Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Changes Around Here and RootsTech

Around Here .... (changes edition)
Changes around here are mainly surrounding Ryan moving into hostel for this school year (gasp) He has moved in on 2 Jan and now comes home only every weekend. My firstborn is all grown up and independent! It is not easy to get use to this!

Around here.. we are getting used to almost daily skyping or phoning him on speaker mode to chat and say good night
Around here.. Jared is getting used to not having Ryan to play World of Tanks with. Now he plays with us!
Around here.. I am having nightly devotions and prayers with only Jared
Around here.. Jared is sharing more videos and interesting stuff with us 
Around here.. we are needing less food for breakfast and dinners, a loaf of bread lasts too long!
Around here.. we get to wake up later as Ryan used to have to leave the earliest in the morning
Around here.. I am sending more messages and images and links to my son through whats app just for fun and to keep connected
Around here.. weekends are more precious than ever

Roots Tech

Today I'd like to share with you the Rootstech 2014. Barb Groth who is one of the presenters at this convention wrote to me a few months ago telling me about it. I was so fascinated. They call it a 'Family History and Technology Conference' - how cool!   

Barb's presentation has to do with Preserving the findings of ones' genealogical research, in the form of such as, the digital photobook. And guess what, she will be using Yin templates to demonstrate how this can be done during her presentation!

Barb has even completed a 'Guide to Creating a Digital Genealogy Scrapbook' which I'm sure all of us are very interested in. I only wish I have even some good photos of my grandparents and great grand parents! So do go over and check out the Barb's Website!

You can also view her own amazing family album here

Wrapping Up

Yes I'm afraid while everyone is sharing their new year's goals, Project Life 2014 covers, and so on, I'm still busy wrapping up my 2013, memory-keeping-wise. I'm very happy that I was able to keep up my plans of completing my project life and P365 layouts once a month, it is very manageable for me to spend a few nights each month working on pulling the pages together.

Project Life

Because we flew off to UK on 29 Nov, I have not yet posted my Nov PL. There was only one spread. The main highlight being Jared receiving a national level science award - he does not think it is a big deal at all, but we are SO PROUD.

And the one spread I did for Christmas Celebrations, loads of food, love, warmth and laughter.

Note our Minimalist Christmas tree(s) - we had disposed of our old fake tree and ornaments when we moved and due to space constraints was aiming for a minimalistic look. That's all the Christmas decor we had! There was somewhat a loss of the sense of christmas mood, but it was so sweet and simple I kind of really like it! :)
After Christmas we spent a few days focused on getting Ryan ready for hostel living! There was shopping to be done for supplies, and casual cool clothes :)  We had to do quite a bit of cleaning and Jared came to help too. He even drew a 'poster' for Ryan's notice board (bottom right - it says 'Hang in there')

And the last page of 2013: I did a sort of 'Best of 2013' page - reflecting on the highlights of the year, how our words of the year played out, why I would sum it all up in one word - Blessed, and included this 'Blessed are the flexible' card I saw on Elise Blaha's blog. Excepts from journalling: "we found that as we accept more and practise having less, are 'flexible' about life and let God be the author, we see His blessings on us and we are truly blessed." (accept and less were our words for 2013)

Now I was completing the album at the dining table while Ryan was beside me doing homework. I was pointing out this photo and that journal card to him, and soon he took the album and looked through the whole year's PL and laughed and talked about various things with me. Now isn't this worth it all?

Project 365 pages
These are my photo a day month in review digital layouts:
November 1-15:
November 16-30:
December 17-31 (since the first half month spent in London had been documented in detail in my London Project Life Pages)

Now to get all my 12x12 P365 pages printed and slotted into the Project Life album. I'm happy to report it will fit nicely into one album for 2013 :)

Beijing Photobook
Happily, I've also just completed my Beijing album - two years after the trip.... 
Here's the first page with our itinerary:
An additional page I needed to go with another 12x12 page: 
And the last page: Impressions of our Trip
And two last double pages to cover our skiing lessons photos. The dh and boys took two days of lessons and it was so incredibly amazing and satisfying. Unfortunately I could not join them as I had fractured my toe two weeks before the trip. The templates for these layouts can be found in the STORE

And here's the Covers: Front
Back cover:
I was trying to create the effect of photos tucked into a binder. Used lots of red - it's China after all. I'm now waiting for the next Shutterfly 50% offer to print the book :) Yay!!
These covers following template guidelines for Shutterfly 12x12 photobooks. Download them HERE.
Additional note: Please see comments below from my friend Jenny who despite having followed the shutterfly guidelines found that her covers had a dark line near the spine. Thanks Jenny for the heads up. I will report back after I've printed. Please check back this space!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

A New Year and Trip Highlights

A Blessed New Year to everyone!

