Sunday, January 25, 2015


I have started 2015 without a scrapbook sub. I've been subbing to the Studio Calico kits for 3,5 years,so it's a big change. Since I started PL I don't make as many layouts, and I have at least 15 partial kits in crop bags. My biggest reason for quitting my sub was actually environmental. I cannot defend buying new stuff, using up natural resources to do so, and poluting the air while shipping them to me, when I already have so much lying around. Other reasons were money and space being limited, and wanting to make other priorities at the moment.

So right now the only new products I have coming in regularly is the PL kit. Those gets used up to the last bit every month. I will buy a scrapbook kit every now and then, when I really like it. But mostly I need to dig into my stash. 

All my old kits are partial, which means I already used up my favorite parts of the kits I have. I don't scrapbook for memory keeping, for that I use PL. Scrapbook layouts are all about creating pretty things because I enjoy it. That means if I'm not 100% happy with it, it goes in the trash. So. After two abandoned layouts I made this:

Fridays are my favorite day to pick up the kids at school. I got off work at 2 PM so even in the winter it's still bright outside. We have time walk home without a rush and find things to do on the way. On this Friday we did some shopping, Dante lost a tooth at the grocery (hence the awkward grin in the photo), they climbed a snow pile by the gas station and we admired the sun set. Yes, it took 1,5 hours to walk the normally 10 minute walk home. It was lovely!

The lovely winter landscape is PL card from the Far Far away kit. I cut the black square from a card that originally said Happy New Year. I was trying out a few different pieces of paper when making the grid I liked the "New Year" square tilted. I couldn't handle leaving white space inside the grid though, so I added another square in a linear position underneath. The chip board triangles from the Park Ave. scrapbook kit had a bit of a New Years Eve confetti feeling to go with my title, so I added those. I edited the digital Far Far Away PL Adventure stamp brushto say new adventure, instead of today's adventure. Just use the eraser tool in PSE, then add text and last merge the layers, and you have a new stamp. 


Thursday, January 22, 2015


I'm currently taking the Day By Day "Project shots" class at Studio Calico. I've signed up for all five classes during 2015 - for $40. Crazy! They are all geared towards Project Life and have some amazing teachers and contributors. I cannot wait for all of them to begin.

In the third installment of the "Project Shots" class we got to watch a video of Nicole Reaves' process of putting a PL spread together. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to do a video but today I will share a few process photos with you instead.

Printing photos and picking cards

The first thing I do when making a PL spread is looking at the photos I have for that particular period of time. Which photos do I want and what is their orientation - portrait or landscape? I then pick my page protectors based on that. I edit and print my photos to fit into the pockets. I make sure the 4x6 photos are of good quality. For the 3x4 photos quality matters less. Grain are not as visible in smaller sizes. If they are too grainy or the colors clash I will turn those photos black and white. Sometimes I have a series of photos I want to print. I then make a collage to fit them all on one page. I try to get a mix of closeups and wider angles. If there is white space in the photo I add digi brushes and/or journaling before printing. Tina Aszmus has made a tutorial on how to add gold foil digi brushes to your prints.

After printing the photos I lay them out on the page protectors, and look at the colors. I go through my PL cards and pick out all the ones I have in matching colors. For this spread I first picked out red and blue cards, but I didn't like how that looked. There was a warm tone to many of the photos, so I switched the red cards for yellow. Much better! When placing the cards I don't pay much attention to journaling vs filler cards. I just put them where it looks nice, keeping the visual triangle in mind. Here is an excellent blog post by Toni From on this!

Printing journaling

This is when I start thinking about what stories I want to tell. Not all photos actually needs a story. For the right page it was enough to tell only one story since all photos were from the same occasion. If I need to write journaling on a filler card I do. If the card is too dark or busy I'll add a label or a tag. For the left page I had a) the 2015 reading challenge b) going to the library c) a silly photo taken by our son d) watching Grimm e) taking part in the Day By Day class. I like a bit of variety so sometimes I'll print the date and title, and sometimes I leave room for stamping or alphas. 

If the journaling card has a special spot or lines for the journaling, I will scan it. Then I open up an empty canvas in PSE that matches the size of the card, add the scanned image on top and then my journaling in a third layer. I then hide the scanned image and print the journaling out on a printing paper. Using washi tape I stick the card on top of the journaling on the paper and run it through a second time. 


This is my favorite part of the process! When all the decissions are made and it's time to play. Usually I like to have a theme to the embellishments of a spread - like circles, hearts, stars, gold or wood veneer for instance. I like how it makes the spread coherent even if the photos are from different occasions. And I know I've told you before, but I always try to make sure there are curves among the angles. There are a lot of straight lines on a PL spread, so it needs a few soft lines to break it up. A few circular or heartshaped embellishments are perfect for this. Photos and cards with circles on them help too! 

Here is the final result of my start of January PL: 

Since my January PL kit hadn't arrived when I made this page there's a crazy mix of kits here. For more information on what I used to make this spread see my gallery at Studio Calico, where I have linked up the kits I used.

2015 Intro Page

So where is my intro page for the new year, you ask? Well, that is my contribution for Marcy Penner's "On The Grid" class. Here's a sneak: 

Sign up and see the rest! Have you seen the list of contributors? This class will be a-mazing!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Here's the link to the page. Isn't this a fun challenge? I will give this a go. The classic romance novel is a no way José for me, and I won't push myself to check them all. I think it's a great way to get to read some books I would have missed otherwise. Everyone makes it what they want, and I will check more than one box from one book.
The plan is to keep you (and me!) posted throughout the year, on how it's going and what books I'm reading. I would love your input and book tips too. The 2015 reading challenge will get it's own tab on my blog, so it will be easy to follow.

