Did You Scrapbook School Portraits Yet?

The school year is almost over and let’s be honest: those school portraits are still sitting in the envelope they arrived home in last fall! It’s okay. We’re all in the same place – behind on our scrapbooking projects. Did you scrapbook school portraits yet or not?


The end of the school year is fast upon us and it is as good a time as any to catch up on this school year’s memories before you start having summer fun. This mini album is a simple and easy way to get a jump start on those school portraits so you’ll be ready to scrapbook back to school in the fall. These easy techniques for decorating the album cover are great for a  binder style album, like this SN@P album from Simple Stories, or to decorate a photo album.


  • SN@P Binder Style Album by Simple Stories (or photo album)
  • Vintage Book Pages
  • Xyron Sticker Maker (I am using the 5″ wide model)
  • Small Photo Frame, Michael’s $1 Spot (I am using a felt apple shaped frame but you can always find fun shaped frames in the Michael’s Dollar Section)
  • School Themed Stickers, Karen Foster
  • Chalkboard Stickers, Pink Paislee
  • Chalk or Chalk Pencil, Pink Paislee
  • Assorted Ribbon and RicRac
  • Buttons
  • Hot Glue Gun

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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Getting Ready for SNAP Conference!

Last fall I decided that 2014 would be the year I go to more conferences. Well, 8-9 months in advance, how can I know what was going to happen? All hell broke loose in my personal life between October and now and well, I am finally coming out of it. For a few moments, I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to make it to SNAP, even though I already had my ticket!

Things are finally looking sunny and I am soooo ready for this conference. I am nervous. That is kinda silly, right?! But I guess I am excited. I haven’t been excited about things for a long time.

I am a little stressed about this 80′s prom night. Do I really need a prom dress? I never even went to my prom and it was in the 90′s anyways. I think I am gonna enlist the help of my daughter for this prom dress. And of course, we will video it!

Tonight there is a twitter party #FortheLoveofColor that you can join in on!! I hope to see you there!


•CCX-jab, •MX-jab


Do you go to conferences? Which are your favorites? What are your best tips for someone heading out to a conference?

Come back for more updates and of course, post-SNAP blog posts here!

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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Vintage Easter Decor Ideas Roundup

Waited until the last minute and now you need ideas, fast? Check out my roundup of fun and easy Easter decor ideas:


1. Jenny’s Vintage Style Spun Cotton Toppers

These are so dang cute! And if you can’t find spun cotton balls, you can use 2″ Smoothfoam balls from Michael’s or Joanns. Jenny’s Vintage Style Spun Cotton Toppers


2. Adorable Carousel Centerpiece!

This happiness would be great on a dinner table or right by the entry as guests come in.  Adorable Carousel Centerpiece


3. Vintage Style Door Hanging

Create a door hanging with vintage images to dress up the front door or a wall – it’s super easy! Vintage Style Door Hanging


4. Easter Basket from a Box

Eileen Hull makes the cutest dies – Shelly Hickox took Eileen’s blocks die and created an easter basket with it! So cute to put candies in for guests, to use as place card holders, or to give as a gift to someone special. Easter Basket From A Box


5. Paint Chip Easter Garland

This is so cute and genius! You can so this with scrap paper or paint chips (free!) and a paper punch. Use vintage postcards or Graphic 45 paper to give the project a vintage feel.  Paint Chip Easter Garland

I hope these inspire you to create something handmade for Easter in your home this weekend.

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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Now Manufacturers are Closing… *edited*

We know the craft industry, more specifically, scrapbooking, has been in trouble for a few years. Stores are closing, magazines are shutting down, and companies are going out of business. It’s not really anything NEW, seeing as we’ve been in this funk for, what, 6 or 7 years now? I would say the decline started in 2007…

I heard about this article from a friend at a crop this weekend and then I saw a few posts about it on Facebook. Four more craft product manufacturers closing their doors.

I had heard about the posts on Marah Johnson’s Facebook timeline and had taken a look at them and made a few comments myself last month. It’s sad. At first I didn’t think that kind of thing should be played out on social media but then again, what options does someone have left when they feel the rug has been pulled out from under their business and livelihood? I can’t blame Marah. She is a passionate artist and this is her life’s work and her income that is being affected – when you’re a business owner (or in a relationship with one) the business really is part of who you are and your life. It IS a personal attack when someone attacks or damages your business.

