Make it Monday Scrapbooking – Back to School

Today I’m excited to be a part of the Make It Monday Scrapbooking Blog Hop! With school starting in just a few short weeks, we’re giving you ideas for creating your Back to School pages.

First Day of School 2014 Scrapbook LayoutThis was the First Day of School last year. My youngest son started middle school, which in our district means he started a full schedule of changing classes throughout the day. When he came home and showed me his handwritten schedule of classes I knew it belonged in his school scrapbook (especially with the cute misspelling!).

First Day of School 2014 Handwriting

He doesn’t like to write so this was a perfect chance to showcase this little piece of him on a scrapbook page-all I had to do was get out of the way.

The schedule was written on a half sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ notebook paper. That takes up a good-sized footprint on the page. I decided it worked best up in the top left corner.

First Day of School 2014 Scrapbook page Close up

To balance the page, I put the picture in the bottom right corner. I grabbed some coordinating papers from my stash of school supplies and layered them together. Having the big strip run from top to bottom on the right literally connects the two most important elements on the page: the schedule and the picture.

I LOVE that book paper and because I wanted it to be seen, I cut an oversized photo mat. I used 3D foam adhesive to attach it to the page so I could tuck the notebook paper behind it.

With several patterns working on the page, I used a white photo mat for the picture to help it stand out and also connect it to the notebook page the schedule was written on. Repeating the white circle in the 6th grade title, gave me the visual triangle that makes the page feel balanced.

First Day of School 2014 Title

Finally there were a LOT of lines and right angles on this page. I definitely needed a little somethin’ somethin’ to break it up. I searched my embellishments and found these cute flags. I think they were travel themed, so I just used the back side and no one is the wiser. well except you and me! You can keep a secret, can’t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Are you ready to add your child’s handwriting to your Back to School page? Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Their handwriting is the focus point. Since most paper kids use in the school is around 8 1/2″ x 11″, it’s going to take up a good portion of your layout. That makes your job easy! Place the rest of your elements around it and let the handwriting shine. I used a standard 4 x 6 photo here, but if your child’s paper is bigger, a small wallet size school picture would work perfectly.

2. Don’t have a handwritten element to use? I totally lucked out when my son brought this home, but you can create your own element on the page. If you have a younger student, you can have them write their name and grade. The great part about that? You get to determine the size it will take up on your page! Having them write their name every year on a school page is a wonderful way to see how their writing changes throughout their school career.

3. Break up the lines. There are a whole bunch of straight lines and 90 degree angles on this page. And that’s okay, but adding a few elements that aren’t square gives the page some pop. The circle mat for the title and the flags give this page more interest. Don’t have flags in your stash? For a school page, you could use an apple, stars, arrows or even an oversized letter will give you that something extra that takes your page from ordinary to extraordinary.

Make It Monday Blog Badge

Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to visit my scrappy friends on the Make It Monday Blog Hop for more inspiration for your Back to School pages:

Melissa Shanhun shares a bright layout for Back to School.

Alison Day shows a simple grid layout that leaves room for journaling those school memories,

Beth Soler is sharing how she is getting her bulletin board ready to motivate her students for the new school year.

Connie Hanks beating the back-to-school craziness with pre-making kiddo love notes!


Does Scrapbooking Pass the Test?

posted in: Just thinking, Scrapbooking | 10

Bad things happen.

They seem to be happening more often in our world lately (or we’re all just more aware).

They happen to all of us. Earlier this month one of the scrapbooking’s biggest designers Heidi Swapp lost her son.ย  He was born just weeks after my oldest son. That hits close to home and I can’t imagine what she must going through. You can look at Heidi’s scrapbook pages and see that this child was loved. It’s heartbreaking to think about that type of loss.

A family in our city lost their lives this week. There was a shooting a movie theater a few days ago. And, last week 5 members of the military lost their lives on our own soil by the hands of someone they enlisted to protect and defend.

When bad things happen, it makes us reevaluate our lives.

