Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ideas for Scrapping with Plastic Sleeves

It looks like I have been negligent in posting lately, huh? But that does not mean I haven't been scrapbooking. I have been doing some scrapbooking, along with some sewing and other things. There are always lots of choices of things to accomplish and in the process, stay busy.

I took these snapshots today after watching some on-line videos about scrapbooking. I'll share those sources with you below. Anyway, here's a quick look at what I had tucked away in my photo related storage. These are photo sleeves.

These photo sleeves are for 4"x6" size photos; meant to be viewed in the landscape orientation.

These photo sleeves are sized with 4"x11" openings. They are for those extra long, wideshot cameras. My husband has a camera that takes that kind of photo, but we don't use it much because it uses film - it is not digital. It is not the first camera we grab when it comes to taking pictures.

This photo is made for 5"x7" photos, also meant for viewing in the landscape orientation.

Okay, here's the reason I bring these plastic photo sleeves to your attention. I was looking at Becky Higgin's website and watched some of the video presentations she has made regarding her Project Life scrapbooking process. I remembered I had some photo sleeves on hand. They were actually sent to me in error. When I contacted the company that sent them to me to let them know about their mistake, I told them they arrived in my mailbox, but I had not ordered them . . . and never paid for them . . . and did they want them back? The person I spoke to on the phone that day told me to keep them as a free gift since they were the one who made the mistake. I tucked them away in storage since they weren't anything I was particularly interested in at the time.

Now, I'm looking at them for their potential in a future scrapbooking endeavor. I already know I don't want them in the large size that they currently are. I am thinking about cutting them up for mini-books. The pocket sizes are not like those on Becky Higgin's site, so I need to think about them differently. I've seen that Ali Edwards sometimes stitches across her plastic sleeves to enclose photos inside. I'll have to do a bit of experimenting to see how it all fits together, but at this point think I may trim the edges and cut them in half. Look for updates on a future post.

While I was at her site I came across some interesting FREE tools for scrapbooking that I think are worth sharing. There is a mini-book layout for you to print out and start journaling about your life. When I saw it I thought it would make a good jumping off point to get a couple mini scrapbooks going for my kids. I've got tons of photos in boxes showing various highlights of them growing up. Up to this point I have not done much with them. But I have always wanted to put something together for them. When I saw this free AdultLifeStory.pdf download I thought it would be a good approach to get going with putting some of those photos together. I plan on filling out some of the info on the pages, but will leave the bulk of it blank so the boys can fill in their own thoughts and ideas as they reminisce through the photos. You will find Becky Higgin's FREE page here if you want to check out some of the other things she is offering at no cost. Don't you just love it when others are generous with their time, resources and abilities to help give you a boost with accomplishing new things yourself. Since I'm still pretty new to scrapbooking I especially appreciate all these great ideas.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Prepping and Playing

Yesterday I was prepping some new pages to make up another month of a daily scrapbooking journal. These pages were created using my Publisher Pro software. That is how I made my December Daily pages also. I tweaked the files I had for December to alter the sizes of the boxes on the page.

Again, I based my design on what Ali Edwards did with her foundation pages. At the moment I'm going to continue with them because of their familiarity. If I decide to continue on with this daily journaling idea I will probably change it up a bit for February. Since I'm so new at all this still, I feel I need to stay with something familiar for the moment. There are likely to be many similarities with my December pages, but I'm hoping to take some time each week to study Ali's pages more and pull ideas from what she and others did. That's a prime way to learn something new: copy and follow after an instructor to learn new methods. Later, when you've achieve a certain level of mastery, is the time to venture off and explore new territory on your own - making it your own.

