Time for National Scrapbook Day!

May 1 is National Scrapbook Day, a day to celebrate all we do to preserve our memories through photos, video, other media, journaling and careful preservation of media and memorabilia. Creative Memories was instrumental in establishing NSD in 1996.

Did you know scrapbooking dates back to the 15th century? And that, in the 18th and 19th century, scrapbooking (then called “friendship albums”) encouraged young women to write about and annotate their lives. You can read more about the history of scrapbooking on Wikipedia, although the article does not describe the dramatic increase in 2020-2021 in scrapbooking due to social distancing during the pandemic.

I attended the Creative Memories (CM) National Scrapbook Day 2021 preview webinar last week. With 1,000+ CM Advisors on the call, it was quite a crowd! The theme this year is “Let the Shenanigans Begin!”

With a single Project Recipe Kit, you will be able to make BOTH of the layouts below!

What else will be available? In addition to the beautiful papers and embellishments used in the layouts above, you can order additional cardstock, reversible laser cuts, a new shamrock recipe template, a beautiful mint green shamrock embossed album cover, foil embellishments, and digital versions of the materials. And, if you buy a bundle, you get a free booklet of great layouts!

Let’s celebrate!

All the great materials above go on sale March 1; you can order through my link: https://www.creativememories.com/user/MarshaSC .

I will be hosting an NSD Zoom crop (date TBA) to show how to use the materials for the NSD layouts and more. Be sure to follow my Facebook page (Marsha’s Scrappin’ Circle) or send an email to me to be added to the email list so you get early notice!

As always, I would welcome your order through my CM page. Contact me at marshamatyas@gmail.com for more info.

Be safe, be happy, and…be scrappy!


Virtual Crops? Try it! You’ll Like It!

Are you tired of social distancing? Do you miss getting together with friends to work on your scrapbook, make some cards, or do other crafty projects? Or perhaps you have always worked alone on your craft projects…it’s too much hassle to pack everything up to go to an evening, day or even weekend event. For all the above, I highly recommend trying a “virtual crop” or “virtual crafting session.”

What is a Virtual Crop?

Due to the pandemic and the need for social distancing, you have probably become familiar with virtual (online) meetings for business meetings, doctors’ appointments, religious services, visiting family and friends, and even attending major events such as weddings. It’s a simple principle: You receive an email that includes a link (hyperlink) that you click to join the meeting. Your computer might have to install a little program as the meeting opens but soon you are connected and face-to-face with your colleagues, family, doctor, etc. Virtual crops use the same technology but instead of your doctor, you will see live video of other scrapbookers ready to welcome you to the crop!

Sharing what we learned at a small crop.


  • If your computer pops up a box that asks whether you want to test your microphone and audio, do it. This assures that you will be able to hear and speak during the virtual crop.
  • You may receive a message that you are “waiting for the host” to let you into the “room.” This is normal…it allows the host to make sure that non-crafters don’t join the virtual meeting.
  • If the host doesn’t admit you to the room in a few minutes, feel free to email or text her/him to say that you are in the waiting room.
  • If you enter the virtual crop and can’t hear or see people, “leave” the meeting and try entering again. Remember that this software is handling many thousands of people at the same time!

What happens next?

Once you have joined the virtual meeting, be sure to turn on your microphone and, if possible, your camera. Everyone likes to see everyone else…don’t worry about how you look. Half the group is probably in sweat pants or leggings and you may see some PJ’s in the morning! Next, you introduce yourself (or the host of the crop introduces you)…very informal!

“Hi! I’m Marsha from Maryland. I’ve been scrapbooking for about a year. This is the first time I’ve done one of these virtual crops so let me know what I need to do.”

Feel free to greet friends you know.

Is there an agenda?

The host often sets an agenda. Listed below are common agenda items you might find at a virtual crop. Note that all of these are OPTIONAL; if you want to simply work on your crafts or just watch, that is perfectly fine!

  • “How-to”: The host demonstrates how to create a page layout, make a border or embellishment, use a new tool, etc.
  • Showcase new materials or tools: If the host is, for example, a Creative Memories consultant, she/he may show pictures, videos, or demonstrate new papers, embellishments, punches, etc.
  • Stretch break: You may be encouraged to get up, stretch, and take a walk.
  • Discussion topic: The host may lead a discussion on setting goals for the year, what you put on the front and back pages of your albums, how you plan your albums (e.g., annual, vacations, major events, birthdays, etc.). You may be encouraged to “show and tell” examples from your scrapbooks.
  • Drawings and games: There often is a tally sheet or bingo sheet where you mark off things you accomplished at the crop. Accomplishments can earn you prizes (paper, embellishments, etc.).

Do you have to be there the whole time?

For a short crop (1-3 hours), you might be expected to attend the whole thing. But for longer crops (all day, 12 hour, etc.), hosts will expect you to come and go as you wish. Some crafters watch the schedule and show up for the demonstrations they are interested in and then leave. ALL of that is acceptable unless the description of the event says attendees are expected to attend for the whole event. That is very rare.

What happens if I get disconnected?

It happens. Or, more often, everything slows down or locks up on your virtual call. Simply “leave” the meeting or reboot your computer and re-enter the meeting the same way you did the first time. If the host’s computer locks up, give him/her a few minutes to reboot and then try to come into the call again. If there is continued trouble, be sure to check your email or text for communication from the host.

Can I get anything done?

YES! You can work throughout the crop on your own work. You also can say, “Hey, what do you think…is this better with the blue paper or the red paper” while you hold up your work in front of your camera. You can ask, “Has anyone ever done X or tried to use Y or know how to get glue off an old photo?” And you will get lots of ideas and answers. And you will make new friends. Here are comments from an old friend who attended my virtual crops last year and from a new friend I made through the virtual crops last year.

I have been scrapbooking for over 20 years. I love going to small crops with close friends and large crops with people who become my friends!  When Covid-19 hit, all the crops that I had planned to participate in were canceled. When Marsha said she was going to do crops on Zoom I thought, “How will that happen?”  I wasn’t sure how they would take place; would we be able to communicate with each other, would we be able to see each other’s work, isn’t it weird to have all these people looking at you, etc.  My first Zoom crop was sooooo exciting!  I was able to get several pages done and it was so neat meeting people from all across the USA!  I even got to see friends that I would usually crop with! We talked with one another, asked questions, got suggestions for layouts, and there were times when it was quiet – it wasn’t weird at all!  I enjoy learning new layouts and Marsha is very patient when it comes to teaching them!  I have completed several albums during the Zoom crops, and I have been able to organize my photos which makes my scrapbooking so much easier.  If you love to scrapbook, you need to try a Zoom crop!!

