I was re-reading an issue of Scrapbook Magazine and came across an article called ‘Mini Marvels’ (Page 50 of issue 66). The subheading was “Caroline South shows us how to scrap in miniature with her cute 8×8″ page designs”.
Lovely scrapbook pages they are too, one of them shown almost full size on a page. So why am I wittering on about this?
Well I take a ‘mini’ issue with the reference to 8×8 scrapbook pages being ‘miniature’! A miniature scrapbook page is one that is 4×4 perhaps or even smaller. I teach scrapbooking using 8×8 to sgart people off… ALWAYS! It’s perfect for beginners as it’s no where near as daunting as a 12×12 blank page staring back at you!
They are quicker to do as there is less to ‘cover’ and you can get a whole background page from an A4 piece of paper (letter size), and of course, I sell (and give away) printable scrapbook papers on A4 which are perfect for 8×8 pages. But DON’T BE FOOLED… they may be only two thirds of a full 12 in page, but they can hold just as many pictures. I have managed 5 good sized photos on one page (shown above) and with the use of a mini book attached to another page, I managed to fit on even more photos.
I have made many 8 inch scrapbook pages and have hand-made albums to keep them in.
So please if you read that article, or haven’t tried 8×8 pages before… do give them a try, they are not miniature, or less significant that 12×12 and you will find them surprisingly satisfying!
The 5 simple things to include in your journaling! Keeping it basic is a great way to get the facts down and leave it at that. A classic example of this type of journaling is to write the information on strips of paper and place on your layout.
Simplicity is key when you’re up against it time-wise, so this technique helps with that, but lacks the detail of why… in other words, the “emotion”. So often heartfelt journaling tugs at heart strings and/or the reader can identify with the scrapbooker much more.
Many people find it difficult to open up and write it down for all to see (which is when hidden journaling helps) so “just the facts” journaling is helpful to those people.
I have been asked many times from where do I get the inspiration for my scrapbooking. My reply is “from Everywhere”, but I do gain a lot of crafting inspiration from other peoples work and I find most of that by browsing the internet!
The next question is usually something like “how do you remember the inspiration in order to use it in your crafting?” My answer… “simple, I save a copy of the scrapbook page or card on my PC and then I can refer to it whenever I like. ”
If I want to make a page, I refer to my collection of examples and choose which ones suit my current project best. I then print out a sheet full of various pictures and I can now look at that when I craft (or even take to a crop).
The next question is then…. “How do you do that then?”
So I have made a video to show you How to View, Save and Print scrapbook pages, cards and other projects to refer to for inspiration when you make your layouts. I hope it helps..!
I am often asked about how to start scrapbooking (as mentioned in a recent post). This is what I tell them…
Firstly, you need know what you want to achieve in order to know what you need to buy!
If you just want to dabble, to try out Scrapbooking then you will only need a few supplies and here is an article I wrote showing, step by step how I used only normal things found around the house, effectively making a “free” scrapbook page.
If you know that you want to scrapbook a particular event (say a Holiday or birth) or maybe (as many people do) start with a whole “This is your life to date” type of album (not recommended for beginners!) then you will need some supplies, however I would start with dabbling a bit first!
I would suggest that you do a lot of “cheating” and buy a kit! But don’t go mad, buy one… use it, then buy another. Try not fall in the trap of “oooh that’s nice, I’ll buy it” and then get home and not know what to do with it!
Kits should include papers, embellishments, stickers, alphas (eg alphabet stickers) this will save a beginner a LOT of heart ache! and a lot of cash because you won’t be buying lots of different things.
It’s too easy to walk into a craft shop and end up buying lots of lovely “little” things, but when you get home you find they aren’t really suitable for your scrapbooking. Mostly these little bits and pieces are made for cardmaking.
My mum is a great one for buying loads of stuff, which she then offers to me as she can’t actually find a use for them!! Of course, they are of little use to me as a scrapbooker, however grouping lots of little bits and pieces together to make one larger (area) of embellishment can look good.
I always look at scrapbook embellishments and carefully consider firstly, if I could make it myself, and then secondly whether I am prepared to pay someone else to make it for me!
