December 27, 2017

Top 10 Blog Hop - my favorite traveler's notebook spreads of 2017

I am participating in the Top 10 Blog Hop today. And I thought that I would look back at my journaling in 2017 and share some of my favorite spreads. If you are interested in a review of my scrapbooking layouts, there is also a Top 10 Youtube Hop taking place today. In case you got lost on your way, your last stop was Ashley"s blog.

At the end of last year, I had the idea to replace Project Life with monthly journals. I received the Cocoa Daisy standard Daisy Dori traveler's notebook inserts every month and thought that bringing it down to a smaller scale would be much easier to do. So I started with the January Journal and really enjoyed working in it. The first half I filled with lots of intentions and goals for 2017, the second with all of our January memories. I used lots of small 2x2 photos on my spreads and also chose one specific stamp set that I used throughout the month. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #03.

In February I was more adventurous and started to look at the whole double spread instead of treating it like a book with left and right pages. Again, I created a kit from the Cocoa Daisy Planner kit and added in a stamp set and different papers and stickers. I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to finish the monthly journals in one month. I was way too precise, too (I don't even have a word for it) uneasy to just journal as I go. What if I had too little stories and the book wouldn't fill up? What if I spread out too much in the beginning of the month and the book wouldn't last? When I started I thought, I wouldn't get hung up on those questions, but I was sliding right into this very narrow frame of mind. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #08.

Come April I was already one month behind in my monthly journals and was just starting on March. Here is one of my March spreads. I'm still using one alpha stamp set for the insert. It is such an easy way to make a whole insert look cohesive. I also start to incorporate more and more ephemera. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #11.

In May I participated in Doris Sanders' #CDjournaleverydayinmay challenge. This meant, I completely skipped April and started on May 1 with the May journal. This was such a great feeling "being caught up", journaling on something that just happened. And also having a prompt to write about. It meant narrowing it down to one story or journal entry per day. Something that I really struggled with in the previous month, where I was way too detailed. I took the journal with me to my sons' Baseball game and it was a very successful journaling month for me.

June was going to be different: we would have visitors from Germany, summer break and no daily plans. So I decided to not use a separate planner and "plan" in my monthly journal. This lead to weekly spreads like the one in the photo. I really enjoyed doing these, so I decided to incorporate them into my journals. However, I quickly fell back on the journaling again.

In July I started getting back to scrapbooking more and enjoying branching out more. This meant, that I wasn't able to spend my free time exclusively on my journaling and that's when it all started going downhill. Not in a bad way, more in a slow process of realizing that this monthly journaling project might not be the right fit for me. I finished the July Daisy Dori in August again being "behind". Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #18.

In August, I really really enjoyed the weekly spreads but dreaded the rest of the journaling. This is the first insert that I haven't finished to date. Because I decided instead of falling further and further behind I would be ok with what I have when the new month starts and maybe come back to it later. That's when I rediscovered my Project Life Journal from 2016. It is a small lined journal where I simply noted prompts for the Project Life spreads each week to spark my memory. It was a great help for Project Life and why couldn't this help with my journaling as well? I wrote down the stories I wanted to write about at a later date and also sketched out the pages, chose photos, printed them and preplanned the journal.

In September I followed some prompts from the Cocoa Daisy Planner Challenge and did my weekly spreads in my journal. I also followed the same concept as in August: preplanned the pages in my Project Life notebook and moved on once October came around. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #22.

Then October came around and I was traveling in the beginning of the month. So I decided to use my journal as a travel journal and tell one story per day. I set up my journal in advance giving each day one page. If I had more to tell I would need to use tip ins. This new approach has helped me tremendously: I haven't finished any of the journals yet, but for me limiting the space and the story (one story per day) was actually the thing I needed. I allowed myself to tell a story in a short sentence, to let go of all the other little details. And I also started printing my pictures in a larger format thus taking up more space thus filling up a journal a lot quicker. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #23.

Since the October layout was such a revelation to my journaling, I kept on going the same way. I journaled when I had time. I made sure to pick a story and photo for each day, took note of it in my Project Life notebook, made sure I printed the pictures frequently. When I had two stories for one day, I just moved one of them to a day where I didn't really have a story to tell. Since I make the rules I can bend them as much as I want. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #25.

