Going Paper!

I haven’t blogged in awhile, and that’s because I just don’t feel like sitting at my computer.

I feel like making stuff.

Painting, playing with paper, sewing, knitting, etc.

I sit at my computer most of the day at work if I’m not in court, so sitting in front of the computer when I come home is becoming less and less appealing.  The idea of fussing with a Project Life digital template, resizing photos, making intricate collages, and embellishing with digital paint and digital buttons or whatever just isn’t doing it for me.  I want to pick up a pen, and write my thoughts.  I want to have my real artwork in my scrapbook, not just a photo of my art.  I want my movie tickets in my book, not a scan of my tickets.  I’m tired of struggling to make my digital layouts look like paper.

I just want paper.

So, I bought paper.  Last week, I won an ebay auction for one of Becky Higgin’s original core kits, Amber.  The original kits came with tons of stuff:


I have no idea what the original kits cost, but I got mine for $30 (+$15 shipping) – which is the cost of the journaling card core kit now, before you start buying the page protectors, album, etc.  The philosophy behind the Becky Higgins system is that you buy the above, and you’re done.  Done.  And, you could be.  If you don’t mind using the same cards over and over, and you want your kit to look completely consistent from page to page, this really is all you need.

But, I don’t care about consistency, and I don’t really want to use the same cards for the entire year, so I didn’t have any problem using my 40% off coupon at Michael’s to purchase another core kit to get me started while I waited for my ebay package.  So, I bought the Kraft edition, along with a few Snap journaling card pads that were on clearance for $2.99.


Here is the new kit inside the old kit, so you can see the size difference:


As you can see, the old kit, unlike the new kit, came with separately packaged cards, in cute little boxes, and the box is so big because it also housed the album and the page protectors:


Look, Olive wants to scrapbook too!


No she doesn’t – she wants me to throw her toy, to heck with the scrapbook.

Anyway, Amber isn’t my favorite kit, but its not my least favorite – I was really moved to bid on this kit for all of the extras – the 50+ page protectors, the monthly dividers, the stickers, and the date stamp.




As I was photographing my lot, I couldn’t help but compare it to the Kraft kit, which I was working with all week.  First, the Amber journaling cards aren’t double sided.  Second, they’re on much thinner cardstock, and third, they’re smaller.  Huh, smaller, I wonder if the page protectors are smaller too – so I did a little test –

sizecomparisonAnd, yep, the page protectors are smaller.  I guess the cards and page protectors got larger when Becky switched from being on her own to going into business with American Crafts.  I didn’t get out my ruler – but I didn’t know that 3 x 4 was something up for debate –


Huh.  So, now if I want to use the old page protectors, and the new 3 x 4 (the 4 x 6 pockets seem to be the same), I’ll have to trim the 3 x 4’s down.  Bummer.  But, I have a handy dandy corner rounder, so it’s not that big of a deal.  But, I think the larger pockets are a truer 3 x 4, and I may end up cutting my photos down too.  We’ll just have to see how that goes.

But, as I mentioned, I couldn’t wait for my ebay package to get started, so I bought the Kraft kit – and I really love the whole paper process.  I thought I would hate printing my photos – and that was always the big stumbling block for me about going paper.  But here’s what I’m doing to make this painless.

First, I take most of my photos on my iPhone.  As a former DSLR purist, the irony doesn’t escape me.  But, you know what – the best camera is the one you have on you, and the bottom line is I’m not framing these photos, I’m putting them in a scrapbook.  No need for perfect, just a need to save the memory.  Next, I use the Collect App.  That app allows me to organize my photos by date, and journal on the “back” of them. You can import these Collect cards to your Camera Roll and print them, but they’re a bit too neat for my taste.  I just use them for organizing purposes, and to cut out my former step of using the online service Oh Life to document what I did on a daily basis so that I could remember for my album.

So, at the end of the week, I import the vertically oriented photos into the Beautiful Mess app, open up a 4 x 6 oriented collage, and create a 2 photo collage of 2 vertical photos, removing the borders.  Then, after I save them to the Camera Roll, I create another album called “To Be Printed,” and I move all of the photos I want to print in there.  Then, I upload them to Walgreens, and they’re done in an hour.  I pick them up on the way back from court – easy peasy.  For photos that I want square – no problem, I share on Instagram, and Walgreens accesses my Instagram feed, easy peasy.  As far as the photos that I take from my DSLR, the last week I printed them myself on my Epson Artisan 810, but I think, now that I’m caught up to this week (sort of – I’m caught up printing photos for what I want in this new 2014 iteration.  I still have to go back and do some digital layouts to finish the 2013 digital opus), I may upload them to Walgreens as well.  My 2013 album was Sunday to Saturday, and that’s because I like to scrap on Saturday.  This album, because I wasn’t even thinking about it, started out Monday through Sunday, but I think I’m going to switch back.

In any event, the printing hasn’t been a total hassle, and it has cost on average, under $10 a week.  So, here’s what I’ve made:


Hmm, you may be wondering why I started in the middle of the week.  Well, when I actually went to use my home printer, I discovered we were out of ink, so I couldn’t print out the journal card I wanted about 2014 – hello 2014, or something like that.  Yep, my digital supplies are still going to get used.  The camera on the blue card, and the journaling card I turned on its side that says “heartbeat at my feet” are from One Little Bird.  Also, I started midmonth because during the first two weeks of January I really didn’t take very many photos, we really didn’t do anything New Years, and the last week of December was equally as blah.  So, I think I’m going to combine all three weeks into one spread – maybe 2, I’m not sure.  Yes, I’m again not numbering weeks in the original Project Life style – I’m just dating them.  So, if I have a need to combine weeks, or even skip them in the future, that’ll be just ok.  I’m not getting graded on this project, it’s just a scrapbook.

And, here’s my favorite part of this week –

gelliplateThat’s a collage of my actual gelli plate papers – love it!

Next –



This one has some washi tape, some alpha stickers, and some snowflake stickers, and that’s the extent of the embelishing – other than writing directly on the photos – love that! And these two weeks – all iPhone/Walgreens.

And last week –

week3And, what I love about this week –

ticketsWe went to the Sixers game, and these are our actual tickets – not a scan.  And,

programthis card is from the program, and the pink photo mat is actually our parking voucher.

I love paper, I really do.  And, again, mostly iPhone photos.  The only DSLR photos are the collage of my parents, and the photo of Joe by the fireplace.

So, that’s where I am. I’ve made the move, I’m happy, and now I just have to go backwards and forwards at the same time.  But, it won’t be so bad, or take too long – it’s like I have a new toy, and I want to play with it.  It’ll be done in no time!

And then I’ll need more supplies . . .


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