So when I go out to eat at a new or fun place, I grab their business card. It makes a nice supplement to my journaling about the event.
Just because you don't have a photo, doesn't mean life didn't happen.
Sometimes, life moves too fast for us to pull out a camera and capture it. Today, I'm going to share some ways I incorporate journaling instead of (or in addition to) photos in Project Life.
Every once in a while, Caribou Coffee has a BOGO promotion. I usually go alone, so there's no one to share the BOGO with. Lately, I've been passing on the free drink to the person behind me in line. I obviously don't take pictures of random people in coffee shops, so there's no photos for this story, But it is a story that I wanted to document. I saved the receipt, wrote the story, and put it onto a decorated 4x6 card.
I love trying new food. I try to get a photo of any new creations I make, and of course they end up in my PL book (and in my recipe book), but it's so boring to keep writing "I tried a new recipe, it was good" every time I make something new. So I started printing out a miniature recipe card to put in my book. I rate the dish with stars so when I look back, I know if I liked it or not, but I don't have to write anything else.
Sometimes I just have so much fun doing something, I forget to document it. That, or my friends get really tired of me snapping photos all the time. Or both...
So when I go out to eat at a new or fun place, I grab their business card. It makes a nice supplement to my journaling about the event.
Sometimes, there are stories that need to be told but don't need to be remembered or read every time you look through your book. Or maybe you don't want to share this information with everyone who ever opens your book. I had a very difficult day and wanted to write about it, but I didn't want to have to re-read it every time I looked back, so I made a folded journal card, decorated the front, and wrote on the inside. The story is told, and I can choose when to read it again.
So there you have it - some of the ways I use or supplement journaling in my Project Life book. I hope this inspires you to tell your story.
Just because you don't have a photo, doesn't mean life didn't happen.
My mom has a group of really close girl friends from college.
There are 8 of them.
It can be quite intense when they are all together.
The great thing about having a bunch of friends like that is that there is always something to celebrate! Most of their kids are around marriage and baby-having age, so there are lots of showers to plan and attend. They all take turns hosting bridal and baby showers for each others' kids.
Whenever my mom hosts, she comes to me for the invitations (DUH!), and now one of her friends has also started coming to me first for her invitations, too! This summer alone, I've made 3 sets of invites for Carol; one set for my sister's bridal shower, one set for another daughter of 'The Girls' (it sounds like a cult!), and one set for her daughter's friend.
I've really enjoyed making all these invites because it gave me a break from the pile of periwinkle products I had to make for my sister's wedding this summer (another post later - I'm still recovering and taking photos).
When I make invites as a commission for someone, I find out what theme, colors, or preferences they have in place for the event so I have a direction. Next, I create 3-5 prototypes using different papers and designs and send photos of these to the buyer. Once they choose a design (or tweak/combine one), I get crafting!
Here's the invite I made for Carol for my sister's shower:
I actually didn't make any other prototypes for this one and I didn't show Carol ahead of time because she said I could do whatever I thought Erin would like best. And Erin loved them! She always keeps stuff I make for her, she's so sweet!
Here's another invite I made for Carol:
(I put generic info on this one for photographing)
Her instructions were "bright colors".
Here are the other 3 prototypes I made for this order:
The last order came with the instructions "sangria wine red and eggplant purple with matte gold as an accent". Now there's a bride who knows what she wants! Here's what Carol chose:
And while I did make 3 other prototypes, I only made 'dummy' words for one other one:
So there we are!
I am so happy that Carol likes my designs and comes to me for her invitation needs! I hope some of the people who get the invites seek me out as well!
This week's top 5 Friday is all about crafting tools.
Since my crafts tend to revolve around paper, my tools are all pretty tame. I don't do a lot of fancy techniques, but the tools I use have to be good quality, they have to work the right way when I need them, and they have to last a long time.
Here's my list:
* Paper Cutter - I'd be lost without this - I can cut a pretty straight line without it, but it saves so much time! I use a rotary trimmer from Fiskars.
* Corner Rounder - When I started Project Life, I bought a cheap corner punch from Michaels (the blue one - you know the one), but it hurt my thumb to use it for more that 2-3 photos in a row, so I researched and tried different models. I've firmly landed on the Creating Keepsakes corner rounder. I'm not even sure if they make these any more - I got mine at a garage sale for $1.00!!!
