Well, there are only six months until Christmas! Usually that doesn’t bother me all that much. I’m not a homemade gifts person and I don’t make cards either so most of my work for Christmas really happens much closer to the actual date. The rest of you should get crackin’ though!
Christmas is on my mind because while I don’t scrap chronologically anymore, I do tend to work with folders of photos and try to close out months as I go. The December months seem to hang around for a long time! Two years ago, I did a December daily and it is included in that years’ December gallery here. I just finished it recently! I am just not a huge fan of scrapping Christmas – I’m not sure why. Maybe it's that we have set in stone traditions and I feel like I'm scrapping them over and over again?
I challenged myself to scrap a couple Christmas pages and share with you. One way that I was able to get over my reluctant scrapping was to use a template. This way the design was already set and I only needed to dig out photos and write up the story!
For my second page, I participated in a Round Robin so essentially I lifted ideas from the person ahead of me. This was another opportunity to just get a page done!
Two layouts done and only two more years of photos to scrap! WOOHOO!
For both of these layouts I used this gorgeous kit from the fabulous Gennifer Bursett at Design House Digital. It's called Naughty Christmas and it's chock full of fun papers and word art. I have even used pieces of it on non-Christmas themed pages with ease.
The lovely Gennifer has offered to give one of you this kit to play with. Leave your name and tell me do you have a season or event that you really don’t enjoy scrapbooking? What is it? I'll draw a winner this evening.
::: comments are now closed for the giveaway. thank you! :::
Then I challenge you to get out your supplies and scrap one page – just one! Share it in the gallery and link me up below I’d love to see! Until later tonight...
Hi there, it's Sarah Pendergrast here today to share a fun technique that most people have probably tried at least once or twice, and that's watercoloring. I've actually been playing with this technique a fair bit lately, but you'll have to bear with me as I take you on a walk down memory lane on some of my very early layouts, which also used this technique, but in different ways!
The are actually many supplies that one can use to watercolor on your projects. The obvious is, of course, a set of watercolor paints, but there are many others as well. For example, there are watercolor crayons, watercolour pencils, watercolor papers (like Peerless), dye-based ink pads and markers, twinkling H2O's...just to name a few. You can even raid your kid's stash and try Crayola markers, and kids watercolor paint trays.
Well, I'm not an expert by any stretch, so this is just a brief overview touching on a few ways you can use these versatile supplies. Again, please forgive the "vintage" layouts here!
1. Create swooshes of colours
For my gallery layout this month I used my water colour crayons to create large "swooshes" of colour as a backround for my photo. In this case, I just used a foam brush to spread the colour.
If you're not using watercolor paper, you run the risk of your paper pilling. If this happens, wait for the paper to dry, and just brush off the pills.
Kathy Martin used the same technique to create a backround for her stamped image in her adorable birthday card:
Kathy used the following method with her dye-based ink pads to colour. She simply pressed her ink pad onto an acrylic block to transfer the ink. She then picked up the colour with a brush and painted!
2. Color Stamped Images
For the next layout I used a set of outline stamps to create my own patterned paper for the layout (*note* - I was REALLY into using my stamps on layouts back then!). I then colored in the images with my watercolor crayons, and I have a unique page, with the colors of my choosing:
You can also add a colored stamped image as an embellishment. Here I used water color pencils (easier for fine details) to color a stamped image that I thought matched my photo in the layout...lol!
Another way you can use your watercolors with you stamps is to color diectly on your stamped image, then spritz with a bit of water, and stamp your image. This works best with solid images, using either markers or watercolor crayons. It's a great way to create a muticolored image, with beautifully blended colors.
In this example I used my watercolor crayons, a solid butterfly stamp, and stamped on a doily.
3. Paint shapes on your layout
Needless to say, with a blank piece of paper and a set of paints, there are endless possibilities! For this layout, I created a simple set of watercolor circles:
Amy Sorensen used her paints to create a rainbow on her layout. She then ran her paper through her printer, and printed her journalling directly over her painting:
4. Dribble and Spatter
Spray mists are really hot right now, but you can get a very siminar effect with watercolor paints. Just create a pool of color in your tray, and use a brush to drip and spatter your paint on your layout:
You can get a very cool result by dripping watercolors on old book pages. In this example, I created unique little photo frames using that technique:
I hope you enjoyed this brief walkthough of watercolor painting. It's such a fun and versatile technique, so I hope you give it a try!
Hello there, summer readers! Marie here today with a little journey down memory lane. Summer is a hard scrapping time for me. With all three kids at home all the time, we spend our days playing, going to the park, running through sprinklers, and eating lots and lots of popsicles (recently all BEFORE 10am because it has been SO crazy hot here!) That leaves me melting into a pile of tired goo by the end of the day, with nary a bone of motivation to scrap left in me.
