Sunday, March 29, 2009

Web Favorites

When we woke up to 13 cm of new snow this morning, I figured it would be a bit of a lazy stay-at-home sort of day. Later when Sam was napping and Grayson and Shane were out shoveling snow and having snowball fights, I actually had a little bit of me-time to surf the web. I found a few things worth sharing.

Bazzil Matchmaker
- Bazzill Basics Paper has done the work for us and matched up their cardstock to coordinate with patterned paper by other design firms like Basic Grey, Cosmo Cricket, Fancy Pants, Making Memories and Piggy Tales to name a few. What a great time-saver to know what solid colors of your favorite cardstock would coordinate with a line of PP.

As a Fiskateer I like to check out the Fiskars website every once in a while for ideas and inspiration. Today I noticed that the new season of Fiskars TV has started. There is a cute new set (check out the IKEA kitchen rail organizer in the background, just like I mentioned in this post a few weeks ago!) and all new ideas. I especially liked the March 13 webisode about spring squeeze punches and got a few new ideas for using not only the Fiskars punches, but any type of shaped punch in a new way. I think I may have to get the new butterfly punch - it's so very cute! Don't forget to enter for the prize at the end of each webisode.

While trying to create a flow chart for my Library of Memories System, I was introduced via the class message board to, a web based brainstorming program. If you have ever used Inspiration or Kidspiration mind-mapping software you'll be familiar with the type of program. If not, check it out - start by typing in an idea, concept or subject, click on the tab button and a new little bubble will automatically be created. Very cool for creating visual projects or for just organizing your thoughts.

Let's Explore
is a great website that features a shop full of cool and unusual items for pre-schoolers, and a great blog that is regularly updated with fun and educational projects. This post inspired me to use some of my scrapbooking materials to create a bunch of pre-cut shapes for Grayson to use in his collages (or his "scrapping work" as he calls it!) We have been practicing cutting shapes and along lines, but he loves to glue and make pictures with shapes, so having a tray of pre-cut shapes will make it easier for him to get right with the gluing. I love the ideas here...great for developing skills as well as keeping him occupied and focused (and quiet!) during Sam's nap times.

And finally, a non-crafty site - the Family Manager. I had picked up a book at the library called "The Family Manager Takes Charge" and I liked some of the ideas the author Kathy Peel had about creating routines and a "control central" space so your family can be more organized. All the forms you could want in order to stay organized can be found on her website and are free to download. I think I will be adding some to my own household notebook.

What a nice way to spend a little bit of downtime...just getting some good new ideas and being able to share them with all of you!

Back later this week with some new projects and layouts I hope!

Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where's Noreen?

Wow...I have been MIA for 2 weeks. Inexcusable. That's just bad form in the blog-o-sphere. My apologies.

All I can offer as an explanatnion is that I have been thinking about what purpose this blog vs. my website has and where I want to go with each of those entities. A couple of weeks ago I spent a lot of time changing my blog. And although I liked the end result, it really is a duplication of the website in a lot of ways. SO I took a step back and have been thinking about the Sharing Memories "brand" and what I want it to be. I want Sharing Memories to be an educational site where people can come for ideas and information, as well as a portal to the other aspects of my business...selling products and services. But I want my blog to be a personal place...a place where I get to share my funny stories about my boys or post the odd layout or photo or craft that I complete. I don't want or need to have the same tone, content or information as the website has.

So, please excuse me for a few days more as I re-do (or perhaps UN-DO?) the blog design to better reflect me personally.

In the meantime, I am heading over to the website right now to post two long overdue page plans. And check out my post on a new WAHMsPage blog, featuring 100 WAHM bloggers.

Happy Scrapping!

PS...I can't wait to share more about my LOM class, the status of my Project 365 and some other layouts I have been working on! Soon, I promise!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


It seems I am doing a lot of updating around here today... my blog and website, my flickr Project 365 gallery, the boys closets as they outgrow their clothes, my menu plans etc. I think I chose the word updating instead of organizing because I am merely going back to tweak a system or project I already have in place. Take my menu plans...I compiled and organized them about a year ago in preparation of having two kids around the house. Most worked, but some didn't and I wrote notes to that effect on the meal plans themselves. Now I find it quite easy to go back into my meal plan folder, update the menu, recipe or shopping list and print out a new copy. I like updating - you get the same feeling of accomplishment as a bigger organizing project but without as much work!

