Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some of the Cards made for our WONDERFUL Teachers & EA's...

First, I wish to thank the following Teachers and Educational Assistants (EA's) for their dedication, care and for sharing their willingness to help and their wonderful attitudes toward learning:

Middle School: Candice, (Kate's awesome & caring teacher), Sheri (Bry's fabulous & fun teacher), plus Lauren, Suzanne, Danielle, Sandy, Jill and Lori, plus all the extra helpers day by day, and the phenomenal Office Staff at the Elementary School that Daniel and Noah attend.

Thank you to our careful and caring Bus Drivers, Cecil and Gordon. We appreciated all your help and patience as we learned a new system for helping keep our little man, Noah, safe on the Bus.

Thanks to EACH one of you. You are all VERY special people.

Enjoy your well-deserved summer break!

Here are a four of the cards made for these special folks! A few are a bit late and will be mailed!

Please note: The second and fourth cards here were designed with card sketches assigned to me by Sketch Artist and good friend Noella Arsenault for her sketch blog at:

Thanks for checking out the cards! They were so much fun to do!

Words that are inspiring to me...

Hi Everyone!

Happy Sunday! I have lots to share today!

Here's a sort of inspirational plaque I made to display on my wall. I got to do some floral cutwork, which I LOVE to do! And- I recycled a laminated item that I was not attached to as a wall decoration and inspirational piece.

In my life situation, this will be a very helpful "tool." These are the words that keep this STUBBORN woman, Mommy, wife, nurse (**GRIN**) going many days.

These are ALL quotes I love and refer back to... TY to Scrapbooker's Club House Design Team Member Laura for posting this as a quote challenge over at SBCH.


Flowers: Prima, and Prima Big Box Blooms (all SBCH)

Buttons, bling and other small embellies: Frenchy's, Wilmot, NS location

SmallBrads: American Traditional Designs

Large brads: Make it Special

Jewel brads: Karen Foster Designs (SBCH)

Background paper & floral PP info as follows:

Marianne Richmond Studios Inc; Scrapbooking Paper Block

sku#73152; ISBN# 158209700-3

(With a HUGE shout out & a big "THANK YOU" to my sister Mary for this gift!)

Quotes cut up from old Berlex Betaseron Injection Diary

Dye ink: Ink it up! ~Turquoise

White CS: DCWV

Podge! Gloss by Orient- 2 coats done w/ wide brush before ink dry to spread turquoise a bit...

CS flower centre "Maya Road" *TY Nic* then painted with teal Orient acrylic

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ocean, our dog,

barfed up a DINOSAUR this morning.

Yes, A Dinosaur!

Yup: RIGHT at bus time.

Noah's EA (Poor woman) witnessed the event, which thankfully took place out on the deck.

It was a Stegosaurus.

Be thankful you didn't have to clean up from THAT one!!!!! (Muttering away to myself... A DINOSAUR!! u have GOT to be kidding!!!!)

Good HEAVENS! OK: I have to do a RAK in honour of this STUNNING EVENT!!!

If you can figure out & tell me what this dinosaur "was," I will mail you a little PAK (Playful Act of Kindness) of goodies.

EXAMPLES: dinosaur pencil, dinosaur bracelet, dinosaur sunglasses, etc...

Leave your answer in the comments section and the winner will be contacted for your snail mail addy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Over at Scrapbooker'as Club House we are always trying to develop unique promotions to involve our members and guests in scrappy learning and fun! Here's what we've been up to!

We invited Carolyn Peeler to participate in a “Q&A Chat” at Scrapbooker’s Club House, and she accepted!!
Scrapbooker’s Club House will be posting the “Celebrity Question and Answer Chat” with Carolyn on June 25th, 2008.
That day, questions asked by scrapbookers are posted along with Carolyn’s thoughtful answers in an easy interview format that’s unique to Scrapbooker’s Club House. The Q&A Chat format at SBCH allows the interview to remain conveniently in place on our Forum for you to read, enjoy and refer back to at your convenience.

Pop on by the Club House on June 25th to learn more about this multi-talented Canadian scrapbook artist, writer, teacher and Senior Creative Director at Melissa Frances! Everyone is welcome to come and learn more about Carolyn, her inspiration and her art. Here’s the link where you can find the Celebrity Q&A Chat on June 25th…

You’ll also find the friendliest online community of scrap gals anywhere, so mark your calendar!

Come to Scrapbooker’s Club House for a visit and enjoy the Q&A Chat with this scrapbook celebrity. Feel welcomed and comfortable among friends: we know you’ll want to stay!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Noah and the Tulips 2006

This LO was done in response to a June challenge posted by Tammy over at SBCH. The layout is based on a sketch by Ally Cope of SoSketchy!

