Complete Guide to Backing up your digital photos

I wiggled my computer mouse with a barely still warm cup of coffee in hand.  Flipped open Facebook, and there it was.  A mama friend had just asked for a computer repairman recommendation.  I immediately texted her inquiring about her computer and found out that she couldn’t get it to start up.  She was desperate for a fix, since every photo of her two sweet girls were on there with no back up.  None.   

I tightly crossed my fingers that the problem was something that my techie husband could help her with, and after bit of troubleshooting, he luckily saved the images and fixed her computer with a spare hard drive we had on hand.  You better believe that my friend immediately started backing up those photos after she got her computer back.  

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It seriously broke my heart to worry that she could have lost those photos.  I know first hand that losing photos is painful and it still makes my heart sink when I go looking back through my photo archives and remember that I lost 6 months of photos from 2008 after a computer reformat.  

A split second decision can wipe out months or years of photos.  

And sometimes you won't even realize you did it for weeks.  That's what happened to me.  I blissfully reformatted my computer and didn't even realize I was missing those photos until months later.  

Since then I've become slightly obsessed with making sure even my back ups are backed up.  

Did you know there are other threats to our digital photos?  

When my friend recently had her computer trouble, she didn't even realize that hard drives could just fail.  How do they fail?  Hard drives are simply mechanical devices that wear out.  The lifespan of a typical hard drive is only about 3-5 years.  So that means if you have a 3 year old, you're already hitting what could be your hard drive's last year of life!  Let that sink in.  

There are other disasters out of our control as well.  Fire, flooding, earthquakes are all natural disasters that could destroy your home, along with everything in it, including those valuable hard drives.  

If I haven't totally scared you away from reading, and I've convinced you of the importance of backing up your digital photos, I've got a nugget of guidance to give you.  

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A BACK UP PLAN.  

One that is easy to set up and will bring you peace that your invaluable photo memories are safe.  With this guide, we’ll make sure you never have to experience the pain of losing photos.  Your future self thanks you!

October, I'm Loving It

I love transitioning my home decor from summer to fall in October.  Which basically means switching out everything for pumpkin scents and orange/yellow decor. We're currently searching for the perfect chair combo for our empty playroom/sitting area space of our living room and I'm dying over that chair.  I bought those flats this summer, and now that it's cooling off enough to wear something other than sandals, I've been slipping them on more frequently.

And that apron...would be so perfect for Beau.  Yep, I'm already searching for holiday gifts....

What are you loving right now?

What I'm Loving: October Edition
What I'm Loving: October Edition

1. LL Bean Signature Ballet Flats   2. Target Wooden Lantern   3. Lindsay Letters 'We Love You, Fall' Canvas   4. West Elm Smoke Meat Every Day Apron   5. Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Caramel Latte Candle   6. Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker

Have you found a good fall wallpaper for your phone yet? This one is gracing my screen these days so I'm sharing it with you. Just click the image below to download it. Then simply save to your phone and apply it in the wallpaper settings on your phone.

October iPhone Wallpaper
October iPhone Wallpaper

Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards

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Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

Today I've got weeks 33 and 34 to share with you, along with a tutorial for printing on cards.  Aaand a freebie at the end!

Here's Week 33.  Basically and 'Ode to Summer' because this was the week I started embracing the heat, we got really sweaty, but enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible.

There were so many colors, so once again I used several black and white photos to keep the page from tackling your eyes too much.

I had used Design U on the previous week and completely forgot about that as I was planning photos for this week.  As a result, a few of my 4x6 photos needed to be cut in half to fit the pockets, but that's alright with me.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

These two cards are from One Little Bird.  I adjusted the coloring of the Summer card to match the sky better in that cloud photo using this tutorial.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

This Hello Sunshine card is from the Ali Edwards Summer Journaling cards.  I cut off a part of it and added a blue card from the Jade kit purely because I wanted more blue on this side of the spread.  I am always grabbing cards to use based on color, which is a huge reason I sort every kit by color.  The lime green card is from the Heidi Swapp Favorite Things kit.  I printed over it with a card design by One Little Bird.  More about that below.

Here's week 34.  A busier looking spread than usual, but very colorful as a result.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

That tree photo was intentionally taken blurry one afternoon when I was photographing the boys playing.  Over it, I used this stamp on vellum to add a detail about how hot it was that week.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

For this blue journaling card I used a 'Real Life' stamp (from a past Studio Calico kit) repeatedly to create a pattern on the orange card, then attached it to another card.  An easy step to change up the color combos of a card.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

As you can see with the quote card, I had some fun this week experimenting with my printer for these spreads.  I added the header to the card by creating a box design in Photoshop and adding digital elements to them, then printing them straight onto the cards.  It was so much fun, I ended up doing it to three different cards in these two spreads.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

On the quote card I used Studio Calico digital stamps.   The song card, I found a music note via Google image search, and with the third one, the right hand box lined up perfectly to outline the envelope already on the card (from the Favorite Things kit).  Then I added the text in Photoshop using the Brandon Grotesque font.

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards | Donya Luana

PRINTING | To print directly onto a card, I first use a template to print a 3"x4" guide on a blank piece of paper, noting which direction I fed the paper into my printer so I can feed it the same way next time.  Then I place my card onto the paper using double sided tape.  In Photoshop I add and arrange the digital designs I'm using, like the box design or stamp brushes, to the 3"x4" area.  Before printing, I hide the 3"x4" guide by toggling the visibility of the layer in Photoshop so it isn't accidentally printed onto the card.  Then I print!

Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards with Free Download | Donya Luana
Project Life Tutorial: Printing Digital Elements on Project Life Cards with Free Download | Donya Luana

FREE DOWNLOAD | Interested in printing directly on your cards or using the box design I created?  I've put together a free download here.  If you're Photoshop savvy, you can drag and drop different designs right into the guide file, arrange them as you'd like, then print onto a card.  If you don't have Photoshop, you can still print out the box design on paper, adhere to the top of a card, and use stamps in the boxes.

Follow my 2014 album progress here and see the cover page for this album here.

Supplies Used: Project Life Heidi Swapp Favorite ThingsStudio Calico monthly kit embellishments and stamps, Ali Edwards Summer Journaling Card set,  One Little Bird designs, Project Life Journaling PensDesign A Pocket Pages, Design U Pocket Page, Canon MX452 Printer, and Becky Higgins Corner Rounder.