March 24, 2013

Top 3 reasons why I carry my phone while biking + free brushes

My husband and I have taken a liking to biking, both mountain and road. I call it the 35+ form of exercise. When your joints start to hurt and your body begins to ache, it's time to get back to basics and on a bike! This started happening to me once I hit 35 years old.
We're not professionals. We aren't ultra hard-core bikers. (ok, I am on Strava, and I do tend to get competitive, but it's all in good fun!) I apologize for this "sultry" looking photo, the sun was in my eyes, not trying to look tough! I am merely trying to explain why biking and memory keeping go hand in hand.
We live at the base of one of the most beautiful mountains in Utah. We love to get out and breathe the crisp mountain air while enjoying the quiet sounds of nature (no fighting children)!
We're also so lucky to live in a time where technology allows us to capture everything around us with little pocket sized mobile devices!
Top 3 reasons why I carry my phone while Biking
  1. Emergencies. I may need someone to change a flat!
  2. Strava. This GPS based iPhone app charts incline, miles, time, and calories. Sure, there are lots of apps that do this, but the fun part- riders can compete via location "segments". Strava lists fast riders in order by gender and overall. Climb to the top and gain a crown, called the King/Queen of the mountain. This app just makes biking fun. Set goals, achieve & conquer with Strava.
  3. Photo Opportunities! Bikes can take us places we've never seen before. Singletrack trails are winding throughout the world waiting to show us the hidden majestic beauty that awaits. I love looking through my biking photos reclaiming the exultant feelings and challenges of certain climbs. Some of my most favorite shots have been on bike rides, all with my iPhone.

 So, what do I do with these photos? Lose them in the sea of digital photos on my external hard drives? No! Print them of course!
These 4x4 9-up pocket pages from We R Memory Keepers make it easy.
Many of my photos are posted to Instagram, and are already formatted square. I print them all up and organize them into my 12x12 albums. (sheet protectors on Amazon)

Our unique metallic photographic paper is my favorite. It's just as archival, waterproof, and scratch resistant as our matte or gloss. It is still fuji silver halide, but it pops like no other! Think chrome on the back of your car, or a component on your bike:) Metallic adds contrast and looks best with solid colors.
Lastly, biking endorphins bring out the creative side. As we were climbing the rocks in Southern Utah last month, I thought- "I need some biking themed .abr photoshop brushes to "stamp" on these photos and tell the story".
And then, I thought I should share. [download here]

You may also like: How to use brushes in Photoshop

March 22, 2013

Polaroid Prints + Project Life with rukristin papercrafts

Hi Everyone! I'm Kristin of rukristin papercrafts. I am so excited to be contributing to the Persnickety Prints blog. Each week I'll be sharing creative tips, tricks and tutorials to take your photos to the next level. 

A little bit about meI'm a millennial scrapbooker who loves graphic design, social justice, my iPhone, and my boyfriend Jeffrey.  I live right outside of NYC in North Jersey. I'm a memory-keeper at heart and I have a quirky way of going about it. I love Project Life, writing, taking photos with my iPhone, and sharing on social media (I love internet friends). I feel passionate about documenting my everyday story and inspiring others to do the same. If you'd like to learn more about me, you can read this self-interviewYou can find me everyday on instagramtwitter, and facebook for even more inspiration. 
When Persnickety announced the new Instagram polaroid prints I immediately fell in love. My biggest barrier to completing Project Life on a timely basis is getting my photos from my phone/camera to my scrap table; and because 90-95% of my Project Life photos are instagrams, I knew this would be a fantastic solution. 

I love that extra space at the bottom; it's just so reminiscent of an old-school polaroid where you would take a permanent marker and jot down the time and place of the photo.  The space is also perfect for a bit of stamping, washi tape,  extra journaling, alpha stickers  and more. It's a tiny bit of room for a little extra creativity on the bottom of your photo. The best part -- it just slides right into the page protector and you're done. Simple, fast, and creative -- really a killer combination. 

This is my Project Life spread for weeks 9 and 10. The polaroids made it simple to complete, yet still totally my style. Tip: I put any bulky embellishments (flair, chipboard, enamel dots) on the outside of the page protectors, using liquid glue and letting it dry overnight. I like the way that the page protectors lie flat, I think you can see the photos and the journaling better this way; especially when you're sharing online. 

Stamping on the bottom of the polaroid prints is very easy. I use Staze-On permanant ink and try to keep a steady hand. The ink is very wet at first and can smudge if your hand moves when stamping. Tip: Keep a permanent marker/journaling pen (my favorite is the Sakura MicroPerm pen) nearby to fill in any spots or smudged lines after you've stamped your image. To learn more about my Currently Journaling Challenge -- a perfect way to add weekly journaling into your Project Life spread -- click here

A new stack of polaroid prints is sitting on my desk anxiously waiting to be decorated up and slipped right into this week's Project Life spread! 

Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know me a little bit better, I can't wait to share fun creative inspiration each week. Thank you so much to the Persnickety Prints team for this awesome opportunity! Find me on Instagram for a sneak peek at all the photos you'll see on the blog!

