February was a pretty big month so I had 3 spreads. 

Feb 1 Feb 2

Spread 1:

The month started off with a weekend in Exeter visiting family  so that’s what spread one is about. It’s made up of black, white and a kind of turquoise.I used a turquoise Sharpie pen for the handwriting. 

Project Life Kit: Favorite Things (core kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

  • The black ones used for ‘February’, ‘Orla & Oscar’ and ‘cream tea’ are ‘Ali’ Thickers designed exclusively for Studio Calico.
  • The small light blue stickers used for ‘The Darwents’ are Ocean Melody by Webster’s Pages.

Embellishment Stickers: 

  • The black love-heart outline sticker is Amy Tangerine for Thickers. I think but I’m not 100% that is part of her Plus 1 range.
  • I’m unsure where the arrow sticker is from.

Pocket Pages: I used Design F for the left and Design G for the right.

 

Feb 3

Spread 2:

The left side of spread two is from a trip to London with my mam and brother for a match. The right side of this spread are a few random snapshots from the month. I almost always go for white but this kit has a cream base. It’s great for a change but I normally prefer the crispness of white.

Project Life Kit: Azure (core kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

  • The grey ones used for ‘LFC V MCFC’  are Project Life stickers.
  • The red ones used for ‘More of February’ are Sn@p Studios by Simple Stories.

Stamps: 

  • I’m unsure where the paw print stamps are from but they’re rubber stamps that are used with an acrylic block.
  • The ink is Dovecraft pigment ink pad in jet black. 

Pocket Pages: I used Design G for the left and Design R for the right.
Feb 5 Feb 6

Spread 3:

Spread three for February is a mixtures of snapshots from the month as well as a mixtures of kits.

Project Life Kit: The left page has a 6×4 card from the Confetti core kit with some words about documenting on it. it also includes a 6×4 grey and white striped card from the Midnight core kit.

The right page has a 6×4 polka dot card from the Midnight kit, a 6×4 lined card with a love-heart from the Plus 1 mini kit, a 3×4 quote card about cherishing the little things from Becky’s Quotes themed cards and a fold-able 6×4 card from the Seafoam kit with ‘date’ and ‘story’ on it. Instead of folding it, I cut it in half and used a corner cutter to round the new edges.

Alpha Stickers: The black stickers used for ‘Still February’ are ‘Hard Cover’ Thickers.

Stickers: The quote sticker on the striped 6×4 card is from K & Company.

Pocket Pages: I used Design R for the left and Design A for the right.

April

Reading… ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ by Lena Dunham. I’m not enjoying it as much as I’d hoped which means I’m reading less and falling behind on The Big Book Challenge.

Watching… I’ve just finished watching Chicago P.D. and now I’m starting Chicago Fire. I like the idea that there’s a few TV shows happening in conjunction with each other. Lovin’ the crossovers.

Listening to… George Ezra ‘Wanted on Voyage’. It’s bringing back all the feels of me bopping away on my own (with lots of strangers) to him at Electric Picnic last year.

Pinning…Project Life layout inspiration.

Drinking… Less Diet Coke as of this week. 2 can per day is my lot but I’m not feeling too optimistic about weekends.

Scrapping…February & March’s Project Life spreads. Pictures are printed and I’m working on completing the spreads now. It feels good to be up almost to date.

Enjoying… The longer, brighter days now that the clocks have changed.

Cooking…Using the new Slow Cooker. We’ve had some lovely pork chops and chicken curry so far. I’m looking forward to trying something more sweet next.

Purging… Kitchenware and baking materials. The last month has seen a big attic and food press clear out.

Planning…My meals a week in advance to try and get back on track with my weight loss plan.

Looking forward to…pay day! Feeling kinda broke and that seems to be a regular thing these days.

