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Feeling Creative

Scrapbooking and Strawberries

One of my favorite things about living in California is the amazing produce that’s available. I went to the grocery store yesterday and strawberries were on sale. Big, beautiful, huge strawberries. I love strawberries. It made me so happy! Seriously put me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Funny – it really is all about the little things, isn’t it!?

Several of you have asked me various scrapbooking questions after my Project Life posts so I wanted to take a minute to answer them.

1) Where do you print your pictures? Do you prefer glossy or matte? I always get matte pictures developed just because they don’t show fingerprints and with little ones looking at my books (and occasionally pulling pictures out), fingerprints are inevitable! I’ve tried so many places to get my pictures printed (Costco, Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.) and haven’t been super impressed with any of them so I’ve been developing my pictures at a professional photo lab that is close to where I live. They charge more (.29 cents per 4×6…$5.00 per 8×10…), but the picture quality is a lot better. This last batch of pictures I ordered on-line at a scrapbook picture site. I’ve heard they do a good job and they are cheaper than the place I’ve been going so I’m hoping the quality is as good. If they are good, I’ll let you all know and give you the website as soon as I get them back. I would always rather just pay a little more and get pictures I’m happy with since we’ll have them forever.

2) What size did you cut the photos to fit in the smaller slots in your Project Life Albums? How do you print them? The smaller vertical slots in the Project Life book are 4×3 (exactly half of a 4×6). I always collage two 4×3’s together to get one 4×6 developed. It’s cheaper and easier that way. To collage the two pictures I either do it in Photoshop, or I make a collage in Picasa (Picasa is a free photo service that is SO EASY to download and use…just type in and it will walk you through it). In Picasa you can choose the two vertical photos you want, hit “collage”, and then save it in your picture file and it’s ready to develop – just like a regular 4×6 straight out of your camera.

3) How do you store your albums? Mostly on bookshelves all over the house.

Some of the girls’ albums are on the bookshelf in their room…

and a lot of them are on the bookshelves in our guest room.

I’m hoping in our next house I’ll have some sort of scrapbook/office room that I can store them in all together, but for now the girls love having their books close by to look through.

I thought I’d share a few pages from the album I made that has been the most popular with my girls. I made this simple ABC book for Ellie when she was 18 months old and my girls love it. They loved it as babies and they still love to look at it now. It just includes pictures of Ellie and other random things that start with each letter of the alphabet.

I’d love to make one for my other two kids someday just because it has been such a hit with my girls.

4) What will you do for your new baby? What other albums do you do? How do you organize everything? These are questions I’ve struggled with for a long time! I scrapbooked so much until baby #2 came along. Then life got a lot busier! Ellie has three baby books and poor Addison doesn’t have a thing yet. There is a side of me that loves to just be creative and scrap what I’m in the mood to scrap when I’m in the mood to do it, but there is another side of me that has been craving some sort of organization. A system so that I can stay on top of scrapbooking the pictures I care the most about.

This is what I’ve recently come up with:

– {Baby Books} I’m going to do a baby book for Kole (the new baby) using Becky Higgings baby kit. I actually ordered the kit for Addison hoping it would motivate me to get hers done but now I have it set up to use for this baby and then I’ll go back and do Addison’s later (realistically when all three of my kids are older and in school!). My goal is to have at least one baby book for each of them (traditional scrapbooking).

– {From toddler to high school graduation} The Project Life Albums will be the way I do my kids’ albums after their baby books. Yes, I plan to just keep ordering new kits as long as Becky keeps making them! If she ever stops, I’ll just buy a binder with divided page protectors and keep doing the same type of thing. It’s doable and easy to stay on top of. I’d love to get to where I could fit more than a year in each book (maybe two years per book?). I don’t know if that’s realistic because of all of the pictures I take, but it would be nice just so my kids don’t have too many albums to take with them when they leave! (Yes, their baby books and Project Life type scrapbooks are for them to keep. They will all go with them when they grow up and move out.)

– {Family books} I did traditional scrapbooks for our family up until 2008ish. Around that time I started blogging and I’ve decided that my blog will be our new family albums (the ones I keep forever with me). Someday I’ll get around to printing my blog posts into books by year. The books will be thinner digital books so they will be easier to store.

– {Additional just for fun books} I still love scrapbooking and wanted some books to make where I could use my supplies and be creative, but that wouldn’t take up too much time so I’ve started a Halloween and a Christmas album. These books will be easy to stay on top of because I’ll just do a few layouts each year. The Halloween book will be pictures of October activities, along with costume and trick-or-treating pictures. The Christmas book will include all of our fun December activities, pictures on Santa’s lap, Christmas morning, our family Christmas cards, and Christmas cards from family and friends. (You can go here to see how I organize all of the Christmas cards we get from family and friends.) I think these books will be fun to always keep with me and pull out with our Halloween and Christmas decorations each year. It’s always fun to look at and remember past holidays while you’re enjoying the present one.

