Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Wrap-up!

It's that time of the week!

Here's the run-down of our newest kits:

Seedin' & Weedin'
Disney Happy Birthday
Happy 21st Birthday
Head on over to our website to purchase these or other kits.  Remember, spend $75 to receive FREE shipping on your order (within the USA only)!  Stay tuned for even more NEW kits coming this week!

REMINDER: If you haven't signed up for our E-News VIP List, be sure to do that!  You'll receive a coupon for a FREE pagekit with your next purchase after you fill-out the short registration form.  Click here to become a VIP now for FREE!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Behind the Scenes Saturday: Meet Laura

Happy Weekend! Do you ever wonder who the person is behind the blog at Down Memory Lane? If so, today is your lucky day! This is the first installment in our "Behind the Scenes" series.  Meet our staff, see our facility, and learn more about how our kits are designed and manufactured. Fun, right?

 Let's start out by showing you where we're actually located in the big 'ole US of A.  See that star? That's us - Eau Claire, WI.  If you know where Minneapolis, MN is, go about 90 miles due east.  Eau Claire has a population of about 65,000.  You can learn more about our little piece of paradise here.  Our area (Eau Claire and surrounding towns) is known as the Chippewa Valley.

 To give you an idea of what the area is like....we're home to:
There. Some background for you.  Now let's get into the good stuff - all about ME! :-)  I'll be asking all our staff the same question so stay tuned for additional posts in the series to learn more about everybody here at DML!

Credit: Swanstrom Photography
Credit: Swanstrom Photography
Question 1: Give SIX Facts about You
  1. I'm 32 years old and my birthday was last Sunday (08/09)
  2. I collect Pineapples.  No, not the actual fruit.  But things with pineapple pattern or just decoration pineapple stuff - statues, prints, etc.
  3. I have completely flat feet.  Because of this, I can lay on my belly and literally "clap" my feet together.  It's really quite the sight! My best friend, Carrie, showed me how to do it - she also has flat feet.
  4. I am obsessed with the show "Law & Order".  I've seen each one of the 456 episodes numerous times.  After some calculation, I've determined that at least 3 months of my life has been spent watching L&O.
  5. I got married to Dave last August, but I don't have any children yet. I do have a sister and an adorable niece named Ella. She brightens my world!
  6. I am quite possibly addicted to Diet Coke.  And not just ANY Diet Coke...fountain Diet Coke.  And I'm even more of a soda-snob than that.  My preference is definately McDonald's Diet Coke, but soda from the local Mega! Holiday Station or Kwik Trip will do as well.   (Wanna know why that Mickey D's pop tastes so much better? Click here to read the story!)
Question 2:  How long have you worked at Down Memory Lane?

Oooh.  This one is tricky! It's actually my second time around as an employee at DML. Back in January 2011, I started as a part-time sales clerk at our previous retail location. I quickly was talked into designing page kits and loved it!  My job at DML at that time provided me with a much needed break from my career field of Accounting.  That fall, though, I was hired as the Finance Director at a health care facility and had to leave my "fun" job behind.  Due to some health issues and after feeling unfulfilled with various accounting jobs, I reached out to the owner, Joanne and quickly found a place at Down Memory Lane again this past July!  My role is different now, though, as much of my day is spent curating fun content for our Pinterest and Facebook pages.  I've recently started crafting samples and projects - watch for posts coming soon! - and that's been super fun too.

Question 3: What is your favorite thing about your job?

Honestly, when I first started building up our Pinterest account was really like a dream come true.  I had always thought that if I could find someone to pay me for pinning, I'd truly be blessed!  I've really come to like the instant gratification that comes from posting to Facebook too.  It's so reassuring when I see lots of our followers like and comment on our posts.  I really do LOVE to hear from our customers!  Hands down, though, my favorite thing is having creative freedom.  Whether it's creating fun graphics online for posting, experimenting with new products, or designing samples, I feel incredibly lucky to have a job I really like to come to!

