Monday, November 30, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 44, Part 2

After my Christmas project post, I'm going to hop back to Halloween for a bit.  Back to the week that exploded into 10 pages!  Not only did we have a lot going on that week, but a mistake on my part also played a part in the large number of pages.  I know it's probably hard to believe, but somehow I completely forgot about this event when I was putting together my project life pages.  Completely forgot.  I went on my merry way, scrapping the rest of the week and it wasn't until a while later that I remembered Thriller.  I was faced with either redoing the pages I had done, or making this event into it's own two page spread.  The easy answer was making this it's own two page spread, so that's what I did.

Here are the pages for Clara's Thriller performance...

Made with Bewitched by Little Dreamer Designs (the link is to their Facebook page, since I'm having trouble getting to their actual site at the moment).

Friday, November 27, 2015

Capturing Christmas 2015: Plan, Prep and a Present

Here we go again!  And this time, I think I'm really ready.  :-)  (get comfortable, this is a long one!)

If you are a regular reader, you know that I have attempted a December/Christmas project the past couple of years and I have failed (mostly) each year.

The first year I attempted a straight up December Daily project and that didn't work. We didn't do something Christmas-y every day in December and it began to overlap too much with project life.  It also didn't feel different enough from PL for me.  I did digital square pocket pages, which was similar to what I had been doing all year with PL.

Last year, I knew I needed something different.  Daily wasn't going to work for me.  We just didn't do enough stuff.  I needed a new name that would reflect my new plan.  I thought about some of the usuals like Document Your December (but some of our Christmas stuff fell in November), or Countdown to Christmas (but our "Christmas" with my in-laws was going to be after Christmas).  I finally decided on "Twenty-Six Things" (what was I thinking?!?!??).  I wanted to use some cute number cards I had, I *needed* #25 to be Christmas day and I had to go to 26 so I could include Christmas with the in-laws and keep things in chronological order.  I had thought 26 things would be easy... turns out, it's not.  Especially when you have fickle teens who will randomly reject some of your "things" (turns out that riding the CTA Holiday Train with mom isn't that cool anymore... who knew?).  I did take note of the last year's attempt being too similar to my PL and went with a different format.  I tried a hybrid 6x8 Sn@p album.  BUT... not having a color printer, I was having to dummy things up in photoshop to see how they would look and then send to print every so many pages.  It became a chore.

So, that brings us to this year.... 2015 the year of the successful Christmas project!!

Here's the plan:
  1. New name.  I thought about it for a quite a while and ended up with "Capturing Christmas".  This name allows me to call this what it truly is, the place where I capture all things Christmas this year.  It doesn't confine me to December, ending on the 25th or any set number of things.  I'm happy with the name.
  2. Same binder and pages as last year (in fact... some of them are the exact same unused pages I bought for this project last year).  I'm completely in love with the 6x8 album size!  And the physical pocket pages makes this feel completely different than my usual project life pages.
  3. Prep!  I think this is going to be key.  Something I have learned from the more digital projects I've attempted the past two years is that being proactive is key.  With being primarily digital, my pages became more reactive than proactive.  After each thing, I was starting from scratch.  This year I picked a bunch of cards that I liked and made some of my own (more on that further down).  This worked well with the travel journal that I did for our trip to NYC this summer.  With that success, I'm hoping for success with this project.
  4. This goes along with #3, but this year I'm printing my own cards and photos (hooray for owning a color printer!!).  This was key to my travel album success and I think it will be key with this as well.
Now on to prep:

First thing I did was make myself a set of easy to cut apart templates using the sizes of the openings in my sets of page protectors.  I am using pages by Simple Stories, mostly standard sizes, but have a couple of the insta sets as well.  I made templates on 8.5x11 sheets with 3x4, 2x8, 2x2 and 4x4 spots and I lined the cards up so they required fewer cuts to separate them after printing.  I do have page protectors with 4x6 openings, but I figured those will mostly be photos which I will print as individual 4x6s.

I made a bunch of sheets of cards while watching TV throughout the week and Saturday was print and cut day.

Oh look... my assistant has arrived...

Actually, she's fairly useless in the card prep department, she just wanted to go o-u-t-s-i-d-e yet again.
The templates I made, ended up with an odd shaped spot leftover when I made things square.  On some, I put elements to cut apart and add to my pages like below...

Others, I turned off the layer (like in the title photo at the top) and some I left alone.  That way I could see where to cut when printing white cards on white paper....

The bulk of my cards came from two kits.

First, the brand new collection for December, Storyteller Riley by Just Jaimee...

And second, Shelf Elf by Just Jaimee and Mommyish....

I've set up a new pinterest board for my supplies this year and another one for my pages, as I complete them, so be sure to follow them.  I plan to have another post soon with some of the other products I'm using, plus I'll add stuff throughout the month as new sets get released.

And finally, we get to the present.