I didn't crop the margins from the larger pages pictured here. The way the file is set up you can print out the pages using index card weight paper on a standard printer using 8 1/2"x11" paper. The plan is to trim down the card stock to make the pages for the book. At this point I haven't trimmed down these pages yet. I'll work on finishing up the foundation pages for my January book over the next couple days. I did not make my cover for my December Daily book yet because I wanted to wait to see how thick the book actually gets with all the photos and papers adhered within it. It's a couple inches think right now, and I'm not yet done with it. I plan to make the cover when I'm finished. Then I will use that as the basis for how I make my January Journal cover. Of course I'll keep you posted on that as it all develops.
I think the January pages will make better use of my 12"x12" scrapbooking paper. The main box here is 6"x6" so I can quickly and easily just cut my background papers using my Zutter DreamKuts. You'll hear me referring to that tool as the "Zutter Cutter" from here on out - quick and easy to say! Don't you just love rhyming words?

I'm hoping to streamline the process I've been using now in December to continue the daily scrapping and visual journaling next month. Who knows, if I decide I enjoy it so much, I might continue on throughout the year. We'll just wait and see how it goes. I haven't completed all my December pages yet. I've got a stack of photos I worked on last night that need to be put into place. And I haven't kept up with all the daily journaling. I made notes for myself on some days. Other days will end up being whatever I can remember from reviewing the photos. I tried to use my camera almost every day. It's handy that it records the dates with each photo. Some days did not have photos, but I will likely just use photos from other days, or fill in those pages with journaling thoughts or other things from our day-to-day life.

Last night I worked with my Photoshop Elements program to combine photos and text together. Ali Edwards does a lot of text on her photos. I don't have her style down, but looking at her pages, I think hers are interesting. That's one thing I want to work on more in the coming weeks - to develop my own style of combining photos, text and various images or clip art along with my photos. I spent some time at her December Daily site last night. Scrolling through pages there helps to get new ideas and to see the process in new ways. I've been enjoying her site. And I've clicked onto some of her flashing sidebar links to check out sites that belong to others. There is lots to see and learn from. It all takes time. So the learning process continues.

These photos of us playing backgammon are pretty plain and basic. I'd also like to learn more about enhancing photos and altering them for more interest. I don't often get good photos of my hubby because he tends to object quite a bit to me holding a camera in front of his face. It's always, "Don't take pictures of me." That leads me to one thing I need to work on . . . how to do scrapbooks and participate in this hobby when it is just the two of us and the dogs here at home. I have a thought in the back of my mind that I'll run out of interesting material to document in scrapbooks now with no kids around the house. Plus we lead fairly quiet lives and don't tend to get out a lot to do a bunch of things. It's typically the same old activities we engage in. My fear is that I think my scrapbooks will turn out to be pretty uninteresting and boring. That's a big part of my challenge . . . what to photograph and how to make it interesting from day to day. So that's another thing we'll have to wait and see how things develop along these lines. After all, what would be the point of doing daily scrapbook pages if they always tend to be about the same things? How many interesting pages can be made from three dogs, one husband and little ol' me? Maybe that challenge will have to be incorporated into my New Year's resolution: think up interesting things to do several times a week so I can have something to document. And on top of that, they need to be inexpensive things as well - or free things. I'm finding the small amount of scrapping I'm doing does have a cost, and I don't want a hobby like this to be a burden with expenses. I want it to be fun and not a headache. Big challenges to consider on a daily basis.

So who's with me? Anyone else out there willing to work on a daily January Journal? My daughter-in-law, Samantha, has already said she will participate with me in doing this. Yay! I'll be posting the foundation pages (shown above) that I made up on my website as free downloads if anyone else wants to make use of them. They should be available by the end of the day, if all goes well with uploading them. And I'd certainly say, "Don't let that limit you." They will be there if you want to use them, but if you don't that's fine too. Making up your own format for foundation pages is also encouraged. Okay, let's get ready to play with scrapbooking and face some challenges of scrapbooking daily!

