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?


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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  • Reply Misti March 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I *love* these pages and your story behind them! I wish I lived near you, it would be so fun to go hiking together! (totally sounding blogger weird now! :) )

    My poor scrapbook is sitting listless in my studio. I’ve been trying very hard to get my book to a position for querying to publishers so just about everything that isn’t important has been tossed aside. You’ve inspired me to pick it back up this summer!

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz March 19, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      I’ve thought the same thing! And then Forest and Nora could start dating, of course. ;^) Dude, a book, that’s so exciting!

  • Reply Ruth Tacoma March 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I adore your pages!!! DH & I like to hike, but are MUCH less strenuous type of hikers. We are headed to BC this summer and I cannot wait!

  • Reply Tracie Claiborne March 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    This is one of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever read!! I love every word and I really think this whole post could be a layout too. :)

  • Reply Tracie Claiborne March 18, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    PS: I love that bear die cut and your pages are so timeless, they just make me giddy.

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz March 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Hahaha those bears, man. I wonder if I have the rest of that sticker sheet somewhere. I should use them now that I actually *have* seen bears!

  • Reply Colleen March 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Beautiful stories and pages! These will always be cherished. You hit the whole reason to document right on the head.

  • Reply Adrienne Hogan March 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Beautifully written and inspiring. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the basic details of our lives that we forget to capture the lessons. It’s also important to them store them in a way that gives the complete story.

  • Reply AmySo March 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Such a gorgeous post & what wonderful layouts! I love being outside for exactly the same reason. I always tell my husband when he grumbles about how expensive running shoes are that I can either buy Prozac or running shoes. :) Your layout about hiking in Norway…swoon. I want to hike in Norway! Trolltunga is on the top of my list but you made me add Besseggen too!

  • Reply solgunn March 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Så mye flott og personlig historie. Tenk om våre foreldre hadde gitt oss noe sånt?! Jeg tilbringer en del tid med min mor om dagen for å nøste opp hennes historie og min tidlige barndom. Vi tyder bl.a kortene min mormor skrev til oss. Hun hadde en god evne til å skrive på en slik måte at man se alt levende for seg. En evne jeg ser min eldste sønn har arvet (men ikke jeg!). Det er så kjekt å ha disse kortene og brevene etter henne. Du er også dyktig på å skrive Ingunn! Er sikker på Nora vil sette pris på de ærlige og fine historiene dine, om ikke før så ihvertfall når hun blir godt voksen ;).

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz March 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      I “julegave” (men egentlig var det hjemmelekser) til besterforeldrene til Nora ga jeg dem bøker med forskjellige spørsmål om livene deres som de kan fylle ut. Forhåpentligvis gjør de det så både jeg og Nora kan kose oss med historier vi ellers sikkert ikke hadde fått høre!

      • Reply solgunn March 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        Det var en god ide!

  • Reply Julie March 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Your pages are so simple and lovely. Your stories are very interesting. I love hiking and never think about how accomplishing a nice walk up a mountain really is something to celebrate.
    thanks for sharing….Love your style.

  • Reply Delanie March 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I remember a couple of these from your gallery at TwoPeas. ;) Love, love!

  • Reply Tracy March 18, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Nice seeing some of those again – your style is really so classic and yet completely unique. I examine every page and wonder – what made her punch here, or add something there. So good. And that’s before reading your stories. :)

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz March 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Hah, when you say punch, I picture myself hitting the page in frustration because once again I haven’t aligned something correctly ;^)

  • Reply Cindy Wick March 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Oh my goodness. What an awesome testimony and way to documentt your journey. I love it all. Good for you!

  • Reply france March 18, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Love your pages…I too am a trail snail, although I am at the very beginning of my journey. It took me many years of looking to find what I have found on those trails.

  • Reply Raziya Swan March 19, 2016 at 1:27 am

    How do get the type on 12×12 pages?

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz March 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      These are all 8.5×11, so I can just run them through my printer! That’s part of the reason why I stick with 8.5×11…my handwriting is atrocious!

  • Reply Robin Adryan March 19, 2016 at 5:23 am

    This is a fantastic post and so inspiring for me personally. Thank you for sharing who you are and how you are documenting your life. Your pages are gorgeous Ingunn!

  • Reply Magdalena Hanéll March 19, 2016 at 5:50 am

    I’m so happy you returned to scrapbooking! Every page you make is amazing.

  • Reply Dalon March 19, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Thank you for sharing your story and your ideas – you’ve given me inspiration to write more down and get my stories into pages! Scrapping has been my therapy for over 16 years. Thanks for reminding me that this craft is easy and enjoyable. Your path is an inspiration!!

  • Reply Dianna March 20, 2016 at 6:16 am

    What an inspiring article,add me cry in a good way. My husband and I love trail running and hiking and I have yet to scrapbook those wonderful trips, events. We just had a baby girl in February, my first child and I am excited to show her the wonder of nature and to get back out there! I think is was serendipitous that I saw this post, thank you. Many happy adventures to you amd your family, if you ever get the chance to hike in the San Juans out of Silverton, CO it is awesome. Also, what baby carrier do you recommend for hiking? :-)

    • Reply Ingunn Markiewicz March 20, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Congratulations!! In the beginning we used a Moby wrap, then around 4 months we switched to an Ergo carrier, and once Nora was able to sit up properly we started using an Osprey Poco Plus pack. These days carrying her is quite a workout… Also, the San Juans! I’ve seen so many gorgeous pics from there. And that’s where Hard Rock 100 is, right? Colorado is definitely on my travel list.

  • Reply Dianna March 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Thank you and thanks for the carrier info. We will have to give our Moby wrap a try soon on our desert trails here in Phoenix, AZ and the Ergo is on my list next.
    Yes, the Hard Rock 100 is based out of Silverton…we have hiked the Ice Lake Trail and Island Lake Trails that are part of the course and just stunning. Can’t wait to take Grace there when she is a little older. Happy trails! :-)

  • Reply Rachel June 10, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I love your photography and scrapbook pages! I am inspired to get our adventures in hardcopy form. Thanks for sharing your stories!

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