Friday, October 30, 2020

Photo Freedom 2021

I first began scrapping in elementary school, putting memorabilia in the scrapbook my Mama started when I was born. Throughout my teenage and young adult years, I compiled a variety of photo albums, scrapbooks ... and even photo album scrapbooks!

In 2010, I discovered Stacy Julian's online classes and embraced her Library of Memories system. I began using a digital workflow plan, started sharing my photos, stories, and layouts on this blog, and changed from chronological to inspirational scrapbooking. I put processes in place to keep my printed and digital photos organized, to showcase my completed scrapbook layouts, and to capture memories and inspiration for future pages. 

Since that class, I've adapted Stacy's system to fit our family and lifestyle, and I've created a ton of FUN and meaningful pages, albums, and projects that I love! I also helped coach others to set up and adapt their own system in a couple of Stacy's workshops several years ago. I truly enjoyed sharing Stacy's big picture approach to preserving memories and seeing others embrace (or re-embrace) memory keeping in all its many forms during these classes.

I'm excited to announce that I get to do it all again! Yes, that's right, Stacy Julian has updated and revised the materials for setting up, maintaining, and enjoying your own Library of Memories, and is offering the PHOTO FREEDOM class on her website in early 2021! 

AND I have an exclusive discount code for you, my faithful readers! Check out all the details for this 12-week class here and use the code MELISSAG50 to get $50 off your registration. (This affiliate code is one of the ways I'm compensated as a Photo Freedom coach.)

Click the following links to read more about how I initially set up my system, how this is just one type of library I love, and what I do with storage binder photos.

I am so glad to have a hobby that allows me to preserve our memories in a way that is also an outlet for my creativity, and I'm excited to be a part of the new PHOTO FREEDOM class

BTW - If you use my code to sign up, please email me so I can send you a little bonus happy mail. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Art Journaling | Collages

Over the past few months, I've enjoyed creating collage style art journaling pages. These FUN quick pages are perfect for enjoying some creative therapy!

This first image is in one of my art journals and was a great way to use up some miscellaneous letter stickers!

I created these next three collages in my sister's planner when my family evacuated here ahead of Hurricane Laura.

These final collages are two-page spreads in my 2020 planner.

Do you create collages? Do you find them therapeutic?

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Scrapbooking | A Cat That Doesn't Shed

When I was a teenager, we had a family of black cats as pets, which meant that my yellow bedspread was always covered with lots of little black hairs. 

When Mama asked what I wanted for Christmas one year, I said, "I want a cat that doesn't shed!"

That year, under the tree, I found a two-tone brown cat cross stitched onto a pillow.

I still have that pillow and always smile at the way Mama gave me my wish all those years ago!

The layout design for this page was inspired by Lesson One in the free Timeless Techniques with Shimelle class.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sunday Musings | Our Strength Comes From the Lord

Are you growing weary of this year? Let this verse remind you that our strength comes from the Lord as we wait on Him!

In the midst of this pandemic and the election news and the civil unrest and the natural disasters, wait on the Lord, look for Him, expect Him, and hope in Him. He will give you strength.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Scrapbooking | August 2020 Scrapped

In addition to our month in numbers layout, I created four layouts for August of this year.

The month began with a week-long visit from one of my nieces who hadn't been out much since the beginning of the pandemic. Since we've been staying home, she felt safe coming here and we all had a wonderful time. I used a page template and papers from my digital stash for this layout.

Mid-month Robbie and I began walking each morning, even in the rain! I used lots of bits & pieces on this paper layout, including the "Wonderful" tag that I created in a make-n-take at Scrapbook Expo in 2019.

I also got a start on painting our baseboards, but got sidetracked adding a pop of color to the inside of the back door. This layout uses a page template from the DYL 2.0 class, although I modified it to add two extra photos.

The month ended with family here once again, this time as my sister, brother-in-law and three nieces evacuated ahead of Hurricane Laura. This is another layout that uses a page template and papers from my digital stash.

August was our busiest month since the pandemic began, and I'm thrilled to have these stories captured for our 2020 album. What memories did you scrapbook for August?

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Scrapbooking | 2013 - The First Half

After completing our 2012 chronological albums a few months ago, I began working on filling in our 2013 albums with the stories, memories, and memorabilia I had not yet included. 

Some of the layouts only showcase one photo, like this one of my Daddy singing at a Sunday morning church service.

Some of them hold two photos, like our nephews' school portraits.

And others needed three photos, especially when they showcased nature's beauty or celebrated a special person or place.

A few pages highlight four photos of FUN times with friends.

And, of course, some days require two pages!

I'm excited to have these memories preserved and am making progress now on the last half of the year. Have you scrapped all your stories for 2013?

