Scrapping Rut Be Gone!

{post image was made using Erica Zane’s Super EZ}

I’ll admit it. 2015 was the year of the great scrapping rut. When I usually scrap hundreds of pages each year, I don’t think I did more than about a dozen pages in 2015. Eek! This was due in part, I am sure, to my decision to not do photo-a-day. Fewer photos = fewer scrapbook pages.

But really, it was more than that. 2015 was a really hard year personally. I should have read Katie’s How to Scrap When Life’s Not Picture Perfect! I’m okay with taking a break now and then, but this was far too long and I have missed it.

Even more, my family has missed it. They love to look through my albums and even my husband told me he wished I was scrapping more. He has seen the value of saving our memories over the last ten years and it is something he now really values.

So, I have been willing myself out of this rut. It hasn’t been easy and I have a long way to go, but here are a few things I am doing to help get myself back into the swing of things.

I have a lot of digital scrapbooking materials. A lot. And it has been a long time since I have looked through my stash. When I did that (along with some much-needed organizing), it was so easy to be inspired. I am such a visual person and seeing all the beautiful kits made be get excited to start scrapping again!

Although my scrapping skills were definitely out of shape, I knew I would struggle if I didn’t make myself just get started. Sometimes that is all it takes. It also helps that I am okay with not-so-great pages. In the end, it isn’t the art that makes me want this, it is the preserved memories. If I focus on the joy of one more memory saved rather than the creativity aspect, it is easier to step into it. And then often, once I just get going, the creativity starts flowing. Win-win!

After seeing my children go through our albums recently, I picked them up and started looking through them as well. Reading all the stories and seeing old pictures made me so happy that I have chronicled our life through thousands of layouts. As happy as those pages made me, I also felt sad because so many of our recents memories have gone undocumented. The little stories, especially of my younger kids, aren’t getting told and therefore they won’t be remembered. That sure lit a fire under me to get scrapping!


I know there are many of you who have stopped scrapping and want to get started again. It’s tough, for sure, but not impossible. Together we can do this!

Check out some of these posts for further inspiration:

It’s Okay to Take a Break

Taking it Easy

Get Inspired from Your Old Archives

Telling Stories Through Our Scrapbook Pages

I know we all have different reasons for scrapbooking. Some of us do it for the artistic outlet. Some of us do it for the community and friendship aspect. Many of us do it for the memory keeping. I suspect, for most scrapbookers, the reasons are mixed.

That is definitely the case for me. When I started scrapping, it was something to do. I wanted to be creative and scrapbooking was a natural fit with my love of photos and a slight obsession with my kids. As I got involved in the community, scrapbooking was — for years — about the friendships I formed and the community of other women who loved this hobby. But through it all (eleven years and counting!), scrapbooking has mostly been about me sharing the stories of our lives. Recording the little moments throughout my kids’ childhoods has been such a special part of the last eleven years. While many of my pages are cute little things my kids have said or done, I am also trying to be more intentional about telling my story and telling my kids more about the person they call “mom.” I want them to know who I was, what I did, what I believed, and why they were so important to me. At some point, whether soon or many years down the road, I won’t be around to tell the stories. And so I choose to tell them now.

I have actually been sharing some of these stories on my personal blog. Others, though, are told through my scrapbook albums. Many are serious, some are not. It doesn’t matter to me. They are my stories and they are meant to be told.

When I saw Little Butterfly Wings’ kit, Together We So Rock in the February Digi Files, I knew right away what I wanted to do with it. Seeing the mixed tape on one of the journaling cards made be excited to tell a silly and simple story about something my kids have no concept or recollection of:


(kit is Together We So Rock by Little Butterfly Wings, alpha by CD Muckosky, tape by Digilicious Designs)

Here’s the Journaling:

Okay, kids…a history lesson for you. Someday you may hear this term or even come across one of these contraptions as you rummage through mom and dad’s stuff. This is called a mixed tape. Actually, it’s a cassette tape, and this is how we listened to music when we were kids. there were no iPods, no internet, no music to download out of the sky. We listened to the radio or we listened to a tape (just for history’s sake, cassette tapes were at the height of their popularity in the 1980’s, right when mom and dad were kids.) We could put them in a tape player (either a big thing called a boom box or an individual players with earphones called a walkman.) You could buy tapes for a specific artist and the whole album would be on it. Or, you could do the ultimate: make a mixed tape. A mixed tape is just as it sounds — a tape full of songs from various albums mixed together. These tapes could be a certain theme or just your favorite songs. You could borrow tapes from friends and using a dual cassette recorder, copy songs to your tape. Or, you could record songs off the radio (Like I did when i wanted to be cool and spent five hours before school one morning listening to and trying to memorize the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.) Mixed tapes are something we made for ourselves, for our friends, and for the utmost sign of love, for our boyfriends and girlfriends. Getting a mixed tape from the opposite sex was cause for pittering hearts, hours of listening and relistening, and endless phone calls with your girlfriends trying to decipher the deeper meaning of the songs chosen. I made my last mixed tape in June of 1998, just days before I met your dad. But don’t worry, just because I never made him a mixed tape doesn’t mean i don’t love him.

As you work on your pages, think about the stories you are telling and the ones you want to tell. Some of them may be serious in nature (for instance, I did a page on the miscarriages I had before my children were born), or they may be just factual or fun. Sometimes I sit down to write a specific story that is important to me. At other times, like in this instance, my digi stash was the inspiration. Either way, it’s one more story for the albums!

Rock on!

Using Journaling Cards to add Text to Your Photos

After finally editing more than 500 photos from our family’s trip to Florida in December, I am ready to put the photos into an album from Adorama Pix. I don’t want or need to have dozens of scrapbook pages from this one week and yet I want to have most of the photos available for us to look at. That’s where albums are such a great option. I’ll have a few scrapped pages from our trip in our family scrapbook, but the bulk of the images will be in their own book. I’ll use my Scrap Your Year templates because I have found over and over again that they make putting an album together quick and painless.

Because I don’t plan to add paper and elements to my pages, I did want to do something to add a little style to my book. Adding text over photos is a simple and yet powerful addition. To make it easy (and because typography isn’t one of my strong suits), I used some of the many journaling cards I have in my digi stash.

For this photo, I used a card by Kristin Cronin-Barrow from her Life Stories: Girl kit (no longer available). Using my magic wand tool, I simply chose the text and put it on its own layer and added it to my photo.

In this next example, I used two different cards from the Little Boys kit in this month’s Digi Files. Again, I just extracted the text with my magic wand tool and placed them on my photo.

For this photo, I used a card from Kristin Cronin-Barrow’s Once Upon a Summer: Chilling Cards. I placed the card over my photo, enlarging it to the same width as my image. I lowered the opacity to about 75% and changed the blending mode to overlay.

This image, using a card from the Free 2B Me kit from this month’s Digi Files, was created with another simple extraction. After placing the text on my photo, I added a white layer and used a clipping mask to change the text to white. I then lowered the opacity until I was happy with it.

For this image, I extracted the text from the card that was part of the Little Boys kit from this month’s Digi Files. I then played around with the opacity and blending modes. I eventually cut apart the text into different layers so I could center justify the words. I then added a slight outer glow to the “adventure” layer and I used my burn tool to darken the sky/clouds directly beneath so that the word would stand out more.

Here are a few more I made for my album:

Putting together my trip album is going to be fast, easy, and fun. And with these easy text treatments, it’s going to look great too!

What about you? Have you found great ways to use your journaling cards?

Taking A Kit in New Directions

SUPPLIES: Make It Count by Bella Gypsy, Great Things Ahead by Created by Jill, Game Night by Etc. by Danyale, Be Cozy by Libby Pritchett, Holiday Cookies by mleCard; Font: WZ You Are Endearing.

A single kit or template can inspire a wealth of different stories! Sometimes simply isolating colors or sub-dividing elements or papers into themes, you can go beyond the obvious and get more out of your products.

I sat down with this month’s kits and brainstormed some additional ways to use them.

mleCard’s Holiday Cookies

So the obvious match here is a layout about our favorite holiday treats! But, this kit is so much more. Emily included a set of adorable paper dolls for printing and playing with. Or, dress up your doll digitally for a layout about fashion. There’s even a sweater for scrapping about the ugly sweater craze. The bright colorful papers would work great for party invitations or carnival pages too. Any story related to a sweet, darling kiddo would fit perfectly with this sweet, darling kit!

Libby Pritchett’s Be Cozy
This kit may have been designed as a winter kit, but it screamed beach to me! The sandy browns and seafoam greens along with wood accents would be perfect for a holiday beach page. Remove the snow elements and you’re left with a very versatile color palette that would be great for boy layouts too. And, the alphas in this kit are gorgeous! They could go on any page.

etc by Danyale’s Game Night
This kit is so fun, that scrapping your family game nights would be as much of a blast as the game night itself! But, you can take those game elements even further. Use the vintage puzzle pieces for pages about family secrets. Or, whip up a great boy page using the arrow, buttons, frames and snakes.

