Project Life | Week 38 & 39

If I’m going to tell you that I’ve got ALL of Studio Calico November Cuppa main kits and add-ons, will you say I’m crazy? *laugh*. This really shows that I’m absolutely in LOVE with this month’s kits and it’s my first time ever that I’ve ordered everything in a single month. Every single piece of paper and embellishment in these kits and add-ons are just fabulous!

So, here’s the list of what I’ve got from Cuppa.

Cuppa Scrapbook Kit, Cuppa Card Kit, Cuppa Project Life Kit, Gingerbread, Chamomile, Chai, Cinnamon Spice, Earl Grey. Gosh, I even love the name of these kits!;)

So, what have you got for yourself or what have you been eyeing and putting them into your cart?

Week 38

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Supply List: Cuppa Project Life Kit, Cuppa Printable Labels by Hello Forever, Cuppa Printable by In A Creative BubbleCuppa Printable by Hello Forever.

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I’ve also made my first Project Life video on how I put my spread for Week 38 together. Bear in mind that this video reflects my usual weekly documentation process, so there’s really no out-of-the-ordinary process that I’ve done since I started in Week 1.

I’ve been wanting to do this video for a while but I couldn’t get the camera fixed up the way I want it to be. So, after a few tries using the tripod and my new Gorilla Pod, I managed to capture my process using my Samsung S4 phone. You’ll notice that when you’re watching it on my blog post, it looks ok but if you expand it to full screen, the resolution is pretty bad. I’m going to continue trying the best set up until I get the right position, then I will do the future videos with my SLR camera with a much higher resolution.

I hope you’ll enjoy this video and if you have any questions after you watch my process, do feel free to post it in the comment box and I’ll try to answer them.

And here’s my Week 39 using a mixed of everything from Cuppa main Project Life kit, Scrapbook kit, Card kit and all the add-ons.

Week 39



Supply List: Cuppa Scrapbook KitCuppa Card KitCuppa Project Life KitGingerbreadChamomileChaiCinnamon SpiceEarl GreyCuppa Printable Labels by Hello Forever, Cuppa Printable by In A Creative BubbleCuppa Printable by Hello Forever.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my spreads and once again, thank you for all your lovely messages and for making time to drop by my blog

Have a great week ahead!

  • rachelleOctober 28, 2013 - 5:44 am

    I really enjoyed watching you in action.I love those tidbits at the top of your screen that you have with all of the phrases. Who makes them and where can I get them?

  • BrennaOctober 28, 2013 - 6:06 am

    Your layouts are so interesting, fresh and detailed. It was so FUN to watch your process. Hope you do more videos going forward!

  • Donna G.October 28, 2013 - 7:00 am

    Leena, the video is fabulous! You make it all look so easy. Your mind is phenomenal to work so creatively. =) I think the video is fine at this size/resolution. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  • Jasmine MarieOctober 28, 2013 - 7:58 am

    Love this video. I’m definitely looking forward to more. I just subscribed! :)

  • TaliaOctober 28, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Beautiful layouts!! And I really enjoyed the video too. :)

  • Linda in AusOctober 28, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    Loved the video Leena, can’t believe you got all of the kits.

  • MiriamOctober 28, 2013 - 9:58 pm

    What a wonderful video! I always love your work! I also loved all the kits this month, I cant wait to play with them. thank you for sharing your work with us!!

  • Julie {CalleLillyCafe}October 29, 2013 - 9:00 am

    I always love your PL pages!! In love with all the SC kits too! How could you just pick one?? Um… you don’t!! *winkwink

  • pamelaOctober 31, 2013 - 1:12 am

    Thank you for sharing your spreads! I love how you used the Cuppa kits and regret not getting it!

  • Kelsey NNovember 2, 2013 - 8:40 am

    I absolutely love your process video!!! Hope to see more soon!

  • NatalieNovember 17, 2013 - 10:05 am

    I am in awe at your talent! I can’t keep myself from checking your blog everyday. I keep looking at the same posts over and over and wish I had done my project life like you! I order the SC kits each month but mine look BLAH compared to yours!

