Layouts We Love {April 2016}

It is always such an inspiration to take a stroll through our Flickr pool! Every few months I like to spotlight just a few of the incredible layouts just waiting to inspire you!

If you are in a scrapping rut and need some mojo, check out these amazing pages by amazing artists. Inspiration is certain!

Click on the images for more information on the layout. And while you are there, take a stroll through the entire pool!

I just love the brick wall background of this page. And the title work makes it look so real!

I love how many photos are on this page as well as the variety of elements and yet the page doesn’t seem too cluttered or busy (due to the awesome use of white space!)

The simplicity of this layout is what makes it so striking. The journaling and the photos are perfectly balanced and appealing. I instantly want to read the story!

The happy colors and fun use of triangles make this page so playful and captivating.

As a nature lover, I of course am just giddy over this page. Macro photography in nature is one of my favorite things to do. Makes me want to turn off the computer and get outside!

Every time I see a pocket scrapping page that is well done, I am convinced that one of these days I will give it a try. I get so inspired when I see colorful layouts that chronicle a life well lived.

When so much of our lives revolves around our photos and messages, this slice-of-life layout is so perfect. Have you tried scrapping a text conversation?

I’ve always been drawn to high-contrast colors and so it is no wonder I immediately fell in love with this page. The black and white photo paired with the white background and pops of color makes this layout swoon-worthy.

As mentioned above, I love high contrast. And that goes for my black and white photos as well. But for this layout, the more subtle and subdued black and white photos just work with the toned-down (but still happy!) colors of the paper and elements. It goes to show us that all rules in style and design can be broken for the right reasons.

I love every little thing about this page: the surprisingly perfect colors (look how well they match the little girl’s shirt!), the papers tucked into paper slits at the corners, and the double-framed photo (once in the photo itself and once with a paper frame over top.) Perfection!

Don’t forget to upload your own pages to our Flickr pool. As we work as a community to encourage and inspire one another, we will all benefit.

Cultivating Creativity

I am getting ready to speak at a women’s retreat for our church. I am so excited to be sharing about one of my favorite topics: cultivating our gifts and talents. Because those gifts vary widely among women, I won’t be sharing specifically on creativity. However, for me, creativity is the gift I choose to spend my time cultivating.

It can be easy to fall into ruts and patterns in how we express ourselves creatively. That’s why it is so important to try new things, stretch ourselves, and look at creativity from new perspectives.

As scrappers, we do this in many ways:


Trying new or new-to-us designers through The Digi Files

Participating in scrapping challenges

Limiting ourselves to certain productsUsing template that differ from our normal style

…and so on.

All of these a great way to push ourselves into new territory. Creativity, like everything else in life, will grow only with cultivation. The best way to stagnate is to continue to do the same things in the same ways.

Journaling card used is by Tangie Baxter from the January 2016 Digi Files kit, Get Messy. Quote design by Janet Phillips.

I came across a great resource for cultivating creativity. It has 50 ideas of things you can do to stretch yourself and grow your creative wings. I’ve actually done some of them (like an ABC photo walk and other wonder walks), a Daily Photo Project, and finding beauty in the mundane. There are some I can’t wait to try like the Circles Test and Portmanteaux.

Photo Credit

Check out the entire list of 50 ideas from Learning Bird.

Photographing Kids Through the Years {interview, pt. 2}

Last week we shared part one of my interview with team member Jacki. In those first few questions, we focused on Jacki’s background with taking photos and what that looked like when her children were little.

This week, we’re going to focus on what Jacki has done as her kids grew older. It is our hope that these questions and answers will inspire you and help you navigate the sometimes-difficult process of photographing tweens and teens.


Capturing the moment. Life speeds by at such a crazy pace. I want to just capture the now. I want to look back and remember these things. I’ve always worked outside the home because the nature of our work and ministry, so I know I have to be conscious and deliberate about enjoying each season of their lives. I’m so grateful I work in a school so that I see my kids, their friends, and all their events and activities. We’ve also been privileged to travel some in this region of the world, so there are those special moments I want to “freeze” forever. I try to keep up with digital scrapbooking, posting photos in albums on Facebook for my family, and printing photos for albums. My kids spend hours every summer looking through those photo albums at my mom’s house. That’s when I know it’s really all worth it.

When they were in elementary school, I served as the class mom. That gave me opportunity to take photos of field trips, parties, dress-up days, and more. As they’ve gotten older, I have less photos of their lives during school. I also miss things just by nature of them being older, more independent, and at friends’ houses or out and about. I often download photos from Facebook which I sometimes use for scrapping or printing. They’ve also gotten to the point of taking their own photos, including selfies, so that I can still see and share in the moment. My oldest has a GoPro now so it’s fun to see the world through his perspective. My middle one has her own DSLR and has a real knack for nature photography, and my youngest does a terrific job with her iTouch and is especially cognizant of getting photos for mom!

