Adventures in Card-Making

5Trends in Crafting in 2021

Dear Fellow crafters, 

Even in the midst of the Covid 19, there are still craft trends!

Sallie

5 Die Cutting Trends for 2021

5 Die Cutting Trends for 2021How to Make an Exploding Box With Paper

With so many amazing new tools & products arriving this year, we’ve declared 2021 the year of die cutting! Here are the most popular die cutting product trends for 2021 that you’re sure to be obsessed with – we sure are!

The Magic Mat Cutting Pad

The Magic Mat is the innovative, game-changing product that crafters everywhere can’t stop talking about. All you need to do is swap out one of your plastic cutting pads for our soft yet sturdy self-healing pad and you’ll be amazed by the magic that comes out of the die cutting machine.

Magic Mat Cutting Pad

You’ll have clean cuts every time and go through half the amount of plastic cutting pads for your machine. With the Magic Mat, you also don’t have to worry about deep plastic cutting pad impressions getting transferred to your new project. Try the affordable, long-lasting Magic Mat in your die cutting machine today – it’s only available at Scrapbook.com!

Slimline Die Cutting

Have you tried your hand at the new, trendy size of cardmaking? Slimline cards are all the rage right now with crafters. The long, skinny space allows for big, beautiful designs and fabulous scenes. And they fit in a standard #10 envelope without the need for extra postage like some sizes of cards.

Slimline Dies

All your favorite brands (including Scrapbook.com, wink wink) are coming out with slimline-sized dies including nested frames, florals, coverplate patterns, borders, and more.

You simply won’t believe the creative possibilities that are available to you when you combine the size of a slimline card with the design of slimline dies. You can create a window scene, an exciting landscape adventure, gorgeous flowing florals, tall & skinny shaker cards and so much more.

Alphabet Dies

We could spell this one out, but die cutters clearly want to spell it out for themselves! Alphanumeric dies are becoming increasingly popular in die cutting creations due to their versatility and gorgeous aesthetic. They come in all shapes, sizes, and fonts and allow you to get super creative on a variety of projects.

Alpha DiesAlpha Dies 2

You’re never held back by the thought of “do I have a die that says this?” when you have every letter of the alphabet to make it yourself (and in a variety of languages too)!

One of the best, versatile features of alpha dies is that you really have two completely different ways to use them. Either cut them out to place on your project or cut them out of your project so that the negative space creates the words. They really let your imagination and creativity take flight.

Layered Die Cutting

Here’s a trend with multiple layers to love! Many of your favorite brands have developed specialty die sets that cut out images in different layers so you can use varying colors for achieving unmatched depth and dimension. The Tim Holtz Colorize line for Sizzix is a fantastic example of this unique new trend.

Layering FlowersTim Holtz Colorize

Your cards, layouts, journal spreads, decor & DIY gifts will have so many eye-catching details and layers when you use these die sets. Choose from amazing animals, landscape scenes, seasonal characters and more. Just make sure you’re also stocked up on a rainbow of cardstock colors to make these creations really pop. 

Electric Die Cutting Machines

Crafters do so much work to make a project perfect, it just makes sense to let a die cutting machine do some of the work for them! That’s where electric-powered die cutting machines come in handy. Say goodbye to manual hand-cranking your dies and materials through the machine when you can watch the magic happen at the push of a button.

Long-time favorites for crafters include the rugged & whimsical suitcase-style Vagabond 2 from Sizzix & Tim Holtz. It’s powerful, easy to use, and portable for crafters on the go! A definite 5-star rated machine for lots of die cutting without arm strain.

Vagabond Machine

The line of Gemini machines from Crafter’s Companion are really popular as well. There are the long-time favorites Gemini & Gemini Jr. as well as the new mini mobile go-to, the Gemini Go.

Electronic machines are the way to go for anyone with limited mobility or strength in their arms or hands. There’s no cranking motion or gripping required – make the magic happen at the push of a button.

