In my previous project share post (this elegant springtime birthday card), I briefly chatted about my maternal grandma for a little while, as that card was created for her birthday this month.
With light, airy, classic springtime hues still running through my mind – and across my desktop – I decided that I’d blend that seasonal palette with some of my beloved shades of black, grey, and white to create a scrapbook page starring a photo of myself as a baby with none other than my lovely grandma herself.
(Before I go any further, I just want to mention that I’m less than thrilled with the photos – taken at night under indoor lighting – that my iPhone 7 captured of this layout. My phone often struggles with pale coloured images in lower light/non-natural light settings. My apologies that these images are as clear, crisp or true-to-life, colour wise, as I would ideally like them to be.)
Thank You for Your Part in My Journey Scrapbook Layout
If you’ve read my inaugural blog post or my more recent get to know me post (or are otherwise aware of what happened), you may know that in October 2016, my husband and I experienced a total loss arson home fire.
This life-altering event destroyed a great deal, amongst which was every photo – both physical and digital that we owned at the time – save for those that were already uploaded somewhere online, such as on a blog or social media account.
I mention that here today, because losing more than three decades worth of photos in a single blow does, as you might imagine, have a serious impact on one’s ability to scrapbook a lot of events from their life prior to that point.
Thankfully, between those images that were online and relatives who have since shared scans and physical copies of some pictures, I’ve been able to put together a small collection of pre-fire photos again. And I now add to my new digital post-fire photo album with each passing week.
The image quality of the photo that I used here was not the exactly the best. It was a scan of a coloured photo from the mid-1980s that had been stored in one self-stick type photo albums that as many a scrapbooker knows, are anything but archivally safe.
Its washed out, yellowed tones almost made the image itself hard to see, so I converted it to black and white before having it printed at Walmart (prior to the current days of being in self-isolation due to Covid-19).
I’ve not been overly impressed with Walmart’s photo quality in recent years, but for the low prices they offer and with an image where gallery worthy colours or image sharpness are not an absolute must, I will sometimes use their printing service.
All that to say, having selected my image (which, I should note, I printed prior to planning this specific page, as I do like having at least a few un-scraped photos to hand for when the desire to create a new scrapbook layout strikes), I set to work deciding on the colours, papers, embellishments, etc that I wanted to use for it.
Once I had a general “scrapbook kit” for my page ready to go, I shifted my focus to what I wanted to convey with this page.
Much like with my cute Only Love Lets Us See layout about our dog Annie, this page does not include any printed or handwritten journaling. The image and corresponding pre-printed word elements do the talking in this instance.
The title here is a bit ambiguous, but in a good way, I think, as it allows the viewer to decide which of the three main text elements they want to interpret as the title. For me personally, the title resides mostly in the smallest of the three: the notch-ended banner strip atop the black frame that says “Thank you for your part in my journey”.
I realize that the wording of this sentence might make it sound like this layout was created in memory of someone who had passed. Thankfully such is not the case with my grandma, who is very much continuing to live life to the fullest as we speak.
Instead, it is meant to convey my sincere thanks for the role that she has played – and continues to play – throughout my 35 years and counting on this planet.
While we’ve had our ups and downs over the decades, I love my grandma dearly and cherish the memories of growing up with her being, in some respects, like a second mom to me at times.
Putting this scrapbook page together
For the colour palette of this grandparent themed scrapbook layout, I looked to both details of the photograph itself, along with colours and patterns that were popular during the 1980s, when this photo of baby me being held by my grandma was taken.
In the photo, you can see a little bit of the velour floral patterned living room seating set that my grandparents had at the time (chances are, if you grew up in the 1970s, 80s, or early 90s, you or someone you knew had a similar type of floral print couch; they were ubiquitous with living room furniture throughout those years).
I used that as the jumping off point for the inclusion of floral elements on this page.
The cute ruffles on my dress were the impetus for the frilly white lace that I included, and the dark pink tulle rose trim ties into both the ruffles and the flowers.
I remember there being muted yellow tones (along with creams, oranges and browns) in the above mentioned living room furniture, so I included some tone-on-tone wheat hued paper here as well.
