Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Birthday Prayers

art journaling

art journaling

We write Birthday Prayers every year to pray over the boys on their birthdays. It's a 'tradition' we started several years ago. Sometimes hubby writes, sometimes me, this year we each wrote one. They are a meaningful and precious record which I scrapbook every year. Each year's prayers are like our letters to them, and as we look back we can see their growth and changes in prayers, hopes, concerns and dreams. It's wonderful! It is worthwhile to consider doing this for your children! You can see our past year's prayers here, herehere, herehere, and here  

I'm so proud of them, they are becoming adults who are interesting, articulate, funny, so much smarter than me, and kind,... so much that I have not imagined. How to believe that my babies are 18 and 16? It is unbelievable but no denying the fact. . In fact, take a look at my current to-do list and you will see these items:
  1. Start thinking about R's college application 
  2. Visit Universities' Open House with boys
  3. Set up personal bank accounts for boys
  4. Set up investment account
# 1 is prompted by R's school - who sent us a 4 page checklist of things to do starting now(!) even though Uni/College is more than a year away  #2 is to give them an idea of what the Universities offer, maybe excite them with areas which are related to what they like or are leaning towards. # 3 and #4 are part of my plans to start them on their financial education, to manage their own savings and maybe learn a little about investments, prompted by this post - teaching-kids-stocks-investing/  They are quickly becoming adults, and we are busy equipping them. Oh how I miss those days when they simply needed me to wipe their noses, read them stories, rock them to sleep, hold their hands, .... :)

Well at least I have all my scrapbooks and Project life albums capturing these teenage years! That's why I feel terribly motivated to capture moments, daily life, events, everything. You may have read how difficult this can be and how I deal with it in How to scrapbook your life with teens. Any other ideas are welcome!

I really had fun making these Birthday Prayers layouts too! It's a chance to do something art-journal style, This time I used my own doodle frames, paint elements from Mess it up by Little Butterfly wings and only a few other elements (see supply list below). I used the same main paint element duplicated a few times around each layout - it was so quick and simple, but the effect so cohesive and quick! I also spent some time adjusting and coloring the photos and paints to achieve the same tones on each page.You can download the template to try too, links below the image, enjoy!
Supply list credits: 
Ryan's layout: FreeToFly word art by CD Murkovsky, Cool wordart by Sugar Fancy, Paint from Little Butterfly Wings' Mess it Up vol 2
Jared's layout: Word art from Word & Paint {add on} - M3 September2014  by Little Butterfly Wings, and Paint from Little Butterfly Wings' Mess it Up vol 2

London Pages

I also completed four more London pages!

First one is all about our time at the Museum of London - an amazing history of London from the time it was Londinium under Roman rule to present times. Fun and fascinating!! I was most smitten by the dolls and dollhouse of Queen Victoria! And the exhibits of the Suffragettes and the Roman artifacts reqlly made quite an impression on us.
(Credit: bellagypsy_makemistakes_Alpha, EMerritt-msatogether_paper, mommyish_freebie-stamped_Alpha, nrj-sweetlove-doodled border, TangieBaxter_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Here we are at the very awesome British Museum. We were overwhelmed by how huge it was and much there was to see! We did the important bits and touched some interesting exhibits such as the clocks and the enlightenment gallery. 
(Credits: TDD_LOC_KatieScrapbooklady_paper, alb_acrosstheboard_border
justjaime-paintybits, pink reptile designs_rockingcool_alpha, vr_ItsAboutTime_paint)

After the Museum we wandered the roads and area around this Intersection, visited the boys' favorite comic store - Forbidden Planet, as well as quaint and superb second hand book stores where we picked up a few wonderful books on world war and tanks! 
(Credits: AllisonPennington_WAFD_Paint, PP_modern_diamond, Just Jaime-paintybits, kb-FortheLoveOf_arrow, kate hadfield_raspberrysorbet_Alpha, TangieBaxter_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

Finally we went to Trafalgar Square which was beautiful. Now understanding what the Square was named for, and that Ad Nelson's statue is facing the direction of Trafalgar in which battle he was killed, made us appreciate it more. We are following in the footsteps of this great man on this trip!
(Credits: AllisonPennington_Capturing Fall_Paper, TDD_MLP_fayette_border, Paulakesselring_artinthebox alpha, Sarah Gleason_coconut_paint, tangie_QuickitySplitsWorkshop_Gesso)

These can be picked up in the store at a bundled deal through to Sunday! Thanks for looking :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A New Beginning

I can't believe it is already February! Memory keeping through Project Life highlights the passing days more than anything for me. Every month as I sit down to look at that month's pictures, planning the pages, thinking what to capture, what are of note, the highlights, the interesting, and how to summarize the days in my PL, I become acutely aware of the days passing. Do you feel the same?