Question 4: How long have you scrapbooked (or crafted)?  What is your favorite craft specialty?

Wow.  I have to think WAY back on this one! I've probably been scrapbooking since middle school - 7th grade maybe. Doing the math, that's almost 20 years. Holy cow!  My favorite craft is probably scrapbooking, but card-making comes in as a close second.  I have a room dedicated to crafts at home, but it always seems to be a complete disaster area. The only thing that really saves me is that I go to a couple scrapbooking retreats each year.  I power scrap during those weekends and tend to get more done in a 3-day period than I do in a 3-month one at home! My favorite retreat here in the area is Green Haven Retreat, but I also enjoy my time at White's Wildwood Retreat and Rock Creek Cottage.

Question 5: Besides a paper trimmer and adhesive, what THREE tools or supplies could you not live without?  
  1. Patterned Paper - I am a paper hoarder.  I'm going to seriously be in trouble if my house ever starts on fire because my craft room will go up fast and hot with all that paper!  I need it all...stripes, plaids,, blue, white, off-white.  I truly have a stash that any scrapbooker would be proud of (and maybe a little embarassed by).
  2. Silhouette Cameo - This little guy is amazing. Yes, I have a Cricut too, but the possibilities are endless with the Sil and it cuts like a dream.  If you don't already have a subscription to the design store on their website, get one! It's the cheapest way to get lots & lots of downloads each month!  The plans start at $10 bucks a month and you get $25 worth of downloads for that price.  Sweet!!!
  3. Ink and sponges - Okay, so technically I know that's two things, but I'm going to count it as one.  I'm known for inking the edges on my pages.  (Example below.)  It adds a ridiculous amount of "finish" to the page and I've always loved how much better the layout looks.  Yep, takes some extra time, but I just don't care!  Most of the time I use Memento Dye Ink (Tuxedo Black or Rich Cocoa) and a sponge dauber or a round synthetic sponge cut into pieces. 

Question 6: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Hmmm....honestly, I kind of love being lazy in my free time. :-)  But if I have to pick an activity, it would be shopping.  I'm kind of a shop-a-holic actually. I love clothes shopping.  I love shoe shopping.  I love scrapbook supply shopping.  I love jewelry shopping.  My favorite stores of ALL-TIME have to be: Maurices, TJ Maxx, DSW, and Target.  I could seriously spend days and thousands of dollars in just those three stores!


I would have to say that interviewing myself for this post was pretty fun.  I hope you enjoyed learning more about me and now you have a face to match all those posts to!  Feel free to follow my personal page on Pinterest!  Comment with any questions for me.  Have a great weekend and happy crafting!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Art of Scraplifting

Have you ever heard the term "scraplifting"? It refers to the idea of loosely copying another person's scrapbooking creation.  And I have to say that I'm a downright expert at it! People are always telling me how creative I am, but seriously, I can't take the credit completely because I've learned to take inspiration from others and make it my own.  Pinterest is by far my greatest resource now that print magazines on scrapbooking are all but nonexistent.  I thought today I'd share some of my favorite scraplifts with you so you can see how I've taken "copying" to a whole new level. :-)

Exhibit 1:
If you can't see the similarity in this one, there's something wrong with you! Ha, ha. I found the layout below by Lisa Dickinson on Pinterest and was in love! I already had the background paper, a chalkboard print by My Mind's Eye so all I had to do was find coordinating patterns and accents to frame.  Easy, peasy!

By Laura Nesvacil
Credit: Lisa Dickinson
Exhibit 2:
Okay, for this one you may need to use your imagination a bit.  My inspiration was actually a digital page by designer "Lego" on Designer Digitals.  On this particular page, I used only a part of the page for inspiration...namely, the large cut out title. I really liked the idea of cutting the letters out of the main piece and then backing them with other patterns.  While creating this page, I had a tough time because I intended to use accents within each letter of the word "EAT" - buttons, brads, maybe even some washi tape.  But after playing around with things for about 20 minutes, I ultimately decided it was too busy and just left the letters plain.  In the end I do like how it turned out.  I especially loved that I could include one of my most favorite quotes, "People who love to eat are always the best people." by Julia Child.  So true, Julia.  So true.

