Even though I completed it a while ago, I'm just getting around to sharing my April Traveler's Notebook. I have a flip through coming with a bit more commentary a little bit later in the week. I am ever so slightly behind with my little monthly notebooks so I'll have to let you know my plan for playing catch-up...once I come up with one:) Until then, here's a look at some of my pages:
I just wrote an entire blog post which, upon it's completion, I mistakenly deleted. It was a shit! shit! shit! moment and I cannot bear to rewrite the words I so carefully crafted. So here is the gist...I'm participating in Week in the Life albeit in a different sort of way. The science geek in me wanted to explore how the senses and memories intersect. I will be using this as a means of documenting over the course of the week honing in on a specific sense each day.
What I heard
Monday will be about the soundtrack of my day. The sounds of music, podcasts and conversation. The birds tweeting, Ronin’s playful bark and the sounds of my fingers tapping away on my keyboard.
What I saw
Tuesday will not only be about how I see, but how I perceive. What I see in the backyard, what I watch on TV, what I read, what I see in the mirror, on my computer screen and through my windows...and how I perceive what I witness.
What I touched
Wednesday will be devoted to the tactile details of my life...the warmth of my bed in the morning, the heat of my coffee cup, the feel of Keith’s hands and Ronin's fur... all the things I touch and that touch me throughout the day.
What I tasted
Thursday will be about the flavors of life, some of which are so familiar they stir up memories of childhood. The taste of coffee, of my favorite breakfast, of strawberries...the tastes that are specific to this season and our home.
What I smelled
Friday is dedicated to one of my most powerful senses...that of smell. I want to document the smells in my life right now. What perfumes I am wearing, my shampoo, the flowers blooming in my neighborhood, the smell of dinner cooking...these things are fleeting and I want to capture them.
The next two are not senses per se, but it seemed appropriate to include them.
What I felt
Saturday will be for feelings. That sounds funny since everyday will be about feelings, but I will actually focus on how I feel during this season of life, about the election, about where I live and how I’m spending my days.
What I dreamt
What better day than Sunday for dreaming. I think dreams are so significant and tell a story of where we are in life. My dreams today are so different than the ones I had ten years ago. I want to document my dreams at this moment. What I want, what I hope and what I believe.
As you might have noticed, I didn’t really mention photos. I have chosen to make this less a project based on images and one based on words. Years from now, when I look back on this, I want to leave myself room for imagining. I want to try and flex my muscle memory through my senses. I will take and include some intentional images, but that won’t be the heart of this...I will be the heart. My words, my stories. That’s it.
Wow! Is it really May? Don't I say something to that effect every month? We have had some beautiful days here in the Pacific Northwest and I have soaked up every last bit of it. It has made me long for drinks with umbrellas and bright colors. Well the May Gossamer Blue kits don't come with cocktails (unfortunately), but they do come with color...including a bunch of the highly sought after Fancy Free collection by Paige Evans for Pink Paislee. Normally this cut apart style is not my sweet spot. I don't have the patience for all the cutting...but Paige and Pink Paislee made it possible for me to make a layout that looks like it took way longer than it actually did to finish.
The MVP this month was definitely the Fancy Free page kit. In addition to the pre cut overlay, it also came with a title, embellishments and the bottom patterned sheet. When I first saw it I was a bit bummed because I thought for sure I couldn't use it. I've always admired that intricate look, but it just wasn't my style...or so I thought. Well, I was happy to be wrong. The fact that it comes in a full 12x12 sheet means you can use as much or as little of it as you want and that's exactly what I did. I also chose to use just the die cut overlay placing bits of the patterned paper in some areas and leaving others open. This created a more simple look that suited my tastes. I finished things off with some stitching and tiny stamps (I LOOOOVE TINY STAMPS). The title circles were cut from a Simple Stories cut apart page.
I chose to go with a simple grid style layout to showcase some of my favorite flower pictures this Spring. I take a LOT of flower pictures so using a grid helps me to get a few extra pictures on my page without it being too much. There was so much color in these photos, that the chipboard title seemed like a perfect fit.
As you know, I can't exactly go a month without making one (or several) layouts dedicated to Ronin...my beloved Blue Heeler/Beagle. The colorful papers that came in the May Kits definitely capture his playful personality. I used those puffy numbers from the Fancy Free collection to direct the look of this page.
