9.16.2014

Why Pocket Scrapbooking Might Be For You

Pocket scrapbooking - or as you may know it as Project Life - has become pretty popular, don't you think?  I finally jumped on the train just as it was leaving the station and now I'm hooked.  I started by buying those cute little cards to add a hint of design and inspiration to my planner (hooray, this month I'm moving into my first, official Filofax!) but soon I realized that I wanted to do more with them.  So I decided to try out Pocket Scrapbooking.
I bought a bunch of different inserts from Michael's when they had a 40% off sale on paper supplies and jumped in, in the middle of August.  So far to get my feet wet I'm doing a mini-album of our relationship so far.  I crammed 1.5 years into a small, SNAP 6x8 album.  And let me tell you - I was afraid to start too big because I didn't want the pressure to fill every single space and I was afraid to start too small because I might out grow the album in a few, short pages.  For me, the 6x8 was the perfect size to jump into.  Now I think I might continue with the 6x8 size.

Scrapbooking was something I always wanted to do but never wanted to devote the time to.  I felt I wasn't creative enough to fill a whole 12x12 page.  I even tried digital scrapbooking for a while and that didn't do anything for me either.  But pocket scrapbooking seems to be perfect for me.  If you've want to scrapbook but aren't sure what to do, pocket scrapbooking might be for you - here's why:

It is a perfect blend of the ease of traditional photo albums and the creativity of scrapbooking - It really is this simple: Print photos, choose cards, slip in pockets, repeat.  You don't have to get fancy if you don't want to.  I've always loved the traditional feeling of photo albums with the plastic sleeves.  But I've also loved the twist that designing a page gives.  Pocket scrapbooking gives you the ease of both!  Cards are already designed to fit in with different themes, you can find them for free (check out my free September cards here), or even make your own.  Then all you have to do is add your photos straight from your at home printer (or you can have them printed by a 3rd party, of course) and you can have a page done in no time.  I believe the idea is to do a week at a time so in about 2-5 hours, depending on your dedication, you could have your spread done and move on.  I feel like there is less pressure to create something perfect because the idea is to capture your memories in the easiest way possible.

It appeals to the craft collector in you - I have always collected scrapbook paper just because it was pretty.  This year I wanted to use my scrapbook paper so I started off with it in my planner but now I've realized that adding the things I collect is a part of this scrapbook too.  You can add receipts, fortunes, leaves, or really anything to these pages by slipping them in the pockets.  You've got a small piece of a treasured scrapbook paper?  Throw it in there.  It adds to the design.  It gives you an excuse to collect the things you like to collect and a reason to keep them.  I've seen others do mini albums in addition to their larger albums just for certain memories - like a summer album where you put sand in a little pocket and tape it off just so you can keep that memory.  Collect all the things!

It's the easiest way to keep your memories - There is little to no stress involved...as nothing is truly permanent and nothing has to be perfect.  If you don't want to glue things down, don't.  Rearrange to your hearts content!  Don't have perfect handwriting? Even better, scribble on in there.  This is about keeping memories not perfection.  You'll be surprised how impressive your spread looks if you just go with the flow and slip in and out what you choose.  

Overall, I was surprised how much I found I liked doing pocket scrapbooking!  You can be as creative as you want to be and there's no right or wrong answer.  My favorite part has to be all the little cards you can collect and use.  They all are so pretty and they all fit great into different spreads.  Mixing and matching is fun and it takes the stress out of pulling elements together.

Do you like pocket scrapbooking?  What is your favorite part?  What sold it for you?

xoxo, Moe

9.15.2014

Make it Monday // DIY Clip on Charms + Planner Charm

If you've ever been to the craft store, walked down the few jewelry aisles, stared at all the crazy beads and charms, & wanted to take home all of them - this project is for you.  Usually when you're planning a jewelry making type of project you want to make sure you have all the same color metal findings - like all sliver chain, jump rings, and closures.  However this project for me was a teeny tine de-stash type of deal where I only bought the charms and mixing metals was what I was going for. 
Additionally, this tutorial can be used to make charms for a charm bracelet so if you're making a charm bracelet, the mixed metal gives the bracelet a more collected feel.  These charms all will have a lobster clasp to make them removable that way you can change them between bracelets, necklaces, and your planner charm

Supplies:  Assorted chains, lobster clasps, head pins, & jump rings in assorted metal colors, assorted charms, beads, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, a toggle clasp if making a bracelet

