Monthly Archives: June 2015

Glitter Conundrum

Glitter Conundrum

I have a glitter conundrum. I am not a big fan of it, but I love it. Yep. Love it and hate it, that’s me.

Let’s talk pros and cons of glitter for a minute, shall we?


  1. Makes everything bright and happy
  2. Adds a little bit of elegance and/or whimsy to your crafty creations
  3. Comes in every color under the sun
  4. Easily adds visual texture without bulk
  5. Easy to add to projects
friendly glitter || noexcusescrapbooking

friendly glitter


  1. Sticks to everything
  2. Difficult to contain, aka likes to escape when adhering to projects
  3. Rubs off of “finished” surfaces (think glitter paper)
  4. Can be a health hazard (really!)
  5. Increases the time it takes to finish a project
not so friendly glitter ||

not so friendly glitter

There are certain glitter products that I love and don’t want to do without. (Stickles is the first that comes to mind.) There are other products I can live without, even though I have some in my stash. (Pots of glitter from superfine to chunky)

Since I have boys, coming up with ways to use glitter is sometimes problematic. We’ve used it to embellish ornaments and create celebratory pages. Luckily, one of my boys is into all things crafty, which means he comes up with ways to use up glitter, and would love it if more ended up in the craft room.

Also, I have nieces, which makes making pages embellished with glitter more reasonable, especially if the page is about their love of princesses or dress up or superheroes. Of course, my brother-in-law hates glitter with a passion, which somehow gives me more pleasure when I send a glitter laden page about his daughter his way. I am a terrible person.

So, what do you think about glitter? Love it, hate it, or hopelessly confused like me? What are your suggestions for using up glitter? (After all I’ve got a ton, and it needs to get out of my stash!)

I’ll show you some of my favorite ways to use glitter next time!

Solutions for the Chronological Scrapbooker: Project Life Baby Edition

Solutions for the Chronological Scrapbooker: Project Life Baby Edition

We’re going to switch gears for the moment, and talk about how you can use Project Life style scrapbooking to document a big event or a baby’s first year, even when the baby’s now 30 and expecting their first child, and the big event was so long ago you’ve forgotten all the details.

If your baby really is 30, please, don’t ever feel guilty about NOT scrapbooking. There is no behind. There are no stories you must tell. This is a hobby you can choose to do or not. It is not, and never will be, something you HAVE to do. “But!” you say. “I have all these photos from my wedding/baby’s first year/Christmas that I have to use! If I don’t, my mother-in-law/best friend/random stranger will hold it over my head for decades!” Or even better, there’s the self-induced guilt of “I have to do these photos in chronological order! If I don’t we’ll never remember what we did in May of 1995!”

Please, stop right there. You don’t have to scrapbook to please anyone else but yourself, and you don’t have to do it in order. Did that work? Are you listening? Probably not, right?

I bet you are still running around in your head, thinking that you do need to do these things. I know nothing I say is going to stop you feeling like you have to scrapbook that way. So, rather than try to talk you down off the scrapbook ledge of guilt, let’s approach chronological and big event scrapbooks from a different perspective. Let’s make them fast and approachable, instead of overwhelming.

If you’ve been aware of the scrapbook business for any length of time, you probably know all about Becky Higgins, and her Project Life products (affiliate link). You’ve probably also heard that people who do Project Life try to take a photo every day, write a little every day, and then just slip the daily photo and journaling into a divided page protector that looks a bit like this:


(You can buy those here through my Amazon affiliate link.)

Does that idea scare you? Me too. The first time I tried to do Project Life I got about a month and a half into it before I quit. I don’t want to take a photo or write THAT often, or buy into the resulting guilt when I don’t manage to do either for weeks at a time. (It is working much better the second time around. You can see my posts about Project LIfe here.)

But! These page protectors and Becky’s other product can help you get your stories told quickly and easily. How? Easy.

Let’s work with a concrete example, say a baby book?

If you use the standard page protector, you will need eight horizontally oriented photos for each month of the baby’s first year, plus three of the baby at birth, and another three of the first birthday. Choose only your favorites, and do not print every photo you have taken since your baby was born. If you have vertically oriented photos you’re dying to use you have a few options: buy a different style page protector; print it smaller to fit in the smaller pockets; or (gasp!) cut it.

Sort your photos in chronological order. Slide your three birth photos in the pockets of the first page, along with a title card, and small cards with name and birth statistics. For each following double page spread, add eight photos from each month, and eight small cards with any journaling you want, or even just some pretty patterned paper. For the last page, make sure you’ve got a photo of the kid at one, along with either photos that show how the baby has grown in comparison to the one-year-old, or how you celebrated the first birthday. A little bit of journaling to document changes over the course of the year, and some reflection about it, and your baby book is done.

This is a process that can work for any big event.

Want to document a trip?

Create a title page with an overview of where you went, who you went with, and what you saw, then fill in pocket pages with your favorite photos and memorabilia and anything you can remember from your trip. You can keep it chronological, and do a pocket, a page, or a double page spread per day. You could build your album based on places or people you’ve seen as well. The options are just about endless, and you can make this set-up work for how you think about your photos and memories.

A few things to remember that will help you succeed:

1. Limit your photo selections. While you could use every photo you took during the baby’s first year, or on your once in a lifetime trip, it is so much easier and faster and more attractive to choose your best or most memorable photos. And yes, sometimes the most memorable photos are the worst from an artistic standpoint, but they show an important part of your story, so use them! However, don’t use all 37 photos of the baby learning to walk. Choose a handful, or only one. Curate your photos. You’ll be happier with the end result, and finish your project sooner.

