Make a Page Mondays No. 8

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking34 Comments

Welcome to the the eighth installment of Make a Page Monday. With Thanksgiving now a sweet, calorie-laden memory (one that I will be working off for days) I decided to make a simple page to note the holiday, but my story this year is one that even surprised me.



(Click on the image to see larger in a new window)

SIZE/MODE: 12 x 12 digital scrapbook page.

THE STORY: Here’s a little story about a scrapbooking Mom who decided to just hang up the camera within minutes of arriving at her Thanksgiving celebration. I took a total of 17 shots for the entire day and guess what? It felt wonderful. The main reason? I realized once we got down to my in-laws (an hour south of our home) that I’d left my Thankful album supplies sitting squarely on top of my dining room table. WHAT? No Thankful album 2010? After a split second of embracing my incomprehensible forgetfulness, I took a deep breath and remembered what I most love about this holiday: everything. And so, I let it go and let the day and the gratitude in. So maybe I don’t have a Thankful album to share this year. I have still have my family and the memories inside my head and on any day that is surely enough to fill me up. And besides, what’s to stop me and the ones I love from filling it out at another ordinary family get-together? To remind us of our gratitude every time we gather?

THE JOURNALING: Thanksgiving at the farm, gathered in gratitude. After the “Doh!” moment when I realized I left My Thankful album project back in St. Paul, I set the camera aside for most of the day and just relaxed with my family. There are no group pictures of the Zielskes to be Christmas-card ready this year, and you know what? I think that’s perfectly fine. The best part of this day is how dependably agenda-free it remains. It’s my favorite holiday of the year for this very reason. A simple day to give thanks; to want nothing other than to share the day with the people you love. A brilliant concept for a holiday indeed.


I use this four-square design approach a lot in my scrapbooking. I call it, “Why reinvent the wheel?” Let’s look at the design principles at work here.

1. Symmetrical Balance: The four-square base to this design creates an instantly solid, symmetrical design. The four photo/paper/journaling spaces provide a framework in which to build. You can mix up what you use in the space, and you can layer titles and embellishments over the spaces and still preserve the symmetrical foundation.

2. Repetition—Remember how repetition promotes the overall unity of a design? Here, you repeat shape (squares), and color (brown in the papers and type; white in the title and the stitching).

3. Unity—The placement of the four squares via their proximity to one another create a unified chunk of visual content. Add to that the overlap of the title and the placement of both the smaller title and the date, and you have a connected, purposeful grouping of visual content which creates a strong sense of unity and purpose. Placement is everything in a unified design.


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 CZMAPMSketchNo8


digital template—Layered Template No. 76 (Cathy Zielske

digital papers—Krafty Ledger Paper Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Weathered Neutrals Paperie (Anna Aspnes)

digital stitching—Stitched No. 1 by Anna (Anna Aspnes)

digital brushes—Outline Years, Months & Days (Ali Edwards)

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Leave them for me and I’ll do my best to answer. Also, if you make your own version of the page, don’t hesitate to share a link in your comment. I love to see how people are intepreting the sketches to make their own pages!


Cathy ZielskeMake a Page Mondays No. 8

34 Comments on “Make a Page Mondays No. 8”

  1. #1

    So glad you had a page today, wasn’t sure with it being a holiday weekend. I love love this for many reasons, the brown background, the white title, the story, the pictures you chose are perfect for the story and you summed up how I feel about this holiday and why it’s also my favorite. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. #4

    Love your attitude, Cathy! (And I’m with you on the forgetfulness thing too…)
    Oh, and this design is fabulous. I’m definitely going to use it on an 8×8 for my mom and dad’s gift album. The 2×2 grid is one of my favourite looks.

  3. #5
    heather johnson photography

    Love this page! And I had to laugh…as I did the same thing this summer when we went camping, except instead of forgetting the album I forgot to put batteries in my camera. I remember saying to myself that I didn’t need it…and I could sit back and enjoy just being in the moment. (Nice thought, but turns out I am too neurotic and by hour one was exasperated I forgot the camera and was missing recording everything!)

