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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It’s Here! it’s Here!

Oh, happy day, I got the scrapbooking tool of my dreams! It showed up at my door pretending to be a cardboard box.  I opened up that box and there it was in its plastic covered glory. I bought myself a We R Memory Keepers Photo Sleeve Fuse which have just become available in stores. I am pretty busy these days but I kind of want to clear my schedule and play for a day.

Photo Sleeve Fuse Tool | Melanie Ritchie

So, what does this handy tool do, you ask? It is a burn tool that lets you seal off memorabilia and journal cards in page protectors. You can custom make your pockets  in the protectors. If you’re not a scrapbooker, just nod encouragingly, ok? If you ARE a scrapbooker (particularly of the pocket page/project life variety) you’ll understand WHY this is such a big deal.

I am looking to using this project because:

  • I won’t have to stress over how my portrait or landscape photos are going to fit  on the same page. As in, it used to be impossible.
  • I can use odd sized papers.
  • I can totally seal off sections. A locket of my daughter’s first curl. Sequins.
  • SEQUINS. Yes, I plan to fill pockets with pretty sequins and things that appear suspended in mid-air. It will be lovely.
  • I can seal off a bit of the top or side of open pockets where the paper or photo is always slipping out.

Freakin’ genius technology that is going to make this girl smile from ear to ear when she finally sits down at that craft table (eyeing it longingly right now).

That’s all for now. I’ll post again soon with a full report on the awesomeness of this tool.

Nighters!

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.

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Happy Sunday!

Happy 2015! Peace and Love to all!

Well, hello there! I hope you’re enjoying New Year’s Day.  I had a fun New Year’s eve at a friend’s house, chatting with neighbours while the kids played. My daughter even got to skate in their backyard rink. Definitely the best New Year’s eve we’ve had since moving here over six years ago. My son looked so sleepy and I told him we’d go home as I knew he was so tired. He said “Mom, REALLY I’m not tired. REALLY Mom, really!” and then he fell asleep in my arms. So funny! We headed home and my daughter asked to stay up to countdown. This was a first for her. I was happy to have my head hit the pillow at roughly 12:05am. Ahhhh!

I thought I’d share a few photos from my December.

I worked a bit on an album of the month of December but didn’t get very far. The usual reasons. Busy times and colds.

1. Here is my first page for December. It still needs a bit of detail work.

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2. I thought I’d take a lot of photos but the month seemed to zip by. I did take a photo of my cat. She’s 14. I’d just given her a haircut. The photo next to it is an ornament that looks like ribbon candy. My daughter thought it was bacon. Which is extra funny since she is vegetarian.

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3. I was pleased as punch to take this photo. “It’s a Small World” is my favourite ride at Disney World and I like the light in the photo.

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4. I spent an hour one afternoon playing around with shaped Bokeh. Fair to say, I haven’t perfected it yet. I punched shapes out of black cardstock and attached the paper to my lens. My photography goal for 2015 is to master that technique. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

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5. The wreath on my front door.

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Tomorrow I’ll show you some digital layouts I created in December.

Happy New Year!

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela.

Last night my husband told me Nelson Mandela had died. I was saddened to hear the news. Although he was 95, many of those years weren’t his to live freely. I woke up to read the Facebook status of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He said he had lost a dear friend. Those two seem like they would be deserving best friends. The Dalai Lama described Nelson Mandela as “a man of courage, principle and unquestionable integrity, a great human being, someone of whom we can truly say, “He lived a meaningful life.

I’ll never be Nelson Mandela. I’ll never be the Dalai Lama. I highly doubt my life will make profound change in the world. Yet, I like to think I’ll have moments that help to change the current from misery to bliss. My own little splashes of Goodness in the River of Life.

Next in my Facebook, I saw someone in a scrapbooking group was collecting quotes to put on journal cards for her Project Life album. I thought “hey, I can help with that” and so I did!

Here are 6 journal cards (3×4) for my readers to download. They are free! If you feel like paying something, go “pay it forward” and make someone’s day special somewhere out there in the world. Even just a smile to a stranger would be good payment, don’t you think?

I made the cards 3.25×4.25 (extra room at the sides) so that they can be printed correctly at Persnickety Prints or wherever you print your journal cards. This way, the edges won’t get cut off when you print.

Enjoy! Go out there and live a meaningful moment in honour of Nelson Mandela.

