Category Archives: Challenges

International Scrapbooking Day Mood Board Challenge Entry

Explore Diamond Head, Oahu -- Hawaii Travel Themed Scrapbooking Layout

Explore Diamond Head, Oahu — Hawaii Travel Themed Scrapbooking Layout

I created this scrapbooking layout to enter in Art_Teacher’s International Scrapbooking Day 2023 Mood Board Challenge (now closed) over at A Cherry on Top Crafts. The challenge was to use the colors from the mood board, which are turquoise and purple, plus to choose 3 additional sources of inspiration.

I was inspired by the moon in the mood board photo #10 (used a large circle), the 5-petaled flowers in the mood board photo #1 at top left (used a 5-petaled flower), and the body of water in the mood board photo #3 (so I used a photo that also has a body of water in it).

Craft Supplies You’ll Need for Creating a Similar Scrapbooking Layout:

This is a one-photo layout, so you’ll need a photo to scrap.

  • Flower Embellishment: There are many ways to create flower embellishments you can use for this. You can buy ready-made flower embellishments from brands like Graphic 45 and Prima. You can also make your own paper flowers using stamps or dies. In this case, I ink blended some heavy cardstock using Pinkfresh Studio’s Mermaid Cove ink, and then used the inky cardstock for die-cutting my flower with the Layered Flowers die set by Waffle Flower Crafts.

  • Washi Tape — You can use any washi tape you happen to have. I used a washi tape by Jen Hadfield that is now discontinued, but there are many available washi tape designs that would give you excellent results in this project.

  • Border Designs: To make a project similar to the one pictured above, you’ll need two border designs that harmonize with each other but are not an exact match for each other. I used Pinkfresh Studio’s Lacey Edgers dies to create these, and I also used Decorative Scalloped Scissors by EK Success. There are many other possible ways to create borders that would work for this sort of project.

  • Cardstock and Patterned Papers: You’ll need a variety of patterned papers; if you are creating a Hawaii-themed or travel-themed layout, it would make sense to choose a tropical-themed or travel-themed paper collection to work with, but these are not your only choices. You can use basically any paper from any collection if you are careful to choose paper designs that harmonize with your photos. I used papers from the Simple Stories Coastal collection, which is now out of stock at every store where I usually buy scrapbooking supplies. I think Pinkfresh Studio’s Sunshine on My Mind Collection looks like an outstanding paper collection to use for scrapping summer vacation photos, but you have many choices to use for this purpose.

  • Alphabet Letter Dies: There are many different dies, stamps or letter stickers you could use for creating your page title. I used Altenew’s Simple Alphabet die set.

  • Pens or Markers: If you want to journal on your page, it would be nice to do your journaling with a pen in a color that coordinates beautifully with your layout. If you aren’t sure what kind of pen to get, I recommend using Sakura Gelly Rolls or Tombow’s Fudenokuke brush pens. I’ve used the Fudenosuke pens on this page.

  • 6″x8″ Scrapbooking Binder / Album and Page Protectors If you’re scrapping 6″x8″ pages like this one, you’ll want to have sheet protectors and an album to put them in. My layout is housed in a Sn@p! album by Simple Stories.

  • Stamps: The “Explore” stamp is by Citrus Twist Kits.

I am planning to add this page to my Hawaii travel-themed mini scrapbook album and also to our list of Hawaiian Travel and Vacation Scrapbook Ideas shortly. If travel-themed scrapbooking pages are of interest to you, I invite you to check them out.

Thanks so much for checking out my project. I appreciate your interest!

DIY Thank You Card With Sunset Silhouette Design

Guest designer Laura Jane is hosting an Inspiration Challenge over at the Altenew blog. I have been excited about the challenge since the day she posted it, because it features one of my favorite design themes — a sunset! Check this out:

Inspiration Challenge Sunset Image by Laura Jane for Altenew

Inspiration Challenge Sunset Image by Laura Jane for Altenew

That’s the Inspiration Challenge Image Laura Jane posted. She also posted a bunch of amazing purple-ish, pink-ish cards featuring dark silhouetted elements. I loved them so much!

I looked through my paper stash to see what I could find. I have a bunch of Altenew papers, but none of them are quite the right colors for this — so I ended up using papers that I colored using various dyes and inks, including some Altenew inks and others.

Years ago, I used to teach textile design classes to fashion design majors at California Design College. We did a lot of fabric dyeing in those classes. At the end of class, I’d usually have leftover dyes. Instead of just pouring the extra dyes down the drain, I used to use them to create paintings and designs on paper.

I used most of those hand-dyed papers long ago, but I still do have a few of them left in my craft supplies stash waiting for just the right projects to use them in.

Hand Dyed & Ink Blended Papers

Hand Dyed & Ink Blended Papers

This was one of those just right projects. I chose one of these striking hand-dyed papers to use for my darker silhouetted images; the paper has striated shades of deep purple and dusky pink that are reminiscent of the colors you see outdoors at twilight.

And I used another one of these papers to start me off with the background, but I added some spritzes of Altenew ink colors diluted with water — Ruby Red, Coral Berry, and Frosty Pink. I also used some of Tim Holtz’s Dusty Concord Distress Oxide ink to give my card background a more purplish appearance.

