Wednesday, April 30, 2014

:: my why ::

Today, I would like to share "my why". The difficult part is, there really is more than one reason for my obsession with memory keeping. There is all of that surface stuff; I love paper, I love playing with paper, scissors, glue, paint, etc.  I love getting crafty! And that is definitely important. It's one of the ways that I get the stress out, calm down, relax. And that is definitely enough of a reason. This post is meant to put into words all that other stuff; the other whys. 

My Why is because I want to remember everything. There are so many things in my life that I have already forgotten about. So. Many. I can't tell you how many times someone from my childhood as told a story, and I don't remember it at all. So, writing stuff down; capturing the everyday with photos and words is important to me. I could just journal or write it down in some way -- but scrapbooking and Project Life lets me get that "crafty" in, too.  Win, win!

My Why is because time & life moves too fast. This year I will turn 44. Yep, that's MID-FORTIES if you are keeping track. ;-)  I feel 22, maybe 23, most of the time. Whoosh, all that time as gone by and my daughter grew up, my parents grew older, I met my One True Love, I had another child. There are so many things that have happened in the last 20+ years, and I want to be able to see it, and sometimes feel it again. Over and over.  And I want my daughters to be able to do the same, see it and feel it.

My Why is because people die. I could've said that softer. I could've said, "life it short" or something like that, but truth be told, I don't feel soft about it, people die.  It seems like our family has had it's share (and then some) of people dying suddenly, and way too young. Keeping memories doesn't stop that or make it go away. However, for me, it helps me slow down, remember, appreciate. It helps me capture people and events in photos and words and keep them safe. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone except me and it doesn't really matter. That doesn't mean that I only do this for me…

My Why is is getting it all down for myself, for my family right now, and anyone coming down the road that might find it interesting.  I think it would be so cool to have something 'like this' created by my mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother.

I'm passionate about memory keeping. I keep exploring all kinds of different ways to make that happen and keep it fresh for me. What is your why? Please share, I'm totally interested!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

:: i want to remember ::

I want to remember how much Bea loves to dye Easter eggs.

I want to remember that she dyes them all at least once, and usually twice.

I want to remember her bypassing the Easter basket and going straight to egg hunting when she woke up Easter morning.

I want to remember that we were all together on Easter at my mom and dad's house.

I want to remember there was an egg hunt there, too.

I want to remember that Brycen cut his second tooth while we were at Grandma and Grandpas!

I want to remember that Bea fell asleep on the way to G'ma and G'pa Braun's house, while still holding the flower that she had picked for her grandmother.

I want to remember that she woke up just in time for a third egg hunt when we arrived at the Braun's.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

:: beautiful :: (with video)

Hello! Today I have a process video to share with you!  This is my first attempt at a process video with a traditional layout.  Thank you for stopping by and watching my first Project Life process video -- and for coming back!! :-)

Please, please, please, give me feedback!  (I know that the bottom of the LO is not showing for parts of this video and I apologize, thank you to my online friends for encouraging me to post it anyway)!

  • Most of my patterned papers and stickers came from this Scrapbook Circle Kit (Bucket List -- sold out)!  I can't believe I am coming up on three years as a subscriber to these kits.  I still love every ounce of them!
  • I also used this awesome Diana Fisher sketch from the Scrapbook Circle Blog.  Don't forget there is a free cut file as well! There is still time to submit to the challenge (April 23)!
  • Many of my other embellishments, sequins, buttons, etc. (and a couple of stickers) came from the April Swag Bag over at Paper Issues.  I just subscribed to these "swag bags"and I'm really liking what I've received so far!  I will be linking this layout up with PI's current issue "Pitch Perfect" because I used a song lyric (my title). There is still time to link up to this challenge as well (April 27)!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

:: i am shaving yo! ::

I used mostly the Scrapbook Circle February Kit (sold out), adding some washi, paint, mask, gesso, some alphas, and a couple of 2x2 cards from the Just Add Color Project Life Core Kit.

