Archive for February, 2013
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Nine years worth of memories.
Pictures and stories filling albums to the brim.
A huge burden off her shoulders.
Title Pages for all 9 years + current 2013 albums
We love stories like this. Cathy in Florida has experienced something that so many others have. In fact, when Brandi from our team first saw this email she immediately perked up because this was so similar to her own experience of mass catching-up with the scrapbooking she tackled not too long ago.
In Cathy’s own words, this is her experience:
I was a traditional scrapbooker for over 10 years, but the I had to quit scrapbooking for 5 years due to life circumstances. When I came back to it last year, I had reconciled that I would never get caught up and I would just have to scrap my favorite photos. Then I found Project Life.
Last September, I purchased the Turquoise Edition and started sorting and printing photos. I am happy to tell you that in just five months, I completed nine years’ worth of albums that include almost 6,000 photos in between their covers and all those photos are off my computer and in those albums (2004-2012). I accomplished this using the Turquoise, Clementine, and Cherry physical editions along with the Seafoam and Wellington digital journaling cards.
I have four children and while my two older daughters (21 & 17) were so impressed that they both wanted Project Life albums of their own, I was most excited in watching my two younger sons (9 & 7) pour over the albums because they can finally look at all the photos of their lives that they haven’t really seen before!
I am now working in real time on 2013. I love this method of scrapbooking that is really more like a visual diary. Even my husband loves Project Life! Soon I will put all of his childhood photos in an album and he will journal the stories. Thank you so much for such a “do-able” system. It was the exact solution I was looking for to creatively and beautifully put my photos in albums without having to do full size layouts for every set of photos! My family and I could not be happier.
A few more notes from Cathy on how she did it:
I already had all of my photos in chronological order on my computer. I set up a separate Project Life folder to prevent any losses or permanent changes to my original photos. Within the Project Life folder, I created a folder for each year and within each of these folders, I created numbered folders for each Project Life spread. I chose photos from my chronological folders and copied them into my Project Life folders by groups of 10-14. Each Project Life spread has 16 pockets (8-4×6 & 8-3×4) If I did want more than 14 photos because it was a large event or something, I would add inserts. If I needed more journaling space, I chose fewer photos.
I determined which Photo Pocket Page styles were best for each spread and used Photoshop Elements to prepare the photos for printing by cropping them to the size they would be in the album. I kept in mind the second page of the prior spread because that would be the first page of the current spread. For the 3×4 photos, I would open a new 4×6 document in photoshop and place two 3×4 photos on one document, saving me money in the printing process by receiving two 3×4 prints for the price of one 4×6 print.
Everything was saved in the appropriate Project Life folder because I would order hundreds of photos at a time. I was then never confused about where a particular photo belonged when I received and sorted them. After sorting my pictures, I would then cut the prints with the two 3×4′s in half, corner punch all my photos and then place them in my photo pocket pages. I was then ready to add journaling and title cards.
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Sometimes you want to create pages or even an entire album just to showcase pictures from a particular occasion or theme. Sometimes you want all the focus to be on the images. While I highly encourage photos AND words, I totally get that sometimes, no words are needed.
We recently found out about how newly-married Molly Porter pulled her wedding album together with Project Life. Inspiring.
Molly has never scrapbooked before Project Life and mentioned that she probably wouldn’t have started without the system. She said, Pre-Project Life, I followed along with bloggers as they shared their traditional pages. I would get very inspired, buy a bunch of stuff, and then I had no idea what to do with it. I tried it, but I just didn’t get it and it didn’t click with me. I decided to try Project Life because, again, I was very inspired by others and the investment was pretty low for me if I didn’t end up doing it. But I did it, and I got it and (bonus) I was able to use up the “stuff” I had on hand from my other attempts at scrapbooking. There is something about slipping the photo or journaling card into the pocket that makes it feel finished. Even when you’ve done nothing but print out a 4×6 photo, if it’s in the pocket, it’s official. I love that feeling of being finished.
Regarding her wedding album, Molly goes on to describe her experience:
I knew that 2012 was THE year to document since it was the year we were getting married! I wanted someplace to keep all these changes that were happening in our life. I had no problems documenting the before, or the after, but the wedding? So tough. How was I supposed to choose just 16 photos to fill those Design A slots and tell the story of our fantastic day? What was I going to SAY about our fantastic day that would fit on a 3×4 grid journaling card? I couldn’t figure it out so I just left it blank. For months.
