I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be joining a great group of women on the Awesome Ladies Project Creative Team for the next year.
Every month I’ll be over on the Awesome Ladies Projectwebsite showing my projects and interacting with everyone on the forum. I’ve been wanting to start writing more and instead of integrating my ALP work into my normal project life album, I’ll be starting a separate album dedicated to the monthly storytelling workshops/prompts.
I’m definitely excited and can’t wait to start sharing my stories with you all.
For those of us with smaller apartments or homes, trying to organize or find space to craft and store things is difficult. The way I’ve solved this “problem” is to create a portable crafting space which goes wherever I go and is easily stored.
Introducing the IKEA Raskog Cart. While it does seem as if everyone has some variation of this cart, it’s a great storage option. My cart keeps all of my everyday items, stamps, inks, pens, journaling/filler cards, embellishments, page protectors, trimmer, hole punch, and my project life album. Basically I could wheel this around and scrap anywhere in the house and then store it in any corner. Perfect right?
Each level is separated by purpose; my top basket contains all of my necessities such as scissors, black ink, tape, pens, my photo box and, some flat embellishments. The second basket contains all of my cards and thicker embellishments (wood veneer, chipboard stickers, rubber things). My bottom basket has all of my inks and stamps.
Now that we have the cart down, lets see how I organize my items. Having storage items which create bulk isn’t going to help when you have no space to store things. So I opted to keep everything as flat as possible. A year ago Studio Calico moved over to these plastic zippered bags to hold your kits and they are perfect. You don’t have to order kits from SC to get them either, you can find these items at the Container Store and Daiso (if you happen to live by one these are $1.50 each). I keep smaller ones on the top of my cart, they contain sticker sheets, die cuts, plastic embellishments, basically anything flat fits in these bags.
Initially I had my journaling cards in the plastic zippered bags but overtime it became difficult to pull them out so all of my cards now sit in 4×6 photo containers. These can be purchased at any craft store, I believe I got my from Michaels and are often 40%. You can fit a lot of cards in there and I group everything by designer to make it easier for me but I’ve toyed with the idea of grouping by color or function.
I used to keep all thicker embellishments in multiple small clear boxes but that was no so easy to navigate. I found this awesome washi tape holder from the craft store with small dividers so you can move things around on the inside as necessary. This container fits neatly in the second basket with room to spare.
Keeping my inks and stamps organized posed more of a challenge for me because of the odd shape and sheer number of them I have. For all of my Kelly Purkey inks, I keep those in some Tim Holtz ink boxes and all of my Memento Dew Drops (which are difficult to stack) just get put in a random box I have. TIP: Glossybox subscription boxes are perfect for storing crafting items.
One of my favorite ways to organize is utilizing the wire baskets that you’ve seen on each level. I found these awesome baskets at Walmart for $1.99 and they come in about 5 colors. I snagged the rose gold ones and they fit neatly onto the Raskog cart.
This is how I organize all of my scrappy goodies, its not the nicest looking but it works for my needs at the moment. I’m also one of those people who prefers to work while sitting on the floor so I also use a small Ikea Lack table which sits about 2.5′ off the ground. Luckily that is also super light weight and can be moved as well.
One of my favorite things to do is making my own pocket cards. While I enjoy getting a little bit of happy mail once a month with my Kelly Purkey kits, I also have a lot of spare paper laying around going unused. This past weekend I sat down and decided to be creative and make my own cards.
Before I start this process, I sit down and draft up some ideas based off of sketches I see on pinterest or random ideas that pop in my head. It isn’t an easy process but it really helps down the line once you start cutting and gluing pieces together.
Since I am on the Sahin Designs creative team I have a growing collection of papers, cards, and elements so I will be using them. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, so I printed off 4×6 prints of papers I liked and elements/tags that I thought would be fun to use.
