blog

travel

Our Big, Fat, Greek Sailing Adventure | Part Two

sailing-parttwoThis is the second post of a two-part series about our sailing adventure in Greece. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

I’ll start where I left off in Nafplio.

Sailing Day Four

Before leaving Nafplio, Chris grabbed gyros for everyone to enjoy on the boat while we headed for the island of Spetses. Can’t get enough of those gyros (and Greek salad).

Spetses is a pretty affluent island and is know for their wooden boat-building industry. This was a pretty important stop for us because we needed to refuel and refill one of the water tanks. The boat needed a good cleaning as well. Why? We had a little bit of ran a day or two before and it turns out that it’s common for the rains to carry sands from the Sahara Desert! It left a light red dust everywhere. So while Haris hooked up the fuel/water lines, and swabbed the decks, we explored the island.

dscn2488
Island of Spetsus

The island is small, but pretty wealthy with upscale shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

We all took a liking to the white and gray pebble mosaics that decorated the ground before the doors of many homes. After doing a bit of research online about this art once we returned home, I found out that these “pebble pictures” are a traditional art dating back several hundred years. I would love to incorporate something like this in our backyard.

dscn2403
Examples of pebble mosaics

We walked around town until it was time for dinner. Haris made reservations for us at a wonderful restaurant, Mourayo. I loved the decor-the mix of the stone walls and soft-colored fabrics. The service and food were top-notch. You have to remember that this time of year is considered the off-season for tourism. There are dozens of restaurants and tavernas wanting your business. And when they get it, you better believe they will make sure you have the best experience! Many of establishments we visited asked if we would review them in Trip Advisor!

dscn2442
Seating at Mourayo

The following morning we wanted to visit one of the boat-building workshops and found two. Very simple workshops, but what comes out of them is gorgeous!

dscn2472-1
Wooden boat building/repair in progress
dscn2478-1
Spetses wooden boats

It was time to leave Spetses (and give our slip up for a super yacht that needed to refuel.

Sailing Day Five

The next island we headed for was Hydra (He-dra). I enjoyed a G+T (or two) along the way.

img_9107
Chillin’ with a G+T

Haris was a little concerned about getting to Hydra’s small harbor in time to get a place to dock to stop for a swim. But he promised there was a beautiful place to swim once we got there.

When we finally entered the harbor at Hydra, I think there were tears in my eyes Greece (we got the last spot in the harbor, by the way). This place was GORGEOUS. It is considered one of the prettiest towns in Greece.

dscn2548
Both photos show the harbor as we approach Hydra

And the swimming hole wasn’t bad either. This bar with adirondack chair and tables with thatched umbrellas were settled on top of a cliff. There was a path from the bar down to the water where you can swim.

img_9128
Tiki Bar on cliff with access to swimming

We had a little photo shoot before dinner:

img_5606
Love this guy. Photo by Jim Vespoli
dscn2625
I made sure I had plenty of blue in my wardrobe this trip 🙂 Photo by Chris Sill

On our way to dinner, Haris met up with his best friend, Pentolis. The two of them were being interviewed by a local paper-for what reason, I can’t remember. But Pentolis is very well-known on the island. He actually has a dual-citizenship (Greece & USA) and is a Vietnam Vet. He spends half of the year here in Tarpon Springs, Florida!

mvimg_20180502_200656
Pentolis and Haris. Photo by Jim Vespoli

One of the most interesting things about Hydra is there are no motorized vehicles on the island. Residents get to where they need to go by foot or donkey. When we woke the next morning, it was delivery day for the island. Two small ferries were off-loading goods onto the land where a line of donkeys were lined up, ready to be loaded down with groceries, building materials, and other goods to be delivered to shop owners and private citizens.

Those are 25kg bags of limestone strapped on the donkey! And there are 5 bags! And check out how they strap roof tiles to them in the photo below.

This whole operation was so interesting to watch.

We loved this island. But we had to move on…

Sailing Day 6

We left Hydra and headed for Aegina.

img_9237
Sails up! Note the American flag!

We stopped for a swim along the way.

img_9250
Another day, another swimming hole.

When we arrived in Aegina we took a taxi to visit the Temple of Aphaia.

