Sneak Peak

Monthly Sneak Peek | Thursday 14 August 2014 5:45 pm


22 Swap Themes for September!

Sneak Peek!

Monthly Sneak Peek | Monday 14 July 2014 6:06 pm


22 swap themes for August! Enjoy!!

Sneak Peek!

Monthly Sneak Peek | Sunday 15 June 2014 11:32 am



July Swaps will go up for sign ups Monday, June 16th at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST) because of the 15th being a holiday.

We listened to the PLCS Members and think that you will love the BIG changes that are coming! We have DOUBLED the amount of swaps that are going to happen, increased the size and the number of groups on some…members mark your calendars for Monday’s sign ups! Stay tuned!

A special thank you to Treasa for creating our beautiful digital sneak peek!



Blog Archives and Finding Inspiration

Monthly Sneak Peek | Monday 9 June 2014 7:46 am

Good Morning!

We appreciate you visiting our blog!  You can still find lots of inspiration on this blog in what is now our blog archives.  We didn’t want you to lose access to all the fabulous tutorials and inspiration provided by our amazing Design Team at PLCS!

We have moved future inspiration to our FB group.  To find even more inspiration from our talented Designers, please be sure to join us in our group, Project Life Card Swap, on Facebook.

Thank you for all the support that you have given this talented Design Team!  It means so much.  We look forward to seeing you on the group!

—PLCS Design Team



Free Hand Drawing/Doodling

Kelley | Friday 16 May 2014 12:09 am

We probably have all doodled at one time or another–on napkins, the margins of our work papers, in journals, the “I Love So & So” doodled on our school notebooks.  Free hand or free form doodling is like practicing for a sport event, a test, or a musical audition–we get better with practice, practice, practice!

I have been a doodler for a long, long time.  I have always had pens, pencils, and paper or journals available to me from a very young age.  I have practiced and practiced.

Free hand drawing or doodling is drawing with out the use of “guiding or measuring instruments” (rulers, templates, patterns, grids,  and the like).  ANYONE can free draw and practice will make us—well not perfect—but pretty darn good at it!   Perfection in free drawing is not necessary-nothing is precise, many line and character placements are random, accidental, and unplanned.

To start your free drawing/doodling, the only thing that is really needed is a pencil and/or pen and some cardstock.  Here is how I sit down and free draw.

I start with white. smooth (cold press) type cardstock.  This is about 60# weight.  It is my preference, however any cardstock, watercolor paper, or drawing paper will do.


I then pull out my Vera Bradley tote bag full of pens!  I have close to 100 drawing pens in my bag, I am partial to Micron & Pigma Pens as well as smooth writing black roller ball pens. I use drawing pens that are permanent or india ink (also permanent).  My go to color is black.  I have ink pens that are .008 to super broad tipped.



I sometimes will sketch out a loose design–in pencil, for placement on my cards. Pencil lines are easily erased with a soft white eraser (I find mine in the art supply section of the craft store as well as in the drafting section of office supply stores).  Soft White erasers are less abrasive and will not mark up the paper or pull up the fibers of the paper, leaving a smooth finish.  When I do my sketch in pencil, my only “rule” is DON’T OVERTHINK THIS!!!  ;)   Free drawing is random, loose, fun, and organic.


(pencil rendering)

I will then take my chosen ink pen and loosely draw over the penciled lines.  What I mean by loosely is that I hold my pen lightly in my hand, no pressure, leaving no indentations in the paper by putting pressure on the pen when following the sketch lines.  This next photo shows you that my ink pen lines do not match up exactly with the penciled in lines.


(ink pen over the penciled lines)

I then take my soft white eraser and lightly/gently go over the drawing removing the penciled in lines.  The ink pen lines are not totally solid nor “in your face bold”.  They are loose and organic.



(pencil lines erased ^^)

I am now ready to “color” my free drawing.  For this example, I chose to use my Spica Twinklette Markers. These are water based pigment markers that have glitter in the ink.  I really love them for their colors and they are waterproof when they are dry.


When coloring these free draw roses in, I was messy with the markers–I did not want a “perfected”  appearance, more of a sketchy look.   I left the backgrounds white to showcase the free drawing, if I were making these for a page or project, I would do my background first (misting, subtly shading, chalking or whatever effect suited the project).


Here is another example of free drawing:


I loosely drew in a branch across the bottom quarter for placement, then drew a large egg shape.  A “v” was drawn in the top of the egg shape for placement.


Ten minutes later, my branch and “egg” turned into a cute free draw Owl!   It is so easy!  My ink pen outlined the branch and egg shape.  I then inked the “v”, drew organic, mis-matched circles for the eyes, and small teardrops for the wings.  I used the Spica Twinklette markers to color in my owl.

