Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015 Roundup


What We Did:

07. Visited Mae-Mae and Papa and ate some “Papa Donuts”  08. Decorated Valentine’s Cookies  14. Valentine’s exchange at Daycare  16. Mommy and me day – Breakfast, Visiting Mommy’s doctor, and visit to the Discovery Museum  21. Another day at the museum (David’s new favorite place)  22. Newborn photo shoot at the Lowry’s  28. And yet another day the museum!

Watched:


Maleficent on cable – I really enjoyed this one. Very colorful and imaginative and a great spin on a different side to Sleeping Beauty.









Gone Girl on Demand – I read this book so I knew the plot already. Kind of spoils the surprise element, but they did a great job with the movie. Very dark and twisted, much like the book.







Read:
 
When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde – a very touching story of a man in his late forties, with no children and an unhappy marriage, who finds a newborn in the woods and saves his life. He feels an immediate connection to him that would last the rest of his own life and eventually bring them back together. The boy has a tough time growing up, but when the boy and the man are brought back together, the man tells him he will never give up on him. Something not a lot of troubled teens hear often and a great lesson to the reader about patience and true love. 



Still Alice by Lisa Genova – this was a very sad and depressing book, but was also a great read. It is about Alice, who is a Phd Harvard professor, who in her late forties gets diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. You feel how particularly troubling this could be for someone who has made their career on their advanced cognitive ability, which is now going to all slowly disappear. It touches my heart in particular because my grandmother had dementia, though later in life than this, and this is a disease that is hereditary. Alice has to face the possibility that she has also passed this on to her kids and what torture that can bring to her peace of mind. In the end, it raises a good question, does love in the heart or in the head? Will she remember the love she has for her family, even if she can’t remember who they are? It is a really great question that eventually has to find out.










Listened To:

Lots of music has been playing in the car and in our house. David asks for dance parties now and we all dance around the living room. He is starting to say “I like that song,” or “That’s Daddy’s favorite” when he hears songs we listen to together played. He is also starting to sing along to choruses of songs, even when it is the first time he has heard them. We are going to have be more careful about what songs we play around him from now on!

The Stories:














  • We visited Mae Mae and Papa up at their house. Mae Mae broke her ankle just before Christmas and has been house ridden for several weeks, so we popped in to provide them with some company. Of course, Papa was prepared with some donuts. Papa is known for giving each of his grandkids some donuts when they come visit, just like his dad gave us ice cream when he came to visit us. I love that David has these moments with his grandpa and that the term powdered donuts does not exist for David. There are chocolate donuts and then there are “Papa donuts.”

















  • We bought a membership to the Children’s Discovery Museum this month, and have already used it three weeks in a row. They have lots of imaginative play areas for kids, and David just loves it. His favorite is playing with the “vacuum,” even though he was deathly afraid of it the first time he went there. It is a giant wall of tubing that he can put different objects into and they will shoot through the tubes and out the top. It’s amazing to watch how much he enjoys himself there.
  •  David’s language continues to develop and impress us. He has started using more descriptive words like “yellow bus” or “big truck.” His sentence structure seems to be developing as well. He is putting the correct words in order and putting together some pretty lengthy sentences. It is incredible how much he grows and learn every day! 

 











  • I applied for a design team this month. It’s a little premature since I have not been very actively blogging or posting on boards, etc for a while since Two Peas in a Bucket closed. But I made it a goal for myself to get active again this year specifically so that I could apply for more design teams next year. It would be awesome if I could make this one and I was glad I put myself out there. There was a question that was asked about what really motivates me and I had to say what I have experienced lately with David. When he sees me on the computer or making scrap pages, he tells me “I wanna see pictures.” And we will sit together and look at photo slideshows while he gets excited naming off all the people in them and places we were, and I get excited by seeing his excitement. Just experiencing his excitement has made me realize all the work I put into taking photos and documenting our lives, is SO worth it!
  •  Family time is hard to find sometimes. With me having a crazy amount of work to do these last few months, I have been spending a lot of Saturdays working, sometimes in the office and sometimes at home. Jonathan got his boat fixed and was able to return to fishing this month (though it pooped out on him again after two trips, ugh!). So we have to make the best of the time we do have. Usually the time David and I spend together contains running errands, so he asks every day now if we can go shopping, though it sounds more like chopping. It’s pretty cool to realize it isn’t just about the going shopping, it’s about the time he gets to spend with his mommy. There has been an added incentive this month since he gets to pick a candy bar if he is a big boy and doesn’t get scared going potty at the store. Now he wants to go potty a dozen times every time we do go shopping. But I like the spending time with mommy version of the reason he wants to go shopping better!









