07. july

Okay, so May was boring. I was boring. Most of the pages are boring, right up until the end there. That's probably why I kept futzing with it, trying to make it more than it was. Unfortunately, June isn't any better. Even with a fun double-vacation in the middle, I'm uninterested in working on it. Blah blah blah, barf.

But July—July's a dream. Let's just skip right to the fun stuff. These are some of my all time favorite pages. It was the perfect storm of crafting: 1) good colors, 2) favorite cards/papers, and 3) photos that I love.

Are you watching Suits? You should be. Edge of Tomorrow = Groundhogs Day + Aliens + Tom Cruise. Neon pink junk mail is okay with me. The text is printed on a transparency over the top because I was too afraid to write on it and ruin it's fluorescent perfection. Obvious Child, modern day romantic comedy. Very modern, obviously.

My first soda of the year, that's how hot it's been. And shorts, holy crap. I never wear shorts. Followed by my ill-fated 24 hour trip to STL for work. The official burger record—starting with the best airport burger of all time. Two sweet Studio Calico cards. And the day Tim got us rides in a pace car around Laguna Seca Raceway. Unreal to go from watching races on tv to riding on the track.

Let me just start by saying this is, officially, the best page I've ever made. You might think I'm crazy, but this is what it's all about. Me and the books I'm reading. Paired up neon screenprinted tea cups and gorgeous photo from Tina's shop and the last scrap of paper Kristi designed a billion years ago. And yes, the entire page was inspired by the Read More Books button.

A photo of what's hanging on my inspiration wire at the moment and photobooth pictures from the fair of my aunts and uncles, and me and mom. I was, and still am, giddy over these strips. They totally indulged me on that one. Although the photo here isn't doing justice to the fact that I made them a lovely monochromatic purple to match the poster.

Hiking Montana de Oro with the fam. We saw whales and sweated our asses off before going out for beers and burgers. That's what we do. And La Super Rica with Tim before seeing Slightly Stoopid. For the Karl solo, obvs.

Afternoon beers that turned into cocktails that turned into guitar playing around the kitchen table. YES. Another photo from Tina's Pretty Mini Prints is tucked behind the Granada business card. Which is oversized and letterpressed. You know how I feel about that. I had to buy tiny gold staples just to attach those two, regular wouldn't do. Oh, and a totally unrelated photo of Niko sitting on the moon.

I've been using slideshows of my pages up until now, just to make it tidy but today I felt like adding commentary. Because I'm more excited about them, or because of the pre-posting cocktail? Either way, let me know if you like it better this way. Or do you even care? I mean, a PL is a PL. I'm not doing rocket science over here. Thanks for making it this far. You deserve a cocktail too.

05. may

You know I'm an insufferable futzer. I've been working on this entire album, May thru August, for the last few months. Adding something from the latest Studio Calico kit here and there. Swapping out a photo, rearranging cards. It's a sickness.

In case you're wondering the silver clip on the right is holding together several protectors that will someday contain my June vacation to Disneyland and Lake Tahoe. But for now, it's just keeping shit tidy. Pretend you don't notice it.

The details:

  1. Thank you jcrew for the perfect cover page. Glare, anyone?
  2. Quote from Bitter in the Mouth scripted by me and the beginning of a new series, "fuck yeah" _________.
  3. Brown and green, never imagined a spread with those colors.
  4. Will's birthday a la paislee press.
  5. Purple monotone photo + Tina's laser cut watercolor hello for the win, and the perfect Kelly Purkey alpha in white over some ice water. I never drink ice water. That's how hot it was in here.
  6. Beers with my brother before the Giants game + one of my all time fav Studio Calico embellishments, the black acrylic IG icon, over some green packing material.
  7. My nephew Will is classic. When my mom didn't meet us back at the seats after a bathroom trip, he jumped up, put on his backpack and started yelling "We have to find my Nana!" Must have got that from Dora.
  8. Niko, forever.
  9. Every year I buy myself a new piece of artwork around my birthday/tax return time. This year's artwork is from Maya Gohill. You might remember seeing it in the background of this post on SF Girl By Bay. I fell in love with it and Maya was totally awesome, convincing her client to share a copy with me. So voila, I now have a man amongst all my paintings of girls. Plus, insanely good mail from Gen.
  10. Power went out a lot at the end of the month making time for tanning, ice creams and closet make-overs. Plus some timely quotes from my friend Sylvia (so hating on PowerPoint that week) and this pin from Wasted Rita. And some color coordinating pinterest screenshots.

it's yellow. it's in the door.

