Progress Update : My Christmas Planner

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It’s the middle of September. Kind of hard to believe there are less than 100 days until Christmas! Yes, you read that right! Less than 100 days until Christmas. When it comes to the holidays, are you a planner or more of a last minute kind of elf? Personally, I consider myself to be more on the organized side of the Christmas chaos. Sure there will always be last minute things to take care of or the unexpected house guest, but for the most part I try and get a grasp on the reigns of the Christmas sleigh a few months before the madness begins.

Back in July I created a printable Christmas Planner and made it available for purchase in my shop. I’ve made a few of these over the years, and I think this is my favorite. Although this is still a work in progress, I’ve got enough done and wanted to share with you what I’ve completed so far! 

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Let’s take a look at each section:

The first section is my calendar. The printable planner comes with 3 month-at-a-glance and week-at-a-glance calendars (November-January). It’s up to you if you want to use one or all of the months. I use the month-at-a-glance calendars for November, December, and January. 

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Even though the calendars looks a little sparse, more events will be added to them as time goes on. There are several things we do during the season that have become a tradition, such as going to the Holiday Pops concert by the Florida Symphony Orchestra and various Holiday Boat Parades. But due to Covid, venues and organizer still trying to figure all these things out. We also may be throwing in a getaway in November, so as soon as these plans are finalized, I will add them to the calendars. And guys, I know there are a lot of planner addicts out there and would be prettying up their calendars. But not this girl. I really don't have time to do that. I just want a space to write in and leave it at that.

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The next section in my planner is the address section. As I was looking at the address from my old Christmas Planner, I realized many friends, and some family members had moved over the past year. So I wrote several messages through Facebook and some text messages asking for their new addresses. I was so happy to here back from almost everyone! I’m still waiting on about 3 or 4, but they will be easy to add in. I’m so glad these addresses are all updated now and I won’t be scrambling to find them when it comes time to send out Christmas cards! (addresses have been blocked for privacy)

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Addresses

There are other 3x4 cards and overlays in the kit for Christmas stamps and photos that are not pictured here. They will be added to this section when the time comes!

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The Gift Section of the planner is going to be so helpful! My “Master Gift List” page will be filled in as we get closer to the holidays, but these “Santa Reports” are being filled in now! There are two different sized “Santa Reports” in the kit, a 4x6 and a 6x8. The 6x8 size I am using for our immediate family: Chris, our two sons, our daughter-in-law, and I filled one out for myself as well (sometimes the Sill men can use a little help when it comes to gift-giving 🙄). To make these reports resemble something like a “case file” I cropped photos of everyone into 1.75” squares, put them in a 4x6 document in Photoshop and printed it out. Then I just trimmed each photo from that 4x6 printout and attached them to the “Santa Report.” Super fun!

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The "Santa Reports" for Chris and Ryley will be filled in one night over dinner. The ones for Dustin & Becca just came in last night. I texted each of them and asked them for the information I needed. They wrote it out on a sheet of paper for me and took a photo of that paper. So all I have to do is copy what they had written onto their individual reports!

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I am using the 4x6 “Santa Reports” for extended family members. Shortly after I first released the kit in my shop, I visited my niece and her family (they live about 45 minutes away). I brought two of the 4x6 Reports with me and had Jessica fill them out for her girls (my great-nieces, Elsie & Penny). I used a 6x8 page protector with two 4x6 pockets and placed the completed card in the bottom pocket and a photo of each girl in the top. When my sister was visiting, I printed out a card for each of her kids and had them fill out a card. I ran out of those two-pocket page protectors to place them in. I ordered a few packs from Ali Edwards and they should be here in the next few days!

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The Decorations Section is partially done.

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I have my inventory sheet filled out and I’m looking forward to replacing or purchasing those items needed. I will be going down the Pinterest rabbit hole over the next few weeks for decorating and craft ideas. Last year instead of going shopping on Black Friday, I had my bestie Jill, come over for Bloody Marys and Christmas crafting. I want to find a few ideas of what craft to do this year, print them out and place them on the various cards 6x8 and 3x4 cards that are also included in this section (not shown). And even though we may not do every project I find, these are ideas are fun to refer to and see what is trending from year to year.

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And finally we have the Recipe Section.

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One of my main goals with this planner was to consolidate all of the recipes I make throughout the holiday season into one place. Whether they were recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Morning Breakfast, or Christmas Cookies, I wanted all of these recipes in one binder instead of having to pull out various cookbooks old magazines or search the web for these recipes I use year after year. Because there were so many recipes, I ended up using InDesign on my iMac to create these cards. I know, I know, I’m a mobile memory keeper! But there are some projects where the hybrid scrapper in me comes out! As a graphic designer InDesign is a program I use for page layout. It was easy for me to set up pages and drop the JPG of the 4x6 or 6x8 Recipe Cards into my document. I then I took the time and gathered all of those recipes together and started to type everything out! I then exported my documents as PDFs, printed it out, and then trimmed to place them in the page protectors. 

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 9.33.23 AMSome of the recipes have photos and some do not. That will definitely change once these dishes are made. I will make note of which recipes I want to photograph and will be prepared to do so when the time comes. Some recipes I may prepare between now and the holidays just to get the shot prior to the busy day they will be prepared on. (Hmm...I may need to select a few days to do this and add them to my calendars!) So although this section is very recipe card heavy, this will definitely change once the photos are taken. I know these recipes will not stay in the order they are in now. Using this binder for my planner will make it easy to move things around when the time comes!

