Friday, January 23, 2015

Two Pages a Month to a Year of Memories

I really love it when I get to the end of a year of scrapbook. It is not just the reward and satisfaction of completing it that makes me so happy. It's looking through all the pages, finding what the boys call  our 'slice of life' captured, remembering the big events, small moments, new experiences, everyday-ness, fun, laughter, great days, tough days, family, friends, everything that makes up the story of our year. 

It's a scrapbookers' way of taking stock! According to my pages, in twenty fourteen, we celebrated my parents in laws' 60th anniversary, our niece's wedding, dh's sister's surprise 60th birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and more; went overseas twice for holidays, once for school trip, once for work and once for 10K in Bali, had friends  relatives from China, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan visit, had a Primary School Reunion (with classmates from when I was twelve!), and sent one son to live in his school hostel for a year.

And because I did a photo a day the whole year, I was able to capture even the titbits and the unique 'slices of life' that is ours last year. Let's see, in twenty fourteen, all of us caught conjunctivitis all in one week (yikes!), J forgot to turn up for a talk he was to give on 3D printing, the boys took turns throwing out my not-yet-eaten take-out dinner by mistake(!),  I dressed up as greek goddess for a dinner, tried green tea everything (mochi, ice-cream, cookies, kitkat, mooncake, latte, you name it), did lots of online shopping, my husband caught onto healthy eating (made his own salads and work lunches everyday!), took over entirely to plan our Taiwan trip, we made 'Tank Cakes', had homemade pancakes every weekend, and the favorite family activities was World of Tanks, card games, movies and anime!

Actually I don't always have a photo a day, sometimes I go a few days before remembering and then I look around and add pictures of a corner of our home, a book we are reading, a newspaper article, or a movie we watched, and these have really added to the interest in the pages and completeness of the year as we lived them! And because I use only photos from my iphone, sometimes taken in a super hurry, blurry, in not so good light, or with one son trying to run away (lol), they are what I get. My pages are imperfect but personal, and totally awesome.

Here are the pages I have not yet posted from 2014:
For this Oct page, I had some badly lit photos and decided to play around with a photoshop action filter - bright & pale by chic chick  what a lovely glow!
(Credits: graph grids by SplendidFiins, paint artfrom Across the board by Amy Martin Designs, and the following are all from The Lilypad's Currently collab: wordstrip and lace by Kaye Winiecki, flair by little butterfly wigns, arrows, flower, traingles, word strip by Sara Gleason, glitter by valorie webbers)

The 2nd half of October featured more vibrant colors- lots of red from my niece's pre-wedding ceremonies, and my good friend was featured in the papers!
(credits:Dymo words by Allison Pennington_Currently, paper from Chelle's Creations'_ladybughug_playdate freebie, doodle from J Barrette's perfect fit, alpha from Raspberry sorbet by Kate Hadfield, doodle hearts by Michelle Godin in My Manly Man, heart, string, and tape from heimili by pink reptile designs)

In November we left for Taiwan holiday in the 4th week, and were back only in mid December. As I did separate pages for the holidays, I only made one layout each for Nov and December. This was the time after exams when the boys were home and relaxed but I had my wisdom tooth extraction (ouch!)
(Credits: Cork_Coaster_Heart and Holiday_Spot_Fave_Cut_Out_GinaCabrera of Digital Designs Essentials, Wish Alph by Rachel Young, Paper from a freebie by citrus&mint, confetti and label from year in review by Mommyish designs, arrow, brush, paint, painted heart, painted 'Cheer', wordstrips all from Fun-tastic by Sugar Fancy designs)

And this is the last page - 2nd half of Dec after we are back from Taiwan, filled with home improvements, Christmas celebrations and New Year get-togethers. I did a suitably golden, glittery, starry page :)
(Credits: glitter from 2am's_bestyearyet, Alpha and talk bubble from We all fall down Kit by Allison Pennington, Glitter_Star by_GinaCabrera of Digital Designs Essentials, flower from WinterWoodland by Maya De Groot, poinsettia from MissMint's_UglyChristmasSweater, flower and wordstrips from Celebrate Life by Studio Basic, stars and stitch by Erica Zane, washitape by JustJaimee, and paper from Mommyish's autumn daze)

And Tada! Here they are, my photo a day for 2014, two pages a month!

