Saturday, April 30, 2011


It is my absolute pleasure today to wrap up the month of April 2011 by bringing you another S:CY Design Team Member Spotlight!

Know what? I love writing these features. It's just a small way I can personally thank the gals for their dedication and work here at the S:CY Blog.  

Today we shine the spotlight on S:CY Designer Mandy Harrell. Let’s get to know her better, OK? Ready, set… go!
S:CY Design Team Member Mandy Harrell
Mandy is a SAHM to 5 kiddos, 4 girls and a boy. She also has 2 dogs and a hamster, and  laughingly says "I think I own a cat too, but she has taken to the fields around my home and lives off the land now, so not sure if I can claim ownership at this point!" (She inserted a big grin in her email to me right there. LOL!)  

Mandy works from home by selling crafts and wall decor that she creates. She told me that her kids all put up with her creative ideas. For example, Mandy’s 2 middle daughters recently participated in a Lord of the Rings photo shoot, led by Mom… The result is one of Mandy’s favourite LOs.
"Beauties" layout created by Designer Mandy Harrell 
 (Photo: Mandy Harrell)
Mandy dressed the girls up in LOTR costumes for the shoot...“We had so much fun!" In commenting on the creation of this page, Mandy adds "I used a water distressing technique for this layout.” 
In terms of scrappin’, Mandy's family is “first and foremost” her main source of inspiration… “and then after that comes my photography.” Mandy said “when I get a great photo from a shoot that I fall in love with, I have to scrap it even if it's not a family member.” Mandy owns a Canon 40D camera, and adds “I am hoping to purchase a Canon 1Ds Mark II this summer. I can't wait!!!” This gal loves to shoot photos, and is dedicated to improving her already-apparent skill in this area. Mandy told me that she loves how “both my hobbies go hand in hand.” (She is SO RIGHT about that!)

A peek at the projects on Mandy’s blog brings to the forefront her ability in beautifully photographing the small things that add such beauty to her creations. The pictures that Mandy takes of her work are delicious in their clarity and inclusion of shots featuring project details. They really are the definition of photographic "eye candy...!" You can easily see proof of this by taking a peek at Mandy’s blog, whimsically entitled: “For Scrapping Out Loud!”

Like many scrapbookers, Mandy describes being a memory-keeper from an early age. She says "as a teen, I always loved taking pics and sticking them in albums."

Mandy started her scrapbooking passion about 17 years ago, because of her eldest daughter Raine's birth. Raine is featured here in another of Mandy’s fave LOs.

"Reach" layout created by Designer Mandy Harrell
(Photo: Mandy Harrell) 
Mandy, aka "Craftysprinkles"  told me that she feels she really started to blossom in this hobby about 2 years ago when she began frequenting online Galleries. Mandy told me awhile back that she is “a big fan of working with sketches,” and that the hand-drawn sketches at S:CY appealed to her.
She says that her style “is best described as distressed and eclectic.” She distresses every page to some degree and says she also uses various brands and embellies on a single page. I asked Mandy for her best design tip, or hint… and she simply said “use layers, layers, and more layers!”

Mandy has a process to her scrappin’, and to decide whether something is done, she “works over every last detail of it.” She reveals that she will usually stand her layouts up. Why?? “So I can see them from straight on…” and then examine them with a critical eye. She said “countless times I have had empty spots in my background that I had to somehow get a layer behind.” Mandy reports that “I've added Stickles or Perfect Pearls for something extra on embellies or paper edges. To sum it up, I usually ask myself, 'where can I add more,' and if a clear answer pops out, then I add to it.”

We all have scrapping tricks that relate to our craft,  and Mandy's trick is connected to her enjoyment of music. She says "I love music... I scrap the best when I have music playing. I am also funny about playing music that fits my layout. So if I go darker I will play my Twilight soundtracks and if I go bright and fun, I go for dance music!!" 

I know you're wondering if I brought it up... The answer is "yes..."  I HAD to ask Mandy a question related to the topic of the dreaded “scrappin’ rut!” We are all familiar with it…those times when ‘Mr Mojo has LEFT the building…’ (Arghhh!!)
Mandy responded that if she falls into a rut, she takes a break… “unless I have no other choice. If I get a loss of mojo then I will set my project down and come back later.” Mandy told me that she really tries not to force the issue…stating that “it always comes back.” You can see evidence of the fact that mojo is never far away for Mandy by checking out her blog or gallery.

