Guest Storyteller – Ali Edwards Designs

I have the distinct honor of being a Guest Storyteller for none other than Ali Edwards Designs. To say I was over the moon about this opportunity is a total understatement. This is a life goal of mine and to be a guest was such an honor. And what better subject to have for the month’s story kit to work with than Grow.

This was the perfect kit to document my little man’s growth, and his recent obsession with his height an weight. I knew that was a story I needed to get documented and this kit presented the perfect opportunity.

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When I first got the kit, I absolutely LOVED the timeline acetate piece and knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate the birthday photos I had of my son through the past years. And I loved how this one came out.

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I have to admit, I did a full-on happy dance when the classroom launched on June 1st. Seeing my name, my article, and my layouts posted on Ali’s site still make me quite giddy!

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↑↑↑ OMG! That’s me! That’s me!!!

See, still giddy!

My Crafty Plans for 2018

I started scrapbooking in 2005. When my son was born in December of 2011, Project Life® made perfect sense for 2012 to document his first year. Somehow I managed a weekly spread for that entire year but I knew it wouldn’t be manageable long-term and I knew I missed making traditional layouts.

For 2013, 2014, and 2015, I did a two page spread per month and that was a lot more manageable. But I missed some of those every day moments and capturing some of those details that I just wasn’t documenting in a monthly format.

Enter the Project Life® App in 2016. A godsend! I managed to go back to weekly and capture some of those details I felt were missing in the prior years. And miracle of all miracles, I made the 2017 Project Life® Creative Team for the app. I loved participating in the Creative Team and it really helped reinvigorate me with this hobby all together. But my motivation to do weekly spreads fizzled about mid-year. I felt I was forcing it just to fill in the slots in the pocket page instead of actually documenting what I wanted to remember and look back on.

I am not sure where the shift happened, but I am sure it had a LOT to do with getting in to Story Camp last year. I religiously went back and watched a lot of my Ali Edwards videos from the Story Kits and other classes I had taken from her. I started really considering what I got into this hobby for and what I really want to get from it. I created several 6×8 layouts last year. Some from the present, some from my past of stories I just knew I wanted to tell. I realized I was finally shifting my vision to starting with a story or letting the story guide me, not just filling in the slots. You can read more about my re-invention HERE

This year, I just want to go with the flow. I plan to stick with 6×8. I did a bunch of 6×8 layouts in 2017 and fell in love with the size!  Here are some of my favorites from the year:

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What I am really changing up this year is embracing that I am a hybrid scrapper through and through. I am definitely not a print my photos without a plan kind of girl. I need to know what size I am planning on using and generally have a layout or sketch in mind. I can wing it from there when it comes to product, but I like to lay it all out digitally first and then print everything at home. Typically laying it out digitally also means I try to find coordinating cards and/or paper digitally as well. That way I can recolor or type my journaling to match (since I really don’t like my handwriting anyway), so it just seems easier for me to do it this way. I have never been one to just print a whole bunch of 4×6 photos and stick them in the pockets. I always want to see how they will layout first and maybe add some stamps or other elements before printing. So I am learning to embrace this and just realize that this is the way it is. GO WITH IT!

So I am scheduling digi time two days per week after my son goes to bed. I will sit down with my iPad or my computer and prep photos or other elements and get them ready for the opportunities I get to actually sit down and scrap. That may not be every weekend but I hope to have Scrap Saturdays at least once per month, whether I go to a crop or stay home. If it’s on the calendar, I know I will be more likely to stick to it. As I said in my last post, my planner is my friend this year!

Story Camp Mini Album

I had the pleasure of attending Story Camp last month hosted by Ali Edwards and what an adventure it was! I came home completely inspired and ready to make an album all about the experience.

This week I have had some time off for the holidays, which gave the perfect opportunity for some scrapping time. I sat down with limited supplies and got to work. I tried not to overthink anything and just simplify and get it done. And get it done, I did.

I used some dots and hearts from Gossamur Blue (now out of business) and letters from Felicity Jane on two pages, but otherwise, almost all Ali Edwards supplies everywhere else.

So without further ado, here is the completed album.

This photo for my cover page was care of Sarah at The Creative Makery in Eugene, Oregon. She helped us all weekend and took some fantastic photos!

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We set off on Thursday morning and hit the road. It was a beautiful drive with vibrant fall colors all through Oregon. It was a breathtaking adventure!

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Some close up detail of the road trip title card.

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Our room at Inn at the 5th was awesome! They had free beer, wine, and soda in the lobby and they were within walking distance of lots of shopping and restaurants. I would definitely stay there again!

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We attended a Welcome session on Thursday and were lavished with goodies and hugs galore. We were like a bunch of giddy fan girls waiting in line to hug Katie and Ali. You could just feel the excitement in the air from all the attendees and it was infectious.

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I loved that we each got a personalized card in our goodies. I knew this one was going in my book as soon as I opened it!

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This quote was awesome and really resonated with me during the welcome session. I was so thankful the handouts were shared with us so that I could include some of these details.

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Ali shared some of her scrapping flow charts, which made me all giddy! I blurred this one since it is her copyrighted material but still wanted to share this as part of my album.

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I got in the picture! Woohoo!

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Ali shared her albums with us and let us look through all of them as many times as we wanted. It was awesome to see everything in person and SOOOO inspiring.