Using digital stamps and elements is another fun way to create your own cards. Above I’ve used some splatter along with a stamp saying “dear future” which is a quick and easy way to create a filler card. The black and white colors mean it will easily fit into a layout with a lot of color.
As you see on the second card I’ve left some space for journaling or adding a 2×2 photo. The great part about making your own cards is that you can also play with color in photoshop. I could have changed the color of the splatter or the stamp easily.
Don’t be afraid of do some odd color or pattern combinations. The wonderful part about the creative process is that there really isn’t a wrong or right way of doing it. As long as you love it, thats all that matters.
The purpose of making this cards was to add some quick statements to my week in the life album. Because I was working small I had little room to explain much so adding filler cards with statements such as “Just Start” or “Every picture has a story” is enough to convey the point. I’ve had this book on my shelf for 2 months so “Just Start” was perfect for this photo.
Even though I love the creative process of making my own cards, it can be a bit frustrating but to see the final product in your hands and in your albums… absolutely worth it!
My week in the life is finally completed! Using the smaller album and going almost digital with its contents made the process go by much faster. As this is my first time particpating, it made me realize how much I do in a given week because there are times I sit there wondering “what did I do?” Well now I know, I do a lot of boring and mundane things but thats life.
For my album and contents, I am going to be using my 2015 Ali Edwards WITL kit that I never used. There were so many times I was close to donating the items but I’m glad I held onto them and even more surprised I could find almost piece.
Monday was a calm and fairly uneventful except the phone call that my Olive Midori had arrived at the store. I actually had forgotten that the week in the life had even started until later in the afternoon while browsing instagram. Luckily I had already taken a few photos during the morning.
Each day will start off with a journaling card which either describes the day in full or just the photo above (or below). Due to the small size of this album I had to get really creative with how I incorporate all of my photos PLUS the journaling. I tried to handwrite onto my cards but it never looks neat enough so on Monday I decided to type everything so if I make a mistake, I can simply reprint.
Tuesday was spent neck deep in emails and reports so the only real chance I got to do anything was going upstairs to make one my favorite dishes, the Loco Moco. Yes I know it looks kind of gross but its rice, a fried egg, a burger patty, topped with gravy and it is delicious while being extremely filling.
Later in the afternoon I ended up running some errands; mostly because I desperately need some new tops and of course once I hit the mall area I remembered all of the other things I needed to do. Using template collages for this project was a must for me. I purchased the 3×8 templates from Ali Edwards along with the JetSet collection from Geralyn Sy (In A Creative Bubble) to help get all of my photos in one layout. I was able to get all of my shopping photos into the template and then I added some of the digital 3×4 cards from Ali Edwards along with some digital elements for variety.
Wednesday is when my week finally picks up and starts to look a bit more interesting. Instead of working from home I’m heading into the office as I battle Seattle traffic. As much as I enjoy working from home, I do like putting on actual pants and interacting with people once in a while. I also treated myself to a small box of macarons from the bakery downstairs because why not. My younger brother showed up for a visit which means 10x as many shoes at the front door (we don’t wear shoes inside).
Today I became more comfortable using templates and digital stamps to decrease the amount of journaling I was going to do. I’m also making my own filler cards using some Sahin Designs collections so I can add my own personal touch to the week.
We are over the hump! Almost to the weekend and it can’t come quick enough. I woke up this morning to about 100 emails so I left and bought one of those Unicorn frappuccinos from Starbucks… lets just say they look pretty on camera because they do not taste good.
The weather in Seattle has been so weird lately, aside from the almost 4 feet of rain since October, we can easily range from sun, rain, hail, thunder, and wind all in a 24 hour period. Pick a season Seattle!
Instead of detailing the little tidbits of my day, I printed off one of the 3×8 cards from Ali Edwards and wrote in what I was doing at any given hour. I really liked that because at some point I could see the points when I would get a bit frustrated with my day mostly because working from home can be so dull.
