Friday, April 24, 2015

Five on Friday │ the salad edition

It seem like every other pin I make on Pinterest these days are salads, I guess I'm totally ready for fresh veggie season. I wanted to share some of the recent ones that I am super excited to try in case you too are a salad lover.
  1. Avocado and Heirloom Summer Salad from What's Gaby Cooking. The presentation alone is what drew me in to this yummy salad. I love the idea of serving a salad on a board and not in a bowl. This is high on my list to try very soon.
  2. Sriracha Lime Chicken Chopped Salad from Lexi's Clean Kitchen. One of my friends shared this recipe on Facebook a few weeks ago so I had to make sure to save it. I love a good chopped salad and the spice of the Sriracha sounded delish, I mean it has grilled pineapple on it! 
  3. Avocado Caprese Chicken and Avocado Salad from Joyful Healthy Eats. I love a good Caprese Salad and the addition of the Avocado and Chicken sounds delicious as does the dressing recipe to go with it.
  4. Parmesan Zucchini and Corn from Damn Delicious. While this might not be a traditional salad, I would totally serve this as a salad/side dish at my next BBQ.
  5. Cranberry Almond Spinach Salad from Cooking Classy. I always love spinach salads and the orange poppyseed dressing in this recipe sounds delish. I'm not a huge feta cheese fan so I'll probably switch this out for another cheese but I'm excited to try this one.
I have way more than five new salad recipes on my Garden Fresh Pinterest Board so if you want to pin these that I have shown here and see some others you can click here and start pinning away.

(Note: all images shown above are from the original websites that I have linked too, all the credit goes to those original authors for such appetizing photos)

Here's to salad season!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

PNW Mini Album │ the pocket tutorial

I've had a few questions on how I made the pockets for my PNW mini album so I thought I would do a quick tutorial for you. I used a shape from the Silhouette Store that you can see here and its on sale right so so that's a bonus!

I really liked the slanted edge of this pocket, I thought it would add some interest and it ended up being the perfect edge to add some stamping to. Now this file is intended to be cut fairly small and all in one piece. I knew that because of the size of my dividers 6" x 8.5" that I wasn't going to be able to cut them out of one piece of paper. I needed to modify the file a bit to get just the pocket.  Here is how I went about doing that. (Note: I am using Silhouette Studio v.3 for this tutorial)

The first thing to do is open the file in the Silhouette Studio program. Once the file is open we need to cut off the long edge of the cut file that is supposed to be the backside of the pocket. You will do this with the knife tool which is located along the left side menu.

You will click on the knife tool and hold down your mouse while you draw a line about a 1/2" from the edge, like this.

When you are done drawing the line release the mouse button and you will have separated the file into two pieces. Go ahead and click only the top portion and hit the delete key.

You are left with a much smaller version of that original cut file and just the pocket portion that we need.

Next we need to size the pocket so that it will be the correct size for our divider. The easiest way I have found to make sure something like this is the correct size is to create a shape so I can size it against. First I draw a rectangle and use the Scale Window to enter in the measurements I want my rectangle to be, in this case 6" x 8.5". That will adjust the rectangle I drew to the exact measurements I need.

Next you will need to adjust the pocket (which I have rotated here so its the correct orientation) by using the corner edit points only click and drag it until it is the correct size to fit on the rectangle.

Because the dashed lines are the fold lines I now know that this will cut the exact size I need to fit on top of my 6" x 8.5" dividers. I would now delete the rectangle I drew because we don't need it anymore and we definitely don't want it to be cut too.

I realized that I could get two out of one sheet of my letter sized Kraft paper by duplicating the file and rotating one on top of the other. I loved that I was able to save on paper that way.

When cut I made the decision to have the tallest point be to the left side (which you can see above) but before I made any folds I added the stamping so I was working on a flat surface. The stamps I used are from Kelly Purkey's Wanderlust stamp set (which is sold out but you can get the digital files here) and the little car came from her Get it Done Stamp Set. Once the stamping was done I folded the flaps back and I used strong adhesive to attach the pocket to the back side of my dividers. So far they have held up really well and the items stay in just great. Even the poor Seattle pocket is holding on just fine with all that stuff inside.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Pacific Northwest │ the mini album

Photographing a mini album especially one as large as this can be a daunting task. Writing a blog post for it is just as daunting, which is why this post is a bit delayed. I finished this album in record time, just 15 days from the day we arrived home. The album I made last year took seven months and I swore this one wouldn't take that long. One of the things I did differently this year was start thinking about the design before I even got home. One afternoon while we were sitting around my mom's house on the last day's of the trip I started thinking about it and wrote down some notes and possible design ideas for the album.  Here are those notes.

