Jul 31, 2008

Handwriting Hints

I've mentioned including your own handwriting on your scrapbook pages in a couple of recent blogs, so I thought I'd discuss it in more detail.

Scrapbooking has definitely joined the digital age. You can complete an entire page on the computer. Even those people who don't scrap digitally yet, often use the computer to create page titles and journaling blocks for their layouts. Handwriting on a page may not look as neat as a computer font, but it is more personal and meaningful to your family.

Why do we hesitate to use our own handwriting in our albums? I think there are a few reasons. First of all, lots of us just plain old don't like our handwriting. We might think that it's too messy to be read by others. But stop and think for a moment of a handwritten birthday card you've received, or grandma's recipes, scribbled in her own handwriting. These items leave a legacy for those you love.

Sometimes you are afraid that you can't write straight on the paper, or that you'll run out of room before you finish your story. Or that you'll make a mistake and not be able to erase it. But there are many ways to avoid these handwriting errors. Start out by using a journaling block. If you run out of room, or make a mistake you can use another one. You won't need to adhere it to your finished product until it looks just right. You can also fix a mistake by placing a new piece of paper over the error and writing on that one. And don't forget stickers, they are wonderful for covering up mistakes.

Also, before you start writing, make sure you have the right pen. Many pens will smear on certain types of papers. Also make a note of the width of the tip. If you are writing in a small space a broad tipped marker won't quite do the job.

If you don't want your handwriting to be a main element on a page, you can create hidden journaling. Pockets, folded cards, matchbooks, etc. are great ways to hide journaling on your scrapbook pages. You can write out your journaling by hand on a piece of coordinating cardstock then slip into a pocket on the page.

If handwriting intimidates you, start out small. You can write just the date, or a person's name. Another fun idea is to create a handwritten dedication page. Include who made the album, who it is being dedicated to, and dates included in the album or when it was made.

Whatever type you choose to include, don't be afraid. It's important to preserve something as unique and individual as your own handwriting.

Check back for one other fun handwriting tip in an upcoming blog. It's so cool, it deserves it's own blog entry! Until then . . . happy scrapping.

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 28, 2008

Album Size & Type

Scrapbooking albums come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one specific album size that is "best" to use, but here are some tips on the various sizes and types available:

Paper is readily available in the 12x12 size. It's a good size to fit pictures and other memorabilia on the pages without too much crowding. You can also buy ready-to-make pages kits in the 12x12 size.

If you want a smaller size book, there are many available such as 8x8 and 6x6 albums. These sizes are great for children to start with because the pages are small and easy to fill. The 8 1/2 x 11 size is becoming almost obsolete. The industry is steering away from it and going to the square sizes instead.

There are several questions you should contemplate before making an album purchase:
-Will I be able to find this style of album and page protectors when I need to purchase replacements or additional albums?
-Is the album trendy? Will I still like the design years from now?
-Will the album fit the number of pages I have?
-Can I afford the other components (page protectors, posts, etc.) needed to complete the album?
-Is the album durable, reliable, and easy to use?

There are three basic types of albums:

Post-bound Album
A post-bound album uses 2 or 3 metal posts to tightly hold pages in page protectors between a front and back cover. The posts eliminate any gutter. This means that facing layouts butt together at the center margin making them easier to look at and create designs that span two pages. These albums will accommodate both top loading and side loading page protectors. Longer posts can be purchased to allow more pages to be added.

The disadvantage of post-bound albums is that to add or remove a page, the album must be disassembled, and all or most of the pages taken out to insert or retrieve the page you want to move. Often you will need to buy page protectors from the same manufacturer as the album, because each manufacturer places the posts in a slightly different place.

Three-Ring Album
A three-ring album uses clamp-style metal rings, attached to the spine on the inside cover, to hold pages in page protectors in the album. These are basically just a standard three ring binder like you used in school. These albums usually do not come with sheet protectors, which will need to be purchased separately. A major advantage to these albums is that pages can be added and removed easier than other types of albums.

Strap/Hinge Album
A strap or hinge album uses 2-3 narrow, sturdy nylon straps that slip through "staples" to anchor pages between the front and back covers. These generally have special pages inserted that are white or black sturdy cardstock with a reinforced edge. They do not come with plastic sheet protectors, but they can be purchased separately to safeguard your finished pages.

