Digging digital

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking33 Comments

I took this picture of Aidan last week and thought: man, that's a killer photo. I should do something with it.


I decided to create a simple layout using InDesign that would let me drop a good chunk of journaling onto the photo as part of the core design. The resutling layout looked like this:


Sometimes, when I'm concepting ideas for new templates, this is how I work. I start messing around using InDesign and later translate the design into a digital template in Photoshop.

I had fully planned to use the layered template to create a hybrid scrapbook page. I was going to print the photo and journaling onto photo paper and trim. Next I'd find some patterned papers to print the "dearest aidan" and "love, mom" onto. It would be simple enough. Just turn off key layers on the template, trim the patterned papers to 8.5 x 11. Feed them through the printer and cut and paste accordingly. A little extra work here and there to create a page that used traditional scrap fixins.

And then I just thought: but why go to the extra trouble when I can share the same exact story in a purely digital format and it still achieves my hoped for aesthetic end result, i.e. a really cool layout that tells a story that matters to me?

So that's what I did.

And here's how the digital page turned out:


JOURNALING READS: I wanted to sit down and write you a little note about you and me and how incredibly thankful I am for the relationship we have in the here and now. You’re on the verge of well-oiled teenhood, yet we clash less with each passing year. Is it because you’re maturing and gaining more confidence? Is it because I’m learning to chill out more and see you as your own person, wholly separate from me? I’m feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude to be able to share in your life. To see you grow, and learn, and express who you are through your words, fashion, art and world view. Yes, I’m beyond thrilled at your hipster leanings. Your taste in music, your political leanings, your social conscience. But I want you to know that YOU are the part that matters most in all of it. Your thoughts and opinions, your choices and moves, your heart and your soul—the very things that make you who you are the things I’m so grateful to learn about and know. I’m not taking any minute for granted with you, my girl. I love you so very, very much. I hope this is something you will always know and feel in everything you do.

digital templateLove Letter Template (Cathy Zielske)
digital patterned papersKrafty Ledger Paper Pack (Katie Pertiet), Tonals Pink (Jesse Edwards, coming this weekend!)
digital brushesBoxed Days (Cathy Zielske)

I recently placed an order at ScrapbookPictures.com for 15 digital pages from the past several months. Some are from Cole's Elementary School album, others are simply random pages I've done fully digitally. Each layout cost around $2.50 to print on a premium grade photo paper, and the results are fabulous.


I'm surprised at just how much I like the digital prints, especially once they're tucked into page protectors, mixed in with all of the traditional and hybrid pages.

And to be honest with you, sometimes going the digital route is a bit simpler for me while still yielding a page that makes me happy.

I guess I like being able to do both, but right now, I'm just really digging digi.

Cathy ZielskeDigging digital

33 Comments on “Digging digital”

  1. #1

    Can 12 x 12 pages be done the same way? I haven’t taken the time to research who can print that size, or the cost. Suggestions?? Because yours look amazing, but I confess that since I’m not an 8.5 x 11 scrapper, I haven’t done anything more than admire yours. In the meantime, there I sit … with my paper … and scissors … and tape runner …. don’t get me wrong, scrapping in any form makes me happy, but I’d be curious to know the ease of scrapping 12 x 12 digitally, too.

  2. #2

    awww Cathy, you had to make me cry this morning, too many sappy posts this morning for me. I love love how you did the layout, it’s truly beautiful and so heartfelt even before I read the jorunaling. The story is so touching and special for your daughter. So awesome you two have a great realtionship at her age. You are truly an awesome mom.

    Wish I could do some digital work, it’s on my list of things to do this year. Did she see this yet? Now I have to go blow my nose. Have a happy, sappy day proud mom.

  3. #3
    Sandi M

    Cathy, this is amazing! Your letter and your template and your photo of Aiden all combine to perfection here. It’s also perfect because my daughter is turning 16 next month. Guess what one of her gifts will be 🙂 I love this idea!

  4. #6
    Carol Clayton

    I’m sure Aidan is going to treasure this one always. What a wonderful letter, Cathy, and a beautiful layout, too.

