One Little Word | Light | January 2015

I thought I would finally share some of my pages from the January prompt for One Little Word. This is a class taught by Ali Edwards. You can find information on it here.

I've participated with One Little Word since 2008 I think. Past words were simplify, savor, adventure, focus, awake, move, magic and now light. Some years I am intentional about it, other years I just listen and take note of the words that stand out. From my own experience, I am better with a word that is more broad. I'm a perfectionist and the all/none of a specific word really gets me down if I don't accomplish all my goals. Some years I have participated with the prompts and other years I just go with the flow and let the word be a part of my life. Either way has worked well for me. Last year there was no way I could keep up with the prompts. I just let "magic" work its magic and took note of how it worked out in my life. There were definitely tough times in 2014, but overall I hope I remember the magical times. The times when things worked out. When I noticed magic moments of our everyday life.  There were definitely some big things that changed as well. I'm still learning some lessons from my choices last year and I hope to keep them in mind as I move forward. Thank you Magic. You were much needed last year and I hope I can wrap up 2014 with embracing the good and the tough learning moments as well. To forgive myself of not so good choices made. To know that I needed to learn these lessons and that it is time to move forward.

Which brings me to 2015. 

I started noticing Light around the end of November. "Let Your Heart Be Light" was coming quite strongly to me. I picked up this print from Ali Edwards and I knew this would be my word this year. 

I knew this word was a complex one. There is light and there is dark in life. It's not all bokeh lights and shimmering twinkle lights. It's also the shadows. Learning how to find the light in dark places. Noticing the lights that are my loved ones and doing more to rekindle the flames of relationships and love. To LIGHTEN UP and give myself a break. Enjoy more laughter and silly moments. Not be so darn defensive and lighten up with my self talk. Embrace my imperfections and move on. Be patient with myself and be better with "living in the grey areas" as Ali calls it. So tough right now. I'm a planner. I want to know what I need to do and take action. Some things take time. I want to lighten my loads: take on fewer assignments that do not contribute to my family's and my own wellness and happiness. Lots of listening to my heart in this area: does it make my heart lighter or do I feel heaviness and stress? Making the deliberate decision toward choosing the light is making this year a happier one so far. Yes, it's fewer "big things" in the scrapbooking community, but it means more time to be with family and savor this time. To sink into being a working mom and my profession. I work to support my family. I work because I do love what I do. I just happen to have quite a few passions which can make it tough sometimes to focus on what matters most. I want to be lighter physically and do more to nourish my physical body. Let go of past failures and choose more healthy options. And to clear the clutter around me. Let go of overspending and clutter. Let the light of a simplified life lift me up. Travel lighter and let my true self shine.

Those are just a few of my random thoughts right now. It's definitely a work in progress. 

I've started with setting goals each month around a theme, but also being open to the other aspects of "light." January was lightening up the clutter around me and getting more organized. It was so helpful. The apartment is much cleaner and organized and I am liking how the other aspects of light are playing out in my life too. I'm also listening to the "Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin as well as reading "Embracing Imperfection" by Brene Brown. And I'm considering doing a 30 Day Minimalism challenge as well.

February is already here and my goals are to feel lighter physically and emotionally. I already feel like I need a restart for February! But I have some goals and I'm going to review them instead of getting down on myself and try again. Lighten up and embrace my imperfections, right?

So, finally I get to my pages. I guess I had a lot to say.

I am using a 9x12 white Handbook from Studio Calico for my One Little Word. I've purchased two so far and have already moved my past years into my other white album. You can find those here. I used my Silhouette to cut the word "light" from Ali's brush set Noel. You can find it here. The word cards are from Ali's One Little Word class and some of the filler cards: the quote cards / patterns are from Oh Snap! Boutique (find those here.) Stamps and word stickers are from Ali's First Story Stamp / Kit. You can find those here. (Please direct questions regarding the story kits/stamps to Ali's site for the most accurate information.)

