Awesome, sporty, bacon (or how to interview someone and make a cool hybrid scrapbook page)

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking56 Comments


Last week I came across on older scrapbook page I did for an article in Simple Scrapbooks magazine (RIP, Simple), and it featured an interview with my then 9-year-old daughter, Aidan.

Interviewing aidan

I am the scrapbooked interview's biggest fan. Why? Because asking questions and getting straight answers from your kids (or whoever you might be interviewing) is a really slick and authentic way to capture real life, specific details about your subject.

Aidan, my self-professed indie music hipster, had a hard time believing that Kelly Clarkson once topped her list of faves, but at the same time, she still doesn't aim for popularity, preferring to simply be who she is and see what happens. I really cherish these little slices of her life, reflecting what she thought in 2005. And this approach takes zero writing skill. Ask the question, report the answer.

Journaling can be a hang up for people. In all the classes I've taught and travels I've been on, I hear this time and again: writing is easy for you, they tell me. But not for me.

To that end, I've started designing a new series at Designer Digitals called "StoryGuides." The goal of these templates is to provide journaling frameworks, essentially giving you the prompts and directions to fill in the blanks and create a meaningful document about your unique subject. The first in the series features an interview format geared specifically towards kids, tweens and teens. Keep in mind though, you can change up the questions in the templates to fit your particular needs.

I've never done an interview with Cole, so this past weekend, I sat him down and got the scoop. Then, I used my digital template to type up the answers, add the photos and colors, and then I simply turned layers on and off in Photoshop to print out the pieces for my finished hybrid scrapbook page.


The page above consists of a piece of cardstock and four small photos. The digital page looks like this:


I turned off all of the photo layers to print out the journaling and the outlines onto white cardstock. Then I turned the photos back on, and the other layers off to print the photos onto a piece of 8.5 x 11 photo paper.


Next, I trimmed out the photos and adhered them onto the cardstock. However, I realized that the blue on the cardstock was a bit off from the blue on the "2011" block. That happens with ink and photo paper. Often, you get a richer, brighter color on photo paper. So, I turned off all the layers except for the blue date box, and sent that to print on a piece of white cardstock.


It's subtle, but the cardstock version matches with the title better.

This 8.5 x 11 template can be completed and mounted onto a 12 x 12 piece of cardstock as well.


I think the framing white space is gorgeous around this, and it allows a bit of breathing room into a text heavy design.

I also think having a little slice of what Cole thinks at age 11 is going to be really cool to read 10 years from now. I have to wonder if on his 21st birthday, will he still use "bacon" to describe himself?

Only time will tell.

Keep an eye out for more StoryGuides to be released, and if you have any ideas you'd like to see for journaling prompts, don't hesitate to let me know!

NOTE: This template and everything else at Designer Digitals is on sale through Midnight tonight P.S.T. Save 30% on everything in the store.


SUPPLIES: StoryGuide No. 01 (Cathy Zielske) β€’ white cardstock (Bazzill Orange Peel) β€’ Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl Photo Paper. Note: this template is designed using two free fonts. There are links inside the digital package in the HOW TO PDF that will take you to the site to download the fonts. Or, you can always substitute your own.



WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HYBRID SCRAPBOOKING? Check out my collection of tutorials at Vimeo. Questions? Comments? Post them here and I'm happy to answer them.



WANT MORE ON INTERVIEW-STYLE SCRAPBOOKING? Check out Ella Publishing's ebook, Quick & Creative Quizzes. This ebook ishock full of fun-to-complete, easy-to-use questions. Quick & Creative Quizzes will show you 20 ways to both simplify and spice up your scrapbook journaling. From questions for couples and kids to an all-purpose, fill-in-the-blanks event quiz, you’ll find something to fit every layout.

There is also a companion piece designed by yours truly featuring printable PDF components to help you re-create some of the ideas you see in this book. No Photoshop is needed to work with these printable quiz pieces.


Cathy ZielskeAwesome, sporty, bacon (or how to interview someone and make a cool hybrid scrapbook page)

56 Comments on “Awesome, sporty, bacon (or how to interview someone and make a cool hybrid scrapbook page)”

  1. #1
    Lee Currie

    LOVE the interview – and my little guy Caden (10) is fascinated with the idea of art being included in a layout. Your Coleman is now his hero since he drew Carey Price, a favourite around here. I think a whole new world has opened here this morning. Thanks (again!).

  2. #2
    Susan in MD

    Thanks for the suggestion. My daughter’s birthday is next week and this will be a great way to capture who she is at 10.

  3. #3
    margaret in AZ

    Kewl idea, Cathy; I”m going to send my daughter a link to the page. Great idea for the grands (12 & 9) versus my OWN kids (35 & 28). I mean: really? Do I want to know what my kids think NOW?!? πŸ™‚

  4. #5

    I loved reading this Cathy, your Cole is a funny guy just like my Sam. Every birthday and end of school I do an interview with my kids and love hearing their answers. So much can change in years time, I’d give anything to have had something like this from my childhood. Also, love the one of Aidan actually have it in my Cathy Z. binder and always loved her photo on this. I love that Cole talks about bacon because my son Sam’s favorite food for 3yrs in a row is bacon and corn dogs, how funny and he’s finally changed his future job interest to a gym teacher and has decided he’d like to coach bball/soccer, we had a huge talk about that not too long ago. He’s other preference has been a principal, I’m thinking he likes school even though he says he doesn’t,lol. Thank you for this step by step idea. Another story idea is for the kids to interview us.

