Layout Share: a trip down memory lane

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking54 Comments


In addition to raising two kids, earning a living and working on our marriage, Dan and I are undertaking what may prove to be the most challenging task we've faced to date: cleaning out our attic.

We've lived in our house since 1993, and as you know, stuff piles up. Dan recently tackled and organized our garage and now our sights are set on getting up in our attic and figuring out what sentimental bomb exploded up there and how much can stay and how much can go to either the trash or the Goodwill.

On Saturday, he placed a small pile of papers in front of me of stuff I hadn't seen for years. They included the receipt from my first new car purchase, the resume I used to look for work in Minnesota and a contact sheet of photos from my first corporate job as the editor of the Minyard Country News.


Reading my Highlights of Qualifications (yeah, that one rolled off the tongue) and seeing the first bullet point, my hopeful over a year's experience of magazine writing, editing, layout and design made me feel simultaneously tender towards that young, aspiring writer and much, much older and wiser.

This slightly padded resume was the one that got me into the job that would eventually lead to what has been my career in graphic design. It's funny, but to this day, I still believe I really am committed to the craft of written, verbal and visual communication. In fact, that might be an even better tagline than taking the 'crap' out of scrapbooking. 

Speaking of scrapbooking, I knew I was going to have to do something with the headshots.


If you were to open the dictionary and look up the word fresh, you would see this contact sheet. No question in my mind.

I knew if I sat down to write that I would have more than enough for a layout, and that's what I did, resulting in this page.


THE JOURNALING: Fall 2012. Dan and Cathy begin the arduous task of cleaning out the attic, a oft forgotten space that holds things of sentimental value or things we’ve just been too lazy to dispose of. Baby swings, school diorama projects, models of the Titanic, and American Girl dolls valued in the $100s, just to name a few. Dan’s been more active in the daily attic sweeps and just the other day, left a pile on the kitchen counter for my viewing pleasure. Included were: the receipt for my first ever new car purchase, a Hyundai Excel in 1989; my first resume used to look for work in Minnesota, and this contact sheet of headshots from my first corporate job as the Editor of the Minyard Country News in Coppell, Texas. The haircut was affectionately coined “The Buckethead.” My skin was as smooth and wrinkle free as a freshly pressed and starched shirt. My suit? A snappy little number from the fine folks at Esprit. I mean, if I was going to sell out to corporate culture, I’d be damned if I wasn’t wearing a hip, designer label. I don’t remember looking this fresh ever. This was me at 22. Young, idealistic, in love with the idea of being a journalist and wondering what my post-college life would look like in the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. I still remember the smell of the hot wax heating up in the morning for the production art team. I remember Coffee Mate and smoking in the break room at 7 a.m. every morning. I remember seeing a Macintosh computer in action and thinking: I want some of that. Though I was only at Minyard a short time, it really did set the tone for my life in the corporate creative world and for that, I’m grateful. I learned some real skills there, namely, how to fit in and make people you work with like you. That’s a skill you don’t necessarily pick up in college, but it has served me incredibly well in my work life throughout the years. Thanks, Minyard.

There isn't much going on with this design. Yes, there is symmetry. Yes, there is a visual triangle of the color red. Honestly, I could do a million pages just like this one if it meant the story was saved.

Here's to scrapbooking and being committed to the craft of written, verbal and visual communication.


Cathy ZielskeLayout Share: a trip down memory lane

54 Comments on “Layout Share: a trip down memory lane”

  1. #4

    so cool; i love the clean and simple layout and really lovin’ that style more and more these days; i also love the trip down memory lane. i’ve got hundreds, thousands of ‘things’ that could take me down memory lane and keep me in scrapping for a year. thanks for the inspiration – again – as usual.

  2. #5
    Sharon in TX

    Love it! I’ve kept all of my old corporate security badges … they’re a visual history of my corporate life (which I do not miss one bit). The first thing I thought of when I saw your 2-column journaling was “journalistic graphics”. Brought back memories of writing annual reports and training materials. 🙂

  3. #6
    laura g.

    what a wonderful layout!!! makes me want to call in sick and stay home and make layouts of ME so my kids can have some glimpse of their mom before they came along…lol…

  4. #12
    Janet White

    Oh the stories that are in boxes, drawers and shelves! Funny, we spent the weekend going through things, too, in this house we’ve lived in since 1994. How DOES that much stuff accumulate?

