Twenty Five Photos on a Single Page

So putting 25 little pictures on a single page layout is no small feat. For anyone. However, for a girl who's specialty is single photo layouts...well let just say this is a miracle!

For years, I have been tirelessly searching for a photo print service that could meet my long list of meticulous expectations and I have been let down so many times. Finally, quite by accident, a few weeks ago I came upon an app called Social Print Studio, available in the App Store.The planets must have been aligned because the prints that arrived on my doorstep a few days later are beyond description! The quality of the paper used to print these photos is over the top sturdy--not that flimsy stuff more often used by on-line printers. The app is so very easy to navigate. The matte finish is the softest and smoothest of any printer I have ever used. Oh my. If you love matte finish photos, you must try this.

The strip photos on this layout are one of the specialty formats offered by this San Francisco-based service. What's not to love. You get *9* strips for $10. Each strip is 1.75"x7". 

I've been focused on stamping lately and it was just too easy to coordinate this stamp from the Stampin' Up! Amazing Birthday along with Watercolor Wash to create the title/journaling block. 

 The journaling is done on Project Life cards from the Becky Higgins Project Life Southern Weddings Core Kit. I have a thing for the soft cozy color palette of this kit but have no use for the wedding I chopped them up and used them anyway. 

Twenty-five pictures. 
No small accomplishment.
And some stamping too!

It's a good day to be a scrapbooker. ;)


Using the Alphabet Punch Board

Recently, I picked up an Alphabet Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers after watching a presentation of it in HSN. I don't shop at HSN but I was intrigued by the board so I picked it up at Michaels, using a coupon. (The posted price was $34.99, with a coupon it was $20.)

The premise of the punch board is that you can create every letter of the alphabet using the punches and cutter on this one board in a large size. Every letter starts from a rectangle of paper cut to 3"x5"...which means you can cut 8 letters from one sheet of 12x12 paper. Score points for efficiency.

The board comes with an instruction booklet that shows in pictures step-by-step how to correctly punch each letter. Score points for easy-to-understand directions.

My first project with the alphabet punch board was a banner for a baby shower. The size of the letters was perfect for the chalkboard banner pieces that I picked up from Target's Dollar Spot a while back. There were eight letters to cut and I decided ahead of time that if I couldn't master this punch board and accomplish 8 letters in less than thirty minutes, the board and I would be breaking up. 


Cutting all 8 letter took less than ten minutes total. Score points for not taking "too long" and being easy to master.

I found the slicing tool a little difficult to get the hang of. It's fumbly...after about three tries, I just started using scissors for those steps. I'm handy with scissors.

I asked the peas what they thought of this tool and their predominant thought was that it wasn't really designed for scrapbooking as the letters produced are really really large. 

The letters are indeed large but I don't think that precludes the alphabet board from being a scrapbooking tool. 

The peas also noted that with so many scrapbookers now having a variety of electronic cutters, the need for a product that cuts one font in one size seems like a throwback. I can agree with that...but for the price and convenience, and as someone who has yet to dive into the e-cutter world, I can still see it as useful.

So I Took it out for a spin and here's what I came up with:



Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate many layouts using the alphabet punch board on social media. I'll keep looking. There is one video by Shimelle aka GlitterGirl that shows her use of the board for a page. 

So now you know. 

Sidebar: in the second page, you can see the small Project Life card used as an embellishment. Copier. I made a color photocopy of a PL card and reduced it to 65%. Printing on textured Bazzill just makes my day. :)



Six Things about Right Now

Right now, today...
I am all about Six Awesome Things.

1. Lego Soap
Ok so, truthfully, Lego Soap isn't really a thing unless you visit a Hilton Garden Inn. I live with four men who range in age from 6 to 44. They all have a deeply-held life-long affinity for all things Lego. My nephew is the six year old. After a weekend away that included a stay at a Hilton Garden Inn, I brought home this mini soap and put it on the sink in my bathroom. A day or two later, I told G to go wash his hands and he said "Aunt Sarah, can I use your bathroom with the Lego soap?"

It took me a minute to understand that this--to him--looks like Lego soap.
I sincerely think Lego should get right on this new product line idea. Mothers of Lego lovers everywhere will one day thank me.

Until then, I'm booking regular stays at the Hilton Garden Inn to keep us well-stocked in would-be Lego soap.

2. Painted frames
I've been painting frames for a really long time and I must say...I love them. There are so many ways to use painted frames and new life can so easily be brought to a junky old frame with a simple coat of paint. 

