Friday, January 30, 2009


I just love this watch. Or rather, I love the potential I see in this watch. I picked this up at one of our local second-hand stores in November for about $2 and have been meaning to take it apart and restyle it ever since. But somehow that hasn't happened... first I got sidetracked with the holidays, then my scrapbooking bug took over, and then most recently I've had some grant application deadlines sneak up on me.
It's all about BALANCE, which is something I've never been very good at achieving but continually feel I need more of. I have a tendency to go, go, go when there is something I'm interested in, only to burn myself out on it and then not want to touch it again for a while. After almost two years of not really feeling motivated to scrapbook, I'm suddenly feeling extremely motivated and want to do it ALL the time. I want to take advantage of this new-found energy to do a bunch of projects I've had in mind, but at the same time I don't want to burn myself out and take another two or three years to get going again. So I'm trying this time to find more balance before that happens.
So, this weekend I am making it a goal of mine to take some time out from everything else to design this watch. Perhaps I'll do it between Super Bowl commercials, since I'm not much of a football fan. (My husband, on the other hand, is a Steelers follower, so I'm sure he'll be glued to the set!) I'll put a photo of the new and improved watch here Monday ... hopefully my saying that will help me follow through on this plan!!
Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First challenge entry

I've never paid much attention before to the "challenge" contests on the digital scrapbooking websites, but I was inspired last night to go ahead and do one at The task was to create a page centered on "love" using only designerdigitals products. I LOVE their stuff, so this was not a problem. And I've been wanting to do something with this great photo of the girls, so this seemed like a good time to do it. Here's the page...

In case you're interested, the challenge winners will be based on the number of times each entry is viewed and the number of comments. The winner(s) will receive a free iPod. So, if you want to help me out ... take a look at my page here.  If you visit, be sure to leave a comment!
Thanks!! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby's first Christmas


Just finished up this layout of Dani's first Christmas ... I started it last night but my little angel interrupted and insisted we go to bed!! Now ... off to write a grant application. Deadlines are looming!! :)

Teens, babies and organization.

The weather here is still really cold, so it was pretty easy to stay huddled inside and do a lot of scrapbooking this weekend. With four kids - and 13 years of scrapbooking that only happened hit-and-miss - I could do this 24 hours a day for quite some time before I ran out of things to document or stories to tell on paper. So, I've been jumping from project to project pretty frequently.
After doing several baby and family focused layouts, I decided I needed one that would reflect my teenage son and where he's at right now. So, I handed him my camera and told him I wanted 5 photos that would tell a complete stranger pretty much everything Karstin wanted them to know about him. This is what I got and what I did with it ...

Pretty cool, eh?? It will be fun to look back at someday, because he did a great job taking photos... this really is KARSTIN.
I also decided to get going on Danica's scrapbook, since she only had one layout in it compared to her sister, who has about 40! Here's what I did this weekend...
Yesterday I decided to take a break from actually scrapbooking and get organized. If you could see my computer files, you would know why. I had digital kits scattered in about 5 different places on 3 different hard drives. Not easy to find - and really hard to know what I had to choose from. So, I put everything in one file, cleaned it all up by creating consistent folders and labeling, backed it all up on one of my external hard drives, then imported everything into Shoebox, which makes it super easy to view and sort all of those papers, tags, alphabets, etc.
It took 5 or 6 hours to get it all done, but I'm sure glad I did. Now I can focus on the fun part of scrapbooking without all of that frustration!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

THIS is why I scrapbook

My adorable 2-year-old is becoming quite the reader and I just love sitting and listening to her and her daddy "read" Hop on Pop. He starts the page, she finishes it. "STOP!," she screams happily. "Don't HOP on POP!" And this is why I scrapbook ... to help me remember these precious moments that don't last long enough.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fun stuff for scrapbookers!

My new items from CafePress arrived yesterday and I wanted to share... last year I designed a combination datebook/gratitude journal for scrapbookers. With the birth of my youngest daughter in June, my design work took a huge back seat and I didn't do much of anything scrapbook-related (except take 100s of photos!!) until the last month or so. But then I was contacted by someone who purchased my datebook last year and wanted to know if I was doing one for 2009. Since she loved it - and so do I - I decided to go ahead and do one, even though the year had already started.

So... here it is. There's an individual page for the beginning of each week with an inspirational quote, "to do" list, and room for a grocery list. That is followed by an individual page for each day of that week, with room for appointments, a place to mark holidays and occasions (major holidays are already filled in for you), room to jot down the dinner menu, a list for photos taken that day (so you can remember when you find time to scrapbook!), a box for little things you just want to remember, and a place to list 5 things you are grateful for that day.