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Some of the recipes are crazy long. So long that the instructions needed to be carried over to a second card. I turned these recipe cards into flip pages to accommodate a photo. So far I have two of these pages. One for the Christmas Tree Puff Pastry and the other for the Beef Wellington. I think I’ll have two more (cookies) once I get the photos taken. I will do another post with a tutorial on how I did this in the upcoming weeks.

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I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to have all of these recipes in one place! Goal achieved!

The printable Christmas Planner is available in my shop. The pictures above do not show all that comes in the kit! To get a better idea of what is include, click the link to the shop in the navigation bar above There is a link to the shop in in navigation bar at the top of the page or go directly to the product listing by clicking the image below:

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Questions? Comments? Leave them below!


My Creative Space

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The end of October will mark 6 years since we moved into our home here in the Tampa area. We live in a boating/fishing community, in a "Key West-style" home on a cul-de-sac street. There are neatly manicured lawns out front and a canal out back where dolphins and manatees pay us a visit every once in a while. One of the windows in my studio/creative space looks over our canal. I love the view and I love my space that overlooks it. But after 6 years, the space was looking a little tired and uninspiring. It was definitely starting to feel cluttered. I needed to open things up a bit so it could breath and look as fresh and inviting as the water outside my window!

I started this refresh back in mid-August. And although I am still waiting on a few things for it, like shades for instance, I am going to consider it DONE! And I love it. In this post I am going to share what I did along with some 'background" of the room. So grab a drink and snack, because this may get long.

Our home was built in 2006, making it around 7 years old when we bought it. Although we have done a TON of updates to our home, my studio is one of the rooms that hadn't been repainted. It still had that builder's grade paint. It was a neutral-beige color and over time has gotten to look pretty dull and made things look too "warm." I wanted things super bright and selected a plain white paint for the walls and baseboards. I went with "Oxford White" in eggshell from Sherwin Williams. While I love the plain white, let me tell you, I was not happy with Sherwin Williams paint at all. I mean I have painted PLENTY of walls in my time, in all different finishes, and usually it is a latex paint. Even Chris thought something was a little off about this paint. This paint didn't seem to go on "smooth" and seemed to "drag" across the walls. And then when it came time to clean up...I just threw away the brush (I was able to save the roller). The paint clumped to the bristles and just wouldn't come clean. I took a closer look at the can and realized that instead of a latex paint, this was acrylic. What???? Seriously, I have NEVER painted walls in acrylic paint before! And I assure you, that will never happen again. Anyways, even thought the paint itself was not the best, the walls are a nice & bright white, making me a happy girl.

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So I'll give a tour of the room as you walk through the door. To the left is a large wall where I have my workbench. It is actually a kitchen island from Ikea that we bought from Ikea back in the mid-late 90s. They don't carry it anymore, but I will share a link to one that is similar at the end of this post. This thing has been a workhorse! It has even traveled overseas with me! In the drawers I keep rubber stamps, various paper trimmers, and odds & ends crafting supplies. Nothing too exciting. On the shelves below I keep whatever physical scrapbook supplies I have on hand, which isn't much (more on that in a sec), loose memorabilia for each member of our family, some other items that need to be filed away.

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As far as any physical scrapbook supplies go, this is a VERY SMALL collection compared to what I used to have. What I do have are physical products from Ali Edwards' December Daily and Travel Collections, some random Halloween & Beach products, and lots of Alphabet and Label/Tag stickers. Years ago I did subscribe to the Cocoa Daisy and Studio Calico kits, so I do have a container with those items as well. Even though I am a full-blown mobile memory keeper now, I do have Physical Project Life albums that I need to go back and complete, so I will hand on to some physical scrapbook items in order to do so!

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Above the workbench is something totally new for me. This is a Skådis Pegboard System by Ikea (it's pronounced "sk-oh-dis," I believe). One of my goals in updating my space was to clear all clutter from my workbench and desk. And this system definitely helped to do so. All of what you see here used to be in bins or totes or desk organizers. I just wanted to get these supplies out of those collect-alls, be able to see them, and have them in reach. What you see here are three 22x22 pegboards with a variety of containers, shelves, clips, brackets, and elastic cords. This system is very fluid and all of those items can easily be moved around. I will be adding another row of pegboards in the near future as I found there are more things I want to put in reach. But for right now this is working for me. And I do have it organized in a way that makes sense in my head: The board on the left has all things that poke, punch, or cut. Things like scissors, paper punches and Xacto knives. The center board has all office supplies–pencils, pens, highlighter, alligator clips, rubber bands, ets. And the board on the right has all things that "attach"–adhesive, glue dots, stapler, washi tape, etc. Something to note: When I purchased these boards I went to our local Ikea here in Tampa. It just so happened that it was right as college students were getting ready to go back to school. Our Ikea looked like a tornado blew through it! While there were plenty of pegboards, all of the shelves, containers, etc that attach to them were sold out. Many of them were sold out online as well. I ordered what I could and due to Covid, Ikea's delivery times are pretty long. Those items took about two weeks to arrive. As I mentioned above, I do want to add three more pegboards above what I have now, but I will wait until sometime in October. Hopefully the supply chain will be replenished a bit! 

