Archive | Scrapbook Layouts

AZZA Scrapbooking

Have you heard of AZZA Scrapbooking?

Well I hadn’t until a few months ago when my friend Marla (who isn’t even a scrapbooker) worded me up about it.

Seems AZZA is a European style of scrapbooking. The AZZA heartland seems to be France and Belgium. And its focus is all about the photos and less about the embellishments.

Typically AZZA scrapbook layouts use multiple photos which are cut into shapes that fit into each other neatly. Often special templates are used to create the shapes needed for a pleasing design.

Usually there isn’t any embellishment other than a border which is mostly drawn with a pen or paintbrush. Simplicity is the key and all attention is given to the photos. And the photos themselves become the design of the layout.

It’s an interesting style and makes quite a contrast from the American style of scrapbooking which most of us practice. And I do confess that whilst I’m not a heavy collage scrapbooker, I do like my embellishments and accents.

But I was intrigued by the AZZA scrapbooking style and thought I’d like to give it a try. I wasn’t all that keen on all the photo cutting (I knew from the outset that that way there be dragons). And I wasn’t keen on the expense of buying the special templates.

So the obvious choice was . . .

Digital AZZA Scrapbooking!

One of the joys of digital for me is that you can replicate pretty much anything that you can create in paper scrapbooking at little or no cost. And mistakes are fixed by just a click of the reverse button.

So I decided to give digital AZZA a try and use it to create my album for the trip I took last November, cruising across Europe by river.


Click on the layout to download the PSD template

Click on the layout to download the PSD template

I made some digital templates in Photoshop Elements and dragged my photos on, positioned and resized them and then used the clipping mask layer to crop them to the size of the template.

I made the borders by choosing a shape from the cookie cutter and then Ctrl-Click to select the layer and doing Edit>Stroke Outline on a new layer. Simply delete the original shape layer and you’re left with the outline border which you can resize and manipulate however you want.

The templates were quite easy to make using the Cookie Cutter shapes and the Marquee Tool for the more geometric shapes. And the spaces between were created using the same Edit>Stroke Outline technique around the photos, Selecting the border layer  and pressing the Delete key on the relevant layers to create the space.

I then just added a small shadow to the photos so they look like they’re stuck on the page; a low key title, some journaling and we’re done.

I quite like how they’re turning out. And best of all, it cost me nothing!

So I think I’ll be doing more of this Digital AZZA Scrapbooking, although I can’t see me becoming a total convert. I couldn’t bear to give up my flowers and brads… both digital and real.

How about you? Have you tried AZZA Scrapbooking before using traditional paper techniques? How do you like it?

And what do you think of digital AZZA scrapbooking? Is it something you ‘d like to try?

You can download the template I made for the layout above by clicking on the layout above. The template is in PSD format.

Let me know how you go.


A Muse on Old Friends

old-friendsI love my old boots.

They’re 11 years old and I’ve ‘replaced’ them twice with newer boots. But I just can’t get rid of my old friends.

And although I wear my newer boots, whenever I know I’ll be doing a bit of walking during the day I always reach for my trusty old boots, knowing they will see me through. They’re even more comfortable than my runners (trainers, sneakers).

They’ve walked me around large chunks of France, Italy, the UK and Ireland.

They’ve been used and abused.

And they just keep giving.

Is it any wonder that I would dedicate a scrapbook layout to them.

They have been repaired so many times, I’ve lost count. And I know that one day (probably in the not too distant future) they will be beyond repair and will go to that Great Shoe Closet in the Sky.

But that day is not now.

Now I open my wardrobe and my hand hovers over my smart boots before drifting, as though drawn by a magnet, to my shabby old friends.

A quick shine up and they’ll look as good as new. Yeah, right. I know it’s to my eyes only, but I don’t care.

My boots and I will walk on together.

Old Friends walking into the sunset.

How to Make a Scrapbook Template or Sketch from a Scrapbook Layout

…and a Digital Scrapbooking Freebie Template.

Coming up with fresh ideas for your scrapbook layout designs can sometimes be a challenge. So here’s a tip you might find useful:

Recycle your old scrapbook layouts!

I don’t mean that literally of course. But if you choose some of your favorite scrapbook layouts that you have previously done you can easily create a sketch that you can turn into a totally fresh new layout.

