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Anatomy of an Album

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Here's a look into Simon's 2007 album. It's a good example of what all the mixed-up page sizes look like when they are together in the album. I have also created a new photo album over on the side bar so you can see all the photos in a group.


The album interior you see here is not in date order for the year yet. I grabbed my 2007 pile and put them in randomly before heading to the Portland CKC Convention last weekend. Planning to move them around within the album so that they are as close to chronological as possible (taking into account single page layouts vs. spreads vs. different sizes).


I like chronology in the anatomy of my albums, but am not concerned with it in terms of story telling + creating.


I am using the cloth 3-ring binder albums from American Crafts - you can find them online here and here or check at your local store.


[ Many of the pages below are featured, with supplies listed, in my book Life Artist © 2007 or in my column in Creating Keepsakes © 2007 ]


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This layout, created in 2007, shows a variety of different photos over the last few years. Makes a nice opening page.


For more information on divided page protectors check out this post.


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The back of this divided page protector (and others you will see below) are currently empty. My plan is to create pages/content to fill in those spaces or just add in photos.


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Another back that can be filled in with either a complete story or five different ones (each on their own individual canvas).


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One of the big hurdles for people to move away from post bound albums seems to be a fear that 2-page spreads won't translate with the ringed-gap in the middle. I have no issue with 2-page spreads that don't "touch." I find that my eyes automatically connect the two together based on their shared colors, photos, embellishments, and design.


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Another common question I receive is what to do about single page layouts. I have been doing a combination of single and double pages since I started scrapbooking. I like having variety. I just stick the single page layouts right into the album (in date order when I am paying close attention). Your children and your family will not even notice that there are single page vs. double page spreads. They are going to be interested in the photos and the stories. Some stories need two or more pages; others need just one. 


And again, one of my favorite things about these sorts of albums is that it is easy to insert new pages and move things around to accommodate new stories you are telling.


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This is the back of a divided page protector with two, 6 inch x 12 inch pockets. I am thinking that I will do two individual pages that are each 6x12 for these spaces.


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In addition to the purchased divided page protectors, I also have quite a few page protectors that I have simply cut and stitched to fit my page size. The ""today you" page here is one that I ran right through the sewing machine to create the 6 inch x 12 inch pocket.


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Such a great helper in turning the pages for me.


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Here's an example of a layout where I stitched two page protectors together (which creates a seam that brings the double page layout together). I did this mainly because it was actually a three page layout and I wanted to literally communicate that within the album. Close up:


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One of my all time favorites. Words + photos.


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Thanks buddy!


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Questions? Leave a comment and I will answer them in an upcoming post.


[ Follow up post with Q & A can be found here. ] 

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180 thoughts

  1. Janie says…
    03/05/2008

    Ali -- I appreciate what you wrote about your not being concerned about two-page spreads being connected in three-ring binders. Question: do you ever create a two-page spread where your layout is such that a photo spans the two pages? That is the one instance where the non-post binder trips me up. Just curious as to your thoughts on that. Thanks in advance.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Tracy Anderson says…
    03/05/2008

    Wow, Ali..... what a super awesome post....
    I don't even know what to say because that was just truly cool! Thanks for the great peek into not just your album anatomy, but your day-to-day family life. You really are such an inspiring person. I consider myself lucky to be able to come to your blog and be taught by you every day. Thank you so much for all you do to enrich my hobby :) HUGS, Tracy

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Ali says…
    03/05/2008

    Janie - I have done layouts like that before where a photo spreads across both pages (and will do again) and just put it in like the rest. I really do think that our eyes connect the two even if there is an inch or so separating the sides.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Trina says…
    03/05/2008

    Hey Ali--
    Love to see all your layouts together like that! Nice to see it actually come together and be "okay" with all the variety of pages and sizes. I was actually wondering about the giant clear "5" on one of your layouts....where did you find that or did you somehow make it yourself?
    Thanks, as always, for sharing and continued inspiration!
    Trina

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Ali says…
    03/05/2008

    Trina - I added that on top of the photo gathering in Photoshop (as a new layer) + then printed it out here at home.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Aggie says…
    03/05/2008

    WOW, I love this! Be back after I have absorbed everything!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Trina says…
    03/05/2008

    Hey Ali--
    Thanks for the quick response! I have another quick question...how do you make your photo gatherings in Photoshop and still keep your photos looking the same. What I mean is...when I follow the instructions you give in the Studio A column from April 06 to resize my photos, they get warped. What do you do to prevent this? Also wondering if you happened to get my email awhile back with the crazy request in regards to iPhoto help? No big deal, just curious!
    Thanks again,
    Trina

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Carolyne says…
    03/05/2008

    I am going to have to sit and drool over this post for many hours - thankyou, thankyou for sharing this with us all. this is just what i needed to kick start some pretty heavy organisation with some pages that are piling high on my desk. thankyou!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. moon says…
    03/05/2008

    this is jsut soooo beautiful....
    i really love your ideas!!!
    :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Haylee says…
    03/05/2008

    Wow what a gorgeous album! I love all the different sizes and shapes of yourlayouts. It really adds so much character & interest. Loving it!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Lisa O says…
    03/05/2008

    Ali, this must be the yummiest post I have seen in blogland for a while! Thank you for the awesome peek!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Julie Howard says…
    03/05/2008

    What an awesome album... and I love those two pictures of Simon helping out! He is such a cutie!
    This album has given me some great ideas for my own albums... I love the idea of using different size page protectors. And I really like the strips of pictures in a couple of them (like the 2007 egg layout)

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. lizee says…
    03/05/2008

    Ali--
    Thanks a gazillion for posting this:)
    I saw your mixed pages album at CKU anaheim last year, and was so blown away by it...that i immediately bought an AC D ring 12x12 album.
    I bought a few 8 1/2 x11 page protectors (by AC), but the holes dont work well with the 12x12 D ring binder. How do you fit non 12x12 page protectors in a D ring album?
    I also noticed you sewed a few of your pg protectors to accomodate your 12x6 layouts...do you have any tips for people who dont have a sewing machine?

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Zarah says…
    03/05/2008

    NICE! I love the different sizes - it brings such life to your album! :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Izzy says…
    03/05/2008

    Thanks so much for sharing, both the album and Simon. That boy just makes me smile.
    Hope things are well with you, health wise. Have a blessed year.
    Izzy

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Karen aka lindse says…
    03/05/2008

    wow this is fantastic, I love that you can have different kinds of sizes in one album! What company makes the album..and where to buy? :) Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Maria says…
    03/05/2008

    This is absolutely fabulous!! and i´m going to read it once and again more carefully...i like how you´ve mixed the divided page protector pages with the regular ones. thank you so much for sharing, Ali!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Lusi says…
    03/05/2008

    Hi Ali!
    I LOVE the different sizes of your layouts combined together :)
    I was wondering if you could maybe share the layout of simon on the railroad tracks. I would love to read the story attached to that one. He reminds me of my son and it just got me curious!
    Anyway, love these shares and thank you for continuing to inspire me!
    Lusi
    Australia :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. evelien Schulenburg says…
    03/05/2008

    Hi Ali
    Thanks for the inspiration! However, I am doing already what you are doing and it is so much fun. I am here with a small group of scrappers ( I am a Dutchie in Austria and in Austria scrapbooking hardly exists!!)and I am the only one that is going 'wild' and not sticking to the 'rules' (what rules???!! as far as I am concerned there are no rules and it is just me, my creativity, the picture and above all the story) Anyway, thanks, thanks, thanks.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Sarah van Wijck says…
    03/05/2008

    Awesome!! Glad I'm not the only one that has albums of different sized pages. I just wish i had as many pages completed as you do!! Thank you for sharing something so personal.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Liesbeth says…
    03/05/2008

    All I can say is... WOW. That looks sooooo good. And the photo of Simon is a hoot! You gotta love them when they are like this! Thanks for sharing Ali - you're a big inspiration (as always).

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Stacey from Two Writing Teachers says…
    03/05/2008

    Hi Ali,
    Any suggestions for how I can create a digital scrapbook for my students' school year? (I have 20 fourth graders.) I don't mind putting in some time, but since I have so many photos of them all, this "yearbook" project might take too much time to do by hand.
    Thanks,
    Stacey

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. mary walmer says…
    03/05/2008

    Oh wow-what a great post...so awesome to see your vision as a whole. I bought a 3 ring album last year and have been buying different size page protectors and now I just need to sit down and get some layouts done! Your method gives me the ability to scrap out of order with out the hassle of taking apart a post bound album to fit layouts in where they belong-what FREEDOM!!
    mary

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Elizabeth says…
    03/05/2008

    Gosh! that was some serious eye candy!! thanks for always being so inspiring. (
    and for taking the time out to INSPIRE all of US).
    Love it.
    I changed over to this about 8 months ago and have found a Freedom in my scrapbooking I was looking for. Highly recommend it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. mandydake says…
    03/05/2008

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies

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