Aegina is known for their pistachios. Our taxi driver stopped along side of the road near a pistachio grove (?) so we can see how they grow.

dscn2708-1
Pistachios

Never knew they grew like this! They have a ways to go yet before they are ready to be harvested. Our driver broke one open for us to see what they look like inside. The shells are soft and the nut is small right now. But the shell will harden as it grows. Pretty cool, huh?

dscn2710-1
Young pistachio

We made it to the Temple of Aphaia. It was once believed that this temple, along with the Parthenon, and the Temple of Poseidon formed an equilateral triangle and was a source of power. Looking at a map, Chris and Jim found this not to be the case as the distances between these three temple does not form an equilateral triangle, and disproved a belief that was thousands of years old 😂 (we will probably never be allowed back in the country).

dscn2730
The Temple of Aphaia (both photos)

Back at the boat we enjoyed a bag of island pistachios and watched the sun set behind the rolling hills before going to dinner.

img_9279
Island pistachios
img_9292
Aegina sunset

Sailing Day Seven

It was our last day on the boat and we still had one more stop to make before heading back to the harbor in Athens. We left Aegina around 6:30 am and headed Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.

dscn2870
The Temple of Poseidon

The views from the Temple were breathtaking:

dscn2835
That water!!!
dscn2819
View of our catamaran from the Temple of Poseidon
img_9307
Just us. Photo by Jenifer Vespoli

It was pretty hot up there while walking around the grounds. Once we got back to the boat we took one last swim in the Aegean. There was something really special about swimming under the Temple of Poseidon.

img_9331-1
View of the Temple from the cat.

Once we left Cape Sounion, it was another 4 hours back to Athens. As we got close to the harbor, there was no less than 3 dozen other chartered boats heading in as well. Our week was over, but those memories will last forever!

We stayed on the boat in the harbor our last night. In the morning Haris came to say good-bye. He plotted our course on a map and gave it to Chris. He will send us the digital log book via email. He wants us to return next year, this time for two weeks, and to bring our kids. Ha! I don’t know if we would all fit on the cat! We may have to charter a super-yacht for that trip!

travel

Our Big, Fat, Greek Sailing Adventure | Part One

sailing-partone

Around the beginning of the year, one of Chris’ close college friends and fraternity brothers (and best man at our wedding!) asked if we would be interested in chartering a 42′ catamaran with he and his wife in Greece and sail along the coast and islands. Their daughter was finishing up her college semester studying in Greece. They wanted to go visit her right before the semester ended, explore the country a bit, and fly back with her once the semester was over. That was a no-brainer. Of course we said yes! Chris and I have talked about possibly living on a boat part time and we thought this would be a good test to see how we would like it. On April 25, we took off from Orlando and started on our adventure.

I posted several photos while we were there on my personal Facebook Page and Instagram account. I had many people write and ask about how we did this, where we went, etc. This post will be a two-part series (possibly three), sharing photos and details of what we did.

Although we live in Tampa, we flew out of Orlando because the flights were cheaper. We had an 8:30am flight on JetBlue out of Orlando to JFK. It was the first time we flew JetBlue, and were really happy with them! It was also our first time flying into JFK and we won’t do that again (although our flight back was going back through JFK). Not a fan of that airport at all. From JFK we boarded a Turkish Air flight to Istanbul. One thing you may not know about me is that I hate flying (and my husband was a pilot in the Marine Corps). For me to fly on an international airline that I am not familiar with, well, needless to say I was a nervous wreck. But then when I saw that Dr. Oz is a spokesperson for the airline, I guess it can’t be all that bad, right? And it wasn’t. Such a great airline. Awesome service–they gave us little bags with socks, slippers, lip balm, and a mini toothbrush and toothpaste. The food was good, too! From Istanbul, we flew to Athens, again on Turkish Air, and after 19+ hours of traveling, we finally made it to our hotel near the Acropolis by taxi on Thursday, April 26 (Note that Athens is 7 hours ahead of east coast time here in the US).

Jim and Jenifer, the couple we were sailing with, were not arriving until Friday. And since we could not get on the catamaran until Saturday, we had two nights in a hotel and some time to explore Athens. Once we arrived at our hotel we took about a 2-hour nap and then we were up to explore the city!

DSCN1704
The Parthenon
DSCN1632
The Erechtheion and Porch of the Caryatids
DSCN1643
Close up of the Porch of the Caryatids

Pretty impressive close-up, right? I have another one coming up here in a bit. But about the camera I used. It’s a Nikon CoolPix B700. I have a Nikon D80 that is just about as ancient as the ruins in the pics above. It still works fine, but I didn’t want to take a bulky DSLR with me with all the lenses. My iPhone 6s+ has a better resolution than my D80 (waiting to upgrade to the iPhone X)! I just LOVE this new camera! It totally got the job done!

