Hello lovelies, today I am working in my 2018 Project Life album for Week 14. This layout will be split into two videos because the week had a two page spread plus an insert, so this is the left hand side and insert for you today. I am using the Memory Pocket Monthly kit from The Lilypad for June, which is called Wander. To see the full 2018 Project Life album process, you can click here. You can also learn more about my approach to this album in my pocket page memory class called In My Pocket Volume 02.
Our photos for this week were from two main events: Easter and a short trip to Savannah, GA. Those are the starting place for this layout, so I printed the Easter photos to fill pockets on the left hand side first. Of course there were so many photos from Savannah that an insert made perfect sense here.
I also had another starting point, the transparent hearts that were part of the previous layout. They are from Studio Calico, and since they are see through, they determine the color palette for this layout as well! The June Wander kit has these colors, plus has a travel theme, so that made the kit an easy choice here. I love when decisions come together so easily like that.
Easter for us is typically fairly laid back, and even though our kids are getting older I still like to do Easter baskets for them. It’s always fun to find little goodies for them, and of course who doesn’t love chocolate?! I know in future years we will enjoy having documentation of what was in those baskets, and they will remember.
These photos easily become a time capsule of what they were wearing, what kinds of candy they liked, and what they were into right now. This is also a winding down for us, since there is no more Easter bunny so their baskets are more simple and becoming more grown up. This is definitely what I want to remember from right now, and I am loving Project Life for giving the space to document this.
Our trip to Savannah was not a long one, but I definitely took lots of photos and am excited to include our journey into this album as well. For today I am just beginning with the insert, a 6×12 with simple photos and a few journal cards. You will recognize some of the photos already, because I have been creating 12×12 layouts from this trip as well. I love how including it right here puts the trip into the entire context of our life. Easter and Spring Break were in the same week for us, and so this is how this week happened for us.
I also love how easy it is, when doing hybrid layouts, to print digital journal cards and then incorporate simple embellishments into the layout. I typically print my journal cards on 8.5×11 matte card stock (these are Kodak brand) and then I drop a few of the digital elements onto a 4×6 card and print and cut those by hand. For this layout I have used card stock alphabet from Simple Stories, a flair button from Crate Paper, label stickers and photo polymer stamp from Studio Calico, and a few chipboard pieces from my stash.
I also have filmed my process video for this layout, which you can view here.
Hello Lovelies, today I have another layout from our Bermuda honeymoon album to share with you! While touring around the island we found the Royal Dockyard and these are some of our photos from that day, plus telling a story when you don’t have any photos of that particular story. I am using the Crate Paper Wild Heart collection, plus a little My Mind’s Eye Wander. To see the other layouts in this series, you can follow this link here.
I have to tell you all that this Crate Paper collection has been so much fun to work with! I wasn’t so sure about it, but it has such beautiful patterns. I am loving every layout! For this layout I had a particular story I wanted to tell and no photo to go with it, so I took photos from that same day and placed them together on this layout. There are a couple of random photos from our travels around the island, and two photos from the Royal Dockyard. Those are important stories as well!
On the left side of the layout I used some of the cut apart pieces and ephemera from Wild Heart, and layered them onto some of the patterned papers. I also grabbed plain white card stock to make a simple journal card – all that was needed for that was a line stamp and a card stock sticker. I have used the Wild Heart stamp set to stamp some fun graphics onto my photos.
I also used my Ali Edwards Wild story stamp set to create a really easy filler card. This is a great way to incorporate a little type into your pockets!
For the right hand side I have included photos from the Royal Dockyard specifically, one of the courtyard and one of a really amazing glass artist at the Glassworks.
The story I wanted to include was about the lunch adventure we had while at the Dockyard. We ate at this fun little Irish restaurant and they had a guy playing music that day. He was pretty good, and we were enjoying it, and about half way through lunch he started singing “Just the three of us,” instead of “Just the two of us.” Alan and I just laughed and laughed at that! We still talk about that all the time, and it is easily a favorite story and song now.
