#The100DayProject | 100 Stories in 100 Days - Sparking creativity across the globe!

There's a challenge going around in the creative community right now called the 100 Day Project.  It is essentially a self-driven challenge to do something creative for 100 days in a row. You can read more about the initial project here.

I love the concept and it's been a huge topic of discussion in the Scrap Gals Community on Facebook for a week or so.  I decided to join in and I even have established an accountability partner, Tara! 

When I originally heard about the project, I knew that if I wanted to do something as grand as a 100 day challenge, that I needed to set realistic goals and choose something that would fit within my schedule.  Recently, I've been working through some old family photos and wishing I had more time to tell certain stories that these photos have sparked in my memory.  As a result, I knew that a 100 day challenge geared towards telling those stories would be a really great way to get some of those things documented.  

So when I saw this post by Lea of Scrap and Plan, I immediately jumped over to her blog and read about what she was going to be doing for the 100 day project and loved her hashtag. Several others will also be joining in under her hashtag so be sure to follow us all on social media under the hashtag #100days100stories. 

My 100 Day Challenge:

I chose 100 photos and for the next 100 days, I'll journal one story for each photo. I plan to do this using Google Docs, simply because my journaling will be automatically saved and I can also do this from any device such as my iPhone or iPad if I'm on the go. 

If time allows, I may create simple, digital scrapbook pages and share them here on my blog as well. Otherwise, I'll be sharing primarily on Instagram so be sure to follow me there!

I'm in! Are you?

Using Digital Stamps for Hybrid and Digital Scrapbook Pages PLUS, New Releases from Kellie Stamps!

GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?  It's RELEASE DAY over at Kellie Stamps! Kellie has two really awesome new stamp sets available in both digital and acrylic!  They are called Nuts About Food and Today Was...  

Both sets are soooooooo versatile and so incredible! I'm in love with them.  Below are my two projects using the digital stamp versions. 

My first project for the Kellie Stamps creative team was this one, creating a 6x8 hybrid scrapbook page.  I first arranged my digital stamps and journaling on a 6x8 mat in Photoshop Elements, then printed that page off on my home printer.  Next, I layered some colorful paper, a photo and embellishments on top, then punched my holes and voila! 

8.5x11 Digital Scrapbook Page created by Mandy Elliott of Turquoise Avenue using the new Today Was digital stamp collection from Kellie Stamps!

My second project is much simpler. I created a 8.5x11 digital scrapbook page using recent images, a digital paper and template from Paislee Press then used the REAL LIFE digital stamp from Kellie's new release as the title for this page. I'm so excited to do create more pages like this because at the end of the year I plan to print all these pages together in one simple, easy to read photobook! 

Have you ever used digital stamps before? If so, what do you love about them?  If not, what has held you back?  I'd love to share or answer any questions you might have about using digital stamps in your projects! 

 

 

 

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!

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...

 

 

 
 

The Gratitude Project | A DIY Minibook/Journal Documenting Thankfulness in November (Part II)

I can't believe how fast November has flown by!  I have some pretty big changes coming up at my "day job" and my hubby has been working a ton of overtime. As a result, our days and the couple of hours we've had had together in the evenings have really come and gone in the blink of an eye.

Life has a way of doing that. 

Which makes me ever so grateful I took the time to prep and create this gratitude project.  Taking the time to slow down and focus on all the good that has happened in the midst of a busy and stressful year has been good for my soul.

Last week, I had one evening set aside to spend time crafting with a close friend. That allowed me some extra time to work on my gratitude notebook.

Below are the pages I've completed and sources to the products used are noted.  You can see the start and first few pages of my notebook here.

 

 Circle element from  Turning Leaves  collection by One Little Bird

Circle element from Turning Leaves collection by One Little Bird

MJP_6689.jpg
 Give Thanks banner from the  Friendsgiving collection  by Paislee Press. Mini Flair from Feed Your Craft.

Give Thanks banner from the Friendsgiving collection by Paislee Press. Mini Flair from Feed Your Craft.

I plan to wrap up what is left of this project over the holiday weekend.  I also hope to film a flip through for my YouTube channel after it's complete, so I do hope you'll stay tuned for more!

Next up, I'll begin preparing for my December album, which I am already so excited about! I'm planning a hybrid album with a mix of pocket pages and 6x8 pages, contained in one three ring binder. I can't wait to share more about it really soon! In the meantime, you can read more about my December album from last year, here.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! Hugs!

 

The Gratitude Project | A DIY Minibook/Journal Documenting Thankfulness in November

I love the concept of documenting a daily gratitude during the month of November. There are so many things to be thankful for each day... I thought about this a lot when my friend Elise from Feed Your Craft announced her #mythankful30 project last year.  She shared a list of prompts and I tried to document something each day that I was thankful for.  However, the project quickly became too big for me to keep up with and I fell off the bandwagon after only 14 days.  Of course, I was still able to find something I was thankful for each day as the month went on, but I just couldn't find the time to document it with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season plus December Daily taking over.

So this year, when I began to consider how I wanted to document my gratitude, I really wanted to create as much of my project ahead of time to allow myself space to finish the project this time around.  