I love this photo stolen from Pinterest. 


3. Joann Crafts
So there's a somewhat pitiful little Joann store very near my house. I venture over the occasionally and sometimes they have things worth noting for an avid crafter. I've shopped in the super Joann stores...and I miss that terribly (the nearest one is in Dallas). The one here is shines and new, just the smaller version of the flag stores. It's hard to go back to crackers once you've tasted the whole enchilada...but I digress.

My recent discoveries at Joann were twofold.
First, this greeted me at the door.


Yes, that's a rather nice assortment of fabric swatch books being clearances out for $5 each. Oh snap. How much fun am I going to have with a fabric swatch book! 

Secondly, is a magazine called "The Simple Things". It's published in London and I found it in the Joann Crafts in Dallas. I don't usually purchase magazines but I couldn't resist this one.

4. The West Wing Weekly Podcast!
I'm very late to the podcast party but I am catching up fast. Most recently, I am really enjoying The West Wing Weekly podcast. If you loved The West Wing, (and I do) you will love Joshua  Molina's weekly trips down the walk-and-talk corridors of the Bartlet administration. It's like having coffee with a dear old friend and realizing you still share the same loves after all these years.

5. Sangria Jelly from Annie Moo Moo's
At our local weekend farmers market last year, I happened upon Annie Moo Moo's, purveyor of delightful jams and jellies made right here in East Texas. Topping my list of fine indulgences is the Sangria jelly. Just go right on ahead and dump out the whole box of crackers on a plate because the Sangria Jelly on a lightly salted butter cracker will make your day...and if you don't have any crackers, just use a spoon. That's what I do. :)

6. Social Print Studio App and Photo Print Service
I accidentally ran across an app in the App store called Social Print Studio. If you love a high-quality photo printed on a soft matte paper in unique sizes and styles, this somewhat small San Francisco-based printer is just the right fit for you. And me. The app is so very user-friendly, uses the best packaging practices I have ever encountered and the quality of the prints is off the charts. I've been deeply dissatisfied with photo printing for many years...this is a game-changer.

So now you know...six things.


Water coloring in Cabo

 So one of the things I have always wanted to do finally got accomplished on the trip to Cabo back in March.

For years, I have entertained this romantic notion that painting on the beach using water collected from the ocean would make for a more enchanting rich painting. It just seems like such a "live right here in this moment" kind of activity...I have no idea why I put it off for so long. 

I packed a very small box of watercolor paints, some brushes and a pad of paper and took them along on this journey. 

Just be quiet and reverent.
Right there.
On the beach.
Put water to paper.
Add paint and watch it work.

So as it turns out, the water in the Sea of Cortez doesn't make me a better painter but it does lend itself quite nicely to water coloring in general. I sat right here and painted for a couple of hours and it was just as divine as I imagined it would be.


 Joal snagged cups of ocean water for me as needed and I sloshed paint about happily. It made for a quiet and restful, restorative day on the beach.

Ironically enough, I was so busy painting, I totally neglected to take a picture. 

I was totally caught up.
Which was kind of the point...but I do wish I had photos of it all.

Later in the evening, we went back to our room and I sat on the balcony (fifth floor) and painted up the last of the paper with the last of the ocean water. Next time I won't bother packing all the paints--just the blues and greens and I will take a ton more paper. I could have painted every day. 





There is no real capturing of the true beauty of the ocean and the beach. You never do it justice. Only catch a momentary glimpse.

It's ever changing.
And enchanting above all else.
It's life.


I Like the Sound of That

While Rascal Flats doesn't strike a chord with me very often, I do like this song--I thinks it's well-written and I like its little twists and turns. I mean how often does Justin Timberlake get a mention in a country song, right?

The premise of the song makes me smile so, of course, I made my own list of sounds associated with my love and turned it into a scrapbook page.  And it was a good spot to use this photo that I really like (in theory) despite its less-than-lovely composition. It was taken while we were in Cabo. Joal was leading a Sunday morning worship hour for our traveling companions and I was a really lazy photographer that day. 


One design note...this is a totally random occurrence but interesting, nonetheless. Three of the cards that I used to surround the photo came from the Project Life Honey Edition Core Kit designed by Lori Whitlock. And in a totally random twist, the wood grain arrow paper on the right border, which I think is reminiscent of the guitar, is a sheet from the All About a Boy line by Echo Park, also designed by Lori Whitlock!! 

She's a pretty busy scrapbook gal... Lori Whitlock! 


Happy Scrapping!