But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself a tad. Let’s start with the base layer and work our way up, shall we? 😊
A sheet of textured white cardstock got the ball rolling on this scrapbook page. I topped it with a piece of patterned paper that stars a grey and white polka dot background with a subtle (what might be called “ditsy” in the UK) floral pattern in shades of purply-pink and peachy-pink.
Using decorative scalloped edged scissors, I added a scalloped border to the whole of this piece of patterned paper, which I then inked the edges of with classic black ink. And for a further pop of visual interest, I added a hand drawn black stitched border around the edges of the paper.
I topped this with a layer of textured black cardstock, which itself was topped by an elegant, subtly pearlized piece of peachy-pink tone-on-tone scalloped edge paper. I accented the scallops with pearls, which appear again on this layout later via the pre-made pearl flourish.
Next came a piece of grey and white diagonally striped paper that, while timeless for sure, screamed 1980s to me – especially in the context of this page. This was topped with the wheat colour paper, a smaller piece of two-tone pink paper that I placed at an angle beneath my photo, a strip of text print paper running vertically along the left-hand side of the page, and a vertical piece of plain vellum to the left of that element.
I matted my photo on a die cut rectangle of medium grey cardstock and created a charming little border for it from thin pieces of white cardstock, which I draw hand stitching in black on (for added cohesiveness with the hand stitching on one of the background layers).
A sweet little sentiment strip that says “Smiles are proof of everyday miracles” was placed directly atop the bottom edge of the photo.
After that, I selected the “So very thankful” cut out element, which I placed at an angle and bordered on the top and bottom with some cute daisy flower trim (which makes an appearance again on the other side of the page beneath the vertical layers of white lace and pink tulle flowers).
I knew that I wanted the word “family” on my layout, but wasn’t finding a sticker, die cut or stamp that I loved for use on this page, so I took a natural coloured wood veneer piece and painted it with grey paint from Martha Stewart’s line (her acrylic paints are top-notch; I’d buy every colour she sells, if I could).
Once this piece was dry, I set to work arranging the various trims, embellishments, black plastic frame, pearls, rhinestone flatback pieces, hand-cut black photo corners, scrolling black and white chipboard pieces, and the paper flowers that were used on this shabby chic, highly feminine scrapbook page.
This page has a fair number of elements and it did take several hours to complete, but it wasn’t difficult to make, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.
Much like myself, my grandma is a total girly-girl who adores frills, flowers, lace, pearls, bling and the like, so I feel that this page does a great job of celebrating a number of things we’re both wild about, while moreover honouring the wonderfulness of the special bond and love that we share.
Scrapbook page tips and ideas from this project
–Turn to the era that the photo(s) on your layout was/were taken during for design inspiration, be it colours, patterns, themes, embellishments, or any other element of your layout.
-New or old, don’t be afraid to convert photos to B&W. This can be especially handy if photos are aged damaged, faded, or if the colours in them clash heavily with the layout you’re envisioning.
The majority of both free and paid photo editing apps and software programs (as well as plenty of online photo editing sites) allow you to convert a photo to black and white in a snap.
-Inject one hit of standalone colour that harmonizes with the others that you’re using on your page. In this case, that colour was the soft wheat coloured patterned paper. It’s as good as a neutral and gets alone nicely, without stealing the show from, the abundance of pink, black and white on this layout.
-Play around with using two or more sizes of a design element, such as the small and large scalloped edges here.
-Combine hand drawn stitching with machine stitching and/or die cut stitched edges (such as those on the grey cardstock that I backed my photograph with).
–Work left to right. While this is not a universal rule, of course, many languages are read from left to right and as such, a lot of peoples’ brains are accustomed to finding designs that likewise work from left to right to be highly visually pleasing.
By creating an L-shape with my rows of ruffled lace, dark pink flower trim, and various other embellishments on the left hand side of the page, I help to organically guide the viewer’s eye from left to right (while also having these elements work like something of a broader frame for my photo).
-Don’t be afraid to altar wood veneer pieces. Paints, markers, embossing power (carefully – wood burns very easily!), glitter, flocking, stickers, rub-ons, microbeads, tissue paper, ribbon, twine, embroidery floss, and more can all be used to help change the colour or pattern of wooden die cuts.