Yes, its Friday and the sun is out but my day started off rough. In fact today was “normal”, just like the card above. I accidentally slept in and almost missed a call, then my cat yelled at me for about an hour because she wanted more food/attention, then I had to wash and do my hair, go get toilet paper, groceries, and finally wash my car for the first time in months. If there was ever a day where I felt like an actual adult, it was today.
But at the end of the day I was able to curl up in this really fun mermaid tail blanket my brother got me.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Even though I’ve been looking forward to the weekend, I really didn’t do anything. On Saturday we went out to brunch and I had the some french toast stuffed with cheesecake and strawberries. Not really breakfast but it was good. Afterwards I came home and went right back to bed. I had breakfast with the boyfriend on Sunday and then relaxed the rest of the day again.
The photo above with my cat watching Daria is probably the favorite photo from the week. I’m here relaxing with my buddy watching one of my all time favorite shows before we head to bed.
Now that I have experienced what its like to be a part of week in the life, I honestly don’t think I’d do it again. This isn’t because I didn’t enjoy the experience, but because I already have a separate album that documents my everyday life so while this one was a bit more in depth, its not necessary. Maybe down the line once things in my life change up I may return but for now I am sticking to my project life album (and all the unfinished vacation minis).
Yay! It’s time for the annual Week In The Life project by Ali Edwards. I purchased a kit back in 2015 but never got around to actually doing the project. Since I refuse to let good scrapbooking materials go to waste, I’m going to participate this year.
The album above was originally a 6×8 but I’ve cut it down to 3×8 to help with a lack of space and to make keeping up with the project much easier. I was also able to locate all of the original parts of the album except for a few of wood veneer weekday words because I’ve used them.
To cut down the album, I measured about 5 inches out from the spine of the album and used an industrial box cutter to lightly cut through the chipboard. The reason why I didn’t apply a lot of pressure is because I wanted to keep the front cover of the album in tact. You’ll see why shortly.
On the left hand side here, you’ll notice that I have about an inch of the front cover left. I applied some super glue to the back of it, then along the edge of the chipboard, and folded the cover over. This creates a seamless look to the album. It covers up the jagged edge of the chipboard and makes it look intentional.
Here is the final product. I love the way this looks and makes me even more excited to participate in Week In the Life this year!
Since I started on my memory keeping journey, I’ve never had this happen to me. If I ever took a break it was because I simply didn’t have anything going on or I had no time. But now, I had things to document AND I had the time, so why wasn’t the creativity flowing?! For the first couple of weeks I think I was trying to force myself to do something which is doesn’t work for me. Trying to do something your mind and heart isn’t interested in is just torture so there isn’t a point in putting yourself through it.
So instead of trying to fight it, I said fuck it and went about my life (except for my creative team obligations). One of the largest reasons why I wasn’t able to focus was because my working space looked like this.
As you can see there is stuff everywhere and this is definitely not a proper area to do much of anything except pile more stuff on.
Ever notice when your space is cluttered so is your mind? Before I did anything else in my apartment, I needed to clear this area. And once this happened, all of the other stress that I was dealing with just fell to the side. I could walk into my apartment and see a CLEAN area (a rarity these days).
Once the table was looking nice and neat, I still wasn’t feeling very creative so I started to crochet and draw. Then I needed to pack for my upcoming move. Plus I had to focus on my new job that I just started. And I also wanted to enhance my personal relationships and stay away from social media for a bit. After about 2 weeks I forgot all about my projects and honestly, that felt good. I no longer felt obligated to try and do something in my album, I just let it be for the moment.
Leaving it all alone was probably the best thing that I could have done to help get over this slump. Now that we are halfway through February and I’m officially 4 months behind, I have plenty of things to document and a fresh set of ideas for my layouts.
I wrote a blog post about 5 ways to get past your creative slump over at Sahin Designs. It’s got some general ideas to help you out if you’re finding yourself stuck. Check it out here.
How do you get over a creative slump? Let me know in the comments below.
