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Brown Paper Packages | Christmas Style + Yet Another Giveaway!

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Wednesday already.

Three days in to our little Brown Paper Packages event.

I can’t even believe it.

You know what I can’t even believe more than that? Those cute girls over at Eighteen25 shared a ’100 Days ‘Til Christmas’ ABC Family photo on Instagram yesterday.

What the french toast?

It’s comin’ folks.

It’ll be here before you can say ‘Bob’s your uncle.’

I know there are tons of you getting ready for Christmas, whether it’s decorations or gifts, there’s been a lot of Christmas stuff flying off the ol’ KBS shelves lately. ;)

Well, this week is the perfect time to start thinking of some fun Christmas ideas in the ‘Brown Paper’ genre. Take a look at what Layle has made!

deer tag copy

[ Design | Happy Camper (deer) ]

Layle says: Although this deer cut file is part of the Happy Camper kit, it screamed Christmas to me, so I decided to use it for a Christmas tag.  In fact, I cut the head directly on the tag itself, making the tag come together quickly.  A little washi tape, Christmas stickers and red bakers twine – it really couldn’t get any easier than this!

I couldn’t agree more Layle! I am in love with this tag for so many reasons. The simplicity. The negative space head. The kraft tag. It’s just wonderful! Awesome for a gift or in your Christmas album…or both. Why choose?


tree copytree close up copy

[ Design | Happy Camper (tree) ]

Layle says:
A neutral package and another cut file from the Happy Camper kit used for Christmas!  I cut the tree from a woodgrain piece of paper, glued a doily to the top of the package, added the tree along with a wood veneer star at the top and wrapped it up (literally & figuratively!) with the tinsel trim.

This is fantastic! Simple, but so festive! Love the look of the tree cut in the woodgrain paper. And wrapped with tinsel? It’s the finishing touch–like putting the star on top of the tree…for which I do love the wood star on top of this tree. :)


And now it’s time for another giveaway!

We’ve got a fabulous Birthday package from the folks at Simple Stories…and that means Layle too.  :) Oodles and oodles of fun, brightly colored cards and stickers and such. Perfect for those birthday pages and pocket scrapbooking!

Here’s a plethora of ways to enter. U.S. residents only please.

If you haven’t had a chance to enter in the other two giveaways this week, be sure to do that. All contests will end Sunday and winners will be announced Monday.

(p.s. I’m loving reading all your comments!!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TJ Jay - September 17, 2014 - 6:58 am

Love the tag so cute! What a great idea to cut the deer into the tag. I glued about 100 last year!!

Erinaaaa - September 17, 2014 - 7:09 am

Awesome giveaway!

Amy M. C. - September 17, 2014 - 7:24 am

Biggest birthday surprise…well, it didn’t quite work out as planned, but I was trying to get my husband to a restaurant at a certain time to be surprised by family. A football game was on and he could not figure out why I was in such a rush to leave. Anyway, we made it and he was definitely surprised! Thanks for the fun giveaway!

julie - September 17, 2014 - 7:36 am

LOVE this tag!! Love the Simple Stories line also! :)

Michelle - September 17, 2014 - 7:38 am

Love your blog!.Thank you for the chance to win!.

Carolyn E - September 17, 2014 - 8:14 am

Love that dear tag! Might have to make that for my gift tags this year :)
Thanks for the inspiration and the giveaway!

Maddie - September 17, 2014 - 8:25 am

The biggest birthday surprise is a surprise party, of course!

Katrina H - September 17, 2014 - 8:25 am

I love that tag! Thanks for the chance to win!

Karen S - September 17, 2014 - 8:33 am

Love the tag and Simple Stories line!

My biggest birthday surprise was for my 50th birthday. My wonderful husband planned a party and had all my family and friends there, complete with picture boards and a fabulous cake!

Carrie/scrapchick - September 17, 2014 - 8:33 am

Love the Reindeer tag!!! SO cute! The biggest surprise was a party when I turned 40…including out of state family! Thanks for the chance!

Melinda C. - September 17, 2014 - 8:39 am

I’m thinking these would be PERFECT for card making!! Such bright wonderful colors! Love them!

jpscraps - September 17, 2014 - 9:01 am

Lovely projects! I don’t think I ever had a “birthday surprise”

Rhadonda - September 17, 2014 - 9:12 am

A bike when i was 16, though i would rather have received a car at least my parents got me some transportation ( :

Judy Stiles - September 17, 2014 - 9:13 am

Such a cute tag and love the package decoration as well! I’m all for simplicity and these would be so quick and easy to make, but still have a big punch! Birthday surprise? Can’t say that I recall any big “surprises.” Just happy to be able to share them with my family!

Carla Hundley - September 17, 2014 - 9:19 am

My husband gave me a
pair of diamond earrings
on my first birthday with
him! Small and dainty,
just wonderful!
Carla from Utah

Kris M. - September 17, 2014 - 9:52 am

What a great giveaway! Love all things ‘Simple Stories’. So easy to use all types of projects.

Amy O - September 17, 2014 - 9:56 am

Im seriously thinking about CASEing that tag. Love it!

Jessica Dougherty - September 17, 2014 - 10:05 am

loving the packaging ideas!

Jeanne B - September 17, 2014 - 10:18 am

Love, Love, Love that tag! It is going on the definitely need to make this list.

Jeanne B - September 17, 2014 - 10:21 am

Love that tag! Definitely going on the need to make that list!

Marilyn Bronson - September 17, 2014 - 10:22 am

Yikes, I am so not even thinking about Christmas yet!! Love the tags and the giveaway is awesome. Thanks for all the inspiration.

angela - September 17, 2014 - 10:38 am

Finding out I was pregnant!

Lori P. - September 17, 2014 - 10:45 am

I couldn’t believe store’s here in Michigan had Halloween & Christmas items out in August. Wow! I hope you are having a GREAT birthday week.

Nashonne Newman - September 17, 2014 - 10:47 am

My biggest birthday surprise was my 40th birthday party thrown by my husband.

Nonni - September 17, 2014 - 12:10 pm

Love, love the simplicity of this tag and Simple Stories!! I am a big fan of yours. Thanks for the inspiration.

Michelle - September 17, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Happy Birthday week Kerri!! My biggest birthday surprise was a diamond heart necklace.

Sally - September 17, 2014 - 12:14 pm

I love it all! I hope you enjoyed your own birthday celebration yesterday!

Michelle - September 17, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Love, love, love all the projects this week… and thank you for the giveaways too!

Tammy Davis - September 17, 2014 - 12:30 pm

What a wonderful tag! So creative! thanks for the chance. My biggest birthday surprise was when I was 9. My sister had made me an entire wardrobe for my doll. Beautiful clothes.

Lalitha - September 17, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Love the tag and all the projects you do. Thank you for a chance at this giveaway.

Lara Read - September 17, 2014 - 12:59 pm

Love when you can use the theme kits in different ways! Thanks for the ideas!

Lynette - September 17, 2014 - 1:14 pm

The biggest birthday surprise…hmmm…I think it was probably me knowing my friends were going to be hiding in my room when I got home from dinner with my family on my 13th birthday. It was kind of a tradition with out friends. We would decorate each other’s rooms and hide out til they came in. I wrote a note to them that said, “Thanks for coming!” They all couldn’t believe I knew their plan. :) It was fun to surprise them.

Miriam Prantner - September 17, 2014 - 1:20 pm

My sister and hubby threw me a surprise birthday party when I turned 25, totally not expecting that!

Becky - September 17, 2014 - 2:01 pm

I was turning 50 and having lunch with all my kids and this young man was our waiter. He was “firting” with me (to get a good tip. It worked), and one of my girls said, “She’s older than she looks!” We all just about laughed ourselves off the chairs. Kind of a backhanded compliment, but a lot of fun.

I totally love this tag! Gonna go right out and make one/a bunch up!

Linda Craig - September 17, 2014 - 2:12 pm

I always love to read your blog posts and love your work.

RPomeroy - September 17, 2014 - 2:29 pm

My friends throwing me a surprise birthday party in middle school. They were great friends and middle school was hard, so I am glad that I had them.

Judy Parma - September 17, 2014 - 2:50 pm

My grandson has his 3rd birthday next week, this would be perfect, thanks for the chance to win!

Theresa - September 17, 2014 - 3:00 pm

Love the tag with the deer head. Definitely going on my to-do list.
hmmm, biggest birthday surprise….I can think of biggest anniversary surprise, biggest Christmas surprise, but got nothing for biggest birthday surprise!
Thanks for the chance.

Liz Lumsden - September 17, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Great tag and package! Still celebrating strong!

Liz Lumsden - September 17, 2014 - 3:27 pm

Oops! Forgot to tell my biggest BD surprise! It was a party given by my sister last year for my 60th BD and all 3 of my grown children were there!

Debbie S - September 17, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Happy Birthday! We’re big on celebrating birthdays, but not too much on surprises. But this is great-YOU have a birthday-and WE get the surprises! Thanks for the chance! LOVE the deer tag–and the calendar tag from Monday!

Cynthia B. - September 17, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Wonderful giveaway! My biggest birthday surprise was for my 40th…my husband had planned a cruise, just for the two of us! He’d arranged for my sisters to watch my kids and everything. Total surprise in the best way. :)
Thanks for the chance to win! I love Simple Stories.

Amy R - September 17, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Another fun give away! Thanks for the chance.

bernicej - September 17, 2014 - 4:40 pm

The biggest birthday surprise I ever got was a bouquet of 48 red roses. That would not seem surprising to most people, but if you know my husband, it certainly would. He NEVER buys flowers; occasionally plants, yes, because they “last longer”. But even for the births of our kids, he didn’t buy flowers. So it was a totally extravagant gesture on his part.