We also talked a little bit about the MUCH more FUN (in comparison to loss of mojo...) topic of scrap-supply organization! An interesting tidbit came up when I asked Mandy how she organizes her LOs in albums. She replied "I don't use albums anymore. My pages are far too thick and chunky to stick them in albums, so I place them in page protectors and store them in large bins. When my kids are older they can sort through them all and keep what they want.”
Mandy answered my organizational questions about her small scrappy items, too. She stores her buttons in “cute little jars that sit on my shelf.” For storage of her brads, Mandy uses bead containers.

The question related to paper storage for this S:CY Designer revealed that, like many of us, Mandy has her cardstock sorted by colour. “My patterned paper is always stored by brand.”
Organization and storage of paper scraps is handled in a well-planned way, too. Mandy told me that “when I get scraps left over I keep them in large ziplock bags by color.”

On the topic of handling deadlines, Mandy's sense of humor shines thru…! (Many of us can relate to her response to this issue!) She revealed that "I am awesome at handling deadlines, if they are set by someone else. If I set them, then forget it, lol.” (Thanks for your candor, Mandy! *wink* LOL)

Another of Mandy’s LOs is below. She told me that “This is my all-time favorite layout. The pic is of my youngest daughter and I just love the look on her face.”
"Speechless" layout created by Designer Mandy Harrell
(Photo: Mandy Harrell)

Mandy is currently a member of several Design Teams. In addition to her S:CY Design Team work, she creates for Scraps of Darkness Kit Club, Dusty Attic, Katies Kreations 4 U, Punky Scraps and Urban Swank.

Mandy's work has been published in Scrapbook News and Review Magazine. A side note: while perusing the most recent issue of SNR, I picked out Mandy’s work immediately-- before even looking for the Designer’s name!! That’s how distinctive and special her work is…! Bravo Mandy!

Thanks for helping us get to know you a little bit better as a person and an artist. We appreciate all you do for S:CY.
So very happy to have you designing with us!

 ~ Ali and Ann

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sketch 04-11

                                   Sketch 04-11 

Created by S:CY Team Leader Ali MacDonald
 This week's S:CY Sketch features a linear design for scrappin' 2 photos... complete with the suggestion of patterned paper, round elements, a "lace" effect alongside one photo plus a bracket, all capped off with a centrally placed, narrowly-matted title. This was such a fun sketch to create!

Our April Guest Designer Stefanie Semple created a digital template with this week's Sketch!

It looks great. Thank you so much, Stefanie! 

Digital version of Sketch 04-11 created by April S:CY
Guest Designer Stefanie Semple

"Of what does my kitty dream?" layout created by April S:CY
Guest Designer Stefanie Semple
(Credit: “What a catch” kit from Elise’s Pieces at Stefanie notes that "it perfectly complimented my photos.")
"Just Ducky" Layout by Heather Getson previously posted here using Sketch 04-11 is OUT FOR PUBLICATION by
Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine

"100 years of flight in Canada!" layout by S:CY Design Team
Member Tammy Pyette
"Daddy's Buddies" layout created by S:CY Design Team
 Member Tammy Pyette
(Credits: Backgrounds by ; "Winter" download.  The font is called "Brushed", it came with my editing software.)

 Journaling reads: "Champ was always a gentle giant. He was so good with kids, but even more so with Zac. The two were instant friends, as though Champ thought he was 'related' to him too."

"My new ride" two-page LO created by S:CY Design Team Member
 Lindy Rabenstine 

"Baby Cheryl with her Brothers" layout created by S:CY
Design Team Member Michelle Sheehan

"Play" layout created by S:CY Design Team Member
 Sylvia Tomala
"Future" layout created by S:CY Design Team Member
 Mandy Harrell
"You and Me" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Sylvia Galindo

"Pioneer Park" layout created by S:CY Design Team Member
Maggi Harding

"Summer Fun" layout created by S:CY Senior Designer
Ann Seleshanko

"Together" layout created by S:CY Team Leader
Ali MacDonald
Special thanks to you ALL for visiting with us here at S:CY today.
A warm "Thank You" to our April S:CY Guest Designer Stefanie Semple for being with us, sharing some of her fave layouts & her sketch interpretations this month.
The digital templates for Sketches 03-11 and 04-11 are really awesome: TY for this unexpected little bonus! Stefanie... YOU ROCK! It's been great having you with us... We wish you all the best with the Journaling Junkie Blog!

 Stay tuned everyone, in the next couple of days. We're gonna wrap up April with yet another S:CY Design Team Member Spotlight!

See you then!! Have a great Friday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sketch 03-11 and a SURPRISE!

Hi Everyone!

It's almost the weekend! WOW!

Are you ready for a new sketch? I sure am. Here you go... it's one with space for 2 pictures, embellished with scallops and linear elements in addition to a few florals or flourishes. Room for journaling, as always... we can't forget the journaling!! Hope you like it!

