Friday, March 28, 2014

Greetings Near and Far

I needed to make a card for an upcoming baby shower, and since I don't have an baby or children supplies on hand, I used patterns that coordinate with the nursery theme my girlfriend has chosen. I couldn't decide what sentiment to put on the front, so instead opted to leave it blank. Since it's going with her gift, I think it'll be ok. ;)

I used a sheet of paper from the Best of Basic Grey paper pad, a scrap piece of wood grain paper, and a round label sticker by October Afternoon. I have such a hard time using stickers, yet have plenty, so this was perfect for layering.

Apparently I was in a card making mood, because the next morning I put together another card. I'm thinking I might send it to my sister because it's been a while since I've mailed anything to her. The pretty feather paper came from the February 4"x6" paper pad from Studio Calico, and then I cut a couple of feathers out of some scraps I had.

I sprinkled some Heidi Swapp Color Shine in White on both cards. I don't know if you've tried it, but it's not opaque, it's more transparent, and adds a nice touch of shimmer.

Hope you have a fab weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Gift for a Gift Completed

The last pages have been completed and I've given the album to H so she can sort out getting it to her mother-in-law on Mother's Day. I honestly thought it would be harder to put together an album for someone I barely know. I sometimes struggle with my pages when I want to add journaling, so not having to worry about it on was definitely a plus. I also used up a bunch of paper that I'd been holding on to, and this time working with the 8.5"x11" actually made me think I might like to switch back to that size. We'll see!

Here are the pages for her sons with their letters. Again I kept the pages simple, and pulled in scraps from previous pages to maintain cohesiveness throughout the album. If you'd like to go back and see the other pages I've shared, you can find them HERE and HERE.

Onward to the next project!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Capturing One Hobby with Another

I've been trying to make more time to read, and to help that, I've bought several physical books this month. There is just something about picking up a book, the way it smells, and flipping through the pages, that I just love. Coincidentally, those are some of the same reasons scrapbooking supplies are so alluring! :)

I put this simple layout together with a couple of Basic Grey papers and one from the newer Studio Calico line, Wanderlust. The pages are from a book I picked up at a used book store, and while it felt wrong to cut it apart, I do like the layers.

When I went to make my title, I wanted to use the cork letters from a past Studio Calico kit, but didn't have the right ones available. I ended up cutting out the negative shape for the R and the A and was good to go. My typical additions of stitching, sequins, washi tape, and a shaped clip rounded out the embellishing.

For any other book lovers, the book pictured is S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst and has so far been an interesting read. Not only is the story full of mystery, it is full of notes and artifacts tucked between the pages that serve as further details to connect you to all of the players. Definitely not something that can be achieved with an e-reader. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

PL & CY365 {February 2014}

Last week was all about Project Life style scrapbooking and I shared tips on organization, keeping track, and printing on cards. If you missed either of those posts, you can see them HERE and HERE. Now that February's pages are finally complete, I'm excited to show you how they came to be.

Once I've decided on my photos, I print them at home using an Epson PictureMate Charm and then I pick out the divided pages I'll use. I have a large variety and so just select ones that provide plenty of space for photos, journaling, and filler cards. I do like to keep the photos in chronological order, so I lay them all out and then begin selecting cards.

(And here is where I make an apology, I had actually already begun working on February when I realized I wanted to share my process, so there aren't photos of the planning stages, sorry!)

Once it's all laid out, I go back to the first page and start with whichever card I have an idea of how I want to embellish it. I use supplies from the kits (Studio Calico and Freckled Fawn) that came for the month and pull additional embellishments as needed. The journaling is the last thing I add to the page, and then I'm ready to repeat the process for the remaining pages.

For my photo a day pages, I lay out all the cards at once, adding extras from my stash as needed, all the while trying to keep each page color coordinated. Once the cards are arranged, I add the photos, and then I go back and add embellishments. Now the fun part begins and I can attach everything in place along with the date labels I printed. I leave some cards blank and only embellish a handful of others so that there is plenty of breathing room since it's a lot to take in on a page overall.

Here are the completed pages, all ready to put into my album!

Whew! I hope it doesn't sound like a big ordeal to get these pages completed. While it does take me some time to get it all together, I so enjoy the process, and love the end result!

Friday, March 14, 2014

How To {PL & CY365}

In continuing with the spirit of sharing details of how my Project Life and daily photo pages come together, today I'd like to share two different ways that I print on cards. Even though you may not do Project Life in the typical sense, these tips can be used on any paper crafting projects.

First up is a new technique I tried with my title card for February. For this fun pie chart card that came with February's Studio Calico kit, I wanted to print what the month was comprised of. I took a picture of the card straight down, added the image to a blank 4"x6" document in Pages (Mac's word processing program), and arranged my text using text boxes. Once ready, I deleted the image, leaving just the text. I printed it on a test paper to see how things lined up. The sizes weren't exact, but aside from one text box being off center, the rest came out well.