Denise Bryant - September 17, 2014 - 4:52 pm

I love those awesome tag ideas!
Biggest surprise…. when I was little, we visited my grandparents in Santa Barbara. Went out for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and when we arrived back at the house, Santa had come and left a lot of beautiful presents! Did not expect him to come til later in the night while we would be asleep, so that was a huge surprise!

LinhC - September 17, 2014 - 6:06 pm

Surprising my daughter with her first car!

Tiffany Hayden - September 17, 2014 - 6:25 pm

I love making my own gift tags. These are adorable!

I love the bright, fun colors of the Birthday package from Simple Stories!

Betsy - September 17, 2014 - 6:56 pm

Ahhh….can’t think about Christmas yet, but that tag sure is precious. Had to save it as an inspiration.

Angela K - September 17, 2014 - 7:02 pm

One of my son sent me flowers. It was such a surprise as he had never sent me flowers before and was really good at keeping it a secret.

Rebekah - September 17, 2014 - 7:29 pm

My biggest birthday surprise was when my Mom brought my Godmother up on the train to celebrate my birthday. I rarely am truly surprised so it was a great gift!

stacie d - September 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm

My husband planned a surprise birthday party at our house with all of my friends. It was quite a surprise to walk in the front door and see our house full of all my fave people! Love this birthday week on your site and Simple Stories is fab, too!

Melanie Stanczyk - September 17, 2014 - 7:59 pm

I love the inspiration-Layle projects are awesome! The giveaway is pure eye candy sugar with a cherry on top! The colors are so cheerful. I have the perfect home for the collection! I have 3 children and have years and years and years of birthday pictures to scrap. Which, brings me to a thought…your happy birthday cuts would be a perfect match!

Tricia - September 17, 2014 - 10:32 pm

I love everything about the set. The colors are so fantastic and the bike is adorable.

Cindy B - September 18, 2014 - 1:37 am

My biggest birthday surprise was diamond earrings on my 50th (and also the day I retired!) from my sweet husband!

Janet T - September 18, 2014 - 5:00 am

Great birthday celebration, love the kraft ideas!
Not sure don’t get too many surprises on my birthday…although my 6 kids make it fun!
~God bless~

Susan - September 18, 2014 - 5:30 am

Clever idea with the deer tag! Thanks for a chance to win this awesome prize!

Ruth Tacoma - September 18, 2014 - 5:44 am

I just threw a 50th birthday party for my husband and invited 100 of our friends for a pig roast. We had a wonderful time & he was certainly surprised!

Janet - September 18, 2014 - 6:39 am

My husband proposed to me on my birthday.

Karen Walker - September 18, 2014 - 7:23 am

Simple Stories is one of my fave companies. Thanks for a chance to win. Layle’s reindeer tag is simply wonderful!

Marcia Dehn-Nix - September 18, 2014 - 7:33 am

LOVE these, especially that stag’s head tag! Biggest surprise… hubby actually remembered my birthday and bought me a gift one year! I’ve become very good at buying my own gift ;)

Traci - September 18, 2014 - 7:48 am

Best birthday surprise ever was a new car on my 17th birthday!

LisaM6 - September 18, 2014 - 9:21 am

Love the kraft tags. Washi tape and just a little to make them sparkle. :) Great ideas!

Jennifer Greer - September 18, 2014 - 9:57 am

My biggest birthday surprise was a new car for my 40th birthday. Completely unexpected, but we certainly needed one.

Amy O - September 18, 2014 - 12:23 pm

When I was sixteen my mom planned a surprise party for me. All my friends squeezed into our tiny bathroom. my mom asked me to go get her a tissue and boy was I surprised when I opened the door!

Nancy Barnes - September 18, 2014 - 2:02 pm

My “boyfriend” at the time threw me a surprise birthday party! It was so sweet but I really thought we were going to a movie!!

Nicole McNamara - September 18, 2014 - 2:53 pm

My biggest bithday surprise: for my 21st birthday my mother made me a simple scrapbook and just after that I found out I was pregnant with my first. Hence I now scrap her and the him that followed shortly after.

Kathleen D - September 18, 2014 - 2:59 pm

“What the french toast!” You crack me up Kerri. Love, love, love that reindeer tag and love Simple Stories.

My biggest surprise was at my 50th birthday when I got an iPad. Usually I’m the last one in my family to get the latest and greatest iAnything. So I was shocked when they gave me the most recent version.

Melitta Ball - September 18, 2014 - 3:03 pm

The biggest birthday surprise I was able to pull off….told my husband that we needed to stop over at a friends house to drop something off…when we walked into the back yard all of his friends and family were there to surprise him! He had absolutely no idea, and the icing on the cake was that the children and I gifted him a set of golf clubs that he had been eyeing at the pro shop for years! He was still using the ones he had as a teenager and technology had come a long, long way! Kerri I have both a USA & Canadian address so I hope you would allow me to participate in your giveaway!
Many Blessings,

Alison - September 18, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Prefect for catching up on my pocket scrapbooking and making birthday cards for my daughter’s friends.

Jenn B. - September 18, 2014 - 8:28 pm

My biggest birthday surprise was a trip to Disney World. Thanks for the chance to win!

Katie B. - September 19, 2014 - 1:26 am

Love the tinsel, christmas tree and doily wrapping! Forgot the question… Thanks for the giveaway! Thanks for sharing.

Katie B.

Karen Peterson - September 19, 2014 - 4:18 am

My husband threw me a 40th bday party!

Celeste B - September 19, 2014 - 5:08 am

My biggest birthday surprise was a trip to Italy for 2.5 weeks for my 50th birthday.

Jane Tiefenthaler - September 19, 2014 - 7:48 am

Love the packages.

Ruth G - September 19, 2014 - 9:06 am

Wonderful tag! So awesome to have the reindeer’s head and I love the great layered parts of the tree tag! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!

Carolyn E - September 19, 2014 - 9:34 am

My biggest birthday surprise was many moons ago, my DH and I were out in the boat on my birthday. And he said he needed to go to the bathroom, so we were going to stop at his sister’s house…okay. As we were walking from the dock I noticed lots of familiar cars, he threw together a surprise party for me :) He’s done that many times over the years, and has always surprised me!

Ruthie Lopez - September 19, 2014 - 1:26 pm

Beautiful work!
Thank you for the chance to win!!

Margie Visnick - September 19, 2014 - 2:22 pm

My biggest birthday surprise was a pair of diamond earrings from my hubby!

Alysia H - September 19, 2014 - 8:18 pm

My biggest birthday surprise was the year my parents bought gave me ruby and diamond necklace. ❤️

Bethany - September 19, 2014 - 9:01 pm

My biggest birthday has to be for my 40th birthday when my cute husband surprised me with an awesome totally surprise party !! It was so fun and he totally got me !!

Lindsay F - September 19, 2014 - 9:04 pm

I’m loving the reindeer tag!

Kelly Humby-Tulk - September 20, 2014 - 8:31 am

My biggest surprise was recieving my cameo for my birthday last year!!

Lynne Kramer - September 20, 2014 - 8:35 am

Love that tag! So cute!

Lindsay - September 20, 2014 - 9:15 am

Sadly, I can’t think of a birthday surprise! Thanks for all the fun giveaways!

Tami - September 20, 2014 - 9:30 am

Love these tag!

My biggest birthday surprise or the biggest birthday surprise you’ve blogged? Hmmm…

Yours, in giveaways, are probably the giveaways! They have been awesome! Thank you for sharing your birthday with us! : )

Mine, on the other hand, is hard to pinpoint. I’ve had a lot, but one of the funniest is the year both my husband & my dad gave me a birthday cake! Neither of them ever do that, but the year each decided to, they both did! (communication…ha!) *Now, if I see my mom on my birthday, she’ll always make me one! ; )

Erin S. - September 20, 2014 - 9:46 am

I love Simple Stories. can’t get enough of them!

Erin S. - September 20, 2014 - 9:49 am

My biggest surprise was years ago on my fifth birthday. My dad was in the Air Force and had been up in Nome, AK for three weeks and wasn’t due home for another three. He switched with someone and drove 7 hours home to Anchorage in Feb. to be there for my birthday party. I had no idea he was going to be there.

Samantha Clark - September 20, 2014 - 10:28 am

My biggest surprise was from my hubby. He got tickets to Michael Buble for us. He wrapped them in multiple boxes so there was no way I could guess beforehand.

Cindy - September 20, 2014 - 12:27 pm

Surprise spur of the moment trip for my birthday to NYC and spent my birthday on top of the Empire State building at midnight! Priceless.

Laura BC - September 20, 2014 - 6:01 pm

Love the colors!

Sarita - September 20, 2014 - 6:04 pm

On my 21st birthday my parents gave me a surprise party.

Linda - September 20, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Great tag. Got me thinking of new ways to do this cutting machine stuff!

Brown Paper Packages….or Bags + Another Giveaway

brown paper packages ad2


It’s happened.

Goodbye 47.

Hello 48. 

I’ve been digging my 40s. Not had a problem with them at all. It’s a good time in life. Kids are a bit older. The pace of life begins to slow down a bit…kind of. It still has its moments, but that may be more self-inflicted due in large part to owning my own business.

At any rate, other than this funky shoulder and getting ‘older vision’, I can’t complain too much.

It’s ‘turning 50′ that I think will get to me somewhat. I always looked at those people in my neighborhood that were that age, and I have to say, it just seemed on the ‘old’ side. Not old, but just a whole different decade of life. Don’t know that I’m ready for that…even though hubby is already 52. ;) Thankfully I still got two years to prepare though.

Can I just take two 40s instead?

But birthdays can bring good things. Great things. For example, our Brown Paper Packages event continues today with some darling bags by our Miss Laura!


[ DesignsHappy Birthday (happy birthday) / Something To Say (celebrate) / Feathers / Banners  / This+That: Spring (daisy) ]

How fun is that? Totally customized brown paper bags with a pop of color and foo foo. Love the mix of textured paper feathers with real feathers! 