This is a layout that I made during LOAD214 (LayOut A Day) back in February.  I shared a few other layouts that I completed during LOAD in this post and this post. Some of you might be thinking, "LAYOUT A DAY??  Whatchooo talkin' 'bout, yo?" I'm here today to tell you that it is so fun and so awesome, and soooooo coming up again soon.  Here are a few details:

Click here to view even more details and sign up for LOAD514.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 18, 2014

:: project life : just start :: (part two)

Did yesterday's post push you?  Are you ready to start?  Here are a few hints/pieces of advice as you start your adventure (in no particular order).

  1. Start where you are and move forward.  Don't worry about starting on January 1st, or any 'first of the month', or even on a Sunday or Monday.  Just start.
  2. Learn from others, but don't compare. In the beginning, and even now, I continue to be inspired by, and learn from, other PLers.  But I learned early on to accept my weekly spreads for what they are : our documented life. Am I always completely happy with the look of them or my handwriting, or how many photos I took that week?  Nope, totally not. But I am always thankful and happy that I got the week documented.
  3. Don't stress about staying "caught up".  I promise, if you tackle PL, you will get more stories documented then you have ever before.
  4. Make Project Life yours. No matter what, it really can be whatever you want/need it to be. Weekly spreads? Monthly? Doesn't matter, whatever you want.  Start you week on a Sunday? Saturday? Monday? Doesn't matter, whatever you want. Add inserts? Sure, but only if you want to! 12x12? 8.5x11? 6x8? Any of them, all of them, it doesn't matter -- Project Life can be should be whatever you want it to be.
  5. Take lots of photos.  I use my iPhone a lot, because it is always with me.  But I also use my DSLR (because it's awesome). If you forget to take photos, then what? Combine some weeks, use images from the internet (copyright free images, of course), have your kids (if you have them) draw you some pictures, grab some from your hubbies phone, and don't forget your kids images from their cameras or phones, etc. 
  6. Get Inspired! Inspiration is out there! It's all over the place!  Blogs, Pinterest, Facebook, online galleries, kit clubs, You Tube, and even the google.  :-) Don't forget about #2, though!  Everyday, I am inspired by others in scrapbooking, art journaling, and project lif-ing. I watch videos, read blogs and scan Pinterest and Facebook for little ideas here and there. Caution: the internet can quickly become a black hole…you fall in…and there's no getting out.  It's a great procrastinator. Don't forget the part about just starting.  :-)
  7. Take a class. Yep, there are classes out there. I have taken a few online classes related to PL. Day by Day is offered by Studio Calico, and Big Picture Classes has a class called Project Life Lessons. I'm sure there are others! I am actually taking the BPC again as an alumni (it started yesterday, but it's not to late to register and begin).  Classes are a great way to get started, but they are also another way to connect with others that share this interest. It is not too late to sign up if you are interested! Click here for more information about how to register for this awesome class!  Megan Anderson, Annette Haring, and Elise Blaha Cripe take you through their PL  process (all very different). It is awesome, especially for newbies.  Registration closes April 23rd!  And last but certainly not least! Another awesome opportunity is True Scrap Pocket Pages! TSPP includes six different classes all related to pocket page scrapping.  They are all video classes, and you can take one or more of them for $9 each, or a special discount for all six! I love that you can pick and choose which ones fit your needs (if you can really pick and choose, they are all great)! Click here to view more details .The special sale goes on through April 30th -- but don't hesitate -- these are awesome
  8. Build a support system. This might sound silly, but it's really great to have a PL support system.  My support is related to the classes mentioned above, Facebook groups, and Instagram!  I have many virtual and IRL friends that I share with and get inspired from through these forums. I am a pretty social person, and so this really helps me keep going. But most of all, I love that my One True Love is on board.  He often hands me something and says, "You probably want to put that in your book, right?" or even, "You should put that in your book."  I love him so!
  9. Examine your why.  This is probably one of the most important tips (at least from my point of view). What is your reason for doing PL?  What is your purpose? There is no right or wrong answer, there is only your answer.  Since this post is already getting too long, I will share my why with you in an upcoming post!  

Thank you for stopping by! Come back tomorrow and I'll have a traditional layout to share!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

:: project life : just start ::

Are you a "Project Lifer" or a collector of cards? Do you continue to purchase core kits and collect subscriptions, but have little or nothing documented?  I hope this post helps you!!!