Products used to create this grandma and granddaughter scrapbook layout
-Black, grey, and white cardstock (textured or smooth)
-Plain vellum – Premium Cardstock Vellum from Core’dinations
-Grey and pink mini floral print paper
-Pearlized pink scalloped edge paper
-Grey and white diagonal striped paper
-Light yellow/wheat coloured tone-on-tone paper – Fall Farmhouse 6×8 inch paper pad from Simple Stories
-Two-tone pink paper – Color Fresh Note It from Heidi Swapp for American Crafts
-Cut out sentiments – Blessed Collection Miracles from Kaisercraft
-Thank you cut out sentiment – Spoonful of Soul Bite Size Bits from Jillibean Soup
-Black ink pad – Cat’s Eye Archival Ink in Wicked Black from Colour Box
-Scroll design chipboard die cut pieces – Giving Thanks Chipboard Elements from Teresa Collins
-Pink and white paper roses – Garden Blooms from Blue Fern Studios
-Black plastic decorative frame (these can sometimes be found in the jewelry making section at craft stores and dollar stores, as well as on sites such as eBay and AliExpress)
-Pre-made pearl flourish – Boutique Fleur floral pearl embellishment from (Michael’s house brand) Recollection’s
-Silvery white coloured flatback pearls – Self Adhesive Pearls from Studio G
-Tiny white butterfly embellishment (handmade or storebought)
-Wood veneer die cut “family” word piece
-Grey acrylic paint – Multi-Surface Satin Paint in the colour Arrowhead from Martha Stewart
-White daisy flower crochet trim – Vicki B Wraps from Bo Bunny
-White ruffled lace trim
-Dark pink tulle flower trim – Bloomers Spring 2011 Trim from Webster’s Pages
-Black ink pen – 0.5” Pigma Micron Pen from Sakura
-Rectangular stitched border die (used on the grey cardstock behind the photo)
-Scalloped edge scissors
-Dimensional foam, pop dots, or similar to elevate some of your layers
-Adhesive, such as a tape runner, of your choice (I often use my Scotch Tape Glider)
Fewer photos, more scrapbook pages!
While its true that the number of photos – let alone those from my youth – that I have is fairly small these days, I find that, in some respects, there are some positives to working with a tinier pool of images.
A desire to scrap as many of them as I can becomes easier to manage and put into action when I have a mere handful to choose from, not overflowing albums (or multiple file folders, USBs, etc) to search through. I can see what I have at a glance and print in small batches or as needed on a project by project basis.
Having so few photos from my childhood, it matters to me all the more that I scrap quite a few of them, as all of my pre-fire scrapbook pages about my early years were destroyed (along with all of my other scrapbook pages as well).
At the same time though, losing all of our photos has really inspired me to take, print and scrap plenty of pictures from our life these days as well – especially those from our travels and photos of loved ones that they share with me.
What we experienced is a part of my journey. It is not loving, sweet, and wonderful like my grandma, of course, but it is engrained in the narrative of my existence all the same.
And while I would never in a billion years have chosen to experience that nightmarish ordeal that we did, I am sincerely grateful for the lessons, blessings, and ultimately new paths that it led me down. One of which is this very blog itself.
If that isn’t a silver lining, I don’t know what it is.
Hmm, I suddenly feel the urge to create a scrapbook page about that very topic coming on… 😃
Pin the image below – or any other in this post – to Pinterest, pop it into your Instagram Stories, post in on Twitter or Facebook, or share it anywhere else you wish to help yourself find it again and to inspire others at the same time.
If you make a project based on or inspired by this scrapbook page – or want to share any of your other handmade crafts with me – please use the hashtags #WitchcraftedLife and #WitchcraftedLifeMakes on social media so that I see can your beautiful creations.
What a fabulous layout, I have the saying “So very thankful, incredibly grateful, believably blessed.” on my desk. Great words.
Thank you very much, lovely Donna. I adore these words as well and am thinking I might just need to give them a permanent spot in our house, too.
At the end of the day, they really are true for most of us. Even when the chips are down, we usually have so much to give the deepest of heartfelt thanks for, more blessings than we’ll ever know, a plethora of reasons to be grateful – a point, unto itself, that I’m very grateful for. 🙏
I hope that your month is off to a lovely, peaceful start and that you have a beautiful weekend.
