Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February sketch # 2-Guest designer Kanako Sakurai

It's time for me to welcome a new guest designer. Her name is Kanako Sakurai and here is her greeting from Japan:

Hi, everyone!!
I'm so happy to be a guest designer on Scrap A Little. I love what Helen makes every time and I really had fun working with her awesome sketches!! I'd like to thank Helen for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!!

My name is Kanako Sakurai. I live in Miyazaki, southern part of Japan. We have beautiful mountains around here, but recently we had a big eruption at Mt. Kirishima, which is quite near from here, and we have been busy gathering volcanic ashes everyday. More than 2 weeks have passed since  the first eruption, but  the children still cannnot play outside. Things are getting better here...I hope this will end soon!!

I've been married to wonderful and supportive husband for 8 years and we have two beautiful girls, who are 7 and 4 years old right now. I've been scrapbooking since 2004, when my first girl was born, and I've been addicted to this creative hobby ever since! I love to see my girls smiling when they look at my layouts!

I am a SAHM, and never worked as a guest designer or anything like that before, so I'm so excited to share my layouts with you.

If you want to see more of my work, my blog is "My Sweet Scrappy Time" but it's mostly in Japanese.

Here is sketch # 44 that Kanako worked with:

and her two takes on the sketch:

Here are more fabulous layouts from Kanako:

This pretty one is  based on sketch # 40

and these two are based on sketch # 10

Aren't they all so lovely and playful?

Last, are two of Kanako's favorite layouts

Did you see the flowers she made? I love it!

Thanks Kanako for sharing your creativity with us and I  really hope all the volcano ashes are gone by now.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love is in the air!

I totally meant to post some cute Valentine crafts for you,but I lost my scrapping mojo. Just temporarily, I'm sure.
Plus I had dental surgery the other day so I've been drugged up;)

So instead of something new I'm posting old stuff. First some sketches that are perfect for all your Valentine photos.

And click these photos to go to the tutorials. Great little chocolate containers as I call them.

This one, I found in Scrapbook Etc Magazine and I thought it would be a perfect craft for the kids. Click here to see the tutorial for the lollipop cards.


And now to the winner for my latest giveaway.

The lucky winner is Karen in Houston!! Congrats Karen! Please email your address to

I wish you all a happy Valentine's Day with lots of chocolate and flowers!
I'm gonna spend a few more hours with my dear hubby before I take him to the airport. He is leaving us again- 6 weeks this time:( Life is swell...

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Top Ten list, # 5 (long post)

I want to continue with my top 10 list; things I can't scrap without.
I'm now at number 5 and this will be a rather long post with many photos, links and information.
There is just so much to say about about...

#5 Cricut machine by Provocraft

I now own my third Cricut!?
I bought my first one in 2006, my second one in 2008 and my latest in 2010. And no, I will not buy another one next year. I'm completely happy with the one I have.
The first one I bought was what they now call "baby-bug". Just a normal Cricut. Two years later I sold that one and upgraded to a Cricut Create. It cuts 6 inch but has some of the same features as the Cricut Expression.
And last year I sold that one and did my final upgrade to the Expression.

And needless to say I just love it!
There's so much you can do with it.

Sometimes, but not too often do I use it to cut out shapes like here. The letters are also cut out with the Cricut ( the "Jubilee"-cartridge)

Mostly I use it for titles and my all time favorite letter cartridge is "Don Juan" ( The hearts are cut out with the same cartridge)

Circles are something I very often use the Cricut for. Like here. I used it for the flowers and leaves too.

For many of my flower embellishments you can use the Cricut.

 and the cardstock roses

So just for scrapbooking, I use the Cricut for titles, diecuts, shapes and flower embellishments.

But there is so much more you can use it for.

Look what my friend made for me. Isn't it pretty?
She used the Cricut to cut out templates and then fill it in with paint.
You can buy plastic templates at any craft store, but you can also use cardstock, though it won't last as long of course.

The other day I made this and I absolutely love,love,love how it turned out. I have always been intimidated to cut out in vinyl and now I wonder why. It's nothing to it!

I used another favorite cartridge called "Songbird" and it's awesome because the letters connect.
I used the provocraft vinyl, though I'm sure you can find cheaper brands. And I did not use the transfer tape. It drove me nuts.
I just eyeballed and put the letters on the wall.I messed up a few times, but the stickiness did not disappear at all.

In my daughters room I cut out another quote, but I just used pink cardstock and ran it through my xyron

If you want ideas for wall words go to

There is just so much you can do with the vinyl. Cut out your favorite bible verse or make car decals.
My hubby now wants me to make something to put in his office.
See how the whole family gains from my obsession:)

Another thing that the Cricut is perfect for are school projects. Here I used it for my daughters Science project ( she won an award for it) I cut out the title and the bananas on the bottom.

So in between scrapbooking, home decor and school projects, a Cricut is totally worth every dime!!

And lets talk about dimes and dollars.

I paid $250 + $50 shipping for my first Cricut 2006.
In 2008 I paid $ 199 for my Create
and last year I paid $189 (including 2 cartridges) for my Cricut Expression!!

Do you see the trend here? Prices are going down!!
Don't ever pay more than $100 for the little one and no more than $200 for the Expression!!

