Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maui Trip Album | The Beginnings

It has been quiet around here on the blog in May.  I've been busy with fun, creating, and a road trip.  And an evacuation from a fire.  Plus I've been struggling lately about how much of my life to share here on the blog in such a public space.  This blog has been a great memory-keeping tool for me for the last seven years.  I love going back to read some of my posts to remember the details of trips and daily life.  But those posts can be done on a more private blog as well.  Some things to ponder...  I do love to share on Instagram though, because it is SO easy and it's sort of like microblogging.  Plus I feel like the engagement factor on Instagram makes it much more fun to share.  You can see likes, and people tend to comment more on Instagram because it's so easy from their phone.  You can follow me on Instagram for more timely photos and projects that I share there.  :)

But this post is actually about scrapbooking!  I wanted to try and do something that I’ve never done before:  scrapbook an entire vacation in a short time, just doing it as fast as I can.  I decided to try this with my Maui trip from December.  The basic premise of my process was that I wanted to make the pages as easy as possible.  I am usually a slow scrapbooker and struggle with moving stuff around my page too much, and being indecisive with what to use and where things go.  I wanted to eliminate those decisions and just scrapbook and embrace imperfection.  Besides, with so many photos from the trip and so many pages to scrap, it would take years to complete it with my regular slow process!


Here is the process I came up with:
  1. Create a new collection in Lightroom for the Maui trip and pick out photos.  Decide which photos will go on 12x12 layouts and which photos will be pocket pages.  Process and format them and get them printed at Costco.  (I normally print my photos at home, but this was over 100 photos.)
  2. Pick a scrapbook collection to use and basically stick with that.  This eliminates too many product choices.  I chose the Amy Tangerine Plus One collection. 
  3. Gather up tools and some supplemental supplies such as inks, stamps, and washi tape in the same color scheme and travel theme.
  4. Pre-cut up all the papers in different sizes for use on pages. 
  5. Plan the album by putting page protectors into the album and slipping photos for each 12x12 or pocket page into the protectors.  This puts the pages in order and gets me organized and ready to scrap!
  6. Scrap the pages in an assembly-line style.  This involves lining up a series of background cardstock and taking the photos out of the page protectors and just placing papers and scrapping.  Without too much indecision and in a speedy fashion. 

I did get a couple of photos printed big 12x12 at Costco, using some digital brushes on it first.  They turned out amazing!  I’ll be putting 12x12 scrapbook pages next to them in my album.

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The collection that I’ll be using for this project:  Amy Tangerine’s Plus One.

I recolored some labels in Photoshop to match the colors in the collection.  I love using labels to layer on 12x12 pages or in pocket pages.
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I wanted to use up every bit of the papers, AND I wanted to eliminate the indecision and slowness from cutting a piece off of a 12x12 paper and putting it onto a page.  Then choosing another piece of paper and cutting a piece off and putting it onto the page.  I wanted to pre-cut them all and just stick the appropriate colors and pieces onto the page along with my photos.  So I came up with some 12x12 paper cutting guides in Excel (total NERD alert!).  I came up with MANY ways to cut a piece of 12x12 paper, these are just a few of them.

You can download a PDF of all the 12x12 paper cutting options I came up with here, if you would like to try and scrapbook a project this way.  I could have come up with more, but I had to stop somewhere and start scrapping, ha ha! 

One tip:  if you plan to use the same collection in the corresponding pocket pages, make sure you trim some papers to 4x6 and 3x4 sizes.

In the midst of the cutting process…
(BTW, I got a new Fiskars Procision paper trimmer and it is absolutely AMAAAZING!  Has totally changed how much I hate trimming papers.  Cuts like butter and super-straight!  And you never need to change the blade on it.)

All my papers cut up into different sizes.

Planning the album while watching TV.  I put the background cardstock into page protectors, then I put the photos I want for each page into the protectors.  This way they are already in order and ready to scrap.

Planned out inserts for pocket pages.

Then the FUN begins, the part where I actually scrapbook!  I got to start my pages on National Scrapbook Day on May 3rd.  I had some friends over to celebrate the day together! 

Kelly, me, Kristen, and Pearl.  Todd helped me set up two long tables together in the living room.
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Kristen brought cookies from The Cravory.  Oh my!

I sat across from Pearl, who is expecting a baby girl.

Kristen & Kelly.  Kelly brought a HUGE bag of kettle corn!

And my favorite photo, taken by Todd from the stairs.

So how many pages did I get done?  Just six so far.  But this process has made it fairly fast for me to put my album together.  I am normally a slow scrapbooker, but I was able to scrap four of these pages in one afternoon (a record for me).

Two-pager about the Iao Valley.
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Left page.
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Right page.

A page about the resort we stayed at.
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Two-pager about our snorkel trip to Lanai.
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Left side.
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Right side.
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And of course a trip to Leonard’s for malasadas deserved its own page!
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I’ll be making more pages for my album soon.  I’ve been working on my April Project Life this past long weekend.  I am enjoying this process of scrapbooking our Maui trip and I’ll call this experiment a success for now!  I also loved having my friends over to scrapbook together on NSD. 

