Love Song Photography

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When we think about photography and pictures, I think most of us first think about capturing the big, happy, wonderful moments of life.  Weddings, new babies, birthdays, first days of school and exciting milestones.

But as we all know, life isn’t always wonderful.  I stumbled across a photographer named Lindsey Villatoro , from California, when some photographs of hers were featured in an article about a couple who had lost a child.

She captures beautiful images that you’d expect to see on any photographer’s website, like weddings and babies.  But she also has an amazing gift and a gracious heart that lead her to take photographs of difficult situations.  She photographs children and adults fighting cancer and other illnesses.  She photographs funerals and memorial services.  She has a unique service called “Forever Loved” to capture priceless images of situations that require more empathy and delicateness than many of us may be able to provide.

Not only does she provide this experience and these priceless images to these families going through unthinkable difficult times at no charge, her Facebook page and website also offer the families a platform to share their stories.  Awareness is raised, fundraisers are shared, people are registering to donate organs and be blood and marrow donors,  prayers are lifted up, friendships are formed.  Lindsay has created a truly amazing thing.

Her website is LoveSongPhotography.com

She also has a Facebook page where she shares amazing images and stories.

You can see some of her videos on Vimeo as well as YouTube

There was a fundraising campaign in December to help Lindsay cover her costs as she provides these services to families free of charge, but it has unfortunately ended.  I encourage you to bookmark her website, follow her Facebook page, and get the word out to your friends and family about this amazing woman.  I will surely be donating and sharing on my blog when she has another fundraising event.  Please do consider sharing this post or her links on your social media platforms.

Note- some of the images on the Love Song Photography website and Facebook page may be upsetting or considered graphic to some people (such as babies who have passed away). I have no affiliation with Lindsay or Love Song Photography, and do not benefit financially by sharing this information.  I share these links for the sole purpose of sharing Love Song Photography with others, and the hope that it will reach someone who can be helped by her services, as well as fundraising and awareness for both Love Song and the families that Lindsey serves. 

Sale-A-Bration Product Ideas

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I can’t stop talking about Sale-A-Bration, but it’s such a good deal I can’t keep it to myself! Are you wondering which of the products you should choose with your order (one product for every $50 spent pre-tax & shipping)? Do you already have some of the products and are looking for ways to use them? You’re in luck, because Stampin’ Up! has created a Pinterest board just for the 2015 Sale-A-Bration products! You can find that board by clicking here.

While you’re on Pinterest, you can check out ALL the awesome boards Stampin’ Up! has here, and if you’re interested, you can check out my Pinterest boards, many of which are paper crafting focused, by clicking here.

Looking for more ideas? Stampin’ Up! also has a YouTube channel, and some of the recent videos feature Sale-A-Bration products! I’m also posting ideas and more links on my Blackbird Scraps Facebook Page for the rest of the Sale-A-Bration season, which continues through March 31, 2015.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or if I can help you with your paper crafting! Happy stampin’ and scrappin’!

Featured Sale-A-Bration Product: “Irresistibly Yours” Specialty Designer Series Paper

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This post is featuring the “Irresistibly Yours” specialty designer series paper. Available only through the Sale-A-Bration brochure, this special 12×12 paper is acid & lignin free for safe memory keeping.  It has a unique white paper with different glossy white patterns, designed to allow you to color the paper using a variety of different techniques.  As you add color, the pattern will become more and more revealed.

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Here is the different designs you’ll receive, 2 of each for 12 sheets total, 12×12 size.  The brown shade shown here is to show the different patterns clearly.  Now here are three different examples of using this paper, and you’ll notice how very different from each other they are, just by using different colors and coloring techniques.

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I’d be happy to teach you the different techniques used here, and recommend the best inks, markers, and tools to achieve the effect you’re looking for.  You can earn this paper set for FREE between now and March 31st when you purchase $50 or more (pre-tax & shipping).  If this isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sure there’s something that will catch your eye in the Sale-A-Bration brochure. Contact me with any questions or to place an order, I’d love to help!

