Embracing Your Inner Geek

Embracing Your Inner Geek

I have a confession to make. I am a geek.

Bet that doesn’t surprise you at all, does it?

I am a fan of storytelling, of huge epic stories that create worlds worth exploring. Whether it’s books, or TV, or movies, or comics, or even world creating tools and games like Dungeons and Dragons or Minecraft, there’s something about immersing myself in a fully realized, but not completely explained world that just makes me happy.

You know what’s even better? Combining these passions with another — scrapbooking.

D & D || noexcusescrapbooking.com

There are lots of ways to add bits and pieces of your passion onto your scrap pages. When playing D&D, mapping is an important part of the game, and it seemed appropriate to add a map to the grid paper on this page.


Of course, if you can save and re-use packaging materials from your favorite geeky passion, there’s every reason to put it on a page. (This is my youngest’s favorite game. He spends hours playing it and watching videos about it. He’s a certified Minecraft geek.)

And then there are the things you do to surround yourself with the people and objects that make immersing yourself in geek culture so rewarding. TV watching parties. Midnight showings. Posters plastered all over the wall. (Am I the only person out there brainstorming Doctor Who patterns for a digital kit?)

My friend Laurie is loving Supernatural right now, so of course she made a page about it:

Supernatural || Laurie Louis

Don’t you just love how she took detailed shots of all the bits and pieces she and her friends do to increase their enjoyment? (And the grungy red, white, and blue color scheme suits the tone of the show so well!)

Are you a geek? What have you done to celebrate your geekiness? Don’t forget to document it too!

If you’ll excuse me, I’m in the middle of season 6 of Supernatural on Netflix. I’ve got a date with the couch, and my crochet hook.


Got a Date with Myself!

Got a Date with Myself!

I just realized today that I have been falling into an excuse-making pattern. I’ve made very few pages lately. Most of what I’ve created has been for the blog, or LOAD. I haven’t really been scrapbooking strictly for myself.

modern alchemy blanket || noexcusescrapbooking.com

Also, when I do work on making stuff, I’ve been forcing myself to work on finishing crochet and sewing projects, rather than playing with paper.

Do you know how sad that is?

Everyone falls into the trap every once in a while of putting fun last on the to-do list. They tell themselves that they need to do X first, before they can get to Y or Z. They think that getting other things done is more important, or will give them energy and time to focus on the fun stuff.

Don’t believe it.

Putting fun on the schedule, making it a priority, energizes you. When you make time for fun, you’re happier, and that leads to more happiness around you as well.

That’s why I’m glad I’m heading out for a free crop at the local library tomorrow.

While I really do want to finish my crochet and sewing projects, I need some play time too. Signing up for a crop at an external location means I am committed to playtime for myself.

It’s very freeing to realize that I can play with as much paper as I want, because it’s part of the schedule.

What sorts of things on your to-do list prevent you from paper-crafting? Schedule some time for fun now!


Trends vs. Personal Style

Trends vs. Personal Style

Have you noticed all the fun new trends hitting the scrapbooking world lately? Gold foil, pretty planners, hand lettering, even faith scrapping. Stamping has become more popular again (about time!) and party supplies are everywhere. Watercolors and variations on Pantone’s color of the year are popping up as well.


Click the picture to find it on Amazon (affiliate link)

What do you think about all the new trends? Do you love them or hate them or do you just not care about them?

For me, there are certain things that I’m loving — hand lettering, for example — and others I could do without. (I just want a simple planner that works for me. I don’t feel the need to make it pretty.)

The thing about trends is that while they are fun to be aware of, you don’t have to follow them. The best thing to do with new trends and ideas? Make them your own.

How do you go about doing that? Start with what you have.

If you don’t have any gold accent items on hand, but have lots of mirror cardstock, use that instead. Embossing powder, leafing pens, and golf leaf are also good alternatives.

Uncomfortable with hand lettering? Try stamping instead. Uncomfortable with stamping? Use a pretty font from your computer, and print something out.

The point is, you have options.

If there’s a trend you want to use, but can’t get it for whatever reason (hello spending freeze!) find something in your stash to substitute or alter.

If there are trends you don’t love, don’t use them. You can make your pages look timeless and up to date without having to follow all the trends.

