Project | Travel Album: Going Places

In my usual efficient (not) scrappy way, I am finally getting around to putting together a travel album for the trip that I took in January to Germany for the CreativeWorld trade show. It’s a daunting task, since I took about 900 photos over 7 days (two of which were travel days spent on planes, of course).

With that many photos, and the speed at which I create (molasses) I know the only hope I have of getting all of them in an album is to use a Project Life type pocket scrapbook. I’m starting the album by creating my first page, a layout about my prep and flight over. Later, when the album is complete and I see what it ends up looking like, I’ll make a title page for it that ties together the style of the whole thing.

I bought several kits of journal cards to use in the album because I have a lot of different types of photos to scrap: ultra modern convention center, historic tourist pictures, and random travel stuff. For this starter layout, I primarily used the very graphic designs of the Urban Traveler collection by Simple Stories, but there are also several other designs worked in as well.


I went a bit crazy with the maps on this one. There’s four cards that have map themes all together: the title block, the photo of the in-flight map, the rainbow bordered 3×4, and the heart 3×4 card. Then there’s also a small piece of map – a faux washi sticker – on the card with my dinner picture as well. I’ll probably try to carry the map theme through the rest of the album as much as I can. I adore map prints!

The layout is actually chronological from left to right, starting with the invitation to attend the show on the left under the title block and ending with the too long plane ride on the right. I’m not normally a big journaler in my layouts but this one I had a lot to say, details to record about the trip and my thoughts about it.


I put that supply list as a bulleted list (instead of my usual paragraph) for a reason: to show how long it is! And note that several of those bullet points actually include multiple items. I have not historically been a product-heavy scrapbooker. The last single page 12×12 layout that I posted included about a quarter that number of supplies.

There’s a perception that pocket scrapbooking destroys product sales because “all you need is a card set and pen and you can make an album”. My experience, as reflected in the supply list above, is the exact opposite. I am finding myself using more products when I am pocket scrapbooking. A closer look at the two sides of the spread shows why.

Going-Places-LeftThe title card I made myself using a die cut from my Silhouette machine, along with a piece of 6×6 paper (Urban Traveler) and a piece of washi tape. Originally, I only intended to use the paper and the die cut. Then I sat there staring at it for a long time, feeling like it needed a little something more. That “something more” turned out to be the stripe of washi tape to ground the title die cut. The same thing happened on the next card over – I intended to use only the background paper and the printout from my instagram profile. But the instagram text looked lost in the big space – the washi tape sticker (more Urban Traveler) solved that as well. Something more!

The very nature of having so many pockets can increase a supply list if the scrapbooker likes to mix & match their cards instead of being uniform in design. With 8 pockets on this side of the layout, I have drawn from 4 card sets, a 6×6 paper pad, a 12×12 paper pad, and a 12×12 cut-out sheet as the basis for my cards. (The other side of the layout is not quite so extreme, drawing from two card packs, a 6×6 pad, and then my photos as the pockets’ foundations.)

I used the same paper from the Heidi Swapp paper pad to cut both die cuts on this page (the title text and the instagram frame for my cake). I did this to give the color some repeat and because it was just a good dark neutral that I liked.

Three of my pre-made cards that I used above were enhanced with stamps for various reasons – because I thought they needed more detail, because I wanted to add a theme or message, or because I wanted to fill white space. I did a lot of stamping on this layout and it reminded me again of the benefits of having a large collection of inks and stamps, convenient to grab from when you need “something more.” Updating my already huge stamp collection to get more stamps for working with in the rest of this album is now on my shopping list for my next online order!

There’s teeny details that you can barely see in the frame around my passport photo (click on the photo to enlarge it). There was two slots for information and I used rub-ons to fill them so the card wouldn’t look “unfinished.” A small detail to be sure, but one that would have bugged me if I hadn’t taken care of it. As it happened, Tim Holtz’s remnant rubs were the perfect size and font to use too!

