I got “Easy Patterns for Scrapbooking” by Brenda Arnall after hearing so many people rave about it. It costs $14.95 on the Creating Keepsakes magazine website. I purchased mine at Michael’s using a 40% off coupon. I used this book for the first time last weekend and just wanted to share my thoughts.
First let me say, I was really in a rut. I felt like all my pages looked the same. You know, cardstock background, patterned paper accents (usually just one pattern, too scared to try more), some rub ons, a journaling box….blah! I’m a pretty basic scrapper, nothing too fancy, with my goal being lots of photos per page. But how to do that in a better way and change up my style a bit? Time for an idea book!
Here is how the Easy Patterns work: You choose a pattern, pick the designated supplies (e.g. 4 sheets of cardstock, 2 patterned papers, and ribbon tape), choose photos, and cut everything to the measurements provided in the instructions. Then you assemble the basic page, adding embellishments like the one’s used or choose your own. You end up with a variety of projects, say (2) 12×12 2-page layouts, 3 cards and a mini-book. A big bonus to me: You have hardly any scraps when you’re done.
Well, because of this book, I’m officially out of my rut! It became easy to try something new. The layouts are not complicated but you can jazz them up to your own liking. I actually mixed…gasp!…three patterned papers on ONE layout. Oh…my…gosh! After seeing several of my Easy Patterns layouts, both my mom and my friend ran right over to Mike’s and bought a copy! I liked how I didn’t really have to think, or overthink, about what I was doing. This is especially nice because I’m often so tired when the house is finally quiet and I have time to scrap. The only challenge was being careful to pick PPs that will work the same way as they do in the sample layouts. Like if a PP had flowers you cut out, yours should have some design you can cut out. And please follow the directions that say to write the letter in pencil on the back of each piece after you cut it.
I have two negative comments: 1) I wish there weren’t so many 8.5×11 layouts. The number of such layouts did not seem proportionate to the number of 8.5×11 (vs. 12×12) scrappers out there. In an ideal world, there would be an entire Easy Patterns book for 8.5×11 and another book for strictly 12×12. 2) For fancy scrappers who like to use lots of techniques or individual style, you might not like this book. But I think you should give it a chance…just put your own spin on em and embellish to your hearts content. I do recommend this book to any scrapper. If you want to try it out before you buy the book, an Easy Pattern is published each month in Creating Keepsakes magazine and there are many on their website that you can try for free.
Would you feel especially validated if someone you really admire did the same thing you did…after YOU did it?? I just learned from her blog that Cathy Z (of Simple Scrapbooks fame) just bought the same stamps from Cats Life Press that I mentioned in my blog awhile back. I fully acknowledge that it was Ali Edwards (of Creating Keepsakes fame) who orignally discovered these and, dare I say, made them famous. But it still felt good to ‘share’ something with Cathy Z (does that make me a scrap-stalker?? LOL).
Speaking of Scrap Celebs, I think I would like to make a list of my all-time faves:
1. Lisa Bearnson: This woman has always been an idol and mentor to me. She and her husband took an exceptional risk years back and started a scrapbooking magazine out of their garage, at a time when scrapbooking was not very big and magazine publishers guaranteed it would fail. Lisa pushed forward anyway and, as you know, became an amazing success. Through it all, she has maintained her love of scrapbooking, telling her story, and preserving her family memories. Lisa seems to have a very tight-knit family and I know how much work that must take, especially with all the traveling she does. Lisa is the only scrap-celeb I’ve met AND gotten to know a little bit. I’ve seen her at several events, cruised with her in Europe, and watch her religiously on QVC. She is the most consistently nice and gracious person in the industry. I don’t think you can fake that kind of personality, you either is or your ain’t and she is. I also happen to love her scrapbooking taste and think my style is similar to hers (tho’ nowhere near as good!). As you can see, I chose Lisa Bearnson as my #1 favorite and it has as much to do with her as a person as it does with her scrapbooking talent.
2. Cathy Zielske: I always just refer to her as Cathy Z because a) everyone knows who that is, and b) I forget how to spell her last name! I’ve never met Cathy nor seen her in person but, in reading her blog every day, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about her. Again, just a genuinely nice person, a loving mom, and a talented person who shares her wealth (of talent and ideas) with the rest of us. Cathy is quirky, a little more on the wild side than me, raises her kids differently than me, etc yet I find so much in her that I relate to. I SO admire her scrapbooking style. She has given the definition of “simple” a whole new meaning. She captures the important stuff and tells a beautiful story while keeping the focus on the photos and the emotions. I feel like I’m always watching to see what Cathy will do next!
3. Ali Edwards: I love Ali Edwards’ style more than anything. She has really created her own non-duplicatable style from the very beginning. No one can touch her, not even close. To me, she has no fear. Ali just does what Ali wants and we all love it because it’s as close to perfect as it could be. I also admire her work ethic. When she is writing a book AND contributing to CK AND caring for an autistic son AND fundraising for autism research AND supporting her very politically successful husband AND looking so cute doing it, I wanna’ just give her a hug and ask, “When do YOU get to sleep, you poor baby??” But she makes it look effortless and fun, so how can you not admire that?