  4. #6

    I admit that I’ve started letting go of the camera a bit more on holidays or family celebrations. I find it frees my mind and reminds me to “focus” (pun intended…sorry, couldn’t resist!) on the moment. Less photos, sure, but the ones I do take seem to be better. Cathy, I have a request. Your recent post about staying the course on your “Eat Less, Move More” plan was fantastic and very helpful to me. I am halfway through my goal weight (lost 21.5 lbs with 20 lbs. more to go) and feel great but I need a mojo call from you! Your own story of getting fit and having fun along the way has been so very inspirational to me (thanks you so much!). But I am a little bored, a bit tired of the drill and need a kick-in-the-butt blog post from you to help me get in the groove! Yup, I’ve got a lot of nerve, right? 😉 But you are my blog weight-loss coach, so how about it? Give all of us out here following you on this “Eat Less, Move More” plan a shout out to keep us going! Pretty please. XOXO

  5. #7

    I can’t find one of your blogs that mentions your printer. What type of Epson do you use?? Would you recommend it?

  6. #8

    cathy this is simply (key word) perfection. I love it. How did you print on 12×12? or put the pages together? do you just have a fanciful printer? very curious…

  7. #9

    Hey Bonnie, well, the week after next will be the next Tales from the Scales post. Although Ive been struggling a bit again with this whole holiday season, baking like crazy, etc. etc. So… keep an eye out next week!
    : )

  8. #10

    I dont use an Epson, I use HP and have for years. But its really six of one, half dozen of the other from what I know of Epson. Theyre both great companies! I have a Photosmart 8750 (about 4 years old now) and its been a very reliable printer for me!

  9. #11

    Pam, I will be sending this out to print! I dont have 12 x 12 photo paper, so… I wait until I have a few digital pages to print (right now i have TON of them, like 12) and then Ill send an order to They do a great job and its very affordable, I think. : )

  10. #12

    Okay, so I just recently found you and I love what you do. Here’s the deal. I’m like a newborn at this. Where do I start? What software and what kind of printer will print on cardstock or heavier papers? Do you have a place within your blog for beginners?

  11. #13
    michele in la

    Holidays are the times I have the fewest photos! …and it’s just because of what you said – it is time to focus on family. Every now and then I look back and can’t believe I only took 5 photos of Christmas morning (and none were very good), but that’s OK because I know deep down inside, that I have to create the memories for my children, not just stage a photo shoot!

    As far as “the Christmas card”…I tend to choose a photo card that has spots for multiple photos and I choose photos from the year. That gives the people that we don’t see as often and probably don’t see photos of the kids throughout the year, at least of glimpse of our real life. Since I’m guilty of snapping many thousands of photos a year, the hard part is only choosing 3-5!!

    I’m glad you have chosen to embrace your faux pas and remember there is always another day….

    Wishing you a joyous holiday season…

  12. #14

    Hello Shelly, I dont have a basic place here to start, but I DO have resources for you:

    This link will give you the basics on software, products etc. A great way to start doing basic digital scrapbooking.

    2. Consider taking an online course from either or on the basics of Photoshop Elements. Both offer courses that are stellar!

    3. I have two books that I wrote and if you scroll down the side of my blog, youll see links for them. Both of them are full of ideas and my overall philosophy to keeping things simple and focusing on stories.

    4. My designer digitals collection can be found here:

    Does this help get you going?
    : )

    Welcome to my world!

  13. #15

    I too have used this layout a few times. I remember it from Simple Scrapbooks (sigh…), and is it in your book too, or twice in SS? Either way, love it, and it always looks good. I make the photos 4 x 4, so I can just quickly chop up some plain old 4 x 6’s. Easy as (non-documented, pumpkin)pie.

