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Right now, I’m excited to have cable for the first fall premiere season in three years. I cannot get myself together enough to remember what day shows come on what channel. But I did successfully find the Big Bang Theory premiere on Monday!

Right now, we are trapping fruit flies. Gross, but necessary. The paper cone and vinegar method seems to be working.

Right now, the bare walls are driving me a little nuts. I don’t want to feel like the apartment is blank like a hotel. So I’m going to start slapping up some random things that make me happy. Less “art,” more “paper.” And I think it’s working. (Also: that was my September blog planning on that calendar, which I most definitely did not stick to.)

Right now, I’m getting ready for a work trip that starts this weekend. And by “getting ready,” I mean avoiding it. Packing stresses me out, so I guess I’ll get it over it sometime tonight and get on with my life.

Right now, the plants are not thriving in this apartment. That is mostly because I am forgetful and don’t know what I’m doing. Succulents were like my safety school. I thought they would just always be there for me and give me a little boost of gardening confidence. Instead, they proved my original theory. Plants + me probably shouldn’t mix for a while.

Right now, I’m taking a photography class at my county college. It’s been basic camera operation so far, but I’m excited to hear from someone other than the internet about composure and other fun stuff.

Instagram Photos Into a Grid

Hey guys! I recently shared an image on Instagram of a grid of photos I printed out, and I got some questions about it.

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I decided I wanted to include more of my Instagrams from the summer into my minibook. (See my summer minibook share 1 here and share 2 here.)

I collected all my Instagrams and had enough for four pages of 6 little squares. Then I grouped them as best I could. I think I ended up with groups for coffees, books, food, and miscellaneous.

I made the grid pretty simply in Photoshop Elements. I don’t talk about it much, but I love Elements. Like, probably more than full-blown Photoshop. I think it’s about $100 (which is nothing compared to “real” Photoshop), but I got it for free with my Wacom Bamboo tablet.

So on to the grid. I created a new 4×6″ canvas, with a resolution of 300 dpi (which is good for printing). Then I opened up the first six Instagrams.

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You’re going to resize the Instagram images so they fit on the canvas just like they should. The easiest way to resize like this is with the Crop tool.

In the Crop tool, if you don’t want white borders, set it to a fixed size of 2″ by 2″, and a resolution of 300 dpi. I love that you can change the resolution directly with the Crop tool. It saves so many little steps. But you want white borders. So set your Crop tool to a fixed size of 1.95″ x 1.95″.

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Click and drag from one corner to the other corner, selecting the whole photo. Click the green check mark, or just double-click the photo, to commit the change.

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Then go to your blank canvas. Click and drag the images from the thumbnails at the bottom (called the Project Bin) and release them on the blank canvas.

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Move them around until you like the layout. The four images in the corners will line up with the edges of the document. To make sure your middle images are in the middle, select all the images on the left or right. At the top (with the Move tool selected), select Distribute: Vertical Centers. Align & Distribute are two of my favorite tools.

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And that’s the 4×6 Instagram grid! I’ve done the same simple grid with a landscape orientation to include in Project Life, but these little book pages are my favorite.

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Print out your canvases as 4×6 photos, and you’re done.

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Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions.

Summer Minibook // Share #2

Two posts about this crazy little mini book in two days! I know. It feels a little absurd. But this is what I’m excited about, so it’s what I want to share on the blog. If only my motivation for writing was always that simple and random.

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I realized I didn’t say anything about the cover yesterday. I decided to paint a piece of chipboard to be a little more festive. I spelled out summer 2014 in big letter stickers from Staples, and then experimented with orange and white paint.

I struggle with leaving things “messy” sometimes, since I’m such a perfectionist. But just like so many other things, this turned out best when I just went for it and didn’t try to “fix” anything. The big dabs of color that I ended with were by far the best.

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I’m sort of obsessed with it. I want to make covers for everything I do that match this.

And now on to some more pages.

