Little Things, Big Days

#MyThankful30 Project - Mini-Album Prep

Tag/Crate Paper; "Thankful For" stamp/Brandi Kincaid for Kelly Purkey Shop; Leaf stamp/Feed Your Craft
November is just around the corner (gasp!) and once again I'll be working on a gratitude project during that month of Thanksgiving.  You can see my 2016 gratitude project here and here, and my 2015 project here.  

I decided to use an old book that I picked up at our library book sale a few weeks ago.  While I'm not a proponent of destroying old books, this particular one is an atlas that is almost 40 years old and is very outdated so I didn't feel too guilty re-purposing it. 

The book is roughly 5"x7" and I began by removing the pages in bulk using an exacto knife.  I covered the inside with an old piece of patterned paper and then used the We R Memory Keepers Hole Punch and Eyelet Setter to punch holes for the binder rings.  (Just a note here:  many of the products I used in this project are old supplies and are no longer available; I've linked to similar products when I could find them or to the more current products that are still available at the time of this post.)

Chipboard pieces/Feed Your Craft; "Make it Matter" stamp/Brandi Kincaid for Feed Your Craft
Then it was time for the fun!  I scoured through my supplies, pulling pieces I thought would be a great fit for the project.  I ended up with a little basket of pocket cards, stamps, tags, labels, frames and other bits and pieces.  I'd also just received the "Many Thanks" kit from Feed Your Craft and planned to use that as well.  The kit has sold out but there are a few embellishment pieces available for purchase here.  

Leaves/Recollections by Michael's; Frame/Crate Paper; Chipboard circle/Feed Your Craft
I used the larger tags and pocket cards for page bases and then added back some of the original book pages as well (I adhered two or three pages together to make each new page more sturdy.).  

I also used a few glassine bags that were the packaging from some recent orders.

Pocket Card, stamp/Feed Your Craft
Pocket Card/Feed Your Craft; Banner/My Mind's Eye
Pocket Card/Crate Paper; Puffy Heart/Feed Your Craft; "Gather the Good" stamp/Brandi Kincaid for Kelly Purkey Shop
So now that I've made the album, what am I going to do with it?   I'm going to be answering prompts from several sources that I found on Pinterest.  You can see my Gratitude Journal Pinterest board here.

"Give Thanks" stamp/Kelly Purkey Shop; Leaf pattern stamp/Feed Your Craft; Confetti Envelope/Target
Doily/Pretty Little Studio; "The harvest..." stamp/Brandi Kincaid for Kelly Purkey Shop; Chipboard Heart/Feed Your Craft

Pocket card/Feed Your Craft; Enjoy the Small Things/Crate Paper
I'll pick and choose the questions/prompts according to what appeals to me each day.  I'll record the answers directly on the pages when there is room or on extra pocket cards that I'll slip into pockets on the other pages.

Pocket Card/Crate Paper; Banner/My Mind's Eye; Doily/Target
Pocket Card/Feed Your Craft; Tags/Pebbles, Inc.
Thankful Pocket Card/Kelly Purkey Shop; Pocket Card/Crate Paper; Rub-on Leaves/October Afternoon
I'm looking forward to filling up this book!  Do you have a gratitude project planned?  Please link it up in the comments - I'd love to take a look!

Typewriter Stamp/Studio Calico
Stamps/Brandi Kincaid for Feed Your Craft and Kelly Purkey Shop
Labels/Pink Paislee

Counterfeit Kit Challenge - October Mini-Kit Reveal

It is mini kit reveal day on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog!  This month we are using Prima's St. Tropez Collection as our inspiration.  Here is a look at the paper pack, which is what I used as the basis for my mini-kit:
This is a beautiful nautical, romantic collection with a few photo-realistic and text papers.  It's not something that I would usually be drawn to but I made some adjustments to ensure that my mini kit was more my style. 

This was intended to be a page kit, so I kept it even mini-er than usual!  The top paper was my first choice and I like that it incorporates elements from the inspiration kit in circles small enough not to overwhelm me with all the patterns.  It's an old paper - a 2010 piece called "On Holiday" from the girls' paperie (remember them?).  Since there was a wood-grain paper in the St. Tropez Collection, I then selected this warm wood-grain paper from the Everyday Eclectic Collection by Allison Kreft for Echo Park from 2012.  I kept the embellishments simple because I already had a lot of pattern going on and just included some gold foam pieces from Pink Paislee's Solstice Collection (a few years old), journaling tags from Daisy D's (remember them?), some cork stars from Studio Calico and a chipboard piece that was sitting in my box of leftover white embellishments.