I actually think I did a pretty good job making my vision come to life. It certainly helped when I sat down to start working on it that I had a bit of a direction in my head. The first thing I did was make the dividers for each stop. I love how these turned out. I used a set of dividers I purchased from the Silhouette Store and modified the size to fit what I needed them to be. I added the text that I designed in Photoshop Elements and then print and cut them with my Cameo. The next step was to type up my hand written notes so I could edit them. I wasn't sure how I would use the text in this album but I had an idea to have it be the first thing in each section with the corresponding photos behind. I liked that idea because I wouldn't have to take a lot of time explaining the photos if the text was already there. In order to do that I had to come up with some sort of layout. I ended up making the field notes forms that you will see below and just copied my typed text in and hand wrote the data on the top.

During our last road trip I realized there was certain data I wanted to keep track of so I made myself little post-its for each day. It was such a big help having the key bits of data right in the same spot. This data ended up being what I placed at the top of the Field Notes sheets that you will see.

Once I had all of those big design hurdles worked out I could get started choosing my photos and getting them laid out and printed.  I apologize for the vast number of photos coming but I wanted to show the whole thing and not just snippets of it.

I was lucky enough to stop at a really great letterpress shop in Seattle and I found the perfect title card for the album.

Last year I made the info graphic for the last page of my album and I thought about doing the same but I was hesitant to repeat myself. I ended up laying out all of the data I had kept track of in a different way. It fit the clean look I was going for and I love the big impact all of the numbers have.

I decided to lay out the album in sections and labeled them for the over night stop we made. It did end up presenting a bit of a dilemma with the written text because that was done by day and not by stop. In some cases we did some sight seeing as we departed a stop so those photos are in the next section because I wanted to keep the photos with the text. It will make more sense below.

Klamath, California

Per my initial plan I wanted to add pockets in some fashion and decided to add them to the back of the divider. It allowed me to have a great place to stick the memorabilia I wasn't putting in the album but still wanted to save. It's not everything I brought home with me but the stuff that corresponds to the story I was telling. My philosophy is when in doubt grab it and save it, you can always edit this stuff down when you get home. I stamped along the edges of all of the pockets with stamps from Kelly Purkey. Here you can see the first of my Field Notes sheets. I ultimately decided to hand write the text in the top part of the form, not something I would normally do but typed text just looked weird to me. Doing just this little bit of hand writing actually inspired me to add more in the album, I think I just might have turned over a new leaf as far as hand journaling goes.

I decided in my planning to try printing the photos on matte photo paper and I really loved how they turned out. I typically love Glossy photo paper but the softness here is really nice. I was worried they wouldn't be as vibrant but that wasn't the case at all. Oh and check me out, being super bold and brave and adding in some hand written text. I drew light pencil lines in advance to keep me straight and even.

In some cases some of the memorabilia wouldn't fit in my pocket so if it didn't fit it got punched and added right to the album.

If you can't steal a room key, photograph it.

Newport, Oregon

This is an example of what I mentioned above, these photos are from Klamath but they took place the day we were driving to Newport. Because the text goes with Newport the photos ended up in that section in order to keep the photos with the text. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Astoria, Oregon

Seeing these Goonies sights was super, super cool. I just wished we had better weather for clearer photos.

I had nothing left to fill this last page in the section so a quick Google search and I had the menu from our dinner to print out. I absolutely loved how all the black text in the album printed out on the Kraft paper.

Seattle, Washington

This pocket is bulging. I clearly had a hard time editing out the memorabilia but to be fair we spent three days in Seattle so there is bound to be more stuff.

I love this photo and the cool blue tile wall. The letterpress postcard on the right was from the same shop that I purchased the title card piece from. I bought two of these to have an extra.

We were very lucky with the most amazing weather in Seattle.

This exhibit was stunning, one of my favorite things that I saw Seattle.

This image on the left is a postcard, and I stapled this exhibit guide down so it would still open.

I love this photo my husband took of me and my daughter and another post card.

Restaurant coasters are a fun item to grab when you are traveling. The rating star stamp that I used here and above is from Kelly Purkey.

The EMP stickers are adhered to a plastic transparency and I had two, one on each side.

Centralia, Washington

Fall Creek, Oregon

Loved this stop to see the Columbia River Gorge so much, a must see if you are ever in that area.

The road home had just a few pictures since it was a long drive day.

A very simple end to the album signed and dated the day it was complete. The stamps I used are from Kelly Purkey.

I'll end this post with a photo and some words I posted to Instagram the day I finished this project.

I am a scrapbooker. I document my life with photos and words. This is an album I just completed today of a recent family trip. It's has 132 photos, 4,329 words, lots of bits of memorabilia, and barely any embellishments. It took me 6 days to plan, organize, design, print and complete and I agonized over every bit that I chose to write in my own hand. A true labor of love that means so very much to me. When in doubt about the time and energy a project like this can take remember that scrapbooking matters. Printing photos matter. Taking the time to tell your story matters.

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