Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Journey in Scrapbooking

I have been scrapbooking since I was a teenager, taking photos, cutting up photos, journaling, and (at that time) putting it all in those awful albums with the peel back magnetic pages. (You all know those are harmful to your photos, right?) I kept newspaper articles on myself and my friends, ticket stubs and other memorabilia. 

Here is an example of my scrapbooking from that time. Not much technique going on here, using what was available to me: apparently scissors, ruled notebook paper and a red pen. I also didn't take much care in my penmanship, which is weird because I am pretty picky about that now. I would have also composed my shot of Muscle Beach Venice a little better... uh, to include some muscles!

To say memory keeping has evolved a little bit since then is an understatement! I found a company called Creative Memories at a craft fair in 1996 and attended a class at the consultant’s house… even got my husband to tag along and help with making the page. I love my Creative Memories albums and especially liked the concept of purchasing products in the same style/line to keep my options limited. Scrapbooking can be overwhelming and when I have too many choices I often end up not making a choice at all. I was just in Hobby Lobby yesterday and couldn't believe the amount of paper they had. My style in my Creative Memories albums has always been simple, usually opting for solid color papers, a simple title, journaling and a few (if any) embellishments. I also like my albums to lay flat so I never got into using any fancy supplies like brads and eyelets, twine, and really anything that would make my page bumpy.

Here are a few of my pages from my Creative Memories albums.

This is one of the first pages I made, very simple and just a few captions.

Here I am rocking the hand-lettering. Before I started using alphabet stickers I made most of my titles by hand, which is really kind of fun. Now is it just me, or does the design in the letter "W" look like a pair of boobs? I'm sure that was not my intention.

And here is another early layout where I copied a fun border I saw in a Creative Memories catalog. And... another hand drawn title.

I thought I would always use paper products, but kept getting farther behind with my pages, not having a dedicated space to scrap and once the kids came along, not wanting them to get into all the supplies. In early 2009, I downloaded some digital products being talked about on a photography site and started to play. I was already familiar with Photoshop and while it did take time to figure it all out, once I did I was hooked. No more cropping a photo and then having to run out and get another because I didn’t like the crop. No more redoing my journaling because I made a mistake. No more forgetting a set of photos and not being able to fit them in chronologically. I could use all the brads and twine and staples I wanted and my pages would still be flat! And no more paper cuts! 

When I started searching the internet I was amazed at how many digital products are out there. Since I was just testing the waters I searched for any and all free downloads I could find – and there are a lot. I landed on a site called Designer Digitals and they had some awesome freebies – three every week! When I poked around and looked at the gallery and forums I decided this was the place for me and have made it my digital scrapbooking home. I was thrilled beyond belief when Katie Pertiet (owner with her husband Randy Pertiet) asked me to join their Creative Team in the fall of 2009. I have made well over 500 pages since then and find that this is a great way to combine my love of photography and being creative, with the added bonus of having our family history recorded and ready to pass down to future generations. 

Here is one of my favorite digital layouts. For the most part I try to keep my layouts simple (doesn't always work) focusing on the photos and jouraling.

And here is a page I made for Project Life. The plan was to make a double-page spread for each week of the year. I finished nine weeks and petered out. I am hoping to revive the project for 2014 (in some way, shape or form) because every time I go back and reread the small details of our everyday life, I smile. Little things I recorded for the project that I would never have remembered otherwise. Like my son going through a phase of running up to the big Pepperidge Farm goldfish every time we saw one in the grocery store and giving it a hug and kiss.

So if you read through all that then I think you can tell I have been involved in scrapbooking for a while and am pretty passionate about getting pictures off the camera/iPhone (or out of the drawers) and documented in a place that will tell my family's story. Let me know if you have any questions!


  1. Those are some fantastic pages! I can really see the allure in doing it digitally. I used to scrapbook and then stopped b/c it was so time consuming- and expensive!

  2. It's so cool to see the transformation. I love it!