Laura says:

I always have a stash of kraft gift bags on hand, for easy and quick gift giving. It doesn’t matter if I’m giving a birthday gift, a baby gift, a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift, or even a Christmas gift … a kraft gift bag is neutral enough to use for any occasion. I always have intentions of decorating the bag, but 10 times out of 10 (not even kidding), I end up handing over a plain kraft bag. When Kerri brought up the idea of “brown paper packaging”, I knew it was the perfect push to decorate a few of these kraft gift bags.

I played around with quite a few of Kerri’s designs, before finally settling on the feathers and the daisy. I have a large supply of feathers from Bella Blvd, and I knew I could work them in right along her cut files. I ran the die cut feathers thru a chevron embossing folder to add some texture, before adhering them right along with a few of the real feathers. For the die cut daisies, I cut 3 of the flowers, in varying sizes, so I could layer them together. I also added some quick pen lines around the edges of the die cuts, just to break up all of the white and bring in a small touch of black.

Soooo…like, Laura, my birthday is today??? (wink wink)

And now, the giveaways continue!  

I enlisted the help of Laura with some Bella Blvd goodies to give away this fine birthday week! Take a look at this set….it’s sooooo awesome! I do see some feathers in there so you can make your own foo foo brown paper packages. :)


This giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only please.

Here’s how you can win. All contests this week will end Sunday and winners will be posted Monday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barbara Dundas - September 16, 2014 - 7:13 am

I love giving gift tags.

Dolly / scrapthat - September 16, 2014 - 7:24 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (again) Kerri!! :D
Awesome projects Laura!

Sandy_in_MD - September 16, 2014 - 7:32 am

It is difficult to pick one favorite, but I made a scrabble board with all of the extended family names for my parent’s anniversary one year (Their family room/game room area had old board games instead of pictures on the wall.) It was fun putting it together for them.

Mel H - September 16, 2014 - 7:36 am

I gave my mom a scrapbook of photos of my dad as a child at Christmas with some special paper ornaments he had saved from his early Christmas trees included. It made her and me cry.

Carrie/scrapchick - September 16, 2014 - 7:48 am


I think best gift I gave was to my oldest son at 18 – an album I made with quotes, lyrics and messages of just everything I hope he remembers through life.

Thanks for the chance!

Liz Lumsden - September 16, 2014 - 7:50 am

I gave the same thing to both my girls when they turned 21, a trip to Las Vegas! Of course me and a couple of their aunts went too!

Amy M. C. - September 16, 2014 - 7:52 am

The best gift I every gave…hmmm…I would say it’s my baked goods that I package with cute seasonal decorations.

Jane - September 16, 2014 - 7:55 am

Happy Birthday Kerri! Don’t worry about the 50′s they are just fine. Stay young in heart and in your head and you will rock the 50′s!

angela - September 16, 2014 - 7:56 am

I made a scrapbook album for my parents of our wedding. They loved it!

Gwen Lords - September 16, 2014 - 8:03 am

love the gift bags, I am always looking for fun new ways to make gifts cute!

Sally - September 16, 2014 - 8:03 am

Happy Birthday Kerri! Enjoy your day and thanks for celebrating with us!

Judy Stiles - September 16, 2014 - 8:18 am

I made the adorable mini album in your “Getting to Know You” class and gave it to my daughter for her birthday last year! She absolutely loved it! Made my eyes teary when I saw how much she appreciated it! Happy Birthday, Kerri!

Judy R - September 16, 2014 - 8:18 am

I hand crocheted a baby blanket and matching booties when my daughter was pregnant. They were the “first” Christmas gifts for my grandson on the way.

Karen S - September 16, 2014 - 8:30 am

The best gift I ever gave was flying my brother-in-law and mother-in-law down to FL as a surprise for my husband’s 50th birthday. He had no idea and it’s the first and only time I’ve seen him speechless!!

Cynthia Larson - September 16, 2014 - 9:12 am

These bag so flipping cute! LOVE!

marcy e - September 16, 2014 - 9:15 am

Happy Birthday Kerri… I must say, every one of your posts is like a little present to me… LOVE YOUR STYLE!!!
My Grandma, who lived to 103 years 11 months always said her favorite age was the one she was that day!!!
Just think of the adventures that await you…
Thanks for sharing so many of them with those of us who are not quite as creative…
God’s Blessing today and always…

3kidmama - September 16, 2014 - 9:47 am

Such lovely ideas! I am totally going to try this!

Carla Hundley - September 16, 2014 - 9:51 am

Happy Birthday!! I’m
54 and still going
strong!! Best gift
I gave was a package
of 12 x 12 pattern
paper, clear stamps
and holder and
embellishments to
my Mom. She loved
getting them!
Carla from Utah

Laura K - September 16, 2014 - 9:55 am

Hands down the best gift I have ever given was to my sister. I quilt and she wanted to learn how to quilt too. She is 11 years younger than me so she was probably only 14 or so when I taught her. She picked the fabrics and I showed her how to cut and sew them and once she got the top finished she decided she didn’t like quilting and the top sat in her closet for years. So one year I snuck it out and finished the quilt for her. She cried when she opened it on Christmas. It was fantastic!

Jessica Dougherty - September 16, 2014 - 9:58 am

last Christmas I made my sister a scrapbook of our family heritage. she was floored!

Denise Bryant - September 16, 2014 - 10:30 am

Love the festive gift bags!
Best gift I gave… My Mom wasn’t expecting me to come for her 80th birthday party because I live a distance away from her, and I showed up as a surprise.

Ruth G - September 16, 2014 - 10:44 am

That’s a tough one. I feel really good when I make card sets for others to use – that always feels like a pretty awesome gift (although I tend to get comments that they want to just keep them all for themselves…) I think the shadow box I made for a hubby a couple of years ago might be the best gift, though. He loves geocaching and there have been some interesting finds and rewards that a small enough for a shadow box, but too bulky for a scrapbook page so I included those trinkets as well as photos. It was so much fun putting together and everyone loves to look at it!
Hey, happy birthday! I think 50 will be the new 40 or something like that, whenever you get there…

RamonaP - September 16, 2014 - 10:49 am

Throwing a party for my parents anniversary

Cindy Trimble - September 16, 2014 - 11:16 am

I had someone make quilts for my kids, my dad, my brother, my sister in law and me of all my mom’s clothes the Christmas after she passed away. Best gift ever!

Kate Hungerford - September 16, 2014 - 12:13 pm

Ew, Ew, EW, handing waving in the air-pick me, pick me, puhleeeeeeze!!
Thanks for the chance to win!

Nonni - September 16, 2014 - 12:14 pm

Happy Birthday Kerri! Best present I have given is a small sewing machine to my 6 yr old grandson . He wanted to sew on paper.

Sherry T - September 16, 2014 - 12:26 pm

Wow what a great prize package from Bella Blvd….Love the Brown Paper Bags…flowers and feathers and script–oh my!!!…LOL.

Tammy Davis - September 16, 2014 - 12:26 pm

I think the best present I ever gave was to my sister. She collected Carousel horses. I made one with cross stitch and then my husband made a frame that looked like a carousel. She loved it! Thanks for the chance & Happy Birthday to you!

Brenda - September 16, 2014 - 12:30 pm

The best present I ever gave (now that’s hard!) I think is the album I made of my grandma for my mom shortly after my grandma’s death. It had photos of her from a little girl up until just before she passed and had photos of just the 2 of them together along with photos of her with other family members (and with her parents!)

Kele Wilson - September 16, 2014 - 12:31 pm

The best give I ever gave was a handmade baby album to my cousin for her first baby girl. I combined my scrapbooking and mixed media techniques and came up with an album that I was so in love with I almost wanted to keep it for myself. I love giving handmade gifts. It makes me and the recipient both feel very special.

Michele Geraci - September 16, 2014 - 12:36 pm

I took my granddaughter to see her first concert! She is just 12 1/2, and in LOVE with “1 Direction” so my husband and I saved to buy tickets and took her. To see the joy on her face was priceless!

shawn Box - September 16, 2014 - 1:07 pm

Love how you designed the paper bags. TFS!!!

Nashonne - September 16, 2014 - 1:12 pm

The best gift I gave was an iPad.

Amber M. - September 16, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Ummm, wow!!!!!!! I love. Yes, LOVE, these shabby chic kraft bags!!! Every detail of them is amazing!!!

Susan P - September 16, 2014 - 2:07 pm

What a fun package of goodies! Thanks for the chance to win it. I just love what Laura did with a regular old Kraft bag – I think I have some of them in my stash…. By the way – Happy Birthday Kerri! Just to let you know – 50s aren’t so bad – kids are out of the house and I can have fun with all my crafts. I think as long as your health is good, you will enjoy your 50s too.

Jeanne B - September 16, 2014 - 2:11 pm

I love this! What a great way to dress up a gift bag.

Lynette - September 16, 2014 - 2:24 pm

The best present I ever gave…hmmm. That’s a hard one to pick a favorite. Probably the wall art I made for my sister in law that used your “Let’s just do today,” art. She is expecting her first baby and a big change in her husband’s employment in the next few months. It turned out gorgeous, but I know she appreciated that thought too!

Judy Rowland - September 16, 2014 - 2:45 pm

I LOVE giving gifts. I am inspired by your gift bags and am going to try to recreate a number of them, so I always have some on hand. The best gift I ever give is for the family we adopt each year for the Christmas holidays. My family joins with me to shop and purchase everything on their wish list. We’ve been doing this for years, and I can’t describe how rewarding it is to know that we made a real difference in someone’s life!!

Thank you for the opportunity to win this AWESOME package of goodies!!


PaulaJean - September 16, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Happy Birthday!!! I think the best birthday gift I ever gave was a small party for my daughter at American Girl when she was smaller. So happy to see her face light right up!!

