Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More Ideas For Using Your Stash

Felice and I are busy preparing for the holidays while fighing seasonal flare-ups of our fibromyalgia, but we haven't forgotten our promise to bring you more ideas for using your stash and more free examples.

This post will feature two new kits by Felice, Noel and Gothy Christmas and my Christmas for Kiddies (2010) and Happy Holly Days (older) kits. Here we will show you 2 cute hybrid ideas that are really useful at Christmas: candy bar wraps and gift card holders.

But first, a couple quick pages made with Noel & please note the link below my examples if you'd like the empty QPs:

And, if you have a Goth in your life, display a photo of him or her in a Gothy Christmas quickpage.

Your Goth might also enjoy this little tag made with the same kit:

Candy bar wraps and gift card holders make for attractive presentation of small gifts and are perfect for stocking stuffers. The candy bar wraps shown here are sized for a standard 1.55 oz. Hershey bar but you could adjust them to fit other candy bars. All you have to do to use these is print out the wrappers from the link and wrap around your candy bar, securing with glue or tape. Note: do NOT unwrap the candy bar and remember that the top, slightly wider, section should be over the bottom section. The previews of these wrappers show that only one fits on a standard piece of cardstock or glossy photo paper with a little room to spare. I went ahead and filled that space by making a few gift tags and bookmarks.

Here are candy bar wrappers and gift tags made with Felice Originals' Gothy Christmas and Noel, respectively:

And here are candy bar wrappers and bookmarks made with D'Ambrosio Arts' Christmas For Kiddies and Happy Holly Days, respectively:

Next, here are some ready to print gift card holders made with Felice's Noel and Gothy Christmas:

and from D'Ambrosio Arts Happy Holly Days:

And here is a page of gift tags made from DAA's Christmas For Kiddies and Happy Holly Days:

We hope you will find these useful both as ready to print hybrid freebies and as ideas for new ways to use your stash.

Have the Merriest Christmas!

Blogger isn't accepting my links! Please go to Felice's blog to snag freebies until I get this fixed:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Making The Most Of Your Kits

This is part two of an article about all the things you can do with Tagger and Full Size Digital Scrapbook kits. (See Part 1: Tagger Kits - Not Just For Tags here or at

Previously, I gave examples of artist trading cards and brag book quickpages that could be created using tagger (and full size, of course) kits. Today, getting into the spirit of the holidays, I'm using Felice Originals Sweet Christmas and Christmas Past kits plus my own Berkeley's Christmas kit to show you some other ways to use your stash.

Since we're all busy thinking about gift giving, I thought I'd make some baggie toppers to decorate ziplock baggies filled with cookies. I'm using Ziplock brand sandwich baggies for this and found that they measure a tiny bit over 6.5 inches across the top. I suggest you measure the baggie you plan to use and adjust the individual baggie topper pattern to fit. In case you are using the same baggies I am,

I'm also including a layout with the baggie topper and a bookmark already laid out for printing on cardstock or glossy photo paper. You will want to use the print-to-border option on your printer set-up.

This is what the baggie toppers and bookmarks I made using Felice's Sweet Christmas and Christmas Past look like before folding:

And here is how they look attached to baggies filled with cookies. Nice touch, isn't it? the bookmarks will be tucked inside books I'm giving as gifts. Give a child in your family plenty of books and make time to read with them when they are small. The gift of reading is a wonderful gift that will open all sorts of doors and keeps giving for a lifetime.
[Oops! had trouble with the photo will add later]

I also made a baggie topper and bookmark using my (D'Ambrosio Arts) kit, Berkeley's Christmas, which was named in honor of my son's girlfriend who adores pink and green. You can find the kit at Southern Comfort Scraps:

And now, what you were waiting for - links to these freebies!
Sweet Christmas Baggie Topper and Bookmark
Christmas Past Baggie Topper and Bookmark
Berkeley's Christmas Baggie Topper and Bookmark

Please keep checking back, because Felice and I will have some more ideas and more freebies too.

*My apologies - having problem getting Blogger to make links tonight & it's late. You will just have to copy and paste into your browser to reach them until I figure it out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Having trouble with background

Checked blog few minutes ago and discovered my background had suddenly shrunk and was floating around when I moved cursor. Have no idea what happened so removed it for now. About time for a change anyway. Will update later and have a new article on using scrapping stash and some freebies to add too.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The 58th Keeper _ Interesting Twist On Old Fairytale

The 58th Keeper by R. G. Bullet

Admittedly, after reading several pages, my first thought was, "Ah, here's another Harry Potter want-to-be." After all, Archy Bass is a young, poor, British orphan with few friends. He's not in magic school but a special boy's school, which is still a separate sort of realm. I found the novel slow to start and could only visualize Archy vaguely: a boy with brown hair in a bowl cut. Archy's world seemed rather ho-hum with an atmosphere slightly reminicent of the school Jane Eyre attended.

