A Happy Birthday GIVEAWAY!!!


Happy happy birthday to the Cut Shoppe!! Each of the members of the Design Team are giving away one of our favourite cut files so make sure you visit the other blogs too!  Plus, there's a coupon code for today and tomorrow only TCSBDAY1

It was really hard for me to choose which cutfile to give away but I ended up going with the very first one I ever used, before I was even on the design team.  I don't think it will surprise any one who knows me even in the least that I'm choosing this oldie, but goodie, with a TARDIS!!!

Hey-who-girl(this layout is a scraplift from Wilna Furstenburg)



The Geeked Out cut file, consists of 4 SciFi themed icons, that can be used on your scrapbooking and papercrafting projects.


It's called GEEKED OUT, awesome right? 

To win all you need to do is:

1.  Sign up to my email list (you'll get a free class!) over in the side bar on the right :D

2. comment below with either your favourite Doctor Who Episode, or if you aren't a Doctor Who fan, well, sorry but we can't be friends!  
Haha, just kidding but seriously go watch it!! (the girl in the fireplace or the one with Van Gogh will get you hooked for sure!) but in the meantime you can tell me your favourite cutfile from the Cut Shoppe instead.

The giveaway will close Tuesday, midnight pacific. :D

To see the other giveaways, visit the other design team members' blogs:

Sheri Twing
Gina Lideros
Kat Benjamin
Tarrah McLean


And here are a few of the layouts that I've made with other cut files from The Cut Shoppe. 




Studio refresh - come and play!


I've done a few improvements to my studio to not only make 'play' time run more smoothly, but also to display and store projects, both finished and in the works.

I make quite a few projects but then I find that they get stored away in an album (ahem after sitting in a stack for way tooooo long) and they don't get seen.  So, after being inspired by Paige Evan's I set up a layout wall, but as you can see I'm having trouble keeping them on my wall! A little more mac tack should do the trick :D


 As far as mini albums are concerned, I bought these shelves to display them ages ago! It took my 13 year old son to figure out how to drill holes into the cement wall and get them installed!

There are a few project kits and half finished mini books and things from various workshops I've taken.  This little cart below the shelves is perfect for those.  Oh look there's that stack of finished layouts waiting to be stored in an album :D 


Below are 2 Alex drawer units from IKEA stacked on top of one another.  I didn't bother with the wheels and this way they make a nice chest of drawers.  It sits right behind my desk so that it's in easy reach.  The drawers are shallow and are perfect for layouts and projects in progress.  The Cath Kidston bowls on top hold mostly die cuts but also enamel dots and little pretty bags and envelopes.  I have a recycle bin on the floor on the left and a box on the right for paper that I am no longer using so that I can give it away.


Here are some of the drawers open (the neater ones!) My memory keeper is in the top one and  everyday (or almost!), I write a little blurb about each day, and I write it right in the drawer!  It's the perfect height to stand and write, simple, fast and easy!

So those are the improvements I've made recently, thanks to Catherine my trusty sidekick and second pair of hands!  They seem small but they have made a HUGE difference in my studio, especially in being able to keep it tidy.  I no longer have half finished projects all over my desk.  They are stored away neat and tidy, but at the same time not tucked away so much that I forget about them.

You can see more photos of my studio HERE.

What are your favourite parts about your creative space?

Are you able to truly tell your stories? A storyteller's tale.


I’m participating in a Blog Link-up with Kris (With a K), from www.withakwriting.com, because she wants to hear about the role writing plays in our businesses.

She is giving a Writing Workshop for entrepreneurs and bloggers, starting May 25th,  and she wants to give away a scholarship to one of the lovely bloggers who participate in this link up. You can participate and get a chance to win too.

Just copy and paste this piece of text into the introduction of your blog post answering the question, “How has writing been beneficial to your business, and what do you want to Craft with your Voice next?” Link back to this post, so any of your friends who are entering will be able to find it for more info.

Finally, go back to Kris’s blog on or after May 12th to add your link to the link-up party there, and you could win a scholarship to her new course: Craft Your Voice. She’ll be drawing a name on the 18th of May for a full scholarship to the 6 week writing course, so you can write and link-up your post any time before then.


The first time I met up with Kris in August, it was more like meeting up with an old friend rather than someone who I had only recently met online.  She is a wonderful storyteller as well, and we chatted for hours telling stories.  Stories deepen our relationships with one another because we really get to know someone, really know who they are on a deeper level, through sharing their life stories, both big and small.

As I venture into a new 'BIG' Adventure (more details coming soon!), I want to be able to not only use storytelling in my writing as I teach classes, but also to teach others to tell their stories and understand how important their stories truly are.  

I also want my voice to help craft new relationships as I teach.  As a great story captures your attention from the start, draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat, I want my teaching voice to do the same.  I would love to bring more energy and flare to my storytelling both in the stories I tell in my scrapbooks, but also as I teach my classes.

