Project Life Share

What a whirlwind the last few weeks of school have been!  I am now settling back into a slower groove and enjoying some time to bring my Project Life pages current.  The first step I take when it’s been a while since I have added to my Project Life is to do a photo round-up.

We have 3 phones, 2 tablets, and my DSLR camera with which our family takes photos.  While I use Apple devices, my family uses Android devices.  The easiest way I have found to collect photos is an app called Photo Transfer App which lets you transfer photos to and from any computer or device over WiFi.

Here are my March pocket pages:

March 2015 Project Life pp.3-4 by

I used my new WR Memory Keepers Fuse tool to fix a problem that has bugged me since I began using pocket pages.  Sometimes the top 4×6 photos start to slide out when the album is handled.  While I had my Fuse tool out to make the sequin flip pocket, I went ahead and ran it over a small area across the tops of the top 4×6 pockets.  This seals the contents tightly inside.  No more slipping and sliding.  Word of caution:  Prior to sealing any pocket, make sure you like both sides of the pocket and will not need to make any changes later.

Seal Fuse by

Have you tried the Fuse tool?  I’d love to know your thoughts!

Until then, happy crafting!  XO  Kathryn




Layout Process: Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!

Hey! Ho! Let's Go!  by

After creating this layout which tells the story of my son’s 16th birthday and his first electric guitar, I reflected on my creative process.  Here are some thoughts:

1.  Sketches:  Although sketches are a handy starting place when creating, I have often been challenged by adapting them to fit my projects.  I’m finding that Kelly Purkey’s Sketchbook class at Studio Calico is helping me to move beyond taking a sketch literally.  For example, this 9×12 layout began with a 12×12 sketch that Kelly shared in the class.  The foundation of this sketch is blocks as in a Mondrian painting.  Using this basic concept, I was able to modify the sketch in a way that worked for my project.

2.  Quick Photo Edits:  When my photos are too dark, I use the Lights On filter in RadLab.  I use this filter on just about any photo that was not taken in natural light.  A less expensive alternative which does not require Photoshop, etc., is the PicTapGo app which has the same filter and is easy to use on the iPad or other device.

Editing a photo in RadLab
Editing a photo in RadLab

3.  Teen Photos:  Taking photos of teenagers and other reluctant subjects can be a challenge.  In these situations, I like to capture the moment by getting in closer for the shot.  Sometimes the assurance that you aren’t getting the entire person in the frame can be all it takes for him or her to relax when feeling less than presentable or not in the mood to be photographed.  And I am often surprised at how much I like the results!

What are your go-to steps in your creative process?  Let me know in the comments below!

I hope you have a wonderful week!  XO Kathryn

National Scrapbook Day Challenge Wrap-Up

Today I’m sharing the rest of the projects I made for National Scrapbook Day challenges at Studio Calico.  This was my first time participating in the challenges, and I enjoyed having a starting place for projects.  Here are the projects I made in addition to the one I made to host the Scraplift challenge at Studio Calico.

First, I made a 9 x 12 layout starting with the sketch for the Sketch challenge and added a subtle watercolor background with clear embossing for the Watercolor challenge.  I am enjoying the 9 x 12 size for layouts and am finding it to be a happy medium between traditional 12 x 12 and 8.5 x 11.  The layouts go right into my album along with my Project Life pages.

Soft Watercolor Background

Here are my April Project Life pages, the first of which was for the Keep it Simple challenge, and I focused on typing my journaling with minimal embellishments.

April PL Page by

Next was the Put it in a Pocket challenge, and I enlarged the photo of my son in the air on his skateboard and put it in 2 pockets along the bottom righthand side. This kept the perspective of the shot showing how high up he is.

April PL Page by

Finally, for the Recipe challenge, I made a quick and easy Mother’s Day card.

Mother's Day Card
Mother’s Day Card

Having a starting place, whether it be a sketch, color scheme, or recipe helped me to make the most of my crafting time, and I plan to keep this in mind next time I sit down to create.  How do you make the most of your crafting time?  I would love to hear about your challenges as well as tips and tricks which work for you.

NSD 2015 with Studio Calico

I am so excited to finally share my role in National Scrapbook Day at Studio Calico!  I am one of several members who have been asked to host a challenge on the message boards.  You can find my challenge here.

My challenge is to scraplift a card or layout.  I made a 9×12 layout inspired by Steffi’s beautiful layout, Dreamer.  I was drawn to her paper strips sewn onto her project.  Her design is simple, yet striking!  Here is my layout:

NSD 2015 Challenge

I enjoyed getting to use several of my favorite papers from past Studio Calico kits.  I used zigzag stitching and straight stitching to hold them in place and then cut the sprig with my Silhouette cameo and then watercolored it subtly.  I typed my journaling onto a tag and added a few details to embellish.

NSD2015 Detail by CraftingByNight

This layout captures our dog, George, in the bluebonnets.  I look forward to the bluebonnets in Austin every spring, and this year they were particularly stunning.  How are you spending National Scrapbook Day?  I hope you will leave a comment below or hop on over to my challenge for a fun scraplifting challenge and chance to win a Studio Calico prize!

