Category Archives: How To

AS REQUESTED: my must have Project Life supplies

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It makes me VERY happy when my friends reach out to me with interest in Project Life!  This is my first year and I have had three friends express an interest in starting their very own Project Life Albums, two of whom are expecting new additions to their families in the very near future.  As I have said before, Project Life WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO HAVE A BABY, I can now say that it seems that HAVING A BABY WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO DO PROJECT LIFE!  Most recently, my friend Jenn, who is expecting a baby boy sometime very soon, and who is also an INCREDIBLE photographer (you can check out her work here) told me that she was starting project life and asked me what else she might need other than a core kit, pages and an album.  Now, I have to say that while one of the most beautiful things about this project is that you don’t NEED anything else, you can MOST DEFINITELY use SO MUCH MORE if your heart desires!  I feel like I am far enough into this adventure now that I can accurately share the supplies that I reach for most often if not for every single spread.  This is in no way all of the supplies I use, that list is embarrassingly long, but that’s because that’s how I like to craft.  I love having lots of options! So these are my absolute faves and all things I would recommend to any and all who might be just getting started with Project Life.  Part of the fun of this whole process has been learning what works for me, hopefully this helps you to decide what works best for you!



Thickers: I use these EVERY single week!  Be sure to check in the tiny craft section at your local Marshalls or TJ Maxx for some great deals!

Roller Date Stamp: I need to use them more, but I love them!

Elmer’s Glue Dot Runner: This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of all the MANY different brands that are available!  There are also Tape Runners, some semi-permanent, some permanent (like immediately!) and on and on, I recommend this one as a good starting point.

Washi Tape: BE CAREFUL! THIS STUFF IS ADDICTING AND CAN BE FOUND EVERYWHERE NOW! But, it is such an awesome way to accent alpha sticker, add pops of color with no fuss, and of course it also serves it’s purpose as an adhesive method, so there’s that 🙂

Fiskars Scissors: Any scissors will do, these just happen to my favorite.

Fiskars Corner Rounder: I like having the option to round the corners of my photos, but I don’t always do it.  I do think that I am going to go back and round all of my corners because there is something about that little magical triangle of space in the pockets that make everything come together.  And since my Project Life is completely scattered with constantly changing color schemes and what not, it would be nice to know that there is AT LEAST ONE thing that is uniform throughout!

Project Life Corner Rounder: I just found this at my Michaels, I am happy with it and it’s pretty cool that the corners are the exact same as the Project Life core kits. It is not available on Amazon yet but it should be SOON!

Silhouette Pick Me Up: This little tool makes moving Thickers and the smaller alpha stickers that come in the Studio Calico Kits a lot easier to adhere.

Staedtler Fineliner Porous Point Pen:  LOVE the way these write!

American Crafts slick writer (see below)

Project Life Pen (see below)

Staedtler permanent Lumocolor (see below)

uniball Signo broad (see below)

Custom Stamps (see below)

Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher: This little magic stapler is just SO MUCH FUN TO PLAY WITH!  It’s such a dainty little staple that you will find yourself using it constantly!

StazOn Ink Pad: This ink is great because it will “stay” on most every surface!

I have provided links to almost everything through Amazon or etsy because that is what is easiest for me to do, but these items don’t have to be purchased on the internet, I bought lots of them at Michael’s or Joann’s using their weekly coupons.  You can also check out these awesome scrap supply sites:

Two Peas in a Bucket,, Studio Calico, and Simon Says Stamp.

A little closer angle:


Pictured Below:

Canon Selphy Printer

Studio Calico Project Life Kit


The Canon Selphy is awesome because it allows me to print, via wifi, directly from my iphone.  It has proven to be extremely helpful in times when I am falling behind and want to catch up quickly on my weekly layouts.  Now that I am almost done with my first year I do find myself using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to resize, edit and add text to my photos which I then print on my HP printer, but when I need things to be simple I like knowing I have the Selphy available.

Here’s a closer view of my favorite and most used writing utensils as well as the silhouette tool which works GREAT to help align thickers on your layouts.  The white pen is BY FAR THE BEST option for writing on a photo, just be sure to write slow as to give the ink time to flow as well as allowing time to dry before sliding into your pockets.


