Monday, April 15, 2013

Memory File Adventure - Part One!

I decided to try something new.  I have had my eye on some of the cool Heidi Swapp products for quite some time.  They have been available in Micheal's now for some time and each time I went in to the store, I would stand there and stare at all the wonderful crafty goodness.  I never made a purchase, up until recently.  I follow Heidi on facebook, twitter and instagram and noticed that there was going to be a "Memory File Adventure".  I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to use her products and learn a few things along the way.  Micheal's didn't carry the Memory File Album, but I was lucky enough to find it at my favorite scrapbook store - "Papertales".  I am glad I grabbed it when I did, because I went back a few days later they were all gone!

Here begins my adventure using these cool products.  I am loving it so far!  I am having so much fun with this project.  I haven't done this kind of memory keeping in quite some time and this is just what I needed to jump back in and have fun doing it.

It was simple and fun to get started.  I just followed the prompts given and went from there.  I used a combination of traditional and digital supplies.  

This is my cover, and I love it!  The title is available on the blog as a download.  I printed mine out on to a piece of Serendipity Happiness paper.  I used a portion of the Photo Clusters across the top and used two pieces of the scalloped edge trimmings.  I spritzed the bottom layer with Teal color shine, and the top layer of trimming with a mixture of Teal color shine and Mint Green color shine.  I added a Color Magic Note and sprayed it with Chartreuse and Mint Green Color Shine. (I wanted to use Mint Green and Teal, but grabbed the wrong bottle, but it "pops", so I went with it).  I added Fun from the Chipboard Stickers.

Here is what my first page looks like:

I didn't have any clear tags on hand, so I created my own digitally.  I took a class that Heidi taught with Jessica Sprague called {Mo}tography .  I am so glad I took that class because I have an awesome font that was designed by Heidi and Jessica, in addition to some pretty cool downloads that were used to make projects for the class.  

I created my tag using  the hello that was provided for one of the projects in the class.  The label on the tag is from "Label Stickers", which is a digital download.  I added the part that says "my name is" (hard to see in this photo) using the Traveling Typewriter font and printed it out on a piece of inkjet transparency paper and cut to size.

The labels in front are also from the Label Stickers digital download.  I didn't have any traditional banners to use, so I used another download available on her site, Sugar Chic Banner Delights.

This is my second page, and I love how interactive it is!

I had fun making these cute little accordion style journal cards and filling in the "Last List".  This was available as a download on the blog.  I cut the decorative end of a color magic note and spritzed it with some Primrose color shine and added it as a tab.

This next page reflects "The Last Time I.....".  The Last Time I.....went Awwww, the kids were having a snack and I found them all cozied up next to each other.  I took another color magic note and did the same thing to cover up the back of the one from the previous page.

I love how this turned out and it probably my favorite part of the adventure so far.  When I first started putting this together, I didn't have any coordinating paper.  I took some "First Edition" Designer Paper from Stampin' UP! and I spritzed it with some Primrose color shine in a few places.  A few days later, after I had picked up some coordinating paper at my LSS, I finished adding the "pages" to my photo stack.  

The photo on the front of the stack is my favorite photo of the four of us.  I used "Photo Captions", another digital download.  They are also available as traditional elements, but I couldn't find them anywhere.  It worked out anyway, because I was able to size it down to fit the page.  I then used my silhouette to cut it out.

I can't wait to continue the adventure!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Craft Zone and organization

It's been a while and I really want to get this blog back up and running.  To kick it off, I recently cleaned up and re-organized my crafting zone.  We are a military family and live in base housing, so our options are limited when it comes to space.  Prior to child #2, aka Joshua, I had my own little room to do with as I pleased.  Of course after Joshua came along, I had to move all of my crafty items somewhere else.  I decided that since my husband has a garage for his hobby, I was going to take over the empty wall in the master bedroom.  I am one of those crafters that needs to be able to see the majority of what I have, otherwise, it may not be used.  So, let me take you on a journey through my crafty space.  I am going to start off with a view pictures of the basic setup of the room and then some close-ups.

