Saturday, May 31, 2008

Layout and Design

I think we all have a lot to learn about layout and design. Here are a few tips.

36. Save room to write - The most beautifully designed page is not complete without journaling. When creating a page layout, make sure you save room for writing.

I don't completely agree with this statement. Sometimes a great photo and a good title are enough. Take this photo for example:

37. Accent color - When choosing colors for your layouts, select one or two less dominant colors from you photographs. Use those colors for background paper, photo mats and more to make your photos really standout.

It's always a good idea to use colors from your photos to blend in the background of your page. However, using black and white photos and sepia tone photos - the color combination is almost endless.

38. Photo direction - Position your photos so the subjects in them are not facing off the scrapbook page. An inward-facing subject will draw reader's eyes into your page and not away from it.

There is some great photo editing software that can take a photo and reverse it so it will work better on a page.

39. Theme albums - To create a theme album, chose a consistent style that will run through the entire album. Allow certain colors, shapes or techniques to repeat through out for a focused, unified design.

Hey - we don't always make theme albums. I keep and on going album for photos I just happen to take that I think will make a great scrapbook know, just everyday life.

40. Unification - Make your double-page spreads come together by laying out both pages at the same time. To unify the pages, try running each half of a title across the spread, use the same background paper, mirror the layout or add identical design elements.

This is always a good idea. I hardly ever use the mirror image idea however, I always seem to have one great photo that is large and a bunch of smaller photos that I like to cram on the other page.

41. Focal point - For impactive page design, make sure your layouts have a single focal point - a place for people to look first. This can be achieved in many different ways, such as with an enlarged photo, an interesting shape, color, texture, etc.

Some times the focal point can be the design. Example - swirls coming out of one circle and each swirl ending with a small photo cut from a circle stamp. I also like the idea of laying out a template similar to a tic-tac-toe board. This divides the page into thirds which is attractive to the eye.

42. Letter-sticker placement - To avoid the hassle of perfectly straight letter sticker titles, purposely apply each letter to your page at an angle for fun, playful look.

Another way is place each sticker letter on a piece of cardstock and cut out the cardstock. This is like framing each letter in a way.

Tools & Supplies Cont.....

Well, I just purchased another tool from e-bay just this morning. I bought a BoBunny Flex Ruler and I have bids on a Crimper and a new template from HOTP called Easy Stitches. I have been looking over the ruler for quite some time and stitches are everywhere!!! With this template you can make stitches without draggin' out the old sewing machine.

Now - let's get back to our tool and supply list.

27. Color wheel - A color wheel is great for helping select colors that complement and contrast with one another on page layouts.

A color wheel is great for those hard to match card stock colors. If you can't match it - contrast it!

28. Multiple mats - Nested templates are helpful for cropping photos and cutting mats quickly in many graduate sizes.

I love mats but hardly ever use more than one.

Here is a mat of a different sort - it comes from the book "More than a Page" from Memory Makers Books. The background is a solid piece of cardstock with several "scraps" to make one big multi-colored mat.

29. A computer - Eliminate misspellings and grammatical errors in your journaling by typing it on the computer first. Also, experiment with your word processing program to make page titles.

Here is a perfect example:

Three other people besides myself looked at this layout and not a single soul noticed I had misspelled "Sparkling". I got home and showed it to Heather and she said "Momma, who is the Sparl King?" She is such the smart aleck!!! That just gave me an opportunity to make another page called "The Sparl King".

30. Internet - Tons of fonts are available online for scrapbookers to download. It's also a great way to buy products, chat with other scrapbookers and find layout ideas.

At the price of gas now hovering around $4.00 a gallon it makes more sense to purchase items through sources like e-bay and other online stores. Here is a new one

31. Adhesive remover - Un-du adhesive remover is good for removing photographs from unsafe albums and for removing stickers and other items that weren't placed correctly.

Once again...never heard of this stuff. I need to get out there and check it out. Maybe some will let me know if they have used it before.

32. Albums - When starting to scrapbook, first choose the type of album you'd like to use (strap-hinge, post-bound or three-ring binder style). THis will be a determining factor for many other types of products you'll buy. A variety of album sizes are also available.

