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Layout | AE Tough Story Kit

Hi there, today I am showing a layout I created using the Project Life App and Ali Edwards’ Tough Story Kit. This layout is another one about our trip to the beach, only this one allows space to document my son’s incident with a dog bite that happened several hours after we left the beach. Here is my process video:

This is the layout I created in the App, by bringing the Story Kit digital cards into Dropbox and then dropping them into place in the App:

AE Tough Story Kit

Here is the completed layout:

AE Tough Story Kit

I made a conscious decision in creating this layout: notice that while the overall layout is about a traumatic event, I have purposefully used bright and hopeful photos to document. I obviously did not take photos while we were at the ER that night. Some people do that, and that is ok, but I was just trying to get through.  So when I thought about what photos to use, and how I wanted to approach this layout, I decided that I really wanted to convey hope and strength. I thought about what I wanted my son to take from this experience – I wanted him to be assured that he is strong and tough and that he can make it through some awful days. I also wanted him to be reminded that even though moments are tough, the whole day was not tough. There were some beautiful moments in that day, and here is proof of that.

AE Tough Story Kit

I also love using this larger photo of him prior to the incident because it shows his sweet face and I have every hope that those scars will heal. I am so thankful that incident did not take his smile or his sweet cheeks. I think I am also holding onto this boy, who now has faced fear and stood it down, but who also now has a few marks from that.

AE Tough Story Kit

I really love this card but visually it might be a little bit overwhelming. I decided to just add a few of those plastic strips and some hearts. The adhesive shows through on those, but it really is ok. A little imperfection actually lends a rough feel to that card and is consistent with the purpose of this layout.

AE Tough Story Kit

I love the chipboard stickers that come with the Story Kits each month. These two layered on top of each perfectly.

AE Tough Story Kit

On the opposite side of the page I wanted to document the recovery in some way, so I wrote in a voice that is after a few days and I included a photo that was taken a few days later. It was important to me to document his recovery because I want us to be able, in a few months and years, to look back and say, “Wow, look how well your injuries healed. Look how awesome you look compared to right after.” 

AE Tough Story Kit

Just a little note about how I have used the Tough journaling cards on this layout: the physical Write This Moment card is actually 3×4 vertical. The Yes, This card is actually 4×6 horizontal. The Life in Progress card is 3×4 vertical. I have changed all of these from their original format and the reason I wanted to point that out is to encourage you, in the Project Life App, to try this with cards that you need to use in a different way. I admit it is harder to do this with Becky Higgins’ Editions because the App will tell you which cards belong in which areas, but when using the AE cards you have a little bit more flexibility with that.

AE Tough Story Kit

Those flair badges are so awesome – I chose three to use on this layout and used those to establish the visual triangle around the page. I also layered them on top of a 1″ silver rimmed office tag, which is such a classic Ali Edwards thing to do! Those plastic strips provide a great home base and a place to use the word strips.

AE Tough Story Kit

Now, I will admit that the digital elements will only go so far, and here you can see how I stretched the Strong word element further than it is designed to go. It is pixelated around the edges, as you can see, and this is part of the risk taking that comes with trying these elements in a different way. I used the Letterglow App to place these word elements on the photo, and some of them I lowered the opacity. I was trying to echo the perspective of the photo itself. Whether it works or not, I guess, is in the eye of the beholder, but my main point is to try and to not be afraid of how it will turn out. Nothing on this layout is perfect, but it tells a story about life that is very imperfect, so that in itself is consistent. Embrace that imperfection. 

I hope you enjoyed this beach series. We were only on the beach for a few hours, but so many stories came from that and I am thankful for the Project Life App, and thankful to Ali Edwards for the inspiring products and stories. I am also thankful to you, my dear readers and viewers, for following along with me on this journey. I hope you will be inspired to tell your stories too.

See you again tomorrow!

~Theresa

Design Time Episode 01 | Decorating With Banners

I am so excited to present to you a new series (I know, a lot of new series this year, right?!) that I have been wanting to create for a really long time. My design background goes way back – when I was in 8th grade I was creating floorplans and reading Architectural Digest. For undergraduate I received my degree in Interior Design, and then for 8 years I worked in the Design industry prior to having kids. So design and color and pattern and texture have been part of my existence for almost my whole life. One of the reasons I took up scrapbooking was to have a creative outlet when I stayed at home with my kids, and now papercrafting is moving into the interior design world through party products, banners, gift wrap, and event planning.

It is seriously like the best of both worlds for this design-loving chick. So I decided that after making the banner I showed yesterday, I would show you a quick, fun video of me putting it up so you could see how it turned out. Have a peek.

I know there wasn’t really much to see because the banner kind of went up really easily and quickly, but this is my first foray into being in front of the camera so no pressure. Let me show you a few detail photos so you can see how awesome this word banner turned out!

Design Time 01 Banners

I picked up this metal gate at a local vintage shop in High Point, called Vintage Thrift. I absolutely love having it up on the mantel because it is something less predictable than a mirror (yawn) and it affords opportunity like this, to dress up.

Design Time 01 Banners

I just adore all the layers this banner creates – the gold letters, the chipboard pieces and the colors, the fringe and just everything about it makes you go Oooh!

Design Time 01 Banners

This bouquet was my wedding bouquet, and it remains on my mantle every day. This was a custom paper bouquet purchased from an Etsy shop called MarryMeRosie, but sadly she is no longer in business. This piece remains one of my most cherished items from our wedding! The little sailor dude is from my Dad’s collection. He was a Navy veteran and loved the sea and everything that went with it. So the sailor remains on my mantle as a reminder of him.

Design Time 01 Banners

These two vases or candleholders are just from my personal collection purchased years ago. I love decorating with random items that I already have, and you will soon learn that I refresh my collection regularly by rearranging throughout the house at various times. I believe in using what we already have, sometimes adding a few treasures here and there when something catches our breath. Yes, the clear vase is filled with turqouise wired ribbon, and the amber vase is filled with a scented filler. Nothing complicated here, nothing busy or difficult.

Design Time 01 Banners

And just one final peek. Will you leave me a comment and let me know what you think about this new series.jpg” alt=” alt=”Design Time 01 Banners”/>”/>

December Daily 2015 Preparations and Studio Walk-Thru

Hi there! Hooray, it’s finally December! I have lots to show you today, so stay tuned. First up is my video I took of my studio space and how I’ve prepped my work area for December Daily. Take a peek!

 

Was that fun? I wish you could come play with me in my space, I love it so much. Here are a few still photos of my space. I know parts of the video were kind of blurry as I was fighting with the lighting. My studio space is located in the first room of the house when you walk in the front door. It was designed to be a flex or office space, but I claimed it as my own.

 

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

This is my primary workspace. I have three workspaces, but this one gets the most use because it is under the window and gives me the best light. I work on a table from IKEA and it is adjusted to the widest it will go. I love that it gives me space to film, and additional space on both sides for laptop, video equipment, and scrapbooking products.

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

These are all my December scrapbooking goodies that I have pulled and organized from kits I bought, and product I (hoarded) didn’t get to use in previous years.

DD 2015 Prep and Studio
DD 2015 Prep and Studio

 Part of my strategy for accomplishing all that I have set out for December is actually arranging my workspace and my calendar for success. A few days ago I cleared off my desk and every other project I am working on is now officially on hold. One of my most important tools is my planner. Now, I know that planners are a really fun and exciting trend and I would love to show you how adorned and embellished mine is. Well, it just looks like this:

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

One thing I decided to do was to use Ali Edwards’ log book that came as a freebie with her Main Kit, in my planner. Is anyone else doing this? This way I can write down stories as I think of them and since I use removeable adhesive they can even be moved around if I decide to use a story on a different date (it really is ok to admit that some of our layouts happen on a different day than where they happen to land in our albums!) I love that I have space to write about the story, and then space below to remind myself what photos to use to go with. I have several written out already, they just aren’t placed in the planner yet.

 

Alright, so I also wanted to show quickly my introduction/intentions page. In the past I have not created an intention page – I admit in past years I just went into these albums and seasons to have a great time with my family and make a great album. But this year I’ve been participating and working through Ali Edwards’ December Storytelling class (link will be below) and she has made a point to include an intentions page in her albums. I love this idea. The first few pages of my album included a transparency sheet (that got moved and will be seen in my December Day 01 video tomorrow!) and then a few introductory pages, like this:

DD 2015 Prep and Studio
DD 2015 Prep and Studio

 The Introductory page is still the same, no changes were made there. It simply includes the calendar and the year. One of the things I noticed in my previous years is that I am notoriously bad about noting which year the album is from, both on the outside cover and on the inside, so I hope to change that this year!

