March Counterfeit Kit Challenge!

Hey scrappy friends. I couldn’t let the month pass without making my kit for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. Blue Skies and Butterflies is the name of the inspiration kit and those are two of my favorite things. I decided to make two mini kits this month and my goal is to make four pages and a couple cards. Maybe I’ll sneak in a TN layout too!

My first kit is more floral and spring inspired. I love all the colors in this kit and the little woodland animals.


The second is all about butterflies!! I dug out my butterfly punches and my WeRMemory Keepers frame punch. 


I can’t wait to dive in!! I will definitely be pulling from my 100s of gorgeous pictures of my sweet baby girl.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge Kit Take Two

I totally bashed through my first kit!!! I am so happy that I was able to get so much done. Since there are still 15 days left in the month and I just can’t imagine not having my own kit I made another one. This kit isn’t so much a replica of the Felicity Jane as much as an opportunity to create a kit with a couple of my favorite papers as a base. 

A while back I bought a 12x12 book of Jen Hadfield’s My Bright Life line by Pebbles. I ended up only really liking a few of the patterns. I like them so much, however, that I have wanted a build a kit out of them with supporting patterns so I could use them to their fullest. I really have a thing for matchy-matchy and having lots of pattern options. I have tried to fight it but to no avail! 


I really want to make a few greeting cards and some more pages for my baby girl. I love really colorful florals and birds so I am super excited to dive in. 

Full kit includes three letter sticker options, three ribbons, and the ephemera pack from My Bright Life, three multicolor papers with seven monochromatic patterns. 

Embellishments:

Just the paper:


I can’t wait to share what I make with this mini kit!! I hope I can use it up like I did the last one.

FOUR more projects with my Counterfeit Kit!

Hey CKC community!! This has been a very productive month in my crafting room this far. Thanks to my kit I have been able to make great head way on a few different books. For my baby girl I completed these two layouts:


The first layout, which still needs a title, is from a Scrapbook Generation sketch. I just love there sketches and kits so much. (I think I’ve maybe mentioned that 3 or 18 times!!) It also required lots of fussy cutting...not my favorite task but definitely worth it.

The second page is just too sweet for words! Notice those tickets I forged at the beginning of the month?!  I loved putting both of these pages together for her baby album.

A couple other pages are for the challenge to scrapbook something new in honor of the new year. I made the title page to my 6x8 pocket photo journal.  I love the shaker pocket! They are so easy. Fill them up then stitch across the top. 


More tickets on the following page which I made for my 2013 family album:


I will be making more tickets in the future! Such a simple, quick task but such a great impact.

Well gals!! I totally bashed the heck out of my kit!! Either I didn’t make it big enough or I’ve done too many projects?! Either way I can safely tuck those scraps into my “for my nieces” bin. 

STAY TUNED!! I MADE ANOTHER MINI KIT TO FINISH OUT THE MONTH!! I am super excited about it. I will post about it very soon. 

My 2019 Family Album Plan


So I am processing my 2018 pages and am completely swamped!! They are all done but there are just SOOOOO MANY!!! Like three times more than I normally make. Lots of reasons explain the increase. A very cute baby girl plays a big part then there were all the updates in the Project Life app that had me experimenting way more than I normally do. As fun as its all been, I am facing a printing cost that is exorbitant!! I have a few solutions for that issue but it has motivated me to reign in my 2019 Family Album big time. 

In the past I have kept my album to about 120 page along with extra pages for my kids’ books and separate books for our travels. For 2019 I actually wrote out a plan to try to keep it to 120!! I never really plan anything so this is huge. 

First, I decided NOT to continue with Project 52 this year. 2018 was the first year I tried it and was able to complete the whole year but, by the end, I was felt like I was forcing myself to take pictures to fill space. I just wasn’t telling the story of our everyday life like I wanted too. Too much minutea, not enough substance! I would rather gather pictures across weeks that focus on relationships and patterns and then make overview pages about those things. Francie and Jasper, for instance, developed a very sweet connection over the year. I would have preferred to take up space in my family book with a layout of their relationship instead of pictures of them together scattered across my weekly pages. Does that make sense? So it’s back to an everyday layout once a month (now known as Project 12) which is what I have been doing since 2005. Why mess around with a good thing?! 

