Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blessed Christmas!

It is our heartfelt wish that you will know the joy and peace Jesus gives, the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Blessed Christmas to you and your family!

We were back home on the 18th, from our holiday in Hawaii! It was a grand, great, wonderful trip, we had a lot of time, to soak it in, go beach hopping, museum and historical sites visiting, shopping, surfing, hiking, snorkeling, and just hanging out as a family, 24x7, which to me, is the best and most important part of a family holiday. We are so thankful for this opportunity!

And this time, instead of bringing along a notebook for journaling, I brought along my Project Life 3x4 cards, and journaled everyday as we went along. This idea came from the Ali Edwards' Scrapbook on the Road class I took, and this was the most simplified form, just taking along PL cards! I planned to use one card per day, though somedays I spilled over to extra cards. This pic was taken midway on our holiday.
So when we got home, all I had to do was print a 4X6 photo for each day, (some days had 3 or 4 photos in one 4X6 collage), slot them all in, and I have captured the entire 17 days (including a day transiting in Korea) all in my PL! Oh how I love this concept!
Also added some captions/word art on the highlight photo for each day. Decided to make them available for download (see further down the post)
We loved the history of Hawaii, learnt so much that was so interesting and meaningful, including the culture of the people, the history of the Monarchy, Pearl Harbour and so much more. We had a chance to visit Doris Duke's Shangri La too, that was just amazing.
You might have noticed I have now started using the Cobalt edition of PL core kit, am loving the vibrant colors they match my photos so easily and well.
On this trip we were also so blest to have seen Humpback whales (while hiking to Makapu'u Point), turtles, and an octopus while snorkeling at Hanauma Bay!!
Having some space on the last page I added some memorabilia from the trip. Larger brochures and maps will be added to a large envelop insert to PL. This is something I can't do with my digital travel books! Of course I will still do up a digital photobook for the trip, but it is so wonderful to have scrapped highlights of the trip in my PL in record time :)

For those days where my journaling spilled over one 3x4 card, I stuck one card over another using scotch tape, so that the first card can be flipped up and read, and continues to the second card below.

And one more page of PL for the week just before we left for Hawaii: We spent a day hunting down light and fittings for our home renovation, as well as deciding on colors, tiles, and carpentry plans-phew! The next photos were all about the boys' time at our church youth camp. There's J sharing, and R serving in the AV team, they had a great time, and we are so glad and thankful they are growing in their own faith in the Lord!

Just two more weeks and our 2012 PL will be completed. What a year, and what a record of this year, lived!

Just found a great site at The Mommy Creative where lots of Project Life love and inspiration is shared! Linked my post up there too. So nice to share the love for recording everyday life. I find that I can't get tired of seeing everyone's pages and finding out about everyone's every lives! :)

Answers to a few great questions asked recently:
Rhadonda asked if 'double page layouts are printed out separately and put in page protectors and not in a book does it still look okay when a photo is split between two pages'?
Well, I have not done this myself, but would imagine that there will be a gap that takes getting used to, though the eye will likely draw the images together. The only examples I can find are those by Janet Philips in The Daily Digi - go here to take a look  Hers look great! I think as long as you avoid putting shots of faces in  the position that strides across the middle of a double page it should be okay. 

Toni asked: I have just printed an album in Australia with several of your double pages...However a lot of the photos and detail disappear into the spine where yours don't appear to ...My book was 12x12 72 pages so large but not extreme. Do you find that Shutterfly books open and lay flat even with a large number of pages?
No, Toni, Shutterfly books do not open and lay flat either. Have you read this 2009 post I did to share how I adjust my layouts to give extra margin in the middle of the double page before uploading to Shutterfly to print? (the link to that post is on the left side bar of my Store Blog). It is not a fool-proof method, but I have been using it consistently for my Shutterfly and even my one Blurb book, and it has helped to make sure not too much detail disappear into the spine. In that post I suggested 3/8ths of an inch of overlap though lately if my book is more than 70 pages, I have used 1/2 an inch of overlap and find that it helps a lot. 
Do let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer in my next post, or if you would like to, you can email me at yindgs at yahoo dot com dot sg . Always glad to hear from you!

