hello new website, blog + store!

HelloTracyLarsen.com == new website

Please visit me in my NEW SPACE!

www.hellotracylarsen.com

After months of working hard behind the scenes, I am so excited to finally launch my brand new website, store + blog! In this new space I will continue to post my Project Life pages, photo book projects, new digital products and lots of new content about living your best life so you can find the time to document your story.

 

project life 2015 | week 3

tracy larsen

This visual journal of our life that is Project Life is just so amazing! I love seeing all of our little moments come together in these pages.

Sometimes I get sidetracked about how my photos don’t all look similar in color or style. I have Project Life page envy when I search Pinterest and see beautiful pages with color coordinated photos and journaling cards. But then I realize that I’m recording our real life here. And real life is not necessarily about “perfect” photos with uncluttered backgrounds and beautiful lighting. And my real life photos don’t come in a specific color scheme for each weeks pages.

That is one of the reasons why I love using white space to bring all of my everyday photos together on my Project Life pages. It is the white space that gives some breathing room to my eyes when I look at all of the different images on each page.

When I see pages filled with photos, I just get overwhelmed. I don’t know where to look first and I can’t even begin to try and read anything. That is just me. I prefer a clean + simple style of photo page layouts.

One thing I do love about the digital simply white life pages templates is that there is white space built into each page between the photos with the white background color. With plastic pocket pages, there is no white space between photos. You only see through the plastic to what is behind each page and that is usually more photos.

I also love that my Project Life books will have my own unique style to them as I use the simply white life pages week after week. Want to see a nice visual of my consistent page style all together? View my Project Life pages here.

What is your style? Find it, love it and create pages with it! 

Please share your pages with me by posting a link in the comments below or emailing me.

WEEK 3

tracy larsenThis week was a continuation of Tate’s 5th birthday celebration with his birthday on Monday. For the past few years, I’ve taken photos of the boys all day long on their actual birthday day. Do you remember what you did on the day that you turned 5 or 10 or 15? How fun will it be for them to look back one day and see how they spent their birthday?

I used this week’s pages to document our week and added two insert pages (see below) with Tate’s birthday day photos.

LEFT SIDE

tracy larsen

A photo of my birthday boy with some things I want to remember about him as he turns 5 years old. (I added the text in Photoshop.) A photo of me and Tate at his school birthday celebration, my favorite BLT sandwich that I made on delicious gluten-free bread, the boys at a friend’s birthday party, Tate’s preschool pj day, Quinn drawing the Seminole logo and lunch with my husband. I also included what the boys said this week and a 3×4 weekly review card with my circle numbers brush/stamp. I coordinated the color of the number 3 brush/stamp and text with garnet from other photos on this page. Adding a little color on my weekly review card is something new I’m trying and so far loving.

digital page template  |  simply white life pages 12×12 templates – v7 – design 25
digital photo templates  |  the simply white collection – v1 + v4
digital brushes  |  circle numbers (coming soon)
font  |  chalet paris nineteen sixty

 

RIGHT SIDE

tracy larsen

The right side includes Tate’s 5 year old doctor visit in his star wars robe, my sleeping boys, Tate singing in the shower, Tate and his FSU football gear, my new morning coffee habit and some photos from my niece and nephew’s birthday party. I used my simply white photo collage templates to add two party photos with the text below.

The top right image has Quinn’s photo and three of his notes begging to sleep in our bed. I took photos of the notes with my iPhone and added them to this image along with some text. Not the best layout, but a piece of our life now that I always want to remember. So, in my pages it goes!

digital page template  |  simply white life pages 12×12 templates – v7 – design 25
digital photo templates  |  the simply white collection – v1 + v4
font  |  chalet paris nineteen sixty

 

BIRTHDAY INSERTS

tracy larsen

LEFT SIDE

tracy larsen

When your birthday falls on a preschool day, you bring doughnuts to class to celebrate with your friends! You are also special person of the day and get to wear a birthday crown. Could it get any better?

digital page template  |  simply white life pages 12×12 templates – v7 – design 27
digital photo templates  |  the simply white collection – v1

RIGHT SIDE

tracy larsen

I kept the layout simple to keep the focus on the photos and a little journaling about the day.

digital page template  |  simply white life pages 12×12 templates – v8 – design 30 (coming soon)
font  |  chalet paris nineteen sixty

to view all of my project life® posts click here.
to learn more about project life® click here.