Deb N., Maryland

Marsha’s Virtual Crops literally saved me during the pandemic. I know that statement sounds extreme, however, I believe it is true. As someone who at times struggles with anxiety, having our Virtual Crops gave me a focus, a valuable connection with others and a feeling of accomplishment. Most importantly it simply gave me something that brightened my week – I look forward to our Saturdays. Now I’m off to prep for our next crop and there is a smile on my face!”

Terri P., Maryland

What is the cost?

Except for some training or special crops where you receive a lot of training or materials, virtual crops are free. My crops are free.

How do I find a virtual crop?

Of course, you are always invited to attend my crops! These are always posted on my Facebook page and in the Facebook feed at the right side of this page. Also, sign up for my biweekly email update for both crop announcements and info on new Creative Memories resources, and other vendor events. Email me and ask for the Scrappin’ Circle Newsletter.  

You also can search for events at the Creative Memories site. You can search by date, zip code, or state. Be sure to click “virtual events” under the search box. Remember that, for virtual events, the LOCATION does not matter…so use the “search by date” box.

What are you doing at the Jan 16 crop?

  • A quick fold over layout that would be great as an album title page
  • A big circle page with “how-to” on creating a woven pattern circle
  • A Noreen Smith layout that can be done both simply and with greater embellishment
  • A discussion of goal-setting for 2021
  • And a stretch break and prize drawing, of course.

Email me for the Zoom link at marshamatyas@gmail.com !!

As always, I would welcome your order through my CM page. Contact me at marshamatyas@gmail.com for more info.

Be safe, be happy, and…be scrappy!


Presto! 3 Cuts to a Great Layout!

“I love Noreen Smith’s 1-2-3 layouts,” I overheard the lady say at a crop several years back. Her friend responded, “Yes! They are so easy and so pretty!” I couldn’t resist asking, “Who is Noreen Smith and what is a ‘1-2-3 layout’?” I’m so glad I did! When you are staring at an empty page (or pair of pages) and need to do SOMETHING with the 6-8 pictures you have for an event, Noreen Smith’s wonderful layouts are like having a magic wand in your pocket!

Noreen is a Creative Memories Advisor, educator, scrapbooker, blogger, and author. You can read more about Noreen at her website. She offers courses through her website and has lots of YouTube video tutorials and a great blog where you can always get a new idea. She also is the developer of the 1-2-3 Scrapbook Method which is what I want to share with you today.

1-2-3 Scrapbook Layouts

Noreen has created a whole library of 2-page and 1-page layouts where you use 1 sheet of double sided paper and two sheets of card stock, make THREE cuts of the double sided paper…and end up with a wonderful two-page layout ready to mount 6-7 pictures like this:

Lovely wedding: Don’t believe that you can make the page layout with 3 simple cuts? Here is how it’s done:

In this case, matching embellishments and mat packs helped to speed up the final embellishment. Note that, even for this quite formal event, she didn’t need to mat each picture because the 1-2-3 layout provides full or partial matting behind most pictures.

Happy holidays: Here is another example…this video shows how to make both a Christmas and a Halloween layout. Remember that these always start with a template that can be used for LOTS of events, holidays, etc.

Head for the Border Maker!  How about using almost the same layout with a quick punch of your border maker to make a nautical theme?

How to do it? Here is the video and the blog.

Do I use Noreen Smith’s great 1-2-3 cut method? Sure do! Here are a few examples of my 1-2-3’s…thanks, Noreen!


ALL of these took only 2 sheets of card stock, one sheet of double-sided paper, and three cuts. Well, I have to admit that the last one (Go Boilers) used 2 sheets of single-sided patterned paper (the tan/cream dots) and one sheet of black card stock. I made the three cuts on the card stock because I wanted to use the tan paper and it was not double-sided. See how adaptable these layouts are?

Want to see more? Check out Noreen’s Page and be sure to sign up for the FREE membership library that gives you access to 1-2-3 layouts and lots more! Use this link:

TRY at LEAST one 1-2-3 layout…you will want to do more! Share them below or on my Facebook page!



Disclosure: I’m using the second half of my blogs to share product info in order to reach the most people without asking non-Facebookers to join Facebook!  I am a Creative Memories Advisor and, should you place an order through my page, I earn a percentage of the sale. However, I only recommend the products that I think are really wonderful and would and do use myself.


Lumberjack stickers: These are GREAT for Father’s Day but they are selling out FAST! Lumberjack Stickers have three mini sheets (5″x8.25″) of dad-and-me-themed stickers for $6.50. It features icons like lumberjacks, oxen, fish, leaves, antlers and campfires, as well as sayings like “Best buds,” “My hero” and “Happy Father’s Day,” and includes complementing border stickers.

Love Each Other Album Cover: For a limited time only now through July 31, you can get the exclusive 12×12 Ocean Blue Love Each Other Album Cover featuring a foiled heart design from the Love Each Other Theme Pack. All profits for this album cover will be donated to World Vision.

Love Each Other Theme Pack: It’s BACK! This kit includes four designer papers that spread love and positivity with patterns like hearts, polka dots and lined paper to share your stories. It also features complementing stickers that remind us that we always have been – and will be – there for each other, with icons like stethoscopes with hearts and people exchanging social-distancing greetings. There are also uplifting sayings like “Stay Positive Stay Brave” and “Always staying connected.” Like the album cover above, all profits for the Love Each Other Theme Pack will be donated to World Vision.

Power Project Folders: They’re BACK! Secure your scrapbooking materials in our clear poly multi-pocket Power Project Folders. Fits all your favorite 12×12 designer papers and cardstock, slide-in packs, sticker strips and more.

Vitamin Sea overview

The NEW! VITAMIN SEA COLLECTION has an array of tropical scrapbook supplies. This collection captures all your sandy moments and sets a seaside scene for photos of tropical vacation getaways, ocean adventures, beach and pool days and more. Check out the movie overview here . And here are a few pictures!

