Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Small, Custom Scrapbooks

Small, Custom Scrapbooks

Howdy Scrappers!

Below you will find several examples of small, custom made scrapbooks.  Not all of them are mine, but they are beauties and excellent examples to give you the motivation and ideas you will need to get working on your first or perhaps your next custom scrapbook. 

Small scrapbooks are typically done in a shorter span of time.  They sometimes take up less materials, but I find that I put even more good stuff in my smaller books.  Perhaps it's a mental thing.  Little, but mighty! Just like me! Ha!  I enjoy working on smaller scrapbooks.  8x8, 4x4 and even smaller.  It is an excellent way to get rid of smaller scrap pieces of paper and those tiny embellishments that seem to get lost on a 12x12 format.

Little books are also ideal for a situation where you only have a few photos or you have annoyingly small photos in abundance.  For instance, school pictures.  Those little, wallet sized pictures that your children might receive from their friends or that you have left over from your own children or from when you were a child.  What a fantastic way to put those together?!  I just gave myself an idea!

Using a smaller format for your album is good for when you only have a few pictures that you want to group.  Such as a short vacation or a trip to the zoo where you did not take that many pictures.  It also might allow you to spend some real effort and resources because you do not need as much.

Gift Idea!  I very often make small or mini books as gifts or tokens of appreciation and they are gladly received.  It may only take you a good portion of an afternoon to assemble a small scrapbook.

The first book here, is one my best friend made me.  She, another girlfriend and I went on a weekend trip to Durbuy, in Belgium.  As a gift for me, she made this lovely book so that I would remember the GREAT time we had there.  The colors are bright and fun.  I am totally digg'n all of the ribbon around the ring, too!  If I'm not mistaken, she used beer coasters as her foundation for these pages.  They make for an excellent, mini, shaped book.  They are not only rigid, but they come in a variety of sizes and shapes and the best part is they are FREE.

The round book, I made for my sister-in-law just this last Christmas.  I got this great tin from a scrapbooking workshop I attended years ago and finally put it to use.  The pages are one sided and they are loose in the can.  I put it together in 1,2, 3, but editing the pictures so that they were small enough to fit on the circles was a bit taxing.  The end result was well worth it.  Just a totally different kind of scrapbook.

This is a smallish, shaped, die cut book.  It was my first attempt at one and I did find it a bit tricky getting the paper just right on the heavy card stock.  I used my friends idea of dressing the rings that bind to add luxury and soften the look.  You will find more about this page on an earlier blog entry.

Here are some more inserts made from the year before's Christmas cards.  I save all my cards with nice sayings, pretty pictures or motifs as well as dimensional goodies.

 This mini album was made under the instruction of Karen Foster herself.  Yes, I had the wonderful opportunity to not only meet one of my all time favorite designers, but to take a class given with her instruction.  Definitely a topper of scrapbooking moments.  She was very, very nice, BTW and a great teacher.

The book itself, was a part of the workshop.  It is a 3x3.  Everything was provided except the pictures, scissors and glue.  It was finished in under 2 hours.  The event was called Scrap-A-Ganza.  It was held in The Netherlands and the classes were full, full, full.  I had a wonderful time there and met many enthusiastic scrappers like myself.  An amazing opportunity for anyone.

These shaped books were actually  reading books from my kids.  I featured one on my last blog, but I thought I would included both because they are custom and small.

Now you have an arsenal of ideas to get started on your next project.  I am in the beginning phase of a small accordion book.  It is called "Doe Ne Keer Zot" which means, do something crazy, in Dutch.  In the book are pictures of various family members letting themselves go.  The book is sure to bring a million laughs and smiles for all that look through it.  I will be giving a more in depth, How To blog on this book.  Accordion books are really great for beginners and for those who have limited supplies.  You don't need much to have a nice finished project.  The colors are absolutely fantastic.  Bright and fun just like the book.  I am using a recently purchased packet from Echo Park called Happy Days.  It just seemed to fit.  The first page is done and I'm very pleased with it.  Be sure to catch the next blog and keep up on my progress on my FaceBook Page, The Cherry On Top.  Happy Scrapping!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Manly Side of Scrapbooking

