Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Holiday Gift List

Hard to believe it but we are just about to enter that time of year again...holiday shopping!  It can be hard to think of the perfect gift for everyone on your list and once I do, I don't like to lose track of it all.  That's why I am using this Holiday Gift List.
It's great for tracking my ideas, purchases, wrapping status, and even where I got it from.  Noting the store helps me shop smart and also find receipts if needed.  You can grab this for free right here!

Happy shopping!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Day of School Signs

 It's about to happen.  Soon.  My oldest will be starting school! Yeah, it's 3K and only three mornings a week but it is still a big deal and I'm so very excited for him.  Excited to see him grow and make some new relationships along the way.

As I'm a HUGE fan of documenting, I know the day will not go by without plenty of pictures and I love the idea of having him hold a sign with his grade on it.  It will be a fun thing for him at this age and I will love just having it already on the picture so I never have to question which first day of school it was.

And so, if you want to do the same thing, I've added these signs to my Etsy shop as well!  These first day of school signs feature preschool through eighth grade with a trendy, chalkboard design.  Instantly available for download, these PDF files are formatted at 8x10 inches making them perfect for sliding into picture frames too if you want!  Simply print them out at home or with a professional printer and you will be ready to go for that first day.  You can grab them HERE!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A blogging transition...

I've decided to make a bit of a change.  Several years ago I started this blog to document my introduction into digital scrapbooking.  That grew into learning new digital techniques and ultimately starting my business Little Birdie Digital Designs.  It's been a great journey.  Family and other time commitments haven't allowed me to continue to create digital scrapbooking kits but I have still maintained my Etsy shop and hope to add more items in the future.  See, I LOVE memory keeping and I decided to prioritize documenting my memories above creating digital scrapbooking kits for now. 

The change I've decided upon is to create a new blog.  That new blog will be where I post my personal creations and connect with other memory keepers and crafty DIYers.  This blog will be soley devoted to my business and items I create for sale.  If you like my creations, please continue to check back here, on my facebook page, or at my Etsy shop directly.  If you want to follow my memory keeping and crafting journey, please check out my new blog.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Scrapbook Layouts

Hard to believe that we have now completed May and are starting June.  Around here the sun is finally shining and the weather has been much better - actually really great the last several days.  My family and I have been able to spend much time outside.  The boys are loving it.  They have brought lots of toys out to the yard, are digging in the sandbox, and we've been to the park and the zoo already.  We sure hope to have a beautiful and busy summer ahead.

Over the past month I have done something that I have not done in years.  I made scrapbook 12 x 12 layouts from paper!  I know, sounds silly, but I have not made a paper layout since about 2007.  I have done all my layouts digitally in between and really didn't think I would ever make a paper layout again.  I love the ease and creativity of mini albums, but one day I got inspired and started a layout and it was pretty fun.  So then I tried a few more.  I'm working to try out different techniques and it has been fun.  The pages aren't too amazing- I definitely need to keep working on them.  I had felt my digital pages were getting pretty good but it takes a lot more time to translate that into paper!  However, it's fun to have some new things to try. 

And the exciting part is that my very first paper layout in so long has been included in the latest Jot Magazine, Issue 6!  How cool!?!  It's a free digital magazine that is nothing short of inspiring and amazing.  You can find the latest issue right here.   And after you look at that, you will probably want to drool over the first five issues too!  My layout can be found in the "stripes" section.

Here is the layout that is included:

I just love that picture of my youngest and our sweet pup.  The little guy loves animals, especially dogs which I think is because we have the sweetest and most gentle dog.  Our Finn is always so great to our boys and other children that flock to him.  He loves people!

And here are a few more layouts that I worked on:

I used papers and elements from the Favorite Things collection from Heidi Swapp.  I had a lot of fun trying new things out with her mists and stencils. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mother's Day Sneak Peek

May has arrived and Mother's Day is drawing near.  About the only thing that hasn't arrived is good weather around these parts!  This has been the longest week of rain and dreary weather.  The kids and I are very, VERY ready for a change and to enjoy some new activities.  Fingers crossed that next week will be better!  While being stuck indoors was not so great, I was able to make use of that time to complete a small project for my mother and mother-in-law.  In order to ensure completion - they are the same, essentially. 