Next up is how I use a template to print on 3"x4" cards. There are times when I have a lot of journaling and know my handwriting just won't fit.

I have a template saved in Pages, but you can do it with a saved document as well. It's a 4"x6" page with a 3"x4" rectangle on it so that I know where my text should be typed. If I'm using a card printed with a design, I measure the space and then use a shape to block off the area. Then, using a text block I type my journaling.

I remove the outline of the card as well as any shape I've added and it's ready to print. Since I use a template, I don't need to worry about saving the document I was working on, I can just close it and select the template the next time I need it. If you are using a saved document, I'd suggest using COMMAND+Z (undo on Mac) or CTRL+Z (undo on Windows) to replace the rectangle to it's original position, delete anything else, and save.

I have printed the template on a 4"x6" card and that's what I adhere my card to so that I can run it through my printer. In the past I've used a little roller dot adhesive, but this time I used washi. Both work well, but my washi did allow the card to slide slightly as it went through our printer, so maybe taping the sides would have been better.

If you haven't tried printing on cards yet, hopefully these steps will take the guesswork out of doing so. If you have an easier way or any other tips, let me know! Next week I'll have my completed pages to share. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Organization {PL & CY365}

Today I want to share a behind the scenes look at how I stay organized for my monthly Project Life and daily photo pages. This is a somewhat lengthy post, but sometimes another person's perspective can shed light on new tips and tricks.

I import all of my photos into Picasa, where they are organized by event in date order. I have an album labeled "To Print" and drag any photos into it that I think I might use for PL. Dragging the photo from a folder into an album creates a copy within Picasa. I make sure I import my photos every few days so that it doesn't pile up. When I'm ready to work on my pages, then I decide which photos will actually be used. Once printed, I delete it from the album, but the original remains in it's folder.

I also use Picasa to create collages, most commonly putting two photos onto a 4x6, and for my daily photos, putting 6 on a 4x6. If you're not familiar with this, I have a tutorial that you can read HERE. If I'm going to edit a photo, I do it in Photoshop Elements, usually just a one touch tune-up if the photo was taken indoors under poor lighting conditions.

I have purchased 3 core kits and 3 mini kits since I began doing PL last year. That may seem like a lot, but I've sold partial sets of 2 of my core kits and given many others away, so what you see above is all I have. I began subscribing to the PL kit from Studio Calico in January, and love how well it mixes with the cards I have on hand and the printables I've designed. My PL cards are in arms reach, stored in the Antonius basket insert from Ikea, which makes it easy for me to flip through them. It sits open on top of a Sterilite 5-drawer storage cart that I bought at Target.

I keep an inexpensive planner from Target on my desk so I have one place to keep track of what we're doing. There are blank pages in each month's section which I use to list dates and events that I may want include in my PL pages, as well as any memorabilia. This way, everything is close by for quick reference as I work.

So there you have it, an detailed look as I prepare to work on my Project Life and CY365 pages. I have this post HERE that shows my work area in it's entirety in case you haven't seen it before. If you've written about your organization or other tricks that help you work on your PL, let me know, I'd love to read about it!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Label Printables

I wanted to share with you two variations of label printables that I use on numerous projects. They're perfect for tucking among layers, adding a caption or date, and of course for Project Life.

I have created both sheets in a rainbow of colors, one is distressed and one is not. Help yourself to one, the other, or both, they are free for your personal use. Download the distressed labels HERE and the original labels HERE from Google Drive, no login needed.

You can cut the labels apart with a paper trimmer or scissors, and then use a standard hole punch to make the notches in the corners. I love the pop of color these provide, and hope you will too.

You can find all of my free printables HERE, and if you have any ideas of something you'd like to see, please let me know!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Gift for a Gift {Cont.}

I thought I was mostly wrapped up with the album I'm working on for my friend's mother-in-law and didn't think I'd have anything more to share, but I was wrong. And there might be one more after this. :) After H and I had a chance to sit down and go over all of the pages I'd made to date, we discussed the remaining photos as well as the notes each of the kids had written to their mother.

We decided that the letters would be paired with a current photo, turning each set into a 2-page layout. While I can't show you what was so lovingly written, I wanted to still share these pages because sometimes it's a stumbling block to work with items other than photos. Even though their shapes may be the same, we can run into a wall when trying to incorporate something different onto a page.

I kept these pages even more simple than the others in this album to be sure I wouldn't detract from the special words written. If you'd like to see the other layouts I shared from this album, you can find the post HERE.

I still have the pages of her sons to do and a couple of others. H is having a hard time finding a more current photo of her mother-in-law and all the kids together, so let this serve as a reminder to make sure you take plenty of photos with your family, they truly are priceless!