 


  • We introduced a lot of new games into our house this month and David has gone wild with wanting to play all of them. The first was Pop the Piggy, which when he asks for it sounds like “papa piggy.” We also played Elefun where you have to catch the fireflies that shoot out of the elephant’s trunk. And Don’t Spill the Beans came out last week too, though he has not taken as much of a liking to this as the others. Now he asks for “Papa Piggy” almost every night!

 'Til next time!....
 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Project Life In Progress

I am working on my 2014 Project Life album tonight and thought I would post a bit about my work in progress. I am in the middle of placing photos for my November layout, which started out looking like this...



















I was still going through photos in Bridge, which looked like this...



















Thanksgiving was my last event related folder to choose photos from and I still had a few slots to fill so I started browsing my November Misc file. Even after choosing all the photos for the slots, I ended up changing the layout of the photos at least a dozen times before I ended up with this...



















Once I fill December, I plan to go back and fill in cards for July - December. Once that is done, I can stamp and use overlays or word art on the photos, fill the cards with journaling, and then print. I am hoping to finish this before a two day scrapbook retreat in three weeks. Right now, here is what my whole 2014 album looks like...



















I actually took this screenshot as I was still filling photos in so you can see how much I moved around after this. It's pretty exciting to see it all come together!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Welcome back digi pages!

It has been a long time since I have scrapbooked solely digital. But I was inspired today to try and complete something and the computer is definitely the easiest (and fastest) tool I have around. So here it is! It's actually the first layout I have completed in 2015!























I used One Little Bird's The Story Unfolds Kit, One Little Bird's All Scratched Up Border, Allison Pennington's 6 Hours of Freedom alphas for the letters in First (recolored), and I created the little letter stickers for the rest of the title. It feels really good to get something completed! 

Now to print at home or not to print, that is the question!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My Project Life Process


I have used a hybrid approach to my Project Life process for several years. I like the versatility, since I change my mind a LOT. I like that I can use digi kits in multiple ways, multiple times, and make edits to colors or add or delete areas of cards (or create my own). But I also like the dimensional elements of traditional scrapping. So my process has always involved both.

I have organized my photos for several years now using a Library of Memories style, which makes finding photos and sorting through them a piece of cake. They all already contain the date taken as part of the filename so they are super simple to choose for weekly or monthly layouts. 

My filing scheme consists of annual folders with subfolders by quarter, then sub-sub folders for certain events or other non-event specific happenings that I have lots of photos from, miscellaneous files for each month for the random everyday photos, and a folder that contains all of the videos from that quarter. Here are screen shots of what the tree looks like.

Event related



















Miscellaneous



















When downloading my photos, I use a naming convention that follows this format. They are always named with the date (yyyymmdd)_Event name or Misc_####. I initially started this sorting process using the event name first and the date second. I found when trying to make gifts for family on CD/DVD or other digital media, that the files ended up in alphabetical order, which left chronological viewing out the window!  So I switched to the date first naming convention last year and have really loved it!

When I get ready to start a Project Life Layout, I usually open a blank Design A template in Photoshop. I currently use CS5 version but there are definitely newer versions, as well as this working in Photoshop Elements.  I created this template myself but there are plenty of resources out there that are already pre-made for you, like these.



















I go back through my event folders for the month first, usually choosing one photo that best represents that event. Sometimes I really cannot decide and know I want to include more. So I do. Simple as that! If there are a LOT from a certain event I know I want to include, then I know it’s time for an insert and will start a new file in Photoshop using whatever template I want as the base of the insert. Here is a sample of one of my layouts with filled in photos. 














 




I’m generally pretty good about choosing photos. I don’t tend to take too long on that part and usually stick with what I have chosen. I do take a few minutes to move the photos around and find which organization looks most appealing to me. This is another plus side of doing this part digitally. I can move them around as much as I want before printing and make sure they all flow well.
My next step involves choosing a kit. This is sometimes the hardest part for me, since I have SOOOOOOO many digi kits to choose from. I try to look at some of the dominant colors in the photos and choose a kit that works best with those colors. I knew there was a lot of green in my photos, so I looked for green cards in my kits first.

