The Monthly for May 2010

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking79 Comments


This marks my second month of documenting one month at a time via my new template series known simply as "The Monthly." (You remember the tagline, yes? This is one monthly you'll actually look forward to!)

This month, I decided to layout all of my digital pages and then upload them to, for a quality and cost comparison against printing all of the pages on my home photo printer.

The result? A no brainer. wins.

For $14, including shipping, I got all of this:


The quality is probably a little better than my HP Photosmart output, but the cost can't be beaten. To replace my ink cartridges in the HP? Around $100. Let me tell you this: printing out dense photo pages sucks down ink like nobody's business.

The only complaint I have upon reviewing my order is that the 5 x 7s I ordered seem a bit short of 5 inches wide, and I noticed this when I placed my trimmed out shots into my divided page protectors.

I like the idea of printing 5 x 7s for my four smaller sized shots though. It makes trimming a snap. Just pop 'em on your paper trimmer and cut.


I still printed my journaling cards on my HP printer using white bazzill orange peel texture cardstock. (Note: Hands down, if I was told I could have only one cardstock for the rest of my days, this would be it. I love the smooth, flat texture and it takes photo printer ink beautifully.


I used fewer journaling cards this time, opting instead for more photos. I think the divided page protectors are my favorite part of the album.


Everything else slipped easily into 8.5 x 11 page protectors. Done and done.


I've also decided that I'm not going to be hung up on if each month starts on the left or right side of the album. However many pages it takes each month, then that is how many pages I'll do.

Here are my digital photo pages for May. 






Do these pages capture every single aspect of our lives? No. Do they capture enough? Absolutely. I also love the simplicity of it all. On Memorial Day, I simply chose shots, dropped them into the templates, wrote my monthly recap, and prepped all the files for upload. One month, just like that.


HOW THE MONTHLY WORKS: You can approach this several ways.

1. Fully digital pages. There are albums sets for both 12 x 12 and 8.5 x 11 scrapbookers. These are purely digital pages, and include the multi-photo/journaling card page designs to be completed as digital pages.

2. Hybrid/printable pieces. There are sets for both 12 x 12 and 8.5 x 11 for people who want to print out journaling cards, and other printables to piece together their own version of this album. The digital collage pages are not part of these sets.

3. Just journaling cards. For those people who simply want the journaling card files, you can use these files with divided page protectors in 4 x 4, 6 x 4 and 2.5 x 3. 5. 

I am combining the photo collage pages from the digital kit, and the hybrid printable pieces from the 8.5 x 11 kit to create my pages. And I am most definitely printing my digital pages at from here on out. Big time ink saver.

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment today.

Cathy ZielskeThe Monthly for May 2010

79 Comments on “The Monthly for May 2010”

  1. #1

    This is a great post it makes me want to scrapbook instead of doing the ironing! I love “not penny’s boat” is that Cole imitating Lost??

  2. #3
    Amber Lee

    I am loving looking at these monthly pages, such a great idea. And no reason to worry if you have everything on them, you can always do more in depth pages (like you do) on specific things/events. Just awesome! And if they ever discontinue orange peel cardstock I think I might die. In addition to white I love the green tea color, yum!

  3. #4

    Hi Cathy! I love your pages. I have been doing some printing at too. In general, I am happy with the quality. I did notice that the pages were a little smaller. Also, sometimes the colors look better on my HP. I am wondering if you do anything to adjust the colors in your files before sending to scrapbookpictures. com.

    Thanks for everything,

  4. #5

    Love your monthly layouts. I have already purchased the digital kit and I am just loving this process. Could you promise to continue giving us examples each month. also do you know where I can print out my 12 by 12 inch layouts I am from Australia.

    thanks shirley

  5. #6

    I love this and plan to do it next year. I did P365 last year and have Project Life going this year. Next year, I’m definitely trying your hybrid monthly!!

  6. #7

    shirley, I just discovered that now do 12×12 photobooks, which would be brilliant for this project! there are also a couple of other places – will print on art board, and will print on heavy paper. The price does vary, so check them out!

    my mission is now to find a photobook printer in Australia that will bind a portrait style book, so I can put this all together in one neat little book. Thanks CZ, for your brilliance! πŸ˜‰

  7. #8

    I also have had 8.5×11 layouts printed by and they have come back a little dark.

