Alexandra Rae Design | Buttons Galore

I was in need of a creative project today that was “just” for me– not for a Creative Team requirement or as a freelance project.  Just for me.  I saw this layout saved in my  Scrapbooking Inspiration pinboard, and thought, “I KNOW I have a ton of buttons saved on my hard drive!” And then this came together quickly.  I used one of my favorite word art pieces from Little Butterfly Wings to finish it off.  I can’t wait to print this off and frame it for my studio.

What creative project have you done “Just for you” lately? 


In need of some creative inspiration? Try the best challenge around, 30 Days of Lists!  I love it!


in digital scrapbooking

I think I’m in denial about these being the AUGUST pages for Simple Scrapper, because that means summer is almost over, and I’m just not ready for that.  On the flip side, we moved our yearly vacation from July to August, so I’m anxiously counting down the days until I get to lay on the beaches of Lake Michigan.

This month, the theme for the Simple Scrapper Story Starters was “Nature,” and I really took that and ran with it this month.  It might have something to do with the SHARP increase of time that we are spending outside (discovering how amazing the trails are near our house has gotten us out almost every single evening!) which can never be a bad thing. Add in the fact that I am reminiscing about my days at summer camp CONSTANTLY… well, that results in a lot of outdoorsy pages!

Alexandra Rae Design | Simple Scrapper August 2014


“Our Special Spot” Made using:  One Little Bird’s Sunshine in my Soul & August  Simple Scrapper Template Set

Alexandra Rae Design | Simple Scrapper August 2014

“Tree Club” Made using:  One Little Bird’s Trail Blazer & August  Simple Scrapper Template Set


What are you scrapping about lately? 


in digital scrapbooking, Scrapbooking

I’m SO excited– 30 Days of Lists is now OPEN FOR REGISTRATION for the September 2014 challenge!  I’ve participated in every single (this will be number TEN. I can’t believe it!) challenge, and this one is even more special to me because  I’ve designed an EXCLUSIVE kit that is free to those who register before September 1st.  It’s a $18 value kit (I can’t even describe how much is in this kit!) and you get it totally free when you register for #30Lists (Before September 1st that is!). I’m a little bit in love with this kit and the corresponding quick pages!

As the month of August goes on, I’ll be sharing some tutorials and ideas for using the kit.  For now, though, I’ll be checking out the private #30lists blog and getting to know my fellow listers!

Are you listing this September? How many challenges have you participated in? 


in 30 days of lists

Getting Started Digital Scrapbooking | Alexandra Rae Design

First, some personal history.

I’ve always loved scrapbooking, of any kind. I loved siting downstairs in our basement, cutting pictures into shapes (!!) and gluing them down to colored cardstock and decorating with stickers and crazy lettering.  I love the feel of paper and moving the embellishments around on the page– it’s amazing. It’s a fantastic creative release that lets you feel productive at the same time– you’re being creative AND documenting memories!

But while I still LOVE paper and glue and acrylic stamps (they are my newest addiction!)… I’ve really fallen for digital scrapbooking.

Steph from the Daily Digi describes digital scrapbooking as, “anything using technology to document memories: blogging, Flickr, Facebook, photo books, and our favorite; creating layouts using various programs (we use Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, but there are a lot of programs out there).”  I think that is SUCH a great description, because it doesn’t really “rule” anyone out. Just because you haven’t paper scrapped first, does not mean that you can’t be a digital scrapbooker!

Without realizing it, I’ve been digi scrapping almost as long as I’ve been physical scrapbooking! I remember getting a computer “game” for Christmas (Embarrassing confession) that had a “poster design” option that I would spend HOURS creating pages with my digital pictures (I believe taken with a “Barbie Digital Camera” that had to be hooked up to the computer to work).  When my family upgraded our computer, it came with software to make “decorated photobooks” and I spent hours creating photo collages with digital elements to decorate my school binders with. While it’s not the same “type” of digital scrapbooking most people think of today,  it all counts.  If you use technology to capture and document your memories, you’re a digital scrapbooker. 

Why should I try digital scrapbooking? 

I’m a big fan of digital scrapbooking, obviously. But why do I try to convince others to “convert” to learning digital scrapbooking?