March 20, 2013

3x4 Polaroids from Persnickety Prints

 Turn your phone into a vintage polaroid camera, snap a photo and let us take care of the rest! Ordering is easy! [insta's from Rhonna Farrer]

Connect your device to your computer, upload & order.
If your images are in Instagram, is a service that will download your feed, or selected time frame, into an organized folder on your hard drive. Perfect for backup, or to sift through the photos you really want.

*Please Note* We dumped our app, maybe we're too Persnickety? Good things come to those who wait- our new app will be available shortly, where you'll have the option to order straight from your phone!

Log in to your Persnickety Prints account, upload and order the images you'd like. Select the Persnickety Prints 3x4 Polaroid option. Your Polaroids will be at your door lickety-split!

There are many ways to use your Polaroids.
6 Different Paper finished to choose from. Visit for an in depth look at different paper types.
We love how rukristin papercrafts spices up hers:

Can't wait to see what you come up with!

-Persnickety Prints

March 18, 2013

My Project Life

We just completed our first ever hands-on ™Project Life workshop. It was inspiring for me to learn what approach others take to document and record their everyday lives. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to memory keeping. My classes are NOT a place for people to come together and "compare", but to learn from one another. We are all in different stages of life. We need to do what works for us NOW. As promised, I am sharing with you how I incorporate the ™Project Life system into my current workflow. [if you want to call it a workflow!]
I am never "caught up". Who is? As you are reading this, you're doing something new, this moment, you'll never have it again (wow, I had better make this worth reading- no pressure!). We're never done making memories!
I don't create pages, or layouts in chronological order. I try, but it doesn't happen. I'll find a photo from Christmas or Halloween on one of my mobile devices and have this urgency to add it! It can't be forgotten! I'll end up adding and re-arranging pages over and over. Currently, I am ok, up to about May 2012.

I keep it very simple. It's about the photos and the story for me, not so much the embellishments and bows.... well, there are no bows, I have all boys. I wonder if I had a daughter, how much my style would change... interesting thought.
When I am feeling really creative, I may take the time to get into the details of a 12x12 digital layout [using photoshop CS6], but I tend to snap a lot of photos and I hate leaving any of them out! Focus on the photos.
The ™Project Life System works best for me when I incorporate all of the various page sizes. The majority of my pages are 12x12. I feel like I can fit a good 15-20 photos on one 12x12 without it looking cluttered (Picasa is great for a quick collage). The 12x12 print is what made Persnickety Prints what it is today. We're confident you won't find a better quality 12x12 photographic (silver halide) print for the same low price. Anywhere. They're simply gorgeous, and only $1.99.
My mobile device has changed my life. We are taking more photos than ever! What do we do with them? I own a photo lab & yet I do not print ALL of my photos. That's ok! I print about 60% of the photos I take, which is an average of 200+/- photos a month. Why we need to be printing is a topic in and of itself; let's keep focused-- mobile makes memory keeping easy. Not only do we have our phones with us most of the time, the quality and megapixels of these devices continue to improve. Currently, the 8mp front lens of the iPhone 5 can print beautifully up to 12x18! I do not personally own a point and shoot camera anymore.
Not only have mobile devices changed the way we take pictures, but the photo apps themselves! Post processing is not limited to photoshop geniuses anymore! Anyone can take a photo and process it with a filter at their fingertips. I love that I can incorporate these everyday photos into my memory keeping. With 4x4 pockets, I can easily slip in my iPhone and Instagram photos. After all, the photo tells the story. [new Persnickety Prints mobile ordering app coming soon]

 Becky Higgins Project Life Design I and J are perfect for 4x4's and 3x4's.
With the 3x4 pocket in mind, we created a 3x4 "Polaroid" print, offered on our 110# cardstock, add your story at the bottom and slip it in!
 Photo Books aren't for me. I love the bound photo book for gifts, and that is all. Not only are most photo books not archival, they aren't versatile. I need to be able to add memorabilia to my albums! Physical concert & movie tickets, the guitar pick from John Mayer, or my sons first tooth! You can't do that with a bound book. Project Life gives me the flexibility to write down feelings and memories as they happen. It would take me at least 6 months to get a book put together, and by then- the moment is lost.

Recently, my Grandma passed away. I want my boys to remember their GG. Not only did I have my boys write down their memories of their grandma, we used the Project Life system at the funeral. Guests wrote down memories of Grandma, and we slipped them into a completed memory book for generations to remember her.
 The vertical 8x10 page protector is perfect for the funeral program.
 Digital 8x10's slipped into the 8x10 sleeve
 It's hard to see, but metallic photographic paper POPS!
The 6x6 pockets are a fun way to incorporate Instagrams or a grid of photos that flows.
 Not sure what to do with extra photos or odd sized prints? Slap them on a 6x12 cardstock with washi tape, or in any pocket!
There are various ways to use Project Life. I am doing what's best for me. I document and keep memories of everything I can, some months are more detailed than others. I document the good and the not so good. When I look back on my albums, I find strength and hopefully my family will too.