Wedding Album Ideas

Are you going to a wedding today? The brother of a good friend of ours and my former neighbor are marrying each other today…which has me thinking about weddings.

Wedding season is in full swing! If you find yourself snapping hundreds of photos at a wedding this summer and want some ideas for how to scrap them, here are some resources for you:

You’re sure to find a layout or two you love and want to scraplift. Sometimes it just takes seeing someone else’s take on a subject to get your creative gears grinding, right?

And just for fun, here are a handful of pages from the wedding book I created for my younger sister’s wedding. Hopefully something above or in this slideshow will inspire you to do a page or two. 🙂

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I used a variety of digital scrapbooking kits, but since it was early in my digital scrapbooking days (2006-2007ish, I think), I didn’t understand the value of keeping track of the names of designers and/or kits for the purpose of giving credit where credit is due. So I’ll just offer my apologies to the designers whose supplies are used here and will ask that if any of those designers happens to stumble upon this blog, please add your credits in the comments.

And if you have any wedding layouts you’d like to share, please add a link in the comments, too!

Happy scrappin’!

From screen to scrapbook: Part 1 (printing individual pages)

If you’re fairly new to the world of digital scrapbooking, you might be wondering what your options are for getting your scrapbook layout from your screen to your scrapbooks. There are several options for doing this, and in my mind, having multiple, flexible options is one of the best things about scrapping digitally.

Options for displaying your finished layouts include:

I will cover each of these options in a short series of blog posts, starting with…

Part 1: Printing as individual pages

Perhaps the easiest way to get your pages from your computer to something you can easily see and enjoy in real life is to print your pages individually and slip them into a regular scrapbook.

open scrapbook

Digital scrapbooking kit used in the above layout: Arctic Expedition kit by Katie Pertiet (one of my all-time favorites!)

This is my preferred option — at least for now. As someone who doesn’t typically scrapbook chronologically, I find myself placing orders for about 20 pages at a time, with pages that span several years and subjects. I might never be done with my daughter’s first year, for example, but I want to be able to see and enjoy those pages that I do complete soon after I complete them on screen. If I waited until I had enough pages finished to make a full book – and until I knew I would never want to go back and scrapbook something I missed in that same time frame – I might be 90 before I printed these pages!

I also occasionally scrapbook in paper rather than digitally (although my paper-scrapping days are admittedly fewer and farther between as each year passes), and printing my pages as individual pages allows me to mix digital pages with paper images in the same album. It’s a beautiful thing!

So for my typical scrapbook albums, printing as individual pages is my preference. Quickly viewable. Mix-and-matchable. Flexible. Beautiful!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Printing

There are many companies – several of them online – who can print your pages as 12″ x 12″ (and other sizes) photos. If you order online, they will deliver them directly to your house, and you’ll be ready to slip them into your albums in no time. My favorite to use is ScrapbookPictures.com. They do an awesome job! However, I will admit that I have never used any other company, either, so the others might be equally as fabulous. (I guess I just think if there isn’t any reason to switch, why bother.) But I’ll throw out a few options for you just in case.

Printing options (all of these print 12×12, my standard size. Check them out to see if they print a size you are used to using.)

Certainly, this is not a complete list. You might check with your local Target store, CVS, Walgreens and independently owned photography stores to see if they offer a 12 x 12 option. It seems to be becoming a more popular option. The others listed here are ones that fellow digital scrapbookers I know (or whose blogs I follow) use on a regular basis. So I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the ones above.

While you can also choose to purchase a wide-format inkjet printer (like this one from Epson) and large-format photo paper (which seems to be a little hard to find) and print your own photos, by the time you add the cost of the ink and supplies and consider the hassle of replacing ink, errors when printing, etc., it might be more affordable and certainly more convenient to order from a professional photo printing service like those listed above. The added benefit is that these photo printers print on high-quality photo paper and use a chemical and light process that ensures archival quality (read more about Persnickety’s process, for example). Ink jet prints are printed with ink on paper, which by nature makes them more susceptible to showing age and losing quality over time.

Albums

I can’t even begin to get into details about all of the different kinds and brands of scrapbook albums out there! There are just too many to count. If you’re looking for a new one, you can always look online at places like Archivers Annex or Scrapbooks.com.

Honestly, though, you can skip all of that if you ask me! My favorite albums of all time are those made by Creative Memories. The quality is amazing, they are guaranteed for life, and the best part about them is that they lie completely flat when open.

lay-flat pages

See those nice, flat pages? Ahhh….beautiful!