Sherry - Love seeing your PL Pages. You mentioned delicious gluten-free bread what kind is it? My sister is on a gluten free diet and hasn’t found a bread she likes yet.

Thanks and have a wonderful day. :)

tracy - Hi Sherry, I like the Udi’s gluten-free bread from Costco. I’m going to be posting lots more about being gluten-free when I launch my new website in a few weeks! Tracy :)

digital shop | simply white life pages v7

the simply white life pages v7 are here with four new page designs!

the photo layers in each template have squared edges and there are three different photo border options – no border, a subtle drop shadow or a thin outline. this new set of simply white life pages v7 includes 4 layered psd 12×12 photo collage templates.

these templates can be used to document your memories in project life® format. create unique photo books for family vacations, baby books, school year photo books, a family year in review book or any special occasion. you can also make beautiful photo collages to frame and display.

you can use the simply white photo collage templates within the simply white life pages. they combine easily to tell your story in words + photos.

want to see what i’m doing with the simply white life pages templates? i’ll be posting more of my own project life® pages using my simply white life pages right here on my blog. or you can follow me on instagram (@tracylarsen) for more peeks at my pages.

simply white life pages v7 - 12x12 digital page templates for project life, pocket scrapbooking and digital memory keeping  >>>  hellotracylarsen.comsimply white life pages 12x12 digital page templates for project life, pocket scrapbooking and digital memory keeping  >>>  hellotracylarsen.comsw-life pages-v1-bordersblog button - life pages v1

Valerie - So I took the plunge and decided to go digital this year with my project life. I would like to use a mix of your templates and the project life app. Do you know with border of yours will most closely resemble the border of the project life app?

tracy - Hi Valerie, The project life page borders are smaller than my simply white life pages templates. I believe you can make the inside photo edges squared in the project life app. That would be the best way to keep it consistent. Also, just use facing pages with the same design and that will make the entire book more consistent with different pages.

project life 2015 | week 2 (part 2)

tracy larsen

In my last Project Life® post I shared about how behind I am on my pages. Well, this week I want to tell you how I am catching up! I really wanted to get some pages finished because I really do love this memory keeping project and it is so important to me. Being focused and having a clear goal in mind helps me so much.

I completed 8 pages! Yes, eight whole pages (not 8 weeks) that covered 2 pages for Tate’s birthday party, 2 pages for Tate’s birthday day and weeks 3 and 4 (2-page layouts each). And I did it all in one afternoon. Here is how…

Lately most of my work related time has been spent building my new website (I am doing all of the designing and re-branding myself) so not much else has been getting done. I knew I wanted to get some Project Life® pages done this weekend, so I spent Saturday cleaning the house because I really can’t focus on anything if my house is a mess. And if you have kids, when is it not a mess? This helped me to focus my time on Sunday to working on Project Life®. I gave myself the goal to complete a few pages. (This was an important piece – giving myself a goal – because if I am not focused on a specific task, it is easy to get distracted and not complete anything.) I wanted to go to bed that night knowing I had at least one more week done. I knew my time was limited because the boys were home with me playing hockey in the living room while Mark was at work. I knew they would need me and I would get interrupted. But being aware of this ahead of time made it easier to deal with.

I told myself to just GET IT DONE. I picked my favorite photos, found my favorite quotes and put my pages together. No over-thinking it. Now I have 8 pages done, done and done!

Just getting through these first big photo heavy pages of the year was a big accomplishment for me. What I learned is that I like to do things in perfect chronological order, so when a photo heavy week comes up, I tend to get stuck not being sure of how to document all of the photos (should I add pages? should I put them all in my weekly page layouts? should I make a separate photo book for the event?) so I end up stopping my whole process. Instead of either making a decision or skipping to the next week so I can stay on track, I just quit where I am and feel bad about it for weeks. And get really behind.

I hope to have more days like this soon to do more catching up…:)

week 2 (part 2)

tracy larsen

Week 2 started with our trip to Disney (see the first two pages here) and ended with Tate’s football birthday party. I decided to add two page inserts for Tate’s party that will go right after the week 2 pages.

Tate is really into football and the Seminoles (yep, my alma mater) so he had a football party. But not just any football party. I found a photo on Pinterest of these big goal posts made out of pvc pipes. So I asked my dad if he could make them for Tate’s party and maybe we could spray paint lines in their big backyard to make a little football field. Being the best Papa ever, he said yes. Now, my dad doesn’t do anything half-assed so this little project turned into an amazing and very professional looking GIANT football field in my parent’s backyard. He even spray painted the Seminole head in the center of the field and the FSU letters in the end-zone. We ended up with a joint party with my cousin’s son and he likes the University of Miami Hurricanes (a “yucky team” as Tate would say!). Even though they are a team rival, we wanted to be fair so my dad added a UM end-zone for Alex.