I am so lucky to be a part of several Facebook groups, and other online communities that are full of inspiration and helpful hints about Project Life, Pocket Scrapbooking, Life Books, or whatever you want to call this wonderful adventure! I have developed quite a few virtual friendships through this amazing thing called the internet! I consider myself very fortunate to also have several IRL friends that choose to document their family's lives in this same fashion! You know who you are (Theresa, Bridget, Kirsten, to name a few)! All of us do this thing we call Project Life a little differently, and we are all at different places in our PL journey, but we do have one thing in common: We started.

:: just start ::
One of the things that has come up time and time again by "newbies" on various forums is that whole thing about getting started.  "I have all these cards, but I have yet to start" is a common theme! I scream into my computer ---- WHY??  :-)  I do that with a smile, of course.  I want you to do it. I want you to try it out. I want to help if I can. So this post is born.

2013 :: week 1
When I started (January 2013), I purchased one kit (Seafoam), one binder, and a variety pack of page protectors. I was just coming off "December Daily", in fact, DD is part of why I started. I LOVE documenting the everyday. I'm pretty certain that I have almost no completed LOs about birthdays, first haircuts, Christmas, etc. The everyday is what inspires me. I learned that about myself as I worked on my DD.  My favorite parts were those everyday moments that I captured. So, to me, that's what Project Life is all about, documenting our everyday lives so that I can remember everything. My journey to PL, and my reasons why go a bit deeper than that, and I plan to give that it's own post soon!

2013 :: week 3
I admit: I wasn't all that happy with my first few weeks of PL.  I loved the journey, (mostly) enjoyed the process, but I didn't really find the actual final product all that awesome. I mean, when I would look at everyone else's PL spreads, and compare them to mine (something I do not recommend), I didn't like mine. They were just OK. To be honest, looking back, it's mostly because I just hadn't found my style yet.  There are still weeks that I like better than others, always.

Do your scrapbooking LOs look the same now as they did when you first began?  I would be surprised if they did. Mine certainly do not! And neither do my PL spreads. And that's OK.

You know what else is OK? I didn't "finish" 2013. I've written about this before, I know, but I'm going to say it again. I documented more of our lives last year than I ever have. That's my focus. That's my goal. That's my reason. Something I could look at as a failure, (incompletion), is not. It is truly a success (and this really has nothing to do with a 1/2 full or empty glass, trust me, it's all about my reason). It's not like I just stopped or anything, I just missed some weeks.  A bunch even. But it's ok.

I was afraid to start PL, even though I knew I wanted to.  I was afraid to start because of time, mostly. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to "keep up", and even more afraid that I would no longer do traditional layouts. This might not be a fear for you. Maybe you aren't a scrapbooker, or maybe you want PL to replace traditional LOs. That was not the case for me. I love trying new things and that feeling of getting my crafty on, which I find myself doing more of when I'm doing traditional layouts than when I am work on my weekly spreads for PL.  Guess what?  I also did more traditional LOs last year than I have ever done in a year. Not only did PL not make me stop doing traditional LOs, it actually inspired me to do more. Awesome.

Are you on the fence about Project Life? Are you tired of being a card collector?  ;-) I hope that this post, and the posts that I have coming up, help inspire you to just do it. My advice is to not look back.  Start with today, or this week. Move forward. If you want to "catch up" later, fine. If not, fine.  For now just start.

Thanks for stopping by!  Look for another post tomorrow with helpful hints about starting this project.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

:: make pretty things ::

I love it when things just work! That often happens when I start with a good sketch or when I start with inspiring papers. Today I was lucky enough to have both!

This LO is based on a sketch that I got from this fun community that I am a part of called Scrap Happy!

For this layout I used squares from the 6x6 paper pad by Amy Tangerine; her Plus One collection. I purchased the paper pad and quite a few 12x12 papers also part of the Plus One collection from Paper Issues.  I added some washi from my stash and the enamel dots are some that I made with perler beads.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cute the title out of black card stock (Bebas font). I also use my Cameo for "pretty" -- this was a file by Loni Stevens that I downloaded from the Silhouette store. I decided to use the reverse image for "things". I used my gelatos, scrap of white card stock, and a water pen for the background of "things". I wanted to mimic the water color look in so many of the Amy Tangerine papers!

