Hybrid Album : National Parks

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Earlier in the spring Chris and I watched The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns on PBS. This was around the time he planned a weekend road trip to Everglades National Park. As we were watching this documentary, I realized that this will be the second National Park located in Florida we would have visited in five months (the first being Dry Tortugas National Park back in November 2019). Being a mobile memory keeper, I don't purchase a whole lot of physical scrapbook products anymore. Honestly the only physical products I do purchase nowadays are the December Daily and Travel Collections by Ali Edwards. I have a pretty big stash of Ali's Travel products that I've never used. Creating a small, 3x8 National Parks Album would be the perfect opportunity to use some of it up (and to make room for the 2020 Travel Collection)!

This is actually a "hybrid album," meaning I used my computer (and mobile device)–in conjunction with physical products–to create this album. Here is a breakdown of how I went about making it:

Mobile Device/Apps: Any 3x8 templates you see in the album were created in Affinity Photo on my iPad Pro. I created a whole series of templates specifically for this project and just reused them throughout the album. Even the 3x4 photos with the white border is a template. All of the photos were edited in either using the editing tools in the native Photos (camera roll) or in Adobe's Mobile Lightroom using presets from Light and Airy Photography. Once I placed photos into the templates, I would export them to my camera roll. Just so you know, I use iCloud Photos to sync my photos to all of my devices. I have it set to "download and keep originals" so I have access to my high-resolution pictures at all times. This makes it easy for me to access these pictures from my desktop (iMac). 

iMac Desktop: I used Adobe Photoshop and my Epson Stylus Photo R2000 printer to print my photos. The photo paper I used is Espon's Ultra Premium Photo Paper Glossy. I would place two 3x8 photos or six 3x4 photos on an 8.5x11 document in Photoshop and then print. For those 3x4 photos with the white borders, I would add a very light stroke around the photo that would act as my cut lines (I'm old school and use an x-acto knife and metal ruler to trim!). The pages that are fold-outs, were also printed on the same 8.5x11 paper, trimmed to the correct size and then scored to make the folds (again, I created templates for those fold-outs in Affinity). 

Enough writing. There are photos to look at!

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I wanted to follow some sort of pattern with each park. So you will see this layout as an introduction to each National Park.

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This fold-out is something else that you will see as part of the intro to each park.

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Another thing I did was include a "fun facts" page at the end of each National Park section. I just Googled "interesting facts" for each park and it was easy to copy and paste them into a template. The template is one I created in Adobe Illustrator. 

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I'm so happy this fold out!

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Below is the backside of the fold-out.

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Another fun fold-out!

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I am so happy with the way this album turned out! I wanted to get it done before Ali's 2020 Travel Collection is released (May 26) and I did it! I hope you enjoyed looking through the photos. Let me know if you have any questions about techniques or how I did things! I'd be happy to help!

 


NEW SHOP IS OPEN!

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So I did a thing. I opened a shop. Although it is small, I hope it will be mighty one day. 

I've had several inquiries lately about the 6x12 Monthly Journal Blocks I use in my 2020 Family Yearbook. Friends are wondering if I created them and if so, will I make them available for sale. Yeppers! Check out the preview below:

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And you know what? I even created a set for those who are documenting weekly:

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Each set comes with a Bonus Blank Template for you to customize any way you'd like. Oh! By the way...there are 53 6x12 Journal Blocks in the Weekly collection. I wanted to include that just in case some of you will separate those days in December that go beyond 52 weeks into their own week!

The set of Monthly Journal Blocks are $6.99 and the set of Weekly Journal Blocks are $12.99. There is a link to the shop at the top of the blog, or you can click on the images above. I have my Bon APPetit Digital Recipe Kit in the shop as well!

Thank you for your support in these products! Is there a digital product you wish existed? Let me know and I'll see what I can do!


2020 Family Yearbook : March Pages

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It's about time these pages are done, right? I think I mentioned in a social media post recently that I got my documenting mojo back. It disappeared back in April and I just didn't feel like doing anything but record tutorials for my tribe! I worked on these March pages for about 10 days. Creating pages usually doesn't take me that long, but I think it's because I loathe the month of March in the first place. It's my least favorite month of the year. It just drags on and on and on. So why shouldn't documenting it be the same? Ha!

