Project Life ~ Week 11 ~ March 11-17

PS_3_11spread

This is my spread for the week after my house & car caught on fire. I learned a nifty “burned wood” technique in Photoshop & used that for my title with a slightly sooty background to pull in some of the atmosphere – my house smelled like smoke and soot all week – without being too melodramatic about it. It was a pretty intense week – dealing with the aftermath of the fire, saying goodbye to my beloved car, being displaced with a cat in tow, disappointing news about practicum (I made my first art journal page about that) and and to top it all off one of my mega class weekends of three 11-hour school days.

Despite the intensity of the week, I had fun making these pages. I used a non-PL template from Scrapping With Liz and spent a good deal of my time for this layout figuring out the easiest way to automate rounding corners. Another HUGE time drain for this one was getting the darn journaling formatted properly. At moments like that when I’m tugging and pulling and space-barring like the Dickens to try to get my text lined up I think longingly of a nice paper journal card and a nice simple pen. In the plus column for digital text, I am totally in love with a new font, Soymilk, that I used here prodigiously.

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In general Project Life news, the weeks I have yet to do for 2013 are: 3, 5, 9, & 10. Hmm… that’s actually not as bad as I thought.

PixelScrapper has another blog train coming up April 1st. The theme this time is “The Birds and the Bees.” I thought I wasn’t going to be able to make anything – I spent months and months working on what I made for the February blog train, and I just haven’t had that kind of time since this blog train was announced. But this past weekend I really needed to take a break from working on fire stuff and just zone out. The creative juices got flowing and I had such a wonderful time making a ton of fun materials. It was super gratifying to see how far my photoshop skills have come, which I think is part of why it took me so much less time this time around. I also didn’t confine myself to working with only CU4CU materials (which I did last time in order to have my blog train offering be CU rather than PU – that’s commercial use OK, rather than just for personal use, for anyone not familiar with the acronyms) and I think that saved me a ton of time and stress.

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I’m linking this up with the Project Life Tuesday roundup over at The Mom Creative. It’s such fun every week to see what everyone has been making & doing!

Credits:
Template: Scrapping With Liz ~ DSD Facebook Freebie
Background paper: Persnickety Prints ~ Storyteller Free Kit
Brushes: Richard Stelnach/brusheezy.com ~ Rough Edges, Createwings Designs ~ Now Showing Splatter FB Freebie, Pink Reptile Designs ~ Fun & Fancy Splatter Brushes No. 1, Christine Smith ~ Spray Mists, HG Desgins ~ Grunge Frame Brush
Shadow styles: Tracy Stroud ~ Rock the Shadows
Tape: Sugary Fancy ~ Dear Old Love Add-on
Speech bubble: Paislee Press ~ Memory Keeper Word Art
Fonts: Bebas Neue, Soymilk, Hero, Stencil Std, Artistamp
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My first art journaling page

I don’t really ever scrapbook outside of my Project Life pages. I’ve done a few experiments here and there, but just doing PL I’m barely keeping up (okay, I’m not keeping up at all, if you want to get technical). But I’ve been intrigued for a long time by art journaling, on paper before I knew about digital scrapbooking, and now in digi form. So when I realized I had a LOT to say about the practicum application process I’ve been entrenched in for two months, more than I could comfortably squeeze into some little 3×4 journaling spots during my regular weekly layouts, I decided to devote a full page to my thoughts. I could have scrapped it pocket-style, I suppose, but I chose instead to use this as an opportunity to try something new.

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I recently downloaded a gorgeous art-journal style mini from Christine Smith (an incredible art journaler) as part of DigiShopTalk’s most recent blog train. I also came across Mon Bijoux, a delightful quirky font that just screamed “art journal me!” Inspired, I set out learning how to make an art journal page. I read through some of a great blog series on art journaling over at Captivated Visions and watched a video of her making a page step by step (although I’ll confess, I stopped watching in the middle because I was so excited and full of ideas, and just went and made my page).

This page only took me an evening. Still several hours, but it was really fun to be doing something new. It was also an opportunity to appreciate how much I’ve learned in the last year, since I started this whole digital odyssey. I remember being confused and intimidated by brushes and layer masks and blending modes – even downloading and installing fonts was pretty stressful for me when I began. The facility that I have now pleases me so much – the sheer number of techniques I know dazzles me when I remember how much I despaired of ever remembering the things I would have to repeatedly google and follow tutorials to learn.

