My Last Four Scrapbook Layouts #1

I have been thinking for awhile about how I might start sharing more scrapbook layouts on social media.

Because I have three adult children and one teenager, I am reluctant to share a ton of layout details online, especially on Instagram, because they are all at ages where maybe they don’t want complete strangers to be looking at their stories. Plus, I write a lot of journaling on my layouts, and some of it gets kind of deep or personal, and some of it scratches at sore spots or explores how and why I love a person, and some of it I would be OK if no one read until after I’m gone.

And some of it is just fun stories from our history.

All of which makes me push back against wanting to share much of what I scrapbook. But there’s also a huge part of me that wants to share, because—well. There are many reasons. Because much of what others share inspires me. Because I want to engage in the wider scrapbooking community. Because I don’t have any real-life scrappy friends who live close to me who I could have actual conversations with when I’m excited about how I used a piece of patterned paper.

A few weeks ago, I was photographing some of my recently-made layouts (I either scan or photograph every layout I make, so I have a digital copy just in case) and I was thinking about what I might say about the layout in particular. (It’s called “Savor these Days” and you can see it in my next post in this category.) I had fulfilled one of my ongoing goals, which is to stop myself from making my supplies precious by using them as soon as I can after I get them; I used the new line from Cocoa Vanilla, which matched really well with the August kit from Cocoa Daisy, and I just wanted to tell someone: Look how well these work together!

(Neither my husband nor my son still at home really care.)

I had this thought:

What if I share smaller pics of my layouts in Instagram as a collage in one image, so the journaling is harder to read? And then maybe make full-sized sketches of each layout to share.

And I started working on an idea, which I am calling My Last Four Layouts.

I’m going to try this: After I finish four layouts, I’ll make one image with a collage of them, and share that and sketches of the layouts on Instagram. (I am using “sketches” lightly…I’ve never tried to make a sketch so who knows if it’s a skill I have.)

But then link to my blog here, in case anyone wants more details.

And as I know that people rarely read blogs anymore, the easier access matters less on my blog.

For each layout, I’ll  include notes on these topics: layout notes (my general thoughts about the layout and where the layout goes), journaling notes (something about the technique I used, more about the story, or notes about the typography), my goal with this layout (design or story or photo-based or whatever the “spark” was), supplies (I will mostly only list the ones that I think are still available), new/old (because one of my current scrapbooking goals is to use my new stuff quickly so it doesn’t become too “special” to actually use, and by “new” I mean it came from the literal basket where I put my new things), what I learned (because I am still learning about this craft), what I would do different (there’s always something!), and techniques to repeat (I’ve long wanted to make a list of techniques I use, with the idea of having a source of inspiration to fall back on when I’m feeling stuck, so I’ll use this topic as a way to start that list).

It has taken me a little while to let myself feel comfortable with this. Posting about scrapbooking on my Instagram just always makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, because most of my followers aren’t scrapbookers and deep down I’m still certain that scrapbooking is viewed with disdain.

But today I’m doing it: my first My Last Four Layouts post! (Technically these aren’t my actual last four layouts, but I have some catching up to do.)

Last four layouts 01

  1. Found.

2021 02 XX Haley 1997 to 2021 foundLayout notes: This is the first layout I made after my surgery. I’ve wanted to make it since February when Haley visited, but it finally felt like the right time. This layout will go in Haley’s album.

Journaling notes: A good three-column journaling block always makes me happy. Is this too raw? I’m not sure—but it was very healing for me to write.

My goal with this layout: relay the flood of emotion I had when I found that pic of me and Haley from 1997. Use something pink. Make a pretty layout that is unabashedly girly.

Supplies: patterned paper and embellishments by Maggie Holmes (they all came from one piece of patterned paper!) * title stamp and ink from Close to My Heart *  puffy camera stickers from Freckled Fawn

New/Old: alphabet stamps and ink are new, as are the Maggie Holmes supplies.