* Cutter Bee scissors - small, sharp, precise, perfect (and yellow!)
* Heat gun - this is a fairly new tool for me - I've just begun embossing recently, so I have not had to do much research on heat guns. The inexpensive one from Michaels is working just fine right now.
* Tombow adhesive runner - I am in love with this tape runner! I've never found another adhesive that works as well that is as portable, easy to refill, and easy to find as the Tombow one.
Ok, I'm done.
What are your favorite tools for crafting? (Keeping in mind that crafting could mean paper, woodworking, jewelry, yarn, fabric, photography, drawing, painting, anything!)
I've always been kind of a plannerd (planner nerd). In high school, I used a simple student planner I got from probably Target to keep track of my assignments. In college, I got the official planner for our college (it had the college logo on the front and important campus events already listed inside) and I used that religiously for years. In fact, that's where my color-coding planner system began and where I first fell in love with post-it notes. I used the highlighting post-its color-coded for classes. The assignment would get written down and 'highlighted' on it's due date, then when I completed it, I would take off the sticky so it didn't stand out anymore.
Here's what a typical week look like in my planner before anything goes in it. It's very minimal. I put a strip of washi tape down the middle to break each week into 2 parts - appointments and to-dos.
(I just realized I used the same washi tape for both of these weeks - one is from May, one is not till October!)
I use the outside edge for appointments - things that happen at a specific time or only on a specific day. Things like holidays, birthdays, work schedules, appointments, and events go here. The inner edge of the pages are for to-dos. I use color-coded post-it flags for my to-dos. This lets me see at a glance what kind of week I'm going to have - heavy on personal stuff, work stuff, errands, craft, etc.
I keep all my post-its on a divider in my planner and I have a fly-leaf opposite so I can stick re-occurring events there (like going to the bank - I know I'll need to do that again, just not sure when. So I keep it back here).
The nice things about the post-it flags are;
1) When I'm done with an activity, I can just take it off and throw it away - so satisfying!
2) If I don't get something done on Monday, I can just move it to Tuesday, or Wednesday, or whenever I have time to finish it on another day. And I don't have to keep re-writing it every day.
3) If there is a repeating event (grocery shopping every Monday or paying the phone bill every month), I can move the post-it to the next instance of that event when I'm done with it this week/month.
I also use the slightly bigger notes for lists of things I need to buy or get from a certain store or person. Or things I need to bring to school the next day. Or any small list that isn't a to-do.
So that's the calendar portion of my planner. I've been using this version of it since April and it's worked really, really well so far. I've made a few minor tweaks, but it's pretty much as you see it here. I'm going to make a video soon walking you through my calendar so those of you who like more visuals can see everything!
And if you've read this far, thanks! I know I can be quite verbose at times. As a reward, here's a free download of my planner pages:
It's for half-size paper (8.5 x 5.5), so cut your paper in half before sending it through your printer.
You can decorate it any way you want! That's the beauty of blank planner pages!
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want to see more of my planner or if you want clarification on anything. I hope to be sharing more of my planner in the future, so stay tuned!
Each Friday, I will try to post my top 5 picks in different categories. I may add commentary, I may not. I may add links, I may not. I'm hoping my lists will inspire people to come up with their own lists and join in the discussion.
So here's week 1's topic: Colors
My top 5 colors (in no particular order):
* Mustard Yellow
* Rose Pink
* Olive Green
What are your favorite colors?
August is a busy time in my family. Cramming in last-minute summer fun, shopping the back to school sales, the MN State Fair, and both my mom and sister's birthdays.
Usually, I pull cards from my stash to give to them for their special days, but this year, I decided to make very personalized ones.
My sister loves purple. And blue. And paisley. So when I came across some purple and blue paisley paper, I knew I had to do something special with it.
I used the gold in the paper as inspiration and I embossed the greeting and the edges of the paper in gold embossing powder.
She loved it, of course!
While I was out shopping for my mom's gift, I found some amazing wrapping paper sheets that I could not pass up - it was covered with drawings of donuts! My mom (and I!) LOVE donuts. I made sure that the box I put her gift in was small enough that I would have some paper left over after wrapping it so I could make a card.
