Scrapping the Sad Times

We don’t often scrapbook sad events.  For one, we aren’t likely to photograph those events.  It’s celebrations, vacations, and time spent with family that we record in pictures.  When bad things happen, we don’t reach for a camera.  Time is spent dealing with the situation.  Those are also events that we just don’t want to remember and relive.

This is one of the rare times that I did stop and take a couple of pictures.  Our girl kitty was sick, and we were at home waiting on some test results.  I could tell by how dull her eyes were that something was very wrong.  She rested on me all morning, which was also unusual.  You can see by the look on my face that I just knew this may be the last time I would be able to hold her… and it was.  She went into the vet that same day, and passed a few days later.

It wasn’t easy to sit down and put this page together.  In fact, the photos sat there for over 2 years before I was ready to touch them.  Not only did they bring back the memories, but I wanted to make sure that I created something that was a proper tribute to her.  The last thing I wanted to do was create a page that was less than worthy of my favorite little princess.

Our Girl

My first step for this layout was picking out the papers.  I probably sifted through an 8 inch stack of paper before I found one that I wanted to use.  I chose that floral paper that runs horizontally across the page.  I thought it was very pretty, just like my girl.  Then I pulled the black tone on tone floral from my scraps.  It felt right for a sad page.  With those two patterns, I decided to pull cardstock for the rest.  The page would become too busy with additional patterns.  I wanted the focus to stay on the photos.  I simply chose the red and blue cardstock to match the multi-color flowers, then picked a white cardstock background.

I also kept the design very clean and simple.  The floral paper with the photos on top are the main focus.  All of the embellishment is tight to the photos.  It’s not perfect.  The three areas of embellishment should be more spread out.  It never looks quite right when you form a right triangle.  (Again, I am a math teacher… sorry.)  That being said, I do really like the clusters.  I made sure that each included a die-cut flower as well as some small metallic dots.  Each cluster also has some form of a gold heart and a die-cut made out of kraft paper.

Though it was a struggle emotionally to get these photos scrapped, I am glad I did it.  Our girl kitty was part of our lives for a decade.  She deserves to be remembered, even when the circumstances were so sad.

When a Plan Doesn’t Come Together

I had a plan for this page… I really did.  It all started with a challenge to create a star border for your photos.  Then I was going to combine it with another challenge that required some stitching.  In order for this plan to work, I needed to cut out a multitude of stars… which I did.  However, I didn’t really have a range of sizes that I needed to create the border I pictured in my mind.  Still, I persisted… and failed.  I just could not get a border to look right at all!  *Sigh*  So after an hour or so of just moving stars around, I gave up and started again

This time I went for a far more plain (and not at all what I had in mind) design.  I wound up choosing just a few stars and putting them across the layout diagonally.  I also fussy cut a few clouds to place on top.  In order to balance it out down below, I added a tag so that I could add a bit of journaling.  The title was done using a wonder Freckled Fawn alphabet.  It’s really my favorite part of this disaster of a layout!

Bad Hair

Just a heads up if you ever decide to hand stitch on stars, make sure you choose smaller stitches than I did.  I was making longer stitches in order to save a little time.  That strategy also backfired.  You see, a star has indents.  When you run the stitch across the back, the floss wants to go across those indents and show.  It took quite a bit of manipulation on my part to keep those backside stitches from showing.  Never again!

In the end, I suppose the layout does a pretty good job of mirroring my mess of hair in the photo.  It too started with a plan (or brush), and quickly spiraled out of control.

Scrapping With Supplies I Didn’t Buy

No, no, I didn’t steal them!  I happen to have some wonderful friends and family that give me a few supplies.  If you are an avid scrapbooker, you know the kinds of papers that you tend to gravitate towards.  The problem (okay, it’s so not a problem) with supplies you are given, is that they may not be your style.  If they aren’t your style, then it is likely that you will have trouble using them.

Sometimes, those papers that you generally wouldn’t reach for turn out to be exactly what you need.  In this case, I had some photos from Animal Kingdom’s Jambo House to scrap.  All of the brown and tan in the photos just didn’t scream aqua and pink to me.  I have a LOT of aqua and pink papers.  However, I was gifted a safari themed paper pad a while back that was absolutely perfect!  If you look closely at the prints, not only is there the spotted giraffe paper, but the tan/yellow paper is covered in giraffes!  The striped paper was also in that collection.  All I needed to add were 2 colors of green cardstock… one for the background, and one to mat the photos.


Since there were 6 photos, I needed to make a two page layout.  These are definitely not in my wheelhouse.  I did what I always do when I have no clue where to start… I went to Pinterest.  I found a sketch online that used the same number of photos and were the correct orientation.  Obviously I spend too much time on Pinterest!  The one I chose only included 2 paper strips that ended in banners.  Though I liked the banners, I knew I wanted that cute giraffe chipboard piece right where they were supposed to be.

Once I got my papers and photos placed, it was time to figure out how to embellish the page.  The sketch called for 2 wide banners up in the upper right hand corner.  I adjusted that to use the 3 papers from below.  I placed some chipboard pieces to decorate them, then added in brads on either side.  (Whenever I get a chance to use brads, I do.  I purchased quite a few when I began scrapbooking, but they are difficult for me to use.  Let’s be real… anything that once placed, can’t easily be moved, is not a good product for me.)  I knew I wanted to use that giraffe on the lower left.  It doesn’t match the feel of the papers, but I don’t care!  It was just too cute to leave off of the page.

There were two more places that needed some work.  The upper left hand corner needed a title.  The lower right was supposed to be a journaling spot.  I wasn’t quite sure about what to do in either of these spaces.  After looking through some old chipboard, I found that “Noted” piece.  I liked that it was neutral in color and helped fill up the space.  I also decided to use two alpha sets to add a little more interest.  Finally, I added the cute vine.  The lower right was a problem because I didn’t really have anything to journal… at least not enough to fill up the space.  It turns out, the backside of the striped paper was a cut-apart sheet.  I thought that the “safari adventure” was not only the correct size, but a great compliment to the wildlife photos.  I added a coordinating chipboard piece that allowed for my brief journaling, along with a couple of other small embellishments.

Overall, it’s a pretty clean layout.  It won’t win any creativity awards.  However, it’s precisely what I wanted for a page about our tall spotted friends.  I love that I was able to finally use some of those wonderful papers that were given to me.  I think this layout does them justice.