Make a Page Mondays

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking60 Comments


Welcome to the the third installment of Make a Page Monday. This week’s page celebrates a recent sporty milestone in my adult-onset athletic life. It’s also officially my new favorite page of all-time for this particular week. Wanna see?




(click on the layout to see it larger in a new window)

SIZE/MODE: 2-page 8.5 x 11 hybrid spread

THE STORY: I ran my second 5K in September. The first one, back in July, was purely to say, “There! I did it!” but this one? This was all about proving I belonged out there. I went in with a time goal and I was determined to reach it. Not that I have any illusions of being some sort of Sprinty McSprinster, but I want to know that I can run a bit faster than I do when I’m just out for workout runs. I was lucky to get a good finish line shot (which cost me 20 bucks! ouch!) but combined with my other shots from Cole’s point and shoot which I secretly borrowed for the morning, I had enough visual documentation to make the page. This page makes me very, very happy and reminds me of all that I love about this hobby. Photos and words and not a lot else, save for a tidy design.

JOURNALING READS: My neighbor and running buddy (and friend) Angela suggested in early September, “You should run Women Run the Cities with me!” and it seemed like the perfect idea. Without hesitation, I signed up online and started mentally planning for perhaps the most important choice of the day: my outfit. With my inaugural race already under my belt from last July, this race was about one thing: speed, baby. Angela and I both agreed: this is not a buddy, chatty outing. We both had a personal 5K time we wanted to beat. My goal was to run under 30 minutes.  On race morning, it was in the low 40s and chilly willy. Angela’s daughters both ran the 1 mile fun run before our race started. I made a mix the night before that combined every single fast pace song from all of my other run mixes. I figured it would give me a kick and it totally did. I took off faster than I’ve ever started any runs before. Even Angela was all, “Why are you going so fast?” Finally, at about the 2-mile mark, a twinge of a side stitch crept in, and I slowed down a bit. Angela had a lot more kick at the end, and sailed past. We both were pretty psyched about our times. However, pushing that pace left me pretty much sore for a week. That’s running in your mid-40s after years of smoking and watching television for you, right? Still, I was thrilled with the outcome. Next year? It’s all about the 10-mile event. Aw yeah.


Let’s break down the design goodness of this two-page spread.

1. Asymmetrical balance: If you divide this design down the gutter, what you have on the left takes up a decidedly different amount of space than what you have on the right. One full page chunk of visual information (the big black and white photo) is paired with four smaller photos, a title and some journaling on the right. These things are not the same in terms of the visual space they occupy. This approach to balance is known as asymmetry. Asymmetry uses different things to create a sense of balance. Often with asymmetrically balanced pages, many other design principles are working together to add to the balanced and purposeful feel.

2. Repetition (including a Visual Triangle): When you repeat things, you create a predictable rhythm to a design. Here, I’ve repeated a shape (the small, square photos; I’ve repeated a small, hot pink rectangle that includes similar PNG word art; the color pink is repeated in the rectangles, the title and even in the photos. When you repeat three things in a purposeful way across a spread or given space, it is called a visual triangle. Notice the diagram below showing the hot pink color being repeated in a triangular relationship. I decided to make my title hot pink just to create this visual link across the spread. Repetition ties designs together.


3. The principle of emphasis: Big things call attention to themselves in design. Here, one full page, full bleed (edge to edge) photo says, “HEY! Look here first!” When you create emphasis through size on a scrapbook page, you guide the viewing experience. Start at the biggest, most dominant element, then move on from there. Emphasis is also called contrast. Constrast in design creates visual tension, but this is a good kind of tension. It creates a page with more drama and excitement. Go drama!

4. The use of white space: A little white space makes almost everything feel better. Even though I’ve got a big photo and a big chunk of journaling, the open space above the title and to the right of the journaling creates a more inviting design. It adds a bit of much needed air, and gives the whole design just a little more breathing room. Not all space must be filled up to create a pleasing layout.


Here is a basic sketch you can download to keep in your scrapbooking files. The sketches are on 8.5 x 11 paper for easy printing.

Download CZ_MAPMSketchNo3


Note: 12 x 12 scrapbookers can adapt the design to fit their space.


cardstock—OP White by Bazzill Basics

photo paper—Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl

digital brush set—Road Race by Cathy Zielske

font—Gill Sans (to match the Women Run the Cities logo!)

software—Photoshop Elements


I created my page using Adobe InDesign (to typeset my journaling and size my photos), and good old fashioned cardstock and photo paper. However the template is also available from Designer Digitals as a fully layered two-page file and is on sale until 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.


You can use this template to create your own hybrid version. For example, type your title and journaling, then turn off all of the other layers to print onto your choice of cardstock. Then, trim four photos to size to complete the design.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave ’em and I’ll do my best to answer.