These are all great pens, the project life and precision writer are the same pen and are great for writing on all kinds of paper, the slick writer is perfect for writing directly onto your photos.


The Studio Calico Project Life Kit

photoThis is Studio Calico’s August Project Life Kit, it is part of a monthly subscription program (you can also purchase month to month at a little higher cost).  This subscription is BY FAR the best addition to my Project Life process!  I LOVE their products and feel like a little kid at Christmas each month when my box full of goodies arrives from them.  I have never once regretted signing up for their monthly kits.  This picture does a pretty good job of showing all of the adorable things you can expect each month, but just click here to take a look on their site.  If you do decide to order a kit you should pick up some of these Fiskars Acrylic Blocks for clear stamps, they come in a package of varying sizes which will accommodate the stamps that are included in SC’s Kits.

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Custom Stamps!

photo 1Even if you don’t really think stamping is for you, I HIGHLY recommend picking up a couple that you really love, I think you will find that it adds something special to your layouts.  These stamps are from three of my favorite crafty ladies!

Click on their names below to be taken directly to their stamps shops.

Elise Blaha Cripe “THIS” “FOR THE RECORD” “YOU ARE HERE” “<3” “HELLO”


Kelly Purkey “IT’S MY JAM” “#”

And last but certainly not least, I have to give you the list of blogs that I have become a loyal follower of, all of which provide me inspiration for all things crafty, especially Project Life, on a daily basis!

Amy Tangerine

Ali Edwards

Elise Blaha Cripe

Design Editor

Deb Duty

Pink Ronnie

Sudio Calico Blog

Kelley Purkey

For those of you that are prego you might want to pay special attention to Amy Tangerine as she expecting VERY SOON! Elise JUST HAD a baby girl, so I would check back through the last couple of months for some GREAT inspiration from her, she has done a lovely job documenting and sharing her daughters entry into the world! I have linked a few blog posts at the bottom of this post for your enjoyment!

I SERIOUSLY hope that this blog post is helpful for you, it has taken me MUCH LONGER to write/create than I anticipated LOL! Tomorrow is my birthday. and I plan on sharing my “32 Highlights” so keep an eye out for that.  As always, THANK YOU for reading! If you are new to Project Life or a seasoned veteran, What supplies do you love the most?  Please share, leave comments and/or ask questions!  It let’s me know that you were here, that someone is reading and more importantly, I LOVE KNOWING THAT I HAVE SHARED SOMETHING USEFUL!


P.S. I am not cool enough or popular enough to be getting paid for any of these recommendations! (A girl can dream that some day she might be!)  Everything you see listed here is here because they are all things that I actually use/read/need! Thanks!

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Dream Killers on Internet Forums… Rude.


Dream Killers SUCK!


I have finally decided to put myself out there and dip my foot in the waters of the photography pool.  That being decided, my already chronic googling problem has been in overdrive the last week or so and this post is just a tid bit of BS that I stumbled upon in one of my MANY random searches.  This poor person made the mistake of asking the same question I googled on Yahoo Answers:


What equipment do I need to start a photography business?

I enjoy photography and have a digital Nikon D40 with a few accessories that I love to use. I wanted to take photography to a business level since recently I’ve had a lot referrals from family and friends to do their pictures. Thing is I don’t really know what I need. I figure that I’d start small and get the basics and start small. So what should I get for portrait style photos? What are the best basic necessities that I would need that are portable an can take with me?

Also I’m not sure what to charge. I’m just starting out and haven’t charged anyone for taking photographs since it’s mostly close friends and family but I want to be compensated for my time when I do it for others. Should I charge for photos? Give them a disk with the digital pictures? Anything helps.

In response to a comment, I have taken photos at weddings and other functions where there was a hired photographer and my photos were better than the photographers. Everyone has said so and agrees which is why they ask me to take the photos and why I want to do it professionally at least part-time for now. I like candid photography but people are interested in portrait photography like in a studio. I usually do them with scenic backgrounds but I’ve been asked to go to people homes to do family portraits and I don’t know what I would need besides a background and stand. Such as what kind of lighting, props etc.