We asked all of the kids to wear their favorite football team jerseys and they had a giant flag football game. Mark and I wore referee jerseys and we served hot dogs, cupcakes and ice cream on the most beautiful day in January thanks to the amazing weather down here in South Florida. It was quite a party.

left side

tracy larsen

I put a panoramic photo I took with my iPhone from the top of the kids play set on the top of this page. The field was so big that it was hard to get a good shot of the whole field in one photo. That is why this photo looks a little warped, but you can see just how big it was.

I also included some of my favorite photos of just the four of us from the party on this page. I used my simply white photo collage templates v4 to add a little white border around the middle photos just to give it some more white space.

I added the digital image of Tate’s party invitations. I found them on Etsy here and loved how the colors coordinated perfectly with the FSU colors. The best part is that I was able to quickly personalize the invitations and print them out on my regular home color printer. (I also got the coordinating thank you cards here. Love them!)

right side

tracy larsen

On the right side, I included some more detail shots of the party like the cupcakes, the party decorations, the coloring pages the boys insisted on having and the photo booth spot. I added more party photos and added a garnet and gold text box in the center to write about the party. It was a mix of iPhone photos and big camera photos.

Still deciding what to do with all of the other photos. I might just include them in Tate’s 5 year old book. Now, if only I could find the time to do that!

supplies:

Cari - That looks like an awesome party!

Good job catching up. I am only a few weeks behind here (not much going on, so I’ll lump it together) but I do have some that I need to go back and finish from last year.

project life 2015 | week 2 (part 1) + being behind

tracy larsen

truth time. i’m really, really, really far behind on project life! i mean like only one week completed for this entire year. and let’s not even talk about how many missing weeks i have to work on from last year so i can get my first digital project life book printed.

if you are behind, i’m with you. but i’m not totally freaking out. well, i’m freaking out quite a bit, but i’m not a complete mess over it. and that is because i have everything i need to put my unfinished weeks together when i get the time. time? who has time? agh! i will get this done soon because it is something that i want to do and not because i have to do. and it makes me happy.

so how am i going to get caught up?

first up there are photos. i import them with the date they were taken. this makes it easy to only look at 7 days of photos at a time when i’m putting my pages together. i’m trying to edit the photos i take on my iphone when i can during the week with my favorite pic-tap-go app. i still polish some of them up in lightroom before inserting them into my pages, but editing on my iphone helps to speed up the process for me. i’ll also add photos from my big camera if i have any. i’m in a bit of a photo rut right now, so i’m mostly taking iphone photos.

i have been keeping track of the things that i want to remember and what the boys are saying. i’m still using the day one app on my desktop and iphone. i use it to keep track of stories and funny things the boys are saying. i tried using notes on my iphone to write things down, but it ended up a big mess. the day one app lets me write in each day and shows all of my entries on a calendar. i need simplicity. so i went right back over to my day one app!

sometimes i take pictures of drawings and schoolwork and sometimes i don’t. but i do keep everything i want to add to our weekly pages in a magazine file box on my desk so when i’m ready to put my pages together they are all in one place and easy to find.

for our week in review for project life this year i’ve decided not to be so detail oriented. last year i wrote what we did each day in my day one app. that worked for then, but now i’m ready for less. so i’m simply using my iphone photos as a visual journal to tell me what we did each week. i can then translate my photos (most of which won’t make it into my project life pages because i take so many throughout the week) into a little summary of what we did each week. easy peasy lemon squeezey! i’m using a simple 3×4 card with a circle number digital stamp on top. (these will be available in my shop after my new website launches.)

so don’t be discouraged. you are not alone. catching up with project life should not scare you. just rename your photos with the date and use your photos as a visual journal to tell you what happened that week and you can get it done.

i will get caught up. instead of freaking out, i’m going to approach this one week at a time.

week 2 (part 1)

here is the first part of my week 2 pages. we had a big start to our year with a family trip to disney, tate’s 5th birthday and his birthday party. i decided to make full pages for each of these events. instead of making lots of small books for bigger events, i want to keep everything together in the pages of our yearly family project life book. i’m okay with adding extra pages between weeks. it just simplifies the process for me. i will include more photos of tate’s party and birthday to his 5 year old photo book… whenever i find the time to get around to it.

