Relating To Your Relatives

One of my favorite kinds of layouts to create is a layout in which I am comparing one of my family members to another and finding similarities. There is such a sense of kinship that comes to me when I create these layouts that I find it very fulfilling!


I made the above layout in 2006 when my daughter and I were both eleven years from being twenty years old. She was on one side of twenty and I was on the other. (This was one of the layouts I created when I was going through my, “I-must-create-everything-on-the-layout-from-scratch-for-it-to-truly-be-mine-phase, so I made all those papers and elements). Here’s what the journaling reads:

“Eleven years from being twenty, I am a mom of two great kids. I have been a wife for eleven years. I have learned that my parents were always right! I still enjoy scrapbooking and traveling, just like I did back then. I have learned a lot and survived much. I am spiritual and faithful. I like who I am! During those eleven years, I graduated from college, just like I had planned. Not everything has gone as I had decided it would, but I have learned that is life; it’s full of surprises and I can roll with it just fine!

Eleven years from being twenty, you are my sweet, innocent girl, everything is black and white to you. You have lots of dreams about what you will do when you grow up. You wrote in a report at school that the perosn you admire the most is your mom…ME! Wow!!! You are a very good friend to everyone. You are very responsible and a big help! You love to read and would rather do that than almost anything. You love to play soccer and scored a goal this year. You also love to play basketball. You really want to learn to play the harp. You are my girl and I love you!”


Supplies: Note To Self by Zoe Pearn, fonts are Weathered and Printing Primer by Fontologie (me)

I created this layout to document life changing events that occurred to both my Grandma and I when we were 31. Journaling reads:

“You were 31 years old in 1941. You had three children and one on the way. Your husband had kidney disease, or what, in your journals you call, “acute nephritis”. On April 5, 1941, you gave birth to a baby boy, my uncle. You were at a hospital several hours away from your husband who lay in bed, too sick to travel. At that time, there was not much they could do for him. On April 18, 1941 your husband passed away and left you alone, a widow with three children and a brand new baby.

I have known this story about you my whole life. I knew it was hard for you and I knew you were heart broken to lose your husband that you loved so much.

When I was 31, my husband was diagnosed with nephritis…or advanced kidney failure. I had two children at the time and five months after his diagnosis, we found out we were expecting our third. It was so hard and he was really, really sick. I couldn’t help but think of you and how similar our situations were.

Six months after diagnosis, my husband started dialysis, an option not available in 1941 and I know it saved his life. Seven months after diagnosis, he received a new kidney from his younger brother. We were able to bring our new baby home from the hospital together. He is now very healthy.

Such similar stories…yet such different endings.”

(You can read more information on this in the post script below).

During that time in my life, I found a lot of comfort and strength in what my Grandma had been through before me.


I asked our team to share with us some of their layouts where they were able to relate to their relatives and it has been fun to see the results!

image Layout by Ana, layout linked to supplies.

“This is a page about my mom, when she was pregnant with me. In the journaling I write about her age, which was the same as mine when I was pregnant with my first child. I journal about her life and all the things that happened and that she probably didn’t have a clue at the time of the pictures. As I am also pregnant (at the time I did the layout) I wonder about what life will store for me in the future and the surprises and I will probably have when I’m also a grandmother.”


Layout by Kelley, supplies: One Love Charity Collab; Worn Up In You by Penny Springmann & Lauren Grier; Tiny Type Alpha by Zoe Pearn; Pea Remi Font.


Layout by NeeNee


Layout by Janet


Layout by Janet, click on layout for credits


If you have some layouts where you were able to relate to your relatives, we would love to see them, so link us up in the comments! If you don’t have any YET, we hope we gave you some ideas! 🙂

P.S., First up, I want to announce the winner from yesterday’s post…… Leslie was the random winner chosen from yesterday’s comments, this is what she said: “I have known and loved Peppermint’s scrapbooking LO’s and now to see her doing designing is amazing!! I really love her kit Unconditionally with its bold red and elegant patterns.”

P.S.S I just wanted to give you a little update about my husband, because I’m sure many of you don’t know about our experience I shared in the layout today. He is doing AWESOME and is very healthy! Tomorrow, we will be celebrating what we affectionately call “Kidney Day” at our house, it will 4 years since he received a new kidney from his younger brother! There really isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think about it in one way or another. It’s amazing when you are forced to stare death in the face, how life changes and we will never be the same!

P.S.S.S If you are on Twitter, you know that I love Paperclipping Roundtable!! They are looking for an “average scrapper” (someone not in the industry) to join them for a discussion! You can find out more about it here as well as subscribe and listen to the podcasts. Read the instructions carefully and give it a shot!! I would love for one of our readers to be on the show!! 🙂 ***Today is the LAST day***

My Parents Were Awesome


We love to share inspirational links here at The Daily Digi so when I (Katie) found this cool website My Parents Were Awesome I knew I wanted to post about it. This site was pointed out to me from a fellow classmate in Ali Edwards’ Yesterday Today workshop last year at Big Picture Scrapbooking. The class has ended now, but if it is offered again, I HIGHLY recommend it! One thing I really learned from the whole experience was to have a greater appreciation for the photos of the past I just loved looking through all the older photographs that Ali shared with us there.

The idea behind My Parents Were Awesome is that our parents had a life before they were parents, and they were pretty awesome people! It is so much fun to browse through all the photos that have been submitted there and imagine the stories behind them. This helped me to remember that my own parents were (and still are) awesome!

Here are my parents before a school dance when they were in high school. My Grandma had made the dress for my Mom and my Mom created her headband and jeweled belt out of a rhinestone necklace and earrings. For some reason they always had their picture taken in front of the groovy brass plate on the fireplace. This photo was probably taken in 1964 or 1965. That skinny tie is a real giveaway to the time period. They are so young and so cool in this picture!

Ah, the Seventies! This is circa 1972. Love my Dad’s wide tie and long sideburns, and especially my Mom’s frosted hair and Go-Go boots! Note the TV set and the lamp, they are also telling clues to the date. What a shame it would be if this photo was cropped! That would rob us of an important part of the history of this moment in time. We often journal about the people in the picture, but it’s worth mentioning the seemingly small details of the furnishings and surroundings as well. These things all contribute to the story being told.

One of my biggest “Aha!” moments of Ali’s class was when Ali suggested that we shouldn’t do a lot to change older photos. This was sort of a radical idea for me at first because I’ve spent so much of my time over the last few years learning about how to improve my photos by editing them. Once I thought about it though, I really started to understand her point. While it’s fine to clean up some scanner dust, remove red eye, or repair a scratch, consider letting the photo exist as it was taken. It really is a more authentic memory that way.


This is a picture of me with my parents in 1971. I love this photo just as it is. The original finish and coloring of this picture help tell the story. I could sharpen it up and adjust the levels and coloring, but I’m going to leave it in it’s original state. Now, I’m not saying that older pictures should never be edited. I do believe some of them need a little extra help to give them a new life and that’s ok also. The general idea here is that older photographs are beautiful in their own way, and part of the beauty comes from the fact that they are from another time and that means different technology was used to capture the shot.

This new awareness has also changed how I want to scrap older photos. I want to enhance the story behind them and not detract from it. The beautiful thing about digital scrapbooking is that the sky is the limit when it comes to how we embellish our layouts, but that can also be a problem. Sometimes we can get too caught up in using a new kit or piling on a bunch of fun embellishments only to lose sight of the purpose of the page – the story. If you want to share a memory, let the “awesomeness” of that moment in time shine through on your page!


Template by Darcy Balwin, Papers and heart from Autism World of Wonder Collab. Fonts are CK footnote and Hootie

Here are a few tips to help you scrapbook awesome pages with awesome pictures on them:

  • Concentrate on making the picture(s) and the journaling the main focus of the layout.
  • Look for kits that complement the photos on your layout in color and/or theme.
  • If you are lucky enough to have the people in the photographs still around in your life, take some time to ask them about the details and use their memories for your journaling.
  • And finally, don’t forget to tell them that you think they are awesome!


P.S. Congratulations to Tori A. who is the GIFTaway winner for today! She was randomly selected from those that have purchased THE DIGI FILES so far this month! THANKS for your support!

2009 – The Year In Review

web 2009

Template by Emily Powers, papers by Amanda Heimann, stitching by Anna Aspnes.

I (Katie) love the end of the year! Really, I do. I enjoy all the news stories and top ten lists that recap the important events of the past year. These are such great resources to add relevant and interesting information to your scrapbook pages. Of course, I always do year end pages for my own family that highlight our own special photos and memories, but over the past few years I have enjoyed mining the Internet for information and images to tell the story of what it is like to live at this time in history. What seem like ordinary and everyday moments to us now will be of great interest (and maybe even humorous) to future generations!

How do you find this type of material to use in your own digital scrapbooking projects? And what about finding photos to illustrate them? I have a few favorite resources I’d like to share with you that have helped me put together pages like the one at the beginning of this post.

  • Work the Wiki- I love Wikipedia! While it’s not a perfect site, it’s hard to beat the free and very comprehensive resource that Wikipedia has become. I almost always start with a Wikipedia search when I need information on a vast topic. In this case I looked up 2009 and read through the main events chronicled in the article. I was also able to find several non-copyrighted public domain images to use on my layout. Wikimedia commons is another great place to check for photos and images that are free to use on projects. Some of the images are small in size and resolution, but still print out nicely when used in little spaces like a collage.
  • Mainstream Media – While you won’t be able to download and use photos from publications like TIME magazine or USA Today, you will find reliable and concise information to inspire your journaling. Every year major news publications and websites put out “Year in Review” articles and “Top Ten” type lists recapping trends and events. These are fabulous sources for scrapbooking material! Document the lists from these sites, or use them as a springboard for your own ideas. What were your top ten movies in 2009? What news stories had the most impact on your own life?
  • Create Your Own Content – I couldn’t find a good copyright-free image of Michael Jackson to download and use on a scrapbook layout, but I wanted to document the impact his death had on our culture this year. I remembered that I had purchased a commemorative TIME magazine issue about him and I simply took a photo of the cover to use in my collage. This is just fine to do for a personal use project like a scrapbook page, and the quality was much better than trying to use a web image. Taking photos of television screens, book or magazine covers, and products such as cookies or even an ipod, all help to illustrate the current trends you are scrapping about.
  • Dig a Little Deeper – It might take a few tries to find the pictures or articles you are looking for. Be creative in your approach. I found the Princess and the Frog image by going to the downloads area of the movie site on It is not a high resolution image,but in a small space on a personal page like this, it works just fine. The UP image was from Family Fun magazine’s downloadable bookmarks project.

Now that 2009 is coming to a close, it’s the perfect time to capture the main events on a digital scrapbook page. You and your loved ones will enjoy this time capsule of our world for many generations to come!


Scrapping Big Events

Birthdays. Vacations. Weddings. Special events…All BIG events. All HARD to scrap.

ocean-queenONE WEEK VACATION: 28 PHOTOS (out of over 600)

When we have hundreds — if not thousands — of photos of a single day/event in our lives, the thought of scrapping it can be overwhelming! It is hard to know where to begin, how to move forward, and how to call it done! The days and moments are important to us and so we need to approach them..not in fear but in freedom.

“Freedom in what?” you ask. My answer: FREEDOM TO NOT SCRAP EVERY PHOTO. Freedom to not even scrap all the good photos. Freedom to choose the best of the best (whether in quality of photograph or quality of story-telling ability) and leave the rest.

springbreak_450Click to Enlarge. 4 DAY VACATION: 32 PHOTOS (out of 400+)

Look at it this way: A birthday is an important event. However, most kids who live with their parents will have 18 birthdays at home. If you scrapped even just ten pages for each year, you would end up with 180 birthday layouts for one child. Is a birthday so important that it takes up that amount of space in an album and so much of your time to create the pages?

5thbirthday_450Click to Enlarge. 5th BIRTHDAY: 24 PHOTOS (out of 150)

There are numerous ways to tackle “the big events” when it comes to scrapping, and today I am going to share my most-used process. At the end, I will share a few other ideas as well.

My number one go-to strategy for scrapping events/days that I have hundreds of photos for is this:

Narrow it down, scrap a multiphoto layout (one or two pages), and call it done.

playndine_450Click to Enlarge. 4th BIRTHDAY AT DISNEY’S PLAY ‘N DINE: 31 PHOTOS out of 200

I know, I know. It sounds scary. How can I go from 200 photos to just a few? How can I capture the HUGENESS of this event on one or two pages? How can I not scrap all these photos? I ask those questions and then I answer myself with comments like,

“This event is big now, but not necessarily huge in the context of our whole story.”

“I don’t need 100 photos of my daughter’s 5th birthday in order to remember it.”

“I would rather scrap a few photos and then move onto other — just as important — stories.”

buildabear_450 Click to Enlarge. BUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP: 32 photos (out of 200+)

1. Narrow it Down: This is the hardest part of the process, but the most important. When I go through my photos for a big event, I try to ask myself, “What do I want to remember most about this day?” I choose photos that represents the bigger story for me. The rest of the photos I leave. I may revisit them later, maybe not. I usually end up with 20-30 photos that “tell the story” best.

2. Scrap a multi-photo layout. This is where I usually run to a template. Over the years I have created tons of multi-photo templates so that I have a starting point. With a template chosen (usually a two pager) I look to see how many photos I need. I then go through the favorites that I picked out and narrow it down again or add in a few more. I choose a kit that fits with the theme, share the story, and add to my album.

3. Call it done. For some people, this is the hardest step. When an event seems big to us, when it is filled with so much emotion, it is hard to have just one or two pages to commemorate it. However, when you look back on the event in years to come, it may not seem quite so big. And when you mix it in with the hundreds of other big stories in your life, your one or two pages will seem very adequate.

christmas2008_450Click to Enlarge. CHRISTMAS 2008: 20 PHOTOS (out of 500)


Obviously, there are some stories that are bigger, that need more space, that are worthy of more than a few pages. Examples that come to mind:


Once-in-a-lifetime trips

Stories that continue and can be added to: (people you love, places you have lived, recipes, etc.)

Special Milestone birthdays and anniversaries


Here are some other ideas for ways to scrap bigger events:

Scrap many different pages and put it album as usual
Scrap many different pages and add to a special album (Christmas, birthday, etc):
Create a Mini Album
DVD slide show


So how do YOU tackle your big events?


Digi-Scrapping Recipes

Many Americans (and anyone else who ate a Thanksgiving feast) are recovering today after a day filled with an overabundance of food. I (Katie) consider myself to be very lucky to have enjoyed so many wonderful dishes, and I’m especially grateful that pie is a big part of Thanksgiving dinner! LOL! If you’re like me, your thoughts are now turning to holiday baking and entertaining, as well as planning and preparing many gifts to give to friends and family over the next month. No matter how you celebrate this time of year, chances are that food plays a big role in the festivities. Of course, food is a big part of our everyday lives as well, so it is a great topic to scrap about. One of the best ways to do this is by digiscrapping your favorite recipes.

Recipes can be featured on a layout as part of a topic, or as supportive journaling. Recipes also are wonderful for personalized memory cookbooks and embellished recipe cards. One of my favorite gifts to give (and receive!) is a collection of tried-and-true recipes. About 10 years ago, I put together a giant binder full of our favorite recipes and food-related photographs and memories. All I had to work with was a handful of clip-art graphics, Corel Word, and a few printed stationary papers. The finished product is nothing fancy to look at, but it is a real treasure for me and my family. I still refer to that binder collection at least once every single week. I made a few other copies of this book to give as gifts to our families.

These days I have access to hundreds (maybe even thousands?) of fabulous digital scrapbook graphics, fonts, dingbats, and embellishments that I can use over and over again. I have Photoshop Elements, Corel Draw, and Microsoft Digital Image Programs to use in addition to Microsoft Word. No shortage of supporting materials now! I also have a lot more special recipes and food-related memories to scrap, and I’ve been itching to do something creative with them!


Of course you probably won’t digi scrap every recipe you use, it just wouldn’t be practical in most cases. There are many recipes worth preserving though and creating something special with them is a treat for those who you share them with, and for yourself. If you need some reasons for scrapping your recipes here are a few I thought of:

  1. They make fabulous gifts! Give away a few recipe cards, or put together an entire album. Either way, the recipient is sure to love it!
  2. You deserve some pretty recipes to look at. Maybe it will even inspire you to expand your cooking skills.
  3. It’s a great way to practice your digi skills. You can use all sorts of styles that you might not feel as comfortable using on a traditional page.
  4. You can use all those cooking digi kits that you have (or want a reason to buy) and stretch those supplies even further. You will find a new use for pieces of kits that you never imagined. For example: Monkeys and bananas from this kit would be adorable on a banana bread recipe page! You can also dig out those holiday kits that are only used for one special time of year and find great embellishments for recipes such as cookies and candies from this darling Christmas kit.


  1. Create your own recipe cards on a 4×6 canvas and print them out just like pictures. File them in a recipe box, put them in photo sleeves or albums, or use them in a fun hybrid-type project like making a recipe rolodex file or a mini-album. This also works well with 5×7 size.
  2. Create standard size binder pages (8.5 inch x 11 inch) and use page protectors, divider tabs, and a binder. This is practical and sturdy, and the pages will stand up to years of use and will easily wipe clean.
  3. Create scrapbook size layouts for recipes to put in a scrapbook album. You can use any size, but 6×6 or 8×8 are particularly nice because they are small enough to store easily, but large enough to be able to read the print.
  4. No matter what format you use, focus on using an easily readable font.
  5. Take pictures of your recipe creations to use on your layouts or illustrate them with digi embellishments.


  1. Janet’s Food Photography tips here at The Daily Digi. This is a super fun way to practice your photography skills!
  2. November Workshop at The Digi Chick all about scrapping recipes. This is a fabulous idea and there are even some amazing freebies that are available only until the end of November so hurry!
  3. Family recipe layout ideas from Scrapbooks Etc.
  4. How to create a recipe scrapbook from


Layout by Katie, supplies: What’s for Dinner? by Cinnamon Designs, Template by Hilary Heidelberg. Traveling Typewriter font.

Layout by Katie, supplies: What’s for Dinner? by Cinnamon Designs. Franklin Gothic Book font.

Layout by Katie, supplies: Santa’s Bakeshop by Misty Cato and Julie Billingsly. Font is TImes New Roman.

Layout by Karen, supplies: Lauren Reid Art House papers; Jacque Larsen Sunny Side Up elements; Kate Hadfield Heavy Duty staples; Emily Merritt Stitch ‘Em Up; Karah Fredricks Lil Chubs alpha















Ok, I don’t know about all of you, but after looking at all these yummy kits, I have the sudden urge to go make some cookies! I think I’ll grab by camera as well and think about how I want to digi-scrap my favorite cookie recipe.


Digi Friends…In Real Life


A few weeks back, I decided to take an impromptu girls getaway trip. A friend of mine came along and then fab friend and scrapper, Kellie (joelsgirl) met up with us. We had two days of food, shopping, and great conversation! It was fun to meet up with someone who, had it not been for digi scrapping, I never would have known. Kellie and I had met once before, and it was fun to see her again years later. Making the jump from online to in real life is a pretty easy one!

Over the past four and half years, I have had the amazing privilege of meeting some amazing people online. Although we may live in different places all over the world, they have become some of my closest friends. So naturally, when I have the opportunity to meet some of these amazing people “in real life,” I jump at the chance! Over the years I have been able to meet some amazing scrappers and great friends! And although we have never been together in person, we chat as if we lived down the street. I LOVE having such a strong common bond.

It has been three and half years since my first digi meet up and with all the great people I have since met, it was about time I scrapped about it!

digi-friends_web1T-B, L-R: Kellie T., Penang (April ’06) Janelle and Jen Caputo, Michigan (Dec ‘06) Whitney Bushman, Colorado (May ’07) Laura Kannady (LauraKaye), Colorado (May ‘07) Kellie Penn and Hollie T, Chicago (July ’07) CHA gang (Kellie, Kim H, Hollie, Jen Wilson) Jen Caputo, Chicago (July ‘07) More CHA (Tracie R, Deanne R., Heather Ann), Chicago (July ’07) CD Muckosky, Las Vegas (Sept ‘07) Steph, Orlando (March ’08) Jacq, Singapore (Aug ‘08), Kellie T., Kuala Lumpur (Oct ’09)

I am so happy to have these memories preserved…and I sure hope I can add to it some day! I love my digi friends…whether online, or in real life!