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Moving on to the back wall. This wall has the window that overlooks the canal. My desk faces the window and I have two Ikea cabinets on either side. Again, this furniture was purchased at the same time the island was. I am not sure if it is available anymore.

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To the left of my desk is my Silhouette. The cabinet is sits on has some Silhouette supplies and empty 3-ring binders (school binders, not scrapbook albums). Above the Silhouette is my "Kelly & Jill" wall. Jill has been my best friend for 35+ years. After moving all over the place during Chris' time in the military, Jill and I finally live in the same state again, about an hour away from each other. I have had a bunch of things she has given me over the past few years that I knew I wanted to one day display in my space. So excited to have finally made that happen!!! The illustration of the two girls playing in the leaves is from Roxy's Illustration's on Etsy (link will be down below). She gave that to me for my 50th birthday. And that one of the yoga girls with wine? Same artist. But I gave Jill an 8x10 of that one. When communicating with the artist about the yoga illustration, she gave me the 5x7 size so Jill and I would each have one. I just love the way this wall turned out and I still have a little room to add things in the future.

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Now on the other side of my desk is my printer. It's an older Epson, but still going strong. The cabinet underneath has extra ink cartridges along with lots of photo paper. Above the printer is my "Kelly & Kristen" wall. Kristen is my sister and one of the most hilarious people I know. Here I placed a folk-artsy poem she gave me years ago along with a few photos. Years ago Kristen and I took a letterpress class together when I lived in Virginia. I framed one of the cards I made in the class. And on the clipboard I have two letters she wrote to me when I lived in Kiev, Ukraine. They were included in some "goodie" boxes she would send. They are soooo damn funny to read. I used to keep them folded up in my desk organizer and would read them whenever I needed a laugh. I like the idea of keeping them on a clipboard. I will scan these because I am sure they will fade over time since they are now out in the open. 

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The wall opposite my workbench is so different from what it used to be!!! It used to have a tall Ikea bookshelf, filled with 12x12 card stock, professional design books and other memorabilia. But no more!!! I purged and reorganized big time! It totally opens up this space! The letter ledges are from the Etsy shop, Spotted Owl Avenue (they are on a break right now). I bought them 2 years ago when Becky Higgins featured them on her Instagram feed, with the intention of one day putting them on this wall (she had a discount code)! So you could say that this refresh has been two years (or longer) in the making!

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I replaced that tall Ikea shelf with the Kallax (still from Ikea). I kept only the design books that I felt I would refer to from time to time. I was a huge Martha Stewart fan back in the day and kept some of her books as well. As far as the card stock goes, I took all of it out from those upright holders and it is now being stacked in the shelf. Most of those holders have been repurposed which you will see in a moment. Chris and I will be building two horizontal paper holders this fall to make the paper easier to access. They will be like the ones from Stamp and Storage (they are REALLY expensive to purchase there, so I know we can make our own). That will be a project for October. The water hyacinth woven baskets are from The Container Store.

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On the shelf you will see a wooden box. I bought this thing from Ikea 15 years ago. It came unassembled. I just now put the thing together!!! I have some essential oils stored in it. There are also some random cords for Apple products and some electronics instruction brochures.

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On the side opposite the box, I have a small display of some family photos and a "For the Love" foiled art print by Ali Edwards.

Now can we talk about these closet doors??? Like I mentioned earlier in the post, this house was built in 2006. And even though we have done a lot of upgrades to the place, all of the closet doors look very dated to me. I can't stand that rounded top inlay. I wanted something more modern, but didn't want to buy new doors. So after jumping down the Pinterest rabbit hole, I found several tutorials on how to resurface bifold doors. I went to work and just love, love, love the results!!!! After the Sherwin Williams disappointment, I went with Behr paint, which is what I should have done for the white walls. The color, "Racing the Rain" is actually a Sherwin Williams color, but I took the paint chip to Home Depot and had them color match it in the Behr brand. I'm just so happy with the way it turned out!

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I would say that the inside of the closet is still a work in progress, but everything has it's place and I know where to find things. The upright holders from the card stock have been repurposed to hold a variety of things like PL protectors, travel memorabilia, and even 12x12 Project Life papers. You can even see that I still have some of the original Project Life Kits! I will definitely use these again when I go back to finish those physical PL albums that I started! The cabinets hold family photo albums from Creative Memories. On top of the cabinets I have my December Daily albums and Cropper Hopper totes FILLED with printed photos. 

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And there you have it. My Creative Space. It's open & airy and filled with my favorite things. I can't wait to create here. I'm a happy girl.

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What do you think? Leave any comments or questions below and I will be happy to get back to you!

A few product links:

Ikea Skådis Pegboard System

Similar Ikea Kitchen Island

My favorite Art Bin

Etsy Illustration

Water Hyacinth Baskets

 

 


2020 Family Yearbook : August Pages

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Hey guys–thanks do much for stopping by to take a peek at my August pages. These actually came together fairly quickly. So let's take a look:

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I'm still continuing to use my Monthly Journal Block cards to tell the majority of my stories (you can find them in my shop here). I'm actually finding that I run out of room sometimes on these big blocks! But I love to "talk!" I don't want to decrease the font size any smaller than what I have now. I have to remember that these pages are going to be printed in 10x10 albums, and I want the text to be legible. But for any additional stories I need to tell, I can put it on a journal card like I did here on the left side where I shared a little story about these chocolate chip cookies. 