Let me know in the comments about your thoughts on scrapbooking an album project such as a vacation or trip, or if you have any questions about the process.

Don’t forget, you can download the 12x12 paper cutting guide I made here!


  1. YES!!! This is awesome, and your pages look great!!

    I actually used to do something really similar when I subscribed to Studio Calico- when the kit came in, I would immediately chop the paper into chunks before scrapping, and it made making layouts with the kits so much easier! At first I used cutting guides from Shimelle's The Perfect Collection class, but shrunk down a bit since I scrap smaller photos and use more white space than she does. Eventually I just started winging it, though. :) Now that I'm getting out of design teams I'm looking forward to having more time to scrap like this again.

    I think that this approach works so well because it helps to combat decision fatigue. Instead of choosing a paper and THEN deciding what size piece to cut and THEN figuring out where to put it, you look at your pre-cut pile of blocks and think something like, "oooh, pretty orange paper! I'll put that here!" So it not only speeds up the process, but by reducing the number of decisions you have to make it also means that you can scrap longer without burning out in any one session. It is also GREAT to stop you from hoarding pretty papers, since they're already cut up.

    And now my June Citrus Twist kit is sitting on my scrap table waiting for me to start my DT assignments, and I think I might just have to dive in and start cutting!

    Thanks so much for the awesome post!

    1. Thanks Melissa! I didn't realize Shimelle had a class about this! You mean I could have learned this long ago?? Ha ha. I am really enjoying scrapping this way!

    2. Her class started with cutting up the papers, but after that her process (and the sizes she uses, for sure!) are completely different from yours. When I took her class, it was a huge aha! moment for me, and I basically stopped at the cutting papers first part and ran with it from there. :)

  2. Man, your layouts are always amazing, keep 'em coming!

  3. Thanks for sharing your new discovered method and the spreadsheet. I am a slow scrapper, too. I can't seem to make fast enough decisions as to what I want to highlight or focus on the most so I get little done. Love those 12x12 prints. I may have to check out Costco photos. I thoroughly enjoy your blog - thanks for sharing.

  4. Ok, for real, this is so inspiring and I love your madness! It is quite the method and it seems like it all was sooo effortless but yet so complicatedly lovely!!!

  5. Are you kidding me?! this is absolutely amazing. I am going to have to come back to actually read the entire post and look at the photos when I have more time. YOU ROCK!!

  6. I love this album! I also really love how you jumped right in and cut up all your papers. So brave and it looks AMAZING on the page! Thanks for sharing! (I am horrible at documenting trips =(

  7. I love your posts and there is ALWAYS something great to try. Please, never stop, But I know blogging is a lot of work and it's time that could have been spent crafting or enjoying life. Anyway, thanks for still doing it. Shimelle said in her "try something new" class that you are more likely to use a piece of 12x12 paper if you pre cut it. Great minds think alike!

  8. Wow, you open a new world to me, I've never even thought about cutting my paper without knowing exactly what i need for a specific project... but now I see the cleverness of this, it's amazing and I'm going to try it! Thanks, you are always the best and my favorite :) <3

  9. Like I already gushed to you on FB, I think this is a FANTASTIC way to tackle a huge project like this. I am working on an album project myself ((I have a series of posts on my blog about it:, and I think my process is fairly similar to yours, though I probably should have done a bit more pre-planning of the paper cutting part of things. I limited myself even further by using just 3 sketches throughout the entire album, because I decided to do a single-photo-layout+supporting divided page protector for each day in the album. I am so pleased with how quickly it is going! It's basically batch-processed scrapbooking.

    I have to admit, I *am* getting a bit of fatigue working on the album (there are 31+ layouts in it), since there's not a lot of variation. But it's going to look awesome and coordinated when it's done-- and that's the key-- it WILL get finished!!

    I love the layouts you've finished so far. They are still completely your style, even though you finished them so much faster than you normally would, which is awesome! I can't wait to see more!!


  10. The whole cutting your paper thing is genius. And the fact that you have a diagram of all the different ways to cut a 12x12 sheet? You. Are. Awesome! Haha! :)

  11. This is such a great post! I liked shimelkes class to but needed smaller cuts - thanks for the new guides! The layouts are beautiful - I love Maui!

  12. Thanks for sharing your process! Like you I can overcomplicate a project quickly and solutions like this make decisions easy. This collection is a great match for your sunny and bright Hawaii photos!

  13. Oh I hope that you don't quit bloging at all, I love reading your blog, and getting ideas on how to scrapbook for project life. I hope that this doesn't sound to wierd but I was getting a tadbit concerned when you hadn't updated after the fire. Prayed a little prayer that you guys were safe and sound and away from the fire. Kris

  14. your maui pix are making me more excited for our return to maui next week! :)


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