Puppy Love

I’m finding more and more inspiration for scrapbook pages in reading online blogs and looking at websites selling pre-made digital templates.  Because I’m not using PhotoShop, most of those templates are not much use to me. It is easier to make my own in StoryBook Creator than to figure out how to re-layer the many files that are sent with a downloaded template. (I’ve tried it on a few freebies and decided it was way more trouble than it’s worth)

What I have been doing, though, is much like what we do when we’re scrapbooking traditionally. (and I use this technique for both digital and traditional pages)  I simply “eyeball” the page and make my own version using rough estimates on what sizes the pictures are and where the embellishments are placed.  This challenge has been fun and I have been enjoying seeing if I can reproduce what I see online with some relative semblance of accuracy.

Here’s an example:  I saw this layout from Designer Digitals:

LT707240And decided to create this layout:

PuppyLove - Page 019You will notice I took some creative license with my design.  I didn’t add the dotted/stitched border.  I added an additional embellishment.  I had planned to put a background in there once I was finished, but then I decided I liked the clean look of the white page, so I left it.

I’ve been thinking about doing a page on Sydney for a while, and have been waiting for the right inspiration to hit.  Well, one look at that layout and I was ready to go.

Inspiration can come from many places.  You can be inspired by a picture, by an advertisement, by colors, fabrics, sunrises, etc.  The trick is to be open to the muse and either act on it right away or write your ideas down so that you can act later.

These Hands

These Hands - Page 018

These Hands…

Are Strong and Tough
Yet Gentle and Loving
Work Hard and Rough
and Caress so Softly
Represent Making a Living
and Safety and Security
These Hands are Tough
… Yet Fragile.
We love these hands.

Sunday Scrapping

Hi, everyone,

My Sunday Scrapbooking post is up at The Lady’s site. Please check it out and I’ll see you tomorrow!


You’re not behind…

Happy Sunday!

I’m recovering from a 3 week-long headache and way too much activity this weekend.

So while you’re waitin’ on the next column here, check out my latest guest post here: The Lady at Home.

I’ll be back tomorrow. Promise.

Scrapbook Layout Inspiration

Happy Tuesday, y’all…

It’s raining here. Nasty, wet and cold.  My youngest is at home with me – she has the sniffles. We are snuggled up in the house and I’m trying really hard to remember that I work full-time and stay focused on work.  What I really want to do is grab a blanket or two, light a fire, make some hot tea, and snuggle by the fire with my little Doodlebug.  Maybe that will come in just a little bit.  Must get a few more things done.

I thought today I would share a layout idea that has inspired me.  I found it over at Ella Publishing Company’s website. They have a neat new eZine that has some pretty awesome ideas in it. I’m finding great inspiration for layouts, color schemes, you name it.  One thing I’ve learned over the  years  is to always be on the lookout for things that catch my eye.  Once I find them, I either take a picture, save it on my PC, or put it in a folder I have of scrapbooking ideas.

Here’s my folder –


I just rip pages out of magazines and save them here. When I sit down to scrapbook and need a little inspiration or help getting the creative juices flowing, I just rummage around in the pile of ideas. That is usually a good way to get me started.

I used to subscribe to tons of scrapbook magazines.  Now, not so many.  I have found that I can get the same inspiration from looking at blogs and other scrapbook related websites (like Ella’s) to find (free) ideas.  So, I have started an electronic version of my idea “folder” as well.  This is a little simpler – it’s just a PowerPoint file that I copy/paste images into whenever I see an idea that inspires me.


Here are some places for you to consider as you search for ideas for yourself:

  • Designer Digitals – they have challenges that are awesome. If you are a digital scrapbooker, the downloads that come with the challenges are pretty awesome, too.  If you are traditional, consider getting the downloads anyway. You can always print them on your own cardstock or re-create the layout, etc. on your own.  The ladies at DD are really talented and I always find a few things I want to try over there.
  • Ali Edwards – always has awesome ideas.  Check her blog out (if you haven’t already) – it is well worth the visit.
  • Cathy Zielske – I love her no-nonsense style of scrapbooking. Clean lines, lots of whitespace and capturing the essence of a story.