I remember when 9/11 happened. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom and was also a consultant for a direct sales/in home party type of business. The company was great and continues to offer great opportunities to women to build their own business. The problem was me. The day after that horrific day I said good-bye to my husband as he began what would become a year-long deployment with his Navy reserve unit. Suddenly, trying to sell a tube of lipstick to someone didn’t feel right to me.

You know what I did during those long hours of not understanding what was happening and what our future was going to look like? And, the even longer hours of acting as a single parent and worrying about my husband?

I scrapbooked.

Granted, I didn’t do much journaling during that time because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. But, I did crop pictures and create borders and design pages. These being the early days of my scrapbooking hobby, these are far from my “best” pages. And you know what?

That’s okay.

Sometimes, it’s not a globally bad thing that happens. Sometimes, it’s a bad thing that just rocks your world. When my grandmother died unexpectedly, you know where I found comfort?

My scrapbooks.

For her 80th birthday, I made her a scrapbook filled old pictures and new pictures. When I gave it to her and her eyes lit up, it was worth every single second I spent on it. Then when she was gone, I was able to go back through those pages with an even greater appreciation. I know her friends and our family enjoyed looking through those pages and being reminded of all the good times. The gift I made for her came back to twofold.

For me, scrapbooking passes the test. The Test of the Bad Times and Horrific Loss. I’m never going to regret the time I spend making a page. I’m never going to regret the time I spend looking at these pages with my kids, family or friends. I’m never going to regret telling more of my story and the story of my family.

I know that I am truly blessed in this life. I could not be more grateful for a hobby that allows me to capture those blessings and show my appreciation for them. I hope that my kids can see how blessed they are. And, I hope it inspires them to pass those blessings along to others, because bad things do happen but I think we can be encouraged that it hasn’t always been this way and won’t always be this way.

In the darkest of times, my scrapbooks remind me that life can be good and will be good again.

Scrapbooking not only stands the test of time, it stands the test of MY time.




P.S. Mom, don’t worry. I’m good! I guess since I am in such a good place at the moment, I’m struck with all the pain others are currently facing. I’m using this space to process that and start a conversation in case anyone else needs to process it too. <3






Christmas in July Daily Deals

posted in: Scrapbook Classes | 0

Aww, Christmas – my favorite holiday!

Aww, July – my favorite month of the year!

Combining the two for Christmas in July? That’s better than a no-calorie mint chocolate chip brownie sundae!

The thing about celebrating Christmas in July is nobody is actually expecting you to buy them anything. So, when you see all those specials out there this month, you can grab them all for yourself. Am I right?

xmas-july-670x670Layout a Day* has the perfect way to celebrate Christmas in July. Each day you can pick up a different class at a discount of 60%, 70% or even 80% off.

Some of these deals are less than $5!

That’s a no-brainer.

Click HERE.

Bookmark the Christmas in July page and check back often to find the perfect little gifty for yourself.

Who knows maybe that gift you give yourself will help you create a gift for someone else for Christmas in December.

The gift that keeps on giving. What could be better than that?




* This is an affiliate link. If you click it, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As the mother of two teenage boys, my wallet thanks you! ๐Ÿ˜‰



Scrapbooking Family Holidays – Ethan Eve

Most of us scrapbookers scrap the big holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays – but what about those lesser known days and traditions? Do you have holidays that only apply to your family?

We have a few in our family, but my favorite is Ethan Eve!

Ethan Eve

I did a post on Kelli Eve a few days ago and received some fun comments, so I thought you might enjoy knowing the origin.

Did you ever have a moment with someone when you knew you were going to remember what they said your whole life?

This was one of those moments.

It was the day before Ethan’s birthday 2012. I was pulling out of the garage to take him to school and he declared it was Ethan Eve. I stopped the car, took his picture and came home and scrapped the page. (It was a Layout A Day month, so I had added motivation to get it on paper right away. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

And so, Birthday Eve has stuck. We’ve had Ethan Eve, Chet Eve (2 of those each year. lol) and Kelli Eve. We’ve wished our family Happy Grandma Eve, Lucy Eve, Andy Eve, you get the idea. It always makes us smile.

