Sunday, November 19, 2017

Travelers Notebooks & Bali TN

Crazy about Travellers' Notebook

Ever since I picked up a Midori travelers notebook in Japan 2 years ago it has been my on-the-go travel journal for recording trip memories. The size, portability, options, and possibilities are so great I have totally stuck with it. In earlier trips I journaled then came home and printed photos to add. I always added memorabilia and brochures, and embellished with washi and more. Recently I also started to paint and draw and it all makes for the most memorable travel journals!!

You can see my travellers notebooks in detail here:
Bali (on instagram here) and right below in this post :)

Can you tell I'm crazy about Travellers' notebooks, lol!

Bali Travellers' Notebook

And finally I have photographed my Bali TN pages for you to take a detailed look. This was only a 5 day get-away, and I used a Midori 64 page insert so there was lots of space for me to dabble in drawing and watercoloring. It was like my first try and I had watched a few videos and read Danny Gregory's Art before Breakfast, was terribly unsure, but so glad I tried, because I loved it. As Danny said in his book, 'art stops time'. when you stop and draw or paint, you focus on your surroundings, notice the details, become present - something I'm lousy at, so yeah, so glad I picked this up!

So this is how I set up my TN. I have the one Midori leather TN cover, and simply switch into a new notebook insert for every trip. It's really simple, I only have the one plastic pocket insert, and decorated the cover of this notebook by doodling in (inspired by Bali carvings) and then painting. Added a tiny map on the first page, and our hotel room card pocket to note where we stayed, and that's it! 

Here are the pages where I added photos when I got home, with some embellishments

And here are the pages where I drew and painted. Mostly when we sat down for a drink or a meal, I'd draw on the spot, snap a picture, and usually finish up the painting when I'm back in the hotel. I found the Midori papers thick enough for watercolours if you don't load it with too much water, and they dry well and crisp, I'm no artist, but I like it

And here are pages where I tried to do some stamping and more painting in titles & speech bubbles. As you can see I'm hopeless in stamping, but that didn't matter, these are all easy ways to add some interest to the pages.

As you can see we did a lot in our 5 days in Bali, we love it as a short getaway, don't know why we didn't do it till a couple of years ago, even though we live so near Bali. If you have any questions on my Bali trip just drop me a comment! 

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Japan Layouts (Vol V)

It's been a while, but I am back to share my Japan layouts (volume V)! I have certainly been distracted with all manner of memory keeping lately, but definitely still come back to digital double page layouts for all our travel memories! 

I have reached the last few days of our Japan trip (it was 2015) and a lot of those days was spent wandering and just exploring Tokyo. Walking through streets and smaller towns, thrifting and shopping, without an agenda and not quite knowing what to expect. I actually enjoy these parts of our trips more and more. The adventure and surprise, the discovering and wonder, of a different place and culture and way of life, totally makes the journey worth it!

The theme for these layouts came naturally - these lines that take us all over the layout, showing where we wandered and what we saw and experienced. So fun and full of movement!

Oh and it was perfect that Ali Edwards is giving away these free Travel word art on her AEPinterestPassport board . Got them onto three of these layouts and they were perfect sentiment! Love them!! Check it out you even stand a chance to win 6 months' storykits  - I'm trying for it too :)

So the men in my family had to visit Akhihabara to shop for gadgets and anime and geeky stuff all day (twice) and I decided I'll do a day by myself of thrifting and stationery shopping. Did you know Tokyo is wonderful for thrifting? You'd be hard pressed to know they were pre-loved shops - they are so lovingly curated and displayed! Unfortunately it was all winter clothes but I did score a few great buys. But stationery and craft shops in Japan are to die for! Unbelievable endless varieties and supplies, and that was when I bought my first Midori Travelers' Notebook, in which I have recorded four trips and still loving it!

 So I also asked the men to take photos of their day of geek shopping and yes, they did mom proud and made her happy by taking all these photos, before I joined them at the Nakano Broadway - another haunt of anime and comic goodies!

 It was saturday morning and we heard that the locals like to go to Yanaka alley for their weekend breakfast and shopping so off we went too. Lots to see and do and taste and try! 

