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Archive for the ‘memory keeping’ Category

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been focusing my scrapbooking on my Disney 2016 album lately!  I’m rapidly coming to a point where I need to do some planning– what photos and stories will go into layouts, and what will go into pockets– and one of my “roadblocks” has been the Akershus Princess Dinner that we attended the night we were in Epcot.  It was another one of those pinnacle experiences, especially for my daughter: as I’ve mentioned before, meeting the princesses was a dream come true for her on this trip!

The photos from that evening are many, and they are also quite dark.  As I was browsing some scrapbook blogs lately, I finally came up with a potential idea on how to showcase them, BUT before that (especially since they aren’t printed yet!), I did have these photos already printed from the beginning of the dinner!

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My daughter was so delighted to be there, and I wanted to make sure to spotlight her excitement…and also the little story of my panicked construction of a flash diffuser from a napkin and some hair clips so that I could get semi-decent photos of her with the princesses when they came to our table!

The general arrangement of this layout is based on a sketch that Crafty Jen Schow released in her Facebook Group back in November.  I had seen some layouts using it pop up lately from people in the group, and so it came to mind as I contemplated this odd set of photos.  It was perfect!

Of course, I used three photos instead of two, but I added the title on a curve and a circular arc of stitching (boy, was that gold thread difficult to work with!) to reinforce that curved idea.

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I mixed Shimelle “Starshine” with Shimelle’s “Head in the Clouds” (isn’t that background paper gorgeous?!) and a bit of Pink Paislee “Pen Pals” to pull in the blue of V’s dress.

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I embellished with cameras precision-cut from another “Starshine” paper and circles stamped with images from a Kelly Purkey set (Clearly Kelly: “Magical”)…

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And of course, some wood veneer and enamel dots, in keeping with my theme for this album!

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I started this layout back in January of 2019, and I finally finished it!

Layout about our Vivian meeting Belle at Enchanted Tales with Belle

The layout design was an idea I had after seeing Crafty Jen Schow’s 2019 January stash-busting month challenge to use an item in excess.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you remember that the one thing I for sure have in excess is doilies!

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I put the entire layout together in January 2019…. except for the journaling.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the reason I didn’t add the journaling was because I realized it was a much bigger and more important story than I’d left room for on this particular 12×12 page, and so I went back and made a couple of pocket pages (HERE and HERE) to expand the story.

When I finally knew how I was going to tell the story with those extra inserts, and I finally finished them now in January 2020, I was able to write the journaling for this page.  It’s a tiny bit more introspective than just facts: explaining how this moment was one of my very favorites of our entire trip.

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I used more bits and pieces from Shimelle Starshine (chipboard stickers, cut aparts, and that lovely starry navy blue paper), but I also added in (besides the doilies) some yellow paper that I had from a very old kit (I think it’s Anna Griffin!) and some scraps from Echo Park “Beautiful Life.”

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Of course, there’s an enamel dot Mickey on the page, too!

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I mentioned before that our experience at “Enchanted Tales with Belle” was one of the most magical parts of our trip to Disney World in 2016 (see all the pages in the album so far), and so I decided to expand the story over a couple pocket pages and then have a 12×12 layout to culminate. This pocket page recounts the story of my daughter’s interaction with Belle at the end of the attraction.

As I worked on embellishing the photos and journaling cards, I discovered that the Echo Park “Beautiful Life” collection flower stickers were a great coordinate for the roses in Shimelle’s “Starshine” collection!

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My daughter was feeling quite shy, so she didn’t participate in the storytelling (though she could have if she had wanted to!), but at the end, she definitely wanted to meet Belle.

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She walked up to Belle and gave her a hug, and her tiara came off!

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Princess Belle was so lovely– instead of me putting it back onto V’s head, she said, “Oh, let me!” and gently placed it back on my daughter’s head.

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“This is beyond MAGICAL” stamps from Kelly Purkey (Clearly Kelly/Hero Arts)

After that, they twirled together and curtseyed:

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It was such a sweet, incredible experience to see my 5-year-old daughter, who at the time was completely enamored with princesses (she imagined them as her constant companions), get to interact with a “real” princess for the first time.  Belle was amazing, and made this whole encounter so much better than I could have imagined!

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Stay tuned for the 12×12 layout (finally! haha!)…

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I’m trying to keep my scrapbook momentum going as much as possible this year, so when I had some time the other day, I started another layout for my Disney 2016 album.  This layout directly precedes the “Grand Entrance” layout– it will be the very first full 12×12 layout in the album (as far as I have it planned right now; there will be several pocket page layouts before this.  There may be an overall title page, but I don’t have a plan for that yet).