I have zipped up the template set that I made and have it for you as a free download, if you would like to use them to speed up your card trimming process!  All that I ask in return is for you to leave a comment below (I would especially love a link to see your December/Christmas projects!  I'm always looking for more inspiration!).  Here is what's included:


I did three templates to be printed on card stock and one photo template (one 4x4 and 2 2x2s).  I will also be using templates to split a 4x6 into two 3x4s and another to split one into 6 2x2s, but I didn't need to create those since they were included in one of the template sets I have by Designs by Lili.  I hope this freebie set helps with your prep!  I had so much fun making 2x2 squares from all of the fun patterned paper that I have!

Okay, that's it for my ramblings at the moment!  Off to start my pages!!  Good luck everyone and enjoy the season!!!  (oh... and even if you don't download the freebie, I would still love to see a link to your holiday project in the comments... I think I enjoy looking at other people's projects more than I actually like creating my own!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 44 Part 1

Week 44 went spectacularly out of control.  Lots of events that required lots of photos.  This is the week that really prompted me to rethink my plan for project life.  My project life has evolved from the straight forward one spread per week the first year, to mostly one spread but with a couple extra pages when needed last year, to huge explosions of pages this year.  I've been working on a plan for 2016.  I miss my simple summary pages of year one, but I don't want to cut photos out either.  I think I have my plan pretty much worked out.  I can't wait to see if it actually works!

Anyway, here is the first part of what ended up being a 10 page week (yikes!).  But as you will see, we had some pretty cool stuff going on...

Storyteller 2015 Month 3x4 cards by Just JaimeeStoryteller 2015 Everyday Titles by Just JaimeeStoryteller 2015 Everyday tabs by Just JaimeeStoryteller Asher by Just Jaimee

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 43

I don't normally post on a Saturday, but I'm trying to get caught up with PL pages so I can save room for posting DD pages once I get started.  I spent part of yesterday afternoon cutting cards apart for my project.  I'm excited.  I think I should have my post ready on Wednesday with my plan.  Just for kicks, I went back and read my plan for last year.  I thought I had it all figured out then and still failed miserably.  BUT this time I'm SURE I have it figured out :-)  I'm also excited to post about my PL plan for 2016.  I think I've just about got that figured out as well.

Here's week 43 (the first of a couple of multi spread weeks)...

Made with Storyteller Luka by Just Jaimee.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 42

In case you're keeping tracking, yes, I did skip week 41.  That was the week I did A Week in the Life.  The official week was a few weeks earlier, but a group of us didn't attempt it then and picked a new week to try.  I have kind of decided that I should stop attempting AWITL.  I adore the project, but it doesn't work well for me.  Maybe it's another one of those projects that would work better for me if I didn't do project life, I don't know.  I always incorporate it into PL since it overlaps so much with that project.  But there would be something really cool about having a series of stand alone AWITL books.  Anyway, back to my week 41... basically, it's not done yet.  Eight pages are sitting there with photos on them and a day of the week card for each day.  And that's it.  I haven't touched them in weeks.  I didn't write down my journaling, so I'm sure I've forgotten it all by now.  Sigh.

On to week 42!  Ahhh... the week I had fall family fun planned for Monday when both kids had off from school and Jeff took the day off from work.  And where did my children choose for their day of fall fun?  Was it the pumpkin farm, the apple orchard, the dunes with friends from school???  Nope... Ikea.  Oh well... we had a fun day together and everyone was happy.  I guess that was the main point of our day together anyway.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 40

Still plugging along with posting, but I must admit that planning my December Daily (my take on it anyway) has completely taken over my brain.  If you have been reading for a while, you know that I have failed at DD every year.  BUT... THIS is MY year!!  I WILL be successful this year!  I'm working on my prep and will do a big post about my plan probably next week.  What makes this year different than previous years?  I own a color printer now.  I think that's going to make all of the difference in the world.

Reining it back in to project life, here is week 40...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 38

 Another set of pages with lots of Alex!

It's nice being reminded of weeks like this since he's pretty much absent from my latest pages.  I need to remember to sneak in more photos of him!  Thanksgiving is coming up, so I'll make sure to get a lot since we'll be hanging out together as a family.

More pages made with Storyteller Asher by Just Jaimee.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 37

Week 37 was a big week for the boy... first day of school, backstage at the Zac Brown Band concert and the Annual Radtke Men MSU Football Game outing.  I like it when there are Alex heavy weeks because he doesn't show up in my project life pages as much as he should.  He's an independent teen boy who doesn't like to be in or take photos.  I try to sneak in photos when I can, but since I can't always do that, I tend to over do the pages when I do get a chance to take/get photos.

 Week 37....

Made with Storyteller Asher by Just Jaimee.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 36

I totally forgot to mention it, but week thirty-five was the last week of my book 2!  This week starts my last book of the year.

Here's our week 36...

Made with Storyteller Asher by Just Jaimee.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 35

Back to reality for one kid during week 35.  Clara started back to school, although Alex still had a couple more weeks off.  This summer went way too fast... lots of travel and pneumonia can do that to a summer.

Here's our week 35...

Made with various products by Just Jaimee... but The Lilypad site is down right now and I can't link anything up (or view the posts where I listed all of my credits).  Once the site is back up, I'll add the details here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 34

Ahhh... week 34.  The week that took out both me and Alex.

