Imperfect and Awesome

digital stampDon’t you just love that? I think this statement sums up my life pretty perfectly… This is from Ali Edwards’ digital stamp set “Get Real” (which also  happens to be the October Stamp set, like real, physical stamp set from the “Story Stamp” subscription). As soon as I saw it, I KNEW exactly which photo I needed to use it with.photoThis photo was taken (during Week in the Life 2010!) when Liam was about 6 weeks old and we were very newbie parents. It’s one of my favourites! I could have told so many different stories related to this photo, and it took me a while to figure out exactly what it was I wanted to say. “Imperfect and Awesome” summed it up really well 🙂 But here’s what I ended up with…PBALDWIN_NOV14_GETREALJust a few thoughts about what life was like as new parents…PBALDWIN_NOV14_GETREAL_DETAILI used the “True Story” and “embrace and celebrate” digital stamps included in the set to make the journaling card in Photoshop Elements. The colours in the recent Studio Calico kits (Walden Scrapbook kit, and Notting Hill add-on kit) were PERFECT for this layout. And of course there’s some little wood veneer hearts in there too 🙂 I tried adding some machine stitching to that grey striped paper to add a bit more texture… (apparently my tension is off and I’m not very confident in my abilities to fix it) it’s definitely imperfect but we’re just going to roll with it since I only had one sheet and embrace it as awesome. Right? 🙂

You might have noticed that my original photo has got a horizontal/landscape orientation without a whole lot of white space to work with but my layout has what appears to be a full page 8.5 x 11 photo.  I made a little video tutorial to share my trick for adding white space to your photos, it makes the perfect home for adding digital stamps and art 🙂

Imperfect and Awesome by Pam Baldwin (You Tube)

As promised, here’s a link to the “Get Real” digital stamps. Get Real stampsAnd thank you so much for stopping by today!

Week in the Life 2014

divider resizedI play along with Ali Edwards’ “Week in the Life” project every year with varying degrees of “success”.  If you’re not familiar with “Week in the Life”, it’s a documentation/memory keeping project that requires you to be intentional about photographing and documenting daily life for 7 consecutive days. Ali describes it so much better than I do. You can read more about the project here and there’s even a video!  When I say varying degrees of success, I should mention that “success” is completely subjective. Some years the outcome is very photo heavy with few words, other years I’ve got lots to say with fewer photos. The process itself can be a lot of work. But every year, I capture some of my favourite photos of all time while participating in “Week in the Life” and it is so WORTH IT 🙂

This year’s week took place October 27th-November 2nd. Heading into this project, I really wanted to focus on 2 things…1) Capturing/telling the stories and 2) Not stressing about it! I love that you can do whatever you need to do to make this project work for you. At the end of the week, the intention is to put together all of this detailed documentation into an album.  So that’s where I’m at right now in the process, and I thought I’d share what I’ve got done so far.MondayA few things about my album: It’s 8.5 x 11, which is what I’ve done for the last 3 years (this year being my 4th). Although the 6 x 8 “handbook” size was REALLY tempting, I like being able to look at several years in one album vs. multiple 6 x 8 albums, so I decided to stick with what works for me. I also decided to challenge myself to use the supplies I’ve already got on hand, and even making a few of my own, as opposed to purchasing a kit this year (but if you think a kit is more your style, definitely check out the one on Ali’s site! There are still some available as I write this post.) So here’s what I’ve got so far…

My transparency lovin’ heart wanted to try something new. dividersI made dividers for each day of the week with clear transparencies + silhouette printable adhesive gold foil + Daily Stories and Photos Word Art (designed in PSE and cut with my silhouette). Once the design had been cut with my silhouette, I removed the excess gold foil from around the design and used a “transfer tape” to get it onto the transparencies. (I have my dad’s brief side business making vinyl signs when I was about 12 years old to thank for that skill 🙂 )That photo above is a peek at my first trial run. I am ridiculously happy with how they turned out and can’t wait to play some more with my December daily album!! open albumFor Monday, I added an index tab to the right edge with the date stamped on it. Pretty sure I’ll continue to do that for each day.

