Episode 12: Circus Party Train Album Tutorial for Silhouette

I’m so excited to share with you my Circus Party Train Album. As suggested, it is an accordion train that fits nicely into a single album. This album is made using my Circus Party papers that I designed for Carta Bella. The album can be purchased from my Silhouette Shop. I hope you enjoy!


(links will be available soon)

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Words of Love Banner and Video

carinagardner_wordsoflovebannerIt’s been since before Christmas since I posted. The first of the year is always so crazy. This year I was headed to Atlanta for my new company MiniLou. It was my first year of missing CHA in long time.

Soooo, to introduce my first line to come out this year, I put together a little video. Words of Love is my Valentine’s line and it should be hitting your local scrapbooking store this month. It’s a classic red and black line with a bit of pink and gray.

I hope you enjoy the video! I am having issues with my video uploading to YouTube blurry so I am working on getting an HD version of this video up soon.

If you want the free download banner template, you can download it here:


25 Days of December Silhouette Album

IMG_2934_1_webEvery Christmas I try to tell myself that THIS year it’s going to be more about family, love, and giving. But like all the rest of you, I find myself completely caught up with the busyness that consumes my time during the month of December.  December happens to be a crazy time for designers ON TOP OF the usual craziness that happens during the holidays. For me, work revolves around CHA, new releases for first quarter, and the Atlanta GiftShow (for MiniLou). Despite all of this, I’m going to try (once again) to slow down during the month of December. And with you as my witness (See! I’m holding myself accountable to you!), I’ve decided to get on top of things THIS month to make December a little more cherry and bright.


First off, I already ordered my Christmas Cards (I think a sigh of relief escaped as I wrote that). They arrive December 2nd, and I plan on getting all my labels done this coming week. Yes, it is a relief to already have them printed, and no, I am NEVER this early. Second, I’m going to get all my holiday shopping done in November. Yes, you heard me. And no, I don’t have a plan for this yet. Any tips would be helpful!!! (Leave comments below.) And FINALLY, I went ahead and designed myself an entire 25 Days of December Album (that you can purchase in my silhouette shop), that I have already cut out and put together.


IMG_2939_1_webI have never done an album like this before, but have ALWAYS wanted to. I designed all of the albums and accessories to be super easy to cut out and use.

This year, I’m doing the 5 x 7 Album, but I also have available the 5 x5 Album and the 5 x 7 Horizontal Album. The 5 x 7’s are meant to fit a 4 x 6 photo per day. The 5 x5 Album is meant for instagram photos and fits a 4 x 4 photo beautifully (I love to use Persnickety Prints for my 4 x 4 photos).

Each album also comes with some different accessories. I plan on using the extra pocket pieces and fun shapes to add journaling and some of our holiday photos (and to stash my Christmas Card).

So if you are making this album, it’s pretty easy to put together, but here are a few hints to help you out:


1. You will need to cut 5 of each tabbed piece. That will give you 25 pages—one for each day. Cut one or two of the cover piece (no tab). I only cut one and used a pocket accessory for my back page.

2. Add as many accessory pages as you like. You can see in mine that I elected to put a few in the front and back of the album. Because I’m making this a “stress-free, expectation-free” album, I didn’t want to throw in pages that I then felt obligated to fill. However, I do think it would be pretty to throw in an extra shape or pocket page between each tab so that it goes to a specific day.

3. If you are looking to have this album “pre-made” in time for Christmas or you are making it for someone else, I recommend only adding “scraps” to the left-side of the page and leaving the tabbed side for the photo. (Like the second photo at the very top.)

4. Have fun or go simple with your paper choices. On mye tabbed sheets I elected to use kraft paper just because it was easy. I cut each tabbed sheet on an 8.5 inch x 11 inch piece of paper (one fits per sheet). I inked the edges a little bit to give it some dimension. (FYI, I use my newest Carta Bella collection Christmas Time for this book).

3. Glue is good. A stapler is better. ESPECIALLY on the pocket pages. The folds are pretty self-explanatory on the pocket pages. Once you fold them all in, I like to take a stapler to it. It adds some “scrappiness” to the album and helps secure the pocket in place. I’ve also used hot glue and a glue stick. They work great as well. Note: For the Mini Pockets, you may want to add a couple of extra staples right to the MIDDLE of the page to separate out the two pockets.