Created By Jill’s Great Things Ahead
This is a kit about looking forward. But the fabulous blue and purple color scheme, with paint and grungy accents mean it will work for so many other things. I could see a fantastic heritage page coming out of this kit, as well as a sweet girl page. Or, perhaps an art journaling “all about me” kind of page because I do love purple!

Bella Gypsy’s Make It Count
This kit has some great word art to use as a starting point. But, you can also sort out these elements by colors to get a great boy page, a great girl page or a really fun clustered page with all the colors. The patterns and elements are classic in this kit, so it can be used with almost any story you want to tell! And, the neutral grey alpha can be used over and over along side other kits.

Scrapping With Liz’s Paper Cut Out Templates
For some reason, when I look at these templates I think construction zone, school art projects, travel, new year’s and beyond! With spots for so many paper strips on these, they can be taken in so many directions depending on the kit you use. The confetti adds some whimsy, though, so it makes me think of fun and lighthearted stories. And, the arrows and angles lend itself to both boy and girl pages.

Janet’s Christmas Album
Janet intended this album for a documenting-December-type project. But
this template set is so perfect in it’s simplicity that it can be used
for so much more! Use it to make a monthly summary of 2015. Slip each
summary in front of your chronological pages in an album, or have it
printed up in a photobook for family and friends. This album would also
work great for a baby book! Just plop in those beautiful squishy baby
pictures and dress it up with little boy or little girl kit. These
simple grids work great for weekly layouts too. Not into pocket pages,
but want to document some everyday photos or moments. You can do that
with these too!

What do you see when you look at these products? Do you use themed kits for totally different pages?

Be sure to stop by these featured designers’ stores to grab more awesome kits like these!

What Do I Scrap Next?

I’ve said it before. I don’t scrap chronologically. You can read that post for some of my reasoning.

One problem that leaves me, though, is the question of, “What do I scrap next?” Without a calendar or schedule to follow, my next page could be anything! How do I decide?

When I decide I want to scrap a page, three main things give me inspiration and help me decide what is next:

1. A recent photo(s) I love

2. A kit I want/need to use

3. A specific story I want to tell

A Recent Photo I Love

I will admit, this is most often the inspiration behind my pages. I love taking pictures, even more than I love scrapping. My heart shines through my photos and I take them in a way to make me feel what I felt when I was witnessing a moment. I want my heart strings to be pulled when I see my photos. And often, that happens! And when it does, the most recent photos are the ones I instinctively go to when I want to put a layout together.

A Kit I Want to Use

My next source of inspiration is a kit I want to use. I have so many beautiful kits and I often can’t wait to dive in and play with them. I will pick a kit and then find photos that will work. This is how I often scrap pictures I might have otherwise forgotten about.

A Specific Story I want to Tell

Sometimes, I have a story on my heart. Although I don’t even come close to scrapping every memory/event in our lives, there are some specific stories I feel need to be told. Sometimes I sit down and decide it is time to tell another one. With that in mind, I think of pictures that might work (often I don’t have any pictures of the story, especially if it is an abstract topic such as my faith, the character qualities in my children, etc. After choosing the photos, I will then dig through my digi stash and find a kit that will help me tell my story.

Although I know (and love!) many scrappers who do their pages chronologically, I just can’t keep myself to a system like that, especially given the number of photos I take! I would forever feel behind. And I don’t believe in being behind in scrapping. Each and every page I create is one more than I need to! But, it is also one more story saved, one more memory preserved, one more smile remembered.

12 Awesome Scrapbook Pages with MAPS!

I was looking through my layouts from the past year and I came across one from when we were planning our big road trip.

I loved that even though I didn’t have any photos (we were still in the planning stage of our trip), I was able to still document the process. By mapping our trip out online, I just saved my image and used it for my page. It’s even more fun for me to look at now since our route actually changed quite a bit from when I made it.

This got me thinking that I really wanted to see what other scrapbook pages I could find with MAPS! And I found so many amazing ones. Here are 12 awesome scrapbook pages with MAPS!

I love how each of the artists uses maps in new and creative ways. Now I have so many ideas!

(all images are linked to source)

P.S. Up, and Away! by Flergs and Wanderlust by Blagovesta Goshea are both great travel kits and are part of this month’s DIGI GAME! $7.50 gets you SEVEN full size products AND the Playbook, our ezine!

ABC and 123…It’s Back to School!

