my travel sketchbook: Arizona

Please pardon my dust, as I get back to this thing called blogging.
Last month I’ve had a chance to attend crafters’ paradise show, a.k.a. Creativation (former CHA) in Phoenix with my ever so supportive hubby. I’ve kept a travel sketchbook with me throughout the trip and filled it with notes, instax photos, doodles and little sketches about our Arizona adventures. I was able to work on my sketchbook each night back at the hotel, allowing me to complete 90% of it by the time I got home. I’ve kept it simple, adding only a few stickers and washi tapes I’ve brought with me on this trip.
The album is Heidi Swapp’s instax album I got in Michael’s couple of months ago. It has nice white pages that looked thick enough to possibly hold watercolours AND it has vellum on every other page *insert all the heart eyes emojis here* I used the white pages for my Instax photos and sketches (which worked out great by the way, warping only a little bit when I did a full painted page) and vellum pages for journaling. I loved the whole see-through pages look throughout the sketchbook. Vellum is just my favourite 🙂
Anyways, here it is, my Arizona sketchbook start to finish.

I’m so glad both my husband and I have kept up our daily notes no matter how tired we were each night after days’ excursions. Little (and even not so little) details disappear quickly and I really wanted to capture as much of our trip as possible while the memories were still fresh.
I am also currently working on a travel 6″x8″ scrapbook album of this Arizona trip. I’ll share the finish pages here as well, so stay tuned for that 😉

thank you for visiting and checking out my sketchbook! if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll be sure to answer them promptly.


December Daily – part one

At last, I jumped on the bandwagon this year and decided to join hundreds (or maybe thousands?!) of crafters in their December Daily®  documentations.
First of all, December Daily® is a December long mini-album project, developed by Ali Edwards, that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas. The simple goal is to capture the spirit of December via one story per day. Different takes on this projects varies from mini books to pocket pages, from pre-designed scrapbooks to document-as-you-go journals.
And here is how I decided to approach it this year:
I used a December-themed Smashbook by K&Company, that I got at Michael’s two years ago, dressed it up in some pretty patterned paper from Me and My Big Ideas, added a festive moose wood veneer, and finished it up with a title chipboard from Messy Box by A Beautiful Mess. Ta-Da, I was all good to go.
The Smashbook is spiral bound and has several clear pockets that hold two 4″x6″-ish photos or whatnot. I’ve filled the first page with some confetti for a festive, see-through effect and sealed it with my fuse
And then came the most fun part- adding day’s worth of memorabilia, photos and journal to the pages.
I just glued in all the goodies from a certain day, added stickers, rub-ons, some journaling and called it
And that’s the first half of my December Daily album. So far, I’m pretty pleased with its documentation, stress-free strategy to keep up and overall merriment 🙂
Stay tuned for the second half of the album!

How to Catch Up on 36 weeks of Project Life in 21 days and why Project Life app is even more useful than you think