I also love to use watercolor pencils, crayons, and watercolors with my doodling.   I have a basket that “houses” all my watercolors (pencils, tubes, gouache, crayons, paint tubs) so that I have them handy to grab to color in my doodling.  I prefer the markers and watercolors to other mediums, such as colored pencils.     I also keep a stack of 100 3×4 pre-cut cardstock blanks handy for when the free drawing mood strikes me!

Have fun with this, try your hand at free drawing, allow yourself to be “free” and do not over think the process!



Project Life Go To Supplies

Treasa | Tuesday 13 May 2014 6:55 pm

Hi there PL swappers, I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful Spring weather, I know that I am. Today I wanted to share with you all my go to supplies for Project life:  These are the things that I must have when I sit down to work on my album or when I make PL swap cards. So lets get started.

My #! is my Project Life corner rounder, I love the look of the rounded corners and I round all of mine. Even though I have trouble with this punch from time to time it is still my favorite and something I use all the time.

photo 1 (403 x 550)

My #2 is my Silhouette Cameo. This puppy gets utilized enormously and I love what it can do especially the print and cut feature which leads to my #3.

photo 2 (550 x 411)

My #3 is my digital supplies. As most of you know I am a Hybrid PLer and I love printing up tags, embellishments and cards.

photo 5 (550 x 411)

My#4 is Washi Tape. Who don’t love washi tape right? I don’t have a huge selection but I definitely love and use what I’ve got.

photo4 (411 x 550)

My#5 is epoxy 1″ circle stickers. I am currently obsessed with making my own flair using these stickers and any printable or stamp image I can find. I use either a 1″ circle punch to punch out my images or the print and cut feature on my Cameo.

photo 6 (550 x 427)

Now that I have shared my top 5 Project Life Go To supplies, I would love to hear what your must haves are. I will select a random commentor and send them some extra swap cards, epoxy flair and printable embellishments.

My Blog Siggy

Creating a color story

Carrie | Sunday 11 May 2014 6:00 am

First off, Happy Mothers Day to all you Crafty Moms!

So I was walking through Lowes with my husband the other day  and as he wandered away looking for what he needed I found myself in the paint isle.  I am drawn to the paint chips, I love all the beautiful colors lining the sample displays.  This time there was a new color chip display by Pantone.  I just love all these vibrant colors.  Immediately I thought ” Oh I can use these” So I started pulling out all the color chip that I liked the best.  I really wanted one of each but I thought that was a little excessive.  So I decided on these.


I am often inspired by color story boards I see on pintrest and other crafting blogs.  I have never created my own so these color chips sparked my interest in creating one.

These are the colors I chose to create a color story inspiration of my own.

I then started pulling cards and papers that I felt matched up to my color story.  The Plus One collection is a perfect match.



So I pulled card and cut down 6×6 paper sheets to create my page base.


Then I chose my photos and embellished my cards to create this pocket layout. I really love the final page.


I hope this post inspires you! Go grab some paint chips next time your in a big home improvement store and play around with creating your own color story.  I plan to grab a few more color chips soon. I will hole punch these cards and keep them close at hand while creating my pages.


Happy Scrappin’ and Swappin’


Keeping notes…

Virginia | Thursday 8 May 2014 8:00 pm

Hello, everyone! I hope you have had a fabulous beginning to May. Today is a very special day for me, my baby boy turns 16! I can’t believe how much and how fast he’s grown. For this reason, I am so glad that I started Scrapbooking and documenting all those wonderful memories. Although I’m a bit behind on his albums, I’m even more glad that I discovered the Project Life system for memory keeping! It has been so easy to catch up on years and years of pics.
Which brings me to my post today…

We all feel like we “fall behind” in our Scrapbooking or current year Project Life albums at some point. First, let me tell you this–there is no such thing as falling behind!! Let go of that and the stress that accompanies it. Take me for example, I’m still filling in spots for 2013 and only have my cover page for 2014 done! The key is to keep a calendar or document notes on your phone or SOMEHOW. For those with smartphones, there are a few apps out there that help with documenting the pics you take so that when you are ready, you can just slip them into an album, fill in with you PL cards and voila! For this year, I am keeping notes on my phone, the Collect App and sometimes with my Rhonna Designs app. But last year I kept my daily/weekly notes ‘old school’ on a planner.


I do still carry a small one in my purse, and it is perfect for PL documenting if needed.


Let me tell you a little bit about the Collect App and why I love it:

For one, the app reminds me to “collect” my pics for the day. They already have the date on them, but I can also add notes:



This is how the Collect app looks in calendar form, and once so you can see which days you have pictures.



This is just one of the apps that can help you stay on top of things with your documenting even if you’re not working on your album as much as you’d like to. We use our phones so much nowadays to take pictures for our PL,  make sure you utilize to the max for your journaling and note keeping too!


Until next time,



Embossing and Watercoloring on a Swap Card

Amy | Sunday 4 May 2014 6:33 pm

Hope everyone is having a great day!  Today I am going to show how to emboss (and it happens to be on one of my swap cards) and how to do some watercoloring with water soluble wax pastels.