If you are interested, you can download these wordart HERE. They are in png files and should be in the right size for 4X6 PL cards. The fonts used were Aquiline, Bosshole, wm2_kamikaze. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Week

This week we enjoy having Jared back home! Missed him last week when he spent 5 days at a school trip to Bali. He had a lot of fun! They did lots of stuff, visited museums, palace, temple, orphanage, a Green School, Organic chocolate factory, a padi plantation, climbed a volcano, and white-water rafted! I did up his beautiful pictures in 8.5*11 collages which I will print and insert into Project Life :)

This week I brought Ryan to make his identity card. At fifteen you get to make your official ID card and it feels kinda like you're all grown up (no need to bring your birth certificate to prove who you are anymore!) Unfortunately the photo we brought along was rejected, and thus began a hilarious time trying to get him an instant photo taken. His hair was so messy as it was a while since his last haircut, then his fringe was too long as it is not allowed to touch his eyebrows in the photo, we sprayed so much water on his hair to coax it off his eyebrows, then he had to put on a shirt (checked!) because white shirt is not okay against white background, then he had to remove his spectacles due to reflection, but he looked stoned without it and the lady handed him a pair of spectacles without 'glass'. He was quite transformed! This is the photo that made it to his ID! I think the real him is way cooler, don't you? Sigh...

This week I've been taking Jared to a Japanese language class he requested to take. Isn't he an interesting kid? It's tough going but he is sticking to it, he will complete 30 hours in two weeks! He will be the only one in our family who will speak and read some Japanese, WTG!

This week dh and I spent a lot of time considering and discussing the look and feel we want for our home - remodeling and renovation coming up! It is so much fun and so exhausting at the same time, we looked at tonnes of pictures online, even read design books and so on, we came up with ideas and words like: Nordic, intimate, informal, natural, practical, functional, not fancy nor ornamental, maybe some quirkiness or whimsy... we'll see where this goes! I pulled the below images from the internet - lovely mood board don't you agree? Only problem is our space is much, much smaller!

This week I completed the first half month of my Nov PL, way to go, if I may say so myself! :P
I printed out words included in my birthday card to dh:
  Also decided to add in screenshots of Whats App messages dh and I sent each other that were especially hilarious and fun one day, made an insert for it for some privacy!

Some of the stories from my blog posts like the one on watching videos with Jared to be considered 'cooler' gets included.
And the day spent at the Anime Festival and the latest game craze to hit our home gets top feature space!
Oh yes, Jenny you asked if I will be able to complete my 2012 PL all in one album? The answer is YES!! This is how it looks so far with October pages in! It is very important that I have only one album each year because we just don't have the space to store many albums. Of course our overseas holiday photos gets recorded separately in digital layout photobook, and I keep my PL for everyday stories and photos, perfect!

This week my Vietnam Photobook arrived! Other than once when I tried Blurb, I've used Shutterfly to print my books and have always been pleased with the results. Some pics:

In one of the recent post comments, Susan asked how to upload full 12x12 scrapbook page to Shutterfly for printing. I was at Shutterfly this morning and found that they now have a Print Your Digital Scrapbook solution. It looks a lot easier than I had been doing it, so do check it out. I'll try it the next time I have a book to print :)

In case you still want to know how I had been doing it, here are the steps:
1. Upload pictures (12x12 layouts) to Album
2. Choose and open Custom Photobook
3. Load pictures to Photobook
4. On the left, you will see on the Layouts tab, various layout templates. At the bottom of that tab, click on 'Get more layouts', choose '1 photo' option, and find the one where the one photo covers the entire page.
5. Once loaded, choose that template for every page .
Looks rather tedious to me too, haha!

This week, you can download this template to play with!

This weekend, we will be leaving for a two week holiday and adventure! I'll post when we get back.

What has been up with you this week? Please share, and do get it recorded!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to be a Cool Mom to Teenagers

If you have been reading this blog, you know I'm in the season of mothering teenage sons. It is a joy and a roller-coaster ride too! You are so proud of everything they are becoming and achieving, but it is hard when your advice and opinions are now viewed as nagging. lol! They have so much to talk to each other about, but so little to to talk to me about :( This year has been the pursuit of How to be a Cool Mom (or parent) to our boys, to do things with them that they might enjoy, of accepting them and appreciating their interests, of knowing and enjoying them. I may not be very cool yet, but I'm making strides, really. 

Watch their Videos
So in this spirit recently I have been asking Jared to share with me some of the videos he is constantly watching. He was happy that I thought they are quite cool! Now he will share new ones he finds with me much more readily, yay!  Let me share some with you:

This is my favorite. We thoroughly enjoyed the haunting and beautiful art of Van Gogh together. So thrilled we share the love of art!!

Then there are the Ryan Nigahiga videos that he is able to reproduce verbatim. He loves them and they are wacky and funny. But this one actually speaks volumes about our way of life. I kept saying this Nigahiga is a grounded young man!! 

And then there is this Japanese computer game called Touhou that the boys play. Jared has this as his screensaver that is very impressive indeed.

Not bad eh? Now you know what I've been up to, hehe. Definitely stories for my November PL :)

Project Life ( October)
My PL is on a great routine. I will snap pictures everyday, add them to my Project 365 iphone app daily, then at the end of the month,choose those stories that I feel like telling more, and select them to print for my physical PL. The P365 photos get captured into digital half-monthly (fortnightly) pages that I then print out and include in my PL binder. It's so rewarding and satisfying to be on-time with my scrapbooking this year! 

