Friday, October 23, 2015

Europe 2014 Album // France: Part I

Last year, I went on a two week trip to Europe with my sister and brother-in-law where we navigated through six cities in three different countries. It was a wonderful vacation and the first time I had been back to Europe since 2008(!). I came home content with our adventures and fulfilled by each new experience. All in all, Europe was full of magic.

Fast forward a year later, and aside from some summary Project Life spreads in my everyday PL album, I had made no attempts to document this vacation. I knew I wanted to make something to remember the daily details of our special trip, but I was overwhelmed by the number of photos I brought home (nearly 2,900) and the length of our travels (the other travel albums I had made were all for shorter trips that were under a week).

I hemmed and hawed about my dilemma for a while. I knew a 6x8 mini album would be too small for the number of photos I had, but I didn't want to make a giant 12x12 album for one trip. I considered making a photo book, but realized that:
  1. with all the photos I would want to print, I would either have very tiny photos in lots of photo-collaged pages (which I didn't want) or a very expensive photo book with tons of full size photo pages.
  2. I wasn't sure I could get all my thoughts and journaling to fit well in a photo book - especially since I'm very nitpicky about the layout of the pages - but I didn't want a book without any words either.
  3. I wouldn't have anywhere in the photo book to put all the memorabilia I collected during my trip.
It was these reasons that pushed me to find an alternative solution and I decided to go with a 9x12 pocket page album for this travel album instead. It was the perfect in between size where I could focus on my photographs but still have room for journaling, minimal decorating, and all the ephemera I brought home with me. Yay!


I spent a couple of hours one week narrowing down my photographs from 2900 to about 365 (that I resized to 3x4s and 4x6s in Photoshop). I had them all printed at Costco, taking advantage of Costco's 9 cents sale this past summer. I'm lucky that I am very satisfied with the photo quality at my local Costco, since I've heard mixed reviews for the retailer in general.

Studio Calico sells 9x12 albums and 9x12 page protectors, but I had so many 12x12 Becky Higgins ones that I decided to simply alter them with my fuse tool to make them 9x12. It took about an hour to fuse 45 page protectors for this album, which wasn't too long at all. I'm currently housing all my pages in a 12x12 American Crafts modern album which I plan to cut down to 9x12...haven't gotten that far yet. Will keep you updated!

But for today, here is the start of my 9x12 album and my pages documenting our first day in Paris!

I kept my title page simple and classic, using some of my favorite patterned papers and embellishments. I printed out three instax photos from the three countries we visited using my instax share printer and I stamped 'EUROPE' with SC's Oliver alpha stamps.

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The left side is a summary spread of our overall trip. I still have to jot down some notes on the pink ledger card but other than that, it's complete. On the right side, I'm starting my album off with a spread about the cute and modern airbnb we stayed at in Paris.

I used Christine Herrin's Travel Tags stamp set to make these cool custom tags labelling each airport we went to. The alphas I used for the airport codes are Kelly Purkey's Shoreditch stamps.

When I was editing my photos, I added digital stamps on a few of them before getting them printed. The 'joie de vivre' digital stamp is from my Paris set. I love using digital stamps on photos because I want to avoid the possibility of messing up the stamping and the hassle of having to reprint photos.

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I bought a beautiful postcard from a little shop along Rue Montorgueil and I simply punched holes on the side of it so I could insert it in my album. The 'Paris je t'aime' card is from my Paris printable cards.

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Here's another look at the spread, sans postcard. I'm not doing anything out of the box or innovative with this travel album. It really is more of a personal photo album since I'm focusing on getting all my photos printed and in this book. I did add a business card to the yellow striped paper and used one pocket for my journaling though.

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A plethora of Eiffel Tower photos for this spread. I couldn't resist; I will never tire of seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower in all its grandeur and beauty.

This printable is also from my Paris cards. I added the 'you put a smile on my face' phrase, which is a stamp from an old kit by Kelly Purkey. I debated leaving it as is but in the end, decided to handwrite my journaling in the middle of the card. Keeping things simple, as always.

Hope you enjoyed this first look at my 9x12 album! This is my first time attemping this size and I'm really enjoying it. More spreads to come... Happy Friday!


  1. Thanks for the super detailed description on how you set up the album! Quick question: The "25 rue du mail" card -- is that made using an alpha stamp? If so, what stamp? I love the font.

    1. It's Kelly Purkey's Bedford alpha stamps from her shop. I believe they're now sold out though.

  2. I love your travel albums. I'm always excited to see your ideas come to life. Couple of questions. Where is the passport stamp from? Also where are the travel stubs from. They're great. Thanks so much.

    1. The passport stamp is from Studio Calico's Milk Glass add-on a few months back:
      The travel stubs are from a fairly old Basic Grey travel collection. I can't remember the name of it, sorry!

  3. Love how this is coming together! And I really liked how you used the Christine Herrin stamps - I really need to get mine out and try them!

  4. WE were there at the same time!
    I love your album, everything is fantastic.
    Thanks for the tips too ;)

  5. 9x12 is such a great size for so many photos. You created a beautiful big mini here. love it.