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Archive for the ‘memory keeping’ Category

Two weeks ago, I was able to take time with my daughter on two different days so that she could make some scrapbook layouts to add to her 8″x8″ album.

I’ve learned that it’s best for me to create a mini page kit for her (out of her own stash of supplies!  She has her own box.  I don’t ever use any of her items, even though some of her embellishments are so tempting! 😉 but I do add to her stash from mine on occasion.) Using page kits means that she has a coordinating set of products that are appropriate for the photos (which she also helps me to choose), and not an overwhelming mish-mash of everything in her scrapbook box.  I think it makes the final product look cohesive, and it also reduces my control-freak-stress because it’s not a free-for-all when she starts creating :).  It also minimizes the sticker-sneeze effect, haha!

I set up two page kits for her to scrapbook photos from our beach vacation last year.  We were preparing to go on this year’s annual trip to Myrtle Beach, and I wanted her to tell me her memories from last year before they got mixed up with this year’s memories!

This first page is about being on the beach.

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I asked her to tell me what she liked about being on the beach, and I printed out the words for her to copy in her own handwriting.  She is just starting to read a little bit on her own, and she loves writing things herself.  I love the idea of having her own words in her own handwriting in her own album!

This second page is about the fun she had in the pools at the building where we stayed.  Again, the words and handwriting are her own.

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We added lots of sparkle to this one– glittery circle and wavy strip stickers, prismatic hearts punched from the excess from a sticker sheet, rhinestones, and shiny studded tropical flower stickers.

Of course, anything sparkly delights my 5-year-old, but I also made sure to include the sparkly elements so that she could enter this page into the Simon Says Stamp “Anything Goes With Sparkle” summer vacation kids’ challenge.

Aside from my choosing the set of supplies for each page and applying adhesive using the ATG or liquid glue (PPA), she did the placement and final product selection for each of her pages.  I did remind her of things like layering, having embellishments and titles touch something to keep the page cohesive, and I tried to teach her about clustering in a visual triangle!  I am so glad that we got to spend this time together!

 

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I love memory-keeping.

This is not a surprise to anyone who knows me even a little bit.  I like to say that photos are my love-language!  I take so many photos, and I have a detailed system in place to make sure that all of my photos have some sort of caption attached to them.

The form of memory-keeping I like best is paper scrapbooking.  “Traditional” scrapbook pages are at the top of that list: I love adding pretty paper and embellishments to my photos and stories to enhance them and turn them into creative works.  I love the layers, the colors, the feel of the paper and chipboard and veneer and…and…

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Recently, though, I have had to prioritize other things, and so I have been doing very little actual scrapbooking with paper.  Add to that the fact that my craft room had to be involved in some plumbing replacement during our bathroom renovation, and you find a girl who is desperate for a creative outlet without a place to make stuff.

And so, I decided to take advantage of the forced time away from my physical supplies to do some digital work.  I had photos to catch up with, and I also had some photo books that I’ve wanted to make.

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monorail and Dry Gulch Railroad, 2013

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Ladybugs and Sack Slide, 2013

 

I have mixed feelings about photo books.  Anyone else?  Sometimes I feel like it’s cheating.  It feels like instead of actually making a scrapbook, I’m just throwing some photos onto pages and printing them into a book, and calling it good.  I choose and edit my photos, I upload them to Shutterfly and make the books right in their software.  For these most recent photo books, I just used the standard styles (not even the premium ones) to construct my books.  I didn’t even use my own digital supplies in PSE to make my own pages!  Cheating?

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Starship and Ladybugs, 2016

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Flying Falcons, 2016

When I really stop to think about it though, I realize that it’s not cheating.  Yes, I used the website’s software and basic templates and supplies.  But I spent hours on them– adding embellishments in just the right places, tweaking the photo placements so that they were just right, and adding text to tell the stories of our annual trips to Hersheypark.  These are scrapbooks, too.  They might not have the tactile end result of layers of paper and embellishments, shadows and textures, but they are lovingly made– and they are completely personalized to our family’s story.  And best of all: they are done!  They are available on our bookshelf — the kids browse through these photo books, reminiscing from the photos, and asking their Daddy and me to read the words to them.  I am so glad that I have taken the time to write so much about each photo.  The metadata in the photo files helped me to construct the narrative that runs through each book.  It’s not cheating: it’s another form of memory-keeping.

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Cocoa Cruiser and Livery Stables, 2017

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Trailblazer and Convoy, 2017

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Ladybugs and Swing Thing, 2017

I still love paper scrapbooks, and I hope that I am always able to keep making them.  But I will also be making more photo books, too.  Sometimes those books will be done on the Shutterfly website, and sometimes I will completely design them myself in PSE.  I’m making my peace with photo books, and I’m glad.

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photo with Mr. Hershey, 2013

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photo with Mr. Hershey, 2016

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photo with Mr. Hershey, 2017

In this post, I’ve shared photos of the three most recent photo books I made in June and July of this year.  I am trying to keep a series of photo books of our annual day trips to Hersheypark.  We went for the first time in 2013, and we’ve gone every year since– I’d like to have a book for each year.  I have not yet made my book for 2015 (there are so many photos from that year!), but I have made all of the others so far!  (I made the book for 2014 way back in that same year, so I’m not showing it in this blog post.)  It’s so fun to see our kids grow up– which rides are new for them each year, and which ones are perennial favorites.  

