Sunday, May 29, 2011

Save money and time with this approach to making hodgepodge mini albums

It's National Scrapbooking Month, what have you been making???

Save money and time with this approach to making hodgepodge mini albums by Doris Sander

When you use scraps and product packaging to make a “hodgepodge” mini album you get a charming and inexpensive project for your photos. Add this time-save process and you’ll have a great stash of minis to keep and give away.
I will confess: I was initially a bit intimidated at the thought of making hodgepodge mini-albums. Since then, I’ve developed my own approach to putting them together, and now I am hooked. Here’s what I do:

hodgepodge mini album ingredients

As you’re acquiring and using product for your other scrapbook pages, be sure to save the chipboard backing from packaging. Keep an eye out, also, for the scraps and little bits that lend themselves to a mini album.
Here's a look at packaging, scraps and leftover items from product I've used on scrapbook pages. Based upon width, I stack my items from smallest to largest. Each of these minibooks will have nine pages.

“assembly line” production of hodgepodge mini albums

I’ve found that using this time-save approach is a great way to put together a nice stash of gift albums.
As you’re clearing your workspace, spend five minutes arranging your scraps and papers and into stacks for several mini albums. When you’ve got a spare half-hour, cover fronts and backs of packaging materials with patterned paper. Don’t overthink it, just cover them!

I adhere patterned papers directly to chipboard packaging then cut off the excess and lightly sand the edges. You can save even more time by lining the chipboard up along straight edges of the paper to avoid a cut or two.

add photos and journaling

When you’ve got another 30 minutes, edit and print photos for your hodgepodge minis. I like printing at 2″x3″ to save thinking time. I usually end up cutting a few down even smaller. Consider printing a couple photos at 4″x6″ then adhering back-to-back to add an extra page. Remember–when you’re making gifts, it saves even more time to print multiples of the same photo and do a second or third album.
Once the photos are mounted, go back through and add titles and journaling. I used label stickers, journaling cards, and letter stickers on the interior so my album would lay flat.

finishing touches

The final half hour is spent prettying up the front. Also look at the right edges of the pages in your mini-album. Since you’ve arranged things to be sequentially smaller as you move up the stack, these are great spots for adhering dimensional embellishments. My mini-albums are still laying totally flat, but they still have all the dimensional bits that I love because they’re carefully placed on page edges.

Use a hole punch to punch out a spot for the book-binding ring on the left side of each page and tie on a pretty bow!
Save one for yourself and put one in the mail as a very special gift!  The trip to the post office is always the hardest part for me!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here are some prompts and layouts for July and August!  Happy Scrappin' to all!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tips for Writing about Yourself on Scrapbook Pages


Tips for Writing about Yourself of Scrapbook Pages
by Debbie Hodge

Making scrapbook pages about yourself is an awesome thing to give to friends, family AND yourself. “All about me” scrapbook pages are going to require some journaling—some writing about yourself. And that’s not always easy. Read on for tips that show you how to write about yourself on scrapbook pages.

this story is about YOU

Begin by understanding that your story is about YOU. You are the protagonist — not your husband or your mom or your cousin, but you. If you’re having a hard time, start with “I . . .”  You could write “I quit,” “I thought I’d never stop crying,” “I embraced him hard,” “I took the gift,” “I tripped going off the curb.” Start with I and don’t look back. Let yourself get the story down any which way first and then go back and find the parts you need and shape the story.

who is your audience?

Knowing your audience will affect which details are known and which need to be told. It will affect your tone and voice. Your audience could be yourself, your friends, family now, family in the future, or even that person at the futuristic flea market who finds your album. Writing for yourself may have a raw and honest quality that you’d shy away from when recording a picture of yourself for others. Neither is better than the other. They’re just different.

imageThis is ostensibly written to my boys—i address them in the journaling, for goodness sakes! It must be to them. Really, though, this page is for  myself. It’s an exploration of a feeling I was having, an ah-ha moment that I at first wanted to understand better. Then, as I came to understand it, I wanted to remember it, and, thus, got it on the page. 

what voice will you use?

Many of us have more than one voice: a smart-alecky voice for some situations, a respectful and reverent voice for others. Should you use your smart tone or your serious one? Your loving voice or your critical voice? Not sure what your voices are? Just tuck the idea to pay attention to this as you move about your world and interact with others and your awareness of this will increase.

