Happy Digital Scrapbooking Day!

The first Saturday in November became a glorious day once I discovered the magical world of digital scrapbooking. I would spend all weekend hopping from blog to facebook to scrabooking store, downloading a cornucopia of freebies one to two files at a time over my painfully slow internet connection. One year I had a major paper to write over DSD weekend and I remember writing to my study buddy about what a huge conflict it was. (DSD won, of course, for the most part. Those freebies ain’t gonna stay free forever.)

I’m excited to have the chance to give back this year with a freebie of my own. I don’t know how many people will find their way to my blog during the DSD freebie-fest, since Pixel Scrapper doesn’t do any extra DSD promotions or festivities, but I’ll leave this up for a while and it can be the icing on your gigantic full-hard-drive freebie cake.

Free Printable Inspirational Poster from https://eversoscrumptiously.wordpress.com

What I have for you is a free printable poster that coordinates with my Already There digital scrapbooking and pocket scrapping bundle. I’m still completely loving both the mint & copper color palette and the theme of the kit, which is about slowing down, enjoying what you have right now, and resting in the knowledge that you are exactly where you need to be. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a little reminder of this particular piece of wisdom, and what better way to do that than with sparkles!
Free Printable Inspirational Poster from https://eversoscrumptiously.wordpress.com
I was fairly dubious when printables first started popping up all over the web. My printer is good but not great so I wasn’t sure if the result would truly be of framable quality, and color printer ink is a precious commodity. I was especially suspicious of  posters with dark backgrounds, like this one I’ve made for you here. What a lot of ink to risk!

Then I came across a fantastic post by Kristi of the blog I Should Be Mopping the Floor. She tells us exactly what to look for in a high-quality printable, and shares that she gets her printables printed at a print shop, like Staples or Kinko’s. I ended up using Office Max and was super pleased with the quality and the price. Printing a poster like this one, which will fit on a regular 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of cardstock (or whatever paper you choose – another benefit of print shops is they have tons of paper choices), costs less than $1! When your frame costs more than your art, you know you’ve gotten a good deal.

Just click on the image above to download a ready-to-print, 300 dpi, 8×10 PDF of this poster, with no URL running across the bottom, of course. I hope this image, whether you use it digitally or in print, helps you remember that you are “Already There.”

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Introducing the new Scrumptiously Hybrid Scrapper!

Wow, wow, wow, this is so super exciting! I have found the perfect hybrid scrapper to add to the Scrumptiously creative team.

My intention in seeking out a hybrid scrapper for my team was pretty straightforward. I would like my designs to be useful to hybrid scrappers. And whether that entails thinking when designing about colors and textures that will look best when printed, offering ideas for creative paper projects that can be made with Scrumptiously products, or simply showing off how beautiful a Scrumptiously hybrid project can be, it’s an area where I have next to no experience.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that Dana Desmond will be joining the Scrumptiously Creative Team as our Hybrid Scrapper! She has tons of experience as a hybrid scrapper, card creator, and artist. Check out some of her work at her blog, Dana’s Imagination Creations. Dana has a wide-format printer (I think that’s what they’re called) which means she can even print full 12×12 papers! Very cool.

And now this is what you have to see. It’s just… there are no words. (But I’m me, so I’m gonna try 🙂 ) Dana made a “hybrid mini album” using my digital scrapbooking bundle Already There. It’s pretty mind-blowing. She first made digital layouts in Elements, printed those out, then used her Silhouette to print and cut additional elements, glueing those on to the printed pages and adding dimensionality to each page. My head is kind of spinning, it’s just so cool – you have to see! She’s made a video showing the album page by page, and you can also check out this post on her blog where she goes into detail about her process.

Welcome, Dana!

So hopefully I’ll be steadily ramping up what I think of as my “hybrid inclusivity” now that I have Dana on my team. It may take a little while though before you start seeing signs of it. I’m gonna get real with you all for a minute here – you may have noticed it’s mostly been radio silence from me lately, both in terms of blog posts and new design releases. Making Already There was one of the most fulfilling creative projects of my life, but at the end I pulled TWO all-nighters in a row – not in order to finish the kit itself but to do all the other stuff, the previews, the marketing copy, the renaming, the zipping, uploading, tagging, etc. As someone with energy and fatigue issues, that was beyond pushing it, and I burned myself out to the point that something broke in me – my drive, my motivation, my spark – that needs some time to be repaired.

I had intended for Documentarian to be a monthly offering, inspired by so many of the amazing monthly Project Life subscriptions out there. But I overestimated my capacity, especially as my other career is just starting to take off. I still love designing, I just need to go more slowly, and adjust my pace to nurture the burnt-out part of me that desperately wants designing to go back to feeling like a joy rather than an obligation.

There’s so much I want to do – so many blog posts I have in my head, freebies I still haven’t posted for you guys, kits I want to make, designers I want to collaborate with, areas I want to get better in (using a tablet and using real-life art materials are the big ones currently). But here I am in the ironic position (and I recognized this even while it was happening) that Already There, my beautiful kit about slowing down, not pushing, taking care of ourselves, was the project I burned out on.

Already There journal filler cards by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I have a lot of compassion for myself – this is a totally new venture, and it will take me a while to learn how to pace myself. I also think (and maybe this is projection, who knows) that I am over on the slow end of the spectrum when it comes to my speed and facility with design. I think I often do things the long way, and everything I make involves learning a ton of new techniques that need to be experimented with and perfected before I can move forward with a high-quality final product. So I generally feel like it’s okay for me to simply do the best I can. It’s just hard to feel like I’m letting you down somehow, letting Pixel Scrapper down…

I don’t have any answers to any of this, just the willingness to stay with this experience and continue to move forward as mindfully and lovingly as I can. What comes will come, and the best I can do is greet whatever emerges with kindness and flexibility. I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

Creative Team Call for Scrumptiously Designs

CT_AD

Violet Irisovna of Scrumptiously Designs (that’s me) is looking for some fantastic scrappers (that’s you) to join her Creative Team! You don’t need to have years of experience, or prior work on other CTs – just a passion for digital scrapbooking and a love for Scrumptiously designs.

Perks of being on the team:

  • Free Commercial Use access to all of Violet’s designs, past and present.
  • A chance to have input (feedback, requests, new ideas) into the work of a designer you love.
  • See your layouts shown off to the world, featured in Scrumptiously and Pixel Scrapper blog posts, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • “Behind the scenes” access to the digital design world, including access to the private Pixel Scrapper Creative Team forum.
  • Relatively low time commitment – current rate of release is about one kit or bundle per month.

I’m currently looking for scrap enthusiasts to fill two different positions on my Creative Team. Each position has different responsibilities. You are welcome to apply for more than one position – just indicate your preference on the application form at the end of this post.


Hybrid Scrapper:
I’d like my designs to be accessible and useful for hybrid scrappers, and my Hybrid Scrapper CT member will be a bridge between Scrumptiously Designs and the world of hybrid scrapbooking.

Hybrid Scrapper CT Responsibilities:

  • Review designs and advise Violet on how to make them accessible to hybrid scrappers (e.g., additional formatting options for journal cards, low or no texture versions of papers, etc.).
  • Keep your “finger on the pulse” of the hybrid world by keeping current on the latest trends (e.g. designers including full-bleed versions of pocket cards for professional printing).
  • Make 1-2 projects per kit or bundle release. One of these should be hybrid – something physical made from printing out Scrumptiously designs, either a pocket page, traditional paper layout or another creation of your choice (a card, a box, a planner page, etc). The other creation can be either hybrid or digital.
  • Upload any digital layouts to the Pixel Scrapper gallery, pin all layouts and projects to Pinterest, and upload to other open galleries as requested (this will be in coordination with the Media Maven).
  • Participate in Pixel Scrapper layout challenges.
  • Some of your projects made using my designs may be turned into hybrid project templates, page templates, quick pages, or stacked cards.

Hybrid Scrapper CT Requirements:

  • Experience with hybrid scrapbooking (printing out digital designs to make paper layouts and other physical creations).
  • Access to high-quality printing so the Scrumptiously designs you print out look fabulous on paper.
  • Good photography skills so your photos of the hybrid Scrumptiously creations you make are well-lit and crisp with true colors and appealing composition.
  • Excellent “save for web” skills – uploaded images of your work are never blurry or pixelated

Apply for the Hybrid Scrapper CT position using the application form below.

Media Maven:
Scrumptiously Designs currently has a Pinterest and blog presence and is looking for a social-media savvy person to help me expand my media/marketing presence.

Media Maven CT Responsibilities:

  • Set up and maintain a Scrumptiously Facebook page and Instagram account.
  • Scout open galleries beyond Pixel Scrapper where it might be beneficial to post layouts made with Scrumptiously designs.
  • Assist other CT members with posting their work to open galleries and Pinterest.
  • Potentially help create and maintain a Scrumptiously newsletter.
  • *There is no layout requirement for this position*

Media Maven CT Requirements:

  • Social-media savviness; familiarity and comfort with Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Familiarity with and excitement about digital scrapbooking in general and Scrumptiously designs in particular.

Apply for the Media Maven CT position using the application form below.

I appreciate each and every submission and read them all with gratitude – I know it’s not easy to put yourself out there this way!

Pocket Scrapper: [The Pocket Scrapper positions have been filled.]
Although all Scrumptiously designs are intended to be flexible enough to use for any kind of scrapbooking, the Documentarian collection is created specifically with Project Life and pocket scrapping in mind. I’m looking for a Pocket Scrapper CT member to make gorgeous pocket pages that showcase how my work can be used for pocket scrapping and Project Life-style documenting.

