Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pocket What? Project Huh?

If you’re lurking on the edge of the scrapbooking world, but just aren’t sure you can dive into it as a hobby, you might want to consider the newest trend in memory keeping – “pocket scrapbooking.”
“Pocket scrapbooking” simply means that you slide your photos into “pockets” in the plastic page protectors. There are several different configurations of horizontal and vertical photos, along with space for journaling cards. Tons of manufacturers have jumped on the “pocket scrapbooking” trend and have come out with their own sets of journaling and "filler" cards.
Becky Higgins started it all with her "Project Life" system of using segmented page protectors to complete simple scrapbooking layouts. I bought one of the very first editions, the Amber core kit, and it came with the album and the box shown above filled with cards and stickers. There were twenty-five cards each of several designs. There weren't very many individual designs back then. Boy, how things have changed since those first core kits came out! Now, you have your choices of dozens of options from a wide variety of manufacturers.
For the next three weeks, I'll be taking you on a journey into the world of "pocket scrapbooking". This first post will introduce you to the pocket page concept and help you to decide what main supplies you'll be working with to get started. No need to panic! I'll show you step-by-step how to start your memory keeping journey simply and easily!
First thing you’ll want to do is determine what type of photos you take the most – horizontal or vertical. This will help you to determine the type of page protectors to buy. I take mostly horizontal photos, so I chose the page protector style which has four 4” X 6” horizontal slots and four 3” X 4” vertical slots. I tend to use the four horizontal slots for my photos and the four 3” X 4” vertical slots for my journaling cards.
This layout shows four horizontal 4" X 6" pockets and four vertical 3" X 4" pockets.

But, there are some instances where I print my vertical photos in the 3” X 4” size and use them in the vertical slots. That’s the beauty of pocket scrapbooking. You can move things around however you want. Nothing gets adhered to a page. You just slide the photos and journaling cards into place. 
This layout shows where I used the 3" X 4" pockets for my vertical photos.

Several manufacturers have come out with different configurations of page protectors. Most have pockets in 4" X 6" and 3" X 4", but there are also ones that have 2" X 2" squares for a collage look. There are some page protectors specifically sized for the 4” X 4” Instagram photos too. You’ll have plenty to choose from! You can keep all one design in your album or mix and match. It's all up to you!
“Pocket scrapbooking” can be an easy gateway for you to join the scrapbooking world and get your photos out of boxes and off of your computer. The next time that you’re in your local craft store, check out all of the page protector styles available and dive in. To get started, you’ll need an album (preferably a 12" X 12" D-ring album), a set of page protectors, a set of journaling cards and a good journaling pen.
Choosing an album is a fun part of the process too. There are tons of sizes and types to choose from. For my "Project Life" albums, I have stuck with the same brand and the 12" X 12" size. I just chose a different pattern for each year. The "Project Life" cardboard albums from Becky Higgins come in different designs, but I have found that these can be easily dented. Her line also comes in faux leather and smaller sizes if you choose to start off with smaller page protectors sizes. Other manufacturers have linen or faux leather albums that may stand the test of time and handling better. Album choice is all about personal preference and wear and tear.
Your next step is deciding on what core kit or kits you want to use for your journaling and "filler"cards. Journaling cards are used to tell the details of your photos. A core kit normally contains both the 4" X 6" and 3" X 4" card sizes. "Filler"cards normally have a design or quote on them and are used to "fill" empty pockets on your pages. Many people use these  "filler" cards on their title pages for their albums. There are literally tons of kits available from a variety of manufacturers!
Choosing your core kit or kits is probably the hardest part. At least, it was for me! I ended up buying tons of "Project Life" core kits. I liked having a variety of options for my photos. Some people choose one core kit and stick with it throughout their album. It's all up to you! There are a wide variety of mini kit themes, color schemes and specialty designer kits available.
The last item you'll need to get started with pocket scrapbooking is a good journaling pen. There are literally hundreds of choices out there. My personal choice is the "Project Life" black journaling pen in the .03 size. I occasionally used the .05 size when I want the journaling or title to stand out. These pens come in a pack of three with one of each of the sizes - .01, .03 and .05mm tips. There are also "Project Life" packs with other colors, along with black. American Crafts has a Precision Pen set that includes an assortment of tip sizes.

