Las Vegas Mini Book

Las Vegas Mini Cover

This year I’m hoping to work on more simple mini books.  I have a tendency sometimes to make my books really detailed and full, which usually translates to me spending days on documenting a single trip.  While those minis definitely have their place (hello big once in a lifetime trips!) I’d love to also work on some simple minis for day/weekend trips, or something that goes with a theme I’m thinking about.  Vegas 1

This mini that I’m sharing today documents a trip to Las Vegas that I took with my husband back in December to celebrate our 2 year anniversary. It was short weekend trip and I had only taken a few photos with my phone, but this was still a story that I wanted to tell and I thought would make for fun mini.

Vegas 2.jpg

Most elements came from the ‘Heart’ Story Kit by Ali Edwards.  I love using digital elements because I can size everything exactly how I need to before printing.  The size of my mini was 4.5 x 4 inches, so I ended up cropping a lot of the 4×6 cards directly in Photoshop.    Vegas 3Vegas 4Vegas 5

IMG_6193My original plan was to put all of my pages into a 4×4 album (out of page protectors), which is why I have 2 holes punched in each page.  However, when I finished, the little binder didn’t feel complete (my pages only filled up about half), so I took it out of the binder and secured it with a binder ring.  That second hole doesn’t bother me (too much . . .) but I’m going to keep brainstorming some binding ideas.  If you have any ideas I’d love to hear! :)

Project Life 2016: Week 2

PL Cover Week 2

I feel like I’m on a groove with Project Life right now. After being sick for most of last week and not feeling like doing anything this was the first project I was excited to get back to.  I’m totally rolling with that feeling and just enjoying the process.  Enjoying the process means taking more time to put my layouts together, taking time to do thoughtful journaling, taking time look through my product stash to find old stamp and embellishment gems . . . this feels like a good place to be in :)


I mixed some embellishments from different Studio Calico kits, and I also pulled out some old Ali Edwards stamps that came in last year’s Week in the Life kit.  I love how versatile these words and phrases are and that they come as thin acrylic stamps so they can be manipulated to curve around objects in photos or circular embellishments . . . If you saw last week’s layout then you probably know that I’m a little obsessed with this technique right now ;-)  I have a feeling I’ll be adding these to my stamp collection very soon!IMG_6163How awesome is this ‘Life’ flair from the current Arendal Studio Calico kit?!


This cute little bear is a freebie that the uber talented Olya Schmidt posted on her site last week.  The background is a 3×4 card from the Ali Edwards January ‘Heart’ Story Kit.  IMG_6162


P.S.  The ‘Happiness is . . . the Start of a Journey’ illustration is from a daily calendar I have on my desk at work right now.  These little illustrations make me so happy- I’m sure you’ll be seeing bits of it throughout my layouts this year :)

Project Life 2016: Week 1


Good morning friends!  I’m excited to be sharing the first week of my 2016 Project Life album today! Working with this 6×12 size has proven to be awesome so far.  Having a little more space to work with has given me more freedom to play around with photo and journaling placement, which is kind of like figuring out a visual puzzle.  My inner design geek is having a lot of fun with this :)IMG_6153

The week of December 27 was pretty relaxed.  It was nice having an easy week after the fun Christmas festivities.  We celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday, hung out around the house, ate way too much good food, and of course we also celebrated new year’s day.


Throughout this layout I carried out a circle design as well as an orange and blue color scheme to play off the colors in my photos.  The die cut circles at the top are from an old Studio Calico kit, which I did my date stamp on.  The ’16 Memories’ is a digital date stamp that’s new to Ali Edwards’ shop.  I also used three enamel circles on my bottom right photo to carry out my circle theme and visually balance things out.


One of my favorite elements on this layout ended up being this ampersand transparent die cut from an old studio calico kit, which I stamped around using this “Say Yes to New Adventures” stamp from a Kelly Purkey set.   The stamp itself is a thin straight line of text, but since it’s so thin it can be manipulated to curve when it’s placed onto an acrylic block.  I manipulated the text as best I could to line up around the die cut and then stamped three times.  I’d totally recommend trying this out if you’re looking for a fun way to add a stamped border to a shape!

