What did I miss?

It has occurred to me that I haven’t been sharing the layouts I make monthly for Simple Scrapper. Shame on me! Simple Scrapper is such a great resource for memory keepers. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Wow, ok, so I’ve failed to share A LOT. Here is what I missed!

In no particular order…

1stday | Melanie Ritchiealberta | Melanie Ritchiecarefree| Melanie Ritchiefindyourway | Melanie Ritchiefuturenow | Melanie Ritchielightshine | Melanie Ritchieohnyal | Melanie Ritchieorangegreen | Melanie Ritchieshowcase | Melanie Ritchiesweetmittens | Melanie Ritchiethink | Melanie Ritchiecupcake | Melanie Ritchiemoment | Melanie Ritchiechildhood | Melanie Ritchieliving the dream | Melanie Ritchiebike | Melanie Ritchielegoland | Melanie Ritchiethe world | Melanie Ritchieto mom | Melanie Ritchieboldt castle | Melanie Ritchiesnow icecream | Melanie Ritchie

Now I must go nap! Peace out!

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Oh. My. Word! It’s nearly Halloween! Here’s a treat!

Boo! Did you think you saw a ghost? Or a shadow of my former self? I am alive. My blog is rather dusty. Summer happened and then the leaves fell off the trees, and now I’m here.

This past week, I started Lilla Roger’s “Make Art That Sells: Part B” e-course. So for five weeks, my head will be in a creative fog, whirlwind, cloud? I don’t know. Something where rainbows and unicorns swirl around my head while I bump into walls and unintentionally ignore people who are trying to talk to me. So, no offence in advance, peeps.

As for Halloween, I put a kit in my Pixels & Company shop and it will be on for half price until, uh, Halloween.

Trick or Treat Full Kit | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Elements | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Papers | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Papers | Melanie Ritchie

 

Trick or Treat Alpha | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Alpha Tags | Melanie Ritchie

Trick or Treat Freebie | Melanie Ritchie

To download the freebie, click on the photo and follow the link to my shop. Add the item to your cart and you will be able to download it instantly.

Have a fabulous Friday and an even better weekend!

The most important thing we do in a day is take care of each other.

While I was busy galavanting, eating, and entertaining, life outside the home apparently went on without me. Who knew?

I’ve had a busy few weeks. I had the pleasure of babysitting a sweet little baby for a week (well, a few days really). I got an awesome thank you gift for helping out. The mom knows I’m a big fan of Barbapapa and she spoiled me with a vintage book and a flowery mug, and some party streamers from Amsterdam. See those little Barbapapa faces in the flowers on the mug? Oh, Happy day!

Barbapapa Gift | Melanie Ritchie

Then my best friend from high school came for a visit. We had some really good eats and had a long overdue chance to just hang out and catch up on our lives. We also watched “Reality Bites” which was our favourite movie to watch together 20 years ago. I can’t believe how quickly time passes. I was surprised to see I still like the movie and my opinion of the characters hasn’t changed much. I had to laugh about us though. Back in the mid-90s we watched the movie in the basement of my childhood home. Or maybe in her home. We drank Coke and ate Little Caesars Pizza or a bag of chips. Now we’re both Moms of young kids sitting in my home commenting on how delicious the fancy cheese and baguettes taste. Subtle changes! Ha!

Sunset in Ottawa | Melanie Ritchie

Our first night finished with a lovely sunset in downtown Ottawa.

Drinks | Melanie Ritchie

We had a really yummy lunch at Burrito Burracho in the Byward Market. I highly recommend the Tortilla soup. Then we wandered a bit before treating ourselves to a Maple Beavertail before heading home. YUM YUM!

IMG_2919

It was just so good to see her! I was sad to see her go. She gave me a very pretty bracelet from Alex and Ani as a hostess gift. It has a little pineapple charm. Pineapples are a symbol of friendship and hospitality. How perfect is that? Plus, I love pineapples.

The day after my friend left, my family and I went camping with friends at a very kids friendly KOA campground. Despite the initial rain and the plummeting temperature at night, we had a great time. Only a few weeks until our next camping trip!

After the rain | Melanie Ritchie

Upon return from camping, we had a visit from my husband’s Aunt. She is awesome. That’s all that needs to be said about that.

Then I spent the next day preparing for my very first Thirty-One gifts experience. I set up a table at the kids’ school’s Fun Night. I’m selling Thirty-One products to fundraise for the school’s Kindergarten playground project. There seemed to be a lot of interest in the products but the best part was getting to talk to other parents. Normally at events I’m busy with the kids and I have no particular reason to start up conversations with strangers. This was a great way for me to be more social.

Then the next day my parents came to town for my daughter’s Highland dance recital. It was a really good show! I also enjoyed shopping for plants with my mom and my daughter. I had trouble limiting myself to a few carefully chosen perennials. My mom bought a few plants for me  too as a very early birthday gift. Yay!

Plants | Melanie Ritchie

On the weekend, I had various things to do but managed to work on something that has been brewing in my head for awhile. I greatly admire the Junior Kindergarten teacher that taught my daughter two years ago and is finishing up teaching my son this year. She’s just a lovely person with a very gentle heart. She is exactly the type of person I hoped would teach my kids. She inspires the kids with exploring nature, science, and art. She encourages them to think critically. Most of all, I love that she teaches compassion. As a thank you I wanted to create a painting for her. I chose to illustrate her class motto which I think should be everyone’s motto.

The most important thing we do in a day is take care of each other.

I was thrilled the painting came together so quickly. I’m often disappointed and frustrated with painting. Things don’t always turn out the way I envision them. This one just made me very happy from start to finish. Maybe because I like the motto so much? So, today I took it to the school at midday and surprised her with it. I think it is fair to say, she likes it. Which makes me very happy! Although, I am sad that I won’t have a reason to talk with the teacher anymore.

Taking Care Artwork by Melanie Ritchie

I came home and sat down to write this post and remembered today is the day my newest designs are released for sale at Pixels and Company. I can’t believe I forgot! I’ve been so busy! I’ll show them to you now. Tomorrow I will sit down at my computer and get started on all the design ideas that have been gathering in my head the past few weeks.

Frolic Full Kit | Melanie Ritchie

Weather Cards | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Elements | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Papers | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Journal Cards | Melanie Ritchie

Frolic Cupcake Labels | Melanie Ritchie

Have a relaxing Monday evening!

In Good Company! My return to Digiland!

I am so pleased to announce that I’ve just set up shop at Pixels & Company as a designer. I’ll be designing alongside of Celeste Knight, Deena Rutter, Gennifer Bursett, Jen Allyson, Meredith Cardall, Robin Meierotto, and Shirley Polk. That is a pretty talented and inspiring roster of artists.

My new products will be released twice a month. This week I released a full kit (So True), a journal card pack (So True) and an element pack (Cork Flairs: Happy). They are currently at least 30% off!

Cork Flair: Happy by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Elements by Melanie Ritchie
So True | Full Kit by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Papers by Melanie Ritchie

So True | Journal Cards by Melanie Ritchie

Here are a couple layouts from some P&Co Creative Team talent:

Happy Day by Maribel Rivas

by Maribel Rivas

This Is My Crew by Kate Christensen

by Kate Christensen

Saturday Night

You may have noticed I did a little housekeeping on this here ole blog. I liked the way it looked before but I know it was a bit cumbersome to navigate so hopefully I’ve simplified things a bit. Let me know what you think!

