Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's Time For A New Scrapbooking Kit Preview!

Remember how much fun we had in last month's cardmaking kit preview video? Well this month we're using the super sized versions of those Echo Park papers to build some scrap-tastic layouts! The Jack & Jill collection by Lori Whitlock features old-timey icons like antique cars, baseball, bowling, airplanes, horses, and more- all cool stuff to pair with your favorite heritage photos or even just your friends hanging around the ball park.

The June 2015 Scrapbooking kit from also includes beautiful aqua neutrals from Simple Stories, a great big wood veneer from Heidi Swapp that spells out Journey, and black and blue toned fibers to accent our layouts. To further customize our pages, we've got a full 12x12 sheet of stickers AND a 12x12 sheet of pop-out-your-own die cuts to play with!
I like to take all tear all of the die cuts away from their paper backing right away; for me it's easier to store them in one of those plastic packaging bags I always seem to have floating around the craft room. Don't have any yourself? Hmmm... I think a shopping splurge at may be in order lol.
I've seen crafters store their die cuts in pretty displays of stacked cake plates, elaborate drawer systems, baskets, and even Tupperware containers! It's all about doing what works for you, in your craft space- the important factor is your ability to enjoy them :-) And enjoying the die cuts included in this month's kit is easy to do- think subtitles, & embellishment clusters! Next week you'll see how I use some of these fun little paper bits to enhance a few handmade greeting cards and even a mini album... as one of the tags reads, "the sky's the limit!"
For this month's kit preview CraftWithAnna tutorial, we're building a fun, two page layout featuring photos of my two girls living the life of jet setters! You know me, I'm always interpreting the examples my own way; something that is so easy to do with the designs and products included in each kit from
Of course, there are wonderfully detailed written instructions and the full color examples to guide you with product placement and the general look of what your layout can look like if you do everything just as directed. Either way, you'll soon have a beautiful layout to include in your album!
I hope you enjoy our latest preview video- be sure to that subscribe button so you don't miss the exciting reveal of what I come up with using the supplies included for an additional two page layout. I know I'll be able to create additional projects using those numerous die cuts, stickers, an off-cuts too. So follow along on instagram @AnnaBradshw or search for #CraftWithAnna to see what's coming from the craft room and comment away!

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Am... Still Using the May 2015 Scrapbooking Kit!

From the first time I saw this "I Am" collection from Simple Stories in Shelby's class last earlier this year, I was smitten. The soft aqua mixed with first and second generation golds, coral and greens, and flashes of gold foil and outline accents in a creamy white spoke of the pleasant days of Spring to come. Now that they are here (and even more pleasant than I had hoped for to be honest), the May 2015 scrapbooking kit from is the perfect companion to the (1000's of) photos I've been taking!
As I previewed in our kit release video for National Scrapbooking Day earlier this month, this collection also offers a die cut pack with nearly 100 Bits and Pieces in it- limitless possibilities there! You could use a few of these to highlight your embellishment clusters, spell out a title, or even become the focal point of a page or card. Shelby also included black twine, aqua ribbon, and sheets of rich Bazzill cardstock that perfectly coordinate with the colors in this collection. I loved these papers so much, that when I saw some additional sheets being sold at the Scrapbook Expo a few weeks ago, I just had to grab them! Instant gratification and all that... you can find order more from Simple Stories through though :-)

Can't cut this couple apart card.
Cut Apart Collage
Cut apart sheets are papers that I sometimes avoid buying because I don't always know what to do with them! Maybe not so much avoid buying, but more along the lines of, easier to say no to lol.  I love getting kits like this, that include ideas for how to use products I love but haven't been inspired enough to experiment with. Sometimes we just need a little practice project, no?
One of my bonus cards from this kit is this wedding card, where I stacked those cards behind a cute cartoon sticker of a couple exchanging a loving glance. The anchor and suitcase cards made me think of "honeymoon," and by wrapping some of that aqua ribbon around the grey polka dot square, it becomes a wedding present! Even the two heart cards which had been cut down too far to show as full sized hearts got included. No one can see behind to see what isn't there lol.

