Chicago 2016 Mini Album

Chicago 2016 Mini Album | Nicole Reaves

Last summer Mark and I planned our first family trip to a big city. We choose Chicago because it’s close to home and the drive isn’t too bad with a 6- and 8-year-old. The city is highly walkable and public transportation is great for longer treks. Mark and I used to go to Chicago often before we had kids so needless to say, we are thrilled that they are getting to the age that they can walk around without whining about being tired and can truly enjoy the sights and the opportunity to explore a big city. Chicago seems more kid-friendly than I remember!

While I didn’t do much scrapbooking at all last year, I knew I wanted to document this trip.
I actually chose two ways to do it : 

1Second Everyday app

Most of the people I know that use this app choose a video clip each day to create a long mashup of an entire month or year. After playing around with it prior to leaving, I set the app up to record video snippets of our trip with multiple clips a day. In my completed album below you'll see I included a QR code that goes to the full video. Creating QR codes is so simple and add a fun interactive element to your projects! Check out my video tutorial here on how to do it yourself.

Everyday Explorers kit

I really make an effort not to acquire many “someday” purchases. "Someday I’ll use this." "Someday I’ll do x, y and z." Christine Herrin’s Everyday Explorer Travel Binder Kit (which was in her shop last year and is no longer available) was one of those things that I knew I had to buy because it was so well designed + put together and one of the most unique memory keeping products I've ever seen. While I didn’t have a particular trip in mind for it, and we had nothing planned at the time, I had to have it. I would regret it if I didn't.

For a 5-day trip, I really didn’t take a lot of photos. In fact, I came home with less than 100. Partly because I was taking so many video clips, and also because I just wanted to enjoy our vacation without pulling out my phone all the time. It’s difficult to adjust your mindset of always documenting to choosing to just live the experiences first. Especially for a parent and scrapbooker.

I rarely tackle a project right after a trip and this one was no different. It usually takes me months to get it together and put the finished product together! I worked on it a bit last fall but didn't glue the pages together and complete all of the journaling until last month.

Chicago 2016 Mini Album | Nicole Reaves

My Mini Album Making Process :

  • Spread out the kit and pull out anything I don't plan on using.
  • Go through my stash to add coordinating alpha stickers and a few embellishments.
  • Figure out how to organize it. Here I referred back to Jamaica’s Explore mini book class at Big Picture Classes. In one of her lessons, she talks about different ways to organize your photos in a mini book – perhaps by day, or by type or location. While some days were fuller than others, I stuck with keeping my pages in chronological order. We left on a Monday and came home on Friday.
  • Put the interior pages from the kit in order. I also trimmed and clipped in my memorabilia with paper clips so I could move them around as needed before adhering them down.
  • Edit and print pictures. I choose my favorite photos to be full page and kept most of the supporting photos small and square to fit on the interior pages. Tip : measure an existing page first so you know how to edit and trim your photo down without cropping anything important out. Since I knew I wanted to use this album ahead of our trip, I knew I was going to want mostly vertical orientation photos. It never hurts to do a little pre-planning on how you will document your trip before the trip.
  • Trim photos and put them in place within the album. Again, I used paper clips to temporarily attach small photos to the page or to hold two pages back to back. I also hole punched the full page photos on the appropriate side margin after I put everything in order.
  • Once every photo and piece of memorabilia had a home, I went back to the beginning and started to adhere everything together.
  • Last, it is time to embellish and journal. I don’t have any rhyme or reason here. I usually start at the beginning and flip through, completing a page at a time. I let myself finish the pages that seem easy or I know exactly what I’m going to do first. If I’m stuck or struggling with a page, I move on and come back later. This process can go on for days but it’s easy to stop and start because you can do a page (or five) at a time – depending on the amount of time you have. Reason #291 of why I love making mini books

And with that, here is my completed album. Click on a photo to enlarge it and use the side arrows to flip through. At the end of this post I'm also sharing a video where I talk more about how I put the album together.

In the video walkthrough below, I talk about how I incorporated memorabilia, my struggles with keeping up with journaling during a trip and how I worked to get the most out of the kit. You can also see the 1Second Everyday video from our trip here. It's 8 months later and we still love watching that one-minute video!

If you have any questions about something I didn't address, please feel free to leave it in the comments below. Thanks so much for looking!