April 20, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Some good advice.

Last time I told you that I was choosing only those photos that tell a story. Turns out, this month I also seem to have chosen some pictures with a high cuteness factor. I started this layout by adding some white gesso to my background paper called TRANCE. Then I used the packaging technique to add color. I used my new watercolor set for the very first time here. Then I added some more texture to the background using the washi stickers. And I also backed my photo with a scrap of patterned paper and green cardstock. Unconsciously, I started to place the embellishments sorted by colors. And I really liked how that turned out.

But what do you do when you don't really have a story to tell? I went through the ephemera pack and found some affirmations that I liked and that I wanted my son to read one day. So I took them all out and placed them on the layout. Again sorting them by color and placing them near their corresponding background. That looked ok but did not yet convince.

It was still a very random layout with little meaning to it. And I also hadn't used the puffy alphabet stickers, again! With this in mind, I decided to form full sentences, grabbing my stash of alphabet stickers and transforming the random affirmations into personal I-messages. I went for a visually pleasing effect which makes the message a little harder to read: "I love when you are dreaming with eyes wide open, I hope you will reach for the sky, take one step at a time, never forget to live for the moment." I just thought that I could add an "&" right above the "never" - it might help find the start for the last part of my motherly advice better and also make the whole sentence more fluent. I really love how the layout turned out.

After I finished, I felt that I needed some kind of border at the bottom. So I went into my small colored cardstock stash and looked for the most dominant colors in the layout and staggered smaller strips to form a line. I then added the rubber chip house and stamped two dates: when the photo was taken and when I created the layout.

The dream on collection by pinkfresh studio is 20% off for the whole month of April 2017 in the April Lilli shop!

April 19, 2017

Cocoa Daisy: April Planner Setup.

I was on the Cocoa Daisy Blog last week, sharing my April Planner Setup. Here it is:

In April I switched from a standard size TN (= traveler's notebook) to a personal size. I have four inserts in my TN: a folder, the April DaisyDori, a monthly insert and a bullet journal insert.

When I made the folder I filmed the process. If you want you want to follow along, this is what you need: cardstock and/or patterned paper and a page protector. I sewed along the edges but you can easily swap the sewing out for washi tape. You can find the video on my youtube channel here: Making a folder with pouch and clear pockets.

I even repurposed the packaging from the Planner Addon kit. My initial idea was to have a place for my dashboard and the Cocoa Daisy Planner stickers. However, the stickers had about 1 cm overhang, so I put them in the pocket in the front of my TN.

Then I decorated the cover of my April DaisyDori with a Cocoa Daisy dashboard, some exclusive paper, the April sticker from the sticker sheet and this beautiful puffy butterfly sticker. Yes, I know: there is a huge contrast between my colorful, mixed media-rish dashboard in the front and this very clean and simple cover. That is exactly the way I like it! This photo is a bit older that is why the DaisyDori is sandwiched in the folder. I have since moved the DaisyDori to its own elastic because it was moving a lot when I wrote in it. That bugged me. A lot.

Before I'll move on to roughly show you what I use the other two inserts for, I want to give you a closer look at my DaisyDori setup. I am using the monthly calendar to record my step count in April and if this works out, I might continue to do so in the following months.

Then on the first two pages I have -and always had ever since I started using the DaisyDori- my meal plan for the whole month on one side and on the other my monthly goals. This month I chose three because it is Baseball season and two of my sons play. So I am very busy and don't want to overwhelm myself with too many goals. I have learned this the hard way and put myself up to failure last spring.

One of my goals is getting back into a cleaning routine. I have had times when I cleaned the whole house in one day and it worked well but since starting my youtube channel, creating for Design Teams and volunteering a lot at our elementary school, I didn't want another full day blocked and not having time to be creative. So I am trying to clean one room each day, leaving Saturdays for Baseball and reserving Sundays to supervise the kids when they do their chores. To keep track of my success I cut down one of the weekly pages from the personal planner pages to fit into one of my folder pockets. I added a tab and a "clean" sticker and can now check off each week. I really like to have this separate so I can check my progress after the month. Since this is not a routine yet, I make sure to add it to my daily to do list as well.

