My 2015 Scrapping Project & Goals

You all know how much I loved my Daily Life Project, right?  I've been thinking about what I'm going to do in 2015 for the last month or so. Since I loved scrapping the double pages each week I'm going to keep up with that goal but in different sort of style. There were a few things I sort of wish I would have included on my Daily Life Templates: spots for little bits of journaling (instead of one big chunk), spots for all those pretty journal cards you see out there, more variety in photo size, and fuller filled pages. I think I've come up with the perfect style of templates for this project. They are easy to use, hold variety of sizes for photos and journaling cards, and have little bits of journaling spots around the template. The first set will be releasing tomorrow. 

How am I going to print this year, you ask?

While I love photo albums, and that's what I plan to do with my Daily Life 2014 Album, this year I'm planning on trying something else out. Since my kids look at my albums a lot and it's been so hard waiting to order pages for a whole year, I've decided to go back to a more traditional approach.

I purchased this Classic Leather Ring 12x12 Ring Album at Michaels. It's the We R Memory Keepers version, and I plan on printing my individual pages from Persnickety Prints and sliding them in the 12x12 page protectors.
I think it will hold up to the wear and tear of kids. Plus I can order my pages throughout the year. The only downside to this is that it will take up a lot of space on my shelf, but I'll make room.

I'm excited about this project because it's doable. I was able to keep up with my 2014 album, and I know I can keep up with this. Plus I'm excited that the style is going to be just a little different than last year.

That's not all I have planned. Want to hear about my two other goals? Well, I'm going to tell you even if you don't want to....because I need someone to be accountable to.

I'm planning on scrapping a calendar page each month so that at the end of the year I have a calendar all ready to order! I also have some special templates planned for this. Plus, I believe there's going to be a special Scrap Orchard challenge going on for this. This calendar thing wasn't my idea, but I loved it so I'm participating. (I'll keep you posted on the challenge)

Then my final goal is to finish Matthew's Album. My goal is to scrap 2 pages a week until his album is done. This is the one that might be challenging....but I'm going to try. He needs an album on the shelf.

Let's recap.


1. Scrap a double page each week of 2015.

2. Scrap a calendar page each month.

3. Finish Matthew's Album.


1. Set aside a specific time to scrap every week. Probably Saturday night. I think I can accomplish 4-5 pages during that time.

2. Have my kit and templates ready ahead of time.

3. Turn of the internet.


1. It keeps my sane. Scrapping is my down time.

2. My kids need the albums.

3. Do I need any other reasons?

Let's do this thing. Who's with me?

P.S. I'll be sharing my pages each week with you again.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Scrapbook Card
Tell Me About It Templates II by Scrapping with Liz
Merry Little Christmas by Juno Designs

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! My sister tried to get a family picture for us, but let's just say Mommy was making a funky face and Daddy was closing his eyes. No fault of my sisters. I'm all to blame. ;) But I'm happy to have this picture of all my children and just a few highlights of our year on this card.

I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I know I've said it before but you guys are such a blessing to my family. I can't imagine my life without this little business and way of memory keeping.

So, have a wonderful day. Take lots of pictures. Enjoy your family. Scrap lots of pages!

Daily Life Week 50: Page and FREEBIE

Daily Life Templates 13 by Scrapping with Liz
Free Snuggles by Bella Gypsy

I am so glad week 50 is over! We had a rough week around here. Lots of sickness. But it's okay because we had some good moments as well...and it's a brand new week and everyone is on the mend.

So, read more about our week below and make sure you grab the free journal card.

Journaling: What a week of sickness it’s been. Both Matthew and Lydia were sick all week.
Mommy was also down and out with an abscessed tooth. There were lots of snuggles and couch time going on.
    The older girls spent a lot of time in the newly arranged basement making Christmas gifts for people. 
    It was a tough week of sickness but it was a blessing in disguise. Matthew learned how a family loves each other in sickness and in health. Many times throughout the week he pointed to everyone and signed ‘love’.

Journaling: It was time for Emmie and Ashlyn to change their earrings. They were so excited.

Lots of playing with blocks and playing games went on this week!