    And, I’ll just second your referral to Renee Pearson’s classes. I took, Just the Basics, and it really gave me enough info to get a working knowledge of Photoshop Elements.

  14. #17

    Wow!!! Thanks for this informative post. Sadly I found it today only, so should look thru the 7 previous Monday posts as I really want to learn and make my first page.

  15. #19
    Erika Drummond

    I just need to know. Are you all-digi-all-the-time now? I feel so detached. I know my way around a computer, but I do so love paper. Fell like a traitor if I even attempt to make the switch…

  16. #20

    Hello! I’m trying to find your posts where you used your Monthly layouts, but I can’t find them anywhere. Have you taken them down? If not, can you direct me to one of the examples? Thanks!

  17. #21

    Love the story. Thanksgiving was at my house – 22 sisters, brother-in-laws, Papa, nieces, nephews, my mom, my kids, my hubby. Each family and some individuals filled out a card only I FORGOT TO SNAP family photos to go with each card. I did take a bunch of great in the moment shots but none to go with my Thankful cards except for the shot of the tacky tissue paper turkey decorations aka “the Flock”. The Flock travels between our houses at Thanksgiving and “they” filled out their card…that should make an interesting story especially since I have a picture of the “Flock” ancestors sitting on my grandmother’s sideboard-:)

  18. #23

    Hello! I’m trying to find your posts where you used your Monthly layouts, but I can’t find them anywhere. Have you taken them down? If not, can you direct me to one of the examples? Thanks!

  19. #24

    First – thanks for the sketch.
    Second – and totally unrelated: I did MeTAV last year (digitally) but still haven’t gotten it printed. Since (I hear) you did it digitally for this year’s class, could you share how you printed? Did you print each page and slip them into page protectors? Or did you find a place that will print a PORTRAIT 8.5×11 book? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the latter… 🙂

  20. #25
    Jane Simmons

    Just finished and uploaded to FB a page based on last week’s MAPM. How do I attach that file to my comments? Love the whole MAPM concept — it helps get my creative brain parts moving. For example, I’d had the page template almost since it came out and never used it before.

  21. #26
    Mary Mitchell

    Cathy for once in my life…….I look forward to Mondays !!! Thank you for giving me a reason to gleefully roll out of bed on Monday morning. ( I had to work the glee factor into this. hahahaha)

  22. #28

    Erika, lately, Ive been doing a lot more digital pages, but no, not digital all the time. I just realized that I could do this so much faster, and still get the enjoyment AND record the story. I used to feel like I shouldnt be dabbling so much in digital. Now, I just enjoy it too much to let it go!

    Im tired of feeling the need to keep up with all the scrap stuff out there. Product is overwhelming, and Ive never really been about the products, you know?

    I keep it VERY simple with the digi stuff, and it makes me happy!

  23. #29

    Christine, there is a small search engine on this blog in the outer right column. If you type in The Monthly voila, all posts about the Monthly will come up!
    : )

    Let me know if youre still having trouble finding them!

  24. #30

    I sent all my pages to and had it made into a book! 36 bucks or so to have it done and even though it trimmed off some of my edges (live and learn!) I LOVE it!

  25. #31

    I dont think you can attach a file, just a link to the webpage/blog page where you photo is. So, copy the address in your browser, and paste in the comment!

  26. #32

    Yet again, another great page Cathy. I love your simple design (I know, I know you have heard that many times). I too am heading more towards digital because of the time factor but feel a little guilty. Why??? All the money I have spent on paper supplies… but I’m trying not to worry about it toooooo much.

    Look forward to next Monday.

  27. #33
    Karen Todd

    Hi Cathy,

    Do you have any plans to continue with this feature in 2011?

    I sure do hope so 🙂


  28. #34

    I hope to do more this year, yes. But, I had told someone who emailed me with a similar question, I always love to scrapbook from an organic place, and I realized I was forcing myself to make some pages, so… im waiting for honest inspiration to hit!

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