I began this side of the layout with a single patterned paper, and let that be the starting point for my pockets. I stamped the butterfly image (from AE Wild story stamp set) onto plain white card stock and layered it directly onto the paper for the top card.. I journaled about our lunch adventure on a Rolodex card that was in the Wild Heart ephemera for the next pocket.
We didn’t have photos from the restaurant, but I did find an advertisement in some of the maps we brought home, so I included that here. The bottom pocket is simply a cut apart element from Wild Heart. I love this layout so much and love the stories it tells! Thank you for joining me today!
Hello Lovelies, this is a new series I want to share with you on my personal journey of building a brand from the ground up while coping with chronic mental illness. I am not a medical professional and therefore do not offer medical advice, only stories of my personal journey in hopes that others might be inspired as well. Mental illness lies to us every day, and it is my hope through sharing my stories, my truths, that you might find hope and strength too. If you would like to learn more about my journey I invite you to read the Larkindesign Brand Story. You can read all the posts in this series here. Thank you for being here!
Thank you all so much for your wonderful reception to this new series. Your thoughts and love sent my way were all so positive and I am thankful for each and every one of you! Today I have a mixed media layout to share with you and I want to use the blog post to share a little of the back story with you. It was really difficult last week to acknowledge and act on the realization that creating the digital collections was not serving me well. One of the things they don’t tell you, when you start your own brand, is that it is highly possible that you will try many different things before you succeed. For many business owners, they do actually launch successful the first time, and grow amazing businesses seemingly on their first try. For some it happens that way, and for me it has not happened that way at all!
For some, building a brand comes after many trials and errors, and it can be especially challenging to do this with trauma, PTSD, depression, and any other mood disorders. What that actually looks like in real life is that trying many different things means many different things not working out. That means failure. There is no denying that, for whatever reason, the digital kits I created failed to sell. I am pretty educated and have a pretty good idea of why, and in the end it’s not productive to beat myself up, or feel bad about it, it simply is. The hardest thing, actually, as a survivor, is not taking it too personally, accepting it as part of the learning experience, and being gracious to myself and others as I go through this.
I follow Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess, and have long been so inspired by their creativity and their business successes. I find it most inspiring that they will tell you how many times they, too, have personally experienced these trials and errors in their business. They call it pivoting their business. When something doesn’t work out, simply try something different. And keep trying until you get it worked out. I love their messages in this regard, and it is incredibly uplifting to hear that even incredibly successful business women have struggled to find the right fit, too.
On the outside, the trials and errors of building a brand can make the artist seem disorganized, even untrust-worthy. You’ve heard it all: “oh they just didn’t know what they were doing,” “they didn’t know what they were getting into,” “they couldn’t just stick with it,” and on and on. And maybe all of those things are true. On the other hand, no one really knows what they are doing and no one really knows what they are getting into when they start a creative brand from scratch. Even if someone pivots their business by stopping something that isn’t serving them, they are still not giving up and they are still working towards their goal. I have stopped making journal cards for right now, but I am still showing up and I am still working towards my overall goal of making a profitable business and I am not giving up. Not yet, anyway!
But the challenge with this side of building a brand, and also dealing with mood disorders, are the lies that trauma and abuse and suffering tells us. Through this entire journey I have had a chorus of negative voices that have told me I don’t deserve to be successful, I am not possibly good enough or talented enough for this, I must be crazy to think I could ever make this work, and on and on. Have you seen Girl Boss on Netflix? Sophia Amoruso goes through this to some extent, and at one of the crucial points in the series she tears up everything in her apartment and ends up screaming at herself in the mirror, and the mirror screams back at her, all the negative things she has internalized about herself. It’s such a crucial moment in the movie because she faces those awful voices head on, goes to get her surgery (practices self care) and then comes back more determined than ever.
I promise I did not tear up our house last week, and I didn’t tear up all my hard work, but in some ways deciding to pivot my business right now is an act of self care and a part of this winding road I am traveling on. It was messy and tearful, just as Sophia’s messy turn-about was messy and fraught with the realities of being human and having serious challenges with self esteem. And after a few days of self care, loving private messages from e-friends, and the support of my family in real life, I am back with new hopes and dreams (and it is highly possible I will create more product at a later date, just not right now).
