Roundup of helpful articles, blog posts, and videos from around the net

I’m reading the Nimona graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson* this week and I’m totally in love. Can I list that as the biggest essential reading for you for the week? It reminds me a lot of some of the silly things that happen during some of my Dungeons and Dragons games. It’s a quick read so take your time with it or it will be over too soon! I’m also reading Wildwood by Colin Meloy* (the lead singer of the band The Decemberists), which I received as a birthday gift…twice! Alex and my friend Angela both purchased the book for me, so you know it’s right up my alley. The obvious comparison is to The Chronicles of Narnia but set in Portland. I’m excited to find out that there are three books in this series!

This week’s essential reading:

*These are Amazon affiliate links. I will receive a small commission from purchases made through these links.  Affiliate commissions like this help me continue to share here on Campfire Chic, but if you’re not into that, simple search for the book titles in your favorite web browser. 

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in Essential Reading

I have a big trip coming up next month and I’ve been spending the last few weeks with my nose buried in travel books and scanning websites to get ready. There’s only so much you can read about your travel destinations so it’s been nice to browse a new book called A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook.

Book Review - A Womans Guide to the Wild by Ruby McConnell for the outdoor adventurer in your life - Campfire Chic

Have you noticed when you express interest in a certain topic that everybody in your life seems to buy you books on that topic? Alex and I have more outdoor books than I know what to do with…and I noticed that any advice for women is either written by a man or only talks about menstruation.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s really important to have a plan if you have your period while in the backcountry. There are different options and it’s nice to hear from other women who can tell you about that time they had to create their own privacy screen when there wasn’t a tree to hide behind to take care of business. (For the record, this is why wearing layers is important! You don’t know when you’ll want to use a jacket to create some privacy for yourself).

But there’s so much more to being a woman outdoors! 

Ruby McConnell, the author of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild, knows that being a woman comes with a few additional concerns for new and seasoned adventurers. In one chapter, titled Lady Matters, Ruby covers topics like:

  • Getting dressed and undressed in the woods (or a campground with lots of people)
  • Peeing in the woods (she totally covers the different ways)
  • Bathing when there isn’t a shower around
  • Sleeping comfortably if this is your first time away from your bed
  • Getting ‘busy’ outdoors

Honestly, one topic I wish we talked about more? Hair! Mine is okay for a few days if I don’t wear a hat, but of course I’m going to wear a hat! Ruby suggests a hair management plan and there is a wonderfully illustrated guide to French braiding your own hair. It may sound vain/elementary, but this was a particularly interesting section for me, personally.

Additional topics covered:

  • Where to go – types of campgrounds, suggestions for places in different states, and types of recreational areas
  • What to bring – Daytrips, car camping, backpacking, and more. This chapter includes handy checklists, how to pack your backpack, and the importance of an excellent sports bra
  • Setting up camp – the basics, tips for selecting undeveloped sites, the different types of types, and a fun DIY project
  • Building a fire
  • Eating – camp kitchen essentials, cooking and eating in bear country, recipes for breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert
  • First aid and safety – keeping yourself safe from others, keeping your friends safe, blisters and chafing (very serious business for those of us with sturdy thighs), car trouble, and knowing when to turn back
  • Weather & Navigation
  • Outdoor etiquette and preserving the wilderness

All in all, this is a great book if you’re looking to learn more before hitting the trail. There are useful DIY projects and recipes to try and checklists to use when perfecting your own packing lists. This is the book I wish I was given years ago when I started going on camping trips without my family.

You can purchase a copy of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook from (Kindle and Paperback).

Thank you to Sasquatch Books for providing me with a copy of A Woman’s Guide to the Wild for possible review. I only suggest products and services to Campfire Chic readers that I try/use and think are beneficial. The links used in this post are affiliate links to


in Adventure, Books

Scrapbooking sounds like a very time consuming hobby, and it certainly can be! It also sounds like a huge project that takes years to complete and requires expensive 12 x12 leather albums. I want to share more ways to document your story and mini scrapbook albums are a great way to do just that without breaking the bank or investing a lot of time in a long-term project. Last week, I shared my 30 things about me at 30 mini scrapbook album, and as I typed out the supplies I used to create the album, I realized that I grab the same tools over and over again when I’m working on mini scrapbook albums. Today, I want to dedicate a post to my favorite mini scrapbook album tools and give you an idea of why I use certain products over others.

This blog post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links will result in a commission for me. I use each item listed here and believe them to be good products. I don’t promote items I don’t think would benefit Campfire Chic readers. 

