Project Life 2015 : August 30-September 6 {Part 1}

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This ‘week’ (8 days) we went to Belfast to visit Ken’s family. The friend that kindly let us stay for a month need us out for a few days, so it was the perfect opportunity to pop up.

Truth time: of all the pages I made using the Studio Calico Brimfield cards and my September Grab 5! products, I made this week’s pages last, even though they are second in the album. I knew that there was a ton of photos/pages/inserts and I didn’t want to run out of product with most of the month left to do. In all, this week has two spreads, two 6×12 inserts, and a Design G 10×12 insert. Because it is so long, I will share one spread (plus inserts) this week and the other one next week. Still, it is a pretty long post…

TSSR 1511012I decided to try something new (to me), and share the inserts in line with the adjoining pages. I am hoping this way is a bit faster than having all of the individual sides and, honestly, when I lay out the pages/cards, this is the way I visualize it. Let me know if it invokes strong feelings of any sort.

TSSR 151101 11This title card from the SC Brimfield add-on was love at first sight (ok second sight. I had been eyeing up the original at In A Creative Bubble for a while). Tags and Airport codes? Totally my jam. I may have done these pages last, but this card definitely went in first. The ‘Belfast’ letters are my favorite QK studio mini and I used the Theresa Collins alpha for the other letters. It still needed a little something, so I dug up these gorgeous SC canvas cameras. I am pretty sure they are meant to be misted, but I like them just as they are. In fact, I used a few more this month, so they are an unofficial 6th addition to Grab 5! Also, large enamel dots make fun lenses.

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A teal and white chevron gets me every time. No brainer. Added a doily scrap and a couple partial labels.

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I love the convenience of online check-in. I hate that the boarding passes are so freaking ugly. Oh well. The background card is a 4×6 from SC Brimfield with little pink dashes all over it. Pink is not my color of choice, but I figured it was mostly covered here. I cut a piece of vellum to 4×6 and then in half diagonally to create the pocket and act as a base for the embellishment cluster. The plastic arrow is also Studio Calico, and the geotag is a SC free download. For a girl that doesn’t subscribe to their kits, it seems as though I have a lot of the product on here!

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Because the only word that can possible come after that many ‘more’s is BACON. Truth.

The left hand card is from the amazing Christine Herrin and available in her shop. I am a total fan girl and have to print multiples of all her cards. She is also a super nice person, so sign up for her newsletter and shoot her some fan mail. Trust me. It is worth it.

TSSR 151101 3The next inserts hold the photos from a visit to a family park/farm thing near Ken’s family house. It was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous property, so I took way too many photos. Though I am usually pretty set in my horizontal 4×6 and vertical 3×4 ways, it is nice to have the option of Design G when I just really love some vertical photos.

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This card gave me no end of trouble. Originally, the title cluster was in the middle of a card from the SC Brimfield kit, but no matter what I added or subtracted, it just wouldn’t work. Finally, I hacked it off the other card in one piece (the back is not pretty) and stuck it to the corner of a card from my stash (BH Sunshine?). I like it much better, but it still elicits feelings of rage at the memory.

TSSR 151101 8Due to the card drama of above, I had to shift some things around to make them work with the bold teal stripes. I really didn’t want these filler cards right next to each other —I feel like the placement of the clusters is too similar—but I loved them both, so they stay. I am learning to live with it. The teal watercolor is from SC Brimfield and the grey woodgrain was cut down from a 4×6 Midnight title card.

TSSR 151101 4And finally….more pictures from the park. I actually did narrow them down a lot. Seriously. But see that tab behind the ducks? More photos.

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The combination of the 3×4 card, doily and AE banner came together very easily, but I wanted something else a little darker to pull the layout together. I had already used the phrase stamp a lot (yay me!) so I just wrote out a word in tiny letter stickers.

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How can you not be charmed by a fairy woods? So freaking cute.

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I like cards with check boxes (this one from SC Brimfield), because they are a really good place to add some color or texture with enamel dots, sequins, or brads. I didn’t really have anything to write on this card, so I just added another couple photos. It’s random, but it works.

