Tag Archives: vacation

Thirty Plus Ideas for Scrapbooking Summer and Summer Vacations


Looking forward to some fun summer photos to scrapbook?

Here are lots of ideas for summer and vacation pages, mini-books, albums, shooting photos and choosing photos, and even ideas for packing so you can scrapbook while on your vacation…

Continue reading Thirty Plus Ideas for Scrapbooking Summer and Summer Vacations

Easier Vacation Scrapbooking

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How many un-scrapped vacations do you have?


I really don’t mean to initiate a state of guilt. Most of my vacations are unscrapped, too, so I’m right there with you.

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But this summer we took our biggest vacation ever, and guess what? I actually made the mini-album! I made it within a few weeks of returning home, and I’m going to share a few secrets for how to turn your vacation memories into a giant mini-album in a very short amount of time.

1. Start with the foundations.

Don’t complete each page at a time. You’ll start off ambitious, have a few spectacularly amazing first pages, and then you’ll never finish. Either that, or all the remaining pages will be suddenly simple compared to those first ones.

Instead, quickly make a bunch of foundations for pages, then go back and add the photos (although sometimes the foundations pages ARE the photos).

Your ephemera can be foundations too. Don’t worry about the embellishments, journaling, or other detailing yet.

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To me this is the funnest part because we get to come up with ingenious ways to solve the dilemmas of how to display the vacation stuff in an interesting way.

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Here I made an 8×10 photo fit into my 8×8 album…

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And here I turned an amusement park map into a fold-out page…

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2. Hold off on the embellishments and other details until after all the photos are on pages.

I know, we get so excited about the embellishments. But they are a common cause of overwhelm. If you wait until all your photos are down on page foundations, you can now assess your book with a good honest reality check.

How much time or motivation do you have left for lots of embellishing? If you’re getting tired of your project at this point, or if you have other things you need to do, you can decide to add embellishments sparingly. You’ll have a nice consistent album, front to back.

If you’re still excited and still have lots of time, you can go to town with your embellishments.

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I demonstrated how to make that flower embellishment out of patterned paper in Paperclipping 178 – Transform Old Products Into Ones You’ll Love. Paperclipping Members can find it in the archives.

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(Note to Paperclipping Members who have the video of me creating this “page.” To reduce the bulk I moved the corner embellies to the opposite side).

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Task-Batch Mini-booking

I call this approach (building all the “foundations” before adding any detailing) Task-Batch Mini-booking. Before it occurred to me to mini-book this way it was very hard for me to complete mini’s because they took so long. But in this way you can make intricate books in no time! Even BIG ones (mine are always big).

If you have a vacation from this summer that deserves a mini-album, you might want to try it!

Shine on,

P.S.> I have a video tutorial where I demonstrate the Task-Batching process on two different mini-books — one is a dimensional tactile book, while the other is mostly digital and graphic. Paperclipping Members can watch it — it’s #150.

Not a member? Click here to find out about membership!

Kansas City Vacation Photos

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When we announced the two-week summer break from the Paperclipping Roundtable, someone said they were excited for me to bring back some inspiration to share with you all from out trip.

The pressure was on and I had hopes of delivering. But then the plane ride to K.C. exacerbated the little virus that was my souvenir from Las Vegas and turned that baby into all of the following:

  • perforated ear drums
  • ear infections in both ears
  • pharyngitis
  • sinusitis
  • tinnitus

I spent most of my visit to family in bed. And I skipped my 20-year high school reunion. And I didn’t gather much inspiration to share with all of you.

Fortunately, Izzy took a bunch of shots, and I think they give some great ideas…

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It looks magical to pose at the front of the property with the house back in the distance, rather than posing immediately in front of the house.

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Over the shoulder shots are really cool. Especially when the smoke is still flying.

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Un-posed group walking shots have lots of energy.

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Shooting a line of people from an angle gives the photo movement, directs the eye, and can be more interesting than a straight-on shot.

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Get a waterfall in the background. They’re cool. Fountains are all over Kansas City.

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It’s really beautiful to get lots of green in a photo, especially when there’s greenery in the foreground and repetition of nature moving to the background.

Just a note because I know how thoughtful you all are — It took a while but I’m feeling back to my normal self again. The only thing that lingers, despite two antibiotics plus Prednisone, is the tinnitus. I’ve had constant ringing (no breaks!) for 3.5 weeks!

