A Month of Curated Photos and Stories

A Month of Curated Photos and Stories

Put your hand up if you’re a fellow pocket scrapbooker!

I have been making pocket albums and individual pocket pages for a few years. Through lots of trial and error, I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t.

When I first started pocket scrapbooking, I used the Project 52 idea of having a 2-page layout spread for each week of the year. With P52, if you fall behind, it’s no big deal because you can go back and fill in weeks as you have time. On the negative side, sometimes you have too many photos and stories to fit in just a 2 page spread — or the opposite where you’re struggling to fill the pockets. Thank goodness for art cards!

I had one year where I just made pages and filled the pockets as the photos and stories interested me. I didn’t worry about filling a 2-page spread each week. Some 2 page spreads held only 1 week and others held 3 weeks worth of material. I thought this was the best style for me, but then “life happened” and I naturally fell behind in memory keeping. My first instinct when catching up is to start with today and work backwards, but with the linear timeline of this album, I couldn’t just pick up with the current week and always had to work “in order”. Long story short – I’m still working on this album.

What I’m Trying Now

I am experimenting now with monthly spreads. There are no rules, other than I need an even number of pages for the spreads because I’m using one kit for the whole month and I like the facing pages to have the same colour scheme.

Here’s how it turned out for the month of April:

Supplies: Status Memory Pockets Monthly from The Lilypad

How I Did It

I used standard 4×3 and 4×6 spaces, which I sized down a smidgen to leave a nice border around the page. I like to use these industry-standard sizes so that I can buy pre-made journal cards to drop into the spots.

To add a bit of interest, I warped the shadows on the cards to give them a more realistic look – like I sat them down on the paper and took a photo.

The biggest “trick” though was to select only special photos and the stories that I really wanted to tell. There’s not as much filler material on these pages and when I look at them, they really capture this month in the life of our family. A pretty ordinary month, but in 5 years and 10 years and more, I know the daily rhythm of our days will have changed and I’ll look back on these memories fondly.

The whole month came together in a couple of hours and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I even did May and (if I can find a few hours in this busy summer month of July!), I think I can get June done quickly too.

Happy scrapbooking!

Going Off-Theme

Going Off-Theme

I am a huge fan of stretching digi supplies by taking a themed kit and using it for a non-themed purpose. The Daily Digi has quite a few articles in the archives about working with themed kits on more than one page. Check these out:

Usually, when I buy I themed kit, it’s because I really like the theme and because I think I can stretch the kit to make it work on a few different pages.

I wanted to challenge myself to take a themed kit that didn’t really apply to my life and see if I could make it work for a page. Here’s a pretty obvious theme that isn’t really aimed at me – Independence Day. Since I’m Canadian, I don’t generally need Independence Day kits. BUT, I liked the papers and elements in this one so I picked it up to use.

Fortunately, Canada’s flag is red and white so I just needed to have enough non-blue and non-star and non-flag themed elements to make this kit work for a Canada Day page.

And that’s the thing about kits these days – most kits are pretty big and you’ll find plenty of non-themed elements and papers to work with. (And, it’s worth noting, you’ll often find a lot of neutral elements that you can use on any page.)

Here’s my Canada Day page. You’d never know it was made with an Independence Day kit!

Canada Day. Supplies: Celebrate Independence Day by Amanda Yi and Libby Pritchett, Remember Those Days 7 by Two Tiny Turtles

Supplies: Celebrate Independence Day by Amanda Yi and Libby Pritchett, Remember Those Days 7 by Two Tiny Turtles

Happy scrapbooking!

Taking Inspiration from Magazine Text

Taking Inspiration from Magazine Text

Magazines are often filled with examples of beautiful page design and interesting text placement. As a digital scrapbooker, I’m always happy to find new ways to add some visual interest to my journalling.

Here are a few very common text ideas that you’ll see in magazines:

Bold First Line

Adding the first word, few words or even a sentence in bold text is a text treatment you’ll find in many magazines. It’s used at the start of articles and even to indicate the start of new sections or ideas.