Featured Sale-A-Bration Product: Lotus Blossom Stamp Set

The lovely Lotus Blossom stamp set is just one of the products you can earn free during Sale-A-Bration. This set of 7 photopolymer stamps makes anyone feel like an artist in three quick steps. It creates a beautiful flower that looks painted, but it is amazingly easy. The individual stamps have a tab at the top to help you align them, and the tabs are numbered so you will know which part of the flower to stamp first, second, and third. Try playing around using one ink pad with the stamping off technique, or multiple different ink pads to create many different looks.

Artwork by Mary Ellen Byler and Sarah Klass

Here’s a photo of the stamp set and a couple of ideas of how to use it:

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www_stampinup_com_us_images_LotusBlossom_pow_demo_Jan142015_pdfRemember, you can earn this Lotus Blossom stamp set or any item of your choice from the Sale-A-Bration catalog with your $50 purchase (pre-tax & shipping) now through March 31st. Over the next few days and weeks I’ll be sharing more featured products from the Sale-A-Bration brochure with pictures and ideas of how to use them.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, or to place an order.

 

Valentine treat bags with Paper Pumpkin (and a really good deal)

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The January Paper Pumpkin kit did not disappoint! It came with all the supplies needed to make 24 of the treat bags you see pictured. Bags, pre-punched tags, pennants and hearts, gold clips, pink & gold baker’s twine, even adhesive and of course an adorable exclusive photopolymer stamp set and a “really read” ink spot that I’ll be able to use over and over for future projects.  I’m working on some alternate ideas for this kit, as I don’t think I want to make all 24 bags, and I’ll update this post as that happens.

Paper Pumpkin really is an awesome deal, and just plain fun.  Kits that are appropriate to the season come right to your door including full instructions and everything you need to complete the project (sometimes you might want to add adhesive, and you’ll want scissors but that’s about it).  The high quality photopolymer stamps that come in each kit are exclusive to Paper Pumpkin and can’t be purchased any other way.  You’ll also get a mini stamp pad, called an ink spot- and the colors of ink are guaranteed to not repeat in a calendar year, so it’s a fantastic way to build your stash of ink colors.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Paper Pumpkin, this is a great time to do so, as we are in the middle of Sale-A-Bration through March 31st.  That means that for every $50 you spend (pre-tax and shipping) you can choose an item of your choice from the Sale-A-Bration brochure. These are also exclusive products and can’t be purchased, only earned through Sale-A-Bration.  The three-month pre-paid subscription is currently on sale, and it is enough for you to earn a free Sale-A-Bration product! The six month is enough for you to earn two Sale-A-Bration products, and the big daddy 12 month pre-paid subscription will earn you THREE Sale-A-Bration products of your choice, PLUS $30 additional credit to spend on anything in the current Stampin’ Up! catalog…and if you’ve taken the plunge that far, I’d really recommend adding $34.60 worth of any Stampin’ Up! products to your order of the 12-month prepaid subscription, and for good reason.  If your order totals $250, which it would in the scenario I just gave you, you will earn a total of FIVE Sale-A-Bration products of your choice, PLUS $65 credit to buy anything currently sold by Stampin’ Up! Think about that…approximately $140 worth of free products that you choose, delivered to you right away, and then the excitement of a new Paper Pumpkin kit coming to you each month to keep you paper crafting all through the year. I don’t deny it’s an investment of $250, but you’re getting close to $380 worth of product for that investment!

What kind of free products are in the Sale-A-Bration catalog? I assure you, nothing cheap or chintzy, but high quality Stampin’ Up! goodies. You can view the brochure by clicking here, but some of the products include: several stamp sets -in your choice of clear, wood (and photopolymer in some cases) with no uncharge for wood, an exclusive Project Life mini kit, a set of three Blendabilites markers in a variety of colors, designer series paper, embellishment kits. No matter what type of paper crafter you are, be it a card maker, a scrapbooker, beginner or advanced there is something for you here.

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New “Occasions” Catalog!

Have you seen the new Stampin’ Up! Occasions catalog? (Click the link to the left to see it!)  It has brand new products as well as some returning favorites to help you celebrate the occasions that are coming up in the first few months of the year.  Think Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Easter, Graduation, new baby, wedding, and more.  There’s something for every paper crafting interest from card making to scrapbooking, and for every level from beginner to advanced.

