Wait. It’s March?!

Wait. It’s March?!

The best laid plans have a habit of falling through around here. I was so pumped for LOAD. The last LOAD led by Lain. A reason to scrapbook every day. I was going to get so much creating done.

Well. That was the plan. What actually happened?

Four paper pages done, one digital page done, and one more page begun, but not finished.

I didn’t even make it a week people!

I blame my job. It’s emotionally draining.

But you know what? That’s a terrible excuse. And we don’t make excuses around here.

Plain and simple, life got in the way, and I let scrapbooking slip into the backseat again. And that’s okay.

I’m not into guilt. I’m not going to make myself feel bad because I didn’t scrapbook as much as I wanted to during February. Life is to short to feel guilty about not making as much time as I would like for a hobby that I love.

And that’s the thing.

I LOVE scrapbooking. I love all the bits and pieces that it’s made of, from paper and tape runners, to glitter glue and photos, and most importantly stories I want to tell my family.

My youngest asked me the other day why I don’t tell stories like my husband does. The thing is, I do. But it’s on paper. I am terrible at telling a story verbally. But give me a piece of paper and a pen, and I’m off.

punch buggy red||noexcusescrapbooking.com

My favorite page from February

Bonus: Ten years from now, when my husband can’t remember the story he told so engagingly last night, I’ll have a record of at least part of it in my scrapbooks, where we can relive the moment, all over again.


Making a Date!

Making a Date!

LOAD 215 pile || noexcusescrapbooking.comScrapbooking has fallen down on my priority list. Now, instead of being a big ole’ second in command, it’s fallen to fourth place in the list of things to do.

First place is still making sure my family is taken care of, but preparing for work, and writing, have jumped the line and budged in front of scrapbooking.

That makes me sad. I’m feeling the lack of scrapbooking blues.

Luckily, in just a couple days, the February Layout a Day challenge begins.

Cue an ecstatic happy dance!

Why am I so happy? Because I need this. I need to make telling family stories a priority. I need to play with pretty paper and shiny stuff. I need to treasure my photos.

I’ve got a whole list of things I can work on:

Catching up with Project Life. Although I am going to try to pump out lots of Project Life stuff this weekend, so I can do other styles of pages. I’m in the Project Life is not easy mind frame at the moment. That’s just because I haven’t been doing it consistently, so I may be feeling a little overwhelmed, or possibly even resentful. But this is a project I’ve chosen to do for good reasons, so I’m going to work through my silly issues, and keep going.

The exchange student living with us this year brought a photo book of the early years of his life, along with blank pages, which I can fill up with things we do while he’s here. We’ve done a few fun things that definitely deserve to be added to that.

I can work on pages for my sister. Her kids’ scrapbooks are pretty empty.

I can assemble my December Daily for 2015. I made sure to write every day, but I haven’t printed any photos yet. I don’t like printing at home.

And then there are a bunch of extra pictures that I printed when I ordered photos for Project Life. There are lots of little stories I can tell there.

What will be fun, is turning the prompts that Lain gives us, which this time will have an around the world theme, into stories that work with the photos and projects I have planned.

That’s always the fun part. Making my brain stretch and adapt prompts that may say one thing into something completely my own.

I love LOAD.

A word to the wise: This is the last Layout a Day challenge being headed by Lain Ehmann, who began the whole shebang. There will be future LOADs, but she won’t be running them. If you want to experience an original LOAD, this is your last chance to join up. Sign up here: LOAD 2016

Join us! Take the plunge. It’s not scary. It’s not judgmental. It’s not impossible.

LOAD is permission to scrapbook on a daily basis, in an inspiring, friendly and enthusiastic place. You won’t regret it. I certainly haven’t.

Scrapbooking Reflects Life

Scrapbooking Reflects Life

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holiday season was filled with laughter and joy. We were quite busy here; hence the complete lack of posts for December.

Ack! Does that make me a terrible person?

Let me answer that for you: no. Was there really any question?

Any hoo….

