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March 2020

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! 

Download P2P-handout-EmptyNestPhotoIdeas


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!


Tutorial: Polaroid Pics Part 2

I am really surprised and totally bummed! I had NO IDEA that Supermatic was no longer available in the App Store until one of my followers on social media let me know. The developer, The Lens Lab, also created the Collect App, Letterglow, Adorable (it’s a creative photo app for new and expectant moms), and the Photo A Day App for Fat Mum Slim. Looking on their website, the Supermatic and Photo A Day apps were no longer being shown. Seriously bummed. I believe the developer is in Australia, if any of my Aussie friends knows what’s up with them, I’d love to know! They don’t answer any customer support emails. 

Anyways, I wanted to find another way to create these Polaroid-like photos using a different app for those of you who don’t have Supermatic. I am happy to say I have figured out two ways to do it with Adobe Spark Post! And you know what? I am finding I am liking it better than Supermatic right now. With the way I am documenting 2020, being able to put white borders on my photos AND create Polaroid-like pics in one app is a time-saver!

Click the link below to watch two different ways you can use Adobe Spark Post to make “Polaroids” from your pics!


FREE Art of the Apps Project Life Tutorials

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Hey friends! I know we are all trying to get used to a new normal. I wish I had some inspirational words of wisdom to offer during these trying times, but I don’t. I can’t say anything different than what has already been posted on every social media platform out there. Hopefully the measures that have been put in place to keep everyone safe and help stop the spread of this virus will be effective. 

Although I can’t say anything that will make our new reality all better, I can offer something to pass the time. Now this may not appeal to those of you who have been following me for a while or have taken my online classes, but maybe you have a friend or family member who can benefit. 

Members in various memory keeping Facebook groups I belong to are using this extra time they may have at home to scrapbook their photos and tell their stories. And this got me thinking. There may be people out there who need something to do other than stay glued to the news 24/7. They need a distraction. They need to focus on something happy, take their minds off what is going on outside the walls of their homes, and learn something new.

So I decided to release 16 Project Life video tutorials that were part of my Art of the Apps Monthly Membership Workshop at Scrapaneers, for free, on my YouTube Channel. These videos cover everything from basic to advanced techniques in the Project Life App. They are perfect for someone who is just starting out in their memory keeping journey. 

With many of us practicing social distancing, under self quarantine, or have been ordered to shelter at home, I was thinking the following groups of people may want to make the best of their situation and enjoy learning something new:

Retirees who love to travel: Do you have friends or relatives in their 60s or older who love to travel? Chances are they will not be traveling any time soon, unfortunately. Why not send them the link to these tutorials and encourage them to create a few pages from past trips? Looking at those photos can be very therapeutic and take their minds off of the outside world.

Friends or family members working from home or with abbreviated working hours: I realize these are uncharted waters we are in and there are many who have been told to work from home, have had their hours cut, or have lost their jobs altogether. Scrapbooking is the furthest thing from their minds, I know. Maybe by sharing with them–this activity that you enjoy so much–will provide them a short escape and make them smile when looking at their photos. 

High School teens: I’m sure most teens out there that are loving the fact they don’t have to go to school (hopefully they are embracing online learning 😂). But there are many teens who may miss being in the classroom. Many kids are bummed that they can’t participate in their extra curricular activities or see their friends. And the high school seniors. Ugh! I feel for them. This is not how their senior year should be wrapping up. If there is a high schooler in your life–whether in your immediate family, extended family, or one living next door, share this blog post with them. I’m sure their camera roll is loaded with photos of their friends. Encourage them to document their memories and share their pages with their besties!

Middle school kids: This age group could have a lot of fun using the Project Life App. And just like high schoolers, I’m confident kids in this age group have just as many photos of friends in their camera rolls. The Project Life App has several fun, bright kits that will compliment their photos. Sharing completed pages in a text message or on their social platform can help to bridge that social distancing gap.

