Tools / Supplies

Most of my projects require only an album, pocket pages or page protectors, and printed photos.  The majority of what I use will be from Becky Higgins, Project Life, but there are many great quality products that do the same thing and accomplish the same goal.  Project Life is a brand name but much like Band Aid and Kleenex, we have used the brand name to describe the product.

So, first, use up what you have on hand then shop for each item as you need it.  Take advantage of the coupons and discounts – you almost never have to pay full price and most times can get 40% off at places like Michaels, Jo-Ann Stores or Hobby Lobby.

albums-webAlbums:  My favorite type of album is the ring binder.  It comes in all sizes and is so much easier to use than the post albums when you have to add or rearrange pages.  Some albums are bound, meaning you cannot remove, add or rearrange your pages.  These are great if you can make your project fit the album because when filled, you have a nice compact, finished product ready for the shelf.

cards-webCards:  Cards are used for journaling or just as fillers if you don’t have enough photos to complete a page.  Well, not just fillers -they do add color and character to each page.  My pages are usually so full of photos that I almost always use cards only for journaling or as a date marker. You can cut your own as you need them or use any of the wonderful sets available if you are using pockets.  If you are printing the whole collage and inserting into a page protector, your cards and journaling are digital, too.

punches-webPunches:  I use the round corner punch just because of preference and that is how I started and want to be consistent.  There are corner punches and those that will cut out the complete 2×2 or 3×4 photo from a printed sheet. This is also a great way to make your own cards for the 2×2 slots. Punches do come in the larger photo sizes, but I find that a pair of scissors or a paper cutter works much better on those.

img_1237Scissors/Cutters:  I use an ordinary paper cutter or a pair of scissors to cut apart my photo collages if I am cutting to put in pockets.  I’m not a perfectionist so if I’m off 1/36″ of an inch, I’m okay with that.


img_1330Another great method for cutting your photos to the correct size is to use templates.  This is especially true if you have already printed your photos and need to crop them down to the correct size.  Just place the transparent template over your photo, slide until you get the photo you want, and trim.


pages-webPocket Pages/Page Protectors:  When printing your collage on a single sheet, like we do for the 8×8 and sometimes the 6×8, you will need a single pocket, sometimes called a page protector.  When using individual photos, you need a pocket page. In the first project, we will use a 4×4 album and one page will be a 4×4 page protector and the other will be a 4×4 pocket page with four individual 2×2 pockets. Again, lots of good brands available, but be consistent within the same album as they can be just a little different by brand.

pens-webPens/Markers:  Most of my journaling is done while still in the app, so it is digital.  When I do write on a photo, I usually use a Sharpie or other permanent pen.  When writing on cards, I use the erasable Pilot Frixion pen.  This pen is amazing, erases without leaving a trace -even days later.



Using the 4x6 template and printing either one 4x4 and two 2x2 or six 2x2.
Using the 4×6 template and printing either one 4×4 and two 2×2 or six 2×2.
Using your own template and printing 8.5x11.
Using your own template and printing 8.5×11.








Photos:  I print two sizes for collages that I plan to cut apart.  I use 8.5 by 11 or 4×6. The 4×6 works perfectly when using a 4×4 album, but the 8.5×11 gives you the ability to print more photos at one time.  I love to print my 12×12 scrapbook pages as an 8×8 first so I can arrange in my album and check for errors before sending them to be made into a bound book or printed as 12×12.  Most of the photo collage apps now have the option of printing a 4×4 and two 2x2s on a 4×6 base and many have various 8.5×11 templates.

Sidenote:  I order all of my ink for my Canon printer directly from Canon. The price is full retail, but it is seldom on sale at office supply stores anyway.  By doing this, I almost always get freebies when ordering. The order I got today was for two ink cartridges, one black, one color.  My free items included the following photo paper packs:ink-web

  • 2 pkg of 20 – 5×7
  • 1 pkg of 50 – 4×6
  • 2 pkg of 20 -8.5×11
  • 5 pkg of 100 – 4×6

All or $58.28 and free shipping. Plus I didn’t have to go shopping, and since I use eBates, I also get 2.5% cash back from them.