Pocket Scrapper CT Responsibilities:

  • Make 2 or more pocket-style digital layouts per kit or bundle release. Ideally at least one of these would be Project Life-style documenting (different events and stories chronicled in different pockets on the same page, rather than a pocket-style layout that tells only a single story).
  • Quality check designs as you use them.
  • Upload your layouts to the Pixel Scrapper gallery, pin them to Pinterest, and upload to other open galleries as requested (this will be in coordination with the Media Maven).
  • Participate in Pixel Scrapper layout challenges.
  • Some of your layouts made using my designs may be turned into page templates, quick pages, or stacked cards.

Pocket Scrapper CT Requirements:

  • Quick turnaround time – be able, under most circumstances, to complete your two layouts in a week or less.
  • Excellent “save for web” skills – uploaded images of your work are never blurry or pixelated

Apply for the Pocket Scrapper CT position using the application form below.

The applications for the Pocket Scrapper and Hybrid Scrapper positions require at least one layout or project made using my designs. If you like my style and think we’d be a good fit, but you don’t own any of my products yet, you’re welcome to make a layout for your application using any of the freebies available here on the blog.

The application form will ask you to link to your layouts or photos of hybrid projects. If you have images you want to include in your application that aren’t posted online anywhere, I am open to receiving emailed photos. Just fill out the application form below and instead of links, write “photos not online” in the appropriate spots – I’ll contact you via email and you can send me your photos.

Already There ~ A new kit & a freebie for you

My life is really, really good right now. I have two dream jobs, a secure and comfortable home, and incredible friends and family who love, support, and delight me. My health is better than it has been in years and I’m able to do so much more than I could five years ago that it’s hard to remember the years when I could barely get out of bed.

How does this relate to my new scrapbooking bundle, Already There? Well, there’s a bit of a story there.

One thing I’ve always seen as a gift of my long illness is that it taught me about boundaries and how to say no. Whether I said it with regret because I was too sick to do a yearned-for activity or with relief at skipping some perceived obligation, I became a pro at “No.” The people in my life were initially taken aback, but eventually the folks who stuck around came to realize that my developing forays into limit-setting opened up greater permission within them to set their own boundaries. I am definitely the friend to flake on in order to stay home and do some self-care. Far from taking it personally, I’ll be cheering you on.

But an interesting realization has been emerging over the past few months. By developing my ability to set boundaries in conjunction with learning to listen and care for my body, I never actually learned about other kinds of limitations. Like, you know, time. When you can only do about one significant activity a day, you don’t have to worry too much about schedule-juggling. And even people who are well still have physical limitations – there’s only so much you can ask even a healthy body to do without sleep and food and all that good stuff. (And as much as I’d like to be, I’m still a good distance  from “well.”)

Protect layout made with Already There digital scrapbooking kit by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

So recently I came to see that I don’t know how to say no to “good things.” If an opportunity for something good comes along, I figure, hey, I’m not stuck in bed so why not add it to the mix? And lately that’s been catching up with me and biting me pretty hard. But I couldn’t seem to stop – it felt like I had no mechanism for moderating my “yes.” I spent so many years feeling deprived, watching as so much of the richness of life passed me by. Some part of me feels like I’ve suffered enough, and like a loving and indulgent parent, I don’t want to deny myself any opportunity for enjoyment and growth.  I was telling a wise friend about this dilemma, and what he said to me was, “If you keep adding to your life – even good things – you will eventually lose the ability to protect and maintain what you already have.”

My friend’s words had a huge impact on me. He got right to the heart of the matter, and I realized I was risking compromising the many parts of my life that I already love in order to pile on more and more good things. It was a wake-up call for me to look around and realize I’m already where I want to be. And if I don’t take time to rest, practice self-care, and actually integrate my experiences, I won’t be able to protect this life I love from my own go-go-go mentality.

And from deep personal insight – a scrapbook kit was born! Ha! Well, kind of, yeah. I’d been excited for a while to make a kit built around the color theme mint + copper. What a gorgeous, clean, modern combo those are. (And from the number of great images I was able to find for my mood board, I’m gonna say the internet agrees with me.) But I thought maybe this time I wanted a more specific theme than I had for Bright Days, which was mostly built around color. As I started assembling my ideas, I knew my recent insight and my yummy dreamy color palette would be perfect for each other.

Already There journal cards for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I think the kit has a good mix of themed and non-themed items. I know not everyone is at the same place in their lives that I am, but as I started working with the idea of “Already There” the significance of the idea expanded for me. Spiritually, we can get so caught up in self-improvement, striving to be a better meditator, a more evolved being, that we lose sight of the fact that, as Eckhart Tolle said, “You get there by realizing you’re already there.” Emotionally we’re all under so much pressure, influenced by a society that places way too high a value on what people produce and accomplish. As someone who was forced by illness to step off that hamster wheel I know all too well how much our identities can get wrapped up in achievement and success. I love this quote from Brené Brown, who is so awesome at telling it like it is: “Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute.” Yes!

