Scrap Philosophy

Whatever I manage to get accomplish used in the way of scrapbook tasks in my lifetime will just have to be enough. 

I'm not behind. I have lots of stories waiting to be recorded but I am not behind. Remember, I'm making a life as well as a scrapbook about that life.

While I love that some future descendant may glean enjoyment from my scrappy craft, I do it because I love it. If no one ever loved it, I would still do it. It makes me happy.

The stories I manage to capture will just have to be enough for the future.

If there are big events that don't make it into my scrapbook, so be it. 

I don't owe my sons a certain number of pages about their childhoods.

If my grandmother had been a scrapbooker, (at 89 she hasn't taken up this hobby so I don't really think she's going to catch the bug in this lifetime)  you wouldn't hear me complaining about what she didn't include in her scrapbook.  No way, no how.

I would be happy as a clam with whatever she decided to include.

I expect it to be that way with my heirs. I do what speaks to me. I tell the stories I value. 

And that will just have to be enough.

That's today's bit of Scrapbooking philosophy.


Isle of Palms

For the past three years, Joal and I have taken a week in October to spend time at our favorite spot in South Carolina--Isle of Palms, just on the edge of Charleston.

We leave the sons at home and enjoy the beach together just as the tourist season is coming to a close. We often have our stretch of beach to ourselves or sometimes three or four's a blissfully quiet, generally uneventful time that we can use to be renewed together. We rent a condo right on the water and I find it deeply inspiring. 

We have serious conversations and we laugh a lot together. We go out for some meals--mostly because I have a mile-long list of Charlestons fabulous foodie places that I am dying to try out for myself--and we cook some meals in the condo and eat on the deck. Joal brings his guitar and I bring a journal and a few pens, maybe some stamping things. It's a very rich time for both of us.

I haven't scrapbooked very many of the photos yet, but just this week started laying down plans for an on-going scrapbook project that will encompass all the trips together. The first page of the most recent trip is done...

I've been holding on to this quote that Ali Edwards created in her fantastic handwriting and gave away on her blog several months ago--it's just the right and appropriate observation for my page. I printed it on vellum so it would tone down the washi tape underneath it just a bit.

Thanks for taking a peek!
Happy Scrapbooking!


Scrapbooking with Stampin' Up!

Over the years I have been a little frustrated from time to time with the almost-complete lack of emphasis that Stampin' Up! has placed on stamping in scrapbooking. I don't understand it. If you conduct a Google search for Stampin' Up! scrapbook pages you will be rewarded with a bunch of pages that don't tell stories and generally are pretty but don't actually have actual photos.

A year or two ago, Stampin' Up! teamed up with Becky Higgins to create a few Project Life items for Stampin' Up!--an encouraging move that did bring a little bit of scrapbooking to the Stampin' Up! Army.

To me, a scrapbook page needs to tell a story. 

When I was a SU demonstrator, I wrote a blog called "Stamp Your Story"...that's how much I believe in this concept. In the years since, Hero Arts has taken up the Stamp Your Story mantle as well.

Renown scrapbooking enthusiast, Stacy Julian was recently quoted on a ScrapGals podcast as saying "I'd rather have stories without photos than photos without stories." I agree with her 100 percent!

It's the story that must be preserved.
The photos are just supporting evidence.

Finally, a few weeks ago I came to realize *why* I think Stampin' Up! does not fully embrace stamping in your scrapbook as extensively as I wish they would--the reason is very simple.


With card-making (Stampin' Up!'s biggest section), the process of creating a beautiful card--from the moment you cut the base to the moment it's ready to go into an envelope, is not (or doesn't have to be) a long process. We all know that there's a certain amount of gratification that comes with completing a project in a few minutes and knowing that very soon someone you love (like?) will be enjoying your creation.

I think, by and large, card-makers have gotten hooked on that gratification so much that they see completing a scrapbook page as a process that takes too long and may not be enjoyed by anyone else for a while. A scrapbook page usually does take longer to complete. There are more steps to the process and more elements to include. And the "canvas" is usually larger.

Just a note: you will never see scrapbook pages on my blog without photos. I don't believe in those. A scrapbook page is a personal creation and while I've done my fair share of those go-to-a-class-make-a-page-for-later deals, I now know that most often, they never get completed.  They become drawer dwellers.

In Sarah's world, a scrapbook page consists of four elements:
a story (the details you can't derive from just looking at the photo)
a title
a photo or two or three
a bit of creative embellishment

Please note that "the story" doesn't have to be some emotionally-charge, uber-observational, over-analyzed, life-altering, 8000 word essay on the meaning of life. While there may be a time and place for those pages,  "the story" can be simply dates and places, and other basic details.

