in memory page.

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I don’t often get asked to use my crafting skills by my family, in fact… I can’t remember the last time I was. So when I was asked by my mother in law to create a page with a specific photo of her dog that had been recently put down, I said of course. Allie had been sick for quite some time (cancer, among other issues) and so while not a total surprise, it was no less sad that her time had come.

Now, the challenge in creating a layout for someone else like this is doing your best, while keeping their wishes in mind as well. Easy, it is not. The absolute hardest part for me was finding the perfect paper. Normally, I’m not too picky but this isn’t some page going in a random album, and I knew I didn’t want a lot of embellishing or fuss with this single (5×7) photo as the focus. This is a specific project that will hang framed on a wall (no pressure). I literally looked at every single patterned paper I have before deciding on this one.

After some consideration I decided to post what I came up with here because the design is very simple, but absolutely perfect for the purpose of this layout. Also because the topic of scrapbooking the recently departed is rarely discussed. Now my photos were taken at night – so excuse the bad quality. But you get the idea – this is a design I’d highly recommend using for this type of a page:

 My mother in law will be adding her own journaling, framing this, and giving to the vet center that was so helpful and wonderful and ultimately the place where Allie was spent her last days. Keeping that in mind, I selected a beautiful patterned paper that complimented the photos and had detail centered around the edges (where it would show). I also did some heavy ink-blending work (Victorian Velvet distress) to add to the shabby chic/soft feel of this page.


I used some brown alcohol ink on the silver wings to make them less silver-y, and used my victorian velvet ink pad (which was perfect match to this paper from the Western Romance collection by Webster’s Pages) to custom-color the title – and I was so grateful for those letters! They were by far and away the best option I had here.

Remembering the days when Allie and Jake (our dog who died a few years ago) played, all the good times, well I used the time I was crafting to reflect and honor the dog. She might have barked too much and been unruly in her early years – but she was definitely loved. It was an honor to create this in her memory, and I’m really happy with how it came out. (that sounds weird to me – being ‘happy’ about this – but I think you know what I mean)

supplies used:

I realize this is a somber topic – and yet I can’t help but feel an important one. Being able to create a memorial paper craft item – whether a whole album or just a single page – is not something you read about often. It isn’t easy either – but something that as the scrapbooker in the family you have the skill and practice to do well.

If you have scrapbooked for someone else in such a way, or have tips to share, I invite you to leave a comment.

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20 responses »

  1. For a page that is of a serious nature, if you are going to be writing the journaling, I would suggest to gather a rough idea of what you want to say, pulling one or two photos to support the journaling, and then write and plan the journaling. I think you definitely want the photos and/or journaling to shine and not be lost in embellishments or techniques – we have so many other pages that we can load down with them :). Lastly would be to pull all the goodies – just be sure they support your message and not overpower them.

    I am in the middle of this process for pages about my dad who passed away. I have the photos and journaling done for the first page, but literally have not had the time to pick out the papers (I’m with you – I know I’ll probably pull out everything I have!). Then I have the next two pages planned in my head (photos and journaling that is).

    Besides having a clear focus and voice, I think you have to *want* to do a page like this. Don’t force yourself because you think you should – you may never do a page about your loss (or other somer topic) or you may be able to do it later – there is no right answer – just what is best for you…

    • These are fantastic points!!! I was given a rough size to leave for the journaling (it won’t be extensive) – I don’t think I mentioned that.

      I agree that to do something, it should be from a place of love and wanting to do it. Never feel forced to scrapbook any difficult subject.

  2. p.s. I think your page is lovely and “just right” – pretty, soft, photo stands out, journaling has a great space waiting for it. 🙂

  3. This is beautiful, both in the background paper and in the preservation of the memory of a loved one. Your doily flowers remind me of some quilling I’ve done; you could make quilled flowers or even quilled wings as an alternative. The vet center will be very please to display this I’m sure.

  4. You did a lovely job, May. I’m sure she’ll be moved by the thought and time that you devoted to memorializing Allie. I’ve done a number of rememberance pages, including a whole album after my dad died, just kind of processing it all. Come to think of it, I also did a whole album about one of the rats I was closest to, after she passed on. I love all my rats, but some losses really hit harder.

    How thoughtful of your mother in law to thank the vet clinic this way. When I worked at a vet kennel, I know it would have meant a lot to all of us. We got to know a lot of the animals really well and developed deep friendships as we cared for, walked, bathed, entertained, comforted, and hugged our clients’ pets. I’ve actually been at dog events where I’ve run up to dogs I used to care for, saying their name, their dog running to me for hugs, only to have their human look at me completely confused since we’d never actually met in person. Once I explained that I’d spent hours upon hours taking care of their pet, they’d laugh. One doesn’t expect to meet people their dog knows, but they don’t! 🙂

  5. This is a very beautiful page. I’m sure your mother in law will love it. This is a great memory page. Love how you did your layout. Thanks for sharing,

  6. May, this is so beautiful – and perfect! I’m sure it will be treasured.

    I did a page, initially for myself, to honor my nephew that died tragically at the age of 33. And I so agree, while it was a devastating circumstance, it was such a thoughtful and even sweet time to make the page and think about who he was and what he meant to me. And, fortunately, the page really reflected that. When his mom, my sister-in-law saw the page on display in my house, well, she just loved it and so I gave it to her. (I was actually considering doing this when I made the page, but didn’t know if it would be too hard for her.) She ended up matting it and putting it in a gorgeous frame and it’s displayed front and center in her home. And it is such a beautiful reminder of who her son was. Making and displaying these kind of pages, to me, is what scrapbooking is all about.

  7. What a beautiful job you did. I am sure the vet center, as well as you mother in law, will absolutely love it! The wings are the perfect touch. I am grateful for this post and find it very inspirational. I still have yet to make a mini album of my cat Nikita who was with me for 19 years.

    Thanx so much for sharing this!

  8. May, this is such a wonderful page but I know it would be hard to complete. I think that our pets are sometimes harder to complete than others because of the unconditional love that they give us but can never speak to us. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful page and thoughts.

  9. May, this page is absolutely perfect for honoring this beautiful girl. They give us their unconditional love all their lives and they SHOULD be honored with a thoughtful and beautiful page. Thank you for sharing the process and this pretty girl.

  10. May, what a lovely, peaceful page you created. I don’t have tips for you yet. I will be creating a scrapbook for my sister-in-law with photos of her and her brother, Myron. Myron was my husband and passed away 13 years ago. When I am done creating this scrapbook for my sister-in-law, I hope to have the courage or inspiration to create a joyous album for each of my boys about their dad. They were 12 and 8 at the time. I will keep you posted if you are interested on my progress. As always, thank you for the inspiriation you provide in my life.

  11. Beautiful page May I think it is simple yet you still managed to add some beautiful detail while also allowing the photo to be the focus.

  12. This is absolutely beautiful! I would be honored to have this in my home. We had to put our beloved dog, Butler down after having her love for 18 years. What a great way to remember a precious pet. Thanks for sharing your layout with us.

  13. thank you for posting this, May. I need to scrap photos of our dog Sedona, who passed away from last August, but I still hven’t done it- I guess I’m afraid to, that the scrapping process will bring up too many bad memories (long story, but she died an untimely and very unnecessary death at the kennel while we were away on vacation). But, to honor her memory and document how important she was to us, I know it’s something I need to do.

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