I had the best wake up call from Liam on this Monday morning and it’s the first page of my album (so far).page 1The technical stuff: I love the look of pocket pages, and wanted to work that into my album. But 8.5 x 11 albums don’t really have many pocket style page protector options at the moment (and I wanted to work with my supplies on hand rather than tracking down new ones). So my solution was to customize regular 8.5 x 11 page protectors by sewing them with clear thread to the dimensions that I wanted. It definitely takes some planning, because once you’ve sewn a pocket shut, you can’t get back in there. But I’m quite happy with how they turned out! I believe the dimensions for the first page were 2 – 4 x 5.5 cards on the bottom and 1 – 8.5 x 5 photo on the top (allowing a gap for the stitching).  page 1 journaling and embelliesI made the “Monday” journaling card by customizing the 2014 Week in the Life 8.5 x 11 digital templates in PSE and added a few embellishments with supplies from past Studio Calico kits. You’ll also see throughout my album that I’ve made quite a few of my own embellishments with digital stamps, resized and printed onto matte photo paper! I especially love these “Everyday Boxes” and “Everyday Labels”. On the bottom right, I trimmed down some of the artwork Liam made that morning and mounted it on a piece of patterened paper. (Other products used to create this layout: Studio Calico Wood Veneer stars, black thickers from the Alcott add-on kit, black and white patterned paper from The Underground kit, Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher)

The next page is all about Emily in the morning 🙂page 2The technical stuff: Obviously, the dimensions of the left side are the same as they were on the front page 🙂 page 2 leftThe right side is a trimmed down baseball card page 2 rightI bought a package of the Crate Paper Notes and Things Journal Cards a while ago and they are by far my favourite journaling cards to date. I love them so much that I’m tempted to by another package for hoarding purposes. Some of the cards have elements actually stitched on rather than just a picture that looks like it has stitching on 2 right title I used that as inspiration to modify some of the cards for a similar style. Products used: Ali Edwards Digital Word Art “Everyday Boxes” and “Everyday Labels“, Studio Calico Color Theory Chipboard Hearts (Pink), letter patterned paper from Dickenson add-on kit, black and white patterned paper from The Underground kit, Studio Calico Printable labels, Crate Paper Notes and Things Journaling Cards, Crate Paper Notes and Things Sticker Sheet,  Walden Add-on patterned paper, baseball card page protector.

Continuing on with our day…Monday’s aren’t normally a work day for me, which means that Emily and I take Liam to school in the morning and then we get to spend the day together! I wrote a little bit about all her new accomplishments and how darn quickly she’s growing up!page 3The technical stuff: The left side is a trimmed down baseball card page protector. page 3 leftThe right side is a hybrid scrapbook layout based on a digital template by Shanna Noel at Studio Calico. (Unfortunately that template is not currently available, but keep an eye out over the Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday…past digital products might be re-released for a limited time!).page 3 rightProducts used: Crate Paper Notes and Things Journal cards, Studio Calico Color Theory Chipboard Hearts (pink), Crate Paper Notes and Things Tags (Dickenson add-on), The Underground Scrapbook Kit (Studio Calico), Walden Add-on patterned paper, Studio Calico Wood Veneer Hearts.

More about what our days at home look like. page 4 The technical stuff: I started off this page (left side) with one of the digital templates from the 2014 Week in the Life 8.5 x 11 digital templates, and it kind of evolved into something completely different! page 4 leftI made my own patterned paper by creating  canvas in PSE and using the “What Today Looked Like” digital stamps, then printing it onto white cardstock. I repeated the same “Home Life” sentiment at the top of my photo strip but digitally erased the “O” and replaced it with a gold chipboard geotag. page 4 left titleThat tag is actually from Shanna’s digital template that I mentioned above, printed onto matte photo paper. On the right side, I made another custom sized insert and typed my journaling right onto the photo before printing it out. page 4 rightThe dimensions of these cards are 5″ x 6″. The top card is made from the “Everday Boxes” digital stamp (I erased the box around the outside of the sentiment but kept the lines), printed onto matte photo paper with a few embellishments. page 4 right titleI also included an index tab on the right side of the insert, a technique that I’ve often seen Ali do that I love. Other products used: that skinny red and white striped washi tape is from the Bluegrass Farm Project Life Kit, Days of the Week mini clothes pins by Studio Calico

