Saturday, February 26, 2011


I'm so glad you found us ok, and that you didn't get lost! So what do you think of the new place? I like it!

I think I have everything unpacked and put away. I made sure to bring all of our old posts, and you can find them in the archives... or just scroll down, either way.

Anyways, welcome and make yourself at home... we're glad you're here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What does it mean to be acid and lignin free?

Majority of Scrapbookers have heard the term “acid and lignin free”, but what does this really mean, and why does it matter?

Acid free materials have a pH balance of 7.0 or higher. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything with a pH less than 7 is considered acidic, and anything over 7 is considered basic.

Lignin is a natural occurring bonding element in plants that holds the wood fiber together. While lignin is not an acid, it does give off acids as it deteriorates. Therefore if you have a paper that is only acid free, but still contains lignin, it will become acidic over time.

So why does all this matter? Simply put, acid and lignin cause paper to deteriorate. A good example of this is newspaper. You will notice that after only a couple of days, newspaper begins to turn yellow and brittle. The same will happen to your scrapbook and photographs over time if the proper materials are not used. These materials do not only include paper… adhesives, pens, markers, stickers, and anything else that comes into contact with your photographs must be acid and lignin free.

Do not automatically assume that because an item it purchased in the “scrapbook” section that it is photo-safe. If it does not say “photo safe”, “acid-free” or “archival safe”, assume that it is not. A pH pen can be purchased to test the acidity of a product if you are not sure.

So what do you do if you have a newspaper clipping, report card, or other unsafe memorabilia you want to include in your scrapbook? You can purchase a spray called “Archival Mist” that will neutralize the acids, and create an alkaline buffer that will protect the documents and other items on your page. If you do not want to take this route, you can photocopy the document onto acid/lignin free paper and use the copy on your page. Using a copy of the document has an additional benefit, in that you do not have to worry about cropping it wrong, gluing it in the wrong place, or regret adhering the original to your scrapbook.

As long as you remember to use acid and lignin free materials when creating your scrapbook, you can’t go wrong. Use your imagination, have fun and get scrapbooking!

Valentine's Day Goodies

Unfortunately, I have been sick for the past week, so I have not been doing any scrapbooking, crafting... or really anything at all. I have on the other hand been mindlessly looking through hundreds of blog posts! (Ok, maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration.) So, since I don't have any cute Valentine stuff of my own, I thought I would share some my favorites that I came across.

Chalkboard Picture Frame
Love this Chalkboard Picture Frame from The Moody Fashionista.

Ribbon Napkin Holder
This napkin holder from Dirt Cheap Decor is so simple, and yet so cute!!

Flower Pillow
I absolutely fell in love with this flower pillow at Craft Closet.
You can get the tutorial over at The Crafting Chicks.

Valentine Cake Balls
I don't know about you, but I LOVE cake bites!
I found these absolutely gorgeous Valentine ones at Cake Journal.

And these lingerie cookies from How Does She are adorable!!!
I think my husband would definitely like getting these for Valentine's Day!

Big Mistake = Big Time Saver!

So, the kids and I went to Costco yesterday, and as they were helping me bring all the groceries in the house our neighbor came by and we got to talking. Long story short, by the time I got in the house the kids had finished bringing everything in and had put it all away!!

I have to say, my kids are awesome, and they really do a LOT to help me!

Anyways, I didn't realize until this morning that the kids had put ALL the meat in the freezer. Now, I do freeze the meat, and save it for later use, but what they didn't realize was that I seperate it into portions, and THEN freeze it.

So, I had a 6 pound block of hamburger meat! At first I thought this was a bad thing... then I thought about it a little more.

I thawed out the big block of meat, and browned the entire thing. Then I seperated it into portions... and refroze it. Now, I have 6 pounds of meat in the freezer already cooked, and ready to be added to whatever meal I plan to make.

Talk about a huge time saver for those nights when we have stuff going on, when my husband is out to sea, or for when I just don't really feel like cooking!