Do you have your own family holidays? Here are three tips for getting a page like this in your scrapbooks:

1. Keep it simple. This type of page is all about the story. I grabbed a patterned paper scrap for my inspiration and then I pulled other scraps that matched that piece and cut them all in to strips of varying size. I added the photo and the title with a small accent sticker and I was done in less than 30 minutes. (Of course, if you want to bling it up, by all means go ahead, but don’t let the need for bling get in the way of getting the story documented.)

2. Tell the origin of your family holiday. Who doesn’t love an origin story? Just like finding out how a superhero got her powers, journal about how your holiday came be.

3. No picture? No problem. I was lucky enough to take a picture at the moment this happened, but most of the events and words that end up in our family lexicon don’t come at picture perfect moments. Don’t let that keep you from creating a page. Use a picture of a current celebration. Use any picture of the person or people who created your holiday. And, you can always do a journaling only page with no picture. (Really, you can!)

Tell me about one of your family celebrations in the comments and then take some time today to document one of your family’s special celebrations. Explain the origin. Describe how you celebrate. Get it down on paper.

You’ll be glad you did!


Christmas in July – Shimelle Laine’s The Perfect Collection

Run, don’t walk, to today’s Christmas in July Daily Deal at Layout A Day*!

Shimelle Laine - The Perfect Collection


This is one of my favorite True Scrap classes ever! You can see my previous posts about it here, here and here. (Yes, three posts about it. I LOVE it that much!)

Shimelle shows you an easy way to take one collection of paper and get a whole album of layouts out of it. There’s nothing better for making your way through your stash of patterned paper.

You can easily use one of those kits that’s just been lying about your scrap area or you can even create one of your own:

  • Decide on a color palette.
  • Go search for coordinating paper in your stash.
  • Create your own kit and get it used up with just this one class.
  • Repeat the process and bust your stash.

Two birds with one stone. That’s my kind of scrapbooking.

The class includes a 40 minute video with Shimelle’s examples and a downloadable handout complete with cutting guides.

For $4.95 today, it’s a no-brainer.

Here’s just a few of the layouts I created with this class:

Basic Grey PB&J Collection -

Basic Grey PB&J Collection -



But it’s only good for today! So hurry! Click HERE and click on today’s date 7/6/2015.


Are you seeing this post after July 6th? No worries! There’s a new deal each day this month. Check out what’s in store today. Click HERE!


*This post contains affiliate links. If you click them, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. It’s just a way for you to say, “Hey! Kelli sent me here!” Thank you!

43 Things About Me at 43

posted in: Journaling, Layouts, Tips | 2

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of JulyTomorrow is my birthday, so in my house that also makes today Kelli Eve. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In honor of Kelli Eve, I’m posting 43 Things About Me at 43. (Since tomorrow I won’t be 43 anymore. Nothing like coming in under the deadline!)

43 Things by Kelli Panique

This is the third year I’ve created a layout like this and you would think that not much would change from year to year in your 40’s but it’s fun to see what major things have changed (where I live) and what things stay the same (Still driving the same car). You can see 41 things HERE and 42 Things HERE.

Here’s the 43 list (in case you don’t have your magnifying glass handy to read that tiny writing!):

