Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Doing a little spring cleaning? Don't forget to tidy up and BACK UP your files!

In this season for spring cleaning, I feel like an easily overlooked clean up is taming what I like to call, 'the digital dragon.' I don't know about you, but after the blur of the holidays I always have a multitude of photos spread over my cell phone and digital camera that need to get organized and backed up.
Good grief, I have a mess of files going right now. Thankfully DropBox is helping me sync everything over my plethora of devices!

Tip: Syncing your files over DropBox means no more looking for cords to connect up your devices. Just open your DropBox app or folder, then drag and drop them back and forth to access your files or move them between devices. (Note: If you have a really slow internet connection, this method won't work well with very large files.)

Another thing to keep in mind: Cell phones get lost, and stolen (unfortunately). Last year my dad's cell phone was stolen off his desk by a 'customer' at work. He wasn't faithfully backing up his phone and lost all of the photos of his children and grandchildren that were stored on there. Makes me sick just thinking about it!
I have my photos on my cell phone set to automatically load to DropBox whenever I connect to Wi-Fi. That way I don't even have to think about it... my pictures are all safely backed up every day... so if my phone should meet an untimely demise, at least I'll still have my photos! Whew!

Tip: Plug in your phone and turn on the Wi-Fi every night before going to bed. That way your files will back up while you sleep.

I use DropBox because it syncs files between my Android Phone, iPad, and 2 PCs... plus it works with the Project Life app. I find that it just makes life soooo much easier... and we all need easier these days, right?
Use this link to create your own DropBox account today!
Need some extra DropBox space?
  • Refer a friend: You can earn more space by referring your friends to Dropbox! You'll get a 500 MB bonus when they install Dropbox on their computer. (To create your own link, go here: https://www.dropbox.com/referrals)
  • Install it on your mobile devices and link it to the 'Camera Uploads.'
  • Learn about more ways to earn space here: https://www.dropbox.com/getspace 

This is an independent review and endorsement of DropBox. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive extra DropBox storage space if you create a DropBox account using this link. You can get extra storage space on your account if you create and share your own affiliate link.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Be brave. Own your story. Share your story.

I haven't blogged in awhile. A real long while to be more specific. Tides of change have been rolling in both personally and professionally. Over the last 3 years I've: changed careers (and jobs), said goodbye to three grandparents and my marriage. There hasn't been much free time for creative pursuits as my attention has been spent dismantling my old life, then imagining and assembling a new one. Right now, I'm nearly complete with the re-building phase. I'm transitioning into running forward to chase my dreams. (Today, I am sitting at my keyboard with a post-op knee after tearing my ACL while skiing about a month ago, so I may be hobbling after them for a bit, but eventually, I'll get to run again.)

Life has been changing and in the process challenging me to change too. I've spent the last year and half researching, working on redefining myself and my path forward under a new set of circumstances. Embracing the freedom of independence, practicing mindfulness and living purposefully. I'm re-examining and re-assessing and re-establishing who I am.  Over the course of the last year, I was blessed to have a pen pal and confidante who provided a safe place to write and ponder and query, who responded with kind and insightful feedback --a very valuable resource who has helped me move forward faster than I would have on my own. As the conversation flowed, I've often thought I should take time to document this process and it's dialog, even if for no other reason than to remind myself how far I've come on the days when I feel less than accomplished. Today, I came across a new collection from Simple Stories called, "I am" which should be perfect for that very task. Now I just need to get my hot little hands on some product. :)

Along with the launch of their line, Simple Stories is challenging people to make their own I am statements using a fun template they've designed. Take a second to make your own and share it on Facebook or Instagram with the hastag #‎SimpleStoriesIAM. (In case you need to be inspired, they've also posted a YouTube video.) Here's mine:

I am working on being brave, sharing my story, using art journaling and scrapbooking to document the process: the love lost and gained, the redirection, the plans and hope for the future. To help me grieve and heal, to reclaim my power and to be right with the world so that I can be awesome.. and amazing.. and all of the things I want to be. 

What's your story? What are the stories of your families and friends? Ask. Then, go document it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Getting organized: Pulling together Project Life supplies

I decided to scrap 2013 primarily with Project Life, and this opened up a whole new collection of organizational challenges. Unfortunately, I am one of those people that needs to be organized in order to be productive. I have some divided bins that I keep things in when I am home, but they don't travel we'll and I am trying to be better about being ready to scrap away from home.

I started doing some Internet searches to find storage solutions and was coming up short until I came across a collection of storage containers from Close To My Heart. They are perfect!

For 3x4 cards, dollar stamps, small embellishments, and stamp pads, the Medium Organizer ($16.95, item #Z4139) is just the right size!

When I was packing for a retreat this past weekend I only needed to take one PL kit with me, so you'll see that those fit in about one-and-a-half of the divided sections. When I scrap at home I keep the cards divided by type in little mini file holders so I just grabbed the whole thing and put them in the case. (The mini vertical file holders are cut from chipboard using a cut file from the Silhouette store.)

Here's another view of the 3x4 PL cards in the storage case.

The ink pads shown here are from CTMH and Tsukineko (Momento), along with a several from Ranger.

Here's a little close up of some embellishments and small stamp sets. I tend to use stamps to alter my journaling cards.

While you could fit the 4x6 cards in the Medium organizer by removing one of the dividers, I didn't want to waste that much space, so I also purchased the Large Organizer ($22.95, item #Z1834).

I put the 4x6 card stock and journaling cards, pictures, four of the Studio Calico Project Life kits in their boxes, the 4x6 cards from my Midnight Project Life kit, and a few packs of Tim Holtz embellishments.
I was also working on some mixed media stuff, so I even managed to fit in a small paint palette in with the PL 4x6 cards. (It's also just right for 6x6 pads too.)

Plenty of room for 4x6 journaling cards. I put the blank ones in the front and then put the Midnight 4x6 cards in a Cropper Hopper photo storage case in one of the other divided areas.

Across from the PL 4x6 cards I put the pictures that I have printed out for my niece's albums. (I lost count, but I'm pretty sure there's nearly 400 photos in there.)
I also fit in four of my Studio Calico kits and had room to put a set of Me and My Big Ideas cards and a pair of scissors on top.
I also added a few packages of Tim Holtz embellishments and some journaling pens too. I'm telling you... these hold EVERYTHING!
Once you load these up they get pretty darn heavy and I wasn't sure how much to trust the little buckle to hold the lid shut, so I put both of them in an oversized reusable bag from Sam's Club. It's pretty darn heavy!
I also read somewhere that the Small Organizer ($12.95, item #Z4138) will hold around 100 rolls of washi tape, so I think I am going to order one of those to hold my washi tape, and then my set will be complete!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mark your calendars, the first issue of Papercrafts and Scrapbooking magazine is coming soon!

Happy to share that I'll have a layout in the inaugural issue of the new Papercrafts and Scrapbooking Magazine using some of my favorite products from Crate Paper, Inc. and Studio Calico.

Learn more about the new edition here and then download the first issue on December 1!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Keep it Simple: Toothless Wonder

I love super heavy, technique-laden projects but sometimes there just isn't a lot of time to create masterpieces when the pictures are stacking up. Know what I mean? When my picture pile needs to be tamed, I do my best to put my perfectionist tendencies aside, stop meticulously measuring my cuts, and look for easy to use, already assembled embellishments.
For this layout, I dressed up the background by adding droplets of two different colors of October Afternoon mists. You can speed up the dry time by placing a paper towel over the top and directly blotting (never swiping) the ink droplets. I also use a paper edge distresser to rough up the edges of the cardstock in order to add some texture.
Next I used my photo to guestimate a photo mat size. THe original cardstock was actually green, but I didn't want to take time to find some navy cardstock, so I colored the edges with a navy stamp marker to get a color that tied the photo to the glittery Thickers letter stickers.
After that I approximated the heart and feather patterned papers and cut those create a background.
To group and ground the collection, I used a border stripped trimmed from the background paper.

