Archive for the ‘2019 album’ Category

I thought it might be interesting to write down my process for planning the pocket pages in my 2019 album.  So while I was working through my April photos and stories (yes, I know it’s November…but life got busy!), I took some photos and wrote down my steps.

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1. Gather all the stuff. 

I’ve made a point to save bits and pieces: ticket stubs, business cards, name tags, programs, wristbands, etc. to include in this album.  I think physical memorabilia is really interesting.  In my album, I’m keeping a 12×12 page protector for each month to collect all these things in one place. I’ve also been using a free printable from Simple Stories (specifically a page from the February 2019 printable set) to collect some notes each month (I fell off this bandwagon during the summer, but I’m getting back on it this fall!  I’ve actually printed it out 12 times, duplex, so that I have it ready for each month).  It’s on this sheet that I record notes that don’t necessarily have specific dates associated with them: the things I’ve been listening to or watching, the foods that I’ve especially enjoyed throughout the month, and occasionally some notes about how I’ve felt during the month.

I spread out all of this stuff where I can see it easily, and I get out my computer and my planner to help me with the next step.

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2.  Make little paper notes. 

I’m a fairly visual/tactile planner, so I’ve found that it helps for me to start out with little slips of paper — one slip for each thing I want to include in my album.  Since I use a lot of PDF sewing patterns, I save the off-cut portions of the pages to use as scrap paper.  They’re usually oddly-shaped, so they’re perfect for tearing into little slips.

In order to write these slips, I look through all my stuff (step 1), all the photos I took that month, and all the notes I made in my planner.  Each item gets its own slip so that I can physically move it around as I do my actual page planning.

At this stage, I’m starting to get an idea (from looking through my photos again) which things will have a larger (literally) presence in my album.  I’m starting to think about how many inserts and “regular” (not pocket page) layouts I’ll add… but that’s for the next step.

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3a. Plan the pockets. 

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a pretty structured person.  For me to enjoy my scrapbook-making, I like to have all of my photo sizes and placement planned ahead, especially for pocket pages.

In this step, I take my little slips of paper and I actually move them around on the divided page protectors.  I have cut out templates of my “standard” smaller photo sizes (3″x4″, 2″x3″, 1.5″x2″– these are the orange and olive green pieces in the photos) so that I can really visualize what will fit in a pocket.

I’m using Design A for my main pages.  I don’t have a specific number of pages that I am aiming to fill–just what makes sense for the stories I have.  However, I do try to make sure that I end up with filled pages– I want each month to start on a new 12″x12″.

The pockets aren’t exactly in chronological order, but I do try to stick to a general idea of chronology– the stuff on the left hand page generally has occurred before the stuff on the right hand page.  When I want a particular photo/story in a particular place, I use some items (like family swim, projects I completed that month, “listening,” “watching,”) to fill in gaps and keep that general chronological flow.

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3b. Make a diagram.

In addition to the little slips in the actual pockets, I have found that it is super helpful later to have a diagram of the pages, too.  I’ll do a rough little sketch of pockets, make notes about what I want to make sure to include in the journaling, etc.

As I determine my photo sizes, I move them into collections in Lightroom.  I have collections set up for each of my smaller photo sizes so that I can batch “print” them to 4″x6″ canvases for actual printing.  I also export my “full-size” 4×6 photos to a To Print folder that I keep on my desktop.  This is where I collect all of the files to send to Persnickety Prints (my favorite).  I like to print in large batches, so this helps me to keep track of what is ready to go.

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4. Plan inserts.  

While I’m deciding where each smaller story will go in my pockets, I’m also identifying larger stories that will get pulled out into inserts.  For instance, the issue with my ankle has become a larger story this year than I expected, and so I’ve started making inserts where I’m “highlighting” all the ankle stuff for that month when there was a lot going on.  We also took a big road trip to visit family and friends in April, so that is being “upgraded” to several inserts that will spotlight the different aspects of that trip.  Since it was Easter, I’m planning to make two traditional layouts that feature a family photo and the egg hunt my kids did at my in-laws’ house on Easter Sunday.

Sometimes these inserts get planned as I’m working on the main plan for the month, but usually I leave these until the end of my monthly process!

Except for the traditional layouts, which I am planning to make 12″x12″, I like my inserts to be smaller than 12″x12″.  Most often, I simply cut down different pocket pages (one column of a Design B page, or a Design A cut down to mimic Design H), but I also like the Becky Higgins Design G pages.