I actually like the act of creating embellishments from scratch, but metal items I won’t make myself, so will purchase those.
Another tip for saving money whilst achieving a god result is to make mini albums. simple little projects are fairly quick, with high instant satisfaction levels (!) and do’t cost the earth to make due to their size. I often demonstrate mini albums of various shapes and sizes and they are always well received. Check out THIS set of blog posts for some tutorials and video tours of Mini Scrapbook Albums.
I had a message from a new scrapbooking friend via facebook who wrote…
“… can you please tell me where to get a basic starter kit, I have been beg, stealing and borrowing ribbons, bows, buttons, jewellery, etc, but how do I know what scissors, glue, etc. Feeling a bit overwhelmed. Beautiful views here lots to see inspirational but need to transmit ideas to scrapbooking…”
So I replied…
“… for scissors, just use what you have! Ones with a nice pointed tip are good to have for more intricate cutting. Large ones are good for cutting out photos, or large bits of paper until you get a paper trimmer.
[you'll need]… Some double sided tape, about 6mm wide is a good size (as it’s not too wide and not too narrow) and that’s it until you actually start scrapbooking and see what others are using, borrow things at a crop and see how you get on and learn that way (It’s cheaper!)…”
It’s too easy to go off and start buying all sorts of stuff (cos let’s face it there’s loads out there) only to find out that it’s not right for you, or the product isn’t actually up to scratch.
Many times, if you go to a scrapbook crop, or a cardmaking group, there will be people there who have tried various products and discarded them for some reason, knowing why they didn’t like a product can save you time and money making the same mistake.
More importantly, people bring their (portable) gadgets with them and it’s great if you can borrow them, to see what they are like. Things such as pens, trimmers, tape dispensers, punches, items such as the “Cuttlebug” which cuts out diecut shapes and embosses, are fab if you can see them in action before you attempt to buy one.
If you cannot get to a crop or crafting group locally, it is definitely worth joining a forum. UKScrappers.co.uk is the biggest in the UK and there is a lot of information on there. Also you can join a group who you can chat with and may have the low down on just the sort of things your are looking for.
I posted a video a while ago about how to make your own page kit from your own scrapbooking supplies (Own Scrapbook Kit Article) The video has been included in this post below.
Recently I had a comment left on the video at my You Tube channel, and I copy it here as it illustrates a common trait in us scrapbookers… or even, crafters in general.
The comment went as follows…
“how awesome, I have always wanted to do this and never really thought about how I can do it . I watched other vid’s and they just show you how to add stuff but not the whole process, plus you explained about the brads and how you can always go back and get them (you don’t need all of them) I need to do this ASAP because I started pulling stuff out for my mini Valentine’s kit and I know I will not but using all of that stuff but my mind believes that I would. I need to go back and limit myself.TFS “
This is a common problem… we all (myself included) procrastinate on our layouts because we spend ages sifting through our scrapbooking stash over and over again. We need to limit ourselves before we stare at a blank sheet of cardstock!
It’s definitely worth watching the video if you need some ideas about getting only a few things together so that you can actually DO some scrapbooking, and of course, it’s great for preparing to go to a crop, and you might even achieve a page layout whilst you’re there!
I use the same technique for gathering ideas for pages, which I then scrapbook at home. It helps with time management too. Gradually pop things in the “holding bag” as and when you notice them or have a little time.
Then, when you have a gap in your life schedule, you will get more from those precious crafting minutes if you have done half of the work by making some of the decisions about colours/theme etc beforehand.
Anyway, I repeat the video here for you… got any other ideas?
I do get fed up every time I read “the first thing you need to do as a beginner to scrapbooking is buy an album, a few papers and some adhesive”!
That makes me cross because you DON’T need to buy an album, if you are just trying scrapbooking out as a hobby. It’s a wasted expense if you decide you don’t like it for a start, but I put beginners off buying an album until they have made a few pages and can decide in what size they prefer to work.
It IS possible for beginners to achieve lovely results with only paper, adhesive, scissors and a simple design.
If you want to work in 12×12″ size layouts, then it’s pretty obvious what size album to buy, but I always start off my beginners with 8×8 scrapbooking pages because they are quicker and easier.
Of course, if you buy a 12×12″ album you will be able to fit any size layout up to 12″ inside it’s sleeves, so if you HAVE to buy one right now, buy a 12×12 one.
But I would actually recommend that you just try out a few pages first, get a feel for things and more importantly haing your layouts up, go on be a devil and display them. I have my layouts on a large pinboard in my office/craft room (with small bulldog clips holding them (I haven’t stuck pins through my scrapbook pages! ) and each time I make a new layout I take down an older one and replace it with the new one.
I have also framed some of my layouts and I have 3 hanging on the living room wall with another 2 layouts hanging from ribbon and bulldog clips underneath each one, making a display of 9 layouts.
So even if you are a beginner, display your creations, admire them and let it motivate you to make more. Most of all, you DON’T need to spend a fortune on albums, and embellishments, just make some simple layouts with paper.
Here are some links of examples of pages and mini albums where I have done just that…
I have come across many an ‘over-themed’ scrapbooking page in my time. I mean those pages which, say, are about a most loved pet dog, and which are just overflowing with images of dog bones, kennels, collars, food bowls… and on and on.
I’m sorry, but some people can just go over the top! And I’m not just talking about the creators of the pages, but also the manufacturers.
Recently I even witnessed a scrapbooking 12×12 background paper which had a red fire hydrant on it… come on guys… that symbolises where the dog pees for goodness sake!
When I am teaching, often newbie scrapbookers get a bit ‘hung up’ on feeling they have to theme their papers and embellishments to the subject of their pictures. This means that the layouts can look a bit crazy with kitsch bits and pieces all over the place. Just think of all those baby pages with hands and feet brads, diecut prams, storks, rattles, etc, often all on one page!
I explain that they really don’t need to do this. The photograph itself, along with a title will be sufficient to explain, very simply, the purpose of the scrapbook page. I show them that it is more important to portray the ‘mood’ or ‘feel’ of a layout with the papers, etc.
For instance… The picture above shows an 8×8 page of an elderly dog. I wanted to give the feel of old and serene and that was what led me to choose the papers and font for the title – a vintage theme.
The 8×8 layout here shows a much younger dog which is why the feel of the page is more vibrant. But you will see there is not a dog bone in sight!
So put the dog bone shaped brads down and step away from the themed stuff in the crafting isles… go more for colour and general pattern and you will find that your stash will be more versatile and useful for a multitude of photo subjects and thus will go further.
Oh and by the way, if you already have the themed stuff, of course use it, but if it’s on a scrapbooking page, take it easy on the amount and group the items together, layer them even. But why not use them on cards? The theme of the card can only be portrayed by the items on the front and there is no photograph in that instance – a perfect use!
I had a great morning! Why? because I was talking about scrapbooking to a new friend! She is not completely new to scrapbooking and has made one page before, which she didn’t like, so I remade that page for her to show how it could look. Thankfully she is very pleased with the end result!
I really enjoyed remaking the page in the sort of colours she likes and the making a “boy themed page” as I don’t have a son, nor do I have any nephews. It’s all girls in our family, so it was a refreshing change. A bit like a “challenge”, but definitely a “Scrapbooking Page Make-over”.
I have written an article showing the “before” and “after” pictures of this layout and it is currently in the May issue of the SimplyScrapbookingNow.com Newsletter which I published yesterday! Here is a sneeky peek of my finished version of the page, but to view the whole article you need to be a subscriber. It’s all free, and only I have a note of your name and email address (so that I can send you the notice about each publication), so there’s no way anyone else will get your details… I know some of you worry about such things, and quite rightly so, I am careful too.
Anyway, this here new friend has a lovely house which her husband built almost single-handedly so I understand. And within it’s walls are some lovely things, a feast for a designer’s eye I can tell you! Lace and sparklies, beautiful materials, lovely patterns and colours… it was fun!
And, she sent me an email this evening of a “mocked up” (ie not stuck down yet) 12×12 layout… and wow what a quick learner. I think this lady is going to enjoy scrapbooking “BIG TIME”. And I hope I can join her on her journey! I’m so pleased.