Monday, January 31, 2011

A Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at my next project, after I finish my family frame. Wanna guess what it is?

If you guessed a mini-book for our unofficial book club, you'd be correct. In this mini-book, I can keep track of all the books our book club LOVES. That way, when somone asks for a book recommendation, I can go straight to my mini-book and share my picks. And My Sister's Keep is the book that start it all, so don't think I won't be using actual pages from it in the mini-book.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Father's Day Present

For Father's Day 2009, I made this digital scrapbook as a present for Russell. The theme was 10 Things We Love About You. I added a forward page that explained that there were too many things to possibly list them all, but these were the top 10 things we loved the most.

I loved using these photomasks on the photos for this page.
Well, there you have it. You've seen all of my ventures into digital scrapbooking. So what scrapbooking projects are you working on? I'd love to hear about them. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The ABC's of Sophia's First Year

As promised I'm posting pics of one of the scrapbooks I made digitally. I wanted to do this one digitally because I wanted a copy for myself, but also wanted both sets of grandparents to have a copy as a Christmas present.
Basically, I got this idea when she was about 6 months old and so I started making a list of all the things she liked, things she did, people in her life and events etc and kept adding to that list all year long. Then I'd start collecting photos to go with those words.
Here's the cover.

This page is the opening page.

This was my first attempt at digital scrapbooking and I really enjoyed it. But I think that's because I worked on it for about 7 or 8 months. With my most recent attempt at a digital scrapbook, I had a deadline and only had about 2 weeks to work on it. So my advice if you're going to do it is give yourself plenty of time, otherwise it's not enjoyable.

Shhhhh......Don't Tell Russell

Shhhh. Don't tell Russell. You have to promise not to tell. Promise? Okay. True confession time.
Russell bought me this super cool laptop for Christmas/birthday (coming in Feb.) so I could start doing things digitally like scrapbooking. And recently, like today, I finished a free book from Shutterfly for his Valentine's Day present and have come to the conclusion that I'm  thinking I like a "manual" approach better. My wrist is still sore from using the cordless mouse on this project. But  isn't my computer super cute??!! Plus, it supports the Susan G. Koman foundation.
But I thought I would show you my organizational approach just in case this is up your alley.

To start with the book was 20 pages which means page  1 stands alone and the others are double page spreads. Plus, you need a cover. So to start with I made categories of things I loved about Russell. Then I found pics to go along with those titles. Once I found all my pics, I did a rough draft on notebook paper to figure out what should come first. The check marks indicate that I finished that page.
The other printouts you see are tutorials on how to do things in photo shop. I save those in a notebook for later.

On my laptop, while Sophia is watching Caillou or Max and Ruby, I work on my project.
I called this my V book so Russell wouldn't know what it was if he saw what I was working on. I also went to different galleries and got inspiration from other graphic designers. I store all those ideas in my scrapbook ideas folder.

Inside my V book folder, I made up these 4 folders to help organize the process, which is another reason I like "manual" better. It's instant gratification. Once you make it, you're done. However, via digitally, you are not.

While I'm working on layouts, all work gets saved in the layouts section. After that, if I decide to share pages on my blog, I save them to the "for web" section. Once each page is ready to print, I save it in the "for print" section, meaning it's ready to upload to Shutterfly.

This page shows the different categories of pictures I had. Each category was either a page or 2 pages, depending on how many photos I had.

Let me warn you, when working on the cover, make sure everything is towards the center cause it crops a ton  off.

I know it sounds like I'm not a fan of digital scrapbooking, and in many ways, I am NOT, but it is good if you're making multiple copies of the same scrapbook like I did for the grandparents for Christmas Sophia's first year. I made them (and us) a copy of The ABC's of Sophia's First Year. But for my family album, I will stick to "manual" scrapbooking. Just don't tell Russell. :)
I'll post some layouts from my other ventures into digital scrapbooking on  a future post.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Measuring A Baby's Growth From Year to Year

I remember being pregnant with Sophia and buying clothes for when she turned a year because they were on sale at Target (gotta buy stock in Target). And the cashier happened to notice I was buying clothes ahead of time and said to watch out cause it says 12 months but they may be wearing it at 6 or 9 months. Huh? I thought. What the heck is she talking about? If the baby is 12 months obviously she should be wearing size 12 months. WRONG!!!!