Okay, enough rambling…. Here’s the original layout that inspired me:

Here’s my version:

my take

And, here’s a bonus for you – a link to a template you can use in StoryBook Creator + (3.0) if you are using that for your digital scrapbooking. (as soon as I get Photoshop Elements, I’ll include those, too. Not in the budget yet, though)

Send me your pages! I’d love to see what you do with the idea!

More of Me: The Abridged Version

Ok, so I found some time yesterday to do a little journaling in my Me: The Abridged Version book.  I also realized while I was working that I wanted more vibrant pages for the album.  The color scheme I had chosen was a little muted.  So, I’m amping things up a bit now.

Here’s a sample of a page I’ve completed.


I’m still considering removing the craft paper background and just doing it on white.  But I’m not sure yet.  (do you have an opinion?)


I’m finding this is actually pretty fun.  It’s an interesting change to write about myself – my thoughts, stories, etc. – as opposed to writing about my kids.  Being the centerpiece of the story instead of the background character who is chronicling the kids’ stories.  You should try it.

And, it’s interesting to me that my girls are very interested in reading the pages as I finish. And they want to know about me!  How cool is that?  As moms I think we get lost sometimes in just being “mom” and forget to be ourselves.  This project is reminding me of the need to focus on me some – focus on my story – and focus on things that make me happy. (like scrapbooking!)


I challenge you – do a page about yourself.  Pick a topic – list your five favorite movies or books, tell a story from your childhood, whatever gets your creative juices flowing.  And, remember, the picture is optional. It’s the story that counts.

365 Days of Pictures

In the spring, I started a project I had been contemplating for several months.  “Project 365” is designed to help you capture the everyday moments in your life. Not just the big events and holidays that we usually scrapbook, but the everday minutiae that makes your life YOUR LIFE.  I think it is a really cool idea.  I often think back on my childhood and wonder “Did I do that?” when I’m watching my kids play.  How cool it would be to look back at a snapshot of my life at age 7, for example, and see what I was doing then – and even share that with my kids!

The only reason it took me 3 months to get off my duff and do the project was the thought of remembering to take a picture a day (of what, I thought?) and then actually scrapbooking all those pictures.  I finally bit the bullet in March and started snapping away.  However, I quickly realized that doing this the “traditional” scrapbooking way was going to drive me to drink.  Too much repetition and too much cutting (the template I was using was quite complicated).

So, I decided to make this a digital project.  Sooo much easier. I created the template and now I’m catching up on my album.  It’s so much easier. Just drag & drop the pictures into the placeholders and focus on the journaling and decorative aspects of the page. I’ve decided to keep the pages pretty simple. I want people to focus on the pictures and the stories, not the fancy do-dads.  Here’s a sample:


Here’s one with a little more decoration:


I’m chugging along, and actually enjoying the project, now that I am doing it digitally. I’m less overwhelmed by the thought of cutting all those little squares of paper and photos and focusing more on what pictures I want to take to capture the story of a particular day.

And, you don’t have to stick to the layout. For example, the week of Easter, I decided to focus on two things: decorating eggs and Easter morning. So, rather than having a photo for each day of the week, I just concentrated my photos on those two things to represent that week.  Here’s how it turned out:


It also gave me a chance to easily handle portrait-style pictures without a lot of cropping:365-4

Think you want to give it a try? Here’s the template (In StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 format) for you to try it out. You will notice I created it in a StoryBook (rather than page print) file.  That way, I can see the two pages side by side (I love that feature) for lining things up and gaining symmetry.  I can always print individual pages if I choose (and I will) to drop into my existing 12×12 album.

Have fun!