Christmas 2020

Well, Halloween has pasted and Hallmark is already showing Christmas movies!!!!  Nothing like rushing the season.  On some level, I’m wanting to rush this whole YEAR as it has been so trying for many. 

Scrapbook crafters (and really any crafter) always have something to do whether it’s inside/outside or alone/with friends.  So, 2020 has not frazzled me as much as some.  If you’re reading this, you know what I mean. 

Craft stores usually have Christmas stuff out early because people are getting ready for craft shows.  I wonder how many of THOSE we’ll see this year.  Probably only a handful is my guess.  So bummed!!!

Today I wanted to show the new Christmas paper from Close to My Heart (CTMH).  Honestly, it’s not my favorite.  I’d be terrible on QVC because I can’t just “love” everything.  Who does????   Perhaps it’s just age, but I love the traditional colors and images. 

Having said that, there was nothing traditional about 2020 so maybe this year’s paper is in good company. lol  So, without further adieu, let me present Jingle Joy.  The colors are Flamingo, Raspberry, Clover and Evergreen.  These are some pages I’ve created using the stickers as well.

Jingle Joy
Jingle Joy with space for Wish List
Jingle Joy

There is another choice for the Christmas line. It’s called Serenity and it’s Blue. I did not get this but the paper packet is as follows:


Of course, there are Christmas Gnomes. YAY! Not sure WHY I love these so. These come with or without thin cuts. You can always fussy cut them if you don’t want the thin cuts. Some people find it relaxing.

Christmas Gnomes with Thin Cuts

Well, you KNOW what my Christmas cards will be of (gnomes) but there are a lot of cute things in the Nov-Dec catalog. So check out the new stuff and get something to play with in case we get locked down again.

As always, comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Until next week, Happy Scrapping.



Founder of: this site and Not Your Mamas Senior

Scrapbook Workshops

I’ve heard so many people say, “I love your work, but I’m not creative” or ask if I have kits. At this point, I don’t have kits although I have MANY Cricut cartridges and the new Cricut that does not require cartridges. Therefore, I might create some kits for people who need things cut out.  Tell me what you’d like in the comments below or email me at: with CTMH in the subject and tell me what you’d like to see.

In the meantime, I’m LOVING Close To My Heart (CTMH) Workshops. They have such beautiful (and quality) papers that you can’t find anywhere else. The nice thing is that you can get a Workshop with not only everything you need for your layouts but instructions on how to do it all.

CHARLOTTE Workshop — Charlotte is new and it’s so pretty!!  These are layouts you can do with the workshop.

scrapbook workshops

Charlotte layout 1

Scrapbook Workshops

Charlotte Layout 2

PLUS you can make about 9 cards using your remaining workshop materials and just a few extra supplies that you may already have if you’re a crafter.

Don’t get me wrong, I use product from everywhere and buy stuff when it’s on sale. However, these workshops are helpful to get the juices flowing. There are a few things that I like about CTMH product:

-you know those small strips that you cut off the end of 12×12 paper? Well, there is actually a design on the CTMH strips so you can use them in your layout or cards – there’s no waste.

time saving – everything is already coordinated.  Sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to find the paper and embellishments to match when I go to a Michaels.  There is just SO much to choose from and it takes me forever.

cheaper – when I go to the store, I end up spending more because I’m not sure what will ultimately fit so I buy additional stuff.

quality of the paper

-I like that the paper is frequently double sided and easy to match

-I like the ideas provided. Some of them take me outside my box.

Here’s some examples of cards I made from the Charlotte Workshop remnants:

Scrapbook Workshops

Charlotte card

I used the watercolor paints on some of the flowers (made from the Springtime Wishes Stamp set) but, to be honest, I’m not a big fan of the watercolor. I prefer the markers for more color saturation. I love me some Copics.  LOL.  The leaves are done with my Copic markers.

Scrapbook Workshops

Another Charlotte card

Scrapbook Workshops

Another Charlotte card

As you can see, you can use all your scraps to make these one of a kind cards that, oh by the way, people love.  They’re also cheaper than a card purchased.  I can’t BELIEVE how much they charge for cards now.

If you’d like to see more workshops, just go to my page.

Thank you for playing with me.  Let me know if I can help you in any of your creative ventures.   Please leave a comment or question below.


Founder of Scrapbooking For Anyone

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is almost here. Are you fresh out of ideas? If you’re like me, you have no problem purchasing a gift for a child up to maybe 5 or 6. After that, it’s a struggle. Then once they hit the teen years, phew, it’s nearly impossible. Of course, electronics are always an option. However, it’s not healthy for ANYONE to be glued to these all the time.


OLD Scrapbook

When I was a teen (MANY moons ago), I had a scrapbook and a photograph book.

OLD (ugly) Photo Album

OLD (ugly) Photo Album

I put all kinds of things in my scrapbook and still love looking at it today even though it’s gone through several moves and is looking a little ratty. Hey, it’s over 40 years old…it can be a little rough.



The photo album is pretty ugly — what WERE we thinking back then with those flowers? LOL.

Today, through scrapbooking, we combine these two and add journaling so that we can remember what that special event meant — or why you were making that face — or how beautiful that bouquet of flowers was — or anything else that helps you relive those good times. Face it, we all have bad days when we feel down. I find that going through my scrapbook will cheer me up even though the event happened 40 years ago. It takes me back in time and who doesn’t want that sometimes. LOL.

So, if you have a child on your list past toddler stage but pre teen, you might think about the American Girl scrapbooking kit. Michaels always has the 40% off coupons. They can be purchased there or if you don’t want to venture out, Amazon will ship it to your door.

For those teens on your list, the smash books are popular.

Smash book

Inside smash book

Smash Book

Smash Book cover

They not only put photos in them, but they draw in them or use them as small scrapbooks. I did one over the summer. I messed it up by talking too much while I was doing it. I started creating the pages then realized I was doing the whole thing upside down. I could just say I planned it that way. That’s the nice thing about creative endeavors — there are no mistakes that can’t be covered somehow. I bet Picasso made a lot of mistakes.

I know these ideas seem a little biased as scrapbooking is my passion but I realized over Thanksgiving that my grandchildren enjoy creating. They get pleasure from seeing what they’ve done and of course, I love watching their eyes light up.

Now matter what you decide, I wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas………..and don’t forget to take photos. LOL.

Please let me know what you think and share your holiday memories with me.


Founder of Scrapbooking for Anyone

Thanksgiving Scrapbooking

I can’t believe it’s already the end of November. As far as the stores are concerned, we’ve skipped right over Thanksgiving and moved on to Christmas. I guess that’s where all the money is.  However, we must NOT forget this Thanksgiving when many of us get to be with family and friends and celebrate all the things were thankful for. Money can’t buy these times and memories.

Snap those photos and here are some thoughts about how to make a greater impact in your scrapbook. It’s not entirely about the photos but the emotions and festivities that go along with them.  Colored leaves remind us of Autumn AND the colors of Thanksgiving.

leaf outline

Use as template

Idea 1: how about if you take this leaf and use it as a template on colorful cardstock, cut it out, give each person a leaf and have them write on it what they are thankful for.

Idea 2: use one of the colored leaves (below), cut out and do the same thing as Idea 1.

Idea 3: use one of the leaves in idea 2 or 3, put a person’s name on it then use it as a place setting card for the table. Have each person write on the back what they are thankful for.

colored leaf

Simply cut out

When any of these are done, scatter them around your Thanksgiving photos in your scrapbook. It’s fun to look back when the kids get older to see what they were thankful for on any given year. What a difference a few years can make. LOL. My kids always liked to see what they thought about “back then”.

If you use Idea 3, you can then use washi tape as a hinge on the stem or front of the leaf (where the name is) and when it’s flipped up, you can see what the person has written. If you use a plastic page protector like I do on all my pages, the flip up leaves can be placed on the page protector but strategically around the photos on your page.

Don’t let anyone rush you through the holidays. Enjoy each one and make all those memories.  As much as you’d like to, you can’t get your hours or your days back.  Make the most of every one.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

by Debbi founder of

Thanks for reading.  Please comment and let me know if you have questions or concerns.



Ready for Some Albums?

You’ve purchased the paper, you’ll create the pages and now you need a way to store and present your pages. You insert your completed pages into page protectors. Page protectors are plastic sheets that keep dirty hands off your photos and embellishments. You then assemble these page protectors into an album. Albums keep your pages dust free and protected from light.

Albums come in a whole range of styles, sizes, colors, textures, themes and types of fastener. So much to choose from that it can be difficult to decide which is right for you. There IS no right or wrong. I’ve done all size albums, all colors all themes.

