December Daily Page Ideas

If you are like me, some days in December you just don't do much. The weather is bad. The sun never comes out. Sick has settled in and you just do not want to pick up your camera. It's possible you are feeling blue (see my previous post about the holiday blues) so you just do not want to do or photograph anything. I have been working on a list of page ideas for just such a day to help you fill in gaps when you go to put your album together.

December Daily | A Few Faves So Far

Great news everyone! My first batch of photos are on their way and my kit that was back ordered has been shipped as well! YAY! Hopefully next week I can start sharing my pages with you! Crossing my fingers they aren't awful. I am my super simple plan so I think it will come together quickly and easily once I get going! Luckily, I have been taking my photos daily so I feel prepared and not overwhelmed in the least which is surprising!

I thought I would pop in here real quick and share a little collage of 4 of my favorites so far. I decided to go black and white for all of my photos...mostly. I saw some awesome inspiration in Ali's December Daily Facebook group that I might incorporate for color photos. I'll share as I work on it! I also have been compiling a list of inspiration ideas for days you don't do much or don't get a photo. Come back in a day or two for that!

December Daily Title Page | Freebie

I have my title page done and ready to print with my first weeks of prints. YAY! I wanted to share with you all the template I made and used. I will try to put up a freebie regularly for everyone because I know there are many like me on super tight budgets but still wanting to be crafty and work on some albums!

December Daily | What I am Using

As promised, here are the products I am using for my December Daily album. I will start sharing pages as I have them, starting with a free cover page template. YAY! All of the products are linked to Becky Higgin's website when I could as that is the brand of products I mostly used. However, some of them were purchased at different places, which I will mention with each picture.

I found this adorable Project Life binder at Michaels when they were having a great sale. The colors don't scream traditional Christmas, but I immediately felt like it would be the PERFECT Christmas binder! I am in love with it so much that I kinda wish I had bought more to use for Project Life as well! 

My Super Crazy Simple Approach to December Daily

So, I am hesitant to write this, but here I go! I am only hesitant because it's only December 2nd and I haven't actually completed a December Daily album ever. I have always wanted to. The holidays are full of mixed feelings for me so I tend to get pretty blah about them. After the last few years full of icky in our life I decided this year was going to be full of family memories and Christmas magic. You saw my December calendar already with daily activities. This is kinda a loose calendar. I am doing something everyday, but some things might end up out of order depending on what I have on hand and what I have forgotten to buy. I am all about keeping things easy and low stress! I just want the kids to have fun because those tiny humans deserve it! So here is my approach to documenting these special days.

Scrapbooking Through the Holiday Blues

This time of year is one that most people associate with joy and happiness and all things lovely and sweet. For a lot of people, me included, it isn't just joy and happiness all season. It has a big of melancholy and even just sadness for whatever reason. Sometimes it's missing a lost loved one. Sometimes it's just the hustle and bustle being overwhelming. Honestly, sometimes there is just no rhyme or reason to it, and it just is. Truth is, it doesn't matter why you feel down or depressed. Unfortunately life doesn't stop for us though. The kids still want to bake. Presents still need to be bought. The Christmas tree still needs put up and decorated. So much to do!

25 Days of Christmas

Hey everyone! I am resurrecting this blog today to share with you our 25 days of Christmas activities! I figured it would be better to share early in case you want to create your own calendar and start planning your family activities! The things on the calendar are additional activities to the Anne Voskamp advent book...though I do agree with some reviews, that some of the stories are not completely accurate according the Bible, so I am on the fence about buying a new one (recommendations welcome!) or just looking at this as more of a story book with some good lessons thrown in.

So! Here is our December calendar and below it is a list of the days along with links if needed or wanted! Tuesday's are our family nights, so I put a movie down for each of those days.