Now that you have everything you need to get started in pocket scrapbooking, let's do this!

NEXT WEEK - PART TWO: We'll get into embellishing your pages. Tons of fun ahead!

Please feel free to comment with any questions that you have. I'll be happy to address them in my future posts. I want to be sure that you fall in love with pocket scrapbooking and get your memories preserved!

*Disclaimer - This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tipsy Tuesday - Scrap Your Scraps!

As scrapbookers, we tend to save every little scrap of paper, "just in case we'll need it." Chances are, you have a scrap pile a mile high and that "just in case" hasn't happened yet, and probably never will.
Now is the time to go through your scrap pile and purge the pieces that you know very well won't be used in the next millenium. Yes, IT'S TIME.
Whether you sort by color or by size is up to you, but it's time to sort it all out. A good rule to follow is that the smallest piece that you save can still be used with your punches. I usually go with anything less than 2" x 2" goes in the trash. Larger sheets of cardstock can still be used in your Cricut or other die cutting machines, along with your embossing machines. Long strips can be used as borders. Everything else needs to go! GOING, GOING, GONE!
Hope this tip gets you moving to clean and organize your craft space. If we have a clean space to create, the more the creativity will flow! I would love to know if you purged your scraps!
Feel free to message or email me if you have any further tips for Tipsy Tuesday. I always love to hear from my readers.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Pull Over! It's the Scrapbook Police!

Crafter's license and adhesive registration, ma'am. Do you know how slow you were scrapping? Are you aware that you are years behind in your memory keeping? You are in serious violation of possessing too many supplies and becoming a hazard to the crafting community around you. I'm going to have to take you in for further questioning. Put the glue gun down and step away from the table. No, you can't take your bling with you. No, we can't stop at Hobby Lobby, Michaels or JoAnn's. I don't care if there's a sale and you have a coupon. You're going straight to Scrapping Solitary and we're throwing away the key!
Was that all about you? Just a little scrapping humor to address the notion of the mythical "Scrapbook Police." We've all joked about it when we think that our pages aren't good enough. For who exactly? We've drummed up this picture of Scrapbook Police barging into our craft rooms and crops to tell us what we're doing wrong. STOP - THERE ARE NO SCRAPBOOK POLICE.
No one is coming to tell you that you're scrapping too slow, too fast or not in chronological order. No one is going to tell you that you're leaving too much white space. No one is going to say, "There's far too much bling on your page." (Is there such a thing as "too much bling"?) There is no Scrapbook Court to plead your case. Scrapbooking is YOUR HOBBY. It's time that you OWN IT.
We place far too much stress on ourselves in our daily lives. We really shouldn't let it bleed over into our hobby. Our hobby is supposed to be something that we enjoy with all our hearts. Scrapbooking is all about memory keeping. It's about friendships and creativity. We can't lose sight of that EVER.
Instead of honing in on all of the negative criticism and gossip out there, let's band together and build each other up. Compliment someone's projects in one of your Facebook groups or on someone's blog that you follow. Let your fellow crafters know that they're doing a great job. We all need that positive feedback to keep our mojo going! It feels good to give and to receive it!
Do me a favor and go compliment a fellow crafter right now, then come back to this post and comment on who you complimented. Let's spread the love and keep the creativity flowing!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tipsy Tuesday - Life Savers!