 

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In the background this summer, behind and amongst all the other projects I’ve been working on, whether shared on the blog or not, I’ve been attempting to finish up my son’s photo-a-day baby album.  The last time I posted on my blog about this was when he was about seven months old!  You can see all the posts related to this album by clicking HERE.

I have to say, I’m proud of myself for how well I kept up with the daily documentation in this album.  By the time he turned one year old, I had a card written for almost every single day, and I had photos chosen, if not printed, for each of those days.  However, I wanted to do more with the album than that.  There were a lot of huge, big, and smaller events, celebrations, and moments that I wanted to highlight with extra inserts, and that’s what I’ve been working on this summer.

I thought that after the thrill of success with my China album in Finish-it-February, I would be able to hit the deadline of my son’s third birthday in late June, but this project is quite a bit bigger…

in progress: B's photo-a-day baby album

Throughout June and July, the two binders that compose this album project have been out on my craft island, surrounded by extra cards, embellishments, and notes.  I had some of my extra photos printed already, but the vast majority of these extra inserts needed to have photos chosen and their configurations planned.

I’ve been going through the album page by page, methodically noting where I need additional “stuff”.  You can see in the photo above that I’m making notes on tiny scraps of paper and slotting them into page protector spots, or even sketching out whole inserts and attaching them to one of the rings as a placeholder until I have the photos printed…and I even need to get my hands on some more page protectors.

I am about 3/4 of the way through the album with this process, and I have prepared over 100 4″x6″ prints so far– and many of them are a collage of more than one photo!  Once I’ve gone through the entire album, I will place my order with Persnickety Prints, and then I’ll go back through the album again to finish all of the pages.

The other bit thing I need to do to finish the album is to add title cards for each week (with the date) and in the case of most weeks, I also need to add a filler 3″x4″ card.

Maybe I’ll have it finished by my son’s fourth birthday!  Let’s hope!!

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…or “watching the fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom”

Earlier this week, I shared a layout I made waaaaaaay back in January.  Well, I started this layout the very next day, and due to my other commitments in “real life,” and my inability to commit to gluing down the elements of this layout (ha), I didn’t finish this one until mid-March.

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My main difficulty was actually the journaling.  I loved this moment– my husband and I watching the fireworks show from a spot in New Fantasyland– but I didn’t know how to capture it in words.  I tried, and in the end, I’m pretty happy with the result…and I hope that in the future, I will remember the feeling of being there when I read the few words that I wrote.

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After several Disney layouts with busy backgrounds, I was craving a calmer, plainer background, and so I pulled out my trusty white cardstock.  I layered papers, die cuts, and a transparency piece around my photo, and added a little bit more at the bottom of the page to balance everything.  Surely something this simple shouldn’t have taken me two and a half months to complete!

But finally, here it is, photographed and shared on the blog 🙂

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Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine “Hubble,” and scraps from Shimelle Starshine 12″x12″ paper pad
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
embellishments: Shimelle Starshine ephemera, Bella Blvd washi tape, Studio Calico wood veneer stars, The Paper Studio enamel dots
alphas: Shimelle Collection Fitzgerald Thickers gold glitter foam, Glitz Designs Uncharted Waters gold teeny alphas
other: doilies, Scotch ATG, Therm-O-Web foam adhesive, Project Life 0.3 black journaling pen, roller date stamp, machine stitching

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I want to share another of my Disney album layouts today–I made this one waaaaaaaay back in January.  I don’t know why it took me so long to photograph it and share it.  Maybe it was because the light was terrible (clouds, winter, etc.), and I suddenly got a lot busier in my real life and things like blogging took lower priority.  Regardless of the reason, I’m finally sharing it today!

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This layout tells the story of how on the day we were in Epcot, I waited to eat lunch until I could get chicken teriyaki at the quick-serve restaurant in Japan.  I had nostalgic reasons for it, and the chicken was every bit as delicious as I’d remembered.  I had three photos and I arranged them in a bit of a grid with my journaling card on top of a rectangle cut from the “Hubble” patterned paper.  I loved this particular patterned paper from Shimelle’s Starshine collection so much that I ordered a 25-pack from Amazon!  It just seemed to make fiscal sense, and I can see myself using both sides of it often throughout my Disney scrapbook, which will add another layer (haha, get it?) of cohesion to the album.

There appear to be layers of paper behind the block of photos+journaling, but they are actually carefully arranged strips from the top of some of the papers in the 12×12 Starshine pad!  The globe paper that I used for the base of my layout was perfect for a World Showcase layout.

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I love the floral in the Starshine collection, and I fussy-cut some clusters of blooms from the patterned paper to embellish my page.  I added doilies to ground the embellishment clusters, and of course I added some wood veneers and enamel dots!  Can you find the hidden Mickey?

