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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.

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.

ali 032
Albums, Running

I’ve got the runs

…is what I really shouldn’t call this album, but I probably will, because now it’s in my head and there’s no turning back.

For my first month on the Ali Edwards Creative Team, I decided to use her adorable little encouraging phrases to make a scrapbook of my races. Since I’ve only participated in two so far, it came together quickly.

Running scrapbook

I love having a home for my race bibs! The 6×8 pocket size was perfect to show off the fancy one from Beat the Blerch, but I cut down my Orcas 25K bib to fit a 6×4 pocket since it didn’t have anything around the edge.

The little take the next step speech bubble is from the Encouragement Bubbles set, the all the feels heart is from Valentine Hearts, and the you got this card is from Encouragement Journal Cards.

Running scrapbook

…and because this album deserves to be thicker than these two measly spreads, I signed up for the Beacon Rock 25K in June, which looks gorgeous but dreadfully hard. I fear I might end up using the struggle is real for that one.

Albums, December Daily, Scrapbooking

Decemberish Dailyish

I’m always excited about Christmas, but this year my cheer level is off the charts – it’ll be Nora’s first Christmas as a somewhat functional human being, and I can’t wait to share all our traditions with her (and make some new ones, too).

I want those memories documented in an album we can pull out every year around this time, so for the first time ever, I’ll be participating in December Daily. Except I started it in November. And I’m focusing on the highlights, which might not necessarily happen every day. So… Decemberish Dailyish it is!

Decemberish Dailyish

I’m using a gold 6×8 album with divided page protecters from Seven Paper, and I’ll be using a mix of new products and stuff I’ve been hoarding for years. Looking at what I’ve made so far, I’ll just assume that some recurring themes will be gold, stars, and oh so many deer heads and antlers.

Decemberish Dailyish

I was planning on starting my album with Thanksgiving, but then we went on a really fun hike in the snow the weekend before. We sang Christmas carols as we walked through the woods and Nora played in the snow, and I just couldn’t not include it.

Decemberish Dailyish

Found this old Studio Calico card with gold and stars. Score.

Decemberish Dailyish

Decemberish Dailyish

This little conversation I had with two friends who have kids about the same age as Nora made me crack up on one of those kind of long tiring, nap-refusal days, so I printed a screen capture of it. It’ll be cool to look back on in 15 years – will we still be using our phones for everything? Sending text messages? Using emojis?

Decemberish Dailyish

I found this star transparency in my stash and added it in between pages for some breathing room. I tend to use too many photos in projects like this, so I’m trying to add some white space and breathing room here and there.

Decemberish Dailyish

Nora is in love with the star we got at IKEA. We had one when I was growing up and I’ve been looking for one for years, but never found one in the U.S. until now. It hangs in the window and she’s obsessed with it.

Decemberish Dailyish

The next page covers Thanksgiving. We’ve really embraced this holiday even though it’s not celebrated in Norway and we don’t have family here. It’s just a really good excuse to get together with our fellow geographically orphaned friends and eat pie.

Decemberish Dailyish

Something very special happened the day after Thanksgiving, but it’s not my story to share, so I wrote it down on a tag and hid it behind the gold arrow paper.

Decemberish Dailyish

Black Friday was #optoutside day! We went for a short hike in a local park, and Nora got to play on the freezing beach. I added the #happy button to go with the whole hashtag thing. I also had to mention Dansgiving, which this introvert sees as the highlight of Thanksgiving – every year on Black Friday, JK and I snuggle up on the couch, watch Dan in Real Life, and eat leftovers. It never gets old. This page wasn’t very Christmasy. Maybe the #happy button needs antlers?

Decemberish Dailyish

The next page was supposed to be about the first Sunday of Advent, but then something really awesome happened that I had to write about instead. Once again it is not my story to share, but this is turning into one amazingly joyful album already – and December hasn’t even started yet!

Albums, Layouts, Scrapbooking

Vacation Album Progress

JK and I have been lucky enough to go on lots of amazing vacations together (and some apart!), so I’m highlighting all of those big trips in one album – one two-page spread per trip. Some of these have also been documented in their own separate albums, but it’s really cool to have an overview of all our travels in one album. I want the photos and journaling to really bring back my favorite memories from each trip.

St. John

This one from St. John in 2013 was the first one I made. I made sure to mention Lana Del Rey in the journaling, because I was obsessed with her on this trip. The weird thing is that Art Deco, a song from her 2015 album, came on while I was writing this blog post, and even that took me back to the island. I guess her voice alone has the power to transport me to the Virgin Islands, even though this song came out years after the trip.

This was my all-time favorite vacation, so I’ve also made a photo book about it. I might actually make an entire I Love St. John album too, because I really do. Maybe after we return with Nora in tow?


This one is from our trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona with JK’s sister in 2008. It’s a scraplift of this page by Ali Edwards. Ali has slanted templates available for sale, they make it really easy to get the photos right! I also have an almost-finished 8.5×11 album from that trip that I made back in the day.

Southwest '09

The spread from our 2009 trip looks a little unbalanced; I made the left side before I had decided that every trip would be a two-pager, so then I just added on the right side this morning with these photos I found in my drawer. This trip is also documented in an 8×8 album. I love love love the simple design of that album, but sadly it is also unfinished. I sense a theme here – maybe I should host an album-finishing challenge in 2016? I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there with poor, neglected, unfinished mini albums.

You had me at aloha

This last one is from our first trip to Hawaii in 2010. That wavy swoop was supposed to look much…swoopier, but I messed it up when I was cutting it. My x-acto knife skills are rusty. Oh well. Not only has this trip never been documented anywhere, but I never even finished processing the photos from it. That will have to be a project for a rainy day way off in the future. Until that day comes, this page will do.