Saturday, December 31, 2011


I gave everyone photo gifts this year. It was cheap(ish), easy and personalized.

For my Grandparents, I made a book inspired by Elise Blaha's home photo book.

At Thanksgiving, I photographed their house. It's the central nervous system of my Leija side of the family. The place we gather for all of the holidays and where I spent every Sunday as a kid for dinner.

It's tiny, it's old but I like to think of it more as cozy and lived in.

My Grandparents, knowing how I am, asked no questions when I showed up at their door with my camera. They let me be as I walked around snapping away. I ended up shooting around 300 photos for this 36 page book.

Obviously, not all of them made it in. And today, I'm not sharing all of the pages. Just a sampling of the book and one of the houses that built me.

[Photo of Back Cover to come!]

Unfortunately, I wasn't around on the day my Grandma opened the gift. I didn't get the chance to see their faces and watch as they looked through the pages.

My Mama reported back that my Nana had opened the book and first saw the back cover. Her comment was "What a pretty little table." Not at all realizing yet that it was her table, in her own backyard.

I think they liked it. I hope they did!

Mostly, I'm just happy I have a copy for myself. So I'll always remember.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I used Blurb.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Project 12: Sept & Oct

I'm back on the Project 12 bandwagon. It's been awhile since I've done one of these pages. I like them so much when they're done but have so much trouble getting them finished!

I think it's because I'm not that good with tiny spaces and little clusters.

I've had the calendars for these months filled out for awhile now, but my second stumbling block is collecting all of the photos. From my point and shoot, my iPhone, my DSLR whose images are saved on my computer and some on MT's computer.

It becomes a chore.

But like I said before, love 'em when they're actually completed and in my album!

September was a fun busy month, with a trip to Hawaii and my 27th birthday.

I'm loving these colors together, the inspiration for which was American Crafts Chap line. I'm also loving the misted wood veneers. Adore that you can still see the grain!

October was a blur with 2 work trips to Denver and Lafayette, LA. Plus 2 road trips to Corpus Christi and to Austin. And 2 weekends with my nephew.

I love my crazy busy life!
I love that I get to travel for work.
I love that I'm too tired to scrapbook everyday, but still get to find time to catch up on it later :)

For these pages I only focused on color, bright and bold.
They're playful, and I like that.

Oh, and button-tastic!

Only a few more pages and Project 12: 2011 is complete!

I love this album.
MT has told me it's his favorite album.
And I think I just might make it again next year.

It's crazy that I decided to do it on a whim, only after having seen these gorgeous KI Memories calendars. But I'm really glad I did.

My entire year scrapbooked in just 24 pages. Even if I don't make another page with any of these photos, I'll at least have this album complete.


2011 Resolutions/2012 Habits

New Year = New Resolutions right?
Considering how well I did on last years, I'm not so sure.

Even having created this adorable mini, I still didn't stick to them.

Basically, the only three I actually did were:
(1) Budget, Save, moderation.
(2) Purge & Donate...not quite quarterly but at least a few times this year.
(3) Reconnect with friends...which was of course my favorite.

All are worthwhile accomplishments, I won't deny that. But I still feel like I could be doing more.

This year, I've resolved to not make resolutions but to focus instead on making habits. Habits that I can take with me throughout the year and even further on. Not pointless goals I set and then have no clue as to how to achieve.

These are the habits I'd like to work on cultivating for January:
  • Waking up early enough to get a few things done, then to catch the 8:23 bus (so I won't be in after 9 anymore!)
  • Exercising on the weekdays, running in the evenings
  • Write daily (journaling, blog posts, Q&A, etc.)
At the moment, I'm just working on the 3. I don't want to get overwhelmed with an entire list of activities. I'll never create a habit doing that.

And come February, I'm determined to have those seemingly small things down, and ready to add 3 more habits to my list.
A little at time is my mantra for the year.
A little to achieve a lot!

With all of that being said, I'd like to share a layout which shows on of my 2011 resolutions at work, reconnecting with old friends :)

I got to see Monica twice this year! A treat, you have no idea. In February, I stayed with her in London and in September we met up in Hawaii for her birthday.

I love this girl. She is such a blast and the one person who can get me to do some of the crazier things I would never have otherwise, like snowboarding (Austria) and white water rafting (Thailand). She's always up for a good time, my Moni. And even though we couldn't be less alike, we still get along really well.

I created this page using my trusty Cheat Sheet (Sketchpad) at that Croppin Bug crop. And it wouldn't have turned out the way it did if it weren't for that crop!

Let me explain.

I wanted a neutral background for these bright photos, so I could incorporate in some way all of these gorgeous patterned papers. In riffling through my stash of paper, I picked out these two Studio Calico patterns from their Classic Calico line. But I couldn't decide which to use!

I turned to Lindsay, one of the awesome ladies I scrap with from time to time, to ask her opinion. She pointed out that she liked the dark paper for the color photo and the light paper for the sepia-esque print.