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Book Reviews | 10 Favorites

Sharing a list of 10 books that have stuck with me over the years and are worth reading again (and again).

1. The Bible - read it all the way through, it will change your life.
2. The Hiding Place - never forget that there's no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.
3. Redeeming Love - a beautiful story of love and forgiveness.
4. The Giving Tree - yes, it's a picture story will leave you pondering what makes you truly happy.
5. Little House on the Prairie - read the entire series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
6. Fahrenheit 451 - how could anyone burn books!
7. To Kill A Mockingbird – if you’re only going to write one novel, it might as well be a Pulitzer Prize Winner, right?
8. Alas, Babylon – no matter how many years go by, this novel is still relevant.
9. Watership Down – amazing what we can learn from the rabbits in this story.
10. Gone With The Wind – you can think about reading this one tomorrow.

Which books would make your list of 10 favorites? Please share in the comments.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

No Stress Distress Club

This summer, I signed up for May Flaum's 7-month No Stress Distress Club to learn more about using the Distress Inks I've accumulated over the past couple of years. So far, I've only worked through the first two months of class videos, but I've already learned several techniques that create FUN backgrounds and cards.

Each month May hosts several Facebook live trainings, and I've ended up with numerous backgrounds after following along with her demonstrations.

I've even turned a couple of these practice pieces into greeting cards by either punching out bits or by using the entire background.

There's also a step-by-step tutorial in the classroom each month, so I have two other completed cards.

One of my favorite techniques so far is to dab some distress ink onto a piece of plastic packaging, then drag a card through it to create an artsy background. I've created some of my favorite pieces by adding rub-ons, stickers, and words to these backgrounds.

I'll probably end up creating greeting cards with most of these pieces; however, I used the butterfly one as an embellishment on a recently complete layout.

I'm hoping to spend some time soon catching up with the past two months' material in this class. Are you participating in the No Stress Distress Club? How do you like to use your Distress Inks?

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sunday Musings | Be Strong & Courageous

Are you growing weary as we continue to deal with news about the coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming elections and the civil unrest and natural disasters that have defined this year? If so, you're not alone, and I want to encourage you to be strong and courageous.

When the Lord charged Joshua with leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, He commanded him to "be strong and of good courage" three times! (Joshua 1:1-9) The third time, He also reminded Joshua that He would be with him wherever he went.

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage;
do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,
for the Lord your God
is with you wherever you go.

~ Joshua 1:9 ~

This is a good reminder to us that the Lord is with us wherever we are - whether it's staying at home during the pandemic, working on the front lines in the medical and research fields, adjusting to the continually changing guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing, caring for our families, or going about our jobs and daily routines the best that we can in these times of uncertainty.

(I saw this acrostic online several months ago & added it to my interleaved Bible
while illustrating with one of my 15-year-old nieces, who create the page below.)

Wherever you are, the Lord your God is with you! Be strong and courageous!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Scrapbooking | August 2020 By the Numbers

This year, as I process each month's photos, I'm creating a digital layout featuring six photos and journaling "by the numbers." I'm using a digital template and various papers from my stash.

My plan is to include a photo of me and Robbie and a photo of my mantel display as the top line of photos each month. However, I kept the yellow and red arrangement up for several months, so I used a photo of our couch on this layout. I'm changing the throw pillow covers each month (or so) to match the mantel display.

Here's how the numbers add up for August.

* 19 days Robbie worked from home plus 1 sick day for doctor appointment & 1 vacation day.
* 7 day visit from Paige.
* 15 early morning walks together.
* 14 jars of lace “canned.”
* 5 puzzles put together.
* 3 coats of red paint on back door.
* 103 degrees afternoon high temperature.
* 5 family members evacuated here ahead of Category 4 Hurricane Laura.
* 2 batches of homemade granola prepared with Brenda’s help.
* 3 pieces of happy mail received.
* 7 contactless grocery pick ups from WalMart & Kroger.
* 2 movies watched: The Secret:Dare to Dream, Avengers:End Game.
* 2 layouts completed, 3 recipe cards made, 4 collages assembled, 2 t-shirts altered, 2 Bible pages illustrated, 2 clipboards altered, 2 blog posts published.

We only watched two movies in August. The Secret: Dare to Dream is a new Amazon Prime movie that just released on July 31. It's a feel-good movie about a widow (and her three children) struggling to make ends meet. We watched this movie when my 15-year-old niece was here and we all enjoyed it. We re-watched Avengers: End Game when three of my nieces were here (due to a hurricane evacuation) because they had not yet seen it. This movie is a culmination of the many Marvel Universe movies and involves teamwork, friendship, and overcoming impossible odds. The girls all thought it was a great movie.

How did the numbers add up for you in August?