I loved Splash of Color back when it was Creative Imaginations. Their lines with Helen Dardik were my favorites, followed by anything Samantha Walker designed. Right around the time they became Splash of Color, my interest waned. I got confused by their giant booth at CHA that year and then had a hard time following what they were doing – I didn’t see any more lines from my favorite designers. I already get overwhelmed and easily distracted at the shows so it was easy to pass by their booth. I kind of lost track of what they were doing except for the posts I saw from Marah.

I never really dealt much with Canvas Corp but at one point in time I was an Educator for Tattered Angels, back before they were bought by Canvas Corp. ** please note Canvas Corp has filed bankruptcy but has not announced closures 4-16-14 **

I only ever dealt with GCD Studios through Donna Salazar. I had one interaction with Heidi Sonboul in her position with the company – my overall impression of the company was, at best, neutral. Their paper was kind of weird – I never really like the texture and thin feel of it and it didn’t react with ink as well as I would like.

I was really excited about Lily Bee when they came out and I applied for their Design Team. I remember I bought the product from TwoPeas because it was required to use their paper (I think they only had two lines out at the time) to try out. It was the first and only time I have ever purchased paper for a call and I did not make it. I remember being brushed off by them at CHA in their booth later that year when I came in to place an order. I didn’t place the order.

Why am I telling you about my relationships and experiences with these companies?

Because I won’t miss them. That sounds terrible! It isn’t in a mean way – I just wasn’t a customer of theirs. I did not buy their products and they weren’t on my radar.

Is it because I had too many choices? I certainly am not wanting for product – I mean I am happy with the paper choices I have, with the ink I buy… I don’t need anything from these companies. It isn’t that I don’t like their products (well, except for GCD’s paper), it is more that I had so many choices and only so much money/need for product, that I just didn’t have the attention to give.

Is that why these companies went uder? Do we have too many choices?

The other day, I had a conversation with several other ladies in my area about grocery stores closing. We lost all of our Ralph’s stores and have one Vons and one Albertson’s left. Fresh & Easy closed. For a while there were grocery stores on almost every corner, some intersections with 2-3 grocery stores on them. We now have Stater Bros., two WinCo locations, a smattering of Latino grocery chains, and Super Walmart or Super Target. Indoor Swap Meets or other stores (not grocery stores) have opened in most of the empty stores. I never really shopped Albertson’s or Ralph’s so it was no big deal to me. But Fresh & Easy closing was awful for me – I shopped there all the time! Why did all these stores close? There aren’t fewer people. And, unlike crafts, people still have to eat every day – eating isn’t a luxury. At any rate and for whatever reason, we have fewer choices.

I felt that way about scrapbook stores  - like maybe having 2-3 stores in a single city was kind of overkill and not sustainable. That was just too many for the current number of crafters to shop at and keep open. But now it seems there are too few!

The same with scrapbooking paper companies. I felt like from 2007-2010 there were a ridiculous number of companies with more coming out all the time! There was no way to keep them all straight and no way for enough people to buy enough paper to keep them operating. But now they are closing down or being absorbed by larger companies …

At the end of the day, it is sad that people are losing their livelihoods when they have to close their business. It is sad that someone who had a dream to have a scrapbooking or craft company has to close their doors. But if you never shopped there or bought their stuff, do you even notice if they close? Do we still have enough choices for products that we won’t feel the loss? At what point will the industry hit the bottom and we’ll get a respite from closures? I hope it is soon. Because that means the only way left is up. And that will be a good day!

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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6 Cards for 50 Cents – #Under5 Craft Haul Project #1

Last week I shared about my #Under5 Craft Haul Challenge: http://hydrangeahippo.com/2014/04/5-craft-haul-1/

The Challenge: Spend $5 or less at the craft store buying things you will use this week. So, in the spirit of that, I immediately took the cards and stamps I bought and made thank you cards, which I needed. Man, it felt good to get all of this done!

Here are the cards I made:

Craft Haul Cards - Large 3 wm

Simple and oh so quick to create with pre-printed card bases!

And here is how I made them:


From the Craft Haul:

  • Out of Blue 6 Card Set = $0.50
  • Rubberstamp set = $2.00

From my Stash:

  • ColorBox Assorted Pigment and Dye Inkpads
  • Punched Paper Circles
  • Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares
  • Adhesive Tape Gun
  • ColorBox Sponge Dauber
  • Hero Arts Stamp Set with Matching Dies
  • Sizzix Big Shot Machine
  • Acrylic Blocks

Are you up for the challenge? Post your pics and videos to social media using the hashtag #Under5 and let’s get crafty!

