A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (ANOTHER ONE!), SNEAK PEEKS AND A NEW CLASS!

You guys.  Adoption is crazy, hard work!  While everyone is talking about Valentine's Day and discussing the latest political news, I'm over here up to my eyeballs in research, paperwork, discussions with the hubs, baby registries, and more.  Seriously, my brain feels like a bowl of melted ice cream some days. lol. But I know it will be so worth it in the end. 

In the meantime, I have some REALLY BIG NEWS for you all (I mean, besides my baby news). 

I'm going to be teaching with Big Picture Classes again! Yes! I'm so excited. My newest class will premier in April 2017 so right now, I'm working behind the scenes to create twelve(!) really awesome lessons for you.   Please stay tuned on that, I'll be sharing more about it at the end of the month in my newsletter.  If you're not already signed up to receive my newsletter, you can sign up here. 

Lastly, I wanted to share three sneak peeks of some fun projects I've put together using the newest releases from One Little Bird and Paislee Press (links below).  P.S.  I'll be sharing the full pages in my BPC class and on Instagram in April. 

One Little Bird Designs | All Things Considered

One Little Bird Designs | All Things Considered

Paislee Press | A Love Story

Paislee Press | A Love Story

 

As Seen in the 2016 Winter Edition of SCT Magazine | 9x12 Pocket Page Spread featuring designs by One Little Bird PLUS SOME LAST MINUTE VALENTINES IDEAS!

Hi everyone!  Just a quick update today, sharing a Valentine's 9x12 pocket page layout I created with the Crazy For You collection from One Little Bird Designs.  This layout was featured in the 2016 Winter Edition of Scrapbook and Cards Today magazine!  

I just love Peppermint's fun designs and seriously, those cute little foxes had me giving #allthehearteyes! 

Feature in Scrapbook and Cards Today Winter 2016 Issue | Adorable Valentine's Day 9x12 Pocket Page Layout - created by Mandy of Turquoise Avenue, featuring designs by One Little Bird.
Feature in Scrapbook and Cards Today Winter 2016 Issue | Adorable Valentine's Day 9x12 Pocket Page Layout - created by Mandy of Turquoise Avenue, featuring designs by One Little Bird.
Feature in Scrapbook and Cards Today Winter 2016 Issue | Adorable Valentine's Day 9x12 Pocket Page Layout - created by Mandy of Turquoise Avenue, featuring designs by One Little Bird.
Feature in Scrapbook and Cards Today Winter 2016 Issue | Adorable Valentine's Day 9x12 Pocket Page Layout - created by Mandy of Turquoise Avenue, featuring designs by One Little Bird.

 

 

GUESS WHAT?! WE ARE ADOPTING!

Just in case you missed our epic announcement on social media...

For many of you, you've been following our story of trying to start a family for well over two years now.  So many of you beautiful souls have reached out to us, me especially, with messages of love and support after our miscarriage last year.  We are now so excited to share our adoption journey as we prepare our hearts and home to welcome the sweet little baby God is preparing for us! 

 

Create a Digital Scrapbook Page in Under 30 Minutes! | Featuring the Oh Happy Day Collection from Paislee Press

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are enjoying the month of February!  I haven't had a whole lot of extra time lately to update here, but I promise, I have a good reason!

Digital Scrapbook Page by Mandy of Turquoise Avenue using the Oh Happy Day Collection from Paislee Press

Today, I wanted to share a page I made in under 30 minutes using the new Oh Happy Day collection from Paislee Press   and Photoshop Elements 15.  I simply opened my favorite template from this template set, dropped in my photos and elements, added some text and done! I printed this off on 8.5x11 paper and have slipped it into my 2016 9x12 album. 

I love a quick page, don't you?!   (Plus, I'm giving myself credit for catching up even more of my 2016 album. lol)

What have you been working on lately?

 

Modern Memory Keeping | Using 6x8 Minimalist Template from Paislee Press as a 9x12 Pocket Page Overlay

Hey everyone! 

I just had to share this page super quick.  I'm still catching up in my 2016 album and had one particular day where my family and I went exploring in the National Park. We took a ton of photos with our GoPro that day so I had a photo-heavy layout. I wanted to keep everything condensed to one page and realized I had no where to journal! 

I decided to choose my favorite photo of the day, a photo of all four us, and used this template from Paislee Press to highlight the story in a 6x8 overlay for the photo-heavy 9x12 page.  Seriously, you guys... Minimalism at it's best!

Why haven't I done this before???  

I'm obsessed. I'll definitely be returning to this technique soon!

Modern Memory Keeping | Using 6x8 Minimalist Template from Paislee Press as a 9x12 Pocket Page Overlay

What do you think?

How do you work in journaling or stories when you have spreads with so many photos?