Ever have those heart stopping moments where you spill something on your table and it's rushing towards your layout? Or you squeezed too much glue or Stickles out of the bottle and it's splattered all over your project that you've been working on for the last two hours? Your heart is probably racing right just reliving those moments! 
Here is a list of "life saving" household items to add to your tool kit or tote to preserve the life of your creations in the event of a crafting emergency:
1) A roll of paper towels - We're at a crop or retreat and we ended up running to the bathroom or kitchen area to get them. Wasted time could mean the demise of your project. Have them near you!
2) A package of baby wipes - These have been my life saver on many occasion! Easy to clean messy, sticky, inky fingers before you grab the next sheet of cardstock and leave a lasting imprint. Ugh!
3) Safety pins - Attach them to your tool kit and have them at the ready for those stopped up glue bottles that can cause those splattering disasters. Always test your bottles on a paper towel before you use them on your project. 
4) Toothpicks - Have a few toothpicks handy to use for picking up those stubborn little rhinestones that you fling across the room when you try to use tweezers. You know you've done it!
Toothpicks are also great to use to gently roll up droplets of excess glue or Stickles. 
5) Mouse pad - I recommend the spony ones with the rubber backing. It can be used as a cushion for your stamping which helps to give you a crisper image. It can also be used as a piercing mat if you're making holes for brads or other embellishments. Much better than sticking yourself and yelling loudly in a quiet crop room. Been there!

I hope that these "Tipsy Tuesdays" have been helpful to you. Please feel free to contact me if you'd like to contribute your tip and be featured in future posts. I'd love to hear from you!
Thank you for your support of California Scrappin'! Stay tuned for more excitement!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tipsy Tuesday - The Magic of Gesso!

According to Wikipedia, gesso is defined as "a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these." Gesso is an important supply to have on hand if you are art journaling or working with canvas. It's mainly used to prep your surface to accept other mediums without bleeding through the back side. But, it can also be used to cover up mistakes, splatters and the many "oops" moments that we can have when things get messy.
I typically use gesso, both black and white, in my art journal to "seal" my pages from bleeding through to the back side. I use a sponge brush to coat my pages with an even, but light, coating. You can either allow it to air dry or you can use a heat gun to speed along the process. Now, my pages are prepped for my artistic creations to come to life!

Here are some examples from my art journal using both black and white gesso to create backgrounds:
Using black as a background to make other colors stand out
Using white as a "sealer" on top of layers of cardstock pieces used to form a geometric background
Using black over the top of letters and pieces of washi tape, 
then removing them to reveal the white background underneath

You can use gesso in so many ways! You can also use it to cover up any mistakes by just putting a new coat right over the top of what you didn't like. Make sure that the "yucky"pages are dry before you "erase" them with gesso. I learned the hard way that gesso takes on the colors of your pages if you coat the pages before the messed up images are dry! Lesson learned!

Hope this tip, along with the previous Tipsy Tuesdays, has been helpful to you!
If you'd like to contribute a tip to a future Tipsy Tuesday post, please feel free to comment below with your email address. I'd love to hear from you! Have a crafty and creative week!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Interview with Lain Ehmann

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lain Ehmann. I had known Lain through the True Scrap events that I had participated in. Through that connection, I learned about her coaching programs. They came along at just the right time in my life. I've been one of her coaching students for over a year now and I've learned so much about myself and gained some new friendships. Being a part of her coaching group has truly been a rewarding experience. I've gained more confidence in my creative abilities, as well as found a comfortable place to share my hopes, fears, goals and dreams for a fulfilling future. I swear she works magic! I'm fortunate to call her my friend too. I met her in person last year and we hugged like we'd been friends for years. She has a heart of gold and I'm so glad to be able to share her wisdom here with you!

1) A lot of my readers know you from the scrapbooking world and your fabulous True Scrap events. Can you tell us a little more about yourself and how you got involved with coaching? 
I’ve been a personal development junkie since my high school days. I’ve always wanted to know how to be the best “me” that I could be. I grew up with a lot of fear and anxiety, and I knew that there had to be a better way to go through life but I couldn’t figure it out. When I read two books in my early 20s (“Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins and “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Dr. Susan Jeffers), my life changed. Suddenly, I knew that change wasn’t just possible, it was entirely within my control. Those two books marked a turning point in my life.

Unfortunately, it took me about two more decades before I felt like I truly peeled back the layers of expectation, perfectionism, and Good Girl-itis before I got to the core of who I am. Along the way, I picked up a BA from Stanford and an MPA from Syracuse. I worked as a journalist, a PR professional, a marketing communications specialist, and a boot-shine girl in a country & western bar (just on weekends!).  I am still figuring a lot of it out, but the core of me is there, unchanging. And it feels awesome!