Scrapbook Albums

Let’s start with the album itself. Things to think about before you decide:

Is this a gift? If yes, what kind of gift – for a baby, birthday, retirement?
Did you just return from Disney and want all your photos stored together?

I ask these questions because you’ll want to think about how many photos you have to work with and how much you want to spend. Of course bigger albums can cost more.

When I do a gift, I usually do a smaller album like an 8×8 or even a 6×6 for baby gifts. However, when I’m doing personal albums, I usually do 12x12s. I do my albums by year so in any given year, I’ll have tons of photos and I can get more on a 12×12 page so I can generally keep it to 1 year per album.

Additional thoughts by size:


holds numerous photos

a lot of room to journal and decorate page

many 12×12 papers to choose from

large range of styles from leather to fabric from themed to plain

8 ½x11

still many papers to choose from

can handle standard computer paper


will be faster to put together because you’ll have less journaling

faster to assemble due to less embellishment space

makes a nice gift album


economical to make

12×12 paper can be cut to create 4 pages

mix and match just a few designs to make many pages

makes a nice gift

use for a single important theme (birthday, anniversary, etc)

Once you pick out an album, you’ll want to notice what kind of fasteners it has. There is:

Ring binder: these are nice because if you want to add another page, you simply flip to where you want to insert the new page, unfasten, slip the new page in and refasten. Simple and quick.


Post bound: Most of my albums are post bound because I like the look of them. They just seem to have a more finished appearance. Just my personal preference. However, they are a pain if you want to insert a new page. You must unscrew the post from one side while holding the screw still on the other side, pull out ALL the pages, insert your new page, then slowly put all the pages back in and rescrew the posts back together. The posts do come in different sizes that allow you to make your book as big as you’d like. Use your judgment on this though. You don’t want to make it too big or it will be too floppy.


Most albums are post bound but you can get 12x12s and 8x11s that are a ring binder type.  Again, there will never be a right or wrong. This is your creation and you can do whatever you want.

I hope this helps with your album selection.  Please feel free to contact me for additional help.  There are so many variables when you’re deciding and not a one size fits all.


Thank you for reading

Please leave Comment/Questions

Debbi Armstrong



Just Paper

Let’s talk paper.  When I say paper, you may think of printer paper, notebook paper, lined paper, colored paper, crepe paper, wax paper, wall paper, etc. Just the list of papers used in day to day tasks goes on and on. So, now I’m really going to blow your mind when it comes to scrapbooking paper.  There is: cardstock, regular weight paper and vellum. Easy and not even confusing.

Paper has become more important to me over time because I no longer do scrapbooking pages that are elegant and artistic, if you will. I may pick an image here or there to single out and truly express my artistic side but it’s rare. Like many of you, I have TONS of photos that I try to get into albums and a limited amount of time. Therefore, the important part to me is the journaling and storytelling. I want people to pick up my album many years from now and know who the people are in the photos and what that event or person meant to me.

Let’s start with cardstock

Cardstock is a tad heavier weight than your ordinary paper. There is textured and smooth cardstock. You can find it in just about any color. It can be used:

for tags to journal on
to create embellishments (i.e. flowers, stars, etc. – think grade school)
frame photos on your page (my usual use for it)

regular weight paper

This is generally used as the background of your page and probably the most important piece of paper. Today there is any number of patterns and themes to choose from that will coordinate with the photos you’ve taken. Many of the manufacturers create collections of papers that coordinate with each other. These are frequently contained in stacks of paper in all different sizes (12×12, 8×8, 8×11 or 6×6). Remember to choose a theme or look for colors in your photos that you would like to build on or draw attention to.

Scrapbook Paper1 Scrapbook Paper


As you can see, you have a HUGE selection to choose from.


Vellum is translucent. It comes in different colors as well. You will also see embossed vellum or vellum with glitter. Its main purpose is to soften up your patterned or colored paper. The only thing to be careful with when you use vellum is how you attach it to your page. Tape on the back will show through. There is a spray adhesive made just for vellum but it can be expensive. I try to use a very very light swipe of my glue stick OR attach it with brads or any other embellishment.  DSCN2931

As pictured, the top is paper without vellum and the bottom is with.  You can see how the vellum subdues the pattern.



