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The "A.B." in ABCreations stands for Anmarie Bowden, that's me! My favorite ice cream is Mississippi Mud from Baskin Robbins, altho I'm partial to Oreos crumbled on top of Vanilla Bean ice cream too! I was born on Super Bowl Sunday. I have been digiscraping since 2000. I live in beautiful sunny California. I am married to my soul mate and we have two gorgeous children. My favorite saying is, “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Punches

When purchasing punches select those that can be used in multiple ways, such as a heart for flowers, Valentine's, or split it to make a ladybug, leaves, or whatever else you may think of. Many of the punches can be used in this manner. 

See what I mean with the graphic below...

A heart punch can make a heart, but it can also be used to make a flower with leaves and a stem! It can also create a beautiful blossom! Try it as a vine with leaves! What about a broken heart? And look at the darling ladybug!

The same sort of creativity can be used with other punches as well. A star punch can make a star, but what about the using the piece where the star was punched out of? Try cutting around it with decorative edged scissors in a square shape or circle or even star shape! Did you ever think of punching along the edge of the paper to create a custom border? 

Be sure to save any scraps of paper so when a page calls for a bit of color you can use scraps rather than punching a whole new sheet of paper. Slip your scraps into large mailing envelopes and label as solids, prints, or other descriptions. Now you can make photo corners, punch out shapes, and have a variety of colors and patterns to choose from! 

Place photo scraps in another large mailing envelope and label it. For a different approach you can trace lettering on the photo scraps, cut out, and mount them on a scrapbook page for a title with patterned letters.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Supplies

To start paper scrapbooking, you can start with the basics, and as you form preferences or want to try something new, you can branch out. The basics include the following supplies:

Adhesive glue stick, segmented tape, and plastic dispenser. A black medium point marker for titles. Page protectors. Papers and cardstock in neutral colors for backgrounds and several colors for accents and matting photos. A black small point pen for journaling. A photo safe pencil. A plastic template to make circles and ovals. Sticker lettering in a few basic colors, medium size with upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols. Stickers that coordinate with your pictures.

When your budget permits, add the following supplies so that you have a few more choices when completing layouts. Die cuts of hobbies and sports, and some words or phrases. Markers or pens in a variety of colors. Patterned papers in holiday motifs, heathers, polka dots, stripes, and etc. A plastic template page for creating squares. A straight-edge cutting tool.

The following items can be added as you have the need for them. Stickers, decorative-edged and corner clipping scissors, metallic pens, novelty edged rulers, punches, metallic alphabet stickers.

Image result for scrapbooking supplies for beginners

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Adhestives

Adhesives come in several forms and you should use only those that are acid free.

Double sided segmented tape is easy to use and was designed for mounting photos, but works well for die-cuts and other page accents.

Glue sticks are inexpensive to use and a good choice where children are involved in scrapbook page layouts. Glue sticks work best on photos and paper page accents.

Glue pens with a fine point are used for small areas where a glue stick or tapes are too wide for application.

A double-sided tape runner is similar to the segmented tape, but is a continuous piece that can be torn off at the desired length. This is my personal choice for pictures and papers because it's repositionable for a short time in case I need to move my picture a bit, and it isn't wet so there is never any paper curling or dry time.

Self-adhesive foam dots are another choice if you want your designs to have dimension and stand out from the paper. One of the drawbacks to dimensional design is that the raised surfaces can leave impressions on other pages.

The adhesive that you choose to use will depend on the materials and layout for your pages and designs as well as your personal preference.

Image result for scrapbooking adhesiveImage result for scrapbooking adhesive

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Die Cuts

Using die cuts to embellish scrapbook pages is easy and inexpensive. Because die cuts are pre-cut shapes of images that have been cut from acid-free paper or cardstock, generally they are used alone. When additional color and detail is desiring, die-cuts can be layered. Pens may be used to make decorative freehand borders around die-cuts, and even around photos and backgrounds.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Handwriting

Last time, we talked about journaling. A great way to journal is to use your personal handwriting as a part of your scrapbook creations. Writing personal feelings and adding captions about the subjects gives scrapbook pages added value and interest. Include family stories, traditions, poems, and songs that correspond with the photographs. A child's first words are a perfect enhancement when the journaling is done in their elementary school handwriting. You can turn your handwriting into a font HERE!

