Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week Six, 2014, and The Perfectionist Pocket Scrapbooker

The Perfectionist Pocket Scrapbooker

 
Do you even sit and wonder how you can even begin this journey. You bought all of these pretty supplies and took some pictures, maybe even some notes, but the thought of filling those pockets can be unnerving? Scary? Or just intimidating?
 
It could be you are comparing yourself too much with others, or it could simply be your expect too much from yourself. Either way, I am writing this just for you, to help you to enjoy the process, imperfectly.

I am starting with a layout VERY unique to me. It has just a couple of pictures. No theme. A random supply list and fun new techniques I rarely try. And I adore it. And it was easy.  Take a look, then keep reading....

Week 6, 2014


want to create freely like this?
and love the result?
 
I am going to take you through a 12 Step Program.
Don’t Giggle. I am serious.
and it will help.
if you let it.

 
Step One: Stop.
 
I am not going to ask you to stop being a perfectionist but what I am saying is STOP thinking and overthinking and thinking some more. This will likely be what trips you up BEFORE you begin.

YOU OVERTHINK EVERYTHING.

 It is paralyzing and can warp your good ideas into bad ones. It will turn your brilliant designs into no designs. FAST. So how do you stop overthinking? Well, you can’t. Yes, I just told you to do something you cannot possibly do. BUT I know once you know what is holding you back you can use that and the tools I am sharing to help you push those thoughts aside. The need for getting it right and finding the perfect such and such aside and just let yourself be. Because once you just “be” you will create from your heart.


Step Two: Copy
 
If you cannot let go enough to just design freely, choose a favorite layout you have recently seen. Purchase or find in your stash everything that is used in that spread and copy it exactly only changing your photos and words. Often the biggest stumbling block in creativity, especially for a perfectionist is just beginning. Start, the rest is easy.


 
Step Three: Find Accountability
 
Find your one person. Every perfectionist needs one in life to keep going. You can shut down without one. If you are a perfectionist Project Lifer you need one person to bounce ideas and thoughts off weekly. One person to tell you to get your craft on. One person to listen, encourage and force you.

 
Step Four. Choose Less
 
Now you are sitting quietly, not overthinking and finally found a good friend to encourage and push you on and BANG you look at your desk. A MILLION THINGS assault you and cripple you and once again you cannot even think about creating… you just fiddle around or leave your workspace. You do not know where to begin or how to make any of that fall onto the page. Well, who would? You want to create a two page spread with enough for one year (or a hundred).

PUT IT AWAY.

 Clear your desk. Take out your photos, a few journaling cards, and nothing else. Admire your photos, write your stories… then if something is missing, add a pop of design here and there… and love it in its simplicity.

you can go back and layer and add  and stamp and stitch and paint later, like I did on these cards







or leave them simple, just the patterned paper, or a few layers and they would still look amazing

like these....




 
Step Five: Organize
 
I will be covering my organizational systems with you shortly, but for now, just think on this. If you are a perfectionist you need a tidy, well organized space so you can have a clear mind to begin. You cannot be distracted with finding things in the process, but need to know where everything is right away so you can stay in your groove, your sweet spot, your not overthinking-it-all mode. Keep everything you need within reach, as well, to keep you from going to far.

 
Step Six: Give It or Trash It
 
You have to really think on this one. Do you love it? Does it fit your style, your heart in Pocket Scrapbooking, your stories? Are you drawn to it? Yes? GREAT. Keep it. No? Get rid of it, now, right away! If you hang onto it (that STUFF) will become the biggest reason you cannot create. You CANNOT create easily with products you feel like you need to use. You can create more freely with products that fit you, your style, your family and your life. Give those products away to someone who will treasure them. Or even throwing your scrap paper away can be freeing and leave you more freedom to create. You can feel bad over what you paid for these and keep them hoarded up in your closet feeling guilt and pressure to make them work or you can give them away and feel blessed by your gift to others.

 
Step Seven: Choose One Design Element



 
Find a something you do each week on your spreads and you will love them more! You can always choose to do that element first to get you started and loving your spreads from the get go. I like to start with a card with a half doily, some layering and some mist and stitching. I always love how it comes out in any line, with any supplies and that always starts my layout off feeling lovely and beautiful to me. Search galleries, pinterest, everywhere and find your something or create your own. This could be the one thing that causes the breakthrough for you to start creating regularly and joyfully!
 
Step Eight: Write
 
I cannot say enough how important journaling is. ESPECIALLY for the perfectionist. Having all of the stories written down and knowing how special they are to you will help you on to the next step of documenting. YOU MUST JOURNAL to stop overthinking before you create. It really works.