So...without further ado, here is my plan!

2019 Family Album Plan:

* ONLY 120 pages!! Two 60 page 10x10 hardbound books printed through the Project Life app. 

* Drop Shadow on with light gray background throughout

* Pocket style with added embellishments in Over. Stick to in-app cards as much as possible for simplicity.

* Occasional large picture page throughout 

* Project 12 for Everyday Pictures

* Make a separate books for trips to Grammas’ houses, Iowa, vacations with a highlight layout in family book

* Try to have at least 4 layouts dedicated to family relationships and how we show love to one another

* Add pages to 2019 Family Album folder, PL book and export to Dropbox as I go

* Title Page (1)

* January: Project 12, Isaac’s play, Luke’s Nordic, anniversary, Isaac’s birthday (8)

* February: Project 12, Valentine’s Day, Random Winter Fun Layout (sledding/snowmen/hotchocolate)(6)

* March: Project 12, Jasper’s birthday (4)

* April: Project 12, Easter Morning, Easter with Family, Zeke’s birthday (8)

* May: Project 12, Spring Concerts, Random Spring Fun Layout (flowers/playing in rain) (6)

* June: Project 12, End of School, LaCrosse overview (6)

* July: Project 12, July 4th Day, Fireworks, Francies birthday (8)

* August: Project 12, Random Summer Fun layout (pool, park, ice cream truck) (4)

* September: Project 12, Back to School (4)

* October: Project 12, Meagan’s birthday, Halloween, Cross Country (7)

* November: Project 12, Luke’s birthday, Thanksgiving with each family, Fall Fun Layout (fall foliage, playing in leaves) (10)

* December: Project 12, Family Parties, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, December Daily Fun Layout (shopping, gingerbread house, baking) (12)

* Last Page (1)

* Pages Planned: 79

* Event, Random Pages, Full Size Pictures, Relationship Pages allowed: 41

So! What do you think? Do you have a plan for your personal or family album 2019? Steal mine if you want to!!  If you need more guidance or motivation Becky Higgins newest self-paced class would definitely be a great place to start! You can check it out here: https://classroom.beckyhiggins.com/courses/family-yearbook

I will keep you posted on my progress! Happy memory keeping in 2019!




Pages #1 & # 2 for my CKC 

Hey all! Here are a couple pages I have made so far. I am working on my ticket page still but I love these!

The first page is based on a Scrapbook Generation sketch. I love their sketches so so much and have been using them for years. I used my 1.5” circle punch and added stickers from the American Crafts Maggie Holmes Sticker book. I love those designer sticker books from American Crafts. They really come in handy!


My second page came together really quickly. I love it! The papers are perfect for our family pictures in 2013 (which is the year I am working on right now).


Fun huh?! I really like how my kit helps me focus.

A forgery for my Counterfeit Kit!

So I am sneaking in a quick Forgery on the Fourth. I wasn’t asked to do so as the guest designer but, on a whim, I thought of this super cute way to copy an element of our Counterfeit Kit. In the Felicity Jane kit there are super cute labels in the shape of tickets. 

I have a random selection of tickets in my stash but none that are the right color so I had to get a little creative. I still have a few decorative edge scissors and one set is a stamp edge. Stamps have that perforated edge just like old school tickets from a ticket reel. I cut my paper to 1” x 2” pieces and trimmed the edges with the scissors then took a hole punch about a quarter of the way to the corners. 

Pretty easy and the end result...


pretty cute huh!! I am working on a page that incorporates the tickets. I will post it soon!

Can’t wait to see what the master forgers have to offer!!



January Counterfeit Kit Challenge!

How fun to be asked to participate as the guest designer in the January Counterfeit Kit Challenge! I have busted out some of my older stash while taking on the challenges of the past couple months. I love seeing it all in a new light! I have made some great pages with my kits and I am excited to share more this month.

The kit we are counterfeiting this month comes from a favorite scrapbook subscription of mine called Felicity Jane. (Check out the reveal on the CKC blog here). I love their simple, unique color palettes and the addition of black and white patterns in all their kits. There is a subtle whimsy in all their kits and I love using their products for my baby girl. I actually own the kit we are counterfeiting but had so much fun creating my own kit based on it.


