Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Making the Pocket Pages Process Easy!

Hello!  I attended a three day crop not too long ago.  I'm a bit of a people watcher so I noticed that lots of people pass the time chatting, shopping or attending classes.  However, there is a large group of people who like to visit other tables and check out what people are working on and what products they are using.  

Quite a few people stopped and chatted with me when they saw that I was working on pocket pages.  They were very curious about my process and the products I choose to use.  They also mentioned that they have attempted pocket pages but just can't seem to make them look "right".  To which I reply, there is no right way!  Everyone's style and memory keeping goal is different.  Do what works for you!  

With that being said, I wanted to share my process with you to show that it doesn't have to be hard or complicated.  Creating pocket pages is fun and simple!  

I complete a double page layout each week.  Is that excessive?  Yes, sometimes.  But that's what I like to do.  I love taking photos and including them in my scrapbook and not necessarily having to choose the most important moments.  Lots of people prefer a monthly approach or creating layouts for special events.  Regardless of what style of pocket pages you create, might I suggest that you always start with your photos.

I keep it simple and use the same page protector style throughout my album.  This streamlines the process for me.  I know when I print photos that my landscape photos will be printed as 4x6s and my portrait photos will be printed as 3x4s.  I also dedicate one photo per week as a polaroid photo using my Instax printer.  I often print several weeks of photos in one sitting but I always print one week at a time to ensure that I am choosing the appropriate number of photos and I am not over printing.

Once I have the photos printed, I put them directly into the pockets.  I don't really care about the photos being chronological, as in Monday's photos go on the left, then Tuesday's and so on.  I care more about the balance of colors and the balance of people or items.  

I do take a ton of photos of my children, but it is also important to me that myself and my husband are present.  I also love to include photos of our dog, family members, flowers, food, landscape photos, etc.  It can seem like an overwhelming task to narrow down your photos each week but I pick the highlights.  What was most important?  What do you want to remember next year, in five years, in fifty years?  I can easily weed out some of the photos when I think in those terms.  

When I place the photos into pockets I ensure that the people are "spread out".  For example, if I have two selfies I do not want to place them next to each other or on the same page.  I will space them so that they are distanced from each other.  As mentioned, I do take a lot of photos of my children so spacing out their photos is a bit more difficult sometimes, but I do find it helps the flow of the page if you attempt to switch up the subject of the photos a bit. 

After photos are in pockets, it's time for the fun part!  I choose papers and embellishments that I like and I am excited about.  I will often choose one collection and build from there.  I may pick two or three coordinating papers and cut them down to size and slip them into pockets.  Again, I look to see if there is a balance.  Are the colors and patterns "spread out"?  For example, I wouldn't necessarily want all my green based patterns on the left side with none on the right.  Or I may not want to choose two papers that have polka dots or stripes.  

When placing the papers in pockets, I also look for an opportunity to add journalling.  Some patterned papers lend themselves nicely to adding written words, but often they are too busy or distracting if you add handwriting into the mix.  This is when I would add pocket page cards from kits in my stash.  If you do not have any kits, that's definitely okay!  You don't need them.  A simple white 3x4 piece of cardstock or a grid patterned card will lend itself perfectly to journalling.  I often try to include at least one white based card as it allows your eye a bit of a resting place.  

After all my photos and cards are in the pockets, I add the embellishments.  I love creating filler cards by layering stickers, die cuts, labels and alphas.  This is the part that intimidates most people but it doesn't need to be difficult.  Find pieces you love or pieces that fit with the story you are telling.  This layout is pretty easy because it is Valentine's week so I chose a Valentine's collection, but I started with the donut card because I knew it would be the easiest.  I simply took a donut die cut, a sticker and some chipboard alphas to create a little cluster.  It doesn't need to be complicated or overly busy.  I could have also added a label to tell the story of the donut but I didn't really think it was necessary. 

From there I continue to pick pieces from the die cut pack and lay them on photos or cards and just started building from there.  Some people like to focus on one card at a time, but for me the balance of the embellishments is really important so I pay attention to where I'm placing embellishments and labels.  Are they all in the top left corner?  Can I move a cluster to a different location on the photo?  Are the different colors equally represented?  Did I use puffy stickers on one side, but not the other?  These are all questions that run through my mind when completing a layout.  