The gold painted star page was created by me and my daughter having fun with some paints and a silkscreen from Studio Calico. (find similar ones here if they are available)

So there they are! I'm working on the February prompt and hope to finish that one up soon as it is quite messy!

How about you? Do you choose a One Little Word? If so I would love to hear your word and how it is going for you!


Project Life Hybrid Introduction Page

One of the things I like to do is have an intro page each year. In past years I have documented the details: where we live, what cars we drive, etc. Just the basic facts. I like having that record.

This year I wanted to do something more that still shared the state of where we are, but not specifics. We have worked hard these past five years getting my husband through school but now we are faced with some more decisions about our future. Working out the details and taking new leaps (for me) are challenging. I am a big believer in going for our dreams. Really, I am. But I'm no longer a 20 something college student. I have a family to support and those dreams sometimes take a side seat. But, new opportunities may exist and I hope to be open to them.

The thing is, I hope that no matter where we are location-wise that we embrace this idea: "life is full of adventure" and that we make lots of fun traditions and celebrate life.

So when I was looking at the word art package "Messy Daily Circles" from Ali Edwards, I knew I wanted to do a big page and focus on that "life is full of adventure" word art. (This was an assignment for the Digital Creative Team for Ali Edwards--for which I am super thankful and excited to be a part of.)

This two page spread is a pocket page on the left (the back of the title page) and then something for the back of the beginning of my weekly digital pages (from the Project Life app.) I went with a super simple enlargement mounted on white cardstock.

A closer look at the word art from the Messy Daily Circles word art set from Ali Edwards. I used the circles as they are on two of the photos. On the "hello awesome life" photo I traced around just the words and then copied/pasted those directly onto the photo. It worked great! Really fun and I love that this page just screams "embrace the awesome!"

The cards "on beginning" and "Hello new beginning" and "completely new direction" are from Ali Edwards Story Kit from the Firsts prompt. (if you subscribe to both the stamps and the kit so you get the digital set as well. I don't think these are available right now but please direct any questions directly to Ali's site to get the best information.)

Another look at the "hello awesome life" word art. The Observations chipboard and the "Life is good" chipboard pieces are from Ali's Week in the Life kit (currently available as of this post.) The awesome "start fresh" card is an old one from Lindsay Letters (from a Studio Calico Project Life kit.)

The word strip stickers are from Ali's Firsts Story kit. That cute hello stamp is from my friend and fellow Austinite Molly Frances. The yes wood veneer was from the Ashley Goldberg class at Studio Calico. I like that I just used it instead of keeping it for "that perfect" page. I sometimes hoard too much and using this plus the awesome Lindsay Letters card was an attempt to get over that perfectionism and just have fun with the products. And I love how they turned out.

And here is the full page 12x12 traditional layout. Super simple and fun. I printed it at 8.5x8.5 because that's the size of my printer. Initially I thought I would do a full 12x12 but that would entail waiting for said enlargement to come in the mail or piecing it together. I am always looking for ways to add white space in these albums and so just putting it on a 12x12 piece of white cardstock worked great!

I added the "Life is Full of Adventure" and the text directly onto the photo (print a test run first to ensure placing.) Then I added the chipboard "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone" and the "yes" burst (both from the Firsts story kit.) Simple. Fun. And DONE!

So there it is! A fun little introduction page setting up a theme for this year, giving a peek into where we are right now and the decisions we are making. And it makes me realize I want more of this: more big photos, more playing with the mix of digital and physical products. And more of the simple, do what works for me type of things. I can be working on a page like this and tinker around with things while cranking out a month of PL on the PL app. It's all good.

I'm also working on some tutorials to show more about Mobile Memory Keeping with the Project Life App, Letterglow, Collect and other apps I use. Is there something you would like to see? I have been wanting to work out my own workflow before I shared but I think I am ready to show some tips and techniques.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great week!


