Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beginner Digi Scrapbook class

For anyone who's ever thought about digital scrapbooking but hasn't known where to begin, Jessica has a free beginner class. I haven't actually tried it but it looks promising! Good luck!  (Did I already post a link to this? I feel like I already did this once.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vacation Scrapbook

 I've been working on a vacation album from our trip around New England this summer. I can see why I have a hard time getting new pages done, however, because I decided I had to go back and redo the pages I had done. The colors were just TOO bright for me. So I moved to a more muted color scheme. Anyway, if you'd like to check them out, I've posted them to my scrapbook gallery.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


I got a ton of my digi scrapbooking supplies organized this weekend!  Hurray! I participated in a National Scrapbooking Day chat over at Designer Digitals and in between chatting, I sorted through stuff in my ACDSee database. So now I can get to work on some pages...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Friday layout - Before & After

Here's another couple of layouts that I did and then redid after reading Cathy Z's articles.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yesterday & Today

I'm taking another Big Picture Scrapbooking class...shocking, I know. This one is taught by Ali Edwards who is another one of my scrapbooking inspirations. The last couple of classes that I've taken have been very journaling-centric. I don't actually have any journaling phobia, but these recent classes have given me lots of ideas for topics to write about.

This weekend I did an exercise where I hauled out my old albums to figure out what things I like and what things I would do differently. I hadn't looked through my books in quite a while (we're talking years). So it was a lot of fun to flip back through them. One pleasant surprise was that for the most part I was okay with the layouts. In fact, there were actually lots of things that I liked. One of my favorite techniques is when I scan some object and then cut it out. (Why can I not think of what that's called when you cut something out like that? It's driving me nuts!) I love titles with puns but it was apparent that sometimes I try a little too hard to get a punny title. I definitely do not like overly contrived titles. I love big chunky letters and I love letters that overlay the photos (back in the day I used vellum to do that). I love enlargements. I love pages where I actually put some effort to journal. The most consistent thing that jumped out at me was that I like to keep my designs simple. I'm not a fan of the CM style of embellishments, from back in the day. Nothing made me cringe more than pages where I'd tried to use stickers. Sometimes I can make stickers work but for the most part, that's just not my thing.

Today I worked on three pages. I'm hoping to do the next lesson tonight, and maybe even get to the layout that goes with it. In the meantime, Ali Edward's provided a link to this site which has this great list of questions. Hopefully they will get *your* journaling mojo flowing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Friday layout

Just because it's one of my favorite recent layouts. I thought I'd share it with you all.

Monday, October 05, 2009

And now two of my favorite scrapbooking entities collide. Hurray!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Thank you for inviting me to contribute. I've never written on a blog before so thanks for your patience if I don't do something right. I've always been a big scrapbooker (in fact I recently took a look at my jr high scrapbook pages which are in bad shape 26 years later and need to figure out what to do. If it were just photos, I could re-do them but it is magazine cut-out, funny 7th grade writing, my view of the world at the time that I don't want to lose. Any suggestions?) but somehow I let scrapbooking become a chore, always feeling a bit behind. (I think it has to do with moving to Europe and having children -- both events that created more photos than I'll ever know what to do with.) But in a little back and forth with lovely creator of this blog and I'm finding it a labor of love again. I've been stealing away a little time here and there (after the kids are in bed, before I collapse) and loving it. Also, both of C.Z.'s books arrived in the mail to me. I've only read one part and have already had an a-ha moment -- I always feel sorry for myself that I don't have room to scrap (sometimes I'm doing it on my bed!) and then I read that even Cathy Zielske scrapbooks on her dining room table and just makes the best of what she has. Totally cool!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

DYL Version 2.0

Registration for Cathy's Zielske's Design Your Life class opens November 5.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just a little bit

Heather so kindly invited me to be a contributor to this blog and in honor of that, the first pages I'm uploading are a before and after. I know Heather really likes Cathy Zielski, and I checked out some of her stuff yesterday. I have to admit, from the little bit I was exposed to, I also like her style and philosophy. Since I'm not in the position to take any of her classes at the moment, I read some of her past articles that were posted on her website (the link is posted to the left under design). Now in the scope of what I'm sure I could learn from CZ, the information I got was just a little bit of what is available, but that little bit has already made a difference.