How did we spend an entire month? Did we achieve what we wanted to? Did we love enough, celebrate each other, had some fun, seek the Lord, serve someone, live fully? I am not striving nor expecting perfect answers, but I do love that I get to reflect, recollect and review each month. A mini version of what we do at the beginning of each year.

2015 Title Page
This is my Title Page for 2015. 
We enter the new year on His lovingkindness and compassion which are new every morning.
Great is His Faithfulness!

My word for this year is Turn. It's an unusual word and I only found it in early January. After last year's word - Center - I feel the call to move from my comfort zone, take hold of things that can be better dealt with, take actions of service I have been ignoring, without worry or fear, now that I have practiced having my center in God and His Word. Actually I found the word Turn after reading this beautiful post - Turn My Heart by Janet. You must go read it at her blog Preparing the Soil. Thank you so much Janet, for your faith and words that so inspires!

For my family, we have so warmed up to practicing Warmth last year, we have decided to adopt the same word for 2015. It has been wonderful practicing a listening ear, less unnecessary expectations and nagging, more connecting and playing together, for our family of stressed parents and angsty teenagers :)  

So how did January go for us?
We started the new school year, both kids are in their last year at their schools, we also celebrated both of their birthdays - they turned 16 and 18 (it's truly hard to believe), and then a routine hospital visit for my father in law turned critical when he suffered an acute heart attack. Miraculously he survived and recovered quickly, spending only two critical days in ICU, and is already back home after eleven days. SO amazing! SO thankful! He was well enough that we were able to attend the wedding of a dear friend's daughter and a young man who is youth leader to my son's cell. A very special day.
What a month! 
Great is His Faithfulness!

With all the planner-rage, I too played with making this 'Month title card' PL insert at the beginning of last month, and was able to add labels for the significant dates of January. I really like it and think I will be using it every month. If you do a monthly format too, and want to use this, scroll down for the links to download it. 

January PL Pages:
These are my pages, here are two of the digital versions, I work on each digitally first, then print each out as physical photos, and add journaling and sometimes embellishments. The digital version looks better on the blog! :)
Besides weddings and birthdays, we also had beach outings with our church youth ministry, and loads of fun and beautiful sunsets.
And one more PL page printed and in the pockets, focused on our word of the year and the story of my father-in-law's hostpilization and amazing recovery. 

January 365 Photo a Day Pages
You may have seen my past Year in Review posts. Using the same half monthly templates, the first two pages of the year are completed!
(Credits: WishAlphabet by Rachel Young, Paper by citrus&mint_HF freebie, Erica Zane's paint from sweetonyou, washi tape by justjaimee, paint from currently by kaye winiecki, wordstrips from sayyesto by paislee press, doodle bracket from superstitious by pink reptile designs, heart from this&thats by The Tattered Pear, heart from queen of hearts, and word phrase from happy thoughts, both by valorie webber)

(Credits: Paper from Studio Basic's AddictedtoLists, blackstripe_flower by Snips&Snails designs from TDD's Life of Change, paint art from Jenn Barrette's perfectfit, washi by JustJaime in 'year in review', Banners, wordstrips, camera, heart from Kaye Winiecki's  eclecticmoments, alpha from pink reptile designs's  chunkycrochet, XOXO from helloiloveyou by Shawna Clingerman)

These half monthly templates are available in the store

I love Marilee Stujenske's layouts using Yin templates! Her brilliant photos and great choice of colors and background highlight her brilliant photos and you can tell she had a great time on these trips! Thank you Marilee for sharing these with us!
I love to see your layouts using Yin templates. If you would like to share, leave a link to your blog or gallery in the comments, or email them to me at yindgs (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) sg. Thanks! 

Free Download

Download these HERE.
Because I'm always sharing what I made for myself, there's only Jan and Feb templates in this download. :)  Do check back for future months!

And since it is Valentines' Day, just want to remind that I have this oldie but goldie heart shaped template that is my all-time fav:
Download Here

Friday, January 23, 2015

Two Pages a Month

I really love it when I get to the end of a year of scrapbook. It is not just the reward and satisfaction of completing it that makes me so happy. It's looking through all the pages, finding what the boys call  our 'slice of life' captured, remembering the big events, small moments, new experiences, everyday-ness, fun, laughter, great days, tough days, family, friends, everything that makes up the story of our year. 

