Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Three Simple Design Techniques

Playing with paper and photos is one of my favorite things! Today I want to share a favorite recent layout I put together with photos from a visit to the Top of the Rock in NYC.

I'd like to point out three simple techniques I used to help this layout come together.

1. Paper Tearing. I went a little old school with the technique along the right side of the page on the edges of the layered paper strips. Paper tearing adds a nice extra touch of texture and looks great when layered with a stack of papers. The little white edge add an extra touch of contrast.

2. Grid Design. This is a classic way to layout a page. I love using grid designs on my pages because it gives me a place to focus where photos and embellishments are added to the page.

3. Journaling Between the Lines. Looking for lines in patterned paper that can be a guide for your journaling is a perfect place to incorporate your handwriting into the page design. The lines in the paper design help keep the writing neat and straight. This triangle design didn't provide a traditional straight line to write on, but it gave a great space for writing and kept my journaling straight and neat.

Next time you're stumped of how to start a layout, you could give one of the about techniques a try to get you started. I'm sure you'll have a finished layout in no time.

This is the last of the layouts I'm made for now that include photos from our recent girls trip to NYC. As you can see if you've been ready my blog this month, I took a lot of photos! It feels so good to have some favorites printed, combined with words and ready to go into an album.

Layout Supplies /// Let's Do This Kit /// This Way Add-on /// Love It Add-on

Monday, April 13, 2015

Playing Along with Paper Issues

Hello! Hope you've had a fantastic weekend. We enjoyed Hannah's last soccer game of the season, a bit of relaxation and some family time. Now I'm ready for a new week!

This week Scrapbook Circle is sponsoring the challenge over at Paper Issues and I thought it would be fun to play along with the Prints Charming Challenge. You can find out all of the challenge details over on their blog. A Scrapbook Circle kit is up for grabs, so I hope you'll join in the fun.

For my take on the challenge, I decided to mix seven different patterned papers to create this layout. Since some of the prints only show slightly, I think the overall balance of print and color works on this page. I used white cardstock and and this digital cut file to create the random circle cutouts. Adding white to the top of the paper helped to mellow out all of those patterns.

This page is all about a visit to Billy's Bakery when we were in NYC last month. If you look closely in the photo, you will see a vintage floral wallpaper in the background and that is where I took inspiration for the colors and flowers that were used to embellish the page.

It's been so much fun to go through our NYC trip and print out a bunch of favorite photos. One of my favorite things about a trip is getting to relive the highlights once I'm home and scrapbook about them.  

Now one more of our stories is recorded. I love documenting our family stories!

Layout Supplies /// Let's Do This Kit /// This Way Add-on /// Love It Add-on

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Journaling Blocks for Storytelling

It's Saturday! I'm looking forward to checking off several Scrapbook Circle tasks from my to-do list today and then watching my daughter play in her last soccer game of the season. Should be a great day!

Today I want to share one of my favorite quick journaling tips with you. Sometimes getting words on a scrapbook page isn't the most fun part of putting the page together. I've found that when I incorporate a few journaling blocks into the page design, it makes journaling easy because I have a designated and limited place to write.

On this page, it is designed using the rule of thirds to create a nice balance on the page. The top third includes the title, the middle is the photo and a subtitle and the bottom third was reserved for the journaling. I used the journaling blocks from the Scrapbook Circle April Printable on this page, but there are lots of different journaling block options available from a variety of companies.

I love journaling blocks because it gives a defined place to write. When I'm using a limited space like this, I think through what my journaling will be and think about much space that will take. Sometimes I air write just above the space to get an idea of how many words will fit in the space. 

Occasionally, the spacing a little off and I'll have extra room which is great for adding a date or location. If I start writing and it looks like I'm going to run out of space, then I do my best to use less words to tell the story. Or if I really have more that I want to share, then I would find a way to work another journaling block into the page design.

