Saturday, December 13, 2014

One Little Word for 2015

I've just signed up for my third year of One Little Word. If you're unfamiliar with what this is about I recommend you read this post by Ali Edwards.

In 2013 my word was simplicity. It came at a time I was trying to simplify my life in all areas... less stuff = less mind clutter. I'm still on that journey.

In 2014 the word moment chose me. I've had an incredible journey with this word this year. You can read my posts here, although I'll say here that a lot of my journey has been quite private and unrecorded on my blog.

I think for any word to work, you have to be ready for change and open to learning, accepting, admitting, and trying to change. There have been specific events in my life that have made me learn to be open to accepting and learning. Although some of these events have been negative, they've had a positive effect on my life because I've been forced to change my attitude and direction. Maybe those events were meant to be? I don't know. Life is strange. It throws curve balls at you and they seem to be a test. You can choose to sink or swim, depending on the way you work through them. All I know is that for me, this class is a wonderful way to look at things in a new light.

Which brings me to my word for 2015. I had a list of about 10 words I'd written down over the year. Somehow they all seemed to be too easy. I was sitting at the beach for 5 minutes of solitude a few weeks ago when suddenly a word popped into my head.

I knew I'd seen it written in someone's comment and maybe that's why it was in my head. Anyway, I'm a little scared of the word and I'll explain why shortly. What I do believe though, is that this word will push and test me the way this year's word did. And that's what I want. To be challenged.

My word is perspective. It seems a natural follow on from moment. I want to take particular attention of the way I see things. It's also about attitude.

Why am I scared of it? Well, years ago I trained in Interior Design and we had to draw many freehand perspective drawings. No computers then. You had to know about one and two point perspective, bird's eye view and all of that. It was something I dreaded doing for my assignments. It's funny how that experience made me shy away from the word when it means so much more.

2015 will be my year to conquer that word. I've signed up for the early bird special price. I'd love to hear if you're doing the class too and what your word is.

Looking forward to another enlightening journey:)

Project Life | Nov 3

Hello summer! Hello festive season. Hello Christmas.

I made this page to finish off November and added an insert in with N and A getting awards at their end of school prize giving. I'd included these in the Week in the Life book but I felt they needed to be in the album as well... being a proud mum and all.

I'm having a thing with pink at the moment, which is a surprise to even me because I've never really been into pink!

The right side is a page for December. There will be a few things to add to December which won't be in my Festive Season photo book. I will add December journaling behind the insert.
Supplies used:
Becky Higgins Design A and 6x12 pages
Becky Higgins Project Life digital Dazzle Kit
One Little Bird digital kit
Paislee Press digital kit
Ali Edwards Design digital stamps

Thanks for stopping by:)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Week in the Life 2014 | My Photo Book

I'm so impressed. I pushed the order button and 9 days later my photo books arrived on my doorstep in New Zealand from Artifact Uprising in USA. I made some photo only books for Christmas gifts so it was so exciting to sit down and look through them. In fact Anna stole one off me and I had to look at it over her shoulder. She also read the journaling in my Week in the Life book (and laughed at some things I wrote...). I call that a resounding success!

I've just photographed a few pages to share here. I adopted a simple approach with this book. I used mostly Ali Edwards WITL templates and kept the photos clean with journaling separate. That's pretty much the way I like it for theme books.
And below all of Saturday to give you an overview of how each day was recorded.

Supplies used:
Photo book 6x8 by Artifact Uprising
Intro page frame from One Little Bird
Templates - Ali Edwards Week in the Life 

My Christmas book is a little more involved than this one and good practice for my project Life intentions for 2015 where I'll be using a larger sized book.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Daily | 3

I felt a bit challenged as to how I was going to include something daily in this book. That is, something Christmas related. In years gone by, we'd have had kids school Christmas events, carols, and as they got older, prize giving in December, but this year both are Seniors and so they had prize giving in October before exams and have now been on holiday for weeks.

I've allowed myself to include some non Christmas related December things. After all, for us, the festive season includes the beginning of summer, end of the school year and school holidays. It includes preparing for some summer trips, updating wardrobes, garden planning and maintenance. All sorts of things non Christmas related but all have the same festive season feelings.

My solution:
-1 set of pages to cover a daily photo for week 1 of December. I concentrated on photographing some Christmas magic within each day.

-1 set of pages to cover daily Dec stories. While it doesn't seem we did much exciting, I know we always read these pages later and think "oh yeah, that happened".

-1 set of pages for extra (special) photos, not necessarily Christmas related. (This is when I'm more likely to be able to include some photos of Nicholas...)

I'll probably roll with versions of this idea each week of December. In between each week I have other Christmas related stories and pages.

Here's the pics and word pages for Days 1-7 December...
(click on photo to enlarge)
 Supplies used:
Top page: Paislee Press December faves templates
All script is Ali Edwards Design

This will be a 6x8 printed Photo Book when finished. You can see my other posts here and here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014 | Thankful for the life lessons!

It's a stunning summer morning here. On my walk I got to thinking (the sun and sea air are so good for the soul) about how far I've come this year and the impact several things have had on me.

Yesterday I pulled my Hello Story photo book off the shelf. For those unfamiliar, Hello Story was an online class by Ali Edwards run through Big Picture Classes last year. I read a story I wrote which I called Light & Shade. It wasn't part of the class but because of what I'd learned in class, I knew it was important to write about our story... the good AND the not so good. It was dated 7 Nov 2013 (I love when I remember to date things!). It was a story about a particularly hard week we'd had with our son who had only been diagnosed with ASD a few months at the time. It was around the time of his first major exams and it was also when we were noticing an increase in his sensitivities, particularly to noise. The slightest noise could tick him off.

