Yay! I made a Scrapbook! & What I Learned While Making It!

Sometimes I think it’s a strange thing that I want to collect all of my favorite photos and decorate them and then I say “Ashley, it’s a gazillion dollar industry. You are a little fish in a big pond of scrapbookers and cratfers!”.

Earlier I talked about wanting to take the plunge to do this. Part of my new years resolution was to create. I wasn’t limiting myself to any certain projects, but I thought that if I could get myself into the mindset of creating that the possibilities would be limitless. So here is to the start of a good and crafty year!

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I LOVE this page! Ready…Set…GO (then a tiny picture of our friends bolting away) & they’re off!

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I made this scrapbook in 3 nights after I figured out my new Pixma printer and the basics of Photoshop.n  There are 4 pictures left to print, but I ran out of paper! I’ve got more on order, you best believe!

So I have some things to share with you after my first experience.

1.You will read about being overwhelmed with Project Life, and you WILL BE overwhelmed. It’s ok. It’s part of the process! I don’t believe this system was decide to do such a thing, but learn what kind of doses you can take it in! My next project, after our trips, is putting together books for each year we’ve been together, while trying to keep track of the current year. Trust me… these books will take forever, and thats ok. I’m planning on writing little notes about special days in my planner to help me look back. You do YOU!

2. When it comes to the initial shopping for supplies… well we are all in our own financial situations. I had the money at the time to buy more than enough. This is because I have three trips to scrapbook! So I suggest purchasing papers, cards, washi, and stickers that are your style. Go with your gut, something you love. I am a lover of all things turquoise. I also love the chalkboard look, burlap, washed wood, and polka dots. The color scheme worked itself out. I needed natural colors to complement all of the nature things we saw. It just comes together.

3. If you have your own photo printer and editing software don’t freak out about the sizes of you photographs and the pocket pages. They will work themselves out. I ran into several instances where I had to trim a picture down, add a decorative edge to make up space, or cover something up. it all works out. I learned that 4×6 and for some reason 3.8X2.8 worked nicely and I went from there

Here are some mistakes that turned out nicely, in my opinion:

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The picture of the tree turned out too small, but really it just gave it a nice crisp border!

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The pictures along the edge turned out short, so I added some scrap paper behind and washi!

4. When planning and working, I tried to divide things into chucks of events. I would see how many pictures were in the event, decide how many pocket pages I needed and what types would work better for the pictures I had taken (horizontal or vertical). Then I would imagine them in the pages and start printing. Some pictures are easy to imagine as a certain size and orientation. Sometimes I would lay them out, but I did this more with the decorative papers. I tried to have 2 decorative papers per side of every page to allow for a nice quote and some journaling.

5. One of my favorite things I came up with was making my own pocket page cards from scrapbook paper. The corner round cutter from Becky Higgins was amazing. (Other brands make these) All of my photos and papers were consistent this way. This also allowed me to have full control over the look of my book. I was not limited to the small supply of pocket page cards available at my Hobby Lobby. So my tip is to make your own cards and buy some! I bought some that were black and white with nice quotes and patterns and a chalkboard look to them, but picked my own colorful papers to use!

6. And with that, don’t limit yourself to brands. A lot of people use Project Life or Pocket Pages by mamBi, and even others yet, but these systems all work interchangeably pretty well!

*Again, I’m working on my photography. I will try to remember to upload photos that are more focused, but have you ever needed to get a post out there because it’s been sitting so long? Here it is, no fears folks! Putting myself out there! Also, The lighting in Kansas is so bad right now because of Daylight Savings time. I have little time to get my pictures taken when I get home! It’s all good though, I’m still learning.

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Getting Ready for College

It’s that time again! We are forced to buy some more school supplies… We’re talking books, a new printer, some clothes if necessary… those things that make you cringe to buy at first… At one point I desperately needed new work pants.

This semester I don’t have to buy a single textbook!!! HELLO open educational resources! I decided to spoil myself with a fancy planner!

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Look, it was even on clearance!

In the teacher world everyone is head over heels for Erin Condren’s teacher planners. With Hobby Lobby offering  The Happy Planner I had to grab it. It is similar in style, as in it is fun and offers super customization, but slightly more affordable… maybe?! I suppose you can spend as much as you like on them. What sold it for me is that it’s right in front of me! I don’t have to buy it online, I know what I’m getting. I can see if I like it before buying Erin Condren someday…

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I started out with the extra pocket folder add-ons, sticky notes, and two packs of stickers.

After going through it last night I can already tell I’m going to struggle with it. I was always that kid that had stickers, but never used them for a couple of reasons: 1. Once you used them they are gone and 2. Whatever you stick them on is also a commitment, you have to go with the look you are creating.

This will be a huge exercise for me in opening up my creativity. Most of you don’t know me, a few do, but I consider myself to be very creative, but I always have had biases, mental blocks, and other reasons for not stretching my skills. This will be a fun creative activity to start that will also help me keep on track with day-to-day tasks. Exercise my ability to let go and be creative!

There are some AMAZING examples on me & my BIG ideas website/blog!

Here are some of my first creations.

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A few things I have learned after sitting down with my planner:

  1. I think I will like having homework due for the week listed in the notes to the side. I haven’t yet decided how I will handle grocery lists and budget lists. I may utilize the pockets for these or use a strip of washi to tape it to the inside cover as I could go through a ton of shopping lists in a month. We will see! The pockets are proving useful for toting around extra stickers, but I’d like them to be a little more useful than that, even.
  2. Don’t get too carried away with yourself! There are endless colors of washi and stickers… If you are stuck in a rut, slow down and take time to appreciate the current month and week.
  3. BUT do plan ahead. Eventually you won’t have time to sit down and decorate every evening. You will want to do other hobbies! So do plan ahead with the decorating!

Teenage Ashley would be in HEAVEN right now if she found out that someday she was gifted a super cool planner! I had SO much fun using pink as a theme for February. I cant wait for other holidays. I will definitely be watching Hobby Lobby scrap-booking sales before diving any deeper with this. My pages are pretty blank right now, but as school starts and my work responsibilities increase I’m sure my planning will too. I was hesitant to put any of the quote stickers in for fear of covering up a time I might need, but i think i have chosen days where there will be little activity to note. Sundays are my days off, Monday will be for observations and other school things, so I think I have enough room on those days to “pencil it in” if I need to.

The excessive scrap-booking will probably eventually have to stop. I see myself being too busy as a teacher, but you never know! You just have to love the process.

What activities do you do to engage yourself creatively? Coloring books? Scrap-booking? Painting?

I’ve got BIG ideas of my own for his year… remember my resolutions? There’s something I’ve been dying to do for so long that I am FINALLY dipping my toes in! Time to rip-off that band-aid and DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY! 😀

I will be blogging as soon as they arrive. Hurry UP FEDEX!