This gives you and idea of my basic setup.  The majority of my supplies are on along the back wall of our bedroom, and then I have a bookcase that houses the majority of my stamps, some magazines and books and my sewing machine.

This is what I use to store my SU glitter and embossing powder.  It is a K-cup holder.  These small containers fit perfectly and when I want to use them I don't have to root through a drawer to find them.   It's sits on the top of the four cubes which house my paper products and a few of the extra large dies for the Big Shot.

Since I am a Stampin' UP! demonstrator, the majority of cardstock I use is mostly SU. There are four color families, and that is how I arrange my paper.  Brights, subtles, regals and neutrals.  I store each color in a legal size manilla folder.  The reason I do this is because I keep my scraps in with the unused sheets.  I use my scraps way more doing it this way, then storing them separately!

The drawer below has hanging file folders that hold all of my Designer Series Paper and Specialty Paper.  I also have retired in colors in a folder in this drawer as well.  (which is nice, because two In Colors from 2010-2012 are coming back this year as part of the color refresh).

The cube above this holds the current In-color cardstock and the black, white card stock.  It also holds a few dies.

I store the majority of my punches on these Bygel rails from Ikea.  I love that I can just grab one, use it, and put it back.  There is a small hook screwed in to the side of the top cube and this is where I hang my heat tool when not in use.

I use more Bygel rails, hanging baskets and spice jars (all from Ikea) to store my ribbon and embellishments (brads, buttons, etc).  The upper pink bucket holds baker's twine and linen thread.
The bottom pink bucket holds all of my paint brushes.

These sit on the left corner of my workspace.  The metal buckets holds my snail adhesives, sharpie markers and a few pencils.  I keep all my scissors, ruler, stamp-a-ma-jig, corner rounders and other small tools accesible in these cute little brown tote.

I got these little cube shelves and cube bins at Target.  This is what is right in front of my workspace.  I store my markers in the clear dvd cases by color family, and one for the current in colors.  I also have pearls and rhinestones stored in a clear dvd case.  My adhesives  and stamp cleaner are stored in the lower left cube.  I store the smaller punches and punches that won't fit on the ikea rails here, along with my Versamark ink pads and Staz on ink pads.

This is my Big Shot and paper trimming station.  Most of the time, I move the paper trimmer to the side and position the Big Shot so it is parallel to the edge of the table.  

The card I have on display is one my daughter, who is seven, made for me.  When I was cleaning out my supplies, I gave her a bunch of things I knew I would not use.  I never showed her how to use flowers or brads, so I think it's pretty cool that she came up with that all on her own.

These are the shelves immediately above the big shot.  Most of the stuff on these shelves are supplies I use to make domino necklaces and keychains.  

This is my Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set.  I use this set quite often and I was tired of keeping it that horrible plastic container.  I had some empty clear decorative paint cans and the set fit perfectly in it. 

This cube storage came from Target.   Each bin is labeled with a little tag as to what the contents are.  

I didn't add close ups of my ink storage, but I use the Stampin' UP! color caddy.  I also have a kitchen cart from ikea in the corner that holds my printer, silhouette, mail scale, and a few other odds and ends. 

Someday I hope to have one of those lovely craft rooms I see all over the internet.  For now, my little crafty zone is just fine with me.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Little Word 2013 - CHANGE

I am taking Ali Edwards "One Little Word" class over at Big Picture Classes.  It is a year long class, and I am excited to be a part of it this year.

My word for 2013 is CHANGE.

I chose this word because I want to focus on all the changes that have happened, or will happen.  I want to learn to be more accepting of changes that occur, whether they be a personal change, or an environmental change.  Changes that I have no control over.  I am sure as the year progresses Ali will challenge us with many creative prompts to focus on our chosen word.

For the month of January, the assignment was to come up with a list of twelve intentions/phrases that went with our chosen word.  Here are my pages created for the intentions/phrases:

I made my cards using Crumb Cake cardstock from Stampin' UP! The cards measure 2.5" x 3.5" and slide neatly in to some baseball card page protectors I purchased from Amazon ages ago.  I used Photoshop Elements to create the phrases for each card.  I made my own "rub-ons" by printing the mirror image of my phrases on to the smooth side of an inkjet transparency.  I flipped over the transparency and used a popsicle stick. I outlined each card with a White Signo Gel Glo Pen.  I used a 1 1/4" SU circle punch to punch out the months.  I trimmed the tops of my circles and adhered them to my cards using some washy tape and a little snail adhesive.  