IMG_8660
Selfie at The Parthenon
IMG_8663
One of the many Greek Salads we enjoyed on this trip

On Friday we visited the Agora and Roman Forum.

DSCN1768
Columns of the Stoa at the Agora
DSCN1850
Roman Forum from a distance
DSCN1858
Close-up of the fallen pillar from photo above

I gotta mention the camera again. Notice the column that is toppled over in the photo of the Roman Forum. The photo right below it is zoomed in on the cap of that fallen column. The 60X optical zoom on this little camera is awesome!

DSCN1893
Acropolis at night

Jim & Jen arrived in Athens earlier in the day on Friday and spent some time with their daughter. We met them at the Air B&B the rented and the pic of the Acropolis at night was the view from their place!!!

Sailing Day One

On Saturday morning we all took taxis to the harbor to begin our sailing adventure. The company Jim went through to charter the boat was yachtsailing.gr. Although we (Chris and I) didn’t have any contact with them, Jim said they were wonderful to work with and are a top-rated charter company. Prior to our arrival, they provided us with a list of provisions to chose to have stocked on the boat when we arrived. Although we knew we would be eating out quite a bit wherever we dropped anchor for the night, we selected to have things like, bottled water, coffee, yogurt, fruit, cheeses, olives, and, of course, alcohol on the boat.

We really had no sailing agenda we wanted to follow. This was our first time doing something like this. Not being familiar with the waters, various harbors, or sailing conditions, we wanted to see what Haris was going to recommend. We did have a desire to go to Santorini and Mykonos, but Haris explained that we really would need two weeks if we wanted to sail the Cyclades. The weather can be a little unpredictable at times there this time of year and it is possible we could get stuck on an island for 2 or three days. Which is not cool when we only have 7 days! So after much discussion on the route, it was decided that we will sail around the Peloponnese peninsula and the islands around it.

IMG_5816 copy
Haris, our captain. Photo by Jim Vespoli

This is Haris, our captain. He was a Greek Naval Officer for 27 years before retiring. Both Chris and Jim have ASA certifications, but were still looking forward to learning even more from him!

DSCN2056
Jenifer & I chillin’ on the cat. Photo by Chris Sill

Our favorite part of the the 42′ Lagoon catamaran named “Fantasy” was the seating at the front!

IMG_8775
This is not pool water…it’s the Aegean Sea

Each day of our sail we would stop in a secluded cove or lagoon to swim and then sail on to our next destination for the night. On our first day we stopped off the coast of the island of Aegina.

The weather this time of year can be a little iffy. Friends who have been to Greece before said to expect cool temperatures and chilly waters. But the weather Gods were on our side. Although the water temperatures were were cool (about 68 degrees) the weather was GORGEOUS with highs in the 80s the whole time we were there! And as far as those chilly water temps, your body quickly adjusts! I wasn’t going to not swim in the Aegean! Jumping into the water was a good way to get over jet lag (and the occasional hangover).

Our first stop was the island of Poros. Never heard of the place before, but man is it pretty! There was a lovely little church bell tower at the top of the hill. We enjoyed walking our way through the winding streets (uphill) to find it.

DSCN2033 copy
The island of Poros

Dinner, Haris made reservations for us at a restaurant where he knows the owner. We didn’t even order off of the menu! The owner selected some fresh sea bass for us and he brought out a sampling of traditional greek side dishes. It was the first time I had octopus. It was delish!

ACS_0030
Steamed and marinated octopus
ACS_0031
Fresh calamari, fried
ACS_0033
Fresh sea bass

Sailing Day Two

As we were pulling up the anchor to leave Poros (it’s motorized), it got caught on an old chain that was laying on the bottom of the harbor. Haris was not happy and he had to call a scuba diver in to set us free!

Once freed, we headed for the seaside town of Ermione (Er-me-oh-knee). But first we stopped for a swim in the waters off the island of Dokos.

DSCN2076
Chapel on Dokos

This island only has one family living on it. Plus a white donkey (insert white ass jokes here) and we believe some goats. Haris told us that this is a place where many Greek celebrities come to get married as it is difficult for the paparazzi to get here. We did take the dingy off of the boat and went to the island. We pet the goat-Jim has the pictures (I’ll get them soon). It liked us and did follow us up and down the beach.