Beer, Bikes, Babes And A Short History Lesson

The Manly Side of Scrapbooking

Yes!  Of course there is a manly side.  Some of the first scrap bookers to make scrapbooking history were men and not just any kind of man either.  Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson and Rutherford B. Hayes are a few names to drop.  Early scrappers would paste clippings, drawings and diary entries in their scrapbooks.  Come on!  If guys like these would scrap why would any of today’s men even have to think twice?  You can't use the old, "I don't have any time" excuse either.  These famous males were surely pressed for time, too!

Read the excerpt from PBS below, to learn about Mark Twain’s contribution to scrapbooking.

“Mark Twain was a lifelong creator and keeper of scrapbooks. He took them with him everywhere and filled them with souvenirs, pictures, and articles about his books and performances. But in time, he grew tired of the lost glue, rock-hard paste, and the swearing that resulted from the standard scrapbook process. So, he came up with the idea of printing thin strips of glue on the pages to make updates neat and easy to do. In 1872, he patented his “self-pasting” scrapbook, and by 1901, at least 57 different types of his albums were available. It would be his only invention that ever made money.”

For those who were not wealthy enough to buy paper, they simply pasted over old books.  (I do that, too! It will be in an upcoming blog about custom made books.  Look for it!)  Although, that doesn't seem to be the case in the beautiful example given above.

In a Good Housekeeping article, I read how staying connected to your past can increase your present happiness.  This does come as hind sight bias.  Duh!  Who ever regrets maintaining great friendships?  I couldn’t agree more with Gretchen’s statement,  “That’s why photographs, scrapbooks, souvenirs, home movies, and other memory prompts are so precious and so worth the effort, despite our time-crunched days.” 

I keep thinking, “Oh yes!  I will remember this moment forever.”  Yeah, right!  I can’t remember what I ate for dinner 2 days ago.  I am always very pleased when I come across a picture that I’ve completely forgotten about and the entire scene gets played in my head like a movie.  I couldn’t do that without the pictures there to help me.  Don’t forget to put names and dates with your pictures because you WILL forget.  I can’t think how many times I patted myself on the back for writing  dates and names on the back of an old picture because I forgot one or the other or even both!

There are several articles about scrapbooking history that you can find on-line, but I would rather live the experience and make history myself through my own scrapbooks.  The people who appreciate and perhaps even those few who do not, will look through their custom made books, made with so much love and thought and appreciate them twice as much 10 or 20 years down the road.  The rush of memories that will come and the ensuing smiles to follow will melt their hearts again and again.  That is the power of scrapbooking.

Whether man or woman, traditional or digital, scrapbooking is not only an awesome hobby to engage in, unwind and enjoy, but the pleasure you will spread to those whom you endow with your special gift will keep the happiness going for years to come.  I look over my own scrapbooks all of the time and I never tire of them.  Even some of the first ones I made which were not nearly matched to the standards of my present day projects, are just as enjoyable to peruse.  

With all of the different styles, techniques and options, scrapbooking is for everyone.  Spending time behind the computer to do a digital scrapbook, might be just what one needs to relax and let the stress melt away.  All of your materials are literally right there at your finger tips.  If you like getting down and dirty with your projects, then go traditional.  The market is enormous, your finished projects are very rewarding, if you are giving it as a gift, you can bet it will be greatly appreciated and the memories that will come flooding back will make you glad you did it.  There are just so many advantages to scrapbooking that you may as well get started today!

(Pictures are all from Google image search.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

First Time Scrapbooking

Where To Start?!

Here are seven savvy tips to get you on your way to your first scrapbooking project.  This blog is dedicated to a friend of mine.  She is getting married soon and has already bought her first scrapbook, but  is a bit overwhelmed with all of the scrapbooking supplies, stores, techniques, etc.

