Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maui Trip Album | The Beginnings

It has been quiet around here on the blog in May.  I've been busy with fun, creating, and a road trip.  And an evacuation from a fire.  Plus I've been struggling lately about how much of my life to share here on the blog in such a public space.  This blog has been a great memory-keeping tool for me for the last seven years.  I love going back to read some of my posts to remember the details of trips and daily life.  But those posts can be done on a more private blog as well.  Some things to ponder...  I do love to share on Instagram though, because it is SO easy and it's sort of like microblogging.  Plus I feel like the engagement factor on Instagram makes it much more fun to share.  You can see likes, and people tend to comment more on Instagram because it's so easy from their phone.  You can follow me on Instagram for more timely photos and projects that I share there.  :)

But this post is actually about scrapbooking!  I wanted to try and do something that I’ve never done before:  scrapbook an entire vacation in a short time, just doing it as fast as I can.  I decided to try this with my Maui trip from December.  The basic premise of my process was that I wanted to make the pages as easy as possible.  I am usually a slow scrapbooker and struggle with moving stuff around my page too much, and being indecisive with what to use and where things go.  I wanted to eliminate those decisions and just scrapbook and embrace imperfection.  Besides, with so many photos from the trip and so many pages to scrap, it would take years to complete it with my regular slow process!


Here is the process I came up with:
  1. Create a new collection in Lightroom for the Maui trip and pick out photos.  Decide which photos will go on 12x12 layouts and which photos will be pocket pages.  Process and format them and get them printed at Costco.  (I normally print my photos at home, but this was over 100 photos.)
  2. Pick a scrapbook collection to use and basically stick with that.  This eliminates too many product choices.  I chose the Amy Tangerine Plus One collection. 
  3. Gather up tools and some supplemental supplies such as inks, stamps, and washi tape in the same color scheme and travel theme.
  4. Pre-cut up all the papers in different sizes for use on pages. 
  5. Plan the album by putting page protectors into the album and slipping photos for each 12x12 or pocket page into the protectors.  This puts the pages in order and gets me organized and ready to scrap!
  6. Scrap the pages in an assembly-line style.  This involves lining up a series of background cardstock and taking the photos out of the page protectors and just placing papers and scrapping.  Without too much indecision and in a speedy fashion. 

I did get a couple of photos printed big 12x12 at Costco, using some digital brushes on it first.  They turned out amazing!  I’ll be putting 12x12 scrapbook pages next to them in my album.

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The collection that I’ll be using for this project:  Amy Tangerine’s Plus One.

I recolored some labels in Photoshop to match the colors in the collection.  I love using labels to layer on 12x12 pages or in pocket pages.
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I wanted to use up every bit of the papers, AND I wanted to eliminate the indecision and slowness from cutting a piece off of a 12x12 paper and putting it onto a page.  Then choosing another piece of paper and cutting a piece off and putting it onto the page.  I wanted to pre-cut them all and just stick the appropriate colors and pieces onto the page along with my photos.  So I came up with some 12x12 paper cutting guides in Excel (total NERD alert!).  I came up with MANY ways to cut a piece of 12x12 paper, these are just a few of them.

You can download a PDF of all the 12x12 paper cutting options I came up with here, if you would like to try and scrapbook a project this way.  I could have come up with more, but I had to stop somewhere and start scrapping, ha ha! 

One tip:  if you plan to use the same collection in the corresponding pocket pages, make sure you trim some papers to 4x6 and 3x4 sizes.

In the midst of the cutting process…
(BTW, I got a new Fiskars Procision paper trimmer and it is absolutely AMAAAZING!  Has totally changed how much I hate trimming papers.  Cuts like butter and super-straight!  And you never need to change the blade on it.)

All my papers cut up into different sizes.

Planning the album while watching TV.  I put the background cardstock into page protectors, then I put the photos I want for each page into the protectors.  This way they are already in order and ready to scrap.

Planned out inserts for pocket pages.

Then the FUN begins, the part where I actually scrapbook!  I got to start my pages on National Scrapbook Day on May 3rd.  I had some friends over to celebrate the day together! 

Kelly, me, Kristen, and Pearl.  Todd helped me set up two long tables together in the living room.
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Kristen brought cookies from The Cravory.  Oh my!

I sat across from Pearl, who is expecting a baby girl.

Kristen & Kelly.  Kelly brought a HUGE bag of kettle corn!

And my favorite photo, taken by Todd from the stairs.

So how many pages did I get done?  Just six so far.  But this process has made it fairly fast for me to put my album together.  I am normally a slow scrapbooker, but I was able to scrap four of these pages in one afternoon (a record for me).

Two-pager about the Iao Valley.
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Left page.
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Right page.

A page about the resort we stayed at.
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Two-pager about our snorkel trip to Lanai.
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Left side.
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Right side.
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And of course a trip to Leonard’s for malasadas deserved its own page!
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I’ll be making more pages for my album soon.  I’ve been working on my April Project Life this past long weekend.  I am enjoying this process of scrapbooking our Maui trip and I’ll call this experiment a success for now!  I also loved having my friends over to scrapbook together on NSD. 