My intention was just to post some layouts I’ve done the past few months but somehow that led to a blog clean up session! Just as well.

Anyway, my posting layouts has been long overdue. I haven’t had much time the past few months to do much scrapbooking but I hope that will change in the coming months.

1. I wrote about my views on faith. I enjoyed making a paper layout. I was so happy I even used up some 15 year old vellum AND made a washi tape leaf too! I covered a wood veneer shape (Always) with gold glitter. That was fun.

Personal Truth | Melanie Ritchie
2. This layout was so enjoyable to put together. Some whimsy, some paper, some tape, some thoughts. It does soothe my soul.

Soul Soothers | Melanie Ritchie
3. This was my heartfelt attempt to explain how my children are growing up and leaving their babyhoods far behind. I went digital with this layout.
From Mommy to Mom | Melanie Ritchie
4. I used instagram photos and Facebook statuses to document what I did during the same week in February during three different years.
Time Hop | Melanie Ritchie
5. Ah, Pinterest. How do I love thee?
Pinterest | Melanie Ritchie
6. Pocket Pages aren’t just for documenting your week. I used this one to tell the story of how I spent Saturdays when I was young. I love the nostalgia!
Hello Saturday | Melanie Ritchie

How fitting I should show my “Hello Saturday” layout last. How different this Saturday was from the ones of my childhood. Although my husband did text me an article about Golden Girls Lego. Not quite the same as watching an originally airing episode but I’ll take it. As well, I did indulge in some chips and dip. Definitely something I would have done in 1985.

Goodbye Saturday! Sleep tight!

 

Wise Words | Melanie RItchie

A Letter to my children: What other people think

Often I am writing letters to my children in my head but I don’t get them written down. I have a pin board with lovely quotes but I don’t explain why I’ve pinned them. There are nuggets of wisdom I want my children to really internalize to give them strength and hope throughout their lives. If for some horrible reason I’m not there to give the advice to them firsthand, I’d like to know they can read it in letters.

Today, I want to tell them about the importance of what other people think.

  1. It’s None Of Your Business. That’s right. If you, my children can wrap your heads around this, you’ll have a MUCH happier life. It does not matter what other people think. YOUR actions and thoughts matter. Not theirs. Instead, look at yourself and ask these questions: 1. Are you doing your best? 2. Are you being kind to yourself and to others? 3. Are you safe? If your answer is yes to all three, then carry on with your day. What other people think CANNOT be controlled by you. It is possible you are adored by someone and you have no idea. It is also possible they don’t like you. Is this your fault? Probably not. It could be that you’re just very different people. Or maybe they feel threatened because you’re competition in some way. Or maybe you remind them of someone who has hurt them. Maybe you remind them of something they don’t like about themselves. Or maybe they are very sad and need to release their frustration on someone and you seem like a good fit. Or maybe it is Thursday and they don’t like people like you on Thursdays. See, it’s ridiculous. It’s not your problem.
  2. You’re Not A Mindreader. Like the first point, you cannot spend your time guessing what someone else is thinking. What would that solve? Most All people are absorbed in their own thoughts. Yes, they may be thinking bad things about you. They may also be thinking about sharks, or how they really need to release some gas, or even wondering if you’re thinking bad things about them. It doesn’t matter because it isn’t your business. Ask yourself why their opinion is more important than your own? Why do you need their acceptance?
  3. You Are Not Perfect. I love you dearly but like all humans, you are not perfect and never will be. No one should expect that from you. Especially you. Are you worried someone is thinking about things you’ve done wrong? Well, maybe they are. I’ve wasted a LOT of energy and time worrying about upsetting others. Especially in work situations, you are often put into a position where you have to learn the job without instruction. You cannot become efficient at your job without first making mistakes. What they don’t tell you in school is that you are not always going to receive proper training to do a job. Yet you will be expected to do it well right from the start. That is a very difficult position to be in and I guarantee you will find yourself in that situation at some point. If you torment yourself worrying over how you’re perceived, you will be miserable. Of course some people will be annoyed by your mistakes. Others will understand there is a learning curve. It is not your job to think about it. It is your job to learn your job. Apply this to all areas in life. Becoming experienced = making mistakes and making mistakes = becoming experienced.
  4. Everyone Has A Hater. No one is always liked. Even your favourite movie star or stuffed doll has someone who isn’t a fan. Even the Dalai Lama has people who don’t like him. I’m sure there is even someone who doesn’t like the Kratts brothers. Can you imagine? Should that change how great they are? No. Do LOTS of other people like them? Yes! Lots of people like you. Don’t focus on the people who don’t. They don’t have to like you and you won’t be happier trying to make them like you. Think of it this way. Some people like mushrooms. Some people don’t. You can’t make someone love mushrooms. Tell yourself that the next time you feel rejected by someone. It will at least make you smile a little, right? Be like Taylor Swift, and Shake it Off! Haters are gonna hate, hate, hate.
  5. It Still Hurts. Even knowing all of this, it will always hurt when we know people don’t approve of our choices or values. We’re human. We want to feel accepted. It especially hurts when our loved ones don’t approve. Always use this as an opportunity to evaluate yourself. Again, ask yourself if you’re happy with your choice, what could be done differently, and is anyone being negatively affected by your choice and whether that can avoided. If change needs to be made, work to make that change. If not, then accept the other person has their opinion and that is their business. People are entitled to have their own opinions just as you are entitled to have a different opinion. It might hurt but be confident knowing you are doing what you need to do to be authentic and happy.

I’m sure I can add to this list but these are the thoughts that occur to me now.

I made a few journal cards inspired by the topic and you can download them HERE.

mr_wisewords_PREV900s

Happy Sunday!

Ice Breakers and frozen fingers

Oh dear me, the draft of my post disappeared! I’ll paraphrase what I think I said because a few days have passed and the memory isn’t as fresh. I’m not feeling so poetic tonight.

Last weekend, we were treated to a lot of snow and then it turned to frozen rain. The return to school coincided with treacherous road conditions. Our driveway and street were an ice rink. It was a lovely Winter Wonderland otherwise. When the kids returned from school, the sky was such a pretty colour and shimmering down on the ice covered snow.

The kids wanted to walk on the snow at the park. The idea of being able to walk on snow was quite novel to them. They were fascinated they were able to walk without sinking. It reminded me of when I was a kid walking home from school. I would take short cuts through the yards of three schools. Often the snow would be up to my knees. Out of boredom and an attempt to distract myself from the cold, I’d make it bit of a contest to see how many steps I could take without breaking through the snow. I was very light footed back then.

Then they discovered they could jump and crack the snow. Even more exciting than walking on snow, was smashing through the crusty layer of ice. Luckily, I had dashed home to retrieve my camera when I saw that the sky was so lovely. So I was prepared with camera in hand.

Then my daughter realized how cold she was feeling and we quickly hurried home. Which was good timing as my fingers were quite numb with cold from taking photos.

Darn, I wish I hadn’t lost my original post. It was much better. Ha!

So, here are some of the photos I took and a layout I made with them using supplies from the Pixels & Company Designers.

mr_jan_winter6 mr_jan_winter5 mr_jan_winter4 mr_jan_winter3 mr_jan_winter1 mr_jan_winter2 Photo by Melanie Ritchie drutter-d365-winter2015-lores

Keep warm and enjoy your Sunday!

The best of intentions

Always. Who doesn’t hope to accomplish all their yearly goals and tie them up in a neat little package with ribbon and bows just in time to ring in the new year? I do. I always think this year I’m going to accomplish it. Yeah, um, no. It didn’t happen. Ah well. At least I’m relaxed about it.

