Monday, April 20, 2015

Scrapbook Challenges: So Happy To Give

Mondays should be about the beginnings of a new week. A fresh start. It's just that it's very hard for me to not see it as the demise to my weekend. For that reason, I try to keep my Monday schedule light. I try to find something to be grateful for and to uplift my day. Cute photos of my son from the days when he was small are always a sure way to uplift my spirits. I guess that's why so many of these photos have been making their way onto my layouts for Scrapbook Challenges. After all, Monday generally means that there is a new sketch available.

This week, I chose to work with a set of photos in which my son has just helped wrap a gift for my husband. He was so excited to have helped and to be nominated to bring the gift to his dad.

So Happy To Give by Christy Strickler |Supplies Patterned Paper: Amy Tangerine; Letters: American Crafts; Die Cuts, Stickers, Transparency: Pink Paislee; Wood Veneer,Stamp: Cocoa Daisy; Ink: Versacolor; Other: Tag, Ribbon, Doily. Glossy Accents; Based on Scrapbook Challenges Sketch # 436

Sketch #436 is one that, once again, took me out of my comfort zone with a larger photo. Sketches with large photos make it so simple to feature one picture in particular. I am definitely pulled into this page when I see the picture of my son. Much of the real estate is taken up by photos in this sketch which diminishes the busy look of the bright and energetic patterned paper prints. My large photo is a tad bit smaller than the sketch called for. That's fine with me. It just leaves a bit more white space on the bottom under the title.

How do you handle Mondays? Need some inspiration to get you back in your groove? Check out Scrapbook Challenges Skectch #436 along with inspiration from the SBC sketch crew. Don't forget to link up your projects on the SBC blog. We'd love to see your work!

Supply Options
This posts contains affiliate links when possible. Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider supporting MSE.

Many of the supplies I used on this page came from Cocoa Daisy's April kit. I am not an affiliate but I am a subscriber.

View blog post for supplies

Additional Resources

Using Larger Photos on Your Scrapbook Layouts

Friday, April 17, 2015

Project Life 2015: Starting on April

Here I am starting on my April pages when I haven't even finished March yet. I know that's not how a lot of people work, but it's the way I work. I create my pocket page spreads in the same manner that I approach my scrapbook pages. I am either A. excited about a certain set of photos or B. excited to work with a specific set of supplies. Today's page will fall in category B. Traci Reed's April 2015 Pocket Life collection is available now. So why not create with it now? I have enough photos to at least start my April pages. So yes, this is a very good idea.

All of my Project Life spreads feature a monthly format. This means that, should I need to shuffle a few cards around, it will be no big deal. Namely, I am considering moving the video game card on the upper left side. I have a few other game related cards I will be making later on along with cards about our favorite tv shows this month. Depending upon other photos and my currently list cards, I might find it a good idea to move it and keep all of my media related cards together. We'll see. 

Meanwhile, I love the title card. I love the photo featuring spam( a home cooked meal that my mom used to make-> don't judge) and the row of silly cat pictures along the bottom. Those cards will all stay put. Since I knew I was keeping them in place, I decided to play around with adding a visual triangle to my pocket page. It is one of my go to design principles for traditional layouts and I thought that I might like pocket pages better if I started trying to use it. My triangle consists of the same type of flower in 3 places: the title card, the filler card, and in the cat card on the left. Already, I like my page much more. I think I am going to try to work with one specific design principle in mind every time I create a pocket page from now on.

I know some people are very strict about finishing all of their Project Life pages each and every month or they feel behind. Not me. It stresses me out. I don't want to feel behind. I just want to get my pages done when they inspire me to work on them. Giving myself the freedom to jump around chronologically still means pages are getting finished and placed in my album. I will finish March. Most likely in the next week or so. When I do, rest assured that I will share them in a round up post so that they all sit together where they belong.

How about you? Does Project Life stress you out? Do you feel behind? Try my method and let me know how you feel after. Start with photos you love or choose a product you just simply have to use. I am willing to bet that pocket pages will become less of a chore.

Supply Options
This posts contains affiliate links when possible. Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider supporting MSE.

