March 24, 2017

Pocket Scrapbooking - Dealing with the Photos

I've been working away on my Project Life for 2016 and it's been fun so far, except for the photos.  And by that I mean the editing, sizing and ordering of the photos.  

I apparently take a LOT of photos - the sheer number I have to work with is smothering.  So in an effort to deal with the problem, I'm drastically reducing the amount of photos I take.  I read this post on Becky Higgins' blog in early January and it offered a great solution.  While I can't do much about the number of photos I've taken in the past, Becky's "daily delete" concept is helping me keep the photos I'm taking now at a manageable level.  I may not take photos every day but when I do take them, I review them as soon as possible and delete ones that aren't part of the story, are duplicates or just aren't great photos.  For example, my husband and I went out to dinner and a hockey game recently and I took 12 photos that night - I photographed the outside of the restaurant, the inside of the restaurant, the menu (to note exactly what we ordered), our drinks, our dinner, and the action during the game.  I don't need all 12 photos for my pocket life pages of that night; I think I'd use 2-3 pockets at most.  So I deleted the photos of everything but the inside of the restaurant (we'd never been there before and I liked the decor), our food (after noting what we ordered in the file name) and one shot of the hockey game.  Those three photos convey the essence of that night.

I'm trying to be more intentional about what I photograph as well.  Our phones and cameras make it so easy now to take too many photos.  I'm being more selective about not only the photos I print but the ones I even keep on my camera roll on my phone or on my camera - just because I took the photo, I don't have to scrap it or even keep it.

I posted a photo of one of my pocket pages on Instagram and mentioned that I was frustrated by the photo part of the process.  I discovered that I'm not alone in the whole "how do I deal with the photos" issue and received several helpful comments that I'd like to pass along here.

Someone suggested that I try the Project Life app because of the ease of photo sizing.  I can manipulate the photos virtually until I'm satisfied with the look.  While that might be something I try in the future, right now the app doesn't appeal to me.  I've already invested money into physical products that I want to use.  In addition, I enjoy the physical nature of the process - sorting through embellishments, adding stamps, cutting labels, etc.  Some people recommended a hybrid approach: set up and print pages using the app and then add "real" embellishmentsAgain, I'm not sure that this is for me but it's something to consider for the future.

I was also having difficulty deciding which photos to print as 4x6 and which photos to print 3x4.  The common solution offered was to print the vertical photos as 3x4 and the horizontal ones as 4x6.  I also take and print photos in squares but I've been adding these to the 4x6 cards and that is working out just fine.

Another tip was to try to get into a routine with the photo processing and I've been doing much better with this.  I have a Canon Selphy and another larger photo printer but I intend to order prints from an outside processor to be more cost effective.  I've been editing, sizing and ordering photos at the end of each month so far this year.  I can stay with this habit, I won't be confronted with a multiple-month backlog of photos at the end of 2017.  I file the printed photos in a photo box, separating months and important events with index cards or paper scraps.

Overall, I'm trying not to spend too much time agonizing over the photo decisions.  I just pick a size and move on; this isn't not rocket science.  I can always reprint one or two photos at home if necessary.

Since I just implemented all these changes this year, I do have many more photos from the past than I need for my pocket pages.  I'm not stressing about these either.  The leftover photos can be used for other projects like layouts and mini albums or for "testing" techniques - I will practice stamping or writing directly on them so I don't waste the photo I really want to use.

So that's what I've learned so far - do you have any photo tips to share?  Please leave me a comment if you have any suggestions.   

March 21, 2017

Pocket Scrapping Recap/What I've learned So Far

I am still steadily working away on my 2016 Project Life pages and have several to share here today. These are the pages I put together for February 2016, interspersed with some thoughts on what I've learned so far about this project.

My vision of my Project Life is that it will hold the basic "who, what, where, when, why, and how" of everyday life.  I will tell the bigger stories on layouts and use travelers notebooks and mini albums for other projects.