For October, three pages of PL fitted my photos and stories perfectly. 
We received tickets to go to the Universal Studios Singapore's Halloween event, sure it was a bit gory but good fun and great family time. Jared kept saying 'Hello!' to the mummies, monsters, etc while they try to scare us, it was hilarious!
(Credits: Project Life Cobalt kit, love the journal cards by Kate Hadfield!)

We went downtown one day with them, did fun things together and went up to this rooftop garden for amazing views. I used Paislee Press' templates to put 3 photos on these 4X6 photo before printing.

Then there was this afternoon I went with my oldest, best friend to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum Wedding Dress collection at our local museum - a girl's dream!
At the bottom right is a photo of the boys' desk missing their laptops - where have they gone? They were 'kept' with their agreement during the exam period. A very rare and lovely sight indeed. :)
I like doing up the photos on photoshop before printing, like adding a title or journaling, but I also love adding handwritten journaling - makes it more authentic and homespun :)

Digital P365 Pages
Ordered my second batch of 12X12 pages from Persnickety during their recent sale - whoopee! They look awesome! 
Here's how they look in the PL binder:

October P365 Pages
You might notice I've done up a new set of Half-Monthly (Fortnightly) layouts for my October pages! 

There was the day we were out on date night and the kids went to use our bathroom and accidentally locked us out of our bedroom. We got home at midnight and spent a night sleeping in the living room in our work clothes, haha, felt like a sleepover of sorts!
(Credits: Paper by Angie Young, Word arts from Sabee's Creative World's Be You kit, Alpha by Karah Frendricks, elements from Brittish Designs' tweet hearts kit, yin template 317E)

More everyday goodness including Dh's birthday!
(Credits: Alpha by Karah Fredricks, elements from Sausan Designs' note it kit in The Digi Files 47, flower by Mommyish for scrapflower, word art by Suddenly Artistic, word art and strip from Michelle Godin's Blustery Day in The Digi Files 47, Paper by Digital Design Essentials, using Yin Template 317G))

And here's the All New Half-Monthly Template set - available in the Store

I have more inspiration to share, in the form of completed Shutterfly Albums. 
This is Carol Johnston's Egypt Album, totally awesome trip and pages, check it out!

And here's Lauren Boxx's Italy trip photobook. Another dream trip, fantastic photos and layouts!
                   Click here to view this photo book larger
  Of course I'm so honored and proud that my templates look so good in Carol's and Lauren's albums. (blush) Thank you so much for sharing with us, ladies!

And here's my own completed Vietnam album, I haven't received it yet, but it sure looks good on-screen, can't wait!
                   Click here to view this photo book larger

Have saved the Album Cover as a template for you to download. Also included it adjusted as a 12x12 template, so you can use it as a regular layout as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Capturing Emerging Style

It seems I only manage one post a month these days, can't be helped, by the time I complete my PL digital and physical pages, and have some templates ready, everything i want comes together in one giant post, like this one is going to be!

First, a daily life noteworthy account that made its way to my PL:
I always tell my friends my sons do not care any bit about what they wear or how they look. They are quite the typical geek! But one day recently we were just chatting and I found to my glee and surprise, they have begun to have an opinion of their clothes :D

J    : Mom, please stop buying us those T-shirts that have words or pictures on them
R   : Yeah, I don't like them anymore, I can't believe I used to wear that 'monkey' print T for the longest time!
Me: Oh, why?
R : They send a message... Some stripes are okay, but no words please!
J  : That's right, plain shirts are best, they are 'blank', they don't say anything about you!

Aren't their ideas cool? I love their 'sense' of style, after all, it's their personal view of how they want their clothes to look, they want to remain anonymous or mysterious(?) I'm impressed! Besides, I too don't like anything with patterns, all my clothes are in solid colors, though I don't mind interesting prints for T-shirts. They take after me halfways, hehe!

I thought this is a wonderful piece of Story for our family Project Life, so I quickly took some photos of their shirts and made these Yes and No PL inserts. Super fun!

By the way, as an afterthought, Ryan remembered that there are websites where his friends have customised and ordered their own Ts and both of them made a mental note to visit the sites. I can't wait to see what they would make to wear (that says something about them)!!

