March Stories

I’m having a hard time believing that April is just one week away. Seriously. March has flown by, so I thought I’d share a few of the projects I made this month for Ali Edwards’ Creative Team.

March is a big birthday month for us! Liam and Brett’s birthdays are just 4 days apart. I haven’t made a page yet about Liam’s birthday (which was awesome and crazy and busy), but I did jot a few things about how we celebrated Brett’s big day this year. This hybrid 8.5 x 11 layout came together with the March digital kit. I enlarged the “march stories” digital stamp (definitely one of my favourite pieces from the collection) to make the background here.

LOVED how excited Liam and Emily were about his birthday ūüôā They gave him lots of love that day, sharing the Pikachu birthday pin, insisting that they both sit beside him for meals, and letting everyone know everywhere we went “today’s my dad’s birthday!”

Right after birthdays, March break started. We wound up with the first big snow fall of the whole winter and¬†I was so excited to take the kids sledding! This is a 2 page 6×8 hybrid layout, inspired in part by this awesome design I came across on Pinterest.

Super simple but pretty much perfect.¬†I enlarged this 3×4 card from the March Digital kit to 4×6 and attached it to the oversized 12×8 photo with a few pieces of washi tape.

This month’s Story Kit theme is Eat! And it totally stumped me at first. (crazy right) There’s got to be a million stories that relate to this topic, but it took me a while to realize that the one I wanted to tell most was this little snapshot about what dinner time looks like these days.¬†It’s not at all glamorous. In fact, just the other day the words “no more fart noises at the table unless they’re coming from your but” were spoken. For real.¬†I used the digital¬†plastic circles, the title from¬†one of the journaling cards, and you might be able to very faintly spot the story notepad in the background of the journaling page to¬†create this 2 page 8.5×11¬†layout. And those little utensils are my FAVOURITE!!¬†In the physical kit, they’re wood veneer pieces, but you can print/cut any colour you like from the digital elements.¬†As stressful as dinner time feels most days, I’m truly thankful for the time we get to spend together. And now¬†I’ve got LOTS more story ideas for this¬†theme. Looking forward to working on those in the coming weeks.

Hoping to spend some¬†time catching up with our Project Life album again in the next few weeks! Thanks so much for stopping by today ūüôā

My Reason Why

My “Believe” Story Kit arrived in the mail this week! I always feel extra lucky to get to work with the digital version of the kit first, a definite perk of being part of the Digital Creative Team. I also¬†subscribe to the physical Story Kits and have¬†from the very beginning because I LOOOOOOVE them.¬†The products are awesome (love the acrylic word each month!) and¬†the themes always spark stories I otherwise wouldn’t have thought to tell.¬†My favourite part of my subscription is the classroom, which includes a presentation about the theme to spark some ideas.¬† Why am I telling you all this? Because this month, there was this little piece of digital word art included that brought it all back to WHY I value scrapbooking/memory keeping/storytelling so much.make love visible by Ali Edwards(digital word art by Ali Edwards) Not gonna lie, scrapbooking lately has felt challenging. I’ve been lacking in motivation and energy. And I KNOW that for me, if I try to force it when I’m just not feeling up to the task, it does not happen. I don’t know why. I’ve been¬†telling myself “maybe I’m just supposed to sit back a listen to the stories for a bit instead of telling them”. The timing of this little reminder to “make love visible” could not have been better and I’m so glad it came when it did. (Sidenote: my One Little Word this year is “Make”. How’s that for a good fit?!¬†¬† ūüôā¬†)

The theme for this month’s Story Kit is “Believe”, and with the idea of using memory keeping to “make love visible”, I was more than happy to take this opportunity to cheer for Liam. Back in March, we finally got¬†him enrolled in Karate. It’s something we had talked about since last September, hoping it would help him learn to focus and develop confidence.¬†Last week he earned his yellow striped belt!

Believe full layout¬†I made a spread to go into our album for the year in celebration of his achievement, because I sure do love this kid!!¬† The left side is 6×12 and the right side is 9×12.

left side front

The front of the 6×12 is a full page photo with digital word art from the kit and a gold chipboard star from Studio Calico’s “Scout” Documenter kit. Full page photos are my favourite ūüôā¬† I do not have a large format photo printer, just a standard size one, but I discovered a while ago that you can still print big photos as long as they’re 8.5″ or less wide (!!!). I have a Canon Pixma MG7520, but I “think” you could probably follow these steps on other standard size Canon photo printers as well.

print tutorial 1

Here’s a screenshot of what happens when I select “Print” in Photoshop Elements 13. (If you click on the photos, they should¬†pop up larger so you can see the words on the menus more clearly).¬†I cropped my photo to 6 x 12 at 300 dpi and added the digital word art before I selected print. Notice section 5 where it says “select print size”, I’ve got “Actual Size” selected and I do not want it to “crop to fit” the canvas, so that box is not checked. First thing I need to do is “Change Settings” in section 2: printer settings. Click on that box.