In this process, however, I am learning volumes about myself and my own presence of mind, my own strengths, my own weaknesses, and while building a brand is happening, building ME is also happening. It is frightening, at some stages, and elating, at other stages. I have always heard when you go through re-pivoting your brand, and you are unsure of what to do, to go back to what you love. Go back to the basics. What I love and what my basics are has always been pocket pages, my pocket page classes, focusing on creating layouts, and most importantly, inspiring other creatives. I have long been trying to figure out how to bring my passion for creativity together with my journey of healing, and then this series was born and it has clicked.
And while I am working and healing and processing and struggling and succeeding, I can still create and must still create, and I find the art of creating so incredibly cathartic. That process is also important to share with you, because I know that even if you aren’t trying to build a brand, chances are you arrived here as a fellow creative. Maybe you too are a survivor – I think all humans are survivors in one way or another, and it is messy but beautiful, and we get to reflect these amazing things in our creative work. So here is the take away for today. As I was building my title for this layout, I was going to just write “learning how to love myself,” and I realized there was most definitely more to this.
I had been approaching my journey to healing as a single destination – that one day I would be healed, that one day I would be able to love myself fully and wholly, with scars and all. I am proud to say that I have learned a little more about loving myself through this part of my journey, and I have learned that loving myself is the journey to healing. That may sound so basic to some, but for me it clicked. And I also realized that there isn’t a specific destination, that this is a lifelong journey. I am so thankful you are with me on this journey, messy and beautiful. If you’d like to see my process for creating this layout, you may view it here.
Are there negative voices in your creative life too? How do they manifest themselves for you? I would love to hear from you. Join me next time as we continue this creative journey. Thank you for being here and being part of this community!
Hello Lovelies, this is a continuation of my 2018 Project Life album series, in which I am documenting my current year through photos, stories, and pocket pages. You can follow this journey through this link here, where all the posts, photos, and videos for this project can be found.
After a bit of a documenting break I am ready to jump back into my weekly documenting! Project Life has been such a successful system for me for quite a few years now, and it has been so much fun sharing these albums and layouts with you! So let’s get ready to dive back in.
Figuring out how to get back into your album process can feel awkward and perhaps a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The first step in jumping back in is always to assess what you have accomplished already. This can actually be a fun part of your process, because it allows you to go back and look at your album wherever it is right now and remember those wonderful moments you have documented.
The key is to look at the album without judgement or guilt or pressure. In order to move forward we always have to assess what has already been accomplished. So take a few moments to go through your album and pat yourself on the back! If you only have one layout done, congratulate yourself! That is awesome. If you have three months done, well, you are ahead of me. That is awesome. Wherever you are, give yourself these few moments. You deserve to feel accomplished in your craft!
Once you have assessed what is complete, then we are ready to dive in. I went through my 2018 album and took a few notes as I went along. Mainly I did that because I had a few weeks that I had skipped and I wanted to be sure to include those in my project list. I prepared a short video of my 2018 Album Walk Through, which you can see here.
After this walk through and assessment, we are ready to proceed onto the next step. Stay tuned and I will share our next step with you next week, and you can also learn more by signing up for my mini e-mail course called Three Best Tips for Getting Layouts Done! See you again soon! Also, I invite you to join our brand new Hybrid Scrappers Facebook group, where we will also be chatting about getting back into our albums!
Hello Lovelies, this is a new series I want to share with you on my personal journey of building a brand from the ground up while coping with chronic mental illness. I am not a medical professional and therefore do not offer medical advice, only stories of my personal journey in hopes that others might be inspired as well. Mental illness lies to us every day, and it is my hope through sharing my stories, my truths, that you might find hope and strength too. Thank you for being here!
