Layout Share: Diagram—Work Life

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking60 Comments

I'm guessing a lot of you out there work.

And before we start engaging in any debates over what qualifies for "work," let's just clear it up: whether your digs are an office cubicle with chatty co-workers or the laundry room with clinging little ones, what you do in a day is work. Agreed?

I've documented my work before, but I took some self-portraits of myself working last week (for use in Project Life) and I thought: Hey, I should make a page about this. And so I did.

It started with a photo and the idea of making a diagram.


So many days look just like this. Same clothes. Same mug of tea. Same lighting. It's funny, but I have a work trip planned next month and I realized: Sweet Jesus! I have to wear different outfits on consecutive days!

The horror!

Anyhoo… I decided to take my slightly cheeky diagram and turn it into a layout that looks like this:


Here's what it looked like once it was all printed and assembled:


It turned into a simple tribute to my work and my gratitude for being able to do what I do for as long as I have.

JOURNALING READS: In 1999, I walked away from corporate design in America to stay at home with my newborn baby boy. Back then, it was the issue of whether or not we could live on $12,000 a year less. Nearly my entire salary would have gone for day care and downtown parking. Although I did go back to corporate while working for Simple Scrapbooks, I did it from here, my little office cocoon, where so many of my hours are spent. I work here, I make money here, I listen to music here, I connect here, I create here and sometimes I even cry here. I never ever take for granted this opportunity and I try to be grateful for it, even on those months where the income isn’t good and the jobs aren’t fun and the stress is high. Though my work is not who I am, it certainly is part of the definition.

DESIGN NOTES: This page features font harmony (the use of a single font for title and journaling), repetition (the brown color from the headline to the read-in to the date at the end), common margin spacing in and around all of the elements and a slightly asymmetrical balance within a symmetrical framework.

TECHNICAL NOTES: I create the entire page using InDesign. I love InDesign's Line tool and the Stroke options for putting all sorts of different arrowheads on the lines. Each one of the little captions in the photo is a separate text box overlayed onto the photo. I designed the whole page, then copied the photos onto a new InDesign doc, and sent those to print onto photo paper. Then I printed the original page, minus the photos, onto white Bazzil cardstock. The final step was to trim the photos and adhere. Hybrid scrapbooking at its simplest.

Have you documented your work at any time during your memory keeping years? If yes, do share. If not, tell me why you haven't. And above all, consider doing it again.



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Cathy ZielskeLayout Share: Diagram—Work Life

60 Comments on “Layout Share: Diagram—Work Life”

  1. #1

    Love love this post Cathy, what a great idea!! Love the diagram and your funny thoughts of your office space. I wear the same sweatshirt almost daily over my good shirts since I started painting.

    Great journaling to go with the picture. I think it’s awesome that you get to do this from home. Thanks for sharing another great idea.

    I babysit from home right now and scrap about the kids all the time but never thought to journal it from this point of view though, will have to do that.

    Have a great week!

  2. #4
    Jill B

    Thanks for another classic Cathy morning starter. You never fail to encourage creativity. Have a great day, I’m skipping the bra for comfort also.

  3. #6

    Love, love, love it! You know what I love most about your stuff? I get to learn something every time you post something. You are SO good at sharing the stuff I want to know (what inspires your story, what makes your design “work”, etc.). Just LOVE all of it! This is great inspiration to tell my own work story within Project Life and my other scrapbooking – thank you!!!

  4. #7
    Beth R

    This is exactly why I love you so ! You are real. Nothing uppity and froo-froo about this real life scrap icon (to me anyway) I love that you admit to wearing the same clothes multiple days, no bra , yoga pants and makeup optional. I just know if I moved to your hood we would be friends.
    Please don’t ever leave this gig, my mornings would never be the same. Now, until I can nail down a sweet at home job, I must put on my undergarment and head to my cubicle .UGH

  5. #8
    Susan Anderson

    Love this post and the layout. I had an aha moment when I read that you printed your journaling/fonts first and then added pictures. I have been doing it the other way round and haven’t been happy with cutting and pasting the journal writing. I CAN NOT wait to make a layout where I print writing first then add pics. Feeling a burst of creativity coming on.