I’m a little bummed to be presenting this page with so much blurred out. Unlike the PL pages I do think that it really breaks up the visual flow. But this is a pretty detailed personal tale and I do like to retain the illusion of a little privacy when posting online. I’m also trying out not sharpening my layout jpgs before posting them online (inspired by this thread at PixelScrapper). I think this looks kinda blurry! Let me know what you think?

UPDATE: I decided to hold off on posting this page ’til I got the news from my school clinics. I heard this morning that I wasn’t accepted to either of the clinics I applied to. I’m pretty bummed. I do trust that the Universe has put me where I will benefit most and be of most benefit to the world, but it still stings. To be rejected, to watch some of my classmates move on to an opportunity together without me, and most especially to have the magical feeling of connection I experienced turn out to have been one-sided.

Credits
Everything unless specified is Christine Smith ~ Brighter Days Ahead Blog Train Freebie
Paint border: HG Designs ~ Frames
Christine Smith ~ Spray Mist Brushes
Just Jaimee ~ INSD Mixed Media Prints Brushes Freebie
Doodles: Yellow Butterfly ~ Neon Love Kit Freebie
Newspaper stamp: Sissy Sparrows ~ March Freebie
Stenciled numbers: Photoshop Tutorials ~ Market Stencil Brushes
Paint: CathyK Designs ~ Bright Days Ahead Blog Train Freebie
Fonts: Mon Bijou, Batik Regular, Sketchy

Project Life ~ Week 8 ~ Feb 18-24

PS_2_18spread_nosharpThe spread above is from a few weeks ago. There was a fire at my house this weekend. I don’t really have it in me to say much here, except that everyone is ok, the cat is ok, and it could have been much worse (if you rent and don’t have renter’s insurance, run and get some right now!). I’m sure it will show up in future PL pages, etc.

These pages for week 8 were done a while ago. I’ve been so busy with school and practicum (which I made my first-ever art journaling page about! I’ll post it here next week) that I’ve really fallen behind with my PL scrapping. I haven’t fallen behind with my photo-taking or 1 Second Everyday video recording, though. So, no matter what pace I go at, eventually everything will get put into some memory-keeping format for me to enjoy and share.

I’m so tired from dealing with all this fire stuff that I’m not going to say any more here. Miss Wordy Mouth is gonna enjoy a little silence instead. I was going to ask you all for your thoughts about sharpening this week, and I made sharpened and non-sharpened versions of each page to get your opinion on. I’ll write more next time about my process; I’d love to know whether you sharpen your jpgs before posting online, what method you use, etc. And I’d love to know if you think one version (sharpened vs not sharpened) looks better here, if you think I’ve over-sharpened, or if you can even really discern a difference.

Hope your week was filled with wonderful adventures and no disasters! I’m mostly filled with gratitude regarding mine. This is exhausting but it could have been so much worse in so many ways. I’m still going to try to check out all of your pages but I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to leave comments this week, sorry!

Ok, on to the fun stuff. The spread above is not sharpened. Here’s the sharpened version.

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And here’s non-sharpened page 1:

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Sharpened page 1:

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Non-sharpened page 2:

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Sharpened page 2:

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Let me know what you think!

Credits:
I hate sick: Ume 7 Design scraplifted from Wild Blueberry Ink
Unless listed separately below, all papers and elements are from Ardent Sparrow ~ The Abby Mini
Fabric elements: Ardent Sparrow ~ Kate fabric elements
Title alpha: Mye de Leon ~ Veneer Alpha (recolored using Melamine pattern from www.pixeden.com)
February stamp: Biograffiti ~ Month Stamps
Stitching: Valerie Wibbens ~ Pockets No. 6
Speech bubble: Storyteller Free Kit
Chalk brush: Just Jaimee ~ Chalky Brushes Newsletter Freebie (brush #1190)
Arrow: Graphics Fuel ~ Hand Drawn Arrow Brushes
22 stamp: Ziggle Designs by Kami ~ Daily Date Stamps
Banners: Sugary Fancy ~ Basic Banner templates
Marisa Lerin ~ Birds in Snow Scribble
Date sticker: Biograffiti ~ Itty Bitty Dates No. 9
Kraft speech bubble: PixelberryPie ~ Speech Bubbles
Fortune Cookie: FranB ~ Fortune Cookie Alpha
Fonts: CK Journal, Xerography, TheHeather, Bebas Neue, Things We Said, American Typewriter, Arial Narrow, Trejan Pro, CK Ali’s Hand