Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Project Life Disney Album: Part 1

I want to share my current favorite Project Life album. I typically do physical Project Life annual albums, but for this particular vacation album I'm working on a hybrid version. Oh, and it's DISNEY. OMG, so much fun to scrapbook. Our first Disney trip with little ones was this summer. (That could be another post on it's own: Going to Disney with a 5, 3 and 1 year old, YIKES) Before the trip, I bought into the Project Mouse collection by Sahlin Studio, which is fabulous. When you see it, you have to have it all. At least that's what happened to me. Ok, I didn't buy it ALL, but close. Why digital? Well, I had two reasons. My parents went with us, and they of coarse will NEED an album. Digital made sense. I couldn't really imagine making TWO of the same physical album. Instead, I do one digi design for two different album types. For Papa and Mimi, I'll just print a book. BUT, I couldn't go totally digital on my own album. As I create each page digitally, I also print the pieces and have a hybrid version for me. There is a really cool action for PSE that cuts your 12x12 layout into 6 separate 6x4 jpg's to print. Awesomesauce. I mean, really. The other reason for going digi/hybrid is that Project Mouse is all digital files. They don't sell physical cards. 

Cover Page. Project Mouse cards.
First tip I can offer from my own struggles: I stressed to the max trying to print a ton of journal cards to take on our trip. I imagined relaxing evenings after a day out and about, reflecting on our adventures and writing details on the actual journal cards that would go in my album. How cool. I'd just have to put them in the album and print pictures.  Well, needless to say, with 3 small monkeys, I mean kids, I was falling asleep before my head hit the pillow most nights. That, or sitting and staring, as I tried to find my brain at the end of the day. The ONE thing I did use were the autograph cards. Bring a sharpie and the autograph cards for characters' to sign. Of coarse, if you forget it on the last day and happen to meet your fave guys, Phineas and Ferb, spend $15 on a Disney autograph book and pen and get it anyway. You can scan it in and add it digitally to your Project Mouse autograph card. Not, that it happened to me....

Minnie has an adorable signature
Stay tuned for more Disney Album updates, as well as, tips and funny stories to go with them. See how excited my daughter was to meet Minnie Mouse? All my character photos include ME getting the autographs and you only see her backside in the photo. Such is life....

Monday, February 23, 2015

Project Life Pre-Planning Process

Process. I love reading about others' process. It's like you are getting some inside, top secret, special clearance information. Maybe it'll make your life better. Yeah!  So, where's your special badge? You got some kinda ID? Oh well, I'll tell you anyway. What you are about to hear is a small part of my Project Life process. The pre-planning part. The goal is to reduce the amount of printing of excess photos (money in the bank). It also allows me to resize to 3x4 and put them on a 4x6 for printing (more money in the bank). And, the nice pay off is that my layouts go together faster because I already have a guide for where the photos go. But...I kinda hate it. It's tedious. I just want to get to the fun part of putting it all together, already. However, it's soooo worth it. Sure, there are times I don't get to pre-plan before a crop session with friends, so I just print willy nilly and they are all 4x6. I then just figure out what to crop down to 3x4's, as I go. Does it work? Yeah, but I'm a happier scrapper when I've preplanned. (insert sigh of relief)

In the 2015 Goals Post, I mentioned three different ways that I plan. I am currently working on two annual albums, 2014 & 2015 (whew, I know, sounds like a lot, am I crazy? don't answer that). When I'm ready for a planning session, I grab my laptop, external hard drive and notebook. For the current year, I am using a printed book I made that is like a weekly journal with an area for sketching your layout. (Used that Zutter I just HAD to have years ago, woot. woot.) I always aim to give due credit where credit is due: I used Marcy Penner's Pocket Page Planner freebie. resized it to a half page and printed double-sided. It is great being able to write down current details that I just know I won't remember later. You know, those cute little things kids say, like "Boys have those things and if you're a girl, you just have a butt." I'm dying...

The Zutter-Made Book
A look inside.

For 2014, I use a dedicated sketchbook in which I just draw the layout with a few notes and the dates. Since, I'm not doing weekly layouts, this works fine for me. I don't need a calendar type notebook; however, I do still note the dates of layout photos to keep them chronological. My Project Life annual album is by month. I tried doing weekly in 2013 and decided to go back to monthly since I have now used up ALL the w's e's and k's in my entire sticker library. No, really it's because I have too many photos, and doing one monthly title card was a better option. Although, I do loooove a good title card design.