Favorite Mini Scrapbook Album Tools - Campfire Chic

My mini scrapbook albums all follow the same basic foundation: thick album covers that I hole-punch and bind with small binder rings, cardstock paper used for the foundation pages, and a handful of basic embellishments to make my pages look cute.

My favorite mini scrapbook album tools

Albums and Album Covers:

  • When I want to do some pocket scrapbooking in a smaller format, I reach for a Simple Stories 6×8 Album. I love the sturdy covers, the pocket page designs, and that the albums come in a variety of colors. I have red, green, navy, and yellow albums for different projects. The albums come with an assortment of pocket pages, thick cardstock in coordinated designs, and some very thick chipboard dividers to get you started.
  • When I want to make a less photo-intense mini scrapbook album, I use loose chipboard pieces to create my covers. When I’m at a scrapbook store (which is less and less recently as most of the ones near me are now closed), I pick up a couple pieces of loose medium to thick chipboard in a variety of sizes. I try to keep my albums around 6×6 or 5×7 so it’s easier to pull together the pages for the album and so they are easy to handle when showing them to friends and family. I cover the chipboard covers with patterned paper and hole punch them with my crop-o-dile.
  • In a pinch, I’ll use cardboard from a package to create album covers. For my 30 things about me at 30 mini scrapbook album, I used cardboard from my first Stitch Fix box because the inside of the box had a beautiful pattern and I thought it would look nice on the inside of my mini album. Cardboard can be more difficult to work with because you need to cut it down to the size you want to use, but if you’re like me and have boxes coming to your door (or at work) pretty frequently, then you have a constant source for album covers.
  • On occasion, I will use the 4×4 albums from We R Memory Keepers. This is a good size to use if you’re documenting things like the books you read over the summer, a weekend trip, or Ali Edwards’ Day in the Life challenge.


  • When you start scrapbooking or card making, a paper trimmer should be one of the first tools you invest in for the long haul. I started with an oversized paper cutter but have been using this smaller and more lightweight option for years now. I like how it does not take up much room but it is easy to have less-the-straight-cuts with this type of trimmer, but I don’t mind.
  • The tool I expect to outlive me is my Crop-a-Dile. There are newer versions now, but mine is a hole puncher (two sizes) and grommet attacher. I use mine for punching holes 99.9% of the time now that grommets and brads are a little out of style. What is nice about the Crop-a-Dile is I can easily punch through thick chipboard and other materials like acrylic and leather without much effort. I also like that I can set a guide on the tool so my holes are a uniform distance from the edge of the project, which comes in handy when punching holes for my mini album covers!
  • I use basic binder rings to bind my albums. I had a zutter-bind-it-all for a while but never got around to using it because it took up too much space and I was too lazy to figure out how to use it at the time because I wasn’t making many mini albums a few years ago. I like that binder rings give me freedom when working on a project. I can move pages around, remove a page if I make a big mistake, and add in more pages if I run out of space. I can also increase the size of the rings used if my album gets a little too fat.
  • Would you believe me if I told you I have three staplers? I have a mini stapler I purchased in Japan for travel scrapbooking, a regular stapler for basic projects, and a long-arm stapler that I use when I want to staple something in the middle of a page or to create a booklet and a regular stapler just doesn’t cut it. If I buy a fourth stapler, it would be Tim Holtz’s tiny attacher because the staples are a good size for scrapbooking on a smaller scale.
  • I haven’t done anything impressive with my Silhouette Cameo, but I want to do some fun things for the next 30 Days of Lists, so I’m adding it to this list. It is an electronic cutting tool that helps you make die cuts and stickers. It’s a popular tool if you’re interested in creating your own sticker set but don’t want to hand-cut each sheet of designs.
  • While I have four staplers, I only have two clear acrylic stamp blocks and have my eye on one or two more. Now that I’m using a ton of stamps in my layouts and mini albums, I know how important a good stamp block is. I have a small 2×2 block that is good for smaller acrylic stamps (the clear type of stamp you have to mount to something in order to use) and a larger 2×4 block. I wish I had a longer stamp block and a stamp block with a grid pattern on it so I could line up my letters more easily. If you’re just starting out with stamping, buy one medium or large block to get started.


