Tuesday, 30 April 2013

the boys

I'm finally getting around to scrapbooking my photos from last year's trip.

Since taking that photo of the guys in their onsen robes, I knew I wanted to do something with it; their expression was just classic!

I mainly used the papers from Citrus Twist's March Project Life Kit, though the horizontal piece with the sketches on it was from my own stash.
(Yes, this Project Life Kit came with 12x12 kraft cardstock so you could create a traditional scrapbook page in addition to your Project Life spreads.)

In my week 14 layout for Project Life, you got to see all the blues, greens and greys that were in the March kit, but in this layout you get to see the red, purple and kraft paper that were also included.
Two colour schemes in the one package; it allows you to create all sorts of pages that has completely different feel!

And may I say that I especially love the crosshatched paper. It came from the 6x6 Studio Calico "Darling Dear" paper pad and I nearly didn't want to use it. But I've learnt from Shimelle that if you don't use a much loved paper while you still love it, you most likely won't ever use it.

Lastly, the title was made from alphas in my own stash, and there was minimum journaling as I thought the photos more than told the story.

I completed this spread entirely on my own, no conscious use of any sketches at all. But I've stared at it for so long, I can't even tell whether it looks balanced or anything. If someone could tell me whether the page needs more embellishing, or whether the photo mat should be straight, I'd really appreciate it actually.

Friday, 26 April 2013

project life: week 14 / and a little question for my readers

Whew, I'm catching up.

I'm writing this post while the layout for week 15 sits at my desk waiting for me to add the last bits of journaling and embellishments. 

I'm actually a little bit afraid of what I would write about after I'm all caught up. Would I fall back into my old routine of MIA for 6 months... or more? I do hope not. This was actually quite fun.

The only hard part is getting the photos of the layouts taken. With Winter approaching here in the Down Under, there's less and less daylight and it's usually full dark by the time I get home from work. 

This means I either have to get up way earlier to take the photos before work (not happening), or do it all during the weekend.

I've been doing the latter, and that's been working fine for me in multiple ways.

1) If I have all the photos I need for a week's worth of blog posts photographed and ready to go, it makes it much easier for me to just write snippets of posts while I'm on the go. I'm kind of a visual person and I need my photos to tell me what to blog about.

2) Also, batch photographing (is that even a word?) means I get to do all my editing in one lot.
As you know, I've been listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable, and on more than one occasion, they've advocated batch processing to improve effectiveness, whether it's editing photos in batches, printing in batches, or journaling in batches. I've found that to resonate with my non-creative processes as well.

Of course, batch processing worked when I had a pile of completed layouts for me to photograph and a week's worth of blog posts all planned out. Now that I'm kinda caught up, I'm gonna have to get cracking with the scrapbooking so I have more stuff to write about.

Anyway, onto the actual project life layout (thank you, to all the readers who are still with me after that rant):

This week's layout was created with the March Project Life Kit from Citrus Twists (look at all those caps) which arrived earlier in the month. I choose to use the blues and greens, along with some neutrals from the kit for this layout.

My cat decided she wanted to sit inside the oven after we left it open to cool. She was actually sitting inside the oven when I went to get the camera, but a black cat inside a dark oven doesn't photograph well. So I had to wait until she was partially out to snap this shot.

That's the problem with owning a black cat, they blend in so well (especially when the owner loves black furnishings).

During the week, I went over to my Bestie's house and she made me dinner. She's a fantastic cook, so I just had to add pictures of her creations in my layout. I also used some of the brushes I got from Jessica Sprague's Motography class as overlays for the photos.

I love how photos look with words typed over it - it's just a matter of figuring out the right font for each photo. Oh, and actually pre-planning what to write before printing the photos - which I'm actually quite bad at.

As I mentioned before, my Studio Calico subscription was activated at the same time as my Citrus Twist kit arrived in the mail, and I just couldn't help adding in a screenshot of the activation notification email - yes, I am a little ticked about the whole situation. It would be interesting to compare the two kits when the SC kit arrives.