I found these super cute kitchen helpers

in the dollar section of Michael's the other day and they have cheered up my refrigerator door immensely - I love the bright citrus colors! The pic is not great, but there is a weekly menu planner notepad, a to-do list style of notepad and some great little glass magnets. And I also got a recipe box, recipe cards and a coupon organizer to match.

I really like things to match. Go ahead and call me anal, it's OK. Cute and cheap eh? A few bucks is all it takes to make my day!

I will be spending some time after lunch today "updating" my LOM system...I am still sorting and placing things into the category drawers that I set up last week. I love using this handy dandy portable office (AKA clipboard!) for my LOM lessons. Stacy sent it to all of us before class started and I altered it with some fun paper and rub-ons. It brightens my day and helps to keep me focused.

Since I am pulling and sorting some photos, I hope to also do a paper/printed photo layout later's been too long!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Did you ever have a Polaroid camera? One that spat out pictures thick with emulsion that you watched develop right before your very eyes? I did, and I loved it. I actually still have it boxed up for posterity. I heard recently that although the iconic instamatic camera is long gone, Polaroid is coming out with the first ever digital instant camera called the PoGo which is due out in June of this year. Looks interesting.

Until I get to try it for myself, I'll content myself with this online version I stumbled across - THE POLADROID PROJECT. It's really fun and really easy- download the program onto your desktop and then click and drag a favorite photo "into" the camera. It makes a realistic noise, spits out the photo and you get to watch it develop. The result is a digital version of a polaroid, complete with a thick looking pic and the trademark white border. Cool!

So, I loaded this photo of the boys:

and ended up with this (It's a little hard to see on this white background)

Cool eh? Of course I had to continue playing with it so I Poladroid-ed two more pics and made a digi layout with the resulting jpgs.

"Oh Brother", Digital Layout by Noreen Smith. Storybook Creator Plus software and Best Buds digital kit. Journaling reads: "I grew up as an only child, but I always wished I had a sister or brother, so I am so happy that the two of you will grow up together. Sure, you'll have your fights, differences of opinions and squabbles. But you'll also always have each other to lean on, laugh with and love. You are precious gifts to daddy and I and to each other."

You can make up to 10 Poladroids with the program, then apparently you have to re-download the program to do more (I'm unsure why, but...). It was lots of fun and very different to work with photos this way! I did a digi layout because my workspace is still a mess, but it would be fun to print these out and actually write on them like I used to do with the real ones! Either way, it sure felt great to create again!

Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Does organizing count as creativity?

Remember a few posts ago when I said I have a tendancy to put too many things on my plate? Well, my plate now overfloweth!

Oy...since pledging to do the Creativity Project I have had the best of intentions but I have so much (physical) stuff in the way. I have had to step back in order to move, sort, purge, build and containerize a lot of my stuff before I can actually create anything. I read Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey's book The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker last year, and THOUGHT I got everything organized, but it turns out it wasn't the right system for me. So I re-read portions of the book and I think I am on to something now. Wendy, Aby and Stacy Julian all maintain you can only scrap in the way you are organized (which I thought was mostly in regards to photos and the Library of Memories system) and this really refers to the way all aspects of your scrapooking hobby are organized. I have realized a few things about myself and this hobby:

  • I like everything to be neat and tidy and away behind closed doors, but easily visible once I open the door/drawer.
  • I like things to be labelled.
  • I like things to match or blend.
  • I like drawers more than bins or boxes.
  • I think and create based on color.
  • I haven't been able to make connections with my photos because of the way they were previously organized.
  • I like to have my tools etc. close at hand.
  • I need to clear my scrap table at the end of each session...otherwise I don't know where I am at the next time I sit down.
  • I need good light.
  • I need a good chair.
  • I want to have my layouts and albums more accessible to family and friends.
  • I like to have my family around when I scrap rather than being alone.
  • I don't like visual clutter.

