Black Friday Special 2014


I’m offering my Gift Certificates at 10% off! No limit on the quantity! Choose from $100, $75, $50, $25, $20, $15, or $10 denominations.

Order here:

Certificate Amount

I will send your certificates within two business days from your purchase.

This offer ends at 11:59pm PST on Monday, December 1st. Sorry, I am unable to offer the discount on other amounts.

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Online Extravaganza Is Back

Online Extravaganza Banner

Stampin’ Up!® is once again offering an amazing array of products at up to 50% off during its 2014 Online Extravaganza! Online Extravaganza starts today and runs through December 2nd.

There are special Bundles included that you haven’t seen before and won’t see again. Everything on sale is available at these special prices while supplies last.

Check out 2014 Online Extravaganza today for the 24-hour Door Busters, along with the regular special offerings. There will be another Door Buster on December 1st with different products. Take advantage while supplies last! Just click any of these links and you’re there!

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Insider’s Secrets to Thinlits™ Dies

Thinlits Card-Open-Visit

Thinlits™ Dies for the Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439) are designed to cut intricate designs from one piece of paper or card stock. Many of the Dies also create score lines, as in the fold-out card shown here and yesterday. What’s more, you don’t really need anything other than the die and the Standard Cutting Pads (113475). Cutting them on the Big Shot™ Magnetic Platform (130658) is also helpful.

When you die cut Thinlits™, you can run them through the Big Shot™ two or three times to get a clean cut. This will make it easier to release the card stock or paper. The Thinlits™ sink into the material you’re cutting so you can run them through the Big Shot™ multiple times and the die won’t shift.

Another way to make the die release easier is to place a piece of waxed paper on top of the cutting material and underneath the Thinlits™. You probably won’t need to run the die through more than once with this technique. Inserting the waxed paper is particularly useful for the more intricate designs. The “hi” on the card front is an example of a design that benefitted from the use of waxed paper.

If you notice the Thinlits™ aren’t cutting through all the way, you can shim them with a piece of paper or card stock underneath the bottom cutting pad. However, the most likely reason for this is that your Cutting Pads are warped. You can solve this problem by getting new Cutting Pads, which you’ll need to do eventually, or by flipping the Pad each time you use it. Make sure you are using one pad for the cutting edges and the other pad for the back. Flip and rotate each pad and they will straighten out.

Other Supplies Used in Example: For All Things Stamp Set (wood-135152; clear-135155); Old Olive 12” x 12” Card Stock (124284); Crushed Curry 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (131199); Regals Designer Series Paper Stack (130139); Champagne (127885) and Red (121790) Glimmer Paper; Real Red Classic Stampin’ Pad (126949); Label Card Thinlits™ Dies (133479); Fun Fall (135856) & Labels Collection (125598) Framelits™ Dies; Pearl Basic Jewels (119247); Adhesive Transfer Sheets (13372); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)

To order what you need to try out Thinlits™ Dies for yourself, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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Thanksgiving Fun with MDS

Autumn Spice Thanksgiving Page-Visit

I wanted to make another Thanksgiving page sample with My Digital Studio (#130647, Disc; #130646, Download), but my MDS program decided to have a snit. So, I went to my backup computer which had the old “stripped down” version installed (that version is no longer available-everything’s in the current version).

I started out with a template, but then changed my mind and inserted a pattern from the Sweet Details Designer Series Paper. These patterns used to be only available in the reduced version of MDS, but now are included in the full version. My plan was to play with the items in the program and create a page suitable for Thanksgiving photos. The Sweet Details designs are geared more towards Spring, but there were generic patterns in Crumb Cake, Old Olive and Crushed Curry that would do. I chose Crumb Cake Stripes (Pattern 5) for my background and added a layer of Crushed Curry Pastilles (Pattern 11) in a strip down the side. I cropped an image from the Vintage Overlays Stamp Brush Set (texture 4), colored it with Cajun Craze, then copied and flipped it to place over the Crushed Curry strip.

