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.


Embellishments for vintage pages

Vintage embellishments in scrapbook stores are almost always Victorian or 1950's style, but many family history pages are not. I find great embellishments at the nearest antique mall or internet site in the form of vintage advertisements and postcards. Vintage postcards are often sorted by location, theme, or holiday. The postmark (if it was used) can give you its date if you want to be historically accurate. Ads are often sorted by product, manufacturer, or theme.

Internet auction sites like e-bay often have their images scrambled or distorted so the image cannot be printed, but I find a e-shop with several items I can use, then I buy them. Fair for the seller, and usually a bargain for me. An average postcard costs from 50 cents to 4 dollars, well within the range of a "new" vintage decoration, and are often a bargain. Ads range from 2 dollars to quite expensive.

On Google, I often type what I am looking for, and sometimes a public domain website pops up, for example "B-25 postcard" or "vintage B-25 ad."


Pages with just my existing supplies (OMG !)

While my husband was grouting the tile in our kitchen backsplash, I planned to keep him company by scrapbooking two new pages -- one on the veterans in our family and one on my rapidly aging teenage daughter. I had not bought any inspiring paper or embellishments for these pages. Leaving him to cruise the scrapbook stores would break the spirit of togetherness. So I had to select from my existing supplies.

In my spirit of practical scrapbooking, I try to avoid buying "too much" of "just in case" special supplies, because the case never occurs. Avoiding those temptations still leaves me with quite a cache of basic colors of paper and stickers, plus lots of left-over bits.

I re-discovered some paper and used the remaining sticker letters in my current favorite font for my "Such Different Veterans" page. The letter "e's" are totally gone now. I had to use an upside-down 3 for my final e. I hate using numbers because they are so scarce, but could not think of a fewer e title -- my first thought was "Three Different Veterans" -- impossible. I wrote my captions by hand rather than using Microsoft Word in a fancy font.

My second page was "What A Difference 3 Years Makes" in a graffiti style using rub-on letters of mixed fonts. My daughter had bought (convinced me to buy) a big set and used exactly one "H." I like the page, and still have plenty of rub-on letters for some future unknown project.

It seems odd that I used Different/ Difference in two titles in one day -- perhaps because it was so different to actually use my supplies ! OMG my daughter would say (Oh MY Gawd) Enjoy !


Don't buy a set of six (or 12 or 16) decorative scissors because you'll only use two or three of them.

I finally gave most of my decorative scissors to the crafts lady at my daughter's after school program. I kept the four pairs I used the most, which isn't often. Trimming photos or mats with a "decorative" edge can be distracting or gimmicky. Edges should not be the highlight of the page.

My favorite scissor is the small jagged / deckle / crinkle edge that really softens the edges of a photo or a mat.

I use my zig-zig / pinking ( I don't know why it's called that) scissor on the least important or boring edge of a photo. Zig-zagging all around looks too much like a school-project for my taste and causes stress because it's impossible to make the corners neat.

I have a perforated / stamp edge scissor that I use to cut white margins or mats for my 1950's or 60's photo copies. Those vintage photos usually have white margins with crinkle edges that I can reproduce with these scissors because I never put originals in my scrapbooks.

I kept the lacey edge scissor because I am sure that I will successfully use it someday on a vintage or princess page. I can't cut a mat on all four sides and get the corners right, and I have not created a one edge design yet. Time will tell if it should have gone to the school too.