What is your language of love?

I have attended various seminars about expressing your love, but I believe Gary Chapman has about the best explanation on how we express our love to others and how we want love demonstrated to us.  If you don’t know your love language, he has a short quiz to discover which language you use to express love and how you want love shown to you.

Five Love Languages.

  • Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch
What I learned from my parents.
Digi Kit -Cherish by JustSoScrappy Click to enlarge.

What I want to talk about, however, is appreciating the love language of others.   My parents both had the love language of “Acts of Service”.  After we reached a certain age, physical hugs and verbal statements of love were rare, but I never doubted that I was loved!  As I grew older, I realized they did things to show their love – they showed their love through “Acts of Service”.



My Mother’s act of service was often in the form of cooking.  I inherited her box of recipes and cookbooks.  I scanned all of the handwritten recipes and the ones in the cookbooks that were favorites and had her notes in the margins.  She also sewed for others, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren – dresses, t-shirts and doll clothes when they were younger and special occasion dresses for the teen girls and pajamas and t-shirts for the boys.  She even made my wedding dress, her dress, and all of the attendants’ dresses.


My Dad’s acts of service were pretty varied – he would do what needed to be done -repair our cars, remodel our kitchens, build unique furniture or rescue us whenever we got in a jam.


So, why am I talking about Languages of Love on a scrapbooking blog?  As I have mentioned before, I want to record our family, not just events.  I want to capture our heritage.  These are not only my parents’ expression of love, it is their character – our inheritance.  I want to document this.

We will explore ways to document our heritage as we go, starting with the project on Saturday – Mother’s Recipes of Love.

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Project – School Book

Our project this week will be a book of school activities.  You can do it as a single year or maybe 5 books:  preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high and high school,  depending on how involved your student is and how detailed you want to be. This is a great place for the certificates earned, the programs and the artwork.

I am using the 6×8 format for this as there are so many options.  There are four different page configurations for the pockets, plus zipper pages and tabbed dividers.  These samples are from Becky Higgins, but others make them and they are available at craft stores.  I will use both photos and cards.

first-day-of-schoolMy first sample page is the first day of school.  I used the four pocket page and 3 3×6 photos and 1 journaling card.  I want the photos to tell the story, but journaling is also needed occasionally.  I purchase most of my supplies are by Becky Higgins.




Another page is of a musical my grandson was in.  I have lots of pictures of this event and have done several pages in the family album, but wanted to feature here, too, so he knows it was during this school year. Here I used a page with four 3x6s and a page that has a 4×6 and two 3x6s to make a two-page spread.

byebyebirdieMore page examples would be for the extra activities, like music and sports. Also art shows, open house, meeting the teacher, teacher conferences.  You could cover anything!

leea-song_edited-1Also when you are scrapping concerts or speeches or anything that you would like to include a video, you can insert a QR code on your layout and then anyone with a QR reader can scan it and watch the video.  I did this page on my phone of my granddaughter’s performance in the talent show.  I blurred it here for her privacy, but you see how that would work. Now I will just slip it into a single 6×8 page protector.


last-day-of-schoolAnd, of course, you need a “last day of school” page for the ending of your book. I make this one and the first day of school pages single so they can be the first and last page of the album.  However, another good first day cover would be a picture of the actual school building with the years on it.



The 6×8 size albums have zipper pockets available.  If there are mementoes from these special events that you want to keep and not just photograph, this would be a perfect way to do that.  They also have tabbed dividers that would be perfect to divide up the years or have different sections for academic, sports and activities.

This album is super easy to keep up as you can print full 4×6 photos, or trim the 4×6 to a 3×4 and insert into the pockets.  Add a journaling card if you wish and you have completed that event!



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Why do I scrapbook?

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born.
A Death Certificate shows that we died.
Pictures show that we live!  -author unknown

I scrapbook to tell a story, record a history, share memories and document a life.  I put pictures together with journaling and put into easily accessible scrapbooks.

Sample of Digital Scrapbooking
Made with digi kit – “Elegant Christmas” by Touched by a Butterfly

A couple of years ago, I was so proud of a page I had created with my digital scrapbooking supplies and Photoshop Elements that I used it as a screen saver on my computer at work.  My brother walked by (yes, I worked for my brother) and I had him come look at it.  He said, “Yes, that’s nice, but why do you do it? Why do all that work for one photo?”  Thankfully, he didn’t wait for an answer because I didn’t have my usual quick comeback. Why do I do it?  I did it for the art and creativity, definitely not for efficiency and getting my photos in albums.

This layout took almost two hours to complete.  I enjoyed every minute – placing each element and choosing the perfect background papers. However, at the end of the two hours, I had scrapbooked one photo!  One photo that was almost 10 years old!  At this rate, 99% of my photos will remain on my computer and not where I could enjoy them or share with others.

Using Digital Pocket Style Scrapbooking
Using Digital Pocket Style Scrapbooking.

So, about two years ago, I went with the pocket style scrapbooking – not the physical placing of photos into pockets, although that would have been a tremendous improvement, but the digital version of pocket scraping.  This template is from Becky Higgins Project Life, but many different styles and sizes are available.  It took about 30 minutes, but I told the complete story and used all 7 photos.

