My Scrapbook Resume

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Inside the Summer Album

As I mentioned before, I am attempting a summer mini album, despite my lack of expertise at mini albums. Here's how it's coming together.

First, in the "to-do list chapter" I forgot to share this one:

And now I'm just working on filling it in with our goings on. Again, the plan was to keep it simple. So it's mostly just full page photos, photo collages, and a smattering of words here and there. 

First came Max's 8th grade graduation:

And then father's day:

I have another few pages to add for June, which I hope to do soon.

Here's what I'm using.

A Muji A5 Binder. I chose it because it's inexpensive, super adorable, and you can get (also inexpensive) page protectors, and those kraft dividers, which I just adore.They also make a small business card binder with card holders, and I've used some of those for small (2x3) photos, words, or embellishments. I love the size and feel of this album, however-it is rather thin, and I suspect I will soon need to come up with another album, or a way to adapt this one to hold more pages. The other thing I don't love, is that when I add a page that was not made for this binder, I have many, many, many holes to punch (and  then a few more). Not a big deal, but I get lazy easily. But, I shall stick with it for now, and see where it takes me. Did I mention how cute it is?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Crafting Jewish Style Layouts

Hi there! I've got two (count them-two) layouts to share with the ever lovely Crafting Jewish Style products. Both, of course, feature pictures from last summer's trip to Israel.

This one is base on this sketch, and is from Max's Bar Mitzvah.

And this one is from our hike through the Senir Stream. 

Last summer is going to be hard to top, but we're working on it. We've got a big road trip planned for next week, so we'll see how it goes.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Not My Usual MO

Every time I visit a blog or gallery with pictures of a mini album, I leave a comment like, "I have such a hard time with minis, but I want to make more of them. Thanks for the inspiration." But, still, no mini. I love the minis with all the mismatched papers of different sizes, the whimsical look of it all, and I just love small books.  But still, no mini.

Until now. Now, since this is not really within my comfort zone, I'm getting stuck in that place of comparing myself to others. But...deep's part of the process. So, even if I don't love this album in the end, perhaps the next one will be a little better, because of what I learned along the way.

It's a summer album, so it's a work in progress, as summer has just begun. I will probably make lots of regular layouts of this summer's stories, but I wanted a place to just put pictures I love, and that just give a survey of the summer. And, with some inspiration from Ali Edward's Summer Manifesto, the first section of the album is basically a bunch of to-do lists, from chores around the house, to creative projects, to places I want to go, and to making sure I take time to just be. I even asked Sam if he had a list for the summer (he does), so that went in there too.

Since it's a binder, I can add more pages as needed. (Though I'm afraid this binder is a bit small. There might have to be a few volumes.) 

I''ll share the next section of the album (entitled "June"), another day. For now, though, have a great weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2012

In the Past Week...

Max graduated from 8th grade:

Dave and I celebrated our 16th anniversary. 

Father's day happened. Dave got to do exactly what he wanted:

1. He wanted us to walk together to see this old, Jewish cemetery in the middle of Chinatown.

It was pretty cool to see. Not what you usually find behind an old building.

2. Then he watched The Longest Day with Max, and a Jean Claude Van Damme movie with the two of them. I was spared.

And the littlest Deutsch on the Lower East Side has one more day of school. And, he got a haircut.

June Take Twelve Layout

I simple divided my photos into the different parts of my day: My neighborhood walk, lunch with Dave, Max's graduation prep, and Sam sewing.  A few tags, a few buttons and brads, some hand written notes here and there, and she was done.

Remember, you can still upload your photos here by midnight EST on Monday, June 18th, for a chance to win a spot in Nic Howards's class, Dimensional Details: The Expanded Version, at Big Picture Classes.

Good luck!

And check out the rest of Take Twelve Team:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Giveaway Winner

The winner of  Ella Publishing's Photo Idea Bundle is ...


Congrats, Lisa.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I Wanted and What I Got

So when I set out on the 12th of June, I had my big plan of going for a neighborhood walk to take my pictures. I walked yesterday. I walked a lot; to lunch in midtown, and back, about two hours, in the rain. I did get some neighborhood pictures, but not as many as I thought I would. I just wasn't  feeling it. I was a little worried as the day progressed that I wouldn't get my 12pictures, and a little disappointed. But then I started to just take pictures of all that was happening in our little home, and I did just fine. Better than fine, really. I love the moments I captured. I still feel a little disappointed in my photo walk, but I know that when I look back at my pictures in a month or two, I won't care about that. I'll be happy with the pictures I have. And the neighborhood is still there today, and (probably) will be again tomorrow, so it's not an opportunity lost forever.

