Archive for the ‘scrapbooking’ 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.


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.


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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…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.


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.


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 🙂




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!


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.



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?



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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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’m a little late posting my progress for week 4 of Finish-it-February, and I must admit, this album didn’t (YET) get completely finished  (wop wop).  BUT BUT BUT!!!  I am almost finished!  I have two pages that need journaling.  I have one page to do from scratch (the plane journey home), and the title page to put together.  And THEN!  It will be DONE!  A 15-year project.  Ha!  I’d say I made a pretty good showing for February, considering I started out with 62 pages in this album!

This week, I also added die-cut titles to the pages that begin each city section (we traveled to four main cities, and took day trips to two others, plus the Great Wall).  You’ll see a sneak peek with the city title on my Shanghai page, but I’m going to share them all in a final post when I finish the album.  Because this time, I really am going to finish it.  I can taste it now.  …even though it might be a while–a few weeks?– because I have some high-priority stuff going on in the background these days, and so this project is put into the “only if there is extra spare time” category…

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 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!    

Here are the pages I finished in the fourth week of February:


Summer Palace – before


Summer Palace – after (There is additional journaling under the flap made by the photo on the bottom left.)


Beijing Concert – before


Beijing concert – after

It was at this point that I decided that instead of finishing the end of the album, I would go to the beginning and work up to the point where I started in the first week of February.


the plane journey to China – before


the plane journey to China – after (I haven’t yet printed-and-cut the title tag for this page… it will be added soon!)


Shanghai hotel – before


Shanghai hotel – after (I don’t think I needed to add anything except another key card holder that I had in my stash of extra ephemera)


Shanghai bus tour – before


Shanghai bus tour – after (This became the introductory page for this first city that we visited.  You get a sneak peek of the way I’m going to cut out my titles from cardstock to add to the beginning of each city section. The top left and bottom two photos lift to reveal photos underneath; the caption tags line up when they are closed.)


Scenes in Shanghai – before


Scenes in Shanghai – after (The original page had a photo flap (see the dark red diamond?) that lifted to reveal another photo and more journaling.  There were two problems– the journaling in black pen was hard to read on the darker cardstocks, and the flap itself was getting bent every time I closed the album.  I took it apart, redid the captions on white strips, and now the only interactive elements on this page are the pockets for the city maps.)


Currency – before

I don’t have an “after” photo of the currency page because it’s quite simple and still needs the title tag.  I’ll show it when I share the die cut titles.


Jade Buddha Temple – before


Jade Buddha Temple – after


Yu Gardens – before


Yu Gardens – after (This was one of the very few nearly-completed pages in the whole album, the other being the Oriental Pearl TV tower page that I started with in week 1)


Acrobatic show – before


Acrobatic Show – after (In contrast to its facing page, this one started with nothing but a program/brochure for the show– no photos!  

After this Acrobatic Show page was finished, I had caught up to where I’d begun in week 1, so I went back to the end of the album and our time in Beijing…


Temple of Heaven (left) – before


Temple of Heaven (right) – before


Temple of Heaven (spread) – after

Like I said, I don’t have much left to finish before the whole album is completed! I will share more when it’s done– hopefully by the end of March! We shall see…

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I’m closing in on the finish line!  Wooo hooo!  In the third week of February, I was only able to complete five and a half spreads of my 2002 China album (four of them were in one day!), because other obligations needed to be prioritized over scrapbooking.  However, I think I’m still on track for actually finishing the album during Finish-it February!  Wish me luck, haha!

Even though the pages below don’t look like they have a lot of changes in terms of journaling– they really do.  I think as I got closer to the end of assembling this album back in 2002, I was getting tired, and I started combining multiple sites onto single pages (or splitting a spread into three secions!).  This means that most of the journaling that I’ve added is hidden behind photo flaps.  I have a LOT of interactive elements in this album.  I’m actually contemplating doing a little video overview of the album when it’s finished just to show all of the moving parts and reveal where I’ve hidden SO MUCH writing!

I finally got smart this week (I have no idea how it took me so long to do this  ::palm smack to forehead::) and started drawing in pencil lines to keep my writing straight on the page.  Most of it is hidden, but it still makes me much happier to have it tidily straight(er) rather than have drooping lines.

Because I think it’s interesting, here again are the before-and-after comparisons of the pages I worked on in this third week of February:


Forbidden City – before


Forbidden City – after (this page faces the Tiananmen Square page in my previous post)


Tea Ceremony/Peking Duck Dinner – after (I forgot to take a “before” photo of this page)


Panda Zoo – before


Panda Zoo – after


Traditional Medicine/Lamasery – before


Traditional Medicine/Lamasery – after (The top two photos on the right lift to reveal a second photo each and a lot of journaling.)