Bus image by Dani Mogstad

Back to school…one of the best scrapping times of the year. I just LOVE seeing all the back to school layouts flooding the galleries. Whether you send your kids off in a big yellow bus or if math and reading happen around your dining room table, back to school time is fun and memorable.

Here are just a few of the amazing pages I saw when taking a stroll through digiland (and a few paper sites!) Be inspired! (images are linked to original sources).

Seeing Clearly

Seeing Clearly

A sweet video of a little girl with extreme farsightedness reacting to receiving her first pair of glasses has gone viral recently. It really touched me because my daughter has extreme farsightedness.

Now, back in 2008 I didn’t have a cell phone that could record video (or more specifically, I didn’t have a cell phone!), so I don’t have a video of my daughter putting on her first pair of glasses. But, I do have a scrapbook page. The shadows (or lack of them) are awful, but the story is there.

The feeling of seeing your child see clearly for the first time is indescribable. My daughter was only 2 and a half years old when she started wearing her glasses, so she doesn’t remember a time before them. But I do! I remember that the first clue that she couldn’t see very well was noticing her squint her eyes and tilt her head back to see better. When we finally saw an ophthalmologist, her vision was so poor that she needed a +6.00 correction in both eyes. Eventually it went up to over +8.00.

Her first pair of glasses were life-changing! She tried them on at the eye glasses store and immediately said, “Mummy, these are MY glasses!” There was no way she was letting us leave the store without them. When we left the mall, she kept exclaiming about all the thing she could see. I was so happy for her, but at the same time shocked by how much she had clearly been missing before her glasses.

A while later, we noticed that one of her eyes started to turn inwards when she wasn’t wearing her glasses. She was diagnosed with amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (the eye turning). She had to wear an eye patch from 3 years old until 7 years old. Eye patches work by covering the “good” eye and forcing the weaker eye to work harder and have the brain receive what that eye is communicating. At first she was patched 4-6 hours per day, and it tapered down over the years to an hour a day.

The patching worked and her vision stabilized. Now she’s 9 years old and a pro at glasses, and looks very cute in them:

If you’ve seen my pages, then you may have noticed that my son also wears glasses. He has amblyopia too, so he is currently on an eye patching schedule. I captured the story of his glasses and patches, too.

Both kids wear glasses – but it has been a totally different experience with each of them. My daughter, who’s vision is much weaker, loves her glasses so much that from day one she has been delicate with them and has never broken a pair. My son on the other hand, likes his glasses well enough, but has gone through about 4 replacement pairs in the past year. Thank goodness for glasses insurance plans!

I am so grateful that both of my children had their vision problems properly diagnosed and corrected. I’m also happy to have their stories recorded! My son is little still, but my daughter loves going through her scrapbook albums and remembering each pair of glasses and talking about her hard work with eye patching. I love that her vision story is recorded for her and that she enjoys seeing it so much.

A Time For Weddings (Part Two)

Yesterday I shared some of our designers favorite wedding products, and today I want to give you some more inspiration in the way of layouts and links. Let’s go!

(Click on images to see original source)

And a few links to help get the juices flowing and the ideas rolling…

This post, Organizing Your Wedding Album, is a great way to brainstorm what you want to include and the order you want to do it in.

Here is one of our popular posts here at TDD, DIY Photo Booth for a Wedding or Special Occasion.

HERE are some more inspiration wedding layouts, compiled by Heddy.

And HERE is a great resource by Steph, an Affordable and Easy Custom Wedding Book.

Happy Scrapping! I can’t wait to see what you create!

A Time For Weddings

It’s June, and that means wedding season! Summer is such a beautiful time to get married. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing two summer weddings and I have loved it.

With weddings on the mind and on the calendar, I start to feel a bit overwhelmed with the guilt that hangs over my head in regards to my own wedding. Wanna know a secret?

I have been married more than 15 years and I still haven’t done anything with the photos.

It’s time to get ‘er done! My goal for this month is to finally scrap my wedding. Who is with me?

Wanting to get inspired, I asked our previous designers if they had products that would be great for scrapping all those wedding pages. Here’s what they showed me!


This beautiful element pack was part of a BYOC. All of the goodies and inspirational layouts are posted here.



You can also buy the bundle here.



You can see the whole collection here.



You can see the whole bundle as well as some inspirational layouts here.




I think I am going to gather up some of the goodies from above, and then use the templates and process I used for my SCRAP YOUR YEAR class. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the year!

Be sure to check back in tomorrow when we’ll share some wedding page inspiration!