Are you looking forward to the possibilities of a new year? Are you facing changes that are exciting yet unsettling? Do you make plans and resolutions?

Like most, I like taking time to reflect and give thanks for the year that has past, and pray and think about the new year. I have relaxed a lot over the years about making tough resolutions and concrete plans, as they make me too stressed up and take the joy out of it! This year I found myself with this prayer and note to self in my journal:

Live in thankfulness and joy.
Remember how much we have been forgiven and given.
Live with simplicity, letting go of all unimportant details and opinions of others.
Find my hope and joy in my Saviour and Lord.
Be thankful for our leader, in my case, my husband who loves me much.
Don't pass on a spirit of nervousness to my children due to my worrying!
Pass on a Spirit of Joy and hence resilience instead.
Give of myself to others.
- 29 Dec 2013

Yes this is what I hope for myself this year, prayerfully, humbly, and trying not to let life overtake these intentions. And on New Year's day my bible reading brought me to 1 Kings, and I am again humbled and encouraged by Solomon's prayer that God will bring about by His own Hand what He has promised to us in His Word. What a promise to start the year with!

(credits: paint by Dawn by Design)

 How do you take stock and journal your new year reflections?

In December we had a dream come true :) 

Our family took our dream trip to London! In some way we have been planning for this for maybe ten years - waiting for the time when we think the boys are old enough and understand enough to appreciate the history, art, culture and all to make it worthwhile. And saving up for it. And now was the time.

As always, the best part and main reason for all our trips is how we get to spend 24 by 7 together for 2 weeks as a family. These shared experiences and memories are more than worth everything it took. To hear Ryan say 'that was epic' a few times a day and see Jared so happy and game for anything was so cool. We planned something for everyone and took the whole family along to each other's special interests places/events. We saw, did, learnt, experienced, soaked, absorbed, shared, so much! It was stressful at times too, getting lost, or plans gone awry, missing a train, which in the end was each an unforgettable adventure. Well, you get it, we are travel junkies, and we love it!

Project Life Trip Highlights

You may remember how I brought along journal cards to record each day on our trip last year, and slot them into PL album along with photos for each day - that was fun and super fast!

For London however, I knew there was no way I could squeeze my journaling for each day on a single journal card, so I went back to recording in a paper travel journal. What I planned before leaving, was to create a title card or Day Marker for each day while on the trip. I researched and found Rhonna Designs App: (yes, she has an app! Just perfect for digiscrappers, I think!)
After trying out a bit, I was quickly able to chose a photo for each day, and add in the day and place visited, as we travelled. Like this one for day 6

When we got home, I printed all the title cards for each day and a selection of photos. Then using a pack of stickers bought in London, simply decorated blank journal cards and jotted highlights of our trip by hand. Super fun and so quick too. And I do love how it looks into my PL!

Days 0 to 2
Days 3 to 9
Dasy 10 to 14
Days 15 to 16
(Credits: Word arts by One Little Bird, CD Mukosky, Karla Dudley)

Some extracts of the journalling:
Here is what we saw and did:
1. Sat in a London Cab!
2. Rode a classic Routemaster red double decker bus
3. Spent a fortune on the Tube !

6. Cruised down the Thames
7. Followed in the trail of a few good men: Admiral Nelson; Sir Winston Churchill.
8. Stood on the Greenwich Meridian Line!
10. Climbed to the top of the Dome of St Paul's Cathedral!

12. Overwhelmed by the artefacts at the British Museum - Rosetta Stone! Clocks!
13. Elated at the Comics store goods in store at the Forbidden Planet
14. Being the sleuths at Hint Hunt!

28. Touched and saw all the tanks the boys dreamt and read about in the Bovington Tank Museum
31. Took a wonderful, walking tour of fascinating, beautiful Bath
34. Got lost on the hills of Bath in Combe Down
42. In the stands of White Hart Lane for a 4-1 Spurs victory!
47. Laughed our way through the West End production of Monty Python's Spamalot

51. Admired the great man that was Winston Churchill and especially his wit and quotes at the Churchill Museum
53. Experienced the christmas throngs at Oxford Street
54. Shocked by the opulence at Harrods
55. Soaked up on the heroism and planes at the RAF museum
56. Last minute shopping at Covent Gardens
And this is what we call EPIC AWESOMENESS! 

I will still make my digital photobook for the trip, but it is again so good to have scrapped the highlights of this trip into my 2013 PL!

(I will be linking this post up at The Mom Creative's Project Life Tuesdays. It is a great place for much  PL inspiration)

Also I just took out my tablet and did this for my Project Life 2014 Cover Page. 
(still toying with more ideas!)

If you like it, you can download it here. The handwritten layer is separate from the rest so you can change the colors as you like.
Here's wishing you all the grand as well as everyday kind of wonderful for 2014!


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