The first card I used pink and purple distress inks to create a water-color-like effect on the card.
I have a couple more cards for you today. Some thinking of you cards using a rose background stamp.
The first card I used pink and purple distress inks to create a water-color-like effect on the card.
For the second card, I recreated the Mother's Day card I made earlier this year by sponging on the color, then spritzing it with water to blend the colors together.
I really like these cards - they could be used for a sympathy card, or a pep-talk card, or any other reason you would be thinking of someone. I hope I get to send these under good circumstances, not sympathy.
I've been making a lot of sympathy cards lately. That makes me sad. A lot of friends have been going through tough times lately and though I can't do anything to fix their problems or make them feel physically better, I can give them a card to let them know I'm thinking of them. So that's what I do.
I had to make another one a couple weeks ago and since I knew I'd likely need more eventually, I made several.
I made these cards using the same products. I stamped a dandelion stamp twice and embossed them using white embossing powder. I did the same with the Thinking of You stamp.
I used Distress Ink with both cards but I applied it in different ways. On the first card, I used an ink blender to apply the ink to the paper first, then I spritzed the whole thing with water to let the colors blend together.
For the second card, I used the smooshing technique that I've used many times before. I started out with a pink, a blue, and a purple, but as the inks smooshed together, the pink and blue blended into purple, so it ended up very, very purple. Which still looks nice, but not exactly what I was going for.
I matted both watercolor pieces with foam tape onto white cardstock, then used foam tape to adhere that onto a white card base.
I'm hoping that I can stop making sympathy cards soon. I'm looking forward to getting started on my Christmas cards!!!
What kinds of cards have you been making lately?
Anyone started on Christmas cards yet?
Welcome back to my final (for now...) installment of:
Here are parts 1 and 2
The last 2 weeks I've been sharing what I've learned about physical project life over the last few years. "Physical" meaning paper, photos, ephemera, etc. Things you can actually hold in your hand.
I love physical PL. I really do. I love photos, I love paper, I love moving things around and adding embellishments and cutting things up and adhering them down.
But it just got to be too much. The 12x 12 album seemed too big, the card choices seemed too many, and I ended up sitting at my desk for what seemed like too long.
So before I started my 2015 album, I decided to let myself think for a while. I thought about doing a 6x8 version of PL. I thought about doing digital PL. I thought about using the PL app. I thought about not doing PL at all. I thought for what ended up being 4 months. And I hadn't documented my year at all. I still took photos, I was still saving what little bits of memorabilia I had, but I wasn't doing anything with them. Then in late April, I made a decision.
On April 22, my nephew was born. On April 23, I went to the hospital to visit him, and I took photos (of course!!!). When I got home, I needed to do something with those photos. I didn't want to do something with them, I needed to do something with them. I needed to start documenting my nephew's life. I needed to start documenting my own life again. I needed to play with photos and colors and designs again. And I needed it to be easy and portable and fun. So I downloaded the Project Life app and started playing around.
It only took minutes before I was hooked!
It took me 10 minutes to make my first page about my visit to the hospital to meet Jason. 10 minutes!!! I immediately went back and pulled photos from the previous 4 months and quickly pulled together page after page. On and off for that first weekend, I worked on my pages and by the time Monday came around again, I was caught up! I felt excited again! I felt like documenting again! Is it as unique as the physical version of PL? No. Is it as customizable? Nope. Does it feed my need to play with papers and photos and cut things and glue things? No way. But is is fast and easy? Yes! Is it fun? Oh yeah! Is it getting me excited about documenting again? Hell Yes!!! And that's exactly what I needed this year.
Plus, I have been able to make theme albums in a snap! I have made a book for my cat. Yes, I have an album for my cat - I have to do something with all those adorable photos!
I've also made books for my mom, my sister, and my sister's mother-in-law about my nephew Jason. I put together 2-3 pages each month using photos my sister has posted on FB or photos she or mom have sent me of Jason, then I print them out and they slide the pages into their books. I'll also include Jason's pages in my yearbook. That's 4 books with only about 30 minutes of work each month - including printing!
I have not printed any of my own pages for the year yet. I still have to decide if I'm going to print them as individual pages and put them into a 3-ring binder or if I'm going to get them printed in a book. And I still have to decide if I'm going to print them in 12x12 or 8x8. But right now, I don't care. My year is documented.
I've learned that for me, right now, the PL app is the way to go. Easy and fast is the best way for me. Maybe next year, I will go back to physical. I have not gotten rid of any of my supplies. But for now, this is what works.
This is what gets me to document my life.
This is fun!
And that's the point!
Have any of you readers used any of the Project Life systems? Physical, digital, or the app? Did you like it? Did you stick with it? What system is working for you right now?
Happy crafting (and documenting)!
Last week, I shared some tips about Project Life that I've learned work for me after 4 years of doing this version of memory keeping. This week, I've got 3 more tips for you - all photo-related.
4) Print often.