With this type of album, your layouts are permanently attached to the page, so page planning is imperative. Because of this, these pages are not interchangeable with any other type of album.

Ultimately, your album choice will be based on personal preference. I have used all three types of albums and there are distinct advantages to each one. Personally, rather than how the albums function, I base my album choice on what the cover looks like and if it fits the personality of the pages I'll put inside.

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 27, 2008

A Special Spirit

As I sat in the foyer, holding Alyssa crying on my lap, I wondered why I had been chosen to be her teacher. Alyssa was born with Sotos Syndrome. She was a beautiful little girl with many challenges.

The primary presidency decided she needed some one-on-one attention, so in addition to her regular primary teacher, they called me to be her teacher. My assignment was simply to be with Alyssa while the other teacher presented the lesson, which Alyssa and I rarely heard.

I was instructed not to get her mother unless it was absolutely necessary. The first few weeks we alternated between sitting in the foyer, Alyssa screaming on my lap, and going to the bathroom to wipe her nose which was constantly running from crying.

I received many looks of sympathy from other adults who walked by. They all appeared to be glad it was me and not them who had to deal with Alyssa’s behavior. It was difficult, and I felt helpless. The first few weeks Alyssa’s mom finally came out to rescue me. I think the whole ward could hear Alyssa crying.

If Alyssa’s mom brought her to primary, we never even made it into sharing time, because she cried and refused to leave her mom. When her mom finally tore herself away, Alyssa was left screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. I finally figured out that if I took her outside, she seemed to calm down, so we spent a lot of time walking around the church outside, talking about Heavenly Father and all the beautiful things He created for us. Slowly, Alyssa seemed to be warming up to me.

Eventually, Alyssa and I were the best of friends. She always came to find me after sacrament so we could go to class together. She even stayed in class and participated, as much as she was able to, in the lesson.

Her mother and I were cub scout leaders for the wolf den, and Alyssa started coming to scouts every week. She proudly wore her mom’s scout shirt and joined in all the activities. Alyssa’s mom said she talked about me all week, wanting to know when I was coming over to her house.

I came to realize that although I had been called to help Alyssa, the calling was more for what she could do for me than what I could do for her. I was at a tough juncture in my life. I was in the process of repenting for some serious mistakes, and I wasn’t feeling very worthy or very loved. Alyssa’s smile filled my heart each week. She needed me, and relied on me to feel safe in primary. And I needed her. I finally figured out that if someone as sweet, loving, and innocent as Alyssa loved me, then I must be worth loving. She helped me heal from years of heartache.

It was a privilege to be her anchor, to keep her safe from the perceived threats in primary and to feel her healing love in return. She will always hold a special place in my heart. I now know why Heavenly Father sends his most special spirits to the earth clothed in bodies and possibly minds that are not quite whole. It is for the benefit of those of us who are privileged to be part of their world.

Thanks Alyssa! I’ll never forget you.

*Names were changed to protect privacy.

Jul 26, 2008

Blog Tour: Caught in the Headlights by Barry K. Phillips

Have you ever set out on a path to achieve a goal--something you desperately wanted--only to find out that the thing you thought you couldn't live without, wasn't necessarily the thing you needed? I think we all have. We go through life, thinking we are on the right path, only to find out we missed our turn three miles back.

Barry Phillips' new book, Caught in the Headlights, is about this exact phenomenon. Often we pursue one thing, and while on the path, figure out that we really want something different--something better.

The subtitle of Barry's book is 10 Lessons Learned the Hard Way. Throughout the book he discusses ten topics: happiness, self-esteem, pride, freedom, control, tolerance, forgiveness, success, the big event, and the perfect body.

Some of these are very serious, often sensitive, topics. Barry discusses them in a light-hearted way that will cause you to examine your own life and values. Through many personal examples he shares an intimate view of his life and the things he's learned, all in the hope of being able to influence the reader's life for the better.

My favorite chapter was The Big Event. We often go through life thinking that the next big thing--marriage, a child, a better job, etc.--will finally make us happy. Barry says, "Finally, after anticipating big event after big event, I noticed a few things. The first was that even if the event never happened, I would still wake up the next morning and life would go on. The other thing I discovered was that life--real, meaningful, lasting life--was rarely tied to a big event at all. Living life is much more about the small stuff--the little events that happen day by day."

