Finished scrapbook pages

Done.  Finished.  Finito!

I started working on this book back in September.  With the added fun of settling into a new home, multiple craft projects, blogging and still keeping my day job, I managed to finish it in under a year!  For that, I’m pretty proud of myself.

What’s next?  Right now it’s time to clean and purge.  My immediate ritual is always to clean and straighten my workspace and go through leftover materials.  Expect a couple of posts about that.  Coming soon, I’ll be starting work on my wedding scrapbook.  I’m putting a lot of thought into it right now and have to make a lot of design decisions up from which I’m not used to doing.  It will certainly be a growth exercise!

Speaking of growth, I’ve learned a lot over the course of this book.  Using up the rest of my 35mm photos and making the transition to digital has opened lots of new creative ideas.  I’ve also become more mindful of what I include in the book and more comfortable with the fact that I don’t need every picture I take or every keepsake I collect in the book.  I’ll share some more thoughts on editing later.

Most of all, I want to thank you for following along!  Sharing my pages with you has really forced me to hold my designs to a higher standard.  There were a few times when I couldn’t figure out what to do with a layout and wanted to take the easy way out.  Knowing that I was going to share it online later was key in helping me wait until the right idea came along, even if it took more than a week staring at a page!

While I have grown, I’ve remained true to my style of scrapbooking.  I’m more convinced than ever that my type of scrapbooking is the way for me, even if it isn’t the most popular.  I really enjoy the comments from those of you who tell me you use similar methods!  Actually, I really enjoy everyone’s comments.  I read every single one of them!

More cause for celebration – this is my 100th post!


You can visit every single one of these layouts by heading to my layout page.


Scrapbook Layout: The Last Layout

College scrapbook page

We finally made it folks, this is the last page in the last college scrapbook I will ever make.

I’ve known for at least two years that I wanted to put a very specific poem at the end.  That was about it.  It took several days of hemming and hawing to figure out how to design the page around the poem.

I didn’t want to just make an end to this book, I wanted it to be representative of all four years in school.

I decided to go back to squares, but make it super complicated.  Would it be a proper ending if I didn’t make it complicated?

I started with a grid of 2-inch squares.  I took pictures from all four years of college and cut them into squares or rectangles.  The rectangles were painstakingly measured to cover the area of 2 or 3 squares including the gutter.  The inspiration for this idea actually came from a page I did two years ago.

Of course, I don’t cut without a plan.  I spread everything out on the floor and made myself a draft grid to work with:

College scrapbook photos

I lettered the poem onto light blue stock.  The title and credit for the piece wouldn’t fit with the poem, so I tucked it onto the bottom right corner.

The poem was written around 1910 for the yearbook of my alma mater, The Blue and Gold.  It was published in 1911 and it’s really timeless.  I’ve reprinted it here in case you decide to use it.  Please only use it if you are giving credit to The Blue and Gold at the University of California, Berkeley:

“Four years behind us,
And maybe more
The whole world in front of us
It’s time to score

Now with the years behind us,
Now that the goal is won,
With everything to remind us
We wish we’d just begun”

Senior Farewell
The Blue and Gold 1911
University of California, Berkeley

Fitting, isn’t it?  I thought so.

College scrapbook page

Scrapbook Layout: Graduation in Simplicity

Simple simple simple – again.

What?  No clear headline?  The headline for this page actually appears on the previous page.  The text on this page is just a continuation that adds more detail to the event.

I know, after posts of me painstakingly putting squares together, this can seem rather plain.  I thought about this one for a long time.  Too much.  I think I was building my graduation up too much in my mind and didn’t think I was going to find a layout worthy of such a big event.  I realized it didn’t need dressing up.  I’m mulling over this concept for my wedding scrapbook.

It’s really hard to tell from the pictures, but I backed all of the items in a shimmery cardstock.  It gives the whole thing a nice sheen.

On the second page, I used my own handwriting again but did something dangerous – I made up the story as I went along and hoped it would fit in the space.  Dangerous!  I was able to write down everything I had in mind.  Barely.

Just as with the previous page, the font here is Miama.

Oh don’t worry.  I have one more painstakingly arranged layout up my sleeve to finish off this book.

Scrapbook Layout: Graduation Title Page

Graduation scrapbook page

Simple simple simple.

I took the printed invitation to my college graduation and gave it its own page.  This is a right-facing page, so this is sort of a title page and then there will be a graduation double page spread next.

I could have done something very intricate, but leaving it simple and unembellished is more powerful.

The font is Miama (free download here).  I printed and transferred it to the page using my makeshift carbon paper method.  I’m planning on taking the font and super simple look onto the next two pages to complete the graduation story.

Only 3 pages left to go!

Graduation scrapbook layout

Click here to see my other scrapbook layouts from my college scrapbook.

Scrapbook Layout: It’s My Party

Graduation party scrapbook layout.

Friends, we’ve made it to the home stretch.  All that’s left in this book are graduation layouts and I’m DONE.  I can’t remember if I was as excited about actually graduating as I am about finishing this book.

