2020 Memory Keeping Plans

2020 is all about hindsight, right? I decided to fully embrace that idea this year and only work on older projects. This may come as a bit of a shock to some longtime followers, who know that getting photos printed and in pockets is basically my mantra. I still fully believe in that and it has set me up wonderfully to make huge progress this year. However, more and more I found that I was spending my time focusing on batch printing rather than finishing pages. This year I’m just not printing. I’m still organizing digital photos into weekly folders. I still have an album set up by week to hold all the little bits of memorabilia. I have simply made the conscious decision to batch print all my 2020 photos in the first quarter of 2021.

So what will I be working on? So.Many.Awesome.Things. This year I am going to finish albums. I’ve never really been one to worry too much about being ‘caught up’, but by definition ‘finished’ means I have spent lots of crafty time making fun pages and I’m all about that. So I am going to play as much as humanly possible. Below I have outlined the projects I am focusing on in 2020 and my plan for keeping it fun while getting it done. 


Project Life: 2019

Current Flip-Through: February 2020 

I have been doing PL for a decade now and one thing I’ve learned is that I like to make pages in the coordinating season. For the last two years (2018/2019) I have made one spread from the current month within that month (see this post) and I loved that approach. Now the albums for those years have (at least) 12 completed pages, with gaps of only a couple spreads between each and all the pictures in place. That is such a manageable setup! 

My 2019 Project Life album is going to be my #1 priority in 2020. Each month, I remove the pages for that month (Jan in Jan, Feb in Feb, etc) and place them in a ‘work in progress’ album so I can better focus only on those pages. Then I am going to finish them. Even though the pictures are a year old, I don’t really feel like I am ‘catching up’ because I am using products and themes that are appropriate to the season I’m currently in. However, I fully allow myself to mix this schedule up as I want to; for example, I already know I will be doing Scrappy Christmas in July. 

Project Life: 2018

Current Flip-Through: February 2020

2019 Project Life is my #1 priority, but once those pages are done for the month I’m throwing the same approach at 2018. I actually started trying out this method on my 2018 album at the end of last year and though not many months are scored out yet, there are quite a few spreads done already. Because of this, I am hoping that I will also have time to finish the remaining 2018 pages in 2020. 

Travel Albums: Peru 2017/Disney 2018

Travel albums are my absolute favorite thing ever and there will never be a time when they are not near the top of my to-do list. Like Project Life, in 2018/2019 I chose an album per year to focus on by completing a spread a month. This year I’m approaching my travel albums as the dessert of my crafty life—usually a reward for clearing your plate, but sometimes you just have to have it first

I specifically want to work on my Peru 2017 and Disney 2018 albums, because they just make me so darn happy. These albums are massive and I have no expectation or timeline for finishing them this year. They are just super fun to make and super fun to share. I have flip-throughs of the current state of these albums on IG already, if you are interested in the progress: 

Peru In Progress Flip-Through: January 2020

Disney (V.2) In Progress Flip-Through: February 2019

Memory Planning: Study Abroad 2004–2005

I’m sure that you have already noticed that Memory Planning is huge this year. It has been on my radar for a while and I am obsessed with how some of my favorite scrappers are tackling it this year, but I have zero desire to change from weekly project life and pocket pages. However….there is clearly something wrong with the scrapbooking lobe of my brain because I thought ‘You know what would be awesome to scrapbook in a detailed weekly format? FIFTEEN FREAKING YEARS AGO’. That’s right, I am making a memory planner for the year I studied abroad in Cairo. I may be insane.

The good news is I’m not starting from scratch; I actually set up all my photos and ephemera into (hundreds) of pocket pages in 2013 and shared about that here. I am unhappy to say I’ve not really touched this huge and amazing and daunting project since. But I have a plan. Aside from being a super cool new project, this memory planner will also organize the details of my year (dates, names, places) in an approachable format that I can reference when making the main pages. Because this is the first time I have tried a completely new format of memory keeping in a very long time, I have a lot of thoughts to share and have several blog posts scheduled on the topic. Stay tuned!  

Album Organization

Having recently moved into and furnished a scrappy room of my very own, there are many areas that are in need of organization. One of the huge blessings/obstacles in my space right now is that I have all my albums/photos/memorabilia in the same space for the first time in at least a decade. As part of my Hindsight Is 2020 approach to the year, this is the perfect time to really take stock of what I have and get it to a place that is functional and approachable. In a perfect world, I would have all my photos and memorabilia arranged in pocket pages, just waiting for me. Right now I am probably at about half in albums and half in boxes.

Although I had this floating around in my head as a rather vague goal already, it was pushed abruptly into reality when I discovered the Progress on Projects system. I’m not really sure calling POP a system does it justice—it is also a class and a community and a workshop. Also, the videos, worksheets, and Facebook group are all completely free! My favorite part of this approach is the macro view of my projects, forcing me to take stock of what is already done and what I still want to work on. I’ve printed and assembled the forms for my entire scrapbooking life and will be completing the more in-depth steps as I tackle each album. If you have any interest in organizational tips for photos, albums, and/or layouts you need to check out POP.

So. It turns out that when you only write a blog post every couple years you have a lot to say. Thanks for sticking with me and please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments or on Instagram. I’m planning to be back here on the blog for mid-year and end of year check-ins, but most of my sharing happens on IG or Facebook. Hope to see you there!

