Monday, December 7, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Scrapbook World

Welcome to December! A month full of holidays, family get togethers and of course, December Daily. Though I am still not really committed to a daily documenting project, I have to confess that seeing my feed full of holiday photos and projects is very inspiring. With the beginning of Hanukkah, the happiness felt by my Jewish friends has been infectious.The urge to create is definitely there, but so too is the need to just bask in a warm glow of thankfulness for my family. I am searching for a good balance of creating Holiday projects and being present in Holiday moments.So for today, I have just one simple project to share ( and a bit of Christmas Inspiration) and then I am off to spend the day with my son.

When I saw Traci Reed's latest kit, I knew I had to use it right away. Christmas baking has always been an important part of the holiday season for us. This year, we're still settling into our new home and haven't had a chance to bake just quite yet. Rather then stress myself out and try to bake something now( because the holiday baking scrapbook kit is just too cute not to use ASAP), I chose to go back and find some undocumented holiday photos. I found a couple of pictures from when my son was quite young and was pleased to be able to mark "scrapbooked" on the photo folder.

Fresh From the Oven by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Bazzill, Digital Kit: All Year Round: Confections by Traci Reed Designs and Jady Day Studio, Jewels: Imaginesce,StudioCalico

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the holiday season, remember that you don't have to document everything in your present right now. Reminiscing is good too. Let whatever memories are meant to happen this month happen as they may. There is no rule that says your December documenting project for 2015 must be finished this very month. Be in the moment and should you find yourself with a little creative time, grab some older photos and scrapbook away.

I will be popping in and out on the blog and MSE website this month but really, I don't have a planned editorial calendar. That will resume in January when I am more settled and ready to tackle 2016. Until then, I hope you enjoy December with your friends and family. Here's to wonderful memories and a nice finish to 2015!

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

All Year Round: Confection by Traci Reed Designs and Jady Day Studio

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holiday-Christmas on Pinterest. Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holidays-Journal Your Christmas Inspiration on Pinterest.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The DigiScrap Geek Podcast- Documenting December Episode 44

I think the last time I caught up with an episode of the DigiScrap Geek Podcast was prior to my international move.( For anyone popping into the blog for the first time...I just moved to the UAE and it's awesome!) Initially, we had planned for my move to happen sometime in August and the podcast took a break. We thought everyone needed one and I was sure I would get moved, get settled and back on track. That just didn't happen. One thing led to another and the move was delayed quite a bit. Suffice it to say, there is a lot paperwork to do properly ( mostly in regard to flying three cats into several countries).In the end, everything lined up for us to go during the last week of October.

 I am still settling in a bit and hope to be in my new apartment soon. Meanwhile, I had a great time recording the latest episode for the DigiScrap Geek Podcast from a hotel room. It was so nice to hear the voices of my fellow co-hosts. We had a hard time breaking away from idle chit chat in order to get the show recorded. We did meet and work on some show ideas and yes...there is another show to be edited.

What we also did not count on were technical difficulties. This led us to make a quick decision. We could wait and continue to try to work things out so that we can post to our normal podcast hosting sites/apps. OR, we could post the show in audio format to the Digiscrap Geek Blog for you to listen to. We opted to go ahead and post. Why make you wait? Especially since the material is somewhat time sensitive.You can listen to the episode here on the DSG website.

We talked about our plans for documenting December. I tend to take a casual approach which works well for me. I wrote a little about my thoughts on documenting December in my December Daily Reality Check for 2015. I go into more detail during the podcast.

How will I document my December?

I am an Alumni of Journal Your Christmas with Shimelle. I will be using some of her prompts this year, once again. Last year, she added videos in each day. They were short and enjoyable to watch.I am looking forward to those prompts again this year.

I was also happy to see that Get It Scrapped had added additional material to the Your December Story Class. This class was the one and only time I ever managed to complete a full December Documented style project. I will be using materials from this class once again. ( I do talk about Get It Scrapped a lot because I love them and the community so much. Just an FYI, I am a design team member and an affiliate.) Would you like to know more about the Your December Story Class?
Click here to view more details

Since I have made a HUGE life change this year, I don't foresee myself spending money on holiday scrapbooking papers. On the off chance that I get a little money to spend, I did make a little wishlist. Remember, to check your stash of supplies first and to keep in mind that holiday sales might be just around the corner. IF you just can't wait and you suddenly feel the urge to buy Christmas scrapbook stuff, you are welcome to use the links from some of my affiliates( In fact, I really appreciate it when you do!).

Holiday scrapbook supplies wishlist:

View blog post for supplies
How will you be documenting your December?

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holidays-Journal Your Christmas Inspiration on Pinterest.

