Showing posts with label scrapbooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scrapbooking. Show all posts

fill-in-the-picture books

This post is another tip of the hat to my mom. Somehow she finds these awesome albums that tell you what pictures to place where. This book is a book about Ivar's baptism that she put together. This is her 7th baptism book as she has made one of these for each of her grandkids. It means that she comes to the service equipped with a list that she usually passes onto my aunt louie with items listed like: exterior of the church, baptismal font, baby with pastor, inside of the church etc. Then those 20 pictures get placed throughout this book that weaves a story around the pictures, explaining what baptism is and then you add the details:
It's a super cool teaching tool for passing on the faith, so that when Ivar is older we can talk about baptism and what it means to be baptized into the kingdom of God. My niece Sonna was baptized in Flathead Lake and she will "read" this one to us with her own script, "once I was a teeny, tiny baby and there's pastor wayne in his shorts and we all walked into the lake..."

The baptism book mom uses can be ordered online here or here, if you're interested.

the mini album

My mom is the queen of the mini album. For each of her grandchild she has created a "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" book using all of the members of our family for the different pages. My niece, Sonna, once called and told me she could 'read' her book all by herself and then read the thing to me three times in a row.

I love these books because they reinforce family no matter how far away the family is. All of Ivar's cousins on the Harrington side live in Montana or Washington, so books like this are really, really important to me.

Mom also makes small albums for each grandchild after she visits them. She takes a ton of pictures on her trips and then comes home to develop and assemble an individual book that will be sent in the mail. She has done this since her grandkids were babies, so when you visit my brother or sister, you will find these 4x6 albums strewn all around the house. Again, it is reinforcing family and all the fun we have together, even when we live an airplane ride apart. To see these simple albums, click here.

another scrapbooking game plan

I have written a lot on this blog about my plans for scrapbooking. I got really excited about digital scrapbooking for a while. And then I found templates that made it super easy. I thought this style of month-by-month scrapbooking was going to be my scrapbook solution, but each month still took about 2 hours to compile, and honestly I am still stuck back in September. Once Ivar was born, I realized that if I didn't figure out a game plan quick, I'd be overwhelmingly behind. My game plan this time around had to be super, super simple. The solution: print the pictures. Stick them in an album. I waited for a deal at Walgreens and printed 400 pictures. My plan is that these albums will be family albums...not just Ivar albums. This means that when kid #2 comes, their pictures will just be added in chronological order with the rest of the pictures. This is not Ivar's baby book. It also doesn't mean that I am done scrapbooking! My hope is that if I feel so inspired, I might choose to scrapbook a vacation's worth of pictures, or some other picture-happy event. But if it just doesn't happen, those pictures can go into this album guilt-free. What I love about scrapbooking is the combination of story and pictures and mementos. So this album is going to have it all, just without the cropping, matting, trimming and embellishments of an entirely crafted scrapbook. On the page above I have included our three parking stubs from going to the hospital three times before Ivar was born, our hospital wristbands and the sheet of paper we wrote my contractions on. A friend recently introduced me to Project Life and this is sort of the same idea, just without purchasing the kit.
I have places on most pages that at this point are left empty and will be filled with journaling cards next. I have been looking around for the perfect fit, and so far I haven't found many options. I do like Amy Butler's journaling cards, but I have a feeling I may end up making my own 4 x 6 cards to write on, which will probably be a welcome reason to get out my cutter and sticky adhesive :) The other option would be to go digital for the journaling cards and print them like pictures. I'll keep you posted on what I settle on...

So there it is. My latest picture documenting game plan. Give me another few months. It may change yet again. But for now, I'm just proud to be current with Ivar's life!

I got my album from Michaels when it was on sale for $17. It holds 400 pictures and I love that there are vertical and horizontal slots on each page. Michaels also has refill pages available for this album. I can't find what brand or company created this's not labeled anywhere on the album. But they came in a rainbow of colors, with this sort of textured fabric cover. I bought three albums that day and filled the other two with childhood pictures and now plan to purchase a few more so they're ready for the next batch of prints (thankfully our picture taking is slowing down a bit...)

cousins clothesline

This week on zee blog I am going to be sharing a whole lot of picture projects I have been working on. A few weeks ago I decided that I am not going to just take pictures. I am going to print pictures too. And with the printed pictures, I have decided on a game plan for scrapbooking with Ivar... a way to document his life. Just wait until you see it. It is simple, simple, simple and I love it.

This first project took me 10 minutes to assemble. Ivar has six cousins on each side and so using a picture of him with each of his cousins, I tacked up a piece of twine, found teeny tiny clothes pins at Michaels and hung up this cousins clothesline, inspired by this blog post I saw a long, long time ago.

I like this idea because as Ivar grows and I print different pictures of him with his cousins, I can easily swap them out for a quick update.

july in pictures


I've had a few girlfriends ask me about the monthly digital scrapbooking. I thought I'd take a minute to document the details.

1.This first link is the link to Cathy Z's page with all the how-to's and what-for's. I use purely digital and I love it. It's fast, my friend. Once you get this down it is possible to plug and chug a months worth of pictures in two hours. No kidding.