It's a scrapbookers' way of taking stock! According to my pages, in twenty fourteen, we celebrated my parents in laws' 60th anniversary, our niece's wedding, dh's sister's surprise 60th birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and more; went overseas twice for holidays, once for school trip, once for work and once for 10K in Bali, had friends  relatives from China, New Zealand, Malaysia and Taiwan visit, had a Primary School Reunion (with classmates from when I was twelve!), and sent one son to live in his school hostel for a year.

And because I did a photo a day the whole year, I was able to capture even the titbits and the unique 'slices of life' that is ours last year. Let's see, in twenty fourteen, all of us caught conjunctivitis all in one week (yikes!), J forgot to turn up for a talk he was to give on 3D printing, the boys took turns throwing out my not-yet-eaten take-out dinner by mistake(!),  I dressed up as greek goddess for a dinner, tried green tea everything (mochi, ice-cream, cookies, kitkat, mooncake, latte, you name it), did lots of online shopping, my husband caught onto healthy eating (made his own salads and work lunches everyday!), took over entirely to plan our Taiwan trip, we made 'Tank Cakes', had homemade pancakes every weekend, and the favorite family activities was World of Tanks, card games, movies and anime!

Actually I don't always have a photo a day, sometimes I go a few days before remembering and then I look around and add pictures of a corner of our home, a book we are reading, a newspaper article, or a movie we watched, and these have really added to the interest in the pages and completeness of the year as we lived them! And because I use only photos from my iphone, sometimes taken in a super hurry, blurry, in not so good light, or with one son trying to run away (lol), they are what I get. My pages are imperfect but personal, and totally awesome.

Here are the pages I have not yet posted from 2014:
For this Oct page, I had some badly lit photos and decided to play around with a photoshop action filter - bright & pale by chic chick  what a lovely glow!
(Credits: graph grids by SplendidFiins, paint artfrom Across the board by Amy Martin Designs, and the following are all from The Lilypad's Currently collab: wordstrip and lace by Kaye Winiecki, flair by little butterfly wigns, arrows, flower, traingles, word strip by Sara Gleason, glitter by valorie webbers)

The 2nd half of October featured more vibrant colors- lots of red from my niece's pre-wedding ceremonies, and my good friend was featured in the papers!
(credits:Dymo words by Allison Pennington_Currently, paper from Chelle's Creations'_ladybughug_playdate freebie, doodle from J Barrette's perfect fit, alpha from Raspberry sorbet by Kate Hadfield, doodle hearts by Michelle Godin in My Manly Man, heart, string, and tape from heimili by pink reptile designs)

In November we left for Taiwan holiday in the 4th week, and were back only in mid December. As I did separate pages for the holidays, I only made one layout each for Nov and December. This was the time after exams when the boys were home and relaxed but I had my wisdom tooth extraction (ouch!)
(Credits: Cork_Coaster_Heart and Holiday_Spot_Fave_Cut_Out_GinaCabrera of Digital Designs Essentials, Wish Alph by Rachel Young, Paper from a freebie by citrus&mint, confetti and label from year in review by Mommyish designs, arrow, brush, paint, painted heart, painted 'Cheer', wordstrips all from Fun-tastic by Sugar Fancy designs)

And this is the last page - 2nd half of Dec after we are back from Taiwan, filled with home improvements, Christmas celebrations and New Year get-togethers. I did a suitably golden, glittery, starry page :)
(Credits: glitter from 2am's_bestyearyet, Alpha and talk bubble from We all fall down Kit by Allison Pennington, Glitter_Star by_GinaCabrera of Digital Designs Essentials, flower from WinterWoodland by Maya De Groot, poinsettia from MissMint's_UglyChristmasSweater, flower and wordstrips from Celebrate Life by Studio Basic, stars and stitch by Erica Zane, washitape by JustJaimee, and paper from Mommyish's autumn daze)

And Tada! Here they are, my photo a day for 2014, two pages a month!
2014 Review digis crapbook P365
2014 Year In Review

I really want to challenge you to try this, take a photo whenever you can, and with whatever you captured, just slot them into a layout and you will see your year develop! I have shared my process here and  also here, you can try using my templates or any other templates, just get started, keep it simple and you will find it is totally doable!