Already There mint + copper elements for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I had so much fun making this kit. The colors are so delicious to me, and getting to play with so many different copper textures was a delight. That confetti made of little triangular bits of copper is probably one of my favorite things I’ve made, ever. Speaking of elements… I think I made a scrapbooking kit! I mean, yeah, of course I did, but I think I made a traditional scrapbooking kit, rather than one focused mainly on pocket scrapping, which is something I thought I’d never end up doing (since I almost never scrap outside pockets). But I just followed where inspiration took me, and this is where I ended up. There are still plenty of journal cards, stickers, cool stacked frames, pocket-sized elements and a whole bunch of new pocket page templates, though, so our pockets will not go empty!

Already There journal cards for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

You may notice there’s more illustration in this kit than in previous things I’ve made, like that amazing Vespa and those gorgeous flowers above. I am extremely lucky to have Paddy Wolf, one of the world’s most creative digital scrappers (in my humble opinion) on my Creative Team, and she’s a talented artist on paper as well. I commissioned several pieces from her for this kit, which was an incredible opportunity to go beyond my own technical limitations (as I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a designer/assembler/magpie rather than an illustrator). We even spent the final part of my kit creation process in an almost constant collaboration, passing ideas and designs back and forth. It was one of my favorite design experiences ever – I’m such a relational person, and being out of the “design vacuum” and able to get a real-time opinion from someone whose eye I trust was invaluable.

Already There mint + copper bundle for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Messy Stitched Pocket Page Overlays for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping, by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

I think that about wraps up the long tale of how I got from here to “Already There.” (See what I did there? :)) I have a couple of freebies to accompany this kit, one today and one that I’ll be putting up in a little bit. It needs some finishing touches and right now I am wiped from finishing this bundle! That image below is not your freebie (sorry to tease!) but I wanted to show you how the actual freebie, which is a style set, looks when applied. You can see the ombre grey enamel style on the chevrons on the left-hand stacked journal card.

Already There stacked journal cards and frames for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapping by Scrumptiously at Pixel Scrapper

Today’s freebie will only work for Photoshop users, unfortunately. It’s two sets of styles in the dreamy palette colors from the kit – a glossy enamel set and an ombre enamel set. It’s my first style set that I’m offering to the public, rather than just making for my own use, and in addition to my complete ignorance on how to make them work in Elements, I will admit I have no idea how to test them to make sure they work in all circumstances. Or even really what to do to them in the first place to make sure they work in all circumstances. So I’m giving them away for you to play with, and if they work well for you as they did for me, hurray! And if not, it didn’t cost you anything 🙂

Free Photoshop Enamel Styles freebie for digital scrapbooking, pocket scrapbooking

You only need to choose ONE of these links:
Direct download from Dropbox
Mediafire Download (in case Dropbox is unavailable)

Finally, I want to give special acknowledgement to some very special resource-creators. This kit could never have come into existence without the incredible copper textures provided by some very generous artists. I credit and link to them on the Credits page for the bundle (as I do with all resource creators who express a preference for being credited), but this time around these particular resources were vital to creating the core of this kit so I wanted to acknowledge them here as well. If you’re looking for high quality stock resources, check out:
Manoluv on deviantart
Scratzilla on deviantart
InsipidStock on deviantart
Alleca on deviantart
Texturex

Pixel Scrapper May Blog Train ~ Hello!

Another blog train, hurray! I haven’t felt inspired by the colors for Pixel Scrapper blog trains lately (which is for the best since I’m in a perpetual state of “swamped & in over my head” these days), but this month’s palette felt fun and bold and bright, just the thing to inspire some springtime designing.

I was heavily influenced this time around by my enduring love of my new(ish) Silhouette, which I continue to adore although I’ve had only a handful of chances to play with it since school started up again in January. Something about this palette and my beginning forays into print-and-cut just called out to me for flat, textureless hybrid-ready designs. Me! The Texture Queen! Who once wrote the sentence, “If papers look ‘flat’ in the preview, just like squares of digital pixels, I probably won’t download.” Just goes to show how things change!

That’s actually one of the fun things for me about scrapbooking. I’m not a trend-follower in general, or even exposed enough to popular culture that I know what most of the trends are. But scrapbooking (and digital designing) has been for me a novel experience of seeing other people’s designs, both commercial and personal, and having those influence my own tastes and ideas. Once I got the Silhouette and decided to do Project Life in paper form this year (SIGH, the update on that process is a post for another day) I started delving into the world of hybrid scrapping, and now bright colors with no texture look awesome to me!

Scrumptiously May 2014 Pixel Scrapper Blog Train Print & Cut Journal Card Freebies

Both the colors and the theme – Hello! – felt playful and cheerful, so I thought some lighthearted stickers and rubber elements (hello trend!) would be just the thing. I also have been wanting to do some interview-type pages in my Project Life album, where I ask the kids in my life to fill out cards about their interests and favorite things right now. I looked around and didn’t see what I wanted, which was fun journal-card sized cards on a variety of “All About Me” topics, so I decided to make my own. When I realized I was going to be using several designs from my new Miss Tiina Everyday card templates, which are okay for commercial use, I figured why not make my interview cards in blog train colors so I can share them with all of you!

