Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Haunted Hybrid

Are you ready for Halloween? I'm getting there. These "hybrid" Halloween pillow treat boxes are perfect for teachers gifts or that special someone. Very simple to make and they look great!


I have provided in a zip file format (at the end of this post) everything that you will need to make these pillow boxes. I have 8 1/2 x 11 pdfs & jpegs complete with a template that you can just print out and cut out with a craft knife. I have also provided both a blank inside and outside template. You'll see what we use the inside one for in a few steps. These files are jpeg, pdf and also svg file format for those of you that use SCAL. I also included a jpeg and a pdf of just the label part. You could add the label to a scrapbook page, or a jar filled with "twisted" goodies. That would look pretty cool on a shelf or mantel.

Here are the steps:

1.) Print out and cut out the pillow box. (it will fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet. My paper of choice is double sided matte photo paper from Staples brand. Nice smooth card stock. Either use the svg file to cut out on your digital craft cutter, or use the blank template and cut out with a craft knife.

cut out

2.) Once you have the outside trimmed out, take the inside template that I provided and cut it out from a scrap piece of cardstock. Now use this template to score your pillow folds. Make sure that the extra space (see photo) is at the opposite end of your label, or your label will get folded under.

score to fold

3.) Fold along your score marks.


4.) Fold the little extra long flap that I'm pointing to in the above photo, and glue it to the inside of the box. Use clips to hold in place while the glue dries.


5.) At this point, while the edge is drying, you can embellish your box. I used a little bit of Stickles black glitter on the eyes, an orange gem on either side of the word "warning" and I also added a spider brad. Ribbons and twine would look great, too.

6.) Now stuff with candy and enjoy!!

candy filled

Here is the download of the Twisted Pillow Box kit.

Also, since I have provided you with the blank template, you could use any Halloween line that is out there. Ally Scraps just got in the newest Halloween lines from Pink Paislee, Little Yellow Bicycle, Fancy Pants, Bo Bunny (this is really cute!), American Crafts, Nikki Sivils, and My Minds Eye. Lots of Halloween goodies to chose from!!

I hope you enjoyed my pillow treat box. Such a fun and easy thing to do.

Have a great day.

Monday, September 28, 2009

apple dumplin'

My daughter LOVES fall food. You know... apple and pumpkin pie, apple cider and especially apple dumplings. If the apple dumpling is served ala mode, it's an extra big yum. Love that I caught this picture of her enjoying her apple dumpling. Glad I had my own, because she wouldn't share at all. (hee, hee)

I sometimes get into a rut of using fall themed papers for fall layouts and Easter papers for Easter layouts, etc. You know what I mean. I love changing it up a little, and using different styles of papers for my themed layouts. These October Afternoon Cherry Hill papers matched my pictures perfectly without being overly themey. October Afternoon has become one of my favorite manufacturers, love their fun patterns and awesome colors. Their stickers are super cool too.

Hope you're enjoying some fall food, why not take some pictures? Thanks so much for taking a look at our blog, and see you all soon! ~ Dana

Saturday, September 26, 2009

pirate & princess party!

We've just LOVED having Kimber McGray with us this month at AllyScraps. Her projects and tutorials have been amazing, so much inspiration!! This is Kimber's last week with us, and she's shared a really special layout, pirate & princess party. I really love this colorful layout, with a super balanced design and such an awesome banner across the top! Love it.

Kimber used papers from Bella Blvd. and paper and stickers from October Afternoon. Her letters are thickers from American Crafts.

For the banner she punched triangles from the yellow and blue patterned papers and then punched holes in the 2 corners. Then she adhered them to her page with foam adhesive squares, layering them over each other so the holes lined up. Then using twine, she threaded it through the holes to create the hanging banner. Wow, that is so cool!

I'm sure that you'll want to keep in touch with Kimber, so be sure to check out her BLOG for even more inspiration! Thanks so much to Kimber for such an awesome month.