“Saturday Nap” is written for myself and for my family. On the day I wrote this journaling, I felt we were all on the edge of potential change. I was worried and yet I was calm, and I wanted to capture that. I wrote in a steady and clear voice—the voice of my very best self  (I’m not always at my very best)—recounting  specific details about the day. I wanted all of us to be able to look back at this moment and, through the details I recorded, call up just how our life was on that day. 

how about some humor?

A little humor can reveal other facets of your personality – what you take seriously and what you feel free to poke fun at. A bit of wry (or even mildly bitter) humor can be a help when writing painful or hard material. (I’d cry if I weren’t laughing so hard). Be careful, however, not to put too much of a shell around the real story with humor  that turns the story into a parody.

image For this page, I really needed to include some humor—I guess to cover up my embarrassment over being someone who drags lots of STUFF everywhere. I began (as I often do any journaling) with concrete details and a quiet tone—I even did a little amateur psychology on myself. All of which increases impact of the self-deprecating humor in the last sentence.

consider getting some of the story in scene

There’s an area of writing called “creative non-fiction” (and there’s memoir) in which non-fiction writers use literary and even cinematic techniques. In other words, you can put the characters in the story on a stage and give them dialogue and action. This should be dialogue and action that’s relevant to your story. When parts of your story are shown this way, rather than simply told, they become more believable and compelling.

I wanted to get dialogue and the setting onto this page because I thought it would highlight my husband’s indignation and my annoyed amazement.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prompts and Templates - May/June


Today's prompts and templates are for the month of May and June! Enjoy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

4 Formulas for Generating Scrapbook Page Titles You'll Love


4 Formulas for Generating Scrapbook Page Titles You'll Love!
by Debbie Hodge
A good title connects your photos to their story.  I often start with a placeholder title in mind when I’m making a scrapbook page. I hold it in my mind, and, as I add elements to the page, more ideas come—sometimes without work, and other times because I employ one of these approaches.

1) Word Mining

Some simple word mining can yield several titles that go beyond the obvious. Take a look at your photo or photos and  begin by listing nouns. Try to get more and more specific as you list them.  Do the same with adjectives and verbs.  Here’s a simple example:
You could use a thesaurus to find synonyms and related words to expand your list and trigger ideas.  Now—look at the lists and see what titles occur to you when you combine or expand upon the words on your list. From my list here I’ve thought of:  “Drama Girls”  “True Companions”  “Imagination Partners”  “Always Talking”  “Girls with a Plan”
image When I began making “Initially Awkward” I looked at the photos of my sons with friends they spent a lot of time with as preschoolers and made my “placeholder” title “Old Friends.” I looked at the photos and listed words. I could see happy, dressed up, self-conscious, slow to warm up, and then the common phrase “Initial Awkwardness” came to mind. I liked that concept, but it felt distant. Yes. The kids HAD an initial awkwardness. But what WERE they? If I could name that, I would have a label that told more than “Old Friends.” They WERE “Initially Awkward”—and then that passed and the old connection came back.

2) From quotes, famous lines, lyrics and more

Once you’ve done your word mining, you can use the process in How to come up with Scrapbook Page Titles from Sayings, Quotes, Titles, Famous Lines, & Lyrics to get a fun title that plays with famous and known phrases.

image“With Hope In Your Hearts” is a line in the Sound of Music song “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and it summed up the spirit my son and his friend had as they built and tweaked and tweaked some more a raft that never did end up supporting them well. And, despite that, they kept on smiling.

2) Messages and Advice

Your title could be a statement to the subjects of your page. Look at your photos and just start writing down:
1) The things you’d like your subject to know.  Examples: “You Rock,” “I Believe in You,” “You Amaze Me.”
2) The advice you’d like to give.  Examples: “Stay True,” “Know Your Place,” “Make Time for Play,” “Life is Sweet.”
image“Missed U” shows a mom greeting her son on his return from his first-ever sleep-away camp.

3) Ask a Question

This might be a tongue-in-cheek question or a thoughtful pondering or something you really wish you could figure out. Look at your photos—and at your subjects in the photos and make a list of things you might have asked at the moment the photo was taken AND now.
imageThe question in the title on “What do Grandpas Wish For?” occurred to me after the party—when I was looking at the photos and the concentration on everyone’s face in the focal photo.

imageThe question on “Really?” is more playful – tongue-in-cheek even. I’ve been surprised by my mom’s recent desire to raise and take care of chickens. I’m also amused and it’s a bit of a joke between us. The journaling tells the story here and the title has fun with it.