As you might be aware if you’re a scrapbooker already, many scrapbook albums – particularly the post-bound ones, which seem to be the most popular and offer the most variety in cover design – buckle in the middle near the spine, leaving wide gaps at the top of the book (between the page and the page protector) and folding/arching your pages unnaturally. This makes for awkward page turning, and it also can make the adhesive on paper pages less durable over time and can add undue wear to digital layouts printed on photo paper due to their constantly being arched and unarched while the book is opened and closed over time.

The following photos show what I mean about the buckling/arching of the pages inside their page protectors.

post-bound album's funky buckling view from top

spine bending

Notice, too, that this book only has 20 layouts (10 page protectors) in it. (And actually, they’re just plain paper at this point; if you add the extra weight of photos and embellishments, the pressure on each page will be even greater.) Plus, if you typically enjoy larger albums with many more pages, the fold at the center and the pressure it puts on the pages by way of arching and humps is even more.

Clearly, flatter is better in this case — both for the safety and longevity of your layouts and for the appearance of the album when you’re looking through it.

Pages and Page Protectors

Creative Memories offers a very high-quality page protector designed for digital pages. If you’re used to CM albums and are familiar with the reinforced edges of the standard pages, you know that those reinforced edges are actually thicker than a printed digital page, making the traditional pages bulkier than needed for digital pages. Also, with the reinforced edges thicker than the layouts filling the rest of the page protectors, if you have a large book of pages, the centers of the pages will sag while the album is lying on a table.

The side-loading 12×12 pages, however, are the perfect solution. They eliminate the need to buy separate page protectors (they include the plastic outer shell and an insert page combined), they eliminate unnecessary bulk by not having a reinforced edge (leaving everything smooth and flat while open), and their overall heavy quality will surely withstand the test of time and many, many page turns. Plus, they load from the spine-side, rather than the top, so no dust will enter your pages/page protectors when your albums are stored on your bookshelves — another drawback to traditional, top-loading albums and pages.

You just can’t go wrong with this combination: Creative Memories albums (coversets) + side-loading pages. I encourage you to try them out today!

P.S. You can also have your CM albums imprinted with Persona Imprinting. You can have imprinting done on both the cover and spine. Here’s an example of one of our Creative Memories albums with Persona Imprinting.

Persona Imprinting by Creative Memories

[If you order Persona Imprinting online and don’t already have a Creative Memories consultant, enter Kelly Hampton’s name when it asks. (I think there will be two Kelly Hamptons that pop up; my consultant is the one lives in Indianapolis, and she’s fabulous!)]

Editor’s note: 11:53 p.m.

Just found out from Kelly that Creative Memories also prints 12×12 pages! Check out their printing service, too! ($3.99 per 12×12 page + shipping)

Blog hop for free quick pages!

It’s time for a blog hop! And you can start right here with your first quick page freebie!

Kimono Quick Page by Pixels and Pix Digital Design

What’s a blog hop?

A blog hop is a series of connected blogs that all offer something related for their readers. If you stumble upon a blog hop and follow the links from one blog to another, in the end you will have visited several blogs you might never have seen before (a treasure on its own!) AND, in our case, downloaded a bunch of free scrapbooking quick pages that are color-coordinated and benefit a great cause!

What’s this particular blog hop about?

A couple of months ago, I took a class from JessicaSprague.com called The Art of Digital Design. When the class was over, many of us who were students in the class decided to work together to design a digital scrapbooking kit that would benefit the victims of the Japan earthquake that occurred in March. The kit is the Kimono kit and is now available at JessicaSprague.com.Take a peek.

Kimono Kit Paper Preview

Kimomo Kit Elememtns Preview

All proceeds from kit sales will be donated to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of the earthquake.

Those of us who took the class had an opportunity to contribute to the kit (I donated a couple of papers and the frilly journaling block at the bottom left of the elements preview above), and many of us also designed quick pages to be given away as freebies on our blogs. You, our loyal readers, get a free quick page (or lots of them, if you play along!), and we get to help promote each others’ blogs and the charity kit to boot. So that is what this blog hop is about!

What do I do now?

  1. Download my quick page via Lulu.com.
  2. Then, take a look around my blog. You might find something else you like, or you might just find that you want to remember to come back and check again some day and see what else is happening around here. (Hint: Watch for a school days kit coming soon!)
  3. Next, visit the next blogger on the blog hop (in this case, Yvonne Michelle). Download her free quick page and take some time to browse her blog. Then visit the next person on the hop. (Yvonne will have a link to that blog on her blog) Repeat, and you can eventually visit more than 15 blogs – and get more than 15 free quick pages – along the way!
  4. Before you’re done with the hop, be sure to visit the Kimono kit page, and consider buying it. Not only will you be helping a great cause, but you’ll also have everything you need to create even more layouts that coordinate with the quick pages you downloaded along the hop. You can create a gorgeous, completely coordinated album using just this one kit!
  5. Enjoy!

