Pocket Pages Scrapbooking: My First Album, Part 1

This blog of mine is still very new, but already I’ve spoken a few times about my love for this “new” pocket pages style of scrapbooking.  It is amazingly easy, but still very enjoyable and particularly satisfying for those of us who are strapped for time.  It is possible to complete an entire album like this one in just a few hours.  Simple Stories actually calls it “Snapbooking” !!

This is my first pocket pages album.  I have divided it over a few blog posts so that I can include numerous pictures for each ‘chapter’.  It will become apparent over just these first few blog posts that I have already learned quite a lot about this style of scrapbooking in the space of a few projects.

There are many ways to use pocket pages.  Some people use it like a yearly planner, or date book.  Others do albums on a monthly basis.  Some people use large 12×12″ albums and others, like myself, have stuck with the smaller 6×8″ size (at least for my first few projects – it’s a great way to learn the ropes on a smaller scale).  You can dedicate an entire album to a specific subject, or child, or event, or holiday.  Or they can just be random.

For my first album, I chose to feature photos from our various family activities and adventures.  No matter how busy we get, I have always been the driving force in our family behind “family time”.  Whether it’s popping out for ice cream at the beach after dinner …. or a quick trip to the park …. or a beach bonfire with friends …. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, or that you spend half an hour or six hours doing it.  Family time together is our golden time.

As shown in the first two photos at the top of this post, the initial chapter in my first pocket pages album has some photos from our family walks to the local park.

The album I’ve used is a 6×8″ Simple Stories Sn@p Binder in Green.  These binders come with a selection of 8 hole-punched cardstock divider inserts inside, 3 kraft cardstock dividers, and also 10 pocket pages.  So they’re a bargain buy!

This first photo shows the kraft divider I’ve used as the Title Page …. “Family Walks to the Park”.  Then the cover page is one of the cardstock design inserts.  These pages feature the following:

The Kaisercraft Fine & Sunny Collection features throughout this chapter …. as well as pieces from the Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine collection and their sticker sheet sets.

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This is the first page in the chapter.  I used my photo corner rounders on the pictures to match the pre-cut 3×4″ heart cutout from the Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine Collection.  Behind it is just a basic pre-cut 3×4″ cardstock piece from Becky Higgins Project Life.  The flowers are a generic brand and the stickers are Simple Stories.

On these next pages, I used a few different sticker products.  Some of them are stuck to the photos, and others are stuck to the outside of the pocket pages.  I tend to find it is better to use stickers on the outside of the pockets if they are “bulky” and not flat.  Here I’ve used a generic foil gecko sticker, generic felt flowers, Simple Stories circle stickers and a washi tape sticker that I’ve written on.  In between the pages I used a Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine collection sunburst cutout.

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The first chapter was a short one – just a few pages.  This is the last page … A Me & My Big Ideas Pocket Pages “Happiness is This” collection 4×6″ card which I’ve stamped “Treasure these Memories” onto.  And one of my favourite photos of my two boys.  I didn’t embellish the page any further.

The second half of this chapter featured photos from another trip to the park a few weeks later.  The cover page is another of the cardstock dividers that came with the Simple Stories binder and I used the same chalk shading on the Becky Higgins Project Life lined 3×4″ card (just in different colours).  I also used another Pearl Pen from Viva Decor, but this one was silver.  The pearls initially showed up perfectly, but I managed to smudge them by moving the page too soon after making them.  Lesson learned there.

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As always, I am fairly minimalist in my approach to scrapbooking, but it works really well with the pocket pages.  This spread features one of my favourite ever photos of my kids.  My eldest, Sam, looking like such a rugged little boy playing outside – scruffy hair, cut on his chin & all.  I didn’t even give the pictures rounded edges in this chapter.  I kept them square.  For this page I’ve just used a leftover piece of yellow polka dot paper and stuck two 4×6″ photos on it slightly askew.  In this chapter I used letter stickers to put the names of all my kids across the pages.

I got a fair few photos this particular day, so there are a few two-page spreads in this chapter.  I used a few papers from a “Die Cuts with a View” 8×8″ paper pad which I think was called “Animal Crackers”.  It’s an example of the way this style of scrapbooking allows you to use just about anything you have in your collection in coordination together.

