Thursday, August 28, 2008

A book review...

This "Minibooks" ebook, published by Scrapscene is wonderful! I was so excited when Angie asked me to provide a review.

I devoured the book in ONE sitting and will definitely be referring to it again and again. There are the most wonderful project ideas tucked inside! I will be trying a couple of them soon.

Everyone ought to have a copy for their scrappy library!!! Go on, check it out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Love U 4ever & Always" and a Scrappy Tip!

A close-up of my mini envelope: There is a note inside for the children.

This is a layout done for a challenge over at Scrapbooker's Club House, from Lee, our August Guest Design Team Member~! Thanks for the challenge, Lee! Here's the link to it: Come on over, have a visit, and try it! So friendly there!

My paper-pieced item is a tiny scallop edged anvelope hand cut from a scrap of Shabby Princess patt paper using a traced Hugh Lauder template. Scored (for folding) using the CM Multipurpose tool.

Silver gel pen called a "Crystal Twist Metallic" by Geddes was used to decorate the envelope's scalloped edge.

Brocade and velvet ribbon in soft icecream colours was also used (velvet: Basic grey, brocade: Unknown.)
Paper for envelope is Shabby Princess, glued to scrap of pale yellow cardstock before cutting out.
Butterflies were punched from scraps of paper using a paper from Regal Gifts. American crafts Sickwriter in Chestnut was used to draw make the butterfly "trails." I JUST LOVE having this colour on hand, use it all the time! Available at SBCH store...
Striped ribbon at bottom of page, and dk rose velvet rick-rack are from BasicGrey's "Urban Couture" collection...
Big number "4" is from BasicGrey Scarlet's Letter Monogram set.
"LoveU" title lettering: Clod 9 Designs- chocolate Chalet cardstock letter stickers.
"Always" stamp: 7Gypsies, inked with Khaki Green Dye ink by "Ink it up!"The word "ever" is done with BasicGrey lettering, "Fusion" collection.Fuschia coloured CS: Die Cuts With a View
Peach CS: Bazzill
Yellow CS: Bazzill large scrap
Red squares patt paper~ Unkn, large scrap
Small scalloped edge done with Fiskars "Threading water" punch
Circle punch: Darice
Corner Rounder: CM

SCRAPPY TIP for a FUN and EASY Border~
The large scalloped edge was simply traced on the cardstock using a Border Buddy template, then cut out by hand.
Next, a 1/4" circle hole punch (by Darice) was used to add a hole in the centre of each big scallop. This made it "look" less solid and more lacy. :o)
The chestnut American Crafts Slickwriter was used to doodle circular accents along border's edge. There: a FUN and EASY border!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A "Creatively Yours" Card: with FRINGE!!

Creatively Yours: Sketches by Noella is a fave place of mine. The sketches there are "da bomb." Noella has done it again!! She created a fab sketch for us all to try! It's perfectly square. I found this one a challenge for some reason. Good to stretch the mojo a bit. Above is my "take" on Noella's sketch. I used a lot of texture. Thanks to my good friend Kristie I. for the cool green ridge-y textured paper! I LOVE hat stuff! It helped me come up with this fringed card when I was kinda blocked.
Thanks for looking everyone...Here's the link to Noella's amazing square sketch...
PS~It was really fun to see what my fellow CY Design Team Member Jess came up with, too! And, it was very neat to read all the wonderful comments on our cards!

Cards and a "Scrappy Tip!"

This is a card I made for my dad-in-law, who is a real gem, for his birthday. The bird was stamped in Navy dye ink on textured cardstock (Bazzill, from the "Places We Love collection: Grand Banks") and it made the bluejay's feathers look so realistic!

I made the card below as a sample for one of my challenges at the recent Olympications Crop at SBCH! I really like it -- very middle eastern/oriental.

STAMP INFO: The "Running Horse" stamp is one I purchased from ebay. It is made by Rubber Stampede 2006 (1006) (Delta Creative) and the # is 4504D. The beautiful arched swirly leaf stamp is PSX and is #F-1812. The sentiment was stamped with a PSX stamp that is #F-3403.

