CREDITS:

Digital scrap items in the header, layouts and sidebar are by Miss Mint at PeppermintCreative.com or Jen Wilson at JenWilsonDesigns.com

Monday, December 31, 2007

Layouts & Scrap Stuff



This is one of the Christmas template layouts I did. Aiden was so cute on Christmas morning! I really should do a LO about how he kept trying to get Molly's pink & purple toys that Santa left for her!

Okay, I seem to always have people asking me what my favorite or most-used products from PC are so I decided to make a list. I know a few of my friends are new to digiscrapping and probably wonder what to buy. I'm putting the things I would buy all over again in a heartbeat in bold as a MUST-HAVE. Here is my list:

Best $2 Coordinated Kits:

I use the Playground Pop kit the very most. I LOVE the paper stars in this kit and it has lots of boyish elements that I love. If you're going to scrap for a boy, I would consider this a must-have.

Party Pants is another that I use year-round. It is gender-neutral and great for scrapping anything. No matter what type of pages you are scrapping, this kit is a MUST-HAVE. I would spend my first $2 on this kit.

I have been surprised by how much I have used the Twinkle Toes kit on Aiden's baby pages. Again, this would be a great kit to have if you're scrapping baby boy pages but I know most of you already have it. The lime green paper swirls in this kit are great and they recolor easily, too.

If I was scrapping girl pages, Foxy Lady would be the girl kit I couldn't live without. I use the white paper heart on every other layout it seems. (See it in my blog header, under the purple binder clip?) This should top your buying list if you plan on doing girlie pages. (A close second would be Sweet Easter . The bright colors are gorgeous and the bows & doodle stickers will be used on countless pages!)

My Pick on Paper Packs:

There are some papers that I just can't scrap without. Cardboard Grunge is one of them. My boy pages have never looked better because of this pack. (I would recommend the Holiday Mix Cardboard Grunge for girl pages, if you like the look & texture of the papers.)

I always like scrapping with holiday papers but I find myself returning to the same paper packs frequently. They are:

Pop Rock Graffiti - I used two of the papers from this pack in the layout above. I really like the bright colored stripes, the splatter paint paper, the perfect lime green dot paper and the piece of cardboard. I would list this as another MUST-HAVE, well worth the $3 price.

Oopsy Doodle - I use this a lot on boy pages. It's a great paper pack that I keep coming back to over and over. I've easily gotten my money's worth out of it.

October Rust - This is a fairly new collection but I have loved - and used - every single sheet at least twice. This is a MUST HAVE if you want to do any hybrid projects for your house. (It's also great for family pages.) The papers can be recolored and they have the most fabulous textures. Plus, you get 8 papers for $3.50, which makes the price per sheet less than other packs.

Sugar Dollhouse - The truth is I never use this paper pack because it is so darn girlie! But if that's what you're scrapping, then I would say this is a must-have. (When you view the product page, click on the pink link to see a layout using that kit. Is that not the cutest girl page ever?!!)

My Favortie Element Sets

You will notice some of these don't match up with my favorite paper packs. I like to mix elements from several different kits (unless I am scrapping to deliberately showcase new products.) These are the element packs I use the most:

Rebel One - BY FAR the coolest boy set I have ever found online. I use this stuff all the time! If you like a bit of grunge in your boy pages, I would suggest this set.

October Rust - This has all the leaves & things to make great fall pages. I used it to death in October & November and I still use the grungy frames & tags out of it.

Recycling Bin Bits - This is Miss Mint's best selling element set for a reason. It has lots of great basics: a staple, safety pin, binder clip, index cards for journaling, notebook paper, metal rings, a piece of ripped cardboard....it's a great element set.

Pop Rock Graffiti - I will be honest and say that I over-use the paint rings & splatters and masking tape pieces from this set and not much else. I do like the newspaper hearts & stars but I always seem to forget about them and use a Rebel One star instead. Still, I think this kit has great pieces for any layout and the paint smears alone make it a MUST-HAVE in my book!

The Best Embellishments

I am an embellishment junkie. This is where I spent the bulk of my money before I was on the CT. There are some that just make your pages look awesome. Here are the ones I absolutely cannot scrap without:

Paint Box - This may seem so random and I did skip over it once or twice before I bought it. Then I started putting the paint smears behind photos and titles (see the pictures off to the side.) Now I use these in nearly every layout. If you like how the paint smudges look, buy these! They're my number one MUST-HAVE! (Note: If you're buying the Pop Rock Graffiti Element Set, you might be able to skip this.....until you get tired of the same old paint smears and want some new ones!)

Mintage Frames - This is my favorite frame set. I like the vintage look. Pick them up if you love them, if not, keep reading!

