Friday, January 23, 2009

Queen & Co also goes Green!

One more link that got missed below. Queen & Co has a new line of bulk embellishments; no more paying for packaging that just gets trashed anyway! Visit their site to see pictures; it's definitely worth the trip! Here's the link:

More Eco-friendly Moves!

Thanks to some friendly suggestions and a few well-placed emails, I now have more eco-friendly scrapbook products to share with you!

Remember those cards I made a while back from scraps? Well, the gift the scraps came from finally had the finishing touches put on and was gifted. So, here's the final product:

This was made with all Basic Grey papers and coordinates, as well as few CTMH embellies. Since I love BG, I sent them an email about their eco-policy. Here's what I found out: they do not yet have an "official" statement. However, Nancy at BG tells me that all of their papers are made here in the US (another bonus), and their printer plants 2 trees for every one that is used to make paper. They are also big on recycling all paper used in their office. A nice step in the right direction! (If you're interested, I'm posting the remaining pix of this item at the end of this entry.)

Die Cuts With a View has a paper stack called the Green Stack, which is made with 70% recycled paper. I couldn't locate it on their website, but over at Joann's I found it in 12x12, 8x8, and Matstack sizes, plus chipboard shapes. Plus, Joann has them all on sale right now. Here's a link if you're interested:

WorldWin Papers uses wind power! Here's a quote from their website: "WorldWin Papers uses wind power in all of our facilities. We choose to purchase wind power for our corporate offices as well as our converting and distribution center to help protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gasses." Check out more info over on their environmental policy page at

Tinkering Ink offers a limited run Becoming Green collection. It's printed on 100% recycled, 30% post-consumer waste product. You can check it out on their website at

New kid on the block, Jillibean Soup has their first line printed on kraft paper made of 100% recycled stock. Check out their products over at

Scrap green with Paper Trunk -- that's their motto! They use a recycled cardstock, produced with wind power, and printed with vegetable-based ink. They even have a whole page of links about living greener. Check it out at Check out some of the links on her page like the cosmetic and household products databases! If you think the items in your home are all safe, think again... and feel free to ask me if you have more questions about safer household and personal products!

OK, that's what I have for now. If you have other companies to recommend, please post a comment and share them with us! Now, for the rest of those pictures I promised...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Saving my planet... one scrapbook layout at a time!

Since I've been "greening my cleaning" and other aspects of our home life, I've been feeling slightly guilty about this mondo paper-using hobby I have. I mean, I try to save all of my scraps and use them in smaller projects later. And I have a lot of reusable items like die-cutters, punches, templates, and stamps. Plus, I even use mostly acrylic peel-and-stick stamps, so there's less wood used for the blocks for my stamping addiction.

But, what about all this paper? And what chemical by-products am I contributing to when I buy new stamps or tools? Now, I'm not going to contribute to any landfills by dumping things I already have just because they weren't manufactured in the cleanest manner. However, going forward, I'd like to know I'm buying from more socially and ecologically responsible companies.

So, I was extremely happy and excited not long ago when I got some information on my favorite scrapbook company, Close To My Heart (of course!). I am happy to report that not only does CTMH donate lots of money to Operation Smile , but they are also "green" in a number of ways.

  • All Close To My Heart papers including B&T Duos,™ cardstocks, and My Stickease™ are SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified. This means the pulp used to create the papers is gathered only from certified sustainable forests, and that every process used to create the papers, from harvesting to final product, is environmentally friendly.
  • Close To My Heart uses environmentally conscious vendors. The paper printer utilizes
    wind power in their facilities. The album manufacturer reuses cardboard boxes—they send CTMH albums in boxes, CTMH sends the boxes back, and they reuse them.
  • The My Acrylix® stamp-making process uses soap and water soluble chemicals for clean
    up to avoid harming the environment.
  • Over 80% of the waste produced at CloseTo My Heart is recyclable.
This bit of information made me feel much better about the products I'm using! Going forward, I plan to research similar information on other brands I buy, as well as the stores where I usually buy them. Let me know if you know of other environmentally friendly scrapbooking and stamping companies, and I'll give them a plug here as well!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Saving my scraps (and money)

I've been working on a gift for a (nameless) friend, and now that it's pretty much done I have a bunch of scraps leftover. (I'll share pics of the gift later, after I give it!) So, I'm using some of them to add to my card stash; here are the first three I finished.