It was perfect! I managed to get a piece left over with a half-eaten chocolate frosted donut - her favorite. The card and wrapping paper was a huge hit! And I have some of it left! I can't decide if I want to make more cards and add them to my Etsy shop or if I should just give donut cards to my mom for every occasion.
Since I do project life, I like to keep track of cards and projects I work on, so with the scraps from each card, I made 3x4 project life cards to slip into my album along with any pics from their (joint) birthday lunch.
I love making specialty cards for people, especially people I know will appreciate them and love them as much as I do (ok, maybe no one loves them as much as I do...)!
I was inspired to write this post after listening to the latest Paperclipping Roundtable podcast. They talked about college scrapbooking. And I thought, hey! I did that!
I've been scrapping since 1995. Yup, 19 years. What makes it even more impressive is that in 1995 I was only 13 years old. So by the time I went to college in 2000, I was already in the habit of taking photos and saving ephemera.
Keep in mind, even in 2000, digital just wasn't around. No one had camera phones (or really even cell phones at all!), and very few of my friends even owned a camera. I had a point and shoot film camera that my mom and dad had gotten me for some birthday a while back, but it was exactly that - a point and shoot. No settings, no flash, no zoom, no batteries even! Just point, click (don't forget to advance the roll!), and hope for the best when you got the film developed 2-6 months later. And every time I got my photos back, it was the best day ever! I would drag out my supplies from the one little box I kept stuffed under my bed and make pages on the floor of my dorm room (the desk was nowhere big enough for a 12x12 book) till my roommates needed to actually use the floor.
I had no extra money to spend on supplies, so I would use whatever I could get my hands on. Printer paper, construction paper, confetti, stickers, die-cut holiday wall decor, anything! I even included a balloon someone decorated for me on my birthday!
At some point in High School, I received a large collection of Mrs. Grossman stickers (remember those?) Since I had to use what I had, I began to incorporate those stickers into my college scrapbooks. I had many, many sheets of penguins, so they became my unofficial college mascot, showing up on almost every page. I would put hats on them, put them in boats, give them fun little props, anything to make the page more fun!
At the end of my sophomore year, my roomies and I got an off-campus apartment and in a fit of "oh my goodness, last time in a dorm room!" nostalgia, I photographed everything around the room that held any sort of meaning and made a 'year in review' page.
And I made another for my junior year.
And for my senior year, I made mini books for my roommates. An A-Z walk down the 4 year long memory lane we had traveled together. I translated those books into singles pages for each of them for me.
By this time, I was using my computer (and the scanner in the campus library) quite heavily in my scrapbooking.
My senior year, I also started making calendars every month of what happened, ever (especially!) if I didn't have any photos to go with it. I've always been obsessed with calendars, planners, graphic organizers, so this was a perfect way for me to include a bit of every day into my books.
It was like an early Project Life!
As senior year (and my extra student teaching semester) wore on, my style developed into more of a traditional scrapbook, then into more artsy. I found scrapbooking communities online, I found a local scrapbooking store, and I helped found a Meetup group of scrapper in my college town (I was the youngest in the group by at least 15 years). Gone were the days of Mrs. Grossman stickers and construction paper (and mangling my poor photos with severe cropping!).
I love looking through my old college books, they are a complete look back into my life at that time. I'm so happy I was able to keep up with my scrapbooks as I went through school rather than trying to go back and create or finish them. I do wish I had journaled more, but the year in review pages and the ephemera I included tell enough of the story.
So now it's your turn. Do you have a record of your college years? Did you keep a journal? A memory box? A scrapbook? Did you do it while you were there or after the fact? Will it ever see the light of day or is it squirreled away in a secret place where no one can ever see proof of your college insanity? :-)
About half way through my 2012 Project Life album, I realized that there were a lot of things that I wanted to include in my album that I didn't have a page protector for, I hadn't seen anyone do it before, or they just didn't fit. So I began to experiment. Here are some ways I deal with my 'extras'.
I make a lot of cards. Mostly to sell, but I make many for myself or friends as well. I wanted a way to display some of these cards (I always seem to make 1 or 2 (or 5) extra!) in my PL album, so I just slipped it in. The cards don't fit exactly, but close enough. Plus, it becomes interactive! You can flip it open and see what's on the inside or I've added journaling on the inside, too.