This kit has a great selection of patterns and I love the dusty blues and rosey pinks. I also am obsessed with wood grain, anything with a grid, and scalloped edges. My kit ended up going in a couple different directions which will be fun to intertwine this month.


So here is my take(s) on the kit:


Here are just the papers:


The top row of papers is a little brighter in color. Some of them are from a paper pad from Michaels that I have had forever. I love that little pink paper with the black bows.


The second row is from the Felicity Jane Kit. I haven’t used it yet so I am really excited for the excuse to make a few pages with it.


The bottom row is different than anything I normally use so it will be fun to push myself a little. A few of the papers are from a pad from Michaels (those Hot Buy books at $6 are irresistible!). You can see in the picture below that I cut up a page of 3x4 cards from that pad also.


Here are the papers with their embellishments:




I am so excited to share my projects with you this month and to see everyone’s spin on this great kit!

Dingbat Fonts in the Project Life app


Of all the changes in the app this past year, I consider the ability to use dingbat fonts the icing on the cake. What the heck is a dingbat font?! I tried to figure out the origin of the name dingbat but couldn’t find anything associating it to a font. One of the definitions is “a stupid or eccentric person.” So how did it become the name of a category of fonts? Remember those decoder games from childhood years? Dingbat fonts are kinda like that. A designer creates image and assigns it a letter or number. “A” is now a smiley face, “B” is a star, etc. So I think the dingbat fonts are the renegade fonts in the typographical world...the eccentric ones, those that will not be constrainted to their typical label.  “You want me to be an ‘a’?! Hell no...I’m an arrow!!” Or something like that...

My only association with them until now is when I am on my computer scrolling through my font options and I get to the bottom of the list to find a bunch of weird symbol fonts and think “Why would anyone ever use these?!” 

So how do they work and why do I suddenly find them so awesome? What can we do with them in the Project Life app?! Basically this is our ticket to a whole new avenue of creativity! Do you love the overlay kits in the app? Imagine dingbat fonts as super customizable overlays! If I were traditional scrapping they are like getting a Cricut and being about to cut out any shape in any size and color you want. Or they are like using a digital stamp in Photoshop. A scallop edge, a banner, a paint splatter, a tag...with dingbat fonts you can add all of these to your Project Life page AND change the color, size, rotation and location!! The possibilities are limitless...fer reals!!

QUICK DISCLAIMER: I love being creative with the app but I still make very quick simple project life pages that I love all too. Please don’t feel like you have to use these techniques to tell your story and record your memories.

So I have four tasks and three mini tutorials!! (No wonder this took so long!) FIRST?! Your tasks!!

First task: Purchase and learn how to use Free Form Text. If you haven’t taken the $2.99 FFT plunge get at it. Here is a link to Becky Higgins video all about Free Form Text: https://youtu.be/JFNseMju4qY

Second task: Get your page ready! You can add dingbats to any form of page from an original pocket style to something like I made on this blog post: http://www.thepracticalscrapper.com/2018/10/the-storing-rocks-for-winter-page.html?m=1

Third task: Find some dingbat fonts that catch your eye and download them to the app! DaFont.com is a great source. Or you can steal my favorites (so far) either with the links below or, for a more complete list, here on this Pinterest page: https://pin.it/y2k67hibhvucfo

Fourth task: TAKE SCREENSHOTS OF YOUR DINGBAT FONT GUIDES and create an album somewhere with easy access. I have found this step to be essential!! I use an album in my camera roll. I know some who use the Notes app.

Tutorial #1: CUSTOMIZING CARDS WITH DINGBAT FONTS

So we are first going to make a page using the dingbats within individual pockets. I made this page for my son and couldn’t find just the right card for the bottom right pocket so I made my own. I used this dingbat font https://www.dafont.com/kg-arrows.font (you should probably just download ALL THE KG FLAVORS AND FRAMES fonts right now then make sure to send a donation to Kimberly Geswein through dafont.com...she is a font/dingbat genius!)


The steps are pretty simple. 