Creative lettering is a way of decorating scrapbook pages. The decorative text becomes an element of the page design, drawing attention to the words as well as the photographs. If you are looking for something a little larger or in a different font from your personal handwriting, alphabet stickers can also be used. They come in every color and pattern you can imagine! Fun phrases or messages can be added with letter and number stickers. Use coordinating alphabets or mix them up on the same page for added dimension and interest.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The color of the year for 2017 is Greenery!

Pantone's color of the year is PERFECT for Spring and Summer!

Check out some of my Spring creations HERE and Summer creations HERE!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Journaling

Journaling is the term used for documenting the who, what, where, when, and why of each photograph or group of photographs. Journaling will help explain a subject or record an event more clearly. It should be done with a permanent, acid-free, lignin-free marker or pen.

There are many pens and markers to choose from, varying in purpose and width of point. They should be pigment ink, acid-free, fade-proof, and waterproof. A journaling pen has a fine-point tip (0.5mm) and is used for writing under photos and labeling.

Markers are used for lettering on pages or doing background designs around photos. A marker with a scroll tip can add variety to a page, providing a perfect parallel line or design work on page borders or around photos. A brush marker is great for enhancing around photos and on backgrounds.

There are various types of calligraphy pens that come in an array of colors and point sizes as well. These are used for titling pages. The dual-tipped fine and chisel markers are also good for lettering in various sizes, from small captioning with the fine-point tip to large headers with the wider felt tip.

Metallic pens of gold and silver and bronze are a must for every scrapbooker's collection. Just a stroke of a metallic pen on a certain pages gives enough sparkle to add that finishing touch.

A white opaque pen is fabulous on dark papers, great fun to experiment with, and will give a whole new look to a page. The opaque pens also come in other colors that you will want to try.

A photo-safe pencil is specifically designed for labeling photos. you can also use it to trace a template onto the photo surface without damaging it. My advice to beginners is that it may be best to buy a package of pens or markers in assorted basic colors and add specialty colors and types as desired.

Image result for scrapbooking pens and markers

Friday, June 30, 2017

Advice from Designers

Recently I've had a lot of questions asking for various help. In no particular order, here are some things I advise: 
Choose the right software for you. Good software doesn't have to be expensive, but you should choose wisely. You need a program that can support layers, png images, and ideally, abr files. (You'll eventually learn what those are) 

I suggest you get to know your software a little before you try creating scrapbook pages. Instead of madly downloading kits and trying to get all the cool digital effects your first day, get a handle on the basic principles of digital. Layers. Type. Your tool bar. Opening a document. Saving it. Different file formats. Basic photo editing. 

Brushes, Actions, Templates, and Drop Shadows are not for Day One. 

If you choose Photoshop Elements, learn how to import/copy/paste your image layers into your layout. Instead of using scrapbook patterned paper and embellishments at first, try using just a couple of photos, and some simple, solid color background papers until you feel comfortable. 

If you think you are going to love digital scrapping, invest in an external hard drive, or subscribe to an online storage hosting site. You will accumulate a ton of product and you should get a handle on it from the very beginning. 

Unless you only plan on scrapping what comes out of your camera, get a scanner. I recommend a dedicated scanner (not a three-in-one) you can get a good one for under $150. Now you can scan your pre-digital photos, souvenirs, heritage photos, and your child's artwork. I could go on & on about the stuff you can scan! 

Don't assume digital scrapbooking is faster and easier than traditional scrapping! It can be, but it can also be very time-consuming. But fun! 

If you get discouraged, it might be because you are working beyond your level. Take it slow and easy, don't try to create a masterpiece on your first attempt. Or two. Or three. 