If you want to keep it simple then I suggest sticking to one collection.  If you have more time or want to add a bit more interest then play around with bringing in items from your stash or die cuts and stickers from other collections.  For example, on the Instax photo below I brought in a pair of glasses from another chipboard sheet in my stash.  The colors matched perfectly and it helped tell the story so it was a win-win situation!  That's part of the fun for me too.  Piecing together these different items to tell the story and using ALL THE THINGS makes me so happy.  I like to use what I have!  

After I have embellished, I add in some labels and do my journalling on the cards.  This is the final step before I step back and look at the layout one last time.   Again, I am always looking to see if the layout is balanced.  Have I used the products evenly on both sides of the layout?  Can I add anything else?  Are the stories being told?  

I really hope this has helped you understand my process when putting together pocket pages.  I think the secret to completing pages weekly, monthly or by event is breaking the process into manageable chunks.  Photos first, then papers and cards, next is embellishments and finally the writing.  That's what works for me!  As with anything, it may not be the same for you, but I hope you will at least attempt to do a pocket page in the near future!  If you'd like to see more of my process and how my pages come together, please check out my YouTube channel where I post process videos, album share videos and hauls from the best store around, Paper Issues!  

Remember to use the code KRISTIE to save 20% off your purchase.  If you have any questions please leave me a comment below.  I'd love to help you conquer your fear of pocket pages!  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Scraplift Sunday Inspiration...On a Monday!

Good Morning and Happy Monday to you!!

Did you know that we have a Scraplift Sunday post every Sunday in our Facebook Group? You should check it out!

This week we are lifting the amazing Annelie

Check out these lifts from some of our Design Team Members..

Here is the layout I created based on Annelie's original!  I used Doodlebug Designs Fairy Tale line! 

Make sure you check out our Facebook Group for daily inspiration and all our Monthly Challenges, Including Scraplift Sunday! You can pick up all your supplies in the Paper Issues Shop for 20% off using code KELLY! 

Doodlebug Fairy Tales Page with Renee.

Hi Paper Issues World!! It's Renee here with my last post on the Paper Issues Design team; but don't fret, you'll see me still all over the Paper Issues Facebook group

I just can't get enough of the Doodlebug's new line Fairy Tales. It's so cute! The unicorns, the rainbows, the balloons! So adorable! So I was excited when they picked it for a Product Spotlight! I wanted to show you the page I made for the spotlight in my own post this month! 

Has everyone seen the new craze for the Unicorn Frappuccinos at Starbucks?  Well I wanted to try one hard core, I love me some good Starby's. But the grand thing about living in Iowa, most of us are in the middle of no where. Which means, no Starbucks. Although- you'd think with them being on every corner- they'd have one in every corn field also. I'll send that to their CEO. 

So instead of actually having one of the pretty drinks, I had the joy of using the Snapchat filter instead that made me look like I had the drink and also turns me in to a gorgeous unicorn! My immediate thought brought me to the doodlebug line because of the great colors, and of course- the unicorn. 

I was inspired by the lovely Terhi in her way of creating pages with a mix of layers and mixed media. I'm sure this doesn't even do her justice!  As always, I used layers- tons of embellishments; I did some modeling paste as well as included some washi. I wanted to go out with a bang and lots of tricks.  I hope you enjoyed my page.

I enjoyed my time on the Paper Issues Design Team; thank you so much for following my journey.  Hope you continue to follow my social media platforms to see what I come up with! You've always all inspired me so much! I can't wait to see what you guys continue to come up with in the challenges ahead. 

As always, I end with my 20% coupon- buy all the things! You will never be disappointed! 

xo. Renee

Sunday, April 23, 2017


It's been awhile since I have finished off a collection, and that is just what I did with the AC Hazelwood. I had just a few bits and pieces left after completing this layout about how I feel like I started to bloom once I hit my mid-forties. 

I decided to do a lot of fussy cutting which adds texture and dimension, and is hands down my favorite technique. 

Use the code Rae20 to receive 20% your entire purchase in the Paper Issues Store. I used the gorgeous Hazelwood collection which can be found here

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mini album with Annelie Maddock

 Hi everyone, happy Saturday!
I thought I'd surprise you with a MINI ALBUM today! It's a great way to get rid of bit and pieces that you might have lying around. For my album I mainly used Maggie Holmes "Bloom". It's a lovely collection with some gold accents in it that I LOVE!
The base of the album is basically a 12x12" paper. I used this tutorial HERE,
by fellow kiwi Lowri McNabb. I have used it lots before - it's a handy little mini!
The photos are printed on my INSTAX printer, and is now taking pride of place on my daughter's shelf - together with her LEGO friends even! That's what I call a win!


I hope you found some inspiration here today, to make your own mini album with your bits and pieces!

Friday, April 21, 2017

So Happy Together

Hey Peeps!
It's Lina and this is such a bittersweet post for me today... It's my last blog post as a Design Team Member ☹️ I've enjoyed my time on the team and working along side the most amazing and encouraging group of ladies I've ever had the pleasure of meeting! Before I start crying, again, let's move onto my layout and what I've created.

I lovingly used the latest Maggie Holmes collection, Chasing Dreams. But, instead of using it the way it was intended and by this I mean with all the florals and more of the girly side, I decided to use it mainly for the colours. I mean look at them all, aquas, pinks, yellows and blues. It was perfect for a more modern and simplistic layout.

For my background, I started with that black on white plus sign sheet and added a half sheet of the triangle grid to it. I love the pattern mix of it. Then I decided to pull my favourite, bolder, non floral patterned papers from the collection and added a ton of layers. My picture is matted with a ton of random papers and then popped up with some foam sheets. I love the dimension!

Many titles ran through my mind but ultimately, I decided on So Happy Together. It was a great excuse to use up the chipboard word Thickers. Those are always the last to be used in my stash. For the "So" part of the title, I used the Thickers that were created for the collection in Cloud.
Then, to embellish, I used the donut Thank You cards that come with your order. I fussy cut both the donuts and donut holes and used them as embellishments on my page. can you spot them? They were just PERFECT for this layout! Glad I hoarded them for a bit 😛

I used a doily from my stash underneath all my layers of patterned paper. It added just a touch of softness to all the hard and linear lines of my layout.

I also continued to embellish using the accent sticker words, accent sticker, chipboard, and ephemera. I like the bold look of my layout using a line that is very soft and feminine in style.
I finished off my layout with a sprinkling of Dylusions Ink Spray in Lemon Zest and called the entire thing done!

Thank you for stopping by today and for all the love throughout my two terms. My heart is full!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Team || 12 x 12 Layout

Good morning everyone!  Kat popping in today to share a new layout with you.  Last week the new Family & Co. line from Fancy Pants Designs was featured on the blog.  While I didn't participate in that spotlight, I still thought it would be fun to create a layout using the new, fun line.  All the cute patterns and primary colors really speak to me.

I kept this layout very simple and took inspiration from this amazing layout by fellow design team member Cat Martin.  I built my background by cutting out a bunch of 3"x3" squares and creating a grid design.  Then I layered my photos and minimal embellishments on top to create this: 

Have you purchased this fun new line yet?  You can do so here.  And make sure to use code KAT20  (or any of the other design team codes!) for 20% off your entire store order!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Product Spotlight: Simple Stories Emoji Love

Have you seen the new Emoji Love line from Simple Stories? This line is so much fun -- especially if you have teenagers (who may or may not be similar to mine...can we say texting addicts)!

Ann's layout cracks me up! I mean honestly, if you cannot torment your own teenagers, then what is the point? If we have to raise teenagers then tormenting them is our God given right! I love the phrase stickers Ann used which are from the 12x12 sticker sheet!

This fun greeting card from Lisa literally depicts the story of my life! All things are possible with a latte in hand and free wifi! The Simple Stories 4x6 journaling cards are totally perfect for cards - be sure to check out all the journaling card options in the shop!

 I love how Pol used an abundance of die cuts from the bits & pieces pack for this fun mixed media layout! Isn't it great how Pol layered the die cuts around her photo? These die cuts are seriously my favorite!

The way Stacie used the 2 Cool patterned paper is awwwwe-some! I adore the layering of the same colored die cuts over the big bold stripes! Also, you seriously could NOT have a better line of paper for this exact photo!

Be sure to grab some of this fun line from the Paper Issues shop before it's gone! Link your projects using the Simple Stories Emoji Love line in the Paper Issues {Friends & Fans} Facebook page in this month's challenge album for a chance to win!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Scrappy Adventure #91 - Hooray for Today - Paper Issues

100% Un-Original (and loving it!)

