Getting Started – Pictures on Pages

Last month I did a couple of posts about getting started & organizing your pictures.  This month I’d like to move on to getting pictures on pages. First – we all have to realize that there are many different ways to do this – the three basic paths are:

  • Traditional scrapbooking – gluing paper & pictures to pages & adding the story.


  • Pocket scrapbooking – sliding pictures and pre-printed cards into divided page protectors



  • Digital scrapbooking – using an electronic format to design layouts & then either printing a photo book or printing individual pages to add to a scrapbook.



    Today I’m going to focus on traditional scrapbooking.  Within this arena you have a variety of page sizes – from make your own mini-albums (I just did one that was 3 x 4) up to 12 x 12 (I know Creative Memories used to have something like an 11 X 15, but don’t know what other larger sizes are available.) Don’t feel confined to a single size – you can intermingle smaller sized layouts within a larger album (add 8 1/2 x 11 to a 12 x 12 album).

    Something to consider on the size is how many pictures you want to scrapbook.  If you have a lot of pictures, or if you like a lot of pictures on a layout – you might want to go with a larger format. One thought on the number of pictures, though – you don’t have to scrap every picture – (I constantly struggle with this!).

    Another area to consider is the content of your scrapbooks/layouts. Do you want to focus more on telling a story or capture an event. Many of us start out as event-driven scrappers (a wedding, birth) and migrate to the stories.  I’m a firm believer that all your layouts should have some story – if not, you might as well juts hang it on a wall (and that’s not a bad option either). My thoughts are that scrapbooking is a way to capture what’s going on in life so that in years to come my family can look back over the pages & share those memories.  So if I don’t really identify what’s going on, I may not have much to share later if I can’t remember the details.

    So, if you’re scrapping an event,

    • Choose your pictures from that event (an easy task if you have them organized – if not, check out these other posts Where to Start? – Digital Photo Management – Where to Start (Part 2) – Piles of Pics).
    • Find coordinating papers –
      • Colors that match the pictures or the event (match wedding colors)
      • Themed papers that match the event (birthday, Halloween)
      • Patterned papers that match the event (florals for a wedding, animals for a zoo trip)
    • Find a layout – you can design your own, but I find scraplifting is helpful – especially if you’re just starting out. Look for layouts with the same amount of pictures, similar theme, or the colors you want to use. There are so many great resources for this – Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, sketch/recipe books, catalogs (CTMH Idea Books)

    As a Close To My Heart consultant, of course, I regularly turn to CTMH product.  I love that each featured paper packet has a Scrapbook Workshops Your Way kit that includes paper, embellishments & and a cutting guide that is easy to use or adapt to my own needs. Everything coordinates leaving me less to think about, decide on, spend time on.


    Another new CTMH product is the Cut Above Layout Kit.  Talk about a great way to get started.  There are currently 2 kits – one for a new baby,

    and one for a wedding/love theme.


    These kits include pre-printed die cuts and base pages. All you need to do is punch out the pieces (they’re perforated sheets) and adhere them to the base pages.  There are also pocket cards to add to your traditional layout (I know, this wasn’t today’s topic, but they’re there & they do mix wonderfully with traditional!)


    During April 2017 – you can get either of these Cut Above layout kits for half price!! – That’s just $7.48 each!  What an amazing deal – check it out at  AND – watch for more Cut Above layouts in May!




    Friendly Layouts (with Stamping!)

    Good morning, friends! Spring break was a little more eclectic than I was planning, so I never made it back with additional posts – but I’m ready to start back up this week.  These layouts are one of the options for my April scrapbooking class.


    I used the Some Kind of Wonderful Workshops Your Way Scrapbooking kit.  This kit includes a paper packet, complements, white twine and a package of black and white dots. Often, I just follow the guide designed for the kit – easy-peasy… but this month, I wanted to add some stamping.


    Close to My Heart has designed scrapbooking and  cardmaking stamp sets specifically to coordinate with each featured paper packet.  I thought the Some Kinda Wonderful Scrapbooking stamp set would be great for telling the story of my family getting a cat (the cat I was never going to own!!!!).


    Between the stamp set and the complements, I had everything i needed to convey the friendship that’s developed between my son & his cat and all the happiness the little kitty brought!



    This layout really didn’t need a lot of colored papers – using the stamps to create a slight background on the White Daisy cardstock, I really only needed a few pieces to frame the pictures.