It’s very rare for them to say no, but my son did a few times early in high school where he just didn’t want me there. I didn’t push it as I know it can feel invasive and embarrassing. Thankfully it was for little things so it really was no loss. Sometimes my timing wasn’t great, or we were in a rush, but I can usually convince them because they know it’s worth it and later they’ll be glad to have the photo. The times I can sense their irritation is when I have to keep taking a photo because I can’t get the lighting right, or my settings are off. Maybe something will happen that I have to retake a photo because something gets in the way. I’ve watched other kids tell their moms ‘no’ or ‘enough,’ but I’m so grateful that my kids are patient and understand. I think they know how much it means to me. Photos are my love language. They seem to recognize and respect that and I dearly love them for it!

I take thousands of photos of kids a month, for the school website, publications, athletics Facebook page, and more. I always let kids know that I won’t post a bad or embarrassing photo. I edit all my photos and I do remove blemishes and pimples. I feel that those things are temporary and I’m not altering what the kid really looks like. Kids love that! They are more than happy to look good. I’ve never had a kid ask me to remove a photo. For my kids, I let them know. If it’s a really goofy photo or slightly unflattering, I’ll have them look at it before I post. I only tag kids after age 13 and when they have their own FB page. We have some guidelines at school which I use for school photos as well. For my own kids, we’ve talked at length, and frequently, about online safety. They use their real names on FB but carefully monitor their settings. When applying to college, both my older kids had nothing to be ashamed of on their FB pages and didn’t have to remove anything before a rep took a look. My daughters are careful about beach and swim photos and I think those are lifetime skills they’ve learned. Photos communicate who we are, the people we love, and the activities we’re passionate about. I can see that in my kids’ photos.

Keep snapping often! My kids’ friends all know me. They know I take photos. When I come, they’re happy to pose and cooperate for a photo. They often ask me to take photos. It helps me see a more dimensional view of my kids lives and to know their friends a little more too. My girls really love photo shoots. They’re time consuming and often not my favorite thing to do, but they end up with lots of photos with friends in places with special memories. They use the photos to wish a friend a happy birthday, or tell someone they miss them, they post them on their bedroom mirrors, in their lockers. My son never wanted a photo shoot, but he definitely appreciated all those sports photos, team pics, holding up trophies and medals, and those photos he has in his college dorm room. I wouldn’t underestimate kids’ appreciation for photos. I certainly wish I had more of me as a teenager! At least ask, and keep asking. You never know when all of a sudden they’ll appreciate it.

This might sound terrible, but I don’t follow anyone. I work full-time, do lots of volunteer work, and try to keep up with my kids, so I have precious little time to be checking things out online. Not only that, but the standard can be unrealistic. I’ve never taken a photography course. I’m truly just a “mom with a camera.” I keep things very simple and only use PSE with minimal editing. There is really only one person that I regularly go to – partly because I know and appreciate her and she taught me how to digiscrap, and partly because she is inspiring and her family is adorably real – Janet Phillips. (I’m not lying! ) The only feed I follow on Instagram is National Geographic and I “like” a local photographer on FB who takes gorgeous photos of the island. That’s it!

Photographing Kids Through the Years {an interview with Jacki, pt. 1}

I started digital scrapbooking in 2005. At the time, many of the women I whom also scrapped and were part of the online communities were at the same age and stage of life. Mostly, we had little kids! Scrapping was fun and a way to connect with others at a time when juggling naps, diapers, and nursing filled most of our days.

The thing is, those babies are now TEENAGERS and I have heard it time and time again from these women I have known for over a decade:

“It’s hard to scrap now because my kids don’t like having their picture taken.”

With my oldest just turning 13, I completely understand. On some days, she is more than willing to let me snap away. On other days, she avoids the camera at all costs.

We want to document the life of our older kids, but with their aversion to the camera and a busier life, it isn’t easy.

And yet, my friend (and team member) Jacki, has done the impossible: she has continued to photograph her older children. And they seem to enjoy it!

Jacki graciously agreed to answer some of my questions about photographing kids through the years. I hope that her answers will inspire all of us!

This first of two posts will focus on Jacki’s background and the little kid years. The second part, which we’ll share next week, contains her thoughts on photographing older kids.