I was surprised to see how many photos I took in March. I didn't think I was that much of a shutterbug. But when I sat down to select those I wanted to place in the album, I realized there were a ton. Of course there was a long weekend getaway to Everglades National Park, so I had to include those pics! By the time I was done, I had 4 spreads for March. Let's take a look (be sure to click on each spread for a larger view):

March 1

I am still enjoying do a large block of journaling at the beginning of each month. I use Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo to create it. All of the digital products are by Ali Edwards. The "embrace change" filler card was created in Affinity Photo using Ali's digital stamps and manipulating some of her word art. It was super fun to do. I will have a tutorial on it soon! If you haven't checked out Ali's Hybrid Product Play No. 1 class, do it! Although it is taught using Photoshop. You can adapt many of the techniques she demonstrates in Affinity! 

March 2

Even though I have a lot of journaling in the block on the first spread, I still had some stories to tell! One of my favorite things I am doing in the book this year is using Adobe Spark Post to create those collage-like 4x6 photos. I have templates set up in post and all I have to do is swap out the photos. I love these because there is white space along the bottom to add journaling or embellishments if I want. Any of you have adult children that don't live near by? Our oldest son and daughter-in-law live in Virginia. At the end of each month I go through our text messages and save any photos she may have sent me and try to include them in my album. How sweet is that photo of Dustin and their pug, Deno? Again, all filler cards, and word stamps are by Ali Edwards.

March 3

You may (or may not) have noticed that I am really not focusing on the pandemic. I decided I didn't want to do pages and pages of Corona-related material. That subject matter will be trickled throughout my pages. I will, however, do a "story of the year" spread(s) at the end of my album using the Persnickety Prints timelines!

March 4

I love this spread. The focus is totally on the photos and journaling of our weekend getaway to Everglades National Park. The journal cards and embellishments are by Ali (of course) The journal card with the photo on it was created in Affinity Photo. When I brought it into my Project Life template, I used Free Form Text (FFT) to add the journaling and would hit the return key after each line so the text would wrap around the photo. The "Spend Time In Nature" journal card was just plain. It only had the text on it. I added that piece of washi tape and the tab in Affinity Photo. Side note: I am actually creating a physical/hybrid album specifically about the National Parks we visit. I'll be sharing those pages in the upcoming weeks!

Just a little recap of apps and supplies used:

Apps: Project Life, Affinity Photo, Adobe Spark Post

Photo Edits: Photos native editing tools, PicTapGo, or A Color Story

Digital Products: Ali Edwards

Thanks for taking the time to read this post! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions in the comments below!


Tutorial: Affinity Photo's Export Persona

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Today’s tutorial is going to cover an Affinity Photo Persona and a tool that I haven’t touched on in the past. It is the Export Persona and Slice Tool. Fans of physical and digital products by Ali Edwards are familiar with her Phrase Sticker Sheets that are included in many of her collections or available for individual purchase. In their physical form, there are dozens of individual words and phrases precut on the sheet, ready to be peeled off and placed on your layout. When it comes to the digital version, however, it’s not that simple. The words and phrases used to come in their own individual files, but a few years back, that changed. The digital Phrase Sticker Sheets now come as a single png or jpg, and we need to choose the ones we want by using our favorite selection tool for our digital toolbox.

This tutorial will demonstrate how I use the Slice Tool in the Export Persona to “cut up” these sheets when I first download them so these digital stickers are ready for me to use whenever I need them. 

Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for reading!

 


Bon APPetit Digital Recipe Kit

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I had a few friends direct message (DM) me on Facebook and Instagram, wondering if I still have my Bon APPetit Digital Recipe Kit available for purchase. For a VERY short period of time I had a link to purchase it here on this blog. However, I found the monthly rates at the various online platforms where I can set up a shop are too expensive for me right now for just one product, so I removed that link. 

I do want to make this kit available for those interested in purchasing. The best way I can do it right now is by invoicing through PayPal. So if you are interested in the kit, please send your email address to kelly@pixelstopages.com, and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Once I see that the invoice has been paid, I will send you a link to the download. Please note that the response may not be immediate, but you will receive the link within 24 hours!