I really want to challenge you to try this, take a photo whenever you can, and with whatever you captured, just slot them into a layout and you will see your year develop! I have shared my process here and  also here, you can try using my templates or any other templates, just get started, keep it simple and you will find it is totally doable!

2015 will be the fourth year I'm recording a photo a day this way, and I really have no thoughts of changing it up. So I've whipped up 8 more templates to do these Half Monthly pages, this set is on sale at $4 until this Sunday! Get them in the Store.


As is customary :) I have made a ninth template for you to download and try out :)
Download this free template here - have fun creating!

Project Life December Pages
Because I already captured a photo a day, I only pick up stories I want to elaborate more or anecdotes or conversations to add to my Project Life pages, usually only a couple spreads a month.

I went for a light and pink palette here, with a touch of blue, taking a cue from the 'Life does not have to be Perfect' quote card. This is one way you can tie things together on a page.
We brought the boys with us to attend a local theatre production - we love that they enjoyed it as much as us (!)

Our Christmas page is full of gold and glitter - you see I usually follow a color theme each page, it is really easy for a page to look puled together and just great!

 And for the last page, taking a cue from Elise Blaha's 2014 by the Numbers review, I did one of our own!
We worked hard, studied hard, made home improvements, are obsessed with building tank models and anime figurines, played lots of games and watched lots of movies and anime and korean drams, some of us read a lot, listened to lots of music, and had ten new experiences in 2014!
It's by no means all that make up our year, but a fun recap that the boys participated and counted along with me. The piece of paper we scribbled the count items on is inserted behind in one of the pockets.My album is done!
P.S. as you can see, this page took on a very colorful turn, taking the cue from that photo of us in various colored Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down jackets :)

Double pages using Yin's Templates
I really love getting to see pages made with my templates, and these are so lovely, glad to share them with everyone!
Hannah Hurey's pages are always so classic and calm, simple and elegant. They are proof that all you need are gorgeous photos and great arrangement! :) Thanks Hannah for taking the time to send them to me!





And Marlyn Ramirez always have such lovely pages focused on the people in her life. Thanks Marlyn for taking the time to make my day!

Need more inspiration? Check out these Pinterest Boards:
I could not find a way to contact these ladies, but since these are public boards I think they wouldn't mind me providing a link to their boards, in case others would like to follow them. Thank you so much to J Austen, Lisa Kelly, and Linda, I'm very very honored!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Our Travel Journals - How we record and scrapbook our travels Part 2



A Very Blessed New Year to everyone!
After our rip-roaring New Year's eve family celebrations, we spent some time on New Year's day looking back and wrapping up our year, and getting everyone ready for our new school year, which starts on 2 January! It was really quiet and nice, none of the frenzy and rush of last minute sorting out school supplies, completing holiday homework, and so on that we used to have when the boys were younger. They are so on top of things now! All I have to do is make dinner and do laundry and relax and scrapbook :) The boys are into their last year at their respective schools this year. J will go onto Junior college next year, and R will enter the Army. So a pivotal year! As we look back and look forward, we have SO much to give thanks for, and to record in our journals. I might share these some time :)

But today my post is the continuation of Our Travel Journals - you can see Part 1 here. We have adopted various documenting approaches over the years, I hope by sharing that you might get an idea or two!

Using Project Life/Pocket Scrapbooking
Since 2012 when I started Project Life, I have been using it to capture journaling while on the trip itself! For this Beach holiday (see this post), I pre-designed/printed my own journal cards, and wrote on the beach, at breakfast, and everywhere, and came back with coffee stains and sand on my cards. Most authentic, haha! 

For our Hawaii trip you may remember this post, where I shared how I brought along Becky Higgins journal cards and a few pens and journalled everyday. It is really great with these cards, so light and convenient to carry around, and so quick for jotting down first impressions, thoughts, 'famous last words', on the spur decisions, even mistakes, adventures and so much more!

