Sunday, November 24, 2013

Project Life | My Monthly Process

This year I’ve been doing Project Life quite sporadically, a week here and a week there, mostly for creative team work.  Some time during October, I decided to do MONTHLY Project Life.  I thought if I did each part of my Project Life process only once during the month, it would save some time.  Also, I already have a habit of picking out photos for my Month In Review or Monthly Favorites blog posts, so why not just do the same thing with Project Life?

Here are the steps that I took to create my monthly Project Life pages.

Step 1:  Picking Out Photos

I already upload my photos a couple of times per week onto my hard drive and into Adobe Lightroom.  So at the end of the month, I just needed to upload any stragglers.  Then I went into Lightroom and created a new Collection called “201310 Oct Faves”, and I made that Collection the “Target Collection”.  After that, I went into my October 2013 folder in Lightroom and started picking out photos.  For every photo that I wanted to include for my October Project Life, I just needed to select that photo by clicking on it in the catalog, then press the letter “b” on my keyboard.  That’s Lightroom’s keyboard shortcut to add that photo immediately into the Target Collection (which I had already set as my “201310 Oct Faves” collection).  You can also CTRL+click on multiple photos and then hit the “b” on the keyboard to put them all into the collection at once.  After I was done selecting all my photos, I clicked on the “201310 Oct Faves” collection on the left, and all 50 of the photos that I had selected showed up in one place.

{Click on above image to see bigger.}


Step 2:  Processing Photos in Lightroom

I process most of my photos in Lightroom, either using Lightroom develop presets, the manual sliders, or Rad Lab from within Lightroom.  (You can see a video of how I process photos using Rab Lab from Lightroom here.)  I hardly ever use Photoshop to process photos anymore.  Since my photo catalog is in Lightroom, it is SO convenient to also process my photos in there.  I do not process every single photo I take.  I only process the photos that I want to scrapbook or blog.  This is why the photo-processing step comes after the photo selection step (Step 1 above).

Step 3:  Create Photo Collages in Lightroom

I had already created a bunch of “print templates” inside the Print Module in Lightroom, just for making photo collages of various sizes and configurations.  I looked at the 50 photos I had picked for October and I decided which ones I wanted to print at 4x6 and which ones as collages.  Then I selected photos and clicked on my print templates to make the collages. 

For example, I knew I wanted to have a bunch of Instagram square photos printed at around 2.5”, so I selected my template called “8.5x11 12up 2.6” Instagrams”.  After I selected my 12 photos and then clicked on the template on the left, Lightroom created my collage instantly.
{Click on above image to see bigger.}

For these two photos, I knew I wanted to print them side by side on a 4x6, so I clicked on my template “4x6: 2up for printing with white border”.
{Click on above image to see bigger.}

After each collage was created, I exported them as jpeg files onto my hard drive, into my “To Print” folder.


Step 4:  Using Photoshop to Journal on Photos

I love using Photoshop to type the date, place, and maybe a short sentence for journaling.  Why?  That way I can embellish the non-photo pockets as I please, and not feel pressured to have journaling in all the non-photo pockets.  I also love to use digital brushes/stamps or overlays, I think they really add to my photos.  I go into my “To Print” folder and open some of the photos/collages in Photoshop.  Then I type away.  Here are some examples.






Step 5:  Printing Photos

I print most of my photos at home, unless it’s a really big batch.  I use the Canon Pixma MG5320 printer (the newer model is MG6320), and I print on Canon Photo Paper Glossy II (both 4x6 and 8.5x11 papers).  For me, printing at home really makes my scrapbooking process more efficient. 

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It took me about 2 hours to do steps 1-5.


Step 6:  Arrange Photos in Page Protector Pockets

I left my photos out overnight to make sure the ink was dry.  I’ve never had any problems with them smearing even if I use them a few minutes afterwards.  But I left them overnight because I was at a good stopping point anyways.  The next day, I spent about 20 minutes arranging the photos into page protector pockets.  When I picked out my photos, I did not limit the number of photos based on pockets.  It did not matter to me whether my October pages would be 4 pages, 6 pages, or if there would be half pages at the end.  I decided that since I’m not doing weekly Project Life, it was perfectly fine to just start and end wherever I happen to be in the album.  This decision is actually the KEY to saving time.  With this method, you do NOT need to spend hours planning out your page configurations and where photos and journaling go, in order to fit into a two-page spread.  With this method. you just begin where you left off, and stop when you run out of photos and journal cards.  EASY!