Thanks for stopping by... and keep checking back, because October will be filled with fun Halloween projects and TWO awesome guest designers that I'll announce soon. Keep scrapping!

~ Dana


Hi everyone, just wanted to make a quick post and announce the winner from our Nikki Sivils blog reveal and interview! I dropped everyone's name in a hat, and the winner was

Erica M!!!

Congrats to you! Please e-mail me your contact information by Saturday, October 3rd to and we'll get out your Nikki Sivils prize pack right away.

Thanks so much for all of your awesome comments, and stay tuned later today for a new post from Kimber McGray! Oh, and while you're waiting, check out the store... there are TONS on new products for you to get excited about.

See you soon, Dana

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fabulous Fall!

Fall is officially upon us and what better way to celebrate than with an autumn layout.

I made this layout using ALL Pink Paislee papers. I wanted it to look more like art work than a scrapbook page so I didn't journal on it. I used random fall photos that I had recently taken. The layout is propped up on a shelf in my foyer along with my fall decorations. I love how it turned out, and it was really fun to make.
Fab Fall

For the base I used the Pink Paislee Amber Road Diecut Sheet - Fall Festival. On top of that, I layered a sheet of Pink Paislee Amber Road - Autumn Blossom, using the back, and cutting it to a size of 10x10, then I distressed the edges. For the tree trunk, I used an older Pink Paislee paper that looked like wood. If you have a wood grain stamp, that would work as well, or even plain cardstock.

The next thing I did was take several sheets of the Amber Road papers and cut them to 6x12 so I could fit them into my Silhouette die cutting machine. I found a leaf pattern online and cut out about 75 leaves of 3 different sizes. (
If you have leaf punches or Sizzix dies, you could use those instead.) What is nice about the double sided paper is after you have your leaf cut out, you can flip it over and have a different pattern on the other side. The papers I used were Pink Paislee Amber Road - Hayride, Pink Paislee Amber Road - Bonfire, Pink Paislee Amber Road - Apple Cider and what I had left of the Autumn Blossom.

Once I had all my leaves cut out, I just dabbed each with a dot of glue and went to town, layering them until I thought they looked right. The next step, I went to my sewing machine and just stitched a random pattern on top of the leaves.

Fab Fall cu5

Fab Fall cu3

After I was done sewing, I flipped up and curled some of the edges of the leaves to give them some dimension. I then placed four 2" x 3" photos over the leaves using pop dots to lift the photo up. I also would bend a leaf up over the photo so it looked like my pictures were sitting in a tree.

Fab Fall cu2

That's it. It really doesn't take that long to make. When you are finished, you'll have beautiful fall "wall art" that will take you thru until the snow flies!

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More Projects from Kimber McGray

As you know, we've been fortunate enough to have Kimber as guest designer this month.

Kimber has come up with another stunning project featuring Snorkel from Cosmo Cricket.

Here's what Kimber had to say: "For the sun, I cut a circle from the orange Core'dinations cardstock and used brass stencils to emboss dots then lightly sanded them. I punched triangles from scraps of cardstock for the rays. I used the Kaisercraft gems to create fish bubbles and splashes on the photo and title."

I just love the rhinestone detail!

Kimber has created some awesome waves by layering the papers and cardstock - I for one, will be scraplifting that idea!

Thanks Kimber for the wonderful inspiration. I'm sure I'll be putting it to good use when I scrap my Summer photos this year.

All the latest products can be found in the store here. Remember shipping is still only $4.95 on all orders shipped within the U.S.

Have a fun, scrappy weekend!

Morag x

Thursday, September 17, 2009

We're featuring Nikki Sivils here at AllyScraps today!

We're thrilled and excited to feature scrapbook manufacturer and designer Nikki Sivils on our blog today. Nikki is the sweetest person, SO talented and was so nice to spend some time with us here at AllyScraps.

Here's Nikki...

