As I spend more time organizing and familiarizing myself with my supplies, I am beginning to look at them in new light. As they are tagged with keywords and then viewed in different contexts outside of just kit and designer, I am inspired to scrap by color, pattern, etc. I love how this gives me a completely new view on all the things I’ve collected over the years.
This has been especially the case with my templates. They are stored in folder by designer, however, when I choose the keyword “template” in Lightroom, that pulls everything out of context As I view them out of context, the 402 templates in my library from several different designers bring up new possibilities. I am also able to view the templates out of the context of the albums they may be in – which also brings more inspiration and possibilities.
I am a huge fan of Cathy Z’s clean and simple style, if you take a look at my library, over 100 of my templates were designed by her. (This is another quirky thing you figure out when you organize things – designers you favor, favorite colors, styles, etc.)
In the past few weeks I was working on a few projects – one being a special scrapbook for our foreign exchange student. When she leaves, I want her to take a scrapbook home with her, filled with memories and the fun things she has done while here. I also wanted it to be something that incorporated Chinese words and phrases and I wanted it to be a surprise which means I couldn’t get her help with those phrases!
I started by looking through my template library – I wanted simple and clean – just like Jessica’s style – and the first template I chose was Cathy’s Template 51. I wanted to start with the story of how Jessica got here – and also a few photos she brought to share with us of her childhood before she came to live with us. (I hurried and scanned the photos one evening after she left them on the coffee table a few months ago – not sure at the time how I would be using them, just knowing I would.) The template 51 was the perfect starting place -
I added the photos of Jessica’s childhood to the template and then filled in the journaling. I wanted to document how she came to live with our family – it wasn’t by chance. Most families have a full year to get to know their student – we had less than six weeks as Jessica’s original family couldn’t take her because of a medical problem that wasn’t anticipated. As for us, we hadn’t ever even thought of hosting – it only happened after a dream and some interesting things occurring. I wanted to record that story for Jessica (and also for us).
Next how to take a large number of photos of things we had done these past few months and consolidate them into an underwhelming number of pages while still telling the story? As I viewed my templates, I kept coming back to a few that had a large number of photo spaces and simple and clean journaling – Cathy’s School Album set.
After that it was the simple task of selecting the photos, adding them to the templates and journaling. I wanted to have Chinese characters in each main title of the page – but how to do it?
Enter Google Translate – a very cool tool that allowed me to enter a page title in English and then quickly find the Chinese characters for it. Although I must warn you if you are trying to add Chinese characters to a page, not all fonts support them. My favorite for Chinese characters is now Hei. I already had it in my list of fonts – I am sure there are others that will work.
One small note on Google Translate, sometimes when you are translating between English and Chinese – things are completely different – when it comes to CHOIR for example, the Chinese language has many words for this – most meaning church choir and some meaning a performance – the best way to check and double check is to cut and paste and translate back to English to see what you get and/or click on the detailed dictionary link (is it’s available) for more information.
You can see a few more of the layouts I created for the album using templates here. This will be an ongoing project – as the year continues, I will continue to create pages to add to the album, at the end having a complete album along with a gift of one of these, symbolic of the fact that as she returns home, Jessica will always be in our hearts.
What’s your latest scrapbooking project? We’d love to hear about it!