Category Archives: Ideas

Journaling Sources for Older Events

I am so glad I looked into the whole Project Life Movement. I often get hung up on how I want my page layouts to look and this takes a lot of the stress and work out of that process for me, allowing me to get more memories captured! I also love being able to put several unrelated events together in a way that makes sense so that the memory is still captured when normally they may not make the cut to get a page of their very own.

Project Life

I am still scrapping my pages digitally. I am also not strictly keeping each two page spread as just one week’s worth of time covered. Some of them span two weeks’s time and I won’t hesitate to have them span three weeks’ time if necessary (due to a lack of photos, events, etc.)

The layouts I am posting today are strongly influenced by these beautiful pages by Maegan Birr.

Because many of the layouts I am putting together are from many months ago, I am using several different resources for my journaling.

Facebook
Now that so many people update their statuses and upload their photos to Facebook as events are happening or shortly thereafter, it can be a helpful source for writing about your daily life and photos many months or years down the road. I simply browse to my timeline, scroll to the year/month and copy and paste my statuses in as journaling onto my scrapbook page.

Project Life

Personal Blog
I have a personal blog that I use for longer updates about my kids and family than what I put on Facebook. Even though I don’t update it as often as I do my Facebook status, it still contains many memories and more in-depth journaling for my pages.

Project Life

Personal Calendar
If my Facebook Timeline and Blog don’t contain a lot of information about a week that I am trying to scrapbook, often a peek at my personal calendar will help jog my memory or, at the very least, give me a glimpse of the events we participated in.

Project Life

All of the scrapbook pages on this post were created around 9 months after the actual events/weeks they represent, but using these three methods allowed me to still get adequate journaling about the people, events and memories I wanted to capture.

Project Life

What sources do you use for your journaling and/or to jog your memory about an event?

My 1st Project Life Layout

I have been eyeing layouts from the whole “Project Life” trend for a few months. I am really drawn to the clean layout style that most of them present, along with the ability to add multiple photos to a layout that aren’t from the same event. I have such a hodge podge of photos from different days/events that I don’t want to necessarily create individual pages for, so after pinning several layouts that inspire me to Pinterest, I decided to jump in and make a layout for myself.

Project Life, Weeks 1-2
Credits: Kit used is Amy Jaz Design’s “All Around Town,” Arrow from Jady Day Studio’s “Silly Silly Bo Billy” kit.

Page 1:

Project Life, Weeks 1-2

Page 2:

Project Life, Weeks 1-2

Honestly, these pages took me all afternoon to make. But that is partly my own fault since I decided to make my layouts from scratch rather than using one of the templates out there. And I tend to be pretty nit-picky about making things line up just right. But I am very pleased with the result. These have a lot more journaling than I originally thought I’d be able to include, thanks to my old Facebook status updates and blog posts. And even better – these are the first layouts I have scrapped in months! I hope the creativity continues.

I think I will do some more layouts like these in the future. As mentioned before, I love that I include so many pictures and pieces of our lives on one page that normally wouldn’t warrant their own scrapbook layout.

Have you tried your hand at making a Project Life layout? What do you think of this latest scrapbooking fad?

Free Printable Scavenger Hunt Cards for Easter

For Saint Patrick’s Day, I found some fun and free printable cards on the Family Fun website to create a scavenger hunt. (Image is linked up to the original source if you want to download too!)

Free Saint Patricks Day Scavenger Hunt Cards

To start the hunt off, I upturned some furniture in the playroom and scattered green sequins all over the floor so that it represented leprechaun mischief. Then, right near the chaos, I had taped the first card, that was supposedly written by the mischievous leprechaun, to set them off on the hunt. The final clue was hidden with a handful of candy (the treasure).

My daughter and her friends loved it. LOVED IT. So much, in fact, that my daughter created her own scavenger hunt for me a few days later! She got up early in the morning and put it together while I was still asleep.

