Late Night Thoughts – Scrapbooking with Purpose?

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Since I’ve last written, my scrapbooking business has really taken off.  I made my first sale.  (Hooray!)  I released my fifth scrapbooking video tutorial on YouTube.  I published my first guest post on another craft blog and I was given the opportunity to interview for a fellow scrapbooker’s website.

My interview was with a lovely woman named Debi who circulates the “Making Mini Scrapbooks Newsletter”.  The publication reaches over 500 scrapbooking fans.  Knowing this, I more than a little nervous about constructing my answers!  Thus, this interview forced me to sit back from production of videos and pages.  I took a moment to really reflect on what I am trying to achieve with my favorite hobby.  For one of the interview questions, I needed to decide what advice I could give others in the scrapbooking community.  After much thought, I composed this answer:

What’s the best scrapbooking advice you can give our readers?
I truly believe that scrapbooking is the best way to capture memories and make them last a lifetime. Don’t let your pictures sit in a box or on your harddrive, but pass on those experiences to the next generation through the most beautiful way possible. Remember not to keep your talent hidden away, but always share your scrapbooking ability with others.”

I love creating albums that will help me remember my favorite experiences, but an even greater joy is to create an album with purpose.  Let me explain further.  I am talking about the difference between making an album to remember my own vanity or an album to help my parents celebrate their anniversary trip to Maine.  Although I am initially hesitant to do for others, when I do create a scrapbook on behalf of another person, I am more satisfied with my overall product.

The other day I found a perfect example of an album that is “selfless” in the sense that it tells a story that future generations can benefit from.  It is a video of a mom sharing her 9-11 memory album to the world.  I was in awe looking at the numerous newspaper clippings and photos she had scrapped.  She captured so many details of this tragic event — details that we can’t let be forgotten.  I was surprised to read in the comments below, “I never knew u made that book. thats cool mom.”  It surprised me that this beautiful album had not been shared with the woman’s own son.  Now, thankfully, it has been shared with the world.

Scrapbooking can easily be a selfish hobby, but it can also be turned into a selfless hobby.  Our albums can help future generations understand what it was like to live in the 80s, 90s, or early 2000’s.  Our albums can commemorate the lives of others and honor those who we love.


Tutorial Tuesday: From Blog to YouTube

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Today I posted a new scrapbooking tutorial which is based on my blog post from earlier this month, How to Fix Scrapper’s Block.

A ton of “movie magic” was required to put this article into video form.  I quickly discovered that it was more challenging than I had anticipated.  Although writing the blog had been a snap, I could not decide how to give a visual representation of my post.  Finally, I settled on using a voiceover to read the article practically verbatim and then filming myself as a “student” who was “listening” to the text and taking the advice given.  I did not keep this format the entire time; however, because it seemed dull if used for a prolonged period of time.  Thus, later on I change to a “product review” format and then end with my typical “address to the audience” wrap-up speech.

Wow.  What a tricky experience!  This just goes to show that having various means of communication is important and certainly helpful when trying to express one’s thoughts.

Here is a link to the video.  Enjoy and happy scrapbooking!

Scrapbooking Color Palette: Fall 2010

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I stepped out my front door this morning and caught a whiff of fresh autumn air.  I immediately found myself smiling, almost delirious with the thought of pumpkins, hot apple cider, raking leaves, and candycorn.  “It’s finally fall,” I said aloud and then quickly looked around to make sure the neighbors had not seen nor heard me speaking to myself!

Fall is my favorite season for crafting.  I am inspired by the changing of the landscape.  I just love the vibrant, changing colors of the leaves, grasses, and flowers.

Keeping this in mind, I have created a seasonal “scrapbooking color palette”.  That is, I have searched through my collection of cardstock and patterned paper to find the five colors which I think most accurately reflect my the season of fall.  I plan to make this scrapbooking color palette a tradition!  It will be interesting to compare my paper choices for each season.  It will give me the opportunity to observe how my paper choices evolve over years to come.

Without further ado, here is my photograph of this year’s Fall Scrapbooking Color Palette!!!!!!!

Scrapbooking Color Palette Pages

Left to Right: Acorn brown, dull pea green, bright green with dark green polka dots, gold, and bright orange with purple and yellow accents

What color and paper choices will you use for your scrapbook pages this year?  Send us a picture or post your comment below!

How to Fix Scrapper’s Block

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You know how great authors sometimes experience “writer’s block”?  I think the same thing happens to scrapbookers.  On occasion, we simply freeze up when it comes to creating a new layout.

I certainly have experienced this awful sensation in the past.  I’ve noticed that it most often occurs right before I scrapbook photographs that are extremely important to me.  For instance, last summer I was creating a memory album for my fiancé as a gift to him for our wedding.  When I got to our proposal pictures, I stared blankly at the 12 x 12 sheet before me.  The scrapper’s block had hit me!  I sat there for hours.  I was so fearful that I would “mess up” my preservation of one of my life’s most important memories!

