ORGANIZING // a discbound notebook/planner for next year – because I like to allow myself plenty of time. For 2013 I have relied upon (and loved) the Laurel Denise Planner for my work/personal calendar and a separate notebook for product brainstorming and sketching. My friend Christine’s enthusiasm for her combination planner/notebook lured me in by allowing me to combine my calendar, my notebook, and just about anything else into one book with pages that I can move around at will. This one is a combination of the Arc system from Staples, a Martha Stewart notebook, and these Circa planner inserts by Levenger (although I haven’t put the 2014 planner pages in yet).
LOOKING FORWARD TO // Fall television – especially the return of Parenthood, one of my favorite shows of all time. I’m also anxiously awaiting the start of Survivor: Blood vs. Water because husbands and wives (or mothers and daughters) competing with/against one another for a million dollars is a sociology experiment I just can’t pass up.
INSPIRED BY // the appearance of autumn colors everywhere I look. Last night marked our first frost warning of the season and that’s the only excuse I need to pull boots and cowl-neck sweaters out from the back of the closet. And I’m ten different kinds of in love with the dark green/gray nail polishes that are showing up everywhere this year – I’m wearing Essie’s Power Clutch this week and can’t stop admiring it.
ADJUSTING TO // old routines, like the back-and-forth (and back-and-forth) trek every Monday evening to take Nick to and from Scouts. Mondays and Tuesdays are always spent with his dad on the other side of town, so this is a drive I can practically make on auto-pilot but reallocating 2 hours does take some getting used to after an entire summer of working long days every Monday. It’s completely worth it for all the knowledge, experience and personal pride he gains through Scouting.
LISTENING TO // The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle whenever I get the opportunity, but I’m not great at multi-tasking so I find that I can’t do things like type or draw while listening to a book. This is something I already knew, but I keep thinking I’ll spontaneously sprout skills in this department. I’m not sure how other people listen to audiobooks while working but I envy them greatly, because I could really get through a lot of books every year if I had this ability.
ACCEPTING // that maybe I can only take some weekends off. Several months ago I decided that I would try not to work (much…) on Saturdays and Sundays – both to recharge creatively and also so my family doesn’t file for abandonment. However, there are certain times of year and series of events that make this an unrealistic option so I’m having to revise my expectations a bit and accept that into some weekends a little work may fall … but at least I have the option of wearing my robe while I do it.
ENGAGING // in an hourly battle for my office chair with this supremely lovable little furball – seen here post-defeat, doing a bang up job hiding his disappointment. If I get up from my seat for a split second an alarm goes off at a pitch only he can hear, and I return to find him sprawled out across the chair fast asleep. I believe he’s mastered the art of faking sleep. He has not, however, mastered the art of good sportsmanship.
RESEARCHING // extra wide office chairs, or some sort of co-sleeping type apparatus that allows him to sidecar on my office chair. Although I don’t think it would matter, because the ultimate goal is to claim the chair entirely.
EXPLORING // the October main kit from Gossamer Blue, which arrived on my doorstep this past weekend. I love creating papers for this kit club every month and then receiving them and seeing how they fit together with all of the products Lori has chosen. (One Little Bird papers are in the main kit and the main add-on kit every month.) I’ve become 200% more paper crafty because I can’t resist playing with everything. My heart belongs to digital, but I’m happy to report I’m actually becoming semi-not-half-bad at using glue … most of the time.
SHARING // this gold confetti desktop wallpaper, part of the Dress Your Tech series at DesignLoveFest. I seem to change my desktop wallpaper every week or two and I fell instantly in love with this one. There are two others (and a smartphone wallpaper) as well. Life is too short for uninspiring system wallpaper, don’t you think?
Last month I released this collection of products in my guest shop at Scrap Orchard, but if you didn’t get a chance to grab my Forever Young Digital Kit and the coordinating Journaling Cards during the month of August then you’ll be delighted to hear they’ve landed back at The Lilypad! They’re intermingling with the rest of the One Little Bird catalog now.
As always, the coordinating 3×4 journaling cards include the individual PNG files and printable 8.5 x 11″ sheets – one of which is a PDF file, so you don’t need Photoshop (or any other graphics program). Just open and print.
Also included this time around are JPG versions of each card with .25″ bleed, which meets the printing specifications for most professional print shops – such as (my favorite) Persnickety Prints. You can just upload those versions for hassle-free professional printing. Those files weren’t included when these cards were released at Scrap Orchard, so if you already purchased them and you want the JPG files – shoot me an email through my contact form (with your Invoice # from Scrap Orchard, if you love me) and I’ll get those to you.