Filling out the Arts & Crafts card

These cards were my first time doing print and cut with Project Life cards, and it was very satisfying to see my designs come to life in three dimensions! I used special fancy paper (Epson Premium Presentation Matte paper) and the print quality is beautiful, much nicer than I expected (the color is truer than it looks in the photo up above). The kids had been involved some with choosing the topics and weighing in on the designs, and so it was fun once the cards were printed to see how they interpreted the cards and filled them out.

FIlling out the Current Faves and Reading Lately cards

Without further ado, here’s what I have for you this month…

First up are those interview cards. I made these because I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for anywhere else. They’ll be great for “All About Me” pages about you, your kids, or anyone you want to commemorate in your pages. Some are open to interpretation (A “Celebrate” card for documenting favorite holidays; the kids decided to title the what-I’m-good-at card, “Talent Show!”). There are two cards with a spot for a QR code linked to a video, one for “My Signature Move” and one for “My Signature Phrase.” I made little videos of the kids doing their moves/saying their phrases and will paste the QR codes for the videos onto those cards. **For all you Silhouette owners out there, this card set comes with Silhouette studio files ready to print and cut!** There is also a printable PDF of all the cards, with both squared and rounded corners (digital folks get to round their own corners – I figure they’re likely getting clipped to a template). The versions that are for printing (PDF & Studio files) are sized to actually fit into Project Life page protectors, so they are slightly smaller than 3×4. And as a secret bonus, this pack of 25 cards also comes with 4 hybrid-ready papers, just for fun! Download is linked below preview (you only need to pick one of the two options).

Free Journal Cards (with Silhouette cut files!) from Scrumptiously for the PixelScrapper May 2014 Blog Train

Direct download link (may not be available due to bandwidth overage):
DOWNLOAD INTERVIEW CARDS
Mediafire link:
DOWNLOAD INTERVIEW CARDS

Next up is an adorable set of rubber elements. They’re very thin rubber (I mean, they’re not any kind of rubber, they’re pixels, but you know what I mean) so that you can shadow them however you like, having them be more like puffy stickers or more like thicker pieces of rubber. I’ve really been enjoying this particular look lately, and used a fantastic style set by Mommyish to make these for you. Little rubber name tag just kills me for some reason! Download is linked below preview (you only need to pick one of the two options).

Free digital rubber elements from Scrumptiously for the PixelScrapper May 2014 Blog Train

Direct download link (may not be available due to bandwidth overage):
DOWNLOAD RUBBERY BITS
Mediafire link:
DOWNLOAD RUBBERY BITS

Finally I have a sticker set for you, inspired by these cool digital/printable sticker sets by Amy Jaz, who is one of my favorite designers. I had so much fun with these – as I said above, for me the color palette just cries out for stickers! The stickers come as individual PNGs and also on a PDF or JPG printable sheet (just print it out on a sheet of label paper and you can cut out your own stickers), and I’ve included Silhouette studio print and cut files. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed right now? 🙂 Download is linked below preview (you only need to pick one of the two options).

Free Digital and Printable Stickers (with Silhouette studio print and cut files!) from Scrumptiously for the PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train

Direct download link (may not be available due to bandwidth overage):
DOWNLOAD STICKERS
Mediafire link:
DOWNLOAD STICKERS

Don’t forget to keep hopping along on the rest of the blog train – there are over 40 contributors this time! You can find previews and links at this Pixel Scrapper thread.

Pixel Scrapper January Blog Train ~ The Best Is Yet To Come

This month I made a bunch of designs for Project Life title pages and layouts about the new year. I had such a great time searching the web for inspiration, checking out people’s title pages and other annual-style layouts for 2013 and 2012. I’m a magpie of a designer – I find stuff that inspires me and replicate it. Sometimes it ends up very different, sometimes so similar it’s more of an “homage” than a “scraplift.” 🙂 I want to give credit to all the creative minds whose designs dazzled and sparked me, so I’ve created a Pinterest board specifically to showcase people whose creations inspire mine. Go check it out – there’s some amazing unique stuff out there! My favorite inspiration for this round was this elegant, two-tone title page by Rachel Swartley. Just beautiful. I pretty much replicated the whole thing, for myself and for you guys, which was extra fun because I was translating a paper design into digital.

PixelScrapper Jan 2014 Blog Train Palette

This month’s blog train palette, with the theme “The Best Is Yet To Come”

Speaking of paper, I’m leaning towards doing my own Project Life album in paper form for 2014 (I’ll write more about that in an upcoming post), so I wanted to be mindful of hybrid scrappers as I designed for this month’s blog train. I sought counsel from the hybrid scrappers of the Pixel Scrapper community and got all kinds of great tips. For this time around, I made non-textured versions of all the papers and many of the cards and elements, for cleaner home printing. Some of the designs would have made great cut files, and I had high hopes of making SVGs, but I ran out of time. Since my sweetie surprised me (and I mean utterly bowled me over, since before he encountered it at Michael’s a few days ago he’d never heard of it) by buying us a Silhouette Cameo (I KNOW!!!) I am sure there are plenty of cut files in our future, so stay tuned…

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train Title Card & Journal Card Freebies

On to the goodies! Most of what I made for you this month are journal cards of various types and sizes. I think the best way to preview journal cards is neatly laid out, rather than all bunched up and overlapping, so I went to town and made a ton of example layouts. I had a great time and it’s just awesome to have 5 layouts made by the second day of the new year, though I’ll probably redo them eventually since for these sample layouts I pulled pics quickly from wherever I could find them most easily. There’s a preview for the papers, and another one for the “extras.” The extras are a few things that didn’t make it into the layouts and the actual kit-versions of some of the cards that I stamped and wrote on in my layouts, so you can see what they actually look like.