 

Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press

Happy Monday friends!  While I may not have started working on my 2017 Annual Pocket Page Album, I have created a few spreads in my 6x8 personal album.  I really love this size, it's just so fun to work with and I don't feel like I need a large group of photos or stories to work with.  

Recently, Liz over Paislee Press released the cutest edition of digital designs called Positive Vibes. I fell in love the with color palette first and then with the phrases the kit offers.  You've got to go check out! 

Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press
Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press
Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press

Oh, and if you're interested in learning more about my personal album, stay tuned because in April of 2017 I'll be teaching a class over at Big Picture Classes all about documenting YOURSELF with some really awesome prompts and tips.  (check out my other BPC Class here)

Want to stay in the loop for more details on my upcoming class?

Sign up for my newsletter here. 

Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs! #Ad

Hi Friends, I'm here today to share some really exciting news with you! 

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Shop Blurb Online

Blurb, my favorite book maker, has a really awesome new feature that will allow you as a blogger or memory keeper to turn your online content into a book!  

Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs!

The new BookWright tool from Blurb pulls texts and images directly from blog builders like Blogger, Wordpress or Squarespace, just to name a few. You will have control over the conversion of the blog pages into your print products with BookWright's assistance.  

How cool is that?  I can see this being a really useful tool if you blog photos and short, personal stories - think of the memory keeping albums you could create! Or, perhaps if you are a food blogger and share lots recipes you'd like to bind into a book?  Or... What if you post a bunch of tutorials and want to turn those into a book for passive income?!  The possibilities are endless!

Take a look at this book I created with Blurb, showcasing my photography business and a look at what my webpages looked like on the website I had used for many years. 

Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs!
Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs!
Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs!
Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs!
Turn Your Blog Into A Book! How to Gain an Income from Your Online Content - Perfect for Memory Keepers, Bloggers and Entrepreneurs!

9x12 Summertime Pocket Page featuring Looks Like Summer Digital Stamps by Kellie Stamps

Raise your hand if you're still playing catch up on your 2016 album!  

(shamelessly raises my own hand)

Don't feel bad. If you're still catching up on your album, that just means you were having too much fun MAKING memories instead of documenting them. Let me share this and make you feel even better about being a little bit behind - I haven't even started on my 2017 album!  And I'm ok with that! 

Instead of feeling the pressure to "keep current" and take lots of photos, I'm finding myself enjoying a relaxed month, catching up on last year's projects, dreaming about the year ahead and working on other things. Today, however, I'm here to share my first project as a new creative team member for Kellie Stamps!

Kellie Stamps Creative Team Members for 2017

I had the pleasure of working with Kellie and her physical stamp sets back in 2015.  Well, last year she began offering digital stamp sets and I was in love... As a hybrid memory keeper, I love using digital stamps to make my own journal cards, which is exactly what I have done here with the new Looks Like Summer collection that Kellie just released.  

9x12 Summertime Pocket Page featuring Looks Like Summer Digital Stamps by Kellie Stamps

Since it is summertime in Australia, were Kellie is based out of, they're enjoying warm sunshine while I'm here watching it rain in January.  I grabbed these photos from last summer and created a page worthy of summer fun for this layout as I work on catching up in last year's album. 

9x12 Summertime Pocket Page featuring Looks Like Summer Digital Stamps by Kellie Stamps
9x12 Summertime Pocket Page featuring Looks Like Summer Digital Stamps by Kellie Stamps

In my top photo, I used two separate digital stamps from the Looks Like Summer collection to create my own phrase to accompany our kayaking photos.  In addition, I paired it with two printed cards from One Little Bird's Soleil collection and topped my layout with a cute wood veneer from Color Cast Designs and some string. I just love how the page turned out! 

Stay tuned because I'll be sharing another page I created digitally using more of Kellie's digital stamps just released in January.  Be sure to grab her sets now, I promise you'll love them! 

 

Musings from a Memory Keeper | Thoughts behind my 2017 Memory Keeping Goals

With the fresh start of a new year, I established a rough outline of how I wanted to document the new year, but I never really established how I could carry that plan out, what I would document or even why I was documenting.  This bothered me because I'm the type of person who likes my plans laid out before I begin a project, with an end result in mind.  I was lacking the clear cut process...

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Grab these new Paislee Press templates here.  In addition, enjoy the Bright Ideas collection here.

Grab these new Paislee Press templates here.  In addition, enjoy the Bright Ideas collection here.

I wish I could share a detailed step by step process of how I've come to a final conclusion, but really it's just been all these thoughts running around in my head and a ton of soul searching. In addition, I did take some time to go back review and flip through the projects I've done over the years - journals, annual pocket page albums, travelers notebooks, mini albums and photobooks.  