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August is the beginning of birthday season in the Sill household and it continues through September. Our son Dustin, my dad, Chris's brother, and Elsie, my great niece. She just turned 5 and had a birthday party at Dinosaur World in Plant City, Florida. I shared the story in the big journal block on the first spread. If it wasn't for that Journal Block, I wouldn't have been able to use all of these photos on one side of the spread. One of those pictures would have been replaced by a journal card. This is why I love trying to keep all of the journaling condensed on one page–it leaves so much more room for photos! The filler card on the left side is from the Wish Big kit in the Project Life app. 

The "pieces of me" filler card is one I created in Affinity Photo on my iPad using digital products by Ali Edwards. The Corona/Hurricane filler card is one I created in the Adobe Spark Post app. The words are from a meme I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago when there were two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. I thought it was hilarious and wanted to recreate something different for my page. Adobe Spark Post is an app I used on EVERY single page in my 2020 yearbook. I LOVE IT!!! It is the app I use to place all the white borders you see on my photos. I do have a blog post/tutorial about how I do this. You can read that here if you'd like. 

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My favorite story from this month is the one about beginning the redecoration of my creative space! I have been wanting refresh my space for a few years now, and for some reason I thought the middle of August was the perfect time to do so. Why not? It's the middle of summer in Florida. The temps are in the mid-90s and there is 1000% humidity. I am not going to get into too much detail about the refresh, as that will be coming in a post on Friday!!! But just so you know, this project started in mid-August and, aside from a few minor things I still need to purchase, this room will be done tomorrow! Be sure to follow me on Instagram as I will be doing a live walk-through of my space sometime during the day on Friday! Anyways...back to the spread...

You may have noticed that yellow seems to be a recurring color when it came to the filler cards in all three spreads this month. It just happened that way, it wasn't intentional, but I really like it! I love the "creating my space" filler card I made in Affinity. Ali's products are so versatile!!! The "these are my people" card is another one I created as well! Word art for the win!!!

Thanks for taking time out of your day to pay me a visit! Leave any comments or questions below!


New Product : Journal Blocks–Fall Collection

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It's the last weekend in August and I can't think of a better way to begin to wind down summer than to release the new Fall Collection of Journal Blocks!!! The Summer Collection was a huge hit and I know you are just going to love these new kits for fall!

What's that? You don't know what these Journal Block Kits are all about??? Let me fill you in!

Journal Blocks are the perfect solution for when the stories we want to tell require something a bit larger than a standard 3x4 or 4x6 journal card we use when we are using pocket-style page templates. Digital pocket page templates with extra-large placeholders are great to showcase a photo, but they are also perfect to get those longer stories told. Each Journal Block Kit contains a variety of decorative journal cards that are meant to be placed in these extra-large placeholders. In each collection you will find:

2-6x12 horizontal vertical cards

2-6x8 horizontal and vertical cards

2-4x12 horizontal and vertical cards

In addition, each kit contains 2 coordinating 3x4 and 4x6 horizontal and vertical filler cards (4 filler cards in total).

All cards are in JPG format. When using the cards in the Project Life App, you will place them in the correct size placeholder just as you would a photo. To add text to the card, you would use the Free Form Text option, which is a separate in-app purchase within the Project Life App.

If you are familiar with Photoshop or Affinity Photo, you can use the text feature to add text to the cards as well. Also, if you are feeling extra creative, instead of adding text to the cards, add a few photos using either of these two pieces of software! Super versatile!!!

I am going to introduce each kit to you below with a few page samples from some super talented ladies! There is a lot to look at–but you are going to want to keep reading until the end! These kits are now live in my shop and I have a very special discount code at the end of this post with instructions on how to use it!

Back to School: Elementary/Middle School

While the colors in this kit are pretty traditional, if you look closely some of the illustrations and verbiage reflect the signs of the times. Back to School was going to be different for everyone this year and I tried to incorporate the special circumstances as subtly as I could without it being the main focus. 

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The page below is by Teresa Carlucci. By reading Teresa’s journaling, I could totally feel the emotions she was going through as she wrote about her kids starting this school year. My heart goes out to each every parent, child, and educator as everyone is trying to navigate through this crazy start of the school year. You can follow Teresa on Instagram: @totallycre8tive

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Let's Go Apple Picking

I remember going apple picking with my grandmother when I was a little girl. Apple orchards just smell like fall, don't they? I would love to go again, but living in Florida, there just aren't any around!

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The pages below are by Rose Day. You can follow her in Instagram: @writingmypath. And boy is she a writer! I love the detail in her journaling! She's making the most out of space in these Journal Blocks! And that pie! YUM!!!

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Back to School: High School/College

I really needed to have two separate "Back to School" kits, because let's face it, there is a big difference between being an elementary/middle school student and a high school/college student, right? This kit for older students is super fun and reflects their #mood pretty on point!

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The spread below is by Jenna Fortner. You can follow Jenna on Instagram: @fort_disney. (she is also one of the Admins for the Simply Project Life Facebook Group!). Jenna captured the milestone of dropping her son off to college perfectly! What I LOVE about her pages is that she used cards from the kits in different sized placeholders than their original intent. For example, that “Study hard” filler card at the bottom center of the first layout, is really the bottom portion of the 4x12 vertical Journal Block card!

