Make a Page Mondays

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking68 Comments

Today marks the start of a new blog feature called “Make a Page Monday.” The goal of this feature? To share a recent page that I made each Monday, which is why I’m calling it “Make a Page Monday.” I know. The way my mind works sometimes is truly dazzling.

To avoid confusion, it doesn’t mean I made it today and then quickly wrote a blog post. If that were the case, I would call it, “I just made a page this morning and am sharing it with you immediately on my blog, and it’s Monday,” but somehow that’s just not as catchy.

But I digress.

I will feature both digital and hybrid pages, both 8.5 x 11 and 12 x 12. Who knows, I may even throw in a 6 x 6 every now and then, but now I’m just talkin’ crazy.

More than a step-by-step instruction post—although some of my Make a Page Monday posts will included steps—this feature is simply meant to share a page, a few design tips and a downloadable sketch to help you in your own scrapbooking endeavors. Think of it as Design Do-Overs, without the Do-Over.

It’s also to help me get into a more regular scrapbook groove and to share some of my latest designs and products over at Designer Digitals.

As with all of my blog features, I have the best of intentions. There will likely be many a Monday that come and go without a page, but that, gentle readers, is only because on occasion, I start out on fire with an idea, only to douse myself a few weeks later. Here’s to a fine idea on this Monday. The only one we know for sure that we have at this very moment! Shall we begin?



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

SIZE & MODE: A 12 x 12 digital layout.

THE STORY BEHIND THE PAGE: Aidan had gotten all dolled up to go to a high school football game and was feeling uber adorable, so she wanted me to take some shots of her out on our front porch. Show me a scrapbooking Mom who’s going to turn down an offer like that and I’ll show you some land I want to sell in Florida. You feelin’ me? I took about 15 shots, and this was one of my favorites. I wanted to take this simple snapshot of my girl at 14 and make a page using one of my newest templates, which was lifted from this page that I made featuring my awesome nephew Luke back in 2006:


I would like to take a minute to remind you what I looked like at 14:

Cathy @ 14 maybe

Or was it 15? Oh, ages schmages. I’m just always blown away that my daughter looks so put together and fashionable all the time. My excuse? It was that damned 1980. Horrible year for photos and purple angora sweaters.


Let’s move onto the real gist of this new feature, the design discussion of the layout.

How much could possibly be going on with a simple page containing only one photo? Well I’m glad you asked!

1. The principle of repetition: when you repeat elements on a page, you re-inforce the overall cohesion of the design. On this design, I have repeated shapes (the squares containing the patterned paper), the sizes of those squares, the papers themselves, and on the layout featuring Aidan, I’ve repeated digital stitching and outlined letters. Color on the patterns themselves is also repeated. Repeat after me: repetition is good.

2. The principle of symmetry in balance: if you slice this page down the middle, what you have on the left side you have repeated on the right, in terms of the space that is occupied. This type of balance is called symmetry. Symmetrical pages feel very solid, secure and comfortably predictable. Predictability in design is not a negtive thing at all. We crave visual solidity. It is comforting and safe to our brains. Further, when you know you want to create something symmetrical, it can help you in the design process because you know that both sides of your design will need to be equal. On the second page featuring my nephew, the two chipboard titles are actually an example of reflected and rotated symmetry, because they are not directly across from each other, but rather, flipped and rotated. Still, the effect of symmetry remains.

3. The principle of unity: the way the photos and the patterned papers are placed, all spatially connected to each other via their proximity, creates a larger piece of visual content that feels cohesive and unified. Strong design will often exhibit this sense of one-ness in the overall piece.

4. The use of space: notice the equal amounts of space in and around the pictures and the squares of patterned paper. This space feels purposeful and it serves to hold the elements together. Also, notice the framing space around the photos and papers. The space you preserve on the edges of any design can also serve to hold the design together. Always pay attention to how you are using space on any 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_MAPMSketchNo1


I’m always happy to see what you create with any of my products, or with any of these sketches. Never hesitate to email me links to your own blogs, or simply to send me a sample of your page. You can reach me at

(the supplies listed are for the page above featuring Aidan)

Digital Template—Cathy Zielske’s Layered Template No. 68

Digital Cardstock—Just Linens No. 1 by Michelle Martin

Digital Patterned Paper—Siri Paper Pack by Michelle Martin

Outlined Number—Outline Days, Months, Years and Numbers Value Pack by Ali Edwards

Stitching frame—Stitched by Anna No. 1 by Anna Aspnes


Questions about today’s post? Leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.



Cathy ZielskeMake a Page Mondays

68 Comments on “Make a Page Mondays”

  1. #1

    Just what I need – a little inspiration on a wet Monday. I will whip through my housework now so I can make a page this afternoon. Sweet photo of Aidan.

  2. #2

    I love the idea of a page on Monday’s, it’s good to be inspired on Monday mornings after a long, lazy weekend. Love both layouts. Amazing how much she looks like you and I even wore that sweater in school too. Thanks for sharing….

  3. #3

    wow I love this idea. I thought you were getting too sporty/health conscious so the scrapping was being a little left behind. But you surprised us all again.

    I love this idea and now I have something to look forward to on Mondays. Thanks Cathy!!

  4. #4

    Fabulous! I love this idea Cathy and thanks for sharing that awesome picture of Aidan with us. She sure is pretty and photogenic to boot!

  5. #6
    Lee Currie

    I knew you were cooking up something fabulous! GREAT shots of Aidan – you can’t ever turn down those opportunities, so far and few between these days here too. Thanks for the design reminders and the sketch is great 🙂

  6. #9

    What a great idea, thanks for sharing. Im off to get my scraps out. Im obsessed with trying to use as many of my scraps before I get out a pile of new papers. It drives me crazy!!! Ill be back, till next week, TTFN.
    Oh by the way I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for your inspiration. Today I started my first day of training, 8 mins of running, 22mins of fast paced walking. I know its not much but its a start. I have not ran in over 30 years!!!! Lets hope I can be as strong as you and stick to it. Again THANK YOU.

  7. #12

    Love this post and the layout, thanks! I look forward to your Monday posts as well, and this one is awesome. I think “Make A Page Monday” could be a “thing”, just saying…

  8. #14

    Christina, my scrapping IS behind and I have so, so many stories to tell that arent getting told. Time to look for more balance in my life. Bring on a weekly page, I always say. Plus, I love chatting about design as it relates to our hobby!

  9. #17

    This just made my day…heck maybe even my week! Now I just need to see if my cat would like yet another page done of him. Wish I could get a good shot of my husband. He is long overdue for his own page.
    Thanks Cathy!

  10. #19

    Hi Cathy – I love this post and the new feature all too much! Just wanted to say thanks for all the enabling. Have a great week!

  11. #21
    Crystal Cook

    I loved this design when you first used it and I still love it. I really like what you did with the title on this one. Maybe I’ll have to go and make a page now too. It’s been soooo long. Thanks for the inspiration!
    And, your girl is SO stunning. I would really love to paint her, and I don’t say that about just any scrapbook-celeb-daughter. 🙂

  12. #25

    i love this idea and a reminder on the design principles – always so helpful. Love your template – i just put it in my wishlist at dd 🙂

  13. #27

    Just like in your book, Clean and Simple Scrapbooking, I loved the explanation about design. Please keep all your tips and lessons coming. Am going to finish my work so I can make a page. Thanks

    Hey, I think I had the same sweater, and I know I had the same haircut……… Your daughter looks so much like her mommy.

  14. #28

    Your work is always amazing, Cathy…Thanks for sharing!!! Love the sketch…Will definitely be using this soon…

  15. #29
    Renee Gallup

    Love the page idea, Cathy! I might just get a page done each week! Love it, love it, love it! Have a nice, crisp Fall morning in MN!

  16. #30

    For the 1980s your hair totally rocked! That’s the look I always wanted, but could never quite achieve. I had to settle for the shorter permed hair.

    And thank you for the design tips. Keep ’em coming!

  17. #31

    Funny that you mention how cute and put together Aidan looks all the time. I was in Rosedale a couple of weekends ago walking into the Gap and I saw the outfit of this very tall, thin girl, and thought to myself, “If I could just look like that all the time, what a great look, put together, but casual, effortlessly cute…” Then I looked up and thought, hey, I recognize that girl, omigod, It’s Aidan! And there’s Dan and Cole! Holy crap! Sort of like a celebrity sighting for me. Sooo… if they came home and told you about some weird lady with a baby who kept staring at them, it was me. This blog thing is weird that way…

  18. #32

    Love it, Cathy. Thanks. I do the same exact thing – come up with a great idea I’m just not able to sustain. But hey, today worked!

  19. #33

    Love this! Thanks for sharing. Especially the fonts you so expertly use.

