Category Archives: photos

Summer’s Not Over Yet!

Summer’s Not Over Yet!

Who’s still playing along with the Sixty Summer Sights photo scavenger hunt? I know Labor Day weekend starts today in the US, but technically, we’ve got three more weeks of summer!

Ah. Pedanticism. We’re fine examples of that in this house.

If you’re wondering what the Sixty Summer Sights photo challenge is, the aim is to try to find all the items on this list:

A photo scavenger hunt from

You don’t have to do it in order, nor do you have to find them all. The goal behind it is to make you more aware of your surroundings, and to help you take more story oriented photos. Using the prompts to practice your technical photography skills is a bonus.

I’ve found 35 summer sights so far. You can find them in the No Excuse Scrapbooking Flickr gallery. Have you been playing along? Make sure to share what you’ve captured!

My favorite so far?

I think it may be this one, taken surreptitiously with the camera resting on the table:

36. smiles #sixtysummersights ||

Share your favorites! I can’t wait to see what you’ve found!

A few summer sights

A few summer sights

Have you been playing along with the summer photo scavenger hunt? (You can find the original post, with the list here: We’re going on a scavenger hunt!) Don’t forget to share your photos on Flickr in the No Excuse Scrapbooking group.

I haven’t found a lot yet, but I expect to find more, now that I’m no longer chained to my room re-do. (Updates and pictures coming soon!)

My niece had a few fireworks on her birthday cake:

12. fireworks  #sixtysummersights  ||

12. fireworks

My sister-in-law planted some gorgeous astilbe:

31. petals #sixtysummersights ||

31. petals

My mom and her cousin went thru some old family photos. (My mom is going to hate this photo, but I think she and her cousin look gorgeous here.)

60. storytime #sixtysummersights ||

60. storytime

Early in the room moving process:

55. all washed up #sixtysummersights ||

55. all washed up

My husband reading to our youngest at bedtime:

8. book being read #sixtysummersights ||

8. book being read

Look how shiny my floor is after a coat of polyurethane!

41. shiny #sixtysummersights ||

41. shiny

A super heavy rainstorm enthralled the kids one day:

52. thru the window #sixtysummersights ||

52. thru the window

Almost to the end of the room re-do!

38. tools #sixtysummersights ||

38. tools

The kids were experimenting with water flow. AKA flooding the beach 🙂

2. beach pail #sixtysummersights ||

2. beach pail

What have you been doing with your summer? I know some of you go back to school soon. I’m so glad we’ve got the rest of August though. I’d hate for this summer to be known in the future as the non-exisitent vacation for my kids. I really didn’t think I’d be spending that much time on changing the craft room around!


We’re going on a scavenger hunt!

We’re going on a scavenger hunt!

Summer is here, and it’s time to play with your camera more. (So many flowers, so little time!)

A scavenger hunt is a fun way to think outside the box when it comes to your photography. It can challenge how you look for photos, and help you improve your photography skills as well.

I don’t know about you, but I love challenges. I think it’s the competitive side of me.

So, for your joy and delight, and so that you can play along with me, here’s a summer scavenger hunt with Sixty Summer Sights. Can you find them all?

A photo scavenger hunt from

Sixty Summer Sights

You can download a copy to print and take with you here: Sixty Summer Sights.

If you want to play along, and share the photos you find on your scavenger hunt, feel free to share them in the No Excuse Scrapbooking Flickr gallery. You can tag them with scavenger hunt and which summer sight it is. I’ll be adding mine as I find them too!

Who’s going to play along with me?


Pocket Pages to the Rescue!

Pocket Pages to the Rescue!

Earlier this week, you saw the picture-less spread about my trip to Jamaica, and read the whole long story about why I didn’t have any pictures.

Jamaica--no photos ||

But then, I found them. And printed them. And used them.

pocket pages to expand a story ||

A picture on the back of the wedding invite and cardstock insert added the most important details first, and pocket pages filled with some shots of the people and places involved rounded out the details. An enlargement of my favorite photo with some fun papers satisfied my need to make something pretty, while adding a nice final touch to the story.

pocket pages to expand a story pt 2 ||


Putting together these pages, I was totally inspired by the pocket page classes I took through True Scrap in January. Monica McNeill’s class on batch processing, and keeping it simple helped me focus on what I wanted the end result to be: story and picture driven. Lilith Eeckels’ class gave me the additional permission I needed as well as inspiration to add a full scrapbook page in with the pocket page story. If you haven’t checked out those classes, you totally should, especially since they are only on sale till the end of the month. ($9 a piece instead of over $12! And, if you decide to buy all 6 pocket page classes, you can get them for $7.50 each. Just use coupon code SAVE40 at checkout.)

The best part? I don’t have to do anything else to tell this story. It’s done. I suppose I can use some of these pics to help tell other stories, but this story is DONE! And that feels good. 🙂

Have you ever lost any of your photos? What have you done to tell your story without them?

Blast from the Past: Scrapbooking without photos. And a few tangents along the way.

