Passport photos: Mine is gross. Merenia looks weird with her hair back. Kieran's is from 2010 when he went to Japan. Will was super grumpy with the base Photographer. And Tama's oh my goodness what a mission!
Cardstock: Cardstock will most likely form the foundation of a lot of the pages you do and the mats for your photos when/if you do that. There are a few different options around, they range in price and quality. I like Bazzill Cardstock and so do a bunch of other scrapbookers- it's good quality, textured, quite thick, and comes in a large range of colours the downside is it's more expensive and it's really just a matter of taste. I keep on hand large quantities of White, French Vanilla (Creamy colour), Black and Kraft, and smaller quantities of Navy and Scarlet- because that's what I use most. I used to have on hand a whole range of colours- in fact I still do have on hand a whole range of colours- that's because I very seldom use colours! Lesson here is get a little and see what you end up using- then get more of that.
Patterned Paper: I'm having a torrid affair with Patterned Paper. I LOVE it sooooo much. I have way, way more than I can ever use and they just keep coming out with more, and it's all SO good and I just want to BUY IT! Sometimes you will use Patterned Paper as the foundation for your pages- but more often you will use smaller pieces on your pages. Once again start small and see what you use and what doesn't work. My advice is that people are more likely to use:
paper that is more low-key
paper that has patterns all over rather than pictures all over
patterns that are not so bold
patterns that are not too contrasting
brighter colours that have subtle patterns
bolder patterns in lighter colours
Therefore that's what I'd look for when building up a stash.
I also recommend
buying a few papers from the same range so you can easily co-ordinate.
looking at what brands you use most over time and sticking to them. Especially as a lot of designers work with particular aesthetic- so you'll find that they will co-ordinate better over the ranges. Giving you more options.
Don't be afraid to cut.
There will be papers that you just love and you'll want to use the whole thing, or you'll want a particular part to show on your layout- don't sacrifice your design for the sake of your supplies- scrapbooking is usually about the photos and the words- everything else is secondary. (Unless you are Irene Tan- then it seems to be more about supplies and techniques). Don't hoard your stash- use it! There will be more papers to love- I promise.
Left-overs- you'll have scraps of Patterned Paper big and small. Personally I don't keep anything smaller than a business card- yes you could use it on a card, but will you, probably not. Bin it or keep a bag of the small scraps and regularly donate it to kindy. For the medium size pieces- something like a clearfile sorted by colour is a good starting point for storage- you may want to move up to one of those expanding concertina files eventually- anything more than that and you're keeping too much stuff- sort and pass on. For the really big pieces keep it with your full sheets. Don't be afraid to purge your supplies and pass on stuff that you've had forever- use it or lose it.
Patterned paper is light you don't need to go overboard when sticking it to your page- mostly I just used a photo split in each corner and maybe the centre if it is very large.
All the other bits that you stick on:
Alphabet stickers and rub-ons: Generally used for titles, these are often considered a must have supply- but they can end up being not terribly cost effective. Look out for sets that have multiple vowels and commonly used letters (m, n,s,t etc). If you have three kids with L's in their names or someone uses a bunch of A's then a set of letter stickers might not go so far. :-) There are lots of alternatives to alphabets- I'll get to that later.
Stickers: Oh so many pretty stickers, there's the temptation to just spew them onto your page! When starting out- don't go overboard and then see what you use and more importantly what you don't. More often you can do the same job, much cheaper, with patterned paper, scissors, and a punch or two.
Ribbon: Ribbon is a good investment. Go with solid colours and simple patterns eg stripes and spots. Not too wide. Look at the colours you tend to use on your LO's and buy those colours or ones that co-ordinate with those colours. Ribbon also includes: Ric rac, Pompom and other trims, lace, and the most recent trend twine. You can adhere ribbon to your pages with : Glue dots, Xyron, staples, brads.
Tape: All sorts of tape out there- Washi (Japanese paper tape is also trending right now). This is another good investment if you get solids and basic patterns. Tape can be used as a frame, feature, arrow, dividing line, adhesive and so much more- the more generic it is the more use you will get from it.
Flowers: Also a fairly good investment- layered, grouped and so on. If you have colouring options then you can buy white and recolour to suit. Flowers in the right colours and places can look fine on boy LO's too. Attach with glue, glue dots, photo splits or brads.