For a writing assignment at her homeschool co-op yesterday, she was supposed to list something she was looking forward to on Easter. She wrote that she was looking forward to another scavenger hunt. Uh oh. Guess we’ve started something here! So I created some scavenger hunt cards with an Easter theme.

I think what we’ll do is hide an egg along with each clue. It will make searching for eggs a little more fun. Instead of a bunch of candy, I may do fun things like cute barrettes, lip gloss and other girly things.

Close-up of one card (each one measures 3 x 2.5 inches):
Free Easter Scavenger Hunt Card
Credits: Cute bunny and heart brushes were created by Graphics-Illustrations

The free printable is an 8.5 x 11 JPG or PDF (your choice). You can import the file into Photoshop and use the text tool to type out the clues on each card before printing. The free download can be found on my Digital Scrapbook Freebies page.

Free Easter Scavenger Hunt Card

Hope you have a Happy Easter!

Facebook Cover Photo – Free Template

Have you seen the new Facebook Timeline yet?

Example from Introducing Timeline:

Facebook Timeline Cover Example

One of the first things that struck me when I upgraded my profile to Timeline in mid-December was how versatile the large cover photo could be for anyone who enjoys using Photoshop. Since it is also the first thing people will see when they visit your profile, why not personalize it?

Here is what I did for Christmas:
Facebook Timeline Cover Example

And then just a few quick changes for the New Year:
Facebook Timeline Cover Example

I have created a free Photoshop template to get you started in customizing your own Facebook Timeline Cover Photo. You can use it in the same way you would use a regular digital scrapbook template. Simply add your photos, background and embellishments and then upload to Facebook.

You can click on the preview below to be brought to my page of free downloads.

Facebook Timeline Cover Template Free Download

Once you have the Facebook Timeline layout, it is really easy to change your cover photo. Simply hover your cursor over your current cover photo and select “Change Cover/Upload Photo” and choose your new design from your computer.

How to change your Facebook Timeline Cover Photo

I hope you are having a Happy New Year!

Using Pinterest For Scrapbooking (and Other) Inspiration

When I feel like I am in a scrapbooking slump or when I am looking for some motivation to create a new layout, one of my first moves is to check out an online scrapbook gallery. Browsing through so many creative layouts often provides me with some inspiration or ideas to create a layout of my own.

If I run across a layout that I truly love, I find myself wanting to bookmark it so that I can return to it again in the future. I have tried several different methods of bookmarking my favorite layouts. First, I tried just using my browser’s bookmarking capability. That quickly became overwhelming, even after I created individual folders to contain them in. Next, I tried Delicious. I stuck with this one for a year or more and did appreciate that I could add and search on keywords for my bookmarks, but it was still cumbersome since I would have to actually click on each bookmarked link to open it up in my browser to view and see which particular layout it was. Then last year, I stumbled across Tumblr and was excited that each of my bookmarked scrapbook layouts actually appeared as an image. And I could follow other people with similar interests. I was with Tumblr for a year and thought I was happy…until a friend introduced me to Pinterest.

Pinterest has become a new online addiction for me. It does everything (and more) than I had hoped for from Tumblr and Delicious. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it is basically all about visual bookmarking. According to their website:

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

I can create and organize my own folders (called boards) of bookmarked images (called pins) in any manner I like. I have boards for scrapbook layouts, craft ideas, homeschool ideas, recipes, home decorating ideas, dachshunds and many more.
My Pinterest Boards

I can also follow people who have similar interests. Or if I choose, I can follow just their individual boards that I am interested in. For instance, Pam Beasley might have two boards on her profile. One of scrapbook layouts and one of sports. I am not a fan of sports but I like her taste in scrapbooking, so I can choose to follow only her scrapbook layouts board instead of everything she pins. All activity from the boards I follow will show up on my main page, where I can easily repin anything I like to one of my own boards.

