January 18, 2017

Layouts Lately

Now that I've settled into the new year, I finally found some time to work with the Ali Edwards Story Kit and Stamp from November.  It got pushed aside while I worked on my December Daily and enjoyed the fun of the holidays.  Also, it's theme of "surprise" was one that didn't really appeal to me initially.  I only had one layout idea in mind so I thought I'd make that one and then just divide up the rest of the kit into the container where I store all my story kit leftovers.

Here's that first page:

I am definitely not fond of surprises - I like surprising people but do not at all like being surprised myself.  But this particular surprise was very sweet and very memorable and now it's finally down on paper.

It's a very simple page with few embellishments because I wanted to focus on the photos and the story.  I combined the large acrylic "surprise" with two stamps and then just scattered a loose border of stars at both the top and bottom of the page.  The stars were leftovers from my December Daily supplies - sometimes it's easier to use things than to put them away, right?

While I was working on this page, I remembered another Christmas surprise and then made this next layout:

The photos aren't the greatest quality but they're good enough to show my daughter's joy at receiving her beloved stuffed Grinch.

Again, I kept the embellishments simple while using one of my favorite designs, the grid.  I used a 3x4 pocket card as one of the grid spots and placed several chipboard word/phrase pieces in a vertical line to fill up the empty space on the card.

My final page was prompted while I was scrolling through the camera roll on my iphone.  I've been trying to be better about organizing, editing and deleting photos this year to help me feel less overwhelmed when it's time to order prints (that will be a topic for an upcoming post).  I found some photos that I'd taken before Thanksgiving with the intention to make a specific page but just hadn't gotten around to it yet.  Here it is now:

Simple was definitely my theme for this month - photos, words and a few embellishments.  The stories are getting told though which is what counts most to me.  Thanks for stopping by today!

January 9, 2017

Year in Review Layouts

Now that the frenzy of December Daily is over, I've had some time to get back to my neglected monthly kits.  The December Ali Edwards' Story Kit and Stamp have the theme of "review" and are perfectly suited for looking back and wrapping up the year that just passed.

For my first page, I asked my family members to each tell me the one thing they felt was the personal highlight for them in 2016.  

I printed out a small photo of each answer - I've already documented these events separately so I didn't need to add anything else to the page but a short description for each photo.

The result is a quick, simple yet meaningful layout that will be a great closing page for our 2016 family album.

My second page documents my year in the daily walks I took around our neighborhood.

I often take photos on my walks so I selected one from each month and printed each of them as a 2x2 square.

I originally punched circles out of each square but after I arranged them on the cardstock, I didn't like how they looked.  So instead of reprinting them all, I just added some foam adhesive to the circles and popped them back into their original squares.  I really like how this looks now - sometimes mistakes lead to better things!

On the side of my photo grid, I added some journaling about what each month is like along my walking route.

My third page looks at my year in flowers.  I love gardening and often have fresh flowers in the house.  It was pretty easy to find photos of the arrangements; I didn't have photos for January and November so I just substituted two other nature photos for those months.

I used the Picstitch App to make 4x4 squares of three vertical photos and arranged them on white cardstock, adding journaling at the bottom and then just a few simple embellishments.  

As I looked through my photos from 2016, I saw lots of repetitive shots over the year: my daily walks, my gardens, the stacks of books waiting to be read, sunrises and sunsets, my shopping cart at the grocery store, drinks from Starbucks (yes, even Starbucks).  They all reveal a bit of my personality and what makes me "me".  I definitely plan to make more of these year-in-review pages using those photos.

What about you - do you have a photo series that would make a great year-in-review page?


January 5, 2017

Pocket Scrapbooking: Getting Prepared

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going to be adding some pocket pages to my scrapbooking this year.  I started by gathering some supplies - since I've been participating in the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog, I've found it almost essential to make a kit of supplies before I do any kind of memory-keeping project.  It helps me so much to work from a limited selection of product - I don't waste time digging through supplies looking for just the right embellishment or patterned paper.

I did quite a bit of Black Friday scrapbook shopping and since most of my time since then was spent working on December Daily, I never had the chance to put away my purchases.  I just threw everything into one box and decided to tackle it after the holidays.  This actually worked to my benefit - when it came time to gather supplies for pocket scrapping, I just opened the box and pulled from there.

I put everything into an Antonius basket insert from IKEA, keeping similar items together.  This helps me keep everything contained and portable.  Here's a look at what I selected:

In addition to the items from my shopping spree, I also included some leftover pieces from my Ali Edwards Story Kits, two roller stamps (this one from Pink Paislee and this one from Amy Tangerine), and my favorite alpha stamp from Feed Your Craft.  Let's take a closer look at each of the compartments.