Today as I looked through my old Typepad blog one last time, I ran across the post with my all-time favorite comment. I'm reposting it here so it's not lost forever when I flip the switch. Heidi's reply has become a running joke in my house ever since that day...

circa March 8, 2009:

men: things they don't notice

  • crumbs
  • stains
  • bad smells
  • hairs on the bathroom sink
  • "the LOOK"
  • not-so-subtle birthday hints
  • those big sighs that mean pick a channel already

What else, ladies?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Heidi said... That the answer to the question, "Hey honey, where's the mustard?" Will always be, "In the door of the fridge." and never anything different. It's not a mystery. It's. Always. In. The. Door. And. Bright. Yellow. At. That.

04. april

Hmmm, what to say about April? April is the month I started using red. Only because William started wearing red. Every time I saw that kid, he was wearing red. What can you do? You have to just roll with it.

April is the month Game of Thrones started. Hello. And, the month we powered thru season 3 in two days. Which makes waiting a whole week that much harder.

April is the month I caught Bebe on the roof, the month I finally convinced Tim to get rid of his 1990's oak CD rack, the month the power kept going out and I discovered rootbeer float popsicles. The month I finally used one of the PL cards I designed for Studio Calico last December. It's the month I made my first 5" x 7" insert (for my NSD challenge with Tina), the month I started adding inside jokes again and finally found a place for one of my favorite pins.

It's also the month I filled up my first album of 2014. 

memorial day giveaway

For the last 3 years, I've kept a project life style scrapbook. Before that, I made a lot of minibooks about my travels and made a small collection of layouts for the Dares, but nothing on a regular basis. Layouts never came easy for me. I never knew what to do with all that space and, most of the time, made them very small so I wouldn't have to. I never knew what do with them after I'd made them. To this day I have a stack of pages I don't know where to put. Minis always made more sense; they're small, they're self-contained, they're specific. Pocket scrapbooking turned out to be the perfect solution for a crafter like me. It's inserts are small and the pages self-contained like a mini but flexible enough for anything I want to make whether that means getting more creative, or less. Now I actually use the pictures I take and have a place for all that pretty paper I love to hoard so much. High five!

You can see my first, second and third years of PL in my Projects gallery.


Over the last year, as I tweaked my approach and zeroed in on my fav products, I've accumulated a lot of "back-ups." Enough that I have the makings for a great starter set. If you've ever wanted to try project life/pocket scrapbooking now's your chance.

Included are:

  • 1 brand new chipboard Handbook perfect for recovering
  • A fat stack of page protectors of all configurations (you'll just need to punch new holes to work with the handbook like I did last year)
  • An even fatter stack (3 inches!) of Studio Calico project life cards, the accumulation of the last few months and a few collections I scored on eBay.
  • 2 goodie bags filled with a huge selection of bits and baubles from Studio Calico Project Life kits—sequins, cork doodads, die cuts, paper clips, stamps, badges, washi tape, stickers, alphabets, veener—everything you could possibly want to embellish the hell out of your album.

Just leave a comment here with your name and email address, and I'll select a winner Tuesday at noon, PST. If all goes well, you could be working on your album by Saturday. US residents only, please.

Edited 5/27 to add—Congratulations Enjoli, you're lucky winner! #26 on the 26th. 

the non-Mickey Mickey

I'm sharing a few pages from my newphew's birthday on the paislee press blog today, in what I'm affectionately calling "grown-up Mickey" style, or rather, how to scrapbook a kid's party without getting cartoony.

03. march

You know I'm a futzer, right? My scrapbook sits open on a stand next to my desk and I flip thru it a lot. Flip flip flip back to spreads I haven't finished yet or flip flip forward to pages with inserts I'm not satisfied with. I'd like to be one of those "do it and done" type of people but I'm not. I know I can't make everything picture perfect, but I can find alternate solutions that will make it more aesthetically pleasing. Whether that means hiding the journaling under another card or substituting a pretty card for a not-so-pretty photo, or moving a picture to another spread with coordinating colors, it's fine with me.

Sometimes a spread will come together perfectly, but lately it seems like I'm spending more time trying to figure out how to fit the pieces together. March was like that. I had a few spreads I loved (my paislee spring break layouts) but struggled fitting the rest of the month around it. What to put across from the vellum page, how to include the extra photos from Jen's visit? Working around several full-page photos takes some finagling. Good thing I'm a futzer.