When we got home, I simply printed a photo for each day of the trip, slot into PL, and our trip has been captured! Of course I went on to do a full photobook for all the tonnes of photos, for which I referred back to these cards to remember the trip for more journaling in the book.

On this next beach holiday the following year, instead of journaling on a day to day basis, I chose themes along activities/food/experience and journaled each one on a card. There are many ways to do this! For this particular trip, you can tell I was playing with photo filters/actions to give a kind of instagram glow for all the pictures :)

For our once in a lifetime trip to London (see this post) though, there was just too much to capture each day, so I went back to journalling in a notebook. Instead, for our PL, I made a list of our top 50 seen and done in London - on blank cards adorned with stickers - and popped them into PL - loved the result! See that post also for more on how I used Rhonna Designs' App to create the Day marker/Title cards. 

As for our Bali trip, I went back to day by day journaling. My family has gotten used to me and my journaling and usually offer an idea or two and say, "you should write that down" ! You can tell how much I love this PL journal card way of capturing memories on our trips!

So bring some journal cards and a pen in your purse on your next road trip, holiday, and try this!


Using the Project Life App 
But now that there is the Project Life App, I have jumped on that wagon and for on our most recent holiday in Taiwan, I journaled and made my PL pages with the App on the trip. Here are the 12 pages I completed before our plane touched back down in Singapore - summarizing and capturing the 16 days we were there - I am so happy with this approach! There's another reason why this turned out to be so important, but I'll share that later.

I am sending these to Persnickety to be printed in 12x12, and will add them to my PL album. I also plan to add some physical elements to them just for the fun of it. Will share these in the upcoming post!


Our Travel Photobooks

Then there are of course, our travel photobooks. The first I made was in 2007, of our epic US East Coast trip, which practically marked the start of Yin Designs templates!! I continue to love making photobooks of all our holidays this way, and have never thought of doing them any other way. 

Links to these photobooks are towards the bottom of the right side bar, if you want to take a quick look. I have also shared templates of my photobook covers - also linked on right side bar.


Hawaii and Bali Photobooks
I realised I haven't posted my most recent completed books - for Hawaii and Bali. Here they are.
For Hawaii, I adapted the layout I already made (template 336) to become the cover, by adding a green strip - making it look like a binding. For Bali, I was in a rush (to catch 50% off) so simply enlarged an awesome photo and made it the cover! I'm still using Shutterfly - I'm so familiar with their software I don't really want to bother with trying other printers - though I've heard so many other great reviews. Their quality is great enough in my opinion still!

London Pages
And I have completed four more pages using the artsy and quirky backgrounds I had created for London. This round all four pages have dark patterned backgrounds nothing like the solid backgrounds I usually use, but making for very interesting and quirky layouts, hopefully you agree!

On day 2 of our trip, we had taken a river boat down the Thames to Greenwich, and spent a glorious day there. At the Painted Hall, we were treated to the beautiful hall, and to fascinating stories and histories through the paintings, because we walked up to a volunteer and simply asked. He was so wonderful and eager to share his knowledge with us.
(credits: Paper by GinaCabrera, Currently Alpha and journal card both by Stolen Moments Designs,
Hot air balloon from this+thats2 by Valorie Wibbens and Lauren Reid)

It was a beautiful day and Greenwich's landscape was lovely as we took a walk up to the Observatory and the Greenwich Meridian Time line.
(credits:  Paper from Allison Pennington's_InSummer-y, Alpha is blueflowerart_by JardinDeMaMere, paint is from Drem Big Designs' Loveletters, and Swirl is from Michelle Godin's Blusteryday)


It was on a whim after watching the Thor movie (in which Greenwich was destroyed!) that we decided to visit Greenwich and we don't regret it. It was also here that we started on our journey in the footsteps of a giant - Lord Nelson - learning about this hero in the Maritime Museum - the coat he was wearing when he was fatally shot 200 years ago is preserved here - you can still see the hole made by the bullet.(gasp). The museum itself is really cool too - the boys will attest to that.
(credits: Crowns by Aja Abney and SHS, paper from Brittish designs'_candyshop, 
paint from Dream Big Designs' Loveletters, and RockingCool alpha by Pink Reptile Designs)


