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weekend creative : summer memory book

The other day Chris was on my computer looking through photos from the summer and he mentioned to me that we had done a ton of stuff this summer. Because I have been out of it creatively for a bit (due to this little bundle growing inside me) it has been awhile since I really looked at the photos as a whole. I knew we had done a bunch of different things, but the proof, the actual documentation, was definitely in the photos.

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the daily events (and I definitely love capturing those) and miss the bigger story over the course of a few months or over the course of a year.

Today's prompt is to create something that is an overview of your summer. This may be a minibook, a digital photobook, a layout, or some other altered creation. What were the highlights and favorite memories? Did you travel or stay home? Did you follow the same routine each day or mix it up?

For my project I put together a digital album (that could easily be translated to paper - more on that below) and am having it printed through Shutterfly. This is an overview album, an album that skims the surface from June through August of where we went and the things we did together. It's still called Today You (the name of the template ) and it is directed at Simon (the journaling talks to him and tells him the story of the summer). Each of the spreads represents a trip we took, an event we attended, a routine (like summer school) or a gathering of some everyday shots from the summer.

This layered template (read more about those here) album is a digital remake of a class I used to teach called Today You that incorporates the same basic design: one photo on one page of the spread and either patterned paper or photo squares gathered together on the opposite side. The download for the instructions for the older paper version of the Today You album is available here: todayyouHOWTO-chipboard

I put together the digital version over the course of a couple hours. It includes 24 individual 12x12 pages (10 spreads with an opening and a closing page). I made some adjustments to the template as I went along (moving the journaling blocks around, coloring the flourish brushes, etc) so that it worked with the story I was telling and the photos I was using. The word accents and flourishes are included in the template. You can purchase this Today You photobook template here (download includes Shutterfly ready pages).

Edited to add: digital patterned papers used in this book include Katie Pertiet's Mixed Up Playdate and Graphic Garden No. 2.

Words + Photos : Here's a look at the opening page, the spreads, and the closing page:

A couple things to note: This photobook is not the same format as the Everyday Life photobook I created for Shutterfly. This book does not use
the "drag + drop" creative tools within the Shutterfly system. To make this digital photobook you will need Photoshop Elements or Photoshop, the layered template package from Designer Digitals, and a basic understanding of working with layered templates (check out my tutorial here). Once you have created the layered templates you want to use in your photobook (and saved them as .jpg files) you then upload those to Shutterfly to have the book printed.

This same format could be easily used to highlight each of the months throughout the year.

This design is also easily translatable to paper scrapbooking. Pick out one of your favorite minibooks and follow the same design formula: large photo on one side and a bunch of square punched photos on the opposite side. Here's a photo of the Today You class that I used to teach:

Edited to add: If you wanted to create this album in a 12x12 paper format, the large photo is about 10.5 inches wide x 9 inches tall. The smaller photos are 3.25 inches wide x 3 inches tall (the main thing I wanted was for the height to be the same for the gathering of small photos and the enlarged photo).

This weekend take some time to reflect back on your summer, go through your photos, and create an overview album to celebrate the summer as we move into fall.

[ weekend creative is a semi-regular feature appearing on Fridays : past projects can be located in the archives. ]

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74 thoughts

  1. Amy says…
    09/05/2008

    I actually just did this same thing with your kit that you put together for Cocoa Daisy for the vacation album. I have it here...
    http://carpecakem.typepad.com/carpecakem/2008/08/summer-mini-book.html
    I loved the kit and the sections translated so easily for the months! Thank you for making it simpler for us! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. melissa m says…
    09/05/2008

    I LOVE this idea. I was totally at a loss for what to do with the WHOLE summer series of pics. We did so much too!!!! I think having a BIG pic of my fave to focus on the event and then little ones to capture all the rest is an AWESOME. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Jennifer says…
    09/05/2008

    Love this idea as well. I was planning to put a small book together for my daughter as she was sad summer was ending and didn't think we did much. It's kind of my way of showing her we had a great summer as well as a way for her to remember it all.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Sasha J Nygaard says…
    09/05/2008

    This is so great - I can't wait to work on this. We had a really busy summer as well and I'd really love to document it for my family. Thanks for the inspirational push!
    It's pretty fabulous that even though you haven't been feeling 100% creative-wise with your new little sweetpea sapping your energy, but you still manage to inspire creativity in others. :)

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  5. Erin says…
    09/05/2008

    Super duper cool! I would love to know what size you did the one large picture on each layout for those that will try this with paper. Hope you are feeling well :) Erin :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Rochelle says…
    09/05/2008

    Hey Ali-
    Great book! I was wondering what digital papers you used in the book?
    rochelle

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. LisaZ says…
    09/05/2008

    I actually started printing photos for a project like this one yesterday. Not too good with the whole techno digi stuff, but I can work with a LO or mini-book today.
    Take care...Hugs to Simon.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Cathy says…
    09/05/2008

    That picture of Simon on the bench with a drink, daydreaming...it did something to me...I know it's weird, but it brought a tear to my eye...I miss my kids (they're grown) and that kind of afternoon...just sitting, daydreaming..simple...life ahead of them... it's magical. Cathy

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  9. Jessica says…
    09/05/2008

    WOW! Incredible book Ali. How big is the book?What size is the big picture?
    I am trying to figure out if I am brave enough to try it without the drop picture in features. My son had a fabulous summer! I want him to remember it. Thanks for the info on paper version. Thanks for the inspiration...I remember how tired i was when I was pregnant, good for you to creating this book. Take it easy. Jess

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Heather H. says…
    09/05/2008

    This is lovely. Thank you for sharing it. Love the idea of a summer overview.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Vicki says…
    09/05/2008

    I have tried to do the online books before - and I always get a little boggled and quit before I actually get the project finished. I had just logged into Shutterfly this morning to put together a book for my granddaughter's summer visit. You've encouraged me to follow through this time!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Steph says…
    09/05/2008

    as always, thanks for the inspiration..... now i just need to go DO something....

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Linn says…
    09/05/2008

    Thanks for the inspiration, Ali. I really think I might do this one, as it's been a summer of sewing instead of scrapping for me. It's been a welcome change, but I'd also like to capture the memories while they're still fresh in my mind. Great idea.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Shelly Kettell says…
    09/05/2008

    Awesome!!! Love it!! Can you do mine? :)
    In the "paper" book you used to teach...is the book plain chipboard or did you paint/alter a kids board book?
    THANKS! Hope you have a great weekend!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Lisa Jackson says…
    09/05/2008

    Sweet girl,
    Came home from dropping my son off at Pre-K and found your newest book waiting on my doorstep! I've already browsed through it, and will be using it this weekend to create a mini-book about my mom's surprise 70th birthday party. As always, your book rocks the house.
    Rest. Eat chocolate. Be good to yourself.
    Lisa
    XXX

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Yvonne Busdeker says…
    09/05/2008

    Cute book, love the look. I've created an end of summer book the last few years. My one from this last summer is already completed. I've done digital some years and traditional others. THis year was traditional. The boys always love looking at it. It's a great snapshot of a fun filled summer!
    yvonne

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. young c-m says…
    09/05/2008

    Great idea - thanks for the project idea!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Jen Davis says…
    09/05/2008

    Very fun post, I so enjoy it when you show some of your work with us on the blog! =) Great idea too about gathering things and stories from the summer....thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Brandi Osborn says…
    09/05/2008

    Ali-I love this Weekend Creative! Totally going to put an album together using this idea. What sizes are your photos-I will probably be doing a paper version so I'm curious about the large picture sizes and the small ones too. Thanks for inspiring me yet again.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Ali says…
    09/05/2008

    If you wanted to create this album in a 12x12 paper format, the large photo is about 10.5 inches wide x 9 inches tall. The smaller photos are 3.25 inches wide x 3 inches tall (the main thing I wanted was for the height to be the same for the gathering of small photos and the enlarged photo).

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Jonnelle says…
    09/05/2008

    That is just gorgeous! What a great idea, thank you for sharing it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Maria says…
    09/05/2008

    Your prompt totally made me weepy. As I looked through the summer photos of your family, I saw how connected the three of you are and how this summer if nothing else was a celebration of the three of you before you become four. Continue to bask in it being the just the three of you. I treasure every moment my daughter, husband and I spent together before our little boy arrived. It was such a special time...our last summer as the "three of us," our last "Thanksgiving as the "three of us," etc. Since Pete was born, we continue to celebrate our "firsts" together. It has been so fun. Congratulations.

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  23. Nicky Anderson says…
    09/05/2008

    Love it - will be doing this soon. Just received my new MAC computer - now time to order my WACOM tablet to get photoshop elements!!! HAH!!!
    Your the best and love, love the book.
    Nicky
    Have a great weekend.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. jamie says…
    09/05/2008

    so great to see weekend creative again! thanks! loved it...i was hungry for doing a mini album...that just might be the ticket...your so awesome to share your wisdom and insight. so grateful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Christine F. says…
    09/05/2008

    Ali - you are such a good teacher. I really enjoy reading your blog, and I pick up so many wonderful tips and ideas.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and for the inspiration.
    Regards,
    Christine

    Reply 0 Replies

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