The details:

  • I'm working on using more than hoarding. Case in point, the gold edged Studio Calico labels and the outlined wood veneer.
  • I loved the March card Tina designed for last month's SC kit. So much, I cut in half so I could use it twice. The other half is under the Simple Stories flip thingy. They're cool but you can only use them on a bottom pocket and the adhesive strip was ridiculously big. I trimmed half of it off and am liking it much better.
  • The whole NY spread is an all time fav. That neon Acne postcard is another thing I've been hoarding for years. Love it paired with the orange GO badge I designed for one of KP's kits earlier this year. I'm not really a badge girl, I think the whole circle thing throw me off. But damn, this one makes me want to use more.
  • The chumbot/letterpressed fuchsia LOVE combo kills me. Makes my love for that cheesy game look better than it should. 
  • The 4x6 NOT MY DAY transparency from one of SC's recent kits is working hard here cropped on it's side, semi-obscuring the journaling.
  • Spring break + Paislee, you've already seen that, the one with the vellum and the "schedule" hidden behind the other card. I tweaked the final layouts to accommodate another full size photo and a few more photos.
  • My latest plan for actually using my SC project life cards: print lots of journaling right over top of the design. Took a few tries (figuring which way to insert the card into my printer) but otherwise I'm considering it a success.


Technically, it could be #nsd over here everyday. I've gotten into the habit of working on my scrapbook each morning before work. Even if it's just a half hour of card shuffling, page flipping or photo printing, it's the perfect segue into work.

I'd planned to do a little crafting on Saturday at some point, but nothing official until Tina got motivated. Inspired by two recent pins—colorful collages of little bits—we made our own #nsd challenge.

(p)inspiration one and two

Sidetracked by a trip to the vet, then brunch with friends, and a trip to home depot which turned into a trip south to pick up a basketball hoop, followed by a mandatory stop at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for an ice blended chai. By the time we made it home, Tina'd already finished hers.

All those hours doing errands gave me plenty of time to pre-plan so when I finally got to my desk, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. There were a few photos and bits from the last studio calico kit that I wanted to use but didn't have a spot for on my Easter spread so I made an insert. One side the inspiration collage, the other a full size photo.

Since this 5x7 insert sits inside the official Easter spread and Mom had requested we all wear black and white for family photos, except for Will's red Mickey shirt, the color palette was already set. I just had to pull together a handful of coordinating scraps and fit them all together. The pinky-orange neon screenprint from Tina is the saving grace, helping me shift away the from the red. Ugh, the red. So many pages of red lately...

Anyways, it feels like I went back to my roots with this one. I do love a good grid of colored papers.

You can see Tina's here. It's fun to see how we were both inspired by the same piece.

current obsession: wallpaper

The mediocre movies we've been watching lately have had some of the greatest wallpaper. Case in point, A Fantastic Fear of Everything. The wallpaper in Simon Pegg's apartment was amazing. From the olive forest in the living room to the red on black floral in the hall, and the large green and yellow pattern in the bathroom. So great. Not to mention the rest of the set design... red lacquered trim in the hallway, the strange portrait of the woman next to the toilet, and the piles of books, papers and photos everywhere. Made me wish I could rifle thru the rooms looking for treasure. 


flower bomb

Last month Tina released a very cool set of large black and white prints featuring her photography. The delicate flowers paired with her script; the sparkle on the water; the grainy imperfection; of course, I fell in love.

When I ordered Let it Go and Adventure she slipped a mini print of the the floral, Flower Bomb, in with my order. I thought it was lovely when she released it originally but never paid any real attention to it. I have since become completely obsessed. You might have noticed it went into my scrapbook, and then into my instagram feed, almost immediately. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to use it... more, more, more. Larger, somewhere else.

And then, my eyes gravitated down to my third album from last year. The feathers. Ugh. The colors were good, the pattern was good, I thought I liked it. I tried to like it. But no. It wasn't really me.

First thing Saturday morning I peeled off the feather paper (along with the thinnest top layer of chipboard) and using rubber cement, carefully applied Flower Bomb to my naked album. The glue hadn't even dried before I knew this pattern was the one. The large scale and graininess of the photo applied to the small album makes a huge impact. It's ethereal and moody and so much more than just a scrapbook now. The print totally elevates it.

Just look at it on my shelf with the other 2013 albums... it's perfection is undeniable.


The sheet Tina sent me included a handful of smaller prints perfectly sized for PL pages or, conveniently, the covers of a smaller album. Since the Handbook turned out so well I decided to cover this year's Snap album too. I never liked the black spine against the kraft cover but wasn't sure how to fix it. Now the black makes sense. Yes, the inside is still kraft but somehow that doesn't bother me as much. I glued one to the front, one to the back, trimmed the edges carefully with my exacto knife and voilà.