This is such a late post but the beginning part of this year has been extremely busy which is why I’m so glad I made the changes that I did for this year. When it comes to memory keeping I’ve finally found my groove and at this point I have a really good idea of what works for me.
While most things will be staying the same this year, I have 2 big changes that I’m making.
Documenting My Age
Instead of doing a yearly album, I am going to be documenting my age. I started my album in October of 2016 when I turned 32 so I’ve got a bit of overlap in my 2016 album and this current one. Not too big of an issue, I just printed doubles of things and reorganized the layouts. It didn’t feel right to leave my 2016 album “incomplete”. My goal is to get the entire year into 1 album.
Moving to 6×8 Album
After 2 years of 6×12 albums that are about 85% full (and done) combined with a serious lack of space, I think this smaller size will suit me fine. Since I plan on doing this type of album moving forward, I purchased 2 purple 6×8 Handbooks from Studio Calico in addition to a December Daily (Kelly Purkey) album I currently have. Luckily I was able to find a 6 hole punch from Michaels which fits the Studio Calico handbook albums perfectly.
Other than those 2 things, everything else is staying the same for me. Here is what I will continue to do throughout 2017
Shopping my stash
Subscribing to 1 kit — Kelly Purkey
Being a creative team member for Sahin Designs
Completing my vacation albums
Using digital cards, elements, and stamps
As I move into my third year of memory keeping I’m still just as excited as I was the first. With each year comes new experiences, techniques, frustrations, inspiration, etc. and I am ready for it all.
December Daily is a memory keeping project which documents your day to day experiences leading up to Christmas. Last year was my first year participating in December Daily and I was ready, or so I thought.
I had heard of many not finishing their albums until January or February, and even later. To avoid this, I had everything setup prior to December 1st and plans to document all the things I wanted to do. And then I got to about day 12 before I couldn’t keep up. Between my job and the unexpected death of my best friend, I couldn’t do it. From that point on, I just took photos for the rest of the month with hopes I could finish later.
Later turned into January, then February and now here we are in October. Now that I have some time, I decided to finish what I started. Most of my album is digital with few embellishments since I wanted to focus more on the story and the photos.
You know the Holiday season has officially started when Starbucks begins to roll out their Holiday Red Cups.
The photo for day 14 is probably one of my favorites, it reads “Dear Santa, I’m writing you to tell you I’ve been naughty and it was worth it. You fat judgmental bastard.” I also spent a lot of December photographing my cat… mostly to keep an eye on her because cats and christmas trees do not go well.
Some people love pumpkin spice lattes… not me, I think they are disgusting. I love the Salted Caramel Mocha and wait all.year.long for it.
I made it to Leavenworth, Washington for the annual christmas lighting and it was worth it. *Makes mental note to book tickets now for December*
Welp, there we have it. I did leave off a few days from this post because they were of family and private moments. But overall, I am really happy with my album. I’m not sure if I will do it again this year because Halloween is my Christmas (i’m doing my October Daily album right now. A 4×4 or 4×6 mini album would best suit my needs if I decide to partake again this year.
Items Used: Ali Edwards Main Kit, Ali Edwards Mini Kits (Kelly Purkey, Ashley G, and Jasmine Jones), Pink Fresh Studio Christmas Wishes, Kelly Purkey Clearly Kelly Stamps, Becky Higgins Album
A year ago I made a business trip back to Columbus, OH and since it was the first trip I’d been on since I started doing pocket scrapbooking, I wanted to make a mini album. Well, when I returned I had all of the photos edited and ready to be printed, my album was picked out and I was ready to get going. But I had another vacation right afterwards so basically nothing got done. But because I was editing photos and creating my layouts on the plane, I was able to complete the album within a couple of hours once I actually started.
Since I’d never been to Columbus before, I wanted to go exploring and see as much as I could. I love museums, gardens, historical sites, galleries, and the like, so since the museum was closed I headed over to the Franklin Park Conservatory. It is gorgeous and the weather was perfect for wandering around a park and garden.
