COZY UP | The Backstory

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Time to be real folks: winter in NYC can be terrific- for all of about 2 minutes a day. Beautiful snow falls are quickly made into grey, gritty, icy slush.  Bright orange sunrises you see on the drive dropping the kids at school vanish all too quickly, and are replaced with the ugly sight of endless taillights and crowds of people crossing against lights at each corner. There's not much to do beyond your own backyard because the secret of all those awesome winter activities in NYC is that they are very expensive. And it's cold. Bitter flippin' cold. And so, after the magic of the winter Holidays wears off, I find myself really bumming on these winter months of January through March.

So, what's a girl to do? I promised myself to be more conscious of the story I author this year. And writing off the first 90 pages of this 365 novel I  call "2015" seems almost tragic.  I remember my dad feeling very much the same way I do. He was not a big fan of winter- and as we were driving one particularly cold January day- I told him don't worry- Spring will be here soon enough. And then I went on to detail all the terrific things we had to look forward to come April and May- we smiled together and drove on- feeling a little better because of the promise of better days ahead. I'd like to say that Spring was a good one for us- but Dad's story ended in early February. I had no idea these were our last days together.  Had I known- I may not have wished them away. I may have tried a little harder to find the beauty in the moment- and if there was none to be found- then make it. Create a happy winter. I share this with you because loosing my dad that winter was a turning point in my perspective on things.  I think that happens to alot of us when we lose a piece of our hearts like that. You realize that this life has only one speed- and one direction: fast and forward. And that tomorrow is never promised. All we have is now. And you can choose to treat it as a gift- or not. It's all about perspective- and it's your choice.

I'm not saying that I now go around these winter days singing the song of happy bluebirds and embracing the cold- and my language during the snowy drives is definitely not PG.  But when those grumpy thought come into my mind- I really work to stop- and take a good look around at the moment I am in- and find the good. Yes- we are housebound a bit- but boy, do I love the smell of a roast in the oven and the feel of an afghan on my lap as I cozy up and dive into Pinterest on those chilly nights. Yes- it is bitter cold- but who knew it could actually feel better after a brisk walk- and then heavenly when you follow that with a cup of fresh brewed coffee.  I play up Valentines Day and St. Paddys a bit more- just to color up these months with a bit of silly joy- and make paper snowflakes and endless cups of cocoa- with whipped cream and sprinkles... all to brighten the days a bit.  These are choices.  And when I write each happy little moment- even if it's just one -on the page of these winter days- the story unfolds in away that makes me happy to read it now- and I know it will make me content when I re-read it years from now.

That was the inspiration for the COZY UP design- coloring your winter days happy- making them good ones- one to be fully present in- and never to wish away.  It's why I filled it with bright colors, cozy knits and felts and heart warming word art. It was made to make you feel happy capturing the moments of these days! And when I put the design together with the layouts made by the team- I was very pleased that the joy I wanted to capture came across out loud! I wish you cozy winter days ahead- own each of them- and choose to make them happy!






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TUTORIAL | How to Digitally Pocket Scrap without Photoshop

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Hi all! My name is Kinjal, and this is my first post on the Forever Joy blog so I wanted to share something new and exciting. I know lots of people who want to start digital Project Life or pocket scrapbooking in 2015, but are wary of the costs associated with it. As a purely digital gal, I get excited when I see these intentions, but wouldn't want the costs of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements or other software to be the reason why you couldn't start. Photoshop/PSE also has a high learning curve, so I'm going to talk you through creating your first spread with the online website Canva.

This tutorial is going to be a basic tutorial in getting started with Pocket Scrapbooking and Canva, but I hope to cover some more advanced topics in upcoming months! Just a note before we start, Canva is not Photoshop, so there are some limitations to it, but I'll speak more about those as we hit them! For me, Canva is a great alternative when you can't access Photoshop (if you're at work, at a relatives house for Christmas, away from your main machine, etc.). So let's get started, making our first pocket page in 2015.

A note about Canva. Canva offers paid elements for $1. If you search for any images in Canva's database, they will say free or will cost $1. We will be using our own elements so we will not incur any charges through this tutorial.

Materials needed:
- A digital scrapbooking kit. I'm going to be using Unwritten Pretties from Forever Joy; You can find it here:
- An internet connection (Canva requires internet access I'm afraid)
- A healthy sense of adventure! (Canva can be a little slow to save if you make a lot of quick edits)

Setting up an account:
The first thing we need to do, is set up a free account at Canva. Simply go to http://www.canva.com and you'll be greeted with the below:


Plug in your details, or connect with Facebook, and once you've logged in, you'll be taken to the Beginner Challenge. Don't worry about this, click the "Canva" icon on the top left corner and you'll be taken this page, your "home" page. Here you can see all the different types of graphics Canva.com can help you make.We're going to click on "Use Custom Dimensions" which Canva will change to "Don't use custom dimensions" and bring up a dialogue box. Put 12 and 12 and change the px to inch, to create a 12x12 page. Click Design!



