Ringing Out December

Can you believe we are closing out, not only another month, but another YEAR of The Digi Files!? What an incredible month it was! So FULL of digi scrap goodness!!

When you
become a member you get ALL of these kits for just $7.50 TOTAL (not each)! AMAZING DEAL!!

This is what our
members said at the end of last month:

Such a great variety of colors and kits! Every. Single. Month. Thanks for another awesome month and see you early in the morning for Daily Digi Day! – Sharon (member since 2010)

What a great deal each and every month. I can’t believe it’s been two years and I still get giddy with excitement every month! – MaryK

I love the mix of different styles…..some may be a different style than I usually buy, but it gives me a chance to “branch out and spread my wings”. And it’s really nice not to get that annoying little yellow warning sign when I visit the site! – Wahoo Lady

This was my first month as a member and I couldn’t be happier. The quality of the kits is exceptional and there is enough in this month’s offerings alone to keep me busy for a long while! – jcadiram

Here’s a closer look at everything that is included this month:

CD Muckosky

Maya de Groot

Scrap Orchard

Snips and Snails Designs

Sahlin Studio

Studio Rosey Posey

ViVa Artistry

Did you know that every four months you are subscribed to The Digi Game
level (annual OR monthly) you get an exclusive collaboration from past
contributors to
THE DIGI FILES? They are AMAZING:

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“Story of Everyday Life” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to those who subscribe to THE DIGI GAME level of membership (available immediately).

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“The Good Life” is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their fourth payment, (or fourth month for annual members).

“My Journey My Life” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their eighth payment, (or eighth month for annual members).

“My Life At Play” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 12th payment (or 12th month for annual members).

“My Life In Print” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 16th payment (or 16th month for annual members).

“My Life At Home” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 20th payment (or 20th month for annual members).

“My Life of Adventure” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 24th payment (or 24th month for annual members).

My Life of Celebration” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 28th payment (or 28th month for annual members).

My Life of Change” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 32nd payment (or 32nd month for annual members).

My Life of Happiness” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 36th payment (or 36th month for annual members).

My Life of Daring” is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 40th payment (or 40th month for annual members).

My Life of Wonderful
is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to
subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 44th payment (or 44th month for
annual members).

My Life of Learning
is an EXCLUSIVE collection to THE DAILY DIGI that is FREE to
subscribers of THE DIGI GAME after their 48th payment (or 48th month for
annual members).

We
will randomly select FOURTEEN people from Rafflecopter to win $10 in
product from one of this month’s contributors. Winners names will
automatically be added to the widget here after they are selected. The
contest closes at 11pm ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Future Me

It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

And isn’t that what we do with New Year’s resolutions? We make the vast and sweeping resolutions with abstract, unmeasurable results.

And perhaps the bigger problem…we simply forget. We go about our days and weeks and we simply forget about the changes we planned on making. It’s the downside to habit. According to research, more than half our day is done completely without conscious thought or decision making.

I didn’t wake up and think, “Hmm, what should I do now?” Instead, I woke up, checked the time, used the bathroom, got my sweater, pulled my hair back, and made my coffee. I do those things every single day, with little to no thought.

Because of our habit tendencies, New Year’s resolutions often disappear without our even noticing. And then we find ourselves at the end of another year, changes still unmade.

If you want to make real changes, whether it be in scrapbooking, photography, parenting, health, fitness, relationships, or anything else, you have to find a way to remember. You need to be continually reminded of the what and the why.

A few weeks ago I heard about a site called FutureMe.org. This site allows you to write a letter to yourself and decide when it will get sent.

What an awesome concept!

I remember being at summer camp as a kid and our counselors having us write a letter to ourselves about what we learned that week and what we wanted to do about it. They would promise to mail those letters in a few months (which only some of them did!) The letters that did arrive were so inspirational to me. It is one thing to be fired up at summer camp, but to be reminded months later of the decisions I made was awesome.

If you have New Year’s Resolutions, why not write a letter (or two or ten) to yourself. Tell yourself what you have decided on, why you made the decision, and share the practical steps you are going to take to get there. Have the letters delivered over the next few weeks and months. It will keep you focused, motivated, and it won’t let you forget what you are so excited about today.

Go on, your future self will thank you for it.

Just One Word

At the end of 2007, I was sitting in church in Orlando, and our pastor challenged us to do something for the new year: choose one word. He talked about choosing a word that would be an integral part of our life in the coming year. Intrigued with the idea, I spent a few weeks thinking about it and I chose the word change. Little did I know what kind of change that year would bring about.

Since that time, the concept of choosing a word for the year has become very popular, due in part to the project One Little Word by Ali Edwards. I have noticed, however, that the concept has moved far beyond scrapbooking. There are a number of other sites about choosing a word for the year including this one and this one.

It’s a simple concept, really, but it can have profound effects. For the past seven years, as I get to December and reflect on what it has meant, I have been amazed at the way life grew around just one word.

