Sunday, December 29, 2013

An Experiment

Last month I did an experiment and had my husband Chris make a card for my mom (in this blog post). I finally got to scrap those pictures using Photoshop and a digital template made by Catherine Davis for the PROCESS class over at Big Picture Classes! Here's just the template with my photos:

I made this a hybrid layout by adhering that to a 12x12 piece of paper and embellishing from the Printshop line by Shanna Noel!

The best part is that I got a new printer yesterday, courtesy of Chris who did some research and set it up to wirelessly print for me, and bought me some awesome paper too! I got the Epson XP-810 and so far I just LOVE the quality!!

Scraplift Challenge!

I participated in a Scrap Lift challenge, where we just scraplift the person who commented on a thread before us over at Studio Calico! Here is the layout I scraplifted by Melissah3 :)

I used both her layout arrangement and color scheme to make this layout that my husband REQUESTED I make! He had taken this photo from work and I had him write the journaling himself :)

I used the Blue Note kit from Studio Calico and cut the snowflakes with my Silhouette! This was fun, hope to do another one sometime!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December Daily Day 25 and Conclusions

So even though I'm posting this a few days later, I actually completed the last spread and this year's DD album on December 26th!! Not only do I feel great about completing this on time, but it felt so good to clean up my DD supplies that I left out on my table all month long!! I love that I can go back to my 12x12 scrapping once again yay!

For this last layout I really wanted to keep it simple again so I could just be done with it. Even though it's the last spread and I should've wanted to put more effort into it, I got more and better pictures for Christmas Eve and had spent the most to that layout, so I felt ok with just keeping this one simple. So the left side I just added a few embellishments and a picture of Natalie and her cousin Joey "playing" together :)

For the right side card, I used Shanna Noel's 3x4 layered template sold at Studio Calico, and customized it to a similar color scheme as the page! This is the tutorial video she made that I watched to customize the colors and text! So far, I am REALLY enjoying Photoshop Elements and I hope to get a new printer soon!

So now that I can say I successfully completed my December Daily right after Christmas, here are a few things that I learned worked for me that I would like to remember this time next year!

1. Prep work really paid off for me! Even just having papers cut up and put in there helped me have enough of a head start that most of my page spreads didn't take longer than an hour - about 2-3 hours total with photo printing/editing. I will definitely do this portion ahead of time again next year!

2. Filler cards - luckily I had placed most of my premade filler cards towards the end of the album, and that helped because the beginning of the month is when you're all amped up and ready to tackle this project, use all your creative ideas and get going... then it becomes hard! But thankfully I didn't have to do as much as I did at the beginning because of the filler cards I had!

3. Die-cuts: I wasn't too sure if I should pre cut all my diecuts or not. I didn't except for a few that matched the papers. If I precut the diecuts next year, I will cut them for specific layouts after I have the paper selected etc. I like that my diecuts are not all the same color card stock. Some in glitter POW paper, others in gold, others in white or vellum.

4. Which reminds me, next year I want to buy some more card stock or POW glitter paper that I can use throughout the album - maybe gold or silver or even sparkly white... it helped to have a sort of "base" to be able to use on almost all the pages (for me it was mostly gold).

5. Even though prior to the month, I liked the pages that I did the most prep work for the best, some of those turned out to be the hardest to embellish, depending on my photos. I ended up liking the pages best that I just stuck embellishments into the pockets loosely for potential use but didn't adhere down in case I changed my mind! I will do that next year - I will not adhere anything and just stick them in the pockets - maybe even stick a piece of paper with my ideas in it.

6. If next year's kit doesn't come with thin washi tape... I will go to great lengths to find more! I used that stuff on more than half my layouts - it was so awesome!

7. Also, if next year's kit doesn't come with some sort of numbered decor like the gold numbered circle clips, I will pre-make all the numbers in the same way. I loved having the clips as the first embellishment I could use, then build up from there. It made it super easy.