Creating our Pocket Scrapping Template:
You'll be taken to your page with a menu on the right hand side. Click on the layout grids, select fourth option and drag it over to your design. It's a little tricky for me to take a screenshot of, but you'll see it fills up the whole screen. That's okay, we're going to resize it in a minute.


To resize, we're going to drag one of the corners in, and make a box in the top right corner. Once we're happy with the margins, we're going to click "Copy", to have two of them, and drag the second one across to create our first two photo spots.


Now press copy twice more, and drag each one down to the bottom of your document, so you've got a bottom "row". To create journal card spots, copy one of your boxes, and drag into the middle. Resize it so it's half the size of the one above:



Once you're happy with your journal card spots, "Copy" three more times, drag across, and you should have a wonderful "Design A" Pocket Scrapbooking template! Check that it's Saved in the top right corner too!

Head back to "Your Designs" by clicking the Canva button. Now we want to make a copy so that we have a fresh template to work with. Ignore my other works in progress! To make a copy, click the arrow and then click copy:


Once you've copied it, click into your new copy and now go to the uploads on the right hand menu, and select, upload from your computer. You're going to upload your journal cards from your scrapbooking kit and photos into Canva.


Let's start with the journal cards. Once they're uploaded, click the box on the template you wish to insert the card onto. Then drag it from the menu over to the box and it will automatically clip to the box! That sounds a bit confusing, so let's have a look:



Remember, click on the box first, then drag the card or photo across into that box. Continue with all four boxes, until all your journal card slots have been created, and add your photos in too. If you ever need to delete a journal card, make sure you click the delete icon next to the little preview image of your journal card. I know this is a bit confusing, but if you use the other trash can icon, you'll end up deleting the journal card spot. You can always undo (top right):


At this point, we're looking pretty good. All our photos and journal cards are in, but those journal cards need a little bit of text to describe our lovely photos. Click on the T tool, and choose the type of text you want. You can have Header, Body, Subtitle. Click once to see a text box, and you can move it over the journal card you want:


Enter the text that you want, and you'll see a black box that lets you change font, font size and colour. Click the arrow to get more options including justification and transparency. You can use different fonts to write over your photos too. I included a hashtag. You can zoom in if you need to see your text better:


Continue adding text until you're happy with how it looks! We've just got two more steps to get our layout out of Canva and onto our hard drive! Once you're happy, zoom out so you've got the whole layout on screen. Click download top right, and select PDF. 


Note: Canva does offer both PNG and PDF exports. Unfortunately, it only exports at 96DPI as PNG, and this won't be good enough for print quality. Don't worry though, the PDF export is at 300 DPI and I'm going to show you how to convert it into a JPEG. 


While your PDF is downloading, give yourself a hearty congratulations, you just completed your first Pocket Scrapbooking page. And now you've got the template set up, its as easy as dragging and dropping your photos and journal cards in. But we want to convert our PDF to JPEG so navigate over to pdf2jpg.net and upload your pdf. Make sure you change the output to 300DPI. 


Wait for the file to upload, and you'll be presented with a converted image! Here's my completed layout (resized for the blog entry)!


Thanks for playing along with me and I hope Canva has helped you start pocket scraping. Don't forget to upload your layouts to The Lilypad and tag them on instagram with #foreverjoy. I can't wait to see what you've made! Join me next time for some more tips and tricks using Canva!

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#JOYCREATED | Creating Your Own Pretty Paper Flower Tutorial

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Hello everyone! We're starting off the 2015 year with cool products, challenges and now, a fun tutorial! It's my first post for Forever Joy and I am exceptionally excited! My name is Jenn out in digiland, though you might know me as jk703 around the forums. 

For today's post I have used the Papers + Pretties + Journal Cards from the ForeverJoy Unwritten Collection in the January BYOC at the Lilypad! Yay! Check them out if you haven't - the colors are so versatile, and you can add so many pops of color to match any of your photos.

I love flowers and lots of them, but I have two boys! Sometimes there are beautiful kits out there, but they have flowers in the pinks, purples or other girlish colors. So, I make some paper flowers for my boyish pages. I'm going to share with you ideas for how to making some paper flowers, layering them, and some tips for adding them to your layouts and pocket pages. Take a look at the final product here: 
See that paper flower? That's what we will learn to make today! 

First, I'm going to use the Custom Shape tool. It is a sub-tool, within the Shape tool, and closest to the bottom, with the funky star shape symbol. 


Next, you will click on the super tiny triangle on the right side of the tool's menu bar, near the word "Shape." You will see all the shapes that you have loaded. We will be working with the Nature Shapes, particularly the flowers. If you need to load the shapes, just click on (another, lol) super tiny triangle toward the right of the shapes. A menu will appear, and just choose nature. If you get the option of how you want to load your shapes, I always choose Append, so it adds it to the list, rather than replacing the whole list. 


Here is a picture of the nature shapes that I loaded. I will be using the flower shapes on the second to last line for my paper flower making. 