    Do you just buy a lot of blank Project Life cards to use in your albums and then incorporate the kits into the White cards? I wish you would post EVERY SINGLE week of your Project Life album! ;)

  • FindingnanaNovember 18, 2013 - 9:54 am

    Hi Natalie,
    I have a stack of plain grid cards that I’d love to use with my kits. I usually use them as the base because I like my card clean and uncluttered. Just add a few bellis and stick on the photo and they’re good to go! :)

Project Life | Week 36 & 37

Well, I’ve been meaning to share my PL pages earlier but it has been crazy the past two weeks. Oh, since when it hasn’t been like that huh.;)No, really, work has not been very kind to me. It has been sapping whatever energy I’ve left with, leaving me with so little or none to breathe. I’ve been away the past week, popped over Bintan (an island off Singapore about an hour by ferry) for a company team building and 2 days later, I was off to Saigon, Vietnam for another 4 days. I’m just so glad to be home and so happy to see my family again after a week of absence. I do hope to be around for a while before my next trip, God knows when. I need time to be in office to clear all my backlogs and plan my work for the coming months.

Anyway, I’m glad that I can pop in here to finally share my Project Life spreads using Becky Higgins Midnight core kit. As always, I’ve love this kit so much that I’m stuck to using this kit other than my Studio Calico PL kit.:)

I love the clean look of Midnight kit, thanks to the brilliant and talented Liz Tamanaha who designed it for Becky Higgins. I hope to continue using this for a while, maybe until next 2014. Let’s see how it goes.

So here are my Week 36 & 37.

Week 36

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You would notice that I always use a few of my favorite embellishments on my Midnight core kit pages, wood veneers from Studio Calico and Freckled Fawn, enamel dots, mini alpha stickers and printable labels from Studio Calico monthly kits. Just these few products are sufficient to complete my spreads.

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Week 37


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After 37 weeks, I’m still loving Project Life. And I hope you feel the same and still enjoy every minute of documenting your day to day.

I’ve currently completed up to week 40 and I’ll be sharing my pages soon in the next few days.

Have a great weekend ahead!

  • Tanya BatrakOctober 26, 2013 - 4:06 am

    Simply love your PL! So beautiful :)

  • Linda in AusOctober 26, 2013 - 9:52 am

    Leena, amazing as always, just love your style.
    Did you buy SC out of Hero Arts ink?

  • FindingnanaOctober 28, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Yes I did Linda! :)

  • Ginger WakehouseJanuary 13, 2014 - 10:47 pm

    Your layouts are so beautiful. You have such an eye.I think you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing.

I’ve been asked the past couple of months and the most recent one about a day ago when I’ll be releasing the 2014 calendar printable. Well, I’ve finally made time tonight to quickly sketch out something I had in mind while I was in bed last night. Hah! Yes, I’m the type of person who lay in bed at night and suddenly, ideas rush into my mind and my brain continues to churn out all sorts of inspiration and 5 minutes later, I conked out! *laugh* Oh oh, I still can remember it next morning.

So, here I am, sharing next year’s FREE printable calendar that you’ve asked for. It’s a pretty simple calendar which I think will look great used on it’s own or slightly embellished or whatever you want to do it for Project Life or any other kind of projects.:D

Calendar 2014_Blog

You can download the printable A4 size PDF files HERE and print them as many time as you like. All I’m asking from you is not to claim this as your own. It’s not necessary to credit me but I’d be happy if you do.:)

The cards measure exactly 2.9″ x 4″ each and you will find 2 PDF files in the downloadable folder link.

Here are some FAQ that may help answer some of your questions on the calendar.

Would you be making the calendars in Monday-Sunday format?

No I won’t be making that format.

Does the printable calendar comes in individual/separate cards?

No the printable does not come in individual card. The cards are collated into an A4 size file (6 months in each file) and ready to print. 

2014 Calendar

I’m actually planning to make more calendar in other formats, similar to this design but in maybe 4×4 and 4×6 format. But first, I need to find time!

Alright, I hope you’ll enjoy using this calendar cards and have fun!

  • NicoleOctober 11, 2013 - 11:50 pm

    Thank you so much! I just need to get caught up on this year first…

  • Lillian MOctober 12, 2013 - 7:15 am

    THANK YOU !!
    I Love how cute these are, the fonts are just perfect.
    I like clean cut look. Thank you for sharing !!!!

  • opsiteOctober 13, 2013 - 3:35 am

    oh thanks!!
    it’s so nice!!
    I send a link to my blog to share your printable calendar.

  • Rita B.October 17, 2013 - 12:31 am

    All my 2014 calendars are done. When will you have 2015 so I can get started on those? Thanks!

  • Marg MortimerOctober 17, 2013 - 6:16 am

    Thank you so much for this calendar it is perfect.


  • Ann CloughOctober 18, 2013 - 4:14 am

    Thank you! Needed to find what days of the week certain b’days fell on…….now I know!