Update! I have the January Journal foundation pages I posted about here uploaded to my website now. If you want to scrapbook with us and use those pages for your foundations, just print them out, trim to the desired size, and we'll get scrapping! Believe me, if you get these ready ahead of time, things will flow much better when January 1st comes. Click HERE to go find them. Have fun with it!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowman Paper Piecing

I've been working a bit here and there on my December Daily mini photo book. Just thought I'd share a couple images of some details. This lovely snowman was cut using my Cricut and the Doodlecharms cartridge. The half circle red background was cut using the Graphically Speaking cartridge. I cut off the tiny hole punches on the side that were meant for spiral binding since I am using my Zutter binding tool. The little snowflakes are punched using a small hand-held paper punch by EK Success. I was trying to hold this up so you could see it is dimensional with parts of the elements raised. I used those spongy little adhesive squares to raise up the snowman from the background. The small light blue dots are plastic stick-ons called Bubble-A-Bilities by the Paper Studio.

I started off just cutting the pieces, but thought they needed to be highlighted better with some color. First came a pale blue mini stamp pad around the edges of the card stock. It needed more color, so I resorted to adding in features with colored pencils, lightly at first, but the went a bit further. Parts of the snowman are lifted - the nose and the buttons. His eyes are punched out so the background color shows through. I'm happy with the way it turned out.
The White Stuff - ha, ha, ha - reminds me of the saying 'the right stuff' like this little snowman's got the 'right stuff' but it's really that he's made up of the 'white stuff'.

Here's a peek at the larger page it is positioned next to. I will be putting a photo of our snowy landscape here with some journaling. We haven't made a snowman this year. I can remember in years past that the boys would do that out in the yard. I was thinking I should get Pat out there to help me make one just for old times sake . . . and to take the dogs outdoors to run around for awhile. They've been cooped up all winter, same as us. I'm hearing the call of a snowman seeking to come into existence. LOL! Won't Pat be surprised when I come out with that one!?! MAYBE more photos to come . . . just depends . . .

Hmmm . . . I'm remembering a year the boys did a Calvin and Hobbes type snowman? or at least them spending hours looking at their comic books saying they ought to go out and make one like that. I'll have to ask them if they remember actually doing that? Funny how the memories go after time. They get foggy. I need an injection of some old stories and a time of reminiscing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Scrapping with Samantha

Yay, another post. You're probably thinking, "Finally!" Here I was all set to do the December Daily and blog about it, and then . . . nothing! Part of the problem is I've also been working on some sewing and quilting projects. Plus I didn't have any ink in my printer cartridges and had to go purchase new ones. Without being able to print stuff, I felt limited on being able to complete pages. So I went on to work on other sewing things. Thankfully I got ink cartridges several days ago, but am just now getting back around to spending some time in my 'Yellow Room' to scrap. It's a process . . . work here, work there. Some days are spent sewing, other days odd jobs around the house - like cleaning and other mundane stuff - now it's scrapping again.

As you can see I had a friend over to scrap with me for awhile this evening. This is Samantha. She's my daughter-in-law, my younger son's wife. Sam has got a blog of her own to share some of her scrapping adventures. She did a post tonight about our visit. I asked my husband to take a photo of us two scrapping together for the book I'm making. These first couple photos of us are his handiwork.

While I worked on my December Daily book, Sam worked on making some holiday cards to give to some of her most special friends and family. Yay! That includes me (and my hubby). Sam let me pick from the half dozen cards she was working on. That was fun. They were each different. Tough choice, but I narrowed it down to two, took a guess at which one I thought my husband would pick, then told Sam I wanted to see if I guessed right. Nope, he surprised me. I thought he would pick the one with the reindeer and the heavenly scented cinnamon sticks. He picked this one with the snowman instead. Since it was one we both liked I told Sam that was my selection. Then she went on to decorate it even more by working on the backside with some mini photos.

Here's the view of our card from the back. The photos are of Sam, Josh and their "kid" Bella. I like the way the card turned out. I'll set it on display for a while during the next month or so for the winter season, but will eventually put it into my December Daily photo book when I'm ready to change my displays. I was thinking about that after Sam left. I believe what I'll do is trim down a sheet protector pocket page to fit the card and add it to the pages of my book. It will fit right in with the theme and activities of today.