So how do I fix this? I went on a little journey. I went back through the scrapbooks and pulled some of my favorite summertime pages.
A few things I notice when I look at these:
1. They are simple-yes I am generally a very simple scrapper, but the journaling is short and sweet, and the products are not varied, just journaling spots and letter stickers.
2. They are colorful! Bright bold colors speak to me in the summer, and the impact gives these simple pages a bit more interest.
3. Even though they are simple, I am instantly transported back to these moments in time, and that is what scrapping is all about for me.
So off I went to the WCS Pinterest page and found this great sketch by Celeste
and turned it into this
As you can see, simple layout, short and sweet journaling, and bright bold colors. Happy summer scrapping-in a flash!
Hi! Amy here, welcoming you to this month’s Write. Saturday.
Something I noticed about the layouts in the gallery this month was just how pithy the journaling was. Maybe it’s the smaller amount of time we have to scrap in the summer? The call of the great (warm and sunny) outdoors? Just a little trend? Or a combination?
I’m not exactly sure, but what I do know is this: just because you only have a small space for journaling, or less time to write or fewer things to say, doesn’t mean your words have to be of the fluffy "fill the journaling requirement" type. Instead, it’s absolutely possible to write short journaling that’s still full of meaning—what think of as "pithy" journaling.
First, let’s think about that word, pithy. Its dictionary definition goes something like "full of substance and point, but brief." But here’s an even better way to think of it:
If you don't like to mince words, you'll make every effort to be concise in your writing, which means to remove all superfluous details. Succinct is very close in meaning to concise, although it emphasizes compression and compactness in addition to brevity. A pithy statement is not only succinct but full of substance and meaning. (from The Writer’s Thesarus)
So how do you write pithily? Let’s start with some short, but not really pithy, journaling:
We went on such a great hike today. It wasn’t too hot but the mud from all the recent rain had dried up. The sunflowers were blooming in the meadow where we stop to rest and the sky was cloudless. We saw some turkeys, a mountain goat, and a rattlesnake. It took us just over 90 minutes to get to the peak, and then after eating some cherries we started the very steep trip down. Jake was so strong the whole way and didn’t complain once.
Now—there’s nothing really wrong with that journaling. It conveys the information and fulfills the "succinct" concept. But it feels a little bit flat...the substance is missing. Here are some writing tips that might help:
1. Make the substance be the reason you are writing this bit of journaling. That means skipping meaningless filler like "We went on a great hike." Take a few minutes to think about the substance—the guts, the reality, the point—then start with it immediately.
2. Skip adding modifiers. Tossing in a "so" or a "so much" or a "very" might seem to add power to your writing, but really they draw attention to a not-quite-right word. Maybe, for example, Jake wasn’t "so strong" but "tough" or "steady" or even just "strong," as it’s, well, strong enough to stand on its own!
3. Use the most specific words possible. Going back to the greatness of that hike—what does "great" really mean, anyway? Did you learn something from the hike, or feel completely in tune with nature, or have a unique mother-son moment? "Great" is vague; "illuminating," "satisfying," "thrilling," or "exhausting" work harder at making a mental image for your reader.
4. Focus on the "why" of the story, then work the who, what, when, and where in as details. For example, was it the wildlife-spotting that hike great, or the steepness, or Jake’s lack of complaining?
5. Don’t be afraid to write about emotion. That’s where the substance is, even though it’s hard to write about. The key is writing about authentic emotion—what you really felt, not what you’re supposed to feel. (Read more about emotion in journaling here.)
Here’s a re-write of that journaling:
Not until we’d made it up all 4,000+ feet of Slide Canyon, had our traditional cherries at the top, and were halfway back to the car did I realize Jake hadn’t complained once. In fact, he hiked that steep trail (which, so late in the season, smelled like pine and sunflowers) as if exhaustion didn’t exist in the world. The mountain seemed to reward effort by letting us see more wildlife—a snake, a brood of turkeys, and a mountain goat—than we ever have before. It was nearly an epiphany, his tough striding along the trail: he’s growing into a strong man.
Same information, but it packs a greather emotional punch because it tells the why without getting caught up in fluff.
Writing tips and tricks aren't the only want to learn how to write journaling that's pithy. Having an idea of what to write about, or how to write about a topic, also helps. Here are some layouts from the July gallery with especially pithy journaling and some ways to add a similar sparkle to your words:
1. Write your journaling as a series of questions and answers. Here’s a little piece of journaling:
"When we went to the beach, the baby kept eating the sand. There were lots of mosquitos and the traffic was pretty bad. Everything wasn’t perfect. But it was still worth going because the day was amazing."