1. Find the elements you want to use in the screenshot of your dingbat font guide and remember their corresponding letters. I want to use the two arrows circled below so I need to remember J and K.


2. Open a Free Form Text box by first selecting the journaling option in the upper left corner of the pocket then pressing the plus sign on the right side of the font options bar. Then type in your letter.

3. Now change the font to the downloaded dingbat font. You won’t see the actual font name just symbols that represent the font. If you press on the symbols the name will briefly pop up.

 

3. At this point you can change the color, size, rotation and location. The image can’t be dragged to a different pocket so when it hits the edge it will partially disappear. I wanted this card to have that look so I purposefully made the arrow too big.

4. You can also add another dingbat if you want to by pressing the plus sign again. I added the “K” arrow, made some adjustments, and came up with this:

I added my journaling and the word RUN with another fft box and here is the final page!! 

[Big Shot 34, All About Me Themed Cards, “Cross Country” & “RUN” Brushzilla-Regular, Swirly Arrows KG Arrows]

Here are a couple other pages where the dingbats stayed within the pocket:

No dinosaur cards in the app? Just make your own! https://www.dafont.com/dinosaurs.font

[Big Shot 22, Everyday Adventure Edition (retired), Dingbats “Dinosaurs” from dafont.com]

The apples are from another great dingbat font by Kimberly full of distressed images called KG Flavors and Frames Seven https://www.dafont.com/kg-flavor-and-frames-seven.font

[Side A: Big Shot 8, Forever Young Edition Side B: Design D, Forever Young Edition, Apple Dingbat KG Flavors and Frames 7]

This paint splatter dingbat is also super fun! Like addictive fun... https://www.dafont.com/rfx-splatz.font

[Design A, Everyday Joy Themed Cards, Paint Splatters RFX Splatz]

Tutorial #2: DINGBAT FONTS ACROSS MULTIPLE POCKETS 

This tutorial is for a single or double layer of dingbats that you want to stretch over multiple pockets. The process is pretty much the same as above it’s just the set up that is a little different.

1. After you have your base page created (see blog post link above in Task Two) and in the 12x12 collage and you’ve added your text, find the dingbat you want to use and remember the corresponding letter. I am using my favorite scallop edge dingbats in KG Flavors and Frames Five found here https://www.dafont.com/kg-flavor-and-frames-five.font


2. Open a fft box and type your letter or other corresponding key. I typed a few M’s because I knew my scallop edge section needed to be a little longer. You can always add more or delete at any point.


4. Find your dingbat font (remember, only a few of the symbols show in the font selection bar but the name will only show up shortly when you press on the symbols). And now you can change the color, size, rotation, and location. 

*One little tidbit: The freeform text boxes seem a little finicky when it comes to resizing and moving in the collage section (weird, I know). It will work! You just need to be patient with it.


5. If you want to add more dingbats just open up a new fft box. I added a scallop edge along the top too. For consistency I made sure the font sizes were the same in the two scallop edge fft boxes (if you are over size 120 you just have to eyeball it). 

*Another quick tidbit: the palette that appears for changing the color in the collage section is the same as the last one selected before you exported it. If you want to change your color palette you need to go back to the original page and change it there then go back to your 12x12 collage. You can’t change the color palette while working in the collage section.


A couple more tweaks and it’s done!! Yay!!

[Design A, Be Bright Themed Cards, KG Frames and Fonts 5]

Here is a similar use for the scallop edge dingbat:

[Squared Away 7, Project 12 June Edition, KG Flavors and Frames Five]

This page is made with a great dingbat font that has lots of different shapes. The name of it is Font Frames and you can find it here: https://www.dafont.com/frames.font

[Design A, Halloween Magic Color Palette, Frames Dingbat Font]

The large distressed banner on this page is from the same font referenced above with the apples KG Flavors and Frames Seven https://www.dafont.com/kg-flavor-and-frames-seven.font

[Squared Away 15, Ready Set Go Edition, Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party Mini Kit, Distressed Banner Dingbat KG Flavors and Frames 7]

AHHHH!!! My element disappeared or is covered by another one. WHAT DO I DO?!