5.  Print the photos and make the pages!

After I plan several months and/or decide on other photos I want to print for other projects, I use Lightroom to batch print the smaller sizes into 4″x6″ photo files.  I have a number of printing templates set up for this, and they make it so quick and easy!

I send off my photo order (usually to Persnickety Prints!) and eagerly await their arrival in my mailbox.  You can see how I distribute the prints into my albums in THIS post

and then….it’s on to making the pages!  Check out my 2019 album progress by clicking THIS link (as of the writing of this post, I’ve only fully completed the January pages!)

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….now on to plan May…and June…and July…and August…and on and on!  I’ve got some catching up to do!

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…and with this insert, my January pages in my 2019 album are complete!

This insert is all about Husband’s birthday.  The front is about our little celebration as a family.


I used more of the Heidi Swapp color magic tile alphas to make the title.  On this side, I wanted to leave more of the white showing so that they stood out from the busy background pattern, so I only added the ink blending over the letters.


The card in the bottom pocket has details about what we did, and layered under the photo is a glassine envelope (originally, it held embellishments that came with the Studio Calico kit).  I made a small tag to fit inside the envelope– pulling it out shows a list of the gifts we gave Husband.


On the back, I feature the story of Husband’s annual game afternoon with friends.


Again, I used the tile alphas, blending my inks to coordinate with the patterned papers.


I added some pleated tissue paper under the layers to add some more texture; this coordinates with pockets in the main pages for January.  I want to make sure that the inserts tie in together with the whole month.



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Previously, I’ve said that I dislike pocket scrapbooking in general, but working on these pages recently has made me start to revise that opinion.  “Traditional” layouts have been and will continue to be my favorite, but I am really starting to enjoy pockets more.

I think part of this transition is treating the pages as a unified whole, in a way.  My process for assembling them has changed: I’ve been using a kit of supplies (whether it’s an actual retail kit or a kit that I put together out of my own stash), and that has helped me to tie everything together.  It’s more similar to working in a grid on a traditional page rather than treating each pocket separately, and it’s less overwhelming that way.  I’ll soon be sharing another pocket layout that I did for my son’s album using this same “kit” approach, and it came together so quickly– and I LOVE the end result.

I’m enjoying treating each month as a story to be told.  Certainly, I’m not trying to create a continuous narrative that reads like prose in a book, but I like looking back at a month as a whole, rather than the photo-a-day approach I’ve taken previously (such as my 2010 album, my 2012/daughter’s baby book 366 album, my son’s baby book 365 album).  Those albums are so valuable to me– I LOVE the end result, but the process was not very satisfying for me.  The pages in my 2019 album tell the story of the little things (and bigger things, when I add in layouts and inserts) that make up our life.  It’s a bit more continuous than a photo-a-day.

I’m happy that pocket scrapbooking has become more fun for me, and I’m excited to continue working on this 2019 album!

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It’s pretty hot here today: temperatures are in the 90s, even before you look at the heat index.  So what better time to look at some snow day memories, right?

This is the first of two inserts that will fit in my January 2019 pages in my 2019 album.  On the front side, I featured some photos of our family and our kids playing in the neighborhood on a day we got a lot of snow (for our area… we probably had 9″ or 10″ by the end of the day).


I used the same supplies as for the other January pages, with the addition of some snowflakes I cut with my Cameo from shimmery vellum.  This vellum has been in my stash for years and years, and I think this was the last piece!



I also pulled out some little white Colorbok dots to add some extra texture to the embellishment.

The alpha included in the Studio Calico kit was a set of Heidi Swapp Color Magic tile stickers (<–affiliate link…I didn’t realize that they were still available!).  I got out my pigment ink collection and used some aqua and light green to tint them to coordinate with the patterned papers I used.


The next day, school was cancelled, even though the weather was gorgeous in our neighborhood.  We went with some neighbors to the nearby high school to go sledding.  It was my kids’ first time sledding on a real hill, and it was SO fun.


I used many of the same motifs on this side of the insert: the alphas…


…and the vellum snowflakes.


The labels I used for journaling are all print-and-cuts that I made with my Cameo!


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I showed you part 1 of the January 2019 pocket pages a couple of posts ago, and now, here’s part 2!