I got my first DSLR in 2007 and really just used manual for several years. In 2010, a work colleague challenged me to learn about aperture and shutter speed and started an after school group of other teachers so that we could learn more about our cameras. The group was nicknamed POP (Photographers of Penang) and we started doing some simple assignments and watched some YouTube videos together. It only lasted about 6 months and then a good friend of mine and I would go out about once a month and take photos. It helped us stretch and learn and take photos of this beautiful island we live on. Plus, we had the added bonus of spending time together. I just fell in love with the process. She moved away but we still share photos!

I live in Paradise [Janet’s note: Jacki lives in Penang, Malaysia, which is where we met. She’s right! It is paradise and easily my husband’s and my favorite place on earth!] Really, it’s so beautiful! I wanted to capture this place where I live. Plus I’m a mom with three kids and I wanted to take better photos of them.

In 2011, I started to shoot more regularly for the school. I was asked to take photos of events for parents who have children who live in the boarding program. It just grew from there. I take photos of band and choir concerts, recitals, and many of the athletic events. As my kids played varsity sports, I took photos. I learned mostly from trial and error, but I did consult some photography blogs and The Daily Digi was a big help. I learned so much from other “moms with cameras.”

Because we have lived our lives far from family (Brazil 5 yrs, Malaysia 15 yrs), my kids have been very cooperative in letting me take photos because they know photos are the language of communication. They love looking at photos of family members and when they were little we had an album with photos labeled with everyone’s names. It was helpful as it could be two years before we saw them! They know that their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins enjoy seeing their photos. My youngest was so used to me taking photos of her that even on sports day at school while running in a race, she would turn her head to face me, smile big, and hold it until I snapped the photo! She was amazing! They never complain and they don’t mind me asking to do funny things like jumping photos or making silly poses. As a matter-of-fact, they almost always ham it up now and I have to ask for “just a smiling” photo. 
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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!

A New Year of Memory Keeping

Friday starts a new year. 2016. It’s really hard to believe! Another new year filled with hopes, dreams, and memories to be made (and only nine more year until I can open that time capsule my husband and I buried on New Year’s Eve 1999!)

As you start thinking about your memory making and memory keeping activities, why don’t you take a look at some of our popular new year posts. Get those wheels spinnin’!

Quickly Creating a Year-in-Review Album

Making Memories 366 Days This Year

A Year in Review

Truly Inspirational

Photo Goals for the New Year

It’s Not Too Late for a Happy New Year

Memory Keeping in the New Year

Follow These 6 Pinterest Boards

Follow These 6 Pinterest Boards

Inspiration is everywhere! Lucky for us, a lot of it is conveniently grouped together on pinboards on Pinterest! Let’s take a look at a few pinboards that are worth checking out.

The Daily Digi

Ok, you knew that The Daily Digi‘s own Pinterest account was going to be first on my list, right?! We have a lot of amazing boards, like daily recap called As Seen on The Daily Digi and boards for fonts, pocket scrapbooking, and so much more!

Scrap Therapy

Rubia Padilha from Studio Basic Designs runs the Scrap Therapy pinboard and she finds the best paper and digi gems imaginable, all with her signature messy artsy style.

Project Life idées

My favourite pocket scrapbooking inspiration board is Project Life idées by Dominique Vella-Passal. She finds such fun and modern pages, mostly paper-based but with a large sampling of digi pages as well.

What’s Your Type?

Adobe runs a bunch of boards, but the What’s Your Type? board is a favourite, full of inspiring typography. (Bonus: Also check out the art quotes board too!)


VSCO, the film preset makers, have a fun pinboard dedicated to food photography that will leave you hungry for more!

Design Inspiration

Kelly Purky leads a fascinating life – and curates some fascinating PInterest boards! Check out this “inspiration“.

I hope you found a board or two that interest you!

Inspired by Blagovesta Gosheva

The following layouts were created using “Wanderlust” by Blagovesta Gosheva and included in The Digi Files during August, 2015:

Layout by Natascha. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Fuss Free: Create Your Own Happy (template) by Fiddle Dee Dee Designs; Font: First Grade Teacher by Darcy Baldwin.

Layout by Bethany. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Travel Edition by Little Butterfly Wings; Template by Fiddle Dee Dee Designs.

Layout by Anne. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Scrap Your Heart Out 8 by Janet Philips (modified); Fonts: Courier New and Soymil.

Layout by JackieC. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva.

Layout by LulyG. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Traci Reed Stitched Grids No 4. Font: KG Loves You Through It.


Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Template #70 by Yin Designs; Fonts: DK Crayon Crumble.


Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva.


Layout by Sharon. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Template by Scrapping with Liz; Layer Style by Mommyish; Font: CK Jot.


Layout by LulyG. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva; Traci Reed Stitched Grids No 4. Font: KG Loves You Through It.


Layout by JillW. Supplies: Wanderlust by Blagovesta Gosheva.

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!