Wedding album in progress.

Finally.

After being married for over two years, I’ve started our wedding album.

Wedding album using the Love Story PLxSU collection

Wedding album using the Love Story PLxSU collection

After so much focus on my youngest son’s baby album, my oldest daughter’s high school album, and our family album, it was nice to spend time working on a project that was “mine”.  It was also a nice change of pace for me to be able to work with some more elegant feeling papers, embellishments, and colors.

I’m so pleased with my page…and I’m even more pleased at how fast it came together with the ease of the Project Life system! And it looks great in the faux leather black album too…so elegant, and perfect for a wedding album (although it could hold anything and look great).

Click here to see the Love Story card collection, and here to see the accessory pack. I LOVE the silver embellished cards, the picture doesn’t come close to doing them justice.

Sneak Peek at the Newest Project Life by Stampin’ Up! Collection (and more new Holiday projects)!

One of my favorite things about being a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator is the privilege of being able to pre-order new products.  Yup…Demonstrators are usually given the opportunity to purchase new products before they are available for sale to customers.  The 2014 Holiday catalog is full of amazing new products for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s.  One of my favorite products in the catalog is (of course) the newest Project Life by Stampin’ Up! card & accessory pack called “Seasonal Snapshot”.

I’ve been meaning to start my 2013 Project Life family album, so I pulled out our un-scrapped Christmas photos from last year and started playing.  I’m thrilled with this layout.

Project Life Christmas layout using the Seasonal Snapshot collection

Project Life Christmas layout using the Seasonal Snapshot collection

As usual with Project Life, this layout came together quite quickly.  I find that Continue reading

Resizing photos for Project Life

Create perfectly sized photos for your Project Life pocket pages!

Create perfectly sized photos for your Project Life pocket pages!

I’ve had several people ask me how I create the smaller sized photos I often use on my Project Life pages. I decided to try to write this tutorial to explain my process so I could just direct people to one post.
Let me start by saying this is not my original idea. I saw other Project Lifers on Pinterest, Facebook, etc. using apps to edit their photos in a very similar way as I’m about to describe. I don’t remember exactly who I saw it from first so I unfortunately can’t give credit. Thankfully most people in the scrapbooking community are all about freely sharing ideas & inspiration, so I hope this post can help someone who hasn’t seen this information yet.

I’m a diehard Apple girl, so I will be referring to apps and directions based on using an iPhone. I do hope that Android users will be able to modify the information and use it too.

I use the PicFrame app primarily. I see it is .99 cents now, but I think I downloaded it for free during a promotion. But in my opinion it is WELL worth the dollar!  There are tons of different apps out there that do the same or similar things, so I encourage you to use the app you like best. These basic directions will hopefully get you started and will translate at least somewhat to other apps. Let’s get started!

IMG_3908
So first, open your PicFrame app. The most important step is to change your ratio to 3:2. This is the same as 6×4. If you are working with the 3:2 ratio, your finished photo collage will print well as a 4×6 print. There are photo labs that print the square 4×4 “Instagram” sized photos, but since 4×6 is the most common, that’s what I like to work with the most.

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Two 4×3 photos on one 4×6 is probably what I use the most, because of the 4×3 and 3×4 pockets of Project Life pages. After you change your ratio, click on the 2nd frame on the top row. It will be square on the front page, but when you click it after you’ve changed your ratio, you’ll see it will open up into a rectangle, which is what we want for 4×6 pictures.


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Tap a grey rectangle

Click "camera roll" to select your photos

Click “camera roll” to select your photos

Click “camera roll” to select your pictures. You can chose both photos at once (it will say 1 of  2, then 2 of 2) but if your photos are in different albums you can select just one photo, then click the other grey square, and repeat the process and go into a different photo album. I sometimes use other photo editing apps to add filters, text, or designs to my pictures, and those often get stored in albums by app.

Two 4x3 images on one 4x6 print

Two 4×3 images on one 4×6 print

 

PicFrame by default will put this white border around your photos. If you like it, keep it. If you don’t, click on “style”. If you slide the width button all the way to the left, it will remove the border completely. Or, you could make the border wider by sliding to the right, and you can also change the color if you wish. The “options” button in the top right also lets you round the corners of your borders if you wish. Sometimes I do leave a white border on my pictures, it can really make them pop on your layouts. You can always crop them off later, but you’ll lose that perfect 3×4 sizing.

You can adjust the width & color of your border (or remove it all together)

You can adjust the width & color of your border (or remove it all together)

 

When you are done with the border style, go to adjust. On this “adjust” screen, pinch and stretch with your fingers to zoom in and out of your photo. This way you are kinda “pre-cropping” your photos, and when you print them they will be ready to just cut in half and be ready to go as 3×4’s.  See how I zoomed in compared to the image above?  On the right side, Daddy’s legs are no longer a distraction in the photo, and we get a nicer close up of the baby. On the left, I managed to get rid of most of Sissy’s blue pants, and zooming in showcases the happy looks on baby & Daddy’s faces.

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When you are happy with your picture, click on “share” and then “save”

Don't forget to save!

Don’t forget to save!

 

The finished product, ready to cut in half and slide into page protectors.

The finished product, ready to cut in half and slide into page protectors.

The photo will be saved to your camera roll, and  you’re ready to go! You could also decide to share it on social media, using the other buttons. The photos I used above are both vertical. You can create horizontal photos as well.

You can rotate your photos as well.

You can rotate your photos as well.

See the picture on the left of Baby & Grampa?  They are looking out a window at a skyline and I took the photo horizontally. When I selected the photo from my camera roll, the app by default put it in vertically. If you want to change it, tap the photo with your finger, then select “rotate/mirror”. The rotate arrows shown in the picture above will then appear. Rotate your photo as desired, then use your fingers to pinch and pull again to crop it how you want.

working with horizontal photos

working with horizontal photos

You’ll see that the left photo is now horizontal and you can see more of the view, which I want in my printed photo. I’m going to flip the other photo now too:

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There, now Baby Brother is in the photo too. You’ll quickly get the hang of the buttons in the app, have fun playing with positioning and cropping to create the photo you like best.

Remember that first screen of the app, with all the different layouts? You can use those to make other sized photos as well!

one 4x4 and two 2x2's

one 4×4 and two 2×2’s

I also love the look of square photos. Project Life also has several page protector designs with 4×4 and 2×2 square pockets, so it’s nice to have photos that fit perfectly in the pockets. I like to make a collage with one 4×4 and two 2×2’s (I print most of my Instagram photos this way) or six 2×2’s on one 4×6. Remember to keep your 3:2 ratio. The frame highlighted in blue above will create one 4×4 and two 2×2 pictures on one 4×6 print if you keep the 3:2 ratio, like this:

Instagram photo on left, two 2x2's on the right

Instagram photo on left, two 2×2’s on the right

 

I tend to take a TON of pictures with my DSLR and my iPhone, so using 2×2 photos allows me to fit many more photos on a layout than I would have been able to printing each photo at 4×6 individually. It’s also a big money saver, getting anywhere from 2 to 6 photos on a single print! I initially through 2×2 would be too small, but if you zoom & crop correctly, I think this size actually showcases your photos quite nicely.

six 2x2 photos

six 2×2 photos

Again, keep the 3:2 ratio, chose the frame highlighted in blue above, and you can create a six picture collage. I often cut these up into the individual 2x’s and they are really fun to work with.

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Remember to “save” after each collage is created. I tend to create several different collages at once, and then print them.

Now that your pictures are created and saved, you can print your 4×6 with whichever developer you choose, or on your home photo printer. I like both Walgreens and Shutterfly. (A tip for Walgreens users…go through ebates.com and get cash back on your prints, even when you chose in-store pickup. The rate is currently 4%. I have received over $100 from ebates for just clicking through their site when I shop online instead of going directly to the store’s website) Then it’s time for the best part…Project Life!

several sizes of photos on one Project Life page

several sizes of photos on one Project Life page

 

a 2x2 photo attached with washi tape

a 2×2 photo attached with washi tape

 

two 2x2 photos on one 3x4 card

two 2×2 photos on one 3×4 card

I really hope this helps you, and have fun creating! Don’t forget to check out Stampin’ Up!’s exclusive line of Project Life products.  I am head over heels for the new Love Story card collection and accessory pack.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to Paper Pumpkin for 50% off your first two months through September 10th. The September kit is adorable little burlap Halloween bags & tags. Click here for more information.

I am not affiliated with PicFrame and receive no compensation from them. I only share products and offers with my readers that I trust, use, and love myself!

My first page in weeks!

Sometimes the smallest things mean so much. I’m just so excited that I have completed my first page in my Project Life album in weeks. There are some stuffed pockets in some other weeks, but this is the first finished page. So it’s only a small insert page Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages – Design J
BUT I was able to find the time to work on Project Life & was thrilled to make this insert to week 24 about my youngest daughter’s birthday. It’s nothing super exciting but it just felt so good to complete a page. Since we started the process of moving about 6 weeks ago or so, my scrapbooking time has been drastically reduced. I was “caught up” with Project Life this year before the move so maybe you can understand my excitement to get back in. And hopefully this one page will turn into two, and so on.

Project Life Playground

Project Life Playground

Supplies used:

Project Life by Stampin’ Up! Playground collection cards & accessory pack, Everyday Adventures card, Becky Higgins Photo Pocket Pages – Design J, and the “Happy Birthday” was from a card in the “Celebrate” theme pack that I cut out with one of the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits using my Big Shot. I am love, love, loving these dies. I find myself frequently cutting out a banner to place a quick title or small amount of journaling on a photo or Project Life card. I have an electronic cutting machine and adore it, but sometimes I really appreciate the fast, no fuss die cutting that the Big Shot offers, not to mention no worries about electric outlets, an internet connection, and so on.

How cute is the washi tape that comes in the accessory pack?!  Also, the cool clear plastic insert card that says “I’m Awesome” was a perfect fit for the photo of my daughter in her “Pretty Awesome” shirt she received as a birthday gift. It’s hard to see in the photo, but that is a 3×4 clear plastic card from the Playground accessory pack that I just slipped into the pocket. The card with the circles and journaling lines is actually going in a separate page behind this page. It looks really neat when you’re turning pages looking through the album.

Remember, these Project Life editions are only available through Stampin’ Up, and you can also earn these products for free or half price by having an in-home, virtual, or catalog show-email me at blackbirdscraps@gmail.com for details. Happy Scrapping to you!

Brand new photopolymer stamp set “Calling All Heroes”

Stampin’ Up! has come out with several new photopolymer stamp sets this year The newest set “Calling All Heroes” is simply adorable and would be perfect for any super hero lovers in your life, but has many uses beyond the obvious…check out the awesome alphabet!

calling all heroes

 

Photopolymer stamps are clear stamps that you use with clear wood blocks. Since you can see through them you can line them up easily for perfect placement on your cards, scrapbook pages, or home decor. (keep reading for more pictures and ideas) Continue reading

The new Project Life by Stampin’ Up! editions are HERE!!! (Plus enter to win a $20 Stampin’ Up! gift certificate)

 

I’m so excited to finally be able to share the brand new Project Life by Stampin’ Up! products. Remember…these editions are exclusive to Stampin’ Up! and you can’t get them anywhere else! Other advantages to our Project Life editions include: square corners-leaving the choice to round them or not to you; colors that coordinate exactly with our card stock, ribbon, and other products; no duplicates-each card in our Project Life edition is unique (some designs are printed twice as one vertical print and one horizontal print); cards in 3×4, 4×4, and 4×6 in each kit, making it easy to decorate pages with various sizes of photos including the very popular 4×4 Instagram photos; specialty packaging-our card collections come in boxes that make it easy to flip through the cards to find just the one you want, with extra room to store an accessory pack, the photographs you are working on, a journaling pen, etc.; made-to-match accessory packs, stamps, and other products; you also get the knowledge and support of a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator to answer any questions you may have, and offer continual ideas and motivation for you to complete your Project Life albums. I would LOVE to share my passion for Project Life with you and show you how easy, rewarding, and important it is for you to get those priceless photos of yours off your phones and computers and in to beautiful, easy to create scrapbook pages. Check out some pictures and descriptions below, and learn how you can win a $20 Stampin’ Up! gift certificate! Continue reading

A FREE Papercrafting magazine? Um, yes please.

I was tickled today to stumble across Jot magazine.  It’s an Australia based e-magazine and website for the paper crafter. I opened up their  birthday issue, Issue 6, on my iPhone and have been flipping through the pages as I have time.  This issue features one of my idols, Becky Higgins, the creator of Project Life. Swoon.

Image copyright jot magazine.com

Image copyright jot magazine.com

One thing I love about e-magazines is when I see a project I want to CASE (Copy And Share Everything-also known as ‘scrap lifting’) I just take a screen shot as I’m reading the issue on my phone. I later will move those photos into an album I have stored in my iCloud. I have one album for Project Life ideas, another for greeting cards, you get the idea. When I’m working and stumped for an idea, I’ll just pick up my phone and browse through ideas.

I’m all about inspiration and sharing ideas, so I encourage you to check out their website. I’m excited to check out their social media sites and maybe participate in one of their challenges soon.  The only “problem” (and it’s not really fair to call it that) I’ve encountered so far is that the site is based in Australia so some of the products and shops they link up are not available to me in the United States.

What are your favorite online sources of inspiration?

Some Project Life by Stampin’ Up! inspiration

Becky Higgins, the creator of the amazing memory keeping system called Project Life, has posted some awesome examples of the new Project Life by Stampin’ Up! ‘Everyday Adventures’ kit.

Creative team inspiration (link to Becky Higgins’ blog)

Please, don’t let the layouts overwhelm you! While some of them do involve more advanced techniques, like cutting large photos apart to fit pocket pages, you’ll notice that ones like this one below are more simple. Look closely..this layout is simply 4×6 photographs slipped into pockets, and decorative and journaling cards from the Everyday Adventures kit slipped into the other pockets. That’s it. But these photographs are printed, not lost in a shoebox or someone’s computer, and their story is told with journaling. THAT is what scrapbooking is all about, in my opinion. Telling our stories behind our photos. And look how beautiful this simple page is!

I would LOVE to help you get started with Project Life. Besides the Everday Adventures kit, three more exclusive Project Life by Stampin’ Up! kits will be available on June 2. Need a new catalog? Email me at blackbirdscraps@gmail.com and I’d be happy to send you one, anywhere in the US. The products will be viewable online starting June 2, and I’ll have some in person for you to see at my open house on June 8.

Images copyright Becky Higgins LLC

Images copyright Becky Higgins LLC

Baby Boy 8×8 Digital Scrapbook Layout

Baby Boy 8x8 Digital Scrapbook Layout

Made with My Digital Studio software by Stampin’ Up!

I haven’t had much time to blog, scrap, or work on my business lately because we are moving! But in between packing boxes, I sat down with My Digital Studio and put some photos and journaling into this pre-made layout that is provided with your 30 day free trial of the software, and I love the results! This kid is growing way too fast.

 

Photos copyright Blackbird Scraps, digital elements & images copyright Stampin’ Up!