Let me know in the comments about your thoughts on scrapbooking an album project such as a vacation or trip, or if you have any questions about the process.

Don’t forget, you can download the 12x12 paper cutting guide I made here!
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Friday, May 16, 2014


In case anyone is wondering… we are all fine around here.  This week has seen over 10 wildfires in San Diego county.  Over 10,000 acres have been burned and numerous homes lost.  The Bernardo Fire started a couple of miles from my office on Tuesday morning.  By 3pm on Tuesday it was making its way south and west and inching closer to my neighborhood.  I decided to go home and I’m so glad I did.  As I approached our street, I saw flames & smoke.

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As I called Todd at work to get a plan of action together, I could hear the police on their bullhorns in our neighborhood, telling everyone to evacuate.  I got Noodle into his crate and into the car, and just took my purse and a backpack with me.

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As I exited our street, I saw this.

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Turns out the fires were not as close as it seemed, but at the time I was worried.  I drove east a few miles to our friends Cat & Mick’s house, and Todd met us there.  It took him over 75 minutes to go only about 10 miles.  We were so grateful for Cat & Mick’s hospitality, providing us safe shelter and dinner.  By 9pm on Tuesday night, the evacuation orders were lifted and we went home.

The Bernardo fire was the first big fire this week.  We had no idea that Wednesday and Thursday would entail over 10 wildfires burning in San Diego and thousands of people evacuated.  We’re thankful that we’re all ok and our house is ok.

When I was evacuating, I didn’t bring any of my scrapbook albums with me.  I realized as I was getting Noodle that all my scrapbook pages were either digital or I had photos of all my paper pages and Project Life pages.  My entire computer is backed up online to Crash Plan, so there was no need to haul all my scrapbook albums to the car.  That saved me a lot of time to just get out.  I didn’t even take my desktop computer because everything was backed up 100%, including most of my photos (except for some older ones that haven’t been scanned) and all our important documents.  If there’s one thing that I know for sure, I will always have all our computers backed up offsite.  Crash Plan is very reasonably-priced and the peace of mind is priceless.  It’s automatic so you never ever have to think about it.  I have access to all my files via wifi connection on my iPad from anywhere else.  And all your files are encrypted for security.  If you don’t have your computers backed up offsite to the cloud, I STRONGLY urge you to do it as soon as possible.  You just never know when you have to evacuate your house in a hurry and all you can do is get everyone out.  This is the second time we had to evacuate our house due to wildfires.  The first time was in October 2007 and we were evacuated for three days.  Offsite backup.  Just do it.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 Project Life | March Part 2


I have four more pages of Project Life to share from March.  Combined with the five pages I shared previously, I have a total of 9 pages for March.  This is the most pages I’ve done so far for a month in 2014.  But March was my birthday month so it was a big month.  :)

March page 6:  I used a lot of green for St. Patrick’s Day and our friend Cat’s launch of her line of fun run clothing called Lucki Lime. 


A couple of photos of Noodle and Todd.  I love the cork circle stickers from the Studio Calico March Project Life kit “Office Hours”.


A couple of cards from the same SC PL kit.  The right one was designed by my friend Peppermint



Noodle was so pooped from a record-breaking bird-watching day!  I love that the Studio Calico star sequins matched their stamping inks perfectly.


Todd got new Gunnars glasses for work.  Supposedly these are awesome computer glasses and eliminates glare.  He got it as a gift from his sister Amy for his birthday.



March page 7:  We went to see the documentary Particle Fever.  Noodle sitting with Todd.  We went to Pappalecco’s for gelato and chai latte.  We went to Todd’s friend Julie’s memorial service.  We ran the Hot Chocolate 15K.


I stapled the photo onto the 4x6 journal card, creating a pocket for the tickets.


Some Evalicious puffy sticker and arrow circle clip.





March page 8:  We went to Taste of Terroirs at Mille Fleurs for the Mendoza (Argentina) region’s wines and cuisine.  My annual birthday selfie.  Running in tutus to support my friend Monika and Girls On The Run San Diego.


I just love that set of wood veneer fork, knife, and spoon!  Peppermint designed it for the Gossamer Blue Life Pages add-on kit.


Peppermint also designed the pink “I love you” card in the Studio Calico March PL kit.


The whole bottom of the page is about the tutu fun run. 


I used some big foam glitter pink Thickers, thought that was fun.



March page 9:  Girls Night Out at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.  Noodle sleeping in his favorite lounger.  Movies and TV we watched in March.  Sally’s twin’s birthday party.  Noodle laying in the sunny spot in our bedroom.


Cute little kitty journal card.


Girls Night Out.




That’s it for March Project Life!  I’ll start to work on April soon.  In the mean time, I am scrapbooking our December trip to Oahu and Maui, and that’s taking up a lot of my spare time.  :)

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Peppermint Visits Us

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Peppermint (One Little Bird Designs) visited us from Friday 4/25 until Tuesday 4/29.  We’ve been friends since meeting online digital scrapbooking in 2008.  This is the sixth time we’ve seen each other.  The first time they came to San Diego in 2009 (we went to Comic Con and did lots of other fun things).  Then we flew to Wisconsin in fall of 2010 to attend Peppermint & Tom’s wedding.  In summer of 2012, Peppermint, Tom, and Nick (the whole family) came to visit us.  Then I saw Peppermint in January 2013 and January 2014 when she came to Anaheim for CHA.  However, this time was the first time that Peppermint came alone to visit… and you know what that means?  We got to scrapbook together!

