Monthly Archives: March 2015

At the Moment

At the Moment

Lately, I have been knee deep in photo organization.

When my video editing software wasn’t working, I took the computer in to the Apple store to get it fixed. After checking out the error reports, they told me I needed to re-format the computer, and restore from the back-up, which I had brought with me because I had thought that might be the problem.

So we re-formatted the computer, and then I started restoring from the back-up. And couldn’t. Because somehow, I had a back-up that was 1.3 TB from a 1TB computer. (Cue massive confusion from all involved.)

The past week has involved hours and hours of data transfer and photo organization. I’ve still got tons more to do. (My photo library is huge. I’ve had a digital camera since 2001.)

Along the way I’ve decided, with the recommendation of my friend Mary at Be Photo Wise, to move from iPhoto to Lightroom. Before I got the iMac, I had been using Adobe’s Organizer, and loved that. Hopefully I’ll enjoy Lightroom as well. I’ll let you all know how that goes.

When I’m not knee deep in photos, I am working on the next few scrapbooking books in the Beginner’s Guide series. I’ve got a few thousand words towards The Parent’s (and Grandparent’s) Guide to Scrapbooking, and have outlined a Lover’s Guide, and a Traveller’s Guide. I am working with some friends who are digital scrapbooking experts to put together a Tech Lover’s Guide as well.

sketches ||

For the sketch class at the end of the month, I’m putting together a little booklet of sketches and blank pages for the participants to take home with them. There’s still time to sign up here.

It is all coming together so slowly.

I guess I am the turtle, rather than the hare.

Now that you know what I am working on, here are a few questions for you:

Have you scrapbooked about your children? How about your significant other? Do you scrapbook your travels? What has made scrapbooking about those topics difficult? What made it easier? What do you wish you’d known when you started scrapbooking? What’s your best tip(s) for new scrapbookers?

I’d love to hear what you have to say about scrapbooking. We all approach memory keeping from different angles. I’d love to learn from you, too!


PL December!!

PL December!!

You know what I just realized? I haven’t shared my December Project Life pages with you yet? Where has my head been?

Oh I know. Layout a Day. All of February. That’s what I was doing!


Anyhoo… Let’s take a look at December, shall we?IMG_0299

Since I have so much in the way of Christmas themed supplies, I switched the journaling cards and papers for the month.


Some of the supplies I have are pretty old. Some are ancient rub-ons that I had left over from decorating ornaments.


Some are new-to-me gifts from friends de-stashing. Some are not-Christmas related at all.


My oldest had an eventful month, with job-shadowing and the National Geographic National Geography Bee. (He won his school’s Bee!)


The elf on the shelf kept my youngest entertained. Also, using PL cards to keep track of to-do lists has been awesome.


Christmas day came bright and early. At least my kids are old enough to wait till it starts getting light out before clamoring to open presents. Heck, there isn’t even much clamoring anymore.


This month was super simple, with labels making up most of the embellishments.


My favorite part? I was given this “Peace on Earth” vinyl sticker years ago, and now it’s out of my stash! Don’t you just love getting things out of your stash?

Well, that was December. I think I printed out photos for January, but I may have used some of them for Layout a Day last month. I’ll have to double check. And February is going to have to wait till I get some computer issues settled.

It’s always something, isn’t it?



Let’s Talk Diamonds

Let’s Talk Diamonds

Diamond shapes, to be specific. The gemstones are a little too expensive for this blog, and well, baseball is not anywhere within my wheelhouse. I’m actually not a fan, if you can believe that! I blame my little brother’s Little League games.

So, how about creating diamond shapes for our scrapbook pages? That’s something we can do, right? Certainly!

Our inspiration piece was this gorgeous illustration:

mag ill by Cruschiform

Illustration for magazine Revue XXI no. 23 by Cruschiform (Fukushima)

The primary part I liked was the overlapping diamonds. To create diamonds on my layout, I started with a scrap piece of copy paper. I freehanded the diamond, and fiddled with the drawing to try to get even sides and angles. Don’t do that!

This method just occurred to me last week, and it’s a much better way to get an even diamond. Fold the paper in half lengthwise, and make small creases at the top and bottom. (You don’t need to crease the whole page, just the edges.) Fold it in half widthwise and make two more small creases, one on each side. Or, if you have a centering ruler, use it to mark the center of each side.

The next part will require a decision on your part. Do you want your diamond to be long and thin or short and squat?

You are going to make a dot a specific distance from the top edge of your paper, and the same distance from the bottom of your paper. You will also make dots from each edge of the paper. Those will need to be the same distance from the sides, but they can be different from the top and bottom distances.

You will need to decide on the distances yourself, based on how you want your diamond to look. If you want it to be short and squat, make the top and bottom distances bigger, and the side distance smaller. Reverse that for a long and thin diamond.


