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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.