Thursday, August 25, 2016

My husband and I recently moved back to Montana after a 15-year absence.  We are both realizing how much we missed our beautiful state, and enjoying many excursions out in the scenery.  I have a new collection called Western Wonders this week; its palette is taken directly from my photos taken near Yellowstone Park so it's sure to enhance your western photo collection. 

Because I have oodles of scenery photos, and because I like my trip pages to have a cohesive look without being too repetitive, there are a lot of papers included - 20 solids to help compliment scenic color variations, and 16 patterned papers.  There are also more options to help you get just the right look to your project:

The template is perfect for a mountain photo:

(oh mountains, how I have missed you - I kept it super simple to let the photo shine)

My CT (and the wonderful Digichick team) has loads of inspiration, too:

(awesome two-pagers; I love using those to tell about a tour or a day trip)

Beautiful, right?  I hope you find them all as inspiring as I do!
You can pick up Western Wonders HERE at the introductory sale price through Monday, and until next time, happy scrapping!  

Friday, August 12, 2016

It has been a lovely week; I appreciate the messages of support over my shop move!  I hope you are enjoying your days as summer begins to wind down a bit and we gear up for fall routines (I loved typing that.  I ♥ fall!)

I have a new addition to The Faith Project this week - we have been taking each of the Fruits of the Spirit referenced in Galatians 5.  I've spent quite a lot of time over the last months trying to figure out just what feels comfortable in this whole Faithbooking journey, and it turns out that I'm just a traditional gal and I love traditional-style Faithbooking.  So this is a traditional kit (the advantage is that it makes it uber-versatile) and helpful word art: 

The colors are soft and pretty and, dare I say it? gentle :)
There's also a coordinating set of templates - I love photo cluster templates, and there's one here for those multi-photo pages, and there's a coordinating "dressy" page to set off that star photo - or word art!  Feel free to customize these to your particular use - I love to put paper in some of the photo spots sometimes when I have fewer photos, and the photo "frames" are completely optional - turn them off or layer and clip your favorite paper to them.  You can even apply a style if that's your thing!

My CT (and the wonderful Digichick team) has inspiring samples for you:

In addition to the new goodies, I am continuing to add in previously available kits and templates - the good news is that they will be discounted just as the new products are, so you will save 30%! 

You can  visit my new shop HERE, and until next time, happy scrapping!  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

This has been a year of many changes in my life.  Apparently one change can trigger a virtual avalanche everywhere else ;)  I've moved my digiscrap shop back to The Digichick this week; I found myself craving community and theirs is one of the most vibrant and cheerful I've found.  So I hope you will join me when you get a chance!  This week is a fabulous time to start, because it's TDC's 11th birthday, and there is a major celebration going on:

(I might add, they are serious about the lovely prizes - go check it out!)

And who doesn't love a 40% off sale?! I don't have all of my things in my shop yet, but there's a nice selection and lots of things in the Chick Blitz category, so it's a good chance to plump up your stash.

I also have a new collection for you:

Full of the deep, rich colors that I love, Summer Sunset is full of glimmering goodies.  There's a full collection, with journal cards, word art, and lots of papers - even templates!

I even played with the template this morning-

(happiness is living in a house that has a view of the Sunrise AND the Sunset!)

My CT (and the wonderful Digichick team) has loads of inspiration, too:

Beautiful, right?  I hope you find some inspiration here!
You can  visit my new shop HERE, and until next time, happy scrapping!  


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In which post Julie uses scissors and tape...

Those of you who know me know that I am a digi girl through and through.  I've made no secret that I scrap digitally because I have no talent for the real tangible scissors and paste sort.  So knowing that about me, you can understand how shocked I am that this planner preoccupation of mine (notice how I didn't use the word obsession there.  I try to dance around that word, it sounds so... well, obsessive, LOL) is dragging me in to the world of scissors and tape and things you hold in your hand.

I have tried to rein in the desire to buy everything that sparks my curiosity.  I have acquired a few binder-style planners and one arc-bound version (not a fan).  But lately I have been fascinated by the traveler's notebook concept, with it's interchangeable notebook system.  With the disappointment of a few of the things I have ordered and not been happy with (I'm looking at you, Happy Planner - ironic that you didn't make me happy, and the Heidi Swapp personal planner is right up there, too), I figured I'd better find a thrifty way to experiment and decide if this is something I really really want or if it's just curiosity.  (Honestly, if I could have handled all of these planners before purchasing them, my collection would consist of 2 or 3, and not gasp 7).

