Tag Archives: Everyday

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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August Dollar Days at Design House Digital

I know, it’s seriously been a while. My computer crashed, so between trying to fix it (including wiping the laptop completely back to factory settings) and then having to send it it, things have been crazy the last month or so. And, sadly, it was damaged slightly during the shipping process, so although it’s functional now, it will be heading out again shortly to (hopefully!) come back in pristine condition! Plus, I just returned from a trip to beautiful Durango, Colorado… My sister, my aunt, and I went for a quick trip to visit another sister, and I just got home late last night.

So, a quick post today to mention August Dollar Days at Design House Digital: Every day, we will release brand new kits for only $1, and they will stay at that [killer] price for all of August. We’ve got over 30 already, and even more to come as the month progresses!

The two I’ve released so far are…

California Girls Papers: (I will be releasing coordinating elements soon!)

California Girls Paper preview

and Fifty Nifty US Map Template:

Fifty Nifty US Map Template preview

It’s a layered template (psd and tif) that I think has loads of possibilities… I can’t wait to really play around even more with it!

There are so many great kits that you really should check them all out, but some of my favorites are:

I also have four other kits I’ve released since I last updated my blog… and, to make up for not posting them, you can grab any (or all!) for 25% off through Saturday, using coupon code slackerGEN.

Fifty Nifty Letterpress Cards:

Fifty Nifty Letterpress Cards

Elemental Snippy Quotes V1:

Elemental Snippy Quotes V1 preview

Quotable Journal Cards:

Quotable Journal Cards preview

Veneer Journalers:

Veneer Journalers preview

Now, I’m off to unpack! 🙂

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Leap Day Sale, plus a coupon!

Aww. I love Leap Day! Just the idea of a whole extra day… it’s full of possibilities! Maybe I’ll clean out a closet. Maybe I’ll paint my baseboards. Maybe I’ll finally start those quilts.

Then again, maybe I’ll read a book. Maybe I’ll paint my nails. Maybe I’ll just take a nap. The point is, it’s a free day, so it’s totally fine!

(And, I gotta be honest: The latter ideas are far more likely than the former. Steve has been away for a few days on a business trip, so I’ve taken every opportunity I could to slack off. We’ve been eating out every night, I haven’t done a single load of laundry, and the house is a wreck. Today is my last day, because I’ll be in a mad cleaning frenzy before he gets home tomorrow night. I’m just keeping it real here, folks.)

If you’re a scrapbooker, Leap Day is a great day to stock up on kits, because Design House Digital is having a super quick sale: 29% off the entire shop! Yes, everything, even my newest kits like County Fair Part 2 (a collab with Sara Schmutz) and my very popular Simply Said.

It’s also your last chance to stock up on February’s 60 brand new dollar kits, including these four by Yours Truly:



They’re great for both digital pages and Project Life, so grab them today before they go up to their regular price tomorrow!

And, for those who’ve stopped by my blog, here’s a little something just for you:
Grab The Everything Planner for just $2.90 today (regularly $12.99) and use the extra day to get yourself organized. Use coupon code blogHAPPY at checkout.

Happy Leap Day, however you spend it! (I won’t tell.)

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So, yeah.

I hate that I never blog now.

There’s probably no one reading this, but (let’s be honest) I’m doing it more for me. Because it’s not the blogging I miss… I do plenty of that on the Design House Digital blog. It’s the personal blogging I miss… the chance to vent, to share, to journal, to think my way through things as I type them out.

I hate that I don’t have nearly the online record for 2011 that I did in previous years. I love looking through my old posts… checking out the photos, reading the comments, and maybe even rolling my eyes at what I talked about.

So, here’s hoping I can get back into it. Even if it’s just for me.

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Free Digital Download – Chore Charts

Updated August 15, 2012:
Please support me! New and improved versions of my chore charts (11 colors total in 3 designs, plus an editable pdf!) are now available in my shop for $3: The Everything Planner : Chore Chart Printables.


You might also be interested in The Everything Planner : Organize Me Printables for $4:

Or, you can save yourself some time, money, and regret by grabbing the whole kit and caboodle: those plus everything else a busy mom needs for $13, by clicking here: The Everything Planner : 2012 – 2013.


Am I the only person who gets her butt kicked during summer vacation? (That’s a lie… I get it kicked pretty much year round, but I especially notice it during the summer.)

This summer hit me harder than usual, though, since Steve was home for the first month and a half of summer vacation. You remember that surgery he had a few months ago? Well, after a complication or two, and another surgery (or TWO!), he ended up with a bit of an extended vacation. Only it wasn’t spent cruising around the world. Or lazing on a beach. It was spent corralling kids.

You know how the first week or so after school gets out is hard, as you adjust your schedules, and the kids get used to later hours, no homework, etc? Yeah, not so tough when you have a co-parent at home, but brutal when he heads back to work. BRUTAL.

I’m still trying to recover.

Since I’m about the most disorganized person on the planet, the only way I’ve found to reasonably fake competence as a busy mother-of-four-with-an-Etsy-shop-and-two-other-jobs-besides is to get organized. Yes, I have officially become my mother, and I follow a list. If it’s not written down, it ain’t happening. Seriously.

Along with my own super cool chore chart (which I use for menu planning and grocery shopping as well), I really wanted the kids to do some of my work learn some responsibility, but, being me, it has to look good. Function without form sucks, right? Right.

I stumbled across these chore chart notepads by Knock Knock, and loved the clean, graphic style:
Super cool, yeah? I, however, wanted it to be a bit more personalized, and I wanted a different one for each of my kids, since there’s a pretty big gap between how much work I can get out of responsibility I can teach a nine-year-old, and what a two-year-old is capable of doing.

I created some in Illustrator, mostly because I want to become more comfortable with it. I did the same basic design in four different colors, but personalized the chores for each one. I’m still toying with the idea of having it printed as a notepad, because I think that’s pretty darn cool. But, the cheap green Gen says that it’s much better to just print it once, have it laminated, and then let them use dry erase markers. The next morning, we’ll wipe them all off, and start again. (It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?)

After I got mine all printed, I took it back to basic for you. They’re blank, and in .pdf form, so you can either print them as-is, or fancy them up in Photoshop. There’s two per page, in four different colors; and I hope that they come in handy, however you use them!

Click here to download my handy-dandy chore charts.

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