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Pre-cut 2×2″ square pieces from the “Good Day Sunshine” collection from Simple Stories

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More pre-cut pieces from the Simple Stories “Good Day Sunshine” collection in 2×2″ size and some stickers
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This page features 3×4″ size pre-cut pieces from the Me & My Big Ideas “Happiness is This” pack.  I loved the foil finish, it brought life and interest to my pages.  When choosing your colours, try to take a prominent colour from your photos and go with that – it will coordinate well and make your photos stand out.  For this particular album chapter, I wanted bright colours everywhere!

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This page features Die Cuts with a View “Animal Crackers” pages – the monkeys matched my playground theme perfectly!
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Parenting Level: Expert!  Hands-free baby feeding gave us a good laugh and was worth remembering.  I also took our little 5-week-old Emmy on the swing and down the slide at the playground.  This page is a glitter paper from the Die Cuts with a View “Animal Crackers” paper pad (8×8″ size cut down); with Kaisercraft Fine & Sunny Collectables and Simple Stories letter stickers.
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These photos were quite large and I didn’t want to cut them down …. or remove one entirely from my chapter.  So I just used both on facing pages with simple embellishment to make the photos stand out.  I only added Kaisercraft enamel dots, Simple Stories letter stickers and Kaisercraft Fine & Sunny Collectables.
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The final page of the chapter is a cut-down paper from the Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine collection.  I just added a die-cut Butterfly from Bella! with some Twinery twine wrapped around it and Kaisercraft rhinestones stuck on.  The paper was quite bright & busy so I didn’t add anything else.
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Beginner Scrapbooking Layouts: Sleeping Beauty (with OTT Bling)

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I will preface this blog post with a disclaimer … as the title suggests, the purpose of this particular layout was to go over the top (OTT) with bling.

At the time of making the layout, my little girl was just a few months old.  She was my third of four children, but our first girl.  I had spent the previous 4 years buying, scrapbooking and decorating kids’ rooms with blue, green, and red.  I was obviously more than a little excited, as a girly-girl myself, to use some pink and pastel colours at last.

Although there was nothing “pastel” about this page …. it’s way out there with the bright pinks and greens.  But Anabelle was wearing the same little Bonds onesie that all of my kids have worn as their first outfit … which of course was blue after having 2 boys first up … so the pinks and greens have also been combined with blues and whites, together with all the glitter and sparkle.

This layout is a proper mish-mash of all the little embellishments that I had been bursting to use for the previous few years.  So to keep it simple, here is a list of what has been used:

The story behind this layout: When my little girl was born, she was awake for a bit under 2 hours, then fell into a deep sleep that spanned two room changes and no attempt whatsoever to be quiet in either one.  We eventually had to wake her up late the next afternoon, after about 13 hours or more, to give her a wash!  Little did we know what was to come, as her personality has now developed into that of a very robust & dramatic little toddler!  But she still trots off to bed voluntarily whenever she is tired, and therefore remains our Sleeping Beauty.

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Beginner Scrapbooking Layouts: Family Day

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The scrapbooking page featured in this post has a very simple layout, which any beginner scrapbooking enthusiast can easily reproduce.  Yet it is also very effective and well balanced, and showcases a lovely colour combination.

One of my favourite scrapbooking products to buy are papers.  I have literally thousands of them, and sometimes I hardly know what to do with the papers that are particularly pretty.  There are many 12×12″ papers that feature lovely whole-page designs that I can hardly bear to cover with photos or embellishments.  So how do we use them?

This project has utilised a page from Kaisercraft’s Great Southern Land collection.  Specifically the backside of P818 NSW.  The collection depicts Australiana bushland themes with native flowers, bird-life, sunburnt oranges, muted greens and a sketch map of Australia.  I have also used one of the perforated die cuts from PS199 TAS.

I chose to keep the embellishments to a minimum for a few reasons …. anyone who has read my previous blog posts would have noticed already that I take a slightly more minimalist approach to my pages, but I also chose to try and highlight a little the pattern on the paper itself.  The fact that it was one of my first completed pages quite likely played a significant role as well.