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holiday-Christmas on Pinterest.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Quick and Easy Scrapbook Layouts Featuring 3 Photos

Today's scrapbook inspiration features a roundup of scrapbook layouts with three photos. Each of the layouts previously appeared with sketches in article published on MSE. The designs are all quick and easy to use which gives you the ability to make a scrapbook page in under an hour.

Lab Exercise 3: Happy Halloween! 

Lab Exercise 27: Reverse Engineering a Scrapbook Sketch

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board 3 photos on Pinterest. Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Scrapbook Sketches on Pinterest.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Planner Resource Round Up and True Scrap Planner Love Replays

It was just a few weeks ago that I was sitting at home (back in the Bahamas) enjoying True Scrap Planner love.I had a great time and was able to augment my planner skills a bit. I must say that I enjoy stamping and playing in my Erin Condren planner even if it is meant for website business. I know that I want to go back and watch some of the True Scrap Planner Love replays. I found many of the classes to be quite helpful.

 If you missed True Scrap Planner love, you're in luck. The replays are now available for purchase. I also wanted to share some of my planner posts with you...just in case you missed those( or if you are planner obsessed like me and just want to look at anything planner related).

                                How to make DIY Bookmark for Erin Condren Planner

This post includes a video tour of my Erin Condren Planner.

The live event might be over, but you can still enjoy True Scrap Planner Love!
Class Replays are now available! 
Click here to view more details

Use code SAVE50 to get the bundle of six classes for ONLY $29

 (that's a HUGE savings of 75%!) 

Sale ends on November 6th.

 Feel free to post links to your favorite planner resources in the comments below (especially anything Kawaii and/or involving cats). Like I said... I am planner obsessed and always on the look out for new things.

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Planner Love on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#ThowBackThursday Scrapbook Style- Fall

Last year was the first year we had seen such a large harvest display at our grocery store. It's nice to see a little bit of fall in the Caribbean. I originally made this page for JBS Mercantile. I love the wood grain paper( it is an actual sheet of wood veneer). The design is a bit different from what I was making at the time. I was inspired to layer some puffy stickers under part of the photo matte.

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Seasons: Autumn Awesome on Pinterest.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The December Daily Reality Check 2015

The December Daily Reality Check 2015 with My Scrapbook Evolution

It would seem that it is time for the annual December Daily madness. Once again, pictures of enticing kits filled with holiday scrapbook supplies hit our inboxes. Inevitably, someone always posts some variation of the same questions in a scrapbook forum or group:

Should I or shouldn't I attempt a December Daily?
Has anyone ever successfully completed one? If so, what was your creative process?
Which kit should I buy?

I could say that I am tired of hearing those questions, but my attention is always piqued. I read on, curious about what others have answered and I end up asking myself if this will be the year that I "officially" make a December Daily. This year, the answer was almost yes. Almost.

What was it that made me almost say yes this year?

Namely, a large part of that answer has to do with our big move to the UAE. I know we will have a lot of new adventures this year along with a new apartment to decorate. The holidays won't feel the same as they have always been (especially after 9 years in the Bahamas). I have been considering whether or not I want to try a new way to document them. Now the question popped into me head concerning what supplies I would use.

 As I packed up my scrapbook stash, I came across two large (and quite overstuffed) bags of holiday supplies. Some of those supplies had been in my stash for over a decade. It's true that most Christmas supplies are timeless. I have told myself I won't buy more until I use them all up (I am very budget conscious). Inevitably, I end up with a few new bits and pieces courtesy of my monthly kit club subscription (which I then tend to use first) and the rest of the supplies in the bag just sit there.

When you have to spend a lot of money to move something halfway around the world, you have a tendency to really consider its worth to you.Looking at those bags, I felt a sense of guilt over the amount of supplies I had stuffed into them. I felt like I HAD to use them. I realized that keeping them was, in essence, an attempt at making me use them up. Let me say that again to be clear. I WAS MAKING MYSELF USE THEM.

So what's bad about that? What's bad about using supplies that you spent good money on? Nothing! Except that, in a way, the act of forcing myself to use them was now making those same supplies unappealing. In a lot of ways, choosing to hang onto those bags of Christmas Scrapbook supplies had dampened my creative spirit when it came to scrapbooking the holidays. In fact, I found that, in some cases, I was avoiding certain layouts altogether because I didn't want to look through those supplies. That stash of Christmas paper no longer held much value for me because I resented it.Resenting scrapbook supplies sounds a bit harsh and quite a bit ridiculous, but well, there you have it. I did indeed resent the products in those bags and how I felt about them was preventing me from being creative.

