As you might have guessed from the post on Thursday, today I am here to share the collectives’ favorite time-saving tips. I polled my fellow team members and I’ve pulled together their answers for you:
Celeste Smith had numerous tips to share. I’ll just say it. Celeste is extremely prolific. I love her no-nonsense approach to scrapbooking – she truly wastes no time! To get more from her scrapbooking time she recommends:
Francine Clouden mentioned that she tries to squeeze in scrapbooking anytime she can. For instance while her son naps, or while he happily plays and doesn’t necessarily need mommy. She also works in batches of time, doing a little here and there. Francine keeps a list of page ideas so that when she has a free moment she knows which photos she should edit and print. She also seconds the recommendation of using kit clubs as an easy way of deciding which products to use. When inspiration is running dry she visits her own blog. There she often finds a story or two to scrapbook and she saves time by copying the journaling from her post for her page. While she admits that she doesn’t use sketches often, she does love digital templates and finds them a quick way to get a page done and another story told. In her words, “This is a HUGE change from life before K when I would spend most days churning out pages like a maniac. If I can scrap this way then anyone can!”
I think a lot of us can relate to Francine’s comments. I know that I work in batches as well. If I’m spending time editing photos I will simultaneously match them with sketches in my notebook. I make note of what photos go with which sketch and at the same time I’ll jot down either specific papers or kits that I think will match the theme or colors of my photos. Later I'll gather those supplies in a basket that I keep next to my scrapbooking desk. When I pick up my printed photos I have already done, what is for me, a lot of the hard part of scrapbooking. The rest, putting it all together, is then more fun and productive.
Monika Wright also sent along some of her tips for squeezing in creative time:
I then deposit all those stories into this file box I found at the Target Dollar Spot and place it back on my shelf where it will wait for me until I need a story to scrap.
Candice Palmer also recommended jotting down phrases from her life or that her kids have said so that journaling is easier. It makes journaling less tedious and more authentic for her if it is captured in the moment.
Emily Pitts’ tip really resonated with me, as I’m sure it will with some of you who might be, or have ever been, overwhelmed by your supplies. She says, “I find that limiting the supplies I use really helps keep me focused and actually get things done. I'm more creative if I don't have a lot to choose from.”
Beth Proudfoot agrees that using coordinated product equals less time rummaging through supplies and more time enjoying the creative process.
Melissa Kaiserman suggested a tip for organization:
I try to keep things not only in easy reach but also very visible. For example, most of my little embellishments are in an old printer's tray rather than stashed in containers. It helps so much when I can walk over with a piece of paper or partial layout and quickly rummage through them to find something to use.
Vivian Masket shared an idea for what do to when inspiration is running dry. