Thursday, July 26, 2018


Every summer we take a family roadtrip. Swimming in the ocean was on my bucket list this year, so I suggested the Swedish westcoast which won the family vote. 

I used the Expedition documenter kit from Studio Calico with bits and pieces from a few other kits. I've also used the Scenic Route, Tour Guide and Summer Vibes digtals from Paislee Press.

We're huge history nerds so we decided to take the route past Brahehus. It's a 17th century castle ruin with an amazing view over lake Vättern. It's about halfway to our destination so it was a perfect lunch stop too.

We arrived late in the evening because of a two hour roadblock caused by an accident, so we didn't have time to explore the surroundings until the next day. We stayed in a rented cabin at Getteröns Camping. There are four small bays within walking distance of the camping grounds. In the morning we took a walk down to the ocean before heading into the town of Varberg. 

We found an awesome sushi restaurant where we had lunch before walking to Varberg fortress right by the ocean. The oldest part of the keep was built in the 13th century and it's played an important part in Swedish and Danish history. There is also a museum inside that takes you from the first settlements on to present time. I was really looking forwards to seeing Bockstensmannen, which is a 14th century man found in a bog with all his hair and clothes intact. Yes, that is his real hair! In one of the rooms there were medieval games to play and outfits to try on. Super fun!

I kept the map and a few other things from the museum, and put them in a 9x12 pocket that goes in the album right next to the photos. I really like keeping everything in one place, and it's fun flipping through older albums and finding little treasures like these.

In the evening we had dinner at Pinchos which is my favorite restaurant. It's a Swedish chain that serves mini dishes that you order and pay for through an app. You pick up your own food and drinks at the counter and everything is delicious. It was fun trying out some of the seafood dishes that the Pinchos restaurant in Uppsala doesn't have. Yum!

After dinner we took a stroll through town. Yes, it was super bright still , but that is Swedish summer nights for you. Sweden had just won a game against Switzerland in the world cup and people were  dancing, singing and shouting in the streets. You can see some Swedish football fans behind the statue where the YAY plus arrow is pointing.

I folded up a map of the central parts of town and tucked it in the bottom 4x6 pocket, and stuck a chipboard circle to the paper clip to jazz it up a bit.

The third day of our trip was beach day. The water was cold but clear and beautiful. I wish we could have stayed longer than just four days. I could've lived by this beach for weeks! The 4x6 card with the fish is from an old card set by LifeLovePaper. I know the actual card set is sold out at SC but they may have a digital set.

In the afternoon me and Dante went back to the beach but Nea and daddy went on a fishing trip. It was the one thing Nea asked to do when she heard we were going to be living by the ocean. We found a company that took you out to sea on their fishing boat and also set you up with gear. Perfect!

They brought home mackerel, seith and cod. They're in our freezer now because I don't know how to cook them. Nea even caught a dogfish. They are a protected species though so it went back in the water after being photographed. 

Sadly, the next day we had to drive back home. It was a great trip and I hope to go back in the future.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018


As a New Years resolution I promised myself to make at least two layouts per month for the whole year. I've been falling behind on those layouts during the spring months, but I've spent the summer catching up. The Summer of Sketches class at Studio Calico has been a great help to get me started. 

I've been working with the Expedition scrapbook kit which is the last scrapbook kit ever from Studio Calico. :/ The travel theme went well with my detail photos from my trip to the Finnish island of Åland in May. To add to the touristy feel I printed and cut the photos as faux Polaroids. I used pops of blue to tie the different pieces of the layout together. The title was supposed to say ÅLAND but as it turned out the L was missing from my chipboard package. It turned out to be a happy accident though because I like this title better, with the veneer globe for an O. And Studio Calico has sent me a replacement package, so it's all good!

One of the reasons I like layouts is the opportunity to add enlargments of favorite photos to my album. This selfie was taken when me and three friends went to see Stina Wollter talk about and sing songs from her new album Garden Songs. Stina is the blond at the bottom of the photo. She is a Swedish artist, feminist and body activist. She's an amazing person and I was SO happy to get a picture taken with her. Check out her album at Spotify, both the lyrics and music are beautiful. 

At the end of June I had the majority of my hair trimmed off! It was super scary when the hair stylist brought the trimmer out but I am SOOOOO happy with the result. This hair style is so versatile and it's been amazing to barely have any hair during the crazy heatwave we've had in Sweden this summer.