365 Unscripted: 4x6 collage Cards by Traci Reed Designs

Additional Resources

The Traci Reed Designs Team Inspiration Board on Pinterest

The My Scrapbook Evolution Project Life Inspiration Board on Pinterest

Catching up with the Digiscrap Geek Podcast

I know you might be thinking it's been too quiet on the blog. Really, it hasn't. I have just found myself posting quite a few articles over on the main MSE page this week. In fact, I have more to post and those will be coming soon. I am still balancing my need to write more posts with my need to create more projects. It's a constant tug of war, but I would be dishonest if I said I wasn't glad for it. Having things on your to-do list that one actually wants to do is never a bad thing. Meanwhile though, I do believe I have neglected to share what's been happening over at the DigiScrap Geek Podcast.

Heritage scrapbooking is a vast subject to cover. So, in episode 25, we revisited it once again with Katie Scott. Being a part of these heritage related episodes has inspired me to break out some older photos. I had planned to have a layout finished and ready to share regarding this episode. However, I had the grand plan of handstitching all over this page and it's taking me longer than I thought to finish it. Plus,my cat stole several small squares from my patterned paper grid( I am not kidding). I only had one sheet! I figured that it might be best to just refer you over to the new episode while I figure out what to do with this page. Rest assured that I will complete it. Somehow.

Carrie kicked off a new series for the podcast. In essence they are mini episodes with the benefit of getting to know the staff of the DigiScrap Geek Podcast. Yours truly was the first lab rat  guest. It turned out quite nice actually. So much so that I ended up editing and tweaking my about page with a link to this podcast included. I am looking forward to hearing the mini episodes about Summer, Carrie and Karen.

Episode 26 aired, featuring a discussion of gallery standouts. I must confess that the nerd in me was quite interested in this show. Mainly because I keep trying to figure out if there is some magic algorithm related to the how and the why of certain layouts being chosen. Though I didn't discover the magic formula, I did pick up on a few tricks for posting to galleries. I also found that The Gallery Standouts blog is an exceptional source of inspiration( even for paper girls).

We did talk a bit about adding the proper credits aka supply lists to your work in the galleries. I thought it was quite apropos to share how I propagate my personal galleries and create my supply lists. So I wrote a whole article on the subject. 

You will also be excited to note that we have a live event coming up to get you pumped up for iNSD. If you want to be part of the audience, pop over to the DigiScrap Geek for more information.

Since it's Friday, it means that it's a typical recording day for the DigiScrap Geek. I am super excited to talk to our guest today. I wish I could share more, but sadly, you will just have to wait until the show posts( and somehow, I have to keep it a secret). Meanwhile, if you need a memory keeping geek fix, you can find us chatting in the DigiScrap Geek facebook group.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In Celebration of Film Photography Day 2015!

My initial plans for celebrating Film Photography day were to play around a bit with some of my analog cameras. Instead, the memory keeper in me stepped forward and I decided to take a look back at some of the layouts I have created using analog prints. Though I have mentioned it before, I don't think it's always obvious that I am using prints shot with real film versus the prints I use from my digital camera.

I always bring a disposable waterproof camera with me to the beach.I can be on the clumsy side and I worry about damaging my good cameras. I also don't have the worry of having to secure expensive gear and can just be in the moment with my family. On this occasion, we visited Fort De Soto Park in Florida. I managed to catch a few photos of my husband carrying my son up and down the steps. You might reconize this layout from a budget scrapbooking tutorial. You can check it out here.

Another occasion in which I love to use a disposable waterproof camera. I aim in one spot in the pool, tell my son to jump in, and then I snap away. I have caught some great underwater shots of him over the years. This layout may also be familair. You can see it in yet another budget scrapbooking tutorial  which you can see here.

I try to capture at least a few shots of my son underwater ever year. Disposable cameras are a great, inexpensive way to start off with underwater photography and a fun way to document summer.

I am still experimenting with my instant cameras, I have a Fuji Instax and a Lomo Instant. These are some of the very first photos I took with the Instax. I loved capturing the mirrored image of my cat in the window as he watched the birds.Sometimes taking a photo right then and there with the intent to scrapbook it is a great way to become inspired if you are in a rut.

These are just a few of the layouts in which I used analog shots. Looking back at them was, as always, quite an enjoyable experience. I love seeing how I have changed as a memory keeper over the years just as much as I enjoy the stories each of the pages tell. I did also notice something that is bothering me just a bit. It's been awhile since I have scrapbooked with any analog prints. That's an easy remedy though. I just need to choose a camera and a pack of film.