Hey hey everyone, it's Cat here again!  I'm back with another layout for Paper Issues, and this month I'm thinking, lets not be original.  Yep, that's right, you heard me, or read me.  Lets not be original!  So many times in scrapbooking we are trying to come up with a unique design, or idea, or technique, because we're worried about copying someone else or doing the same old thing that everyone has seen before.  Well I'm calling bull-plop on that thought, and today I'm sharing a 100% UN-original layout.  A few years ago I was watching process videos and I came across one from Paige Taylor Evans where she used strips of paper to create a weave pattern.  She mostly used branding strips that were left over.  Well wouldn't you know it I had a ton of these laying around, so I thought to myself, "self, why don't you do a weave layout."  So I did just that!  Now I went into my papers and found a few more branding strips that I wanted to use.  Almost all of my strips are from lines that came out between 2016-2017, and I combined Shimelle, Paige Evans, Dear Lizzy, and Amy Tangerine papers for this one!  I also combined newer products with older ones for all of the embellishments, which I did keep to a minimum since there is already so much going on!

Monday, April 17, 2017

New Issue: Put the Pedal/Petal to the Medal/Metal Round 2

It's time for Round 2 of our April issue — Put the Pedal/Petal to the Medal/Metal. See below for a list of suggested ideas for this theme.

Be sure to check out all of the monthly challenges in our {Friends & Fans} Facebook group. Each challenge has its own albumThe April challenge album is right here. Please post your issue related projects in the Current Issue album.

The deadline for sharing your projects is May 2nd for a chance to win a gift certificate to the Paper Issues store.

The design team created these amazing projects to share with you:

Clockwise from top R: Rachel, Elodie, Amanda, Renee, Kat, Orange and Cat

Note: Clicking on a design team member's name will take you to their blog so you can see their project in more detail and leave them some love if you wish. :)

What is this issue about? These ideas will get you started, but feel free to think outside of the box and use any product you'd like. Projects can be new or old and you're welcome to share as many as you'd like.
  • Use metallics and/or metal embellishments.
  • Create a project using flowers or about gardening and spring.
  • Share something about transportation like bicycles, motorcycles, cars (your first car or current ride), toy cars, etc.
  • Show us a project about awards and/or accomplishments.

We're super chatty and love to make new friends, so please stop by and say hi! You'll find us all over the Web:

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Swag Bag Sunday

Welcome to Swag Bag Sunday where little bits and pieces of the newest product gets stuffed in little cellophane bags and sealed with washi tape.  Some of our team worked with this little bag of wonder, to create the beautiful designs below.  

There is a subscription you can sign up for so you don't miss a beat.  
Plus you can get 20% off of it with my code: Mary-Ann.  Go HERE.  

Here is my take on the March Swag bag.  
I only added the 12x12 and the title.  

Rachel O'Neal chopped the 3x4 cards even smaller to create this unique striped layout.  Its perfect with the journaling to the side.  She used the March Swag Bag and a touch of the February bag. 

Michelle Gallant went all out sweet with her creation.  Her sweet mama is also wrapped in donuts.  Perfect bag for the perfect T!  She used the February Swag Bag.  

All but the title and the Lemonade tag came from the March Swag Bag.  Amanda created this gorgeous background too!

Renee Timmerman used mostly the March Swag Bag here.  I say fun in the sun!

Annelie Maddock combined the January and February Swag Bags to document this super sweet photo and treats!

Piling the pieces of the March Swag Bag to the side is super clever.  I adore the brightness of this!  Great job Kat Benjamin.  

I think Pol Prince is also on board with getting straight to summer and warmer days.  She used the March Swag Bag for her spread and its calling my name!

Who says you have to stick with one SB?  If you are like Mary Ann Jenkins and myself, we keep all the left overs. This layout is with many different pieces from lots of Swag Bags.

If you want to join in on the fun, go to the Paper Issues Store to grab yourself a Swag Bag.  Then, create with it and upload your project to our PIFF page HERE.  You could win a prize to the PI store. Plus, we all get to see it!

If you need the Swag Bag or anything else in the store, please use my code for 20% off anything.   The code is Mary-Ann.