• The Benefits of Digital Project Life

    Project Life is a fabulous simple system to get photos scrapbooked and stories told, whether you are a paper or digital scrapbooker. The new collections coming out (baby and childhood) in addition to the new core kits make it easy to create beautifully coordinated pages with minimal effort. That being said, I think going the digital route has some distinct advantages.

    project life digital The Benefits of Digital Project Life

    The Advantages of Digital Project Life

    1. Templates are the best thing that ever happened to digital scrapbooking, and there are so many Project Life digital templates to choose from. No more spending hours designing the perfect layout. Simply find a layout you like, add your photos, some journalling, and embellishments if that’s your thing, and you’re done! For 2012 (and again in 2013) I am using a one color per month design, which means that each week I “Save As” on my current layout, then swap out the pictures, a few accent cards, add some journalling and I’m done.

    2. Digital supplies can be used again and again. I used one $3.00 paper pack for my entire 2012 album. How much would 104+ pieces of cardstock cost? I also used this $4.50 set of digital stamps by Ali Edwards every single week. The savings can really add up.

    3. Digital layouts are so easy to share. When they are sized for the web, they can be posted on Facebook, your blog, or emailed with the click of a mouse. You don’t need to worry about getting the perfectly focused, glare-free photo of your finished layout. (I also keep them on my iPhone.)

    4. It is SO easy to make copies. This is probably my favorite reason for digital scrapbooking, especially since starting Project Life. Each year I create an 8×8 photo book of my Project Life album for each grandparent in our family, along with copies for my girls (which they will receive when they are adults). I had been ordering my books from Snap My Life Creations (formerly Inkubook) but they went out of business at the beginning of the year, hence the giant stack of photo books pictured above. I had to order them while I still could! I would love some photo book company recommendations for next year.

    5. Two words: Spell check.

    There you have it, my two cents. Before you take the digital leap, keep in mind that you do need to figure in the cost of printing your layouts and the initial purchase of photo editing software.

    TIP #1: I buy print credits from Persnickety Prints when they have their semi-annual sales to help reduce my printing costs. I also wait to order my layouts until I have a substantial number to print to reduce my shipping costs.

    TIP #2: Some digital scrapbookers resize their 12×12 layouts to 8×8 before printing to reduce the printing cost.

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  • My Complete 2012 Project Life Album

    I placed my biggest Persnickety Prints order to date at the beginning of the year… 95 prints! It was a very happy day when the rest of my 2012 (and 2011) layouts arrived in the mail. It really is my favorite mail, Christmas cards aside. I can’t tell you how good it felt to slide the layouts into my completed 2011 and 2012 albums. I don’t think I’ve ever been this caught up since I started Project Life in 2009!

    2012 project life pages My Complete 2012 Project Life Album

    I did quite a poor job of keeping up with my layouts in 2011 and 2012, something I hope to remedy in 2013. If you’d like to look at my completed 2012 Project Life album, you can see it here. A detailed tutorial on how I created the layouts can be found here.

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  • Extracting Photos From A Video

    If you are reading my blog, then I know you are passionate about memory keeping and capturing not only everyday moments, but exciting and memorable moments as well. You are probably also a scrapbooker, and to scrapbook you need (well, you don’t technically need, but they are handy) photos to scrapbook said memories, yes?

    Now, imagine if you will, your child at their school Christmas concert, or learning how to ride their bicycle, or telling them that they are going to Disneyland. Pictures are fabulous, but sometimes you want to take a video and see them in action. While having an extra set of hands to take photos would be ideal, we often have to choose one or the other.

    Enter Video 2 Photo, one of my very favorite apps. It allows you to quickly and easily extract photos from video taken on your iPhone. I don’t know about you, but my phone is with me during all waking hours of the day. 80% of my Project Life photos are taken with my iPhone. I used Video 2 Photo all the time. In fact, I used it last weekend to take a video and extract photos of Kelly telling Zoë and Eden that we were going to Disneyland. I also included a QR code on my Project Life layout for the week so we can watch the video that corresponds with the photos. Cool, right?!

    2012 9 29 30a blog Extracting Photos From A Video

    I hope you found this little tip helpful. Have a great day!

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  • Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout

    HappyMail Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout
    Last week, after posting this photo of my recent Persnickety Prints order on Facebook, I received multiple comments asking how I create my pages. Today I am going to walk you through the process, but before I do that, how fantastic are the layouts from Persnickety Prints?! They even look good photographed on my iPhone. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Persnickety Prints. They have been exclusively printing my layouts for two years now and their quality is unmatched. Did I mention I received my layouts three days after placing my order? Amazing. If you have never used Persnickety Prints, I whole heartedly recommend them.

    Moving on. These are the steps I am using to create my 2012 layouts in Photoshop.

    Step 1: Start with a piece of cardstock. Drag this on to your 12×12 canvas. This will be your background.

    2012 tutorial 1 Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout

    Step 2: Create another layer (above the cardstock) and fill it with white. This will help create the appearance of using a traditional slotted page protector. With this layer selected, hold down the shift key and select Edit > Transform > Scale. Drag the bidirectional arrow in the bottom corner of the white square toward the center of your layout and reduce the size until you are happy with the border. Select the move tool and center the white square on your layout.

    2012 tutorial2 Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout

    Step 3: Open your digital page protector file. With the shift key held down, drag it on top of the white square layer, (this will center the page protector on your layout). With this digital page protector layer selected, hold down the shift key and select Edit > Transform > Scale. Drag the bidirectional arrow in the bottom corner of the digital page protector toward the center of your layout and reduce the size until it covers the white square.

    2012 tutorial3 Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout

    Step 4: Open the Project Life digital template. Select all layers of the template and with the shift key held down, drag them on top of the digital page protector layer. With the Project Life template layers still selected, hold down the shift key and select Edit > Transform > Scale. Drag the bidirectional arrow in the bottom corner of the Project Life digital template toward the center of your layout and reduce the size until the journaling cards fit into the page protector slots. You will need to select each journaling card individually to adjust their size slightly, and move them into proper position above the page protector. (Note: I created rectangular “3×4″ cards for the center slots. These do not come with Becky’s template. I like the mix of square and rounded corners.)

    2012 tutorial4 Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout

    Step 5: Lock all of your layers in place. This will keep everything where it belongs when you start adding your photos and journaling.

    Step 6: Add drop shadows to your digital page protector and journaling cards, that way your shadowing is done for all the future layouts you create with this new template. I am all about streamlining. I use drop shadow layer styles by Peppermint Granberg. I would link them up for you, but it looks like they are no longer available for purchase. Sad. She does have a fantastic drop shadow tutorial here on her blog, and a self-paced class at Big Picture Classes called Me and My Shadow that takes her basic tutorial to the next level.

    Step 7: Using clipping masks, add photos and journaling. Voila! I use the same template each month and simply swap out the background cardstock with a new color. Easy peasy. Like I said, I’m all about streamlining. Just make sure to “Save As” before you start each new layout.

    If you are new to digital scrapbooking, Tiffany Tillman has an wonderful video tutorial that walks you through creating a layout using Photoshop Elements.

    2012 tutorial51 Tutorial: Creating A Digital Project Life Layout

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  • Project Life 2012 | January


    This is my fourth year of participating in P365, or Photo-of-the-Day, or Life in Photos, or Project Life. Whatever you call it, capturing (mostly) daily photos of my family and our life is my passion. I love documenting the little bits of life that make our life special. That being said, I’ve never been an official “Project Life” participant. The idea is exactly the same, but I have used a mishmash of other products for the last three years instead of Becky Higgins’ paper products. (Remember, I’m a digital girl.) However, I have been worn down. I have seen literally hundreds of fantastic layouts using her templates and I am completely hooked. Hooked, I say!

    It took me almost two months to finally decide on a design. While I love Becky’s Design A, my very favorite thing about using Cathy Zielske’s template for the last three years was that I could drop the completed layouts straight into a photo book without having to worry about portions of my page being cropped or stitched into the binding. I also love the look of the divided page protectors, but there was no way on God’s green earth that I was creating pieces of my page digitally, printing them, cropping, and inserting them into page protectors. Never going to happen.

    So what did I finally do? The short version is that I resized Becky’s Design A Template and the digital page protector to allow for my cardstock the show around the edges. Each month of the year will have its’ own color. The 4×6 cards in the upper left hand corner will coordinate with that color.

    I approach Project Life “weeks” a bit differently than most people. Each month I create the same pages 1st-7th, 8th-14th, 15th-21st, 22nd-28th, 29th-last day + Monthly Headlines or Monthly Highlights. Here are my layouts from January. (Click on the layouts to see a larger version.)

    Week 1 | January 1st – 7th

    2012 1 1 7web Project Life 2012 | January

    Week 2 | January 8th – 14th

    2012 1 8 14web Project Life 2012 | January

    Week 3 | January 15th – 21st

    2012 1 15 21web Project Life 2012 | January

    Week 5 | January 29th – 31st + Monthly Headlines

    2012 1 29 31web Project Life 2012 | January

    January Supplies:
    Click on the images to link to the products. 

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