Tuesday, 28 January 2014

laying it out | london album part I don't even know

I should have finished this album several months ago. I really should have worked on it more. But the fact is that I haven't done anything since November. I got a little stressed last week because I am afraid I will completely forget everything that happened before I finish. I do have my journal entries in Evernote to help me, but I really do want to finish.

So last week I created two spreads. I have to admit that I'm not really feeling it anymore, so I simply copied pages I've already done and just switched the photos and journaling. I figure non original pages are better than no pages at all. Scrapbooking can be like that too sometimes. I am not going to beat myself up about it.

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Here are the single pages that are not full bleed photos:
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(Supplies: Kraft Essentials Paper Pack by Karla Dudley, London Baby Kit by Libby Pritchett, Studio DD Layerworks 326 and 336 by Studio DD)

I've got maybe two layouts to go for day two. Then hopefully I can charge full steam ahead with day three and four. Maybe I can get it done by June! LOL!

Monday, 27 January 2014

project life | january weeks

With some rather big changes happening in our lives at the moment I spent the bigger part of the last two weeks trying to get used to everything. It's going to be a good thing when it's all said and done, it's just that some changes take some time to fit in to the everyday of things and it drains energy. I had a few days when I really needed some encouragement, and thankfully there were plenty of good people who were willing to give me just that. I am so very thankful.

I tried to get myself into the photos a bit more this week by using the timer on the camera. I haven't done enough of that since I started, and I want to incorporate more photos of us than just selfies. I kind of like it even if I'm not dolled up in any of the photos. But hey, it's regular life we're talking about here, right?

I have also been trying to get some photos of our home into the layouts in the past couple of weeks. They don't really tell any particular story but I like to think that it will be nice to look back on in the future - what our home looked like in the years of 2013 and 2014.

This is the week of January 13th:
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(Supplies: Becky Higgins Project Life Maggie Holmes, Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight, Becky Higgins Project Life Just Add Color Overlays, Becky Higgins Project Life Just Add Color, Chris Buttons by Karla Dudley, In Stitches Neutral Basics by Robyn Meierotto; Homebody by Shannon McNab)

This the week of January 20th:
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(Supplies: Becky Higgins Project Life Music, Becky Higgins Project Life Coral, Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight, Becky Higgins Project Life Rad Dad, Becky Higgins Project Life Just Add Color, Chris Buttons by Karla Dudley, In Stitches Neutral Basics by Robyn Meierotto; Homebody by Shannon McNab)

Friday, 24 January 2014

laying it out | reading list

I'm trying to get into reading again. I had to take a break this autumn and winter because my brain simply didn't function properly and it was impossible for me to focus on anything for more than three minutes at a time. But now that I am doing better, it's time to crach those books open again!

So I made a small reading list for myself, about books that I want to read (and have wanted to read for quite some time).

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(Supplies: Story time by Anita Designs, Challenge Me - Vol 4 | Template by Dawn by Design, This Year 2014 Journal Cards by Scotty Girl Design)

I started off by getting a book that isn't on the list, ha! It is by Jillian Flynn, though so that might be considered ok.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

photography | wall art thoughts

We have a wall of photographs in our house that is supposed to be changed up every now and then. The thing is, it has been changed once since we moved in. Once. That's since October 2006. Clearly not what we had in mind. Granted, many of the photos on the wall are perfectly lovely. Others went on there temporarily because the frames had to be filled. Then that temporarily turned into forever. What can I say, time flies.

(Sorry for the crappy picture, I took it yesterday with my phone when there was far too little light in the house - damned winter)
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But lately I've been thinking that I want to take them all down and put up one big photo instead. I like the idea of one huge oversized photo with a fat passepartout in a nice simple silvery frame, covering a large part of that wall. Kind of like this.

I have been looking for a while for a suitable photo in our EHDs and surprisingly it seems more difficult than could be expected after years and years of clicking that camera button. But maybe, just maybe this one of a street in Rome could be a contender? Feedback is very much welcome!

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Monday, 20 January 2014

project life | week of january 6

One of my friends decided to start doing Project Life at the beginning of the year, and one of the tips I gave her was to try to avoid getting behind. I hated catching up on a couple of weeks at the end of last year - it was difficult to really remember everything, and it stressed me out to make so many pages at once. But here I am, only a few weeks into the year, and look at that! I am a bit behind! It is only one week (and I have actually started it) so I am not going into full panic mode just yet. But my opinion still stands; falling behind means making it harder on yourself.

So I haven't finished last week's pages but I do have the pages for the week of January 6th.
The week consisted of clearing out the last of Christmas (tree), baking, visiting my workplace, dinner with family, and walks in the rain. I also got the most wonderful gift from a precious friend. It was a pretty good week with several ups and even though there was tough moments as well I am positive I am heading in the right direction in my life.

