Telling an old, cherished story, even without the perfect photos (hybrid scrapbooking)

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking28 Comments

How to take a cherished story with no corresponding photos and make a meaningful scrapbook page.

How to take a cherished story with no corresponding photos and make a meaningful scrapbook page.
The other day I was recalling a story to a friend, one that I’d mostly forgotten, but after re-telling it to the best of my ability, I knew that I needed to save this story in a more permanent way.

Enter a simple hybrid scrapbook page. The jumping off point, following the story, was a set of letters from Ali Edwards’ most recent Week in the Life kit. I knew I wanted to call it “Dad, Pal and the Pool” and decided to use the black letters and a few other goodies from Ali’s kit to create the layout.

Here’s a look at the finished layout (along with the story, that still makes me giggle.)

White cardstock backgrounds are a staple in my scrapbook albums. I love the neutrality they offer. I love their timelessness. Here I built the title and the journaling first, leaving room for the black letters and the two photos to support the story. I added in the cardstock corners and stars as an afterthought, but I think they add some nice repetition and framing to the page.

The thing is, these photos don’t correspond directly to the actual story. I didn’t have a photo of this story so I had to dig around and find a great old shot of my dad (who was laying by our pool in Texas, where this story did NOT take place) and an old photo of my dog, Pal, who is also decidedly not in a pool.

You know that you can do this, right? Focus on a story first, and then just find something that will support it, visually. And, it doesn’t have to be a perfect match! This let’s you focus on those stories that make your sides ache from laughing, or remind you a very difficult time, or any number of stories in between.

How to take a cherished story with no corresponding photos and make a meaningful scrapbook page.
Note to Ali: I love these embellishments so, so much. Make more. MORE!

How to take a cherished story with no corresponding photos and make a meaningful scrapbook page.
Here’s to saving stories you really never want to forget, whether you have the perfect photos, or not.

Note: my Mom did find one photo of Pal in the pool, and you can’t really see, but that’s me making sure he stays put. But, this photo was taken in Texas in the late 80s, not in Las Vegas where Pal’s infamous pool plunge occurred. Also note: we were big fans of kickboards.

How to take a cherished story with no corresponding photos and make a meaningful scrapbook page.

WANT TO MAKE A VERSION OF THIS PAGE? You can purchase my digital template here. Simple add your own title and journaling, then turn off the corresponding layers to print the text portion onto your choice of card stock. Add photos and embellishments as desired and voila, you have created a hybrid scrapbook page!


Cathy ZielskeTelling an old, cherished story, even without the perfect photos (hybrid scrapbooking)

28 Comments on “Telling an old, cherished story, even without the perfect photos (hybrid scrapbooking)”

  1. #4

    I love everything about this! And for some reason, it reminded me of a story I want to tell about my dad although it has nothing to do with dogs or pools. Thank you for sharing. And I loved those embellishments too!!

  2. #8
    Lynn M

    OMG! I love this story. It brought a smile to my face. And the inspiration to tell a few “old” stories, too.

  3. #10

    Tragic, yet hilarious story! Cracking up reading it! those AE embelishments…?.
    SO true that our pics don’t have to be perfect to tell a story, thanks for the reminder.

  4. #11

    So incredibly happy Pal came out alright that day, and as usual, love how you documented it. Reminds me of SO many stories I need to commit to pretty paper and embelishments!

  5. #12

    Those crazy little things truly are worth documenting. Thanks for reminding us we can record them even if we don’t have a picture of the actual event. Love this page and this story.

  6. #13

    Love these kinds of stories, especially as we (and our parents) get older. Recently, my dad, brothers & sister & I sat around telling stories from our childhood. So, so fun. I want to record some of them now while we can all laugh and say, “oh, yeah, that was a good one.” Maybe our middle age when the kids are getting older and not wanting their stories told is the time to tell the stories of our youth. Great layout, great memory…keep the inspiration coming. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

  7. #15

    I can’t tell you how much I have missed you posting layouts on your blog! I may just scrap lift this one on our ‘girls scrapping event’ at the lake this weekend. Great story, great layout. Thanks Cathy!

  8. #16

    Thanks for the reminder— stories matter first. Sometimes I take a photo that I think ” Wow, I need to make a page with this!”. BUT, I actually should put it in a nice frame on display and make a page with the mediocre picture and the hysterical story. Love that you and Ali are still keeping the stories in the forefront of scrapbooking.

    1. #16.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Audrey, I truly think that’s the only reason I still do it. I mean, I’m not exactly the queen of embellishing. 😉

  9. #17

    BTW so glad you stopped using those weird title blocks on top of your photos introducing your blog posts… was neat at first but got kind of distracting and seemed like every post was the same…like the photo as the intro to want to read more.

    1. #17.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, that was the result of taking this online class about making post images Pinterest friendly. Then I just got SO bored of the look. My blog readership is down quite a bit, so I’d rather have images that I like, instead of that cookie cutter approach. Always trying new things. Some don’t work as well as others! 🙂

  10. #19

    Love, Love, Love this story and the notion of keeping the more nostalgic stories alive, too! So, here’s a question for you…what album would you include this page in? I don’t scrapbook chronologically, but I do organize albums for each of my daughters and then family ones. Would you do a nostalgia album? I think I just answered my own question…lol! Thanks, Cathy, for always being real with your readers 🙂

  11. #20

    Your design always inspires me – it’s like drinking a glass of cool refreshing water. I do mostly digital now, but seeing your super page I have a sudden yen for hybrid again …

  12. #21

    I’m all giggly now too. And missing the process of story-telling and the finished pages of scrapbooking/design. Man…

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