Cathy ZielskeMake a Page Mondays

60 Comments on “Make a Page Mondays”

  1. #1

    great layout Cathy!! I love seeing the big picture first then the little ones to tell the rest of the story. That’s 3 Monday’s in a row you’ve inspiried us, thanks so much.

  2. #4

    Love this design… love that you did so well on your second race day… love the way your LO looks! CZ, you rock! 🙂

  3. #5

    I love Mondays now! Thanks so much for the inspiration and well done on the great race time. These Monday pages take me right back to your first Design Your Life class in 2008 and the days when I’d never heard of a visual triangle. Just pulled out my old class folder. Man, there is some good stuff in there! I need to do a bit of revision! Have a great day.

  4. #6

    Cathy, I love your layout and your story. I had noticed the template on DD. It is in my wish list as we speak. Thanks for sharing!

  5. #8

    Love that page Cathy!! I may have to scraplift (digilift?) that idea for the page I’m going to
    do on running my first full marathon yesterday
    at almost age 49! WooHoo!!

  6. #9
    Live Life

    I just jumped over to Designer Digitals; any chance you are going to have a 12 x 12 template? or did I just miss it.

  7. #10
    Nancy M

    Very nice layout. I have always liked that you include so much journaling, you really tell the story. I have to learn to do that. I still find it’s hard to pick out just a few pictures when thanks to digital cameras you take 50-100+ at an event!

  8. #14

    This one is only in 8.5 x 11! sorry! But, you can enlarge it to 12 x 12. I included simple directions with each 8.5 x 11 template for enlarging the canvases to make the pages 12 x 12. You simply have to enlarge it, then group elements together in layers and make those larger. Of course, it never translates exactly, because of the spatial differences!

    I should probably do corresponding 12 x 12s for all 8.5 x 11s, huh? Good for me to remember!

  9. #16
    Amy Z

    I love the design but I love that next year it is all about the 10 mile event even better. We are starting hill repeats tonight to train for the Tufts 10K for Women next October!

  10. #17

    I love the layouts every Monday. I have come home from work the past three Mondays and immediately gone to your blog. Then I have created my own similar layout using your templates. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. #19
    jo sowerby

    i love this story, u r so inspirational. any tips for an overweight coach potato? did u just go for it with the running or follow a proper plan?
    Jo xxxx

  12. #22

    3 weeks in a row w/ Mondays Cathy?? Sweet 🙂
    And love this page. Love the colors. Love the topic. Love Race for the Cure 🙂 Love you hauling. I spend $ on the pics too. :O

  13. #24

    Another great layout.

    Any ideas on scrapping the race number bib ? I have a couple of them now, and am wondering what to do with them – would like to keep them to remind myself I can do it.

    Happy Monday – Lisa

  14. #27

    I love “make a page Monday”! Looking forward to seeing more so please keep them coming! Makes monday morning a little more bearable you know?

  15. #28
    Cara S

    So, did you make your time? Under 30 is my goal for a 5K this Sunday. Thanks for the layout idea, and for being so darn inspiring!

  16. #29

    I think “my adult-onset athletic life” should be the name of your memoir. I really love this layout, for all it’s tight graphic design goodiness and for the inspiring story it continues to tell.

  17. #30
    Carmen King

    First of all – congrats on the run! I have several very dear “runner” friends and I am amazed at what they can do. One just flew to SanFran this weekend to run in a half marathhon and I have witnessed first-hand how much work goes into getting ready for a run. I am a walker (too many issues inside to be able to run), but I am an envious walker.
    Secondly, thank you for going through the design principles on this layout. I am in college (at 41 – bleh!) for a degree in graphic design. I have enjoyed your “stuff” for a few years and it was fun to see you talk about that “stuff” this morning and I understood what you were saying. I have six months left and have had a great time with all my design classes (plus, not to brag, but I do have a 4.0 gpa, which I like to frequently share with my four children). Thanks just for being you and being willing to share your view on life with the rest of us.

  18. #31
    Amy Z

    ME TOO! I have never ever done them but know that it is necessary to build my stamina and help me not have to drive a race course before I register for it to make sure there are not steep hills!

  19. #32

    I have just taken pics of mine. Then, i keep them in my office, pinned to my bulletin board. To remember Im a badass runner. ; )

  20. #36

    jo, read The Courage to Start by John Bingham. Very good stuff. I started with walking on the treadmill, and SLOWLY built up from there. if i can do it—and i used to LOATHE moving my body—anyone can. Its just a matter of making up your mind and trying.

  21. #38

    Light bulb moment for me-Reading your journaling, it popped out at me that you called running a “hobby”. Not exercise but a hobby. Never, in a million years, have I referred to anything related to exercise as a hobby. A hobby is something fun, something enjoyable. Exercise, well, for me, it’s not fun nor enjoyable. If I’m going to be successful at including exercise in a healthier life style, I need to think of it as a hobby. I need to make it a hobby. Wow. Like I said, light bulb moment for me.

