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14 posts categorized "30 Days of Thankful"

December 04, 2013

Wrapping up 30 Days of Thankful: Creating the final book


Thiry Days of Thankful is now over. Now, let the UNGRATEFUL era commence!

Of course, I jest.  The album project is over and the final step of this process was using Artifact Uprising's online software to build a 5.5 x 5.5 softcover book.

I'm eagerly awaiting the deliver of the book and will share photos when it arrives, but until then I wanted to share a short video tutorial walking you through how I used Artifact Uprising's simple, intuitive software to build the book.

But first, a quick look at my closing page for the album. 


Thanks to all of you who shared your albums here as well.

Here's the video, for anyone who'd like to see the process in action.


Making a book with Artifact Uprising from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

 Note: I have no finanical gain by promoting Artifact Uprising. I just happen to be in love with their products.



There is still time to enter my One Days of Giveaways for your chance to win one of three copies of Photoshop Elements 12 plus your choice of any 10 products from my CZ Design Digitals collection. Click here to enter.


Tomorrow, I plan to share a few of my December Daily™ pages thus far. To learn more about the project from Ali Edwards, click here.



November 29, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Gratitude Friday


The month is winding down and I've got seven more days of entries for my album. Just a few more days and I'll be ready to gather my files to make my printed book. 

I plan to upload by files on Sunday to Artifact Uprising. I'm going to add in a few extra photo pages to fill out the book to make it 40 pages in length. And then I'll stalk my hot mail man waiting for the results. I'll record a video tutorial covering the process. I will try to make it both information and entertaining.

Here are my last seven days.









If you want to learn more about this album project, read this post. 

Please share links to your pages and approaches for the past week. And have a great weekend.

November 22, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Gratitude Friday


Another week in November, another seven days of documentation. I am so looking forward to seeing how this project plays out in a printed book form.

I plan to make a  book at Artifact Uprising with the finished pages, plus a few extra photo pages thrown in for good measure. I'll be compiling the album in the first week of December, and share both the process and the results.

But enough of my yakking. Onto the pages.




CZ_30DT3_Day18 copy

 Note: I felt I owed it to the band to blur them out. You know, middle school. Plus, the lead singer/guitarist was flipping the double bird. This was a selfie timer band shot and when I saw it, I can't lie. I giggled and thought, rock and roll, boys. Rock and freaking roll. It's a great band photo, all the same. I asked Cole if I could use it for my album which was met with a puzzled, but agreeable look. Moving right along…



Note: again, teens. You know.


And that's where it stands as of today. I ended up using mostly iPhone shots this week, save for Cole's band shot. And I used product shots because I thought they were pretty. The thing about this project is, the photos don't have to perfectly illustrate your gratitude. 

And for that, I'm thankful.

If you want to learn more about this album project, read this post. 

Please share links to your pages and approaches for the past week. And have a great weekend.


November 15, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Gratitude Friday


Another chunk of time has passed and gratitude documentation has ensued. I actually just sat down last night and did a week in one fell swoop. I had planned to do a little every day but so far it hasn't happened that way.

But make no mistake, this is happening.

(Have you noticed how that is a saying now? This is happening? Or just this?)

Did you know that the phrase totes ma goats is also happening in the Zielske house? Well now you do.

Also, is one fell swoop something that just old people say? 

Onto my gratitude.








I gotta tell ya… once I get started on this project, I start to really love it more and more. This is the kind of album I want to look at years from now, or even months from now. Or even the day after it's done. I'm planning to save all the files as JPEGs and upload them to make a book at Artifact Uprising. Speaking of AU, they just released a new app for iPhone that lets you build softcover mini books right on your phone. I made a book laying on my couch on Wednesday night. Super excited to see how it turns out.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.30.28 AM

I am thankful for an awesome company that cares about design, the environment and the beauty in life. (Side note: I have no gain from promoting them other than the gain of knowing if you make a book, you will think it rocks, too.)

Please share your links today. It was fun to look at what some of you are doing to celebrate your 30 Days.

It's not too late to join in, either! All my 30 Days products are on sale today for 30% off as part of the Designer Digitals' 4th Quarter sale.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

November 08, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Gratitude Friday


Seven days in November are already gone and so far, I'm feeling pretty thankful.

I had a conversation with a friend this week and we were talking about the gratitude backlash. Do you know about this? It's the idea that being grateful for 30 days is ridiculous. That you should be grateful every day, not just for 30 days. 


I get the whole you should be grateful every day thing. I know it doesn't always happen in my life. I'm working on that one. Every day. Not just for 30 days in November.

I know personally that this focus does me a lot of good, especially leading up to the holiday season of Christmas. It grounds me and enables me to let the yuletide insanity slide right off my back so I can really enjoy the time with friends and family and truly connect to the joy of the season. It keeps my negativity in check.

So there's that.

Plus, I'm going to have the cutest little book when this month is over courtesy of Artifact Uprising.

I figured I'd share a few pages each week. I will tell you this: so far? All photos (save for the one of me and Dan) have been shot with my iPhone. My poor DSLR is feeling mighty neglected these days. Is the quality the best it can be? No. But lately, I haven't really been all that concerned. My phone is capturing what I want to remember. That's all that matters to me.





Just a few pages from this week.

If you're doing this project, in any form, by all means share a link below. If you're interested in learning more about what this project is, click here. It's never too late to join in.

Here's to gratitude—this month—and every month.

November 01, 2013

Hello November + Digital Scrapbooking Day


Did you know that Saturday, November 2, is officially Digital Scrapbooking Day?

I know. The holidays we have to keep track of. Crazy!

Well it is! To celebrate, Designer Digitals is taking 15% off everything in the store beginning Friday at 9 a.m. EST and ending at midnight on Saturday. 