DSCN2135
We’re on a boat! Photo by Jim Vespoli

After our swim we docked the boat in the coastal town of Ermione. Just like on Poros, we explored the winding roads and ducked in and out of shops. We had any of Greece’s national drink-Ouzo-yet and found a beverage store and picked up a bottle to enjoy after dinner later. We also found a great bakery and bought some baklava and little spanakopitas (Greek spinach pie) to munch on. Chris became addicted to that spanakopita!

DSCN2107
Chris and a rack of octopus
DSCN2101
Blue and white forever

Sailing Day Three

We left Ermione and headed for another coastal town, Nafplio. On our way we stopped for a swim near a former home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I will never get tired of that blue water!

DSCN2146
Swimming in the Aegean. Photo by Chris Sill
DSCN2284
View near the top of Palamidi Fortress

While in Nafpoli we had plans to travel by taxi to visit the ruins of the Theatre of Epidaurus and Mycenae. However it was May 1. May Day. This holiday is HUGE in all of Europe and unfortunately these sites were all closed. So instead we decided to climb the 999 steps of the Palamidi Fortress instead. Not that we could go inside, because again, it’s May Day and it’s closed. But we are so glad we did because the views were amazing!

DSCN2249
Full moon over Nafpoli

I am going to close this post with a picture of the moon above. If you can zoom in on it, do so! Look at the detail! It’s that camera! There is a moon setting on the camera and it is amazing! No tripod was used! I just aimed the camera at the moon snapped the photo and I got this! How amazing is that???

I will be back later this week with the second post about our sailing adventure. Thanks for reading!

mobile apps, Project Life | Kelly

2018 Project Life | Week Three + A Giveaway

It’s been a hot minute since I shared a Project Life spread. It’s not that I don’t have any done, because I do! However, when I’m developing new online classes, I get tunnel vision. It is all I can focus on. But that’s ok, because I. Love. It. It’s my passion. My only complaint is that I wish creating content for memory keeping was my full-time 9-5 job instead of having to go into an office everyday! Ha!

While we are on the subject on new classes, registration for Art of the Apps Monthly Membership will open on Monday, April 23. You can find all of the information by clicking here. But I want to give you a chance to win an Art of the Apps v. 1 Scholarship before registration opens! The Giveaway is actually running on my @pixelstopages Instagram account. To enter the Giveaway go to my @pixelstopages Instagram account and do the following:

1. “Like” the Art of the Apps Monthly Membership Giveaway Post.

2. Leave a comment on that post, telling me what your favorite mobile scrapbooking app is.

3. Share the Art of the Apps Monthly Membership Giveaway Post.

Giveaway ends Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 8:59 PM EST. Winner will be announced here on the blog and on the Instagram account Monday Morning at 10 am!

Now on to Project Life. Below is the double-page spread for Week Three.

Have you tried those Coconut Clusters or Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Snappers you see in the layout below? Don’t. Just don’t even tempt yourself, because there is no turning back.

What I like about this layout is the pop of yellow used in the cards and stickers. None of the photos have yellow in them. But the first card I chose to place in the layout was the journal card with the yellow diamond border because I thought it worked well with the Letterfolk Letterboard with Jack Sparrow’s quote. That card was the catalyst in choosing the other cards and elements for the spread. That yellow sticker I placed on my computer screen in the lower left corner was actually blue. I changed the color in Affinity Photo.

Any text added to the Photos was done in Affinity. Now these pages were done well before Free Form Text was a paid addition to the Project Life App. Even though I love the ability to add text to photos directly in the PL App, in some situations I will probably still add text to photos in Affinity because I like to use my own fonts. What about you? Will you still use other apps to add text to your photos? Or will you stick with Project Life only?

Education, Launch, mobile apps

Introducing Art of the Apps Membership

There’s a good reason why the blog has been a little quiet lately! A brand new format of app-scrapping classes has been in development at Scrapaneers.com and today I finally get to share the details!

I’m going to keep this short and sweet as there will be a link at the end of this post to the workshop information page at Scrapaneers. But I wanted to quickly address how this Art of the Apps Monthly Membership v.1 will differ from the those AotA workshops in the past.