Project Life App Sample
Created using the Project Life App

That was still time consuming and it was still difficult to keep up – scrapping current photos. Then Becky Higgins came out with an App version of Project Life.  I can scrap the photos on my camera while waiting for an appointment, in the passenger seat on a trip, or anywhere I have my phone and each page takes about 5 minutes. You don’t even need Wi-Fi. There are numerous apps that allow you to write on photos, add stickers, etc if you don’t like the “Plain Jane” look of the page. I personally am about the photos and journaling in these pages, so the lack of decoration doesn’t bother me.

page1This shows a digital page on the left, and an app pocket page on the right. As you can see, I mix my pages and I even used the same photo in both pages.  The first page is for fun and art.  The second is to record the event.

At this point, they may be organized, journaled and scrapped, but they are still not out where anyone else can enjoy or where I can share.  They are not physical!

page3My next step is to print.  I prefer the 12×12 size because they are gorgeous and seem to come alive. However, I print at home first as an 8×8 because I cannot for some reason really see it on the screen.  I want to physically hold it in my hand, read it, arrange in an album. Then I check for errors before I print 12×12 for my permanent albums. When I am confident it is as good as it gets, I print 12×12.  I only print with Persnickety Prints or through the Project Life app because I know their quality is above average, but several places are printing 12×12 now.

Check out my projects to find great ways to scrap and organize your photos to tell the story you want to tell, or to compare celebrations over the years.

Please comment below and let me know why you scrap.

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Project – Halloween / Pumpkin Patch


Project:  October Happenings – Pumpkin Patch, Carving Jack-o-Lanterns, and Wearing Costumes

For the 4×4 cover, I chose one of my favorite fall photos and used Photoshop (you can also use many apps on your phone) to add the title and the names.  For the 4 2×2 slots left at the very end of the book, I used additional generic shots of fall.

Cover Page
Cover Page Photo by S. Beeker

For this project, I will be using the 4×4-ringed binder/album. I love this size and format for special projects using photos already included in family albums. I pick these little albums and pages up everywhere I see them, especially if I have a coupon or they are on sale. They are so easily put on a shelf and so fun to grab and flip through. The pages come in two formats: a single 4 x 4 protector sleeve and a sleeve with four 2 x 2 pockets. We will use both for this project.  Make sure your first set of pages has the 4×4 on the left side.  The back side of it will be your cover.

We will take three annual October events and follow them from birth to present and add each year as it happens.

For each event, pick out your favorite photo to put in the 4×4 slot and three or four others to tell the story.  If you wish to journal, save one of the 2×2 slots to put in a journaling card.  In this case I am going to let the photos tell the story and only put the year on the 4×4 photos of each set of pages.  To do this, I chose a small pumpkin sticker and wrote the date on it for the corner of the larger 4×4 photo.

Pumpkin Patch:  If you have an annual trip to a pumpkin patch, I’m sure you take lots of photos.  Since the pumpkin patch is a part of our traditional October celebrations each year, I originally made a special section for pumpkin patch visits.  However, as the children got older, the Pumpkin Patch trips were either forgotten or they lost interest, so I decided to include everything by year. Choose what’s best for you.


Carving the Jack-o-Lantern:  This is another activity that happens most years but can be missed occasionally, so I include with the year.  Again, you favorite photo goes in the 4×4 slot and fill the other 2×2 slots to tell the story.  I am making this for the kids, so I only include photos of them unless they are receiving help or people are in the background.  These books are for them and about them. The family books and other albums have all the adventure of these events with photos of all participants.


Costume:  The Halloween costume is so special. Such planning goes into the costume each year. The costume itself tells us what the child is thinking, loving and following.  This section shows how my grandchildren have evolved in their costumes – first what the parents love, then as they develop their own minds, what they love.  This one is the first year for my grandson:


Sometimes it actually shows different costumes as they grow older and had more than one party or occasion that year. My grandson is now 12 and it is so fun to see him as a bumble bee his first Halloween and then as a Vampire last year. If the family dresses up together, I make sure the family portrait is included.  And, of course, there are two of them now as his sister joined him in 2006.


I only have two grandchildren and since they are brother and sister, I decided to make one book, 2 copies.  You could easily make a book for each child of just their pictures, but all of the activities, especially when they were younger were together so I went with one book.

Side note:  The pumpkin patch page group shows the square corners and you may have noticed the others are rounded.  I wanted you to see the difference. I will go back and use the punch to round these corners for this album, but as you can see the photo from behind doesn’t show, so I may do future albums with the square corners.  Personal preference.

Supplies needed:  For a more detailed description of tools and supplies, click here: tools

  • 4 x 4 album
  • 1 4×4 Protective sleeve and 1 pocket page with four 2×2 pockets for each year you plan to scrap, plus 1 (will explain later). So if you are documenting 10 years, you will need 11 pages. 6 one pocket, and 5 four pocket.
  • Punch or paper cutter will make it easier, but you can complete using only scissors.
  • Printed photos
  • An app or program that allows you to make a collage for the 4×6 photo.

Step 1:

Pull the photos you want to use and move to your camera roll or other method for making them available to your app. I use the mini-iPad or my iPhone to make my collages. I use Project Life app if I want photos without borders and Pic Collage if I want a white border around each photo.

Photos:  Choose a main photo that you will print 4×4 then 3 or 4 of the same year for the pocket page.  I take a lot of photos, so I use 4 photos. If three is plenty, use the other spot to mark your year or journal.  Choose a cute card that already has the year on it or create one.  You will see samples in my book.  For this book, I purchased small pumpkin stickers to print the year on and just stick on the corner of my 4×4 photo.


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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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