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  • a beautiful turquoise ALBUM COVER with a hibiscus flower design in white matte, apple and teal foil and BOOKCLOTH ALBUMS in coordinating colors;
  • TWO PAPER PACKS (designer paper and tone-on-tone) AND matching CARD STOCK;
  • a great mat pack with cards for titles, journaling, and matting pics/embellishments;
  • Stickers with borders, titles, sea life, plants, trees, and flowers;
  • EMBOSSED tropical leaves…useful for this pack and LOTS of other places;
  • LASER CUT BORDERS of palms, hibiscus blossoms, shells, sunglasses, etc.;
  • Fast2Fab pages that make it SUPER easy;
  • NEW Border Maker punch cartridge – Kissing Fishes…so cute!
  • New Border punch (stand alone) – seashells…use it in layers or alone

If you would like to order, please use my link! Thanks!

Virtual Events on the Horizon!

Creative Memories is hosting additional Virtual Crops in the coming months: July 10-11, and August 14-15. For more info, join the CM Facebook Virtual Crop page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/CreativeMemoriesVirtualCrop/

As always, I would welcome your order through my CM page. If you order through my page in June, you can get a shipping rebate up to $20. Contact me at mlmat@comcast.net for more info.

Be safe, be happy, and…be scrappy!


Hearts Afire!

Wow…everyone is making heart layouts! This “heart beat” started in February (no surprise there) but the creativity just keeps coming! And the good news is that they are really SIMPLE. Did you ever play with tangrams? You can make LOTS of shapes with triangles and squares (as we have seen in my previous posts). Add circles and you get an amazing array of options! Today…let’s make HEARTS!

Take a look at some of the wonderful things you can do with this hearts layouts!


Materials: All you need is one 12 x 12 sheet of card stock and one 12 x 12 sheet of double-sided paper. If you would like to make the two-page layout above, have two sheets of card stock ready. For the first time you make this layout, it is best to have a print that is NOT one directional (e.g., no stripes, arrows or columns all in the same direction). A paper cutter and circle cutter is really helpful for this page but you could certainly do it with a ruler, scissors, and a can or jar.

Pam Giganti created a WONDERFUL video showing how to make one of the large heart layouts. Watch and learn! Pam makes it really easy!

I wanted to use the heart as a cover page for the part of my album describing a Disney visit in the fall. But the space in the middle didn’t fit well with the 5 x 7 picture that I had printed for the page. SO…I made a page using larger circles (nearly 6 inches) and trimmed the picture to be the point of the heart. I still have a little adjustment to do but what do you think? This layout is really adaptable!

I also wanted to make the little heart border that Pam describes in the video. What could be more perfect than my pages for the Disney princess parade! I happened to have a great purchased embellishment of the castle complete with a tiny Tinkerbell. I think the heart borders worked well…even though I clearly am not a great freehand heart-cutter. Good thing I’m not a cardiac surgeon!

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Have you made some heart layouts? Share them below or on my Facebook page!

Disclosure: I’m using the second half of my blogs to share product info in order to reach the most people without asking non-Facebookers to join Facebook!  I am a Creative Memories Advisor and, should you place an order through my page, I earn a percentage of the sale. However, I only recommend the products that I think are really wonderful and would and do use myself.


fun in the sun collection

Fun in the Sun!

Designer paper has patterns with “striped beach towels and toys, sunglasses, starfish, seashells and water waves in a palette of hot pink, vivid violet, aqua blue, periwinkle, tangerine and banana yellow. It’s perfect for photos of the sweltering days by the cool refreshing water, backyard barbecues and more.” Check out the fabulous purple album cover with splashes of summer colors along with mat pack, stickers, and embellishments. What a great collection! Check out the whole bundle here.

A Festive Fourth of July!

Inspired by all-American barbecues, Fourth of July family get-togethers and pride for the USA, this collection features designer scrapbook paper, stickers, a beautiful red album embellished with fireworks, and new firecracker punch (below). Patterns feature “stars and stripes, firecrackers, fruit and red, white and blue popsicles in a palette of strawberry red, blueberry and denim blue, navy and tan. You’ll love it for your photos of festive celebrations, the Fourth of July, saluting military personnel and more.” Check it out here.

love each other

It will be back! I’m so very sorry…CM released a Love Each Other Theme pack that was gone so fast I didn’t even get one! BUT it will be back later in the summer and I will post ASAP when it does!

Thinking about becoming an Advisor?

There is a new 3 step program to give you more rewards as a new CM Advisor. I would be delighted to serve as your upline Advisor! Drop me an email, give me a call, or text me…I would be happy to give you more info.

Virtual Events on the Horizon!

Creative Memories is hosting additional Virtual Crops in the coming months: June 12-13, July 10-11, and August 14-15. For more info, follow the CM Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/creativememories/ 

As always, I would welcome your order through my CM page. If you order through my page in June, you can get a shipping rebate up to $20. Contact me at  for more info. 

Be safe, be happy, and…be scrappy!


Fun with Triangles and Squares

Making the “quilt page.”

A few posts ago, I promised to share how to make the “quilt” page that looks quite complicated, but is really quite easy to make. Here are a few I have made for my books:

Materials: All you need is one 12 x 12 sheet of card stock and one 12 x 12 sheet of double-sided paper. For the first time you make this layout, it is best to have a print that is NOT one directional (e.g., no stripes, arrows or columns all in the same direction). A paper cutter is really helpful for this page but you could certainly do it with a ruler and scissors.

Here are two videos that demonstrate how to make it. The first video is by Canadian CM Advisor, Joanne Soltesz. I like how she glues things down as she goes. Click HERE to watch.

For a slightly different view, see Amy Weaver’s video. Click HERE to watch.

The Mini-cannoli Page

You can also fold small squares into a “cannoli” shape and use them to make full page layouts or borders.

I didn’t find a good video on YouTube but here is a link to Amy Weaver’s Facebook video.