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Grab 5! Roundup:

1. AC Amy Tangerine Cut and Paste Phrase Stamp

Number of cards using this product: 4

As mentioned, this was one of the last spreads from this kit, and I had already used almost all of my prestamped labels. However, I did have a few tabs with the inserts, which are my typical place for phrase stamps, so that worked great.

2. Teresa Collins Black Alpha Stickers

Number of cards using this product: 4

Because I had used up all my phrase labels, I found myself using the tiny letters to write words in an embellisment cluster where I would have used a label. I also find that with the black backgrounds, I tend to make them intentionally wonky, and I am not quite sure why.

3. Misc Paper Clips

Number of cards using this product: 0

I only had three total in the kit. Some weeks just don’t get any.

4. MME Charm ‘Smile’ Enamel Dots

Number of cards using this product: 5

Oh enamel dots, I may be obsessed. By this point I was pretty low on tiny ones (the greatest of all enamel dots!), but the camera lenses were a great way to use up some of the freakishly large ones.

5. Doilies

Number of cards using this product: 6

I feel like I may need to back away from the doily after this month. They are cheap, plentiful, and kind of neutral. But do I really need to stick them to every card?

Wahoo, another week documented and blogged! Man that feels good. Have you tried Grab 5! yet? Let me know!

Want to see the rest of the September 2015 Grab 5! series? Check it out:

September Grab 5! (Intro/Overview)

Project Life 2015 : August 25-29

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Project Life 2015 : August 25-29

TSSR 151018 13I honestly can’t tell you the last time I FINISHED a page. Embellishments. Journaling. Done. So exciting! This page came together crazy fast and it was really fun to just play around with some supplies. It is for sure fussier than my normal PL spread, but its all good.

August only has one week in this album because we spent most of the month in Egypt, so it mostly appears there. For the purposes of Grab 5! I decided to just complete it with September and since I purchased the add-on cards, there was plenty to go around.

TSSR 151018 14What?? Square pockets?? We all know that Design A is like my religion!

However, the weekly layouts in this album are going to follow a year long photo challenge in square pockets (more coming next year when it is completed). Since I had decided this in advance, it was easy to plan my layout to start on the back of the final page.

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First week of Grab 5! Already breaking my own ‘rules’. I needed several square filler cards for the left page and this middle pocket was the last one to fill. Overall, there was a lot of small repetitive patterns across the spread and I wanted this to be quite basic and pull together some of the colors. I instantly thought of this card from Studio Calico’s January Kit, which I loved but never seemed to work with what I was doing. The bold quirky design worked perfectly and pulled in the blues and pink from the camera card. Plus, it mixed in purple, so I got the use the purple enamel dots I was convinced I wouldn’t use this month!

I wanted to note somewhere on the page that we were back in the UK, so I added a little phrase with the Theresa Collins letters. To coordinate with the title page, I added a Heidi Swapp plastic S from a set I bought on super clearance a couple years ago. Yay for using extra stash!

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This is the first card I made when I started scrapping again, using a paper scrap from the front cover. For several weeks it sat with just the doily and label, looking pretty. When I finally sat to type out the journaling for the page, I needed somewhere to note that we were staying with friends until our new house was available, so I just added a couple words strips here. And embellishments. Because I am in an embellishment cluster rut right now.

In tragic news, I am out of this paper. I am totally obsessed with it and want a whole pack. To put on every page ever. Seriously. Every one.

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The final filler card on the left side is a scrap from Studio Calico’s Print Shop line, which I am using in another project. Again, I really wanted a simple pattern, that brought in the yellow tones from the right side. Proportionally, I think this cluster may be a little small for a 4×4, but I started with a doily scrap and worked from there, so it is what it is. Super psyched that I got one of the paper clips on the first freaking page!

Also, I had printed a bunch of these label freebies and had a lot of the smaller sizes left. I stamped a couple of every phrase on the Amy Tangerine roller stamp from my Grab 5! and have been working them into the pages. I thought I would be more likely to use them if they were already ‘done’, and so far I was right. Could tiny word labels be the new tiny word sticker??

TSSR 151018 15And the right side. Back to Design A and all is right with the world. This side mostly holds a lot about our weekend. The bottom left card is a cool sketchy card of Swansea I bought at the market. Plus there was ice cream. Win.

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Square pocket pages and title cards on the right page? What has the world come to?