  • Plain cardstock is one of the things I run out of the most when I’m busy making mini-albums. I like using cardstock as my foundation pages in my mini scrapbook albums because it gives me a fresh canvas to work on. I highly suggest purchasing quality cardstock, like Bazzil, if you’re not using page protectors or adding a lot of things to each page. The inexpensive paper from big box stores, like Recollections from Michaels, is thin and won’t always hold up to heavy embellishments but it will get the job done. My 30 things about me at 30 album used cheaper cardstock and I’m okay with that because I knew I wasn’t adding a lot of things to each page.
  • I also use patterned paper to make my foundation pages, but you will want to make sure the paper is either double-sided, or you need to consider doubling the amount of paper you need to cut to cover up the plain back of non-double-sided paper. You can obviously leave the pages plain white, but I think albums look more put together when the pages are double-sided. Patterned paper is also good for decorating your pages. I’m currently on a 6×6 paper pad kick. I like that I get a few designs from a whole collection in a paper pad and the 6×6 format means the designs are shrunk down and more appropriate for smaller-sized projects like a mini album.
  • Consider using specialty paper like vellum paper for your albums. You can create an album using brown paper bags, old books, and more. I used watercolor paper to make the pages in my March 2016 30 Days of Lists album and they feel so nice as you flip through the pages.


  • Wet adhesive is what you and I would call regular glue. There are different options, but my longtime favorite is the 2 way glue squeeze & roll pen from Zig Memory System. It looks like a pen, blue adhesive comes out and dries clear. It’s simple, effective, and can usually be found at the counter of your local scrapbook store. For larger projects, or if my hand is sore from climbing, I reach for my Tombow Mono Liquid Glue Aqua that has a pen tip and a broad tip all in one. It contains more glue, so if you’re working on a glue-heavy project, I suggest getting this one instead of the Zig.
  • Dry adhesive is the umbrella term for adhesives like glue dots, foam squares, tape runners, and photo splits. I like using dry adhesive when I’m creating mini-albums with lots of layers because I don’t need to worry about using too much glue and causing ripples in the paper (which is what happens to me when I use too much wet adhesive!).
  • I include dimensional adhesive like Glossy Accents from Ranger in its own category because I don’t use it to glue paper together or to adhere a photo to a page. I use Glossy Accents to glue down tricky embellishments like flair/badges, wood veneer, and chipboard pieces.

Writing and Words:

  • I keep things simple when it comes to any sort of journaling in my mini-albums. The pen I reach for the most is the ultra fine point Sharpie marker. I’m not concerned about the marker being archival safe or not because I have scrapbooks my grandmother put together in 1953 and wrote in them using ballpoint pens and they are holding up really well. I also use the 03 Precision Pen from American Crafts and have a set of micron pens for detailed doodles or squeezing journaling into tight places.
  • If you don’t like your handwriting, alpha stamp sets are a cost-effective route for creating titles and journaling on pages. I have several sets from rukristin papercrafts and Kelly Purkey. I suggest finding one or two sets with classic typefaces so your layouts don’t look outdated after a few months.
  • I used to have a Thickers (from American Crafts) addiction and I’m not afraid to admit it. Alpha stickers are a fantastic tool to have in your supplies because you not only get to create words, phrases, and journaling with your stickers, but they double as beautiful embellishments. My current favorite alpha stickers come in the monthly kits from Kelly Purkey. They are a simple sans serif in all caps, which is very versatile.

Printing photos:

  • I do a fair amount of printing at home with my Canon Selphy CP910 (read my review here). It’s nice to have around for projects that don’t need many photos, like mini scrapbook albums or filling gaps in Project Life pages. It’s also nice to have for family get togethers so your family can go home with a physical photo instead of asking you to post the photo to Facebook right away so they can get a copy of the digital. Physical photos are so nice to have around and I hope you share that with your family.
  • If I have a large photo order or need various sizes printed out, I use Persnickety Prints. They are a trusted company within the scrapbooking industry and their customer service is fantastic. They check each individual photo to make sure things are printing out correctly and they offer a huge range of paper type, finishes, and sizes that you will be hard pressed to find something they don’t do. Persnikey Prints also offers membership-type deals where you pre-pay for a set amount of images and the credit is loaded into your account so you don’t need to pull out your credit card each time you place an order, which I find really helpful.
  • When I need larger photos printed quickly, I send my photos to Target photo lab and pick them up in an hour. I figure I’m at Target often enough that it makes sense to send my orders there if I need a few prints. We printed out some 8×6 photos from our wedding day to frame for our families and the prints from Target were unexpectedly beautiful. If you don’t have a local photo lab, I suggest looking into options from Target, Walmart, and Costco.

Those are my favorite mini scrapbook album tools! I love scrapbooking and I know that these tools and products work well for me, and I hope you find something here that helps with your next mini scrapbook album.