If you are not on Facebook, here are my brief directions:

  1. You need a piece of 12 x 12 plain card stock and a piece of 12 x 12 two-sided print paper (I’ll call them Side A and Side B). Avoid directional prints like stripes, etc.
  2. Cut the two-sided paper into 2-inch squares…you will need 24 squares total.
  3. Sort the squares into two stacks of 12 so that you have 12 with Side A facing up and 12 with Side B print facing up. In the picture above, look at the close up on the top right. Let’s call Side A the blue side and Side B the white side with starbursts on it.
  4. Gently fold each Side A square into a triangle but don’t crease the fold. Just make a tiny soft crease in the middle.
  5. Then open up the piece and bring the points to the middle (see top right picture above). Now crease it. Your piece should look like a tiny cannoli with the tips of the shell just touching in the middle! For Side A pieces, the blue will be inside and the starbursts will be on the tiny flaps.
  6. Use a tiny strip of adhesive under each flap to hold it down. You should have 12 pieces Side A pieces.
  7. Now repeat with the Side B stack. Remember to not turn the paper over to fold it. These pieces should have the starburst paper in the middle of the cannoli and the flaps are the Side A blue paper. When you are done you should have 12 Side B pieces.
  8. To arrange them, put one Side A point in a corner of your card stock. Then alternate, being sure your points always switch from Side A paper to Side B paper. Refer to the pictures above if you are confused.

What can you do with them?

Make a full page for a 1-2 pictures, make borders and facing pages, make a cluster in the corners. Whatever you like! They are great building blocks!

What have I been doing?

I have been working on a 2015 album. I do a power layout for a 10-20 pages, then finish those pages, then going back to doing power layouts. I’ve been trying a lot of Noreen Smith’s 1-2-3 layouts…more on those in a later post!

Virtual Events on the Horizon!

Creative Memories is hosting additional Virtual Crops in the coming months: June 12-13, July 10-11, and August 14-15. For more info, follow the CM Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/creativememories/

Disclosure: I’m using the second half of my blogs to share product info in order to reach the most people without asking non-Facebookers to join Facebook!  I am a Creative Memories Advisor and, should you place an order through my page, I earn a percentage of the sale. However, I only recommend the products that I think are really wonderful and would and do use myself.



Tomorrow, May 19, is the last day to get this great bundle for $149! (And note that I have a free shipping offer below). In this pack you get…

  • All 3 Planes, Automobiles & Trains Paper Packs
  • All 3 Planes, Automobiles & Trains Sticker Packs
  • All 3 Planes, Automobiles & Trains Laser Cut Embellishment Accents
  • 1 Train Tracks Border Punch
  • 1 Embossed Locomotive Punch
  • 1 On the Road Border Maker Cartridge
  • 1 BONUS exclusive 12×12 Chocolate Traveler Album Cover, which is made of rich chocolate bookcloth and is decorated with a globe and arrow in gold-copper and copper-brown foil


A. Cardstock Buffet

cardstock buffet

Starting TODAY and lasting ONLY NINE DAYS – BEAUTIFUL SHIMMER CARD STOCKS PLUS NEW SPRING COLORS. Buy 6 packs (any combination) and get a free pack of Lilly Pad (green) cardstock. See the video here.

B. Little Dreamer Collection

little dreamer

Beautiful new baby materials! Soft colors…lots of sleepy stars…good for boys or girls. Two beautiful embossed albums – green with stars and white with embossed baby shoes . Be sure to check out the Tone-on-Tone papers; they would be beautiful for any album! The video link below shows you all the materials: two album covers, Fast-to-Fabulous pages, print papers, tone on tone papers, stickers, mat pack, embellishments. AND you can buy a gift box bundle with everything, including a tape runner and silver pen. These album bundles have been my “go to” baby shower gift for years! I often make some additional photo mats and borders to personalize the gift a bit.  Click HERE to watch the video!

C. Clouds Border Maker Cartridge

clouds bmc

Perfect for baby albums but also for the Airplanes, Automobiles, and Railroad materials, for Airplane punches, Mountains, etc. Anywhere you have a great horizon on your page, add some fluffy clouds!!

D. S’mores collection – let’s have a cookout!


Paper pack  with earth tones: greens browns, golds, blues. Patterns include camping and outdoors as well as nice neutrals. Also a pretty pine tree album cover and coordinated stickers. NICE! Click HERE to watch the video.

E. True North Collection

canada collection

Canada, eh? How about a beautiful red album cover, woodsy paper pack and coordinating stickers? Check it out!

F. Campfire Punch

campfire punch

This will be great for campfires but also for CANDLES since the flame is a separate piece from the crossed logs (which will be good for X’s on borders). Both the punched pieces AND the negative (open) remainders will work beautifully on pages and cards. See picture below.

As always, I would welcome your order through my CM page. If you order through my page in May, you can get a shipping rebate up to $20. Contact me at  for more info. 

Be safe, be happy, and…be scrappy!


The Best and Worst…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us… (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859)

You might relate a bit more to Dickens’ opening lines today than on most warm spring days. We are living through a time of worsts and bests, light and darkness, and despair and hope. I find myself swinging back and forth on a pendulum…some days cherishing my family being at home all day and getting to have lunch with my husband each day (something we have never done during the work week in 35+ years of marriage)! But part of me wants everyone to get out so I can clean my house and clean out my basement. And, yes, go out to eat…the cover photo was our last “night out” before social distancing kicked in…Chinese food and a Duck Donut! I really miss vacation, too! Cancelling our much-needed fall vacation to SC and trip to IN to visit relatives was so painful, but NOTHING compared to what so many families are dealing with in terms of finance and health. We pray every day for those who are sick but also those who take care of them, AND we pray for all who are keeping the wheels turning in our world to create and deliver food and other essentials. So every day, I’m counting my blessings: We are safe, healthy, well-fed (TOO well-fed), and financially OK. My husband and I can both do our work from home. I pray that the same is true for all of you!

