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May 2020

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!