 
Step Nine: Unplug
 
If you know me, you knew this was coming. *wink* You need to stop looking at ideas online. There is always someone out there who is more creative, has better photos, better handwriting, more supplies. You name it. You need to stop looking at what they are doing. They are not you. They do not have your story, your beautiful life and they can never capture it the way you do. Own your story.
Unplug from the discouragement.

 
Step Ten: Fast
 
Okay, here is the best way to get over a hump. Set a timer. You have exactly one hour. You complete the spread in one hour and then you have to stop. You cannot fix it, change it or add to it. Leave it for one month. Come back and see how much you love that you did it, not whether the design is perfect. This is an amazing gift to yourself.
You will shock and amaze yourself with how you feel one month later when you look back.

 
Step 11: Make A List
 
Make a list of all of the reasons you are doing this project and hang it on the wall over your creative space. Read it intentionally before you begin creating. Your words can be a gift to even you.
 

Step Twelve: Find Value
 
I could never word this right, share enough, or have the answers on this one, but most often when our perfectionism is holding us back it has everything to do with how we feel about ourselves. What we feel our worth is. I know that all too well, as this is a struggle I face day after day.
I want to push you to find value in you.
 
You are so capable for this project.
 
You are so perfect for taking those pictures and writing those words.
 
You have something to offer that no one else ever will.
 
And that makes you and your Project Life absolutely priceless.
 
So dive in, let go, stop thinking and phone a friend.
(you can even email me!!!!)
I want to encourage you to create more than ideas and collect more than supplies.

 
Challenges:
 
Look over your style this week. Do you have a signature trademark? Something you love that you do on each layout?
 
Make Your List
 
Purge your unwanted/unwanted supplies
 
Create A Spread in One Hour




you can find bit more on HOW my cards were transformed on

THIS post on UmWowStudio

supplies:

from Pretty Little Studio
Winter Wonderland 8x8 paper pack
Silver Stardust Vellum 8x8
Printable | Wonderland Apothecary Cards
Cut-outs | Wonderland Label Tags

                                                                
 
and this free printable "index sheet"


which I used with this Epiphany Crafts Pennant Tool





Becky Higgins Design A Page Protector

 from freshbluemornings  
Striped Paper Clips Blue Black Pink 15 Count 1 1/4"
Gray and White Baker's Twine 5 yards
Small White Parcel Tags 2 3/4" x 1 3/8" 20 Count

from UmWow Studio
Star Confetti Chipboard
Arrow Title Mash Chipboard

and doilies, white and silver thread

 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Finding Time and Balance in Pocket Scrapbooking and Week Eight, 2014 featuring Studio Calico


I am back today with a BIG question that I am asked often.
actually all the time.


 


How do you Find Time and Balance to actually DO This?
 

I think one of the hardest battles you will have in completely your album is in finding both the time to actually put the project together and the balance of how much and what to include. Today I am going to be focused on how that can instead be as natural and easy as drinking your morning coffee….
 or any other part of life that you just do each day without overthinking it.

Before I share with you some helpful tricks and tips I want to share

Week 8, 2014



right


left


 
if you scroll down the post a bit I will share the kit I used and a review for you
and now onto
 
 
Time Management Tricks

1. Schedule Time.


I know we would all love to create on that perfect afternoon…. A quiet empty house, the gentle spring breeze blowing in through the open window, the crockpot dinner simmering away and perfect supplies and inspiration on out on a clutter free desk. It sounds just delightful. Honestly, though, as nice as it sounds, it may not ever be your reality. You might need to plan and schedule your time out to complete this project. Once you write that time on your weekly calendar, you also need to let go of the guilt of what you could be doing instead. We are all so busy. We have endless lists of work, chores, children’s activities even. BUT this time and this gift you create for them is completely worth taking that hour or two away
from all of that to complete. You will be creating something for your whole family, you and your spouse or even dear friends to look back on for years. This is more than a fancy scrapbook page is a documentation of real genuine life. Life that will never look like this again.

2. Make Project Life A Priority.

 
Now that you have marked that time down to create you need to prioritize it. Treat it like any other appointment you make in your week and be on time and ready for it. If you have little ones and they will be around when you create, you can create a simple “craft time only” box filled with post it notes, stickers and crayons… maybe throw in a few grid cards and watch and see what they might create for your weekly Project Life Spread. If you are all to yourself, keep the room as clutter free as you can. Shut off the tv, cell phone, computer, all distractions you can until your time is up. You will complete so much more when your focus is completely on your project.