    My next layout just has some pictures of my son when he was 1 1/2 – showing off his fish tank, being cool in his shades and hanging out with his best friend at the time – Mickey.  This time I used some of the green paper for a large photo mat and then added some color above & below.  The stamping on this page just adds a little extra embellishment.IMG_1985

    My last double page layout didn’t include any stamping.  These are just some random pictures that remind me what a happy wonderful life we have – i love that smile!


    (I actually went back and added another layered piece on the right hand page – in the top left side – I’ll try to remember to get a picture of it and replace this one!)

    If you’ve made layouts with this paper, I’d love to see them – whether you followed the design guide or did your own thing!



    April is Upon Us!

    April is almost here! With it comes the last of our Seasonal Expressions 1 paper suites  – Some Kinda Wonderful.  (I was just at the consultant launch for the new Seasonal Expressions & got to see all the amazing new papers coming your way!) Some Kinda Wonderful is full of bright colors – big dots, gumdrops (?), stripes, and eyes (yep, you read that right – eyes! – check out the pink paper)


    Along with the paper we have two Workshops Your Way – Scrapbooking


    And Cardmaking (which includes an exclusive stamp set)

    SKW Card WYW

    Here’s a peek at what we’ll be making for the April Classes:

    Layouts using the Scrapbooking WYW – First we have the awesome CTMH designed layouts – these don’t have any stamping & the cutting guide has directions for making 9 additional cards.


    These next three I put together from the Make It From Your Heart Vol 1 pattern book – it includes stamping with the Some Kinda Wonderful Scrapbooking Stamp Set (D1716).



    and here are the cards – I didn’t plan for them to be animal themed – but the animals just worked so well with these colorful papers.


    Watch for more details in next month’s class page & blog posts.



    Dreamin’ Big Adventures

    My last few posts have been about organizing your photos.  Whether or not you’re a scrapbooker – preserving those photos is important.  It has been said that this generation takes the most pictures (therefore the value of a photo has decreased), but it will be the generation with the least photos preserved because they are not valued (Here’s a great article about this from Mike Yost Photography!).  So, if you need to tackle your photo stash, check out these two posts for some ideas (Where to Start? – Digital Photo Management and Where to Start (Part 2) – Piles of Pics).

    Today we go back to some artwork.  Since the last two posts have been about organizing photos – here’s how I preserve mine.  I love to scrapbook.  At one time, I felt like I was ‘behind’ but as I worked through those pictures, getting them on pages, I realized that I really loved reliving these memories (cute boys, no back-talk!)  Also – have some time between the events and making pages, allows me to have a bigger picture take on my thoughts and the events.


    Today’s layouts use this month’s featured paper Dreamin’ Big.  I thought these papers were great for capturing some of our outdoor adventures.  I used the Dreamin Big Workshops Your Way kit (G1121)  which includes the Paper Packet, Complements, Sequins, Whisper Thick Twine & extra cardstock..  I decided to use different layouts than were included with the kit guide – not that there was anything wrong with those, I just wanted a little something different (and the challenge of not just following the directions).

    My starting point was the Make It From Your Heart, Volume 2 pattern book (item 9042).   You can find lots of sketches on the internet and in books.  They are great to use as they are, or they can be a great jumping off point for you to bring in your own ideas.  I like the CTMH pattern books because in addition to the sketches, you get measurements for cutting and placement, pictures of actual layouts and variations, and ideas for adaptations.


    Layout 1 started from Pattern 10 – it uses two 3 x 3, one 3 x 4, and three 4 x 6 photos.  I used this layout to document a hike I took with my family in PA.  I always loved the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and wanted to share this with my boys.

    IMG_1813 cropped

    One of my favorite pictures in this layout is of my youngest son walking in the opposite direction from everyone else.  Even before he was 2 years old – he was going his own direction (against the flow!!).  Had I scrapbooked this back in 2007 – I would not have known this about his personality and wouldn’t have been able to talk about it in my pages.


    Layout 2  started from Pattern 5 – it uses two 3 x 3 and three 4 x 6 photos to document my Happy Place – the green of PA!  Although I haven’t lived there for over 30 years, I love to go back to visit my family.  Since moving west (New Mexico and now Utah) – I have really come to appreciate the green!


    Layout 3 started with Pattern 3 and uses five 3 x 4 and one 4 x 6 photo.  This one documents a fun hike my boys and I did a few years ago over Spring Break.

    If you have some adventures to document (and let’s face it – life in general is an adventure!) – be sure to check out these fun papers before they’re gone on April 30th!  If you would like the cutting guides for these layouts or the original WYW guide – join my VIP Customer Group on Facebook & they will be in the files section.

    Enjoy (you’re adventures or documenting them!)


    Products used (besides basic papercrafting supplies – this is really all I used!  The WYW Scrapbooking kit had everything I needed).



    Where to Start (Part 2) – Piles of Pics

    This post is continuation on the subject of organizing photos (if your photos are all digital check out these ideas)


    Do you have piles of physical pictures?

    Are they all in one place or scattered in different rooms, boxes, drawers?

    Or – are they stuck in those old ‘magnetic’ sticky albums?

    No worries – you can manage all of these as well.

    Let’s start with the scattered pictures.  The easiest thing to do – is to spend some time gathering all of those photos into a single location.  At this point, don’t worry about who/what/when – just get them all to the same place.  I hate when I do a job, feel the satisfaction of completion, only to find out I missed something off in an obscure corner somewhere!  How you accomplish this is up to you – spend a day going from room to room – spend a day in each room – whatever works best with your schedule & patience (or frustration) level.

    You have everything in one place… now what?  Now that you have all your photos together, they may seem quite overwhelming.  So, before you jump in, come up with a plan.  Do you want to use your photos in scrapbooks?  Do you want to tell your stories chronologically or by theme?  Do you just want to have your pictures organized and stored?

    Sorting Containers – get yourself some containers to sort your pictures into – these don’t have to be fancy photo storage boxes – just something big enough that you can toss your pictures into.  Get enough containers to meet the categories you want to sort into.

    Here are some category ideas:

    Chronological – decade, year, place you lived (this is me – my brain just thinks by time)

    Themed – family member, holidays, vacations/trips, school, church, scouts… (check out Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories for additional ideas)

    Set a Time & Start Sorting!  The task of sorting through all these photos probably seems daunting.  But, you know the old saying… how do you eat an elephant?  With a timer, of course!  Set a timer for 10 – 15 – 30 minutes – whatever works into your schedule, and get to work.  Try not to get caught up into ‘looking’ at the pictures & reminiscing – or you’ll spend your alloted time down memory lane!

    Once you have everything sorted into the boxes, you can go back and re-organize into a more logical (for you) sequence.

    If you’re spending large time blocks – don’t forget to take breaks, stretch, etc.  Also – think about how much space the sorting will take – try to find an area where you can leave things and come back to them.  If you’re in the middle of sorting and need to clear everything off the kitchen table to eat dinner – you’re liable to get frustrated & leave everything packed up.  Where as, if you can leave things out – you can spend a few extra minutes as you have the time without disrupting your flow of life.

    Magnetic Sticky Albums – if you’re like me, your earliest ‘scrapbooking’ may have been in those sticky albums with the plastic cover sheets.  These have been determined to deteriorate your photos, so – you’ll want to get your pictures out and into storage boxes or scanned into digital format.  You can see in the pictures below how the pages have yellowed…

    Use caution, however, because sometimes the pages just don’t want to let go.  Some things that help with this –


    Dental floss – slide a piece of dental floss behind the picture and use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss completely behind the picture, breaking the bond of the glue.  If this needs a little extra help – you can use a hair dryer on warm.  Direct the air flow between the picture and the page in a sweeping motion.



    Un-Do – this stuff is absolutely amazing!  I use it all the time for my scrapping boo-boos!  Just place the attached spatula beneath the picture and apply a small amount of the liquid to the photo.  The bond will be broken & your picture will be unharmed (just let the Un-do dry) – make sure you are using this in a well ventilated area!

    What’s next – once you have all your photos unstuck from those magnetic albums or sorted into categories – you’ll want to store them until you’re ready to use.  There are plenty of photo organization boxes, but I would suggest ones which are acid free and not clear – light is not photo-friendly!

    My next few posts will include layouts & cards, but I’ll be back to talk about scrapbooking in a few weeks!  Until then, happy sorting!




    Where to Start? – Digital Photo Management

    Do you have a pile of pictures – or maybe your pictures are scattered, in boxes, drawers – who knows where?

    Are all your pictures digital – on your phones, computer, digital cameras?

    Do you rely on Facebook or Instagram to store your memories?

    Hopefully, I can give you a few pointers so you can get off to a good start without feeling overwhelmed by the volume of pictures you have.