Last week I located a Joann's that carried Heidi Swapp products and set out with my little helpers in tow.  We also did something fun for them and my older son got to stand right next to a really big digger so I'm pretty sure he doesn't even remember going to another craft store with me.  Anyhow, I picked up the wood square frame album kit and thought I'd figure something out for a gift.  I didn't use all of the contents for my project so I'll find use for them later.  I liked the "fabulous" acrylic page but it really didn't go with this album for me.  I'll just make something fabulous later.

In preparation I looked though our photos from the last few months and found nine pictures I thought were great ones of us and mostly of my boys.  My goal was to include photos from everyday moments, not main events.  Their grandmothers are often at the big stuff but don't get to see all the silly stuff that goes on each and every day.  And who can beat a priceless shot that captures the complete innocence of a child.  So yeah, those kinds of pictures.  I was lazy about printing them so I sent them off to Walgreens to be printed at 4x4.  (The album is 6x6.)  I've never used Walgreens before but they were super fast and the quality was pretty good - not spectacular. 

I also wanted to do something a little different for this project.  I've wanted to try out QR codes for a while now but just hadn't done it.  However, I thought this would be a perfect way to share some of those crazy kid moments that we capture on our iPhones.  I uploaded about eight short videos to YouTube.  I didn't know if QR codes would work on only public videos but luckily they work with unlisted videos as well.  So now I didn't have to worry that just anyone would watch our videos.  Then I copied the links and entered them into a website qrstuff.com.  It was simple to do. I downloaded the qr codes as .png files and placed them all into one photoshop file.  I shrunk them down to about 1 inch by 1 inch, ordered them and printed them out onto sticker paper.  I just thought that would make it easier. 

Before I get to pictures, I would like to note that while I may not be the best photographer, I do try hard but this lack of natural light has not been great for taking pictures of my work!

I used color shine in seafoam to mist the wooden frame.  I then put a light layer of gold lame on too.  I purchased the stand at Michael's so it would have a home.  I covered the pages from the album kit using Heidi Swapp Hello Today paper.  I used some of the acrylic embellishments and stamps from that collection throughout the album.  Overall, I kept it really simple in order to highlight the photos.
I cut up the 3x4 and 4x6 cards that came in the paper pad and adhered two together (front and back) to create a little place to put my QR codes. 
I put one or two of them directly near the photos too.  Overall the project took me a few hours to complete.  I think the moms will enjoy them and get a kick out of learning some new technology.  I just hope they can download the QR reader app so they can enjoy it!  Hmmmm...best make up some instructions!
Well, off to wrap them up so they are all ready for the big day.  Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  Enjoy your day - have someone else take the pictures!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Another reason to love mini albums

For me, 2014 has surely become the year of the mini album.  I LOVE making them.  I LOVE so many things about them.  After my most recent project I am only adding to the love list.  So what is this new love?  Well, it's that I can make an album of just one day if I want.  See, we spent a morning in early April at a beautiful park near our home right along the lakeshore.  It was chilly but sunny, and honestly one of the best Saturday's we'd had in a LONG, long, long time.  Yes, winter has been harsh this year!  We had such fun with our kids and got some really wonderful pictures together.  Rather than find a way to fit all these great photos on one scrapbook page or a two page (or more) layout, I just made a mini album.  I LOVE that!  Don't you?  It's just so perfect.

I decided to use a memory file from Heidi Swapp's Mixed Company kit.  Inside I did back to back binding using some papers from the same collection.  I cut different edges using the shapes from some other memory files I had laying around.  With a 12x12 paper this created a shorter page.  I had taken a class online from Heidi Swapp a long time ago now where we had an album put together this way and we had embellished those shorter page edges in different ways so I thought that would be fun to do again here, albeit in a different way. 

I decided to use my Silhouette to cut out some fun words which I had purchased in Heidi Swapp's online shop.  They come in both .abr and.png files.  I used some textured cardstock I had on hand and I think they really added to the fun of this book.  I filled it with large photos to show off the beautiful scenery.
 I pulled elements from the Mixed Company ephemera and the color magic ephemera packs.  I think there is some Favorite Things mixed in there as well.  I also worked with the rub-ons from the memory file kit.  And while I've not loved the citron color shine too much in the past, it really worked well to give a great color pop on several of the pages.  I stuck with the blue/green papers and not the pink ones from the collection as I wanted to highlight that beautiful blue water!

