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.