Thursday, January 14, 2016

Project Life: Documenting Portland

One of the things I'm currently working on is my 2015 Project Life album. It has lots of gaps here and there - particularly during the latter months of the year - but I do want to try and finish it. So I've decided to begin with the most recent dates and make my way backwards...starting with my road trip to Portland during the last week of December.

I haven't been to Portland in ten(!) years so this trip was a lot of fun discovering great food and local shops. More importantly, I got to go with my whole family so it was really nice to have some quality time together. We spent a few days in the city and though it rained most of the time we were there, it was a nice, low-key adventure to end off the year.

I plan on making a travel mini for this trip, but thought I'd tackle my Project Life summary spread first. Today I'll walk you through my process of how I put together this double-pager!

As always, I started by choosing my photos. I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites (which is making me excited to make my mini!) but eventually printed a variety of photos to fill the pockets. I added digital stamps and text to some of the my photos in Photoshop before getting them printed.

Once I had all my photos printed, I began laying them out on two 12x12 pocket page protectors. It took some shuffling around until I was happy with the arrangement of the photos. I wanted to make sure the spread looked balanced so laying out my photos first really helped me figure out how the overall spread would look.

I decided to work on the left side first. I went through my journaling cards and chose ones that worked well with my photos. I ended up using several printable cards from my shoppe - the Portland cards, Daily Life cards, Los Angeles cards, and Wander cards no.2. I really like mixing and matching cards and the ones in my shoppe coordinate well with each other.

After I chose my cards, I decided to embellish a couple of them using stamps! Stamps are some of my favorite supplies to use in my album because they add no bulk and are super verstaile. The Pacific Northwest stamp set is an old one from Kelly Purkey and the brush script Wander stamp set is from Christine Herrin. I stamped the mountains with Emerald City ink and Lime Light ink, two of my favorite Color Theory dye inks.

I also wanted to embellish a few of my photos. Look for white space on your pictures as places that can be decorated - don't go overboard and overwhelm your photo, but simply add a bit of fun detail! On my photo on the left, I stamped a phrase from my Everyday Explorers stamp set I designed for SC a few months ago. On the other photo, I added some gold rub-ons to the top right corner.

Time to add journaling! I jotted down some notes about my favorite restaurants and cafes we went to on this card from my Portland printable cards set.

Now it's time to work on the right side of my spread. Once again, I went through my journaling cards and chose some that would coordinate with my photos. These ones here were all from my Portland cards.

I added some stamping detail to my cards using these awesome sets from LifeLovePaper (Tina Aszmus!).

I thought my photos on this side were busy enough (and I had added some digital stamps to a couple of the photos already), so I simply wrote my journaling on my card before calling my spread done.

Here's a look at the two completed pages side by side. I'm really happy with how it turned out! It's a pretty photocentric spread, but I was still able to add intentional embellishments, meaningful journaling and lots of fun little details.

Hope you enjoyed this peek into my process! I'm going to try and share more Project Life spreads on this blog soon. Happy Thursday!

Supplies: Page Protectors - Becky Higgins Design A; Printables - Portland Journaling Cards, Los Angeles Journaling Cards, Daily Life Journaling Cards, Wander Journaling Cards no.2; Digital Stamps - Portland Digital Stamps; stamps - Kelly Purkey, Christine Herrin, LifeLovePaper, Studio Calico, In a Creative Bubble; ink - Versafine, Emerald City CT ink, Lime Light CT ink; chipboard star - Studio Calico; rub-ons - Studio Calico; pens - Muji    


  1. always! I asked you this before but what camera did you use? I'm always amazed at how clear and sharp your pictures are, even the ones taken inside restaurants of people and food. How is the lighting always so perfect? I wish you would do a tutorial on how to take such awesome pictures.

    1. Hi! I normally bring my big dSLR around but decided not to this time - I used the Sony rx100 mII camera for the whole trip ( It's a great compact camera that takes fantastic photos, especially in low light!

      I don't have any special tricks - I like to bump up the ISO as much as possible in low light to prevent blurry photos, and I also increase the exposure compensation to +0.3 - +0.7 so that the photos aren't too dark. Hope that helps!

  2. Do you print your pictures at home? If so what printer do you use?

    1. I printed everything at home with my Epson Workforce 645 printer.

  3. LOVE your pages! I'm new to digipocket scrapbooking (and to following your blog) and I love looking at your pages for inspiration! Also, you're one of my favorite journalling card designers, so high five for your graphic skills too! ^_^

  4. This is amazing! I just love how easy you make it seem. BTW, have you ever thought of making Disney related journal cards? My family & I just came back last night from Orlando and now i'm planning on my PL/mini book for it. Just curious. =)

    1. Hi Jen! Magic/Disney related ones are on my list...not for next month but hopefully in March! Thanks for asking :)

  5. How do you get such perfect white borders on your pictures?