New this year is a two-page full month calendar at the beginning of each month (thanks for the great idea, Nancy!). There are also various help items at the back of the book, including 2010 calendars and holidays, places to list gift ideas, favorite websites and phone numbers. The book itself is 5x8 inches, 458 pages. If you're interested in having one for yourself, you can find it here in my CafePress store. If you like it, let me know ... I'm planning early to do one for next year.
The other item is a mousepad, which I actually designed last year but just now got around to buying for myself. It has my favorite quote on it: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."  You can find it here if you'd like one of these.

Now, to get back to work ... I've been doing so much scrapbooking lately, my other "to do" list is getting a little long!! Enjoy!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Family scrapbook: winter play

Here's another addition to the Rutten Family 2009 scrapbook...
This was created in Photoshop 7.0 using the Wonderland kit by Atomic Cupcake.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Me: inspired.

After making my "16 things" list this morning, I was inspired this evening to do a couple layouts for my album about ME. The first is my list and the other is just a record of one of my favorite ways to spend a few quiet minutes at home.

The "story" image above and the overlay below are both by Ali Edwards from

16 things about me

Was inspired this morning by Ali Edwards' blog to jot down "16 things about me" at this moment in time. It was a lot of fun and now I'll probably incorporate this into a layout for my scrapbook about me. This would also be a good exercise to repeat in a few months...
1.    Morning is my favorite time of day, especially if I manage to get up and get a cup of coffee before my little girls wake up. I just love the sun streaming in the windows, the quiet, the Today show on in the background and the chance to check emails and wander around the Internet for a while before real life sets in again.

2.    My home office drives me crazy. Simply stated, it’s overpacked with a ton of stuff and always ends up looking like a cluttered mess. I would love to streamline but just can’t seem to get it done. I don’t like letting go of things… I might need it someday!

3.    I think I’ll probably write a book about my life someday. I’m just worried my memory won’t hold out and it’ll be a bunch of blank pages.

4.    I LOVE Legos. Have ever since I was little. I discovered the digital design program at over Christmas break and have literally had to stay away for fear all I would do all day is build Lego houses on my computer.

5.    I’m not a big fan of winter, except when viewed from inside my cozy house with no need to go out. It’s pretty, but it’s a pain in the butt. I’m terrified of ice, especially on the roads and it has to be a MAJOR event before I’ll take a trip that requires me to drive over an icy overpass.

6.    I’m a combination eater. Certain foods just have to have their counterpart – pizza requires Diet Coke, coffee almost always needs a sweet treat – caramels, brownies or sweet rolls are best – I would probably be half my size if I could find something I loved that would go with lettuce or fruit!

7.    I find office supplies very inspiring. I love finding a great new notebook or kind of pen.. I REALLY enjoy a great tag with lots of fun little boxes to fill in, so the new trends in digital scrapbooking make me want EVERYTHING right now!

8.    Love dessert. My favorites are chocolate cheesecake, a good plain chocolate brownie, cherry pie made with real pie cherries, turtle brownies and snicker cake.

9.    I’m somewhat addicted to Diet Coke and Cherry Coke One. Gave up all diet pops for a couple years about 12 years ago because of the fear of what artificial sweeteners do to your brain but don’t think I’ll do it again. It’s kinda like coffee is to others – if I don’t have it, I feel an intense need to GET it!

10.    I definitely prefer quiet and calm over loud and chaotic, but it can’t be TOO quiet, either. The TV is on all day in the background, just to keep me company. Of course, quiet isn’t an issue around here much right now … my 2-year-old never stops talking except when she’s asleep!

11.    I’ve always wished I had thicker hair. Not super thick but thicker than my baby fine hair. Something that could withstand a nap or a hat without being a frizzy, flyaway mess afterward. Something that could hold some of the cute cuts I can’t pull off with my own head of hair.

12.    I love to decorate, though you might not guess sometimes to look at my surroundings. If I had an unlimited budget and lots of free time (and didn’t have to worry about what the rest of my family likes), my house would look entirely different.

13.    One of my favorite parts of having two little girls after having two boys is the adorable baby clothes. Boys are great but they are not much fun to shop for. But it’s SO much fun looking at baby girl clothes … I especially love the combination of pink and brown!

14.    I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur. I keep changing my focus, but right now I feel like I’m slowly making my way to where I really want to be, professionally speaking… Ali Edwards is as huge inspiration and role model for me in this area right now. Also love the digital kits by Katie Pertiet.

15.    The best gift right now would be lots and lots of free time to work on all the scrapbook and photo-related projects I feel inspired to do … without feeling guilty for not working on something else.

