Project Life with special guest Nicole Harper

Hello there! Here at Elle’s Studio, we are excited to bring you the most amazing inspiration from our 2016 design team using our collections, exclusive kits and add-ons. Last fall, we also introduced Exclusive Kit Mini Courses to give you even more projects from well-loved guests across the industry. But, for 2016 we listened to our fans, and this year, we have decided to give you that same inspiration in guest blog posts throughout the month. I am so happy to introduce our first guest for 2016, one of our favorite designers, Nicole Harper. Let’s see what Nicole has to share with us today!

Hello Elle’s Studio fans! Having long been a fan of Elle’s designs, I was excited to return as a guest for this month! Today I’m sharing a pocket page layout using only the February exclusive kit and add-ons. WOW! This month’s offerings were certainly packed with fun elements! Let’s have a look.

I’ve been primarily using pocket pages to document my family’s story for about three years now. It is the perfect fit for us- we are all constantly on the go, sharing photos and moments via texts while apart. In other words, we aren’t experiencing what most folks would consider ‘milestones’ that traditionally might be scrapbooked (for example: the first day of school, going to the zoo, etc). Our daughter is nearly 17, and so many of those moments have passed, but there are still so many that I want to remember, and pocket pages work for me!

This layout shows three very random photos. The large 4” x 6” selfie of my daughter is one that she sent to me on her way to rehearsal. If you have a teenage daughter I would venture to say that you may have an abundance of photos like this as well. Even if your family doesn’t send them to you, ASK for them! Mine are always surprised when they see photos that they thought weren’t ‘anything special’ inside my albums. I answered her text back with a selfie of my own since we both happened to be in our cars, which made us laugh. It was a simple moment, but again, important in our everyday story.

Stamps are an addiction of mine, and I LOVE stamping directly onto photos. I have a few colors of Brilliance ink (by Tsukineko) and I stamp on photos all the time! It dries nearly instantly, and adds a fun element to the photo. I loved the clean, simple fonts used in the Everyday stamp set, and paired a couple of the sayings with pale pink embossing powder for a subtle addition to the plain ‘documented’ tag.

I have found through teaching across the U.S. that many folks kind of ‘freeze’ when it comes to pocket documenting. They love the look but feel that it isn’t ‘organized’ enough for them to jump in. I follow the same basic design approach to my pocket pages as I do my traditional pages: I utilize the visual triangle and repeat common elements to unify the page. For example, I outline the edges of my journal cards with a fine black marker (I always go around twice, this way it doesn’t matter that my lines aren’t perfect!) and edge my photos with acrylic paint. It ties things together: When you see a white border with color around it, you know it’s a photo on every single pocket page I make. Same for the journal cards! Common techniques repeated bring cohesiveness to your page even when the colors don’t necessarily ‘match’ or the topics are all different.


Often times, I think that maybe people ‘overthink’ things when it comes to pocket page documenting. I always stress to those I am teaching: not every pocket has to be a Picasso and Shakespeare doesn’t have to have made an appearance! Meaning: If I love a design, it’s ok to just slip it into a pocket and let it be. On the 4” x 6” heart pattern tag I simply added a few small tags from the kit, a wood veneer circle from the The Best wood veneers and considered it done. Sometimes journaling is as simple as a date and place, but pockets can also be a GREAT way to get yourself more comfortable with your story telling! If journaling isn’t your strong suit, it is WAY less intimidating to jot a few thoughts down onto a 3” x 4” card than it is a 12” x 12” double-page layout. And if you don’t like it? Toss that card and start over again.

Thank you for allowing me to share a few of my fundamentals for pocket pages! I will be back later this month with a project using the brand new Little Moments collection. It is even more lovely in person. I can’t wait!

EllesStudio-NicoleHarperNicole has been playing with paper since elementary school, when shopping for new supplies quickened her heart a beat. She spends her crafty time creating layouts and filling up pocket pages, but loves hunting for vintage finds whenever she can. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband Mike, and their daughter Allison … and is a proud theater mama, medical professional and trusted friend. She wears her heart on her sleeve with her journaling and loves to share the everyday moments that mean the most. You can find Nicole’s teaching schedule here and follow her on Instagram