All pins are automatically linked to the original website/blog where the image was located. For instance, if I pin a recipe I find online, I can click on the pinned image to be brought back to the website/blog where the image was pinned from so that I can read the actual recipe. (Note: be sure your pins are from direct blog post rather than the main blog itself so that you are brought back to the original post rather than only the top level of the blog.)

Pinning a photo from any website is so simple. Pinterest has a little bookmark you can put right on your browser’s bookmarks bar and when you are on the website that has the image you want to pin, simple click the Pin It bookmark and you can select the image and which board you want to add it to. Done and done. In fact, it is SO simple that I think scrapbook freebie finders could use it. Instead of them having to save and recreate freebie previews and links on their blogs, they could simply pin the freebies they find into a folder in just seconds. I’ve even started a freebies folder of my own.

You can assign keywords to your pins so that others can easily find them when searching. I try to always make sure I add the keywords of #scrapbook #layout to the layouts I pin.

As of right now, you do need to request an invite from Pinterest in order to create a profile and start pinning. I am not sure how long they are in getting back to you, so I would recommend having someone you know invite you so that you can get started faster. If you want an invite, just leave me a comment and I will be happy to send you one.

The Daily Digi has a great step-by-step beginner’s post on Pinterest here if you are interested in learning more.

Do you use Pinterest?

Follow Me on Pinterest

Super Mario Brothers Birthday Party

My daughter is crazy for the Super Mario Brothers games. Adrianna draws pictures of the characters, daydreams about the characters and talks about the characters all the time. So we decided to surprise her with a Super Mario Brothers themed birthday party for her 6th birthday.

She knew she was going to have a party, she just was unaware of the theme that we had planned for her. She was very excited to invite her classmates and friends – the first time many of them had ever been to our house.

To start off, I made some custom invitations. Mario, of course.
Mario Invitation

I also made some Mario hats using some plain red hats I found at Walmart by gluing on a Mario logo that Greg and I made (also in Photoshop). We also bought a bunch of self-adhesive mustaches from Oriental Trading Company.

Mario Party

I talked my husband, who is more artistic than I, to draw me a picture of Mario on poster board, sans the mustache. Greg also drew and cut out a bunch of mustaches separately so the kids could play “Pin the Mustache on Mario”. Greg made a play list using various songs from the different Super Mario games throughout the years to play during the party, which definitely added to the day.

Mario Party

Goomba (made from a template found here)
Mario Party

Koopa Troopa (made from a template found here)
Mario Party

I also made cupcakes and cupcake wrappers to look like 1-up and power-up mushrooms.
Mario Party

Planning a party is a lot of work! Greg and I were up past midnight, three nights in a row, getting things ready. My sister and brother-in-law also came down a night early to help cut out the block templates (for the bricks and mystery boxes) and to help hang everything up. So thankful for their help!

Mario Party

Mario Party

When the morning of the party arrived, Adrianna could hardly wait to go downstairs. She didn’t hesitate to put on a Mario hat and mustache for me. And she just happened to have her Super Mario Brothers pajamas on already.

Mario Party

Mario Party

Mario Party

Mario Party

Mario and his many mustaches from “Pin the Mustache on Mario”
Mario Party

Most of the Super Mario Brothers at the party. ๐Ÿ™‚
Mario Party

Each child got to take their mustache and Mario hat home with them. They also got a gold mystery box filled with gold-wrapped chocolate coins, mushroom erasers and a mushroom ring.

Mario Party

Babies don’t like wearing mustaches.
Mario Party

It was a fun party and my daughter seemed to enjoy it very much. Now I just need to make some Thank-You cards for all the generous gifts my daughter received. Mario themed cards, of course!

Free Digital Scrapbook (LAYERED) Quick Page

Happy New Year everyone! I have a little Digital Scrapbook Quick Page to share with you all.

Have you ever come across a quick page that you really liked, but you wished that perhaps it had room for one more photo? (This is me all.the.time!) Or maybe you wanted to change out one of the papers or embellishments to make a place for journaling or a different paper or embellishment? Welcome to LAYERED Quick Pages.

