Monday, December 29, 2014

One Little Bird Guest Blogger

One of my favorite scrapbookers, Peppermint, also sells lovely digital products and has the most beautiful blog. Whenever I see her new products or her latest Project Life spread on Instagram, I think, does this girl have more hours in the day than me!? She is amazing!

As the December guest blogger at One Little Bird, my post is up today and I'm excited to share it with you! 

Head over to the One Little Bird blog to read about my process, the products I used and a few tips like how I finally figured out drop shadows thanks to an old One Little Bird blog post!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Freebie Friday - Persnickety Prints Christmas Print

When I first got into the digital scrapbooking world, I found Persnickety Prints, their blog and their awesome freebies. Lots of digital paper and cute elements offered to their customers for free! Sweet!

Black and white is a theme in my Christmas spreads, so I loved this chalkboard printable for my Project Life album! I'm going to scale it down to a 3''x4'' card.

Get yours HERE.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Layouts Part I

I'm guest blogging over at One Little Bird later this month and I can't wait to show you the fun spread I made with the There's Something About Merry papers, elements and journaling cards. I normally don't use many embellishments, but since I decided not to do a December Daily album this year, I went a little more festive. And I really like it! Here's a sneak peek I shared on Instagram:

The layouts with a lot of black and white tend to be some of my favorite so I was happy to see a lot of black and white in this Christmas set! 

I've also worked on another Christmas layout using some Ali Edwards supplies

Man, if I could use a wood card in every layout, I would. I just love the warmth the wood brings. The right side of this layout is still a work in progress. I'm trying out Design Q (!?) with three 4x4 squares and four 6x4 rectangles so we'll see how it goes.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Note to Self: Let it Go! (like Elsa!)

Thanksgiving 2014 was my chance to shine! I've secretly wanted to host Thanksgiving for years, but didn't want to seem too eager. So when it was going to be small scale celebration this year with just the four from my family, my parents and two brothers, I decided to step up and take my place as hostess! ;-) It amazes me every year how we put hours and $$ into preparing this dinner and then everyone scarfs down the food in 15 minutes and heads back to watch football! Yet we keep doing it and I guess we like it? What about sitting around and smiling warmly at each other like I see on holiday movies or at the end of sitcoms!?

At the end of the day on Thanksgiving, I sat down and scrolled through my IG feed and looking at everyone's Thanksgiving pictures and I started to get down on myself! I was so busy hosting and cooking and cleaning and decorating that I felt that I hadn't taken enough photos to record it all! Oh no! Especially when my sister, who is training to be a missionary in another state, asked for a play by play of Thanksgiving and lots of pictures! Honestly, I felt like I had failed in that category (and my stuffing, that was a big fail).

BUT then I sat down a few days later to see what I had, and you know what!? I had done just fine! I had plenty to work with. The day was accurately captured and I was happy. And it just made me realize that even if you don't take a picture when you wanted to, it'll be ok. You have other pictures. You can tell other stories. All is not lost. Let it go and move on. So I'm going to keep that in mind this December. I hope we can all pick something that's looming over our heads and just let it go this season.

So with all that being said, here's my layout from Thanksgiving week. Due to circumstances that are too boring to write out, I used an insert (a cut down Design B) for the non-Thanksgiving part of the week and used a Design A full page for Thanksgiving:

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Freebie Friday - Caravan Shoppe Christmas Printable

Are you familiar with Caravan Shoppe? This place has GREAT stuff, but I especially love that they have digital downloads! You KNOW digital goodies are so my thing. So I get their emails and much to my delight they have a free Christmas printable right now!

 I will likely scale it down to a 3x4 card for my Project Life album, but in the meantime, I downloaded it and using the magic wand tool, I recolored it to match my Christmas colors!
I'm SURE you've seen these bottle brush tree tutorials popping up everywhere, but if you haven't or are on the fence about it, I recommend it! I bought 21 Christmas trees on Amazon (they were $17 when I bought them but it appears they're now pricier!), then put them in bleach (did you know bleach goes bad and doesn't work if it's old? Yup. Now I know!) and dyed them different shades of navy/kelly green. Love my little forest! (my tree count has grown to 25- I'm turning into the crazy tree lady!). Here's the tutorial I used.