8. Another super easy (and unexpected) go-to item were the gold glitter star stickers I had purchased as a Halloween set from Target! I liked the idea of being able to use stars throughout the album, so I might get something similar - something simple I can use on every layout, if the kit doesn't come with something like that.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a happy New Year!! Looking forward to next year's December Daily challenge :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December Daily Day 24

Woohoo, I finally dug into Photoshop Elements a bit more and made the right side of this spread with it!!

I definitely need a new printer now - I purchased a constellation template from Studio Calico and edited my pictures and added them to the circles, but I only printed on my old printer that isn't a photo printer. So in order to get better pictures, I made a new file on a 4x6 canvas, and added just the pictures in the circles to it and printed it separately on my Canon Selphy, then hand cut them! It turned out pretty great, then I embellished a little here and there and voila - my first hybrid layout!!

It was so much fun to make this layout and learn a little more about how to use Photoshop!

Christmas Eve is done! That means one more page to go and I can say I've completed December Daily successfully!! Woohoo!!

December Daily Day 23

OK I kept this spread super simple because, as you can see from the picture, Chris completely surprised me and bought me Photoshop Elements!! It was something I've been talking about getting but then saying no no because it's not something I wanted to spend money on for myself, but something I've wanted to learn how to use! So I just wanted to get this spread done because I knew I wanted to use the program for my next spread!

My friend stopped by at lunch the other day and Natalie actually let her hold her for a minute or so, just long enough for me to get a couple good photos! I kept it simple and used some premade cards from In A Creative Bubble by Geralyn Sy!

Almost done!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

December Daily Day 22

I made it a few days before I caved! Chris and I have NEVER made it to Christmas to actually give each other presents, and this year I thought I definitely could because I knew for a fact I had convinced Chris I didn't get him anything and he didn't get me anything. (Btw, I am not someone who tells someone not to get me something and then is disappointed when I don't get anything.) Anyway, so I had bought Chris the iPad Air and had it safely hidden in my scrap room/area, where it's impossible for anyone else except me to find anything in there haha! But then last night Chris and I were talking and he said he wanted to buy a new iPad of some sort and ended the conversation by asking if he could order the iPad Mini with Retina display. So you see how I was FORCED to tell him I got him a little something?? He LOVES it, yay!!

So for the left side, I had a random pic of Chris and Natalie from earlier in the day - she was looking so cute in her little sweater onesie from Target. Then I made him pose with his new iPad Air, but of course in the background you can see Natalie had fallen asleep in her car seat because it was around 5:30pm and she had been up 8 hours during the day already! I just added a "Merry Christmas" stamp and embossed it, some gold glitter tape and the number clip. I added washi and the word "GIVE" in wood veneer. About the wood veneer letters - one thing I had done before starting the album was use all the letters to make as many Christmas-y words as I could. So I still have the words "LOVE", "JOY", and "GLAD" left to use!

For the right side I cut out the Love December with my Silhouette, and then cut out my picture of the trees near church covered with ice that Chris had taken for me since my journaling had a bit about the ice storm that hit our area. Luckily it wasn't too bad though.

OK, 3 more days... I love that my album is almost completely filled up! I love that I've been able to capture several "firsts" that Natalie had this month - sucking her thumb, rolling over, eating solid foods, etc. I love that when this week is over, I can go back to 12x12 scrapbooking! OK, enough with the "love" because the real love of this Christmas season is remembering what Jesus did for us! The message at church yesterday just happened to cover this most precious verse as we're going through the book of John - John 3:16!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December Daily Day 21

OK so a few things - Natalie ate her first solids yesterday, just a little banana mixed in with mama's milk! She wasn't too sure about it, but did a few swallows. Also, she really got into her rolling over and every time I put her on her back she flipped immediately to her stomach! It was so fun to watch her in her cute little giraffe print cloth diaper!

For both sides, I used a combination of apps - Afterlight to edit them a bit, then PicFrame to drop them into frames and add the little captions. I like having the option to do this, but I took most of my time on doing all that so by the time I got to work on the page spread it was LATE! I was so tired today!! For this left side, I added the stamp along the top, embossed in gold glitter Zing and used that thin washi tape yet again to help make the star on the patterned paper stand out - I really need more thin washi tape!!