My top 4 reasons I think you should digi scrap:

  • You learn valuable skills.  I knew how to use Photoshop before I *really* started digital scrapbooking, but playing around and attempting to get the results I wanted on my pages allowed me to explore Photoshop in ways I never would have learned in typical college classes.  I truly believe that any computer program you learn will be valuable to you in the future– even if you just build upon the knowledge later. You learn new programs, you learn more about your computer– you become a lot more familiar with technology, and with the way the world is going very, very tech heavy, no skill will go to waste!
  • It’s super easy to clean up! I don’t know about you, but when I create with paper, I get EVERYTHING out, and I make a HUGE mess. Which usually takes FOREVER for me to clean up. With digital, it’s just “File, Save” and turn off my computer. Easy. Peasy.
  • It’s super portable. I’ve witnessed other paper scrappers unload entire mini-vans worth of supplies when they go to group crops. That’s a little crazy to think about.  When I want to scrapbook on the go, I just bring my computer. Easy.
  • It’s affordable. I’ll be the first to admit, I go too crazy buying digital kits (“It’s less than $5!) but overall, it’s less expensive than paper scrapbooking– all the “tools” you need are on your computer!  No buying 4 different die cut machines or 8 bottles of glue and mists– and you don’t have to print the pictures!  And, best of all….
  • You can reuse the supplies!  Unlike paper scrapbooking, you can use the same piece of paper AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT!

So, what do you need to get started digital scrapbooking? 

Most importantly, you need a computer. (I use a Macbook Pro and an iMac, because I’m an Apple girl, but any computer will work!). I also recommend digital editing software– especially ones that let you use .pngs. Personally, I think the best programs are Photoshop CS or Photoshop Elements. I use the full Creative Suite ($$!) but you can do everything you need to do with Photoshop Elements. There’s a bit of a learning curve with these programs, but once you get the basics down, they are such fun and versatile programs!

On top of the software and “hardware” that you’ll need, you’ll want some digital photos and digital “elements” to  make your pages gorgeous!

Ooh, yes! The pretty kits! There’s so much in them! 

My only problem with physical scrapbooking– especially now that I see more and more online– is that I usually want the ENTIRE collection that a company will put out.  I love all the elements and how they coordinate and work so well together… but when you buy all of that in physical form,  it gets really expensive! 

With digital scrapbooking, you very rarely buy individual items– instead of a button here, a label there, a piece of paper here… you buy the entire “kit.” Everything “goes” together and is perfectly coordinated. I usually make entire pages from one single kit– no searching for the perfect element to match the colors in the papers perfectly– the designer has already done it all for you!  But if you want to mix and match, YOU CAN! Oh the freedom!

And the best part? It’s for a FRACTION of the cost that you would spend on an entire paper collection.

My favorite places to shop for beautiful and high quality kits are: 

There are many, many, many other great stores out there, but those are my favorites!

What if you use sketches when you scrap with paper? Is there a digi alternative? 

YES. One of my favorite things about digital scrapbooking is the TEMPLATES you can use to make your pages look even better!  If you’ve used sketches in paper scrapbooking, you’ll LOVE digital templates, because it’s even easier. I always used to hate using sketches when I scrapped, and then I found digital templates, and my world has changed. Now I even use sketches when I paper scrap!

The Daily Digi has a great list of links of “how to’s” for digital templates, if you want to learn more!

My favorite templates to use are Jennifer Wilson’s of Simple Scrapper (a monthly membership site for all scrappers, paper and digi that releases 5+ new templates a month, a monthly membership magazine AND you have access to all the past templates from 2+ years past. I love love love it!) but Peppermint of One Little Bird Designs creates great templates, as does Amy Martin and  Valorie Wibbens.

Are you convinced yet? Want to learn MORE about digital scrapbooking? 

Below are more of my favorite resources, articles, classes, and inspiration for digital scrapooking, just in case you’re not convinced yet!


Are you a digital scrapbooker? A paper scrapbooker? What are your favorite resources for paper or digital scrapbooking?  


in digital scrapbooking

I’ve had the honor and the pleasure of creating an exclusive digital scrapbooking kit for the upcoming September 2014 edition of 30 Days of Lists!  I’ve had SO much fun putting this kit together. I just kept adding elements to it.. and it ended up being huge!

The best part? You get this kit for FREE when you register for 30 Days of Lists before September 1st. Registration doesn’t open until August 1st, but you can get on the 30 Days of Lists email list to be the first to know when registration opens!

Want to get your listing game on to prep for September? Grab the bundle pack of the past lists and start practicing!



in 30 days of lists, digital scrapbooking

Alexandra Rae Design | Creative Book Reviews

Over the past several months, I’ve had quite a few business and creative blocks.  I’ve always been a voracious reader, so the number one way I get out of a creative or business block is to READ. Books with other people’s work and advice are my favorites for giving me the biggest kick in the pants.