3. Commit To A Class You Pay For.


Honestly, when money is spent, motivation will follow. Sign up and be inspired and learn together. It is one of the best ways to commit time to any craft project.

4. Find Time In your Day.


 It can be simple to add in little bits of Project Life throughout your day. You can carry a pack of grid cards or your notebook in your bag when you go to appointments or places where you know you will have a decent wait time and start taking notes from your week. While making dinner you could bring your laptop with you and print pictures from your wireless printer, or order them online. Take 15 minutes each day to do a little something for Project Life. Those little minutes of creating and planning will really add up over the course of the week, and will make it so much easier to complete your spreads when you do sit down to put them in your album.
 
 
This online community is ONLY about Pocket Scrapbooking. There is no way you can be distracted or pushed into other creative projects, but will only be inspired to create and complete week after week or month after month. A little peer pressure is good every now and then and this is one of the most lovely places to be for community, inspiration and that push you need.
 
 
Before You Begin


1. Less Is More.

 For many Project Lifers, the most time-intensive part of the process is CHOOSING. We can spend so much time looking for the perfect papers and embellishments and pictures and stickers…. And well, eat up time we could be creating instead. Start with a clean desk and everything will flow easier for you. Gather only the supplies that you need to create the basic spread first. When we have too many items out to start it can confuse the process and it will add time as you struggle to figure out what to use.

2. Have As Much Done Prior To Starting As Possible.

If you are able to take those 15 minutes a day like I mentioned above and print all of your pictures and have some notes, evenjournaling cards filled out already, your process will become so much smoother and easier and it will be easy to stay consistent and up to date.

3. Take LOTS of Pictures.

 The more pictures you have taken, the more inspired you will be to include them in your album and the more you will want to share them and the stories behind them. You cannot have TOO many pictures to choose from, but when you do start creating do not let this overwhelm you, either, just choose your one or two favorites from each event. The rest can easily be added to a monthly cd you can include inside Project Life to view anytime in a month by month format.

4. Try A Scrapbooking Project Life Monthly Kit.

There are a few more of these starting up all of the time. I, myself, love having a kit of pre-matched supplies and Project Life cards all ready in a little box for me. It is so nice to just add some pictures and journaling and maybe a few items from my scrapbooking stash and TADA. Done. Fast, easy and without any extra work from me.


Office Hours Project Life Kit
 
Today is ALL about Studio Calico, as far as my layout goes. I so excited to share what I loved about this kit with you!
 
you can check out all of the designers' reviews and projects
 
HERE on The Pocket Source

and here is what I want to share about this kit
 The Studio Calico Project Life kits are packed full of fun. I really fell in
love with the colors and coordination of this kit and how easily the kit
transformed my photos and stories into a layout I love. I really liked the
simplicity of the stamp set and how useful it was in telling my stories and
adding extra design and color to my spread. The bigger letter stickers were fun
to use and different from what I have seen in many PL kits. They made the kit
extra special.

I would definitely buy one of these kits in the future to create more pocket
scrapbooking layouts I adore as much as this one!
 
 

5. Know your process.


The more you know about how you want your spreads to look, the more you'll be able to work with that process instead of against it. When you create the next layout, write down your typical creating routine and where you get stuck. Look for what you have done, the order in which you have done it. Really look at how you create from start to finish. Start to point out where it becomes harder for you or even nonexistent. Then, together, we can figure out how to move through the problems you may face and find your process and style together. And in turn, find a way to make creating simple and fun for you.
 
 

How Much to Include


I think it is important to remember that this is a life record of your life, which is different than any other person or family. You could use all of the same products as the family who lives next door and your albums will still look completely different. You will have your own stories, pictures and little bits of life and embellishments added that will create a unique look. It is important to include a little bit of everything that is special and unique to you or your family, even as simple or mundane as your tooth brush, is something that tells a lot about your family. At the same time, you want to be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too much and not have a good balance of both pictures and words. This is what make project life so different in the scrapbook world, it is a true balance of words and pictures and it works perfectly when both are combined in a more evenly put together way. If the balance is off, the project can be much harder to put together. Finding this balance will be worth it in the end and help you find more joy in this project.


What You DO NOT Want To Leave Out

1. Pictures.




This seems obvious, right? Well, yes and no. It is so important to have pictures if you want to visually remember a moment or event and to have them you must take them. Do not be afraid to pull that camera out to capture life. Also, know there are no rules here, if you forgot to take a picture today of something and it will look basically the same tomorrow, then just take the picture then. It is better to have the picture than to just forget it.


2. Words.

(because the way you tell the story today will be so different from how you would tell it later)

This one is often forgotten the most in Project Life, especially with all the pretty supplies, but the words are so needed to tell the story. There is no right or wrong on how many words, or how they need to be told, just do not forget to add them in. In a day when so many of our words are typed, texted and spoken, it is such a gift to have hand written words in your album…. Think about added words and handwriting from the oldest and youngest generations of your family for a real keepsake.


3. Something that will change.


(these crazy dolls will not be around forever or those sweet toes)

Do you remember having REAL tickets at the movies? Cassette Tape covers? Oh yes, I could list hundreds of things that have changed in my lifetime already and so many more will change before another year has passed. These little bits of everyday life and memorabilia can be such a treasure to look on since they may not stay as they are for long. Make sure you save your little things each week to see what may fit perfectly in your album.

4. Things that are unique to each family member.



(the life of this two year old is so unlike any other two year old we have had)

 I think it is special to add things from each child’s or family member’s life into the album that is different from anyone else and share that from their perspective, if possible, too. It really adds that memory more completely and creates a treasure that Project Life is so ideal for!

5. Victories and Struggles.


(because sharing your heart is part of this process)

 It is up to you how much you share in your album, but personally I so love seeing what God has done in my life. It is such a joy to look back to struggles we have had and see how prayers were answered or how we managed through them and still stayed a team, working together in all things. Just the same, it is so special to document any victory, great or small and see how much that meant to us. On the hard days, these victories are such a blessing to look back on! It is okay to include the good, the bad, and the in between.


Find the time, create balance. It is worth it.

Want to see My Lessons Learned from past years? Check out Week 3
struggling with Designing? Check out Week 4
struggling with Journaling? Check out Week 5


supply list:
Office Hours Project Life Kit by Studio Calico
Design A and Design F Page Protectors by Becky Higgins
Tim Holtz Mini Attacher
American Crafts Precision Pen
date stamp, ink, thread, sewing machine
 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Week Five, 2014 and Journaling in Pocket Scrapbooking

Journaling 101



What if you have a photoless week?
or just one picture?
or you need something else. different.

This week I am sharing week six.
a week I do not have photos taken.
why?
because I was not "feeling" it.
and nothing "exciting" happened.
nothing "ordinarily wonderful" either.
then, the week was gone.

so what I did is I told stories.
I took a few photos.



( 1.typewriter 2.me 3. my Bible and a notebook gifted to me 4.our street sign 5.cup of coffee )


photos of stories I wanted to tell.

(yikes! what if you had to take four photos that define your story right now?)

and went with it.
and what came of that is truly beautiful.
and so real. honest. raw.
and for that week of taking not one photo
I landed with a page that makes my heart soar.

because
 
This is my favorite part of Pocket Scrapbooking
and today I want to encourage you to love the process as much as I do.
 
The story is the reason we are sharing Project Life or Pocket Scrapbooking of any kind. The stories can often be left out when we start piling in the pictures and that is why it is on my heart to share more on how we can easily and thoughtfully share our stories.

 
Whatever your story, there is more to your story than you ever thought before and those simple little somethings that make up your life are worth documenting. It will make up a diary with pictures that will be a joy to future generations or simply a sincere book of memories for you to look back on years from now. It might be a book you found yourself in, or a journey book of travel, weight loss, goals, or family. It will be a book of time, whether monthly, weekly or even chunks of time documenting seasons or situations. It will capture moments that you may never live again and ones you will be cherishing long after they have passed. We all have pictures to look back on and that brings back those precious memories, but what makes Project Life different than old photo books of stacks of pictures or computer files is that they are combined with words. Your words, maybe your family’s words, other words, just as those pictures are taken and the memories are made. That makes it possible to look back to exactly where your heart was in that moment. That alone makes Project Life unlike any other scrapbook you could ever make. Everyday pictures with a story as they unfold.

So now it is time for you to consider a few things before you begin telling your story.

Or continue your story from here.

 
One of the most crucial mistakes I first made when creating my Project Life albums is being unsure of how I wanted to tell my story. I also was unsure how to involve the children and my husband in my album. This last year I really found balance in this area and because of that my journaling is easier and my layouts come together more easily. It is important you find a system for telling the story and a place that will be kept or you will miss the memories you want to include and you will fall behind.


 
Who you are as a Storyteller
sto·ry·tell·er
a. One who tells or writes stories.
b. One who relates anecdotes.
 
At the heart of all human existence you will find a story.
 
You will. It is honest truth that life breathes stories and every story no matter how small and what style is worth sharing. In finding your style and purpose in storytelling you will begin documenting and sharing your stories effortlessly. You will be drawn to it. You will anticipate it as you are living your memory. It will begin to take lasting value and fill you with joy.


 
A Dreamer, A Writer, A Story Creator
 
You may be a dreamer. You like to make memories. You are the key to the journaling in your album. You will probably prefer writing in the first person, you being the story-teller. You will most likely want to create the week, month, or event layouts with a theme and will like a good design structure to flow across the page. You like to plan your weeks and plan ahead in general when it comes to creative projects.
 
You may be drawn to using a notebook as your journal and inspiration/creation “board”. Using a notebook is perfect for a planner, list maker or dreamer. It really comes together beautifully and helps you creative a cohesive design for your layouts. I recommend this especially if you like to see your week or scrapbook designs together in one place before you create or you want your layout to be full of design, texture and life. A little notebook is perfect for leaving at your desk or throwing in your bag on the go.

 
Once you have a place to keep your stories you will need to start using it.
 
First some practical writing tips for first person journaling.
 
Set up a routine.
 You might want to carry your journal with you wherever you go, so that you can write down your thoughts as they strike you. Integrate it into your everyday, maybe at the same time of the day for review. Journaling as part of a routine will make you more likely to stick with it.
Date your journaling. This can be done by day, week or month.

 
Start writing.
As you begin, write down your thoughts as they occur to you. If you're stumped, start out by thinking about what you did during the day, or any little happenings that you would not want to forget any time soon.

 
Try to see your journal as "thinking on paper."
 Your thoughts don't need to be perfectly constructed or written with the right grammar and punctuation. Instead, try to think of your journal as a space where you can write out and organize your thoughts and feelings.

 
Don't feel self-conscious.
Feeling free to express yourself is a vital part of keeping a meaningful journal. You do not need to take a picture of every layout you make, or you can easily hide your journaling if you want it to be private.

 
Be creative.
This is a life book. You can include anything and everything. You do not always have to describe the picture or day… maybe you want to include a poem or a quote, a small drawing or one of those silly pictures off of facebook or pinterest for your journaling.

 
Know when to stop the journaling for the week, but keep writing!
This is such a hard balance but you need to keep writing so you do not want to limit yourself, but also remembering you do not need to write a book, either.

 
It is important if you write in the first person you remember that the stories of those in your album need to be included, too.

 Here are a few ways to effectively do that.
 
Ask Questions.
Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask those who are being photographed how they feel. Ask them what they love about the moment. You can even ask them what they first think of when you should them the photo. You will want to write a few of their stories down to document their hearts and stories… you want your album to be a place of their memories and heart, too.

 
Fill out Currently-type Cards.
 Fill out cards that share “currents” of each member of the family or close friends that will be in your album. You can find printables online or create your own, but either way this is a fast way to share what is in the heart without having to do too much storytelling or taking very much thinking.
 
Leave Out a Card Station.
 It would be such an easy way to let others join in your stories to leave out a bin or box of cards beside the album that are up for grabs. Encourage others to grab a card or a few and write out some of their memories from recent events on the cards in their own handwriting and words.


 
When all else fails remember the 5 “W”s.
 
Who is it about?
What happened?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did it happen?
 



Third Person Writing, Captions and Mini Notes.
 
You may be more of a quick caption writer. You may like to just leave little bits of words here and there. The truth is you can write that way and still tell your story. This style gives you many options and can used in such creative ways.
 
Here are three things to create some meaningful quick notes in your Pocket Scrapbooking:
 
Make a Note of the HOWS.
Often the quick captions are who and where…. Closely followed by what. BUT change that completely by writing the HOW of what the picture is about. That little switch up can completely change the meaning of the journaling and make it fuller and more thoughtful.

Instead of: at the beach, June 5
 
Write: the best feeling in the world is being at our favorite place all together
 
Or: we found this spot years ago and still return each year
 
That changes it completely from fact to story. Every picture has a story. You can keep your caption short and sweet, but tell the story and it will change how you will feel when you read the book back.

Anyone can make a fact book, but you are creating a LIFE book.

 
Make a note of quoteables.
Write down the things your children, spouse or friends say to write in your album later. You will not remember later. We never do. You can even just jot it down on a receipt of piece of junk mail, but take that time and write it down to use later. Imagine each week if you just wrote down one quote, you would have 52 quoteables to look back on at the end of the year.

 
Use a Picture A Day Challenge.
 Take the pictures and write down WHY you chose to take that for the prompt. Easy stories, easy photos. This is very helpful if you feel you do not have enough stories to share. You will be creating your own and they can be sweet and simple.


 
Writing in the third person perspective:
 
Instead of using “I,” which would be first person, or addressing the reader as “you,” which would be second person, you want to address the characters by their names.
You will want to use the appropriate pronouns to maintain this perspective. These include he, she, his, hers, him and her.
 
When you write in the third person omniscient point of view, the narrator is usually an unknown entity. Even if the reader does know who is narrating the story, it isn’t an important element of the story.
 
You can use point of view to let the reader know how your character feels and thinks.
With point of view, you want to tell the reader what your character sees, hears, tastes, smells and touches. This can help incorporate the setting in your story.


I hope some of this was helpful. I want to encourage you to fall in love with what I love about Pocket Scrapbooking: the story.
 
It is time to tell your stories, not only in pictures, but words, too.

 
and currently my desk has all the things that I use the most for journaling.
my Go-To journaling supplies
(the after shot)



so I am linking up here on WOYWW

without these items my journaling would be harder
and put off.

1. American Crafts Precision Pens
2. American Crafts Slick Writers
3. A Simple Date Stamp
4. Pebbles From Me to You Date Stamp
5. Stazon Jet Black Ink
6. Assorted Stamps
7. Assorted Letter Stickers
8. The Actual Journaling Cards

and sometimes I do print my journaling.
but only sometimes.
I really want my handwriting and my voice to shine through.
as well as my husband's and my children's voices.
so mostly it will be by hand.



and here is the finished layout
Week 5, 2014










if you would like to see more on how the cards in this design came together you can visit the

UmWowStudio Blog

and see a mini step by step

and you can also find me

on The Pocket Source
on my youtube channel
and on Pinterest

supplies for this Week 6 layout:

Becky Higgins Design A Page Protector

White Grid 4x6 Cards
White Grid 3x4 cards by Studio Calico
"I Can't Do This" card by Studio Calico
"the official record"card by Studio Calico
Mr. Hueys Dewey Spray Mist
Mr. Hueys Atmosphere  Spray Mist
Stazon Jet Black Ink
Studio Calico Stamps
Pebbles From Me to You Date Stamp
Date Stamp (basic)
UmWow Studio Chevron Confetti Chipboard
UmWow Studio Line of Chevrons Mask
BasicGrey  Opaline Collection Pearls (teal)
Lily Bee Design Alphabets
Aqua Quilt Washi Tape
Teal Vertical Stripe Washi Tape, Queen & Co

Selphi CP900 Printer


 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Week Four 2014, Design Decisions in Pocket Scrapbooking

A Little More, A Little Less, Design Dilemmas and Decisions
Pocket Scrapbooking Style


Today I wanted to share with all a little more about simple and complex deign and how to decide when enough is enough. Most of these tips are straightforward and simple, and yet they will help you start a layout and complete a layout easier. The layout completed for this lesson show two different options, 
each beautiful in their own way, 
and how choosing simply or more complex can make your layout truly you and what you want for Pocket Scrapbooking.

Do you like it simple?
Do you like to embellish?
How do you know when to stop embellishing?

 

These answers will be as different and unique as we are, but here are a few tips to help us sort it all out, 
in pictures and words.


 

1. Pick your week or month



 
You are ready to create and ready to tell stories. Start simply by choosing which stories and pictures you WANT to work with first. Do you worry if you are out of order or behind, just choose what you have to tell, what you are loving or inspired with RIGHT NOW. Skipping around is just fine with Project Life. You can skip weeks, months and even years. You will create so much more freely and enjoy it so much more if you pull what love out first. I know this seems like it could cause you to fall behind even more, and it could, but the weeks, months, or events you do share will have so much more of your heart in them.


2. Choose Photos

 
Now you have the week, month or event chosen you are all set, right? Then you look and you only have one picture or you have a hundred. It can be overwhelming. Just pick a few of your favorites and go with it. Do you not worry about perfect or best, just the ones that you feel like telling the stories about.


3. Choose Simple Cards (or papers) That Tell the Story or Theme


(cards in a simple color theme I chose, very randomly)

along with these printables


and this themed collection


 
(a simple winter collection called "Winter Wonderland" by Pretty Little Studio that fit the theme perfectly)
 
Just pull out the themed and/or simple cards or collections to simplify the process. Cut or layer them, if needed, and lay them out.

 

4. Add Journaling


 
Now you need to add your story. It can be one of the hardest parts and most avoided in this process. I will be back tomorrow with a whole post on this, but for now, just know there is no wrong way to do this. Just add words. It really is that easy.