What I learned: at first I had the patterned paper running a different direction, but it hit me that more purple would be visible if I turned it this way. So, pay attention to how the stripes/colors go. Close to My Heart ink will dry on the edges of a photo but it takes at least an hour.

What I would do different: I don’t love that the “love this” embellishment kind of looks like a Christmas-tree ornament.

Techniques to repeat: patterned paper background, fussy-cut title.


Ml4l sketch found

  1. Adventure in Paradise

2017 05 22 Nathan Hawaii White Sands Beach with KendellLayout notes: The spark for this layout was that piece of dark-ish aqua cardstock. I found a whole pile of it during my recent room shuffle and determined to use it. This layout is for Nathan.

Journaling notes: I’m happy to have the story of the King Tide that nearly drowned my kids written down. Journaling strips take more time but I always love the outcome.

My goal for this layout: make a background with torn strips that mimics the sunset’s reflection on the ocean.

Supplies: “adventure” stamp by Citrus Twist * puffy stickers on date embellishment by Heidi Swapp

New/Old: the Citrus Twist stamp is new, but everything else is scraps.

What I learned: This layout is influenced by recent improv quilting squares I’ve made…I could feel my brain working in the exact same way. Also, you can smudge white foam alphas with stamping ink and it stays put.

What I would do different: Add a very thin mat in the dark aqua under the torn-paper mat.

Techniques to repeat: heat-embossed title, paper tearing, diagonal lines, journaling in strips.


Ml4l sketch adventure in paradise

  1. We Have Been Friends Together in Sunshine and in Shade

2021 05 01 Amy lunch with Becky and Chris friends together in sunshine and in shadeLayout notes: I printed this photo of me with my best friend and sister the first time we got together after our immunizations the day I took it! I didn’t want to let the moment slip past undocumented. The photo is 9x12, slightly trimmed, and was taken by a friendly stranger outside the restaurant we went to. This is for my book.

Journaling notes: I touched on a few things I am currently wrestling with, the outcome of the trump+pandemic shit show. Just a little touch of it. Wonder if it would be too dark to scrapbook how I really feel.

My goal for this layout: just to communicate how glad I am to have them in my life and to be able to spend time with them again.

Supplies: tile stamps by Heidi Swapp * “friends” and “together” stamp by Elle’s Studio * “sunshine” “and” and “shade” words, patterned paper strips, and die cut flowers by Felicity Jane

New/Old: I have accidentally subscribed to Heidi Swapp’s stamp kit, which I keep forgetting to cancel, and those tile alpha stamps are new from that. Everything else I’ve had for a while.

What I learned: you really can’t use a ton of embellishments with a great big photo. The font size of the journaling feels far too big to me.

What I would do different: center the half-circles on top of the journaling better.

Techniques to repeat: large photo, mixed-media title


Ml4l sketch friends in sunshine and shade

  1. Love These Faces

2018 09 24 Amy family photo shootLayout notes: I printed these photos from the family photo shoot we did in 2018 without really knowing where or how I would use them. I found them in a pile during my room reorg and put them near the top of my scrap-these-soon list just so that 6x6 photo, which is printed on metallic photo paper, didn’t get bent or scratched accidentally.

My goal for this layout: I didn’t really have one when I started it. Only when I started thinking about what I might write about them did I make the connection to use camera-themed embellishments to back up the journaling.

Supplies: “these faces” stamp and heart stencil by Felicity Jane * plum ink by Close to My Heart

New/Old: the alphabet stamps are about a year old I think, but this is just my second time using them. The patterned paper I fussy-cut all the cameras from is super old and the foam “love” is, too.

What I learned: I know this, but I remembered…journaling is sometimes a form of processing. I didn’t really consciously know I had these thoughts about photo shoots kicking around and I’m glad I got them out.

What I would do different: Nothing!

Techniques to repeat: fussy-cut embellishments, stencil + ink, labels on photos.


Ml4l sketch love these faces

What do you think? Is this a feature you’d like to see more often on my blog?