Documenting Everyday: Inserts

DEwithkate2

It’s Week 21 and I’m still going strong.  I’ve set aside Sunday mornings for all my Project Life Needs and most weeks I stick to it.

A couple of months ago I was really struggling with how to fit all of the pictures I loved onto a two-page spread. My friend (and fellow CT member!) Becca suggested making inserts as a way to solve that problem.

And now I’m a little obsessed.

From Week 17:
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From Week 19:

2015_week19_insert_web

From Week 20:

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I use Gen’s Pocket Pages for my layouts, but they’re all 12×12. I knew I’d want my inserts to be a different size than my regular pages and I knew I’d want them to be made with the same pocket pages (for consistency!).

Today I want to show you how I convert those pocket pages into insert sizes. I’ve done 6×12, 8×12, and 9×12 sizes with her pockets and I love it.

  1. Choose your pocket page. You don’t want to cut a pocket in half so look for a page that will give you clean lines on the vertical edge. I chose a page from Fair and Square V.2. I saw that I could convert it to 9×12 so I created a new page with those dimensions.

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  1. I needed to rotate the pockets in order to get a template that didn’t cut any pockets off. Line up the edge.

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  1. Select the crop tool and run it from corner to corner diagonally. Click the green check mark and you’re done.

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That’s all there is to it.

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  1. INSERTS!
  2. I realized that I have multiple spreads that don’t contain a single photo of my oldest son. Like, weeks go by between photos of him and I’m looking at my pages thinking that maybe I only have 4 kids? I need to fix this.
  3. I have a favorite template! I’ve been using it exclusively for five weeks now. It’s this one (with the squares on top and bottom):

2015_week19_a_web

Are you into inserts as much as me?

Anyone else have a favorite template for pocket scrapping?

May 2015 Challenges

May is starting off with a bang! iNSD is tomorrow, how will you spend your day? I’m hoping to sleep in and then get a good start on the sales. Have you seen the bundle available in the store? It’s a huge bundle at tremendous savings. Well, enough chatter, on to the challenges!

First up is Lisa with this month’s Journaling Challenge, what’s your greatest treasure? Here’s Lisa’s layout:

May 2015 P&Co Challenges

Next up is our recipe challenge, hosted this month by Anna. Include the 5 required items and show us your beautiful work. Here’s her layout:

May 2015 P&Co Challenges

 

Anna is also hosting our photo challenge, grab your camera and show us “where you stand”. Here’s her layout:

May 2015 P&Co Challenges

Lynnette is hosting our template challenge this month. She has created a template that you can snag for free and play along. Here’s her layout:

May 2015 P&Co Challenges

 

Jane is hosting on our color challenge and the palette she has chosen is lovely. Take a peek at her layout:
May 2015 P&Co Challenges

Share your layouts on our Facebook page, or in our Facebook group. You can tag us on Instagram (@pixelsandcompany) and hashtag it (#pixelsandcompany) if you’re okay with us reposting it.

If you complete all 5 challenges by 11:59 PM MST on the last day of the month, you will receive a coupon for 25% off. Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges. Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes. Please post in our tracking thread, one post per participant.

Participants will earn the following rewards for completing these challenges:

1 challenge = 5% off
2 challenges = 10% off
3 challenges = 15% off
4 challenges = 20% off
5 challenges = 25% off

 

 

 

iNSD 2015 Bundle

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We’re happy to be offering an amazing bundle for iNSD 2015: This fantastic collection of 60 products is over 3 GB of digital goodness, and would normally retail for over $265!

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Here’s a list (with links) to all of the products that are included:

Celeste Knight:

  1. 2015 Chalk Journalers
  2. Bright Life Journalers
  3. Focus Click Repeat | Elements
  4. Focus Click Repeat | Papers
  5. Happy Camper | Full Kit
  6. School is Cool
  7. This Ordinary Life

Deena Rutter:

  1. Basics: Cork Overlays and Backgrounds
  2. Every Little Bit: Brush Set #2
  3. A Kind Word – Vintage Bus Scroll Edition
  4. Layered Layouts v.6
  5. Roots and Wings Collection
  6. Wheel o’ Fortunate

Gennifer Bursett:

  1. Anchored | Full Kit
  2. Celebrate This | Kit
  3. Elemental: Snippy Alphas
  4. Into the Woods | Woodgrain Paper
  5. Julep | Full Kit
  6. Leathers: Similes
  7. My Tribe | Full Kit
  8. Pixies: All That Glitters
  9. Pocket Pages: Back to Basics v1

