Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hellloooo Seafoam Kit :)

It arrived! I was so excited to see my gorgeous little Seafoam Core kit arrived! I was then met with complete sadness since I had to go to work and would be working long late hours over the next several days. Once I had the time, I  opened the white box and was so DELIGHTED. So much eye candy, so little time.

Warning: this will be a long post, so grab a cup of coffee and snuggle up :)

Love this white little box :)
 I was so pleased when I opened this kit. The first thing I noticed is the quality change. It was very apparently much improved from previous years! To start with, the colors are simply, gorgeous. They are so pleasing to the eye, and coordinate well. The title cards are just beautiful and I was pleased to see that ALL of the 3x4 cards were journaling cards at least on one side. This makes it so much easier than trying to separate the decorative cards from the journaling cards. The second thing I really noticed is the printing quality. The cardstock is a better quality than previous years and the cards are cut very smoothly (none of the "ragged edges" I saw in other years). I also appreciate the tray, as much as I didn't think I'd use it.. I may just find myself stashing it in a drawer for ease of use :)

Title Cards, same pattern is vertical on the opposite side

4x6 Journaling Cards (each side has a design, there are really only 4 different designs)

The "meat and potatoes" of Project Life: the journaling cards! These are the basic color schemes for the seafoam kit

The front title page looks nice, but I plan to personalize it as the year passes.
Very first Title Page
So, there she is, in all her simple and beautiful glory. I like how many of the journaling cards only have a simple design on them- it leaves the photos as the star but still gives a subtle sense of cohesiveness.

As for MY album? Yes, of COURSE I've started adding photos (who am I kidding). I am using some of the freebies you can find here. I love the calendar cards by and will also be using the week numbers by september blue- they are so much easier than buying eight million stickers. I will note the yellow on the week numbers is a bit brighter than the mustard yellow color of the kit- but I don't mind it, and actually prefer it :)

Still have to fill in my January 1st journal card! I love the way the week number cards turned out!

Pardon the blur- trying to keep SOME privacy :)

I am awaiting the seafoam cardstock and a printed photo for the last little bit from my insert! I think I may change the chevron color now too, so I can match the kit.

So, you may be asking, what ELSE have I done to help keep up with my project life. In previous years, THIS is how I organized my albums. It has worked great for me- but now that there are no separate "decorative" cards, I think I'm going to try a new approach. 

Here is my plan for organization:

1. Instead of pre-filling layouts with journaling cards, I plan to pull from the organizational tray each week as I need them. That way I am not constantly pulling out unused cards and wondering where to stash them.

2. I have printed off the first 25 weeks worth of "week numbers" by september blue. They can be found on my freebie page. I didn't cut out each circle yet (man that is time consuming), but I did cut them to a manageable size and slip them in the appropriate pocket.

3. I've also printed out all the organizational pages by Marcy Penner. I had to play around with different printing styles to see what I like. I'm pretty sure one double sided page is how I will use them. I date them and 3 hole punch them, and put them in the right places. I only did this for the first 25 weeks for speed, but I will go back and finish them.

4. I've printed all my calendar cards from and have inserted them in their respective places.

5. I continue to use to stay ahead. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about- see my post here. At the end of each week and when I have my photos, I print off my evernote page and start my journaling. In each day I make a note of which picture to use by writing "(pic)" next to the subject. This also helps me with keeping up.

6. I will try my best to print weekly, or at the very most bi-weekly. I've done the math and it is so much cheaper to print locally and avoid shipping costs, so I've found a great photo lab that lets me upload images and sends me an email when I can pick them up. This is definitely the part of project life that is the hardest, but I am committed!

So, there you have it. My seafoam kit has arrived. My first week is almost done and I'm on a roll. I hope this inspires you to get started. 

Some last things for you to consider:

What do you use for organization? What has and has not worked for you in the past (both regular scrapbooking and project life). How do you "keep up" with project life and are you planning on doing anything different this year?

Happy Crafting :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project Life: Week 1

Although I haven't actually RECEIVED my Seafoam core kit- it's on it's way! In the meantime I was chomping at the bit to get started! I only had my Design A inserts, so I clipped a few pages at the end of my 2012 book and got some photos printed!

