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)
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.