Scrapbook Lady: Tucked Away In A Cottage


I am thrilled to be welcoming our very own Katie Nelson to The Digi Files this month! When Katie told me of her plan to open a template shop on her blog, I was super excited!  I was mostly excited for selfish reasons; I would get to work with her templates! I love Katie’s clean, graphic, linear style and adore her passion for large photos.   Katie’s templates can easily be photo intensive or adapted to be journaling heavy, both of which are huge passions for Katie and show through her template design.  Let’s take a closer look at “Scrapbook Lady Selects and Scrapbook Lady Spaces” that are included in The Digi Files this month:



This is ONE of SEVEN collections you get when you become a member of The Digi Game this month. You also get an interactive Playbook (in PDF and iBooks formats) that has lots of ideas for using the supplies including techniques, tips, and tricks! All of that, including access to exclusive collaborations every four months you are a member, for only $7.50 total per month! Here are some layouts created using Katie the Scrapbook Lady’s contribution:

LO1Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Scrapbook Lady Selects and Scrapbook Lady Spaces by Katie the Scrapbook Lady.
LO2Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Scrapbook Lady Selects and Scrapbook Lady Spaces by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; It’s a Me Thing by One Story Down.
Layout by Anne. Supplies: Scrapbook Lady Selects and Scrapbook Lady Spaces by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; Head in the Clouds by Paislee Press and Valorie Wibbens; Doodle Me Christmas (border) by Erica Zane.
Layout by Jenn. Supplies: Scrapbook Lady Selects and Scrapbook Lady Spaces by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; Imagine That by Julie Billingsley; Font: DJB I Heart DJB Fonts.
LO5Layout by Kimberly K. Supplies: Scrapbook Lady Selects and Scrapbook Lady Spaces by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; Dia de los Muertos Kit by Michelle Godin and Jacque Larsen; Fonts: Sketch Rockwell; 28 Days Later.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
I’m Katie Nelson and I’ve lived in the Salt Lake City, Utah area almost all of my life. I’m blessed to be married to my wonderful husband who I’ve been friends with since we were in 7th grade. We have 2 children; Alex who is 19 years old, and Riley who is 16. Yes, it makes me feel old to type their ages!

I graduated with my college degree in English and a minor in Anthropology. I used to dream about becoming a writer and I imagined myself tucked away in a cottage somewhere plunking out the great American novel on a typewriter. Little did I know that someday I would actually be a writer… but it would all be informational and created on a computer!

I’ve had a variety of jobs from janitorial work, receptionist, customer service desk help, selling food to schools and hospitals, bookkeeping, sewing medical device wraps, and freelance writing. I’ve been lucky that most of my jobs have been work-at-home situations while I’ve been a mom.

While I never planned to homeschool my children, somehow I’m in my 7th year of doing just that. We’ve used a virtual online academy through the program. It’s a very demanding curriculum, but we’ve all learned a lot. I’m now in the role of helping my son (who has high-functioning autism) adjust to college learning, while getting my daughter through her sophomore year of high school.

I love to travel (but hate to fly) and I’m happiest when I have a camera in my hand and something fun to photograph. I’m sort of crazy about Lego minifigures and all the cool Lego sets that they can live in. I have bought more Lego sets than we have been able to find time to build so I currently have a backlog stash in our storage room. My very patient husband has asked me “why are we stockpiling Legos?” Besides Legos, I collect postcards, globes, cookbooks, board games, fat quarter fabric squares, and containers for organizing. I *might* have a little bit of OCD. 😉





This is really a very simple layout, but it includes all of my favorite ingredients for a great scrapbook page; a stunning photo that tells a story, descriptive journaling, a memorable title, a subtle but beautiful piece of digital paper, & a few fun embellishments. The layout is about one of the most amazing places I have ever visited!



I started scrapbooking when I was 14 years old. A girl in my neighborhood showed me her scrapbook (it was probably about 12 inches tall and 20 inches wide – it was huge!) and I couldn’t wait to get my own. I used rubber cement and Mrs. Grossman’s stickers and lots of poorly cropped photos. By the time I finished college, I had 3 giant albums finished. Once I was married, I hardly took any pictures and I really didn’t even take many photos of my son when he was born. (insert bad mom guilt here!)

When my son was 18 months old, I went to visit a friend who had a little girl just a few weeks older than Alex. She showed me her two full Creative Memories albums filled with her daughter’s life so far. I felt terrible! I also felt determined and motivated to begin scrapbooking the “right way”. I hosted a CM party and was a faithful customer for 4 years before I became a consultant myself. I was a Creative Memories consultant for 4 years and also hosted monthly all-day crops that I kept going even after I left CM.

Within this same time frame (1999), I started a website using a pre-designed format from homestead and called it “Katie the Scrapbook Lady”. I updated it constantly and I would have to republish the whole thing to show my latest news. I had no idea that I was really trying to run a blog before there even was such a thing. I sold downloadable quote files and instructions for some origami style mini-albums. This was long before I had heard the term “ebooks” but that is really what these downloadable document files were.

I continued on with crops, my website, and A LOT of paper scrapping until about 2003. I even won some ribbons in our State Fair and a newspaper scrapbooking contest. I also had a few pages and a full-length article published in Memory Makers Magazine. I was a total “Scrapbook Lady”. Then we ran into difficulties with my son’s schooling and I had to start homeschooling him. We then moved to a different house and I lost my craft space. Those events led me to pack up the scrapbook stuff, and somehow I just never got it out again. I let my website expire, and I lost my love of scrapping.