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Meet Me At The Pumpkin Patch

Ahhh...the pumpkin patch. Another one of those fall staples I sorely miss by living in Florida. 

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Pages by Jen Morrison. Jen is a HUGE FAN of these kits and used several of them from the summer collection to document her summer stories. But these Pumpkin Patch pics have my heart! I love how she used the 4x12 horizontal Journal Block card from this fall kit as a title card! That “Pumpkin Kisses...” Journal Card you see in the second page is really a 6x8 card, but Jen totally makes it work in that 4x6 placeholder! You can follow Jen on Instagram: @jenmorrisonphotography.

Happy Halloween

I just love the fun, bright colors in this kit. The little ghouls and goblins crack me up!

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Pages by Chastity DeVane Thompson. Those black and white photos!!! By changing the photos to black and white, Chastity balanced out the fun, bright colors in the kit for a classic look! Three cheers for black and white pics! And I just love her “Whoopie Cushion” costume story! You can follow Chastity on Instagram: @chastity_d

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Happy Thanksgiving

A Fall Collection wouldn't be complete without a kit for Thanksgiving. Whether you spend it with family and/or friends, or both! Use these cards to document your Thanksgiving spent together!

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Pages by, ME! Even though I already documented these photos in my 2019 Family Yearbook, I really wanted to use them again with this kit. You can see by the 6x12 Vertical Journal Block that I had several stories to tell and had no issues in filling up the space! The font is set to 14.0. It’s name is “Archer Pro,” and it is one that I installed into the app. You can follow me here on this blog, the Pixels to Pages Facebook Page or on Instagram: @pixelstopages.

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I want to thank Teresa, Rose, Jen, Jenna, and Chastity for sharing their pages for this product launch. I am truly grateful and appreciate all of you! Your photos and words are an inspiration!

So now that you've seen them all, which are your faves??? It's hard to choose, isn't it? Want to create your own bundle? To celebrate the launch of the Journal Block Fall Collection, I am doing something new in the shop! When you buy 5 kits from the "Themed Journal Blocks" you will get the 6th free! And this isn't just for the new Fall Collection! You can select ANY of the Themed Journal Block Kits!!! Still have summer photos to document, snag a few summer kits! Can't wait to document those first day of school pics? Put the kit in your cart! Create your own Summer and Fall Bundle! This special offer will end Saturday, September 5th at 12:01am

These are the steps you need to take:

  1. Go to the shop, pixelstopages.bigcartel.com, and select "products" from the top navigation bar.
  2. Select the category titled "Themed Journal Block Kits". See photo below:Screen Shot 2020-08-28 at 9.34.10 AM
  3. Place 6 kits from this product category in your cart.
  4. When going through the check-out process, use the code "FALL2020".
  5. THIS IS IMPORTANT. When you enter the discount code, YOU MUST SELECT "+" sign next to the box in order to apply it.Screen Shot 2020-08-28 at 9.47.35 AM

    Once you apply the code, $5.99 will be removed from your purchase:
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    Got it? Easy-peasy, right? Now have fun building your own bundle!!!

Project Life 2017 : October Pages

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If you recall, last month I mentioned that I was going to be playing catch up on my 2017 Project Life Album and shared pages from September 2017. My goal is to have both 2017 and 2020 by the end of the year and today I am sharing my October pages. Two more months to go after this! Yay!

The pages this month are super simple. All completely done in the app. Since the photos from this month were really fall-inspired, I used filler and journal cards  Project 12 October Edition.

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The above spread acts as the divider between my September and October spreads.

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I rarely use the color purple on my pages. But I thought that journal card with the purple diagonals complimented the journal card with the leaves very well! Because the layout on the left-hand side was such a miss-mash of photos, I used numbered bullet journaling to document them! 

You'll notice I did the same type of journaling for the entire second spread! This way of journaling is quick, to the point, and best of all it gets things done! Looking at this spread now, I am going to go back and change the numbers on the right hand side to being with "4." For some reason it is bothering me!

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And that's it for October! Super simple pages, right? 

 


2020 Family Yearbook : July Pages

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Seven months down, five to go. Can 2021 get here any faster??? Right before I started to type out this post, I read on the interwebs that the Big 10 has cancelled the 2020 Football season. We just want to cry. 2020 gets a 0-star rating from us. Seriously 2021, where are you???

On to happier things, like scrapbook pages:

Even though I have 3 spreads for July, I had a really hard time with selecting decent photos. It turns out that the camera on my iPhone X is failing on me. I noticed that areas in photos have been blurry, almost like it is in permanent portrait mode, but not as nice looking because the blurred areas are sporadic. I'm struggling with whether or not to upgrade to an iPhone 11 right now, or wait for the 12 to come out. What would you do? New releases usually come out in September, but I've read recently the release is being delayed to the first week or two of October due to supply chain issues. Grrr...this @#$& Covid!!! So, I've been carrying my Nikon B700 around with me more and more. I've even been taking pics with my iPad as well.