Hello Project Life and Memory Keeping Plans for 2015

Hello twenty fifteen! I'm finally getting to the big "how I'm approaching Project Life this year" post. 

The truth is, I'm still tinkering and playing around but I'm confident enough now to say "this is it!" (at least for now) :)

The thing is, I've been doing Project Life or some version of it since around 2009 I think. And no, I haven't technically "finished" an album. But I have created many many pages and I have even been able to teach a few classes to share my different tips and approaches and encourage others to embrace where they are and take steps to tweak their own process. For which I am incredibly thankful. 

If you have read my recent posts or seen on Instagram, I am currently having fun playing with the Project Life App and my plan is to continue using the app for my main two page (left side + right side) layout each week. Yes, I'm tacking it weekly this year! Kinda digging that! (I can still imagine I will be flexible in my weeks if needed but I'm excited for the very simplified parameters this year.) 

My goals for Project Life:
  • Weekly left + right side spreads using the Project Life App
  • Print these at Persnickety Prints at 12x12
  • Add to my 12x12 Project Life album (the one I am using is from Becky Higgins found here.)
  • Sprinkle in other pocket pages and inserts as I have time / inspiration / motivation / space to do so
  • Keep it simple but still add elements such as Ali Edwards word art. I just love those little touches.
  • Enjoy more layouts finished and in an album and have fewer gaps this year. Look at Project Life more as just another album and not as an "epic end of all albums"; be okay with not including everything. Keep it light and simple. Use those photos and snippets of stories to spark longer stories and pages (which I add here or to other albums.)
  • Hopefully have more time to work on filling in some gaps and finishing Week in the Life and December Daily projects of years past.
Additional projects:
  • Day in the Life | 15 on the 15th: Each month on the 15th I am going to do the Day in the Life project with a goal of having at least 15 photos I love that capture our everyday life. I will use primarily the big camera on this day so sharing these pages may take me longer. I'm okay with that. My main goal is to practice with my big camera. I really want to get a wide angle lens this year. My kit lens died and so I shoot right now at around 75mm (with my crop sensor and 50mm lens.) We'll see. Here's to hoping, right? If not, I will try to rent one at least once or twice this year. I plan on creating an insert or additional page with these in my album and at the end of the year have them made into a photo book.
  • One Little Word: I am taking Ali Edwards's class on her blog. It is so great. This year my goal is to participate more with the prompts. Last year my word was with me all year and definitely helped me, but this year I want to be more intentional with it. I think I will need the reminders this year more. (I hope to get a blog post up soon about it.)
  • Week in the Life: will probably tackle this again if Ali does. I always love joining in. Finishing it is another story. Like I mentioned above, I hope to find more time to finish up my past projects.
  • December Daily: can't help myself. I love it but every year my work seems to get crazy busy around this time. It's all I can do to live life during the month. But December Daily helps me to take time to capture things and live intentionally to create more memories. I love that project.
  • Ali Edwards Story Kit / Stamps: So far I've been getting some great products and listened / watched a lot of inspirational content from Ali. I may make a goal of one layout a month, but as I look at everything I am hoping to do, reality is I am just going to enjoy getting them and using them here and there. If I do more then great. If not, no guilt because I really enjoy them and the content is wonderful. Who knows, maybe I'll get really inspired and do a bunch! I will add those to either Project Life or my Library of Memories albums. And I want to get my story journal going again. At least capture some ideas of layouts / stories I want t do.
Okay, just listing these took forever! Reality is…just enjoy life and do what I'm inspired to do!! Lighten up and live life with a light heart. Look for the good and enjoy it. That's my main goal this year.

And you thought I was joking when I said I just wanted to stop all my other projects and follow along with Ali! Seriously though, I am a huge fan of her life documentation processes and projects and feel very inspired when I follow along with her. And I am incredibly thankful to be on her Digital Creative Team this year. I'm excited to share how I use some of her products in my own projects.

So here we go!