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in Behind the Scenes, DIY, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking

Messy Lists Art Journal Challenge with Co-Hosts from 30 Days of Lists - Campfire Chic

It’s the sixth and final week of Messy Lists Art Journal Challenge – the collaborative project between 30 Days of Lists and Get Messy Art Journal. The past few weeks went by a lot faster than I expected and it may be difficult to adjust to a schedule that doesn’t involve art journaling on a regular basis. I can obviously continue art journaling, but it was much easier to get into the habit when I had list prompts and art prompts prescribed.

Last Saturday was International Scrapbook Day, and you can tell my brain was more focused on scrapbooking than on art journaling…which isn’t bad, just different than some of the other pages.

Week 6: Messy Lists Art Journal Challenge

Messy Lists Week 6 Quote Page in the Art Journal Challenge - Campfire Chic

The quote this week felt right for the end of the this project. I used some pieces of scrap paper that I had around and put them on a large flat card that arrived in the mail this week from a dear friend. I also included some scrapbook embellishments, too. I recently heard a podcast say that mounting images the way I did above (with the paper boarder behind the forest image) a little old fashioned, but I like the layers.

Messy Lists - Week 6 Currently Watching Art Journal Challenge Entry - Campfire Chic

I’m obsessed with Kristin’s binge-watching mini-album so I was excited to tackle the Currently Watching prompt for Messy Lists. I painted the background with a stiff brush and then stamped the title on some scrap paper. I used some woodgrain cardstock on the right-hand page, stapled a scrap piece of the same transparency I used last week on top of it, and then added my journaling. Again with the mounting layer that I did in the last layout. What can I say, it’s my comfort zone :)

Messy Lists - Week 6 Art Journal Challenge Entry - Campfire Chic

Can I tell I was a little tired when I put this page together? I was working on my Project Life album and had an extra 3×4 photo of Rintu and I in bed and wanted to use it for the “Home is…” prompt. My journaling is a lot shorter than I planned and I’m now seeing that I didn’t cut off the perforated edges of the paper from where I removed it from the paper pad I was using. Sometimes done is better than perfect.

Messy Lists - Week 6 Topic I Give Myself Permission to - Campfire Chic

I had some Project Life cards on my desk and a 6×6 sheet of yellow cardstock that I adore and decided to use them in this layout…I gave myself permission to take the easy route with this layout and used some new washi tape I picked up from Diaso last week. I scraplifted this layout from my September 2015 Midori for 30 Days of Lists. It’s easy and a good way to use some supplies that you have on your desk.

Get Messy Art Journal Challenge - Messy Lists Prompt for Week 6 - Campfire Chic

Speaking of scraps I have on my desk, I used a tag to remove some ink from my stamps from my 30 Things About Me at 30 mini album. Instead of recycling the tag, I went ahead and wrote my final list on it. The prompt is: I feel most at peace when…and getting this tag off of my desk is one thing I should add to this list! One of the art prompts was “upside down” and with the ghost of stamped images in all different directions, I thought this was a good interpretation of that prompt.

I’m not sharing my layout for the prompt “luxuries” because I noticed a huge spelling error that can’t be forgiven. At least I can cover it up so the error won’t haunt me!

You can see my Messy Lists art journal pages in previous posts: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5.


in 30 Days of Lists

National Scrapbook Day (really, International Scrapbook Day) was on Saturday and I contributed a project and posed a challenge to the digital event hosted by The Scrap Gals Podcast in their Facebook community. I was approached by The Scrap Gals hosts to contribute a scrapbook-related project last month and was really excited to take on the opportunity to create a mini album and share it with the growing podcast community.

30 Things About Me at 30

Me at 30 Mini Album by Kam of Campfire Chic

I wanted to create a project that was either focused on lists or on travel-related scrapbooking. I decided to go with the list theme and thought it would be fun to create a small album with each page dedicated to a different “fact” about me at this point in my life. I turned 30 in March and think it’s a pretty good age so far! It’s worth documenting and I know I will enjoy looking back on this album in a few years.

I’m including most of the pages in the album below to show that you can create an album of your own without much flair. I used a handful of supplies and kept things simple, which made it easy to complete the project in just a few hours.

30 Things About Me at 30 Mini Scrapbook Album - Kam of Campfire Chic

Challenge for you: Write down facts about yourself that equal how old you are (like my 30 things at 30) and then create a mini album to document your story.

[click to continue…]


in 16 Projects in 2016, About Kam, Memory Keeping, Scrapbooking, What I Made

Roundup of helpful articles, blog posts, and videos from around the net

Tomorrow is National Scrapbook Day (NSD)! We’ll call it what it really is: International Scrapbook Weekend, because people all over the world participate and we like to scrapbook all weekend once we get started :)

I’m participating in the NSD festivities hosted by The Scrap Gals podcast, and you’ll need to join their Facebook community in order to see the full agenda of projects and challenges lined up, so take care of that today so you can be a part of the fun for the full weekend. I got a sneak peek at the schedule of posts and it looks like a heck of an agenda! I hope to share a more in-depth look at my project here this weekend, but if it will be up on their Facebook community first.