    First things First!!  – Make sure your digital pictures are backed up – preferably in 2 places.  I learned this the hard way.  I lost every picture from my family’s first trip to Arches National Park – my youngest son was about 3 – I want to cry everytime I think about it!  I had been manually backing up my photos, but then I got busy and forgot – my hard drive crashed – and those pictures are gone – or corrupted


    Start with your phone… many of us capture memories everyday on our smart phones.  You can have these go automatically to a cloud or even your computer – I won’t get into the details since the phone or option you choose could be different, but set up your phone for an automatic back up and you won’t loose a thing if your phone crashes.

    What about multiple devices? We have multiple devices in our family.  So at the beginning of the month, I download pictures from the devices that don’t have an automatic download.  I also move pictures from multiple Icloud and Dropbox accounts to my main computer.  The main reason I do this is so when I’m ready to scrapbook something,  all the photos in a single place.

    You got them off the devices – now what?  When I take photos off our devices, I store them based on the date.  I have a folder for each month of the year – that’s where the majority of the photos go.  I also have sub-folders for my kids or if there’s a big event.  I have not had too many problems finding pictures using this method – since I can usually remember the time of year and roughly which year – I just start searching the dated folders.

    Now that they are on my main computer – I have this set up with an automatic backup (2 actually) – one is a paid cloud back up (I use Carbonite – but there are plenty of choices) the other just goes to the storage on my router.  I have the paid option because it is offsite, unlimited, and I don’t have to think about it – when my computer connects to the internet – anything new/changed is backed up.  I have the onsite just for photos – this one is probably unnecessary – but I can access the pictures from other computers and I can restore them quickly even without internet access.

    What about an organizing program?  Recently, I have been uploading photos to Adobe Photo Shop.  Again – I know there are a lot of options, so I won’t go into specifics about this program, but more on why I chose a photo editor/organization program.  I decided that my photo filing was really only easy for me.  If something happens to me – my family won’t really be able to find the pictures without going through everything.  So I decided to use a photo organizing program to tag and catagorize my pictures.  This is helpful for me personally – if there’s a subject I want to scrapbook – I can just filter on those tags (people, places, pets, etc.)  I also liked having the ability to edit some of my pictures to make them look better.

    I know I had the ability to tag pictures with the photo viewer that came with my computer, but when I would upgrade a computer, I would end up with a different photo program – so by going with a commercial option, I would have consistency.

    But Facebook or Instagram stores my pictures… Yes, I guess you could say this – but then you’re relying on a company with no vested interest in your life or memories to keep those photos available.  Do you remember ‘My Space’? – I know it doesn’t seem that Facebook will go away – but – you just never know.  And that’s also not an easy or efficient way to track down a picture you want to print and put into a scrapbook.

    DSC_0166Would you want to lose this cuteness?!  (especially since now they talk back – I need to remember these cute times!)


    So – there you go – some tips for ensuring your digital photos stick around.  Whether you end up scrapbooking or not – be sure to back up your photos!!

    Do you have any photo management tips?  I’ll move on to physical photos next along with some ideas for tagging/organizing besides a straight chronological system.



    Oh Deer!

    I’m going to confess.  When I first saw the December featured paper in the Holiday Expressions Idea Book, it was my least favorite.  It’s not that I didn’t like it – it just didn’t jump out and grab me.  But let me say that once I opened the  Oh Deer! Paper Packet (X7214B)   and started playing with it – I fell in love!


    This paper pack incorporates Bamboo, Cocoa, Colonial White, Desert Sand, Fern, Juniper, Sea Glass, Slate, Whisper, and White Daisy.  The paper patterns mix outdoors (trees, pine branches, bark) with sparkly stars, 3d boxes and sheet music.  It can be quite versatile for Christmas, Winter or just outdoors layouts.

    I love that CTMH has started offering coordinating cardstock packs.  This lets you build up your cardstock a little at at time (each coordinating pack as 3 sheets each of 4 colors) and they coordinate perfectly with the paper you’re working with.  The Oh Deer! Coordinating Pack (X7214D) includes Fern, Sea Glass, Slate and Whisper.  It also looks great with the Sea Glass glitter paper!


    The Complements (X7214C) for this paper pack are so cute!  It has a Christmas/holiday twist, but yet it doesn’t scream Christmas.  You could easily use the titles in non-holiday layouts.  There are a couple of things that say ‘holiday’, ‘Christmas’ or ‘Joy of the Season’; and the jingle bells are more of a holiday thing.  But really the stars, pine cones, bows, and even the deer could be used in other layouts.


    Here are a few of the projects I’ve been working on with the Oh Deer! paper –


    If this paper catches your eye – check out my class page and see if any of those dates work for you; contact me for an one-on-one class, or head over to and see where these fun papers take you.