Today I thought I would just write a few notes to you, just from my heart. This week has been a learning week for me, and I feel some changes are on the horizon, so I want to share a little more about that. Ultimately my goal here at Larkindesign is to inspire you, dear friend, and empower you in your creative life. I truly believe we can be our best selves when we are our best creative selves. But creativity takes an inevitable toll. It costs us something – an emotional cost, if you will.
I know that many of us turn to creative ventures in an effort to calm chaos and/or to express things within ourselves that maybe have no words. Sometimes we just need to get away and work with scissors and papers just to have fun. Most of us in the scrapbooking world are here because we treasure our memories enough to record them, document them, and curate them. So much value in creative work, and also a cost. Yes, it costs money, but it also costs us energy and time. Sometimes in the social sharing world it can cost us perspective too!
For the past three years I have been sharing my own work here and have been slowly building a brand. I have made so many beautiful friendships and have connected with artists, designers, customers, YouTubers, and bloggers around the world. If you read my Brand Story you will know how this industry helped me stay alive, actually. And all I have wanted to do is give back. So I created content, and videos, and classes, and collections, and have been sharing them here with you. It has been a joy to create products and it has been empowering to grow this little spot on the Internet. It has also come with a tremendous cost. An emotional cost.
I decided this week to stop creating digital collections – maybe just for a little while, I don’t know. I so very much appreciated those of you who have purchased and downloaded the products here, and they will remain up in the Shop if you are still interested. I am also planning to open up a Facebook group for Hybrid Project Lifers, and am excited to get that going. Growing a brand is really hard work, and it takes years. It also takes seeing what works and what doesn’t, what brings joy and what doesn’t, and being constructive enough to tell what you do well and what you don’t do well. Your feedback and your responses really help in that regard, so thank you every time you have told me my work is beautiful.
As I have shared in the LD Brand Story, I function every day with the remnants and in the midst of trauma recovery. I don’t know that I will ever recover fully, and I do know that I will always cope with it on some level. What happened to me as a child and in my 20’s had a profound impact on me, as I continue to work through that, and as such it has an impact on my business as well. I want to share a bit about that because I know I must not be alone in this. If you are trying to run a business with trauma and PTSD and depression or any other emotional challenge, please know you are not alone. Please reach out to me, to others, because we can be powerful emotional support to each other.
I have learned this week that it is incredibly hard for me to see the beauty in my own projects and products that I create. Abuse does this thing to you – it breaks trust. People who abused me told me things to make me believe things about myself or to make me do things that broke boundaries, and as a child I believed what they told me. What they told me, however, was designed to manipulate me and control me, so the horrible things they told me became truths, and the good things they told me were lies. I have had to fully realize that any time some one is communicating with me, my inner child is not trusting what they are saying. In fact, the voices of my childhood are often much louder and much more insistent that the voice of the present, and that means it sometimes drowns out the good I am hearing now.
I realized several years ago that this truth meant that any relationship I have ever had has been impacted by this – because when someone says they love me I am not fully able to hear that. Now, when someone says my work is lovely, again I am not fully able to hear it. I am working on this within myself, because I deserve to hear good things about myself and I deserve to believe good things about myself. And please, continue to provide feedback because it is important for me and for our community. And again, I know I am not alone so whenever you leave feedback you might be telling someone who really needs to hear that today. Feedback is so very important! If you are a Creative, you may feel similar ways as well. It can be hard to hear the good things about ourselves, or to trust the good things we are hearing about ourselves, because of our past trauma or depression. I strongly encourage you to reach out to professionals and to others who are understanding, to help in your journey.
I have also learned just how important it is in our community to raise each other up. There are designers and creatives here who pour their hearts into everything that we consume – the products we purchase, the Feeds we scroll, the videos we view. So I am committing to making a part of my work lifting others up however I am able. I welcome your feedback on ways to make that possible, and would love to hear from you in that regard. I also plan to open a Facebook group for Hybrid Project Lifers and hope you will join that and participate there. Thank you for being here, thank you for supporting me and for being part of our amazing community. Sending you creative vibes and energy wherever you are.