New moms or moms of toddlers: New moms can be a little apprehensive taking their newborns outside in general, let alone during a pandemic. And I know moms with toddlers have those days where they look forward to nap time! While babies and toddlers are getting their rest, this is the perfect time for mom to learn how to use the Project Life App. New moms can record their babies milestones by using one of the baby kits available app. And toddlers love looking at pictures of themselves. Online printing company ZNO makes incredible lay flat board books that are perfect for toddlers to flip through. Why not encourage a toddler mom to create a book of a recent trip to the beach, amusement park, or create a book of photos of family members? Those little ones will enjoy looking at these new books when they receive them in the mail!

Here is the main link to my YouTube Channel:

Kelly’s YouTube Channel

And for some reason YouTube isn’t displaying the videos in the order I uploaded them in. So I am providing the links to each video below, in the order you should watch them:

Project Life Tutorial: The Project Life App User Interface

Project Life App/Apple Photos App: Organizing Your Photos

Project Life Tutorial: Creating Pages

Project Life Tutorial: Creating Folders & File Naming

Project Life Tutorial: Adding Filler/Journal Cards; Understanding the Text Tool

Project Life Tutorial: Exporting

Project Life Tutorial: Ordering Prints/Photo Books

Project Life Tutorial: Pro Tip 1: Trading Spaces

Project Life Tutorial: Pro Tip 2: Overlays

Project Life Tutorial: Pro Tip 3: Collages

Project Life Tutorial: Pro Tip 4: Rotating Templates

Project Life Tutorial: Pro Tip 5: No Drop Shadows

Project Life Tutorial: Pro Tip 6: Free Form Text

Project Life Tutorial: Adding Fonts

Project Life Tutorial: Technique 1: Filmstrip Layouts

Project Life Tutorial: Technique 2: Graphic Fonts 

I know these are trying times and people are trying to make the best of their situations. I hope these videos can bring some sort of joy and escape for those who need it.

Stay safe. Be kind. Love one another.


Tutorials : Adobe Spark Post & Supermatic

I mentioned in my last post that I will have two new tutorials demonstrating some techniques I will be using on my 2020 Family Yearbook pages. Both of these tutorials are in this post!

The first is a tutorial using Adobe Spark Post to add a white border on my photos. Now I realize that the Project 12 2019 May Overlays Kit in the Project Life App has a white border that can be added to photos. But there is a small issue with the overlay in that it is not a perfect fit. If you have used this overlay on a 3x4 photo and look closely at it, there is a teeny tiny bit of the photo that sticks out from the bottom of the overlay. In addition, this overlay is only for 3x4 photos. The templates in the Project Life App have placeholders of varying sizes and I want to add a white border on photos of various sizes. So I created templates for these using Adobe Spark Post. They did take a bit of time to create as I wanted the borders to look even no matter what the size photo I was using. Meaning I wanted the width of the white border on a 3x4 photo to match the same width of a white border of a 4x6 on the same page. It isn’t a “one-size-border-fits-all” when using Spark Post. I didn’t mind the extra effort I put in to creating these templates to make the borders all look even. And after some trial and error, I think I have my templates set to where the borders are even when you look at various sized placeholders are next to each other. Take a look at the video below to see how I did it. If you like the width of my borders, I posted the border setting for each size below the video. Please note that I did NOT do a template for each size placeholder that are available on all the Project Life Templates.

Adobe Spark Post Photo Border Settings:

3x4: dimensions for both horizontal and vertical: 695x936; set border to 74 or 75

4x6: dimensions for both horizontal and vertical: 951x1426; set border to 50

6x8: dimensions for both horizontal and vertical: 1711x2305; set border for a vertical photo to 10; set border for a horizontal photo to 36

6x12: dimensions for vertical photo: 1438x2901; set border to 7

4x4 square: dimensions-944x944; set border to 22

Dimensions NOT listed above are:

6x12 horizontal, 8x12 vertical/horizontal, 4x12 vertical/horizontal–I tried, I really, really tried to get a white border to work on these placeholders but the Project Life App kept telling me that the resolution was too low whenever I would try to place the photos of those sizes/orientations with the white border into a template. I honestly think it is a glitch in the app as the dimensions should not be an issue at all. So I just kind gave up! 

