾ C butter (room temp.)
2/3 C sugar
3 egg yolks (save whites)
2/3 C milk
1-1/3 C flour
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp. baking powder

Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks.  Add rest of ingredients slowly pouring in milk alternately.  Spread evenly on cookie sheet lined with parchment or greased completely (including sides) if not using paper. Add the meringue topping below:

3 egg whites (room temp.)
1 pinch of salt
1 C sugar (divided)
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat egg whites adding salt, then ¼ C sugar, then vanilla, and then gradually adding the rest of the sugar 1 tbsp at a time. Beat until sugar dissolves and it forms peaks (this process takes about 7-10 min).  Carefully spread over uncooked cake mixture.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

Serve with sliced strawberries (cut up into small pieces coated with about 2 tbsp sugar), or mixed berries and cream. You could also use any seasonal fruit topping along with cream. Lemon sauce is yummy too!

Monday, April 13, 2015

document 2015: april

If you've been following my Document 2015 class series over at Big Picture Classes, you know it's about time for the April installment to release. In fact, today is release day! Happy day!

This month's example layout is all about celebrating life, spring, family, and fun holidays. I show you some tips and tricks for how to create a fun banner border using printed acetate paper. I also show you an easy way to include lots of photos on a page. You'll definitely find some happy inspiration in this class whether you create a month-in-review page or a layout with any other theme.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this class, and take advantage of a free trial membership.