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Projects to Anticipate

cropped-IMG_1228-1.jpgNow that you know my background, lets think about all the ways we can use this pocket scrapbooking method to quickly and uniquely record our special memories.

Documenting using this system has allowed me to venture into so many uses for digital documentation.  I use the app to place my photos into the pockets and then print at home on my Canon MG3522 or send to various printers.

Here are a few books we will create as we go:

  • Baby Book:  Quickly insert those photos and milestones while they are happening on your app or gather those from your files and have your book ready before they graduate from high school.
  • High School Reunion:  I created a great “Then and Now” souvenir book for the attendees of my 45th high school reunion.
  • Inventory:  Take pictures and document your valuables for insurance purposes easily and quickly.
  • Cookbooks:  Include recipes and photos so you can share those family secrets.
  • Memory Books:  Quickly put an album together that honors a loved one by pulling photos of their life into one collection.
  • Holiday Books:  Our first project will be a book of Halloween costumes and activities.   I started with my grandson’s first Halloween costume and progressed to this year. It is so much fun to see your child go from a bumble bee his first year to a vampire in middle school.

There are many, many more applications for this great venue and we will explore a new one each week.  You can be professional or creative, fun loving or strictly business.  There are so many sizes for your albums, too. I have 4×6, 4×4, 6×6, 6×8, 8×8, 8×10, and 12×12.   Albums and protector/pocket pages are available for numerous sizes and in varying styles.

We will share ideas and detailed instructions for using your basic digital skills and physical products to document, create, and share your family activities, your information and your ideas. A new project will be presented each Saturday and comments and emails will be answered throughout the week.


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About Me

cropped-profile-1.jpgI am probably not your typical blogger – I’m a fully retired grandmother with basic computer skills.  So, what I will share are basic, fun projects that will allow you to easily and quickly document family and events with just the basic knowledge of popular software or apps.

I have always loved taking pictures and capturing special moments. In the late 50’s when I was a child, I would use my camera, get double prints and share one set (why take pictures if you can’t share) and place the other set in the now banned albums with self adhesive cover pages. {Side note: Did you know Mark Twain invented those albums? Patented and everything!} I would pull back the clear cover, arrange my photos, and then replace the cover. Fast and easy – but later it was discovered these pages had chemicals that eventually destroy your photos.   [A topic for another time – pulling those photos and safely scrapping them.]

Next, in my teen years, I used the black corners on plain paper and inserted into scrapbooks. At least I could journal on these pages and decorate with drawings, etc. but the photos themselves had no protection.

Later, in the mid-1990s the world of scrapbooking exploded and stores were popping up everywhere offering classes and home parties.  You could spend hours and lots of money on each page that may display only one or two photos. Although I enjoyed this, I couldn’t afford the time, money or storage space required.  It was just too overwhelming!

Then entered digital scrapbooking – those beautiful kits with alphas, elements and papers all instantly available were like a light attracting a moth -I was hooked!  Even though it still could take hours to create a page, the cost and the space was reduced or eliminated. However, it was still so time consuming that few albums were actually created and none were printed for others to enjoy.

Next came the world of the pocket page system. This started out as a physical system where you have pages of pockets of different orientation and sizes so you could insert photos and journaling cards to complete your album almost instantly.  Since this system was introduced, many, many designers have added their talents and created their take on this idea and now there are endless possibilities to a pocket approach, including digital and even smart phone apps.

Although, I purchased the original 12 x 12 pocket pages and albums, the only photos I have scrapped this way are the heritage ones that I had rescued from the deadly albums but still wanted available to enjoy. I then began using digital kits and templates. These kits use the same pockets and the same journaling and filler cards, but it was a digital format that could be used with Photoshop Elements and other applications on your desktop.

It is easy now to sit in my recliner each Sunday evening with my smart phone and create my page or pages for the previous week and upload to my cloud storage. Later I print 8×8 at home or send off a batch to print 12×12. I now have actual albums to view that include the weekly activities of my family.  I still enter my traditional digital pages in challenges and enjoy the creating process, but to document my family’s activities through photos, I now use apps or digital templates almost exclusively.

So, thank you for checking out my blog and I hope you will join me on this journey while you save and document those wonderful memories!


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