1. SO happy to live in BA again after 2 years in Humble, TX!

2. I still miss California.

3. Working more than ever as a Virtual Assistant from home.

4. This means I know more about Internet Marketing than I’d like.

5. Learning once again, I need to work on diet AND exercise if I’m going to lose weight.

6. My go-to lunch these days is a Grilled Chicken Salad.

7. When not having a salad, I’m usually having lunch with my hubby. Our fave places: Chilango’s & Olive Garden.

8. My favorite exercise classes are Zumba and R.I.P.P.E.D.

9. I tweaked my back on our 18th wedding anniversary (picking up a stupid box) and it still bothers me on & off.

10. I love to listen to Entertainment Weekly Radio.

11. I ROCK at Trivia Crack.

12. I’m leading a Bible Study with Pastor Scott, Dana Watt & Chris Tabberer.

13. I’ve learned so much about the Bible this year. I love it!

14. I LOVE being back at Heritage United Methodist Church & watching my boys grow in their faith.

15. I still fell guilt over moving my boys away from their grandparents.

16. I never want to move again.

17. I have a teen LEARNING TO DRIVE. ACK!!

18. Brookside Chocolate is my current favorite.

19. I try to walk 5000 steps a day.

20. I love reading the Outlander series of books.

21. I read the Outlander books really slowly because I don’t want them to end.

22. The Outlander TV series is *almost* as good as the books. Certainly one of the best adaptations of a book ever.

23. I find Chet’s on-call schedule frustrating at times, but it’s way better than being deployed.

24. I still love scrapbooking but I’ve had a hard time finding my groove since we moved.

25. We have two cats and one dog. Harley & Jenney like each other. Popper tolerates Jenney. Popper pretends Harley doesn’t exist.

26. Favorite TV shows of the moment: Outlander, blackish, Big Bang Theory, Hot in Cleveland (I like to laugh.)

27. Current movie obsessions: Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 (Love Actually & About Time also saved on the DVR.)

28. I drive a 2004 Black Suburban with a mysterious gas cap problem.

29. While I work, I watch the wildlife in the front yard – bunnies, bird, cats & dogs.

30. Still trying to decide what I’ll do when I grow up.

31. I’d always hoped to take my kids to Europe. Instead they’ve gone to the Caribbean.

32. I really want to go to Salzburg again.

33. The letters E, S, C and N are worn off my laptop keyboard.

34. I prefer to not use the Oxford comma. I think it’s clunky.

35. I did yoga for the first time…and so did my hubby. (We liked it!)

36. I think being a mom is the most bittersweet thing on Earth.

37. I love being a two boy mom and wouldn’t change it for the world.

38. No, I’m trying for a girl.

39. I’m still a Daddy’s girl.

40. I’m always happy to listen to 80’s music.

41. I like driving in the car with my boys.

42. I enjoy a good Sunday afternoon nap.

43. I also enjoy a good snow day.


Whew! There it is! 43 completely random things about me. (This will apparently be known as my Outlander themed page…) One of the things I like about doing this sort of page is that most of these are not things I would dedicate a whole scrapbook page to, but they are a few of the things that make me ME.

Are you ready to create your random things page? I included some tips with last year’s page but here are three more to get you started:

1. Don’t think you have to create a whole list in one sitting. Start your list on a scrap piece of paper and add to it as ideas pop in your head until you have the number of quirky things you want on your layout. No deadlines, no pressure.

2. Once you start, it’s easier than you think. If you get stuck, here are some ideas to jog your journaling: What’s your favorite movie/TV show/restaurant? What’s the first thing you do every morning? What kind of car do you drive? What kind of car do you wish you drove? What pets do you have? What are your favorite hot dog/hamburger/pizza toppings? Remember, these are just fun facts that people may or may not know about you.

3. Don’t like your handwriting, type your journaling. I’m a huge proponent of getting your handwriting on your pages because it’s such a part of you, but if that’s what’s keeping you from getting a slice of your life in your scrapbooks then by all means pull out the computer, type it, print it and get it on the page. Your story is the most important thing here.

So, what do you think? Start your list, create your page and link it up here. I’d love to learn more about you!

Happy International Panic Day! (Or is it Panique Day?)

posted in: Cards, Events, Scrapbook Classes | 0

Did you know there’s a day to celebrate panic?

International Panic Day

I didn’t. And, as my friend Lain pointed out, in France it would be Panique Day! So, in my honor she sent out this message today:

“Maybe they made a mistake on my calendar and it’s really PICNIC day. Or we could celebrate the awesomely awesome Kelli Panique, whose last name means “panic” if you’re hanging out on the third etage of the Eiffel Tower.