And here's your journal card freebie! Do you think it looks like a Christmas tree?

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Daily Life Week 49

Daily Life Templates 13 by Scrapping with Liz
Happy Christmas Bundle by Bella Gypsy

I hope you all had fun shopping during my 50% off sale. Thank you all so much for being wonderful customers!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here and so are my scrapbook pages. I'm lovin' it. As the anticipation builds around her for Christmas Day my anticipation for finishing, ordering and receiving my 2014 Daily Life Album is also growing. Eeeek!

You can take a closer look at our week below and make sure to grab the free journal card template while you are at it.

Journaling: So many Christmassy things going on this week. We started by decorating our house. We watched The Grinch one afternoon after school work was done. I caught Kyla doing a little photog shoot with the Little People Nativity. We had a fun co-op Christmas party. Ashlyn performed at her Winter Piano Recital...she’s doing great with her new teacher. We were part of the Clayton Christmas Parade. The kids thought it as fantastic that we got to wear our jammies out and about....they were our costumes for the parade. It’s so fun experiencing all of these Christmassy things with Matthew for the first time. Everything is so new and exciting to him.

Here's your journal card!

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More Pages...Stars, River & Almost There

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 6 by Scrapping with Liz
Star Quality by Down This Road Designs

I'm almost there, to the moment we first met Matthew. I think once I get to scrapping those photos I won't want to stop. These are my most recently scrapped pages of our trip to China to bring Matthew home.

Our girls were quite popular in China. It's quite rare to see American children. People would stop us all over the place to snap pictures with the girls. I think the girls actually liked it. ;)

Lots of Blocks Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Star Quality by Down This Road Designs

We took a boat ride the night before we were to meet Matthew. I think the look on Shawn's face says it all. It's hard to enjoy such an amazing moment when all you can think about is the son you are about to meet.

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 7 by Scrapping with Liz
Best Place to Be by Juno Designs
Must Watch Templates by Scrapping with Liz

And this last page are of photos taken just hours before we met Matthew. All of them (except one) were taken with our phones. Can you tell which one is the DSLR photo? Even though the pictures aren't that great I still wanted to capture and remember these moments.

Hopefully it won't be too long before I share my next batch of pages...and Matthew will be in them!

Daily Life Week 48: Road Trip!

Daily Life Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Must Watch Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Kraft Paper Pack by Etc. by Danyale
Best Place to Be by Juno Designs

Week 48 was a whirlwind and looking through my pictures at the end of the week proved it. We went on a road trip which included everything from doc appointments, beach time, picnic lunches, visiting family, 4 states, over 30 hours in the van and LOTS of card games. It was hard picking out the pictures that I wanted to highlight on my Week 48 page, and while I wanted to include at least 5 more pictures I'm happy with the end result and I think it shows a good picture of what went on. You can read more about it below.

Make sure you grab the free journal card template this week too.

Journaling: This week we took a little road trip. Our first stop was UNC, Chapel Hill for some doc appointments. The kids were good sports for the 7 hours we spent going to and from appointments. Then our next stop was Savannah, Georgia. We visited the Georgia Railroad Museum while we were there. We had lots of picnic meals (cheapest and easiest way to eat while traveling with 5 kids). Then our next stop was to visit family in Florida. Of course we had to go for a ride on Papa’s golf cart.

Journaling: We also made sure Matthew got to see the beach even though it was freezing cold. He loved spelling his name in the sand. We spent LOTS of time playing card games at Aunt Shannon and Uncle CJ’s house. The kids also enjoyed playing on the hammock a lot. It was nice taking a break from the normal schedule. 

And here's your journal card template. Can you believe we only have 4 more weeks of this project?!?

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Daily Life Week 47: Almost No Photos!

Daily Life Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Thankful by mle Card and Tracie Stroud
Kraft Paper Pack by Etc. by Danyale
Must Watch Templates by Scrapping with Liz

I almost forgot to take pictures last week. It was just one of those crazy weeks where I just didn't pick up my camera or even really use my phone a whole lot. I think I just had too much on my mind! We were getting ready for a big trip, lots of doc appointments and I was trying to finish up school with the kids so we could take a week off. I did manage to put together enough for a page. I did replace one of the spots with a QR code.