    Could you please let us know if you brighten/tweak your photos before printing as yours look nice and light and if you select any colour correcting options on your order. I do use the colour profile of sRGB so they should come back fine.

    thank you

  8. #9
    Diane Herman

    Would you consider a landscape version that could be used in a photo book?
    Not sure about over there but here in Australia we cannot get 8.5 x 11 prints or phootbooks (portrait style).
    Thanks cathy

  9. #10
    Diane Herman

    hi shirley
    same issue with the 8.5 x 11 for us Aussies.
    Harvey Norman also do a 12×12 photobook, instore and online. I have got one from them and was happy with quality.

  10. #11

    Ha ha!! “NOT PENNY”S BOAT” That kid of yours is too funny! IS that Cole or Charlie?

    Your monthly is looking good- I cant wait to start mine (not something you hear every day!)

  11. #12

    I bought this kit and LOVE IT!!! My printouts are fabulous and I love knowing that i have something done this year for my family.

  12. #17
    Dana N

    I am loving your pages. I bought the digital set a few weeks ago. Can’t wait to start with June. Thank you for another great project!

  13. #18

    Bunno, you should contact them. they have excellent customer service and they can be very helpful.

    I usually just hit my photos with Auto Levels and see how they look, then, i will use actions. Mostly, I use the Pioneer Woman’s actions. And, they’re free!

  14. #19

    Love your pages! How do you get your kids to pose so much? Mine run when they see the camera.
    Also, check out the girls’ choir Partners in Praise at if Aiden likes to sing–Twin Cities Metro area choir!

  15. #21

    Your monthly pages are lovely. I just have a question because I’m a bit confused about what option to purchase. I want the hybrid version (for the journaling boxes and titles) but also want the digital collage for my pics to be dragged and dropped into. Is there a possibility that you would put out a kit for the digital collages? Or would the digital kit allow me to print the journal boxes and titles?

  16. #22
    Amber B

    Thanks Cathy for the great time-saving idea! I like the idea of using a broad idea of ‘pictures from the month’ rather than feeling like I HAVE to do a page for each & every thing we did that month!!! πŸ™‚

  17. #23
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    I just finished April & May yesterday. My husband loves them. I do think I’ll have to switch to the online printing service, tho, because it’s definitely ink-intensive to print at home, tho I’m happy with my Epson’s results. What kind of paper does use? 2 more questions: I’m not quite understanding the 5×7″ prints; do you put four 2.5×3.5 pix on a sheet & request them printed as 5x7s? Or do you still print them at home? And, while your instructions to make the rounded corner “box” for large journaling sounds doable, when I try I just can’t get it done! I’ve researched it on the Adobe site & only info for making a rounded corner image (i.e. photo). I’m pulling my hair!!! Thanks a bazillion.

  18. #25

    Diane, I hadn’t thought of it, but… that is a good idea. I can definitely add it to my list of things I’d like to do.

  19. #28

    Maria, I’m sorry for the confusion on this. You would need two separate kits.

    I am learning and trying to figure out how best to package sets for digi and hybrid scrapbookers.

    The digital kit has the journal boxes and title, but they are not meant to be printed separately.

    Does this help? Feel free to email me directly at for any other questions i can help you with!

  20. #29

    Scrapbook pics uses a Fuji Crystal Archive paper. And i really do love it.

    And yes, i put all of the shots onto a 5 x 7 and printed those at scrapbook as well, BUT, the 5 x 7 wasn’t a true 5 inches wide, and when i cut apart my pics, they measured on the narrow side.

    and for making rounded corners, i use the Rounded Corner Rectangle tool to make a shape, then simplify the layer, then it’s ready to pop in a photo. Does that help?

  21. #31
    Becca Groves

    I’m done with April and May and can’t wait to keep up with this project. It feels so good to be so on top of picture developing! My bill at was $16 for BOTH months! I can now sneak “picture developing” into our budget since it is only $10 a month!

    Thanks Cathy. And yes, love the “Not Penny’s boat.” You’ve got a super fun family.

  22. #32
    Tasia M

    Thanks so much for the recommendation on I’ve been considering trying them for quite some time now, but it is so much easier and faster to just run to Walgreens (1 minute from my house) to pick up my pictures. However, last time I had pics printed at Walgreens they DESTROYED my black and whites! I was very unhappy about it since I had spent so much time editing the pics. I know it wasn’t a matter of my monitor not being calibrated because I printed one picture in 2 different sizes and one was underexposed and the other was severely overexposed. I’ve never been a person to “send back soup” so to speak so I didn’t do anything about it (except complain to anyone who would listen – including you, apparently). But I will definitely be checking out this site per your recommendation. Thanks a million!