Then December came. And I again decided to change it a little: instead of using a standard Daisy Dori from Cocoa Daisy, I created a junk journal and used this as my journal. The rest of the setup stayed the same: one story per day. Since some of the pages are a little busy, I gave more space on some days, but the general idea still stayed the same. And again: I am taking notes, choosing and printing photos as the month progresses and journaling as much as I can. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #27.

So what am I going to do with all those unfinished journals? And am I continuing with this project in 2018? Yes. I am going to continue with my 2017 journals in 2018. I have my journals ready to go, I have all of my little kits that I created while working on the journals ready to go. Instead of continuing in the same way in 2018, I'm hoping to complete my 2017 journals. However, I do want to memory keep in 2018, I already have some ideas and I'm going to share those in January on my blog and youtube channel.

Your next stop on this hop is Shelly. And here is a list of all the participants.

December 15, 2017

"Christmas 2010" - Stuck?! Sketches

Is it unoriginal to start a blogpost the same way I want to start every post for Stuck?! Sketches? But the truth is: those posts make me realize how quickly time flies. Yes, it is already the 15th of December. Can you believe it? I definitely cannot! As I said in my last post, I decided to use the December sketches that Laura Whitaker created for Stuck?! Sketches and create my very first Christmas layouts. Don't you think that the triangular shape in the background just calls for a Christmas Tree?

And this is exactly what I did. For my background I chose a woodgrain paper that I received in a Cocoa Daisy kit, then I drew a triangle that I cut out and backed with a green patterned paper. To be able to use watercolor on top of the papers I primed the paper with gesso, then added watercolor and stitched around the whole shebang. The photos and layers behind the photo cluster are on the lighter side. The exclusive Cocoa Daisy vellum was just too pretty. Then I decorated the tree with Christmas ornaments that I fussy cut from last year's Cocoa Daisy Planner kits. Since this is a companion page to the layout that I created for the December 01 sketch, I didn't need any more journaling.

Here is a closeup of the Christmas Tree and the decoration. I simply fussy cut the ornaments from the paper then arranged them on the tree so that they pleased my eye. Then I went back in later with enamel dots and puffy stars and filled in the gaps. I really love how it turned out. Especially so, since the colors of the ornaments aren't your typical scrapbooking colors.

As I wrote above, I went a bit lighter on the layers behind the photo cluster. I didn't want to cover up the tree with too many layers. I love how the vellum picks up all the different colors in the layout and combines them. To give the photos a more cohesive look I backed them all with the same patterned paper, fittingly a black and white paper with ornaments from the Pinkfresh Studio "December Days" collection.

We would love for you to join us this month and create a project off this sketch. Be sure to link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the process video where I show you how this layout came together.

December 11, 2017

Making charms for your planner from clips!

When the December Cocoa Daisy Planner kits arrived I decided to dissect the pretty planner clips and turn them into charms. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a clip person, so I needed to find another use for them. I didn't want these pretties to just sit in my box but get a different use out of them.

Here is the charm made from the beautiful bow clip. I gently opened the faux leather band that held the bow together, took out the paper clip, added a jump ring instead and used E6000 glue to glue it all back together. In this photo you can see the "multi-charm attacher", this is two lobster clamps attached together with a jump ring. This way you can swap out the charm easily and only need two clamps.

I also made a charm from the fluffy snowball clip. I took out the paper clip which was attached to the snowball using hot glue. The hot glue didn't come off easily, so I left it in and punched a hole in there. This way I was able to attach a ring and done.

This is my third (or fourth) charm made from the puffy clip toppers. And I love these kinds of charms.

Finally, the last one. This is the charm I am using on my planner right now. Carefully peeled off the attached clip, punched a hole at the top right corner, added a ring and then added some string. I since swapped out the string for the "multi charm attacher" that you can see in the close up photo of the bow charm.

I filmed my whole process of transforming the clips into charms however something went wrong when I transferred the video clip onto my computer and it got stuck half way through. Here is the failed video, I tried to explain it a bit more detailed than in this post.

