Hey, everybody! I’m super excited to be the guest designer for Wild Hare Kits this month and can’t wait to share my projects with you.  When I filled out my Style Profile, I mentioned my love for all things Crate Paper, for trendy products, and for travel-themed products. My Kit has a very summery, carefree vibe which I absolutely love. (See my unboxing video on YouTube for details on my Kit contents.) While Alison definitely nailed it with my Kit, I realized I really wanted to use this guest designer opportunity to make projects that were high on my to-do list.

One of those projects I really wanted to begin this year was a monthly review spread in pocket pages. The 9 X 12 size is new to me, and I was itching to dive right into it. How do you take summery, carefree, travel supplies and make a spread about January? That was my challenge, and I’m happy to report that I think it worked out fabulously. Take a look at my January in review pocket page spread.

I don’t think this spread looks like the products are out of place at all, so I think this is a great lesson for everyone. It’s possible to use products outside of their intended season or theme if you’re thoughtful about what you want to communicate and how you use the supplies themselves. Certainly, I could have waited to make this spread and use other stash supplies, but I really liked that self-imposed challenge to design a spread that would use my Kit supplies in this fresh way.

The entire spread actually flows in chronological order, even though I didn’t date any of the photos. I know that the chronology is accurate, and that makes me happy. 🙂 My first step was to print all the pics from the month and lay them out on the pockets to get a feel for the flow of the spread. Next, I played with my options for my title card. I like the title card on the top left hand side of the spread, though I do sometimes place it elsewhere in that row. By combining the small Freckled Fawn sticker letters and a large printed chipboard sticker from Crate Paper, I think the title is just dynamic and dramatic enough to draw your attention. (I sometimes struggle with titles and prefer to use premade products for them.)  Coincidentally, I had lots of photos this month with shades of blue in them, so next I made my paper choices based on that. I have several shades of blue highlighted in this spread, and I love that they are different while in the same tonal family. You might notice that the blue embellishments on this side of the spread form a visual triangle between the flower, the phrase sticker, and the patterned paper. I think this really helps the spread feel balanced and vibrant.

 

I really like to mix putting my embellishments inside the pockets and on the outside. I think having some embellishments on the outside creates a really textured look. (Bumpy stuff on the outside of pockets also minimizes their impact on creating indentations on the photos underneath when your album is closed.) On this side of the spread, the floral embellishment fills in some white space on the title card and connects the three photos that it touches. The aqua chipboard sticker connects the two family photo shoot photos at the bottom of the page.

While I prefer to handwrite my journaling when possible, I had too much to say and too little space to do that in this spread. I typed my journaling on my phone using the Project Life app which allowed me to use a template of two 3 X 4 cards on a single 4 X 6 canvas. Since this was my first time with this approach, I had to play with the sizing and spacing a little bit, but I’m really happy with the result.

 

The right side of the spread isn’t a mirror image of the left, but I think it flows in a complementary way. On this side, I have more decorative spaces than photos, but I think it works when you compare it to the left side with the title block.  I placed a heavy embellishment on the bottom in the middle to ground the layout and another heavy pocket card on the outside edge to fence-in the story. This approach helps me recognize visually that this will be the end of this particular story.

The second journaling card may be on the other side of the spread, but I placed it right next to its counterpart because it’s a continuation of a list that I began on the left. The extra space at the bottom of the card felt a little awkward, so I used a branding strip section from my Kit to create a splash of color and to create a visual ending. Notice that it mimics the stripe on the top row middle card and the washi strips at the end of the middle row. I liked how that triangle of stripes was created this way.

Only one element on this side is outside the pocket – the leaf trio that I layered on the snow pic. I thought that embellishment worked because there are leaves/branches sticking out of the snow and because the tips of the leaves point to the focal point of the photo, my dog. On a larger scale, the three out of the pocket embellishments form their own visual triangle across the entire spread.

The floral die cut pack from Paige Evans that was included in my Kit was an absolute fave, so I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate more of it on this layout. That might seem strange for a January spread to some, but I think it works here. By grounding it on a dark blue background, the die cut really pops visually. Placing it between the two dance pictures on the bottom row also connects the variety of colors represented in those photos and bridges them thematically.

Even though traditional pocket page spreads on a weekly basis are not conducive to my lifestyle and creating habits, I’m really looking forward to documenting each month this year using this approach. I hope you enjoyed the project I shared; I will check back in with more later this month!

*All products for this spread came from my February Wild Hare Kit except for the photo paper and adhesive.