Scrapbooking Sketches are My "Secret"

I started off scrapbooking right after I got married. I did traditional (paper) scrapboooking in an 8.5×11 format. After my wedding/honeymoon book, I did the years before we were married with what few pictures I had. These are the two books I’m least happy with, probably because I was so new at it, scatterbrained, and not really very good at it yet. My 2004 book was a little better because I was getting the hang of technique, but still lacked “direction” and was either working on a grid, or just totally random. As I started working on my 2005 book though, I found a scrapbooking group on Myspace that posted a bunch of sketches like this one, and I realized it was a lot easier to figure out how to get a cohesive look if I started with a sketch first.

The hard part for me then, was that I was still working in an 8.5×11 format, and most all of the sketches I found were made for 12×12 (the scrapbooking standard). So you can tell my style changed about half way through my 2005 book, as I was learning to take these sketches and adapt them to my format. I like these books much better, but still found the process challenging to work with.

So, in 2006, when Jonah was born, I decided his scrapbook would be a 12×12. I committed myself to making each kid a scrapbook of JUST their first year, and then doing a family scrapbook each year after that. That way, hopefully, the 2nd kid wouldn’t get the short end of the stick and never have as much of their life scrapbooked as the first.

Then my debate started. Do I scrap our family stuff in 12×12? Cause that’s WAY easier. Or do I keep going with the 8.5×11 books? Cause that fits on the shelf better. Then I found the solution! I met some people on that, above mentioned, scrapbooking group, that were talking about digital scrapbooking. The idea being that you could make all these fabulous pages without making a big mess, re-use any element and paper you wanted, re-color papers to that PERFECT shade to compliment your photos, resize your photos to fit the layout you wanted….and then have it all printed in a nice 8×8 or 12×12 hardback book from Shutterfly, Snapfish, or other photo printing websites. GENIUS!

I started making our family books and other side projects, like the Week in the Life, in digital format and couldn’t be happier. I can usually crank out a page or two during nap, and not have anything to clean up afterward! I am more “on top of things” now than ever before. The only drawback I originally had with digital, is that most photobooks are a standard 20 pages, and for more pages than that, it cost’s like $1/page, which adds up fast. I was having to wait till the end of a year and then figure out what were the most important things were and then scrap that. It meant that I wasn’t scrapping until almost a full year after the event, and a lot of the details were fuzzy. With Carly’s 1 year album at an end, I knew there would be a lot of precious moments that would end up on the cutting room floor if I didn’t start making bigger books.

Luckily for me, Crystal told me about a website she’d found that would print a 7×7 book up to 40 pages for almost the same price as the 8×8 20 page books I’d been doing. For just a little more it’d get me up to an 80 page book. So I have decided to print with Blurb from now on, scrap as I go, and add whatever I want to in our books. That way, every cute moment and milestone will be saved and treasured instead of collecting dust on my c: drive somewhere. It’s also giving me a good way to put together that photobook (I wouldn’t really call it a “scrapbook” per say, since it’s just photos in a grid on a black backdrop with a little text) of all the photos I took for my 365 project of Carly’s 1st year. Does this count as affirmative action against 2nd kid syndrome? Having all these extra pictures of her that I didn’t have of him? The DSLR I got while I was pregnant, and the iphone I got a year later has really made it much easier for me to get more of their life on camera!

The scrapbooks are in the drop down menu you used to find this page. I hope you enjoy them!

Here are some of my favorite scrapbooking website:

Scrapbook Challenges (Where I get most of my sketches)

Shabby Princess (Where I got most of my first few free digital kits – their freebies don’t change often)

Scrap Orchard (Not much for free there, but some really great stuff if you don’t mind paying)

Scrap Dish (Also not a lot free, but I do have a few things from here)

Ikea Goddess (She used to blog everyday, posting the links to freebies out there. She’s given that up, but has left a long list of all the websites she used to look through to find freebies. I haven’t even made it all the way through the list yet!)

Eva Kipler (One of the great artists I found through Ikea Goddess. Mostly gives away quick pages and frame clusters from the kits she is selling) Definition: Quick Page = pre-made scrapbook page only requiring you to put in your photos.

Miss Cutie Pie (Lots of crafty inspiration, as well as an excellent example of Hybrid scrapping. Offers freebies from time to time.)

Xanders Mom (She’s on several design teams and creates a lot of quick pages for free)

These are the ones that I signed up for their newsletters because they periodically send out freebies:

Free Digital Scrapbooking (Oddly enough, they don’t have much that is free. The stuff that IS free isn’t usually good either, but I signed up for their newsletter and get a cute free set every month, so it’s worth it)

Peppermint Creative (usually only has one free kit available at a time, but high quality stuff)

Digi ScrapBook Mania (they send stuff I think?)

Digiscrap’ Mania (a french site that sends stuff from time to time. they have an English option on there too, don’t worry!)

Digital Crea (another french site that sends stuff all the time! They sometimes do a mega kit, sent out each week in several parts over the course of a month.)


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