Making Lemons…

lemon meringue pie

…into lemon meringue pie! I don’t like lemonade much, so I’ll make my lemons into a lovely pie! Have you used this unexpected window of time to take at least ONE step forward in preserving your memories? That could be sorting pictures, labeling groups of pictures with dates and locations, printing pictures, or even starting that album you keep meaning to get done. You don’t have to do it all at once, but even a bit of sorting can get you started. I start by sorting pictures into YEARS. If you have digital pictures, did you know that you can find out the date they were TAKEN (not the date you pulled them off your camera or phone and saved them. If you are using Windows, right click on a picture icon in your file folder, then click on the “Details” tag at the top of the menu box (see below). You will see a “date taken” date. For most pictures, that will be the date you took the picture. For older pics that have been duplicated several times, this may not be valid, but it really helps when you can’t remember if that was the 2017 or 2018 snowstorm picture!

photo details menu

How to get started? I have several blog posts below that can help…scroll down and see the titles. If you have specific questions, post a comment or ask on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MarshaScrap/). Also, check out the Creative Memories Everyday Photo Décor Kit below…you can take a single photo and make a beautiful display, complete with wooden stand, in 5 minutes!

What is new from Creative Memories?

I’m struggling to get info out on new products and resources these days…posting on Facebook AND creating email letters AND writing blog posts AND planning for virtual events is more than my schedule allows right now. So, I thought I’d share new product info as part of my blog to reach the most people without asking non-Facebookers to join Facebook! Full disclosure: I am a Creative Memories Advisor and, should you place an order through my page (listed below), I earn a percentage of the sale. However, I only recommend the products that I think are really wonderful and would and do use myself.

A Great Deal…Even without Steve Martin and John Candy!

Have you seen the new Planes, Trains, and Automobiles papers and embellishments? They are PERFECT for travel pictures (see slide show below)! And, for the next few days, you can order them as a bundle and get a FREE cover ($35+ value)! Click Planes, Trains and Automobiles collection for more details. Note…the cover will be included in the bundle as long as they have them…it is NOT a separate item. But, if you want this, do it SOON…these will not last long.

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Mothers Day Specials!

CM rarely puts things on “sale” but for Mother’s Day, they put together some GREAT materials collections and then DISCOUNTED them! Check them out at https://www.creativememories.com/mothers-day-specials.html.


Here are some details:

  • Blend and Bloom bundle with beautiful spring colors – PAPER PACK, STICKERS, FLOWER EMBELLISHMENTS, FOAM SQUARES AND NEW DOT PEN.  All for $30
  • Remember Rainbow Rush…those amazing colors? This bundle has Rainbow Rush Bold Paper Pack and Layered Title Embellishments, plus a coordinating 8×8 Jade Album Cover and 8×8 White Refill Pages…all for $46.
  • Flourish bundle with COVER, FAST TO FAB PAGES, STICKERS, MAT PACK AND the Global Glow Recipe Template, clips and pen included! All for $69! ($86.50 value).
  • As noted above, the Everyday Photo Décor Kit includes all you need to create three photo décor cards, including pre-cut and pre-packaged die cut photo frames, additional decorative pieces and stickers, three double-sided 8×6 card bases and three wooden stands for displaying your finished masterpieces. You can either follow the super-easy instructions or mix and match the pieces to make your own. You’ll love this kit for sending photo greeting cards, giving as gifts or decorating your home or office with special photos – just create your photo card and slide it into the wooden base to display! Great gift for kids, moms, grandmothers, anyone! All for $7.50 (original $20!).

Have I used these materials…yes! Blend and Bloom, Rainbow Rush and Flourish papers and stickers are all in my albums…but I just ordered all of these except the Rainbow Rush bundle (I still have some RR materials!). And I ordered the full pack of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I am SET for vacay layouts!

And what does MY lemon pie look like? 

I finished one album, did a partial power layout for another and have completed a number of pages for it. Not as much as I would like and certainly not as much fun working alone, but here are some samples!

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As always, if you are interested in materials, tools, or supplies from Creative Memories, feel free to contact me with questions and/or place an order through my page. 

Happy Scrapping Everyone! God bless!


What is a crop & why should I go to one?

If you hang around people who create scrapbooks, you will probably hear comments about “crops”:

  • Are you going to the crop at the high school next weekend?
  • I got SO much done at Sue’s weekend crop.
  • Jean gave me the best idea for my cover page at the fire station crop.
  • I love fall…kids are back in school, pumpkin spice coffee, and Croptoberfest!

A crop is a gathering of scrapbookers where they bring their supplies, pictures, etc. and work on their scrapbooks. Why “crop”? Because they crop (trim) their pictures to put in their albums! Fall crops are often called “Croptoberfest.”

When are crops held?

Crops usually take place on weekends. Most commonly, crops are one day events; you start in the morning and scrapbook until 9 or 10 in the evening. Some last a whole weekend (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) or even through Monday afternoon if they occur on a three-day holiday weekend. They range in size from a handful of friends to hundreds of scrappers. Larger crops may have vendors selling scrapbooking products, embossing services, and other crafts. One event that I like to attend sells homemade apple butter made by a women’s auxiliary group. Yum!

Where are they held?

Lots of locations! Schools, community centers, hotels, halls (e.g., American Legion, Elks), churches, private residences, retreat centers, etc. Crops at retreat centers and hotels may offer overnight accommodations. And, yes, there are even scrapping CRUISES! (see example)

Do you have to register in advance?

Yes, most crops want you to register in advance; this helps them plan space, food, give-aways, etc. Your registration reserves a table or workspace for you. Registration may also cover food, drinks, door prizes, and other resources. Be sure to read the registration information so you know what is included. Some crops have a tradition where each participant brings a snack to share; avoid bringing really gloppy or gooey foods.

What happens at the crop?

Most crops have lots of time for you to work on your scrapbook pages. Most have short demos or “make and take” sessions where you can try something new. Some of these may be free. Some sessions may have a fee; those usually have great materials for you to use and take with you. People also walk around and see what others are doing. There are often door prize drawings. Sometimes they will have a ticket system or bingo where you can earn small prizes (e.g., finish 2 pages, use three different papers on one page, use two punches on a page, take a walk outside, etc.).

Coffee, water, and other drinks are usually available throughout the crop. Feel free to bring your own drinks if you like. There may be snacks available as well. Some crops have meals included. For others, you can bring food or go grab lunch. At the end of the day, you will be expected to throw out your trash, pack your materials and leave the building on time. You may be asked to fold your table if you are able to do so. If the event has a “store”, you will need to pay your tab in the last hour or so of the crop.

Why should I go to a crop?

Crops are SO much fun…you learn new methods, layouts, and tools…you meet other scrapbookers and make friends…you hone your skills. Attending crops can help you leap forward in how you scrapbook. They are well worth the time and expense.