Rub-ons: Rub-ons are designs and words that you literally place on your page and rub-on. They can look really good and effective in the right place. In my experience you should avoid the cheaper ones as they are more prone to failure... leaving you, at best, having to rub them off or at worst with a mess on your page. Word of advice: Cut out the design you want to use from the sheet- don't just try and rub from the whole sheet- because you'll likely end up getting bits of the surrounding designs on your page.
Bling, buttons, brads, and eyelets: ('Bling' refers to gems and pearls) Once again these items are generic making them a fairly decent investment. The first three go great in the centre of flowers and things. Brads and eyelets and another way to attach flat items like paper etc to your LO and add interest without pulling attention from your photos and story. Don't go overboard- and stick to black, white, silver and the colours you most use. Buttons are best attached with Glue dots or a good liquid adhesive like Tombo Green.
Embellishments: This covers a huge range of stuff! Essentially this is any decorative element you add to your page including a bunch of the stuff that I just singled out above. Look for multi purpose stuff- not so much theme specific and you will get more value for your money. If you are scrapping a page about Aeroplanes you don't necessarily need aeroplane embellishments because your photos will tell that story. Sometimes we get drawn in by the cute/beauty factor on stuff- but really have limited use for it- or find it just doesn't work with our style of scrapbooking no matter how cute/beautiful it is. Look for basic motifs things like: circles, hearts, arrows, butterflies, flowers and stars- these things are multi purpose and can be used over and over across a range of LO's.
Journalling Spots: It's nice to have a supply of 'stuff' you can write on- this comes in many forms, pads, cards, stickers, die cut paper, and so on. As always look for generic/multi-purpose and not too much themed stuff. But remember a piece of plain cardstock is just fine.
Non-scrapbooking scrapbooking materials: There's a bunch of stuff out in the world that you can use for scrapping that was intended to be that way- I have seen some cool ribbon buckles made will pull tabs from cans of drink and some letters cut from milk bottles. The haberdashery section is a good place to find cool stuff. Keep you eyes open and think outside the square- but don't hoard too much stuff!
NB: Lumpy and Bumpy- some people like their pages to be really lumpy and bumpy and full of texture and dimension- some prefer clean flat lines and not much texture at all- neither is right or wrong- it's personal choice. The only thing to note is that if you go the lumpy way you will want to store your albums standing up and not squished onto a shelf or the pressure may cause dents from the lumps and bumps on the opposing pages.
All that glitters is not gold... I doubt there is a scrapbooker alive who at one time did not buy something because it was a great deal- too good to pass up! Consider the cheap stuff and specials carefully- it might be good value, but if you won't use it- then it wasn't all that special and all it did was cost you money, not save you money.
Here's a list of the stuff in my stash that seemed like a good idea at the time but I haven't used or haven't used enough to justify the purchase: Beads, tags, paperclips, fat cheap ugly plastic butterflies and lady birds, raw chipboard: shapes, frames and alphabets, buckles, photo turns, photo corners, safety pins, heat embossing powder, sequins, glitter, pins, picture stickers, metal frames, twist ties, dominoes, charms, hair accessories and bottle tops.
A note about Creative Memories: A lot of scrapbookers start out with CM. Some move on and combine CM with non-CM supplies, some stay loyal, and some move one completely. CM has some great good quality tools. That stuff is worth checking out.
I have heard some funny stuff come from the mouths of CM scrappers talking about being 'rebellious' or admiring the non CM supplies but not being 'allowed' to use them. It reminds me a bit of Tupperware, a bit more expensive, a bit more prescribed, modular and doesn't fit with the other stuff.
I'm not dissing it- each to their own- it's been a great starting point for many scrappers. But I do think it's not the be all and end all of scrapbooking and the staunch dogma of "Only CM products" goes against the basic tenets of creativity...if using October Afternoon papers makes me rebellious I'll go with that.... I'll leave you to make up your own mind.
Acid and Lignin Free: There are a vast amount of differing opinions on this. You will find the 'religious right' with virginal scrapbook pages, unsullied by acid and lignin, they have their acid detecting pens and deacidifying sprays and never take any risks. And then there's the loose lefties who don't give a toss and anything goes! And a the rest who lie right across the spectrum. It comes down to two things:
What you want to happen to your scrapbooks down the track.