May 2015 Scrapbooking Kit Preview tutorial layout on the left
I love how this two page layout came together- made separately, they feature two very distinct styles, and yet because the pieces are all coordinated, it comes together beautifully. A grid pattern for my four by four photo collages on the left also includes ten of those 2x2 inch cut apart squares, while my four by six photos get my favorite free for all treatment - a color block background for each photo and lots of layered die cuts to spell out a long title. On each page I also opted to follow the full color examples provided by including two of the pocket folders included in this month's kit. One is just for looks, but I did journal a tiny bit about my girls current accomplishments on the other.

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...
I do love me some shine!
Look at how I used this flower filled basketed bicycle die cut, and the "so thankful" banner to spruce up the front of this card. Of course I had to add in a handful of my favorite blings from Queen & Co., too! I still have a few pieces that I can create more cards with, but frankly, with so much card making going on around here, the times when I can devote my energy towards scrapbooking are now cherished moments, so took this opportunity to add to my albums instead of my store front card racks.
I am... an artist
Scrapbooking as an art form has become such an important storytelling tool for me; it has allowed me to explore memories that I fondly look back on from the perspective of motherhood,
I am...thankful
I am...loving life
I am... one of many
highlight relationships that mean the world to me, and well, when you have cute kids you've got to do something with all those photos! Putting pretty papers together with pictures I enjoy and then finding litte add-on's to enhance my page is a very creative process, and one I absolutely think of as essential in my personal quest to avoid card-makers burnout lol.

Thank you for joining us for our first layout share post, using the May 2015 scrapbooking kit from
Be sure to click on the purple social media icons to the right of this post to follow my channel on YouTube, catch my latest instagram posts and Surivor fan-atic tweets, or to take a stroll through my etsy shop... your comments are always welcome below, too!
I'd love to hear your current "I am...," or about what scrapbooking or card making means to you, or maybe you want to share about how you feel about gold foil? Lol, whatever your weekend brings, I hope it includes a bit of bling!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Relay Rally Cards

These cards were sure a lot of fun to make, and for a good cause- they will be used to raise money for our Columbia Bank Relay for Life team!
Thank you to Queen & Company, an awesome scrapbooking supplier that generously donated many of the supplies you see on these cards. I love the one with all that bling- something I have always wanted to try. I was tempted to keep these myself... but I can always make more I suppose :-)
Yes, I think I'll do that now as a matter of fact!
Thank you to all those who are helping us in our fundraising efforts!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May 2015 Card Share for!

It took me a few days to get my video made- instead of my usual craft submersion this weekend I instead participated in the creation of some terrific Mother's Day memories - go figure! I laughed to myself throughout the day because usually I take this day off from any caretaking activities, child related or otherwise. For some reason though I kept washing dishes and comforting the kids- so maybe I'm maturing in my motherly way lol.
My brother came over in the morning and helped us set up a playset one of Ray's clients gifted us last fall. I somehow managed to convince him that the best place for them to play would be directly across from my craft room window... so yes, I will need to spend even more time in there, "supervising!" Later in the day my mom and her husband came over and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon, complete with BBQ and a long distance chat with my step-sister in Germany. I couldn't help but show off my seedlings- but did not mention the crop of aphids I discovered hiding in all my kale. YECH!
But back to the showing off- you're here, you know I love to do it so here it is without further ado:

We certainly hope you are enjoying these kit preview and share videos! Show your support with a big thumbs up and tell a friend what they're missing- inspiration, ideas, and non-intentional impersonations of Rachel Ray by yours truly :-)
Thanks again for following!

Friday, May 8, 2015

May CARDMAKING Kit from Conclusion

   When Shelby emailed me that this month's subscriptions from were on the way, and that the May Card Kit would include a more masculine themed collection, I immediately thought of many holidays and birthdays coming up that offer themselves to a more subtle and classic design. The 6x6 paper patterns from the Jack and Jill collection and chipboard and sticker accents, twines and buttons all come together in layers that were easy to create but look absolutely stunning, making this an admirably texturized collection of 8 cards.