Sometimes, when making adjustments or moving things around, an element you want on top can get stuck under another. The last element highlighted will be the one on top. To fix this do the following:

1. Press on the + sign like you are opening a new text box.

2. Press on the element you want to come to the top again (if you can’t see it because it’s completely covered press where it should be even you have to press on the elements over it). It should show up.

3. If there are more than two elements you might need to press the + sign again until the one you want shows up on top. I have noticed that the app rotates throw the layers each element “taking its turn” on top (does that even make sense)?

This process can get super frustrating if you have more than two layers of fft boxes. See the next tutorial if you would like to make a multiple layered page without this hassle.

Tutorial #3: LAYERING DINGBAT FONTS

This tutorial is for 2+ layers of dingbat fonts. 

Since the Project Life App doesn’t have the capacity to manage layers very well it is easier to do the following:

1. Get your base layer of words and dingbat fonts situated.

2. Save your page.

3. Open a new 12x12 collage. 

4. Add your saved page.

Now it is it ready for another layer of dingbats!!

I want to add some stitching and flowers to this page but if I try to add more fft boxes over top it’s going to get frustrating to adjust each element if needed. As you can see below, when I try to add the flowers without saving a base if I accidentally press the wrong spot the page the fft box that I hit can cause that image to “come to the top” of the layers and cover others (like the stitching I already added also). It can get really complicated to get it back in the right place when there are so many other fft boxes.


Here is the end product! I was easily able to add more dingbat layers without any fuss. The flowers are from this dingbat font: https://www.dafont.com/second-flowers-st.font

And the stitching dingbat font can be found here (you need to find the “download here” link in the blog post and make sure you are in your web browser to access the download):

http://silhouetteuk.blogspot.com/2016/06/free-crafter-stitch.html?m=1

[Big Shot 13, Color Palette Better Together, Floral Dingbat Font Second Flowers St.]

Here are some other layered dingbat font pages I have made:

[Design A, Little Moments Edition, Banner Dingbats KG Flavors and Frames Five, stitching dingbat Crafters Stitch]

I am obsessed with this next dingbat font that is all different shapes of confetti!! View and download it here https://www.dafont.com/confetti.font

[Big Shot 13, Color Palette In the Details, Triangular Dingbat FE Confetti]

Whew?! Did you make it through?! I am sure there is so much more than can be done!! I hope this inspires you. Tag in @thepracticalscrapper if you play around with dingbats in the Project Life App!! I want to see what you come up with!!

The “Storing Rocks for Winter” page explanation 

Hey friends!! I had lots of questions about how I made this page that I recently posted on Instagram:


It kinda makes sense that it would attract attention. Not only is the subject matter super cute (OshKosh overalls FOREVER!!) but the page is simple and the focus is primarily on the pictures and story. The white balance is perfection and it is a great layout for when you are stumped on what cards to use.

So, how is this look achieved? It’s all done in the Project Life app but there are a couple little tricks utilized to get that solid background color and the text to go over multiple pockets.  If you refer to my blog post entitled “The PL app basic techniques I rely on ALL.THE.TIME” tips #1 and #3 are what I used for this page. 

I also made the page below and took screenshots of the process to give you another example:


1. Start by turning off your drop shadow in Preferences (in the green quadrant on the app home page)


2. Open a blank Design A template and add your pictures


3. If you like the white border around each photo that is an overlay found in Just Add Color Overlays. Add the overlays now.


5. Now to select the background color. You need to press the button in the upper left corner to view all your options. I look primarily at that colored dots to find a palette that will work well with my pictures since this page doesn’t have any cards. 

For this page I used the new Halloween Magic Edition. (These colors will be what I use to change the text colors when I add freeform text a couple steps from now.)


6. We need to save the page now. Don’t worry about those empty pockets. They fill in with the background color when saved. It’s a great little trick!!



6. In technique #3 of the post referred to above I talk more in depth about how to cheat the app so you can add text over multiple pockets. Simply put, the trick is to bring the saved page back into the app in the 12x12 collage template.


7. So now the app thinks my page is one large 12x12 pocket and will let me add freeform text anywhere! Cool huh?!


8. To add more text boxes just press the “+” button in the options below the page.



And it’s done!! Hopefully this answers some of your questions.