Jen Allyson:

  1. Archibald Papers
  2. Happy Go Lucky Elements
  3. Happy Go Lucky Papers
  4. Hipster Chic Elements
  5. Hipster Chic Papers
  6. Love at Home Rub-ons
  7. Nostalgia 2 Cardstock
  8. Vintage Findings: Golden

Meredith Cardall:

  1. Document Your Joy | Journal Cards
  2. Document Your Joy | Kit
  3. Dream a Little Dream | Kit
  4. Layered Up! Volume 2
  5. Lots of Love | Templates 1
  6. Love in the Air | Quickpages
  7. Typewriter Alpha | Black
  8. Splatters 2

Robyn Meierotto:

  1. Dude | Mini Kit
  2. Fatherhood | Word Art
  3. Good Day | Mini Kit
  4. In Stitches | Layered Template 7
  5. Just Keep Swimming – Papers
  6. Poolside | Word Art
  7. Pretty Awesome | Papers
  8. Snippets | Mama Said
  9. Spring Sweetness – Enamel Dots
  10. Take Stock – Mod Pop

Shirley Polk

  1. Blueberry Seed No.1
  2. Blueberry Seed No.2
  3. Blueberry Seed No.3
  4. Blueberry Seed No.4
  5. Floral Edgers
  6. Framed
  7. Grids and Ledgers
  8. In My Circle No.1
  9. In My Circle No.2
  10. Love Quoted
  11. Memorable
  12. Photo Clusters
  13. State Love – USA Edition

Project Life: A Little Trick That Goes A Long Way

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Hello everyone! Zakirah here. I’m so excited to be posting on the newly-designed site. I think everything looks so beautiful!

Today I want to share a PL trick that I’ve been using since February.

It’s no secret that our very own Gennifer Bursett makes great Project Life pockets. They’re the only ones that I use for my PL pages this year. I love how realistic they look. They make my PL pages shine.

zakirah_projectlifetrick_61

 

One of the most common questions I get about my PL pages is how I get the shiny & bright pocket look, like on this page:

zakirah_projectlifetrick_81

 

If you notice, there’s some feathery light effects on the pocket that I use. They come from Gennifer’s PL pockets, but I manipulated it a bit in Photoshop to enhance its appearance.

 

Here’s how:

1. Open one of Gen’s pockets in Photoshop. For this tutorial I’m going to use her Back to Basics V1 pocket:

zakirah_projectlifetrick_1

2. Let’s create a white background so we can see the pocket better:

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3. Now let’s manipulate it. Copy the pocket layer 3 times. Set the layer setting for the layers like so:

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4. Now your pocket will look like this:

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5. Let’s turn off the white background to see the pocket better:

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Notice the light ‘streaks’? They make your pages shine brighter! The secret is in the layer settings above.

6. Now you can group the layers together & slip your photos & journal cards under the group layer (not in the group).

 

To make it easier for you, I’m sharing the action that I created from the steps above so you could have the wispy, feathery light effects ready in 1 click! Download the action below:

DOWNLOAD HERE

 

Feel free to play with the layer opacity of each pocket layer. You can get different results like below when you edit just ONE layer’s opacity:

zakirah_projectlifetrick_71

 

Have fun! Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

April 2015 Challenges – March Revisited

Because the gallery, forum and store were closed for most of March, we thought we’d give everyone another chance to participate and complete the challenges.

We are switching up the forum and where we host our challenges, so click each image to get all the details for the challenge.

Get ready to scrap and jump into our challenges. First up is our Photo Challenge hosted by Missy. This month you should get up close and personal with your subject. Take a look at Missy’s layout:

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

I took on the Journaling Challenge this month. Journal about your week, use a list, a calendar, or a journal card to talk about what happened in the week. Check my layout:

March/April Journaling Challenge

Raquel has a template for you to download, helping to get you started on a new layout. Here’s her layout for inspiration. Check out her post on Facebook.

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

 

Tori has a list of items for you to include on your page, hop over to get started on this month’s recipe challenge.

Pixels & Company February 2015 Challenge

Next up is Jen with the color challenge. Her challenge: GOLD! I can’t wait to see all the bling!

Pixels & Company April 2015 Challenge

Share your layouts on our Facebook page, or in our Facebook group. You can tag us on Instagram (@pixelsandcompany) and hashtag it (#pixelsandcompany) if you’re okay with us reposting it.