A side note, I found a great LOCAL printer and I'm so happy I did! I am very picky about photos and I HATE the quality of Walmart, SAMS and pharmacy based photo printing. They are always "off" in color- too red or green- yuck. I don't have a convenient COSTCO so I've always ordered online. Problem is, you have to pay shipping, and that adds up very quickly, so I'd always save my photos to be printed as one big lump, which always kept me behind in my album! Problem solved with this local printer. They have great quality and I can download my photos to them online and go pick them up the same day. So happy!

Back to week one. So, I have no core kit, so I decided to improvise. I plan to use September Blue's Weekly Numbers printouts (go to my Freebies link page to directly print them). So I just printed week one on cardstock and put it in my album. When my core kit arrives, I'll cut out the little circle and add it!. I also printed out findingnana's awesome Chevron 2 cards for a little decor. I will only use the pink one, the rest are just holding journal card places :)

Just a start to Week One's layout. Don't mind the glare!
Oh thank you, finding nana :)
I even got a little creative with the weekly numbers document. In photoshop, I altered it just a little to make a nice little birthday sentiment for a good friend :) 

Man it's hard to cut a perfect circle. I need to get a circle punch!
I also just ordered all my albums for this year. has them at the cheapest price, I paid $60 for three of them and that included shipping. They should be here any day now.

So that's it for now. I will absolutely update you when I get my core kit :)

Happy Crafting :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Keeping Up With Project Life

I'll admit it. I'm totally stressed out. I really want to hold out for the project life seafoam kits to come out, but it's already January 8th and I am getting impatient! I had a fleeting moment of thought that.. maybe I should just get the Olive Edition. No.. noooo.. I will wait :) And I will stalk amazon. Easy as that.

Anywhoo, I thought I would share my secret project life weapon. It's the thing that keeps me the MOST organized.... Ready? It's my iphone. Yes, I am that nerdy :) No- really, anyone with a smart phone realizes the power you hold in your hands! So what exactly do I DO with my phone that makes it a secret weapon? I found a great little BIG app and website called Evernote. Never heard of it? Let me introduce the two of you.

Enter the sleek and sophisticated Online version. Easy to navigate and edit. So great I even took photos of my favorite recipes and uploaded them so that I always have them to share with others!

Online Screen Shot of Evernote.

Now meet it's little sister, the mobile version. Sure, it's not as graceful, and a bit buggy. It's TOTALLY worth it in my book. Why? Because this little girl keeps me organized. You know those 15 minutes you spend in bed at night, checking emails, looking at facebook and cruising the net on your phone? I spend 5 of those entering my daily note. As you can see they are not that detailed- just a blurb reminding me of the day. I COULD add photos, but that's more complicated than I want to get right now. Plus you can't synchronize any files over 25mg unless you pay for the product.

Iphone screenshot
My VERY FAVORITE part of this app though? The ability to record a voice in a document. For example, January 1st I had an hour long commute to work. I hopped on evernote and started blabbing about new years resolutions, etc. Then I hit save. I didn't even have to type (which was good because I was driving). That feature alone has saved many of my project life weeks. I just go back, cringe as I listen to myself talk (why DO we sound so different in our own heads?) and jot down the days. Sometimes, when I am a few days behind, I will just start with "yesterday, (and give the date- you'll thank me for that one), we did this. the day before, we did this, and the day before that we did this. " I start losing track at about 5 days out, so I try to get something in everyday.

Iphone screenshot #2. Just in case you were wondering..
bad night= food poisoning. I'll spare the details.
Okay, I am totally not endorsed by evernote, but I want to share what works for me so that maybe it will help others! I really hope Becky Higgins makes an app, it would be much easier. In the meantime, Evernote is free. Try it out! (and bear with the weirdness of the mobile app- it's worth it)

Happy Journaling :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Garden Update 2013: Week 1

My how the garden has grown :)

Not only are my cute little plants growing but we have added some MAJOR additions to the homestead garden! We've only been in our home for four months and I can't believe what we have accomplished!! Husband fenced in a 50x60 foot area and started building my raised bed garden boxes. Last week, he trenched from the house (probably 100 feet away) and put plumbing and electric in various places! I now have 2 running hoses, a timed watering system (with separate valves from the hoses) and a plumbed earthbox garden! We are still awaiting the finishing touches on the earthbox plumbing so I will share that later :) 