  23. #33

    Fabulous! And if you’re out and about today, stop by one of the hospitals and support your nurses!!!

  24. #34

    Hi Cathy! Two more questions:

    1. I love these templates. I am considering adaptingthese for the school albums though I also have your school album set. Do you have any thoughts about that?

    2. Sometime, can you give us a basic tutorial on using actions. I don’t know where to start.

    Thanks for everything,

  25. #37

    cathy, thank you for posting another month! for your full pages do you have a paper texture background printed digitally? is that part of the kits?

  26. #40

    just wondering if you are using the regular paper or the upgraded when you order through i haven’t tried the regular but if it looks good to you I might give it a go. thanks.

  27. #41

    Love this monthly, thanks for sharing, it helps me keep motivated.
    Totally off topic, but my family is wanting to put together a recipe book for this Christmas. In previous posts (i think) you mentioned you were putting together a recipe book template. If so, do you think it will be done before then? I know you will come up with something fab. so I want to hold out. You are my idol.

  28. #42

    Leora, i suppose you could use them in conjunction with the school albums, you know? I mean, you could use the digital package for the collage pages, that would give you a bit more variety.

    I won’t be doing tutorials on actions because i don’t use PSE for actions. I only use full CS4 Photoshop, and unfortunately, most people use PSE. Make sense?

    : )

    You should check out the Pioneer Woman’s actions pages though. She does have them for PSE (i think) and she has lots of info on the whole dealio!

  29. #45

    Elisa, my daughter Aidan was actually mad at Cole for doing that. See, at our local minor baseball team, they had “Lost” night. They referred to the opposing team as “The Others.” And, people came in character.

    Aidan felt it was disrespectful to Charlie’s memory.

    Poor Charlie.

    You ALL everybody.

  30. #48

    Hmmm… I think the divided page protectors are my favorite part of the album too. I just LOVE those little images and text cards physically put together like that.

  31. #49

    I’ve finished Dec, Nov, Oct, for 2009 and then skipped back and did Jan and have spent sooo much money on ink I am going to have to try out scrapbook pictures or I will go broke doing this project!!! I am loving it though! It’s amazing to see the progress from the beginning of the year to the end.

  32. #52
    jessica Chastain

    Hello! I just wanted to tell you that I purchased Both the fully digital and the hybrid templates and I’m in love. I have NEVER in my life scrapped digitally, but find this more on the photo end then the scrapbook end. I am having so much fun and completed 4 months over two days. When I’m caught up I plan to go back and create prior years as well. I think the end result is looking amazing. I’ve been looking for something to inspire me for a long time and was so pleased to have found this. I do have a couple of questions though.

    1) I can not for the life of me figure out how to change the colors on the journaling cards (like the green, but it doesn’t work with my scheme!).

    2.) How do I change the background color of the Initial cards? I tried all kinds of ways and am too dumb to figure that one out too.

    3) and last but not least….for your monthly recap, how do you do that? obviously the print is on the card stock, but the pictures fit so perfecft. I hate the thought of using an 8.5 x 11 piece of photo paper just to print the three photos along the side. any suggestions? I’ve put every single one of these off due to that issue.

    THANK YOU for creating something that even I can figure out! what a FUN FUN FUN project!!! JC

  33. #53
    jessica Chastain

    Oh – I also wanted to post that if you click on my blog link the post is my first pages – January. I am making a combination of digital and actually scrapbooking. FUN! πŸ™‚

  34. #54

    Jessica, you have to click on the layer with the green word, then… click on the Set Foreground Color squares at the bottom of the tool bar to bring up the Color Picker. Then, pick a color to try out!

    Next, go to Edit > Fill Layer and make sure the Contents is set to Foreground Color and that Preserve Transparency is checked. When you click OK, the color you picked will apply to the words on the layer. Same with the background color on the initial cards. Just make sure you click on the layer in the layers palette that has the card background.

    I’m not sure i understand question 3. I just used the template and then printed it at!

  35. #56

    So it’s me again … the stuck scrapper who spends so much time doing stuff for other people that I never get MY stuff done. Bought Project Life and have been thinking about selling it ‘cuz it’s like totally empty (do I sound like I’m 15 or just lost in the 80’s?), but now I think I might could just start now or whenever and do the monthly thingy.