If you can’t get enough die cutting, be sure to check out these articles on the Scrapbook.com blog:

Adventures in Card-Making

Famous People who made scrapbooks

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Scrapbooking is a lost art. I did not know this but some very famous people made scrapbooks. Read and discover who…

Sallie

 

Famous People Who Scrapbook

Have you ever wished for a glimpse into the real life of someone famous or from long ago? Have you ever wished you could experience history as it was experienced by those who lived it? Hiding in archives and attics, scrapbooks from the 19th and 20th centuries can provide just that – an intimate, first-hand look at history created by the people who lived it, existing in the pages of a scrapbook album.

Famous People Who Scrapbooked

Mark Twain

Mark Twain
Mark Twain, By Photographer: A.F. Bradley in his studio. © Public Domain.

Mark Twain, 19th century author of the classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, was an avid traveler – and an avid scrapbooker about his travels, even taking his scrapbooks with him to chronicle his trips as they happened. The immensely popular self-pasting scrapbook that he patented in 1872 is widely believed to have been his bestselling “book”, earning him as much as $100,000 in sales. More than three dozen of Twain’s scrapbooks still exist today in the Mark Twain papers held at The Bancroft Library at the University of California-Berkeley.

Fun Fact: Scrapbook.com owns one Mark Twain invented self-pasting scrapbook! See photos of it here

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll
Lewis Carroll. Photograph by unknown photographer. © Public Domain. 

Another author of 19th century classic literature, Lewis Carroll, also left behind scrapbooks. Known for writing the children’s classics Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass, Carroll’s scrapbook that covers the years 1855 to 1872 is in the Library of Congress and has been digitized for easy public access. The scrapbook contains mostly newspaper clippings and photographs, along with some personal annotations by Carroll. 

In the Special Collections of Princeton University library, the Jazz Age lives on through the archives of author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. The two were icons of the 1920’s era of flappers and speakeasies that was immortalized in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book The Great Gatsby. Zelda Fitzgerald kept a scrapbook from her childhood years in Alabama through the early part of her marriage to F. Scott, ending in 1926.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was a more prolific scrapbooker, filling a half-dozen scrapbooks with news clippings and other items. The scrapbooks’ principal topic is his literary accomplishments, but they also include some other bits and pieces from his life and travel. Fitzgerald biographers believe that his scrapbooking may have been inspired by his mother, who recorded his early years in a scrapbook. The entire Fitzgerald collection at Princeton Library has been digitized and is available for the public to view online.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart. Photography by Harris & Ewing. © Public Domain

Amelia Earhart generated a flurry of publicity for her pioneering aviation accomplishments in the 1930s, like her flight across the Atlantic Ocean and her doomed attempt at a round-the-world flight. She, along with her husband George Palmer Putnam, curated a 19-volume scrapbook collection of newspaper clippings of that publicity.

There are also clippings about the activities of other female aviators of the period.

There are also clippings about the activities of other female aviators of the period. The entire 19 volume set is digitized and available to view online as part of the George Palmer Putnam collection of Amelia Earhart papers at Purdue University Libraries.

T.S. Eliot

20th Century poet T.S. Eliot found great love late in life. By the time he married his second wife Valerie Fletcher in 1957, he was already a Nobel Prize winner for works like “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land”. (Posthumously, he reached even more fame when his short book of poems “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” became the basis of the hit musical Cats in 1981.)

Fletcher and Eliot created eight scrapbooks together in the short years of their marriage before Eliot died in 1965. The scrapbooks are reportedly filled with scraps of their life together, from their wedding planning, to their outings to the theatre and dinner parties. Privately held in the archives of the T.S. Eliot estate, the scrapbooks are not available for public viewing.

Sir Cecil Beaton

You may not recognize Sir Cecil Beaton’s name, but you will almost certainly recognize his photographs. Known for his portraits of celebrities and royalty from the 1930s through the 1970s, he took the historic coronation photos of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 along with the infamous wedding photos of The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1937.

The multi-talented Beaton also won Tonys and Oscars for developing the costume design of classics like Gigi and My Fair Lady. Beaton used his scrapbooks as part of his creative process in the visual arts that he practiced. The books are a seemingly random mash of photos of celebrities, clippings of images, along with mementos of his life. Beaton first published some of the pages of his travel scrapbooks in book form in 1937.

In 2010, art publisher Assouline produced a coffee table book of selected pages from Beaton’s scrapbooks, which were owned at the time by Sotheby’s.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, photograph by Jack Mitchell.