I’m going to start my year right though. I’m going to plan out projects, assess my goals and see what I want to get done for 2015. On my own terms. No guilt.

To help myself as best I can, I’m attending Simple Scrapper’s annual online event to plan out my year. Won’t you join me January 7th, as I Start Fresh?

 

To tie up those loose ends of 2014, I’m going to show you some layouts I worked on. I had wanted to work mainly with traditional scrapbook supplies but when time is limited I tend to work digitally.

  1. I made this page when I thought I was ahead of schedule. HAAAAA!!! Silly me.
    dec1_6x6lores
  2. By the second week of December, we were all sick with colds. Bronchitis came for a visit. I’m still waiting for it to leave.
    dec10layout-lores
  3. I switched things up after I returned from my parents after Christmas. I grabbed an old photo as I was inspired by a story starter prompt. I used a Simple Scrapper template to build the layout. It documented a weekend getaway during a challenging period of my life.Ritchie_2_600 (1)
  4. I used another Simple Scrapper template and story starter to profess my love of Pinterest in a layout. By the way, feel free to peruse my Pinterest gallery.
    ritchie_Jan15#1SSr

I will be seeing you soon. My biggest resolution is to be consistent with my blogging. Let’s just see how I do, shall we?

Winner of the Discover December Class Giveaway!

Eeks! I forgot to pick a winner last night! Better late than never, right?

Without further ado, the winner of Kelly Sill’s Discover December holiday class at Scrapaneers is…

… Susan!

My holidays will be special this year because I am going to Disneyworld with my 6 & 4 year old nieces! Can’t wait to see what happens!

Thanks for participating!

Discover December Class Giveaway!

How appropriate snow has arrived as I write this blog post. My daughter ran up to me and started singing and dancing about how winter has arrived and we can now play Christmas music. I guess that is what stirs her Christmas spirit.

I’m trying to think what gets me all jolly and festive. Maybe smelling chimney smoke while walking in the snow? It was the best part of walking home from school when I was a kid. Now it is a rare thing as very few working fireplaces remain. What else? Probably looking at my Christmas Scrapbook supplies. Yes, everything always comes back to Scrapbooking!

I think all of us “scrappers” can admit, we like to anticipate how we will capture the holiday magic in our albums. We start off with high hopes and many of us probably end up overwhelmed with half finished albums. Am I right?

Well, I have two things that might be helpful to you:

1. Sign up for Simple Scrapper’s FREE Seasonal event “Holiday Focus“. Ideas, planning, peer support, and more to help you document AND enjoy your holiday season!

and (drumroll, please)…

2. I’m hosting a giveaway to Kelly Sill’s Discover December holiday class at Scrapaneers. I’m particularly excited about this one as I had the pleasure and honour of designing the class kit. Plus, there are additional supplies designed by Karla Dudley and Taylormade Designs. How awesome is that?

The class was created with busy holiday schedules in mind. Kelly offers time-saving solutions to help you not only start but FINISH your holiday album.

 

Wouldn’t you like to be take part in the fun? The first is as simple as signing up! For the latter, I am offering a giveaway for one person to get the class for FREE! Please leave a comment telling me how you plan to make your holidays special this year. A winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday, November 18th after 9pm (EST).

Can’t wait to see your comments! Happy Sunday!

Designing for December

One day in the summer I got asked by the lovely and talented Kelly Sill to create a digital kit for her upcoming Holiday class at Scrapaneers. I said “Heck ya, I’m interested!” and that was the truth.

I’ve been a fan of Kelly for quite some time. She has a style that is all her own. A very clean sleek look to both her digital products and her own scrapbooking. I followed her blog posts to see what new projects she was working on. So, I was pretty happy when she began instructing classes.

Discover December” is going to be packed with oodles of holiday goodness. She will show her students how to create their own 8″x8″ album with the templates, digital kit, word art, glitter styles, and overlays included in the class kit. Seriously, oodles of goodness. I was lucky enough to create the digital kit and was thrilled to find out Karla Dudley was creating matching glitter styles and Taylormade Designs was creating matching word art. Very very cool!

Here’s a peek of the class kit included with enrolment.

DD14_launch-banner-new

Right now the class is on sale until November 10th. Class begins on December 1st. Be sure to check it out!

Courage my love

Toronto at 40

October 14, 2014

Maybe I’ll feel like Mary Richards in the opening credits of Mary Tyler Moore. A free spirited and ambitious woman out on the town on her own terms. Um, maybe. More likely, I’ll look a tad bit more disheveled, despite my best attempts to look stylish. I’ll look a bit more compact like someone is trying to turn their full screen into wide screen. Not so tall. Not so skinny.

I used to live in Toronto. It feels like a past life. I attended university there. I lived there off and on for most of my twenties. I left on what I’d consider bad terms. Toronto and I had a nasty break-up.

The last time I visited Toronto by myself, I was 30. I took the train for the day. I met up with a friend and we wandered around on a cold winter day. I had a handful of other brief visits to the city over the next ten years.

Now I am 40. I wonder how my view of the city will change. It has certainly changed since I last lived there 12 years ago. More so, I have changed. I am eager to visit my old haunts but will any of them still be there? Will they feel familiar or will it be clear, I have moved on?

Well, it is now the beginning of November. I had a wonderful time in Toronto. It was surreal walking into my old territory as a “middle aged” woman. Yikes, this is the first time I’ve ever referred to myself as middle aged. You saw it here first, people.

First thing we did after I got off of the train, was eat supper at a local pub called C’est What? which is on Front Street. I first went there on a double date when I was 20. Back then, it was a cozy basement pub with stacks of board games with a small menu of appetizers. The place appealed to literary types and perhaps students. Now it is a full on restaurant catering to local foodies. Most of the people looked like business types. Instead of being the youngest in the place, looking at the 30 somethings thinking they looked old, I was one of the older people looking at the 30 somethings thinking they looked young. Yes, the tables have turned. I did feel a bit of superiority knowing I’ve been coming to this place for 20 years. I felt I should maybe get a badge to wear.

I was happy to see my fast walking pace returned once I was in the city. I used to be really speedy but lately I’m the slowest when walking with friends. I guess I’m used to walking with children. Apparently, my speed is location specific.

I noticed that things have slightly changed but mostly stayed the same. Actually, I was surprised to see most changes were improvements.

The other thing that got my attention was how much smart phones have changed the way I experience Toronto. No need for a TTC (transit) map. Just check my phone (borrowed my husband’s phone actually). Can’t find a store? Check my phone. Have a question for a friend? Text them. Send a photo. Feeling a bit lonely? Instagram a photo to share the experience. See an interesting sign? Take a photo. Bored waiting for a bus? Edit some photos for Instagram during the wait. How crazy different would my life have been if we’d had smart phones at 20? I remember my frosh week at York University. The fine art students had a scavenger hunt that took us all through downtown. My group got terribly lost and everything was a challenge to find. Now, it would be a breeze. Such a different world we live in.

So, I had a great time. I got to eat lots of food (Chinese Vegetarian, Coffee, Sri Lankan, Coffee, Raw Vegan, did I mention Coffee?), and visit neighbourhoods and stores I’ve missed. It was just the sort of mini vacation I needed.