Blog hop quick links

Rockin’ and rollin’

Last month, we celebrated our son’s 9th birthday. It’s tradition in our home to let the birthday boy (or girl) pick the activity for the evening, and Gabe picked Rock ‘n’ Rollers, a local roller rink. Lucky for him, it was a week night, and the rink was unusually quiet. In fact, we were the only ones there for part of the time, and the rest of the time there were only two other people sharing the rink with our family.

Gabe had a ball.

He got those skates for his birthday, and he was loving them!

It’s funny, though, because the hit of the night had to be the games. What is it about token games and kids this age? They work so hard to earn a few tickets, most of the time winning a ticket or two at a time.

Ella, however, got lucky. She hit the jackpot on one game and won 250 tickets in one swoop.

I think Gabe was a bit jealous, but we had them split the tickets, so he was happy.

I loved watching the kids pick out their prizes.

For the record, having even 150 tickets each doesn’t yield much in return. (But I didn’t have to tell you that, right?)

But those little toys bring lots of enjoyment.

And if something so small as plastic vampire teeth helps make the day of a 9-year-old birthday boy, it’s worth it.

50 Moments: Scrapbook the Pages that Matter Most

Why do you scrapbook? Have you asked yourself that lately?

It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking, “I’ll never be caught up with my scrapbooks,” that sometimes it’s also easy to wonder, “so why even try?” I understand. My daughter is 6 years old, and I never finished her first year in her scrapbooks. From ages 2 to 5, my son’s pages are extremely sparse, almost nonexistent. And those are some precious years in a child’s life, for sure. Even when thinking about the present, when my kids are 6 and 9 years old, I can count numerous pages that I want to create, but in reality, only a handful might ever get created. And when I think about the things my friends and extended family do that I would love to document (weddings, graduations, babies, birthdays, even simple relationships), I can easily get down on myself for not “keeping up” or scrapbooking more.

But you know what? It’s OK.

The truth is, I don’t scrapbook for the sake of documenting every single detail of every little thing my kids (or my friends or my family members) do in their lifetimes. That would be nice, sure – and I do scrap those kinds of pages when the feeling strikes – but it’s certainly not realistic. Who has that kind of time? Instead, the primary reason I scrapbook is to document my feelings and capture a brief overview of our lives together. I want my kids to know that their dad and I love them and that we cherish their place in our lives. I want them to know what their personalities are like at different stages in their lives, and I want them to know that no matter who they are, what kind of grades they get or what their gifts and talents are, their family is the most important thing. I also scrapbook to give my kids a deeper understanding of who I am, and I’m hopeful that one day their children and maybe even their grandchildren will enjoy learning a little more about me, even if I’m not physically around to share that with them.

It’s for this reason that I think I am enjoying this book as much as I am. 50 Moments: Scrapbook the Pages that Matter MostThe book (50 Moments: Scrapbook the Pages that Matter Most by Lisa Bearnson) includes a list of 50 meaningful topics for scrapbooking. It’s a handbook of sorts for scrapbooking pages with meaning, pages that will mean the most to one’s children and grandchildren (and even to the scrapper herself!), pages that share an insight into the scrapper – what she loves, what she cherishes, the moments that have defined who she is – in a way that is personal and honest.

The list of topics to scrap includes things like a choice you’ve made that has defined who you are, a secret you have kept about yourself or one you have been a part of keeping, what your work ethic is and why you chose the career you did, what your goals are and how they’ve changed over the years, a wish you have or one that has come true, a time when you took a risk and how it turned out, why you love home and why you love your community, and so much more.

I am reading through this book slowly the first time, trying to take it all in, reading the journaling on the layouts that are given as samples, and enjoying the book as I would any other scrapbook magazine or book. But when I’m finished, I plan to go back and use the book as a checklist of sorts for pages I want to make sure to scrap before my time on this planet is finished. I might even collect all of those layouts in a separate album and, who knows, maybe I’ll print copies of those albums for my kids when they move out of the house some day. (That’s one beauty of digital scrapbooking…simple duplicates!)

I have a feeling this book is going to be one that sits on my nightstand for a long time coming. I’m only a about a third of the way into it, but I can tell it’s going to be one of my favorites of all time.

I hope you take some time to find this book (you can get it here for just $10 today!), read through it and consider scrapbooking some of these moments from your own story. Even if you never share the layouts that come out of it with anyone else, I think it would be a great way to document your feelings and your experiences, maybe even giving you a new glimpse of yourself.