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters”

“I have answered this question 1000 times before, and I am going to give the short answer.

If you don’t know what equipment you need for a photography business, then you can not start a photography business.

Somebody who is about to start a business will know exactly the equipment needed (and will likely already own it and be very experienced with it) and will not need to ask a question like this. You are years away yet.

Praise from family and friends on your images do not count.

Sorry to be blunt, but it’s true.


“I have taken photos at weddings and other functions where there was a hired photographer and my photos were better than the photographers.”

Bullshit indicator = 100% probability..

“Everyone has said so and agrees”

Praise from family and friends on your images do not count.

You can not do anything “professionally” until you first have a clue what you are doing… Which you don’t.. not by years. You can not “get the basics” and do things “professionally” at the same time.”

Yup, dream killers.  I would HATE to see the “long answer” to this question, since he has answered it 1000 times you would think he would just have the document ready and waiting to paste onto every person that “needs to get a clue”‘s questions on the internet…Rude.  I just don’t understand the value of cutting people down in this manner.  Google, the internet in general, is, in my opinion, meant for questions just like this one and yet THE FIRST listing that came up when I typed it in is something like this that offers not only no REAL answer to the question, but ALSO provides a healthy serving of self doubt with a side of sh!t talking… RUDE.  Who has time for this?  Who trolls these forums just waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting surfer of the net?  People.   Obviously people are and that is the saddest part about it.  I can only hope that I don’t have any “people” like this in my life that are annonymously trolling the internet to talk down to others.  One of the MOST disturbing things about this “answer” is that it is voted “the best answer” by MORE people that are VOTING and supporting these inappropriate forum shenanigans.  Ugh.

Just to be clear, when I googled “What equipment do I need to start a photography business?”  I wasn’t looking for opinions about my life, skills etc. I was honestly looking for a list.  I am a lister, I function in lists and the great thing about lists is you can just cross off the things that don’t apply to you should you “borrow” someone else’s list and if you’re lucky, someone else’s list might be EXACTLY what you were looking for.  So, when I assemble my list for gathering equipment for my own purposes in a photography business, I will be sure to post it on here, tagged appropriately and accessible to any other poor soul that may dare to have the audacity to ask such a question on the internet.  Hopefully that list will someday take over the dream killers number one status on google 🙂

(to be fair, there were, on this same thread, other kind souls who did provide lists, or at least words of encouragement, but they did not receive the votes for “best answer”)

-end rant




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Today’s Homework, Thank you Ali Edwards!

Ok, (SO) <Ha! I really can’t stop saying (SO)… Scrolling through Google Reader today and found this great video tutorial that if all goes well should be the first step in the direction of me finally getting my photos sized down and ready for the 3×4 pockets!  This is a great video and I will be trying this out when I get home this evening 🙂

From the lovely Ali Edwards:

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What to do with Mister Huey?

This is just a super cute video showing some great ways to use Misters.  I have quite a few misters but haven’t really used them all that much but I am feeling inspired after seeing this video so I thought I should share 🙂  Enjoy!



Misting Techniques from Dear Lizzy on Vimeo.


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I heart Amy Tangerine

So I just have to say that I have the biggest girl crush on Amy Tangerine!   She is incredibly talented, love her style and she is a down to earth scrappy chic, gotta love that!  I tagged her in an instagram photo just the other day because I was excited and also surprised that I found some of her adorable stickers on clearance and….  she commented on MY photo!

"Fun Indeed"

“Fun Indeed”

I have to admit that I was totally giddy about it 🙂  That is one of the awesome things about instagram and the crafting community, there is opportunity to share and collaborate with people you may never have encountered otherwise.

While we are chatting about Amy Tangerine, her blog post the other day, “Project Life with Two Peas” was really great so I wanted to share it here for those of you that might be interested, she gives some hints and a couple of tricks for how she works on layouts and also talks about Persnickety Prints and of course, Two Peas in a Bucket.


And just a little more on Persnickety Prints (LOVE that name btw!), I have not ordered any prints from them just yet, but after visiting their site this morning I don’t see how I could pass it up as they are having a give a way of 12 adorable Project Life cards with a $30 order.