When it comes to memorykeeping, there are so many ways to document life that don't include pretty paper and stickers. That's why I LOVE scrapbooking. It's a creative process driven by beautiful products. I'm not ashamed to say that I often allow the products to drive the look and feel of my layouts. It was a complete joy to play with the kits this month and I'm just getting started:)
Since all that crazy Instagram drama, I've decided to make a concerted effort to post my monthly design team layouts here on the blog. As much as I love Instagram...and I do love it, I like having a bit more control over what I share. I don't like feeling dependent on a social media outlet that can do whatever they want whenever they want. That said, I will still post there, but I will post more here as well. I feel like the blog inspires me to tell a more in depth story and that's a good thing:)
Here's a few of the layouts I made for April using my Gossamer Blue Kits:
I finally got around to filming a flip-thru of my March notebook. I thought I would post a few pictures here as well. This was my favorite book to make so far and I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I have developed a pretty good process. It was the same thing when I was doing a pocket based version of Project Life...things went so much more smoothly once I had a system in place. While these books seem rather compact, I am now realizing that devoting an entire book to a single month gives me so much more room to document and play than I ever allowed myself when I was using pockets. This has been a welcome change.
I have received some questions regarding the notebook itself so I decided to create a little tutorial that I plan to put up in the next few days. In regard to the supplies, I just use cardstock and text weight paper from Paper Source. I worked there for years and have had plenty of experience using the paper for all sorts of projects. Creating my own notebooks has made it possible for me to choose colors I like as well as control not only the quality of the paper on the the inside, but the quantity as well. Because I'm using it more as a scrapbook rather than a notebook I don't really need that many pages. I also like that my paper is more substantial than regular notebook or printer paper which makes it better for stamping and light watercoloring.
Check out the video flip thru here:
Like I promised, I recorded a video flip through of my February TN. I'm enjoying this approach to everyday style scrapbooking so much. If you are feeling a bit over albums and pocket page protectors, but not stories and pictures...this may be a style of memorykeeping that will work for you.
By the way...I'm still getting used to the whole video making thing so I humbly ask that you forgive my slow rambly way of speaking and anything thing else that gets on your nerves:)
This one is going to be short and sweet guys. I just wanted to focus on a layout I really loved this month. I feel like it's so easy to get caught up with the stuff of scrapbooking...okay, who am I kidding? I LOVE the stuff of scrapbooking, I'm just super happy when I feel like I've struck the balance between stuff and substance. I realize that we all draw that line in different places and I also realize that creativity requires some flexibility, but when things come together...well that's kinda magical, right?
This is a photograph of my Mom, me and my niece. We live in three different states so it's not always easy to make a picture like this happen. It's not a professional shot at all...it's actually a selfie, but I'm the last one to knock selfies. Thanks to the selfie, I have so many pictures of myself and my loved ones together. I'm not just standing behind the camera anymore. I'm taking pictures that, sure, are occasionally strangely angled...but nice. Here's a detailed shot:
So this month I'm celebrating a lot of different things including my 10 year wedding anniversary...so how about you join me in raising a glass to family, love, leap years and selfies...I think that's a delightfully random mix:)
Don't forget to hop on over and check out what these lovely ladies have to offer...
Hello Everyone! Happy February! How did that happen? Forgive the oft repeated rhetorical question. I'm just always shocked by how fast life goes. I have lots of creative projects planned for this month...a return to regular art journaling, beginning my new monthly traveler's notebook, and finishing off my December Daily album...I know, I know. It's time to get it DONE.
But...before I get too ahead of myself, it's February 1st and that means a new Gossamer Blue kit is available. This month was a special one for me because not only did I design quite a few of the Life Pages cards, I also designed the stamps with the help of Michelle Wooderson's amazing input. EEP!
This month's kit is filled with color and beautiful Basic Grey. I don't normally gravitate toward Basic Grey but that's the beauty of kits. Sometimes it's just the nudge you need to try something new to you. In my case, that means trying new colors and patterns. As soon as I opened the kit, I started making layouts and couldn't stop. It's funny, but when that mojo appears, you don't ask questions, you just grab your glue stick and go! Here are some the layouts I made this month using a combination of The Main Scrapbook Kit, The Scrapbook Add-Ons and the Life Pages Kit.
I'm not entirely sure calling it "project life" is entirely accurate. You'll see what I mean in a minute...but let me back up a bit.
I've never really done a traditional full size 12x12 Becky Higgins style Project Life. Oh sure, I got the big ass album and the jumbo pack of letter A protectors...I just didn't use them. I gave them away actually. Instead I went small opting for a 6x8 Snap album and a monthly approach. The whole point of this thing is to find what works and that took me a little while.