If you've never dabbled in the digital, considering working through my free template and tutorial you can find here.


30 Days of Thankful kicks off today! I hope you will be documenting a little of your gratitude every day this month. Next Friday, I'll share my first batch of pages.

Happy November!

October 28, 2013

30 Days of Thankful Video Tutorial Series + a special kit offer from Studio Calico


November 1st is just a few days away and I'm gearing up to document gratitude every day for the entire month.

The Thirty Days of Thankful album project is something anyone can do (you don't need my template sets to play along) but if you'd like to try them out this year, I've got three videos to walk you through the basic steps.

This would be a perfect beginner project for anyone interested in learning about digital scrapbooking because it's a very minimal, stripped down design. You can keep this as simple as you like. My approach will include photos and words. That's it. 

The first video shows you what's included in the packages as well as walks you through working with the basic day pages. (Note: the video tutorial uses the 6 x 4 album set for the example. All the sets include essentially the same pages although some designs for title pages change because of the different sizes.)

30 Days of Thankful Album Tutorial, Part One from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


 The second video shows how to use the Bonus Photo Overlay pages.

30 Days of Thankful, Part Two from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


 And the third video demonstrates how to use the Title Pages.

30 Days of Thankful, Part Three from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

All video instruction is presented using Photoshop Elements 11.

You can click on any of the links below the videos to watch over at Vimeo, or simply click on the Enlarge button to view them in Full Screen Mode.

Many of you have asked me what size I will do. I'm going to create a 6 x 6 album and then create a 5.5 inch softcover book from Artifact Uprising.

I have really fallen in love with those little softcover books. You can read more about my experience with Artifact Uprising here.

If you're a fan of the 6 x 8 album size, there are two albums I've found that I really like. One is the Studio Calico handbook. The other is the 6 x 8 Snap Album from Simple Stories. You can mix and match page protector sizes in each album, using either the 6 x 4 pages or the 6 x 8 pages. I was very tempted to mix my sizes and use one of these binders, but decided to go with the softcover book. 

I'll share a video tutorial in early December showing you the process of creating an album with Artifact Uprising, as well as share the final printed book. 

Until then, I will be sharing my digital pages every Friday during November and would invite you to join in and share your links. 

For more information on the 30 Days of Thankful project, read this post.


Grateful veneer

My 30 Days of Thankful 3 x 3 wood veneer cards have been re-ordered at Studio Calico. I'll let you know when the link is back up, for those interested.

Once they are restocked, my blog readers can also take advantage of a special Project Life™ kit offer from Studio Calico. 


You can get the Project Life™ Antiquary kit for just $10 when you use the promo code GRATITUDE.

To purchase any other 30 Days of Thankful album sets, click here.




October 14, 2013

Announcing the 30 Days of Thankful Album Project for 2013


Last year, I embarked on a 30-day gratitude project in album form and it turned into my favorite album of 2012. Deemed 30 Days of Thankful, the task was simple: Document one thing a day for which you are grateful and pair it with a photo. It was a very simple and personal scrapbooking project, perfect for a month in which gratitude takes center stage.

I realize Halloween is the next holiday in line, but I wanted to get you thinking about November with three new sets for 2013. 

This year, my goal was to design something simple and elegant in multiple sizes.

30 Days of Thankful No. 02—a 6 x 4 album.


30 Days of Thankful No. 03—a 6 x 6 album.


And 30 Days of Thankful No. 04—a 6 x 8 album.


The templates can be used for traditional scrapbooks, such as this album from Studio Calico, the Handbook.



The Handbooks have mix and match page protectors, but you can order just the size you need.

It seems like 6 x 8 is a hot size these days. Simple Stories also offers 6 x 8 faux leather albums in addition to their traditional 6 x 8 binders. also offers binders that work with 6 x 8 pages.

Or, you could use these templates to create a book, like the ones from Artifact Uprising.


Or, just use the 6 x 4 templates and save your finished pages in a very basic snapshot-style photo album.


Today I have blog badges (in four colors) plus printable label spines (in multiple colors) designed to work with the Studio Calico Handbook binder system.


Download BlogButtonsAndSpine

The label spines look like this: 


I will be putting together a video tutorial for later in the month to walk you through the steps of using the templates. This would be a really do-able beginner project for anyone interested in using digital templates to make a scrapbook album.

In November I'll be sharing my pages weekly and encouraging anyone who'd like to link their pages as well.


I've partnered with Studio Calico to create this 3 x 3 inch wood veneer card in limited quantities. I'll share the link when they become available.

If you have any questions about the templates or the projects, please leave me a comment today and I'm happy to answer.

To see all of my album shares from last year, click here



November 30, 2012

30 Days of Thankful: The Wrap-Up

And so, my little album project has come to a close.

That was fun, and it was easier than I thought it would be. I mean, it's really not difficult to think of things you're grateful for. They don't have to be all deep and meaningful all the time either.

I'm going to make this an annual tradition.

Thanks to everyone who has played along and shared their gratitudes as well. Be sure to post a link today and share your final pages.

Onto the month of December with a full and grateful heart!












November 23, 2012

Share-a-Page Fridays: 30 Days of Thankful




I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday (to my U.S. readers, of course), and that you are safely nestled at home this fine Black Friday.

I fully plan for today's entry to be: Thankful I don't fight the crowds today. I know people get out there and do, and I admire that pluckiness. 

Here are the last few days from my album, minus yesterday which I'll post next week in my final post for 30 Days of Thankful.

Be sure to share a link to your pages at the bottom of this post.



Day 17




This is definitely a project that doesn't have to be relegated to the month of November. By using the digital kit, you can drop in any seasonal papers and colors to make this a project suited for any holiday—Christmas, Hanukkah—you name it. Have a great rest of your holiday weekend.