My Notebook for 2014 of Layouts
Either way, I'm in front of my laptop. I keep ALL my digital photos on my external hard drive (and back up online in two places, throw salt over my left shoulder, say a small prayer). They are stored in folders by year and sub-folders by month. I sort by "Date Taken" so that I can work chronologically. Always make sure your camera's date/time are set correctly. Man, I have photos from 2006 that say they were taken in 1999. Or a million newborn pictures (doesn't everyone have one per every 5 seconds?) and Grandma's camera time is off, now how am I going to put these in order....So, I guess I'm saying go around to all your close relatives and fix there cameras, too. Just kidding. Don't do that. You'll become the weird relative. Unless you already are, then go for it.

The newest way I've started pre-planning is using that nifty Becky Higgins PL App on my iPhone. I have bought some of the kits that match the physical ones that I own. The app was appealing to me for use during times when you are sitting around waiting on something. It never happens at home, or when I'm with my kids which is always, but there are times it does happen - like my own doctor appointment, or while driving (JUST KIDDING). 
Put your dates right on the layout somewhere for future reference. Becky Higgins PL App.
The key here is to rename these layouts by the date of photo. In my case, they are typically random weeks. I'm still tweaking this system. It has glaring flaws. But at least, I know where they will go in my album. 
In PL App. Go to your libary.
Click on OPTIONS
Here you can indicate the
date of the layout.

Now, as long as I just use Design A, nothing to worry about. ugh. The other thing I do immediately after creating a layout (well, the second thing because first I do a fist pump) is to put any 3x4's together on a 4x6 from that layout. You can do that right in the app. And save it. It's genius.
(2) 3x4's on a 4x6, done right in the PL App.
Ok, well, I've spilled all. Your turn. What kind of pre-planning do you like to do for ProjectLife? I have the badge and ID, it's ok, tell me.

One Little Word by Ali Edwards

If you haven't heard about Ali Edward's fantastic class called One Little Word - I'm here to tell you its not too late to sign up. This class and the group of women that are in the class are outstanding... there is a closed Facebook Group where we are sharing our journey - and I have already been so inspired! This is the first year that I have signed up for the class but have heard about the concept before - pick one word (or in many cases the word picks you) and explore how that word can shape your life.  Sometimes it's an easy word or a hard word - but in either case, exploring how your word impacts your life is what Ali's class is all about.

There are monthly topics and "assignments".  There is a 6x8 album that Ali uses to document her yearly journey.  I will be creating 12x12 digital pages to go into my 2015 album.  I am looking forward to seeing the year progress.

January prompt for One Little Word
Digi supplies: The Lilypad Memory Pockets Monthly - Folio
A New Day Papers from Amber LaBau

For this year - I have chosen the word "Finish".  This word definitely chose me - it's been screaming at the top of its lungs at me for at least a year, maybe longer!  You see I'm a starter - I'm great at it in fact... but I am a terrible finisher!! I even get close often but never far enough...never far enough so that I don't constantly have that little voice at the back of my mind reminding me that X project or Y project just needs a little more of my time to get completed.  It's the last bit of journaling for my wedding album, the stack of memorabilia that I keep holding on to to scan, or the almost 25 years of Christmas cards that I am going to do something with one day...  The problem with that nagging voice is that it doesn't let the rest of my creative juices flow and it burdens me with guilt.  I need to let that all go - I need to wrap up and FINISH those small little things and more importantly I need to be able to say with confidence that maybe some of those unfinished projects really are done and to let that go, too.

So join us before February 28th and see where your One Little Word can take you!
Ali Edwards One Little Word

OUR 2015 GOALS (Project Life Related)

Holly, here.  Luly and I want to kick things off with a post on this year's goals. I've been thinking about how to get more of my Project Life albums done. The simple answer is I need to be more efficient. This is THE YEAR FOR REORGANIZATION AND STREAMLINING. I have three main goals I'm striving to implement to make this happen.