 

 

 

 

January 1January 2

After a crazy December and Christmas, January was thankfully a little quieter. so I only needed one spread for this month. Deciding to do monthly spreads last year was the best plan I could have had, it’s a lot more do-able and means I only need to work on my albums once a month instead of every week. I still hate my handwriting but I think I’ll be glad I included it in years to come because it’s a more personal touch. As usual my spread is mostly photograph based.

Project Life Kit: Dreamy (core kit)

Alpha Stickers: 

  • The grey ones used for ‘memories’ and ‘bath time’ are Project Life stickers.
  • I’m not sure what the multi-coloured ‘bed head’ stickers are. I have them a long time and there’s no label.
  • The bluey-green stickers are Jillibean Soup.

Embellishment: The wooden arrow embellishment is from the Project Life ‘Note to Self’ value kit.

Pocket Pages: I used Design A for the left and Design F for the right.

 

Project Life dividers and pocket protectors

Last week’s post focused on how I take my photographs and organise them as the month goes along, you can see that here if you missed it. This week I’m focusing on choosing photographs, choosing pocket pages and editing and sizing the photographs for printing.

I use a variety of pocket pages including design A, D, F, G and K. You can check them out on Becky’s site here. I find that I mostly use A and D and I almost always run out of design D most regularly.

I look through the folders I’ve already created on my phone for photographs and check how many portraits and landscapes I have. This gives me an idea of which pocket pages I want to use. I then start deleting any photographs I don’t want to include. I almost always have a lot more portraits because I take most photographs on my phone and portraits come more natural. It’s rare my spreads would have back to back of the same pocket pages, I typically use one A and one D. 

I mostly use a free app called InstaEditor to edit my photographs. You can do lots of different things with the app but I use it to Enhance the photos (Hi-Def and Portrait are my favourites) Sharpen them, Adjust the brightness and contrast, Crop them and Blur out any distractions or unwanted backgrounds.

InstaEditor

InstaEditor

I use another free app called Pic Collage for sizing my photographs to print. When I’ve edited my photographs, I decide which ones I want to print 6×4, 4×3 and 4×4. The 6×4 photographs are ready to go and don’t need any more work. Pic Collage allows me to ‘stitch’ two photographs together in order to print them as 6×4. If I want to print 4×4 then I can change the template in the app to add a 4×4 photograph to a 6×4 and 2×4 template. I leave the 2×4 section blank. Pic Collage adds a watermark to the bottom of your template but for €1.99 you can permanently remove it.

4x4 photograph on Pic Collage Two 3x4 photographs on Pic Collage

Now my photographs are ready to print. It’s easy and can all be done on my phone.

How do you edit your photographs before printing?

Mac

Hands up who hates cleaning their make-up brushes? Hands up who doesn’t do it as often as they should? I know the reasons I hate doing it are that it’s time-consuming, seems to damage my expensive brushes and if I’m being completely honest I don’t really suffer from skin break-outs which would be a big motivation to clean them. I also think people get caught up in the whole which product do I use for which brushes and it puts them off. I’ve tried some products that were way too harsh on my brushes and damaged them within a couple of washes. 

I keep it very simple and use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and a silicon facial cleansing pad from Penneys (Primark). It’s a simple and cheap method and works really well. The shampoo is really gentle on your brushes and the cleansing pad is soft so cleans without damaging.

cleaning products

  1. Start off by running your brush under warm water.
  2. Add Johnson’s Baby Shampoo to the cleansing pad.
  3. Swirl brushes like the Mac 187 foundation brush above and other round shaped brushes on the pad and wipe flatter brushes from side to side so as not to damage the shape.
  4. Keep swirling or wiping until the shampoo foam turns white and has no residual product in it (foundation, eye shadow etc.) You may need to add some more shampoo for bigger brushes.
  5. Rinse the brush under warm water again to remove any shampoo.
  6. Gently squeeze any water out of the brush using a towel.
  7. Make sure the brush is reshaped in it’s original shape.
  8.  If it’s a flat brush, lie it on a flat surface. If it’s a round brush lie it on the edge of a flat surface so as not to create a flat shape on one side.