This piece is beautiful. I’m sorry to hear about the total loss arson fire you and your husband experienced in 2016. How awful.
Thank you so much, Anne. It was definitely tough to deal with but we are grateful for the outpour of support we’ve received.
Thank you tremendously, Anne. It was one of those sudden, unforeseen experiences that hit you like a tsunami out of the blue, turning your life upside and forever altering its course.
Rough as things were initially, thankfully, we’ve been able to rebuild the key/core parts of our existence and to grow, strength and develop further as resilient individuals in the process.
What happened with all always stay with us and continue to shape us, but from day one, we swore it wouldn’t solely define us or hold us back in the long-run, and I’m truly grateful to say that we’ve been able to keep that promise to ourselves.
Thank you again so much.
This is stunning, sweetie.
🥰 🥰🥰 Thank you deeply, my love. Your sweetness and support towards my crafting mean more than words or scrapbook pages themselves could ever fully convey. 🙏
What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother! And what an excellent idea to use a black & white photo instead of colour – I still remember Harvest Gold and Avocado Green with horror! That might have been the 70’s though. lol
Thank you very much, lovely Lynne. 🥰
I’m a huge fan of using B&W photos in scrapbooking, be they older or newer images. They can be especially helpful, I find, if the colours in a photo clash or otherwise aren’t quite ideal for the papers and other products one is using on a project.
The 1970s were definitely the heyday for those now iconic colours, but they lingered into the 80s for sure – and in some peoples’ homes for far longer. You know, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they make a comeback at some point. 😄
WOW what a stunning LO! I love that sweet picture and your embellishments are gorgeous, the lace, flowers and pearls are so feminine and you layer everything perfectly! Now I need to see your LO with Annie in it, I love dogs! 🙂
Also so sorry to read about you and your husbands loss with the arson fire, what an awful thing to deal with.
Thank you wholeheartedly, Tammy. You compassion and kindness sincerely mean a lot to me (us).
And a very big thank you as well for your lovely compliments about this LO. It was tremendously fun and enjoyable to make. So many of my favourite paper crafting (and fashion, and decor… ) elements are present here, from the lace to the blooms to the pearls.
I absolutely adore dogs, too. While Tony (my DH) and I both grew up with dogs, Annie is the first that we’ve had together as adults. To say that she’s the apple of our eyes and adorable, highly energetic heart of our household would be an understatement. Do you have a dog (or dogs) yourself at present?
Many thanks again. I hope that you have a relaxing, safe, beautiful weekend.
Beautiful work. I hadn’t recognized how much thought and care went into these. Good job!
Thank you so much, Ally. I really appreciate your wonderfully kind and encouraging support of my work.
Much like with art in general, there are limitless styles and personal approaches to scrapbooking/paper crafting in general. My own style is, in particular, detail-oriented, layered, feminine, vintage influenced, and deeply heartfelt.
And I’m anything but a lightning fast crafter! 😄 A page like this will usually take in the range of 4 – 8 house to make, but some of certainly been longer than that over the years. I adore the process and don’t generally want it to be rushed. There is much to be savoured and enjoyed about crafting in a mindful, serene and focused manner.
Big thanks again! I hope that you have a fantastic – and completely safe – weekend.
This is beautiful Autumn, gorgeous colours and lots of fabulous details – a wonderful way to remember your Grandmother.
Pauline – Crafting with Cotnob
Thank you sweetly, dear Pauline. Your wonderfully kind words are as lovely as spring’s return.
I hope that your week is going positively and that you have a safe, peaceful and very enjoyable weekend.
Stunning layout. I can only image how you must have felt from that loss. Thankfully you were both safe and you have some photos now. Thank you for visiting my blog. Hugs Anesha
Hi Anesha, thank you very much for your kindness and understanding regarding what we experienced with the arson fire. You’re absolutely right that most important thing is that we both made it out alive and without serious injuries, as did our darling dog (Annie). Incredibly heartbreakingly though, we lost our beloved cat, Stellat that fateful night. By a wide mile, that was the worst and most painful aspect of the fire for us.
Thankfully she lives on in our hearts and memories (and my post-fire scrapbook albums), and will never be forgotten. She was an incredibly sweet, special, gentle soul and our lives were blessed beyond measure by the nearly eight years that we got to spend with her.