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(Supplies: Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight, Becky Higgins Project Life Cinnamon, Becky Higgins Project Life Just Add Color, Autumn Bliss by Anita Designs, Take Note, Chris Buttons by Karla Dudley, In Stitches Neutral Basics by Robyn Meierotto, Homebody by Shannon McNab)

Friday, 17 January 2014

laying it out | introspective scrapping

Just to prove that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I'm coming up to the surface to post a layout that I made in a contemplative mood.

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(Supplies: Pocket Journal Card Templates | Notched by Simply TIffany Studios, Be Thankful | Mini Kit by Robyn Meierotto, Curiosity by Pixels and Co designers)

Being on a journey of trying to come back from exhaustion and depression means looking real hard at some harsh truths about myself. At the moment I'm at a place of trying to embrace that, trying to enjoy learning more about myself and how I function. That is pretty much what was on my mind when I created the layout.

The photo doesn't really, in itself, have anything to do with what I am journaling about. I took the photo over a year ago at an outing with my husband and father. It was a very windy day with dramatic waves and clouds. It took a lot to get any good photos standing on the slippery rocks at that beach. But in the midst of all that drama I can now sense calm and what I remember is a silent determination to not get it right, let a lone perfect, but to at least try. That is exactly what I want to be able to apply in my life as a whole. There might be drama all around me, but if I can be secure in my own self and know that no matter the outcome I am me, then I think I would be really happy. So with that I feel the photo fits perfectly.

See how deep and soul enriching scrapbooking can be? Shapes, and colours, and patterns in a digital file encompasses the difficult premises of this thing called existance. Amazing isn't it?

And with that, I bid you a good weekend. I will be back Monday with two weeks of Project Life!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

project life | my process and approach

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I have had a couple of questions lately on my process for Project Life, seeing as my pages are a little different from most PL pages. I have written a bit about my process before, which you can read about here, here, and here, but I thought I would show and talk a little more in depth about how I go about it (get yourself a drink, because this will be a long one).

Just a note: In this post I assume you have a basic knowledge of digital scrapbooking, like clipping masks, brushes, and workiing with layers, to fully understand everything I am talking about.

Templates
What I knew from the start was that I wanted something simple and sleek, with lots of white space, but still layered to look more like regular scrapbook pages than PL pages. That was what I had in mind when I started. So I made a couple of templates for myself right from the getgo that I use every week and only moderately change. These templates makes it easier for me to keep up, and to not have to spend more hours than I need to every week. Some of you have asked, no I don't have these templates for sale. If that changes in the future, I will let you guys know!

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Here is what one of the templates look like (as it happens it was the one I used for the page above); as you can see they are very simple and basic.

With the templates ready it is easy for me to add, photos, cards and papers by just clipping them to the layers, or hiding the coloured shape layer and exchanging it with a card. The small circles and rectangles act as placeholders for the few elements I want to add. I hide those once I add my elements. Since I have aldready put in the text layer, all I have to do when I make my weekly page is highlight it and write my journaling. There's one way of making it easy on myself!

Photos and journaling
It is important to me to have the photographs as the main focal point, so I always have at least three or four photos on each page. With each week getting a spread (two pages) I have plenty of room for photographs - sometimes I feel too many!

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This was one week where I felt less was more!

I also make sure to have one spot for journaling on each page. I use PL cards for these spots but change the size up a bit from time to time. One spot on each page is enough for me as of right now. Maybe further down this year I will need more. If I do, it will be easy for me to use one of the spaces that I originally intended for filler cards.

I use different cards and papers to fill the rest of the 8x8 area of my 12x12 pages that I am using. I have a white stroke on all photos as a frame to make them stand out from the papers and cards. I mix rounded corner cards with square edge shapes to have some movement in the pages, and I try to include a banner on each spread to keep it consistent.

Cards, papers, and elements
I use only Becky Higgins Digital Project Life cards and papers, but then also add small elements like buttons and tags to make it more "real". Those are usually from Pixels and Co. The reason for this is that I CT for both of these sites. It makes it easier on me to use stuff that I already have. Also, I really love the stuff I use, which of course is super important.

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This week I embellished a little more than usual with ribbons and tags that matched the cards and papers.

I use the same tan background paper on all layouts (from the Midnight Collection), and I use black and white on all layouts as the basis of my design. Then I change the colour scheme each month to separate them from eachother. So following this idea I used teal for August, yellow for September, pink for October, Green for November, and red for December. I am aiming to use tan/cream for January. I love this idea, but I usually hate every particular colour at the end of each month. I know this makes it harder on myself but what can I say, I am an organisational nerd!

I tend to gravitate to graphic patterns as I think they are universal and go with pretty much everything. I find this particularly true for the black and white patterns. That is one way of making it more easy on myself and again, to keep the pages consistent throughout the album.

You may have noticed that I use brushes on the background every week to add some depth to the pages. These are mostly cut from cards, but also some that I have created myself as well as found as freebies on the internet at some point in time. I think they are important to the overall look of the page.

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On these pages I have used both black and white brushes to add depth.

