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Carina Gardner’s Best Little Album for Silhouette and

IMG_7085_instagramwebThis week I’m leaving for long anticipated trip. It’s been a tough week with a lot of sickness and big news so the timing of this trip couldn’t be better. If you want to see what I am doing, I’ll be posting to all three of my feeds depending on where I am: @carinagardner @carinagardnerpapercrafts @miniloukids.

I always make myself a travel book for a trip like this ( think my Hong Kong trip for MiniLou) and this time wasn’t any different. This time, I wanted everything to be tabbed and easy to get to, so I used my Silhouette machine to cut out this book. I did however, get this SPIRAL BOUND instead of using the holes I made for my cutting files. Why? Because I like pre-made holes for regular album making. But for a trip, I think you need a sturdy spiral bound so you can really use the book. Printables are available on Silhouette OR you can also wait until I release them the first week in March for Digital Scrapbooking.


I call this the “Best Little Album” because I’ve gone out of my way to make it SO simple that it would work for your trip to Florida as well as a trip to Europe. You can pick and choose from the 12 printables that correlate with the 6 tab system (so you cut out 12 tabs in all). You can also pick from printable or cut-able covers I’ve provided as well as pockets and accessories. The point is that every piece should work seamlessly so you can mix and match to your hearts content. I know I did.


For the tabs, the printable is in a separate “tab” file so you can cut tabs out on mutli-colored paper. I’m sure I’ll do that in future travel books but for this one, I decided to go all kraft paper.


I also “laminated” the tabs with moving tape. Sturdiness is important! There’s nothing worse than having a tab break off midway through a trip or even later when your kids are handling them to look at it photos.


My travel albums are always dual purpose. They contain everything we are going to do, addresses, directions, places to eat, flight information, as well as a journal and a place for photos. That way I don’t have to come home from a trip and “scrapbook it.” It’s done. I staple in tickets to events, museums, and instax photos. I’ll come home and print a few and glue them into the remaining pages. Done and done.



Maybe you can guess where I’m going from the activities I wrote here (wink, wink).



Search “BEST LITTLE ALBUM” under my Silhouette Artist name to find the entire collection of these! I promise you’ll use this one again and again!

XOXO, Carina




Pen Pal Letters—Silhouette and Digital Scrapbooking Tutorial

IMG_7136_1webI was recently introduced to these amazing letters that you place in Artist Trading Card Page Protectors. The idea was introduced by Janette Lane, and I have been so inspired by what she is doing. Creating these little works of art means quite a bit of scrapbooking paper, washi tape, ephemera, and other little bits and goodies. I have been wanting to make some of these letters for my girls (letters to them when they are older), and created a number of silhouette and digital scrapbooking files so that I can make them. Links for all the current products I have that relate to these kinds of letters are below (in both my silhouette and digital scrapbooking shop).

Be sure you check out Janette and what she is doing because it is truly inspiring!

The image above and to the left I did for my daughter Siri who is a harpist. You’ll notice the envelope at the bottom that I plan on putting her letter in. I’ll also write a few things I love about her on the “I love” card from the starter set. I’ll add a few stories about her growing up on the tabbed set.

I think I’ll hide it away for her 18th birthday. It will be a treat for both of us!


The one below I made for Felicity for her 18th birthday. The envelope is in the left hand corner and I am loving this little fold over scalloped tab I am using in the center top to write a little story about her now. I’m hoping she loves the silly ipod in the bottom left hand corner and the tabbed pieces in the right hand corner (I might throw a few fun pictures in there for her).


My take on the Pen Pal Letters is simply another way to document bits of our lives for my kids. I love the way Janette is using them to build a fun community and create something beautiful!


Happy pen pal-ing!


Please note: some products not released yet and links are not available.


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(link to all the silhouette Pen Pal Letters here)

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Digital Scrapbooking, St. George, and Stuff

IMG_5250_1_webI’m going to admit something right off the bat and that this is a procrastination post. I just looked at my list (a mile long) and really all I want to do is snuggle up in front of the TV and start a new show (like Call of the Midwife or Death Comes to Pemberley…anyone seen either of those?). There is a time and place for everything and tonight, well, tonight the work comes first.

Before you feel too sad for me, I just got back today from a short weekend getaway with my family in St. George. I loved seeing Charlie romp, climb, and dig in the slot canyon, the sand dunes, and the park. The girls swam and swam and swam (did I mention the water was cold?—oh to be young again).