2015 will be the fourth year I'm recording a photo a day this way, and I really have no thoughts of changing it up. So I've whipped up 8 more templates to do these Half Monthly pages, this set is on sale at $4 until this Sunday! Get them in the Store.
Monthly Template Year In Review

As is customary :) I have made a ninth template for you to download and try out :)
Download this free digiscrap template here - have fun creating!

Project Life December Pages
Because I already captured a photo a day, I only pick up stories I want to elaborate more or anecdotes or conversations to add to my Project Life pages, usually only a couple spreads a month.

I went for a light and pink palette here, with a touch of blue, taking a cue from the 'Life does not have to be Perfect' quote card. This is one way you can tie things together on a page.
We brought the boys with us to attend a local theatre production - we love that they enjoyed it as much as us (!)

Our Christmas page is full of gold and glitter - you see I usually follow a color theme each page, it is really easy for a page to look puled together and just great!

 And for the last page, taking a cue from Elise Blaha's 2014 by the Numbers review, I did one of our own!
We worked hard, studied hard, made home improvements, are obsessed with building tank models and anime figurines, played lots of games and watched lots of movies and anime and korean drams, some of us read a lot, listened to lots of music, and had ten new experiences in 2014!
It's by no means all that make up our year, but a fun recap that the boys participated and counted along with me. The piece of paper we scribbled the count items on is inserted behind in one of the pockets.My album is done!
P.S. as you can see, this page took on a very colorful turn, taking the cue from that photo of us in various colored Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down jackets :)

Double pages using Yin's Templates
I really love getting to see pages made with my templates, and these are so lovely, glad to share them with everyone!
Hannah Hurey's pages are always so classic and calm, simple and elegant. They are proof that all you need are gorgeous photos and great arrangement! :) Thanks Hannah for taking the time to send them to me!

And Marlyn Ramirez always have such lovely pages focused on the people in her life. Thanks Marlyn for taking the time to make my day!

Need more inspiration? Check out these Pinterest Boards:
I could not find a way to contact these ladies, but since these are public boards I think they wouldn't mind me providing a link to their boards, in case others would like to follow them. Thank you so much to J Austen, Lisa Kelly, and Linda, I'm very very honored!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Our Travel Journals - How we record and scrapbook our travels Part 2

A Very Blessed New Year to everyone!
After our rip-roaring New Year's eve family celebrations, we spent some time on New Year's day looking back and wrapping up our year, and getting everyone ready for our new school year, which starts on 2 January! It was really quiet and nice, none of the frenzy and rush of last minute sorting out school supplies, completing holiday homework, and so on that we used to have when the boys were younger. They are so on top of things now! All I have to do is make dinner and do laundry and relax and scrapbook :) The boys are into their last year at their respective schools this year. J will go onto Junior college next year, and R will enter the Army. So a pivotal year! As we look back and look forward, we have SO much to give thanks for, and to record in our journals. I might share these some time :)

But today my post is the continuation of Our Travel Journals - you can see Part 1 here. We have adopted various documenting approaches over the years, I hope by sharing that you might get an idea or two!

Using Project Life/Pocket Scrapbooking
Since 2012 when I started Project Life, I have been using it to capture journaling while on the trip itself! For this Beach holiday (see this post), I pre-designed/printed my own journal cards, and wrote on the beach, at breakfast, and everywhere, and came back with coffee stains and sand on my cards. Most authentic, haha! 

For our Hawaii trip you may remember this post, where I shared how I brought along Becky Higgins journal cards and a few pens and journalled everyday. It is really great with these cards, so light and convenient to carry around, and so quick for jotting down first impressions, thoughts, 'famous last words', on the spur decisions, even mistakes, adventures and so much more!

When we got home, I simply printed a photo for each day of the trip, slot into PL, and our trip has been captured! Of course I went on to do a full photobook for all the tonnes of photos, for which I referred back to these cards to remember the trip for more journaling in the book.

On this next beach holiday the following year, instead of journaling on a day to day basis, I chose themes along activities/food/experience and journaled each one on a card. There are many ways to do this! For this particular trip, you can tell I was playing with photo filters/actions to give a kind of instagram glow for all the pictures :)

For our once in a lifetime trip to London (see this post) though, there was just too much to capture each day, so I went back to journalling in a notebook. Instead, for our PL, I made a list of our top 50 seen and done in London - on blank cards adorned with stickers - and popped them into PL - loved the result! See that post also for more on how I used Rhonna Designs' App to create the Day marker/Title cards. 

As for our Bali trip, I went back to day by day journaling. My family has gotten used to me and my journaling and usually offer an idea or two and say, "you should write that down" ! You can tell how much I love this PL journal card way of capturing memories on our trips!