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The photo walk turned out to be my favorite part of the weekend. It was something she had not done in the first Story Camp and had added it for ours. It really reminded me of why I got into this hobby in the first place and challenged me to see the world through a different perspective of my camera lens again.

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This “Me” page was a challenge for me to use my own writing, which I normally would’t do, but I wanted to try it just to break outside my “normal” and I am glad that I did. I still don’t think using my own handwriting is for me, but I am glad to say I tried it and learned.

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We did some shopping on our first day there. There were some totally cute shops that were fun to browse around and spend WAY too much money in.

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Some detail…

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And the food was awesome! I don’t think I have ever eaten so much good food (and good beer) in my life!

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I loved this Drink Me ticket so I wanted to include it in my album somewhere. It was from our last night at Camp for our cocktails and crop but it was part of the weekend refreshments, so I threw it in here.

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And the best part of the whole weekend was the friendships we created. I think that chipboard flag says it best, “We just get each other”

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My bracelet from the weekend says Breathe as a reminder of how calm and relaxed and full of joy I was from the weekend. I wanted that word as a reminder to go back t that mind space more often. I came home and asked my husband to order me a custom bracelet for my 2018 One Little Word. Custom designs are available from http://laureldenise.com (no affiliation, just love the design!)

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And our drive home was bittersweet. I missed my boys and was glad to be going home to them but leaving Eugene and the Story Camp experience behind was extra sad. Good thing we loaded up with Voodoo Donuts for our ride home.

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I am still aglow with having experienced this awesome adventure. Even my husband told me recently that if ever a chance to do something like that again comes up, he wants meet take it. I asked why and he said I just looked different when I came back. More relaxed, more happy, and that look suited me. I am so thankful for Katie and Ali sharing this experience with us and know I will remember this forever!

You…

This last year has been such a fun and challenging age in our son’s life all at the same time. It’s those fun times that make it all worth it! I knew I wanted to hold on to a snapshot of all the little things he says and is into at this age and make a layout about it. So this is what I ended up coming up with. My second 6×8 layout from my scrapbook retreat in July. This uses all Felicity Jane Papers and some embellishments from FJ as well as well Ali Edwards.

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I cut the blue YOU words out using an Ali Edwards digital stamp on my Silhouette and then cut the script words to fit over those. This just makes me smile!

Telling My Stories

There is a local group that is run by a friend of mine at a hotel conference room. She runs monthly one day crops and quarterly three-day retreats. Back in July, I went to a weekend crop retreat as a birthday present to myself! This is the weekend I decided to give 6×8 a try. I had a whole bunch of stories written down and needed a medium that wasn’t as overwhelming as 12×12 seemed for the size of the stories, so I wanted to give this size a shot.

I prep most of my stuff digitally. Lay it out in Photoshop, choose sizes and a general layout, then print, including journaling right on the page if I can, and then pull paper to take with me to put it all together. This retreat was the first time I decided to simplify. I limited what I brought with me with Felicity Jane papers and embellies, Ali Edwards Story Kits™ supplies, and a handful of alpha sets. And I SOOOO happy with the outcome! Limiting my choices really helped me get more done. I was using my time creating instead being indecisive about the plethora or choices.

This is the first layout I created that weekend using Felicity Jane papers, Ali Edwards Brave Story Kit™ and some misc Ali Edwards stickers from other kits.

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I knew when I saw this photo that I wanted to make something with it. It just makes me smile every time I look at it. My brave little man and a roller coaster at Disneyland. No fear. Just excitement. And I totally fell in love with 6×8 after I made this. I was hooked! I made a few more that weekend that I will share later. But you know when you make that one layout that starts some spark in you and every time you think about it, you remember that spark. This is the one for me. And  I can’t wait to make more!

My Creative Re-Inspiration using the Time Kit

I am reconsidering the whole way I scrapbook and my approach Project Life lately. I started scrapbooking because of the photos and mainly scrapped event based only. Around 2008, I started scrapping the everyday but still treated it like an event. And then in 2011, I started Project Life full time but still approached it all from a photo-centric perspective. But these last fews months I felt a shift. Instead of looking at photos first, I am realizing I am looking at stories first and trying to find a photo to fit. Sure there are still times I can look at the photos and say – oh I want to tell this story or this photo reminds me of… (fill in the blank). But now I find myself looking for stories in my everyday and taking a photo because I know I want tell that story. It’s a refreshing perspective and I think it’s what I really needed to inspire me in creative hobby.

As part of that, I decided I wanted to start looking at Project Life in a more theme based process. I knew the Time kit by Ali Edwards would be coming in the mail during the week, so my first theme was time. I took photos throughout the week and then took screenshots of the time on my phone right after so I would know what time of day it was taken and could add it to my layout for the week. I found that keeping the theme in mind kept me more inspired to take photos throughout the week and even consider what stories I wanted to tell. Like my son getting up in the morning and even though it’s really early, he can still brighten my day with a snuggle and a smile. Or how lovely the afternoon sunlight is coming through my window at work. I am not sure I would have thought about taking those photos on any other week if I had not had the theme in mind.

And on top of that, I was so inspired and excited about my theme week that I actually sat down on Sunday and completed the full week’s layout before the week was even over!!!!

I am so thankful for this new inspiration.

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And here is the full layout. It has been a long time since I have done a physical/traditional Project Life page and boy did this feel good! I think a good mix of both app, digital, and traditional pages are in my near future!

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