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February 28, 2014

Week 8: Hiking, Bike Rides & Fun

Daily Life Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Joy by Forever Joy Designs
Basics: Timekeeping by Forever Joy Designs
8 weeks worth of pages done, and I'm still loving this project. I'm having a lot of fun taking more pictures with my DSLR, and even more fun when I sit down at the end of the week to look at them and scrap them.

Photo tip of the week: When you are taking pictures during the week make sure to take some everyday pictures. I almost forgot to take some this week as we did so many extra activities that aren't everyday things....like hiking 4 miles and seeing waterfalls (although I wish they could be every day activities).

Scrapping tip of the week: Don't be afraid to add a photo or journaling spot to your template if you need to. I had to on this particular page because I just had to use all of the photos you see. I narrowed it down quite a bit, but I really wanted to include all the ones that are on the page. I have a tutorial here that will show you how to add a photo spot, and you can see how to add a text box here.


Journaling:
What a difference a week can make. Last week it was snowing and this week it was in the 60’s! We spent lots of time outside. We went on two hikes. One to Anna Ruby Falls and one on the Bartram Trail. It was our first 4 mile hike of the season, and we are looking forward to a lot more....as we were hiking we thought about Matthew (we do a lot of that) and wondered if he would enjoy hiking. We also went for a bike ride with the cousins and climbed mulch piles on the Greenway. Daddy also took Kyla on her Valentine’s Lunch Date. Each of the girls got a coupon to go out to lunch with Daddy. Kyla was the first to turn hers in...and she chose Zaxby’s. 

The two older girls love helping me in the kitchen and have really begun to be a big help. You can find them every night either cutting something up, frying something up or setting the table. We really enjoy cooking together. Then on Friday night Daddy had to work so we had a girls night complete with memory match & puzzle making.


And here is your freebie for this week. Just click on the image to download. I had way too many photos to use this in my page this week....but maybe you can use it.


-Liz

February 26, 2014

Combining Number Templates: A Tutorial


I just recently released these Number Templates. I put together a little video tutorial showing you how to combine these to make any number you want. The possibilities are endless! I do have a super old written tutorial here if you would rather read through it. Look at those templates! Speaking of which, I do have plans to make some more updated number and alphabet templates so you'll have lots to choose from.

Here goes! I'm using Photoshop CS3 but the same techniques should be able to work on all versions of Photoshop.


-Liz


February 25, 2014

ABC Album: Inspiration & Review


Recently I released my A-Z Templates. A couple of my Creative Team Members put together albums for their children. I printed them for my team members because I wanted to see them close up, and I wanted to test out the Shutterfly lay flat albums. Plus they worked so hard on their pages I thought they deserved an album. 

Here is the bundle. 


On to the books. The first one you see here is Donna's. I ordered an 8x8, hard cover, lay flat book with 26 pages. Shutterfly was having a sale last week. I saved 50%, and I received free shipping. The book cost me a total of $39.06. It was super easy to upload and order. I would definitely hold out for a sale or a coupon. They seem to have them frequently.

You'll notice first off that the front cover is off center. I talked to Donna about it, and she said her Shutterfly covers are usually off center. I would say that this is the one and only thing I did not like about the book. The quality and color of the pages were great.

All of the digital scrapbook paper and elements you see in the pages came from Scrap Orchard.
Here is the cover of Christine's page. I ordered the same 8x8, hard cover, lay flat book with 26 pages. I paid an extra $5 for the Matte finish. I wanted to test it out and see if it was worth it. Honestly I like the look of both. I guess you just have to decide if you like the glossy look or not.


You'll also notice that on the cover of Christine's book you can see the line where her digi-paper ends. Donna chose to go with a solid white background, and I think this is the reason why.


Here is the first page of Donna's book. When you open the Shutterfly book the very first page is white.


Here's the second page. I just love the color quality here.


More pages. They are seamless and you don't lose anything on the edges.




Here's the first page of Christine's book. It is awesome!




Then on the very back page you have the Shutterfly logo.


This is the back of Donna's page. You'll also notice that she made a title for the spine. You can make a back, spine and cover page. They all worked well because she chose the solid white background.


Here's what the binding look like.


And here's what it looks like opened up.


Overall I think the books turned out great. I think their families are really going to enjoy flipping through the pages and seeing the Alphabet in a personalized way.

I also have another set of Alphabet Templates in my store that you might want to check out, and you can see them in action here and here.

If you need ideas for your ABC pages here is a great list of ABC resources.

Hope that gives you some ideas!
-Liz

* There are affiliate links in this blog post. All opinions are my own.

February 22, 2014

Waiting!

Template Coming Soon!
Across the Miles by Tracie Stroud and Amber Shaw


Every once in a while I'll get in the mood to scrap a more "artsy" type of page. Sometimes a song speaks to me. The words are almost exactly what I'm feeling. Since I'm not that great of a writer, and I can't always articulate what I'm feeling I'll use the song as a basis for my art journal page. The song, The Waiting by Jamie Grace, came on one day after my oldest daughter had just bought her new album (she loves Jamie Grace!). I immediately looked up the lyrics and knew they were exactly what I had been feeling: 

What will it look like?
What will it be like?
When my world turns out like You planned
When will I get there? 
.........
I anxiously wait
As I hold on to love that won’t ever let go
And in these times when my patience is tested
Won’t you remind me that I’m not alone
Here in the waiting
The waiting.....

I'm waiting for my boy, wondering what it's going to be like, a little afraid of what it's going to be like....getting a little anxious as I wait daily to hear news about our letter of approval. We were told we could possibly get it in February. The days are ticking by.

I know I'm not alone. God is right there beside me...and He's also been gracious enough to give me friends who are going through the same thing as me. 

Do you remember Matthew's friends?
Folded Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Friends Bundle by Bella Gypsy Designs
I've gotten to know a couple of the moms and needless to say we are all anxious to bring our boys home. They've given me permission to share their photos here and to link you up to their blogs and fundraisers. Two of the families are still raising funds to bring their boys home. The Krinke family is bringing Ty home (the little boy in the bottom right picture with Matthew). Please consider donating some money to help their family. Then the Hoppes family is bringing home PJ (he's the little boy on the very left on the top photo and then right next to Matthew in the middle photo). They have a fundraiser here.

I know this is a digital scrapbooking blog, but it's also a place for me to share my personal scrapbook pages and stories. You all have been such an incredible blessing to my family...and I'm hoping to be a blessing these two families by sharing their fundraising pages.

I'll be sure to let you know as soon as we get our letter of approval!
-Liz

February 21, 2014

Daily Life: Week 7

Daily Life Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Life Collection by Tickled Pink Studio and Megan Turnidge
A big snow storm, Olympics and play (and some school work thrown in there), that is what this week consisted of. I'm glad this week's template had a lot of photo spots because I took a LOT of photos. I really had a hard time going through my pictures trying to pick out the ones I should use for this week. Now that I've finished my page I'm happy with the ones I chose. They really show what our week was like.

I have a few tips for this week.

1. Don't be afraid to add text on top of your photos. I did that on two of my photos here because I felt like they needed a little more explaining. I like the look of it, and I'll probably be doing it some more on my future Daily Life pages.

2. Make sure to include pictures of everyone in the family, including yourself. My husband is great at picking up the camera and taking pictures of me...even when I don't want him to! This week you get a picture of me sledding in the snow with Lydia. It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I'll have this memory to share with Lydia.


Journaling:
We had a big snow storm this week. There was a lot of playing in the snow & hot chocolate! The 2014 Winter Olympics are also going on, and we had to have a special “Olympic” snack while we watched some of the events. Garrison came over to play with Kyla. They are the cutest little buddies....especially when they play headbanz. Emmie has been learning to play the djembe, & she got to practice with the family one night when we had worship time at home. Kyla has spent a lot of time lately building with the blocks we got from Grandpa for Christmas. We also finished a 500 piece puzzle this week while being snowed in. Emmie has recently discovered the joy of reading....especially in the sunny spots in the house.



Before I leave today, here is this week's Daily Life: Journal Card 7 freebie. I hope you are enjoying these. Just click the image to download and don't forget to grab the rest.


-Liz

February 19, 2014

Make Your Own Text Boxes: Video Tutorial

I love adding journaling to my pages. In fact, I try to include a journaling spot in all of my templates just in case you want to add journaling to your pages. They are easily deleted if you aren't a journaler. Sometimes though, the template might not have a journaling spot or you need some more journaling space. This is where text boxes can come in handy. I love making my own text boxes in just the shape I need. I'm going to show you very quickly in this video tutorial how you can make your own text box. Unfortunately this will only work in the full version of Photoshop, not elements. BUT that is why I try to include all shapes of text boxes on my templates. If they are are created in the full version of Photoshop then elements users can use them. All of the text boxes on my templates are usable in Photoshop Elements.

I'm using Photoshop CS3 in this tutorial, but I believe the technique is similar in all of the full versions of Photoshop.


Here's an example of the finished text box. It actually worked perfectly on this Daily Life page.

Currently by Amber Shaw
Daily Life Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Hope that helps!
-Liz

February 14, 2014

Week 6: Practice Makes Perfect

Daily Life Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Captured by Ziggle Designs
Maybe not perfect, but a little bit easier every time. This is my sixth Daily Life page, and it's definitely getting easier. I can see a pattern forming in how I create my pages. It made week six a breeze to scrap.

1. I look at the template. Check out the photo spots, and then pick pictures accordingly. Trying to focus on the shots that will tell the whole story.
2. I edit my photos. Recently I've been taking them all in RAW mode. I tend to go through moods with just taking JPEG or RAW...or both. Since I'm taking a photo class right now I've been taking them in RAW just to be able to edit my pictures a big better.  I edit them in Adobe Camera Raw (still wanting to learn Lightroom).
3. I open my template and place all my pics on the template.
4. I pick out my kit, one that I think will go well with the pictures.
5. I place my papers on my page.
6. I pick out just a couple elements. I've noticed that I usually choose a couple of buttons, a flower, 1 ribbon or bow and then maybe a word art strip. Now that I've realized what I really like to use on these pages I know exactly what to look for in the kit when I open it up. I grab those items and drag them into Photoshop.
7. I move them around until they are just right and then add some shadowing. I've been tweaking only the shadows on my flowers and ribbons.
8. Add journaling, check journaling multiple times only to find that once I post it here on my blog I still have typos. Ugh. Go back, fix my page and re-post. This happens almost every week.
9. Save and done!

This whole process, from choosing and editing my photos to finishing my page usually takes about one hour. For going through a weeks worth of photos and narrowing it down to just a few, scrapping a double page, and adding a decent amount of journaling (this always takes me a long time for some reason) I think that's not too bad. Knowing that I'm currently caught up with my 2014 album really makes it worth it!


Journaling Left Page:
This week all the girls (except for Momma) got hair cuts. Emmie opted for the short bob. Lydia, Ashlyn, and Kyla just got a trim because they’ve been trying to grow their hair out. While they were getting their haircuts I was able to practice taking photos with my camera. I’ve been taking an on-line photo class, and I rarely have time to really practice the new techniques I’m learning. This was the perfect opportunity. The girls were occupied, the lighting was good, and I could take my time changing the settings on my camera. I still have a lot to learn.



Journaling Right Page:
The top left photo is Lydia dressed up as a “priest” in our co-op class. We were re-enacting a medieval wedding. I don’t think she knew what to do! The picture to the right is of the girls after they had gathered eggs from our neighbor’s chicken coop. They let us come and gather eggs while they were away from the week. What an experience that was! We enjoyed a “warmer” day and went for a bike ride. And the bottom right is a picture of Kyla with the mixing bowl. We were mixing up some brownies for our afternoon snack.

And here's your Daily Life Journal Card for the week. It's perfect for today, right?


Happy Valentine's Day!
-Liz

February 12, 2014

Guides: A Video Tutorial & FREEBIE


A couple of weeks ago I shared with you how I print my pages. I talked a little bit about guides and why you might want to use them, and then I linked you up to Jenn's post here. I thought it might be helpful to walk you through it with a short video tutorial, and then I thought it might be even more helpful to give you some templates that already have guides build into them. Elements users can not set their own guides, but they can use pre-made templates with guides. So, if you are an elements (or even a full version photoshop user and you just don't want to set up your own guides) user just grab the freebie below. Make sure you grab your page or your template, and place it on the guided template (there's a little tip on how to do this in the video) so that you can see the guides on your page. You'll want to keep everything important inside the blue lines (like Jenn mentioned in her post). It'll keep everything safe and secure from being chopped off in the printing process.

I'm using guides now on all of my Daily Life pages because I do intend to make a layflat book with it so I'll want to be extra careful about my edges.


Here are the free template guides. Just click the image to download. Make sure to drag or duplicate the template you are using onto these templates so that you can see the blue guides.


Hope this helps keep your pages safe for printing.
-Liz

February 9, 2014

Valentine's: Chalkboard & Journal Cards



Hello all! I'm here with a special Sunday post just because I wanted to show you my Valentine's Day Chalkboard and some journal cards I made for the special day.

For this month's chalkboard I actually just doodled a design on 8.5x11 paper and drew it on the chalkboard. So this is probably my most free form chalkboard yet. I usually take ideas from pinterest or type something up in Photoshop, but I think I was being a bit lazy and just wanted to get it done. Take a look at last year's Valentine's Chalkboard here. I think I like this years better.


Here are some different "journal cards" I made with my new set of Journal Card Templates. I needed some Valentine's Cards and these worked perfectly. I used kits from Scrap Orchard (more details below) and printed them at Persnickety Prints. They have a journal card printing option that I love. They are perfect for non-photo prints. You can even have them cut the corners to be rounded. I opted to do it myself on one of the cards since I have a nifty corner rounder cutter.


I made this for the Grandparents and such. It was the most recent (decent) photo I could find of all 4 of my kids together...I really need to work on that.

In Love Journal Card Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Using Paper from Everyday Joy by Forever Joy Designs
 Then I made this for my kids to give to a few of their friends. We'll probably tape some candy to the back or something. Can you tell that I've really thought through this? Not really, I'm always sort of winging it.

In Love Journal Card Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Bee Mine by mle Card Designs
Then I made these to take to our local nursing home and pass out. We might tape something to the back of these to...just to get the girls more involved.

In Love Journal Card Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Retired Scrap Orchard Mega Kit from February 2013
Amber Shawn and Tinkled Pink Design have these awesome coupons in their store, and I ordered some 3x4 prints of these for my hubby to give to our girls on Valentine's Day. They'll get one special lunch date with Daddy.

Love You More {Love Coupons} by Amber Shawn and Tickled Pink Studio
Do you ever make homemade digi cards? It's a lot of fun!
-Liz

February 8, 2014

Favorite Food...Passing Time

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Chinese Takeout by mle Card Designs
Cooking Time by Kristin Aagard Designs
One of my most favorite foods while we were in China were these custard filled steamed buns. They were so delicious. In fact, the last day we were in Shanghai I ate three for breakfast because I thought that I might never have anything so wonderful again in my life.

I've since tried to recreate them at home. I'm no bread baker, and so I've resorted to buying refrigerated dough...you know the kind that comes in the cans? I think they work great, and they don't really taste all that different then bao (steamed bun). You can fill bao with anything...meat, bean paste, etc...but I especially like the sweet, custardy filled bao. I've tried a few different filling recipes, and this one has been my favorite. I tweeked it just a little bit from the original recipes that I found here from Viet World Kitchen. I used less corn starch because I wanted it to be a little gooeyer in the middle.

After making the filling, flatten each dough piece, and wrap a tablespoon of filling into each piece of dough. Wrap it up, place in a bamboo steamer (I put them on top of a damp paper towel to keep them from sticking), place lid on top along with a kitchen towel (to keep the steam in), and place over a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Once they are done just take them off and eat...maybe letting them cool for a minute or two, if you can wait. They are the best when they are warm and the filling is a little gooey.

I scrapped the page above as part of my SwL Group Challenge for February: scrap a food you love. I think it's apparent that I'm dreaming of China. Maybe it's because there is a certain little boy over there who is waiting for us to come and bring him home. Scrapping pages like this helps me pass the time.

-Liz




February 7, 2014

Daily Life Week 5: Fun Times

Currently by Amber Shaw
Daily Life Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
It's amazing how, each week, these templates work perfectly for the pictures I've taken during the week. I did edit the journaling spot on the right hand of the template as I needed more space for journaling. I have a video tutorial coming up that will show you how to make your own custom journaling box...keep an eye out for it!

In the meantime read about our week below. Lots of fun times!

Journaling on left page:
   This week was the week of the “big” unexpected snow storm. The second morning of the snow on the ground I woke up to find the stuffed animals gazing out upon the snow. Later on the girls got bundled up & played outside. Ashlyn stirred up some snow cream for everyone to eat. Fun times! 


 Journaling on right page:
   One of Lydia’s favorite things right now is playing memory match. We play every day....sometimes multiple times a day. I’m amazed at how good she is at it.
   You’ll see Kyla there studying her Bible verses....apparently leaning on your head with your butt in the air helps you remember things better. 
    Friday we celebrated Chinese New Year. We had a party at a friend’s house complete with egg custard steamed buns. They were one of my favorite things in China, & I’ve since been trying to master them. I must say that these have been my best yet!  Then that night I made orange chicken, cucumber salad & steamed rice to complete our festivities. Then Saturday night I  took this picture of Kyla helping me cook dinner. It’s one of her favorite things to do. I think she’s excited that she’s finally getting big enough to do some of the things the older girls do.

And here's this week's free journal card template. Just click the image to download.

-Liz
P.S. Did you know that posting your digital scrapbook pages helps you see all of your typos? When I'm editing my blog post I notice all of my mistakes, and then I have to go back and fix my page. And as I'm not that great of an editor I'm sure there are still mistakes on my page...and in my blog post. Sigh.

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