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!


More of Matthew's Pages

Guess what? I did a little more scrapping this past weekend. Since I scrapped a few pages of Matthew's Album last week, it has made me want to really keep working on it.  I worked on these pages on and off on Sunday afternoon. I think I've decided that Sunday afternoons will be dedicated to scrapping Matthew's pages. My goal is to have it done by his 6th birthday...which is next March. Think I can do it?

The first couple pages are still of our first day in Beijing. The last one, at Tiananmen Square, is our 2nd day in Beijing.

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 10 by Scrapping with Liz
Chinese Takeout by mle Card Designs

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 4 by Scrapping with Liz
Chinese Takeout by mle Card

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Smile, Sparkle, Shine by Bella Gypsy

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
Iron Scrapper - East by Scrap Orchard Designers

Week 42: Horse Class, Sleepovers, QR Codes, Photo Grid and More!

Daily Life Templates 11 by Scrapping with Liz
Hello, Autumn by Laura Banasiak
Krafty Paper Bundles by Happy Scrap Girl

A couple things about this week's page: I used 2 QR codes (seriously, I love these!). I also use an app called Photo Grid to put together collages with my phone pics (mainly to post on Facebook and Instagram). I made a collage this week and incorporated the collage into my page. I liked that it captured our whole day into one nice little collage, and then I was able to also include it on my Daily Life page (just plopped the pre-made collage right down on my page). I think I might do this more often.

Take a closer look below if you want to and make sure you grab the free journal card template.

Journaling: Very quickly: This week we went to a horse riding class, we had fun with blocks, we went to a mom/daughter sleepover, we went to the corn maze, we went to Asheville for an audiologist appointment (which also included a trip to the mall), and of course there were lots of little moments around the house and often those moments include cooking in the kitchen together.

Just click on the image to download.

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P.S. I had someone ask me if they thought QR codes and YouTube would stand the test of time. Not sure about that, but I don't see them going away in the foreseeable future. I imagine technology will change, but I have a feeling QR codes and YouTube will be around for awhile. I figure if they do go obsolete the QR codes don't take up that much space on my page and whoever happens to be looking at my pages will giggle at the outdated technology.

P.P.S. I did test out my QR code to make sure it wasn't too small. While it works fine at a normal size, I think through some of my resizing for the web it made the QR code not work on my blog....sorry about that! I'll try to keep them a bit bigger next time just in case you all want to see videos.

I've Been Busy!

I've finally scrapped some more pages of Matthew's adoption album. I thought I would share them with you and sort of share my plan of how I'm going to get this thing done!

1. I organized all my photos by date and event. That way I'm ready to grab my photos when I have time to scrap.
2. I decided to use my Double Monthly Challenge Templates (also available as individual packs) for his album. I'm using them for two reasons.  1: His album will be cohesive. 2: I don't have to go searching through my stash for a perfect template. With this set there is a sure to be a template that will work with the photos I have. 
3. I have the kits I'm going to use ready and organized.

There, that's my plan. 3 steps. Not much of a plan I suppose, but I do have my photos organized and templates and kits ready to go. 

Here's what I scrapped this weekend. Now, you might be saying, but wait, where's Matthew? These pages are all leading up to the day we met him. We did some sightseeing while in China and really got to learn more about his birth country. I also want him to know the anticipation and excitement we felt knowing we were going to meet him very soon. I'll be scrapping those pictures very soon.

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 12 by Scrapping with Liz
On the Road by Kristin Aagard
Double Monthly Challenge Templates 10 by Scrapping with Liz
On the Road by Kristin Aagard

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Compass by Down this Road Designs
My Everyday Alpha by Dream Big Designs

Double Monthly Challenge Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Compass by Down this Road Designs
My Everyday Alpha by Dream Big Designs

Week 41: Long but Fun!

Daily Life Templates 11 by Scrapping with Liz
Create Your Own Happy by Juno Designs and Cluster Queen Creations
Alpha from Que Sera by Juno Designs

It was a long but fun week. It was one of those weeks where each day just seemed to have so much going on and not enough time to do it all. But, as I look back at my photos, I realize that even in the busyness of it all we made lots of memories. We were able to have a movie night, go on a family bike ride and play in tents....guess we weren't too busy after all! Another good reason to look over your photos at the end of a busy week, it will kind of make time stand still for a moment and let you see that even in the busyness of it all precious memories are being made.

Take a closer look at my pages below (if you want to!). I even added a QR code! Also, be sure to grab the free journal card template.