While I was gone, I got some awesome photos from my amazing machine quilter Michelle Jensen (@mixiheart on instagram), and I’m so excited to share the pattern soon. It will be free along with an awesome collaboration with pattern jam (more on this to come).

Annndd, while I wish I could say I didn’t work at all while I was gone, I was happy to spend one night getting my digital scrapbooking done for this week. Two weeks ago I came out with a Spring Sunshine Paper Pack and this week I’ll have tags for them. I even managed to put together a couple of layouts. Making the layouts reminded me of all the things I needed while digi scrapping. I see a big collection in my future:).


(Layout above: Papers and Tags from Spring Sunshine, Ribbon from Bella Bella 2 Thick Ribbons)


(Layout above: Papers and Tags from Spring Sunshine, Tape from Bella Bella 2, and Stamp from Journaling Stamps).

Hope you are having a fun spring break (or at least spring) as well. Back to the list.


Diecuts 30% off the month of June!

Carina is off on her adventure to China to do press checks on the products for her new company Mini Lou
You can follow her adventures on her Instagram (carinagardner). In the meantime I am taking over the blog while she is away so let’s have some fun!!
Today kicks off our HUGE 30% off diecut sale in the shop. The shop is fully stocked with wonderful goodies. Make sure to hit the NEW DIECUTS section where we have all of Carina’s most current releases from her Silhouette Store.
We are so excited to have Deborah from Craftin Chaos working with us now on our Design Team!  In honor of the big sale Deborah has worked up some fabulous eye candy to get you inspired for the diecut sale!
Here is Deborah to tell you more about her projects:
“My projects were super quick, that being said I am hoping it still will inspire you to create some awesome projects of your own with Carina’s diecut files. I used papers from Carta Bella’s Alphabet Junction for several cards and one I used a digital paper from Carina’s Soaring Summer Paper Set as well as some of Carina’s elements  which are available in her shop at Snap Click Supply.
This first project was super quick to do.  If you have a busy schedule…and who doesn’t, these albums are perfect for capturing the moments you spent with family and friends without devoting the time it takes to create a scrapbook album layout. I love that you can get so many configurations from the pockets giving you so many options.
I used the We R Memory Keepers pockets for mine. The cards are Carina’s My Life 4X6 Travel Card Diecuts and I am loving Carina’s  Garden Picks Set of 5 Diecuts very versatile as you will see two ways I used them.  And you know I made some custom buttons! I used the die cuts from the cards to create a print and cut for the buttons in my silhouette studio


Can you tell where I want to be from my luggage tag?



This  project is one of my favorites. I just love anything with cameras on them or camera related. Instagram is something I just started using recently and I am hooked! I wanted this to be very bold and I love these two colors together. That pop of fuchsia on the front against the bright yellow is just my favorite. I used the Instant Photo Camera Album I added the Flag Shape 17 Diecut  for the sentiment.  I cut a smaller circle for the center to add a fun sentiment to the album.


A nice feature is the slots the file cuts for you to just pop in a cute photo for perfect placement. I added more sentiments to give a little more love to it.

Thanks to Deborah for those awesome projects! We will be featuring more of her creations over the weeks to inspire you.



carinagardner-hkThe glamper tour has ended. The extra weekends off has given me time to finish up a few projects. Today I managed to push out one of my 2015 fabric lines and tape a new mini class. I can hear my inner voice pushing me right now. I suspect because of the upcoming trip to China to do press checks for my new company.

That’s right. You heard me. I’ve been letting out little hints about it on instagram and the facebook page with no official announcement. You’ll have to wait for June 1st for that.

Two of my girlfriends were very spontaneous and decided to tag along. We’ll be in Vancouver, Hong Kong, Dongguan City, and Beijing. All planned out in the little travel books (left) that I made for us. I’ve been filling mine out with packing lists, places I want to see, and more. Books were made from my Travel Stories collection.

For the best possible front seat on all the action, follow my instagram feed @carinagardner. I’ll be posting all my doings from the trip and @miniloukids will be posting all the giveaways and peeks at all our new creative kids products.

carinagardner_kidsoutFor now, I’m kicked into high gear to finish out the last few remaining items that need to be taken care of. You’ll notice my extra emphasis on instax photos in my silhouette store these last couple of weeks. That’s because I’m planning on using my instax alot on this upcoming trip, and I’m going to need all those accessories I have been making.