    I have a request for one of your Monday sessions…our family runs a local race every Thanksgiving morning. Building up to the event, a lot of trash/smack talk goes on via email. In the end the winner of the family gets the bragging rights. Could you show a creative way to scrapbook the trash talk? It can be so hilarious to follow the threads of these. Thanks Cathy.

  20. #35

    Holy cow. I will never forget the Farrah hair, but I had almost forgotten about those angora sweaters! Felt so soft when you first put them on in the morning, but by midday when your body warmed up a bit too much, there were always a few of those spiky hairs that would poke and itch…and then there was the shedding “fluff” that always danced around you through the day…ah, good times. Hundred degree weather finally broke, and now I’m living with thunder showers and muggy humidity — in October? What’s up Mother Nature? Where do you think this is? Minnesota? Love the new design feature — thanks for making Mondays a little less painful!

  21. #37

    That girl has so much Anna in her, I will compare this photo to one that I take of Anna in seven years.
    Great page, good luck with the follow through. 🙂

  22. #39

    love the new feature, cathy! our weekly dose of “design your life”. now i have a good reason not to loathe mondays the way i used to.

  23. #40
    Alana in Canada

    Usually, I see a lot of you in Aiden: so much so, I start to wonder what Dan had to do with it, you know? 😉 This time, she is more herself. It isn’t that I can see Dan specifically (and those eyebrows of yours she inherited carry her face so well) but, she is definitely coming into her own. Well done, Aiden. You rock.

  24. #41
    Heather H.

    Ooooo! I am so excited about this! I think it may be just what I need to get my creativity jump started. I spent this past weekend on a scrap retreat and completed 3 crappy layouts. It was so frustrating and disappointing.

  25. #42

    This looks stunning. I love the little design lesson you accompanied the page with.

    I also love the light and the catchlights in the photo of Aidan. And just the right amount of shadows to make it an interesting portrait. Your daughter has one amazing photographing and scrapbooking mom that makes her look just as adorable as she is.

  26. #43

    Cathy, if you give us a few of these Monday ideas, we may get into a scrap-habit without realizing it. Lately, I’ve had family members hand me a few photos to keep, and I think, “Why stick this in a box to marinate for a few years, because I don’t have time to scrapbook? Why not just get these down on a page and put them in my album THIS WEEK, so they can be seen and enjoyed??” The idea! Scrap a photo the same week it’s taken?? That’s so … daring! But I like it. And you’re giving me the tools to take the plunge instead of being scared the page will come out wrong. Thanks so much!

  27. #44

    Thanks Cathy. I love seeing how you use your templates and getting further inspiration from that. Bring it on!

  28. #45

    The picture of Aidan is stunning and your layout is fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing!! Quick question if you don’t mind — what font did you use for the words MAKE, MONDAY, PAGE, DESIGN & SKETCH?

  29. #46

    Love this! Going to download the kit later just to scraplift the title (mostly paper scrapper here) because back when my youngest was 17 and going to the prom she asked me to snap some glam photos of her. Got the best shots ever! Not done anything with them-:( So I am inspired.

    As for the sweater – I had one just like that too!! And yes to someone who wrote that they felt soft at the beginning of the day and like burlap by the end. As for your hair so jealous mine was a straight and flat as possible so my high style mother took me and my hair to the salon and I got a Dorothy Hamill wedge not fair I wanted the Farrah look-:(

  30. #47

    I recognize your haircut in your age 14 photo! I, too, had that haircut. Shades of Charlie’s Angels-the Farrah Fawcett shag haircut. What a memory.

  31. #51

    Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your motivation and creativity with us. Lovely LO of A; she looks just like you, a true beauty:]

  32. #54

    Informative, helpful explanation. So nice of you to share like this. I do have a question, as I am a little obsessive about doing 2 page spreads…any design comments on what the 2nd page should look like? I love one-picture pages next to a coordinating multi-photo page (even if the 2nd page has only 2 or 3 pics)

  33. #57

    What i would do with this? I would simply duplicate the design, but…. move the content IN towards the gutter (the place where both pages meet in the middle. So you push the design to the right on one page, and then to the left on the other. Make sense?

  34. #59
    Denise Hubbard

    You are the BEST!!! Thanks a million – absolutely love the way the new features includes design, layout, photo and sketch!! So excited!

  35. #60

    I never realized how much Aidan resembles Mariska Hargitay on Law and Order: SVU. And that’s no slouch! What a lovely young lady.

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