Site moved to, redirecting in 1 second...

« December 2012 | Main | February 2013 »

14 posts from January 2013

January 31, 2013

Project Life, Week Four


OBSERVATIONS: Another week in the life has been documented via Project Life. Last week, I really didn't take a ton of photos so I ended up using a few shots from the same shoot. I say that's perfectly okay for Project Life. Just as using cell phone photos works perfectly well, so do using similar shots from a series. This project has to be flexible, and the great news is… it totally is!

I did go a bit card crazy this week, but I'm digging my cards and even having fun making some custom ones from other little bits and pieces.

Here are the pages for the week:



Four photos (the one of me, and three three of Aidan on the second page) all came from the same 5 minutes period of time. But I have to say, she's so stinkin' cute, it's hard sometimes to narrow down the shots. This week, however, I wanted to remember those adorable braids and the bleached out tips. 


I've got a few new sets of papers and other goodies being released on Friday, including the gray polka dot paper, the blue striped paper and the little grid labels you see above, and below.


The cool thing is, there is really no end to what you can make with a few key digital products! (Want to learn how to make your own simple cards? Watch this video.)


And my favorite story of the week is below on the left hand card.


Aidan's quote gave me the warm fuzzies, and I immediately jotted it down in my Day 1 app, so I wouldn't forget her words. She is such a huge Harry Potter fan. She's said more than once it's contributed hugely to the person she is becoming. I love that. (To watch a video on how to add text to a predesigned journal card, click here.)

Here is the weekly recap:


I find that my weekly recaps are much more broadly stroked, and that my journaling cards elaborate and fill in the blanks. Sometimes, they don't mirror each other at all; sometimes they do. I love the flexibility of having both.

And that is all I wrote for Week 4.



January 30, 2013

Heirlooms: a love story?

Dan has been on a cleaning and organizing binge for the past six months. (Side note: is there a sexier way to describe any man? I mean, really? Is there anything hotter than of a bottle of Windex and the phrase, "Do you care if I throw this out?")

One of his targets has been our attic, but he's also focusing on other areas of the house. A few days ago, he was sorting through a drawer and came across a stack of old photos. As he was sharing them with me, I paused on this one:


That's my tiny little hubby in red, sitting on his great grandmother's lap, circa 1967, his older siblings, Debbie and David, nestled in on either side. 

That's also my old couch.

When I moved in with Dan back in 1990, he owned a little duplex in Frogtown, a working class neighborhood just outside of St. Paul's downtown district. As I quickly discovered, he was the sibling who always said 'yes' to the cast offs and family hand-me-downs. 

Want your uncle's trunk of clothes from the 50s? Yes! Want your grandparents' old furniture? Absolutely! How about this collection of antique tincture bottles from the 1930s? I have JUST the place for that!

He has always been a man with a soft spot for the old and gently used. Not only that, he's always been a man with a sincere respect and love for the quality, craftsmanship and style from the days of yore. He's a fan of the vintage.

The couch you see in the photo above was his—and in turn became ours—for the first eight years of our married life. I brought practically nothing of substance to our union, in terms of earthly possessions. I added a bed, and a black futon and a black futon-like coffee table. (And of course, my sparkling personality!) But my cheap, college furniture didn't really stand the test of time like that old, inherited couch did.

The couch was relegated to the porch in the early 2000s, and then with our remodel in 2010, we said goodbye to it for good. It was, afterall, falling into disrepair and though it was hard for Dan to say that last goodbye, we did, in fact, bid it a final adieu.

Seeing this photo, I had a great idea: I'll find some photos that show our more recent past on the couch—us, the kids, friends, family—and I'll combine it with this photo for a layout, or a blog post, or something to show how things weave themselves effortlessly into the backgrounds of our lives.

So I sat down yesterday and pored over my photo albums. The active years this couch had in our family was during the pre-digital camera years, so I knew I would find photos in the pages of my traditional photo albums.

It was so fun to page through the albums, reconnecting with so many photos and so many memories. Page after page of our lives. I couldn't help but feel like in this digital era, where so many of my photos end up as bits and bytes in an iPhoto library, that not having a complete, printed photographic record at my disposal was somehow a loss.

And as I went through every possible album that could hold a photo of this couch's golden years, the only shot I ended up finding was this, from 2001:


Can you see it? In the upper right side of this shot, taken on Coleman's 2nd birthday? The beautiful curve of that inlaid wood? The classic fabric from a time long since passed?

That's the couch. And that is the only photo I could find that even showed a trace of it being in our home.

And that's when it hit me:

I hated that freaking couch.

It was small and scratchy and dark and you sunk into it every time you sat down, on account of the completely wasted and ancient infrastructure. It smelled funny, too.