Going-Places-RightThe two red text elements on this page kind of create a visual trick with the text. The “not” is supposed to be an answer to the “This is what fun looks like” statement on the blue card’s design. But because the “not” is the same shade of red as the other text element ” Are we there yet?” it looks like it also is an answer to that question. It’s a not-so-hidden double message.

I used a lot of pre-designed cards, but I really wanted to use that “are we there yet” die cut because it so accurately reflected my attitude on my flight. I couldn’t match it to a pre-designed card that made me happy so that meant I needed to make my own. I put together the patterned paper and die cut but it had a lot of white space left. You guessed it – it needed “something more!” So I dug out the Close To My Heart Sightseer stamp set and found the fun paper airplane, which is about how fast it felt like we were getting there!

The blue polka dot card would have been fine the way it came out of the package but it felt like too much white space to me. Something more! My solution was a map element layered on top of another map element. (Yes, I went a little nuts with the maps on this one.) The heart is a Silhouette print and cut file printed on clear sticker paper, and then stuck onto Bazzill Walnut Cream smooth cardstock to add a creamy touch to it. I then adhered it with adhesive foam dots so that it would have separation from the map element behind it.

I turned the photo of the airplane’s aisle black & white in Lightroom because I was struggling with getting the color right in the photo. It was an iPhone photo shot in very poor light and the color was just too skewed for me to get it right, plus the colors in the scene – even if I were to get them right – didn’t work with the shades of blue and red dominating the layout. Turning it black & white solved that, and it also gave a bit of a bleak look to what was my view for the flight.

The bottom line is that “something more” sent me diving into my supplies over and over…and before I knew it, I’d used an awful lot of them! That last level of detail added a lot of supplies to my list. From a retail or product promotion standpoint, that moves product. But I will also say that from a creative standpoint, it was fussing over those last details that I think I may have enjoyed most. It was the little finishing touches that made me say “aha” and feel like I had created something really personal.

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28 Responses to Project | Travel Album: Going Places

  1. Dana July 22, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    You did a great job, Nancy! Your layout is fantastic!

  2. michelle July 22, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    Really creative. Love all the detail, and product. Awesome. Michelle t

  3. Nancy Nally July 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    Thank you so much Dana and Michelle…so glad that you like it! 🙂

  4. Jean marmo July 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    So cool!!

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Thanks Jean! 🙂

  5. Barb in AK July 23, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    Wow! These pages are great! I don’t do project life, but there are loads of creative ideas here 🙂 I’ll be taking a trip to Yellowstone Nat. Park next month (pretty tame compared to your trip), so I can use all the ideas I can get. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      Thanks Barb! Yellowstone is epic – has to be seen to be believed! I hope you have a great trip!

  6. gabmcann July 23, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    Looks great Nancy!

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks for reading Gab!

  7. Alison DJ July 23, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    I quite agree about the amount of supplies you end up using on a “simple” page to get it to finish point – I feel exactly the same way, which is why it takes me forever too! But I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t do it that way – so I exactly understand. But I love that I can delve into older stuff and new stuff and really mix and match on a smaller scale – but I prefer to keep everything totally flat, too.

    Great job on your pages!

    • Sun Hee Metzger July 23, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      I totally agree Allison about feeling comfortable using old stuff along with the new on PL layouts! Old products I would hardly think about using on my traditional layouts somehow make their way on my PL layouts along with new products and I love that! Nancy, you’ve done an amazing PL layout. Love the use of your stamps. I’m starting to move my small stamps closer to my workstation so I’ll be inspired to use them more. It was also great to hear your perspective on a recent Paperclipping Roundtable episode especially after recently listening to the beginning episodes when you used to co-host with Noelle. I’m so glad they linked your website. 🙂

      • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

        Thanks for the compliment on the layout Sun Hee, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the Paperclipping episode!

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      I prefer to keep things pretty flat too so it doesn’t distort the pockets. It always amazes me the seeming random stuff I end up using on my pocket layouts after digging in drawers and boxes…it’s encouraging my hoarding side because it’s making me want to not ever get rid of anything LOL

  8. onabona July 23, 2014 at 6:15 am #

    Always like a creative-thought-process walk-through. Good lessons on something more. Great pages. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  9. Lisa F July 23, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Nancy—I went to purchase the designer software the the code doesn’t work when entered.

