Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Layouts - Feb 26, 2011

My Blurb book came yesterday! That's less than a week after submitting the order. I will try to have pictures of it soon.

Here is the one layout that I made this past week.
Fun with Opacity Masks by Scrapping with Liz; Clouds & alpha
(both recolored) & paper from Innovative by One Little Bird;
Flower (recolored)& epoxy buttons and lines from Conversation Pieces
no. 4 & 5 by One Little Bird & Paislee Press

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Layouts - Feb 19, 2011

I'm so excited because I just finished placing my order with Blurb for my 2010 photobook of scrapbook layouts. It should be hear the first week of march!

Here are the layouts I've finished this week.

Fun with Opacity Masks by Scrapping with Liz; Everyday Snapshots by Kasia
Designs;Cardstock by SuzyQ Scraps
Fun with Opacity Masks by Scrapping with Liz; Cardstock from HoHoHo
by Miss Tiina; The Little Bird Said by Kasia Designs

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Post Bound vs. Photobook

(We R Memory Keepers Linen Album Review)

I had my first photobook printed last year for my 2009 project 365 album. I loved it so much that I decided that going forward I will always have my scrapbooking layouts printed in book form instead of single prints to slide into photo protectors. This is what I love about the photobook (compared to post bound album):
  • Compact. No bulk from the binding mechanism.
  • Light.  The pages are printed double sided AND there is no added weight from the page protectors.
  • Costs less.  Approximately, pages printed in a photobook are about $1 per page.  For a post bound album, nice photographic prints run about $2 per page, plus the cost of page protectors and the album itself.
All of this adds up to me:  I'm going to go with photobooks from here on out.  However, there is an argument for printing true photographic prints and placing them in page protectors:  These types of prints are archival and waterproof.  They will probably last longer than a photobook, which is made with ink printed on paper.

I have about 200 layouts that I've already had printed over the last couple years.  I've gone through several iterations of albums for these prints, and I want to share with you the journey and my most recent album choice.  Here is the reason I've had such trouble:  I want as few albums as possible.  My 200 prints are mostly from the years 2008 and 2009, plus a few pages with my baby photos.  So two albums is ideal, 3 tops.

In the beginning, I started with a small, extendable album, and I used the Snap Load binding system.  This was a post bound album, and I removed the posts and glued the Snap Load bands in place.  These are similar to plastic zip ties.  You pull them tight and press then into the mechanism.

I liked the Snap Load system, but I was trying to put all 200 pages into a single album, and the plastic ties just couldn't handle that load.  So then I moved everything into a large ring album:

I liked this at first, but eventually had to concede that 200 pages plus the weight of the page protectors is just too much for one album.  It is really heavy.  Plus, the album was so long (to accommodate the large ring) that it could not easily fit on any of my shelves.

So I recently decided to break the pages into two albums, and I purchased two
We R Memory Keepers Post Bound Linen Albums in the Silverstone color choice.

These albums are NOT extendable - they have a fixed spine width. But they are generous - the product preview stating they can hold 100 page protectors. The post is a full two inches long. The page protectors have an extra hinge section which allows the pages to extend out of the binding area and lay flatter when the book is open. I love these page protectors - they are nice and thick and plenty roomy. I'm sure they would be great for paper scrappers.

My 200 pages roughly separated in half at the 2008/2009 junction.  The 2008 album ended up with 52 page protectors and about 100 layouts.  The 2009 album ended up with about 42 page protectors.  As each album can actually hold 100 page protectors, they seem a little "empty."  But weight wise, I actually wouldn't want to add any more pages.  The book with the 52 page protectors actually feels a little over-loaded when you hold it in your lap.  This photo below shows the one with only 42 page protectors.

These albums also have this nice label on the spine.

Overall, I think these albums are beautiful and are the best fit that I've found so far for a digiscrapper who is an album minimalist.  They look and feel well made, and come in about 8 different colors: bright and bold as well as some more earthy tones and two shades of gray. I bought mine online through Joann. They are a little pricy at $29.99, but I got them at a sale price (%40 off, which looks to still be in effect today).

I think these albums are more suited for paper scrapping given their roominess, which would be perfect for thick and bulky layered paper pages. The wide spine just isn't needed for digi prints. And here is how they look in my TV table:

If there are any scrappers out there who have found a post bound album tailored specifically for digiscrapping, I would love to hear about it.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Layouts - Feb 12, 2011

I'm getting caught up with the last of my 2010 scrapping. I'm almost ready to upload and order.  Just a few more pages to finish up.  Here are the layouts I've made in the last week or so.

Everyday Life Kit & Templates by Gina Marie Huff and Cinzia Designs
Nostalgia by Paislee Press and Creashens; Journal tab from The Sunday Edition
by Paislee Press; Button from Moments by Cinzia Designs; Stitch from Innovative
by One Little Bird; Doodles and epoxy buttons from Conversation Pieces
1&3 by Paislee Press and One Little Bird

And here are the front and back covers I made for the outside of my 2010 photobook.

Sweet & Simple Life Kits #4 and #8 by Gina Marie Huff
Sweet & Simple Life Kit #9 (recolored) by Gina Marie Huff

And two more for my Project: Love, Me album
Photo Tints action by CoffeeShop; Template by Joey Lynn Designs;
Dreaming of Spring kit by Captivated Visions & Studio Flergs
Cardstock from HoHoHo by Miss Tiina; Moments by Cinzia Designs;
Template freebie by One Little Bird (modified)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A freebie made my me!

