Sunday, January 7, 2018

Decembers to Remember - stories 8 - 14

I’ve been diligently working on my Decembers to Remember album, but I was sidetracked for a while with a nasty bout of the flu. Take a look at stories 8 - 14 if you’d like some storytelling inspiration (maybe) for your own DD that you might be trying to finish. Surely, I’m not the only one still working on this project...
























Check back in later this week for more stories from this album. I’m still having a great time committing these important stories to this album! 



Wednesday, January 3, 2018

"Gal"entine Mini-Book Class

Hey everybody! I thought I'd pop in to this rather neglected space of late to let you know that I'm planning an in-person scrapbook class in Bowling Green for any of you who might be interested. We'll be making a "Gal"entine mini-book to celebrate one of the important women in your life. Check out my nifty little graphic for the class:



If you're interested in  joining me for this fab class, please click shop on the tab above and purchase a reserved spot. I'm limiting the class to just 15 people, so I hope you don't delay in registering.

Details:
--Saturday, February 3, 2018
--1-4 pm central time
--Hobby Lobby, 1751 Scottsville Rd., Bowling Green, KY 42101
--Cost $35
--No refunds. If you are unable to attend for some reason, I will mail you the class kit within 5 days, or you may transfer your reservation to someone else.

What do you get:
--three hours of class/work time
--necessary supplies to complete the 4 X 6 mini-album
--step-by-step instruction to create an album you love
--journalling suggestions and guides for this album

What should you bring:
--8 to 10 photos about the person you want to celebrate (shots of the two of you, things this person enjoys doing, things that remind you of this person, shots of that person, etc.)
--photos should be 4 X 6 horizontal, 4 X 4, or 3 X 4 (consider using black and white photos if you're concerned about your photos matching the papers I select)
--basic scrapbooking toolkit (scissors, trimmer, adhesives, ruler, pencil, black pen)
--additional items of your choice (we'll be using Crate Paper products, feminine colors and patterns)

Leave me a message here if you have any questions or would like additional information. I look forward to meeting up with you and making an awesome "Gal"entine gift for a special woman in your life!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Decembers to Remember - stories 1-7

Rather than make another traditional December Daily project this year, I decided to try something a little bit different. I thought it might be fun to tell a series of stories about Christmases from when I was growing up. I'd never scrapbooked any of these stories before, so having them in a single location seemed like an interesting variation of the DD project that so many people make. I'm calling my project "Decembers to Remember" and plan to tell 31 stories about the holidays leading up to my senior year of high school. Hopefully, these stories will be a great way for me to share my childhood and my family's holiday traditions with my daughter and maybe even her children someday.

One of the things that was always challenging to me about December Daily was working on the project every single day and feeling guilty if I got behind on it. My variation of the project completely removes that sense of time guilt. I've only told seven stories, and it's already December 14. I guess that I'm a week behind schedule technically, but I don't really see it that way at all. I like being able to work on it a couple times a week and seeing real progress without feeling worried that I won't "catch up." 

My process was pretty simple. First, I made a list of stories that I might want to tell from the holidays during my childhood. Next, I scanned, edited, and printed the old family photos I was able to locate that seemed to match the season, event, or age of each story I'd listed. Even though the picture quality isn't fabulous, I'm grateful to have located as many of them as I did. I edited them as best I could, but some are still a bit dark and blurry, and others just have wonky colors that couldn't totally be corrected. Of course, I had some missing photo spots; I looked for online photos to fill in the gaps of pictures I couldn't locate. The next step was to print those photos in different sizes. I did this randomly because that's how I roll. I don't really like dealing with photos and printing, but this process wasn't too stressful since I worked on it a few different days rather than all at once.

I thought I had an album already to use for this project, but I was wrong. After picking up a plain kraft 6 X 8 album at Hobby Lobby and some page protectors, I started laying out the order of the pages. I didn't want to have the same kind of page protector right after each other in the album. Then, I started matching the photos I had printed with the page protector formats in the album. It was all pretty random and fluid, but I was enjoying the process. At that point, I separated all of my Christmas supplies into a basket I could keep on my desk and began matching up printed paper with the photos. The paper and photos became place holders in the album and could be moved around if needed.

On Monday of this week, I actually made the pages for the first two stories in my album in just under two hours.  I'm printing out the journaling, and this adds quite a bit of time to the overall time it takes me to make a layout. While I don't prefer this approach, I think it allows me to tell much longer stories than if I were using my handwriting.  I also worked on my album on Wednesday and completed a couple more pages in another couple of hours. Tonight, I told three stories in less than two hours; that means my speed is improving.  Take a look at the pages I made, and perhaps you'll be inspired to tell some of your own childhood stories.













I'm really loving this project and am already looking forward to telling more of the stories.  Now, I'm wondering why I took so long to make such an important album from my childhood.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Selfies 101 -Available now!