Question for my readers

One last thing before you all gallivant off to the next blog. I'm currently seeing an average of 70 hits on my blog per day, and although that may be very little for some people, it's quite a lot to me. And I'm curious to know where you guys come from, and what brings you to my blog.

Dry statistics from Blogger doesn't tell me anything. I want to know what interests you in my blog, what do you enjoy reading. Where did you find me? What things have you enjoyed reading and wish that I would write more about? What improvements do you want to see in future posts?

Please feel free to comment below so that I could improve this blog.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

project life: week 13 - kind of?

I think I like this layout the best out of all the ones I've done so far. I'd purchase and used the Midnight Core Kit, digital edition when it was on sale at AC Digital.

The thing with using core kit cards as opposed to patterned paper is that there are just so much more journaling space! And the midnight kit has basically just black, white and yellow, making it very easy to match with photos.

In the top right 4x6 card, I'd cut around the "Hello There" banner that was actually a part of the card design and had slipped the photo partially under it. I think I first saw this technique in a Two Peas in a Bucket video, but I can't remember which one (if you know, just let me know in the comments so I can't link back, thanks).

The core kit didn't have 3x4 title cards, so I added the words "Project Life" on one of the 3x4 journaling cards instead. I can't remember what font I'd used off the top of my head, but let me know if you're really interested and I'll look into it for you.

The little camera above the date is a Studio Calico camera wood veneer, I thought the page was a bit flat compared to previous layouts, so I decided a little bit of dimension won't hurt.

I didn't put a week number in the title, only because my weeks start on a Monday and this spread was a strange Saturday to Friday layout. I've said before that I wouldn't be too fussed; as long as the documentation is there.

On the 31st, I attended a high school friend's wedding. I didn't manage to capture any nice photos of the ceremony, so all the photos in the layout were from the reception. The venue was so pretty, and newly weds were so lovely, there were plenty of photos to put into my layout.

Photo booths also seem to be the thing for weddings now, I've been to a couple of weddings already where that's what they used instead of disposable cameras. I'm guessing it would produce much better shots!

The cool thing about this photo booth was that it printed two copies of each photo. One is for you to stick into the wedding book along with a message to the newlyweds, and one is for you to keep. I remember we all took two of every photo in a previous wedding we went to, just so we can keep one of the copies.

Of course even with two copies, with group shots like these, who gets to keep them?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

playing catch up (part 3 - final)

So here's March, and the end of my "catching up" series. I know we're into April now, but all the following layouts were completed on a week by week basis and I should (hopefully) have them all up by the end of the week.

I have again returned to Teresa Collins' "She Said" collection for this layout, and I think I was a bit more successful in making the colours work with each other this time around.

Of course it helped that I attended an engagement party where the colour theme was "Pink", so that matched up very well with the patterned paper.

By the way, in case anyone was wondering (or worried), the left-most 3x4 photo is of a shaved green-tea ice cream dessert from Dessert Story in Chinatown, Melbourne. It's actually really good, despite the dodgy photo. Those less adventurous could try the peanut shaved ice-cream. Yummy!

Still trying to figure a cleaner way to add journaling onto cards. Perhaps actual journaling cards cropped and put over patterned paper?

The SO actually went with me to the Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo (top right card) and sat through an entire scrapbooking class. It's so sweet! Although it could also be payment for the entire night spent playing Talisman (boardgame) the night before...

I really love the glitter foam thickers by American Crafts, big enough to create a proper title, without overwhelming the card. They are really quite shiny and glittery, unfortunately the camera doesn't do it justice.

I really got into The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, like, really really into it. Watched like 80+ episodes in about two weeks. So I couldn't not put a screen cap of "Dizzy Day" (Darcy+Lizzy) in my project life. Actually, this has made me want to re-watch that episode right now...


P.S. I'm linking up today with The Mom Creative.

Monday, 22 April 2013

actual scrapbook layouts

I love the simplicity of Project Life spreads, but I also love the creative designs of traditional scrapbook layouts.

Although I have yet to create a spread completely on my own, here's a couple that I have done (or completed) recently.