You build your digital page from the bottom up if you can. Otherwise, you move the elements forward or backward until you have them placed where you want. I like to use the 1.25 Square Punch shape to create photo mats or place holders. I chose a 5” x 7” mat for the main photo and a row of 3” square mats for other photos. You can measure the size by turning on the rulers. Punches let you fill them with color (Very Vanilla in this case) and also surround the shapes with mats. I matted the shapes with Cajun Craze for my photos.

My page is 12” x 12”, so I needed three pieces of the Dotted Ribbon Punch to fit the length of the page. I rotated the first shape 90 degrees and colored it with Mossy Meadow. Then I copied the image two more times and overlapped the first image, aligning them so they appear seamless. I didn’t have to do anything except rotate the Chocolate Chip Zig-Zag Stitching as it comes in a 12” x 12” length already. You can increase the length if you wish so it extends beyond the edges of the page. I do this and click “Okay” if a message pops up about image distortion. You may not get this pop-up with the new version.

I added a strip of Chocolate Chip Grosgrain Ribbon under the three square photo mats. I stretched it to go off the edges, then copied it and placed the second strip under the large photo mat. I added a Grosgrain Ribbon Bow, which had to be recolored to match.

After I was through playing with what was in the program, I searched for Thanksgiving images. I had forgotten exactly how “stripped down” that version of the MDS program was, so I had some fun installing Digital Downloads and picked the ones I thought had Thanksgiving-appropriate images and colors.

Other Digital Downloads Used: Grosgrain Ribbon Add-On Pack (125167); Autumn Spice Digital Kit (122175); Harvest of Thanks Stamp Brush Set (134930)

The current full version of My Digital Studio includes a lot of digital components that weren’t in the first version (mine) from 2009. That means there’s a lot to explore! You can play with the program for days! Plus, you can create your holiday pages in advance and even put in notes (Text Box) as to what pictures you want to place there and create your list of what to take!

To get in on the fun and order My Digital Studio (#130647, Disc; #130646, Download), just click the Order Online Button in my right sidebar or any of the product links in this article. You may download it immediately and start playing! You may also try it free for 30 days!

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Fall Colors in Turkey Treats

Have you ever noticed that paper-crafted Turkeys are loaded with Fall colors? I found these adorable, edible Turkey Treats from one of my Facebook friends and saw that these are loaded with Fall colors, too!

Natural turkeys tend to be Brown with White, a Red wattle under their beak and yellowish feet and beak. These Oreo™ Turkey Treats are the same color combination with Orange and definite Yellow included.

Red, Orange and Yellow are Adjacent Colors on the Color Wheel, which lets them coordinate perfectly. The colors are of the same intensity, which makes the browns of the candy and cookies ideal background colors. They also look very Fall-ish.

Click the photo to go to the directions for these turkeys on You’ll get to see more photos there!


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Grid Paper, Almost as Essential as Scissors

Grid Paper-Both Sides-visit

I cleared off my studio space for a party and spent several days afterward with the bare minimum crafting tools. I taught myself a lesson: Grid Paper (130148) is as essential as scissors when you’re paper crafting (or many other kinds of crafting, too).

Why would this be?

  1. Grid Paper provides a defined work space you can make notes on.
  2. Grid Paper from Stampin’ Up!® is marked off in 1/4” squares on one side and .5cm squares on the other side. You’re all set for whichever measuring system you prefer.
  3. The Grid Paper also has thicker lines marking the center of the horizontal and vertical sides of the page. You have your own Centering Ruler always handy!
  4. You can make a scale-model sketch of your design before you start cutting by using the grid squares. I found this feature very useful when I was designing a particular box for my Mailing List Subscribers.

That’s my summary of why Grid Paper is as essential as scissors when you’re paper crafting. You can see more about Grid Paper by entering “Grid Paper” in the search box at the top of this page.