Andy Warhol, the artist who pioneered pop art in the 1960s, is famous for his brightly colored paintings of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe (and Campbell’s Soup cans). Warhol’s life and art were infused with his love of celebrity and fame, an obsession that began when he was growing up in the 1930s watching movies in the local Pittsburgh movie theatres.

His first scrapbook was created during that time, which contained a collection of pictures of the celebrities that he idolized. When he became famous himself, Warhol assembled 42 scrapbooks full of clippings chronicling his accomplishments and celebrity. Today, these volumes are held in the archives of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Woody Guthrie

Folk singer Woody Guthrie, most famous for his song “This Land is Our Land”, influenced generations of folk singers who came after him like Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and his son Arlo Guthrie. His legacy is recorded in seven scrapbooks housed in the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Several were assembled by his manager to record his career, but one of them was assembled by Guthrie himself in 1941-1942. Another tells the history of the family from 1911 to 1945.

Walt Disney

The parks he created have launched a million scrapbooks, so it is fitting that Walt Disney should have his own scrapbook. In 2015, a World War I-era scrapbook containing the earliest surviving original sketches by Walt Disney surfaced when it was listed for auction. The scrapbook was one given to service members by the Red Cross, and Disney used it as a sketchbook while serving as a volunteer ambulance driver in France in 1918. The scrapbook covers a range of common themes from the war, including several sketches of trench rats, which are the first known cartoons of rodents by Disney! 

Queen Victoria

queen victoria
The earliest known photograph of Queen Victoria with her eldest daughter. Public Domain.

When she was only 18 years old, Princess Victoria became the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, her reign lasting from the summer of 1837 to January of 1901! Her impressive, long-lasting reign held another impressive treasure from her childhood – a scrapbook that was put together by her governess, Baroness Louise Lehzen of Germany. 

Her beautiful, red bound scrapbook is small and contains irreplaceable treasures, such as lockets of her hair, journaling, received stationery, fabric from her wedding dress, and more glimpses into the life of the young queen. 

You can see some pages of Queen Victoria’s scrapbook here

Claudia Sanders

If you are going to make a scrapbook, you might want to make sure that you don’t put a billion-dollar family secret in it. A scrapbook belonging to Claudia Sanders recently resurfaced in the hands of her nephew. While Claudia Sanders’ name may be unfamiliar to most, the name of her husband is: Colonel Harland Sanders, of KFC fame. On one page in Claudia Sanders’ scrapbook is a striking handwritten list. Are those the 11 herbs and spices? Sanders’ nephew told the Chicago Tribune he believed they were. But only the Colonel knows for sure!

Joan Rivers

After comedian Joan Rivers died in 2014 at age 84, her daughter Melissa described her as “a hoarder.” It was no exaggeration. By the time of her death, Rivers had accumulated an astounding 55 scrapbooks during her life and her decades in Hollywood and had an immense archive of papers saved from her life’s work in comedy.

The scrapbooks, dating from 1959, contain reviews (even bad ones) and news clippings about her career. In 2017, Melissa Rivers published “Joan Rivers Confidential: The Unseen Scrapbooks, Joke Cards, Personal Files, and Photos of a Very Funny Woman Who Kept Everything”, a selection of items found in her mother’s scrapbooks and papers that tell her mother’s life story.

Politicians Who Scrapbooked

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt 

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and the country’s third president, somehow found the spare time to scrapbook as well! From 1801 to 1809, while he was president, Jefferson assembled four small scrapbooks containing hundreds of poetry clippings accompanied by his handwritten notations about them. The original scrapbooks are hidden away safely in the Jefferson archives of the University of Virginia Library. But if you’d like to read the contents, and some explanation of them, they can be found in the book, Thomas Jefferson’s Scrapbooks by Jonathan Gross.

The Roosevelts

The Roosevelts
Photograph of the Roosevelt family at Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. 

The family of 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, is extensively documented in scrapbook form. Between 1881 and 1899, Roosevelt himself assembled eleven scrapbooks that contained clippings about his career and accomplishments in the military’s Rough Riders and as Governor of New York. These scrapbooks are now in the Houghton Library of Harvard University. Starting around 1910, Theodore Roosevelt Jr’s wife Eleanor Butler Roosevelt began recording the Roosevelt family’s life and history in dozens of scrapbooks that now reside in the Library of Congress.