Okay, maybe hated is too strong a word, but the day it went out to the porch was a happy day for me. And the day it left the premises completely? I think overjoyed comes to mind.

I guess the point to my story is this: not every heirloom is automatically cherished and loved.

I've never really been a vintage kind of girl.

I never loved that piece of furniture.

I loved the man that came with the couch like crazy though. Still do, in fact.

And that, blog readers, is probably the real point to this story.

Maybe that will make a great scrapbook page afterall.


January 28, 2013

I specifically asked for cage-free eggs


I love having a 13-year-old boy in the house. And even more than that, finally getting his 13-year-old sense of humor.

Funny boy, Cole Zielske.

p.s. This message was approved by Cole Zielske.


January 26, 2013

New product releases


This weekend, I've got some new printable card sets and some love-themed word art. My goal is to start designing printable cards in both portrait and landscape orientation. 

Just a note: these card sets contain PNG files and printable PDFs. No Photoshop needed if you just want to print out your own cards on white cardstock. A tip: make sure you choose Photo quality settings, and print the PDFs in the Actual Size setting. 

Want to add journaling blocks to you cards? This video tutorial will walk you through it.


J-Cards No. 06 Everyday


J-Cards No. 07 Love


J-Cards No. 08 Love 


Helvi Round Love 01

All new products are 20% off this weekend.

January 24, 2013

Project Life, Week Three


OBSERVATIONS: It's official! I love Design D page protectors! In all of last year, I only mixed it up a few times, and I think that's going to change this year. 

Why not welcome a bit of variety, right?

Part of the fun was that I decided to create 4 x 3 cards, based on this design, to fit into those horizontal slots. That, and I've had numerous requests to start doing 4 x 3 cards. (Those cards will be on sale this weekend at Designer Digitals.) All future printable card releases will be designed in both orientations, or at least that's my goal. One thing I love about Becky's new kits is that the cards are all double sided to fit in both orientations. Brilliant, truly. 

Speaking of kits, my Seafoam kit arrived yesterday and I'm looking forward to working pieces into my album.

Onto this week's pages.


I had the pleasure of taking some head shots of my friend Mitchell Kraft last week. Good Lord, the man is as photogenic as he is nice. Check out Mitch's blog if you have time. He's a crafty one (no pun intended) and there are big things on the horizon for him.


Then of course, it was back to my regular page protector for the right facing side. Here's a closer look at some of the cards and stories.




If you want to learn how to add your own text to a PNG card file, I have a video that highlights the steps to do just that. Watch it by clicking here. Also, if you want the free Instagram template seen above, click here to learn more and get your download.

And here is my vertical Week in Review card:


This set has two portrait oriented cards in the set, for those of you who want to mix it up.

I'm so looking forward to doing this project every week, again. I feel like this year, I've stripped it down and figured out exactly what works for me in this process. I'm sure things will evolve throughout the year, but for now, I'm loving the direction it's taking.


And that is all I wrote for Week 3.



January 22, 2013

They're quite aware of what they're going through


I haven't been writing a whole lot about my second born force of nature, also known as Cole.

He's asked me to ease up on the public display—the Tweets, the Instagrams—the photos and snippets in general that will go out into the world for public consumption. 

I want to honor his requests and even though I'd love to write more about this kid who is really not a kid anymore, I'm going to keep his stories where he wants them: at home, in our albums perhaps, but far less on my blog for now.

I think it would be hard to be a 13-year-old boy. I have zero personal experience with it. But I feel like it requires a whole different set of navigational instruments. Part of my job right now is to learn and see and understand and guide while and where I can.

Make no mistake, he's still the coolest, funniest, most creative dude I know. I'd like to show him my support in every way that I can as he works his way through this time and place in his life.

Know what I'm sayin'?





January 21, 2013

For the sake of a child

Manya-and-o copy

Sometimes I post a lot of silly or entertaining stuff on my blog, but today I wanted to share a story and make a request of you on behalf of a little boy named Oliver.

On January 6, Oliver's mother, Manya, died as a result of a domestic assault. It was a horrible crime. You can read more about it here.

It happened on the street where I live, in my neighborhood. Just eight houses away.

I didn't know Manya, but we knew of her family when they moved into our neighborhood a few years ago, due to her husband's status as a sexual offender. The entire area was notified, as is law in the state of Minnesota. It seemed they were a young couple determined to rebuild a life here in St. Paul.

In this wake of this tragedy, a little boy is without his mother, and of course, without a father as well.

Manya's family has set up a fund for Oliver, a child who now will be cared for by extended family. I know you can't put a pricetag on anyone's life, but if you have $10 to spare, I know this is a family that would appreciate it so very much.