So a little history about the this kit. It was originally created for a digital recipe organization class I was teaching at Scrapaneers. This was before I shifted to mobile memory keeping and was still digi-scrapping on my desktop. Once the Project Life App came along, I reorganized the kit a little bit, making it more friendly to use in conjunction with the PL App. 

When I designed the kit, I wanted it to be more "clean" than "cute." The graphic designer in me wanted something that was more representative of a cookbook that one would purchase at a store, rather than scrapbook. I didn't want the kit to have a bunch of embellishments like stickers, but wanted it to have a variety of elements that would allow the user to tell a story about the recipe or give it a descriptive label if they so desired. I am really happy with the end result and love the pages I created with it!

The price of the kit is $19.99. And friends, there is A LOT in this kit. When I reconfigured the kit to make it more app-friendly 3 years ago, I recorded an introductory video explaining what was in the kit and how I envisioned it being used. Watch the video below, as I'm sure it will answer any questions you may have! I am planning on creating add-ons for this in the future! Anything you'd like to see in addition to what is already there? Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do!

Here are just a few pages I have created with the kit (they are 6x8 in size). You can see these pages and more by clicking the "Recipe Pages" link in the menu bar at the top of the page. It will give you a better idea of how these are laid out in the book. I have yet to print it as there are a few more recipes I need to add to it!

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Affinity Photo Tutorials on Ali's Blog

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Back in October of 2018 I was a guest blogger for one of my favorite memory keepers in the world, Ali Edwards! I recorded a few tutorials of how to use her digital products in the Project Life and LetterGlow apps. It was such an honor to provide her customers with a way to document their photos and stories using her digital goodies on their mobile devices! No laptop or desktop needed! If you are interested in reading that blog post, just click this link! 

Fast forward to today, and guess what? Today Ali has posted another set of tutorials I recorded for her on her blog! This time using her products with Affinity Photo for iPad! If you have been wanting to dip your Apple Pencil (or finger–no Apple Pencil needed!) into the waters of Affinity Photo, guys, these tutorials are for you! There are three videos and they really give you just what you need to know to get started with Affinity! Click this link for more information about Affinity.

These tutorials couldn’t come at a more perfect time! Did you know there is a sale in Ali’s shop on digital products and classes right now? If you didn’t, you do now! Follow this link to her shop (it’s not an affiliate link-I just Iike to share) and have fun loading up your cart with a bunch of digital goodies! And when you have checked out, take a look at this tutorial I recorded a few weeks ago showing you how I organize her products in iCloud Drive. This other post has a pdf you can download and refer to when you are organizing those products. It includes a list of suggested category/folder names I use when I organize Ali’s products in my iCloud Drive.

Isn’t it great that this is all happening on a Friday? It gives you something to do all weekend long! Have fun! And please feel free to contact me with ANY questions you have about mobile memory keeping. I’m here to help!


Handout: Digital Kit Organization Categories

 

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Super quick post, friends! You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for such a positive response to digital kit organization video I posted last week. I had several requests through Facebook and Instagram asking for a handout with the folder names of the various categories I use iCloud Drive. I typed up a quick handout for you to download. Just click here to download!


Tutorial: Digital Kit Organization on iCloud Drive

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t feel like scrapping. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe it’s the turbulent times we are living in at the moment, who knows. But I have the whole month of March that needs documenting and I just don’t want to. Instead, I’ve been in mood to organize my digital files. How crazy is that?

My digital scrapbook supplies are organized on both my desktop computer (iMac) and in iCloud Drive. Keeping them in iCloud Drive allows me to access them on my iPhone or iPad. On my computer, the kits stay intact, but I reorganize them into different categories in iCloud Drive. I’ve been doing this since 2017 and I’m pretty happy with the little system I have going. 

I have subscribed to Ali Edwards Story Kits for a few years and there were several kits I needed to get reorganized in iCloud Drive (ok–maybe a little more than several). Since our beaches are closed and community pool is shut down, I had nothing but time on my hands to do some digital housekeeping. It took about 3 or 4 6-hour days 😳, but I am happy to report I now have all of the products I’ve ever purchased from Ali’s site organized in iCloud Drive and this makes me so darn happy! 