As soon as I decided on the papers, I knew that I would punch the circles out of the first paper and arrange them in some way on the wood-grain paper.  After I punched the circles, I cut them in half, leaving me with a pile of semi-circles and no idea on how I'd use them:

After a bit of momentary panic, I decided to stitch them in horizontal lines following the lines already on the wood grain.  I placed my photo right in the center, matting it on a large glassine envelope that was the perfect spot to hold my journaling.

I wrote my journaling on several labels, punched a small hole in the top of each and then used a jump ring to attach them together.  They slip right into the envelope.

To finish off the page, I added the chipboard piece, an anchor and several gold dots scattered along the stitched lines.

So, mission accomplished right?  Not exactly. Before I punched the circles, I'd cut the paper into strips and when I finished the above page, those scraps caught my eye.  The reverse of the circle paper was a really appealing blue pattern and so I decided I'd make another page using those scraps.  And here it is:

The photo was in a box that holds "photos I might want to use someday" and it paired nicely with journaling about a few things currently happening in my life.  I used the cork stars on this page and just added a stamped date.

Please stop by the CKC blog to take a look at the other mini kits and projects made by the Master Forgers.  I hope you'll make one of your own too - don't forget to add your creation to the link here.  You can also see more on our Instagram account and in our Facebook community too.

Project Life

Sources: Top Row - Feed Your Craft; Bottom Row - Elle's Studio
Earlier this year when I decided to get back to Project Life, I'd planned to concentrate on completing 2016. I have been working on that year off and on but lately my recent photos have really been inspiring me so I've decided to work with them instead. Whatever works, right?

I've said it before but I definitely think that there's a certain rhythm to completing Project Life spreads.  It takes me a little time to get started, but once I find that flow, it's so easy to finish several spreads at a time. 

I started by scrolling through my camera roll and selected some photos to print at my local Walgreen's.  I generally print any horizontal photos at 4x6 and any vertical photos at 3x4.  If I have any square photos, I'll print them at 4x4 and just add them to a 4x6 card.  

Selecting, editing and printing photos is my least favorite part of the process but I've learned not to stress over it.  My main goal for this project is to give an overview of life from my perspective. I've let go of the idea that I need to print every photo I take or document everything that happened in a particular time period.  It will all even out.

I don't do weekly spreads.  Sometimes a pocket page will cover a week or more, and sometimes it might cover just one day or activity, as in the case of the above page.

Some spreads have a lot of journaling while some have just the basic information.  Again, I'm going with the flow.

Looking back over a few of my recent pages, there are some topics showing up on a fairly regular basis: books I read, the contents of my grocery cart, nature, my daily walks.  I like seeing how these subjects change over the course of a year.  And those photos are perfect for filling the odd pocket or two when my printed photos don't complete a full page.  And while I haven't used any on these spreads, flip-up pockets or photo sleeves are a great solution when I have more photos than pockets.

I'll gather a collection of cards, stamps and embellishments, making myself a little mini-kit to use each session.  That really saves me from wasting time searching for a particular item.  Honestly, I don't think there's such a thing as the "perfect" embellishment; I can always make do with what is right in front of me. 

I've also found that Project Life is a great way to use up those random, leftover embellishments such as the little rubber ice cream cone shown below.  Lately I've been stamping directly on photos and using labels to give myself space for more journaling.

So that's what I've been up to with Project Life lately.  Layouts will always be my first love, but there's also room in my heart for capturing everyday details in little pockets.

CKC September Challenge #2 - Lesson Learned

I'm sharing a project today for Challenge #2 on the CKC blogTaking our inspiration from the 'School House' Washi included in the Lost River Scrapbook Kit - and, of course - from the start of a new term, create a layout which documents a lesson learned. I chose to make a "life lessons" traveler's notebook for this challenge. 

I had a traveler's notebook that I'd picked up on clearance at Michael's last year and its small number of pages was ideal for what I had in mind.  It had enough room for a title and introduction, and 12 two-page spreads: one side of the spread would be a photo and the other would have the lesson.  I'd been thinking about making a layout on this topic and had a few notes written already so I just needed to refine my thoughts. I was going to keep this pretty simple and just write the lesson with no further elaboration since the lessons are all self-explanatory anyway.  And for the photos, I had plenty of nature shots that I could easily pair up with the lessons.

I began by covering the blank notebook with the navy and gold specialty paper from Shimelle's "Little by Little" collection that I included in my kit:

The paper is a nice, thicker weight that gives my notebook some stability.

And then I just played, using the contents of my kit to embellish the pages.

I cut and tore and punched and sewed. 

I distressed edges.  I added stickers and die-cuts.

I used an entire sheet of rub-ons to make a page background.

I printed my lessons, cut the text into strips and adhered them to each spread. 

This project was such a delight to create - I really had fun putting it together!  I hope you'll try this challenge, too.  Don't forget to share what you create on our link-up page, in our Facebook community or on Instagram.

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