Don't ever be afraid of sounding dumb if you don't know something. Everyone was dumb at the beginning! 

Look for inspiration from a variety of sources. Don't just look at scrapbook related stuff like art journaling or memorydex cards -- check out the design on websites, in magazine advertising, in art galleries, etc. 

Don't worry about your photography skills. 

Don't worry about 'design principles.' The more you observe, the more conscious you will get of what constitutes good design. You don't have to be an artist to create dynamic layouts! 

You don't have to give up paper scrapping to do digital scrapping, and contrary to popular belief, digital scrapping really IS scrapbooking.

Remember it's a learning process so you might get a little frustrated in the beginning... but don't give up! It will be WORTH IT! 

Participate in the challenges. They will help push you to learn more about how your tools and program work.

The UNDO button -- enuf said!

Ok, now I turn the time over to you... I'm sure there will be some more great ideas out there!

Melissa says:
My contribution is: LEARN SHORTCUT KEYS!

No matter the program you use, there are shortcut keys that let you do things faster, and therefore get you done faster. So for example, in Photoshop, on a PC if you push CTRL+Z, that is the undo command. Now if you hold CTRL+ATL+Z, you can effectively go back about 20 steps from where you are right now, so if you messed up a step about 5 steps ago, you can undo those changes instead of starting over.

Another one is CTRL+D which is DESELECT, so in PSP lets say you need to copy and paste something well instead of using the mouse to go to the drop down menu's, you can simply push that command and deselect your image. There are a ton of guides out there that tell you which shortcut keys are useful for whichever program you have. I suggest learning those because I'm telling you, you will work quicker and your work will flow much smoother!

Ok that's my input, lol!

Thank you Melissa! I hope everyone else is willing to share their input as well, leave a comment below!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Edges

Decorative edged scissors are used for cutting decorative edges on paper, cardstock, photos, photo mattes, and just about anything else. You will find many designs to choose from. At first you may want to try those of a fellow scrapbooker. Then you can acquire a few of the designs that you like best.

Die cuts are pretty punched-out designs and usually come in a heavier paper or cardstock weight so they do not bend easily. A number of shapes, designs, and words are available. 

You can also purchase dies and a die cutting machine so that you can customize your die cuts to perfectly match your layout!

Novelty edged rulers come in handy when you want precise trimming on a border or elsewhere. There are rulers available with a different design on each edge of the ruler, which is two-for-the-price-of-one. Patterns come in different styles, such as scallops, zigzag, and much more. Straight rulers are essential for marking strips of paper or card stock and photographs that need to be cut straight. They are also used to draw straight lines when creating borders on your scrapbook pages. Decorative rules come in a variety of styles and allow wonderful options for enhancing borders.
Transparent rules are also called quilters' rulers. Because they are transparent, they allow you to line up your layout perfectly. They are particularly handy for lining up lettering.

Page protectors are clear sleeves into which a finished page can be slipped for protection with holes punched on the side so they can be placed into an album. Some open from the top with others open on the side. Read the package to verify that they are acid for you. Or scrapbook pages that will be handled often, these sleeves offer an invaluable protection.

Use a circular blade paper cutter for a perfectly straight cut. The paper cutter will probably be of more use than any other tool for scrapbooking. This paper cutter has a round blade, which is pulled from the top to the bottom of a photo or paper for a precise cute. the cutting blade and straightedge are attached to a ruled surface, making it very easy for measuring. Ribble or other decorative-edged blades are available for some of these paper cutters. They can save a lot of time.

Corner clipping scissors or punches are used for making decorative designs on photo or paper corners, you can get ones that will round your corners or ones that will make very detailed punches.
Punches are used to punch out small designs and can be found in a number of designs and sizes. One of the best features about punches is that you can use the punched out shape as well as the void or negative area by trimming around it. And the pieces that fall out make great confetti!

Templates are manufactured from a still plastic. They are made in various sizes with various shapes. The shapes are machine cut to give a firm edge to trace around.