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Project Life 2018 : February Recap

(Title image is an adapted card from the PL Fresh Edition)

When I outlined my 2018 Project Life Plan, I mentioned that I would like to try monthly recaps here on the blog. Not only will this give me another platform for accountability, but I know there are still people who prefer the blog format and that is totally cool. It also gives me the opportunity to add more description or product information if I want to. **please note that I am trying to use up stash and a lot of the products are old. I will try to at least link to the company/designer whenever possible. Feel free to ask for any further information**

1st Week of the Month

(Go to full pages or details on Instagram)

The start of February was the first real test of my 2018 plan and I freaking love it. As mentioned in my plan post, this year I am going print the pictures from the first week of each month locally and complete the page shortly after. Even with only January in the books, it was so nice to have this little oasis of doneness in the midst of the unfinished spreads and I think it will be even more significant as the year goes on.

True to my commitment to use my stash, I started this one with a base of cards from the January 2017 Studio Calico kit (Roman Holiday) and filled the gaps with PL Fresh (all time favorite!). I have so many awesome products in my stash and I am determined to use them to finish pages. I have a feeling I will fall into a black/white/teal rut pretty quickly and I don’t even care. Classic is classic for a reason, right?

Other Products: Printable labels, Citrus Twist phrase stamps, Feed Your Craft ‘In Review’ stamp and label, Kelly Purkey number stamp, Heidi Swapp puffy stickers, Tim Holtz phrase stickers/paperclip/tiny attacher.

2015 Egypt Spread

(Go to full pages or details on Instagram)

So loving placing completed spreads into my 2015 Egypt album. This page, documenting a Ramesseum visit, was super photocentric and only needed a couple of 3×4 cards. I’d actually already placed the cards when I put the album together in 2015, using a 2013(!!)  One Little Bird set (Trail Blazer). I still thought they looked good and I’m trying to avoid undoing what is actually done in the album, so I just went with them. For this layout I experimented with printing short captions straight onto the photos themselves, highlighting it with a small chipboard star. Really love how clean this turned out and very excited to keep finishing layouts.

Other Products: Studio Calico alpha and chipboard stars (bought as mystery kits and broken down into my stash), Studio L2E label stamp, Citrus Twist phrase stamps, Tim Holtz paperclip/tiny attacher.

Other Pages Completed

My goal for 2018 is to finish two layouts a month, the first week and an Egypt 2015 spread. That is low pressure and totally achievable even when life gets crazy. However, February was far from crazy and I found myself with quite a bit of scrappy time.

(Go to full pages or details on Instagram)

While I was waiting for the rest of my January pictures to arrive I finished the second week of January and for a brief glorious moment I was ‘caught up’. I started with the Ali Edwards Lens Story Kit for this one, just because I like it and wanted to use it. Really trying to get my favorite products in albums and off the shelf. Included several pieces of packaging in this one, which I find happens more at the start of the year when things are a little slower.

Other Products: Ali Edwards Eat Story KitStudio Calico cork Xs/phrase stickers/cards (bought as mystery kits and broken down into my stash), Printable labels, Citrus Twist phrase stamps, tiny enamel stars, Tim Holtz paperclip/tiny attacher.

(Go to full pages or details on Instagram)

Slowly slowly filling gaps in my 2017  album, particularly the monthly reviews. Due to jobs/visas/life, Ken and I have spent some pretty large periods of time apart in the last couple years. A huge part of our communication is sending photos and I like to include his as a monthly spread in the album (when we are together I mix his photos into the weekly spreads). In the last couple years I have been really good at leaving space for these and less good at actually sorting the photos, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to get the photos ordered…and now that nearly all the spreads for 2017 are printed, I’m making a conscious effort to make the pages. Having finished the January page in January, it may have been practical to attack the February page in February. However, as I was choosing photos I had a vision for how the March spread would look and I decided to just follow the inspiration. My mantra this year is to finish more spreads and worry less about order. I’ll probably catch the February page next month. Or the August page. There are no rules.

The geometric March, Start Here, and far right journaling card had long been in place, so there wasn’t actually that many spaces left to fill. With mostly food pictures, the Ali Edwards Eat Story Kit was an obvious choice (and strangely, was also the kit released in March 2017…). Having chosen what I wanted there, it was so easy to pull the last couple cards from my color sorted Studio Calico stash. Since the labels were a dominant feature I kept the rest of the embellishments to a minimum and the page was finished.

Other Products: Ali Edwards digital March (old)/phrase sticker/chipboard banner, Studio Calico chipboard stars (bought as mystery kits and broken down into my stash), Citrus Twist phrase stamps, Heidi Swapp Today and arrow stamp, Tim Holtz tiny attacher.

(Go to full pages on Instagram)

I also shared the in progress version of my 2018 cover page this month. I always use photos that are actually from the same year, so while I’m waiting for the photo to find me I filled the spaces with plain white cardstock. I totally scraplifted this layout from 2013 me (also shown in the IG link above) and to be honest I probably copied it from someone then. The New Year New Chances card is Studio Calico, the arrow card is from PL Moments Like These, 2018 is Amy Tangerine, and the chipboard phrase is Ali Edwards.

More 2018—My mom came to visit in January, which resulted in seven spreads for the month. I have already shared the first and second (above) weeks of January but I also finished another three spreads in February. These spreads will get caught up in a future recap once they are shared.

More 2017—In late January/early February I actually finished all seven layouts from December 2017. I LOVE buying Christmas products, but I am terrible for starting the next year’s album and not going back to December. This was the year that changes and even though I haven’t finished September, October, or November 2017, I finished December damn it. I have not shared these layouts yet and don’t know when/if I will but it would certainly be on Instagram so make sure you follow me there!