tracy larsen

the first part of my week 2 pages are all about our trip to disney. every year we meet up with some friends. their son’s birthday is the day before tate’s so we celebrate them together with what has become our annual disney trip.

because we live less than 4 hours away from disney, we get to go quite often so i have already lots and lots of photos of all of the disney parks. this means that i don’t need to take a photo of every single thing we do. i was able to enjoy our trip and only use my iphone to capture some of our favorite moments. i wanted my pages to reflect the highlights of our trip – which was about family and friends. oh, and star wars too. we went to disney’s hollywood studios and the magic kingdom.

left side

tracy larsen

i kept these pages simple and used only photos from disney on both pages. on the left i used my simply white life pages v7 design ??? – which has become my go-to page design so far this year. i used a few of my simply white photo collage templates to add some extra white space around a few photos and to double up the star wars photo of the boys battling darth vader. i wrote a little about our trip on a 3×4 card with the circle number stamped on top and the week dates on the bottom. (these brushes will be available in my digital store soon.)

every year, i make cards with the boys’ favorite and least favorite things. it is so fun to see what changes and and what stays the same. when we got in the car to start our drive back home after our trip, i had the boys’ full attention and everything was fresh in their minds, so i asked them what was their favorite and least favorite things. i put their answers in my day one app on my iphone right there in the car and 8 weeks later i have the cards completed! that is the secret to remembering the kid’s quotes – write them down immediately. i’ll forget what exactly they said within 15 minutes if i don’t do this.

i wanted to keep the journaling cards simple since the focus on these pages is the colorful photos, so i found a mickey mouse shape and put it on a 3×4 card in photoshop. i added text on top in black so it would stand out and be easy to read. i used montserrat font on these cards. i’m playing with some new fonts and i liked the simplicity of this one.

and just because you might be taking a trip to the most magical place on earth, i am sharing these “magical trip” cards with you to download for free. just click here or on the image below to download. you can add these to your digital pages or use the print-ready cards. enjoy these cards and share with me how you use them.

magical trip freebie 3x4 project life printable card ==> tracylarsendesigns.com

right side

tracy larsen

on the right i used my simply white life pages v3 – design 9. this is just a simple 9 image layout with a few of the best photos from our trip (all taken with my iphone) – including the fireworks tate did not like, the mickey mouse ice cream that they both loved and their new star wars mickey mouse ears hats since we went on the coldest day of the year in florida!

i’ll post the second part of my pages from week 2 soon…

tell me how do you document the bigger moments in your everyday life? please email me or share in the comments below…

supplies:

to view all of my project life® posts click here.
to learn more about project life® click here.

Renata - I really really admire your project life pages. They’re so beautiful, colourful, happy!
I decided to seriously do project life because of you. I like your clean templates so I got something from your shop and started… and did the entire 2014 in, like, 4 months. I ended up with an amazing 150 pages book. The only downside is that I printed it in a cheap place (they had this really great deal: free extra pages, which counted a lot giving the lenght of my book) and the printing was not that good, the pictures are all darker than they should be. That put me down a little and I’m far behind this year, but every time I see a new post with your pages I feel like restarting mine.
Thanks and congratulations for your brilliant job =)

my desk monday | clearing out my inbox + desktop

my desk monday - email and organization ==> tracylarsendesigns.com

This is the view of the desktop on my iMac. I’ve been spending a lot of time getting organized and ready for the big move over to my new website. But putting together something that is going to be valuable to you when you spend time reading my blog and making my new website exactly what I want it to be is taking time. I am happy to do this work and have my blog evolve in this way.

Part of this change is getting things very organized – in my head, in my office space and on my computer. I spent time this weekend completely clearing out my inbox. Every single email message has been sorted, filed or deleted. This is a big deal for me.