Persnickety Prints Project Life Giveaway!

Super cute right?  Well there are SO many more exciting things going on in the craft community, I will blog about some more later on today or this week and I shall be sure to show off my Persnickety Prints once I receive them 🙂








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Boho Sheek Bun Mystery Solved!

Today is an, “I’m already late for work, my hair is dirty and there is no hope of it becoming clean before much later this evening typ of day”.  So, I started my morning off applying my makeup at my desk whilst looking up youtube videos on how to hide greasy hair.  I am not one of those blessed people that can skip days and really get away with it, although that in no way means that I don’t skip days, I just usually try and make the “skipped days” days that I don’t have to be at work!  And since I work with my mom, there is not a chance that “no one at the office will notice”, I am currently “hiding out” trying to avoid the inevitable “Oh. Jennifer…. Your hair is DIRTY!”, but, trust me, it is most definitely coming.

To be fair, and so you know that I am not exaggerating about the grease trap that is my noggin this morning, here you go:


I have pretty much mastered the “twist and tuck” in the front, which does a pretty good job helping the hair to appear to be completely matted in the front… BUT, This is what I have goin’ on on the rest of my head:

dry ends...

The forever dry ends and matted greasy top o’ the head:

photo 4

photo 1 (2)

Ok, super embarrassing, but, there you go, gross and greasy, no exaggeration going on here!

Side note:  It is actually quite difficult to photograph one’s own top of the head, I think I took like 6 shots before settling on these two and that was using flip view on the phone and a mirror.

During my research (and by “research” I mean googling/youtubing, which are TOTALLY words btw and not only words but synonyms to the word “research” I’m pretty sure) But, I digress… during my “research” to some how find a way to miraculously solve my hair dilemma without doing tho obvious, get out of bed in a timely fashion in order to wash it, I stumbled upon the solution to something that has always been baffling to me,  “The Boho Bun”,

Boho Bun

or the “I’m So Classy and Awesome That I Don’t Even Care That There are Flaws in My Bun” BUN.

The I’m so classy and awesome that I don’t even care that my bun has flaws Bun

You know that bun I’m talking about, the one that looks so effortless and wonderful and yet makes you feel completely insecure and inadequate both in your own bun making skills but also in the amount of hair you have on your own head in order to put into said sub par bun.  I have a number of BEAUTIFUL and whimsy friends that have mastered this, but did I ever ask them?  No.


I’m not sure if it was shame or embarrassment that I had somehow missed out on the “How to Make a Whimsical Bun Bit” in highschool or what, but, I just kept it to myself, silently wishing that I too could one day have a bun like theirs.  I do know that growing up a soccer girl for the majority of my young life “rainbows” were highly frowned upon.  We would all strive to have “perfect ponytails”, slicked back and rainbow free, but in the age of the double rainbow, I think it’s time to let the rainbows flow and let my hair be swept up into one of these beautiful creations and this video is what gave me the inspiration.

I would like to point out that she is referencing “2nd Day Hair” in this video, which is what my hair status technically is, but, given my incredibly un fortunate genetic makeup, my scalp produces the amount of oil a normal human head produces in a week by the “2nd Day”, so, my miracle bun may not actually be possible on this particular day but I feel a sense of peace knowing that I now know how to make it exist on some day in the future!

More awesome information stemming from this topic/video:

Baby powder and Dry Shampoo are both very good at helping (in no way solving) greasy hair problems, as well as cornstarch, cocoa and one I had never heard before, cornmeal.  I thought cocoa was a clever solution though as it would resolve the graying problem that can sometimes accompany baby powder and cornstarch solutions.

I also stumbled upon a number of videos encouraging multiple braiding methods which is also a very good solution to covering/mask greasy roots.

Birch Boxes are awesome, even if you aren’t super into fashion/beauty products, for $10 a month you get a piece of happy mail that includes samplings of new as well as tried and true beauty products to try and decide if you like, with each box you start to accumulate points that can be use towards a purchase on the site if or when you decide that you would like to buy a full size product.  Who doesn’t love happy mail full of surprises?  I know this girl does!

Birch Box

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