Sunday, February 19, 2017

Make the Most of Your Case Kit {by Sylvia Mellander Ekman}

Sylvia is one of the most creative scrappers I know. She is a true visionary, and I'm so grateful to have her on the CSI team. Sylvia wanted to share with our members how she creates a kit to go with the CSI Case Files, and how to make multiple layouts from this kit. Here's how she does it, in her words...

(The layouts she created with her "kit" go with Case File No. 224.)

Hi all!

I thought I would share with you today a little tip to use your stash and save time.

When I have a new case at hand and I absolutely love the colours, the scene, etc.,  I always start by selecting the evidence I most likely will use and the testimony that appeals to me. I browse my photos to find some that will work with the case. In doing that I work from the colours, the theme, or the testimony. If I already have an idea for my journalling and my pics are the “wrong” colour I just convert them to b/w.

After that comes the fun part of shopping: my stash! I pull out a lot of things that will correspond to the case and my idea. And this results in potential material for my page. This is much like putting together a kit. I choose cardstock, patterned papers that vary--some are large prints, some are small. I like to use text prints and woodgrain. 

I pull out decorations, alphas, washi, my gelli prints, or other pre-painted papers that I have in my stash. Tags, scraps, etc. This is a process where I carefully consider how these papers and decorations contribute to the idea of the case at hand. This is where I check the list of evidence to see what I can add. Now, of course, this could result in a huge pile of stuff. The things that make it to the pile are all sought out, work together and work with my photos and the case. I do however restrain the amount of things that I pull out. And sometimes I do need to find another set of alphas or something in the end. 

Ok, so this is my tip for you today: After your page is done and you sit by your desk that now is a huge mess and you still have lots and lots of things left in that kit you made, this is when you make another page from this kit. You probably have more shots that you pulled out in the beginning and everything you need to get those scrapped now sits on your desk. 

You could explore another angle of the case, see if you get inspired by something in the scene, or choose another testimony prompt. 

An idea might be to make it a habit to always create something that is a bit more personal, something about your thoughts or a page for your “Book of Me” or your faith.

Another idea is to use this opportunity to try a new technique or something that you don´t often do.

If you like, you can do this page or these pages just for your own sake, or you could share these pages too on CSI. [Debbi says, "Definitely share them on CSI-- we want to see how you can interpret a Case File in many different ways, not to mention, it increases your chance of winning a prize from our sponsors!"]

For me, making the kit is great fun, scrapping my CSI layout is the main part and the other layouts are another matter. These are just play time, they are not meant for sharing, and still sometimes I like them the best.

It may be that you already use this technique, but if you don´t I hope you will give it a go!

In short:
  1. Choose your evidence (and testimony)
  2. Pull out photos that work
  3. Put together a kit based on the case
  4. Make a page
  5. Make another page
  6. Make one more...etc
  7. Choose a layout to submit to CSI, or submit them all!
  8. Put back the left overs where they belong
Happy scrapping!


Congratulations to our January Sponsor Prize Winners!

We'd like to thank everyone who participated in our January challenges, and a HUGE thank you to our generous sponsors!

Randomly selected from our players who were placed Under Surveillance:

Winner of the Cat's Meow gift certificate - Ginger Cameron
Winner of  a $50 gift certificate from CSI - Vivian
Winner of the Maja Design collection - Laetitia Pauchet
Winner of the $50 gift certificate from Nupur Patel - Jenny Andersson
Winner of the Scrap Matrix gift certificate - Vija Anton
Winner of the Swirlydoos store credit - Carrie Williams

Randomly selected from all of our players who solved our November Case Files:

Winner of  a $50 gift certificate from CSI - Marianne Ehlen
Winner of the FabScraps prize pack - Jane Howden
Winner of the Scrapmatts prize pack - Lisa Lucchese
Winner of the prize pack from Debbi Tehrani - Krystle Thomas

To claim your prize, please send a me a private message with your email and mailing addresses via the CSI Facebook Page by the end of February.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Case File No. 224 - Deadline: February 28, 2017

Greetings, CSI Players! We are having a blast seeing all your fun, bold layouts for Major Case File No. 223. Don't forget, that one stays open the entire month of February too.

So, are you ready for the new challenge? Grab you forensics kits, CSI players, and get ready for some serious sleuthing as we open Major Case File No. 224.