Journaling: Let’s see, I’m just going to randomly go around and tell you what went on this week. We’ve learned that Matthew loves making domino tracks. We had lots of long days of school this week, even into the evening. Sometimes that’s just the way it goes when you have doc, dentist and audiologist appointments during the day. I love seeing my oldest and youngest work together to do their chores. Lydia likes a little bit of lettuce with her ranch. We had co-op gym day. The kids got some good exercise and some healthy competition. Friday night was movie night with lots of snuggles.

Journaling: Ashlyn’s volleyball team held a little camp for the younger girls. Ashlyn loved teaching her little sisters how to play volleyball....and they loved getting a chance to play. Saturday we went for a family bike ride. Matthew always insists on lining up as if we are in a race. His sisters are sweet enough that they go along with it. After our bike ride it was kind of rainy the rest of the day. We came home and built tents on the front porch. The kids colored and played Legos out there almost all day! What a great way to end a week.

Just click the image to download. This one gives you lots of spots for photos!

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QR Codes: I think I'm in Love!

I've been seeing QR codes on digital scrapbook pages for a while. As with most new things it takes me a while to try them. I wonder if they are really worth the time, if they are going to last...basically I just make excuses for not learning new things. After taking an instagram video of my kids sledding down a pile of leaves and also taking photos of the very same event, I decided to take the plunge and learn how to do this QR scrapbooking thing. I thought the video needed to be remembered with the photos.

Do you want to know how long it took me to make a QR code? Like 30 seconds! Why, have I not tried this sooner?

The first thing I did was upload my video to YouTube. I made my video 'unlisted' so the only way people could view it was with a direct link or the Qr code. Then I took that link and used QRStuff to generate a QR code. Then I downloaded the QR code and added it to my scrapbook page. Seriously, it was THAT easy.

Squares and Angles Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Hello Fall by Kristin Aagard

I seriously am in love. I can see my kids browsing through our family scrapbooks with a phone in hand scanning the QR codes to watch the videos that go along with the pictures. This is revolutionary....I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner.

So, if you haven't tried it yet you really should. It takes all of 30 seconds....well, and the time it takes your video to upload to YouTube or other video sharing site you want to use.


Week 40: Sparklers, Tea Time & Food

Daily Life Templates 10 by Scrapping with Liz
#soselfie by mle Card Designs
#soselfie by Kristin Aagard
#soselfie by Meredith Cardall
#soselfie Papers by Meredith Cardall

Are we really already through Week 40 of 2014? That means we only have about 12 weeks to go! How are you doing on your scrapping challenges? I think maybe I've gotten over the hump and now I can finish strong. Don't worry if you are behind, just keep going. That's my motto.

Take a closer look at my Week 40 page (if you want to), and be sure to grab the free journal card template below.

Journaling: We found a stash of sparklers. Matthew wasn’t too sure about them, but we convinced him that it was safe....and then he loved it!
   Ashlyn and Emmie signed up to cook dinner for Wednesday night church. They picked the meal (chili) and cooked it all by themselves. It was a big hit. 
   I walked by Lydia and Emmie’s room one night and saw this happening. A tea party with all the kids. Definitely photo worthy. I don’t ever want to forget moments like this.

Journaling: The picture on the couch was taken one day right after we went to the library. The kids love to browse through all of their ‘new’ books when we get home. I just love this picture of Matthew and Lydia ‘reading’. 
   We eat around the dinner table every night (except Wednesdays at church). It’s one of my favorite times of the day. We get to sit down together, go over our day....and usually we have a lot of good laughs.
   I snapped this picture of Kyla climbing the ropes at NVG. Our co-op held a gym day for all the homeschoolers.

And here's your freebie:

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Mini Multi Overlay Tutorial

Tiff here! Liz's Mini Multi Templates is one of my favorite sets of templates. I've used this set several times to scrap holidays and school trips with lots of pictures.


Recently I was inspired to use one of these template with just a single photo, and I used the multiple grey photo spots as an overlay instead. The kits in this layout are Punkin Papers and Punkin Elements by creashens.

Today I'll show you how I made the overlay effect. I was working with Template #3 from Multi Mini Templates which has 12 photo clipping layers.

Step 1: Merge the 12 photo clipping layers into a single layer.  I selected all twelve of the photo layers in my Layers Palette and right-clicked to Merge the layers. You can also merge layers from the Layer Menu, or using the shortcut Ctrl-E (Photoshop CS4). Photoshop automatically named the combined layer as "Photo 12," which was the name of the top most photo spot.

Step 2: Duplicate the layer. The original copy serves as a clipping mask for my photo, while the duplicate (called "Photo 12 copy") serves as the overlay.

The following screen shot shows my layout with a view of the Layers Palette to the side. You can see the two copies of the merged photo spots. Layer "Photo 12" has my photo clipped to it. "Photo 12 copy" is turned off at the moment, so you just see my photo.

Now, if I turn on the visibility of "Photo 12 copy", it looks like this. My photo is hidden by the overlay.

Step 3: Change the blending mode of the overlay layer to Hard Light:

The overlay becomes transparent, and the various shades of gray result in different opacities. I thought of leaving the photo like this. It sort of veiled the picture, which was appropriate because the costume in the photo is still a work in progress. But the green in the picture clashed a bit with the colors of the kit, so I thought to add some color to the overlay.

Steps 4 & 5: Add a solid fill layer above the overlay and clip it to the overlay. Set the blending mode of the fill layer to Screen. I used the Layer drop-down menu to accomplish this (Layer --- New Fill Layer --- Solid Color) I chose an orange hue from the kit and then played around with darker or lighter shades. A dark shade gave me the look I wanted.

And there you have it.

To achieve the overlapping colors on the edges of the page, I placed solid papers on the edges (sort of "hanging off" the edges) and angled them. Then I changed their blending modes to Multiply or Linear Burn (I experimented with different blending modes to get the look I liked). If any of the overlap between two papers created too dark of a color, I simply erased parts of the paper.


Our Journey to Matthew: A Short Video

It's not a scrapbook, but it's how I've documented our journey to Matthew...at least for now. I've had so little time to scrapbook our trip to China. I've actually only scrapped 2 pages *insert sad face* from our trip, but I did make time to put together this little video of our journey to Matthew. I thought I would share it all with you since you guys were a big help in bringing him home. He's been home for 11 weeks and he's doing fantastic. We really couldn't have asked for a sweeter little boy. Thank you all for your support and prayers.


Daily Life Week 39: Page and Freebie

Daily Life Templates 10 by Scrapping with Liz
Que Sera by Juno Designs

I picked up my camera more this week and had a lot of pictures to choose from. It was tough choosing which ones to use on my page, but I picked the ones that I felt captured our week the best. I didn't even use any phone pictures, aren't you proud of me?

Without further ado, I'll let you take a closer look. Oh, and yes, that would be my daughter wearing the same shirt in almost every photo and those pictures were taken on different days. She got some 'new' hand-me-downs and apparently she especially loves that shirt. I'm pretty sure it got washed in between....but maybe not.

Oh, and don't forget to grab the free Journal Card Template below.

Journaling: This week we spent a lot of time outside. The weather is beautiful right now. On Sunday we had a picnic with some friends. We walked around Black Rock Lake and fed the geese. At home the kids spent a lot of time “sledding” down piles of leaves. I guess they are ready for winter. The three older girls took a knitting class. Emmie and Ashlyn learned to knit a couple of years ago, but this really sparked their interest again and they’ve  been practicing full blast. They even taught Matthew how to knit! 

Journaling: Ashlyn served the winning point in this week’s Volleyball Game. Afterwards we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to celebrate and have pizza and roast marshmallows. On Saturday we went to a local RC Airshow. All of the kids got to try the FPV goggles and see what it looked like inside the mini airplanes.    And just a little park time at a new boating dock down by our house. I love all the silliness.

And here's your journal card. Just click the image to download. *download expired*


A Few of My Other Pages

Besides my Daily Life Pages, I haven't scrapped a whole lot. But I have scrapped a few pages here and there that I don't think I've shared here with you on my blog.

So here goes....

I recently made a new Calendar Starter Template and Perpetual Calendar Template. I just had to try both of them out. I rarely scrap because of a template. I usually start with pictures that inspire me and I go from there to pick out the template I want to use....but with these I just needed to try them!

With the Calendar Starter Template I decided to use it as a 'Month in Review' type page. I used it to showcase pictures of our first month with our son....on our way to brig him home, in China and then home with him. I just love it! It's a good recap. 

Calendar Starter Templates by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Life - July|Bundle by Juno Designs

Then with my Perpetual Calendar I wanted to make a list of Birthdays throughout the year. I thought it might look good printed and hung up somewhere in my house to remind me of upcoming Birthdays. What do you think?  *I did edit this template or posting on-line.

Perpetual Calendar Template by Scrapping with Liz
Everyday Life - July|Bundle by Juno Designs

I'm slowly trying to catch up on my 2013 album. The next two double pages layouts are for that album. It's slow going, but I know I'll eventually finish the album.

Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Pool Rules Bundle by Dream Big Designs

 Close up of the left and right page:
Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Pool Rules Bundle by Dream Big Designs

Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Pool Rules Bundle by Dream Big Designs

Finally into February 2013.
Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Stargazer by Forever Joy Designs
 Another close-up:
Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Stargazer by Forever Joy Designs

Bold Double Templates 2 by Scrapping with Liz
Stargazer by Forever Joy Designs

 Here's to hoping there's more time for scrapping next month!

© Scrapping with Liz
Maira Gall