Hope this tip for working journaling onto your page gives you some inspiration for an upcoming layout!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Learn It. Make It. Love It.

Isn't Crafty's tagline perfect for those of us who love crafting and learning new things: Learn It, Make It, Love It.  I'm excited because Craftsy is having a flash sale this weekend where they are offering up to 50% off many of their classes.

My Fast & Fun Scrapbooking Class and my Standout Titles and Creative Journaling Class are both included in the sale!

There are so many other classes that look inspiring. Here's a look at a few that look fantastic to me:

Travel Scrapbooking with Amy Tan

Scrapbook Design and Storytelling with Jen Gallacher

Sweet and Savory Food Gifts with Diana Morgan

Thank You Cards with Kimber McGray

Food Photography with Andrew Scrivani

Okay, there's my list of top class picks. I'm excited to choose a class and learn something.

Teaching at Craftsy was a highlight of last year. I love getting to share my memory keep passion with others!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Using a Big Photo to Tell a Story

Hey there! Hope your day is going great. Things are good here. I got the kids off to school this morning and decided to try out the 7 Minute Workout App I've had on my phone for months instead of going for a run. I loved it! I'm thinking I'll mix it in with jogging for a hopefully well rounded workout. After blogging, I'm heading out to meet my sister and two cousins at Joyride Tacos for lunch. Love that place. Their veggie tacos are my favorite.

Today I want to share a layout where I used one 8.5 X 11 photo as the background for the page. I think this is a fantastic way to preserve a favorite photo in a scrapbook.

A fine tip sharpie works perfectly for journaling directly onto the photo. This is an easy way to write on a big photo layout so that you aren't covering the photo up with journaling cards or other embellishments where you can write. The "on this day" I used right before the journaling is a rub-on and it went on perfectly smooth right onto the photo.

I intentionally kept the embellishments to a minimum so that the focus would stay on the photo. Making the photo black and white gave a nice contrast to the little pops of color provided by the embellishments.

So there you have it: a big photo layout with a few simple embellishment and another story documented.

Layout Supplies /// This Way Add-on /// Love It Add-on

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Let's Do This!

I'm just loving the name of Scrapbook Circle's April Kit, Let's Do This. I've been doing a lot of spring cleaning and reorganizing around here the past couple of weeks and I feel like "Let's Do This" is going to be a perfect theme for the month. I'll have to post some pictures of some projects I've been working on around my house. It's mostly involved hanging things on our bare walls. It's so much fun adding some color and personality to our home.

Today I want to share one of my layouts using the Let's Do This April Kit. I had a creative burst last week and created five pages with the kit and I'll be sharing them all here soon.

It was so much fun to put this page together. The word paper in the background is one of my favorites and I wanted to have as much of it show without taking away from the photos and stories. Using some white cardstock in the center seemed like the perfect way to frame my photo and journaling while still letting a lot of the background paper show. Finishing off the page with a sprinkling of sequins added just the right playful touch I was looking for on the page.

This was one of my favorite photos from our recent trip to NYC and I'm happy to have it printed and on a page along with some journaling telling more about our trip.

All of the photos on my NYC trip were taken with my iPhone. I would have loved to have photos from my big camera, but it didn't seem worth it to carry that weight around the city with me. What do you think? Should a big camera go along on vacations or do the phone photos work for you?

Layout Supplies /// Let's Do This Kit /// NYC alphas from my stash (Pink Paislee Bella Rouge)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Top 10 in NYC

Last week my daughters and I went along with one of my friends and her three daughters for a few fun filled days in New York City. We did lots of walking (over 33 miles), lots of treat eating and lots of site seeing. We've compiled a list of our trip favorites that I thought I'd share.

So in no particular order, here's a look at many of the highlights from our vacation.

1. Walking through Central Park.

Okay, this might not be surprising since NYC is famous for Central Park, but it really is a fantastic place. There was some snow on the ground and it was really beautiful. There was a street performance and one of our girls got to join in which was really fun. We took lots of photos at a variety of places. Lots of fun places to pose.

