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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wilderness Wildlife Week-Free Photography Classes and More

For the last 3-4 years I have been attending the Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge.
This photo is from last year-2014. Lexi and I went during the week to a class about Snowflake photography. It was so cool!
The diversity of this is incredible. From hiking information, to history of the Smokies, Appalachian music, kids get to make several crafts, they have planned day hikes and bus tours.
Every year I have wanted to go on the Cades Cove Photo Bus tour. (But every year I have had a conflict.) But it is still on my to do list. Maybe next year.
It's a great time to go and also take the kids. There are children's books, story times, Lynn McCoy usually brings her rescue animals out for people to see and pet.

Pictures from this year's event. 2015

Here were some really cute stuffed animals. Only $5 each to benefit the Eagle Foundation.

Of course I had to get Lexi one.

One of the Hawks that was there this year.

Some Stoneware figures made there by an exhibitor.

The Eagle showing off his wings. (Taken with an Iphone.)
I just have to say iphones really could improve when it comes to photographing motion!

I am very excited that next year this event will be held in May instead of January. It can really be hard to hit these hikes etc, on these cold, snowy days. So the warmer weather will really make this a better event!

Out of all the things to do and see here my favorite part is the photography sessions. These are all free and done by great photographers. This year - I only attended the photography workshops because that is where my interest is right now. If you are interested in reading more about that you can see my post on the photography sessions later this week. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Traditional scrapbooking vs. Project Life.

This year I decided to try a different approach to scrapbooking. Mainly because I am behind, and really want to try to catch up. I also have an album I want to do of my father-who died this past year. When I was home for his memorial 100's of pictures were found. I was overwhelmed wondering how I would manage to catch up on my own family's memories, much less do dad's life too.

I had heard of project life in the past-but didn't think much about it. Until I saw some pre-arranged pocket pages at Hobby Lobby. I found 60 page protectors made by Paper Studio. They came in a box and were $19.99. I had a 40% of coupon and thought I would give then a try. ($14 is a pretty good price for 60 pages in my opinion. Plus I got different styles and could use front and back. So before I get into what Project Life is. Let me show you traditional scrapbooking.

Here is a traditional 12X12 page I made a couple years back. I find paper, I mat each picture, I add journaling hopefully I have enough of the mat paper to match the background paper. I need a cutter, adhesive, or glue, and idea of how to arrange the page, etc. I kept this page pretty simple due to lack of time to spend embellishing it further.

Here is the 2nd page of that spread.

With this page above I took a large 8X10 page and embellished with ribbons etc.
In the past I have even used Scrapbook software- to try to make things go faster. But I would spend hours at the computer designing pages, and needed to go find different papers and elements-to me even harder and more time consuming than using paper and stickers etc.
(Digital page-I would print these at home and add them to my book-costing lots of $$$ on ink.)
You could send them to a place to be put in a book, but figuring out formats isn't that easy either.
OK so enter Project Life.  The whole concept is really simple. Instead of having to design your whole page, you already have pre-cut pockets. You can do one page or 2 page spreads. Or just a collection of photos and journal about them. It doesn't have to be a theme.
Here are what the page protectors look like. You just slide in your photos, slide in cute cards to add journaling etc. You can always add more stickers and embellishments if you want.
But you don't have to. There are many different types of variety packs, this is just one.
Becky Higgins PROJECT LIFE POCKET PAGES-Sml Variety 12-Pk #4 scrapbooking 380261
So like I said I started with a 60 Ct. pack of these -although mine were from Paper Studio. (Hobby Lobby) very similar -same concept.
I went home and slapped a few pictures I had laying around from last year into these pages. I added a few 4x6 card cut outs and 2x3 cut outs (from Paper Studio) that I also found at Hobby Lobby on sale. (They were OK, but when I saw the prices on the Project Life stuff-I decided it was a better deal in the long run.) Plus the Paper Studio ones are paper, Project life is more of a cardstock quality.
I got the binder here (pictured below) on sale for $7. (I wasn't picky about colors, I just wanted materials.) I went and started looking at the Core Kits. They have all the cards already in them. 4x6 cards, 2x3 cards, and some fold in half so you can add more journaling and leave part of the journaling hanging out.  Most of these core kits run about $30 each. So I figured I would go ahead and spend about $80 and get 2 kits and a binder. But when I began looking I noticed that the Amber and Cobalt kits were on sale-less than $10 each. (With the same amount of cards, as the other kits.)  (I'm not sure if they will still be at this price later, but as of today they are still less than $10 each.  The cobalt has more blues and reds, the Amber is prettier and more girly. So I knew between the two I could definitely get a year or so out of them. 
Here is what some of the cobalt cards look like.
Here is the Amber
They are cardstock type quality not paper. And they really are lovely! 
Here you see the concept. Pictures in, journaling papers in. I didn't have to cut
or crop any photos. I just added in the cards as they came cut. I will have to go back and actually add journaling later. But right now my focus was getting them into an album.
So I plan to use this-to get caught up, and perhaps even in the future to stay caught up. If I feel creative and want to do a traditional page now and then I can. But with busy lives it is sometimes hard. I was really feeling bad about neglecting our scrapbooking for the past couple years. Now I see a doable solution. This year- I hope to do 1-2 pages a month. I really think it is doable in less than 30 minutes. The hardest part really is sending the pictures to the place where you print them. 
If you want more info there are a lot of youtube videos that talk about Project Life.
Not many get to the point quickly- though. I found most of them quite exhausting. I would fast forward them to try to get the info I was looking for. I really disliked the ones complaining about how expensive Project Life was. If you search-you can find some great deals. Wait till stuff goes on sale. Go back often and look and see what is being phased out. The new kits are always more expensive. The older ones get put on sale. Plus after spending $$$ on traditional scrapbooking, this really seems cheaper even if you did pay full price. Best wishes, and Happy Scrappin!