In my last blog post I promised to share another pocket page and a funny story to go along with it. I now have permission from everyone in the photos to share it, so here it is!

Me and my collegues from school had planned a picnic to send off one of the teachers who was retiring. That's her holding the glass of bubbly in the bottom picture. We were meeting up at an old 18th century mill by the stream a few miles outside of our community. Everyone brought dishes for our potluck picnic plus blankets to sit on, games to play and whatever we were drinking, so there were lots to carry. 

We weren't all that familiar with the surroundings so we didn't know a good spot to sit. We started on to the path lugging all of our stuff. We walk through the woods, over the stream and then even further into the woods. 

It was a little chilly in the shade plus lots of mosquitos so we were looking for a sunny spot. The only sunny place we found was up a steep hill of gravel. And it was steeeeep! Like I said there was lots to carry, plus two collegues had a hard time walking and climbing because of injuries. It was a tough job but we got up there!

When we get up the hill there's a wire fence. Turns out there's a current in the wires. Ouch! We have to lie down on the ground and roll under the wires and shove our stuff under too. Finally there! It's a beautiful sunny meadow and we start unpacking the food. Lots of food! Pies, salads, bread, fruit, wine and cheese. When all is unpacked three horses come running. They try to run on to the blanket where all the food is. Our gym teacher picks up a branch to chase them off but they're not having it. Our principal is terrified of horses so she runs off. Another teacher bravely packs up all the food again, with the horses charging in on her while all the rest of us are cowards and roll under the electric wire fence to get away.

So, down that steep gravely hill again with all the bags and blankets and our two injured friends. We find a shady glenn with a firepit just below the hill. It will do!  We start unpacking. Again. That's when one of the 3rd grade teachers yell "SNAKE!" And oh yes, there is a viper slithering off into the bushes. Pack up again, back through the woods, over the stream and back at the parking lot where we started.

There's a lawn right by the mill and we're super hungry, hot and tired so we just unpack everything right there. We ended up having a lovely picnic and I'm sure our retiree will never forget this adventure!

I'll be back tomorrow sharing my pocket pages from our family trip to the Swedish west coast a few weeks ago.

See you tomorrow!


Tuesday, July 10, 2018


My June documentation didn't amount to more than four pocket pages and an insert, surprisingly. I have a few more layouts to add into this album, then it's time to move on to a fresh one. I always do two albums a year, switching in July. 

My OLW for 2018 is "no". I've been wanting to improve many of my habits this year, and each month I've picked a new no. My no for June was "No mindless munching". I will pay attention to feelings of hunger and make concious choices of what I eat and drink. I've actually been enjoying my food a lot more and I'll be sticking with this new happy habit. Nothing is off limits, I just eat what I need and stop at that.

The photo collage at the bottom of the page is from a photo session before I was off to a 00's theme party. I had no clue what was popular at that time, so I had to google it. I decided to dress up as an emo. I even found a Rob Zombie t-shirt with an offensive message on the back. 

This is my favorite page for June. With three people wearing yellow it was the perfect opportunity to bring in lots of my favorite scrappy color at the moment. The top photo is of the staff soccer team that played against the 5th graders before the end of the school year. The dress code for 2018 was "movies". The students haven't won for many years and they didn't win this year either. Although how could they, playing against the likes of Batman, Zorro, Harry Potter, Maverick and the rest of the team?

And here we are all dressed up for the graduation ceremony. This year I was actually able to stay for a bit at our kids school, since my school's ceremony didn't start until an hour later. I've promised the kids that I'll stay for the entire ceremony the years they each finish 5th grade, because that is when they will be leaving for Junior High. That's in 2020 and 2021. Oh dear!

I'll only be sharing the back of this insert, since I haven't gotten the clear yet to share the front photos. It comes with a really hilarious story so I'll be sure to share it as soon as I can. 

More yellow! And you can never wear too much pineapple print. I filled up my closet at the Hängmatta webshop. They specialize in super comfortable clothing of high quality. These pineapple print harem pants are amazing!

Nea got a new bike for the first week of summer break and I buzzed my hair off! It was scary when she brought out the trimmer but I'm super happy with the results. I'm never growing my hair long again!