I thought I'd try cropping the larger photo of the two of us to make close-ups of each of us individually. Here's one of those.

And here's the other one. Sorry, you have to try to not get lost in seeing us through all the clutter of 'stuff' in my room. Eventually I will be doing some re-arranging and organizing to cut back even further on the clutter and attempt to work this room more like a real home-improvement decorator might. I want to "pretty-fy" my shelves and the room . . . add some valances or curtains, hang a few photos and display collections of photos and paraphernalia on the shelves. It's definitely too utilitarian for me right now. And too cluttered!

I took some photos of the pages I worked on today in my December Daily photo book. Today . . . day 15 . . . makes it look like I'm about half-way done with the book doesn't it? Not!!! I skipped ahead and worked on today's page while Sam was here. I've been neglecting it on a daily basis, but trying to jot down some notes on a pad of paper to help me remember what each day of December consisted of. I know, that's not quite what the project is about, but that's how it has turned out for me. Definitely a busy season. I probably should be making more lists to organize my time better and then I might get more things done . . . and stay caught up a bit better.

Here you can see the left side shows the photos of Sam and me scrappin' it up! I think I will be trimming the bottom photo to cut around the shape of our heads so I can dispense with some of the visual clutter in the photo. I'll leave just the stuff on the tables, and cut away the stuff on the shelves in the background.

There is a transparent plastic sheet between the pages for each of the days. My clear plastic page is created by sewing on the sewing machine two different plastic scraps together and sandwiching a sheet of colorful paper between the plastic where they overlap. This area of overlap forms a pocket that I will use to slide some journaling or other decorative elements underneath the plastic. You can see one piece of plastic has green swirls across it. The other is a frosted translucent sheet of template plastic. I like the juxtaposition of the pieces once they are sewn together. This is different from Ali Edward's work (which was the inspiration for this book). I was trying to make use of the odd-ball sizes and shapes of plastic left after cutting some of them to fit the book as full-size sheets. Trying to be frugal and make use of the scraps, too . . . not just all full sheets.

Ali also inserted additional smaller pages into her book. Here I used a scalloped sheet and backed it with scrapbook paper. This creates a two-sided mini page I will use for journaling about my activities of the day. I still need to do the journaling on my pages today. You might have noticed the scallop shape of the mini page mirrors the scallop shape of the first (previous) page. That's because they are the two halves of the scrapbook paper I used to cut out the scallop shape. I love the layered look of these pages . . . and the repeating shapes and elements. I will likely do more of this sort of thing as I continue with the book.

Flipping over that extra mini scalloped page brings you to the final page for today on the right. It is one of the two photos my hubby took of us. The photos are not attached yet. This one seems a bit too large, but I'll probably still use it. I want to play with angling it a few different ways and decide where to add some handwritten info that journals our activities. I embellished this page with a little decorative owl. It's so cute - a dimensional accent piece that seemed to fit nicely here. Click onto any of these images for a larger photo to see more detail.
Just wanted to show off the sewn transparent plastic page. Here's how it looks from one side.

Here is how the plastic page looks from the other side. I like this idea with the plastic pages. And I may add some more snow flakes to this page. The white ones you see here are made with the snowflake punch I have had for awhile. You just know you'll end up adding lots of snowflakes to scrapbook pages when you live in North Dakota!

And finally, here's a bird's eye view of the mess on my drafting table. It is so filled up with stuff it's a wonder anyone can work on here at all! I tend to do that . . . get so much stuff out while working on a project. I periodically like to stop and put it all away. It gets too distracting and overwhelming to have too much out at once. All the visual clutter makes it hard to concentrate. So it's good to clear it off and start fresh every so often. Well . . . that's it for today. Hope you're enjoy seeing my progress.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

'December Daily 2010' Mini-Book Foundation Pages

I'm getting a bit of a slow start on my 'December Daily 2010' mini scrapbook. I designed and printed out my pages today, then got them trimmed down to size. Mine will be a slightly different size than the book Ali Edwards created. You can see it here in this photo that it is based off of her idea - same set-up. I made mine up on my Art Explosion Publisher Pro program. It's an old program I originally got years ago for my Windows 98 computer. Thankfully it still runs on my current computer so I can still make use of it.