I took the following steps to complete this page:

  1. I measured out the photo, cut a dark coloured piece of cardstock to size as a photo mat and glued the photograph to the mat.  The darker colour was necessary to make the photo stand out from the fairly busy background patterned paper.  I then placed the photo on the page and stuck it in place.
  2. It looked to me as though the paper was just a bit too stark in its pattern.  I wanted to
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    Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad and Blending Tool – image from http://www.timholtz.com

    give it a more earthy and natural feel.  So I took out my Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads for the very first time, and using my Distress Ink Blending Tool with a Walnut Stain shade of ink I blended the edges of the paper.  This is an extremely easy technique, even us beginners can handle it.  I recommend taking a look at the videos on Tim Holtz’s own website or otherwise there are many instructional videos available on You Tube.

  3. I then sorted through all of my various embellishments and created a pile of possible items that could match my colour scheme and/or theme.  This is a really great way to “see” what you can use on a particular page.  You will always end up with way more than you need, but once you have your pile of potential embellishments you can sit down and try out different combinations until you’re happy.
  4. I selected a variety of different flowers from Kaisercraft’s Paper Blooms (Honey,
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    Kaisercraft’s Paper Blooms in “Honey”

    Sage, Seabreeze) and Mini Paper Blooms (Aubergine), focusing on muted earthy tones with a few blues to match in with my dress and my kids’ clothes in the picture.  Extracting colours from photographs is a great way to create harmony in your layout and to make certain colours pop from the page.  I also used a pink BoBunny Blossom in the centre for a pop of colour and some Kaisercraft Paper Leaves.

  5. I arranged the flowers on the page and stuck them down, layering them just slightly and roughing up the edges a little as well.  I thought they looked too clean on this ‘dirty’, earthy page and so I took my Distress Ink pad and inked the edges of the flowers here and there as well.
  6. To balance the page (and create a “Z” of embellishments) I arranged the perforated die-cut from the collection at the top right corner of the photo together with a torn piece of brown cardstock (which had a slight pearly sheen to it for texture on the page), some more Kaisercraft Paper Leaves, and some die-cut Butterfly  Collectables from the Botanical Odyssey Collection.  Again, I inked the edges of the die cuts to make them blend into the page.  I also chose a pink butterfly to balance
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    Kaisercraft’s Paper Leaves embellishments (EM995)

    with the pop of pink in the BoBunny flower, and a large blue butterfly to again extract the blue colour from the photo and make it stand out.  The smaller orange butterfly balances with the bright orange shirt my husband was wearing in the photo and makes it part of the overall colour scheme instead of sticking out on its own quite so much.

  7. I placed a Kaisercraft Rhinestone Flourish in the bottom right corner of the photo to complete the “Z” across the page and balance it out.
  8. I’m not someone who is especially great with titles.  The title of “Family Day” could apply to just about any of my projects as they often tend to focus on our family day trips which we enjoy doing with our kids.  I just used Kaisercraft Chipboard Alphas 2 and some matching alpha stickers for the title and stuck them in place.
  9. The page was finished off with a little more inking of the edges (where I had missed spots) and I also placed a few Kaisercraft Rhinestonesin Island Lagoon, and Kaisercraft Pearls.

 

This whole layout, while again being one of the first ones I have done, probably took about 2 hours … and that was while also entertaining 3 kids, googling the various techniques I wanted to use, googling how to use these patterned papers, and while running loads of laundry.  It is absolutely possible as a beginner to produce a lovely scrapbook page with minimal tools & embellishments to hand and with minimal time.  Scrapbooking pages like this allow us to incorporate our many loves into one love for crafts.

If you enjoy this blog and are looking for inspiration and discussion directed at beginners, please like this post, hit “Follow” for the blog, “Share” to Facebook (and find our Scrappy Mamma Facebook Page) and feel welcome to ask questions in the comments section!  I’m a beginner as well, but I have the benefit of having sold these products in my former online craft store for a number of years so I can do my best to steer you in the right direction.  I am also someone who is brimming with ideas, themes, and colour combinations so I would love to share those with anybody needing inspiration or guidance.  See my About page for more information.

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A bundle of flowers on the page including Kaisercraft Paper Blooms, Mini Blooms, Paper Leaves, and BoBunny Blossom in the centre.
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Kaisercraft Rhinestone Flourish and arrangement of die cuts and paper leaves complete the balanced “Z” across the page.

One Love

Fancy Frames

I have always been a fairly frugal mother.  I had always spoiled my kids with lots of “things”, especially when they had a nanny in our home instead of going to daycare when they were much younger; but I found myself bargain hunting and buying them lots of cheap rubbish instead of investing in nicer things that would last a longer time.  I have since learned my lesson and now buy much less, but of nicer quality.

