Friday, February 28, 2014

Pause in 2014 {March}

If you're anything like me, you spend too much time staring at a screen. Computer, phone, TV, it all adds up. To focus on my word in March, I want to scale back from all the screen time, and to gently remind myself, I've created wallpapers for both my computer and phone.

We took my parents out to dinner a couple of weeks ago and as I got out of the car, I noticed the beautiful sunset, so of course had to snap a picture. That photo is what I've used for both screens, but created the wallpapers in different ways. For my phone, I cropped my photo to a 3-inch by 4-inch portrait and used the app, Over, to simply add my text using the font Vevey in a rich coral. You can read more about Over and other photo apps I use, HERE.

For my computer, I used Photoshop Elements to quickly crop my image and add text. I used the font, olivier, simplified the text layer, and then applied a gradient at 50% opacity. It had been a while since I'd changed the wallpaper on either device and focusing on my word provides the perfect motivation and reminder to step away from the electronics.

If you've chosen a word for 2014, has it had any impact on your year so far?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Us Right Now Pt. 2

Last week I shared 2 layouts I'd made using current photos of our kitty and myself, and I'm back today with the other two to round out my series. I again used mainly papers from Fancy Pants {Be.Loved.}, as well as cards from the Maggie Holmes Flea Market mini kit, Freckled Fawn embellishments, and a couple of my Love printables. You can see the whole set and download them for free HERE.

The hubs and I go to walk around a local lake when the weather is nice, and it was also the sight where we had our wedding pictures taken. The day we went scouting for locations to bring the photographer to, we stumbled upon this tree where its limb had been cut and a heart had formed. Unfortunately, the tree was cut down recently as it was not healthy, but thankfully I have a couple different photos of it, this one being the most recent.

This picture of the hubs came from earlier in the month as I practiced taking silhouettes. He is well educated in photography so I always appreciate his help with my photos. He is also a good sport and allows me to drag him all over just so I can get the shot. He must kind of like me a lot, too! :)

This is the second year I've focused on layouts about love in February. I like the trend and hope to continue it in the years to come. Do you repeat ideas, themes, or currently lists at the same time year after year?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Us Right Now Pt. 1

There hasn't been much going on this month, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to make layouts featuring the hubs, our kitty, myself, and a special object in our life. I think it's important to have pages in my albums that show us right now, and it allows me to have a place to write down little stories that might otherwise be forgotten.

The first page I completed is about Pound Cake. It didn't take long for us to come up with nicknames for her, and while they're in use right now, there's always a chance that her personality will bring about new ones.

I knew I wanted to use Fancy Pants {Be.Loved.} collection, but when I started cutting and moving things around, it just wasn't working for me. I ended up with a much different layout than intended, but adore the way it came out.

My photo a day challenge has repeating prompts each month, one which is to take a self-portrait. This is something I had never done before last year, and has definitely taken some getting used to! Once I picked out the background paper, I let that guide my page design and gathered items only in white or yellow. I also stamped on some different papers and then began layering all of the items. I have a 4"x6" card with journaling about what it has taken for me to find my happiness, which you can see peeking out at the top of all the layers.

Do you often do layouts specifically about people, or are you more of an events scrapbooker?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Gift for a Gift

At dinner recently with a couple of girlfriends, I proclaimed that I needed a project. I'm current with my photos and albums aside from a couple small projects that I don't have the right inspiration for. As luck would have it, both girls have projects that I can take off their plates.

The first album I'm making is for H's mother-in-law. While visiting over Christmas, H sneaked some photos in order to make a photo book for Mother's Day. She's seen my albums, and after we discussed it, agreed that I'd take the photos and scrapbook them. Since there was never the intention to have journaling, it isn't a problem that I know nothing about the photos. Though, if there was a date or caption on the back, I did incorporate that onto the layout.

I'm doing the album in 8.5"x11" and assembled my kit first like I usually do. I gathered plenty of papers, but only a few embellishments to get started. I picked a mixture of older papers from My Mind's Eye, October Afternoon, Basic Grey, and Project Life Kraft patterned paper. I'm also trying to use up some of the sticker sheets I've bought, various alphas, and scraps from other projects.

I still need to do a 2-page layout, and I'm waiting to get a recent photo of each of kids. They are all writing a note to be included on one of their pages, which H will add to the album. It's been a lot of fun putting this together, and these are just a few of my favorite pages. And here I didn't think I'd be making any more albums for friends this year! :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Special Greetings

There are a lot of birthdays among my family and friends this week on top of it being Valentine's Day on Friday, so I needed to make some cards. Lacking direction, I went straight to Pinterest. I came across this simple beauty by Leah, and knew it would make a lovely birthday card for my mom.

