Scrapping Whispers



Summer’s coming, and that means many more memories will be made for me to put in my scrapbooks. The kids will be on their summer break, so they’ll be around the house more often, and we’ll be able to make barbecues in the backyard and invite some friends over. I can’t wait! We recently bought a new kitchen item, a meat grinder, and I haven’t tried it yet. The kids love sausages, they’re always popular at our family gatherings, plus when you make your own you can really choose the ingredients. It’s even a great social activity with the guests when they want to help and hang out at the same time.

These are some of the reasons why summer is my favorite season. There’s a certain headiness about the air in the summer that seems to make everything more beautiful. Another is strawberries and watermelons, and making lemonade every day. We have a lemon tree in our backyard and I love sitting under it, sometimes reading and sometimes scrapbooking. But with work and chores around the house, I’m lucky if I find the time to do it once or twice a week.

Scrapbooking is sacred to me. It is the time when I center myself while doing what I love and letting my mind wander while I create. Sometimes the kids assist me, if they want to draw a little something, or even write, but it’s mostly a solitary activity. I take it very seriously.

I have my supplies neatly organized, but my favorite pile is the miscellaneous pile, where all sorts of random things go, like mismatched beads, torn pieces of paper, buttons, damaged photos, or even pieces of fabric. I don’t keep literally everything I ever come across, but you never know where the creative process might take you and what you’ll need from that pile. I’ve made some of my favorite spreads from those bits and pieces, it can be very versatile!

Lately, I’ve begun adding some recipes to my spreads. I know it seems pointless and unnecessary, but I found it gives me a great foundation for building my narrative. It’s not like a recipe book spread, it’s more like a cooking blog, you know. With a lot of lifestyle and diary-like entries. I don’t know, I like it so far. I’m not an adventurous person, but I like adding something new in and trying things I haven’t tried before.

What kind of spreads are your favorite? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Unique Page for a Unique Friend

No doubt you share my passion for scrapbooking if you have landed on this blog page. I have tips and tricks to share and no doubt I could learn from you. But, together, let’s celebrate this new art and spread the word about something both fun and challenging at the same time. I say this because it takes patience and the right tools to do a great job and avoid mere journeyman’s work. You want your work to be imaginative and not run of the mill. Each effort must be unique and appropriate to the occasion. For example, I want to do a one-page layout for a friend to show her love of hunting in a series of personal photos. I like to use cut-outs and stickers to enhance the look. You can make them yourself or buy them in kits. Don’t feel that it isn’t creative to use them because it is a great way to start out and get a feel for the craft.

My skills go way back to my time as a child exploring the attic and finding my grandmother’s old scrapbook. What a revelation. You want your own to be this memorable to your offspring and future generations. Every era has its own style and it is time to create yours and make it distinctive. You are making a scrapbook for others to view to stimulate nostalgia. I see them as future historical relics. Imagine that! Right now, it is a fun pastime and a way to keep your mementos intact. Gone are the days of boxes of assorted items in no particular order. While we do keep our photos in libraries on our computers, it is in no way as much fun as viewing an artful scrapbook.

Now back to my friend’s page. Actually, it is a gift for her scrapbook so it has to be extra special. She has given me all sorts of images from which I can select the best. I arrange them in a collage design overlying some animal print background paper. This makes the central focus of her experience the highlight of the page while the theme is reiterated in the details. I work extra hard to make it attractive and perfect. I want it to be a pleasant surprise. When finished, I am going to frame it so it stays pristine until she inserts it into her scrapbook or puts it on the wall.

Ever inventive, I buy a magnetic frame with a secret display place in mind. As a huntress, she often cleans her guns, taking her to the gun safe in the basement. She told me she bought it from here: I see her descending to get ready for the upcoming trip and noticing something attached to the side. There will be my scrapbook page in its frame winking at her like a beacon of love. She will utter a sigh of pleasure as she notices who it is from. She will call me in a flash and thank me profusely. It will be an utter joy to hear her reaction.

Pages that Make a Splash

Every season brings new photos of activities that express family time together. I want to include them in my scrapbook of course and make the layout attractive and festive. After years of scrapbooking, I have used every possible idea in the world. You can get direction on line and buy paper and glue at the stationer store. Papers come in all textures and thicknesses, but I like to adorn my pages with simple cutouts and drawings appropriate to the photos to be mounted. I try to keep things seasonal so there is an order to my work and the results have a certain logical focus. People enjoy viewing my books and lord knows I have dozens of them. I have tracked the family from the very beginning, especially special events, celebrations, and outings. I want the kids to be able to look back fondly at their youth and to remember what we were like long ago.

Meanwhile we are in the present and the book is full of recent mementos. It is summertime and I glory in making big yellow suns, puffy white clouds, and green lawns. In the center of one lawn is an above ground pool, the one in our back yard. It is always filled with kids in the summer and the many photos I have taken attest to this fact. It is a locus of neighborhood fun in the sun. Kids can never get enough of swimming and I try to make it special. I have lemonade and iced tea for the children and sodas for visiting adults. I always want help with supervision and to make sure there is a high level of water safety. I bring out cookies and snacks when the kids take a break. In the evening there will be a poolside barbecue for anyone who wants to stay. It is a consummate summer day and I have captured it on a page in my scrapbook. Each page of this nature is special to me and marks a happy time in our lives.

The pool makes a great backdrop for photos and I get up close to capture the kids’ smiling faces. I watch them dive into the pool from the side when there is no one around to get in their way. Then they splash about and tease one another with a gentle dunking here and there in fun. Fall will be coming soon and I will be shifting gears to a different theme that includes many holidays from Halloween to Thanksgiving and eventually Christmas. So the pool will be covered and the lawn chairs put away after Indian summer and the house will be filled with new decorations. I am not sure which time of year I like the best. Each season has so much to offer. The kids love living it up in the outdoors and reluctantly get out their parkas for late fall. Come October, the air gets a bit nippy. Memories of playing in the pool slowly fade.

One Versatile Tool

Scrapbooking is just about the best way I can spend my leisure time. In fact, it is so absorbing that it can be my main activity, not just a peripheral one. It can spill over from weekends to weekdays in a flash. Over the years, this hobby has become really sophisticated. You don’t just paste things in a book anymore and add a few captions. Each page must now be a work of art.

It is a challenge to fill a page well, but there is a vast amount of help out there. You can get loads of ideas on the Web or from viewing others’ scrapbooks. You can buy kits that cover all life events such as births, marriage, anniversaries, and more. You can get holiday themed items for Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. You can certainly make your own symbols and images or use readymades. The paper world is your oyster.

It is all about being creative, but retaining the flavor of your family and friends so they are represented photographically in the best possible light. If you like humor, there are ways to tickle any funny bone. If you want romantic or elegant, then so be it. A scrapbook can change its tone with the seasons and express emotions in a concise and concrete way. It is a window into your family’s soul.

In essence, a good scrapbook builds mementos to the past. It also safeguards precious photographic memories for posterity. The best can wield a pair of scissors like a pro, not to mention one handy combo tool called a plier stapler. People see the finished product, but a lot of skill goes into its making. Dexterity is required: a steady hand and an experienced grip. You have to know what device produces the results desired.

Take the aforementioned custom dual stapler. This item is super versatile and you can work with different materials easily—even thick paper or cardboard. Ribbon is a breeze. You can use colored and or metallic-hued staples that will provide great decorative accents or even give the look of authentic stitching suitable for sports equipment like baseballs and footballs. What fun! Kids will love helping out on this project.

It can be attractive to create a photo frame with your stapler (and you’ve got the built-in pliers to pull out any mistakes!). Doing crafts has few limits. While your page looks great, all your images and accents will stay in place. Glue is pretty reliable, but tape isn’t. After a bit of trial and error, you will know what works.

There are numerous tricks of the trade that will fill many future blogs. Let me say for now that if you haven’t indulged in scrapbooking, you are in for a real treat. You can start by acquiring basic tools like scissors and a stapler, plus an assortment of odds and ends like paper, stickers, and borders. The idea is to experiment and go out of the normal bounds. It will all come together for you as you organize your photos by theme, date, or holiday.

Make Something, Make a Mess

The kid in all of us likes to make a mess. What a delirious feeling to have things strewn about in no particular order and to relish in their nearness. This could happen in the kitchen with the makings of tonight’s dinner or it could be your latest scrapbooking session. The fun is visually apparent in all the odds and ends on the table, and cleaning up is an unenviable chore.

Let’s look into scrapbooking a little more. You get to cut and paste to your heart’s content. You get to make magic from bits and pieces of paper and assorted embellishments like glitter and sequins. You can save your favorite photos for posterity in style. Plus you have a great pastime in the process. It is an art as well as a craft that takes patience, ideas, and skill. Looking at a group of colored forms may seem like a mess to others, but it is your inspiration. So let the creative juices flow!

After your handiwork is done for the day, why not leave it all there for tomorrow. If you must toss the refuse of your efforts, especially because you are using the dining room table, so be it. Sometimes the trash of scrapbooking consists of the tiniest things, hard to pick up and toss away. Don’t you wish you had a mini handheld vacuum to do the job, one so efficient that it knows what to suck in and what to leave intact.

People who are extremely orderly don’t know what I am talking about. They throw scraps away as they work. Then when they need an odd bit here and there, it is gone. There is such a thing as being too neat. Messiness allows accidents to happen, the good kind that results in fresh ideas for designs. Messiness allows for consistent productivity, not to mention maximum employment of supplies.

I am not advocating extreme messiness here, just enough to inspire great work that is pleasing to the eye. You might want to put out more craft supplies than you think you will need. Ideas come from your surroundings so make them full of options. Cleaning up should be done judiciously. Ever hear of recycling!

Creating something as simple as a photobook page is a challenge, especially if you have been doing it for some time. There comes a day when you don’t want to stay with your “look.” You want to head in a new direction and start a new trend. Great. Use your supplies for this purpose. Move them about until they speak to you in their colorful, decorate language. Close your eyes and imagine a blank page. Then animated pieces of paper start to march into place.

There is nothing as fun and diverting as a day of scrapbooking, take my word for it. Enjoy it in any way you can—neat or messy. Bring to it the spirit of fun and excitement that you want viewers to feel when they scan your pages.