Getting Creative with Planners

It's interesting to me that in this age of digital and online everything, that paper planners have made such a comeback. When I was a young adult, Franklin Planners were a big deal. In college, I remember a lot of people carrying around planners. Of course, they weren't all that cute back then, but they were sort of a badge of organized pride. Suddenly, they are back and now they are often works of art and more like creative journals instead of just a calendar and lists.

I'm not giving up my online scheduling any time soon, but even I have been bitten by the planner bug. I use mine to keep track of my creative projects and I love it!  

I'm also intrigued by all the creative and artful planners I've seen popping up everywhere. It seems that these have become a mixture of scrapbooks and smashbooks and art journals. I think it's great fun, if that is what keeps you motivated.

I've started a Pinterest board just for creative planners and I've found some great inspiration to share. You'll find links to these and several other awesome resources by visiting that board.

Now if there was just a fun way to make my Outlook calendar look pretty! lol!


Photo Challenges & Prompts

I love photo challenge lists and I'm constantly looking for inspiration from them. I add them to my Photography Lists Pinterest Board to keep for future reference. It's especially fun to follow along with lists that use hashtags on Instagram because you can find some great ideas that way and even make new friends.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you have any others that you follow? I'd love to know!

Adding PNG files in the OVER App

I'm pretty excited about this fun little graphic because I created it on my phone using a PNG file.

Supplies are from Mixed Media Monthly March 2015 kit from The Lily Pad

You might wonder why this is a big deal? Glad you asked!

  • The OVER app exports finished projects in a nice size resolution that works well for printing. This piece exported as 2048x2048 pixels.
  • The OVER App is available for both Apple and Android phones. 
  • Being able to add png files on top of pictures or papers right on your phone or tablet opens up a whole new avenue of mobile memory keeping and creativity. You can add png files in the Project Life app, but they have to go in their own slot in a template. You can't layer them on top of something else. The layering is what changes the game here. And the nice file resolution size.
  • You can email yourself png files and then download them on your device. Or you can load them in dropbox and use them. That's what I do with the Project Life App. I'm a big believer in Dropbox these days.

Now, if they would just add the ability to add shadows, we could effectively digi scrap in full glory on our mobile devices. It's getting closer! If you don't need shadows, it's here now!

The png+ option is a paid upgrade ($1.99). The app itself is $1.99 as well. So it will cost you a few bucks to get going, but it's well worth it in my opinion. You can also add in-app purchases for extra font and artwork packs. It's a great app for creating and includes some nice features such as:

- access to dozens of beautiful fonts
- several Over exclusive fonts
- useful illustrations from renowned artists
- full resolution exporting
- precision text editing
- line and character spacing
- text and artwork rotation
- transparency adjustment
- text nudging
- multiple sharing options 

I'm excited about the possibilities!

Scrapping like a Scrapbook Lady

Sometimes I just sit down and have a little talk with myself and come to the realization that I need to "walk the walk" and practice what I preach. You might think that I'm being overly hard on myself since it's pretty obvious that I spend a lot of time scrapbooking.  It's true. I've been scrapbooking for a long time! I've been a memory keeper for a long time. I'm doing a good job with that.

What I need to remind myself of is to actually finish putting together albums and/or photobooks. I have hundreds of pages done. But until recently, I've been hard pressed to hand anyone a completed album if they wanted to sit down to look at one. My biggest personal focus at this time is to fill in the gaps and have finished albums. I'm happy to report that I'm making good progress in this area. 

I completed another full photobook (I'll share more about that soon) and I'm already at work on another one. I'm giving myself permission to keep some of the pages quite simple. It doesn't matter if every layout is a work of art. They are all fabulous...simply because they are OUR memories. That's a beautiful thing!

Just a simple little page made in the Project Life App with pictures from the Imagine Dragons concert we went to in October of 2013 + some cute cards from Peppermint Creative. In the past, I might have just left it at that and figured I would work on the opposing page at a later time. That has changed for me. 

I now make it a point to finish the whole 2 page spread at once (even if they aren't for the same event) so that I know where and how they will fit into an album. It's working. I'm getting books done and printed. That is a really cool!

So keep things simple. Or not. Just do whatever you can to actually finish pages and complete albums that can be shared and enjoyed. That's really all there is to it.


At the moment

At the moment, I have a lot of things on my plate and on my mind. What else is new? I'm sure all of you feel the same way. Sometimes it's interesting to sit and ponder (and write) about what is going on in your life right at this very moment.

At the moment...

  • I'm taking my son in for allergy testing today. I'm sure it won't be a picnic for him, but we need to find out if he has any allergies because he has a lot of digestive issues. I have a lot of the same problems, but the allergy tests I had done last week all came back negative. I definitely have food intolerance, but not true allergies. I wouldn't be surprised if his results were similar.


  • I'm still working on eating right and trying to exercise. It is working and I know it's making a difference, but progress is feeling very slow for me in this area. My metabolism is extremely stubborn, but I will whip it into shape!


  • I still haven't finished putting everything together for our taxes. I always swear I'm going to do this in January. I always end of scrambling to get it done in late March. Every single year. Why don't I ever learn?!


  • My husband and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary yesterday. We've been married for 24 years. I'm really proud of that accomplishment. I'm lucky to be married to my best friend!


  • All of our carpets need to be cleaned and I've been noticing that some spring cleaning needs to happen around here.  I'm really not in the mood for any of that!


  • I'm working on opening my shop again. After switching my blog last month, I needed a bit of a break before I tackled a new store. I'm ready now and I even have some new items that I'm excited about. It is a very different format than anything I've used before so I don't dare tell you all an opening date yet until I can be sure everything is working. If you want to be sure you get the latest updates and the biggest discounts, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!


What's going on in your life at the moment? I invite you to take a minute and write about it. You'll be glad you did!

Things to think about

I'm always on the lookout for interesting articles and ideas related to memory keeping. The internet produces a lot of reading material each day and only some of it ends up being really useful. I've waded through a bunch of links and sorted out some favorites to share. I think you will agree that all of these are worth a read!


  • Ransomware criminals demand money for family photos. Ok, this one will scare you. It certainly makes me nervous to think that there are scumbags out there who will do this kind of stuff. It's just another reason why it's SOOOO important to have your photos stored in more than one place!


  • A photographer's story related to the ransomware criminal problem. He gives some good advice on how to protect yourself from this situation.


  • PRINT your photos! This warning from Google Vice President Vint Cerf got a lot of media attention a few weeks ago and it's worth repeating. Don't let your photos only live in digital homes. You never know what will happen to that technology. Also, see the above story for another reason. Get your photos printed. Get your digital layouts and/or photobooks printed. Enjoy your memories!


  • A new study shows that photo sharing is hurting our enjoyment of life. I both agree and disagree with this article because I really think it comes down to finding the right balance. Photos are wonderful. The act of taking photos is wonderful. Sharing photos can be wonderful. Too much focus on any one of these things can get in the way of real life though. It's usually best to focus on the people and places you are with when you are with them. However, it's also wonderful to capture the memories. Balance!