    You make me want to be a better scrapper. (Name that movie!)

  36. #57

    I print also at and they have excellent customer service as you said. (I used Shutterfly in the past and they came out a little dark). I use only digital and I am really getting to appreciate your clean and simple templates – goes much quicker. πŸ™‚ PS: congrats on your weight loss, you are a real motivator!

  37. #58

    Cathy, Not really related to the monthly (which I do love and only wish divided page protectors were more readily accessible in New Zealand) Aidan is the most amazing young adult. Was she a pain in the butt when she was 9- I just need to know that there is hope?

  38. #60

    Hey Cathy! No question, but can I just tell you how much I love your blog and all the inspiration! You are a very talented lady and your digital stuff is my favorite at DD. I became a simple scrapbooker the day I read your first book way back when. Oh, and by the way, your kids are ADORABLE. You can tell that you are a great parent. Just wanted to pass along some love!

    Oh, and what Gypsy said! I want to know too!

  39. #61

    It was cheaper to have my 8×10 pictures printed at and have them posted out to me in Australia. They have really cheap postage rates πŸ™‚

  40. #62
    Diane Herman

    hey mel…
    have you tried Harvey Norman for 8×10. They are $2 and again the quality is great. My local store does them in about 20 mins…just enough time for a coffee while I wait πŸ™‚

  41. #63
    Donna R


    Is there a place on your website that would take a greenhorn like me through the steps of how to use PSE with your digital monthly kit?


  42. #66

    Thanks, Natalee.

    You know, Aidan is remarkable. I really, really love who she is. When she was younger, she and I butted heads so much. I am constantly working on being a better parent. I made a lot of mistakes when she was young, but i’m also trying to do better as i learn more about being a better parent. You know?

    There’s hope.

  43. #67


    Now, you will find a bunch of videos that show you how to use my templates in general, but nothing on The Monthly specifically. However, it’s a good place to start for digital scrapping basics. I hope this helps!

    : )

  44. #72
    Carm Hernandez

    I love your idea, and I am thinking of doing a monthly type of layout for my son’s first year of life. This is perfect!! I can easily print out copies for the grandmothers.

  45. #73


    Do you know of a digital equivalent of the white bazzill orange peel cardstock you use for your hybrid elements?

    I really like the texture of this (particularly visible in the images in your posts the ‘Blog Grab’ 6Nov09 and ‘Thankful project’ 23Nov09). It makes the page just come alive, a sort of 3 dimensional effect.

    The ‘Just Linens’ series from Michelle Martin has a sort of cross check texture which is very nice but is different as it looks more like ah ….. linen.

    I spent an hour or so browsing the designer digitals archives for ‘cardstock’ but most if not all of them have a checkerboard / crosses pattern…

    I also asked the nice people at designer digitals if they know anything, but no luck yet…..

    Using the texturizer filter in ps (sandstone, etc)and downsampling the output also does not do it…..

    Any thoughts on where I could get a digital version???

    Many thanks

  46. #74
    Rachel B.

    I love, love, love this! And I totally got the biggest kick out of the “Not Penny’s Boat” photo. Y’all are the coolest fam ever!

  47. #75

    Robert, you know, I don’t. I use the Michelle Martin Just Linens No. 01 for a ton of my digi whites. But i find it’s hard to hold that texture on prints. Like, it’s just hard to see it.

    I suppose you could scan a piece of Orange Peel paper, you know?

  48. #76


    I know what you mean with the texture not showing properly in print. That’s why I am still trying to find a suitable solution. I have tried to heavily sharpen the layer but settled on duplicating the clipping layer, change the blend mode to multiply and adjust the fill opacity of the duplicated top layer. It does make it more prominent but also affects the white which turns more into a light gray. I may have to resort to scanning as you suggested……

  49. #77

    I have only ever lurked before – but Not Penny’s Boat is too funny! and you are so right about orange peel bazzil. You Rock!

  50. #78
    Elana & Roland Geyrozaga

    I recently purchased the DD kit and love it! I like how on your journaling page you have a gray border around the journaling. How can I do that for my layout? Mine just comes out white. Your help is much appreciated.

  51. #79

    Cathy, I love these layouts and purchased the 12×12 set. I’d like to change some of the headings though and there’s no indication of which fonts are used? Can you tell me what they are called and whether they are free or cost money? Thanks for making my scrapbooking life so much easier!

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