Blog train freebie links only stay up for a limited time (though you can still find older blog train goodies if you explore the blog). My Best Is Yet To Come kit is no longer available here on the blog – however a wonderfully updated 2017 kit and bundle are now available on Pixel Scrapper. The Best Is Yet To Come 2017 bundle includes a commercial use option and TONS of new designs, including plenty of new papers and elements for traditional scrapbooking and 80 journal cards for pocket scrapping. 

Here’s a layout made with the cards inspired by Rachel Swartley’s elegant 2013 title page. The white cards come in both textured and non-textured versions. The kit version of the grey card with the frame is blank on the right side for you to add your own caption.

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train Title Card & Journal Card Freebies

Next up is a colorful layout with some fun pieces. The quote card is from the Frank Sinatra song, “The Best Is Yet To Come.” The map card comes blank and eight glitter map pins are included so you can show where your grand 2014 adventure will be taking place (if you live in the US). The wooden numbers come in shadowed and unshadowed versions, and the “Hello” element comes in several colors and is large enough to fill a 4×6 spot but also looks great when shrunk down to fit a 3×4.

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train Title Card & Journal Card Freebies

One thing I did last year that I’ll be doing again this year is to pick my “word” for 2014. One Little Word is a really cool tradition started by Ali Edwards (or popularized by her, seems likely people have been doing something like this for ages, setting intention, etc.). At the start of the year, you pick a word; that word serves as intention, guide, reminder, prayer – there are so many different ways it can manifest in your life throughout the year. On the Ali Edwards site you can find tons of people in the comments talking about their words and how and why they chose them, if you want to try it but need some inspiration. I haven’t picked my word yet for 2014, so I made a layout using my 2013 word, which was “Engage.” The OWL cards I’ve designed for you are quite simple (just cream cards with a word on them, and one blank); I think there’s more room this way to make your layout relate to your specific word. I particularly liked reflecting on the reasons I picked the word (the “because” card) and some of the things I was hoping for in choosing this word (the “invitation” card). There’s also a “goals” card if you have more specific goals in mind related to your One Little Word. (And bonus points to you if, upon seeing my word, you immediately thought of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise! :))

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train One Little Word Journal Card Freebies

Here’s another title page layout, this one with some sparkle, another example of how the map card can be used, and a different variant of the grey frame-card. The butterfly is not included, sadly, that’s just something I used to gussy up my personal layout. I wish I knew how to make one for you, but that kind of illustration is beyond my ability right now.

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train Title Card & Journal Card Freebies

A final title card layout, this one more photo-heavy. The “life documented” card is a 4×12 card spread across four photo pockets. I like this look, though I rarely do it. The photo cards are kraft PNGs with washi tape and space for your photos; the monograms I added myself afterwards, so you can use that space for anything you want. One title page I saw had autographs from every family member, which I think is a super cute idea! The cutout “Best is yet to come” card also comes in a clear PNG version so you can overlay it over anything you like.

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train Title Card & Journal Card Freebies

Here’s the “Extras” preview with all the other goodies that didn’t make it into the example layouts. There’s a ledger paper with a great quote and space to list your goals, hopes, dreams, and wishes for the new year (the ledger paper also comes blank). There’s a fun typewriter 3×4 card that comes in four versions, “This is my/our/the story” and blank for whatever message you want. (I am disappointed sometimes that so many PL cards say things like “This is our story” and “The story of us” on them – I’m not married, I don’t have my own kids; my PL is about me and the many people I love, but it’s ultimately my story.) Other goodies in the extras preview include a sketchy title card, a shiny gold title card, a stamped “Let’s get started” 3×4 card, wooden “Hello” and “Hello 2014” elements, a super sparkly scatter, and then the unadorned versions of some of the cards that show up in my example layouts. Not shown are a set of patterned 3×4 cards in scaled-down versions of the patterned papers you’ll see below, and nicely textured 3×4 cards in each of the palette colors, like the teal and blue cards in the middle row of the first layout I showed you.

Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train Title Card, Journal Card, & Freebies

Finally, here is the paper pack that goes with everything. I thought this was quite a feisty palette, so I included some super bold patterns. The ledger paper shown above is actually in this paper download, despite being in the preview for the journal cards and elements. There is an additional folder inside the download with hybrid (non-textured) versions of the papers.