3x3, 2x2–After playing around with borders on these squares, I decided I didn't care for them. To be quite honest, I think in order for the border around a 3x3 or 2x2 photo to match those borders around the photos on the same page would be too large and would eat up too much of the photo, so I didn’t make templates for these. 

The second tutorial is for Supermatic. I use this app to make a photo look similar to a Polaroid picture. These are great because it gives you some extra journaling space if you need it. I have templates set up in the app for 3x4 and 4x6 vertical. 

I hope you found these tutorials helpful! If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to help!


2020 Family Yearbook

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So excited to be finally sharing pages from my 2020 family yearbook! I mentioned a few times on Instagram and various Facebook groups that I will be changing things up quite a bit this year, so I’ll just get right to it.

Weekly or Monthly?

This year I have decided to document our photos and stories in a monthly format. I did a weekly format in 2018 and 2019, and felt like I needed a break. It’s not because I’m taking less photos or anything like that. I just wanted a little more freedom to not follow such a structured time frame or not worry about making sure I have enough photos for a weekly spread. 

Which kit in the Project Life App will I be using?

None of them. While I will be using the Project Life App for its templates and printing, I have decided not to use any of the kits, for two reasons. One, I have to be honest and say I am a little disappointed a new Project 52 kit wasn’t released for 2020. A big kit was something I looked forward to each December or January, but I totally understand why there wasn’t one released. I know Becky has encouraged us to use hat is already in the app, but I just couldn't decide on what to use. For a brief moment I thought about creating my own kit and using it, but I don’t have the time or energy to do that. And this brings me to the second reason. I have SO MANY Digital Story Kits by Ali Edwards and it’s about frickin’ time I use them. So that is what I am going to do. Ali’s products are so classic–they never go out of style. Her choice of simple, clean fonts, mixed with her own handwriting on her embellishments/filler/journal cards, makes it easy to mix her kits with one another. I will, however, create my own cards from time to time, which I have done on some of the pages below.

What additional apps will I be using?

The Project Life App will allow me to add filler/journal cards from outside kits as a photo. I keep these additional kits in my iCloud Drive and access them by selecting the photo icon on a placeholder and then scrolling to the bottom of the selection window and selecting “cloud.” But I need to use additional apps if to want to add embellishments, create my own cards, or give a special “treatment” to a photo/group of photos.

ADOBE SPARK POST–You will notice on the pages below I have a white border on all of the photos. I did this in Adobe Spark Post. I have several “templates” in Post in various sizes and orientations, making it super easy to swap out the photos. I know there is an overlay in one of the Project Life app kits that has a white border, but there is a slight issue with it where it doesn’t fit quite right. In addition, that overlay is for 3x4 photos. I want more sizes, and Spark Post will allow me to create custom sizes. I will have a tutorial on how I do this later this week!

SUPERMATIC–See that large 6x8 photo that looks like a Polaroid? This was done in Supermatic. Like Spark post, I have several templates, in various sizes/orientations set up in Supermatic to make it easy to swap out photos. I will have a tutorial on this as well!

AFFINITY PHOTO–I’ll use this app for a few things. 1) To add embellishments, word art, etc. to my photos. 2) To create photo grids/collages. I did this with for a 4x6 and 6x12 placeholder on my January pages. 3) Every once in awhile I will add journaling to a card. The small, italicized journaling that is on its side on the 6x12 card on the first page was added in Affinity Photo.

AFFINITY DESIGNER–This app was developed by the same company who brought you Affinity Photo. It is very much like Adobe Illustrator. I will be using this app to create more complex cards, like the large 6x12 card on the first page and the 3x4 “this wine” journal card. There is a big learning curve to Affinity Designer and I will not be providing a tutorial on this any time soon. 

