Category Archives: why

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!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

***ETA: The Giveaway is now closed! Winners will be announced shortly! Thanks for playing along!***

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday!

To celebrate Christmas, my birthday, and the blog’s one year anniversary, I’ve got four giveaways for you this week.

Today’s giveaway is a little bit of scrappy fun for six random readers. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win one of these mini sets.

Christmas giveaway

It’s just paper and a set of stickers, and each set is slightly different, but I think you’ll find these stickers very inspiring. You may even want to do something like what I did with them:

reasons why

This is a very simple layout, but it is one of my very favorites, because it was so much fun to make.

So leave a comment below by January first, and I’ll pick six commenters to get a mini kit.

mini kit close up

You know you want to use those stickers, don’t you?!

Come back tomorrow for more scrappy giveaways!


Thank YOU!

Thank YOU!

This month has been so much fun! I hope you found some inspiring and useful information in this month’s card series.

Let’s finish up with a quick and simple card:

thanks you card

The card base was stamped with a large background stamp in an ink close to the color of the card base to create a tone on tone look. A single piece of patterned paper, with a piece trimmed off and reversed to create a contrasting line became the main structure, and a single phrase banner stamped and trimmed out became the focal point of the card. A few self-adhesive gems, and the card was done!

Which brings me to the main idea behind this card, and most of the cards I make:

Simple is lovely. While cards with lots of layers and papers and embellishments and techniques are fun, it’s not necessary to have it ALL on one card. Choose a technique or embellishment, and let that shine.

When you have time, and extra postage, play with adding lots of techniques and stash. When you want to get a lot done in a short amount of time, keep it simple.

Thank you so much for playing along with me this month! Let me know what your favorite card was.

If you signed up for my mailing list after the first of November, or if you haven’t sent me a reply to the sign-up email, you’ll be getting another email from me tomorrow. If you want to get one of these cards from me, make sure you reply and share your snail mail address with me. I can’t mail them if I don’t have an address to send them to! Cards will be going out on Monday!

A Quick Aside

A Quick Aside

For those who don’t know, or haven’t heard yet, I just recently started selling jewelry from Origami Owl. origami owl samples

I LOVE the way you can tell stories with the all the different charms and tags and dangles.

simon's origami owl sample

My son loves how tiny the charms are, and all the options for putting together a locket that is specifically about him and his interests. Just so you know, he loves, soccer, his dog, ice cream, collectible card games, magic, and rocks and minerals. Things that are sparkly are a bonus in his world.

chocolate origami owl sample

It is so much fun to switch and change out the charms and chains to suit my mood or interests for the day.

origami owl tag sample

The tags and dangles and charms can also work as mini gratitude reminders. Don’t you find there are some days you want or need to remind yourself how lucky you are? Maybe that’s only me.

Interested in finding out more about Origami Owl? Check out my store website. If you want to talk about it more, drop a comment here, or check out my Facebook page for Origami Owl.

Thanks for letting me shift gears a bit on you. I know this isn’t scrapbooking exactly, but it’s still telling your story, only with jewelry instead of words. Isn’t that a GREAT idea?!

Supplies for Next Week’s Week in the Life Project

Supplies for Next Week’s Week in the Life Project

You may remember that I am planning on doing a Week in the Life Project starting on Monday, May 6th. If you decide to play along with me, you may want to use supplies similar to what I have.

I will be using the Simple Stories binder in orange, with an additional pack of page protectors and a pack of journal inserts. (I’ll add affiliate links to everything below.) I’ll also be using card inserts from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) that I got at Michaels.


I’m going to try to go story and photo heavy with this project, but if I do decide to get artsy, I’ll be reaching for my kits from Messtaken Identity.

What sorts of things will I be recording? Daily life in all its minutia. To do that, I’ll be making up some forms and lists that I will share with you later this week.

Will you join me on this little adventure? You won’t regret having a detailed record of your life!

Recommended Products:

Simple Stories binder

6×8 journal inserts

page protectors

3×4 cards: I’m using MAMBI cards which are only available at Michaels, but the Simple Stories ones are gorgeous, too.

Other alternatives:

Project Life

We R Memory Keepers’ Albums Made Easy