Rad | Traditional Scrapbook Layout


Last week Chris and I attended Simon's IEP / 3-year eligibility meeting at his middle school.

For those of you that don't know an IEP is an Individualized Education Program mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Essentially, "the IEP describes how the student learns, how the student best demonstrates that learning and what teachers and service providers will do to help the student learn more effectively. Developing an IEP requires assessing students in all areas related to the known disabilities, simultaneously considering ability to access the general curriculum, considering how the disability affects the student’s learning, forming goals and objectives that correspond to the needs of the student, and choosing a placement in the least restrictive environment possible for the student."

I've written about these meetings before, most specifically a post titled Looking Around The Table.

One of the differences for Simon this year was that he attended a portion of the meeting. As he gets older he will move into the roll of actually conducting these meetings and giving input into the sort of services he needs as an integral part of the team.

While he was at the table we (all nine of us adults present: including Chris and I, two teaching assistants, a general education teacher, his main special education teacher, the school's occupational therapist, the hearing & speech therapist, and a person from the school district) all went around and listed his strengths.

As each person shared I wrote them down in my trusty Moleskine notebook. It's how I listen and process but I also wanted to be able to remember what they said.

It was cool to have him at the table and hear from his teachers and helpers what we all think is awesome about him. And he did a lot of smiling. He's growing up and I'm so proud of him.

After we spent time on strengths he was ready to be dismissed for some screen time and we continued on with the meeting. Because this was also an eligibility meeting we had to confirm that yes, indeed, he does still have autism and does continue to need modifications and accommodations to help him be successful in a traditional education environment.

It always feel a little surreal at that point.

And then we got back to the business of talking about how things were going, what our concerns were, etc. It was a good, productive almost 2-hour meeting.

When I went to work on a layout the next day I had the following things in mind:

  1. I wanted to do a layout about Simon. I don't worry too much about equality when I'm working on layouts but I'm conscious of doing a bunch in a row for Anna and then wanting to capture something about Simon.

  2. I wanted to use the Studio Calico Scrapbook Kit (Office Hours).

  3. I wanted to cut a photo into a tag shape. I loved this page from pamlee81 where she cut a photo in the shape of a tag.

  4. I wanted to use dark cardstock. As you likely know I'm a fan of white cardstock backgrounds, but I was ready to mix it up.

  5. I wanted to play with some spray ink + the RAD die-cut from the kit.

I didn't originally intend to include those strengths from the meeting as my main journaling but as I started on the page and thought more about what I wanted to say I remembered that I had written out that list and voila - it was a great story to add to this layout and made it that much more meaningful.

Here's a look at what I ended up with:


Super simple. Four tag-shapes + couple extra little embellishments + meaningful journaling.

The gold heart below the "S" looks almost red but it's really gold (there was some reflection from my coat when I was photographing the page).


I began this page by printing out a photo of Simon on 4x6 photo paper. I had measured the tag and cropped the image in Photoshop to 5 inches wide x 3 inches tall to be sure it would be the correct size when I trimmed it to the size of the tag. I then used the tag as a template to cut out my photo and the other pattern papers.


For the "rad" tag I used the rad die cut that was include with the kit and spritzed Heidi Swapp's Gold Lame Color Shine on top. This navy blue sheet of cardstock comes as a 12x12 sheet in the kit - I cut it down to 8.5x11 and used the excess to cut out the tag.


The journaling is a little hard to read with the photo - it's more readable on the page in "real life" because the stripes are a soft gold.

JOURNALING | friendly & cares about people // hardworker // likes to get right answers // likes reading // really good at memorization // respectful in the speech room // positive guy // interested & curious // not afraid to ask questions // good at introductions (particularly related to when a substitute teacher is in the class - you are one of the first to welcome them and introduce yourself // good sense of humor & funny // well-liked. 2/27/2014 | your strengths as listed by your teachers at your IEP meeting

Font is Remington Noiseless.

To print the journaling onto pattern paper I first measured the tag and then created a text box in Photoshop. I typed up the words, did a practice print onto regular paper and then adhered the pattern tag directly onto the area where I printed on practice paper and ran it through the printer again to get the words on the tag.


Each of the tags was adhered using foam squares which are great for lifting items up off the page a bit.


Love those gold hearts.


Click on the images to link to the products.

As I was working on this layout it kept reminding me of one I created back in 2007 for my book Life Artist (which is available as a downloadable PDF here):


Looking for that layout lead both Katie and I down the deep rabbit-hole of layouts I've created since I first started in 2002. We were looking through archives on my computer and looking through the physical albums. There are so many.

Man I love scrapbooking.


Looking for more layout creation inspiration including a lot of video overviews that walk you through my own personal process? Check out my 12-week workshop coming in April to Big Picture Classes: Hello Story (if you took this workshop last summer the content is exactly the same).

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27 thoughts

  1. Erin b says…

    Love that you wrote down his strengths during the meeting. This just gave me an idea to incorporate in my students' end of the year scrapbook. thanks for sharing!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Beatrice says…

    I love seeing more traditional layouts from you again :) always inspiring me, both you and Laura Kurz.

    Reply 0 Replies