How to Create a Sketch from a Scrapbook Layout

  • Choose a scrapbook layout that has some strong structural elements to the design.
  • Now sketch the layout on a piece of paper, leaving out all the small details. Just draw basic geometric shapes such as circles, rectangles and triangles to represent the key elements.
  • The reason for this is that you don’t want to replicate your original scrapbook layout on your new one. You just want to create the structure that you can build your new layout on.
  • Now turn the sketch around. See how it looks from each of the four sides. You don’t need to necessarily repeat the sketch exactly as the original layout. But you will have the basic structure of the design to build on.

And for digital scrapbookers you can take it a step further and Continue Reading →

Kilmore Celtic Festival 2009

Someone must have pressed the fast forward button and whizzed the year through, because I can’t believe it’s been a year since we headed off down the Hume Highway on our annual pilgrimage to the Kilmore Celtic Festival.

And of course, my annual homage to the event.


I made this layout using Marcee Duggar's Music Kit with some embellishments from Amy Cheeseman's Heartsong. I'm going through a phase of blending my photos so that they form part of the background paper at the moment.

Once again I meant to buy the early-bird tickets and get the discount. Once again it slipped my mind. Once again I almost forgot which weekend it was on.

But despite all that, once again I have had a great day out at my favourite folk festival.

Kilmore lies about 40 minutes drive north of Melbourne. So from my perspective it’s one of the handiest folk festivals I can get to. And an added bonus is that my sister lives ten minutes away from Kilmore on the way home so it’s become a bit of a tradition to stop there on our way back for a bite to eat and a cosy catch up in front of their fire.

The Kilmore Celtic Festival takes place on the last weekend of June each year and kicks off with a dinner and cailaigh on Friday evening, culminating with a big lunch and concert at one of the Kilmore pubs on Sunday afternoon.

And in between there’s Saturday!

A day packed full of great bands, musicians and singers as well as markets, dancing and workshops.

Kilmore is a small festival and for me that’s part of its charm. There are always plenty of new acts to sample as well as many old favourites to revisit. And this year was no exception.

My favourite band, Ced Meledo’s Bric-a-Brac were in fine form. They represent the Breton contribution to the Celtic culture. And Ced is cute, French and wears leather pants. What more could you ask for? Oh yes, their music is great to listen to.

Another favourite act, Braemar, opened the Festival and woke us up to a set of Scottish balllads. And we enjoyed the return of Bhan Tre who are always great to watch. Each year we like to find a new act that we can add to our favourites and this year we came across two. Both are young bands from the Lake School of Celtic Music. One is called Rant and the other is Dram. Definitely two bands to watch out for on the celtic/folk scene.

And, in what has now become part of our Kilmore Festival tradition, we stopped in at Elaine and Greg’s on our way home. Topping of a terrific day with home made pizza and wine.

Aaaah! Life’s good!

Haiku Your Journaling

The haiku might have been designed especially for scrapbooking.

With its seventeen syllable format (although the western versions do give a little bit of latitude), it’s perfect for creating a short piece of journaling that still manage to capture the essence of the story you’re trying to tell.


Haiku (pronounced High-koo) is a non-rhyming, Japanese poetry form consisting of 17 syllables, arranged in three lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

Long term readers of Scraps of Mind will probably remember that I’ve raved about this form of poetry on Scraps of Mind before. I even once ran a bit of a challenge to readers to create their own haikus and we got some fantastic results. I suspect many of you surprised yourself.


blogging here alone

words to you across the World

scraps of mind in tune

It looks difficult but when you actually do it, it’s surprisingly easy.

You just write down what you want to say in three lines. Then you think about the words and manipulate them so that they fit the haiku parameters. The traditional pattern is

5 syllables

7 syllables

5 syllables

But no one is going to condemn you if you vary it a little.

And when you have to try to fit what you want to say into that sort of pattern you will amaze yourself at how creative you will be with your words.

And suddenly you find you’ve expressed your message in a very special and concise way that looks really special as a piece of scrapbook journaling.


color me Burano

a haven of memories

wrapped in shawl of lace

Have you tried it yourself?

I’d love to see some examples of your own haikus in the comments below.

Other Related Articles:

Haiku Kudos

Why Journaling is Important on Your Scrapbook Layouts