Here are a few scrapbook layouts I made that relate to my trip:

ad_astorycaptured09_04-TO-lores

For the above layout, I included a photo from my view on the train when I arrived Thursday, my root beer at C’est What, a view of walking in the rain after we left the pub, the dessert section of Loblaws and the spot where the centre ice used to be.

Courage my love

The layout above is about the Friday, when we walked around downtown and visited China Town and Kensington Market. It was a great day.

The layout below has photos which were taken during this trip on the Saturday. The layout reflects on where I was the day of September 11, 2001.

ritchie_nov14_story6_lores

Have you visited a city or place from your past and had a similar experience? I’d love to hear your stories.

————-

The last two layouts were designed with templates from the monthly membership at Simple Scrapper.

This is going to take awhile.

In November, my family went to Disney World. It was the first visit for my kids. My husband and I hadn’t been there since he proposed eight years ago. One of my goals for 2014 is to complete the album of our vacation. I’m using pocket pages in a 12×12 D-ring album. Between pocket pages filled with 4×6 photos and journal cards, will be full page 12×12 layouts.

For the two layouts I’m sharing today, I used templates and a story starter journal prompt from the premium Simple Scrapper membership.

1. For this layout, I was inspired by a journal prompt listing all my favourite things. I put my own twist on it and instead wrote about the favourite ride of each family member. I had intended to use a list and number the photos with the items on the list. In the end, I wrote a paragraph with a more in-depth description about the rides and didn’t number the photos.

I used traditional paper supplies.

ritchie_jan14-story4_lores

2. For this layout, I used all digital supplies. I had this cute journal card I wanted to use but the sentiment on it wasn’t working for me. So I used the clone tool to “erase” the words and then added the word “destination” in a font and colour of my choosing.

For the title “holiday”, I used the arsenale white font. I added a drop shadow and then warped it so it would look like a cut file. I put a stitch through the middle. I think it looks like paper!

ritchie_jan14_s1-lores

Digital Supplies used:
All Mapped Out | Elements by Dawn by Design
Walt’s Park: Holiday Kit by Scotty Girl Design
Penny kit by creashens
Wonderland | Journal Cards by Sabrina’s Creations

To see more blog posts sharing in the Simple Scrapper community show-and-tell, click here!

The Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper provides skills and shortcuts to help you simplify and find more meaning in your memory keeping.

 

Oh yes I did!

I put my design hiatus on hiatus so that I could have the privilege of collaborating with Nancie Rowe Janitz on a Christmas themed digital kit. So without further ado, here is our mega huge “Silent Night” on sale today in Nancie’s shop at JessicaSprague.com. It is available separated into patterned papers, solids and elements OR you can buy the complete collection.

Why Silent Night? My three reasons: It is my favourite Christmas carol; For nearly four years I’ve sung it to my son as a lullaby… works like magic; when I was a kid I loved staring up into night sky during cold, snowy December nights when the stars would shimmer like diamonds. Few things have ever made me feel more complete. To me, Silent Night holds the meaning of Christmas… in the midst of chaos and turmoil, beautiful things can be born in the stillness of the moment. My wish is for everyone to feel peace in their lives this holiday season.

nrjmr-silentnight-patterns nrjmr-silentnight-solids nrjmr-silentnight-elements

To make things extra special, here is a free quickpage (12×12). I thought it would make a great cover page for a Christmas album. Hop on over to Nancie’s blog as she’ll be giving away some word art.

mr_silentnight_quickpage-lowres

Click on image or HERE to download.

Hope you like it!

My Scrapbooking therapy and a Giveaway!!!

I was a guest blogger this week at Simple Scrapper. I shared my thoughts on scrapbooking difficult topics and how I use my favourite hobby to make peace with my problems. More or less.

Not all my scrapbook layouts are about the cheerful bliss in my life. Here is a layout I did a couple years ago about a challenging day. Click here to read my post at Simple Scrapper.

sts_mm26-160

Now about that giveaway. I am giving away a spot in the 12 Days of Christmas: December Duos class at Big Picture Classes. The class runs from December 12-25th. The class is described as:

The “December Duos” concept is easy, stress-free, and inspiring. Every day for the twelve days leading up to Christmas Day, two of our twelve instructors will share a scrapbook layout, video message, and a page prompt in the form of a duo (“warm & cold,” “give & receive,” “near & far”). That’s a total of two-dozen inspiring ideas!

You can follow the instructor’s lead or march in your own direction as you snap your photos for the day. Then, after printing our fabulously free journaling cards and title cards, you’ll either slip the cards and your photos into a Project Life mini album from American Crafts or use them on a traditional (or digital) scrapbook page.

12 Days of Christmas: December Duos makes it easy to capture all of your most important holiday moments—in a festive new format—while keeping up with all the parties, presents, and pageants that make the holiday season magical.

Learn more and register here

Please leave a comment below sharing your favourite holiday tradition and you’ll be entered to win a spot in the class. I’ll close the comments on November 30th at 9pm EST.

BPC DD collage 1

I’m dreaming of Disney

I thought I was a fan of Disney World. Once I was past the age of 10, I was never really into Disney movies or culture. I just liked the theme parks. When I was three I went to Magic Kingdom for the first time. At age 11, I went to Epcot and Magic Kingdom. At 15, I went to MGM. I was always very nostalgic about those trips.

My husband took me to Disney World to propose. Unfortunately, I developed a nasty case of pneumonia. Fortunately, he still proposed. Oh, and I survived the pneumonia… let’s not forget that!

It was our dream to take our kids to Disney World. So, this November we did exactly that. It was mostly wonderful and magical. Somehow when you’re planning a trip like this, you aren’t imagining the whining that will accompany it. I did plan for down time and expect that everyone would have their less than perfect moments but still it can be stressful when people get overwhelmed, overheated, and plain tuckered out.

What I discovered is that it is the first day and last day that matter most. A first day is all about first impressions and feeling the magic of the place. The last day is your last impression and what you will remember simply because it happened last. You want to leave on a good note. We had a wonderful entrance to the Magic Kingdom (which I will talk about in a future layout which I will share later) and our last day was our most relaxing day of all.

I was surprised to discover I am not as big a fan of Disney Parks as I had thought. Even with low attendance in the parks, I found it too busy, too loud, and some of the park staff (cast members) had unnecessary attitude. I did not expect the latter. No big deal on the first half of the trip but by the end I was tired and overwhelmed which made me oversensitive to everything around me. Just like my kids! I got my fill of the place and don’t need to go back for several years.

We have been back half a week and every night I have been dreaming of Disney. Just some little aspect of our trip, looping over and over all night long. I must be processing the trip. Last night, it was standing in a line on a ride. No wonder I woke up with a headache!

I have 3600 photos I need to sift through, edit, and print for my scrapbook. This could take awhile!

In the meantime, last night I made a layout!

I used Karla Dudley product. She is having a 25% off sale until November 30th. If you spend $10 in her shop, you’ll receive a free Holly add-on kit. It includes the template I used in my layout!

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credits:

Holly | add-on pack by Karla Dudley
Chris the kit by Karla Dudley
Holly the kity by Karla Dudley
Toolbox Mists v.2 by Gennifer Bursett
Toolbox Mists v.1 by Gennifer Bursett

November Simple Scrapper Community Show & Tell…

Every month I make at least a couple layouts using the templates and story starters (journaling prompts) that come with premium membership at the Simple Scrapper. I’ve been lucky to do this for the past five months when I joined the Simple Scrapper creative team.

Each month, Simple Scrapper is hosting a Community Show & Tell. I will link up this post with my layout to the Simple Scrapper blog. Make sure to check out all the other layouts.