  5. #8

    Dawn, I would have liked to have something like this too! You know? That alone is such a great reason to scrapbook for our families.

  6. #10

    Question: Since you print the photos on an 8.5×11 piece of photo paper, do you have a lot of photo paper scraps? I love the idea of digital but I’d like to be able to print the photo parts on 4×6 or 5×7 sizes that I could order from Shutterfly, etc. Saves money and paper.

  7. #11

    Maureen, it doesnt come with the block, but… you have to download that font for free (there is a link inside the HOW TO pdf). Its a font called Lobster, from FontSquirrel. Its the same as the title font. Then, you can create the date yourself by typing it in, then adding a layer style outline!
    : )

  8. #12

    Love this idea! I’ve wanted to do more hybrid scrapbooking and this may be the little push I need to start! Love everything you design, Cathy.

  9. #13

    Cheryl, because Im not nearly as prolific with scrapbooking as I used to be, (on average, I do one page a week, sometimes one every two weeks) I dont save my scraps of photo paper. I buy a huge box of Ilford paper every six months or so. But you can totally print those photos onto smaller page sizes and order from Shutterfly!

    : )

  10. #15

    *sigh* This is in my shopping bag at Designer Digitals – along with a few other CZ items πŸ˜‰ but I’m going through a serious scrapping slump right now and wondering if I’m ever going to feel the scrappy love again.

    Oh well, seeing as the sale ends today, I’ll buy now and soul-search later.

    (Thanks for the scrapbooking and storytelling inspiration. Even if I don’t act on it, I love to soak it all in.)

  11. #16
    Michelle Darde

    My girls are 16 and 12…and I’m already feeling like I’ve missed so many opportunities to do this kind of thing for them. I’m definitely going to start now!

  12. #18
    Tasia M

    If the sports thing doesn’t work out for Cole, it looks like he could also make a living as some sort of artist. That drawing of the hockey players is great!

  13. #19

    I think it would be cool to have a story prompt for a spouse, specific to the activities of the year. Best/worst, fav book, etc. Something that could be done around a birthday the beginning of the year.

  14. #20
    Jan B

    Cathy, I love this template and am definitely going to get it and use it with my granddaughters. One is almost 7 and the other is only 1-1/2 (I’ll have to wait a bit to get her answers. Not that she wouldn’t HAVE answers – she would. I just wouldn’t know how to spell them…). πŸ˜‰

    Another idea. How about one for adult gatherings like small parties or a family reunion? Something kinda “slice of contemporary life-y”. I went to a get-together last night for couples so it would be fun to have something like “he said, she said”. I’ve done quiz/questionnaires at family reunions before and then have made a mini album containing each person’s photo along with their answers. These are SO fun to look back on. And so meaningful to have for a couple family members that are no longer with us.

    I’m off to get your template! πŸ™‚

  15. #22
    Kristyn G

    Cathy-I have a 3 year old and would love a little interview with him. I’m not really sure what to ask him, so being a mom of older kids, what is something you wish you had asked when your’s were toddlers?

  16. #24

    I can’t tell you how much I love these pages you made!! My daughter just turned 11 a few days ago and I can’t wait to use this format to document her at this age. I stopped scrapping the usual birthday party photos a few years ago they all turn out the same after a few years. Your questions are the things we really will want to know in the future and not so much as to what the cake looked like, etc. Thanks for this wonderful series of templates!

  17. #25

    I actually did this with my (then) 3 and 5 year old (they’re now 12 and 15). Ask things like favorite food, meal, snack, color, toy, place to go, etc. But also include the “my not-so-favorite” things along the same lines. It’s fun to have a record of things from both sides of the fence (good and bad). You may also want to include “best memory” and “current dream”. My daughter (the youngest) still chuckles when she re-reads what she “disliked” at age 3. (You might also dig a little deeper and ask WHY they like/dislike something. I’ve found that also produces some pretty interesting answers. Good luck!

  18. #26
    Sarah MacKenzie

    I bought this the on the weekend when I got lured in by the word s.a.l.e at Designer Digitals. It is on my agenda for this week to interview my 5 year old – will probably modify a couple of questions and already know the answer to a few others – like what he would change his name to – which I am sure will be Bolt Wyatt (he is just Wyatt, but has an obsession with the movie Bolt and is always telling me to call him Bolt Wyatt). Anyway, I digress…. Just wanted to say I also bought your monthly add on pack and it is just FANTASTIC for doing a multi-page layout on our family vacation to Arizona last month. I am just putting the finishing touches on it and loving the way it looks! Thank you for being awesome!