The doctor says it’s time to visit an ENT now. At least I feel good again!

How To Choose Your Best Vacation Photos

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Hi, again!

How many photos did you shoot on your last vacation? I asked this on Twitter and answers ranged from 93 to 500, and all the way up to 1,800!

With all those photos as options, what is the maximum amount of pictures you’ll feel comfortable using in one scrapbook project for that vacation?

Will you do one scrapbook page? A vacation album? A mini book? Basic photo pocket pages?

Here are a few things you can do right now to help you with that often overwhelming decision:

  • Pick out your favorite must-use photos before you decide on your scrapbooking format. Count the number of photos.
  • Of those favorites, identify the photos that would make great focal point photos and need to stand alone on their own page
  • Decide which ones you would feel comfortable cropping into smaller sizes. How small could they be and still look good?

You should now have a solid idea of which of those format options will work best for your needs (scrapbook page, mini book, etc). Of those remaining options, you can just choose the one that sounds like the most fun! The hard part is that first step of whittling a large group of photos down to a manageable, usable amount. Instead of asking, “Which ones can I do without,” I usually ask . . .

Which are the ones that best tell the story?

There is something about that question that helps me identify photos I most want to work with, and still feel okay about not including the others in my scrapbooks. Of the 114 photos I took on our recent trip to San Diego, I chose fourteen pictures in one quick sitting, thirteen of which I shared on my personal blog here and here.

What makes one photo stand out over another? Here are some of the characteristics you can look for when choosing which to print for your next scrapbook project:

Makes you pause

It doesn’t matter if the picture is technically great or not — if it catches my attention in a different way from the others, if I get a little feeling in my heart, if I catch my breath when I see it, even for just a second, or find myself wanting to gaze at the picture longer than the others, then it’s usually going to land on my scrapbook project.
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Shows emotion

You might say that any picture of someone smiling is showing an emotion. But a posed smile is not the same as a genuine belly-laugh smile — genuine emotion prompted, not by a camera, but by life itself.
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Captures a quirk or demonstrates a personality

Aiden’s shorts kept falling down and he spent most of the beach time with his hand trying to hold them up. I love having this subtle but humorous capture . . .
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Has energy and movement

There’s just something about those legs, mid-walk to the water, along with the excited faces, that made me love this photo.
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Makes a statement

Posed shots are not my favorite but there’s no denying, my daughter Trinity is photogenic. Her confidence, the boogie board, plus the lines of her body intersecting with the ocean line all add up to one strong, confident statement. It makes you stop and look. And that just feels good.
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Shows a relationship

In this picture, Izzy is showing the kids how to catch a wave with their boards. I love pictures of two people doing something together.
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Gives a different perspective

It makes for great variety when you have one good shot that either comes in close or zooms way out to show the setting.
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Captures the action that is happening

Again, these types of shots are great for genuine, un-posed story-telling. They’re also more interesting because of their energy.
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Tells the missing parts

Let’s face it: if we only use our favorite photos, much of the story will be missing. Sometimes the only shot I have of a person that was present at the event is not a great one. Once I’ve chosen the photos I love, I sometimes add one or two that are lower on my love-list, because I need them to complete the story. I don’t have an example of that kind from this particular trip, but you know what I’m talking about, right?

Putting Your Finger On It

While you’re getting used to assessing WHY certain photos grab your heart, another more general guideline is to pay attention when you find yourself saying, “There’s something about the way she . . .” or “There’s just something about his . . . “ In other words, learn to notice the feeling that signals a photo is better than most, and with some analysis and learned skills, you may eventually learn to identify the reasons and get those great shots more often!

Five Step Process For Making Your Vacation Album

Hi, Again!

Here’s a common scenario: you’ve come back from vacation and you’re thrilled at the pictures you got from your exciting adventure. You can’t wait to scrapbook them, but when you pull out those photos, confusion and overwhelm take over. What should be a pleasurable visit with your memories is becoming a dreaded “obligation.”

Do you feel this way? A while back I shared my five steps for making a meaningful vacation album. If you have a stack of photos and memories from a vacation that you need to scrap, I hope you’ll pull them out and follow along with each step.

To start your 5 step journey toward a vacation album, please click here:

Step 1: Begin with Two Fundamental Questions In Mind.