On day 3 we started the morning by visiting the British Library - a most amazing place. We were completed floored by the Treasures - books, journals, scripts, written words beyond expectations. Dh was captivated by song lyrics scribbled by The Beatles (birth of songs we all know!), me by Mozart and Beethoven's handwritten scores as they composed, oh my! Jared by Da Vinci's sketches in his journals, Ryan was impressed by the Bewoulf manuscripts. There was even a letter wirtten by Napoleon that was intercepted by Nelson's men - possibly causing Napoleon's defeat at the Nile(!) How cool is that? I really like this layout, which turned out looking like books stacked on shelves, don't you think?
(credits: Paper from The Daily Digi's_goodlife contributed by ChellesCreations, shelf doodles by 
Fee Jardine, and alpha is rocking cool by Pink Reptile Designs)


And the set of templates are available in the store here. thanks for looking!


12x12 Template to Share
Finally, here is a page I made for the first page of my Hawaii photobook, by adding a flipped over page to a layout I did with template 339. It is fun finding papers for the 'front' and 'back' of the 'flipped page'. Hope you have fun with it!
Download this here!
And that folks, is how we do our Travel Journals! Would love to hear how you do yours!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A gift for you - Pocket Scrapping Templates

Hope everyone had a beautiful and joyous Christmas!

We have been away for holidays in beautiful Taiwan, between that and work and Christmas, I have still managed to keep up our scrapbooking, but there are quite a bit of catch-up posts to be done!

Today I am sharing my November Project life pages, and the templates I used for some of them.I think they are cool - so packed them as a gift for anyone who might like them. Download links below.

On this first page I did a write-up summary for the month, added some anecdotes and interesting things said as well as favorite photos of my nephew helping my father in law in his wheelchair, and of me and my mom. I used DigitalDesignsEssentials' Photo Stamps Vol II on the photos.

Then an insert page - documenting that Ryan is finally home after a year living in hostel! We are so proud of him, taking everything in his stride, handling even difficult situations with calm, grace and maturity. What a cool head on his young shoulders! Then there was the week when I had a wisdom tooth removed, since I could not eat solid food, I went on a three days' juice fast. I loved the cold pressed juices! I did not experience any super immediate result except that even without coffee, I was more awake and alert than I normally am with 2 cups. And I didn't have any noticeable withdrawal effects either. So it 's all good for me.  If you have any other questions on my experience let me know!

The other side of the insert page joins with the right page documenting our niece's wedding in November! We have so many photos and I'm still in the artsy mode just loving all the black and white background papers ( that I used for artsy & quirky london pages) I decided to use some of my white matted photo templates for the 6x4 spaces.

I managed to get the boys to dress up for the dinner, and really liked these candid shots of ourselves as we rode the mirrored lift after the wedding. Love fun unplanned series of pics!

At the top of this page are the photos I captured of the bride as she walked down to get ready for the march-in. My absolute favorite photos of the day! I used Valorie Wibben's Queen of hearts here. Also took a photo of the wishes we wrote to the new couple in the wedding card. A beautiful day!

And a final page capturing the amazing art that we loved at the Affordable Art Fair that we had a chance to attend. It was our first time and we thoroughly enjoyed it. So many styles and forms of art from all over the world at one place - a perfect evening!

So here are the templates to share:
This set of 3 are saved as 3 separate files and can be used individually or in a row like I did here.

If you are using them in a series like I did, and where there are elements that spread across the 3 pockets like the hearts in mine, you can try to line them up by arranging the 3 templates windows in photoshop like I did below. Then I just eye balled it to make them line up, it does not have to be precise, it will look fine, fun even!

And for these two 4x6 pockets, 2 more separate photoshop files were used.

You can download all 5 templates here to play. Maybe you can use these to squeeze more Christmas photos into your Project Life! Have fun!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Blessed Christmas

1 John 4:9
This is how God showed His love among us; 
He sent His one and only Son 
into the world that 
we might live through Him.


