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Shabby Chic Birthday Card

September 2, 2011

This is a Shabby Chic card for the JustRite Stampers challenge for this week:

The Sentiment “demi phrases” I used are on sale at the website for $5!  They are some of my very favorites.

This is the first Shabby Chic card I’ve made.  I used a card to “case” from PaperCrafts magazine which uses the same set of demi-phrases (Mar/Apr 2010, Debbie Olson).

Thanks for stopping by!

Project Life: Easiest Scrapbooking in the World

April 1, 2011

I have sifted through 14 years of duplicates this week and have completed six of those years in just two weeks.  This method involves 12″ X 12″ divided page protectors, doing away with the need to crop (unless you want to), tape, or glue.  It also takes care of that pesky problem with most slide-in photo albums of not having the correct orientation slides for your photos.  The pages come in all sorts of sizes shapes, and orientations.  I lay out the photos I want to go on a page, then choose the protector that suits the need for that page.

While there is space for creativity if you desire, you don’t even need that!

This method is great for when you have bulk work to do, or older photos you do not want to scan or risk damaging.


Here’s a slide-show for larger viewing if you have time to let it load.  If not, the same photos are below (click on each to see it larger.)

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These particular photo protectors are NOT the protectors that come with the official “Project Life” kit, nor does it take on the “daily” most people use that kit for.  I am using their ideas to accomplish my own goals of doing photo back-log with various divided page projectors.  I did not use most of the journaling cards that came with the kit for this project.  After I get photos I already have printed caught up, I hope to use more of the actual kids for the “daily” journaling.  I will probably still only use it as I feel like taking photos rather than “week by week” as most are using it.  I think it takes something away from my photography to make a “to do” list out of it.  I like to follow my own impulses more.  But, we’ll see.  For this “back log” of photos I’m tackling, I plan to go back and add in some writing/dates/detail to my project as time allows.  For now, the photos are OUT OF SHOEBOXES!  Yay me!

I put in all the photos that could go together in some sort of general order in the sleeves, then am going back to fill in titles or journaling as there is space.   I mounted the 3.5X5″ inch ones on 4X6″ white cardstock and used the extra white space on the mat cardstock for journaling.  In some cases, I wrote with a permanent marker on the plastic sleeve (see the home remodeling pages).  It just seemed to work, though it may rub off…if so, fingernail polish remover takes it off.  I’ll continue to work on journaling and labeling and making it pretty  as I have time and patience.  In some cases, I used my nestability dies, or office sticky labels for dates on top of the protectors.  My rule of thumb for this amount of bulk is “photos first”.  I didn’t have a great camera in those years, and each of the baby faces is special to me.  I just want them in books for this one family album to enjoy.  I can always pull out special ones to traditionally scrapbook for them as I desire later.   I like journaling each photo with a sticker label for this amount of bulk, plus, it seems easier for my guys to follow than a lot of writing.

Ideas for labeling individual photos:

  • A banker’s label punch worked great to fold and drape over the folder.  I just added a smidge of dot runner tape to the back of the photo to keep it from sliding when I pushed both into the protector.
  • In some cases, I made a paperclip label, especially when the protector allowed something to stick out of the top (some brand protectors slide from the side, making this impossible, while other photo slide from the top, making it possible).
  • I plan to add a few page tabs to indicate the passing of the first year as soon as I can find them at a store.

Feel free to comment or add any questions.  If you are doing Purpose Life and are posting your photos with titles were I can find you or are on the gallery at Project Life, chances are, I’ve been visiting you!


Divided Page ProtectorsAC Divided Page Protectors

8.5X11″ standard Page Protectors


SCAL, Cricut, and SVG cut files

Patterned Paper (Various)

Stickers, Labels

Project Life

Journaling Older Photos Using Tabs and Labels

March 27, 2011

I posted a free SVG Label 4X4 insert, and friends wanted a visual for how it was used.  The goal was to find a way to add in journaling for each photo where I could identify people, places, my age, or location quickly when needed without taking up a lot of space.   While the photos were labeled on the back, after inserting them into these Nine Grid We R Memory Keepers Page Protectors, if was difficult to access that information.  I needed to find a quick way to move that info to the front, so I made this 4X4 tabbed file in Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL).