With this in mind, I'm going to transfer some of the scrapbook pages I have completed for the old blog (from a few years back) to this one in order to attempt to get all my stuff together in one place. (It's been a few years, so some of the products will be retired.)

Happy stamping and scrapbooking!


The Basics of Scrapbooking with Stampin' Up! Part Two

This article originally appeared on my blog "Stamp Your Story" in July 2011

In February, after being a scrapbooker for more than 15 years, I became a demonstrator with Stampin' Up! (You probably knew this already.) :) Since the scrapbook stores in our area are all more than an hour away from me, I needed a new source for paper and supplies and one of the fantastic things about Stampin' Up! is that it's *the scrapbook store that comes to your door*. 

Since then, I have been completely impressed--blown away, in fact--with the calibur of the handmade greeting cards that I've found on blogs and in online galleries created with Stampin' Up! products. Stampin' Up! people are the masters at card-making. 

Scrapbooking, however, seems to take a back seat. I have searched and searched for Stampin' Up!-based blogs and crafters who are passionate about scrapbooking and have come up short. It's a little bit disappointing to read time and time again -- "I'm a Stampin' Up! demonstrator but I'm not really into scrapbooking." or "I only demonstrate 6x6 mini-pages when my customers ask for them--and we don't use actual photos." 

What?! How can that be?

Scrapbooking utilizes all the *same* tools and techniques as cardmaking. Stampin' Up! offers fabulous tools and papers perfect for I do *not* understand the disconnect. If you can do it on a card, you can do it in a scrapbook.

Nonetheless, here we are. So, I'm embarking on a mission to prove that Stampin' Up! is for *real* scrapbookers. :)

Let's start at the beginning. If you are like most folks, you take pictures with some regularity, probably with a digital camera or even perhaps on your cell phone. You show them off to family and friends occasionally, but rarely print them. When you do finally edit them, upload them to a printing site or service and order them, you wait for them to arrive, then you glance through them once or twice and then set them aside. They sit in a shoebox or a drawer for a little too long...they stack up. You wonder what to do with them. They pile up. The pile gets a little daunting or perhaps even intimidating.

Your last vacation, your wedding, your child's birth, your mom's 50th birthday, your sister's graduation from college...all these memories, just sitting in a drawer, shoe box or worse, the printer's envelopes. Unused, unenjoyed, unloved and cluttering up your space.

Guess what. This is completely normal. 
And very easy to remedy.

What you need is an easy system for organizing the photos that you want to keep, a way to get them into a format that will allow them to be enjoyed, and a place to document the stories you want to remember that go with them. Sounds like a chore? No way. Trust me, this is easy...and that pile of photos can be transformed into something you can enjoy looking at and sharing with your family and friends, with just a little bit of effort and the right supplies.

Welcome to scrapbooking with Stampin' Up!

Scrapbooking has been around for many years. Thousands. From Aristotle and Cicero in the late 1500s to President Thomas Jefferson, scrapbooking--the art of preserving tidbits and "life evidence" has been a part of almost all civilized cultures. It's definately not a new thing. You've heard of Mark Twain? He dedicated entire Sundays throughout his life to the art of scrapbooking. 

It seems that throughout history, people have held close an innate desire to not be have their legacy remain after they are gone. Scrapbooking is but one way to preserve your stories and memories, your adventures, you life lessons, your achievements. Don't underestimate the value of your life story to those who come along after you are gone. 

Imagine what the world would be if Anne Frank hadn't kept a diary? 

Modern scrapbooking has risen in popularity as a hobby in the past two, perhaps three decades and with just a few tools and supplies, you can easily create your own scrapbook of treasured memories and photos. Stampin' Up! is the perfect resource for the supplies and tools that you'll need. If you have a history as a stamper and/or a card-maker (as so many people who love Stampin' Up! do), you probably already have many of the tools and skills needed to become a delighted just need a tiny bit of instruction and some time to expand your playing field.

All photos have one thing in common--they must be taken care of and stored properly to enjoy a long life. We are lucky to live in a technological era that makes taking snapshots oh-so-easy and inexpensive! Keeping your photos safe is not difficult.  Stampin' Up! offers products that are safe for your photos and will enhance your creative expression as you preserve your memories in your scrapbook.

