SmugMug - 20% off coupon code

I just wanted to share with you a coupon code for SmugMug, which is what I use for my online photo backup. You can read about my process and why I chose SmugMug in this post.

When you sign up for SmugMug, just enter coupon code: 2AlIBtlrka2eM when checking out, and you'll save 20% on a subscription.

Note: I have the Power subscription for $60 a year, because I wanted right click protection for my photos that I have made public, but most people can use the Basic plan for just $40 a year.

5 Year Anniversary Card

Tomorrow marks 5 years since Brad and I were married. We're celebrating with a dinner at The Melting Pot. We don't do anniversary gifts most of the time, but we always do cards. So this weekend I started on a special card for Brad. I had an idea in my head, and I drew it up as a sketch first, and went from there.

I wanted to highlight the special milestones we hit during our 5 years of marriage (and almost 14 years together). Here's what I came up with:

For the front of the card, I first stamped images to represent those milestones - falling in love, getting married, buying a house, and having a baby.

I stamped them with a new inkpad I'd recently purchased - it's one of the shadow inks by Hero Arts, Wet Cement. (I picked out three of the inks to try and I have to say, I think they're my favorite of all of my types of ink. The color, even if it stamps a little splotchy, evens out as it dries. It also stamps on a little darker than the final result. I seriously love how smooth the images look when they dry. I'm definitely picking up some more of these soon). After stamping I cut around the images carefully, and I used foam dots to lift them off the patterned paper I layered behind them.

I used the same ink to stamp my text, which says "so much in just..." and "...years." In the middle of the card is the number 5, so the whole phrase would be "so much in just 5 years."

Finally, inside the card I stamped "happy anniversary," from a stamp found in some dollar bin somewhere. It has a couple of birds on the stamp too but I just inked the text part.

I think Brad is really going to like this one. Lots of thought put into it :)

Supplies Used:

Stampin' Up! Pool Party card stock
Dear Lizzy Daydreamer 6x6 paper pad
Hero Arts Wet Cement shadow ink
Stampin' Up! Designer Typeset photopolymer stamp set
American Crafts Doll fabric thickers
Stampin' Up! Baby Tees wheel stamp
The Stamps of Life hearts2diefor stamp set
Hero Arts A Little Note stamp set
Studio G Happy Anniversary stamp
$1 bin wedding stamp set
foam adhesive
Martha Stewart mini score board
Fiskars trimmer
Fiskars micro tip scissors

2014 Digital Project Life - Feb 19 - 28

Today I'm sharing the right half of the layout I'd started and shared a couple of weeks ago.

I pretty much finished out the month of February with this one page. One of the things I've changed with my Project Life this year is that I'm really trying to make what I include important. I'm including less of the random stuff that I share on Instagram (pictures of my nail polish, a random meal I ate, etc). Since I'm doing this, it means sometimes I can fit 10 days worth of stuff on just one page, like the one above.

As with the previous page, I used the free Top Ten mini kit from Julie Billingsley over at Sweet Shoppe Designs for my papers on this layout, along with one of the basic journaling cards from the Project Life Azure journaling card pack. My template for this page is from Cathy Zielske

I included a note on this page about Brad's promotion. For the alphas, I used a freebie Kraft alpha from Mommyish.

Other things included on the page were: a funny story I'd texted to Brad one day, a screenshot from a story about my friend winning part of a $1M lottery, a photo of some wedding invitations I'd made for my friend, a note about a new favorite toy Austin has been playing with, a playdate, and a photo of some volcano art Austin made in preschool.

Here's a look at the whole spread:

February is finished (finally). On to March! :)

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. For more information, please check out Becky's website. If you're new to the blog and you'd like to scroll back through my past few years doing Project Life, you can find all of my Project Life related posts here.  In 2014 I switched to digital Project Life, which you can find products for here.

Traditional Scrapbook Layout - Just Us

It had been awhile since I had a chance to work on a physical scrapbook page. Since I still haven't really documented the trip Brad and I took alone to Disney back in 2011, I thought I would make a layout using a couple of photos from that trip.

I did this one over a few nights, due to time constraints, but in the end I love how it came together. I like to embellish, but I do not like to overdo it with embellishments - it's just not my style. I think this one has just the right amount.

