Category Archives: process

A Moment of Reflection

A Moment of Reflection

This blog has been up and running for two years now. How cool is that?

In the past two years, I’ve published 236 posts. That’s an average of a post every three days. Not too shabby.

The most popular post by far has been the post where I shared tools to help document a Week in the Life. A lot of people have been using it for inspiration for Project Life as well.

The most popular video has been the one that I made about how to cover an old vinyl binder with a large sheet of paper. Definitely NOT my best video. (So much time wasted, and so many goofy errors!) But it definitely has good information in it. My favorite videos are my very first– a start to finish process video, and a tool technique one, where I show three ways to use alpha stamps other than as titles or journaling. Also, the video I made for those who sign up for my email list, about ways to avoid making stamping errors is pretty awesome too. But that one you need to pay me with your email address.

I’ve made one mini-digital supply kit. You can find it here for free! I have plans to make more. I keep getting hung up on the idea that I need to be able to draw. I don’t really, but mental roadblocks are hard to work around sometimes.

I’ve done two full months of cards, in November 2013, and November 2014. I think that qualifies as a yearly tradition now, don’t you?

I’ve talked philosophy, and organization, and my favorite challenge, LOAD.

So many topics! So many posts! Each time I go through the archives I come across something I really like, either from a design perspective, or from a writing perspective.

Go ahead, pick a month from the archive list, I bet you’ll find something interesting!

Moving forward?

I hope to keep giving you inspiration that helps you avoid the excuses that get in the way of scrapbooking.

And for those of you who want to scrapbook but have yet to actually make a page?

I’ve got something coming for you:

beginners guide to scrapbooking ||

I’m planning on releasing it on Kindle in January. Hopefully it will be the first of many. How’s that for exciting?

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!

LOAD Day 5 || Planning Ahead

LOAD Day 5 || Planning Ahead

You know how I said no excuses this month? Well, I actually have an excuse. A reason, more exactly.

I knew going into the month that I might be heading to my sister’s during my kids’ winter break. I was planning on scrapping digitally while down there, but plans have changed.

LOAD5 || house hunting break ||

Now, I’m heading to my sister’s tomorrow. Sans kids. Because, well she’s moving, and she needs help packing, and kids would only get in the way.

LOAD5 || house hunting part 2 ||

Since I’ll be helping with packing and baby wrangling, and her apartment will be filled with boxes, and her computer packed away, there’s no way I’ll be able to scrapbook while I’m down there. (There’s the reason right there to purchase a laptop!)

smitten by flutterbys || LOAD day 5 ||

But, since I really want to complete 28 pages this month, I can make more than one layout a day for a few days to keep ahead/catch up with the days I’ll be missing.


These three layouts were part of my effort to keep on track for my monthly goal of 28 completed pages. If I have time before I leave tomorrow, I’ll make another one.

Oh, and just for the record, these aren’t exactly prompt driven pages. Rather than digging through my stash to locate something really old, I just used what was closest to hand. The supplies for these pages are mostly from last May’s Gossamer Blue kit. I LOVE their kits, and if I were to subscribe to any kits, I’d probably use theirs, since they are so wonderfully color oriented.

Alrighty then, show me what you’ve been making! I’d love to see what you create!

LOAD 4 || Speedy Scrapping

LOAD 4 || Speedy Scrapping

Well, today, was going to be all about showing you how you CAN make a page in 30 minutes. But my tripod decided to be uncooperative, and started slowly tipping down as soon as I started taping. I figure you don’t really need to watch 5 minutes of just my right hand, right?

heh heh || LOAD Day 4 ||

Since today’s prompt was all about time management, I made some executive decisions to limit my choices of both photos and papers. First, no searching for photos. I have a pile of pics I had pulled out for previous projects that I haven’t used yet, and that need to be put away. Rather than worrying about putting those away, I know I’ll be using a bunch of those to make pages this month, including today! Second decision? No searching for just the right piece of patterned paper. If it’s not in the scrap bin, it’s not on the menu for today.

So–number one recommendation for speedy scrapping? Limit choices! Use a kit, or a pile of scraps, and don’t worry about finding that perfect item. Perfection is overrated anyways!

After deciding on a photo, I pulled a few papers from my scrap bin, some Project Life journaling cards, and some random embellishments that were close at hand. The paper layers were shuffled around a bit, and the cards lined up so the gridlines matched up. A bit of journaling, and the page was done.

The video, from start to finish, including reframing the shot after the camera moved, and some put away, was a grand total of 31 minutes and 7 seconds. Sounds like a thirty minute page to me.

How fast can you scrap? Have you ever timed yourself?

LOAD Day 3 || Themeless

LOAD Day 3 || Themeless

It’s the third day into Layout A Day for February 2014, and today was a bit rougher for me. (I went to a Superbowl party last night. Now I’m dragging!)

The prompt was to create a page without a title. This, along with a no words prompt, is one of two of my most difficult prompts to follow. In case you hadn’t realized from reading this blog, I LOVE words. So when I can’t use a title or words I get a little antsy.

Of course, I could always go off prompt and just create any page that speaks to me, but I like following the prompts if I can. They help stretch me as a scrapbooker, and help me figure out what some of my must-haves and don’t-ever-want-to-do-agains are.

So. The prompt was to make a title-less page. I can do that! But deciding on a topic was a bit harder for me. I realized that titles really help me establish theme and story when creating a page, so I needed to create a page that didn’t need that title to draw it all together.

This time, rather than start with a photo, I decided to start with product. Thumbing through my most recent papers, I found a summer collection from Simple Stories with lots of little word art in it. That felt right!

LOAD day 3 || themeless

That collection led me to these two photos–one of which is a complete picture, and one of which is waste from a previous page I made about the other kid in the main picture. The photo scrap was too good to toss, so went into my reuse pile.

I have no full sheets of this collection left, so am now using the half page and quarter page bits as patterned paper on full sheets of cardstock. You know all those kits with the weird cut apart papers? Use them! They look great on full size pages, as well as in pocket pages.

I added a few more stickers and journaling, and this page is done. What do you think? Think you can make a page without a title? Show me what you’ve got!