The next page is the back side of the insert, telling the story of what happens when Liam gets home from school, and what our evening looks like. page 5The technical stuff: Digital word art (“What Today Looked Like“) and journaling directly onto the photos on the left side (the insert). I’ve also got a few small word strips from a piece of patterned paper (Crate Paper Notes and Things – Memo) that I’ve adhered with foam pop dots to add some dimension.  page 5 leftOn the right side of this spread, I made another hybrid layout using a template from the 2014 Week in the Life 8.5 x 11 digital templates as my starting point. I typed up my journaling on the top and included some word art from the “Stories of Life” set for a little 5 right Other products used: “Hola” Scrapbook add-on kit, Bluegrass Farm Project Life Kit

And last but not least, bedtime stories. page 6This is a full page 8.5 x 11 photo printed at home with some digital word art (Prompts digital), a printed sentiment (from “Everyday Labels“) and one sweet little acrylic star.

So that’s what our Mondays look like right now!

Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

A note to my little graduate…

In June, we got to attend Liam’s Preschool “graduation” (there were actually 2 of them, this was the second one).  It. was. awesome! Seriously! They did a big musical performance with props and routines for all their songs…my favourite was “Let It Go”, from Frozen. And it became very clear that this boy is not really into the whole “performing in front of an audience”, in the traditional sense. We watched as he inched forward ever so slowly from the front row until he was far enough from the group to run to us during the middle of the performance. I laughed so hard, I had tears in my eyes! We had to bribe him with the promise of cake if he went back to finish singing with his classmates. He was silly, and goofy, and perfectly happy just being himself.

A few days later, a friend from highschool shared a link to a video of Jim Carrey making a commencement speech on Facebook.

And man was it good!!! Like, profoundly good.  It made me wonder, if I had heard those words earlier in my life, would I have chosen this same path? Who knows! But this message is definitely one that I want to share with my kids when they’re making decisions about their own paths one day.

And that is how this scrapbook layout was born…A note to my graduate This layout was actually in the works for a veeeerrry long time.  I just couldn’t settle on a way to design/embellish it. Then Ali Edwards released the “Be Brave” digital stamps, and everything clicked! I used a digital template from Studio Calico’s Pen and Paper class, which really helped keep the focus on the words while featuring a favourite photo. I kept the embellishments super simple with a few pieces of wood veneer from Studio Calico (here), acrylic stars (from this kit), and a strip of patterned paper (from this kit). I added some digital word art from Ali’s Prompt stamps to the photo and built the title with the hand written “be brave” stamp. The other fonts in the title are “Impact Label” and “Traveling Typewriter” (and they’re free from A note to my graduate title

The journaling is pretty much directly from Jim Carrey’s speech… because they are perfect. And there’s a little note from me to Liam at the beginning. A note to my graduate journaling

I love that last line too….”…don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Love love love this!

I decided to try something new today! I made a video to show my process for making a hybrid scrapbook page and how I used Ali Edwards’ digital “Prompt” stamps to make the title for this layout.

love love love this Here’s the link 🙂

Love This by Pam Baldwin

And my supply list:





Photoshop Elements (free trial)

Please feel free to post your questions in the comments and thanks so much for stopping by!

Emily’s Song…

Emily and I have a song…Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  For her first birthday, I found this adorable book with added verses to the song by Melissa Everett. I tried desperately hard not to be “that” person, crying in the middle of the Chapters kids department when I read it.  So I knew…it was perfect!

And I knew I wanted to make a scrapbook page with those words.  Here’s what I came up with:

PamBaldwin Our Song

Inspired by Laura Kurz’s Pen and Paper class, I used one of the included digital templates, as well as Ali Edwards’ Story Frames, and the September Studio Calico Scrapbook kits (Poet Society and Alcott) to put this layout together.

PamBaldwin Our Song Story FramesEmily was just three days old in this picture, but I could swear it was “just the other day”.

PamBaldwin Our Song Photo

Using digital products for this “hybrid” layout made it come together really quickly, and I love how it turned out! Now to make one for Liam…(his song is “You are my Sunshine”).

Thanks for stopping by!