Project Life (digital 365 pages)
In early September DH and I both attended our respective work place annual Dinner & Dance - both were themed, mine was 'rock star' and his was 'Retro', we tried our best to dress the part, but were probably far from it, haha, it was fun anyway. During the month we also bought two new cute goldfishes for our tank - they are J's favorites, these are our third pair, unfortunately they are not very hardy :(
(Credits: background paper by Chelle's Creation - ladybug, sprinkles by Elise Hansen, arrows and 365 days from Lauren Grier, word tags and paper cuttings from The Daily Digi's Good Life. Alpha by Kaye Winiecki)

In the second half of the month, there was no special highlight unless you count 4 visits to the dentist between dh and I as that. ouch! We still have all our teeth and they are all fixed now, so that count as good! Mario Kart is now our daily family time staple, it calms us all down for an exciting match up!
(credits: Background paper and arrows by Just Jaimee from Take My Picture, Alpha by MHK, word bubble by Designer Digital Essentials, grateful by Megan Turnridge, 'This is our life' from J Barrette's Everydaymoments, 'love lives here' by S Gleason.)

Project Life (physical)
I have four pages of PL for September. I will only show three of them here as the other has lots of photos of our colleagues at our dinners and I don't have permission to post them here.
One of the highlights of September was when we went to the Red Dot Museum by special request of Jared - the boys love the display of award winning innovative inventions / ideas there.

Ryan has spinal Scolosis (thank God it is not too bad so no treatment necessary), I spent some time one morning bringing him for his checkup - and the doctor was telling me about his growth spurts, I asked how she could tell and she duly printed out his Height Chart from birth till now!!! Amazing! Since birth, we had brought him to our polyclinic for baby checkups then later when he was in school, the health service checks them every year and I can't believe they have all those yearly records in their system!! The scrapbooker in me is thrilled!!

Jared wrote a 'Ghost Memoir' of his father's experience for his language class and it was brilliant. In it goes into the PL :)

Don't worry we are not Nazi sympathisers - Ryan had to do this History project and his classmates and him had great fun creating these 'artefacts' and making a video about WWII Germany.

Vietnam Layouts
These are the last of our Vietnam trip layouts!! I've continued to do the entire album in the Large photo + small photos layout style and it's worked out just great!

On our last day in Hanoi we visited the Ethnology Museum and they moved and reconstructed on the grounds authentic original homes from various regions - we could explore all of them - it was lovely.
Here we are on the insides of the Museum. The various ethnic costumes were a highlight. I was especially impressed by the write-ups of peoples of various ethnic origins, and how they have spread out over various Asian regions, distinct and unique, yet sharing the vast lands. Fascinating how they traced the origins mainly through language patterns, wow!
After the museum, we visited this neighbourhood where a B52 had crashed during the Vietnam War - it was still there half submerged in a pond! There was a plague but otherwise it went unnoticed by the scores of people going about their daily business in the neighbourhood. Thankfully the pilots apparently parachuted to safety. After this last stop we went straight to the airport!
Here were some shots from the trip that were just us spending lovely time together, that did not get captured in any of the earlier layouts.
And one more layout to capture the amazing, bustling, unbelievable Street Scenes.

Titles and Alphas
Denise wrote me recently to ask about the fonts I used on titles in my layouts and I would like to share some ideas.
It is obvious I put tonnes of photos on each layout, and embellish very little. But the one thing I always do is to give the layout a great title (as HUGE as possible for maximum impact)!
Title Tip
I would like to share a simple tip about how I usually create titles:
Alpha + font = Interesting Title
I almost always does this, it's so easy! Part of my title will be using typed fonts, and the other part with Alpha. And I will choose or color the alpha to pick up on a color in the layout I want to highlight.

And to share some of my current favourite alphas (used in layouts above and in recent layouts)
Karah Fredricks' awesome sauce alpha will instantly liven up any page - she has other sets and colors in her store too
Kaye Winiecki is one of my all time favorite alpha designer (her kits are super charming too!)
This chalked alpha by Kim Jensen is very interestingly textured!
Designs by Lili have wonderfully pretty alphas as well!
MHK's Fall Alpha is in an unusual font, lovely!

Other alphas used in above layouts:
The black alpha for 'B52' is from Christina Renee's Flocked alpha
The alpha for 'Ethnology' is by Megan Turnidge in her Autumn Splendour kit in The Digi Files 46
The alpha for 'Architectural' is by Heather Roselli from her Miles of Smiles kit in The Digi Files 46
The red alpha for 'Happy' is from Pamela Donnis' Be Mine kit

And finally, a last Vietnam layout capturing the kid's drawings during a lunch at a cute cafe. They lined the table tops with large white (mahjong) paper, and give every table crayons - the boys went at it - so fun!
And the template for it.
This template is now available as Template Pack 9 in the Store. Thanks for your interest!

 I would love to hear your feedback on these Large photo + smaller photos templates if you have any, thank you! Oh, and I am going to start a Yin Designs Newsletter - sign up at the top right of the side bar to receive updates of new templates, freebies and sales. THANK YOU!


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