4. Use ribbon, twine, or O-rings to keep it together. If your album gets REALLY thick, you may want to consider O-rings (you can usually find these at an office supply shop). I wanted to keep my album “unprecious” and added different little bits of ribbon and twine. I want the kids to feel like they can handle and play with this album all through the season and beyond. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Have a plan. Especially when it comes to the photo part. Are you going to print at home or send out your photos? Are you going to print daily or weekly? Are you going to journal (or will it stress you out?). My plan this year is to print everyday at the end of the day. So I have a pack of 4 x 6 photo papers ready for December. As for journaling, this year the album is the “family” album. That means, I plan on having the kids write things they are thankful for or are doing for Christmas. Josh and I will add notes too. If you are doing a personal, reflective album, yours will be so different from mine.

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And that’s it! I hope you have fun making your book and you get to spend some time really showing off how wonderful the holiday season really is! If you are on instagram, you can follow me at @carinagardner. Make sure and hashtag #25dod (25 Days of December) so that we can all share in your journey in December!

Happy scrapping!




Back Home Again

miniloujune20 copy After a month and a half of travel, I’m finally back home in Salt Lake. I’m glad to be back home although there hasn’t been much time for a break. Lots of things have happened over the last month. Other than finishing press checks in China, going to a wedding in Tennessee, heading to St. George to enjoy the Tuacahn, and accompanying Siri at harp camp in Logan, some of my new paper and fabric lines have been released.

Over at Carta Bella, check out my newest collections Boy Oh Boy and Spooky as well as Alisha Gordon’s Moment’s & Memories. If you are going to the Summer show, be sure and check them out!

I’m also thrilled to announce my newest fabric line is on pre-sale to quilt shops! For a sneak peek at Primrose Garden, click on this link over at Riley Blake. Scroll down to the bottom to catch a glimpse of my first 18 inch doll panel! I’m so excited for this addition to this fabric line! More pretties on this line coming soon.

At my silhouette shop, I’ve been stocking with a lot of great basics that I have been interested in using for myself. Tons of swirls, overlays, gift bags, and cards to name a few.

And of course, I’ve been working on MiniLou. I’ve been planning out our tradeshows and trying to get everything “just so” for our upcoming fall release and the introduction of our spring release. It’s been a work-in-progress and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished so far. So many more exciting things to come!

As far as getting back on track, I’ve been working on some new home decor items for Deseret Book which should be out this fall/winter. I’ve also been working hard on our end of year releases for Carta Bella. Oh, and I’m hoping to have available two new design classes in the shop later this week.

Thankfully, this summer has not been all work-work, and I’ve been able to enjoy time alone with both of my girls on their respective trips as well as getting in a couple of vacas as a family. But summer is slipping by so very fast…I’m going to squeeze in as much fun as I possibly can!

Happy Summer!

(PS. Photo is from my Little Bitties Bookmarks for MiniLou).

A New Year

christmascard_gardner2013_webThe holiday season flew by. I wrapped, cooked, designed, and cleaned…and somehow it is now mid-January. I’m never quite sure how that happens.

Just like everyone else, I’m eager to see what 2014 has in store. For me, I got to start the new year off with a bang at CHA. At Carta Bella, we showed 4 new lines: It’s a Celebration by Alisha Gordon, my Sew Lovely Collection, my Baby Mine Collection (Boy and Girl), and Summer by Samantha Walker (not on the website yet). Echo Park also had a stellar line up that you can see here. I usually do a show wrap up with pictures but I’m going to have to refer you to my instagram feed to get the scoop.

What else does the year have in store for me? You’ll see two new fabric lines from me (Baby Ark this spring and Primrose Garden this fall), lots of new digital scrapbooking stuff at Jessica’s site, loads of new Silhouette stuff, a couple of new classes, and some new dishware at Deseret Book to name a few. Oh ya, and then there’s that whole thing with the glamper. Next week the wallpaper goes up, and we will be taking the final photos to give you the full reveal. I can’t wait!

The full schedule with the glamper tour will also be revealed in the coming weeks. We’ll be visiting shops in Utah and Nevada. After that, the glamper is going to be fully occupied with my family. There are so many things I want to do this summer with the kids! I’m hoping to work from the road alot and have an adventure.