In previous workshops several apps were covered in a 3-day period. With the exception of AotA 3.0, the classes were taught through live webinars which were recorded and posted in the classroom for students to watch at their convenience. The classes were very successful (and are now self-paced at Scrapaneers), but some of the feedback received was there was too much information presented in a short amount of time.

I totally get it.

So after a lot of thought, it was decided to try something new.

The Art of the App Monthly Membership v.1 will focus on one app or theme a month. Focusing on a single app will allow you to really explore the app and digest the information you receive over several weeks, instead of just a few days, before moving on to a new app.

You may be wondering if I will be revisiting apps covered in previous workshops. Yes. Some, not all. Apps are constantly updating. I guarantee those apps I do revisit in the monthly memebership will have fresh material. Covering only one app a month is allowing me to develop material that is more detailed and I am able to share with you more of my process and workflow.

I hope you are excited about this new format as I am! For even more information click on the this link to the workshop page

To celebrate this new membership, Scrapaneers is giving away one full scholarship to Art of the Apps Monthly Membership v.1! You can find all of the information on how to enter on the Scrapaneers blog here. Good luck!

And guess what? will be giving away one a seat in Art of the Apps Membership v.1 here on my blog very soon! Stay tuned!

Uncategorized

Project Life 2018 | Week Two

Random photos of everyday life. That’s what I love about this layout!

Project Life2018 Week 2

When it comes to my page-building process, I insert my photos first, and then I choose my filler and journal cards. This allows me to look at the spread as a whole to see if there are any repetitive elements within the photos such as color, shapes, themes, etc., that may tie the two pages together.

So the main color(s) I see in a few of the photos have orange in them such as the sunset and tomato soup, a little bit of blue/gray/neutral in the photos that show my floors, Zoe (my Yorkie) and Chris painting the guest room.

I then browse the Project 52 Rad Kit to choose the cards for my layout. When it comes to using journal or filler cards in a double-page spread, I am not afraid to use the same card twice or even three times. The repetition is something that brings cohesiveness to the layout. On each page I used a journal card with orange arrows. I also used journal cards with the same style word art on them (Oh Yes and Yipee) and fit perfectly with the orange and neutral-colored color scheme.

Other things I wanted to point out on the left hand page are:

  • The scripted text added to the sunset photo was done in Affinity Photo. This font, Baker Script, is the one used in our community logo. I use it quite often whenever I scrapbook photos of community events.
  • I found a png for the logo of my shoes online and added it in Affinity Photo as well.
  • The 4×6 picture in the lower right corner is actually a 4×6 collage that I made in the PL App, exported it to my camera roll and then placed it in my layout.

On the right hand page:

  • The text on the photos was done, once again, in Affinity Photo. The font used is Archer Pro. This is a format I will be using throughout my album whenever I want to add a few words to photos.

Thanks for reading! Leave any questions or comments below!

mobile apps, wellness

Wellness | My Running Journey

Today I thought I’d share a a little bit about my quest to becoming a runner and a little about the apps that have helped be along the way.

I’ve always wanted to be runner and took up running about two years ago. My best friend Jill and I gave it a try in high school, but our desire to cheer and dance on the sidelines at football games outweighed that of running long distances.

Fast forward 30+ years.

Jill and I both live in the Tampa area now. Back in the spring of 2014, we ran the Color Me Rad 5K at the Tampa Fairgrounds. For those not familiar with a color run, it is a race where colored cornstarch is thrown at you suring different point of the race and by the time you finish, you look like you ran through a rainbow.

Too much fun.

I remember that color run being in May. It was already getting hot in Florida. Running in gazillion-percent humidity just wan’t appealing to me anymore. So again, I gave up running before I even got started.

But in the summer of 2016 I stumbled across RunDisney.com. My husband and I are big Disney fans and when I saw photos of runners dressed up as Disney Princesses running a race around Walt Disney Resorts, I got the urge to become a runner again. The runners looked like they were having so much fun! And the BLING! The medals were awesome and I wanted one.

I was about to turn 48-years-old. Now one would think that an almost 48-year-old, inexperienced runner would have enough common sense in her to register for the Disney Princess 5K or 10K race, right? Nope. Not this girl. I went big and registered for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. WTH was I thinking?