Typically, a scrapbook page is comprised of three major elements--

the photo(s), 
the journaling (the title and the story), 
and the decorative elements (embellishments). 

When you've completed the assembling of the three major elements, you may choose to store your scrapbook pages in an album or have them framed for display. 

Whether you are facing down fifty years worth of photos or you've just started taking pictures, there's only one way to do this: pick a place to start and jump in with both feet. Take a deep breath and start with a step-by-step method that will help you create a scrapbook page or spread!

Select a group of 1-5 photos that you want to work with...perhaps a birthday or other event. Consider the story you want to tell using these photos. Maybe it's obvious, (like the celebration of a birthday) or maybe not. Either way is appropriate. The number one rule of scrapbooking is this: *your scrapbook, your choice*.

Seriously, if you have a single photo that you love, why not scrapbook it? There is no edict from on high that demands that every scrapbook page you create must have 3 photos on it. If one photo speaks to you...go with it! The right picture can certainly stand alone, just like a painting in a museum...remember, no rules!

For this project, I'm choosing a set of 5 photos from a trip to the beach that I took with my boys earlier in the year. As it worked out, we spent my youngest son's 8th birthday on a beach in South Carolina. It was early in March, so we had the whole beach to ourselves and it was a wonderful day. Not quite the usual birthday for an 8 year old...but a fantastic one, nonetheless.

I actually took about 80 photos on the beach that day and printed most of them. (I adore beach photos.) One of the easiest ways to become accomplished at scrapbooking is to get past the *must scrapbook every photo* mindset. Pick the best photos...the ones that speak to you, the ones that really tell the story and develop your plan for scrapbooking around those. The remainder can be stored easily in pages designed to preserve and protect, for easy enjoyment, along with your scrapbook pages.

Could I use all 80 of those photos in a scrapbook dedicated to one day on the beach? 

Well, of course. 
But do I really want to? 
That would be super time-consuming and could get expensive. I'm not up for that...but I do love the I will scrapbook a few and store the rest, photo-album style.

Much of scrapbooking is about chooosing what suits you and what appeals to your sense of style. I may make three or four pages about our trip to the beach...on the other hand, you might choose to make a whole 20-page album that documents one vacation trip or event. It's good to have choices!

Remember the rule: Your Scrapbook, Your Choice!

Especially if you are just getting started with the whole "scrapbooking thing", choose pictures that you really really like, as you'll very likely find them easier to scrapbook. Photos you like give you pages you like.

You will notice that most modern scrapbookers work with albums that hold pages that are 12x12. Since most photos printed are 4x6, this size works well. Stampin' Up! offer several varieties of scrapbook albums in the 12x12 size (the internal pages are 12x12), as well as 6x6, 8x8 and 8.5x11. Select a size that works for your project.

Choose a focal point. Usually this is pretty easy...and with a little bit of practice, you'll be able to do this without even thinking about it. 

Which photo stands out?
Which photo most captures the story you want to tell through this scrapbook page or spread? 

Answer these questions and you have your focal point.

The most common supply you will use is paper! For the most part, scrapbook papers fall into two categories: solid color cardstock and patterned papers. Stampin' Up! offers a wide selection of both! Enjoy the process of choosing papers...there are many many styles and designs to choose from! 

For my project, I selected 2 pieces of 12x12 cardstock in the pale yellow color--So Saffron--as the base of my pages. I plan to use the photos (uncut) spread across the two pages, along with some embellishments (decorative themed elements) as well as the journaling. I like the "sunny" color and the subtle texture that this particular paper offers.

Don't let the many paper options overwhelm you as you get started. Choosing paper will get easier as you get more practiced at scrapbooking. 

When choosing paper, quality is important. You will notice that some papers are a heavier weight than others, some papers have texture and some are smooth.

What are you going to use to hold it all together? I bet you noticed...We need an adhesive to put it all together!

Stampin' Up! offers several styles of adhesive including a tape dispenser called Snail, which happens to be my adhesive of choice. Picking one that works for you is part personal preference, part job-specific choice. Your Stampin' Up! demonstrator can help you choose if you need project-specific advice.

Arrangement. Arranging the elements of the page in a visually-appealing way is the big trick. Are there photos that you really want to feature prominently in the page? Consider enlarging that photo or matting it with a special color to draw the eye to it first. 

Do you prefer clean, balanced lines? Or are you drawn in by a less formal, more whimsical look? Do you prefer that all the photos are the same size or do you want to adjust the size of some? (That's called "cropping", by the way.)