The card itself is from SC’s Brimfield set. To add the dates, I stamped either side of a Martha Stewart label from Staples and cut it in half. Once the label was lined up on the card, I added just enough of the edge of the doily to fill the gap. Pulled out my old Heidi Swapp plastic letters to highlight that this was (the only page of) August. Love it.

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This card is also SC Brimfield, and originally I just had the adorable ice cream business card sitting on top. However, as I mentioned above, there was lot of small repetitive print in this spread and instead of looking cute, the card just just looked messy. To make a pocket to hold the business card, all I had to do was cut a slit along one of the lines printed on the PL card, making sure not to go all the way to the edge. This also gave me a nice open area to add the logo of the market and some more embellishments.

TSSR 151018 8As much as I loved using SC Brimfield for my September pages, there wasn’t a lot of basic journaling cards to mix in. Never fear! I pulled out my current go to, Moments Like These (PL by Stamping Up!). I saved the files from the app and printed a whole set to get mine, but the digital version is also available. To be honest, it annoys me that the app versions don’t have the faint grey lines/grid but for the difference in price and accessibility I can live with it. The ‘Thursday’ is a freebie from Life Documented Manila, which I am pretty sure was made by Christine Herrin. I am a smidge obsessed with her work and will find any excuse to work it into a page (PS-do you get her newsletter? Sign up immediately. She has the most amazingly generous freebies).

Another important fact about this card is that I printed it at home on my new-to-me Epson Picturemate. It is so old that I can’t even find the model on it, so maybe it is the original? I found it on gumtree for crazy cheap and snapped it up immediately. With it, I was able to finish almost all my September journaling in a couple of hours. It is not perfect and I am learning as we go. For example, on my professionally printed copy of this card, this banner is mint green, perfectly matching one of the hexagons on the middle card in the previous page. Maybe it is running out of ink or maybe it is just not a perfect color. Oh well, the blue matches too! The biggest quirk I have noticed so far is that despite being borderless, it still zooms and crops a bit, and it cut off some of my prepared journaling. I can totally work with that from now on. As you may see above, this made most of my September journal cards off center, so here I placed the little embellishment cluster to the left to add some more weight to that side of the card.

SF_4x6-label-templatesGrab 5! Roundup:

1. AC Amy Tangerine Cut and Paste Phrase Stamp

Number of cards using this product: 3

Pre-stamping these was for sure the right idea. Instead of stressing about using stamps (I am horrible at it), I just used the labels like any other embellishment. They looked cute, were easy to use, and were practically free.

2. Teresa Collins Black Alpha Stickers

Number of cards using this product: 2

I liked these a lot. I have been flying through the white-on-black version and thought the black might be a bit dark, but having the letters in outline was really fun.

3. Misc Paper Clips

Number of cards using this product: 1

Wahoo, used one on the first page!

4. MME Charm ‘Smile’ Enamel Dots

Number of cards using this product: 3

Starting to get in the habit of reaching for enamel dots. Was very happy to have the purple on this page, as I didn’t think they would get used this month.

5. Doilies

Number of cards using this product: 4

Have to actually stop myself from putting bits of doily on everything. Super easy trend. Addictive.

So, one page down! I am planning to add the final touches to ALL my September spreads this week and get them photographed. Hopefully, I can then share them here each Sunday. It looks like this schedule could work for me for a while.

If you liked this layout, but are totally confused by my Grab 5! references, check out my September Grab 5! post. Feel free to post your own approaches in the comments.



Posted in Grab 5!, Project Life, Project Life {2015} | 1 Comment

Grab 5! {September 2015}

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Do you watch Adele at Inkie Quill? If so, you are already hip to the Grab 5 concept. If not, forget my sad little blog and go watch her videos immediately. Seriously. If you are kind enough to actually finish this post first, her idea is this: pick 5 things from your stash, pick a PL spread to work on, use all five things. Simple and effective.

As may be apparent, I am not in a very good life place to blog right now. Or produce actual scrapbook pages, for that matter. I have been traveling A LOT for the last couple years. And while I have several more journeys ahead, I have managed to eek in a couple weeks at home with my some of my scrap supplies. I have been having a blast, and hopefully can generate enough content to keep the blog limping along for a while.