Two days ago we picked up a 50 foot soaker hose from Lowes and did our best not to ruin the grid system I stapled in place.. not sure we succeded but who cares! Now I don't have to spend a half hour a day standing in the hot sun/rain/cold :) My number one rule about this garden is that it would be as LOW MAINTENANCE as possible! So far looking good :)

One of many future raised beds :)
 Eventually, we will have 17 more that look just like this :)

Far Left: acorn squash climbing the trellis.
Left to Right- Back row: left 6 are caulflower, right 6 are broccoli. Middle Row: spinach, lettuce, carrots x 2 then onion. Bottom row: lettuce, newly planted garlic, onion x 2.

The other changes to the garden was that I added a trellis for the Spaghetti Squash plants. They were growing way too fast! I also planted 2 of the 4 acorn squash plants my good friend gave me, right next to the trellis, so assuming the weather holds out- we should have plenty of squash this spring!

The first female flower! I hope it's warm enough for it to mature :)
 The carrots seem to be happy in the raised beds as well. They were a little tricky since there are 16 plants in one square foot. I think we covered pretty good with the soaker hoses though. 

Happy Little Carrots
The broccoli and Cabbage plants also seem to be quite happy in the raised beds. Again, I am WAY past season with planting these since they started indoor from seed, but if they make it past the last frost, we'll be having broccoli and cauliflower early this season!

 I spent some time today planting some garlic bulbs (cloves actually- which by the way, look exactly like those you buy in a grocery store!). From what I read, it's important to peel them back to remove the basal plate, but be sure not to damage the little root growth spots at the bottom. Supposedly this is the time of year to plant them, so we'll see. Since I live in Florida  none of the "suggested" times are ever correct!

That's all for now! On to raised bed #2, which is currently half full of soil. The plan will be to top it off with quality soil, add soaker hose and grid off for planting. I'm thinking tomatoes for sure.. maybe beets, cucumbers and squash as well. Will keep you guys posted :) 

I love the feeling that I am able to grow what we eat, it's healthier and more sustainable, and tastes SO MUCH better grown fresh!

Happy homesteading :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013!

2013 has arrived! 

The holiday chaos has finally come to an end, and life is allowed to return back to normal. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the holiday season.. everything is just.. more beautiful, plus it's a great excuse to get together and make great memories. I'm just glad to get back to regular old normal life at home.

With the end of the holidays always leaves me with a question of what to do with those beautiful cards we get from those we love. Two years ago I made my first video on the craftyhobbyhouse youtube page and sent it to Becky Higgins, which she kindly replied back (I was so excited). The video was about how I chose to save my Christmas cards. Then, in 2011, I made a better, tutorial based video, and I'm very pleased with the result. This is what I will probably ALWAYS do with my Christmas cards! 

You can see the video here: How I scrapbook my Christmas cards

Get comfy, because it's a long one :) Meanwhile, I'm still debating how long to keep up our current display.

Our happy little Christmas card wall this year.
It's going to be so bare when I take them down!
I have so many goals and plans this year. I realize how cliche it is to have resolutions, but I am a planner, and the new year always reminds me how much I LOVE using project life. I am so sad the new editions are still not out,  I'm totally stalking Becky Higgins facebook page awaiting their arrival. I have my plastics but no cards yet, so I will probably start printing photos and use my evernote app to make journaling notes. I think I've decided to go with the Seafoam edition. Just not a fan of the Olive this year.

Becky Higgins' plastics, waiting for their counterparts!
And speaking of plans- I came across Amy Tangerine's facebook page and saw this:
courtesy of
Oh how I seriously love this page. I love the colors and layout, but I LOVE the idea of a random facts page. She wrote things like "my bike has a flat tire" and "I love sweatpants"- these are the little things I always think should be documented but somehow never make it into my album. I think this is how I will start the new year out.. listing my favorite things and random facts. I think it would be awesome to look back and see how things change. I have also really tried to enter information at the beginning of each year, like the cost of a gallon of gas, bread, a dozen eggs and the average car, house etc. I have yet to find a good source so I've just used receipts!

That's all for now. Here's to a new year and lots of memories! 

Happy Crafting :)