Additionally, you can join in on the fun by sharing a creative project you’ve recently finished and want to share. Check out the Simple Scrapper blog for details on how to link up.

Here are my two most recent layouts:

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This layout documents our way of spending time together on Thanksgiving weekend.

Credits: Autumn Glory by Scotty Girl Design
Early Morning by creashens
Sketch template from Simple Scrapper’s Premium Membership

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This one is about the struggles of a parent watching their kids flourish while also worrying about their safety as they explore their world.

Credits: Early Morning by creashens, Sketch template from Simple Scrapper’s Premium Membership & Inspired by a Story Starter from Simple Scrapper?s Premium Membership

I hope you’ll join in and show us what you’ve made!

 

What I did during my summer vacation…

… too much of this, too little of that, and now it is almost over. I can’t figure out where summer went. I’ve been looking under sofa cushions and in the back of closets. It has to be in there somewhere.

Today I’ll share some layouts I made this summer. I’ll leave out any that were in previous blog posts.

Enjoy these last days of August!

1. Love My Boy

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Sketch template from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership.
This one is a 6×6 for my project life album. All traditional paper supplies.

2. One Happy Family

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Sketch template from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership.
All traditional paper supplies.

3. Look What I Found

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Sketch template from Simple Scrapper Premium Membership.
Penny Collection by creashens
Simple Stitches 2 by Karen Funk
Toolbox: Mist V.7 by Gennifer Bursett
Toolbox: Mist V.4 by Gennifer Bursett

4. My Life

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Photo Journaling Cards Zen by Jennifer Valencia
Photo Journaling Cards Inspiration by Jennifer Valencia
Photo Quotes Set 2 by Jennifer Valencia
Window Systems Templates by Tiffany Tillman
Stargazer Papers by Dawn by Design
Constellations by Audacious Designs
Whale of a Tale by creashens
Hello Summer by Mye De Leon
New England Cottage by Mye De Leon
Polarod-ies set 1 by Karla Dudley
Life Defined by Karla Dudley
Stamp Press Life by Karla Dudley
Camp S’more Circle Stickers Brushes by Scotty Girl Design

5. Summer & Corn on the Cob

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Roughdraft No. 4 by Audacious Designs
Manifesto Template (word phrase) by Audacious Designs
Happy Camper | Patterns by Robyn Meierotto
Camp S’more Elements by Scotty Girl Design
Holiday Essentials- Bits and Pieces by Deena Rutter
Life Bits by Audacious Designs
Wired Words No.1 by creashens
S’more Please papers by creashens
Enjoy | Journal Cards by Robyn Meierotto
You Are Labels by The Ardent Sparrow
Mellow Yellow by Karla Dudley
Camp S’more Papers by Scotty GIrl Design
Date Stamps 2 by Scotty Girl Design
Summer Days Word Art by Scotty Girl Design

6. Summer Fun

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Camp S’more Circle Stickers & Brushes by Scotty Girl Design
Mellow Yellow by Karla Dudley
Camp S’more Folded Papers by Scotty Girl Design
Camp S’more Folded Paper Solids by Scotty Girl Design
summer manifesto template by audacious designs
rumpus by creashens
S’more Please Elements by creashens
Day Camp Wooden Words by Mommyish

7. Fun & Adventure

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S’more Please Elements by creashens
summer manifesto template by audacious designs
woodpile papers by audacious designs
Mellow Yellow by Karla Dudley
Corner Wraps by Designs by Dawn
Silver Lining Collab by Celeste Knight, Deena Rutter, Gennifer Bursett
Wander Lust by Audacious Designs

9. This Beautiful Life

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Endless Summer by Robyn Meierotto and Gennifer Bursett
Big Photo Templates by The Ardent Sparrow
Water Color Splatters by Celeste Knight
Stamp Press LifeStamp Press Photos by Karla Dudley

10. Yes, This.

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Dude Mini by Robyn Meierotto
In Stitches Template 5 by Robyn Meierotto
Endless Summer by Robyn Meierotto and Gennifer Bursett
Life Bits
Water color Splatters by Celeste Knight
Caffeine Papers by Robyn Meierotto

11. Look… A Rainbow

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In Stitches 1 by Robyn Meierotto
Go Journal Cards by Robyn Meierotto
Let’s Go by Robyn Meierotto
Waterly Doods Alpha by creashens
Penny Kit by creashens

On my mind: School’s out for summer! Scrapbooking! $10 off All Star class!

Lots going on right now. My eldest finished her first year of school yesterday. Today was our first official day of “summer”. It rained and rained and rained and then it rained some more. None of us seemed to mind. We slept in. We had a late breakfast. Our day consisted of Playdoh, drawing, games, and movie watching. I was almost giddy that we’re on “summer time” now. I liked that I have regained control of my days. No racing to catch buses, no structuring my day around school schedules. We just got to live our day on our own terms and I quite liked it. Pretty good considering I had a wicked headache and a long list of chores to accomplish.

Anyway, I thought today would be a good day to share some digital scrapbook layouts I’ve recently made.

Oh, and if you’re considering taking the All Star Techniques class at Scrapaneers (opening in August), pre-registration for the All-Stars class ends July 1st ($10 off!). I’m happy to say my contribution is Lesson #4, which is great because 4 is my favourite number!

So, before I show you my layouts, I’ll take a moment to wish you all a happy weekend!

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Credits:

Hello Eh by The Ardent Sparrow
Paper Stacks Templates by Scotty Girl Design

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Credits:

My Dad Arrows by WBI
Fatherhood | Word Art by Robyn Meierotto
Dad’s Day | the buttons by Karla Dudley
Dad’s Day | the letterpresses cards by Karla Dudley
Dad’s Day | the cardstocks by Karla Dudley
Now that’s Sweet templates by Tiffany Tillman
Brushies No.1 by creashens
Bubbly Stamps by creashens
Toolbox: Mists V.5 by Gennifer Bursett
Hello Summer Smears by Mye De Leon
Fatherhood | Patterns by Robyn Meierotto
Framed by Karla Dudley

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Credits:

Silver Lining by Deena Rutter (tag)
Scenic Route Full Kit by Deena Rutter
Wheel O’ Fortunate Word Art by Deena Rutter
Layered Layouts v.6 by Deena Rutter
Pura Vida Full Kit by Deena Rutter
Count On Me brushes by Deena Rutter
Whale of a tale by creashens

Save $10! Pre-register for All Star Digital Scrapbooking Techniques

I wanted to let all of you know about the pre-registration sale for All Stars Digital Techniques at Scrapaneers, opening August 5th. Register between now and July 1 and save $10.00 on the price of the class for either the Photoshop or the Photoshop Elements version.

I am very pleased to say I’m one of the instructors in the All Stars class. The entire class is self-paced with over two hours of video lessons geared towards the intermediate digital scrapbooker. Be sure to check out the class description to see the line-up of amazingly talented instructors… I can’t wait to learn a few new tips and tricks!

The photo below shows a sneak peek of my video lesson.

Sweet Little Perpetual Calendar

I get a bit nervous when it comes to craft projects. Yeah, I know… you didn’t expect me to say that. I over think things and then think I can’t do it. I need to get over that.

Anyway, several years ago I bought this little wooden perpetual calendar at a dollar store. It had the months and days printed in crooked black text on the wooden blocks. I knew it could be a beautiful calendar when adorned with pretty papers. I just waited for the right supplies to inspire me.