Next, connect the dots to draw your diamond, and cut out along the line. An exacto knife, metal edged ruler, and cutting mat are better tools to use for this than scissors, since you want to be able to use both parts. Ta-da! You’ve now made two masks!


We’re going to start by making the diamonds. I used distress inks, but if you have an ink you like better, feel free to use it. Distress inks are nice for this sort of project since they are dye inks that are formulated to take a little longer to dry, which gives you more time to work with them.


Start by taping (I used washi tape) the open diamond over the background paper. Start adding color with a sponge in a circular motion to prevent a lot of overlap marks. Use darker colors and more layers towards the edges, and lighter colors in the middle. Do the two end diamonds first, then the center diamond.


Next, it’s time to add the stamped images. Use the same inks you used to color the diamonds. Use the open diamond to protect the background, and the center piece to cover the center diamond when you work on the two end diamonds.  You’ll only need the open piece to protect the edges of the center shape.


To stamp the background edges, use an ink similar in color to your paper, or if you want a more subtle pattern, use Versamark, which will give you a watermark look. I had scraps of the background paper, so I experimented with various inks I had on hand before settling on using a silvery Encore ink. Use the center piece of the mask you created to protect the colored diamonds. If there’s a chance you might get ink on a second diamond, just use the edge of the background mask to protect it.

good days ||

After you’ve inked and stamped to your heart’s desire, use it to create a page. I kept this very simple, with a title, some journaling, and a few hearts punched out of washi covered scrap paper.

When you’ve got a technique as interesting as this one, you don’t really want to overdo it with embellishments!

What do you think? Do you think you could use this technique on a page? What other shapes do you think would work with this idea? Go make something and show me what you’ve got!

I’ve got to go clean off my desk now.

Inspiration & Creation

Inspiration & Creation

Do you remember back in January, when I showed you these inspiring pics from Pinterest?

Chris Garbutt ill

Illustration by Chris Garbutt from Journey to the Centre of My Brain by James Carter

essillustration card

Card by essillustration available on etsy

I did actually create a page based on these pics, but I got to it in a round about way.
I really wanted to do something with the foxes, and initially thought I wanted to create a background with stamped foxes. I don’t have any foxes, (shocking isn’t it?!) but I do have a silhouette and the stamp cutting set, so I thought I’d find something in the silhouette store. But none of the foxes worked for me, if you know what I mean. Then I debated creating my own cut file, but I have so not been in a drawing mood. So… What to do?

I went back and thought about what exactly I liked about the foxes. I liked that they were whimsical and friendly. Cuddly even! I loved the brush strokes on the black and white one, and I loved the idea of family that the red and pink ones suggested. So that led me to the theme: family.

photo by Doc. Ing.

photo by Doc. Ing. of Lake Sauris in Italy from Flickr

Next I started thinking about color. I loved the blues and greens of the landscape, and how silvery the haze made the hills in the background. But I also loved the pink in the diamond illustration. So of course I combined them.

mag ill by Cruschiform

Illustration for magazine Revue XXI no. 23 by Cruschiform (Fukushima)

As far as structure goes, the three overlapping diamonds were going to show up on the page without a doubt.

After a bit of fun (which I’ll go into detail about on Monday) I ended up with this:

good days ||


I had a lot of fun making the layout. The diamonds were fun to figure out, although after a bit of time, I’ve come up with an easier way to create even diamonds. Any whoo…

What do you think? Can you see the inspiration in the end result?

Getting Sketch Happy

Getting Sketch Happy

sketches ||

Who out there is afraid of sketches? Maybe afraid is too strong a word.

Intimidated? Unsure about how they work?

Who out there has heard of scraplifting or CASEing and has no idea what it is exactly, or how to go about doing it?

Want to learn?

If you are local, I am offering Getting Sketch Happy at my home on March 28th. This will be a two hour class, and it is only $10!

We’re going to be learning how to identify the parts of a sketch, how to adapt them to the photos and stories you want to use, and how to create our own sketches.

We’ll look at a few pages we love, and learn how to turn those into more pages we love, without having the pages we make look repetitive or boring.

We’ll talk about ways to set up the design of themed albums to create a unified but eclectic look.

You’ll end up with a couple completed pages, plus a bunch of sketches of your own so you can keep creating once you’re home.

In short we will become sketch masters!

Who’s up for a class?

Class will be March 28th, from 6-8 pm. It may go longer if we need to spend more time on any topics that anyone finds difficult. I will be supplying sketches and examples. You will need to bring your basic tool kit (trimmer, scissors, adhesive, journaling pens) as well as any photos or supplies you want to use. Use of the tools I have on hand is included in the class price, but if you want to raid my expendables stash, that will be an extra $5. Seating is extremely limited.

Buy the class now for $10:

Or if you want to be able to raid my stash, buy now for $15:


And come join the Facebook event!