I decided first to document the things that popped into my mind immediately.  I began a Google doc and just started typing. Before long, I had a list of sixteen things I was grateful for, each with their own little paragraph.  I smiled. That was a start!

Instead of documenting something each day, I decided to take the pressure off myself and use what I had already typed as a basis for my project. That way, when I wanted to fill gaps, I could refer to Elise's prompt list as inspiration. 

I began printing my list of gratitudes on my home printer on heavy weight card stock. I then folded them in half and scored down the center.  I layered my pages and used a kraft paper card stock for the cover.  I used my brand new Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut a leaf in the bottom corner. 

The Gratitude Project | A DIY Minibook Documenting Thankfulness in November
 Products shown include the  Cozy collection  from Paislee Press

Products shown include the Cozy collection from Paislee Press

Already, I loved how the project was taking shape. 

Next, I began looking through my stash to select various washi tapes, stickers and embellishments that had an autumnal feel. After that, I selected some of my favorite digital collections from One Little Bird, Paislee Press and Sahlin Studio to print and cut from.

So far, I've found three evenings after work to create simple little pages in my mini book.  I'm enjoying the project immensely this time around and I don't feel bad if I've skipped a day (or three!).  I'm using my Instax Printer to print photos here and there, like this one, from Nov. 8th when my husband and I went to vote. 

 4x6 quote card from We R Memory Keepers and tiny acrylic stars from Color Cast Designs

4x6 quote card from We R Memory Keepers and tiny acrylic stars from Color Cast Designs

 Products shown include the  Turning Leaves  collection from One Little Bird

Products shown include the Turning Leaves collection from One Little Bird

 Products show include the  Friendsgiving collection  from Paislee Press, wood veneer from Felicity Jane. 

Products show include the Friendsgiving collection from Paislee Press, wood veneer from Felicity Jane. 

I can't wait to find more time to work on this little book. For the first time ever, I'm actually loving the feel of a book that isn't page protected.  (see my failed DIY #LittleSummerJoy traveler's notebook).  

What are your thoughts?  I'd love to hear from you and feel free to include a link to your own November projects in the comments! 

Products Used:  White Heavyweight Cardstock from Hobby Lobby | Kraft Cardstock from Hobby Lobby | Various journal cards from Project Life and We R Memory Keepers | Digital elements from Paislee Press and One Little Bird. 

 

 

Digital Prayer Journal Cards Now in the Shop plus a FREE Printable Scripture Card

This year, I opted not to choose a "One Little Word".  Every time, I tried to think about a word for me, I kept coming back to a feeling I wanted for this new year.  The feeling I wanted to create was one of calm, quiet, focus, and deep personal convictions.  As I thought more about it, I felt God calling me to a sense of time with Him, in prayer, looking for guidance and strength. 

Note: Some of the following links are affiliate links, which means we receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

Christian, Digital Prayer Journal Cards plus a FREE Printable Scripture Card via Turquoise Avenue blog.

Recently, a good friend of mine suggested I start, and keep, a prayer journal.  I found the idea really intriguing and while I've kept journals all my life, I'd never kept a prayer journal surprisingly. I was anxious to start, but waited a few months to think through the process of how I wanted to keep the journal.  I have decided to keep it private for obvious reasons so I'll only be sharing a little bit here today.

This isn't something I'm sharing to boost my pride, but rather something I thought you may be able to benefit from.  I don't take my time with God lightly and I don't desire to promote it.  My prayer time is personal, private and where I find my daily encouragement when times get tough.  Because of my prayer time, I can find positive things that help me remain cheerful, optimistic, and in tune with my surrounding and circumstances. I love that about my personal relationship with God.  I love the grace and mercy I find there, in addition to the solace and love I receive from Him.

Christian, Digital Prayer Journal Cards plus a FREE Printable Scripture Card via Turquoise Avenue blog.
Christian, Digital Prayer Journal Cards plus a FREE Printable Scripture Card via Turquoise Avenue blog.
Fashion Journal, Brown Vines by Artists Loft

So without further ado, I thought I would share a little bit about my prayer journal.  It is a simple lined notebook I picked up at my local Michael's Craft Store.  I then divided it into sections, beginning with delight so I can jot down the daily joys I'm thankful for.  Next, I created a space to pray for my husband and our marriage.  After God, my spouse is the second most important thing to me and I desire to have a strong, Christ centered marriage that outlasts the test of time.  Third came sections for family and friends, then a section for me to write specific prayers for myself.  Last, I dedicated the rest of the book for answered prayers, praises, and notes.   I printed these sections out on clear vellum and then adhered them to the pages with washi tape. 

Christian, Digital Prayer Journal Cards plus a FREE Printable Scripture Card via Turquoise Avenue blog.
Turquoise Avenue Prayer Journal Cards - set of six digital cards to print.

I have recently added this set of journal cards to my shop so you too can enjoy them.  In addition, I wanted to offer one of my favorite scriptures (paraphrased) as a FREE PRINTABLE that you can download as encouragement in your own walk with the Lord.

I thank you for taking the time to read this today and please, feel free to share any prayer requests that you may have as I am more than happy to pray for you also, my dear friends and readers! Much love!


DOWNLOAD A FREE PRINTABLE:

Click the image on the left below to download the free, printable Scripture card pictured on the right.