December 1, 2017

"Bescherung bei Oma" - Stuck?! Sketches

Today I want to share the new Stuck?! Sketches sketch with you that was designed by Laura Whitaker. I decided to scrapbook some Christmas memories for my December sketches, so look out for December 15 where I will share another Christmas layout. I fell in love with the Pinkfresh Studio line: "December Days" and bought several pieces of that line. With the sketch printed out I went to my past December photos to look for photos that work with the sketch and found these two of my husband, sons and brother in law all busy working on building Legos after unwrapping the presents on Christmas Eve. However, the photos were horizontal instead of vertical as suggested in the sketch. How great that we can make the sketches work by simply turning it 90 degrees.

I used all different kinds of papers as well as washi to create my strips, that I adhered with just a tiny bit of glue and then used my sewing machine to stitch them to the background. I love the texture that it adds to the layout. Before I added the strips, I primed my paper with gesso and used watercolors and some packaging to add color to the background. I'm always a bit too hesitant when it comes to the size of the color splotches and so I had to go in later after the strips were added and enlarge the area. Otherwise it wouldn't have been noticeable at all. Then I started embellishing, I created two clusters in the areas where the staggered photos left some open spaces and thus almost squaring up the photo cluster. The third cluster of embellishments is up above the title and finishes the layout nicely. I added lots of journaling to the side. I really love that it melts into the background. It is there and if you want to read it you can but it doesn't force you to.

Here is a closeup of the bottom cluster that I struggled with for a very long time. The stack of presents wasn't high enough to cover the whole height of the photo and it took me a while to realize that I didn't have to align it with the bottom edge of the photo.

This is the top cluster with the title. I just love it! Did you know that the first E isn't an E? It actually is an F because I didn't have any more Es in that color. I tucked the letters under the photo and so the bottom part of the E didn't show. What an easy solution to make a wrong letter work on a layout.

We would love for you to join us this month and create a project off this sketch. Be sure to link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the process video for this layout where you can see me struggle for quite a while and then see the layout come together quite easily and quickly after that.

November 30, 2017

November Cocoa Daisy Kit Fair Isle - 3 Layouts and 1 Project Life Spread

Before I am diving into the December Cocoa Daisy Kits, I want to share the projects that I made using the November kits. I was able to make three layouts and one Project Life spread. I have process videos that go along with each one of them, they are linked underneath each photo.

The November kits included a lot of winter and snow themed references and since we live in California where we usually don't get snow, they were a bit tricky to use. I decided to challenge myself and document our first encounter with snow from this past June. I added some more trees in a darker color using embroidery thread. This helped to create more depth and dimension on the layout. I also used Distress Oxides for a mixed media background. Instead of adding the color directly to the background, I used a scrap piece of cardstock to see whether I wanted the color behind the photos, but it looked so great that I decided to use the scraps as an actual layer. If you want to see the whole process here is my video on youtube: Scrapbooking Process: "shorts SNOW sunshine" * Cocoa Daisy * embroidery.

I created this layout for the Designers Inspiration on the Cocoa Daisy blog. It was a 1-2-3-4 challenge with the challenge to use 4 different patterned papers from the kit. I used 1 acrylic piece, 2 photos, 3 trees (and hearts and stars), and as the challenge suggested 4 patterned papers. I really loved the patterned paper background but needed a space to create my photo cluster on, so I used gesso to tone down the brightness of the paper, then build my layout on top of that.Scrapooking Process: "Gather Together" 1-2-3-4 challenge.

This layout is all about me. I created it for my introduction blogpost over on the Cocoa Daisy blog. I used a go-to layout style of mine. But added five things about me to the background. Each one starts at one of the stars. I handlettered part of the title. The layers behind the photos consist of packaging and pocket cards. It's hard to see but I sewed white journaling lines all over the layout. Here is the link to youtube: Scrapbooking Process: "Du hast nen Vogel * Cocoa Daisy.

I am still catching up on my Project Life 2016 and I love that I can fill up my album slowly with the Cocoa Daisy Memory Keeping pocket kits. For this spread I only used the pocket kit, I love the challenge of making one kit work without pulling in too much stuff from my stash. Here is the process: Project Life Scrapbooking Process: Week 48/2016 * Cocoa Daisy.