Blessed Christmas from our family to yours!
And May the Love, Joy and Light of Jesus surround you this season!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Artsy and Quirky London

A few weeks ago I started planning my next photobook - for our London holiday(oh yay!) I was scanning digital stores for British themed kits and told my husband that though i liked the red and blue color schemes I'm not sure I'd like it throughout an entire album. And the dear man said, "don't follow the stereotype, why not get out of the visual cliche!" Why not indeed. But what then? And he said, "Try quirky and interesting like the British are. Think eclectic, trendy, hipster, imperfect, artsy." I was intrigued. And so I did.
Sun from Quirky Heart's everyday bouquet, Paper from Chelle's Creations' ladybug hugs

I scanned pinterest and everywhere for ideas, looked through all of my stash, and decided I will pair artsy drawings and elements with black/white/grey striped/dotted/geometric backgrounds. And then I started making my layout backgrounds, and got completely carried away!

Look how many I came up with, it was so fun I could not stop., hehe. Sixty-nine pages to be exact! This is the first time I've made all the backgrounds before looking at the photos. I let myself play without worrying about how they will come together. I got to use stash that never gets used. I really enjoyed changing up the game, and just playing!

How will the pages turn out? How will the historical London pictures look in artsy quirky backgrounds? Here are the first four pages!

Portobello market was as colorful as this layout even on that first cold grey day when we arrived and visited, before we could even check into our rooms! So much to browse and see!
Credits: Allison Pennington_ChinUp_Birdy, Rachel Young_WishAlphabet, Sticker_Witch_Legs_GinaCabrera, Just Jaimee-paintybits, Lauren Grier-nummybuddies-paper9
Mommyish_theeveryday_gathered-ribbon

The next first morning in London we simply took a bus and got off at the Houses of Parliament, to breathe and take in the iconic and grand views. We are in London!!! Dh and I have been in London 20 years ago, but we were equally exhilarated as the boys at the thought of actually being there! I thought the striped background looked so hip and really showed off the historic architecture, don't you?
Credits: Vinnie Pearce_The_Rise_Elements, Amy Wolff_giddy_scribblecircles, Citrus&Mint_F_blackstripepaper, Kaye Winiecki_currently_hashtagwordstrip, little butterfly wings_messitupvl2_paint, SaraGleason_currently_triangles, 
Stolen Moments Designs_Currently_alpha

We then took a walk around the Westminster Abbey grounds and around Parliament Square where we saluted Churchill's statue and Nelson Mandela's, little guessing that the great man would pass away even whilst we were still in London two weeks later! Also got the guards at 10 Downing Street to take a photo for us! And to my surprise and delight, I really think the polka dotted background supported the beautiful architecture pictures beautifully and made the page modern and visually so interesting!
Credits:Paper_Booville_Dots_GinaCabrera, citrus&mint_blackpolkadotpaper, 
Dream Big Designs_craft_graffiti2_paint, pink reptile designs_rockingcool_alpha, Tangie Baxter _QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso

We then made it to the 10am boat that cruises down the Thames to Greenwich. We sat on the upper deck and it was cold!! But the funny seaman turned 'guide' gave such a fun commentary with so many juicy stories the whole journey, we could not bear to go downstairs.
Credits: KimJensen_MeRightNow_alpha, background paper_Black_Chevron_GinaCabrera, Dream Big Designs_craft_graffiti2_paint, Little Butterfly Wings_messitupvl2_paint

As usual these pages are available as templates in the store.

And here is the first page. Chronicling the 20 hour flight including 6 hours transit at Doha, Qatar that was the way we got to London. Phew!!
Credits: Laura Banasiak_chevron_overlay, little butterfly wigns_fullofwonder_paint, 
Studio Rosey Posey-onemoment, Libby Pritchett-turn-red, Valorie Webber-currently-journaltsrips


And you can download the template here. Will you try something different on your pages? Will you play and have some fun? What do you think of my London 'style'? Love to hear!
And thanks for visiting!

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