If you complete all 5 challenges by 11:59 PM MST on the last day of the month, you will receive a coupon for 25% off. Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges. Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.

Participants will earn the following rewards for completing these challenges:

1 challenge = 5% off
2 challenges = 10% off
3 challenges = 15% off
4 challenges = 20% off
5 challenges = 25% off

Check out our member’s only challenges in the subscriber area. We will regularly host 2 challenges, with occasional bonus challenges or double point opportunities. These challenges will earn participants points which can be redeemed for free or discounted products in the store. 100 points = $1.00.

Here is a peek at what the subscribers will be using as their inspiration this month:

Pocket-page Challenge Hosted by Jan

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

 

The Scraplift challenge by Jane:
Scraplift Challenge

Challenges March 2015

March is coming in with a bang around here. How is your weather? Is March a lion or a lamb?

Get ready to scrap and jump into our challenges. First up is our Photo Challenge hosted by Missy. This month you should get up close and personal with your subject. Take a look at Missy’s layout:

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

I took on the Journaling Challenge this month. Journal about your week, there are a few ideas to get you started, check them out:

March/April Journaling Challenge

Raquel has a template for you to download, helping to get you started on a new layout. Here’s her layout for inspiration.

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

 

Tori has a list of items for you to include on your page, hop over to get started on this month’s recipe challenge.

Pixels & Company February 2015 Challenge

Next up is Jen with the color challenge. Her challenge: GOLD! I can’t wait to see all the bling in the gallery.

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

 

If you complete all 5 challenges by 11:59 PM MST on the last day of the month, you will receive a coupon for 25% off. Each page counts for one challenge, and you cannot use one layout for multiple challenges. Challenge layouts must contain at least 25% P&Co products to be eligible for prizes.

Participants will earn the following rewards for completing these challenges:

1 challenge = 5% off
2 challenges = 10% off
3 challenges = 15% off
4 challenges = 20% off
5 challenges = 25% off

Check out our member’s only challenges in the subscriber area. We will regularly host 2 challenges, with occasional bonus challenges or double point opportunities. These challenges will earn participants points which can be redeemed for free or discounted products in the store. 100 points = $1.00.

Here is a peek at what the subscribers will be using as their inspiration this month:

Pocket-page Challenge Hosted by Jan

Pixels & Company March 2015 Challenge

February 2015 Hybrid Roundup

Hi all! It’s the last Saturday of February, and that means it’s time for our hybrid round up! It’s also the last day of the month, and you know what that means – new subscription collections debut tomorrow! EEK! Each month I’m blown away by what our talented designers create together.  As you’ll see in this months’ hybrid roundup, many of us made good use of the February collection.  Let’s have a look and these fun projects. Each photo is linked to the gallery, so be sure to click over and leave some love!

Kate Christensen not only made these adorable Valentines but turned them into temporary tattoos as well!  So clever!

 

 

Planners are a big trend in the memory keeping world right now, and this month’s hybrid really reflects that. Kym shares some of her planner pages she put together using some fun stuff from Gennifer Bursett and Jen Allyson.

 

 

Kym also shares this very useful chore chart, included as part of The Everything Planner set by Gennifer Bursett:

 

 

Jennifer Barksdale wowed us with not one but two beautiful cards this month:

 

 

 

Oh, how I love a good mini album! This little album by Kate Christensen is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen:

 

 

Kate’s also shared a few planner pages for us all to drool over.   I think I could get on this bandwagon now that I’ve seen how cute it can be!

 

 

 

 

So inspiring right?  We love seeing what beautiful things you can create, so if you’ve got a hybrid project be sure to upload it to our hybrid gallery, and we just might include it in our round up too!

February Gallery Highlights

Have you taken a look at the gallery lately? There are so many fabulous pages and the gallery is just brimming with amazing inspiration!

I was immediately drawn to this page from Natacha. I love the paper at the top, the little curly doodle on the side of the pictures, as well as the little scatter of hearts and one triangle at the bottom.

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I love the grid design on this page by terresa. And the gold accents, especially the heart over the picture at the bottom right are just lovely.

 

 

Oh my goodness… I love little girly pages. I adore this sweet page from FuzziePixel. I adore the triangles, as well as the way she mirrored the shape with her journaling.

 

The large photo on this page from gleestormont really drew me in. It just looks so warm and inviting. And I really like the gold accents.

 

 

I love this page from RaquelSabido. I love the whimsy of the hot air balloon and the picture is precious! I also really like the contrast corner paper at the bottom and the date tag. Super cute!