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Supplies:
patterned paper: Shimelle Starshine “Hubble,” Shimelle Starshine 12″x12″ paper pad
cardstock: American Crafts white textured
embellishments: Shimelle Starshine ephemera, Studio Calico wood veneer cameras, The Paper Studio enamel dots, labels cut with Silhouette SD
alphas: Shimelle Collection Fitzgerald Thickers teal glitter foam, Glitz Designs Uncharted Waters aqua stripe teeny alphas
other: doilies, Scotch ATG, Therm-O-Web foam adhesive, Project Life 0.3 black journaling pen

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It’s finished, it’s finished, it’s finished!!!  I am so excited and proud to say that my China album is complete.  I added all of the memorabilia, all of the journaling, all of the titles, and even a few stickers!

Just a reminder, you can see all the posts about my 2002 China album project by clicking THIS LINK.  I started this album in 2002 but never added the journaling.  It’s been on my mind (and my scrapbook shelf) ever since, and a Finish-it-February thread in the Scrap Gals Facebook community inspired me to try and finish it during February (and March!!) 2017.  My intention was to stay as true to the 2002 style as possible, even though my aesthetic has changed dramatically in the intervening 15 years!    

At the end of February, I had all but four pages finished.  Throughout March (which has been quite a month), I managed to finish those last remaining bits of the album:

Two pages that started with just photos (and a bit of memorabilia) in place:

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Dirt Market – before

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Dirt Market – after

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the Last Evening – before

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Last Evening – after

And the two (which became three) pages that started with just memorabilia+photos:

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Trip Home (in my original plan, this was to be a single, left-hand page, ending the album.  However, I had so many photos, memorabilia items, and journaling to include that I needed to make a two-page spread.  The back of the right hand page became the final page of the album…)

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the final page of the album (shows a group photo of the “parallel tour” group with whom I traveled, as well as a sticker sheet that was given to me by one of the women on the trip)

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Title Page (this page includes the badge that we all wore the entire time we were in China.  The reverse has the name and contact information for each hotel where we stayed– both in English and Chinese characters, in case we got lost– we could just find a taxi and point at the appropriate information and get back…)

In a previous post, I mentioned that I had added all of the city titles to the pages, too.  I cut the lettering using my Silhouette SD and the font “akaDora.” Here they all are, together.

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Shanghai

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Zhouzhuang

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Suzhou

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Nanjing

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Tianjin

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Beijing

 

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Great Wall

Even though I am a little disappointed that it took 15 years to finish this project, I do think that the delay had some benefits.  This album was the very first “archival” scrapbook I’d ever made.  When I put it together right after my trip, I did start to add some writing.  But the writing I added was mostly basic captions.  In the intervening years, I’ve learned a lot about memory-keeping and doing more storytelling in my albums.  I think that because I waited this long to complete the album, the story of our trip is more fully present in the album pages themselves than it may have been if I’d just captioned everything right away.  I am so, so thankful that I kept such a detailed journal.  My story was taken almost directly from its pages, and it brought back so many memories.

I’d like to share a flip-through video that I made of the album.  The still photos in all of these posts don’t quite capture the volume of photos and journaling that I did end up including in this album.  Almost every page is interactive, with flaps and accordians and pockets.  In almost every case, business cards, tickets, and brochures are attached in such a way that they can be removed.  Enjoy!

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I think this is the last page for my 2009 scrapbook album!

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When I was thinking about how I would arrange this layout, I had originally chosen a different layout to use as inspiration.  However, when I opened my album and looked at the pages around where this one would go, I discovered that one of the layouts just a page or two later had such a similar sketch that I thought it would be awkward.  I went to my Scrap Pinterest board and scrolled through, looking for something that would use my landscape 4×6 and 3×4 photos.  When I came across this one by Stephanie Buice for Crate Paper, I knew it was just right!  I trimmed my 4×6 to a 4×4 and it was perfect.

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I’d say that I followed the inspiration layout pretty closely.  I pulled out my (dwindling supply of) Christmas papers and started layering scraps under the photos until I was happy with how they looked.  (I sort of coordinated the colors with the rest of the layouts in the Christmas 2009 series, and especially the layout on the facing page of the album.)  I pulled coordinating embellishments from my (dwindling supply of) Christmas embellishments and tucked them here and there around the photos.

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The title is cut with my Silhouette SD– the very same one I’m holding in that photo!  It’s seven years old this year, and I have gotten SO much use out of it.  It is a fantastic little machine.  I used the font “the Nightly Poem” from the Hungry JPEG, and I stretched it a little bit to make the word have a more horizontal feel (the font itself has a very vertical aesthetic, I think).

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I even imitated the machine stitched frame around the focal photo+paper+embellishment block, but also added some hand-written journaling under it.  I didn’t add ink splatters (I forgot, plus I didn’t have an appropriate color), and the background was looking bare to me.  I added a simple strip of patterned paper to the left edge and two rows of stitching, and suddenly the layout looked bound and finished.

Supplies:
textured creamy white cardstock
patterned papers: BasicGrey “Nordic Holiday” and Crate Paper “Peppermint”
embellishments: BasicGrey “Nordic Holiday,” Lily Bee “Christmas Town,” as well as miscellaneous other sources
alphabet stickers: October Afternoon Mini Market

 

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