2015 Five by Seven Calendars

I had a request to create a 5 x 7 calendar in horizontal and vertical formats that included all of the months in a single image. It was pretty simple since I had all of the bones created already for the individual calendar pages included in the 2015 Five by Seven set in my shop so I thought I'd share these here for anyone to grab and use :) Click the image to download - enjoy!


Five years later...

In July, we went to the UP for a week with my parents. We managed to find the exact same spot I took one of my favorite photos ever. I wish I would have brought the original for reference but I think it's pretty clear the boys have grown a bit since then.

What surprised me was their willingness, their gusto, in taking the redux version. These photos and memories mean as much to them as they do to me. How cool is that?


Blog Tour

Last week, I was tagged by the incredible Melanie to participate in a blog hop spotlighting our favorite scrapbookers. I said yes because I can't turn her down and I've been itching to get back into a blogging routine now that the kids are back in school!

1. What am I working on right now?
Too much and not enough. I'm bouncing from project to project but not finishing anything. I have multiple things in the works for my etsy shop that may or may not ever see the light of day. Personally, I'm on my third year of project life. I haven't finished a year yet...sigh. I've said it before (and was totally wrong) but I think this year, I have a laid-back system I can stick with. I still love creating traditional pages though and am struggling trying to figure out how I want to balance the two.

2. How long does it take me to create a project?
A layout? Usually two to three hours. I was much faster when I was strictly text and paper but now that I occasionally add some bits and bobs, the fiddling adds considerable time. I've been doing some card making recently (using the scraps from a layout) and that takes 30-60 minutes. I am building a nice stash to gift to my grandma at Christmas though - she's a card sending fool :)

3. What are my favorite things to create with at the moment?
Still paper. It will forever and always be paper. 75% card stock, please. Since I've started working for My Favorite Things, I've been doing LOTS of die cutting too though and even though I will never give up hand cutting, those nifty little dies do make quick work of neat little elements (and make those mass-production projects a lot more enjoyable! Halloween treats in the works...)

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
It doesn't work very well anymore. Back when it was working, it worked because I did it every single day. I drew sketches. I jotted down layout ideas. I wrote journaling...long, meaningful, expansive journaling. There was a time, a long time actually, that I was making a new layout daily. I know I'll never get back to that point but one or two a week sure would be nice. When it worked, I would look at my sketches, my photos, my journaling, and mix-and-match them all together until I had something that worked. Late nights nursing are wonderful for this kind of work. I'll never have those nights back though so I need to figure out what will fill that gap for me now.

5. How do I become inspired and stay inspired?
By working at it. The more consistently I push through the "dry" times, the more productive I am. I go back and look at the pages I've ripped from magazines, things I've pinned...the oldest stuff is the most inspiring so I always scroll to the end and work up to the newer stuff. Right now, I'm not inspired - I'm pushing though!

6. What is my signature style?
At one time, it was clean, graphic, heavily influenced by type, and journaling-centered. Now, I'm not so sure I have a signature style. Once upon a time, I think my work was recognizable - friends could pick it out of a gallery without looking at the name. Now, it's just random. And that's OK as long as I'm happy with the finished project. It's a process.

Does it seem like I'm longing for the good old days? I totally am. I've been trying so hard lately to get back to that time but the golden days, for me, took awhile to achieve. I need to remind myself of that *now.* Simply answering these questions has me more focused though - ready to work, consistently, on re-discovering that sweet spot.

Melanie is undoubtedly one of my favorites for her clean, graphic layouts full of meaning (and have you SEEN her photography?!?) I can't choose her though (sad face) and two other favorites have already been chosen (I clearly have excellent taste) but I feel exceptionally lucky to be tagging the person I am today. Elizabeth inspires me by the way she thinks about journaling in new and interesting ways. I love the way she applies design principals in completely unique ways. She's killer at iPhonography. And she should share more scrapbooking on her blog ;)


kicking and screaming

I can't quite put my finger on it but this summer, didn't really feel like summer. It kind of slipped away from me in a way it never has before. Some of it, surely, was the fact that the weather kind of sucked. I like heat and this summer didn't provide that in a way that satisfied. What it did provide, in excess, was rain, multiple hail storms, and a lot of branches to pick up. I had a kid that decided to embrace sleeping in and that robbed us of the early morning park trips we've loved so much in the past. My eldest heading to middle school surely contributed to the malaise as well.