This second layout was also of exploring the streets around Yanaka Alley - we passed homes and neighbourhood shops, back streets, an old cemetery, and even an art museum. More fascinating of all, I saw the second Hawaiian Hula Dance School in Tokyo here - the Japanese really love all things Hawaiian :)  I was doing hula dance at my gym class as well, so I was really stoked about it!

My husband has an eye for spotting local scenes and takes photos of local people going about their life, flower shops, and so on, so here's one more layout showing the street scenes of Japan as we travelled through them. We just love visiting Japan so much, and it will not be long before we are back! 

All of these layout templates are available for purchase in the store if you are interested. Thank you!

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

UK Photobook and Japan Layouts (Vol IV)

Hello everyone, it's been a while since my last post! Life is really full and I have sacrificed blogging for actual memory keeping and if you follow me on instagram you will agree :)

I'm working full time now, so I have time most evenings to be creative (my kids are grown - oh when did that happen!) and capture all our memories and record life in this phase where they are not often at home anymore (yikes). Sometimes in my PL you can see that there are more stories than actual photos, and that's why!

In fact I spend all my free time creating and scrapping and have ventured into art and bible journaling too, and one night asked my husband, "Am I wasting my life away?" to which he answered, "then I think it is a great waste of life."  I guess I can carry on! :)

UK Travel Photobook

Today I am very excited to share my UK trip photobook, that arrived last week from Shutterfly. It has been more than 3 years since the trip! Although I had all the pages done, somehow didn't complete the covers and first and last pages till recently. What was I waiting for?

You may remember this post, 'Artsy and Quirky London' when planning for this album, where I decided to make it quirky and interesting like how we found London and the British, and went for eclectic, hipster, artsy as the theme. And so I paired artsy drawings and elements with black/white/grey geometric backgrounds. Really fun approach and this is the result. (To read about the trip and see those layouts, check out these posts from Jan 2015 , Feb 2015, Mar 2015Apr 2015, July 2015, Aug 2015, Sep 2015, and Nov 2015

It turned out to be 106 pages and as usual I printed through Shutterfly (as I did my 16 other photobooks), and the book is everything I hoped it would be!

Video Flip Through
I managed to video a flip through! But the quality that blogger allows me to upload here is rather low, I am going to try to upload a higher quality version to instagram if you want to check out there :)
I actually had great fun creating this, and even managed to add a cute music clip 'Tuesday Afternoon' by Izzy Hyman! 

And here are more close-ups.

May I also share this last page - words from the PL pages I did right after the trip. Top 55 things we did in London and more.
See those PL pages here.  They are some of my favourites!

Some technical pointers in making the book.
I still do my books in non lay-flat pages to save costs as there are so many pages! I love how they look and feel and they are thin (this one was about  1/2 " or 1.5 cm thick) and I can fit a lot of the books on my shelves. 
These are some things to keep in mind if you want to do it the way I did:
My layouts (and templates) are all in 24x12 sizes. For uploading to Shutterfly I save the left sides and right sides as separate jpegs (12x12 each). (I believe Shutterfly has a new service that allows you to load up 24x12 jpegs directly but I have not tried it). My tried and tested way to is make sure you save the left and right images with a bit of overlap in the centre of the double page, as a small margin is bound into the book and will not be visible. See my old posts here and here on more information how to do this. I also avoid putting faces or journaling that goes across the middle of the double page. Generally I am not fussy if some part of the image is 'hidden' and just greatly enjoy the panaromic spread of double pages in 24x12 glory!

Shutterfly Album Cover Template
I have saved the template I used for the cover of my 12x12 book for you here. This is cover #5 that I'm sharing, see the right side bar to links of the other cover templates that I've shared in the past. They will work for the shutterfly 12x12 books!

Japan Travel (Vol IV)

And now onto the new layouts from our Japan trip - from back in Dec 2015, lol! I am super updated on my daily scrapbooking aka Project Life, but my travel layouts, well I take my time, and enjoy re-living the trips. This is volume IV, (see vol I, and II, and III here). There's only about two more volumes to go to complete it, so yay!

My approach to this album has been changing, because I took such a long time and I was inspired by different things all the time! But I kept the backgrounds constant - all white. In these next four layouts I have gone back to the same style as the UK album, with scattered and skewed photos across the page, and added only paint to the white backgrounds.