I went on my very first training run–September 12, 2016–my birthday. It was hot and humid, but I was running at 5am, before work, so at least the sun wasn’t beating down on me. I was also training using the Couch to 10K app and then the 13.1 Half Marathon Trainer app. And they were great! These apps start you off slow through walk/run intervals. For example in Couch to 10K your first day is a 25 minutes run/walk: a 5-minute warm-up, 6 sets of a 1-minute run and 1.5-minute walk, and a 5-minute cool down. As you train, those run segments become longer, walks shorter, and you are eventually running without that walking break. You can click on the icons below to read more.

                         

A few weeks before the 2017 Princess Half-Marathon my right knee started to bother me. I backed off training a bit so I wouldn’t really hurt myself before the race. I never really ran a full 13 miles during a training run.

Fast forward to race weekend.

Participants pick up their race packets at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. In one of the buildings at the complex there is a large health and fitness expo with all sorts of vendors. I visited the KT Tape booth and bought some of their kinesiology tape. I have no idea how this magical tape works. It’s so thin. But man, did it help! I watched their YouTube videos on how to apply it to my knee and I ran that race pretty much pain free!

2017 Disney Princess Half-Marathon

I didn’t run for about three weeks after that race, but had such a good experience that when the time came to register for the 2018 race, I signed up!

Running during the summer in Florida is just insane. So I didn’t. I just kept to spinning and yoga. But even that stopped for a little while last August when I was diagnosed with a DVT/PE, was in the hospital for four days and put on blood thinners for 6 months (that experience is a whole other blog post).

At the end of September Jill and I, along with another friend, signed up for the Wanderlust Mindful Triathalon which included a 5K, a 45-minute yoga session, and finishing with a 25-minute meditation session. It was a great event, although my knee was pretty sore during the run.

It took me a while to even feel like running again after Wanderlust. Once I did start back up, it was one strain after another that seemed to prevent me from doing any kind of serious training for the 2018 Princess Half-Marathon that happened about a month ago. The one over the counter pain reliever that works for me is Aleve and I couldn’t take it because of the blood thinners I was taking. At one point I even considered dropping out of the race because even walking long distances would aggravate my knee. But Disney doesn’t give any refunds on their races and they are pretty expensive, so I was going to run this thing no matter what.

It wasn’t until the Wednesday before the race when my hematologist gave me the all clear. No more clots. No more blood thinners. Hello Aleve. Hello 2018 Princess Run.

I accepted the fact a long time ago that this race was not going to be one where I was going to break any personal best records. I really don’t care about any of that. I just liked the atmosphere of the race. So I taped up my knee (and my hip, and my ankle😂) and I ran.

And it wasn’t pretty.

I ended up walking the last four miles, but trotted across the finish line in tears. I was hurting. But I got my bling. And I took Aleve.

2018 Disney Princess Half Marathon

One of the things I noticed while running was the sound of dings and chimes going off on my fellow runners’ phones. Turns out many were running the race using an interval app where you can set your own high and low intensity training cycles. The sounds alerted them when to walk and when to start running again.

I found one of these interval apps recently in the App Store and have been using it the past few times I’ve been out running (I try to do a 5K twice a week right now). Oh my gosh! I love running with it! I set it for 30 second intervals and believe it or not, I’ve shaved a minute off of my mile and my knee hasn’t bothered me. I think because I was running on it for shorter periods of time, my knees weren’t experiencing that constant pounding if I was running for a longer period without stopping. I’m sure I as I work on strengthening my knee I will increase those interval times, but I’m kinda liking these 30 second intervals for now. This is the app I am using:

It’s called Interval Timer. The app is free and can be used for any exercise or activity you wish to set intervals for such as cycling, running, stretching, boxing, and more! I’m really happy with it.

And you know what? I signed up for another race! My husband and I will run the Disney Wine & Dine Half-Marathon in November! I’m so excited we will run a race together! I can’t wait to see what that medal looks like!

If any of my readers are into health and fitness, tell me about any apps you may use to reach your fitness goals! I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below!

Affinity Photo, LetterGlow, mobile apps, Project Life | Kelly

2018 Project Life | Week One

Today I am finally sharing pages from my 2018 Project Life Album. In my last post I shared a bit of my process for this project. If you missed it, you can read that here. I haven’t shared these pages on any of my social media platforms yet as I was waiting to do so once this blog was up and running. So I am super excited that today is the day sharing will begin!

Let’s start with my cover page.