4. Becky Higgins: Super pretty, super mom, super scrapper, super traveler, and has super style. Becky is a woman who, again, shares her craft openly with others and that’s where she seems to get her joy. Her pages are simple and that girl is NOT just trying to sell product! (I feel that some famous scrappers just try to jam as much product on the page as they can and I go, “Huh? Where are the photos and journaling?”). I really enjoy scraplifting from Becky because she is event-oriented like I am, and she often includes lots of photos per page. Her idea books, Sketches and Sketches 2, are like the Bibles of my scrapbooking table. I refer to them again and again. I only wish I’d found those books as a newbie scrapper – they would’ve saved me lots of headaches and heartaches :) Becky seems to have disappeared a little bit lately from scrap world. I don’t read her blog so I don’t know what’s going on, but I hope all is okay with her. I’ve only met her briefly at a CKU class she was teaching but she was lovely. I imagine her to be a wonderful patient mom who is very supportive of her kids (have I gotten that feeling through reading her journaling all these years?). She also recognizes the importance of families, traditions, and passing this all on to your kids.
I could go on and on. There are so many admirable women (and men) in the scrapbooking world to look up to. Who are your favorites and why? Please share in a Comment or I challenge you to write about your heroes on your blog, and share the link in Comments. I’m really curious who you all look up to.
An update on an earlier post:
I finished the Jodi Picoult book, Keeping Faith. It’s about a little girl (coincidentally named Faith) who, although a non-practicing Jew, starts to recite Bible passages, heal others and develops stigmata. Doesn’t Ms. Picoult come up with the most fascinating topics to write about? This book pulled me in right away and I couldn’t put it down. There are several subplots, including an unusual love story, that kept me very interested and wondering what would happen next. This book has some interesting things to say about “today’s media”, about how child custody is decided in today’s courthouses, and about mother/child vs. father/child relationships. The best part to me was trying to decipher how the mother felt about what was happening to Faith – did she believe her or just believe in her? It reminded me of how I think parents of murderers or other criminals must feel: no matter what happens, no matter what others think, that is still MY child. Wow, heavy stuff. I highly recommend this book as both an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Now I’m reading this bizarre book The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen. It’s probably too naughty for me to give a review of so, just trust me, check it out.
I’ve been tagged by my blog buddy Karen over at Scraps of Mind (http://karooch.wordpress.com/). (Sorry, things like this prove how computer UN-savvy I am!! I don’t know how to show you the book cover or make the websites attach right into the name).
1. Find the nearest book: Cool. I’m reading a good one right now about a little girl who seems have a special connection to God that no one can explain – divine voices, stigmata then miraculous healings.
2. Name the book and the author: Keeping the Faith by Jodi Picoult
3. Turn to page 123. Okie dokie…
4. Go to the 5th sentence on the page & copy out the next 3 sentences onto your blog. “It has been years since he personally went to confession or took communion, and religion for Allen will always be scarred by the bestiality of the nuns who taught his parochial school classes. But Catholicism runs deep, and this girl has made him rethink his choices. What if, all these years, he’s been wrong?”
5. Tag 3 more people. Okay, I’m tagging Ilse (http://www.ilsesjournal.com), Leslie (http://oranginadreams.wordpress.com/), and Scrappy Cat (http://scrappycat.wordpress.com/).
I’m going to the doctor today for what I think is strep throat, so this post will be brief. Just a few things:
1. I got some nice e-mails from Memory Works last week. One was a quarterly newsletter that had page ideas, product updates, corporate updates, introduced business office members, and introduced the design team members. It had color photos and was very nicely put together. There was also a sneak peek at the March 2007 monthly kit which is absolutely adorable. My consultant kit is due here today and, once I’m feeling better, I can’t wait to get my MW consultant site up and running. The new MW catalog comes out in April and they’ll be giving sneak peeks periodically until then on new products from CHA.
2. Last week, I used my 50% coupon at Michael’s for an idea book I’ve been wanting called “the me book” by Autumn Leaves. It has been fun to look through and get ideas. I’m so impressed with the journaling, with how revealing and insightful the designers are. They share the good, the bad, and the ugly. It inspires me to do the same. Life is not perfect, and our scrapbooks shouldn’t be a fairytale either. I always have my kids in mind when I do get that personal, and just make sure that nothing I say will hurt or harm them. Otherwise, I think it’s a good thing to reveal who we really are, what we’ve been through, and what we’ve learned.
3. Thank you for helping me toward my ‘blog hits’ goal of 1,000 hits by February 28, 2007. It’s going well and I think we might make it!!! I appreciate all the comments and am trying to answer every one. Keep hitting :)
I’m so excited! My very own scrapbook blog! How cool is that? I figured since I’m thinking about scrapbooking 24/7 anyway, I might as well write about it. I love to scrapbook. I love to shop for supplies. I loves me some scrapbooking magazines and idea books. I spend too much time on the internet reading scrapbook message boards and blogs. I have a scrapbook area in constant need of organizing – which I love to work on. I TiVo all the scrapbook-related shows on television. A lot of my relatives and good friends scrapbook, which I love, love, love! Jeez, is there anything about scrapbooking I DON’T like??? Nope. Can’t think of anything.