  19. #28

    I love these kinds of pages! I was wondering about doing it with the granddaughters (4.5 yrs. old) and I’m going to go for it, based on what others are saying. I’d like to see an interview for men – my DH is 60 yrs. old and I’d like to have something for him – he’s kind of uncooperative sometimes! I love your work – thanks for inspiring!

  20. #30

    So many lost opportunities. I will try to not miss anymore. Thanks for the reminder. Get those interviews, ladies. You’ll be glad you did!

  21. #31

    Oh, i would have asked some of the same questions. Maybe whats your favorite toy? Whos your favorite cousin or aunt or uncle? (that would be kind of fun!) You wouldnt have to fill out all of them, you could delete some! : )

  22. #34

    Bolt? I love it! When I was pregnant with Cole, Aidan wanted to name him Cowboy or Jim. Those were the only choices. I think Toy Story might have had an influence on the Cowboy one!
    Glad youre digging the templates!

  23. #36

    I’ve never made an interview page for my kids, and it’s high time! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Thankfully, I was smart enough to write down some comments from the past so I can create a page from a few years ago and then do an updated page for now. And again in a few years…

    Thanks, Cathy! And I love your StoryGuide idea for DD. Your mad skillz will be perfect for that seriez!

  24. #37

    Awesome. Sporty. Bacon. Exactly the three words I would use to describe myself, though perhaps I might also add kettle chips.

  25. #38

    Never too late to start–16 is such an angst-ridden time, and will provide humor in a very short time…and imagine what the grandkids will think someday.

  26. #40
    Laura M.

    Its interesting that both of your kids would change their names to their middle names…isn’t Cole’s middle name Asher? I’m not a stalker, I swear, I just remember seemingly random pieces of info. =)

    I think it would also be interesting for those of you with kids to fill out the adult questionnaire about yourself, so when your kids grow up, they can reflect on who YOU were when they were young. As someone who never got to know my mom on an adult level (she passed away when I was in college), I would treasure information like that now.

  27. #41

    Love it! I did an interview with both my kids back in October and it was so fun to hear their answers. I plan on doing it every so often so we can see how they change. I’ve been big on journalling lately and have been doing journalling challenges on my scrappy MBs. It’s been lots of fun and I hope I’m helping people to find some journalling inspiration.

  28. #43
    Maria A

    wow, I love this….but pretty please can you design one with Grandparents in mind??

    And don’t want to push my luck, but would you think about designing 12 X 12?

    I have NO IDEA how to use layers or anything even one tiny bit related to that, but I have PhotoShop Elements sitting in the box, so I might have to bring it out!

  29. #44

    Ill keep this in mind! Just so you know, you can alter the questions as needed for your grandchild, and… you can also mount the page onto a 12 x 12 piece of cardstock! : )

  30. #45

    Thanks for sharing, Cathy. I purchased that story guide the other day and did two different layouts using it. You can see them here Thanks for the extra instructions here. I’m new to PSE so asn’t sure how to print it when you want cardstock and photo paper so I just printed the journalling part and did a cut and paste. I delelted all the boxes for the photos – what you did is so much simpler. Thanks

  31. #47

    Hustled my fingers over to Designer Digitals after reading this post, opened photoshop, interviewed the kids while they were having breakfast, uploaded the pages to Sam’s, drove the kids to school, went to Sam’s, came back home and they were in my scrapbook before noon! Whew…I have never been that inspired before! Or that energetic…(maybe it was all the coffee). Thank you, Cathy!

  32. #49

    wow Cathy, I’m really impressed by Aidan’s answers. My daughter is 5 now, I think I can begin some interview…
    Love your 2011 version, too.

  33. #51
    Lynn M

    Oh, Cathy! This is so timely. My one and only is transferring to Dallas with her job in two weeks. I’ve already got the template and will be using it to interview her as she flies from the nest. I also bought the “notes to cole” template so I can give a little bit of motherly advice without hitting her over the head with it.

    Thanks so much for your generous spirit and talent. It was just a “few” years ago that we got a note from one of her teachers that she was eating the paste in grade school. It goes by so quickly.

  34. #52
    Pam P (blkcow)

    That Cole is so smart…..bacon!! I am going to use the template (I purchased several at the DD Sale this weekend) to interview me!!! I will be describing me as “coffee Ice cream”!!!


  35. #53

    Cathy, I love this! Did you have them write their answers? Or did you type up what they said? I was thinking of asking them with a camcorder on, to record their answers at the same time.

  36. #55

    Love this! Even before I finished reading your post I started asking and documenting my 10 yr old son’s answers. I knew I only had a few minutes for straight, off the top of the head responses cause in a few minutes he asked if we were finished. Ha! Will definitely revisit this in a few years or maybe even yearly. Thanks for the great idea.

  37. #56

    love love this! i’m definitely going to do this with my kids. love the concept and the answers. it’s amazing what comes out of our kids mouths and sometimes how surprisingly thoughtful they can be!
    and our kids names are quite similar and exact – we are Aydan (girl) and Cooper (boy).
    thanks for the inspiration!!

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