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Monthly Notes – January 2017

Monthly Notes - January 2017 - Sahin Designs

Monthly Notes - January 2017 - Sahin Designs

I am marking down my third year in the scrapbooking industry. Yet, there are still lots of things to be learned and done. Past year I tried to be more organized and tried to manage my time more efficiently. But I am still struggling with balancing my time between design tasks – both creation and management, my on going Master’s classes, and my everyday life. To make my life more organized I decided to take notes out of it, live on my blog. I hope this will encourage me to keep up with my plans.

If you don’t know me yet, here’s a bit about me. As of 28th January, I’m 25-year old self-thought graphic designer living in Turkey. I might be the youngest digital scrapbook designer in the industry, at least I haven’t met younger one than me! I love graphic design in its every aspect from illustration to color palettes, even at my spare times I try logo & website design alongside with scrapbooking design. I would consider myself as an introvert, I don’t like to share much about myself, I am not a talkative person, I don’t like crowds and certainly not comfortable around people whom I don’t know. But this design life changed me in a positive way and it’s continuing to change. I became more open as the years past. I want to break down the walls further between me and my community with this series of articles.

Everyday Life Scrapbooking

Documenting the Life

When it comes to scrapbooking, documenting the life, I am a bit behind. I love photographing but most of the time I am behind the camera, missing in the photos. This year I want to change this too. A tripod and a remote shutter release will make this happen hopefully. I also decided to let go of the past photos to be scrapped in my spare time. Those are also what keeps me behind the month.

This month I took photos of my nephews birthday, had a short video on my birthday, tried to capture at least one photo when I am out with my boyfriend. Have I scrapped all of these, yet? No. I’ve printed out my pocket cards, inserted them into my pocket pages but photos are missing in the documenting process. I need to print them and put them there.

Taking Notes of Life

There are lots of stories to be told every day. Even the littlest ones are important. Knowing that life is short I want to make every second worth living. So far I didn’t need to take notes of life as I am living because whenever I look at a photo I remember that moment. My mind hasn’t disappointed me yet but I want to record exactly what happened and how I felt at that moment as it happens. I will give a shot to Pepper’s Journaling on the Go. It seems like a good idea and it’s more organized for sure.

Life of a Designer

Scrapbooking Design

I like to design my scrapbook products before hand, at least a week before the release date. It makes life easier, lessens the stress and it lets me clear my head to think about the future products. I was better at this job last spring-summer. Lately I feel like I lost the control at this area and in need of an urgent re-organization.

I usually like to go with the flow in terms of themes. One of my inspiration source is Design Seeds when it comes to color and I like to follow the seasons. As years past, I am thinking that maybe it’s not a good idea. There are lots of seasonal products filled in my store and over time I am thinking that maybe I am repeating myself, designing the same thing over and over again. To break this mood I get my creative team’s opinion from time to time. And recently I made a public survey to decide on what to design. It certainly the best idea ever! Who would think that in the middle of the winter, people would like to document about travel? It certainly helps making some decisions regarding the design process. I will try to make more surveys for the coming months. I hope you would participate in it!

Organizing my Computer

It’s one of the most hot topics in the digiscrap world; organizing the files! As I design my own products I don’t own much from others. So the organization is a bit more easier for me. I love to keep year and month folders in my hard drive. I put whatever I create into that month’s folder together with the original design files. Keeping the original design files makes a designer’s life easier because if I make a mistake and my team catches it, correcting those files is not much of a work. I am not a native English speaker so I might have spelling mistakes more often than other designers. In the past I wasn’t keeping the original design files and I had to make everything from scratch. That’s a lesson learned!

The Nest

I hope you met my Nest. Although I am a graphic designer, I am not a big fan of spending sums of money on digital goodies. That’s why the Nest exists. And I am glad I made it available to serve the memory keepers in having a better scrapbook archive. This month I was able to meet my Nest goals; two scrapbook collections – Fete & Winter Day collections – a template pack, five designer resources packs- Acrylic Paint Styles, Diamond Styles, Gold Buttons, Design Pieces No.8, Ribbons No.12 – and for the extra I was able to create months and days word arts.

What’s New?

