Blasts from the Past

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking35 Comments


Because I've scanned pretty much every single layout I've ever done (on account of my old school Two Peas days (where I made practically all of my "imaginary" friends), and because I'm feeling a tad sentimental, it's time for another edition of Blast from the Past circa 2002-03.

The layout above is the type of layout I could do (and have, more or less) done over and over. Mostly because of it's super basic-ness. Random photos and specific details. Minimal embellishments. Like this one (click on the layout to make it bigger):


In the Design Your Life class I taught last fall at Big Picture Scrapbooking, we basically resurrected this layout above in one of our classes. And why can it work year after year? Because the essence is fairly direct and pure. What does your subject do every day?


In all these years I've been doing this hobby, I periodically yearn to break out of what I do; get a little funkier; try something new; make something that's never been seen before.

But even though I have short, funky hair, i'm not a short, funky person. I crave linear lines and clear paths and ample leading. I embrace that nothing in design is truly new. It's all an interpretive, personal recycling of what already exists.

And at the end of the day, it always comes back to what makes me happiest. Simple, specific stories, good design, and photos.

Night before xmas

I'm looking forward to focusing a bit more on simplicity in scrapbooking in the coming months. Simplicity and selectivity.

And good typesetting. But that's a given. ; )

Cathy ZielskeBlasts from the Past

35 Comments on “Blasts from the Past”

  1. #1

    Love these layouts they are so timeless. Please, please continue to focus on your simple lines. When you post your pages it lets me know its not only OK to be a Simple follower but pretty dang groovy.

  2. #5

    personally i love these ‘classics’.

    You will never look back on them and cringe at the sight of too much ______ or the fact that you even used _______ as an embellishment or did _______ to your photos. you can look back at them and think, ‘wow these photos look great and read the text and not be distracted by all the rest!

    Carry on!

  3. #6

    and this, my dear “imaginary” friend (if I may be so bold as to call you that) and idol, is exactly why your faithful fans adore you.

  4. #7

    I took your DYL class precisely because your simple style appealed to me. Simplicity has freed me to tell the stories that are important to me, and that’s why I started scrapbooking in the first place. Simple and classic rocks, and always will.

  5. #8
    katie scott

    1. I love my imagingary friends.
    2. I’ve got some old layouts that have a huge cringe factor.
    3. I loved Design Your Life class.
    4. I should have taken a design class a long, long time ago.
    5. Its 52 degrees in Florida & we’re thinking its super cold, although I know thats not actually all that cold. I can barely remember what 0 degrees feels like (I used to live in Maine).

  6. #10

    Having read your column in Simple, I decided to order the book as well. I just got it a couple of days ago and like it a lot. So it was a wonderful surprise to arrive in your blog and see the layout I just yesterday enjoyed looking at! I agree, your work is superb and timeless and beautiful!

  7. #11

    Looking at these LOs, you cannot tell (aside from the photos) that they are blasts from the past. They still look amazing.
    I laughed at Aidan’s fear of auto toilets. My oldest was the same way. Every time we would go into a restroom, she would ask if it was going to flush by itself & make me cover the sensor. Funny!

  8. #12

    I embrace that nothing in design is truly new. It’s all an interpretive, personal recycling of what already exists. Uhm. The older i get, the more i realize this is true about life. And experience. I hear what you say about wanting to break out…but always I go back to simple.

  9. #13
    Michelle Giaimo

    So my new imaginary friend-Do what you do well, do what your heart compels and play that funky music. Dance,create,love

  10. #14

    For a couple of years I have tried so hard to keep up with the freestyle, trendy layouts that have become so popular in the digital world. And to NO success might I add. I was getting depressed over my scrapping.

    Thank you for re-opening my eyes. Your clean and simple layouts just feel like home to me. Thanks to you, I can scrap in a style that fits me…not what others are doing.

    I did my Everyday You layout about my husband. I showed him the layout just yesterday. I thought he would think it was hokey. He read it and got a big smile on his face and said “what a compliment”. It is a great layout idea and one that can be used for any number of family and friends.

  11. #15
    Deb Jones

    I’m late in responding but have been having to deal with the demise of SS. Every time I think about it I want to yell, “NO.” Can I just say that I would rather see CK do than SS?! SIGH!! I hate that you are now among those who are looking for something new in the way of a job. Your list of possibilites was a hoot.

    These are great layouts. I miss our DYL class. I’m SO glad you still have your blog. Can’t do without my Cathy fix.

  12. #16

    Your first LO just gave me a great way to put together all those little quotes I have from my son! THANK YOU!