Jackie Kennedy

The Kennedys
Photograph of the Kennedy’s from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. © Public Domain. 

Notoriously private First Lady (and fashion icon) Jackie Kennedy treated her scrapbooks with the same level of privacy she treated the rest of her life. Even nearly a quarter-century after her 1994 passing, her lifetime of scrapbooks remains locked away in the archives of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, unseen by anyone. Only one scrapbook by the elusive Mrs. Kennedy has ever been seen by the public. That book was a thank you gift given to her close friend Bunny Mellon, commemorating Mellon’s assistance in creating the now-famous White House Rose Garden. This album, which now resides in the Library of the Mellon – founded Oak Spring Garden Foundation, was digitized to be displayed as part of a special 2015 White House Historical Association exhibition on the history of the Rose Garden.

Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush
Barbara Bush, Photographed by Lauren Gerson. © Public Domain.

First Lady Barbara Bush started scrapbooking long before she moved into the White House in 1989. Her first scrapbook was created when she was still in high school, and it records her earliest dates with her future husband (and U.S. president) George H.W. Bush.  Mrs. Bush continued scrapbooking for more than 70 years. The result was 118 scrapbooks of Bush family and political history. These albums are now in the archives of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University. To protect the originals, digitized versions of the albums are available at the library for research use. Some items from the scrapbooks have been duplicated and become part of the Library’s historic displays.

Scrapbooks That Chronicle Movements

Abolition

American writer Henry David Thoreau (famous for the book Walden and essay “Civil Disobedience”) was a well-known slavery abolitionist in the 1830s to 1860s. Perhaps lesser known is that his sister, Helen Thoreau, was also an activist for abolition, being one of the leaders of the Concord (MA) Female Anti-Slavery Society. The scrapbooks of anti-slavery news clippings that of which she led the assembly served as inspiration for and education of the abolitionist activists. Several of these scrapbooks are digitized and available for viewing on the website of Middlebury College’s Abernathy Collection, here and here.  

It was an 1837 visit by the Grimké sisters that led to the founding of the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society. Angelina Grimké and her sister Sarah Grimké were controversial and outspoken southern slavery abolitionists who lived most of their lives in the north. In 1839, they published a book called American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses, along with Angelina’s husband Theodore Weld. The book recounted the actual treatment of slaves by their owners, based on a scrapbook of newspaper accounts assembled by their group. It is still considered today to have been a powerful tool in the abolitionist movement.

Prohibition

The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, a late 19th and early 20th century women’s movement to support prohibition, seems to have taken a few pages from the example of slavery abolitionists – scrapbook pages, that is. Many archives of W.C.T.U. records contain scrapbooks maintained by local chapters that contain clippings of news related to the prohibition movement. In the archives of the Rhode Island Historical Society, about a half-dozen scrapbooks from various W.C.T.U. chapters in the state can be found. The Monroe County Local History Room & Museum in Sparta, Wisconsin holds three scrapbooks from the county chapter of W.C.T.U. recording the organization’s activities on a local, state, and national level.

Suffrage

Another women’s movement was building at the same time as the temperance movement – and it used scrapbooking as an organizational tool as well. The suffragist movement to secure women the right to vote in the United States followed much the same model as the W.C.T.U. (In fact, there was a crossover between the two movements as the temperance activists believed their cause would be advanced by having the right to vote.) The Library of Congress contains the archives of the National American Women Suffrage Association. Included in those records are seven scrapbooks compiled by Elizabeth Smith Miller and her daughter Anne of the Geneva (NY) Political Equality Club between 1897 and 1911. The Millers, active suffragists, recorded the activities of the local group they’d founded, as well as events they attended with nationally prominent activists.