"Toothless Wonder" by Mollie Deem
Supplies: Bazzill; Crate Paper - The Pier, DIY collections; American Crafts; May Arts; Freckled Fawn; Jillibean Soup; October Afternoon; Kokuyo; Tim Holtz (Distress Marker); Studio Calico

Once the main elements were figured out, I added a pre-made pinwheel from Crate Paper along with a playing card and wood veneer.

A few little stickers and sequins, plus a tag with a camera complete the layout.
Then, to add some more movement to the page, I looped a piece of jute twine across the page and added glittered star stickers to cover up where I stapled the twine to the layout.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tools n' Techniques on Thursdays: Die-namic layout!

Okay, so when I started out on this layout, I hadn't really intended to go all out on the die cuts, but as I got into it...well, they kind of just started piling up. And I kinda decided to indulge and just keep adding more and more of them.

Previously I had die cut some words with my Cameo for another layout and had the negative left over. I've been on a kick to use up every little last scrap of paper lately and I wanted this layout to coordinate with some with other pictures from the day, so I figured that adding the leftover piece would be a good way to do that.

In the top corner of the "Sunday Funday" negative die cut, a chunk of the paper was missing where I had test but to make sure the blade depth was set correctly. There wasn't room to trim away the area, so I added a little banner and star embellishment to cover up the missing paper. You'd never know that I was solving a problem would you?!

Right now cork letters are popping up everywhere. I love them, but they're a wee bit pricey, so I pulled out my favorite QuicKutz font, Studio, and some adhesive-backed cork from Lifestyle Crafts to cut my own letters.
Tip: Handle the letters carefully as the cork is a little delicate.

The page felt like it need a little "oomph." You know, that thing that draws the eye in and gives it a little movement, a little excitement. So I pulled out my Lifestyle Crafts banner die to create that element, but a plain ol' chunk of cardstock seemed a little boring for a page with so much going on. In order to dress up the die cut and give it some personality of it's own, I stamped on it using a roller stamp that I colored with Tim Holtz Distress Markers. One of the great things about the Distress Markers is that you can get second and third generation impression simply by huffing on the stamp in between impressions. I also added some two-tone ink splatters just for good measure.

Tip: The banner itself wasn't fitting on the page quite right, 
so I cut it where I could hide the seam under the photo and made it work with the layout.

Pretty amazing what you can accomplish just by die cutting something as simple as a sheet of paper, huh?

"Love This" by Mollie Deem
Supplies: Cardstock - Bazzill; Patterned Paper - Crate Paper (the Pier), American Crafts (Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm), Studio Calico; Wood veneer banner - Basic Grey; Wood Veneer Letters - Studio Calico; Wood Veneer Arrow - Freckled Fawn; Stickers - Crate Paper (DIY Shop), October Afternoon; Cork, Cutting Dies - Lifestyle Crafts; Pens - Ranger, Uniball; Mist - October Afternoon; Adhesives: EK Success, 3L Adhesives; Kokuyo.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Project Life, My Way - Week 3

This week there wasn't a lot going on. I mean, there's not a lot to do in the middle of January in the midwest. Mostly just getting fully back into work mode after the holidays. We installed some lighting (scored both sconces for a total of $6.50 for the pair on an awesome clearance deal) and my supplies for guest designing for October Afternoon came. Okay, so it's a pretty good week when you get that kind of scrappy mail!
Week 3 - left
I decided that I wasn't going to follow the 2-page spread per week format. If a week takes one page or four, then I'm just gonna roll with it. ...And this week it only took one, so that's all there is. 

I added an outline with a yellow pen to tie this otherwise, just black and white card into the other page elements.

I used an EK Success paint pen to color in part of the woodgrain.
They have a chalky texture that's kind of fun.

Don't forget, you can see detailed images of all of my Project Life spreads over on my Facebook page in my Project Life album.