Right now I am loving the three-ring binders. I hardly ever post a two page layout that needs to meet in the middle. Secondly I like the strap-hinge or snap load hinges. These work great and no screwing & un-screwing.

33. Page protectors - The type of protectors you purchase will depend on the album style you choose. The top-loading style is easiest to work with, and can be used to store page elements before the page is finished.

Most important issue when using page protectors "one size does NOT fit all". If you have a favorite brand/type of album you need to remember which page protector to purchase.

34. Tweezers - A regular pair of tweezers is a helpful tool to keep with your scrapbooking supplies for picking up and placing small paper embellishments like punch art and placing them on your pages.

I showed you this in a previous blog...but, it's such a great tool you should have two in case someone wants to borrow yours:

35. Clear storage bags - Many scrapbookers use zipper-style storage bags for sorting scrapbook items, including die cuts, punched shapes and memorabilia.

Can't have enough of these little bags.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tools & Supplies

OK. I admit it. I'm a tool freak. OK. I love supplies too! OK. I'm a collector. I sometimes think I would rather shop for scrapbooking supplies and tools than actually scrapbook. That's not completely true...but, I really, I mean I reeeeaaaallllllly love to shop for scrapbooking stuff!!!

15. Office supplies - Basic supplies from a desk drawer solve many scrapbooking challenges. Use a label maker for journaling, create a title with tags, or embellish with tabs, clips, stencils, brads and more.

Post-it notes! Great all around scrapbooking tool.

16. Adhering pocket pages - To make pocket pages that won't fall apart over time, choose high-quality double-sided tape or double-sided foam tape (to allow extra room in the pocket). Or, for a sturdy yet decorative pocket, stitch it in place or hammer decorative eyelets in place around the edges of a pocket.

I have never used a pocket page. I like top loading page protectors and it is always too difficult to get the page out to pull out what is in the pocket. But, if you do use pocket pages...the double-sided tape sounds like a great idea.

17. Fast trimming - A personal paper trimmer is a practical tool for cropping photos and mats. You'll be able to work more quickly than with regular scissors.

Love a good paper trimmer! That's all I have to say about that!

18. A basic pen - A black, fine-tipped pen should be your first pen purchase when starting to journal on scrapbook pages. Other colors can be added later, and certain tip styles such as brush and chisel can be harder to use if you are inexperienced. Black goes with everything and the fine tip is easy to write with.

This is a good suggestion. My suggestion for the next pen you purchase is a pen that writes white. There are nearly as many reasons to need to write on dark colors as there are for a black pen to write on white!

19. Punch repair - If you paper punches start to stick after repeated use, try punching them through wax paper. If the sticky residue remains, squirt Un-du adhesive remover on the punch's metal "blade".

I have never heard of Un-du. It may be readily available in craft stores but Goo-be-gone can be purchased in hardware stores and is great stuff! Another idea - to sharpen your punches punch them through fine grit sand paper. This keeps the edges good and sharp.

20. Cardstock letter stickers - If you love alphabet stickers, try the variety of stick-backed cardstock letters available. They are easier to pull from the sticker sheet and faster to apply to your page.

This is what you need:

Greatest tool around...At least it's my favorite. You can adhere any sticker. Even the thinnest of stickers are easy to manage with this tool. It seems a little backwards at first as it doesn't work like a regular set of tweezers but as soon as you get the hang of's second nature.

21. Photo adhesives - While there are many adhesives on the market, when mounting photographs, a dry adhesive (tape or photo corners) is best.

I think everyone has their preference. Mine is Herma Dotto. Love it! I once read in a scrapbooking magazine a designer who preferred to use a glue stick just because they were cheaper than anything else.

22. Coordinating products - To easily coordinate colors on a layout, purchase a variety of products from the same company. Many companies now sell stickers, paper, titles and more that are meant to go together on the same page.

This has to be one of the top ten best ideas. Stampin' Up is a good source for ink, printed paper, card stock, and embellishments that all coordinate with each other. Individually, you can purchase what you need or purchase it all (that's what I like). Or just run to Wal-Mart and buy a page kit. There are great kits everywhere.