2. Either choose your photos based on the orientation of your photo sleeves, or be willing to trim and adjust photos to fit. Another option is to be willing to turn the album when you look at it. Don’t get hung up on having a mix of photo orientations. This is what takes the longest when putting together a project life page, and by choosing photos appropriately, you can avoid the issue entirely.

3. Don’t feel you have to have tons of heartfelt journaling. A few bits of the details you can remember is more than enough. If you have more journaling spots than you need, fill the space up with pretty paper or another photo.

4. Embellish if you want to, but try to stick to flatter, less three-dimensional elements. Intricate roses and huge beads take up a lot of space in your pocket, and might force you to trim your card or photo in order to fit.

5. Enjoy the process. Take time while you’re putting your project together to reminisce and recall the details. You’ll be able to include more information if you savor your memories, rather than rush to complete the project.

Think you’re ready to take on a baby book, or a big event book?

Show me what you make!



Almost a Year of Project Life. Where to go from here?

Almost a Year of Project Life. Where to go from here?

It’s been a while since the last PL update. How about a quick glance at the latest pages? (Or maybe not so quick. There’re a lot of photos here!)

PL March ||

Wow! That’s from the end of March. Did you realize it’s been that long since I posted a PL update? Neither did I!

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a few of these pictures before. My favorite has got to be the picture of viola written on the door with washi tape.


The oldest PL supplies I have are cards and stickers from the Turquoise core kit. Man that is an old kit! I used a bunch of it while finishing up the last PL album I did, but I still have quite a bit left. It’s getting thrown in as I remember to use it.


As April moved in, I also started punching hearts, stars and butterflies from scrap pieces of cardstock too small to use for anything else, and adding them to my little embellishment jar. That’s been a fun adjustment to my process.


Sometimes I feel like I’m taking the same pictures over and over again. Kids in front of the computer. Kids at the bus stop. But that’s where our lives are right now.


And then again, there’s always something unexpected to get thrown into the mix, like my nephew arriving two weeks early. That’s a good kind of surprise, don’t you think?


My sister wanted me to come down immediately and take pictures of the little peanut while in the hospital, because I had managed to get a few good ones of my niece the last time. Some of these came out pretty well. But I don’t think I got any quite as good as last time.


And then it was hurry home to celebrate my two May boys. We apparently like to cluster birthdays in this family.


We’ve got a range of subjects, from my oldest’s last concert, to me working in the yard. That weirdly lumpy looking picture on the bottom left is my black dog and my grey cat sleeping together on a dark brown bean bag under my desk. They were too adorable not to photograph, but there was no way I was going to get  a decent picture of them. Not enough light, and no contrast to speak of!


May has ended with some simply beautiful 80 degree weather, so we took the inaugural swim in my mother’s pool for Memorial Day.


With that, I’m just four weeks from finishing a full year of Project Life.

This time around, it has been working fairly well.

Things that have been working:

Printing locally at a nearby Walgreens. I can order prints and pick them up while out running chores.

Having a variety of pocket pages in different orientations so I can choose a page layout based on the photos I have, rather than making the photos I have work with a single page design.

Having an iPhone means taking more daily life kinds of photos. I’m not having to stop and go get my camera to take a picture of the moment, and missing the moment as a result. I’m loving having a camera easily accessible all the time.

Having a small bowl filled with punched shapes and other small things that can be used to embellish pockets. I don’t use them all the time, but they sure are handy!

Things that have been hit or miss:

Writing cards as life happens. I’m usually writing cards in the standard portrait orientation, but I frequently have to insert them horizontally based on the photos for the week. That’s bugging me a little. Since I’m only slightly OCD, I’ll learn to live with it. I’m also not writing each and every day. Sometimes I remember to write something every day. Other times, weeks go by without me remembering to write anything down.

Printing at home. I guess I’m just not a print at home kind of girl. I don’t do a lot of editing, I don’t do a lot of pre-planning of my pocket pages, and I’m not going to any time soon. I use it when I’ve got a few photos to print, or when I’m inspired to do some goofy editing. Other than that, it’s 4×6 or 4×4 photos printed at Walgreen’s. It’s just simpler for me. I’m not really sure why.

Things that haven’t been working:

Getting the rest of the family involved in the story telling. There’s only so much nagging I can do in a day. As a result this is more MY story than OUR story. However, I have fond hopes for next year.

My memorabilia storage sounded like such a great idea at the beginning of this project- a lunch box to hold things, and then each month I’d add what I wanted to a PL page and ditch the rest. Except. I hardly ever remembered to put anything in the lunch box, or take anything out of it. Now it’s just one more place for random junk to live. That’s getting cleaned out soon! Instead of a separate place for memorabilia, moving forward I’ll keep a carefully selected few items in the same place I store the PL cards I write during the month. That way I’ll be able to add that to the chrono-sort I do each time I sit down to put some pages together.

Anyone else keep up with Project Life this year? What’s working for you? What isn’t? Anyone thinking of starting a project? What’s holding you back?

Go Big

Go Big

One last sample for you from May’s musical LOAD. This prompt for this page was to use a large portrait or self-portrait on a page a la the album cover fro Duran Duran’s Rio. You remember that, right?


While looking through the pictures on hand that are larger, I came across this drawing that my father made of me after he was diagnosed with cancer.

go big ||

This doesn’t really look anything like me, but I still love it, because my father made it for me because I asked him to. It’s one of the last things I have from him before he died.

The drawing had been sitting in a photo box, where no one could see it, and now, since it’s on a page, it’s somewhere where my family will find it, and know why it’s important.

In the end, isn’t that what’s scrapbooking all about? Sharing photos and memorabilia that tell stories that are worth remembering?