If this is the first time you are visiting the blog. Welcome! I am so happy you are here and thrilled that you have decided to spend some time with me today! I published a lengthy blog post earlier this year outlining how I am documenting 2020. You can read that here when you have a moment. But just a quick recap: I am documenting in a monthly format, creating my pages in the Project Life App. 95% of the digital products I am using throughout my pages are by Ali Edwards and I use the apps Affinity Photo, Adobe Spark Post, and Supermatic (no longer available in the app store), to add these embellishments to my pages. I go into a little more detail about my process. I have embraced placing the majority of my stories this year on a 6x12 Monthly Journal Block Card. You can find them in my shop here or by clicking on the shop link at the top of the page. IMG_5363

My two main stories this month included a kayaking/paddle board weekend getaway with friends, and a week-long visit with my sister and her family. Yes, it was a lot of socializing in the middle of a pandemic, but we took all the necessary precautions to stay healthy. The cards on the layout above are from the Americana Kit in the Project Life app. I did alter the card on the left side by adding a white journal box to it in Affinity Photo. The firework card on the right has a star from one of Ali's digital kits.

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Again, digital products are by Ali Edwards. However, that "love to explore" card in the spread above is one I created in Affinity Photo using several of Ali's word art digital files. Several of the photos on this spread were edited in Lightroom Mobile on my iPad using presets from Light and Airy Photography. I LOVE their presets!!! 

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It seemed as though my social media feeds were loaded with Christmas in July posts throughout the month! I did my own little release this year with an updated version of my printable Christmas Planner. It is seriously one of my favorite things I've created! You can check it out in my shop! I will be doing a separate post on this planner very soon!!! /// I had a blast when my sister was visiting! The masks she makes are awesome! She has a huge selection of fabric. The elastic bands are adjustable and there is a bendable, metal strip across the nose for a secure fit. If you are interested, you can check out her Facebook Page, Night Owl Createry.

So happy July is over. It was a busy month! Here is what I have going on in August:

1) I am in the middle of redecorating my studio. I am going to post some pics/video on my IG Stories about this soon, so be sure to follow me there @pixelstopages.

2) I am already starting to fill in my printable Christmas Planner. It's never too early to start, right? I thought I would be able to share some of those pages with you last week, but I it took me a whole week to recover from my sis being here! I hope to get that post out soon!

3) The other thing I am working on are new Journal Block Kits for fall. I will have 6 new kits that will be released very soon!!! Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for reading! Leave any comments or questions below!!!


Project Life 2017 : September Pages

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One of the memory keeping projects I want to accomplish in 2020 is to complete my 2017 Family Yearbook. Just like I am doing in 2020, I was documenting 2017 in a monthly format. Looking back at what I had already completed that year, I was further along than I thought–I had finished all the way through August. Since I am “caught up” on my 2020 album (I won’t begin my July Pages until August), I thought now was a good time to dive back into September 2017, and I want to share those pages with you today.

My 2017 photos are not stored in my camera roll/Photos App on my computer. I have them in a separate Photos Library on an EHD (which is backed up to BackBlaze). So in order for me to get the pictures I wanted, I opened up that 2017 Photos Library, did a search for “September” and all the photos from that month popped up. I then selected the ones I wanted to use and exported them to a folder on my iCloud Drive. Easy-peasy!

Memory keepers ask me all the time if I have a hard time journaling when I comes to documenting photos from a few years back. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with it. Recalling those moments really isn’t an issue. But what I found myself struggling with was trying to keep with the same style (for lack of a better word) for the second half of 2017 as I had with the first. There are many new techniques I learned and new features introduced to the app since then (hello Editorial Templates) and I was trying really hard to refrain from using them. I have this thing for “consistency” throughout my album and I didn’t want the first half of the album to look different than the second. Believe me, it was a struggle! But in the end I figured that if I kept the majority of design elements the same as in the previous months, things shouldn’t look that different. So let’s take a look at September 2017:

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As mentioned earlier, 2017 is being documented in a monthly format. I like to look at the months as “chapters” in a book. So each month in this album has a chapter title spread. The page on the right is a piece of digital paper from a Project Life Digital Kit. I cannot remember which one it is from! So sorry! When I first started this album, the page on the right was created in LetterGlow. Now with FFT, I am creating this directly in the PL App by placing a piece of white digital paper in the 12x12 full page Editorial Template and adding the text with FFT. 

If you have been following me on my Pixels to Pages Facebook Page or Instagram account, you probably have already seen the next 4 spreads I am posting below. But keep just keep reading because I am sharing a "self-inflicted struggle" I was having when creating the spreads and there are other layouts for September that I haven't shared yet on social media. I was struggling with these not because they were hard to do, but because they are created with the Editorial Templates, which as you know, were not around back in 2017. I really didn’t want them to look out of place in the album since I obviously didn’t use them in any of the spreads I previously did in 2017. But given the subject matter of the photos, the Editorial Templates were going to be the easiest way for me to get them documented (BTW-I am not sure why the backgrounds of the first three spreads are gray-ish. They are bright white in my camera roll. It may be an upload issue).

These photos are from a long weekend trip Chris and I took to San Francisco. I am planning on doing a separate travel album for this trip that will have MANY more photos, but I did want to include them here, because who knows how long it will take me to get that travel album done! 😂. The journaling was very easy for me to do. I documented these photos in Adobe Spark Page back in 2018  and just copied/pasted the journaling from that web story to these pages. Not sure what Adobe Spark Page is? You can take a look at it here! (It’s soooo cool!).