Bazzill's "Douglas Fir" cardstock is the base of this card.
The gorgeous medallion pp is from my sister Mary, in Riverview/Moncton, NB [*THANK YOU, SWEETIE!*] and is by BasicGrey... an 8.5x8.5" 36-sheet pad of designer papers from the Motifica Collection that is now so VERY hard to find! Gorgeous stuff.

The two little floral buttons had their shanks removed for use here on this card. They were a gift in a packet of scrappy goodies from my Mom's sewing room! Fun stuff! Thanks Mom!

Here is the challenge I set and used this sample for...

Enjoy!! Hope you like the card: I really love this one.

Ok Gals, here is the Scrappy Tip for today!

Here's a way to reduce paper waste and to add an historic touch to your layouts for years down the road. Using a “Handmade by…” reusable stamp [mine is by Inkadinkado (#6706-L)], I stamp a bunch of labels on scrap cardstock pieces. Then I trim these and store on my scrap desk in a little caddy, within easy reach. (I even use the back of cardstock where I have made “journaling mistakes” for these labels.) When I complete a page, I turn it over and glue on a label in a CS colour that “coordinates.” Then I sign and date it.

I also number my layouts using this method. For example, the latest page I created says:

~Handmade by~

"Ali MacDonald" (Signed, not stamped)

LO #92 in '08 (= Layout #92 created in 2008)

August 25, 2008 (That's the date I created the page.)

Some King Cole tea and gingersnaps anyone?

More Layouts to Share!!

Here are three recent layouts I did as challenges at the recent "Olympications Crop" over at SBCH.

At th Beach was done in response to a "30-minutes or less" FAST challenge from Allyson Bright-Meyer, one of our Design Team Members at SBCH. Here is that link...

Check it out, I tell you, that crop was SO MUCH fun! Managed to get about 5 challenges done... I have printed off all the challenges, though, to inspire me later!

Thanks Mom, for the yellow beach chair button: Perfect here! This is a LO of Noah, age 4, at the beach for the first time! Our 2006 vacation time was well spent on PEI, in Summerside, at Linkletter Provincial Park! What a GREAT place. We rented an RV and drove was our very first vacation in 14 years. The kids ask to go back all the time! It was so much fun! These are pics from 2006, at the English Riding Challenge at the Greenwood Horse and Riding centre, affiliated with our Base. Kate was riding Impulse, a Welsh/Connemara cross pony. They earned a first in equitation! It was her first ever "show!"
This is a layout I did for a challenge sample over at Scrapbooker's Club House for the very casual and fun "Olympications" crop! This LO shows Oakley (of course!) and talks about a few basic "RULES" to follow before and after you ride your pony or horse. For this layout, I consulted my very own beginning "Horse Expert," Kate, and the equitation handbook that the Evangeline Pony Club uses... I am learning!

My Name... and...a Learning Junkie!!

The layout above is me in my nurse's uniform at grad time in 1988. TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!! It talks about how I will forever be a learning junkie... on the strips are the names of my career-related courses and where they were taken. I had to leave a few off due to the space factor on the page!

The fashion, of course, back then, was to have your grad photos done in the Grad gown with the draped hood lined with that gorgeous salmon-coloured satin, which was what UNB had designated as the colour for those who had earned a BN degreee.

Of course I did have a few those done, but this was one of my "REAL GRAD PHOTOS" as I called them, LOL! This is similar to the photo I chose as the one to send to family and friends, and similar to the one on my wall in the hallway, to this very day.

My thinking back then was that a black gown didn't show that I was a nurse! (But neither does a cap and uniform... I see that clearly, and I think I did then too...I know it's in my hands, heart and how those meld with my thinking processes...) I guess back then I knew how HARD I had worked for that degree and I wanted the white uniform and UNB cap in my photos to remind me of that. A BN degree was one of the most challenging offered by UNB; it rated right up there with the UNB Mechnical Engineering degree, well-known to be BRUTAL in its' curricular demands.

Anyway, I had to be different as far as my grad photos went :o) That's the story behind the nurse-in-uniform photos... Hope you enjoyed it.