It relays some information, but it lacks luster. Now, go read the journaling on Marie’s layout. See? Same information, but the structure she used—the questions and the snappy responses—makes the story shine.
To do this, keep your questions short. Vary the style of your responses, too, with words and phrases like "absolutely" and "without a doubt" and "of course not." Don’t be afraid to address the less-than-perfect aspects of your subject. Finish with one question-and-answer that sums up the entire emotional point of the journaling.
Francine’s layout also starts with a question, and then she answers it with more details.
For my layout, I followed Marie’s journaling concept pretty closely:
One thing I discovered? This style of journaling isn’t just pithy. It’s fun to write!
2. React to a conversation. There are so many good stories to be told, and quite often they happen simply through a conversation. But your response to the conversation adds substance. Take Emily Pitt’s gallery layout. Her conversation with her daughter is sweet and a little bit funny. But Emily’s reaction to the conversation is what gives meaning to the writing.
I also reacted to a conversation I had with my son Jake. This still makes me giggle:
but, you know? I still remember that happiness, too. ("Except for all the owl violence" has become one of my kids' go-to response when I get freaked out about a movie's suitability for teenagers.)
3. Pick something you wouldn’t usually thank—and then write a thank you note to it. This is a good exercise for getting right to the point, because you have a specific meaningful topic to start with. Don’t fill the writing with explanation. Just start writing your gratitude.
This idea comes from Marnie’s layout. I love the twist of this journaling; generally we'd expect a daughter to say thank you to her mom for braiding her hair, not the other way around. But in it, Marnie writes about being grateful that she still gets to braid her daughter’s hair because of the connection it creates. See how expressing gratitude also helps her express something deeper?
In my layout:
I went a little bit crazy with the gratitudes, expressing my thanks to the myriad things that had to happen for me to have this moment with my youngest.
Deb shared this gratitude layout:
wherein she shares her gratitude for the small moments her sons have together.
And Lisa O. shared this fun 6x12 layout
she journals here about everyday things she's grateful for, like books and the forest and an alarm clock.
So, tell me: are you a fan of short journaling? How do you make it sparkle?
Hello, Emily Pitts on deck today. My family spent a week in the beautiful country of Wales last month, that's me with Harlech castle in the background. We had a wonderful time exploring the Northwestern, Western, and Southeastern parts of the country with my parents.
I'm here with a little follow up from my June gallery Fun Facts. If you missed, or perhaps don't remember what I wrote, you can check it out here. I knew all those facts I had listed would make a fun mini album, combined with photos and statistics of what we did see. I was right.
And not only was it fun, it was EASY. And if you remember my post from last month, I'm all about simplifying and making my life easy this summer (at least, I keep reminding myself of that fact...)
Why was it easy, you ask? Because most of the thinking was already done for me.
The biggest stumbling block I run into when I think about creating a mini album is how to organize enough photos along the same topic that it will be big enough to be worthy of the name "album." Never mind the word "mini." But with my Fun Facts write up, I knew if I took photos of the castles, the national parks, the sheep, the people, and the coastlines, I'd be set. I was right. It was easy.
I cut a bunch of 4x6 tags and made the section header pages. I kept the design simple, with the same elements (more or less) on each header page. These included a smaller tag, a number, some circles, and a button or brad. I rearranged all these elements as needed, sometimes adding and sometimes subtracting. It was a fun way to keep some continuity, but have each header slightly different.
For the filler tags, I kept it really simple. A strip of green cardstock, punched with a zig zag border, a date sticker, a half circle for any sort of journaling, and a button or brad. If there was more to say, I wrote on the back of the tag.
[Photo of the Prince and Princess courtesy of the internet.]
So here is my suggestion for you, when going on vacation, think of it in numerical terms. How many people live in the city you're touring? How many skyscrapers are in the skyline? How many Broadway plays were playing while you were there? How many cows live in the state? How many pounds of coffee does the city consume? You'll probably have to do some hunting I'm sure, but I bet you could find enough number based facts about where you're going that you could put together a fun mini album. And you could do it fast, like Amy suggests in her post on Tuesday.
Hi there! This is Sarah Pendergrast, and I'm delighted to be here today with my first post for write. click. scrapbook. I had so many ideas of fun things to share, but decided I would do something a little different today, and share one of my favourite home decor projects, canvases! I made my first set of mixed media canvases about three years ago for daughter's bedroom. They were a big hit, so since then I have made several more themed sets, including a seasonal set of trees for a teacher gift, a Halloween set that I display every October, Mario and Louigi and recently, a set of summer-themed canvases that I donated to our school's silent auction. I really love how the summer canvases turned out, so I wanted to share them here today, and give a little tutorial to show you how you can do the same at home, using your scrapbook supplies.