Number One:

Plan your project.  How many picture do you have?  Will you need a 12x12, 8x8, 6x6,4x4 or a custom made book such as a key chain book, accordion book, etc.  If you have a lot of pictures a 12x12 is best.  There are typically 20 pages, 10 pages front and back.  (I got as many as 200 pictures in a 12x12!  You can see it in an early blog:  The Girls, Multiple Layouts, where I was able to get over a dozen pictures on one page.)  You can also use double page layouts for even more photos. (Those are 2 pages next to one another.)

Here are some other things to consider:

Do you want all of your pages to coordinate?  Would you like matching pages?  A color theme?  An occasion theme?  These are all things you should think through before even stepping into a store or going on line.  Otherwise, you will be inundated with all of these lovely things and it will be even harder to choose.  You also might buy more than what you need.  Like at the grocery store, if I don't have a list...

 This is a double layout.  The pages coordinate by using the same collection, colours or some repetitive theme in both layouts.

Number Two:

Your basic materials are probably already in your house and if not, they won't cost you much.

*Good scissors are crucial.  Your project will go faster and your cutting will be cleaner.
-small scissors are also useful for precision cutting
*Double sided tape comes in various sizes.  Choose something in the middle or buy them all if you think you will be a serious scrapper.  There are many advantages of double sided tape as opposed to craft glue.  You do not have to waste time waiting for the glue to dry which means your materials won't be moving around.  A helpful tip when using double sided tape is to apply it a few centimeters from the edges.  This allows for more room to play and a place for you to grasp while you get the positioning just right.  You can also just put a piece right in the middle which gives even more room to play and saves a lot of tape.  Just watch out that the ends don't come up.  Typically the page protectors keep everything down.  Be warned, unlike glue, double sided tape is nearly impossible to take off and doesn't make your projects bubble, become wavy or discolor like it often does with glue.  Double sided tape is also great for other paper projects.

This is double sided foam tape.  It will add dimension to your projects.

 *A cutting machine isn't really mandatory, but man will you save time.  Your lines will be clean and even and you do not have to draw lines either.  I actually still use the very first one I bought from Fiskars over 15 years ago.  I've only had to change the razor/cartridges out a few times.  I would never imagine scrapping without it.  I may have paid $10 for it back in the day.  You can use it for a lot of other projects and it is safe enough for kids to use.  Mine are 5 and 6 they love to use it.

You don't HAVE to have an inexpensive cutter like this, but it will make things easier and you can use it for other crafts.

*Glue Dots and craft glue are recommended.  Elmers liquid glue pen has two ends.  One for large surfaces to glue and the other for tiny ones.  I have my mom ship it over to me every few months.  I also have to order my Glue Dots on line because I can't get them around here, but they are sold at most craft stores in the States, on line and of course, in scrapbooking shops.  Like double sided tape, glue dots prevent your embellishments, pictures and such from moving around on the page and of course, no mess. I also found through experience, that glue dots stick over the years a bit better.  Especially, if you have your projects in a place with fluctuating temperatures, which is not a good idea.  Glue sometimes looses its adherence.  Look at the 2 pictures below for examples of my supplies.
Glue dots come in pages or rolls like this one.  They usually last a long time and of course, you can use them for other things besides scrapbooking.

This is my favourite craft glue from Elmer's.

*A ruler is a tool many scrappers keep right by their side, but not me.  I might use one here and there, but rarely.  I am an eyeballer.  I hardly ever measure.  Only if I am following directions on how to assemble a book or something specific, but I've been at this hobby for nearly two decades.

*A pencil and grease pencils are very helpful tools to have around as well.  A pencil is used to mark places you want to cut. People often sketch out their layouts before starting.  I use grease pencils when marking pictures for cutting and layout.  The grease rubs right off with a tissue.

 *A hole puncher isn't super important, but I highly recommend having one in your arsenal.  There are many different sizes out there.  I only have two.  A specialised smaller one and a standard one.  They are most useful for applying brads which are one of my favourite embellishments as well as other materials.