I used my Cameo to cut out these two tags as well.  One tag is just orange paper for my journaling, the other tag was cut from another piece of the 6x6 Plus One paper pad.  The original is b&w, so I added a little bit of color with a yellow gelato and water pen. I used the same papers and technique for the arrow that points to the word "Make" (I cut the arrow with my Cameo, too, using this file.

I love that I got this little "short" story in the books.  I extra love when Bea decides that she would like to make stuff like Mommy.

I am gearing up for LayOut A Day in May (LOAD514). So exciting! I've talked about LOAD in several previous posts, and shared some of the layouts that I have made. Are you interested in joining me for LOAD in May?  It's not too late to sign up!   Click here to view more details about LOAD514 and how to sign up.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

:: stitched : the dark knight ::

I am currently taking an online class through Studio Calico called "Stitched".  If you follow my blog much you probably already know that I love stitching on my layouts! You may also know that I purchased my sewing machine just for scrapbooking, meaning, I do not sew! It was quite the fiasco the first time I tried to thread my so-called self-threading machine. 

I thought I might just benefit from taking a class specifically about stitching on layouts. As always, this class is fun and I have gotten quite a few ideas from it. For this layout, I used both hand stitching and machine stitching.

The circles are a cut file that came with the class (one of the things I always love about classes are the "free" things that come with it like printables or cut files)! I cut it with the Silhouette Cameo and then found various patterned papers to back several of the circles. I also used Gelatos and a water brush to paint a few of the circles, stars, and wood veneer pieces.

I used this Ali Edwards (technique tuesday) stamp set to stamp a few sentiments. (I love her stuff. Always.)

FInally, I journaled around the outside of the layout as a border. I love how this one turned out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

44 by forty-four

A few weeks ago I ran across this post about de-cluttering. Woah, do I need this!  It's Spring. It got me thinking…

I'm almost forty-four. When am I going to be a grown up and get rid of the crap? ;-) The time is now.

So I've set a goal. Between now and my forty-fourth birthday in October, I will de-clutter by getting rid of at least 44 bags of "stuff".

I'm taking Elise's lead, and documenting it here…and I'm not going to lie…a mini book may be in order by the end of this ordeal.

This past weekend I gave it my first go. One of the bags in the photo above will be headed for Good Will, the other is in the trash. I'm not going to tell you which one is full of (mostly) SOCKS.  Yep, socks. Socks without matches (where do they go, exactly?), socks with holes, socks so stained that I would never wear them in public again (so why do I still have them??)!  I am not even going to mention that some of these socks just may have been left over from the sock addiction that I had in the 80s. And they were still in my possession.

Socks were sort of a random way to start, but I had been staring at them for years, and I was just done

I have some specific ideas of how to tackle this project over the next 190 days or so. I hope to share those ideas along with my progress throughout this adventure.

This is what I know now. I know that I am tired of the clutter. I know that my One True Love is also ready for it to go! I know that I will need to break this huge goal down into small parts in order to actually accomplish it. This week it was socks, next week another small, doable, step will be tackled.

Wanna join me?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

..:: project life : week 10 ::.. (with video)

This is my first attempt at creating a process video. The most difficult part : finding a time without distractions that is also a time that it's still light outside!  :-)

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, or if there is something specific that you would like to see in future videos. This was kinda fun.  As long as it remains fun, I will keep making them here and there.  :-)

Week 10 Spread
Week 10 left
Week 10 Right
Thanks for stopping by!

Here are a few video related links:
I blogged here about the journal that I made to keep track of stuff for PL.
I used this app to create a collage on my phone.
March Studio Calico Project Life kit is here.
Cathy Zielske 'spring forward' freebie found here.
Seafoam Core Kit can be found here.
Strawberry Core Kit can be found here.
My post about making my own enamel dots can be found here

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

:: hello april ::

hello green(er) grass.
hello light(er) coats.

hello fresh air.

hello open window (more often I hope).
hello april showers.