I made this freebie, and you can grab it over at the Weeds & Wildflowers Blog!  I used paint platters from about 15 or 20 different WW kits. 

I used this heart to make a little valentines day card, for a card exchange going on over at WW. If you submit a card for the exchange (using WW products) you will get all of the cards submitted plus the cards made by the CT. But the deadline for the card exchange is tomorrow; sorry for the short notice. Here is the card I made:

Funky Basic Cardstock by Gina Marie Huff;
paint splatters from multiple Weeds&Wildflowers kits

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I heart pyrex

I have a modest Pyrex glass ware collection. I probably started collecting it about 10 years ago, before I got married. I used to go on ebay all the time checking prices, learning the patterns, coveting the different designs. It was fun.

But I quickly ran out of room in our small apartment, and ever since my pregnancy, I haven't been as interested. Occasionally, I will find a piece. Last week I went to a second hand store to find something to make an "astronaut coat" for my son (we found an 18mo size snow suit that fit the bill), but I also found a 1 1/2 pint turquoise butterprint dish with lid. It is a useful size for leftovers, so I grabbed it.  The pictures below shows some of my favorite and most used dishes.  My new one is the top left.

I use most of my Pyrex dishes.  My go-to mixing bowl is one of the large white bowls from a Hamilton Beach stand mixer. 

I do put my Pyrex through the dishwaher, but I usually feel guilty about it. Where does that come from?  They're mine and I can do whatever I want with them, so why the guilt? I know, I know, the dishwasher will eventually damage the paint/glaze, which is why I used to always hand wash. But now with an almost 4 year old in the house ... well, I bet you can imagine why they go in the dishwasher now.

The scientist loves my Pyrex too. He just told me so the other day. I like them because it means I don't have to store or heat my food in plastic, and because they are pretty. He likes them because they have clear lids and you can see what's inside. Unfortunately, the scientist has butter fingers and has broken some of my pieces. Arggh.

My prized possession is a complete set of four cinderella bowls in the orange butterprint pattern. This is a pretty rare set. It was given to me by my husband's grandmother. I would take a picture, but they are in storage. Here is a pic I found on the web of one bowl.

When I first started collecting, I was very fond of the early american pattern.  But I soon learned that it is not very desired among serious collectors, and my love for that design kind of died because of that - isn't that sad? I have two of them in the small cinderella bowl, and I love them for eating a big bowl of cereal.

Pyrex Love is a great resource for Pyrex collectors. They have a listing of all of the Pyrex patterns with photos and what size bowls were made in each pattern. It's a listing they've put together from their own collection and from other collectors as well. I don't believe there is any official Pyrex listing of all the patterns.

I went onto ebay this afternoon, and I would say that some of the prices have come down from what I remember about five years ago. Yes, some of the most popular and rare sets are still going for around $80, but the individual pieces seem to be more in the $5-10 range, down from the $10-18 I recall from several years back. It makes me a little excited, and I feel like doing a little more collecting!

Friday, February 4, 2011

thinking: scrapping, creative teaming, commercialization ...

Over at DigiShopTalk, there have been several recent discussions about the commercialization of scrapping and the prevalence of creative teams.  Part of that discussion led up to our challenge to scrap a layout without a kit. So I've been thinking about commercialism in scrapping lately.

And then in the last day I read two articles. First, there was Jennifer Wilson's from the desk article in the February issue of the DigiShopTalk Insider, in which she discussed how Facebook can be used in a positive way to promote digital scrapbooking businesses. The advice that really impressed me was this: "De-emphasize promoting/broadcasting by thinking of your customers before your bottom line."  Her other tips were along the same line:  provide great content for your customers.

And then (probably not 24 hours later) the Me So Scrappy blog post, Being a Better CT Member, showed up in my reader.  This article said that a better CT member will promote her designer on Twitter and Facebook and will provide product links in gallery credits because gallery browsers will be much less likely to buy a kit if they have to go search for it themselves.  The author, Sally Bouley, also gave tips on organization, working ahead, and scrapping what you love.

Because these two articles came through my sights one right after the other, I couldn't help but contrast their messages.  Maybe you can argue I'm comparing apples and oranges (a designer's own Facebook presence vs. a CT member's enthusiastic support of her designers), but I think there is an important lesson about balance here.

Where does the line fall?  Do great products sell themselves, or do buyers need to be bombarded by ads in Facebook and Twitter to get those sales?  Certainly all products need to be marketed, but at what point do customers start to tune it all out?  Or get turned off by it?  As a customer, I actually find myself LESS likely to buy a kit if I see too many CT layouts - because after I've seen all that, it doesn't feel new to me anymore.

As a scrapper and a CT member, how much of my scrapbooking effort is about memories and documenting my life?   How much is about learning and growing?  How much of it is about play? How much of it is about promoting the designers?  How much of it is about getting sales for them?

I'm on a couple creative teams, and I know it can be exciting, and when you really love your designer you enjoy any opportunity to help promote her (or him).  It's great for people to have that kind of energy and generosity to go above and beyond their CT responsibilities (going beyond just making layouts).  But I just wonder what message is being sent when it seems to be all about product, product, product, particularly from the CT side of things, since that hits close to home for me.

As a CT member, I actually think I can offer MORE than tweets and Facebook posts and direct links to products (I actually don't do any of those three things).  I want all of my scrapping to be fun and personally fulfilling.  I want to provide inspiration and tips to other scrappers out there, and I want to be inspired and learn from others too.  I don't want it to just be about selling kits.  I want it to be about creativity and imagination and growing.  Heck, I guess I want it all.