2018 Album Progress

  • January – 5 /7 layouts done
  • February – 1/3 layouts done
Posted in Egypt 2015, Monthly Recap, Project Life, Project Life {2017}, Project Life {2018} | Leave a comment

2018 Project Life Plans

Even though my blog posts are few and far between these days, I was inspired to write out a description of my 2018 Project Life plan here. Most people do this kind of post in December or early January, but I wanted some time to live with my plan first so here we are in mid-February. Also unlike a lot of other scrappers, shaking up my plan for 2018 will have little effect on the appearance of the final album (Design A for life!) but is rather all about my process.

Huge shout out to Elise at Feed Your Craft for having me as a CT special guest in January—working with a kit and a deadline definitely helped me streamline my new process.  All of the pages shown below were made with the FYC kit ‘In Review’ (elements are still available now, though the kit is sold out).

The Pages

The 1st week each month

In 2018, I am still going to keep making a 12×12 weekly-ish album of my daily life. That will probably not change for a very long time. What I am changing is how I approach these pages. Over the past lots of years that I have been making Project Life albums (eight?), I have usually worked on my albums chronologically. That meant when (not if) I was behind, I tried to finish March before starting April, etc.

This year, I am shaking it up and abandoning the idea of ‘keeping up’. Instead, my only goal is to finish the first week of every month within that month. That might sound a little crazy, but hear me out. By only focusing on the first week of each month, I get to work on photos and stories that are fresh in my mind. I also get to use products in the season I am actually experiencing (ie. snowflakes in January rather than August, when I finally make the pages). Of course, I am hoping that I can finish the month relatively close to its completion but it is not my goal. Really, the shift in my process for 2018 is mostly mental. Maybe it is just me, but I think it will be much more incentive in the future to go back and fill the short gaps between the completed pages than tackling a daunting pile of unfinished months from the start.

Egypt 2015

Another 2018 goal is to finish one ‘sightseeing’ spread a month from my 2015 Egypt album, which covers March to August for that year. My choice of that album is fairly arbitrary—I have many many Egypt/travel albums I could work on—but it had three strong elements going for it. Firstly, it is the most recent Egypt album that I have (nearly) all the pictures printed and pages laid out (about 50 pages). Secondly, the album was my primary Project Life album for that year and I did probably half of the journaling in the moment. That is a huge amount of work already done and it wouldn’t take a lot to fill in the gaps. Finally, the majority of the album is NOT work related, which means I can share almost everything on social media without copyright issues.

In terms of memory keeping site pages are the easiest, usually only requiring the name, date and limited journaling. In terms of creativity, they are usually pretty neutral (blue/brown, lots of photos), which gives me the opportunity to test out a wide variety of products and techniques. Also, the finished spreads will be distributed throughout the album at intervals of 2–3 pages, creating a similar incentive to what I am testing with my 2018 album.

Older Albums

I totally reserve the right to just work on any page I want from any album. At the moment, I am motivated to fill in some of the overview pages of Ken’s photos from our 2017 album. The beauty of working on multiple albums at once is that I can use the same products on my desk over and over, but it won’t be obvious when flipping through the pages.


Good lord, I am going to Disney World for a week in July, the mecca of scrapbookers and photographers. 6 adults, ride photos, character photos, selfies, scenery…I can only imagine the insanity that this album is going to be. I am psyched to work on it. As I will probably be stateside for most of the summer I wont have access to a lot of my albums and supplies, so I am hoping to finish quite a lot of this as a focused theme project.

The Photos

Batch printing

I’ve been ordering my photos from PhotoBox in the UK since I started Project Life and I have been really happy with the price and quality of the prints. I always print in matte and I particularly like the finish from PhotoBox, which lets me stamp and adhere to the photos really nicely. I also print all of my digital products through them with my normal photos. I try to place an order every 4–6 weeks and I plan to continue that this year.

In the states I try to be patient enough to order from Persnickety Prints. They are easily the best, but it takes a while for them to make it all the way to Wisconsin.  Since I want to use them over the summer and for my Disney album I plan to stock up on credits during their next sale and learn to be a grown up about waiting.

Aside from the photos, I am fairly obsessive about keeping my tickets and other ephemera in the page for the week. This has worked amazingly for years and I am going to keep at it; I love having everything in one place when I sit down to finish a spread.

First week of the month

If I seriously want to keep on top of the first week of each month, I am going to need photos ASAP. Even though it means a serious sacrifice in quality, I am going to have these photos printed at a local one hour place.

The Products

Serious Stash Busting

For three full years (2015–2017) I bought the digital cards released by Studio Calico each month. The physical SC kits come with 25 3×4 and 5 4×6, which is a totally reasonable amount for a month of pages. However, when you print the digital cards you get 50 3×4 an 10 4×6 every.single.month. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my studio calico cards. But after 36 months I have A LOT of cards. Despite serious fear of missing out, I decided to only buy the monthly SC card kits this year if I really love it and work my way through the cards I have.

Aside from my SC cards, I have a lot of other products in my stash. Project Life core kits. Embellishments that I love. More AE digitals than anyone other than Ali should probably admit to. Tiny phrase stickers for a lifetime. This year I am going to make room to buy more stuff….I mean….I am going to use what I own! I am really looking forward to playing with my products more and getting the things I love onto pages where I can appreciate them. At the moment, I am still particularly loving the PL Fresh edition/add-on and basically anything that Liz from Paislee Press has ever designed.

Monthly Kits

One thing that made my decision to stop buying new Studio Calico cards every month was the timely introduction of the AE Stories by the Month kits.  The card/stamp/chipboard combo is exactly perfect for my process right now and international shipping is $2. I set an alarm for 5am to sign up from the start and it was totally worth it. You should get on the waiting list for this one right now.