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      Thanks for letting me know Lisa…we apparently had a technical glitch but it’s fixed now!

  10. Gina July 23, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    This is a great start to the album. I love all the details you shared. I love how you said using pockets was the only was that all those photos would get into an album becUse you’re slow. That’s how I feel! I am such a slow scrapbooker! We took a trip to Italy last summer and I don’t know how many photos we took but between the photos and lots of stories, I thought the only was to get these in an album (besides a shutterfly photo book or a traditional album) would be pockets. So, talk about slow, I’m still working on it and really not even close to being done. But, I’m enjoying it so much. I have a couple of questions I’d love you to address if you could. I’m laying out all the photos in pockets first and then going to go back and do the journalling and embellishing. Are you trying to keep a cohesive feel throughout the book by using products from the same line or just doing each spread on its own? I’m really struggling with trying to keep the photos chronological to tell the story of our trip but can’t get the horizontal and vertical photos to work together. One example, lots of vertical photos of Pisa for a few pages (design D) and then the reverse is Rome with the Colosseum. I don’t want to use them as 3×4 because the are beautiful photos. I could do some random vertical photos to fill the pockets and then move back to design A for the next page but they would be out of order. I know not a huge issue but one that keeps bugging me as I’m doing this project. Thanks for sharing your pages. I got some great ideas just from these two so look forward to seeing more!

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      Thanks for reading Gina! Great questions!

      I don’t worry too much about keeping things cohesive but I do start my creative process on a project like this by assembling a kit of supplies and putting it into a plastic project box. As part of this process I often make an online order for supplies. For this project, I have everything from the modern looking Urban Traveler by Simple Stories (for my Frankfurt pictures) to more vintage stuff from Prima (Heidelberg pictures). There’s also a Michaels exclusive Project Life kit called Vintage Travel, and some other things I used on this layout. By drawing generally from the same supplies over the course of the album, mixing and matching, I’ll end up with something that is sort of blended and makes sense.

      For the photos, I deal with that too! This album is already a challenge as I’m starting my 2nd layout. I think I have several ways to deal with it. 1) print photos large and then cut them to fit across several pockets. 2) insert an extra small page protector between pages to hold a couple 5×7’s 3) insert a 12×12 page protector and create digital – or paper – pages so that front and back can have different photo configurations 4) just “fudge” things on transition page between the two types of protectors, filling space that you don’t have photos for as you change from one type of protector to another with extra journaling cards and memorabilia. You’ll see soon how I deal with this as I move on with my pages! I know I’m going to be dealing with a lot of it and will probably have to do it several different ways!

      • Gina July 23, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

        Thanks Nancy, some great suggestions that I will try. I look forward to seeing more pages!

  11. tinacampbell July 23, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Fun page ad I think these are fantastic pages for trips too.

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks Tina!

  12. creativeunblock July 23, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    Fun page, Nancy! I, too, take forever to scrapbook any event, so you have inspired me! Roberta

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      Go Roberta! It doesn’t matter when you do it! Just make it! 🙂

  13. Cindy deRosier July 23, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Love it – especially the “Are We There Yet?” card!

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      Thanks Cindy! Between my ADHD and my arthritis symptoms, I’m definitely NOT the world’s best flyer LOL

  14. Laura (@Bookworm) July 23, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    This is a really interesting spread, Nancy — nice job! I love map prints, too. I’m not much of a traveler, so I give you a tip of the hat for traveling internationally on your own.

    • Nancy Nally July 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

      Thanks Laura! I spent four years living in the UK as a child and traveling around northern Europe with my parents so I’m not as intimidated by the concept as many people are. Hopping on a train and going is an adventure! It was fun to have a chance to finally try out my 2 years of high school German for the first time! (Although by now I’d forgotten way more than I remembered, I surprised myself at how well I did.)

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