 

 

Last up, I really like this page from melscrap. I love the one picture and touches of ribbon and tape.

 

 

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Trend Tuesday – Roundup: FEBRUARY

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Well, I’m happy to report it is still Tuesday in my part of digiland. I find it very hard to believe another month is finishing up. February flew by!

This month we discussed the trends of rainbow colours, pocket cards, and Bokeh photography. Were any of these trends eye openers for you? Are you excited to try to capture Bokeh in your own photography? What inspires you about the trends this month?

Here is my layout using the February trends. Ornaments by Melanie Ritchie

Post a link to your own trendy layout in the comments. See you next week when we start a whole new month of Trends!

For 2015, Pixels & Company will be featuring Trends in Scrapbooking every Tuesday. Follow along as we explore trends in the areas of: Color, Imagery, Words, and Photography. Every final Tuesday of the month, I will reveal a layout using all of the highlighted trends and challenge you to make one too. I warn you though, trends may become habit forming. Once you spot a trend, you’ll start seeing it everywhere!

Looking for the perfect light

If you start getting more into photography one of the first things you often hear or read is that you should look for a perfect light, as it’s the light that makes or breaks a photo. And that’s absolutely true. You might have a wonderful composition, but if the light sucks your photo will rarely look appealing. On the other hand, if you can use the light to your advantage even the most mundane and simple objects will look beautiful in your photos.

So what light is the best? Firstly – natural – so no flash and light bulbs if you can avoid them. If you have to use your flash, bounce it off a white wall/ceiling (if you have an external flash) or cover it with a tissue/white card – it will make it less harsh. You can also try (if your camera allows) to turn down the strenght of the flash. And if you shoot without a flash but using artificial light – it’s always a good idea to change your White Balance settings (a short introduction to WB here) to match your lightening conditions. Go for tungsten or fluorescent – this will make the colours look more natural. White balance can also be changed in post-processing (always when shoting in RAW, sometimes in .jpg), so you might try that too if your photo has some unwanted color cast.

Therefore, try to shoot without a flash if only possible – even if it means increasing your ISO setting or using a wider aperture setting (lower number of f-stop) or longer exposition. In my opinion even if a shot is a bit blurry or grainy it usually looks better that the one shot with a flash.

Now, let speak about natural light – what kind of it works best. In general – it’s best to avoid harsh sun rays, as they cause strong shadows and are usually difficult to expose correctly. For this very reason professional photographers do not shoot at noon but they go for the so called “perfect hours” that’s an early morning and a late afternoon when the sun is lower and less strong.

When shooting outside – and if the weather is sunny – look for open shade. What is open shade? Any type of place that is not in harsh, open sun but still gets enough light. You object should face the light but stay in shade – for example on a porch or under a tree. Another option for good lightening conditions is a cloudy day – when the sky is overcast, but clouds are not too dense and heavy – so there’s still enough light, yet it’s beautifully diffused and even. It makes it very easy to spot on the exposure and take nice, softly lit portraits. If you’d like to read more about open shade and overcast light check this article by Kelly Tuohey.

And what about the indoor shots? When inside – try to place your object close to a big window, preferably it should face north (best even light). Again if the light is too strong (=it’s too sunny), you should disperse it by hanging a white/cream curtain/sheet. If your object faces the window, it will be evenly lit, so you should have no problem getting correct and even exposure. Yet, if you place your object parallel to the window, then you should remember that the side of the object that’s further from the window will probably be in shade, so it might be too dark. To brighten up those dark shadows try placing a white or bright panel that will reflect the light. If you shoot a little object it’s quite easy as a plain sheet of white paper will do. With people it might be more tricky, but maybe you have a white wall nearby or someone can hold a light fabric for you. Here’s another short article by Karthika Gupta that provides more information on using natural light indoor to your advantage.

 

Certainly, it’s not always possible to shoot in perfect light, as sometimes objects in your photos can’t be moved, but whenever you can, try to make sure you use the best lightening option available. Sometimes it is as simple as moving a few steps to a side, crouching or asking the person you’re taking a photo of to move a bit. And if you take a photo of a still life object it’s usually possible to move it to a place that’s better lit.

 

I hope this short introduction to lightening will make you see the light and use it better in your photography. The key is practice – so just take out your camera and shoot in different lightening conditions. Then compare the results and see what works and what doesn’t for you.

 

Have fun looking for the light!