Tag Archives: Layouts

How I Survived My First Half Year Of Pocket Scrapbooking

Hey, it’s Alina aka alinalove writing and bringing you my experiences of my first half year of digital pocket scrapbooking. This is actually not my first year. I tried it last year and failed miserably at following through. Week 13 in 2013 was my last one and looking back, it was no miracle I couldn’t finish the year up. I will come back to that later. What you will know after reading this article is what my stumbling blocks and stepping stones were to my half year success. And you will know that I’m not made for long time projects. So just be sure that even when you are awfully behind, have close to no photos or journaling of the yet unscrapped weeks, you can still catch up and follow through if you want to. If I can do it, you can do it, too. Let me inspire you to find a new start!

My front cover for the book

My front cover for the book.

Starting a New Year Beginning something is always easy for me. I suppose you can relate. Everything is fresh and exciting. I have lots and lots of ideas in my mind how, when and why I want to do it. I knew right away that I wanted to keep most of my rules open. When I am thinking of a long term project, I want to look forward to trying new kits, new colors, cute embellishments. If I make my rules too narrow, I will get bored easily. So I chose to have only two rules: 2 pages per week and using the same kind of templates through the whole year. I had some other rules on a mental note but I couldn’t keep up with them. E.g. initially I wanted to set a color scheme or at least one color per month. This wasn’t working for me, as I’m always convinced I need THIS SPECIAL KIT for the coming week and the colors aren’t as important anymore. I also wanted to use more of the theme specific stamps and wordarts. This just wasn’t happening because it took too long for me to decide which items I would be using on this particular spread. There are too many choices, too many cute kits. Did you set up some rules for your new year regarding your pocket scrapbooking? Did you stick to all your rules?

Last week of being caught up.

Last week of being caught up.

Falling Behind In February it happened. I just stopped making my spreads. I had other projects beginning at that time just like last year and it sucked up all my additional energy for my creative outlet. And later, even if I had the time, I had no spark to continue. In May I realized, that if I want to finish my year, I have to get up and do something.

First week of catching up. Also becoming more minimalist. Not too many photos.

First week of catching up. Also becoming more minimalist. Not too many photos.

Catching Up I’m not a big planner or organizer anymore. I had been and all the planning and organizing took a whole lot of time and energy but I was never following through with my intentions. On one hand this is great, because I just “do” things instead of wondering for a long time how I would do it. On the other hand my projects might get a bit messy at times. And that is what happened here. I had some photos for most of my weeks. For one week or two weeks, there weren’t many of them. Additionally I had close to no journaling taken through the weeks that I fell behind. So what could I do? I used what I had. I took my photos, asked my husband to provide his and sometimes used pictures from the internet if it was fitting. To get an idea what was happening through the weeks, I consulted my calendar and emails and also asked my husband what happened in his week. I started from my first week that was undone and slowly crawled my way up to week 26. It took me about two months to catch up with 16 weeks. The closer I got to the current week, the easier it got because I had more info in my head and in the later weeks I got more aware of taking photos for my project. I also noticed that the more I proceeded, the more minimalist my spreads got. Speaking of consistency. Well, no, not me. I had two weeks that were dominated by an exhausting event. My dog was sick. I took mostly photos of him and us waiting for him to be treated in the vet clinic. While these were important weeks for me with lots of insight, I still didn’t want to “spam” four pages with the same content. I decided to break my rule of two pages per week and made two pages for two weeks. How do you catch up on your project? Do you have any tips and tricks for me?

One of the weeks when I had very little photos and not much journaling at hand. Still love that week scrapped.

One of the weeks when I had very little photos and not much journaling at hand. Still love that week scrapped.

Motivation There are two ways for me of looking at motivation here. One is the general motivation, why I do my weekly spreads and the other is the not too literal kick in the butt why I continued in May. I know that many of you doing pocket scrapbooking have your kids in mind. You want them to know in years ahead what their childhood looked like, what you did together, how much you love(d) them. This is a perfect motivator to keep on scrapping. Since we have no kids, this can’t be my reason. I don’t want to bother you that much with all my reasons why and only mention two here. It’s just that everytime I look back at an event I can’t remember when it was. That’s pretty much it! I seem to have a partial dementia when it comes to past things. I don’t remember that much. Life seems to have passed by and I wasn’t in it. I remember my first attempt at pocket scrapbooking last year, when I suddenly remembered everything that happened during the first weeks. That was so relieving and making me happy. Pocket scrapbooking is my diary. Beside that I just love scrapbooking and working with pretty things. These are my biggest general motivators. I had several motivators to get me up from my slump. First I knew that I would be writing this article. How should I do that without having made my spreads? I also knew that I wanted to print a halfyear book. I love to have my year in two books because it makes me look back at the first six month and reconsider what I want for the rest of the year. It’s like a new year in June. Looking forward to having my book printed (for real!) made me go even faster. What could your kick-butt motivator be to make you continue with your project?

MInimalist me taking over again. Starting with more pictures for the spread.

MInimalist me taking over again. Starting with more pictures for the spread.

