Saturday, April 2, 2011


Want to be a really, REALLY good scrapbook artist? Check out a novel approach in this PICKLES cartoon (you may click on it to enlarge it):

If you really, REALLY want to be a good scrapbooker, and the PICKLES APPROACH (above) does not work for you, then you have to scrap the idea that you will never be a really good scrapbooker! Yep! It’s that simple! Here’s an excerpt from one of my earliest blog posts:

I didn't love it [scrapbooking] at first. I actually thought it quite intimidating. I found myself copying others' styles and then comparing my work to theirs--with disastrous results.

Rule #1 in scrapbooking should be to NEVER compare your layouts to those of other scrapbook artists! I have admitted to cruising online scrapbooking galleries for inspiration, especially when I feel stuck on a layout. Many of the online websites that have these galleries also have design teams. Their design team members’ layouts, cards and altered art projects are usually created using the products sold on that website. But not always! I have found new inspiration for my work on a website recommended by a friend. Let's Scrap doesn’t want to sell you anything. They exist solely to inspire and motivate--and, yes, there is a difference.

Let’s start with inspire. Inspiration is something intangible, even supernatural, if you will! Something that must be absorbed. In an artistic sense, this would be to absorb something into your creative mind; to allow something to communicate with your artistic spirit. This “something” is going to be different for each of us at any given time. For instance, an ad in a magazine could trigger inspiration for me. It could be the framework of the layout of that ad, or maybe the color combination used in the ad, or even the product being showcased. Another artist could look at the same ad and get nothing from it! Yet, when another artist looks at a bottle of wine and finds its burgundy color generates a sense of warmth, they might find themselves inspired to take pictures of a summer sunrise and create a layout. Inspiration is all around us; we just need to look for it.

Ah, here comes that difference! A scrapbook artist can certainly be inspired, yet not motivated (or motivated, yet not inspired). Being motivated for a scrapbooker is being sufficiently excited (inspired) to generate action. I can look at that inspirational magazine ad all day, but if the inspiration has not been great enough to make me “do” something, I have accomplished nothing. On their forum, Let’s Scrap has a feature called the “Question of the Week.” Recently, Michela, one of the Design Team members, posed this question:

Sometimes, I arrive at home after work full of desire to scrap...but when I sit at my desk and I take the materials and photos for my page, the inspiration doesn't come!!!!! What are you doing in this situation?

It made me stop and think about what I actually do when I am not feeling the creativity. Here’s my answer:

Since scrapbooking is not only my avocation, but my vocation, it is very serious when my mojo doesn't show up for work! When nothing comes to me after pushing the same three photos around and around on various papers, I walk away. I may even walk around outside for 15 minutes. I find that stepping away from my scrapping table, even for just a short time, can clear out the cobwebs in my artistic brain!

I assume, now, we all can agree we need both inspiration and motivation to actually sit down and create a scrapbook layout. But there is a third component—time—which may be the most elusive for many of us. Sadly, I cannot advise on how to find that time, I can only encourage you to do it!

I hope you will visit Let’s Scrap for a bit of inspiration. You will find a myriad of sketches there for both scrapbooking layouts and cards, weekly challenges, and an active forum where you can chat up a storm or simply “lurk and learn,” which is my personal favorite!

That said, I want to take just a moment to address the practice of “scraplifting.” Scraplifting is not artistic plagiarism, unless you copy the original artist’s work exactly. Scraplifting is more like the paraphrasing of that work, and that’s considered a compliment! Still, when I scraplift, I most often will state that my work is done “in the style of (artist).”

I cannot leave you without offering up some humorous inspiration for you. You can click on my layout to enlarge it to read the journaling!

OK, go forth and create!


  1. love, this article. Now when I feel better, maybe I can get the layout finished on my desk. It's been laying there since last night.

  2. What a good article. LOVE LOVE LOVE the "Good Girls Gone Bad" layout! I have just the pics to go with a page like that,substituting "dogs" for "girls". :-) If I actually make it I'll share it with you - unfortunately I seem to be in the "push the 3 pics around the page" stage (that you wrote about) at the moment.

  3. Tee glad I hopped over from Let's Scrap and found your blog, Kay! You have started my day on a very positive note!! Love that layout and the story is priceless! Have a granddaughter who did that, 'stripes' all over herself because she wanted to be a tiger!
    I am so happy to hear that you have found some inspiration and fun at Let's Scrap---that's what we are trying to do there! Can't wait to see more of your pages!

  4. So funny! I nominated you for an award. Come on over to my blog and check it out. Beth

  5. Love this post, Kay! Came from Pinterest to see that beautiful layout but the pictures are not showing, just black squares with a triangle and an exclamation mark!