At the end of June my husband turned 40. We celebrated at home, just the family, with a BBQ and bubbly drinks. On the weekend his friends had planned a kidnapping and took us out to dinner. We had a great time! Our extended families had to wait a few more days to come over for cake and cookies on July 1st.

The bottle of bubbly that me and husband shared was actually a gift from the parents of my students. I got a bottle of bubbly white wine, six cans of Diet Coke (they know me!) and a gift card to a fish shop. How great are they?!

Happy crafting!


Monday, July 9, 2018


When 2018 rolled in I made a promise to myself to make at least two scrapbook layouts per month for the whole year. Before, I used to keep a separate album for layouts, but that was back when I made a ton of them. Now I just mix the layouts in with my pocket pages. I still do 8,5 x 11 pages because my printer doesn't take paper larger than A4 size. That means I need to punch new holes in the page protectors to stick them in my 9x12 albums but that's fine. 

My summer vacation started mid-June so I've had time to actually get to making those two monthly layouts. I had some catching up to do! I've used the Studio Calico Summer Of Sketches class to get me going. Pam Baldwin is so amazing at designing her layouts and I'm super inspired by her!

I haven't bought any scrap supplies for almost a year, so I've been using my stash of paper. These papers make me so nostalgic for the times that were. So many companies that's not in the business anymore. For my two March layouts I used mainly Basic Grey and Sassafras papers. 

In April we visited a brand new cousin. Our son is crazy about little babies. He never wants to leave! I love the fact that it's the same age difference between my little brother and I, as between our kids - ten years and two months.

Adding layouts to my pocket page album has several functions for me. It's a great way to add in enlargements of my favorite photos as in the layout above. I'm also able to add in more photos from the same occasion as in the bunny faces layout. A third function is to be able to add in more stories and facts than I can fit in the pockets, such as the top layout that has an interview with our daughter. 

I really like flipping through the album and being surprised by a different project or a differently designed page protector than the previous page. It brings interest and variation to my album. I also add in inserts by cutting down page protectors or adding in 6x8 pockets. The 9x12 pockets are great for adding in memorabilia that I collect throughout the year such as the kids drawings, school tests, diplomas or handwritten pages. I think it's a great idea to have those things chronologically sorted into my pocket album. 

Tomorrow I'll be sharing my June pocket pages. I hope to see you then!


Sunday, May 27, 2018


Today I'll be sharing my photos from my weekend trip to the Finnish island of Åland. The island is just a 2 hr boat ride from where we live. When I was little we'd spend a week there every summer, camping and fishing.

I'll also be talking about how I use digitals on my pocket pages. Digitals are my go-to because they are versatile and cost-effective. Pay once, use them forever! In times when we have to be aware of how we treat our environment, digitals are also the better choice because there is no packaging or shipping involved.

On this first page I've used three types of digital products. I used this card set by In A Creative Bubble and these digital stamps from the same line. (All digital stamps in this post are from the same set.) I also used two sets of templates by Paislee Press. You can find them here and here.

If you clicked on the link to the printable En Route card above, you noticed that the originals were black and white. I wanted a bit of color so I layered a light blue rectangle on top of the title before I printed the card. My only gripe when using digital cards is the difficulties I have cutting them straight. My best solution so far is to layer two cards together on a 4x6 canvas and printing them in pairs. That way I only have to make one cut down the middle. When I print out a whole batch on an A4 paper I always manage to cut them crooked!

One reason for using these templates is that they help brighten up the page by adding a bit of white. They're also perfect for quickly adding collages, like the triple one below. If you are digitally challenged templates are the way to go! Just drag your photos to the layer that says "photo", adjust size and position and click merge layers. If there's text, click the text and write what you want. You can either go with the pre-selected font and size or select your own.

On this page I used this set of templates, also by Paislee Press. The template had some additional text below the title that I removed by using the eraser function in PSE. Just click the correct layer and erase! I then used the filler tool (that's the paint bucket) and filled in the stars with yellow.

On our second day on Åland we spent the day in the city of Mariehamn. We had amazing salads at the old bakery, did some shopping at a vintage clothing store and took a walk along the coast line

The "Let's wander" card is from the same In A Creative Bubble set as I linked above. This time I layered a blue circle and a pink rectangle over the title. I merged the layers and then used the filler tool to turn the letters black again. I used an analog date stamp because I like that messy look.

When adding a digital stamp to a photo always add it to a second layer. That way you can change the size and move it around until you're happy with how it looks. 

