30 Days of Gratitude: Completed Traveler’s Notebook

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Its still so hard to wrap my head around the fact that it’s already December.  It feels like not long ago I was stamping the cover of my Gratitude Traveler’s Notebook getting ready to fill its pages with just some of the things I’m thankful for, and here I am today already sharing the completed notebook! Time flies.

Even though I was already sharing all of the pages of my notebook over on my Instagram throughout the month, I still wanted to do a full flip-through so I could talk about some of the materials I used and the techniques I played around with.

At times this project felt a bit overwhelming (as almost any daily project that is sustained for a good chunk of time tends to be!) but on the whole it really was just a fun activity and great practice for last month.  I look forward to flipping through these pages for many years to come!

P.S. You can find my 2015 Gratitude Mini here. :)

December Daily 2016 | Kits unboxing video)

Hi friends!

Today I’m excited to share an unboxing video of the two December Daily® kits I’ll be using for my album this year. If you’re not familiar with December Daily®, you can find lots of information on what this project is all about on Ali Edwards’ website.

Last year was my first year completing an album and to this day it remains one of my favorite projects I have ever worked on (which is saying a lot!).  I knew at the end of last year that this is one project I’d definitely be tackling again.

Watching unboxing videos is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, so making my own was super fun, though I’ll admit a little nerve-racking being my first video. So many talented ladies out there just make it look so easy. :)

(You can also watch the video on YouTube here.)

If you’re interested in purchasing one of these kits (or seeing what comes in the other kits) you can find more information here.

Also, be sure to check out my fellow Creative Team members‘ Instagram and Blog accounts for more sneaky unboxing videos coming soon :)

If you’d like to see the pages from my 2015 December Daily® album you can find my previous posts here: Cover & Foundation Pages, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6.

Let me know if you have any questions!  If you’re participating this year I can’t wait to see what you make!



Summer Reading List (Layout)


I’m not quite sure what was more fun- putting this layout together, or selecting which books I wanted to put on my Summer Reading List!


On my list for this Summer:

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Nightengale by Kristin Hannah

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Looking for Alaska by John Green


Layout Supplies:

Ali Edwards Read Messy Circles

Enamel Dots and Alpha Stickers by Studio Calico

Summer Memories Mini Book

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Hello, friends!  Today I’m super excited to be sharing a mini book that I created using the Summer Messy Circles and Journal Cards from the June digital release by Ali Edwards.  This project is the perfect example of one of the reasons why I’m such a huge fan of working with digital products.  As much as I love playing around with traditional papers, embellishments, and stamping, I always find that if I go the digital/hybrid route I can cut my project work time in half, reduce a lot of the guesswork, and still have just as much fun crafting (its a win all around!)

For the cover of my mini I went with a simple grid layout using three 2×2 inch photos along with the cropped “bring on the sun” part of one of the summer journaling cards. For my title I used the blue Summer Memories card and typed “2013” directly onto my layout before printing.


For the image part of my book (the right pages) I used a format variation of having my two small pictures on the top and the messy circle on the bottom with the opposite on every other page.  When choosing a basic layout like this I think subtle format changes from page to page can make the overall look more interesting while still keeping everything cohesive.

IMG_6522.JPGFor the journaling part of my book (the left pages) I stamped the same messy circle from the corresponding page either directly above or below my journaling.

IMG_6520.JPGOnce I printed all of my photo pages on photo paper and the journaling paper on regular cardstock I cut them down to 4×6 (with a slight white border) and then adhered them onto different colored cardstock just to add another fun element of pattern and color.  Other than that no other embellishments were added.  Super simple!

IMG_6521.JPGI would say that choosing photos for this mini was probably the most time consuming part.  Everything else came together so quickly that I was able to wrap this mini up in just a single afternoon!

IMG_6523.JPGSo happy to have this little mini of special summer memories to flip through :)


Project Life 2016: Week 4 and 6

SZayas_Sparks.Cheer.Celeb.Gratitude_FullLayoutHello, friends!

Both Project Life layouts I’m sharing today were created using mainly digital releases from Ali Edwards’ shop.

I love how some of the main themes in the March releases had to do with celebrating and being thankful.  These themes are great for any week, but it was especially perfect for documenting the week that my favorite guy turned 30!


Left Page: The ‘celebrate’ filler card on top comes from the Celebrate Journal Cards set. I love using busy cards like this as backgrounds for embellishments/photos.  I find that adding journaling on top of busy cards can be a bit too much, but adding a single embellishment or sentiment is usually the perfect mix.  For this card I printed the ‘Crazy Good’ sentiment onto white cardstock and hand cut it out.  Underneath my sentiment I tucked a couple of Kelly Purkey sticky note flags to stamp my date on.

For the journaling card in the middle of my layout I used the gray and white striped card from the same Celebrate card set and (digitally) stamped the ‘awesome’ sentiment from this set at the top. I had originally typed my journaling onto the card, but found that I liked the look of handwriting more so I went that route.  I actually find myself doing this a lot.  I’ll start by typing my journaling, but it eventually ends up serving as a rough draft for writing it out with my own handwriting.


For my bottom card I stamped ‘Shine On’ on top of the yellow and white striped journaling card in that same ‘Celebrate’ card set. The cork numbers come from an old Studio Calico document kit.

Right Page: I didn’t have a 4×6 photo to use in my top pocket, so instead of using my fuse tool to make it into 2- 3×4 pockets I simply left extra white cardstock to the right of my ‘Thankful, Thankful, Thankful’ card when I was cutting it down and adhered my photo right on top of that blank space.  I used the same grey and white striped card as I had on the left layout in that middle pocket, however, this time I stamped ‘CHEER’ three times on the bottom of my card.


And in case you noticed in the photo above, yes, that’s a Homer doll hanging in our kitchen . . . and no, I have nothing else to say about it, ha!

Next up is a layout I put together using the February digital releases.  SZayas_EncouragementCards&MessyLove_FullLayout

This layout documented one day out of the week when I went on a hike in the Hollywood Hills with some good friends.

Left Page: For the top pocket I used a 4×6 Studio Calico card as my background and used half of another 4×6 card on top of that as a background for the “I love this” digital stamp that I printed and cut out.  I kept everything else on this page very simple with photos and the “Your Got This” filler card.

Right Page: Again, very simple here using photos and a card from this Ecouragement Journal card set.  For the bottom pocket I used the “Yes” portion 0f the “So totally proud of you, YES” card from the same set and pasted it directly on top of the bottom portion of this city landscape card that came in an old Studio Calico kit.


Again, totally sharing my pages out of order, but I figure that’s better than not sharing them at all, right?!  :)

Embrace the Mess!

SZayas_Craft_FullLayoutToday I’m excited to be sharing the most recent layout I created using the February Craft Digital Story kit by Ali Edwards.

I absolutely love the idea behind this story kit.  The colors are beautiful and the sentiments are spot on!  I’ll admit, though, once I actually sat down to brainstorm project ideas I had this big realization that I’d never scrapbooked about scrapbooking.  Sure, I’ve added a few “action” shots into my project life, but I’ve never told in-depth stories (through scrapbooking) about what, or why, or how, I craft.  I’m constantly crafting about my other passions like reading, traveling, eating lol, but when it comes to making stuff I . . . well, make stuff! Ha!

I was so grateful for this month’s prompt so I could finally tell some stories about this passion that is super special to me.


I started with a photo of my desk that I originally took last year when I was working on Week in the Life.  It’s not as messy as it can sometimes get, but this shot shows a pretty typical setup of my workspace.  My journaling ended up being a letter to my desk (please tell me I’m not the only person that finds it easier to write something out when it can be formatted as a letter/note to someone or something . . . even an inanimate object)!

SZayas_Craft_Detail2Once I had my photo placed on my layout, I started to build around it using journaling card pieces and embellishments from the Craft digital story kit that I downloaded, printed, and cut to fit into the project.  I’m about to sound like a broken record right now, but one of my favorite things about using digital files is that you can resize things to make them work for whatever project you’re putting together.


 The idea of adding borders was a bit of an afterthought, which is why I chose to do them with washi tape.  If you’ve never used washi as a border I’d totally recommend it.  It’s super easy to add in, and easy to tuck under embellishments that you may have already adhered to your page ;-)

I have a list of about 9 other projects I want to create with this kit, but this is the start!

XO, Sarah

Project Life 2016: Week 3


Hello, there! Today I’m going to take us all the way back to the week of January 11!  This layout has been hanging out in my album for quite some time now, but I’m happy to finally be sharing it today!


This was the first week that I started to use my Get to Work Book, so I wanted to be sure it made an appearance in my album.  I’m planning to share a detailed look on how I’ve been using this as my daily planner in the near future, but for now let’s just admire the fun “Just Start” graphic :)  Under that photo I have some documentation of a family movie night using a Studio Calico journaling card.  I love that constellation illustration!

In the bottom left pocket I stashed our lottery ticket from the billion dollar jackpot that had everyone excited that week. I also added in a tiny illustration that I cut out from my “Happiness is . . .” daily calendar.


On the top right I created my own 4×6 journaling card using the Ali Edwards One Little Word digital brush set.  If I remember correctly, I think the digital brushes were included when signing up for the class, but if they are available for sale and I can find them, I’ll link them up!

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Couldn’t finish off this page without a good food photo.  This burger is making me hungry!  That little “best meal ever” circle was from a Christine Herrin digital card set, which was emailed to me for free when I signed up for her awesome newsletter. :)  One of my favorite things about digital designs is that I have the freedom to resize them!  That circle appears much larger on the actual card (which is sized to 3×4), but since I could open it in Photoshop I was able to crop it down and adjust the size.

Thanks for stopping by!

XO, Sarah


Sunshine and Happiness Tag Mini Book


Sunshine and Happiness Tag Mini CoverToday I’m excited to be sharing another special mini book!

As soon as I saw the February releases from Ali Edwards I knew they were going to be perfect for making a special DIY Valentine’s Day gift for my husband.  We are both big fans of receiving gifts of experiences rather than things, so a little coupon book for activities we could do together seemed like a fun idea . . . plus, I get to benefit from these experiences too, so it was a win-win! :)

For this tag book I started out by making my own patterned paper using the Valentine Hearts digital brushes. I opened an 8.5 x 11 document in Photoshop and then went to town  “stamping” different sentiment hearts of different sizes all over my digital canvas.  Once I was happy with the random pattern I printed it out on several pieces of white cardstock and cut them down to match the size of my tag.  I used large tags as my bases and adhered patterned paper to the front and back, but if you don’t have tags you could totally skip the “bases” and just cut down your patterned paper to the right size.  Personally I like the added thickness for a more durable mini, but that’s probably because I toss all of my minis into a basket and don’t want them to get all mashed up!SZayas_ThickValentines&ValentinesHearts_Detail

After cutting out all my tags I had some extra cardstock with the hearts pattern,  so I used watercolor paints to fill in some of the hearts and then cut out a few of my favorites and used dimensional adhesives to adhere them to the tag that would act as my cover.SZayas_ThickValentines&ValentinesHearts_FullMiniBook

On the front of each tag I adhered a 2.5 x 3 inch black and white photo, but before I printed them out I stamped a Thick Valentine sentiment right on top so the word would overlap the photo just a bit.  Once I had my photos adhered to the cards I added a bit of washi tape to the top and bottom of each photo for a bordered look and an added pop of color.

IMG_6220On the back of each tag I adhered my “coupons.”  It was fun picking out some different activities, but I have to say that the coupon for chocoloate chip cookies was probably Omar’s favorite, and the couples massage will no doubt be mine, ha! ;-)IMG_6223Thanks for stopping by for a look!