Reorganizing Project Life Stash

Project Life Storage by CraftingByNight.wordpress.comNow that I have been doing Project Life for a couple of years, I have built a stash of leftover cards and embellishments.  Although I am always eager to use my newest supplies first, I would like to bring in some items from my stash more regularly to use on current projects.  However, when the older supplies are tucked away, the problem has been “out of sight, out of mind” and they sit unused all too often.

I had been keeping all of my cards together by kit, but what if I sorted them by color instead?  Could that make it easier to quickly locate an item that would coordinate with my current projects?  I decided to try this new system, and here are some of my repurposed containers that worked well.

Using a refrigerator bin to store 3x4 cards
Using a refrigerator bin to store 3×4 cards

I cut some dividers with my Silhouette Cameo and grouped the 3×4 cards by color families.  The cards are easy to flip through to make a selection.

Close-up of sorted 3x4 cards
Close-up of sorted 3×4 cards
A small wooden crate for 4x6 cards
A small wooden crate for 4×6 cards

I used the same idea for the larger cards, and covered the bottom of the wooden crate with chipboard to contain the cards.  The wooden slats on the bottom actually help separate the cards when paging through them.

With my cards reorganized, I decided to see what else I could find from around the house to organize letter stickers and other often-used embellishments in Project Life.  A make-up organizer works great for keeping these items handy.

Repurposed make-up organizer for Project Life
Repurposed make-up organizer for Project Life

One of the benefits of reorganizing my stash is remembering what I have, and I hope this will strengthen my resolve to be more selective and spend less when shopping for new supplies.

How do you sort your craft supplies?  Do you sort by manufacturer, kit, color, or some other method?  I’d love to know what works for you and what you find challenging about storing and using your stash.

5 Reasons to Get Crafty with a Planner

Planner Detail by Kathryn Quintana at

After several years of operating exclusively with my Google calendars, I went back to a paper planner last fall.  Here are 5 reasons for getting crafty with a planner:

1.  It’s a day-brightener.  I purchased my planner when I was going through some stressful changes at work, and having a pretty planner helped me stay focused on the good things in my life.  Tucking in a special photo or glancing at favorite embellishments gave me a little boost during the day.

2.  A planner is a capture tool.  Brain research has demonstrated that writing things down strengthens learning and remembering as this article in Scientific American, A Learning Secret:  Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop, explains.  Having one place to capture dates and to-dos helps me feel more together and focused.

3.  A planner keeps priorities center stage.  All tasks are not equal, and with the help of some pretty washi tape and stamps, staying focused can be a bit more fun.  Keeping lists and reminders on the dashboard keeps me on track, especially during small chunks of time and after interruptions.

Planner by Kathryn Quintana at CraftingByNight.wordpress.com4.  The planner provides space for memory-keeping.  I like to stamp a space in my weekly spreads for listing what I want to remember from each week.  I stamp in batches by loading up my stamp press as shown above.   I typically stamp several weeks out, enough that I am not doing this weekly, but not so far out that I can’t switch to another stamp when I am ready for a change.  If you like the stamp I am using in my planner, it is from the April Life Pages Kit at Gossamer Blue.

5.  It is easy to customize.  I change out my sections based on what my life currently looks like.  It does not stay the same throughout the year.  For example, I am adding a section for planning this blog!

Getting crafty with a planner can be as simple or involved as you want it to be.  It is a work in progress, and a great opportunity to use up some favorite crafting supplies, and who doesn’t love that?  How about you?  Have you jumped on board the planner trend?

Organized Cards for All Occasions

Card Organizer by Kathryn Quintana at CraftingByNight.wordpress.comOrganizing is almost as much of a passion for me as creating is, so I am delighted when I find an idea that combines both interests, such as this greeting card organizer based on the project in the Postmarked class at Big Picture Classes. Detail of Organizer by Kathryn Quintana at CraftingByNight.wordpress.comThe binder is a Basic Grey Capture album I found for a few bucks at Tuesday Morning.  I painted the cover with acrylic paint and then added a stamped design and embellishments to the front cover and spine.  I used the We r Memory Keepers envelope punchboard to create a large envelope on the inside  cover for holding spare envelopes and tags.  I kept the original dividers and page protectors and simply added labels which I typed with my vintage typewriter.  These organize monthly calendars, stamps, and addresses. Accordion File by Kathryn Quintana at CraftingByNight.wordpress.comThe best part of the binder is the accordion file which snaps in and out from the back cover with Velcro.  I made the file with kraft cardstock and my Silhouette Cameo using the digital cut files provided by Julie Campbell as part of the Postmarked class.  These dividers are labeled according to occasion and are designed to hold greeting cards. Now my mission is to fill the binder with cards for various occasions that come up throughout the year.  Most of the time, I make a card with the recipient in mind, usually for celebrations.  However, I have noticed lately that I’m lacking cards to express sympathy or offer comfort. Mixed Media Card by Kathryn Quintana at CraftingByNight.wordpress.comHere is a sympathy card I made using watercolor, gold acrylic paint, clear embossing powder, and materials from The Odyssey card kit from Studio Calico.  Cards provide a wonderfully small canvas on which to experiment with mixed media techniques.  I’m finding that I love combining mixed media with a clean look and white space. Butterfly Detail by Kathryn Quintana at CraftingByNight.wordpress.comMore information about the card organizer project can be found at