It’s that freedom I want to bring to other people through my writing, teaching, and coaching. I want them to be able to see them as I see them: Limitless. I want them to change their lives, and then go on to inspire others.

2) What made you decide to get into coaching? Did you see things amongst the women in the scrapbooking world that led to your transition?
I see so much fear in the people around me. Fear that it’s too late to go after their dreams, fear that they are doing “life” wrong, fear even over what color cardstock to use or whether their art is “good” enough. It made me realize that while the teaching I was doing in scrapbooking was fun and important, what I really want to do is help people be less afraid. To do that, I needed to move into another arena. I took a bunch of classes in coaching techniques (I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t break anyone!) and started small. It was amazing. I could see people open up to a whole new world of possibilities before my eyes. It was gratifying, humbling, and exactly what I wanted to be doing.

3) What was the impetus for writing this book?
Not everyone knows what coaching is, or thinks they need a coach. In fact, I still dislike the term! But most everyone is open to learning from a book. I wrote this book as the first in what I hope will be a series of books about living a more authentic, creative, effective life.

4) Why do you think that we have such issues with the themes in your book?
We are not taught to be authentic. Instead, most of us are taught to be Good Girls: Not making waves, not taking up too much space, doing what others want to do so we don’t cause waves. That’s certainly how I lived the first 20-plus years of my life! I had basically no boundaries as a result, and I was miserable. We need people to not just talk about being authentic, but actually live it and then teach others to do the same — and support them along the way when things don’t go swimmingly.

5) You've said before that you have plans for another book. What is the topic of your next book? Do you have an estimated time frame for its publication?
I have several in mind. The next on the schedule is “Rock Your To-Do List” for spring 2016. It takes the topics in “FOUND” to the next step. Once you know what you want to do and who you want to be, how do you make time for that in your already-packed schedule?

6) What types of coaching programs do you offer?
I currently have three levels of coaching programs;
1. The Rebel Book Club (a great place to start!). I believe in the transformational abilities of books because I’ve seen it in my own life. If you are looking for a place to read books that will help you live a more authentic, powerful life, this is it. We read a book a month, work through exclusive thought questions and guided reading discussions, and talk about how we can implement the authors’ suggestions in our own lives. Recently, we’ve talked about “resistance” and worked through “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.
2. Living Life Louder Group Coaching. If you want to take things a step further and get a deeper dive into the monthly topics, this is the group for you. I provide all sorts of supplemental resource materials to really allow you to bring the topics alive.
3. Ready to Rock small group coaching. This group meets on a weekly basis to discuss how the changes they’re making are impacting their lives, what roadblocks they’ve encountered, and more. It’s an amazingly supportive group of women who actually hear and see each other and their potential.

7) Where can my readers get in touch with you if they're interested in your coaching programs? for more info!

Lain and I at the Scrap Happy Reunion - June 2015

I want to thank Lain for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. She is truly a phenomenal person and I truly love being one of her coaching students. She has taught me so much! Her book is amazing! If you'd like to order a copy of "FOUND", please click here!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tipsy Tuesday - Get the Details!

As memory keepers, we are entrusted with keeping our family history alive. This means that we need to get the details of days gone by from our older generations. The time is now. Don't wait to sit down with your elders and hear their stories that are captured in a single photograph. Many of those photos are in black and white and only they know if the house was blue or the car was red. We need those details to keep those memories alive and well.
One way to preserve these memories is to have them share their stories in their own handwriting. In this digital age, handwriting has become a lost art. Preserving family stories with samples of a person's handwriting is an excellent way to add a genuine family gem to your scrapbooking. 
Another way to preserve your family stories is to sit down with people and record them telling stories. Hearing someone tell a story from years ago can be a moving experience as they relive the time, place and occurrences. Voice inflections can make a story happy or sad. The art of storytelling is a dying art in our digital age of fleeting moments. Take the time to sit around at family functions and get lost in another era. You won't regret it.