While I was inside, I ended up taking photos of everything. I think I spent over an hour walking through every single room, some rooms more than once just soaking everything in. This is why I love traveling alone, I can take all the time I want exploring without someone getting tired, wanting to go somewhere else, or just rushing me.
After leaving the park I walked around downtown Columbus, checking out the architecture and historical sites.
Eventually I wandered over to German Town and found the coolest bookstore ever. Well I saw it while driving by the day before and knew I had to go back. It’s called The Book Loft and it is 32 rooms of book bliss. It is far too easy to get lost in there because each room is like a mini library. Fortunately I only had a small purse or I would have walked out with an arm full of books.
Tried new food at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus and Restaurant… not sure i’m a fan of German food but its always a good idea to try something new.
After 5 hours of wandering around downtown Columbus in 90 degree weather and jeans, I had to head back to the hotel. I rented a bike and struggled to ride over the cobblestone back to where I could catch a cab. By the time I came back to the hotel I was exhausted, sweaty, but satisfied with the day. I think this was a good trip to document even though it was only 2 days long. I learned a lot while doing the mini album, mostly how to scale things wayyyyy down and focus on the photos with a little bit of journaling. Its basically pocket scrapbooking on a minimalist level. Maybe i’ll end up going back to Columbus, but if I do, is there anything else that should be on my “must see” list?
I have to say I am quite pleased with myself this year with how on top I am with my pocket scrapbooking album. I think it is because I am now blogging more and have an instagram page dedicated to showcasing my work, it helps to keep me focused on making progress. There would be no point in paying for a website host if I wasn’t using it right?
What is working and what I’m loving:
Typing up my journaling cards is making my layouts come together much easier. Trying to find the right type of card with enough writing space wasn’t working anymore. I use the 3×4 minimalist templates from Paislee Press and simply get rid of the photo background. This allows me to keep my layout clean and consistent, plus I can write them up during down time at work so when its time to sit and create, everything is ready to go.
Each month I’ve decided to create a layout that focuses on me. I use a couple of selfies along with a card displaying the month name, a calendar card from One Little Bird, and some filler cards. The filler cards are the best part for me because they are centered around self-improvement, goals, strength, and serve as a theme for the month.
Monthly currents layout. At the beginning of the year I wanted to do this every month and I have! I try to have a lot of fun with it, not focusing too much on any embellishments or color coordination. Again, I am using the 3×4 or trading card sized minimalist templates from Paislee Press.
Experimenting with 8.5 x 11 pocket page sizes has been quite the challenge, but a fun one. Due to the difficulty of getting 9×12 albums and pocket pages, I wanted to have an alternative just in case it becomes too much trouble to locate. I purchased some of the 8.5 x 11 pages from We R Memory Keepers and digital trading card sized templates from Paislee Press. So far I am in love with the instagram square sized pockets and maybe next year I might move to this size.
What is not working and what I am not loving:
While I enjoy using the 9 x 12 size, I do not enjoy how difficult it is to obtain the pocket pages for it. I liked when Seven Paper had this size with pages that had 3 holes in it. Yes I know I can order the 9 x 12 protectors from Studio Calico but I dislike their business practices and the protectors are rarely in stock. I’ve been using the Becky Higgins page protectors but the quality is extremely poor, they’ve all ripped within a few months.
My 6×8 personal album is a fail. I’ve tried to use some of my smaller more random bits into it and its just not working out for me. I always end up deciding not to document it or I’ve been working it into my larger album.
So far I think I’m on a great path to actually complete my album this year and I’m excited to see my progress. This year is much easier now that I have a good grasp on what it is that I’m doing and how I want things to look.
I’ve included a gallery (see top of post) of most of my layouts so far this year (I will figure out a way to put the gallery below the writing one of these days).