In any case, I’m all for an excuse for a good celebration. So today I will lift a glass to Kelli, to the Eiffel Tower, and heck, why not? To panic.

In celebration, I’m also knocking $40 off the regular rate for True Stamp 2015 on March 28. I told you I’m always looking for an excuse to celebrate! That brings the cost for six LIVE classes from luminaries like Technique Tuesday, Simon Says Stamp, Lawn Fawn and more down to only $59. That’s less than $10 a class… AND you get full replays, yeehaw!ย Plus some other fun goodies and discounts, of course.

Go here:


True Stamp 2015

and use code PANIC at checkout to save 40 percent on your registration!

Join me in this once-a-year celebration. And while you’re at it, do something that freaks you out a little bit today. It’s good for you. :)”

So, how could I not include you my good reader in the celebration of Panique Day?!

If you’re a stamper, you owe it to yourself to check out this line up:

sponsors-all-in-oneThat’s less than $10 per class. You’d be lucky to take just two classes at a convention for $59, but with True Stamp you’ll get 6 classes plus replays and you don’t even have to leave your house!

Hurry though before Lain panics and realizes what a steal this is! This deal expires at midnight PST tonight!

So keep calm and stamp on!

(No panicking necessary!)



Load Two Ways

One of my favorite scrappy months of the year is here!

Layout a Day February began yesterday! This month I was asked to design a few pages as samples for the daily prompts. Today was one of my days.

This month’s theme is Once Upon a Time celebrating the stories and books of our youth. Today’s prompt was to do a layout based on Goodnight, Moon.

Here’s my first take on the prompt:

LOAD2 - You Can Come Up by Kelli Panique

I don’t have a particular story about this book. It wasn’t one I read as a child and not one my kids latched on to, so I decided to take it in the direction of a bedtime routine.

In this layout, I told a little story and captured a little moment between my son and me. (It’s so little I don’t even think he realizes it happening.) It’s the story of how through most of his childhood, my youngest son’s bedroom has been on the second floor and when he’s ready for bed he’s always called to me and said, “Mom, you can come up!” In our new house, his room is on the first floor but he still tells me to come up! It’s sweet and I know that at age 11, these moments are all too fleeting.

So I did the original layout back in November so it would be ready as a sample, but that means if I still want to complete LOAD for this month, I had to create new layout. I could have gone off prompt, but I keep saying how much I enjoy the prompts I decided to challenge myself to do another layout based on the same theme.

Here’s my second take on the prompt created today:

LOAD2 - Time Flies by Kelli Panique

This time I went with a bigger story. I found some pictures of my kids when they were much younger and our routines were much different. There were stories to read and certain stuffed animals had to be present in order to sleep and sometimes, we just couldn’t part with our favorite toy of the day. Had I scrapped our bedtime routine when they were that little, I imagine I would have told a slightly different story, but today I compared then and now with a little nostalgia.

So, there you have it. One prompt, two ways. One bigger story and one smaller story. Where would you take this prompt? Have you used one idea to tell different stories? Can you tell a bigger story and a smaller story about the same sort of event? I bet you can and I’d love to hear about it.

Share your comments and layouts below!

Layout a Day 215 Blog Hop!

Layout a Day February 2015 aka LOAD215 is almost upon us! We get started next Sunday and I’m thrilled to be part of the traditional pre-LOAD blog hop!

LOAD215 Blog Hop

If this is your first time here, welcome to Use It Scrapbooking! I’m Kelli and my goal is get you using those scrappy supplies instead of just collecting them.

  • The best way to use them? Create layouts.
  • The best way to create layouts? Get motivation to create them daily.
  • Where can you get daily inspiration? LOAD! That’s why I love it so much!

For the uninitiated, LOAD is a scrapbooking challenge where we scrapbook a layout a day every day in February. The challenge is run by Lain Ehmann and every day she sends us a prompt to get us started and we post a layout by midnight that same day. Easy-peasy, right?

This will be my 14th LOAD and Lain asked posed the question:

What do you wish you’d known before your first LOAD?