I usually embrace fall and the return to school and schedule but this year, fall is going to have to drag me kicking and screaming. We're a week into the school year and I'm still finding my footing. It will come...just more haltingly than in years past.

I have been having some fun doing a little scrapping recently. I've got the itch again but the time to scratch it comes in fits and starts.

Izzy celebrated a birthday.

As did Zack.

Jake did too (just two days ago, as a matter of fact) but that one hasn't been commemorated just yet.

This girl is something else.


I have no words for this...

Izzy dancing in the light of the golden hour (give it a minute to fully load so you get a smoother transition.)


ETA: Congratulations, Jennifer!
Please email me your address so I can mail you the case and send you instructions for redeeming the Phone Photography class.

A few weeks ago, I did some bartering with a friend (why don't people barter more? this is genius!) and sent her a knitted phone case in exchange for a SWEET stamp. I used a pattern for her case but loved the process and the result so much, I played around until I came up with a pattern of my own that I loved. This was the result.

There are very few true necessities in life but I'm pretty sure that a nifty phone case is one of them. Everyone has their own preference for important decisions like phone cases though and I'm not gonna lie, I LOVE my Rifle Paper case that I picked up a few weeks ago. I won't use this one but someone should so I figured combining it with a spot in the new BPC Phone Photography Project 2 class would be the perfect giveaway.

Interested in winning a spot? Just leave a comment and I'll randomly select a winner next Monday, June 9. Class starts July 17 so mark your calendar and make sure your phone is charged.

One more thing...if you didn't get a chance to take the first Phone Photography Project class last summer, it's now available as a self-paced workshop. You don't need this class as a pre-requisite to this summer's new class but it would be a great warm-up! If you're interested in seeing how the classes compare, check out the BPC FAQ on them.

Hope to see you all in July when the class begins!


The Phone Photography Project 2

When Elizabeth asks me if I would like to participate in a project she's heading up, my answer is "YES" before I even finish reading. I know it will be incredibly well organized, chock-full of useful information, and inspiring to the nth degree. So, The Phone Photography Project 2? Oh yeah. Sign me up!

As the years go on, I turn to my phone more and more for capturing, well, just about everything. I take picture of school notes and filed trip permission slips so I have easy access to the dates and times and other important details. I take pictures of "things" that I need to buy so that I pick up the right "thing" (lightbulbs...always the lightbulbs.) But most often, and most importantly, I take pictures of moments. And this class is so good at sharing the ideas for the moments as well as the techniques for turning the photos into something magical.

This class is slightly different from last years. It's organized a bit differently and includes all new content. I'm really excited about the addition of videos - process videos from ALL of the contributors. So, if you took the class last year and enjoyed it, I think you'll love this year even more!

You should really watch this video because Elizabeth tells the story so well.

You can see all of the class details at BPC - I hope you'll check it out! I'm so honored to be included in this list of contributors and special guests and I know that if you try it, you'll love it as much as I do.


On Saturday, I completed two months of project life and two layouts. This is surely my most productive day of scrapping in years, or perhaps, ever. It feels good to make some headway and I'm always so happy when I'm in the process. It's such an undertaking to actually start though.

These are simple layouts...which is fine...but I need to find a way back to the journaling I used to love so much. That's my hurdle now. I used to be really good at that part and somewhere along the way, I lost it.

(It really is all that crooked/wonky...and it was intentional - promise!)

January and February 2014. I'm not doing a spread a week though it worked out to about the same number of spreads. I'm just starting at the beginning and slotting in photos/drawings/stories in sequence. Basically no structure at all. Every year, I think I've figured out how I want to do this and every year, I prove myself wrong. These are so simple I almost didn't bother sharing but figured I'd compromise by just grouping them into a single collage. In a couple of days, I'll try to knock out March (and hope for the best that I actually make it through the entire year.)


new in the shop

I just added the Wonky Monogram Journaling Cards to the shop. These are individual 3x4" color jpg files. The kit also includes black transparent png files that can be recolored and ten wonky spots that can be added to the cards to provide a good spot for journaling.