1. REORGANIZE MY STASH. I've been scrapbooking for many years (since 6th grade, but more seriously for the last 15 years). Project Life style scrapbooks started in 2011. But, guess what, I still have most of the stash from traditional scrapbooking. Sound familiar? What do you do? My newest idea is to organize my stash by PROJECT versus by embellishment type. It needs to be mobile, so I can pick up a "Project Box", an album and the corresponding pictures to go to a crop. I have many other projects in my to-do-list besides my annual book. (Wedding, several vacations, 2 1/2 baby books, school albums, etc.). I can't wait to implement this and update the blog with how I tackle this.

The majority of my supplies (and currently many other things) are in these two pieces from IKEA.

2.  CATCH-UP & STAY THERE. So, I got a little behind, as in none of 2014 is done, nor 2015. I've always been one to jump in with current and work backward when this happens, since those memories are freshest. In this case, I've decided to go month-by-month simultaneously. (Jan 2014/Jan 2015, etc). Then, I'll be back on track by the end of the year (what will I do with all my time only doing one annual book? I'll think of something.) 
Doing TWO simultaneous albums this year, 2014 AND 2015

3. PRE-PLANNING. I typically try to do some rough pre-planning so that I'm not printing all the thousands of pictures that I take of my kiddos. In order to accomplish Goal #2, pre-planning is going to be so important. I take a few approaches with this. Keeping track is key. I use a printed book with dates/notes for current memories I want to jot down while they are fresh. I use a sketchbook to draw out my older layouts with less notes. And I also use the ProjectLife App for those times that I'm waiting (doctor's, etc) and have my phone handy. I'll be sharing more of this process in another post.

PL :Planner Book bound with the Zutter.

And now to Luly....
So my goals are different than Holly's since my life is very different than Holly's at the moment. However, no matter where you are in your life the best way to be able to get to your scrapping goals is to WRITE them out.  I don't know about you, but seeing them in black and white keeps me very accountable!

My goals this year, which go hand in hand with the Ali Edwards One Little Word class that I am taking (hurry you can still register until February 28th! Find it here.) is to FINISH a lot of my outstanding projects.  They have been weighing down my creativity and causing me guilt.  Scrapping is NOT about guilt!  It is about enjoying the process and the outcomes of your crafty life.

1. Continue to document weekly(ish) with Pocket Style Digi scrap layouts. I did paper based Project Life starting in Dec 2011 - Dec 2013.  In 2014, I went all digi and I haven't looked back.  2015, I will try my hand at printing in a book - style to be decided.  Maybe Shutterfly or Adorama.  Much more to come on that as I research the options and best way to organize!
2015 Week 6&7 - Just Jaimee Son kit at The Digital Press

2. Christmas Card Album - I've collected all the photo Christmas cards I have received since 1990 - that is a long time, people!!  I will use the Becky Higgins Project Life app to document simply and then print in a Shutterfly book.  This goes hand in hand with my other goal for the year - Purge. It will be great to get rid of 99% of these cards.
2013 Christmas cards - compiled in Becky Higgins Project Life app.

3. Since I've gone to all digi I need to PURGE my paper supplies.  I will never make that many cards - EVER!! This is going to be hard, as I am a huge sentimentalist - I can remember where I got almost every piece of paper - but someone else will love it just as much as I do (or at least I can tell myself that!).

Come back and join us as we tell you all about our journey and how we are able to keep up with our scrapping goals in 2015.

Holly & Luly

Welcome to the Painted Ladies Journal

We are excited to start a new blog that covers many topics, but our main point of interest is pocket page scrapbooking. Luly and Holly have been scrapbooking together for over 15 years, since they met in the world of architecture. Luly has converted to all digital. Holly does mostly physical pocket style pages, but is also starting some hybrid albums. This blog is a creative outlet to share our craft, our ideas and tell our stories. Some of the other topics we will be covering include organizing (craft related and throughout the home), DIY Projects, Photography, being a Stay-at-Home-Mom, being a College Kid Working Mom and recipes.

The Name. Painted Ladies Journal. We met through our professional background, architecture. We chose the name as a nod to the great old Victorian homes. Painted Ladies Journal fit our crafty side, as well. Luly has been working on joining a creative team, and with that starting soon wanted to get her own blog started. Holly has been working on designing her own pocket page cards, also wanting to start up a blog to share her work and love of writing. We decided it would be a great thing to do together, supporting and bouncing ideas of one another.

Welcome and come back soon. We have a lot planned for this blog....