What surprised me was that I read something I'd forgotten about. "In that time of shade I feel such an array of emotion from sadness to anger to helplessness. Ian says it's like I have a tortured soul at times."

Almost 13 months on from this, I know I'm in a much better place. Thankfully, we all are. I know I've worked hard to put things in place to find ways through the difficult times. I strive to look for the joy in the simple things. It makes such a difference. Actually I can say that I'm thankful in some ways for the whole experience because it helped me learn to see things a different way.

I also know that doing One Little Word (another yearly class with Ali) has also solidified the way I look at things. I'm amazed how one word can do that! I guess if you're open to learning and accepting, then you see things you may not have otherwise.

My word for 2015 found me the other day while I took 5 minutes out of my walk to sit at the beach and stare at the sea. I'm not going to say what it is yet, but I feel excited that it's a continuation of what I've learned this year with moment. It's not a straight forward word. I'm actually a little scared of it! I hope it will push me.

As I reflect back on the memory keeping/project life completed so far in 2014, I see it as a year of experimenting for me. Different sizes, different formats. One day while I was contemplating 2015, I just thought, what am I doing? What is my real passion? Just get on with that. So next year, I will be changing things a bit. Thank goodness for December Daily and Christmas to keep me excited and occupied until 2015:)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Daily 2014 | 2

I was talking to someone about how I was going about designing a photo book for my December Daily project. I mean a book with more than just photos.

For me it's pretty much the same as thinking through making an album project. You need to have some sort of vision of how you want your project to look. If you're stuck for ideas, a great starting place is to create a board on Pinterest to gather ideas. Try and narrow it down to what you really love. I find it useful for any project to have a moodboard and colour scheme.

But with a physical album you can prep foundation pages. How do you do this with a digital album/photo book?

You need a few simple things to allow you to get started:
1. Decide on a size and photo book printer. I'm going with Artifact Uprising 6x8. I've used other printers before which are located in my own country but once I used Artifact Uprising for my Winter Magic book, I was so taken with both the quality of the book and the whole philosophy of the company that I'm happy to pay the extra postage costs. At the end of the day, I'm sure I'd spend the same on physical scrapbook album, photos, papers, embellishments etc anyway.

2. Choose your digital supplies. Because I want to make my pages before I upload as photos to a photo book template, I gathered a few suitable templates. I purchased Paislee Press 6x8 templates. I already have some 6x8 templates from Ali Edwards from Week in the Life and I have some others I can use if needed. These make putting simple grids together in PSE a piece of cake.

I also purchased Ali Edwards Noel digital brushes - words which will be useful. There are some with the Paislee Press templates. Where the words don't work for me, I've deleted and added in what does work.

I'm hoping to add some of my own script in as well.

3. Sketch out a rough plan for pages. For me this always changes multiple times but it gives a starting point! Because I started my book from Nov 25th when we put up our tree, I had to think of a different way to lay out the pages. My inside title page is Christmas Memories 2014 and a few pages in I've made a December title page and will record daily from there.

4. Get title pages, filler pages and anything else you can, completed as soon as possible. We all know that once Dec 1 arrives, time just disappears. Once you have these pages done and saved as JPEGs, you can start your photo book online and add in as per your rough plan. You can always shift things around as you go. All photo books are saved so you can just open and edit as you like.

5. Commit time daily to work on this - even if it's just remembering to take a few photos and jot things down.

I've allowed a few pages for each week's daily photos in grid format and some room for enlarged photos. If I get the 'hero' photo, then I'll get that uploaded to the photo book asap. Remember, you can always change it but these little steps all help get it done. It also helps give you an overview of the book as it's going along.

This year I want to include a few pages of stories in text. I've been able to complete a couple of these already. (see below). I've allowed pages where I'm hoping to have some 'moments' to write about. Actually I'm hoping to ask my teens for some thoughts to add in. We'll see!
{Pages 14 and 15}
You can see a couple of other completed double pages here. Hopefully you can see my plan/scheme coming together:) I'll talk about my colour scheme next time.

Right now just tweaking "my reason why" using a free download from Ali Edwards. This has really helped me nail the reason why I'm doing this project and the angle I need to take to nail it as planned.

Friday, November 28, 2014

December Daily 2014 | 1

This week I suddenly got the Christmas spirit. Probably something to do with so much inspiration on the internet, plus a daughter with so much spirit!

I'd decided to make a 6x8 photo book which will be my attempt to capture the magic of Christmas. As my children are in the mid and late teens, I definitely sense that Christmas as we know it will change as they decide they no longer want to travel away to our family for the Christmas period. So it feels important that I also capture the 'now' to make sure it becomes a memory.

In this post last year I pointed out why I need to get Christmas done with before New Year. At the same time, I want to enjoy the season as much as possible.

Although I had pre-conceived ideas, as soon as I saw Paislee Press December digital releases, I purchased the 6x8 templates and papers because I knew I could make pages fast and keep them minimal but elegant and interesting. I also couldn't resist Ali Edwards digital 'Noel" word art. I just decided to work one set of pages at a time.

My book starts pre-December as the magic has already started:)

Pages 2 and 3

Pages 4 and 5
I used templates from Paislee Press for pages 2, 4 and 5 and the digital script words from Ali Edwards Design.

I can't wait for December to begin so I record it all!