As many of you know I’m currently doing #letscatchuponprojectlife challenge, where I set out to catch up on 36 (yes, 36!) weeks of memories in just 3 weeks. Last year I attempted to do 20 weeks of Project Life in Two weeks and didn’t quite succeed. So, how will THIS, even bigger challenge be different and achievable? Three words: Project Life app.
First of all, let me tell you that I am NOT a digital scrapbooker at all because I have HAVE TO create with my hands.. on actual paper.. with my own handwriting.. gluing all the little embellishments. Many would argue that scrapbooking is mainly about memory keeping and it doesn’t matter how you do it because preserving your memories in any way counts, whether it’s on your computer, in a traditional 12″x12″ album or somewhere in between. And I agree with that 100%, it’s just, personally, the very act of physical scrapbooking is just as important to me as having those memories preserved in the end. Simply put, I just LOVE playing with stickers and paper and can’t scrapbook digitally. So why am I all of a sudden a strong believer in Project Life app you might ask? Because it has more uses than you think and can help you tremendously in catching up on Project Life, both digitally AND physically. Hear me out.
This is what 6 months of 2015 look like in photos on my phone. Even though I had a great plan to catch up on Project Life, with this HUGE number of photos in my camera roll (7,463 to be exact) it was overwhelming for me to even begin going through them to select which ones to print for my albums. And, honestly, that’s how I fell behind in a first place: dreading going through my many photos on regular basis. It’s a never-ending cycle, I tell ya, and it only gets more overwhelming as you let the photos pile up. This short video sums it up perfectly how I feel felt.
Fast forward to yesterday morning when a light bulb went on in my head
Project Life app.
I know many people have SWORN by the Project Life app and how it brought back the love of scrapbooking, made completing several pages (even albums!) easy within only days and overall has changed people’s lives.. yes, the list goes on and on. I fully believe that it’s revolutionary for lots of people (you can see for yourself here) but I just thought that it wasn’t for me.
I was so wrong.
Yesterday I decided to play around with it and create some layouts just to help me see how the photos would look together for my printing.
Then after saving my layouts to the camera roll I saw how cute those small thumbnails looked on my phone and all of a sudden had a little eureka moment. I decided to print the two Project Life spreads I just made on a 4″x6″ photo, through my wireless Canon Selphy printer, and use them as a reference guide for my #letscatchuponprojectlife challenge.
So instead of sketching out each Project Life layout in my planner, I could just print this mini layout version as a reference and glue it in the slot I allocated for sketches.
These little 3″x3″ Project Life spreads allow you to not only preview exactly what your pages would look like but also make it referring to your planning notes waaaay faster (and more fun) than reading your sketches and scribbles.
Neat, right? And guess what else is neat? Having my Project Life app pages printed to a full 12″x12″ layout, ready for scrabooking!
Well, after seeing those 3″x3″ mini Project Life spreads in my hands I kind of got hooked and for the first time ever thought that maybe even I can use the ready-designed-and-printed pages for my albums. Would it save time? OH YES. Would it look just like a normal Project Life spread? I hope so. But what about scrapbooking using my own paper stash, handwriting and creating pages with embellishments and stickers? Can’t give that up, no way 😉 Well, you guys, I think I found a way to make it work even for a die-hard hands-on scrapbooker like me.
Here is what I decided I would do:
1) use the Project Life app. Plan and assemble my pages there.
2) have my pages printed at a local printer. The app DOES support printing directly from it, but right now only for U.S. (though I hear they are working towards making it available for everyone, so stay tuned).
3) trim my printed pages into 4″x6″ and 3″x4″ cards accordingly.
4) add all the journaling and embellishments to my heart’s desire. And then
5) insert photos into pockets, thus preserving not only memories but the sheer act of scrapbooking that I enjoy so much. *insert confetti emoji here*

So this is my current photo-printing plan for Project Life. I hope to review and share the process with you guys sometime later this week. Last night I got my initial 6 Project Life spreads from the printer and I’m simply in love! So easy, SO fast, so awesome! I am now a total believer in Project Life app and will buzz anyone’s ears about it, whether they might or might not want to hear it 😛
Also, I would like to put it out there that this blog post is not sponsored or encouraged in any way, and all these thoughts, observations and opinions are strictly my own.

Tomorrow I will show you a step-by-step tutorial on how I got two 3″x3″ Project Life layouts to print on a 4″x6″ photo. I know a lot of you have asked that question, so stay tuned for that! But if you’re curious and impatient like me and can’t wait till tomorrow, then join me on Periscope broadcast tonight (search for Olya Schmidt or PaintPaperStudio) where I will be able to demo it, show you my planner pages up close AND answer your questions LIVE. Otherwise, come back tomorrow.
Oh, and if you’re using Project Life or any other system that you find useful, please share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to read what other people found working for them.

Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and get your photos into a scrapbook. To learn more about the product and how to get started, visit