Creating a Summer Album

Two scrapbook pages created by my mom in 1999!

During the Find Your Voice class, I was inspired to document some of my favorite summer stories in one album. I have my childhood scrapbooked in chunky 12×12 albums thanks to my mom and her Creative Memories business.

The thing about those albums is that they are done in her style, and in the past few years I’ve been figuring out my own creative style (Find Your Voice definitely helped with this). It’s also been a struggle for me to document my stories since I graduated from high school because I felt like I needed to wait until I had kids of my own to document my adult years. I’m done with that kind of thinking now!

Picking an album

When I bought this yellow travelers notebook album from Citrus Twist Kits back in January, it just felt like summer. I was excited to use it to document summer 2020. Then the coronavirus hit and summer plans changed–the album almost felt like it was mocking me. I had to rethink my approach, and I decided it would be my home for my summer memories from the last ten years.

Last year I started a fall album because it’s my favorite season. It was fun to use that season as a lens for telling stories over the years. I’m excited to now apply that to summer photos and stories. This is also my first time documenting in the TN size.

Project prep

To look at my summer photos at a glance, I opened the Photos app on my MacBook and searched the word “summer.” This pulled up all my photos from June 1 to August 31 each year since 2011 when I started using Apple products. From there I could visually see themes and pick out stories I knew I wanted to tell. I started a Google doc to map out all my ideas.

An important part of this project for me is doing it non-linearly. I’m giving myself permission to jump around as inspired. I’m not pushing myself to tell every single summer story possible or in any particular order–which is very freeing for me as an enneagram 1. For supplies, I knew I wanted to create a summer kit so I would be able to access my products easily. I pulled the summer pages out of my Happy Planner seasonal sticker books. I picked out paper, journaling cards, and washi that felt bright and summery too.

Creating pages

Here are some of the different types of pages I’ve been making so far:

Digital pages & printing at home

Digital pages are my comfort zone. I have experience with Photoshop–although sometimes it’s easier to just use Canva. I can quickly create layouts and then print them at home on photo paper. (Ali Edwards makes some of my favorite digital products.) As much as I love the final result, I don’t always love the extra time staring at a screen since I spend 8 hours a day at the computer for work. I knew I didn’t want my whole album to be digital layouts.

Paper freak out

An interesting thing happened when I went to make my first physical page for this album: I freaked out. With digital pages, I can easily hit the undo button. My anxiety tried to convince me I couldn’t do this in paper form. I made 100 daily pages this year, but something about these bigger pages just got to me. I had to force myself to just commit to taping things down and moving on.

Hybrid pages

Hybrid pages seem like a good comprise for me. For this page, I printed the text, but then left room to add stamps. I’m excited to do more pages like this.

From social media

One way I collected stories for this album was going through old social media posts. I originally posted this photo on Facebook so I took the caption and printed it out for my journaling on this page. I would rather have my stories documented this way than having them only on social media.

Small snippets

A common theme in my summer photos is travel, but I didn’t want the pressure to tell the whole story of every trip in this summer album. I decided to just include the simple details: who, when, and where.

Intro pages

I still don’t have my opening page done–I am definitely overthinking it. These are my second and third pages. The left side is a digital Studio Calico card that I turned into a full size page. The right side has a digital Ali Edwards stamp with some journaling (using the Retro Hip Handwritten Font) about what this project means to me and where my head is at right now.

Here’s what I wrote:

July 2020: Life is so weird right now. So during this strange summer at home, I want to look back and document some of my favorite summer memories from the last ten years. I don’t have a lot of the stereotypical summer photos. I haven’t been on a beach vacation in over ten years (and this year we don’t know if our vacation to Delaware will work out). I rarely swim anymore (I have hope that that will change now that Eric’s new house has a pool). I don’t have a lot of cute sunglasses selfies (I hate wearing my contacts, and let’s be honest, my fitover sunglasses are functional but not cute). But anyway, I do love summer. I enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather. I’m getting more comfortable rocking summer clothes. For me, summer is usually filled with lots of family time and gets me to go with the flow instead of trying to plan everything. I also love the opportunity to do more travelling. It is a bit weird now that I’m working at ACM, and summer sort of passes by like every other season. In summation (because I don’t really know how to wrap this up), here are my summer stories.

I’m really excited about continuing to work on this album during this weird coronavirus summer!

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  1. I love this so much! I don’t know if I’ve ever thought about making an album through the lens of a season, but I could totally see myself doing this. Thanks for the inspiration!!