I kept the theme going and continued to use the Studio Calico kit + Echo Park collection pack that I used for the first spread.  I started by choosing cards and cutting 4×6 and 3×4 pieces of paper to put in each pocket with the photos, then fine-tuned each section with journaling, layering, and embellishments.

Here’s a closer look at the left-hand page…

January 2019 pocket pages, part 2

The top left pocket is another flip-up– inside are all the wristbands that we wore for our family swims this month.  Family swim was a big part of our lives for the first six months of this year, and I plan to include a collage like this for each month’s section of the album.


I also included some screenshots of the things that Husband and I watched together this month, and other little photos of random happy moments– big trucks working near the bus stop, a special Sunday school class…


This spread has more of the greenish yellow from the kits, rather than the more golden yellow of the previous spread.

January 2019 pocket pages, part 2

The right-hand page of the spread has more random everyday-life types of photos, along with the beginning of the story of my ankle.  Little did I know in January that I would still be dealing with it now…

This pocket is actually a little paper bag with a tag slipped inside to tell the beginning of the story.  The doctor’s card is in the envelope, too, but mostly because I want to remember that he wasn’t a very good doctor.


…and the story continues in the bottom right-hand pocket, where I have another flip up; this one is about the appointment with the orthopaedic doctor.  Inside, I have his card (he is much better than the doctor I saw previously!) and a story about my son, who accompanied me to the appointment.  He was an amazing little buddy.



I am particularly proud of the bottom left-hand pocket of this side: it’s a collage of all the projects that I did in January.  It was a wonderfully productive month, and it is really neat to show off everything all in one spot.  I intend to do project round-up cards in each month’s section as we go on through the year, too.


I have two inserts to add to finish January 2019 for my album!  Stay tuned!


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a little background… Early in the year, I was thinking about my memory-keeping projects and realized that while I have quite a few of them in-progress, not many of them are using current photos.  My kids are old enough to know that I take LOTS of photos (and they want to be in them!) but young enough that they don’t have easy access to my phone or computer to view them digitally.  I wanted to make a project that would let them see everyday photos more easily in a physical format.  They really love my Day-in-the-Life photo books, and this would be a sort of expansion of that idea.

As I considered the format of this project, using inspiration from my current favorite scrapbookers (Inkie Quill, Shimelle, Jen Schow, Ali Edwards, and others…), I decided to make it a mostly pocket-style album with both “traditional” layout and pocket inserts. The pockets will make it easier to include tiny/small/everyday stories with the flexibility of telling bigger stories as well, whether it’s in those pocket pages (as coordinating pockets), a pocket insert, or upgraded to a full-on layout.

I’m taking it month-by-month rather than week-by-week, but I’m making as many spreads as I need to tell the stories and fit the photos I want to include.  After the month is over, I sit down with my photos and my ephemera to decide what will go where.  I use empty page protectors and a set of cardstock templates in my typical photo sizes to plan everything out (You saw a glimpse into my planning process if you watched my 200 Persnickety Prints video!)

.  .  .

For January, I decided to use a combination of the remaining bits of my Studio Calico May 2012 “35 mm” kit (yes, you read that correctly… 2012!) combined with parts of the Echo Park “Times and Seasons 2” (which has a copyright date of 2013! wow…).  Even as I was starting to plan this album, the color palette of the Studio Calico kit kept coming to mind.  It was a nice surprise to see that the Echo Park collection complimented it so well.  (I’m really trying to make a concerted effort to use older products that I’ve squirreled away.)  The aquas, greys, and blacks reflect the cold weather, and the golden tones go well with the warm indoor lighting in many of these photos.  I also dove into my collection of Project Life cards for coordinating journal cards.


The first card in each month’s section with be a sort of title card, and for January, I created a cut file: a frame with a script “January” across it.


Inevitably, I have some longer stories that I want to tell, and rather than make a whole layout for this one, I made a flip-up.  I wanted to tell the story of B’s building skills with a little wooden 3-D puzzle kit.  I made sure to add a tab to signal that this part is interactive.


As I was putting these cards together, I was finding them looking a bit flat, so I started adding a bit of foam behind certain elements…


…a little bit of pleated tissue paper here and there…


..and paper layers.


I really like the dimensionality and softness that these touches added to the spread.


Stay tuned for part 2!


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