Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Video: A Second a Day for the First Year

I'm so excited to share this with you all! Before we had our first daughter, I saw a video a couple made with a second-long video a day for their son's first year. I knew I wanted to do something similar, so when she was born, my husband and I started on the long and sometimes difficult task of taking at least one video a day of our daughter for her first year. Of course we usually took about five a day since she was our first, and we wanted to capture every little moment, every milestone, every sweet smile and coo. We succeeded in taking videos up to her first birthday. Of course we're still documenting her life in videos, as I'm sure every parent does now, but we won't be making a video of every year of her life. ;) 

The difficult part came in editing the videos, and splicing them together to get the final video of her first year. Around the time that I was going to start editing the video our PC died. When looking for a replacement option, I decided to look for a video-editing option to make sure the new computer could handle it. We decided to go with a Mac because it comes with iMovie, so we didn't have to pay for anything additional. iMovie was perfect for what I wanted to do. You can import your videos, clip out whichever parts you'd like, and add them to your movie timeline. You can then edit the videos, changing the colors, contrast, lighting, crop the video, adjust the sound, etc. Then you can add titles, as I did with the day of the year for each video.

Lastly, you can add music to your timeline to play in the background, while still hearing the sound from the video clips if you want. I chose to use three songs because the length of the video required it. The first is her namesake song by Ben Folds, Adelaide. The second is "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge. While this may seem a bit random, this is the song I sang her to sleep to every night for that first year, so it is sentimental to her and I. The last is "My Wish" by Rascal Flats, which I've always thought perfectly describes the wish you have for your children.

Editing the video took me a year-and-a-half. Not because it was that difficult or time-consuming, but rather because I would only get about 15 days worth completed before leaving it for another few months. Then  I'd pick it up and do another 15-30 days. So, it could have been completed much sooner if I'd just sat down to do it. 

One thing I did in preparation for making the video which I would suggest, is I transferred all of our videos to the computer - those from my phone, my husband's, and any others. I put them all in folders based on the year, 2013 and 2014. Then within those folders I renamed each video with the date of the video, such as 08242013 for August 24th, 2013. If there were more than one video per day, I added a letter at the end, such as 08242013b and 08242013c. This greatly helped when making the video because for one, the videos are all organized in order of the date, from earliest to latest. And secondly, you can easily see how many videos you have to choose from for that particular date. It also makes it obvious if you missed a day of videos, which we did a few times. Don't tell anyone, but my secret for that, is to pull a video from the day before or after where your child is wearing a different outfit, and use that. No one will ever know!  Organizing the photos probably took longer than actually making the video, but it really helps speed up the process of making the video. And for ever after you'll have all of the videos nicely organized in folders by year. 

Hope this helps give a few pointers if you decided to do a video of your little one. I highly recommend it. I love being able to watch Adelaide's video and see her smiling for the first time, crawling, pulling up, and walking for the first time. All of those special moments memorialized into one video, of less than 10 minutes. 

Without any further ado, please see the video of our daughter Adelaide's first year below. Hope you enjoy.

Adelaide's First Year

If the quality of the embedded video isn't great, you can see the video on youtube at the link below:

Let me know what you think in the comments. If you have any questions about how to make the video I'm happy to help! Now I need to start on Kyleen's video, as she's already 4.5 months old. Hopefully I'll finish hers before she's 2.5 years old!  ;)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Scrapbook Monday: Christmas Layouts of My Two Girls

Hope you're having a lovely Monday! Thought I would share a few scrapbook pages I completed recently, in case it gives you some inspiration or layout ideas. These are photos from Christmas of my two sweet girls. We had a lovely time. It was so much fun with Addie since she was finally at that age where she started to understand that Santa was coming. When asked what she wanted for Christmas, she would always reply "presents" or "a bag". Love that little kids are just as excited about the gift bag itself, as they are about what's inside. 

Twas the Night Before Christmas

With this page, I wanted to use some smaller photos to accent the one larger photo. I also wanted the title to stand out, so I used a few different type of alpha stickers.

For the journaling, I typed it up using photoshop, then printed it on a piece of 12x12 patterned paper. Then I trimmed it to size so that it would work with the layout. In order to do this, you have to plan it out first, determine what size you want the journaling card to be, then simply open a new project in photoshop that is that particular size. That way you can make sure all of the text fits within that given space. Then simply print and trim.

For the title, the "'twas the" portion wasn't standing out as much as I'd hoped with the brown woodgrain alphas against the kraft card stock. So I used Glossy Accents and went over the alphas, which gives it that added glossy texture that catches the light, making it stand out a bit more.

