hybrid scrapbooking

Progress Update : My Christmas Planner

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It’s the middle of September. Kind of hard to believe there are less than 100 days until Christmas! Yes, you read that right! Less than 100 days until Christmas. When it comes to the holidays, are you a planner or more of a last minute kind of elf? Personally, I consider myself to be more on the organized side of the Christmas chaos. Sure there will always be last minute things to take care of or the unexpected house guest, but for the most part I try and get a grasp on the reigns of the Christmas sleigh a few months before the madness begins.

Back in July I created a printable Christmas Planner and made it available for purchase in my shop. I’ve made a few of these over the years, and I think this is my favorite. Although this is still a work in progress, I’ve got enough done and wanted to share with you what I’ve completed so far! 

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Let’s take a look at each section:

The first section is my calendar. The printable planner comes with 3 month-at-a-glance and week-at-a-glance calendars (November-January). It’s up to you if you want to use one or all of the months. I use the month-at-a-glance calendars for November, December, and January. 

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Even though the calendars looks a little sparse, more events will be added to them as time goes on. There are several things we do during the season that have become a tradition, such as going to the Holiday Pops concert by the Florida Symphony Orchestra and various Holiday Boat Parades. But due to Covid, venues and organizer still trying to figure all these things out. We also may be throwing in a getaway in November, so as soon as these plans are finalized, I will add them to the calendars. And guys, I know there are a lot of planner addicts out there and would be prettying up their calendars. But not this girl. I really don't have time to do that. I just want a space to write in and leave it at that.

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The next section in my planner is the address section. As I was looking at the address from my old Christmas Planner, I realized many friends, and some family members had moved over the past year. So I wrote several messages through Facebook and some text messages asking for their new addresses. I was so happy to here back from almost everyone! I’m still waiting on about 3 or 4, but they will be easy to add in. I’m so glad these addresses are all updated now and I won’t be scrambling to find them when it comes time to send out Christmas cards! (addresses have been blocked for privacy)

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Addresses

There are other 3x4 cards and overlays in the kit for Christmas stamps and photos that are not pictured here. They will be added to this section when the time comes!

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The Gift Section of the planner is going to be so helpful! My “Master Gift List” page will be filled in as we get closer to the holidays, but these “Santa Reports” are being filled in now! There are two different sized “Santa Reports” in the kit, a 4x6 and a 6x8. The 6x8 size I am using for our immediate family: Chris, our two sons, our daughter-in-law, and I filled one out for myself as well (sometimes the Sill men can use a little help when it comes to gift-giving 🙄). To make these reports resemble something like a “case file” I cropped photos of everyone into 1.75” squares, put them in a 4x6 document in Photoshop and printed it out. Then I just trimmed each photo from that 4x6 printout and attached them to the “Santa Report.” Super fun!

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The "Santa Reports" for Chris and Ryley will be filled in one night over dinner. The ones for Dustin & Becca just came in last night. I texted each of them and asked them for the information I needed. They wrote it out on a sheet of paper for me and took a photo of that paper. So all I have to do is copy what they had written onto their individual reports!

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I am using the 4x6 “Santa Reports” for extended family members. Shortly after I first released the kit in my shop, I visited my niece and her family (they live about 45 minutes away). I brought two of the 4x6 Reports with me and had Jessica fill them out for her girls (my great-nieces, Elsie & Penny). I used a 6x8 page protector with two 4x6 pockets and placed the completed card in the bottom pocket and a photo of each girl in the top. When my sister was visiting, I printed out a card for each of her kids and had them fill out a card. I ran out of those two-pocket page protectors to place them in. I ordered a few packs from Ali Edwards and they should be here in the next few days!

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The Decorations Section is partially done.

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I have my inventory sheet filled out and I’m looking forward to replacing or purchasing those items needed. I will be going down the Pinterest rabbit hole over the next few weeks for decorating and craft ideas. Last year instead of going shopping on Black Friday, I had my bestie Jill, come over for Bloody Marys and Christmas crafting. I want to find a few ideas of what craft to do this year, print them out and place them on the various cards 6x8 and 3x4 cards that are also included in this section (not shown). And even though we may not do every project I find, these are ideas are fun to refer to and see what is trending from year to year.

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And finally we have the Recipe Section.

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One of my main goals with this planner was to consolidate all of the recipes I make throughout the holiday season into one place. Whether they were recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Morning Breakfast, or Christmas Cookies, I wanted all of these recipes in one binder instead of having to pull out various cookbooks old magazines or search the web for these recipes I use year after year. Because there were so many recipes, I ended up using InDesign on my iMac to create these cards. I know, I know, I’m a mobile memory keeper! But there are some projects where the hybrid scrapper in me comes out! As a graphic designer InDesign is a program I use for page layout. It was easy for me to set up pages and drop the JPG of the 4x6 or 6x8 Recipe Cards into my document. I then I took the time and gathered all of those recipes together and started to type everything out! I then exported my documents as PDFs, printed it out, and then trimmed to place them in the page protectors. 

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 9.33.23 AMSome of the recipes have photos and some do not. That will definitely change once these dishes are made. I will make note of which recipes I want to photograph and will be prepared to do so when the time comes. Some recipes I may prepare between now and the holidays just to get the shot prior to the busy day they will be prepared on. (Hmm...I may need to select a few days to do this and add them to my calendars!) So although this section is very recipe card heavy, this will definitely change once the photos are taken. I know these recipes will not stay in the order they are in now. Using this binder for my planner will make it easy to move things around when the time comes!

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Some of the recipes are crazy long. So long that the instructions needed to be carried over to a second card. I turned these recipe cards into flip pages to accommodate a photo. So far I have two of these pages. One for the Christmas Tree Puff Pastry and the other for the Beef Wellington. I think I’ll have two more (cookies) once I get the photos taken. I will do another post with a tutorial on how I did this in the upcoming weeks.

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I can’t even begin to tell you how good it feels to have all of these recipes in one place! Goal achieved!

The printable Christmas Planner is available in my shop. The pictures above do not show all that comes in the kit! To get a better idea of what is include, click the link to the shop in the navigation bar above There is a link to the shop in in navigation bar at the top of the page or go directly to the product listing by clicking the image below:

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Questions? Comments? Leave them below!


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!