Having picture frames around the house has always been an everyday part of family life.  We like to surround ourselves with reminders of our precious little angels …. WHEN they were precious little angels.  Similar to my experience with the kids’ toys, I had always bought bargain frames thinking one was the same as any other.  But I have recently discovered that spending good money on gorgeous frames can be worth its weight in gold.

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A selection of pretty frames and the photos I’ve chosen to go in them

The above frames were bought at Bed Bath N’ Table in Cairns, Australia.  It has since become one of my favourite stores for nice quality trinkets such as these, and especially for my Easter decorations.

Making picture frames for the home can be just as creatively satisfying as any scrapbooking or craft project.  I enjoy searching through my photos to find the perfect fit for a specific frame, and a certain special place on the wall or furniture bench space.

One of these frames is quite possibly the most beautiful frame I have ever seen in my life,

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Possibly the most beautiful picture frame I’ve ever seen! Purchased from Bed Bath N’ Table in Cairns, Australia

and I’m sure the picture does not do it justice.  It was a perfect fit for a picture of my new baby girl, and the sweetness of the little lacquer birds around the edge matches her sweet nature perfectly.

The tiny frame with all the sparkly rhinestones around the edge is a favourite of mine as well – this is the second one I’ve bought after I gave away the first one as a gift to my mother.

There are still quite a number of cheap picture frames sitting empty around my house.  They just don’t inspire me very much to want to fill them.  In fact, I’ve just now decided I’m going to get rid of them and buy some more gorgeous frames like this for my walls and furniture instead!

Another alternative, of course, is to decorate your plain, drab picture frames yourself.  One of my other favourite things to do with photos is to buy large A3 basic frames and collage many photos in them.  Normally with a theme like our most recent holiday, or our wedding, or I also have one filled with pictures of my first born son sleeping everywhere aged 0-3 months (he would sleep anywhere, anytime, all the time!)  I am sure I will blog about those collage frames in the future.

This is just another way that crafty Mamma’s can express our creativity and enjoy our photos and memories every day.

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The finished frames with their perfectly chosen photos

Our little Surprise

This is the story about a Mamma-scrapper (me) who really, really wanted to make a scrapbook page with the ultrasound printouts which always seem to live in a “baby box” somewhere.  I also had some really cute little 6×6″ papers from an American Crafts Amy Tangerine Plus OneAmy Tangerine “Plus One” paper pad … but they were so cute, I didn’t want to cut them.  I wanted to show them off as much as possible.

I’m getting ahead of myself though…

The story starts back in January 2015.  Our precious little baby #3 was just 8 months old and I found out we were unexpectedly-expecting baby #4.  I actually didn’t get the courage to tell my husband for a whole week … and only managed to blurt it out when he stumbled across the first ultrasound picture on the page showing I was already 8 weeks along.  Oops.  So whilst little miss baby #4 is extremely well loved today and is nothing short of a ray of joyful sunshine in our lives …. we spent most of 2015 being somewhat freaked out at being caught so unawares.

So that explains the title of this scrapbooking page.  I hope.

As with most of my projects, I started by going through my incredibly immense stash and put together a collection of various pieces that coordinated with my choice of papers.  A kind-of “Mood Board”, which in actual fact was just a smeared sea of pink, yellow, and black across my craft desk.

A black cardstock background was the best way to make the lovely bright colours from the printed papers really stand out, and from there I chose a natural hessian stick-on flower I picked up at a local $2 store (there were 6 in the pack and they appear in a few of my projects) … a printed polaroid frame from Pink Paislee “Secret Crush” collection … A wooden bird from Kaisercraft which I left raw … some random washi tape … some yellow enamel dots from the Snap Life Documented collection … and a chipboard heart flourish from Australian company Words or Whatever.

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Our Little Surprise … an otherwise black and white layout is spiced up with pops of loud pink and yellow … featuring American Crafts Amy Tangerine “Plus One” 6×6 Papers and a Chipboard Heart Flourish from Words or Whatever

The chipboard heart flourish was coated first with some basic white Gesso from my local $2 store.  Then I painted over it with Viva Decor Precious Metal paint in a pink shade.  I also added some Kaisercraft rhinestones to bling it up a bit for my little princess-to-be.

