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2020 Family Yearbook : March Pages

March Title Pic

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!


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.


What's in your toolbox?

I began mobile memory keeping in January of 2016. If you click on the Project Life link in the navigation bar above, you can see those pages. I created that album entirely on my iPhone 6S+. I used the Project Life App and, on occasion, LetterGlow, to create filler/journal cards and to add text on photos. Since then, my mobile memory keeping toolbox has grown and my devices have been upgraded. I now have an iPhone X and an iPad Pro (2017 version).  I thought I would use this post to share with you my go-to apps, where I print my books, my favorite projects, and my hopes for future memory keeping projects!

MY GO TO APPS

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Project Life App: This is the app I use for all of my pages. I had a very short relationship with digital scrapbooking, where I was using various layered templates to put pages together on my Mac using Photoshop. But because I could “undo” things and there were so many choices out there for digital supplies, I found that creating digital pages was just as time-consuming as physical ones. Honestly, I like being limited in my choices of templates and kits. It makes things go faster!

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A Color Story: I love this app for photo-editing. This is the app I use when a photo needs a little more editing than I can get from PicTapGo. I love the curves feature, the Color+ tool, and the selective edit option the app has. And it also has some of the best black and white filters I’ve seen!

PicTapGo
PicTapGo: This is the app you can access directly through the Project Life App. Super convenient. It’s a great app for quick, easy edits!

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LetterGlow: This app has been around before the Project Life App. And even though I think the developers are no longer updating it, it is still one of my all-time faves. I love this app. I love the interface, it’s so easy to use. I can add my own colors and fonts. It may not have all the bells and whistles like and app such as Over, but for what I do in LetterGlow, I don’t need anything fancy!

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Adobe Spark Post: There is a little bit of a learning curve to this app, but it is a great app to add   text with banners or a shape behind it that is a little more creative than what you can do using the Free Form Text feature in the Project Life App. I also like their layout feature. I use this to create 4x6 or 6x8 collages with photos and then drop that into a 4x6 or 6x8 placeholder in a Project Life Template. 

Affinity

Affinity Photo: Ok, there is a definite learning curve to this app and is only available for iPads. The app supports layered PSD files and is an awesome app to have in your mobile toolbox. It’s totally worth learning how to use. I use Affinity Photo for December Daily, and on occasion with Project Life if I need to flip around templates.

IcloudDrive

iCloud Drive: This is where I keep all of the digital products I have purchased from Ali Edwards, Project Mouse, and Becky Higgins. 

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Files App: iCloud Drive is located inside the Files app on your iOS device. You can also access other apps like Dropbox or File Manager Pro here as well.

WHERE I PRINT

For my Project Life albums, I get 10x10, hard bound books printed directly through the Project Life App. Yes, it is more expensive, but the quality through their printer, White House Custom Color, is top-notch. Another big reason why I get them printed through the app is for the ease! I just hear of so many issues people have with borders being uneven or photos being cut off when they print through other services. I don’t want the hassle of adjusting that stuff for my PL albums. It’s just so easy printing through the Project Life App!

Now my December Daily books are a different story. ZNO is my go to online printer for those. This company is one of the few that print hard bound 6x8 books! I cannot say enough about their print quality. The pages are super thick and remind me of a children’s board book! I’ve printed my 2016, 2017, and 2018 December Daily albums through them and they are truly some of my prized possessions! 

FAVORITE AND FUTURE PROJECTS

I have already mentioned two of my favorite memory keeping projects–Project Life and December Daily. I love them. I may not always be up to date or completed in a timely manner. But I don’t care. They will get done! Right now I am working on my 2018 and 2019 albums simultaneously and I am happy to say I am up to date to Week 43 in both books! I’m thinking for 2020, I may be switching it up and switching to a monthly format, which would be pretty cool, because I started doing my 2017 album in a monthly format. That album is not done yet, so I want to work on 2017 and 2020 at the same time. 

Another favorite project of mine that I completed last year (but I have yet to print it) is a small recipe book I did in an Art of the Apps Monthly Membership project. It’s a 6x8 and I will have that one printed through ZNO. I will have a link to recipe pages in the navigation bar above in the very soon.

For future projects, I want to create a Christmas Cookie Recipe album and I will start that this holiday season. I did one years ago using physical products, but I really want one in digital format. Of course I will be sharing that process here on the blog!

The other project I want to tackle is creating a coffee table book of our sailing trip in Greece from the spring of 2018. I think it was earlier this year Becky Higgins and Becky Proudfit, along with their husbands, went to Italy together. Becky H. made a photo book of the trip, but it was all photos, no journaling, and it was GORGEOUS! I want to do the same with our photos from Greece. I already have a plan on my head for how I want this to look. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do it!

What are some of your favorite memory keeping projects? Do you have a special project you want to tackle in the future? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below!