My plan for Project Life 2016

IMG_6118Happy New Year, friends!

The beginning of a new year marks a fresh start on a lot of things, but one that I’m most excited about is starting a brand new Project Life album! This year I’ll be working with a new size, which is both awesome and slightly terrifying, ha! Working with a new size I knew I wanted to have a rough layout plan and to set up some foundation pages.  It’s always nice to feel like I have a head start in the right direction :)

Choosing my size:  Last year I went with a 6×8 album, which was honestly quite perfect, but this year I wanted to try something new.  After a lot of thought (probably a bit too much . . .) I decided to go with a 6×12 layout.  Three main things brought me to this decision: Feeling super inspired by Kelly Purkey’s album last year, wanting to use up all of my old 12×12 page protectors that I purchased a few years ago, and wanting to try out a size that’s new to me.

Supplies: Since the 6×12 layout size is still pretty new to the Project Life community, products in this size (e.g. page protectors and albums) are a more scarce.  I’ve found a few products online, which I’ll link to below, but hopefully this post will also give you some ideas for creative solutions so you can work with products you may already have.

Albums: Pink with Polka Dots, Leather album (a few color options available),  Craft Colored (this is the one I purchased).

Another option is to cut down a 12×12 or 9×12 album using a sturdy exacto knife.

Page Protectors: Holds 3: 4×6 photos, Holds 2: 4×6 photos and 2: 3×4 photos, Holds 1: 6×12 photos .

I purchased a few packs of the 3: 4×6 protectors and will probably purchase some of the full page 6×12 protectors soon.  However, I’ll primarily be using inserts I created myself by cutting down some old Design A 12×12 protectors.

The photos below show my process for cutting down the 12×12 full page into one 6×12 page and then using my fuse tool to create another 3×12 insert.IMG_6114Here I’m starting with a full 12×12 Design A page.  My first step was cutting as close as I could to the right of the middle seam (careful not to cut the actual seam).  With this cut I already had a 6×12 page with the 3 hole punches along the side.

Next, I used the remaining 6×12 piece to create a 3×12 insert.

FuseI simply fused down the middle of the page to transform my 4×6 pockets on the top and bottom into 3×4 pockets.  Lastly, I left about 1/4 inch to the left of the middle seam and made a cut.  That quarter inch gave me just enough room to drill my 3-hole punches so they could line up perfectly with the 6×12 pages.

With this method you’ll still end up with a small scrap of protector sheet.  Since I tend to use transparencies a lot in my projects, I’ll be cutting my scraps down on as as needed basis.  You can actually see how I used a piece of my scraps in one of the pockets on my cover page below.IMG_6122

My Cover Page: Covers are always a real struggle for me.  This cover took far longer than it probably should have, but in the end I was super happy with it.  I’ve found that keeping things simple always works out best.

On the top I used two images that were taken last year.  The mural wall behind me was really colorful so I desaturated the photo to tone it down.  I cropped the images to 3×4, but I printed them side by side to fit in the 4×6 pocket.  I stamped “The Story” on kraft cardstock and adhered it using my tiny attacher.  This stamp was designed by One Little Bird and came in one of last year’s Studio Calico kits.  The gold star card and ‘Bring it 2016’ cards both came in the December Studio Calico kit.   IMG_6123

I’ve been hoarding these Dear Lizzy pink alphas forever, but this seemed like the perfect project to use them on.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find them available online, but they might still be available at Michaels Stores.IMG_6124

The last preparation stip I did for my album was creating some monthly inserts. IMG_6125My current plan is to use these Paislee Press calendar cards as my insert headers.  On the front I’d like to list out a few goals for the upcoming month, and on the back I’d like to review how the previous month’s goals went.  Holding myself accountable definitely helps keep me on track with my goals!IMG_6130

IMG_6127What size album will you be working with this year?  I feel like committing to a size is always the toughest part . . . the story telling is just gravy :-)

Happy Monday!