For the right side, I kept it real simple here too, and just tried to incorporate some of the same elements on both sides. The silent night card is from In A Creative Bubble by Geralyn Sy.

That's all - it has taken me a couple days to post these because Natalie has been awake A LOT lately. Not sure if it's a growth spurt or what!! Oh well, only 4 more layouts to do and my DD will be complete AND now that we're on the final stretch, I think I will get it done before the end of the year - WOW! That means I will have done 2 December Daily's this year haha since I had to finish last year's album in September :)

December Daily Day 20

Day 20 I had to rearrange some of my cards and didn't have really any journaling, so kept it pretty simple so I could get to bed at a decent time!

For the tree on the left side, I cut it out from a card my mom sent us. I punched some stars from some Silver Glitter POW paper - I love the added sparkle those give and how easy they are.

For the right side I finally cut into that Allison Kreft piece of transparency paper with the stars on it - I think it's my first time using a piece of paper like that and I just love it!

Final countdown!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

December Daily Day 19

I love documenting this month like this! Yesterday Natalie hit another milestone - she rolled over from her back completely to her stomach for the first time! It's so exciting when she does something new!! I grabbed the camera and took a bunch of photos right after she rolled over.

So last night I got a late start and didn't feel like working on this spread too late but luckily I had already cut out and printed the printables I had purchased from Geralyn Sy's shop, In a Creative Bubble! That made this spread quick and easy again. This left side I also had taken a picture of Natalie's legs while she was in her jumparoo without pants on... just look at those chubby legs!!

The right side I had taken a pic in the morning of Natalie in the K'Tan baby carrier while I finished up some house work, and of course we always stop in the bathroom to look in the mirror because she just loves it! I just added some washi tape, a tag, and trusty number clip for day 19 and done! So easy!

It's the final countdown, woohoo!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December Daily Day 18

Last night after I got Natalie down for the night, I was so tired so I definitely wanted to keep this spread as simple and quick as possible and not worry about adding a bunch of embellishments.

For the left side I let the premade cards do all my decorating for me, and just added a couple pieces. Chris took a picture of me and Natalie next to our little LED tabletop tree, as she's wearing her Thanksgiving day bib haha!

The pics for the right side were messaged to me while I was working - Natalie's crying in her baby carrier, then asleep in her car seat with my hoodie haha!

For most of the rest of the album, I used more of the filler cards - and now I'm really glad I did that more towards the end. It seems like the beginning of the month it's easier to decorate and create than towards the end as you're running out of ideas or sleep! I am def going to remember to do this next year - use more of the cards towards the end of the month!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December Daily Day 17

Just more pics of Natalie haha, same old same old, but never gets old to me!! Yesterday I took her to the Doctor for her 4 month checkup and wow, she is up to 17lbs 2oz and 25.75 inches long!! That's huge for a 4 month old, she is in the 91st and 96th percentiles for height and weight respectively - weight I figured because she is really getting heavy to always be carrying around!

For the left side I knew I wanted to have white against the woodgrain background paper in some way. So I stamped with an Ali Edwards stamp from last year's Studio Calico December Daily kit, but the white was a bit faded so I went over it with my Uniball Signo Gel pen then drew a little border around the picture! I added some bits to the left and a quick little banner up top.

On the right side I cut some gold glitter tape so it wasn't so thick and added to the top two cards. I added some little stamps to each card that came in the Blue Note Studio Calico kit this month! Those are so cute! And of course my trusty old gold clip with the number 17 to showcase that I've made it 17 days in without getting behind yet haha!