Well, I signed up for my first LOAD just a day or two before the challenge started. I joined because I was finishing up a class, Me: The Unabridged Version. I thought if I had a daily deadline I would be more likely to get the project finished. And, I did and that’s a wonderfully useful way to do LOAD.

A layout from my first LOAD
A layout from my first LOAD

But, what I didn’t know and what I didn’t expect was how fun it would be see everyone following the prompts and going on the same journey, but yet one that was uniquely individual. There is a bond that forms with your fellow scrappers when you share your experiences each day. You get to know one another and frankly, it’s a big motivation to get your daily layout done when you know your friends are there waiting to see it and you get to see how they interpreted that day’s prompt too.

A layout from my last LOAD
A layout from my last LOAD

So, my advice? Follow the prompts. Open yourself up to the journey. Sure, have a back-up plan for those days when there’s not a lot of time to scrap, but be open to each day’s prompt and let it lead your stories. You’ll be surprised by the places you’ll go.

If you haven’t joined LOAD yet, we would love to have you! It’s a scrapbooking experience like no other. You can join here: LOAD215 – Once Upon a Time

Want more LOAD tips? Here’s the full list of veterans LOADsters giving their expert tips:

Truth Scrap Flash Sale

posted in: Events, Scrapbook Classes, Scrapbooking | 0

Do you express your faith in your crafts?

Have you been wanting to learn more about Bible journaling and faith-based art journaling?

Would you like to but you don’t know where to start?

Do you like to discounts on scrapbooking and papercrafting classes?

Here’s an event that’s right up your alley:

Truth Scrap

Next Saturday, I’m so excited to be joining Stephanie Ackerman, Donna Salazar, Erin Bassett, Andrea Chebeleu, Heather Greenwood, Liz Hicks, Shanna Noel and Lain Ehmann for a day filled with classes all about creating art from your faith at Truth Scrap!

Classes include:

  • Faithbooking: How (and Why) to Share Your Faith in Your Scrapbook
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Illustrating Your Journaling Bible
  • Cross-ology: Art and Heart for the Home
  • #ARTWORSHIP: Art Journaling Response to Jesus
  • Hope Notes: Creating and Sharing Messages of Faith
  • The Art of Being HUMAN: A Creative Exploration of Our Basic Being and Purpose
  • Words to Live By: A Handmade Art Journal

With scrapbooking, art journaling and home decor classes, there is a little something for everyone during this day long event. The best part? It’s all online so you don’t even have to get out of your PJ’s to enjoy the festivities!

If this sounds fun to you (and what doesn’t sound fun about spending a day crafting?), then act fast. The Truth Scrap Flash Sale is going on now through noon tomorrow Monday, January 26th. Here’s what you need to do to get take advantage of this quick sale:

1. Click here to register: Truth Scrap 2015

2. Click on the Add to Cart Button.

3. Add code MIRACLE to take $40 off the regular price of Truth Scrap.

See you there!


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Does Scrapbooking Pass the Test?

| |

Bad things happen. They seem to be happening more often in our world lately (or we’re all just more aware). They happen to all of us. Earlier this month one of the scrapbooking’s... READ MORE

Christmas in July Daily Deals

| |

Aww, Christmas – my favorite holiday! Aww, July – my favorite month of the year! Combining the two for Christmas in July? That’s better than a no-calorie mint chocolate chip brownie sundae! The... READ MORE

Scrapbooking Family Holidays – Ethan Eve

| |

Most of us scrapbookers scrap the big holidays – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays – but what about those lesser known days and traditions? Do you have holidays that only apply to your family? We... READ MORE

43 Things About Me at 43

| |

Happy 4th of July! Tomorrow is my birthday, so in my house that also makes today Kelli Eve. ๐Ÿ˜‰ In honor of Kelli Eve, I’m posting 43 Things About Me at 43. (Since... READ MORE

Load Two Ways

| |

One of my favorite scrappy months of the year is here! Layout a Day February began yesterday! This month I was asked to design a few pages as samples for the daily prompts.... READ MORE