Got a question about a product or tool? E-mail me at or post your question in Comments. I’ll respond directly to your e-mail and post the answer here on If you need an answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at

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Quick & Easy Countdown Calendar

Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar-Visit

A few years ago, my newsletter subscribers received the tutorial to create the Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar out of card stock with the Big Shot™ Die-Cutting Machine (113439) and the Matchbox Bigz™ XL Die (now retired from Stampin’ Up!®). Once I figured out the positioning of the boxes, the tree was simple to make. However, it was time-consuming because you had to cut out each box separately and then assemble it with adhesives.

Now you can make a Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar with the Tiny Treat Boxes (135829), which, conveniently come in a package of 25! These boxes are 2” x 2” x 2”, so your tree won’t look as flat as the first photo. I included the original Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar photo so you have the pattern to place your boxes.

Tiny Treat Box Countdown Calendar Top-Visit

I’ve shown the example of the top box for the Christmas Tree Countdown Calendar. When you’ve finished putting the number labels on the box lids (facing so they’re upright when the lid opening is on top), assemble the boxes and adhere them to each other in the pattern shown. Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026) will work for this, or you can use Sticky Strip (104294).

Supplies You Will Need:

Tiny Treat Boxes (135829)

Patterned Paper: Nordic Noel Designer Series Paper (135822) used here, but you may also find some great patterns in the Trim the Tree Designer Series Paper Stack (135824)

Whisper White 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock (100730)

Number Stamp Set: Metro Type Alphabet Set (photopolymer – 133666) used here, very easy to place numbers!

Ink Pad: Garden Green Classic Stampin’ Pad (126973) used here; Real Red Classic Stampin’ Pad (126949) also coordinates with the Designer Series Paper.

1-3/4” Scallop Circle Punch (119854)

1-3/8” Circle Punch (119860)

1/4” Circle Handheld Punch (134364)

Ribbon for the top box: Real Red 3/8” Woven Satin Ribbon (135840) used here. Punch two holes in the side of the box that will be on top and tie the ribbon through them.

Adhesive (suggestions above)

You’ll need a piece of card stock to support the row of six boxes. You could use a 2” x 12” strip of Kraft 12” x 12” Card Stock (133674), which would match the boxes and is a little thicker than regular card stock. When you’re adhering all the boxes, make sure the lid opens from the top.

Number placement tip: Punch out the 1-3/8” circle from scrap paper and use the hole to fit your numbers. Then line up the numbers in the punch and cut!

To join my Mailing List and receive my monthly newsletter, 3am Thoughts, filled with tutorials, news, tips & tricks, fill out the form at right. Be sure you click the link in your confirmation e-mail or you won’t be signed up! You’ll collect 2 free tutorials (valued at $7.95 each) when your membership is confirmed!

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Versatile Fall Mini Wreath

Fall Mini Wreath-Visit

Wreaths are very popular for decorating all through the year. I’ve seen some great wreaths for Fall recently and this inspired me to make a Fall Mini Wreath for todays project. I’ve put it on a card stock backing to use as an easel while I photograph it, but you can attach it to a 6” x 6” card or use it on a scrapbook page.

I used the Circles Collection Framelits™ Dies (130911) and die-cut the wreath with my Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (113439) and the Big Shot Magnetic Platform (130658). You can line up the circles easily on the Magnetic Platform and they’ll stay in place while you cut them as long as you have unwarped Standard Cutting Pads (113475). If you think they might be warped, even slightly, hold the dies in place with Post-It™ Notes or artist’s tape. Personally, I’d use the Post-It Notes with the Glimmer Paper to keep the glitter from being lifted off. The artist’s tape is a stronger adhesive than the Post-It Notes. For my wreath, I selected the largest (scalloped) circle and the 4th largest circle to die cut.

It’s easy to make enough leaves to cover your wreath. The Autumn Accents Bigz™ Die (127812) will let you cut about three pieces of card stock or 5 pieces of double-sided patterned paper at one time. You can die-cut the Glimmer Paper as well. Sandwich it between two pieces of card stock or paper to keep glitter off your die. I embossed two sets of the leaves for interest: the Crushed Curry leaves with the Perfect Polka Dots (117335) and the Old Olive leaves with the Tiny Triangles (133740) Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folders.