  6. #9
    Sarah F in VA

    I work from home too Cathy. If I created a layout like that, the room and desk would be filled with crap. Gasp! I have such a hard time keeping my office clean! But I suppose it is “me” and where I “work”. You’ve inspired me to create a layout like this.

    Love your little bubble comments. I’ll have to add those too!

  7. #10

    Ah, love it. I’ve taken lots of photos of my commute and out my office window, a couple of my desk, none of me at it. My mind is sifting through the possibilities… Thanks for brightening up my morning and giving me a creative lift. Have a great one!

  8. #11

    This is SO fabulous! LOVE the diagram. (We have several things in common! But I have to say, I’m jealous of your IKEA office furniture . . . lol). Now that I’ve cleaned up MY office, I might give this a go this week . . . thanks so much for the never ending inspiration!

  9. #13

    I’ve done one about work. On my list of pages yet to do is one about all the jobs I’ve had in my life. I will include why I had the job and how it fit into my life at time.

  10. #15
    Carolynn F

    Awesome layout. I really admire your willingness to just put it out there. I still struggle with creating layouts that capture the everyday stuff…I don’t have kids so I wonder who will want to look at that stuff. I love my undergarments…they keep the girls well above my waist which makes me look thinner. Ha!

  11. #16

    I too work from home. I love this layout and totally related to every aspect, especially the bra option! Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration.

  12. #20

    I will be honest with you: this is the only room that stays clean. Well, this room and my family room, and that is it. I made a rule YEARS ago about working in a space that was ordered and its one of the few rules Ive really enforced for myself!

  13. #23

    Carolynn, think of me doing this: i did this page for me. Seriously. I scrapbook more for me than anything else. Helps me sort out my life and the world and create document. You sure dont need kids to qualify! : ) Ive heard that my bra can make me look thinner, but its seriously torture. Even good fitting ones!

  14. #24
    Brenda in Sunny SoCal

    I’ll have to quote you on the work is not who you are but it is part of your definition.
    Love it

  15. #25

    Love, love, love the layout. Gives me lots of inspiration for diagramming other areas of my home/life.
    YES, I have documented my work life … specifically back when I was a finance executive. I think I have photos (and scrapbook pages) from the offices of the last three places I worked.
    And I have done some “day in the life” and “week in the life” pages since I have been at home mom. So I guess I am “all caught up”.
    Great LO!! Thanks

  16. #26

    ha! I work a corporate-gig from home too … and eek … disaster. Guess it doesn’t help that in my office is also my husband’s closet and the ironing board.

    When my son was going in to kindergarten, during his assessment they asked “what does your mom do?” – and his response was “she works in the ironing room, sits on the computer and talks on the phone all day”.

    Nice son. Very nice.

  17. #28
    Susan Bowers

    Love the layout of course! all your work is fabulous. i do have a question about InDesign. I use Photoshop Elements and struggle with ‘lines’. how does InDesign work with photoshop or is it supposed to used separate? are there any good tutorials for InDesign? Is it worth getting or should I just ‘learn’ elements better? any suggestions would be great. oh, and that was more than one question – forgive me.

  18. #29

    Susan, doing lines in ID is a CAKE WALK! For real. Truly. You draw a line, make it whatever weight you want, then use the Step and Repeat command to make more and space them how you like them. Sigh. I love ID. The two programs work separately. ID is typically to design publications, eBooks, or even content for the web. Photoshop is really where you create graphics.

    I know how to Step and Repeat lines in PS. I will test it out to see if it works in Elements too, and if it does, Ill send you the steps!

  19. #31
    Judy Webb

    We’ve never met in person, but I know you and love you. Love today! Spoke to me. Always look forward to you and your insight.

  20. #32

    Love it. I’ve scrapped a little bit about returning to teaching after being away for a few years. I’ve often thought about documenting my career path over the years, but haven’t yet. One day.

  21. #33
    Wendy T.

    My favorite part of this? The public acknowledgement that you wear the same outfit three days in a row. I totally do that, too, and silently pray that my kids’ teachers don’t notice when I drop them off at school!


  22. #34
    Karman Barner

    Cathy, you are so cool and so quirky…I love it! I look forward to your posts and I check on a daily basis. Keep inspiring me and others and you will have a loyal blog reader for life.