I don't print at home. My printer is great for a lot of things, but photos is not one of them. I send my photos to the CVS down the street. They do a good job and I can usually pick up my photos in about an hour. CVS sends me a lot of coupons for photos. Unfortunately, I usually have to order 50+ photos to qualify for the discount. I used to wait till I had 50+ photos to place an order, just so I could get the discount (which was only a few pennies per print). Even when I did PL weekly, it would be 2-3 months before I had that many photos! By then, I wasn't excited about the photos anymore (I wanted to work on more recent ones), and I was overwhelmed with 50 photos at a time. I just didn't have a large enough chunk of time to put them into my album with cards and ephemera! Way too much at a time. I decided that the discount wasn't worth my sanity. So I began printing every 2-3 weeks (depending on time available, # of photos, and events that happened). I ended up with about 15-20 photos, which is way more manageable.
5) Take a lot of photos.
Take photos of people and events, yes, but don't forget about things. Take a photo of your new shoes, your favorite soda, the book you just finished, the state of your desk or work area. Take photos of the places you go all the time but are not 'special' - the grocery store, the coffee shop, the gym. These photos tell your story too. They tell your story perhaps more than the event photos. They tell who you are on a regular day and that is important. And when I look back on 3 years of PL, I like those every day photos the best.
6) Don't take too many photos.
I know, I just told you to take a lot of photos. What I mean is that while it's good to take a lot of photos of what you do and who you're with, don't let taking photos be the activity that takes over the other activities. Enjoy your life, experience your life, snap a couple shots, then get back out there and do something fun! After all, that's what Project Life is all about - living a good life and recording it! Living it comes first!
Thanks for reading! I hope some of my experiences help you make Project Life work for you. Next week, I'll share my final installment of Project Life where I share why I decided to ditch the physical version and go digital this year!
I've been a devoted Project-Lifer for 4 years now. And I've learned so much! I'd like to share some of what I've learned here with you. Be warned - I like to talk about Project Life. A lot. So I'm going to split this post up into multiple parts.
First, a little history:
My first year (2012), I did weekly layouts, I journaled everything, I took photos of everything, I saved all my little extras to put in the book. And I ended up with 2 volumes for one year. That's a bit much.
The second year (2013), I went monthly. I only made 2-3 spreads per month, so I was able to cram the whole year into one book. Barely.
The third year (2014), I became much more zen about the whole thing. I put photos in as I took them, collected less stuff, and I journaled less. I fit a whole year of PL plus an extra project (Me: The Abridged Version) in one book. With a bit of room to spare.
This year (2015), I spent the first 3 months of the year wondering if I even wanted to continue PL. Then I found the PL app and my whole life changed. But that's another post...
So here we go:
1) Write stuff down - you will forget.
You think you'll remember, because how could you forget that funny thing your husband said or the details about your friend's party or how you felt after the series finale of your favorite show ever!?! But you will forget. Trust me on this. Write it down. Write it anywhere - a journal, a planner, a word document, a post-it note, or directly onto a journaling card. Just make sure all the notes you write down end up in the same place. These are what you will use to fill in your Project Life book. These are the important bits of your life. These are the things you want to remember!
2) Don't worry about separating weeks or months, just let it flow.
To me, the thought of keeping up with a weekly layout is daunting. Filling up a whole spread of photos and ephemera for a week or a month or any amount of time is restricting and nerve-wracking. And trying to keep all my photos in perfect chronological order is anxiety-inducing. So I let it go. *insert Frozen song* When I get my photos printed, I put them in a more-or-less chronological order, then start filling pockets. If I have 2 photos about one event but only one spot left of a page, then the 2 photos go on the next page. No biggie!
3) Don't plan to do something each week or month, you will only get discouraged when you fall behind with it.
My first year, I used the week cards provided in the kit. It was easy to fill them in, even if I was behind, because all I had to do was write in the dates. My second year, I wanted to do a weekly review card to record the things that didn't make in into the photos. I lasted 4 weeks. Then I got depressed about being behind. My third year, I knew I couldn't keep up with a weekly review, or even a monthly review, so I decided to just make a card (any size) to denote a new month. It didn't matter where it went or what size it was or how it was decorated, I just wanted the months shown. I got through March. Then I decided to just go with it. I date enough of my journaling cards that if I really want to know where I am in the year at a certain place in my book, I can just look at my journaling cards.
That's all I have for today, I'll be back with some more Project Life musings next week!
I am so not ready for Christmas yet. But I know in the crafting world, Christmas comes early. If you want to sell gifts, make gifts, or make cards, you have to work early. And with it being October already, I needed to get my butt in gear.
So while I was out shopping today, I came across some lovely wooden snowflakes. I thought they looked nice, but they needed a little something more... some sparkle!
So I brought them home and covered them with glittering embossing powder! That did the trick!
You can't really see the extent of the sparkle in the photos, but they are shimmery and gorgeous! The one on the left is holographic embossing powder, so the wood color shows through the glitter. The one on the right is a pale, glittery blue. Very icy.
They really do shine in the light and it's so frustrating that the photos don't show it!
Anyway, I'm going to make more of these and put them up on Etsy. I will also bring them to school to sell, so if you work with me, you'll be seeing them soon!
My next big project is my Christmas cards. I have a lot to make this year!
Have you started working on Christmas/winter projects or gifts yet?
I hate to admit it, but I have not made anything crafty in a while.