How important the 'non-safe' stuff is.
These are my thoughts.
I have some personally meaningful and possibly 'unsafe' stuff that I want in my scrapbooks. Letters and pictures from my kids, tickets, programmes, maps, postcards and brochures from special events/places, greeting cards, and letters from family and other ephemera. I also have clothing tags and dockets and school stuff that tell the story of our days better than I can. I'm not willing to leave them off my pages they are part of our story.
The vast majority of my photos are backed-up digitally in two locations (one off-site). So I'm not worried about keeping the photos safe on my pages and generally I'm not willing to compromise the design of my page to keep those possibly unsafe items separate.
I am making these things to be enjoyed nowby the people who are in them.
I have a lot of scrapbooks, albums and albums, mini albums, photobooks and handmade books. I'd like to think my kids will want to be handed down some of them- but there is a huge volume of stuff and I don't want to burden them with it. So if some of that stuff doesn't last the distance I'm really not worried.
That said if there is something I know will fail fast and wreck a page, or doesn't bring any meaning to the page I won't use them- regular sellotape, dried flowers, and faxes are some that come to mind.
You need to make up your own mind where you are on the scale, and what your limits will be.
Starting out with storage: Don't invest too much money in storage to begin with- you WILL grow out of it. I'd suggest you put all your stuff in zip lock bags in one of those 60 litre lidded bins from the Warehouse. By the time you fill 2-3 of those bins you have a better idea of what you need to store/organise and how you may want to store it. More on this later.
Where to buy: (NZ version)
Non-specialist stores: $2 Dollar type stores, The Warehouse, Stationery Warehouse and Spotlight.
Upsides: Easy to find, can be cheap, sometimes have cheaper versions of more expensive supplies.
Downsides: Limited selection, often poorer quality, sometimes expensive (Spotlight), no staff to give specific advice).
LSS (Local Scrapbook Store): Not too many of these around and can be a dying breed- look in your phone book and use word of mouth.
Upsides: Often have a wide range of up-to-date, professional advice, good quality, look for home based businesses with a bit of a store front for good deals. Often run classes and crops.
Downsides: can be more expensive it's hard in this business for retailers! Not too many around.
Online Stores: A few of these around and some LSS have online as well.
Upsides: Can be chearper, often have a good selection of good quality product, shop anytime- in your PJ's even! Often have blogs and forums for online support and inspiration.
Downsides: You can't see and touch the stuff in person. I find it takes longer to shop online. Postage costs, though some have free postage if you buy over a certain amount. Some are definitely not cheaper. You have to wait for it to arrive.
Auctions: Trade Me and Ebay- (Not so much Ebay in NZ- but when the exchange rate is good some bargains can be found.) Trade me can be a great place to pick up bargains- especially if you buy from the same seller and combine postage. The advantages/disadvantages are pretty much the same as for online and you'll find a lot of the Online shops are selling on trade me as well.
Overseas: There are some good deals to be had from overseas if you have some or all of the following:
Good exchange rate
Seller who charges actual postage.
Your items are flat, light and small (Eg stickers, flat-ish embellishments, individual and smaller dies etc Not Punches and 12x12 papers) and therefore cheaper to post
Big ticket (expensive to buy in NZ items) eg Stamps, Dies etc
Seller who offers a personal service and will remove extraneous packaging to reduce size and bulk.
In New Zealand very dear friend of mine is getting started in scrapbooking. I kind of wish I could be there with her to help her out- but I actually think she'll get more info from these posts. So here goes.
Don't do it!
I LOVE scrapbooking but I'm actually a little serious. Here are the reasons not to take up scrapbooking:
It gets expensive. It doesn't seem like it when it's a bit of paper here and some sparkly stuff there a few stickers and perhaps some ribbon. But then there's more delicious paper and stamps, and if you have stamps you'll want ink. And then you'll see someone use paint in a cool way, and then misters and other glittery stuff. And what colours... just one or two, maybe five or twelve- why not complete the set? I know.
