Summer Reading Log

Hello!  Jennie McGarvey with you today to share with you a fun craft that you can complete with a kid that is both fun to make and completely functional!


I don’t know about you, but my kids really do love using my paper crafting tools.  From my Punch Boards, to my Evolution Advanced—the kids love to help with these tools!

So, what do you do when you have school aged kids who love tools?  Create something useful with those tools like a reading log!  My kids read books over the summer and then will take tests on those books when they go back to school.  This handy little mini album will help them keep track of the books they read, the authors and a few details.

I only needed a few supplies to create this album.  First I started with my Cinch and some Indian Summer Albums Made Easy Journaling Cards.  I picked out ones that had lines, or would lend itself to note taking.


Not only did I used the cards from the kit, but I also added a couple of pieces of plain white card stock in case they wanted to draw their own pictures from the stories.


Then, we needed to embellish the cover.  It’s important they know exactly what this small album is for.  Even more perfect?  We were able to use the Evolution Advanced, dies, and papers from the Cake and Candles collection.



Those Cakes and Candles Alpha Block Stickers add the perfect touch to the front of the album.


Isn’t this a fun little album?  Can you think of any other uses that a kid might like to have a mini album of their own?  Maybe not school related but just for fun?  Make sure you share with us on Facebook or tag us on Instagram to share with us how you’re using We R Memory Keepers products with the kids.



Cake and Candles Alpha Block Stickers
Cake and Candles collection
Evolution Advanced
Indian Summer Albums Made Easy Journaling Cards

Create a Cool Winter Effect

Since I posted about my anticipation for the coming spring season on Tuesday, I didn’t want Old Man Winter to feel slighted so I thought I would share an easy way to create a cool winter effect on your projects.

He Still Loves To Play by Aly Dosdall

You can use this technique on layouts, cards, or other paper craft projects. All you need are a few basic We R tools. I love that I can use my dies and embossing folders in my Evolution Advanced without pulling out a ton of different platforms and mats. I simply adjust the dial to the correct setting. Awesome.

winter effect supplies

I chose a white wash wood grain paper from the Indian Summer collection for my background. Then I cut out some snowflakes from another semi-solid white (-ish) paper from the same collection using the Snowflake Punch Die and my Evolution Advanced. Next, I dry embossed some coordinating white (-ish) cardstock with the Polka Dot Embossing Folder, and then cut out several different size circles from the embossed paper.

He Still Loves To Play by Aly Dosdall_close 1

I sprinkled the snowflakes and embossed circles around on the right half of my background paper and then added vertical stitching lines with my sewing machine. I splattered some dark calico ink around for some contrast, and then added some patterned paper layers and strips, my photos, and some embellishments.

He Still Loves To Play by Aly Dosdall_close 2

I finished off the page with a die cut title and some computer generated journaling strips. I love how the circles and snowflakes add some subtle tone-on-tone texture without overpowering the focal point of the page–perfect for winter projects of all kinds.



Evolution Advanced
Snowflake Punch Dies
Polka Dot Embossing Folders
Indian Summer Paper Pack
Indian Summer Embossed Stickers
Enamel Shapes–Neutral

DIY Mini Notebooks

For years I’ve carried a mini notebook around in my purse. Despite how much I rely on modern technology (read my iPhone) my mini notebook always comes in handy for something–from keeping my preschooler entertained in the grocery store, to taking notes, to writing down funny things my kids say, to making grocery lists. Don’t know what I’d do without one. So…when my current notebook ran out of paper of course I could have bought one at the store for a buck, but making one is so much more fun. And it looks cuter too!

DIY Notebooks by Aly Dosdall 1

I used some leftover Albums Made Easy 3×4 journaling cards from the Indian Summer collection to create my notebooks. The journaling cards make for quick and easy covers, and they break up the plain lined paper inside the notebooks as well. It was easy to find the cards I was looking for in my Albums Made Easy Card Cabinet Organizer.

DIY notebooks_select cards

I simply trimmed down some 8×8 Chipboard to fit the 3×4 journaling cards and rounded the corners with my 3/8″ Corner Chomper. I adhered the journaling cards to the chipboard, paying careful attention to the edges and corners.

DIY Notebooks by Aly Dosdall 2

Then I cut up some loose leaf lined paper into 3×4 pieces, rounded the corners, mixed in some journaling cards, and bound it all between the chipboard covers using my Cinch tool.