What should be done with scrapbook supplies that were no longer appealing?

I needed to place some sort of value on my Christmas Stash in order to make them usable once again. I pulled out all of the supplies, sorting them by brand and type into piles and began an assessment.You can do this too (even if you aren't making an international move). Sort your piles by a method that makes sense to you.

The first step is to gather any supplies that have already been used on a previous layout. Many times in the past (from both kits and collections) I have ended up with duplicate sheets of paper. Sometimes I don't mind that as I truly love the design. Other times, I find that once I have used that print, I feel less inclined to use it again. If you feel the same inclination, take these pieces out of the main pile and set them aside.

Next, go through the supply pile and select anything you no longer love. Set these aside as well. Once you are done,go through the pile for a third time. This time, you are looking to identify supplies with patterns or colors that are similar to recent Christmas products that you have seen for sale within the last year.This leaves behind products that fall into a maybe category.

Now comes the hard part...the moment in which you let go of some your supplies. I confess that this was a hard step for me. The big trick was quite simply to view those supplies in any form other than "the stuff I spent money on and have to use." I first dealt with supplies from the duplicates pile and the product I no longer love pile by combining them into one. This big pile received a new name. I dubbed it "product for donation".

 I got a box of large zip loc bags and I began making craft kits from those piles. We have a local charity which has craft classes for kids and also a shop through which they make money to help out the community. As I made the kits, I imagined the products inside them being used by happy children or being sold in the store. The act of making the kits was great motivation for me to donate them rather than just tossing them into a box (which felt like throwing money out the door). This shift in thought gave a new sense of value to the products. I can tell you that it felt great to donate them.

Now that you have culled your supplies a bit, it will be easier to handle what's left. Whether you buy a new Christmas collection this year or purchase a December Daily kit, you should be able to easily add in some (hopefully quite a bit) of the items that are similar to recent Christmas kit releases. It is probably best for you to look through this pile prior to purchasing any new products. You can get a feel for what color or style of kit you might want to buy. In some cases, an older item may be so similar to something new that it can serve as a replacement thus allowing you to stretch what you have to spend farther.Take anything out of your cart that can be replaced by an old item in your stash.

The "maybe" pile will be the most difficult to deal with. It took me three passes to decide on which items made the cut and which didn't. For anything that you decide not to keep, sort it into the donation kit bags. If you remain unsure, place the maybe items into a bag all of their own. Unless you have a big move coming up, you don't have to get rid of it right away.

Should I buy a December Daily Kit or should I make my own?

 Personally, I always struggle with the cost of the December Daily kits and the massive amount of holiday supplies in them. I know I will never use it all (even if I successfully complete December Daily). After packing and sorting my supplies for donation, I have come to the conclusion that I don't desire to overbuy supplies any more. I saved a small amount of Holiday supplies to take with me on the move. I am hoping my kit club (I am a Cocoa Daisy Subscriber) will offer  some holiday themed items in December. I am also hoping that Traci Reed Designs will come up with a new digital kit from which I can make some Holiday layouts.

Just typing that last paragraph  makes me realize I might be swimming in more supplies than I could use. Try writing down what supplies you have and what you think you might want or need. Think about how many layouts you made last year (whether pocket pages, 12x12 or mini albums) and consider which supplies might be used. You don't need an exact plan, but having a rough idea can help you succeed in documenting your own December Story. Be realistic. Can you really bake dozens of cookies and then sit down and make the page about it the same week? Are going to try to keep up? Are you really going to have the time to pre-make layouts or would you be better off waiting to finish your December pages until after the holidays? Being honest with yourself about what you can accomplish will prevent you from feeling guilty for starting a project you can't keep up with.

So what is my plan?

Keeping it simple is the best approach. My album will consist of my usual mix of 12x12 scrapbook layouts and pocket pages. I will focus my attention on being a part of the events rather than on just documenting them. I give myself permission to scrapbook about the holidays after it all happens.

A few years back, I wrote about my take on December Daily. I had a simple game plan and I did end up making a lot of great holiday pages.I successfully participated in Your December Story with Get It Scrapped. In 2014, I replicated the game plan and added in a few of the prompts from Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas Class.These classes will once again serve as my main source of inspiration for my December Pages.

 I haven't scrapbooked all of the Christmas photos, however, I guess you could say that overall I am very happy with the way I document our family Christmas and the month of December. Assessing how I use those holiday scrapbook supplies has also helped to realize what my personal hang ups are. Now that I know, I have solved my problem and can move forward with ease.

Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holidays-Journal Your Christmas Inspiration on Pinterest. Follow My Scrapbook Evolution 's board Holiday-Christmas on Pinterest.