How to Make a Memorabilia Pocket for Your Scrapbook

As a follow-up to the confetti pockets I made last week, I wanted to show you how to make your own envelopes. This is especially for those of you who don’t have store-bought pockets or need a specific size.

For this project, we will be using a page protector. Leave the sealed side of the protector intact. This will be the bottom of your pocket.

Easy-Peasy Directions:

  1. Using a paper trimmer, cut the page protector lengthwise to 6”.
  2. Then cut the protector so that it is about 5” tall. The extra inch will be used for making the flap. You should now be holding a piece of 6” x 5” piece of page protector that is open on 3 sides.
  3. Cut the top of the back section down about an inch so that the front of the pocket will be 1” taller than the back.
  4. On the front section, create corners at the top by cutting on a diagonal. This will be the flap.
  5. Using a tape runner, seal the sides of your pocket staying as close as you can to the edge.
  6. Insert your memorabilia, confetti or designed paper into your pocket (see last week’s blog “How To Make a Confetti Pocket For Your Scrapbook Layout“).
  7. Fold over the flap and seal.

That’s it! These are so easy to make and literally take 5 minutes. Who could ask for more? Use these instructions to create any size from 12” x 12” (for those dance recital programs) to 2” x 2” (for that 1st lock of hair). Don’t worry about wasting your page protectors — you can create several pockets using just one!

Check out my video on how to make these fun little guys!


How To Make a Confetti Pocket For Your Scrapbook Layout

I learned this totally cool trick at the 3-day scrapbook crop I attended a couple of months ago.  I promised I’d share it with you…sorry I’m a little late.

I absolutely LOVE this idea and had a blast making it.  Although it is an easy project, it is a smidge time consuming which kind of goes against what we here at usually promote.  When I say time-consuming, I mean this entire project takes about 15 minutes.  To me, that is a time sucker.  To you, maybe not so much?

Supplies you will need:

  • Paper trimmer and/or scissors
  • Tape Runner
  • Hole Punch
  • Cardstock – 2-5 different colors of your choice
  • Sticker or embellishment for decoration
  • 2″x4″ Keepsake Envelope

First, I would recommend making your confetti.  This is the time consuming part and personally, I like to get it out of the way.  To make the confetti for this project, I used the Martha Stewart Heart Confetti craft punch which makes 7 shapes at once, but any hole punch will work.  Even a plain old hole punch, although it will take you longer because I recommend punching about 50 shapes for your pocket.

Next, you will need a 4×2 inch keepsake envelope.  The one I used came from the 3L SCRAPBOOK ADHESIVES Assorted Keepsake Envelope packet.

Then you need to choose 2 different background colors.  The foreground paper needs to be cut down to about 2” x 4”, just smaller than the envelope.  The background should be slightly larger at about 4 ½ x 2 ½.

Now, just decorate your foreground paper however you want.  I made die cuts using my Cricut machine for this project.

Insert this decorated piece of paper into the pocket followed by the confetti in front of it.   Seal the envelope closed.  If the envelope you are using has adhesive backing like mine, peel off the backing and take a piece of page protector that you have cut down to size and stick it over the sticky part.  Trim any excess.   Adhere the envelope to the slightly larger piece of background paper and you are done!  Easy and fun wrapped up in one, who doesn’t like that???!!!

Use your imagination and use different size envelopes for anything from a day at the beach to your daughter’s birthday party!  Get crazy and make different shaped confetti by using mini paper punches in the shapes of flowers, hearts, etc.

Check out the instructional video I made too:

Thank you, Ann-Marie, for showing this wonderful and fun idea to me and for allowing me to share the love!

A Rant about Why You Should Go To a Scrapbooking Event

My workspace. I know, red wine at a crop is a major faux pas. I just couldn't help myself.