Historically Notable Scrapbooks

Civil War Album

Henry Mitchell Whitney, a Union soldier during the Civil War, went to great lengths to assemble his scrapbook of what he saw during his time fighting in the war. Whitney, who later graduated from Yale and became a literature professor at Beloit College, carefully mailed home to his family some items and carried other items in his backpack. Later, he assembled them all into a scrapbook of his experiences in the South during the war. It included news items about himself and his regiment, memorabilia, and military documents. This Civil War album, along with three others made by Whitney, are now housed in the Beloit College archives.

Scrapbook of President James Garfield

James Garfield is an often-forgotten U.S. president. He was only president for a few months before being shot and killed in 1881. But in the President James Abraham Garfield Papers at the Western Reserve Historical Society are some scrapbooks containing important historical documentation of his political career. One is a scrapbook compiled by Garfield’s son-in-law and private secretary Joseph Stanley Brown of documents exonerating Garfield of alleged improprieties in the awarding of military contracts. Another is a scrapbook of sympathy messages sent to the Garfield family after the assassination.    

New York Fire Department

Scrapbooks are still used even today in the digital age as a powerful form of institutional memory. From 1906 to 1909, Company 62 of the New York Fire Department used a scrapbook as their unit’s institutional memory. The company collected a hundred pages of memos, letters, and notes about day-to-day life at the firehouse, including memorializing fallen colleagues, and organized them in an indexed scrapbook. Villanova University acquired the scrapbook via an eBay auction and a digital copy is now posted online for public viewing.

The Alexander Gumby Collection of Negroiana

Alexander Gumby was actually nicknamed “Mr. Scrapbook” for the encyclopedic collection of scrapbooks he assembled about African-American history in the first half of the 20th century. Gumby was a part of the Harlem Renaissance movement that included better-known names like Langston Hughes. Eventually Gumby’s scrapbooks grew to over 150 volumes that were organized by topic. Some were devoted to prominent African-Americans (like Booker T. Washington) and others were devoted to topics like lynching or the South. In 1950, the collection was donated to Columbia University, where Gumby previously worked as a waiter. The Alexander Gumby Collection of Negroiana is publicly available to view on microfilm at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia.

Gawronski’s Scrapbook

Like many teenagers, Billy Gawronski was obsessed with his hero. He filled a scrapbook with the exploits of his hero, explorer Robert E. Byrd. But Gawronski wanted more than scrapbooks. He was determined to go on Byrd’s expedition to Antarctica to attempt to reach the South Pole that was departing in 1928. It took four attempts, but Gawronski managed to stow away and go all the way to Antarctica with the expedition. Gawronski’s scrapbook is now in the private collection of his wife Gizela, but it was used as material for the recent book “The Stowaway” by Laurie Gwen Shapiro about his journey.

Laura Fitzpatrick’s Scrapbook on Brooklyn

From 1938 to 1948, Laura Fitzpatrick used her camera to record the people in her Brooklyn neighborhood. She photographed her family, friends, and neighbors, documenting the more than 500 resulting photos in a scrapbook. Today, her scrapbook is in the collection of the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C., and some of her photos are on display in the museum’s Everyday Beauty exhibit.

Scrapbooks from the USS Constitution

USS Constitution, launched in 1797 and named by George Washington, is today the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world that is still afloat. In the early 1930s, she was just starting her days as a museum ship. After she was refurbished, the USS Constitution was sent on a three-year, 90 city national cruise. The USS Constitution Museum collection includes several scrapbooks created by the ship’s crew members of that trip. The albums contain a variety of news clippings, postcards, memorabilia from port visits, photographs, and shipboard items.

Old scrapbooks, seen too often selling for bargain prices at flea markets, are actually invaluable pieces of history. They provide a wealth of information to historians and biographers about the lives of famous and not-so-famous people. They tell the stories of events and social movements not through the clear eye of history, but through the cloud and confusion of the current time. They provide small, personal perspective on grand events. They tell us the personal stories behind the works of gifted writers and artists. They give us a glimpse of what life was like in bygone eras.

The search for old scrapbooks can be a treasure hunt that has the potential to lead to a myriad of places. They are hiding in archives, libraries, attics, antique stores and flea markets. Those whose makers were famous in their own lifetime are relatively easy to track down. Others, passed down through families, may end up donated to local historical archives, sold or even destroyed.