DIY Notebooks by Aly Dosdall 3

These little notebooks are for me to keep, but they’d also make great little gifts for friends, neighbors, co-workers, or teachers. Creative cheers!



Indian Summer Journaling Cards
Albums Made Easy Card Cabinet Organizer
8×8 Chipboard
Binding Wire–3/4″ Gold
The Cinch
Corner Chomper–1/8″ and 3/8″

I Spy We R!

We love to see the amazing projects created by our fabulous blog readers, fans, and customers. It’s awesome what your creative minds come up with! We’re pleased today to share some beautiful scrapbook layouts featuring, well…you!

Photogs by StampinRooster

We love this grid-style layout we found by user StampinRooster using our Indian Summer collection. All those gorgeous layers add so much depth to her inspirational page. Be sure to check out more of her lovely projects in her gallery.



Good Heart by Renee Zwirek

Renee wowed us with the gorgeous flowers she created using the Flower Punch Board. All the white and gold layers are such a stunning design element! To see more of Renee’s work, visit her gallery here.

GoodHeartLayout1_Renee Zwirek


Flowers I Love You by Lee-Anne Thornton

Lee-Anne’s graduated heart rings totally caught our eye. The black background really makes the papers from our Love Notes collection pop. What a fabulous design Lee-Anne! (Check out Lee-Anne’s online gallery here.)

I Love You _Lee-Anne Thornton


Suprise Me! by ScatteredConfetti user ScatteredConfetti created this simply stunning page using our Love Notes collection. We find the little details–paint splatters, stitching, small paper tears, and her perfect placement of embellishments–absolutely charming. Be sure to visit ScatteredConfetti’s gallery.

Surprise Me_Scattered Confetti


Our final page is another one made with our Love Notes collection. Did you notice that the last three layouts were all made using that collection, but none of them is Valentine’s Day themed? We pride ourselves in creating themed collections with plenty of generic patterns. Versatility is awesome.


Beautiful Flower by Wendy Antenucci

What’s not to love about Wendy’s page? Everything about this is just awesome–from the stitched triangles, to the beautiful layers, to the gorgeous photos, and the fun title work. Yep. We love it. See more of Wendy’s fab designs here.

BeautifulFlower4_Wendy Antenucci


I don’t know about you, but after seeing this I’m ready to get creative. Thank you ladies for sharing your inspiring pages with us! 

Spider Specimen Art

One of my favorite genres of Halloween DIY decor is the specimen art. Maybe it’s the creepy factor, or just the perfectly lined up rows and columns, but I just love a good piece of specimen art! Here’s a piece I made for Halloween using the Spider Shape Die and some papers from the Shine and Indian Summer collections. Spider Specimen Art by Aly Dosdall I bought a 12 x 12 frame at my local craft store (using some coupons of course), and placed a piece of 12 x 12 cork board in it. Then I layered a piece of 12 x 12 chevron patterned paper from the Indian Summer collection over the cork board. Spider Specimen Art by Aly Dosdall_close 1 I die cut 36 spiders from several black and brown 6×6 papers from the Shine and Indian Summer collections using the Spider Shape Die and my Evolution. I selected eight different papers–half semi-solids and half with patterns to create a nice contrast and just enough visual interest. I arranged them in rows and columns of six, layering three small black foam squares beneath each one for plenty of dimension. Spider Specimen Art by Aly Dosdall_close 2 To increase the creepy factor, and to add another element of visual interest, I stuck a dressmakers pin into each spider and through the cork board background. I love the subtle but spooky look they create! This was a fun and easy project, and I can’t wait to get this on my living room shelf. Are you a specimen art fan?



Spider Shape Die
Indian Summer Paper Pack
Indian Summer 6×6 Paper Pad
Shine 6×6 Paper Pad

I Spy We R!

Good Monday morning We R fans! Last week as I was browsing the web for crafty inspiration, I spied some amazing projects using We R collections and tools that blew me away. I had so much fun seeing the clever ways crafters use our products that I just had to share some of their wonderful creations with you! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the eye candy.

I spy…our Indian Summer collection! Lee-Anne Thornton‘s stamping and paper distressing add such rich texture to her beautiful fall layout. And those beautiful die cut leaves highlight that adorable photo perfectly! You can see more layouts featuring We R Memory Keepers project in Lee-Anne’s gallery at HERE.

