Project Life 2014 – Week 23

Here is my two-page spread for Week 23 of my Project Life/pocket page album:
digital kit used – Storyteller May 2014 by Just Jaimee (This is another huge kit.) 

Jaimee offers a different (and huge) Storyteller Collection kit each month. Each collection costs about $50 if you purchase the components (like the papers, the elements, the word art, etc.) separately. BUT if you're a subscriber to her newsletter, you can get the whole shebang for $6.99. Click on her name above to go to her website and subscribe to her newsletter.

But wait! There's more! Right now Jaimee has opened the Storyteller archives. You can get any past collection at the subscriber $6.99 price. Here is a link for the archives. (You might need to be a subscriber to access the archives.)

Here is a closer look at the left side of Week 23:

And here is a closer look at the right side of Week 23:

additional credits: Becky HigginsAli Edwards (some of her stuff is on sale now at Designer Digitals), Gina Cabrera

And that’s it for this week. No, that’s it for that week ~way~ back earlier in the year. I wish real life went by as slowly as the construction of my Project Life album does.

In my last blog post I said I probably wouldn’t be back until after Thanksgiving. I was correct. First, I was busy getting ready for The Big Day, and then I was comatose after everything was over. There was a lot to do to get ready for hosting our whole family; ten of the 13 stayed in our house for most of eight days. Thanksgiving week itself was very full. After everyone left, I slept for most of the next week, although I have insomnia! Even my insomnia was exhausted; it was too tired to keep me awake for that week.

Right now I’ve got to address my Christmas cards, which arrived today from Persnickety Prints. I designed them using artwork from Rhonna Designs. I highly recommend both of these companies. Chari (owner of PP) and Rhonna (owner of RD) are two of the most creative and nicest ladies you'll ever meet. They are both totally committed to quality products. And they each have an app.

See you later! I hope you're enjoying this holiday season.


This week |14 November 2014

Welcome to my new format for showing my weekly Project Life pages. Thank you, Jenny, for telling me it can take you as long to blog about your PL pages as it does to create them. I thought about it, and you’re right! Detailed posting about each PL page does take a LONG time, what with writing, resizing, saving, uploading, and all that.

I’m not going to quit blogging about Project Life, but my PL posts will be greatly shortened. Let me show you.

Here is my two-page spread for Week 22 of my Project Life/pocket page album:
digital kit used – Unfold by Mye De Leon (This is huge kit.)

Here is a closer look at the left side of Week 22:

And here is a closer look at the right side of Week 22:

credits: Mye De Leon, Ali Edwards (some of her stuff is on sale at Designer Digitals until Friday, November 21st at 6a EST), Gina Cabrera, Lynne-Marie

That’s it, folks! How’s that for brevity? Questions about details or products? Ask me here in the comments or on Instagram (link on the right). 

{Pause to rejoice that I finally made it to June in my yearly album!}

Now to the current week in real life… I’m in overdrive, getting things ready for our family of 13 to gather for Thanksgiving. {pause to smile} It is our favorite family holiday, because we have much to be thankful for, and it's an opportunity to eat much. We're all about food.

Our out-of-town kids, spouses, and grandkids are coming in from San Diego, Jacksonville, and New York City to join those of us in Memphis. It will be the first time we've been together in two years. Ten of us will be staying in our house for a week. Actually, my NYC son has a new job, so he can only get away for a few days of the week. I’ll take any days with any of my kids!

I don’t know about you, but once I get started on projects around the house, I find there is no stopping. Or am I the only one who does that? 

If you had walked through our house a few weeks ago before I went into Operation Overdrive, you would have thought our house looked fine overall and mostly clean. Well, it looked fine if you didn’t go into the “playroom.” My “baby” turned 22 today (happy birthday, Graham!), so it’s been a while since anyone played in that room.

Then one day the floor of the playroom totally disappeared. Where did it go? Under mounds of junk. It is not to be believed. I’ve only been in there a few times in the last few years, because just being in that room hurts my OCD inner self.

Originally the room held 100s of juvenile books (completely organized and categorized, thank you), board games for older kids, and many big storage bins of Legos. (Graham kept her girl toys in her own room.) All of that is still there under the junk; all of that stuff and the junk need to go.

In a perfect world, the room would be a playroom for our grandchildren when they come to visit. We have plenty of toys and books in the attic that are age appropriate for them. (They are 3, 2, and 10½ months.) I should have thought of this sooner.

