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!



  1. Always fun to read about people's process! Can't wait to see your contribution to On The Grid!

  2. I am taking that class too and I don't even do project life. I really enjoy the videos and the handouts though. I should apply some of the techniques to the layouts.