My April Scrapping

Last month it didn't seem like a scrapped a lot, but this month I feel like I'm finally going to finish up my 2012 album. I scrapped 9 pages, and I have another 7 pages to go! I have the rest of my photos already in templates. I just have to finish them up. My goal is to have my 2012 album finished up before we go to bring Matthew home.

Let's get this party started. Here are my catch up pages from my 2012 album...mostly Christmas pics since that's about all I have left. I think I just took too many pictures in December 2012. It was Lydia's first Christmas home...who can blame me?

Christmas cookie decorating with Grandma. It's a tradition.
Artsy Journal Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
Merry and Bright by Bella Gypsy Designs
Christmas party.
Triangle Inspired Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Christmas Jammies by Down This Road Designs
And the morning we decorated our Christmas tree. I just love those stair steps.
Double Monthly Challenge Templates 13 by Scrapping with Liz
Christmas Jammies by Down this Road Designs
A lot of Christmas pictures means I needed to show a whole bunch on one page. This template was perfect.
Photo Show Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Merry and Bright by Bella Gypsy
 And if you think that's it for my 2012 Christmas pics, you are wrong. I have three more to finish up!

This one was from Thanksgiving 2012.
Folded Square Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Thankful by mle Card and Tracie Stroud Designs
 And this also happened in November 2012. Bears in our backyard!
Oh Snap Templates by Scrapping with Liz
In the Forest by Scrap Orchard Designers
 And let's not forget the toilet papering.
Recyclables 28 by Scrapping with Liz
Say it With Spunk by Laura Banasiak
Then these cuties. I had this pic saved from June. It just HAD to be scrapped. These two little kids are peas in a pod. So unique, so cute, always in their own little worlds...and SO adorable together.
Triangle Inspired Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Cowboys Chase the Cowgirls by Etc. by Danyale
This one was a compilation of pics from our homeschool co-op throughout the fall '12 semester. Sorry about the blurred pics...had to be done. I think you understand.
Photo Show Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Making the Grade by Tracie Stroud
Then this is the only non-2012 page I scrapped (well, besides my Daily Life pages). You can read more about this page here.
Fun with Envelope Templates by Scrapping with Liz
For the Record by Forever Joy Designs

That's it for this month. Hopefully, I'll be showing you the last of my 2012 pages at the end of May!

Week 16: LOA, Music, Ice Cream & More

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Life Collection by Megan Turnidge and Tickled Pink Studio
Metal Styles by Chelle's Creations
Week 16 was a happy week which included our LOA for Matthew and sweet sister moments....I'll let you read about it below.

Photography Tip: I was lazy this week with my DSLR. Sometimes I get in the mood of just wanting to be in the moment. I don't want to be running for my camera, adjusting settings, making my family wait, etc... And I think that's okay. I actually only took a handful of photos this week...and look at my page. It's still full of memories (mostly thanks to my hubby taking pics with his phone). So, I guess my tip for this week is to enjoy the moment. I did pick up my camera for moments that I knew I would want to document: our LOA and my girls playing guitar together. The rest that I took with my DSLR was in the kitchen where my camera is always sitting on the counter, within arms reach.

Scrapbook Tip: Don't be afraid to journal. I'm not very good at putting my thoughts and feelings down on paper...and if you look at my journaling you'll see that. All I do is write down the facts. While I sometimes wish I was better at putting my thoughts and feelings into my journaling, I know that for these Daily Life types of pages that the facts are good enough. It doesn't have to be fancy. Here's another tip: (that I might have mentioned before) add some journaling on top of the photos. I had to do that on this page since there just wasn't enough space to write down all the facts. :)

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Life Collection by Megan Turnidge and Tickled Pink Studio
Metal Styles by Chelle's Creations
 Journaling on Left Page: We had watermelon on the back porch after dinner on Monday, it was so nice outside.  Then on Tuesday, we got our LOA for Matthew (more about that on another page)! Ashlyn and Emmie have been taking guitar and drum lessons with Daddy, and they’ve recently started practicing a song together. I’ve really enjoyed listening to them play together. Wednesday night Daddy took the girls out for ice cream since they ran 3 miles at running club...and I needed to get a little work done at home. To the right, you’ll see a pic of Kyla and Lydia at the dining room table. Their newest favorite game to play is “puppy”. You’ll see a leash around Kyla’s neck and Lydia holding it! They lead each other around the house like this. I’m not sure what to make of it!

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Life Collection by Megan Turnidge and Tickled Pink Studio
Metal Styles by Chelle's Creations
 Journaling on Right Page: I often find Kyla up and doing her school work before I’m done working out. She’s become a self-motivated learner!  Shawn snapped a pic of me as we walked around the antique store. It was a little Saturday lunch date while the kids were at Grandma’s. Here we are painting pottery with our co-op. We are getting ready for our Empty Bowls Project.

Here's your Daily Life Journal Card freebie for this week. You can fill in those circles with photos or pretty paper and then use the majority of the journal card for a big photo....or journaling. There are so many possibilities! Click the image to download.


P.S. I make sure that when my girls are playing puppy that the leash never gets tied around the just hangs loosely. ;)

P.P.S. I just realized that I need to edit the date tab. Ugh!

Adoption Updates: Letter of Approval!

Fun with Envelope Templates by Scrapping with Liz
For the Record by Forever Joy Designs
It's here...did you hear me squealing on Tuesday? I promised you I would update you as soon as we had it! After a crazy couple of days (you can read the journaling below) our LOA arrived quite surprisingly. This is the letter from China officially approving Matthew as our child. Now to finish up a few last steps, and we'll be off to bring him home! And being the crazy scrapbooker that I am I picked out the template and kit I was going to use for this page even before I had the LOA in my hands. All I had to do was plug in the picture and the journaling....and update you all. #callmecrazy

Journaling: What a crazy weekend of events. We received a  call from our agency on Friday (the 11th) telling us that we might be missing a would put us behind at least a month from bringing you home. I was a wreck. After discussing it with daddy he was sure we had completed the paper they thought was missing. Sure enough, after looking at your dossier, the paper was there. We called our agency back, asked them if it was the paper that they thought was was! Praise the Lord. They wanted to confirm with the CCWA that they, in fact, had the document. We had to wait until Sunday night to make sure. We got an email on Sunday night (the 13th) telling us they had everything they needed and we were “in process” and we should have our LOA in a week or 2. I must admit that I was skeptical. I didn’t know what “in-process” meant. Apparently, it meant we were approved! Our LOA was at our agency on Tuesday (the 15th). When our agency called us I was shocked. I figured even if we got approved right away it would take a couple of days to get to our agency. Turns out we were actually approved on the 11th! Our agency overnighted it, and we had it in our hands on the 16th. China says you are officially ours! Now to the next step....we are so close to bringing you home!

Oh! And I almost forgot to share this with you! We got this picture a couple weeks ago. It's a picture of Matthew and the birthday presents we sent. Isn't he just the cutest thing you ever saw?


Week 15: The Whole Picture

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
#inspiredlife {Kit} by Createwings Designs
#inspiredlife {Add-On}  by Createwings Designs
Just a normal week at our house....home, friends, and spring clinging! You can read all about it below.

Photography Tip: My tip for this week would be to include the whole picture. Don't always take close-ups. Sometimes you need to capture a whole room or group of people to get a feel for what is going on. I don't know about you, but I have difficulty taking those kinds of photos AND scrapping those kinds of photos. As a result, I tend to take less of those and just focus on the close-ups. I find myself having to make myself just do it. You'll see that this week's page has a bunch of photos with a LOT of stuff going on. While it may not make the most visually appealing page, it does capture our week, and I know my kids will enjoy seeing the whole picture....all their friends and our messy kitchen!

Scrapbook Tip: I think I gave this tip before, but since I had to do it a lot with this template I'm going to say it again: Add photo spots, resize photo spots, move photo spots, etc... to work with what you've got. I added one photo spot and resized 3 photo spots for my page. I even moved some of those triangle pieces around. Here's another tip: Rearrange before you start scrapping. I looked at my photos. I knew I needed one extra photo spot, so I added that. Then I added my photos. 3 of my photos just weren't fitting the photo spots. While the photo was still clipped to the photo spot I resized the photo mat layer and a photo layer. Once I got the pictures just the way I wanted I started adding in the papers and elements.

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
#inspiredlife {Kit} by Createwings Designs
#inspiredlife {Add-On}  by Createwings Designs

Journaling Left Side: There are lots of things to note about this week. We had a picnic lunch in the woods with friends, and then we had fun on the trampoline. That picture to the far left is what our evenings typically look like. Lots of activity at our kitchen counter: Bible Study, crafting, Daddy working alongside us, and Lydia playing with trains underneath our feet. Then we often have “silly” time after bathtime. Which includes jumping on the bed and goofing around with the kids. You’ll see Kyla and Lydia there laughing while we try to tickle them. Then there’s a picture of Shawn while we eat dinner inside and 7 kids eat dinner outside. We pretended we were didn’t last long. 

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
#inspiredlife {Kit} by Createwings Designs
#inspiredlife {Add-On}  by Createwings Designs

Journaling Right Side: Shawn leads music for the kids at church on Wednesday night. Here they are practicing for the Easter program. The picture below is from our spelling bee practice at co-op. The kids were having a lot of fun with Mrs. Amanda. Then all the pictures to the left are from our Saturday. We worked outside in the yard, sprucing it up for Spring and Summer. We took a trip to Lowes for some supplies, and finally, we took Grandma and Grandpa out for dinner after a long day of work.

And as usual, here's your Daily Life Journal Card Freebie. Enjoy!

Week 14: Spring, Eating Outside & Normal Stuff

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
Little Days by Forever Joy Designs
Basics: Timekeeping by Forever Joy Designs (for the numbers)
For the Record by Forever Joy Designs (for the alpha)
This week was pretty awesome, despite my head cold. Spring finally decided to arrive. Kind of ironic since I had a head cold. Despite the congestion, we spent lots of time outside with friends and then, of course, doing the usual, like school, crafts, and cooking. I'll just let you read all the interesting details below. I also have a few tips again for you this week. I hope you are enjoying them.

Photography Tip: Include other important people in your photos. I tend to usually focus on my girls and hubby when it comes to taking pictures and remembering our daily life. I need to remember to include the grandparents more! Thanks to my hubby I was able to include a picture of Lydia sitting on Grandma's lap after we got home from our date.

Scrapbook Tip: When you are browsing your photos trying to figure out which ones should go on your page, make sure you don't always pick the best looking photo. Choose the photos that have significance, the ones you know you want to remember because of the memory. I took a lot of photos this week, and I really had to narrow it down.  I looked at all my photos and specifically picked out ones that really captured our week. It meant putting some not so perfect pictures on my page, like the one that is out of focus. I really wanted to capture what it was like having 11 kids eating on our porch. Or the one taken with the phone, it would have ended up looking so much better with my DSLR. It also meant that I had to leave some pictures off of the page, like the ones I took of my kids eating watermelon. I've been practicing my photography, and I really like how they turned out. But they just weren't going to fit on this Daily Life page. I'll save those for another page down the road...or maybe I'll get them printed and hang them up somewhere!

Journaling: This week Daddy and I got to go on a date. Grandma watched the girls while we went to have some Basil Rolls and watch, “God’s Not Dead.” Then I snapped some pictures of us just around the house. The girls have gotten into the rainbow loom craze. Ashlyn saved up enough money to buy her own rainbow loom. She’s been spending her time watching youtube videos and making all sorts of projects.  The bottom picture is of the girls during their “art lesson”. We are learning about scale and lines. They are drawing the Mona Lisa. I’ll take a pic of the finished products next week.

Journaling:  My sisters and I grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids while the guys were gone. The next night the girls had friends over so we ordered pizza and sat on the porch again. Saturday ended with PBandJ at the park for dinner. Can you tell we are enjoying this weather? The pic above is of Kyla helping me get some scrambled eggs ready. She loves cracking the eggs.

And here's your Daily Life Journal Card for the week. It would be fun on a Daily Life page or just made into a title for any of your digital scrapbook pages. Click the image to download.


Quick 20 Page Album: Review & Tips

My family and I recently went on a weekend trip to Chattanooga, TN. Needless to say I took a ton of pictures. I wasn't sure how I was going to incorporate it into my Daily Life Album for the year....there were just too many pictures. I decided I would have to put together a small album just to document our trip. I needed to do it quickly because I knew that if I didn't it would never get done. You all know what I mean!

Here are a few tips on how I put together this album in just 3 nights! 3 nights meaning only a couple hours each night. I think I probably completed this album in less than 5 hours.

1. Pick out a simple template pack to get you started. I used my new Simple and Sweet Album Templates III. It was perfect because it has 20 fairly simple, straightforward templates....and they were brand new so I really wanted to use them.
2. Pick out one kit to use. I used Road Trip by Forever Joy Designs
3. Go through your pictures and eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. I had over 800 pictures from our weekend. I narrowed it down to around 80 that I thought were important and really captured our weekend.
4. Use the same background paper on each page. It will give it a cohesive look and it will save you a ton of time!
5. Use Ctrl+M to quickly edit your photos once they are on your page. I usually edit all of my RAW pictures in adobe before scrapping them. I knew this would take too much time. I took the jpg image (I usually take both jpg and raw) and just edited them quickly once they were on my page. My kids didn't care if the pictures weren't super awesomely edited. 
6. Keep it simple. I kept my journaling, embellishments and; shadowing very simple. Since it was my goal to get a whole book scrapped in a short period of time I needed to not stress about those things. And guess what? My kids still love the book. They don't notice that my shadowing could have been better, or that I could have added a few more pretty embellishments to the page. They honestly just like looking at the photos! I do think that they appreciate that I took some time to put together the album....or at least I hope they will when they get older.
7. Focus...or in other words: turn off your internet! I get easily distracted by the internet: Facebook, Pinterest, email, etc... If I sit down and focus on scrapbooking I can get a lot done in a short period of time.

Now that I've told you how I made the album in under 5 hours...I'm going to show it to you, and do a little Shutterfly Layflat book review for you. I've done a few printing reviews here if you want to read about those.

It's super easy to use the Shutterfly website, and all of the books I've got printed have arrived in less than a week of ordering. I get excited when I see this orange package.

I printed a 20 page, 8x8, hard cover, layflat book. I had a coupon for a free 20 page, hard cover, 8x8 book. The layflat cost $25. With shipping and tax my total cost was $35.22.

Thanks to Melissa (she left a helpful comment on my last Shutterfly review), I used the Shutterfly template to make sure my cover page would be centered correctly. I learned this the hard way after my last Shutterfly book. I also used my Title Page Templates and Greetings From Forever Joy Design for my album cover. Easy and simple!

I used the spine template from the Shutterfly website to type out my spine text.

It looks fabulous on my scrapbook shelf...even though I didn't take a picture.

This is how thick it is.

There is a blank white page at the very beginning. The pic is a little blurry...totally my fault!

Here's what double pages look like.

Here's a little close up of the blended photo I did on this page. It looks really nice in real life.

And I took a close up of the text. With the 8x8 book, I was a little nervous that the text might be a little too small...but it's perfect!

In my Simple and Sweet Album Templates III I do include guides to make sure you watch the edges of your pages. You don't want anything important to get cut off. You can see on this page where part of my leaf got cut off. Apparently, I wasn't paying attention to my guides. Thankfully it wasn't anything important like journaling or part of a photo.

Here's what the binding looked like.

And here's my daughter looking at the album. We've only had it a couple weeks, and it has already been looked at several times.

I think it was definitely worth the couple of nights I spent on it.

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

Week 13: Dad, Spring Break & Snow?

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
I Heart Dad by Dream Big Designs and AH Designs
This week...what can I say? It was kind of an off week with spring break and sickness. I'll just let you read the journaling below.

Photography Tip:  Make sure you take both portrait and landscape photos throughout the week. I only took landscape photos this week (which is quite unusual for me). Thankfully, I was still able to make the one bath time photo work in the portrait photo spot.

Scrapbook Tip: So far, in my Daily Life Pages, I've been using kits that have themes to do with everyday life, documenting, recording, etc...This week as I was browsing my digital scrapbook kits I thought the I Heart Dad kit from Dream Big Designs and AH Designs would work perfectly for a couple of my photos since Daddy was in them. I think it's going to go great with the rest of my pages. My tip for you is to browse your digi-stash and find a kit that works with the photos you are documenting for the week. It doesn't have to be an everyday type of kit.

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
I Heart Dad by Dream Big Designs and AH Designs
 Journaling: This week we took a little break from school...although I don’t know if you could call it “spring break” as we had SNOW! Lydia was also sick all week with a fever & cough. We had a lot of downtime. As soon as Daddy would get off work Lydia would want to snuggle with him on the couch. I also captured a pic of Daddy doing bath time. He does that every once in a while...he’s a GREAT dad & husband.

Daily Life Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
I Heart Dad by Dream Big Designs and AH Designs
 Journaling: Emmie called me one day from the laundry room....she was hiding in the dryer folding the clothes. She’s my funny girl. The girls put on a gymnastics show for me. This happens quite frequently. I randomly find horses & other animals strategically placed around the house. I love it...they are reminders of my imaginative girls. We also painted our nails. Girl time! 

And here's your free Daily Life Card Template. It'll work perfectly for documenting a favorite memory from the week.


It Doesn't Look Like A Lot

Three pages. That's all I have to show you this month. But really, I scrapped more. Really! Each week I scrapped my Daily Life double page layout. That adds up to 8 pages. Then I scrapped an entire 20-page album... I'll be showing you that album next week! That's a total of 31 pages for the month. Okay, now I feel better.

I'm still, slowly but surely, working on finishing up my 2012 album. I'm almost finished with my November '12 pictures and then I'll just have one month to finish up. Let's not talk about my 2013 album. are some pictures from November 2012 that I scrapped this month.
Template Revisited 21 by Scrapping with Liz
Chinese Takeout by mle Card Designs
 It seems like this all just happened yesterday...

SwL Facebook Group March Template
Shabby Christmas by Amber Shaw
Then I just scrapped this page for Matthew's 5th Birthday.
Artsy Journal Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
He's One Year Older by Tracie Stroud

Make sure you check out my 20-page album next week!
© Scrapping with Liz
Maira Gall