Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wrapping up 2015

I love this period when we move from the previous into the new year. Both the looking back, remembering, reflecting and giving thanks for the year past; as well as the looking forward, planning for, prayers and hope for the new year. Of course, for me these are all done through scrapbooking!

Part I - Wrapping up 2015

As I looked back through 2015, I see my title page and this verse:

The Lord's loving kindnesses
indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness
Lamentations 3:22-23

Indeed the Lord's faithfulness are new every morning!
In 2015 I lost a very dear friend, mentor and sister to cancer, had to deal with an auto-immune disorder amongst other stresses, while my sons both graduated from their respective schools and we are thrown into the exciting and bewildering state of changes, choices, decisions! What a year of walking with our God, seeing His guidance, feeling His love, understanding His Truths, strengthened for the journey, and blessed by all counts. Some of this is private, and I no longer share as freely on the blog, but really want to praise our God for all He led us through in 2015.

Reviewing the year as I looked back through my project life album, I journalled these highlights of 2015, and welled up in thankfulness for His faithfulness. It is so important for myself and our family that all of this is recorded and here it goes into one the last page protector of my album (below)

(The highlights of this year also include the arrival of our two grand nephews!)

Have you journalled and reviewed your year and included the testimony in your scrapbooks?

Completing my 2015 album is the best feeling ever! I did a bit of catch up with Nov and Dec month-in-reviews

I also caught up on the pocket pages by only completing a couple of spreads for each month

One of the highlights was my sons' high school graduation - congratulations Ryan!

And our two new grand nephews! I am feeling a tad old, haha!
Lots of journaling added to record stories, moments, laughs that we shared as a family included too

The scoop on Jared's stint teaching primary school girls the basics of 3D modelling!

And in some sort of tradition (3rd time now) I recorded the 'Favorites' of our family circa 2015.
The empty nest will very soon be upon us and I want to remember simple things like this! See the past years' versions here and here.

(Part II - Setting up 2016 will be in my next post!)

Printed Month-in-Review pages

My monthly in review pages have been printed (by Persnickety) and have taken their awesome place in my Project Life album! 
The monthly reviews show daily photos of our day-to-day occupations and pre-occupations, doings and happenings, while the pocket pages tell stories  - special, funny, traditions, once-off, insider jokes, anything I fancy we will love to read and remember one day!

50% Off Half Monthly in Review templates
It's January, so I'm encouraging you to follow me to record our year with these templates

Japan in Review
I wanted to include some photos of, to mark our Japan holiday in my 2015 album (since I've already journalled my Midori-travelers-notebook and will also be making a photo album for it), so I created this 12x12 page - I call it - Japan in review  :)

At a glance, the highlights of this absolutely amazing trip! You can read more in my last post, but can you tell we visited and experienced a lot of different aspects of Japan!

Loved this format so I created a few more 'In Review' templates. Am thinking of using it for other in review pages. Eg, Ryan's High school life, Beaches we have visited, Date night selfies, cool right?

You can find this set in the store. Thanks for looking and continually letting me create what I love, and supporting what I do for my favorite (and only) hobby!!

January Digi Files

Finally, just want to shout out about the January 2016 Digi Files. The Daily Digi is seven years old and celebrating! A whole bunch of designers got together to make 7 collabs that are worth so much and are so awesome, but cost only $7.50 to purchase as a subscriber. You must not miss this!

And I too contributed templates to two of the collabs:

and Free to be Me (can't be revealed until it is posted on The Daily Digi)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Midori Travelers' Notebook - Japan Travel Journal

Japan Travel Journal

We are back from another epic trip! And this time I have recorded / journalled our trip in my new Midori Travelers' Notebook, bought right there in Tokyo. It wasn't planned, but once I saw how beautiful it is, I rationalized how we can use it! Besides it cost about half the price it is sold in Singapore! I figure I will re-use the cover for every trip we take, with 1 notebook to cover notes/research we always make on where and what to do each day, and a 2nd notebook to record and journal on the trip, and where all the bits and pieces we pick up can go! The notebooks can then be removed and stored in folders as completed records of our trips, while the cover will be used on future trips :)

To see highlights of how I did travel journals in the past, see these posts:

And so the moment I got back I got to work on my traveler's notebook. Really enjoyed the process! 
I chose the 014 kraft paper refill notebook which has 64 pages or about 32 spreads, and planned out my pages to cover highlights of our trip. First I selected (about 3 to 5 photos for each spread), printed them out on my home printer, and cut them out. Then I got busy pasting and using all the stickers and washi tape in my rarely used paper scrapping supplies. I tried some stamping but my inks weer all old and didn't work well, so left that out. And finally hand-journalled. My handwriting is kind of messy and doesn't go straight even though I tried, but it feels authentic and me, how it should be in my opinion :)

The simple Cover Page

A Preface page 
- as this is our 3rd time to Japan, our goals were to take it leisurely, go beyond the touristy spots, and try to taste and soak in and savour all that is Japan and Japanese.

Two spreads to cover the day to day itinerary for the 16 days trip

Followed by Highlights of the trip, sorted by themes:

We visited Historical Sites 

Hiked historical trails between preserved old towns

Went up to UNESCO Heritage site of Koyasan and the atmospheric centuries old Okunoin cemetery
Koyasan travel journal

Marveled at the beauty and elegance of Kyoto
Kyoto travel journal

We did the whimsical, quirky, cute and fun,

including going to a Bunny Cafe (!)

We experienced traditional towns, streets and traditional foods and ways of life

We made our own Cup Noodles

Also skiied (on fake snow) and stayed in a 'log cabin'

But mostly we stayed in Various AirB&Bs 

We always play games on trips, but here in Japan we played Japanese games

Went on a walking tour led by volunteers
Tokyo travel journal

And of course we totally enjoyed the Japanese Food!
tokyo travel journal

Mostly in hole-in-the-wall joints, and also in the very-happening Japanese Cafe scene!
tokyo travel journal

They have the fanciest bakeries and confectioneries, and even their train station bento sets are incredibly delicious
tokyo travel journal

Taking the public transport is a big way in how we get to know a country

We also got to visit some parks and take one of the many giant Ferris wheels

Not to mention the shopping and window-shopping we did.

The 3 men went on anime/manga hunt

The rest of the pages were filled with more store-cards, name cards from all the shops

Finally I ended with 3 pages of reflections - 
so much good stuff and fantastic shared memories unique just
to the four of us
tokyo travel journal

The completed notebook - just about an inch thick - I love it!

A Bit more about My Process
You might have noticed that on each page, I tied the theme together using these labels that said "we were here", "we did this", and so on. What I did was to repeat and arrange digital labels (I used these from 'SmartAleck by Sugarplum', and 'So Majoe by OneLittleBird) on a page in photoshop, typed out all the phrases I wanted to use, and printed them out on A4 (8.5x11) sticker or labelling paper. Once printed and cut, they easily went into my notebook.

 For the photos, because I chose the kraft paper notebook, a white frame for the photos would look great, so that's what I went with most pages. I did some without frames to keep it interesting. Also did some in phonebooth strip style, and in varieties of square, landscape and portrait formats.

I did mine in A4 (8.5x11) photoshop files so I can print them on my printer, and sized them so they would fit the notebook nicely. If you want to try these, you can download the template by clicking on the link below. Once printed out, cut along the grey lines. Love to know if you are trying this too!
photo template for midori travelers' notebook


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