Lee-Anne Thornton

The Watercolor paper from the Indian Summer collection is one of my favorites. I love how Hee Sun Kim added ink splatters to her watercolor background to add even more depth. Her single photo cluster design is an effective complement to her beautiful background.

Hee Sun Kim

Jan Hobbins’ “Hello Fall” layout is a mixed media masterpiece. The embossing and blended colors she included add such rich texture and depth–perfect for fall! And those layered die cut Indian Summer journaling cards are the perfect complement to her beautiful mixed media leaves. Yum!

Jan Hobbins

I spy…our Corner Chomper! Lisa Harrolle’s simply beautiful “Thinking of You” autumn branch card features two opposite rounded corners rather than the typical four. I love the slightly unexpected feel that adds to the design.

Lisa Harrolle

I spy…our Sew Easy tool! Don’t you love how Shannon Miller hand stitched her grid design with orange floss to highlight those darling dear photos? Such a clean eye-catching design, and I love the kraft background.

Shannon Miller

I spy…our Teresa Collins Studio Gold Dot album! I love how Lynda Crust attached beautiful ribbon and trim to her album cover. It adds that extra something special and really makes her beautiful album stand out! Try using your crafty skills to decorate the outside of your album. So fun!


Thanks to these talented crafters for allowing me to share their work with you. Be sure to check out their galleries and blogs in the above links for more fabulous inspiration. Are you as inspired as I am?

~Aly Dosdall


Indian Summer
Corner Chomper
Sew Easy
Teresa Collins Studio Gold Albums

Fall Layout

The leaves in the nearby mountains are already turning fall colors, and pretty soon they’ll start turning down here–that is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the beautiful fall leaves and colors (not so much the raking part) and was so glad I captured that in this photo that I scrapbooked recently. My most favorite part about this photo is that my daughter and her aunt are playing baseball together and enjoying the fall weather, but my next favorite part is that the yard is covered in yummy fall yellow leaves!

Fall Ball by Aly Dosdall


I decided that I wanted to replicate the carpet of leaves in the photo on my page background, so I die cut several leaves using the Maple Leaves Nesting Dies, the Leaves Punch Dies, and my electronic die cutting machine to create a lovely fall backdrop. I scattered them around my white-washed fence background paper, mixing the sizes and styles of leaves.

Fall Ball by Aly Dosdall_close


Fall is the perfect excuse to add lots of fun texture to projects, so I used my Sew Easy tool to add some hand stitching to the die cut leaves. I simply rolled the Sew Easy with the straight stitch head through the center of my leaves to create a vein look. Then I hand stitched a basic back stitch through the holes with double strands of white floss.

fall leaves stitching

Designer tip: I use a small piece of scotch tape on the back of my paper to secure my stitching.

fall leaves tape back

Try creating your own fall backdrop and including it on a fall craft project. Be sure to post a link to your fall projects in the comments below.



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Indian Summer Chipboard Alphabet Stickers
Maple Leaves Nesting Dies
Leaves Punch Dies
Lollipop Alphabet Die
File Tab Punch
Sew Easy
Enamel Shapes–Cool

Mini Fall Canvas

Fall officially begins next week and I can’t wait! There are so many thing I love about the fall–pumpkin patches, corn mazes, cool weather, fall leaves, hot cocoa, and of course fall crafting! Since fall is so wonderful I thought it would be fun to spend this week sharing some fall project ideas. I’ll start things off with a bitty piece of fall decor perfect for your mantle or other decorative shelf in your home.

Mini Fall Canvas by Aly Dosdall

I grabbed a 4×4 inch canvas and mini wooden easel from my local craft store and spray painted the easel chocolate brown. Then I grabbed a scrap of burlap, a wooden button, some We R embellishments, and some of my favorite papers from the Indian Summer collection (which is perfect for fall projects by the way).

Mini Fall Canvas by Aly Dosdall_close 1

First off I wrapped a strip of Hazelnut Washi Tape around the bottom of the canvas. Then I glued a small piece of burlap along the left side. I love the texture and dimension that the burlap adds to fall projects. Then I die cut some fall leaves from my Indian Summer 6×6 Paper Pad using the Maple Leaves Nesting Dies, and layered them with some additional papers and die cut stickers. I added some Baker’s Twine, a button, and some Indian Summer Chipboard Alpha Stickers. I love the texture of the faux leather alphas!

