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For the past two years, I used a Sugar Paper for Target planner for all of my goal-setting, to-dos, and daily planning.  I’d switched when I was unable to find another favorite planner of mine, and I discovered that the weekly layout with a facing weekly planning page was exactly how my brain worked!  When I went to buy one for 2018, I made the sad discovery that they weren’t selling that planner through Target any more!  I had fallen in love with the weekly layout, and the planners directly sold from Sugar Paper didn’t even meet my needs 😉

As I discussed this “tragedy” with Husband, he suggested that I make my own.  He even volunteered to set up an Excel spreadsheet to auto-populate the dates onto the weekly pages and calendar spreads so that I wouldn’t have to do it by hand.  In fact, he went so far as to program it so that I can enter any year, and it will calculate the proper dates!  Hooray!  He really is amazing.

Not only that, but he helped me fine-tune the margins and cell sizes so that it prints out just right.  I decided to make a half-letter sized planner and use the Staples Arc system to bind it (I purchased THIS punch–affiliate link).  In past years, I stuffed all sorts of bits and pieces into my planners and they ended up bulging in an unsightly way with extra papers (and then they’d fall out if I dropped the planner…).  I purchased a set of Arc covers and the largest discs I could get so that it has plenty of room to grow.  I’ve already added several bits and pieces (notes from my daughter, slips of paper with school information, ephemera stapled to patterned paper, and cards…) and it makes me so happy to see them as I flip back.  I love that these bits of life are now part of the planner in a sleek way.

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After lots of fussing with the layout and fonts, I finally reached a look that satisfied me.  I took my favorite aspects of the two planners I’d loved and some modifications that I’d been making to them and mashed them all together.

At the front of the planner, I have a year-at-a-glance calendar that I modified from HERE.  Because it wasn’t quite the right aspect ratio for what I needed, I took a screen shot of the .pdf and re-created the title with fonts that match the rest of my planner.

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Each month starts with a notes page, which I am using to keep track of the things I accomplish during that month.  On the facing page, I have a planning page to help me keep track of my intentions for that month in each of a number of categories: scrapbook (memory keeping), sew, home, and health.  I also have a spot for important dates and a box where I can make notes for future goals and hopes — the ones I want to get to but aren’t reasonable for that month.

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Right after that comes the month’s grid.  In a future iteration, I hope to have the boxes programmed with conditional formatting so that the borders show up only if there is a number inside… but for now, I might add pretty patterned paper to the blank boxes… maybe!  These pages are printed on card stock, so they serve as a bit of a divider.  I may add little tabs (maybe with matching patterned paper??), as well.

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Each week has a planning page and a week-at-a-glance page that I use to keep track of my daily to-do list and appointments, etc.

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It took me until almost the end of January to get everything in order, but I was using test pages from the beginning of the year, and that really helped me work out some of the finer details before I printed everything.  I am really, really happy with how this turned out!  I am so very grateful for Husband’s help!  This wouldn’t have come together without him.

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Floral baby card

I made this baby shower card for a friend of mine who just had her baby girl!

I went looking for inspiration on my “Scrap” board on Pinterest, and in browsing through my pins, I saw several that heavily influenced my design:

You can see that I took the ideas of floral clusters around the sentiment as my inspiration…

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I had a floral sticker sheet that had orange, yellow and pink blooms on it, so I chose a patterned paper that brought out the pinks in the flowers that were more predominantly orange.  I made a little cluster, adding foam behind some of the blossoms for extra dimension.

I added die-cut feathery leaves for more texture, and I put everything on top of a doily  that I stitched onto the white background in a spiral.  The sentiment is actually another sticker that I trimmed to be more narrow and then clipped into a banner shape.

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I really like how this one turned out, and based on the number of cards that I’ve pinned with a similar design, it seems to be something that my eye gravitates toward!  I will definitely be using this design idea in the future!

 

I’ve been doing some more coloring with the Copic markers that Husband bought for me for Christmas, and this is the first completed card (aside from some lunch box notes for V!) that I’ve made.

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I used the Space Cadet set from Paper Smooches to make the cute little alien ship and the planet, and I white heat-embossed the starry background for inside the window.

That set doesn’t have a birthday greeting, so printed my own onto the card front, which I created with my Silhouette SD using the print-and-cut feature.  I used the fonts Hiragino Sans GB and Nightly Poem (the brush script).  I also added the detail of a thin black line around the circle window by using the offset tool and changing it to be a non-cut, printed line.

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I assembled the card using a lot of craft foam for dimension!  I like how it gives the look of the cute little alien flying right out of the opening!

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I’m linking this up to the Paper Smooches’ January 2018 “Anything Goes” challenge!

http://papersmooches.blogspot.com/2016/09/september-challenge-anything-goes.html

Copic markers!

Husband’s Christmas gift to me was Copic markers!

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I have been watching artist/paper crafters use these markers for years, and I’ve always wanted to try them.  Not only did he get me some markers (a colorless blenders, some blues, greens, browns, and reds based on blending groups recommended by Sandy Allnock), but he also purchased Sandy Allnock’s Copic Jumpstart class for me to take!  I am really looking forward to learning as much as I can!

I have done a bit of experimenting with the markers I have, and I have been having SO MUCH FUN!!!

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I am excited to color more, and I already know which color markers I want to purchase next 😉

 

A long, long time ago,
I can still remember…

(Okay, sorry.  It just popped into my head as I started this post…
…because I intended to do this project a very long time ago.)

Way back in 2013, when I was making our Peter Pan family costume (which, in fact, did not include Peter Pan himself…), I bought 1.25 yd of this chevron knit fabric for $6.10 on clearance at JoAnn while I was buying the material for Husband’s Captain Hook coat.   (That day I also bought the fabric for my pink striped maxi skirt!)

All along, I had this fabric earmarked for this cute and easy-to-sew cardigan freebie pattern from iCandy Handmade.  But it literally took me until last fall, when I was preparing for my mini-retreat with my cousin, to print the pattern and cut this thing out.  And *then*, I didn’t even get it finished in 2017!  I finally finished it on January 3, 2018.

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I decided to lengthen the cardigan, which meant that I needed to buy some more fabric for cuffs and the collar/binding.  I spent $2.65 in November 2017 for 1/2 yd of soft black knit (wish I’d written down exactly what it was!), and sewed this up in random bits of time over the course of a couple of weeks.  Let me emphasize that this was not a difficult pattern! I was just prioritizing everything else above it!  Haha.

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In the end, I love how this turned out.  I think it’s going to be really versatile and a great layer for several seasons of the year.  Maybe someday, I’ll make another.   Hopefully it won’t take me this long the next time 😉

So, this wasn’t even the next layout that I intended to make!

I’d just finished my family movie night layout, and I still had the stack of “Mind the Gap” scraps on my desk.  As I was about to clean them up later that afternoon, I started thinking, “Well, maybe I can use up some more and finally kill this kit!”  (In all honesty, I’m was tired of the kit by this point). I pulled out my short stack of printed photos and saw these two 4″x6″ group shots from our Halloween party in 2016.  Instantly my mind when to the video that the kids and I watched during lunch (it was an inclement-weather day today, so V was home, too)–a Glitter Girl episode on Shimelle’s channel in which she gives a bit of a formula for jumping back into scrapbooking.  Between the scraps and the photos, I could definitely use her formula.

And a couple hours later (amid kid art projects and other chaos), I had a layout.

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I pulled together as many of the scraps of the “Mind the Gap” kit as I could, and began filling in the gaps (pun intended) with even older Halloween product from Little Yellow Bicycle.  (Fun fact: almost exactly 8 years ago, I used those same products to make another Halloween party layout!  They’re pretty much the entirety of my Halloween-themed stash.).  And I finally used one of the tiny kraft envelopes that was included in that Studio Calico kit– it holds a tag I made upon which I wrote the names and costumes of all of the people at the party.

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Looking at the final layout, it doesn’t actually use that much of the kit–mainly some strips and punched circles from the patterned papers, as well as the polka-dot Thickers… but this is the end of the large pieces.  I think that I might call this kit killed.  Yay!

 

 

First layout of 2018!  Wooo hoooooooo!!  It’s been kind of a while since my last layout, and I was feeling rusty.  I was happy to see the sketch from SCT’s January Sketch Challenge pop up in my blog reader, since it gave me a little bit of structure to start with.  I looked through my printed photos and found some that would work perfectly with the sketch.

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I’ve been watching a lot of Inkie Quill on Youtube while I run on the treadmill, and in her archives, she has a lot of “Kit Crasher” videos– she takes a kit and tries to use it all up.  I definitely have a small collection of kits to use, so I decided to use that as another “rail” to get me back on track with scrapbooking.

I pulled out one of the couple kits that is almost used up– it’s Studio Calico “Mind the Gap” from years ago (in fact, in looking through my blog archive, I found this post that sounds like I used some very similar techniques to get back to scrapbooking after a long break!– if it works, use it!).  Maybe I’ll finally kill it–it’s certainly on its last legs, with almost no embellishments remaining, and only patterned paper scraps and one full sheet of cream-colored cardstock!

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To start, I just played around with fitting the patterned paper scraps and photos together on the sheet of cream cardstock.  It looked okay, but it felt kind of depressed, so I switched out the background for white textured cardstock from my stash, and used the tan as a narrow border.  I ended up gutting the cream so that I could print my journaling onto it (strips a la Jen Schow), which ties it all together.  The journaling is straight out of my photos’ metadata (yay!) and the font is Remington Noiseless.  I added lots of little bits and pieces (tiny hearts like Adele), and machine stitching to hold everything in place– some of the adhesives are failing in their old age 😉

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I was pleased that this came together fairly quickly.  Perhaps I’m not so out of touch as I thought (after all, I’ve been watching a LOT of scrapbooking videos and reading blog posts…)?  Or maybe it was re-beginner’s luck? We shall see.  I have more layouts in my brain now!

P.S. Thanks, SCT, for choosing my layout (randomly) as this month’s winner!!