Merry Christmas and happy scrapping!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recording Family Portrait Sessions in Your PL Album

So I got my photos back from my photographer (and good friend, Bianca!). The outfits I spent weeks picking out and the smiles I bribed my kids to smile are all there--the hard work and anxiety paid off! Pretty pictures taken by someone other than me! And I'm IN the pictures! Yay! But now what? Other than designing my Christmas cards and blowing up a photo for my wall, I wasn't sure what do to do with the rest. I thought of "sprinkling" them throughout my Project Life album but that seemed kind of weird. So I dedicated an insert to the pretty photos. Because, they're just one day of our family-just one moment in time. So I put them in the album in the week where they were photographed. I picked out some coordinating papers and brushes, but kept it simple overall.



I'm having a hard time photographing my layouts, so bear with me! I'll figure this out!

Monday, December 1, 2014

AE Digital Creative Team - Just Thankful

My first layouts as a part of the AE Digital Creative Team are up in her shop here. And you can see all of  the team members' pretty faces up here with social media links. Go check out their blogs--they're full of inspiration!

So when I was creating layouts using the Just Thankful brush set, I had just returned from visiting my sister and her new baby and was so thankful that both of them were healthy and everything went smoothly as it was a bit dicey for a little while as she was in labor. That experience, coupled with great hospital photos (I thank the excellent lighting), inspired this 6''x8'' layout using the Just Thankful brushes:

Then of course, I used them again in my weekly Project Life spread:

Cousins! Melts my heart seeing my first baby hold my sister's first baby!

Other brushes from the Just Thankful set. I use them all the time! Turns out I have a lot to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week in the Life Thurs-Sun

It probably goes without saying that I had a lot of steam on day one and I fizzled out by day 7. I still got pictures each day, but life got busier as the week went on. Nevertheless, I'm still so happy with the pictures/details I've documented. Can't wait to find some free time this holiday week to design. I'm craving printed layouts in my hands! It's a real addiction! ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week In the Life - Mon-Wed

Week in the Life is something thought up by Ali Edwards- so I'll use her words to describe it:

A seven-day documentary project, Week In The Life™ began in 2005 as an annual opportunity to capture the simple everyday details of life with photos and words. The albums I've created are some of my most treasured in that they are wonderfully true representations of my family's life at a particular point in time. From the mundane to the profound, it's those simple little everyday moments that I treasure most.
So beautifully put! I've been following along with Ali every year but this is the first year I've gathered the courage to do it! It always seemed like such a big commitment- a week!? (Staring with a Day in the Life might have been a good precursor, but I just went all in). Anyway, I found a relatively quiet week in my calendar and went for it! I've only been doing this since Monday morning and I already am so glad I committed to it.

Here are some of the favorite moments I've captured so far:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Halloween 2014

I know Halloween is long over and out of our minds (unless you've still got candy up in the cupboard like me), but it still needs to be recorded and shared, especially if homemade costumes were involved and the maker still needs recognition for the many hours she spent making them?! Honestly, Halloween is not a holiday I enjoy, so when it came to recording it, I made it a simple, little insert with a little black and orange and BOOM, done. Design J is the perfect insert for holidays, birthdays, day trips, etc. Having a little insert is such a fun little surprise when flipping through my Project Life album.

I used papers I already owned and an Ali Edwards stamp from this collection (Words of Fall) and another one from this collection (Story Bubbles).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Freebie Friday

As a digital scrapbooker (and a frugal spender) I love finding freebies to incorporate into my Project Life layouts. On Fridays, I'll share my latest freebie find! Even if you're not a digital scrapper, you could certainly print one of these off and cut it into a 3x4 card easily!