Scrapbooking is more than just a way to preserve and display your pictures. It is a way to tell your own story, write your own biography for future generations, and share the slice of history that you experienced. It’s not just a gift to your children and their future generations. It’s also a gift to generations of historians.

Adventures in Card-Making

Christmas in July?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

I have often wondered about this phenomenon. I mean, it’s 100° outside and someone wants me toput up lights??? Well, read the following article and discover for yourself why people are now embracing this “holiday”.

Sallie


Christmas in July – a History

LazyOneJune 14, 2021, 1:38 p.m.Holiday IdeasChristmas in July - a History

It is one of the most celebrated yet unofficial summer holidays. It is always at the peak of summer when the heat is, for most of us, at its most unbearable, and many of us are ready for a reprieve. And while most of us tend to do the largest splurging for this holiday during its official date, there are great opportunities to prep in the middle of summer before the official holiday.Christmas In July

Wondering what unofficial holiday this is all about? We’re taking a look at the fascinating history of Christmas in July!

WHERE DID IT START?

The first hint of Christmas in July can be accredited to an 1892 French opera called Werther, featuring a libretto Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann. In 1894 an English translation was published by Elizabeth Beal Ginty. In the story, a group of children is rehearsing a Christmas song in July, to which one of the opera’s characters responds: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.”

This unofficial but almost cultural staple in the United States began as a lively, potentially cheesy, midsummer celebration within the South. The origins of this strange but heartfelt early Christmas celebration trace back to 1933, over 88 years ago, at a girl’s camp called Keystone Camp in Brevard, North Carolina.Camping and Glamping

Keystone Camp is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, roughly a mile from downtown Brevard with Pisgah National Forest, only 15 minutes away from the camp’s front gate. The all girl’s camp welcomes ages seven to fourteen, and once they are above 9th grade, they begin to enter the camp’s leadership, aide, and counselor-in-training programs.

The pivotal moment that Christmas in July first began within the U.S. was thanks to Fannie Hold, one of the women that founded Keystone Camp in 1916. Miss Fannie, as she was also known, dreamed up the celebration for July 24th and 25th. Some of the theories of what inspired Miss Fannie’s idea was to remedy how much camp friends often missed each other during the winter holidays.Original Christmas In July

The Washington Post covered this inaugural 1933 Christmas in July at Keystone, which made it the first official record of the event of its kind. The event featured caroling, gifts, decorations, and even a trimmed Christmas tree. Blanch Ulmer Pavlis, a camper at the time, described for Keystone records, “There were different colored lights, which made the tree quite bright and gay. Then who should arrive but Santa Claus himself to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells.’ After saying hello to everything, he began giving out presents. Then carolers began throwing cotton imitation snow. Those who never got the chance to see snow got quite the thrill.”

NATIONAL ATTENTION

The idea of a middle of summer yuletide captured America’s attention during 1940, thanks to the film titled Christmas in July. Just 4 years later, the U.S. Post Office promoted an early Christmas card mailing campaign for soldiers during World War II. By the 1950s, stores around the country were picking up Christmas in July as a theme for advertising summer sales, and even today, famous TV channels run schedules of entire weeks of Christmas movies in the middle of July.Christmas In July

Nowadays, Christmas in July is a beautiful occasion to shop early, taking advantage of sales to pre-order new decorations for the coming official holiday or early gift shopping, refresh holiday décor, or for those of us who adore Christmas—a chance to celebrate our most cherished holiday again. It’s also an excellent way to have the holiday during a time when loved ones and family can be near, as not everyone can be for the official celebration itself.

WHY AND HOW TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN JULY

For some, they may only be interested in getting the jump-start for early gifts by taking advantage of the July sales. For others, Christmas in July becomes enticing—especially now—because it is a chance to get together with family members inside when the year is uncertain. A Christmas in July may touch something special to make a bright moment in the year. So if you want to gather your loved ones for July 24th and 25th, here’s how to celebrate Christmas early:

Holiday comfort. You don’t need to dig out the sweaters or long johns, but one of the perfect things to wear during the celebration is Christmas pajamas! Cozy, ultra-soft, yet available in all sorts of different materials that are breathable and cool no matter the weather, there’s a lot of fun to be had in a wide variety of Christmas pajamas. If you’re looking for something cute, funny, classic, or plaid, there’s a set of pajamas out there you’ll love wearing. Even better, many holiday pajamas can be available as a matching set for the whole family!Christmas In July Matching Family

Decorate. You don’t need to climb up into the attic or rummage through everything packed away in the garage. A few garlands of tinsel, your favorite Christmas lights hung with paint-friendly adhesives, perhaps a mini tree. Get creative and deck the halls with summery décor, too, maybe a tropical Christmas theme.

