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Scrapbooking, Tips and Tricks

Go-to Page Designs

My biggest hurdle in scrapbooking used to be page design. These days, my biggest hurdle is just getting off the internets so I can sit down and make something. Actually no, this week my biggest hurdle is that Nora has decided that napping is for sissies. After several glorious months of 1.5 hour naps twice a day, she seems to be moving to one nap…except that one nap is 30 minutes long and leaves us both cranky. Send help! And chocolate!

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, yes, my biggest hurdle used to be page design. I felt like I needed to be all creative and fancy and reinvent the wheel every time I made a layout, but honestly, there’s a limit to how many new and exciting ways you can adhere photos to sheet of paper. So I started to scraplift myself, over and over again, and it’s marvelous and freeing.

Tuck and Robin

This is the design I go for when I have lots of photos to display – I could probably use this throughout my entire hiking album and be totally happy with the end result.

On Top of Old Smokey

It’s a great way to stuff six photos onto one page without it seeming overwhelming, and it adds a little more visual interest than a square grid (although square grids are also fabulous and are another go-to design).

Above the Clouds

This second design is my all-time favorite. Two parts of the page meeting off-center, corners rounded, so many possibilities. I made this Zion page in 2007 and I still consider it one of my best ever! I love how the ridgelines in the two photos just happened to fit together perfectly.

Zion

You can use one photo, lots of photos, only photos, or lots of patterned paper bits.

Paradise Found

I love adding an embellishment that pulls the two sections together.

Noble Bob

I’ve used it for two-pagers as well, drawing the eye all the way across the spread. I’m going to be attempting to make a December Dailyish album this year, and I think I’ll be relying heavily on this design in order to get my pages done quickly.

Enchanted

Alright, I should get up off the couch and get some housework done before this hopefully-longer-than-thirty-minute nap ends. Seriously, if you have tips for moving from two naps to one, let me know! If I put her down for a morning nap, she’ll play in her crib for over an hour before falling asleep for 30 minutes and then skip her afternoon nap…but if I try to keep her up until 11-11:30 so she can take one long nap, she gets overtired and just sleeps fitfully for, you guessed it, 30 minutes. Either way she ends up really cranky and has to go to bed early so JK doesn’t even get to see her after he comes home from work. She also seems like she’s working on walking, so maybe it could just be a sucktastic developmental leap and not actually a need to move to one nap?

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Scrapbooking, Tips and Tricks

Phantastic Phonts

I’ve noticed that on most of my recent scrapbook layouts, I’ve printed computer fonts as titles instead of using scrapbook products. This is a consequence of my somewhat paradoxical role as a lazy perfectionist – I can’t stand the look of crooked, wonky titles, so instead of spending and hour nudging unruly letter stickers around until they look absolutely perfect, I spend 20 seconds doing it in Photoshop instead.

I love fonts, they’re so pretty (well, some of them). Unfortunately I tend to hoard them, so my font list in Photoshop is getting unmanageably long (does anyone know of a way to make my favorite/most used fonts stick to the top of the list in Photoshop like they do in Word?) – yet I keep going back to the same ones over and over again.

One of my favorite things to do is mix fonts in my title – especially when I sneak a handwritten font in there (apparently I also have a penchant for bad puns):

So tarn beautiful

I love printing the title directly on a photo, but sometimes I’ll make it overlap (I’ll make the design in Photoshop, print half of the title on the photo and the rest on cardstock, then piece them back together) so it looks like I used letter stickers:

Besseggen

Sometimes I’ll just use the outline of the font to mix it up a little. In Photoshop, set the Layer style > Stroke to whatever color and thickness you want, then change the main color of the font to your background color.

Pea Soup Lake

Of course one of the best things about using computer fonts is that you never run out of characters (unless you run out of ink, which tends to happen at the most inopportune times) – it’s perfect for mini albums where you’re using the same style on every page. I can add extra pages to my Southwest album two years from now and not have to worry about finding matching stickers. Huzzah!

Hiking Among Hoodoos
Ephemeral Arch

For all my talk about what a lazy scrapbooker I am, it’s not actually so much about the laziness after all. It’s all a way to make scrapbooking easy and quick enough for me to continue with it as a hobby.

The honeymoon period between me and scrapbooking is definitely over; I no longer swoon over patterned paper or pay any sort of attention to new releases (when was the last time I even bought anything new?), and I have lost my creative drive to come up with fancy, new layouts every time I sit down to make a page…but I still love this hobby and what it stands for, and I love doing something with the bazillion photos JK and I take and the memories we make – and being lazy (oh, let’s just call it efficient!) allows me to keep doing that.

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Scrapbooking, Tips and Tricks

So many memories, so little room

When I started scrapbooking a couple of years ago, almost all the pages I made were single-photo layouts. Now that I’m scrapbooking all of these hiking photos, however, I find myself trying to cram as many photos as possible on every page – there are just too many views I want to remember!

I try to cull my photos at several stages in the camera-to-scrapbook process (actually, the eye-to-scrapbook process – I’m becoming more and more critical of what I choose to photograph. With a digital camera it’s way too easy to just snap away like mad, creating more work for when you get back to the computer. Bah!):

1) Looking through my photos in Lightroom, I delete the obvious losers (blurry, grainy beyond salvation, major exposure failage etc.) altogether, and then flag the ones I want to upload to flickr. Our flickr account is where we share our photos with friends and family, and I like to think of it as a backup in case all our hard drives crash or the house goes up in flames or something. I only edit the flagged photos.

2) Now comes the hard part – choosing which photos to scrapbook. I make an effort to include photos of us and our hiking partners on every page even if it means dropping a nature photo I love, because I think they will be more interesting to us in the future. I think I’m going to make a simple album with my favorite nature photos so I won’t have to worry about forgetting them.

I also save some photos to use for non-event, non-chronological scrapbook pages – instead of including this photo of JK and the pups on the Tuck and Robin layout, I’m going to save it for something else. Maybe a page about my favorite things? Or summer memories? Or how freaking cute my boys are? I store multiple usage photos like that one in a digital Library of Memories system.

3) Now for the actual scrapbooking part – I like to choose one or two photos to emphasize what I want to remember about the trip (these tend to be nature photos), then squeeze in the rest as supporting actors.

Since I am generally too lazy to come up with new, exciting designs all the time, my layouts tend to look very similar to each other. Case in point – the Tuck and Robin page looks a lot like the Mount Baker page I just made, and the Tank Lakes layout is based on a design from Cathy Zielske‘s Design Your Life class that I have already used on another page…and quite frankly the two layouts in this post look almost the same. I don’t care; I’m just happy to be scrapbooking and getting these memories down on paper.

Tanks for the memories

The first couple of times we went hiking, I ended up making several scrapbook pages from each trip – if I had kept this up, my shelves would be full of not-very-interesting albums. I definitely prefer this more succinct (if I can use that word about photos) style of memory keeping, especially since I don’t really have room for many albums in our house to begin with. Maybe we should just build more shelves :o)