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


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Planning to plan...

I don't know about you, but I've never really been successful with using a planner.  The closest I ever came was when my kids were in Jr. High and High School, and I taped a regular calendar on the inside of the kitchen cabinet nearest the phone.  Anything that went in my purse or on my desk, though, was abandoned pretty quickly, partly because it was never where *I* was at the time, either to check it or to write in it.

As a result, most of my organizational method (ha) over the last decade or so has been the sticky note version.  And they are everywhere.  On my desk, under my desk, in my purse, in jeans pockets, in my car... where I've been, you can probably find a sticky note, a scrap of paper, or the back of a grocery receipt with some scribbled notes and lists.

With this sort of history, it's a bit of a surprise that when Maya from showed us her new "artful" planner project on a Periscope broadcast (you can read about it HERE - the video is at the end of the post), I fell in love with the concept of making my own planner inserts to the point where I am actually going to give the whole system a whirl.  Will I succeed?  Who knows, but since it involves creating pretty pages I figure I have nothing to lose!  (Plus, I do have a love affair with office supplies, and getting new binders and whatnot isn't exactly a hardship, either!) To be honest, it was Maya's addition of little scrap pages amongst the actually planning pages that appealed.  I may never be very good with the actual appointment book aspect, but I love the little binder of daily memories that I envision coming out of this!

I chose to use a half-letter size setup, with a mini binder I found at Wal Mart.  For this to work, I figure I needed to be free to assemble whatever I felt like at the moment instead of planning it all out beforehand, so a looseleaf binder system seemed like the right choice.  I chose the smaller size because I don't have a lot of deskspace and if it is going to have half a chance of being useful, I need to have it out where I can see it.  And I want control over the decorating myself, so being able to print two sheets per page of paper (with minimal cutting, LOL) seemed important too.

After that, all I needed was a template to fit the page size I would need, and some fun with my own digi supplies!  Here's the first one I made (it's for next week, because apparently this week was too soon to plan in my head).  It's ok, I'm not sure I quite had the hang of it (reminded me of my early days of scrapping, it takes some time to find your comfort zone, and what you like and what works and what doesn't).

With the first one out of the way (and nicely cut and punched and in the binder - so official, even though I only wrote one thing on it, LOL), I thought some more and decided to try one for the current week, using a current kit that I love (Autumn Masquerade, which I think I have used more than almost any kit I've made).  And then after I put those pages together, I grabbed some photos from my daughters in our facebook family chat, and created the mini layout with those.  It was so much fun, and I loved being able to just print it out (on the back of the calendar page, because I was being thrifty and organized and all that).  And since there is never a shortage of back and forth in this chat, I know I will have fun little things to document even on the weeks where I never write down a single appointment or list.

And in case there are others out there who wish to take a little spin with this project as well (or some of you who are already dedicated planners but have never created your own pages), I packaged up my templates and put them in my shop.

I also created another set with a different configuration for the days; it has some fun accessories with it, too.  

Not only does this appeal to the part of me that loves control, and the part that gets bored with the same old same old, and the part of me that loves to create and personalize... but think of using all those fun kits that you have in your stash once more!  I can have a different look every week and enjoy them all over again!

One of my CT member asked for a set of digital stickers to use in her planner pages, so I made this set for her.  Easy to use as png files, but I've included a printable jpg file too, in case you are handier than I am with the scissors and glue stick and want to use them that way.  It's my celebratory gift to you!

You can download them HERE

The Planner goodies will all be available at the introductory sales price for a limited time in my Scrapbookgraphics shop, so grab yours and get yourself ready to be incredibly organized in no time flat :)

Maya has also started a private facebook group called the Artful Planner Club.  If you want to find out more about creating your first planner, or if you already create digital pages for your planning system, or if you just want to see what everyone is talking about, you can request membership here. It has been so much fun to see everyone's ideas in action, and I have learned a lot.



Monday, June 15, 2015

Father's Day is nearly upon us... commence panic.

I don't know about you, but holidays tend to sneak up on me - I think, "Oh, I have lots of time," and I do, and then... I don't.

I've put together a few ideas for you for Father's Day - both making cards and scrapping the event, in case it just sneaks past you and all you have is photos and a desire to at least record those :)

And to make things a little easier, I have some guy kits on sale for the rest of the week.  We can do this!

First the inspiration:

Card ideas - choose a masculine kit and create your own scene:

Or choose a photo that is special to you and use word art to create the sentiment:

Masculine Layout Ideas - choose a kit with neutral elements & papers - it doesn't have to be just for guys!

 (Layout by Poki)

 Both of these layouts use In His Garage (which I first made to scrap photos of my handy husband)  I still find the tools incredibly fun to use in a layout.  Ironically, my husband is buying MORE tools in this particular photo... I will have to make another kit, I guess, LOL.

Here's an example of a layout done with a reasonably neutral kit that looks girly at first glance (Miss Mary Mack).  There were a lot of dark neutrals included, though, so look for those in the kits in your stash!

Another example using a largely pastel kit - I just kept the neutrals for this layout of my son-in-law and his dog, Leo (kit is Joy Bundle)

This was scrapped using a Christmas kit - I just used the bits I wanted :)  (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)

If Flowers aren't your jam on a masculine layout, you could substitute geometric shapes or flair in this instance.  (Scrapped by Lexy using Life Story - Summer)

Here's a whole list of suggestions to replace flowers on a masculine layout (contributed by readers of my Facebook page):

military ribbons or pins
metallic flowers
pleated ribbon flowers
newspaper bits
zipper flowers
round tags
hats or caps
pleated paper circles/medallions
coiled strip/rope
wood chips
frogs, snakes, lizards
chunky arrows
leather buttons
tie tacks or bars
burlap flower

Product suggestions:

Here's a helpful set of greetings all set to go - make card-making a snap!

There you go - I hope this gives you some ideas of your own for Father's Day and scrapping your favorite fella!  And to make it even more pain-free, you will find them all on sale through the weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Photo Project - Framed & Network. Have Fun with your Photos!

My Photo Project line was born out of a desire to scrap multiple photos, and to do it in a fun, fast, and effective manner.  Sometimes the templates are pretty straightforward.  Like this set:

This dignified gallery-style template set features shabby white frames and will help you scrap a series of photos quickly and effectively, and look rich and lovely with a minimum of effort.  Or you can get fancy and add in lots of doodads and pretties if you have the time and inclination.

Other times, it's fun to do something wild and crazy and different.  Like this set:

Again, you really can get by with just putting photos in the spots (you don't even have to use all of them, some can just have a paper clipped to them, or journaling) and a nice background paper, and you will have a striking collage in minutes.  Or add elements and stir for something extra-special!

My team created some awesome examples for you.  I am so grateful that they embrace my photo-obsessed templates :)

Layout by Poki - love the clever way she used One Large Photo over all of the spots!

 Layout by ... well, me :)  I have oodles of pix of the grandpets!

 Layout by Maria - Love her color choices!

 Layout by  Anita - isn't this elegant?

 Layout by Poki - girl loves flowers & butterflies!

 Layout by Maria - so dramatic and lovely!

 Layout by Anita.  Just, Awwww.

Layout by Jenni - so elegant and lovely!

So as you can see, many moods, many looks, all fab!  Both sets are in my shop today at the introductory sale price, so grab your photos and get your scrap on this weekend!

I also have new CU in my shop - great for designers, but useful for scrappers, too.  And you can count on them being at the level of quality I expect for my kits.

You can use the coupon code TENMORE to save an additional ten percent off the sale price through May 21.  Happy scrapping, and see you next time!