Maroon Bells using October AE Digitals

I’m still determined to get some photos from our latest roadtrip to Aspen, CO up on the blog, but until then I have this layout to share! The Maroon Bells and surrounding area is seriously one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to in my life.  Truly, photos can’t do this place justice.  I can’t speak to what this area looks like year-round, but I can vouch for the last couple weeks in September being gorgeous.

SZayas_OctoberDigitals_FullLayout

SZayas_OctoberDigitals_DetailThis layout features the October digital release from Ali Edwards, which is perfect for any fall or halloween layout!

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September Hybrid Layouts

Happy Friday, friends!  And more importantly, happy almost Fall Season!  Soon that fresh, crisp air and pumpkin pie will be here and I can hardly wait.

In the last couple of days, the temperature in SoCal has started to shift, and something about the taste of seasonal change has reinvigorated my crafty spirit! So, with that, I was excited to jump into the projects I’m sharing today, #1 because the September Digital Kit by Ali Edwards is beautiful, and #2 because documenting this last quarter of the year is always my favorite and these projects mark the beginning of that process.

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First up I put together this super simple page for my Summer Traveler’s notebook (TN).  This was my first time doing a full page photo in my notebook, and now I’m obsessed!  I will definitely be using this format over and over in notebooks from now on. Also, just a tip if you’re afraid of the edges of your photo coming up on your notebook: use red line tape.  This tape is super strong. You have to be extra careful placing your photo, but once it’s down, it’s down for good!

SZayas_September2017Digitals_DetailProj2.jpgIn case you’re interested in seeing more pages out of my Summer Traveler’s notebook you can click on over to my Instagram to find them there.

SZayas_September2017Digitals_FullLayoutProj1.jpgMy next project was an insert for my 6″ x 8″ binder.  This photo was taken last year because let’s be honest, its still waaaay too hot for boots and jackets, but I wanted to put together something to celebrate the coming season, and this felt like the perfect way to do that. SZayas_September2017Digitals_DetailProj1.jpgOkay, now I’m definitely ready for a chai latte :)

Summertime Hybrid Layouts

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Hi Friends!

Today I’m back to share a couple of layouts I put together using the June digital releases from Ali Edwards.  I absolutely loved working with this month’s kit, which was filled with fun summertime details as well as some Father’s Day elements.

SZayas_JuneDigitalKit_Detail_Project1.jpgFirst up is the layout I put together for Father’s Day.  When I first saw the card that said “So Thankful For You Dad.  Super Love You” I knew I had to do something special.  While I wanted to have a layout for myself, I also wanted to find a way to turn this into a card that I could give to my Dad.  In order to do that I took the “Dad Stories” 3″ x 8″ card and adhered a photo to the back to make it into a bookmark.  It was the perfect alternative to a card and I love that its handmade and extra special.  I love that my dad and I will both have a copy of the journaling and this great photo.

SZayas_JuneDigitalKit_FullLayoutProj.jpgNext up is a layout I put together using a lot of the summer-themed elements from the kit.  The colors worked perfectly with the photos from this celebratory weekend in May so I really didn’t have to do anything other than print everything out.  Love when that happens!SZayas_JuneDigitalKit_Detail_Proj2.jpg

I’m looking forward to making many more summer-themed layouts in the next couple of months!

Hybrid Pocket Page Layout

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I know I’ve said this so many times before, but as much as I love working with traditional paper products on layouts, there’s just something so clean and simple about going digital/hybrid.  The biggest perk (for me) is the ability to resize and customize colors.

SZayas_MayKit+Pets_Detail2_Project1.jpgFor this layout I used Ali Edwards’ May Digital Kit and the ‘Pets’ digital brush set that also released this month.  The colors in the kit were so bright and fun, but not everything coordinated with the colors in my photos.  That’s where a bit of customization came in handy.