Simple Gifts. Much like decorating, no need to go all out. Simple gifts to your loved ones that are fun and inexpensive are a perfect choice. You could gift them items that will make their summer more fun, like swim gear, pool floaties, goggles, floating drink holders, beach towels, sunglasses, or small personal care items.

Bring the holiday treats. No need to wait until Christmas for the delicious treats. Easily create s’mores, make frozen hot chocolate, or whip up a batch of Christmas cookies to enjoy while watching a Christmas movie.

When it comes to Christmas in July fun and finding the most comfortable and cozy holiday pajamas and matching sets, we can help you find the perfect sets for creating a fantastic, joyous mid-summer celebration. Super soft fabrics and hilarious themes or traditional Christmas colors and patterns, our pajamas will bring the feeling of warmth and happiness to your Christmas in July celebration.SPREAD THE LOVE!

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Adventures in Card-Making

Too many ideas

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Check this out! This article says it all.

Sallie

Too Many Creative Ideas? Here’s How to Gain Focus.

Too Many Creative Ideas? Here’s How to Gain Focus.


As creatives we usually have no shortage of ideas. This is definitely true for me. I never have artist’s block. What I experience is feeling overwhelmed by ideas and not being able to pick a focus and direction.

Gain focus with my Creative Ideas planning worksheet – Download it in my Etsy shop here.
Creative Ideas Planning Worksheet pdf for when you have too many creative project ideas

Before my blog and my creative resolution, I had many unfinished projects lying around. Having the commitment of this blog helped me learn to finish projects. In doing this, I also learned how motivating a sense of accomplishment is! It didn’t really matter what the final result was. What mattered was that I had an idea and executed it to completion. Armed with the learning experience of that finished project, I could decide on the next one.

Now that I’m a bit obsessed with accomplishing things, feeling overwhelmed by a huge list of ideas is very unsettling. This is what I typically do to work through too many ideas.

1. Write down every idea. On one or two pages, write down each idea on a line, one after another. Just getting them out of my head is a bit of a relief.

2. Pause for a moment, drink a coffee, and then read through the list.

3. Prioritize the items on the list. A book I loved – Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time – recommends labeling items as A, B, and C. A is the highest priority.

4. Number the A’s. Once the items are assigned A B or C, number the projects labeled A (priority). On a new page write the highest ranked A items, leaving several lines underneath each project. Write a few tasks necessary for this project under the project. This doesn’t have to include every task to complete the project, just the next few steps.

5. Write a To Do list. Because I typically have a few projects going on at once, I take the top tasks under the priority items and create a To Do list.

6. Pick one To Do list item and act on it and complete it.

7. Celebrate the completion of a task by checking it off the list.

8. Move on to the next item on the To Do list. Complete all the items on the list.

9. Create a new To Do list. Once the original to do list is completed, go back to the task lists under the priority projects and use some of the remaining tasks to create another To Do list.

10. Repeat creating To Do lists (and accomplishing the items on them) until the priority projects are completed.

11. Go back to the idea list, once the priority projects are completed. Read through and see if the A B C ratings you gave the remaining projects still apply. Adjust as needed and then go back and repeat steps 4 – 11. Some projects on your idea list will cease to interest you. Cross them off when that happens.

This process gives my mind clarity and then I can focus. I designed a Creative Ideas Worksheet that’s pretty and easy to use! Download it in my Etsy shop here.

Adventures in Card-Making

13 is the magic number

Dear Fellow Crafters,

The phenomenon happens more than once to the best of us – how to find inspiration when you don’t feel like doing anything. Here are 13 ideas I found in this amazing article:

Sallie

How To Find Inspiration When You Just Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

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Pensive young woman sitting in cafe alone
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Ever get a case of the “mehs”?