A little backstory: Did you know that with January 2015 Studio Calico started releasing their monthly PL cards digitally? YES! I love this because it is economical ($6) a month, easy to get no matter where I am, AND I am all about the hybrid approach. They are only available for a limited time though and I can’t seem to find the link for Brimfield already! Get October while you can! I have ordered every main kit they have released so far, but didn’t get to actually print them and hold them in my hands until September. It was glorious. And overwhelming.

Each month there is 50 3×4 and 10 4×6 cards, which comes out to printing 25 4×6. To me, this is totally reasonable. However, when you print nine.freaking.months at once, you get a huge stack of cards. While I am scattering most of the cards throughout various projects for this year, I decided to use September’s Brimfield cards as a collection, for my September pages. Novel idea, huh? OK, so one design decision made.

Enter Grab 5! I am super restricted in my scrapping supplies right now, as nearly everything is still in storage. However, I know myself too well and placed an emergency box of PL necessities near the front. There is certainly more that enough in there to choose five! Plus, I am not at all trying to replicate what is actually included in the kit. Just 5 products that I think I would use and like.

That was a crazy long intro. Hazard of not blogging for a year? Sorry! Next time I can jump straight to the products!

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1. AC Amy Tangerine Cut and Paste Phrase Stamp

I picked this up at TK Maxx* a couple weeks ago and thought it would be fun to jump right in and use it! Since my pathetic stash of tiny word stickers are currently earmarked for other projects, I will probably make some out of the stamp. I am shockingly bad at stamping, but I can just about manage a phrase stamp.

(*yeah, that’s what TJ Maxx is called in the UK, American friends.  Makes me insane trying to keep the straight)

2. Teresa Collins Black Alpha Stickers

These are also a new acquisition, as I ordered them online before I even got home. I have been rocking the white-on-black set in some other projects but since there are a lot of white-on-black cards in the Brimfield collection, I thought the reverse would be cool.

3. Misc Paper Clips

I wanted some kind of shaped embellishment, but I don’t currently have access to any. I do have my box of paperclips and wood veneer (obvious choices for emergency essential boxes!) and I choose three. I may use them all. I may not. But there was zero chance of me using a whole pack of a single design.

4. MME Charm ‘Smile’ Enamel Dots

I never instinctively reach for enamel dots. Don’t know why since they are freaking adorable. These I bought when Archiver’s was closing and they were not alone. I am hoping that adding them to my Grab 5! will force me into the habit of using them. This particular pack was chosen because all the colors but purple match Brimfield perfectly.

5. Doilies

Man am I late to the doily party! In my defense, I have been living under a rock. Well, living in the desert. It is pretty much the same thing. I took a doily from my dinner setting at a pub the other day and used it to make a card. It was cute. So I bought a cheapo pack and am going to try this trend out. Why not?

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This month I also purchased the add-on card collection for the first time. I do not plan to do this often but I really liked the travel theme and knew I was going to have several extra layouts for September.

So, there is my first Grab 5! My photos for September should arrive tomorrow and I am hoping to finish all the pages for the month this week. That sounds wildly optimistic, even to me, but it is good to dream big. I am going to share each week here on the blog, followed by the Grab 5! for October, since those cards will be arriving with my photos tomorrow.

Thanks so much for reading all this! It is so so nice to be back, even briefly. Now go binge watch Adele!

 * Grab 5! template based on set from Splendid Fiins, when she sold at The Lilypad. Not sure where she went, but I hope she comes back!

Posted in Grab 5!, Product Picks, Project Life, Project Life {2015} | 5 Comments

Project Life & PowerPoint (Part One)

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Disclaimer: This is not a post about a shortcut. THIS WILL NOT SAVE YOU ANY TIME AT ALL. In fact, it is an additional step to my already OCD hybrid system. However, if you are a visual person who finds yourself tragically separated from your albums & supplies for months at a time, this may interest you.

