Friday, September 19, 2014

5 for Friday

  1. Loving Tiffany Han's new podcast. Episode 02 with Erin Loechner is a big fave.
  2. The Project Life app is available in the iTunes store! I'm going to use it for photographing + arranging Morgan's artwork so I can (finally) get them in photobooks.
  3. I've been pinning a lot of mini books lately and Jamaica's see it live mini is amazing. She always has the little details in mind.
  4. I sprung for my first Studio Calico subscriber sneak offer last weekend. I love adding transparent pieces to my projects and the designs in this paper pad are fantastic.
  5. I'm liquidating the few remaining unmounted rubber stamps in my shop. Now through Friday, September 26th, get 50% off your entire order with coupon code FALL50. If you see something you like, grab it now, as I will not be restocking any of these designs again. Nervous about mounting your own rubber stamps? I shared a tutorial here on how I do it.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

just us : a mini album

Hooray for finished projects! My latest is the mini album I made during Marcy's Mini Book Workshop at Studio Calico in August. I loved the format and the Jet kit and I'm really pleased with how my album turned out.
The theme of my mini was to collect my favorite photos of my husband, Mark, and I together, since we started dating in 1997. 17 years of photos and boy are there some doozies. Those early years kind of blurred together, but I was often able to figure out what year it was by my outfit or the length of my hair. Old, hilarious, embarrassing photos. Travel photos, selfies before they were even called selfies, and even a pimp and ho party for good measure. Good times.

I also made a video if you like to flip through the pages that way. Here I talked a bit about how I set it up my album as well :

Want just the photos? Well here you go :
Kit names were blurring together during the video because I was trying so hard not to blurt out the October kit name (which was a secret at the time), so here is a complete list of the extras I mentioned : 
Thanks so much for looking! Did I forget anything? Any questions?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blog Tour : Inspiration

Last week I was tagged by the amazing Jamaica for a blog tour that's been going around the web. I was asked by a few other fabulous ladies over the last month or so but my cruddy mood had me opting to decline. The truth is, it's hard to write about inspiration when you don't feel like you have any to share. The fog has lifted now, so here goes :
What am I working on right now? A little bit of everything. I've started playing with the October Studio Calico kits. I'm finishing up my Summer Project Life Handbook (and hope to be done by the weekend). And I filmed a video of my mini from Marcy's Mini Book Workshop that I'll share here Wednesday.

How long does it take me to create a project? It totally depends on the project. My biggest challenge is narrowing down product options so working from a kit is a big bonus for me. I also do as much pre-planning as I can, so I'd say these times are pretty standard for me : 2-3 hours for a 2-page 12x12 Project Life spread. 1 hour for a 2-page 6x8 Handbook spread. 3 full days for a mini book.

What are my favorite things to create with at the moment? I'm loving the Handbook size for Project Life right now. I'll be using another one to document our fall season, September through November.

How does my creating process work? No matter what I'm working on, I start with a plan. A scrapbook sketch, a Project Life template to fill in where the photos and journaling will go, or a rough storyboard for mini books. Then I edit and print my photos and choose (or build from my stash) a kit of product that I'll work from. I typically like to work in big blocks of time, especially when I'm first getting started. Once I have made a decent dent, I almost always walk away (or sleep on it) before deciding I like the way it turned out. If I don't, I could spend days fiddling and moving things around.

How do I become inspired and stay inspired? Outside of looking at other people's paper projects in galleries and on Pinterest, I adore Instagram. I'll take an in-progress, happy mess over a styled desk shot any day. And although I don't think it is reflected in my layouts, I'm inspired by all things hand lettering - everything from calligraphy to brush script - as well as graphic design + modern architecture. Staying inspired? That's a tough one because I don't think I've mastered that. There are certainly days (or months, ahem, August) when I'm just not feeling it and my answer is I don't fight it. I find something else to occupy my mind and my time. I disconnect for a while and don't force it because I know, eventually, my desire to make something will come back. When it does come back, it's usually with a vengeance and I have 3-4 projects going on at once that I'm all happy about.

What is my signature style? I don't know if I have a definite style because I feel like it changes with every project. Overall, I think I lean toward the simple side with a focus on storytelling.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Last month, Morgan and I had a girl day, complete with pedicures, shopping, lunch and some pottery painting. She even tolerated coming into a local stationery shop with me while I checked out the 2015 planners in the window. What a girl!
I walked out with the planner I've been coveting, an Emily Ley Navy Dot Simplified Planner, and I'm trying so hard not to wish the next four months away. It's big, beautiful and sturdy - and I'm guilty of flipping through the pages and pretending it's time to fill it up. While I'm waiting, I'm practicing how I want to use my planner using Emily's free daily planning pages - which you can find here.

