Take a Look Through Your Albums

I have a challenge for you today: I want you to look through your albums (assuming you have actually printed some of your pages — if you haven’t, your challenge ends there. GO PRINT NOW!)

I want you to look through you albums, taking notice of the pages you like, the pages that you don’t like, and the overall feel of your album. When we stop to look at our pages as a whole, we can get a better idea of the story we are telling. You can see if there are major gaps in your albums — either time periods, people, or types of stories.You may not realize that as you scrap away using the newest kit or the latest fad that you are neglecting things (or people) that are important to you.


As I look through my albums it is very clear to me that the pages I love

  • Have journaling that tells a story (not just a random word like “dream” or “wonder”)
  • Tell real “moments in time” stories — things that I would have completely forgotten about had I not scrapped about them
  • Are honest — sharing even the hard times
  • Are consistent with my style (I am not good with using lots of elements and don’t like the pages when I try)
  • Are often two pages spreads (more about two page layouts on Friday!)
  • Often have numerous photos on them, often from different days, time periods
  • Are dated

What I don’t really care about when I see my pages:

  • Who created the kit
  • How many comments I got on it
  • What CT it was for
  • If I had used the kit before
  • If my kids clothes match the kit I used
  • If the photo is technically perfect
  • If my kids hair is messy and their are crumbs around ( I live with four kids age 6 and under…what can you expect?)

We all scrapbook for different reasons so your reasons for loving/not loving your pages might be different, but it is still good to look through and see what jumps out at you. You might be surprised and it might change the way you scrapbook.

Here are a few of my favorite pages:


This one, titled “Waiting for Someone To Call Me Mom” is about my journey of infertility and miscarriages. Those three years were defining years for me and I love that I have shared the story.


Even though this page contains no journaling (very rare for me) I LOVE it because it is, in one page, a snapshot of my life at a certain time period. Each of these photos brings back a specific memory and I love being flooded with emotions when I look at them.


I love this page! The pictures are FAR from technically perfect but I just love the real emotion that they capture. It’s just me, piled high with kids, loving every minute. THAT is my life right now and I love that it has been captured and preserved.


I love this two page spread because it totally conveys the energy and excitement that went into our day. I also got 31 photos on one layout!


Here are some of the things that THE DAILY DIGI artist team had to say about their albums:

KAREN:When I first fell in love with scrapping, I felt completely compelled to use every unique element that came in a kit. I found after looking through my pages that they were too cluttered for my taste… I kept getting distracted from the photos and stories I was trying to showcase/tell.”

JACKI: “I’m still just having so much fun with all the beautiful kits out there. I try to do double pages so that facing pages in the album look nice together, but that’s not always the case. Nowadays I’m enjoying making Shutterfly books using just one kit and a template kit. The pages coordinate nicely and it looks very put together. I’m trying to do that for vacations. Ultimately I’d love to make one simple book for each of my kids with my most favorite photos. That way they’ll have something neat and tidy and not so overwhelming. In the meantime, I’m just having fun creating a hodge podge of pages and filling up my albums awfully quickly! Smiley

DUNIA: “My first albums look like a mess Embarrassed Nothing matches — photos, pages, kits, etc. I have hard time making double pages but I think if I could do it, I will have more harmony in my albums. For me it’s hard to make a full album with only one kit, so I try to have something in common with all pages, like a white background, the same font, etc.”

AMY: “I just sorted through my albums again and it frustrates me that I didn’t really scrap the stories. My favorite pages are the ones that give a glimpse into our life at the moment…because our lives change constantly, from week to week, season to season, and year to year. You think you’ll remember the details but you don’t (at least I don’t). I also fell into the trap of scrapping a pretty page just for a CT assignment. Those pages are gorgeous to look at but have no journaling, no details, just a picture, the date, and pretty papers and elements.

I’m a big fan of Stacy Julian’s method of scrapping (I highly recommend her library of memories class at big picture scrapbooking and her book Photo Freedom). Once you focus on the things you do, the place you go, and the people you love, it all falls into place and your scrapbooks become a reflection of your life, not a showcase of the popular designers at the time.”

AGGIE: “The most celebrated pages I did ever were the ones I never thought my kids would appreciate – and these were the day to day events and little things they did way back that they don’t remember anymore. I sometimes forget that, going along with scrapping for a kit instead scrapping for a story or a picture.

And I obviously need to date my pages. I’m still in the process of deciding how to archive my pages so at this time everything goes into protectors as they are printed. I have close to 400 printed already and I don’t have dates on almost half of them!”

KATIE: “Of course there has been a learning curve with my pages. I don’t like some of the earlier pages as much because I didn’t understand about shadowing, recoloring, photo-editing, and some of the other tricks that make a difference. I find that my favorites are always the layouts with the most journaling on them. They are rewarding to read and I feel good that I took the time to tell the story that went with the memory.

I’m finding that I love 2 page spreads or coordinating layouts over the 2 page area. It just feels more organized.

I was looking through my oldest layouts online and found this one. The layout is very simple and I know a lot more tricks now, but I still love this one as it is because I told the story behind the photo.”

KELLY: “I think the best decision I ever made regarding my scrapbooking was to be “me”. Once I quit worrying about what I was “supposed to” do and went with my simple linear style it all came together. I’ve found that the pages I create in “my style” are still “in style” years later. I love most of the pages I’ve created since 2005 but my family loves them ALL. They even love the crazy ones where I cropped pictures into stars and scalloped circles! LOL! I love looking through my old pages but even more than that, I love watching my family look through my pages. My kids are now grown and their appreciation for the memories I’ve scrapped is a total thrill to me. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that part.”


So what do YOU see when you look through your albums?