So here is my first layout...It's ok, but not particularly great. After reading those few articles yesterday, I took another whack at the layout and I think it looks MUCH better.
Just a few changes really, but a vast improvement. Now I hope to quickly get to the point where this deliberateness in design is second nature.

On my list of things I want to do in life: Take some of CZ's classes, oh, and earn enough money to afford it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Preaching to the Choir

An old friend sent me an e-mail asking me some questions about scrapbooking. Writing my response to her e-mail, reminded me how passionate I am about scrapbooking. Yes, I enjoy the creative outlet that it provides me. I love trying to make my pages visually appealing. But most of all, I love telling our story. And even if no one ever cares to read it, I've had fun telling it. And I can't help but believe there ARE people who will be my kids, for one.

I started "formally" scrapbooking sometime around the turn of the century. But I have always been a scrapbooker at heart. I would jot dates and notes on the backs of photos. I kept journals. I would make my own little scrapbooks by *gasp* gluing photos to pieces of paper and stapling them all together. I would slap pictures into albums that I bought at craft stores. I have always had an interest in taking photos and recording the details that went along with them. But when I stumbled onto Creative Memories, it was like I had just stumbled onto my own personal holy grail. Wow! This was exactly what I'd been looking for my entire life. And I cranked out the pages...did I ever. I pretty much scrapbooked every picture that came down the pike and I finished big, fat, thick scrapbooks like nobody's business. I gave numerous books away and I still have thirteen books sitting on my own shelves. I will sheepishly admit that those books cover a very small span of time...about a year and a half. Yes, yes, I was quite enthusiastic.

And then I had kids. The amount of photos increased and the amount of time I had to scrapbook decreased. Suddenly I found myself "BEHIND". Gradually the supplies got shoved out of the way, I found myself pulling them out less and less frequently. It was just too hard to do with all the kids. My husband had been telling me that I should just have online photo albums - and I did - but I missed the creative element of scrapbooking that I had always enjoyed. And then I discovered digital scrapbooking.

It was perfect. I could easily share my pages with others. I could do it without a lot of mess whenever I had a few minutes to myself. It was speedier - I could reuse a design multiple times. I can print as many copies of a book as I want (seems good for a mom of four). On so many levels, digital scrapbooking was the perfect thing for me.

As my enthusiasm for scrapbooking returned, I started reading books and magazines. And that drastically changed my thinking.

Ways that I've Changed My Philosophy:

I no longer buy into the concept of being "behind". I figure whatever I've done puts me ahead of nothing so now I'm always ahead. I see myself more as a family historian or a family archivist. I'm trying to keep track of our journey as effectively as I'm able to and I'm using several tools to accomplish this. I'm "journaling" our adventures in my blog. I'm taking tons of pictures and trying to take some video too. Someday I hope to revisit some of those things to put together "baby books" for the kids. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. There's no law that says I have to follow some sort of timeline and document every single thing, every single day. I just want my kids to get the "feel" for my interpretation of our lives. So now I scrapbook what I can and I feel good about it and I don't beat myself up for what I haven't done. I've also stopped thinking that I need to scrapbook every photo I take. Which is a good thing because these days I take a ton of photos! Instead I just think about the story I want to tell and then I find the best photos to go with my words. (For more on that check out Stacy Julian's book Photo Freedom.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



My Color Scheme





I've started working on pages for the CZ class that I'm taking. LOVE that Cathy Zielske! If you click on this photo it will take you to the Flickr page where I've credited the designers. Cathy gave us this template to use and I'm lovin' it!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I Lost My Tooth

Lost Tooth

This weekend I participated in Designer Digitals' all day chat. There were tons of freebies and even more great information. Anyway, one of the freebies was this great template by Lynn Grieveson. If you click on this photo and go to the flicker page where it's hosted, I've put detailed information about all the components I used and I've posted the journaling.

Tweaked things a little:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ella Publishing

Also, check out this cool and FREE ezine: Ella Publishing

Renee Pearson

I found a great new site with lots of resources for digiscrappers: And this is a great week to visit because she's having an awesome "Back to School Event Thingie" with great chats and giveaways.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Road Trip

From Scrapt

The top layout is from a Designer Digitals challenge: Kellie Mize, AdChalFree-082408. The fonts I used were primarily Century Gothic and JW ChalkRubons. I did use LD Grunge for the numbers on the cover page. If you'd like to read the journaling, I'm pretty sure it's legible if you go look at the larger photos in my Scrapt album.