So instead of creating I have been engaged in organizing. I hope that's creative enough for this week! I have seen a few scrap spaces and places that have inspired me:

Monica's "scrapcave" - I think she and I are the same person...I have the Ikea Kitchen ready to be mounted and the Making Memories tool caddy is always on my desk!

Robyn's studio - I can't believe she has got this all sorted out within a few days of moving! I LOVE the blackboard/cork board and want one just like it!

Leah's space - fresh and lovely, just like her!

Shannon's scrap room
- a fun little video with great storage ideas.

Candice's small space - I love the black, white and red color scheme and here is where I first saw the idea of using the IKEA kitchen rails.

Paula's office and scrap room - great 6 part, detailed post with lots of photos.

I will have to take and post some photos of MY scrap space as soon as it is re-done (I think I have promised this before? Hmmm....have to do something about that!!!)

Anyway, I have made enormous progress with my photos - printed and digital - for LOM. I think I am close to being able to pull photos and put them into my category drawers...something I am so excited about because I think this will be a key to scrapping much more authentic and meaningful layouts. I still need to send a few hundred digital photos to be printed and then pop them into my storage albums, but I am getting there!

Here's hoping the creating will actually start soon!

Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Page Plan #1

Here we are - drum roll please! The first Page Plan for the blog!

This will be a regular feature on for new plans each week! (FYI...I have posted many Page Plans on my website in the past 8 months, so I will move them over to the blog bit by bit.)

For today, here is a great plan that uses four 3 x 3 square photos, as well as a wrap-around title and a journaling tag or spot.

I would love to see your version of this layout if you try it out. Send me a pic or a link!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, March 2, 2009

New look

We are all still sick around here, so I spent a good portion of the day on the couch with my computer (or my kids!) on my lap. I have been thinking about doing a blog update, both in look and purpose, and today seemed like a golden opportunity to get started on it.

You may have visited my website - - which I started earlier this year to provide a place to share tips and techniques about scrapbooking. As great as it has been, the platform that hosts it is a bit cumbersome and it takes me way longer to add pages to it than it does to update my blog. So I have been investigating some blog templates that will allow me to do what I envision for this blog - sketches, challenges, product sales, articles, tutorials and lots of tips and techniques. Hopefully this will work as planned...if not, you'll see another change in look and style down the road!

I feel like I have been involved in creating all day today. I love working on the computer to design and build and learn. So, day 2 of the Creativity Project actually was very productive!

More to come...

Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yuck. Yay!

YUCK...I am feeling so yucky today. This past last week I have been fighting a nasty bout of sinusitis. I thought it was getting a little better, but last night both Grayson and Sam were restless and awake needing my attention so I got about 3.5 hours sleep total. Needless to say I woke up with another wicked sinus headache, massive congestion and a sore throat. So I spent most of the day on the couch in PJ's and sweats, while Shane played Cars Bingo and Wii with Grayson. I grabbed a nap whenever I could and had lots of tea and honey. But of course I still had to cook, clean up the dishes and feed Sam. Mom's never get a chance to get properly sick, do we? to bed in a few minutes hoping for a better sleep tonight.

But there were bright spots in the day...YAY! The first day of March came in like a lamb...and I am so glad that Spring is on its way in just a few more weeks! We have had snow on the ground this winter since mid-November and we're sick of it.

My March card for Christmas Cards All Year Round was posted today along with the other cards by the design team. In honor of St. Patricks Day this month, the challenge was to do an almost all green card featuring some sort of leaf. Super cute, and always a thrill to see my work posted online.

Creative Memories launched their new line of scrappy goodness today...OMG the new baby line is so precious! And the new puzzle maker punch will be lots of fun. (You can see all the new products here.) And their new Project Centre has some great ideas in it too...inspiring!

My Creativity Project got off to a slow start today...the extent of my creativity was lying on the couch and reading a few scrapping blogs and the new Creating Keepsakes magazine. I also did some sketches for my website, but I'll have to finish one off and post it tomorrow. I wanted to get a layout done for my LOM assignement this week which is to scrap a least common layout...that is, scrapbook something you don't normally scrap about. I have some ideas but they will have to wait a day or two as well until I am fully up and around.

Hope to feel better tomorrow and do something fun.

Happy Scrapping,