16.    I feel like the Internet and the ease of blogging has opened up a whole new world to me … there are so many neat people and great ideas out there, I could easily spend all day just wandering around and collecting ideas, to the point of almost being overwhelming. I love it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Change" is here...

Watching the inauguration of Barack Obama today on the TV, I was reminded of how certain events stick in your mind long after they occur. Moments like when I heard about the bombing of the Twin Towers or the first time I saw each of my babies' faces.
Many people talk about where they were when JFK was assassinated, but that was several years before I was even born. I realized my two young daughters - ages 2 1/2 and almost 7 months - will have no recollection of this event when people talk about the day the first black President took office, even though they were alive to witness it. So I decided to put together a page for them to look back on later to give them just a glimpse of the event.

The row across the top is a handful of screenshots of what was happening on websites across the country following the swearing-in ... definitely something that didn't even exist when most of the past leaders took office. The backdrop, though you can't read much of it, is President Obama's inaugural address.
Note: The pin holding up the note is from Andrea L. Burns' "Seeing Stars" kit. The rest is of my own design and/or borrowed from images on the Internet.

Birthday memories

I was inspired to start my 2-year-old's birthday album this weekend, which is going to be a gated album with a combination of 12x12 and 6x12 layouts and photo sleeves. Her first birthday is nearly complete - now I just need to get everything printed and purchase the album. Here's a peek at the layouts that will go into this book...


These were all created digitally using the Kaylee kit from Atomic Cupcake. I also have 60 photos that will follow these pages in protective sleeves. The two sets of narrow layouts will go into the gated 6x12 pages and I'll slip her birthday cards into the one that says "cards."
Now I just need to do her second birthday and I'll have ONE album all caught up!! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Testing out a "blended album" approach


Just enjoying a quiet weekend at home and managed to put together the first calendar page for our 2009 family album. I'm trying a new approach this year, referred to in the industry as a "blended photo album." Basically it's a traditional photo album with photos slipped into sleeves but you add scrapbook pages and/or scrapbook-like elements mixed in.
I've decided to do this with the bulk of our family photos, since we take so many every year and there's no way I'll ever find time to scrapbook them all. I'm going to do this album chronologically, with each month starting with a page similar to the one above. Hopefully by the end of 2009, I'll have a finished album instead of what I have at the end of 2008, which is a ton of photos still in my computer!!
BTW - I scrap-lifted the design for this page from one I saw at Love her stuff ... be sure to check it out!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Inspired to stay inside & scrapbook!

We woke up this morning to a new blanket of snow ... very pretty but most enjoyed from inside the house. It's days like these when I really appreciate that I am able to work from home with my little ones. I'm also very glad our appointment in Billings (2 hours away) was yesterday, as I am NOT a fan of winter driving or traveling.
Came home with a couple great finds yesterday after a quick trip to Target. One is a really cool "notebinder" that is going to be home to the "idea catcher" I am starting to help me get the ideas out of my head and onto paper where I hopefully won't lose them! This little binder is made of some kind of flexible plastic and has pockets for index-card sized items, larger transparent sleeves and dividers, three-ring paper and graph paper, etc. It's perfect for my plans! Will share more about this as it comes together.
I also found some great little items from the Real Simple line that I
plan to turn into mini albums. One is a business card sized "card
wheel" with clear pockets intended for business cards (I'm envisioning photos...) and the other is a similar wheel with larger sized cards in
place of the pockets. Lots of inspiration coming from those!!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time to BEGIN

If you're a fan of Ali Edwards, you know she encourages everyone to choose a "word" for the year ... something to serve as a daily reminder and guide toward whatever area is a priority for you at the moment.
My word for the year is: BEGIN.
I've decided to incorporate my word into a project I've taken on this year, and I plan to share my progress along this way with you on this blog. I just turned 39 a couple weeks ago and somehow this, my 40th year, seems like a big turning point for me. More on that later, I'm sure.
My project is a scrapbook album focused on ME at this stage in my life. My many roles, my goals, my interests and hobbies, my priorities, my hang-ups. And as you'll discover if you follow along with me, one of those hang-ups is moving beyond the planning stage to actually DOING. Hence, my word for the year.
Inspired by the colors in a bouquet of pretty flowers my father-in-law shared with us last week, I've designed a new digital kit focused on my word for the year. At the moment, I'm hoping to make this an annual project. I will be making that kit available for sale later this month. In the meantime, I've used some of its pieces to create a first page for my album... a BEGINning.
Here it is...
This page will eventually go into a fun 8x8 acrylic album I found on eBay from a store called (it's on the top of the pile - literally & figuratively - in the photo in my scrapbook page). I've never used acrylic before, so this will be another fun challenge. More on that later...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An easy way to save those holiday cards, letters and photos

I discovered a great new use for one of my kitchen gadgets and just had to share.

