Ali 024
Albums, Scrapbooking

Southwest Vacation Album

In the fall of 2011, Josie and I surprised Karen with a birthday trip to the Southwest. Almost five years later, I am finally scrapbooking that trip. Many huzzahs!

Southwest 2011 Album

Unfortunately I never really blogged about this trip, which is a shame – we visited some mighty beautiful places. I also can’t find the journal I kept on the trip, so I had to rely on my aging brain for memories. Luckily Jo and Karen were able to fill in a few blanks for me as well as provide me with extra photos. Thank you, ladies!

Now, for the design – we’ve already established that I suck at finishing albums (really, what on earth am I even doing starting another one), so in order for this to become a doable project, I decided on a clean layout (which is yet another variant of one of my go-to designs) that is repeated throughout the album.

Ali Edwards released these handwritten Travel Words this month, and they inspired this whole project! I cut them out with my Silhouette and I’m going to use them as my titles for every section of the trip. As for the rest of my supplies, so far I’ve really only used white cardstock, two old sheets of feather patterned paper, and a pack of wood veneer feathers.

Southwest 2011 Album

Oh, and a sheet of vellum with feathers on it too! And these ancient state dies from Quickutz. Behind this vellum opening page, I added some emails I had printed out – some rather hilarious correspondence between us and Karen’s husband when we were planning the trip behind her back.

Then the introduction page, setting up what would become the theme of the trip:

Southwest 2011 Album

Every highlight of the trip will get its own spread, like this one from White Pocket:

Southwest 2011 Album

(Side note – the photos look so much better in real life, I’ve totally blown them out here in an attempt to make the background look white. Photographing layouts is the worst.)

I’m going to just stick to this design since it’s so easy and quick to put together and adds a nice sense of continuity throughout the album. Here’s the spread from Coyote Gulch – same design, but flipped:

Southwest 2011 Album

In addition to these spreads, I also have a bunch of memorabilia that I want to use. Here’s the adorable prairie dog adoption certificate from Bryce National Park – of course I adopted one, those things are basically marmots:

Southwest 2011 Album

The prairie dog postcard was an actual card that I sent home to JK, so I’m leaving it open on the back so you can read it. Well I can, because it’s in Norwegian…and JK and I are probably the only people in the world who can decipher my horrid writing. This is why I use computer journaling on my pages, people.

Southwest 2011 Album

Josie and I always go bananas collecting park stamps from ranger stations, so here are some of those, keeping with the design of the previous pages:

Southwest 2011 Album

The last page of the album is another printed email thread – a really wonderful thank you note from Karen followed by us gushing about how much fun we had. Aaaw.

So what do I still need to do to finish the album?

– make a bunch more section spreads (from the Narrows, Peek-a-Boo & Spooky Canyons, Bryce, Valley of Fire etc)

– make a pocket that will hold a DVD of this video that Karen made from the trip (and a QR code that will take you to the Vimeo link)

– put together a couple more pocket pages filled with memorabilia

I can totally finish this.

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Hiking, Running

Cable Line Revisited

I should probably write more about this, but I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in a relatively short amount of time (30 lbs since New Year’s), and the best side effect of losing that weight is how much easier it is to run without it. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that it’s easier to run when you weigh less, but I didn’t realize just how much easier it actually is. And how much more fun! It’s like a whole new world.

Misty Cable Line

So on Sunday I decided to test just how much faster I am now by timing myself hiking up (you can’t run up this thing unless you’re insane) the Cable Line on Tiger Mountain. This trail is just a muddy track that goes straight up the mountain, climbing 2100 feet in 1.5ish miles. The first time I hiked it, it took me about an hour and fifteen minutes. In 2013, when I was in what I thought was the shape of my life, it took me an hour and four minutes. On Sunday? 46 minutes. This is what my face looked like.