This week’s essential reading:

  • Check out these adventure pups to put a smile on your face
  • Did you see REI’s new Outessa Summit? It’s every woman’s weekend getaway with over 200 activity opportunities and it looks 100% awesome
  • My first Stitch Fix arrived and I’m planning on sharing my experience after I get another delivery. If you’re itching to try it for yourself, schedule your first fix (affiliate link)
  • One of the ways you can make sure your Stitch Fix delivery is on point is to have a Pinterest board for your stylist to check out. If you’re curious, you can see my board here
  • Have we talked about Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook??? It’s fantastic! Her writing is fun and casual (like reading a blog or her tweets), and the food is a lot of fun and I made one of the salads and one of the pasta dishes for family dinner and we were all surprised at how good everything was! I’m not an impressive chef so I think we were extra surprised that I didn’t need to order a pizza to save the night ;)
  • Bookmarking this 10 tips for learning to watercolor post
  • My most recent LinkedIn post: 3 Things to do When Changing Jobs Within Your Organization
  • Are you on Snapchat?


in Essential Reading

Messy Lists Art Journaling Challenge with Co-Hosts from 30 Days of Lists - Campfire Chic

It’s week 5 of Messy Lists, the art journaling and listing creative challenge! I cannot believe there is only one week left of this fantastic journey, and I hope you are enjoying it. This challenge is bringing together list and art journal lovers for six weeks of list and art prompts. If you’re interested in learning more about Get Messy Art Journal (our co-hosts!) and start your membership, visit their website.

You can see my art journal pages in previous posts: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4.

Week 5 – Messy Lists

Get Messy Art Journal - Messy Lists with Campfire Chic

Starting the week with a quick quote from Jack London. This week is less about paint and more about paper, thanks to this quote. I’m more comfortable with scrapbooking and these layouts show that without question.

Get Messy Art Journal Season of Lists - Campfire Chic

These are some of the things I dream about…

I prepped this page last week with a few different blue colors from a project I was working on for our apartment. It’s hard to tell with the overlay, but knowing that these colors are also on our walls is nice. Actually, the two orange paint colors from the first layout this week are also on our walls. I’ll be sharing the project soon.

My journaling is on a piece of cardstock that had an ombre effect and cut the strips so it’s easy to move them around for some breathing room.

Messy Lists - Get Messy Art Journal and 30 Days of Lists - Campfire Chic

Some of my favorite quotes and lyrics are written between the stamped images. I used a large stamp from rukristin’s shop paired with four different colors of ink from Kelly Purkey’s shop on thick watercolor paper. I tried to stagger the stamp as I made these pages and I really like how it turned out.

Get Messy Art Journal - Season of Lists with 30 Days of Lists

Extra simple for this one! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for this list prompt and decided to stick with a more word-heavy list on a simple piece of paper. This prompt asked for a list of things having to do with a lucky day and it turns out that my lucky day looks like a pretty good weekend at home. I used a different pen this time because my first attempt (with a different piece of this paper) showed me that my trusty sharpie bled too much.

Messy Lists - Art Journal Pages with Lists from Kam of Campfire Chic

This was a lot of fun to put together! I pulled photos from an REI catalog and a Sunset Magazine to make a collage for both pages and cut two pieces of vellum to staple over the pages to give that opaque filter over the photos. I know vellum is a little old school in the scrapbooking world but it is too perfect for this prompt. The strips of words are adhered to the vellum using photo splits (a dry adhesive) that I cut in half.

Art Journal Challenge with 30 Days of Lists and Get Messy Art Journal - Campfire Chic

I really wasn’t sure where I was going with this layout at first. I started with the acrylic paint and then thought adding the yellow watercolor (in two colors) would help to soften the background a bit. I gave up and decided to use some paper piecing to hopefully draw attention away from the background. The prompt is “I am made up of” and I thought a pie chart would be perfect! I had cut some scrap cardstock to make the pie chart, which I love because it isn’t perfect, like me! I used white alphas from one of my Kelly Purkey kits to label the pie chart slices and I’m officially obsessed with these stickers. I need more and I need them now!

Next week will be the last week of Messy Lists pages to share. Documenting my art journaling mini-journey has helped me better focus my style, which I think shows in my pages for the last two weeks.



in 16 Projects in 2016, 30 Days of Lists, Lists, One Little Word, What I Made