Monday, September 30, 2013

A Man And His Cat... Such Sentiment!

It's Monday and you know what that means around here... time for some Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge fun! This challenge also wraps up a full and fabulous month of STAMPtember! We couldn't say goodbye to the festivities without getting a little sentimental... so, that is your challenge this week! Craft something using your favorite sentiments stamps.

As for me, I have some fun photos of my hubbs and our new kitty and I know just the stamp set to use... Simon's exclusive For The Record! And, my favorite Kelly Purkey stamp too:
 I have marked out where I will place my photos and now I just simply stamp all about my page:
 Ah yes! With the photos back in place, I am loving that stamped background!
 A few paper strips:
 And then it's stencil time!
 With my paint dry, the paper strips stitched down, and title all set... it's time to play with the embellies:
With those all set, it's time for the usual journaling and pen work:
 Ta Da! A Man and his cat...
 Full of sentiment!

See how easy the layout came together? By starting with a fun and playful background full of stamps... the rest just came together!

Alrighty! Now it's your turn.

Go get crafty and link-up with us. I can't wait to see what you make!
Remember... Every week a random winner is chosen to win a $50 spending spree from How awesome is that?

Here is a complete supply list for my layout:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Goodbye Class... Hello Story!

This week wraps up the past three months of Hello Story with Ali Edwards over at Big Picture Classes. I must admit, it was the second teaser video that completely sucked me into taking this class. I love journaling on my layouts and was intrigued by the idea of taking this further... exploring new ideas, and digging deeper. Having never taken a class from Ali before, but realizing full well that my style is REALLY different than her's, I wasn't completely sure what to expect.

Well, it is a major understatement to say that I was BLOWN AWAY. Like, out of the water, completely awe-struck. Every. Single. Week.

Each Monday, we were presented with a new "story structure." 
A premise on which to build a layout. 
A perspective from which to approach the page.

Not to mention, several process videos, inspiration boards, and free downloads and printables! Also, Ali presented all of her ideas in such an adaptable way that I never felt like they wouldn't work for my style. 

The ideas presented were always thought provoking. As in... I am going to have to ponder this for a few days before even beginning a layout.

At first, this was way out of my comfort zone as I am usually a dive in with my eyes closed, start throwing paint around, and see what happens kinda gal. However, I forced myself to succumb to the slower more thought-based process. Once I was a few weeks in, it was becoming more and more comfortable to approach a page this way.

The idea of really focusing on what matters, what stories really should be in my albums, and what stories really are worth telling... well, it was priceless for me.

I am indeed a story-based kinda scrapper. I want my albums to make sense as a whole. I scrap out of order, but file all of my albums in chronological order, mostly following Shimelle's system.

Approaching layouts with an intended story structure really fine-tuned this for me. I now feel that I have a stack of layouts that are rich with story... not only on their own accord, but that add to the story of their albums as well.

I completed 20 layouts during the 12 weeks of this class and I can honestly say that I LOVE each and every one of them.
Let's take a look at some of those, shall we?

First up, a layout about my wedding dress. This dress was worn by 3 generations and 3 women in my family. It is currently in my closet awaiting the next lucky lady :)
This one below, lists every job my dad has ever had. He retired just recently and it was more fun to get this down on a page! He loved it so much, he asked if he could have it. Of course! It now hangs in his den and a digital copy is printed and in my album.
This next one is a fun side-by-side timeline of my husband's life and my life from birth to present day:
As I mentioned previously, Ali provided many printables and such. This layout features a fun fill-in-the-blank form that captures some personality quirks:
I also did one for my oldest daughter where she filled out the form herself:

And I helped my middle daughter with her's:

Here is another fun fill-in-the-blank style page that captures the important details of a birthday celebration:
Many of the layouts involved deeper thoughts and more personal journaling.... this is one of those:
Here is one that contains envelopes full of business cards from my prior jobs. Such a fun way to document the path I took to get where I am today:
Many of the prompts allowed for stream-of-conscious style journaling, which I love doing. This page was first built and then completely covered by a full-size sheet of vellum containing my journaling... to symbolize the passage of time and how fleeting it can be:
For this next layout, a simple math equation allowed me to document a fun and unexpected moment in my life... being a guest on the Paperclipping Roundtable!
And the same simple equation provided a great starting point for one of my favorite photos:
I didn't realize just how timely some of the prompts would be and this next one allowed me to document a very monumental and emotional moment in our lives this past summer. This layout is so very special to me...
I was also able to use one of the story structures to scrap a reference page for my 12x12 album about our summer that points the viewer to my project-life style summer mini album that I just finished:
Thankfully, for this next layout, Ali was kind enough to provide a printable pie-chart template. I am pretty sure I would have NEVER been able to measure and cut all of those shapes otherwise! What I love most about this is that it allowed me to scrap some really bad photos in a very pleasing way and to get an important story told.
Maps were the focus of this next one and since we rarely travel, I wasn't sure what to do, but I ended up (upon Ali's suggestion) scrapping why we live where we live. I seriously would have never thought to do that otherwise. And, what a fun ting to have in my album!
This next layout, in a numbered list format, gave me a great start to documenting some of the many reasons we love homeschooling...
I was even inspired to do a double page spread for one of the class prompts! If you are a regular reader here, you probably know how rare those are for me. But, I just love how this one turned out. I was also really inspired to incorporate some techniques from one of Celine's videos found here on Two Peas:
This next one is also a great example of something I would never have thought to scrap without the prompts from this class. Just look at those contrasting pictures! HA! Yes, that 18 year old on the left there, would have never thought she would end up where that 35 year old is on the right. Oh, how glad I am that I have ended up here!
And finally, another stream-of-conscious style layout with my "rules" to live by. Some of them are serious and some of them are silly.
And that's exactly what this class was... the perfect mix of serious, deep-thinking... mixed with lighthearted scrappy fun!

I am sad that it is coming to an end, but thrilled beyond belief that I have all of the layouts above to file away in my albums. 

Thanks Ali!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


That's right! I made it for three whole months... and I am super proud to show you my completed "Project Life" inspired summer mini book!

If you missed the previous posts about this project, you can find them here:

Project WHAT?!?!
Still Documenting

And now for the final spread of August:
For some strange reason, every time I load the image below into blogger - it takes on a strange brown tint. So frustrating! It's not like that in my photo editor and didn't do that when I uploaded it to my Two Peas Gallery. Argh! Anyone know what could be causing that?

(Edited to Add... Figured it out! Woo Hooo! See, the image looks nice? A quick search on the Blogger help page and I found out the Google Plus, which is connected to blogger, added a default "auto correct images" feature. All I had to do was uncheck the box and viola! Better looking pict! So - if this happens to you, you will know what to do! YAY!)

Anyhoo... moving on...

I decided to go with more full-photo pockets for this month. I had less photos than July and many of the photos I had included contained ample space for journaling directly onto the print...

I also put a fun new app to use this month... Photo365. I shot one photo everyday and this fun app loaded them into a little calendar that I then printed out at 4x6 and made into this insert page:
It really is fun to see a month of photos like this!
And then it flips over...
To this! The back side of this insert provided the perfect opportunity to highlight one of my favorite photos of the month:
And, I even got to put that adorable October Afternoon girl with the umbrella to use!
We had lots of celebrations and adventures in August. Many of them will appear as full 12x12 pages in my regular albums, but it is super fun to see little snapshots of them all in one spread like this.

I had two pictures of our rainy day coloring, so I included a little interactive photo flip book:

And then I kept it simple for the back page as this will be seen through the acrylic back cover:
And there we have it! A summer documented:

Full of lots of tidbits and details:

I really had fun with this approach. And now, I am looking forward to journaling away in my Fall Mini!

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