I really like the Kraft look with just a touch of color here and there.  I am thinking I may end up doing this with my journaling cards for project life also.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Project Life 2013 - Week Two

Here is the digital version of my Week Two of project life.  I think I am going to print and cut out each of the journaling cards and slide them in to the Design A Project Life page protectors.  I ordered a bunch of them last year and I want to use them.  I think it goes well with my page from Week One and will flow nicely.  Using instagram photos, or instagram size photos is the best option for me.  I really like the square look, and I like being able to make each card a "mini" layout.  I am thinking of going back in and changing the color of the instagram frames to black to give the photo edges more contrast.  This is why I like digital, if I stare at my page long enough, I will find something I want to change, LOL.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Project Life 2013 - Let's do this!!

If you have ever made a visit to this blog, you know I have been attempting to get my photos off my phone/camera/computer and in to some form of memory album.  I am proud to say, that this will be the year that I not only complete, but keep up with, a Project Life album.  If you are not familiar with Project Life, I encourage you to visit Becky Higgins' Project Life website.

I have various PL products that I have been acquiring over the past two years.  I have a pack of plain Journaling cards, the Cobalt edition (both digital and traditional), the digital Clementine edition, and many, many different size photo sleeve inserts.

I recently took the Digital Project Life class at   Although I have been using Photoshop Elements for years and have done plenty of digital scrapbooking,  I always learn something new when I take one of her classes.  In addition, she always has cool little extra surprises, :)

I plan on doing a mix of both Traditional card inserts and digital.  I may design an entire spread, and have it printed out 12x12 and just slide it in to a 12x12 page, or I may decide to print and cute each digital card I create and slip them in the Project Life page protectors.  It depends on what I am working with, how many pictures I have for one week, and of course, how much time I have on my hands.

Doing a hybrid album will also give me the option of adding more physical elements, or even some stamping!  Regardless of how each page turns out, all my pages will start digitally and then I will go from there, :)  Using the digital templates will help me plan out my pages, whether I go all digital, or hybrid.

Most of the cards used in my cover page for this year's album was a free printable PDF  I found at this site.  Here is a peak at my cover page:

I don't take a picture a day, so the amount of pictures I take in a given week may vary.  Week One doesn't have many pics, but with the addition of some journaling and a snapshot of an entry from my Memento app on my iphone I filled it in pretty nicely.  This is the digital version, but I ended up taking the digital cards I created, placed two to three on an 8.5" x 11" document in photoshop and printed them out.  I then used a ruler and an exacto knife to get nice straight edges, and used my 1/2" corner chomper to get the rounded corners.  Here is a preview of my first week:

I am may add a banner on the upper left journaling card that has the dates, since I did the 1st through the 5th for the first week.  I am in the process of working on the second week, hope to be able to share that page soon. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Progress on baby album - Project LIfe style

I have been collecting Project Life materials for quite some time.  My intention of course, is to get my photos off my computer/phone and in to albums.  I have tried all forms of scrapbooking - traditional, digital, hybrid.  I like them all, but I needed something quick and simple.  Along comes Project Life from Becky Higgins and I was intrigued by the simplicity of it.  It took me a long time to finally sit down and figure out exactly how I wanted to use the supplies.

Here is my current approach, and of course, may change over time.  I am currently working on a Baby album for my daughter (who is now six).  I started by going through all my photos on my computer.  I use iPhoto, so it is easy for me to find things, because back when I used my Canon DSLR, I categorized by events.  I can also create new folders within iPhoto itself and this is where I started.  I made a folder titled "Kylie - birth to one year", and so on, creating a folder for each year.  From within that folder, I attempted to group photos by event....for example, all my belly pics and the pregnancy test, etc. went in to one "group".  Baby shower photos went in to one group, birth pictures in another, and so on.   I used those groupings to figure out my page layouts using the project life page protectors.