Designing Your First Page

This post at Designer Digitals walks you through creating a scrapbook page in Photoshop or Elements.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Getting Started

So many people have told me how much they would love to try digital scrapbooking, blah, blah, blah and I always send them over to this blog and wish for them that they really would take it up because it is AWESOME. And I'm sure I've already listed off the numerous advantages to digiscrapping over tradition scrapping. (My top reason is that it's very kid friendly in that there's no mess for them to get into AND you can print off copies of your pages for each of them, should they so desire).

But anyway, today I was on the phone with my aunt and she was being very kind and saying nice things to me and in the course of our conversation, she said that she would love to try digiscrapping but that at this point she wouldn't even know where to get started. So I thought, "Hey, I should blog about how to get started." But then I realized that getting started actually *is* kind of hard. I mean, if you're trying to do this with Photoshop, there *is* a learning curve. I believe that Photoshop Elements is a little more straight forward to use - not to mention MUCH less expensive - but I'm not sure of that because I haven't actually used Elements.

I learned Photoshop on the job. In fact, in my previous working life, I also used PageMaker, Quark, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and probably other similar software apps that I'm not remembering at the moment. So by the time I took up digiscrapping, I already kinda knew what I was doing.

Truthfully I *have* learned lots of new tricks in the last couple of years. Maybe because playing around with Photoshop for hobby purposes allows me to just tinker around, whereas before I felt more pressure to get things done quickly. I'm not sure. But anyway, point is, I guess I'm not really so much help in this department because it's been a long time since I first started using Photoshop. And even though I'm no guru (I'm not trying to be humble, it's true), I can't really remember the process of how I learned either. But, I will say this, there are TONS of tutorials available. The web is amazing in this regard - ask and ye shall receive. So while I'm sure getting started is intimidating, I think you should just jump in and go for it. Choose your software and if it happens to be Adobe Photoshop, I would happily answer your questions. Though, more than likely that would mean a google search on my end. *hehe*

I would love to have some friends who were into it too. When I went through my Creative Memories phase, I LOVED attending scraps and getting together with girlfriends to work on our pages. I keep hoping that maybe someday I'll have a similar digiscrapping network because it was definitely a lot of fun. I miss it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


From Scrapt

From Scrapt

Click on image for credits.

Grandma and Grandpa’s remains, along with their wedding rings, were interred at Sarasota National Cemetary on August 7, 2009.

Aunt Barb, Uncle Rich, Mom, Bill, Danny, Ted, Doug, Andrea, Michael, Rebecca, Kathi, Kardynn and myself attended the burial.

It was a very touching service. The flag was at half mast. A military chaplain spoke. Though Grandma could not be officially recognized, they acknowledged that “behind every good man, is a good woman”. They told us they were sorry for our loss and they thanked us for Grandpa’s service to our country. After the chaplain spoke, there was a three volley salute. A veteran played taps. The flag was folded and presented to Aunt Barb. All the veterans gave Grandpa one last salute.

Julius Daniel VanBelle
Nov 28, 1919 - July 12, 2009

Ethel VanBelle
July 24, 1922 - Aug 23, 2008

Monday, August 17, 2009

Digital Photography School

I stumbled onto a site with a lot of great information about photography. There are tons of tips and tutorials. And you don't have to pay a cent for any of it.

If you're just getting your feet wet in photography and want to learn the basics, start here.

Photo Freedom

I bought Stacy Julian's book a few days ago and have now finished reading it and am ready to share my opinion. First of all, I've resisted buying this book for a while because I thought my system for managing my photos already worked pretty good for me. But I've heard so many great things and when I found myself at a craft store flipping through the book, I thought, "What the heck" and I bought it. In my case, I'm only making a few changes to my system after reading this book. But, that said, I *am* reorganizing a few things and I think her suggestions are fantastic. The problem is just that I was already on the bandwagon. :) But the book did get me enthusiastic to get organizing my photos because of course my system's no good if I never do it...and lately I haven't been doing it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The other day I picked up a Better Homes and Garden Photography magazine. I'm such a sucker for that kind of thing. But as I flipped through the magazine, I was a little bit disappointed because there wasn't really anything new in there. Then I realized the up side to that is that I've learned a thing or two over the years.

