Welcome to my world of the practical scrapbooker

Here is ten years of scrapbooking my photos and memorabilia onto actual paper .....without major art projects or (too) complicated techniques.

I blend traditional paper and "new" digital techniques to tell the stories of my family's fun, travels, and history.

Here are my thoughts as I sort, shop, crop, organize, arrange, journal, and decorate my scrapbook pages.


Pre-packaged titles and borders -- another product I wish that I didn't buy.

Soon after I started scrapbooking, I bought a package of adorable titles and a package of borders. They were so cute. I had kids. How could I not use them ? Let me count the ways.

The titles never "fit" in theme, color, or size on a page I was assembling. I finally (a year or two later) decided to design a few pages around them.

Then I realized that the borders and titles were printed on white paper, and I don't use white background paper. I cut away as much white as I could, and used them, creating some mediocre pages that "someday" I will re-do.

I decided never to design a page around one embellishment because I prefer to have my photos be the focus. To confirm that decision I bought a package of lovely pastel Victorian borders that at least were not printed on white.

All the borders are now donated to a local school program. Beware of cure products.

I now tend to think about products and buy them when I have thought of way to use them in a page design I love. I do buy products that I love that I use a lot.


Brads -- a product I wish I only bought once.

Brads are updated paper fasteners with adorable shapes replacing the plain brass buttons. What scrapbooker could not use paper fasteners ? Apparently, me. My daughter and I bought several sets. To my suprise, I then found only one opportunity to fasten papers on a scrapbook page. As an embellishment, brads are too much work for me.

To use a brad, you first punch a hole (with a large darning needle or a specialty tool) for the brad because just pushing the brad through will rip the paper in an unattractive way. Spreading the wings on the back of the paper to fasten the brad makes the page lumpy.

After using eight brads on one page, I have at least 98 more to go. I should knew not to buy supplies "just in case" it get inspired to use them. I knew not to buy the eyelets. I did buy colored staples, but I feel optimistic that I will find a use for them.