 Sketch 03-11 created by S:CY Sketch Artist/Team Leader
 Ali MacDonald
We have a special surprise for you today... our April Guest Designer Stefanie Semple  is soooo awesome: she took the time to create a digital template from the above sketch as a little treat for us! Thanks so much, Stefanie!!

Digital Template from Sketch 03-11 created by Guest Designer
Stefanie Semple

Here is how the Sketches: Creatively Yours Design Team interpreted Sketch 03-11...

First, a layout from our S:CY Guest Designer, Stefanie Semple:
"My Little Sports Fan" created by S:CY April Guest Designer
Stefanie Semple
(Credits: Elise’s Pieces "A guy’s life" kit  from

"My Girly Girl" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Amy Manis

"Mum's Wedding" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Michelle Sheehan
(Note from Michelle: This is my Nana's wedding pic, I've titled it "Mum's wedding" as this layout is for my Aunty's album.)
"Quiet Time" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Patchi Moussatche

"I love Strawberry Shortcake"  created by S:CY Design Team Member
Lindy Rabenstine

"CF-EVJ" created by S:CY Design Team Member Tammy Pyette
(Notes from Tammy: All images are mine, the background was created from the images. Font is Arial bold.)  
 "Rilla's 1st Valentine" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Tammy Pyette
(Credits: backgrounds and embellishments Valentine's download; I changed the colours. Font is )

"Read" created by S:CY Design Team Member Sylvia Tomala

"Baby Jail" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Heather Bridges Topich

"Time Passes" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Maggi Harding 
(Note from Maggi: I had to work this one for awhile but this is my most favorite LO ever I think. The sketch inspired me!!)
 Here's the journaling...Thanks Maggi!
 “I was only 18 when that photo was taken. Here it is, 40 years later, and I wonder, where did time go? The older I get, the quicker time passes. I think if I could have one wish, it would be to slow time down so that I could better appreciate each day...”

 "High School Bestie" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Renee Hagler 

 "Hanging Around" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Cheryl Casas

 "Spring Cleaning" created by S:CY Design Team Member
 Jackie Plank

"So happy" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Helen Hollinger

"You make me HAPPY" created by S:CY Design Team Member
Sylvia Galindo 

"Fall Photo Shoot" created by S:CY Senior Designer
Ann Seleshanko
"Grace's First Show" created by S:CY Design Team Leader 
Ali MacDonald
 (Green Note: Tag recycled from the tack shop~ originally labelled some equine gear.)

Journaling reads: "Grace, Kate’s 7-year old Hanoverian-Thoroughbred mare, did really well at her first show at the Greenwood Horse & Riding Centre (GRHC) in June 2010.  It was a “Training Show” and  was busy and well-attended by both entrants and spectators. Grandma was there to watch the show as Kate and Grace competed in several flat classes. Grace didn’t “place” but she was sooo calm and happy to be there. She waited over an hour and a half for her first class and was as easy-going as could be. Kate was so proud of her! Way to go, Grace!" 

Monday, April 18, 2011


S:CY Design Team Member Helen Hollinger
Today our Designer Spotlight is focused on Helen Hollinger. Helen is the Mom of 2 guys and a canine critter, and lives in Ontario. Super-organized, Helen is on the Admin Team at the popular and busy Sisterhood of Scrap Forum and helps keep things rolling along smoothly there.

She is a Hall of Fame DT Member from Sketches: Creatively Yours, having served on our Design Team in 2009-2010. I asked Helen a few questions and she answered them in a way that really helps us get to know her better!

Helen has a 9-yr old Bichon, Sasha, who “still acts like a puppy at times!” She confides that since she has two boys to scrap, she appreciates having that sweet little girl to scrap about: Sasha provides Helen with an “outlet for using bling and flowers!”

In terms of scrapbooking, Helen is a lover of details and she says that she really feels that “details are what finishes a project off! You know, a bit of stitching, a threaded button, that sort of thing!!” She feels that “using a bit of detail can transform your projects from great to marvelous!”

Helen has traveled a lot in her life, and told me that the “ultimate best place” she’s visited was Malta. She explained, by saying “When we were living in Egypt, we spent a Christmas week in Malta, and it was gorgeous! Such beautiful people, awesome history, and the most breathtaking scenery I have ever seen!!! I would go back in a heartbeat!!! Maybe a scrapbook retreat there would be something... hmmm...”

If Helen were ONLY able to scrap scenery, she says she’d choose old buildings. She reports that she loves “the look of the worn wood, broken cement, just everything!! I think that old buildings have a lot of stories to tell, and I always wonder what the walls would say if they could!”