So here is the day we took a trip to these tiny post towns in the Japan alps region. In days long past when people had to walk to travel anywhere and to send word/mail, these post towns were dotted in these parts for rest between towns. They remain small and quaint save for some tourist shops and are really pretty and a wonderful insight into life in those days!
(click on image for larger view)

The main objective of coming here is to attempt the 7.8km trek from Tsumago to Magome, two of the towns, and that is along the Nakasendo trail. It would have been prettier if it had snowed, but somehow that year snow was delayed, though it was below freezing point, but we had a wonderful walk anyway! It was a little unnerving though that there were numerous warnings of bears and bells to ring to fend them off!

The next stop in the Alps area was to Kairuzaiwa - our one night in an fairly upmarket Ski Resort with its own factory outlets! Alas there was no snow! But never fear, man-made to the rescue. Nothing like the real deal, but we shall not complain. :) The men had learnt to ski in Beijing so they were good, but I struggled and simply could not get those old legs coordinated enough - it was great fun while it lasted though!

Then we are back in Tokyo again and visited the Imperial Palace grounds (you aren't actually allowed in the palace because the Emperor and Empress live there!) on a free guided walk by local volunteers. Love guided walks! So informative and the guides shared so many stories about the royal family, their line, their love story, history, the 47 Ronins, and so much more. Not to mention it was so beautiful! If you ever go to Tokyo, make sure you take this free walk!

All of these layouts are available as templates in the store here, if you are interested, thank you!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Japan Layouts (Vol III)

Hi everyone, this is volume III of layouts from our Japan trip - that trip was taken back in 2015, and is slowly and steadily getting scrapbooked! :) Here's vol I. and vol II. Let's see how many volumes I'll need to complete the album of our awesome trip!

We had never been to Osaka so this time we booked an AIRBnB which turned out to be the best ever (let me know if you need a recommendation) and explored this bustling city. Dontonburi is all about the food and it does not let its name down! Every part of the street was packed with street food and restaurants and the markets area was so fascinating with all kinds of seafood like you'd never seen before. We also tried doing some thrifting - vintage clothes stores in Japan are really amazing - they look like any other high end boutique and all the clothes are beautifully styled and labelled and makes for a lovely shopping experience!

But Kyoto is still our favourite city and like many will say, we call it the 'real Japan' :)
Although we visited at the end of November, that year Autumn arrived late and we got to see the fantastic Autumn colours on display! Well as you can see, it is not possible to take a bad photo that day.

Then we also took an entire afternoon just walking and wandering along what is called the Philosophers' walk - which is actually a canal really, that is beautiful. We can imagine philosophers of old walking here and sprouting philosophical truths. We came up with some of our own too!

On one of the days we were in Osaka we took a day to visit Mount Koya, or Koya San. It is a quiet mountain with many templates and monks and pilgrims. The best part is the visit to Okunoin cemetery, set deep in the woods, that is something like four hundred years old, and is just a moving experience, with hundreds of preserved tombstones - that told of amazing stories.
After Osaka we took the train north and landed at Matsumoto, a mountain town with a superb castle. It is always magical to visit and climb a Japanese castle. The men enjoyed looking at all the military installations and weaponry and the like.

You can find the photoshop templates for these layouts in the store here.

Project Life

Guess what, for 2017, I have switched to a 9x12 format! I'm having fun with it, it is a smaller album, I work mostly with 3x4 pockets to tell random everyday stories, and it is making me happy :) 
This is my cover page.

I don't blog so often now but you can follow my PL pages on instagram here

Hybrid Layout

Sometimes we get a chance to make a really special and precious layout - my brother and I recently found these photos of our parents on their honeymoon that I don't think I have seen before. Our dad had passed away when we were young and our mom was both happy and sad to talk about this time in their lives. I am so glad I got to tell this story and add it to my PL album. One day I want to work on our heritage photos but for now I will get whatever I can into my current albums! 

Embellishments from Bond and Root Story kits from Ali Edwards

And because I am now in the 9x12 format, this was done in 9x12 format and so I will share the template as it is, but you can easily adapt it to another size if need be.
Download here, have fun creating!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Blessed, Grateful, Amazed - best of 2016

Blessed, Grateful, Amazed -
these were the feelings welling up inside of me as I looked back at our 2016. Indeed God has blessed us and carried us through twists and turns, and gave us much, much to be thankful for. We give all thanks and praise to Him. I wish I can share more, but these days I have to be more private on the blog, especially at the request of my teens :)

But I can share through some of my layouts!