Supply Options
This posts contains affiliate links when possible. Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider supporting MSE.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about Film Photography day? Check out this article which includes video links with tips about going analogue and journeying into the world of Lomography.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My March and April Planner Pages

I never really got around to making my March planner page. I kind of got caught up in the excitement of creating. As much as I blogged, I still made more projects than I could find the time to write about. Being productive is great and overall, I am keeping up with Project Life this year thanks to my planner. I am still dipping my toes into the planner addiction craze, so to speak. Using the Project Life Planner requires me to make it a habit. I am becoming more comfortable with that habit and I think it's going to stick with me.

While I didn't decorate the March tab until this week, I did journal in the calendar section. I am still not 100% sold on decorating the calendar itself. Why, you ask? I think there are two main reasons: I don't always have enough space to journal in and I kind of hate the printed paper. I am taking all of this into consideration for next year's Project Life planner. I might need a larger size binder. I don't think that will be a problem since this binder remains at my desk. I use it to plan out the making of my Project Life pages not to plan my daily schedule in. I now know that printing the calendar on regular paper is unappealing to me. Next year, I plan to use cardstock.

Design wise, I seem to find it comforting to add elements in the center of the tab. I am still keeping things simple and using flat embellishments. My favorite new supply is the thin washi tape from Little B. I love the way it separated the patterns on the tab and added just a touch of gold.

I did change the way I store memorabilia and cards I plan to use each month. Originally, I had planned to use a paper clip. However, I found the clip sometimes left marks on the cards. I tried placing loose items in a paper envelope, but they kept falling out. I finally had my Eureka moment when I received some plastic pouches from Deflecto Crafts.  The pouches are 5x7 and fit in my A5 size planner pretty easily. The pouch only has a single hole in the center of one side. I thought this was a con at first. However, it was easy to punch holes with a simple school grade hole punch. I believe I could customize it to fit a larger size binder if necessary.

I wanted to see if I could decorate the plastic pouches. So far, washi tape seems to be sticking to it well with no signs of peeling up. I am finding that the planner is the perfect place to use up scraps or extra embellishments. I printed a few too many of the March Pocket Life 2x2 squares. They ended up being the perfect size embellishment for the pouches. I decided to see if I could use my sewing machine with the March pouch. It stitched through the layers of plastic and cardstock with ease. If you do stitch directly on your pouch, make sure to stitch close to the edge. You don't want to stitch part of the pouch shut and lose precious real estate for storing memorabilia.

For April's cover tab, I chose to step outside my comfort zone. I wanted a design that was different than the previous two tabs...something a bit off center. I also had my heart set on using an umbrella. Recently, I had gotten a stamp from my Pinkfresh Studio kit in which depicted an elephant floating away in the breeze holding an umbrella. Now was my chance to use it!

It turns out that planners are a great place to sharpen new techniques. Here was my chance to practice a bit more with coloring and shading stamps. I used a Faber Castell Big Brush Pitt Pen and some distress markers to do the primary coloring and shading. I was able to blend the colors a bit with some Yasutomo water colors. These are by far my favorite water colors as they have a touch of shimmer.

I decorated a second Deflecto pouch for April. This time, I ran the washi tape horizontally.

I used my craft knife to gently cut a slit through the tape so that the full pouch opening can be accessed. Instead of stitching the 2x2 cardstock square to the pouch, I adhered it with glossy accents. This seems to be holding well.

Using a Project Life Planner seems to be a good solution for me. I am learning to use it as my primary place to store memorabilia, specific cards I wish to use and notes for my pocket pages. I was frustrated last year whenever I discovered something I had missed and wanted to add to my Project Life pages. It was always such a paint to rework the layout design and often, I would just skip using whatever I had omitted. It doesn't look like that will be a problem for me this year.

Supply Options
This posts contains affiliate links when possible. Please shop your stash first, but should you find you need something, consider supporting MSE.

Visit Deflecto Craft Solutions to find a store near you. Or look for Deflecto at

Pocket Life 2015: March Collection by Traci Reed

The elephant stamp was part of a Pinkfresh Studio's kit. I am not an affiliate of PinkFresh Studio but I am a kit subscriber. You can see my review of their monthly kit here.

