Category Archives: getting started

Scrapbooking Goals

Scrapbooking Goals

A few weeks ago, the Scrap Gals had a podcast about the demise of double page layouts. (Episode 131 if you’re interested in listening to it.) It’s one of my favorite episodes, precisely because they are taking a potentially controversial topic and exploring it kindly, from their own perspectives and experiences.

I’m not sure that their theory is right or wrong. In my experience, I make double page layouts fairly frequently, when the subject calls for it. Usually, it’s an event with a lot of pictures. Sometimes it’s a more story based layout. Regardless, it’s a decision I make almost as soon as I decide to make a page.

recipe for disaster||

My most recent double page spread, from last month.

There is one thing that they mentioned that really got me thinking though.

When you started scrapbooking, what was your goal? Were you scrapbooking to create pretty photo albums? Were you scrapbooking to get all your photos documented and organized? Did you start scrapbooking to tell stories? Did you start scrapbooking because you loved the product, the artsy play time, and the photos and stories were just an after thought?

The scrap gals theorized that the people who create scrapbooks with mostly double page layouts are more concerned with getting their photos out of storage and out where they can be seen. Their goal is to create pretty and accessible photo storage. They may even have the unstated goal of eventually being caught up, with no older stories to tell.

While that may be true of some scrapbookers, that’s definitely not true for me. Each and every time I use a double page spread, I do so because that’s what the story demands.

I scrapbook for a very melancholy reason. I know from personal experience, that life can change in an instant, and people that we love can be lost forever. I scrapbook because I wish I knew my father’s story, and his father’s story, and I don’t want my kids to wish that about me.

I know I am not going to get every story told. I know I am not going to document the history of every photo in my possession. (Digital camera=too many photos period.) That was never my goal. My goal has always been to tell my story. I do tell a lot of stories about my kids and the rest of my family and friends, but that’s because they are important to me.

So what are your scrapbooking goals? Share them here, or over on Facebook. I’d really like to know what you want to accomplish with your scrapbooking.

Wait. It’s March?!

Wait. It’s March?!

The best laid plans have a habit of falling through around here. I was so pumped for LOAD. The last LOAD led by Lain. A reason to scrapbook every day. I was going to get so much creating done.

Well. That was the plan. What actually happened?

Four paper pages done, one digital page done, and one more page begun, but not finished.

I didn’t even make it a week people!

I blame my job. It’s emotionally draining.

But you know what? That’s a terrible excuse. And we don’t make excuses around here.

Plain and simple, life got in the way, and I let scrapbooking slip into the backseat again. And that’s okay.

I’m not into guilt. I’m not going to make myself feel bad because I didn’t scrapbook as much as I wanted to during February. Life is to short to feel guilty about not making as much time as I would like for a hobby that I love.

And that’s the thing.

I LOVE scrapbooking. I love all the bits and pieces that it’s made of, from paper and tape runners, to glitter glue and photos, and most importantly stories I want to tell my family.

My youngest asked me the other day why I don’t tell stories like my husband does. The thing is, I do. But it’s on paper. I am terrible at telling a story verbally. But give me a piece of paper and a pen, and I’m off.

punch buggy red||

My favorite page from February

Bonus: Ten years from now, when my husband can’t remember the story he told so engagingly last night, I’ll have a record of at least part of it in my scrapbooks, where we can relive the moment, all over again.


Defining Scrapbooking

Defining Scrapbooking

You think you know what a scrapbook is, right?


It’s pictures attached to paper with personal stories, all gathered together in a book, right?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, scrapbooking is still the traditional scrapbook, with its acid free papers and embellishments and photos, but it can be so many other things as well.

We are going through a digital evolution, and it has changed scrapbooking as well.

Photo books with pictures and a few captions printed by someplace like Shutterfly or Snapfish? Yep, that’s a scrapbook.

Completely digital pages, that never get printed? Yep, those are scrapbook pages.

Blog posts with family stories and pictures? Yep, that’s a scrapbook

Short and sweet posts on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram that capture a moment in words or pictures or both? Yep. You’re scrapbooking.

There are so many people scrapbooking, who just don’t realize it. They think it has to look a certain way in order to be a scrapbook, but really, it can look like anything at all. A real scrapbook captures personal stories and pictures and ties them together. If you’re doing that in any medium, if you are documenting life, you ARE scrapbooking.

What do your scrapbooks look like? How are you saving your memories?

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 ||

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!