There has been much talk/excitement/speculation lately about the upcoming Project Life App. For my own needs, I thought it might be useful for organizing my pages when I haven’t ordered prints for a while. (A while. Ha! I haven’t ordered prints in four months. 2 huge trips later, I have nearly 1000 photos in my cart. Ouch!) The more I thought about the app, the more qualities I envisioned it having. Particularly, I wanted to be able to flip through the “album” but still have the ability to change out photos/journal cards at anytime. I am a very visual person and it would be great to see it—in progress— all laid out. There are millions of options for digital PL using photoshop, but with all the layers and flattening, etc, it never quite fit the image I had in my mind. The new app could be exactly what I needed…or it could be absolutely nothing like that. I have no idea. It is not available yet.

But then I thought….PowerPoint. Normally, I would never think of using PowerPoint for scrapbooking. But since I wanted something purely visual, with no intention of printing, it seemed like a possibility. The fact that I had no idea how to do it certainly didn’t dissuade me. That is what Google is for.

In the end, it was ridiculously easy. To make it easier still, I am going to outline the process below. Part One (today) will walk you through how to set up page templates for super simple use. Part Two will then explain how and why I use them to layout Project Life pages.

1. Open PowerPoint, start a new file. Name it something witty, like “2014 Album”.

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2. From the top tabs, select “View”. Then click on Slide Master.

3. Under Slide Master, mine was pre-loaded with several standard templates. I deleted them all. So far, it seems to have only effected this particular album. But the choice is totally up to you. I just like that now when I open it, only PL templates appear.

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4. Whether you kept or deleted the other templates, now you need a new one. Click on Insert Layout.

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5. It comes full of gunk already! Why?!?! Delete all the stupid little boxes. (Ctrl+A, delete)

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6. Now you have a shiny new template. Lets fill it up! Click on Insert Placeholder, then choose Picture.

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7. Figuring out what dimensions for these stupid bloody boxes took by far the longest amount of time. They need to be proportional 4×6/3×4 but actually smaller or they will not fit on the PowerPoint page. For you, it will be much easier. I am just going to tell you. In the end, 4x6cm and 3x4cm—that is centimeters, not inches!—somehow worked out perfectly. Totally didn’t think of doing it on purpose. Just got there through trial and error. Figures.

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8. Once you have the sizes you need, you can copy and paste until you have enough for a layout. I use primarily Design A, so that is where I started.

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9. I also made a few more of my frequently used layouts. To save some time, I copied and pasted the original Design A template and moved around the pieces. Also, since this is a full layout view (rather than a page at a time), I made a second template in reverse, so the Design F is shown on the left and Design A on the right. That way it is simple to get the right layout when I “turn the page”.

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10. Now, when you close master view (big red button on the top) and return to your album document, you can insert the layout of your choice. The nice thing about Power Point is that you can move the slides/pages, easily adjusting for inserts, additions, and going back in time.

Whew! That took much, much longer to type than it took to actually do. Hopefully this made sense and do not hesitate to ask any questions in the comments. I will be back soon to discuss the how and why I am using Power Point in my Project Life process.

Want more information on Project Life? Check it out here.

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Wow, it is easy to get “behind”. Behind on documentation. Behind on the blog. For the last couple months I have been doing a lot of the travel/repeat, and not so much of the scrap. Or the sleep for that matter. Admittedly, this is an AWESOME problem to have. I am loving life.

On the other hand, I have not been in the same country as my scrapbooks for more than a couple days at a time. This makes it hard to scrapbook. And photograph layouts. And generally, generate material for this blog. But I have found that I miss it…

The one thing I can do is photos. I can take them. I can edit them. I can upload them—I have over two hundred waiting in my cart and I expect that to be closer to five hundred by the time I get home. So, in the interest of blogging, I think I might share some of them here. It will be nice to have some motivation to get them sorted and edited. To get some words/stories in writing. To share my crazy adventures…if anyone is still out there :)

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Project Life 2014 : February 10-16

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February, you feel so long ago. I would have thought that my forth year of PL would be easier, but I am struggling a lot this year. In my head, I know it is because I have too many pictures. Too many pictures means too many awesome things happening. But it also means more time needed to edit and more things to journal. It is a good problem to have. In my heart (where I store my extreme OCD apparently), I want it DONE.

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I love that I can still include Ken in this album, though we are living on opposite sides of the world. If you are wondering how to get your significant others involved, I get my contributions in the following ways: 1. Ken knows that photos make me super happy, so he sends them because he loves me. 2. I nag Ken relentlessly, because I want some freaking photos. 3. Our friends are on-board and take some photo responsibility, because they know I will absolutely nag them too.