23. Corner rounder - A corner rounder is an inexpensive tool that can give photographs a polished look in seconds.

One of my favorite new tools is the ticket punch from Stampin' Up. It is a great look when you put printed over CS and use for journaling blocks.

24. Repositionable stickers - Sticker that can be repositioned easily before forming a permanent bond to your page often mean less mistakes and less headaches.

I don't think I've ever even seen these stickers. I always try to position stickers before I stick them and sometimes cut them from their page and lay them on the page prior to sticking.

25. Stamping starters - For a beginning stamper, basic items to purchase are a black ink pad, wood or acrylic-backed stamps (foam can be harder to work with), a set of colored markers and bottle of stamp cleaner (or baby wipes). A heat embossing gun and embossing powder are good "next-step" purchases to consider.

This is a good basic list of product.

26. Rulers - A clear grid ruler is handy for a wide variety of situations, from simply keeping your journaling straight to spacing a title across a spread, to helping you chose the width of your borders.

A ruler is another top ten tool to keep in your stash.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I have a friend who said "Everything is so organized. Each thing in it's own little cubby!" I told him , "it's really not!". He said "well, it appears to be". So, what is real organization? How you scrap? How well your tools are stored? How cute your scrapping area looks? Memory Makers covers a lot of different ways to be organized.

1. Sort photos first - Organize your photographs chronologically or by event before scrapbooking to make the creative process go more smoothly. Place photos in photo storage boxes with dividers labeled by month, year, occasion or event.

My old stuff is everywhere! I have some in old albums that need to be dealt with soon. I don't know how safe that stuff from the 60's & 70's is. The more recent stuff is in photo boxes but, is filed haram-scaram! More recently, since the purchase of a digital camera, I keep all photos on a CD until I need to print a picture. That method seems to work best but, then I have to sort through lots of discs to find the right photo.

2. Planning pages - When choosing which photos will go on certain layouts, choose page embellishments at the same time. Place photos with all supplies needed in an empty top-loading page protector or file folder (depending on your organizational system). When y ou are ready to scrapbook, you'll have everything you need.

Actually, this is what I have learned to do. And it seems to work for me. But, I go even further and gather card stock, printed papers, ribbons, stickers, ephemera, etc....(that's probably what they mean by embellishments). It's a really good for crops and retreats.

3. Traveling storage - Many portable supply totes are available to make transporting your supplies to crops easy, including those designed to be checked with airport luggage. Many of these include specific pockets for pens, scissors and other items. If you're on a budget, consider a suitcase on wheels instead.

These are wonderful to have. There are so many on the market it might be hard to choose from. The alternate choice, a suitcase, is an excellent idea. You can purchase many small organizers to hold pens, stamps, punches, and the like and store them all in the suitcase.

4. Heritage organization - When organizing your heritage photos and documents, consider sorting by name or surname, depending on the number of photographs you have. Make sure you choose an organizational method that will be easy for future generations to understand. Apply the same system for memorabilia.

This is something I haven't even begun to tackle. Living and scrapbooking in the here and now seems to consume most of my time. I have a goal set to commit one whole retreat or all day crop to heritage photos. Even just photos of me as a child (talk about heritage!!!).

5. Home storage - Using stackable plastic storage drawers is a good solution for sorting items at home (scissors in one drawer, markers in another, etc.). The drawers are lightweight, inexpensive and large enough to hold many items.

I love the Sterilite 12X12 three drawer storage units. If you watch the Hobby Lobby adds you can get them for 1/2 price. I also like to use clear jars. I have found all of mine at garage sales and flea markets. They hold everything from paint brushes to ribbon scraps. And they look cute. Wicker baskets is also another good choice if you have a room for your crafts and all the storage units show. I also like the three drawer roll-around cart from Sterilite. This fits perfectly under a desk height counter. Last year at "Convention" (that's The Great American Scrapbook Convention" convention for short) I purchased one of my favorite home storage do-dads, the Clip-it-Up!. Here's mine:

It's great for all sizes of stickers and embellishments. It comes with this little opaque boxes to store really small stuff in and you can get a cover which makes transporting really easy.

6. Make notes - When laying out an album or group of pages at once, jot down notes of the journaling you'd like to include on self-stick notes and stick them to the unfinished pages. When it's time to assemble the pages, you'll spend less time organizing your thoughts.