 I created a little pocket on each of the short pages to contain my writing about the day.  This created plenty of space to tell about not only our adventure but also about the boys at this moment in time.  I do enjoy doing that - stopping and just documenting what my boys are like RIGHT NOW.  They are always up to something funny.

I'm really happy with how this one turned out and it is so much fun to look through these beautiful outdoor pictures.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vacation Mini

Well, I got a lot of new craft materials in the last two weeks.  Shhh...don't tell anyone.  I have been excited to try them all out!  First of all, I got many items from Heidi Swapp's new lines Dreamy and Favorite Things.  I really like the ephemera packs from both and there is truly a lot of great stuff in there. A lot of acrylic bits.  I hadn't noticed in the previews that the memory files were going to be in new shapes so I was pretty excited when I opened up the kits and saw that.  I was also pleased to see that the rub-ons had been replaced with a sticker sheet.  Much easier to use!  I liked the cute rub-ons but I did have some problems with them and often ended up with them coming off in places I did not want.  I do feel that the quality of the file folders is a bit less than previous purchases.  They are a bit thinner.  I don't feel it's a huge problem but loved how the ones I'd purchased before were closer to chipboard.  These are more like cardstock.  Anyhow, in March my family and I had taken a trip to an indoor waterpark and I thought I would use some of these new items to make a fun mini of that time.

I also had wanted to use the Hello Today lace cut papers from Michael's and those papers work really well with the Dreamy collection so I went ahead and combined a few things.
The main covers of the album is a file folder from the Dreamy kit.  I used some of the 6x6 dreamy papers and the Kraft Tags to embellish it.  The chipboard elements are from Hello Today.
On the left side (not pictured) I created an envelope and tucked journaling cards in there to include my written memories of the trip.  I decided to do that rather than find a place to journal on the pages on the right side (shown above).  I created a waterfall page effect by cutting the papers at continually longer lengths.  These pages are contained within a mini memory file from the Hello Today kit.  Some pages are just the fun cut word shapes from the Hello Today paper pad.  I used metal rings to attach it to the right side of the file folder.

I also used this album to experiment with some mixed media techniques I am learning.  The top photo page (inside of the mini file folder) has some acrylic paint mixed with color shine around the edges.  I also used a stencil with some modeling paste to create dimension.  I also watered down some color shine to create a fun, shiny splash with drips - perfect for the water park.  There is also some subtle color with wax crayons that I smudged with water.  It's all hard to see in the picture but it gives the page a watery feel which matched my theme.

I'm looking forward working some additional items from these collections!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hello Today Memory File Album

Whew!  What a week!  I've been finishing up lots of projects and starting a few new ones.  I must say my ideas keep rolling but time is always the limiting factor!  I was greatly inspired by the amount of new craft materials I received in the mail this week.  So exciting but so hard to wait to play with them all!  So first things first, I have been playing around a lot of with Heidi Swapp Hello Today items available at Michael's.  I was thrilled to see a dedicated line there this January and have been collecting items as they become available to play with.  As I anticipated her new lines that I just got in the mail I knew that many of these items would work well with them - so great!

I've worked with the memory file albums a lot over the last year but I do feel like it wasn't until recently that I just got it, for lack of better explanation.  It's truly a great concept.  Lots of possibilities and a great way to store your memories.  I purchased one of the Hello Today memory file kits and set out to put it together into a little mini album and here is what I got:

This is a shot of the cover from two angles.  I wanted to show you how I just put some simple embellishment on because I loved the large chevron pattern, but also how thick it can be.  By scoring different lines on the file itself you can control the thickness.  I also wanted to bind this album without my binding machine so I used ribbon this time to add in the other large and one mini files.
The second mini file that comes in the kit was adhered onto the second large one inside.  I made a little book out of that one using a back to back binding method with several papers.  I punched holes in the middle and tied some floss through it for extra reinforcement.
I added some pockets for journaling too.

The other mini was tied in with the original ribbon binding and also had some back to back bound pages.  I adhered either end of those to the mini file itself.  You can see in the latter photo that some of the new Dreamy ephemera also made it into the book.  I just loved it and had to use some right away!
The last page holds the photo stack and is filled with photos!  I think those are pretty neat but I don't love to over embellish them or they don't sit right.

