My Dad served in World War II and I have a few photos from his service and I want to honor them in a special book. I will journal and include pictures of his discharge papers, etc. but want to share a couple of pages with you here.
I chose the 6×8 because it will accommodate both vertical and horizontal photos. Most of the formal photos are vertical so I can devote a whole page for them. I scanned them all so all of the siblings could have a copy, but the only originals I have are in frames, so my album will be digital. I plan to duplicate this in physical with the originals for my brother who has the actual photos.
My favorite photo of all is the one of my Dad lying on his bunk, writing to my Mom with her photo in the background. He told us some great stories about that photo that I have written and included in the album.
These are precious photos and I can’t ask questions about them now, so I want to document what we can remember of what he shared with us before the history is lost.
The fall months are so full of activities and celebrations. October is nearly over and we will be ending the month with the final Halloween party or trick-or-treat outing. This is the month of fun, parties and costumes – being whoever we can imagine!
November has a different feel – it ends with a wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving – taking time to stop and be thankful for all the blessings we have. A time to soak in the good in our lives and the one who provided it before we start the hectic Holiday season where we concentrate on giving to others and being thankful for our salvation and again, the one who gave it to us.
Many designers and scrappers have suggested ways to make a journal or scrapbook of the month of November, writing each day of something that makes us grateful – from the air we breathe, to the successful elimination of cancer in ourself or someone we love; from loved ones who have passed and left tremendous legacies to babies born that bring such joy. We need this time of reflection and renewal.
This will be my first year to officially journal thankfulness for the month of November. I have chosen to take the class offered by Cathy Zielske, 30 Days of Thankful. I will use a section of my Heidi Swapp planner for my thanksgiving album. It would work equally well in whatever album you wish to use. In the past, I have written 12 x 12 pages of thanksgiving as well as 4×4 and 6×8 -let your style determine your format. And as I said, in the past, mine have been just pages inserted randomly in my albums, not a concentrated effort like this.
My Heidi Swapp planner comes with a pocket page that has a place for two (four, counting both sides) 3×3 inserts with each month – so I have 12 of these, holding 48 photos. I pulled these from each month and inserted them all into November and created a template so all entries would be uniform and easy to complete. Each day, I will write something that I am thankful for – not necessarily in any order – and find an appropriate photo. The photo just needs to represent the thought, it does not have to be literal. Don’t omit a reason to be thankful just because you can’t think of a good photo. Go to google and look at images representing that feeling of thankfulness.
I started a little early so I could design my template and make sure I was ready to complete a thought each day. I will definitely do the journaling each day but may wait to add the photos. I can see myself going back while using my planner and viewing these pages and remembering how blessed I am!
I read a book that has stayed with me – Second Glance by Jodi Picout, The main character’s mother had died during her birth. The character was lamenting the fact that she knew nothing of her mother – her personality, what she thought was funny, what she did and did not enjoy – not even what she looked like. She didn’t know anything! This obviously is not our circumstance, but it got me to thinking of what my children and grandchildren will remember of me and how nice it would be if they had reminders or pages that I had written telling them about me. This is especially true of my childhood years to let them know their heritage.
Several websites offer “About Me” classes and suggestions. I used Linda Sattgast’s guidelines in her class on the Digital Scrapper website – Your Story Brilliant – 2013. She offered some unique suggestions like this one about “quirks”. Sometimes we need to ask others their opinion to see ourselves as others see us.
I have several pages, but keep adding throughout the years as I get inspiration. I have printed these as 12×12 sheets and slip them into page protectors for a traditional 12×12 album. This makes the journaling much easier to read and as you can see the journaling is the main emphasis of these pages.
So take a minute and read these scrapped pages and see if you can come up with some ideas of your own. Or take a class that will give you an assignment each week. It will be fun creating the pages and then sharing them.
As I began going through my Mother’s recipe box, so many memories flooded over me. She used cooking to show her love. Acts of service was her love language and cooking was a major act of service from her. Birthday celebrations included a meal of choice by the honoree -even if it was hot dogs and mashed potatoes! We also got our favorite cake, even if it was pie with a candle on it! Such wonderful memories.
In fact, these are such wonderful memories that I want to document this in a special project of her recipes. I don’t really consider this an official cookbook, so I’m not going to use indexes and categories – I will place them in alphabetical order with a table of contents. Most of the recipes are written in her handwriting and I want to display these. These recipes are the ones she used over and over and had special meaning to each of us.
I want to make copies of this book for all the children and grandchildren so I have chosen an office view binder by Wilson Jones – 6 x 8. These are very reasonably priced when buying in bulk. I also printed on white card stock and will insert into a 5.5 x 8.5 sheet protector. The binders purchased are the ones that allow inserts on both the front and back. You can use a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and cut it in half, use a three-hole punch and it fits the binder perfectly.
Another option is to use a 6×8 album with pocket pages and insert the recipe cards. This works out nicely because you can remove the recipe card when using it and replace it in the pocket when finished. I will do this for my book and use the original cards for a keepsake album.
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.
My 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.
More 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!
Also 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.
And, 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!
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.
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.
An app or program that allows you to make a collage for the 4×6 photo.
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.