mobile apps

Tutorial: Digital Kit Organization on iCloud Drive

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t feel like scrapping. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe it’s the turbulent times we are living in at the moment, who knows. But I have the whole month of March that needs documenting and I just don’t want to. Instead, I’ve been in mood to organize my digital files. How crazy is that?

My digital scrapbook supplies are organized on both my desktop computer (iMac) and in iCloud Drive. Keeping them in iCloud Drive allows me to access them on my iPhone or iPad. On my computer, the kits stay intact, but I reorganize them into different categories in iCloud Drive. I’ve been doing this since 2017 and I’m pretty happy with the little system I have going. 

I have subscribed to Ali Edwards Story Kits for a few years and there were several kits I needed to get reorganized in iCloud Drive (ok–maybe a little more than several). Since our beaches are closed and community pool is shut down, I had nothing but time on my hands to do some digital housekeeping. It took about 3 or 4 6-hour days 😳, but I am happy to report I now have all of the products I’ve ever purchased from Ali’s site organized in iCloud Drive and this makes me so darn happy! 

The tutorial below demonstrates how I go about copying digital scrapbook kits from my desktop computer to iCloud Drive. It’s about 25-minutes long, so get the kids situated in there online classes, grab your AirPods, an adult beverage and take a listen! Oh! And by the way! Did you know that iCloud Drive is available for Windows? Here is an article explaining what iCloud Drive is, including links to download the app for various platforms. 

 


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.


December Daily: Modifying Templates

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During the calendar year of an avid memory keeper, November is a month when we start to plan how we are going to document the holiday season. In addition to planning a family photo shoot or scheduling fun holiday outings, many of us are gathering our scrapbook supplies, getting ready for that month-long, once-a-year project we know as, “December Daily.” If you are unfamiliar with this project, you can read all about it here at aliedwards.com.

I thought by switching over to mobile memory keeping, I would be missing out on all of the fun the traditional scrappers have when prepping foundation pages or organizing their supplies to get ready for December. But I found that not to be the case at all! There are several things that I do to prepare and I am going to use the next few posts to share with you what they are.

MODIFYING TEMPLATES

I start this project with the end in mind. To me, that means printing the book. I mentioned in an earlier post that my December Daily albums are printed through ZNO. ZNO is one of the few companies that print 6x8 hardbound books. I always hear of people being disappointed when they receive book they have printed at various online printing companies. Page borders may not be even, or text is cut off, etc. This was a concern of mine and after some playing around—and trial and error–I figured out how to get my pages to print perfectly with ZNO, but it takes a little prep work. In the video below I share with you my process of how I go about modifying the 6x8 digital page templates I purchase in Ali’s shop. If you are going to follow along you would need the following:

  • Affinity Photo App on your iPad (And guess what? Affinity Photo is available for half-off right now! It's only $9.99 and there is NO subscription!)
  • 6x8 page templates stored in iCloud Drive
  • A drink and a snack (the video is a little over 35 minutes🙂)

Click the image below to watch the video. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments!

It's a long holiday weekend for me and Chris here in the Sunshine State. Hopefully you have Veteran's Day off, too! Use this time to start modifying your templates! I’ll be back on Tuesday with a new December Daily Prep with Mobile Apps Tutorial! 


Project: December Daily

 

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Oh how I love this project! I created my first December Daily album back in 2011. We were living in Riga, Latvia and I couldn’t wait to document Christmas in Europe. I brought a good amount of scrapbooking supplies overseas with me and created an 8x8 album with whatever Christmas supplies I had on hand. In 2012 we were still in Latvia and that was the first year I purchased Ali Edwards’ December Daily Kit, with a 4x6 album. It may have even been the first year she offered a physical kit, not sure. Unfortunately I didn’t create one in 2013. We were in the middle of a move and there was just no time (PSA..NEVER move during the holiday season–just don’t). 2014 (6x8 album), and 2015 (6x8 album) were also physical albums using Ali’s December Daily Kits.

In 2016, I had every intention of creating another physical album. I had Ali’s 2016 December Daily Kit in hand and was taking photos everyday. But that thing called a full-time job got in the way. By the time I came home after work and made dinner, I was too tired to do anything else. I mean I think I did one page along with the title page, but then I gave up. See...they are right here:

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Fast forward to the summer of 2017. British software developer, Serif Labs, introduced the Affinity Photo app for specific iPads. Affinity Photo is an app that supports layered PSD files. I was already creating my Project Life albums on my mobile device so why not try and do a December Daily album as well. I remember “translating” the physical version of Day One 2016 to an app format and I never looked back! Look:

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What solidified my decision even more to go totally mobile was that over Labor Day weekend in 2017, we took a trip to San Francisco. I was able to continue to work on my 2016 DD pages while on the plane! I had all of Ali’s digital December Daily products in iCloud Drive and could access them in Affinity Photo! This made me SO HAPPY! 2019 will be the 4th year I am creating my December Daily on my iPad, using Affinity Photo!

MY DECEMBER DAILY MOBILE TOOLBOX

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Affinity Photo: One of the things I love about Affinity is I can organize my files into projects. So I have a project for each year of my December Daily albums, another for templates, and another for the working files of the textured embellishments.

IcloudDrive

iCloud Drive: I keep all of Ali Edwards’ December Daily digital products organized in my iCloud Drive. This is the easiest way for me to access them through Affinity Photo! I can have two windows open at once on my iPad, so I just drag and drop elements from iCloud Drive to the page I am working on in Affinity! I have a folder with all of the 2019 Digital December Daily products and then a bunch of other folders with Ali’s past December Daily digitals organized into different categories. Once the 2019 season is over, those products will be broken up and placed into those various categories. I will elaborate on this further in an upcoming post.

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Project Life App: While I do not have my December Daily album printed through the PL App, I do place the pages in the full 6x8 collage to share on my Instagram account. I’ll explain more about this in an upcoming post, too!

So that’s it! Those are my go to apps for documenting our December on my iPad. Stay tuned! I have several posts that will be published that will show you what I do to prepare for December Daily prior to December 1st! If you have created a December Daily album on your mobile device in the past, what are some of the the things you to prepare before December comes along?


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!

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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!