Perhaps in a world where everything fights to gain our attention, choosing just one word will help center you, ground you, and give you a feeling of purpose. I know it has for me.

So how do you go about choosing a word?

You can do it any way you want. It’s up to you and your personality, dreams, and goals.

For me, I always feel like my word chooses me. I spend time thinking and praying about it and all of a sudden, something comes to me and I just know….that’s the word!

Other people choose a word with intention — perhaps something they want to accomplish in the new year.

Still others choose a word that represents who they are or who they want to be.

There are also places online to help give you ideas. You can try HERE or HERE.

It doesn’t matter how you choose it. It doesn’t even matter if it is truly just one word (one year, I chose the phase “Watch and Wait.”) Just the act of thinking and choosing can help you see your true priorities.

Go ahead, give it a try.

Photo Goals for the New Year

It’s that time of year…the end of one year and the beginnings of a new. I love the new year — so full of fresh possibility.

In these last few days of 2014, I want to reflect on my memory keeping and on the goals I want for this coming year. I do this often. You can check out my post from last year, Memory Keeping in the New Year. In that post, I ask myself (and encourage you to ask yourself) some specific questions about what you have accomplished and what you want to accomplish. By being intentional and writing things down, you are more likely to actually get them done. In addition, the process of looking over the previous year’s memories can be very insightful.

When I look back at my goals for 2014, I see that my heart is still in the same place. I want to be better about recording our everyday lives, capturing the moments that don’t last long…the little things my kids say and do, the sweet memories, and the beautiful mundane of everyday life.

I also see some things that have changed. For example, I gave up on pocket scrapping and instead decided to do my Scrap Your Year albums. Those albums are my most precious possession.

As I look toward 2015 and my goals for memory keeping, I realize that they have once again shifted slightly. The everyday is still my heart’s passion. However, for this coming year, I want to see a change in my photos themselves. For years now, my photos of have been full of fun and energy and emotion. But, I haven’t worked for them. I haven’t stretched myself. I haven’t tried new things. Instead, I’ve stayed safe with what I know will work and with what I know I will like. But I want to get more real. More raw. Even if I make more mistakes, who knows what beauty will come through it?

With that said, here are my photo goals for 2015:

1. Share more of my photos. I have been ever-so-grateful for those photographers who share their work regularly. It is the number one thing that has improved my own photography. I want to share with others my work in the hopes that they will learn and grow by seeing my own learning and growing. If you want to follow along, you can find me HERE and well as my personal blog HERE.

2. More intentional black and white photos. I have always loved black and white, but I haven’t often been intentional with them. I sometimes use b&w to save a bad photo, or else I use it just for variety. But this year, I want to think before I edit. I want to ask myself, “Is the color serving a purpose? Would this photo communicate something different if it were in black and white?” When we strip the color, we’re just left with the story. I want more of that.

3. More real life photos of me. I take hundreds of photos of my children each month. My husband makes it in a few as well. I make sure to hand off my camera and the kids to shoot photos of me. However, I want to take more photos of me. I love that Ali Edwards is so intentional about using her self-timer to capture her and her everyday environment. I want more of that.

4. I want to tell better stories. I want to focus on choosing my camera settings, composition, and angle based on what I am trying to communicate. I want to stop being afraid of what my house looks like or how we’re dressed. I have always known that angle makes a difference, but I tend to just shoot a lot and then choose which I like best. Instead, this year I want to think first, then shoot. I also want to be more intentional about photo grouping that tell a more complete story than any one photo alone.

5. I want to try more photos that might not work. I don’t want to continue staying safe. I want to try new things, even if they don’t work. You never know when you will get something you love.

6. I want to work on my food photography. I love taking pictures of food, but I feel stuck in a rut with my angles, style, and lighting. I want to learn more and try new things.


What about you? Do you have photo goals for the new year?

Check out some of our earlier posts:

Project Something

Confessions of Project 365 Quitter

Project 365 and other alternatives

Does Project Life Fit in With My Life?

2014 Funtastic Finish

We’re celebrating the last Funtastic Friday of 2014!

Be sure you are signed up for Katie’s newsletter. You can even sign up to receive her daily posts by email or just keep up to date with her monthly news!

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All is Calm by Erica Zane & Libby Pritchett at SSD is a gorgeous tribute to the real reason for the Christmas season!

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I’m retiring over 30 products for $1 or $2 each

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NEW | This New Year ‘ 15 (Journal Cards) in the Sahlin Studio shop. Perfect for documenting the beginning of your year!

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These templates are perfect for your year end review! And they’re 40% off through Jan. 1 so pick them up now!

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Check out this fun clipping masks for your pocket pages!

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Studio Flergs has 1 last collection for 2014. Over the Rainbow is a complete revamp of an old favourite. Save 44% on the whole collection through Saturday!

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Artsy Christmas fun abounds at Studio Rosey Posey!

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If you missed out on the Scrap Orchard Advent sale now is the time to grab all of the Winter Sparkleland products at 50% OFF! This set of templates is only $1.25!