From Rapt 2 Scrap

The most compelling element in a photograph - for me - is the composition. I remember taking a home ec class in 9th grade and learning that odd numbers are pleasing to the eye. I think that's the same basic principle behind the rule of thirds. I've actually stumbled onto an alternate but similar composition technique: the diagonal method.

From Vacation - Day 8

Another favorite composition technique of mine is framing. Perhaps even more than creating a pleasing visual result, it's just fun to do. And of course my absolute favorite rule of photography is getting close to the subject. This one came naturally and I found myself filling a shot with someone's face, before I ever knew that was a basic rule of photography. This is also why I'm totally addicted to my zoom lenses.

From Vacation - Day 8

A second element that I think can really set a photograph apart is the lighting. The right lighting can make the end result absolutely magical. My family room has windows facing south and west. On good days, when the light is just so, I can't stop snapping photos. Whether the catch lights in my children's eyes are bright, or the backlighting is perfect, there's nothing that makes me want to pull out my camera more than perfect light. I still have a lot to learn in this regard but I'm enjoying that process. I have a shoe mounted flash, a gray card and a stack of books about lighting and exposure (not to mention about ten more in my Amazon shopping cart).

From Rapt 2 Scrap

My other favorite thing to play with is exposure. Generally I shoot in Program mode but I enjoy flipping over to Shutter Priority mode too. Every once in a blue moon I'll look down on the aperture but usually I'm more interested in the shutter speed.


So there you go. Read up on those techniques with the links I provided or just google them yourself. And why not pull out your camera's manual the next time you have some down time because I'll bet there are still plenty of things that your camera can do that you don't fully understand. That is definitely true for me!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I know that my posts have been very sporadic lately but I'm going to try to be more regular in the future. Scrapbooking, and all of its various components, is something that I really have a passion for and updating this blog makes me happy. Plain and simple.

This weekend I attended a memorial service for my grandparents. The last few years, any sort of event like this, I create a little slideshow documenting the life of the person being remembered. This event was no exception. I assembled a chronological review of my grandparents life in photographs. So far, people have always had kind words to say about the slideshows. As much as I'd like to take all the credit for this and claim that it's simply my amazing talent, I realize that it's actually the photographs themselves that are particularly compelling.

After this particular memorial, I chanced into a conversation with someone. She had just snapped some photos for me of my extended family and it prompted a conversation about photography. I don't think she realized I had anything to do with the slideshow, the conversation just came up because she'd taken pictures for me. She commented that just the day before, as she was sorting through some photographs, she started to question what she was doing. She said, "I was looking at a photo and thinking, my children don't even know who these people are. But this service reminded me that my photographs are meaningful."

To know that I'd had that impact on someone made me feel great. Because I too believe in the importance of pictures. I'm diligently documenting the lives of my family, my life, and on some small scale, the lives of people who are important to me. I don't know how many people will ever want to look at my photographs, but I hope some will and honestly, if no one else cares to, at least I know that I will enjoy looking back through my pictures and remembering times past.

The past few weeks, while working on this slideshow, I've looked at many photographs of my grandparents. As I tried to put the photographs into chronological order, I would ask my mother and my aunt for help. But in many cases they no longer remembered the details - if they ever even knew them to begin with. This is not the first time I've had this experience. When trying to organize pictures from my own childhood, I encountered the same difficulty. On numerous occasions my parents disagreed about the details - when and where the pictures were taken. I was always happy when there was a notation on the back of the photograph to steer me in the right direction. It doesn't take long to forget because even with my photographs of my own children, who have been a part of my life for less than a decade, I look back at pictures from the beginning and I've already forgotten so much.

Taking photographs is only half of preserving your history. The other half is recording the story. To me, that's the magic of scrapbooking. It's an opportunity to showcase photographs AND highlight the special stories that go along with them. And blogging is the newest way to accomplish this same goal. I'm still drawn to scrapbooking because it's also an opportunity to be creative and make something visually pleasing. I enjoy it. But I most of all, I just think it's so cool to put your stories and photographs together.