  13. #17

    You always leave me feeling inspired to go and make a scrapbook page! I was a DYL student too, and am so glad I took the class because I love the whole Simple philosophy (in Life as well as Art – but these may be one and the same!). Now where’s that cardstock …

  14. #18

    Thank you for sharing!!! I love to see your layouts and the “quotable aidan” l.o is perfect for a list of funny things my 5 year old has said. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. #19
    cori in wa

    Simple may be going the way of the do-do, but the Simple message and philosophy lives on, and a goodly chunk of the credit goes to you and all the positive promo you offered. Yep, simple is good, simple is enduring and simple sure makes a girl smile. Bless you my dear; and the Target thing? I’m thinking all the teens might make you nuts. Just a thought πŸ™‚

  16. #20

    Cathy…I hear Stacy is going to be at your house soon! How about a video message from the both of you for us? I sure miss not hearing from you now that DYL is over. πŸ™

  17. #21

    Cathy – I just want you to know that I’ve loved your style since the first time I saw and advertisement for your first book. I waited anxiously for it to arrive in the mail when I ordered it all those years ago. I loved it so much I ordered your second book! Then I took your class. It was so awesome! Thank for your awesomeness!

  18. #22
    Jennifer Larson

    I loved taking Design Your Life. I still can’t believe I created an entire, stuffed album in 3 months! Thank you again.

  19. #23
    shari (tigsnbitz)

    I love your style and the clean, simple design you have. And apparently, so do a LOT of people out there. That’s why you had 1800 people in your DYL class, from all over the globe. Keep up your style, both in scrapbooking and your own ‘personal’ (short and funky) style. It’s what we love most about you.

  20. #24

    Hi Cathy –
    I could just type “ditto” to reflect that I share the same opinion so many other folks have written here about loving your clean, simple, uncluttered scrapbooking style.
    If I had typed “ditto”, it would have been a cleaner, simpler, less cluttered comment!
    Thanks for all you do and share so freely here!
    – Lee

  21. #25

    Have I mentioned how much I LOVED your DYL class?! I know, I know… today is the last day we have access to the classroom. *sniff* I didn’t get all my assignments done, but I watched all the slide shows and videos, and I’ve saved all the hand-outs… and yes, I will go back periodically, just to be inspired. Just like I re-read your first book from time to time. And now, because I’m mourning the loss of Simple, I’ve ordered your second book… because I know how much I’ll love reading it, looking at your designs and reading the stories on your pages.

    Okay, sorry. You started the nostalgia, and now you’ve got me all emotional. *sniff, sniff*

    Thanks for all the inspiration, Cathy. Keep doing what you do. πŸ™‚

  22. #26

    Your layouts are just fabulous.

    Thanks for teaching DYL. Still working through it, but I love what I done so far. And I learned so much just by watching the videos.

    Thanks especially for the video on how you manage your photos with iphoto and uploading and stuff. That has been a stumbling block for me for quite awhile and your video and being able to see your desktop made lots of light bulbs go off. It was like lighting up the Christmas tree!

  23. #27

    Hey Cathy, Thanks for sharing your Timeless treasures! They are so Great! I think sometimes we get so got up in all the fun embellishments that we loose the real focus! Thanks for inspiring me to get back to the basics and focus on the pictures!
    I hope you have Fun with Stacy! I will be seeing her too this weekend at Delta Phi Scrappa! I am so excited!! I wish you were coming too! Maybe next time!! Keep smilimg!

  24. #28

    Cathy you rock! Whenever I look at one of your layouts it reminds me that I don’t need every new product on the market. Clean and simple is what it’s all about. I have both of your books and read them several times. I love to look at them for inspiration. Thanks for all you do.

  25. #30

    Ah, the every day you lay out brings back good memories of DYL. It was such good fun. You opened my eyes to look closer at what I saw and you me taught me more about something I so very much love. Thanks, Cathy, you changed my way of scrapbooking completely. And I so happy I ‘graduated’ at the greatest class of the world. Thanks.

  26. #32

    You cannot know how these LO inspired me! It made me recall some of my own LO that I did a few years ago and those are the ones I always love again when I see them. Thank you for hopping into your “Wayback Machine” and sharing them with all of your “imaginary friends”.

  27. #33

    Hi, coming out of lurkdom to say I absolutely love these layouts. I am not a scrapbooker (I haven’t made one layout in my entire life). I do however, read blogs about scrapbooking (why? Well…uh…) and I must say, this is the first time I have been REALLY inspired to make a layout. Thank you!

  28. #35
    Gab McCann

    Cathy, I’ve been meaning to email you to tell you how much I LOVED DYL. I’m on holidays now and as it’s a 3 week trip decided to bring a bag of scrapping stuff with me. I’ve done a few LOs … and thanks to you and DYL I’ve done them all by myself. Meaning, I haven’t stared blankly at my photos and supplies and then grabbed a sketch or LO to scraplift, but I’ve actually designed the LOs myself! That was my main goal in starting DYL – just to be able to try LOs on my own. I really, really, really hope to see you in CK. I’m going to miss SS. I’ve been a subscriber for almost 5 years now

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