What should I take to the crop?

It is very tempting to take all your scrapbooking materials and tools to a crop. But if you over pack, you can limit how much you get done.  The best approach is to do some pre-planning. Scrapbook Wonderland has some good suggestions and I’ve listed those as well as some of my suggestions below.

  1. Develop your photos and pre-plan your pages. This doesn’t have to be perfect.  What do I mean by pre-plan? Check out Emiliee’s Paper Caper video on how to do a quick “power sort” for your pages. Plan for the number of pages you expect to do during the scrap plus 2-3 additional pages in case you get on a roll! I also take additional photos in case one just doesn’t work on a page. HOWEVER, if you don’t have time to pre-plan, you CAN use the crop as time to sort pictures, plan pages, and get ready to finish pages at home. I have friends who come to a crop with their computer and sort their digital pictures, send them to a nearby photo printer (e.g., Walmart, Walgreens, etc.), and go pick them up during the crop. THE TIME IS YOURS to use to your best advantage!
  2. Pack your equipment. Before deciding to take something big like a Cricut or a large set of punches, think about whether you are going to use that a lot at the crop. Also, call or email the person hosting the crop. They may be planning to put the same equipment out for general use. You may be able to leave them at home. Remember…you can always complete a page at home. For example, you finish a page except for a cluster of stickers that you didn’t bring with you or need to buy. Just do all that you can on the page, put a sticky note where the stickers will go, and finish that at home.
  3. Take your stack of ideas! This is a great time to take that idea book or print out copies of those layouts you thought were so pretty. Crops are a great time to make some special pages because you have time to do it.
  4. Find out if shopping will be available onsite. If so, take some cash and a checkbook. If you want to use a credit card, check with the host to make sure they will accept credit cards.
  5. Take your camera or phone/camera. Someone will do a layout you LOVE. Ask their permission to take a picture so you can use the idea in the future.

What should be on my packing list?

You will always forget something…but may be able to borrow a tool, sheet of paper, etc. from someone at the crop. Here is a list adapted from Scrapbook Wonderland:

Page components:

  • Printed Photos… develop them before the crop!
  • Memorabilia (ticket stubs, programs, certificates, etc.)
  • Scrapbook pages (If your scrapbook has pages)
  • Cardstock
  • Patterned paper you PLAN to use (not every piece you own!)
  • Embellishments you PLAN to use: brads, buttons, glitter gel, ribbon
  • Stickers or Stamps
  • Adhesives (e.g., tape runner, glue dots, foam tape, liquid adhesive, Xyron)

Cutting/measuring tools:

  • Paper Trimmer
  • Spare blade for the trimmer
  • Scissors
  • Punches, border maker, cartridges, dies, etc.
  • Ruler

Journaling tools:

  • Journaling pen(s)
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Scrap paper for sketching ideas/journaling
  • Your journal or notes you use for journaling


  • Water Bottle with a LID (do NOT spill drinks on your or others’ tables!)
  • Cushion for your seat! (Table tops are usually high…folding chairs are low and hard)
  • Cup holder? Not an essential but very handy!
  • Computer and peripherals if you are doing digital scrapbooking

Optional (depending on what you like to do):

  • Sanding/distressing tool and ink
  • Paper piercer, craft blade and mat
  • Stamping supplies: stamps you PLAN to use, inks, cleaner
  • Cricut, die cut, embossing machines, mats and tools

How can I find a crop near me?

If you are interested in longer crops (whole weekends), you can Google “scrapbooking crops near me.” You also can contact your local Creative Memories advisor; use this link to search for an Advisor in your area. Also, join neighborhood networks (e.g., Next Door or a local email exchange) so you hear about local crops. Once you find one and get on their mailing list, you learn about more. Many are done as fundraisers for schools (proms, trips, etc.) or volunteer fire stations. You can check with your schools and stations to see if they include these as fundraisers.

What about online crops?

In recent years, the idea of gathering with friends online to “crop” has gained popularity. These are usually weekend events where someone posts several challenges that you can try during the crop. For example, they post a template such as the one below (left) and say, “Use at least 2 pictures and three different papers.” When you create your page, you share the picture via email or a Facebook page (e.g., below right). At the end of the crop, winners are chosen (usually randomly) from those entries that meet the challenge criteria. The fun is sharing ideas. You get a LOT of good ideas as others post their pictures.

You are invited to a crop!

If you live near Olney, MD, I will be organizing three crops this fall/winter in October, November, January, and February. Watch this blog and my Facebook page (Marsha’s Scrappin’ Circle) for details to come. If you are NOT in the Olney area but would be interested in a virtual crop early next year, please post a reply below or watch for my poll on the Facebook page.

As always, if you are interested in materials, tools, or supplies from Creative Memories, feel free to contact me with questions and/or place an order through my page

Happy scrappin’!


Fold-over layouts: Ten minutes to “Amazing!”

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had time to write a new blog entry. I’ve been busy upgrading my scrapbooking equipment, writing proposals for a series of Friday/Saturday scraps, and learning new techniques to share. But I’m back…and in this entry, I’ll share a series of layouts you can do without cutting a single piece of paper. They are called ”fold-over” layouts and are both eye-popping and fast!

Every sheet of paper has two sides

The beauty of a fold-over layout is in its simplicity. For most, you only need TWO sheets of paper and NO cutting instruments (no scissors or paper cutter).

Here is a really easy one! All you need is one sheet of background paper (or even just your scrapbook page) and one sheet of two-sided paper (e.g., paper that has two different prints, one on each side). For this layout, I took one piece of purple card stock for my base (below left) and one sheet of patterned two-sided paper with a blue floral pattern on one side and purple dots on the other side (I’ll call it the “patterned paper” from now on).

I laid my patterned paper flower-side up and folded over about 3 inches to show a three-inch flap of the dotted side (above right and below left). I positioned the folded patterned paper on the purple card stock in the middle or a little to one side. To hold the flap down, I either use a little adhesive (below left) or a decorative border (below right).

Now I have a nice base to add pictures (with or without mats), stick-on title, and stick-on embellishments, as desired. From start to finish, this page took less than 10 minutes…and I didn’t need to cut a single piece of paper!

What else can I do with that layout?