There are so many trends that passed me by. There used to be a time when every page you saw was pastel and shabby chic. So not a good fit for me. And before that there were the days of paper dolls and sticker sneezes. I delayed beginning my scrapbooking life because that were what everyone was doing, and I was never a fan.

Fifteen years ago, stamping was a big deal, with more stamp stores than scrapbook stores. It faded though, as scrapbooking became more and more popular. Now stamping is back, with lots of new designers and companies leading the way.

In short, trends come and go. Personal style is the glue that holds your crafty life together. Whether you prefer a graphic look, or lots and lots of embellishments, you can make trends fit how you create. You may be bored with how you create pages, and think they all look the same, but trust me, they don’t. And, you can use the latest trends to freshen up your style, without compromising the parts of memory keeping that you find important.

If there are trends out there that you want to try, do it! But don’t feel like you have to in order to stay current in the world of scrapbooking. What’s hot and trendy now will be yesterday’s news in a year’s time. Find what works for you, and make it your own.

Now to figure out what I can make that’s inspired by current trends, and with what I have on hand. That spending freeze I’m on is certainly a motivator for creativity!

At the Moment

At the Moment

Lately, I have been knee deep in photo organization.

When my video editing software wasn’t working, I took the computer in to the Apple store to get it fixed. After checking out the error reports, they told me I needed to re-format the computer, and restore from the back-up, which I had brought with me because I had thought that might be the problem.

So we re-formatted the computer, and then I started restoring from the back-up. And couldn’t. Because somehow, I had a back-up that was 1.3 TB from a 1TB computer. (Cue massive confusion from all involved.)

The past week has involved hours and hours of data transfer and photo organization. I’ve still got tons more to do. (My photo library is huge. I’ve had a digital camera since 2001.)

Along the way I’ve decided, with the recommendation of my friend Mary at Be Photo Wise, to move from iPhoto to Lightroom. Before I got the iMac, I had been using Adobe’s Organizer, and loved that. Hopefully I’ll enjoy Lightroom as well. I’ll let you all know how that goes.

When I’m not knee deep in photos, I am working on the next few scrapbooking books in the Beginner’s Guide series. I’ve got a few thousand words towards The Parent’s (and Grandparent’s) Guide to Scrapbooking, and have outlined a Lover’s Guide, and a Traveller’s Guide. I am working with some friends who are digital scrapbooking experts to put together a Tech Lover’s Guide as well.

sketches || noexcusescrapbooking.com

For the sketch class at the end of the month, I’m putting together a little booklet of sketches and blank pages for the participants to take home with them. There’s still time to sign up here.

It is all coming together so slowly.

I guess I am the turtle, rather than the hare.

Now that you know what I am working on, here are a few questions for you:

Have you scrapbooked about your children? How about your significant other? Do you scrapbook your travels? What has made scrapbooking about those topics difficult? What made it easier? What do you wish you’d known when you started scrapbooking? What’s your best tip(s) for new scrapbookers?

I’d love to hear what you have to say about scrapbooking. We all approach memory keeping from different angles. I’d love to learn from you, too!


PL December!!

PL December!!

You know what I just realized? I haven’t shared my December Project Life pages with you yet? Where has my head been?

Oh I know. Layout a Day. All of February. That’s what I was doing!


Anyhoo… Let’s take a look at December, shall we?IMG_0299

Since I have so much in the way of Christmas themed supplies, I switched the journaling cards and papers for the month.


Some of the supplies I have are pretty old. Some are ancient rub-ons that I had left over from decorating ornaments.


Some are new-to-me gifts from friends de-stashing. Some are not-Christmas related at all.


My oldest had an eventful month, with job-shadowing and the National Geographic National Geography Bee. (He won his school’s Bee!)


The elf on the shelf kept my youngest entertained. Also, using PL cards to keep track of to-do lists has been awesome.


Christmas day came bright and early. At least my kids are old enough to wait till it starts getting light out before clamoring to open presents. Heck, there isn’t even much clamoring anymore.


This month was super simple, with labels making up most of the embellishments.


My favorite part? I was given this “Peace on Earth” vinyl sticker years ago, and now it’s out of my stash! Don’t you just love getting things out of your stash?

Well, that was December. I think I printed out photos for January, but I may have used some of them for Layout a Day last month. I’ll have to double check. And February is going to have to wait till I get some computer issues settled.

It’s always something, isn’t it?