  23. #35
    Jen W

    Cathy I just love your REAL YOU! I felt like I could insert my photos into yours, just change tea to coffee, yoga pants to black pants, and I listen to pandora while I work from my Def Leppard channel to Peter Cetera & Jack Johnson to keep me concentrating. I feel like you get who I am without even knowing me. I think it’s a great idea to document our day in a life. Thanks for once again inspiring us. I haven’t used InDesign in over 7 years, do u know if it’s changed much? I forgot how great InDesign was and never would have thought to use it for this but now I’m excited!! I am all self-taught in the design world and would love to learn to design like you do. Any advice would be a honor to receive from you. Thanks for making me smile and have something to look forward to every day…your blog.
    Hugs! Jen

  24. #37
    Barb in AK

    I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one that wears the same outfit over and over. LOL!!

  25. #45
    Carmen King

    Awesome post! My “office” is an odd counter in the kitchen, but clear on the other side of the room. I spread out, then hide it all, then spread all out again. I have PL stuff, two binders, a drawer, one set of cupboards, and my laptop set up on a half-wall nearby. It’s odd, but it works for me and anytime I try to change it, I go right back. I guess I have a thing for half-walls and standing up while I work.

    On a completely different note: I was in the middle of a dream the other night when I accidentally called you in it and I said “Oh, sorry, wrong number,” and you said “Is this Carmen King in Avondale, Arizona?” It was strange and funny all at the same time and I just went right back to the crazy death/hiding from spys dream I was in the middle of!

  26. #46

    I just wanted to drop by and say I think you’re hilarious 🙂 I’m 20 and I found you from Project Life, but I completely relate to you (your blogs constantly make me laugh) and I find myself checking on your blog not just for PL inspiration (although you’re awesome at that too) but also because reading your blog brightens my day 🙂

  27. #47
    Angie Hall

    Girlfriend! I enjoyed this post so much! Just between you and me…when I worked from home, I went bra-less, too. You rock, Cathy..everything you do is so real and so from the heart. Keep up the good work.

  28. #51

    Just read this and I’m wondering about the InDesign. . .do you use that primarily for your hybrid scrapbooking? Also wondered if I need to invest in the actual program or if it works okay from their “Creative Cloud” option. I just googled InDesign and went to the website. Thanks for your help – always looking for a way to make things easier and I love the look of this page. Still anxiously awaiting your next “Font” class through BPC! Thanks!

  29. #52

    Also wondered if something like Microsoft Publisher would do anything similar like InDesign? I apologize for all the questions but I don’t know much about all these programs.

  30. #53

    Connie, I dont know anything about Microsoft Publisher, unfortunately. I use InDesign for all of my hybrid scrapbooking. : ) Im presently working on an InDesign class geared towards scrapbookers. Its on my list right now. : ) It will be very affordable and basic.

  31. #54
    Cheryl T.

    You are so funny! I love it! I love your labels of you sitting at your desk and I thought it was perfect for a layout. You definitely have good kids…good job over protective Mom!

  32. #55

    I was a big fan of InDesign before I started doing so much digital work, since then I’ve been using Fireworks a lot. I might be back to it soon though with some PressRun projects.

    I just wondered why you remove the images before you print and add them afterwards? Is it just for the different paper texture/finish?

  33. #57
    Karen Freeman

    LOL, really loudly… that is what I’m doing now at quarter to midnight in New Zealand. I was just about to head for bed and thought oh I haven’t had a chance to catch up on Cathy’s blog so over I hop and browse and soak upp the goodness and humour then go back a post or so and just flat out belly laugh. I’m not sure that you meant that to be the reaction but I loved the yoga pants ‘tude, the bra revelation and the story that is your work life day. Some of which I can definitely see in some of my days – although I’m pretty darn sure you are far more productive! TFS.

  34. #59
    scrapper al

    Lori, here’s my “duh” moment…I never thought about taking photos on my commute. I need to do that one day when I’m carpooling. Thanks for the idea!

  35. #60
    scrapper al

    This was my question too. Thanks for taking the time to comment and answer everyone’s questions.

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