There are SO many options for fold-over layouts. I recently attended the Mid-Atlantic Mega Crop (GREAT weekend!). One Advisor took a couple of packets of the Rainbow Rush papers from Creative Memories and made as many different fold-over layouts as she could with a pack of paper. Imagine your pictures of summer outings, birthdays, prom, or graduation on these pages. Pretty! Here (below) is a sampling of two-page layouts she came up with using the simple folding technique I showed you above. What do you think?

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Show me more!

Will do! Here is another quick fold-over technique. For this one, you don’t even need two-sided paper! Select one background paper sheet (card stock or patterned paper) and one piece of patterned paper. Stack the patterned paper on top of the background paper/card stock. Now flip the stack over, and lay the pages upside down on a table. Pivot the BOTTOM piece 90 degrees so the corners of the bottom sheet stick out from middle of each side of the top sheet. Now fold each of those points over the background paper (see picture on left below). Use adhesive to secure them.

Flip the page over and smooth it down. Your page should look like the picture on the right above! Add photos, a title and a little embellishment. Voila! Another 10-minute page!

Diagonal fold-over 3

What else can I do with that layout?

At the Mid-Atlantic Mega Crop one advisor made three layouts using the same technique with the new Creative Memories Memoirs and Memories Collection (see below).  Sometimes she folded the patterned paper points UP so they are on the front of the page rather than the back. Here’s a sampling of what she came up with…what do you think?

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Do I have to make 12 x 12 pages?

No! Try this technique with your 8×8 or 8×10 album. Or use it to make a special occasion card. Or create a special “mat” for a picture, tuck it into a simple frame and hang it or set it on an easel in the front hall. I promise you will get compliments!

Next time: A special fold-over 

Check out THIS picture. This is a fold-over page that ALSO takes about 10 minutes. It requires cutting your paper into squares and then triangles. A few folds and some adhesive and you are done. I’ll share the details next time.


Again, many thanks to the Mid-Atlantic Mega Crop team for all the great ideas! Also, a shout out to my scrapping buddy, Geri, who trekked to the crop with me and to new friends we met at the event.

And, as always, if you want to order some of the beautiful two-sided papers from Creative Memories, please feel free to use my link:

Keep on scrappin’!


Make your point with photo mats

Now that you have an idea of how to crop pictures, use templates and pocket pages, keep journal notes, and organize an album, you need just two more scrapbooking techniques and your basic toolkit is ready to scrap away!  Those techniques are matting and journaling. Today, I’m going to hook you up with some great videos that show different ways to mat photos. They all work well and you can try them all…then pick the one you like best.

Why mat your pictures?

The main reasons are

  • To make your picture the focus of the page and bring the viewer’s eye to the picture
  • To distinguish your picture from patterned background; and
  • To allow you to give depth to the overall page.

Let’s look at some examples. You’ve seen these before, but let’s look at how the matting affects how you look at the page.


In this example, the blue border and orange title bring your eye directly to the picture while the “fishies” swim around the edge.






solar eclipseIn this example, the yellow border distinguishes the photos from the bright dotted background. Even the title benefits from matting here…imagine how lost the word “solar” would be  if it were floating on that bright dotted background!





img_9814photo-e1556481570766.jpgIn this example, the multiple mats bring the pictures out of the page. Note that three narrow pictures are matted on the same mats, suggesting a sequence from left to right. I mounted the matted pictures on an angle to help promote the idea of motion from one picture to the next.



IMG_2311(Edited)Similarly, the three pictures on this page were matted an overlapped. This gives your eye a line to follow (from top left to bottom right) AND the black mats keep the three pictures distinct from each other.






Should mats be solid paper, solid card stock, or patterned paper?

All three can be used for mats as long as they are acid-free and lignin free. However, when using patterned paper to mat pictures, be sure the pattern doesn’t overwhelm the picture.

joe-is-22.jpgFor example, on this birthday page, I used the same yellow dotted paper for the title bar and to mat the pictures. If these were not closeups of faces, I would not have used such strong patterned papers all around them. Imagine if those pictures were long shots of kids on a playground or a teen on stage in a play…the picture could easily be “outdone” by the surrounding papers and mat! The great news is you can try it before you cut mats and use adhesive. Just lay the picture on the proposed mat paper, step back and take a look to see if the picture is enhanced or diminished by the matting paper.

Can you mat things other than pictures?

Yes! Look above at the SOLAR page…see the matted strip of flags at the bottom of the page? The black mat makes the flags stand out away from the background paper. In the birthday page above, the gift in the top right corner is matted, again to distinguish it from the background.

In the example below, I matted the border vine, double matted three stickers, and matted the title. Similarly, on the “Fish and Chips” page above, I matted the title.  A fellow scrapper, Erin, taught me another trick. Sometimes you end up with a “hole” on your page. You don’t have another picture to add, your embellishments/borders don’t fit there…you just have a “hole” and the page looks unbalanced. Erin uses a layered mat (2-3 layers of solid and patterned paper) as a focal point, just as if there were a matted picture in that spot. Try it sometime! It works!


How do you mat a photo?

If you are using 4×6 photos and matting paper that is square or rectangular, matting a picture is very easy. Here are three short videos and a page showing three different techniques for cutting a mat for your photo. These demonstrate use of a paper cutter BUT remember you can do the same thing with a ruler, pencil, and sharp pair of scissors (see my previous blog entry for description of how AND for paper cutter examples).

Can you mat a picture cut in other shapes?

Yes, but it gets a little trickier. If you are using a jar, bottle, or bowl to draw a circle and cut your picture in a circle shape, you need to have another jar or bottle that is 1/8 to ½ in. larger diameter to draw the mat. Of course, it’s easier if you have a circle cutter or set of circle cutters and templates. You can get circles, ovals, diamonds and other shapes. Here are some examples:

Do you need to mat every picture?

No. You mat a picture for the three reasons above. Note that a mat will not protect your scrapbook from materials that are not acid-free. For example, you might have brochures, ticket stubs, theater programs, etc. that you want to include in your scrapbook. Just matting them does not provide full protection from any acid or lignin these may contain. The best solution is to use a protective envelope (such as Keepsake Envelopes) that will stick on your page (or to the mat you put behind it!). I do not use these regularly but I try to be careful to not put memorabilia on top of or touch pictures.