(Changing subjects… ) You’re sincerely welcome. Thank you so much for visiting mine as well. I appreciate it a great deal.
May you have a relaxing, safe, wonderful weekend,
Wow! That a stunning keepsake you’ve made! Such incredible details on this and I’m sure that was a severe loss! Thankful you were safe and have the photos too! I have such wonderful memories of my grandma and miss her so much each day as it’s been several years now. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!! HUGS
You’re blush-inducingly kind, Vicki. Thank you very much for your deeply touching words about what befell us, as well as for your wonderfully sweet compliments about this LO.
I’m so sorry that your grandpa has passed. Thank you for sharing that personal fact with me. There’s no pain in the world quite like parting with someone that we cherish. 🌹
I really appreciate your visit here and hope that you have a wonderfully relaxing, safe and enjoyable weekend.
I love your dedication to scrapbooking and all the detailed work you put in one single page. On top of everything else, it must have been heartbreaking to have lost all your photos. I can’t even imagine … In spite of the lesser quality of the photo – as the family archivist, I know what a nightmare those self-stick type photo albums are – I absolutely love the image of you as a baby with your beloved grandmother. xxx
You are an incredibly kind, sweet and beautiful soul, Ann. Thank you so much – not just for each meaningful word that you said here, but for being an online friend for multiple years (and across both this and my previous blog) now. That means an immeasurable amount to me. 🙏
How wonderful that you’re able to be your family’s archivist (I’m all ears if you’d ever like to share more about that area of your life with me). That’s something I’ve long striven for with my genealogical work over the years as well. 😃 (Fun side note: I have a genealogy related blog post in the works for the early days of this coming summer.)
If only our relatives had known just a few short decades ago how utterly detrimental to photos those albums (at least the pre-acid-free versions) were and how many pics would either be damaged or full-on destroyed by them.
Alas, as with so much in life, hindsight is 20/20 and at least now such albums are no longer commonplace for new photos.
Aww, thank you! This is such a special image. My grandma was quite young when she had her own kids, so much so that when I was little and we were out together in public, people often mistook her for being my mom (which made both of us smile). She’s still very youthful across the board and I don’t doubt some people might still think we were mom and daughter if they saw us together.
Wishing you a relaxing, safe, fantastic weekend, my dear friend!
This is another gorgeous card! I hope your grandmother liked it and appreciated how much work, thought, and care went into it, Autumn. I remember cabbage roses from the 80s – you nailed that! And yes, we had one of those couches…as did both sets of grandparents! I think my husband’s mom still has one too!
Hope you are doing well – did you get any of that hot weather over this past weekend?
Thank you so much, lovely Shelia. I hope that she likes it as well – we’ve not been out yet this month, so it hasn’t been mailed off to her, but will most likely be the next time we have to leave the property and head into town.
You’re very kind! I just adore cabbage roses. The 80s were a serious heyday for these gorgeous blooms. Thankfully they’ve managed to hold their own through all manner of fashion and decor trends ever since. I’d love to see them have a major revival, but somehow don’t feel like that’s in keeping with today’s mainstream styles. Who knows where the fickle winds of trends will blow in the future though.
You’re very kind to ask how we’re doing up in this corner of the province. All things considered, we’re okay at the moment (I’ve been dealing with a rather severe flare-up of one of my medical condition for over two months now – it started mere days before we went into isolation – and the serious impacts that it’s been having on my daily life, but aside from that, I’m otherwise well at present). Tony and Annie (our dog) are fab and both send cheery hellos from ever-warmer Armstrong right alone with me.
I hope that you guys are well, too, and that you’re enjoying a sunny, peaceful month of May.
I am sure your grandma love this page as much as her card. Have a lovely day, dear. 🙂
You’re the sweetest, dear Sanne. Thank you very much! I look forward to showing it to her the next time we’re together in person – which hopefully won’t be too far off at this point.
How are you guys doing as the fifth month of the year winds down? Thankfully, Tony and I (and our families on both sides of the Atlantic) are continuing to do okay, with no known cases of the virus hitting anyone in our circle yet. I hope that the same rings true for you as well, my lovely friend.
Immense hugs & wishes for a safe, relaxing and very enjoyable remainder of the spring.