print tutorial 2

A new window pops up, and I want to select the “Advanced Settings”, so click on that box.

print tutorial 3

We’re going to make a few adjustments in the “advanced settings” window. First of all, select the option for “Standard” under the heading “commonly used settings”. This is very important, because it’s the only option that will allow you to choose a custom paper size, even though we’re printing a photo. Under “Media Type”, select the type of paper your printing on. I’m using a 13 x 19 glossy photo paper from Staples that I’ve cut down to 7×13. Next¬†up is choosing the paper size. The very bottom of the “paper size”¬†menu should say “Custom”, pick that one.

print tutorial 4

When this window pops up, type in the dimensions¬†of your paper. You’ll notice that the parameters¬†for how big you can print with your printer are included in this window (example: the custom paper size option on my printer will let me print as large as 8.5″ wide by 14″¬†long!)¬†When you select a “standard” printer setting on a photo printer,¬†that setting will print with margins¬†on the right, left, top and bottom instead of “borderless” like you would get if you chose photo printing. So I’ve intentionally set my paper size to be larger than the 6×12 print so my photo should print as a true 6×12 (or pretty darn close anyway) without the edges being cut off.¬†The paper is loaded into the bottom tray of my printer and hangs out over the edge by about an inch or so, but prints exactly as it should.

If you haven’t played around with your printer settings before, I think you’ll be excited by this discovery ūüôā

Back to the story. The back side of my 6×12 is another full page photo (his white belt)¬†and I’ve typed my journaling right onto it before printing.

left side back

 

The digital word art is from the “Cheer” Story Kit. I’ve also added a wood veneer piece from Elle’s Studio that seemed like a perfect fit to go along with the “I remember” sentence starters. I started and erased the journaling on this page so many times, but once I went back to the technique of starting each memory with the same phrase, it all gushed out so easily.

The 9×12 pocket page was fun to piece together.

pocket page

My journaling was pretty much done on the left side, so I got to fill the right side of the page with pretty cards from the digital kit that I printed onto matte photo paper ūüôā I love that these cards work together to enhance the story and “make love visible” all on their own, without having to add anything to them.

So that’s my first Believe project. Hoping to share a few more stories and images of recent projects over the next week.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Pam

Week in the Life 2015: Thursday

Thursday. Thursday was a rough morning. Maybe it was my mood that was skewing my perspective a bit, but everything just seemed dark and grey.

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After a rough drop off getting Liam to his summer day camp, I looked up at the sky (it was nearly black with rain clouds) and thought, “yep. That’s exactly how I feel about today.” And then in started to POUR. I sat in the car with Emily, waiting to take her in to her day care, hoping the rain would let up, knowing I was totally going to be late for my 9am meeting at the hospital, and feeling completely miserable. Then I looked down and found Liam’s Spiderman umbrella looking back at me. I don’t know how long it had been there for, but man, that little umbrella totally saved my butt and gave me something to smile about. It made the cover of Thursday in my album.¬†¬†¬† ūüôā

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Thursday’s got lots of words. I modified the digital version of that “morning” card (from the AM/PM story kit) to a 6×8 page for some journaling and added a few embellishments from the matching Story Kit. I included pics of the kids eating their breakfast as 3×8’s today.

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I’ve been dying to use those big chipboard letters from Ali’s shop on SOMETHING asap. So I added the kids initials to their breakfast pics.

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They have a smooth matte finish that was super easy to stamp on and dried really quickly. I trimmed down a piece of the days of the week washi tape here too. I cut a label in half and used it as my page tab on this insert.

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Last week, Nicole Reaves posted a pic on Instagram of some really cool journaling cards that are freebies designed by Christine Herrin! Christine sends out a freebie to her newsletter subscribers once a week and these ones were from last week. They were perfect for this spread about the gross morning we were having.

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I’m happy to say the sun came out and the day got much better. A little work at the hospital, a little work from home, then a visit to check out a new day care. I stapled on some of the colourful word tabs from the Black and White Story Kit for a page tab here.

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A trick I sometimes use to make sure my typed journaling is readable on photos where there’s a lot of colour variation is to create a solid colour block behind the text (in Photoshop Elements) and decrease the opacity of the block so you can still see the photo, but the text also pops. A few “observations” about our evening on the right side. One of the most notable one’s for me is that “food from mom’s plate always tastes better than food on your own plate, even though it’s the exact same thing”.¬†¬† ūüėČ

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The day finished up with our routine of a bedtime story.

Thanks again for stopping by today! I’ll be back tomorrow to share our Friday.