November 15, 2017

"Kletterwald" - Stuck?! Sketches

I cannot believe it is time for sharing another sketch! I had meant to share so many other things in between but just didn't get to it. Let's see if that is something I can get better at in 2018. Here is the November 15 sketch that Laura Whitaker created for Stuck?! Sketches. It calls for a circular element behind a strip of paper which holds a square photo and what looks like a journaling card.

I had printed this photo a while ago. Originally, I wanted to use it with a different kit but the colors of the photo went perfectly with the Cocoa Daisy September kits called "Early Sunset". When I went through the kit the 1Canoe2 Creekside Rings and Crosses paper sparked the idea of using those tree circles. Since one of them was too small I decided to go with four. And that is exactly what threw me off. I struggled with the layout for a very long time while trying to follow the sketch. It didn't look right with those huge mats and the squared photo. When I finally let go of that idea and started to bring in more "me", it suddenly came together very easily and odd things that I often would never think to put on a layout looked great. I'm talking about the huge toadstools and the tree and the proportions that weren't quite right.

As you can see, I fussy cut part of my photo and then back it on several journaling cards. I also added several pieces of foam to add dimension to the otherwise flat layout. Somehow the organic (hahaha, well, circular) shape of my sons' heads as well as the circular embellishments now tie in well with the tree discs.

I created two similar embellishment clusters that consisted of one word tag, one toadstool, a die cut heart and puffy heart. I love creating embellishment clusters that are very similar because this is an easy way to tie it all together and make a layout look cohesive.

We would love for you to join us this month and create a project off this sketch. Be sure to link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the process video for this layout where you can see me struggle for quite a while and then see the layout come together quite easily and quickly after that.

November 1, 2017

"Best Friends Forever" - Stuck?! Sketches

Today I have a fun layout and sketch to share with you that Laura from Stuck?! Sketches designed. What a great sketch to use more than one photo on a layout but still leave enough room for embellishments or patterned paper to shine.

Here is my take on the sketch, I used my September Cocoa Daisy kit for it since the colors went quite well with my photos and I had not yet had a chance to play with it. I had been meaning to use a dark background and use gesso behind the photo cluster. It worked so well with the colors of the photos and the papers.

Sketches for me are a starting point. So in this case the basic info that I took from it was:
  • three small, square photos,
  • frame behind one photo,
  • photos mounted on one patterned paper,
  • there are two embellishment clusters: a smaller cluster to the left, a large cluster to the right,
  • title placement underneath the photos towards the right and journaling underneath, and
  • two strips of patterned paper at the bottom of the page.
I layered several pieces of patterned paper behind my photo and used a frame again on this layout. This is the second layout in a row where I used a frame. All I can say: they are awesome! The colored splotches of paper were fussy cut from a kaisercraft paper that actually looked very mixed media-ish. So they worked quite well with my mixed media background without being messy.

I used a white gel pen for my journaling but it ran out before I was finished. Usually when I want to tell a story that tries to convey my feelings I write a draft. But this time I didn't, so I not only have to go back and finish the journaling but also make sense of it. Sigh. Next time I know better ...

We'd love for you to join us this month and create a project based off this sketch. Be sure and link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the video where I tell you more about my thought process while creating the layout and the story of the photos.

October 24, 2017

A roller stamp in a planner? Yes!

No, I'm not talking about a roller date stamp, I can see how that stamp comes in very handy in a planner. What I am talking about is the roller stamp that came in the October Planner Add-On kit. If you have been wondering how you could use this in your planner, then keep on reading!

I created a planner spread for you to illustrate three ways this stamp set could be used. All the stamping on this spread (except for the numbers) was created using the roller stamp. Let's zoom in:

First, I used black Versafine ink and the plus signs to divide the weekend section into two parts. One for Saturday and one for Sunday. I used black to show that I really mean it, yes - they are two different days!

Then I used the Memento Dew Drop ink in Pear Tart that I purchased in the shop and added a dividing line to all the rest of the days. I used the lighter color to indicate that this division isn't as harsh as the one for Saturday and Sunday. It is a guide for me to keep my spreads clean and usable: the right column is our family schedule, the left side carries my daily to do list and notes.

