Christmas in July at Scrappy Bee

I just thought I would make sure you guys all knew about the Christmas in July sale going on over at Scrappy Bee.


This of course means that the Freeze collection from my friend Stephanie over at Bee Tree Studios is on sale.


You can grab the kit, templates, and other elements 50% off, and the bundle for 33% off. I used this kit to create this page:


Make sure you check out the sale and grab some great holiday/winter themed goodies!

2014 Digital Project Life Book 1 In Print!

My book for the first half of this year arrived! Yay! I made mine through Shutterfly, using their Digiscrap option (blank, so you just upload your pages as a full page photo).

My book is 10x10, with a hard cover and 51 pages. I used two coupons - one that gave me 40% off purchases $50-$100, and a free shipping over $30 code. Pre-coupon, my total (without tax & shipping) came to $91.49. After using coupons and tax being calculated, the entire cost to me was $58.32. I did leave it with a glossy cover and regular pages. I didn't feel the need to get lay flat pages for the extra cost.

The book looks amazing! I was nervous about the edges being off-center, but every page was cut perfectly. I have some photos to share and a video of the book as well. (I don't do many videos and I have a hard time speaking on camera, so my apologies in advance).


This book is nicely thin - two together will take up less than half the width of just one of the Project Life binders.  My shelves hold a dozen of the binders right now, and they are so heavy. I am excited to have my books take up less precious real estate.

 

Borders are not cut off at all, yay!


These pages felt thicker than I expected, even though they are not lay flat pages. I don't know if I just never noticed it in prior books, but these felt like you were picking up two pages at a time.



Just showing that they're not lay flat, of course, so you do get the "bump" in the center, but I can see the full page so really, this doesn't bother me at all.


Here's about a 2 1/2 minute video talking about and showing off the book:



Thanks for checking out my video. Hopefully it helped any of you still considering switching or those who haven't figured out whether to print a book or individual pages, or what size to run your book.

2014 Digital Project Life - June 29 - 12

A couple of days of June fell into my second Project Life book for the year, but I don't really care too much about that. I'm calling this book July through December anyway.

I changed things up for the second half of the year. I'll be using my templates, and no cards/papers/embellishments. Just photos and text. I want to get my memories into a book, and I just don't want to be spending so much time on daily documenting anymore. I want to have time to do the "fun stuff" like traditional layouts, themed pocket and mini albums, and cards. So, sorry these pages will all be pretty boring, but I'm planning to share them anyway in case anyone who reads this truly wants to know what life is like for us :)

Here's the first spread for my July to December book:


Some photos blurred for privacy

I chose my Pocket Template 2 because I didn't have too many 4x6 photos for this period. My font is one I purchased that is no longer for sale, called DJB Bailey, by Darcy Baldwin. Her shop retired recently and I'm glad I scooped this one up. It's the perfect handwritten font!

Here's a closer look at the left page:

We visited some friends at the end of June, so I included a photo that captured all four of the kids in the backyard. Austin started swim lessons, and we started a family movie night tradition that I hope will stick.

The right page:
 
On this page I added a scan of some artwork that Austin brought home from daycare. I had a few random photos that I stuck in, some with a little bit of text to describe what is being shown in the photo. In order to add the text to some of these, I just created some simple 3x4 and 4x6 templates that I can use to insert the photo and text quickly, flatten, then drag into my main template. They're a bit "unfinished" at the moment, but I may share them in the future with you guys.

I really like the clean and simple look having no papers or cards gives to my pages.

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. 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 the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here. 

Thankful Card

Today I wanted to quickly share a card I made while I was playing around with a couple of newish supplies I had.


I used the 6x6 Crate Paper Maggie Holmes Flea Market paper pad, some homemade enamel dots, and this amazing die from the Stampin' Up! Expressions Thinlits set. These are currently on clearance, and I grabbed them during my last demo order.

I just adore the die set, and especially this 'thankful' one, which is perfect for thank you cards.


I used my Xyron for adhesive on the die cut, but you could also use a glue pen or some of those really cool clear foam dots as well.

Freebie: Digital Scrapbook Template

Last week I shared a traditional scrapbook layout I had made that included a panoramic photo.


I have been having fun making pages with digital templates, and I thought I would try making my own based off of the above layout. I think it came out pretty nice for my first template, and I thought I would share it here as a freebie. I hope you guys can use it!


The download file includes the template in .psd and .tif formats. (And I hope I did the .tif format correctly - I don't use .tif files at all but I followed some instructions I found by Googling).