So this is what I got:

While still in neighborhood mode, I got our street corner, a lovely door, (because I can never resist a colorful door), another street sign, and some veggies in Chinatown. (I would have taken more fruit and veggie shots, but I was feeling shy.) Then lunch with Dave, where I fought all my discomfort and shyness to have my picture taken (Love photoshop. My skin looks great.) In the afternoon, Max and I went to the cleaners to get his suit for his graduation(!!!). He then shined his shoes for the occasion. Sam ended up shining my shoes too, but he was such a fast little worker that all those pictures came out blurry. But, we did work together on some sewing, and while I left the room, Sam started to use the machine himself. Which is great, because I was wondering how to teach him to do that. I was actually impressed with his control of the machine.
P.S. He's making a yarmulke.

So link your photos or layout on Ella Publishing's blog, for a chance to win a spot in Nic Howard's class, Dimensional Details: the Expanded Version over at Big Picture Classes.

And remember, if you didn't take your pictures yesterday, or even if you are just starting now--it's not too late.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting Ready to Take 12!!!!

It is time to Take Twelve again. I am going by the book this time. The book in question would be The Take Twelve Guided Inspiration Kit, which suggests going for a neighborhood photo walk. New York City is definitely the perfect place for that. There is also a great monthly photo checklist, with so many ideas that inspire (hence the term-Inspiration Kit).

Tomorrow is also Max's last day of school before he graduates from 8th grade.  Which is weird 'cuz I'm pretty sure he just started Kindergarten like a year or two ago. 
I will also be meeting Dave for lunch, which is quite a treat. 

So, there will be lots to photograph.

Speaking of photographs, the giveaway for Ella Publishing's Photo Ideas Bundle is still open. Leave a comment here, and I will draw a winner on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Letter Writing as Journaling

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled over the lost art of letter writing. Even back in the day when there was no email,  I was never a prolific writer of letters, but I do remember checking the mail daily with a faint glimmer of hope that there might be something for me. And, Dave and I actually corresponded by mail (!) when we first met, because we are that old. He even typed his on a typewriter. And somewhere in a closet is a box filled with letters on actual paper that record our earliest conversations.

Well, the art of letter writing isn't completely gone. I have recently rediscovered letter writing as a quick way to add some variety and often humor (at least I find it funny) to my journaling, and I encourage you to try the same.

Write a Letter to A Friend or Family Member
This is the most obvious use of letter writing in scrapbooking: Writing a lovely, sentimental letter addressed to your subject, like this one.

The letter says:

Dear Max,
The other day, I gave you a kiss, and I can't be sure, but I think I had to stand on my tippy toes.

What I was really thinking about when I started this page, is the age old maternal feeling of , "My baby is getting so big!" But that's been said before, and I didn't want to be repetitive. Signing the letter with "love" adds some tenderness without being too sappy. I have discovered that teenage boys are not big fans of syrupy, sweet, motherly displays of affection.

And here's one more letter addressed to my darling children who are so fond of teasing me for all the little things I photograph; leaves on a tree, fruit in a bowl, my feet. Sometimes they will point to a speck of dust and say, "Oh, don't you want to take a picture of that?" Well, one day as we were walking, and I saw some leaf or flower or speck of dust that I thought looked nice, and I didn't stop, because I didn't want to make everyone wait for me, I composed this little letter in my head.

Dear Max and Sam,
I know you think I'm crazy for taking a million pictures of  "pointless" and "random" and things. But if you only knew all the things I see that I don't photograph, you'd be amazed at my self control.

And also, it's just because I see so much beauty in the world. Perhaps one day you might even see that as a good thing about your crazy, old mother.

Luckily they were not with me on the day I decided to photograph yarn on a tree. 

Write a Letter Instead of a Narrative

You know how when you start to scrapbook about an event or outing, and you want to make it sound more interesting then "We all had a fun time at..." Don't get me wrong, sometimes all you need are the stats to help you remember a wonderful day. But every once in a while, it's nice to change things up a little.

So, here I wrote a letter to imagined archaeologists from Beit Guvrin in Israel, where we probably got a little closer to the ancient ruins than we were supposed to.

The letter says:

 Dear Archaeologists of Beit Guvrin,
If you didn't want Sam to climb all over your ancient ruins or play dead in your sarcophagi, you probably shouldn't have left them lying around.
Aliza Deutsch. 