It is so hard to not buy all the Disney things and I know that I will break as the trip approaches. But for now I am trying to restrict myself to a couple of Project Mouse kits to mix in with my regular PL cards. I will definitely share more about my supplies and process when I am working on the album.

The Publicity

Ok….I just wanted another ‘P’ title


A few months ago, I wrote another long and wordy post about shifting my social media focus to Instagram. I’m still really happy with that decision and am trying to post at least twice a week, so come check me out @TravelScrapSleepRepeat.


Though I am in several FB groups related to PL/scrapbooking, I mostly post in the groups Scrapaholics Anonymous, Project Life Junkies and Craft the Story with Ali Edwards. All are great and very active groups, so if you are not a member yet you should definitely consider them. These days, I mostly only do posts referencing IG or this blog, but if FB is your platform of choice please keep an eye out for me!

This Blog

Clearly, I like the sight of my own typing and I know there are still people who prefer the blog platform. Since I am feeling good about my totally achievable 2018 goals, I am going to try and check in here at the end of each month to share an overview of the pages, probably with links to IG for further details. Quick, easy, and low pressure…I can handle that.

So. If you made it this far, please do share how you are tackling a new year of memory keeping. Is it working so far? Do you love it? Links are always welcome!

Posted in Egypt 2015, Project Life {2017}, Project Life {2018}, What Works For Me | 6 Comments

Change is Good

So, here is the thing. I made this page yesterday and I freaking love it. I purchased Ali Edwards’ Storytelling with Project Life during her recent class sale and my inspiration is through the roof. I am finishing page after page and frankly I am killing it, if I do say so myself. I am so so pleased with my creative process right now. So why is that bringing me down?

In the last week of July, I relaunched this blog. Through that and over the course of August I hit social media pretty hard: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. I posted and crossposted and commented, all in a little experiment to see what the ‘online’ scrapbooking community looks like today. And if I am honest…I did not have a single comment on a single blog post. Not one. Instead, I had an overwhelmingly positive response on Facebook and Instagram and it is there I was able to reconnect with the community.

Enter the Ali’s Storytelling with Project Life class. Without giving away content, I feel like I can say that the class lays a lot of focus on making your products/process/projects work for you. As I am averaging a spread a day since signing up, I have clearly taken this on board for my scrapping life. But it also made me take a long hard look at this project, my blog.

Right now, I want something more instantaneous. Maybe I am just a product of the times. But blogging is time consuming and I am/was happy to get a full post out once a week. Therein lies the rub. I am ecstatic to report that I am consistently creating more than one spread a week. In fact, at the moment I currently have a backlog of 20+ spreads I want to share. That is awesome AND intimidating.

Which brings us to today. I don’t want to wait 20+ weeks to share this layout that I am psyched about. Twenty weeks is five months. That’s past my birthday…I will literally be another year older. I want to share my creations today, in a forum that elicits communication and encouragement and inspiration.

So what’s the point? I have decided to scale back on blogging and ramp up my other social media presence (particularly my Instagram account). I still believe that there is so much value to a blog and I will always keep it as homebase. But for now, I would like to dedicate my time and passion to other forms of interaction that are giving me more joy.

Here on the blog, I am hoping to maintain a monthly recap to round up the projects I have been working on and the products I am loving. I totally reserve the right to throw in anything else that takes my fancy. By recommitting myself to monthly posts, I feel like I am clearing up so much time for posting elsewhere. The intention is to hit Instagram hard one to three times a week, a quota that just hasn’t been realistic here on the blog.

So, that is that. I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on the different social media platforms, particularly those who are not on YouTube (a medium I have been toying with). I really appreciate all the support and encouragement and I cannot wait to share allthefreakingpages.

The Products

Cards: Studio Calico July 2017 (Silver Lake Lodge), In A Creative Bubble Travelogue, and digital brushes from Ali Edwards’ Storytelling with Project Life class.

Stamps: Elle’s Studio Date It and generic roller date stamp. Type font phrases from various Citrus Twist sets.

Other: Pentagon stickers from Ali Edwards’ Surprise Story Kit, tiny stars from Ebay, navy paper clip from Aldi (there is 59 more to use, so keep an eye out).

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Project Life 2017: April 17–23

This spread covers the week that mom came home from the hospital, so it is mostly house based with lots of little stories. I used lots and lots of white space to keep it from getting overwhelming  and I really like how it turned out. It feels very calm when flipping through the album.

The left side is Design A, but I used 3×4 cards in two of the larger pockets. Since those pockets had 4×6 photos on the reverse side, here I just taped them together on the back to keep them in place.

My love for these date stamps has been well documented, but I really think that using them with these half design cards may be my favorite. I have quite a large stack of them that I just never really had a use for and I am pretty excited to pull them out now.

The day that mom came home, Jayme hit her first ever homerun. We were so disappointed to miss it but I made sure to snap a picture of her with the ball when she got home. Since the look on her face pretty much sums it up I kept the journaling simple: the date and a caption. I was looking for a patterned paper to add to the top of the card and found this greige journal card in the PL Baseball theme kit. Instead of writing on it I used the subtle ball outline as an image. The dark blue label adds a pop of color to the card.

I really love the look of a simple black and white filler card, colored phrase sticker and puffy embellishment. It is crazy simple but looks so classic. Will definitely be repeating this formula.

The right side is a go-to Design F. The upper part pretty much tells the stories of Friday, when Jayme and I went to Milwaukee for the day. The bottom row holds several random stories. Still loving the white on white for titles on cards.