Since I'm sure that you'll want to know more about Nikki and take a look at her awesome products, here is a LINK to her fun site. (isnt' that little doggie cute?) Nikki took the time to answer some questions that we created over on the AllyScraps message board, here's what she shared with us.

1. How long have you been a scrapbooker? How did you get started scrapping?
I started in HS, in the 80's!! I have several scrapbooks with silverware from places like the Olive Garden, where I had my first "car date"!! Along with pictures and memorabilia like school programs. Then in the 90's I made several scrapbooks too, but really it was 2004 that I became obsessed with scrapbooking, you know... collecting, subscribing to every magazine out there and basically sending every waking moment thinking about scrapbooking!! :) I guess I've always recorded my memories!!

2. Tell us about your design studio/scrapbook space.
I love my space(s)!! Yes, I have a couple of them!! I have a 12 foot old farm table that I scrapbook on that's in a great little space upstairs that has these beautiful glass french doors that open into it!! This is where I create anything and everything by all manufacturers. My other space is where I create samples, experiment with my new products and play with just "Nikki Sivils" products! This space is right outside of the french doors and it's a loft over the living room, and kitchen. This is my new space and I've really enjoyed separating the spaces, makes it easier for me to concentrate on what I'm working on. Finally, downstairs in our dining room we have another 12 foot old farm table that my husband and I share for our "desk" I sit at one end and he sits at the other. This is where I work on my business and do some creating, mainly of products and paper lines, not hands on creating!!

3. How long had you been designing papers before you set up your own company?A couple of years ago I began to create many of the papers that just debuted like "My Sweet Cherry Pie". I have a pair of PJ bottoms that have a cherry design on them and one day I thought wouldn't be cool to have cherries and horseshoes together on paper!! (Those PJ's didn't have horseshoes on them but I've always had a horseshoe above my door for good luck!!) And some how the two just came together in my head. BTW I still have the PJ's!!

4. What was it like to go to CHA with your own products?
Let's see if I can find words to describe it...... overwhelming, scary, nerve-racking, exciting, I didn't sleep for weeks (seriously), I thought I was going to throw up every day leading up to CHA and every day at CHA!! Other than that it was great!! On the first day of CHA I made everyone that was working in my booth "huddle up" and I gave a little pep talk and started crying because in that very moment I realized my dream was actually coming true!! I'm choking up right now as I remember the feeling I had!! Exhilarating!!

5. What are your color inspirations? What colors are your favorite to work with?
I'm always inspired by the color red!! It evokes so many different feelings for me. (my wedding ring is even a ruby) My favorite colors to work with are black, red, pink, and brown!! But really there is not a color I don't like. I used to not like the color orange and now I love it, I find that it keeps popping up in my designs and scrapbook pages!!

6. How supportive is your family? Were they skeptical when you first decided to start your own line?
My husband Dan is of course VERY supportive as we are working this company together all day every day!!! I do have a very supportive family, however at first they didn't understand what I was doing, and I had to show them the inventory and explain each item!! (I think a few of them still don't understand, but are supportive still.) My Mom is always asking me why I'm still so busy even after I just finished designing my paper!! If only it was that simple, there are so many factors in some of the smallest details, I had no idea about until I started.

7. Any plans to add to your lines with rubons or stickers or alphabets?
Yes!! I have a couple of new products for the spring in the works right now!! In fact I just approved the quotes for stickers and alpha stickers a few hours ago!! Now I have to start the artwork for them. Shhhhhh..... don't tell!!

8. What advice would you give someone who wants to start out in the industry?
Passion is a must, because I've never worked so hard in my life!! Most of it is fun work, but it can be very time consuming. I can't imagine doing it without my husband, Dan, he's a retired attorney and I can't tell you how great that is for me! Just reading a contract and knowing if it's reasonable or not, that's Dan's department along with everything shipping, marketing, and advertising. Also there is so much "behind the scenes" that takes place daily that we actually had to hire a lady full time to help us out!! I'm a little bit controlling when it comes to my business so letting go of certain things is VERY hard for me but I have to or not enough would get done!! It is normal to not have all the answers, you just have to keep solving problems as they arise.