I also downloaded the digital version of the Clementine kit.  I printed out some of the journal/filler cards to fill in the "empty" spaces.  When it came to journaling.....I am not a fan of my own just looks messy, so I use Ali Edwards handwriting font.  Since, I have the digital version of all the journaling cards, I just figure out which one I am going to use, and use PSE to journal on my computer.  Then I just print it out and cut it to fit the insert.

Here are some pics of what I have so far:

The first thing I have in the book are the cards from the shower, and cards people sent from when she was born.  I am really glad I kept them, because I wrote what people gave in the cards.  I may end up moving it to the back of the book when done, but for know, it is going to stay in the front.

I thought this would be a great way to start her album off with pictures of the pregnancy test, the ultrasounds and a few belly shots.  The journaling on the card in the lower right explains that we found out we were pregnant about a month after my hubby had returned from deployment, :)

I was lucky enough to have two baby showers.  We were still living in San Diego when we found out I was pregnant.  We were scheduled to leave for Quantico in August, so my Mother-in-Law threw a shower for me us in July.  My mom threw one for us in October.  I have pics from the California shower on the left and pics from the Pennsylvania shower on the right.  I used half of page protector in between.  

This is the other side of the baby shower spread.  

I needed something to fill up the back side of this page, so I blew up Kylie's hospital photo.  I don't have a 12x12 printer, but I used PSE to create the 12x12 document.  I took each piece and separated it out between two 8.5 x 11 pages, then printed, cut and slid them in.  I added her birth information in the upper right corner.

The next insert is an 8.5 x 11 containing her birth story.  I posted this before, and got the idea for this from Ali Edwards.  You can pull it out, and open it up to read the birth story.  I currently have it sealed at the top with Washi Tape, but I am thinking of using velcro instead.  

I still have her beanie she got in the hospital, since she was born a few weeks before Christmas.  I haven't adhered it in place yet, velcro might work for that also.  I included the original photo from the hospital as well on this page also.  I may add a journaling card on the page, giving a little more information about the beanie.

This was the birth announcement we sent out and I wanted to include it.  I took an 8.5 x 11 insert and just sewed close to the edges of the announcement to make a custom fit.

I have some of her birth/hospital pictures here.  I cut an insert that normally holds six pictures in half, and then I have the normal size layout behind it.  

This is what the page looks like after the "half" page is flipped over.

The next page I have a few pics from our first days at home, and her first bath in a "tub"

I like how this page turned out.  Kylie with some of her close relatives.  This is as far as I have gotten.  I  am not quite sure how the rest of the album will turn out, but if I keep it simple and not put too much thought in to it, I should have her first year completed in no time!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Trip to the zoo and pics with the iPhone

It's been quite a while since I have updated the blog here, and with any luck, I will be able to update on a daily, or weekly basis.  I am currently taking a class at called iShotThat.  I really like it, because it's all about using your iphone to capture better photos.  I have a lovely Canon DSLR, but it's just too big to carry around anymore.  I have a 6 year old and an 18 month old.  It's so much easier to pull out my iphone and snap a picture when we are out and about.  I also love that I can edit right on my iphone!  There are a million apps out there for photo editing.

Here are a few of my current favorite photo related apps:

Camera+ (my go to camera app)
Instagram (my absolute favorite for editing and sharing)

I usually begin editing my photos in Camera+.  I can crop to a square size, and I get more flexibility with the square in this app, than I do with the Instagram app.  So, whatever pics I like, I crop to a square, save to my camera roll and then open them up in Instagram.  On facebook, I just put all my saved Instagram photos in to albums, much easier than sharing one at a time.  I use an app called Photoloader.  It is made to work with facebook and the Ipad.  For sharing my pics here on my blog, I find it easier to group them using PicFrame, or any similar app.

Here are the pics I took yesterday:

Saturday, July 28, 2012


HI everyone!   If you were a follower of my blog here, and enjoyed my cards, papercrafts, etc. visit my new blog dedicated solely to Stampin' UP! and all my fun projects.