I ended up with 6 pages, or 3 pages front & back.




Step 7:  Add Journal Cards, Journaling, and Embellishments

Yesterday and today, I spent about a total of about 4 hours adding in journal cards, journaling, and embellishments to complete six Project Life pages for October.  I did it while watching football.  I put up a card table in front of the TV and pulled up my Raskog cart with some of my supplies.  (You can read more about my Raskog cart organization here and here.)

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All in all, my new monthly method saves me some time, because I’m doing each step in a bigger batch, and I don’t have to do this every week.  When I got done with the six pages today, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment!  Here’s a peek at one of my pages.  I will blog all my October pages next week.  :)


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Roundup | My Holiday Crafts

Every year when the year-end holidays approach, I have grand plans for holiday crafting or making handmade gifts.  Every year I feel like a failure because I don’t get all the holiday crafting I want to get done.  That is, until I went back and searched my blog and found a BUNCH of holiday crafting projects over the years!  It was so fun to look back on them.  I thought I would share a roundup of my holiday crafting projects and link back to their original posts in case you get inspired to create some holiday crafts of your own.  Enjoy!

The start of my 2012 December album posted here

And no, I didn’t finish the album.  In fact, I only got the cover and this one page done.

And that’s the reason I’m not doing a December album this year.  I will just incorporate a spread into Project Life.

This one isn’t necessarily crafting related, but I posted my process of how I organize the holiday cards we receive.

My process of creating our holiday cards for 2012.

I made this button tree.  It was easy but took longer than I thought.  But it’s oh-so-cute!

I made these fun t-shirts for our 3rd Annual Elf Party.

I think everyone loved them!

I also stamped these Moleskine notebooks to give away as party favors. 

And I filled these cute felt bags with favors & candies.

I created these cute printable gift tags to give away on the One Little Bird blog.

And these printable washi tape (printed on Avery labels) are free to download as well.

I created these paper ornaments for our small tabletop tree.

For our 2nd Annual Elf Party, I created these Elf treat bags using the print & cut function on my Silhouette.

And I made some homemade hot cocoa mix and put them into decorated mason jars to give away as gifts.  (Recipe here.)

I made four holiday crafting kits and gave them away to scrappy friends as Christmas gifts.

The kits included handmade embellishments.  You can see the kit details in this post.

In 2011 I made 40 handmade holiday cards

You can see the detailed posts here and here.

When you open the tri-fold card up, this was the inside.

I designed and cut this cute ornament with my Silhouette to go inside the card.

I designed these printable gift tags.  They are available to download in this post.
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I made these DIY paper garlands for the tree.
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I made these cute Santa treat bags for my coworkers, using my Silhouette.
photo 1

In the same post, I also used my Silhouette to make these gift tags.
photo 2

More paper ornaments using a scalloped circle punch.
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I hope you enjoyed this holiday crafting post, and that you are inspired to create some of your own this holiday season!  :)

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Blue Skies & Pancakes

Ever since the Daylight Savings Time change back, I’ve been sort of lethargic and in a funk.  I think it’s because it is completely dark by the time I leave work for home.  I feel like I don’t really see much sunlight now.  The funky mood has even spread to scrapbooking.  I haven’t felt like doing it.  But I’m cutting myself some slack as I adjust to this new daylight schedule.  I know my scrapbooking (& life in general) mojo will come back soon. 