Bold First Letter

I happen to love the look of the bold first letter. It gives such a clear starting point to the text. Sometimes you’ll see the accent letter in a compatible font or in a different colour to help it stand out.


Obviously columns are a frequently used tool in magazines because of space issues. Sometimes you’ll see them paired with the bold first letter or line, like above.

It’s easy to pull from magazines and add some oomph to your journalling. On this page (below), I just added a bold accent line in a different font and colour from the rest of the journalling. I like that it ties the journalling block into the overall page design.

There you have it! A few very simple ideas for adding visual interest to your next digital scrapbook page – taken straight out a magazine!

Making Your Own Graphic Background

Making Your Own Graphic Background

Making your own custom graphic background is a quick and easy way to add colour and movement to a page.

Here’s how I made a page by making my own graphic background, featuring triangles.

Step 1 – Choose Your Shapes

The first thing I did on this page was draw some big, bold triangles on a 12×12 canvas and then clipped some paper to them.

Step 2 – Accent the Shapes

I thought the colours on the triangles needed a little “oomph” so I duplicated each triangle and clipped a bold blue paper to bottom triangles. Then I “nudged” them over a bit so that just the edge peeked out from underneath.

Step 3 – Add Photos and Word Art

I added a few pictures to the the page and I replicated the look of a Polaroid frame by just adding a white rectangle under each photo and extending it a bit on one side. Then I accented the photos with some fun word art.

Step 4 – Add the Finishing Touches

Finally, I added some floral clusters and, my favourite, some journalling.

Oh Lazy Day!

An easy colourful design and another memory captured!

How to Make a Floral Shape

How to Make a Floral Shape

From time to time, I like to step away from “memory-keeping” and do something that is just for fun. Here’s a just-for-fun page that I recently made featuring a large floral arrow. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out! (And it really was fun – and easy – to make!)

Even though there are a lot of elements on the page, I think I only spent about 25 minutes on the page. Here’s how to do it:

Start With a Shape Guide

First, start with the shape you want to create into a floral cluster. I chose an arrow.

Add Foliage

Then cover the shape with leaves to hide the shape. If you have to “erase” some of the leaves to get the shape right, go ahead. Just remember to hide the erased bits with flowers later.

Add Flowers

Add lots and lots of flowers! (And maybe a sprinkle of tags and hearts and stars.) Whenever I add a flower, I duplicate it at least 2 more times and rotate them slightly before spreading them out on the shape guide. Sometimes I add the same flower twice – once in a larger size and then again in a smaller size.

I like to step back from time to time and bring some flowers forwards (or push some flowers to the back) in the layer palette.

Add the Finishing Touches

For my page, I added some paper strips, paint splatter and a positive thought in a pretty water colour script.

Happy scrapping!

Use Groups to Make Design Decisions

Use Groups to Make Design Decisions

I am pretty sure that I’m not the only one who adds items to a page, then looks at the page and takes them off again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. We’ll just call this comparison part of the creative process.

When you have just one item, like a flower, that you’re testing out on a page, it is easy to just toggle that one layer on and off to see if you’re happy with it on your page.

But what if you have more than one item? You could toggle each layer on and off, but that would get tedious.

An easier way is to use groups within the Layers palette. For one of my recent pages, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep the black stitching I had added. To “group” the stitching together in my layers palette, I first held down the CTRL key and selected each stitching layer in my layers palette.Then I selected Layers>Group Layers from in the menu.

The layers are grouped together now in the layers palette, under the name “Group 1” (which can be customized). Now, to turn the stitching layers on and off, all I need to do is toggle the eye icon beside Group 1. Here the layers are on:

And here the stitching layers are off:

In the end I liked the black stitching and decided to keep it on the final version of my page.

Do you use layer groups in your scrapbooking workflow?