In October, Marcy Penner is teaching the newest Studio Calico class, Agenda, and I'm so excited! I love planners, to-do lists, and of course, Marcy. She is one of the most organized ladies I know and I'm really looking forward to hear what she has to share in regards to making the most of your paper planner. Here's a bit about the class :
Life can be full of the unexpected. In Agenda, Marcy Penner will teach you how to master your planner and provide you with the necessary tools to structure your day, all while making it cute. The Filo-craze is sweeping the nation and you won't want to miss out! why live another day with the stress of prioritization and figuring out what to do next?


  • PDF lessons covering everything from setting up your planner to making it functional for you, all while adding your own style and flair to its pages.
  • Three videos from Marcy Penner
  • A peek into each of the contributor's planners, as well as insight into how they organize and decorate them.
  • Digital files from Hello Forever designed for your planner (coming soon)


  • Planner Set Up
  • Inserts - Pockets, Bookmarks and Dividers
  • Dashboards
  • Bullet Journaling
  • Ideas for using your planner to stay organized
  • Decorating
I'm not using a Filofax or a binder-type planner, but I'm certain I'll be able to incorporate the ideas Marcy and her contributors will share with my own wire-bound planner. I love seeing how other people set up their planners and organize their days, so this class should be fabulous.

While supplies last, students will receive an exclusive stamp set and it's adorable! All of those little icons make me smile. There's a peek of it in the top left corner of the image above, plus you can see it in full on the classroom page here.

Agenda is enrolling now through September 30th at 11:59pm EST. Class will start on October 1st. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Handbook 2014 | 06 Chicago

I was honored to be invited to be a guest designer over on Kerri Bradford's blog this week! When she asked if I'd be interested in playing with some of her designs, I said YES and knew that tackling our short Chicago trip in August would be perfect with her travel themed product. I want to share my Project Life Summer Handbook pages today, but you can also read Kerri's post here.
I chose Kerri's Beautiful Somewhere and Tiny Details cards as a starting point for my spreads. Being in downtown Chicago, there was a lot of gray in my photos so the colors were a fun complement. The 6x8 script artwork on the right side above is from Matthew Taylor Wilson and was a gift included in a Studio Calico scrapbook kit a few months ago.
I love Kerri's script and cut a few of them on black cardstock with the Silhouette to create a bold title card for each spread. On the first page, I used August from this set, and layered it over a Studio Calico grid card + a patterned card from the Beautiful Somewhere set and stitched along the diagonal.
On the second spread, I printed an enlargement of a photo I took while we were at the top of the Hancock Building in the middle of a thunderstorm. It was super cloudy when we first got up there and we couldn't see a thing, but as it started to clear up, we could see the nighttime skyline below. It's still kind of foggy, but I love it nonetheless.
I enlarged Kerri's Here We Go freebie to 6x8 and then used the Silhouette to cut it out of vellum. Then I stitched it in place along the horizontal lines between the words. I love how it turned out!
The title card on this page includes a piece of patterned paper, a Tiny Details : Calendar card and Monday cut from this set. I enlarged the calendar card to about 2" wide, then trimmed off the bottom half so I could just use the large number for the date. Add the day of the week, stitch it on, and I still had a little room below to add a short list of the places we visited that day.
The third spread was for Tuesday, the one and only full day in the city. We did a lot that day, so this page is a major summary of our favorite spots. I cut down most of my memorabilia I had saved from our trip and used this page protector to create an insert. Above, the 'enjoy summer' card is from this set from Ali Edwards. The 'his' and 'hers' stamps are from Elise Blaha Cripe and are no longer available. I used the Color Theory Mint Hint ink for those.
Another date title card. I used a clean pencil eraser and Sunny Day ink to stamp on and highlight the A for August on the calendar card.
I trimmed down a Tiny Details card, folded it in half and stitched it to the side of the insert as a tab.
And the backside of the insert.
I made the Tiny Details cards even tinier and reduced them to 1" wide before printing them all on white cardstock. I just stitched them on a few of my photos as a simple embellishment.

Thank you so much for having me Kerri! You can see all of my Summer Handbook blog updates here.