I have been updating on a daily basis with some really cute cards, and today I posted a bracelet!  Check it out and be sure to update your bookmarks, google reader, etc.

Have a great day

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!

I am attempting to catch up on my Project Life album.  I am so far behind, LOL!  I am trying to figure out how I want to approach it.  I have discovered that weekly just will not work for me, so I have decided that monthly works much better.  I generally take the majority of my photos with my iphone.  I always have it with me and, depending on the lighting, the pictures aren't that bad.   Most of the time I add filters and such anyway, so it doesn't bother me to have a grainy picture, :)

I am using a variety of different products in my albums.  I have a number of different page protectors, from Project Life, We R Memory Keepers, Simple stories and even some random sizes I acquired from 

The albums I have chosen are the 12x12 D-ring albums by We R Memory keepers.  I have a blue one for Joshua, a pink one for Kylie and a black one for Family.  I use a combination of traditional, digital and hybrid techniques. 

The really neat thing about memory keeping with this system, is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.  You do what works for you.  

This morning, I used PIcasa to create some photo collages from Joshua's birthday party.  I printed it out on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 photo paper, slid it in a page protector of the same size and it is now happily sitting in the album.   What is really cool, is that I have one in Joshua's album, and one in the Family album. 

Due to the fact that I am not a fan of my handwriting, I have been using Ali Edwards handwriting font, in addition to a number of her products from Designer Digitals.  I acquired the font a while ago.  I am pretty sure it was a free download.  I will have to see if I can find a link for it.

I am hoping to have some photos to share this evening, but my daughter Kylie has a birthday party to attend within the hour, so my memory keeping needs to be put on hold.

Happy Scrapbooking!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Instagram prints

I received my Instagram prints from Persnickety Prints in the mail today.  I love them!!  The paper they are printed on is very good quality.  The colors look exactly like they do on my iphone.  I am very pleased with how they turned out.  I ordered them on Sunday, the 29th and they arrived via USPS this morning.  I plan on incorporating them in to my Project Life album, which I need to get caught up on.  I am still thinking I am going to group my photos by month, it just seems to work better for me that way.  Once I get caught up, I will share some photos of my pages.

Here are some of my prints:

Ordering them online and having them delivered saved me a lot of time.  If you have instagram prints and would like to put them in an album this is the way to go.  I managed to find some page protectors that fit in my 12x12 album that have pockets sized for 4x4 prints.  I found Simple Stories 4x4 page protectors at my local scrapbook store.  The total size of the insert if 8x8, but it still fits in my 12x12 album.  I am also aware that Becky Higgins will be introducing a style of 4x4 page protectors that fit 12x12 albums as part of her Project Life brand.   I will be getting my hands on those as well when they are available, :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adventures in wireless printing

Due to the fact that I take the majority of my pictures with my iphone, I was looking in to purchasing a wireless printer, so I could print directly from my iphone to my printer, hoping to bypass the computer all together.  It is much easier said than done.   Allow me to explain, :)

I bought the Canon MG5320 wireless all-in-one printer yesterday.  Setting it up and getting everything connected via the home network was a piece of cake.  Both computers (one MAC and one PC) printed to it with not problem.  I was able to print to it from the iphone, however, I ran in to a few snags along the way.  I haven't tried printing to it from my ipad yet, but I am sure it would connect and print similar to the way the iphone does.

As an "iphoneagrapher", I use all the cool apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic.  This is where the problem lies.  The dreaded square photo.  I know that I can print them from my computer, but only after transferring the photos and sizing them accordingly using photoshop.  This works well for one or two photos, but I have a ton of photos sitting on my iphone.  In the beginning, I only ever used my iphone to catch those rare moments when I didn't have my good Canon Rebel DSLR on hand, but now, my iphone is what I use for just about everything.  Needless to say, the photos kept piling up.  I didn't offload them to my computer, like I would have if I used my DSLR.  Word to the not let so many pictures pile up on your phone!

