Thursday, May 23, 2013

Project Life: Week 20, playing catch up

This week: We were still in the process of unpacking and moving in (still are). I included two different weekends in this spread, Mother's day and the Saturday a week later when we visited the Austin Farmer's market for the first time.  This spread more just has the leftovers of the week before with a few things from a very dull week.  Not pictured: multiple trips to Ikea and the hardware store, giant piles of boxes all over the house, the owl we discovered living in our chimney.
It's a bit of jumble and I'm okay with that, mostly because I really like the way the color scheme worked out. Lots of soft pink, with a bit of orange and a few blues thrown in.

First side: I finally used my Currents stamp for something.  I thought I would use it a lot more than I actually do.  I stamped on a grid card here, but I think it would look pretty on patterned paper as well.  I do like how it is perfectly sized for PL, but I just have trouble finding a place for it anyway. Here, I tried to remember all the new restaurants we went to in our first week in Austin.  Suffice to say, I didn't do a lot of cooking.  I added a strip of Rainbow Washi (I'm obsessed with this washi) for color and a cork number 5, for the month I guess?

I included several instagrams from Mother's Day on one card.  The wooden polaroid is a Basic Grey hipster veneer. I colored in the Amy Tangerine heart stamp with a pink gelato and used my white sharpie for a little dimension.  I'm not a big stamp color-in person, but I love how this turned out.  I tried the same thing with a coffee cup stamp below it but it looked awful, so it got covered with an old ticket instead.
I used that kraft die cut card on the previous spread as well and had to mirror the design to allow the die cut effect to show through.  I used a Holiday Mini kit card, with an SC printable.  I added a little subtitle on the photo using my AC black slick writer.

This card is from the Studio Calico PL kit. I punched a circle from a Paislee Press printable for the 'flair', to signify our new start.  The card next to it is another Paislee Press printable that I recolored to teal. I used a Martha Stewart tag for the journaling and some SC letter stickers.

Probably my favorite part of the whole spread is the moving card.  It is another Studio Calico kit card.  I am always looking for nice 4x6 cards in both orientations.  This is a pink version of a card in the Midnight kit.  I have the digi version, so I can always play around with the color if I want to print another one of these in the future.  I used some older black velvet thickers I found while unpacking.  They are a chipboard version of these black thickers.
Technically we moved the week before, but we are still in the process of it, so I guess it works.  Can you tell my brain is fried?

Second page: I used two more SC kit 4x6 cards, which thankfully come in both orientations now. I journaled around the edge of the camera filler card about how Avinash does not want to leave his Nana and Nani's house.

These are just instagrams I took at the Farmer's market.  I felt the story was pretty self explanatory, so no journaling needed.  Pretty fruit, pretty produce and a beautiful sunny day.  I finally used an SC wood veneer card instead of hoarding it, go me!  I added the little Freckled Fawn bits to the photo and a few enamel dots.  I would have moved them actually, but they threatened to rip the paper so I left them in place.  I think this card is another recolored version of a Midnight card. 

 I cut that little smile tab out of a Cosmo Cricket paper ages ago and it keeps drifting through my piles/bowls/bags of scraps.  So happy to just staple it down somewhere finally.

Also used one more vertical card cut from this Amy Tangerine paper.  Love the white on kraft.  Used my white sharpie to make the houses stand out a bit more. I fussy cut around them, added washi and slipped my photo in. Just a few gold stars.  They are both making weird faces in this picture, but I kinda like it all the more for that.  Not every picture has to have a wide grin in it.  I think it shows that they hold hands even without knowing I am watching. 

Let me know if you have any questions. I use a lot of digital products, and created a FREE Printables board on Pinterest to keep track (and, I work really hard to make sure that the pins there are all 'live links' and not spam). 
Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Project Life: Week 18

 This week: I took the kids to the park one day for lunch.  I remember feeling such peace that day in the middle of a lot of tears.  My dad came to visit and my mom arrived a few days later.  We packed and got ready for our move to Austin. We went to a May Day brunch, second year in a row.  We started making the rounds, trying to visit with our friends once more before moving.