Mini Fall Canvas by Aly Dosdall_close 2

With the small canvas all the layers and textures create a nice and cozy fall feel! Be sure to check back tomorrow for another fall project.



Indian Summer 6×6 Paper Pad
Indian Summer Chipboard Alphabet Stickers
Baker’s Twine–Brown
Enamel Shapes–Neutral
Maple Leaves Nesting Dies
Ticket Punch Dies

Hexagon Wall Art

I love the look of handmade quilts, but I don’t have the time or the skills to make them.  My paper craft hobby takes up most of my free time these days! So, I decided to use my paper craft skills and tools to create the same look in a home decor piece. Take a look at my paper quilted hexagon wall art.

Hexagon Wall Art by Aly Dosdall

To get a quilted look I used the 2″ hexagon die from the Hexagon Nesting Dies set and cut several hexagons from various Indian Summer patterned papers. I selected a couple of multi-color papers, and then some semi-solid papers to balance them. After placing some of the hexagons I decided to use a lighter brown than my original choice–that seemed to fit better with the look I was going for. I adhered all of the die cut hexagons to a piece of poster board that I cut to fit inside my frame.

place hexagons

To keep the design engaging I avoided a repeated pattern and placed the colors so that there is a good sense of balance in the project. Since my frame is a light color, I placed mostly colored papers along the edges of the piece for good contrast.

Hexagon Wall Art by Aly Dosdall_close

This project was fairly quick and easy, but I love the results! You could create a similar project with any size or color frame, and with other shapes such as squares or rectangles. Handmade quilts are great inspiration for design ideas. Give “paper quilting” a try on your next home decor project.



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Hexagon Nesting Dies

One Sketch, Two Ways

I love sketches! They’re so helpful when creating a project. They save time and effort by removing the guess work from the design process. Plus it’s always fun to see how many different interpretations come from the same sketch. So I decided to design a sketch and then create two projects from it, and share a few tips for altering sketches to fit your needs.

Indian Summer Card and Tag by Aly Dosdall

Here’s the sketch I created. It’s for a vertically oriented project (ie a card or tag) and contains some fun layering. I left some things open for interpretation since I prefer my sketches to allow for creative freedom and not be restricting in any way.

aly dosdall sketch

First I created a gift tag based on the sketch using the Indian Summer Paper Pack. The die cut AME 3×4 banner card at the top of the tag takes the place of the die cut heart overlay in the sketch. The sentiment on my tag is split by the border and a few enamel dots. The remainder of the tag basically follows the sketch. The tag dimensions are 3×6 inches.

Indian Summer Tag by Aly Dosdall

Next I created a birthday card based on the sketch using the Indian Summer Paper Pack again, but this time I focused on some different colors and papers in the collection. I also rotated the sketch 180 degrees, so the die cut overlay is in the bottom section of the card instead of the top (I cut out some of the arrows and triangles from the patterned paper with my craft knife to get a die cut look). The sentiment and banner flags are in the top left section of the card instead of the bottom right like the sketch shows. This card is 4×6 inches.

Indian Summer Cared by Aly Dosdall

Here are a few tips for using sketches:

  • Rotate the sketch on its side either way or completely upside-down
  • Flip the sketch horizontally or vertically
  • Swap out paper/embellishments for photos or visa versa
  • Swap around the placement of basic elements like photos, journaling, and the page title
  • If you need more photos than the sketch shows, divide a larger one into smaller ones
  • If you need less photos than the sketch shows, combine smaller ones into one larger one
  • Replace a single photo with a photo collage
  • To make a two page layout from a single page sketch, duplicate the original and then rotate or flip it to create the second page
  • To create a single page from a double page sketch, choose one of the two pages that best meets your needs and save the other for another project
  • To alter the size of your sketch (ie an 8 1/2×11 from a 12×12, or an 8×8 from a 12×12) reduce the size of the photos by 1 to 1 1/2 inches in height and width, and remove any elements that make the page feel crowded–less is more with smaller sizes

I hope these sketch tips are helpful for you and save you some time when creating projects. How about you–do you like to use sketches when creating projects? If you create a project using the sketch above, but sure to post a link in the comments section below.



Indian Summer Paper Pack
Indian Summer Chipboard Alphas
Indian Summer Journaling Cards
Enamel Shapes–Cool
Sew Easy Baker’s Twine–Aqua
Corner Chomper–1/8″ & 3/8″
Art Knife