I enjoyed the book. It is well thought out and written in an engaging style. It's an easy pleasant read, even though it discusses such serious topics.

You can get a copy of the book at Amazon or from Barry's website.

I also had a chance to interview Barry. You can see some of his answers below. It was fun to get to know him better.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Interesting question. I've always written a great deal throughout my professional career, but I guess when I first started writing some training manuals about 12 years ago, I realized I had the abililty to write in "volume." Once Glenn Beck and his staff started using me to write for Fusion about 3 years ago, I finally got the confidence to write my own book.

How long did it take you to write the book?
I wrote the book over the summer months, in evenings, on weekends, and while on vacation.

What books or authors have most influenced your writing?
This may sound strange, but in the author category columnist Dave Barry and of course, Glenn Beck. I also like the writings of Mark Twain and C.S. Lewis.

What can we look for next? What current projects are you working on?
I have another humor-based book that I'm working on right now. I hope to have the first draft done in the next 3 or 4 months. I have several other ideas rolling around in my brain for books as well.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Not really. I thought about making the book a little longer at one point. The book is relatively short, but most people don't have time to read a War and Peace sized book these days, so I'm alright with that.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding souces for everything. There are lot's of things that come to mind that I want to quote in a book. Sometimes it takes a lot of research to nail down the actual source. Just because 30 websites say someone said a particular quote, that's not a source. They all probably copied each other.

Do you have any advice for other authors?
Write about what you know, and what you love. In real business, if you turn your hobby into a business, most of the fun leaves it, because it's now a job and you have to deal with all the business issues surrounding it. But in writing, you get to know what you think you know a whole lot better. I love the benefit of what I learn through the writing process. The other bit of advice is have the confidence to just do it. I wish I would have written my first book way earlier than I did. Most authors are not known when they start. Clancy was an insurance salesman - you don't get less known than that!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Cook (and eat), hot-air ballooning, camping, golf, and watch movies. Mostly, whatever involves my family is what I like to do.

Any last words you want the reader to know?
If you'll permit my shameless plug, while you can go to amazon and elsewhere, you can get an autographed copy of the book (hope that doesn't decrease the value too much) at my website barrykphillips.com.

Caught in the Headlights
Trade Paperback: 116 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort (June 2008)
ISBN-10: 1599551675
ISBN-13: 978-1599551678
Website: http://www.barrykphillips.com/
Blog: http://www.barrykphillips.com/blog

Jul 24, 2008

A Vintage View

With all of the 24th of July celebrations going on this week, it's caused me to reflect on my own pioneer ancestry. This naturally leads me to think about how I can capture that history to share it with my children.

Vintage scrapbooking is one of my favorite things to do. There are lots of vintage scrapbooking products available in the market which make it easy to add a unique vintage look to your layouts.

So what does 'vintage' mean, anyway? In the scrapbooking world, vintage refers to a specific artistic style. There are three main elements which will help you create a vintage look:

1) Paper

The colors and patterns of your paper create a background for your vintage look. Use soft shades like rose, ivory, mint green, and also some bold colors such as burgundy and teal. Soft, muted patterns on your paper will add to the vintage feel.

2) Embellishments

When it comes to vintage embellishments, think of your grandmother's sewing box. Items such as buttons, lace, ribbons, silk flowers and stitching add to your vintage theme.

3) Distressing

If it's vintage, it's got to look old. There are many techniques you can use to add a distressed look to your papers and embellishments. Techniques like inking, chalking, or sanding the edges of your papers or embellishments or lightly crumpling your papers all add to the vintage style.

If you want some fun fonts to add pizzazz and an authentic vintage look, check out this link. It includes free fonts with a historic or heritage theme. There are fonts that represent specific decades of history, famous fonts from movies, and other vintage themes.

Try using some of these products and techniques that capture the look of days gone by. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do, and it will create a unique family heirloom you can share with those you love.

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 22, 2008

I got Tagged!

I've had so much fun watching all of my friends get tagged and seeing parts of their lives and homes we wouldn't normally see. Well, I guess it's my turn. My friend, Heather, tagged me. I've been putting it off, using my broken computer as an excuse. But I got a temporary replacement computer, so I guess I can't put it off any longer. So here goes--sorry my pictures aren't the greatest. I took them all with my phone.