The layout above is about my name, "Alison Kate." It was done for a recent challenge over at SBCH. Hope you like it...Journaling is below if you want to read it...
Thanks for looking! :o)
“Alison Kate”

I am named after my Dad, Roy Allison. I was told that Alison spelled with one “L” is the way Allison is spelled for girls. No-one ever spells it correctly except my sisters, parents, & Peter!

My middle name is Kate, which was my Nana’s (my Mom’s Mother’s) name. Her name was delicate & pretty: Kate Caroline.

For a time in University I hyphenated my first name & middle name: Alison-Kate. Some people even called me that. Not sure why I did it, & to be honest, I find it a bit embarrassing now! I must have been having some sort of an identity crisis! You can almost read my name-bar on my uniform in my UNB Grad photograph… the hyphen is there, & yes, I still have that name-bar!

In high school, around the time I met my husband Peter, my best friend Helen began calling me “Ali.” It stuck, although I didn’t like it at the time! I didn’t use “Ali” at all during University, between 1984-1988.

My Dad calls me “Ali” much more often than my Mom does. He even used the nickname when he was making the Toast to the Bride at my wedding in 1992. He does still call me “Alison” once in awhile, though.

I still call myself “Ali” & always introduce myself that way. My doctor calls me “Ali.” All of my work colleagues did, too. Interestingly, when I called a doctor about a patient, I always said it was “Alison so-&-so calling, the RN taking care of your patient Mrs. ABC”. Funny, because all the docs knew me as “Ali” on the Nursing Unit, but when I called them, it was “Alison.” More professional, I guess!

I asked Peter one time a few years ago what name came to his mind when he thought of me & he said “Without question, ‘Ali.’ ” When Pete mentions me to his parents on the phone, he calls me “Ali.” When he calls to me from another room, he says “Ali!”

I told Peter once that “Ali” is who I am, & to be honest, when I hear someone other than my parents call me “Alison” now, it sounds foreign to me! I usually grin & tell them “You can call me Ali, everyone else does!” For publication purposes, my name is “Alison K. MacDonald.” It sounds so formal to my ears!

When we got married in 1992, I was so proud to take Pete’s family name: MacDonald. I remember the first few times I signed it in a chart or on a document. WOW. That was a funny feeling, having to THINK about what you were writing as you signed your name!

I went from “Grierson” to “MacDonald” & found out very quickly that people couldn’t spell “MacDonald” any more easily than they could spell “Grierson!” It was so funny!

Matter of fact, they can’t spell Ali, Allie, Ally, or Aly, either!!!!!!

Journaling July 25-26, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Soul

Here's a LO of our youngest child, Noah, from 2006. We were vacationing on Prince Edward Island. Noah is a beautiful, happy soul and this photo was perfect for scrappin' and doing some doodling with my Uniball Signo Gel Pen! Love that pen. :o)

SCRAPPY TIP #1~ To create a scalloped edge, simply trace circles from a medium sized medicine bottle's cap (or similarly sized item) and then cut out the circles. Position the circles behind your paper or cardstock for a beautiful scalloped edge! TY to fellow scrapper Mary for sharing this tip over at Scrapbooker's Club House. It is wonderful and it works! Mary can be found right here...

SCRAPPY TIP #2~ Move the paper, not the scissors when cutting out circles, & they'll be almost PERFECT! This really works!

SCRAPPY TIP #3~ Always store Uniball Gel pens with the tip down. They will write beautifully for an age! I have used about 3-4 of these pens throughout the past year and HIGHLY recommend them. They are my 'go-to' writing instrument on darker cardstock.

Cardstock is Bazzill.

Patterned papers:

Chatterbox~ Blue Polka Dots

Cactus pink~ Red multi-coloured scrap

Doodles done w/ a Uniball Gel Pen: Check out the Scrapbooker's Club House store for these, There are also other colours available!

I just ordered myself the black one... or was it blue? Maybe both... LOL!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A scrappy tip!

Looking for an easy way to move things around on your cardstock as you are creating a LO??

Try using the eraser end of a pencil! It grips to your paper elements and you can shift, pull and push items around super-easily.