4) Take it from the Journaling

A really great source of titles is page journaling. Try writing your journaling and then looking through it for a line that epitomizes your page subject.
image“Its Measure” takes a line from within the journaling that really characterizes my message as its title.

imageThe title “You Use Too Many Dishes” also comes from the journaling—but this line is different from the example above because: 1) it’s a line of dialogue (which is a great title source) and 2) it’s more of a punchline than an indicator of any deeper meaning.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prompts and Templates - March/April


Today's prompts and templates are for the month of March and April! Enjoy

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How to Handwrite in Shapes on Your Scrapbook & Journal Pages


How to Handwrite in Shapes on Your Scrapbook & Journal Pages
by Michelle Houghton
Sometimes, for something fun and different, I like to write my journaling in shapes—not just in a circle like we did above but spiraling around the edge of a circle or other shape. It isn’t practical for reading—the reader always ends up upside down and backward trying to read around the loops—but it adds a fun visual punch to your page and, sometimes, I find that the journaling is more for me this way.  Here is one of my favorite journal blocks using this technique.
the how-to
1. As with the journaling blocks already described, you will need to determine the space need for your block at the beginning.  I usually put these blocks on a separate sheet of paper, since they are complex to draw and, thus, easier to manage on smaller pieces.  If you decide to do yours on a separate sheet, size that down now.

2. In pencil, draw the outer edge of your shape. In the example above, it would be my heart shape.  The one I will walk you through is a circle, but the same directions will work for any shape.  For these circles, I usually use a circle cutter or stencil.  Writing around the edge makes even small flaws very obvious so it is better to start with a perfect circle.   If you do not have a stencil or compass, grab a cup or small bowl to trace around.

3. Eventually you might be able to take out these next 4 steps, BUT for today let’s make this as easy as possible.  While this adds a little time, it might help you get your writing moving around your shape.  Draw another circle about 1/4 of an inch inside your original.  Continue drawing circles, each one gradually getting smaller by about the same 1/4 of an inch all the way around.   Notice these circles are hand drawn and sketched, they are not perfect, they are just guide lines.
4. Pick a starting point, on the ring just inside your outer edge, for your writing and mark it with a dot.  Turn your paper so the dot is straight up for now. Move your pencil about 1 inch to the left of your dot still on the ring and draw a gradually curving line from your first inner ring connecting it to your second inner ring.  This is hard to explain in words so check the example.

5. You are going to connect all the rings this way moving from the outer rings to the inner rings. Connect the second ring to your third, your third to your fourth and so on…  The curves that are doing the connecting should all be on the same side of your circle, so the shape all seems to curve inward at the same point.

6. Erase the sections of the original circles where the curves inward are replacing them. You should end up with one long continuous spiral.

7. The rest is easy! Lightly pencil in your journaling, and then go over it in ink.  I do not go over my spiral line with ink.  I feel the image is already complex enough so I erase my pencil lines, cut out my shape and attach it to my layout—that is: if I am still seeing clearly enough to get it on straight.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prompts and Template - January/February


You may notice that through out this month I'll be borrowing a lot of information and templates from "Get it Scrapped."  I found their page on Facebook and I can't believe that all this stuff is out there for FREE!!!

So today I am posting some prompts for if you were thinking of scrapbooking a month at a time to make a yearly scrapbook.

Today's prompts and templates are for January and February, enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

10 Ideas for Placing Scrapbook Journaling on Your Page


10 Ideas for Placing Scrapbook Journaling on Your Page
by Debbie Hodge
Do you plan out where to put your scrapbook page journaling as you start a page? Or do you figure it out as you go? Or do you reach the end and say: “Yikes! I don’t have any room for my journaling?” I do all three. You’d think I’d get in a habit of some planning since I usually have a lot of journaling to include. Several scrapbook page ideas for your journaling follow.

1. Put your scrapbook journaling on a tag.

2. Put your journaling on your background canvas or mat.

3. Put your journaling on photos.

4. Put your journaling on a piece of paper layered into your design.

5. Put your journaling on strips.

6. Put your journaling on extended photo mats.

7. Put your journaling along the edge of and around other photos and elements.

8. Place your scrapbook page journaling to create a border.

9. Hide your scrapbook page journaling.

10. Put your scrapbook page journaling anywhere you can!