I used the black png files to create this layout, as well as the 3x4 Monthlies, a digital kraft I shared on my blog a few years ago (download here,) and a quote freebie I shared in my most recent newsletter.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Izzy's list

Her list to tackle upon waking up (read bottom to top...because that's how she rolls:)

first stretch then
brush my teeth
then get dressed
then get ready for school
then go to school



  • Daylight Savings can bite me
  • I'm so sad that True Detective is over. Fastest 8 weeks ever.
  • I have swung so wildly from OMG SO HAPPY, to HOW CAN THINGS GET ANY WORSE the past few weeks that I'm sea sick
  • I've been working two days a week (or less depending on the whims of Mather Nature this winter) at my dad's print shop and it's been so good, because, paper. I remember how I fell in love with it all those years ago when I would spend time there playing with custom notepads made just for me and those letraset rub-ons. Sigh. I started in October and it's worked so perfectly for me.
  • In December, I started working for My Favorite Things as well. And also, wonderful. The products are top notch (I'm kind of loving my die cutting machine and learning to stamp!) and the people are AMAZING. I'm a lucky girl.
  • The box of Lucky Charms that I bought for myself and hid (to eat when the kids were at school or, um, during late-night work sessions) was totally worth it.
  • My new Mac is so pretty. I didn't realize how much harder I was working on my old computer. 
  • I've been scrapbooking a bit here and there and even though it takes me ages to pull a layout together (it used to take me 15 minutes! what the hell happened?) I'm enjoying it. Maybe it's taking me a long time because I'm tackling really time consuming techniques. Like hand-stitching in ombre with 6 different floss colors.
  • Some of them are fast though. (There's a paper Jake wrote for school about having Zack for a brother tucked inside that flip up. It's pretty much the sweetest thing ever but not for me to share.)

  • I did that layout based on this:
  • I loved the colors of that design too though so I took some filler card inspiration that I had saved ages ago (and I don't have the source, which is SO unlike me so if you recognize the patterns, please let me know!) and made these. You can download them here.
  • I have a little printable freebie (in 5x7" and 3"4") that I'll share in my newsletter tomorrow. If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, you might like it :) (sidebar: Carson + Hughes trumps any other couple on the show. Please, please, please make that happen next season.) You can sign up for the newsletter over in the sidebar if you're interested!
  • And how are all of you?


I really, really, reallyreallyreally

love this sun drawing that Izzy made yesterday.

That's all.


quick and easy recoloring

I had a customer ask for the easiest way to recolor the 3x4" and 6x4" monthly calendar pockets so I thought I'd share a quick tutorial. I know I've done recoloring tutorials before but this one is specific to those kits (though the same principal would apply to recoloring almost any png file - even those that are already colored.) You could just use the paint bucket tool but you'll get some ragged edges that way (that may or may not bother you.)

Once you've opened your file, create a new layer by either clicking the new layer icon in the layers palette or the key combo ctrl+shift+n.

You may need to make sure you have the correct color mode selected. To do that, Image>Mode>RGB Color.

Choose the color you'd like the design to print by clicking the foreground color box.

Activate the paint bucket tool by clicking on it in the tool palette or by just hitting "k" on your keyboard.

Click anywhere on your canvas to fill the layer with color.

Ctrl + G will clip the color layer to your design layer. To permanently merge the color, click ctrl + E.

As with anything in Photoshop/PSE, there are a number of ways to accomplish any given task. This is simply my preferred method. If you have any questions, just ask!
I did some painting + digital fiddling and this is what I came up with. A new reminder for me. And my kids. And maybe download for my next newsletter :)


Sochi: 2014

I finally got around to updating the 2012 Olympic cards to a 2014 version. I've changed the date and city on the cards that included that information. For the London card, I loved using the iconic bus imagery to include the logo colors but I struggled with how to interpret Sochi in the same way and in the end, went with the incorporating the Kremlin icon (Kremlin designed by Chris McDonnell from the Noun Project) Hopefully some of you will be able to incorporate them into your projects! Download HERE.


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