The other day I was browsing the shop at Pixels & Company and I came across Penny Kit (the bundle) by creashens. Isn’t it cute? I added the digital kit and Brushies No.1 (also by creashens) to my cart and got to work!

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Now I have a million and one pieces of physical scrapbook paper and products sitting on my craft table but it was the digital scrapbook kit that inspired me (it included awesome papers and washi tapes).

I measured the wooden blocks and in my Photoshop I recreated shapes in the same size. I needed a back and two sides for the calendar holder. I contemplated covering the inside of the holder too but decided I liked the wood. I made 12 squares for the number blocks, and 12 rectangles for the months.

I dragged in the papers I liked and clipped them to the shapes. I used the Anodyne font and used the colour picker tool to select colours to match the papers. Honestly, the hardest part of this whole project was choosing colours that matched AND stood out from the background. Oh, and you only need a 6 OR a 9, not both. See my image below to know which numbers need to be used for this project.

For the rectangles, I clipped in my papers and then added pieces of washi tape. I added my months with the Anodyne font. To make the text stand out more, I used the Brushies No.1 brushes to add a bit of white (usually) background.

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I printed my document out on matte Epson presentation paper. I used an exacto knife to cut out the shapes. I applied liberal amounts of double sided tape to the wooden blocks and stuck the paper to the block. I used my exacto knife to trim any paper that went off the edges of the block. Then I lightly sanded the edges. You can omit that step if you like.

That’s it… now I want to see if my local dollar store still has these. I want to make more!

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Scrapaneers!!! Are you READY for this?

Happy Monday Morning! Boy, do I have a BIG announcement for you today! Tiffany Tillman, the guru of digital scrapbooking (not just my humble opinion) is opening up an online learning centre called Scrapaneers. There will be workshops from various experts in the industry. I’ve seen some of the names… prepare to be educated and amazed! Oh, and there is also me… yup, I am THRILLED and incredibly grateful to be included as an instructor in the All-Star Techniques workshop. Can you hear my “wahoo”? Seriously, open your window…can you hear it?

In fact, here is a sneak peek at my video:

Sign up for the All Access Pass here. Hope to see you there soon!

Love me, Love my Bokeh.

Either you’re reading the title going “ah yes, I love Bokeh” or you are wondering what the heck I’m going on about. The third category would be that you simply don’t like Bokeh. I don’t think that is possible so I’m not offering that as an option. Who doesn’t find it fabulous?

Bokeh is the quality of the blur in photography. You know, all those pretty circles (usually) of light. They add such ambience to a photo. You can achieve the look with your camera if you know what to do and have the ability to use manual mode. Or you can add your own with a digital product. Today, Nancie Rowe Janitz added some Bokeh Photo Overlays to her shop here. I played around with them quickly with some photos I took a month ago. What do you think?

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This is the product I used:

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It’s a Beautiful Day!

Joyous moments. Ordinary moments. Challenging Moments. They are all we have. I had a busy day taking care of kids and doing yard work (gardening, planting, cleaning). My daughter wanted to put out the sprinkler and the baby pool. We’ve never put it in the front yard before but I figured we’d be wild and free and try it just this once. After shoveling mulch for 30 minutes, I sat on the porch and watched the kids play. We really had one of our best afternoons ever. My daughter was running around laughing and said she was having fun just like when she was little. She is five and is already nostalgic for the past.

While watching out over my yard, I was reminded of someone who has recently passed on. For the past couple of years, I always think of her when I look out at my yard from the porch. Simply because she once commented on a certain scrapbook layout I had posted in an online gallery. I don’t know why it stuck with me but whenever I see the curve of my sidewalk and the row of plants, I think of her. So today, as I enjoyed the moment, I was also very much aware of how little we control our lives and how life can pass by so quickly.

Lisa Tauzell (LisaTaz) was a very talented and prolific digital scrapbooker. She was young with a husband and three daughters. We had crossed paths many times in online classes, galleries, and creative teams. While we were not more than online acquaintances, I was saddened when I heard she was ill. It crossed my mind often the past year or so. My heart went out to her and the incredible heartache she must have felt knowing she would have to leave her girls behind, and the heartache her girls and husband must feel. She left this earthly world just over a month ago and I think of her and her family often. I imagine her scrapbooking gave her comfort knowing she was passing on invaluable love and information in those pages. I’m sure all her efforts will be treasured.

Here is that layout (which links to the gallery where she posted) Lisa commented on. It is funny because it wasn’t the only layout of mine she had ever commented on, and other people left comments on this layout too. Somehow her comments on this one left such an impression. Curious.

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I miss you, Lisa.

These Days

Man, I’m tired. That is what has been on my mind the most lately. I’ve got oodles to do and most of it I’m really excited about. I’ve just been struggling a bit to get it all done… or started, for that matter.

Anyway, I have a bit of good news to share. I’m now on the Simple Scrapper team. See the announcement here. This is something new for me and I’m pretty excited about it. Starting in June, I’ll be designing layouts for monthly challenges and what not.

I’d also like to mention that Simple Scrapper has a free summer class. I highly recommend signing up now.

That’s all for now. Oh wait, I might as well share my latest layout. I did it today. We had the most gorgeous sunset last night and I thought it was “scrapbook worthy”. Night night!

clivesay_allthatglitters_sunset-160Credits:
All That Glitters | Templates by Crystal Livesay
The Avery Elements by The Ardent Sparrow
The Ombre Kraft Papers by The Ardent Sparrow

Pixels And Company iNSD Creative Team Blog Hop

Hello hello, fellow bloghoppers. You’ve found yourself in the midst of the Pixels & Company iNSD CT blog hop!

What does that mean? Each creative team member has chosen four of their favourite products to highlight on their blog.

Then each of us reveals a letter. You need to collect all the letters in order to spell out a phrase. That phrase will get you a free set of journal cards. The journal cards have been made by the creative team using papers and elements from the Pixels and Company Designers’ iNSD  “More or Less” kit collaboration.

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So, here are my four favourites. I’m sure you’ll like them as much as I do:

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Why do I love these? Let me count the ways:

Artistic Photo Masks Five by Simply Tiffany Studios – These masks are dramatic. They make a real impact. I clip my photos to them but occasionally even papers. They are great for a blended, artistic feeling page. They are great clustered (as shown in the preview) or as individual frames. A very quick way to spice up your layout.

InstaLuv by Karla Dudley – These are FAB-uu! Seriously, I use these all the time. You can personalize the frames in so many ways. Lots of variation. Room for titles, a phrase, or just your photo. Totally up to you. You’ll use them again and again.

Pitter Patter kit by creashens – Ok, it is freakin’ adorable. It really is. I’m mostly nostalgic about it because it is the first kit I ever used by creashens. That opened a whole world of wonder for me. I am grateful for that.

I also love creashen’s whimsical style.

Keeping Tabs: Weekday Files by Robyn Meierotto – I can’t get enough of how awesome these look. Really awesome. I used one in my Project Life. I use them in fully digital layouts. You can journal on them. Layer photos and elements on them. You name it, just do it!

Was that enough enthusiasm for you? I hope so.

This post was brought to you by the letter:

U

You came from Celeste Smith’s blog . Next up is Aria Andrus’s blog .