Other things that I should make note of:
1. My Boy Oh Boy Paper Collection for Carta Bella ships June 1st!
2. Little Ark is now available in stores.
3. Full reveal of my October fabric line Primrose Garden should be available this summer. It comes with (*gasp*) an 18 inch doll panel!!!!
4. The 30% Fabric Sale will be ending on May 31st. So will the mega discounted price on my newly released Digital Design class.

More soon,


PS The photo to the left is of my three children with Josh up in Bell’s Canyon. I couldn’t resist posting.


Digital Die Cutting Files

Heads up! Digital diecutting files are now available in the shop! At 75 cents a pop (or even less if you buy a bundle), these little goodies are easy to use and great for cards, scrapbooking, home decor or more! I include seven types of files to download: svg, ai, dxf, pdf, png, jpg, and studio. Use the file that works best with your machine for an fabulous paper or fabric shape!

Right now we are frame heavy in the shop, but we plan on having several freebies coming to the shop soon along with A LOT more designs. We are working through my more than 500 products to pull the best shapes !

I think you’ll love how intricate these shapes are! I made mine smaller on my Silhouette machine while testing them and they turned out beautifully! I plan on using these with some of my scrapbooking layouts in future.

Hope you get a chance to play with them!



Newsletter Issue No. 6—Free Quilt Pattern, Tutorials and All That Jazz

You’ve waited patiently for it and now it’s done! Our sixth issue of the newsletter has really become a digital magazine with all the stuff we try to pack into it!

This issue includes a new quilt pattern using Dress Up™, the inside scoop on Designer Workshop, tutorials from the Creative Team, a fabric tutorial on making a camera strap and so much more!

Visit the Carina Gardner Newsletter Issue No. 6 here.

Many of you have requested that we make the newsletter downloadable (which makes sense for those of you needing to print the patterns!). I made sure that this issue and all the previous issues now include the download button for your convenience. I also plan on getting smaller bite-sized downloads of the Dress Up™ Quilt, the Pinfeathers™ Quilt, and the new Dainty Blossoms™ Camera Strap Tutorials available soon.

Some of you saw my early picture of the Dress Up™ Quilt on Instagram (check my sidebar). I usually piece together all my quilts, but my mom helped me on this one. Things have been a bit busy and it’s such a blessing to have a quilting mama! She’s also planning on flying out a couple of weeks before Quilt Market to help me out with the tremendous amount of sewing we will be doing for my booth. The pattern instructions for this quilt are included in the 6th issue, and I hope you get a chance to make it! It’s simple and so sweet!

I’ll be back soon with my favorite way to cut bias strips and all those easy downloads!



Well Traveled Mini Travel Album

More fun to inspire you today! Check out Creative Team member Laurel Flechtner’s tutorial for creating a Mini Travel Album!

Enjoy! Carina

Mini Travel Album

NAME  Laurel Flechtner

FROM  Norfolk, Virginia, USA

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE THIS PROJECT OR WHO DID YOU MAKE IT FOR?  We took a trip to NJ & NYC to see family and I always make mini-albums of each of our trips.














Carina Gardner Well Traveled Paper Set 1

Carina Gardner Well Traveled Paper Set 2

Carina Gardner Well Traveled Paper Set 3

Carina Gardner Well Traveled Paper Set 4

7 Gypsies black binder ring

Cricut & Sure Cuts A Lot 2 for cutting album pages

Adobe Photoshop CS5



1. Cut and adhere a front and back  paper for each page of the album.












2. Select, print and adhere photos













3. Add embellishments and journaling
















Well Traveled Scrap-o-Dex

My amazing creative team has been working on hard on creating some lovely Hybrid Projects to inspire you using the Well-Traveled Line now at The line will continue to be released during the month of February, so keep your eyes open! In the meantime, check out this eye candy!


Well Traveled Scrap-o-Dex

Name  Joyce McCall

Hometown  Oklahoma City

Inspiration for the project... I am inspired by inspiration! I like having altered art and dimensional memory keepers around me so I’ll see them even when I’m not pulling out an album to look through.