Don't you want to do yours now too?

spring break | paislee press

Last month my best friend from high school brought her family down for spring break. With 3 boys it was all adventures and eating; adult beverages and beach time; sandy feet and smart-ass remarks; musicals (pitch perfect, anyone?) and couch snuggles. It was loud and messy and totally awesome. Of course, the cats didn't agree but having the house full made my heart happy. 

Plus, their visit gave me the opportunity to finally use press plate no. 39. Finally! This template was a special request of mine and I've been waiting for ages to use it.


Read more about my project on the Paislee Press blog or see the rest of my pages in my gallery of paislee press projects.

02. february

And, into February. This month has some of my favorite spreads to date. You'll know which ones by the color. Finally, color. And blue, out of nowhere. I've never really liked blue before but it keeps popping up.

The details:

  • This month features a few of my paislee press projects. Here's what I used: press cards no. 32, pictures & words no. 9, eternal sunshine papers, eternal sunshine journal cards
  • The card from Colpa press is an all time fav. I've been holding onto it since Tina and I were in Portland last May. Couldn't wait to pull it out for Valentine's Day.
  • 39th birthday journaling thankfully hidden by the photo of the cake Steph made me. Nobody needs to come across that accidentally.
  • Winter's Tale. What to say about that? I've been listening to the audio book for ages and most of the time I have no idea what's going on. It is the most non-linear book I've ever read. Imagine my surprise when I went to see the movie and it was nothing like the book.
  • My cousin Katie is hilarious—I wish all selfies were this funny. From now on, selfies should be limited to ironic or humorous situations only. (The Quoted card is another one I designed for Kelly Purkey's January kit. It's letterpressed goodness makes me giddy.)
  • Aquarius page of the astrology calendar from Prismatic Print Shop (sold out)
  • Beautiful floral black and white print from Tina, a smaller version of this poster, was tucked into my last order and I am obsessed with it.
  • Simon Pegg gets me everytime. Fantastic Fear was not his best but the set design was incredible. The wallpaper in his apartment alone deserves it's own post.

01. january

Totally unmotivated and unhappy with the few spreads I had made, I had very little interest in working on my scrapbook at the beginning of the year. I can only attribute it to third year burnout. Switching to a Snap album, on k's recommendation, really helped get me going again. The slim design is nice and clean, and I no longer have to punch holes in my protectors to make them fit my album. (Last year I was using the Simple Stories protectors in a Studio Calico Handbook, which meant punching 4 holes per page. Ugh.) 

This year I want to include more personal details. Ideally, my album would be part scrapbook, part photo album and part journal; a time capsule of my life. More about what I'm making, reading, thinking, doing... and less filler (although I do love a well designed PL card), less photos of the cats (hard to imagine) and less lifeless lists. More about what really moves me. And maybe, just maybe, more photos of myself. Let's see how I do...

The details:

  • The promo for Life | Scripted that came in the January Studio Calico kit featuring Kal Barteski's incredible script was an obvious choice for my title page and, I think, really sets the tone for this year's book. The black/white design and message are right on point.  
  • Full page photos—in the past I'd cut full size images into 4 pieces but this is so much better.
  • Book covers—why didn't I think of including these before? They're so much more interesting than a list. (To be honest, I'll probably only include the aesthetically pleasing covers.)
  • The visual stylings of my pal, Tina, who turned my parting words "Go get 'em tiger!" into the fantastic script and gummy bear photo that helps to make the ridiculous Robin Hood poster seem less crazy on that spread.
  • The script overlays are my contribution to the Life | Scripted class. I'd like to have an on-going series of pages like these listing my goals for this year. (The pages behind the transparencies are torn out, respectively, of a Wired magazine and the New York Notebook journal.)
  • The letterpressed 2014 card, in the most perfect plummy magenta, is one I designed for Kelly Purkey's kits. I can't bring myself to embellish it, yet. It's too perfect right now.

PS. Not a fan of the slideshow feature? You can find individual photos in the Project Life 2014 gallery.


designerd tshirt by pauline goan

designerd tshirt by pauline goan

You may have noticed something's wrong with my blog. Everything's gone. From April 2006 thru the end of 2013, gone. That's a lot of history, but also a lot of baggage.

I'm ready for a fresh start.

The old posts aren't going to be migrated to the new site but I'm working on adding all my past (and present) scrapbooks, art journals and minis to the Project page. By the time I'm done the gallery will just about contain my entire scrapbooking history. Have fun with that.

Here's to moving forward.

PS. a lot of the change was driven by my desire to make everything look clean and polished. The old site was not cutting it. I am such a designerd.


Ultra neon pink, XOXO laser cut-outs, perfect for hoarding. Or using, whatever. Get one here.