Are you a storyteller?  What stories do you love to tell?  Please share in the comments!


How you can make paper lace and doilies with your Silhouette


I used these fantastic digital lace edge fonts from creationcassel.com with my Silhouette to make these fun doilies and lace.  The lace border gave this card an elegant feel.


I bet you are asking why don't I just use a store bought doily?  Well, with these fonts I can chose my own design from a large range and without having to buy an entire package of the same design and I can make it any size I want.  Also, those store bought doilies are thin and flimsy and with these fonts I can add stitching holes to a nice sturdy piece of cardstock and stitch a border.  See this previous post to learn how to add stitching holes.


Store bought doilies and lace are usually white, but with these fonts I can chose any colour I want, like this mint for example :D



Some helpful tips:
*Use upper case versions of the fonts, they will cut easier.
*They take a while to cut, so be patient, it's worth the wait.
*Use the toggle button on your Silhouette to get the design to wrap around a circle to make a doily.
*Some of the designs are more intricate than others so they are a bit harder to cut out, so if you want to use one of these, then make sure you enlarge it.

Now, what are you waiting for?  Hurry and grab a set today and get cutting :D

Lace Edge fonts

My views on the Fun Planner Trend :D

It's important to realise that each group is completely different and has their own reasons for owning and using a planner and that not any one group is any better than any of the others.  We are all different and we all need and love different things in planners as in any other things in life :D  I don't think that we can compare one with the others and that they are 3 very separate groups.

Now where do I fit in this list? ;) If you know me well, you know that I love to plan.  I NEED and LOVE to have a plan for any project big and small, so I am definitely in the first category.  I've been using a planner for as long as I can remember, since my mom gave me a free one she got when she bought her Christmas cards when I was 8 or 9. HOWEVER, I am a papercrafter, scrapbooker and memory keeper!  So decorating a planner is fun for me.  But, I don't decorate my everyday-plan-my-life planner.  I do add fun cards, clips etc, but the pages are pretty plain.  Just a bunch of pencilled lists and notes.

I like to decorate my Memory Planner, which I'm using more like Project Life.


I'm participating in a Listers Gotta List challenge on instagram, but that's more like a scrapbook than a planner anyway :D


So there you have it!  Now, where you do fit in?  If you would like to be more of a life-long planner, but can't seem to get a planner to work for you, please check out my Practically Perfect Planner class.  I will help you discover what you really need from a planner first, before choosing which planner you will use.  And it will be a planner that works the way you need it to work :D Registration closes Saturday, May 2 at midnight Pacific so hurry and grab your spot!! Extended one day!! Sunday May 3 at midnight!



Tips to help you prepare for your next class or event


So I'm going to Version Scrap in Paris in 2 days and I am so giddy!! I'm taking classes from Debby Schuh and Ali Edwards.  I've just finished packing and I realised that I've got it down to a system and I'm pretty good at it ;)

Here are some tips to help you pack for your next class or event so that you are prepared and organised without overpacking but are ready to scrapbook!

I'm packing a lot of my stuff in a Cath Kidston bag, jsut for Debby ;)


If you are taking multiple classes with very different supply lists, then pack a different bag for each class.  For example if you are taking one class that has a lot of messy paints and inks, keep them in a separate bag from your paper trimmer and crop-a-dile for that next, less messy class.

Better yet, if you can, try and schedule all the messy classes on one day and the more paper-only classes on another.  We did this a few years ago, we took all of Donna Doney's classes on one day and Debby Schuh's the next to minimise the amount of things we needed to bring each day.

Don't over pack.  If you feel like you'll want to add your own embellishments in addition to the supplies that are included in the kit, wait until you get home. Otherwise you'll have to bring a tonne of stuff to make sure you have enough choice.  Am I right? ;)

If the teacher asks you to prepare things before hand, make sure you do it.  Even if you end up not finishing the project and you feel like that prep could have been done afterwards, do it beforehand anyway!  I find that I make more effort to finish a project if I've put a lot of work into it before hand, like priniting photos.

Here are all my photos and notes for the Day in the Life that I documented for Ali's class.  It's all tucked into one of my take along memory keepers.  and see that cute little Paris tag, it's from the Cut Shoppe!


Since I'll be out of the country, I won't have much access to internet, but when I do I'll be posting photos to Instagram, you can follow me here!

5 awesome cool things that you didn't know your Silhouette could do :D


1. Did you know that included in the free cutfiles that come with your Silhouette there is one to help you customise your control panel?