These page  protectors are  the perfect size for these older square 3.5″ X 3.5″ photos.  (I am trimming the white edges off the vertical photos  as they are a tad bit wider.)  It’s been quick and easy– just a couple hours to slide them in, and no tape.  I don’t mind if they slide around a bit in the spot.  I want them secure and photo safe.

I pulled the old photos from the old sticky magnetic books.  Loved those old books of Mom’s, but they were degraded, photos were falling out, and it was just time to move on. It only took some “Un-Do”to remove the stubbornly stuck photos quickly.

As an added bonus, when I removed a graduation photo of my mom with the Un-Do, I found another very small photo of her at about age 12 wedged behind it.  I don’t have any other photos of her at that age, so it was a special treat!

Also shown are a couple photos of how I’m using punches to add journaling spots on pages where I don’t need paper inserts throughout the whole page.

For me right now, time, order, and telling the story are more important than being publisher-worthy.  I want to use these prints in a meaningful ways before  I move forward with more photo printing.  It’s freeing me up to “not feel behind”.  I figure these methods are easy to edit if I change my mind and want to do something more complex later.  But, they can be enjoyed NOW.

Now, for the next shoebox of photos crammed under my bed!  LOL

Thoughts on Project Life Design

March 26, 2011

I’ve spent a lot of time stalking Ali Edward’s Project Life Albums, and others I like (see new Project Life category links in the sidebar.)

I tried to look at the things about those pages that  make them stand out to me, in case I choose to aim for beautiful (sometimes just getting it done has to be enough!)

  1. Compelling Photos that draw the eye in, lots of color, or balanced color on the page
  2. Inserts of life “stuff” mixed in (wrappers, receipts), instead of all journaling cards/ and photos instead of cards at times.
  3. Only use colors and style pre-formatted cards that coordinate (do not use too many journaling cards on one page–boring/cluttered)
  4. Use Overlays/Partial pages to extend the story (also breaks up the linear format some)
  5. Do not use redundant photos, unless baby photos…can’t get enough of the baby faces in my albums!
  6. Not a lot of pastels (unless baby photos, the pages just seem to look washed out with too much pastel to me).
  7. Insert Long Journaling Inserts with typewriten stories/various authors for journaling
  8. Make the Photographed subjects shine…do a mix of full body and close up shots
  9. Use brightly processed photos…dull pages make, well, dull pages
  10. Use typewriter on tabs, cool effect (tabs also help indicate where to grab a short page to turn)
  11. Lines/grids around journaling (Ali Edward’s, Designer Digitals + PSE)
  12. Instax camera, still not sure how much I like this, but unique.  I’m matting my 3.5X5 pre-printed photos for this same effect.
  13. My observation, watching my guys look at an album.  Unless their is journaling ON the photos, they don’t like to dig for the information.  They will just ask me instead.  So…I’m using label stickers on top of the transparencies a lot.  I’ll insert a photo here soon to show this.

I recommend going to the Project Life Gallery (requires free membership) to see how others are approaching this style, and see what stands out to you and what you don’t care for as much visually.  I may just decide that the “style” isn’t as important as the story, or getting it done, which is fine.  But, it’s fun to see other’s work and get ideas.

I have bought both kits, and am not sure how I will use them , but felt the “Amber” edition would work great with my daughter and the “Turquise”, more graphic reminded me more of my sons.  I may mix and match the sets, using them both for family albums.  That is the current plan.  We’ll see how that idea materializes.  Anyway, I could not decide, kept going back and forth, and finally decided the page protectors and journaling inserts were worth the cost of the books and just ordered them both.  I may regret that, but that’s what I did.  I just really wanted to get started and can see this new approach propelling me forward in a much needed way with the family albums.


Last week, I used divided We R Memory Keepers page protectors to finish my “happy Mom book” of duplicates (pics of that to come).   I have a FULL (overflowing) album totally together in just a few days, ready for finishing touches with my Cricut or journaling or titles!  I’ll work on the finishing details as time allows.   But, for now, the photos clutter is GONE!  Yay!