My first step is to choose a canvas size, and decide how many will be in the grouping. I usually buy my canvases at a local art store, but I have also seen them at dollar stores - just make sure there are no staples around the edges. Next I paint the the base colour, using acrylic paints. If I'm doing more than one, I try to make all the base colours work well together. I usually add in a few little streaks of accent colour so the base doesn't look flat. I should add, I am NOT an artist, so please excuse my non-technical terms and simplicity of painting! Also, please excuse my messy desk!
Next I sketch out my designs (or at the very least create a mental sketch in my head :) ). I then try to choose about a dozen patterned papers in different colours that will be consistent for all canvases. I've found that smaller prints work best, and my personal preference is to try to include one print and/or music print, and one woodgrain - but it really doesn't matter. The papers I might choose would look something like this:
Next I get to work on assembling my designs. There are lot of different ways you can cut the shapes, including die-cutting machines (like a Big Shot or Revolution), punches, hand-cutting, and in the case of the summer canvases, using an electronic cutter like the Silhouette. Since not everyone has a closet full of tools, I thought I would do a canvas for this tutorial using only a pair of scissors - not even a paper trimmer or a ruler!
I start by laying out my basic design on the canvas, and using Modpodge, adhere the pieces to the canvas:
After the Modpodge starts to dry, I start adding in details,using a variety of supplies. For this example I used some adhesive cork sheets, a few metal brads, some green buttons, washi tape, a wood veneer die cut, some very old prima flowers, and some mist (to change the colour of the flowers). I did not use that circle punch shown - it was just part of my messy desk!
When I'm happy with the overall look, I set it aside and let it dry for several hours. My finished piece for this tutorial, using ONLY a pair or scissors, turned out like this (canvas size: 11 x 14):
Finally, here's my set of summer canvases (canvas size: 12 x 12) using the same techniques I showed you today, but with a little help from my Silhouette ;)
Since I was donating them, they never made it to my walls, but they looked cute on the piano for a couple days!
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and that it will maybe inspire you to try a little something different with your scrapbook supplies.
Happy Fourth of July to our blog readers in the United States! In honor of this holiday, I, Vivian, want to share with you some thoughts about Fourth of July scrapbooking. I've created a ton of layouts over the years documenting our annual Fourth of July traditions and celebrations, as I did in this layout:
However, I want to go in a little bit of a different direction today and take the opportunity to celebrate not just the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and all of the celebrations that occur each July 4th, but United States history as a whole. (If you are reading this from outside the United States, simply substitute the name of your country anywhere I've put "United States history," as the ideas can certainly still apply!)
I will fully admit that we are history geeks in my household. We love visiting historic sites and museums, both close to home and when we travel. I love learning about the countless stories that come together to make up the whole of United States history (I'm a fan of world history as well, but, hey, this is the Fourth of July, so I'll save that angle for another post sometime). Our revamped History Colorado Center just reopened this spring here in Denver, and one of the things I love best about it is an exhibit that focuses on the everyday lives of ordinary people in a Colorado farming community. This segment of text from one of the panels in the exhibit really resonated with me:
History isn’t just made by great women and men; it’s made by people following their dreams, facing adversity, and working to build a better tomorrow.
In other words, history is us and we are history. Pretty cool, right?
So...without further ado, here are four scrapbook-y ways to celebrate history on the Fourth (or, really, on any day!):
1. Do as Lisa Ottosson did and journal about the history evoked by a place you've visited:
Her journaling says: "It was an unreal feeling walking the mall, the place where so many historic events have happened: Martin Luther King's speech, protests against the Vietnam War and where thousands of people witnessed Obama become the president."
2. Follow Kathy Martin's lead and share what you learned from a visit to a history museum or historic site:
3. Document the history you read, or the history a family member reads:
4. Record how your family's story is part of your country's story. This could take the form of a layout about how your family experienced a particular era or event (for example, how the Great Depression affected grandma, or how dad served in the Vietnam War), or it could be a layout about how a family member interacted with a famous historical figure (or how a family member was a famous historical figure, depending on your family!), or it could be a layout about how your family became part of the story of the United States:
So, after you've celebrated the Fourth - or as part of your celebrations on the Fourth - give scrapping history a try!