  • sandie carterOctober 19, 2013 - 6:57 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this calendar. Love the Font used heaps. :-)

  • JudyOctober 19, 2013 - 11:34 am

    Thanks so much, I was just looking for a mini-calendar this
    evening for a project and this should work perfectly.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • FindingnanaOctober 21, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Hi Rita,
    We haven’t start year 2014 yet, so the 2015 calendar will be ready end of next year.

  • calendar custom printingOctober 22, 2013 - 9:16 pm

    Wow! it’s great. Only 2 months are left for welcome 2014. Good work.

  • Kimberly James aka SamsSissyOctober 28, 2013 - 9:12 am

    Thank you for making these available to us. I will definitely use them.

  • PlamnitoNovember 7, 2013 - 12:28 am

    Thank you!

  • PrinzessinNNovember 11, 2013 - 9:22 pm

    Great thank you very much. I used the 2013 cards for my Project Life. So I will take this ones for next year!

  • PamNovember 14, 2013 - 5:54 am

    Thank you! I have used the set you created last year in my Project Life and have loved having them. I am sure I will love these too!

  • AnneNovember 23, 2013 - 11:21 pm

    Thank you for all the time that you spend working on the wonderful goodies that you share. They are greatly appreciated!

  • DebDecember 2, 2013 - 6:14 am

    Very nice, thank you for sharing.

  • KaylaDecember 19, 2013 - 4:26 am

    Thanks for sharing the calendars.

  • tejinderDecember 19, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    good calender

  • CaroleDecember 22, 2013 - 12:08 am

    I love your design, thanks for sharing.

  • Lena_JDecember 24, 2013 - 8:01 am

    Really nice. You are so good at making theese, i ended up using yors last year as well. So thank you so mutch for sharing :-)

  • melissaJanuary 2, 2014 - 2:54 am

    Thank you SO SO much!

    Happy New YEar!!

  • lynneJanuary 3, 2014 - 9:02 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these!

  • Laura PitzerJanuary 3, 2014 - 10:26 am

    Thanks so much for the printable calendar. I love the lettering on the months. It is awesome that you share with all of us. Happy New Year!

  • LillanJanuary 6, 2014 - 6:01 am

    Lånade dom och länkade till din sida:)

  • Sue WJanuary 6, 2014 - 8:31 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your work.

  • SherylJanuary 8, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    beautiful classy calendar, thank you. Glad I found you from a pinterest posting

  • PamJanuary 9, 2014 - 9:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing this stylish calendar with all of us! Fantastic!

  • DianaJanuary 10, 2014 - 11:10 am

    Just wanted to say thank you so much!!!just getting into crafting and needed a small calendar. Thanks again!

  • LindaJanuary 10, 2014 - 10:52 pm

    Thank you for your gorgeous calendar. I love the font and the watermark month numbers. Thanks again.

  • DagmarJanuary 22, 2014 - 12:20 am

    Thank you so much for the awesome calendar. My Stampin’ up demonstrator made a project using it and passed along your website.. how amazing. Thank you so much.. :0)

  • LisaFebruary 8, 2014 - 1:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Love the font!! and can’t do without a small planner type calendar that is nice to look at and practical too. Thanks heaps :)

  • ClaretFebruary 9, 2014 - 4:35 am

    This was very nice of you. Thanks for your creativity and time.

  • Diane WoodruffFebruary 26, 2014 - 3:36 am

    I apparently accidentally submitted an incomplete message. Thank you very much for the downloadable, printable calendar. It will be much better in my car than the ones my husband usually gets from salesmen.

  • Emy LeonorMarch 9, 2014 - 12:50 pm

    Thank you very much for the 2014 calendar.
    God bless you all.

  • Emy LeonorMarch 9, 2014 - 12:50 pm

    Thank you very much for the 2014 calendar.
    God bless you all.
    This is my first time to use this.

  • Brenda HillMarch 17, 2014 - 5:45 pm

    These will be perfect to help my fifth graders figure out which phase of the moon will appear “when”. Thanks for sharing!

  • […] the calendar, I found a printable calendar from Finding Nana which I printed directly onto the pale green cardstock, cut up and rounded the corners.  These […]

  • MarilynMay 8, 2014 - 7:19 am

    Thank you so much for this Calendar. Although the year is ticking by I will use this now

  • snoopieAugust 15, 2014 - 11:13 pm

    merci!! :)
    (thank you)

I’ve been asked many times how I get my Project Life images clear and crisp on my blog post and I think I owe you this long overdue post to explain how I go about photographing my spreads.