Some parents (and family members of those kiddos) have it easy if their child actually fits into those clothes at the monthly markers. Sophia, however, was nothing like that. She was usually a size or 2 ahead. In fact, right now, some of her 3T's are getting tight or riding up. I actually bought a couple of pairs of 4T pj's and they're baggy but they fit and hopefully will fit next winter which was my plan. But then again, this is Sophia.
So my question to all you mom and dad's out there, how do you measure the growth of your child? I'm so glad I thought about this before Sophia's birth (due to my friend Donna). Because I started taking comparison photos early on and boy has she changed.

But I actually have a couple of ways I chart/measure how much she's changed and grown.
One way is making a stepping stone. Around her birth date, we make an impression  of her feet/foot and place them on the side of the house.
The first year we were able to get both feet on (I think she was a size 3).
By her 2nd year, we could only fit one foot comfortably (around a sized 8 1/2).
We might have to get a bigger mold based on the rate of her growth!

Another way we measured her growth was based on a friend of mine, Donna, who I believe got it from Martha Stewart. Basically you buy a 12 month outfit and each month, on their birthday-versary, you put it on them and photograph their progress. I have to say, I think this works best with a 2 piece top/pants set like I have so you can really see their growth lengthwise.

I also used a play mat that came with her tummy time play set to lay her on.

3 months

6 months

9 months (helmet time)

12 months (hanging onto that paci)
Another idea I had was shoes! Save your favorite pairs of their shoes, one from each shoe size, or in Sophia's case, every other shoe size. Line 'em and photograph them. It's important to turn off the flash for this so you might want a tripod.

And finally, we planted a tree for Sophia during her first year. Then on her first birthday, we took a photo of her beside it. The idea is that the tree will grow and so will the child and you can compare the two. However, the dang wind broke our tree in half before her 2nd birthday. And we have yet to replace it. We're waiting for Spring. But the idea was nice, right?

So how do you measure your baby's growth? I'd love to see pics! Please post some if you have them.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak of my materials for my frame project. I'm still not sure where I'm going to put it when it's complete. I still need twine.
Here's my inspiration idea from Three Heart Designs. I love her idea so much I actually went on-line and found some of the same embellishments. Love those keys and metal coins by Tim Holtz! Can't wait to start working on this project!

Thanks Jaclyn for your inspiration!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Valentine Book

I recently got a free 8 x 8 book from Shutterfly and couldn't really think of anything to use it for at first. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that I could use it to make a Valentine's gift for Russell. So I went to The Shabby Princess to download a digital kit. 
I'm going with the theme "I'm Wild About You" and then using the pages to tell him why I'm wild about him.
Here's what I have so far.

The Cover

Page 1

 Page 2

 Page 3

 Page 4

 Page 5

 Page 6

 Page 7
It's a 20 page book so I have quite a bit left to create. If you think you might be interested in digital scrapbooking, check out the free tutorials on The Shabby Princess tutorial page. You have to have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
Now off to finish those other 13 pages. :)
(Sidenote: Please understand that these pages are still works in progress and I usually back and tweak each page before I print them).

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh Anthologies! How I Miss You!

I really miss having Anthologies open. For those of you that don't know what that is, it was a scrapbooking store in Hurst that also offered really cool classes. I know The Little Blue House offers classes too but it's all the way in Keller. Not very convenient for me to try to get to after work. But I may just take a class on a Saturday.

Here are a couple of books I made at Anthologies that I thought I'd share because you could totally make one at home. I love making mini-books because they're so much easier to finish than a full on scrapbook that chronicles your family.
This one is a book called School Days and as the title suggests, it's all about keeping track of your child's school career. It goes from PK to their senior year.

I don't know if you can tell, but at the top there is a flap that opens and you can put keepsakes inside for each grade. Each page is actually made from a 5 x 7 envelope. I painted the back side of each one. The front of the envelope is covered with scrapbooking paper, as well as the flap. I also sewed the sides. That was totally weird sewing paper.

Each page it embellished with paper, school writing paper, flashcards, puzzle pieces (I just painted the backside of real puzzle pieces red),  pages from books and other school related materials.

Each page has a space for a picture and journaling.

Here's another book called The Gratitude Journal.

It was made using pre-cut chipboard pages that I covered in scrapbook paper. I inked all the edges. It's held together with 4 rings.

It has lots of space for writing about what you're thankful for and also places for pictures.

I might be saving this for when Sophia gets a little older and we all add something we're thankful for around Thanksgiving time as sort of a family activity (if I can get Russell to participate).

So Anthologies, thanks for the great projects I created there. I'm really gonna miss it!