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The cat and I typically share a mutual distaste and avoidance. Me, because I am pretty allergic. Her, because she hates everyone. But man was February cold and the minute I lit a fire on my day off, she was right there with me. I harbor no allusions of a softening on her part.

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My mom and I sat in the car for quite a while one night, waiting for my sister to get back from a basketball game. To combat boredom and prove our coolness, we replied to all her texts with emoticon type photos. She was not impressed and I laughed until I cried. A lot. I count it as a success. The photos, however hilarious, are not the most attractive I have ever had taken. In order to print a bunch in a relatively small space, I used this awesome template from Paisley Press. Trying to remember to use it more, because I love it every time I do.

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This week was an emotional roller coaster. And super busy on top of that. I had my last day of work at Archiver’s (didn’t know it at the time), was unemployed and panicked for two days, got a new job and worked for two days, then went away for the weekend. To document the madness, I used the week list card (this can be used for so many different things!) and some digital paper. To add stability, I joined the 3x4s digitally, so I could print it as one piece. I sewed a the vellum pocket on to hold some of the business cards from my job hunt and made a banner of my temp job’s logo on top.

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The right side of the page is pretty much all Valentine’s day. I went out of town for the weekend with my mom and sister and instead of adding an insert, I included that in a whole separate layout. I find myself doing that a lot this year, and while my album lays much more flat than in past years, it has also added a lot of extra (unfinished) pages to the album. We are almost half way through the year though, so we will see how it goes.

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We don’t really do flowers very often, but somehow when Ken does it always goes comically wrong. This year, the delivery had to be updated from Archiver’s to home to my new job. The result of all this alteration was that my flowers were delivered twice—once to my new job and once to the house, one of which was from “Kim”. The cards were slightly less than 6 inches wide, so I used washi tape to hinge them along the left edge.

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For a final touch, I added a punched tab to the top card, in order to make it clear that there was two different cards in this pocket. I do indeed “love it”.

Want more information on Project Life? Check it out here.

I will be  linking this up at The Mom Creative, when the monthly link up is on. I think I will prob link up the previous month’s posts (March post on April link, etc) instead of going back to an older link up.

Supplies used: Design A page protector. Digital Rain core kit. Digital Seafoam cardstock. AE brushes: “remember this“, “this is life“. CZ instagram template freebie. Paislee Press template freebie. Week overview freebie.

Posted in Project Life, Project Life {2014} | Leave a comment

Egypt 2013 : Cover

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I have a love/hate relationship with the cover page of an album. I almost never make them. I often put them off to the last possible thing to be done. And yet, they often turn out to be my favorite pages of the whole album. Have I shamelessly told you yet how much I love the front and back cover of 2013? Yes? OK.

I made my travel album for last summer right at the peak of my large photo obsession. I am still obsessed. Who doesn’t love a huge photo? Large photos have always been standard to my scrapbooking, particularly for a trip. The beauty of Project Life is that you can achieve huge photos at a fraction of the cost by breaking them into 4x6s before printing. I recommend this tutorial by Elise Blaha Cripe—I consider myself pretty photoshop handy, but there are some tips in there that saved me much time and angst.

For this cover, I kept an eye out for a photo op that was quintessential Egypt. I knew I wanted it to work as a square,  with tall elements to the sides but nothing too important in the middle. You see, I had a plan.

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Did you ever see this page by Ali Edwards? She included a full 12×12 photo in her PL week. But she left a 4×6 out. She left it out. Pure Genius. My mind was blown. I needed to do it too! But there are so many fun elements out there to use. So very many pretty things. I wanted a see-through element. I wanted the place and dates. I wanted it all. So I decided to leave out the middle two 3×4. Yep. Right in the middle. It was madness. But it is my kind of madness.

Want more information on Project Life? Check it out here.

I will be  linking this up at The Mom Creative, when the monthly link up is on. I think I will prob link up the previous month’s posts (March post on April link, etc) instead of going back to an older link up.

Supplies used: Design A page protector. AE brushes: “this trip“.

Posted in Egypt 2013, Project Life | 3 Comments