Seriously, there’s no special techniques involved in getting the right images to show the pages exactly what you see in real life. Anyone can do this, as long as you have the important condition to capture the ideal shots of your PL spreads. Lighting. I’ll elaborate more in a short while.

I’ll share some tips on how I always go about taking photos of my Project Life pages and this will also work the same for any other craft projects or any kind of photos you wish to capture. Just remember that there’s no hard and fast rules how you can make the best of the situation to get the best shots. I’m sharing the things I need to consider when I take photos of my projects, how I do it and what works for me. So, there’s really no right or wrong how you do it. As long as it works for you, that’s all it matters most.:)

Here are some tips which may come useful for you.

Lighting condition

I live in an apartment on a 9th floor and I’m lucky that part of my unit is not blocked by another apartment. I get the best natural light streaming into my place on a bright and sunny day, especially my bedroom. No direct sunlight but with enough light to brighten up my room perfectly.

You need find your ideal space in your home or even outside without direct sunlight. Just look for a space bright enough for photographing your projects. I’m sure there’s a space somewhere in your home with window big enough to let in good natural light.


My second choice of space in my home with great natural lighting would be my living room. With a full length window, I have enough light to brighten up my whole apartment. I have a night curtain which I usually draw it close before I photograph my Project Life spread. This would diffuse any additional light that could be too harsh for my pages. Funny thing is, even though my bedroom window has a roller blind, without any curtain to act as diffuser, my layouts don’t look too harsh when I photograph them. So, you really need to play around with the natural light in your home and get the right spot.

On another note, I do not photograph my projects after 6pm. It’s too dark and my photos would look a little grainy to my liking. I also do not take photos at night with the lights turned on. It looks awful and I have to spend extra time editing them. That’s my own “rule”.;)

The best time I think to take photos would be between 9-11 morning or 3-5 afternoon. It really depends on the lighting condition of your space. Just find the right time to photograph your projects and they will look great.:)


Prepare props

All you need is a few simple props to lay your PL spreads. For me, I bought big sheets of white art paper from Art Friend, our local art store, as the background and lay it on top of a hard cork board I bought from Ikea years ago. It’s good to get a flat and firm base in order to prevent unevenness of your PL spread, especially like me where I photograph my spread on my bed with a softer surface compared to the floor. I then lay them on my bed near the window where I get the best natural light.

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Photographing PL Spread

There’s seriously no big secret in getting clear and crisp images of my Project Life pages. I simply remove all the cards from the plastic protector and lay them on top of the protector! That’s it. Easy right?:)

I’ve tried photographing my PL spread with all the cards in the pockets of my protectors many times and I still get good clean images as well. I don’t really get reflection when I photograph them maybe because of the light coming into my bedroom and the angle that I photograph my pages. Sometimes I just move my spread to a different corner of my bed until I get the right position without getting any reflection.

The other reason I like to photograph my PL spread out of the protector is because I can see the texture of my embellishment better. If they’re inside the pockets, the cards will look a little flat.

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So, once the cards are all laid out properly on top of the protector, you’re ready to take the shot.

I always use my SLR to photograph my PL spread as they produce sharper and better resolution images and they look better when posted online. I would then stand over my PL spread, direct the camera face down directly on top of my page and snap away! I usually take a couple of shots to be on the safe side so I can choose the best one to crop and edit.

Do remember to compose your picture carefully so it don’t look distorted. Use the grid lines on your camera screen to guide the 4 sides of you spread to get an accurate composition.

Note: I always bump up the exposure reading to +1 or +2. The image always look brighter on my SLR screen and a little darker on my laptop. So, bumping up the exposure a little saves me a little more time when I edit my images on Photoshop.


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The details

Once I take enough shots of the complete layout of my spread, I would then take close up shots to get in more details of each card. You can capture your close up shot at different angle.

You can shoot at an angle like what I did on the image below. This would be my favorite angle whenever I photograph the details of my cards. It show a little more texture of the embellishment with this view. It really depends on individual preference how you want to capture your close up images, as long as you feel it best represent the details of your spread.:)

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And the other way of getting a close up shot will be top straight down. This view is as good as the angle earlier and it’s also a favorite of mine. I like that it’s simple, clean and straight forward. It also shows a clear and close view of the details of my cards.:)

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Once I’m happy with all the shots I’ve taken, I’ll download them onto my hard disk and start to filter through all the images. I’ll pick out my best images that are clear and sharp and do some minor editing on Photoshop. I tweak the images a little using the curve and level adjustment layers, crop them if required and voila!