On Wednesday night Todd and I had a date to go see “Thor:  The Dark World”. 
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I even curled my hair for our date.
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I thought the movie was pretty good.  Not great, but pretty good and entertaining.  Parts of the plotline was preposterous, but then again so is a Nordic god wielding a hammer.  So I just go with it and enjoy it.  :)

Todd bought the “Mario Galaxy 2” game for the Wii, used.  He started playing it on Thursday.  I think he only paid $15 for it, so it was a good deal. 
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He lent the first “Mario Galaxy” game to a friend at his old job.  The friend never returned it due to the fact that he got divorced and I guess the game left with his wife.  Oh well.

And look what Noodle was doing while Todd played the Mario game.
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My friend Melissa Stinson (ScrappyJedi) and I both are obsessed with rolling date stamps.  So when she saw that SMASH came out with a Christmas rolling date stamp, she bought two and sent one to me!  She is the best & sweetest!
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I received my Shutterfly holiday catalog this past week.  I was leafing through it, when I saw a familiar face.
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It’s my friend Liz Tamanaha!  How cool is that??

On Saturday we went and got our eyes checked by the optometrist.  Both Todd and my right eyes changed a little bit, while our left eyes stayed the same.  What’s going on???  Even eyes change the same when you’ve been married as long as we have??  I would need progressive or bifocal lenses, except that I was blessed with one near-sighted eye (right one) and one perfect vision eye (left one).  So I actually don’t need glasses except when driving or trying to see things far away.  In normal life I don’t really need it.  When I read, my right eye takes over and I don’t need reading glasses.  When I do other things, my vision is fine because my left eye is 20/20.  My optometrist joked that some people actually get lasik surgery to get this type of mono-vision so they don’t have to wear glasses to see near or far.  I guess I’m just naturally blessed, lol.  We don’t have our new glasses picked out yet.

On Saturday night we went to a “Todd’s old job reunion” at his friend Julie’s house.  He got to see all the friends who left his old job and it was fun.  Here he is with Julie and Ken.
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On Sunday (yesterday) we went running at the coast and it was so pretty out!  Perfect blue skies.
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The problem was, I was feeling lethargic and fell asleep in the car on the way there.  When we got there I was groggy and didn’t feel like running at all.  But I put one foot in front of the other, and 20 minutes later I was at the halfway point of my run and enjoying it more.  The ocean air lifted my mental fog and I felt better.  I think sometimes you have to “just do it” (as Nike ads say) even when you don’t feel like it.  Afterwards, I’m always glad I went for a run.  I’ve never said to myself, “well, that was not worth it, I should have stayed home”.
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And really, who can complain about views like this on their run?
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Or this?
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Afterwards, we went to Lourdes Mexican and I ate some chicken soup.  Lourdes has the BEST chicken soup!
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I took today off work (mental health day, or I have to use up a vacation day or lose it day).  I had brunch with my friend Pearl.  We met up at Snooze at 11am.  I had been wanting to try Snooze, but one time we went and it was a 45 minute wait, so we ate somewhere else.  I don’t like to wait for food, no matter how good it is, lol.  But today we didn’t have to wait.  In fact, Pearl was already seated when I arrived!

The coffee there was really good.
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The awesome thing about Snooze is you can order half-orders, so you can try something savory and something sweet.  I got a half order of Chilaquiles Benedict…
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And half order of Pineapple Upside Down Pancake.
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Let me just tell you… I was astounded!  The food there is better than I could ever dream of.  I loved everything I got.  That pancake was PHENOMENAL!   Amaaaaaazing!  And they even brought out their pancake of the day, some kind of graham cracker white chocolate pancake, just for us to try!
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You can’t really tell the size of these in the photos.  Each pancake was about 7-8 inches diameter.  SO so good!  And the Chilaquiles Benedict was awesome too, as well as the hash browns.  Now I know what the hype is about!

Pearl got an omelette.
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Between chatting and eating, I had the best time with Pearl!  So happy we made time to get together.
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I actually met Pearl at a local scrapbook store crop last year.  We kept in touch and sometimes we scrapbook together.  But mostly we eat together and chit chat.  The older I get, I find it more difficult to make new friends.  Pearl is just one of those people whom I hit it off with right away.  I totally enjoy her company and I’m so thankful for our friendship.  :)
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As I was leaving, the plaza was decked out in Christmas decorations already.  So pretty.
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