Finding what arrangements appeal to your eye takes a little bit of time and whole lot of experimentation. Take your time. If you see something that's appealing on a website or in the Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog, by all means, copy it! 

Embellishments and decorative elements can add a spark of creative play to your pages. Decorating with papers, stamps, ribbons, brads, tags, punches, paints...and a thousand other possibilities is what keeps a scrapbook from being a photo album. Just like you probably don't have only white blank walls in your probably don't want them in your scrapbook.

Stampin' Up! has taught many many people to be super creative card-makers over the years. It's those same products, techniques and tools that you can use to bring decorative elements and spicy fun to your scrapbook pages.

I selected to create several suns, using a circle punch and the Petite Pennant Builder Punch for this layout. Nothing says "beach day" like a sun right? I stamped some surf boards for a little pop of bolder colors. 

Did you notice how easily the embellishments on this *scrapbook page* could become a card?

In the selection of decorative elements for your page, you may also choose to incorporate a title. Stampin' Up! offers multitudes of products to help you create an eye-catching title for your page, including alpha dies, alpha stamps, chipboard letters, alphabet stickers, rub-ons, etc. Dress your title up or down, make it big or go smaller. 

In my experience, choosing a catchy title is one of the easiest ways to make a page really jump out to those who will view your pages. Look for ways to create a little intrigue, rather than going for the obvious. One of my favorite tricks for great titling--song titles! 

For the title of this layout, I chose to go with die-cut letters--the Simple Things alphabet.

Journaling is the telling of the story of the photos. In some ways, scrapbookers are like journalists in that they record the details of the stories as a way of preserving them. You can start any page with the basics of who, what, when, where and why...but don't be afraid to continue with the deeper story or the story that might not be so obvious in the photos. 

You may choose to write the journaling by hand directly on your scrapbook page or print it using a computer and add it to your page. There's no *correct* or *incorrect* way. This is your scrapbook--do what feels most comfortable for you. Incidentally, you don't have to commit to just hand-writing or just computer-generated printing. Try both! 

Stampin' Up! offers tools for journaling. (Shocking--right?) Pens are perfect for journaling in a coordinating color. Some of our stamps offer a lined image portion that can easily aid you in keeping your handwriting in a lined up fashion. If you prefer to use a computer, our cardstocks can be used in conjunction with most printers.

I chose to print my story on a die-cut (from the Top Note die).

I've included the journaling at Step Seven because for most people, the process of scrapbooking begins with photo selection, moves through the choices of paper and decorative element selection and finally ends with the writing of the story. However, for some, the process can just as easily work in reverse. Don't be afraid to experiment. If there's a story you want to tell, do the journaling and see where it leads you with regard to photo selection and adding decorative elements. Using photos to illustrate a story is just as much "scrapbooking" as any other step-by-step process. The final product is a scrapbook page or layout that you love...that's the goal.

Assembly. Once you have all the elements arranged in a way that appeals to you, make a permanent commitment to it and build your page by attaching all the elements.

Ask anyone who's been scrapbooking for more than about a day and they will tell you that you will evole as a scrapbooker. As you learn new techniques and come across new products to incorporate into your pages, your style will change and develop. *That's a good thing.* Do what makes you happy on your pages. Use photos that speak to you and tell your stories, even if they aren't perfect. Most importantly, keep learning about your craft. Keep having fun scrapbooking with Stampin' Up!

At some point in the process of scrapbooking, you may want to get all your photos organized. If you have a large number of photos...or a large number of boxes of photos...I *don't* recommend doing any organizing before you actually start scrapbooking--I've seen too many people get completely overwhelmed by the daunting task of *getting all caught up* and it can be paralyzing. Keep a narrow group of photos at a time.

Scrapbooking should be a fun hobby--something you can enjoy the process of, not just the final product of.

Happy Scrapbooking!


February Double Dip

So as I wrote on Thursday, during the Stampin' Friends Blog Hop, I'm doing a "double dip"...another installment of the Black, White and Whatever You Like theme.

I appreciate you coming back again and I hope you enjoy! 

Once in a while I like to change things up by creating a card that is made from a 6"x12" piece of cardstock. The finished card size is 6"x6". It's a little bigger than most cards and is much like creating a scrapbook page because it's square.

I used an antique scribbled flower stamp by Stampin' Up! to emboss (wet embossing with ink and powder) the flower onto watercolor paper. The use of watercolor paper allowed me to create a was of bright green by mixing a tiny bit of water with ink. I love that no two of the flowers look exactly alike.