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Stolen Moments has a brand new set of add-ons to go with the January Memory Pockets Monthly kit at The Lilypad this week! Everything is 20% off thru Sunday or 35% off if you’re a MPM subscriber!

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Not every holiday gift is a winner, but all those gifts that make us laugh, cringe or roll our eyes deserve a place in our scrapbooks. It’s the Thought that Counts, A digital scrapbooking kit by Heather Roselli and Misty Cato, is filled with everything you need to chronicle the matching family sweaters, office party gag gifts, kids who outgrew their clothes before they opened them and more holiday madness.

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Blagovesta Gosheva has a new Christmas kit in her Studio at Scrapbookgraphics and it’s on early bird sale now!

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Ready to complete a 365 project? Get support along the way in Katrina Kennedy’s newest class! Class pre work begins December 29th! Discounted price ends January 2nd.

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That’s it for today!

Resolve to Back Up Your Files

Resolve To Back Up Your Files

With 2014 coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about 2015. I know that many of us are making plans and thinking about resolutions.

What are the most popular resolutions? To lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, spend more time with family and friends, or kick a bad habit? They’re all very worthy resolutions!

I have a suggestion for the digital scrapbooking part of your life:

Make this the year that you get your computer files fully backed-up.

Make this the year that you put in place a system where you have your files stored in three places:

  • One: The original version
  • Two: The local back-up copy (on a different drive than the original)
  • Three: The remote back-up copy

The more automated you can make this process the better. For example, I have an external hard drive (EHD) that automatically copies the contents of my computer. It works in the background so I don’t even have to do anything more than check it from time to time to make sure the copies are safely stored.

For a remote back-up, I use a remote back-up service. There are several available, with BackBlaze and CrashPlan seeming to be the most popular among digital scrapbookers. These are ideal because they work in the background and automatically upload the most current versions of files to the remote storage. You could also use a cloud storage system that you manually save files to, if you are able to do it on a consistent basis.

You can read more about backing up in these articles:

Having a back-up and recovery plan in place will be a great gift to your future self. Your files, especially your photos, are precious and irreplaceable.

In short: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst!

Pre-Scrapping Christmas

I have a Christmas scrapbook album. There are very few pages. This doesn’t make sense, seeing as on any given Christmas I take close to 500 photos.

I never have any plans of scrapping tons of pages…after all, I have some thoughts on scrapping big events. I’m actually okay with not scrapping everything, but as it is, I scrap almost nothing.

Why is this?

Because by the time Christmas is over, I am SICK OF CHRISTMAS.

When December 26 rolls around, I am DONE. I don’t want anything Christmasy around. I don’t want to think about shopping, baking, wrapping, or scrapping if it has anything to do with the holiday that just took over America for the last four months.

And so, once I download and edit my Christmas photos, I don’t want to do anything with them. I get how it happens, but it makes me sad. Christmas is such a fun time in our family and I am sad that I am missing preserving the memories.

And so this year, I decided to do a bit of pre-scrapping. I decided that while it was still early in the season and I wasn’t sick of it yet, I would pre-scrap some pages, getting most of a layout ready other than the photos and journaling. That way, when Christmas is over and I have my photos, all I have to do is drop them in.

It was actually pretty easy and I made a bunch. I just picked a few kits to work with, grabbed some templates, and plopped things down. I created pages for activities I knew I would have pictures of as well as some generic Christmas pages. Here’s hoping some Christmas 2014 pages will materialize this year!

Here are just a few I did. What do you think? Have you ever pre-scrapped in order to save time (or sanity) later?

It’s Up to You

Supplies: Once Upon a Christmas: Celebrating by Kristin Cronin-Barrow at Sweet Shoppe Designs

Christmas is just a few days away. Maybe you’re super organized and you have had everything done since October. Mayne you are running around like a crazy woman because your to-do list is a mile long. Maybe you find yourself somewhere in between.

As you gear up for this week, I want to encourage you to remember one thing: It’s up to you.

  • It’s up to you if you will allow the stress to outshine the fun.
  • It’s up to you if you get frustrated with the missing scissors, the empty tape roll, and the one gift you forgot to buy.
  • It’s up to you if these special days are marked with short tempers, rolling eyes, and hurried steps.
  • It’s up to you if a perfectly clean house becomes more important than a slow cup of coffee with loved ones.

In the next few days, something will go wrong. Maybe everything will go wrong. We can’t control it. However, we can control our attitude and outlook. Who cares if the turkey gets burned? It will be something to laugh about later. Who cares if you don’t get to make black olive hors d’oeuvres in the shape of penguins? What does it matter if Santa has to eat store-bought cookies rather than homemade? Will it make a difference?

The holidays are meant to be fun. They are meant for friends and family and celebrating what’s most important to you. If those penguins aren’t what is most important, let ’em go. Focus on what really matters and you’re bound to have the best Christmas yet.

And don’t forget to take pictures!