Other Supplies Used: Gold Glimmer Paper (133719); 2013-2015 In Color 12” x 12” Card Stock (131195), Baked Brown Sugar; Cajun Craze (119684), Crushed Curry (131199), Old Olive (100702) & Pumpkin Pie (105117) 8-1/2” x 11” Card Stock; Neutrals (131261), Soft Suede, & 2013-2015 In Color (131260), Baked Brown Sugar, Stampin’ Write Markers; Daffodil Delight (130998) & Skin Tone Assortment (129370), Bronze, Stampin’ Blendabilities Markers; Autumn Wooden Elements (135846); 1/8” Circle Handheld Punch (134365); Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding Ribbon (120992); Fast Fuse Adhesive (129026); Glue Dots (103683); Stampin’ Dimensionals (104430)

To color the acorn:

  1. Color the nut part with the Baked Brown Sugar Stampin’ Write Marker
  2. Color the cap part with the Soft Suede Stampin’ Write Marker
  3. Color over the nut part with the medium Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Blendabilities Marker. This gives it a different, warmer shade.
  4. Color over the cap part with the Bronze Stampin’ Blendabilities Marker. This adds depth and warmth to the cap color.

If you like, you can add an acorn frame around the acorn. Color it with the darkest Daffodil Delight Stampin’ Blendabilities Marker, thin fit it around the acorn. Attach the framed acorn to the wreath with two Stampin’ Dimensionals that overlap the frame and the solid parts. This will hold the Wooden Elements together.

You can make a few (or several) wreaths to hang on the wall. Insert a nametag in the middle of the wreath on the easel to make place cards. You can also adhere a few to a ring of card stock surrounding a candle tray for a centerpiece. Just make sure it’s out of reach of the flames.

This project is one example of some of the class material you may see as part of your Online Bonus Class when you join the 3am Stamper’s iClub.  Become a 3am Stamper’s iClub Member now and start with next month’s session.  Club orders are due the 10th of each month!  To find out more, just click on the preceding link or on the link in the drop-down menu on the navigation bar, “Events & Classes“.

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Holiday Countdown Calendar

Holiday Countdown Calendar-Visit

I just love the Hello December Project Life® Card Collection (135831) and the Hello December Project Life® Accessory Pack (135833). I’ve just been having too much fun with them and the Seasonal Snapshot sets as I discussed last week! The Hello December sets seem especially suited to creating Scrapbook Pages along the lines of a Holiday Countdown Calendar.

I’ve shown my first page, with December 1st highlighted with stamping and a cork “1”, which comes in the Accessory Pack. I had to use some of the sparkly things from the Accessory Pack, and chose the sequins. I attached them to the smaller cards with Silver Sparkle (127845) or Cherry Cobbler (125585) Dazzling Details. Tip for using this glitter glue: Put a TINY dot where you want the sequin, then place the sequin and press it down LIGHTLY. Otherwise, you get a nice glittery halo that you might not want.

After you have the sequin placed, add another tiny dot on top and let dry. The other option to attaching sequins is to pierce a hole and secure with a brad. Except that I was trying to use only the materials contained in the Accessory Pack, I would have used Glue Dots (103683) to attach the sequins. I changed my mind and used a brad to hold the snowflake sequins found in either the Seasonal Snapshots Project Life® Accessory Pack (135832) or the Frosted Sequins (135835) package to decorate the 4” x 6” card. You could attach Rhinestone (119246) or Pearl (119247) Basic Jewels to the brad, or just over the hole in the sequin with a folded Glue Dot. (The Jewels adhesive doesn’t like to stick to sequins.)

Continue creating the other pages until you have your Holiday Countdown Calendar. You can use this for a to-do list or a reminder as well as pre-recording photos you want to be sure to take. Supplement the 4” x 6” cards in the Hello December Accessory Pack with the Christmas designs from the Seasonal Snapshots Accessory Pack to make sure you have enough. Then, when your photos are printed, you just insert them and add more journaling if desired. You’ve got your to-do list and Holiday album all at once!

