Pages 7 through 13 are now complete so I'm officially half way through the project. I spread the page creation out over a period of a few days and felt a LOT better about it. The pages came together more organically and didn't feel forced. This is always my preferred approach to creating...When it resonates and feels good, the results usually reflect this happy approach.
The biggest challenge has been collating enough photos/images to fill the masks in each template, though this is a nice problem to have. I would rather seek additional images than be forced to leave meaningful images out, and because my project is based on stories and reflections from the entire year, I have tackled this problem 2 ways:
- Modify Templates. Remove a number of smaller framed masks and replace them with one larger mask from an accompanying template. For example, 2 small square masks can be replaced nicely by the larger rectangle mask in the Holiday Template Pack No. 3 series. Rotate the layers as needed, then *Cut* and *Paste* any wild staples as needed.
- Revisit Photos. I've had some fun venturing back into my photo folders from previous months from this year, sparking new memories and stories while enabling me to support my stories with photos from differing time periods. Bringing the past and present together in my layouts to create unity and comparison is one of my favorite ways to tell a story.
Digital Supplies | Holiday Layered Template Pack No. 3B (8.psd), ArtPlay Palette Holly, Doily Edge Overlays No. 4, WarmGlows No. 1, Acrylic AlphaNumberSet No. 1, AnnaStyle Drop Shadows No. 1, UrbanStitchez No.4, MagicSprinklez No. 9
Digital Supplies | Holiday Layered Template Pack No. 3B (8.psd), ArtPlay Palette Holly, Doily Edge Overlays No. 4, Doily Edge Overlays No. 4, CoolGlows No. 4, ChristmasMagic No. 1, Acrylic AlphaNumberSet No 1, AnnaStyle Drop Shadows No. 1, UrbanStitchez No. 4, MagicSprinklez No. 9
8. Calm. This page documents a typical Sunday, one of my favorite days of the week. I love that it's a down-day for us, part *quiet work* as we prepare for the week ahead and a little rest/recuperation. I have paired photos and stories of Sunday norms with festive shots that make this particuar Sunday a little more special.
Notice the photo spanning 2 framed masks...Another great way to deal with a surplus of masks in a template! Clip your photo to the frame mask using the clipping mask function in Photoshop and Elements, duplicate the image layer, then move the duplicate photo in the Layers palette above the second framed mask. Clip the duplicate photo layer to the second framed mask to achieve this effect.
The festive reds and greens in my photos also co-ordinated perfectly with ArtPlay Palette Holly
9. Letting Go. This page documents a big lesson that Eric and I have learned this year about trying to plan too far ahead and control everything in our path. In fact this was THE lesson of year 2013 for the Aspnes family following the convoluted and constantly changing tales of our moving plans. I'm convinced this was the point of this particular journey.
The journaling is accompanied by an abstract shadow of me, a childhood photo, as well as a scenic landscape all of which support the theme of life being a journey and a little mysterious at times. I repeated the same technique of one photo spanning 2 framed masks, but altered the color of one of the images for a slightly diffferent effect. I also stamped a brush in a dull blue on a new layer before applying a blending mode to create a more subtle appearance the layout.
Digital Supplies | Holiday Layered Template Pack No 3D (6.psd), ArtPlay Palette Christmas Magic, Doily Edge Overlays No 4 (coming soon), Acrylic AlphaNumberSet No 1, AnnaStyle Drop Shadows No 1, UrbanStitchez No. 4
Digital Supplies | Holiday Layered Template Pack No. 3D (7.psd), ArtPlay Palette Skys The Limit, Doily Edge Overlays No. 4 (coming soon), Christmas WordART No. 8, Acrylic AlphaNumberSet No. 1, AnnaStyle Drop Shadows No. 1, UrbanStitchez No. 4
10. Fun. A page that reminds us not to take life too seriously and inject a little fun into normal and everyday proceedings. I collected a small number of fun shots from our week and their descriptions became the focus of the story. This page also deatures the small details of this Holiday season 2013 that would likely be otherwise forgotton.
Notice the repeat use of the ArtPlay Palette Christmas Magic which lends itself well to supporting most photos thanks to it's neutral color tones. I have clipped artsy papers to framed masks, not accommodated by photos, and resized them as desired to include more of the paper detail.
11. Wings. The word was prompted by a flock of Canadian geese flying overhead as I walked the reservoir in *Arctic* temperatures, and this was preceeded by discovering our Elf had spread his own wings in a pool of rice. It made me think of the quote by Hodding Carter, "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings." that also reminds me of my Mum.
The page tells the each of our stories in how we have spread our wings, taken flight and soared in year 2013. ArtPlay Palette Sky's The Limit seemed fitting in terms of both colors and subject matter. The sky papers and butterfly element support the *wings* theme of the page.
Digital Supplies | Holiday Layered Template Pack No. 3B (10.psd), ArtPlay Palette Christmas Nostalgia, Doily Edge Overlays No. 4 (coming soon), WarmGlows No. 3, Christmas WordART No. 8, Acrylic AlphaNumberSet No. 1, AnnaStyle Drop Shadows No. 1, UrbanStitchez No. 4
Digital Supplies | Holiday Layered Template Pack No. 3C (11.psd), ArtPlay Palette Christmas Nostalgia, Doily Edge Overlays No. 4 (coming soon), Christmas WordART No. 8, Acrylic AlphaNumberSet No. 1, AnnaStyle Drop Shadows No. 1, UrbanStitchez No. 4
12. Listen. A common theme around here at moment. I think I talk to myself half the time, so when I saw an Elf photo on Facebook with *listen* spelled out in breakfast cereal, I knew it was destined to be. The timing was perfect with us just talking about the *disdvantages* of not listening just the night before.
This page tells the tale of living with 2 typical pre-teens and their disposition not to listen, as well as the frustration it causes the big people in the house. I'm sure this story will give us a few laughs in years to come but right now we're living with the reality of the struggle.
I paired the story with a collection of photos that support the story from Luke's grumpiness, Ella's sassiness, Eric's lack of patience and my tough love approach. The Santa with headphones from ArtPlay Palette Christmas Nostalgia couldn't have been a more perfect addition. I love it when pages just fall together with the perfect components...Another natural by product of enjoying the creation process.
13. Attitude. This was another lesson learned from 2013 page and is a major contender for my One Little Word 2014. This year has been a big year for learning how to manage my own emotions as well as the way I handle and respond to those of others. It pays tribute to my friends, all of which are intelligent women who are teaching me to seek the positive and quash the negative. Friday the 13th lived up to it's expectations but I was able to turn it around with a positive attitude...Another little lesson for my children to reflect on in years to come. I included their photos (Ella with my friend and Luke's 3rd Grade music program) just so that they'd know I am talking to them.
I'm thoroughly enjoying this approach to documenting the days in Decembers and revisiting some of the big stories and lessons of 2013. The reflection and the page creation is both meaningful in it's process and application.
Thanks for following along.