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July 2013

Today our hybrid/Cameo project is inspired by a German tradition, known as “Schultüte”. On their first day of school, children get these cone-shaped „bags“ from their parents, filled with sweets and small presents. Here’s a picture of me on my first day of school:

Today we will make some small ones that could be a fun party favor – or a small surprise for the first day of school after Summer vacation.

Here’s the link to your free cutting files (click image to download):  ***Sorry, but this download has expired, but you can find these files in my store***


Pick your paper – I used a lightweight cardstock and made sure I stayed away from any pattern with a strong “direction”, like a stripe or plaid. Pick your favorite shape and let your Silhouette Cameo do the cutting work for you (or print the png on the back of the cardstock and get to work with some scissors).

Before you glue them together prefold the glue lashes and the fold lines on the not-round versions, and bend the round one a little bit, they will come together more easily if you do.

Apply the glue and hold them together with a clothes pin until it is dry. Use a ball point pen to make sure the tip is formed nicely and glued together without a hole.

Now it’s time to embellish. I did cut strips of felt 4 x 8 in and glued them on the upper inside – fabric or tissue paper would also make good choices. The cone with the dots did also get a trim of yellow crochet lace.

All that is left to do now is filling them with something nice and tie them closed with a pretty ribbon:

These are actually very versatile – they’re great for little gifts, as birthday party favors, for Valentine’s day, for Halloween. You could also use them to hold small servings of nuts or other snacks, even ice cream cones – or make them bigger and serve some French fries in them. ;)

Oooh, and I almost forgot to mention: They also work great as advent calendars…. put numbers on them, fill them with a small surprise or sweet and put them in a basket or hang them from a string.

Happy Scrapping!

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One of the challenges in our forum that I particularly love is the Make it Big Challenge hosted by one of our designers, Loucee.  Each month she asks participants to feature something on their page and make it BIG.  It might be the title, or a word, or a photo.  It is very much the opposite concept to the minimalist ‘white space’ pages and I’m sure it can be challenging for some of us.  Some photos are just so good that they should be the star of the page, so make the viewer sit up and take notice and make them large!  Sometimes a photo is enhanced by the use of a frame, but there are times when a frame might well detract from the central focus of the page – the photo.

This beautiful page by Rae Lynn was created using BooLand Designs’ beautiful new kit, SOLACE.  It features quite a large photo with an equally large frame.  I think in this case the frame with the netting, fish, shells etc. enhances the nautical theme of the page.  If you need some large elements for your page, the Solace kit has plenty of those and they are beauties!  You can always reduce the size of a large element, but it never works too well trying to enlarge smaller elements.  There is usually a loss of clarity that looks particularly bad if you are printing your page.

Solace Page Kit

I’ve scrap-lifted this lovely page from dillydoodles to make a quick page for you.  You can download this quick page (minus the photo of course) which I’ve created using the Solace kit.  The photo pretty much dominates the page and doesn’t have a frame.  I love this particular photo as it has sentimental value for my family, so I wanted the photo to shine without too much distraction.

* * * DOWNLOAD * * *


Thank you for reading and have a great week!




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One of the best parts of any visit up to Holland is visiting with family.  This time we stayed with my cousin Leny, in Schin op Geul, right outside of Valkenburg.  Anyone lucky enough to visit Holland, I highly recommend a trip to the “south” to see the beautiful rolling hills, farm country, Maastricht, cathedrals & castles.  And to try the region specialty: vlaai.

Vlaai is a type of pie.  A very big pie, unlike any you’ve ever tasted. The pastry is not sweet, almost bread-like, and the filling ranges from fruit (I love apricot!) to a rice-pudding that needs to be tasted to truly appreciate.  When I was a child my Opa baked our vlaai’s in his wood-burning clay oven.  My father remembers the clay getting old, and dust getting in the vlaai’s. I just remember how much I loved them and how perfect they made Sundays.

On Sundays, after church, we’d walk into my grandparents living room and the big table was lined with vlaai’s.  Back then I only really loved apple  vlaai, but as the years went by I learned to love reistevlaai, cherry vlaai, my-now-favorite apricot vlaai and my Opa’s famous-recipe kruimelvlaai.  Kruimelvlaai can be described as a vanilla pudding pie, with a crumb topping.  But it is like nothing American I’ve ever tasted.  I’m suddenly craving vlaai.  Sigh.