With February being one of the coldest months where I live, I thought it would be apropos to open up some Cold Case Files. These were Case Files I had prepared for previous challenges but never went live. Our second Cold Case this month features a cool, graphic, alphabetic Scene by Studio Lakmoes

Remember to scroll all the way down to the bottom of this reveal post for RGB codes, color descriptions, and more detailed explanations of the Evidence and Testimony prompts.

For our Russian players, Detective Anastasia has translated our Case File into Russian:

Правила на русском языке вы можете прочитать здесь.

We're so excited to have nine generous sponsors this month! Our sponsors are among the best in the crafting industry, offering unique and trendy products. CLICK HERE to read more about these generous sponsors and the prizes they're donating.

We are thrilled to have the Swirlydoos design team participating as Guest Detectives this month. This week, we have Kim and Jan joining us.

We also have our first Special Investigator of 2017 joining us this month. Carrie Williams recently started playing at CSI, and she immediately caught our eye with her beautiful artwork and her gift for storytelling!

We'll let Carrie tell you a little about herself:

Hi, I'm Carrie, a Minnesota girl, wife to my high-school sweetheart, and mama to a rainbow baby, Zae, and two fur-babies. I'm a stay at home mom with health issues and scrapping is my therapy. Plus it combines my favorite things: photography, crafting and creativity, writing--and Zae! I don't really have a style I claim as my own: as a gemini, my interests and favorite things are constantly changing. But with so many possibilities, why choose just one?


So...are you ready for some serious inspiration?

Here's how Carrie rocked the Case File:

Our inspiring Guest Detectives from Swirlydoos masterfully solved the Case File:

And this is how the CSI Detectives have expertly cracked the case:

(Yes, two from Sylvia! Stay tuned for two more, plus an article by Syvlia on building a CSI forensics kit, to be published later this week.)

  • 179.172.166 – gray taupe
  • 219.70.64 – cherry red
  • 255.255.255 – white
  • 186.225.207 - seafoam green 
  • 252.212.202 – ballerina slipper pink
  • Plain cardstock
  • Clouds, rainbows
  • Gears, cogs
  • Animals
  • Cactus/other plant
  • The alphabet as a design element
  • Food elements
  • Light bulb
  • Flags
  • Arrows
  • Architectural accents
  • Scissors
  • People icons
  • Triangles
  • Enamel dots
  • Die cuts
  • Topic: Choose an item in the Scene as a jumping off point.
  • Prompt Idea: Choose a February prompt.
  • Presentation: Use a mix of lettering.
  • Writing Format: Write an acrostic poem.
  • Inspiration Words: random, stuff, surprise--use these as inspiration for your journaling, not just as a title.

We trust we've left enough clues for you to solve the case!
The deadline for completing this Case File is Tuesday, February 28, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Be sure to link your layout using the link tool in the sidebar, and mention the Evidence and Testimony clues you used.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Under Surveillance - January Case Files

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our fifth birthday celebration in January! We have chosen our favorite layouts from the January Case Files.

Here are our favorites from Major Case File No. 221. Here's a reminder of the Case File they used:

Congratulations to all of our members who are highlighted! 
You can grab your badges here.

Tell your story. It's our tagline, and here at CSI, it's one of our missions to get our members to delve deeper into journaling--to document the meaningful bits and pieces that make up our lives. We would like to shine a special spotlight each week on a member who did an exceptional job telling their story. And we'd like to thank Scrapbook Fantasies for donating a wonderful prize to our Star Witness for each Case File. 

Star Witnesses, please send me your mailing address via private message on our CSI Facebook page for your prize.

We were very moved by Peg's interpretation of the inspiration words "sweet" and "life" and the different direction these words took her. Peg's title and the way she presented her story through typewritten text and pictures against that large photographic background are just striking and make this layout a standout.

For each Case File, three of our favorite layouts will be chosen to feature as our "Most Wanted." 
Marianne Ehlen
Linolas World

Jenny Andersson

And here are a couple more that caught our eye:

Carina Kindh


Ginger Cameron

And here are our favorites from Case File No. 222. Here is a reminder of the Case File they used:

Meraki Moments
We thought Meraki Moments' haiku was just delightful with that surprise ending that perfectly captures the essence of the photo!

Okay, we just couldn't decide on three most favorites, so here were our top 5:

Laetitia Pauchet Triniti

Vija Anton

Carrie Williams


Vera Shelemekh

And a few more that caught our eye:

Jenny Andersson

Gunilla R

Carolyn Haswell

Jane Howden

Sonia Roman