Although Layered Quick Pages have been around for awhile, I haven’t run across too many. I hope they gain in popularity soon, as I love the extra flexibility they give me. You can use the different layers as clipping masks, much like a template, should you desire to change out the paper layers with other papers or even additional photos. You can also hide layers that may not work with the photos you plan on using.

In your download file, I am including the normal PNG file and I will also be including the layered PSD file for you to play with, should you so desire.

If you have never played with a Layered Quick Page before, there is a tutorial at The Daily Digi.

Sweet Child of Mine - Free Digital Scrapbook Layered Quick Page

You can click on the preview above to be taken to my full list of freebies available for download. No waiting, no 4shared. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the layout that I used to create your quick page.

Scrapbook Layout - Sisters Together. Friends Forever.

Don’t forget to pick up the free Sweet Child of Mine Scrapbook kit while you are at it, if you haven’t already done so. ๐Ÿ™‚

Examples of Scrapbook Layouts with Rounded Corners

In my previous post, I had a tutorial on one way to achieve rounded corners on the photos in your digital scrapbook layouts. Today I would like to give a few scrapbook layout examples that use rounded corners not only on the photos themselves but also on papers or a grouping of papers. This is a trick I use often on my own layouts. Sometimes it is nice to not be so square. ๐Ÿ™‚


Credits: Scraplift of a layout by Denise Gormish found here, Kit is Kristen Cronin Barrow and Scrapkitchen Designs – A Mother’s Love

Mickey Mouse Scrapbook Layout
Credits: Kit and QP are both FREEBIES designed by me and available for download on my Digital Scrapbook Freebies Page.

Pumpkin Patch Scrapbook Layout

Scrapbook Layout
Credits: Kit is “Just Us Girls” by RK Designs

Father’s Day Card Idea

I ran across an awesome idea for a Father’s Day card at C.R.@.F.T (Creating really awesome free things) and I just had to copy it for my card to Greg this Father’s Day. I really like how it turned out. I did my best to layout and design the card as if it were an actual Google search. Of course I did it digitally and then printed it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the front of the card:
Fathers Day Card Idea

Then you flip the card over for your search results:
Fathers Day Card Idea

In the “Sponsored Links” section I hand wrote a personal message to Greg after printing the card out.

Scan Those Old Photos Before it is Too Late

I recently borrowed some old photo albums from my parents. In particular, I was interested in perusing through my baby pictures since we are expecting a baby soon and it is fun to compare baby pictures. I was amazed (and very saddened) at how yellow/red the pictures were. Aren’t just the photos of your parents and grandparents supposed to be discolored? Man, talk about making me suddenly feel old! These pictures are only 32 years old (from the late 1970s).

They were in an magnetic photo album popular during that time (the kind with the sticky pages and plastic overlays). As many scrapbookers are aware, older albums are often not acid-free or lignin-free. Acid-free and lignin-free means that the item (in this case, the album pages) has gone through a process to make sure it won’t discolor or deteriorate the photos.

So I decided that I needed to get on the ball and scan in all my photos ASAP. I may not be able to reverse the damage already done, but at least I can capture them before further damage happens. And I can do some manipulation with Photoshop to help with some of the coloration.

But I found that my photos were stuck TIGHT. I have seen a few tips online on how to remove them (including freezing the album overnight, hairdrying the pictures, manipulating unwaxed dental floss underneath the photos, and using a product called UNDO), but I haven’t tried any of these yet. In the interest of saving time, I decided to cut out each entire page and then scan each page in. I scanned them in at 600 PPI.

After scanning, I am importing the scanned pages into Photoshop and cropping around each photo and creating PSD files out of each (so I don’t mess with the original scanned file). Then, I am making repairs to the photos using Photoshop’s clone stamp tool and patch tool to help with any perfections on the photo that happened due to age or the scanning process. I also am using the Variations, AutoLevels, and AutoColor options (all found under Image/Adjustments) to help bring some color variation back to the photos. I do each change on a separate layer so I can mess with opacity and play with the different options to find the best one.