The tutorial below demonstrates how I go about copying digital scrapbook kits from my desktop computer to iCloud Drive. It’s about 25-minutes long, so get the kids situated in there online classes, grab your AirPods, an adult beverage and take a listen! Oh! And by the way! Did you know that iCloud Drive is available for Windows? Here is an article explaining what iCloud Drive is, including links to download the app for various platforms. 

 


Photo Ideas

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Back in 2013 I taught my very first class at Scrapaneers–Empty Nest Scrapbooking. Just as the name suggests, it was geared towards those who were, or were about to become empty nesters. And before I go any further, if you still have littles at home, just keep reading as this is short post is not geared towards just to those whose kids have moved out! :)

There were several handouts with story prompts and worksheets in the class, and there was one handout I keep meaning to share–Empty Nest Photo Ideas. This list was a compilation of other photo idea lists I had collected for a few years. With COVID-19 forcing us to practice social distancing or having to shelter in place at home, I thought today was a good day to make this list available to everyone. Let's face it, as much as we love our kids, you can only take so many pictures of them going to school online or what they are doing to fill up their days to pass the time!

There are three sections of the list I want quickly mention.

1) Current Events. Obviously many of us have been documenting what has been going on in our world for the past several weeks. But one of the suggestions in this category is to document our favorite way we receive our news. We have so many different outlets in which we receive our news. I can remember a time when we only had the newspaper and TV! What's your favorite way to get caught up on current events?

2) Work. The workplace for many of us is now at home. Have you documented your new work space? The other photo ideas in this section are fun to consider!

3) Your Town. Again, today's events are dictating where we can or can't go. Are you finding you miss any of your favorite places? Which will you visit as soon as life starts to return to normal?

The photo list has been rebranded to reflect Pixels to Pages, but the content remains as it was for Empty Nest Scrapbooking. I hope you will find this list helpful and refer to it when you have the urge to photograph something other than those little humans with messy faces or those older ones that have developed an attitude because they can't socialize with their friends! Empty nesters will obviously find this list helpful, too! Download the PDF handout by clicking the link below!

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to be safe, be kind, and love one another! 

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2020 Family Yearbook : February Pages

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Today I am sharing the February pages from my 2020 Family Yearbook! If this is your first time reading about my 2020 yearbook, you may want to check out this post first. It explains how I am going about documenting this year, as I am really changing things up from the way I've done it in the past!

The pages I created last month took a little bit longer because I was trying to get in a new workflow since I have changed the way I'm a documenting. With my February pages, I found I was getting into a rhythm and they came together more quickly. I'm sure come March I will have my process down to a science! 

One thing I am really, really loving right now are the Polaroid-like templates I have created in Adobe Spark Post. I explained how to do this in my last post and it has been a HUGE timesaver. I will point out the Polaroid-like templates in the pages below! With the exception of the Super Bowl Card, all embellishments, word art, and filler cards are from Ali Edwards.

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Spread One: The large February journal card on the left was created in Affinity Designer on my iPad. I then added the text in both Affinity Photo and the Project Life App. I was trying to think of some sort of fun fact to replace the average temperature that you saw on the January journal card from last month. Since the heart seems to be the symbol for February, I found my average resting heart rate in my Health App on my iPhone. Thought that was pretty cool! The Super Bowl Card was created in both Adobe Spark Post and Affinity Photo. The Polaroid with the house, the "over 21" stamp, and the 4x6 photo with 2 square photos were templates I created in Adobe Spark Post!

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Spread Two: The names of my friends in the photo in the upper left corner were added in the app This. It's a great app that allows you to add text and arrows to point things out in your photos! The "got berries?" photo with Zoe was created in Adobe Spark Post. Did you know Spark Post has TONS icons you can add to your pics? The strawberry illustration is just one of them! There are four Polaroid-like photos on this spread. I really like them because they add extra journaling space without taking up a whole other placeholder! 

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Spread Three: This spread has 3 Polaroid-like pics on it. There is also a 3x4 2-up photo, meaning 2 photos in one 3x4 placeholder on the right (it's the one with the flight of beer and sunset). This was created in Spark Post as well! I'm telling you, this app has become my #1 tool in my mobile memory keeping tool box lately! You can see I also used the This app on the photo in the lower left photo, too!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, just leave them below!