It takes up room... seriously. If you get that whole set of misters you'll need somewhere to put them. And the other stuff. And the albums you'll start filling up. And before long you'll need new bookshelves, and a pantry cupboard for your stash and a dedicated table to work on, so you don't have to pack up your stuff each day.... and a room to put it all in. I know.
Did I mention it's gets expensive.
It takes time. Lets face it if you have a few years under your belt and a a few kids just imagine how many photos you've taken in that time... and imagine how you can scrap them.... and imagine the stories yet to come..... that's a lot of scrapping.
It takes more time.... if you get really hardcore you'll discover crop nights, and scrapcamps and lets face it you deserve some me time!... before you know it you'll be waving your kids and partners good bye and heading off to hang out with other hardcore scrappers. I know.
Oh and by the way it gets expensive.
It takes more time. You'll discover Pinterest, and scrapping blogs and forums and online stores. When you aren't scrapping you be thinking about scrapping and shopping for scrapping. I know.
That can be quite expensive.
It's addictive. Seriously it's addictive like drugs. And soon you'll just want to do more. And if you don't get much time to feed your habit you'll go through withdrawal and get all cranky. I know.
You'll become a scrapbook snob... The Warehouse and spotlight papers won't be good enough for you eventually.You'll go on pilgrimages to scrapbook shops in Wellington and Christchurch and if you can get free Airforce flights, Auckland as well! You'll trawl Trade-me for good deals and spend time looking at stuff in US dollars on Two Peas and wonder who you know that can bring some stuff home for you from the States. I know.
You realise you can spend quite a bit of money right? It can get quite expensive.
It makes you a bad parent. Seriously, you'll hoard previously available art supplies and won't let your kids play with your gear. You'll leave them behind for the previously mentioned retreats and camps. You'll make them undergo torturous photo shoots. You'll be the daggy mum at their parties, sports games and school events taking 100's of photos. And eventually you'll start buying them clothes that co-ordinate, not just with each other- but with that piece of patterned paper you've been hanging out to use. And you'll record all of their most embarrassing moments in scrapbook pages you'll share with friends and families. I know.
Oh and if you're not careful you'll end up spending quite a bit of money. I know. (I'm not sure if Les knows though so Shhhhhhh!)
You didn't listen to me did you?
Ok then, don't say I didn't warn you though. And make sure your significant other knows I told you about the dark side of scrapbooking. Because I don't want to be held responsible when he finds you in what used to be your master bedroom at 6am hunched over some glue and paper, with a bunch of photos trying to decide if you should use the baby blue ribbon or the sky blue ribbon. After you told him at 11pm as he went to bed you'd be there soon and led him to believe he might get lucky. Because believe me once you've got the bug there won't be any action in the bedroom- unless that's where your scrapbook table is. I know.
So here's what you need to know.
Before you start
My very best suggestion is to go buy some magazines either in a shop or score a bundle on trade me or try the library. Get yourself a few different mags: Creating Keepsakes, Scrapbooking Memories, and Scrapbook Creations are a good starting point. As you read through look out for the pages that really resonate with you. Mark them with post-its or fold down the corners of the pages. Then go back and ask yourself what you like about them. Look at the style of the pages and the products being used. Look at the colours and find any common themes across the pages. If you didn't like the flowery flouncy pages with doilies and pretty diamanté spirals- then please don't go out and buy lots of pretty flowers and doilies and diamanté spirals. No matter how pretty or how cheap. If you liked the pages with muted tones and greens and browns then don't go out and buy a pack of bright party coloured paper. Make a list of ideas and stuff.
Think about what sorts of pictures you'll be scrapping. If you are a world traveller and all your pages will be travel pics- then don't buy those cute little baby hand print brads- no matter how cute or how cheap. If you have a bunch of boys who like to play in dirt and run around on the rugby field- then think about getting stuff that's going to suit those stories.
Ok, time to shop.
Please don't go nuts. Please. Just get a few things, scrap a few pages, and get a feel for what you like and don't like.
Tools: The Bare necessities:
Don't tell my husband but add card, and photos to that lot and that's all I really need to make a page.