Even though I have a baby now so one would think I wouldn't have as much time to fiddle with this album, but it also means I'm not doing anything after she goes to bed. I can't ever leave the house without her since she doesn't take a bottle and still nurses every 2 hours, which is also partly why we can't get a babysitter and leave, and also she is so stranger danger crazy... so what else is there to do anyway now that Survivor on TV is over? Haha!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December Daily Day 16

Yesterday, my mother-in-law came over to help with Natalie after work so I could get some work done and Chris could cook us dinner! Unfortunately, Natalie still has major stranger danger (say that 3 times fast) and really only lets me or Chris hold her! But I got a nice photo of GG helping Chris with the prep work! We just joined a couple weeks ago, and so far we are LOVING it! They do the meal planning for you - basically sending you 7 dinner recipes per week, along with an organized grocery list. But that's not all, you can choose your type of meal plan, for example we chose "Mediterranean" but you can also select from Clean Eating, Paleo, Simple Gourmet, and a ton more. The printable grocery lists also tell you which number meal they go with in case you don't want to buy for all the meals, or you can download the free app to your mobile device and click "skip meal" to adjust the grocery list and then just look at your phone while you're at the store! It takes a lot of time to do meal planning and shopping - so for the nominal fee ($5/month) we find this very worth it!! Chris has been great at doing the shopping, cooking AND cleaning for us while I just have to watch/feed Natalie!! It's a win-win for both of us! I always say, I am in charge of Natalie and he is in charge of me :)

Anyway, so I am loving how easy it is to have pre-decorated cards and then just dress them up a bit! So the left side was very easy and came together quickly - I had already cut out the die cut in the lower left so all I really did was add the gold "16" clip and two gold glitter splotch stickers to the Blessings card, then some washi cut off at the bottom and journaling to the other card!

For the right side I knew I wanted to do layering of some sort, but as it is not natural for me to do, I used Maggie Holmes' Day 7 from the 25 Days class I am taking over at Studio Calico as my inspiration! She is so good at adding little bits and pieces and creating such a layered, ephemeral look! Mine isn't nearly as good but for me, this turned out really great - plus I surprised myself by being able to incorporate gold AND dark glittery/gray together in one spread.

So far so good with December Daily - just 9 days left, I can't believe it! Also, as a side note - I truly am so blessed this Christmas season! I have so much to be thankful for and so many of my prayers have been answered, I can't even count! Hope you all have a blessed Christmas season as well!

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Daily Day 15

Natalie turned 4 months old yesterday! I didn't do much for this layout other than add the pics.

For the left side I stamped the Christmas tradition stamps from Technique Tuesday and cut it out to go over the photo... while it is not actually a Christmas tradition, I really would love to make it one - that Chris makes me french toast with egg nog!! And not just any egg nog, we discovered the best egg nog in the world - Byrne Dairy Santa Pack! It tastes like melted vanilla ice cream!! It brought back memories to my own childhood, stirring my ice cream till it melted because it tasted so good that way. Then I discovered that Chris used to do the same thing as a kid! The Best!!

Anyway, the journal card on the right side changed 3 times. The first two edits I wrote about the egg nog and a little about having Natalie in bed with us in the morning. But then I wrote an email to my mom and highlighted a random moment we had today where Natalie started laughing at Chris today for no apparent reason! We were just having a conversation in the kitchen and I was holding her while she sat on the island and Chris was cleaning the kitchen - well, maybe it was the sound and her funny dad, but she just loved when Chris started throwing empty water bottles into a plastic bag! So Chris started throwing the bottles, shaking the bag, and dancing around acting goofy and she was laughing so hard just from that, which made us laugh really hard too! These are the family moments I absolutely want to remember and will cherish forever...

I hope I remember this later, to capture all these random moments and not worry if the journaling matches the pictures.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Daily Day 14

I had a mix of pictures from the day - but mostly we just spent the day indoors because of the upcoming snow storm and it was like 10 degrees outside, not great baby weather!

I got the inspiration to do the tree from this layout and loved how it turned out, then I used my wood veneer letters to add a Christmas sentiment.

Last night I got some pics of Chris shoveling the driveway - he loves the snow! I just added some of that thin gold washi tape - just love that stuff!!

Yay, not behind yet!!