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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Gaming It Up With Our April 2014 Kit


Woohooo our April 2014 kit is here! I am so excited for this one because I just love all the colors and the masculine feel. We’ve had alot of flowers with spring time coming so I thought it would be good to break that up with this fabulous Echo Park paper based kit. The papers are wonderful for outdoors scrapbooking and crafts and have a carnival, game type feel to them which is great for bowling, birthdays, and more.

Check out this really fun mini album I created with this month’s kit – this is so easy to make!!!

Just watch this video for all the essential how-to information, including a tutorial on making rosettes:

Want to get this kit? Get more details here:

Kit Club Subscription Page

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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Under $5 Craft Haul #1

Are you on a budget this year? Yeah, me too. Boooo! Well, actually being on a budget and sticking to it is a good thing. It means that you have money to spend on things that you have made a priority in your life and it means you have to cut back on the things that are not a priority. I really don’t need more craft supplies. I don’t need to make shopping for them a priority. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to go into the craft store.

Over the years I have talked to thousands of crafters and scrapbookers in person and online. Wanna guess what their number one problem with creating is? It is a problem with too much stuff. That might manifest itself as any of these:

  • Buying too much
  • Not putting away stuff you bought
  • Not putting away stuff you used
  • Not being able to organize the stuff you bought/have
  • Hoarding
  • Buying stuff you don’t have a need for – because it is on sale, cute, you might need it later, etc (idea of scarcity)

You get the picture.

Shopping for craft supplies is fun. Sometimes, a new stamp or goodie might be just the ticket to sparking your creativity! It is nice to “treat” yourself to something special every now and then. I often go overboard though. I go into the craft store for more hot glue gun sticks and I come out with a cart full of $100 of other stuff.

When I went into Michael’s yesterday, I thought about why I went there. I didn’t have a real reason. Just that I hadn’t been in a craft store for forever and I wanted to see what was new and if there was anything that I might be interested in using for some upcoming projects. I grabbed a small wicker basket from the front of the store and started on my way. After 20 minutes, I had filled the basket. I found some stuff for my niece’s birthday in a few months, a few nonsense toys for Matthew, some goodies on clearance I might use. I recognized I was doing the same things that got me into crafty trouble before. I realized I should only buy things that I actually have a purpose for and use for RIGHT NOW. My niece’s birthday isn’t until October! There will be lots of new things to buy between now and then…

I decided to limit my purchases to $5. I went through each item in the basket and asked myself:

“Will I use this THIS WEEK?”

If the answer was, “no”, I put the item back. I did a second round of purging before I got to the checkstand, while waiting in line. I realized I was trying to buy stuff I would never get to use this week. And that means I might not ever use it. It will go in a box or bag or get put away and be forgotten for years. Because I literally (don’t judge, you do it too, I know! LOL) have stuff that sat in boxes or bins for YEARS that I just recently re-discovered. How much credit card interest could I have saved if I hadn’t shopped so much? How much better would my back feel if I had not moved all this stuff around with me from apartment to house to house all this time? How could that money I spent been working for me as an investment if I hadn’t spent it all on craft crap?!

It makes my head spin.

I whittled it down to 3 items:

  • Card bases for 50 cents. I need more thank you cards so these will be great for cranking those out.
  • Sentiment Stamps for $2. I can use these for the cards and the “A Note” sentiment is great for blank notecard cards I’ve been making
  • Playing cards for $1.20. The robot motif is cute for crafting and I can play the games with Matthew.

Check out this video where I explain what I bought and why:

Will you take the challenge with me? A couple times a month I plan to get some craft supplies for under $5. I might shop at a craft store or local scrapbook store, thrift shop, or flea market. The point is to not spend over $5 for whatever I am getting. I’ll use the hashtag #Under5 to mark my posts in social media so you can find them easily.

I’d like to invite you to take the challenge with me!

  • Spend $5 or less on craft supplies
  • Share a video or photo of your purchase on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube
  • Use the hashtag #Under5 and tag @hydrangeahippo

When is the last time you spent less than $5 at a craft store?

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Jennifer Priest Jan 2012

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