I’m definitely not an expert but I try to do it every couple of weeks. Realistically if I get it done once a month I’m happy enough. If you have oily skin or are prone to break-outs you should wash them more regularly. 

Do you have an cheap and cheerful beauty tips?

OLW #5

Jana Kingsford www.MumsJugglingAct.com (pinned by www.naturallysassy.co.uk)

This month I’m asking myself questions to keep me focused on my One Little Word for 2016. All along I’ve been wondering how I can find balance, like it’s something I’m going to stumble upon. So when I saw this quote on Pinterest, it got me thinking that balance is something I need to create. The first question I’m asking myself this month is ‘how can I create balance in my life?’

How do you create balance in your life?

I take 99% of my Project Life photographs using my phone. I have an iPhone 6 Plus and have had an iPhone for my last three phones too. I’m an Apple fan when it comes to phones and part of the reason for that is because I think the camera is really good and it seems to improve with each new model. The other 1% of my photographs are taken using my Canon EOS 600D. I go through periods of using the camera more but I find organising, editing and printing from my phone easier so I tend to use that a lot more.

At any given time I have way too many photographs on my phone so it’s important for me to organise them weekly if I can. The iPhone displays photos in two different ways. The first is in albums and when you take a picture it automatically goes into your ‘Camera Roll’ album at the top. The second is just individual photos which are date stamped (Today, Yesterday, Monday, 22nd March etc.) and also location stamped.

Photos

Photo layout including date (‘Today’) stamp.

Albums

Album layout

 

I create an album for the current month (e.g. April Photos) and every week, I go back through the date stamps and add every photo from that week to the album for that month. At the end of the month, I separate the photos into three more albums (April Portraits, April Landscapes and April Square).

How do you take, organise and store your Project Life photos?

Check back in next week for information on choosing and editing my photos.

 

I took part in Ali Edward’s ‘Day in the Life’ for the first time this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it on March 29th with everyone else so I did it on April 1st instead. I’m planning on incorporating the photos from the day into my Project Life album but I’m not sure how yet. I wanted to share all of my pictures here so other people can see what a day in my life looks like. As I was off work for the Easter holidays my day was spent at home which meant a lot more natural light than my work days would have. I used my iPhone 6 Plus to take all of my pictures. Next time I hope to have prepared a little better and take pictures of me using a timer rather than just selfies. I took all of my pictures using the Snapchat app so that I could save them and then add the time stamp to them and save them again. This meant I could move about my day a little quicker without having to pay too much attention to keeping a record of the times for each photo.

So here’s my day:

09.04am

09.04am | Messy bed // No work today as I’m still on Easter holidays from work // I was up until 3am last night so 9am isn’t bad.

09.15am

09.15am | Snuggles with Chief (for a little too long) // I like to do this on days that I’m not in work because I don’t have time on work days. He loves an ear rub // Lady was busy out the back garden barking at the neighbour’s cats.

09.52am

09.52am | Breakfast time // Soaked porridge with 0% fat Greek yoghurt and berries // I also took this time to scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds.

 

10.33am

10.33am | Brushing my teeth // Pyjamas and slippers // I have to use a soft toothbrush because my gums bleed very easily.

10.45am

10.45am | Pain Killers // My back is not as good as I thought it was so some paracetamol will help with the pain // Hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow 

11.01am

11.01am | Organising my craft room // It’s a slow process but I’m getting an hour or two in each day while I’m off work // Trying to purge a lot of craft supplies // I’m also checking back over my files to see if I can minimise what I need to keep.

11.18am

11.18am | Purging & organising stickers // relocating my stickers from one of my Ikea Alex units to one of my Raskog carts with my Project Life kits // I find I forget to use them because they’re not kept with my kits. Hopefully this will remind me to use them more.

11.44am

11.44am | Purge complete, still organising // It’s taking a little bit longer than I thought.

