No Smiling | Traditional Scrapbook Layout


I'm finding that it's a process to get back in the habit of thinking in terms of layouts rather than Project Life® pockts. I've gotten used to working in those pockets so regularly that it works my brain a different way to do traditional pages.

Anybody else find that to be true?

My mind and my eye approaches it differently. There's more choices (and more freedom) to be made with traditional layouts. Actually I guess that depends on your approach to Project Life® as many people treat each canvas as it's own layout. Obviously no right or wrong, just commentary on my own personal observations.

This year I'm wanting to create a layout a week. With that in mind I scrolled back through my photos and came across this one from last November when my sister Jessica & Jeffrey & Gabrielle were here for Thanksgiving.

INSPIRATION | Last week I pinned this image knowing I wanted to play around with some larger type on an upcoming layout and figured the Silhouette would come into play. I also downloaded the PeachMilk font from which is a fun hand-cut title. I also saw a layout last week that played with white on white with stitching on top (which of course I can't seem to locate now).

Here's what I ended up with:


I had a super hard time photographing and editing this page - too light, too dark, etc. Maybe it's a sign I need to use a different color of cardstock other than white.


I also had a challenging time adjusting the color in the photo. This was mainly due to the white house next to the white cardstock. The white of the house was definitely not the same white as the white cardstock and the photo just kept coming out yellow.

I used RadLab (+ Photoshop) to change the photo to black and white and then also tried again using one of the filters in RadLab that darkens the edges around the photo. That option ended up seeming the best. I'll admit that this was super frustrating to me and I almost bagged the whole thing.


But I didn't.

I worked through it.

Above each of the kids heads I added a Studio Calico Essentials letter sticker for their initial and added a couple of those great white phrase stickers from MAMBI.


Here's what I did for the cut-out letters:

ONE | I set up the phrase "No smiling" using the Silhouette software and the PeachMilk font from

TWO | I ran three different pattern papers through the machine so that I could mix and match them when I brought it all together. Papers included: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Doting Dots and Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party Warm Welcome and Crate Paper Sunscreen.

The diagonal lines on the pattern paper I used for the "O" were a great home for my journaling.


After cutting out the "no smiling" phrase I used the same phrase and cut it out on the top and the bottom of a 12x12 white sheet of cardstock (using the Silhouette Cameo). I adhered that main piece of cardstock to another piece for the back. That was the white on white I was going for on this layout.

For a little added "something" I machine stitched a couple lines in orange across the top and bottom of the layout.


Around the edge I used my Just Awesome stamps and the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Rolling Stamp (in stock at Two Peas) along with three new inks from Studio Calico's Color Theory line: Orange County, Mint Hint, and Well Red. After stamping those sentiments I drew the lines and wrote "love you Simon" around the edge.


A little spray ink (Mister Huey's Sherbet) was added along the top and bottom of the page - I covered the rest of the content  (photos and cut-out letters) with cardstock while I sprayed.


I was intentionally going for the thicker droplets of paint here - the best way I can describe how to do that is to not push the spray bottle top all the way down. I found by just pushing it down a bit I was able to get those bigger drops vs. a finer mist.


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18 thoughts

  1. Jo-Anne

    2014-02-26 08:40:36 -0500

    Wow, you REALLY need to know how to use the Cameo to do this page:-) that is a challenge:-))

    The fact that you persisted with the photograph definately paid off - it looks AMAZING! Nice work Ali.

    I definately have to agree with you that when doing a PL page vs a full traditional page it is two very different creative processess for me. PL makes things a little simpler as far as the creative process is concerned:-)

  2. Michelle L

    2014-02-26 08:50:23 -0500

    I'm so very glad that you still make traditional layouts! I've always loved your layout work.