I am totally digging the light blue/dark blue/red combo. I think I have mentioned that I rarely use red hearts because it feels too cutesy for me, but I think it worked here. Another little cluster formula that can easily be adapted for any page.

So, last year I exchanged my Wisconsin driver’s license for a German one and it is their policy to retain all American licenses because some states require it. I was somewhat devastated at giving up my WI identification…we had been through a lot together! Wisconsin issued me a new card as a duel resident and when it arrived I tucked the temporary print into a pocket. The layer of white dot acetate not only makes the print out prettier, but it gave me a base to add the label to without having to adhere it directly to the license. Since I wrote quite a bit about giving up the card last year I went simple here.

The Products

Cards: As usual I started by pulling cards from the monthly Studio Calico set, in this case April 2017  (Written in the Stars).  The card with the small blue pot is from the Ali Edwards Eat Story Kit (digital). The card with the small houses and cars is a 12×12 paper I bought at Joann’s and cut down. The remaining cards were pulled from a bunch of PL kits: Midnight, Moments Like These, Currently, September Skies, and Baseball.

Stamps:  Elle’s Studio Date It and generic roller date stamp. Type font phrases from the Citrus Twist grab bag.

Other: Label freebies, tiny word stickers by Ali Edwards and generic puffy hearts from ebay.

I only have one more spread to share and I am back in chronological order! I also just received a large order of prints for June and July and have laid those out into eleven spreads. Can’t wait to get working on those and of course, sharing them here!

Posted in Project Life, Project Life {2017} | Leave a comment

Project Life 2017: April 12–16

TSSR 17 08 23 1

So, this spread carries on through my 2017 album following the zoo spread I shared during TSSR Relaunch Week 2017. I very rarely celebrate Easter in any notable way so I really wanted to make a point of using some of the adorable cards that Studio Calico released last year as an add on.

TSSR 17 08 23 2

The left side of the spread is mostly about my flight back to Madison and prepping for mom’s surgery. Because I had relatively short notice I ended up flying through Poland, which was fine. They made a great hamburger. Mom’s surgery was on Friday, which felt like a massive event but was actually just a lot of sitting around. I had this cute picture of her we had sent out to show the family how great she was doing, so paired that with a 3×4 journaling card. And my parking pass….the parking pass was my friend.

TSSR 17 08 23 3

The layout starts on the Wednesday that I flew to back to the states and runs through that Sunday, which was Easter. I  use the Monday–Sunday week as a very loose guideline and frequently adjust my dates to better suit my story.

TSSR 17 08 23 4

The two prominent photos on this side of the layout were both food pictures, but in very different locals (Warsaw and Madison). I thought that a good way to easily visualize that would be to stamp out the city name straight onto the photo. For funsies I used an older platinum ink that I had, which turned out awesome—in real life the letters are super subtle, but at certain angles the light catches it and it is quite bold like the photo above.

TSSR 17 08 23 5

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do to spice up the solid blue card, but I had this little label end left over from another card and I decided to just use it here with a couple tiny stickers. I always keep these little off cuts of labels to add like this and when possible I use them right away so I don’t lose them.

TSSR 17 08 23 6

The right side is almost entirely dedicated to Easter, mostly because I really wanted to fit in those cute filler cards.

TSSR 17 08 23 7

My aunt and I alternated staying at the hospital with mom through the weekend that she was there, which ended up being kind of a crazy routine. Luckily my jetleg made my schedule crazy anyway, so I just slept when I could for as long as I could. It worked.

The easiest way to illustrate this was to just type up the schedule. I had quite a lot of white space at the bottom and I thought it would be fun to use a cluster of triangles stamp to make a base for the label. I am loving the platinum colored ink, which as you can see here ranges from silver to gold depending on how it catches the light.

TSSR 17 08 23 8

That bunny freaking kills me and I knew I had to use it. I pulled the colors for the layout from the easter egg card also in this set (see below), but since I am not much of a pastel girl I used a lot of the blues and greens and yellows. I even went with these dark blue puffy stars and added tiny pink enamel dot accents to allow a little spring in.

TSSR 17 08 23 9

I had downloaded an app (Characters) to “catch” the Easter Bunny in the act of dropping off the baskets at the hospital. However, when I saw this hunched over option I had to do one of him “checking” on mom. She is only pretending to be asleep and was totally in on it. I still wanted to include the other one, so I put a tab on the top of the 3×4 card and tucked it behind.

The Products

Cards: Since I really wanted to use the SC 2016 Easter cards, I started with those (including the title card). I also pulled a couple from the April 2017  (Written in the Stars) to add a little consistency from one page to the next. My obsession with the LDM day freebies is obviously still going strong and the remaining cards are from the PL Fresh and PL September Skies editions.

Stamps:  Elle’s Studio Date It and generic roller date stamp. The tiny star on the title card and the “Currently” box on the bunny photo are from older Studio Calico PL kits (but I got them at goodwill!). The cities are stamped with the Clearly Kelly Outline Alpha and everything else is from the Citrus Twist grab bag.

Other: Label freebies by Kaitlin Sheaffer and tiny word sticker by Tim Holtz. The puffy stars are actually just no brand ones from a local stationary store (I like the keep an eye out for fun generic shapes) and the enamel dots I bought at Wilko a few years ago.

This was a rough week overall, but it worked out in the end and I am very happy with how the documentation turned out. I have two more pages to share that were skipped in TSSR Relaunch Week 2017 and then I will probably share new layouts in chronological order. Or as I am inspired to finish them. We will see. Have a scrappy weekend!

Posted in Project Life, Project Life {2017} | Leave a comment

Project Life 2017: April 03–11

This page is all about the details. Ken was supposed to be in Munich for most of April, but since I was heading back to the states he ended up only staying a few days. I didn’t really do anything else before he came, so I just focused on the stories I had and went with it.