The alpha stickers are a mix of American Crafts Thickers (in two different pink designs) and some alphas taken from an old BoBunny Press collection.  I also added a “Precious” definition rub-on from Kaisercraft to finish it off.  The word “love” was already printed on the pink paper square and I just traced around it with a black fine tip pen.

It’s important to let those little things you really love in your collection …. like a certain photo, or pieces of paper like I have here …. guide how you structure your page.   I really loved these patterned papers and it was the key driver behind my layout.  These pages you create are memories.  They are designed to be looked back on in years to come.  They don’t have to look perfect … they just have to look meaningful to you and bring you joy both during and after their creation.  So that’s why you want to make sure your favourite pieces, the things you really love the most, take centre stage.  You will love them all the more when you open up your scrapbooks again and thumb through them.

Once again, I do prefer my fairly simple & uncluttered style of scrapbooking.  I’m sure the professional bloggers could have layered this page up so that it wound up weighing roughly the same as my precious newborn …. but beginners should find these kind of clean lines refreshingly easy to emulate in their own crafty corner.  The layering can come later if you so desire.

Remember also (beginners out there) that you want to see a “Z” and TRIANGLES across your page.  Here, you can see a Z if you start from the top left corner, go across right, down diagonally left through the “love” and chipboard heart in the middle, and back right again through the ‘surprise’ title.  There is a triangle formed with the hessian flower, bird, and heart elements.  And there is also harmony in the balance of the “love” word outlined in the middle of the 4 photos square. These Z’s and Triangles indicate balance and flow in your layout.

 

My first scrapbooking attempt

The day that I finally sat down and attempted my first scrapbooking page was a fairly momentous one within my little bubble.  After starting out selling used postage stamps for charity on eBay some 12 years ago, I progressed to buying and selling for a profit and fell into crafts.  At one point my eBay page was turning over some serious $$ and morphed into my own dedicated website.  For some reason I decided I wanted to purchase a local cafe (to start paying some bills, rather than spending everything on new craft stock all the time) and since that time I’ve had a huge quantity of leftover stock going unused.  I should sell it …. there is literally tons of it in my storage shed and it’s become a sore point with my husband these days …. but I can never seem to find the time to catalogue it etc.  So for now, I’ve started picking through it and using it myself.

For my first foray, I chose a lovely photo I had taken of my husband and two eldest children while we had been out to dinner at Palm Cove celebrating the (rather unexpected) news that we were going to have a fourth child.  The photo was taken in the moment that the boys were told.

Palm Cove beach is a lovely spot in FNQ – popular for weddings and holidays, it has an amazing laid-back “resort” style vibe with shops and cafes along the waterfront and a pier that has some great fishing.

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Palm Cove Beachfront – NOT photoshopped! We wake up to this every day in sunny FNQ. Credit for photo goes to http://www.palmcove.net
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A sample of the shops along Palm Cove beachfront … we love it here.  Credit for photo goes to http://www.prettydelicioustravels.com

I wanted to make the photo stand out because I loved it so much, and I also wanted it to have a tropical vibe because of our location.  To be honest, the colour selections probably could have been better.  But it was my first attempt … I was trying to pull out the blue from the corner of the picture, and make it pop from the page.

For this page, I literally just cut the photo to size and put it on a black cardstock mat board, then layered it against a blue cardstock mat board.  Then I stuck it to the page.  The page is from Kaisercraft’s Tropicana collection.  Then I stuck on some flowers (from Bo Bunny & Kaisercraft) and wooden palm tree fronds and bird (Kaisercraft) which had been inked a little bit.  The only thing I got slightly fancy with was the title.  It’s a chipboard title from Words or Whatever which was inked with blue and black Distress Inks (Tim Holtz).  Then I sprinkled some American Crafts embossing powder over it, pointed the heat gun at it and voila.

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So my first scrapbooking page was certainly not a complex one.  It’s pretty simple, but it’s effective too.  If I were going to do it again, I would probably choose a background paper that was pale blue to allow the picture to shine.  But I was hell-bent on using this “tropical” paper.  But the layout itself is an easy one to reproduce.  You don’t need hundreds of layers to a page.

For so long I had collected all these tools and supplies but stopped short of actually using them, not knowing where to start.  Making something simple like this is a great way to get the ball rolling.  Flowers are your friend …. they work on many layouts and are easy to use.