5. Throw It In The Pockets


 Toss in your pictures. Your Cards, too. No fussing. No worrying. Just get them all in. Done.


And then you look. REALLY look.  

Pictures are in, story is down. Your week or month or event is recorded. 
How you do you feel? It is done? Do you feel good with it?

If you can say yes, that is wonderful. It is clean, documented and part of your story. It is lovely. RUN, go put those amazing story pocket pages into your album! And love them!


But…..
Do you feel something is missing? Are you dissatisfied? Try 5 and 6 first…

5. ADD ONE


 
Try adding just ONE type of embellishment. Many of my layouts have a simple strip of matching or the same roll of washi across my layout for extra color coordination, embellishing and just “prettying it up”. Then you can step back and see if this helped you feel like the spread is complete.

(here I added the brand new silver foil stickers from Pretty Little Studio)

6. ADD Paint, Ink, Mist, Small Embellishments or Stitching

This very simple technique can make any page, even Pocket Scrapbooking pages, feel complete, finished and well put together. I like to use a few splatters of mist or stitching to finish off even my simplest cards to make them feel done and to create a more unified look without added embellishments and /or extra expense.

In my layout you can see how that really helped and it can truly be done now and feel completed. It looks fairly clean and simple, but has just that little “pop of pretty”.

Lastly, if you are like me, you need just a bit more. That is just fine. I added a little stamping, some sequins, flair buttons and washi. They just made it all feel WONDERFUL to ME. I like junk in the pockets. LOTS of junk. It makes me feel all happy inside.


That leads me to this last thought: HOW MUCH JUNK?

When is it done? When do you stop playing, and picking and touching and adding? When do you know you are done and throw it into your album and call it good?

This answer is VERY tricky, but simple, too. I work until I “feel” it looks nice, then for a week I set it in my album. In one week if I still like it and feel it looks like I want it to, I leave it. Sometimes I find it does need a little sticker or stamp or dot of this or that…. Sometimes I find a picture that I had missed and include that or I add more of a story that I had forgotten to put in.

 BUT most of the time, like I have a feeling will be the case with this layout, I just leave it. LOVE it… and I move on.

Because seriously friends, there are 51 more years in the year to add into this book.













Some sweet thoughts on Week Four

This week was simple and not too busy. The story is simple. It is of a family. A big one, a loving one. A one who has good days and bad days.

and a mother with a heavy heart.

and it was also of a little boy finding his way during a long cold winter where trains seemed so much sweeter than snow.

I want to thank my dear friend, Karole-Ann for providing these sweet hats you see my youngest four wearing in the family photos on the right side of the layout. She also used her amazing photography skills to capture my family, which is near impossible with eight. She blessed my family with her grace and talent.
You can find her photography page here: Kann Photography
and her amazing handmade hats here: K & K Creations



and want to see more of Winter Wonderland being used in action?

check out
Week Six, 2014
HERE
(click)


(a week of fighting the blues and enjoying the view)
 

Challenges for you this week:

 Invest in some time to look over all of your layouts you love in your albums and decide what they all have in common.
 Love the work you create and the story you tell, because that will help you to create more!



and how about a local card class?

This class will include supplies needed to create this Pocket Scrapbooking Card Assortment and 6 additional cards.



 date: March 22, 2014
time: 9:30-11:30 am
cost: $10.00
all of the supplies, tools and instruction included
only 8 spots available

you could also email me for purchasing these cards premade and ready to ship
 
and how about I offer a giveaway of each of these items Winter Wonderland that I used today

just leave a comment on this post for your chance to win!


supply (giveaway) list:

Winter Wonderland 8x8 paper pack
Silver Snowflakes 8x8 Vellum
Vellum | Silver Stardust 8x8
Printable | Wonderland Apothecary Cards
Printable | Wonderland Mini Bookmark Tags
Printable | Wonderland Large Bookmark Tags
Cut-outs | Wonderland Label Tags

                                                                

Stickers | Silver Foil Alphas
Stickers | Silver Foil Arrows
Stickers | Silver Foil Arrows
Stickers | Silver Foil Stars
Flair | Snow Much Fun Buttons

 (for the giveaway you will receive hard copies of the printables in your package)

additional supplies (not included in giveaway): 

Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors

from Pretty Little Studio
Silver Chevron 8x8 Vellum
Tabs | Yule Log

 from freshbluemornings  
Striped Paper Clips Blue Black Pink 15 Count 1 1/4"
Gray and White Baker's Twine 5 yards
Small Gray Parcel Tags Blank 2 3/4" x 1 3/8" 20 Count
Small White Parcel Tags 2 3/4" x 1 3/8" 20 Count

Project Life assorted cards in photo by
Scraptastic
Studio Calico
Citrus Twist
Pretty Little Studio
and Becky Higgins
and doilies, white and silver thread


thank you for stopping by today.  

and for those asking about more videos on my Youtube Channel, they are coming. I need a few important supplies and I am praying for provision, but my heart is there and I want to share much much more....