    One reason I adore scrapbooking – tell the story, take photos, then let things find a new home be it in the dumpster, Goodwill, or a more cherished spot in the house. Love the simplicity here – photos and words are at the heart of it all.

  5. #13

    Ah, yes, that smell of hot wax! Just reading those words bring back the scent + the noise of the presses. I still use the exacto knife from my 1992 newspaper job … My byline carefully taped to the side so no one would abscond with it.

  6. #14

    Oh you had the perfect version of that haircut! I’m jealous! I remember taking the Princess Diana biography to the hairdresser, showing him the back cover where she is posed in a black sweater and she has this haircut and begging him “Make my hair do this please!” My cut wasn’t nearly as spot on as yours.

  7. #15
    Michelle Mounts

    I love your simple approach to scrapbooking! I feel that I get caught up in thinking my pages should look a certain way when I am seeing what other scrapbookers are doing these days. I feel like I am behind the times and not keeping up with the trends. But thank you for reminding me that the pictures and the stories are what is the most important thing about scrapbooking.

  8. #17

    Great layout! I want to run upstairs right now and get some stories and photos on paper. I think when my little guy goes to school this afternoon that is what I will be doing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. #19

    I LOVE IT! Who wouldn’t want to find info like that? So cool. You and Aidan favor so much, well duh, but seriously.

  10. #20

    I’m starting to believe that! I am NEVER in pictures or layouts.

    LOVE this – I had a similar haircut for a bit, kind of the post-Dorothy-Hammill thing. Oh my gosh. What a LONG TIME AGO…

  11. #21
    Jennifer Cardwell

    Love the layout! Wish I had photos of me prior my kids. Not even my family has any, that we are aware of (post high school). It is as if I dropped off the planed for a few years. May have to make a few pages without photos, right after catching up on my 30 days of grateful (was really sick this weekend).

  12. #22

    Love it! It’s amazing how much Aiden looks like you and Cole looks like Dan. This is inspiration to me to get some of my own pages done. I took Ali’s Yesterday and Today class a couple of years ago, and I still have many pages like this to finish. Thanks for sharing!

  13. #23

    OMG. Could these photos be any cuter? You missed your calling as the fresh face model to sell any wholesome product out there. Great LO!!

  14. #26

    I cannot be the only one who thought those contact sheets were of Aidan? You have been cloned.


    (Now I have to go read the other comments to see if anyone else really did comment on that, lol)!

  15. #27

    Love it. I met you several years ago in your Encyclopedia class and we talked about our love of Journey. Guess we should have mentioned our first cars. My first car was also a Hyundai Excel. I bought mine in 1991 (I think it was a 1990 model). I was so proud. I kept it until October of 2000, right before the birth of my first child. Pretty cool.

  16. #28

    Awesome, awesome photos 🙂 And I knew I’d be too late to be original, but I can’t help but comment on the likeness between you and Aidan – as marked as that between Dan and Cole 🙂

  17. #30
    Karen Freeman

    Very cool – what a treasure to be found…hmmm hope that when we finally ackle the garage with gusto not just half a attempt that we will actually find more of these treasures too. Did find some awesome letters from long ago that I need/want to do something with. Thanks for the inspiration. Love the simple.

  18. #31
    Carmel Keane

    Eactly what I thought I had to look really closely at first as I thjought it was a “composite’ LO – how cool to have these!

  19. #32
    kelly koesters

    Love it!! I can really relate-we have a crawl space full of sentimental “stuff”!! I really need to do a scrapbook page about my first “real” job. I remember walking in the conference room where people were eating lunch and smoking (and it was a Children’s Hospital). And We have lived in our house since 92 and my first car I bought new was a 1990 Honda Civic (red). I prpbably have the receipt somewhere. I am 45 years young also!!