Here’s a complete layout of one side of my spread.

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I do hope you find my tips useful and helps you take better photos of your Project Life.

I’ll be back soon again to share more of my pages in the coming days.:)

  • pepperOctober 7, 2013 - 11:26 pm

    Thanks for the tips! i wish i have huge windows like yours ! I usually photography at my door step ! hehe!

  • Po prostu AsiaOctober 7, 2013 - 11:44 pm

    thank you!!
    very useful :)

  • JanayOctober 8, 2013 - 12:08 am

    Thanks for sharing! I always wondered how you did it =)

  • DeirdreOctober 8, 2013 - 1:21 am

    Ask and ye shall receive!

    Thank you so much for this post. It seems so obvious now but I wouldn’t have thought of laying the cards on top of the pockets. Genius!

    Your PL photos also look so good because of the beautiful work you do on your full page layout! Thanks again!

  • MajaOctober 8, 2013 - 2:00 am

    Love this! Thanks for posting this! Your PL-spread is adorable! :)

  • Jenny AOctober 8, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    Thanks so much for this! I always wondered how you got such amazing photos of your PL. I never would have thought to take the cards out of the pockets and take a picture. You are a genius :) Thanks for taking the time for a tutorial!

  • Patti Veeraplin McHughOctober 8, 2013 - 10:32 pm

    Wonderful post and thanks for the tips!

  • BirgitOctober 11, 2013 - 3:58 pm

    This post helps so much, thank you!

  • Emily JaneOctober 12, 2013 - 9:49 pm

    I love how it never even occurred to me to take the cards out of the pocket to photograph. I always tried to move around to get the least possible glare from the plastic cover sheets and it never worked ! Thanks for
    This <3

  • MyeOctober 13, 2013 - 8:36 pm

    Thank you for sharing these tips, Leena! I’m on the 7th floor with very minimal lighting and I’m surrounded by buildings (yes, our block is in the middle!) so it’s very challenging. I try the laundry area because that’s where the farthest building was and sometimes I get to take better pictures.

  • RossanaOctober 13, 2013 - 10:06 pm

    Great tips! Thanks leena!

  • palisaraOctober 14, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    Thanks for good tips!!

  • nicoleOctober 23, 2013 - 11:34 am

    This might seem like a silly question but, do you shoot your layouts without flash? Thanks so much for sharing your process!

  • FindingnanaOctober 24, 2013 - 12:27 am

    Hi Nicole,
    I always shoot my layouts without flash as I get enough natural light to get a good shot. :)

  • Maggie AlvarezNovember 2, 2013 - 9:30 am

    OMG ….
    thank you so much for these great tips. I’ve been taking ok pictures for a long time but these tips will help me do a lot better…

    hugs all the way from Mexico,
    Mggie Alvarez

  • Julie {CalleLillyCafe}November 14, 2013 - 5:24 am

    how did I miss this post? Thx for sharing your secrets! Ha! I wish I could choose when I could take photos. I only get the good natural light in the am hours or else I’d have to photograph in my girls’ rooms! Love the idea of taking cards out of protector too! Hello?! Simple. Too bad I didn’t think of it though. Thx again Leena!

  • opsiteJanuary 23, 2014 - 6:02 pm

    Hello leena

    Thanks for all these advices

    I put a link of your article on a facebook group about project life

    thanks a lot

  • BarbaraJanuary 30, 2014 - 7:16 pm

    Thank you so much! One question though, your Instagram pics look just as good, do you usr these photos taken with the big camera for instagram as well? Greetings from Germany!

  • FindingnanaFebruary 3, 2014 - 8:27 pm

    Hi Barbara,
    I only use iPhone for my Instagram postings. It’s the most convenient and quickest way to post to IG.
    Using big camera is just too much of a hassle to transfer the images to my computer and then to my phone before I can post it on IG, you know what I mean? :) I only use my DSLR to take images for blog posting only.

  • Rose CiccarelliFebruary 26, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    Thanks for the tips, loved that I found u and all ur inspirational ideas here on Pinterest and I also requested u on IG. Thanks again

  • Sarah MartinaMarch 5, 2014 - 1:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips! Do you mind sharing what you shoot with? (Camera & lens)? I just love your style of photography!

  • FindingnanaMarch 5, 2014 - 10:27 pm

    Hi Sandra,
    I’m using Canon 7D and Canon 50mm f1.4 prime lens.