Incredulous Cable Line PR face

The best part was that I had tons of energy to spare when I reached the top, whereas earlier I would have to sit down, curl into a ball, and recover for a while. This time, I ate a date, admired the non-existent views, then ran down the mountain (taking the West Tiger 3 trail instead of the Cable Line, because I’m generally a fan of having functional knees) to brag to JK about my time and then hike a somewhat less strenuous trail with this adorable little hobbit.

Wee hobbit

Man, I cringe when I think of all the years I spent obsessing about how to shave ounces off my pack weight when I could have just dropped a few pounds of belly blubber instead.

Tiger Mountain posse

Ali 008
Layouts, Scrapbooking

Layout share

First of all, thank you so much for all the wonderful comments on my last post! It feels so good to be this excited about something and then seeing others get inspired by it as well. You guys are awesome.

I thought I would pop in quickly while Nora naps and share two spreads I made with Ali’s new releases. They’re both hiking-related, of course. (I really should work more on Nora’s baby album, but it’s almost like her photos are too cute and the stories too precious. I’m worried I won’t do them justice!) The first one is from this amazing afternoon hike/run of Mount Defiance in 2013.

I used the Shine On digital stamp (and added a gradient overlay in Photoshop, which felt like a very 90’s WordArt thing to do, but I loved it and that technique will probably be featured on ALL my sunrise/sunset pages from now on) as well as some phrases, all from the Sparks Digital Stamp set.

Shine On
AE

The Craft Digital Stamp set can be used for non-crafty themes…like on this page about how we’ve kept our traditions going and doing what we love after Nora joined our family. This is from her first snowshoeing expedition on Mount Rainier last year. Man, she was adorably in those baby sunglasses.

Unfortunately we haven’t been on our annual Paradise snowshoe yet since it’s pretty much been raining or snowing non-stop for months and we don’t want to drive all that way unless there’s a good chance of views, but I hope we can sneak in a late-season adventure before the snow melts.

Do What You Love
AE

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Albums, Layouts, Scrapbooking

Turning a scrapbook into a memoir

I recently returned to the wonderful world of scrapbooking, and while I immediately fell back in love with making pages, I was a little frustrated trying to figure out where those pages belonged. Fortunately, I stumbled across this blog series by Noell Hyman about finishing albums, which in turn led me to purchase her excellent audio course with Shimelle Laine about Story-Centered Albums, and I became massively excited and inspired about this whole idea of turning my scrapbooks into memoirs.

I mainly scrapbook hiking pages, because, well, that’s my obsession. I’ve kept my regular, event-based hiking pages in one album and my more introspective, life-lessonish hiking pages in another, but when I put them all together in one place, I realized that those albums tell a bigger story than just “look at all the pretty places I’ve seen!” – they tell a story of an Ingunn who was extremely depressed, but who found a new hobby that got her out of the house and made her healthier both physically and mentally. An Ingunn who was so scared of heights that she started crying on the way to Noble Knob because of the exposure (if you’ve ever been to Noble Knob, you’ll know how ridiculous that sounds). An Ingunn who faced that fear and overcame it to a certain degree (but then realized there was a limit to how far she was willing to push it). An Ingunn who gained so much confidence in the mountains, both hiking and backpacking on her own. An Ingunn who made friends on trail. An Ingunn who to this day uses hiking as a way to handle the difficult things in life. An Ingunn who now has a new little person to introduce to the outdoors.

The first volume of hiking pages is kind of a separate entity since it’s a post-bound 11×8.5 album. It already had an opening page, so I didn’t have to change anything there.

Hiking Volume I

Here’s our very first hike, to Shi Shi Beach. I was a little worried that I was assigning way too much importance to this trip looking back on it, but my journaling back then was just as sappy and loving as it is now:

Being outside in nature is proving to be far more beneficial than any anti-depressant or therapy session I have ever tried. I don’t know if it’s because of the fresh air, the exercise, the views, or the sunshine, but being out there just clears my mind, something I am rarely able to do otherwise. It makes me feel like I can be happy again…and now I know that I can.