2. The templates can be purchased at designer digitals by clicking this link.

3. Now, to learn how to use these digital templates, as well as the basics of photoshop, you really should order Jessica Sprague's Up and Running with Photoshop class. During week three there is a tutorial on how to use digital templates. Watch this, and then watch your scrapbooking life change forever.

4. I print my pages at I did my first batch in matte, but I MUCH prefer the glossy (my second batch)...they look much more professional. And for the record, they have never been able to process my credit card on this site. They can take my order, but I always have to call the next day during working hours to give them my credit card over the phone. It's a pain. And when they answer the phone it's something like "Hello Instyprints" and so clearly this little printing website is just an offshoot of a local printshop. But the quality of the printing and the price make up for the hassel.


I did my July pictures last night and am finding that some months Rory and I never take pictures of ourselves. It made me smile to think of how this will change when the baby comes, documenting our own little family ALL THE TIME. I also realized how great my blog is for making me take pictures of the ordinary. I really love that I have pics of the orange goo I had to drink for my doctor's appointment. I know the camera was whipped out purely for the blog that day, but now I love that I have that picture. It tells a whole (sicky) story of its own...


my scrapbook solution.

I have been tossing ideas around in my head for what I am going to do scrapbook-wise when the baby comes. Some of the ideas have been very grand. Some of them have been fabulous, but unrealistic. Then I found Cathy Z's templates for "a month in review." I bought the digital templates and in two hours I had made seven pages of layouts, ordered the cardstock version online, and considered my month of April pictures documented. Man, I felt good.

It's basically just cropping pictures. But let me promise you, these are pictures that would have never seen the light of day unless I found a quick solution to get them printed and into albums. I'm just that backlogged. Now that April is done, I'm hopeful to work backwards and see if I can't do pages for all of 2010.

The funny thing about this process, is that it is essentially old-school scrapbooking, when you would print your pictures and place them in an album immediately. There are no embellishments. There isn't even the responsibility of journaling for every single event. I like having one page of journaling at the end...this month it was mostly explaining who we were with for what occasion- not a lot of personality. But again, at least these pictures are compiled, printed and put in an album.
This week I will work on my May layouts. I really think I will be able to keep up with this plan, since two hours of scrapping equals one month of picture documentation. I can do this. By the time baby arrives, I hope to be a well-oiled machine.

documenting seven ordinary days

For years now I have been following Ali Edwards, guru of simple, storytelling scrapbooking. Somehow she makes it all seem less complicated, more doable, and every time her layouts are stunning and relatively uncluttered.

Every year she chooses one week, seven full days, to document the every day happenings in their family. Our scrapbooks often highlight the highs of the year...trips, holidays, special occasions, and this is all great. But in between those highlights are a whole lot more ordinary days that actually are a more accurate depiction of our life.

I've observed this week for three years now, simply by doing that: observing Ali as she does this project. But behold! Something has come over me this year, and I'm in. I didn't participate the past few years because I thought since we don't have kids, there wouldn't really be a whole lot to document in terms of actual things happening. But looking back, had I started this project, I'd have a week of our "normal" life while we lived in Montana, our "normal" when we lived in Minnesota and our "normal" last year in Nebraska. And I'm already bummed I didn't jump on this wagon earlier.

So this year, I'm grabbing my camera and will take pictures of the ordinary: my daily bowl of raisin nut bran that gets me started each day, my husband picking away at his laptop, my work, our church, and all the other ordinary things that given a bit of time and perspective, won't all seem so ordinary.

All of the details can be found's a lot of digging around to get a feel, but at its core, it's creating a scrapbook of ordinary life, grocery shopping receipts, to-do lists and I'm excited to get started.

Anybody want to do this with me?!! It begins Monday April 19th.

reunion album complete!

I had posted the first two pages of this album here, explaining Grandma's birthday party and how amazing this family reunion was. And, since posting those pictures, Grandma has been talking seriously about planning her next birthday party. I can't wait!

This is a completely different way to scrapbook. It is more art than story. The pictures are stunning and I loved decorating them. But the wordy girl in me was dying not to journal on each page. With the pages so skinny, a lot of text quickly ate up the layout. So I gave up trying and finally settled into just playing with ribbon and flowers and buttons. It was so different and it was so fun to experiment and play.

I think it is really good to challenge myself creatively like this. I have a pretty standard way that I scrapbook, with lots of layered paper, borders and a few embellishments. But this was totally use ribbon and make everything three use some sequence and fabric and glue was just good and helped me get out of my creative box.

I still wanted to get the story of the week told within the album, so in the end I wrote out one long journal post and printed it out for the last page.

I love how this album turned out and now I have lots of ideas for how to incorporate these new techniques into other projects and handmade albums. I tell you what. That Donna Downey is pretty amazing and I am so grateful for her style and example while playing with ribbon, flowers, fabric and ink. So stinkin fun.

fun and games

template by the great Jessica Sprague and supplies from Crystal Wilkerson

A few Christmas' ago, Stumblebum was introduced to the Groves Family Christmas. Lisa brought it, and I remember the game made for the best pictures. We played again this year, and clearly the picture taking opportunities did not disappoint.