I am sure a professional could do a much more thorough and impressive re-coloration, but I have hundreds of photos to do so fast and easy is the route I am taking. I will be keeping the original scans in case I want to revisit any of the pictures’ restoration in the future. The nice thing about getting these scanned in is that they are captured “as is” and the digital file will not deteriorate even if the original photo continues to do so.

Do you have any fast and easy tips for recoloring old yellow/red photos? I would love to hear any suggestions!

My original scans are on the left with the modified/repaired photo on the right. These are of me at 1-2 months old.

Original Repaired / Edited

Original Repaired / Edited

Original Repaired / Edited

So my encouragement to you is to scan in your old photos as soon as you can, even if you don’t have time to make edits or repairs to those scans now. You won’t regret your proactive prevention of your precious photos’ further discoloration and damage since you will have a digital copy that will be saved for later repair. You can bet that I asked my mom to bring me some more albums on their next visit so I can continue scanning my valuable memories in.

Simplifying Scrapbooking Using Project 365

If I look only at my progress in taking at least one photo a day for the Project 365 resolution, I have to admit that I have failed. Miserably. I have gone through a range of ideas of what to do to salvage the project in my mind.

After my deliberation, it all came down to this: Do I continue with my original idea of making a separate scrapbook album of the Project 365 photos, showing a nice snapshot of our year even though there won’t be a photo every single day? Or do I just give up altogether and just be glad for the extra photos to fill my albums that I might not have taken otherwise?

Option 1 still seemed like a good option, although it would end up being a much smaller album than originally planned. Option 2 seemed a bit daunting at first. Sure, I am thankful for the extra photos but that also means EXTRA scrapbook pages to create, and goodness knows I am already behind on scrapping my photos. So I decided on a mix of the two.

I decided that I would continue scrapping my “photo-a-day” photos, making one layout for the week of photos. Or sometimes 2 weeks to a layout since I didn’t get an actual photo every day. But, instead of having these layouts be placed in a separate album, I will place them into my regular album. My albums are in sequential order, so they will simply be placed in order like any other layout.

After I made this decision, I began to realize how free-ing this will be for me. Here’s why:

  1. Even without considering the Project 365 photos, I often have a lot of photos where there is only 1 shot of an event or day. But if I still continue to scrap layouts that are a week’s compilation of one photo per day, it would be an easy way to get many of them scrapped and journaled without feeling the pressure of making up to 7 layouts that consist of just 1 or 2 photos each.
  2. Sure, the photos won’t be of the same event or same subject matter, but they won’t be expected to be since they will still be part of the Project 365 layouts.
  3. Without the pressure to complete so many separate layouts for the extra photos that don’t have a “place” or a special memory to warrant their own page, I will *maybe* catch up on my scrapping for the year. (haha, if only!)
  4. I will still get that snapshot of our everyday lives with these layouts, which is what I was hoping for.
  5. I am keeping my Project 365 layouts very simple. Uniform background. Simple titles stating the week and dates. Photos. Simple journaling for each photo. I often reuse the same templates and just flip them. Quick and EASY!!

Example:

Some of these photos are ones that I would have wanted to include in my scrapbook album even though I only had 1 from the event. But instead of having to make several 1-photo layouts, I can make ONE multi-photo layout of our week, including journaling. In doing so, I also capture a snapshot of our week in some of the other photos that might not have normally been deemed “scrap-worthy” even though I am glad to be able to look back at them now with this layout and still remember what was going on in our lives.

After getting started with this idea, I have been able to scrap 2 months worth of photos in less than 1 month. This includes my regular layouts and the ones that I put onto my Project 365 layouts. Hooray!

How are you doing with your Project 365 goals, photos, or layouts?