SECOND CHANCE SAVINGS
This weekend only you’ll have another chance to grab the kit for 20% off AND receive the journal cards free when you purchase the kit. No coupon necessary, just add the kit to your cart and the cards (should) automagically appear in there as well.
|| MY LAYOUT ||
|| FRESH INSPIRATION FROM THE FLOCK AND POLLYS ||
I’d like to talk with you today about Cloning – and no I don’t mean sheep! Although you could use the skills you’re about to learn to clone a sheep out of a photo.
Photoshop Elements has a very fun tool to play around with called the Clone Stamp. It can be used to get rid of unwanted sections of a photo. For very small blemishes, I’d recommend the spot healing brush, but for larger areas the clone stamp is the tool. It’s a great way to salvage a “whoops” photo!
|| CLONE STAMP VIDEO TUTORIAL ||
A look at my before and after photos:
|| CLONE STAMP TIPS ||
- The clone stamp works best when you have a consistant, repetitive background.
- Pay attention to the shadowing/shading of the background. Pick a section of the background to “alt-click” on that matches the background around the subject you want to clone away.
- You may need to stop periodically to re-identify new areas of the background to copy data from.
- If you finish and your background looks a bit cut and pasted together, try using the healing brush to cover up the “edges” look.
|| CHRISTY’S LAYOUT ||
Like magic, my photo is layout ready. I love it!
Fall is almost here, can you feel it? I am excited to share that I’ve added three new products to the shop today for the September BYOC. The Equinox collection of products is now available, and it’s 20% off through the weekend. (Cage Liner Subscribers can buy the entire bundle for an extra 20% off – 40% off total.)
The Equinox Papers and Equinox Elements feature a great mix of contemporary patterns and autumn-inspired elements in a color scheme that in my humble opinion captures the transition between summer and fall perfectly!
The coordinating Equinox Journal Cards include (6) 3 x 4″ journal cards that can be used on your digital scrapbook pages, as well as in your project life/pocket page albums. The package contains individual card files (PNG) as well as 8.5″ x 11″ printable sheets in both PDF and PSD format. No Photoshop necessary for the PDF!
New with this package of cards is a folder containing JPG images of each card with .25″ bleed, which meets the printing specifications for most professional print shops – such as Persnickety Prints! You can just upload those versions of the cards for hassle-free professional printing.
Save 20% On These New Releases
All of the products in the September BYOC line are on sale – grab them individually for 20% off. Cage Liner subscribers be sure to check your latest newsletter for an exclusive bundle offer (below). Both offers end 9/8/2013.
|| EXCLUSIVE SUBSCRIBER OFFER ||
Cage Liner Subscribers receive exclusive access to the Equinox bundle by clicking on the bundle image in your latest newsletter. (Note: Exclusive Subscriber offer cannot be combined with any other BYOC discount – including Buy More, Save More discounts.)
Not yet a subscriber? Subscribe now to receive exclusive offers and product news from me!
|| MY LAYOUT ||
I totally adore Autumn. This photo was actually taken by Todd Newman when he and Christine were here for our wedding in 2010. I don’t take nearly enough photos of the fall colors, I suppose I take them for granted? I was looking through my September & October photos for the past couple of years, though, and when I hit this series of photos I thought to myself “Why did I take so many pictures of trees that year?”
Turns out it wasn’t me.
|| LAYOUTS BY THE FLOCK & THE POLLYS ||
Taking a little time to share my (itty bitty) Project Life album as it stands so far – which is to say that it stands in various stages of incomplete.
Back in March I officially finished up January, which required that I rely heavily on social media updates, diary entries sent into OhLife! and my photo library itself.
It won’t come as any surprise that this strategy is not a sound one, but it did manage to work for the remainder of January’s photos. The project was fresh on my mind in January so I was extra vigilant about taking photos and documenting details that month.
It also helped that I had upgraded my camera in January, and the arrival of my D7000 is documented above along with Sisko’s best photo EVER. Enthusiasm over a new toy had me taking more random, everyday photos. The pages above have journaling cards from So Major and How It Began, plus various odds and ends from my paper supplies.
The little “Keep Me” pocket above is a leftover from my Smash Book supplies and it contains my jury duty notice – all of the trials over those two weeks wound up being canceled, so all in all I can’t complain about jury duty.