Thanks for stopping by! I'll probably won't be back until after Thanksgiving. (I probably will be attempting to shovel out the playroom before then.) I wish my American friends a most joyous day of family and thanksgiving.


Project Life 2014 – Week 21

Here is my two-page spread for Week 21 of my Project Life/pocket page album:

digital kit used – Midnight Edition Full Collection by Liz Tamanaha:
This is one of my all-time favorite kits. It is bright, but it has a little color. It goes very well with all sorts of photos.

Downside: As with most official Project Life core kits, it contains no embellishments. But I had no trouble finding things to add to the pages from my ever-growing stash of stuff.

This week I mainly added Ali Edwards’ words. I’m not linking each individual word art, because I’m afraid they are about to be moved from the shop where they are now. Here is the current link to Ali’s work in general. If you want a specific link, just ask me.  

(Ali has 51 products on sale at DD through Monday, October 3rd. Make sure to check the box in the upper left corneer3 that says "Search Specials Only.")

Here is a closer look at the left side of Week 21:

Top row, left pocket:
week stamp: Ali Edwards; twenty” stamp: Ali Edwards; date stamps: Digital Design Essentials (Gina Cabrera)

Top row, right pocket:
Usually I color large word art (like “ON THE ROAD”) so it will match the colors of the page. But lately I’ve been liking the word art in black. It looks crisp.

Middle row, first & second pockets:
(These are unrelated, but I’m posting them together to save space.)

I like word art in black unless it won’t show up on the background, and then I like it in white. While I like black and white words, I do not like black and white photos. They always make me sad. I know they’re super cool, but I prefer color. Am I the only person with a strong dislike of b/w photos?

Middle row, third & fourth pockets:
arrow: Stargazer kit by One Little Bird

Blake and Elisabeth rudely took Peter with them when they moved to Florida, but the boy remembers his Memphis roots. That is good.

Bottom row, right pocket:

Guilty pleasures. These shows make nice background noise when I’m in the office by myself in the evenings at my computer.

Bottom row, left pocket:
border with word art: Thicker Inked Photo Borders No. 01 by Katie Pertiet

I wish I would remember to take a photo of Ellie Mae and Graham in the bed. Ellie Mae gets the vast majority of the bed.

Here is a closer look at the right side of Week 21:

Top row, right pocket:
The heart with “you” was extracted from a Midnight filler card.

Extractions are so easy with digital scrapbooking! They are easy, too, with physical scrapbooking if you are handy with scissors, which I am not. I’m totally scissors-impaired.

Top row, left pocket:

Note my cool fingernail polish – hot pink for spring. Now in real life I’m wearing a cranberry color for fall. Time is flying in real life, but not in my 2014 scrapbook.

Middle row, first & second pockets:
“JOY” and the fancy stuff on it are from the Rhonna Designs app.

Middle row, third & fourth pockets:

Bottom row, left pocket:

Bottom row, right pocket:
The word art on the bottom right photo is also from the Rhonna Designs app.

Making these pages was a lot faster than making the pages last week, because these pages are so much simpler. Well, they’re simple for me.
Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate it! I’ll be back soon. Or maybe I won’t. I’m starting to work on things around the house that need to be done before our ENTIRE family (all 13 of us) is here for Thanksgiving! It will be our first time together in two years.

PS to the family: Yes, the dungeon is still disastrous. But your father and I have actually thrown away quite a bit. It’s amazing how much is/was in there!!


Project Life | Layer by Layer

I am happy to report I have a system for constructing my weekly pages! It’s not helping me go one tiny bit faster, but at least I know what to do next as I plod along, hour by hour, doing these pages.

Actually my system has changed very little since I first settled into it midway through PL 2013. I've got The System down, but I'm slower than ever on my pages. The only reason I can think of is that last year I was on Becky Higgins' 2013 PL Creative Team. We on the team had monthly deadlines, and I met them all. 

How did I do that? Perhaps I need external motivation. Perhaps I didn't want public embarrassment, as in Becky saying on the PL blog, "Here is the monthly inspiration from our Creative Team, except for Donna Gibson who can't get her act together."

Anyway, before I start constructing the pages, I chose and edit my photos. I also group some of them together on 4x6 templates, usually ones by Tracy Larsen or Designs by Lili. In other words, instead of taking the easy route and using a handful of photos each week, I cram 20 or 30 on the weekly pages.

Step One (after the photos are ready): Open two copies of Template A from Becky Higgins' Page Templates on my computer monitor.

