Monday, September 15, 2014

Project Life | A quick digital insert

I wanted to include this particular Friday on its own page as it told a story of the afternoon and following evening. Anna was nominated to do the ALS Ice Challenge. It was such a cold day. I think her dad had the most fun, preparing the ice and tipping it. I was nominated as chief videographer and Nicholas opted not to take photos so he could just enjoy the moment... Therefore we have no photos of the actual moment but what we have tell the story before and after. We went to a fab new pizza place for dinner which finished the day perfectly.

Because I wanted to use the circle digital element for the day of the week, I decided to go all out and found a CD/DVD label template in my old digital program. It was simple to drag the photos in, along with journaling cards and title. I resized it to fit within an 8x10 print, making sure to leave some breathing space. It's quite busy but a bit of a change to the regular collage. I've mounted on 8.5 x 11 cardstock, only because I wanted to slip it in the back of another page that size.

It would also be easy to do this with a 2 inch circle punch if you like the grid idea but you're not a digital fan.

Supplies used:
Paislee Press digital element
Becky Higgins  Project Life Midnight Edition digital journaling cards

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What about the hard stories?

Over the last few days I've been thinking about the stories I haven't recorded... because they've sometimes just been too hard to write about! In reality I believe that my memory keeping should represent our real lives - but is there a line which shouldn't be crossed? Why do I prefer just recording the happy stuff?

What brought this to my attention is the anniversary of 9/11 this week. My son became quite fascinated with this subject in the last few days as it's a world catastrophic event he was alive for, albeit 4 years old. He asked me what I could remember about that terrible day. I can remember quite clearly my husband calling me from work and telling me to turn the television on. I did, just in time to see that terrible image of a plane hitting the tower. I felt my whole world changed that day. I wasn't scrapbooking in those days but today I watched a documentary about it and thought that if I had written something about it, Nicholas would have been fascinated to read it, all these years on. More from the perspective of where we were when it happened and how it personally affected us.

I've also never included the story of when I was ill and subsequently diagnosed with Coeliac Disease after the birth of my first baby. It was all a bit too raw to write about in the first few years, but I know it could be helpful to future generations to have some of the families medical history recorded. Because, there is quite a history in one side of the family and one day I'm sure a link will be made connecting some of it.

Likewise, the Christchurch earthquakes. We may live at the other end of NZ but of course the earthquakes had a huge impact on all of New Zealand and events inadvertently lead to me going back to work in the insurance industry for a while. I was so busy that memory keeping was not on the agenda so no record of it in our albums.

And of course, more recently, we had the diagnosis of ASD for Nicholas and the struggle to understand how to deal with the unfolding situation. I've had discussions with a group of fellow project lifers about what and how to record about the not so wonderful moments. I think there's a general consensus that sensitive personal information about individuals should be restricted for their protection, but how much of reality do you include? It's a fine line and one I'm very aware of not crossing.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear how and what of life's tough situations you record. Wondering how I motivate myself to record these more negative things?

Food for thought!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

30 Days of Me Album | 2

Once I got a rough plan on paper for this project, I started to enjoy the process. Pretty much in my element actually... not because of the subject matter, but the design process is definitely my happy place! It's a hybrid project using mostly digital supplies. Here's my first pages. I'll note under each photo where from, with links at the bottom (otherwise my designs).
Digital graphics left page Ali Edwards, flair and label part of Studio Calico class kit

Right page - Digital filler from Project Life Plus One kit

Digital "Make something" from Studio Calico free Digital Basics class

Digital graphics right page part of class
I'm on a mission to get a decent family photo, including Shelby. That could prove to be the hardest part of the whole album! Bribery will play a definite part in it, I'm sure.

Supplies links:
Studio Calico
Becky Higgins Project Life

Thanks for stopping by:)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The story matters, no matter how you tell it

This week our own world famous kiwi scrapbooker, Nic Howard  hung up her paper cutting scissors for good as she's off to pursue her passion with a new career in the fitness world - which she'll totally smash, I'm sure.

Nic explained that she's lost her enthusiasm for scrapbooking as her children have got older and say less cute things as well as not being so enthusiastic being posted on the internet in their mum's work.

Oh yes, I totally get that! I've been in that place. I remember the day in 2009 when Anna announced she'd rather have her photos in slip in pockets, with none of the fancy stuff or cute sayings on it! While those words wounded me a bit, I understood completely because I'd been questioning the whole 'scrapbooking' thing anyway. I created very little in that format from that day to this apart from dabbling about with a very simplistic graphic approach.

BUT, I couldn't give it up altogether. What drew me back in was that deep in my heart, I knew the memories had to be kept. Photos on a hard drive or sitting in phone storage just don't work. As they say, get them off the device and into your life!. When I saw the Project Life system in 2012, I was ready to start over. I knew I had to keep it simple. My objective is to put the story with the photos. Or to capture the moment in words, because sometimes there is no photo. A journal of our everyday lives. Those precious little moments.

