Tuesday, July 21, 2009



I have learned many lessons along my way to becoming 65! One of the most prominent lessons has been not to expend energy reinventing a wheel that someone else has already so beautifully created! Before I began this blog, I made an outline of my personal thoughts about scrapbooking, questions about scrapbooking that I have been asked more than once, even things about scrapbooking that make you go “hmmmmmmmmmm!” When it comes to the obvious—What do I actually need to get started scrapbooking?—my hat is off to Rebecca Ludens, About.com’s Guide on their Scrapbooking website. Rebecca has already done the research and posted the answer to that question. Check out here her articles on

  • Scrapbooking tools
  • Scrapbooking adhesives
  • Scrapbooking supplies

I will add only a few comments about my personal favorites! When it comes to accurate paper cutting/trimming at my scrap table, I would not create without my CARL 12” Professional Rotary Trimmer. When packing my tote for scrapbooking conventions, I take along my smaller Cricut personal paper trimmer which has both a straight cutting blade and a scoring tool (for card making). For precision straight cutting by hand, I use my metal ruler and an X-ACTO knife. When cutting small intricate shapes, it’s Cutter Bee’s all the way!

Which adhesive to use can be a sticky question (pun intended!). I am definitely a Tombow fan when it comes to adhesive “runners.” While a Tombow refill may cost $3.99 at your local craft store, I have found it as low as $1.71 online when you buy in quantity! If you prefer using photo squares to adhere your photos and other embellishments to your paper, you will find the most reliable ones come in a little blue box (Pioneer Photo Albums, Inc.). Glue “pens” are also fantastic tools. I highly recommend the ZIG Memory System. You will also need a glue eraser for tidying up your layout, and I recommend a “gum” eraser from your local discount store.


Once you have made your purchases, it’s important to keep them convenient to where you will actually use them. Organizing your tools, adhesives, papers, and embellishments can be a job in itself! Many of my About.com “forum” friends have their own blogs--some personal, some about photography, some scrapbooking, and yet others a combination of some or all of these things—called life! Ann Marie is one of those “life” bloggers. When you follow her blog over a period of time, you will get to know her—and her cats, and her husband, and her living room, and her guitar, and her job, and her artistic “style.” With all this going on in her life, the one thing Anne Marie MUST be is organized! In fact, she has written articles about organizing almost everything. When I read a recent blog entry, I had to leave the following comment for Ann Marie:

The minute I read, “Sort by color, size, or not at all!,” you had me hooked. Love this article. In the beginning, I wanted all my storage elements to match. Eight years later, I just want them to work. Your ideas are brilliant!

You can read some of Ann Marie’s tips on organizing your embellishments here.

The amount of space you have to devote to your scrapbooking and other paper crafting is key to how to organize what you are going to accumulate! I know a young lady who still lives at home with her parents and has very little “personal” space. Everything that has anything to do with creating a scrapbook layout is kept in a suitcase under her bed. One of the handiest (and most practical, if you are patient) storage systems is the “cube” system. Each cube is slightly larger than 12” x 12”. You can create any combination of shelves and drawers. These cubes allow you to start at floor level and go up (and out, of course, if you have the space). I did mention patience, remember? Each cube retails at most stores for $29.99. However, over time, and using 50% off coupons, I have been able to purchase each of mine for under $15! The way my scrap room is configured, the cubes are behind my work space, all within my arm’s reach. If you manage your space well, you actually can have an uncluttered level surface on which to create!


We all know a good breakfast fuels our bodies. Not always so clear, however, is what “fuels” our creativity. Some painters stand in front of a blank canvas and, as they begin to apply paint, will admit they have no inkling what the last stroke will reveal. Most of us who are scrapbook “artists” can’t do that. Our creative juices must be externally stimulated. Maybe it’s a photograph. It could be the most recent collection of patterned papers from Basic Grey. Perhaps, even the morning sun as it pours its yellows, oranges and reds across the water. Possibly still, an advertisement in a magazine or a billboard. Also, less common, is non-visual stimulation—a song, a smell, a taste, or even a feeling you get as you run your fingers across a raised surface. Each of us will find our inspiration in a different way—and not always the same way. When creating a wedding layout in the studio, I draw my inspiration from the photograph—always! Yet, I can be so inspired by another artist’s work that I “scraplift” the design for a layout on my grandson. Scraplifting, by the way, is widely practiced and considered a high compliment in the scrapbooking world. However, I definitely give credit to the original artist when I do this! Another great place to look for inspiration is on scrapbooking websites. Earlier this year, I was invited to participate in a scrapbooking contest sponsored by SavvynSassy.com, a Canadian-based online shopping website. This website hosts a member gallery where artists can post their creations. It’s a place to shop for more than ribbon! And inspiration there is free!

(Submitted to the "red, round, and rick-rack" challange)

My greatest source of inspiration is a challenge! I would encourage you to find and join an online scrapbooking forum (a public meeting or assembly for open discussion—in this case, about scrapbooking). My favorite scrapbooking forum is on About.com. Any forum member can post a challenge. A challenge can come in any form. Shannon challenged us to scrap something we love (of course, mine was about coffee); Tammy proposed using red, round, and rick-rack; still another was about scraplifting. Meeting a challenge accomplishes several things—it gets your butt into a scrapping chair that has grown cold—it makes you think outside of your comfort zone—it fills up another page in that album you have been meaning to finish! By clicking on this link, you will be greeted with “Hello, Guest” and you can register and join us on this forum.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog entry, and that you will sign up to be a “follower” and come back! Please feel free to comment or to post a question.


  1. Kay, your writing is clear and so encouraging! You are a fresh point of view, never reinventing the wheel, and for that I'm grateful and EXCITED! I've been at a standstill for quite a while but you've given me the nudge I need! (((HUGS)))

  2. Thanks for the link, Kay! I will return the favor someday, for sure! :-)