 Here’s my favorite books for getting out of your creative ruts:  

Steal Like an Artist A very quick and easy read, with short chapters, and great “nuggets” of advice and information. As a fan of hand drawn elements and infographics, I liked the “sprinkling” of those images throughout the pages to reinforce the lessons.

Self-Promotion for the Creative Person This was actually a textbook from one of my college courses. A little bit more analytical than I usually like, but it also has a lot of useful information. There’s a reason I’ve held onto this since I graduated almost 5 years ago.

Creative, Inc Full of the ” basics” of starting up your own creative business for those who are, how should I say this… less “business” minded? (*raises hand tentatively) this book was full of simple tips and was very well designed. Always a win in my book!

The Art of Non-Conformity I’m currently in the middle of this, but enjoying it a lot.  Full of real life examples, “The Art of Non Conformity” promises a lot in the title: “Set your own rules, live the life you want, and change the world.” I’m excited to put some of the ideas and concepts into action.

Young House Love Inspiration is everywhere– I find a lot of mine in home decor and Sherry and John have amazing style and fantastic DIY ideas included in their book. Plus, I’m reminded of how they got such a small start as blogger and now have books and a crazy successful blog. Just thinking about THAT is inspirational.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book Elsie and Emma never fail to inspire me. Just like Sherry and John of Young House Love, the A Beautiful Mess team’s story is inspirational… not to mention all of the pretty photos and ideas contained in the Photo Idea Book. Every time I look through it, I get a new idea and “jumping off point” for a blog post or photo.

52 Scrapbooking Challenges This is Elsie Flannigan Larson’s first book, and it’s still one of my favorites. While the style of scrapbooking is slightly dated now, it’s still doodley and fun and full of inspiration.

oh! Also, eCourses! 

While not physical books, I’ve been enjoying several business/inspirational eCourses that have been giving me some creative jump starts: 
BUILD eCourse from Amy of Lemon and Raspberry: I’m SUCH a huge fan of Amy and the BUILD eCourse– I go through it several times a year, just for new ideas and inspiration.  Amy is raising the price on this soon, so get on board now and also get access to two live events she’s doing just for BUILD students.  Not ready for the full course? If you sign up for the email list, you get FREE weekly emails to help you BUILD your business. 

SPARK from Kam of Campfire Chic: I have more to say on this soon, but this 30-day email eCourse is an AMAZING jump start for those who have lost the blogging or creating SPARK. ;) I love it!


While you may not be in a creative rut at the moment, be sure to have these books and resources on your “shelves” for grabbing when you do reach the moment when you’re staring a blank screen and have no idea where to go! They help!

Do you have any books, ecourses, or blogs that help you get out of a creative or business rut? Please share in the comments! 



in Inspiration

I know “school is out for the summer” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some great summer classes from Big Picture Classes! And today, they are giving away a free spot in 3 of their upcoming classes to Alexandra Rae Design readers!



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Here & There Inspiration: Over the course of 12 weeks, Here & There Inspiration will teach you to appreciate the inspiring things in everyday life and then incorporate them into a dozen fun projects, including your own inspiration journal. You’ll enjoy two different styles (Amy Tan and Kelly Purkey!) and perspectives on each week’s inspiration category: food, fashion, home décor, nature, books & magazines, media & technology, arts & culture, music, and more.

Why I’m looking forward to this class: I think that Amy Tan and Kelly Purkey are two of the very best scrapbookers (and most inspirational scrapbookers!) around. With them teaming up with BPC, I know this class will be awesome and full of inspiration!

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Going Places: Pack up your pictures, patterned paper, and page protectors and join four talented instructors (Katrina Kennedy, Tami Morrison, Angie Gutshall, and Kim Jeffress) on this 4-week scrapbooking journey. Whether you’re traveling across the globe, close to home, or not at all this year, Going Places will help you document your most treasured vacation memories.

Why I’m looking forward to this class:  As I mentioned yesterday, I’m excited to travel a lot this summer, and document our travels as well– I think this class has a great line up of teachers and is sure to be full of travel inspiration!

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The Phone Photography Project 2: Get ready to transform your mobile photography in a brand-new interactive workshop, The Phone Photography Project 2 Twenty expert iPhoneographers have collected their best tips, tricks, and tutorials for phone photography, and they’re ready to share it all with you inside a private online classroom—with lots of fun happening on Instagram, too.