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AND…it’s Sale-A-Bration time! That means that for every $50 you spend (pre-tax and shipping) you get to choose a free item of your choice from the Sale-A-Bration catalog.  There are several different stamp sets, designer series paper, embellishments, even a brand new exclusive Project Life mini card collection! These items are exclusive to Sale-A-Bration and can’t be purchased.  You can also earn more free items by hosting a show, or becoming a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.

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Please contact me today at blackbirdscraps@gmail.com for more information, to schedule your own show (in-person, catalog, or online) or to learn about the benefits of becoming a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.

Custom Photo Ornaments Made with the Project Life App

I wanted to share an idea for a Christmas ornament I made using the Project Life app using the Stampin’ Up! Seasonal Snapshot edition and my own photograph. (The Project Life app is amazing, is currently only available for IOS but Android is in the works).
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I used an ultrasound photo to create a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament, but you could of course recreate this with ANY photos or theme. I’m planning one for my in-law’s new puppy which I hope to photograph and add to this post. This would work well for weddings, older kids, a new home, vacation pictures…the possibilities are endless.

First, I made a collage in the Project Life app. I wanted 2×2 photos because I thought those would work best with the ornaments I had. The ornaments shown were $1 each, plastic, and purchased at Michael’s, though I’m sure you could find similar ones at a variety of places.

Collage made with 4x6 "K" template in Project Life app

Collage made with 4×6 “K” template in Project Life app

I printed the 4×6 print with six 2×2 photos via Walgreens 1 hour photo, cut them apart, and taped the ultrasound photo and the journal card photo back to back.

I then punched a hole through the photo, and strung twine through it. I tied this to the ornament top after sliding it into the ornament. I added decorative “snow” (also purchased at Michael’s) and some pink and blue sequins.  I think I’m going to try confetti or some scraps of curled ribbon for another ornament. I’m sure some wood veneer elements, buttons, and small and lightweight decorative scrapbook item you might have would be adorable as well. Customize it to your theme, and have fun!

Here’s another one. For this one I used the accordion “crinkle” sold near gift wrap and tissue paper, and made an ornament for my in-laws to celebrate their first year with their new puppy. The back side that says “Riley’s First Christmas” is using the “Just Add Color” Project Life edition, also found in the app.

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This ornament took me about 5 minutes to assemble after all my supplies were gathered in front of me. This was simple enough that kids could help too. I hope you enjoy, Merry Christmas, and happy stampin’ and scrapin’!

Project Life Giveaway!

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Now this is something you won’t want to miss…a chance to win every Project Life by Stampin’ Up! product that is currently available!

That’s right…One lucky winner will win a complete Project Life by Stampin’ Up! prize pack including every product available in the product line! You could also win one of 100 Project Life by Stampin’ Up! Card & Accessory Packs.

Enter to win by clicking here

You’ll see opportunities to earn more entries into the contest by sharing the giveaway with your friends.  What a fantastic prize!

To see the current Project Life by Stampin’ Up! line, click here  I’m super excited about the new “Hello, December” collection. I’m going to make a 6×8 album to document the month of December, a popular spin off of the weekly format that is very common among Project Life fans, called “December Daily” by some.  Interested in the idea and think you have a couple of friends who would be too? Host an in-person, catalog, or online “Hello, December” Project Life by Stampin’ Up! event with me and you could earn your product for free or half-price with our awesome hostess program.

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Don’t delay, enter the contest today, and good luck to you!

 

Wedding album in progress.

Finally.

After being married for over two years, I’ve started our wedding album.

Wedding album using the Love Story PLxSU collection

Wedding album using the Love Story PLxSU collection

After so much focus on my youngest son’s baby album, my oldest daughter’s high school album, and our family album, it was nice to spend time working on a project that was “mine”.  It was also a nice change of pace for me to be able to work with some more elegant feeling papers, embellishments, and colors.

I’m so pleased with my page…and I’m even more pleased at how fast it came together with the ease of the Project Life system! And it looks great in the faux leather black album too…so elegant, and perfect for a wedding album (although it could hold anything and look great).

Click here to see the Love Story card collection, and here to see the accessory pack. I LOVE the silver embellished cards, the picture doesn’t come close to doing them justice.