Here's my smallest hole punch, my tiny scissors which are great for fussy cutting and an exaco knife.  I use these three things all of the time.

A hole punch, small scissors, exacto knife, grease pencils and a Fiskars shape cutter along with circle stencil are very useful and save a lot of time as well as help make your projects look neater and even.  The shape cutter and circle stencil are great for perfect circles, cut in seconds.  A fantastic tool to add to the arsenal, but not necessary to get started.

Number Three:

Now what?  You have your book and basic tools. What other supplies do you need?  Papers, stickers, letters, brads, frames, etc.  I would totally suggest buying a pack with everything in it.  All of the above items are put in one packet and sold by most big brands.  They sell them everywhere.  Craft stores, scrap shops, on-line stores will provide you with the most options.  Some packets have so much in them you can nearly create an entire book.  Buy a few of the same packets or use that packet to purchase other coordinating embellishments.  You will see that often there is a collection manufactured.  You can puchase just the papers, just stickers and so forth.  You see where I'm going.  You may need a few more papers so you buy those on top of your packet.  Also letter stickers are really useful.  Especially if you do not like your handwriting or you never seem to write in a straight line.  Buy extra letter stickers because they never give you enough I's! hehehe...They also sell phrases and expressions.

A.C. Moore, Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics are  excellent sources for your scrapbooking supplies.  Here you can go in and check out their goodies a little easier than on-line.  You also don't have to pay for shipping.

Number Four:

If you purchase a packet there is often examples of page layouts for you to follow or you can add your own twist and put your stamp on it.  I would also puchase a scrap magazine.  I use them very often for ideas and inspiration.  They will be full of tips and advice and the visuals are extremely helpful as well.  I used Creating Keepsakes when I lived in the U.S.  It is a very big magazine and I feel you get your money's worth with so many pages full of wonderful designs.  The magazine I use here, in Belgium is Creatief met Fotos.  Don't forget Pinterest!  That's my go to place for inspiration.  Check out all of our boards.

Number Five:

Edit!!!  You don't need to use all of your pictures nor do you need an entire picture.  Crop away with a circle stencil or use a glass and your grease pen.  I use a shape cutter from Fiskars.  Not only are my circles perfect, it is REALLY fast.  If a picture isn't the best quality consider not using it.  If you know you have way more pictures than for in one album, then choose your favorites by putting them in 3 stacks: Have to Haves, If Room and Probably Not.  I had to do this for my nieces book.  If I had a little extra room here or there, I would use those from pile 2 or 3.

Number Six:

Keep it simple and work your way up.  Below you will see a simple layout.  No measuring, just eyeballing.  Imperfections shouldn't be looked at negatively in all matters.  It makes your work look like a human put it together.  When I notice a flaw, I think, "Oh yeah.  This book was made with someone's sticky fingers and a lot of love."

Tip:  Also, watch your dimension when using thick embellishments.  If you use a lot of thick add ons, your book will not close nicely.  Keep this in mind.

Number Seven:

Make and Takes!!  These are workshops you can find at the stores listed above and typically at most scrapbooking and hobby shops.  These are fantastic for beginners.  They usually supply you with everything you need and of course, there is someone with experience to help you.  How great is that?  I absolutely love going to workshops.  All us girls and a few token guys, sharing our passion and sharing ideas.  It is a great time.

These stores:  Boeken Voordeel, Kruidvat, Zeeman and Pipoos are stores in Belgium where you can purchase scrapbooking supplies.  They don't always have them, but the prices are great.  The price often reflects the quality, however.  Pipoos is the best source and has the best selection.  The price also dictates this.

Doing a quick search I found Michael's had 40% off on scrapbooking supplies.  Which totally made me want to cry because I easily spend 3x more here, plus shipping.  They had 2 Albums for $16, open stock papers of 12x12  4 for $1.  (I pay over a Euro for one.)  Michael's, A.C. Moore and Jo Anne Fabrics had on-line stores as well.

Scrapgrils.com/scrapinstuff.com/scrapvillage.com are all really good on-line stores for your supplies. 