We all need to journal more. Sometimes a title will tell the whole story but, let's try this method and journal more.

7. Keep a supply log - So you don't duplicate scrapbook supplies when buying more, keep a log of all your supplies in your purse. For stamps and punches, simply stamp or punch pages in the log as a visual reminder.

This seems kind of anal!!! But, if your can't remember what you have I guess it would work.

8. Packing for a crop - When gathering supplies to take to a crop, plan the pages you'd like to complete first. Bring only the supplies needed to work on your chosen pages. Leave behind your album (bring only refill pages) and other non-consumable tools (the host will often provide items such as punches, circle cutters, etc.).

I'm not completely behind this...If you have been to the same place to crop before, you know what kind of tools they have. You may still need to bring something special. I do support the idea of planning your pages in advance and bringing only what you need for those pages. Some crops have product for sale. This is alway alluring...and it's good if you have some photos you can't quite find the right paper/embellishments/card stock for in your current stash.

9. Plan now, scrap later - It's a good idea to keep time spent planning page layouts separate from actual srapbooking time. Once you are in the planning mode, it's easier to organize materials and photos for lots of layouts at once. Jumping back and forth from scrapbooking to planning can slow you down.

Enough said.

10. Travel memorabilia - When traveling, bring clear plastic storage bags and label one for every day of your vacation. At the end of each day, place any brochures, admission tickets, postcards, etc., in that bag for easy page organization when you return home.

Another great idea is carry a journal with you to make notes about what you did each day. When you get home and have your memorabilia you may not remember any of the details of that day.

11. Current pictures first - If you are behind on your scrap-booking (or just getting started), begin with your most recently developed photographs. The events will be fresher in your mind and easier to work on.

Great tip! Catch up on your most recent events. You can always do those heritage photos later.

12. Idea books - Develop a system for marking layouts in idea books and magazines to make referencing easier. Photocopy ones you'd like to use and keep them with your supplies, sketch the page and reference the book it's from, or attach self-stick notes to pages you like.

I have just completed my "Idea Book!!". I have three year old scrapbooking magazines that were just getting in the way and I looked through them and pulled out the pages of the techniques, layouts, and other ideas and put them in a three-ring binder. I wrote on the pages the things I liked about the idea/layout. I even found good challenges for myself and others.

13. Colored paper - Sort and organize your paper by color to make it easy to reach for the right shade.

This is easy if you have your paper stored in easy to see holders.

14. Family tree - To start organizing your family tree, use a copy of a fill-in ancestor chart often found in a genealogy book or on the Internet. Start by recording your name, date/place of birth, spouse's name and date/place of marriage. Do the same for your parents and grandparents.

This could be fun. Some libraries offer genealogy classes for free.

Watch for Tools & Supplies next!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

99 Best Secrets for Scrapbook Success

Well, I got some scrapbooking propaganda in the mail today. Some of this information may be legit. Let me know what you think about Memory Makers idea of "99 Best Secrets for Scrapbook Success". Look these over. I will address each one of the categories and each bullet at least once a week.


1. Sort photos first
2. Planning pages
3. Traveling storage
4. Heritage organization
5. Home storage
6. Make notes
7. Keep a supply log
8. Packing for a crop
9. Plan now, scrap later
10. Travel memorabilia
11. Current pictures first
12. Idea books
13. Colored paper
14. Family tree

Tools & Supplies

15. Office supplies
16. Adhering pocket pages
17. Fast trimming
18. A basic pen
19. Punch repair
20. Cardstock letter stickers
21. Photo adhesives
22. Coordinating products
23. Corner rounder
24. Repositionable stickers
25. Stamping starters
26. Rulers
27. Color Wheel
28. Multiple mats
29. A computer
30. Internet
31. Adhesive remover
32. Albums
33. Page protectors
34. Tweezers
35. Clear storage bags

Layout & Design

36. Save room to write
37. Accent color
38. Photo direction
39. Theme albums
40. Unification
41. Focal point
42. Letter-sticker placement
43. Use the same base colors
44. Heavily journaled pages
45. Sketch your ideas
46. Utilize extras
47. Balance
48. Everyday inspiration
49. Composition
50. Big and small patterns
51. Hidden elements
52. Double-sided elements
53. Heritage decorations
54. Vellum