Year in Review
I don't know how non-scrapbookers do it, but I reviewed our year by looking through our project life album :) and picked out anything significant or memorable or just note-worthy for this layout. It took some time narrowing them down, but finally I have 18 highlights selected.

Following Ali Edwards' prompt in her December 'Review' Storykit, I completed statements starting with 'This is the year .......'  and here is our 2016 in review:

Highlights of our year include many firsts:
Jared and Ryan entering college and university respectively 
Ryan taking the family out with his first paycheck..
Ryan and me studying Revelations with BSF (Bible Study Fellowship)
Ryan's first mission trip (can you tell a lot is happening with this young man!)
My learning how to surf (well almost)
Hubby picking up guitar
My mom in law's step in faith in Baptism (praise the Lord!)
Me 'coming-out' from my semi-wig after 1.5 years suffering from alopecia (yay!)
Us conquering the 'best day hike in the world' in NZ (Tongariro Alpine Crossing0
and so on!

Some close-ups of this hybrid layout:
First I did all the photos and journaling in photoshop (psd template download link below). Then printed it out on A4 Canon Pixma photo paper. Finally added the giant numbers (from Ali's store) and the acrylic 'review' and 'life in review' chipboard piece from the storykit. You might notice this year I've caught onto the hybrid train and love that I can still have the ease of digital scrapbooking plus some of the lovely touch and feel of physical embellishments. Most of my physical stuff are from Ali Edwards because I just get so inspired by her and the ladies in her facebook group, and most of my little stash are from her store :)

Here is the free photoshop template for anyone wanting to try this out! (click on image to download)

Memory Keeping Year in Review
This year I have scaled down my posting on this blog due to my now full time work, and to respect the greater privacy my kids want. I do miss sharing and chatting in this space! But this has allowed me time to enjoy and complete a lot of memory keeping of my own. So at this end of year season, let me share a bit more of my pages and projects, like a scrapbooking year in review!

Project Life Layouts
I still love documenting our lives through PL and these are some of my favorite layouts this year that I've not posted before: (I do post more on instagram @yin_dgs)

May and June Stories - as you can see I have gotten into the habit of writing a lot of stories down that I do not have photos for - love capturing stories!

Another story focused layout for our short island resort trip

Trip to London in June

October staycation to celebrate hubby's big birthday

From our trip to New Zealand in December (not much journaling as those were captured in my travelers' notebook)

And finally New Year's Eve!

Day in the Life 
In July I joined in with everyone to document a Saturday in our life (blog post here)

And again in October where I recorded a day in each of our lives (blog post here) - this was so cool as we spend much of our days separately nowadays

Trip layouts
This is getting the lowest priority this year but I will continue to document our trips digitally and get some templates out of them :)
As you can see I'm venturing away and trying new styles - to satisfy my creative curiosity - might go back - or who knows where my fancy will lead!

London layouts (various posts see here )

Krabi layouts (link to post here)

Japan layouts (various posts here and here)

Mini Albums/ Projects
Of course I couldn't stop at just PL and trip layouts! LOL

30 Days of Lists 1
Printed my digital lists from last few years into a minibook (link to post here)

30 Days of Lists 2
Did my 2016 list in physical format (posted more on instagram @yin_dgs)

London Travelers' Notebook (link to post here)
Nowadays I always bring the notebook to journal on the trip and add photos when I'm home - really love this way of documenting my trips!

New Zealand Travelers' Notebook (link to instagram here)
In our most recent trip I journaled and added memorabilia on the trip - you can see the video flip through of it on instagram here
Am in progress of adding photos to the notebook and will make a post of that some time soon  :)

I'll post the video here too but the resolution may not be so good

MILK moleskin photobook
I made this photobook of our June trip as a gift for my mom. The quality is amazing! I will have to find time to share this is a post soon!

Scrapbook Layouts (see post here)
Also quite a few layouts like this one inspired by Ali Edwards' hybrid class

Now isn't that quite a shocking amount of scrapbooking in one year? I am actually quite shocked, I must be spending too much time on this! But definitely enjoyed every minute of it. But best of all, just the other day, I left my PL album on the table and when I came back, found my nearly twenty year old laughing and reading the album - I'd say this proves it is all worth it!

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