Ultimate Frames - Once you get started scrapping you'll discover you need more frames. The $2 kits usually come with one but you don't want to use the same one for 10 layouts! This is the best mix of frames you can buy. There are tons to choose from and they come with straight or scalloped edges and with or without a cool, curled up drop-shadow effect. This element is a MUST-HAVE.

Felt Hearts - They seem so simple and boring, yet they're the perfect element. I use these a LOT. They recolor the easiest of any element and once you have them, you'll use them a hundred times over. (I like the felt stars, too, but since lots of kits come with stars in them, the heart set is the one you'll want to pick up first.)

Bead Factory 2 - Love these beads! I like set 2 because of the brighter colors. These really add depth to your pages and are gorgeous on girl pages. Some of the kits, like Sweet Easter, come with a strand of beads you can try out first. If you love them, buy the factory sets.

Doodle Arrows - Still kind of surprised by how often I use the arrows! These are handy if you like to journal a lot in your LO's and you want to point to specific, subtle things.

Rollie Ribbons - I thought these were silly at first, until I saw them in use. Now I add them to pages frequently. If you like the look I think you'll enjoy having them.

Rainbow Rhinestones - They're glittery and cool. I'm listing these as a girl page MUST-HAVE.

My Alpha Pics

Miss Mint would probably die if she heard this but I would suggest using the alphas in the element sets before you bought very many to see if you like using them. Some people just don't have the time to use alphas. I am often that way. I'd rather use the type tool and do one word in an alpha. Nevertheless, I love how alphas make a page look. Here are my favorites:

Grunge Stamp Alpha - Hands-down my favorite. I love how it looks. It's more stamped than it is grungy but it's definately great for boy pages. This is a must-have for me.

Scribbled Alpha - I don't use this as much just because everyone else uses it! It's adorable on boy and girl pages. I really like how cute it is. This one is a MUST-HAVE alpha in my book!

Mintage Alpha - This is my favorite alpha for monograms. I love to staple the letter A from this set on Aiden's pictures. It's a great all-around alpha that matches the mintage frames. If you like the look, get it!

Cut-Up Alpha - I should probably put this higher on the list because I really do like this one. It's so cool! Great for boy pages. I can't wait to use this on Aiden's pages as he gets older, too. Very teen-ish alpha.

Newsy Schmoozy - This one is brand new but I can't stop using it! I like how it looks. Don't know why, I just do. I think it will be great for school pages when Aiden gets there. For now, it's popping up in a lot of my layouts.

Scribble Sticker Alpha - This one is cute and looks good on lots of pages. I LOVE how it recolors.

Stamps & Brushes I Like

Stamped Hearts - I have started using these a lot and I really like them. I use them in place of the felt hearts when I want something light and subtle to go behind a picture or title. I have started using them instead of paint box smudges in some layouts. Because you can enlarge some of them enough to make a frame or a frame mat, these are a MUST-HAVE!

Complete Classic Date Stamps - These are easy to overlook but I use them a lot. They are the digital version of those library card date stamps they stamp checked-out books with. I really like to "stamp" these on a tag in a layout or in a corner, so I can date everything. They look pretty cool! I would say these are a MUST-HAVE if you are as anal about dating pages as I am!

Painted Brush Strokes - Really, I just love the paint smears. I have every single one available. I actually use this set often but I think Paint Box is the best buy for the casual scrapper. Unless you're as addicted to the paint as I am and want these!

There you have it, my favorites list! If you only bought the items with the bold must-have tag, I think you would have a great start on digi scrapping supplies.

A word to the wise: Miss Mint was a graphic designer before she began her website and has YEARS of experience over most of the other designers. There are other sites that sell digital scrapping supplies but be careful and look at example images closely before you buy. You'll find most people's items are slightly blurry, more plain and/or not as realistic or detailed as Miss Mint's. I have been spoiled using the best scrap supplies that are out there, which is why I scrap almost exclusively with her products. They are very high quality and are reasonably priced! (Most other people sell elements & items that aren't near as crisp at $3.75 or $3.99 price points.) I know I'm a little biased but there is nothing more frustrating than working hard on a layout and discovering it's not going to print crisp because of the digital scrap products you used. I have had lots of things printed and Miss Mint's items always come out sharp and attractive. Trust me, you're using the best stuff money can buy! Now let's go shopping!

2 comments:

Susie said...

LOL!!!!!! How long did it take you to type that???? :) Love your LO...it's awesome! I did get a couple things at the sale...thanks again for the heads up! I do have a ton of her stuff already! I hope I can find some time to sit down and play w/ CS3! I want to learn all the cool things! (I got lightroom, too!) Too much to play with...so little time!

Alisha said...

Thanks for all the good info. I'm sure it will take me forever to get ready to do LO though! Maybe I could just pay you to do my scrapping...hehe!