First page: I used my Studio Calico Planetarium kit a lot.  My crafting supplies are a mess and it is just so easy to pull everything from one box essentially.  I used a few cards, some paper from the card kit 6x6 paper pad, the tag is cosmo cricket.
I love the bright pop of color from the glitz alpha stickers.  I wanted to highlight how Avinash wrote his name on his name tag.
The little freckled fawn cloud wood chips are another favorite. 

 I made this heart you card with my silhouette, based on an Ali Edwards design.  My mat was a bit misaligned so the top got chopped. 

I made a little row with these little wood veneer hearts from the new Atlantic collection. They are actually a little thinner than the lighter colored veneers, which is good for PL.  I used a Paislee Press stamp on the card as well.

 Second page: The pages have a lot of glare.  Still trying to find a good photo spot in the new house.  Will have to try again at a different time of day.{I got a decent picture of this side today, but the first page is still all wonky, oh well.  I'm just moving on.}
This side is very photo heavy.  I used four SC cards as well, plus a few random embellishments.
I used an Elisejoy stamp on the bottom right card.  The white chalk ink wasn't showing through as much as I like, so I outlined it with my favorite white poster paint Sharpie.
Nandini and my mom were so silly together, but I never wrote down what they were saying at the time.  I just improvised some phrases, though the joke is lost.  I layered another die cut I made (I have a stash of different die cuts in kraft, which comes in handy since I still haven't unpacked my Cameo), a vintage yellow ticket and PP mistable star.

I put these chalkboard thickers on top of a pink ticket. The little roses are stuck outside of the page protector because they were too thick to fit inside. [ETA: I had to take those flowers off and replaced them with a flat badge, they were just too bulky and warping all the other pages in my album]

last year, May Day 2012

We stood in the same spot for a self-timer photo together last year too. It's great how easy this project makes it to look back on the previous year.  I think it will be neat to see the different variations year to year.

Let me know if you have any questions. I use a lot of digital products, and created a FREE Printables board on Pinterest to keep track (and, I work really hard to make sure that the pins there are all 'live links' and not spam). 
Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

my favorite tea party.

I scrapped this page for this month's Anthologie Collection at One Story Down. One more Disney page down (and a million more to go).

I just loved the 'mood board' for this collection. And, after seeing the collections, it was not hard to get inspired.

After looking through the collections and picking papers to work with I started with a sheet of white cardstock and my trusty water color set from Target by Kid Made Modern.  Such a good buy and a great variety of colors.  I was sort of going for an ombre effect, choosing colors from the collection. 

I made the papers and my photos into a collage digitally and just them apart after printing it out.  One sheet, and no waste.  I like that.  I think I would normally stress about using just a small rectangle of 'real' paper on a traditional layout.

After arranging all my papers I decided I liked the look better with a few left off so the watercolor could show through a bit more.  Sometimes less is more? (Don't hold me to that!)

I stitched down the rectangles. My stitching is pretty messy. Let's just say it was intentional. For the title, I used a journaling card and some mistable thickers (these are similar) which I dabbed them with my leftover watercolor. Waste not, want not. I'm all about going green.

I used a few of my new SC May kit stamps here and there, mostly because I was excited to use them. I stamped a bit on the edges and a map in the middle.  Not necessarily thematic, but I suppose it doesn't matter.  Consider the tea cup is really a ship and we are afloat on it. It could happen.

Here is the whole thing again. I added a few gold glitter stars (mess free glitter is always a plus) and wood veneer pieces to add texture. I used the new Studio Calico Atlantic collection for the wooden anchor and heart circle. Looking at these photos was definitely bittersweet, but I'm glad I scrapped them.

If you want more Disney scrapbooking inspiration, check out my friend Ashli Oliver.  I love her latest page using up some of that darn Disney ephemera.  I have a ton that I just can't part with yet rarely scrap with.

I also created a Pinterest board for Disney inspiration.  I would love to get some more 'modern' Disney scrapbooking inspiration together. Leave your pinterest link or email if you would like to be added to the board!

Submitted for the ink challenge at SSS; watercolor, stamping and distress inked edges  - ink is definitely a theme!

Mother's Day: It's my party and I'll instagram if I want to ...

So, if you follow me on instagram sorry about the deluge on Sunday.  I just found it very pleasant to take a little extra time to post a ton of pictures of my adorable little children.  We had a pretty low key day in general.  A last minute decision to get brunch, then a walk in the park and wading in the Barton Springs' pool. I honestly don't remember what we did after naps. Probably just unpack more boxes.  Still no end in sight on those either.
This Mother's Day was hard for different reasons.  For obvious reasons I am not feeling like the best mother right now.  But something else about this forced holiday got to me.  I really think that setting up fake expectations based on what I see others doing to celebrate is ridiculous. 
I generally think that comparing myself to anyone else is just dumb.  Why should someone else's party blog make me feel bad in any way?  Pinterest is a bunch of pictures online, not a moral imperative. Unlike the Huffington Post, I don't feel the need to call other crafters stupid or uncool.  To each his own I say.
So what if we didn't have brunch reservations? I really and truly just wanted to eat at home and avoid the rush anyway.  I know that Avinash made me a card, his teacher texted me to let me know it is still in Houston.  So why do I feel bad about not getting one on Sunday? I loved our walk around the park and Barton Springs.  That should be enough. I need to change my own attitude more than anything.
I really should not complain at all.  My own mother was all by herself on Mother's Day.  I didn't even send her anything because I just figured my Dad could carry it with him when he flew back on Tuesday.  Still, it must have been pretty lonely.  I know I would have felt like that.  I miss her so much but we have had a lot of good talks on the phone lately at least.  Hope you guys had a good weekend/Mother's Day.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My blogging tips

I am linking up today with Kelly's Korner SUYL, How to Find A Job. 

I want to give my tips on working from home. While I don't make a ton of money, I do like the little bit I do make and the sense of purpose it gives my blogging.

1. Getting started
Start a blog and write about what you love. I love my family and I have a passion for crafting. I start with that and go from there.  Project Life was a great scrapbooking project for me. It gave me a weekly blog topic and a way to record our family memories on a regular basis.  Find something you love and can see yourself sticking with.

2. Affiliates
Look for relevant affiliates. I joined Avant link a few years ago. It provides a commission for each sale I generate. I use it for TwoPeas scrapbooking to tie in with my layouts. I also recently joined their program for, which has a daily scrapbooking deal as well as regular deals.
Another great affiliate program is Shareasale, they cover Simon Says Stamp, and One Kings Lane.
You can basically just show how you use products and provide links to buy in your post, which is what I do.  You can also just put out links on social media letting people know about sales or deals through Facebook and Twitter.  

3. Ads
I signed up with BlogHer recently. I get paid a few dollars each month in ads. It is not a ton of money, but it is slow and steady. Every once in a while they contact you about special ad posts which allow you to earn several hundred dollars. Those make it really worthwhile.

4. Etsy

I first opened my shop, Rainbow Scrapbooks, when I started doing Project Life. I sold handmade PL cards at first. Then I added on die cut cards and polaroid frames when I got a cameo. This year I started selling washi tape as well.

I took a few large custom orders as well recently and think it is something I need to do more often even though it is more time consuming than my regular shop.
I made a set of custom initial polaroid frames for a wedding. I also had a huge order for die cut 12*12 pages and PL cards. I do my own design work, so it was a lot of fun working with the clients coming up with fun and new designs.
I encouraged my cousin to start her own shop as well. She has a passion for painting and makes some amazing canvases.  

5. Pinterest
Lastly, marketing. I know there are a lot of different ways to market yourself but my favorite is Pinterest. I will always be something of an introvert and chatting all day long on message boards or FB just doesn't work for me. I do love Pinterest however. Because my projects are very visual oriented they are very well suited to pinterest. 

Here are my top two pinterest tips. 

Make your photo vertical.

Add some text.

That's it!
I have tripled my page views with these tips and increased my Etsy sales by at least double. 
Give these tips a try and let me know if you have questions.  I hope this helps.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Project Life: Disney Pages

This Week: We were still in California and at Disneyland mostly.  Life was pretty hard once we got back home.  I want to include it somehow, but not yet. Maybe next week.  I decided to go picture heavy instead, with just two journaling cards and a few embellishments.  Mostly labels and printables.

First Side: I used one journaling card. I bought the filler card set only for the Jade PL kit.  With coupons it was only a few dollars, and I really doubt I need the entire kit given all I have already.
I choose this card because I thought I could quickly document what happened each day of the week.
But, I quickly felt like writing, M- California Adventure, T-Both parks, etc, would have been boring.  So, I wrote about moments instead.
That is why I do what I do.
Treasuring the moments.