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3 Things I’m loving

The room is a bit spinny, perhaps I should go to bed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and I’m struggling to get everything done. Just wanted to take a quick moment to share three things I’m into at the moment.

1. Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush BzzAgent sent me some swag for their Crest Pro-Health campaign. I received Crest Pro-Health PROFRESH Toothpaste, Oral-B CrossAction Pro-Health Toothbrush, and Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse. The toothbrush and toothpaste were already my favourite brand. The mouthwash was a bonus. I like the way it doesn’t burn my tongue. What I really love is the toothbrush. I’ve never had a better toothbrush. I hope Oral-B never discontinues making it.

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2. Honey, I Washed the Kids soap from Lush Cosmetics
I got a little star shaped soap at Christmas time. Because of the name, I thought I’d let the kids use it. I did BUT I fell in love with it and one day I treated myself to a bar all for myself. It smells so incredibly good. I want to eat it… well, not really. The soap is so creamy and doesn’t leave an itchy film. If I could only have one soap for the rest of my life, I’d pick this one.

lushsoap

3. The Everything Planner: 2013-2014 Printables by Gennifer Bursett
These charts and planners are going to make my life a breeze in 2014. I swear! They’re awesome in both functionality and prettiness. Wouldn’t you say? Calendars, Chore Charts, Checklists, To Do Lists.

ALSO… I am using them in my Project Life scrapbooking. I resized a calendar and to do list onto 4″x6″ cards to insert into my weekly layouts. I also cut out a strip of dates for a layout about back to school.

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

Well, that took awhile! Life got busy so my last installment of Project Life, beautified with Nancie Rowe Janitz products, is a bit late being posted. I also snuck in a few of Nancie’s newest items from her digital shop. To see all her digital offerings, check out her store at JessicaSprague.com.

I hope my previous posts have given you ideas on how you can incorporate Nancie’s digital items into your Project Life album, whether you are a 100% digital or hybrid scrapbooker. I’m still learning what works best for me. I had fun with this series of blog posts as it gave me an excuse to play around and try new things. I tend to get intimidated easily by products and techniques that are new to me. I’m sure many of you are like that too. The best advice I can give is to just jump in and try it out.  Here are my firstsecond, and third posts to see what has been covered so far.

If you need a refresher on what Project Life is, please check out Becky Higgins’ site Project Life.

The items I made in these blog posts were actually used in Week Twelve AND Week Thirteen of my 2013 album. I am only showing you Week Twelve at the moment. Week Thirteen is not finished because I had an issue with my printer.

Normally, my weekly spreads are heavy on photography. I like taking photos and usually struggle to find a place to put my journaling. Week Twelve was a rare exception. It was the week I got the flu. I didn’t do a whole lot that week and I barely took any photos. Deciding how to fill my page protector took some serious thought.

So, here is how it looks as a two-page spread:

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Here is the left side. For the title card I added a dymo label, some transparency elements and a staple to the card I made digitally. The card on the top right is one of Nancie’s Life Journal: In The Mix 4×6″ Accent Cards. After printing it out I added a couple dymo type stickers and wrote my journaling. For the first 3×4 card I added a word bubble from Nancie’s  Life Journal: Say What!?! and adhered with a piece of foam tape to one of Nancie’s cards. I’ve mentioned card two and three before. For the fourth, I added a photo of my daughter and wrote some journaling on top of the card I’d made with Nancie’s product.

The bottom left card was fun to make. I placed my silhouette die cut shape (by Nancie) on my card as a mask. I sprayed overtop. I took off the die cut. I didn’t think the word “life” showed up enough as just white space so I outlined it in silver. I wasn’t totally thrilled with it until I placed the die cut back and offset it slightly. Now I love it. You can see a bit of the white space and silver outline behind the die cut. I added a bit of journaling. The bottom right card was my attempt at trying something new. I doodled. I used a blender pen. I used mist sprays. I put a piece of vellum (with specks of imbedded glitter) over the left portion, then traced the butterfly and flower again. I painted my doodled girl with ink and a blender pen. I added dymo labels. It says “dreaming of… Easter, spring, new ideas, fun”.

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Here is the right side of my spread. The top two cards did not involve Nancie’s product. I had intended for photos to go in these spaces but I didn’t have the photo bug that week. Just a stomach bug.