1) My Kitchen Sink

My mom would die if she knew I was putting a picture of my kitchen sink on the internet with *gasp* dirty dishes in it. I think that's what the sink is for, a temporary holding spot for dirty dishes, until I feel like loading the dishwasher.

2) Inside of Fridge

If you look close, you'll see my attempts at being healthy. There's soymilk on the door, broccoli, skim milk, grapes, and yogurt. But don't look too close, or you might also see the whip cream on the top shelf and peach pie on the bottom.

3) Favorite Shoes

I was tempted to just take a picture of my feet, because I really don't like shoes at all. But that would just be gross, so if I have to wear them my preference is definitely sandals. Socks are just way too restrictive. You'll even find me wearing sandals in the winter, and flip flops are my favorite!

4) My Closet
Oh, did you want to see it open? Well, okay--

Here's a picture of one side of my closet. You'll see all of my pants, my little girls dresses, and my shoes in the top. The two sets of drawers in the bottom belong to my two youngest children. On the other side (not pictured) I keep all of my shirts on top, and another son's clothes on the bottom. So yes, in case you weren't keeping count . . . four people share this closet.

5) My Laundry PileLet's see . . . seven people wear one outfit per day (yeah, right! The kids always change at least once.) That's 7 outfits per day times 7 days, that's at least 49 outfits per week that need washing. I have to stay caught up on it, or it quickly spirals out of control. Here's my laundry sorting sytem--towels in the white basket, and then slots for my colored clothes, kids' colored clothes, and whites. It looks like the kids' clothes need washing!

6) What my Kids are Doing Right Now

My oldest, chatting online with her friends.
This daughter loves to follow me around. She was on the bed, talking to me while I worked.
My two littlest. One asleep . . . and the other watching TV and eating a huge sucker.
I had to chase my two sons around to get their pictures, but finally caught this one when they weren't looking. They are playing a game with their little brother.

7) My Favorite Room
The kitchen is my favorite room, because it's where my kids like to hang out--eating, of course. We spend lots of time sitting in the barstools, talking and having fun--and eating!

8) My Most Recent Purchase
No, this is not a picture of the original. I bought an Icee for my son yesterday at BYU because he waited patiently for 3 long hours, while I got a computer problem fixed. The original Icee is long gone, but it was tasty!

9) My Fantasy Vacation

A cabin in the mountains

With beautiful scenery

Sitting by the fire

Sleeping in and breakfast in bed

Or, sitting outside in a hot tub

Watching the sunset, with someone I love.

(And writing, of course!)

10) Self Portrait

I really HATE pictures!

WOW! I think that is the longest thing I've ever posted. Hope you had fun getting a look at my crazy life! Now for the real fun . . . I get to tag 3 unsuspecting, innocent people:

Keith Fisher - LDS Writers Blogck (Without whom I wouldn't have started on this whole crazy writing and blogging journey.)

Autumn Ables - Queen of Chaos (My sister in spirit who always has such fun music on her blog!)

Christine Bryant - Day Dreamer (Because she's an amazing writer and I want her to blog more often. :)

Jul 21, 2008

Scrapbooking Bargains Online

Let's face it. Scrapbooking can be expensive. If you consider the paper at $1.00 per sheet, stickers approximately $2.00 per sheet, and embellishments at $3.00-$5.00 per package, you can easily spend $10.00 to complete one scrapbook page. And that's not even considering the tools required.

Luckily, we have the internet. There are tons of scrapbooking bargains to be found online. The first place to look is eBay. Okay, so I may be a little prejudiced since I have a scrapbooking store on eBay (Kim's ScrapShack). But there are a lot of other vendors besides myself who sell products at great prices. Just do a search for scrapbooking and thousands of items will come up. Your best bet is to skip the auctions and just scroll down to the bottom of the page and buy directly from Ebay stores. You can buy items now at bargain prices, without having to wait for an auction to end.

You can also find great prices at most scrapbooking sites on the internet. Most sites have a clearance or sale link you can follow to find great deals. Below are a few of my favorites:

Dollar Scrapbooking
Creative Express
Two Peas in a Bucket
Keeping Memories Alive
Scrapbooking Warehouse
Scrap 'N Save

You can also find many more scrapbooking websites at the Scrapbooking Top 50 website. Be sure to look for a sale or clearance link at any site you go to. You'll be amazed at what you can find. There are often name brand products listed at 75% off the retail price.