Project Life 2015 Title Page

So I thought I would share my title page for 2015 Project Life and my week 1 spread to give more of an idea of my approach. This is a paper pocket page + overlay. On the back I will do an "about us" page -- left side pocket style and either an enlargement or a PL app page on the right.

The nice thing about the app: more time to play around with other pages and techniques!! Like breaking out the Silhouette Cameo to play with some Ali Edwards word art. Gold foil + Ali art = awesome. It took me a bit to remember how to use it, but once I found a few tutorials online I was good to go. I love these.

For my title page, I cut the "Hello Twenty Twelve" from the gold Silhouette foil sticker paper. It has adhesive on the back so you can just apply it to whatever. I used a 12x12 transparency / overlay from Studio Calico as a cover page over the title page. Love the see through effect. I simply lined up the transparency and cut holes using my Crop a Dile punch. I do two holes for each one to help it turn smoother.

These are from the Twenty Twelve set from Ali Edwards

It's kind of hard to see the transparency but I really love it. You can find it here (if it is in stock.)

And next here is my title page. Again, while I had the Silhouette out and cutting I added quite a few elements to be cut. I cut the "bring on twenty fifteen" and "hello 2015" as well as some other things from the same paper.

One thing for sure: I will definitely know which year this album is for! :)

I love repetition so it works for me. I used a bunch of gold foil cards from different Becky Higgins Project Life kits. (I picked up a bunch from her site on sale and quickly added a few favorites to my title page. So creating it didn't take "too" long. :)

I added some wood veneer elements to calm down the gold a bit. I like the neutral color and texture it adds. And I added a favorite photo from the holidays of me and Mags in bokeh lights. My word this year is "light" so it's a wonderful symbol and reminder for me.

I also saw another Project Lifer have some really fun family photos on her title page. I tried but..well at least I have a few silly ones. Trying to lighten up. Maybe I will add more of those silly ones on the next page.

Close up of the "bring on twenty fifteen" from Ali's set.

A close up of the wood veneer / gold foil card. I need that quote on my wall I love it so much.

And while I was playing around with the Silhouette I cut one of the boxes from Ali's set and added it to the page lifter. I really like it here. Similar to how Pam Baldwin used boxes from another to create dividers. This would be really fun if there were monthly boxes to cut and use on dividers for each month. 

Project Life Week 1

And here is a look at my Week 1!  This was created in the Project Life App + other apps. All of it was created on the phone  utilizing Dropbox and apps such as Collect and Letterglow. I am planning a bigger how to post to get into some details on this approach. So far I love it. I was already doing a lot of my creating the photos and journaling in Collect and now it allows me to just take it another step further to create pages. 

It does take longer to add elements like Ali's word art. The simplest way to use the app is just simply use the cards in the app. I have done that and I really like those pages too! There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple. 

And another tip is to keep decisions simple by repeating elements. I debated keeping a very simple title card this year and was going to make my own. Then I found this great set from Little Lamm Co. Her brush script is right on with the Oh Snap Boutique calendar cards (which I bought on an 80% off sale and tweaked to 3x4) I'm using this year so it was a no brainer! I love that another decision is just done!! (again, I can still use other title cards with my inserts, etc.)

The word art set I used for these pages is from the Enough set. Such a versatile set. I really loved just adding the word art right on my photos and journaling cards to enhance the storytelling about our first week. I couldn't help but keep adding more because I felt they really captured what what going on right now. A lot of clearing out / making space / embracing enough. 

The everyday love 3x4 card is from Ali's Everyday Stories set. I had created a background paper from some of the words and used them in a 6x8 layout for Week in the Life (blogged about it here.) So while I was creating the 6x8 I also had created a 3x4 card and had saved it in Dropbox for use on a future layout. 

Here is the right side of week 1. I continued to use the Enough set over my photos and filler cards. I also added "monthly goals" from the Hello Goals set from Ali. And the Jan 2015 is from Ali's Hello Life Boxes 2015. I love mixing her word art from different sets.