I have 2013 and 2014 nicely represented. Yes, there are gaps, but I'm okay with them. I decided to sit 2015 out. Why, you ask (I know you really didn't ask)? Well, I had just moved in December 2014 and I wasn't entirely happy or motivated to document the tundra I now called home, All my stuff was still packed away when January arrived and was still pretty much packed away in...well, I'd rather not say. Plus...I got distracted by art journaling my guts out and making layouts...lots and lots of layouts. I didn't forget Project Life though. I still watched tons of process videos and followed amazing Lifers on Instagram...it felt like enough, until it wasn't.
At the end of the year...Just a few weeks ago to be exact, I was organizing my 2015 projects and sensed something was missing. I was happy with the layouts and minis and art journal pages, but it felt incomplete. Everyday was missing. The in between was missing. The details. Life happens in those details and I didn't have them documented. Not like previous years. It made me realize that simple daily documentation is important to me on a gut level. Taking the time to observe, ruminate and savor is important to me. I knew what I needed to do.
If 2015 taught me anything, it taught me that memorykeeping comes in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes just observing and absorbing can be valuable. I wanted to try something new this year. Something that embraced the Project Life concept minus the pockets. I wanted to write and write like Doris Sander did in her hobonichi. I wanted to use stickers and lettering like Florence Antoinette did in her planner. I wanted to mix it up like Stephanie Bryan and add simple touches like Hopscotch Lane. I wanted a mix of colors and patterns like Elizabeth's December Daily. I wanted it to sometimes be less and other times be more. I wanted it all. A delightful papery mash-up. An art journal, traveler's notebook, planner, project life, minibook mix of real, colorful life.
Here's a little flip through and chat...
It's a new year and I'm excited to begin making a whole bunch of new memories. I have a fewscrap goals (is that even a thing) for 2016. I want to restart Project Life after giving it up sometime around March...but I want to take an entirely new (to me) approach. I also just want to make more layouts and maybe even a few videos. Not too lofty...but something different and challenging. My goal for 2015 was just to share more and it resulted in a few awesome opportunities and so many new scrappy friends. I look forward to what 2016 will bring but today my page is all about the here and now.
This grid layout is certainly a default template for me, but hey...do what works, right? Since I stopped doing pocket pages, I have come up with all kinds of ways to use the adorable cards that come in the Life Pages kits. I love incorporating them into layouts by cutting them up and creating embellishments, using them as titles and journaling spots, using them as layers and to make different kinds of grids. The January kit came with some really cute cards and I challenged myself to use only the kit for this entire layout minus the white cardstock.
Check out what my fellow design team members created this month and hop on over to Heather's blog.
I love this quote by Leonard Cohen...
there are cracks in everything. that's how the light gets in.
As i get older I become better acquainted with my own cracks, and I agree with Leo.
2015 was pretty dark. The world was dark...and so was my own personal experience. Not always, of course, but I let the darkness in in a way that I haven't in a long while. I succumbed to it and allowed it to spread and stretch into and over everything. If you know me, you know that's not my way.
My one little word for 2016 is light. Not original or terribly impressive, but perfect as one evening a few days ago it chose me and in return I chose it. This word has many layers and many meanings for me. I associate it with kindness, humor, generosity and spirit. All the things I hope to practice in the coming year. I want to indulge in the things that bring light into my life...my home, my family, my hobbies and avoid the things that don't.
I find myself making no effort to engage in the things I find unworthy. The truth is...we all have stuff but if you bring light to my life and I bring a little to yours...well, what more is there?
Welcome to the final blog hop of 2015. I'm still slightly in denial that it's all wrapping up so fast. I have made more scrapbook layouts in 2015 than in any other year to date. I feel pretty awesome about that. If there's one thing I've learned, after trying countless trends and techniques, is that it's okay to embrace what you love and discard what you don't. I don't know if I have a style, I don't know if I'm even all that inspirational, but what I do know is that I am telling stories and getting pictures off my hard drive and that's everything right there.
This picture is a great metaphor for my life as a scrapbooker. I do the same stuff everyday...I don't travel to exotic places---very often, I don't even really leave my house often, but there's so much that happens in the in between. In the small spaces that go unnoticed. That's what I pay homage to on my layouts. I've taken a version of this picture a million times and I love them all. They go into my personal scrapbooks and perhaps one day I will look back and these stories will tell me that I never missed a chance to go walking amongst the golden leaves.
This has been my first foray into the world of scrapbook design teams and, for me...it has been a lovely experience. I was worried there would be pressure to work in a way that felt unnatural to me, but that hasn't been the case at all. I look forward to trying new things and making a ton of pages in 2016!