The left side of the spread is the back of the Design F from the page before. As always, this design is my go-to for slow weeks because it’s so good for housing the small stories.

Even though I am not a fan of pink, it is somewhat unavoidable when you commit to cards from a kit club (in this case Studio Calico), so I try to find ways to match it with other colors that I do love. I used the small flower pot on this card as the inspiration for the page, pulling heavilly on the gold, black and teal to tone down the pastel pink.

I really wanted to include this candy wrapper in my spread, but it was such an odd shape and just looked blah alone on a card. I had recently pulled out my stitching templates for a Citrus Twist challenge (shared here) and loved the result, so I am finding myself reaching for them more. I think stitching of this type can often look quite fussy, so to try and keep my cleaner style I often just use plain white thread. I also tend to use only one stitched “picture” type design, with straight or crossed stitches elsewhere on the page.

I always like when I put a couple lines of random thought or event on a plain card and add some simple embellishment. As you may have picked up,  I spent a month in Peru with my sister this summer and it’s going to make an epic scrapbook. Strangely, llamas seem to be a super trendy design this year and I felt compelled to buy allthellamathings. I could probably make about seven scrapbooks at this point. Or a scrapbook only on llamas. Though I am still wading through the thousands of pictures we took on our trip, I was super excited to break out a llama sticker here and will definitely be making many more cards just like this. Since I pretty much just guess on spacing when I print and the llama was a little taller than I expected, I used the phrase sticker to pull some of the weight to the bottom of the card.

The right side of the spread goes back to an unaltered Design A. After all these years of Project Life, I feel like I have really found a comfort zone of printing the pictures I want and making the layout work for me. Though I didn’t use it here, the fuse tool is definitely a huge contribution to that flexibility.

As with most of the page layouts I have shared with/since the TSSR Blog Relaunch 2017, I stamped the dates for this layout the day my giant date stamps arrived. I hadn’t yet picked a title card for this page, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to mix it up and stack the dates on a (pink) grid card. The teal stripe was cut down from a patterned paper and I added stitching to fill the space and tie in the stitching elsewhere. Cross stitch on a grid card is basically the easiest thing ever.

I had originally printed this super simple menu card while I was at my mom’s house with the idea that I could use her sewing machine to messy stitch over the monograms. But then I got super lazy. When I sat down to finish the spread in Munich, I decided to just work off my original design and add three basic stitches. It obviously does not look as polished as I had intended, but I quite like it and will for sure repeat it elsewhere in the book.

Instead of putting the two food pictures in seperate 3×4 pockets, I just stuck them together on one larger card. The watercolor is actually a page from my sister’s Happy Planner (I have converted her) that she was going to toss, so I cut it down and used this portion.  I wanted to match the super goldy-gold banner on the opposite page, so I took a card from the same collection and cut off the edges to make the small strips here. I also stapled the middle of each to make it kind of look like they are hangers/attachments for the photos. Since the pictures themselves are slightly askew there was a weird gap under the left one so I used a word stamp to fill it.

The Products

Cards: As usual I started by pulling cards from the monthly Studio Calico set, in this case April 2017  (Written in the Stars). The pink grid card and gold banner/strips are from the Webster’s Pages set I bought for the 2017 date stamp (first used here). The rest of the cards are either plain white cardstock or from the PL Midnight and PL Fresh editions.

Stamps: Pretty light on the stamping this week, with only Elle’s Studio Date It and “Remember This” from an older Heidi Swapp set.

Other: The “Think Happy Thoughts” sticker was from the Target Dollar Spot. The gorgeous phrase stickers are Ali Edwards.

You guys. I may have just ordered 16 pages worth of photos for my 2017 album, but every page that currently has photos is DONE. I feel so accomplished. I have three more spreads that fall in the middle of those already shared and am going to post those before working my way through the summer. Hopefully you are still inspired even though I am completely out of season!

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Project Life 2017: March 27–April 02

This week sucked. I went back and forth for a long time about sharing this page. I hated the week. I didn’t love making the page. It all just felt bad.

However, there is always much discussion on documenting the less than “best day ever”s. So I decided to post it. Unredacted. Because (project) life is life and sometimes that is just the way it goes.

This week was less about the photos than it is the stories. I was in a bad mood, trying to make the best of my situation and appreciate the great people in my life. And then on Wednesday mom called and used the C word every child dreads….so all the other crap ceased to matter. I was heading back stateside in less than two weeks. Plot twist indeed. (BTW, Mom is a freaking rockstar and is doing great. More on that with the following spreads 🙂 )

Design-wise, I just tried to keep it all simple. Nothing really felt right, so I just picked a title card that I liked and worked off that. When I first moved to Munich, I bought a cheap date stamp at a stationary store and I try to use it for the pages that I am actually in Germany. Just a simple way to add a little local feel. I had pulled out sequins recently for a challenge and had decided against them, so I added them in here for a little subtle extra. Like I said, nothing else feels right for a week that sucked this much

I didn’t take a lot of photos this week. I didn’t do a lot this week. Honestly, I spent an awful lot of time just feeling sorry for myself. In those cases, Design F is my go-to for using what I have, including the stories there are, and using product for the things I can’t otherwise express.

One of my cultural goals for this year in Munich was to figure out the spargel obsession. People go crazy for asparagus. It is super expensive. There are dedicated festivals. I just caught the start of the season before I left, so I was happy I got to fit it in. I mean, it was tasty…but I am not sure it was most expensive meal I have had in Germany tasty….