My Hero wears a Mulit-Function Tool
Starting with the full color example and directions for card number one, "My Hero,"  we used some foam adhesive to lift up the sticker sentiment and slipped a button behind it. Another layer of dimension is achieved with that black twine wrapped around the long rectangle. Rounded corners contrast with the column effect and mimic the frame around our sentiment.
Lovely Layers
 I'll admit, I fell victim to the same habit many of us do, I looked at that sticker and thought, Nope, not gonna use it, don't feel it, don't have boys etc. Then, as I followed this month's well-written instructions, my mind wandered to a different interpretation, and I thought of What makes a Hero to me? What came to mind were examples like, a dad teaching his kids how to survive in the forest. Or when a schoolmate stays close enough for a phone call for decades. Even a grown up taking a look a their life and deciding to act more mature or doing a bit of self exploration. Needless to say, the card now sits in my craft room while I debate which boy stole my heart enough to get a postal salute!
Based on Card Design Number Two
 Now, anyone who's taken a class or placed a custom order for cards from me will be able to tell you, I'm not very good at sticking to an example when I'm in the creative zone. One of the things I really appreciate about the card kits from is that the directions and pictures let me get creative comfortably. Knowing which pieces I can set aside or use with each of the cards ahead of time lets me sift through the left over pieces, and get inspiration from the basic design. Here, instead of a vertical card and stacked banner (pennant) shapes, I turned the design and used a cut out phrases from the six by six papers instead of the stickers and chipboard. Instead of a father's day card, I've got myself a great card to give my brother the car junky next month!
There was just enough room at the left hand side to slip on that red chipboard BOY. With the blue and white twine I stuck to the star theme but used the red and white stickers, with a tiny blue chipboard circle layered over a bit of that blue airplane paper and an inked strip with a postal mark on it. Whenever you can cover more than one paper with an embellishment, it will help it to look as if it's pulling the card together; part of the overall design,  instead of that there's just another thing on the card.
I put a lot of my handmade greeting cards out for sale in Gig Harbor's Copy Mail It, and the card rack there has a majority of spaces for horizontal cards, so I tend to convert many designs to one that is stretched across the card front. Taking an idea and transforming it into a design that works for you is one of my favorite concepts to teach. In card #3, I used that thick brilliant red pre-scored cardstock and the Light Blue Kaleidoscope Paper, adhered to the center of the page. I didn't worry about the top cut too much, just width. Instead of the Orange paper, I used a row of those element symbols. That pattern, the airplane print, and the billiard motif had my mustache loving heart a flutter! A little bit steam punk but not in a nerdy way is what I kept think, as well as the songs from Oh Brother Where Art Thou and the Grapes of Wrath.
Card Number Three
Can you see the little red arrow I left attached to another sentiment strip from a sheet in the 6x6 paper pad? And another detail to keep in mind the next time you're working with border strips is how I centered the element boxes, leaving the same open width on the left and right edges. But enough about me, I thought this card would be great encouragement for a soon to be graduate or even just an average student  or friend currently struggling. As an inside sentiment, that Dream Big sticker finds a place to inspire the recipient. But what did I do with that gorgeous scripted wood veneer "today?"