This layout is inspired by the layout below by Celeste Smith that appeared on this Write. Click. Scrapbook post.  I love the big photo on the top and how the smaller photos are separated from the top with some colored paper.

Inspiration for scrapbook page.

The challenge for me?  I had digital and 35mm photos to work with.  I took the digital photos and my grandparents sent me the 35mm prints.  They got a few shots that I really wanted to use so I was stuck building a layout around pictures that I couldn’t resize.

As is typical with me, I did a rough draft.  The black and white prints are drafts of digital pictures.  The white areas are spots for the 35mm pictures.

Scrapbook layout draft.

I hand lettered the title using my makeshift carbon paper method.  The font is Berlin Sans FB (Microsoft font).  I decided to give my own handwriting another go and wrote the long caption by hand.

I rounded the outer corners to give it some more character and I was set.  Nothing too complicated here, but I got several large pictures on the page without it looking overwhelming.  Success!

Graduation party scrapbook page.

Photo of inspiration layout is courtesy Celeste Smith.

Want to see my other scrapbook layouts?  Check out my other layouts here!

Scrapbook Layout: A Story and a Recipe

If you know me “in real life” you know that the husband and I are fantastic cooks.  Yes, I’ll say it emphatically because we are.  It wasn’t always that way and there’s a special story behind it.

This is the recipe that started it all and here is the layout I made to capture it.

How did I know then that this one recipe would be the beginning of something that would define who we are?  That we would embark on crazy things like corning our own beef for St. Patrick’s Day, making our own gnocchi, or learning how to make sauces?

How could I possibly have known that?  I didn’t.  I’m just a hoarder and save everything.  I was going through my box of keepsakes from my last year in college and there it was, I had saved the recipe.  I tended to save everything back then.  I have the boxes in the closet to prove it.

I was thrilled to make this layout.  There was only one problem – no pictures.  How to make this page interesting?

The answer – head to the grocery store.

I decided to get pictures of ingredients that were important to the story.  Who takes pictures now for an event that happened 7 years ago?  Me.  Who is the weirdo at Whole Foods taking pictures of shallots?  Me.

Ready for the story?  Here is the text on the page.  It’s quite a long story, but it still makes me smile:

“This is the first recipe Bill and I ever cooked together.  We were celebrating our four-month anniversary and didn’t want to go out.  We both couldn’t cook but figured we should be able to follow a recipe.  We searched for “easy” recipes on and picked out this one.  We headed to the College Avenue Safeway to buy everything.  We didn’t even know what a shallot was.  We almost left the store without it until I asked someone.  We went home and followed the recipe very carefully.  It was a “30-minute meal” that took us much longer than thirty minutes to make.  Served alongside a box of rice-a-roni, the dish was delicious.  I’ve always wondered if we would have kept cooking if the dish had turned out badly.  It turned out so well that we decided to keep looking for recipes and the rest is history.  We’ve made some changes to this recipe over the years but it is still one of our favorites.”

I know you were wondering: the recipe is Tuscan Chicken by Rachael Ray.  We now prefer to use chicken stock instead of the called-for beef stock.  No, we don’t eat rice-a-roni anymore.  I make a really good risotto to serve with it instead.

Anyone want to come over for dinner?

The title font is Eight Fifteen by Kevin and Amanda.  The story is Sunshine in My Soul from

Check out my other layouts here!

Scrapbook Layout: Stretch Your Text

I’m in love with how this page turned out!!  Love!!

This page stumped me for a while and I decided to try something BOLD.  I kept the picture part simple and focused on this stretched-text design.

If you aren’t familiar with the Bay to Breakers, it’s an annual 7.5-mile crazy footrace in San Francisco.  It starts by the Bay in the Financial District and ends all the way out at the Pacific Ocean (you guessed it, the Breakers).  The stretched text shows the names of all the streets on the course.

How to Stretch Text

No matter what program you use, there is one key: make sure the aspect ratio is unlocked.  The aspect ratio is a control that keeps an object proportional, so if you increase the width of a picture it increases in height proportionally so it doesn’t look wacky.  Unlocking the aspect ratio allows you to stretch something without increasing its height.

The following instructions show how I did this using Microsoft Word.  The screenshots are from the newest version of Word.  If you have an older version, I’ve noted differences below.

First, insert a text box and type your text with whatever font you want to use.  Get the font right – you won’t be able to change it later without doing it over.  The size doesn’t really matter.  I used the font Calibri (it’s a Microsoft font, no free download, sorry).

Make sure the text box fits snugly around the text.

Select the text box, copy it, and then hit Paste Special.  In the newest version of Word, hit the down arrow underneath Paste.  In the old version, it’s under the Edit menu.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

A box should pop up.  Select “Picture (JPEG)” and click OK.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

Your text box will be pasted as a picture.  Delete the text box.  You can tell which is the picture because the text is not editable in the jpeg.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

Here is the most important part.  In the new version of Word, double-click the picture then click the tiny arrow in the bottom right corner of the Size box.  In the old version of Word, double-click the picture, and click Size.