I think the best thing for the crap times in life is just some hidden journaling. Sometimes I do a little redacting here on the blog for things I don’t necessarily want to share with the whole of the internet. But sometimes there are also stories that I don’t want to even be a focal point in my layout. At those times, I tuck it behind another card and add a tab to remember it is there. I used white on white to add “hard week” to the outside and even the stickers fought me on this one—they aren’t straight, not correctly spaced, and several freaking ripped on me. But I decided to just call it done because this week needed to end.

The Products

Cards: I started with a base from the April 2017 Studio Calico cards (Written in the Stars), but pulled the Plot Twist card from January 2016 (Arendal)! I also mixed in a lot of the PL Fresh edition as well as several neutral patterns cut down from 12×12 paper. Coffee, Netflix, & Yoga Pants (aka my life on a card) is a freebie from Kellie Winnell. The food related cards are from the Ali Edwards Eat Story Kit (digital).

Stamps: As I mentioned, I bought a German date stamp at an office supply store and I think it is a fun addition. I stamped the word “spargel” with one of those cheap peg alpha sets from Michael’s and clearly I kind of suck at spacing them. “Notes” and “Wed” from a cheapo set from Joann’s. Amazing tiny words/phrases by Citrus Twist, of course.

Other: Label freebies, tiny word stickers by Simple Stories and Tim Holtz. Navy stripe washi by Heidi Swapp.

So, not my favorite page in the album but definitely part of my story. Having done Project Life for seven (?!!?) years now, I have had to include a number of not so great moments. Please do share what your approach to this kind of documentation is….

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Challenge Accepted: Christmas 2016

You guys. Seriously. I have issues. After TSSR Relaunch Week 2017, I totally intended to take it easy this week and share a finished/almost finished page.  Instead….I started a page almost from scratch to participate in a fun challenge and I freaking love how it turned out. And yes, I did scrapbook Christmas when it was 93 degrees outside.

The Challenge: Citrus Twist 3 to Inspire (July 29 2017)

  1. Breath new life in to your old, tried and true stamps by stamping in colored ink. Ok, dug out some lime green ink to stick to a quirky Christmas color scheme. As you will see, it was kind of a fail. That’s why it’s a challenge, right?
  2. Use something unexpected – maybe from another hobby? Embroidery floss was suggested in the description for this challenge and I instantly thought of an idea I had just seen on Instagram. This choice was a no brainer.
  3. Give love to a neglected supply. This one was a toss up between doilies and sequins right up until I started to glue things down. I had done some light organizing of my supplies over the weekend and it made a lot of things much more accessible. Hopefully they wont be neglected for too much longer!

This may absolutely be the strangest spread I could have chosen to jump right in on. The short story is that my mom and sister came to visit for 11 days last December and we did all the things. Since we had such an epic time, I decided to print all the photos I liked and worry about page layout later. In the end I had 25 spreads. Plus inserts. For eleven days. Not even sorry.

So, when I decided to do this challenge I flipped through those pages to see if any spoke to me. This one is the second layout for the entire trip, but it is a strange choice to start with because it is actually two different days. The left side is the end of December 8, with the start of the day on the previous page. The right side is the start of December 9, which continues on the next page. Because I didn’t want to preplan or cull down there are several such spreads in this section of my album and I am totally fine with that.

Shortly before reading the challenge I had seen a post on Instagram (@theinkshow) with stitching down the edge of a grid card, which I though was just the coolest idea. When the challenge prompt mentioned using embroidery thread, I immediately knew this is how I wanted to go. I think it is also one of the reasons I started looking through my Christmas layouts—it just says warm and cozy to me. Since my printer has a mind of its own, the gap between the stitching and text was an excellent place to add a lime green phrase. I will definitely be repeating this technique, probably on another page from this week.

As I mentioned, the right side is the start of the next day. Through the pages for this trip, I typically have one page/spread for general photos from the day and at least one spread for a specific site. This formula is one that I do for all of my trip pages in order to fit in all the stories that I want to tell.

Because nearly every day has multiple spreads, I plan to put a big date at the start of each day. I will probably also use a standard size date stamp on most of the pages between for clarity. I actually only used one doily across this entire layout, with the bulk of it appearing on the date card. I love that having the date at a larger scale allows me to keep the card super simple but still distinctive.

I am not instinctively a video taker, but my sister is and I love to include the little clips she takes in my scrapbook. This one is about thirty seconds of the clock playing, which I think will be a really fun thing to look back on in the future.

This card is also evidence of my major stamping fail. I am well aware that my stamping skills are pretty limited, so I usually confine it to text in black, gray, or dark blue. When the challenge required a colored ink, I dug out some small pads I probably bought about seven years ago to ink the edges of paper in traditional layouts. The only one with any hope of matching my layout was the lime green….it wasn’t even opened. The stamped card on the left side is cardstock and it worked beautifully. The two cards on the right side are photo paper and it worked not so much. I actually let them sit out for almost 24 hours and when there was still wet ink on the surface, I just dabbed it off and stuck it in the pocket. In real life it is still quite readable and it moves the green around the page so I think it counts. But I definitely wont use those inks on photo paper again. Ugghh.

This card was the only ‘journaling’ that was done when I started the page and it was actually just the caption I had put on Instagram. Every time I make a card like this I remind myself to do it more often, because the wide open space around a single sentence has so much possibility. Also, at what date do you think it is acceptable to start wearing those boot toppers again??