These pages came together fairly easily overall, but as I was completing them in March I had to face the fact that I had lost some of my commitment to documenting in real time. Also I had a growing, unsorted stack of daily bits and pieces that were becoming a concern for me.
So instead of inserting the pocket pages as I completed them, I placed them all into the album at once (empty) and started placing items into them in loose chronological order every time I had a free moment.
Which means that March-June are all variations on the theme pictured above – a few items placed in pockets, plus Post-It notes marking photos that I know I took or journaling I need to write. Some 2-page spreads are almost entirely finished while others are mostly post-it notes.
But at the end of June my album was already looking pretty full, and I wanted to make sure I left enough room in it for any sections that got a little bulky.
So I purchased my second Sn@p Album, this time in red because my local Michael’s doesn’t carry the brown and I’m just not all that particular. The large rubberbands on both binders are Smash Bands. The bindings on the Sn@p albums take a while to loosen up so they tend to slowly work their way open and lock me out of the desk drawer that I store them in.
Since I was starting fresh with a new album, I set a goal to try to keep up to date on the second half of the year – with “up to date” being defined as “no more than one month behind”. Because I’m a Realist.
I finished up July on Labor Day, but I’m totally going to count it as a triumph.
There’s no delineation of weeks in any given month, and pages tend to be more of a personal diary for me than documentation of our family as a whole. I used pieces from the Gossamer Blue August Main Kit and Add-On Kit here as well as veneers from Studio Calico and tag from Cosmo Cricket Summer Love/Sweet Disposition. The “watching” is cut from the top of one of the Stay Tuned Journaling Cards.
Tickets from a friend’s birthday celebration at a local baseball game are tucked into a chevron mini bag from Studio Calico, then I taped my Instagram photo to the front. The right side marks the start of our trip to Vegas for Summer CHA. The photo was taken just outside the Vdara resort at City Center. Oddly enough I never realized that the art installation was made up of canoes until I was printing the photo. I am nothing if not observant. More pieces of the Gossamer Blue kits here, as well.
Probably most out of character for me was this card. I had written “Take Risks” in the margin of my planner in July as a gentle reminder to myself and I wanted to document it more permanently in my album. This glitter alpha (Luxe by Pink Paislee) had just arrived in my September Main Kit from Gossamer Blue and it seemed only fitting that I use it on a card reminding me to step outside my comfort zone.
Those familiar with my glitter phobia will understand what a big step this was for me. (Although I must admit that the glitter doesn’t shed at all on these alphas, so I wasn’t in any real danger.)
Two pages of just Vegas using more Gossamer Blue (August Kits) and Studio Calico (veneers, brads & paper). The right side is a 6×8 paper layout with an Instax photo taken in the Doodlebug booth of me with the girls from Scrap Orchard and my friend Gwen, who came with us to Vegas and tagged along to the convention despite the fact that she doesn’t scrapbook at all.
I haven’t made a paper scrapbooking layout since 2004 and my fear of commitment was on full display the entire time I was making this one. I left it laying on my desk for two days before I felt confident enough to glue anything down.
On the opposing side I made a pocket out of the August papers and elements to hold some assorted bits from the trip. I created and cut the pieces for the pocket using my Silhouette, but I could have just as easily done it with a paper cutter and a corner rounder. I can’t find my corner rounder, though, and I was really set on having round corners.
The right side documents a night spent off-strip in Red Rock and down on Freemont Street, as well as my one and only positive gambling experience. I won $37 on the Star Trek slot machines at The Venetian using my friend Gwen’s advice – she only plays on slot machines whose names have some sort of meaning to her. I’ve been subjected to more Star Trek episodes (courtesy of Tom) than I care to think of, and it was about time that Star Trek gave a little something back to me. Parts of the September Gossamer Blue Main Add-On Kit start to appear here, as well as the wood veneer speech bubble from Freckled Fawn.
My final page for the month was photo-centric, save the veneer alpha from Studio Calico that I used to add the airport code to the photo of our flight home. Tom and I took an extremely late flight out of Las Vegas, trying to eek every last second out of the trip because it’s one of his favorite places on Earth. We didn’t get back home until 2am and I had agreed to open the chiropractic office at 8:30am, which allowed me 4 hours to sleep. I wanted to be sure to document that moment of temporary insanity by taking a quick “where I stood” shot after I unlocked the practice. A photograph of my new glasses and our final baseball game of the season closed out July.
And now I just have to keep my eye on the prize and get August completed before the end of September.