As we were looking back through the 2012 album a few weeks ago, I realized that leaving the week blank because I couldn’t decide was just silly. So I started small…or I should say big. I printed 2 divided 12×12″ photos and was ready to call it good and done. But what actually happened is that I was finally inspired to do it. The starting of this important week was the hard part, not the doing. So I added 3 additional Photo Pocket Pages between these 2 large photos and after about an hour, I was done! No more gaping hole in our 2012 album.
Molly added that when choosing the photos for the inserts, she tried to choose the pictures that might have been considered out-takes or just the extras from the photographer. She said, I used one of my bridal portraits that had a man in the background wearing a Superman t-shirt. I think it is hilarious, but in the big wedding album, I chose one without the man (call me traditional). We were married in the middle of downtown Chicago, so that Superman in the background totally reminds me of that fact. I am so glad that I have a place for this picture.
You can read all about her process here
Monday, February 25th, 2013
We’re all kind of freaking out around here. This is something we’ve been dying to reveal for quite some time … because something like this is many months in the making. But the time has finally come to tell you, friends, that Project Life is making its debut on television – exactly one month from today. Mark your calendar because March 25th is a big deal.
Why? Why is this such a big deal? Because on March 25th you will have the opportunity to purchase Project Life in a way that it is not offered anywhere else … at a price that you won’t find anywhere else. Today we wanted to shout this news from the rooftops, but I know what you really want is to see pictures, to know more, to understand what these products will be. And trust me, we have lots of information, pictures, and details to share with you in the coming weeks as we lead up to the big day.
If you don’t want to miss any of the details, be sure you’re tuning into my blog on a regular basis. If you want me to let you know whenever I have a new blog post, simply follow me on facebook, twitter, or instagram. I always give my readers a heads-up and you’ll always know what the blog post is about so you can decide if you’re interested in checking it out. Plus, my social sharing isn’t Project Life all the time. I promise I share other inspiration on a regular basis. : )
a little bit of the story
I have to back up a bit and explain just a little history here, because that’s part of the excitement.
Lisa Bearnson and I go way, way, way back. Cliff-notes version is this: Lisa was the co-founder of Creating Keepsakes magazine – the premier scrapbooking publication. When she started this in late 1996 I was newly married, a full-time college student, and working. I randomly met her mother in church one day, made the connection that that’s who she was, and shared some of my work with her. Clarine passed my things onto Lisa, who then called me and invited me to write an article for the publication. I freaked out. Couldn’t believe it. And that one article turned into a snowball effect that led to an entire career that I never, ever, ever saw coming.
I was with Creating Keepsakes for 12 years. Lisa was essentially my boss – but she was first, my friend. And anyone who knows Lisa knows that she’s a pretty amazing friend. So I did my thing all those years … and she did her thing … and we were both under the Creating Keepsakes umbrella. Good times. Great experience. Then I decided nearly 3 and a half years ago to resign from CK to carry out my passion for developing solution-based products … which of course is when Project Life was born.
Meanwhile, Lisa stepped back from her professional pursuits the past few years to take a break and enjoy more time with her family. All the while, we’ve stayed in touch and enjoyed several visits (David and I certainly feel we don’t get enough time with Steve & Lisa Bearnson – they’re so fun!). Lisa was one of the first phone calls I made when we started our company. I couldn’t wait to share the news with her because I knew she would be so supportive. And she has been. Completely and utterly supportive.
But Lisa’s not just supportive in a “good for you!” way. Lisa genuinely loves and uses Project Life to keep up with her memory-keeping … and has given it as a gift to friends many times. She believes in me. She believes in my product. She believes in what I’m doing. And dang it, I’m getting all choked up now.
Okay – so let’s fast-forward and wrap up this story. As you know, we created a partnership with American Crafts in October 2012 – a very awesome partnership. Around that same time, Lisa was strongly considering a television comeback … and re-entry into the scrapbooking world. Obviously we had several conversations and here we are today. Lisa Bearnson is making her debut with a brand-new show on HSN (Home Shopping Network). She will be selling lots of fun & cool scrapbooking and paper-crafting products on March 25th – but the BIG DEAL of the day – they call it the “Today’s Special” on HSN … is going to be Project Life.
So … yeah. We’re all pretty excited.
Some of you already have and use Project Life. Awesome. What we’re offering on HSN that day isn’t available right now, and it won’t be available in this kind of format for this kind of price – at least not for a very long time. So it’ll be worth tuning in. Tune into my blog as I share pictures and information over the coming weeks. And of course tune into HSN on March 25th. And tell your friends who you know would benefit from knowing about Project Life, that this is something they will want to know about. ; )
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
I can honestly say that we’ve never shared a giveaway quite like this. And I’ll specify to say that this is a free-offer-with-purchase kind of giveaway. This isn’t for just “someone” or even ten someones. This is going to 100 of you! One. Hundred.