Design Love Fest - Dress Your Tech

Design Love Fest often posts beautiful, graphic desktop backgrounds for download. These make perfect filler cards in your Project Life album! Here are some of my recent favorites, scaled down to 6x4 and 3x4 cards.

Look back into the archives because there are many great designs to choose from!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Project Life - Week 43

October 19 - 25 is recorded and in the book!

Fall colors are so fun to design with. Golds and greens and yellows- love!!

Once again, I used my favorite Ali Edwards brushes- five in total!

I've been loving using digital washi tape lately! I found some great free digital polka dot washi tape here and she also has striped washi tape for a free download here.                                 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Recording Kids' Quotes

For the last 18 months, I've been using a delightful little app called KidQuoter to record the hilarious things my now 4.5 year old says. Since I've started using this app, I've recorded 120 quotes! I've told nearly all my friends and family about this great app because I found that I was actually consistently using it! phone just broke last week and as I was trying to re-download the app again on my new phone, it became apparent that that app is no longer available for new download. And there was no backup system!!! (I even contacted the company that made the app!) Luckily my husband fixed the old phone enough for me to type all of the quotes that had been recorded! So now, I've got a word document full of quotes, phew!

I was on the hunt for a new app that does the same thing and I found a great (better!?) alternative: Little Hoots!

I just started using it, but this free app (with optional in-app purchases) is visually way better. And it adds some features that I wish KidQuoter had. Like, when you add a quote, it gives you the option of single quote OR conversation. I LOVE this! SO many times, the best quotes are from conversations I have with the kids and now I can document this! Also, it allows you to record little notes under the quote to give it context, location, etc. They also have much cuter designs AND the option to add pictures next to the quote. So great! There's definitely more options which makes it slightly less simple than my old app, but it's so pretty and has great features so I'll be using this from now on! Excited to keep recording the funny things my kids (and husband!) says!

And finally, each quote you enter has the option of being shared via Tweet, Facebook, text or email! Yay! You can also have all of them save to your Camera Roll so you can include them in your Project Life albums! Wouldn't this make a great mini book? I think that's what I'll do with the 18 months of quotes.

What do you guys think? How do you record your kids' sayings?

*not affiliated, just like sharing good products!

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Record your Gym Life without Obnoxious Selfies

In March of this year I joined a gym and started spending a lot of time there. Soon I started a strict diet and felt like I spent so much time thinking/talking/researching and working on my health. I knew I had to include these changes into my Project Life album but I didn't want the album to fill up with obnoxious, posed gym selfies. So I got creative. Here's what I've come up with over the months:

1. Mock the Selfie - My husband and I were working out together one day and I thought, why not just join in on the selfie fun. So we flexed, made stupid faces and I added some tongue-in-cheek hashtags over the picture to make it clear we were not taking ourselves seriously.

2. Equipment - One of the classes at the gym is called "Tight Assets" and at the beginning of every class you gather up various equipment. I saw the pile of stuff and thought, hey, there's a photo opportunity. Bam. It made it in the album.

Another one of my favorite gym shots (below) is a machine at the gym I was on. I spotted some symmetry and I am just a sucker for symmetry so snap. Got it.

3. Meals - This one is pretty common on Instagram- there are so many healthy eating accounts and they make their food look extra pretty. If there's a healthy meal you eat over and over, take a minute one day and "style" the shot and include that in your spread. Smoothie pictures are really pretty, too!

4. Self-Timer - Just last week I was trying to come up with more creative ways to document my gym time and since the self-time feature in the newest iPhone software update is pretty handy, I snapped a few while I was doing some "mat work." Just propped the phone up on something that was already on the ground and snap! This one is great for a little action shot!

5. The Subtle Selfie - I am guilty of the gym selfie, but the ones I've done have been subtle. These are ok, right? ;-)

Any other good ideas to document your gym/fitness time?