Move forward, and Vincent, son of a billionaire and, oddly enough, one of Archy's few friends presents Archy with the opportunity for a vacation, a rare thing for a boy of his means. Although the vacation turns out to be -- a surprise to Vincent too -- a working vacation, the exotic locale and opportunity to escape his humdrum existence is very pleasing to Archy. Until, that is, he meets with a strange rug merchant on the beach. From there on, the novel picks up speed and makes the reader wonder, what's next?

For Archy, what's next is beyond his wildest imagination. His life is turned upside down by the mysterious rug he is talked into purchasing from the man he met on the beach in Turkey. This is where R. G. Bullet makes a creative leap, putting a new twist on the old fable about a flying rug. I won't spoil the surprise but will just say, this isn't Ali Baba's rug. Once Archy's life begins to change, the actions of the primary characters bring them more clearly into focus although I found myself visualizing their appearance along the lines of Rowlings' Hermione and a blond in stead of redhaired Ron. I still found it difficult to come up with a visual image of Archy, however. The character I could most easily visualize was Ward who reminded me of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo cartoons.

I happen to be a highly visual person and enjoy novels I can easily "see" in my mind, like movies unfolding. I found this novel uneven in that regard. I remember little in the way of visual images from the first part of the novel. It is as if it were filmed in a dingy black and white while later sections such as the site of the act of restitution were colorful and detailed. Perhaps this was an intentionaldevice?

All in all, the novel is something I'd pass along to my grandson who is thirteen. Would love to see what he thinks. And I would pick up another novel by this author to see how his writing continues to develop.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great new Dec collab at Southern Comfort

It's that time of the month again.
Time for the new Store collab kit.
This months collab is called Holiday Shimmer.
We have 8 talented designer contribute to the kit this month.
Colors of greens, reds and yellows.
There are 69 full size papers and 143 elements.
If you purchase just $5 of any products from the store you can get this free
by using this code. Dec_collab_free
Or just pay $8 for 17 zips.
This is personal use only.
While your at the store be sure to check out everyone's shops.
Folks have some awesome sales going on.
Lots of products for just $1, yes that's right just $1.
some folks every have a BUY MY STORE with hundreds of products.

Here's a close-up of my portion:

And remember, my Boo-Boo sales runs thru 12/31

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not Just for Tags

(note: the original text of this article was to be posted on the blog for Felice Originals but we decided to add it here too)
Hi, I'm SherryD, a friend of Felice's and one of her CT. If you're reading this, chances are you are a tagger. You love making tags and can't resist collecting more and more of the wonderful tagger kits available. It's addictive! But, if you are only making tags with your stash of tagger kits, you are limiting yourself and not getting the most out of your investment.

I'd like to show you how you can make the most use of your kits. I'll start by making examples with a couple of Felice's recent kits so you'll have examples of the ideas I'm talking about.

First, we've just had Halloween so it's a little late to make tags to go this year. However, nothing wrong with getting a jump start on next year so here are a couple examples made with Boo Juice and Pumpkin Witch. (Be kind and bear in mind that I'm not primarily a tagger. I'm sure you will do better.) BTW I should mention that Boo Juice is full size not tagger size.

Bet you have some cute photos of the children dressed for Halloween? Don't leave them on the computer. You can create cute bragbook pages with just a little effort from most tagger kits. Set up a blank canvas of size 6" wide and 4" high. Sometimes the papers in a tagger kit will almost cover the canvas or were created at a high enough resolution you can get away with stretching them a little. At other times, you will need to layer papers. Try mirroring the same paper and you might get a good look. Or stretch one a little, maybe to cover 4" of the bragbook width, then cut a fancy side border from another background and layer it on. Print out, tie together with pretty ribbons and leave out on the coffee table for guests to look at. Here are some bragbook pages I made with Boo Juice and Pumpkin Witch and left as quickpages for you:

Another great use for tagger kits is making Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) - little pieces of art to exchange with other artists and friends. Some Halloween ATCs would be great to print out, write a message on the back and pop into school lunch bags or even your hubby's briefcase. Just a little way to say, "I love you," and make someone smile. Here are a couple examples:

These are just a couple ideas. Please check back as we present more ways to get the most from your tagger and full size kit stash.