Like, almost a month...
And it's driving me crazy!
I just haven't had the time! Between school starting up again and working on much-needed chores and projects around the house, I just haven't found time to escape down to my craft room on a regular basis.
I'm afraid at this point that when I do finally find the time to craft, I won't know what to do! So I'm turning to an old friend: Pinterest!
I'm hoping that with a proper infusion of "Pin-spiration", I'll be able to get right to work once I"m able to find an hour or two to craft again (hopefully this weekend!)
If you want to check out what I've been looking at lately, you can check out my card-making boards, my invitation board, my general crafting board, or my whole Pinterest page.
And please, let me know what your username on Pinterest is, I'm always looking for new people to follow for awesome inspiration!
Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Crafting!
A few months ago, I shared with you my solution for wrangling my wafer-thin dies. I have been loving my mini binder idea for my dies, so I thought it would be a perfect solution for my clear stamps as well!
Supplies: half-size binder, half-size page protectors, white cardstock cut in half, and a label maker. Put it all together and you get a super easy, super accessible storage solution for clear stamps!
The stamps stay in the page protectors well and slide out easily when I need them. I have each page labeled with the name of the stamp set and the company so I can reference them later if I need to.
The only problem I ran into is that my mini binder is too full! I don't have that many stamp sets, so I thought they would all fit, which they technically do... But it looks like I'll have to get another binder and split them up.
The binder fits nicely on my hanging file shelf in my craft room right next to my die binder.
I do still have a few stamp sets that I did not put into the binder. One Stampin' Up set I just bought for Christmas and a couple alphabet sets that I put into CD cases years ago. As I rarely use these stamps, I figured a few in boxes on my shelf is no big deal.
I'm hoping that by having the stamps accessible and visible, I will take them out more often instead of reaching for the ones I always reach for.
How do you store your clear stamps?
Happy Crafting and Happy Organizing!
Have you ever had a vision of how something would turn out and you got so excited you couldn't wait to get started and you worked really hard on it and then it didn't turn out anything like what you have envisioned?
If you said no, you're a liar. ^_^
It happens to me all the time. And most of the time, I scrap it or start over or just walk away. But this time I couldn't. This time I had an out of town wedding that we were leaving for the next day and I had no more time to make another card. So I stuck with it.
The color I had envisioned kept alluding me. I could not get my distress inks to do what I wanted! But I kept adding more layers. I kept trying more colors. I pushed through till I got the result I had set out to get.
And you know what? It felt really, really good when the color finally showed up.
When I finally got what I wanted, I was too tired to come up with an all new design, so I stuck with the one I made for a previous wedding card and took out some vellum and matching paper to finish up this card.
I really love this card. It matches the invitations perfectly (which I made - post coming soon!) and there's nothing quite like the triumph of working through crafting adversity. (How's that for dramatic!)
What do you do when a project doesn't turn out the way you envisioned it? Do you scrap it? Start over? Keep going? Throw it out the window and eat some chocolate? ^_^
Well, it's September. And we all know that means back to school. But what many people may not realize is that for teachers, September is literally our new year. January is just another month in the middle of the year; September is the real 'new year'. So with a new year comes a need for a new planner: a lesson planner!
For 5 years now, I've designed and printed my own lesson planner. It has helped me to keep track of everything going on in my classroom through the year. I honestly don't know if I could function without it anymore.
For 3 years, I've also designed and sold personalized planners for my fellow teachers at school. They love them just as much as I do! Usually, I sit down with a teacher on one day (let's say Monday) and plan out what she wants her planner pages to look like. Then I go home that night, make the changes, and print the pages. Then the next day (Tuesday) after school, I drop off the planner at Staples or Office Depot to be bound. It used to be that binding a planner would take all of 20-30 minutes; just long enough for me to peruse the latest office supplies or run next door to Michaels. But now, it takes at least a day. So I drop it off on Tuesday after school and pick it up on Wednesday after school. Which means I don't give it to my colleague till Thursday. That's 4 days of turn-around! And that's when I don't have anything else going on that interferes with the drop off and pick up. And it assumes they get the binding right the first time (which they don't always - which adds another 3-4 days on).
I was getting frustrated with this long turn-around time and increasingly incompetent workmanship at the store, so I finally broke down and purchased my own binding machine!
I took this picture immediately after un-boxing it right in my living room. I didn't even bring it down to my workroom! As soon as the box was empty, my cat climbed right in. He loves boxes.
I have had my binding machine for 3 weeks and I've already used it 6 times! I've made several planners for teachers at school (with a less-than-24-hour turn-around!) and a few for online orders.
Speaking of online orders, I have added physical planners to my Etsy shop! Now that I am in charge of the process from start to finish, I feel confident offering physical planners on a regular basis, not only by special request. So if you are in need of a planner (or know someone who is), please check out my Etsy shop. If you don't see something there that works for your needs, please contact me and we can work out the details for a personalized, printed planner just for you!
Happy New Year to all you teachers!
Happy Planning to all you plannerds!
And Happy Crafting to all!
Blogs I read:
Bits & Pieces
Jennifer McGuire Ink
I Could Make That