Helen is a multi-talented scrapper, but she revealed to me that the one technique that she finds herself returning to again and again is stitching. She says that she stitches on almost every layout. She does have a sewing machine, but prefers to do hand-stitching. Helen laughingly reports that “This way I know I won't have a problem with the tension! LOL!!”

Having worked alongside Helen at SOS, I can testify that she is uber-organized. She feels that she handles deadlines really well, and says: “I think I work better under deadlines and stress. Being an ER Nurse for 20+ years helps with prioritizing too!!!”

If Helen cannot scrap for even a week, she (“Seriously!”) goes through scrappy withdrawal. She tells us how she knows this by saying… “I went to my Mom's for a week (she lives 3 provinces over!) and never took any scrappy stuff with me. I really found I was at a loss without it! She doesn't even have a computer to play with!! It was horrible!” Helen has already problem-solved this one, though, stating that “next time, I will take a box of goodies to at least make cards with!!”

Once in awhile, a scrappin’ rut rears its’ ugly head. Helen overcomes this by cleaning her scrappy space. She says that “sometimes I have forgotten about that ‘special’ paper or embellishment, and when I clean and organize, I tend to find my mojo!” If that doesn't help, Helen goes online and starts searching her favourite blogs and sites for inspiration.

Like the rest of us, Helen has certain ways that she likes to store small scrappy items. For example, all her buttons and brads are stored in watch maker’s tins, sorted by colour. Helen admits “I have 6 tins, with 12 holders in each! YIKES!!”

Helen also stores her cardstock by color, and her patterned paper by manufacturer. She says “this seems to work the best for me… but that could change!”

Here are some of Helen's fave projects...
"Then and Now" Layout by Helen Hollinger
Helen told me that this is one of her "favourite layouts ever" of her son Stuart.

"Family" layout by Helen Hollinger
Helen says "I loved doing this layout which was a challenge from Maggi (@ Sisterhood of Scrap)! I used many different techniques I had never used before... paper rolling the edges, using clusters of stuff and lots of layering."

Altered tray by Helen Hollinger
One of Helen's favorite recent altered items is the above altered painter tray from 7 Gypsies, done for her husband's birthday in March. She says: "This was so fun to do, and I will be making more of these for sure!"

"1922" layout by Helen Hollinger
Helen says... "This is my ultimate favorite layout of all times! I loved how everything just worked together on this one!!"

Thanks so much, Helen, for participating in today’s S:CY Designer Spotlight feature, and for sharing some of your favourite projects with our readers!

Now, what are the dates for that scrapbooking retreat you mentioned in Malta, Helen? LOL ;)

 ~ Ali

 (c) Ali MacDonald

Sunday, April 17, 2011

May 2011 Layout A Day is coming!

Lain Ehmann is running Layout A Day again soon (MAY 2011)! Go quickly, & find out about it! Ann and I are both all signed up and raring to go!~
You'll love it, Lain is a HOOT ...

GO, GO, GO!!!! Check it out, it's going to be FUN and Page-productive!!!

~ Ali

Friday, April 15, 2011

Card #1 Sketch!

                          S:CY Card Sketch #1
 Created by S:CY Senior Designer Ann Seleshanko
 Ann's awesome Card Sketch today features rounded corner elements!

What do you think of that? I LOVED it!

What can YOU create  with this card sketch? Can't wait to see leave us a link to YOUR creation in "Comments", below, and we'll visit and leave you some love.

Here's what our talented Design Team Members came up with using Ann's Card Sketch...

"Hi" Card created by S:CY Design Team Member
 Helen Hollinger

"Thanks! Card created by S:CY Design Team Member
 Amy Manis

"Thinking of You" card created by S:CY Design Team Member
Heather Getson

"Sweet 16" card created by S:CY Design Team Member
Sylvia Tomala

"Birthday Boy!" card created by S:CY Design Team Member
Patchi Moussatche

Floral greeting card created by S:CY Design Team Member
Jackie Plank 

"Sending Warm Wishes" card created by
S:CY Design Team Member Renee Hagler

"Happy Day" card created by S:CY Team Leader
 Ali MacDonald
(Credit: Bird Image from the Graphics Fairy)

"For You" card created by S:CY Senior Designer
Ann Seleshanko

Thanks to Ann for this awesome card sketch. It is going to be very useful in my collection of card ideas!

I used the card I made for my parents' 47th Anniversary early this month! Ann definitely made it as "easy" card for me to create with that sketch as my guide. :o) 

Remember to do smoething creative every day! We here at S:CY guarantee that if you use this sketch, you'll LOVE the result!

What will YOU create? Be sure to leave us a link- you know where to post it- below this post in the "Comments" section. We'll be by to visit.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Ali and Ann