Hope that this gives you some ideas about matting your pictures!

Happy scrapping!


Note: As always, I am sharing some products and links in this blog entry. I do not receive promotional consideration from any of the linked sources. I am a Creative Memories consultant but do not receive promotional consideration for including links in my articles…I am sharing products that I have found useful. If you are looking for a Creative Memories consultant, please feel free to access my page here.

Using Templates

One of the nice things about scrapbookers is that they LOVE to share their work. And, consequently, they share templates for other scrapbookers to make a similar page! For example, this weekend is Easter and, if you celebrate this holiday, you might take some pictures of kids or grandkids on an Easter egg hunt, digging through an Easter basket, or wearing Easter outfits. Now you want to put those prints into an album…how can you lay them out so they will be pretty and make you think “Easter!” when you look at the page?

One great source of ideas is Pinterest.com. If you search “Easter scrapbook layouts,” you will find a wealth of ideas! Take a look!

Some layouts are rather complicated and, if you are just getting started, you may think, “How do I DO that page? Where do I start?”


This is where using a project template can be really helpful. Project templates break a page down into simpler pieces, helping you to create progressively more intricate and complicated pages.  Let’s look at an example:scrapbook template samplehttps://www.pinterest.com/pin/305681893452099138/

This layout by Kelly Holifield (Thanks, Kelly!) uses four different printed papers (green, yellow, pink and purple dotted paper) and one plain paper (the light purple). It displays three pictures in vertical format, and a few Easter stickers (eggs and bird).

Let’s break it down. To do a similar page, you need:

  • 4 strips of paper, about 1 ¼ or 1 ½ inches wide, and 12 inches long. If you are not sure how to measure and cut strips of scrapbooking paper, see my earlier blog.
  • They can be a mix of patterned and plain paper…whatever YOU like! They don’t all have to be different but I would try to have at least two different patterns or colors. So you need at least 2-3 sheets of 12 x 12 pattered or plain paper
  • 1 strip of paper about 11 inches long and 2 inches wide (the pink dotted rectangle in the sample)
  • 1 strip of paper about 10 inches long and 3.5 to 4 inches wide (the yellow dotted rectangle in the sample)
  • 1 circle of paper about 7-8 inches across (don’t have a circle cutter? See below) Want to make it a little more “Easter-eggy”? Cut it as a fat oval to be more egg-shaped.
  • A couple of stickers (optional)
  • A sheet of background paper or your scrapbook page
  • Adhesive to attach the paper and pictures to the page
  • An acid-free pen to write a title and journal

How do you assemble a page like this?

  • Always lay it out FIRST before you attach anything!
  • Work from the back to the front in laying out the pieces. In this case
    • Layout the four long strips in the back
    • Add the circle
    • Add the large (yellow dot) rectangle
    • Add the pink rectangle
    • Add the photos

This layout has some really good features for the beginner:

  • The first long strip, the yellow rectangle, pink rectangle and circle are all right justified, that is they touch the right hand border. This makes lining them up much easier.
  • Note that the circle touches both the right side and the top…easy layout!
  • It does not require tools other than those for basic measuring and cutting. The biggest challenge is cutting a circle. Use a bowl, lid, or bottle as a guide to draw a circle. There also are circle cutters that you can use for pictures or paper. I  use the Creative Memories Circle Custom Cutting System Patterns but there are lots of circle cutters (see Amazon search!)

Now LOOK at your layout.

  • Do you like it?
  • Do you want a little more or less space between the four strips?
  • Is there room for the title?
  • Is there room for the journaling (if not…consider cutting that circle across the middle and pulling the two halves apart a bit…the yellow dot rectangle will cover it!)
  • Do you like the order of the your pictures left to right?
  • Do you like the pictures tilted?

Once you have it the way you want it, you can use a No. 2 pencil to make a small dot where you want the four strips to be, where you want the yellow and pink rectangles to be, etc. Mark lightly so you can use your white eraser to remove the mark when you are done.

Remove each piece and then start using the adhesive. Again, start at the back and add layers. When you are done with the adhesive, you can add your title, journaling and stickers. Presto! You just made a great layout using a template. AND you can the idea over and over! This would be a great layout for Halloween, a birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other event. For Spring, think pastels. For fall, think browns, tans, and rusts. For Winter, think blues and grays or reds and greens. For Summer, intense colors like deep pinks, blues, greens, reds, oranges, etc.

Many times you will see templates offered as a black and white drawing. For example look at this sample template from the Creative Memories blog :storytime_layout3_sketch-2https://blog.creativememories.com/2019/04/14/weekly-sketch-round-up-april-8-12/#more-40615 

What do you see?

  •  This appears to be a square layout, probably 12 x 12
  • Two 4 x 6 photos
  •  Two large squares of paper serving as background.
  • Some little paper strips for highlight.

But what are all those flowers, circles and asterisks? Am I supposed to cut out all of those?

No! You will often see clusters of flower shaped figures on a template. You may see stars or circles. These “clusters” tell you where the creator of the layout thought embellishments like stickers or sayings should be placed. WHAT those embellishments are is up to YOU! So, for Halloween, you might have pumpkins, apples, ghosts, etc. For a snowball fight, snowflakes. You get the idea. Don’t be thrown by the “flower cluster!”

Last week, Creative Memories hosted the first Worldwide Virtual Crop and sent out 12 different challenges (templates). People came up with HUNDREDS of ways to use them. Here is my take on Challenge #4. Note that I followed the general idea: 2 vertical pics, three circles across the middle, title and bottom border, and an embellishment on the top right corner. But I added another wide pic and moved the title up and didn’t have any embellishment on the upper left corner.

Important: Think about the number of pictures you want on a page and their orientation.

Trying to use a template where your pictures are VASTLY different from the orientation and size on the template makes it hard (but not impossible) to use the template. Remember that the point is sharing your pictures…not replicating a template!

Now it’s YOUR turn:

Challenge #12 is straightforward, uses three pictures, and 3-4 colors of paper. The embellishments are up to you! See the link below and scroll down for a couple of ideas (remembering that these were done by CM consultants so they put quite a bit into them!).

Challenge on!


Comment and share your finished products!

Happy Scrapping!