What are some other style changes I am making to my process/style?

Looking at other memory keepers social media feeds, I noticed over the past several months I really have been drawn to a pages with a very light gray colored background. For years I have kept the background of my pages white, but this year I have decided to use the light gray from the Baby Boy Kit in the Project Life App. I especially like it when the photos have a white border on pages with a colored background, hence the reason for adding this border to my photos in Adobe Spark Post.

The way I am telling the story behind my photos will be changing as well. There were a few occasions last year where I used the 6x12 placeholder in the Big Shot 9 template to tell the entire story about a specific set of pictures, like those from a vacation. This is what I will be doing for my monthly pages. I’m not saying that there will be no other journaling throughout the pages, but most of my stories will be highlighted in this one specific placeholder. You will notice that I created a 6x12 January card for this placeholder. I will change it out for each month, adding new icons, maybe adding different call-outs. For instance, maybe I’ll swap the weather info you see on the January card for something fitness related, like the number of steps I took in February. The style of the card will remain the same. I have to be totally transparent here. The design of this card (and the “this wine” card) was inspired by the work of Geralyn Sy, from In A Creative Bubble. Even though I LOVE her designs. I couldn’t find what I needed in her collections, so I created my own. 

I’m looking forward to the changes I’ve made this year. I think the pages will have more of an organic feel to them instead being static. We’ll see how it goes! If you have any questions about the pages in the post, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

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6x12 card on left created in Affinity Designer. 6x12 card on right created in Affinity Photo. All borders on photos done in Adobe Spark Post.

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6x8 Polaroid on left created in Supermatic; journaling added in Project Life App. 4x6 collage card (text message screenshots) created in Affinity Photo. All embellishments added in Affinity Photo.

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6x8 "invite" create in Adobe Spark Post. Embellishments/Word Art added in Affinity Photo. "Fun" filler card created in Affinity Photo.


Project Life 2020 : Part One–PowerPhotos

Hey there friends! It has taken me a hot minute to get in the swing of things and wrap my head around documenting 2020. But I feel like I have a handle on it now and I am ready to dive in. This is the first of 3 posts I will be publishing where I will share with you what I do prior to starting a new Project Life album, as well as how I am planning on going about creating it. 

This particular post is not going to showcase any pages or processes. Instead I am sharing a little bit of housekeeping I perform in my Apple Photos Library/camera roll/iCloud Photos before I start a new album.

I take most of my photos with my iPhone X. In the settings on my iPhone and iPad, I have iCloud Photos turned on, which enables me to have all of my photos accessible on all of my Apple devices, including my iMac. I also have "Download and Keep Original" checked because I like having my high-res photos available at all times. But this can also take up space. Since my 2019 Project Life Album is complete, there is no need for me to keep photos from last year in my Photos Library anymore. However, 2020 has begun and I now have 2019 and 2020 photos in one Apple Library. I don't want both years in one library. What's a scrapbooker to do? First world problems, I know.

Enter PowerPhotos by FatCat Software. This Mac-friendly piece of software is one I've been using since 2011. This was well before Apple switched from iPhotos to the current Photos App. Back then I had 3 or 4 years of digital photos–thousands upon thousands of photos–in one library and it slowed my laptop down. It was like a turtle. I knew I needed to do something to break this library into smaller ones, preferably by year, and that is when I found PowerPhotos. 

In this video I demonstrate how I use this software to easily copy my 2019 photos (over 7,700 of them) into their own Photos Library. I know this software can do a lot more than what I am demoing here, I haven't experimented with the other features. I just like using it for this one purpose at the moment! I am also not affiliated with FatCat Software whatsoever. I just like sharing with you products that can help you in your documenting journey!

I hope you find this video helpful. Stay tuned! Next week I will have a few more posts with some mobile app tutorials!

PowerPhotos