Five things stood out to me:

1.| The projects that I loved the most were printed photobooks. My photobooks visually appealed to me and incited joy.  They're so gorgeous. I love how they look when arranged on my shelf. I enjoy the mix of text and pictures and the coordinated feel of a finished product. I also felt there was more a focus on the stories with the simple, consolidated concept of a book. Blurb is one of my favorite places to print from.

2.| My journals really tugged at my heart strings.  I found a certain pride that I was able to digitally journal on a regular basis last year using Google Docs. That is the first full year I've keep a journal since I was in high school and it felt so good. I plan to print my journal through this company

3.| There was an over abundance of photos in my pocket page albums.  Don't get me wrong, I love that my albums are bursting at the seams... I don't not plan to take less photos, I just plan to take photos that tell better stories. I could easily have cut down some bulk by choosing key photos and telling stories with words instead of extra photos.   All those extras will be stored digitally. (Note:  Since I print through a lab, I also reviewed just how many EXTRA photos I had printed that never made it into albums because they were too similar or not the right "tone" to match my other photos.)  

4.| My style has evolved over the years. Obviously, that is so typical of anyone immersed in this creative community. We see things we like created by others that influence our style or we jump on a proverbial band wagon and adopt a new trend.  I feel like I've tried it all... And I don't necessarily love it all (for ex. traditional scrapbook pages or 12x12 pocket page spreads). I'm glad to have finally found what I like best and totally plan to stick with those tings for my main projects. I'll still try new things, just on a smaller scale.

5.| An annual video project was very gratifying.  On New Year's Eve, hubby and I stayed home, curled up in a blanket on the couch and watched nearly three hours of our annual video from 2016.  It brought us so much joy to experience the movement, sounds, sights and people of our year all over again. I promise, we laughed and we cried. 

With finally sitting down and thinking through the changes in the ways I've documented over the years and what really fits my personality, my schedule and my style - I've decided for 2017,  I'll be more intentional about what I photos I take and what photos I print.  I will take lots of videos and capture the sights, sounds and people in our lives. I will put our everyday photos in pocket pages but be careful not to overdo it. I will tell more stories. I will put my photography into photobooks to be displayed. I will create with the end result in mind.  I will focus on collections of stories. I will consolidate, simplify and spend more time making memories than documenting them. I will push my creativity in ways I haven't before by limiting myself. I will save more money by buying less product. I will create projects with depth and meaning. I will enjoy every moment of it. 

What are your thoughts for the year ahead? Is there anything new you'd like to focus on or try? What about how you can do things differently from before?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...

 

 

 
 

New Year, New Feels, Same Dreams... | Around Here Update and 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring One Little Bird Designs

Whoa January, slow down!

If you're like me, you're still feeling excited about the new year but wondering where this month has gone. I can't believe we are already 3/4 of the way through January! 

6x8 pocket page by Mandy Elliott of Turquoise Avenue, featuring This Year, designs by Peppermint Granberg of One Little Bird Designs.

Recently, I shared my 2017 memory keeping goals.  I was excited about them when I wrote them out and I still am. However, time has really gotten away from me.  There's been a variety of things happening here personally, work related and creatively so I'm going to do a quick recap and share some things that are in the works.

Personal Happenings:

  • I began working from home! I love my new relaxed dress code and enjoy having Addie nearby
  • Hubby and I are working on a TOP SECRET project we hope to share really soon. 
  • Cleaning out #alltheclosets and prepping for a garage sale and scrapbook destash instasale! (purging feels so good)
  • Set a goal to read 20 books!  See what I'm reading on GoodReads.com
  • Began waking up earlier (Hello 6AM!) to tackle house and creative projects before work.
  • Went to the eye doctor for a long overdue eye exam and ordered new glasses and contacts.

Creative Happenings:

With everything that's been going on, I've barely taken any photos for the new year. At this point, I'm ok with that.  I haven't yet started on my 2017 9x12 pocket page album and I'm ok with that too.  This year I decided instead of forcing myself to create, I will allow myself grace to work as the inspiration hits and as my schedule permits. Right now, I'm just happy to be staying on top of my creative team projects, keeping my house clean and finding time to dive into a great book or spend time with family.

I can't wait to share more here... I'm not setting any definite blogging goals but I do hope to share here a bit more often than I have been. In addition, I hope to be bringing you some new products, a relatively more frequent newsletter and some awesome projects/tutorials. 

6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring the new This Year collection from One Little Bird Designs and wood tag from Elle's Studio. 

6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring the new This Year collection from One Little Bird Designs and wood tag from Elle's Studio. 

I'd love to hear from you friends!  What are you up to this month? How are things going for you in the new year? Let's catch up in the comments below...