Ebay of course is a good place to find great deals. I have both good and bad experiences with Ebay.I have shopped a lot there for myself but also for the retreats we've been planning. Some of the sellers take their sweet time to ship your order. They want their money within three days so you would would think they should ship within three days too. But not always.
I would say that one  of the biggest seller on Ebay for Cricut and cartridges is "Proudparents2005". I have bought from them and not had any problems, BUT 5 (five) of my friends didn't actually get their orders. Like never!
"Proudparents2005" would not respond to emails nor pick up the phone.
They have a 99.2% positive feedback which might seem high but, those 0.8% represent A LOT of unhappy customers!
I don't mean to badmouth anyone. As I said I never had a problem with them, but I just want to raise a warning flag here.

So where should you buy your Cricut and cartridges?

I bought my last Cricut from and they have a lot of good deals.
I bought 5 cartridges there yesterday and they were $17.95 each! Don't ever pay more than $25 for a cartridge. That's a ripoff!
Diecutcentral also have awesome prices.

SO GET THIS! You will get a kick out this: "Proudparents2005", and Diecutcentral are ALL THE SAME COMPANY!!???
They are also the same company as

How do I know?
Well, when I order from one of these above, I will get the bill from another one. Isn't that weird?
I don't really care how many websites they have as long as we can get our cheap prices, right?

Another thing I bought from Cricutmachine...or was it ebay... I can't remember my CGull tote for all the cartridges. This cute thing holds up to 72 cartridges! I have a lot of empty spots left. I only own about 25 cartridges.

The last thing I want to mention about the Cricut is this:

Yes, it can get pricey with all the cartridges that you want to have, but have you heard about Make-the-cut??
It's a software you download that allows you to cut every true font that you have on your computer.

It's $ 58.36 and you would never need to buy another  cartridge again.

The latest I heard was that Provocraft had sued the owners to Make The Cut. I can see why, but also not.
I don't think Provocraft needs to worry and I'm sure they make enough money.

So the deal with Make-the-cut is that you connect your computer to the Cricut and they you can cut ANY font you have. And you know there's 1000's of free fonts to get:
are just a few.

I really should use my Make-the-cut more often. I have used it only once or twice.
This title here is the true font "Beach"

Can you see that the letters are welded together? That's what I like the most.

I know you can do the same thing with the Designstudio.I  have it too, but haven't even opened it. Hubby gave it to me two years ago for my birthday and he is not so happy...

The designstudio and Make-the-cut are two different things. With the Make-the-cut you only need ONE cartridge to have plugged in your machine and then you never have to buy another cartridge again.
With the Designstudio you work with the cartridges you have.

If I had a bigger scrap desk -or less stuff on it-I would always have my computer plugged in to the Cricut and I know I would use Make-the-Cut so much more.


I think I covered everything I know about the Cricut machines. I'm far from an expert so if you want to correct me or add something, please feel free.

I didn't mention anything about Cricut Imagine or the Cake Cricut, simply beacuse I have never worked with them.

Oh, one last thing.
So my hubby wants me to cut out something for his office wall and he asks if I can cut out the Battalion logo? And I'm thinking...Sure, if you have the logo on the computer then I can cut it out with Make-the-cut. How awesome isn't that?

With Make-the-cut there really is no limits for what you can do with your Cricut!
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winner plus new giveaway!!

Thank you to all of you that added Scrap A Little as a friend on Facebook!
I just want to clarify something; Facebook is not at all a requirement. If you don't like Facebook that's perfectly fine.
I just thought it would be a great way for me to interact with all of you.
If you don't have FB and read my blog you will not miss anything. I promise!

I also want to say thanks for all your sweet comments! It really makes my day and warms my heart. I have too many days when I don't think I'm any good at all:( So when I read your nice words I'm thinking; if all these people think I'm that great, I can't be all that bad, can I? So again, thank you!


I drew a random winner for the latest giveaway that you can see here. And the winner turned out to be;

Dawn Montagano. Congrats to Dawn!!
Please email me your address at so I can you send you the K and Co papers:)


Yesterday, I had my scrappy friends over and we worked on the Basic Grey kits. I made these two layouts:

Don't you just love those old photos. It's my mom in 1966 and me and mom in 1967.

And guess what? I have an extra kit leftover so I thought one lucky reader could win it.

If you want to have a chance to win this gorgeous page kit from Basic Grey, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. And please tell me what photos you would use.
Me and my friends all ended up scrapping old photos, because it works so well with the colors.
So if you had this kit, tell me what photos you would scrap.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February sketch- Guest designer Lizvette Pacheco

February is here and I have a new guest designer lined up. Her name is Lizvette Pacheco and this is what she has to say:

Hi everyone! My name is Lizvette. I'm 38 years old, married for 16 years and mother of an adorable 4 year old boy. I'm from Puerto Rico, currently reside in Maryland. I love scrapbooking, reading, movies and travel. I started scrapbooking about 7 years ago, when my husband was deployed to Iraq. Most of my layouts are centered around my son and our travels. My style is clean and simple but I'm not afraid of trying new things. I love to work with sketches, different textures, supply and colors. This is my first participation as a designer.

I hope you enjoy my layouts! If you want to see more, here's my gallery.

~Lizvette Pacheco~

This  is the new sketch that Lizvette worked with, # 43:

And her two takes on it:

And here are some more of her fabulous layouts.

Two based on sketch # 32

And this cute one is from sketch # 16

This last layout is sketch # 29

Don't you just love Lizvette's bold and colorful style?
Check out her gallery to see more of her work.

Thanks Lizvette for sharing your layouts with us.
You have a special place in my heart, since I figure you are a military wife:)
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