September 30, 2008

Journaling from the Heart.

Real journaling.
Not "look at me, i was the perfect mom" journaling.
Let your kiddos see the real you. That you have flaws.
That you were unsure, even scared.
Let them see the good and the bad.
The days you had no idea what you were doing!

Let them know the reasons you fell in love with your husband,
the reasons marriage is a work in progress.

Don't feel like you have to present a perfect image in your scrapbooks.
I don't know about you, but I'd love to have a scrapbook of my mother's emotions.
To say "OH! She was lost sometimes, too!" or "THAT'S her love story with my dad? How cool!"

I try to "write from the heart" on every layout.
That doesn't mean you need to write a novel on every single page.
Sometimes, a sentence will do.
But I'm a firm believer that all pages need journaling.
Heck, I've been known to even write it on the back of my pages.
Hidden journaling is great, too.

Here are some examples. Some are sappy (i admit it)...and some just show the real deal.
Feel free to use humor in your journaling. I know I do!!

So now comes a challenge.
You knew it was coming, didn't you??
I challenge you to do a page with handwritten, true to life journaling.
It can be serious, or completely funny.
It can be sad, or happy.
You choose...just make sure it comes from the heart.

Link your pages here by Saturday night at midnight (EST)
and I'll choose a winner and send you a RAK from my stash.
I promise it will be good!

Can't wait to see what y'all do!

September 28, 2008

In Love with October!

Have you had a chance to check out the Design Team gallery this month? I have to say, I think this was one of the very best yet! I was so inspired after I finished looking at it. I decided to share my favorites from this month here.

First, our Guest Designer, Leslie Lightfoot. I just LoVE what she did with the buttefly paper. She punched some out, used pop dots, stamped and trimmed some out.... I just love all the details. And did you notice her journaling? I just love that song, Suddenly I see, by KT Tunstall. It's stuck in my head right now, and I don't mind.

April's gallery is always full of fun techniques and innovative ideas. The thing that struck me most about this layout, is how she used the bingo tiles paper. That girl and her circle punch. I just LOVE how she carried the paper back around on the right side with the cut off circles. It really gives the feeling of movement as those three kiddos traipse across the page. Brilliant!

Scarlet is another one who always blows me away every month. This time, however, I chose a card to showcase. If I had seen this and had been asked to recreate it, I wonder how many sheets of kraft I would have gone through before I got it right. Look at all the different ink colors she used! And they are all stamped perfectly straight! I must know how she did that!

This layout from Caroline is just wonderful. I love the grid pattern she made, and how she let all of her friends know how she feels about them, and did it quickly and simply in one layout. I think this one would be fun to scraplift. I might just do that sometime!

I have the pleasure of sitting next to Jenn in the gallery every month, and am always in awe of what she can do with these kits. This layout is fabulous. I love the stamping for the title, the strips of wisdom, the photos.... gal dang I wish I had a little boy that I could make this for. It's just heartfelt and wonderful.

I've seen this photo of Joy and her hubby before, and this layout is the perfect showcase. I love the carefree feel of the leaves with the stitching in comparison to this photo, and I can just feel the love.
"Cherry Blossom" from Kirsty is just gorgeous. I can't believe the things that woman is able to create out of a piece of paper. That little owl is super cute, I love her tree, and I love how she created her flowers and layered everything here. It's just so pretty, and fits perfectly with these photos of Belle.

My pick from Nik was oh so easy. I was perusing the gallery, and the minute I got to this one I busted out laughing. I just love it to bits. The best part? I've met Nik in real life and can actually hear her saying this. I love the distressing she did to everything, especially the birdie, and I love the strips and how everything is in the center, and the use of the chipboard for the title and the contrasting color for the date. Perfect.

Another easy pic was Nic's "Remember This" layout. I love how she colored the bird, I LOVE the use of the Aleida's Garden flowers, I love how she adhered the striped ribbon and applied the flowers, love the little string bow, love how the journaling is around the edges, and I love that she used that BG paper on this one. It brings out the blue color of her eyes even MORE and was by far my favorite piece of paper in the whole kit. This is just stunning.