2014, here we come! Happy New Year from my family to yours!



So This Is Christmas Cards & Albums

SKcard1I’m pretty horrible about posting all the wonderful things happening at Carta Bella. I guess I just assume that you check into our amazing blog to see what the designers have been creating. I hope you had a chance to check out our October release Wildflower, which is ever so modern and fresh! This month we released my Homemade with Love which is a nostalgic baking/cooking/in-the-kitchen collection. And as always, we are in the midst of preparation for the Winter Show. I think you will love!

In honor of Christmas (just around the bend), the lovely Smitha Katti of Smiling Colors blog put together some gorgeous projects using my So This is Christmas Collection that I’ve been dying to show you.

Enjoy the eye candy here and just because I can’t help but be completely out of order (wink, wink), I’ll show you what I projects I’ve been putting together for Thanksgiving tomorrow!

All holiday-jumbled-up,







Well Played!

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 9.51.40 PMWhile I’ve been at Quilt Market, my new line Well Played was announced at Carta Bella! I”m so excited for this scrapbook line! It’s modern and upbeat! It’s game board inspired but has enough great patterns in it for everyday use. I plan on using it for all my kid layouts. Hoping to get a chance to play with it this week.

This line ships in June. Check out the whole line (and the awesome sticker sheet) here.



Instagram Giveaway & Facebook Giveaway

There is so much awesomeness happening at Carta Bella these days. So to kick off the awesomeness, I am giving about 3 kits each of True Friends and Well Traveled on Instagram. To enter, just follow @carinagardner on your Instagram feed and add a comment to the “Instagram Giveaway” photo. Invite a friend and you may both win. How cool is that?

Winners will be announced on Friday, Feb 8th!

For a little added fun, I’m also going to give away 3 So Noted Kits! To enter into this drawing, you need to leave a comment on my facebook page .  Tell me which is your favorite paper from the line! Winners will also be announced on Feb 10th for this giveaway. How fun is that?

Back from Winter CHA

I’m back from Winter CHA in Anaheim and a sweet family trip to Disneyland. I’m trying to wrap my head around all the things that are about to happen this coming month. You should check out this link for a peek of things to come.

But back to the things that are NOW. You’ll want to check out Carta Bella’s new releases, namely True Friends, Well Traveled, So Noted, and Cool Summer. I’m so ecstatic about our spring line up. And if you are one of the lucky ones to have Devoted, I’d horde it if I where you. We’re nearly out and not reprinting it. I didn’t even see it in RL (that would be Real Life) until CHA because I had my head buried in my computer keyboard for 2 months.

Now, I’m home, snuggling my baby, hanging out with my girls, and excited for all the new good, stuff to come. 2013 is going to be wonderful.

More on just how wonderful later.


PS That is Mr. Lindsay Moore himself in the photo above…if you where wondering who I was hanging out with.

Christmas Advent Calendar—Free Download and Printable

Happy One-Day-Before-Thanksiving! As I write, I’m brining my monstrous turkey. I’m 12 hours into it and need to go pick up more ice to keep it happy until tomorrow morning.

My Pre-Thanksgiving present to you is another episode with Lindsay and myself showing you how to make an advent calendar using the Christmas Day™ and Merry and Bright™ collections from Carta Bella. There’s also a fabulous giveaway (as always). To enter the giveaway, you need to go here.

Ready to make this advent calendar yourself? DOWNLOAD THE ADVENT CALENDAR PRINTABLES.

Here’s Episode 5! Enjoy!


UPDATE: Carina also shared this tutorial using the printable for giftcards on Good Day Utah FOX 13 News on December 23, 2012. You can see that video here:

Episode 4 All Hallow’s Eve Decor Video

I know it’s only August, but this Halloween video is meant to get you excited about the approaching season. I love fall and adore Halloween. With school starting next week (eek!), fall is just around the corner. I know there’s a lot of sentimentality about new beginnings and freshly sharpened pencils when school starts, but I actually feel that fresh starts CAN happen in the fall. I probably feel it more so this year than others since baby boy will be coming to us the day after school begins (7 days and counting!).

Lindsay Moore, Sales Director for Carta Bella joins me in my studio to introduce the All Hallow’s Eve line. We show you how easy it is to make home decor crafts from this line (Most of it is either just “cut out” and display or “stick” and display!)

