Episode 105: Loving Minis


The Topic:

Listener, Joyce Wans joins the girls for a discussion on mini projects, mini albums, mini books, mini Project Life, and mini pocket scrapbooking. Lots of really fun ideas that we are all excited about trying!

Joining the Discussion:

Joyce Wans
Peppermint Granberg

Katie Nelson

Show Notes:

  • Teeny Tiny Mini Albums
  • Katie’s List of Smash Book Ideas

Picks of the Week:

Joyce: We R memory keepers Die-cut Cards & Envelopes
Peppermint: Death To Doing It All by Whitney English
Katie: List Challenges
Steph: Brene Brown on Oprah



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62 Responses to Episode 105: Loving Minis

  1. SharonS says:

    What a great show! I enjoyed Joyce’s fun interactions with the rest of you girls. I love making mini albums! I have a whole basket full of them on the coffee table in my living room. In fact, I remember working on one the first time I listened to the Digi Show!

    For the most part, I still enjoy using paper and glue to make them. I use my Cricut to cut fun page shapes and elements. I’m kind of like Joyce–one mini album idea can cost a gazillion bucks! Last summer I completed a true hybrid one that I made to put inside a Laughing Cow cheese wedge box. It was so fun and I’m attaching the links below. Thanks for keeping me company and making me laugh.

    • Joyce says:

      Oh, no! We have one of those Laughing Cow containers in the fridge right now. Perhaps I can persuade my husband to throw it out while I’m not looking to save me from hearing it calling my name at night. I like your work as I have seen a number of container-based minis but not a round one. I particularly like the drop-down journaling card. I would have just used one of the main circles but I like your idea better and can see it applied to a number of minis.

  2. Mary M. says:

    Thanks for such a fun show. I think that Joyce is such a hoot and I laughed through most of the show. I had never focused on mini books, but I think they would be a great project for my daughter who is 8. She loves taking pictures and art journaling and we’ve just been putting all of her items into a box. I gave her some ideas for content driven mini books and she’s excited to get started. Thanks Joyce for all of the great ideas!

    • Joyce says:

      I would love to have an 8-year-old assistant scrapbooker! She could be in charge of all those moments when I freeze up because I don’t know what’s “proper.” Little kids aren’t constrained by that and I’m sure my minis would be the better for it. She might also be able to fill another niche for us: My husband and I often talk about how we need a 15-year-old to come to the house from time to time to help us with social media (don’t really do it) and fixing problems on our iPods. I bet the way things are going with kids learning things at younger ages, your daughter might be perfect for that job, too!

  3. Cathy R says:

    I loved this show as I do most of your shows and while I’m still listening I want to tell you that I love mini books. Katie’s comments about using quotes and creating a project about it is spot on. My most favorite one is the one I did of my family’s hairstyles through the years. It was so easy to do because there are so many great quotes about hair and I used the the ones that suited each page as my journaling. And, I have to tell you, this is the book my adult children always pick up to look at when its out, rolling on the floor laughing. In Steph’s words “that makes me so happy!”

    On a side note: As I have written in other comments, I am a paper scrapper. But, today of all days, I had an epiphany. Even though (at this time) I don’t digi scrap, I can still use digi supplies to print out elements for my page, right? I could just print them on cardstock or whatever, right? then fussy cut it. I am such a digi phobic I thought I’d have to jump right in to PSE, but I could just use Word, right?

    Thank you for all your generous insight, delightful humor and wonderful camaraderie. I love being one of your friends.

    PS. As I said on my hair book “If they ever do my life story whoever plays me needs lots of hair color and high heels!” – Chalize Theron or “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.” – Dolly Parton. :-D

  4. Joyce says:

    OMG! Hairstyles through the years! I am so on that. That broadens my mind to fashions, home decor, etc., through the years. I have two photos I love of my Grandma, one taken in 1929 and the other in 1942. In both photos she is in the yard hanging laundry on a line. If I could find similar photo pairs, perhaps a nothing changes through the years mini would be good, too!

    I think you can definitely try using word to print out goodies for your minis. This means that not only can you use digital elements and papers, you can change their size! How cool is that? Fussy cutting sounds so, well, fussy. I think I’d cut a lot of them to look like stickers with white borders protecting the little edge bits (also I’m lazy).

  5. Leslie Shelton Price says:

    Another GREAT podcast….each week, I anxiously await the arrival of the new podcast (a Christmas gift each week), and this week you discussed something I’ve been curious about, but didn’t know who could answer my question!

    As a 95% digi scrapper, I have dabbling in hybrid for my 365 project, but hate the thought of cutting out digital elements. If I asked Santa for a “Portrait” cutting machine like Steph, would it allow me cut out most of my elements or would I need to buy special kits that feature “cutting files”. Any info that you may have would be greatly appreciated!!

    Huge thank you!!


    • Joyce says:

      I’m eager to learn about this too, Leslie. Ever since Peppermint mentioned the Portrait and how much more affordable it is I fear it has been on my mind. I’m interested in what accessories and/or starter pack I would need. What I could do and can’t do. And, perhaps, an analysis of why I’m so obsessed with this stuff in the first place! Maybe I could use the Portrait to cut things to put in the Laughing Cow container that’s still in the fridge . . .

    • steph says:

      Hi Leslie! Peppermint has the portrait (smaller) and I have the Cameo. The Silhouette software has a really cool “trace and print” feature where you can add a digital item to the cutting area, trace it, print it, then cut it. The machine uses guides that were printed when you printed to know where to cut.

      This post on Capturing Magic shows how to do it:

  6. Leslie Shelton Price says:

    Joyce, please forgive me for calling you “Janice”….guess that gallon of coffee hadn’t kicked in tye..when I left the comment…ha ha!

    • Joyce says:

      Well, Leslie, I don’t think the coffee has kicked in yet, or perhaps it kicked too hard because you didn’t call me Janice — at least not in writing! Janice, or Jan, is actually one of the most popular near miss names that I try to respond to. So go ahead and say Janice and I’ll try to recognize myself!

  7. Jackie Bremer says:

    Another great show and another great topic. I have sooooo many incomplete albums both mini and regular. Currently, I am stressed out about getting a memory book together for the kids of our 50th anniversary trip to the Teton’s and Yellowstone AND a memory book for the two of us celebrating our 50 years together. I am embarrassed to say that I am paralyzed. I have started a couple of them: Shutterfly, Persnickety and Adorama but can’t seem to get it together. I also have started individual pages but that hasn’t come together either. I am stuck admiring papers/ templates and style. Could you possibly do a digi show on the best way to tackle these projects or point me to some samples and/or kits.

    Also – is there a link to Adorama and Shutterfly. On the Adorama promo, their is an advertisement for free snapshots from Shutterfly.

    One other topic of interest to me is the 6×6 albums from instagram. I get a little confused regarding the process. Do I move my photostream and camera roll albums to instagram from my iphone? Do they reside in both places?

    Thanks all of you for being REAL. You are truly a joy to listen to!

    • Joyce says:

      Don’t stress Jackie — this is supposed to be a fun and relaxing hobby, yes? Try just picking one book to start with and ignore any others you want to do (but write them down just in case you develop early onset senior moments and can’t remember what you forgot!). I’d do the trip one first because it’s easier to do something like that when the memories are still fresh.

      I am getting so picky and detailed here, Jackie, because I have suffered from the paralysis you are stuck in. I don’t expect you to finish the way I am suggesting but you might want to start that way. Then you don’t have to think so much to begin with but when your head’s in a better place, you can throw out whatever ideas aren’t working for you and finish it your way.

      So, Jackie, inhale, grab all your photos and other materials for your travel photobook (did you keep a journal? a calendar? receipts you can put in order?) and start. Copy your photos into a separate working folder on your desktop. Go through them and delete any photos you don’t want to use (that’s why it’s important to be in a working file). Scan any brochures or other objects you want to use and put the scans in the working file. You might even want to make subfolders by location or date to make the task look less overwhelming. Pick a book printer, pick one of their book styles, and plop in the photos. Add journaling, proof-read (but misspellings or grammar errors aren’t the end of civilization as we know it), order the books making sure you remember one for yourself, give them lots of money, and hit enter. Soon the books will arrive and you can wrap up the ones for your kids (Happy Holidays!) and enjoy your copy. The style or color or whatever of the pre-designed book means sooo much less that the content you are putting in. I find simple is better than fussy as the photos and journaling really shine then.

      The Adorama discount is a code that Steph posted on the Daily Digi. I looked it up for you: 40% off 8×8 photo book coupon code. You can use for as many books as you would like, as many times as you want until it expires on November 30th 2013! Here’s the code: pxmagic40

      You know Steph loves her Adorama. I generally use Blurb when I’m doing a book with lots of pages (better price) and MyPublisher for others because their presentation is so nice. And, of course, other printers when I get a “free book” coupon!

      You might want to consider a more old-fashioned scrapbook for the book for the two of you. That way you can work on (and print) pages in whatever order strikes your fancy and still end up with a book in time order, if that’s your goal. You are always at least partly done that way and can enjoy what you’ve done so far and let that inspire you to keep going.

      For my folks’ 55th anniversary, I decorated the dining room we reserved with scrapbook pages on ribbons. There was one page for every 5 years. I put on each page a picture of just them together, a picture of the family so they could see the kids get added to the group and grow, one of where we were living and maybe the car (didn’t take those so often), and any other photos that were iconic to their lives. When the guests left the room after dinner, I took all them down and slipped them into page protectors in a scrapbook I had ready. Mom and Dad had the scrapbook right then and they showed it to anyone who would hold still — that included going over it again with their friends right after dinner. Mom died about 6 months later and Dad a few months after that. I’m so glad I didn’t drag my feet working on a perfect, artsy presentation.

      I remind myself from time to time that no one else knows what was in my mind as I planned a book so if it comes out a little shorter or exhibits less “flair” that’s okay. They are thrilled with what they get and never know what they missed — and I never tell them otherwise so as to maintain the illusion that everything went exactly according to plan!

  8. Amber says:

    Peppermint.. I’m so glad to hear that you “burn out” on your kits! So many designers I know are just overflowing with ideas and their kits are so HUGE I feel like a big old failure with my 16-18 papers and 50-ish elements.. I feel like this is a still a respectable size – and looking back, even feel like this used to be considered “big” at one point – but it’s so easy to compare with others that are sometimes TWICE as full and worry that it will be overlooked in favor of something bigger/better/faster/stronger, etc.. Great advice, though, to just “do what you do” – there comes a point when creating solely for someone else or to make a buck just isn’t fulfilling, and if I’m not happy doing it, then why bother? Great show as always, ladies! :) xoxo

  9. Amber says:

    Oh – and Joyce – next time you’re in Logan let me know! I’d love to chat scrap with you! :)

    • Joyce says:

      Hi Amber! I will be living in Logan for 12 weeks at the new Blue Square student apartments arriving about mid-May and leaving before mid-August. My email is . Depending on where you are and what you’re doing, perhaps we could meet for lunch (and mini-book sharing) at the Blue Bird, the traditional home of scrapbook lunches in Logan (OK, so really only one lunch this year and one last year but it sounds like the beginning of a tradition to me).

  10. Tammy says:

    This was such a fun show! I almost didn’t listen because I’ve never really been interested in mini books. I’m really glad I did listen though… Joyce had so many fun ideas! I’m so tempted to give mini books a try-as soon as I’m caught up with my kids’ books ;) or maybe even before as a fun project all my own!

    • Joyce says:

      Hi Tammy! I have really dragged my digital feet in responding to you because I am conflicted. On the one hand, I enjoy the minis and encourage everyone to try them. So that hand would say “just go for it, Tammy, and work on both projects.” But the other hand … well, it’s thinking that if you are near done with the bigger project and don’t want to be derailed, then stay focused and think about minis (and make notes) during the commercials on TV or in waiting rooms. Of course, if I clap both hands together, I get having the kids help you finish their books by making little minis you can include!

      Good luck with your dilemma and remember: whatever you choose to do, that’s exactly what I recommended!

  11. Kris says:


  12. Angie says:

    Peppermint, does the Silhouette Designer software work with your portrait Silhouette?

  13. Jackie Bremer says:

    Joyce, thanks for your encouragement. I will plug away – I am blessed with many devises – lap top, large Mac desktop, iPad and iPhone and sometimes I think that in itself is too overwhelming. Then again, I am blessed with family and grandkids – lots to be grateful for. I will keep you posted. I agree that if I get one completed I will feel much better! Thanks again!

  14. StudioWendy says:

    Another fun show. I have my own mini book in the works and I’m really excited for it! My grandmother put together magnetic photo albums of each of her grandkids as we grew up. We loved looking at them every time we went. She didn’t journal along with them, though I wish she had. But, she photographed all her trips to visit us and all of ours to visit her and kept a record for us. When I got to adulthood, she gave me my album. The album is falling part now, the pictures have all come loose and have since been scanned, but I want to do something with the pictures. I thought about Project Life and even went to Michaels to purchase the Heritage line that was exclusive there, but they didn’t have it. While I was there, I just couldn’t imagine going with the 12×12 route. So I looked around a bit, thinking maybe that 6×8 size Peppermint mentioned would work better. Finally, I stumbled across the Smash Books. It hit me… instead of something so big and bulky, I would just smash them into a smash book! I bought the little photo corners so I don’t have to ruin the photos and I can just loosly put them in chronologically and then try take it to my Mom to get some background on the pictures. I even bought some washi tape and little labels. I’m excited to get to work on it. I even want to cut up the cover of the original magnetic album and include it because it’s part of my memories of the book and the smash book is the perfect format for it. I’m not a paper scrapper at all, but I’m also so far behind in scrapping my own photos and stories that I really didn’t want to do this as a digital album. I really want to preserve the original photos and this seemed like the perfect size and format to do it in. So, don’t count out the Smash Book for a heritage project. There are so many fun Smash Book designs that it can totally mesh with a heritage theme!

  15. Laurel says:

    Another great show ladies. Hope Steph has recovered from her disney trip. I have a totally random question. Where has Kayla Lamaroux gone? I haven’t heard anything about or from her forever.

    Second question…I’ve been waiting for Katie’s review of the new PSE. Isn’t it that time of year? :)

    Please keep the great shows coming!

  16. LeslieM says:

    Someone asked about Kayla Lamoreaux recently in the comments. I received an email today from Kayla saying she will be shutting down her photo, lightroom and ACDSee organizational classes soon. Get them downloaded while you can.


    • Joyce says:

      Thanks for the heads up, Leslie! I had been going through them slowly (very slowly) and ran over there to download. Now I can go through them slowly (very slowly) on my computer!

  17. Courtney says:

    I have a sharing question, which I never ran into with paper scrapping. Most, if not all, digi stores are moving to 100% product galleries. I understand that from the perspective of making money – as a store, they don’t want to be advertising other stores. But I’m feeling lost in the shuffle. I subscribe to the Digi Files, and I love that different designers and stores are represented. But I’m started to feel smothered in the sharing department. Is there such a thing as an open gallery anymore? Is there a great spot to share pages? I know I can share pages made with the Digi Files in the Flickr account, but what about brushes or little pieces I’ve bought elsewhere? Am I doomed to only share half done layouts or none at all? Help me Digi Girls, you’re my only hope!

    • StudioWendy says:

      Scrapbookgraphics will also let you post layouts that include other supplies as long as you don’t link them up offsite. We understand that people shop at more than one store. We do expect that people posting in our gallery are participating in the community and are posting some layouts with SBG product as well. We don’t allow drive-by ct posters posting layouts for non-SBG designers as their only layouts. But, if you want a place to hang out and make your home and post all your pages there, SBG and otherwise, we welcome that. But, if you want a place where you can just post all your layouts with links, and have it be completely open, then Digishoptalk, Digiscrapaddicts or even Flickr might be more the way to go.

      • Courtney says:

        I’m not worried about posting links. (Sorry designers) Mostly because there is nothing more frustrating to me as when I click a link, and get the 404 error. It feels like stores close and designers move all the time creating that links aren’t valid later. I would rather google and find the kit that way. (Although adding to my hatred of retiring product is my hatred of designers that change the name of a kit when they change stores, or separate their section out from a collab).

        I appreciate the info on ScrapbookGraphics. It’s always seemed more artsy than my style, but I will check them out.

    • Angie says:

      I don’t bother with other sites I just post to the daily digi flickr group. Then I can just post whatever I want.

    • Lahni says:

      Scraps N Pieces will also allow you to post products from other stores – just no off-site linking.

      • Courtney says:

        My concern with jumping to another store to post is what happens when they change their guidelines?

        I was happy at the store I was posting at until the guidelines changed recently. I know it’s lame, but I don’t want to have some layouts at one store and some at another store. I don’t want to get comfortable at a store and have the guidelines change. I think that with the recent change at some stores, the others may follow suit.

  18. Amber says:

    Courtney – there are a few open galleries at sites not affiliated with specific stores – Digi Scrap Addicts, Digi Shop Talk, as well as several groups on Facebook. I can’t speak for other stores because I’m not as familiar with them, but ScrapMatters is a “partially” open gallery so long as you don’t link to off-site designers/stores/blogs, etc.. The reason I say partially is that 50% of your comprehensive body of work needs to contain at least SOME ScrapMatters product.. ie if your gallery has 100 layouts, 50 of them need to use products from ScrapMatters designers. I know there are others out there, but you’re right, they are quickly dwindling from what it used to be…

    • Courtney says:

      Ugh, Facebook.

      I will have to check out Digi Scrap Addicts and Digi Shop Talk.

      I have the same concerns about Scrap Matters as I do about Scraps N Pieces and Scrapbookgraphics. Is it only a matter of time before all galleries are store specific?

      Thanks for the options everyone!

    • Courtney M says:

      Sadly, Scrap Matters is closing.

  19. Sallie says:

    Steph, I also love to browse Amazon but get overwhelmed. I have proof in my wish list! However, one of my phases relates to this topic, I was searching for books on bookmaking and bookbinding. Oh my goodness, there are many books with the instructions to make beautiful keepsake handmade books. I have NO time to do this but I dream of making a scrapbook of one the the projects, it would be an heirloom. If I could make, cut, bind the book and scrap it digitally . . . I would immediately be there, haha.

  20. Katie (sakura-panda) says:

    I have done a few mini books; I don’t do many because they take time away from my regular scrapbooking. Which would be less of a big deal if I was actually doing any scrapbooking. (I haven’t made a layout in a very long time.)

    My mini-books have been mostly paper and are always gifted — a couple of 8×8 albums, a 6×9 hand made book coil-bound with my Zutter Bind-it-all, and one made out of file folders cut in half and glued together.

    I really want to make paper bag albums as a way to use up my paper supplies, but I can never think of what I want them to be. I think they are so cute! I have two empty ones now and still no ideas about what I can do with them.

    I have also made a 4×6 digital mini album to give to my kids’ grandparents. That one was a lot of fun and it was so cheap to make three of them! I want to do more of those, but I find that I don’t really like to scrapbook the same photos more than once, even in different formats. I should try again, now that I can use those 4×6 pages in pocket style pages and only scrapbook them once.

    Anyway, this was a timely discussion since I bought a Snap album with the idea of putting in all the photos I have from my daughter’s scouting meetings and events from last year. I have the photos, the album, and a bunch of pocket pages and journal cards that I carry around with my small trimmer. Now I just have to do something with them besides carry them around hoping for a few minutes to play with them when I’m out somewhere.

    • Joyce says:

      Oh, Katie, I can spend hours (well, lots of minutes) staring at and handling the various Snap stuff. I haven’t bought anything yet because I just can’t figure out exactly what to do with it and I am trying really hard not to buy lots of stuff that doesn’t have a specified purpose. My exception is extremely cheap bargain items that I will buy without a plan and, as it turns out, I have been putting photos in those album or albumish items.

      Like you, I’m not doing much 12×12 as I was. I realized that’s just not me right now. Right now I am more minis. Maybe you are more minis right now, too. It makes me a little sad when I read that you aren’t making minis because you are busy *not* making regular pages. Putting things I think I need to do in front of things I want to do is a real problem for me. Be wild! Don’t hide behind your list of “needs” to avoid your wants. I’m not expressing this clearly, I think. Here’s how bad it was: In college I did not read a single book for pleasure because I felt I couldn’t read anything else until I finished my homework — and how can I possibly read everything that I am supposed to read? Now I would read something!

      I like minis as gifts, too, and I have decided that I deserve gifts, too. So now I plan projects for me. I will need things to read when I am older and can’t do many things anymore but I can relive those events through my words and pictures.

      • Katie (sakura-panda) says:

        Thanks, Joyce! I did start my daughter’s snap album and so far it is pictures and index cards with my notes on them — nothing fancy yet, but I’ve decided that will come later after I’ve put in all the pictures since I am working on this album when I am away from home and waiting at the kids’ activities.

        Lately I’ve been thinking that it’s all too much to do — trying to keep up with my scrapbooking — but you are right that I need to prioritize what I am doing so that I can fit in the things I *want* to do, like scrapping my 12×12 pages or making mini and brag books for the grandparents. I’m going to fix that so that I *can* make time to do pages instead of just collecting the photos for “later”. Thanks for the encouragement!

        • Joyce says:

          And you know, Katie, if your daughter’s Snap album is never any more than pictures and index cards with notes you have made a wonderful album that you both will treasure. The fact that it’s not “pretty” is good documentation of how busy you are at this point in your life. I’m so glad you are just moving along at your own pace and at your own projects. I can provide personal testimony that “later” rarely arrives and when it does, I can’t quite remember what was going to be so special about it! Rock on, Katie!

  21. Francie says:

    I loved this episode.
    I can’t resist commenting about Joyce’s suggestion of setting up a slide show of digi supplies. I did this quite by accident, as for the last year or so the widget on my desktop that scrolls through my photos at random has fixated on my digi supplies, and more particularly my alphas. I have no idea why, but I just let it do what it wants. Last winter, my then 18-month-old son got really interested in the alphabet and was constantly pointing at any letters in his environment and asking us to name them. It didn’t take him long to notice the alpha parade on my computer screen, of which he sometimes had a good view from his high chair. I’ll be darned if he didn’t master the entire alphabet by 21 months. Sometimes random accents and punctuation marks would come up to, so I would just name them like any other element. Imagine the surprise last month when my in-laws were over for a visit and my now 2-year-old pointed at my computer screen and yelled, “Bracket!” What a hoot.

  22. KristiG says:

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable show…not just because of the subject matter, but because of Joyce. She’s such a fun guest and I think she should be a go-to guest for the digi show because she’s so entertaining, funny and insightful. And her responses to the comments here are great too! Steph, this show did definitely make me think differently about mini books like you said you wanted us to do. Thanks for a great show (always!) and an interesting episode.

    • steph says:

      It’s fun to challenge our thinking!! ;) I also love Joyce! She always bring a smile to my face and quite often a giggle out loud!

    • Joyce says:

      Kristi, I’m responding to you a little more slowly than I might have otherwise: I had trouble propping up my severely swollen head in front of the computer! Thank you for the kind words!

  23. Lucrecia says:

    I don’t know how I missed this episode originally! I think Joyce and I could be BFFs! I literally laughed out loud when she said she judges the prices by how much of a cruise she could get for that, we do the same! I’m scrapping our Disney cruise right now but all of the sudden I want to stop and do another project. Such great ideas here (and Katie even prompted me to get Chinese food for dinner last night ;-) For me I like mini-albums because they come together faster and you get a sense of actual accomplishment when its finished.

    • Joyce says:

      Isn’t it great to know that if the World Monetary System fails we can fall back onto the World Cruise (or at least some segments thereof) Comparative Value System. That is my way of preparing for the zombie apocalypse! I don’t know much about zombies, actually, and I’m just sort of assuming they would avoid cruise ships perhaps due to fear of the water. If I’m wrong and they swim like fishes, don’t tell me: I’m old and I need my sleep — I can’t stay wake all night looking around for damp zombies!

  24. Lucrecia says:

    This reminds me of the shaped chip-board albums (of which I too still have some) but cut out with the Silhouette http://blog.silhouetteamerica.com/2013/11/a-merry-bright-mini-album.html

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