I really liked Steph's prayer book, but I also really liked this layout. I love how she applied the title with the chipboard and the circles, and I really like the heartfelt journaling on this one. I also like the photos she chose. I like how she was talking to the three most important people in her life and that she included a photo of herself with each of them, individually. Perfect.

Last but not least is "Autumn Girl", from Tina. Tina is subtle in her brilliance. I just adore this photo, and the treatment she did with the words. I lOVe the paper pieces around the outside, and the stitching. I also like the chipboard frame and the birdie with the little title/journaling. I also like how it's off to the side. This is just great!

I hope you find time to go through the gallery this month! We had a lot of fun with this kit and I'm sure you will too!

Have a great week! Davinie

September 27, 2008

And the winner of $100 in Studio Calico Cash is.....

Debra Flood

Subscription #445
This number was generated at 11:00pm EST via

An email with your coupon code is being sent now!!!

Thanks to all those who updated their billing information!!!

In Memory of Aleida

Layout by Nicole Harper

On Friday, September 12, a dear friend of the Studio Calico community passed away. Aleida Franklin will always be remembered for her kindness, her wit, and her reminders to treasure each day we have with our families. Our community has been inspired by her life and memory.

We invited a few ladies to share the personal impact that Aleida had on their lives. Here is a list of the questions I asked. Please feel free to leave comments of your own for her family to cherish.

What lasting impression has Aleida left on your life?
What have you learned about friendship and motherhood from Aleida?
What is your favorite memory of Aleida?
How has Aleida changed the way you view scrapbooking?

What lasting impression has Aleida left on your life?

April Foster: To me, Aleida was the type of person who truly valued life. She made efforts each day to make others happy, whether it was leaving praise on a layout, making us laugh on the message board, or sending a personal email.
She valued life and as a result, left a lasting impression. She helped me to relax, to de-stress, and to enjoy being lost in a moment. Since her passing, I've thought a lot about the brevity of life and the importance of enjoying the moment, taking the time to relax, breathe, and just take it all in and have made positive strides in that direction.

Jessi Gribbin (Jessig99): It’s so difficult to put into words how knowing Aleida affected me. She inspired me to live my life without regret and without reservation. She showed me there is more to scrapbooking than just putting pictures on a page. It's an artform and an outlet for self-expression too. She also taught me that sometimes it's ok if it's all about me. I always look at my scrapbooks and think I don't want it to be so full of me… there should be more pictures of my fiance or my family...whatever. Looking back now, I realize it's just as important to capture myself and memories of me as it is to capture my loved ones. She has also taught me to live with no fear. It doesn't matter if a million websites and magazines reject your submissions...your work is still special. It doesn't matter if that crabby customer says "I'm glad your store is closing..." You still did your best to help her. And the most important thing I learned from Aleida was to make sure those you love know it, and make sure they know it every day. I'm just glad she heard it from me before it was too late.

What have you learned about friendship and motherhood from Aleida?

Liz Mataraza (akaliz): The experience of knowing Aleida has made me realize that it does not matter where a person is, you can still cherish them as if there is no tomorrow.

Rita Oliverio (rmoliverio): Having the privilege to know Aleida through the Studio Calico community has taught me many very important life lessons. The first is that, in order to be surrounded by friends, one must first BE a friend. Aleida extended her friendship to so many of us without expecting anything in return. She was always quick to offer a warm welcome, a sincere compliment, encouragement and just make us laugh. These are the qualities of a true friend.

Aleida also taught me to never take a moment with my children for granted. I, like many of her blog readers, was very moved by her pictures with her beautiful daughter Bella. I can count on one hand the number of pictures I have of my children and me. It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of being a mother and forget how precious each moment is. She has inspired me to overcome my own insecurities so I can be present in every aspect of their lives. Her love for her children was so obvious to anyone who knew her; I can only hope I am doing enough to make my children feel the same way.

What is your favorite memory of Aleida?

Denise Nichols (nichoda): It is really hard to single out one favorite memory. Trying to keep it clean, because we all know she truly wanted her blog to be re-named The Naughty Scrapping Rican, helped a bit. I guess the memory that made me laugh the most was when she would call or email me pretending to be mad that I was getting too close to her post count. She would say what are you trying to do? Make everybody like you better? I would answer they already do. Then we would laugh. It became an ongoing joke/competition. Just one of many memories that makes me chuckle without making me blush.