On Friday night we picked her up from the airport and drove to Point Loma Seafoods for dinner.  Friday was rainy and surprisingly dreary, very un-San Diego-like. 

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Every time Peppermint comes to visit we have to go there, because she loves the scallop sandwich there.  So do I!

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Then we went home and promptly watch an episode of “Orphan Black”.  Todd had just started watching the first season and Peppermint had already seen it.  The second season just started.  So we ended up binge-watching it almost every night while she was here, until we caught up to season 2 episode 2. 

The next day we had lunch at Burger Lounge, another restaurant that Peppermint has gone to every time she’s come to visit.  I guess she has some San Diego favorites!

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While we were at Burger Lounge, I recognized a Studio Calico Instagram friend.  Much to Todd & Peppermint’s embarrassment, I approached her and asked, “Are you Jenny?”.  She looked at me and said, “Are you listgirl?!”  It was so funny!  We introduced ourselves and our families.  So fun to meet an Instagram friend in real life, by coincidence!

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After Burger Lounge, we had to go to Nothing Bundt Cakes, since it was just a few doors over.  Their cake is SO good!  We brought it home and promptly ate half of it.  This one was mine:  white chocolate, so yum!

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During Peppermint’s visit, Noodle started napping in the papasan chair a lot.  So much so that Peppermint was convinced that Noodle has a set schedule. 


In the morning it’s Perch time.  In the afternoon he gets his papasan time in.  Then in the evening he sleeps on Todd’s lap while we watch TV.

During the visit, Peppermint introduced me to this Roscato wine.  It’s a sweet red wine.

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I guess they used to serve it at the Olive Garden and it was exclusive to the restaurant.  Now you can find it at grocery stores.  I really liked it.  We may or may not have had more bottles later in the week.

On Saturday night Todd cooked fish tacos with tomatillo sauce and it was super delicious!  Who doesn’t love fish tacos?!


It was so funny because we were going to have tacos for lunch and then Todd remembered that he was cooking tacos for dinner.  I asked “Aren’t we gonna be taco’ed out?”  Apparently my question was non-sense to Todd and Peppermint.  Tacos are their favorite!


The next day (Sunday), we went to El Nopalito for lunch, because we wanted to introduce Peppermint to the greatest carne asada ever made by mankind. 

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She was not disappointed.  It was such a delicious meal.  Now this is a hole-in-the-wall delicious Mexican place that she doesn’t have in Wisconsin!

After lunch we drove up to Carlsbad State Beach and hung out on the boardwalk there.  It was a really nice day compared to the day before.

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That morning and afternoon, we got to scrapbook together for the first time ever! 


We worked on our Project Life albums.  It was so much fun and productive too.  I wish we could do this all the time.

Peppermint sat across from me and we chatted and scrapbooked and listened to music.  Bliss!

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That night we took Peppermint to Amaya at the Grand Del Mar for an early birthday dinner (like waaaaay early, her birthday’s not until June).  The grounds there is so pretty!



We took some pictures in the garden before heading in for dinner.

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Then we got seated for dinner.  We sat outside because it was a nice night out, plus they have heater lamps.


Todd had the red snapper.


I had lobster & crab pappardelle, which is my favorite dish there.  SO good!


Peppermint got the crispy duck.


We all loved our entrees, it was so good.  Plus we were able to get great food photos since we sat outside and it was still light out.

The early-birthday girl!


Of course dessert was discussed and the three of us picked different ones and had a taste of each other’s desserts.  Todd picked a chocolate espresso cake & gelato.


I picked key lime meringue pie.


And Peppermint picked carrot cake.


After that dinner we took ourselves back home and parked on the couch and watched “The Dark Knight”.  Because I’ve never seen it and they have and loved it.

The next morning (Monday) our friend Kami drove down to San Diego to hang out with us.  The three of us had brunch at Snooze.


I had the chilaquiles benedict with hashed potato cake on the side.

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And a pineapple upside down pancake.  So divine!

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I don’t remember what Peppermint & Kami got, because I was too busy eating to take photos of their food.


We spent that afternoon scrapbooking & crafting in my craft room, and chit-chatting of course.  Pearl came over later in the afternoon and we hung out.  We all had dinner together (eating all our leftovers) that evening and it was so much fun!  It was Todd and four women, ha ha!  Thanks Todd for taking photos for us!

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The next day, Peppermint and I had lunch at Tender Greens. 

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Then we went over to my local scrapbook store, Paper Tales.  We found a paper punch that Peppermint wanted there.  She got the last one!  Then we went to Michaels but didn’t get anything.  At 3:30 I dropped her off at the airport to fly back home.  Her visit went by so fast!  It was so much fun.  I want this to be a regular thing now.  I wish that we lived closer to each other.  Bye Peppermint!  Noodle misses you!

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