“Mark your Spot Remarkably” Contest

Scrapbooker’s Club House has a fun contest this month!

We challenge you to design and submit up to 2 bookmarks for this contest.

Bookmarks will be judged by a Librarian and the prize for our winner will be YOUR CHOICE of a back issue of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine, mailed right to your door!!

Here are the rules!

1. Contest runs from August 18-24, 2008

2. A winner will be chosen and announced on August 25th, 2008

3. Bookmarks can be NO LARGER than 10”x 2.5” each.

4. You can create and enter a maximum of two (2) bookmarks.

5. You must use all of the following products, and ONLY these, in creating your bookmark:
-patterned paper from your scrap pile: please don’t cut into a new piece!

6. In creating your entry, please remember that the bookmark must be functional! ie: it must be able to be used as a BOOKMARK in a bound book or magazine.

7. Upload completed bookmarks to the “Bookmark Contest” file in the Scrapbooker’s Club House Gallery. Link:
Tip: Files must be NO LARGER than 1024 kb to upload properly.

8. Title your bookmark entry (ies) “Bookmark Contest Entry 1- YOUR NAME” and “Bookmark Contest Entry 2- YOUR NAME” when you upload it/them to the Gallery. This is important as it eases the judging process.


10. Direct any questions to: or or

~ Ali MacDonald
PR and Promotions DirectorScrapbooker's Club House


This guy is the one I will be with forever.

Forever and a day, I HOPE!
A few details:

The background Bazzill cardstock was a glaringly BRIGHT orange-coloured one that I bought as part of the entire paper inventory when our only local remaining craft store went out of business. I rubbed my Ink it Up! khaki ink pad all over it and it looked much more subdued. Great tip eh? Lemme tell ya, it was BRIGHT!

Journaling block was a scrap of Bazzill. Circle was a scrap of Crate paper. Small circle came from the front of a package of Bazzill paper (Fusion). Gotta use those scraps & save paper when we can.

Hearts were cut freehand, edged in Chestnut AC Slickwriter.

"Stitches" on scallops were drawn freehand.

Antique brass brads: from ebay.

Patterned Papers by American Traditional Designs include the stripe (I scalloped it) and the awesome tire track running horizontally across the page.

This LO is based upon a sketch by Noella Arsenault, designed for a March 2008 SBCH Design Team assignment.

The ivy patterned burgundy paper was purchased at SBCH.

Dye Inks: by Ink it up (Khaki) and Around the Block (brown).

Corrugated paper: packing material. Thanks to my friend Kristie Innes.

Thanks for checking out my new creation!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Sunburst Card!

I learned something NEW last night while scrappin'!!

Here's a card I made based on instructions from none other than scrappy celeb Allyson Bright-Meyer, who is a member of the current SBCH Design Team.

Hope you like it. I am thrilled to find a way to use up a ton of my patterned paper scraps!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Patio Pizza and a scrap-happy tip!

Our first-ever patio set: the kids LOVED it!
The challenge over at SBCH was to use mesh on the layout.
Clear mesh used here was recycled from the front of a 5 lb paper potato bag. Used with a ribbon slide & tiny scrap( 2") of green satin ribbon to make a "bow."
Green Dragon (so cute) was cut out and saved from an envelope/b'day card sent by my sister Mary: TY!
[Paper Magic Group Studio; Illustration by James Smith]
SCRAPPY TIP: To make a cathedral-window shaped photo frame on your page, use a letter "D"~ but turn it on its side! This one is from a 3 Bugs in a Rug big lettering sheet from the Jovial collection, called "Jovial Monograms" (item # jov-158). Ink the edges just a bit to add some dimension.
This layout was based upon a sketch by Noella Arsenault. It was posted on the Scrapbooker's Club House Blog as Blog sketch contest #12.

Technique Tidbit Thursday...

Well, all those who know me recognize the value I place on scrapbooking as a way to TELL OUR STORIES... funny stories, sad stories, drop-your-jaw stories, and yes: especially those everyday stories.

The stories of our lives, boosted by a few photos... they are really what's important.

Here is an article I was asked to write and I'm honoured to have had published on the SBCH Blog. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A New Card Creation!

