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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