The week in review 4x6 was created by saving one of the Project Life cards from the app to my camera roll and then created the text and number in the app Letterglow. More on that process to come. I see a return of Mobile Memory Keeping Mondays as a goal for my blogging this year. I have saved that as a template so I can just tweak it each week. Seriously that is one powerful little app.

And there it is! My big plans for a big year! Let's see if I can fill up this album!!

If you are looking for more inspiration on Project Life or pocket scrapbooking, I highly recommend checking out "Pocket Your Year" by Megan Anderson. I was lucky enough to teach past Project Life classes at Big Picture Classes with Megan and I know she is a wonderful teacher. I always learn from her and she helps me focus and get things going. Check it out if you are interested! It's awesome that it is a year long class!

Project Life is a simplified form of scrapbooking / memory keeping created by Becky Higgins. You can get more information on the products and process here

Silhouette products used (affiliate links)


Project Life Week 49 | Project Life App Love (continued)

It has been awesome to see some others using the Project Life app and finding it is working for them.

Like I mentioned, my actual December Daily album is taking a backseat right now. Just too much going on for me. It's out on my desk and when I need to see some pretties I take a look, but I'm giving myself permission to do what is working for me.

So I thought I would share some of my December pages so far. This is my week 49 from the first week of December.

Again, created in the Project Life App, along with a variety of other apps including Collect Photo App for the photos with the text under them, Letterglow, and Rhonna Designs.

I have basically two left and right spreads plus and insert for this week. (and one more I still want to make!)

Here is the left hand side with the title card. Created that in the Rhonna Designs App. The hello December card I created in Letterglow with the gold background from Oh Snap! Boutique and added the text and overlays in the app. The joy card is from Oh Snap! Boutique. You can import png files and jpegs directly into the Project Life app if they are sized correctly for the app. That's what I did there.

This is Design F in the app. To change the corners to square there is a little icon at the top right when you are choosing the layouts. This will change the layout from round to squared corners. Love that!

This next one below was originally going to be an "insert" but I may just make it the right hand side. I used some big camera photos here along with a Collect photo. Cards from Oh Snap! Boutique and a little Ali Edwards word art as well from her digital set "You are Loved"

I did all of this page with the combination of Letterglow and PL app (plus Dropbox!)

Totally fun page and it makes me happy! love her Christmas joy!

Page below: this is the original right hand page. I wanted to play with exporting the photos from Collect at landscape 4x6 so I used some of my favorites from the prior page along with a big camera photo.

I love it! The photos are bigger which is a plus! I foresee myself doing this quite a bit more this year!

Again, cards are from Oh Snap! Boutique. I added the text in the red striped card in PSE after the fact. So, I exported it from the app and then added the text in PSE on the computer. Not my first choice, but am finding that getting the borders on the text boxes the way I like to be a challenge on the phone. So, while I'm waiting for updates I may just take the easy way out and instead of being frustrated, just add text after the fact. While I was in PSE I added the overlays from Oh Snap! as well.

It worked fine, but I think I would rather have the finished typed up cards added to the app versus after the fact. That way I have essentially a psd file in the app that can be changed easier.

But still, it's done and that's my main goal here!

I will be back later this week to share a few more layouts for this week.

Still loving this process. I even ordered a bunch (19) that I have finished and can't wait to get them. I sent them to Persnickety Prints and am eagerly awaiting these! I need to have finished layouts that I can touch and see.

Also sometimes I like to add physical embellishments to these digital pages. Previously when I did a digital page I would print at 10x10 and then mount it on a 12x12 piece of white cardstock. That way I could feel like I could add physical products easier as well. I may experiment with this for Project Life pages. For now I just asked them to add a white border and hoping this will give a little more white space too.

Anyways, can't wait to hear and see how it is going for you! Let me know if you have any questions!