Look for part 2 coming soon here and on Felice's blog:
In part two I'll be using Felice's Sweet Christmas and Christmas Past kits plus some of my own work.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Close Up of my portion of Grandmother's House collab

I got carried away making my portion so there are loads of papers and elements. See the whole kit here:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sales at Southern Comfort Scraps

Don't forget SCS now has Freaky Friday Sales where you will find many items on sale for $1. All my shops: Alice's Altered Art, D'Ambrosio Scraps, and Wonderland Scraps have all items set at $1 for Friday and since Saturday 11/5 in National Scrapbook Day, prices remain at $1 until Sunday.

Also see our great November collaborative kit:

The theme is Grandmother's House and it's a nice large kit you are sure to enjoy. See it here:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

quick update

had a stupid little accident couple weeks ago in the house and managed to sprain left ankle and do something to left arm. Not supposed to use left hand until docs decide what I did and can't mange to type one handed so have been staying off. First thought I had bad sprain, then x-ray showed something odd in my hand. Sent to hand specialist who thinks I have a fracture in distal end of radius or in scaphoid bone of wrist. MRI finally scheduled for 10/24. Who knew we do so much with non -dominant hand?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dont' forget SCS collab

Please see here:
Sorry I can't fix pic rt now - have fractured arm so not supposed to be on PC lol

Freaky Fridays at SCS

Friday, September 30, 2011

Must Have For Your Next Tea Party

I'd like to share a discovery I made on ebay recently. I happened across a shop called Rose Breeze Boutique and if you are a tea lover like I am, you will want to check it out. The owner, Katie, makes the most adorable rose tea favors. I love them all but at my age I don't have a lot of baby or wedding showers going on in the family so don't really need a lot of these. However, I'm expecting to make an out of state visit soon and will be having a small tea party with my friend, Liv. I thought the flowerpot rose tea bags would be a charming little touch.

These are even more beautiful in person! The rose contains a tea bag so the whole rose goes into the cup to brew. I hate to use these so will be ordering more just to show off. And there are a number of lovely designs to choose from.

I think these roses on "stems" would be great tucked into a centerpiece the next time I give my granddaughters or nieces a tea party. Then afterwards each could take one home as a favor.

I asked Katie's permission to show off her products and give you the link to her ebay store. Here are some precious favors for a Baby is Brewing shower:
You will want to chose the decaffinated version for Mommie to be.

And for a bridal shower, what could be better than an bridal tea? Make it elegant and feminine and use these bridal shower favors:
Or give them as favors at a wedding reception. There are also wonderful dress favors perfect for a bridesmaid tea or to be included in a gift package for the wedding attendants. They could decorate the package and serve as tags:

You can also purchase just the roses in bulk for a club tea or such. What a clever and charming idea! Please do check out Katie's store here:*breeze*boutique/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562
And tell her SherryD sent you, please.

Halloween Happiness on Sale Now!

Please stop by Southern Comfort Scraps & see our latest collaborative kit with a Halloween theme.
You can find it here:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Language Of Flowers: Debut Novel By Vanessa Diffenbaugh A Must Read

I have been fascinated by the Victorian era for as long as I can remember. As best I can recall, it probably started when I began reading 19th century British novels back in fifth or sixth grade. The culture as described by Dickens and Eliot and so on was rich in detail and full of curious customs that were intriguing. Much, much later, as a graduate student, I made the 19th century British novel one of my speciality areas.

When you mention the Victorian era, most people think of excess. Images of Victorian fashion with an excess of flounces, ruching, ruffles and so on come to mind. We think of the "gingerbread" trim on stately homes. Or perhaps images of Victorian interiors such as a parlour filled with intricately carved furniture and fireplace mantels, Oriental vases filled with peacock feathers, paisley shawls from India draped across pianos and tables, a heavily embellished crazy quilt of rich fabrics across the back of a sofa. Such images are, of course, drawn from the better known lives of the well-to-do portion of the population. Victorians loved, not excess, but detail in craftsmanship. They were intrigued by the designs of the various cultures the expanding British Empire encountered. Those who could afford to indulge in such pleasures did so. This same privileged class also greatly enjoyed entertainment that included, beyond the usual fondness for classic arts, games, mysteries of all sorts, and intrigue. There were various courting games and practices (often referred to as 'conceits') such as the Language of Fans, a type of flirting in which specific movements of a lady's fan advised a would be suitor of her inclinations, the Language of Gloves, gifts of R.E.G.A.R.D. rings and so on.