Kit used is Christmas Cheer by Studio Flergs

Here is the list with all the links to the activities:

Inside My Personal Filofax Finsbury

One of things you guys may not know about me is my love of stationary and planners/journals. I LOVE them. I don't even want to count how many notebooks I have around the house that I won't use because I love them too much. There is something sad about using a notebook for the very first time for me. It's so bizarre, I know.

It's kind of the same with planners. I love to collect them, but hate using them. I have found that I need to though. My life isn't super busy or anything, but I tend to forget the little things we have planned and I like to take little notes about things. I have been searching and searching for planner peace. I still don't think I am there, but right now I am trying out the Filofax Finsbury and thought I would share my thoughts and set up.

Ok. I got the Finsbury in a trade. I traded my Pear Saffiano for it. When I first opened my package I was super excited. It is really nice leather and very soft and just feels nice. I thought it was going to be the PERFECT one to keep with me. So like my everything planner. It's lightweight too which is a huge plus! Some planners are quite heavy from the get go!

April Template Freebie

I cannot believe that it is April already! Crazy! This is my favorite time of year though! Everything is coming alive again after the cold Winter and it's soooo lovely!

This month's template is a photo-less journal centric template. I am trying to create a variety of templates for the freebies so there is something for everyone! I think that it would be super easy to slip in some photos for it though if you aren't wanting to go without a photo.

March Template Freebie

This months freebie is a fun one I hope! It doesn't have a place for journaling *gasp* but you can easily add some anywhere on the page I think. It's a bit more clustery and layered. Enjoy!

Click HERE or on the preview to download

Here is my original page. Getting to see Jasper for the first time! 

Click for full credits

I did a lot of pages about finally being pregnant with him so this one didn't have any journaling. IT was more just documenting that photo.

Like always let me know if the download doesn't work! I hope you like it!

Tuesday Tip: "Cutting" Paint or Word Art

I could not for the life of me think of what to title this post, but I am going to show you how to "cut" paint or other written or drawn elements to make them look realistic. Like this page!

You can see at the top where it looks like it was written and the paper moved a bit. If you were doing a traditional paper page and you used paint or writing across an element and onto the background paper, the element would be raised a bit. When your digi scrapping it's easy to forget about how things would appear on a traditional page and this one of those simple and easy things that you can do to make your page seem a little less digital! 

I started the page with these AMAZING templates by Sahlin Studios and Amy Martin. They are so much fun and come with the word art which is awesome if you struggle with titles like I do!

The first thing you need to do is duplicate the word art layer. Just right click on it in the layers palette and select "Duplicate". Now take the bottom word art and make sure that it is below whatever element you will be cutting your word art or paint from. On this page it is the frame. So I took the bottom word art and made sure it was the layer right above my background because I want some of my elements to be able to be on top of it. I am going to take the word art layer that is on top and make sure it is on the layer directly above my photo frame. I need one more word art layer on top so I am going to duplicate just the top most word art now. Also, the only part of the word art that is going to be clipped is the "moments like this" so I am going to select BOTH the top most word arts and use the eraser tool and erase "make me smile" from both of them.

You can see in this screen shot that now the top two word arts are just the "moments like this" I have it selected so it has a box around it to show you the size. You can click on it to make it bigger.

You can do this same thing but in reverse to the bottom word art that is now just above your background layer. You will erase "moments like this" from it. 

Now it's time to cut! in the layers palette you will clip the word art that is just above the frame to the frame itself. You can do this by taking your mouse and while holding "alt" on the keyboard hover in between the frame layer and the word art layer. You will get two overlapping circles. When those appear just click with your mouse. I tried so hard to take a screen shot of the two little circles that appear with your mouse but they disappear. If anyone has any questions about them please just let me know and I will try to do a screen capture in video format for you. 

At this point you have three different word arts. A very bottom one just about your background. One clipped to the frame and the last one just about it. Now, hole Ctrl and click on the frame layer in your layers palette. It will make the "marching ants" appear around it. So it will look like this:

With the marching ants going and the frame selected in your layers palette go to the top click Select > Modify > Expand.

