What I’m Doing Upstairs (Not Drugs)

If you’re reading this, and you know me, you’ll know that if there is an easier way to do something, my lazy ass is going to figure it out. Ask my mom, who still furrows her eyebrows when I tell her I microwave our steamed vegetables. (Mom, +5 points to you for cooking your veggies on the stove, though! The utility company and I still love you.)

You also know that I love to scrapbook. So, when Scrapbooking Baby Jesus came down from the Heavens and gave us pocket pages, the angels sang in my heart. I know some of my friends think I’m absolutely batshit crazy for still printing photos and decorating paper. Who’s doing that anymore? Well, this girl is!…and a bunch of other crazy scrapbookers are too, thankyouverymuch. Do you know why? Because we love easy, and we’re sentimental memory-hoarders too.

You can read more about Project Life by Becky Higgins if you’re interested in the backstory and marketing, but let me give you the gist.

You can take these:

and make these: 

TADA! IT’S MAGIC.

I LOVE how easy it is to rescue our memories from our heads and my external hard drive, but my absolute favorite part about scrapbooking this way is watching Maggie flip through the pages and laugh out loud at the pictures. Damn, that feels good. She’s remembering the good times, in her own little way, and I hope one day, she sits down and reads the journaling too.

If you’re thinking about preserving your memories in a different way than using TimeHop, consider this method. If you’re cool with TimeHop, text me your embarrassing memories, because I love that stuff too.  It’s also worth noting that if you’re even lazier than I am, they have digital apps that you can plop your photos in and create beautiful layouts to print, and they’ll send that shit straight to your house. YES MA’AM, they will. I hope you get inspired to find a way to be creative and do what’s right for you.

Full disclosure: If you come to my house, I’m gonna make you sit down and look at these albums and appreciate my work.

JK, I’m actually an introvert and probably want you to get off my couch. Watch my YouTube videos instead.

Quick and Easy Paper Journal

It’s not too often I get to sneak up into my craft room for hours at a time, but last night, I knew I had to play with paper. I did it for my soul, and for the soul of a friend I knew was in need of a little creative space of her own. I love easy little projects like this that can be done in an hour or so. I grabbed 6 sheets of some really pretty double sided scrapbook paper and got started. I used the 12×12 Best of Basic Grey paper pad, and chopped off 4 inches, leaving me with 12×8 sheets. I used my handy dandy Martha Stewart folder to crease down the middle, creating a nice spine 6 inches in.IMG_4288

I created the folds on all six sheets, then put them in an order I liked, taking into consideration that each paper would be next to a different pattern. Just kidding, I don’t think things through that much, and I was more than pleasantly surprised that it turned out as cute as it did, but this is why it’s helpful to use a paper pad with the same theme so you don’t have to worry about stuff like that.IMG_4289

I then used some binder clips to clip the papers tightly together so I could make even holes down the crease line.
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Since math and I aren’t friends, using 8 inch paper is also helpful, because I measured one inch in from each side to create the “top” and “bottom” holes, and one punch in the center at 4 inches. Thank God that worked out, otherwise I would have had to figure out fractions, and FORGET IT if that happens.IMG_4291

I used one of my fancy American Crafts tools to punch  some small holes, but big enough to fit a small ribbon through. To be safe, I punched from the front and the back.IMG_4292

See that little strand of mint green ribbon there? I had that laying around, and it happened to go perfectly with the cover paper. Love it when that happens. I weaved it in and out through the holes until I got back to the beginning (inside the spine) where I tied a knot.IMG_4294

Don’t stress if the knot is visible. In fact, I think it adds a little bit of character, and I didn’t even bother cutting the strings because I think it’s fun to have a little sweet knot in the middle of your book.IMG_4293

Go back and fold those pages with something really hard. I used a bone folder because I am weird and have a bone folder, but you can even use a ruler. Just make sure the papers are well folded so you or your friend can clip through them easily. 
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The last easy step is to embellish it with a few little die cuts and Project Life cards, if you have them. If you don’t have those things, paper clip a magazine clipping or a doodle of one of your favorite quotes in. The idea is to be fun and not create too perfect of a space that your friend will be afraid to glue in/write in. Get messy, but keep it simple too.

This is the perfect little book to practice making if you need a quick, but sweet gift for someone special. The materials are inexpensive, and the small amount of effort really goes a long way! See below for a quick flip-through of the final product.

I hope you get the chance to be creative in some form or another, especially if it’s for a loved one. I promise – it will make you BOTH feel better.

Peace and love to you, friends, and happy papercrafting!KLpbsmp

Handwritten Letter Love

There is something really special about getting REAL letters in the mailbox. If your mail stack looks anything like mine, you might get tired of Capital One and local dentists begging for your attention. I’m in marketing, so I get it. Those are actually thought-out efforts, but a letter! A real letter. That’s special. I decided it was a good weekend to begin a marketing effort of my own: more handwritten letters. I started with an envelope I received from a friend in a “junk swap.” (Sudden Blog Idea: “10 Ways to Know You’re Really 100 Years Old”). IMG_2996I used my 2-inch paper punch and popped these adorable circles from the Dear Lizzy Documentary collection stack I just got from Michaels for $6.99. Three cheers for Paper Hoarders – hip! hip! hooray! IMG_2994There is also something therapeutic about carefully punching out circles into a pile of beautiful paper.IMG_2991I folded my white cardstock into three before I started gluing anything down, so I wouldn’t end up pasting a circle on a fold, something I’ve learned from past experience.
IMG_2997I pasted down some circles in random little spots, and started my letter with my calligraphy marker, even though that’s an art I haven’t mastered. 
IMG_2998I didn’t take a photo of the actual letter I wrote, because it’s personal and raw, and that’s the point, right? I also ended up taking on this weird Jane Austen tone, and totally went with it, because again, why not? It was actually super fun using the word “whilst” in a completely serious way.IMG_2999The easiest was to dress up a letter with one extra little step is a little bit of washi tape. I had a friend send out Christmas cards with a little bit of washi, and upon seeing it in my mailbox, I immediately yelled OUT LOUD: “Who is this crafty person whose shit is this pulled together in the month of December?” I was impressed.IMG_2995I finished it up with my new little toy – The Lettermate – the most exciting $10 I’ve spent in a while. I saw it in Pinterest (of course) and had to have it. I tried it with a skinny black marker and I heeded their advice: start with all caps so you don’t have to worry about hanging letters, and they were right. Even my caps need a little bit of work. But HEY, again, the point is to share the love, so just do it your way.IMG_3001In this busy, crazy, techy world we live in, it’s nice to take a step back every now and then and do something really old fashioned. I hope you get a chance to write a handwritten note to someone you love.

KLpbsmp