Other Supplies Used: Project Life® December Wonder Stamp Set (Photopolymer – 136562); Soft Sky (131181) & Pear Pizzazz (131180) Classic Stampin’ Pads; Silver 1/8” Mini Brads (122941); Project Life® Photo Pocket Pages, 6” x 8” (135297)

It’s so easy to make great layouts with the Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!® product line, that sometimes I just can’t resist pulling out a few more accessories to embellish them. This is especially true for my Holiday Countdown Calendar, which is just begging for added sparkle and glitz.

A few more tips:

  • If you use brads, flatten them well on the back of the card and insert another card behind it. Then insert your photo so you won’t have tears or “embossing” from the brads.
  • Be sure you let liquid glue, including glitter glue, dry thoroughly. You can put a dot of the same thickness or density on some scratch paper after you’ve finished gluing your page. Use this to test the glue and you won’t mess up the page. Drying time is upwards of 30 minutes.

To order what you need to make your own Holiday Countdown Calendar, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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Fabulous Fall Colors

Day of Gratitude Card-Visit

The Fall colors of red, orange and yellow reflect the change of seasons and the seasonal coloration of the leaves on trees. They are the colors I gravitate toward when the temperatures lower. I don’t live in an area that actually changes with the seasons, but I grew up in one. Where I live, we get the Fall colors (except they’re mostly brown and yellow) when there’s a drought… like now.

But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the fabulous colors of Fall! In this card, I used Cajun Craze and Really Rust, in the Orange Red family; with Crushed Curry, Hello Honey and More Mustard, from the Yellow-Orange family; and a faint touch of Old Olive, from the Green-Yellow family, as a drop-shadow for the leaves and acorn.

Let’s call this combination “Expanded Complementary”. This would be Orange-Red standing for Red and Green-Yellow standing for Green, which are complements to each other. The Yellow-Orange family sits in between these two and actually coordinates with both very well.

I designed this card with My Digital Studio (130647, Disc; 130646, Download) Stampin’ Up!®’s Digital Design Software. This makes it fun and easy to create. Everything on the card is included in My Digital Studio except for the background paper. That pattern comes in the Autumn Traditions Kit (127600), a Digital Download. The kit includes a template, two stamp brush sets and four punches as well. It’s perfect for creating Fabulous Fall Colors and an Expanded Complementary color scheme.

To order My Digital Studio (130647, Disc; 130646, Download), just click the Order Online Button in my right sidebar or any of the product links in this article. You may download it immediately and start playing! You may also try it free for 30 days!

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Celebrating Veterans!

Veterans MarchingHappy Veterans Day! Originally, we celebrated the signing of the Armistice between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, to end World War I. The name was changed after World War II to include the Veterans of that war and subsequent conflicts. It’s known as Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom, Canada and the other members of the Commonwealth of Nations (mostly British territories or former British territories.

So today we celebrate all Veterans, fallen or living, with boundless gratitude! We also include our thanks to those currently serving for keeping us free!

Why not send a thank you note to Veterans or active military people that you know? I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

And while you’re at it, why not make a card to send to the Troops? There are several organizations that package cards, or even card fronts, and send them. They can be blank inside for the troops to use themselves. I’ll be collecting some through next Monday, November 17th, so send yours to me, Mary Varley, at 2305 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.

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Something’s messing with my media files again – so please click the links to see the photos I wanted to include.  I’ll fix everything as soon as I can.

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Layering with Framelits™ Dies

Window Frames Hello Card-visit

Framelits™ Dies make layering so easy!  The only difficult thing is if your matting layer is bigger than you want.  I’ve mentioned many times that I solve this problem by tracing around the outside edge of the Framelit.  You have to “fussy cut” with this method, but it’s a little easier than trying to cut around the top Framelit freehand.

However, sometimes you just want a wider layer.  The Framelits™ Dies frequently come nested, so you can layer as wide as your imagination will take you.  I’ve included some examples, along with links to the original article, if there is one.