Since this project was a bit of a de-stash like I mentioned I started off with some charms/beads that I had lying around.  Eventually, to make my planner charm, I did go out to the craft store to pick up some charms that related to things I liked.  So the first step is to start there.  While I might not agree with this store's business strategy, it is the biggest craft store near me - I found the components for my planner charm at Hobby Lobby.  But of course you can go to any local craft place that has a good jewelry department or order charms online.  So first you'll want to select your charms.  I suggest selecting charms based on your interests but you can also just grab up anything that you find pretty.  If you are a hoarder of craft supplies you might already have some charms you've never used but picked up because they were on sale or pretty or whatever reason.
Some charms may have jump rings already on them but if they don't you'll want to add them.  If your charm has a jump ring you can open it and add the lobster clasp and be done.  However, this is the time to get creative with your charms:

Create a beaded cluster
To create a more interesting charm you can create a bead cluster with smaller beads.  You'll need a few jump rings in varying sizes, your needle nose pliers, and a lobster clasp.
Open a small jump ring and drop a few beaded charms.  Open up a bigger jump ring drop the smaller jump ring, another bead and your lobster clasp.  These types of charms add a lot of fill to whatever you're adding it to.

Create a drop charm
To create varying lengths for charms to add a bit of character you can create a drop charm with a bit of chain, 2 small jump rings, and your charm.
Cut a small length of chain, open a jump ring and drop an end of the chain and the charm, close the jump ring.  Open a second jump ring and drop the other end of the chain and the lobster clasp.

To create your Planner Charm
Cut a length of chain that is 2.5 inches.  Open a small jump ring and drop on the chain & lobster clasp.  This is now the base to add your charms on to.  To guage where to add your charms, clip in this chain to your planner (If you're adding to a six ring binder, like an A5 Filofax this length fits perfect for clipping on the middle ring of the bottom set of rings.  However you might need to customize the length for a 3 ring planner or a spiral bound planner).
At the very last link of the chain, add a bead cluster.  This gives the charm some weight and visually adds some finality to the charm.  Now using all the charms you made start clipping.  The drop charms come in handy as you start adding bulk with the thickness of the other charms.  The skinny chain helps to take away the bulk.
Now, of course you can create the charms to clip onto a charm bracelet - which might be more practical for a lot of you!  But if you're a crazy planner person, this DIY might come in handy too!

xoxo, Moe

9.11.2014

App Review // 3 Ways to Keep Photos Organized

So with my project life bug I've just finished an album on our first year and a half (October 2011 - December 2012) and have started a more traditional weekly layout style while I tackle 2013.  Both of these are in 6x8 SNAP albums from Simple Stories and I've found that organizing the photos is the hardest part especially if you're going back & doing previous years.  A big help has been my blog and, of course, Instagram but having to flip through post after post after post to categorize has gotten a bit tedious & a lot bit confusing.  I started surfing around to find some ways to organize my photos while I'm consciously documenting for 2014 and ways to organize photos from years previous.  Here are a few apps, online tools, and suggestions I've seen:
Instaport - If you're trying find a way to export all of your Instagram photos from previous years this website is pretty handy.  The site claims that you can export photos within a time frame, however when I tried that I got a .zip file of all my photos from the start date up until the current date.  It's not too bad because the file names are in the style of 2013-04-09 with the date first, the month, then they day and they automatically are in order by date.  I just went through and grouped the photos by week into folders and imported into Picasa.  Oh....and Instaport is free, though there is an option to donate.
Collect App -  This is an app that is great if you are currently trying to collect your photos for project life.  You can set it to prompt you to add photos to your calendar by day so you always remember.  The plus side of this app is that you can add multiple photos per day - perfect if you're not just focusing on your Instagram feed.  There's also an option to journal on with your photo and an in app purchase lets you change the design/font.  Another plus side is that you can add to albums - so if you're working on different physical albums for different things you can easily sort & print.  High quality photos are saved in the app so they stay there after you clean your camera roll.  Oh...this one is free too!

Creating a Weekly Marker - This one isn't really an app or a website but a tool you can create for yourself when going back through your Instagram photos whether on your phone or on Instagram online.  Using some fun design apps like the A Beautiful Mess app, Rhonna Designs app, Phoster, Phonto, or PicsArt you can create a nice weekly marker to post to Instagram however you divide your weeks.  For instance, post on Monday if that is the start of your week to show you where your photos for a specific week begin.  This separates the weeks out for you if you're looking back to see what was going on that week.

Of course, if you keep all your photos on your phone and are caught up with project life the Camera Roll on your iPhone offers a little bit of organization under the Photos tab if you back out until you see Collections.  They are organized by day/week....hopefully I'll get to this point next year!

How do you organize you past & present photos for scrapbooking?

xoxo, Moe