I’ve been working on updating my Project Life album. It’s been hard to find the time to do it around the school lesson planning and kid carting and house cleaning and holiday preparations. This past week, once everyone had left, and all the presents were unwrapped, I was able to finally make some progress towards getting this fall’s photos in the album. I’ve got photos in pages, and blank cards in the empty spots, and even managed to add a few bits of memorabilia. I’ll be working on journaling and embellishing next.

Which brings me to my next thought about Project Life, and why it took so long for me to find a way for the project to work for me.

A friend who’s finalizing her Project Life album for 2015 posed a question in a private group: What should she do about a single week where she had no photos, no social media information, nothing to fill in for one week, half a year ago.

Before we get to the real meat of the matter, there are a few quick fixes:

  • Use a general full page photo as a place holder. Things like a seasonal photo or a family photo would be a great thing to fill in that space. You could even add seasonal photos throughout the book to make it seem more intentional, and less random.
  • Look up what was happening in the news that week, and do an overview of that week in history. That could be super interesting to come across when you or your family read your book in the future.
  • Do a year so far summary page. A few photos of things that have changed since the beginning of the year would be fun. I keep thinking it would be interesting to keep a running tab of how many loads of laundry I’ve done, and how many times I’ve turned on the dishwasher, but I always manage to forget after the first week of the year. (Maybe I’ll put up a tally sheet next to each appliance. That could work!)
  • Fudge it. Adjust the previous and following weeks’ photos to fill in the space.
  • Create a piece of art to fill the space. An illustrated quote, photos that have been put through an app like Waterlogue (so much fun!), or a collage of patterned papers could all work as space fillers.

However, that’s not really what I’d recommend doing.

One of the things that initially gave me problems about Project Life was the daily or weekly nature of it. Each two page spread was supposed to cover a specific amount of time. That kind of consistency really doesn’t work for me. I’m more of a batch type of person. When I get involved in something, I like to immerse myself in it completely for awhile, and then take a break and do something else.

This is how I do everything in my life. I’m a serial binger.

Having to take a photo every day is simply not flexible enough for me. Having to sort my stories into specific lengths of time seemed artificial and forced.

It wasn’t until I decided to simply document whatever I managed to photograph or take notes about that Project Life clicked for me.

Project Life, and scrapbooking in general, should reflect your life as it is. Did you not manage to take photos for three weeks? Do you have 215 photos from a single event? It happens. Just don’t let the gap stop you from telling your stories. Don’t let chronology or self-imposed rules or other’s expectations limit how you tell your story.

Your scrapbooks should reflect your life. All of it. Even the parts when you were so busy living you forgot to document them. It’s okay to miss a few moments here and there. That’s what life is like.


Journey’s End

Journey’s End

Here we are again, another month of cards under our belt. Let’s finish things up with another Tim Holtz stamp, this one with a matching die set.

journeys end || noexcusescrapbooking.com

The compass was first stamped on the card base, and then stamped four times on white paper, and then colored with distress inks and an inking tool. Love that mini inking tool! After each piece was colored, they were cut out with the corresponding die set, and adhered on the card base with foam tape.

A final sentiment stamp, and the card is done. Love the colors on this one. What do you think?

Do you have a favorite card from this month? Which one did you like the most? Which one is so ugly it should never see the light of day again? Inquiring minds want to KNOW!

If you’d like to get one of these cards in the mail, make sure you’re on my email list. (You can sign up for it in the box at the top right hand side of the page.)

The supplies you can get from Amazon, if you want to make this card: (affiliate links)

Distressed Embossing

Distressed Embossing

There are all types of embossing powders out there. There are some that are smooth and shiny, some that have a matte finish and lots of lovely color. There are some that are bumpy, and then there are Tim Holtz’s distress embossing powders, which are rough and designed to partially adhere.

That makes them perfect for beachy themed stamps, don’t you think?

distress shell || noexcusescrapbooking.com

In addition to the distress embossing powder, three layers of distress ink were laid down on the card with a piece of acetate to create a splotchy water color effect.

If you’d like to get this card in the mail, or any of the others I’ve made this month, make sure you’ve signed up for my email list at the top right of the page.

If you want to make this card yourself, you can use these supplies from Amazon: (affiliate link)