Supplies Used: By Heidi Swapp: Hello Today Memory File Kit, Hello Today 12x12 paper pad, Hello Today 4x6 mat pad, Hello Today stamps, inks, color shine, acrylic embellishments, Hello Today Ephemera, Hello Today chipboard stickers and frames.   Also, seam binding ribbon, Recollections washi tap, Pink Paislee Color Wash Stamps

Monday, April 7, 2014

Travel Mini Album

I'm officially calling 2014 the year of the mini album.  I am simply having too much fun creating them!  I only wish we traveled more so that I could dive into documenting travels into mini albums. Ha!  However, that doesn't mean I can't help others make the most of their memories.   My brother-in-law and his wife are heading to London soon for a business/personal vacation.  I'm excited for them to go on this journey together!  I thought it would be fun for them to have a little place to put down some memories so they could show off their fun time and have a great keepsake.

I worked with several of the Heidi Swapp lines to put this album together.  That is one of the things I love most about her products - you can mix them up across several lines.  It's a great way to get a bunch of different looks while using up supplies you have on hand.  Here is a look at the cover of the album:
I added a fun little banner to the top with lots of embellishments and then tucked a few under it.  It just made it a little different and more interesting to me.  I had these wooden letters on hand from Pink Paislee and thought they would make a perfect fit for the look of the album.
I added a few embellishments to each page leaving space for lots of photos and notes.  Here I used a 4x6 journal card to create a pocket where I tucked a little tag.  It could also hold more photos and memorabilia.
I had a travel themed mini flip book on hand from a long time back.  I tore out the pages from the cover and removed the 4x6 inserts.  That left me with several 4x6 cards that I punched holes along the side of and added them in as little mini pages.

I used color magic ephemera and some stitching to get some fun page accents. I got this idea here.

I also added in a little book or two using paper folded over.  I thought it was fun how they kinda looked like mini passports and fit with the travel them.  They will be a great place to tuck another little photo or two or simply to put some notes.

I hope they have a great trip!

Supplies used: (from Heidi Swapp) No Limits papers, Vintage Chic file folders, Color Magic file folders, Color Magic ephemera, Color Shine in various colors, Mixed Company Paper, Hello Today ephemera, Hello Today mini stamps and ink pads, Vintage Chic sticker labels, Hello Today chipboard stickers

Monday, January 27, 2014

Christmas Recap

I had so much fun this Christmas making my own album to document the holiday fun (see here) that I decided to make a few more for friends to do the same.  It was fun and also interesting to think about creating an album for someone else to fill in.  I hope they let me take a peek at how they completed it too!  I used the Heidi Swapp Believe Memory file kit for all three of them, as well as the ephemera, word stickers, and the 6x6 paper pack.  Here's a few snap shots:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Year in Review Handmade Album

 *This post is picture heavy!  Oh, and I only remembered to take photos of them right before I was wrapping them up for Christmas so I do apologize for the poor picture quality but I really wanted to share a few of the fun things I did regardless.

Back in October, I thought it would be fun to dive into making a year in review album of our family for the boy's grandparents.  Not of the big events but of the everyday little memories we made - some of the very things their grandparents don't always get to see.  I decided to use the No Limits collection by Heidi Swapp as my basic pages, but also threw in some color magic file folders and ephemera.  Above are the two covers and I had fun blending some color shine to make them awesome and unique!  Below are some additional pictures showing what I included.   I designed various page shapes in Photoshop before cutting them out on my Silhouette along with some tabs and banners, etc.  I basically just filled up a page with cuts and made sure I'd have plenty of fun flip pages and other goodies to embellish with.  The best part about this fun project was that I made no plans!  I simply went with ti!
 I used mini memory files inside to flip open for additional pages.  I also stacked paper in various shapes to make little flip books.  Using both front and back I could fit so many pictures - about 12 3x3 photos.  The entire book mainly consists of 3x3 and 3x4 photos.
 Here are some great views of all the various page shapes.  It made a fun layered project.  While it keeps the eye busy, I liked how it felt as if you were discovering something new everywhere you looked!
 By cutting a 12x12 paper into a 4x12 section and folding it every 4 inches, I made this little fold out full of pictures.  After adhering it into the book, I could fit 5 pictures on it!

When all done I used The Cinch to bind the book together.  There were lots of pages and an a 1" wire did the trick.  I'm really happy with how it turned out an it was fun to work on it.  Overall, I had about 90 pictures in each book and I know their grandparents enjoyed flipping through them and looking back on how much our boys had changed during the year.