100 percent goes to Oliver and his future. I am assuming this is also tax deductible. Payments are being accepted through PayPal. You will receive a receipt that says The Manya Memorial Fund.

Thanks for taking the time to read this today. 

Click here to donate.


January 16, 2013

Project Life, Week Two + a free layered card download + video tutorial on how to use the free card


OBSERVATIONS: I take very few portrait-oriented photos.

This became evident when Aidan said, "Mom! Get a shot of this outfit." And that's when I caught myself turning my camera on its side. What? You can do that? Who knew?

Project Life has turned me into a landscape photographer. No, I don't mean landscape a al the Ansel Adams variety—I mean I take horizontal photos. All the time. 

Even the shots I size down for the 3 x 4 pockets are mostly horizontal ones that I crop into a vertical format. This realization isn't the end of the world, it's just a real change from photos I used to take, which were mostly vertical in nature.

Because of this, I had to grab one of the different page protectors from my Big Design Pack, specifically the Design D page protector. It's all going to work out just fine, however, because next week, when Design D is my left facing page, I happen to have vertical Week in Review cards to do my weekly card. Whew. Now that's lucky!

Here are my pages for the week:


This week, I did a screen shot of my 2012 training record at and sized it to fit onto a 6 x 4 canvas. Also, see the cards with the Instagram logo? That's a free download I'm offering today for those of you who want to capture your Instagrams in a nice, square format.  


Download CZ_3x4InstagramTemplate

And here's a very quick video showing you how to use it:

Using my free Instagram 3 x 4 Card Template from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


Moving right along…


I'm just not used to using the other page protectors, but I really like how this page turned out. 

I used some of my templates, and changed up some of the fonts and sizes on the small cards in the center. This is one of my Tiny Text Templates.


And this is one of my Tiny Photo Templates.


I did make the type a little smaller, and moved the text boxes in from the edges a little bit to accommodate for the rounded corners. If you own any of my products, don't be shy about tweaking them a little here and there to meet your exact needs.


If you missed my post this week, I recorded a video tutorial showing the basics of working with my Week in Review layered journal cards. Find that video here.


This [application/website] uses the Instagram™ API and is not endorsed or certified by Instagram or Instagram, Inc. All Instagram™ logos and trademarks displayed on this [application/website] are property of Instagram, Inc.

January 14, 2013

Video Tutorial: Working with my Week in Review Layered Journaling Cards for Project Life


I've been getting a number of emails from people who want to use my Week in Review cards for their Project Life albums, but need a little help in getting started.

I put together a video tutorial which shows you how to:

1. Change the color of the card frames.

2. Clip digital papers into the card frames.

3. Change the fonts.

4. Change the color of the fonts.

I hope this helps those of you who need a little help with the digital processes. Once you get these few basics down, you can do just about any digital project in time. If you have any questions, please post in the comments and I'm happy to answer them.

Working with my Layered 6 x 4 Journal Card Files from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.



January 10, 2013

Project LIfe, Week One


OBSERVATIONS: And so, Week One of Project Life, Volume 2013 is underway! This year, I have far less trepidation that I can keep up with this project. It's just part of what I do now, so finishing Week One didn't feel quite as epic and novel as last year.

And yet, I'm still in love.

Kicking off the album, of course, is my title page. I posted a shot of this last week, along with a whole mess of title page freebies that you can find by clicking here.


I'm a sucker for color and font themes. This year, at least until I get tired of it, I'm going in this direction. Lots of grey, mustard and helvetica rounded bold condensed.

That's the great thing about this project. You can do what you like and then you can change your mind and do something else with it. Even using a core kit, you can find ways to mix in all sorts of things. It's totally up to you.

Here's a look at my Week One pages:


This week was also the kick off of Move More, Eat Well 2.0. My students get special Project Life cards (there are a lot of them who use this system) that relate to our health and fitness journeys, so you'll see these cards popping up in my album this year. 


Yes, I have succumbed to Downton Abbey. I'm already half way through Season 2 (Thanks, HuluPlus free trial!) 






(This spine file is part of the freebie download!)

For anyone still wondering if this project is for them, I say jump in! You technically don't even need to have the kits to do this project (although it makes it easier). 

I'm a huge fan of keeping a note book, or using an app (I use Day One) to take notes of your week as you go. I love doing my Week in Review card to highlight the highs, lows and every day inbetweens of the past seven days. And speaking of seven days, this year I'm documenting my week as Monday through Sunday. I asked my Facebook community, "What do you do?" because last year, it lined up as a Sunday through Saturday week. This year, I'm trying something new!

And that is all I wrote for Week 1.

Keep in mind, all year long I'll include links to the products I use, as seen below. Here's to another year of Project Life!