I use the rest of the DaisyDori as a daily planner. The DaisyDori has 36 pages, minus the first and last page and minus the two pages I use for meal planning and goals, this leaves 32 pages to be used. I don't pay any attention to the page design, some of my daily pages are divided in sections and have a grid, some are lined, some are blank and some are sectioned. Since April has 30 days I will end up with two spare pages in the back. I haven't thought about a use for them yet. But I am also not concerned if they will be left blank.

Here is a look at my MO2P (=month on two pages) in my monthly insert. When I used the DaisyDori in standard size for March, I actually used the calendar in the front. In my monthly spread I indicate birthdays, doctor's appointments, lunch dates, school breaks and any other activities that aren't reoccuring.

Finally, the last insert in my TN is this bullet journal insert. This is where I house all of my lists and collections that I want to keep separate from my daily and monthly planning, mostly because I need to refer back to them all year. Since I just moved from a standard size TN to this personal size, I still need to move some of my lists.

In case you want to find out more about me, here is how I introduced myself on the Cocoa Daisy Planner Fans Facebook group: Introduction. I have been subscribed to the DaisyDori since January 2016 and if you want to see how I started my DaisyDori journey, I am sharing them on my youtube channel here: Throwback Thursday * Planning 2016.

Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to read about my April planner setup, I hope I was able to inspire you to get creative. If you want to know more about my change to a personal size Traveler's Notebook or how I use my standard size DaisyDori, make sure you check out my youtube channel and follow me on instagram.

April 6, 2017

April Lilli Design Team: Hello Berlin!

It is an new month that means, I get to work with another collection for April Lilli. In April, the Design Team is working with the colorful, bold "dream on" line by pinkfresh studio. My creative process when working with a collection is very similar every month.

First, I film the unboxing video. This is a great way for me to have a closer look at the colors, papers, embellishments and themes included in a collection. Then I go to my computer and look at my photos. For this design team I have decided to narrow my choices down using these two self imposed rules: No. 1 - Look at photos from 2010 to 2013. No. 2 - Look only at photos that were taken during the month that the collection you are working with is featured in. For example, for this collection I looked at photos from April 2011, April 2012 and April 2013. Every photo that sparks a story will be marked and placed in a separate folder. Then I go back through all of my marked photos and choose 4-6 photos or sets of photos that will work well with the collection. Finally, I edit and print these photos. The television tower (Fernsehturm) of Berlin was one of those photos that sparked a story. When looking at that photo I immediately knew I wanted to make a layout about my love for Berlin.

When my photos are printed, I go back to the collection. I take out all of the papers and try to find ways to pair photos and papers or specific embellishments. Sometimes these papers also spark layout ideas, just as the photos spark story ideas. With this very muted circle background "Wish" this was exactly the case: I saw it and knew it would lend itself perfectly as the background for a centered layout. It fit perfectly well with the muted photo and the blue "Reverie" paper brought in the much needed contrast and also helped emphasize the blue in the photo. So the decision was made: a centered layout using these papers and this photo.

Having these ideas in mind, I went ahead to create my layout. I filmed the whole process, you can watch it here on youtube: Hello Berlin! In addition to the dream on collection, I also used the Saturday Hello phrase thickers by Dear Lizzy that had the perfect title for my layout. When looking at the "Hello" you will find that the letters overlap the stitching, the photo and also the different layers. This helps to connect the different layers and also to break up the clear lines of the layout.

I used very few embellishments on this layout. The few I used were placed very deliberately, like the washi sticker "one of a kind" that nestled perfectly above the "Berlin" and right next to the "o" and filled in an awkward space. I used several other washi stickers from the washi sticker set on the layout. I especially love how this rubber banner from the rubber chips helps to strengthen and ground the title. Having it underneath the stamped "Berlin" it balances out the heavy black bold "Hello".

The dream on collection by pinkfresh studio is 20% off for the whole month of April 2017 in the April Lilli shop!