Tuesday, July 10, 2018

JUNE POCKET PAGES

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!

/Magdalena


Monday, July 9, 2018

MIXING PROJECTS IN YOUR ALBUM

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!

/Magdalena

Sunday, May 27, 2018

USING DIGITALS ON POCKET PAGES

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. 

/Magdalena

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

WORKING WITH COLOR

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!

/Magdalena

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

PAGE PHOTO EDITING

It's time to share a few of my April pocket pages. Since Swedish customs are making my kits arrive very late I've been forced to save the cork months for next year. I have a few of the rubber months from last year saved up though, so I'll be using those when I can. 

I'm still trying my best to include more colors in each spread. It's so easy for me to get stuck in a twotone rut. My favorite trick for mixing colors on a spread is to find one card that ties the other colors together, like the middle floral card below.


The next page is dedicated to our new baby cousin. Both kids, but especially our son, is crazy for babies so they're in heaven right now. Big sister also had her second birthday that we celebrated with everything Pippi Longstocking. 

The yellow letter stickers in the Bookmarked kit are my favorite font. I love when we get these stickers in the kit. They're big enough to use as an embellishment on their own, and the bright yellow color is perfect. 


April has been unusually dry and sunny this year. We could really use a bit of rain now to turn the grass green again. Here's a super simple page that sums up the things I did during our week off school over Easter.

In yesterday's blog post I promised to share how I photograph and edit my pocket pages for posting them online. I use my iPhone 7 for photographing the pages and I feel that's good enough for me. To prevent glare I place the cards and photos on top of the page protector. I use a small white sidetable for my background. The table is small enough to be moved to wherever the best lighting is. Try to get your lighting as white as possible. A very overcast day will tint your photos blue, and if it's too late in the day your photos turn yellow. Most often I wait for the perfect day and time and take photos in batches. Take your photos directly from above and as close up as you can. You want your full page to be a perfect rectangle in the picture. I like taking a few closeup shots as well, and I prefer those photos to be angled, as you can see here.


After uploading my images I open up my favorite shots in PSE. All I do there is to slightly brighten the image, just to make the whites whiter, and crop it to 1019 pixels wide. If that seems like an odd number it's because that's the requested width for Big Picture Class photos. If I ever want to use a photo in a class I don't have to re-edit it. 

After cropping and brightening the image in PSE I head over to Picmonkey for further editing. I realize I could do all my editing in PSE but Picmonkey is so easy to use! In the "Basic edits" section I click "Colors" and then "Neutral picker", then click on something white in the photo. If you had a blue or yellow tint in your image it should now be gone. If it's not, click on another white spot until you're satisfied with the colors in your image. 

My next step is to up the saturation just a tiny bit. I then click "Sharpen" and up both sharpness and clarity a little. On any of these tweaks I rarely go above 4/100. For my full page photos I like to go into the "Frames" section and add a drop shadow. I like how that looks, but it's really just a matter of taste. Add it in if you like! Here's a look at the full page image as it was, straight off my phone: 


And here is the edited version:


It really does make a difference, and make the photos look much more professional. 

Happy scrapping friends! /Magdalena





Monday, April 30, 2018

MAIL ISSUES

The Swedish postal service is driving me crazy right now. Customs has a new directive to crash down on international imports, which I don't have a problem with. What I do have a problem with is how incredibly late all my Studio Calico packages arrive because of it. I've been a subber for seven years without any issue, and within the new year not a single package has arrived on time. What used to take 10 days tops now takes at least a month and a half. Since the kits are month specific this is really annoying. Paying for faster shipping has not helped since the package still has to go through customs. 

Anyways, this means I'll be late sharing my pocket pages. Here are the end of March now!


I had totally missed that Stephen King had put out this crime novel in 2016. Unlike his other books it's short and to the point. He still manages to draw loveable characters and to wrap up the story nicely. Joyland is a murder mystery centered around an amusement park in the early seventies. I highly recommend this book!


We had a small and quiet family Easter at home this year. I love Swedish Easter food! Lots of eggs and seafood, so good. Especially sill, pickled herring, is a huge favorite of mine.


One of my tricks for making faster pocket pages is writing my journaling while I edit my photos. I'll either find white space in the photo or I'll crop the photo and layer it over an empty canvas in PSE. I don't use a template for this, I just crop the photo to a 2,4" square. The empty canvas is sized to 2,8 x 4 inches. When printing I layer two 2,8" wide photos on a 4x6" canvas and print with white edges. I then cut the photos just below 3" wide to make them fit perfectly into the pockets.


I use the same fonts when writing, throughout my albums, because I like the continuity. For titles I use Arial in caps, and for the journaling I use Gabriola. I love the contrast between the two fonts.The only exception is when I use my typewriter, as seen on the watercolor card in the top page. 

Tomorrow I'll share my April pages and also write a bit about how I photograph my pocket pages and edit them for online posting.

/Magdalena

Sunday, March 25, 2018

SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKING CLASS

I have a new class out at Big Picture Classes. It's called Simple Scrapbooking and is all about how to go about making clean and simple scrapbook layouts that still feel cohesive and complete. The lessons are based on my five favorite formulas for making pages. Each lesson has two videos, one where I flip through several examples of pages I've made using that specific formula plus a process video. I hope to see you in class!


I've promised myself to make more layouts this year. My goal is to do at least two per pages per month. Pocket pages has really taken over for me, and I kind of forget how fun it is to make traditional layouts. I keep everything I make in the same album, and flipping through it and finding different projects and formats is much more fun than a plain pocket page album. In order to give myself a kickstart I've been doing the Studio Calico LOAW challenges this month, plus Kelly Noel's new class Design Recipes

This layout came together with inspiration from one of Kelly's recipes plus March LOAW #2. Lov means break in Swedish, and the layouts sums up my favorite moments from our February Break from school. I used different sized circle punches for my photos and the title is handcut. I first printed out the word LOV on regular printing paper and used that as a template for my title. I love making Week in review and Month in review layouts. They are a great compliment to my pocket pages. 


March started out with lots of snow and really cold temperatures. I still don't have my SC March kit because of Swedish customs but I had this March rubber piece saved from last year.


The second March pocket page is all about cousin Tim's 4th birthday celebration. I love the yellow alphas from the Summit documenter kit.


This year I'm making an effort to use more colors on my pocket pages. Going multicolored is hard for me! I tend to get matchy matchy and stick to two colors when putting my pages together. I really like the multicolored look but there is definitely a learning curve to it, for me.


/Magdalena