 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lessons Learned in Pocket Scrapbooking and Week Three, 2014


Welcome to The Pocket Source's blog hop. We are so excited to share a little
about why we love The Pocket Source with you all today and some Pocket
Scrapbooking!


you should have arrived from Stacy's blog
if you have lost your place along the way, you can also go back to the first post on

The Pocket Source

to find the whole hopping order


and now I want to share a bit about my Pocket Scrapbooking lessons learned

Lessons Learned from my 2013 Project Life Journey


In Three Parts: Pictures, Journaling and Design

Pictures:

 

Perfect Does NOT Exist. The perfect moment, the perfect pictures, the perfect capture may not ever happen for my album, but what my pictures are of is my story and THAT IS perfect! I want to always add more imperfect pictures, especially as I continue this year in Project Life.

Variety in Picture Sizes Makes It Easier.

I always thought having the same sizes and types of photos would be easier, but I have found that mixing up sizes actually helps me create faster well designed spreads.

Get the Good Ones.

When I look over my album this year I am really not as impressed with the photos printed at a more inexpensive quality. They make the design that week fall a little short when looking more closely. This may not be an issue for everyone, but for me, it was quite noticeable.


Always Print a Few Wallets for my Notebook.

This has helped me to have cleaner weeks in both design and feeling. I also have done more journaling having the photos in front of me in mini sizes right away.

Make More Memories to Photograph.
I need to create some new traditions for late winter/early spring as this part of every year has few photos I really like.


Journaling:

 

If you do not write it down right away you will forget it.

It is just so true. I always say, that is so special, sweet, or wonderful for me to forget, but often by the end of the day, or week or month, it IS forgotten. Our lives are busy and our memories are short. We are overloaded daily with so much and it often makes remembering the little things so very difficult. So, please, keep your journal, or journaling cards or cell phone handy and write those wonderful bits of life down, NOW, right away, in the moment as much as you can. You will not regret writing TOO much down, but you will regret what you did not.

My handwriting is fine.

And so is YOURS. So stop worrying and just write it down.
If you do not have passion about your story, no one else will.
Be passionate about what you write and your words will flow more clearly and will leave a bigger impact to those who read it.

Hiding your thoughts is okay.

Especially if you are sharing online…. I worried about this for a long time. I wanted to share it all, but have privacy, too. This year I have learned that pockets are fun and cute and tabs are all the rage, so hiding those words are trendy and also fun to do with all the market targeting that kind of project life hidden journaling.

I do not need to cover up or correct my errors.

It really is okay that I wrote a word twice or even misspelled it. The true story shines beyond those superficial things in the creating of Project Life cards.

More Words, More Story.

When I read back my weeks, those with less words have less story. Beautiful pictures do tell part of the story, but there is something so special about the words in these layouts that truly completes the pictures and transforms them into the story. I will not go forward with less words, ever, but more. MANY more.


Design:

 

ONLY use what I LOVE.

I will only adore the weeks that are created with products I love. If I do not love the products do not use them. Give them away. There are plenty of others who will love them and use them and adore their layouts with your gift. Often you will struggle through the layouts if you are using products that you are “making” yourself use.

Use Less Fluff.

I love my designs the very most when they are clean, mostly pictures, stories and just a few wonderful embellishments. You do not need to add every embellishment in a kit or you have one your desk. You will start spending all of your time on the design and none on the story, even less out MAKING the memories to photograph.
 
Make it Match. Sort Of.

The layouts I have done that have matching elements (even a few) are my favorites hands done. When they are too mismatchy I do not love them and they are visually BUSY.

Own It and Move On.

I need to let go more. Just love it for what it is and move on to the next week. This lesson is still in the process. I am a slow learner.

And if you cannot
Make Subtle Changes, but leave most of your heart.



and now here is a look at what the sneaks above created all together

Week 3, 2014







and little things I know for sure this year is I need a place like The Pocket Source. I need a place to be inspired, to be held accountable and be in company of others who understand my passion and love of  pocket scrapbooking and the gift that is to our families, and ourselves.


now you can visit The Pocket Source yourself here

and you can check out The Pocket Source's pinterest board here

and you can find my youtube channel here