And that's how I came up with this design! (Thanks Linds :) Since it is so simple, I angled the design to make it more interesting. Then, cut strips and turned them into banners. The banners became my journaling lines and the whole things was finished off with some bakers twine and letter stickers.

It's a plain page but it doesn't really look that way thanks to the gorgeous papers and bright photo.

I hope to next year continue to reconnect and spend time with some of my favorite people. Even if it means flying across the world to do so!

And also, of course, to cultivate those habits.

Are you making resolutions this year? If so please share!


[EDITED TO ADD: I guess I was channeling my Leo brain wave. Check out his blog post on habits posted today]

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

And thus the countdown to the New Year begins!
2012 is knocking at the door, it's just that hard to believe.

The older I get the more apt the phrase "time flies" becomes.

And as the new year looms, I can't help but reflect on the past year and all of it's accomplishments. But more on that later.

Most importantly, here is a recap of my favorite layouts from the year, in no particular order:

I think what I like best is the colors and the title and the fun circle elements. And that I didn't really like the kit I used to make this page, but after having created this page, I liked the kit! Go figure. Also super proud that I used those unattractive orange Thickers. Or was it just fate that I was wearing orange that day...

(2) 2008
This put into perspective for me, just how much traveling I actually did that year. 16 countries! I always love highlight pages and I especially love all of my photos from this year. I keep going back to them again and again.

(3) Hagia Sofia

I don't know if it's just the place that I love, but there's something about this scrapbook page and how all of the elements work together so harmoniously. How the images are reflected in the design. This is how I like my scrapbook pages!

And you would probably never guess that this page and the one above were both created from the same sketch, just tweaked a bit. Again, I love how the product so subtly reflects the images.

(5) Wrinkle in Time
There's a lot of symbolism in this page. The clocks, the crumpled (wrinkled ;) background cardstock, the crowns. I like whenever one thing references everything else. I also simply adore the subject manner. London has my heart.

(6) China
This was a fun layout to make! And I got to create with Amy Tangerine's line, a favorite of mine. I also liked the circle photos and getting to see on one page all of the Chinese cities I visited.

This was one of those happy unplanned accidents. I had no concept or idea of how I was going to do this page. I just reached for a stack of patterned paper, found one that fit (and rather perfectly at that) the photo and embellished accordingly. I also liked that I scrapbooked a photo that I would not normally have got around to scrapping.

(8) CKC, KP & SC
This page is 100% about ephemera. Oh and meeting some super sweet scrapbookers who also happen to be some of the most famous ones out there :)

(9) Me & My Bright Ideas
I like this page. I like the light-bulb details, the colors and most importantly that sheet of Crate Paper (purely gorg). But mainly I like the subject matter. It's all about my love for travel, even if it means traveling by myself. And how, 100% of the time there this one moment, it's usually only a few seconds, when I'm seriously asking myself, "what the heck were you thinking?!"

Whenever I journal on Urijah's pages, I always write to him and I rarely right out "y-o-u". I usually replace it with just a "U" which is handy since it's his initial. So when I found some inspiration in the form of a Dr. Seuss quote that included this handy moniker, I couldn't not use it. That, combined with the American Crafts Chap line makes it my most favorite Urijah page of 2011!

Playing with mist and doilies was one of my favorite techniques this year. And combining it with my favorite color yellow made it that much more beautiful.

And that's that. Despite my extremely busy year, I still managed to create 100+ layouts and 80+ cards. 11 of which I shared today.

If you're a scrapbooker and are doing a similar blog post, please link it up in the comments. I <3 seeing everyone's favorite layouts. Here's to more scrapping in the coming year!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Urijah Love

"Good morning, good mooorning!"

I have this jingle stuck in my head for some reason. I think it might have to do with the fact that the sun is shining outside of my window and I can hear birds chirping off in the distance. Birds, really? Pondering how long it's been since I've heard a bird outside my window....

Anyway, I think I'm most excited this morning because we're finally home! Back from Ohio and all tucked into my cozy little apartment, with 7 full days of freedom staring me in the face. That my friends equals pure bliss!

I have a slue of little projects I'll be working on over the week. Mostly organizational things, but also some scrappy stuff.

This morning I wanted to share a few of the pages I made at that Cropping Bug crop with my pals out in Texas City.

They're all about looove :) Namely love of a certain lil man.

While driving out to the crop, I listened and rocked out to an old school Natalie Imbruglia CD. One song had a lyric that mentioned "bubbles of love" in it. I think it's called Big Mistake (actually I know it's called that because I just googled it :)

As that was gurgitating, and I pulled this photo from the box, and had already chosen a sketch that featured circles, I came up with the title. I find it very appropriate to the atmosphere Urijah's presence creates. You just can't not love him!