How To Make A Vacation Scrapbook: Step 4

This week and next we are turning photos and memories of one of our trips into a visual memoir using my step-by-step process to keep it meaningful and prevent overwhelm. If you missed the first three steps, you’ll want to start there first:

Step 1
Steps 2 & 3

Step 4: Eliminate

This is where we get to the bare bones of the story. We are going to eliminate unnecessary photos.

*Which photos do you really need to tell each story?
*Which photos can tell a totally different story that is unrelated to the trip and can better express itself in a different album?

Moving A Story To A Different Location

I have a few piles of stories and photos from Disneyland that will make more sense as part of a different story, or album. For example, Israel took this series of photos of Blake and Trinity while waiting in line:

After Trinity’s had her hundredth picture taken, Blake can’t stand it anymore–he’s got to get in on it…If nothing else, he should give her some rabbit ears.

Trinity tries to push him away while posing at the same time (#3), but quickly decides that rabbit ears for him would make a good shot, too.

I love watching them play like this.

This story is more about Blake and Trinity and how they play and less about our time at Disneyland. I decided to pull this group of photos out of our Disney stack and make it a page for our This Is Us album–an album with stories about who we are–and how we are–as a family.

Eliminating Pictures Altogether

It’s easy to eliminate the blurry or bad shots. It’s harder when there are so many good ones. It’s a lot like the state of our children’s bedrooms and the amount of stuff they have. When there is too much stuff, they can’t keep it under control, and they can’t enjoy their things as much as they could if they weren’t surrounded by so much chaos.

One great photo can often have more impact than three similar ones unless the others contribute to the story in a meaningful way. Think of this as getting rid of the clutter so you can enjoy the best of it.

And remember, you’re not actually eliminating those extra photos from your life. You’re just eliminating them from this album. You can still view them on your computer or somewhere else.

Your Assignment

If you’ve kept up with us so far, you should have stacks of photos and note cards with a brief description of each story. Your assignment today is to go through each stack and decide which photos you can eliminate by asking yourself the two bolded questions above.

This will make you better able to begin assembling the album, which we will start doing in Step 5!

How To Make A Vacation Scrapbook: Steps 2 & 3

This week and next we are turning photos and memories of one of our trips into a visual memoir using my step-by-step process to keep it meaningful and prevent overwhelm. If you missed Step 1, be sure to go back and read that first.

Step 2: Get Your Photos Out Onto The Table

This step is not about organizing. It is about connecting and catching the vision.
Take this time to go through each photo so you can put yourself back into the vacation frame of mind. What did it feel like to be there?

Your photos are probably already in the chronological order of the trip and grouped by smaller events and activities. As you do go through the photos to lay them on your table, proceed with these steps:

1. Keep groups of photos together in loose piles so you can still see at least a part of each photo.

2. Lay piles close together so that you have a choice of seeing them in their various groupings or seeing them as a part of a whole.

Doing it this way allows you to keep the artistic, story-connecting part of your brain working, as opposed to the linear, organizing part. By seeing all the pictures together, you will be able to identify stories that go beyond the events.

For example, seeing pictures of my sister with her family and different points in the trip led me to the idea of telling the story of being at Disneyland with my big sister and little brother again. Had I kept my photos in a linear and organized manner, I might never have thought of that angle, which is part of the most important aspect of this trip for me.

Step 3: Organize the stories with their supporting photos and separate them into piles.

1. While looking at your photos scattered all over the table, identify the stories that pop into your head and begin writing the dominant idea of each story onto a note card. My note cards say things like, “Family & Faces–who we were with,” “Enjoying the scenery–just as enjoyable as the rides,” “Mom & Me,” “Splash Mountain-The big people and tiny little Sidney.”

Make sure you jot down a note for all the stories that come to mind, even if you have no photos to support them.

2. Match stories to photos. Sometimes this means pulling photos out of their event grouping to use it for a different subject.

At this point, we are only partially turning ourselves over to the organizational parts of our brains. There is no need to put these into a fixed order yet. You can still leave the piles in a haphazard manner on the table, allowing your mind to stay within it’s artistic play area of the brain. Or if you need to put them away, you can stack them in any order with your story note cards in between each stack of supporting photos.

What Is The Story?

You’ve now written down the individual stories. You’ve connected with your memories and made connections between photos you might have separated before. Is there an overall story or theme that is starting to creep out?