Your memories are definitely worth preserving. But they don't have to cost a fortune!

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by
clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 20, 2008

Blog Tour: Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury

The thought of 72-hour kits and food storage has always overwhelmed me. I think it’s because there is so much information available, it’s hard to wade through, and get to the meat of exactly what is required.

I know that emergency preparedness is essential. We have been warned by church leaders time and time again to prepare.

“Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.”
--L. Tom Perry, 1995

“The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”
--Ezra Taft Benson, 1980

This week I read an amazing book on getting prepared, Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury. The book is full of educated, timely information that, if followed, will help you and your family to be more prepared.

One of the guiding principles in the book is “being a little bit prepared is a whole lot better than not being prepared at all.” Not all of us have the financial resources to go out and purchase everything we need, nor should we. By following the plan Barbara sets forth in her book, you can acquire the needed items in a timely but prudent manner.

Throughout the book, Barbara discusses four categories of preparedness:
1) Principles for surviving worst-case scenarios
2) Principles of provident living
3) Principles for dealing with disasters
4) Principles for emergency evacuation

The book not only discusses items you need to store, but what to do with it once you have it—where and how to store, recipes and preparation tips, using, replacing, and rotating, and shelf life.

It also goes far beyond food storage. It discusses emergency shelter, alternative heat souces, sanitation, water, evacuation plans, communication, transportation and much more.

The book retails for $26.99 and can be purchased at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.

Barbara has also two other amazing books on preparedness:

-Beating the High Cost of Eating
-Plan . . . not Panic
For completely up-to-date preparedness information check out Barbara’s blog—Three P’s in a Pod. There she discusses a variety of personal preparedness solutions.

Jul 18, 2008

Titles and Journaling

Scrapbookers often find journaling the hardest thing to do, whether it’s coming up with a catchy title for the page or writing a description of the events pictured. But, in my opinion, it is the most important part of the scrapbook.

I have a four year old who loves to look through her scrapbook. She often brings it to me and asks me to read ‘her story’. Without the journaling, the book would just be photos. Yes, photos can tell a story. But there are many benefits to adding journaling to your pages.

The simple fact is, you will not always be around to tell your children about the pictures in their scrapbook. And frankly, it’s hard to remember detailed facts about every event, vacation, and holiday for which your family has pictures.

I love sitting with my daughter and reading ‘her story’. It brings back memories of the special time it was for our family when she was born. In fact, I recently submitted a story about her birth, and without the scrapbook to remind me, small details that enriched the story would have been forgotten.

When you are looking for ideas for fun and creative journaling, browse through magazines and jot down any quote or title that appeals to you. Look up quotation sites on the Internet. Also, don’t overlook your favorite songs and poems. I’ve seen lots of darling scrapbook pages that included a meaningful poem for the journaling. If you blog, or email stories about your children, these are great places to find journaling ideas. You can even simply copy them directly and put in your scrapbook.

If you think your handwriting isn’t good—don’t worry about it. The personal touch handwriting lends to the page is very important. You handwriting is part of you. When you create scrapbooks for those you love, you are essentially sharing a part of yourself.

There are tons of fun ways to add journaling to your pages. The most simple way is to write directly on the page. You can also write or print your journaling on paper and mat it with another coordinating paper that matches your layout. You can make pockets and create a journal card, attach ribbon to the top, and slide it into the pocket. You could also make a card with journaling inside, or a journaling window with flaps folded like shutters over the journaling. The ideas are endless!

Have fun journaling and scrapbooking this week. If you have any fun journaling ideas I didn’t mention here, I’d love to hear about them.

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by
clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 11, 2008

Smells like Heaven

How many of you followed the Summer Road Trip over on the Inksplasher blog? I did. It was loads of fun.

And guess what? I even won a prize! I won a bottle of Urban Botanic body lotion in the Summer Road Trip Fragrance. It is part pina colada, pear, and coconut, and it smells heavenly. Thanks Karlene!

You can see a recap of the road trip here.

Jul 10, 2008

Scrapbooking Playground

Would you like to have your own scrapbooking website? A place to upload layouts for family members and friends to see online? I recently learned about a fun website that allows you to do just that. ScrapWow offers a fun, innovative way to create your own website.