For me, there's definitely a different type of creativity involved in working on this project.  I like seeing each pocket as its own little canvas but there's certainly a fine line between getting carried away and just getting it done.

Pocket pages provide a perfect repository for the ephemera of life: grocery lists, "to do" lists, tickets, special cards and notes, recipes and receipts, screenshots of the weather or texts, etc.

I've found that I like devoting time to finish a few weeks or a month at a time before returning to work on traditional layouts.  I've also discovered that I've gotten more comfortable changing up my page configurations.  I've purchased a variety of pocket page protectors over the years and while I think that eventually I'll stick with one standard design, I want to make good use out of what I already own.

My stamp sets are getting a good workout on these pocket pages and I like using small phrases or icons to add just a little something extra to the pockets.

Taken by themselves, many of the pocket photos don't really have much meaning but when I look at them all together, they give a great picture of my life right nowThey show the things I like, places I go, things I do etc.  I would have loved seeing an album like this from my grandmother so I know that I'll be happy looking back on this some day.

I enjoy mixing and matching products from various manufacturers - it's fun discovering that a 3x4 card from an Ali Edwards' story kit has the same colors as a 4x6 card from Kelly Purkey and both coordinate with a stamp from Heidi Swapp.

This type of memory keeping is a great way to use up supplies!  I'm going to try and pick out particular packages of items that have been hanging around for a while and get them used on the pocketsI also want to add more letters - thickers, alpha sets etc. - to the pockets.

While my daughters are good about sending me photos of their activities, I've decided that these pocket pages will mainly focus on my life and my perspective.  I will add some of their photos every now and then but otherwise the photos will be ones that I've taken of my life.  This was a big realization for me - I somehow felt responsible for documenting their activities as well as my own just because they gave me photos.  They are both adults and are free to document what they wish as they wish.  Some day I plan to put together pocket pages of their childhood photos that haven't already made it into albums.  They both already have plenty of pages devoted to them from birth to adulthood though so I don't feel guilty (smile and cue "Let it Go").

So that's what I've learned so far about my pocket pages.  I also have some comments to make about the whole photo selection/editing/printing process but I'll share those in another post.

Thank you for stopping by today! 

March 19, 2017

CKC March Layouts

I put my March CKC kit to good use, making three layouts in addition to the page I made for the first challenge.  I'd like to share those three pages with you today.

I made two banners out of the gold square sequins and tiny wood veneer hearts in my kit and placed them at the top and bottom of my first page:

I employed my favorite grid design, using two photos, a photo-realistic paper and my journaling to form the quadrants.  I stamped the title and added a few gray phrase stickers and the page was done.

My second layout also has a border.  This one is made from leaf stickers and is placed toward the bottom of the page:

I placed a wide band of the blue woodgrain paper to anchor my page components, then combined an acrylic script word, a label and a stamp for my title.

I went outside my kit and adhered some navy dots - the page seemed to call for a little something extra and those dots were just the right accent.

I put together my final page in the midst of a blizzard - fussy-cutting most of a sheet of floral paper was my way to remind myself that spring will eventually arrive.

I concentrated most of the florals at the top of the page for a bold statement, then vertically centered the rest of the page elements.

So that's what I've been up to lately.  What scrapbooking projects have you been working on recently?

March 12, 2017

CKC March Challenge #1

It's time for our first March challenge and this time we are tasked with combining something old and something new on our project.  Here is my page:

I combined a paper from 2006 (yes, I still have things in my supplies that are over ten years old!) with an acrylic word/heart that I purchased from Color Cast Designs in December 2016.

I used a hexagon punch on two papers: a photo-realistic floral and a pink patterned paper (my something old).

Here's a close-up of the acrylic piece (my something new) that serves as my title:

If you're looking for a little more inspiration, you can check the CKC blog to see how Master Forger Lynnette and our Guest Designer Raelene interpreted the challenge.