I currently have my kits all organized by designer, then subfolders for each kit. But I also make sure to make a copy of all of all of the cards and papers into a master file that houses ALL cards and papers from all the kits I have so that I can scroll through them all easily to choose a kit. This also makes it easy if a certain kit does not have enough cards of a certain color and I know I just need one more of a certain color, I can quickly scan over all the cards and find one that matches my needs. Here is a screenshot of the kit organization:



















I usually choose a kit by first scrolling through the 3x4 filler cards. They are usually a good representation of the color schemes within each kit. Once I find a kit that works with the color scheme I need, I go to that kits file and choose all of my cards from that file. This is definitely the longest part of the process for me. I sometimes start with a certain kit, then completely change my mind once I start laying it out against my photos and start all over again with a different kit. Even once I have decided on a kit, I sometimes have 3-4 different options of cards in a certain spot before I finally decide which one works best. But so far, even though it is a time consuming process, I really love the freedom to be able to play around like that as much as I want. I am getting better at knowing what works for me and trying not to spend too much time during this process. Here is what my file would look like after the cards are filled in.



















My next step is to add digi elements, like photo frames or word stamps, on the photos. Since I want these elements to print on my photos, I want them as part of the file before I send to print (or print at home). I really try to balance the elements as best as I can. Using a photo frame on one photo usually means I will also use it on a photo on the opposite side of the layout to balance it. Using an element like the Adventure tag on the photo of my son at the bottom, also means I balanced it with a tag on the top photo with the dog. It can add some color elements too, and also is a great way to fill in “white space.”



















Next, I fill in the text. I generally type out journaling in Word to make sure I can utilize spell check. I will then transfer what I have typed into a text box in Photoshop and overlay it over the top of the journaling card. I will play around with font size and alignment a bit but try to make the font size fairly consistent within the same layout. I generally stick to no more than two fonts, and no more than 2 sizes of that font. A little graphic design trick I learned from the great Cathy Z

I tend to layout the text knowing that I want to leave space for letter stickers or other dimensional elements. When I put this one together, I knew I wanted to add letter stickers to the speech bubble card and something as a title on the card next to it. I also left space to add number stickers for the year on title card. 



















My digi process with the layout itself is then complete. I will save the photos as 4x6 files to send out to print and use an 8.5 x 11 file to throw cards into and print each sheet on cardstock from home. Once everything is printed, I cut out the cards and add everything to the pocket page. I am a fan of the rounded corners so I have been rounding my corners after cutting everything. This does take some time, but I think the outcome is worth it. I may try square corners at some point but I would want consistency throughout a whole album, so I have to be committed to it if I ever go that route. It’s the OCD in me.

The next step of the process is the really fun part for me… adding elements. I have hoarded letter stickers, tags, and little elements for years, and have a very healthy (or unhealthy) amount of elements to add to my layouts. And viola, I am done!  Here is what the final product looks like.

Using my stash of Thickers, letter stickers by Simple Stories, and chipboard Stars by Studio Calico here.
















And tags and MORE letter stickers!
















The End!


Project Life Catch Up Part Trois

And the grand finale of 2012 - Weeks 46-52

Week 47

Using Pink Paislee Country Lane Kit
















































Weeks 48 & 49

Using Crisdam Designs The Story Begins Kit

























Week 50

Using the Mayfield Kit Designed by Lori Whitlock


























Week 51

Using the Wellington Kit by Karen Lewis

























Detail


















Week 52

Using Ali Edwards' Christmas Story kit




Thursday, February 12, 2015

Project Life Catch-Up Part Deux


More from 2012 - Weeks 41-46

Week 41

Using the Snapshots Kit by Karen Lewis




Detail


Week 42

Using the Seafoam Kit designed by Elsie Joy Blaha Cripe



Detail


Week 43

Using the Amber Edition kit designed by Lori Whitlock




Week 44

Using the Turquoise Edition kit designed by Kerri Bradford



Detail


Week 45

Using Baby Edition for Him designed by Lili Niclass



Detail


And even more to come!....