Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Layouts of 2013 Blog Hop Giveaway Winner

Happy New Year's Eve Day! Can you believe we are about to embark on a brand new year? A year full of possibilities, creative and otherwise?

Thank you to everyone who stopped by last Friday to check out my top 13 layouts of 2013. I had a little giveaway to coincide with that post, and today I'm here to announce the winner. Are you ready?

The random number generator chose comment #1. Congratulations to Lisa P!

Lisa, you have such a fun style. I love how you use all the embellishments yet still keep the photos as the focus. Love the last one. Such fun bright colors!

Lisa, please send your mailing information to me at lswift1110 (at) frontier (dot) com and I'll get your package right out to you.
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Top Ten Layouts of 2013, a Blog Hop and a Giveaway

I'm joining in with a number of scrapper friends today for a blog hop review of our top ten favorite layouts from 2013 (please see the end of this post for the blop hop list). I'm deviating from that just a bit and posting 13 since the year 2013 is coming to a close.

So come along as I take a look back at my 13 top favorites, in no particular order. If you happen to make it all the way through, you'll see I've posted a giveaway at the end. :)

1. Take Note

2. A Master{Piece}

3. Soaring to Brand New Heights

4. Always There for Me

5. You Are Off to Seventh Grade

6. Bucket List at Eleven

7. It's a Bad Case of Stripes

8. Baby I'm a Star

9. Every Summer Has a Story

10. Generations

11. A Well Crafted Halloween

12. Turning 12 (I know I said no particular order, but how could I resist putting a layout with the number 12 in the title in the number 12 spot?)

13. This is What Life is All About

Blog Hop List:

Monika Wright

Christine Meyer

Suzanna Lee

Ashley Horton

Jodi Wilton

Lisa Swift (<-----------that's me!)

Cathy Harper

Marcia Dehn-Nix

Lynn Shokoples

Lissa Mitchell

Jennifer Haggerty

Laurel Seabrook

Krissy Clark

Kerri Yarus

Rhonda Van Ginkel

Malika Kelly

Thank you for stopping by and taking this creative trip down memory lane with me. I have a little giveaway to say Happy New Year and thank you for visiting my blog this year:

One (1) package of Prima All About Me Sugar (Enamel) Dots
One (1) package of Prima All About Me Wood Tags
One (1) Studio Calico Roller Word and Date Stamp
One (1) package of Maya Road Kraft/Black Snowflake Diecuts
One (1) roll of Doodlebug Beetle Black Swiss Polka Dot Washi Tape

One winner will be drawn at random on December 31st. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which layout is your favorite or become a follower if you aren't one already. That's it. Super easy. Good luck!
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa's Belly Box

Remember those yummy Rolo pretzel treats I shared yesterday? Well, how about a cute way to package them?

This Santa box is a Silhouette cut file. Alexa gave my new Silhouette (early present to myself, thank you very much!) a whirl and made a bunch of these up for her friends. They really turned out cute! I'm thinking her friends will be more impressed with the treats inside though. LOL!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all! I'll be back on Friday with one last post for the week.
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Rolo Pretzel Treats

I'm here today to tempt you with ooey gooey goodness in the form of Rolo pretzel treats. These are a variation on the popular Hershey Kiss pretzel treats (and if you need that recipe, feel free to email me).

These are perfect to make for a last minute gift, to bring as a hostess gift or to snack on during a family gathering. I can promise you, they will disappear in a matter of minutes! Oh, and did I mention they are quick and easy to make? 

What you need:

Square waffle pretzels
Rolo candies
Salted pecan halves
Large cookie sheet

What you need to do:

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Line pretzels up on the cookie sheet, leaving just a bit of room between them.
Top each pretzel with a Rolo.
Bake 3-4 minutes, just until the Rolos have softened.
Press a pecan half into each Rolo.
Chill for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate. After that, they can remain at room temperature. That is, if they last long enough!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

500th Blog Post Giveaway Winner

The winner of my 500th blog post giveaway (chosen by a random number generator) is...

Congratulations! That is absolutely awesome! You do beautiful work!

Debbie, please send your mailing info to me at lswift1110 (at) frontier (dot) com and I'll get your goodies right out to you.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Is There an Echo in Here?

I am so excited to share some wonderful news with you today! I was asked to join the Echo Park design team. I will primarily be making cards, but you'll see an occasional layout from me too. I can't wait to be able to share my projects with you!

The announcement was made yesterday and you can find it right here.
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blog Celebration: 500th Blog Post Giveaway

It's a happy day here at Remember the Good Times. Good things are happening, it's the holiday season, and I've reached my 500th blog post. To celebrate, let's have a virtual cupcake (choose your favorite flavor) and a giveaway.

I've put together a collection of sweet Lawn Fawn embellishments (because you know that's my favorite part of scrapbooking) that will go to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and become a follower if you haven't already. I will post the winner on Thursday, 12/19.

Thank you to all of you for helping me reach this blogging milestone. :) Have a great day!
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Monday, December 16, 2013

Card Share: Warm Wishes (Echo Park Holly Jolly)

With all of the frigid temperatures we've been having, I'm sending warm wishes to you today.

My holiday crafting is leaning toward non-traditional bright colors this year. I find myself reaching for Echo Park's Holly Jolly collection when it comes to making my holiday cards. Last week I shared another card also made with this collection.

How about you? Do you like a lot of color in your Christmas or traditional red and green?
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Card Share: I Love Christmas

Sharing a fun Christmas card I put together this past weekend with odds and ends from my stash. I have to give Alexa credit for the photo styling (and the cat for routinely destroying her efforts). I guess shiny, sparkly ornaments are way too tempting for Mr. Butterscotch. LOL!

