Documenting My Life: Episode 6

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner


everyday scrapbook 2013

One of the benefits of documenting memories through a system that uses pre-divided page protectors is that it makes the process quicker.

There are still decisions to make about what colors and patterns and embellishments to use, as well as photo editing decisions, but the predetermined sizes eliminate a lot of the decision making about overall page design.  Knowing before I start working with a week's worth of photos that the process will go faster than traditional scrapbooking does has helped me to keep going with this project; however, there are weeks where even the limited decision making requires more time than I feel I have to give. I have a few tricks that help during these weeks. 

This first tip I'm sharing is one I use every single time I work on this project. I know that this is going to be the way I document the majority of my photos, so when I cut into a sheet of cardstock or patterned paper, I go ahead and cut it down to 4 inch x 6 inch pieces. This makes choosing background colors and patterns for my pages go much quicker. If I have a 2 inch x 3 inch pocket to fill, I can quickly cut down one of my 4 inch x 6 inch pieces and fill 2 of the smaller pockets. If it's a piece of paper I think I might want to use for a larger project later, I cut it down to (3) 4 inch x  6 inch pieces and (1) 6 inch x 12 inch piece and save the larger piece separately.


shapes punched from blank journaling cards using a Fiskars punch


I use handwritten journaling almost exclusively. I still love using typewriter fonts, but I love having completed pages more. I use a lot of 2.75 inch x 3.75 inch blank journaling cards. To break of the monotony of big blocks of journaling, I sometimes punch shapes from the cards and journal on them.


strips of patterned paper as embellishments


When using a square photo and a square journaling card together, adding a small strip of patterned paper punched with a Fiskars Interchangeable Border Punch may be the embellishment you really need. Quick and easy, and you can pre-punch a variety of border strips to keep on hand for days when your time is limited.


white address label used for journaling


One of my favorite ways to use my Fiskars punches for quick embellishing with this project is to punch plain white mailing labels with a Fiskars border punch and journal on them.


images stamped with Fiskars stamps onto patterned paper


Stamps are another tool to use for quick embellishment. Here I used one of my pre-cut patterned paper pieces (3 inch x 4 inch), stamped it with a frame stamp, added 1/2 of a blank journaling card with handwritten journaling. I then stamped a simple graduation-themed image for a fun touch.


title for a photo stamped onto patterned paper


Here, I stamped a title for my photo directly onto one of my pre-cut 4 inch x 6 inch pieces of patterned paper.


week 19 layout - side by side


Here is a photo of my 2-page spread for week 19 where you can see how I have incorporated these quick tips.


week 19 page 1 close up


A close up of page 1.


week 19 page 2 closeup


A close up of page 2.


week 20 side by side layout


A photo of my 2-page spread for week 20.


week 20 page 1 closeup


A close up of page 1.


week 20 page 2 closeup


A close up of page 2.


A special thank you to Ruby Rock-It, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Fancy Pants Designs, and My Mind's Eye for providing the patterned papers for these pages, and to Echo Park Paper for the fun banner stickers on my pet photos on week 19.

Supply List

Pocketed photo album pages

Decorative papers

Stamping ink

Preprinted journaling cards (optional)


Pen and/or printer for journaling