Let me back up for just a moment, because I know many of you reading this are new. Lots of new visitors on the blog these days. Welcome, welcome! Okay, so what is Studio Calico and what do they have to do with us? We created Project Life, which is designed to be ultra-simple, completely fuss-free, and utterly takes the guesswork out of scrapbooking. We teamed up with Studio Calico because they produce a monthly Project Life kit that is geared to those who want to be creative with their pages. If you missed it, please read that quick Q&A post from when we announced the partnership in October. It will make a lot of sense.
So back to this giveaway. Insane amount of winners, right? I know. This is how it works. You don’t leave your name here on my blog. This isn’t a typical giveaway. This is for the next 100 people that join the waiting list for the monthly Project Life kit at Studio Calico. If you are not already on that list … and you join (here) … and you’re one of the first 100 folks to do this … Studio Calico will ship you a set of the journal/filler cards from the February Studio Calico Project Life Kit that is totally sold out. And no, they won’t even charge you for shipping. It will just be a magic little surprise that shows up at your house.
Go check it out, and YES – this is open to everyone, no matter where in the world you live. : )
Added notes, based on your feedback and questions:
1. If you join the waiting list, you will receive an email. Additionally, Studio Calico will post the time stamp for all those that made the cut. You can check your dashboard on StudioCalico.com, and you can find the time-stamp that shows when you joined the Waiting List. You will also receive an email notification when your free gift ships!
2. What about if you were already on the waiting list? Studio Calico has already planned a nice freebie to send to everyone on the waiting list and that’s actually going out today. Watch for your happy mail to arrive soon! It’s cool.
3. Studio Calico is not printing more cards for this promo. Incidentally, they had some extra cards from the February kit and that’s what they’re using.
4. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions or concerns.
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Creative Team member Petra Corcoran recently took a crazy fun road trip with her family and chose one of our new Mini Albums (Midnight) and Childhood Mini Kits (Wellington Edition) to document her journey. Her mix of gorgeous photography to capture the details of their trip, maps to document their mileage and daily travel, and journaling to record their adventures, all add up to a lasting keepsake of a trip that their family will always remember. Here is a bit of the story and details in Petra’s own words.
Since moving to Brisbane, almost 2 years ago now, life has been busy and we have not had a real holiday as a family. We finally planned to have one just after Christmas last year.
My husband always says the best way to really see the country is to drive it – to get out there and see and experience all those far away places not just the tourist strips. So the plan was set. A route covering some 3600km (2200 miles) heading far North West and then across to the coast in the East. We were told we were crazy. “It’s too hot and not tourist season where you’re going.” Perfect. Let’s go.
Album cover. Clean & Simple.
I took this photo during the trip by laying in the middle of the highway while hubby was spotting for cars! I have always wanted to do this and love the way it sets the scene for the album.
The start of the trip. I decided up front to use my iphone to map each route and distance and took a screen shot at the start of our drive each day. All my journalling is printed directly onto the kit cards.
A few points along the way from day one. I like to balance my pictures with a fair bit of journalling. It was great to get to our campsite, put the tent up for the first time and hop in.
This is where we stayed our first night. We met a cat named Puddy who was a resident at the caravan park. The kids fell in love with him instantly.
Taking in all the little details at stops along the way – driving day two.
Campsite in Longreach. This was a really big tourist park but was totally empty. It was at this point the advice we received about the time of year to travel out here really hit home. We took a swim in the park pool and it only took a few minutes for all the wet stuff to be bone dry! I love photographing the stuff you may forget. (Journalling yet to come on this page)
Up early again we were heading deep West now to Lark Quarry to see fossilised dinosaur footprints. I used this layout to include the ticket we purchased to the footprints. I love keeping & including little bits like that.
The heat at the quarry was something else. And I love how this layout starts with a picture of Mackenzie looking up, listening with her face glistening with sweat. Our tour guide was a truly lovely old man so I had to include him as the kids loved listening to him and discussing dinosaurs. This is what I tried to capture.
Still at the quarry hunting for fossils. Calvin & Mackenzie just standing with the hot wind blowing this picture needs no words.
Our car fridge broke down, the water smelled REAL bad so no showers & it was new years eve but we were together and that’s all that really mattered.
Our dinosaur hunt continues and we’re back on the road. Sometimes the best laid plans fail but you make do, even if you have to have SPAM for dinner.
We arrive in Townsville – sun, sand & Bbeach. One country yet such incredible contrasts. I love Australia.
Our friends at Crafthouse (they’ve been getting our products into customers’ hands Down Under for a while now) were so excited to hear about Petra’s album that they are having a special sale just for their customers in Australia and New Zealand! From now until March 4th, receive 20% off when you purchase both a Mini Album and Childhood Mini Kit (your choice of Mini Album color and Mini Kit Edition) – heck, YES! Take advantage of the sale HERE
While you’re there you can also pre-order all of the products that are coming in late April. We are also excited to let you know that Crafthouse will be at the Melbourne Scrapbooking & Craft Show from March 1-3. They will have samples on hand of the new products arriving later this spring and will be offering a variety of promotions during the show. Stop by to see them if you have a chance!
As for those of you reading this who are NOT in New Zealand or Australia, but you’re inspired to do a Mini Album project and motivated by a sale … we will eventually run a sale on Amazon.com but sales are very far & few between on Project Life products. We don’t know when we’ll do that just yet. When we do, we’ll give you a heads-up ahead of time so you can plan, but for now – don’t count on it happening at any particular time. Thank you Petra for sharing your Mini Album!
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
In January we announced that Jessica Sprague created and offered a Digital Project Life self-paced class. It has helped countless people figure out how easy it is to use the digital elements of Project Life. I’ve had a few of my personal friends even tell me that they took the class and they’re totally sold on the digital approach. So fun.
Well friends … that class is back by popular demand! If you missed it the first time, it’s available again! You can learn all about it HERE to see if it’s a good fit for your interests. For today, we are all about a giveaway! In addition to winning a seat in Jessica’s self-paced class, the winner will also receive 1 full Project Life edition of their choice from ACDigitals.com.
This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere … no matter where in the world you live. Simply leave your first name + city + state/country and that’s it. We’ll randomly select and announce a winner and add that person’s name to the bottom of this post tomorrow morning. Be sure to check back!
Congratulations to Brenda in Picture Butte, Alberta, Canada. You are our lucky winner! Please email email@example.com to claim your free class and firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your free digital Project Life collection from AC Digitals.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
This is a peek inside our freezer. What you see there are a few little beauties called FREEZER MEALS. My friend Cherice doorbell ditched me the other day and left these at my door as the most thoughtful act of kindness ever.
I mentioned this on instagram, facebook, and twitter that day – and I was surprised to see questions like “What are freezer meals?” So you can imagine what happened next. “Cherice, you have to write a guest blog post telling my readers who don’t know about this!” And so she did. Below is what Cherice has to share, including one of her favorite recipes. Thank you Cherice.
I want to first mention that for several months (a few years ago) I was part of a group of about 6 or so friends who got together once a month and exchanged freezer meals. We each mass-produced a recipe x6, met for the exchange (and chit-chat and laughter) … and we went home with 6 different freezer meals. It was awesome. That’s just another way you could try this out if you’re interested.
Cherice Rigby: Wife, Mom, Project Lifer, Freezer-meal-maker, and rocks the sewing machine
Think about the most stressful time of your day. Does it happen to be around dinner time? For me it is. That is why I love freezer meals. I put the meal in the oven or crock pot and walk away. Done. No frantically trying to get dinner ready or worrying if I have all the ingredients after I have already started cooking. Plus no cooking dishes to wash – yay!
Freezer meals are also known as freezer cooking, bulk cooking, batch cooking or once a month cooking. But whatever you call it the concept is simply the same. When you cook, cook multiple portions and freeze the extra servings.
There are different ways you can approach freezer cooking. Some people like to spend two days a month and prepare 20+ meals. The first day is spent shopping and prepping, then the second day is spent assembling. But for me that sounds too overwhelming and honestly I don’t have two full days to devote myself to the kitchen. So most of the time I like to take it one meal at a time, and one day at a time. My purpose for freezer meals is not to stock my freezer full for a month at a time. I simply like just to have a few on hand for those days that I know will be crazy busy and will leave no time to put a good home cooked meal on the table for my family.
Here are two ways I approach this:
1. When I buy meat, I stock up on it. For instance, the day or the day after I buy chicken (I only buy fresh) I make a couple chicken dishes my family likes, cook and shred some, and freeze the rest in individual freezer bags (that way I can grab however many chicken breasts I need).
2. When I make a meal, I triple the recipe. If I make lasagna, I cook one to have for that night’s dinner and the other two I freeze.
3 more tips:
1. Packaging. Use GLAD Press n’ Seal over casseroles, then foil, and then place it in a freezer bag. You wouldn’t want your food freezer burned!
2. Label! Label! Label! Label what is hidden under that tin foil along with cooking directions.
3. Plan ahead. Yes I believe freezer meals save time, but honestly they only save time if you plan in advance. You can’t pull a meal out of the freezer at 5:00pm and expect dinner to be ready by 6:00pm. It’s just not going to work that way. The meal should be taken out of the freezer the night before and thawed in the fridge. Then cook as you normally would (although I have noticed that mine generally take a bit longer). So really they only save time when you plan.
Sweet n’ Sour Chicken (my favorite freezer meal)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 cube chicken boullion
1 large can (20oz.) pineapple chunks or rounds
1 green pepper
Cut each trimmed chicken breast into 3-4 pieces and coat with flour. Fry chicken in a medium size fry pan using about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside in a 9×13 casserole dish (*if you are going to freeze this, then use a foil 9×9 pan). Drain pineapple, SAVING the juice.
In a medium sauce pan combine the following:
Pineapple juice (if the can didn’t give you 1 1/2 cups, then use water to make up the difference)
Boil for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees (*take out of the oven and skip the next step if your are freezing the meal*).
Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees and add pineapple and sliced green peppers. Bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes. Serve over rice.
If freezing, take out of the oven and DONT add the pineapple and green peppers. Put the pineapple and green pepper slices in a quart size freezer bag.
After it is slightly cooled, cover with foil and put it in the fridge until it is completely cold. (I usually just leave mine in overnight). Now put GLAD Press n’ Seal on and then tin foil on top of that. Place it in a gallon size freezer bag along with the bag of pineapple and green peppers and a card that is labeled Sweet n’ Sour Chicken and has all baking instructions written on it.
That’s it! Now you have one less meal that you have to worry about preparing on that crazy day where you feel like you have million and one things to do.
Happy freezer cooking!
Monday, February 18th, 2013
We’ve shared lots of Olive inspiration with you over the past few days – heritage pages, a mini album, a wedding album, a fun origami project, and even digital pages. Today we’re sharing everyday inspiration for scrapbooking the bits + pieces of our lives. Project Life was created as a solution to simplify the memory keeping process in order to allow you more time to enjoy the everyday moments. The pages below were all created using the Olive Edition – which is still 20% off through tonight (midnight EST) – and our Design A Photo Pocket Pages.
pages by Lorimay Barba
pages by Lorimay Barba
pages by Shelly Jaquet
pages by Shelly Jaquet
We certainly hope you’ve enjoyed all the Olive inspiration over the past 5 days. It’s very rare to run a sale like this on Project Life and we just knew you’d love the opportunity to save some $$ on this gorgeous edition. Remember: The Amazon sale ends tonight at midnight EST. Take advantage of saving 20% on ALL OLIVE products while you can – and of course we want to see your pages and projects. Email pictures to email@example.com anytime!
Click here to go directly to the Core Kit on Amazon.
Click here to go directly to the Binder on Amazon.
Click here to go directly to the 12×12 Designer Paper on Amazon.
Click here to go directly to the Month Dividers on Amazon.
Sunday, February 17th, 2013
Olive Edition inspiration continues. Yep. We launched our Valentines Day 20% off sale on Thursday, we’re taking it through Monday night … and as you may have noticed, we have been sharing DAILY inspiration so that you can see so many fun possibilities with the gorgeous Olive Edition, designed by Heather Bailey.
Not only is the beautiful Olive Edition on sale at Amazon through tomorrow night, but we’ve also included our digital Olive Edition products in the sale, too. Oh, heck yes. Not only does this edition look fantastic slipped into our Photo Pocket Pages, but it’s equally gorgeous in completely digital pages like those shown below.
pages by Donna Gibson
pages by Heather Johnson
To see each of the digital Project Life – Olive Edition products closer, check them out on ACDigitals.com.
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
Project Life is a memory-keeping system that is smart, simple, and solution-based. We all get that. But Project Life is also eye candy. Awesome designs and colors and patterns … by awesome designers. We are so grateful to each of them for how they have infused their awesomeness into each unique edition of Project Life.
We know that many of you, while enjoying the simplicity of getting your photos into a Project Life album, also like to play with paper. Let’s be honest. Many of you have been scrapbookers or card makers or paper crafters for a long time. There’s just something about playing with paper, right? So what we’ve done with each edition of Project Life is also offer a pack of 12×12 Designer Paper that coordinates. So you can play. So you can create full, traditional, creative scrapbook pages if you want. So you can make cards and other projects.
Right now, because we have a very special 20% off sale on all of our beautiful Olive products … we are delighted to share with you a darling little project that Heather Bailey herself did with the papers she designed. Check out Heather’s blog post + tutorial.
And while you’re over there, be sure to take advantage of yet another opportunity to win the Olive Edition of Project Life with a giveaway on Heather’s blog.