Even though I want to keep the momentum going, I was actually feeling a bit stumped when I started this layout.  I looked through a list of inspiration I’ve been keeping, and came across this screenshot of a Shimelle live video from back in July that I watched in August.  See, I really don’t want to get caught in the cycle of forever consuming scrapbooking content and not actually making anything, and so whenever I watch one of Shimelle’s live videos, I make a point of taking a screenshot and writing down just ONE idea that could inspire me later.  In this particular case, both the screenshot and the idea came into play.

Here’s the screenshot:

And the idea I wrote down was, “Add MOAR.”  Those of you who watch Shimelle’s FB Live videos will understand this reference/joke, which is to keep adding layers, embellishments, and things to the layout until it is satisfyingly full.

I happened to have two horizontal 4×6 photos ready for this layout, so I forged ahead.  I started by using two patterned papers as the background, one framing the other.  I built the rest of the layers on top of that, positioning my photos like Shimelle’s (but on the right side because of where the people are looking) and using a horizontal band across the lower third… I added lots of little bits and pieces of layers, including a sticker I’d had lying on my desk for literally years (it is so satisfying to know that I finally used it, and it’s just what I needed).  I added some more, and then some MOAR…and I loved the layered effect.

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And then! I decided my patterned paper background was just much, and especially too much when I considered the layout that comes next in the album.

So the next morning, I took off the photo block and all the layers that surrounded it, and I moved the whole business onto a white textured background instead.  Ahh.  Now the photos stand out like they should, and there are still lots of little layers (and I added MOAR after I made the background change).  I ran a line of stitching around the edge to add some subtle definition, and I am so much happier!

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Last January, I was on a roll!  I was participating in a scrapbook Facebook group with great challenges, and I was making lots of progress on the first part of my Disney 2016 scrapbook.  I started– and nearly finished– a layout about my daughter meeting Belle on our very first day in Disney World.  We had an absolutely magical experience at “Enchanted Tales with Belle.”  As I was about to write the journaling, I realized that the story was pretty big, and it needed more space, more pages, really, to be adequately told.

This particular experience– the very first attraction we saw (and my children’s first-ever at Disney World) was so magical and meaningful that I wanted to take my time and tell the whole story.  It is definitely one of the very top highlights of the entire trip.

I took a step back and started organizing and planning some pocket pages that would help tell the rest of the story, but I needed more photos to be printed.  It took me a while to get that order ready and sent off, so this story and that layout has been waiting for almost a year to be finished!  And it’s still not done.  haha.

So this post is about the first of the pocket pages to start telling the story (I’ll show the original 12×12 layout in a future post, don’t worry, haha!).  Really, this page starts before we even get to Belle!

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Part of this page was made last year, and I finally finished it up the other day when I was trying to decide which scrapbook project to do next to keep up my creative momentum.  I didn’t have much time, and I was feeling a bit stumped, so I decided this would be a good intermediate project since it had been started already.

The story begins right after our “grand entrance” into Magic Kingdom on our very first day in Disney World.  The “Always believe something wonderful is about to happen” card from one of the Starshine cut-apart sheets was absolutely perfect for this page!

We took some family photos on Main Street with the Castle (they will be on the front of this pocket page), and then the Photopass photographer took some with just my daughter in the Belle dress that I’d made for her.  I cut them square and added them into the two vertical pockets on the left side of the page.  To connect them, I designed these pockets as one long 4″x12″ section, so the banners are split between the two pockets.  I fussy-cut florals from one of the Starshine papers to add more embellishment.

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I ended up making a flip-up on the top right of the page, since I had more story and photos than I could fit here (and they wouldn’t fit in the next insert).

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I made a hinge on the outside of the page protector with washi tape (so it’s pretty) covered with packing tape (so it’s strong) and re-punched the hole in the page protector.

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I also tell the tiny story of how sweet and serious my little boy was to meet Princess Belle at the end of the attraction.

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As soon as I finished my “Hello, Ducks” layout, I started in on this one!  (It’s so nice to have crafty momentum…)

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Last fall, when I was laid up after my ankle surgery, I received a goody box from Therm O Web (I won a giveaway through Scrapbook and Cards Today magazine) full of their Metallix gels and a Stencil Pal.  At the time, I wasn’t capable of standing for long enough to use the products right away, even though I was itching to try them out.  So I had plenty of time to daydream about how I would give the gels a shot– this is a medium I’ve been really hoping to try for a while!

For this layout, I cut a stencil with my Silhouette Cameo: it’s the Star Background from Paige Evans (I got it in her Facebook group).  I used black textured card stock, because in one of the early iterations of my plan for this page, the filmstrip was also cut from that same card stock, and this way, I could cut everything at once.  (as you can see, I changed my mind and cut a white filmstrip frame in the end.)