 After I finished this layout, and it was sitting on my desk, my husband and kids read it as they passed by and said, "That's funny." So, you see,  it's not just me.

And here, I wrote  my longest letter to date. It's a love letter to one of my favorite restaurants in Israel. Not only does it express my warm feelings towards platters of waffles piled with fruit, chocolate, and whipped cream, but it also tells the story of the times we ate there. 

More Love Letters to Inanimate Objects

Now, I'm sure we can all relate to our own and our children's love and obsession with their technological devices. So in this little layout here, I wrote an imagined love-letter from my son to his iPod.

So the next time you're feeling in a journaling rut, think of a person, place or thing you can write a letter to. Let me know if it works!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sewing Progress, Creative Process, and A Giveaway!!

I spent the day yesterday getting to know my sewing machine; I'm a read the manual from cover to cover kind of gal, especially since I don't really know much of anything about sewing.   I practiced my sewing on lots of bits of scraps, and then I created a layout that I wouldn't be too scared to sew on. I ended up really liking the layout, so when it came time to add some stitching I still harbored some doubts. But I tried to keep this perspective: Even if  I bungle the job, a) it will still tell the story I wanted to tell, and b) it will still be valuable as a step in the creative process, because it will be one more sewing experience I didn't have before, and will therefore be bring me one step closer to knowing what I am doing. Hopefully.

So without further ado:

There's some sewing on the ribbon, and a bit on the tab in the upper corner. You can barely see it, but the purpose here was practice, so it's all good in my book.

And now check out this segue to the giveaway:
Speaking of creative process and improving creative skills, Ella Publishing has an amazing offer to buy  three photography eBooks, featuring more than 227 must-try hints and helps for improving your photography, for $5 off. And I get to give away one bundle to a lucky reader.

Here's a little taste of what you get:

40 Top Tips for Better Photos: Simple suggestions for stunning photographs by Rebecca Cooper

Picture Perfect: 129 expert tips for shooting stellar photographs by Becky Novacek, Elisha Snow, and Kelly Noell

That's a lot, right? 
Leave a comment by June 12th (yep, on Take Twelve day), and I will announce the winner on June 13th.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


It's my first day of summer vacation, and I have few days home alone until the rest of the family joins me on their summer breaks. So, I am going to hole myself up in my humble little home, listen to some music, and get to know my new friend, Sew-y McSewenstein (I think she must be an Irish Jew).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just a Quick Layout Share

If my counting is correct this is my fifth layout using pictures from this little outing that we took on Passover. Sometimes I just used the photos to tell any old story, but this one was just to share two little details about the trip. Namely that as we went on our little hike, Sam pretended to be our tour guide, and Max wanted to leave a trail of markers behind us in case we got lost. Which probably says something about their  personalities, but here I feel no need to add any significance other than the fact that they happened, and they made me smile while we were a-walkin'.

When I finished this page, I thought, "in this day and age, this layout really needs some stitching. But, I just don't feel like adding it." So, I didn't. Shame on me.

Which brings me to my next topic: If you knew someone who was a teacher, and she loved to scrapbook, and at the end of the school year she got a generous gift card, should she use the gift card to purchase an inexpensive sewing machine?


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shavuot Layout

There's lots of hoopla surrounding Passover, Chanukah, Rosh Hashana, and on Purim there's lots to record about the costumes. Shavuot, by comparison, is pretty simple. Sure, it marks the time that God gave the Torah to the Jewish people, and when the first fruits were brought  to the Temple in Jerusalem. Nowadays, it's celebrated by staying up all night to learn Torah (I did not do this), decorating with fresh flowers to remember how Mt. Sinai bloomed when God gave the Torah there, and eating cheesecake ( I definitely did this). Why cheesecake? Well, 's there's a tradition to eat dairy foods, and lots of proposed reasons why. But, I will resort to Tevye's "Why? Because it's tradition. And how did this tradition get started? I'll tell you...I don't know. But it's a tradition."

Quick update: I just read my friend's blog about Shavuot, and what with her teaching Jewish Studies from the high school to post college level, her description is WAY more informative than mine. So, check this out. It's funny, because I started this post mentioning the simplicity of the holiday. She talks about this in depth, and offers a beautiful explanation for it. 

Nothing too special happened this year at Shavuot. My biggest memory? Max was away for the whole holiday, and before he left he said he'd miss us. I like that.

So that tiny detail, and a picture of my pretty flowers made it onto this page. Washi tape is all the rage, though I own none. So I used paper strips and stickers from the Crafting Jewish Style lines for a similar effect. I am quite smitten with the results, if I may say so.