December Daily Day 13

I didn't get to add the journaling to this spread but Chris came home for lunch and we got had 3 ppl come in a row - one to jumpstart my car battery, then one to drop off Chris' new workout bench, then finally, the guy to deliver my lunch!!

This isn't my favorite layout, especially since I got stuck on what to do for the left side. I ended up just cutting out some snowflakes from POW Glitter paper.

The right side cards didn't leave much to have to do, so I just added the wood veneer 13 embossed with Silver Glitter Zing embossing powder and the little ribbon bow below.

Good thing this was quick so I didn't get behind too badly!

Friday, December 13, 2013

December Daily Day 12

I got some REALLY awesome pics of Natalie yesterday afternoon - the lighting was perfect and she just started enjoying her Baby Einstein jumparoo thing!

Again, I enjoyed dressing up these little cards! She's our little elf this year :)

For this side I originally had a red striped 6x8 sheet of paper in there but decided it was too bold for these great photos and since I don't really have much of coordinating paper left, especially none in 6x8 size, I just grabbed a piece of card stock that was already cut to 6x12 and sized it down to 6x8! I also already had a couple vellum snowflakes cut out with my Silhouette... so it was just adding the star sequins that took a bit of time but made it so easy design-wise to just finish!

I can't believe I've made it halfway through without falling behind!! I'm already doing way better than last year and I have a baby this year - gosh I was such a SLOW scrapper before my ticking time bomb baby :)

December Daily Day 11

My Day 11 spread didn't come together till AFTER day 12, but it's great that I forged ahead and then went back to complete a page where I got stuck! Well it was half that I got stuck but half that since I've been doing December Daily every night, Chris and I haven't been spending as much time together and so I took the night off to hang out with my best friend!

So I kept it very simple so I could just finish - cut out the stars from gold paper and added a label! Mental note for next year - pick out some sort of special paper and stock up! I just randomly had some of the gold from JoAnn's or Michael's to make gold seals (which ended up being slightly too thick for my sealer).

Anyway, I used the Gold Glitter Zing embossing powder to emboss the Ali Edwards/Technique Tuesday stamp up top as well as the Ho Ho Ho wood veneer. Also for the top I just used one of the stamps that came in the DD kit and stamped on top of it to dress up the cards a little.

After making those two cards, I think I finally get why Project Life could be appealing! I usually just enjoy making 12x12 pages so much I couldn't fathom how it could be fun to dress up little cards but it was! Hmmm...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Daily Day 10

OK, I just realized I forgot to include some extra comments about the pic on the left of my daughter asleep in our bed... the reason she has no shirt on (but she does have pants on)... so last night I decided to try putting her in a cloth diaper for the first time. Except I put it on backwards and it leaked at night so when I picked her up for her feeding in the middle of the night and she was all wet I realized I would have to do a quick diaper and nightgown change... and I better do it fast because when she's hungry she's HANGRY! So I got her changed and her pants on, as she was getting more and more worked up, finally screaming so badly I just decided I had to stop and feed her, and would have to dress her after she was finished. Well, when she was done she was so passed out... I just decided not to dress her haha! So when Chris brought her to me before he left for work this morning, she still had no shirt on... oops :) But hey, never wake a sleeping baby, right?

For the left side I slightly ripped up the love ornament diecut that I had already adhered to a different 3x4 card and just added that in. Oh and I got some SEI gold glittery dots in my random grab bag kit from Studio Calico that are perfect for this project!

For the right side I wanted to keep it fairly simple since the photo has a lot going on in it with all the different colors so I just made a border using that December stamp that came in the Blue Note scrapbook kit this month from Studio Calico, and I punched a bunch of stars and added some enamel dots and stickers!

I am taking this month's 25 Days class over at Studio Calico and Ginny, one of the guest designers for this class had said she was going to keep her album cohesive by adding punched snowflakes throughout it. That made me feel not guilty for using stars yet again on this spread - I just looked through and I have at least one star on every spread except for one! So I suppose stars are my go-to design this year and I'm ok with that! Thanks for looking :)