After creating a website for his newborn daughter, Nick Romer, founder of ScrapWow, shared it with family and friends. Many thought it was remarkable and asked how they could create their own website for posting photos. Nick combined what he knew from his experience in the craft industry and launched ScrapWow.com, the ground-breaking result of sharing photos online with a scrapbook look and feel.

ScrapWow quickly evolved into a vision of "a playground for scrapbookers." Appealing to a large community of digital scrapbookers, the cutting edge technology at ScrapWow.com offers the community of online and offline scrapbookers a place to share their creations and photos. It provides them with a virtual creative room with everything you need to scrapbook online.

To the beginners, Nick believes that the ease and creativity of the site will pave the way to their growth into full-fledged digital scrapbooking. For the experienced digital scrapbooker, ScrapWow offers unparalleled creative options and technology, plus a lot of free stuff!

Setting up your online digital scrapbook is easy. No programming or html knowledge is required. They have a variety of professionally designed scrapbook themes to choose from, which can be easily changed with a click of the mouse.

Your website can include multiple scrapbooks. It also has a news journal where you can keep visitors up to date on happenings in your life. It even includes a guest book so visitors can leave comments. If you'd like to see a sample site, visit here.

In addition to your own personal website, ScrapWow members also have access to free monthly digital scrapbook kits with simple to follow tutorials, a starter kit with coordinated pages and embellishments, interactive eBooks with sketches and sample layouts, sayings and phrases to express sentiments for any occasion, and manufacturers coupons.

See what people are saying about ScrapWow:

"A BIG gap in my life has been living so far away from my family. Having my own scrapbook website helps to fill this gap . . . and the void sometimes in our hearts from missing each other so much. This site is a gift to my family and they love it because they can 'keep in touch' with me at their leisure."
-Lisa, Port Charlotte, FL

"I've been looking for something like this ever since getting started in digital scrapbooking because I have hundreds of digiscrap pages on my computer that only I get to see. Thank you. I love, love, love it!"
-Sandy, Gurnee, IL

"WOW says it all! I love this site. The free monthly kits alone are worth the subscription."
-Kimberly, Huntsville, NC

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 7, 2008

The Stackable Crew

Today, I’m happy to be able to highlight one of the newest vendors on the scrapbooking block at yourLDSneighborhood.com, The Stackable Crew.

Three years ago, J.S. Broo was doing crafts with her kids at the kitchen table. She created several three-dimensional animal figures for her children to play with. Her neighbors and friends saw them, were impressed, and wanted copies. Soon, she used her amazing talent to create figures upon request, for anyone who needed them. One day, someone told her she should market them; that people would pay for her artwork. So, she decided to give it a try.

The Stackable Crew has currently been in business for nearly a year. They have people from all over the world browsing their website and using their darling stackable figures. For a nominal monthly fee you are allowed unlimited use of all the designs on their website. You simply print them on your own computer directly from The Stackable Crew website. They create new designs each month which are highlighted in their monthly newsletter sent to all current subscribers.

J. S. Broo has thousands of ideas for new figures. However, suggestions and requests are always welcome. Christine from the Stackable Crew said, “The great thing about our company is that it will never grow old. Our figures are timeless. They are adorable and very versatile. We have used them as iron-ons on T-shirts, window decals, bulletin boards, appliqué patterns for aprons, dish towels... you are truly limited only by your imagination.”

They are currently working on creating greeting cards, quotes, and coloring book pages. Their goal is to be THE place to find the perfect idea for a card, gift tag, or embellishment for any project.

To learn more about The Stackable Crew and see all of the fun designs currently available, check out their website.

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.

Return to the Neighborhood.

Jul 6, 2008

Recalculating Route

I recently attended a Relief Society Women’s Conference. The speaker recounted an experience about driving in a foreign city on vacation. She had rented a car that had a GPS navigation system. The friendly voice in the system directed her to a destination by telling her which streets, exits, and turns to take. There were several times when she did not follow the directions and missed a turn. The voice inside the system remained friendly. It did not shout or curse at her, “You stupid driver. You missed the turn back there!” It simply and kindly said “recalculating route” and found a new way for her to get back on her original course.