This card was created based on a sketch designed by Noella at Creatively Yours and was JUST posted this AM. Check it out!
It's so exciting to design with Noella's sketches... come see what 2 other members of the Creatively Yours Design Team created with the assigned sketch!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Card for the "Olympications" Crop at SBCH!

Hi Everyone!

Did this card as a sample for a challenge I set for the gals over at SBCH, in celebration of the start of the Olympics!

Here's the challenge link and the card, come join us! Friendliest bunch of scrappers ANYWHERE!


I did this layout for a challenge over at Journaling Junkie! I loved doing it, it was a lot of fun. The dinosaur artwork [2007] was created by Daniel. The cute photo of Daniel and Tante Xandi (my youngest sister) was taken by Peter at my middle sister's home, (Mary's place)[2006]!!

The LO is based on a sketch by Noella Arsenault at Creatively Yours. Thanks Noella!
Thank you to Nicole over at Scrapbooker's Club House for the Doodlebug buttons- striped on one side and this beautiful orange on the other! Perfect for this layout. TY so much Nic! You spoil me.

The journaling reads:
“Don’t be such a besaur!”

Well, when Daniel was a little fella, just learning to talk, he called Dinosaurs “Besaurs” (pronounced bee-soars)… We thought it was so cute, and soon, we had all adopted this unique name for dinosaurs!

Over time (Daniel is now 8), the word “besaur” has evolved in our family to mean that someone was being a meanie or a GRUMP!!!

A grump, you say? No-one here is EVER a GRUMP!!

Now… “Don’t be such a BESAUR!”

(Layout is #86 for me this year!)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Creations...

A couple of new creations!

1. The "Pretty Pony" Layout was done for a challenge I posted at Scrapbooker's Club House for August. Here's the link, so you can check it out!

This layout showcases one of my favourite techniques, which is to cut a motif from vintage clothing and use it on a page. I am thrilled with the way this turned out. I adhered it with MM Ribbon Glue, in case you were wondering. Another great product I cannot live without.

2. The card was created for our friend Regina, next door. It was her birthday on Saturday and we were invited over for a swim and a visit. It was SO MUCH fun!

Supplies included use of the EK Success "Easy Stitches" template from SBCH. I used it to make the scallops. What a great tool that is!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Are you our September Guest Designer?

SBCH has begun the search for our September Guest Designer!

Are you Scrapbooker’s Club House’s next “Guest Designer”? Each month at SBCH we will be choosing from your entries to see who our next Guest Designer will be. Sound good? Great!!!

We're searching for our September Guest designer! Here are the details: The theme is “Favorite Book.”

Create any size Layout using photos of your favorite book or reading material.

You may also do a layout of yourself or someone else reading their favorite book. Upload your entries in the “September Guest Designer Contest” Gallery before the deadline: Sunday August 24, 2008. The winner will be SBCH GDT for the Month of September and will receive a Kit of the Month with which to create your designs. “Your” creations will then be posted in our Guest Design Team Gallery. You will also be able to participate along with SBCH Design Team in posting a monthly challenge to SBCH members. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email Noella at or Nicole at

Good Luck & have fun!!

~ Ali MacDonald
PR and Promotions Director
Scrapbooker's Club House

Friday, August 1, 2008

I have some wonderful news...!!

Noella Arsenault over at ~Creatively Yours: Sketches by Noella~ has selected her very first Design Team! She had 52 applicants.

I was chosen as a Card Designer and will be interpreting her sketches on cards. I am "over the moon" excited! It's only been a year since I designed & made my first card and so this is a HUGE compliment!

Not only that, but Noella has asked me to fulfill the position of Public Relations Director and Assistant Design Team Coordinator for ~Creatively Yours~!

Here is the official Announcement... check it out!

Wow, wow, wow!!!! I am SO THRILLED~! Noella is an uber-talented sketch artist and scrapbooker and it is an honour to be asked to work with her. She is also super-organized and a lot of fun- just the sort of combination I adore!

Thank you Noella for this wonderful opportunity, I won't let you down!!

Remember: DREAM BIG!!!