Closer to the original! Card Number Four
Why, move it onto my next card, of course! I loved the idea of the contrasting pattern topped tag and since our local Gig Harbor High School's school colors are grey, dark blue, and white, I figured this would be a great graduation card to put in the store too. It doesn't hurt that our local Narrows airport just opened up their field for visitors to watch the aircraft up close and personal; perhaps some of our locals will be more inclined to day dreaming?
The alphabets included this month allow us to really customize these cards and I used the number stickers to put the graduating year on there. The rich colors, busy but subtle patterns, and the layers on layers give this card a lot of substance with very little effort on the maker's part and only a few scraps of paper. I think it's the wood veneer and the bold silky blue ribbon that give this card that pop of quality.
You can't tell by the size of this photo, but our next card is a whopping 9.25 inches long- and comes with a custom envelope to prove it! Hey, it's not the size of the card but the amount of paper you can get on it, and I actually saved this card for last so I could put my cut offs to good use. The tones of blue and white and talking about cut offs reminds me of the quilt my mom made out of all the legs we'd cut off our jeans each summer (does anybody even do this anymore?) That quilt darn near killed her sewing matching because we hadn't thought about all the rivets... hmmm, may have to go back and add a few blings to simulate that effect!
Let the flag fly!
Based on Card Design Number Five
The full color picture shows a few different patterns and stickers being used. Again, not feeling the brothers theme, I pictured a couple enclosing their love within this card that speaks of the pride a parent fells for their child when big things are on the horizon. If I'd thought to grab a close up you'd see that I layered chipboard and sticker sentiments over that large square chipboard sentiment sign. The compass points are layered too; I brought that red in to go with the bright crimson twine included in this month's card kit. Thought this would be perfect for a parent with a son graduating from the military or getting shipped out after school, too.
Card Number Six,
 perfect for an "Amazing Dad"
 Did you have a chance to see last week's card making tutorial? Together we layered a border sticker and a few patterned paper strips with chipboard and stickers to create one of the coolest Father's Day cards my hands have crafted. Working within a collection, there is not a lot you can go wrong with in selecting different patterns, but Shelby has a knack for creating designs that are easy to simulate and look amazing no matter how you interpret them.
As I mentioned in the video, if you wanted to turn this card on it's side and read vertically, it would be a snap; just cut your pieces to the correct height and cut the excess off the sides! The twine tied around the banner and layered under the chipboard ruler, as well as the dimensional adhesive behind the DAD pennants are two of my favorite features on this card. Plus, I'm a total sucker for all things wood grain!
Cad Number Seven
Because I had already used the compass and The Sky is the Limit stickers on other cards, I needed to mix up the design a little for card number 7, but I did still include many of the same elements. I have the blue airplane paper, the red chipboard airplane with the blue Adventure sticker, and that beautiful blue ribbon threaded out on either side. For some extra movement and texture I did two stickers at the top, the camera on the right is lower to the card front than the chipboard timepiece tag tied with baker's twine you see to the left. I like the way the two stickers, being the same color, almost appear to combine into a flag waving in the wind.

Bonus Card: Boy Defined
The designs and color photos in each of the kits from Embellish It also come with another bonus: you can use them again and again with patterns and embellishments of our choosing! Look at one of my bonus cards, which uses hardly any paper btw, and you will see many of the same placements as our example shows, such as the large, circled sentiment in the top right and a bold, main piece in the bottom left corner of the card. I even used a 1/3-2/3s ratio with the patterned paper strip to the right and the white cardstock background of my card front. You can learn terrific ideas on how to achieve that designer look on either of our cruises taking you around the Caribbean April of 2016.
The last card with instructions in this set got the horizontal flip again, and then I had some fun choosing stickers that would fit my Thought Up theme of a birthday card for a "One of A Kind," Awesome boy. Look, I got 7 stickers on there, as well as an additional chipboard element!
Working each month on trying to use every bit of these kits is almost the opposite of what I would normally tend to do with a new collection kit in my craft space. Isn't it like, a rule that you have to savor all the pretty things as you work with a kit, using only the pieces you're instructed to and saving the assorted left overs for just the right card front/ layout? And isn't it more likely that instead of being used, those pieces will float in a bag (if they're lucky) around from place to space, not getting used up at all.
Nu-uh; in my sanctuary, I've been attempting the practically impossible- I've been using up sticker sheets, discarding their empty frames on cling with a fling to the paper bin. That 12x12 piece of chipboard elements with only three pieces still in their places? Onto a card front they go- layered, stacked, and adhered with abandoned, or even (gap)  given to the children for artsing with- anything to move those products through my stash. After all, there are more cool patterns and motifs coming!
Bonus Card: Ta-Dou!
When I was working with the stickers, I kept admiring that baseball player and his quote about not letting fear get in your. This background design of a pattern on top, a pattern on the bottom, and a band of a another pattern or texture through the middle is one I turn to again and again, and as I mentioned before, I love me some wood grains. I chose the blue and grey with white striped scrap, and then an off-cut of the chevron which looked like directional arrows to me. I chose a few athletic traits from the element pattern, and then realized I could use them to spell out, "Ta-Dou!" That's sporty, right?!
my precious leftovers @AnnaBradshw
Bonus Card: Soar..
Thanks for joining me in another card share, using the May 2015 card kit from Shelby Dredge of and
and the inside.
Although I used nearly every single piece of chipboard and sticker not part of an alphabet from this collection, the smaller prints on the six by six papers means even with tiny bits and pieces, I've got lots of leftover papers and embellishments still to play with from this month's kit, so be sure to follow me on instagram to see those finished creations turn up amongst pictures of my girls enjoying the spring sunshine here in beautiful Washington state. <3Anna