In my design life, this month the Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil are what’s new. Simply I love them so far! How they help me? It helps me learn calligraphy and make my life easier with illustration. I’ve tried to learn calligraphy for over a year. I took a course on it by Bryn Chernoff, I tried paper calligraphy with a nib and then with a brush pen but for the love of God I cannot find the balance with neither of them. I just ended up wasting ink and paper. I don’t like wasting paper, I feel broken inside when I put a piece of paper into the trash. So it had to be digital. Angela is the person who encouraged me to make the change from paper to digital. I was inspired by her Ipad calligraphy and decided to buy an Ipad Pro to go digital with my calligraphy. So far so good! I can make mistakes as much as I want and no waste! Making illustration on the Ipad to be converted in my computer is just a cherry on the top! If you follow me on Instagram you might find an IG story about my calligraphy and my illustration on Ipad from time to time.


I think I started to understand the importance of management. Without calculation and keeping track of everything it’s impossible to be successful. I’ve started to have monthly reports. I’ve created a planner where I keep track of my income and expenses, how I make marketing, how I interact with my community and even my blog reports; visitors counting, and keeping note of article ideas that might help people around me. Management help me to understand where I need to focus and how should I do it.


I mostly like to work on my own but from time to time I have collabs with other designers. And great works born out of it. This month I haven’t had any collab products. As for Project Grateful I am still loving the idea. A handful of designers can create magic when they are together and Project Grateful is the example of it. From March onward, other designers and I will make some changes to it, take it to one step forward and make it more interactive with the customer – with you!

Giving Back to the Community

I think giving back is important because only by giving we can get closer with people we don’t know. Sharing ideas, asking people their opinion is crucial part of my business. Idea exchange between designers is great. Over the past year I’ve had mails from designers asking for opinion, sharing their love, encouraging in the industry or there to simply help. I appreciate all of them from the bottom of my heart! Tracey Monnette, Amber Labau, Krista Sahlin, Oleysa of Mediterranka Design, Anita van Straeten, Kim Broedelet, Sabrina Van Cauter and Laura Passage, thank you all!

Instagram became one of my most favorite social platform. I love to share behind the scenes, and inspirations alongside with my design news. And the feedback I am getting from there is priceless! This one is one of the comments that made me smile in January;

hey.amber Your pictures are my favorites of all the designers I follow. I just had to tell you that! Your ig is so classy and pretty!! It makes me smile to visit your page.

I was creating a small freebie per collection in the past. And that is my another goal for the following months. I haven’t posted a freebie in January but I already have a mini freebie for February which will be revealed in a couple of days!

Community Links

Gallery Standouts continues to inspire me with its daily layout picks. The Digital Press blog is getting better and better each day with tutorials and inspirations. This month I enjoyed Mari Koegelenberg’s interview. It’s always a joy to see other designer’s crafting corners! I love tutorials especially when it mixes the digital and physical crafting supplies. Tracey Holdyk had a great tutorial falls under this category and I thought you might also like to know it! And Leontien was inspired me with her pocket layouts throughout the whole month. But I love this page most of all, she has the talent!

And that’s a wrap of the month!
I’d love to have more closer connections with you and exchange ideas and inspire each other. So feel free to connect with me over the social media; Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Elif Sahin

Hi there! I’m a graphic designer, memory keeper, and fond of simplicity. I love producing quality supplies that’ll make scrapbooking process easy and fun for you.


  1. Reply


    January 31, 2017

    Elif, It was so great to read this post, getting to know you more… and I can say it’s normal to be behind with scrapbooking your daily life LOL.
    thanks for this great post!

  2. Reply


    January 31, 2017

    Thank you SO much for sharing a bit about you and letting us get to know one of our favorite designers . . . and for sharing links to some amazing layouts and inspiration! I’ll certainly be looking forward to future blogs.

  3. Reply

    Linda in Aus

    January 31, 2017

    Loved this post. thanks for taking the time to write it. Maybe one day we will get a photo of you but yes baby steps first.Now I will be waiting to see if any calligraphy makes it into your next release.

    • Elif Sahin

      January 31, 2017

      Yes, baby steps! Not calligraphy but some handwritten word art packs made it to my latest releases! A little bit more practice needed to include calligraphy into my scrapbook products 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and for the encouragement, Linda!

  4. Reply

    Tracey Holdyk

    January 31, 2017

    Wow I feel very flattered to have been mentioned in your post. Thank you so much. I love this community, the crafting community. So many wonderful positive people helping and sharing with each other. This was such a great post and I loved getting you know a little more about you. Again thank you for the love.

    • Elif Sahin

      January 31, 2017

      And you are definitely one of those people who’s spreading inspiration and adding a bit more meaning to the community. Thank you Tracey!