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The next two spreads cover the remaining photos and stories for September. I like to stick with one kit for the year, and in 2017, it was the Project 52 Rad Kit (and it’s add-on). Sticking with one kit helps with that consistency issue I have! 

Pink seems to be the color that ruled several of the photos in the first spread below, but that isn’t the reason I selected the pink journal and filler card! The subject matter of the photos on the left is all about Hurricane Irma. That “Are You Ready For This” filler card couldn’t have been more perfect, don’t you think? I made sure to select a journal card that had the same color pink for the other page to tie the two together. 

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The second spread is a mish-mash of photos. The Rad Kit has a filler card that looks as though the stripes of color were made by brush strokes. This was fitting because some of the photos were of the interior of our house being painted. Using brushstrokes as a design element, I wanted to carry this through both sides of the spread. When it came time to select journal cards, you can see that the borders on the top or bottom of those cards look like brushstrokes. And notice the stroke behind “hello” on the journal card and the painted edge of the circle on the “right now” filler card. It’s little details like this that can help bring a sense of cohesiveness to your layout!

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So that is it for September! Any of you have consistency issues like I do? How do you remedy them? Let me know in the comments below!

One more thing before I close out this post! I have a new digital release that will be going live in the shop this weekend! I have been posting hints on my social media outlets for the past few weeks giving clues as to what it might be. This Friday, July 24th at 1pm EST, I will be hosting a Facebook Live on the Pixels to Pages Facebook Page and reveal what it is! I think you guys are going to love it!!! So mark you calendar, bring a lunch, tune in and hang out with me!

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Family Yearbook : June Pages

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What’s this? My June pages are done on the 2nd of July??? Even though I have two double-page spreads for June, it turns out I didn’t have a whole lot of photos for the month. Compared to the three or four spread I’ve been doing each month this year, it’s no wonder I got these done in record speed-not that this is a race or anything (because it’s totally not!). I know July is going to be a busy month, so I didn’t want to waste any time in documenting June! 

If you are a first-time reader, all digital embellishments are by Ali Edwards. However the 6x12 Monthly Journal Card is one I created and is available in my shop! The apps used to create these pages are the Project Life App, Affinity Photo, and Adobe Spark Post.

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My favorite story this month is of the kissing manatees! These gentle giants pay visits to our canals often (as do dolphins) and I never get tired of seeing them.

Just a little non-scrapbook related product plug...Replica Surfaces. Have you ever heard of them? I’ve become obsessed with these photo-realistic surfaces and have quite the collection growing. If you are a crafter who likes to share photos of your works on social media, or you have an on-line shop, or enjoy food photography, check these things out! Each surface is 23”x23” and you can combine them together to create an amazing, portable photo studio, or use them individually for flat lay photography. Here is a link if you are interested (no affiliation at all!).

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The Project Life 3.0 Update is so great! One of my favorite new features are the Editorial Pages. These pages feature place holders for 0-3 photos and large text boxes to tell your story. There seems to be a trend lately in really getting into the nitty-gritty details of the story behind your photos and these minimalistic Editorial Pages are a great way to do just that. I will be sharing a blog post in the near future of how you can incorporate these pages into your albums!

Garden tower update! Things are growing! I love going out there to pick fresh herbs and what few veggies I planted! The tomatoes and mesclun have been yummy and I’ve enjoyed the process of letting herbs dry on my countertops and crunching them for later use. The parsley has been really good and very fragrant when cut!

So that’s about it for June pages! Thanks for taking a peek! But before I close this post, I have two little Pixels to Pages announcements.

  1. Beginning tomorrow morning at 10am EST and lasting through Monday morning 8am EST, I will have a Journal Block Party Summer Collection Super Bundle available for $40! This bundle contains all 8 Journal Block Party Kits released over the past few weeks. Not sure what these are? Read this post, and be sure to check out the shop tomorrow at 10!

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  2. Mark your calendars for July 25th! It’s Christmas in July and I am planning to release something super special in the shop! There will be a Facebook Live as well (time has yet to be determined). Keep following my Pixels to Pages Instagram feed and Facebook Page where I will share some clues throughout the month as to what it might be!
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Family Yearbook : May Pages

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2020 is moving right along, although probably in not a way that we planned. Am I right? I mention in my journaling on the Monthly Journal Block for this month that as the days go by, they feel like Groundhog's Day. Not much changes from one day to the next during the week. Sometimes I find it a little difficult to take photos of the same old, same old. Especially since I don't have littles in the house. But this month I used several pics that my sister in Ohio had texted to me and some from my niece. I even got in some of the photos that my husband and son took of me while I wasn't looking! I love that they know I would appreciate them taking a few of me helping build the garden tower and filling it with herbs. 

There are four double-page spreads documenting May's photos and stories. The Monthly Journal Block is one I created and is available in my shop. Digital elements are from Ali Edwards. Apps used to create these pages include:

Project Life (the 3.0 update is AMAZING)

Adobe Spark Post

Affinity Photo App

Let's take a look:

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One of the things I LOVE about these pages this month are the filler cards I created using digital word art and stickers from my growing stash of Ali's products. The "These are my people" filler card was created in Affinity. How simple is that? And do any of you use a foam roller? It's my hip's best friend! Oh, and check out that red hair on my nephew Jonas!!! It's. so. red. My sister kept saying he's been wanting red hair for a while. Well he got it! I remember Ryley going through a colored hair phase at the same age. Except he had a bunch of colored gels I got from my hair stylist in Virginia. It would wash out daily. My boys hair wasn't something I got hung up on a lot when they were younger. I'd let them express their individuality. There were other battles to be won at that age. Hair wasn't one of them. BUT NOW? As seen in the photo right next to Jonas, that long hair drives me crazy!!!! Hahaha!!!