This week, though, we are visiting family in Florida (by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!) and I've already taken enough pictures to fill a whole album. It's going to be tough figuring out what to put on my weekly page.

Anyway, I'll let you read about last week below. Make sure you grab the free journal card template.

Journaling: This week was kind of normal with some special stuff thrown in. Here’s a photo at the grocery store as we were checking out (pretty normal). I have a lot of little helpers. I took a photo of me scrapping (it’s sort of what I do for fun!) I’m trying hard to work on Matthew’s album. It’s what I do if the work is done and the kids are in bed. Ashlyn and Emmie babysat a couple of kids this week. I just love this pic I snapped of Emmie looking over the baby. She was definitely in her element.

Journaling: Lydia almost always grabs a book and ‘reads’ first thing in the morning. I love it.
We had an early Thanksgiving meal at Grandma’s house which also included taking family photos. Here’s a sneak peek at all the cousins and an accidental picture of Shawn and Matthew that I happen to love. We also attended a Borrower’s b-day party. The girls had so much fun making their own little Borrower’s homes out of shoe boxes and misc. household items. They came home and decorated it even more.

Here's your free journal card templates. 

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Just thought I would share some of my pages....

I've been trying to pump out pages for Matthew's album, and I thought I would show you what I've worked on since the last time I shared his pages.

Let's get started.

Okay, to be honest, I got a little sidetracked. Mostly by these templates (Zine Style Templates 1 and Zine Style Templates 2) and then the pictures I took last winter....before Matthew. I had been dying to work with these new templates and so I took a little detour and found the perfect pictures and scrapped these pages, which will be a double page layout in the album. I would have scrapped some of Matthew's photos with them but I'm trying to keep a cohesive look to his album and I'm sticking with my Double Monthly Challenge Templates.

I just love how they turned I had to show you.

Zine Style Templates 1 by Scrapping with Liz
Snowflake Dreams by Tickled Pink Studio

Zine Style Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Snowflake Dreams by Tickled Pink Studio

Okay, now to Matthew's pages. In these first few pages we are still visiting Beijing...but of course all I could think about was how our son would be in our arms in just two short days.

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 9 by Scrapping with Liz
Good Fortune Awaits by Meredith Cardall Designs

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 9 by Scrapping with Liz
Good Fortune Awaits by Meredith Cardall Designs

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Big Sibling Adoption by mle Card
Chinese Takeout by mle Card

 Then it was time to move on to Nanjing, the province where he is from. We were so ready.

Obviously I'm loving polka dot backgrounds.

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 9 by Scrapping with Liz
Summer Adventures Gotta Getaway by Bella Gypsy Designs

 Then it was time to explore the city a bit. Such a big city with some fun scenes.
Double Monthly Challenge Templates 8 by Scrapping with Liz
In the City by SO Designers

I have two pages in the works right now of some of the things we did that night before we would get Matthew...and then it will be time to scrap pictures with him. I can't wait!


Week 46: Playing, Reading, Surgery & More!

Daily Life Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Snap Happy by Bella Gypsy Designs

I know, I know. I used way too many QR codes on my page this week...but there were just too many cute videos to go along with the pictures. Maybe I'll have to start combining the videos and just making one QR code for the week.

I'll let you read about our week below and make sure you grab the free journal card template too...and watch the videos if you want to.

Journaling: This is what our days usually look like....lots of playing and reading. Our living room and dining room are often a maze of train tacks, buildings, Lincoln Logs and more. This week the kids looked at their scrapbooks quite a bit. It’s one of Lydia’s favorite things to do. She usually looks through them once a week. Everyone joined in this week.

Journaling: Matthew had to have dental surgery (too many years of poor nutrition and poor dental hygiene).  He was such a trooper. He woke up smiling and never complained. We spent Saturday morning raking leaves. We always have lots of leaves in the fall. After raking leaves we visited Grandma and Grandpa for a bit. Grandpa took the kids for a 4-wheeler ride. At one point all the kids piled on...don’t worry, they only went for a very short ride. We also finally finished Kyla’s apron. We’ve been working on it for almost 5 months! She’s worn it every day since we finished it.

Click the image to download. 
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How Scrapbooks Help My Kids

This happened last weekend:

It happens frequently at my house.

I thought I would share with you how looking at these scrapbooks helps my kids, namely my two adopted children...and especially my deaf son.

My daughter, home 2 years, loves to pull out her scrapbook and look at her story. She has her own scrapbook just like her sisters. She knows her story is special. She knows she belongs to our family and always will, and her scrapbook helps her see it. Plus, she loves to see pictures of herself! :)

My son, home 4 months, doesn't have a scrapbook yet. But he will! He likes to watch me create pages for his scrapbook. In fact, after the above transpired, he came over and sat on my lap and we looked at his pages together on my computer. He knows he has a special story too. He knows he has a special place in our family.

Scrapbooks have also helped explain things to our son. We can tell him all about people he doesn't know through the pictures and stories in the scrapbook. We can explain to him what special events are like birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, vacation, etc. Whenever we start trying to explain to him a new concept, something that we've done before or are going to be doing again soon, we can pull out the scrapbooks and sign and explain things to him. It's quite amazing. I never dreamed that scrapbooks would help us like this.

Who knew that when I began scrapbooking over 10 years ago that it would mean this much to my family?

How do scrapbooks help your family?

Week 45: Sign, Plays and Birthdays!

Daily Life Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Count Your Blessings by Bella Gypsy
It's All Good Alpha by Bella Gypsy
Krafty Paper Bundle by Happy Scrap Girl

I can't believe I just got finished scrapping our first week of November. That means I have less than two months left of this project. I think I'm going to miss scrapping these weekly pages. Actually, I'm already thinking about what I might do for next year. Anybody have any ideas?

I'll let you read about our week below, if you want to. Make sure you grab the free journal card template.

Journaling: So, this week we practiced ASL (always practicing), went to a school Cirque performance (which everyone loved!), Matthew showed me how strong he is (he’s always reminding me how strong he is), and we went to an event in Asheville where we met some other families with adopted deaf children. Emmie made a new friend. She sat down with her and signed away with her....telling her how beautiful she was. Emmie has so much compassion for others, it amazes me.

Journaling: We finally had time to have family over to celebrate Emmie’s 10th birthday. Ashlyn and Emmie made cupcakes together. Vanilla, with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting and little dolphins and starfish made out of fondant. I did let Emmie have a cup of coffee on her birthday. Occasionally she’ll take sips of my coffee and she always asks for her own. I kept telling her that she could have her very own cup on her 10th birthday. She drank every last sip of it.

And here's your journal card template.
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I'm in the Digi Files!

In case you haven't heard I'm featured in the Daily Digi this month. If you aren't familiar with the Daily Digi you should be.  They have daily posts including everything from tips, tutorials, inspiration and more. Basically everything to do with digital scrapbooking. Win!

Make sure to listen to my little podcast with Steph. I must admit that my mind went blank when she asked me about fonts. Maybe I'll write up a little blog post of my favorite title fonts for you all...when I have time to think and process. ;)

You can listen below, download here or subscribe in iTunes.

I know the giveaway is over but you can still go on over there and read my feature, get some awesome inspiration from their team and grab the special coupon I have for the Daily Digi readers.


Week 44: Snow, Home and Piercings!

Daily Life Templates 11 by Scrapping with Liz
Best Place to Be by Juno Designs

Since I journaled a lot on my pages this week, I'll just let you read about our week below. Don't forget to grab the free journal card template too!

Journaling: Can you believe there was snow this week? The kids woke up on Saturday morning and there was a little tiny bit of snow on the ground and the flakes were still coming down. Above is a somewhat staged photo of them trying to catch the flakes (Daddy took it). 
   I also snapped a few photos of normal, everyday things around here. Breakfast at the counter, school at the table and Tuesday night guitar lessons with Daddy. This is really what our life looks like on a day-to-day basis. 

Journaling: Look at her face. She just looks so adorable bundled up. We had our first really cold spell this week (along with the snow). So far the kids are loving getting bundled up and playing out side. Mom, not so much. It makes too much extra laundry.
  We celebrated Emmie’s birthday a couple days early. She wanted to get her ears pierced. Daddy gave her permission, so off her and I went to Wal-Mart. It took only a few minutes. When we got home she told Ashlyn that ‘it didn’t hurt at all!' She talked Ashlyn into getting hers pierced too. Since Ashlyn had her own money and said she would pay for it herself, I took them both back and Ashlyn got hers pierced.
   Below is a picture of what Matthew likes doing best. He like to build trains tracks and cities. He gets a lot of help from his sisters. On this particular track he got help from his cousin Joe who came to play one afternoon.

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Week 43: Pumpkin Roll, Climbing Trees and More!

Daily Life Templates 11 by Scrapping with Liz
Grateful for this Day by Bella Gypsy

It's beginning to look a lot like fall and so are my pages! Aren't the colors gorgeous? I'm just loving all the fall kits I'm seeing around digi-land.

We enjoyed some fall things this week like our local Pumpkin festival, climbing trees and lots of playing outside (it's gorgeous here). Take a closer look below and don't forget to grab the free journal card template. Oh and don't forget about the BIG SALE going on at Scrap Orchard.

Journaling: I’m going to start backwards this week with photos. Saturday was Pumpkin Fest. We picked 5 pumpkins for 5 kids and rolled 5 pumpkins down a big hill. #fun We enjoyed all the town festivities and of course we had to get some “fair” food. You can see in the picture below Lydia’s love of popcorn. She couldn’t wait to dig in. Friday night we let all the kids sleep in the same room and they all ready books to each other. Be still my heart.

Every morning when I cook breakfast I have at least 1 or 2, maybe 3 or 4, sometimes 5 kids who want to help me. This morning I let Emmie and Kyla be my helpers. They wanted to make the pancakes all by themselves They did a pretty good job.

Journaling: See that photo at the top left? Notice the kitty cat in the background? She wandered into our yard and has become Mitten ‘the kitten’ Albers. You can see how excited Lydia is about her. The left photo is just a glimpse into our afternoon. School, blocks and more school work. In the photo above, Kyla was very determined to climb that tree. She did it! And when I grabbed my camera Matthew thought I was taking a photo of him! 

Here's your free journal card template! 

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Washi Tape Tutorial: Make Your Own Washi Clipping Mask

 Using Across the Miles by Tracie Stroud and Amber Shaw with my Washi Tape clipping mask.

I love Washi Tape, in real life and in digi (especially in digi). Whenever I download a kit and it has Washi tape included I know it will be going on my page. Sometimes, though, it's not in the kit. No worries though. I easily make my own washi tape clipping mask where I can clip any paper from the kit onto it. What's nice about that is that I can make any size or shape that I want to! Some of my templates even have Washi clipping masks already included.

Just in case you don't have Washi Tape in the kit you are working with, or there's none on the template, I thought I would show you how you can quickly make your own Washi clipping mask. Yay!

Let's begin. By the way, I'm using Photoshop CS3. I think this would be the same in Photoshop Elements.

1. Open a new canvas (I'm using a white background so you can see the shape better) and click on the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
2. Make your desired Washi Shape tape with the tool. Go big, go small, go skinny, go fat, go long, go short, etc... See all the options! You can hold down shift to get a straight edge.

3. Use the paint bucket tool to fill your shape (any color will do).
4. Paint shape.

5. Set your layer styles by click on the layer in your layer palette.  You can see my settings above.

6. Set opacity of layer. I usually go around 80% to make it a little transparent.

7. Ta-dah! You are ready to use your clipping mask. You can drag it to the page you are working on or you could make it right on your page, just make sure you paint it on a new layer. I love clipping patterned paper to my Washi masks. I usually tweak my shadow styles after I see how the Washi mask looks with the paper clipped to it.

And yes, that tape above is a little different than the shape I made for the tutorial. It was actually already included in Artsy Journal Templates 4. See all those wonderful Washi Tape clipping masks in this set?

Now you can go make your own!


© Scrapping with Liz
Maira Gall