The middle far left and far right cards used Nancie’s supplies. Both are mentioned in a previous post. I added washi tape, stickers, and a stamped image to the card on the left. The card on the right hasn’t changed since the last blog post. For the bottom right card I journaled about my daughter getting her first allowance. I was VERY excited to find that one of Nancie’s cards had an account ledger type design to it. Perfect! It is from her Life Journal: In The Mix 4×6″ Accent Cards.


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So, there you go! I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts. When I get some time I’ll post Week Thirteen so you can see how I used the rest of the cards I made with Nancie’s products. They were pretty evenly split between the two weeks. In the meantime, please link to your projects using Nancie’s supplies. I’d love to see what you’ve made!

Happy Crafting!

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

I’m back again with another foray into the world of Project Life, beautified with Nancie Rowe Janitz products. To see all her digital offerings, check out her store at JessicaSprague.com.

My goal is to show you how easy it is to use her products in your own Project Life album (whether it is 100% digital, or a hybrid mish mash of printed and digital). My Project Life is a mix of digital layouts, digital items printed out, and traditional paper supplies. My album is an excuse to get creative and experiment with new techniques. If you need a refresher on what Project Life is, please check out Becky Higgins’ site Project Life.

Here are my first and second posts to see what has been covered so far.

Last week, I showed several ways Nancie’s word art can be used. We covered turning a word into a cutting file for the Silhouette, making a digital journal card with drop shadowing to make it realistic, and stamping onto your photo.

Today, I will show you my layout as a work in progress. So often I’ll look at Project Life spreads on the internet. I ooh and aah over them wondering how they achieved the look. I’m going to try to show how things look as I work on the spread. So when you see it completed in my next post, you’ll have an idea on how to use the same products.

1.

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Technique #1: Using Digital Paper as a background. 

Ok, this card isn’t from the week I have been working on for this blog post. It is from Week Two (in case that wasn’t obvious). I printed out one of Nancie’s Painted Pages – Botanicals papers onto a 4×6 card. I painted part of the card with a shimmery white paint. Then I covered it with Thickers alphabet stickers. Done.

supplies used: Painted Pages – Botanicals, white shimmery ink, alphabet stickers

2.

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Technique #2: Making Journal cards with brushes or papers

I love this technique the best. I usually have a lot to say so I like making journal cards. For the one above I used a “true story” stamp from Nancie’s StoryStarts Vol. 1:The Real Story . For the lines, I cut out a set of dots and cut/pasted them into a double lined row. Then I cut and pasted that row into a few more. Voila, journal lines!  I printed out the card, rounded the corners, and now I just need to finish my journaling. Not sure what I’ll do with the photo that is currently covering the card.

You’ll notice all the sticky notes. I use them ALL the TIME! They are AWESOME! I use pencil so I can use the sticky notes again. I take them off as soon as I am done each pocket. I use them to remind myself of the topic I want to journal about or of the photo I want to place. If I don’t use them, I have chaos. Here, I’ll make this text yellow like a sticky note so you remember to try this in your own system.

In the card to the left of the “True Story” card, you’ll see it has a ledger paper from Nancie’s Old Ledgers Papers. I often use patterned papers that have a grid or ledger to make journal cards. I love this look. I tend to use a journal card with lines or a grid. Otherwise I write slanted.

My other tip? I always write with a pencil first. I use a Zig Millenium pen for my journaling. I also like Micron markers. Then I erase the lines after with a white eraser.

In the bottom left card I printed out one of Nancie’s Moments: 3×4 Accent Cards, and the card on the right I used StoryStarts Vol. 1:The Real Story, and added a brush stroke from one of Nancie’s products. (Forgive me, I have totally forgotten where I took it from… but I do know it is a Nancie product.).

supplies used: StoryStarts Vol. 1:The Real StoryMoments: 3×4 Accent Cards, Old Ledgers

3.

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Technique #3: Make your own cutting file.

I took words from Nancie’s This Day Stamp Set and imported them into the Silhouette Studio software. I placed them in a way I found attractive. I made sure each element (here, &, now) were touching at some spot and welded the words into one piece. I traced it and cut it out onto a yellow paper. I added little mirrors to the card to remind myself that life is always changing and to be mindful of the moment I am in.

The blue card to the left is another of Nancie’s papers from her Sweet Stories 1. See how great her papers work as background filler cards?

supplies used: This Day Stamp SetSweet Stories 1

4.

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Technique #4: Adding focus to your cards

The card on the right was one of Nancie’s Moments: 3×4 Accent Cards. I took one of her Crazy for Chevron brushes and added it to the card and then printed it out. I am going to add something to the bottom portion of the card. The chevron will give focus to the part I need to add.