I used sketches from Jeanette Lynton's book Originals, modifying some, for all three card designs. (The book is available only through Close To My Heart consultants; contact me for more info.)

Papers and chipboard shapes are all from Basic Grey's "Sugared" line. I was using the 6x6 paper pad mostly, so the prints on these are smaller, and great for cards!

To make my plain white card bases coordinate better, I used a chocolate distressing ink pad from CTMH. Stamped sentiments are also from various CTMH stamp sets. Brads are Basic Grey, pink rhinestone is Darice, and ribbon (flower stem) is CTMH.

Cards like this are a great way to use your scraps, because you can piece together smaller bits to make a design. The background on the lower left card is actually two pieces of paper, since the center strip covers the join. Also, the red on the top card was too small to cover the entire front, so I just cut it with room for a border and inked the card base. There are tons of ways to use up your little pieces like this!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Money - photo print sale!

If you're like me, you take a ton of pictures and they sit there on your digital card until it's full. Well, I just took advantage of a great print sale and have over 500 photos being processed! Guess I'm even further behind in my scrapbooking efforts now... Here are the details if you have some prints you need processed:

Until January 11, Jewel-Osco has digital prints for just 9 cents each! And if you pick them up at your nearest store, there's no shipping fee to pay! Plus, new customers currently get 20 free prints as well. Just visit www.jeweloscophoto/ and get started today. You'll need to enter the Promo Code YEAR09 in the promo box at checkout to get the special price.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I don't know about you, but I tend to be lazy when I'm creating, whether it's in the kitchen or the craft room. I don't want to have to guess at how I did something when I try to do it again. When I make cards and scrapbook layouts I tend to use a lot of sketch "recipes". But, sometimes, I'll design something myself, and like it enough that I'll want to repeat it in the future.

So, I've decided to create my own recipe book for my sketches. I'm storing them on the computer, but since I'm a hands-on kind of gal, I'll also be printing them to include in an organized binder. This will also make them super easy to take with me to crops like my other sketch books.

Now that Christmas is over and my cards are finally mailed, I thought I'd share my card design with you. The final product was changed somewhat as being too labor intensive for me to complete with all of the other holiday-related hoopla I had going on, but they were pretty similar. Feel free to use my sketch for your own use, but please do not share it in any way, other than to pass on a link to it here.

So, here's my prototype card:

In the end, I didn't sand my cardstocks to distress them and I opted to leave the red presents plain. Just didn't have time for the cutting, adhering, and sanding! Plus, most of the people on our list wouldn't have noticed. I also ran out of ribbon toward the end, so I just left that off on some.

All products/stamps used are from Close To My Heart, except the card bases, which came in a bulk pack from Michaels' (I think). I used the stamp set from the September card kit promotion and the Grinch quote from the Peace on Earth sayings stamp set.

The scalloped border was made using a corner rounder punch and mini hole punch. Would have been faster for my assembly line process if I'd had the Stampin' Up! scallop border punch; guess that's on my list of things to get...

Now, here's the sketch I created:

I just use MS Word and create a table of the size of my design. For a card, I can go full-scale. If I were designing a scrapbook page, I would go half-scale. I make enough columns & rows so I have one square per quarter inch.

These card bases were 5" x 6.5", so I had 20 columns and 26 rows. For rectangles, it's easy to highlight the cells and use the "merge cells" feature to "draw" them. I then used the line tool and the oval tool for other pieces. Since it's not always exact or perfect, I add text with the actual sizes of each piece and other little bits of info.

If you'd like to try this and need more help setting up your table, just contact me. I'm happy to help try and walk you through it.
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