I've found that hybrid works well for me. I can store my digital supplies on my computer and paper and plastic pages in one spot. (And tangible albums to flip through have proved to be the right answer for us). No need for a huge room of stuff.  Don't think I haven't been tempted by all the beautiful supplies out there. I walked into Whitcoulls bookshop yesterday and they had some beautiful scalloped tape. I picked it up... and then made myself put it back. So close!

I mentioned in this post that I had a brain freeze when starting the Studio Calico 30 Days of Me class, until I remembered to stay true to my own style of things. It's okay to do that folks. The few classes I taught way back, I remember loving seeing how people put their own spin on things. I'm loving working on this album, now that I've found my way to spin it!  Here's a little peek. I'll make a post of the first pages when I get my photos printed later this week.

So my point with this is to find your own style, your voice. Don't worry if it's different to everyone else. If it fits you, wear it! If at the end of the day, you lose the inclination to record any of it, then that's also okay. My daughter reassured me that if I didn't get her life recorded, there was no drama! She could sort something out when she was older if she wanted to. That took all the pressure off. Now I look at anything I do as totally my project, my viewpoint, my voice. My happy place.

Friday, September 5, 2014

30 Days of Me album | 1

As soon as I saw this class advertised I signed up because I believed it would be the perfect time to try and collate my current story in one place. I was pleasantly surprised to receive some free goodies in the mail from Studio Calico and my original thoughts were to revert to a more scrap-book style for this project - maybe more embellishing...

Once I'd watched the video for the first lesson, I got a bit panicky! I suddenly couldn't see myself using the freebies I'd got. Gorgeous as they are (and I'd have loved using them in days gone by), I suddenly realised that's not what I'm about any more. I had to restore my thinking to what I love - clean and simple lines. It was a sense of relief that I could go about this album in my own way. After all, this is about me, by me and to be a glimpse at me and who I am/was in the future.

So, lesson learnt, it took me days to fluff around deciding how to start. I saw this gorgeous album by Caylee on the Paislee Press blog. Just a few weeks ago I was trying some vellum printing and was peeved it wasn't coming out well, so this inspired me to have another go. Our latest printer doesn't have a transparency setting and now I realise that I was using too much ink. Once I set it on Fast Economy, it came out perfect!

I love the 6x8 size for this. I'm using a Becky Higgins album I purchased from Craft House here.

I've sorted out the next few pages, so will share once I have them complete.

Digital stamp by Ali Edwards

Have an awesome weekend. I hope to get some scrapping done.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Project Life | End of Aug pages

I was inspired to use some digital printables from Studio Calico's Sandilot and Poet Society kits for these pages, together with a couple of digi elements from Ali (Links below).

It's another simple round up of where we're at currently. I'm loving journaling in this way, in addition to the regular journaled card notes.

I kept the right side ultra simple. On the reverse of the insert, I'm just preparing a collage of Friday photos to slip in. Friday just ended up a bit special:)
 I loved the chance to write "Stories matter to me because" on the prompt from Ali Edwards.The story has been on my mind and in my journal a lot since completing her Hello Story class last year. I totally relate to her photo + story and #craftthestory.
Supplies used:
Becky Higgins Project Life Pages F and A and 8.5x11
Ali Digital stamp and Story freebie
Studio Calico Digital Printables

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Photo Book | Winter Magic

This is going to be a photo heavy post, so I'll attempt to keep my blurb to the main points! Grab yourself a drink and I hope you enjoy the results (and can see the magic) of my little challenge aka #donnaswintermagicproject on my Instagram account.

W H A T : A 40 page photo book of winter magic captured and a little created by me. I left it mostly to the photos with minimal other elements.

W H Y : It came about as a result of 3 things...

  1. Winter was approaching fast and I had that familiar feeling of gloom as it's my least favourite season.
  2. My son was talking to me about his photography project for his school assignment and I was intrigued so decided to start my own project as a way of finding the positive in a sort of negative situation for me.
  3. I've spoken before about my research into living in the moment as part of my OLW moment. One thing it encourages is to look at the things around you... really look at them.  I can honestly say that I've learned to find beauty or joy in the simple things around me.
W H E R E : Most images were taken in my neighbourhood on Auckland's North Shore on my daily walks. A few pages were from my trip to see my parents In New Plymouth. I talked about that in this post.

H O W: The majority of photos were taken with my iPhone 5S and the others with my Canon DSLR. I love both cameras, but I am so impressed with the captures from my phone camera which I have with me out walking. For me it's a valuable tool and I feel it's worth the price for the convenience of the camera alone.

W H O : I used Artifact Uprising to print my book. I'm beyond thrilled with the results! I've followed them for some time and only read good things about their products. I love their philosophy and so, despite being more expensive than having printed in NZ, I decided to give them a try. Their site is so easy to use and the service and product, I can't fault. I'm very happy and will be using them again for sure.

This project ticked so many positive boxes for me. It married together a few things I'm passionate about and has helped me to clarify a few ideas for moving forward:)

And so here it is...
Thanks for visiting:)