Hiking Volume I

(It was also cool to look through this album and see that my style hasn’t really changed that much, so it’s not embarrassing to look through these pages anno 2007 – even though I used those ridiculous die-cut bears!)

Hiking Volume I

Hiking Volume I

Hiking Volume I

In 2008, I switched to 8.5×11 three-ring binders, which means it’s way easier to move pages around (since I don’t scrapbook chronologically). That means I can now go back and add framework pages, like introductions to the albums. I decided to make my intro to Volume II about that very first trip to Shi Shi, where it all began. One of Ali Edwards’s Story Kits from the fall, Spark, fit perfectly.

Finding My Spark

On the other side of the page protector, I put an interview I did for the Wilderness Society, which is about that same trip and how it affected me.

Album insert

This album covers personal victories, like my very first hike up the steep and unforgiving Mailbox Peak…

You've got mail

…our scramble up Besseggen in Norway (which wouldn’t even faze me now, but at the time I thought it was so, so scary)…

Besseggen, part deux

…and some of the trips where I ventured into the wilderness by myself. I should definitely write more about those!

Memories of Wonderland

I also made an opening page for Volume III – I’ve reached a point where I am less obsessive about my trips to the mountains but have even more fun when I do go.

New adventure

I’m still pushing my limits, though.

I Hiked This

There are still plenty of just-for-fun pages in these albums, they’re not full of me being all self-involved and navel-gazing, but it feels important to have those parts of my life documented. There are ups and downs in life, and the outdoors is where I work through those ups and downs.

Our haven

The following two pages were also made with Ali’s Story Kits. If you’re interested in getting your authentic stories told, I cannot recommend them enough. The class content alone is worth the price. This month’s theme is Tough and next month’s is Wild, so it’s pretty much like they were made for hiking pages, yes?

Endorphins

Golden Lining

Last but not least, my current pages show us adjusting to life with our wonderful little lady and introducing her to our favorite pastime. My hope is that she’ll gain as much confidence and joy from the outdoors as I have.

Here & Her

Wild Child

I have a whole list of page ideas: trips I don’t want to forget, trips that were in some way important to me, even if the destination wasn’t jaw-dropping, some of my pregnant hikes and all the expectations that came along with those, and our favorite hikes with Nora. This list is pretty long, so, hey, at least I know I’ll never run out of scrapbook material!

I love, love, love this project and the sense of direction it has given me in my scrapbooking. Even if I am the only person who ever looks through these albums, that’s fine – my story has been told, and it’s going to be an amazing collection of pages to look back on when I’m old and grey.

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Running

Doing Trail Time

My mood has been all over the place lately, vacillating between high highs and low lows for seemingly no particular reason…until I made the connection that my little baby has decided she’s done nursing (sniff sniff) and these downer feelings are most likely the effect of prolactin/oxytocin withdrawals. At least I hope they are. And I hope they’ll disappear as my body continues adjusting to this new hormonal normal (or this old hormonal normal, I guess).

March running March running

In the meantime, I am treating it the only way I know how – with endorphins! I’m having more fun with running than ever before, and I’m counting the days until Daylight Saving Time starts so I can run after Nora goes to bed. For now, JK has stepped up to ensure that I have some solo trail time, so he’s either hiking with Nora while I run on Cougar or Tiger, or running errands with her as I’m running loops around the Watershed. They’ve become invaluable to me, those hours when I am out there all alone with my thoughts fluttering among the trees, all carefree and feeling 100% like my own person.

March running March running

I’ve known for years now how important it is for me to have time to myself so I can recharge my introvert batteries, but it’s very hard at home – if I go into another room while JK and Nora are hanging out together, I’ll inevitably hear them laughing and having the time of their lives, and I’ll get massive FOMO and go join them. But out in the woods, I have no choice. It’s just me, my feet, the trail, and the trees that are getting greener by the day. Love it.

March running March running

(Oh, and last weekend I had a little too much wine and ended up signing up for the Tiger Mountain Trail Run Half Marathon in April. Egads!)