We obviously have a good time, and you’ll definitely want to enter to win our Hot-Off-The-Press Giveaway.

As promised, I also have silhouette files and jpgs of the silhouettes and bats I mention in the video. Download them here: All Hallow’s Eve Projects.

If you are looking for the Bat Wreath I mention in the video, you can find it here: Bat Wreath Post

And finally, here is the video of Lindsay and me dressed up and having a good time:

Summer CHA Tradeshow Booth Video (Episode 3)

I wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but I tried to create a video of us putting up the tradeshow booth. Before I had ever participated in having a booth, I always wondered what the process was. Sooooo…here’s a time lapsed video of the two days we put together the Carta Bella booth. It’s two days squished into 3 minutes. It’s so fun, and I hope you enjoy my commentary!

Enjoy! Carina

Summer CHA 2012 Review

Hello! I’m back from Summer CHA in Chicago and I’ve spent the last 24 hours downloading a heck-of-a-lotta videos and photos! You can see more photos (if you don’t think you’ll get enough here) on the Carta Bella blog.

Many of you will recognize the booth as my Quilt Market booth. It was fun to see it filled with paper this time around. It’s also fun to compare that baby belly after two months of baking (only a month left!).

Here Lindsay and I pose on Day 1 of set up. I hardly had to lift a box because everyone was so concerned (I think they just didn’t want to deliver a baby).

Set up was also fun because it was a Carta Bella and Echo Park team effort. It was nice to have that many hands putting together the two booths. Check out Andrea (CHA Coordinator for Echo Park and Carta Bella) putting up the Carta Bella sign (below) and Lindsay bolting together the walls.



There were a lot of darling projects in the booth! This advent calendar was made by Deena Rutter who also designed Merry & Bright for Carta Bella (ships September 2012).

I made this Beautiful Moments lamp below. I HIGHLY recommend having a silhouette machine for this project. It turned out darling but took a lot of time to put together.

Samantha Walker put together this fabulous display of silhouette pieces using her Paris Girl Collection.

So many darling cards made by the design team!

Here are my All Hallow’s Eve bottles that you will see in the upcoming Halloween video Lindsay and I do. It should be posted sometime next week. Any guesses on what we dress up as?

I made this banner using the Alphabet Junction Collection by Melanie Ritchie.

Here’s Miss Melanie herself with her first collection! Love the Vanna White pose!

Me and my belly.

Shimelle (from 2Peas in a Bucket), with Melanie and myself. Too bad we aren’t having fun.

Here’s dinner with Lori Whitlock (designer for Echo Park) and Andrea (CHA Coordinator for EP and CB). Matt (THE sticker guy and serious foodie) chose this awesome place. The food was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. If you go to Chicago, it’s worth getting the beef tenderloin (and all the desserts) http://www.carnivalechicago.com/.

Look at the amazing light fixture! (Which also accounts for the bad photo lighting).

Well, there it is! A few photos from CHA and a little of what we were up to. I’ll admit, I was happy to get back home to my own bed. I’m at the most uncomfortable stage of this pregnancy, and it was nice to snuggle into bed last night. Josh and my girls are in Sun Valley at the Bar Convention (therefore making it possible to get all my blogging in before they come home). They should be showing up tonight so I will have my little darlings to snuggle.

Be back in a second with our tradeshow booth video!






Carina Gardner TV Channel—Episode 2 Paris Girl

I just finished editing Episode 2 for the new CG TV Channel. Today’s episode features guest Lindsay Moore, who is the Director of Sales at Carta Bella Paper. I hope you’ll check out because we show off the Paris Girl Collection for Carta Bella Paper Company and making this darling card (see left).

Watching this video, you’ll see why I love working with Lindsay. He keeps me on my toes and has me laughing through the entire thing (and BTW, So You Think You Can Dance IS better than America Idol…just saying, Lindsay).

We also continue our Hot-Off-The-Press Giveaway. Check it out and see what you have to do to be entered!

As promised, here are the dimensions of the card for your scrapbooking pleasure!

* Main Envelope—5 inch x 12 inch (fold)
* Contrasting Paper—4 inch x 5 inch
* Insert—4 inch x 5 1/2 inch
* Ribbon—3 inches of a satin or grosgrain

Enjoy! —Carina