Some of our artist team members have also enjoyed getting to meet some digi friends in real life

1029-irl-friends-450pxLayout by Ana: Backgrounds Circle of friends, Designs by Lili/Kate Hadfield and Live out loud, Corina Nielsen , Journaling tags Craft 1, Ana Reis, Homework fun alpha, Mushy, Freebie, Template 7, Janet Phillips, Bitty Stitchies 2, Lauren Reid, Flowers CK Collab Kit, Designs by Lili, Fonts: Traveling Typewriter and CK Ali’s Handwriting

I’ve made so many friends through the internet since the first days when I started chatting and participating in discussion forums. Those are just a few of the digifriends I actually met in person. The journaling reads about each one of them and how I got to know them in the first place.”


katiecrop2Layouts by Katie: Templates by Ali Edwards at Designer Digitals, Click kit by Kelley Mickus at The Digi Chick, Font is CK classical.

You can read more about these layouts and read the journaling HERE.


So have YOU met any of your digi friends in real life? Have you scrapped about it?


All About WHO!?


(supplies from ABOUT)

I’m sure most of us either have dreaded or do dread doing layouts that are all about us! Let’s face it, finding motivation to scrap ourselves can be very difficult! Why though, do we scrap the memories that we do about other people? Usually, it’s to help our loved ones remember, to save the memories for those that will come after, and have the memories so that we can relive them again and again. If WE, the memory keepers, don’t preserve the memories about US, who will???

I (Steph) remember a couple of years ago, a thread at DST about Cathy Zilske’s “Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life Album” class. I too had read the article in Simple Scrapbooks that the original poster referred to and realized that I had nothing like that to leave my family. I was determined to create an “EOL” album and even bought the book to help give me some ideas. I am so sad to say that I haven’t done it….yet!

As I was preparing for this post, I did some digging and found that Cathy will be teaching this class in September called:

Me: The Abridged Version, An A to Z All About Me


Cathy will teach the class at Big Picture Scrapbooking next month and the best part is that it will be HYBRID!!!! I WILL be taking the class because I know myself and I know that with deadlines, I can get pretty much anything done, but if it is open ended, it probably won’t happen. The really cool thing about the class is that I will get (and you will too, if you join me 😉 ) digital 8.5×11 templates, digital alpha blocks, digital journaling blocks, and digital title blocks all designed by Cathy Z herself! The digital elements are designed to be printed and combined with real paper to create a hybrid album. If you are like me though, you will want to combine them with digital papers and print (making a completely digital album). The class is a four week class, so it breaks everything down into manageable chunks. One of the goals of the class made me smile and I can’t WAIT to accomplish it! Here it is: You will learn how to let go of preconceived notions of what constitutes good journaling. Ahhh, the freedom! The best part is when the class is done, I will have 26 pages of memories about myself documented for my kids and for myself!

If you would like some challenges to help motivate you scrap about YOU, I found a few:

My Story Matters at Scrap Matters

Book of Me at Scrapbook Elements

All About You at Shabby Pickle

Project 52 at ScrapArtist (which is not necessarily layouts, but could be adapted)

And one last thing to help get the mojo flowing when it comes to scrapping YOU…

<a href="" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5210" title="_about_preview1450" src="" alt="_about_preview1450" width="450" height="450" /></a>
<a href="" target="_blank"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-5211" title="_about_papers1450" src="" alt="_about_papers1450" width="450" height="450" /></a>

Danielle (Something Blue Studios), Kristen (K Studio), and Creashens, have put together a kit to help scrap those memories about US and are giving us TWO of them to give to you, our readers! 🙂 We will randomly choose two readers that post a comment in this post by Friday midnight EST to win this HUGE kit! For those that can’t wait, they have given us a coupon code with some savings! 🙂


If that wasn’t enough, I just got in my inbox a set of freebie quickpages from these girls! 🙂


You can download them HERE

Are you ready? Join me in my renewed commitment to leave some memories about ME for those I love! The ones YOU love will thank you for it!! 🙂