And if you’d like to start back at the beginning, here is the complete, in order list:

P&Co Blog

Sarah Hemmert 
Katherine Hansen
Mandi Buchanan
Kate Christensen
Rachel Alles
Anna Drozd
Jan Fortier
Carey Bridges
Emilie Stevenson
Ronnie Crowley
Amy Kingsford
Jennifer Hignite
Celeste Smith
Melanie Ritchie —> hey peeps, that’s me.
Aria Andrus
Jennifer Evangelista
Linda Roos
Christy Carlson
Barbara Unzen
Mary Rogers
Arielle Gordon
Jeryn Carlisi
Indah Permata Sari
Melanie Call
Jen Papadimitriou
Erin Taylor
Kelly Mobley
Kim Hammond
Wendy Bretz

It is “I ♥ Nancie” time again… Part One

Every once in a while I get a hankering to blog about Nancie Rowe Janitz. She is a designer I met a few years ago in the wonderful world of digital scrapbooking. We went off to separate online stores and I didn’t want to lose touch with her so I joined her creative team. She is just a wonderful, genuine and talented soul. If you haven’t checked out her website, now would be a good time! She also sells at JessicaSprague.com and Society6. Her paper scrapbooking products are licensed through Fancy Pants Designs.

I’m a big fan of her digital photo overlays & masks, and her brushes. She has a lot of other wonderful papers and elements too. All are digital products to be used in Photoshop to make scrapbook pages, hybrid projects, print outs, and cards.

What I’d like to focus on is using her products to make cards for Project Life.

Do you know what Project Life is? It’s a new way of looking at scrapbooking. It has been around for a few years now but recently has exploded in popularity. The Project Life product line was developed by Becky Higgins. Since she debuted the system, numerous companies and designers have been creating products that complement the system. Instead of 12×12 layouts, there are page protectors with several different configurations of pockets. They are generally 4×6 and 3×4 pockets but some protectors have 6×6 or 4×4 slots. Lots of different arrangements. You can also get the system in a digital format.

While digital scrapbooking comes more naturally to me, and I am way more productive digitally, I prefer to do my Project Life album in a hybrid format. What does that mean? It means sometimes I like to work with my hands. It means I have too many supplies cluttering my craft space. Ok, seriously, it means I use a blend of traditional crafting supplies and papers along with items made on my computer. Sometimes, I’ll just print out a journal card that a digital designer has made. I’ll write my journaling on it and that’s it. Other times, I’ll do a full digital design on a card, complete with shadowing, frames and journaling. Nothing has to be added. I just slip the printed piece into a pocket protector. Or I might just print out a piece of digital paper and then add my own stickers and tags from my paper supplies. There are no rules.

I prefer to do my album this way because I like to add bits of ephemera. Sometimes I want the original rather than a scanned in version. My only issue is that I can’t easily make copies of my layouts. With my digital scrapbooking, I can print off as many multiples as I want. So if down the line both my kids want their own copies of my albums, they can print off more pages. Not so easy with a traditional scrapbook.

Back to Nancie. I’d like to show you how her products can be utilized in the Project Life system. I am going to do this in four blog posts over the course of the month. In the final post, I’ll show a completed layout using the various products I used.

Today, I’m going to highlight one of Nancie’s newest products, her Moments: 3×4 Accent Cards . Here is what they look like in her store:

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I’ve printed off 3 of the cards and simply placed them in the pockets of my page protector. Every week I do a 2 page layout covering the events of the week. Cards that don’t have anything added to them are called “filler cards”. This product works great all on its own. I LOVE the dymo label words on the cards.

In my next post (coming soon), I’ll show you how I made them more than just “filler cards” by adding photos and journaling. I’ll also show you a couple more products and how I use them for my layout. Stay tuned….

Journal Your Art Out people! Go for it, I dare you!

Last night, I made a 12×12 layout using Journal Your Art Out 5 by Nancie Rowe Janitz Designs and Fiddlette Designs. It will be available at JessicaSprague.com as of Friday, January 23, 2013.

I was feeling a bit artsy so I found a cute and whimsical photo of my daughter eating her lunch while dressed in fairy wings. It worked really well with the kit. There are lots of wonderful brushes and elements in the kit that can be used again and again and again and again and again. You get the idea. I have a couple more ideas I’d like to try in other layouts. I finished off this layout with a quote I quite like. Which leads me to ask, “What do YOU plan to do with your wild and precious life?”

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Here is a wonderful and rare sneak peek at the kit. Do be sure to check it out! I’ll add a link once it has been released.

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Pixels and Company… Most Super Fab Digital Store in Digiland

Am I overdoing it with the enthusiastic heading? I don’t think so. I have a guest spot on the Creative Team at Pixels and Company, a brand new digital scrapbooking store. I have to say, I’m pretty darn thrilled to be there in the presence of such talent.

Now, some of you may know that I am also a designer of scrapbooking products. So, you might wonder why I’m on a creative team. Well, I found that I was getting really tired and didn’t have any time to do my own life documenting. I have young kiddos and I want to soak in this time I have with them while they’re so young. So, I’m putting less time into my designing (for now) and using my free time for scrapbooking about my life as it is now. It is important to me to remember these moments, conversations, tidbits of joy and hardship, that make up our lives right now. I hope designing has a place in my life once my kids are both in school. For now, the scale is tipped in favour of cherishing my family life and its documentation. Being on a creative team allows me to do just that.

So, with all that said, here are some layouts I’ve made for Pixels and Company since their soft opening. Their grand opening will be on February 1st. Right now, the designers are stocking their digital shelves and there are a LOT of products on for a dollar. Starting February, get ready to see a whole bunch of brand spanking new digi goodness.

Tea Time

I used:
Heart of the Holidays Template 4 by Simply Tiffany Studios
Insta.Luv frames by Karla Dudley
Peppermint Stick Kit by Karen Funk
Caffeine Papers (and elements – button) by Robyn Meierotto

Contexual Journal Cards

Three journal cards from Simply Tiffany Studios Contextual Template Cards #1. I altered colours of layers and added a word or two. I printed on a kraft paper that has a gold shimmer to it. Then added my own embellishments and journaling.
I couldn’t get the dymo labels to focus in my photos… will have to work on that!

Everyday with You

I used:
Heart of the Story Templates Add-on Pack One by Simply Tiffany Studios
Made of Awesome Element Pack by Gennifer Bursett
Made of Awesome Paper Pack by Gennifer Bursett
Frame Essentials (BokehLuv and InstaLuv) by Karla Dudley
Everyday Life Sentiments by Karla Dudley
Splatter by Karla from Green Light Ahead

Twenty13-January_plcard-160

I used Twenty13 – Calendar Cards by Robyn Meierotto
I added two photos. I selected the colour blocked parts of the card and used the selection as a mask on my photos so only part of the photos would show.
I’ll use this in my project life album. Btw, the B&W photo looks that way because there is snow on the window and the coloured looks that way because I was trying to capture the mist.

Sweet as Pie

I used:
Heart of the Story Templates Add-on Pack One by Simply Tiffany Studios
Caffeine – Papers by Robyn Meierotto
Made of Awesome Element Pack by Gennifer Bursett
Happy Holiday by Karla Dudley
Peppermint Stick – Elements by Karen Funk
Frame Essentials by Karla Dudley
Jumbo Sentiment Cards 1 by Karla Dudley

Today Jan 11, 2013

I used Made of Awesome Element Pack and Made of Awesome Paper Pack by Gennifer Bursett on a layered template called Contextual Template Cards no. 2 by Simply Tiffany Studios. I then printed it out for my project life album.

