Monday, November 29, 2010

December Journaling Spots--My twist on a "December Daily"

I know the idea of a December Journal/December Daily is VERY popular right now...but I do not create mini albums/journals.  I work  exclusively on 12 x 12 scrapbooks, and organize them chronologically.  So I did my own take on this type of project. 

Rather than making complete journal pages...I made journaling "spots" and journaling prompts to add to them. These journaling spots will eventually go into my scrapbook, along with any pictures and memorabilia from the corresponding day. 

Sample Journaling Spot for December 5th

For the "base" of some of my journaling spots, I simply cut a shape using my Silhouette (approx 4"x6") and added some stamping and distress inking.  For some other spots, I used patterned scrapbook paper as my "base" rather then cutting the shape with my Silhouette, I did this in order to vary the look of the layouts.
4"x6" Journal spot "bases"

Next I wrote a list of journaling prompts to add to each day's journaling spot. The prompts are written on mini label stickers.  The 25 different journaling prompts I used are as follows...

Believe in miracles...
Hang stockings...
Make a list...
No peeking...
Bake cookies...
Deck the halls...
Sing carols...
Wrap it up...
Sip on cocoa...
Gather together...
Send greetings...
Enjoy the lights...
Make it merry...
Trim the tree...
Keep traditions...
Visit Santa...
Keep warm...
Check it twice...
Take time...
Bring peace...
Let it snow...
Admire it all...
Shop till you drop...
Meet under mistletoe...
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

Journaling Prompt Labels

My journaling will be either a reflection of that day, a Christmas Tradition, a Christmas memory, possibly a Christmas Cookie recipe, lists, menus, or basically whatever comes to mind that pertains to how we spent the days/nights of December 2010!

As each day passes, I will choose which prompt to use for that particular day.  Some of them I can plan (like "Visit Santa"), but a majority can be incorporated somehow into an activity from that day, therefore, they are not numbered.  I will add the number/date as I choose which prompt to use for which day.  Which brings me to the numbers...

I embellished the numbers 1-25 to use for each date from December 1st until Christmas Day.   This was probably the most fun/creative part of the project. 
Examples of some embellished numbers/dates

I do not plan on creating a layout for EVERY SINGLE DAY in December...I am sure I can squeeze 3or 4 days onto one double-page layout if need be.  But I generally take HUNDREDS of pictures during the month of December, so I imagine most days will have their own layout.

I intend on keeping up with the journaling every single day throughout December...who knows when I will get around to scrapping the pictures!  At least I know the journaling will be preserved for me to use when I am ready. 

Happy December!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So Excited!!!

I'm so excited that I've been choosed as the Design Team Coordinator at!!!  This is a challenge blog, started by Devon Hickman.  Devon also has a kit site, where you can purchase some pretty scrapbook kits!  I cannot wait to start working on some of the challenges on this new blog.  And I'm REALLY excited that I get to assist in the organization/coordination of the other design team members and their projects!  If you want to get inspired by some great challenges, come on over and follow!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Journaling Prompts

Journaling is VERY important for me in my scrapbooking.  Below is a compilation of Thanksgiving Journaling Prompts that I have collected from various websites*. 

A few exercises to get you started...

Words to inspire thankful thoughts- Choose one word (or a group of words) from the list below and write freely about what they personally mean to you.
Thankfulness, gratitude, abundance, warmth, security, family, football, tradition, November, Harvest Festival, fourth Thursday in November, Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Thanksgiving Proclamation, George Washington, 1789, Pilgrims, settlers, Indians, fall, autumn, feast, turkey, gravy, dressing, stuffing, corn, yams with marshmallows, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, cranberry sauce, corn bread, Christmas shopping.
Thankful list- If you want to prepare yourself for Thanksgiving, you could always write out 100 Things You Are Thankful For. It's not as easy as you might think to come up with 100 different things.

Get everyone involved-Ask everyone to write down their name and one thing they are thankful for this year.  You can pre-cut the papers to be any size you would like, so you can include them on a scrapbook page.  BONUS--You will have a sample of everyone's handwriting in your scrapbook!!!

Journaling Prompts...