Blast from the Past: Scrapbooking without photos. And a few tangents along the way.

The kids are on spring break and we’re off to visit relatives this week. Here’s an old post for you from 2010. A very LONG post. So grab your favorite cuppa, and enjoy! 

I thought today might be a good day to walk you through the process of creating a scrapbook page with no pictures. “What?” you say, “How can you scrapbook without pictures? Isn’t the whole point to USE YOUR PICTURES? Your family treasures?”
Well yes, using pictures is fun, and while it makes you feel like you are making progress, it’s really a false sense of progress, unless you include the MOST IMPORTANT THING: Your words.
I have looked through a scrapbook that my grandparents had from when they first got married. There are a few captions here and there, so I’m not completely in the dark, but for the most part I have no idea who all these people were, and why they were important to my grandparents.
Isn’t that sad?
I want to know more about my grandparents’ experiences as kids growing up, as high school students during the great depression, as young marrieds at the start of World War II. I want to know more about their life together raising three kids, and the careers they had, and their take on life. And while I knew them fairly well, and even lived with them occasionally, there’s still so much I don’t know that I wish I did.
And that is why I scrapbook.
Because even though someone else may get to know me very well, they still can’t tell my story the way I am experiencing it. And if my children are anything like me, they will want to know my story, too. And this is why I’m trying to get my mother to write a little about her story, because even though she’s still around, and I can ask her any question I can think of, it still won’t be HER story without her perspective.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. But I love scrapbooking. Because it’s ALL about love.

Another slight tangent regarding why I don’t have any photos from the trip I and my husband took to Jamaica. While happily snapping away during the dinner after our friend’s wedding ceremony, my camera froze up. The lens cover would no longer open and close, and it would no longer turn on. When a change of batteries did not solve the issue, I concluded that I probably got sand into the camera housing. Getting it cleaned and repaired would cost more than a new point and shoot, so that’s what we decided to do. Eventually. On Mother’s Day of the following year. So I went without a camera from November to May. I do have some video of Ethan on Christmas thanks to the video camera Ross had given me the previous year, but not much in the way of daily life snapshots.
I took the memory card from the camera to a local photo shop and had the pics put on disk, but didn’t print any because I wanted to decide what to print and what to toss first. I remember seeing the pics once, but have not been able to access the disk since. I’ve got one more trick to try at home before I go back to the local shop and ask, beg and plead for help with my now 4 and a half year old disk.

Anyway. No pictures. But I do have memorabilia. The wedding invitation. The ticket stub for the plane. A business card from the resort we stayed at. A postcard that I sent to Ethan while we were there. (I missed my boy-o a lot, but really relished the child free mornings and evenings.)

How it all began:

Stacy Julian put up a prompt on her website for a color combination she called “spring surf.”  The colors reminded me of the whole Jamaica experience, so I decided I’d do a page about that. I printed out a screen shot of her color inspiration, and pulled out papers that were close to what she had listed, pulled out my memorabilia box, and threw all the pieces together on my work table so they could live together and learn how to get along. In between trips to my MIL’s house to paint the hall, I shuffled papers and memorabilia around, and gradually weeded out the parts that didn’t work. I decided to use 5X7 page protectors on one side, so I could have a place for one of the invites and the postcard, and additional journaling, if I want to get into how much I needed a vacation at that point in time. Oh, and to add the weird stories, like the glass bottom boat operator who exposed himself while I was recovering from a bit of claustrophobia after snorkeling, and the walk up the beach to a Jimmy Buffett themed resort to watch football with the guys.

Any way, those stories may or may not get recorded, but I have a place for them if I feel the need to add them. I finally figured out that I wanted just the highlights of the trip as part of the page, so printed them out with word. Using the color scheme, I added bits of patterned paper and cardstock to the small spaces of the 5X7 page protector, and added a strip of lace paper on top of the Jamaica/Caribbean patterned paper I’ve been saving for 5 years. I placed it over the red part of the collage to tone it down, and used that as the base line to build out the other parts of the page: the invitation, the ticket stub, the journaling, and the business card. I used an old rub-on and some letter stickers to add a title. I probably should have used larger letters for the Jamaican part of the title to make them easier to read, but I’m okay with imperfection. I’ve got more important things to do than get every scrapbook page exactly right. I added a piece of raffia to the postcard to make it easier to pull out and read. I chose raffia because it echoes the natual fibers Kate used on her wedding invitation, and the thatched roofs of a lot of Jamaican buildings.

If the local photo shop is able to save any of my photos, I’ll add them to a divided page protector, and call it done. The trip was a wonderful diversion, and I don’t feel the need to spend much more time on it than slipping a few photos into a few pockets. I would like a picture of me pregnant with Simon, though, which is why I’m still trying to get the photos.

Jamaica--no photos ||


Since I originally posted this in 2010, I have found the fabled lost photos, and begun to scrap them. I’ll update you with the rest of the Jamaica pages later this week!