What are we to do when scrapper’s block strikes?  Here are 5 great suggestions from your friends at Pages for the Ages.  🙂

1.  Take a deep breath and reason with yourself!

We live in the age of digital photos!  Realize that if you accidentally went haywire while cropping your photo or your pet dog just ran over and crinkled your picture, you have a digital backup of it on your computer, Facebook, or some other photo website like Shutterfly.  (You do make backups, right?  If not, get on that ASAP!)

2.  Take a coffee break.

If you’ve been working on your albums for several hours at a time, maybe you just need a little recess.  Let your mind think about something else for awhile and then come back to it.

3.  Look for ideas online.

Still can’t think of a good layout?  There are plenty of FREE resources online!  Just try Googling “free scrapbook layouts”.  I know a good YouTube tutorial or two out there to get you thinking.  😉

You can also get out of the house and check out scrapbooking books from your local library or just browse through them at Borders or Barnes & Noble.  For layout inspiration, I suggest the book Scrapbook Page Maps: Sketches For Creative Layouts by Becky Fleck.

4.  Play with shapes.

When I get stumped, sometimes I go back to the basics.  I start cutting out basic geometric shapes – circles, squares, triangles, etc. – and then put them on a background.  Try making some shapes in varying sizes and putting them on a background.  Sometimes, those “simple” pages turn out being the most elegant.

5.  Play a word association game.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.  Now, for 60 seconds look at the photos you want to scrapbook and list adjectives and nouns which you associate with those pictures.  For instance, with my proposal pictures I would have written: woods, flowers, green, forest, lilac, camping, warm, etc.  Finally, use those words to direct you in picking out paper and accent pieces for you project.

I hope you find these ideas helpful the next time you’re stuck in the Scrapper’s Block.  The most important thing to remember is – don’t get discouraged!!!

Help out our readers by telling us YOUR ways to find scrapbooking inspiration in a comment below.

Handmade DIY Borders

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Today’s article features a photo from my “Summertime” and “Satin Pink”  layouts which feature  handmade borders.

Handmade Borders

Any scrapbook page can be enhanced by borders.  Borders provide framing for either the page itself or photos on the page.  Using borders can help direct the viewer’s eye to a specific feature of the page which you, the author, want to highlight.  Paper borders can be one layer or several layers, depending on the look and feel of the page.  Adding decorative borders does take up space and therefore the scrapooker may be limited to the number of photos per page.  Scrapbookers can buy premade paper borders at scrapbooking supply stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.  Border types vary from paper cut in simple waves to strips of paper with intricate patterns.

A new idea to consider is creating borders by hand. 

Satin Pink Premade Scrabpook Page

Why create handmade borders?

It is cost effective and can be done without making another trip to the store!  The end result is the same: the page or photo is framed by a decorative accent.

How do you create a handmade border?

I personally enjoy inking my borders.  How this works is simple.  Use an acid-free pen or marker to create a repetitive pattern along the edge of the object you want to frame.  You may be thinking, “I’m not good at drawing!”  Don’t let a lack of artistic talent stop you.  These repetitive patterns can be made with geometric shapes.  For instance, an easy pattern is dot – dash – dot – dash, etc.  In the list below, I will list a few other ideas to help get you started.

Geometric patterns:

Arrow up, arrow down, arrow up, arrow down

Two dots, dash, two dots, dash

Open circle, dash, filled circle, dash, open circle, dash, filled circle

Dot, squiggle ~, dot, squiggle ~

You can even get creative by inking borders that pertain to the theme of your page.  Here are a couple of good ideas.  Although these borders are creating pictures, those pictures are still made with simple shapes.

Picnic: Ant border (three overlapping dots, add stick legs, and stick antenna)

Pet:  Paw print (large dot with three small dots above it)

School days: Alphabet border

Valentine’s/Love: X’s and O’s

Final Word on Handmade Borders:

My final tip is to make sure not to smudge the ink while making your handmade border.  Also, practice on a scratch sheet of paper before starting.  If you’re worried about perfect, then use a ruler to guide you.  Otherwise, ink away and enjoy the uniqueness of your final product! 

Handmade borders add a unique feature to your album.  Impress your friends by making them ask, “Did you make that by hand?”

Links to my shop for the previewed scrapbook pages:

Satin Pink CLICK HERE>>>

Summertime CLICK HERE>>>

Creating A New Scrapbooking Tutorial

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This Labor Day weekend was a blast!  My husband helped me film the latest scrapbooking tutorial.  I just released it on YouTube and I look forward to (hopefully) getting some feedback.  This video starts off with some fun “movie magic” and then covers the interesting topic of tearing paper rather than cutting it.

I think that Tutorial Tuesdays will quickly become my favorite day of the week.  😀

Check out the video below or CLICK HERE to SUBSCRIBE to our channel.

Featured Artisan

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Publicity Notice!

Pages for the Ages is proud to announce that our scrapbook layout “Happy Trails” was selected to be a featured item in an Artfire Artisan Collection!  You can see our layout displayed along with other Artfire artisans’ work at this link.

Click HERE for Collection

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