So, there I sat, wondering how I could get my square prints directly from my phone to my printer.  I tried everything.  I did manage to get a 4x4 print on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper, but it was not photo paper.  The MG5320 has a bottom tray and a feed tray in the back as well.  This model only allows photo paper in the rear feed tray.  The dilemma being that I could not tell my printer which tray to feed from.  If I could have done that, all problems may have been solved, except for the fact that I would end up wasting a lot of paper.

I downloaded the following APPS in an attempt to get these square prints:
Printcentral Pro
Canon IEPP
Iphoto for the iphone
Photogene 2
Simple Resize

None of the above APPS provided me with what I was looking for.  Do not get me wrong, all those APPS are awesome in certain ways, but did not offer me what I needed.  The only good part is that I now have an arsenal of really cool photo apps!

I had finally come to the conclusion that ordering online would be the only option I would have if I wanted to save some time and money.  I decided I would try Persnickety Prints.  I downloaded an APP called LifePics.  This APP is awesome!  I created an account and chose to upload my square photos.  I logged in to the Persnickety Prints site using the same account.   The process was very easy and I should be receiving my prints in 2-3 days.  The Lifepics app does much more than that!  I recommend visiting the site and checking it out.  I plan to use it for my 4x6 photos and have them printed and ready to pick up at a local photo printer of my choice.  After I get "caught up" on getting my photos printed, I will probably end up printing from home.  A few pics here and there won't take that much time. 

I am looking forward to sharing my prints with you when I receive them! 

P.S.   if someone can create an APP that would print a 4x4 directly to my printer via my phone, now that would be even better!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cowles Mountain

Yesterday I decided to do something I haven't done in a long time.  A friend of mine had asked via facebook if anyone was interested in hiking up Cowles Mountain.  I love to hike and have not done so since I was stationed in Hawaii.  I only ever went hiking twice out in Hawaii.  I conquered Diamondhead and I went on a hike somewhere in Kailua with a few of my old Marine Corps buddies.  Before that, the last time I went on a real hike, was at Hawk Mountain sanctuary, right before I signed  a few years of my life away to the Marine Corps in 1997.

I don't count any of the countless times"humping", as the Marine Corps likes to call it, as hiking.  Due to the fact that I was not exactly doing it for fun or recreation.  I suffered from shin splints when I was in boot camp.  The pain from a shin splint, if you have never had one, is excruciatingly painful.  It feels as if the muscle lying along the front portion of your tibia is being ripped away from the bone.  Needless to say, I had a very rough time, but somehow managed to pull it together to graduate on time.  Yes, I was almost dropped back in training, but that is another story.

Getting back to the present, I decided that I would take her up on her offer, since Kylie would be in school most of the day and we were going to meet at nine in the morning.  The only other thought than ran through my head was whether or not I would be able to carry Joshua, my 23 pound toddler on my back.  I decided to go for it anyway.  I needed some fresh air and adult conversation.  I was unaware of how steep the initial climb would be.  My calf muscles were not happy with me, but after about the first fifteen/twenty minutes, I was doing much better.  I won't lie, I had to stop a few times, for a few minutes, to give my legs a rest.   I kept telling myself that I was a former Marine and I should be able to handle a 1.5 mile hike to the summit, even if I had an extra 23 pounds on my back, however, I have been out of the Marines for well over ten years, but the motivation and drive was still there.  A little more than an hour later, we reached the summit.   I figured that was actually pretty decent timing, since it was an uphill climb and it use to take me about 28 minutes to run three miles.

The view from the top was amazing.  It was still a bit cloudy and overcast, but it was just amazing how far you could see. 

I had to touch the sign.  It was such a good feeling to reach the top!

The ladies at the summit.

I took this picture about halfway up.  The body of water in the background is Lake Murray.  Mission Trails Golf Course is the lovely green area you see.

This is the view looking to the North from atop Cowles mountain.

Looking towards the East.

View to the south/southeast.

This is the view to the west/southwest.  You can almost see the skyline of Downtown San Diego on the right edge of the photo, but the clouds and haze are a bit heavy.

View to the west.  If it would have been a little more clear, you would be able to see the ocean. 

View to the north/northwest.  You can barely see La Jolla on the left edge of the photo.  The rest is mostly Miramar.