Digital Supplies:

*Carina Gardner Well Traveled papers and elements

 Other Supplies:

*Claudine Hellmuth sticky back canvas

*Matte presentation paper

*Adhesive and embellishments

*Tiny alphabet stickers (Making Memories)

*Tim Holtz ornate plate with brads


1.Print desired patterned papers onto sticky-back canvas.  Use software to size your pieces to 4X6

vertically/portrait orientation.  You’ll need 4 total.  Adhere to the base unit of the scrap-o-dex.












2. For the cover card print patterned paper at 4X6 horizontal/landscape orientation.  Add stamped

title and attach ornate plate to frame it.  I also added a travel path to the map with a marker, and I

added glossy accents over the compass on the patterned paper.  Cover the back of the card also!












3. Select patterned papers for the chipboard cards.  Embellish with digi elements before printing, or

with physical elements after printed, or do a little of both!  4X6 horizontally was the right size for

mine.  On the tabbed cards, add a small strip of patterned paper to the tab before adhering the main

piece.  Use a craft knife to trim out the bottom notch.  Sand outer edges if you have paper that

overhangs.  Use alphabet stickers to add titles to the tabbed cards.  (tip:cover fronts, sand edges,

carve out notches, THEN work on the back sides.)






















4. Assemble your finished chipboard cards back into the scrap-o-dex!








Paper and Digital Designer Workshop Review February 2012

This last weekend was the Paper and Digital Designer Workshop. I obviously wasn’t thinking straight when I scheduled it the weekend after CHA. Despite the back-to-back scheduling, we had a fabulous time and it went off without a hitch.

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter how many classes I have taught, I always get a little nervous about getting in front of a group. Thankfully, the group dealt with all the Illustrator techniques I, ahem, made them participate in relatively well!

I was so impressed with the doodling, papers, textures, techniques, and elements that these ladies came out with during this workshop. (I was equally amazed at the amount of food I managed to eat during the two days.) The group was a wide range from beginners to industry designers. You’ll recognize some faces and names from this group (and might I suggest some up-and-coming designers?). Though I was the teacher, I learned so much from them as they shared their tips and tricks.

A huge thank you to Riley Blake who donated fabric to the swag bags. We had a number of Riley Blake designers in attendance, which made the event that much more fun! I also need to thank Susan Haglund for taking all of these pictures over the two days of the workshop.

Lots of thinking, thinking, thinking (picture below). Mostly of how we could all get Diet Coke IVs inserted. Since Roxanne came up with the idea, I’m expecting a patent from her soon. You’ve gotta love Samantha Walker’s monster computer screen (she was banished to the back row)!

A few of the ladies posing in one of the Little America Hotel Rooms.

The picture above looks pretty serious. That’s the only reason I included it.

I know that all these pictures give the illusion that we had our heads stuck in our computers the whole time. However, there was a lot of unruly behavior from the blonds at the back of the room (aka mischief-makers assistant Susan Haglund and Heidi Swapp). It seemed like every time I left the room to do a portfolio review with someone, those two had everyone in an uproar.

Other surprises? That Samantha Walker can tell a great embarrassing story on command.

We had lots of locals (Deena Rutter was in-and-out since her boys were battling it out for the hockey state championships.) as well participants from as far away as Canada (Thank you for the maple syrup, Melanie Ritchie!). Meg Stocks, a mentor at, came all the way from Atlanta (I do love my southern girls!).

I was also thankful that Pam Meeks and Rachel McPeek (do you like how their last names almost rhyme?) made it in right before the Colorado snowstorm hit. I was also grateful that it didn’t make it’s way up to Utah! Kathy Sierra-Fernandez came from Washington and became our resident Illustrator expert (we all learned a thing or two on how she magically builds patterns!). Roxanne Bergener of Close to My Heart cracked us up with her wit and  dazzled us with her industry experience.

The picture above is of Audrey Hanks (traveled from Wendover) and Christine Chodil(traveled from Chicago). It was fun to chat with both since they came from your non-typical designer backgrounds (Christine’s degree is in Musical Theater and Audrey has a MA in Mathematics).

Heidi Swapp gives her two cents on our typography exercise. We will certainly take her two cents along with any other change she has on her.

And who knows what I am explaining here? Obviously something to do with the itsy bitsy spider.

Don’t let the cool appearance of this one fool you (Kasey, Casey, Kasie, Casee…who knows how to spell her name?). She’ll slice you with her witty comments. And putting her next to Heidi wasn’t our smartest move.

You gotta love the work of Lori Whitlock. I just felt lucky that she came!