My cousin Leny & her husband Hans run a small bakery outside of Valkenburg.  Hans makes his own vlaai’s, including a kruimelvlaai based on my Opa’s recipe.  Not only can you buy them fresh in the shop, but he delivers to the restaurants & hotels in the Valkenburg area.  My kids love going to Leny’s.  Cole just likes to come and eat.  In the last couple of years Hans has started baking mini-vlaai’s (still big, almost the size of US pie). Cole loves to walk over to the bakery, grab a mini vlaai, and eat it all by himself.  His favorite is cherry.

Tess likes to help.  She’s too young at 12 to officially help, but every time we visit she spends some time following Hans around till he gives her a small chore or two.  This time she helped bake the rolls (the onion cheese are to die for!) and finish up the strawberry mini vlaai’s.  Strawberry vlaai’s are crust, pudding, and then whole, sweet, delicious strawberries glazed, and then double-crusted with nuts.  Tess started with topping the vlaai’s with strawberries.  Then she learned how to glaze, and finally she progressed to finishing the crust with nuts.

I cannot believe how big & grown-up she looks working in the bakery, with her apron almost triple-wrapped around her.  She can’t wait till the summer she is 14 and she can finally, really, truly work in the bakery.

I’m not done and so far it’s only in Dutch, though I’m working on an English-version as well, but I’ve got a small website up for Leny & Hans.  If you are ever in Holland, stop by Bie d’r Bekker.  Tell them Toiny sent you.

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Giving Photoshop Layers a Color Label

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 27 July 2013
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Last week, we talked about Creating a Layer Group in Photoshop.  Working with Layer Groups can help keep us organized. But there’s another thing that we can do to keep Layers organized, if we don’t want to work in Groups – assigning Color Labels to them.  It’s super simple. Here’s how: In the image below […]

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Whispering Tides

by Toiny Westberry 26 July 2013

Renee is on a well-deserved vacation, and it’s up to me to hold down the fort!  Thankfully our Designers consistently create beautiful collections that make showing them off a very easy job.Feli Designs is no exception to this rule.  Her latest kit & collection, Whispering Tide, is a quietly stunning, perfectly summery beach compilation.  Whether you sail […]

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Chalk It Up by SnickerdoodleDesigns and KimberKatt Scraps

by tammy 25 July 2013
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With summer here, Moms everywhere are compiling lists of activities to keep their children happy and busy. Chalking up the sidewalks in bright, cheerful colors is a great addition to that list!  Chalk it Up is here to help you scrap those adorable chalked sidewalk drawings, the smiling faces of your artists, and the chalk-dusted […]

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Unzipping with Safari

by Nibbles Skribbles 24 July 2013
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A real quick trick for Mac Users today! I primarily use Safari, and I am not aware of this feature in other browsers. As digi-scrappers, we download a lot of zip files, and one of the time consuming and tedious tasks can be unzipping them all! And, sometimes, we discover a bad zip file, and […]

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One of those phone calls

by Toiny Westberry 24 July 2013
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As you open this newsletter, I’m in my VW bus driving my dad to France.  I know, I know, poor me.  But I’m dreading it all the same.  This past week has been such an incredible whirlwind, I think life always is, but this week has been extra whirlwind-y. It started with one of those phone […]

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Setting Custom Crop Presets in Photoshop

by Toiny Westberry 23 July 2013
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In Germany the standard photo print sizes are different.  The frame sizes match those different print sizes.  The last three years I haven’t printed any photo’s because I hadn’t figured out the sizing yet.  I have now, and I’m ready to print! This is part II in my Photoshop Crop Tool series, following up Crop […]

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July 22nd Inspiration and a freebie

by Robyn 22 July 2013

Summer is here…………..well for some of you lucky people…………’s a cold and wet winter for me!  But for those of you who are experiencing the warmth and delight of summer, it’s time to scrap this year’s summer fun. We have lots of gorgeous summer products in the store, and one that caught my eye was […]

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