In the evening we had a barbeque and went down to the lake for a bit before we drank bubbly in the woodheated bathtub. It was so warm outside even though it was only mid-May. So wonderful!

On our last day we trekked around the Castle of Bomarsund. It was built by the Russians in the early 19th century. Not long after, it was conquered by the French and English. They tore it down to keep the Russians from returning. Åland has been demilitarized ever since. One of the six towers were located on a hill with a beautiful view of the ocean.

I remember driving past the ruins with my dad on our way to his favorite fishing spot. I've always been a huge history nerd and I remember being disappointed that we didn't stop to take a closer look. I loved getting to see the ruins now and reading up on their history.

This is the third card I used from the In A Creative Bubble card set. I used the filler tool on the title to change it from black to red. The blue color is added in a second layer, and then I used the eraser tool to remove color in the centre.

I used the Scenic Route Elements Pack from Paislee Press to create the bottom two cards.

It was such a great mini vacation and it felt surreal to sit in the hot sun looking out over the ocean, and think that we'd be back at work the next day. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Today I thought I'd talk about how I put together the color combinations of my pocket pages. Those of you that took my Candyland Documenter Kit Workshop at Studio Calico in February of this year, could see that when I get a new kit I sort the cards by color. If the front and back have different colors I pick the side I like best. Black and white gets their own pile. Multicolored cards that match several color combinations also get their own pile. 

Sometimes there's a card that stands on it's own. In that case I will try to match it up with cards from older kits. I keep all my old cards sorted by color as well and, since Studio Calico has a set color scheme, cards from different kits go well together. 

When I put together a pocket page, I start out opening up all the photos I'm planning to use in PSE. I look for colors that either stand out, or show up in several of the cards. In the page below I decided to go with the orange I found in my daughter's freckles and the glass of beer. I'm a big fan of color photos, because often the colors are part of the story. But sometimes, in order to make some colors stand out, you need to limit other. I like mixing color photos and black & white photos on the same page. Turning a photo black and white is also a great method for masking grain and blurryness, especially when you increase contrast.

I knew I had the bright orange plus sign card in my stash, so that was the first card I pulled. I used my typewriter to give it a title. It says "sure signs of spring". After that I looked for matching cards. I knew I needed one journaling card and another dark colored card or the orange would be too strong. If you look at the page and picture a white card in place of the grey, you'll see what I mean!

After choosing the garland journaling card I wanted to continue the circle shapes and do a visual triangle. I had gold and orange sequins that matched the garlands and then I used a cut out circle stamp on the grey card to brighten it up a bit.

My all-time favorite color combination is blue/red/yellow. Here I went with blue as my major color and yellow and red for accents. When I use two 4x6 photos on the same spread I most often use a template for the second photo. It brightens the page and also allows the larger photo to become a focal point. The split template is from the 4x6 Photo Templates Vol. 6 by Paislee Press. The "favorite" digi stamp is from the Tour Guide Elements pack by Paislee Press. The rest of the products are from the Be Happy documenter kit by Studio Calico.

Picking the green floral card in the page below seemed obvious. I then brought in the rain drop card to go with the pool photo. If you are looking to make a photo heavy page like this one, you need to pick photos with few colors and simple images. The flower photos are basically filler cards on this page.

 Again, I used a photo template to brighten up the page. This one from the Messy Beautiful line by Paislee Press. I just love digital scrapbooking products. It's the only thing I spend money on aside from the Studio Calico documenter kits. Digital products are versatile, reusable and there is no shipping time or cost involved. 

In this last page I used blue as my main color again with green and yellow as accents. I didn't feel the need to pick up the red since I had already tied in the green from that photo. The journaling card talks about my early morning hedgehog rescue. When me and my daughter arrived to her school there were two hedgehogs in the bushes on the school yard. Lots of children were gathered around them, worried the hedgehogs might be injured during the day. I used my denim jacket to carry the hedgehogs to safety outside the school yard. The happily scurried into the bushes when I put them down. 

I've been binge watching The Bridge this month. It's so good! Really well written and well acted. I had no templete that fit four portrait photos on a 4x6 card, so I put it together myself in PSE.  

I thank all of you that still drops in to check out my blog. Blogs are kind of going obsolete these days, but it's really the best place to share photos and lots of writing. See you soon!