Tracy Bohman - September 16, 2014 - 3:23 pm

What a great idea, Happy Birthday, we share the same birthday week.
Have a fun week!!!!!

Vanessa Babin - September 16, 2014 - 3:27 pm

The best present I ever gave….hummmm that’s tough. I guess the Frozen dress I made for my granddaughter. She absolutely loved and the look on her face was priceless.

Kimberly aka SamsSissy - September 16, 2014 - 3:58 pm

These gift bags are gorgeous! Going to have to get me some feathers!

Kimberly aka SamsSissy - September 16, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Best present?? Probably the Sister scrapbook I made for my little sister.

Vicki - September 16, 2014 - 4:10 pm

Happy Birthday – may the celebration continue!!
My 40′s were good but my 50′s are even better so adjust your thinking, girl! For some odd reason, when YOU are 50, it doesn’t seem old at all ;)
Best gift I recently gave was to my husband – it was a collection of framed b&w photos (I had taken) for his office. They made him tear up — always the sign of a good gift.

Katrina H - September 16, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Happy birthday! Thanks for the chance to win!

Shari Dancer-Thomas - September 16, 2014 - 6:12 pm

Thanks for this! Love the bags and feathers!

Karen Peterson - September 16, 2014 - 6:49 pm

That’s a hard one; I must not be a a very good present giver…I loved giving the moms in my family a canvas photo of my kids (their grandkids).

Tina Joergens - September 16, 2014 - 7:13 pm

Happy Birthday! Love what you share! Thank you and best-ever-birthday wishes!

Debbie B. - September 16, 2014 - 7:23 pm

Brown paper never looked so good ;- ) Thanks for sharing such great inspiration!

LinhC - September 16, 2014 - 7:46 pm

a hand crochet scarf

Stacie D - September 16, 2014 - 8:02 pm

The best gift I ever gave was framed photo collage prints for my parents along with a digital scrapbook from scanned pictures of their wedding. It made them teary eyed for their 40th wedding anniversary.

Angela Ke - September 16, 2014 - 8:24 pm

I gave my mother-in-law a blanket collage of pictures of her pets. She loves her pets so and a couple have now passed but she still has them close with her blanket.

Melanie Stanczyk - September 16, 2014 - 8:27 pm

What a beautiful rainbow of goodness!!!!! I love all the bright happy colors!!

What a great birthday celebration! Thank you.

Pat - September 16, 2014 - 8:44 pm

Love all the goodies, but I also love your posts!

Amy O - September 16, 2014 - 9:30 pm

I was just looking at feather cut files – how timely! :) Just adorable.

susan h. - September 16, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Best gift I ever gave was giving some young broke girls at work a bunch of my scrapbooking supplies! I’m going to make some of these gift bags for my son so he has bags when his kids go to a bday party! Love them!

Torrie - September 16, 2014 - 11:39 pm

What was the best present I ever gave? Wow that’s a tough call. I love to give jewelry or scarves to people, because that is something we don’t buy ourselves very often. Happy Birthday and thanks for including us all in the fun.

TJ Jay - September 17, 2014 - 7:00 am

So Cute! Love the feathers.

Rhadonda - September 17, 2014 - 9:14 am

A scrapbook album i had put together to give to my mother-in-law.

Kris M. - September 17, 2014 - 9:49 am

Absolutely LOVE these gift bags and the feathers are to die for!

Marcia Dehn-Nix - September 17, 2014 - 5:20 pm

Happy Birthday…. 50′s not that bad. It happened to me last year :)

Janet - September 18, 2014 - 6:44 am

The album I made my great niece for her graduation gift.

Denise Luscan - September 18, 2014 - 7:08 am

I think the best present I ever gave was a trip for me and my Mother. It was just a car trip to Miami when I was 22 but it was a somewhat pricey trip, a wonderful surprise for my Mother, and a load of fun…just the two of us. Good memories.

LisaM6 - September 18, 2014 - 9:26 am

What a great idea for decorating plain bags. I think the best gift I ever gave was a mini book of my dad after he passed to my mom. She has a way to see how loved he was and still is.

Leann - September 18, 2014 - 10:54 am

Funny – I just turned 48 last wee and Mr Op is 52. I have shoulder and eye issues too! We must be twins separated at birth (wink).

Thanks so much for all the inspiration!


Amy O - September 18, 2014 - 12:32 pm

A bunch of friends pooled our money together to get a digital camera for our friends when they were having their first baby. That was pretty fun to give (and a surprise for them!)

Nancy Barnes - September 18, 2014 - 2:07 pm

My “boyfriend” at the time was very into acting and doing community theater. I wanted him to know I thought he was a star and could do anything and go anywhere. I had a star (a real astronomical star) named after him and gave him a certificate of “ownership” that listed the star’s official name and heavenly location.

Melitta Ball - September 18, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Hi Kerri!

Ok first, the best present I ever gave was to take my Mom to Disneyland! Our dad had promised to take us in 1980 but just weeks prior to going, my mom had a stroke. Just 8 short years later my dad passed away at 52 due to a massive heart attack, so that trip just wasn’t going to happen. My mom was a super, super Disney fan and so when my husband and I renewed our wedding vows on our 10th anniversary in 1994, we took mom on our honeymoon (never had one when get got married) to give her that all expenses paid dream trip that she always wanted! Right up until my mom passed in 2012, she talked all the time about that trip, about meeting Mickey & Minnie and she kept in a Disney Photo Frame next to her chair, a photo of her in the front seat of the Splash Mountain ride!! It still sits next to her chair in our living room! I wish I could show you the photo! Yup, absolute best gift I ever had the privilege to give! Secondly, I have an address in both the USA & Canada so I hope you would still allow me to enter your give away!
Many Blessings,
Melitta Ball

Alison - September 18, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Wow! Great stuff, my ten year old daughter is looking over my shoulder drooling.

Katie B. - September 19, 2014 - 1:28 am

Best present I ever gave…a scrapbook to my mom! Loving the feathers!! Thanks for sharing.

Katie B.

Celeste B - September 19, 2014 - 5:10 am

Love the Bella Blvd embellies.

Jolene Johnston - September 19, 2014 - 6:10 am

For my husband’s 40th birthday I threw him a get-together with his guy friends complete with playoff football on a giant TV, poker, lots of food, cake, scotch, and cigars. It was a hit! Thanks for the giveaways!

Maryfrances - September 19, 2014 - 6:34 am

Just love all the bright colors. Just perfect for a birthday surprise.

Amanda Hall - September 19, 2014 - 7:53 am

I gave birth to our 2nd son, 9 days after my hubby’s bday & he said it was the best belated bday gift ever;)

Carolyn E - September 19, 2014 - 9:39 am

The best present I ever gave…well by the reaction of my oldest DS, it was the BMX bike he really wanted for his birthday last year. He about fainted!

Ruthie Lopez - September 19, 2014 - 1:27 pm

Love the bag with the feathers!!

Alysia H - September 19, 2014 - 8:25 pm

I love giving handmade gifts.

Kelly Humby-Tulk - September 20, 2014 - 8:34 am

An inspirational religious vinyl wall decal. My friend actually cried!!

Tami - September 20, 2014 - 9:45 am

Happy Birthday! I have to agree – I’m loving my 40′s as well! Can’t explain it, but am really lovin’ this decade!

Best present I ever gave…well, from my point of view, they are things the person really wanted & didn’t know I was getting them – surprise! I’ve done several of those for my hubby over the years. One being a HO scale train when we were first married (really young & no money). We both love to do the surprise thing with gifts (neither of wants to know what we are getting before we open it!).

linda - September 20, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Happy Birthday! Age is the number of years we have lived! Not how we have lived them or how we are living now, just a number!

We have the choice each year how to live the coming year, so yes, celebrate and live and enjoy! (A little philosophical cause I just passed a big number…hint…more than you!)

Thanks for including us in on your celebration.

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String + Giveaway

brown paper packages ad2
This song has literally been in my head for months.


At the beginning of this year I bought a roll of brown postal paper. Oh, the thoughts I’ve had in my head for using this.

Hence, the song.

I see the roll. I see something in kraft. I hear the song.

I knew I wanted to personally do a post around this theme, but could never seem to get my ‘packages’ in a row.

Until now.

There’s a reason for everything and I’m so glad I could never make it happen just for me because it just got sooo much better! I decided to invite my creative team to help play all week long with the Brown Paper Packages theme on account-a it’s my own little birthday this week. (Tomorrow, to be exact. Hello 48.)

It couldn’t have been better timing!

So this week we are going to play!

Brown paper packages, tags, gifts, whatever the girls could think of using this theme.

I am soooooo excited!!!

Let’s take a look at Maggie’s creations.




[ Designs | Tiny Details: Calendar / Grammar School: The Pronouns (yours) ]

While it is all sooooo beautiful, I adore the 27 tag!!! I never would have thought to do that as a kraft tag. See what I mean about ‘things happen for a reason’? This event of Maggie’s is going to be fantastically decked out. Hello???

Here’s a bit from Maggie:

There is just something so elegant about the mix of kraft paper and bright white cardstock. Although they may seem plain & simple when they are used alone…they become just gorgeous when you pair them. I’ve created two different tags that I’m using to dress up some packaging for an upcoming event I’m co-hosting …and I love the way they add so much to the look of the items I’m using them on.

For the first tag, I used Kerri’s Tiny Details: Calendar. I really love to use parts or pieces of a file and then manipulate it to fit when I need. The date of our event is the 27th…so I used that number from the calendar. I cropped the entire file down to just the 27th, recolored it in PSE12 and brought it into my Silhouette software where I traced the number and created a tag around the calendar graphic. I cut everything with my Silhouette and added hole reinforcements and some seam binding to my tag. Then I simply added these tags to the little muslin bags that will hold some of our supplies. I LOVE this look!