Uncheck the box that says “Lock Aspect Ratio.”  Click OK.

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

Now you are free to stretch the picture!

Microsoft Word Scrapbook Screenshot

When I worked on this layout, I measured the space above and below the photos and calculated that I would need 8 blocks of text measuring 9.5 inches wide by 0.62 inches tall.  After doing the steps above, I re-sized each piece of text to fit these measurements.

I printed everything and transferred it to the page using my makeshift carbon paper method.

And my hand almost fell off.  Seriously.

Bay to Breakers Scrapbook Page

I colored everything in and it is definitely bold.  Mission accomplished.  I love love love it!

Bay to Breakers Scrapbook PageI hope my friends in San Francisco get a kick out of this.

If you have questions about how to stretch text, leave me a comment below and I’ll send you an email.

Check out my other scrapbook layouts here!

Scrapbook Layout: Yosemite in Squares

Yosemite Scrapbook Layout

One of the awesome things about living in California is the proximity to endless natural wonders.  Exhibit A:  when my future husband took me to Yosemite National Park for the first time.  Yes, future husband.  I knew it by then.

Back to our story, I had many beautiful pictures from our visit.  I wanted to do something really interesting that would showcase the pictures without it looking too photo-album-yy.  I also had a map of the park to incorporate.

I knew exactly what I was going to do and I could not wait to get to this layout.  Squares!  I was inspired by this layout from Simple Scrapper, specifically how she cuts one photo into multiple squares:

Yosemite Scrapbook Layout Inspiration

After some trial and error (and some more error), I decided to go with 2-inch squares, four wide and five tall.  As you know, I plan everything about my layouts before taking scissors to anything.  Here, I labeled each of the squares:

Yosemite Scrapbook Layout

I decided to do several photos that took up two, three or four squares.  I supplemented that with some single square photos.

Lest we forget the map, I cut some single square map pieces and one double square map piece that showed Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite Scrapbook Layout

Here are all the pieces to give you an idea of what the different parts looked like:

Yosemite Scrapbook Layout

I added a couple of white squares with the date and a simple description of the day.  I was feeling into making a big time headline, so I printed “Yosemite” and transferred it to the page using my makeshift carbon paper method.  The font is Kavaler Kursive, a free download at

I’m in love with how this turned out!  It feels so light and airy (if a page could evoke those feelings) yet so detailed!

Yosemite Scrapbook Layout

I didn’t go into detail about how I cropped, sized and printed the pictures.  If you want more information on that, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll shoot you an email.

Photo credit: inspiration layout is courtesy Jennifer from Simple Scrapper.

Scrapbook Layout: A Layout with Zig Zag Binding

This is a really picture-heavy event.  I had scrapbooked it two times already for previous years and it always took up 2 pages.  I wanted to do something different and try a vertical headline.  2 pages just wouldn’t seem to work.

This was one of those layouts I had to stare at for several days, waiting for the light bulb.

Enter Zig Zag Binding

Stumped, I was surfing around and saw this video tutorial by Elise on zig zag binding.  That’s it!  It was the perfect way to include more pictures in the layout without them being overwhelming.

Zig zag binding is very easy.  You use an accordion folded piece of paper as the base and then glue your pages to it.  The result is a cute booklet.

I had the program from this banquet, which was an 8.5×11″ piece of paper folded in half.  I attached it to my accordion-folded piece of paper and then added extra pages.  Looking at the page, you only see the program.  However, when you look through the program, it now has several pages of pictures behind it!

It went something like this:

Gluing the pages to the accordion and to each other (just watch the video and this will make sense).


I won’t go into detail about how to do this because the video is pretty comprehensive.  Make sure to check it out!  It is super easy to do but there are a couple ways to go way wrong if you don’t cut the accordion correctly.

I will definitely use this method again, maybe on a smaller scale next time.  I can see  making a small photo flip book to go on a page highlighting something from that event.  What would you do with this technique?

Scrapbook Layout: First Time Handwriting

I loved scrapbooking two events with one layout so much that I decided to try it again!

More importantly, this is the first page where I’ve actually used my own handwriting.  I’m actually not a fan of my handwriting, but it looks more personal.  I was really taken with Elise’s minibooks and how clean she makes them look while still using handwriting.

Photo Blocks

Experimenting again with photo blocks, I “separated” each event by creating a 6-inch square of photos.  I didn’t have a plan for either one, I just added and cropped photos until they filled the square.  I printed each square using my trusty photo printer.

After that, I decided to hand-cut the headlines again.  I realized it’s actually easier to do using scrapbook paper instead of cardstock.

Another hand cut headline!


I don’t handwrite on my pages also because I’m a lefty.  Lefties have a hard time writing straight lines because we can’t see what we’re writing!

The page needed something else to fill the space, so I decided to go for it.  I had to be careful because I was writing on the page itself.  I drew very light lines to make sure I wrote straight and erased them later.

Erasing my guidelines.

Not bad, you may end up seeing more of my handwriting soon.