Hi, it's Amy, and I'm guessing I'm not alone here in this little fact: when I'm on vacation I tend to take a lot of photos. And then there's this: sometimes even while I'm taking the photos I'm thinking about what I want to write about the experience and how I might scrapbook it.
But of course, the vacation ends. You finally make it home and you're faced with that Kilimanjaro of laundry, and the unpacking, and the sorting of mementos and souvenirs, and getting all that sand out of everyone's shoes, and oh yes: normal life, and then all of sudden it's three years after that vacation and you haven't made a dent yet in all those photos.
It's enough to make any scrapbooker a little bit anxious.
If you're nodding your head in agreement, or if you have an upcoming vacation in which you're likely to take lots of photos and have several amazing experiences, I'm here with some tips to make the process less anxiety-producing. There are just two tips, but trust me: they'll help.
anti-scrapper's-vacation-photo-anxiety tip #1: Write your journaling while you are on your trip.
I keep one notebook that I only take with me on trips. I like it to be a small-ish one, with preferably a pocket. Since it's likely to be stuffed into a backpack or a carry-on, my travel notebook is always perfect bound (with a spine) instead of spiral. (My newest travel journal is THIS ONE by Martha Stewart; I bought it this spring after I filled up my old one with details from the weekend trip my husband and I went on for our twentieth anniversary.) I jot down thoughts, funny stories, notes about delicious meals or unforgettable (ironically enough) experiences.
I also always take a laptop with me on a trip. Once I've wrested it away from my teenagers in the evening, I spend half an hour or so every night writing a more detailed narrative.
The bonus to writing your journaling while you're on your trip is obvious: if you keep it somewhere safe, it doesn't matter if you don't end up scrapping those photos for three years, or five, or seven. The details are already safe from the vagaries of memory, just waiting to be paired with your photos and some cute embellishments.
anti-scrapper's-vacation-photo-anxiety tip #2: Make a vacation summary layout as soon as possible after your trip.
It doesn't have to be complicated or take up much time. It's pretty simple, in fact: a vacation summary layout is just a space for you to, well, sum up the highlights of your trip. You write down a few small but important details and combine them with a photo (or two) that also sums up the trip. The concept of a summary (noting the main points, purpose, and ideas of something) makes this an easy way to document your trip—a summary is a way of making a large amount of text simple to manage.
Of course, there are lots of different ways you can sum up an entire trip. My favorite is the survey approach, like I used in this layout:
In the little journaling spaces, I wrote down the following details:
1. who went on the trip 2. where we stayed (including the room number!) 3. details about our flights 4. adventures we had 5. the fun things we did that were unique to this trip 6. inside jokes and other things we laughed about 7. favorite meals 8. souvenirs 9. a brief itinerary of daily happenings 10. a longer note about something unexpected (we didn't know the G20 Summit was happening during our trip until we arrived to find Cabo covered with federal police)
I paired the summary with a photo my sister took of my Bigs and me on the beach. It's a little blurry and the light was starting to go, but I'm happy to have it!
Some other details you could include in a survey: 1. the books you read 2. injuries/illnesses/accidents (surely my kids can't be the only ones?) 3. rental car details or driving experiences 4. one favorite moment from everyone on the trip 5. places: shopping, museums, beaches, hiking trails, visitor's centers, spas, swimming pools, relatives' houses 6. a song that will always remind you of this trip 7. people you met along the way (I once wrote a vacation summary just about the kindness of strangers) 8. your emotional attachment (or lack thereof!) to your vacation destination 9. differences between this trip and the last time you visited the same place 10. a list of something you saw (animals at Yellowstone, for example, or fish while snorkeling or movie stars in Hollywood) 11. the flowers, plants, and trees native to the area 12. something you learned about yourself from this trip
Lisa Ottosson did something similar with this layout
wherein she wrote down some random vacation memories and then used the layout as a springboard for more specific vacation layouts.
Teka shared this layout:
where she summarizes an entire trip in one succinct paragraph.
And Celeste summarizes just one day of a trip:
You can also make a vacation summary layout that focuses more specifically on one type of detail. For example, in this summary layout:
I focused on the memorable meals and foods we ate on our trip. I went this way because my daughter, Haley, had been to Cabo San Lucas once before, and when we decided to go again it was a certain lemonade she looked forward to the most.
Since a vacation to the beaches of Mexico is necessarily concerned with beaches, I made this summary layout:
that includes a few details about each of the beaches we went to. I included info about the beaches in general and the specific things that happened to Jake at each one.
In fact, you could pick any of the ideas from the general-survey type of vacation summary layout and make a specific summary out of it.
It almost doesn't matter how you focus your story. It just matters that you make the layout. You'll be amazed at the anxiety reduction that happens.