    Thanks for sharing.


    Pickerington, Ohio

  20. #33

    As a fellow co-worker of the once fresh, wrinkle free, smoked like a freight train, country news editor with a bucket head hairdo. I can testify she was a very fresh, wet behind the ears, snot nosed punk with a way too hip hipster attitude and a very weird personality.

    We looked at our newest victim to write and edit our cheesy little company publication and scoffed she wouldn’t last a week. Just wait till she has to write those lame baby announcements and store news…ha she’s toast. Unbelievably, she lasted and eventually fit into our very exclusive advertising/marketing department dubbed the best department to work for because we had fun. Our Cathy was probably one of the most engaging coworkers I ever worked with, was she weird? Yes! A little bizarre? Oh yeah! But most importantly we had “FUN”.

    Loved your Minyard scrap book and thanks for the stroll down memory lane, it brought back a lot of those wonderful forgotten memories.

  21. #34

    Oh. My. God. Jack, I COMPLETELY forgot about the baby announcements. Hilarious. Sigh. Those were the days. You know though, what it was is that it was fun. I think that you guys in the ad department made it worth while. : ) Awwwwww. P.S. You know I quit smoking, right? Just had to toss that one in. THOSE were the days.

  22. #35

    Hey Cathy,

    Do you know if it is possible to use the PNG files that you create in Pisaca? I don’t have Photoshop and really feel like I am missing out on all these awesome files you create.


  23. #36
    Design Editor

    I love finding stuff like this. You have some priceless gems here too. Of course, I am sending an internet fist pump to a fellow newspaper gal! Love seeing that. I too have worked the hot wax machine in my day. Kind of miss the hand on part of things it gave you. Did you ever work with layout line tape?

  24. #37

    Theresa, that is one I do not know the answer to. I would think no, but I may be wrong. Ive never used Picasa myself. Is it an app or a web thing?

  25. #38

    Picasa is a free photo editing/imagine organizer/image viewer owned by Google. It is a pretty cool website. I love that it allows me to add text to my photos. That’s about how fancy I get! Sad but true!! I really love the files that you create and think it’s time to invest in Photoshop. I can see all your awesome tutorials so I should be able to figure it out.
    Thanks so much for getting back to me!! I LOVE your blog by the way…I’m here daily!

  26. #41
    Gypsy Chaos

    Hot wax for layouts! I loved the smell. Design Editor, I used layout line tape.
    I may be an engineer, but I always got involved with the graphic design and text for presentations. It was “my thing”.

    Cathy this is wonderful.

  27. #44
    Carolina H

    I love trips down memory lane….I recently went to the part of town where I grew up and it was like reliving the happy moments. Thanks hosting this giveaway!

  28. #45
    Britiney @ Consider the Lilies

    What a terrific layout. My mom enrolled me in “finishing school” when I was about 14 and I have strips of “modeling” photos like these. Not sure why it never occurred to me to use them in a layout. I’m loving this idea!!!

  29. #46
    Mary H.

    Thank you for this reminder. I haven’t scrapbooked in over a year because it seemed like I had no time. I need to focus on telling the story instead of spending three hours on one layout.

  30. #47
    Toni Brockliss

    I have said it once and I will say it again…’s Phoebe Cates!!!
    You are Phoebe Cates!!
    Cathy Cates.
    Phoebe Zielske.
    You are her and she is you.
    The end.

  31. #51

    Cathy–I had no idea you spelled your name with a “c” but “ryn” at the end! There aren’t very many of us!

  32. #53
    Jenny B.

    Love it! Also, I never knew you lived in Texas. ?? We’re thinking of maybe possibly making a move from Arkansas to Wisconsin (boy, I hope my mom doesn’t read your blog!!). 🙂 I’m wondering how it was adjusting. I thought you grew up in the north, though… so maybe you had to adjust when you went to TX?

  33. #54
    Gypsy Chaos

    You tagged this as one of your favs of 2012….
    I cracked up when I read ‘Grapevine’ – that’s where my younger brother and his family live! Lord,is this a small world or what??

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