So bring some journal cards and a pen in your purse on your next road trip, holiday, and try this!

Using the Project Life App 
But now that there is the Project Life App, I have jumped on that wagon and for on our most recent holiday in Taiwan, I journaled and made my PL pages with the App on the trip. Here are the 12 pages I completed before our plane touched back down in Singapore - summarizing and capturing the 16 days we were there - I am so happy with this approach! There's another reason why this turned out to be so important, but I'll share that later.

I am sending these to Persnickety to be printed in 12x12, and will add them to my PL album. I also plan to add some physical elements to them just for the fun of it. Will share these in the upcoming post!

Our Travel Photobooks

Then there are of course, our travel photobooks. The first I made was in 2007, of our epic US East Coast trip, which practically marked the start of Yin Designs templates!! I continue to love making photobooks of all our holidays this way, and have never thought of doing them any other way. 

Links to these photobooks are towards the bottom of the right side bar, if you want to take a quick look. I have also shared templates of my photobook covers - also linked on right side bar.

Hawaii and Bali Photobooks
I realised I haven't posted my most recent completed books - for Hawaii and Bali. Here they are.
For Hawaii, I adapted the layout I already made (template 336) to become the cover, by adding a green strip - making it look like a binding. For Bali, I was in a rush (to catch 50% off) so simply enlarged an awesome photo and made it the cover! I'm still using Shutterfly - I'm so familiar with their software I don't really want to bother with trying other printers - though I've heard so many other great reviews. Their quality is great enough in my opinion still!

London Pages
And I have completed four more pages using the artsy and quirky backgrounds I had created for London. This round all four pages have dark patterned backgrounds nothing like the solid backgrounds I usually use, but making for very interesting and quirky layouts, hopefully you agree!

On day 2 of our trip, we had taken a river boat down the Thames to Greenwich, and spent a glorious day there. At the Painted Hall, we were treated to the beautiful hall, and to fascinating stories and histories through the paintings, because we walked up to a volunteer and simply asked. He was so wonderful and eager to share his knowledge with us.
(credits: Paper by GinaCabrera, Currently Alpha and journal card both by Stolen Moments Designs,
Hot air balloon from this+thats2 by Valorie Wibbens and Lauren Reid)

It was a beautiful day and Greenwich's landscape was lovely as we took a walk up to the Observatory and the Greenwich Meridian Time line.
(credits:  Paper from Allison Pennington's_InSummer-y, Alpha is blueflowerart_by JardinDeMaMere, paint is from Drem Big Designs' Loveletters, and Swirl is from Michelle Godin's Blusteryday)

It was on a whim after watching the Thor movie (in which Greenwich was destroyed!) that we decided to visit Greenwich and we don't regret it. It was also here that we started on our journey in the footsteps of a giant - Lord Nelson - learning about this hero in the Maritime Museum - the coat he was wearing when he was fatally shot 200 years ago is preserved here - you can still see the hole made by the bullet.(gasp). The museum itself is really cool too - the boys will attest to that.
(credits: Crowns by Aja Abney and SHS, paper from Brittish designs'_candyshop, 
paint from Dream Big Designs' Loveletters, and RockingCool alpha by Pink Reptile Designs)

On day 3 we started the morning by visiting the British Library - a most amazing place. We were completed floored by the Treasures - books, journals, scripts, written words beyond expectations. Dh was captivated by song lyrics scribbled by The Beatles (birth of songs we all know!), me by Mozart and Beethoven's handwritten scores as they composed, oh my! Jared by Da Vinci's sketches in his journals, Ryan was impressed by the Bewoulf manuscripts. There was even a letter wirtten by Napoleon that was intercepted by Nelson's men - possibly causing Napoleon's defeat at the Nile(!) How cool is that? I really like this layout, which turned out looking like books stacked on shelves, don't you think?
(credits: Paper from The Daily Digi's_goodlife contributed by ChellesCreations, shelf doodles by 
Fee Jardine, and alpha is rocking cool by Pink Reptile Designs)

And the set of templates are available in the store here. thanks for looking!

12x12 Template to Share
Finally, here is a page I made for the first page of my Hawaii photobook, by adding a flipped over page to a layout I did with template 339. It is fun finding papers for the 'front' and 'back' of the 'flipped page'. Hope you have fun with it!
Download this here!
And that folks, is how we do our Travel Journals! Would love to hear how you do yours!
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