I actually made this spread at one of the workshops at Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo back in March. However I didn't have a photo that matched (mainly because I usually take photos in landscape and this LO was for a portrait shot) and it wasn't until recently that I found a photo fit the layout perfectly.

This layout was created for Cathy Zielske's Clean and Simple class at Big Picture Classes. I've never made a hybrid layout before, and I found it quite difficult to glue all the elements down in straight lines. However I did manage, and I look forward to adding more hybrids to my collection.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

playing catch up (part 2)

For February's spread, I used Teresa Collins' "She Said" 12x12 Collection Packs.

The journaling cards are from the "Notecards" cut apart sheet from the collection and I used Amy Tangerine's "Today" roller stamp to partially stamp on them.

I found that the letter stickers from Echo Park's "Today's Story" worked pretty well with the "Flowers" patterned paper. A couple of rub-ons from Kaiser Craft completed the title card.

The SO and I went to watch quite a few movies this month, so to incorporate those into the spread, I took screenshots of the movie posters and added those in. 

Because we watched "Beautiful Creatures" at a Beanbag cinema, I had some photo-booth like photos that I took from my iPhone to stick into my spread as well.

The top left 4x6 was actually a tiny spread I made for our Valentine's Day dinner. Since V-day was a weekday we didn't do much celebration and there weren't many photos. 

Because of all the "white space" on the card I experimented with layering Amy Tangerine's Pigment Remarks Fabric Stickers. On it's own I think the 4x6 card looks pretty good. Unfortunately the rest of the page was quite dark and so it didn't quite mesh.

All the photos on the right side of the right hand page are from a trip we took through the Dandenong Ranges on the Puffing Billy steam train. It was someplace we'd wanted to go but never had the time.

I mainly used my iPhone's Hipstamatic app (which I love, love, love) but perhaps I should have chosen another "film" than was less red...?

I like using kits on my spread, it saves a lot of time not having to find coordinating products. But for this spread, I think I might have relied too heavily on these papers being from the same collection and didn't really think about whether individual cards matched each other. In the end this layout felt a little bit jumbled to me.

But I did read somewhere (though I can't, for the life of me, remember where) that we create so many layouts with Project Life, there are bound to be some that we're not too keen on. And that's completely okay. Instead of getting hung up on it, it's best to just learn from what we didn't like about the spread and move on.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Shimelle Laine is re-running the scrapbook remix class!

Yes, two blog posts in one day, I'm that excited about this!

I was listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable this morning (which, by the way, I love - I'm working through from episode 1, though every now and then skipping up to the latest episode when it's out) and I heard that Shimelle Laine would be restarting her Scrapbook remix class.

For those of you who don't know, Shimelle Laine is one of Two Pea's Garden Girls, and does weekly videos as Glitter Girl.

Here's the class description:

Scrapbook Remix is an online scrapbooking class that shares the secrets to mixing patterned papers of all kinds and then creating a range of pages with this combinations. 

We’ll talk colour, pattern, scale, size, technique and more. The class includes both PDF and video prompts: a total of twenty full-colour PDFs and eight videos over four weeks. 

In each PDF prompt, we start with a different paper collection, then analyse it and remix it with other papers and embellishments to create four or more different looks. 

The video prompts include a mix theory discussion (showing exactly why some patterns do and do not work well together) and the step-by-step process for creating specific scrapbook pages. 

All the featured layouts are brand new (I do show a few existing layouts as examples in the theory discussion, but just to illustrate a point here and there). So if you did the numbers just then, that’s more than eighty never-before-seen scrapbook pages! You’ll see plenty of my work but also that of some of my favourite scrappers who have joined me as Remix Guest Artists. That way you’ll be sure to see a variety of styles, including single pages and double, single photos up to many, small photos up to enlargements and all sorts of embellishment.

