Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A flip book about Sweden

After finishing my 2007 scrapbook album, I had a pile of pictures that didn't make the cut. Either they didn't tell the story I was trying to share,or I didn't want to devote an entire layout to one or two pictures. But the pictures were important to me and do tell snippets about Sweden. I've been puzzled with what to do with them. I finally decided to make a flip book of the pictures. I clued the backs of two pictures together, so each pair is glued together, cut up 4 sheets of cardstock into 4 x 6 rectangles, and combined the two. I want to bind the book with a wire binding--so that will have to wait until I get back to the states. I also need to journal for each picture. I'm also waiting on that, because I would like to buy some journaling tags or something that match the look I'm going for. In the meantime, the project is started. I've shelved it until I can return to the U.S., but I do have a very clear vision for what I want for the book.
I like the idea of a flip book for my coffee table to share with guests my love of Sweden, without overwhelming them by handing them 5 12 x12 albums with 100-200 pages in each book. I'll probably do the same about Saudi Arabia. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New tactics

After the press to finish my 2007 scrapbook, I'm a little tired of working exclusively with 4 x 6 photos. I also want to capture the memories and events that are happening right now.

In an effort to record events from 2012, I will be doing the following:
1) Make a blog book from my posts about our time in Saudi Arabia.
2) Make scrapbook pages from my weekly updates that I mail to family and friends. The format will be simple with the text being included and then a few highlight pictures from the week.
3) Spend more time making artsy pages on meaningful things--i.e. development in the kids, feelings about being a mom, just stuff that I don't want to get lost. And it will, if I don't record it now.

I am trying to work on parts from 2011 as well. I made photo calenders for my mom and myself this year, with pictures from the last year. I'm going to use the month page as an introduction to the month. And then I'll scrap my favorite memories/events from the year.

I mentioned earlier that I'm tired of having to make do with 4 x 6 photos. I usually operate that way because online photo printing services like shutterfly and snapfish frequently offer specials on batch photos. That is a fine way to do it and saves money. I do have my own photo printer, but each 4 x 6 print costs about 33 cents apiece. I suppose I could get photos printed here in Riyadh, but I decided not to gamble. I bought 3 big packs of photo paper and ink for my little photo printer. In order to be frugal, I'm printing more than one photo per sheet. It's kind of fun to operate this way, because I'm pre-planning my pages, looking at pictures, figuring out the layout, and then printing my pictures. It's a little different process than what I've used in the past, but I needed something different. I felt like my last few pages were uninspired and I want to get over that creativity jet lag. I'm sure I'll pick up again and feel the motivation.

 Mud pie: This was such a fun page to make. My youngest two children spend at least an hour a day making mud pies outside in our back porch. It's a really messy process that kind of drives me nuts. But my children love it! They get so dirty and they are so happy. Anyhow, I took these pictures to document this little ritual they have. I asked my 5-year old daughter to tell me why she likes making mud pies. She obliged with this paragraph about the delights of mud pie making. I found the sketch from a CK magazine. I liked the linear look of the photos being places on one side and then the text on the other side. I had this cute paper with a lot of embellishments that appealed to me. I liked the playful feel of the paper, yet it is organized and easy for the eye to follow the patterns. I matted the photos on squares of coordinating paper and then mounted it on a red block of paper. I do like structure and organization on my pages.

 January 2011: A very easy page to make. I chose a coordinating color to match the flowers on the calender page. I like the look of the torn notebook paper edge. I plan on spending some time documenting the crazy snowstorms we experienced in New York.
Choo-Choo: I made this page from a kit I bought from Piggy Tales. My youngest son loves playing with his wooden train tracks, so it wasn't hard to put this page together. The original layout called for 2 photos, but I had four photos I wanted to showcase. I think it looks great and tells a visual story of my son playing outside.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I just completed my 2007 scrapbook album. 2007 was an incredible year for our family. We spent a really special 6 weeks in the Middle East. I went to Amsterdam for my birthday. My husband graduated with his PhD from Lund University in Sweden. And we went on an awesome 10 day trip to Europe with my mother-in-law.

I made a really cool 40 page 8 x 8 album of my Amsterdam trip. I made photo books of my husband's graduation and party and of our European trip. I'm still working on the Middle East trip. These books were all done in previous years.

But the big news is that I FINISHED my 2007 album. It really was a big year and I took a lot of pictures trying to capture all the little things about Sweden and our time there. So I had a lot of pictures to scrap. I had completed pages from January to the middle of March prior to moving to Saudi Arabia.

Here's the rundown. I've been in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 87 days. In that time, I've made:

* 14 pages covering 2010 and 2011
* 3 mini-books (1 happy book about my youngest son and daughter, 1 board/flap book about my family, and 1 little mini board book)
* 2 wall layouts
* 68 pages from 2007

Yeah, I've been busy. I've pull out my stuff most weekdays and try and do at least 1, if not 2, layouts per session. Not all my layouts are amazing works of art. Some are just really basic. Today, I was in the mood to finish everything and so I did 6 layouts in 2 hours. Really, I'm okay with that. I wanted to finish telling those stories and get that album out of the way. Some layouts ARE special and really well done. Sometimes those layouts take time and other times, they come together really quickly.

I've been immersing myself in magazines, studying Creating Keepsakes and Scrapbooks Etc. and the magazines have given me some great ideas. I'm writing down my ideas and thoughts.

What's next? Well, I have 2010, 2011 and the present, not to mention 1998-2002. Right now, I think I am going to spend some time in the present and working a bit with 2011. I also have this cute little book that I am almost finished with about my 35 favorite things (in honor of my 35th birthday).

Not to brag to much, but I have albums from 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, plus lots of little books about my kids. I'm happy with my progress. Each year, I make albums for my parents and in-laws. And I've made many other books. I feel like my current family history is well documented.