    What do you think of the Color Theory ink pads? I was thinking of investing in a few colors this reveal and I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  3. michelle t

    2014-02-26 09:32:24 -0500

    I am so glad you persevered with this layout too. It's inspiring to see another person work thru something that's either hard or out of their comfort zone. Wow that's an awesome red ink. I think the title shown like it is regular then sort of negative spaced (I'm sorry I'm not sure I am saying that right) makes it so interesting. Thank you for sharing both your layout and the supplies. It's such a very nice page. Michelle t

  4. Jennifer K

    2014-02-26 10:17:19 -0500

    Fun layout! Love the journaling in the diagonal-striped "O". I'm glad I'm not the only one who sometimes gets hung up struggling to make a photo work "just right". It happens, but layouts are worth it. :-)

  5. Chelsea

    2014-02-26 11:05:51 -0500

    Yes, I've felt the same way also. In fact I have been doing project life so much that I think I have forgotten how to do a larger layout! I sat down and tried to do a 12x12 LO the other day and it was so hard. I ended up just putting it in my album unfinished, but now I need to find some serious inspiration to go back and finish it! I'd love it if you did a blog post on making that transition from PL (smaller scale LO's) to Traditional (larger scale LO's) scrapbooking.

  6. Patti L

    2014-02-26 11:30:14 -0500

    I love how you are challenging yourself, I think it keeps this hobby interesting. I totally relate to photo editing, the more I work on my photography, the more i focus on the photos and not all the other stuff. Thanks for sharing your process! I def need to use my Silhouette more!

  7. Artfulscrapbooking

    2014-02-26 12:11:52 -0500

    Wonderful!! I don't like photographing white cardstock layouts either for the same reasons. Although I like the look, I don't think I'm a white cardstock girl, lol!

  8. Michelle W

    2014-02-26 12:53:18 -0500

    What a fun layout!

  9. Linda Beeson

    2014-02-26 13:29:50 -0500

    I've seen that expression before!!! Love your take on your creating, I relate!!!

  10. Deiga

    2014-02-26 14:34:48 -0500

    I seriously need to get a Silhouette! Anyway, I am having a difficult transition to creating traditional layouts this year instead of PL. I realized when I took your Hello Story class last year how much I missed traditional layouts. So, I'm taking a break from PL this year and focusing on the bigger stories and the traditional layouts I love so much. It's tougher than I thought it would be. I have all of these ideas pop up in my mind while I'm getting dressed for work, and then by the time I get home I'm no longer in the creative mode... but I love your inspiration and my inspiration will come, too. Eventually. Thanks for sharing!

  11. susan

    2014-02-26 14:37:45 -0500

    Project life has made me lazy. I no longer have inspiration to do scrapbooking. I look at a 12×12 page of paper and go blank. Disappointed in my self.

  12. June

    2014-02-26 15:24:26 -0500

    I have found the opposite to be true - I've been a traditional scrapper for so long that when I took up PL for the first time in 2013, I was giving that same blank stare to the PL pages that I had given my traditional pages so long ago...

    But we love a stretch of the mind, don't we?

    As usual, love the layout and the fact that you are here...

  13. Rita H

    2014-02-26 17:33:31 -0500

    I have always loved your layouts - so glad you are doing one a week this year ... please share more of them as the year passes. It's encouraging to hear that great scrappers also have difficulty with their LO. I am one of the Project Lifers that treats my larger pockets like a mini layout ... love the quick pockets and the freedom to be a little more creative with bigger pockets. I have followed your PL and it's what got me interested in documenting my granddaughters life - thanks you for being such an inspiration to the crafting world!

  14. sheri

    2014-02-26 19:28:06 -0500

    love your traditional work!!!

  15. Carolyn HP

    2014-02-26 21:41:40 -0500

    Love this Ali! Turned out great, and I'm sure the kids will love looking back at such a fun page!

  16. Doreene

    2014-02-26 22:51:26 -0500

    Having the same problem. I am going back to 2011 and doing my "Grandkids" traditional scrapbook and it is really a challenge for me! I am going to keep at it!

  17. Judith

    2014-02-27 01:04:07 -0500

    Hi Ali :) I love that you documented your frustrations in getting the photo edited how you want but worked through it. Working with digital photos and printing them is my biggest stumbling block at the moment and I find it takes all my time so I don't get to the creative bit! That's why I love your video tutorials in elements cos I can watch them with the pause button on until it sinks in :) Judith

  18. Debbie

    2014-02-27 13:23:17 -0500

    Love this layout Ali! I have a request: The little stamp set that you are using in this post is my all time favorite for the labels on extra pages. Would you make another one with more sayings? Thank you.

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