There is a great lesson to be learned from the simple statement, “recalculating route”. In life, there are often times that we get off our original course. There can be many causes of this: death of a loved one, financial burdens, loss of employment, divorce, sin, and many others. Most of these are things we cannot control.

Often we get off course simply because we stop moving forward. When this happens it usually just takes a small push and we gain our momentum and get moving again. The push could be in the form of a phone call from a friend, an inspiring talk in sacrament meeting, or simply an answer to earnest prayer. Regardless of the reason for our momentary lack in progress, it is important to realize that we are not on the right track . . . pause . . . evaluate . . . and decide to make a change.

Another thing can happen when we are standing still. Sometimes a small push will send us in the wrong direction—into the path of sin. Sin is something we ultimately can control, and it often leads us way off our original course. If you have traveled down the path of sin, it is never too late to recalculate your route. The way back will likely not be easy, the path could be riddled with holes. Sometimes it may seem easier to pick a different destination. But, no other path and no other destination will bring the ultimate reward of arriving where you originally planned to go.

I know when I left my Heavenly Father and came to this earth, I planned to do everything I could to follow the path that would lead me back to Him. I’ve taken a few detours and fallen off the path several times. But each time, through the light of the Saviors love, I’ve made the choice to evaluate where I am and get back on the correct path. I’m sure the detours I will take throughout my life are not over, but through the atonement I know that if I fall away from the correct path, there is always a way back—Christ will not leave you by the wayside.

If you’ve taken the wrong path, listen to your internal navigation system. The light of Christ will softly and safely help you find the way. Recalculate your route and get off the destructive path of sin which can only lead to a dead end road. The end of your path may seem too far away to concern you now. But you never know, your end could be looming right around the next bend. Recalculate your route and turn around. It might be the most important turn you ever take.

Jul 3, 2008

15 Minute Miracles

Author Ernest Hemingway wrote, "Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is."

A lot of us who scrapbook are Mothers with young children still at home. This equates to a desperate shortage of time and energy. Of course, most of us also started scrapbooking to preserve the memories of those same children who are draining all of our time and energy. Although it would be ideal, most of us don't have hours to devote to our scrapbooking hobby every day. But, can you find 15 minutes?

The following is a list of necessary scrapbooking tasks that can be accomplished when you just have a snippet of time:

* Journal A Memory
You think you'll never forget the cute conversation you had with your daughter while waiting to pick older kids up from school, but you will! Write it down while it's fresh in your mind and you can use it for journaling later.

* Read a Magazine
Look through a new scrapbooking magazine to keep up with current trends and find fun new ideas.

* Create a Blog
Blogs are taking the internet by storm. A blog is essentially an online journal. Your blog can become a resource for future page ideas and journaling. There are even services that can turn your blog into a printed scrapbook. Check out Scrapbook Blogger.

* Create a Page Embellishment
Even though you may not have time to create an entire page, you can create one element of the page. Make a layered 3D embellishment or create a title for your page.

* Write About Your Day
Holidays, Vacations and special occasions are only a small portion of our lives. Make sure you capture the rest of your life. Take 15 minutes to write about what you did today. You never know what you could use in a scrapbook later.

* Shop
This is my favorite! Nothing gets me more motivated to work on a current scrapbooking project than buying new supplies.

* Crop Photos
Use a few spare minutes to crop your photos with a paper trimmer so they'll be all ready to go.

* Download New Fonts
You'll find terrific (and free!) font resources online.

*Clean Your Scrap Area
Set a timer for 15 minutes, and clear away as much surface clutter as possible. You'll be surprised how motivating a fresh clean table can be.

* Make Page Kits
Put together all the elements needed for a page: paper, stickers, embellishments, etc. Then when time permits, you'll be ready to scrapbook.

* Download and Order Photos
Download all the pictures that have been piling up on your camera and then order your favorites online.

* Edit Digital Photos
If you use photo-editing software, take 15 minutes to clean and crop a few photos so they're ready for printing.

Scrapbooking can be overwhelming, but by breaking it up into more manageable chunks, you can accomplish miracles in just a little time. Have fun scrapping this week!

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prizes. Our dozens of giveaways range from a trip for two to China, to iPods® (each with a $50 gift certificate for LDS music), cruises, and more.

Learn about our amazing monthly, quarterly, and annual giveaways by clicking here.
Return to the Neighborhood.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...