Supplies are as follows:

Noah & the Tulips '06
(SBCH June Sketch Challenge)
We've been doing these pics since he was just 1 y old, every Spring...
PP Fancy Pants "Ornamental" # 900 (SBCH)
CS: Wild Asparagus and Bazzill "Leapfrog"
Chipboard tree: RiffRaff (SBCH)Rubons: Basic Grey
Slide mount: from Rnd Robin PAK in '07 (TY Maggi)
Clear stickers of flowers and heart: TY to friend Marcia (RAK)
Lettering: Scarlett's Letter BasicGrey (SBCH) Red pen: American Crafts Slickwriter~(SBCH) Braid: V&S Dept Store
Vertical paper strip: scrap of "Jubilee Spearmint" (BasicGrey). Thanks for checking this out! Noah has sure grown up in the 2 years since these were taken... my loveable little boy...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

~Designing with Buttons~

Designing with Buttons~ A Technique Article

by Ali MacDonald

Buttons come in EVERY shape, size and colour. They can be funky or vintage, kiddie themed or pretty classy. I am ADDICTED to buttons! I have been asked a great number of questions about my buttons so I thought that writing an article addressing these questions would allow more of us to share in the wealth of fun that designing with buttons provides!

Sources of Buttons

I usually buy my buttons from a second-hand store where there is a HUGE button bin. The buttons are .35 cents per “packet.” The store puts the sets of buttons in little Ziplock bags and this is a “packet” that goes into the bin. There are 2 to 8 buttons in each one…The buttons sold this way are recycled from garments that were too damaged to be resold. One day I reached the cash with about $11.00 worth of “button treasure” in hand. The cashier looked at me questioningly- she thought I would balk and return them to the bin as she added them up, but I “needed” every single button I had chosen!

I also occasionally purchase buttons that I just LOVE online. Here are some that are fun, available at  Savvy n Sassy!

Have a look at these 2 scoop buttons! In "Sugarplum" no less!

In the past, Ebay has been a treasure trove of button buys for me. A year ago I bought HORSE buttons for my daughter Kate, who rides.

Choosing Buttons

I was always drawn to the larger buttons because of the visual impact they made, but I quickly learned that the larger buttons are not quite as useful on layouts! When choosing your buttons, be sure to pick out a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, but don’t buy too many large ones. Smaller buttons are very useful in creating the button clusters I have developed as part of my style, so I’m always sure to pick up smaller ones when I see a packet I like. Tiny buttons are useful as well. Be sure to keep some on hand. Buttons with shanks on the reverse are fine; they can easily be removed, so no worries!

Clear buttons will allow the colour of your cardstock to show through while adding dimension.

Neutral colours look especially nice together, as you can see in the "Thanks" card above left. This card was created using a sketch by Noella Arsenault, whose sketch Blog can be found here:  The sketch Blog us now called "Sketches: Creatively Yours" and is located at:
Noella is our Guest Sketch Artist this month!

So, remember that:
  • Neutrals are handy.
  • Clear buttons add dimension.
  • Variety in colour and shape is good.
  • Buy large buttons in moderation!
  • Shanks are fine: can be removed.
  • You can never have enough small buttons!
Button Storage

To store my buttons: I repurposed a veggies/dip container from a major chain grocery store and use it to sort my buttons and keep them in. I sort it by metallic buttons, coloured buttons, blingy buttons, and neutral shades (including my wooden ones). You could also sort by size. My button container is shown above!
I like this container because it's clear: I can see what I have. It’s also large enough for me to run the buttons through my hands when searching for ‘the one’ I need.

EDITED April 2010:  I also use a variey of clear glass containers (square jars) and I sort the buttons in those by colour. Clear buttons have a square jar as well.
Preparing Buttons for Use
The buttons with shanks are easy to prepare for use. Use a tool called side cutters (a type of pliers) to nip off the shanks. Be careful when doing this as the shank sometimes flies off with some velocity. Use safety glasses or cover the item with a piece of cardstock when nipping off the shanks.
Affixing buttons to a layout is easy. First decide on positioning, then apply a mini Glue Dot to the reverse of your button. I sometimes use 2 mini Glue Dots for this if the button is large. I buy all my Glue Dots from  a scrappy store.

Design Inspiration and Samples

  • Buttons can become flowers, balloons, snowmen, planets, and wheels. Great fun on kids’ layouts!
  • Adding buttons to chipboard trees as fruit will add an unexpected colour accent.
  • For a relaxed country look, run floss through the buttonholes, tie a tiny knot and leave the floss poking up.
  • Frame a photo with buttons. It’s eye-catching & looks very “rich.”
  • Vintage buttons used as accents look right at home on heritage-style layouts.
  • Use buttons on handmade cards to add a bit of flair.
  • A button border makes a visually punched-up page accent.