If there are any words or ideas running through your mind, begin writing them down. You can brainstorm or make a word map. However you do it, have a place to collect these thoughts so you don’t lose them. If you’re able to solidify a theme at this point, that is great! If you’re still trying to work it out, that’s okay, too. The next step might help you out…

Continue to the next steps as we proceed to turn our memories into memoirs

Step 4
Step 5

* * *

Your assignment for today is to complete the two bolded instructions under each of the steps above.

How To Make A Vacation Scrapbook: Step 1

Here’s a scenario: You’ve come back from vacation and you’re thrilled at the pictures you got from your exciting adventure. You can’t wait to scrapbook them, but when you pull out those photos, confusion and overwhelm take over. What should be a pleasurable visit with your memories is becoming a dreaded “obligation.”

Do you feel this way? I’m working on an album right now for our Disney vacation and I have a method for assembling this type of project that coincides with my philosophy of scrapbookers as story-tellers, and scrapbooks as visual memoirs. It will also simplify the process and keep your mind clear.

Over the next week and a half I’ll share my step-by-step process with you using my Disney vacation as the example. If you have a stack of photos and memories from a vacation that you need to scrap, I hope you’ll pull them out and follow along with each step. You can even give us a report of your progress by leaving a comment.

Step 1: Begin with Two Fundamental Questions In Mind

1. What are the stories I want to remember from my vacation?
The funny things someone said * The thoughts and feelings you had at various times * The way a relationship developed * The things you did, saw, or experienced.

2. What is the overall story — or underlying theme — that encapsulates all of the smaller individual stories?
This is a deeper question that requires some thought. Each vacation has its own meaning. If you take some time to identify this early in the process, you’ll be able to create a complete and cohesive story out of the many pages, pictures, and smaller stories.

You don’t have to answer all of these questions now before moving onto step number two. Having the questions on your mind while you proceed to the next step is just fine. Have a pencil and some note cards next to you on the table so you can jot down each thought, story, or theme idea as they come. Having each story on its own note card will allow you to place them with their coinciding photos.

The Theme Of My Disney Vacation

While I’ve been working on the next steps, I’ve been thinking about the word, “present,” in all of its senses, for my Disney album. Here is what I mean:

1. One of our days at Disneyland was a present from my parents. The other day and the rest of the trip was Izzy’s and my own Christmas present to our kids.

2. It was an awesome experience to be present with my parents and the two siblings closest to me in age, at a place that holds so many childhood memories with them. I had such pleasurable moments, enjoying my sister and brother as if we were kids again.

3. Together we relived some wonderful times from our past, while mixing them with the present. It is such a joy to give to my children the happy experiences that my parents gave to me.

How Will Step One Benefit you?

1. Sometimes having a theme will provide you some visual images, icons, embellishment ideas, or colors. The story of Disney as a part of my childhood that I am gifting to my children gave me the idea to capitalize on a classic Disney icon that identifies Disney from any time period: the Mickey Mouse ears silhouette. I decided to use that icon as the major embellishment throughout my album, rather than buy new Disney products.

I may also use some clock and time images, and possibly classic gift images.

2. Sometimes having a theme will provide you with title ideas. Titles of different pages in my album could be…

A present to us.
A present to you.
Present And In The Moment.
Present Again With You.

Step number one isn’t a step you can easily do when you’re cropping with friends. For most every project, I like to take some quiet time to dig deep and relive moments–to gain from those times all over again. I do it best with a pencil in my hand so I can solidify my thoughts and give them some life. My notes tend to be organic and unstructured, just like my thoughts.

Prepare For The Next Step

Tomorrow we’ll cover the next couple of steps, having to do with sorting the photos. You’ll want to print up your photos if you’re following along and you haven’t done so already.

Don’t worry about whether you’ll want enlargements unless you already know which ones you’ll enlarge and in what size. I printed all my photos to 4×6, knowing that I will later want to enlarge some of them. Since I don’t know which ones I want larger yet, it’s easier to just print them all up front so I have something physical to work with in my hands while I plan the structure and size of my album.

Your assignments:

1. Get some note cards, a pencil, and write down the following questions:

*What are the stories I want to remember from my vacation?
*What is the overall story or underlying theme that encapsulates all of the smaller individual stories?

2. Print up all of the photos you might put in your vacation scrapbook. Don’t worry about sizes or whether you have an album or not. That’ll come later.

I’m looking forward to following these steps with you.

* * *

This is part one of a series, Stories From Our Vacations. You can follow the rest of the steps here…

Steps 2&3
Step 4
Step 5