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.

Updated freebie terms & things to come

Recently I mentioned that I was planning to retire some of my older freebies, but I have decided to leave them up on the blog. You can get them all on my freebie page.

What I have done is update my terms of use, which you can find here. Any freebies released after today will be for personal use only, and terms will be included in the download files. I also ask that anyone downloading the previous freebies starting today only use them for personal use, but of course I have to rely on the honor system for this. If you're currently using them for commercial use, you don't have to stop. After some thinking and research, I believe this is the right move for me regarding the freebies, instead of simply removing them.

Now what about those freebies after today? I have some ideas in the works, and plan to have some new freebies added to the blog soon. I have a lot of creative ideas but life has just been insane lately, it seems. This week is my son's birthday party, and after that, I think I'll be able to breathe and get back in action again. New freebies, new shop releases, and new crafty goodness on the blog to come, so I hope you'll stick around!

Now, with more fancy pants...

Spent all last night working on a little re-design on the blog. Hope you like it! I felt it was time to add a little bit of color.

Here's the before, to compare.

A few things that helped me out, if anyone is interested:

My social media icons started out from this layered template from The CoffeeShop Blog. I just turned off the banner layer and added a circle layer.

I made my own pinstripe pattern for the background using this tutorial.

My blog is made with a standard Blogger template for the base (I think it's the Picture Window one), and then I tweak the heck out of it to fit exactly what I'm looking for. I am not the best at coding, but I've found that you can find exactly what you need to do with a Google search. It's a lot of trial and error but you can edit your own templates if you have some time, patience, and a little Google-fu. :)

2014 Digital Project Life - Feb 10 - 14 (Las Vegas)

I finally had some time this weekend to finish scrapping our trip to Las Vegas. I'd started it several weeks ago but a million things seemed to get in the way of finishing.

One thing I enjoy about not doing a strict weekly or monthly format this year is that it doesn't matter how many pages I use for a specific period of time. Our 5 day Las Vegas trip took 6 pages.

Here's a look at all 3 layouts in full. The first two are the trip as a whole, and the last spread is just the tour of The Neon Museum.

I used a variety of kits (Project Life and digital scrapbooking) for these pages. Starting with the top layout, I used a digital paper from Crate Paper's Fourteen paper pack. The cards were from the Project Life Love theme pack, which coordinates with Fourteen.

Here's a closer look at the left page of that top layout:

This page was our arrival and the first morning in Vegas. I included a photo from the plane, and one of our hotel room, along with our room key. I used one of the Project Life Love title cards and some thickers from Traci Reed to make a title. (The alpha is free, but you need to go here to sign up for her newsletter to access the download).

Here's a look at the right page of the layout:

On this page I added photos that were taken while we were at the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil show, along with our ticket stubs.

I just layered these on top of a title card from the Project Life Love pack and added some stitches from creashens.

For the next spread, I used a paper and embellishments from the 5th & Frolic digital kit, along with cards from the Project Life Polka Dot Party mini kit.

Here's a look at the left side of this layout:

I had a few selfies of Brad and I that I snapped while on the trip, and I thought it would be nice to put them on the same page and write a little note about them. I also noted the changes that we noticed between our last trip and this one.

I added some of the 5th & Frolic elements in a few places, and I even used a flair layer style from Mommyish to combine two elements into a custom flair button.

The right side of this spread:

On this page I had photos from our last full day in Vegas, a photo that my mom texted to me on Valentine's Day, and a couple of photos of the Las Vegas strip - one from our rental car on the way to the airport, and another from the air.

I used more elements from 5th & Frolic, and on one card from the Polka Dot Party kit, I copied the "the best" element and added it on top of a border strip, to make it appear more like a sticker/label than just part of the journaling card. Love how that turned out.

The last spread is our tour of The Neon Museum. I had so many photos from that tour that I wanted to separate it from the rest of the trip.

I used a free paper from Shannon McNab, which was part of her For The Love Of mini kit from February's Digiscrap Parade.

On this page I added the panoramic photo I'd made in Photoshop Elements (super easy with the Photomerge feature), across 3 pockets. I just merged the 3 pockets together as one layer before applying the clipping mask to the photo.

I used a couple of cards from the free sampler from The Lilypad. I repeated the one with the circles on the second page of the spread. I didn't have a lot to write about the tour so I used my pockets for the photos.

My templates are all from Cathy Zielske, by the way. Occasionally I do adjust the templates to suit my needs - such as on this last page, where I removed the two right hand 3x4 slots and added in a 4x6. I just took a 4x6 layer from one of her other templates and copied it into this template, then deleted the two layers I didn't need.

So there you have it, my Vegas trip is documented. I'm actually planning to make a couple of traditional scrapbook layouts (physical, not digital) with some of my favorite photos from the trip, so hopefully I will have those to share with you soon.

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.