I’ve been a pretty avid, maybe not consistent, but avid scrapbooker for about 18 years.  I have attended an evening or all day crop in these past 18 years here and there.  But believe it or not, I have never attended a real-live-get-in-the-car-stay-in-a-hotel-and-don’t-look-back-for-3 days scrapbooking event.  EVER.  That is, until last weekend.  I felt a little guilty about leaving the family for a fun, drink as much wine as you want, tell dirty jokes till the cows come home and scrapbook to your hearts content type of affair.

Well, let me tell you…not only was it good for the album, but it was good for the soul.  There’s nothing like some good old fashioned girl time, sitting around and doing something that we all have in common.  The ideas, the inspiration, the laughing….were swirling all around the room.  The giveaways, the food, the camaraderie, did I mention the wine?  What was I thinking?  Was it that I didn’t have the opportunity?  Was it the guilt of feeling like I was being selfish?  Probably the latter.  Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from bouts of guilt and for no real good reason either.  Well, I say screw the guilt’s.  I’m sure I’m one of the rare ones who have never actually attended one of these before.   I should be embarrassed (and I am a little bit).  But I’m here to say to anyone who is like me…get your booty to an all-weekend crop as soon as you can.  Besides the inspiration and relaxation, I got a ton of layouts done.  I’m now closer to being caught up and I’m inspired and motivated to continue with my backlog of scrapbooking and to share with my friends all that I have learned. Please watch for the next few weeks, I will share with you some ideas that came across my lap at this wonderful, life-changing event.

Next week…how to make confetti envelopes!  Don’t miss it, it is so much fun and so cool, why didn’t I think of it????  Oh, and thanks to my friend Ann-Marie who organized and hosted this wonderful event!  Can’t wait for the next one — Woo-hoo!

Winter Layout for your Scrapbook

If you live in the Northeast, you are by now sick to death of the snow.  I do love snow most of the time.  When it is falling, it’s so beautiful and tranquil.  Unfortunately, that beauty and tranquility has now turned into frustration.  How do you get rid of the irritation of slipping and sliding every time you go to the mailbox?  That is, IF you can get to the mailbox.  For the Northeast, this winter is most certainly unusual and may go down in history as being one of the snowiest winters ever.   Use this opportunity to take pictures of the piles and piles of snow and make your own history book.  I’ve created a double page layout, but if you have lots and lots of photos, a mini album dedicated to the Winter of 2010-2011 is a great idea.  This season almost needs its own book, don’t cha think?


Title – blue letters I had laying around (it’s all about the scraps for me!)

Snow – I hand ripped white paper to give it that look of piles of snow, and layered on top of one another.

Snowman – I hand drew and cut out the body and used a medium circle punch for the head, then I cut a piece of blue paper around it for matting.  The nose was made from a piece of orange paper cut into a small triangle. The eyes were drawn in using black marker.

Snowflakes – die cut

Journaling – I matted the main subject of my layout and cut the right side of the mat longer to allow for journaling.  I then typed what I wanted to say and printed out on acid free paper.  Make sure you size the margins correctly in your document before sending to print.

Scrapbook Those Christmas Cards

The decorations are finally down and back in the attic.  The Christmas CD’s have been stored until next year.  And the Holiday cards are….oh, what to do with the holiday cards?  The guilt that is caused by throwing them away is just too much to bear.  Why not make a scrapbook for them?   It’s a fabulous way to not only preserve your friends and family, but a great way to watch how they are changing from year to year.  I find it fun to see how much the kids have grown!