* * * * *

The book’s back cover reads:

Scrapbooking is about sharing who we are with others — our goals, our values, our dreams. But with so many photos to take and so many stories to share, how do you decide where to begin? This book will help you create scrapbook pages that celebrate your life, that paint a picture of who you really are, that pass along family traditions and so much more.

In this book, you’ll discover:

  • The 50 most important topics to include in your scrapbook.
  • 150 thoughtful prompts and questions for bloggers, journal-keepers, family historians, teachers, writers and more.
  • Dozens of inspirational quotes to use on your layouts.
  • 150 brand-new scrapbook pages and ideas.

This book is published by Creating Keepsakes/CK Media. And no, they are not paying me to post this! (I wish!) 🙂

Deadlines…

I love deadlines. I really do. Without them, I might never get anything done in a timely fashion! Deadlines motivate me, and I’m most productive when I am working toward one.

I have been working on a gift project for quite a while now, and the deadline is fast approaching. Father’s Day. As in just a few weeks down the road. I won’t lie; I have a ton left to do. So, I’m going to take a break this week (and maybe next) from my blogging and digital design work and focus on getting this baby done.

If you don’t already, I’d recommend using a blog subscription service/RSS feeder like Google Reader to be notified of updates to blogs you like to follow, rather than have to check in every day to see if there’s anything new. Or, if you prefer to funnel through your e-mail account, be sure to click on the Subscribe button in the right column of this page.

Thanks for sticking with me. I’ll be back soon.

Looking forward to summer

Summer begins in one week, and for the first time in my short lifetime as a mother, I am looking forward to it! This is the first summer we will be keeping the kiddos out of day care (at least at the start; we’ll see how it goes!), and despite some necessary finagling with my work schedule, leaving me with some looooong, late nights and very early mornings ahead, I am really looking forward to having a chance to relax a bit and enjoy the summertime with my kids.

Right now, we’re debating whether we can afford to take our annual trip to visit my dad and stepmom in Colorado as usual, or splurge a little and meet them in Florida (they’re planning a trip there anyway) and stop at Disney World for a couple of days as well.

All of this thinking and daydreaming and contemplating and budgeting has me thinking a lot about my dad and stepmom, whom we don’t get to see nearly as often as I’d like.

Sadly, I “owe” my stepmom, Anita, a couple of years’ worth of Colorado vacation photos. (If you know me, you know I’m excellent at remembering to take photos, but remembering to share the photos is sadly something I usually fail at doing.) So last night I spent some time sorting and re-editing some of the photos from our trip last year. I actually had most, if not all, of my photos from the trip edited at some point, but my editing style has changed dramatically since last year, so I felt the urge to re-edit all of these photos to meet my current liking. Why? I don’t know.

In my digging last night, I came across several pictures I would term “keepers,” ones I hope will not get lost on my external hard drive for all of eternity but will be shared in some way with my family over the years. Here are two of those. These were from our day out on Blue Mesa Reservoir. A great memory, for sure.

I love this photo because it really shows the dad I love (and a sweet look on my little girl’s face). He’s crazy and cooky, and I have lots of memories of him being like this when I was as little as my daughter. Those are great memories, ones that make me smile and that make me thankful he’s my dad.

And I love this one because of the look on Gabe’s face. He’s in heaven, loving every second of his time at the wheel. I have lots of memories of being on the boat with my dad and Anita in Florida when I was growing up, so again, this photo brings back lots of memories!

Well, can you tell I’m missing my dad and Anita? We’ll see them soon enough, I know. In the meantime, I am so glad I have photos (photos that might someday end up in a scrapbook, even!).

Template 02 – 5 pix

This is one of my very favorite layouts of all time:

It’s simple (per my usual style), but every time I open my scrapbooks, this one catches my eye. In fact, I think the very simplicity of it is what I like so much. (That, and the very cute digital scrapbook kit supplies from Shabby Princess.)

If you like it, too, you can create your own version of the layout on your own – quickly and easily – by purchasing Template 02 – 5 pix for just $3.

(If you’re not sure what to do with a template, read the tutorial.)

Happy scrapping!

What types of elements do you use most on your pages?

I am working on my next kit (with a school days theme) and am about ready to work on embellishments. Before I do, I thought I’d take a quick poll and see what people enjoy most in their kits. I’ll use this info to help direct the school days kit. So please share: What types of embellishments do you use most on your pages?

Digital Scrapbooking: A great value!

digital scrapbooking value

What can you buy for $5 these days? Well, not much, it seems.

Compare what you can buy for $5 in everyday life (think fast food value meal) vs. how far your $5 can go in the digital scrapbook world! Which one has more value? Read more on the newest page in the Digital Scrapbooking menu above (or at right): Digital Scrapbooking: A great value!