How has Aleida changed the way you view scrapbooking?

Scarlet Namvong: After Aleida’s death, I was inspired to organize my scrapbooks in a more meaningful way. I have always arranged my layouts by design team or by kit, which has absolutely no meaning to my family. I tore apart my albums and made new ones for each of my kids, one for myself, and one for other family and friends. I also put all of my favorite and most meaningful layouts together in a special album. In the future, I want my children to value my scrapbooks not because it was my job to create them, but because of the special messages they hold.

Nicole Samuels (NicoleS): Aleida taught me a lesson that I will forever be grateful for... that I should be more present in my scrapbooks. Whether it's getting out from behind the camera so that I can get in the pictures with my kids or being sure to include real, heartfelt journaling on my pages, she made me realize that life is precious and our scrapbooks will one day be our legacy for our family and children. I don't want them to just remember that I used pretty paper and took nice photos of them... I want them to know that I loved them dearly and that we did this thing together. So, thank you Aleida, for telling it how it is and causing me to rethink this crazy little passion called scrapbooking that we all share. Your words will stay with me always.

September 26, 2008

Halloween Making Memories Giveaway

October is just around the corner, so what better time to prepare those Halloween pages. Simply post here for a chance to win this giveaway courtesy of Making Memories.

A winner will be picked via next Saturday, October 4.

September 24, 2008

Are you ready for a stamp challenge?

I have a challenge!
A daring kind of test!
She has a challenge!
That's why she needs the best!

I have a challenge!
I hope you don't protest!
Oh, queen, tell us your challenge,
we're ready for our quest!

(Disclaimer: The above catchy tune was taken from the often-watched Backyardigan's movie, Mighty Knights. Some wording was changed as I am not a male blue penguin named Pablo...)

Anyway.... lol

Are you prepared for a challenge?

As you may have noticed, the last few Studio Calico kits have contained exclusive stamps designed by a very cool guy named Stephen. You may have even met Stephen, as he ran around with us at CHA. He's got a lot of great ideas, so look forward to more stamps in the future.

More stamps you say? Why yes I did.

Let's take a look at what we've had in the past:

Aren't they very cool?! And most of them have been in the main kit.

But alas.... is there one, maybe two that you missed out on? What a bummer. Wouldn't it be great if you had the opportunity to purchase them sometime? Yep. That would be cool.

But I digress.

I have a challenge for you. Use any or all of the above stamps on a project. Card, tag, layout, home decor project, your bathroom walls, whatever. I want to see the SC stamps put to use. I want to be inspired by what you come up with.

You have until the end of the month. Post a link to your project to THIS THREAD and on October 1 I'll draw a winner. That person will get a little something from me, which will include a black Stazon ink pad. Yep. The ideal companion to any stamp.

Are you able to do more than one project? You will be entered once for every project you do, so the more the better!

Hop to it! I expect inky fingers by the end of the week!


September 22, 2008

Say Hello to Fall

It's beginning to look a lot like fall! The leaves are turning, the temperature is starting to drop (at least in Oregon where I live) and the summer clothes are being filed away. Fall means school time and tap dancing lessons and soon there will be the pumpkin patch and trick-or-treating on Halloween. Morgan has already declared that she wants to be a witch with a fiber-optic skirt so wish me luck. The site that has this outfit is currently sold out of her size, although they expect to be restock before Halloween.

Change is in the air and change is at the Studio Calico site as well. When you log into the site, do you have a red tab at the top, on the right? If you do, we need your updated credit card information. In case you missed it, Studio Calico is stepping away from Paypal and heading toward a more secure way of purchasing kits. This makes me happy, as not long ago I had an issue with Paypal where an unauthorized $800 payment zipped right out of my checking account. This happened the Friday before I left for CHA! This has all been corrected, but we shouldn't have to worry about such things.

So if you haven't had a chance to update your payment info, you need to do so before reveal night on Friday night at 12pm because if you don't, you may miss out on the opportunity for kits and add-ons. And let me tell you.... I bought all three add-ons this month. It's a must have.