  • Record your child’s version of Thanksgiving on a scrapbook page.
  • Make a list of your family’s favorite Thanksgiving Traditions.
  • Does your family say a special Thanksgiving prayer at mealtime? Record the words.
  • Create a “menu” that documents your family’s Thanksgiving meal.
  • Write a guest list of the people who attended your Thanksgiving feast this year. (Wouldn’t it be cool if you did this every year?)
  • Include a copy of your Thanksgiving shopping list on a scrapbook page. (I think it would be neat to include the receipt too.)
  • Photocopy favorite family Thanksgiving recipes and slip them behind or on a scrapbook page.
  • Tell about a Thanksgiving that went awry. Did you burn the mashed potatoes? Did your son come down with the chicken pox?
  • What is the one thing you like best about Thanksgiving Day?
  • How have you changed the Thanksgiving traditions of your childhood? If you’re married, how have you melded traditions from two families?
  • Where did you go for Thanksgiving dinner this year? Were you happy to go there?
  • Create a schedule that shows your Thanksgiving routine.
  • What do you do with Thanksgiving leftovers?
  • Make a list of Thanksgiving Day movies and/or books you and your family enjoy.
  • What does it mean to be thankful?
  • Why do you think brown and orange are the Thanksgiving colors?
  • Describe what you know about the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Use your five senses to describe the meal's tastes, looks, smells, and textures.
  • Tell about your family's Thanksgiving traditions. How does each person contribute?
  • If Thanksgiving is one of your favorite holidays, describe why you enjoy it so much. Are there any parts of the holiday that you don't like?
  • What family traditions are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?
  • What family traditions are you hoping to avoid this Thanksgiving?
  • Are there any special family recipes that you use for Thanksgiving?
  • Who will be at your Thanksgiving feast this year? Are there any new additions? Anyone missing?
  • What activities does your family participate in while they're waiting for dinner?
  • Do you use the good china or the paper stuff?
  • Do you create anything "crafty" for Thanksgiving? (centerpieces, flower arrangements, place markers, or napkin rings, or example)

  • Who prepares the meal?
  • Did you make any culinary contributions to the meal?
  • Write out the menu and who prepared what.
  • What was your favorite dish? Least favorite?
  • Where does everyone sit for dinner?
  • Were there any interesting conversations during dinner?
  • Write about dessert.
  • Who cleans up the mess?
  • What activities did your family participate in after dinner?
  • What was your favorite memory of this Thanksgiving?
  • Compare the Thanksgivings of your childhood to the Thanksgivings of your adult life.
  • What was different about Thanksgiving this year?
  • Do you think the history of Thanksgiving Day matters to people anymore? Is the current meaning of a holiday celebration or family tradition more important than its roots?
  • What does celebrating Thanksgiving represent or symbolize to you?
  • Does your family gather together at Thanksgiving? If so, do members travel great distances and put a lot of effort to get together and make the event memorable? What do you enjoy about this event?
  • How does Thanksgiving Day normally go at your house? Does it go smoothly or is it a time of family stress or disagreement?
  • Do you watch football games on Thanksgiving Day? What have been the most memorable Thanksgiving football games that you remember?
  • Do you remember celebrating your first Thanksgiving dinner with your family? How old were you? Who did you sit next to? What else do you remember about it?
  • Do you remember preparing your first Thanksgiving dinner for your family? What was the experience like? Was the turkey dry? Or did everything turn out perfect?
  • Is Thanksgiving a time for "thanks" and "gratitude" for you? Or are you primarily focused on preparing a meal or entertaining guests?
  • Do you look forward to the "biggest shopping day of the year" kicking off your Christmas shopping on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving)?  How do you prepare for it? (Include gift/shopping lists and an itinerary.)

*I used the following web sites to compile the journaling prompts on this list...

I hope these will jump-start your Thanksgiving journaling for your scrapbook layouts!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Organizing Photos---From the Camera to the Completed Layout (and everything in between)

In this age of digital is possible to have dozens, or even 100's of photos of any given event.  I have taken 1000's of pictures this year alone!!!  Will I scrap all of these pictures?...of course not!  But every single one of these photos is organized...and once I found a system that worked for became a breeze to keep up with it!

The most important thing to remember (I believe) is that your should not rely only on the hard drive of your computer for preserving your pictures.  Computers crash...every day.  And if you do not have your photos backed up, you will loose them all.  These are the steps I follow with my photos, from the moment they are taken, until the moment they are scrapped.

Download onto computer.
I download my pictures to my hard drive.  I create a folder for each year.  In each of these "year" folders, there is a sub-folder for each month.  Next, I crop and edit them to my liking.

Make backup files.
I cannot stress the importance of this step enough!  I send all of my pictures to an on-line processing site.  I use ...but there are many on-line photo-sharing sites to choose from.  I also make a second back up in the form of a CD or DVD and label it for the appropriate year and month.  I know these discs will not last forever.  I believe it is recommended to re-save them every few years.  Once I make the back-ups, I am comfortable with deleting the photos from my memory card.

Decided which photos to print.
I go through each month's pictures, and view the photos rather quickly.  I make 2 for photos I want to print as 4x6 prints, and one for photos I want to print as wallets (2"x3" mini prints).  If I go through the pictures quickly, I am forced to choose only the best photos to make large, and the next best to be made as "supporting" mini prints. 
I do not take my time, or sit and debate back and forth whether or not to print a picture, if I have to is probably not a very good picture, and I know I should not print it.  I just keep track of the BEST pictures on my two lists.  I usually end up printing about 1/10 of the photos I have taken.

Get the pictures printed.
I print all of my 4x6 prints at because it is inexpensive (9 cents each) and there is usually some type of coupon or sale.  I look for deals on free shipping or "50 free print" specials and try to place orders when I have these types of coupons/coupon codes.

I print the mini prints in the 1-hour processing center at Target.  I use the Kodak Kiosk at Target to organize and place my order.  I wait until I have enough pictures to make 100 4x6 prints (400 mini prints)...then I get a cheaper cost per print.  I believe it is 15 cents per print for an order of 100 prints or more.  When printing the mini must go to "collages", then "mini prints", then choose the size (2 3x4", 4-2x3", or 9-1 1/2 x1"), then choose the pictures.   Each image on the 4x6 sheet is a DIFFERENT picture---I cut them apart when I get home.  By printing mini prints (2"x3" size) I get 400 photos for $15.00.  This also allows me to scrapbook more pictures on a layout.

Once I have the prints in my possession, I feel comfortable deleting the pictures from my hard drive.  If I had an external hard-drive, I would keep them saved there (as an additional form of back-up)...but I do not have an external drive.

Organizing the prints.
Once I have the prints, I divide them up into the appropriate grouping for the layouts I plan on creating.    for example, if I have 50 pictures of Christmas, I might make 5 different for Christmas Eve, one for opening gifts, one for Christmas dinner, one for Christmas gifts at Grammy's house, and one for "playing with gifts".  I divide my prints into piles that correspond with each layout.  Next, I put each pile into it's appropriate page protector in the album. 

**I organize my albums chronologically, so it is easy to tell which page protector will house each completed layout.  To help me keep track, I create a "Table of Contents" for each album.  The "Table of Contents" is nothing more than a piece of scrap paper placed inside the front cover of each incomplete album.  I list the layouts I plan on including in that album and cross each one off as it is completely scrapped.  Once I finish an entire album, I throw the "Table of Contents" away.

Sample "Table of Contents"

Add the coordinating paper and embellishments.
Once I have the pictures divided into layouts, I choose matching paper and embellishments for the layout.  I slip in my journaling notecard into the page protector (see my post about Journaling Tips for more information).  I slide the coordinating paper behind the pictures in each page protector.  If there are coordinating embellishments, or memorabilia, I will include them in the page protector as well.  (See my post on Managing Memorabilia for tips on keeping track of and organizing your memorabilia.)

Scrapbook that page!
Now the pictures, paper, memorabilia, journaling, and main embellishments are all in one place, ready to be scrapbooked.  I do not work in chronological order.  I usually just thumb through an album, pick a layout that inspires me...and work on that.  Half of the work is already done for me.  All I have to do is design the elements, add the title, and grab a few other embellishments (like ribbon, buttons, or flowers) and finish off the page.

This may sound somewhat time consuming, but I feel that it is saving me time in the long run.  Everything is completely organized and when I have time to dedicate to scrapbooking, I am not scrambling around searching for pictures on the computer, or sifting through boxes of printed pictures.  I already have the pictures and paper chosen and I am ready to get some serious scrapping done!!!  I hope that some of these ideas will help you in organizing, printing, and scrapping your photos!!!