A few things that helped me with this process:

  • My gmail account has been acting crazy and a few weeks ago it removed all of my 2,000+ email messages (gulp, yes I really did just admit that!) from my inbox in the Mac Mail program on my computer. All of these messages are still mixed in the archive folder, but I need to drag and drop each one to deal with them. I just took this as a sign to start fresh from where I was. So, if you have contacted me and not heard back, please email me again and I will be in touch!
  • I created action folders for all of the emails I receive. These include business files, receipt files, personal files, to do files and to read files – among many more files. Just creating these files is not going to be enough. I need to use these files every day.
  • I am conquering my fear of the delete key. I am a saver. I am afraid to delete anything for fear that I might need it and not have it. All this has done is create an overflowing inbox and a cluttered head for me. So I was a wild woman with the delete key this weekend – and it felt great!
  • My plan is to spend 10 minutes each day dealing with email. If you really think about it, 10 minutes is not very long. It is a mater of being focused and taking action for each message – not just talking about it. Intentions are good, but they are not the same as actually doing it. I’m going to set a timer and challenge myself to keep my inbox clear. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I also organized the files on my desktop. It had become the dumping ground for all the files that I had no idea where to put. Now, I thrive on being organized (you should see my calendar and photo files!) so this chaos on my desktop was driving me crazy. The cause of all clutter is indecision. Read that again… The cause of all clutter is indecision. Not knowing where something should go or things not having a “home” is how clutter happens!  Weather it is a file on my computer or a note the boys bring home from school, if I am not clear on where it goes and put it in its place right away, then it will become clutter for sure.

Here is what I did to clear off my desktop:

  • I started by mapping out what files I needed to access and what folder these files belonged in. I divided things into personal and business folders. Then I just dragged and dropped everything into these files and the sub-files I also created.
  • I want to keep only files I need to access currently on my desktop, so I moved all of my old files off of my desktop.
  • I made files for anything I’ll be needing in the future so I can create a “home” for everything as I am saving it instead of having it all pile up on my desktop again.
  • I love using color coding for organization. I use a mac app called Folder Forge to color my folders on my computer. This makes me happy.

Yes, that really is my computer desktop on the top of this post. Waking up this morning to a clear computer screen and a mostly empty inbox (reality check = it will never be completely empty, but it is definitely more manageable now) was such a relief. It makes all of the things on my to-do list not seem quite so overwhelming. So the trick for me is to follow-up my good start with consistent habits of spending a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day doing a “digital pick-up” to organize anything that is not where it belongs. Just like my house benefits from a sweep at night to pick-up things that are out of place (and that means a lot of things with my kids!), so will my computer – and therefore my head.

Love my wallpaper photo? My sweet friend Bree made it and three more that you can download for free on her website.

Kathleen + Mike’s Wedding

Kathleen is a friend I met through my sister. She asked me to photograph her wedding and I happily said yes!

Their wedding was a gathering of family + friends at a golf course on a beautiful South Florida day. Kathleen and Mike were the most relaxed bride and groom. The day was filled with just as much laughter as there was dancing – and there was a lot of dancing! The band, who are friends of the bride and groom, played plenty of rock n’ roll music. Mike joined the band to play his guitar and sing to his new wife. Then he stuck around for a few more songs while everyone danced.

Congratulations Kathleen + Mike!

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my desk monday | this week

my desk mondays ==> tracy-larsen.com

Mondays are the start of some quite time for me to get things done while the boys are in school and Mark is at work. It is always of mix of blog things and home + family things.

This week I am…

  • Prioritizing what I need to get done this week. I love my new “priorities” note pad to help me get clear on what I need to do.
  • Watching the entire series of Friends on Netflix as I edit a wedding that I photographed. I just love this show. I used to bring my Friends DVDs on the Mavericks airplane because some of the players liked to watch it with me.  It is so funny.
  • Listening to my iPad with this great little bluetooth wireless speaker. It helps to hear above the noise in my house when the boys get home.
  • Organizing some coupons. Shown here is shoes and cashew milk coupons.
  • Loving the drawings the boys made. Quinn left some old Star Wars pictures on my desk and Tate drew a hockey picture. They boys are really into hockey right now. Quinn is even learning how to look up scores all by himself on his Sports Center app.
  • Downloading photos from my big camera that I took of Tate’s class last week for their personal yearbook project. (I’ll be blogging about this…)
  • Oh, yes – and working hard on my BRAND NEW WEBSITE!!!! I cannot wait to launch my new website. I will have a whole new brand for my website which will include my blog and a new store. I’ve been bit quiet over here so I can get this ready to launch soon.
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Jocelyn Thompson - I am liking that priority pad too …where did that come from?

Really looking forward to your new website! I kinda like all things new and your inspiration and take on scrapbooking always seems so fresh and new to me.

Thanks for always inspiring!

tracy - Thanks so much Jocelyn! I found the notepad at TJ Maxx. The brand on the back says Lady Jayne Ltd. I cannot wait to launch the new website… :) Tracy