Don't forget to check out these lovely ladies...Heather is up next.
Well, Hello there November! Can't believe how close we are to wrapping this year up. Even though I have the Holidays on the brain, I'm still trying to take time to do the things I love, the things that have become synonymous with the season. For me, one of those things is knitting. My skills are not very advanced, but I love making what I can make. I especially love taking off on a Saturday morning bound for my all time favorite knitting store, Tolt. It's a bit of an adventure through the woods outside the city, but one that is well worth it.
I found the colors in this month's kit to be really versatile. Even though it included bright yellow, orange and aqua...the kraft cardstock really helped to maintain a rustic look. Kraft paper is such a good neutral and a fun alternative to the oft used white background. I used that fun 3x4 journal card as my title. The wording was perfect for one of my favorite Fall adventures. As a finishing touch, I added some white splatters and handwritten journaling. I think that would make a good challenge for myself...to use my own handwriting more and use up those 3x4 cards for titles!
Don't forget to check out the next blog. There's so much Inspiration this month.
It's officially the beginning of November and I've gained an hour's worth of sleep. That's a pretty swell start I think. Lots going on this month...my family will be descending upon me en masse for the Thanksgiving holiday and while I am overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to get done (unpack boxes) I'm so very excited to have them in our new home.
The layout above was made using the Gossamer Blue Main Scrapbook Kit for November. That gold wood grain paper is so lovely in person. In order to create that stitched halo around the picture...I just used a bit of the glassine from one of the packages:) That doily was from the main Life Pages kit which is filled with the most divine cards this month.
This month's kit is pretty amazing. I can tell just by the layouts I've created, but even when a kit is awesome you are bound to find a few things that challenge you. I decided that the theme of my monthly blog hop posts won't be about what's fabulous...I'll let you decide that, but rather the things I found a bit difficult. Might be a specific product or a color scheme...either way, confronting those creative challenges helps me to get everything I can out of my kits and I thought it would be neat to share.
Enter: the Summer Vibes chipboard frames by Simple Stories that came in the Main Add-On. I love these little suckers. I hoard them, but can't seem to ever use them or make them work. When I saw them in this month's kit I figured I'd put them to the side and move on, but I stopped short, opened the pack and decided that I would just figure it out. This is the result. Not too shabby, right? Sure, I'm not gonna win any awards for originality, but scrapbooking is all about documenting our memories in a way that feels right, and this felt right.
I think that whenever you work on something that challenges you it helps to fall back on what you know, what feels comfortable. In this case I relied on my beloved grid and a few of my favorite colors. This helped me to move forward with a product that kind of intimidates me. I'm still not super enthusiastic about using chipboard frames, but at least I did it and am thinking of a few other things I want to make. I hope that the next time you come across something in a kit that isn't your favorite...you give it a second look. You may just surprise yourself:)
don't forget to hop around and check out all the wonderful inspiration. Happy Scrapping!
I haven't done a "weekender" post in a long while. I think it's easy to Instagram away your life and forget that there's more to the story. And the story is the thing. At least for me. My passion is documenting how I see the world...I don't know that Social Media tells enough of the story. How do I subsist on bite sized morsels? Anyway, these are my personal musings. Here's a bit more:
on books: I am still reading non fiction true crime novels which are both terrifying and intriguing. I can not get into contemporary fiction no matter how hard I try. "Girl on the Train" was a bust. I didn't even finish so I will refrain from giving a review.
on social media: I have abandoned Twitter...not technically, and perhaps not forever, but for now. I have joined a few Facebook groups that are wonderful but clog my feed a bit. I don't spend much time there but the communities seem to be thriving. While I appreciate Instagram for its quickness, I find myself wanting to know more, see more. Perhaps I'm beginning to reject this abbreviated life that Social Media seems to foster. One in which everything is squeezed and compressed into a single image and a quick caption. I miss blogs. My favorites aren't terribly active anymore. As for Pinterest...I still need to figure that out and Periscope...not sold...yet.
on process videos: i am obsessed. full stop. I think I love watching someone narrate their creative process. It's fascinating and sometimes funny and I want to make a few myself. Throw my hat into a ring that's already filled with hats. Why not?
on moving: in exactly 13 days the three of us will get back into our car and drive over 2000 thousand miles back home...not to the home of my birth but to the home of my choosing. It will hopefully be our last city...unless Paris comes calling:) I have a bit more to share on this topic, but will do so in another post.
on making more: I have been more openly creative in the last year than at any other time in the last 20 years. I am doing more mixed media, scrapbooking, list making...you name it. It has brought me so many wonderful opportunities. I certainly don't share everything, but I do indeed like to share. The increased productivity has been really good.
on food and wellness: i think this needs its own blog post, but let's just say...i'm a work in progress. moving back to Seattle is step one:)
Have a lovely weekend friends. I want to try and share more stories here. I have enjoyed going back to 2007 and reading some of my older ones.