Free Valentine Cupcake Paper Piecing Pattern

There is nothing sweeter than love... especially when you have a great husband like I do!!! There is also nothing better than a sweet cupcake, like this cute little one sitting up on a cupcake stand. Just like the Penguin Pattern, simply click on the image above and you will be taken to the large version of the image.

Use this little cupcake to create a cute Valentine layout, or change the colors, and use it to create just about any layout you want. You can change the heart for a candle, and you have a birthday cupcake. Or, you can even use the cupcake "top" as a cloud pattern! Let you imagination run wild, and enjoy!

*** All free patterns are provided for personal use only! Please do not recreate for commercial or resale purposes.

McLinky Party Places:
Making Keeping It Simple The Girl Creative Sumo's Sweet Stuff Today's Creative Blog
It's a Blog Party
Get your craft on Thurs.

How to make a Postage Stamp Border

A great accent to a travel page (or any page really) is a postage stamp border. You can use this type of border for your photomats, journaling square, an embellishment, or for the entire page. I have seen a postage border punch, which is great for small pieces, but it's a little too small for my taste on the larger pieces. So, here is a simple way of creating a larger border.

Start by selecting a circle in the size that you want. If you have circle punches, they work great, but if you don't, you can find many circle shapes around the house that can be traced... coins make great templates. For this example, I'm using a 3/4" circle.

Measure the circumference of your circle, and divide it in half. Mine is 3/4", so half would be 3/8". Draw a border on the BACK of your paper that is 3/8" from the edge.

Next, on each edge, find the center of your paper and mark it. Then, measure out from that center mark half the width of the circle (so in this case 3/8" again) and mark on each side. Make sure you mark on the edge of the paper... this will be important later.

Next, working your way across the edge of your paper, measure 3/16" from the outside mark, and then 3/4" from that one. Alternate until you get to the end and can't fit anymore. Depending on the size of your paper, the 3/16" space can be adjusted to allow a decent margin at the end. (I originally used a 1/4" space, but it got me too close to the edge on the end so I had to adjust.)

Now, it's time for the fun part... cutting the circles! Center you circle between the 3/4" marks, and line up the top of the circle with your 3/8" border and punch (or trace, and then hand cut the circle). Do this around each edge, leaving the 3/16" margin in between each circle. Continue around the entire paper.

And.... voila!! Now, I usually use this size circle when doing a border around a 12x12 page, so it looks a little big on a smaller mat... but you get the idea. Find the size that you find visually appealing, and you are set!

Free Penguin Paper Piecing Pattern

With all of the great winter pictures that I am sure you all have, I figured you might at least be doing a little scrapbooking! Soooooo, I thought you might like a cute penguin to add to one (or two) of your pages.

To get the free pattern, simply click on the image above and you will be taken to the large version of the image. If you like the size it is, simply print from your browser. If you would like to make it a little smaller (or a little bigger if that's what you need), just copy and paste it into an image editing program. (Or you can go the really easy route like I do and just copy it into a Word document).

Anyways, I hope you enjoy this little guy, and I would love to see how you use him. Send me a quick pic of your projects!!!

*** All free patterns are provided for personal use only! Please do not recreate for commercial or resale purposes.

McLinky Party Places:
Making Sumo Sweet Stuff BCD Get your craft on Thurs.

Happy New Year!!!

$1 Shipping

We were running a $1 Shipping Special during the holidays and received some great feedback. In appreciation of our outstanding customers, we have decided to continue offering this low shipping rate on ALL orders within the Continental U.S. Wishing everyone out there a Happy New Year!

Holiday Hit List

Holiday Hit List Flyer

Still have some Christmas/Holiday shopping to do? The San Diego North Park Craft Mafia is presenting their 4th Annual Holiday Hit List! First 100 shoppers get a FREE gift bag with items from the vendors. For more information and directions visit We hope to see you there!