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Just look at that tower of happiness!!! This is my favorite story of the month. I've wanted a garden tower for several years. We first saw one while visiting The Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. I took photos of it and would mention to Chris how much I wanted one. It took awhile (like I said, several years) for him to make it, but it was so worth it! We found some plans online. The instructions weren't the best, but he got it done (I helped a little bit otherwise to help keep his sanity). Filler card was done in Affinity!

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Are you digging the filler cards? I really like how they turned out. Again they are so simple. By layering various digital word art and digital stamps, and playing around with the opacity, you can create something really fun! The food photos are ones I took for a friend who is in the process of opening a permanent pizza food truck. It's going to be amazing!!!! They hope to open by July 1st. Check out those sprouts in my garden!!! Those are Mesclun (mixed greens) and they popped up in a matter of days of me planting the seeds!

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I think this is my favorite spread this month. The "yes to" word art was actually part of word art that read "yes to this." In Affinity, I used the eraser tool and got rid of "this" so I can add my own text. 

Any questions or comments? Leave them down below! 

Wait...one more thing...I wanted to share a few pages from my customers who purchased a few of the Journal Block Party Kits!!! These kits include large, decorated journal cards that are meant to fit in the oversized placeholders in the Big Shot templates. I have 8 kits in the shop that are geared toward summertime holidays and activities! Check them out by clicking the link to the shop in the link at the top of the page!

This first one is from Jen Morrison. She used cards from the Lake Life kit. She actually gave me the idea for this themed kit! Thank you Jen!

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This second one is from Meagan Johnson (The Practical Scrapper). She used the Amusement Park kit. Notice how she used the journal block for both a photo and journaling. She said she did this in the Over app!

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Thank you both so much for sharing your pages! 

As a reminder, whenever you use my kits on your pages, be sure to tag me on my Instagram account @pixelstopages or @ mention me on Facebook!!!! I want to see your creations!!!

 


2020 Family Yearbook : April Pages

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Finally got around to documenting my April photos and stories! Let's just dive right in, shall we? And feel free to click on any of the spread for a larger view!

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I am continuing to use the 6x12 Monthly Journal Blocks I created back in January. You can purchase these Journal Blocks in my shop. I love being able to tell several stories in one space and save the rest of the placeholders in the templates for photos. This month, however, I seemed to have a lot to say! As large as these blocks are, I still ran out of room! You will see several 3x4 and 4x6 journal cards on my pages this month. I also did a lot of writing on the white space in the "Polaroid-like" photos I created in Adobe Spark Post. All of the journal cards and digital embellishments are by Ali Edwards. 

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It was not intentional, but the left side of the page turned out to be a few stories where the subject matter revolved around the words "make" or "made." And I had several digital goodies from Ali that would help to emphasize that. I just love her products. They really can make you look at your photos in a different way and dig deeper to tell the stories behind them. She has a digital product for everything you can think of! The "play" filler card on the right is originally a light green color. It was in one of the 2019 Story Kits I subscribed to through Ali's shop. When I placed it in my template I used the PicTapGo editor to change the color to black. I can't remember what filter I used, but changing the color just made the spread look a little more cohesive.

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The "Finding Beauty" filler card is one I created in Affinity Photo on my iPad Pro. The word art is from Ali's 2020 Week In The Life digitals. The flower stamps behind the words are from her as well, but I am not sure what collection. I've had them for quiet some time. I added the word phrase sticker to the 4x6 journal card on the right in Affinity and then dropped it into the template. That diagonal journal card is a good "base" for adding a variety of digital embellishments to! This is also my favorite story of this month. 

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The layout above is a style that I would not normally have in my Project Life albums. Even though I am creating my pages on a digital device, this is a style that I would consider a "true" digital scrapbook page. There are no "pockets," no Project Life template was used, and all of the elements can be moved around freely in Affinity Photo (where I created it) or in Photoshop. I made this page back in April and posted it on a few of my social media platforms. I don't think I shared it here on the blog. My youngest was diagnosed with Covid 19 and the majority of the text on this spread are her words from her Facebook post. This virus is so unpredictable and symptoms seem to vary from person to person. It was only about 3 weeks ago that she tested negative for it. HOWEVER, she has several lasting effects from it that the doctors are still trying to figure out. And after two months, she is STILL running a fever and has pain in her chest when breathing. Her energy levels seem to be returning back to normal. The health department (Ohio) will not release her to go back to work until she is given a different diagnosis. It's just a maddening situation. The digital word art in the spread is by Ali. The virus graphic I found as a freebie on the interwebs somewhere.

That's it for April. Now I have to get to work on May! Oh! But one more thing before I close out this post! Today (June 19, 2020) is the last day you can purchase the Journal Block Party Summer Collection as a bundle for $30. At 12:01am tomorrow, the bundle goes away, but you can still purchase the kits individually for $5.99. When you purchase the bundle, it's like getting one of the kits for practically free! Happy shopping! Click here go to the shop!

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