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2021 Brain Dump + A 2021 Gift for You

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Happy New Year, friends! I pray everyone has welcomed 2021 with open arms and slammed the door on 2020! To be honest, I really wasn't ready for the holidays to end. It was cooler than normal in December for us here in Florida. I couldn't get enough of cozy nights by the lighted tree, Christmas-scented candles, and wearing a puffy jacket in the mornings when walking Zoe. But it was time to turn the final page on 2020 and begin to move forward. I am taking a little break from removing holiday decorations to write my first post of 2021. Over the weekend, I did a Facebook and Instagram Live, where I spoke about variety of things–my background in documenting, my collaboration of a digital kit with The Practical Scrapper, my plans for documenting 2021, and a few exciting things I want to do with Pixels to Pages this year. I want to repeat some of that here in this post, and even mention a few other things that I forgot to in those social media videos.

If this is your first time visiting Pixels to Pages, welcome. I am so happy you are here. Really I am. I'm not going to go into a deep introduction of myself here, but to learn a little bit more about me just click on the "About" link in the navigation bar above and you can get to know me in a nutshell! Please be sure to follow me on Instagram accounts–@pixelstopages is where I share all things documenting! My @kmsill account is where I share more personal and family things! I'd love to connect with you there!

So now on to my 2021 Brain Dump. The past several days I have had so many ideas of what I want to do in 2021 that it is causing me to lose sleep. From documenting projects, to home improvement projects, and business plans. There is a lot swirling around in this girl's 52-year-old brain. And even though I discussed some of them in the Live social media videos, I just need to do a little more to get them out of my head. Writing them down helps, so that is what I am doing here.

My 2021 Word: Self

While I am not participating in the One Little Word project by Ali Edwards, I do have a word that will be my focus in 2021–it's "self." This particular word started to show itself to me in the last few months of 2020–self-taught, self-starter, self-employed, self-care, self-assured, be true to yourself, self-discovery. I could go on and on. I just feel like this word is talking to me and I look forward how it makes its appearance throughout 2021. What about you? Do you have a word for 2021?

Family Yearbook (Project Life)

2021 will mark the 6th year I am creating my yearbook in the Project Life App. That is not to say I am completely caught up on my 2020 album. Come to think of it, I still have a few more months to go in 2017 (I was working on both years at the same time. 2018 and 2019 are done though!).  In 2020 I documented in a monthly format. I am almost done with September and hope to share that soon. I seem to go back and forth–one year I document in a monthly format, and the following year I do a weekly format. For 2021, I am going back to a weekly format. 

I will be using the Project 12/52 Foundation Kit throughout the year. This is the kit The Practical Scrapper, Meagan Johnson, and I collaborated on. I'll talk a little bit more about that kit at the end of this post (and there is a freebie there for you!). Something new I want to incorporate into my album this year are the weekly story prompts that Becky Higgins publishes on her My Modern Story Instagram account, using the Editorial Templates in the Project Life App. I absolutely love the concept of these story prompts and look forward to including them in my album somehow. I enrolled in her My Modern Story class when she first released it several months ago and just went through the course this morning (January 3). Wow. So much inspiration! I don't care how seasoned of a scrapper you are, or how comfortable you are with the Project Life App, you will always find little nuggets of knowledge in Becky's classes that you can take away with you and work into your own documenting process. Seriously good stuff in there! And you guys, the class is free! Here is a link to the classroom for you to enroll. No affiliation whatsoever. I just like to share!

Live the Story You Want to Tell

"Live the Story You Want to Tell" is an audio course by Becky Higgins and her podcast partner, Becky Proudfit. This class was gifted to me a while back, but is no longer available to enroll in. I have been holding out for 2021 to begin the class and I'm super excited to dive in. The reason I am bringing this up now is that upon finishing the My Modern Story mini course, Becky really inspired me to dive even deeper in telling MY story. Sure in my family yearbooks I document about good times, bad times, etc. But I just want to write something a little more personal. Maybe I will share those pages here and on social media, maybe I won't. But I know I feel compelled to write more about myself (see, there is my 2021 word). I look forward to beginning this audio course and taking a journey into self-discovery and documenting it using the Editorial Templates. I've already decided that I will be doing 10x10 pages, printing them through the app and using the Greige binder she sells in her shop. Again, I am not sure how much of this will will share on social media, we'll see!

