Friday, February 13, 2015

Project Life Layout Using Gossamer Blue Tags

This gorgeous pink tag came in one of Gossamer Blue's kits this last fall and at first, I wasn't sure how to use it. I've used smaller tags in 3x4 pockets with journaling on them, before, but I had never used larger tags in my scrapbooking, they always felt awkward.
Well, I kept with my white space theory and added pink everywhere to match the tag and I couldn't be more enamored with the end result. I think I'll need to keep this technique with me and incorporate it into my 2015 album as well. You can never go wrong with pink. What new embellishments have you tried using lately?
xoxo, Laura

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Project Life Plan + Title Pages

Hello everybody! It took me a long time to figure out my 2015 memory keeping game plan; but now that I have, I can't wait to share my plans with you! Let's jump right in...

My 2015 Project Life Plan

Story: This year I really want to focus on the story of Stephen and I and our life together. Last year I focused on MY story and my life as an individual and let photos and stories of my relationship fit in where they did. This year, I plan to not only tell my story with the same importance as I did last year, but I plan to include a lot more of our story as a couple and more photos of us as a couple (forcing him to take selfies with me more regularly haha.)

Album: Two WRMK Gold 12x12 albums.
I struggled with this decision so much. I really wanted to try the 6x8 or 9x12 or 6x12 size this year. I still wish I were switching to a beautiful, smaller size, but one of my biggest priorities this year is to pay off debt. As I'm finishing up last years album, I realized not all of 2014 was going to fit into one 12x12 album. And if I switched to a size that was half of my current size or less, I would need more than twice as many albums for the year (and I'm already at two a year.) I was able to get the gold WRMK 12x12s with a Hobby Lobby coupon for 40% off. The new, smaller albums only have online, full retail price options for buying + paying shipping. So each album would cost more than double, and I would need more than twice as many. Obviously, if you're following the math, this meant I had to forgo my desires to switch to a smaller size and honor my decision to focus my money on paying off debt.

Pages: No rules. I will add inserts whenever I want, use whatever designs I want, whatever size I want them to be. Last year I stuck mostly with Design A + Design F pages for a more cohesive look. No rules this year. I'll be trying page protector designs I've never tried before and photo sizes I've never tried before (you can see a preview of my first ever Design E page and my first time using 6x6 photos below ). I'm very excited for that.

Products I'm using: Becky Higgins Page Protectors. My monthly Gossamer Blue kits and their designer collections. 2015 will also be the year I stop hoarding pretty paper. I plan to do A LOT of scrapping from my stash this year. My stash is huge and the goal is to have a craft room with a lot less things in it by the end of the year. And of course I will be using lots of my own designs from my etsy shop and plan to design lots of gorgeous new products there this year!

Approach: Lots of gold and glitter are in my plan for my 2015 Project Life album! Other than that, I have no rules or game plan for my spreads. I'm just going to go with the flow and create as it comes to me. I wanted to switch to a smaller size album so I could have lots of fun inserts and decorative pages. Then I thought "There's no reason I can't do that in a large album, too!" So I'm going to make the 12x12 album work for me by doing all those fun pages and inserts that make smaller albums so pretty.

Other Memory Keeping: I'm totally in love with mini albums and hope to make a lot more this year than I did last year! I also want to create more traditional scrapbooking pages!

Now the fun part; the start to my 2015 Project Life album!

I have two title pages. One with gold glitter and thickers. The next with 6x6 photos and some gorgeous vellum with a gold foiled floral print on it. Almost everything in the first three pages of my album is from the On My Desk collection by Gossamer Blue. I'm so in love with all of the gold in this line! Do you have a memory keeping plan for 2015? 

xoxo, Laura

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lake Michigan Layout

Today I'm sharing one of my layouts from my Lake Michigan vacation. Swoon. This is a 12x12 page in my 2014 album that summarizes our trip. The entirety of the trip is in it's own mini album. The whole mini album is filled with so much goodness, I'll probably end up doing a flip through video eventually to share it all. But for now- here's some goodness for you <3 p="">

I can't wait to do it again this year. The adventures, the photographs and the memory keeping. I love this annual trip that we take every summer. So much fun. Do you document your vacations in your annual albums or in their own minis?

xoxo, Laura

Thursday, February 5, 2015

1989 Project Life Cards Freebie

I'm madly obsessed with Taylor Swift's 1989 album (as I always am with every album she releases.) Taylor recently went and trademarked a ton of phrases from her new album so that designers and manufacturers cannot use her phrases on their merchandise and make money. Basically, she doesn't want anyone to make money off of her words (even if it's their art with her words.) Which, took me a while to understand, but now I totally get.

The great thing is that, while people cannot make things using T.Swizzle's new lyrics and sell them, they can still make them and use them! As long as they don't make money off of it. Which is great because, well, 1989 is filled with amazing catchy phrases. And so, in honor of my love for these words, I'm sharing them with you today, for free, as part of my A Year of Kindness project! I chose lyrics that are all about love- in honor of Valentine's day.

You can download these free 1989 project life cards here.

A Year of Kindness is a collaborative event between Olya Schmidt and Laura Rahel Crosby, where each artist creates free printables every month for their followers to enjoy. Read more about this project, A Year of Kindness, here.

January's free printables can be found here.

I would love to see how you use your printables. Leave a link to your projects below, or tag me (@laurarahel on instagram) to share. Be sure to check out Olya's free printables this month here. You can see more of my design work- project life cards and stationary, in my shop here.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Project Life- Living in Charlotte

I'm head over heels in love with this layout I made documenting life in Charlotte. Using lots of goodies from my Gossamer Blue stash and some other pretty paper I had laying around. This year, I really want to focus on using up most of my paper + embellishment stash. This layout was a step in the right direction!

Any other Project Lifers find themselves hoarding pretty paper? We just can't help it!


Is Divorce Ever the Right Answer

It's true what they say, that you lose a lot friends when you get divorced. Some of your friends will choose sides, others just aren't there for the tough stuff. Something else is true, too, though. The friendships you're left with are stronger, deeper and of higher value to you. And one day, you'll probably find yourself on the other end of the conversation with one of your girlfriends that sounds like this "I just don't know what to do, I don't know if I can (or want to) save my marriage."

Since you've been through a divorce, your closest friends will probably come to you when they find themselves doubting their marriages. And what is there to tell them? Divorce is hard. It's messy and stressful and heartbreaking. But for some of us... it's also a relief.

I truly believe in marriage and everything it stands for. I hope to marry again someday. Though I'll do it much differently, if I do it again, (more on that, later.) And so when somebody I love comes to me thinking about ending their marriage, I'll be the first to say- "That sucks. It sucks that you're in a position where you're thinking about divorce. Divorce sucks."

Because the truth of the matter is, divorce is a very personal thing. Every marriage is different. I'm very cautious about advocating for divorce. In my situation, it was 100% the right answer. But if two loving partners can save a marriage, I would always, always advocate for that first. And in the end, divorce is something only you and your partner can decide.

The best thing I can ever do for a loved one who comes to me questioning their marriage or divorce is to simply love them and support them. No matter what. There is a place and a time for your own opinion, but in the end, choosing to stand behind your friend in their moment of need is the best thing you can do for them and for their marriage. And so those conversations usually end up going like this, "I understand. I'm sorry you're going through this and I support your decision 100%, either way. I love you."

And then I do. I support their decision to get divorced if that's what they choose. Or, I support their decision to stay in their marriage. No questions asked. I will not judge their decision or ask them to validate it. I will simply be there, loving them. Because when I was getting divorced, that's all I wanted from my closest friends.