Let’s get started.


I had tried out a couple designs for my Doodle/Sketch Swap and decided that this would be my swap card.


untitled-12   untitled-13

To start out my card, I drew my doodles with my EK Success Pen (any pen that won’t run in water would work here).  I then added my pops of color with my Reeves Water Soluble Wax Pastels.  I learned about these in my Mixed Media class at Studio Calico.  They used Neocolor II wax pastels, which are very nice, but I picked up this version on Amazon for $16.85 for 48 colors, which was a much better and more affordable way for me to try these out.  And let me say, I love them!  Color with the wax pastel (goes on like crayons) and then use a waterbrush on the colored area.  Very similar to watercolor pencils, but I think it has a smoother and richer color.

untitled-14  untitled-15

The first photo shows after running my waterbrush over the colors.  You can see how rich the colors are.  The second photo shows my embossing buddy on the corner where I want to stamp my image that will be embossed.  I always use my embossing buddy (from SU! Retails for $5.95).  It is an anti-static tool that keeps the embossing powder from sticking to your project (where you don’t want it – the embossing powder will only stick to the stamped image).  There is also a brush tool from EK Success (Powder Tool Applicator which retails for approximately $6.95).  I have both, but in general, prefer the embossing buddy.  That’s just my personal preference.  I just rub the embossing buddy over the area I would like to emboss on.

untitled-16  untitled-18

I then stamp my image onto my project.  Here, I am using Versamark ink (which you can faintly see in the first of these photos).  I store my most used embossing powders like Jennifer McGuire stores hers.  The only difference is that for now, mine is stored in my extra Glad disposable containers.  I have a clip attached to the lid which holds the mini spoon on the inside of the lid when I am not using the powders.  What I like about this method is that I apply the powder right over the container and the extra can be dumped right back in.  I never waste any of the powder that way.  (Hint: always move container far away once or close it up once done applying powder and before adding heat.  You don’t want your powder heating up or blowing away while you are heating your project).  The second photo shows you before the powder is heated.  It will look grainy and dull.

untitled-19  untitled-20

The first photo shows you applying heat with the heat gun.  When applying heat with the heat gun, be sure to not stay on any one area too long (may scorch project) and to heat using a steady circular motion.  This helps to make sure you are not overheating any one area.  As you emboss, you will see the embossed are become melted and shiny. That’s how you can tell which area embossed and if there are any areas that you missed.

untitled-21  untitled-10

I then added some Starburst Spray from Lindy’s Stamp Gang to add a nice golden shimmer to the card.

And once again, the final swap card:


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on embossing and watercoloring with wax pastels.  Please feel free to link up any creations you create, either with embossing and/or wax pastels.

Want to win this card.  Please be sure to comment on this post by Saturday, May 10.  I will pick one winner from the comments and send them this card.

Thanks for stopping by & have a crafty day!


Oops! I Forgot!

Alicia | Saturday 3 May 2014 4:40 pm

I LOVE that feeling of accomplishment and success when I have completed the Project life spread or layout I am working on! But all too often I realize, not long after, that I have forgotten to include something!

2014 Wk 17L 2014 Wk 17R

I finished my Week #17 layout, only to discover that I had completely ignored Earth Day! AND I had a piece of paper from my kindergartner that I had tucked away during the week because I wanted to include it. of course I forgot! (This is definitely not the first time!) As both things are specifically dated, I didn’t want to just sneak them into the next spread or layout.


Here are the items I wanted to include. The gorgeous Earth Day printables, just to mark the day, and the school paper from my son.


I had just found these fun little 3″x4″ page protector pockets for mini albums, made by Heidi Swapp, and decided to make my papers into 3″x4″ cards so I could just add this one small page as an insert. Except the holes are meant for small albums and they totally don’t work in a 12″x12″ standard album. I’ll work around that later!


I worked my papers into 3″x4″ cards. I layered and embellished the Earth Day printables and added that date. I folded the school paper in half and added small stickers to date it as well. SIDE NOTE: I tend to fold all ‘important’ papers like this into the correct size cards, instead of trimming them; I didn’t want to lose the bottom half just for it to fit in my pocket. (I also carefully peeled up his ‘Super Star’ sticker to move it onto the visible half of the sheet, it had been right at the fold.) I slipped these into the mini page protector and decided where I wanted to include it; the way I attached it meant it would be a flap covering up a pocket of my spread.


I taped it onto the original page protector in the spot that I wanted it, with really lightly sticky paper tape. I was hoping this would help me sew it on in a straight line, but… It didn’t really help at all. Oh well!


I sewed one straight stitch right at the edge of the page protectors, to make a flap on top with the mini pocket. Quick and simple!

IMG_5108 IMG_5109

And now, on the bottom left portion of the right half of my Week #17 layout, I have a little flap that includes two extra cards I originally forgot! And no one has to know that it was almost a mistake!

Happy Swapping!!!


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