For my second tag, I used the ‘yours’ file from the Grammar School: The Pronouns kit. I was unbelievably inspired by Kerri’s All That Glitters is Golden post from September 3rd…so I decided to cut the file from plain kraft paper and use the negative of the cut (everything that was left over), backed with bright white cardstock as my tag. I reinforced the tag holes on these as well, and added some baker’s twine. Then I simply tucked them behind a little bow on our utensil packages…so cute (and elegant!), right?

You are so right, darlin’!

FYI: There is always more than one way to do things and so I thought I’d mention that while you can recolor the PNG files in PS/PSE and bring it into Studio like Maggie did, you can also add the needed color to the cut files and work with it that way too. :)

Now, as part of this whole ‘brown paper packages’ theme,
I have got the cutest little kit for you!



I obviously cannot get enough of these fabulous little boxes and have been having waaaaay too much fun! You’ll see more from me and these little guys this week during our little week-long party.

These cute little buggers could be use to give earrings or gift cards. Put a circle inset into it yourself, line it with a transparency and fill it with candy. And how awesome would they be for an advent for Christmas??? All done in fun Christmas paper and stacked on display? My mind is a-twirlin’.


brown paper packages web

I am so excited for this week! Not only is there going to be great gift ideas, but I have got ‘gifts’ for you all this week too!

I’ve enlisted the help of some great friends in this industry to bring you some great giveaways this week!

Can I get a yahoo!

I believe it is much better to give than receive. ;) And besides, it’s my party and I’ll give if I want to, give if I want to, give if I want to….

First on the menu, who would like to win this amaaaaazing class from our sweet friend Cathy Zielske?! (I’m thinking that is a rhetorical question, yes?)

BPC PromoPageTop

I seriously need to go sign up for this class, but I think it’s a wonderful idea! And Cathy  is so much fun…it’s a bonus! :)

Here’s how you can win. All contests this week will end Sunday and winners will be posted Monday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tara Chaussee - September 15, 2014 - 9:22 am

This class looks amazing! I would never think to document my own life (just me!) but now I am totally motivated!

Charlotte Brochu - September 15, 2014 - 9:23 am

I would love to win this class! I think it would be a great start to scrapping about myself, which I hardly ever (OK never) do! But I do think it’s important and would love to start on it!

Judy R - September 15, 2014 - 9:26 am

My best birthday present EVER was a trip to Paris on my 50th!

Kerri - September 15, 2014 - 9:27 am

Oh Judy…I want your bday present for my 50th!
Don’t know if I can wait two years though. ;)

Judy Stiles - September 15, 2014 - 9:42 am

Looks like an awesome class! I never scrap about myself, but such a great idea!

Nicole - September 15, 2014 - 9:47 am

LOVE Cathy and her classes! Always so much fun :) Thanks for the chance to win!

Jeanene - September 15, 2014 - 9:51 am

I would love to win and love how Maggie used your files. Happy early Birthday!

hgauvin - September 15, 2014 - 9:54 am

Love anything Cathy Zielske puts together – including classes!

Sue - September 15, 2014 - 10:01 am

Love CZ, what a wonderful giveaway; thanks :) My fav birthday present was probably my 50th; my husband booked a surprise trip to Shanghai for us and our two children. After a few days there, he said we would be moving on (on my actual birthday) and handed over tickets for a cruise to Japan and Korea. It was amazing, and even more so because he had done it all in secret, even hiding his tux :)

Happy birthday week Kerri, hope you get some great surprises too!

Kristen Caraccio - September 15, 2014 - 10:07 am

I’m already registered for this class. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile. Cathy is fabulous!! Looking forward to it … even better to get it for free!!

Melanie A. - September 15, 2014 - 10:17 am

I always love your birthday week! Thank you for sharing!

Melanie Ashmore Arrowood - September 15, 2014 - 10:18 am

trying again since it said it didn’t get my comment :( I always love your birthday week! Thanks for sharing!

Liz Lumsden - September 15, 2014 - 10:20 am

Happy happy joy joy to you!!!! Luv you, girlfriend…

Paige - September 15, 2014 - 10:39 am

Kerri, You are so generous. Thank you for an opportunity to win Cathy’s new class.

Angela Daly - September 15, 2014 - 10:40 am

Love Cathy style and personality. Great class, Happy Bday to you!!
thanks for the chance to win

julie - September 15, 2014 - 10:40 am

Love this !!! happy birthday to you!

Sally - September 15, 2014 - 10:42 am

Thanks for the giveaway and have a very Happy Birthday!
My best birthday present was graduating from high school on my 18th birthday. My friends even convinced the commencement speaker to call me up before his speech and my class sang to me.

Lynette - September 15, 2014 - 10:44 am

My best birthday present ever? Hmm…I think having my son (he’s 2) picking out modeling clay for us to do together has been pretty fun this year. It ties with the snow cone machine I got also! :)

Cheryl - September 15, 2014 - 10:49 am

Happy Birthday!!! So excited about your give-a-way.

Jocelyn Thompson - September 15, 2014 - 10:50 am

Only thing better would be a class you collaborated together! Love Cathy Zielske and Kerri Bradford! That would be a fabulous!

Nashonne - September 15, 2014 - 10:51 am

My best birthday present was my dad flying in just to have lunch with me for my 40th birthday.

Marilyn Bronson - September 15, 2014 - 10:51 am

Happy Birthday and I would love to win a spot in this class. Cathy Z has an amazing
online personality and great humor and I’m sure her class will rock.

Sue Alg - September 15, 2014 - 11:01 am

My favorite birthday present was all my grandkids present at my birthday and signing “Happy Birthday”

Melanie - September 15, 2014 - 11:07 am

I would love a seat in this class! Thanks!

My favourite present… too many to mention, but one that I really loved was given to me when I lived in Japan. A moss ball with a fern sticking out of it and a bell hanging from it. Hard to explain but it was the coolest thing ever.

Karen S - September 15, 2014 - 11:15 am

What an awesome giveaway! Thanks for the chance! You know what? I think it would be even more awesome if you and Cathy Z teamed up for a class!

Karen S - September 15, 2014 - 11:17 am

Oops. Forgot to wish you Happy Birthday! My favorite birthday gift was a trip to NYC for my 50th!

Laura BC - September 15, 2014 - 11:23 am

This class looks so awesome! I’m having a tough time deciding whether to make it just about me, or about the family at this moment in time.

benessi - September 15, 2014 - 11:25 am

Happy happy birthday!!

Robin Walston - September 15, 2014 - 11:53 am

My best birthday present ever was an etching/water color that was done by a 10th grader at the school where my cousin teaches. I loved it as soon as I saw it at the school’s art show but was told to “get in line” when I said I wanted to buy it. My cousin surprised me by giving it to me for my birthday.

Denise Bryant - September 15, 2014 - 12:01 pm

Best birthday present ever… was a birthstone ring my Mom bought for me when I was about 12! I still have it, and it’s really special to me!

debbie susee - September 15, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Happy happy birthday to youj!!

Tammy Davis - September 15, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Thank you so much for the chance to win a spot in CZ’s class! She is awesome and so are you!

Cynthia Pettigrew - September 15, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Thank you for the opportunity to win this class! I have always loved kraft paper and have used it many times as my Christmas wrapping paper. I’ve stenciled on back in the 80′s and most recently used it to draw doodles especially for each recipient! I use it for birthday wrapping too! I love KRAFT paper.

Thank you for sharing more ideas on using Kraft paper!

Ramie - September 15, 2014 - 1:00 pm

Best Birthday present was a bicycle that my dad “rebuilt”. Painted it my favorite colors, got new handlebars and a new seat. Loved it!

Kris M - September 15, 2014 - 1:02 pm

Since my mom passed away I know that I need to document my life for my children and grandchildren. There is so much that I wish I knew about my mother’s life that I could pass down to my children. This class seems ideal to help me jumpstart this process.

Jean - September 15, 2014 - 1:11 pm

I think taking this class would be a way for me to get to know myself more. I’m a mother of 3 children, and one will graduate from high school next year. My mind is full of “stuff”, and I think this class will help me “categorize” my “stuffs”…and put it on paper. Then I will be able to read what I’ve recorded…and see how far I’ve come.

Sherry T - September 15, 2014 - 1:13 pm

I love prizes…LOL. Happy Birthday Kerri…Will be a fun week.

Kim H - September 15, 2014 - 1:18 pm

This class looks amazing. Just what I need to finally write about me. Something for my son to read when he gets older. Thanks for the chance to win.

Amber Mansur - September 15, 2014 - 1:25 pm

My favorite birthday gift is when my Mom and I went out of town to go to several scrapbook/rubber stamp stores and splurged like crazy on ourselves- she doubled whatever I intended to spend so I got lots of goodies!! :D
Thanks for the chance to win!

mitchmac - September 15, 2014 - 1:27 pm

What an awesome giveaway – thanks for the chance to win! It’s by birthday this month too – hope you have a great one.

Megan K. - September 15, 2014 - 1:27 pm

First, Happy Happy Birthday!!! :D
Second, thanks for sharing the celebration with us! I can’t wait to see all the fun you have in store for us

scrapchick/Carrie - September 15, 2014 - 1:28 pm

Happy (almost) Birthday! Love the boxes and tags! My best present was a surprise Cupcake themed party – nothing better than to be surrounded by family and friends! Thanks for the chance!

Jeanette C - September 15, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Thanks for the giveaway and happy B-day!

Amber M. - September 15, 2014 - 1:58 pm

Happy birthday, Kerri!!! Thanks so much for your breath-of-fresh-air design style and inspiration – I get super excited each day when I see your blog post message in my in-box :) And thank you very much for the great give-away … I love CZ!!!

Monda - September 15, 2014 - 2:00 pm

I took the A to Z class in full 12 x 12 at CKU years ago. Would love to do it again now, with a different perspective in time in PL. Love your work Kerri – thanks and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Lara Read - September 15, 2014 - 2:15 pm

love Cathy’s style, humor and I can see why you are friends ;) Hope you have a very happy bday!

Mickee - September 15, 2014 - 2:17 pm

Happy birthday Kerri! Thank you for a fab giveaway!

Rach Leeke - September 15, 2014 - 2:19 pm

Cz sent me! Thanks for an awesome giveaway. Happy birthday lovely xx

LindaH - September 15, 2014 - 2:21 pm

One of the best was a weekend with my sisters–fun time together.

Simply Sonya - September 15, 2014 - 2:38 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to win a seat in Cathy’s class!

Melitta Ball - September 15, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Love, love, love the things that swim in your head!! Brown paper packages is one of my favorite things too! Happy Birthday and big, big hugs!

AngieS - September 15, 2014 - 2:46 pm

Thank you for the chance to win this great class!

JeriP - September 15, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Happy Birthday! Adorable little boxes. Would love to win Cathy’s class I could figure myself out from A to Z.

Dionne - September 15, 2014 - 3:02 pm

My best birthday present ever was my son, he was born on my 27th birthday.

angela - September 15, 2014 - 3:22 pm

happy Birthday!!!!
A day all to myself to scrap, best birthday present ever.

Lenore - September 15, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Happy Birthday and thanks for the chance to win!

Linda Vanorio - September 15, 2014 - 4:32 pm

As always so “Krafty”, love Maggies Tags and those cute, cute, cute krafty boxes.

Elaine Bowman - September 15, 2014 - 4:45 pm

I was born on the 4th of July. So every birthday is a fun birthday! When my kids were little I had them convinced they did the fireworks just for me! I always wondered why they didn’t wonder when it was there birthday, why they never got fireworks either, hmmmm. :)

Shauna - September 15, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Soooo fun! Love Cathy!

Melissa Bell - September 15, 2014 - 5:10 pm

This most recent birthday was pretty special and not because of any presents. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for a couple of years now and this year I actually celebrated my birthday! HUGE for me! :)

Vicki - September 15, 2014 - 5:12 pm

Happy Happy Birthday! I hope 48 is a wonderful year for you!

Melanie Stanczyk - September 15, 2014 - 5:13 pm

I have never taken a class by Cathy Z, but always heard awesome things about them. I would be so thrilled to join her class. I just watched the video and love it! I’m just getting into PL so I think it would be a great place to start.

Happy Birthday Kerri!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your birthday with us!

Brek - September 15, 2014 - 5:24 pm

My bestest bday present ever would have to be the year that my hubby took me to see Les Mis! I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with our first and just feeling awful. It was nice to get dressed up and enjoy a night at the theater!

Karen Wilhelm - September 15, 2014 - 5:41 pm

Thanks for a chance to win Cathy’s class!

Susan P - September 15, 2014 - 5:45 pm

Love theses sweet tags! The new boxes set looks like fun too! Thanks for the chance to win this class by Cathy Z – my kids have been after me to document my life.

Andrea Grzech - September 15, 2014 - 6:13 pm

Happy birthday! Thanks for a chance to win!!

Kim Warne - September 15, 2014 - 6:20 pm

OMG! I’m loving the tags & boxes…the creative juices are flowing :)

Susan - September 15, 2014 - 6:22 pm

So excited to make the boxes! Thank you for a chance to win!

Sheena Mawson - September 15, 2014 - 6:23 pm

My beagle baby…21st birthday present. She is still my first baby and I love watching her with my real babies now!

nancy wolff - September 15, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Happy Birthday! I just celebrate my birthday on the 10th. Sounds like a fun week.

Debbie - September 15, 2014 - 6:48 pm

Thanks for the chance to win the class!

Susan - September 15, 2014 - 7:18 pm

My best birthday present was my Silhouette!

Laura - September 15, 2014 - 7:51 pm

My best birthday present ever was an SLR camera that my husband gave me for my 30th birthday. Thanks for the opportunity to win a spot in Cathy’s class.

Tiffany Hayden - September 15, 2014 - 8:02 pm

Yahoo! I’d love to win a seat in Cathy’s class. My best gift…a new house for Valentine’s Day.

Amy - September 15, 2014 - 8:12 pm

This class looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the chance. My bestest birthday present ever was concert tickets to see my favorite band for my 16th birthday.

Dell Richards - September 15, 2014 - 8:17 pm

What a wonderful giveaway!!! My birthday is next month. That would be a double whammy of a win!!!

Michelle - September 15, 2014 - 8:19 pm

Wow, sounds like an amazing class from Cathy! I love your little brown boxes. I wish you the happiest of birthday’s Kerri. I hope it is a great one.

Cindy Trimble - September 15, 2014 - 8:20 pm

happy birthday! My best birthday present ever was my daughter!

ConnieC - September 15, 2014 - 8:22 pm

It was an early present. My little girl was born 5 days before my birthday. And she has been the best gift. We had years of infertility, so she was a blessing.

Rebekah - September 15, 2014 - 8:32 pm

My *bestest* birthday gift ever wasn’t even a gift for me (it was actually given to my husband as a bonus at work) but it happened to fall on my birthday! It was a free weekend in Las Vegas (included air fare, hotel, tickets to Cirque & Blue Man, and spending money too!!!). It was a birthday I’ll never forget! Happy Birthday Kerri :)

Julie P - September 15, 2014 - 8:34 pm

I’ve been eyeing up this class for a week and so want to take it but it’s not in the budget this month. I would LOVE to win!

Phyllis B. - September 15, 2014 - 8:36 pm

(Just commented on the wrong entry…Sorry!) My best birthday present was the birth of my youngest daughter, just three days before my 34th birthday. Have a Happy, Happy Birthday, Kerri! Absolutely love your “Brown paper packages tied up with string…”

Kelli W - September 15, 2014 - 8:53 pm

Happy birthday! You are so generous and that class would be amazing to win! As cheesy as it sounds, just getting handmade cards and hugs from my girls is the best birthday present ever. Oh, and when I read the title of the blog post (before reading the actual post) I sang along in my head :)

LaurieM - September 15, 2014 - 8:53 pm

I’m excited for your birthday week celebration and excited for a chance to win a spot in Cathy Z’s class! It’s already starting off to be a great par=tay! Woohoo!

Kim T - September 15, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Happy, happy Birthday Kerri! You are so sweet to make us a part of your birthday celebration.
Take care. :)

Susan - September 15, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Thanks for the chance to win. Happy Birthday!

Linda - September 15, 2014 - 9:21 pm

This class looks awesome!

Sarah W A - September 15, 2014 - 9:26 pm

Happy Birthday, Kerri! I’m super glad you were born, so you could live this life you were meant to, married to Dan, mom to your trio, and designing all this yumminess!

Toni Berry - September 15, 2014 - 9:33 pm

what a wonderful class! My birthday is in a few days…what a great gift to myself if I win!

Barbara Santee - September 15, 2014 - 9:49 pm

I actually just purchased a cameo because I love all your creations. I’ve just finished the four class package. Loved loved loved them – learned more in a months time from you about my new toy then I knew the 10 years I’ve had my cricut. Now my fun can really begin. Thanks for being you!!

Brenda S - September 15, 2014 - 11:17 pm

Would love to win this class!!! My best birthday was
when I ordered a silhouette & a bunch of scrapbook
stuff and then my husband asked what I wanted I wanted
for my birthday. I told him I already has it covered
and had ordered what I wanted & it wasn’t cheap!
He laughed & then bought me two outfits & shoes.
Yeah he’s a keeper!! Very blessed!

Michelle S - September 15, 2014 - 11:20 pm

Thanks for the chance! Pandora bracelet was
my best gift & a total surprise!

frances - September 15, 2014 - 11:34 pm

sadly my scrapbooking is grossly lacking in me!
So I would love to do this course of Cathys so there is proof of me.

Shirlee - September 16, 2014 - 2:31 am

Who doesn’t like to win something? Anything? Yippee,Thank You and Happy Birthday to you Kerri.

Michelle - September 16, 2014 - 2:32 am

Happy birthday Kerri. 48 is a great age! Hope your year is magical and blessed.

Kathleen D - September 16, 2014 - 6:16 am

Happy Birthday Kerri! Your site is one that I visit every morning with my cup of coffee in hand. I’m always eager to see what new things you have up your sleeve.

Beth Martinson - September 16, 2014 - 6:32 am

Those boxes are super cute, I just hope I don’t get the song caught in my head now ;) Cathy’s class looks like another good one. Happy Birthday week!

Amanda - September 16, 2014 - 7:19 am


Nicole Patterson - September 16, 2014 - 7:31 am

Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful – fantastic Birthday …. Thank you for all your wonderful products – ♥

SherriS. - September 16, 2014 - 7:38 am

Even though I have a scrapbook about me I haven’t updated it in years. I would love to take a class with Cathy! Happy Birthday!!

Erinaaaa - September 16, 2014 - 7:39 am

Awesome giveaway. Thanks for the chance.

Fernanda Moisés - September 16, 2014 - 7:58 am

Happy Birthday! My your new year bring you happiness and many blessings. I love to win Cathy´s class my birthday was in the first week of the month. I was to give a present to me but because of health problems and to have money for my consults I can´t buy the class I whant to do this class so much.

Carla Hundley - September 16, 2014 - 9:57 am

So fun! I got a
pink laptop from
my husband for my
best gift ever!
Carla from Utah

Patricia Bowman - September 16, 2014 - 10:53 am

My bestest birthday present EVER was when I was 10 years old and my dad gave me my very first camera! A whole new world opened up around me!

Shell - September 16, 2014 - 12:30 pm

Cathy’s class looks like EXACTLY the thing I need to get back into my craft space again! It would be totally amazing to do that’s for sure. p.s. Happy birthday :)

Tracy Bohman - September 16, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Thanks for the opportunity to win this class, I’ve been eyeing it and would love to take it. Happy Happy Birthday. This past week was my birthday and am loving sharing it with you. Love all your tutorials and great cut files. Have a very happy birthday and hope all your wishes come thru.
Thanks again,

Barbara - September 16, 2014 - 5:10 pm

The boxes are adorable – I will be purchasing before Christmas!!

Katrina H - September 16, 2014 - 6:13 pm

Thanks for the chance to win!

Karen Peterson - September 16, 2014 - 6:57 pm

Best birthday present ever was my camera ;)

stacie d - September 16, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Favorite gift was a surprise trip to Hawaii. My husband gave me small thematic gifts leading up to the tickets. I was so confused and shocked.!

ana roat - September 16, 2014 - 8:48 pm

I love kraft and I love KBS. Happy Birthday Kerri!

PS CZ seriously rocks too!

Cindy B - September 16, 2014 - 9:38 pm

I love Cathy’s classes! Thank you for this giveaway!

Dawn McFarland - September 17, 2014 - 7:30 am

You know, I don’t really have a besets birthday gift. They have all been pretty darn good! Crossing fingers here, I would love to be in Cathy’s class.

Angie F - September 17, 2014 - 6:00 pm

LOVE birthdays, but others better than my own. :) Homemade presents from my girls are the best! Thanks for the chance to win Cathy’s class!! I really wanted to take it!

Janet T - September 18, 2014 - 5:02 am

Not sure the best birthday gift maybe my laptop!
~God bless~

Angi MakingMayhem - September 18, 2014 - 8:54 am

My bestest birthday present ever is a set of mixed media canvases that my kids created for me. I love how free the art is and how each represents that child. Every few years they make me a new set!

Melissa Mortimer - September 18, 2014 - 1:41 pm

Hmmm…best birthday present? Definitely my daughter, born 4 days b4 my bday!

Nancy Barnes - September 18, 2014 - 2:14 pm

My bestest present ever was the year I got my Kindle for my birthday. We were broker than broke and I knew I would be very lucky to get the cake I really wanted. I had told a work colleague that I really wanted a kindle but I knew that just wasn’t going to happen. But it did!! I was so surprised! I cried! I use it all the time and have over 200 hundred books stored on it and another 200 (or more!) that have been put in my archives. Definitely best birthday present ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kathy anderson - September 18, 2014 - 2:55 pm

My best birthday present was a party on my 40th birthday with all my girlfriends.

Carolyn E - September 19, 2014 - 9:41 am

My bestest present would have to this year, everyone was home! I got to spend the day before with my two sister, shopping and pampering ourselves. And then my birthday I got to spend relaxing, then got taken out to a wonderful dinner (no cooking!), then shopping for a new tablet!

Alysia H - September 19, 2014 - 8:29 pm

A purple poncho that my mom crocheted was my bestest birthday present ever.

Kelly Humby-Tulk - September 20, 2014 - 8:35 am

My cameo!!

Nita K. - September 20, 2014 - 8:48 am

A surprise party for my 35th birthday!

Nita K. - September 20, 2014 - 8:49 am

A surprise party for my 35th birthday! A surprise party for my 35th birthday was the best!

Marionh - September 20, 2014 - 8:54 am

What an amazing birthday surprise thank u for sharing this class with us!

Lindsay - September 20, 2014 - 9:19 am

Any time my mom comes to visit for my b-day is the best! Happy Birthday Kerri!

lindsey - September 20, 2014 - 9:32 am

Her classes never disappoint.

Erin s - September 20, 2014 - 9:54 am

Best birthday present ever….my son. He was a belated gift …exactly one month after my 30th birthday. :) big present for a big milestone birthday!

Cindy - September 20, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Having all my family together for my 50th birthday, from as far away as Alaska and Minnesota! What a surprise and gift!

Linda - September 20, 2014 - 8:20 pm

happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
I love your brown paper packages
and would love this class too!

Angie - September 20, 2014 - 11:36 pm

Hmmm. My husband is really good about thinking up gifts. It’s hard to choose. This year he gave me a new zoom lens for my camera…it’s awesome!

Flash Friday | Buy 2 + Save


It’s Flash Friday and the perfect time to stock up on some This+That kits.

Buy any two or more kits from the whole line
–full or just shapes–
and save 35% on the bunch.

Use code THISANDTHAT at check out.
(Discount applies only to This+That purchases.)

This is a flash sale and it’s available for today only.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Phyllis B. - September 15, 2014 - 8:26 pm

Have a Happy, Happy Birthday, Kerri! Absolutely love your “Brown paper packages tied up with string…”

Living in a World of Mixed Emotions

We are all unique individuals.

We all handle situations differently.

To be able to express–or not express–our feelings and emotions is how we cope with these situations.

Neither way is right or wrong.

It just is.

It’s who we are.

It’s what makes us these incredibly unique creatures living here on this earth.

Recently, my sweet friend, Cathy Zielske, sent her first child off to college. Sending your first child away is hard…period. And it has been tough for her like for so many of us.

I have sent two children away under much stricter circumstances than college. Sending them on an LDS mission is without a doubt one of the hardest scenarios ever. And there are varying levels of that as well. Luckily my kids were state-side. I can’t imagine having them go to Africa or Argentina or some place where they eat chicken feet. While they are gone for two whole years (18 months for girls), you only have one email communication with them a week and two phone calls a year–Mother’s Day and Christmas. No daily phone calls. No Face Time. No Snap Chat or watching their activities via Instagram. No weekend trips home. Nada.

Gone is gone though. And it’s all tough.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a situation like mine, a child going into the military, one getting married, or sending them off to college. Decreasing your household size by losing one of its people–your people–is hard.

Last week someone made a comment to Cathy about toughening up (read her post yesterday). Obviously that was how this person handles her emotions and that’s alright for her. Other people are different in so many ways and other people are the same. But remember….we are all unique.

The desire to express your thoughts and feelings is only natural. It’s how many people process a situation.

I am not a cryer, but does that make me any less feeling of sending my kids off to be on their own?

Not even. 

After that had happened to her last week, I sent her these two pages I’m sharing today from when Zach left on his mission (below). She had created some similar pages or writings of her own on Aidan leaving. She insisted I share these pages (again) in light of ‘many mamas’ who are sending their child to some far-off land where they can’t even make their child comfort food when they have a bad day.

It’s an emotional time, whether you physically express them or not.

I can tell you–without a doubt–that five+ years later I am so glad that I wrote this and created these pages.

It was crazy when Jordan left right before Christmas. And while I did take photos, I did not write down my feelings at that time. It hasn’t even been a year, but I don’t feel the same things or have the same thoughts that I did at the time she left.

Cathy, my dear, and other parents out there going through this new chapter in your life, write about it. Photograph it. It is important to remember what you are feeling at that moment, however you may be feeling it. It’s the same when losing a loved one. I lost my mother ten years ago and while it took me almost a year to recount the story, I finally did it. Those particular feelings were still fresh, but I knew they would fade as would the memories of those last few months of her life. You think you will remember for ever…and you don’t.

Additionally, social media is a place where you can commiserate…uhhh…I mean feel like you are not alone. And it’s okay to express–or not express–your feelings on your own social media. It is, after all, an extension of who you are and how you retain these thoughts and feelings.

Truly, it’s comforting to know that you are not alone and can receive support among friends and those who may be going through the same chapter.

And that’s a good thing, especially when the number of people in your home just got smaller…and it got a whole lot quieter.



Cindy - September 10, 2014 - 7:55 am

Love you Ker, and loved this post. I am missing my girl a lot this week and it helps to know I’m not alone. I need to take some time today to write a few things down. Loved your thoughts and beautiful layouts, thanks so much for sharing. :)

Audrey V - September 10, 2014 - 8:28 am

Thank you for sharing. I sent my oldest son to college 2 weeks ago and it’s been a tough transition for my husband and I. We just miss him so much! I know that children are supposed to grow up and move out, but it’s hard to take care of someone everyday for 19 years, and then there are just gone! Thank goodness for my scrapbooks, so I can relive the good memories. I’m happy that he is in a good place, but the selfish me wishes he was still here at home.

Renee G - September 10, 2014 - 9:25 am

Beautiful Kerri, very well said, caught the emotions.

Vicki - September 10, 2014 - 1:32 pm

Oh my gosh – those pages are beautiful. I have a big lump in my throat. I do remember when my first one left — the first time I set the table for three instead of four, I sobbed.

angela - September 10, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Love your writing and especially this post. I spent a number of years working at a college, receiving those children you sent to us for higher education. While I am old enough to have kids in college, I have little ones at home and it will be many years before I have to send anyone off. Really appreciate your sentiments. There are so many big moments we need to write about: births, deaths, moves, goodbyes and hellos.
And Kerri, can you tell us who the missionaries of LDS stay with while they are on their missions? I have always wondered. Do they stay in a apartments or with other missionaries or with LDS families who serve as their hosts?

Kerri - September 10, 2014 - 3:32 pm

Hey Angela!
Missionaries often stay in their own apartment–at the minimum in groups of two, sometimes there can be a group of three or four. Occasionally there are families that have a separate living space in their home, like a mother-in-law apartment, and so while they are technically with someone, they are pretty much on their own. Where Jordan stayed in the Palatka/San Mateo area in Florida, there weren’t really apartment buildings. So they stayed with an elderly widowed lady in her 80s (a little spitfire) and she fed them when other members weren’t feeding them. The place she stayed in the first six weeks was an apartment with another sister missionary. When you start getting into the foreign countries, sometimes they’ll even have a ‘maid’ of sorts that does the cooking for them because the food gets iffy and hard to access in remote areas. So having the church pay these women to make the missionaries good food is better than them trying to find food that could make them sick. Think jungle scenarios or poverty stricken places. :) That’s why I’m glad my kids were stateside.

angela - September 10, 2014 - 3:46 pm

Thanks so much for answering my question :)

Peggy W - September 10, 2014 - 5:55 pm

This is a very fitting blog post. I just sent my baby daughter off today to the MTC. She is headed to Germany. She is the youngest of 4 and all have served missions. It is very bitter sweet. I have been praying all day to keep my emotions in check. Thanks for your uplifting words. I think I will go have a good cry now and maybe eat some ice cream and then I will be good for 18 months. Thanks again. Peggy

Barbara - September 10, 2014 - 7:10 pm

My oldest moved out a year ago, went through her first year of college, decided to stay there for the summer, get her CNA and work along with taking additional college classes and started her second year of college a couple weeks ago. I miss her terribly – I still have one daughter at home however, since she is a senior in high school, she is busy and I rarely see her. I have been given a taste of empty nest syndrome. While I sympathized with others when they had it, I had no idea how tough it is to go through and how easy it is to say “Get a grip” to someone else. I even say it to myself but it doesn’t change anything – I’m still lonely and miss my daughter. My world revolved around raising these two girls to be responsible, strong and independent women. I guess I did too good of a job (well not really – they still call me when they need help).

I love your pages – I think documenting these times would help me. Thank you for sharing!

MaryGW - September 11, 2014 - 6:24 am

I love this post and what you wrote about the way we express ourselves, or not. Wonderful insight!

heidig - September 11, 2014 - 7:33 am


Pau lab - September 11, 2014 - 7:38 am

Thanks Kerri for sharing. My daughter left for vacation for a month and I walked around like a zombie. Wanting to,pick up the phone every morning and gab but wanting her to enjoy time away from home. It will be another three years but this is a reminder to document the journey in writing.

Michelle - September 12, 2014 - 8:53 am

I have not read Cathy’s page. I will have to do so. I am dumbfounded, daily, at how blunt (trying to be nice) people are. I can’t believe someone would tell her to toughen up, or whatever they said. It’s like people seem to open their mouth and insert their foot so much more. Where is the compassion for other people? Like you said, everyone handles things differently. No two people are the same, and it would be a really boring world if they were.

My oldest graduated from high school eight years ago. Still find that so hard to believe, and impossible because it feels like yesterday. When she moved out two years after that, it was HARD! She has stayed in the same town. But still, it was hard. To not see her everyday. To wake up daily and especially on holiday mornings and her not be there. Our household felt so incomplete. It wasn’t the best of circumstances that she moved out on either. It was one of those, I don’t want to follow the household rules and being completely disrespectful, so we told her she needed to find a place of her own. So the strain in our relationship didn’t help. I am so glad things have become better, and she has grown up. Now, in two more years, I have another wanting to move out. She talks of moving across country. I just can’t even think about that one or even deal with that one. I would have a harder time with that than when Laura moved out. To not be there to help them when they need it, I just can’t imagine. Apparently, I need to toughen up too.

Mix+Match | This+That School and Project Life


Y’all know what a big fan I am of maximizing my art, right?

Well for the past couple weeks or so, all I could think about is what could I do with designs from the This+That: School kit (on account-a it is the season), a few 3×4 rectangles and a little bit of text.

And this is what came to fruition.

school project life 2

(The large clock face is a printable and comes in the full kit.
The rest of the designs are cuttables or PNGs and come in the full kit or the ‘Just Shapes’ kit.)

Um. I don’t think it can get much easier than that to make your own set of cards! You get to be the boss of the art. You can choose what colors you’d like, the placement, the size, the background….whatever.

You can do this in Silhouette Studio or Photoshop/Elements.

You are in control.

And that’s pretty sweet.

I’m a bit of a control freak myself. ;)

Kathleen D - September 9, 2014 - 7:09 am

These are great Kerri. I love seeing examples of how to “stretch” the kits!

Lorretta - September 9, 2014 - 10:44 am

You are AMAZING!

Who’s That Knoooocking At My Door

Okay, if you could only hear my grandpa  singing that song in a high-pitched voice upon our arrival at the farm, you would be smiling like me.

We have a new visitor here at the KBS house today!

Say hello to Nicole Reaves!

One day, not too long ago, I was having a little fun Instagram hopping and I came across this very creative girl and I just knew I needed to have her over for a visit. I was beyond thrilled when she said she could come!

If you’ve been looking for some great ideas for your travels this summer, Nicole has got some fabulous ones to share with you today! And to top it off, it’s all about Chicago…which is my kind of town. I love Chicago!


[ Designs | Tiny Details (I have you, Happily Obsessed, Here+There, Discover) / Tiny Details: Calendar (day of the month tags) / Here We Go / On The Calendar (august) / Seven Days A Week (monday, tuesday) / Beautiful Somewhere (green paper, arrow paper, beautiful places card) ]

If only you could  see what color I am….because I am tickled pink!

Where do I start?

I love how Nicole stitched the handwritten days of the week across the calendar cards. And how she used pieces of the card elements as paper accents. The giant Here We Go cut in vellum and placed over a photo and then stitched? Divine. And did you catch the ‘Here+There’ card cut to a smaller piece, turned sideways, and stitched to the pockets as a tab? Hello???

So many itty bitty details. You just need to pore over it all. :)

Here’s what Nicole has to say:

I was thrilled when Kerri asked if I’d like to work with some of her product and immediately knew I wanted to create a few Project Life spreads from our recent trip to Chicago with her hybrid travel kits, particularly the Beautiful Somewhere and Tiny Details cards. Both sets go together so nicely, so I chose them as my starting point.

I scaled down the Tiny Details cards so they were about 1″ wide and just stitched them onto my photos as a simple embellishment. Then on each 2-page spread I chose some of Kerri’s handwritten words to create a bold title card. I cut August, Monday and Tuesday from black cardstock to coordinate with the dominant grays from my photos. My favorite cards in these spreads are the day cards where I layered a day of the week cut with a Tiny Details : Calendar card (which I enlarged to 2″ wide) on patterned paper. After trimming off the bottom half of the calendar card, it left me with just enough room to add some journaling below where I listed where we went that day.

I loved using the patterned filler cards like patterned paper and cut scraps to brighten up my journaling cards. I even grabbed the Here We Go freebie Kerri made, sized it to 6″ wide by 8″ high, and cut that on vellum with the Silhouette. I laid it over a photo of downtown Chicago from the Hancock Building and simply stitched along the horizontal lines in the design. I love how you can still see bits of the photo through the vellum.

I am just in love with the Project Life-ness of it all!

Thank you so much for stopping by the KBS house Nicole!
We have so loved having you over for a visit!

Sally - September 8, 2014 - 11:24 am

I recently discovered Nicole through Pinterest- She is amazing! I’m glad she came knocking on your door!

Flash Friday + Family Love

It’s a fabulous Friday here at KBS! After having the summer of the Friday Freebie I was feeling a little like I was going through withdrawals or something. So I thought it might be cool to still have some Friday fun all through September!


Each week there will be some kind of fun sale happenin’. So be sure to check in so you don’t miss out.

What’s on sale today
, you say?

beauty-shot-color-new2     beauty-shot-design-secrets

beauty-shot-hello-there     beauty-shot-everywhere

Save $10 on these individual classes.

Price is already reflected in the store.
Remember, this is a one-day only sale!


And now we have some beautimous work from our lovely Miss Laura!
Check it out.


[ DesignsAll In The Family (family), February Fourteen (love), Something To Say (perfect), Say What #3 (date), Life Centrals: Circles (circle backgrounds), Happy Camper (clouds), XOXO (heart) ]

When Laura shared a sneak peek of this on her Instagram, I knew it would take my breath away…and it did. I love everything about it. I love all the little sections of diecuts and how they work so beautifully together with the photos. And with all the stitching? Divine.

Here’s what Laura has to say:

As Kerri’s store grows and grows, with new kits popping up almost weekly, it’s becoming even easier to create layouts using only my Cameo (with a small sprinkling of basic embellishments)! One of the things that I love to do when I sit down to create using Kerri’s cut files, is to pull my photos directly into my Silhouette software to help with the planning of my layouts. I simply open up each photo and size it to the exact same size that I’ve printed that photo. This allows me to move the photos around on my cutting mat (within the software), as I pull in different shapes, backgrounds, words, and phrases, until I come up with exactly what I want.

Another advantage of planning out the page design this way, is that you can size all of your cut files according to how they fit on the page with the photos, so you have a much better chance of cutting them the right size, instead of guessing how small/big they need to be. Once I have the design set up the way I want it, I separate the shapes and start the cutting process. After everything is cut, I use my planning “layout” as a guide to simply place everything where it belongs on the page. I find that if I have it all planned out ahead of time, the page comes together so much quicker. Once I piece it all together, I add my embellishments and machine stitching to finish it off.


This is hands-down my most favorite tip ever in the land of all things good and beautiful in the land of Silhouette. I’ve been doing it for years and talk about it whenever I can. I love Laura’s rendition here.

And how cute is that face???

DNP - September 5, 2014 - 8:20 am

no freebie friday today?
great layout

Kerri - September 5, 2014 - 8:48 am

Nope. :) The Summer of the Friday Freebie starts after Memorial Day weekend and ends with Labor Day weekend. Friday Freebies are a regular thing all summer long and then it occasionally pops up during the rest of the year.

Annette - September 5, 2014 - 9:51 am

Excellent tips and ideas for laying out a page. So inspiring I might come back from work to play with Silhouette Studio and my SA Portrait just a little. Thanks for sharing such lovely project.

JUlie - September 6, 2014 - 4:23 pm

I LOVE it when the ladies show us how they us the silhouette to layout a page. I have to try it very soon. I just didn’t quite understand how it was done.

Barb - September 7, 2014 - 3:52 pm

How have I missed the tip to plan my page on the silhouette?! I can’t wait to try this. Imagine an end to running back and forth with a ruler and then still having to recut!