I love the photo of the two girls in their matching pajamas under the tree. Unfortunately I couldn't find truly matching pajamas at Target, since their sizes are too different, but I was able to find white fleece pajamas for both that had pictures of reindeer, santa, and trees. So pretty darn close! Sometimes you just have to improvise.  ;)

Decorating the Tree

I love these photos of Addie and my husband decorating the tree. So timeless. She was in charge of hanging ornaments on the bottom branches. I let her put up the less fragile ones, knowing that she'd probably be playing with them up until Christmas, so we wanted the ones on the bottom to be unbreakable.  ;)  She did pretty good, but not all of them stayed on the branches for very long - she needed a bit of help figuring out how to get them fully on the branches, rather than teetering on one needle.

For this page I used lots of layering, using various types of patterned papers. I machine stitched along some, using both zig-zig and stretch stitches. I also used some white doilies peaking out of the layers to give a bit more texture. 

I used various Christmas-themed stickers with various sayings as embellishments, along with some white stars.

I decided to do a photo-strip of sorts, showing the progress of the decorations, starting with Addie trying to help her daddy get the tree out of the box. Always a great helper!

On the top right, I used some puffy stickers, and decided to stitch along them to make it look like tinsel on the tree. Love how it turned out, although looking back I probably should have used a color other than white to make it stand out. But....that would have required me changing the thread on the machine, which takes too much time when you're trying to scrapbook while your kids are napping.

The "I believe" strip of paper below is actually the "tag" on one of the My Minds Eye papers. Don't overlook things like that, that can be repurposed and used on your layout.

Made with Love

This layout is a bit different for me, in both the aesthetic, and the layout. I wanted to complete the page quickly, so I decided to use some strips of paper I had laying around from my other layouts. I snipped the ends to make them look like banner flags.

I loved this patterned paper with the dates of December on it, and didn't want to cover too much of it up. I decided to use some wood veneer accents, along with the blue reindeer and tree paper, to give it a bit of a rustic feel. I printed the photo of Kylie so that it would fit perfectly in the veneer frame.

I don't like the bottom vignette that much, but it needed something on the bottom right to balance things out. Used a paper snowflake ornament my parents bought me in Italy. The "Merry Christmas" veneer is from a pack of six from the dollar spot at Target, meant to be used as gift tags. Again, don't overlook things like this that can be repurposed on your layout.

December 25th

This layout was also thrown together during the girls' nap, so the design of the layout isn't quite what I'd like. But I love the little velum mouse, and decided to make him reach for the stars.  ;)  I used the tiny stapler on this layout in a few places, to add some dimension. I also used strips of paper I had laying around for this page. Don't throw those scraps away! Just line them up on your page somewhere, and voila!

The "25" for the title was cut out of a piece of Maggie Holmes patterned paper.

And there you have it! A few Christmas-themed pages. Not all of your pages have to be red and green for the holidays. Add holiday-themed touches here and there, like stars, snowflakes, and deer.

Hoep you enjoyed and got some inspiration!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sorry for the delay....

It's been months since my last post, and I sincerely apologize for that! I got very ill during my second pregnancy; then my little one came a month earlier than expected. Fortunately she is happy and healthy, and just turned four months old this week. Kyleen (Kylie) Elizabeth McLeod has brought more joy and happiness to our lives than I thought possible. It is so rewarding to see Adelaide interact with her as her big sister. She absolutely adores her baby sister, who she nicknamed "sissy". She always wants to help me take care of her. Just tonight when Kylie was crying, she ran into the room saying "I check on Kylie", then asks her "what's matter?" Kylie couldn't ask for a better big sister.

Now with a toddler and a baby, one of us always seems to be sick. This has been hard for me as I've had to call out of work often, and haven't been able to spend as much time on my Etsy business. I'm hoping that things will get a bit easier over the next few months. For now, I'm just trying to survive. 

I try to remind myself of my new mantra, courtesy of Chip & JoJo's shop, Magnolia Market. I bought one of their metal signs to hang in our dining room (photos to come soon), that reads "Let whatever you do today be enough". I absolutely love this saying. I try to remind myself on a daily basis that I can't do everything; can't be perfect at everything. Whether I spend the day with the girls just playing; whether I spend time cleaning the house; or whether I take a few minutes to myself to scrapbook - I have to remember, "Let whatever you do today be enough". There will never be enough hours in the day to get everything done that I'd like with two kids, but whatever I do manage to accomplish each day will have to be enough. After all, they're only little once.....