Depending on what part of the country you live in, it’s been a very cold and snowy winter.  So whittle away some of the time being stuck in the house by creating one of these Christmas Card Scrapbooks.   Where I live, the snow will not be gone until June!  No, I mean it.  Take a look for yourself…

our deck furniture...I think

there's a mailbox in there somewhere

Now, for what this blog is really about, here is a Christmas Card layout I created this afternoon:

This is a double-layout.  Notice that I had to cut up the bottom cards on each page for them to fit.  I separated them with a piece of green scalloped border.  The die cuts (“Family”, “Friends”, the tree and the tag) were made using the Silhouette Digital die cutting machine.  I “blinged” out the tree using BoBunny Buttons & Bling

Age 17 – My First Real Loss


Grandma & Grandpa in the early days

I had never lost someone close to me.  I knew my grandmother was sick, but I wasn’t prepared to lose her.  My grandmother was funny, stubborn, had a strong faith and was full of life.  Unfortunately, she was also a chain smoker.  I mean that in every sense of the word.  I remember visiting my grandparents and she would literally have a cigarette in her mouth from the moment she woke at 5am while saying her Rosary to the moment she went to bed at night.  If I didn’t actually witness her lighting her cigarette with the previous one, I would not have believed it.


Unfortunately, it eventually caught up with her.  Ironically, when she was diagnosed, she had already quit.  Years before that, she had stopped cold turkey.  It’s funny how someone who smoked the way she did could just wake up one morning and decide not to ever pick up another cigarette again.  And she never did.

Grandma in Italy prior to her diagnosis


The cancer engulfed one of her lungs and she had to have it removed.  It took a couple of years for it to hit her second lung.  It was soon after the second diagnosis that she succumbed to the disease.  It’s almost as if she just gave up, I remember how she didn’t fight.

I very vividly remember the day I got the news of her death.  I had just exited the shower and was standing in the bathroom with a towel around myself when the phone rang.  My father called from the hospital to say she had passed away.  I remember sinking to the floor upon hearing the news and sobbing.  I had never lost anyone before and I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.  I was absolutely terrified of attending the services.  I remember feeling so vulnerable and helpless.

My aunt, who is only 11 years older than me, was engaged to be married.  My grandmother used to joke that they would have to push her in a wheelchair down the aisle because my aunt and her fiancée were waiting so long to marry.  After all, she was the last out of 7 children to receive the sacrament.  Ironically, they were wed one week after grandma’s burial.  As sad as we were, the wedding went on because that’s what she would have wanted.  Her presence was very much felt that day.

I think of my grandmother quite often.  I pray to her.  Sometimes I see her in my daughter.  Sometimes I feel like she is my daughter’s guardian angel.  Just a hunch.

As Recording My Youth comes to a close, I reflect on my childhood and what memories have come forth.

For years, when I thought back to my childhood, I always thought everyone grew up like me.  I thought everyone’s dad was in the Army and moved all over.  I thought everyone went garbage picking.  I thought everyone had a nutty mom.

We struggled financially, but my parents always managed to keep a clean and sturdy roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs.  My brothers and I never thought for a second that my parents didn’t have much money.  We were supplied a wonderful upbringing with great memories to last a lifetime.

I tell my daughter all the time how different my upbringing was from hers.  She thinks I had a sad childhood when I recount my stories to her, but she couldn’t be more wrong.  It was wonderful, every bit of it.  I’m so happy to have had this opportunity.  Thank you, Janna!

Age 14/15 – Testing the Waters

I like to refer to my 14th and 15th years as the “dirt” years, because I was always grounded.  It was during this period that I really started to test the waters.  Meaning, I gave my parents a run for their money.  I wasn’t a terrible teenager, I knew girls who were much worse than me.  I just liked to see what I could get away with, which, it turned out, was not much.

That being said, I remember one particular evening that started out as an innocent sleepover in the basement of one of my friend’s house.  Another girl (let’s say Lisa) and I were invited to stay over.  Karen’s parents must have a lot of trust in their daughter, because they allowed us to stay in her finished basement that had sliding glass doors – to the outside.

It turned out that those sliding glass doors were too much of a temptation.  We tried to keep busy by watching some late night television, but those darn doors were calling our names.  About a mile away from Karen’s house were condominium units that housed Lisa’s boyfriend.  She got the great idea that we should all take a walk over to see him.  Being silly 14 year olds, we all thought it was a great idea.  I mean, it was better than watching reruns of the “I Love Lucy” show.  So, we put on our shoes and started the trek through town.  We got about half way there when we were stopped by a police cruiser.  I didn’t really understand what was wrong with what we were doing.  It was only about midnight, the street lights were on, and no one else was out, so it was totally safe…wasn’t it?  Anyway, he asked the three of us to get into the car, we were going “down to the station.”  I had a complete and total meltdown.  I was being arrested.  I was 14 years old and my life was over.  When we got to the station, the police officer started writing something on a white card.  I asked him what he was doing and he replied that he was filling out my JD card.  Oh no, I was going to be classified as a Juvenile Delinquent!  My record was going to be marred!  I’d never get into college; I’d never be able to get a job.  Now I knew my life was over.  Of course, the nice officer was just trying to scare the you-know-what out of me and he was succeeding.  Next, I had to deal with mom and dad.  That didn’t go over too well.  I think I was grounded for a year.

During my 15th year, I was grounded for having a bad report card.  During this period of “groundage”, I received an invitation to attend a sleepover party.  I begged and begged my mom to just let me go to this one party and I’ll never ask to do anything else again, but she wouldn’t lift the punishment (she was so mean…when I grew up, I was going to let MY daughter do whatever she wanted – stay out late till all hours of the night, go to any party she wanted, chaperoned or not, ride in cars with boys.  What was the big deal???).  I absolutely had to go and no one was going to stop me.  So, I wrote a nice “run-away” letter to my parents that described to them that I was not going to go to that party, but I was going to go away to “think and be alone”.  It’s makes me blush when I think of it.  It’s funny to imagine my pre-teen daughter pulling that one in a couple of years.  She’s not that naïve.

When I got off the bus on that fine Friday afternoon, I packed an overnight bag and walked to my best friend’s house who lived about a mile away.  I remember sneaking into her room via her bedroom window and took refuge in her closet until it was time to go.  Luckily, we were able to persuade the birthday girl’s mother to pick us up there.  That poor unsuspecting woman had no idea that she was an accomplice to a run-away.  After what seemed like hours, I climbed out of my hiding spot and out the window I went.

The evening started out very uneventful, until we went to the roller rink for a little skating.  There I saw my brother Eddie who promptly informed me that mom and dad were worried sick and reported me missing to the cops.  He proceeded to tell me that they had every police officer in town knocking on every door that evening looking for me.  He was either a great actor or I was as naive as they come – I tend to think the latter.  My night was ruined.  Just like that.  I looked over my shoulder every 5 minutes.  At this point, my friend’s mom knew that I was a run-away but kept up the charade until morning.  Going home that next day was not fun.  My dad took the door off my bedroom and it remained that way for months.  I couldn’t go anywhere for what seemed like years.  I never ran away again, but I did continue to “test the waters.”  I recall being grounded more times than not.  It was a joke among my friends.  Would I ever learn?  Nah, it was way too much fun.

Age 13 – The Linda Blair Story


I was going to add the possessed Linda Blair, but I was too creeped out!

Remember my birth story when I mentioned my mother jumping out of my closet (My Comedic Birth, October 7)?  Well, here it is…This story describes perfectly what it was like living with a mother like mine and how she raised us.  My daughter thoroughly enjoys her antics to this day.


It was 1980, we had finally acquired cable television and I was too excited for words.  I remember when my cousin got it and I was green with envy.  I was 13 years old and “The Exorcist” was going to be on HBO.  It was a school night, but I was determined to watch it.  I begged and begged my mom.  Of course, she said no…repeatedly.  Moms know best and I should have accepted her “no” and moved on.  She finally caved in with an “o-kay-eee, if you insist” tone to her voice.   How bad could it be?  I should have known.

I quickly got ready for bed in my favorite PJ’s and snuggled in on the couch for some good entertainment.  This was going to be great!  I felt so grown up…watching a grown up movie with my mom, it doesn’t get any better than that.  I thought I was so cool.

Well, my “cool” went right out the door around the time the main character turned her head entirely around on her shoulders and began to spit blood.  I did not run, but FLEW to my bedroom and hid under the covers, head and all, as if the thin layer of cotton and polyester would protect me.  My teeth were chattering so loudly that I could not hear a thing outside of my fortress.  That must have been the moment that my mother snuck into my closet.  Can you imagine my surprise?  I screamed my bloody head off and nearly died from fright – I guess it served me right.

Needless to say, I did not get a wink of sleep that night.  I laid with one eye wide open, looking for any signs of demons.  I was especially anxious because my mind kept going to the Ouija board that was laying in wait in my closet.  You can just imagine the state I was in by the time the sun came up.

In the morning, I told my mother I couldn’t go to school.  She asked me if I felt ill and I replied that I thought the devil had possessed my body during the night.  Utterly ridiculous, I know.  I proceeded to tell her that I felt my bed shaking and heard strange noises.  Don’t ask me why or how, maybe she felt guilty about the closet incident, but she let me stay home.

I couldn’t go into our attic in the winter for years because I could see my breath and to this day if I even hear the name “Regan” I get the shakes… literally.  The moral to this story is to always listen to your mom.  I don’t regret that night, it is a fun memory that I have shared with my daughter on many an occasion.  Especially those occasions when she thinks she knows best.

Age 12: Gauchos, Saddle Shoes and a Child Left Behind

A lot happened between 1978 and 1979.  We moved 3 times within a one year timeframe.  Our final move would be from Yonkers to Mahopac, New York.  I didn’t leave this house until my wedding day 13 years later. 

The Family circa 1979'ish

On our first day in the new house, with moving boxes strewn about, my two brothers decided to go out and put up a bike ramp in the middle of our street which, I might add, was a pretty steep hill.  Eddie decided to play Evel Knievel and literally flew his bike over the ramp.  Of course, when you try to fly when you are 9 or any time for that matter, you don’t usually land gracefully.  He skidded across the gravel on his face (the streets in our neighborhood hadn’t been paved), and he spent the next several hours in the emergency room.  His face was puffy, his eye was swollen shut and water on the knee forced him to use crutches for the next couple of weeks.

At this point, my mom started dabbling in sewing and started to make some of our clothes.  She may have enjoyed her new hobby, but she was no Betsy Ross.  She worked all summer on my “First Day of School” outfit.  Since I have no photograph to share (thank goodness), let me paint a picture for you:

My pants were gauchos made of this industrial strength denim that made me appear to be a triangle when I stood straight.  They were more for wearing in a school play about Polygons than at a place where I was trying to make a good first impression.  I don’t know why, but the material of choice for the neck of my shirt was an elastic band.  Thank goodness I had a scrawny little neck otherwise I may have choked to death.  To top off the look, I wore knee highs and saddle shoes.  It’s a wonder I made any friends.  It would seem that both my brother and I were doomed at this point, but it gets better.

While all the other kids had Adidas and Nike  sneakers, I had  the privilege of wearing Cal-Pros for PE (remember the Caldor sneaker?).  When I went to gym that first day, I didn’t realize that one of my shoes was about 2 sizes bigger than the other.  Apparently, mom accidentally grabbed two different sizes from the bin.  I remember lining up the toes of my shoes so that no one would notice.

While I was in this particular gym class outside, my brother Eddie was on the playground about a couple of hundred feet away.  I remember looking up and noticing his familiar face, when suddenly this awful girl shoved him down in the dirt. The poor boy was defenseless, crutches and all.  I took off like a bullet, leaving my gym class behind to go to his rescue.  I stood up to that girl like I’ve never stood up to anyone before.  I don’t know what came over me.  I guess it was that protective thing, like when I was trying to save him from drowning several years earlier.

This was the third school this year for me and I was completely lost.  I couldn’t grasp a thing they were teaching me.  I can’t remember ever struggling so much in my life.  The end result was to repeat 7th grade.  I thought I was going to die; I was going to be left behind.  I remember crying and crying the day my parents told me.  All the friends I met, this was finally a place I could really settle in and I was going to lose it all.

Dramatic, I know.  I was 12.  It actually wasn’t so bad.  I met new friends, in addition to keeping some of the old.  I got 2 jobs – Papergirl and Babysitter.  I was able to make money to buy myself a pair of totally rad leather clogs and Jordache jeans.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, my parents would not buy me anything designer.  They thought it was frivolous, I thought I was deprived and that I had the worst parents ever.  I wore the jeans to DEATH, almost every day of the week.  I finally figured out that if I told people that I had 5 pairs of the same exact jeans, I would be less embarrassed.

I’ve come to realize that everything happens for a reason.  That course of action and chain of events put my life in the direction it was supposed to go in.  It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it?  Oh, and mom and dad, it’s okay that you didn’t buy me everything I wanted.  I get it now.

Age 11: The Year of the Bully

My mom and dad decided that it would be best for dad to leave the army.  My brothers and I were really starting to be affected by the poor education we were receiving.  We moved from Tennessee (which was devastating to me) to St. Paul, Minnesota because my dad needed to receive 2 months of training for his new job in New York.  I don’t remember much about Minnesota except the little boys next door and it being really cold in November.  After our 2 month stint in St. Paul, our next temporary move was to Yonkers, NY while we searched for the house that we would call home for the next 27 years.


My brothers, me and the kids next door in Minnesota. Less than 2 months later we were wearing parkas. Sorry, no photos of Yonkers. Too traumatic.


Yonkers was quite an experience.  Let’s just say you had to have street smarts to live there, of which I had zilch.  We had to walk to and from school every day because the city lacked a bus system at the time.  I remember my mom walking us the first day so we would know how to get there and back.  After that, we were on our own.  I can’t remember complaining about it…ever.  We just did what we had to do.

Once I got to school, I didn’t make many friends.  I made the mistake of staring down a girl on the first day.  How did a skinny white girl who weighed about 50 pounds soaking wet think that would go?  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I never stood up for myself before in my entire life, and Yonkers is where I chose to do so?  I remember these girls hanging out on the street corner to give me a hard time – pushing, shoving, name calling.  It was a pathetic scene.  One especially nice girl hit me over the head with a baton; you know, the kind you twirl with.  I’m not sure if I ever shared this with my mom.  I probably didn’t want to worry her.  My brothers were not spared the same type of treatment.


The weapon of choice


We rented a 2-bedroom apartment while my parents found a permanent home.  My brothers and I had to share a room.  I remember my dad hanging up a curtain to divide our space in half so that I could have a little privacy.  The slumlord, um, I mean LANDLORD was this awful man with a tyrannical temper.  He used to scream at my dad for any little mishap.  The final straw was the spaghetti down the drain incident.  This was cause for Big Bad Landlord to threaten my dad’s life.  Rumor had it that he chased his brother-in-law around the block with a loaded gun.  This rumor, whether true or not, scared my parents enough to want to get out of dodge.  We immediately packed up our belongings, rented a moving van and skipped town dead in the middle of the night.  It was like a scene out of The Godfather.

Just so I’m not a complete Negative Nelly, I do have one decent memory from that time period.  Our upstairs’ neighbors owned a deli a couple of blocks away.  I remember the little girl had rotted front teach.  I always thought that it was from eating too much candy from her parents’ store.   We used to go to the deli to get free candy.  That’s it.  That’s my good memory.  Not the rotted out teeth part, but the candy part.

We all survived our 3 month stint and it made us stronger.  Like my mom always said, “What doesn’t kill you, builds character.”  I guess those angels were back and working overtime!