Here’s how my card turned out:

DIY Thank You Card in Sunset Colors With Craft Supplies by Altenew

DIY Thank You Card in Sunset Colors With Craft Supplies by Altenew

Craft Supplies You’ll Need for Making a Similar DIY Thank You Card

  • Papers: You could use ink blended or hand dyed papers like I did, or you could use patterned papers for this. You’ll also need some white or colored cardstock to make your card base.
  • Inks: I used Altenew’s Coral Berry, Ruby Red and Frosty Pink dye inks plus Tim Holtz’s Dusty Concord Distress Oxide ink — but you can use any inks you like.
  • Dies: “Sweet Blooms” Die Set by Altenew — This set is so pretty and so versatile; I highly recommend it.
  • Sentiment Stamps: I used the sentiments from Altenew’s “Painted Rose” stamp set, which appears to have been discontinued. I really love this one, but if you missed out on getting it, there are many other possible sentiment stamps you could use.
  • Scalloped Circle Die or Scalloped Scissors: You’ll need to cut out your stamped sentiment in some manner. If you have a scalloped circle that’s the right size, that would be ideal. I happen to have stencils and old-fashioned decorative scissors that I like using for this — so I used scalloped scissors by EK Success to fussy cut around my stamped sentiment.

So there you have it: That’s my inspiration challenge entry. I hope you enjoyed taking a look at it. Thank you so much for dropping by! I appreciate your interest in my project.

Posted by: Amy Solovay

“Love You” Valentine’s Day Card Featuring Heart Motif and Flowers

Crazy Little Thing Called Love: Love You Valentine’s Day Card With Hearts and Flowers Featuring Stamps by Hero Arts

Love You Valentine Card With Hearts and Flowers Featuring Stamps by Hero Arts

Love You Valentine Card With Hearts and Flowers Featuring Stamps by Hero Arts

The lovely people at Hero Arts are having a challenge with the theme of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. Pictured above, you can see my entry for this challenge. It’s a Valentine’s Day card featuring stamped images I created using a couple of different Hero Arts stamp sets.

Craft Supplies You’ll Need for Making a Similar Valentine Card:

  • The “Togetherness” Stamp Set by Hero Arts — This stamp set features a gorgeous floral bouquet stamp and 7 lovely sentiment stamps.
  • The Hero Greetings Christmas Messages Stamp Set by Hero Arts — No, this isn’t a Christmas card (although you could make it a Christmas card if you want to; simply change out the pinks for greens, and voila, it’s a Christmas card). The “Hero Greetings Christmas Messages” stamp set includes mostly Christmas-themed sentiments, but it also has other sentiments like “love you,” “you warm my heart,” “stay cozy” and “let’s party”. So you can use it for many occasions besides just Christmas. I think the “love you” stamp is just perfect for using on Valentine cards, birthday cards and everyday cards.
  • Pink Cardstock
  • White Cardstock
  • Kitsch Flamingo Distress Oxide Ink Pad by Tim Holtz for Ranger Industries
  • Love Letter Memento Ink Pad
  • Washi Tapes: I used 3 different washi tape designs to create this card. The one on the top is a glittery, sparkly white washi tape by Graphic 45. The one in the middle is a red floral design by Recollections. The one on the bottom is a lovely design from the Papillon collection by The Happy Planner / Me & My Big Ideas.
  • A Heart Die or Heart Stencil
  • Scalloped Scissors — I used Fiskars Paper Edgers in the Mini Scallop design to cut around my “love you” sentiment.
  • Pens & Markers — You’ll want to personalize your card on the inside, and you might also want to make some touch-ups to the embellishments on your card. I used a Tombow brush marker, color #847 to color in the scalloped edge around the “Love You” stamped image. I also used a Sakura Gelly Roll pen and a Marvy Uchida highlighter to personalize the inside of my card. No need to get these pens and markers specifically; you can use other coordinating pens and markers from your stash to do your personalizing. If you don’t have any pens that will work for this, I definitely recommend the Gelly Rolls; they are affordable and super pretty. I love the results I get from using them, and I think you will, too.
  • Scoring Board or Other Scoring Tool

Thanks so much for taking a look at my Valentine Card. I really appreciate your interest.

Check Out More DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Find More Project Ideas Featuring Stamps and Supplies by Hero Arts

Posted By: Amy Solovay

Digital Scrapbooking Layout Featuring Elwood Beach, California Palm Tree

Digital Scrapbooking Layout Featuring Elwood Beach Palm Tree

Digital Scrapbooking Layout Featuring Elwood Beach Palm Tree

From 2006 to 2009, my husband, Mike, and I lived in Goleta, California. Elwood Beach was basically our backyard; we could walk out our door, down a dirt path through the Eucalyptus trees and be at the beach within moments.

Here you can see one of my favorite views of the beach. I have variations of this same tree photographed, like, dozens of different times.

At the time, Mike and I both had amazing jobs working in Santa Barbara. Mike was working as the sales and marketing manager for a local AV company, and I had a freelance gig helping Big Dogs Sportswear put their summer print line together. I only worked with them during the summer months.