9. What's coming up next?? Themes? Color schemes, etc.? Will you do a dog line to match the dog on your site??
Hmmmm, what can I tell you that won't give too much away.... I'm not doing any "holiday" themes for the spring. I have some not so traditional colors for spring, like lots of black. (but very fun "out of the box" stuff)
Will you do a dog line to match the dog on your site??
Yes and NO.... I have a "pet" line coming out in the spring, but it's not just dog or cat....... sorry I can't give you anymore than that!!
I'd love to do just an all "Willie-B" (that's my dog's name and logo) dog line, but I'm afraid that not everyone would like it as much as me!!!

10. What do you think the new "hot trends" will be?
I actually try really hard not to think about that question, because I'd like to be the trend setter!!LOL!! Also if I thought about what the "trend" is too much I think I would go crazy second guessing myself, I just try and focus on what my passion is and what I'd want to scrapbook with!!

Thanks Nikki for all of your fun answers to our questions! And guess what? Nikki is a great scrapbooker too. She created a couple of fun projects to share with you.

Here is Nikki's sweet ghost mini album.

Here are some cute cupcakes that she made and a fun card too.

Now, while Nikki was busy designing, Cathy put the AllyScraps Design Team to work... Raechelle, Chris and I also made some fun projects with Nikki's Halloween line. Take a look.

Chris made this awesome layout.

Raechelle made one of her famous bottle sets, this time incorporating candy and a fun "potion" look.

I made a SPOOKY layout and a fun card.

Then one day when I was checking out Jana Eubank's BLOG, I found these super cute projects. (I had forgotten that Jana was on the Nikki Sivil's Design Team!) I asked Jana first of course, and she was thrilled to have her projects up on our blog too!

I just love Jana's work, thanks Jana! (oh and look for Jana at AllyScraps in October!)

Wow! That's a lot of pictures... hope something inspires you. By the way, I'm sure you know that Cathy carries the full line of Nikki Sivils products right HERE in the store. And, just for fun, Cathy has given me some Nikki Silvis Halloween products to give away! Hurray and thanks Cathy. So to be eligible to win the prize, just comment on this post and tell us what kind of products you'd love to see Nikki create. Comment by next Thursday, September 24th and I'll pick a winner. Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend!

~ Dana

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Feeling Fallish?

I am here. Temps are chilly in the morning, the leaves are changing and the kids are back in school. Seems like fall to me! I have to say that scrapping fall pictures is my very favorite season to scrap... papers are so pretty and the pictures so rich and colorful. I was really impressed with My Little Yellow Bicycle's brand new Autumn Bliss line of papers, so I used them as soon as I got them for this fall layout. The papers have the coolest texture, kind of a slick surface. The embellies are really cool too! I especially loved their laser cuts. To look at them, you'd think they're tiny, but NO, they are each 12" long, and super fun to use. The journaling book is awesome too, TONS of pages of journaling spots, all in the fall theme.

I've been really enjoying the "technique" of handcutting lately. I used a big pile of handcut leaves for this project. Leaves cut right out of the patterned paper. A really cheap and easy embellie! Thanks for taking a look.

By the way, keep your eyes on the blog this week. We have some exciting things coming up. Thursday is a special day at AllyScraps, and we will be having a scrapbook manufacturer as a guest on our blog. Nikki Sivils will be here, answering some questions, showing us some of her projects and we'll also be having a Nikki Sivils give-a-way. Check out the blog that day for tons of projects using Nikki's Halloween line from several awesome designers! Kimber McGray will be back this Saturday with another awesome guest post and next week looks to be just as fun. So, we hope that you'll check back often!

~ Dana

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ever heard of Core'dinations cardstock??