If you want a few tips from me, here are some:

HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson (1971)
This will scare you! It scared the crap out of me, and I read lots of horror. Don't say I didn't warn you. And for those of you born in 1971 you can also check the "written in the year you were born" box. 

HORNS by Joe Hill (2010)
For those of you who, like me, aren't fans of romance novels but still want to check that "love triangle" box, this is it! Funny and thought provoking. And recently filmed with Daniel Radcliff (yes, Harry Potter) as the main character.

THE STAND by Stephen King (1978)
I've read this book at least 15 times. It's so good! And do pick the extended version it's so much better. My copy has 1421 pages - you can check the first box twice! Don't let the number of pages scare you. Getting through this book is well worth it. And it was made into a mini TV-series, so there's another box checked.

THE DRAINING LAKE by Arnaldur Indridason (2004)
This is part of a series about Police Detective Erlendur, but you don't need to read the previous books to enjoy this one. It starts out in Iceland, but quickly turns into a story about Eastern Germany during the cold war. Check the foreign language and country boxes. (Unless you're from Iceland ofcourse!)

THE HEROIN DIARIES by Nikki Sixx (2007)
What is it like to be addicted to heroin? Find out while reading the memoir of Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. It's not a pretty story, but it does end well. There's a little spoiler for you. 

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2004)
A vampire novel, but really a story of growing up, being bullied and finding friends. Read it!

Are you in?


Monday, January 5, 2015


Yes, my Project Life album for 2014 is done. Six months of everyday life captured in 44 pages. I am really happy with the format I chose a year ago, and I will continue on in the same fashion.

  • white edges on my photos
  • 12x12 size album
  • switching up the page protectors
  • new album every 6 months
I haven't shared the last five pages of 2014 with you, so here they are. Page 3 below has our Christmas card photo using these templetes by One Little Bird. There's Nea lighting the advent candles. She was really excited to be responsible for that throughout December. 

Aren't the Santa and angel candle holders adorable? We have them after my husband's grandmother. Love them!  Using more of the OLB templates on this page.

Documenting my Layout of the week and This week's featured project at Studio Calico, all in the same week. Woohoo! Starting the holiday braek I also had lunch with my friends and coworkers. I hearted them out on request. And sweet kids at the store wating for daddy to finish his Christmas shopping. I did some gold embossing on the mid-right card so resemble a starry sky above the cityscape border.

 In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, and these picture all from this day. I loved the sweet little Christmas tree Dante drew at school so I asked permission to add it into our album.

The whole family has a 2,5 weeks off over the holidays, and we have really relaxed and just hung out together. Lots of boardgames and watching shows and movies. I've gotten into Grimm, which I really love. I love all chipboard embellishments, and really wanted to use all the stars from the Park Ave kit. I sewed them across the 4x6 card like a garland. The last photo is a selfie my daughter took on New Years Eve. 

Now on to making the title page for 2015!


Sunday, January 4, 2015


This is the last post in my "15 before 2015" blog post series. It's techinally not before 2015 anymore, but I never did well with deadlines anyways. The last post contains my favorite 5 photographs taken in 2014. 

This is one of my favorite photos ever taken. It's so colorful and happy and really conveys how much fun they were having. I also love Dante's smile with the front teeth missing.

The soft light in this picture is so perfect. Dante got to pick out a toy at the Kolmården Zoo this summer. He named it Goldilocks, and it's been his favorite toy ever since.

Because I love her hair. That is all!

During an excursion in the woods next to our house I found this Mourning Cloak butterfly inside a hollow tree branch. It was so unexpected since it was fall, and really too cold for any butterflies to be seen. I took this photo, and then covered it with dry leaves. I hope it survives the winter.

Not an amazing photo in any way except for the subjects in it. Just a sweet moment while waiting for daddy who was inside the store buying "brusselsprouts" ( really it was stocking stuffers, hehe).

If you want to add your 5 before 2015 you still have a few days. Go here! Enjoy the new year everyone! 


Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY 2015

Happy New Years everone! I hope last night turned out the way you hoped and that 2015 will bring you happiness. We had a quiet family night at our house - floor picnic infront of a movie. We had promised to wake the kids up at midnight but they never fell asleep because of the fireworks that were going off all evening. 

As I went through all my posts for 2014 for my "5 favorite posts of the year" I felt that many of them were quite boring. I've been keeping our life fairly private but as I read all the posts I realized that also means unpersonal. The plan is to write a bit more personal things in 2015 to keep things a bit more interesting.

It's time for my 5 favorite projects in 2014. Click on the images to get to the blog posts on these projects.

It was really hard picking out my favorite projects this year. I've made fewer layouts than before because of project life. That has meant only making layouts with my favorite photos and products, and so I really like everything I have made. I decided to pick these because:

1. I was really happy with how this mini album turned out. I've used the template twice more after this album.

2. I wanted to pick a PL spread that represents my style, and decided on this one. Mixed pocket designs and lots of digi.

3.  It's my favorite two-pager of 2014. This was the year I tried out making two-pagers for the first time, and I actually liked it.

4. Again, I love Pinterest! Another Pinterest inspired layout.

5. Also I love grids! This is one of my favorite grid layouts of the year. 

Speaking of grids I'm happy to announce my contribution to a new class at Studio Calico taught by Marcy Penner - On the grid. I was so happy to be asked to be part of this class. Grids are my absolute favorite! I'm so excited to see what everyone will make.