So now it's your turn - are you ready to take the challenge?  Don't forget to add a link on our page here so we can see your project!

March 9, 2017

More Layouts Lately

I'm back today with a handful of layouts I made during the dreary and gray days of February - the perfect time to scrap in the coziness of home.

First up is a page I made with the non-Christmasy leftovers from my 2016 December Daily kit.  As I was packing up those supplies, I noticed that some of the cards and embellishments could be used for any time of the year.  I set them aside and decided I'd try to use them all on a page.  Here's a look at the pieces:

And here is how I used them:

The "Ten Things" card reminded me that it was time to make a layout about my current favorite things.  I enjoy putting together pages like this and try to make them several times a year.

Next up are two pages I made during "Layout a Day" in February, also known as "LOAD217".  Making a layout a day is a great way to sharpen your scrappy skills.  While I only made two pages this time around, I've completed the challenge in previous years.  The prompts have inspired me to make pages I probably wouldn't have thought about on my own.  The LOAD challenges are part of the Scrap Happy membership - you can find more information about it here.  The theme for LOAD217 was Greek mythology, and while I can't give more details about the specific prompts, here are the two pages I made:

I used my February CKC mini-kit to make both pages.
I'd like to get back to participating in the Whimsical Musings weekly challenges again. I made this page in response to their Challenge #243 - be inspired by watercolors.  

These floral rub-ons from the Dollar Spot at Target gave me a fun, ROYGBIV watercolor look without having to use paints or a brush.

If you're looking for some thought-provoking prompts to spark some scrapbook pages, I highly recommend that you visit the Whimsical Musings blog.  They have a great list of past prompts and I'm sure you'll find several ideas to jump-start your creativity.

And finally, my last page was in response to a very long, hectic and stressful week.  I used a stamp set and some pocket cards from Kelly Purkey's shop and a photo taken by one of my daughters. 

Well if you made it this far, thank you!  I'll be back in a couple days with a much shorter post about my March CKC challenge layout.

March 5, 2017

Layouts Lately

I have a grab bag of layouts to share today - a couple from Felicity Jane kits, and a couple from Ali Edwards' Story Kits.  I'll begin with Felicity Jane...

I like making banners to add to pages and on this first layout I added a twist by using the banners vertically.  The Felicity Jane Sophie kit included some cute pennants, which sparked that banner idea:

I've been holding on to that quote at the top of my journaling since last summer - I saw it on a sign for a nursery and thought it perfectly expressed how I feel about my garden.  I printed photos of some of my flowers and punched them into circles using a circle punch.  I then sewed them together, mixing in tags, tickets and pennants from the kit.  I embellished with stamps and puffy shapes, then fussy-cut a few florals that I added around my journaling.

I am so ready to get back outside to dig in the dirt!

Speaking of getting outside, I've been trying to take my daily walks outside this winter (unless we're getting a blizzard!) and that's the subject of my next page, made with the Felicity Jane London kit.

I pulled the pink, gray and black pieces from the kit and paired them with a photo taken on one of our warm-weather February days.

I used three strips of washi tape to make a home for my photo mat.  I stamped my title and adhered a little ombre-ish (I think I'm making up words!) chipboard pennant banner underneath.

The kit's stamps were a nice match for my page subject so I added a few to the top of the page.

My next layout has no photos and was inspired by the Ali Edwards Numbers Story Kit.  I think it's important to capture little details, with or without photos, to have a record of things that were a part of our regular everyday life.  So I captured five things that were a part of my life last month:

I stamped the wide border on the left of the page using the numbers story stamp. 

The final page is about my daughters and their connection as sisters and I used Ali's Bond Story Kit to make it.

The embossed hearts were my favorite part of the kit and I couldn't resist using all of them, along with some photos, to make two banners on my page (see, I told you I've been making lots of banners lately).

I used the story stamps on the hearts and in a few other places on my page.  The title pairs some white letter stickers with an acrylic word.

So that's what I've been up to lately - how about you?