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

And this is my Intentions page.

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

Not very complicated, just my text here:

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

 

And on this side I added a little stamping and some additional wood pieces about our story.

DD 2015 Prep and Studio

 

I hope you are ready for a really fun month and please subscribe to get all the yummy December goodness that is coming! I’m so excited and happy you visited today and hope you will go, do, and create! See you soon!

~Theresa

**December Daily is the creative brainchild of Ali Edwards and is a process of documenting December memories within an album, one story per day, throughout the month of December. More about this project can be found, along with links to her products which have been used in this post,

Some of the products used in this post were purchased through Ali Edwards and were designed by Peppermint Granberg Jones with One Little Bird. Her kit can be found

Some products shown in this post are, sadly, no longer available, and are as follows: Dear Lizzy Fine&Dandy vellum, Allison Kreft for Webster’s Pages shaped clip, and Gossamer Blue wood veneer pieces.

This blog is supported by way of affiliate links through Amazon.com. Some of the products that are used in this post are available by clicking these links, and in doing so you can help support this blog. Thank you!

Halloween 2015 Hybrid Layout Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer Story Kit

Hi friends, and welcome back! I’m showing you a layout today from our Halloween night. Here’s the video, and then stay tuned for the rest of the story!

So for this layout I am starting to wind down my Project Life, and typically that means I stop taking photos every day in the months of October and November, and I create a Halloween layout and a gratitude or Thanksgiving layout and then I call my Project Life done.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

Because we have four kids, this actually worked out great to allow me to highlight each child in their own layout, but it didn’t take an inordinate amount of time to create.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

Because there were four, I decided to use one of the layouts Ali Edwards created in the class as my springboard. My layouts are very much like hers – it’s important to know that not every layout has to be a unique creative statement on how well you can design with photos. What I did, however, was change up the elements a bit in each layout, and I used different embellishments and patterned papers so that each layout has its own unique presence.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

The truly important part about each of these layouts is the journaling. Well, the photos are pretty important (and cute!) too, but I really took some time to think about each of my children before I sat down with my papers and embellishments. I took some time to process and think about how I support them and how I cheer them on.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

You see, our kiddos each have unique stories and individual circumstances in their lives that have presented some challenges for them. Two of our children lost their dear mother when they were just toddlers. Two of our children live part of the time with us and the other part of the time in another home with their dad. None of these circumstances are insurmountable, but it does mean that our children deal with things other children might not. I realized through this process that my job is extra important for them to know that they are loved and supported.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

While I was working on these layouts, at one point I had them all four laid out on the floor so I could print out photos and select the patterned papers. The journaling was already printed on the pages, and when the children came home from school that day, they each saw the layouts and stopped to read what I had written.

Halloween 2015 Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

I think it meant something to each of them, to read the words I had written. My hope, in all of the layouts I create, is that they will see themselves as special and important, but also that they will know that I see them each as special and important.

Halloween 2015 Layout Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

But something very unexpected happened, while the kids were reading the journaling and checking out their layouts. One of the children actually broke out in tears. Oh, they were happy tears, the sort of tears that let me know that something I wrote had hit on something for that child that they desperately needed. They all needed to know they are being cheered on, but this one especially needed that.

Halloween 2015 Layout Featuring Ali Edwards Cheer

And that is why I do this. That is why I take the photos, create the layouts, select the papers, agonize over design decisions and obsess over the embellishments. Because they need to know. 

To learn more about Ali Edwards’ Story subscription kits and to get to know Ali herself better, please visit her website here.

I am not affiliated with Ali Edwards, but I am a very happy customer who loves to use her products and has long been inspired by her creative endeavors. I am however, affiliated with Amazon.com, and here are links to other products I have used in this layout. Any purchases you make by clicking on these links will help support this site, so I thank you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a peak at my process for creating this hybrid layout! This will probably be my last non-holiday related post for the rest of the year. In the month of December I plan to post my daily layouts in my December Daily album, and also plan to post my process videos about every three days. I am so excited and I hope you will follow along with me!

Happy creating! See you soon!

~Theresa