You might have to test how much you want to expand because everyone's taste is so different! I always start with 10 or 15 and go from there. So decide how much you want to expand and then the marching ants will move out a little bit from the frame. Click on the top most layer of word art now and then click Ctrl and X at the same time. I did 15 when I expanded and was happy with how that looked. So now your page will look like this:

Just finish up your page like normal now! It gives your paint and written elements a much much more realistic feel!

It is entirely possible that someone out there is reading this and thinking that they have a much easier way of doing this. If so, please tell me! This isn't at all hard but there are quite a few steps. It's easy peasy once you have the hang of it though. Definitely share if you have a better way though! I would love to learn!! 

You can CLICK HERE for full credits for my layout. I hope you enjoyed and learned a wee bit of something. If there is ever a topic you would like for me to talk about just let me know! I might try to do just a regular layout walk through one day if that is something you might like! 

Tuesday Tip: Blend Modes

I got off to a bit slower of a start with my blogging this year than I originally intended, but I do have some exciting new posts!

One of the things I am most excited about with my new year of blogging adventures is the Tuesday Tips. These will be little tips or tricks for the most part. There will be in depth tutorials sometimes too though. I have found when I am working on my digital scrapbooking pages I sometimes do a little thing that someone new to scrapbooking digitally might not think of! These will not be every single Tuesday quite yet, but there are a few scheduled so they will be semi-regular!

Today I am going to talk to you about blend modes. A really fun way to add an extra special touch to your pages is playing with blending papers or blending other fun things into your background. I do this A LOT when I want a hit of a pattern on my page but nothing too overwhelming to detract from my photo/story. Check out this fun page of my gorgeous niece Elizabeth. (Full credits found here)

I played around with a lot of different backgrounds before settling on a solid blue. However it was still not quite what I wanted. It was just lacking something. With all my added sparkle and things I felt like my background needed a punch as well. Katie Pertiet over at my favorite Designer Digitals has awesome products like these Monochromatic Overlays No. 5. I put one down on top of my solid background but it totally didn't look right just placed there. 

It doesn't look bad at all. That's the awesome thing about the overlays! You really can just plop them down! It isn't as subtle as I wanted though. I decided to have a play with the blend modes on the overlay layer. You can find your blend modes where my yellow arrow is pointing. Select the layer you want to blend in your layers palette and then click on your blend mode. It is always set to "Normal" by default.

I almost always use "Overlay" or "Soft Light" but those just weren't quite right for this page. The awesome thing is, you can click on each one to see how it looks and then click Ctrl + Z to undo it until you find one you like the best. In the end I used "Color Burn" and I am super duper happy with how it turned out!

So I challenge you to try this on your next page! I do this with papers all the time too! I place a patterned paper on top of a solid and desaturate it (by selecting the patterned paper in my layers palette and clicking Ctrl + Shift + U) and then play with the blend modes to make a more subtle pattern for my pages! 

February Template Freebie

Happy February everyone! I am here with this month's freebie template. I hope you like it! It's a little more graphic in style with minimal elements so I hope you will feel like you can customize it in your own style. That's the fun thing about templates. They get your juices flowing and you can leave them as is or add and take away things however you see fit!

Click HERE or on the preview to download

Here is the page I did. It's a wee bit different in that in the end I moved some of the stitches. I used Besties by Karla Dudley.

Enjoy and let me know if you have troubles downloading and I will fix the link ASAP!

January Template Freebie

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2015 is an amazing year and full of lots of blessings for your life and happiness and joy!! 

I am super excited to offer you a free template every single month! They are all already made up too, so you are guaranteed one if you stop by here the first of every month! Woohoo! Here is the January freebie.

Click HERE or on the preview to download

Here is my original page that it is based off of. 

I hope that you enjoy! Let me know if you have trouble with the download and I will upload it somewhere new for you!