In my downtime during the fall and winter months, I messed around with scrapbooking, making and selling art, building websites, freelance writing and hanging around the beach. Life was just about as perfect as it could be.

Then along came the great financial crisis. Mike and I both lost our jobs at about the same time. We didn’t want to leave Santa Barbara, but we knew we couldn’t stay in the place where we had been living.

We met this guy who told us it was possible to live rent-free in Santa Barbara. He was selling a 1960s Chris Craft in need of restoration. He told us he was anchoring it in Fool’s Anchorage, and he suggested buying it and living aboard.

Well, of course, living rent-free in Santa Barbara was an appealing idea, so we took a look at his boat. However, we knew immediately that buying it would be a bad idea. Even if someone had been willing to invest the time and elbow grease getting that thing looking awesome again, it would take a billionaire to keep its fuel tanks full.

And we realized that staying in Fool’s Anchorage was also a terribly, horribly bad idea. Glad we had enough sense to dodge that bullet.

Later, after we’d bought a different boat, we met a guy, David. David is an experienced seaman who has been sailing since his childhood 60-some odd years ago. We got to talking with him about anchorages in the area. His comment about Fool’s Anchorage: “No self-respecting captain would anchor a boat there.”

Our other friend, Jim, used to live in Fool’s Anchorage. In the wintertime, when the winds would kick up hard, we’d get worried about him. We’d call him and ask how he was doing. He’d respond, “I’m rocking and rolling with the best of ‘em”. He used to drop, like, 200+ feet of chain and a massive anchor for his 34-foot sailboat, and the dude didn’t even have a windlass. Even with all that ground tackle, washing up on the beach was a constant threat.

And that doesn’t even begin, really, to describe the insanity that is Fool’s Anchorage. Jim told us horror stories that I won’t get into here and now.

So I said to Mike, “Forget the Chris Craft. Let’s get a sailboat. And definitely forget Fool’s Anchorage. Let’s actually go cruising.”

Mike occasionally goes along with my wild ideas. The rest is history.


The lovely people over at Katie Pertiet’s website are having a blending challenge that inspired this digital scrapbooking layout. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to blending, so this really was a challenge for me – but I’m planning to keep messing around with it until I get proficient.

I used Gimp and digital scrapbooking supplies from Katie’s website to create this image. The title font is Cream Cake.

I’m new at Gimp, and so far, it would be incredibly generous to describe my skills in the program as being mediocre. But they’re getting a little better with each project I attempt, and they took a pretty big leap forward with this project (although it occurs to me that is probably not evident just from looking at this piece, which is more of a mess than I’d like it to be…)

Messy or not, I liked it enough to declare this digital scrapbooking layout finished. Thanks for checking it out! I appreciate your interest.

One Photo, One Word Digital Scrapbooking Challenge at the Katie Pertiet Designs Blog

The lovely people over at are having a bunch of inspiring digital scrapbooking challenges this month. I’m working on entering a couple of them. Here you can see my entry for their “one photo, one word” Saturday Scraplift challenge. I’m “scraplifting” a layout by a creative team member, Kate, who goes by the username “OKate” (although my layout actually ended up looking more like Wendy’s).

Hiking Around Cat Harbor Digital Scrapbooking Layout

Hiking Around Cat Harbor Digital Scrapbooking Layout. Photo and layout by Amy Solovay. Digital Scrapbooking Supplies by Katie Pertiet Designs.

I found this challenge to be an especially challenging one, because the inspiration project is so clean, simple and uncluttered. In theory, I LOVE the clean and simple aesthetic; I was instantly drawn to the inspiration project. But in reality, I don’t typically make scrapbooking projects that are totally clean and simple. When it comes to scrapbooking layouts, I like having more than one photo on the page, and I like to pile on textures and layers. Beyond that, I probably overdo it with journaling — so asking me to keep it to one word was like asking me to keep it to one chocolate chip cookie.

So yeah, I totally failed at living up to the “one word” part of the challenge. I thought about titling this “Cat Harbor”, but even that shorter title exceeds the one-word limit. And I have a few thousand photos of Cat Harbor to scrap (I probably won’t get to scrapping all of them…but I’m glad to have scrapped this one, which is one of my favorites). If I were to title one of them “Cat Harbor”, it wouldn’t be this one — because I have photos where the harbor is really the star of the show, and this isn’t one of them.

But this is still a huge win, because it dragged me out of my comfort zone long enough to come up with a new layout that I wouldn’t have arrived at otherwise — and it’s one that I LOVE.

My heartfelt thanks to Katie, Kate, Wendy, Liz, Candy, Rae and the rest of the creative team over at Katie’s website. I appreciate the inspiration y’all provide, and I enjoyed this challenge.

Supplies You Need for Creating a Similar Digital Scrapbooking Layout

All the supplies I used for this layout are available at Katie Pertiet’s website. I plan to post a list of them shortly, so please check back if this would be of interest to you.

Over to You:

Did you enter any of the challenges at Katie’s website this month? If so, how did your project(s) turn out? You’re invited to make use of the comments area below.