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I changed the color of the quote card (top right) to better match the ice cream cup in the photo below it, and also changed the colors of the “Love Us” and “Special Moment” embellishments to better math the colors on the page.  It’s amazing how the smallest changes can make a world of difference in the look and feel of a page!

Pocket Prompts Class at Big Picture Classes!

BPC.pngTo say that I’m excited to share today’s news is a huge understatement, friends.  I’m in a bit of a “pinch me” state at the moment.  Next Monday, April 17, my very first class will be launching over at Big Picture Classes!! Hooray!!

Putting this class together has been a journey, and one that I am so grateful for.  Over the last 4 months I’ve been brainstorming, sketching, playing with paper, and reflecting on my process so that I could share some of my very favorite photo and journaling prompts and also do a complete walkthrough of how and why I do what I do in my pocket pages.

As I was working on this class I wanted to make sure that I was reaching both the crafters that have never done pocket page scrapbooking as well as those who have been doing it for a long time and are maybe looking for a fresh perspective to add life to their pages.

I hope that if you love pocket page scrapbooking or if you’re curious to try it out for the first time that you’ll consider this class!  You can sign up for a free two week trial over at Big Picture Classes today!

ALSO, later this week I’ll be doing a giveaway over on my Instagram for two people to win a free one month subscription!

All of the workshop details can be found here.

Hope to see you there!!

A Rainy Day Story

SZayas_March2017DigitalKit_FullLayout1.jpgOne story that I will always remember about my parents is the story of how they met and their first date.  While growing up I remember asking them to retell the story several times and I’ve sometimes caught myself wondering if that’s a question Omar and I will get from our kids one day.

Truth be told, the first part of our story probably isn’t that romantic- after very little luck with dating, my coworkers encouraged me to try online dating.  I’d heard mixed “reviews”, but decided to just give it a try and put myself out there.  I feel incredibly lucky that I only had one bad date before I met O, but that bad date was almost the reason we never met.  We now laugh about the fact that I didn’t respond to his sweet message for nearly 2 weeks and even considered closing my account before we ever got the chance to meet.  Looking back I can’t believe how close I came to never meeting my future husband.

We sent get-to-know-you emails back and forth for about 10 days before we decided to meet on what would end up being a very rainy St. Patrick’s Day in 2012.  It’s not that I don’t treasure all of those emails that we sent back and forth to each other (I really wish I had kept them!) but I’ll always feel like the first time we met in person is where the sweet part of this story starts.   AE_March2017DigitalKit_Detail1.jpg

To document this special story I used the newest March 2017 Digital Kit from Ali Edwards and paired them with stamps from last month’s Bond story theme.  It ended up being a rainy day story about a rainy day :)SZayas_Digital2017Kit_Detail3.jpg

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot of the little details from that day that happened nearly 5 years ago, but I’m so happy to have this story finally documented!

Nugget’s 1st Year Mini (using AE digitals)

20170205_121848.jpgIt’s crazy to think that we adopted Nugget almost 9 months ago.   When I look at him I can hardly believe how fast he’s grown from the little fluffball we picked up on a Friday afternoon last May into the 70 pound playful puppy he is today.  In some ways time has flown, but in other ways it has nearly stood still as we’ve tried to navigate our way through the challenges of figuring out life with our first puppy.20170205_122306.jpgTo help record some of the milestones of Nugget’s first year I decided to put together a hybrid mini book.  The new Week by Week digital stamps by Ali Edwards were so perfect to get the ball rolling, and sticking to a basic template for each page allowed me to complete this mini in just a couple of hours!Nugget 1.jpgNugget 2.jpgNugget 3.jpg20170205_121643.jpgThanks so much for stopping by!

December Daily® 2016 Preparations

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Hi Friends!

Today I’m sharing how I’ve prepared for my December Daily® project for this year.  I’ve also put a video together where I walk you through my album from last year, share what products I plan to use this year (and how I keep myself organized), and lastly, how I prep my album without the use of foundation pages so that I can feel confident that I won’t get stuck or not know how to move forward on my album once December comes!

2016-11-13 08.45.36 2.jpgSome background:

Last year was my second attempt at completing a December Daily album, but my first time actually doing it.  I took some time last year to assess what parts of my process worked for me and what didn’t so that this year I could feel confident going into this project.

While not everyone works on projects the same way, I’m hopeful that at least some of the tips I’m sharing today will help you with your December Daily® project, or any daily project that you might have lined up in the near future.2016-11-13 08.45.35 1.jpg

Here are some of the things that have worked for me:

Prepping my ideas, but not my pages: A lot of people like to build foundation pages. I totally get that and think the idea is brilliant for getting a head start on your album.  However, I find that building my pages beforehand reduces my flexibility later on.  I like to use my photos to drive what cards and embellishments I use in my pockets, so waiting until I have my photos printed is a must before I start adding things into the pockets.  Instead of adding to my pages, I use a piece of scratch paper to write out ideas of what stories I want to capture throughout the month.

On this piece of paper I make a list from 1-31 to represent each day of the month.  I fill in any days where I already know what activities are happening and below my calendar list I write in ideas for other stories I can capture that aren’t necessarily date specific.  This way, if I ever have a day where nothing is happening (and believe me, there are plenty of those days!) I never feel like I don’t have a story to tell.  Having this list handy also allows me to work ahead.  If I feel momentum to keep working on my album one day, I can capture a couple of stories from my list and actually get ahead!

Keeping my stash organized and minimal: This year’s stash is even bigger than last year’s, but I limited myself to one photo storage box for embellishments, and one small box for papers and cards.  Having a limited amount of supplies helps me remember what I have and ensures that I won’t spend too much time digging through things to find what I need.  I like using boxes to store everything so I can tuck it all away when I’m not working on my album.

Printing and Editing Photos:  I use a mixture of DSLR and camera phone photos for my December Daily, but anything that I snap on my phone I like to edit right away using the VSCO app.  This way it’s ready to go as soon as I import it onto my computer.

I try to print my photos every few days (or every day if possible!).  Printing photos is my least favorite part of working on projects, so if I can get that out of the way right away I’m more likely to work on my album in my free time.

I hope that you have found these tips to be helpful in some way.  One thing I like to remember is that while I see a lot of value in this project and want to capture this season, no project is worth stressing over.  It’s all about making it work for you and not the other way around!

Supplies Mentioned in the Video:

December Daily® Main Kit (Note: the main kit has sold out, but the digital version of this kit can still be purchased here.

Decor8 Mini Kit

Cozy Christmas Digital Stamps

December Calendar Digital Stamp (I used this on my December Calendar page)

December Details Digital Stamp

Digital Studio DIY Digital Mini Kit (I used a 6×8 paper from this mini kit as the foundation for My Reason Why page)

Holiday Planner stamps by Kelly Purkey

“Up” Story Kit™ Layout

SZayas_Up_FullLayout.jpgHi Friends!

Today I’m here to share my latest Story Kit™ layout for the Ali Edwards Digital Design Team.  I absolutely loved all the different themes that called for exploration with this month’s kit, but I decided to go the travel themed route so I could get a layout into my Travel Album!IMG_6951.jpg

If you remember me talking about my Travel Album in this previous post then you might remember me mentioning that I’d be working on documenting these trips in chronological order.  I totally went against that by working on Seattle, but the colors of these photos just worked so perfectly.  I’m constantly reminded that there are no rules in memory keeping, and the game plan can and should change to make it best work for you!  So, Seattle, here we go!SZayas_Up_Detail.jpg

Working with 9×12 is still an interesting challenge, but it’s been fun switching things up from the usual 6×12.IMG_6950.jpgIMG_6963.jpgIMG_6964.jpg

Have you broken into your <Up> Story Kit™ yet?  What stories are you telling this month?