Sunday started with an amazing day on the lake.  However, Alex wasn't feeling so great and by the end of the day, neither was I.  The week kind of went downhill from there, even though we tried to power through.  When we got back to Chicago on Saturday, Jeff dropped Alex and I off at urgent care before even going home.  Pneumonia, more pneumonia.  Alex and I had caught Clara's bug that ends in pneumonia.  At least we were home now and had meds.

Here are my pages for week 34...

Made with All the Feels cards, papers and elements by Amber LaBau.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Project Life 2015: Week 32

A crazy week... returned home from the road trip, found out Clara had pneumonia and then packed up again to go to Bearski.

Page one looks a bit different as it has my CT footer for Amber's team on it.  I'm not sure what I did with the regular saved for the web file.

First this one I used products by Amber LaBau Designs - This Year Calendar Stamps and My Heart Sings papers, cards and elements.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Project Life 2015: Road Trip Day 7

The last day... well, sort of.

We had one more day after this, but it was just spent driving, and since it was a Sunday, I just incorporated it into my week 32.  On this day, we could have just headed towards home, but, in true road trip fashion, we decided to see what we could fit in along our route.  Gettysburg wasn't too far off of our path, so that's where we decided to go.  It worked out really well.  Clara was beginning to go downhill again, so we bought the audio tour CD from the gift shop and did the driving tour.  She was able to stretch out in the back seat and relax, but still be a part of it all.

My book 2 for the year arrived yesterday, so I actually got to hold these printed pages!  Sooooo exciting!

For supplies, I used Amber LaBau's Counting the Days cards, elements from Storyteller Dakota and some from Storyteller Kenner.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Project Life 2015: Road Trip Days 4-6

 On day 4, we left Canada and made our way to Batavia, NY to see family.  Along the way, we stopped at Letchworth State Park. It is an amazingly beautiful park and the photos I took don't do it justice...

This was the night that Clara went downhill.  She had complained of a headache all day, but we didn't think much about it.  Then, when we got back to the hotel, I decided to feel her forehead.  She was burning up.  So my mom and I made a run to Target for meds and a thermometer.  She had a fever of 102.7!!

I only have the one photo from day 5, because that day was spent trying to find an urgent care.  I normally don't immediate rush my kids to the doctor when they run a fever, but since we were traveling, I wanted her looked at sooner rather than later.  We got to the first urgent care right when it opened at 9, but were told that we'd have to come back since the doctor didn't get in until noon (is it just me, or are they missing the point of being an urgent care facility?).  The next one that was recommended, opened at 11, so we went there next.  We were told it was just a virus and that it would run it's course in a day or two, so we got in the car and headed to PA.

We gave Clara the option of heading towards home or continuing on the trip.  She was adamant about powering on.  She was sure she would feel better quickly.  So, right or wrong, we kept going.  It was really deceiving, as when she was taking the medicine, she felt really good and seemed normal.  On day 6 we hit Hershey's Chocolate World, Kitchen Kettle Village and took a buggy ride through the Amish Country.

For supplies, I used Amber LaBau's Counting the Days cards, elements from Storyteller Dakota and some from Storyteller Kenner.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Project Life 2015: Road Trip Days 2 & 3

 I'm going to start lumping some days together as not to drag this out too long.

On day 2, we had our first day on the road as our new group.  Jeff had left to go back to Chicago, so now it was me, the kids and my parents traveling together on our way to Niagara Falls...

We made a couple of stops along the way.  First we stopped at the Anchor Bar to try the original Buffalo Wings.  The next stop was the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum.  This was big on my list.  In high school I got the chance to buy a carrousel horse.  It's a 1917 Herschell Spillman hand carved traveling carrousel horse and it is currently living, unrestored, in my parents' basement.  It was so cool to stand in the workshop where that horse was probably carved!

After the stops, it was on to Niagara Falls!

Day three was spent on a sightseeing tour.  We saw a LOT that day!  And we got to try TimBits for the first time... we're big fans now!

As for supplies, I used Amber LaBau's Counting the Days cards, elements from Storyteller Dakota and some from Storyteller Kenner.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Project Life 2015: Road Trip Day 1

I took a bit of a blogging break again.  This time because I thought I was going to do something to add to this series of posts.

See, last year I did a travel journal while on the road and I posted those pages in conjunction with my PL pages on my blog.  This year, I didn't end up working on my travel journal on the road.  Who knows why... maybe it was burn out from already having been "on the road" for four days before we started the road trip portion, maybe it was because Clara ended up getting really sick during our trip, maybe it was because we were out later at night and just wanted to go to bed vs. work on our journals... regardless, it didn't get finished (or even started for that matter).  I did collect stuff along the way for a travel journal though and I thought I had everything in one place.  So, when it came time to post these pages, I thought I would throw together my journal real quick so I could post it at the same time (plus I'm working on my trip album and could use the info for reference).  Well, I found most of the stuff, but not all.  I'm sure I bought postcards at most places to add to my journal, but I'm not sure where they are (or, to be honest, if I even actually bought them).  So, in order to keep the posting momentum going, I'm going to put that project aside for the moment.

So here is day one at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...

I used Amber LaBau's Counting the Days cards, elements from Storyteller Dakota and some from Storyteller Kenner.