Free printable papers | Scrumptiously PixelScrapper January 2014 Blog Train

Okay, this is me signing off for the month of January! I’ll probably skip February and hopefully be back with more treats in March. If you use any of these designs to make your title page or any other creations, let me know! If you’re thinking about trying Project Life but are unsure or want support, leave a comment for me here; I’m considering starting a PL support group over on Pixel Scrapper and would love to have you on board if I do.

Speaking of Pixel Scrapper, don’t you want the rest of the incredible designs from this blog train? I bet you do! You can find all the previews and links right here in this Pixel Scrapper thread. Enjoy!

Project Life ~ Week 23 ~ June 3-9

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Still loving Rain. Still loving Scrapping with Liz templates. Still almost exactly halfway behind (14 weeks done, 11 not done, 2 in progress). Still wondering how the heck I’m going to get 2012 finished before the end of the year.

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I kept things very simple for this week. It really is fun to have the templates to add a little pizazz that I don’t have to think about or agonize over, because otherwise this spread is pretty bare-bones. Because I love Rain, though, I still love how it turned out! Hmm… looking at the left side, especially, I see that my shadowing was pretty sloppy this time around. Oh well!

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I’m also still loving the PicFrame app on my phone. It’s SO MUCH easier to make collages there, compared to before when I was making them by hand or trying to get Picasa to make them turn out the way I wanted. And in turn, making collages makes it so much easier to make my pages, since I don’t have to spend forever figuring out how to fit in all the pictures I want to include.

Hope you’re all having a great time with your PL and managing to stay on top of things, or stay relaxed about wherever you are in the process. I’m linking up with The Mom Creative’s Project Life Tuesday. See you soon!

Credits:
Kit: Project Life ~ Rain
Templates: Scrapping with Liz ~ Photo Journal Templates & Facebook DSD Freebie Template
Word art sticker: Captivated Visions ~ Celeste
Star: Bella Gypsy ~ Make a Wish
Arrow button: Just Jaimee ~ For the Love of Craft
Frame: Allison Kimball ~ Celebration Frames freebie
Date brushes: Erica Coombs ~ Office Space
Fonts: American Typewriter, CK Ali’s Hand, CK Journal
Pics edited & collaged using Snapseed & PicFrame apps

Project Life ~ Week 20 ~ May 13-19

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This is by far the most epic PL spread I’ve done yet. I know I talk every week about simplicity, streamlining, trying to find ways to have my project not take forever while I get further and further behind. But things took a different turn this week…

It all started with these super fun, elaborate journal card templates from Scrapping with Liz. I got a fantastic deal on them (2 for 1, I think? There are 4 different packs) so I snapped them up, but then never used them. Part of the reason was my constant austerity measures driving me towards simplicity, and part of it was that I always end up making everything myself from scratch. But there they were in my “Journal Card Templates” folder, week after week. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on scrapbooking, so I don’t buy many things, and having four unused packs of journal card templates was starting to make me doubt the wisdom of the purchase.

So I decided to go for it. Just go all out and, still using the Rain kit, see what I could do with these templates. It was so much fun! I’m not a traditional scrapper, and I haven’t made many regular, non-PL layouts, so making essentially 12 different mini-layouts was a blast. Overall I’m really pleased with how it came out. The templates allowed me to have so much variety and detail with very little effort. My shadowing definitely has room for improvement – as someone who hasn’t done a lot of traditional scrapping I haven’t had much practice – but yet another nice feature of using a template is that most of the shadowing was already taken care of in advance.

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This week’s layout adventure also provided me with tons of opportunities to use my new favorite styles. They are SO amazing! I got them during iNSD when SugarHillco (a store that sells only commercial use products) had a big sale. There are two sets that I relied on heavily this week, both by Mommyish – Journal Card Styles and Glitter Styles. The journal card styles add a paper texture to anything with the click of a button, and there are many variations to choose from. I’ve been leaving the Rain papers as they came, without texture, but because of all the layering on these templates there were times when I wanted a little more contrast or realism (the envelope on the right page is a good example). I think you can’t really tell in the web photos, but it makes a big difference in person. The glitter styles are phenomenal as well – just click and ANY color or pattern is immediately turned into glitter. I’ve never seen a style or action before that will do that and I had a great time adding little hints of sparkle here and there.

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Working on this week also provided some interesting food for thought in terms of what and how much I share online. My Project Life is, as I’ve written about before, essentially my journal, so I try to record my feeling states and what happens in my relationships as much as possible. I’m usually pretty open here, too, and don’t blur out much – I appreciate reading other people’s journaling about depression and other struggles, and I want to provide that kind of candor in the hopes that it will support others. But this week I had some quandaries around the topic of sex. The majority of my friends are youngish gay men and they talk a lot about sex (a classic example being the quote I used in my layout this week). Sex is also a part of my life, and while I am not explicit in my PL (my mom is going to be reading this at some point) I do still mention or make reference to it as part of my mission to journal about my real life, and my entire life. But then I come here to post online, and I worry about alienating or offending people. It’s not something I see people write about in memory keeping online, but I don’t know if that’s because it’s taboo or because folks just want to keep that part of their lives private. I would love to hear any of you weigh in on this subject, since after all, it’s you who I’m wondering if I’ll alienate!