Now I know it’s traditional for a cover page to be a bit more elaborate and include photos, filler cards and the year, but I go the more simplistic route. I treat it more like the very first page you would see when opening a coffee table book–lots of white space and the title. White space makes my heart happy.

I did create this page in the Project Life app and had the shadows on the photo placeholders turned off. The card is from the Project 52 Rad Edition by Emily Merritt. The font used in the lower right corner is Oswald Light.

Here is a view of my Week One as a double page spread:

By the looks of some of these pictures, it’s hard to believe we live in Florida! It was so cold here back in January!

Using the Rad Edition for my album this year is a kind of out of the box for me. The kit is a little on the funky, bright side, and I consider myself to have more of a classic style. It’s different, but I’m having fun with it! The only thing that bothered me about this kit was how dark the numbered title cards were. So I recreated them in LetterGlow. Some may be wondering why I recreated them in LetterGlow and not in Affinity Photo (I am using my iPad Pro to scrapbook). I am pretty confident Bebas Neue was used for the number on these cards. For some crazy reason Bebas Neue will not load into Affinity and it’s driving me crazy. I do have it loaded in LetterGlow, but it is still acting a little wonky, though I am making it work. Other fonts are not giving me this issue, so I am not sure what is going on with Bebas. The other font used on the card is Source Sans. It came pre-loaded in LetterGlow.

Here’s a “did you know” for ya. We already know most of the kits in the app are really digital kits reconfigured for the PL App. But did you know many of those kits have digital elements that coordinate with them? No, you can’t use these elements directly in the PL App, but you can add them to your completed pages in other apps.

The circle stickers on these pages are from the digital Project 52 Rad Edition Accessories. It has digital stickers and papers! You can purchase it in Becky’s digital shop here. Once I exported the page from the Project Life App, I opened it in Affinity Photo on my iPad to add the stickers and light drop shadow (if I was scrapbooking on my iPhone, I would use LetterGlow to add the digital elements–just like I did in my 2016 albums). I then saved the pages back to my camera roll. Because I will be printing these pages in a hardbound book through the Project Life App, I brought the pages back into the PL App by placing it in the full 12×12 collage template.

Leave any questions or comments below!

Affinity Photo, LetterGlow, mobile apps, Project Life | Kelly

My Project Life Process

Now I know we are well into the third month of 2018. Even so, I still wanted to share my Project Life process from the very beginning. So in this post I want to share with you a few things I do prior to diving in and creating pages for a new year. But first a confession:

I am still working on my 2017 album 😱.

I needed to get that off of my chest before I continue with this post. You’ll understand why in a moment.

I started using the physical version of Project Life back in 2012 in a weekly format.

In 2016 when I switched to the app, I continued documenting weekly. I was totally obsessed with keeping my pages up to date as using the app made this so easy to do. The first few months of 2016 I was still working part time at the Paper Source, while looking for a full-time graphic design position. When I finally found one, I noticed I wasn’t taking as many “everyday” photos like I was when only working part time. Most of my photo-taking opportunities were falling on the weekends. I was beginning to think that my Project Life Weekly Format was more like a “weekend format.” Don’t get me wrong, I was still able to fill my pages and complete my 2016 album (You can see a walk through of my 3-volume album on my Kelly Sill Design Facebook Page here) by using the Big Shot Templates in the app. But I was a little bummed I wasn’t taking as many everyday photos.

In 2017 I decided to switch it up and document in a monthly format. I figured by doing this I would have less of that self-inflicted pressure to make sure I am taking photos and keeping up with my pages. You know what happened?

I got lazy. Right now my 2017 album is complete only through May and I am playing catch-up. I even noticed the quality of my photos have started to declined because I wasn’t using my skills on a daily basis!

So. Not. Cool.

Turns out that self-inflicted pressure I put on myself in 2016 was a blessing in disguise. Having a ritual of dropping photos into layouts throughout the week, then finishing the journaling and adding embellishments the following Monday/Tuesday was a good thing. It kept me on track and I missed that.

So for 2018, I decided to go back to documenting in a weekly format. I am finding myself paying more attention to the everyday things–even though I am still working full time and we are living in an empty nest. I am pretty much up-to-date in my 2018 album and it feels good. I’m getting into the groove again.

There are times when do find myself looking for ideas of what to take pictures of. When the kids were around that was never a problem. But since we are officially empty nesters, I refer to a handout I created for my Empty Nest Scrapbooking workshop I taught at Scrapaneers a few years back (no longer available). It has a slew of good photo-taking ideas for when you need to fill a few empty pockets on your pages. You can download it here.