Don't forget The Cherry On Top for advice, tips and ideas as well.  There are many other scrapbooking blogs, too.  Good luck with your scrapbooking experience and feel free to comment on any questions or concerns you may have. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beer, Bikes and Babes

Welcome back to another addition of Beer, Bikes and Babes.  This section of my scrapbooking blog is dedicated to the male gender.  One which is often overlooked when it comes to scrapbooking and scrapbooking supplies.  Although, there is little out there to help encourage men to take a leap into the scrap'n world, there is a desire. So I found after just a bit of research.  

I did a typical Google search of men and scrapbooking and although I didn't come up with much, there was plenty of evidence out there that men were indeed interested in this hobby.  I was reading through dozens of comments on scrapbookingpaper.net from guys in the 1%.  There were many comments from men about their reasonable complaints as well as their uncomfortable/awkward feelings to actually visit a store or attend workshops.  I can totally understand why they might feel this way, but I felt compelled to leave a comment myself.  It went something like this:  "I think it's great to see men in a scrap shop and in workshops, too.  Not only does it show these guys are not afraid of what others will think because indeed, many people jump to the often wrong conclusion that these crafty men are gay, but it helps make the hobby more inclusive and well rounded."  Kind of like your first year in Uni.  Guys often have a different way of laying out their projects which helps the chickies in the lesson to think out side of the box.  A little dose of testosterone never seemed to ruin any scrapping environment I was in. I also told them, "What better way to pick up chicks?"  Hehehe...

All of the scrapbooking layouts you see here on today's blog are digital.  I used PowerPoint,  Clip Art and backgrounds from PowerPoint as well as photo images from Google Images.  All free and fairly easy to use.

I surveyed some male friends of mine to see if they might be interested in scrapbooking both traditional and digital.  I will summarize the results.

Just under half of the friends I asked to take the eight question survey that required a Y or N with a completion time of approximately 1 minute, filled out the survey.  Out of the eighteen men, all but two said they enjoyed taking photos and all but one said they enjoyed looking at photos.  That's  a great start!  All male surveyors ticked "Yes" to the question, "Do you enjoy spending time on the computer?"  Another plus for the male scrapping world.  When asked if they were familiar with photo editing software, all but two ticked "Y".  Yes!  Another plus!  An overwhelming majority of the guys acknowledged that they had seen either traditional scrapbooks or digital scrapbooks. Now, for the topper.  Eight of the surveyors said they would consider composing a digital scrapbook (One said he already had.) That is just under half of the men surveyed.  That is awesome!  The final question was also a bit of a surprise conclusion and that is, five guys out of the eighteen surveyed, said they would even consider making a traditional style scrapbook!  Yea-haw!!!  Now, my math skills are absolute crap, but this seems like more than 1% to me.

I used a tattoo for the background in the page above just to experiment a bit and of course, add a personal touch to a layout.

If these pictures are not oozing with manliness than I don't know what is.  I used a rock'n roll touch to pump up the volume in these layouts.  This kind of manly scrap'n is excellent in digital.

I did find quite a few scrapbooking supplies that I thought would be suitable for the macho scrappers out there.  There was a Not For Girls CD Rom at polkadoodles.co.uk  and scrappinstuff.com had one of the THE best selections I found for over all scrapbooking supplies in total dude categories.  I mean really good.  The Industrial strength Collection I came across was so cool.  I found it at store.scrapgirls.com.

If you want a giggle take a look at cracked.com/manbooking.  It is just perfect!  A guy's view on scrapblooking.  So funny!

According to the research that I did, scrapbooking is something men not only know about, but a hobby or pass time that they might just endeavor.  I hope to encourage men that are sitting on the fence.  I suppose jumping into the the female dominated world of scrapbooking would be like wearing pink or sipping on a Cosmopolitan for a guy.  Stereotypes should never hold us back.  Now, get off the fence and scrap your butt off!

Sorry, but mysteriously all of the photos are gone.