2.  If you use scraps on your mat to cut out different colours for your design you can not only use up your scraps instead of a new sheet of cardstock, you can also cut all of the pieces at once so that you don't have to keep coming back to cut each individual colour.


cutfile from the Cut Shoppe

3.  Have you noticed this funny little hole on your Silhouette?  At first I thought it was just a place to hold the ratchet-y thing that you use to change the blade setting.  but it just kept falling off and getting lost and then I may or may not have used my teeth to change the blade setting ;)  Recently I found out that it actually is a built-in ratchet!  Wow, do my teeth feel stupid ;)


4. Did you ever have a cutfile you loved but it was just a little too thick or too thin?  Or maybe you wanted to mat it with another cut?  I've tried to adjust images and text before by changing the size, but the dimensions were still too thick or thin. And when I tried to mat things this way the images or text didn't line up.  I just discovered the Offset function! It's fantastic for making things the thickness you want or adding mats!

I love taking cutfiles from the Cut Shoppe and making them really big, but I find they get too thick, so I love to use the Offset function to thin them out and make them look their best.


5.  I recently posted this layout where I used my Silhouette to make the holes for the stitching.  I thought I could use one of the dotted lines in the Line Style function, but they were too 'dash-y' and I needed holes.  A quick google search turned up a tutorial by Corri Garza that showed me how to run a text along the outside of my cutfile, a text with only periods that would then be just a bunch of circles.


Let's talk about Planners!! - the Paperclipping Roundtable


You can listen to us here!



I thought I'd share some photos of my planner :D



It's a faux-dori, or more specifically a fab-dori (made from fabric) and I got it from Cake Paperie on etsy :D  It came with a plain elastic but I added some ribbons and a Tardis charm to make the cover a bit prettier.  There's still a bit of elastic on the back so that it's easy to open.


There are 4 elastics inside to hold my books and right now I have a take along, and 3 moleskines. The take along is for my trip to Paris in a couple of weeks, one moleskine is for planning my days and household stuff and another is for projects, blog posts, and other ideas I have for products and classes.  The last one is empty but I'd like to use it to document fun things the children say and do. I covered the moleskines with patterned papers in my favourite colours and everything I add makes me smile.


And of course, what kind of planner girl would I be if I didn't plan for the recording ;) Here are my notes.  And even though I don't usually add things to my pages, I felt I should decorate these pages :D  I save the page decorating for my Heidi Swapp memory planner.


Thanks Noell and Izzy for inviting me, I had so much fun!
Paperclipping Roundtable

27 Ways you can use one of my Take Along memory keepers



As a Scrapbook:
These little books make great mini albums.  You can document as you go and the book can act as the scrapbook.  Or it can be the holding place for your notes, photos and memorabilia until you get a chance to scrapbook it.


Use one to document:

1.  a small event.
2.  a baby's birth story.
3.  a milestone birthday.
4.  a milestone anniversary
5.  a child's milestone.
6.  any theme.
7.  cute things your children or grandchildren say.
8.  day in the life or week in the life. aliedwards.com
9.  a trip.

10. Or give one to a child to use as a scrapbook.

As a Planner:
I love to use a Take Along to plan things, one time events as well as my everyday life.  It's ever so practical :D


 Use one to plan:

11. a small event.
12. a trip.
13. a scrapbook.
14. any project.

15. Use one to try something new before committing to it in your daily planner.
16. They are perfect to keep papers and things as a holding place if your daily planner is too big to take along with you.
17. They make a pretty addition to your midori, fauxdori or traveller's notebook :D 


As a Journal:
The Take Along books are great multi-media, multi-purpose journals. Lots of room to write, but the pockets and the photo album to make it all the more rich.


Use one as:

18. your daily journal.
19. an art journal.
20. a prayer journal.
21. a pregnancy journal.

As a gift:
Do you know someone who loves to papercraft?  Or maybe someone who you think might like it?  Give them a Take Along as a little present :D


22. Give an empty one to a scrapbooker, planner girl or any paper crafter.
23. Give one to a child going on a trip or staying away from home, especially if the child will be staying away from you.
24. Give one to someone who you'd like to turn into a scrapbooker, planner girl or paper crafter.  They make a wonderful 'gateway drug'!
25. Fill one with advice for a new mother and give it to her for her baby shower.  Better yet, take a blank one to the shower with cards that fit the photo pockets (or any of the pockets) and let the other guests write their advice.
26. You could do the same thing for a bridal shower. :D
27. Send someone one as a 'happy mail.'  Write a nice letter in the journal part, add some photos and papercrafting goodies in the pockets and make someone's day when they open their mailbox!


So, what are you waiting for? ;) Make yourself a Take Along today, or grab one in my etsy shop.  If you don't have my free class, you can sign up in the little green tag right below!

How you can make your own Adventures in your Everyday Life


Get your FREE Adventure Generator at Sarashotts.com :D

The children decided to create treasure maps for each other, they went all around the house and yard sticking up clues and maps leading each other to the treasure.  They had great fun!  Join, click of the image here:


I used random.org to choose my pages and determine my adventure!


I used a tip from my friend Richelle from theredscorpio.com and used one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine.

Here are a few of the maps and clues they made:



Here are the children enjoying their 'treasure' - Cookies in a GOLDEN tin :D