55. Original handwriting
56. Write freely
57. Bullet points
58. "Found" journaling
59. Perspectives
60. Photo-less journaling
61. Send postcards
62. Show, don't tell
63. Use your five senses
64. Interviewing
65. Labeling
66. Bigger isn't better
67. Keep a journal
68. Tighten it up
69. Ask another
70. Spend time with photos
71. Thoughts and feelings
72. Descriptive verbs

Preservation & Safety

73. De-acidification spray
74. Quality paper
75. Photo storage
76. Cedar chests
77. Light
78. Heat and humidity
79. Negative storage
80. Ideal storage conditions
81. Non-permanent mounting
82. Cleaning and handling photos
83. Photo removal
84. Make copies
85. Crop with care
86. Overcrowding
87. Photographic Activity Test (PAT)
88. Photofinishing
89. Water damage
90. Create a barrier
91. Buffered paper
92. Quality pens
93. Pigment vs. dye inks
94. Lamination
95. Crayon safety
96. Color copying
97. 3-D items
98. Acid-free
99. Page protectors



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How about a Layout or two

OK! How about a page layout?
I did this with my March kit from I love the acid type papers and the wild green. This was Heather at her best friend Kacie's wedding. Heather was the Maid of Honor. I brushed Tim Holtz purple crackle paint on the side of the picture just because I wanted to use it. Heather was really proud...she said "Look! Momma used an embellishment to cover up my arm fat!"

I did a few pages at the crop Saturday! One of my Great Grandfather. My dad gave me a picture of him last week so I thought I'd use another of the vintage type pages I got in another kit from I'll post it later. I was thinking while I was cropping...why am I scrapbooking a picture of someone I never even knew (he died in dad barely knew him) when I haven't even started my wedding scrapbook. I at least made a step toward working on it...I bought a really nice scrapbook. That will be my focus for the next crop in on the wedding scrapbook. Maybe finish the honeymoon scrapbook. I did at least start that one.

Gotta get dinner started. Billy will be home soon. I do look forward to posting more layouts!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May Crop

Well, yesterday's crop went really well. Heather and I showed up about 8:30am to start setting up. Ina Mae came by to see if we needed anything before she opened up the front office. If you didn't know, where we have this crop is at Town & Country RV Park and Mini-Storage Warehouses. We have the crop in their "party barn" out back. Ina Mae and her husband Lynn are the owners. Lynn worked with me at Solar until he retired last year. Ina Mae is my mail carrier.

First to show up was Penny's mom Gladys. Then Penny and her daughter Becca. Then Ina Mae came in, her 85 year old Father-in-Law had relieved her. Later, Kacie and her younger sister Heather came in and that rounded it up. We cropped, joked, ate, and had a real good time. I'm already looking forward to next time. This sounds funny coming from a scrapbooker but, I didn't think to take a picture of us to post here. But, next time will be different. We crop again on June 28th and there will for sure be a group photo to post.

I will continue with more tomorrow. Heather is doing her first real Pampered Chef party!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

My first blogspot entry. My friend Kristin talked me into this. I wanted a place to post photos of my creativeness. I am married to my wonderful husband Billy. I have one grown daughter, Heather. My great parents live not far away. And, we all live in a rural area in East Texas around Cedar Creek Lake. I am first and foremost a wife/mother/daughter, next comes scrapbooker, and then card maker. I am a demonstrator for Stampin' Up. I just started in November of 2007 and have mostly just purchased items for myself. I seem to be a collector. I would really enjoy having some workshops...just have to get people interested. I'm not a pusher though...If you want to do it then ok..but I don't try to talk folks into it. Not a salesman bone in my body. But, I think scrapbooking and cardmaking is really easy and most folks think you have to be creative. It's REALLY!!! not that hard. I just had a thought. My Sister-in-law is a counsler within the Forney ISD. I should talk her into having a workshop. You know those teacher types...they are nearly all creative. That is on my to-do list...
Well I guess that's a pretty good start for a blog. I just hope it works......