More
So that is my approach to creating my Project Life pages. If you want to read some more about my process I have a few more posts on different topics:
My approach to photographs
My approach to using multiple kits
My first two pages, and talking about my ideas for the project

Monday, 6 January 2014

project life | first week of 2014

And I'm plugging away with my weekly pages. Most of my first week of the year was spent resting and taking it easy, but there were a few really good moments worth documenting.

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(Supplies: Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight, Becky Higgins Project Life Wellington, Becky Higgins Project Life Coral, Chris Buttons by Karla Dudley, In Stitches-Neutral Basics by  Robyn Meierotto, Homebody by Shannon McNab)

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(Supplies: Becky Higgins Project Life Midnight, Becky Higgins Project Life Wellington, Becky Higgins Project Life Coral, Chris Buttons by Karla Dudley, In Stitches-Neutral Basics by  Robyn Meierotto, Homebody by Shannon McNab)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

laying it out | hello 2014

Here is my my goodbye to a tough 2013 and a hello to a hopefully better 2014.
I chose to do it in a festive and upbeat kind of way, documenting the wonderful lunch we had on New Years Eve. It was a great moment to just be the two of us together, to toast life and things that make us happy, and put an end to heartbreak and bad days (or at least vowing to try). It was a precious moment.

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(Supplies: Hipster Holiday - New Years by Mommyish, Favorite moments {templates} by Anita Designs)

Friday, 3 January 2014

laying it out | using older photos

So here's the thing: my life isn't always very eventful. I don't always have lots of new photos and topics to scrap about. What I do have is several photos from specific events and occasions that I never got to use (you know when you have hundreds of photos from one day and it's impossible to scrap them all when you first document the occasion). I also have photos that I want to use again and again simply because I feel like I want to document the occasion again from a different perspective, or because the photo just fits a feeling I want to convey.

So with that, I want to plug using older photos on new layouts. I want to do it by showing you these layouts.

Photos from January 2013, which I first used in this layout
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(Supplies: Pocket Journal Card Templates | Originals by Simply Tiffany Studios, Forever And A Day | Templates by Sabrina's Creations, Be Thankful | Mini Kit, Snippets - Real Life by Robyn Meierotto, Anchored | Elements by Gennifer Bursett, Torn and Stitched by Mye De Leon)

Photos from July 2013, which I first used on this layout
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(Supplies: Curiosity Collab by Pixels and Co designers, Life Cards by Karla Dudley)

I have used all of these photos before but I really like them, and I really like to remember the moments where they were taken, so I am not going to let the fact that they have already been used stop me.

I also feel like the new layouts are completely different in both feel and look. I think going back to older photos can be a good thing. I really like the soft colours and the modern, graphic patterns that I have used on these layouts and I think that compliments the photos so well.

As you can see, I have chosen to not journal on these new layouts. This time I wanted to focus on the feeling that these photos give me and just keep it simple. That can work very well especially since they have already been scrapped before.

And just for the heck of it, here is a new layout with new photos!
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(Supplies: This Year 2014 Brushes by Scotty Girl Design, Saccharine | Patterns by Dawn by Design, Expert | the page template by Karla Dudley, Under the mistletoe {elements} by Designs by Anita, Elemental: Frames V.1 by Gennifer Bursett)

Thursday, 2 January 2014

p52 | finishing up 2013

I am all about finishing up my projects these days. Today it's Project 52.
Like I have said a couple of times before, I never thought I would be able to finish this year. Granted, the pictures this year might not have been as spectacular as the previous couple (four) years, but I have 52 pictures. I did, with very few exceptions, take at least one each week.

So it is with great pride that I post the last six photos of Project 52 for 2013.
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Will I do this again this year? Likely not. I am thinking about trying Project 12, with one photo for each month. But then, doing an album with just twelve pages doesn't sound so much fun, does it? I don't know. I will have to mull it over for a few days (or weeks) before I decide what to do.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

project life | last weeks of 2013

I finally managed to muster up the energy to actually sit down in front of the computer and do my project life pages for the last few weeks of 2013. It's been rough for me these last couple of weeks, getting ready for Christmas, doing the actual celebrating, and then trying to recover. Last week I did little but move between the bed and the couch (which you will see on the spread below).

Here are the last three weeks of December and 2013, with an extra spread for Christmas Eve.

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I started my Project Life in August, so I have another eight months to go before I can say that I've "finished" but with the new year I feel it's fitting to do a bit of evaluation. Keeping up with this project for 22 weeks is something I am really proud of.

These last few days, creating these eight pages, I have started to doubt my set up with the layered photos and papers. Partly because falling behind, even a little bit, means a lot of work trying to match everything up and not doing too much repetition. But partly also because I am starting to grow a little tired of the format. Can I do another eight months of this? Maybe these feelings are mostly due to making eight pages in a few days? I hope so. I don't want to tire and quit in a few months!

Also, I am quite happy to not have to do red again when making my next page! Ha!

Happy New Year everyone! Let's hope it's a good one!