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

Opening a Scrapbooking Business

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Exactly 1 week ago I opened my scrapbooking business which is legally known as “Pages for the Ages Scrapbooking LLC“.

I held a little ribbon cutting ceremony on my craft table and used only the most appropriate scrapbooking scissors for this momentous occasion!  I am so excited to be a DIY entrepreneur.  This business is being started from the ground up.  I’ve spent more time researching these past few months than I did for an entire semester of college.  I know it will be well worth the effort if I reach my ultimate goal.

My dream is this: to be my own boss and to pursue one of my greatest passions – capturing memories.

I have had a lot of inspiration for this project.  My husband really helped me jump start the idea.  My parents – especially my Ebay entrepreneur Mom – have given encouragement.  Then there are the friends who are nice enough to give me a LIKE IT and a link on their Facebook pages.

If anyone reads this who also dreams of being their own boss in the crafting world, then I have 2 books which I recommend.  Both were fantastic reads.  The first one offered motivation and the second one covered my legal questions.  I will post them at the end of this post.

Before I close my 1st official Blog post, I have a few questions that I would like readers to consider answering.

What is the hardest thing you have ever worked for?  Did you succeed?  Are you still working for it?  What advice would you give to a woman who is new to the business and craft world?

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Check it out from the library!  GO READ IT!

Crafty Superstar by Grace Dobush

The Crafts Business Answer Book by Barbara Barbec

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