  5. #10
    Deborah Mundorff

    Hi Cathy – question from a long time fan your “Clean and Simple” pages with emphasis on good design and showing of photos:

    Did you stay in InDesign for the whole layout, then? I have always thought that page layout software might be easier for scrapbook pages than Photoshop… If so do you then need to export somehow to JPG to get it printed?

  6. #11

    Not on this one. I created my template in PS and then built it in there. But if you did do an ID page, i would export it as a high res PDF, then open in PS, flatten and save as a JPEG. : )

  7. #12

    So beautiful! You are an amazing photographer and I love this layout. I should do one for each of my 20 something children. It gets hard again when they turn 20 or 21 or 24!!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. #14
    Nicole C.

    Oh, how I would do anything to have words like yours written about me by my mother. The precious value that Aidan will have treasuring these for years to come. This may have been for you, but as a daughter I can tell you that mom’s words about you as you mature are priceless. Love this layout for so many reasons….brilliant Cathy.

  9. #15
    Sue O

    I love how this lay out turned out. I especially like that you turned the photo into black and white. It made it even more dramatic.

  10. #16
    Deborah Mundorff

    oh thank you for making this easier 🙂 Happiest of New years to you and your beautiful daughter. I have a son born almost at the same time, and I love how you echo my feelings about the joy of watching our kids turn into adults we admire.

  11. #17

    Great page and great that you have that kind of relationship with your daughter. I was always happy that I had sons, and dodged what I thought were the inevitable mother-daughter conflicts! As for digi, I took a freebie hybrid class last summer and I realized that I no longer had the patience for traditional (even hybrid) scrapbooking. I would obsess over the placement of elements and move things around over a period of days before gluing anything down. With digi, if you don’t like it, you can easily change it, and it is so much faster, not to mention cheaper.

  12. #18

    Yes…thanks for sharing with us…your journaling choked me up too…SO glad you and your daughter get along…it’s a mother’s dream. It is just beginning to happen w/me and my daughter who’s 24.

  13. #20

    Beautiful Cathy! Love the journaling, the photo is just fabulous, and what a sweet page that she will treasure.

  14. #23
    Jane Toft

    You have got me emotional too! I expect Aidan will do the teenage thing and roll her eyes at the heartfelt journalling, but she will know how much Mum loves her. The most important thing in the uncertain world of a teenage girl.

  15. #24

    Yes, ScrapbookPictures.com does lovely prints, and also Persnickety Prints, and some Costcos, or so I hear; all print 12×12. Also a lot of digiscrappers will make their pages 12×12 and then get them printed 8×8, to save some money and space. Depends on the size of your pictures, text, etc.

  16. #26

    my teenage daughter is 15 and your journalling also echoed alot of our relationship. Lol at the comment, she is in one of those moods today.,…aint that the truest comment 🙂 they just the most gorgeous creatures…I love my Zoe to piecesxx

  17. #27
    Michele Lyman

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE This — but I just don’t know how to start. What software do I need to be able to print out this template? What kind of printer? Cardstock won’t work in my printer. I’m dying to get started. Please tell me how.

  18. #28

    Love that you’re loving the digi. Oh how I love it too! For those of you curious about printing options, be sure to look into photo books. My albums are now hard bound Shutterfly books and I *love* them!

  19. #30

    Love. Beautiful. (And in contemplating FOCUS for 2011, your journey of Move More, Eat Less continues to inspire. Signed up for WW Online “for real” this time.)

    As to the printing of digi layouts–I want to start your monthly review, among other things, in 2011. When you print at Scrapbook Pictures, did you choose matte photo paper? I just got some printed, and the quality is great, but I miss the “regular” feel of cardstock paper. Just wondered if there was another option that I missed. Just can’t quite justify printing 12×12 or 8 1/2 x 11 layouts at home just to use the Epson Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper.

    Thanks–and happy 2011!
    P.S. Love the Cole and Linus-like video 🙂

  20. #33
    Deborah Mundorff

    Thanks! I get stuck after pictures, usually – I can put the pictures on a page so that I like it, but get stuck stylizing text, adding color, choosing fonts etc. For me digital makes it so much easier to experiment.

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