As always, I will be joining up this week with the fantastic Project Life Tuesday roundup over The Mom Creative. Check it out to see a ton of other wonderful takes on Project Life!

Credits:
Kit: Project Life ~ Rain
Templates: Scrapping with Liz ~ Journal Card Templates
Date brushes: Erica Coombs ~ Office Space
Paper textures: Mommyish ~ Journal Card Styles
Glitter trims: Mommyish ~ Glitter Styles
Halo brush: Lily-Fox ~ Handmade Halos
Doodle buttons: LeChefRené ~ LCR Lesley’s Crafts Font
Brushes to grunge up title text: Design Fruit ~ Mellow Mess
Panorama made using Photosynth app
Licorice sticker: 1purplepixie ~ Candy PNGs
Date tag: Jessica Sprague ~ Scalloped Circle freebie
Bracket frame: Delicious Scraps ~ Bracket Templates freebie
Emoticon: Photoshoptutorials ~ Cute Faces Brush
Fonts: Myriad Pro, Century Gothic, Cooper Black, Pea Olson, CK Ali’s Hand, Hero, Stamp Act, Handwriting – Dakota, Amelie, Push Ups Weak, Lobster, Veneer Extras Glyphs
Photos edited in Snapseed app

Project Life ~ Week 21 ~ May 20-26

PS_5_20spread
I think these pages hold the record (by far) for fastest pages of 2013! I made them in a single evening/night; they still took me several hours, but it feels great to be going to bed with pages finished on the same night I started them. I was working on them in bed, and my sweetie leaned over to look and said, “You make really pretty things,” and I replied, “Yeah, but they take me so long!” And he just kind of looked at me and I was like, “Oh, right, they take a long time because I’m making them pretty.” Oh, right. 🙂 At any rate, having the Rain kit continues to be awesome, and having everything match and be in a style that I like saves me a ton of time, which I can then spend trying out practically EVERY SINGLE frame I have on one photo, trying to find one that looks good. (I ended up with a kind of painted/silkscreened looking “frame” instead of a 3-D frame – what do you think? Above-mentioned sweetie saw the pic earlier and asked if I was preparing to go mining, which earned him a scowl – I informed him that in that photo I’m a goddess and that’s my third eye!)

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It’s funny to me how many things I incorporate into my Project Life pages now that I thought I would never be interested in. Calendar cards, numbering the weeks, and pithy phrases like “Life Documented,” are some of the features that make an appearance this week that fall into this category. I continue to like the stamped dates and day of the week stickers that remind me of my original paper Project Life. And I discovered a new favorite font for quotes: Push Ups Weak. (I got it for free through the awesome Creative Market newsletter, but it’s normally a paid font.)

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This past week I finally got some real rest (I was on antibiotics, which probably helped since they make me super tired). People with my condition are supposed to get at least 9 hours of sleep a night, but I usually get around 7. So it was awesome to have three nights in a row of 9+ hours asleep! (I track how much of my time in bed is actually sleep time with a LARK device, which I’m not going to link to because I wouldn’t buy from them if I had it to do over again – it’s a good product but not quite right for my needs.) But even after all that rest, I had to leave my Memorial Day camping trip two days early, in tears, because I was so tired and camping took such a toll on my body. Waah. It’s interesting, though – part of adjusting to being sick has been learning to let go of stories like, “But I paid for this, so I have to do it” and “I was so excited about this, so even though it’s not actually fun, I need to finish it anyways.” So I was bummed to miss out on the full camp experience, but once I left I didn’t look back with regret.

I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed as I look ahead to the rest of the summer. So many friendships neglected during the school year that I hope to reconnect with, so many unopened pieces of mail and unpaid bills, SO much stuff still left to do from the fire, and even an incomplete to make up from the Fall, a paper for my Adolescent Psych class. But doing this project is definitely helpful in reminding me to take things one day, and one week, at a time.

I’ll be linking this up to the big Project Life Tuesday roundup over at The Mom Creative, so head over there to check out lots of other inspired PL spreads. The frame I ended up using is from a free CU set that’s still available, so take a peek at my credits list if you think you might be interested in picking that up.

Credits:
Kit: Project Life ~ Rain
Calendar template: Altered Emporium ~ 2013 Calendar Templates Freebie
Circled date brush: MissTiina ~ Date It Anytime Freebie
Brushes used on calendar: Captivated Visions ~ From My Journal: Celeste Stamps
4×6 card template: Scrapping with Liz ~ Simple Photo Journal Card Templates
Frame: Cajoline Scrap ~ CU Paper Frames Freebie
Date brushes: Erica Coombs ~ Office Space
Days of the week brushes made from: Krisi’s Kreations ~ Celebrate Days of the Week Stickers
Fonts: American Typewriter, Amelie, Stamp Act, monbijoux, Rage, Push Ups Weak