SO! That’s the system I’ve come up with and I hope it’s one I can realistically stay on top of. Sorry this post is a book! Hope I answered your questions ok. Have a great day! :)
xoxo, Erin
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22 thoughts on “Scrapbooking and Strawberries

  1. I love your ABC book! I made one for the twins (after my mom had told me about yours) years ago and the still love pulling it out. I also like your idea for the family holiday books. Have a great day!

  2. Wow…I have never been more inspired. I am definately looking for a way to simplify my scrapping with baby #2 coming along. I just finished DD’s baby album (BH baby kit) and I have another one sitting around for baby #2. I really like how you’ve used Project Life in away that isn’t a Project 365 for your daughter’s album- it’s been very inspiring. REading about your scrapbooking philosophy today has totally inspired me. Thank you.

  3. What an inspiring post! Ah, strawberries sound delightful. Perhaps, Natalie and I will be able to make jam when I am in San Diego in April. I love that you have the books throughout your house. I have put our books throughout the house and love when someone is sitting down looking through a book. Such sweet, happy memories. A young client recently told me she knows her mom loves her because she has a book about her. I thought that was such a sweet reminder of how much meaning making a book, putting the picture in a frame, etc is to those we love as well as us!

  4. Well I’ll be honest and say I’m completely overwhelmed when I read about your system so I’ve decided that when we start rolling in the big bucks (HA!) I will pay you to do mine, yes all 6 of them…for me!

    Or, maybe I’ll just be so bored after Eden goes to kindergarten that I will be ready to tackle it on my own. (Double HA HA!!)

  5. Thanks for sharing! I am in the process of figuring all that out for myself. Taking Library of Memories a 2nd time and realizing that I cannot do it all – especially with Baby #4 on the way.

  6. I am way interested in knowing how those pictures turn out at that scrapbook picture site. Your ABC book is darling. I know my kids would love one of those.

  7. I am so glad Jessica Turner suggested your blog…love love LOVE all your ideas…your info about the 4×3 pics just saved me so much time!! I don’t have any children yet but I am already stressing about documenting our lives…loving your system…one day it will be mine too. Thank you for sharing…a huge help!!

  8. mmmm, those strawberries do look so good! I was just thinking today that I can’t wait for the strawberries and watermelon this summer! You are doing an amazing job on your albums, I am anxious to get going on mine, I just need to find a good place to print! You are fabulous!!!

  9. p.s. you should enter to win the photo shoot I blogged about, if you won you could do Kole’s pics when you’re here this summer!

  10. Hi Erin,

    I stumbled upon your blog and have to say that I LOVE it! I have been so motivated and inspired by you to just CELEBRATE LIFE!! I have recently decided to do some major cleaning and organizing. Do you have any tips as to how to get started on tackling a project? I am feeling overwhelmed because I do not know where to begin. Any tips?


  11. You amaze me. I don’t know how you keep up on all those pictures. I have millions in boxes just waiting to be put in a photo album. You are welcome to come and visit and help me anytime :) You do awesome work.

  12. I love how you are doing your albums. I saw in one of your albums at the end you had a Kindergarten folder. Where did you get this? Did they have them for all grades? My daughter is in 1st grade and these would be perfect to put special papers in.

  13. Thanks so much for sharing your approach. I just want to start doing something! I started to some digital scrapbooking pages on but I was kind of duplicating my blog in just a “prettier” way. I kind of need to just settle on one method I think. Thanks again!

  14. Hi Erin! I’m new to your blog. Found you through Jessica Turner’s blog. LOVE your alphabet book. It is so cute and has inspired me to do my kids’ baby books using that format. Where did you find those die cuts or stickers on each page? I’ve looked everywhere? Do they still make them? My email is

  15. Thanks so much for sharing! I love your approach. I couldn’t decide whether to order project life or not and when I saw yours I immediately ordered! I am trying to get started and am learning picasa. Can you please tell me how to sandwich 2 4×3’s together and develop one picture? Or at least point me in the right direction (I know your hands are quite full right now!). Thank you so much for your inspirational blog and good luck over the next few weeks and months! :)

  16. Erin, where did you get the lovely pictures from in Ellie’s ABC Book, did you print them, I was looking everywhere but i just love the ones you have. I want to make a ABC Book for my son Jack.

    Hugs from Germany =)

  17. I just found your blog through Becky Higgins’ website, and I love it! Good work!

    This post, though, gave me the heebie-jeebies. That shot of all those beautiful albums lined up on the bottom shelf of the bookcase? PLEASE tell me you have a two-story home. My mother-in-law’s one story home flooded due to plumbing malfunction, and everything on the first 6 to 8 inches near the floor was trashed. Just a heads up in case that’s not something you’ve thought about.

  18. Erin-I’m re-reading this post and wondering if this is the scrapbooking plan you’re still planning on using. My questions is, when you do the project life albums for each child, how are you choosing which pictures to include? I’m kinda stumped on that part. Years down the road, I don’t want my kiddos to look back and not have enough pictures of each other in their albums. I hope that question makes sense.

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