I hope this helps you when you go into the store (or online) to pick out paper. It’s not as hard as it may seem but newbies to scrapbooking can get overwhelmed.  If I can help, please let me know.


By Debra Armstrong

Thanks for reading.

Comments?  Need help?




Traditional or Digital?

I think most of you know the difference but just in case…..

Traditional is when you have hands on printed photos, special acid/lignin free paper, embellishments, etc. You manually arrange the photos on paper, adhere them then add any journaling and/or embellishments. This has been around since cameras became popular.

It is now the age of digital photography for most of us (professionals excluded here). Personally, I don’t know HOW I ever dealt with film for capturing everyday moments. You had to wait so long to see if you had a usable picture or you used tons of film making sure one of the photos came out right. In any case, digital scrapbooking is a way to computerize all these photos, using various scrapbooking programs to create a hardcover book or separate pages that can be inserted into a traditional book.

Let’s move on to the pros and cons of each.

Traditional Scrapbooking


• You get to FEEL the ribbons and buttons and bows. To me, that’s part of the excitement. It gets my creative juices flowing.

• These elements also add depth and interest to your pages.

• I like to use actual ticket stubs, brochures, report cards, artistic creations from your children and little souvenirs. You know those machines that imprint pennies? I have a few of those imprinted pennies. As long as it’s not something too big or bulky, I can put it on a page to enhance my photos.

• You can attend crops (place where a bunch of people gather to scrapbook), I know a lot of women (and some men) that do this. It’s not only a great way to meet people of similar interests, but you can share  more expensive supplies. Some of the hobby stores have crop nights and let you use their Cricut machine for example. Also, people are good about sharing and if you only need one of some small item, someone might have just the thing and it saves you from buying a whole package.  Aside from supplies, you may be having a creativity block and what better venue to swap ideas or get your minds working?


• Well, if you’ve read any of my other articles, you know that traditional scrapbooking requires space and containers to hold all the STUFF. Granted most or you will not be out of control as I am. LOL. Beyond holding your stuff, you still need a place to work and that dining room table is usually where it all happens. However, what happens when you have guests or little ones roaming around?

• Printing photos can be expensive although Snapfish has sales all the time and the photos come out really nice. I’ve used them for YEARS and store a lot of my photos there. I upload then choose the prints I want them to print.  So, it is a con but not a bad one.

Digital Scrapbooking


• There is no mess to contend with or storage space required.

• Just hit Save, come back whenever you can and nothing has been moved or rearranged by a little one.

• Can do it anywhere without hauling all your supplies.

• Can print a number of copies (of pages or book) for each member of the family or group.

• You can easily manipulate photos (resize, take out red eyes, etc.) once you plan a page. (Note: I do use Photoshop  and manipulate my photos BEFORE I upload and print with Snapfish.) Of course, being a human, you can change your mind about the size and have to reprint with traditional or even change the number of prints you want to use. Now you’ve paid for excess photos. I printed 1000 photos of a mission trip to China. Will I use them all???? Granted, they were a penny apiece but …….

• Can be faster. All you have to do is turn your computer on and pick up where you left off instead of gathering all your supplies.


• Scrapbooking programs in which you buy templates can be expensive and they’re not something you can easily share. Picture going to a crop with just your computer. Less cumbersome, but not very exciting. There is limited exchange of ideas, stories or inspiration.

• There is a limit to the number of templates and embellishments that are available on any given program and you are bound by those limitations.

• After you’ve completed your online album, you then have to print it. Again, often (and I say Snapfish because I use them so often) you will find sales but sometimes you’ll have to wait for them. I’ve seen books done in Shutterfly as well. They are nice but they don’t have the same FEEL as a traditional. I know, I have this thing about feel.

SO, now having done this comparison, for many of you in the younger generation who grew up with computers, you may opt for digital scrapbooking. It IS less cumbersome. I’ve done both and I must say I do prefer the traditional. For my daughter’s wedding I purchased a digital album of her wedding day but made a traditional one for all the festivities surrounding her day. The traditional one was more fun to look at. A hybrid of the two is also an option. I haven’t tried that yet.

Bottom line, you need to decide what works for you and fulfills your creative spirit. Either way, make it personal and leave memories for future generations. This website will focus predominately on the traditional style. Let’s Create!


By Debra Armstrong
Thanks for reading.  Please leave a comment.