P.S. Feeling the need for some creative retail therapy? Go ahead and shop for a subscription that fits your papering needs, it would make a perfect Mother's Day gift to yourself or a loved one :-)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bling To Life A Picture

My little girl Rainie has embraced all things ultra feminine in her fourth year, and I guess she want's to spread the joy- I caught a glimpse of something shiny and dimensional adhered to one of her favorite puzzles. Yes, she gave the picture girls earrings in the form of bling.
Oh, so creative, and oh, so much like me lol
Bling Bling, Baby!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Sunday, May 3, 2015

NSD Indeed

Sometimes, a surprise is "in store..."
  I hadn't planned on being able to participate in any National Scrapbooking Day festivities, but I was pleasantly surprised when I stopped at Michael's on my way out of town to check my upcoming schedule and discovered I had three people signed up for my Beginner's Papercrafting class that day!

I was excited because the cards we would be learning to create were so fun to make. While I was waiting for class to begin I created my samples and an interested passerby decided to sign up on the spot too, what fun.

We didn't know the other three peeps would be no-shows! And we ended up sharing a delightful couple of hours getting to know each other (and the store's paper trimmer). My student's aura matched her shirt- bright, cheerful, full of pep and sunshine! Seriously, with that floral top she had on I wanted to transplant her into my garden of friends lol.

My favorite part of the class was how she kept picking up the first card she made- the one she's holding up above- and just couldn't seem to believe it had been made by her own hands lol. That's always a good feeling, when your creation gives back to you the same pleasure you had making it. I'm sure whomever she gifts it to will feel her genuine feel-good attitude emanating from within the envelope :-)

Speaking of feel-good, um, feelings, the auction I attended did fabulously! Through a significant matching donation, a record setting amount was raised for Etta's Projects. My friend Jen and I even "won" a women's weekend retreat at our local YMCA Camp! Along with some apple cider moonshine and a new ring, a couple Etta-tini's each... yep, our contributions both monetary and at the check-in table probably ensured us a place helping out next year...

Now, if it happens to fall on NSD again, I am bringing a little project with me to work on in my down time... probably end up costing less than pursuing the auction items lol.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

Saturday, May 2, 2015

National Scrapbooking Day Video and Challenge!

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!
Isn't it awesome that around the world, crafters just like us are celebrating with more than a bit of glee at having a valid reason to be making today... after all, it is a National holiday! And I've got a new video to share- check out the new, 2015, May scrapbooking two double page layout kit!

If you've ever thought about hopping into a kit club, I can speak from experience that you will find oodles of goodies and inspiration, as well as technique tips, in each package that comes your way from and  I really enjoyed the direction these layouts took, but I still have some left overs I'll use to create a bonus project, so be sure to subscribe to the CraftWithAnna YouTube channel, and next week's share videos will show up in your watch list auto-matic-ally. "I AM" excited (can't believe I just used that adjective) to work up a project that turns the scrapbooking eye introspectively; my what I'm doing now mental list is turning into a tiny mind novella!

So how will I be spending a day that seems to have been custom-created just for me? Alas, as has happened in years gone by, I have booked myself for involvement in a no-less attention worthy cause; the Etta's Project auction in Lakewood, WA tonight. I first learned of the effervescent young Etta when I started working for the bank. One of my coworkers had a daughter who'd been a schoolmate of her's, and shared lots of stories about what a wonderful girl she was; how her smile would light up a room, how all of her friends loved to have her around because they felt so good in her presence. Unfortunately, I have only met this community outreach angel via word of mouth. While traveling on a Rotary trip through Boliva towards the end of high school, she was in a fatal bus accident that left her family and friends stunned and heartbroken. Her mom channeled some of that grief into doing god in Etta's name, created this organization, Etta's Projects, and in doing so built a legacy that does amazing works of good, all in Etta's name and spirit.