  • Doodling around your buttons is fun and looks awesome! Below, I used white & black Uniball Signo Gel Pens for an amazing effect!
  • Another idea shown on this layout is to start a cluster of buttons just inside the edge of a journaling block to add punch and pizazz…

Buttons help make a statement here, placed along the edges of a photo and a journaling block. Note the mixture of button sizes and tones of the grey & charcoal.
You can make an altered item POP with a button cluster! This altered file folder stays on my desk, and is used for my promotional work. Now it's super-pretty !
  • Apply a big button as a flower centre and it's a HIT: Bull's-Eye! You could change the look of the flower by using a big pale pastel button, as I did here, or a darker- toned button instead.You could even use a cluster of tiny pale buttons as the flower centre!

    • Button Clusters

      You can also make a button cluster as an embellishment right on your page. Creating these clusters is my passion! Here's what I do...

      I add button clusters once all other elements including my journaling are completed. I use buttons in the same colour family as the tones in my LO. I gather a big pile of buttons I think will “work well” together and not take attention away from the photo(s) on the layout. I place these on my work area. Using good lighting, I begin placing the buttons on the layout. I choose a spot that “needs” a little something, and go from there.
      To me, individual buttons are not the accent here, the "Button Cluster" itself is.
      To decide where the buttons “fit” in the cluster, I push them around, reposition and fiddle with the choices available. I push aside buttons that don’t “work.” Once I am satisfied that I have the cluster arranged just as I want it, I adhere the buttons as described above.
      A button cluster also adds punch to the colours in your patterned paper, as seen in the two layouts below.

      I love the "feel" of these Button Clusters... they're like smooth river stones when you run your hand over them. Can you tell I'm a texture-loving person?
      In the "Stunner" LO below, I used a dark plum-toned button as the flower centre and a blend of dark and light buttons in the cluster. It really "works!" By the way, this is my daughter Kate.

      You can even blend button clusters with pretty brads, like the bright floral ones seen here from Queen and Co.
      Do YOU have buttons needing a “home?” Embellish a layout or card with them. As you’ve seen, designing with buttons can add an unexpected touch of fun, class or colour to your paper-arts.
      Let the versatility of buttons amaze and inspire you!

      A FINAL NOTE!! 
      RAK for SnS and SOS girls!!!
      There's still time to enter!!!! 
      Thanks SO MUCH  for popping by!
      Please leave a comment telling me what you thought of this article... and what other techniques you'd like to learn more about.
      If you leave me a note telling me what you liked about this article, or how you'd suggest improving it, and saying that you came to visit my Blog from Savvy 'n Sassy  OR from Sisterhood of Scrap, I will  DRAW one NAME from all the SnS gals' comments and ONE NAME from all the SOS gals' comments  at MIDNIGHT  AST Sunday  April 25th, 2010, and send the winners each a little giftie!!!!!!!  So be sure to leave a li'l comment!
       xoxo & ((HUGZ)) ~ Ali

      Thursday, June 5, 2008

      A Fun Mini-Album...

      This mini-album is created from photographs taken of Noah and me by Pete in May 2007 for the cover of Exceptional Family magazine (CANADIAN!) What a joy that photo shoot was. I was just out of the hospital after being in (over Mother's Day) for 3 days... such a relief for THIS nurse to be outdoors with my "baby" and Pete. I think the photos show we were BOTH feeling the love, LOL!

      The paper used here is purple Bazzill Cardstock and Basic Grey patterned paper from the LilyKate collection.

      EF Editor Aviva Engel chose the final shot where Noah is looking down at the tulips as the cover of the Summer 2007 issue of the magazine. Here's where you can find EF and even read some story and article excerpts:
      Please do consider a subscription if you are the parent, grandparent, teacher, EA or friend of a child with special cognitive or physical needs. The link to Exceptional Family's homepage is on the right------->

      This album was created using the SIMPLE, photo-illustrated instructions posted for the "Easiest Mini-Album Ever" by Scrapbooker's Club House Design Team member Mara Campbell, right here: Thanks Mara!

      Tuesday, June 3, 2008

      Card published!

      My name "came up" and Sketch Artist Becky Fleck asked me to do a card for her June 2008 {Cardmaps} newsletter based on a sketch she provided.

      TY for looking and for your input on this creation!

      Appears in June 2008 Pagemaps {Cardmaps} Newsletter

      Patterned Paper: Filly by Moxxie, Basic Grey "Infuse" collection, Cactus pink "Candi" collection (Jelli Beans #2006). Lettering by Scenic Route.

      All supplies came from the Scrapbooker's Club House store.