The game is easy. It is your basic game of charades, but before you act out your list of words, you roll two dice. On each die there are different things you have to do while acting out your card such as fingers crossed, hand over eyes, hand on head, eyes closed, hum a song, on one leg etc...

I recommend this game for families that need a full participation game for all ages.

I am trying to get my christmas pictures into digital layouts right away. Digital scrapbooking is so quick, and I am beginning to utilize ready-made templates. It means that the Stumblebum layout above took me about 15 minutes to put together...not bad for getting so many pictures showcased on one page.

The template I used is up at as a free download. Plus, Jessica has a video tutorial of how to use the template right on that main page (just scroll down). If you have Photoshop or if you have ever wanted to get a better idea of how digital scrapbooking works, I recommend you buzz over to Jessica's website to watch the tutorial. I think you'll be glad you did.

abc book

My mom had this super fun idea to make an alphabet book for her five grandkids using pictures from our family to show things that begin with each letter. My brother has three kids and my sister has two kids and the five kids span five years of age: Penelope is 1, Sonna is 2, Simon is 3, Mara is 4 and Claire is 5. One, two, three, four, five.

We worked this weekend picking our digital papers and lettering and these are my first two pages. The picture of Simon in the doll bed was a hysterical morning at my parent's last thanksgiving when apparently he got out of his bed and couldn't find it again, but found this doll bed and fell back asleep! I still laugh out loud when I see that picture. And Claire had a similar experience when she (at her own house) fell asleep in Betty-the-dog's bed.

I've got fun pictures that mom has gathered for all 26 letters and I'm so excited to put it all together. I'll keep you posted!

My font in print

I have a great friend from seminary, Jen, who just posted this advent picture on her blog. It's a promo poster for a series of Sunday family service projects she is leading at the church where she is a pastor. I don't know if it gets more exciting than this, but THAT IS MY FONT!!! She downloaded it, and is using it, and at a church somewhere in Tacoma, Washington, my handwriting is posted all over the bulletin boards. I remember making handmade posters all the time in high school for our student council dances, and always thinking it was funny to see my handwriting all over the school, knowing that it was mine, but knowing no one else knew that (or cared!) Basically, seeing Jen's poster is that feeling times ten. People, if you have handwriting that is legible, you've got to try making a font out of it. Just go to for the step-by-step.

Final shout out for Jessica Sprague!

Once again, if you're looking to learn something new, want to stretch yourself creatively and enjoy gathering stories and memories, BE SURE TO GO OVER TO JessicaSprague and sign up for her FREE Holidays in Hand class.

You do not need to have photoshop for this class. And you do not even need to have time within the next week to complete the class. It is self-paced and the materials are yours forever, so if you don't get to the class until January, you'll be fine. It's free, and it's a beautiful introduction to Jessica, a fantastic teacher who has taught me literally everything I know about digital scrapbooking. Registration ends on Monday night at midnight, so jump on board. It's going to be a good time!

(this is a picture of the book we made last year in her free class. It was a lot of material that we printed off to make this fabulous book that has lists and lists of writing prompts, conversation starters and creative topics for scrapbooking. I am guessing the Holidays in Hand class will be similiar, except with a Thanksgiving and Christmas emphasis...)

My font is ready for download...

I have a few persistent friends who have been asking that I post my font so they can download it for their own use. This is pretty easy to do. (Well, actually it's easy if you're married to Rory Groves and he helps you put the process into easy step-by-step tasks. Thanks Rory.)

  1. Download file by clicking here: BeccaGrovesFont

  2. When asked whether to open or save it, save it to your Desktop.

  3. Then double-click the file "BeccaGrovesFont" on your desktop to open it.

  4. Click the button on your new window that says, "Extract all files"
    (Windows XP Users: Click on File > Extract all)
  5. You should see another folder with the BeccaGrovesFont in it.

    Windows Vista users:
    Right click BeccaGrovesFont and select "Install".

    Windows 2000/XP users must take a few more steps:
  6. Click Start > Control Panel, and double-click the Fonts folder
  7. Copy "BeccaGrovesFont.ttf" file from the extracted folder (step 4) to the Fonts folder

The next time you open Word or Photoshop, BeccaGrovesFont will be on your list.

back from vacation...

Today I left these lovely ladies in Montana, and flew home to the love of my life. It's a good thing I love Rory so much, because leaving these girls was really hard. Mara pointed out many times during my four days there, "I am growing bigger legs are way longer" or "because I can see out my window better in my carseat!"

I soaked up the Flathead Valley, soaked in every moment of sister time, and laughed hard with her strong, opinionated, hysterical girls. Jedd was in Minnesota for most of the time, so it really just was a good ol' girls get together. We built forts, played with glitter glue, played lots of candy land and did a 64 piece strawberry shortcake puzzle close to 64 times, watched little orphan Annie, went out for hot chocolate, played at the park, celebrated Annika's birthday a bit early with a tea party and hung out on a beautiful dock on Flathead Lake.

The good news? Only 49 days until I see these guys again at Christmas!!!