The card on the left uses one of Nancie’s Certified Organic 1 brushes. Again, I’ll use the lines as a guide for my journaling.

supplies used: Crazy for Chevron 1: Handcrafted ,   Moments: 3×4 Accent Cards ,  Certified Organic 1

5.

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Technique #5: A mini digital layout works too

Sometimes it can all be done in Photoshop. I really do like my Project Life to be a blend of digital and traditional supplies. I like the depth and texture of using both. However, sometimes it is just easier to go all digital! For me, anyway. The card on the left is a good example of that. I used the Sweet Stories 1 paper as my background. The paper already had a pink square perfect as a frame for my photo. I used StoryStarts Vol. 1:The Real Story  to add “the 411” brush and another chevron brush. I printed it out and added my own journaling. So I guess it wasn’t totally digital as I added the journaling afterwards. Oops.

The card on the right, I used another paper from the Sweet Stories 1. I added “Remember” from the This Day Stamp Set. I still need to add either journaling or a photo to the framed part.

supplies used: Sweet Stories 1,  This Day Stamp Set ,  StoryStarts Vol. 1:The Real Story

In my next & final post of this series, I will finish off my cards with some embellishments using Nancie’s brushes. I’ll show you my completed cards and how they look all together on a finished Project Life spread.

If you have used Nancie Rowe Janitz product on your Project Life, share a link in the comments section. I’d love to see what you made.

Happy Crafting!

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

Alright, today is the day I show you what I’ve been doing with Nancie Rowe Janitz’s digital products. 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.

My goal is to show you how easy it is to use her products in your own Project Life album (whether it is 100% digital, or a hybrid mish mash of printed and digital). My Project Life is a mix of digital layouts, digital items printed out, and traditional paper supplies. My album is an excuse to get creative and experiment with new techniques. If you need a refresher on what Project Life is, please check out Becky Higgins’ site Project Life.

My original plan was to show you various techniques and then show you my finished layout at the end. Turns out my blog posts are like my mind… scattered. So, it will be more of a display of how I go about the process.

Today I want to show you various ways to incorporate Nancie’s “Only Words” handwritten words into your project life. She has several other products that can be used in this way. These are digital brushes but Nancie also includes the .png file. The brushes are in a file that ends with .abr. Usually all I have to do is double click on it and they will install in my Photoshop. Then I select the brush I want and stamp it on my layout. I recommend using brushes because you have control over the size and orientation. If you aren’t quite ready for all that, open up the .png file and place into your layout. That works too.

First, I’ll show you some of Nancie’s “Only Words” products:

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Only Words: Heartfelt

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Only Words: Valentine

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Only Words: Today

Oh and I also used this lovely product in one of my examples:

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Girly Girl Word Art

Ok, so there are some of the word packs. Now I will show you three ways I used files.

Technique #1: Stamping on your photo

I used the brush called “seek” from Girly Girl Word Art and simply stamped the word onto a new layer. I moved it where I wanted it on the photo. I really like this effect. I’ve been writing on my photos a lot more recently. I also added the date stamp from Nancie’s This Day Stamp Set  which I will mention further in an upcoming blog post.

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Technique #2: Silhouette cutting machine

Ok, many of you have electronic cutting systems. For those of you who don’t, I’m sorry to leave you out on this one. I have a Silhouette machine (the old original) so I can’t speak for anyone using a Cricut. I’m not familiar enough with how they work.

Cutting files are great. Did you know that you don’t have to have special files to use them? I just imported a .png file “life” from Only Words: Today. After importing I had to 1) select the trace area 2) trace 3) size to fit a 4×6 card and 4) cut. So far I just placed the word in a page protector. You’ll have to stay tuned to see what I do with it.

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Technique #3: Making a Digital Journal Card

I used the “week” brush (#7) from Only Words: Today. Again I stamped it on a new layer.

Let’s see, how did I do this? I made a layer and used a large soft brush and painted a diagonal red line in the corner. Then did an orange stripe next to the red. Then yellow, green, blue and so on. I clipped the rainbow coloured layer to the layer with the “week” brush on it. Then I added a drop shadow. I right clicked on the effects layer and chose “create layer”. This separates the drop shadow onto its own layer. I used the warp tool (edit/transform/warp) and pulled a bit at the shadow to make the text appear to lift off the page a bit. You could also use the smudge tool instead of the warp tool if you prefer. I wanted to make the word appear to look like a cutting file would. Do you think it worked?