Outlook for the next 6 months What do I want to keep on my journey to the full year and what will I discard? I do go along with my project a little randomly. I like it that way, it’s just how I am. I do embellish a lot, I do process all of my photos for a consistent look in a week. And yes, all of that takes a lot of time. I know it would be easier if I took one look and replicated it through the whole year. Sounds boring to me though. I might let go of the large scale embellishing. I have to have something 3d on my pages to make me happy, maybe it doesn’t have to be that much to still make me smile. I will keep on with the two pages per week and the same templates. I will rethink that for next year. I really want to be up to date with my weeks but I know this won’t always be the case, so I just don’t promise myself or I will be dissappointed. I have to keep it open as much as I can to be able to finish this time.

Last page for the half year book. It was so relieving to have the 6 months closed.

Last page for the half year book. It was so relieving to have the 6 months closed.

Just Do It! My approach to this kind of project might differ to many others, because it’s very open, unorganized and random. I made the project my own and do it although I’m not perfect at taking notes and photos. There are lots of styles out there and looking through them I like all of them because I can see the person behind the project peeking through. I hope I could inspire you to get your project on your desktop again or sparked a new motivation to get going with more fun! Don’t believe that your spreads have to be perfect in any way. Just let them represent your life!

My first half year in printed form :-)

My first half year in printed form :-)

If you want to browse through my weekly gallery, here is the link to my pinterest board. You will also find descriptions to most of the stash I used. Thank you so much for reading and stay tuned for more tutorials and inspiration on Gen’s blog!

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Winners Announced + Freebie!

Thanks so much to all who commented on my blog giveaways last week. I’ve selected two winners, using random.org.

Congrats, ladies! Please check your emails for a message from me!

Also, I’m hosting the Blueprint Challenge at Design House Digital this month, and I’ve designed a free template for you based on this layout:

Click on image for credits.

The layered template (psd files) includes the mist, stitching, and shadows, and you can grab it for free this month only: Blueprint #12. If you create a layout with it, be sure to upload it to the Blueprint Challenge Gallery for your chance to win a $5 gift certificate to DHD!

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Summer Girl Collab

(Looking for the DSC Blog Train? Scroll down!)

I was SO excited to work with the amazing Celeste Knight for a new collab that released this week. Celeste has such a way with gorgeous floral patterns, and I was super excited with the color scheme and idea we came up with. I literally could not stop designing for this kit, and trying new things I’d never done before.

I proudly give you Summer Girl Part 2:



It absolutely reminds me of faded sundresses and cowboy boots on a summer day, and did you see that embroidered leather? I SO love it, but really, I love the whole darn kit! I couldn’t resist playing with it… it’s been ages since I had time to scrap! Here’s my layout:

Layout by Gennifer Bursett

Check out that title… super cool, right? It’s another new kit I released this week, called Elemental Snippy Alphas. I totally dig it. Check out this layout that also uses Snippy, (and my super fun Washi Tags (another new release!):

Layout by Shannon Dombkowski

And here’s a look at some layouts made by my super talented creative team (and guest creative team!) members:

Layout by Michelle Huegel

That’s got one of my new mists from Toolbox – Mists Vol. 9, by the way!

Layout by Gwen LaFleur

Layout by Kate Christensen

Layout by Sarah Sullivan

Layout by Sandy Henderson

And, what would a new collab be without a giveaway? Comment here, and tell me this:

Have you ever been to Durango, Colorado?

I’ll be back on Monday to announce a winner (via random.org) from all the comments entered by 11:59 PM (MST) on Sunday. Oh, and what’s the giveaway? How about all FIVE of my newly released kits! That’s right, you’ll get Summer Girl Part 2, Summer Girl Solids, Elemental Snippy Alphas, Washi Tags, and Toolbox – Mists Vol. 9!

Be sure to stop by the DHD blog to enter there… you could with both Part 1 and Part 2 of the collab, and stop by my shop this weekend for a free kit, dollar kits, and discounts off every kit in my store! I’m also participating in a blog train, so be sure to check that out for a fun mini kit from me called In The Garden.

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Mad March Memories Blog Hop

Well, hello there! Thanks for stopping by my blog today… If you made it here from Erica’s as part of the Mad March Memories Blog Hop, you’re in the right spot.

If you stumbled directly onto my blog you are in for a treat, but you’ll want to stop now and jump right over to check out what Liz Jutila has to say on the Design House Digital blog. She’ll let you know exactly what you need to do to be entered into a drawing for a Wacom Bamboo tablet, plus how to get this amazing collab kit:

Gorgeous, isn’t it? That’s 42 papers, and 44 elements, and you can get it FREE. (Seriously… go read what Liz has to say!)

I’m super excited to be sharing with you one of my favorite things to do in digital scrapbooking: How to mix patterns in your digital layouts.

As a predominantly “paper” style scrapper, I love to recreate the look of layers and layers of patterned paper. It’s something that can be very intimidating to some people, so I’m going to share a few tricks I’ve learned. I’ll tell you which rules to break, which ones you can bend, and which ones you need to follow, and hopefully we’ll have some fun along the way.

Rule #1: Don’t mix more than 3 patterns. BREAK IT.

I’m not saying you have to use more than three, but don’t let any number be your standard: I used 17 different patterned papers here. SEVENTEEN. But, by keeping them in very small doses, and in similarly sized strips, they don’t compete with each other or overwhelm the photo.

Rule #2: Choose one base color, and make sure it is in all of your patterns. BEND IT.

I’m not going to lie, this one can be a good rule to follow, and an easy one. Each of the five patterned papers has pink in it, so they all go together. Working out of the same kit ensures that they will coordinate, and it takes the guesswork out of it. But, if you’re ready to take it to the next level…

Why not try mixing patterns and colors that don’t match? With this layout, I used multiple patterned papers with no colors in common. The eclectic mix gives it a fun and fresh vibe, but it’s kept grounded by a central design and neutral background.

Rule #3: Some patterns are solids. FOLLOW IT.

The background paper here is actually patterned. Yep… not a single solid paper was used on this layout. It’s neutral, not because of the color (although grey is obviously a neutral) but because of the very slight tonal pattern that reads as a solid.

Rule #4: Only use one multicolored pattern at a time. BREAK IT.

Yeah, I’m all up in this rule’s face. Using multiple patterned papers, with lots of different colors in them is just plain fun. How to make sure it jives? Work out of one kit. All of the patterned papers (except the neutral ledger) are from the same kit, so the colors are spot on. It can be tricky to mix strong multicolored patterns, and there’s no shame in taking the easy way!

Rule #5: Mix together a large prints, a small print, and a solid print. FOLLOW IT.

This is pretty much a way to always guarantee your patterns will work together, because they will always have enough variety to make it interesting. Wanna know something tricky, though? I’m also following #3 here, and my “solid” paper is actually the pink polka dot strip. That’s right.

Rule #6: Pair linear patterns with floral patterns. BEND IT.

While I love a good floral print, this is not a cut-and-dried rule. Here, I’ve put three very graphic prints together: the plaid, the polka dot, and the gingham from the bow. I’ve balanced out the strong lines with the scalloped paper edge and rounded label, so it still works!

Rule #7: Use shades and tints, instead of matching exactly. FOLLOW IT.

If you’re hesitant in any way about mixing patterns, this is the way to start out. It doesn’t matter how many different patterns I use because they are all in the same color family, and it allows me to play with another pattern… the stitched circle background!

Rule #8: Give your eyes a break. FOLLOW IT.

I think this is by far the most important rule there is… follow this, and you can’t really go wrong. Let’s do a quick check of our rules again, and see how this layout fares:

  1. 13 patterns total… definitely bent that rule.
  2. Nope, no base color in every pattern.
  3. Yep, the grey stripe is my neutral.
  4. 3 multicolored patterns!
  5. Large + small + solid: Yes.
  6. Linear and floral… check.
  7. Shades and tints of every color on there!

But, even with all that going on, I’ve left plenty of white space so it’s not visually jarring. It works.

One last thing I’d like to share about mixing patterns… it’s so freeing! As digital scrapbookers, we sometimes get caught up in kit scrapping. Designers are so great at giving us everything we need in one tidy folder, that we might not even venture out of it. If you can learn to look at all of your supplies, and mix and match no matter the designer, or store, or even style, you will truly be maximizing your supplies! And isn’t that one of the best things about digital, anyway?

I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out my blog today! Feel free to browse around, and if you’ve been following me you might want to update your links… I’ve moved, you see. :) Before you venture on to the next blog on the list, I’ve got two more things to share with you.

First, I’ve got my own contest for you: Comment here, and I’ll put your name in a drawing for a guest spot on my Creative Team. You’ll get all of the kits I release in March, April, May, and June for free! FA-REE! Share this blog post (through Facebook, your blog, or Twitter) and “Like” my page on Facebook for even more chances… just leave an additional comment for each one here with a link, please. Contest ends Wednesday, Mar 14 at 11:59 PM MST.

Secondly, you can win a spot in Tiffany Tillman’s upcoming class, It’s Elemental. Check out all the details on the Renee Pearson blog.

Now, scurry along to Jen Allyson’s blog and see what she’s got to share with you. Don’t forget to take your secret letter… it’s

Like the supplies I used on my layouts? Click on the images for credits.

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It’s a quickie!

I decided to skip sleeping last night, and instead whipped up this layout using 25 (THAT’S RIGHT!) different kits (for credits, click on the link):

I really like Steve right now, since I haven’t seen him for a few days… so I thought I’d scrap these two photos. One is from right before we got married, and one is a few weeks ago, right before our 13th anniversary. I bet you can’t tell which is which, huh? I sure do age well. And so SKINNY!

Anyway, it’s for the March Color Swatch Challenge at Design House Digital. You know, the one where you’re supposed to choose 4-5 colors, but since I’m me I chose 8. It’s what I do.
I’d love to have you play along, whether your thing is digital, paper, or you’re biscraptually inclined. No judgements here.

In other news, I think I’ll go take a nap.

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