My papers are from Echo Park's Lori Whitlock All About A Boy (chevron), Stampin' Up!'s I Am Me (the two aqua patterned papers and the yellow patterned paper), Crate Paper (the brown), and Stampin' Up!'s Midnight Muse (blue card stock). For the thin border background paper, I actually cut the center out so that I didn't waste the entire sheet to just show a tiny bit. This allowed me to use more of it on the front of the page.

Here are a few closeups:

For my title, I used some chipboard thickers from BasicGrey that I had received in some Studio Calico grab bags awhile back. I added a chipboard geotag (also from Studio Calico) and some of my homemade enamel dots to finish it off.

I have a few stickers remaining in a package from Amy Tangerine, and this one that says "I'd go everywhere with you" seemed perfect. I added more enamel dots here too.

For journaling, I added a card from the Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste Project Life mini kit, but I cut off the edging so that I could have square corners to match the main area of my page. I added a wood heart from Studio Calico and more enamel dots once I'd finished my journaling.

I wanted to add some stamping to my page, so I used a stamp from the Studio Calico Blinks of Life Today Noted stamp set to the corner of one of the blocks of patterned paper on my layout. I also hand drew some lines around the edges of this block as well as the other lighter patterned block (photo below). I added a chipboard heart from a Dear Lizzy chipboard embellishment set, with some paper cut from another card from the AT Cut & Paste kit behind the open heart.

More stamping here - this is from a Dear Lizzy roller stamp. And then two more of the Studio Calico wood hearts.

It was fun to play again, hopefully I'll have more time soon. (I keep saying this but it doesn't seem to be happening).

DIY enamal dots from perler beads

Yup, I jumped on this bandwagon over the weekend. I used this tutorial from Jen Chapin to make my own enamel dots from perler beads.

Please excuse the iPhone photos, but I wanted to share my results.

This is the bucket I found at Michaels. It was $14.99 regular price, but I used a 50% off coupon - which meant 11,000 perler beads for just $7.50.

Like Jen, I just preheated my oven to 325 and baked them for 30 minutes.

I also cut some in half and made mini dots. If you use a sharp X-Acto style knife blade, they cut SUPER easy.

Here's a comparison between the regular sized dots and the ones from a half bead. (Ring to show sizing).

And here's a comparison between real enamel dots and mine:

Finally, Brad suggested I try making "Mickey" dots.

The trouble with these is with the black beads - the black ones even after about 37 minutes still had dimples in them. I'm going to try an all black batch soon, on 350 for 20 minutes (suggested by a follower on Instagram) and see if that works. But all the other colors came out perfect :)

And if you really want to see/hear them on video - I've got one on my Instagram here. Just for fun :)

I had been hesitant to try this process because a) I thought it would be difficult and b) I was worried they would smell but I have to assure you - super easy, and no smell/fumes at all. It takes a little time to line them up on your cookie sheet but beyond that, it really is so easy. I rolled 3 trays through the oven - alternating them so I wasn't doing one sheet for 30, another sheet for 30, etc. I would start one, put another in, move that to the top when the first came out, and then put a third sheet in. Less time running the oven and they still melt in the same amount of time even if they start on the bottom rack.

I made a ton of these, in both the regular and small sizes, so I'll be set for awhile, and I didn't even make a dent really in my huge bucket of beads.

Bee Tree Studios Creative Team

I have an exciting announcement to share with you guys - I've been selected to join the Bee Tree Studios Creative Team. Stephanie and I have been following each other for awhile now-I love seeing what she creates, and it also helps that she's a huge Disney fan too, so when I learned she was launching her own shop and looking for team members to help her show off her products, I jumped at the chance! I'm sure you've seen Stephanie's work already - she's on several creative teams, including Lori Whitlock's and Just Jaimee's.

Stephanie has two free digital kits available on her website right now - an Adventure themed kit, and a Valentine themed kit.

I used Stephanie's Valentine kit to create this page with photos from our wedding:

I can't wait to share layouts with you guys as Stephanie releases kits for her shop. Stay tuned! :)

2014 Digital Project Life - Feb 15 - 18

Just one page to share with you today. This page has a few days after we returned from Las Vegas.

On this page, I included a photo of Austin playing with his new M&M hockey set we picked up for him in Las Vegas, photos from us baking heart shaped cupcakes and seeing the Lego movie on President's Day, and (yuck) more snow photos. 

I used the free Top Ten mini kit from Julie Billingsley over at Sweet Shoppe Designs for my papers on this layout (and the little flag label over the snow photo). The template is from Peppermint Creative's Split Pocket Page Templates set. Split pocket pages have been trendy lately, and I loved the idea of trying this out in digital form.