  22. #40

    Great layout. Great, great story. I was just sitting here eating lunch at my desk while I caught up on Bits & Pieces. My plan was to grab a bag of cookies from the vending machine to go along with my afternoon coffee. Glad I got caught up on your blog first. It was what I needed to resist the cookies.

  23. #41

    HI Cathy, very tough course, lots of major
    hills, 25-30km headwinds and only went over
    my goal time of 4:30 by 9 minutes! 4:39 is
    pretty respectable for a first timer and I’m
    very very happy with that! I guarantee the
    next one will be under 4:30!!

  24. #43

    Ok – a big congratulations on the run you speedy thing!
    And the layout, I love everything about it (especially the pink) I bought the template as soon as it went on sale at DD and have already made two layouts with it which I adore, this might be my all time favourite layout/template of yours 🙂

    My running career is on hold due to a Staphylococcus aureus infection in my ankle of all things, I ended up in hospital with it on IV antibiotics and now have to rest it for a while. Bugger! (as we say down here)

  25. #48

    oh, pleade don’t… i don’t mind being a bit spoiled. btw, i LOVE the black and white photo – simply beautiful.

  26. #49
    Jill S.

    OOOhhh, I love this page: clean and simple. I may have to use this sketch to document my first duathlon (yesterday): run 2 miles, bike 12.4 miles, run 2 miles. Is there any chance you might make a “Road Race 2 Brushes and Stamps” to include duathlon and triathlon? My goal is to do a triathlon next summer. Congrats on your PR at the 5K. You were cruising.

  27. #50
    Lyndel Churchill

    It’s great that love of Neil Finn “circumnavigates the globe” but my husband would condemn me to “six months in a leaky boat” if I said that’s where the name came from. Finn is named after Finn McCool from Irish mythology – a kind of Irish Superhero. Thanks for asking. L

  28. #51
    Lynn L.

    Love this page…great design and colors!! The full size picture of you is awesome, love the smile on your face! Thanks for sharing your scrapbooking skills and your fitness journey!

  29. #53
    Lorraine Reynolds

    Make a Page Monday – just lovin’ it. Thanks for the inspiration – in more ways for one, and the page maps.

  30. #55

    Well, my normal 1/2 marathon time is 2 hrs but it was a very hilly course and I took it pretty easy, not even sore after……my hubby says that means I didn’t work hard enough…but I wanted to just enjoy the day, which I did,,,plenty of races in my future to lower the time!

  31. #56

    Here’s the thing: I really, really want to use your templates. Really. However, I am a novice Photoshop Elements user, which is to say, PE is installed on my computer and I’ve opened the program at least five times. And even though computer use is an everyday occurence in my life, indeed, a necessity, I am quite overwhelmed and intimidated by the prospect of learning how to use PE. I know not where to begin. And, begin I must if using your marvelous, breath-of-fresh-air templates is going to be a reality in my life. I want to play like the other kids!

    WWCD (What would Cathy do)?

    And, in anticipation of the day when I am able to make use of them, thank you so much for sharing your templates and talent with us all.

  32. #57

    Hey Beth,

    If I were you, I would take a class online from Jessica Sprague or Renee Pearson. It is SO helpful just to have some background in how these templates work.

    Also, there is a good bit of info at Designer Digitals that is free and very helpful!

    That link has ALL sorts of info.

    Also, you can watch some of my step by step basic digital scrapbooking videos that can be helpful. Here is a link to a post with a free template, and a video on how to use it:

    Hope this helps! : )

    There are really only a VERY few things you need to figure out to use this stuff. Seriously. And when you get those things figured out, youll be good to go!

  33. #58

    I’m embarrassed to admit that even after reading two of your books and following your blog, I still struggle with asymmetrical balance.

    I get a gut “yeah, that’s balanced” reaction, but can’t break it down to know exactly why/how it is balanced, so as to repeat it in different designs. Symmetrical is so easy to “check”; can you break down the asymmetrical a bit more?

    Love all the inspiration here, for on and off the page!

  34. #59

    Man, asymmetry IS a hard one to break down.

    A lot of it has to do with proximity of stuff. You cant just throw things down willy nilly and call it asymmetry. There is always a spatial relationship at work that needs to be be considered. If you have one large photo, and next to it place three smaller ones, you will have a non symmetrical design. But those three smaller photos needs to be spatially consistent to be visually pleasing. Large gaps of awkward space can sabotage an asymmetrical design by leaving it to feel unconnected and without purpose.

    I will have to try and think about this in future posts. : )
    Sound good?

  35. #60

    Sounds very good! Today’s Make a Page Monday reminded me of my question, and I’m so happy you replied:) I think I’ll also pull out your books and reread what you said there.

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