Sitting next to me is a stack of letters that my grandfather wrote to my grandmother while he was in the war. I offered to scan them so that my entire family can have copies of them. So I KNOW for a fact that if my grandparents had kept some sort of scrapbook, it's something we'd all treasure.

From Rapt 2 Scrap

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Online Class Suggestion

Cathy Zielske is teaching a class inspired by Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I'm so excited about it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Great American Scrapbook Convention is coming!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Some poking around on the web, looking at various sites, has lead me to inspiration. Apparently Cathy Zielske (I know, I know, I'm always talking about Cathy Zielske) taught a class at CKU and then at Big Picture Scrapbooking based on the book Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. If anyone out there actually pays attention to this blog, you may recall that I posted a review of that book a while back. The book was inspiring in and of itself but this class sounds freakin' awesome.

From what I gather, attendees wrote two to three things about themselves, or things they liked, for each letter of the alphabet. Then they wrote narratives for each item and tried to find an image to go along with it. Finally they made a page for each letter of the alphabet. (Someone named Jackie put a link to one of her pages on a forum at DST.)

I found an article in the Salt Lake City Examiner which leads me to believe that Cathy may teach another similar class in the future, which I hope is true. That would be great! But in the meantime, I totally intend to do this exercise!

Font Junkie

I've become a bit of a font junkie. Thank you Cathy Zielske for that. But the good thing is that I'm starting to be a little more discriminating about the fonts I download. Lately I've been on a quest for thick but simple fonts to use for titles. I love the mix of a thick and thin when making a title.

I've updated my sidebar a little and organized it into sections. There are several font sites listed in the Freebie section. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Digital Scrapbooking Magazine Archives

Took me a while to figure out how to get to DSM's archives so I'll make it easy for myself in the future.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kiersten's Great Fall

Fonts: CK Ali's Writing, CK Tipsy, Times New Roman

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hair Twist

From Scrapt
Background: Jan Hosford Skipping School
Font: Century Gothic
Template: Cathy Zielske Design Your Life class
Actions: Pioneer Woman Sepia, Totally Rad Actions Super, Fun Happy

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Conversation Overheard

From Scrapt

Staples: Correen Silke
Background: Shalae Tippetts Fall Watercolors Blue Paper
Conversation Overheard brush: Maryann Wise Journaling Challenge 3/08/09
Font: Times New Roman


Annika: I want to go to Auntie Joy's house.
Me: That's nice, what do you want to do at Auntie Joy's house?
Annika: I want to pet our cat.
Me: Oh...Annika, honey...our cat got sick, sweetie. Our cat passed away.
Annika: Where did our cat go? I want to pet our cat.
Me: Annika, remember when Daddy's grandma died? Our cat died too, honey.
Annika [sobbing]: I wanted to pet our cat before she die-ed.
Maggie to Oskar: Did you know your Daddy's Grandma died?
Oskar to Maggie: Yes, I'm sad about that.
Annika [between sobs]: Why did our cat die?
Me: She got sick.
Annika: Can I pet her when she gets better?
Me: She's not coming back, honey.
Annika: Where do animals and people go when they die?
Me: Well honey, people believe that we go to Heaven.
Someone, perhaps Kiersten: What's Heaven?
Maggie: Heaven is where baby Jesus is born on Christmas morning.

- Conversation while driving home from preschool, March 23, 2009
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Labor Notes

From Scrapt
Purple ribbon Zazou
Tag TCS Scrapgirls Refresh
white font CK Ali's Writing
gray font karabinE.
purple font LD Slanted (and Anna Aspnes Wish plum paper)
Journaling font: Century Gothic
background paper Angie Briggs

Family Tree take 2

From Scrapt
I redid this page for Kardynn's book last night too. Here's the old and the new pages next to each other, because I don't think I ever uploaded it before. It was a royal mess!!
From Scrapt

A Breech of Protocol

From Scrapt
Olho de boi font
LD Little Fishie font
Jackie Eckles web challenge 6/25/06
Designer Digitals
background paper is one that I bought back when I was paper scrapping, and scanned to use for this LO

I'm scrapping again! Yippie!

Baby #4

From Scrapt
Redid this LO. Click here for the original.