Confucian Temple/McDonalds – before


Confucian Temple/McDonald’s – after (this page and the previous page – Traditional Medicine/Lamasery – are facing each other.  We did all of these things in one day and the story is connected across the two pages.)


Great Wall – before


Great Wall – after (This photo makes it look like I didn’t do much, but every one of those dark red squares is actually a flap (or a couple) that lifts to reveal more photos– and under every one of them is A LOT of journaling.  The Great Wall was one of my absolute favorite sites that we saw, and it was so beautiful that I didn’t want to distract from the beautiful vistas in the photos with tons of text.  When I add die-cut city titles, I will also be adding “Great Wall” to this page in the top left corner, where I will also adhere the label with “Badaling Section.”)


Ming Tombs (left) – before


Ming Tombs (left) – after


Ming Tombs (right)/Peking Opera – before (not much!  Just some ephemera and some loose photos of the Ming Tombs)


Ming Tombs (right)/Peking Opera – after


Ming Tombs/Peking Opera spread – after (This was a strange spread.  I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking back in 2002, but the Ming Tombs section spans the break in the spread.  Again, these events all happened in one day– the far left is lunch after the Great Wall, then we went to the Ming Tombs, and that night we saw the Peking Opera performance.  Man, we did a LOT each day.)


Et Cetera – before


Et Cetera – after (This page (and the bottled water page, shown next) is nearly at the end of the album; it contains miscellaneous ephemera and photos that don’t necessarily need to be in the timeline of the story of the trip.  I skipped to this spread because a story came up in my journal that pertained to one of the labels on this page, and I wanted to get it recorded in the scrapbook while I was on that journal page!)


Bottled Water – before


Bottled Water – after



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I’m so happy to say that I’m keeping up with a better-than-one-spread-per-day rate of finishing up my China album!  I added journaling and title tags to 8.5 spreads in the second week of February.

It’s an interesting project to work on.  Since I’ve committed to just keeping my 2002 style in the album, it means that I’m basically just writing on the pages and doing minimal design work.  The biggest decisions I make are usually where to put that writing!  Occasionally, there are repairs to be made, and in a few cases, I’ve reorganized the photos.  There are a few pages I’ve had to make from scratch, but because of those sketches I made back in 2002, it hasn’t been too hard to put them together.

For these reasons, finishing a spread is actually pretty quick.  I decide where the writing goes and copy it down onto my page.  It’s been surprisingly relaxing!  It has been a bit of a gift: This month so far, I have been feeling quite uncreative this month due to seemingly unrelenting sickness, weather, general busyness…) and it’s great to feel like I’m being productive on a project nonetheless.  That being said, it’s not at all pretty, and so I’m also looking forward to finishing it up and moving on to more aesthetically pleasing projects!

Here are the before-and-afters for the pages I finished this week (because you know they are so thrilling):


Tianjin hotel – before


Tianjin hotel – after (not much different! just a few captions)


Tianjin- before


Tianjin – after (I have no idea what I originally thought that I would write on this page to leave so much space!  I’ll try and make it look less blank with a die cut city title, but otherwise, I just had a few captions to add.)


Orchestra banquet – before


Orchestra banquet – after


Rug factory – before


Rug factory  – after


Food Street – before


Food Street – after


Dumpling banquet – before


Dumpling banquet – after


Water park – before


Water park – after (note that I added a photo, which was given to me later by another member of the tour group, to the bottom right hand corner. The photo that was there previously is now under the top left photo, which now flips up)


Tianjin concert – before


Tianjin concert – after


Yangliuqing Gallery (left) – after (I forgot to take before photos of this spread).  I had a lot to write for this one!  


Yangliuqin Gallery (right) + Children’s Palace – after (I forgot to take a before photo of this page, too).  As I was photographing it, I also realized that I forgot to print-and-cut the label for the Children’s Palace section, so I used another label (upside-down on purpose!) as a placeholder. 


Old Culture Street+Drive to Beijing – before


Old Culture Street + Drive to Beijing – after


Beijing hotel – before


Beijing hotel – after (I will probably add the Beijing city title to this page, because I don’t have a better page for it!)


Beihai Park (left) – before


Beihai Park – after (this was one of my favorite places we visited)


Beihai Park (right) – before


Beihai Park (right) – after


scenes around Beijing – before


Scenes around Beijing – after (clearly this one started with just a few loose photos, and I didn’t have a sketch pre-drawn!  I did my best to remember what I’d been thinking for this one…)


Antique Street – before


Antique Street – after


Tiananmen Square – before


Tiananmen Square – after

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