You Should Check These Out!

Time to share some great stuff I’ve found while browsing around digi-land! Enjoy!

Scrapbooking Memes

Becca Bonneville hosted a scrapbooking meme challenge recently. The results are HILARIOUS! (Well, hilarious to us digital scrapbookers, that is!) Definitely worth the time to read them all.

Here’s my attempt at a meme.

Try making your own on this web site. It’s fun!

Saving Layouts – A Scrapbooker’s Workflow

Aaron (aka SirScrapalot) shared his workflow for saving layouts on The LilyPad store blog recently. I love peeking into other people’s process! He also shared this quick note, which is worth sharing again:

It can be a little tricky to find the Save for Web Dialog in the latest models of Photoshop. If you go to File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy) you will get here.

It IS tricky to find the Save for Web in the new Photoshop! It took me a while to get used to it being hidden in the menus.


Miranda at The Digital Press shared a wonderful idea about scrapbooking a trip that may happen in the future. How fabulous! I should do a page planning the trip I want to do through Germany and England.

Tipster Tuesday

I just learned that Scrapbookgraphics ladies Ana and Rue share tips on scrapbooking each Tuesday on Facebook. They have been helpfully compiled into Tipster Tuesday posts on the SBG store blog. I love this one on warping shadows (a most useful trick in Photoshop!):

Tip: Warping shadows
I’m obsessed with shadows and always use them, tweaking them as needed. Here’s a quick way to tweak them in Photoshop.
1. Apply a shadow style, click fx arrow to open drop down menu.
2. Hover over drop shadow, left click, select “create layer”.
3. This creates shadow layer below the product layer, make sure you have selected this layer, then select edit>transform>warp.
4. Pull at points to move the shadow. I like to pull corners to appear that corner is lifted up off the page.
Hope you have fun trying this warping method with your shadows

Check out the blog for many more tips!

5000 Photography Ideas

TDD team member and all around great person Katie the Scrapbook Lady shared links to more than 5000 photo ideas! There should be something for everybody! Time to get clicking!

Gearing Up for National Scrapbooking Day

Gearing Up for National Scrapbooking Day

Are you gearing up for (inter)National Scrapbooking Day? NSD is celebrated the first Saturday in May each year. That means the fun starts this coming weekend!

I’ve been a digital scrapbooker for a long, long time now and I still get excited to celebrate NSD each year! Here are some of my tips for celebrating in style!

Pssst…. If you’re new to digital scrapbooking, you need to know that National Scrapbooking Day means there will be really great new products and sales!

The days ahead of NSD are perfect for making a wishlist of products you want to buy. You can make a wishlist at each store you shop at by using the store wishlist feature. Then it is easy to just add each product to your cart on NSD weekend.

Another really great option is to use Pinterest. Just create a NSD 2016 board and save your favourite products to it. You’ll be able to see everything you want from all of your favourite stores so you can check if you’re picking too many blue kits and not enough templates, for example. It’s nice to have a visual overview of all of the products that you are interested in buying.

Now is the time to make sure that you’re following your favourite designers on social media. Designers share their sales information and provide sneak peeks for their new products. Obviously, this can help you to fine tune your wishlist.

Subscribe to newsletters of your favourite designers to make sure you don’t miss an update. I’ve seen designers provide early access to the sales (with coupon codes) to their newsletter subscribers, as well as coupons for additional savings. Some designers offer freebies or free-with-purchase products through their newsletters as well.

Once NSD weekend arrives, it is time to hit the sales! The NSD sales are always amazing!

Load up your cart(s), check your budget and then hit buy!

But fair warning – download times on NSD weekend can sometimes be a bit slow because there are just so very many excited digi scrappers trying to get their goodies. If you’re patient, wait to download until off-hours, like early in the morning or very late at night. Or, if you’re very, very patient, wait until early next week.

Lots of stores and designers host fun games and challenges. Some are forum participation games and some get you scrapping! Either way, enjoy taking part in the community and sharing your love of this hobby with other memory keepers.