So there are three main steps I take before diving into my Project Life Album. They are:

1) Select a kit. I decided to use the Project 52 Rad Edition by Emily Merritt. There will be times I will use some cards from other kits, but they will mainly be very generic journal cards. And I’m sure I will use products by Ali Edwards as well, but I really like to stick with one kit for my albums. For me working with one kit gives my album consistency and that is important to me.

2) Create a color palette from the kit. Knowing there will be pages where I will add text to a page or make a filler/journal card in another app, I like having the RGB color codes of the kit so I can add them to the graphic design apps I use to create these elements. I do this in two different ways. If I am using my iPhone, I grab the colors using the Adobe Capture App. If I am using my iPad Pro, I use Affinity Photo. Here are tutorials on how I do this in both apps.

Adobe Capture Mini Tutorial

Affinity Photo Color Swatch Mini Tutorial

3) Find coordinating kits. After I select the kit I will use, I usually find another kit or two in the app that it would coordinate. Just in case I get a little bored working with one kit. I do this by selecting a card in the kit with a good representation of of all the colors in the kit and place it on one of the 6×8 Page templates. Then I just experiment dropping cards in from other kits to see if their colors match. The Project Life Rad Edition is a little special, though. Because the fonts in the kit look hand-drawn, I wanted to make sure any coordinating kit had fonts with a similar look and feel. I found the Stampin’ Up Let’s Get Away Kit (no longer available for purchase in the app) and the This and That Value Kit by Alma Loveland works really well with Rad.

This by Tinrocket 1.0.2 (101)
Project 52 Rad Edition | Stampin? Up! Let?s Get Away | This and That Value Kit |
This by Tinrocket 1.0.2 (101)
Project 52 Rad Edition | This and That Value Kit | Stampin? Up! Let?s Get Away |

And that’s it! I’ll be sharing my cover page and weeks one and two in my next post! Thanks for spending a few moments here today!

Business, Launch

Hello, it’s me!

blogpost1-newbeginnings-photo
Oh blogosphere, I have missed you so!

But I am back and I promise to never leave you again.

Wait, “Never leave you again?” Some of you reading that text may be wondering, “What the heck is she talking about, ‘leave you again’? This is a new blog!”

Truth be told, it’s been two years since my last blog post. No, not here at this brand spankin’ new sweet piece of cyber real estate. But at my former blog, September Blue. Whether you were a follower then or a brand new friend, I want to welcome you from the bottom of my heart to my new home here on the net, Kelly Sill Design.

A lot has changed over the past two years, Chris and I finally settled into new jobs, our youngest son, Ryley, left Tampa and moved to San Francisco, my fun convertible died (but I love my new car, Roxy the ROGUE Runner), we’ve done several home improvements, and I have completely embraced documenting our photos and stories using mobile apps.

I have truly missed blogging over the past two years. Serving the memory-keeping community with with tutorials, design tips and tricks, and freebies is my passion. You know that rush of endorphins you get after a run or exercise class? That’s the feeling I get when I serve up these nuggets of creativity with you. I can’t wait to feel that “high” again! I love sharing my pages and projects in hopes that it inspires others to tell their own stories.

The running list of topics and information I look forward to sharing here is a long one. Not only will I be sharing all things mobile scrapbooking, but I’ll share recipes, personal projects, and a few of my favorite things. BUT I also want to know what kind of content YOU want to see here at Kelly Sill Design. What are some of the obstacles do you find yourself faced with when it comes to mobile scrapbooking? Is there an app(s) you want to learn more about and master? Are you confused about cloud storage? Are you wondering how to transition from physical/digital scrapbooking to app-scrapping? Talk to me, friends! I’m here to help you! Feel free to leave me a comment below!

As times goes on, this blog will have more and more content, tutorials, and visual inspiration. But if you are need of some creative spark ASAP, you can always follow my Instagram account, @pixelstopages. And don’t forget about my Facebook Page, Kelly Sill Design. Come follow me and show me some love!

Before you go, be sure to click on the various links in the menu bar and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below! Periodically I will send out happy {e}mail with goodies you won’t want to miss!

Subscribe to my newsletter

* indicates required


My biggest mobile memory keeping obstacle is: