Project Life February

Super busy time at work and lots of traveling this month. Still love finding a bit of time to put together my PL album- satisfies my need for some creativity.

This weekend when I was putting together my album on the kitchen table, I had two helpers. They were fighting over who got to look at the album first :) Mainly to see the Disney on Ice pictures, but still. Love that they are interested.

“Enjoy this moment” cut with my Silhouette SD and some American Crafts Pow glitter paper

Valentine card Ryan made for me at school & a note from her school about what they are studying in Feb

Decided to play along w/ Ali’s “a day in the life” but since I was out of town, I moved it to Friday. Ryan was home sick from school so it wasn’t a “normal” day but we went with it. Glad we did. Since we didn’t leave the house much it made it easier to document. Used Ali’s template from Designer Digitals and a free pdf from her website to document the day.


Had a ton of Instagram photos and just ordered the We R Memory Keepers 4×4 pockets – love that I can just throw these in with some little notes when I want, and not have to go to the trouble of putting them on a 4×6 piece of paper first.

The “monday” word art is my own handwriting – I got a bamboo stylus for my ipad and am totally in love that I can now make my handwriting into a brush. Looking forward to having more time to play.  It isn’t professional quality- I haven’t quite learned how to smooth/sharpen it in Photoshop Elements yet, but it is perfect when printed out in this size.

More instagrams, a Valentine from one of Ryan’s classmates, some Silhouette cutouts and the “notes” stamp from a new Studio Calico set which I think is sold out.

A special handmade Valentine waiting for me when I got home from my travels ;)

Another Instagram page- a trip to the American Girl store to revive some old doll’s we inherited from my Sister in law, and Ryan lost her first tooth! Big day :) She’s only been waiting for this day FORever :) She has had this note & box made up since Christmas.

Trip to Disney on Ice, Boston and first ride on a subway – BIG day in our house, and both girls were sound asleep within 5 min

The “have fun” and “SU” labels are from bananafishstudio I love her stuff- she had some of my favorite little bits for my December Daily album, and I’m happy I was able to snatch up some of these fun ones for PL. So happy she’s back up & running and excited for her rubber stamps that are coming!

Daddy had lots of adventures planned for the girls on school vacation while I was away, so I added lots of pictures and a summary of their week. Me, I had the stomach bug in a hotel room out of town- that was yuck :)

Whew, that was a big one. I find it hard to keep up with the posting of them, but love that it makes me think about the process. Although I love the instagram pages, I am so used to the other 4×6 style pages that it’s hard to work with when I am short on time.  I do want to mix it up a bit more- have been so inspired by people like Kelly Purkey.


Project Life January

A few more weeks into Project Life this year, and I am feeling much more comfortable with the process. Not trying to make every page coordinate, or original, just trying to get it documented. One thing I’d like to focus on more is the longer stories rather than what we did every day. I find that I have less interest in regular scrapbooking now, but I feel a bit like I’m missing some of the bigger stories.

Using lots of the free journaling cards that people have out there, plus some of my favorite stamps to make my own. Also loving the new Martha Stewart Avery labels- using lots of those. And washi tape :)

This weekend I did get a couple of digital pages done – using Cathy Zielske’s interview templates. Love this and love that I will have a few years to look back on. I attempted to interview Julia this time, which was kind of hilarious. Should be funny to read next year.

Project Life 2012

So last year I started Project Life- and I can’t believe it, but I finished it. Every single week. Even when we were moving, on a 2 week road trip, had sick kids, you name it. I love looking through the finished album – and so do my kids. They look through it more than any other album.

I love it so much, I’m not sure I’ll be making much in the way of traditional layouts. I’ve simplified it enough to fit into my busy life, but still make it creatively satisfying.
Here’s some pics of my 1st two weeks of 2012. I haven’t finished the cover page yet- work in progress. Not stressing about it though :)

Love this silhouette file I used to cut the Happy 2012. Another favorite is Marcy Penner’s digital journaling cards. I ordered a bunch of her badges as well which I love. They aren’t as thick as some of the others I ordered, so will be much easier to fit into the album without making it too thick.

Ryan is suddenly very interested in learning to read, so much of these two weeks is documenting that process.

Used one of Liz Tamanaha’s 4x6 free templates to make this collage of Julia’s first finger painting experience. It seems like everyone these days is doing project life, but one of the great benefits of that is so many free downloads to use.

This week I had some extra pictures of a cooking class we went to and decided to throw them onto a 6×12 insert. Back side is some of Julia’s finger painting samples.

This week I had some longer journaling from a phone conversation Ryan and I had on my commute home. Wanted to capture all the fun things we talked about, so when I got home I typed what I could remember in my Day One journal on my computer. Copied it into word and printed on some patterned paper in the top left pocket. Love this app- it synchs all my journaling btw my computer, phone and ipad. And each day it pops up with a reminder. It has been well worth the $1.99 and a good way to write each day. Plus, when I’m ready to document my PL, I just pull out my phone and everything I want to document is right there.

Some other great finds:

Found these free journaling cards which I printed out to add to my stash

My husband set up through a way for his and my instagram photos to download directly from our phones into a dropbox folder on my computer. Now I don’t have to go in and copy his iphone pics to add them to my week.  Don’t understand how it works or what he did, but it’s awesome.

Martha Stewart has just released some Avery office products. Ordered a ton of labels for PL from Staples- much cheaper than the scrapbook version and what I use a ton of. They are slightly lower in quality for sure (not as thick or as nice of a finish), but work great for my album. You can see one in the bottom right.


December Daily- the finished album

Yay! It’s done! I am so happy to have the whole album done – it feels like such an accomplishment. Even more so when I see 4 years of these albums lined up next to each other. Love looking through them and seeing our family in different stages, kids growing up, traditions evolving. So love this project and so happy I took the time.

Here are a few of my favorite pages. You can see the whole album in my flickr account here.

I rarely use black & white, but they’re always some of my favorite when I do. Added a small felt heart in the corner & some journaling on the photo before printing.

This one I added some words for each photo- would like to do that more next year.

Love these little page protectors.

I know you’ve seen this one before, but still one of my favorites :)

Used some of Ali Edward’s word art, colored red & put down to 80% transparency.

same here

and here – lots of the same theme & supplies, but helped a huge amount to streamline the process.

Love adding in little fun bits in these pocket protectors. Some of my favorite bits this year were Jennifer Pebbles etsy shop. I have always loved her work since she was involved with AMuse way back, and was so excited when she released some of her own products. The “Christmas” words on the chevron paper above came from her.

This year I decided to stop on the 25th, which I was very happy about. We spend a few days after Xmas with my husband’s family, & then have Julia’s birthday on New Year’s Eve, so last year I tried to stretch it to the end of the year- tooooooo much! Just say no ;) Now I have project life to cover those things.

So, after finishing 4 years of this project, I love it even more now. Here are some things that I have learned work for me.

Simplify everything. Use digital templates whenever possible, then add some embellishments. I’m okay that they’re not my most original pages, or they look like other people’s.  Limit my choices- if I have too many embellishments, paper, punches, etc to choose from I get nothing done. I pull everything out in November, put aside the stuff I don’t like or know I won’t use. Everything I think I will use I put into a container that can sit out on my desk. I try not to spend a lot of time with fancy techniques or cutting files on my Silhouette- this isn’t the right project for me to do that (unless I do it ahead of time next year).

Things I want to remember next year:

-my favorite pages are the ones with one large photo & simple word art or embellishments. I need to remember that next year. I don’t need to get every cute photo in the album- just one or two.

-I’d like to try and get down more of the little stories too. more of the snippets of conversations, quirks, etc.

I also finished my Project Life album for 2011- woohoo! I’m amazed I was able to keep up with both. Will try to post some of those soon too.

Thanks for visiting!

December Daily

December Daily 2011 cover 

So, I haven’t forgotten about this little project- loving it more each year. Love love love how the cover came out. I was inspired by some others on the Studio Calico board that had used the chevron fabric paper from Amy Tangerine. I paired that with some charcoal acrylic paint (just mixed black & white), and then this $1 felt ornament found at Target. Love Target :)  It has a tiny bit of glitter to it too which adds a nice touch. Button from Ormalu. Haven’t decided what to do with the spine yet, and ordered more of the chevron fabric paper for the inside pages.

I find it hard when December finally gets here to find time for posting updates. I will get to sharing all of them- maybe just in January ;) Still working on doing both December Daily & Project Life. I’ve found that my PL in December is a bit less detailed, and that’s okay. I’ve also found it much easier than I thought to find stories for both, which is great.
December Daily 2011 day 1

I’ve been traveling quite a bit for work and have found the weekends to be super busy with family & friends (which is always a great problem to have). So in order to keep things simple, I’ve used mainly the templates and digital pages from Ali Edwards. And I’m trying to keep the embellishments and perfectionism to a minimum. Some of them aren’t my favorite, but I can always go back later & adjust..although I know that will never happen- somehow it makes me feel better ;)

December Daily 2011 day 1

Here’s one of Ali’s templates- I resized it a bit in Photoshop Elements to have it fit the space. Love this picture of the girls holding hands on the way home from the bus stop. Warms my heart – thought it was a perfect opening photo.

December Daily 2011 day 3

Ryan running to see Santa ;) Another template from Ali & a tag from Bananafish studio’s etsy shop. Love her tags – my favorite stuff this year has come from her.

 December Daily 2011 day 5

Ali’s post on the Silhouette inspired me to try my own. I just purchased a used Silhouette for a good price, and am still learning how to use it. Loved that tutorial b/c now I can use my favorite word art and cut it. Yay. Jenni Bowlin star tag- love these, wish I had 10 more ;)  I added a conversation I overheard Ryan asking Tim about why the Santa from this year was different than last years (whew! Glad Daddy got that question instead of me!) ;)

Going to add something fun to the top left pocket- a small picture of some of the fun places Elfie has been this month most likely (this page was about our Elf on the Shelf and the trouble she gets into).

December Daily 2011 Day 12

Love this picture Tim caught of us watching Santa’s PNP video. This is something we started last year and is sooo fun. Ryan was even more captivated this year. Julia loved watching Ryan’s video, but the trauma of her Santa visit must have been too much because as soon as her video started and he said her name, she clung to me. At the end she said “I no like that Santa”. Oh the cuteness. Word art from Ali. Want to cut this one out with the Silhouette too when I get a chance to play.

December Daily 2011 day 4

You can see more photos & details in my Flickr Album here.

Sock Monkeys!

Finally finished up my sock monkeys and got them mailed off to Craft Hope just in time – whew! Here are the six that were sent to homes in Texas – yay!


Advent Calendar

So for a long time I have done all of my crafting without a digital die cut. I bought a cricut once at a craft yard sale for $50, used it never and then donated it to my daughter’s preschool. I bought a Slice, used it a few times, but became frustrated with the effort of setting it all up, etc. And to be honest, most of the cricut designs are just not my style. I’ve loved the idea of the Silhouette for a long time, but still not sure I’d actually use it – somehow die cuts I make just aren’t as appealing to me as purchased ones maybe??? who knows. Anyway, I stumbled upon a used Silhouette SD that someone was selling for cheap since they’d just upgraded to the Cameo. I jumped on it and have been so happy. I love the idea that you can make your own designs, and buy individual ones in the shop for $1. 


Here’s the advent calendar I made this year for the girls- took quite a while (and distracted me from finishing the December Daily pages for a bit) but so worth it. The girls love it. And I love that it’s got a wood base, and if the paper boxes ever rip or I become tired of them, I just cut new ones. Yay for that. And I’m happy to say most of my Xmas paper stash is now depleted. Or at least my favorites that match the green/red that I was going for.  If only I could find more of the old American Crafts merrymint collection – oh how I loved you….


Ryan goes running downstairs every morning so excited to open it – love that :) So far, we’ve had a mix of squinkies, littlest pet shop guys, and hershey’s kisses. All the little guys I catch them playing with every day.

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