I wish you all a happy (inter)National Scrapbooking Day!

Sharing Your Layouts on Instagram

Sharing Your Layouts on Instagram

Are you sharing your scrapbook layouts on Instagram? It has become an amazing “gallery” for digital scrapbookers. Most of your favourite designers and stores are probably on Instagram and there is an abundance of inspiring content and layouts to be found there. I recently created my own scrappy Instagram account and have started to post my layouts there. Today I’m going to share my workflow for getting a layout from my computer and on to Instagram.

A Personal Account and a Scrappy Account

I have had a personal Instagram account for a while now. It is mostly filled with food pics and pics from my every day life.

To avoid annoying my non-scrappy friends and family, I created a second account where I share my layouts and articles on scrapbooking. Instagram now allows us to switch between two accounts really easily. All you do is just click on your username in the top centre of the Instagram app. A drop down will appear with all of your available accounts. (Or you can add another account, if you want.)

Using Later to Make Writing Easier

If you’ve hesitated about using Instagram for posting your layouts because you thought it would be bothersome to type up all of the design credits on your smartphone, definitely try out Later (formerly known as Latergram). Later is a service that lets you create Instagram posts and schedule them to be posted at a later date – although to be clear, Later does not post to your account – you still have to go in and manually post your picture. It will send you a reminder prompt at the scheduled time though.

For scrapbookers, the beauty of Later is that it allows us to type up a long description of our layout including credits, all from the comfort of our keyboards. You can also save it without scheduling it to post, so you can go in and edit it as much as you need to.

For scrapbookers on creative teams for designers, Later also allows you to create your post and then schedule it to be posted on the new product release date. Awesome time saver!

To post your layout, go into the Later app on your phone and select the layout you want to share. Hit the “Open In Instagram” button. It will ask if you are logged in correctly to Instagram. This is important! Make sure your scrappy account is the active one so that it will post to it.

Later automatically copies the text you’ve prepared. So, once in the Instagram app, all you have to do is paste the text.

Here is all of the prepared text pasted into the Instagram caption box:

Et voilà! A fully prepared Instagram post showing a layout of mine:

Keep a List of Tags

Many designers use a specific hashtag to easily find their products. Just go to their Instagram page and you’ll be able to find it on their photos. To keep track of these hashtags, I use Google Keep to keep a quick list for each of the designers I frequently use – as well as store hashtags.

Remember to tag your pages with general tags too, like #digitalscrapbooking or #pocketscrapbooking. This will help other people find them, even if they’re not familiar with the products you used on your page.

Save Favourite Layouts to Pinterest

Don’t forget to follow your favourite scrapbookers on Instagram and to save any layouts that you love to Pinterest!

Write Around the Page

Write Around the Page

My scrapbook pages are full of stories and little notes about everyday life. I have a hard time not including journalling on a page.

Except sometimes finding a spot to put the journalling is tricky!

Take the page below for example. It has a strong central cluster and lots of white space around the outside of the page. I tried many different options, like breaking up the journaling and using a journaling tag, but no matter where I put text it just made the page feel off balance. Finally I settled on adding it as a sort of “border” around the edge of the page.

Sweet Fall Memories

Supplies: Sweet November by Blagovesta Gosheva, templates pieces from Oh the Sweet Memories by Two Tiny Turtles

To add this journalling, I created a square using the shape tool and then created a path from the shape. In Photoshop, you can create a custom path from any shape. Steph showed us how to do that here and here. Melissa wrote a detailed tutorial on how make text on a shape in Photoshop Elements. There are a lot of useful tricks to learn in Photoshop, but this is one of the top 10, I think. It is so useful!

But, one of the beautiful things about Photoshop is that there is always more than one way to go about things. If you only want to journal in straight lines like this, just type the four lines of text and then rotate them and place them on the page wherever you want. Easy-peasy!