Pixels to Pages Classroom

If you are a memory keeper who used to scrapbook using physical product (papers, stickers, etc), you are very familiar with ever-changing product lines, trends, and techniques. You may find the same holds true when you are a mobile memory keeper–new apps are released, tried and true apps are updated, new digital techniques are discovered. Many of you may remember that I used to teach a series of online classes at Scrapaneers.com called Art of the Apps. They were a big success and I had so much fun teaching others how to use document their photos and stories using a variety of apps on their mobile devices. I haven't taught an online class in several years and man, do I miss it. I've been wanting to host my own classes in my own classroom for a while now, and I am determined that this will happen in the first half of 2021. I'm not going to give any other details other that what I am writing here or what I said in my Facebook/IG Lives a few days ago. But I will keep you posted as I get closer to opening the classroom for enrollment! Stay tuned!

Social Media

While I do publish posts and photos on Facebook and Instagram, one of the things I want to become more comfortable with in 2021 are Facebook and Instagram Lives. I want to connect more with all of my Pixels to Pages friends and have you get to better know the person behind the logo. I did my first Instagram Live this past weekend. I think it went pretty good–although I think I messed something up when I tried to end the Live. But it's a learning process, so bare with me as I move forward with this! For Christmas my oldest son and daughter-in-law gave me this really cool phone and tablet stand to record video and/or live stream. I plan on putting it to good use this year!!!

2021: The Year of DIY

Do-It-Yourself. Again my word for 2021. This will be the year of DIY for me. From simple home decor, to building a custom cabinet in our family room, I've got this need to create like you wouldn't believe. Ryley, our youngest son, gave me a sewing machine for Christmas. I am so excited! I haven't sewn in years and I can't wait to make all. the. things. And I am planning on sharing what I create here on the blog. So I hope you all don't mind a sprinkling of other creative endeavors here along side of my scrapbook pages! Joann's, Michael's, Home Depot, and Lowe's are going to be my new favorite places to shop!

Project 12/52

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I mentioned earlier in this post the Project 12/52 Collection that Meagan Johnson and I collaborated on. Meagan is so talented! Make sure you are following her on her Instagram–@thepracticalscrapper. I am so, so, so very grateful for her helping me get this kit out of my head and into our shops! The idea for this kit has been in my head for 2 years and it is so freeing to have it out there! It really allows me to move forward with other things! But I want to explain in a little more detail about the Collection and what you can expect from it throughout the year:

Project 12/52 Foundation Kit: This is the main kit in the Collection. It is full of over 600 cards for you to use in the Project Life App. To use them within the Project Life App, simply save your cards to DropBox or other cloud storage (I keep mine in iCloud Drive) and then you place them on your Project Life App page just as you would a photo. Feel free to use the cards in other apps, too! Or, if you are a digital scrapper (creating pages on your desktop or laptop), these cards can be used in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements,  and Affinity Photo.

Project 12/52 Add-on Kits:

Meagan and I know that not every app-scrapper are die-hard users of the Project Life App. There are many apps mobile memory keepers use to document their stories and photos. This is the main reason why we decided to offer the Digital Papers and Overlays in separate kits. We didn't want the Foundation Kit to have products in it that those who use scrap strictly with the PL App wouldn't use. Make sense? Right now there are 3 add-on kits in the Collection:

Digital Papers: 25 patterns and 12 solids. Use them in your desktop software or in mobile apps such as Affinity Photo, Over, or Letterglow.

Monthly Overlays: This kit has 3x4 and 4x6 overlays in black and white. They come in both horizontal and vertical orientation.

Weekly Overlays: Same as the Monthly overlays! The kit contains the overlays in 3x4 and 4x6 sizes. They come in black and white, and in both horizontal and vertical orientation.

The Project 12/52 Collection is available in both of our shops (you can get to mine by clicking the link at the top of the page). It doesn't matter which shop you purchase from! And guys, Meagan's shop is great! She has a ton of  kits not related to the Project 12/52 Collection that you may be interested in! Click this link to go to her shop!

We know that sticking with one kit throughout the year can get a little boring. So Meagan and I will be releasing seasonal add-on kits throughout the year! Yay! There may be a few other surprise kits added as well!  And here is the first one–a mini Happy New Year Kit. Thank you to all those who have purchased the kit so far! We appreciate you! For those who haven't decided on a kit to use for their 2021 album, we hope you will consider Project 12/52 and use the cards below to help you get started!

Click the image below to download!

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Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

 

 


December Daily : Stories 1 + 2

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Usually I have several December Daily posts published by now, but 2020 has been anything but “usual,” right? Even though I have already been sharing this year’s pages on my social media accounts already, I wanted to go into a little more detail here about my approach this year. If you make it through the entire post, there is a freebie waiting for you at the end!