The only problem I can see right off with making my mini-book measure different dimensions than Ali's example is that I will not get as many individual pages cut from the clear plastic sheets I bought. I thought I'd be able to cut two pages from each 12"x12" plastic sheet. But my mini-book pages are sized at 7 1/8"x8 1/2" not the 6"x8" Ali did for hers. At the moment, I think I might make some 2-part pages with my clear sheets by stitching two smaller scraps together. I think a mix-and-match effect with one style clear sheet stitched to another or stitched to an opaque piece of paper will make the best use of my materials. I'll play with that idea tomorrow. I like the concept of the clear sheets that Ali makes use of in her book. Those 12"x12" sheets are pricey - even though they were running a half price sale at Hobby Lobby the day I got them. While I was there, I also picked up some large sheets of template plastic. It's translucent, not completely clear. I figured it would make a good substitute for the fancier plastic sheets Ali had. They're plain, but I'll decorate them and bling them out for some added interest. I think I'll like the look of some clear and some translucent combinations. I'll take photos to show what I mean when I work on them tomorrow. It's kind of hard to explain without visuals.

I jotted down a few notes of my activities yesterday and today to trigger my memory for journaling. I really wanted to get my first two pages done by the end of the day today, but nope . . . it didn't happen. It took longer than I anticipated to get the pages made and printed. Tomorrow should be a day filled with more fun with working on this project. I'll actually get to do some scrapping and decorate the first three pages. Yay! I've definitely got to get to them so I don't fall too far behind.

Today was a good day anyway . . . even though I didn't accomplish all that I wanted. I got to sew with my friend, actually got a quilt top along with the batting mounted onto my quilting frame, finished up with some stuff in my sewing studio that I needed to take care of, had a good supper (consisting of pasta) with my hubby, got to talk on the phone with my younger son for awhile, and worked on these pages. It was a full day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Am I Crazy? -- or What?

I decided to start a new blog. Yeah, I know . . . crazy, right? Like I don't have enough other things to keep me busy?

I've been wanting to devote more time working on scrapbooking. I have all kinds of supplies that have built up over the past several years, with the intent to get busy making up some pages, but I've only ever made up a few pages. One of my new goals is to be more dedicated to using these supplies, document our lives (for my own enjoyment), and create something that I can one day pass on to each of the boys . . . or perhaps future grandchildren? Time will tell if that possibility presents itself. In the meantime, since I have all this stuff and I want to make use of it - my new goal is to get started on it - to quit procrastinating and finish some pages and some albums.

It was kind of fun spending time cutting up paper with my cricket last week. This photo shows the results of some of that time well spent. I have ideas rolling around in my head on what to do with these die-cut pieces. I want to organize the items for each page, then take time to assemble the pieces for my pages. This new blog is my window to the world to share with others the progress I make here.

I've also found some good on-line sources for scrapbooking ideas. This site from Ali Edwards looks like a good place to start with some holiday mini books. It's all about making up a Christmas book showcasing twenty-five days before Christmas. It looks like she has some good ideas for organizing such a project and getting it assembled and completed in a timely manner. This will be one of my current projects. Therefore, I want to do some prep work to ready myself for placing photos pertaining to each of the frist 25 days of December, 2010. Hopefully it won't be too boring. Afterall, it's just the two of us here at home now, and no plans for having the kids come home for this Christmas season. Hmmmm . . . maybe this will be one of the most boring holiday scrapbooks ever! None the less, it's my plan . . . I'll have to see about making things festive around here. Perhaps it will work out in the end. If not . . . I'll document our boring life!