Then I used the arrow and black ink again because those laundry piles on Mondays usually are as high as the highest mountains. It indicates that the laundry needs to get done. Today!

Finally, I used one of the swirly, scribbly stamps to underline an important event in the week. To emphasize the importance even more I used yet another ink color: Memento Dew Drop in Cantaloupe. And the spread is done.

Do you use roller stamps in your planner? How do you use them? You could also use them to create subtle texture on your journaling pages. If you have great ideas for using the stamp, please leave a comment below!

October 15, 2017

"English?" - Stuck?! Sketches

Today I have a fun layout and sketch to share with you that Laura from Stuck?! Sketches designed. This sketch is perfect for showcasing large embellishments, using mixed media and layering patterned paper scraps.

Here is my take on the sketch, I dug deep into my stash and pulled old papers from studio tekturek that came in an older Studio Calico kit as well as a 6x6 paper pad that I bought at the yard sale of my local scrapbook store. I really enjoy pulling out all of those things that have been sitting in my stash for a while, it is such a satisfying feeling to finally put them to good use.

I layered several pieces of patterned paper behind my photo and also used two frames on this layout. Which is something new for me, even though I admire the look of frames on other designers' layouts, I haven't really used them yet. So this sketch was the perfect push to venture in this new world of frames.

The sketch suggests that we use a doily ... ahem ... well, there are no doilies in my stash. And there is a reason for that. But the layout works well without one. And instead of a tag, I repeated the patterned paper from the strips on top and created a shelf for the title. I always look at a sketch as a suggestion or starting point so replacing the tag with the strip of paper is just one way of interpretation.

We'd love for you to join us this month and create a project based off this sketch. Be sure and link it up to Stuck?! Sketches for a chance to win a prize from one of our sponsors.

Here is the video where I tell you more about my thought process while creating the layout and the story of the photo and the short title.

October 1, 2017

"This is us" - Stuck?! Sketches

Have you seen it on facebook or instagram? Or have you read the Stuck?! Sketches Design Team announcement? I'm still pinching myself because I made it! I'm so excited to be part of such a talented group of designers for the next six months. Above you can see the first sketch that will start our term. And below is my interpretation of it.

As you can see, I turned the sketch around. I thought the pictures worked better arranged in this order. And then I started working on the layout. It took me quite a while and I like the way it turned out but I'm not absolutely in love with it. I often have that happen when I want something to be extra super duper special like in this case, my very first layout for this team.
Did you see? I handcut the scallops, they turned out a bit wonky which gives them a whimsical touch. And I used so many things that were in my stash for quite some time. And that totally makes me happy: I used the blue glitter alphas, that came in my very first warehouse sale box. When I received those, I was bummed. These were my very first thickers and then blue glitter?! But here they worked! Yay! I used more of the black phrase thickers that I just had to have and then was too intimidated to actually use. And I used more of those chipboard speech bubbles, they were in that same warehouse sale box. Now that my stash is a bit bigger, I can finally smile about those first purchases, that were a total waste of money, and pull them out, use some and purge the rest.

In the bottom cluster I added the "Say Cheese" flair from feed your craft, that I wasn't able to use on one of my previous layouts. It worked perfectly because the photos were taken when my youngest discovered my old DSLR that I hadn't used in several years. He insisted on charging the batteries and adding a memory card and was the family photographer for several weeks during the summer. He brought out the tripod and we took our very first family photo on a timer. We had so much fun taking the photos and watching him setting it all up.

When creating clusters I try to add the same elements to each cluster, in this layout I made sure there were cameras, chipboard as well as puffy stickers in each one of them. This is such an easy way to make a layout look more cohesive. Doesn't this "my tribe" sticker just go well with the theme of the layout? I layered it on top of the chipboard speech bubble that houses the date.

I started working on the top photo cluster after I had a basic idea of the elements on the left. I didn't really know where to start, so I pulled in all the papers that I used previously. For my journaling I added one label to each of the photo elements.

We'd love for you to play along with this sketch. If you do, please be sure and link your project up to the site. You'll have a chance to win a prize from one of these two sponsors this month.

Here's a link to my process video if you'd like to take a closer peek at how the layout came together. Thanks so much and I hope you have a great day!