I never had... until Cathy came back from CHA raving about it! Super textured colorful cardstock, with a surprise inside! Rip it, tear it, emboss it and the contrasting color on the INSIDE pops right through. What a cool concept, something new in the scrapbook world. Cathy purchased their entire line at CHA, 250!! colors for the AllyScraps store. Luckily for us, our wonderful guest designer this month, Kimber McGray is a member of the Core'dinations cardstock Design Team. She agreed to make some special projects using the cardstock, to show us all how cool it is and what you can do with it. Check out Kimber's BLOG, she has many more awesome projects on her blog to inspire you.

Chillin' Out uses Black Magic with a grey color core and orange color core. You can see that she ran the die cut title through the embossing folder and then sanded to show the grey. The OUT in the title was just sanded to reveal most of the Orange. The circles on the background were created using brass stencils to dry emboss and then sanded to show the color.

Her Birthday Blast card uses Black Core Essentials and Yellow Vintage Core. She loves that you can run this through an embossing machine and then lightly sand to show the color from underneath. The yellow Vintage as wrinkled and then sanded for some fun texture.

Snack Time was created using Chocolate Box papers. Kimber ran the tree through her Fiskars curvy crimper and then sanded the top to reveal the lighter brown color core. She used a stylus on her leaves and then sanded the ridges to create veins. She also die cut her title letters from Core and then sanded for texture.

Here are a few more projects that Kimber shared with us! Love them all.

Big thanks to Kimber... so glad to have you at AllyScraps this month.

~ Dana

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

October came early this year!

October Afternoon goodies, that is! This is one of my favorite lines. When I saw that Cathy had stocked the Ally Scraps store with OA, I pretty much bought every sheet of their Cherry Hill Collection. These double sided papers are so fun, and colorful, not to mention they're thick, so I was able to use the Egg Basket sheet as my layout base.

pure delight 1

The gray with the white polka dots is the back side of Sunday Dishes and the bottom strip is the front of the same sheet (gotta love double sided!!)

pure delight 2

I used some of the stickers from the Cherry Hill Collection.

pure delight 3

The little bird is from DCWV Green Stack Chipboard Embellishments. The little black alpha's are from Making Memories. For the title I used a bright red American Crafts vinyl letter sticker.


Here I just used some old chipboard pieces that I had in my stash. The nice thing about this October Afternoon line is that you can mix and match with other manufactures. I used the yellow and red colors to coordinate with my paper.

I hope you enjoyed spending an “October Afternoon” with me! Stop by again, and don’t forget to look for that giveaway coming up soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Scrappy Inspiration!

Hi everyone... it's back to school for us this week, and for me that means a serious scrappy day! Every year, I treat myself to a full of scrapping when the kids and DH go back to school... really looking forward to getting some new projects done. But, until I do, I'd love to share a 2 page layout I did recently along with a special treat. Our very own Debbie Gaydos made a sketch based on my layout... you know how much we love Debbie's sketches, and 2 page ones are an extra special treat. I did this layout with Fancy Pants products, and guess what? A little birdie told me that new Fancy Pants stuff will be coming to AllyScraps VERY soon. Can't wait, love me some Fancy Pants.

Here's my page, Fresh Picked.

Here is Debbie's sketch.

Hope you have the time to make a layout using Debbie's sketch, now that the kiddies are back in school! This week is sure to be an exciting one here on the blog. Chris Hertel will be doing an extra special blog post on Wednesday, and we'll be seeing more super projects from our guest designer Kimber McGray on Friday. Always something fun going on at AllyScraps.

Thanks so much for your input about what you'd love to see on the blog in coming weeks. You're likely to see most of what you've asked for. Layouts, tutorials, cards, sketches, altered art and MORE. I've picked a winner from the comments, and the winner is BabyBokChoy!! Big congrats to you. Send me an e-mail with your contact information to by next Monday at midnight, and we'll send you out a fun prize. Love giveaways? There will be another one soon, so keep checking out the blog! Have a great week. ~ Dana