By Laura Nesvacil
Credit: Lego on Designer Digitals
Exhibit 3:
One thing you'll notice about my pages is that I tend to be drawn to patterns and big, bold accents.  I try my best to not overpower the pictures while still including my own dramatic flair with embellishments.  In this example, my main "lift" is the title.  I loved how Gillian Nelson kept her page, "Hello", super clean and simple while incorporating a ginormous and powerful title.  I also really appreciated the "freehand" aspect of the page - from the hand drawn outer border to the journaling, from the cursive title to the line accents, so I mimicked that as well.

By Laura Nesvacil
Credit: Gillian Nelson
Exhibit 4:
This is by far one of my most favorite scraplifts. Jennifer de Castro created the original page, seen below, and it was chosen as layout of the week by Studio Calico several years back.  I remember creating it quite vividly. It was about 2:30 am at a local scrapbook retreat and I sat, glossy-eyed punching and punching circles from various patterned scraps.  After that, I sat mindlessly inking the edges of every single one until my fingertips and nails were brown and I looked like I just got done changing the oil in my car.  I won't tell you that this one came together quickly (it did not!), but it was fairly easy.  For your own sanity, it would be easier to use LARGER shapes because you need less of them. :-) After all is said and done, though, I adore how it came out!  And, I was able to use up a bunch of my scraps!

By Laura Nesvacil
Credit: Jennifer de Castro
Exhibit 5:
Now this one is tricky! I actually used two different pages as inspiration in creating my own two-page spread.  Amazingly, the pages are from two very different designers on two very different themes, but I was able to pull them together to create a cohesive layout.  The left side is inspired by GlueStickGirl's "Rock, Paper, Scissors" page while the right is inspired by Ali Edwards' (I love her work!) "Hello Pumpkins" page.

By Laura Nesvacil
Credit: GlueStickGirl
Credit: Ali Edwards
So, there you go - some examples of scraplifting.  Don't feel bad about it - why not use the inspiration available to you in order to make creating your pages a little easier!?  And if you want some more Pinspiration, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards! You can also follow me personally and my very own "Scraplifts" board by clicking here.  Thanks for visiting our blog and happy crafting!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Time & the Livin' is Easy!

Who else loves summer? Okay, maybe the better question is who doesn't love summer?  Here in the Midwest, we get about three months of really nice weather so summertime is our fun time.  To kick off August, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Summer Time Fun ideas.  Many of these ideas come straight from our Pinterest board, so if you like what you see be sure that you're following our account!

Recipe Picks

  1. Fresh Strawberry Lemonade from Deliciously Sprinkled
  2. Kiddo-friendly Fruit Salad by Between Naps on the Porch
  3. Easy DIY Snow Cone Syrup by I Save A to Z
  4. Campfire Cones by the Girl Who Ate Everything
Activity Picks

  1. Outdoor Movie Night by Parents Magazine (photo by David Tsay)
  2. Homemade Water Park by Little Hands Big Work
  3. Photo Scavenger Hunt by the Happy Scraps 
  4. DIY Sponge Bombs by Inner Child Fun
Scrapbook Layout Picks

  1. "Summer Days" by Stephanie Bryan found on Studio Calico
  2. "Splash" by Kelly Goree found on her Blog,
  3. "Vitamin Sea" by Diane Payne found on her Blog,
  4.  "Hello Sunshine" by Nancy Damiano found on Simple Stories
And don't forget to check out our amazing selection of Summer Time Fun pagekits on our website.  Here's a sampling of some that we have currently available for sale.

Enjoy your summer! Get out there and play or stay inside and keep cool.  It's up to you! 
Thanks for visiting our blog and happy crafting!