Scrapbook Remix includes 

  • Twenty full colour PDF prompts emailed straight to your inbox 
  • Eight corresponding videos you can watch online 
  • Private class forum for all participants to chat and share their work 
  • Permanent access to all class materials
  • A few other surprises along the way 

Just a note: this class is normally available as a self-paced class, but for this one time Shimelle is rerunning the class.
What meant when a class is "rerun" is that the email prompts+PDFs (which had been disabled but available as an archive in the self-pace class) are reactivated. It also means that the forums will experience a surge of activity again, as new people sign up and old students revisit the page.

I'm going to sign up for the class, would you like to join me?

The class restarts on Monday, so if you're interested in the class, go to Shimelle's blog to find out more.

playing catch up

When I say catch up, I'm actually talking about catching up on my blog posts. I've had a very productive week and have completed a few Project Life spreads. So over the next week I will be posting quite frequently about the pages that I made.

Rather than trying to create weekly spreads in retrospect (and this is before I started taking notes for Project Life), I made month-in-review spreads instead. I'd already decided that I'm not going to worry too much about keeping things "one week per two-page spread". Although it would be the general format I'd follow (if only to making page planning easier), if things goes over or under, I won't be too fussed.

January is the perfect example. I couldn't actually remember what else I've done during that month (and I didn't seem to have taken many photos), so the one-page spread is mainly about my trip to the Aquarium. As I said, not too fussed.

I know the photos are less than stellar. We were at Aquarium After Dark, an after hours event staged at the Melbourne Aquarium. Since it was a night time event, all the lights had been dimmed to accommodate the aquatic animals. This made for quite dismal shots, but the event was interesting enough that I didn't want to miss out on recording it.

I just love how well the papers from Today's Story worked with all the blues in the photos. I didn't think I should add any more colour to the spread, so I used Crate Paper's Newsprint Sleigh Ride Thickers for the year. The month was then created from the alphas on "Photo Freedom: Volume 1" sticker sheet.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

citrus twist kit - march project life kit

I've been meaning to post about this about a week ago - I seriously need to schedule some weekly blogging time!

My March Citrus Twist Project Life kit has arrived!

I can't wait to start playing with them!

I should mention that on the day I received this kit, I also got notified by Studio Calico that I'm finally off their waiting list and can expect to start receiving their kit next month.

Ack, blow to my budget! Definitely no more shopping until I've decided which kit club to stick with.

Oh, should I also say that I've recently discovered Shimelle's Best of Both Worlds Scrapbooking Kit?

Instead of having to subscribe to a monthly kit, Shimelle posts a shopping list of coordinating items she'll be using for the month onto Two Peas in a Bucket and invite others to join her.
It's such a great idea! You get to add to or subtract from the list as you desire - there's no locked in subscription!

The problem though is that stock gets sold out so quickly on Two Peas and international shipping can get so expensive. But who knows, once I've narrowed down on my kit club commitments I might try out Shimelle's list.

Monday, 15 April 2013

fraser island spread

Following from my last post, here's the rest of my pages from my Brisbane trip over Christmas. I really need to get my workflow organised, I created these pages ages ago but I never got around to photographing and posting them.

I'm really loving the colours of the Today's Story paper pack by Echo Park. In my last spread I used a lot of the pinks and the aquas, in this spread I used mainly their greens and the yellows.

Just like in my previous spread, I used the 6x12 section of this divided page protector to showcase a series of shots taken by my SO. The spread might look a bit unfinished, and it is. I'm thinking of adding some journaling in the top right hand corner of that spread, just not sure exactly about what yet.

The 3x4 zig-zag card and the yellow "Remember When" card in the spread above are both from free project life printables that American Crafts released in celebration of Project Life's HSN debut. 

I didn't print them out properly, so they were a bit smaller than 3x4. Instead I backed them up with the grey cardstock and used them as a photo matt plus journaling card.

What I've recently found though, is that my Epson Photo 915 (yes, I know, it's old) doesn't print straight. Like the photos are not in line with the sides of the paper (I print my photos on an A4 page and then cut). When I cut with my Fiskars paper trimmer, I always find that I can't just align the paper on the cutter and slice, one corner of it would be chomped. I wonder whether it is something I can fix? Any suggestions?

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