Also on reveal night, don't miss the opportunity for one of these:

Pretty cool, huh?

Sneaks from the October kit are starting to crop up. I'll hopefully be able to upload mine tomorrow, but for now,




and Steph

have a few sneaks up.

Lastly.... I want you to prepare yourself, as I have a challenge for you. I'll get it posted tomorrow. Let's just say you need to get your inkpads to the ready. More on that later.

Have a great Monday!


September 20, 2008

10 for $10 and some monkeys

The winners of the Little Monkeys stamp storage giveaway are #98 and 141 thanks to

Chelsea said...
i love it! too cute...
September 14, 2008 3:56 AM

Laura said...
what an awesome idea for stamp storage and how nice of SC! :)
September 14, 2008 11:24 AM

Please send an email to and let us know if you're a subscriber and your storage system will be mailed with your Oct kit. If not, please provide your address and we'll send it.

The winners of the 10 $10 gift cards were decided using Each subscriber has a unique order ID. Using those numbers we used to generate the numbers. If there was not a subscriber # that matched the integer generated by, the next number on the list was chosen. Also, if the number matched, but the cc info had not been entered, we took the next number. (That happened 2 times and I won't tell you the names, but you really missed out!!!)

Without further adieu, here are the 10 winners of the $10 gift cards from Studio Calico. Thanks so much for entering your cc info early.
OnTheBrink - Susan Wildt
Danielle - Danielle Clement
zackalor - Linda Harper
Melinda - Melinda Kantz
Alexis - Alexis Hardy
lelistef - Stephanie Hoareau
09122007 - Amy Parker
cvardama - Celeste Vardaman
alison239 - Alison Black
joyfull - Laura Thomas

If you've won this prize, you will be emailed on Monday with a promo code to enter online to redeem your prize. Also, your name will be re-entered in the $100 giveaway!!!

The $100 gift card will be selected at 10:00pm EST next Saturday.

September 16, 2008

Win $100 in Studio Calico Cash!

You've seen the sneak peeks of October's LOOKING-GLASS kit and add-ons, and time is quickly approaching for the full reveal and opportunity to purchase these amazing kits! We've done our part to bring you the hottest new products on the market (along with a few perfectly-coordinated Studio Calico exclusives), but now we need you to do your part to help us deliver these products right to your door! If you have already entered your new payment information onto our secure website, we THANK YOU! If you have not, please do so now, for the chance to be entered into drawings for free Studio Calico cash! On Saturday, September 20, we will be giving away ten $10 Studio Calico gift certificates. If you have entered your new payment information onto our secure website, your name will be put into each drawing... that's 10 chances to win! Then, on Reveal Night, Saturday, September 27th, we will be giving away a $100 Studio Calico gift certificate to one lucky winner! All you have to do is have your payment information entered into our website!

And don't worry... if you win a $10 gift certificate, you are still eligible to win the $100 grand prize drawing! What are you waiting for?

September 13, 2008

Sneak Night Giveaway!!!

Tonight is sneak night and to kick off the fun, you have 2 chances to win this amazing storage system by Little Monkeys!!!

Every Studio Calico main kit comes with at least one clear stamp, so as you collect them, we thought you'd need a place to store them! The Little Monkeys storage system is perfect for them, too, because there's plenty of room to add to your existing collection each month as new stamps are released. And, best yet, they're easy to access, too!

We will have 2 winners, so post away. We'll draw for a winner using one week from tonight, so post away!
For subbers, don't forget to update your cc info now!!! Don't miss out on Octobers goodies!!!

Sneak Peeks and a place to gather


Thanks Nik for the title...its perfect!

Join us on Studio Calico tonight to remember our friend Aleida. We'll be gathering to exchange stories and tell what we love about this amazing lady! She reminded us to enjoy the day, live for the moment, and to make sure we put ourselves IN our lives (our books, our photos, our lives.) She loved the sneaks and reveal nights...they were FULL of her wit and antics. She is a jewel we won't soon forget.

At Midnight EST we will be unveiling a sneak peek of our October kit, and let me tell you, it is gorgeous!!

If you are looking for something to do for Aleida's family, here are a few links to things people are doing at Studio Calico.