Have a great weekend and thank you for stopping by this week!
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Altered Project: Ribbon Spool Ornament (Echo Park Holly Jolly)

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday!

I was inspired to try my hand at making a ribbon spool ornament after seeing some on Fleur Smith's blog. Such a fun and creative way to upcycle empty ribbon (and twine) spools, don't you think?

I decorated both sides of the spool I had on hand so I could change things up if I felt like it. I embellished 2 1/4" patterned paper circles with chipboard and stickers, adding in a bit of machine stitching. The finished circles were adhered to 2 1/2" white cardstock circles and then to the spool.

You can see one side of the ornament above. Here's the second side:

I covered an empty sewing thread spool with a band of coordinating patterned paper and threaded rick rack through it to act as a hanger. The rick rack is glued around the circumference of the ribbon spool so it won't slip and slide.

The next time you use up a spool of ribbon, twine or thread, consider upcycling it into some fun holiday decor or gift packaging.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pallet Pleaser (Echo Park Happy Camper)

Back in September, my hubby made an awesome piece of pallet wall art for our family room (more on that here). It hangs right above my favorite chair (and ottoman) where I like to sit and read (and take the very occasional cat nap).

I was inspired to scrap this photo because the current link up over at Paper Issues is called My Happy Place. Did you notice how I worked the theme into my page with a diecut that says, "This Is My Happy Place"?

Come link up a project (or two or three) about your happy place. It doesn't have to be new for this challenge. Chic Tags is our sponsor and they're giving away a prize pack to one lucky winner. Your project could even be featured on the Paper Issues' blog, Facebook page and/or on Instagram. :)
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Tutorial: Project Set Up and Photo Taking Process

I've had a number of people ask how I go about taking photos of my projects, specifically layouts, so I thought I'd share a bit about my set up and process.

This set up allows me to get square images without having to compensate for slant or distortion using a photo editing program. I am not the world's foremost Photoshop expert, that's for sure. The only thing I do with my finished images is edit them (for color, definition, and contrast) in iPhoto and crop/resize them in Photoshop Elements.

The sliding doors off of our kitchen let in a lot of light so I take the majority of my photos here, using just a few basic supplies. The most important is a piece of foam core board. Foam core board is basically poster board with a foam center which makes it more durable. You can find it at craft stores and dollar stores.

Here's what I do:

1. Place a piece of white foam core board on the floor, flush with the edge of the slider frame. This ensures you are starting with a straight edge. You could also use the edge of a wall or another area where you know you'll have a straight edge.

2. Place a 1/4" thick strip of wood (cut slightly longer than the foam core board) along the edge of the board that is not against the slider , making sure the edges are parallel and flush.

Pull a kitchen chair up to the edge of the wood strip, making sure the back legs of the chair are right up against the piece of wood. The whole idea is to keep the set up as square as possible.

Place your layout on the foam core board, right up against the strip of wood. With my set up, the wood strip is slightly higher than the foam core board so there's a little lip (kind of like on an easel) that allows me to set the layout down below the depth of the wood a bit, again helping to keep things square.

3. My model, Alexa, demonstrates how I kneel on the chair, hanging over the back, getting a view of the layout from above. 

Using either the top or bottom edge of the layout as your guides, square up your shot in your camera's view finder. I usually take about 8-10 pictures in order to have a couple of good ones to work with. Some of them I align using the top edge of the layout as my guide, some of them with the bottom.

4. The end result, after cropping and editing a bit in iPhoto and Photoshop. If you'd like the details on this layout, I blogged about it here.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions. I will update this post, as needed, with any input I receive. :)
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

This is What Life is All About (Simple Stories I Heart Summer)

Temperatures have fallen drastically, and there's snow on the ground, so I felt the need to bring summer back into my house. No better way to do that than by scrapping a warm summer memory, right?

I pulled out Simple Stories I {Heart} Summer collection and got to work, mixing in embellishments from Little Yellow Bicycle, Studio Calico, Becky Higgins, Elle's Studio and Doodlebug.

I feel warmer already. Have a great day!

Linking up to:
The Memory Nest

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Craft Ideas

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I'd share some of the holiday decorating and gift-giving projects featured on my blog last year. I've provided links to the original posts in case you'd like more information about them. Make these projects for yourself or make them for gift giving (or maybe a little bit of both). 

Note: If you'd like to pin any of these items, just hover over the center of any of the photos and a round, red "P" will appear. Click on that for easy pinning. :)

1. Embellished Wreath. An artificial wreath embellished with diecuts, chipboard, journaling cards, and small ball ornaments. You can get more information about this project, and see detail shots, here.

2. Altered Trees. White wooden trees embellished with patterned paper and a variety of seasonal embellishments. More about these here.

3. Clothespin Holiday Card Display. These clothespins can be used in so many different ways but one idea is to clip them onto a length of wide ribbon and use them to display the holiday cards you receive. More photos and details here.

4. Merry and Bright Holiday Clothespins. This is the merry and bright version of the clothespins shown above. How cute would these be clipped onto gifts? More about these right here.

5. 'Twiz the Season Treat Jar. I love a good pun and I'll bet your friends and neighbors will too. Gift a jar of Twizzlers red licorice twists in a jar with the sentiment, 'Twiz the Season. See detail shots here.

I hope these ideas put your creative gears in motion and you're ready to craft up some holiday goodness! Thanks for stopping by today!
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