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I made a project life card with Robyn Meierotto’s Caffeine elements and a paper from her Quilting Bee v2 Digital Papers. I made the card in photoshop, printed it out and pasted it onto a project life card which has hidden journaling on the inside.

 

Project Life 2013: Week 1 and 2

I’m playing a bit of catch up here. Yesterday, I went to a crop (yippee!) and managed to focus just enough to finish off my week one and two of project life. I also editted a bunch of photos to finish up my month of December. That will take a while yet!

So, today I’m going to show you my Week One and Week Two of Project Life.

PL_Wk1_blog-_750px160I started with Dec 31st to give a sense of how my 2012 turned into 2013. I’ll end my 2012 album with a photo from Dec 31st. Yes, I’m in no way finished my 2012 album. As I keep up with my 2013 I plan to also backtrack through 2012 finishing up each week as I go.

My hopes for 2013 is to stick to using a week title card and using a 2 page spread per week. Yet, I know I’m not good at following rules in creative projects, so who knows!

I am trying a mish mash of products and techniques this year: Editting photos in photoshop and adding text to them; creating full digital layouts and printing them out in 6×6; printing out digital cards and either using digital elements to complete them, or printing them onto coloured paper and using real-life embellishments; using Thickers and various letter stickers on top of photos; using paints and sprays; and incorporating my One Little Word pages into the album. We’ll see how it goes!

I used digital elements from Pixels & Company (Tillany Tillman –Contextual Cards 1 & 2 and Robyn Meierotto – Caffeine Papers & Elements, Gennifer Bursett’s Made of Awesome papers and elements)  and Nancie Rowe Janitz’s Painted Pages: Botanical Papers (@Jessica Sprague).

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So, it is Thursday night….

… and I still haven’t scrapbooked. Why? Oh, a little thing called the flu. I promised my daughter we’d make cookies. I didn’t feel like it. I really didn’t feel like it and was thinking I’d try to convince her to wait until tomorrow. What changed my mind? I went to get her off the bus and the first words out of her mouth as she descended the bus stairs was “are we making cookies?”.  So, we made cookies. We only made one batch of sugar cookies. Actually, we only made half of a batch. We rolled out the dough, cut out the shapes, and decorated two trays of cookies. They were so engrossed in their sprinkles, I realized they didn’t really notice we still had enough dough left for two more trays. So I put the dough back into the fridge. Now, if you live near me and are reading this in a timely manner, don’t go thinking you are getting some of these fine cookies. You won’t. Although I made the kids wash their hands thoroughly before sitting at the table, my son coughed all over the cookies and wiped his nose with the back of his hand across his face. He’s also had a tummy ache all day. We all have the flu or various degrees of some sort of illness. So, I think perhaps we’ll eat these cookies ourselves. They were lovely though. Snowmen, stars, tree ornaments. All covered with loads and loads of sprinkles. Pink, red (LOTS of red courtesy of my son), orange, silver, and gold. At one point my daughter spontaneously burst into song about how glorious our cookies were. Ok, it was just a carol but I know her decorating inspired her. Then I put on a Christmas show for the kids while I cleaned up. My daughter complained of an ear ache. Uh oh! She was suddenly really not feeling well so she fell asleep on the couch. She doesn’t nap unless she is ill. Not a good sign. Somehow day turned into evening and now I am trying to record at least a bit of the season. Hopefully soon I’ll be snapping photos, journaling and scrapbooking all about the season. Oh, and did I mention on my lowest day of days, I got summoned for Jury Duty. That was a lovely panic attack I didn’t expect. I feel a spa day coming on. Ok, just kidding… but wouldn’t that be nice?

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I used:
Heart of the Holidays template #2 by Tiffany Tillman… from the Heart of the Holidays class at ReneePearson.com
I also used: Joyeaux Noel brushes by Nancie Rowe Janitz, Alfresco paper (background) by Nancie Rowe Janitz and Silver & Gold 2 paper (gold strip) by Nancie Rowe Janitz.
The date banner is So Daily by Pink Trike Designs.

A little more love for Nancie Rowe Janitz

A while back… ok, nearly a year ago, I oohed and aahed over how much I love Nancie’s brushes, overlays, and designs in general. She is a fabulously talented artist, designer, instructor, and person. I like her.

Well, I’ve been trying out her Mixed.3 Madness photoshop series workshop. It’s a 16 page pdf with step-by-step instructions (with some of her hard learned secrets) on using her media backgrounds with her masks and brushes. She even includes some brushes and masks (and maybe more??? hint hint)… that alone is worth the generously low price.

I really could have used this workshop when I was first getting into digital scrapbooking. I was so overwhelmed and question marks were constantly flying through my mind as I struggled to figure out how all these cool effects on layouts were created. If only I’d known of Nancie then. If only her workshop had been available.

So what do you get from this?
– Instruction in Photoshop. She is very clear in her instructions so even beginners can follow along. A great way to learn more about Photoshop. If you’re more advanced then you’ll love the workshop too because it will show you new techniques.
– high-quality products she’s included
– an end product you can feel really proud and excited about… gorgeous photo treatments, and your own custom-blended papers. It is pretty cool to be able to customize your papers by learning to blend her overlays together. And might I add, the quality and detail of the texture is quite incredible.

Here are some of my photo treatments that I made while following along with her workshop.

Here is Nancie’s workshop. Click on it to see it in her store.

Oh, and just so you know, Nancie didn’t put me up to this… I am one of her biggest fans and I want all of you out there in digi-land to find out just how great she is and how you can take your scrapbooking to the next level.

Thanks for reading!

25 Days of Christmas… am I crazy? Crazy for Christmas!


Yes, I think I must be crazy. I’m pretty busy raising my two little ones (2 1/2 and 8 months). Yet I am passionate about scrapbooking (obsessive perhaps?). Once the kids are in bed, I go to my computer and create digital scrapbook layouts while my husband works on his research. Sometimes, we just watch TV. Some nights, we’re just struggling to get both children asleep… ok, a lot of nights! I am nursing and my son has been waking up hungry every few hours. Funny, at 2 months old, he sometimes slept anywhere from 5-8 hours. Now, every 2 or 3? Ugh. Love the little guy and I love nursing but I also really love sleep. ANYWAY…. none of this stops me from staying up too late so that I can work on scrapbooking. So, now that I’m beyond sleep deprived I’ve decided to take a couple paid courses. I can’t help myself… they were just too good to miss.
I’ve signed up for Tiffany Tillman’s 25 Days of Templates: The Holiday edition. I took it last year. That course inspired me to switch completely to digital scrapbooking (for now) and I’ve learned SO much since then (and even accomplished my goal of being on a creative team!!!) So, I’m taking this year’s course too. The content is completely different.
Then I noticed SherrieJD’s Countdown2Christmas course. It came with the cutest kit that I HAD TO HAVE! The course is geared towards art journals but sounds like it will be full of wonderful ideas and inspiration that I can apply to my digital scrapbooking. I thought I might use it in conjunction with the templates from Tiffany’s class.
Oh, but why stop there?
I got an email mentioning that Jessica Sprague is offering a free December Daily class. Well, I can’t miss that, now can I?
And finally I just found out that Leora Sanford is having a 25 days of Christmas on her blog. She’ll have inspiration, giveaways, freebies, how-tos from December 1-25. She has oodles of sponsors for this. Check her blog out athttp://leora-sanford.blogspot.com/. As you can tell, I’m super excited! Now let’s just hope I can stay awake!
Yes, my head is swirling with Christmas! Join me, won’t you?