If I can’t make the photos fit these eight 4” x 6” spaces and eight 3” x 4” spaces (16 total), I’ll chose another template, but that rarely happens, because usually I don’t realize there is a problem until I’ve got most of the 20-30 photos on the page. At that point, I MAKE those suckers fit!

Step Two: Add the edited photos, which may be individual ones or ones on templates.

Step Three: Add titles.

Big mistake. I have finally realized that adding titles onto the different blocks of the template causes a lot of work. I have to choose the font (because I haven’t found one I like well enough to use every week). Then I have to put something under them, like a tag or journaling block, or they look like they’re just floating on the page.

For Week 20 I further complicated things by starting each title with “The… .” WHY DID I DO THAT? Everything doesn’t easily start with “The… .”

Lesson learned: I’m done with titles, UNLESS I can find some appropriate big words by Ali Edwards or one of the other designers who excel at writing big words.  

Step Four: Add journaling.

I got this one down! I use my own handwriting I had made into a font. (Some of the journaling here is hard to see because it blends in with the background at this point.)

Step FiveAdd stuff – background papers, embellishments, and other such stuff – until the pages are full to overflowing.

This part is fun and frustrating. It is NOT how Becky Higgins intended for Project Life to work. Here is her simple method of memory recording. But it is inconsistent with my ADHD personality to put a week card, seven 4” x 6“ photos, and eight 3” x 4” journaling cards on a two-page layout and call it a day. I have to be all over the place.

And so I add stuff. And more stuff. Is there a 12-step program for those who can’t stop adding stuff? Hi, my name is Donna, and I’m addicted to adding things all over ever millimeter of every scrapbook page I do.

Does anyone else find their Project Life journey is hindered by the big O's – overkill of stuff and OCDness, requiring large amounts of time to line up everything? Summary: It is worth it all! Some pages are better than no pages, right?


Project Life 2014 – Week 20

Here is my two-page spread for Week 20 of my Project Life/pocket page album:

digital kit used – Pocket Life: May Collection by Traci Reed:
Each of Traci’s Pocket Life Collections is huge!

Here is a closer look at the left side of Week 20:

Top row, left pocket:
“week” stamp: Ali Edwards; “twenty” stamp: Ali Edwards; date stamps: Digital Design Essentials (Gina Cabrera)

Top row, right pocket:
“HAPPY birthday” is by Rhonna Farrer. You MUST have her two apps – Rhonna Designs and Rhonna Magic. 

Middle row, first & second pockets:
(These are unrelated, but I’m posting them together to save space.)

Of course, when Ellie Mae tripped me, we had an audience. I hate it when she does that. I posted this photo on Instagram, complete with the conversation bubble and my haiku. It was all done in the Rhonna Designs app. (The yellow frame is from the May Pocket Life kit.)

Middle row, third & fourth pockets:

The photo of Ellie Mae and the mess she made was also posted on Instagram, and it was also made with the Rhonna Designs app. The app has a ton of fonts, like the one I used for "Look what... ." (The base card is from the May Pocket Life kit.)

In a perfect world I would have a constant view of water. My ideal choice of a view would be the Gulf of Mexico from the Florida Panhandle. But I would settle for the Mississippi River from Downtown Memphis or Mud Island or a view of Jacksonville’s St. Johns River. Of course, I wouldn’t get anything done, because I would be staring at the water.

Bottom row, left pocket:

Here is where I learned NOT to crop food in a circle. It just looks strange. However, the food in person did not look strange, and it tasted fabulous! 

Bottom row, right pocket:

For the record, Conrad does not usually look like Waldo. He was dressed for a race. Since it occurred many months ago in real life, I forgot which one it was.

Funniest photo on this page: Ellie Mae bouncing across the front yard like a kangaroo.

Here is a closer look at the right side of Week 20:

Top row, left pocket:

Top row, right pocket:

Middle row, first & second pockets:

Conrad is the only person I personally know who has passed or even attended the US Army Air Assault School. In real life he’s gone from Air Assault School to employment with Yahoo (with a few stops in between).

Middle row, third & fourth pockets:
Here is a link to the video on YouTube video, if you don’t have a QR Reader.

Bottom row, left pocket:

Elisabeth found Peter reading this Spot book in their Florida room. We are a family of readers. My two toddler grandkids love books, making them the third generation of book lovers in our family.

Bottom row, right pocket:

I had a very nice Mother’s Day, with FaceTime, phone calls, and lots of gifts. The lower left photo shows some of my gifts on the mantel in our family room. That’s where we stack gifts in our family.

