Scrapbook Layout: 109th Big Game

Big Game Football Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Football Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Football Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Football Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story:  The annual rivalry football game between Cal and Stanford is called The Big Game and it has been played for over 100 years.  I haven’t missed one since 2000.

Big Numbers: The rest of the page is quite simple, so I experimented with BIG BIG numbers.  I love it!  I layered some blue under the gold letters to make them stand out.  Details, my friends, details.

Handwriting Overload: Do you ever have one of those moments when you’re writing a story and it turns out way longer than you’d planed?  I meant for the handwriting to tuck neatly under the newspaper photo but it got out of control!  But you know my rules, when it’s story versus design, the story always wins.

Previously: 106th Big Game (2003 – in college), 107th Big Game (2004), 108th Big Game (2005).

Big Game Football Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Bebas | Tools: Silhouette SD (headline), Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Pioneer SJ-100 Jumbo Scrapbook (scrapbook & pages), Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos) | Ephemera Included: newspaper.


Scrapbook Layout: Big Game Week

Big Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

The Story: This is the big rivalry week at my alma mater.  Mr. P and I participate in some activities and go back to help the students with the bonfire rally.

Project Life Style: Noticing a pattern?  I was hit hard by Project Life inspiration recently.  You don’t have to do Project Life to use its ideas.  I like that it’s given me a new way to think about displaying a lot of items at once.  Here, I was going to do three rows per page but settled on two when I counted up the number of pictures + ephemera.

Black & White + Color: I can’t believe this worked out so well.  Truly.  It’s like I planned it that way.  Usually I go uniformly one way or the other but the mix really works here.  Expanding my style again!

Trimmed Ephemera: In order for this design to work, I had to be okay trimming down ephemera to fit the space.  I won’t do that all the time but it was no problem here.

Negative Space: What I really like about experimenting with Project Life design is flexing my design muscle when it comes to headlines.  You won’t see anything like this in my previous books.

Previously: I’ve scrapbooked Big Game Week for a few years now, each one of them different: 2003 (still a student), 2004 (layouts here and here) , and 2005 (layouts here and here).

Big Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie ParkerBig Game Week Scrapbook Layout by Natalie Parker

Fonts: Klinic Slab (headline) | Tools: Silhouette SD (headline, bear), Epson Stylus R2000 (photos) | Supplies: Pioneer SJ-100 Jumbo Scrapbook (scrapbook & pages), Epson Semigloss Photo Paper (photos) | Ephemera Included: parking pass, postcard.

I’m on Paperclipping Roundtable!

Noelle graciously invited me to be a guest at Paperclipping Roundtable again!  This time the topic was scrapbooking college.  Click here to listen to the show.

I have an album for each year I was in college.  I blogged while making my senior year album, you can see all the posts and completed pages here.  At the end of the show, I promised to scan and show the albums from the first three years.  I’ll have to get on that!

The show made me take a step back and think a lot about scrapbooking a college experience.  I will write more about it in the future, but feel free to ask me questions if you have any!

Square One: Scrapbooking with Squares

Scrapbooking with SquaresThis page, over three years old now, is the first time I ever used squares.  I based my last college scrapbook layout on this design.  I guess I really like squares!

I designed this layout to accomplish a tall order:  make something worthy to document my first ever Cal football game while working with lackluster photos.  I’ve grown a lot with my designs since then but I still love this layout.

Why Use Squares in a Layout?

1. Show Lots of Pictures.  Incorporating a lot of pictures into a layout with squares is an awesome way to include your favorites without it being overwhelming.  Using squares makes each piece seem like it fits and contributes to the design.

2. Dress Up Lackluster Photos.  Look more closely at my football page.  The pictures aren’t great.  I hadn’t taken pictures of sporting events before and the team didn’t win that many games.  I ended up with not-stellar pictures, but the squares layout masks it.

3. Mix Keepsakes and Photos Cohesively.  In the football layout, I included the ticket to my first game and it blends with the rest of the page.  On my Yosemite layout, I cut bits of the park map into squares.  For my Last First Day of School layout, almost all the squares are old handouts and exams.

School Layout with Squares

Tips on Using Squares

All Squares. My Yosemite layout is all squares of the same size.  I printed certain pictures that take up multiple squares and then cut them into pieces.

Yosemite Scrapbook LayoutSquares and Rectangles. My football page here is a grid of squares, but some of the pieces are rectangles that take up the space of two squares.  If you use this method, make sure to factor in the size of the gutter when you are cutting the rectangle.

Put Keepsakes Inside a Square or Cut Squares out of Keepsakes. I love both of these methods.  On the football page, my ticket fits right inside a rectangle.  On my Yosemite page, I cut squares out of the park map.

Scrapbooking with Squares

Aren’t Sure What Size Squares Will Fit? I never know what size square is going to work exactly right.  I experiment by cutting squares out of old cardstock and see what size works.  I save the test squares for the next time.

Do you like using squares?  Is there a design you always fall back on?


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!