12.37pm

12.37pm | Stickers on the bottom shelf of my two Raskog carts under my Project Life kits // I organised my Project Life kits alphabetically yesterday and added labels using my Brother label printer and black card // the black sack is for recycling.1.26pm

01.26pm | Time to put my make-up on and get dressed // Yes, I’m aware it’s the middle of the day but what’s the rush when you don’t have to leave the house.

1.51pm

01.51pm | OOTD // All black, everything.

2.13pm

02.13pm | Time to leave the house.

2.37pm

02.37pm | Lunch and a chat with my friend Jade // In a pub in the village I live in // Cajun Chicken on Ciabatta.

3.32pm

03.32pm | Hood is up because it’s raining // Irish weather is unpredictable // The sun was splitting the sky yesterday.

3.49pm

03.49pm | Food shopping // picking up some food for lunches and dinners over the weekend // I also got some flowers to brighten this rainy day.

4.04pm

04.04pm | Came home too these two guilty faces // The stuffing was pulled out of one of the cushions.

4.30pm

04.30pm | Flowers // cutting the stems of the flowers and putting them in vases // I’m also tidying the kitchen and putting the food shopping away.

5.01pm

05.01pm | Dropping in to Dad and Marian // I wanted to drop something in and stayed a while to chat.

5.07pm

05.07pm | Dad’s dogs // Chilling in their crate even though they don’t have to. 

5.28pm

05.28pm | Hair up // out of my way because I’m ready to sit down and finish off March’s One Little Word prompt before I check out April’s lesson.

5.39pm

05.39pm | Vision board for One Little Word // flicking through some magazines to find pictures that represent balance for my One Little Word vision board.

6.25pm

06.25pm | Spending time with Chief and Lady // I can work on my One Little Word prompt anywhere so I’m doing it in the living room so I can spend time with the dogs // even if they would prefer to just snuggle together and fall asleep // Chief fell asleep looking out the window // Lady is happy once shes snuggling near Chief.

07.05pm

07.05pm | A tea dinner with my Dad and Marian // A perfect Friday, rainy day dinner.

7.50pm

07.50pm | Nose biter // chatting to Dad and Marian while Klaus bites Dad’s nose.

8.28pm

08.28pm | More snuggling // the picture is blurry because the lighting is poor in that room but she’s too cute not to post it // I sat with Lady and Chief for another little while and watched the soaps.

9.43pm

09.43pm | Sweeping the floor // someone tell me how 1 woman and 2 dogs can make such a mess in 1 day // something tells me Lady brought a lot of this in from the back garden.

10.02pm

10.03pm | April’s One Little Word Lesson // sitting on my bed for a few minutes to check out this month’s lesson // reading the PDF, I’ll watch the video tomorrow.

10.19pm

10.19pm | Some more tidying // back to the craft room for another while // working through a box of miscellaneous things like thread, pens and notebooks.

12.41am

12.41am | Bedtime // technically not the same day but my bedtime is rarely before midnight // taking my make-up off in bed.

12.46am

12.46am | A little reading before I sleep.

 

Did any of you take part in Ali’s ‘Day in the Life’? How do you plan to document it?

 

2016 Cover

So it’s April and I’m only just sharing my cover page for my 2016 Project Life album now. I know, must try harder. I try to mix it up when it comes to my cover pages but yellow has made an appearance on my cover page two years in a row because I love it. I rarely include pictures on this spread. I like to include the year and it’s the second year in a row I’ve added my One Little Word to the cover spread. 

Stay tuned for some posts on my Project Life method.

Keep it Simple Canvas

Love Foil Canvas

I found these wall canvases in Penneys for an absolute steal. I’ve been looking for the ‘Keep it Simple’ one for quite a while after I saw it on Primark’s Instagram feed. It was €8 and is now sitting with my ampersand on an IKEA shelf above my bed. The ‘Love’ one was €4. I’ve added it to my photo wall (also in my bedroom). When it comes to home decor I can’t think of a better colour scheme than black, white and gold.