Etta has friends who continue to carry her energetic spirit into rural Bolivia, furnishing villagers there with skills such as nutrition management, small business loans, and most importantly in my Western eyes, compostable latrines. Tonight is one of their biggest fundraisers, and an event of this emotional significance has come to be one I look forward to almost before the night is over. I look forward to seeing what is out on the auction tables, sipping my custom, brother-blended Etta-tini, all while overseeing the check in and bid packet pick up process. I'm also looking forward to dishing on current events with my bestie who graciously volunteered her pleasant attitude and 10-key skills to work alongside me gathering credit card info.

So what will you be doing today? Might I plant the not-so-subtle suggestion that you try out this Scrapbooking Playlist? Or perhaps you need a stronger challenge: Pin or Instagram a project with the #CraftWithAnna and I'll enter your name into a drawing for a custom set of scrapbooking embellishments (one of my latest crafting endeavors in preparation for the two cruises I'm teaching on next year)!
1. Try testing out that "I Am..." journaling prompt to include a list of your currents; breakfast foods, wardrobe favorites, job responsibilities- whatever comes out of the pen or pencil, that's what you're using on your layout.
2. Create a page about a lost loved one... consider including details like, when you think of that person most often, surprising times you miss them, or even just about how much fun you had (or didn't have) when they were nearby. This could be a rather touchy subject, and frankly, we tend to over think projects like this, so take it right on into challenge number
3. Let it go. Just Do It. We are different, but same-same...same-same, but different! Whatever movie quote or commercial mantra you can latch on to, use it to create something. Heck, use it as a title for your page! Please, don't let fear of doing it right, or perfectly interfere any longer with expressing yourself in either of these areas through the magic of pretty paper and shiny bling- after all, it's a Holiday!

Hoping you know how not alone you are in your obsession to make your pictures into stories (that can be told long after you can remember the details), and for the scrap-God's sake, get a bit of your YouTube on!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flashback: Got Washi?

This probably isn't the first post with this title found on, but it's still a phrase I quote to myself once a day (at least). I do hereby declare for all legal purposes possible that this is officially one of my catchphrases!
Washi tape, or decorative paper/masking tape, comes in  huge variety of different printed patterns and widths. It takes about ten minutes to adhere permanently paper, making it very versatile. It also sticks well to things like refrigerators and tee shirts!
Since debuting on the paper crafting market, I've managed to collect enough rolls that I use it as an extension of nearly every tool in my kit... it also means I've had to upgrade my storage container a few times!
Need to hold something in place on my desk or within a layout or on a card front? Want a small amount of pattern in just the right place with the least amount of effort? Just feel like running your hands through a box of it like it's treasure, maniacally shouting, "My Precious!" ?
Boom- Washi is there for you!
I hope this Friday's Flashback has you reaching for a roll of your favorite tape this weekend, and if you're looking to fill up your YouTube queue with lots of National Scrapbooking Day vid's, be sure you're subscribed to my CraftWithAnna channel.
I've got two new tutorial movies for you this weekend, the first can be found HERE and previews the May 2015 Card Kit from Shelby Dredge of I love the way she puts exactly what I love about her class events; the current paper collections, large packs of embellishments, coordinating quality cardstocks etc. together and sends them out each month through
This month's pack of 8 cards would be perfect for any graduate or to show your appreciation for a more masculine individual in your life. I've found myself reflecting on all the fatherly lessons I've gleaned over the years from the men in my life... how to set up a Washingtonian themed camp, how to get the best deal in the flea market, how now matter the age, a man in love can act like the kid in his heart <3. Lot's of good stuff both in the kit and in the process!
Then tomorrow you can take a peek at what Shelby puts in her scrapbook layout kits- ever wondered at a layout with awe at how it just looks so darn awesome? That's pretty much what I think with every layout she's helped me create :-) I can't for tomorrow's National Scrapbooking Day festivities, and sharing the gorgeous layouts from the May kit. If you're not already a subscriber to this YouTube channel, I have new videos coming out about three times a month, and there is a link to the right on this blog, just look for the purple circle icons.
Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to your comments!