I even made a page with another panoramic photo from our vacation to show off the new template:


I used papers & elements from Bee Tree Studios' Beach Side Mini kit (a past freebie), the alpha pack from the Candid collection by Just Jaimee & Mommyish, Twinkles from Creashens, and staples and wood elements from Mye De Leon (Sunkissed & Unscripted kits).

Click here to grab the template. I would LOVE to see any pages you guys create with it - please share! I'd be happy to feature them on the blog. :)

Traditional Scrapbook Layout - Echo Lake (and some tricks!)


I haven't been able to make a physical layout in awhile, so last night I sat down to scrap a few photos from our vacation week. I chose to work with some photos from Echo Lake State Park. I had a beautiful panoramic photo that I'd made by stitching some shots together in Photoshop Elements and removing the people with the spot healing tool.

These were my original images:


And my result using the Photomerge/Panorama tool with the spot healing tool. (Click to view larger).


I wanted to include this on my page, so I sketched out a layout that would allow for this panoramic image plus a few other special ones from the lake.


It was easy to choose and print my images, but once I started trying to get them onto a page, I struggled a bit. I found a green striped background paper (Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm), and the light brown card stock to use behind the photos, but after that is when it got tricky. I think it was because green was a main color. I have a hard time working with a true or foresty green.

I went through my stash and found elements that I thought would work, and then suddenly it just all came together. I picked out a few wood veneer pieces, a flair button (from The Flair Shop using my freebie Remember brush), and then found a sticker from an older sticker sheet (I don't even have the packaging to be able to tell you what brand it was). I layered the sticker onto card stock and then trimmed around it, following the jagged edge of the sticker.


I then went to my boxes of embellishments sorted by color, and pulled out my browns and greens. I found a stamped embellishment I'd previously made myself with the Stampin' Up! Modern Label punch and a stamp from Blinks of Life for Studio Calico. I also found some cool green striped vellum arrows that I attached using my Tiny Attacher. (Did you know you can staple anywhere on the page with this stapler? Just open it all the way up, put a mouse pad or piercing mat under your project, and apply some gentle pressure. Then lift up your paper, and use a craft knife or other tool to gently bend down the staple ends).


I grabbed some adorable tiny green buttons and then some of my homemade enamel dots and attached them with Glossy Accents to finish off the embellishing.

Finally, I added my title with these white foam thickers from American Crafts.


I'm tremendously happy with the page, considering I spent some time really struggling with how to complete it. And it felt nice to play with some physical product again.

2014 Digital Project Life - Vacation Week (June 21-26)

I made it to the halfway point for 2014. Today I'm sharing the three layouts I made for our vacation week. I decided to work with one kit and keep all the backgrounds the same for each page, to tie all three spreads together.

I am working with my usual templates from Cathy Zielske, and the Great Outdoors kit from Kristin Cronin-Barrow


Our vacation started off with a night at my mother's rented cottage on Lake Winnipesaukee. I snapped a whole bunch of photos of Austin in the water, splashing and trying to catch minnows. (In reality, I caught minnows for him, which he has in the blue bucket).


The next day we headed over to a condo we'd rented in North Conway, stopping at one of our favorite restaurants, the Yankee Smokehouse, on the way there. Driving through North Conway, we'd spotted a playground with a fountain area right where the scenic train station is, so we checked in and headed back out so Austin could play.



Our first full day in North Conway, we headed to Storyland. This turned out to be the day with the best weather as well, so it worked out perfectly. Austin is about 38" tall, so he was able to do every ride except the brand new dinosaur coaster.


Day two, we went over to Echo Lake State Park and went swimming. It's such a quiet and peaceful picnic area and beach. Perfect for families. Then we ate lunch at another BBQ restaurant across from our hotel. After lunch, we decided to drive the Kancamagus Scenic Highway for a couple of hours. Austin was asleep for the first hour, but once we decided to stop and explore he woke up and enjoyed tossing rocks into the river.



On our last day, we checked out and headed back to Lake Winnipesaukee for another night. It was drizzling outside, so we took Austin to the Meredith Children's Museum for the afternoon to play.


The last day of our vacation, Brad and I left Austin with my mom for a couple of hours and went to Castle in the Clouds. I had been when I was little, but Brad had never seen it. He really enjoyed getting to tour the mansion on our own. We stopped at a waterfall on the drive up, which was really pretty.


We had such a great vacation. It was relaxing to get away somewhere that we weren't so "plugged in" constantly, and we didn't have any real responsibilities. The vacation actually felt longer not being places like Disney and Vegas where we're constantly on the go. Even though we did a lot of stuff, it felt like we had tons of time to relax too.