Basic Tool Kit: Craft Mat- (bigger the better). Paper Trimmer- I've tried a few and quite happily swear by my Fiskars and know a lot of people that agree. But if you know some scrappers and have the option to try before you buy don't be shy about asking to do so. This is the one absolutely MUST have tool. Ruler- I prefer metal- they are always straight and the weight can come in handy as well. Scissors- These were $2- I've been sucked into the wonders of some more expensive ones- they sit forlorn in my scissor basket- other people swear by them- use what works for you. Rubber and a Pencil. A couple of pens for journalling and such I like the Smiggle Pigment pens but there are HEAPS of options out there. Adhesive-
Photos and paper (I use Henzo Photo splits- but there are a whole heap of options out there see what others use and figure what will best suit your work flow).
Tiny heavy things (and when you are in a hurry) for things like buttons, metal embellishments etc I use glue dots they are instant and easy- but not as cheap as using a liquid glue.
Everything else: Chipboard, ribbon, flowers, die cuts etc. A good all round liquid glue. I like Tombo Green it can handle quite a lot of weight dries clear and doesn't pucker your paper.
(More on adhesives later).
Seriously that's all I need to make a LO. Want me to prove it?
(and I didn't even use the scissors or two of the adhesives!)
A little bit more:
So you've got a little bit of cash and you want a few more options....
More Pens- more colours, more options.
White Journalling Pen For writing on dark backgrounds and also doodling.
Stapler- alternative way to attach stuff like ribbon, tags and twine
Corner rounder- Some times it's nice to round the corners of your photos, card or patterned paper.
Knife/Blade/Scalpel- lots of different options try and find out what's best for you.
Tweezers- Mine seem to come in handy for all sorts of fiddly things.
Eyelet setting tools (inclu Hammer)- Eyelets are a cheap and easy embellishment that can be used in all sorts of ways to use them you need a punch, setter, and hammer. Note you can buy various tools that set eyelets some cost $20 (silent setter) some cost $85 (Big Bite) unless you need to set a lot of eyelets and punch a lot of holes- save your money.
A basic set of inks- Black and brown, 95% of the time these are the only colours I use.
Sand Paper- Great for distressing things- roughing them up- a nice feature on lots of pages- especially the more masculine ones. (Steal it from your husband if possible).
Sewing Needles- for stitching on your pages. And poking holes for brads.
Date stamp- I like to add the date to each project I do... this is just a sweet easy way to do it on some of my work.
Xyron 150- this is one of the most handy tools/adhesives I have- small flat things go in, pull the strip, and they come out ready to stick down. This one does up to 1.5 inches wide- you can get bigger- but then anything bigger is easy to use another adhesive on. A must if you are die-cutting letters and other little things. Use permanent adhesive.
Circle Punch- I use mine quite a bit, you may not be that way inclined. The one inch is my most used- but I have a collection of bigger ones too- but then I scrap a lot so the investment is worth it for me.
Centering Ruler- You don't need one of these but I love mine and I use it all the time- the numbers go from the centre out- that makes it easy to find the middle on photos, photo matts, cardstock and so forth- and get your photos and paper even and straight on your page- yay!
Paint brush and Pallette - If you are going to invest in some paints- if you like the look of them on pages, then obviously you'll need something to mix it up on and apply it with.
Your computer and Printer: For journalling on among other things.
Books: A small selection for ideas, inspiration, and techniques: You'll need to find these second hand but look for Cathy Zielske's- Clean and Simple Scrapbooking and/or Clean and Simple The Sequel even if simple pages are not your style there is a lot of information in these two books about layout and design, type, journalling and content. And for tips and techniques Creating Keepsakes Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking. Note: There are a lot of books out there- the scrapbooking industry is huge and a lot of people jumped on the gravy train... and produced crap! Before you buy a book have a really good look through it! If you can't look throught it then ask me because I'll probably know- I've seen a lot of them. And don't forget your library!
Ok that's enough for now right? More later, soon I promise.
This boy recently got a large magnifying glass and decided he needed a Sherlock Holmes style Detective hat to go with it. The next day after a strange series of events including an early morning drop off in the central city, temperatures at 9am over 30 deg, a fountain, and a minor 'I can't sit in my wet undies' melt down I found myself dashing past the hat box at an Op shop. I spied these two little gems and a plan fell into place which meant that for the rest of the day at varying intervals all I heard was: "Have you made my hat yet Mum?" I think I finished it around 7:30pm, just in time for a quick modelling session and then bed.