Earlier this week, I took all my personal 38-year-old preschool pics out of the OLD acidic magnetic pages and put them in the 4X4 divided We R Memory keepers page protectors.  I made a journaling tasb to slide between the ones I wanted to journal about.  It’s simple, but the photos are somewhat organized and safe.  I may go back and work with it some more in years to come to make it beautiful, but as long asall this is taking even with this level of simplicity, I’m just glad for progress and a few notes on the photos for now.

This week, I have a shoe-box full of photos to decide how to archive of my children’s toddler photos (photos soon to come).  I hope to knock that out in some form, even if it’s just the beginnings of organization, grouping them in divided page protectors.  I have done some of these photos  in their own books, but need to go through and figure out what I’ve scrapped and what I still need to scrap.  Most of those are film photos, so I need to do some major organization/deciding making.   AFTER I get that done, I’ll consider some Project Life.

That’s the way I’m rolling.  Get organized, reward myself!  Go me!

SVG Sets

March 25, 2011

So, as you know, I do a lot of cutting with my Cricut + Sure Cuts a Lot program.

I cut SVG files, but they are hard to find in sets and not available in stores.  I found a couple companies online and one is having a sale today:  Lettering Delights  (see sidebar for link).

Here are two of my favorite sets for spring they have on sale (were $5, now $2) called  “Spring is Bliss” and “Peeps”.   I don’t really enjoy intricate paper piecing for cuts as in “Peeps”, but I think it would look totally adorable as a print N cut.  LOVE these colors!

I also use a lot of their $1 fonts and their free fonts–their prices are really cheap compared to some font sites which charge hundreds of dollars for one font.  Hope this helps!

Project Life is Here!

March 24, 2011

My “big white boxes” arrived in the mail today.  I am so excited.  My cousin, Rhonda, was here.  We unpacked them together.  So fun to have someone to share my happy moment!  She even took my picture…

I have pulled out the designated “first” and “last” cards to place.  Not sure if I’ll leave them how I’ve got them, but at least I won’t use them elsewhere until I know.   All the little boxes the cards came in or cute, I really needed them more visually accessible, so I used the first first page protectors of my books to carefully stick the cards and stickers.  After I get familiar with the content, I may be able to pile them.

I LOVE the colors of the Turquoise kit.

I also like the Amber kit once it’s together when I’ve seen it used online,  but all together, the various shades of green/turquise are throwing me off.  I found the title and end pages tricky.  Perhaps once the colors are spread throughout the album, it will help spread out the hues where they don’t conflict as much as they do back to back.

I can’t wait to start on this project, though I’m not positively absolute as to my intentions.


  • do older photos I do NOT want to put tape on
  • do the amber for my daughter and the turqouise for my sons
  • mix and match them to catch up family photos for the last few years
  • wait until I’m inspired

In any case, I’m way thankful to Becky Higgins for this novel approach, hybrid method, and genius packaging.  She rocks.  This is one of those ideas I thought of five years ago– wish I’d had her business sense to pull together.  Why don’t I think like a business person?  I have no idea how Becky pulls it all together, but she does it well.

As a bonus,  this was in my package:

Is it…

  • a secret message from Becky Higgins to let me know my order is free, if only I discover this “golden ticket” within the shipment?
  • Becky Higgins had her hands full and was writing down a phone number when she dropped it into one of the many boxes going out.  My giving her the number back will be life saving?
  • a stock boy was keeping count of the number of these babies he’d boxed up?


The Hub is taking me to Mexican, so all for now!



Free Label Shaped SVG Cutting Files for Cutting Machines

March 22, 2011

I just posted some free label svgs I made up for my use combining basic patterns.  Enjoy!

Click HERE for files.

You have permission to use these for personal use or in crafting projects you sell.  You may not share, transfer, sell, or duplicate as your own work.

If you do not have software for cutting with a Cricut, better buy now as there is a lawsuit against the company which could potentially render the software unavailable for the Cricut cutting machine.  Click “Sure Cuts A Lot” button on sidebar for more info.