I sent my sister a Valentine package, and since the card was tucked inside the box, it wasn't a problem that I made a puffy felt heart to put on it.

A little while ago, I made a few cards, all similar, to have on hand whenever I want to send a little hello to someone. If you're familiar with my projects, you know I often make word art to incorporate into my designs. I coupled it with one of my first attempts at brush script. It didn't turn out very script like, but I had fun experimenting.

I've already mailed one out, sending it to a friend I met through blogging. Her name is Jana, and I love her style of scrapbooking. Her layouts are so creative, and even though her style is quite different from mine, she inspires me often. She blogs at scissors, glue & paper and celebrated her 1st blog birthday over the weekend. In honor of that, she's hosting some grab bag giveaways.

Of course that isn't the only reason to visit her blog, pop over to check out her her lovely layouts, cards, paper craft projects, and free cut files!

Monday, February 10, 2014

PL & CY365 {January 2014}

At the end of last year I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to proceed in 2014 with my monthly Project Life and daily photo pages. I decided to buy the Studio Calico January Project Life kit, and now having worked with it, am excited to begin a new sub with their February kit.

Going forward, I want my PL pages to tell more stories about our life. I love looking back on the everyday moments, but I want to be sure to capture what the photos don't. I added an insert (not pictured) which included a lot of journaling and a couple more photos. I've found that when writing directly on the cards, I'm less apprehensive if I have a back up idea in case I make a mistake. Which I did. Twice. I'm also including photos taken by the hubs, which was a brilliant idea from Emily, who blogs at Mrs. Crafty Adams.

I'm so much happier with these colorful pages to show off my daily photos, and I love how everything coordinated. Not only did I use plenty of what I already had on hand, but there are just fragments of the SC PL kit left. I'm still using my labels, but this time am typing the prompts instead of writing them, and since this is an everyday project, I had to put my day of the week printables to use. Which reminds me, I need to print more of them off!

In addition to the January Studio Calico Project Life kit and 4"x6" paper pad, there are also bits from OHDEERME! kits and cards from Becky Higgins Travel mini kit, Coral kit, and the Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste mini kit.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Layouts with Lively Photos

A few weeks ago the hubs and I took a day trip to check out various Loveworks in Virginia. I had no idea that these art installations existed all throughout the state and we hit the road to visit 3 of them. That was the plan at least, until we found out after arriving in Richmond, that the one at VIR was only on display 2 weekends last year. The one pictured below is located in Culpeper and is made from film reels mostly donated from the U.S. Library of Congress.

Since things didn't go as planned in Richmond, we spent some time driving around downtown and checking out some of the artwork from the 2013 Richmond Mural Project, which was curated by Art Whino. When I found out that there were pandas, I had to go see them. One was already painted over, but this guy was still showing plenty of attitude, painted by Adam "Woes" Martin.

When I sat down to scrap, I had a color palette in mind based on the new mood board challenge at Life.Paper.Scrapbook. From their board, I was inspired by the bold mixture of colors as well as the sharp lines from one of the images. Their February sketch challenge was posted while I was working on this series and so I had to put it to use as well! I think it worked out well for this super fun mural, painted by Greg Mike.

I'm still working on making a dent in my past Studio Calico kits, using papers from July and October. Gotta make room for some of the new lines coming out! I also wanted to finally get those cute fox badges from Freckled Fawn on a layout, and since the colors were spot on, I used them to represent the hubs and me.

I added a bit of map paper as well as Heidi Swapp Color Shine, stitching, and wood veneer symbols and numbers to all three layouts to further connect them. Lastly, you may have realized there is no journaling, but that's because the details from the day were written on January's Project Life pages along with a photo of different Love sculpture. I'll be sharing those next week and I'm pretty excited with how it all came together. Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pause in 2014 {February}

Each month, I'm doing a different activity to keep my chosen word for 2014 in the forefront. You can see January's project HERE. This month I'm sharing how I've turned the age old adage, actions speak louder than words, into something tangible. Since I have plenty of pretty paper lying around, I decided I'd put some to use in a different way and make origami stars.

I place one each day in a jar, because there are 3 actions, that while they only take a moment, have quite a large impact on those closest to me and how I see the world around me. The hubs and I exchange an I love you at the beginning and end of every day, I make time to play with Pound Cake, and I take my photo a day.

In addition to my daily star, I toss another in the jar whenever I've made a conscious effort to pause. Some reasons I've added stars for lately are, reaching out and setting a date with a girlfriend, making a donation at a local vet, taking a deep breath while driving and reminding myself that I'm not in that much of a hurry, and letting a friend know I was thinking of them.

In case you're interested in how they're made, here are instructions for these cute origami stars.

If you chose a word for 2014, how have you been focusing on it?