For our final dinner, we let a few guys crash our girl party. I’m pretty sure that I’m saying something extremely important here (photo below). Thank goodness for that pretty damask pattern behind me.

First off, there was no possible way to shrink down the picture of this slice of cake (scroll down, it’s hard to miss). Secondly, I thought it best for you to see the size of it in relation to Susan’s head.

Yes, we ate like that for many meals the entire two days. And yes, I was sick afterwards.

Lori Whitlock’s husband Doug, Eric Swapp of, and Jody Hunt of Echo Park overseeing our picture-taking.

In review—we ate a lot, designed a bit, had a number of “aha” moments (even me!), and had a pretty fantastic time.

Cheers to girl-design-time,


Hybrid Project Submissions Now Open!

We’ve had such a tremendous response to the hybrid section of the Quarterly Newsletter that I have decided to open it up to anyone who would like to submit projects they have done using my fabric, digital, or paper. This is very exciting for me since I love seeing everyone’s creativity!

Our first deadline is for Issue No. 6 Dec 2011-Jan 2012, which we expect to release mid-January. Submission Forms are due by December 15, 2011. Please download the form and look over the project guidelines. You can also check out previous hybrid projects done by the Creative Team in Issue No. 5.

Deadlines for future issues will be published on the Newsletter Page (as well as the download forms).

We’d love to publish your fabulous fabric, paper, and digital work so submit!

Hugs! Carina

Essentials Plus

I was browsing through my creative team’s layouts that feature my new digital scrapbooking line Essentials Plus. I’m amazed at the way they are using the line! Even though I did intend it to be a paper-meets-elements line, it is way more versatile than I thought it would be. Most of these layouts use ONLY the essential papers (thank you fabulous creative team!).

Layout by Carey Bridges

Layout by Laurel Flechtner

Layout by Susan Haglund

Layout by Stephanie Andre

Exciting New Upcoming Events!

There are two spectacular events that I plan on attending in the coming months. The first is Spraguefest!
This is an annual event hosted by Jessica Sprague to further build (the already awesome) community. I know there are going to be a lot of awesome people at this event, and I’m pretty excited to attend! I’m teaching a class on color (it’s going to be messy!).

Spraguefest is October 7-10, 2011 and there is a registration fee of $80 for classes and materials. I know there are going to be goodie bags (yum) and some fantastic teachers! This year we are in Las Vegas and  I’m sure that whatever happens in Vegas will stay in Vegas. That means a lot of late night craziness.  Oh alright, maybe some daytime craziness as well (I might have done a little dance in the street last year).

The second event is my brand new Paper and Digital Designer Workshop! Think elegant girls-trip-meets-intense-design-school. Yep, it’s going to be that kind of weekend!

We’ll be in Salt Lake City working on your paper and digital designer skills (and possibly your shopping skills, manicure skills, nunchuck skills…).  It’s going to be a super intense experience that will help you explore your creativity! We are staying at the Little America Hotel , who will also be catering nearly the entire event. The Little America is well known for being a luxurious Four Diamond Hotel and their menus and decor are impressive! Get ready for a glammed-up girls weekend that will also define your design career!

Registration for this event is capped at 20 people and is first-come, first serve.

Check out our workshops page to learn more and register!

I hope to be able to hang out with you at one or both of these events!

It’s Been A Week

I think it’s been a week at least since I have blogged. I’m too lazy to go back and check the front page to see how long it has been. Or too tired. Which is ironic since my kids got a sleepover with cousins last night and are getting a sleepover with grandma tonight all for the sake of work. How I can be so tired seems ridiculous given that I’m getting so much help at the moment!

Mostly, I have been working on Art of Digital Design 2. While the class has been fully written and all the images drawn, it’s the videos that have been time consuming. And while students don’t make the exact paper set I make in class (the class is technique and theory based), I couldn’t help but show you what I’ve been up to. For those of you taking the class, get excited! (Or I’ll just get excited for you since I know what you will be up to!)

I’m going to keep plugging away at these videos!

In fabric news, I’m told that my three new lines are on route. My quarterly newsletter hasn’t gone out because we have been holding out for those lines! So June-July won’t get to you until August.

That’s the way we are rollin’ these days.

And by the way, WHERE is summer going? August is a couple of days away and I can feel myself going into shock. Hoping I can squeeze in a couple of visits to the pool and zoo this coming month.