Apothecary Art Birthday Card-visit http://www.3amstamper.comLabels-Collection-Apothecary-Art-Birthday-Card uses the nested dies.  The stamped image is lined up in a matching Framelit, then the mat is die-cut from the next size up.




Festive Flurry Celebrate Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.comFestive Flurry Embossed Metal Winter Card  The retired Festive Flurry Stamp Set and Framelits™ Dies are featured in this card.  Because the snowflake dies coordinated with different shapes, I traced around the outside of the die to make the mat.  I lay my die flat for tracing, with the cutting edge up.  With these dies, you need to trace on the back of whatever paper you are using for the mat to get the image to sit correctly.




Pine Tree Embossed Metal Card-Visit http://www.3amstamper.comOvals Collection Embossed Metal Card  In this card, I used the nested ovals.  First, I stamped the image, then I pierced around the edge with the corresponding oval template from the Occasions Paper-Piercing Pack (129387).  I layered this on the mat that I’d embossed with the Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressons™ Embossing Folder (117335).





Gold Foil Christmas Card-visit http://www.3amstamper.comOvals Collection Gold Foil Christmas Card  This card also uses nested ovals.  Besides the seasonal stamp set, the only thing that is retired is the Petals-A-Plenty Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.  A good substitute for it would be the Decorative Dots Textured Impressions™ Embossing Folder (133520).




Window Frames Hanukkah Card-visit http://www.3amstamper.comWindow Frames Collection Hanukkah Card  I couldn’t find my sample with the two largest Window Frames Collection Framelits™ Dies (129021) on it, so I’m showing you the card with the two smallest or next-to-smallest dies. 




Window Frames Hello Card-visit http://www.3amstamper.comThe lead-off photo shows the smallest and next smallest Window Frames Dies.  The next smallest die has a very wide area separating the two.  Everything else used to make this card is retired except the Rhinestone Basic Jewels (#119246), the So Saffron 8-1/2″ x 11″ Card Stock (#105118) and the Rose Red Classic Stampin’ Pad (#126954).


To order what you need to play with your own layering, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article.  You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased.  You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.  You can order Craft Metal Sheets here at Add A Little Dazzle ‘s Online Store.

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Busy Woman Scrapbooking

Busy Woman Thanksgiving Page-Visit

The Holidays (the ones after Hallowe’en) are just around the corner. In the middle of everything going on, there’s not enough time to scrapbook by the traditional method. Even digital scrapbooking takes a little bit of time to sit down and organize everything.

However, the Project Life® by Stampin’ Up!® system makes it all easy. In just a minute or two, you can have a whole set of pages ready to add pictures – and you don’t even need to trim them from the typical 4” x 6” size if you don’t want to!

I admit, this page took me more than a minute… I had to hunt down the Glue Dots (103683) to stick the sequins on the top card. Other than that, and picking out the cards to go in the photo pocket page from the Project Life® 6” x 8” Photo Pocket Pages Pack (135297), the page is ready for photos and journaling. Everything you see in the photo pocket page comes from the Seasonal Snapshots Project Life® Card Collection (135830) and the Seasonal Snapshots Project Life® Accessory Pack (135832).

Busy Woman Thanksgiving Page Back-Visit

We always take a picture of everyone around the dinner table at Thanksgiving. My idea was to list the names of the people on the “Gather Together” card, then slip the photo in behind it, facing out. A picture of the photographer can fit on one of the 3” x 4” cards on the back. You can also add what each one is thankful for on the card with their names… or on the other journaling cards front and back. When you’re ready, stick the pages in either a Cherry (135834) or Espresso (135293) Project Life® 6” x 8” Album! These albums fit very neatly on a bookshelf and have handy label holder for you to identify them.

To order what you need to get your own Busy Woman Album ready, just click on the Order Online Button in the right sidebar or on any of the product links in this article. You’ll receive 3am Stamper Rewards for every $30 purchased. You can also qualify for Stampin’ Rewards from Stampin’ Up!® if your order exceeds $150.

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