Every year, we get a nice stack of holiday cards, letters and photos, which, of course, I want to save. But I usually end up tossing them into a drawer for "later" and, well, later never quite comes. So, this year I decided (with the help of my word of the year - BEGIN) to actually DO something with those holiday wishes.

I have now started a scrapbook album devoted exclusively to our holiday cards and letters. Nothing too fancy - it's basically a binder with clear protective pages where I can slip each item into. All of the items for each year go in one section and I'll add cute index pages for each year once I have a chance to visit a scrapbook supply store. I used a white binder with a clear cover, so when I have time, I can make a cute holiday-themed "cover" to slip inside the front, back and spine "pockets."

The part I wanted to share is how I created the inside pockets for the items that are smaller than a standard-sized page. We don't have any suppliers in our area that offer more than your basic 8.5x11-inch protector. And I wanted a way to store smaller sized photos and cards without using a whole protector page for each. I knew (from experience!) if I wait until I could go shopping for specialized pages, the project would never get started. So, I used my vacuum heat sealer from the kitchen to create my own pockets on the pages.

I enjoy freezer cooking and was fortunate to receive a Foodsaver Professional III sealer last year for Christmas. But I'm guessing just about any sealer would work if it has the option of sealing without "vacuuming." Basically, I just laid my protector page in the sealer where I wanted a side seam and then used the manual seal option on setting 3 for heat sealing time. I sealed the top of the page closed, then added seams to make smaller pockets within, depending on what specific items I wanted to put in each page. To make openings to slide the items in, I then used my rotary paper cutter and removed the original seam from one side of the page. It worked really well and I plan to use this method again for my other scrapbooking projects, especially when I'm in a hurry and don't want to wait for an order of special pocket pages to arrive by mail.

Now that this album is started, it should be easy next year to just add another section. Plus, this will make it much easier to go back from year to year and see how people have changed!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

About Spring Creek Design


in the spring of 2007, Spring Creek Design is the home-based graphic
design, digital scrapbooking and contract-grantwriting studio owned by designer Kristin
Rutten. A
lifelong scrapbooker and self-taught graphic designer, Kristin enjoys the creative process and expresses this talent through a variety of avenues. Her current focus is on the development of planning books, calendars, digital kits and other resources for scrapbookers. Her experience includes
several years as a community newspaper reporter, designer and editor
where she designed all kinds of print media, ranging from newspapers
and special editions to a soft-cover book, several print advertisements
and various other materials. She has also been involved in several
non-profit agencies, including long-time service as a board member for
the local Boys & Girls Club, as well as Executive Director for a
local agency serving senior citizens. Through both, she has created all
kinds of marketing materials and further honed her design and public
relations skills. She is also currently providing contract grant-writing and design services for a Central Montana non-profit economic development agency.

a work-at-home mom to four kids, ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years, Kristin is
especially interested in supporting the ability of mothers to be
available to their families while pursuing their own career interests
and contributing to the family finances. You may contact
Kristin directly be emailing

Creek Design will conside all kinds of design and production projects,
with a special emphasis on digital scrapbooking, publishing, and production layout.
Projects of all sizes will be considered, both short-term and ongoing.
For more information or to obtain a cost estimate for a particular
project, please contact Kristin via email.

Making progress...


My move to this new site is coming along.
I am currently working on putting up my scrapbooking pages, as well as examples of my design work. In the process of designing my site, I am also refining just what it is I want this site to do and my "creative manifesto," or "mission statement." At the moment, this includes representing the "real" me and my creative endeavors of the moment, which generally vary from scrapbooking/documenting the life of myself and my family, designing helpful booklets such as calendars, journals, planning guides, etc. that help me - and hopefully others - in their pursuits, decorating my home, creating various photo-related pieces, jewelry-making and occasionally sewing.
I also hope to share the sites, books and other resources that inspire me. At the moment, a huge inspiration for me is Ali Edwards. I just finished her book, "Life Artist," last week and have now started her newest, "Sharing Your Story." Both are wonderfully inspiring, as is her blog, and her philosophy toward documenting her stories through her "life art" resonates strongly with my own. I hope to incorporate her many ideas into my work as I continually shape my own scrapbooking and "life"style in general.
All of this is done between contract grant-writing, monthly website maintenance for a local non-profit, OCR textbook editing and caring for my 4 kids, ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years!
I hope you will join me in this journey...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Welcome to my new home on the web...

A new year and time for change, including the creation of my new online home base. In the next few weeks, this will become the point from which my online life is anchored, including my home-based business, Spring Creek Design, as well as links to my personal sites. Check back soon - and often - to keep track of my progress in the creative world and beyond. Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!

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