The photo of me wearing Graham explains why I have lousy posture. The photo of me at age four is proof that I’ve always had bangs. I think I was born with them.

Last thing about these two pages . . . I often add a stroke (what looks like a frame) around the photos on my Project Life pages, so they’ll stand out from the background. I add the stroke using Photoshop. But the white “frames” you see on some of the photos on these pages were made with a Photoshop action.

I bought a kit called Ninety-two Arrows by Valorie Wibbens at The Lilypad, because I love arrows, and because this kit includes a sticker action for Photoshop. Highlight the photo or element you want a stroke (or frame) around, click on the Sticker Maker action, and voilĂ ! You have a frame or stroke or sticker effect – whatever you want to call it.

On this page I used the sticker action on the two photos of my grandson (top right corner) and on the photo of my granddaughter (last one on the middle row). I also used it on the arrow on the bottom right corner. The arrow is from Ninety-two Arrows also.
Thanks for visiting! I’ll be back soon with some thoughts about constructing these two pages. And constructing and constructing and constructing . . ..


Project Life 2014 – Week 19

Here is my two-page spread for Week 19 of my Project Life/pocket page album:

digital kit used – Rain Edition by Nisa Fiin:

Nisa also designs under the name Splendid Fiins. She's taking a break from designing for a while, and for a brief time you can get all her products for 45% off here.

What I like about Rain Edition: the colors – blues, greens, and purples. That’s it. Sometimes I like using a limited number of colors.

What I don’t like about Rain Edition: It just has cards and papers, no elements. Some of the cards have elements already on them, but I like to add them myself. It takes longer to make my pages that way.

Here is a closer look at the left side of Week 19:

Top row, left pocket:
week stamp: Ali Edwards; eighteenstamp: Ali Edwards; date stamps: Digital Design Essentials (Gina Cabrera)

Notice that below “week nineteen” I put “plus some.” I took a trip that overlapped part of Weeks 17 & 18, causing three weeks to be adjusted, as in, not a one of them covers exactly seven days.

Top row, right pocket:
I think most likely Peter enjoys going to the ranch. (I’m perceptive like that.)

Middle row, third pocket :
This explains the photos of Peter above and the photos of Peter below.

Sweet” stamp: Penny Springmann

Bottom row, right pocket:
See the purple arrow thing on top of this photo? I made it with the shape tool in Photoshop and filled it with the dark purple used in this kit. (When you make a shape, always make a new layer first for the shape so you can move the shape around.)

Middle row, first pocket:
I made this blue arrow and the green triangle on the playbill in the next pocket with the shape tool, too. See why I like kits with elements? I like to overuse elements, but I'd rather not make them. 

Helpful tip: In my Project Life folder in ACDSee, I have a subfolder for commonly used elements, like arrows and words, so I don’t have to look all over the place when I need such an item.

Ali Edwards has her own subfile under commonly used elements, because I use her words all the time. Good news for her - she has a new shop, and it’s here. Bad news for me – soon all the links I’ve given for her stuff at Designer Digitals won’t work.

Bottom row, left pocket:
Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby, . . . regardless of the occasion, in our family we make it all about food. Question: Why didn’t Conrad discover his extraordinary cookie-making skills when he lived in Memphis??

Cinco de Mayo stamp: freebie from Kerri Bradford; go here to download her freebies.

Here is a closer look at the right side of Week 19:

Top row, right pocket:
I don’t have nearly enough photos of Carter and Kate. I need to lay a guilt trip on them, so they’ll send more. (Mothers excel at guilt trips.)

Top row, left pocket:
the LITTLE moments” stamp: Penny Springmann

I despise FaceTime and Skype. They remind me of the olden days when phones were attached to the wall, so when we talked on the phone, we were stuck in one spot. But FaceTime and Skype cause a new problem – now I have to have make-up on to talk. BUT I put myself out to talk to my kids and grandkids.

Okay, I don’t have to have make-up on, but, well, yes, I do. I’m all about full make-up every day.

Middle row, first & second pockets:

Bottom row, left pocket:
Since Ellie Mae’s meet & greet, we’ve been to Destin and back. Ellie Mae loved her visit with these dogs and their family! She even learned to use the doggie door. Every evening each of the dogs got raw chicken legs. We’ll leave that tradition back with the boarder. 

Bottom row, right pocket – the continuing adventures of Graham in nursing school:

Questions or comments? Leave them below. Thanks for stopping by!