I collect pressed pennies. I have since childhood. And I have those fancy penny books to keep them in. Trouble is, the books are tucked away somewhere in my basement storage room (I think...) and I never see them. When my family visited Disney in 2013, I collected many, many pressed pennies and I wanted to incorporate them into my PL album, after all, I spent a good portion of the trip tracking down the machines! So I just used glue dots to adhere them to a plain piece of cardstock!
I've also begun including single pennies right on journaling cards. It adds a bit of flair, displays my souvenir, and it looks pretty neat!
I use Foursquare. It's fun for me to keep track of where I've been and who else has been there. Plus, I get to collect digital badges for visiting certain places or certain types of places. The scrapbooker in me was sad that these badges were purely digital, until I realized it would be easy to just print them out! So I did, and not every time I get a badge, I make a small journaling card about it.
Most of the time I don't keep pamphlets, flyers, maps, etc. But sometimes I do. And I don't always have a page protector to fit them. So I say, forget the page protector! Unless the pamphlet is really important, just punch it and put it in!
I've been feeling guilty for years every January when I have to take down all the Christmas cards I've received and throw them in the recycling bin. No more! I cut out the best part of the card and slide it into a multi-pocket page and now I can remember the cards and senders for years to come! I do the same thing with valentines from kids at school and birthday cards!
Another use I've found for the baseball card-style pocket pages is to showcase a series of photos. On December 12, 2012, I took 12 photos (12 on 12/12/12) and put them into this insert to set them apart from my regular weekly photos. I've also used this technique for things like December Daily photos, birthday party (or other event) photos, and all my random cat photos. Yeah, I have a lot of those...
So, I hope I have inspired you to take all those extras that you weren't sure about and include them in your PL book! Don't tuck them away in a box or an envelope at the end of the book, put them in where they are relevant to the story! To your story.
After all, if you don't tell your story, who will?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with washi tape, it is a fairly new to the crafting world. It originated in Japan as a masking tape used in bookmaking. Crafters got a hold of it and begged for more colors and patterns, and manufactures have responded!
I have become quite addicted to washi tape. I have quite a few rolls in many colors and patterns. My collection started small and was easy to store in my project life supply tray, but when I reached about 15 rolls, it became harder to store. So I searched Pinterest for washi tape organization and found the best idea ever! Put it all on a thread organizer! So easy. And I love how I can see all my tapes and there's still a lot of room for more! (Shhh! Don't tell my husband!)
I've used washi tape for a lot of things so far:
- Christmas cards - this was my first real time using washi tape in any sort of project - it really got me hooked on washi.
- Project life - I've used it on many inserts and photos.
- Perpetual calendar gifts (see below)
- Gift wrapping (see below)
I want to use it for a lot more in the future.
- scrapbook pages
- mini books
Do you use washi tape? For what?
Ok, yes, it's January, almost February. You don't want to think about Christmas anymore. But I want to share my cards. So tough nuggets!
I got the inspiration for 2013's cards while walking around (actually, just walking into) Anchor Paper, a local paper supply/scrapbooking store. The first display I saw had bright, fun colors, shiny lights on the paper, and upon closer inspection... a hedgehog stamp!
**Time out for those of you who don't know me that well... I am OBSESSED with hedgehogs! I think they are adorable and I have a whole shelf of stuffed animals and figurines in my work room!**
So of course, I snatched up that stamp and a sampling of paper and hurried home to experiment. And boy, let me tell you, these cards took a lot of work. Not only to design, but to actually make!
First, I had to stamp the hedgehog image, then I had to color it in, by hand, with 2 different colors. Then I edged all the stamped papers with ink and matted then, then edged them with ink, too. Then I used glitter glue to fill in all the tiny lights.
Oh, did I mention I made 50 of these?
After all that, it was pretty simple to finish the rest of the card, just cut out the pieces, edge in ink and attach!
And voila! My 2013 Christmas Card!
I really like how they turned out, and I got a lot of compliments from recipients, so I think I did well!
Do you make Christmas cards? How many do you make? Share with me!