So my 2020 December Daily Album. Some of my processes are staying the same: I will only be using December Daily Digital Products by Ali Edwards. All of my digital supplies are stored in iCloud Drive. My pages are being created in Affinity Photo on my iPad. Storing my supplies in iCloud Drive makes it easy for me search for, and drag/drop exactly what I am looking for into Affinity. The size of my album is the same as in years past, 6x8. When the book is finished, it will be printed through ZNO. Their quality is amazing, and as far as I know they are the only printer around that print hard bound 6x8 books in landscape or portrait orientation. Several months ago, I did a walkthrough of these albums on my Pixels to Pages Facebook page. You can watch it here when you get a free moment!

The big change I am making this year is how I am creating my pages. When I did my 2016-2019 I was using Ali’s digital templates. I think I have every single one of her December Daily templates. But this year I didn’t purchase them. While I LOVE the templates, I wanted to do something that was a little more “organic” this year, as I felt that my albums were all starting to look the same. So what I decided to do was attempt to recreate or “interpret” Ali’s 2020 physical pages in digital format. I’ve been waiting to work on my stories until Ali publishes her December Daily pages on her blog. When I see that she has posted, the wheels immediately start turning, figuring out how I can mirror what she created, but digitally. I have REALLY been enjoying this process. It’s been so much fun. Let’s take a peek at what I’ve done so far:

But first here is my cover page. Now I did not mimic Ali’s cover page (although I loved it). One of my favorite shapes I’ve seen in her collection this year is that little tree from the 6x8 Tree Stamp Set. I wanted to incorporate it into my cover and did so by duplicating it three times on the page and combining it with the “Make Magic” card from the 2020 December Daily Digitals Transparency Journal Card Set. I added the “twenty-twenty” text on top of a red rectangle.

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Story One:

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You can view Ali’s Story One here if you’d like. It will give you a better idea of how I took some of her ideas from her physical pages and applied them on my digital page. I used “around here” word art from her Product Play class on the left hand side. Ali used this on each of the photo tags she created.

I interpreted the page on the right in this way: Ali created a pocket page using a printed star transparency. If you look at the back of those photo tags she created, one of them has the black patterned paper from the 2020 December Daily Main Kit. That is what I used to create the “pocket” on my page. The red stripe behind the pocket is a digital paper from one of her previous kits. It represents the ribbons she used on her tags. On top of the pocket I used the Large Felt Number 1. While the digital felt numbers are white and have the gold stitching around them, they do not have a felt texture. In Affinity,  I clipped a high-resolution photo of a felt texture to the number and applied a 3D effect and drop shadow to it. I love the way it turned out! I used a digital cork star and the gold star from the main kit and placed them on the top of the number, just as Ali did on her physical page. I added the tag with the photo, which I guess you can look at it as representative of those individual photo tags she did. 

Story Two:

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Ali’s Story Two is here. Looking at Ali’s spread, the left side of the layout is actually the backside of her pocket page from Story One. The “Joy” background is from the 2020 Prep Day downloads. I played around with several color options, but they were too bold next to the black and white photo on the right. I ended up applying a very light gray color overlay to the digital file and sprinkled some stars around. 

Now for the page on the right: I took a photo of items in my cart while at Target. But the lighting in the store cast such a glare on the cellophane wrap on the products, I felt the need to change the color to black and white. And while I love the colors of the wrapping paper and wooden houses, I knew I would be telling individual stories about these two things later in the month were there will be full-color photos. Black and white for the win.

I’ll admit, I was a little intimidated to recreate those shaker boxes in digital format that Ali used on her page. But I was up for the challenge and couldn’t be happier with the results. The first star I created is the one placed near the center left of the page. During my process of creating this, I was a little OCD, and while working in Affinity, I had a second window open on my screen with Ali’s blog post be refer to it for placement of the stars in the shaker box. That first star shaker box took about an hour to create the other two went a lot quicker as it was just a matter of copy/pasting the different elements, again, referring to Ali’s blog post for star placement.

In Ali’s layout she created a pocket to hold her journal card using a a piece of a page protector and the “Let Your Heart Be Light” fabric half-circle. I made mine by just using the digital version of those half-circle and clipped a fabric texture to it to make it look like the physical piece. I used the same journal card as she did although I did manipulate it a little bit to make it longer. I created my own “number two” brad in Affinity Photo. 

By the way, I love these little star shaker boxes so much that I want you guys to have them. Click the photo below to download. Enjoy! 

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So there you have it. Stories One + Two. I am loving my process. I look forward each day to Ali’s blog posts to see how my app-scrapping skills will be challenged! Leave any thoughts or questions below!


Journal Blocks: Winter Collection

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Hey friends! The Pixels to Pages Journal Block Winter Collection is now live in the shop!!! Memory keepers are LOVING these kits because they offer extra-large, decorative journal cards, giving documenters a little more space to tell their stories than the standard 4x6 or 3x4 journal card allows. To celebrate I am offering a "Buy 3 Get 1 Free" Promo this weekend! Beginning today, November 20th, 2020, when you purchase ANY 3 Journal Block Kits, the 4th one will be free! Place 4 kits in your cart, use promo code WINTER2020 at checkout, and a $5.99 discount will be applied to your order! This offer will end at 11:59pm EST on Sunday, November 22!