I met my college roommate near our school one random afternoon early this summer. We sat at our old Starbucks for hours catching up after lunch, and I made a spread from a random Starbucks bag I’d acquired recently. Added a little square photo of our cups and the inspiration quote from the cardboard ring.

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The next photo was the only acceptable one of me on my birthday this year. Eating french onion soup. What, onion soup doesn’t scream birthday to you? Ah well, the birthday cake had been a week earlier. I added some macaroon patterned paper from a Paper Source catalog to make up for it.

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P. and I went to Atlantic City for a night in late June. We got massages, and had a fancy dinner, and went to our favorite ever lunch place: the indoor Mexican food truck. RIP Revel Casino. Your two years were short lived and poorly managed, but you had the most delicious food.

I used photos from that trip a few times throughout the book, but I’m just sharing this spread for now. This was a horizontal 4×6 photo that I adhered to some kraft cardstock and chopped in the right place. Added some lines for journaling and then wrote some simple details about the trip.

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I wanted to include my monthly goals from the blog into the minibook, but I didn’t really know how to do it. They were an odd size. So I just reduced them to 6″ across and glued them in. I’m rethinking the design so I can use them better in the future.

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I love the next simple spread. That black star paper is my favorite, and it makes the beach look even more incredible. And both photos are such favorites.

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Then there’s this girl. My niece. Who, over the summer, developed quite a hilarious little personality. This photo makes me crack up every single time I see it. No joke. This is from my mama singing The Wheels on the Bus. She literally screams and cheers for her to continue when she gets to “all through the town.” It’s awesome.

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And that’s it for now.

Even though it’s turning into fall right now, I’m still having a good time looking through all my photos from the last few months to add a little more to this book. We’ll see if that’s still the case in a week when I’m ready to move on to the next fun project.

Summer Minibook // Share #1

So I know I just wrote a post about fall. And those things are still true, and I’m not sad about the changing weather or the shift in general. But I could do without the shorter days and the fact that the pool’s closing next weekend.

This post is sort of about summer. But really, it’s about paper. I want to share a summer minibook I worked on this year. It’s coming along and I really like how it’s turning out.

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When I got the idea to make a little mini album / scrapbook, I wasn’t sure if it would be too many scrapbooking projects since I’m already doing Project Life. But this turned into a really fun alternative.

Project Life is where I work on saving photos of the everyday things, and want all my weeks included in some way. I try to tell stories about what’s happening week to week. And I have this idea that some day other people might look through the albums. No one is now, but I have that idea. That they’re like the photo albums I’m keeping for this time, so they’ll be meant to be shared.

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This minibook is just about the things that felt like summer to me. And I had a lot of fun in the smaller size, and playing with more embellishments. The journaling seemed easier for me, too. It ended up being easier and more personal, for me to share how I’m feeling about things, what I’m thinking about, and actually one page about worries I was having and how I was working hard to enjoy the summer through some tough ideas.

And while it seems very square — all 4×6 images, mostly straight corners, plain images — it got me thinking just a little bit outside the box. It was different than filling 3×4 or 4×6 pockets. That’s still my favorite way of scrapbooking, but it let me feel more creative without a specific spot to fill, and because I was creating every piece myself.

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So those are my thoughts behind all these paper projects. Now on to some pages.

I started off with a little title page, where I explained what the book was about. I like the look of sewn pages in scrapbooking, but you won’t find me with a sewing machine anytime soon. So I improvised with dashes.

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I liked the patterned paper showing around the edges, and on that one, I added a quote I found online and cut into a circle.

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Then I just added some photos that felt like summer, to me.

A photo of my new Fitbit.

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And a big 6×8 image from our first pool party, chopped down the middle into two 4×6 pieces. I love my mom’s smirk in this photo. And that my sister is asleep in the background under a beach towel.

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I’ll share some more pages soon, but that’s how it all got started. Did you document your summer this year? How did you do it?