It happens to the best of us (and never at a good time). Project deadlines loom as your interest wanes; you want to get started but can’t seem to find a way to get unstuck.

Though it’s usually only temporary, figuring out how to move forward can be challenging. Here are 13 ways to find inspiration and get unstuck:

1. Make sure you’re clear on what you want

Sometimes we feel stuck because we don’t have clarity on exactly what we want. As Marie Forleo says, “Ambiguity is the enemy of execution.” Figure out the one thing that’s most important right now and focus on that.

2. Pause the self-judgment

Beating yourself up is counterproductive to making progress. Research shows that self-care drives success, so treat yourself the supportive way you would a treasured friend or colleague. This means being kind and caring toward yourself rather than harshly self-critical.

3. Turn that frown upside down

When you’re feeling stuck, it’s tempting to wallow in your misery. But staying in a negative headspace won’t help you move forward. Instead, shift your mindset to one of positivity and possibility where you consider what could be.

4. Help others and practice gratitude

One of the best ways to deal with feeling uninspired is getting out of your head and helping someone else. Proactively offer assistance to those struggling. Put yourself in their shoes. It’s amazing the shift that occurs when you move from a selfish position to one of service. When you help someone solve a problem, you feel better, which changes your mindset and paves the way for more good.

Another way to do this is to practice gratitude. Write a thank you letter to someone who’s had an impact on your life. Make a list of things for which you are grateful. This becomes a virtuous cycle for positivity and good and a win-win to help get you back on track.

5. Add “yet” to reframe your situation

When you feel frustrated about your lack of inspiration and progress, it’s easy to get trapped in a downward spiral. However, when you add the word “yet” after a negative statement, it transforms it into a more positive one: “I haven’t gotten started” becomes “I haven’t gotten started yet.” “Yet” implies that there will be a future solution or resolution; the current situation is only temporary.

6. Phone a friend

Feeling stuck? The first step is acknowledging it. The next is to reach out for help. A trusted friend or mentor can offer words of encouragement in a supportive and non-judgmental voice to inspire you. Chances are, they’ve been there before and help you find your way out—and if needed, give you a gentle kick in the pants.

7. Walk away and do something completely unrelated

Have you been slaving away at your laptop for hours and have nothing to show for it? One of the best things you can do is to get up and walk away. Clean out your junk drawer. Play a video game. Take out the garbage. Whatever you do, aim for something completely unrelated to the task at hand so you can shift your focus and hit the reset button.

8. Try moving to a new location

Sometimes a change of venue can provide a much-needed boost of inspiration. If you usually work in your home office, try hitting your local coffee shop or move outside to get recharged and ready to tackle your project.

9. Sleep on it

If you have an active imagination and a brain that works overtime (even when it’s supposed to be resting), let go and allow your subconscious mind to take over while you sleep. When inspiration strikes, be ready with a pad and pen on your bedside table, so you’ll be able to jot down ideas when they occur.

10. Get your sweat on

Having your brain switch from mental to physical mode can clear the cobwebs and refill its creative juices. Plus, when you’re busy sweating, you’re not thinking about that undone project. If you’re feeling stuck, try doing something active, whether practicing yoga or hitting the gym.

11. Connect with nature

Try taking a walk in nature where the only reason you have your phone is to use its camera function. By literally focusing your attention on the beauty of your surroundings — and capturing it in photographs — you’ll allow yourself to relax and make room for inspiration to flow again.

12. Hit the showers

The next time you’ve hit a roadblock, take a shower. Science tells us there is a direct connection to creativity and showering: a whopping 72% of us get our best ideas in the shower. As Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive scientist and co-author of Wired to Create, says, “the relaxing, solitary, and non-judgmental shower environment may afford creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander freely, and causing people to be more open to their inner stream of consciousness and daydreams.”

13. Think micro, not macro

Fixating on all the work you have to do can cause overwhelm and deplete your inspiration. Remember that when it comes to executing, it’s the small actions, done consistently, that matter most. Progress isn’t derived from a single bold, sweeping gesture; it’s made one step at a time. And taking action—however tiny—begets more action.

By Richard Sine | Illustrations by Montse Galbany