October 17, 2013

Sam's First Year

Can I tell you how happy I am to have this done? So very much. I shared this album on the Simple Stories blog last week, but I wanted to share it here too because I am seriously happy about this project. This post is kind of long because I want to share not just what I made, but why I made it and some of the design choices I made before I got started. Those choices went a long way towards making this a truly quick and easy project. Something of a rarity for me.

When Simple Stories announced they were releasing new mini Sn@p! sets I was excited. They are cute, they are colorful... they're new and shiny! But I wasn't sure how practical they would be for me since I don't keep a Life Documented album. And while I like making mini-albums, and the cards are perfectly fine for layouts too, I just don't really need more stuff. You know? 

And then, here is where the only instance of scrapbooking guilt I have ever possessed comes into play.

You see, Gabe has a first year baby album. Nathan, while he doesn't technically have a first year album, does have an album of his first year filled (filled!) with scrapbook pages. And then there is Sam. Truth is, there aren't nearly as many photos of him as there are of Gabe's or Nathan's first year. Also, most of the photos of him also have one or both of his brothers in them. So, there are very few pages in his first year album. Do you see where I'm going here? I wanted to document Sam's first year, but was unsure of how to go about doing it in a way that made sense. And maybe that doesn't make sense! But I suppose I just didn't want it to be this huge, enormous, time-consuming project. Then I saw the new Baby Boy Sn@p! Set. And along with the smaller 6x8 album I knew they were the perfect solution to my problem.

That and the determination to just do it already. And I did...

Before I got started I did collect a few embellishments to compliment my album: enamel dots and rhinestones in coordinating colors, binder clips, brads and sequins. Also, since getting my Silhouette almost two years ago it has become a huge part of my design process. I use it on almost every page I make. I love using it to create my own custom shapes and titles, but I wanted to keep this easy so I limited myself to three sheets of cardstock:  white, yellow and gray. I also kept the designs very simple and only allowed myself use shapes already in my library - no searching for or buying new shapes!

Here's a little more, two photos as we left the hospital and one from when we got home:

You might notice the binder clip in the two images above. If you are having problems with items slipping out of your page protectors these are a fun and practical solution. Personally, I have only noticed this problem with pages that are not embellished, and even then, only on the top openings of the 4x6 pocket pages. You can clip your pages from the outside of the pocket page and they will hold them in place while adding a touch of color.

Sam did not like changing into his going home outfit!

While I made this album as a keepsake for our family, I also volunteered to do this as an assignment for Simple Stories. I wanted to show that you could put together a complete album using the Sn@p! sets alone... well, almost. I wanted to keep the album very simple because I wanted to put it together quickly, but I also wanted the album to reflect my own personal style. So I added in some additional papers, in particular from the Sn@p! Color Vibe line and from Vintage Bliss (and goodness, for someone with three little boys I have used the heck of out that collection).

The 'watching you grow' and 'welcome' cards above will be filled out as soon as I locate all of the doctor's visits papers! I know where they are, I just need to actually get them out of their hiding place.

Hanging out with daddy while he does some work from home:

Sam has two cowlicks... and he has the cutest baby toes.

Here I enlarged a photo to 5x7 and created a very simple mini-layout:

Nathan loves his baby brother...

he says Sam is, "the cutest baby in the whole world."

In one of the photos above he is "reading" him a story, and below giving him hugs and kisses. Lots and lots of hugs and kisses.

Another spread with an enlargement: 

This time I simply matted the 5x7 onto cardstock, then placed it on a background of text pattern paper and slid it into a 6x8 page protector. I have a few more enlargements I want to include in the album, and this will be my approach for them as well. Keeping it simple.

Chubby baby legs are definitely good stuff...

Clean and simple - just photos and Sn@p! cards (and one little binder clip):

There it is! Like I said above, I have a few more pages to do, but this album is 98% done. Really. Since I limited my product choices ahead of time, and used mainly the Baby Boy Sn@p! set, the album came together very quickly. The longest part of the process was actually choosing, editing and then organizing the photographs.

In addition to the Baby Boy set, I happen to love the Family and Everyday sets too. I plan on making some pages and cards with those this weekend. And um, we'll see if I ever get around to posting them...

Thanks for stopping by!

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