As a result, I've buckled down and made my own "paper" dori.  Which seems to have sparked an, preoccupation all its own, since I've actually made two in as many days.  Of course, the excuse for the second one was that I didn't take many photos of the process for the first, and there were many things about the first one that disappointed me (oh, for an "undo" button!).  So, without further ado, let me show you what I've done.
First, I made my filler notebook.  I cut a piece of cardstock (letter size) in half, so my cover was 8.5" x 5.5".  I cut several pieces of paper (I printed a light grid on them, first) in half and then trimmed them so they were a bit smaller than the cover.  I measured the center, and opened up my stapler and stapled straight through into a cork coaster I happened to have.  Then I pulled it out of the coaster and closed the staples.  As you can see, I did it from the center inside of the booklet to the back; on further tries I did it from the outside to the inside, but honestly I don't know that it matters.  After stapling, I folded the cover pages back to the outside first.

Then I gently folded the inside pages inwards, one side at a time, and then the outside pages were folded in.  I covered the spine with washi tape and tucked it under the pages.  The first booklet I made, the inside pages were a little too long for my taste, so I ended up putting them in my trimmer and narrowing them.  (Can you tell I'm not one for precise measurements?  Seriously, I'm an eyeballer, so my process is sort of "make it up as you go")
 Next I got out my Contact Paper.  For the first version I made, I used a different brand and it was super shiny and slick.  Not a fan.  Contact Paper makes a matte clear cover and I like the feel of it much better!  It was at this point that I realized I hadn't printed my cover paper, LOL.  You are getting the step-by-step, even with the errors ;)  I printed a letter-size sheet of matte presentation paper with papers from my Passionately kit.  Then I measured past the edges of my inner notebook and cut accordingly - and after it was all finished I decided I hadn't made it quite big enough, so I will add my desired measurements at the end of the post :)
Once cut, I rounded the corners with this nifty corner chomper I recently acquired at a thrift shop.  My inexperience showed here; I should have used the smaller size round for this smaller dori.  Then I applied Contact paper to the outside, peeling off the leading edge and applying to the edge of my cover, and then gradually pulling back the liner paper while burnishing with my ruler.
Once that was finished, I trimmed the excess Contact paper to the edge, and then repeated the process for the inside.  I then measured down from the edge and on the center line and marked my holes for threading the elastic - holes about 1/8 inch in from the top, and another set about 1/8 inch in from those, plus a center hole for the cover closure.
I used a paper piercer (leftover from a failed hybrid project attempt many years ago) to punch my holes; it didn't really create a large enough hole, but my only hole punch is too huge for this size notebook.  I used the paper piercer to help me shove the elastic cording through LOL.  From inside to outside on the very top and very bottom holes, then from outside back to the inside on the middle two holes.  Keeping the elastic taut but not so much as to keep the cover from laying flat, I tied a double knot.  (Note - make sure you test the tightness before you commit and cut off the excess!)  Then I doubled my closure elastic and pushed the folded end for the inside out to the outside.
I double checked to make sure it was the appropriate length, and then tied a knot to secure it.  Then just had to slide my inner notebook in, and fasten on a cute charm to the outside cord!


The final measurements that I decided on:

Cover - 9.5 x 6"
Elastic - about 18 inches for inner bands, and about 10-11 for the outside closure

Inside notebook cover - 8.5 x 5.5"
Inside notebook pages - 8.125 x 5.25"

I went ahead and made two more inner notebooks using more papers from the kit as covers.  I love my cute little paper dori!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Faithbooking Experiments

As I mentioned yesterday (wow, haven't said that in a blog post in a long time, since I've only posted once every 3 months or so lately, LOL), I've done quite a lot of experimenting in the last few months.  I thought I'd show you some of them.  I always find it helpful to see what others are doing as a springboard for my own thoughts.  Even if it's a style I would never do myself, the smallest thing can trigger a whole host of my own ideas.

My first examples are pretty much basic digital scrapping.

This first one was in response to a request from my husband - these verses were in a devotion that he read, and he remarked on the revelation they were to him about events in his past.  I took a photo I had taken when we explored a tunnel a couple of weeks earlier and used it as a foil for the verses.  It seemed perfect in context, and the reminder of the experience coupled with the message will help him keep the revelation fresh in his mind and heart.  (I created this in 8x10 and put it in a frame which he keeps on the dresser).

 These two were inspired by favorite hymns:

 Then came the scribbling on note cards with sharpies, LOL.  We were away from home and I didn't have access to my design computer or my "stuff."  So I spent some time on pinterest looking at Bible Journaling and feeling intimidated!

That led to creating "margin art"  I scanned the doodly stuff and created line art.  I filled this one in with Photoshop, then added styles to give it texture.  This could be printed for a bookmark or to glue into a real book margin.  Or added to a planner page margin or notes section. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even trace them onto your Bible margin and then color to taste.

One of my original reasons for wanting to do some sort of artistic faith expression was that I find so many nuggets of wisdom in my daily devotions, and I felt as though they were slipping away from me; I would remember for a day or two but then I'd forget, or couldn't remember where I'd read them.  I wanted to be able to make an easily accessed reminder so I continue to grow.  I finally found a notebook/journal that felt wonderful in my hand, and looks presentable enough to leave on the end table where I read.