 I just love Disney pictures with the blurry castle in the background. I used Jillibean Soup white alpha stickers (total KP white alpha precursors in my opinion) and a few wood veneer stars. Very similar to these.
I added a freckled fawn 'Fly' wood chip to this Ormolu banner on the picture on the tea cups. I love the tea cups.

I absolutely adore this brad, but I forced myself to unhoard and just use it.  Plus, then I could feel okay about not embellishing the Mickey Photo.  The brad was making the pocket buckle something awful however so I used my scissors to open a slit in the corner and popped that bad boy out like a big blackhead. Much prettier though.

Second side: Again, I kept things simple. I definitely felt like the big DREAM banner made enough of a statement that I could keep the rest of the page pretty plain.  After I was done, I just felt like it needed more texture, so I popped on a bunch of flair too.

Another Jade filler card. I wrote about Lily and Avinash.  Seriously, I am so grateful for how joyful he is around her.

Oh, and the UP dog totally jumped when I said "squirrel". Nandini did too. Awesome moment.

Let me know if you have any questions. I use a lot of digital products, and created a FREE Printables board on Pinterest to keep track (and, I work really hard to make sure that the pins there are all 'live links' and not spam). The PL kits I am using are the Seafoam kit and Clementine kit, with multi-pack page protectors, and grid journaling cards.  Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too.

Some other links that might interest you:

My Disney pages

My Top Ten out of the way Disney photo spots

My Weekly Project Life Link-up

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's okay to love Houston.

We have lived in Houston for nearly five years.  Both our babies were born here and I just can't help loving it.

I think it is common for people to bash Houston in favor of trendier cities, (in fact a friend of ours just reminded us how we never shut up about New York for like six months when we first got here) but it definitely has a way of growing on  you.

It is very livable.  The museums, parks, and zoo are so accessible.  And it is very family oriented. I have never had such a bountiful garden. I love the weather, and tonight was no exception.

The last few days have been rough, but all the love we've received from our friends has been amazing.  Brunches, dessert, and a good bye dinner tonight.

My parents flew down a few days ago just because they were worried about me so they were able to be there too.  They kept offering to come last week, but I kept saying no.  Finally Ryan pushed me to let them come down here.  I was definitely struggling with everything and felt like I was not the best mom.  I just had no energy or take the kids like I normally do or even play simple games with them.  It has been such a blessing having my parents here.  I need to remember that it is okay to ask for help (or just say yes to the offer!) when I am coming unglued.

Love that my friends choose a place with a sandbox.  And this really pretty view of downtown.

We are so blessed.  It makes me so sad to think of the friends our kids will leave behind too.  They literally have grown up together!

 I just hope that everyone will make it out to Austin soon so they can show us around!  If the kids look like a blur, blame the pop-ice ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day in the Life: April 2013

I loved the idea of doing this project each month and putting it all together in a mini album.  I was so excited about it at the beginning of the year.  And, I have really enjoyed working on it and putting it together.  Even though my pictures are no where near as artistic or original as some, I just focus on my children like I do with most things these days.  I take very few photos of my feet or my meals.

Cue April.  I was having a pretty rough day on Tuesday.  I had another not so fun doctor's appointment (not documented) and an energy level of zero.  I decided to play along anyway and picked up the camera when I noticed how adorable Nandini was acting.  She really wanted to go out, but I was not up for it, so she just sat in her stroller eating snacks anyway.

She must have been really bored because she started climbing the ladder in our living room, which she has always been afraid of.

Avinash was game to check out the lizard outside with me.

I got fresh ramps and baby carrots at the store.  If you know me, you know that I have been obsessed with ramps for years.  I roasted them with the carrots and a little balsamic.  They did not disappoint.

And, Ryan kindly took this picture of us playing 'Go Fish'.  Grateful he was in town that evening even though he had another 5AM bus back to work in the morning.

Not pictured is my nap in the afternoon, the crying, the long phone calls and texts with friends.  Ryan keeps telling me that we'll get through this.  And, I know he's right, but I just need a little more time I think.

Suffice to say I did not work on my mini album  for this month yet.  I think I am just going to keep it super simple and hopefully won't stress about it too much.  I think the writing is going to be the hardest part.
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