In the spring of 2005, my Mom asked me if I had seen the Simple Scrapbooks Digital Scrapbooking special issue and showed me her copy. I was very intrigued and I spent many hours looking through the pages trying to figure out how they did it. I signed up for 2peas, hung out in the digital forum, and played around in Microsoft Digital Image Pro until I figured out what to do. I started blogging in October of 2005. My love of scrapbooking was on fire again!

I decided to start designing digital kits in 2007. I shudder to think that some of those early kits are still out there on people’s hard drives somewhere! Please accept my apologies. Lol! 😉 Then I acted on an idea I had thought of years before, a monthly inspiration file of scrapbooking ideas based on everyday events and holidays. I put together my first issue in March of 2007 and over the course of the next year, I finished a full year of Amazing Month of Memories files. I was (and still am) very proud of how they turned out. It was this series that helped me realize how much I love to write about scrapbooking! I retired the files in 2009 because they needed some major updating, but I would love to figure out a way to bring them back in a new format someday. I also decided to retire from digital designing in 2009 and focus on writing for The Daily Digi and my own blog instead. I wanted to spend more time learning and scrapping and not use up all my creative energy on designing.

I did not regret my decision to stop designing. Every time I got a little urge to start up again, it seemed like it was time to help out with one of the exclusive Daily Digi collaborative kits that Daily Digi members get every few months and I could satisfy the designer urge that way. I honestly had no intention of designing again. I was happily scrapping, writing, and even started co-hosting The Digi Show. On top of all my own personal responsibilities, I had more than enough to keep me busy!

The funny thing is, I couldn’t fight it anymore. I began to realize that every time I went to use ANY template, I ALWAYS altered it. After a while, I would end up with something so different than the template I started with, I realized that I was really designing my own. I quit using templates and just started scrapping the way I wanted to. It was like I was finally ready to be myself. I had figured out what I love most on layouts – BIG pictures + journaling, clean lines, and room for some fun. I knew how I wanted my pages to look and I felt like after years of studying scrapbooking, I had a good understanding of what really made pages stand out. I try very hard to incorporate those principles into all of my templates. It’s important to me that nothing overwhelms the story of the page and that the memories get a chance to really shine.

Before I allowed myself to become a template designer, I made a deal with myself. I could only sell my templates as long as I was scrapping with them. I wanted to be sure I was creating templates that were truly user-friendly and I didn’t want my own scrapbooking to suffer. Because I create at least one layout for every single template I design, I figure it takes me 2 or 3 times longer to put together a pack of templates than it would if I was only designing. It’s a long process, but at the end, I not only have something that will help others document their memories, I also have my own pages to enjoy!

My inspiration almost always starts with my photos or a memory I want to document. I also get a lot of ideas just looking through my stash of digi kits. There are so many talented designers out there and I love to use their fun products!

Pinterest is my favorite source of creative energy. It’s not that I find specific ideas there to use for creating templates, it’s more that it’s a place that makes me feel creative and energized. I spend way too much time there, but it’s a happy place for me. You can follow me at Pinterest.

Computer: Dell Latitude E6520 laptop 8GB with Windows 7 Professional
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex external hard drive (1TB) – I have two of them so I have double backups
HP Office Jet 6500 series printer/scanner

Program: I’m a total Photoshop Elements fan and I especially love PSE 11! I decided a few months ago that I really needed to learn Photoshop CS6 + a variety of other Adobe programs because I do a lot of teaching others in the various projects I’m involved in so I subscribed to the Adobe Cloud program. It’s really a great value because for $50 a month (less if you qualify for an educational discount) you get to use a whole bunch of top notch programs! PSE is still my very favorite though. 🙂
Camera: Nikon D90 DSLR
Canon S95 point-and-shoot
I guess it’s funny that I have both a Nikon and a Canon, but I really prefer Nikon DSLR cameras and I have found that Canon makes incredible point-and-shoot cameras. I love them both!
iPhone 4 (but I plan to upgrade to an iPhone 5 at the end of this month)

Anything Else: iPad 3 – great for accessing online classes & tutorials, reading blogs, surfing for inspiration, and watching movies!

Do regular disk cleanups on your computer to keep it from getting bogged down. This even applies to Mac users.

I run disk cleanups all the time and I don’t keep unnecessary files on my computer. I don’t like anything to slow down my digi scrapping!

I guess I love this set because there’s room for really big photos and a few more to enhance the story. They also work great for pages with a lot of journaling – just use the large photo space for the story!

All of my templates sold pretty equally until this set came out. The Sorted set has been my most popular one by far! I think it’s because the templates are so versatile. You can flip or rotate them and also fill them with papers or photos for many different looks. It’s also a great feeling to be able to fit A LOT of photos on a page and still be able to see all of them and not feel overwhelmed.

I created these templates because I needed a way to include all the pictures that were part of the story I wanted to tell.


Here are some of my favorite products by Katie:


Here are some more inspirational layouts using Katie’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.



Save 30% off storewide in Katie’s store through January 31, 2013. Use code: 359301X5

Go have a look in Katie’s store! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!