I used some of the papers from Julie's kit for a few of the triangular pockets. Where I wanted journaling, I used one of the basic journaling cards from the Project Life Azure journaling card pack. In the top left, I just layered a section of Julie's paper over the journaling card to create my own.

I adore the Hello Summer Stamps set from Mye De Leon (I can't link you to these yet - she's in the process of moving her digital shop to a new website and these are not up yet), so I added a layer above the photo of Brad and Austin, and stamped one of the brushes. This way I could adjust the position and opacity of the brush after it was already stamped, instead of playing around with the brush opacity slider first.

For the two pockets (like this one with Austin) where I used one photo over both triangles, I just merged the two pieces first, then created the clipping mask with the photo layer above the merged layer.

This page was really fun. Not sure what my layout for the opposite page will be. I think it might be too busy with another split pocket template, so I might fall back to one of my templates from Cathy Zielske for that page. Stay tuned! :)

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. For more information, please check out Becky's website. If you're new to the blog and you'd like to scroll back through my past few years doing Project Life, you can find all of my Project Life related posts here.  In 2014 I switched to digital Project Life, which you can find products for here.

Kickstarter: Cutterpillar Crop

Just wanted to pass this along - I backed a Kickstarter for a new paper trimmer that looks pretty cool. I have not tried it yet (obviously), or this brand, but I have seen positive reviews for their larger Cutterpillar, so for the $35 pledge level I thought I'd give it a shot.

My husband has done a few Kickstarters before, but this was my first! I'm excited - this trimmer looks really precise. I do have a Fiskars Sure Cut that I love (but my wire frayed a bit so I use it without the wire) and a heavy duty guillotine style cutter for chipboard, but I am intrigued by the precision this cutter is supposed to provide. I will do a review once it arrives!

Anyway, just wanted to share!

Freebie: Mac Folder Icon Template (For Organizing Digi Supplies)

Recently, I came across a post by Traci Reed over at Sweet Shoppe Designs about organizing your digital scrapbooking supplies. Now, you know already that I keep track of my digital stash using Evernote. But something that interested me in her post was the part about making the kit previews her Mac folder icons. However, I didn't want to simply make my icons the full preview. I like to know what's a folder vs. what's an image file. So I set out to create a template I could use to create my own previews for my Mac folder icons, and I wanted to share the template with you in case you'd like to do the same for your files.

This is very simply a Mac folder icon with a layer to clip your kit preview image to. What this will do is allow you to still have a folder icon, but see the preview of the kit inside.

Here's what my Mye De Leon folder currently looks like on my Mac, once I've adjusted all the icons, just to show you an example. I like that I can still tell these are folders, but see a preview of the kit so I know what I'm looking for.

To use this template, all you have to do is open the template and your preview image in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Crop your preview image to 4x4 at 72 ppi (this is the size of the black box on the template - cropping first will make it easier for you vs. having to resize the kit preview later).

Drag the cropped image onto your template:

Make sure the preview image layer is above the black layer, line it up and click command + G (on a Mac) or Control + G (in Windows).

Then just save your file as a png image into your kit folder.

Then follow Traci's instructions to set the image as the folder icon.

Click here to download your freebie (personal use only).  Hopefully some of you might find it useful. I love the new look for my digi kit folders.

Austin At Three

My little boy is three years old today. I still remember the day I gave birth to him like it happened last week. It amazes me how fast time flies, how much he's grown in what feels like such a short time. I want to capture it all - everything he says, everything he does, every giggle, every random hug and "I love you Mommy," and bottle it up so I'll never forget any of it.

I thought I'd do another "10 Things Right Now" for him today:

Watching Cars, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, the "Everything is Awesome" music video.

Loving legos, trucks, and this little plastic maze toy from McDonald's.

Wanting to play with Sadie, every single evening when he gets home from daycare.

Eating macaroni & cheese, waffles, and Swedish Fish.

Playing Chuggington games on the iPad, and hide-and-go-seek.

Singing "Everything is Awesome" and "It's a Small World".

Asking "why?" when told he can't do something.

Negotiating with us to keep his toys with him when it's time for bed, and he'd rather get up and play.

Wearing jeans and his red Pluto shirt (passed along from his friend Cameron).

Looking forward to his birthday party tomorrow, especially his train birthday cake.

Happy Birthday, little buddy.