2. Treats at Levian Bakery and Billy's Bakery.

If you only get one treat in NYC, it must be at Levian Bakery. Their chocolate chip walnut cookies are a true taste of heaven. They are huge and should probably be shared, but we didn't want to take any chances, so we each ordered our own cookie plus an extra just so we could snack on it throughout the day. This is pretty close to the Natural History Museum, so after a stroll through the museum, I recommend a quick walk to get a cookie.

Our second favorite treat was the banana cake at Billy's Bakery. It was a very generous slice. Bonus about Billy's is that there are two tables where we were lucky enough to sit down and warm up white we enjoyed our treat.

3. The Views from Top of the Rock. We picked up City Passes for this trip and it included trips to the top of both the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. We decided that we liked the Top of the Rock best because of the entertaining elevator ride up. It's a glass top elevator and you can see all the way to the top. Plus there was a laser light show and music playing on the way up. The Empire State Building had two different elevators you have to take to the top and lines at both elevators.  The views from the Top of the Rock were fabulous!

4. Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge. This iconic spot in NYC did not disappoint. Great view and a beautiful bridge. It's near Battery Park (place where you catch a ferry to Liberty Island) and the 9/11 Memorial, so it's a perfect place to visit if you are on the south end of the island.

5. Late night Greek Food Truck. There are lots of Greek food trucks in NYC, but my sister swears the one of 6th Ave between 23rd and 25th street is the best and we didn't want to take any chances. We went here about 11pm on our second night of the trip after seeing Matilda. I got the combo which was a styrofoam container filled with rice, chicken, gyro, french fries and topped with tzatziki sauce. This was probably my best meal while in NYC. This truck caters to the late night crowd and doesn't arrive until around 10pm, but stays until 4am. 

6. Strolling through Highline Park. Unused elevated railroad tracks have been converted into a park with a great walking path in the Chelsea area. It was really col when we were there, but in better weather this would be the perfect place to take a picnic and relax. There is seating all along the walking path. When we were there a few years ago, a magician street performer was there and he was really fun to watch. 

7. Everyone agreed that the BEST thing we did on this trip was to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty.  We purchased the tickets online a few months before our trip. They only let a very limited number of people up into the crown every hour, so if you want to go, plan ahead. The climbed up a very step and narrow spiral staircase all of the way up inside of the Statue of Liberty. Our group of seven barely fit up in the crown. We had a great city view from the crown. It was really amazing to see the inside of the statue - it's still copper color since the elements haven't oxidized it. Add this to your must do list!

8. New York City Public Library

9. Seeing Les Miserables.

10.  Riding on the subway. You've got to ride the subway when in NYC, right?  We were probably the only people posing for pictures while waiting for the train to come, but we're tourist, so why not? We bought an unlimited pass that was good for a week, but I think we could have saved some money by buying the 8-ride pass because we didn't end up using the subway as often as we thought we would. We only got on a train going in the wrong direction once, so I'd say we did pretty good navigating. Before the trip, I downloaded the Hopstop app and it was amazing for getting us to where ever we wanted to go. You just put in where you want to go and the app will tell you you options for getting there. It will tell you exactly which subway trains to take or which walking path will be best. Definitely something you'd want to have for navigating around the city.

There you have our top 10! 

We also went to the Natural History Museum, saw Matilda, walked though Chinatown and Little Italy, visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, ate at Shake Shack, looked around the American Girls Store, Toys R Us and FAO Swartz, went to Chelsea Market and enjoyed banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery. Yes, we squeezed a lot into three and a half days. The only two things on our list we didn't get to were ice skating in Central Park and enjoying some frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. We'll just have to go back someday to check everything off of our list!

I'm so thankful I got to share this adventure with our daughters and friends. I'm hoping this is a trip they will always remember.


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