Let's begin. Once you click, and choose your shape, you will click and drag within your layout. The shape will become it's own layer, like this below. 


Once I have one shape, I will make 2 more copies. You can rename the flower layers if you like. I did after, to Shape 1, Shape 2 and Shape 3. So original there, right? :) After I created the flowers layers, I turned off being able to "see" them so I didn't click on the wrong layer. Then I clipped a paper onto the first layer of the flower. 

Just in case you don't know how to clip a paper, here is how:
Bring a paper into Photoshop or PSE, and you will want it to be the layer right above the shape. Then you just right click on the paper, and choose Make Clipping Mask. It will clip itself to the shape. In the image below, my paper is clipped, and I know this because the arrow is pointing to the shape below. 


So, my first shape has some pretty pattern paper clipped to it and then I added a shadow style. I add my shadows as I go, so I can compensate for distance, and darkness when other layers are placed on top. 

Looks pretty plain, right? Let's pretty it up some more. We've got two more layers. 


I've gone ahead here and added my paper, and a shadow style to the second flower layer. Then I selected both the paper and the flower shape in the Layers Palette, and using the Move tool, I shrunk the layers to about 80% and then rotated a little. Center them up and we move onto the third flower layer. 


The third layer is about 60% shrunk, tilted some more, clipped another paper and added my shadow style. Looks neat with all the different layers, right? I love the mixing of patterns, you never get the same flower twice. Well, if you want to, you can duplicate the flowers and get the same exact flower. That's the beauty of digital!


For the last little tidbit on this flower, I added a button element and shadow style from the Unwritten Pretties.  It's really looking good now. All those patterns and layers look great! You could even do the same pattern paper or solid paper for every layer, maybe a bevel edge too! So many ideas!


Here is what my Layers Palette looks like with the papers, shapes, and button. You can merge all the layers to one, but I prefer to leave separate, just in case I want to change out a paper or fudge the shadows a little more.


Here are a couple of ideas of where and how you can use the new paper flowers on your layouts and in your pocket pages. 

Some journal cards have images or pictures on them that are wonderful, but sometimes don't fit with the layout that I'm working on. Cover them up! Here is one of the Unwritten Journal Cards that I've covered up the saying and left the doodle and card around it. 


Shrink all the layers of your flower, adjust the shadows and add them to the journal cards. This would fit into the pocket layouts and give this pockets a little depth.


You can use different flower shapes, and then add different elements too. For this one, I've used paper  layers for the first 2 flower layers and then added a flower as the center. That flower already had a center, so it was a perfect addition.
Taking that same flower and placing it on the journal card, just fills a space. it could be centered, or even on one of the edges if you wanted to add a little writing.

Here is what I created. I switched up some of the paper, but it is essentially the three paper layered flower. I love how it turn out, and my son was watching me scrap -- oohing and aaahing  -- then we were giggling! Mission accomplished - paper flowers and #joycreated. :)



Hoping you learned a couple things to try out today! Paper is underrated, and you can do so much with it for so many things. We've checked off flowers on that list, lol! 

Have a great day, and thank you for visiting. 
connect with Jenn: InstagramPinterest |  Flickr 



























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#joycreated | making the Unwritten Mini Album | tutorial

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Hi! Monica here, writing about some #joycreated with the Unwritten Mini Book  Kit by ForeverJoy! Do you make goals for your scrapbooking each year? I love making scrapbook goals, especially at the beginning of the new year along with all the other goals and plans I'm making for my year. One of my goals for this year is to create more mini albums. The Unwritten Mini Book by Renne gave me a great start on this new goal!

I especially love that she included a very easy to follow video tutorial that answered any and all questions I would have about how to put this mini album together.  I did a few things differently with my album that I'd like to share with you today.



The biggest difference is that I used binder clips to put my album together and the instructions that come with the mini book and in Renee's video, the mini book is bound using Rubber Cement and washi tape.


The first thing you will need to do when putting together the mini album is to print out all of the pages and cut each page horizontally.



I then stacked all of the pages in order before folding them.


As described in the video, I used a bone folder to make the fold nice and crisp and help the pages lay really flat.


I used an extra strength glue stick to glue each folded page together.

Next, I placed washi tape on each open side, so that there ended up being washi tape on alternating sides of the pages of the book when it was put together.


I used a crop-a-dile to punch two holes on the left side of the mini album for binder clips.


I used a Silhouette Cameo to print and cut some of the Unwritten Pretties (and boy they are pretty!) to add more dimension to the album.



All that was left at this point was to put in my pictures and journaling. I had some 2x2 instagram pictures printed by Persnickity prints this summer and they were the perfect size to use in this project!



My husband gave me a tiny attacher for Christmas this year. He couldn't believe that he was actually giving his wife a stapler for Christmas, but I was so excited to use it in putting together this mini album!


My children have also already really enjoyed looking through this little book.


I had a blast putting together this Unwritten Mini Album! It was so inspiring to see a project like this from beginning to end.

Connect with Monica : {Blog} {Gallery} {Pinterest} {Facebook} {Twitter}

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