So this is the end of my first photo book for this year. I need to put together a book cover, and once I have a code from Shutterfly I'll run this baby off and show it to you guys.

This also means I am officially "caught up!"

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. 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 the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here.

2014 Digital Project Life - June 14 - 20

As mentioned previously, I have one "everyday" spread to share with you today, before posting the layouts I did for our vacation.


I'm sure you'll all recognize this kit as the Project Life Baby Edition For Him. I actually love the colors in this kit, so I thought I'd just go ahead and use in on a regular layout. I just avoid any "baby" themed cards/papers.


On the left page, I added in a photo of Austin's new fish, which he named "O," a photo of Summer at her job at Johnny Rockets (woah), a snap of our passport photos, and pictures from Father's Day.


This right page is a bunch of randomness - photos of Austin on his new swingset, one of him holding my thumb as we curled up in bed, and notes about the Game of Thrones finale and some books I read recently.

Tomorrow I am going to show you the three layouts I made for our vacation we took a couple of weeks ago...and then my first photo book for this year will be complete. I'll prepare it on Shutterfly and print it when I have a good coupon code, as a 10x10 sized book. I will have a separate book for the second half of the year that I expect will look quite different than the first.

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. 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 the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here.

2014 Digital Project Life - May 12 - June 13

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! I have two spreads to share with you today, that cover a month in time.


For this spread I used the Andiamo papers and journaling cards from Scotty Girl Design, and templates from Cathy Zielske. I chose this collection because of the "Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up" card. On both the night of Summer's prom and her graduation, it was rainy, but we managed to get a few minutes where the rain cleared up so that we could take pictures outside. The card was just perfect for that.


I added in journaling on one 4x6 card, with our movie ticket stubs layered on top. I also included the LGH TeamWalk for Cancercare photo that was taken of myself and my walking partner.


One of my best friends had a baby boy, so I included the photo she sent me when he was born, along with his birth stats. I added in a scan of my allergy report and a photo of my swollen arm, along with a photo of Austin's wart that he had frozen. Graduation photos finish off this page.

You can see I'm keeping these spreads pretty simple - minimal/no embellishing and very little journaling. This is helping me to get "caught up" again.


For this spread I used Mye De Leon's Sunkissed freebie, and a couple of templates from Julie Billingsley (her shop has since retired).


For the first page, I just added a "currently" type of card where I listed some random happenings.


The second page is all about our trip to NY to meet baby Desmond (and of course spend time with the rest of the Votra family).

I have one more "everyday" spread for June to come tomorrow, and then I have three spreads to share for our vacation from a few weeks ago. Can't wait to share!

Project Life is an amazing and simple scrapbooking system designed by Becky Higgins. While I often use products created by other designers, I attribute my love of pocket style scrapbooking to Becky and Project Life, which is why I always refer to my pocket pages as Project Life. 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 the digital Project Life format, which you can find products for here.

2014 Digital Project Life - Old Fashioned Photos

I decided to make a special spread for the old fashioned photos that were taken of Austin at daycare in May. It'll be included after the spread I posted yesterday.


I opted to do a more traditional layout rather than the pocket style for these pages. I just thought they deserved a little something special.

I used templates from Laura Passage's Stitched Down Templates, papers from Mye De Leon's Curiosity pack, and a background paper from Laura Passage's Boardwalk pack. The alpha I used is from Mommyish & Just Jaimee's Candid collection.



I tried to go with a simpler color palette and just brought in the yellow and turquoise with the browns and creams. I did make a couple of my own papers using Mye's pack - for example she had the lighter kraft colored paper. I sampled the darker brown from the striped paper and made a duplicate layer of the kraft, and recolored it the darker brown. Then I changed my blending mode and opacity until I reached the result I was looking for. I did the same for the solid turquoise.

You'll also noticed that I made changes to the stitching on the templates - erasing where I didn't want stitching or duplicating a stitch layer to make two. I also duplicated the 3 photos from the template on the left page so that I could have six on the page, and increased the size of the banner/paper strip layers behind them. So when you buy a template, remember that you can adjust things to make them work for you!

I love how this turned out! :)

I'm off for the 4th of July holiday. Please enjoy yourselves if you are celebrating and have a lovely holiday weekend. I hope you're all doing something fun! Personally, we have been so non-stop busy lately that we're spending the entire weekend at home, cleaning, organizing, doing house projects, a little scrapbooking catching up (for me) and relaxing too. :)