Share memories

Send Cards through Studio Calico

Help Judy put together a scrapbook of memories for Aleida's family

Help print her blog as a book for her children

Add things you've made for Aleida's family to a special gallery

September 12, 2008

We will miss you friend!!!


This morning our dear Studio Calico friend Aleida passed away!

She was a great scrapbooker, a mother to two beautiful babies, a wife to a wonderful man, and a sassy and wonderful friend to all of us at Studio Calico. She was a huge part of the community here and we will miss her greatly!





Let us know how Aleida touched your life!

September 11, 2008

We Will Never Forget




Tell us about your 9/11 experiences on our message board.
If you're a subscriber, look at the top of any page when you're on the Studio Calico site and you'll see a link that says "Billing." Click there and update your information now.

September 8, 2008

Anybody ready for fall?

the crunching of leaves...
the beautiful colors...
the smell of "crisp" in the air...
the new tv shows?

What are you guys waiting to see or are watching this week?

for me its:



Hello, I can't miss my boyfriends show can I? He'd be so hurt!


Sara Connor Chronicles
She kicks BUTT and takes names...LURVE!

csi miami

CSI Miami
What happened to Horatio?


come on, they GRADUATED with me, high school AND college, this is definitely comfort tv


The Office
we *heart* Jim (and Dwight) (and Michael)


oh the drama of nerd girls and hot cops working together


looks SO GOOD (we LOVE a good conspiracy theory show) oh and I have a huge crush on Joshua Jackson.


That's a lot of TV for a girl without cable:) I'll let you in on a secret....I watch most of my shows online! Here's some links...

HULU (this is a great place for a bunch of different free shows and free movies...start here!!!)

September 6, 2008

night photo fun!

i went to the fair and had a lot of fun taking pictures of the ferris wheel and all of the colorful lights, so i thought i'd share some fun night photo tips with y'all :)

when i first got my camera (a nikon d50), i was intimidated by night photography because i wasn't quite sure how to set it. but as soon as i started playing around and experimenting, i found out that night photography can be really fun and is really not tooooo hard.

the best way to get cool night shots is to set up with a tripod (or on a steady surface). this allows you to set your camera to take pictures with really slow shutter speeds. when i play with long exposure, i like to set my aperture (the f-stop) at a really high number, like f22 or f32, and set my shutter speed on bulb. this allows me to keep the shutter open for as long as i am pressing the shutter button.

this photo was taken using the above settings:

so was this:

notice that you can see the motion of the ferris wheel and the cars in these pictures because of the long time the shutter was left open (for a few seconds). it's even better if you have a remote (in this case, i didn't) because you will be less likely to shake the camera when pressing the shutter.

you can even use long exposure to play with light painting! hand someone a flashlight and ask them to "paint" something with it...and hold down the shutter for as long as they are drawing.

however, you can't always carry around a tripod with you, and don't always have a steady surface that you can rest your camera on (i didn't at the fair). in that case, i cheat a bit. you won't get the cool sense of motion like in the above picture, but you will get a vibrant photo of the lights!

when i don't have a tripod to use, i shoot wide open (at the lowest f-stop my lens will let me shoot with). i also try not to let me shutter speed be toooo fast (i keep it under 1/200. you can adjust this by lowering your ISO). this lets your camera take in lots of light, without camera shake. your pictures won't be as crisp as if you were shooting at a higher f-stop, but it will work in a pinch. some examples (these were all shot at the fair tonight!):

you can also get cool effects by blurring the lights. taking a portrait with a shallow depth of field (a low f-stop) will allow the lights in the background to become blurs. i love this effect!

you can also take a blurry photo of lights on purpose. simply set your camera to manual focus, and turn your lens until you see an effect you like.

another thing you may discover while playing with this effect, is that the shape of the blurs change when you change the f-stop. when you shoot at a lower f-stop , you get these hexagons:

(this particular one was shot at f2.8)

but when you set it at a higher aperture, the blurs turn into circles:

(i believe this was shot at around f7. the higher the f-stop, the larger the circles get).

you can also use this tutorial to create shaped blurs. it's really easy and super fun! i tried it here:

night photography is super fun to experiment with! i hope some of these tips inspired you to play :)