Keep reading to view each kit and see what some Santa's Elves created with them! Be sure to read all the way through as there is a freebie at the end of the post!!! For more inso, hop over to my Instagram feed where there are a few more layouts in the "Journal Block" Story Highlights!

Farmhouse Christmas

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I did something a little different with the 4x12 Vertical Journal Card with this release. Instead of it being a “journal card” is now a patterned “filler card.” You will have to rotate it in its placeholder when dropping it into a horizontal pocket so the pattern doesn’t look extra-large. I think you will enjoy having a pattern to accent your pages with!

The Farmhouse Christmas kit follow the same aesthetic as my Christmas Planner! You may be able to use some of the 3x4 and 4x6 cards from either kit on both your scrapbook pages or in the planner!

Mbennett-doubleSpread above by Megan Bennett. You can follow her on Instagram: @mbennett13

Carla Jennings created the 6x8 spread by using the 6x8 Vertical Journal Card from the kit as a full page! Great idea! 

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You can follow Carla on Instagram: @tybromom

Teresa Carlucci shares her festive spread, too!

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You can follow Teresa on Instagram: @totallycre8tive

Happy New Year

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Let's celebrate the new year with a little sparkle! There is a little digital glitter in this kit. It's the perfect way to add some bling to your pages without the messy clean up of the real stuff!

Here is a spread Ingrid did using the Happy New Year Kit. She used over half of the cards in the kit in this spread!

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You can follow Ingrid on Instagram: @ingrid_u_lim

I love how Heather used the 4x12 Celebrate Journal Card for a Disney Page!

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You can follow Heather on Instagram: @moonpiegirl

Frosty Fun

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It is still hot here in Florida and the photos these scrappers used in their layouts helped to keep me cool! Check them out:

Sean Eyring, aka "Project Life App Dude," and his family look like they have a blast when it comes to hanging out in the snow! And he's right, that snow beard and eyebrows are EPIC!

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You can follow Sean on Instagram: @projectlifeappdude

Check out these layouts from Dawn Bowra:

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She did the above layout in the Project Life App. Can you figure out how? She used some fun techniques here!!! And I love how she placed the photo(s) in the layout below:

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You can follow Dawn on Instagram: @proudtobemrsb

The photo Stephanie used in this layout is stunning! Don't you think? Although Stephanie created this layout in Photoshop, it can easily done in the Project Life App using the  The Big Shot 4 Template!

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You can follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephhokenson

Christmas in the Sand–U.S. Version

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Not all of us celebrate Christmas in the snow, including yours truly!!! It's about time there was a kit for those who prefer to make a sandman instead of a snowman! Check out the quick spread I did using photos from 2018:

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I also experimented with placing a filler card in an Editorial Template and super happy with the result!!!

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And finally...

Christmas in the Sand–Australian Version

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I've never seen a Christmas kit geared towards an Australian Christmas. A little while ago I asked my followers from Australia about how they celebrate the Christmas season being in a warm weather climate. I have a lot of followers and students from this beautiful country and I wanted to create a little something for my them. The response to my question was overwhelming! Based on their answers, this is what I came up with! 

Susan Bunning has a TON of photos to share in her spread! Read her journaling about these photos! This is exactly why I wanted to create kits for a warm-weather Christmas! Susan placed the 6x12  Christmas In The Sand Vertical Journal Card, into a 4x6 placeholder and arranged it so the top portion of the card is showing. This is a good example of how to experiment with the cards by placing them in a different placeholder that it is intended for! She did the same with the Christmas BBQ filler card-that is actually a 3x4 horizontal filler card–and she used the Free Form Text feature in the PL App to add more text to the card! Susan-XmasintheSand

You can follow Susan on Instagram: @brisbaneangel

Now Elmi doesn’t live in Australia, but in South Africa! Turns out they celebrate in much of the same way Australia does! Elmi got really creative and not only used the Project Life App to make her pages on her Android device, but she used the Over App as well. In addition, Elmi used Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer on her Mac, to accommodate her style of Project Life! While she doesn’t share her pages on social media, she does have a blog you can visit: creativedepths.wordpress.com.

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It turns out that Elmi is a graphic designer. While she was making her pages, she also created a few extra cards to coordinate with the kit and wanted to share them. Click on the image below and you can download these cute cards for free! THANK YOU ELMI for sharing your talents!!!

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To all of those who provided page samples for the launch of these kits, THANK YOU!!! I appreciate each and every one of you!!!

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below!


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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