This month's Gossamer Blue kits are pretty much fabulous. You're probably going to get sick of me repeating that. The truth is, when you get a kit, you hope you're gonna love it, but you'll settle for liking it. When I get a kit I hope I can make stuff with it...lots of stuff. Not only that...I hope it's going to work with my stash...with whatever I may have left over from the previous month. I hope it's going to inspire me to use things I never considered in a way I never imagined. I hope it's going to feel easy, because I don't have time for hard. Tall order, huh?
Well, The August kits pretty checked all the boxes. It probably helped that it included product from some of my favorites summer collections...Crate Paper, October Afternoon, Simple Stories...to name a few. So yeah...it's one thing to say that a kit is awesome, but the proof is in the pudding right? Check out some of the layouts I've already made...and there's more to come. I'm planning on creating a little end of the month "last look" where I share what I was able to make.
I regret to inform you that come next month I will be departing your lovely city and heading West. While I adore your charms...such as that magnificent lake that does look quite a bit like an ocean, your warm summer nights, your seven storied Macy's and of course...the parks...ahh, the parks, I've never been quite comfortable stuck in the middle. Therefore, I am returning from whence I came. Perhaps you've heard this song and dance before, but it's not you, it's me. You see I was born near an ocean...a real one, and despite the opportunities, I find I can't seem to stray very far from that particular large body of water. So what, you ask, holds such a claim on my heart? The beautiful Pacific Northwest, of course. Nothing quite compares to that delightful mix of trees, water, mountains and gloom. Grey is my favorite color after all. So, with every intention of keeping this missive short and sweet, I wanted to thank you for your patience. I have been a moody resident and you have dealt with me splendidly. I have nothing but praise for the windy city, and I will always feel a wee bit smug that I managed to survive your icy winter. So keep well Chicago...I hope that we remain friends.
Postscript: I just wanted to send a shout out to the New Yorker for warning me about the "big one," I've been living on one fault line or another my whole life so, while it wouldn't be ideal, it would be a fitting way for me to go!
This month's Gossamer Blue release was all about adventure. It's one of those themes that I find to be so versatile. Adventure isn't just about far flung destinations...they exist in our everyday life and this month's kit was a great way to celebrate that. One of the layouts I created was about Ronin...the pup we got three years ago. If you've ever had the joy of raising a puppy, you know it is quite the adventure.
Using some simple white cardstock and those awesome alpha stickers from the Main kit plus layers from the 6x6 paper pad, tags and a sticker that came in the Bits and Pieces kit I put together a simple multi photo page. I cut apart the "happy camper" stamp from the Life Pages kit and used it on a file tab to create my own little embellishment.
Visit the Gossamer Blue blog this month to find plenty of inspiration to document your own adventures great and small.
Before I start saying crazy stuff like..."I can't believe it, I'm so excited, this is amazing," and making some people wanna puke. I'll say this...
I really AM excited.
You see, I'm not much of a sharer. I am a sporadic blogger at best. I can go weeks without an Insta anything, there is often radio silence on my Pinterest page and more often than not I forget about Twitter. I totally get the value of those things but I can be reticent. It's not that I'm shy or anything...I'm just a mind my own beeswax type. I'm an observer rather than a participator and while some think one is better than the other, I'm just fine with who I am.
When the kind folks at Gossamer Blue asked me to be a part of their design team...they essentially said...we dig you and what you do and we just want you to do more of it...with us, and duh, I said yes. I said yes because I want to make more stuff and sometimes I need an impetus to do so. I said yes because I've been a part of this community since the 90's...since we ladies said no to scrubs and yes to scrunchies, I said yes because I love the Gossamer Blue kits and because I thought it would be a welcome challenge. Mostly I said yes because I want to participate and share and inspire, I want to get pictures off my hard drive and write stories down on paper. I simply want to MAKE. So thanks Gossamer Blue for choosing me, thanks all you folks who still visit this blog, thanks to all those friends who never made fun of my scrapbooking, thanks to my mom who started this by teaching me the importance of storytelling and buying me more markers, spiral notebooks and Hello Kitty stickers than any one girl should need, thanks to my siblings for always acting like anything I made was the best ever and thanks to Keith...who always reminds me..."do you, boo. I got you."