The Products

Cards: The two teal cards are from a very old Studio Calico kit (I think December 2015!) and I had placed them in the pockets some months ago when I went through in a final sweep before I broke up the set. Since I knew the stitching would add a lot of detail, I used plain white grid cards for three of the journaling spots. A couple times a year, I break down Studio Calico sets by color and store them separately from the complete sets (I keep all my PL cards in Tjena boxes from Ikea). When I needed cards for the remaining three pockets I just pulled out the grays and found cards that would work.

Stamps:  Elle’s Studio Date It and various phrases from my Citrus Twist grab bag stamps.

Other: The label with the date is this freebie, which I rediscovered when I was tidying up my stash. The heart and shorter section of cross stitch are from an Amy Tangerine template. I think I bought the small doily on clearance at Michael’s after Christmas several years ago, but it also made a reappearance after tidying. The gorgeous puffy stickers are from the ‘Tis the Season collection by Elle’s Studio, which was on sale when I bought with the date stamp.

The thing I really like about this layout is that though it feels quite seasonal and holly jolly, only the puffy stickers were actually marketed Christmas products. Furthermore, three of the four puffy stickers I used are completely generic. I plan to continue this look throughout the pages, mixing my outrageous amount of general supplies with a small number of Christmas specific goodies.

So. This challenge was so much fun that I ambitiously started the new Challenge Accepted series header for it. There isn’t really a schedule or plan for this, but when I am inspired by a challenge I will share it here. If you know any good challenges I should check out please let me know!

Posted in Challenge Accepted, Christmas Pages, Project Life, Project Life {2016} | 2 Comments

TSSR Relaunch Week 2017: Sunday

I can’t believe it, but we’ve made it to Sunday! Seven layouts in seven blog posts in seven days was super intense but the results—in terms of both progress and feedback—have been so worth it. I want to take time over the next few days to organize some of my thoughts on this challenge and I’ll share them soon. And of course, now that I have gained some PL momentum I need to keep that going too!

After the chaos and insert of the previous week, this  spread is a bit calmer. No inserts. Just one (adapted) Design A and one Design F page protector.

The photos themselves had some pretty prominent colors, so I decided to pair that with bold black. I particularly wanted a simple black and white for the title card in order to balance out the ‘eggcellent’ card on the other half. To divide the dates without much fuss, I used an asterisk from a cheapo alpha set I have. I also used the same stamp elsewhere as a decorative element.

As I mentioned earlier this week, my scrappy goal for this year was to use my stamps more. I’ve really been loving this gray ink because I feel like I can add more details without it looking too over the top. I have used this Kelly Purkey alpha several times in the pages from this week because it is just the perfect scale for a 3×4 card. Also perfectly sized is this arrow by Heidi Swapp and might just be my new favorite arrow (I have kind of a thing with arrows…)

I took this picture before a softball game while we were sitting in the car, waiting to see if it was ever going to stop raining. I added the stack of ‘enough’ to the corner because it basically sums up the sentiment of the photo.

The right side is a standard Design F, which I love because the quantity of pockets gives me so much more room to play with. And use up some of my stash of 3×4 cards…at what point does it transition from a stash to a hoard?

Yep, we dyed eggs in the middle of May. Easter weekend was spent in the hospital with mom post surgery (more on that when the pages are posted) and we were obviously focused on other issues. A month later, we had eggs and we had dye so it only made sense to go ahead with it. I say yes to brightly colored eggs year round!

You may remember that I used this exact same card in Thursday’s spread, with an enamel star in the exact same spot. I’m all about repeating things I like and when the time came to add that puffy heart I went with it. I often have trouble using hearts on a layout, but I really like the fun asymmetrical feel of these ones.

The ‘ticket’ for this event was actually a large pin that you were supposed to wear for admission to the various venues. I was kind of obsessed with my pin, but knew it would be way too bulky to add in the pocket so I had mom take a picture while I was wearing it. In an alternative life where I am not constantly packing suitcases I would have kept the pin forever, but as it is I said goodbye and kept the picture instead.

I am ALWAYS on the lookout for unusual ephemera from an event, so I was super excited to find out that the post office had a special cancellation stamp for this festival! The postal lady was nice enough to stamp it onto a blank postcard for me, but I cropped it down to fit into a 3×4 pocket. That viking kills me. Seriously.

One thing I have found from making so many spreads this week is that I want to journal on blank cards more often, so that I have more options when I am embellishing. Though in this case it is just a simple gray stamp, I have an outrageous supply of stickers and washi I want to use and I find this much easier with a blank slate to work with.

The Products

Cards: Once again, I chose many of my cards from the May 2017 Studio Calico Documenter Kit (Alfresco), though the ‘eggcellent’ card is from a March 2016 add-on (#hoarding…). The ‘Story of This Meal’ card is from the Ali Edwards Eat Story Kit (digital) and appears in several other spreads already this year.  Everything else was drawn from the various PL editions designed by Paislee Press.

Stamps:  Elle’s Studio Date It and a small standard date stamp.  Clearly Kelly Outline Alpha. Arrow and ‘favorite’ lable by Heidi Swapp.  Asterisk & check mark from cheapo sets. Amazing tiny typeset words/phrases by Citrus Twist, of course.

Other: Label freebies, puffy heart stickers, and one lonely tiny word sticker by Tim Holtz.

Well. For a fairly simple spread I seem to have gone on a bit, but that seems fitting for the end of a epic week of blogging. I have finished seven layouts in just over a week, which feels like such an accomplishment. Today’s spread is the last week I’ve printed photos for, so I am going to set that as my goal for this week. I also have five more spreads laid out between those that were shared and I want to get those completed ASAP. A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has left likes and comments over the course of the week and I hope this challenge has inspired you to finish up some layouts in your own albums!

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