For the background of my card I used one of Nancie’s PDQ Overlays Vol.13 and blended a layer of cream that had a “screen” effect on it.

Once I printed out the card, I rounded the corners and added a dymo label. Voila!

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I’ll be back soon with the next installment of Nancie/Project Life synergy.

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….

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

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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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Cupcakes & Project Life

What do cupcakes and project life  have in common? 1. They’re oh so pretty. I could stare at both for hours. 2. They’re just the right size. Project life card is a miniature scrapbook layout. Cupcake is a miniature cake. 3. I love them both.

Not everything I say has to be deep, right?
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It’s all in the timing

I have a lot of scrapbook supplies. A lot. The oldest supplies probably date back 12 years ago. I went on a scrapbooking hiatus after having my kids and then I switched to digital scrapbooking. When I’d look at my stash I’d feel guilty. Loads of guilt. I’d see dollar signs just sitting there unused in boxes. When I switched to digital scrapbooking, I felt I’d abandoned my pretty paper supplies and didn’t know if I’d ever return to them. Then in early 2012 I decided I wanted to try Project Life. I still enjoy digital scrapbooking but I wanted a way to document everyday with little mementos and notes, without thinking about an entire 12×12 layout. I haven’t had much time this past year to dedicate to it but I’m starting to take the time for a variety of reasons.

1. I need it. I really, really need it. Project Life allows me to recognize the blessings in my life. To be grateful. It allows me to process my days, and to work through any negative emotions I have. Life can be overwhelming for me. I’m overly sensitive and let unnecessary things affect me. Project Life is very good at helping me to focus on what is important.

2. Being creative helps me. Although, I have design work that is plenty creative and needs more of my attention, I like to be creative with something that has no pressure attached to it. So I put in five minutes here and there to work on my Project Life. Design work is a big chunk of time I carve out specifically to be productive. Lately, I’ve been struggling to get things done. It is amazing how one small thing lacking in your body can throw off everything. I have been suffering dizzy spells, exhaustion, vertigo, aches, and irritability to an extreme I’ve never felt before. It appears to be just a deficiency that can be fixed in the next few months with supplements. Hopefully, it is nothing more.

3.  Grounded.  Project Life keeps me from floating away when I feel other parts of my life are a little out of control. You should have seen the pile of laundry I had the other day. Yikes! My biggest goals lately have been to ensure my kids are happy & healthy, that I get some rest, and that my daughter adjusts well to school, as well as my getting used to our new routine. So far, so good! So, I’m trying not to let it get to me that my yard is growing wild, my house has cobwebs, and that clutter has been getting a little too comfortable in its little piles around my home. Stuff will wait. It surely will.

4. Improvement. Finally, I am embracing Project Life as a challenge to learn how scrapbookers use product. I think using supplies in different ways (many out of my own comfort zone) will make me a better designer.

Now to the reason I’m writing this blog post. Timing. Timing is everything. I’d stare at those unused supplies over the past few years with that guilty feeling. One of the items that bothered me the most was a book I’d treated myself to several years ago. It is a book called Love Your Handwriting by Heidi Swapp. I came across it yesterday when I was attempting to organize some baskets. I had to laugh when I realized the book was written by Heidi Swapp. I hadn’t remembered that. I bought the book because I do not like my handwriting. I never took the time to use the workbook and I always regretted it. Just yesterday I had been cursing my handwriting on my Project Life pages. I want to use my own writing but it looks so bad. Finding this book again was perfectly timed. I spent half an hour reading it last night and already I’m seeing an improvement on my pages. I was also having a hard time finding a good black marker for my journaling. The book comes with a pencil, a marker, a ruler, and eraser. It felt like Christmas! The Zig brand marker is perfect. The eraser removed the pencil lines without damaging the paper. Exactly what I was needing.

What gave me the final laugh? The intro of the book is written by none other than Becky Higgins. This book was written before Becky began Project Life. Who knew they’d all be such players on my scrapbooking stage in 2012? The universe was just waiting for our worlds to collide. Ha! Some things really are about the timing. Patience and trust are needed. Things will happen. Just keep plugging along at life as best you can and things will come together as they should. That was my happy realization last night.

Next post… maybe I’ll finally get around to writing about CHA Summer 2012 and my paper release Alphabet Junction at Carta Bella Paper.