I got out my brand new jar of Aged Copper Metallix and my Stencil Pal and got to work!

It was so FUN!!  It was really quick, and it was so exciting to lift my stencil and see the textured stars left behind on my background paper.  I will definitely be using this technique again!  (I’m also hoping to use pieces of the gel-covered card stock stencil on the facing pocket page to this layout).

I let the gel dry overnight, because I didn’t have time to go farther with the layout that day…but the layout came together really quickly after that!

This was one of the layouts that I’d sketched out when I was planning the Epcot pages in my Disney 2016 album, so I had a solid idea where the photos would go.  I added some layers of tissue paper to soften the background under the photos so they wouldn’t get overwhelmed by the bold star pattern, and I added some navy patterned paper strips (Shimelle Starshine) to pull in the navy of my son’s coat.

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With such a striking background, I didn’t need much else: just my wood veneers (Studio Calico) and gold glitter enamel dots to embellish.

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I added my journaling on a Project Life (Jade Edition) card.

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P.S. Since I used a new-to-me product and a new-to-me technique, I’m entering this into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog “Something New” challenge.

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After a month of sewing projects (most notably, several Christmas gifts), I was excited to get back to paper scrapbooking– especially since I’m physically more able to stand at my craft studio island to work now that my ankle is healing!

The first scrapbook layout that I made in 2020 is…drumroll please….

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This page features four photos of my cutie pie not-yet-two-year-old son, enjoying the ducks in Epcot almost as much as anything else we saw that day.

There isn’t a huge story to go with the photos, but his fascination with the ducks was a sweet memory from that day, and I wanted to make sure to highlight it on a full layout in my 2016 Disney trip album.

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The papers that I used for this layout are almost all from Shimelle’s Starshine collection, except for the yellow “hello” print, which I had in my stash and was the perfect compliment to the Shimelle #stickerbook “hello” speech bubble that I used with the title.

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As I’ve done on every layout for this album, I made sure to include some wood veneer pieces (the stars are from Lawn Fawn) and enamel dots… …and of course a “hidden” Mickey.

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Lemme just say, I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing yet another photo book!  When I knew I had ankle surgery coming up, I started planning projects for myself to work on while I was recuperating.  I knew that I’d be off my feet for a while, and so I compiled a list of specific things I wanted to try to finish while I was confined to a chair or couch for most of the day.  One of those things was photo books.  I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE the end result of photo books, but I really dislike making them.  My kids love looking at them– and I love seeing them enjoying the books, too, so I grit my teeth and get them done.

In the time since my surgery, I’ve completed three photo books: Hersheypark 2015, Day in the Life 2019, and this book: Day in the Life 2018.  With the completion of this book, my DITL book set is completely caught up– I’ve been doing this project since 2013!  I am glad that I’ve made good use of this sitting-down time (and proud of myself for staying motivated) to accomplish these goals.

Here’s the cover of my 2018 DITL book:

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For this book, I used the beautiful digital papers from Karen Funk’s “A Fresh Start” paper kit.  It’s a smaller set of papers, but I had a lot of photos for this book (there are 106 included), so there were fewer spaces to fill.

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There’s not much new to say about my process that hasn’t already been said…but that basic formula that I use made this book a quick finish, even with so many photos!

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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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I surprised myself and managed to finish another digital scrapbook photo book– this one in less than a week!

This is my Day in the Life book for this year (2019! finished already! …but I still do need to complete the book for 2018…).  Since it was an unusual day (off my feet due to ankle surgery, plus I was leaving for an out-of-town trip that afternoon), I didn’t take as many photos as usual.  (In fact, I almost didn’t document at all, but in the end, I’m glad that I decided to take photos and write my journaling!) Husband was so kind to help me take many of the photos I try to capture annually.

Aside from the smaller number of photos, this project is a bit more straightforward than my other digital scrapbooks, because I have a fairly tried-and-true formula by now.  The backgrounds of all my pages are white, and I make flat (no shadows) collages of photos and patterned paper blocks on each page.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve made a lot of basic templates, which I use for these pages!

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I used patterned papers from The Lilypad collaboration kit “All About Me” — it was a freebie blog hop kit that I collected in September 2019.

The title page and front cover are the same each year, too.  The title page is always a photo of the front of my house taken that day, with a title banner and typed credits.  In the past few books I’ve made, I’ve made a point to add the day of the week with the date.

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The very first year I did this project, (back in 2013!!) I made the cover collage by tiling four Scrapbook Lady “Sixteens” templates together, and I add photos and patterned papers that I used throughout the book.  This cover comes together more easily if I add photos as I work on each page rather than waiting til the end!

The scripty titles are from Ali Edwards– back in 2012, she created this freebie, and I’ve been using them every year!

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