My brand new class, Selfies 101, is now available for purchase!  Please watch the short promo video attached here and purchase the class by clicking the shop tab above if you're interested in learning all about taking selfies that you love. :) 


This class contains the following information:
  • 10 individual lessons that include video discussion and examples
  • Dozens of selfie examples from my own photo collection
  • 15 or more of my layouts in various formats that feature selfies (some have never been shared publicly)
  • Opening and closing videos about how I began taking selfies and why I think they matter so much
  • Access to a private facebook group to share your selfie successes, to ask for tips/tricks, to share your layouts, and to chat with others about scrapbooking selfiesAccess to five different selfie challenges that will be posted weekly in the private facebook group beginning Friday, December 8, 2017 and continuing for five weeks

  • After you take this class, you should be able to:
    • Take a selfie you can be proud of
    • Access several tools at your disposal for taking a variety of selfies
    • Feel comfortable taking different kinds of selfies
    • Feel more confident when you’re having your picture taken by anyone
    • Document your selfies in your scrapbooks using some of my layouts as inspiration

  • Click HERE to purchase
  • (Note: You should receive an email with the link to the class within 24 hours of purchase; if you do not, please leave me a message here or email me at alowderlife@gmail.com.)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

My Grown-Up Christmas Wish List - *not stuff

I thought it might be fun to document what my Christmas list looks like at this point in my life. Sure, there are some things that I want, but I find these days that most things on my list aren't really those that can be purchased in a store. Besides peace on earth and an end to want and all that good stuff, there are some specific things I wish for the people in my life and myself. Take a look at my list and consider making one of your own.


My Grown-Up Christmas Wish List (the first two are pretty personal, but the others more broadly apply to my friends and family and my wishes for them)

1. I wish that Kelsey will be able to snag a job that uses her skills/degrees, sparks her passion, and compensates her fairly.

2. I wish that Jake will finish his degree this spring as planned and find a position with a company that treats him well.

3. I wish that my friends who are battling illnesses are healed and that their pain is diminished.

4. I wish that my friends who are suffering loss and grief find peace and comfort in the memories of their loved ones.

5. I wish that my friends who are lonely reach out to someone upon whom they can depend for emotional support and company.

6. I wish that my friends who are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives find something that fulfills them.

7. I wish that the people in my life treat each other fairly and with kindness, even when they disagree.

8. I wish that a spirit of giving and helpfulness permeated every season in our hearts and not just Christmas.

9. I wish that those of us who are too busy take some time to rest and recharge and breathe.

10. I wish that those of us who tend to be negative would opt for the positive slant instead, to allow ourselves the gift of hope, to jump to the kind conclusion, and to give others the benefit of the doubt.

11. I wish that we all spend our time as carefully as we spend our money. And if we need to do better, then I hope that we will.

12. I wish that we all work on being more present in the moment and appreciating our lives at this moment.

What are the things on  your Christmas list that aren't really things at all?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Big Happy Memory Planner Pages - October 2017


Week 1 - October 2-8, 2017



Week 2 - October 9-15, 2017

October 16-22, 2017

October 23-29, 2017

October 30- November 5, 2017

Is this the closing page of October or the opening day of November? I'm not sure what I want to do here, so right now it's blank.  I'm open to any ideas that you might be willing to share. :)

I'm really enjoying memory keeping in my Big Happy Planner; I think it's going to have a big impact on the kinds of stories that I choose to tell in more traditional layouts. Tracie and I have a podcast planned to discuss memory keeping in a planner in January, so I hope you'll tune in to the podcast if you're interested in this style of documentation.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Holiday Stitching Fun - Vintage Santa

If you've followed my blog for very long, you know that I absolutely love hand stitching. While most of my experience has been with cross stitch, I've begun to branch out into different kinds of hand embroidery as well. To that end, I had planned to work on several different kinds of stitching projects for the holidays. I still have some stitched pendants in the works as gifts and maybe as items to sell, and I'm also working on some ornaments right now as well. This embellished stitch vintage Santa is a little bit too big to be an ornament, but I think he would be adorable as decoration on my mantel or on a shelf/table.

Here's the finished piece. I haven't decided if I'll attach a thin ribbon to the screw at the top of the piece to hang it or if I'll add a loop to the back of the piece. I think either option would work just fine.


 I wanted to photograph a couple of detail shots for you too. I used French knots on the holly berries and on Santa's eyes.
 The rest of the stitched are mostly just backstitch or a couching stitch. There's a small wrinkle on the bottom left of the hoop where I didn't pull it tightly enough through the hoop or where the fabric puckered a bit as I worked the stitches around the ball of fur on the hat. I think that's something I'll get better at managing as I continue to work with this weight of fabric and these stitches.
 That metallic thread was a bear to work with, but I think the effect of it is really cool. I've read a few tips/tutorials about working with it, so I'm hopeful that the next project won't be fraught with such difficulty. That metallic thread is definitely challenging.
 And here's a shot of the piece propped up against a frame on my mantel. I think this one is in a 6" or 7" hoop, to give you an idea of the finished size.

If you're interested in making your own version of a hoop like this, here's where I bought my supplies --
     Michael's craft store: silver tassel ribbon roll, wood embroidery hoop, metallic silver dmc floss, hot glue sticks
     Hobby Lobby craft store: printed Santa fabric, regular DMC floss (black, red, green), white felt for the backing
     Supplies on hand: glue gun, scissors
     Total materials investment - approximately $5 (This is an estimate because I have extras of all the supplies left over and could make other projects out of the initial items I purchased.)
     Total time investment - approximately three hours

If you decide to make one of your own, I hope you'll share it with me, so I can see your work. I'm considering doing something similar with ornament sizes of hoops that are about 3" or 4" to hang on a Christmas tree. Would anyone be interested in purchasing that kind of thing? I'm not sure if I'll have time to make these to sell, but I'm open to the idea. I'd love to hear what you think about that.

Don't mind me, I'll just be over in the corner stitching. I have to say, this whole stitching thing makes me happy, and this little vintage Santa makes me giddy.