Repetition is a go-to design principle that I employ often. If one flower is good, certainly 9 hand painted flowers are totally fab, right? 

My last project is a bit of a departure from my usual cards and scrapbook pages. It's a daisy tree for spring. 

Each Daisy is double layered, with the petals on the top layer pulled up for added dimension. Each flower is attached to the grassy Styrofoam cone with a pearl-headed pin.

My plan is to incorporate this tree into my spring and Easter decor.

Once again, thanks for stopping by. Happy spring Stampin'!



Stampin' Friends February Hop

Welcome to the February 2016 edition of the Stampin' Friends Blog Hop! 
This month's theme is Black, White and ___. 
Each participant in the hop gets to choose a color that goes with the black and white theme. 

I chose Lime Green!!

If you are following the hop, you probably arrive here from Melissa Thomas' blog.

We have three guest participants joining the hop for the month of February. Please be sure to visit with them...

And now, on with the show!

Lime Green is famous for many things--Sprite, Lime Away, Cherry Limeades from Sonic, 80's leg warmers...I did a little bit of research on the color scheme of Black, White and Lime Green and discovered quite a few fun and inspiring images. In honor of the hop, I created a board on Pinterest called...wait for it...

Black, White and Lime Green

One of my favorite discoveries while doing my research was this little gem of a card by Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Rita Wright!  Isn't it striking?!

You can see this card and more of Rita's Cards at her blog: Cards by Rita.

Today, my contribution to the hop includes two cards and of course, a scrapbook page! What I learned while creating these few projects: the lime green family naturally seems to lend itself to use with flowers! Especially my favorite flower--the daisy! The fist card features a giant flower and is a huge stamp by Impress Rubber Stamps.

Cards with no internal decoration annoy me because they feel incomplete...when I'm making cards I prefer to duplicate an element of the decoration from the outside on the inside. (You wouldn't go to the Hallmark store and buy a beautiful card with nothing on the inside.)

 The second card makes use of the daisy stamp from Grateful Bunch (by Stampin' Up!, in the current Occasions catalog).

And finally, a scrapbook page. This is one in a series of pages I'm doing to document the story of why we moved to Texas, from Tennessee in 2014. It's a long and multi-faceted story and will take many pages to tell appropriately. It's a work in progress.

But wait there's more.

I got on a creative kick while working on this theme of Black, White and Lime Green so in addition to the blog hop with the Stampin' Friends, I'm doing a double dip. If you come back on Sunday morning, you will find another installment of the same theme. Here's a tiny preview of the new projects that will go live on Sunday morning.

I know many of you are new readers to my blog, thanks to the Stampin' Friends Blog Hop. I've been blogging since 2004--mostly about creative stuff with a few rabbit-chasing things from time to time. My blog is kindof a scrapbook too. Funny how that works.

Hang around here very long and you will soon learn that I deeply love white Daisy flowers of all sorts. A simple white Daisy with a crisp green center (the freshest Daisys have green centers) is just so beautiful and refreshing to me. Stampin' Up! has produced quite a few daisy stamp sets over the years (I still own most of them...) but the newest one--Grateful Bunch (#140691) --really won my heart even though it's a photo-polymer set (which I tolerate but can not claim to love)...because it features a matching punch! It's called the Blossom Bunch Punch! I can never resist a bundle of stamps with coordinating punches.

As always, I don't sell Stampin' Up! but I do love their products...if you need a referral to a fantastic demonstrator, let me know.

You may have noticed the presence of black and white micro-check ribbons in each of my projects. Let me tell you, I use these ribbons quite often. So often, in fact, I refer to it as the "little black dress" of ribbon. It's versatility is unparalleled. I prefer the 1/4" and the 5/8" widths and buy in bulk. It's made by Offray--one of the leading maker's of high-quality ribbons. You can never go wrong with black and white micro-check!

Your next stop on the hop is to Andrea Tucker's blog. You don't want to miss out on her creations!

But before you depart...don't forget to leave a comment on each of the participating blogs today to be entered to win happy mail from each of the blog hostesses. If you win, you will receive fifteen packages of paper-crafting goodies right in your mailbox! Use the hashtag #SFFEBHOP to have your comment included in the drawing.

If you get lost or encounter a broken link along the way, here is the entire roll for the February Stampin' Friends Hop:

Sarah Devendorf --->>>YOU ARE HERE!

Thank you for joining the Stampin' Friends Blog Hop! 
Hope to see you for the Double Dip on Sunday!

Your Stampin'  Friend,