So now when I read something I try to condense the meat of it into a simple concept or visual reminder.  They are certainly not great art, in fact they are even kind of lousy doodles LOL.  However, they provide a quick refresher at a glance, and I have some notes on the page as well.  

That eye is kind of creepy, LOL.  But it doesn't matter, because it does the job of reminding me, and quite honestly, the more senses I can involve, the more impact it makes on my memory :)

So there you have a peek at the spectrum of my experimentation.  I hope it gives you some ideas, even if it's just to quietly say to yourself, "I'm never doing THAT!"

I also packaged up the two doodly margin art pieces for you to play with:

You can download them HERE.

I'll try to keep my projects posted here, and I hope you will share yours with me as well!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year, New Projects. See What I Did There?

The last year has been one of those years where you look back and think, "Whew, that was tough, glad it's over!"  I am certainly ready to move on, and I have glad hopes for a blessed new year :)

There's something about a new year or a fresh beginning that makes you ruminate just a bit about what you've done and where you're going.  I'm not one for resolutions; I find that the very word "resolve" makes my toes curl and good behavior flee for safer pastures.  Safer pastures?  Oy, way to mix metaphors.  But you get the point.  I'm also not that much of a goal setting type person, preferring to have vague ideas of stuff and then sneak up on it without scaring it away (or making my toes curl, LOL).  Really committed.  That being said, I'm not against an occasional assessment of what is making me happy and what I wish I wasn't doing.  If there's something I can do to bring the two things closer together, then that's what I work on.

Back in... hmm.  June?  July? of last year, I found myself wanting to use my scrapbooking skills to say or do something about my faith.  I made some vague gestures in that direction, but could never really decide on a path to follow in a dedicated and purposeful manner.  Then I found out that a couple of other designer friends very much wanted to do the same thing, and we decided to put something together for the new year to provide support and offer an opportunity to others in the scrapping community to participate.  Once I was committed, the angst set in.  Because somehow there was no magic revelation of how to pursue that end - in fact, it got much worse, because Wendy and Jen showed me example after example of real Bible Journaling, and it was so fascinating and beautiful and... well, intimidating.  I spent the next 6 months 1) looking at what other people were doing, 2) Deciding I could never do that, and 3) trying out different approaches for myself.

And you know what?  I'm still confused.  I like traditional (digital) scrapping - I like pretty clusters and rich colors and a touch of shabby, and I'm not comfortable if things go too far outside the lines.  I'm also pretty much a digital girl - that undo button is precious to me, and I don't really want to give it up.  I'm not much of an art journaler, and the thought of drawing and coloring in my Bible frankly horrifies me (much as I admire the way others do it).

So I figure I will do the things I like.

It only took 6 months to decide that.  It's a good thing I'm not running a country or anything.

Anyway, the Faithbooking workshop is set to begin Monday, January 4, with our theme being Galations 5:22-23 -  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

If this is something that interests you, you can sign up HERE.  I mean, for sure you won't be intimidated by my sure and steady resolve and single-minded pursuit of the only way to do things, LOL!  We will be using the Slack app to communicate and share; it's more private and does some really neat things (and is available for Windows or Mac, as well as iOS and Android).

The other thing I've gotten rather enthused about in the last few months signals an about-face for me.  I know that there has been something of a planner craze underway (even *I* was aware of it, so that means it must be sweeping the world in a fiery torrent, because I am not a particularly trendy person).  I thought that was kind of a boring idea, to be honest.  I excuse myself for that thought by claiming ignorance ;)  Ignorant that I could make pretty fun pages in photoshop and combine my love of creating with some basic organization.  I've made some templates, and I've practiced decorating pages - I even purchased a cutting machine so I can make stamps and that sort of fun stuff.  But I think the real revelation in all of this designing printing and cutting is that I am ready to move away from only scrapping 12 x 12 pages that I upload at the end of the year and have a book printed.  I love a smaller format - 6x8 or half-letter.  I like the immediacy of printing it out and handling it and having it.  I wasn't a big fan of pocket scrapping because I thought it was too utilitarian-looking and a bit... well, dull.  But now I can see the appeal of a modified version.  And I love the idea of combining the various disparate pieces of my days into a book of my life - part journal, calendar, and album.  I hope to be able to share some examples as I explore the possibilities, and I'm thinking about creating some templates and designs for the smaller format pages, too.

Enough philosophizing for one day.  I created a little example of a journal page that fits into both categories - one side is a doodly faith journal page for jotting down your thoughts and coloring or doodling as you think and meditate.  The other side is grid paper which is an excellent place to make lists, draw, doodle - whatever floats your boat!

You can download it HERE