The left compartment holds photos and memorabilia, some letter stickers and word/phrase stickers that I picked up in the planner section at Michael's, and a couple of partially used word/phrase sticker sheets from my supplies.

In the front middle section, I stored the cards.  I've got 4x6 and 3x4 cards from Elle's Studio, Kelly Purkey, Feed Your Craft, and the Story Kits I mentioned above.  As I work on my pages I plan to winnow out the cards that I know I won't use.  This is another benefit to kit-making: it narrows my focus and helps me further refine my style.  Like many in this hobby, I've accumulated too much stuff.  To be honest, it sometimes makes me a little sick when I see all that I have so I hope to downsize quite a bit and will be donating or doing giveaways so that my excess can go to new homes where it will be put to good use.

The small section on the right contains some mini flair from Feed Your Craft and a die cut set from Elle's Studio.

The back right compartment has some rubber pennants from Ali Edwards and Studio Calico and a tab die from Elle's Studio.  I also added the small stars I had left from my December Daily kits and an acrylic "right now" phrase from Colorcast Design.

The last compartment holds a selection of stamps from Feed Your Craft, Elle's Studio and Studio Calico.

So that's my set up - now it's time to start filling those pockets! 

January 1, 2017

New Plans for the New Year

Hello and Happy 2017!

As 2016 was drawing to a close, I spent some time thinking about my scrapbooking and what I'd like to concentrate on in 2017.  I made a lot of layouts in 2016 and while I enjoy making full-size pages, I'd also like to get back to working on Project Life.

I have two complete Project Life albums: 2008 and 2010.  I love the glimpses they provide of what our lives were like at that time.  

And although I haven't completed Project Life albums for any other years, I do have plenty of photos and memorabilia for them because I thought that eventually I'd get back to them.  I think I'm going to work on last year first while it's still relatively fresh in my mind.  The photos and memorabilia for that year are pretty easily accessible as well, another good reason to begin there.

My Project Life albums for 2008 and 2010 were done on a weekly basis but I'm not going to continue that way for the future.  I'm going to be more relaxed with the timeline - if a pocket spread covers a week, fine; if it covers a month or even longer, that's good too.  I'll confess that right now I'm not exactly sure how this will work and I'll probably need to refine my process as I go but I'm just going to dive in and take it from there.

In addition to recording memories and stories, this Project Life approach will (I hope) free up some of my storage space. I've got boxes of photos and envelopes of memorabilia stashed in closets and bookcases around the house.  And it will help me use up supplies too since I seem to have acquired plenty of pocket cards over the years.  (I might be doing some giveaways too here on the blog or on Instagram.)

My earlier Project Life albums were pretty basic - photos + cards + words.  I plan on adding more embellishments this time around.  I think I'll be making up kits using the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog monthly inspiration kits.  Again, these are just my initial thoughts; once I start working on this I'm sure I'll be refining my process.

This Project Life plan doesn't mean that I won't be making any more layouts.  I still think they are the perfect solution when I want to tell longer stories so I will continue to make 12x12 and 8.5x11 pages too.  I'm hoping to file those layouts right in the Project Life albums to give a really complete look at the year.

Another goal I have for 2017 is to come up with a consistent process for getting photos printed.  I have a Canon Selphy and use that often to print photos for layouts but I do rely on a "real" developer for large batches of photos.  I tend to start the year strong and get photos printed at the end of each month but as the year goes on, I fall behind.  For 2016, I've only printed through April, along with two vacations during other months.  I'm going to need to catch up on photo ordering, which leads me to my last set of goals for the year.

I'd like to devote some time this year to completing some unfinished projects.  In addition to ordering last year's photos, I still need to complete my "Week in the Life" from May and from 2015 (yikes!) and my "Day in the Life" from March and October (I managed to complete my July version).  I took the photos and I have notes to go along with them so I just need to put it all together.  I have a small album with the WITL projects I did in 2008 and 2010 so I'll add in the latest versions once I complete them.

I also need to finish the last two months of the "One Little Word" class I took last year from Ali Edwards.  I've kept up with the work but I just need to complete the final product.  None of these projects should take very long; it's just a matter of setting aside the time and getting it done.  My OLW for 2016 was "commit" - how's that for irony?!

So there are my scrapbooking goals for the new year.  How about you - what would you like to accomplish in 2017?