Why I’m looking forward to this class: “The best camera is the one that is always with you.” I don’t know about you, but my iPhone is the camera that is always with me. I would love to learn how to take my phone photos to the next level!

Enter to win a spot in one of these classes using the widget below! But don’t wait to see if you won to grab a spot in a class you’re eyeing! If you win, BPC will refund you the cost of the class! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I am a Big Picture Classes affiliate and was given a spot in each of these classes as well. I’ve loved every single class I’ve taken at BPC (and I think you will too!) and all opinions are my own. * 


in giveaway

Ahh, it’s finally SUMMER! I am so enjoying the warm weather, the way it stays light out SO much longer, playing in my back yard, reading by the pool, trips up to the lake… But what I’m MOST excited about for summer is all of the TRIPS I have planned! My husband and I have plans for long weekend trips to Pittsburgh, Michigan, and Chicago this summer… and I can’t wait!  I love traveling!

I’m a classic “over thinker” and “over packer” and I MIGHT already have my outfits picked out and lists made for trips we aren’t taking until July. What can I say, I’m excited!  Throw in my love of DOCUMENTING my trips and collecting bits and pieces, and I have so many ideas and thoughts swirling around in my head! I’m already planning the mini books for these vacations that we haven’t even taken yet!

My favorite form of collecting inspiration and ideas is through Pinterest… and if you know me at all, you know I already have boards galore full of ideas!  Check out my two travel memory keeping boards below– and follow all of my boards for more inspiration!

How about you? Are you traveling anywhere this summer? How will you be documenting it? 

Follow Alexandra Rae Design’s board Memory Keeping: Travel on Pinterest. Follow Alexandra Rae Design’s board Photography | Travel Photos & Tips on Pinterest.


Do you already have a ton of vacations that you haven’t documented from year’s past, but don’t know where to start? Be sure to check out the eBook I wrote with Megan from The Nerd Nest called Inspiration Vacation!  Use code JUNE2014 for 50% through the end of June!


in Inspiration

This month, the combination of One Little Bird’s newest collections and Simple Scrapper’s templates and story starters… guys, it was a good month for scrapbooking.

Alexandra Rae Design | Simple Scrapper June 2014 Creative Team

Made using One Little Bird Designs Daytripper kit | Simple Scrapper June Sketches 


Made with One Little Bird Designs ”Positive Spin” and Valerie Wibbins Pocket Pages templates | Simple Scrapper Story Starters 

This month, I tried something a little different and started really digging in deep– combining the thought of “art journaling” and scrapbooking and documenting my faith journey … it really felt nice. I have noticed that the more I use Simple Scrapper’s story starters, the deeper I start going with my journaling. It’s a nice change from the superficial scrapping I’ve done before.  I highly recommend checking out Simple Scrapper if you’re in any kind of scrapping rut. It’s worth every penny. Every. Month.


What have you been scrapping? Have you been digging any deeper into your stories? 


in Scrapbooking

I love Jennifer Wilson. And Stacy Julian.  They are both amazing and inspiring scrapbookers– so when I heard that they were teaching a class together last year, I jumped right on board!

Art + Science teachers

The class was awesome– a great balance in looking at the WHY and the HOW I do something, with tons of inspirational page examples and ideas.  Left brained or right brained, I recommend this to any scrapbooker.

Didn’t get a chance to take this amazing class last year?  You’re in luck, because Big Picture Classes is doing a re-run of the class!  And I have a spot to giveaway!

Art + Science image collage

A bit about the class:  

Are you a right-brained person who embraces possibility and spontaneity, thrives on imagination, relies on feelings, and thinks in symbols and images? Are you a left-brained person who practices strategy and order, finds comfort in facts, relies on logic, and thinks in words and language?

 The answer to both questions is “yes!” In The Art + Science of Scrapbooking, a mind-bending workshop from Stacy Julian and Jennifer Wilson, you’ll learn to harness the creative power of both sides of your brain.

 In four illuminating weeks, right-brainer Stacy Julian and left-brainer Jennifer Wilson will help you embrace your natural cognitive strengths. But they’ll also challenge themselves, each other, and YOU to find a new sense of balance and power as you explore the other side of your brain.   Class Starts: May 15th  Cost: $35

Want to win a spot?  Enter via the widget below! I’ll announce a winner  next Thursday, May 15th.  But don’t wait until then to register!  Grab your spot today!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


*Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of Big Picture Classes and was given a spot in the class. But I would NEVER promote a class or a product that I didn’t 100% love– and this class is excellent and  I think you will love it too!* 



in giveaway, Scrapbooking