The leprechaun die cut is a part of the April Floral bundle from the Hungry JPeg. I received this bundle from them and will be sharing projects made with it during this month.

Additional Resources

Previous posts including my 2015 Planner Pages

the My Scrapbook Evolution Planner Love Pinterest Board

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


My week started on a Tuesday and so, as I fell back into a normal routine after a lovely four day Easter weekend, I completely forgot to make my #currentlylist card. No worries though. Today is just as good of a day to do so. With my favorite, well-loved coffee mug in hand, I headed to my creative space.

 If there is one thing I do hoard, it's Project Life cards. It's not intentional. It's just so easy to build up quite a stock of them seeing as how the core kits are so big and I can't limit myself to just one. My plan for this year has been to use coordinating Project Life cards from my supplies in conjunction with the hybrid cards I make using Traci's kits. Since,I haven't seen the colors yet for this month's Pocket Life collection , I opted to play it safe. I chose a black and white card from the Kiwi Core Kit. I didn't want a repeat of the lone green card from February.

I am still loving Kristin's Currently List challenge. I have a few cards that would fit the bill easily, but sometimes it's nice to stamp your own. I just build the card based on the categories I want and the amount of journaling I need to include. Two of the categories in the stamp set often get me thinking of upcoming events. There are a few of these you might be excited to hear about. Currently, I am loving and planning for upcoming online crop events.Meeting other scrapbookers live and in person would be ideal, but this is the next best thing. I love the opportunity to spend the day with friends yet be in the comfort of my own creative space.

The date has been set for the next two live crops at Get It Scrapped. The first will be on April 18th and the second one will be on iNSD, May 2nd. Both of these will be our usual informal event. We're literally just hanging out together and scrapbooking. Those of us who create paper pages will be sharing our webcams. Digital scrapbookers will be sharing their screens.You can watch us work live and in person. You are also welcome to share, though it's in no way mandatory. Having a microphone is a plus. It's always nice to put a voice to a face, especially since most of us have been chatting together via the message boards and social media.

The crop is free to join as is membership to the Get It Scrapped forums and community. To participate, create a free account with Get it Scrapped. Additional information regarding how to access the crop will be posted in the member forums. Generally, we begin the meeting around 10 am EST. Don't worry if you live in another time zone. We have ladies joining in from all over the world. It's not unusual for the crop room to be open for a full 12+ hours.

The DigiScrap Geek Podcast will be kicking off iNSD weekend with a live show on Friday, May 1st at 12pm EST. The show will be aired via Google Hangouts but if you can't make it, Carrie will be sharing a link to the recording. For more information, stay tuned to the DigiScrap Geek or join in the discussion over at the DigiScrap Geek Facebook group.

So many exciting new things going on and as usual, so much to share! I hope to see some of you at one of the live events. Don't forget to sign up!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Today, I will be spending time with my family, relaxing and enjoying the day together. With that time, comes many great photo opportunities and when the celebrating is over, a desire to scrap those pictures. I took a little time to look back over some of my past Easter layouts. I enjoy seeing how the way we celebrate has changed now that my son is older. I also look through these pages to garner inspiration for this year's Easter pictures. I thought I would share a short round up of some of my favorite Easter Layouts.

This is one of my favorite two page layouts. I used some of the cardboard superhero egg holders as embellishments on the layout.

We bought the same egg dying kit the following year. Once again, I used some of the egg holders as embellishments. This time, I also snagged a few of the stickers.

I decided to use an Easter napkin to create the background for this layout. It's not a napkin saved from the time frame of the photo, but I still felt it had a lot to add to the theme of the page.

I love finding props for my son to pose with. It's nice that he is willing to comply with my silly requests. Plus, I really don't think he minds when the prop is a lollipop with a silly face on the end of it.

Another example of my son humoring me by taking his photos with the Easter Bunny.

Now that my son is older, I miss the days of egg hunts and the excitement of Easter baskets. I still put a little something in my son's basket every year. Though the days of egg hunts are over, it's nice to look back on them and enjoy the day talking with my husband and son.I hope that, however you choose to celebrate Easter, you are enjoying a wonderful day with family and friends. Happy Easter everyone!