Their shirts were the deciding design elements for this page, varying shades of greens and yellows. I got to play with my circle punches and buttons & brads, finally using that gorgeous wood button with the green details from Crate Paper.

I also love how infinitely classic & cool my Papa looks with his Ray Band sunglasses.

Then I made a page with Urijah and Gma. I loved the cosmic vibe of this Studio Calico paper, especially when cut down to the smaller size which accentuates it. It somewhat mimicked the odd angle of the photo of the two of them. Which really could have been shown either portrait or landscape.

The title came from Urijah's pjs. There is a monkey in space with the words "Out of this world" on the front.

I think "Love (or Loved) out of this World" really worked as a title for this page. Plus, I'm super happy that I have a page with Gma and Urijah! There aren't as many photos of the two of them together.

Urijah's scrapbook is always my favorite to work on. Mainly because I actually complete them! But also because I tend to capture those everyday life photos. The ones that so perfectly exemplify relationships and interactions, rather than we did this, we saw that. It's a newer evolution in my scrapbooking. And I like it.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturdays with Yaya

How is Christmas already this weekend?! Amongst all of the mayhem of this fall, it's snuck up on me.

Alas, our bags are all packed and our shoes are tied tight. I'm ready for this Christmas with MT and his family in Ohio!

Wish us luck, it's the first flown trip we've ever taken with each other. I'm a professional traveler, so this could be really easy or really hard. I will let you know.

But for now, I wanted to share this page, created with my cheat sheet and as I channeled my inner Lisa T.
All of the photos are instagram shots that I had printed at I'd completely recommend them. I know a lot of people order from PostalPix, which is super convenient but annoyingly not great quality. The colors are always so ridiculously off! But I digress.

The photos are some random everyday shots of what we do when Urijah is around, a whole lot of hanging out.

I love how these photos also show Urijah's relationship with his "Uncle" Matt. He's clearly very comfortable with him, enough to use him as a chair at least. That photo of their shadows holding hands gets me every time :)

For this page, I used the Chap line by American Crafts. Instant love! I adore this line, especially for cute boy pages.

I'm quite proud of this page, it's the first I had made in at least a month and one for Urijah's Year 2 Album, the pages of which were very scant.

I love adding pages to albums. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Well Mr. OCD is pacing the floor at the moment. Even thought he said we were leaving at 3:30 it seems my time is up. I'll catch up with yall when I get back! I hope everyone has a safe and merry holiday!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheat Sheet

Confession: I'm a cheater.

There! I've said it!

Well...not a "cheater" per say but a definite cheat sheet user.

I'm talking about these guys, the ones that already have all of the answers to test:

It's the secret to my success!
Well kind of...
(It more or less holds up in a cropping court of law)

You all might know by now that I love me a good sketch and I turn to my repertoire of KP Sketchbook and now Sketchpad pdfs, frequently when I make my cheat sheets.

They're my go to group because 1) they're good and 2) I paid for them. That's more or less enough said.

So let me take just a minute to explain what I do and how I do it.

I bought the Sketchpad class when Kelly released it. Opened it up, poured over the sketches and the inspiration, wiped away some droll and then walked away from it for awhile.

Later, when I was in a scrapping mood I opened it up again and went through it page by page, sketch by sketch alongside of my iPhoto, pulling pictures with the appropriate orientation (landscape vs portrait) and groupings that would work for each sketch.

I jotted a quick mini sketch of just the photo placement, wrote down the appropriate file names and determined right then and there the photo sizes. That is the biggest tip I can give you. I like scrapping with a variety of sizes, but it can be a bit difficult and often time consuming chore.

When I make my cheat sheets, I don't have to think!

It makes the scrapping and the yapping that much easier when you're not thinking so hard!

This is one of the layouts I made from my cheat sheet. They're photos of this amazing local restaurant just off of the Kamehameha Hwy on the North Shore of Oahu.

It was a tiny little hole in the wall, but aren't those the best kind of eateries?! A local guy chatted up the place while we were ordering. Heck, if it's good enough for him it's definitely good enough for me!

For this page, I just started layering patterned paper strips on top of each other on either side of the line of photos. Then I added some 3 dimensional flowers and Thickers for embellishment.

And of course I had to make a cardstock grass skirt! I couldn't not with a restaurant (and page) so aptly named.

I almost forgot!

I have to add that I made the cheat sheet weeks and weeks ago. Printed the photos and let them marinate on my desk for awhile. It was a month later when I pulled it out to actually use. By then (and still now) I can't remember a single layout from the class pdf, but I have the bones to work with and thus was/am able to put my own stamp on the sketches.

I didn't make copies of the layouts featured. I made the sketches my own.

One of these days I'll go back and look at the inspiration. It'll be interesting to see how close to the original sketch my layouts turn out.

Signing off for tonight, but I'll be back later with more completed cheat sheet layouts! If you have any questions about the process, don't hesitate to ask. Cheers!