The Language of Fans and gloves and REGARD rings have vanished but a vestige of something called The Language Of Flowers remains with us today in the common knowledge that a gift of roses is intended to be symbolic of love. A charming little book, The Language Of Flowers, illustrated by the famous Kate Greenway is perhaps the best known of surviving books that purport to assign meanings to various flowers and plants. This symbolic system of communication was very popular in Victorian times and formed a well loved part of courtship. Ladies would delight in receiving and deciphering the messages contained in bouquets and nosegays. I've owned a copy of Greenway's book for many years and I once had a sideline creating silk floral arrangements for weddings using it's symbolism. I included a card with each arrangement to explain the wishes conveyed by the flowers. Naturally, when I read Pump Up Your Book was representing Vanessa Diffenbaugh's debut novel, The Language Of Flowers, I was eager to read it. My thanks to Pump Up Your Book and the publisher, Ballentine Books, for an advance reading copy.

Diffenbaugh does not disappoint. She grabs the reader with the first line: "For eight years, I dreamed of fire." Stop; don't read any further. Fire is a powerful symbol in and of of itself. We know what it is, what it can do. The word alone is enough to start adrenalin flowing, isn't it? With that line, the reader enters the present day world of the principal character, Victoria Jones. It is Victoria's eighteenth birthday and she is about to be emancipated from the foster care system. The birthday greeting she is given by the other girls in the group home provides a vivid glimpse of the world Victoria is about to leave. It also causes the reader to wonder what it is about Victoria that warrents such behavior.

Victoria is not a character the reader instantly loves. She is not charming, beautiful, or especially talented. Victoria does not communicate well or relate well to others. She is angry and unpredictable. It is only through the alternating chapters that offer glimpses of Victoria's past that the reader gains a little understanding of the reasons for her behavior and feels more compassion for her. Near the end of the first chapter, Victoria does something that brings the light of hope into the darkness and draws the reader closer. About to head out into the world on her own, Victoria leaves a gift of a purple dahlia for each girl at the group home. She knows the girls won't understand her secret language but it's important to her to leave them a message of hope for their futures.

Victoria's own future is uncertain. The foster care system isn't set up to adequately prepare foster children for a life on their own. Although Victoria is allotted three months in a transitional home before being thrown entirely on her own, she doesn't receive the guidance or training she needs to make her own way. She ends up homeless, living in a public park until a local florist gives her a chance at employment and discovers her talent with flower arrangement.

Once Victoria used the language of flowers, learned from a foster mother, to express sentiments best left unspoken in the world of foster care. Sentiments like grief, anger and hate. This takes a turn around as she discovers in her florist work a gift for helping others by creating arrangements based on the language of flowers. Here again, hope asserts itself. The interactions with customers who need her special gift, a budding friendship with the florist, Renata, and a few others Renata introduces her to, cause Victoria to begin to have hope for herself.

When a trip to the floral market with Renata introduces Victoria to a young man (Grant) who seems to understand her secret language, Victoria's world expands further. This reader, who did not like Victoria at first, was carried along learning about the young woman as she considered her past, re-evaluated actions that had brought her to this point, and explored the new feelings awakened by the developing relationship with Grant. What does Victoria decide about what family means, second chances and the possibility of redemption? You need to read the novel yourself and find out first hand.

I know of at least one critic who argued that the novel's ending was too sweet, too much light after so much darkness. However, we are too familiar with horror stories about the foster care system and while it definitely needs improvement, as the author can attest from her own experiences as a care giver, don't we need a little light in the darkness? Let us remember that the human spirit is capable of enduring much and still bringing forth it's best qualities. Or, as Diffenbach's site asserts: "Any one can grow into something beautiful."

Vanessa Diffenbaugh, thank you for a good read! I send you a bouquet of Canterbury bells (gratitude), laurel (in recognition of your success), sage (good health and long life), Lupine (imagination) and forsythia (anticipation of your next novel).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just discovered Yardsellr; see what I bought

This beautiful bracelet - more beautiful in reality - was created by Jill Raney Wright. And, as a sweet surprise, Jill sent matching earrings! She does wonderful work so be sure to check out her Yardsell here:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Operation Smile Kit Available at SCS

Please take a look at this kit and purchase it you like it. You'll be helping children in need.
Link to Kit:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alice Visits Japan

My Alice's Altered Art line at Southern Comfort Scraps has a new kit. I'd been collecting Japanese backgrounds for some time so this kit has 42 backgrounds! Backgrounds are sized at 2.5" x 3.5" for artist trading card makers. However, this translates to 750 pixels by 1050 pixels making the kit work for taggers too. I left 9 of the backgrounds in greyscale so you can color as you like. There are 53 elements, a few of them greyscale too.

You can find the kit here:

Here are previews and examples of an ATC and a tag made with the kit: