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A little while ago, I saw these cute stamps and thought to myself, “I want a t-shirt that has some sort of crafty saying on it!” I loved the saying “make your own magic,” and seeing all the little crafting tool icons made me think that scissors would be perfect for me– since I love sewing and paper crafting so much.

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I designed the image in my Silhouette Studio software, using the font Bruselo Script, which I purchased as part of a bundle from The Hungry JPEG.  I used a number of special characters and did a bit of playing with letter sizes and spacing to get everything just so.  I modified a star image to create the sparkle stars around the saying, and I used a scissors image that was part of a NSD cut file freebie from Scrapbook and Cards Today in 2015!

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Once I had my design laid out, I flipped it for its mirror image.  I used freezer paper with the shiny waxed side UP on my cutting mat and cut it out with my Silhouette.

I ironed the freezer paper stencil onto my T-shirt, which was about $3 from Walmart.  There were lots of little fiddly bits to fit into the letters, but I watched some scrapbooking videos while I worked and had a happy time!

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I used two coats of white fabric paint over my stencil before I let it dry overnight.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!!

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This summer, I have stepped into the role of supervisor for the children’s Sunday classes at our church.  (Last year, I was shadowing the former supervisor, who is amazing! I have big shoes to fill!)

I’ve spent the summer acquainting myself with the curriculum materials, constructing class rosters, putting out calls for teachers, and ordering materials for the coming year.  There is a different sort of creativity that is needed for those jobs, but I was craving some art-related creativity.

In late August, we send out postcards to the kids on our roster, to get them excited for the upcoming year and to invite them back.  It gives the teachers the chance to connect with their own students right away.

I looked at the available templates on the VistaPrint website, and while I saw a few things that could have worked, I wasn’t completely sold on any of them.  Because I’m me, I decided to design my own.  I used some of the basic layout ideas from the printer’s website as a jumping-off point for my design.

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The digital supplies are from a free mini-kit by Melissa Bennett called “Boyhood.”  I liked these supplies because I think they are equally appealing for boys and girls in colors and shapes, even though the collection is nominally geared (ha–get it? geared?) toward boys.  I also liked the way it a bit of a fall feeling with the richer color palette.  I used the script font “Nightly Poem” (from a bundle I purchased from the Hungry JPEG) and the handwritten print font “Amatic.”

I ordered 4″x6″ postcards from VistaPrint and I am so excited for the teachers to use them to get in touch with their students!

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Two weeks ago, I was able to take time with my daughter on two different days so that she could make some scrapbook layouts to add to her 8″x8″ album.

I’ve learned that it’s best for me to create a mini page kit for her (out of her own stash of supplies!  She has her own box.  I don’t ever use any of her items, even though some of her embellishments are so tempting! 😉 but I do add to her stash from mine on occasion.) Using page kits means that she has a coordinating set of products that are appropriate for the photos (which she also helps me to choose), and not an overwhelming mish-mash of everything in her scrapbook box.  I think it makes the final product look cohesive, and it also reduces my control-freak-stress because it’s not a free-for-all when she starts creating :).  It also minimizes the sticker-sneeze effect, haha!

I set up two page kits for her to scrapbook photos from our beach vacation last year.  We were preparing to go on this year’s annual trip to Myrtle Beach, and I wanted her to tell me her memories from last year before they got mixed up with this year’s memories!

This first page is about being on the beach.

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I asked her to tell me what she liked about being on the beach, and I printed out the words for her to copy in her own handwriting.  She is just starting to read a little bit on her own, and she loves writing things herself.  I love the idea of having her own words in her own handwriting in her own album!

This second page is about the fun she had in the pools at the building where we stayed.  Again, the words and handwriting are her own.

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We added lots of sparkle to this one– glittery circle and wavy strip stickers, prismatic hearts punched from the excess from a sticker sheet, rhinestones, and shiny studded tropical flower stickers.

Of course, anything sparkly delights my 5-year-old, but I also made sure to include the sparkly elements so that she could enter this page into the Simon Says Stamp “Anything Goes With Sparkle” summer vacation kids’ challenge.

Aside from my choosing the set of supplies for each page and applying adhesive using the ATG or liquid glue (PPA), she did the placement and final product selection for each of her pages.  I did remind her of things like layering, having embellishments and titles touch something to keep the page cohesive, and I tried to teach her about clustering in a visual triangle!  I am so glad that we got to spend this time together!

 

This is the third in a short series of posts in which I am sharing some “artful devotions” from this summer: hand-lettered verses.  You can find the first post HERE and the second post HERE.

Later in the summer, I veered off of the Letter the Gospel series of verses, and I lettered some verses that I’d been studying on my own in response to other things in which I was involved or that I was experiencing.

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P.S. All the verses are from the ESV

My husband tells me that I’m hard on computers!  I must be, because three years after I got a new computer (that we thought was optimized for how I use one…), and one year after I replaced its fan, I am in the midst of transferring all of my files over to a new machine.  I hope this machine will be better for me (psssst: I’m switching to Mac!  Gasp!!).  The transfer process is going much more slowly than I anticipated, so while I have a post or two scheduled in advance, I am not yet in a position to add my photos to some posts I have planned (and written).  Soon, soon, I will have some new content!!

This is the second in a short series of posts in which I am sharing some “artful devotions” from this summer: hand-lettered verses.  You can find the first post HERE.

I found that hand-lettering verses this summer really made me meditate on the exact and specific words used.  As I planned the way the words would look and fit on my page, I had to decide their importance and weight– and how that would impact how a viewer saw the verse.  I think the emphasis that I’ve placed on some of the words also says a bit about how God was working in my heart and what He was teaching me as I studied.

I am hoping that the time I spent meditating on these Scriptures will help to implant them firmly in my heart and mind–similar to the way God’s attributes impacted me and I am remembering them better for having made illustrations in my Bible last summer.

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P.S. All the verses are from the ESV

I love memory-keeping.

This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me even a little bit.  I like to say that photos are my love-language!  I take so many photos, and I have a detailed system in place to make sure that all of my photos have some sort of caption attached to them.

The form of memory-keeping I like best is paper scrapbooking.  “Traditional” scrapbook pages are at the top of that list: I love adding pretty paper and embellishments to my photos and stories to enhance them and turn them into creative works.  I love the layers, the colors, the feel of the paper and chipboard and veneer and…and…

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Recently, though, I have had to prioritize other things, and so I have been doing very little actual scrapbooking with paper.  Add to that the fact that my craft room had to be involved in some plumbing replacement during our bathroom renovation, and you find a girl who is desperate for a creative outlet without a place to make stuff.

And so, I decided to take advantage of the forced time away from my physical supplies to do some digital work.  I had photos to catch up with, and I also had some photo books that I’ve wanted to make.

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monorail and Dry Gulch Railroad, 2013

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Ladybugs and Sack Slide, 2013

 

I have mixed feelings about photo books.  Anyone else?  Sometimes I feel like it’s cheating.  It feels like instead of actually making a scrapbook, I’m just throwing some photos onto pages and printing them into a book, and calling it good.  I choose and edit my photos, I upload them to Shutterfly and make the books right in their software.  For these most recent photo books, I just used the standard styles (not even the premium ones) to construct my books.  I didn’t even use my own digital supplies in PSE to make my own pages!  Cheating?

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Starship and Ladybugs, 2016

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Flying Falcons, 2016

When I really stop to think about it though, I realize that it’s not cheating.  Yes, I used the website’s software and basic templates and supplies.  But I spent hours on them– adding embellishments in just the right places, tweaking the photo placements so that they were just right, and adding text to tell the stories of our annual trips to Hersheypark.  These are scrapbooks, too.  They might not have the tactile end result of layers of paper and embellishments, shadows and textures, but they are lovingly made– and they are completely personalized to our family’s story.  And best of all: they are done!  They are available on our bookshelf — the kids browse through these photo books, reminiscing from the photos, and asking their Daddy and me to read the words to them.  I am so glad that I have taken the time to write so much about each photo.  The metadata in the photo files helped me to construct the narrative that runs through each book.  It’s not cheating: it’s another form of memory-keeping.

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Cocoa Cruiser and Livery Stables, 2017

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Trailblazer and Convoy, 2017

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Ladybugs and Swing Thing, 2017

I still love paper scrapbooks, and I hope that I am always able to keep making them.  But I will also be making more photo books, too.  Sometimes those books will be done on the Shutterfly website, and sometimes I will completely design them myself in PSE.  I’m making my peace with photo books, and I’m glad.

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photo with Mr. Hershey, 2013

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photo with Mr. Hershey, 2016

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photo with Mr. Hershey, 2017

In this post, I’ve shared photos of the three most recent photo books I made in June and July of this year.  I am trying to keep a series of photo books of our annual day trips to Hersheypark.  We went for the first time in 2013, and we’ve gone every year since– I’d like to have a book for each year.  I have not yet made my book for 2015 (there are so many photos from that year!), but I have made all of the others so far!  (I made the book for 2014 way back in that same year, so I’m not showing it in this blog post.)  It’s so fun to see our kids grow up– which rides are new for them each year, and which ones are perennial favorites.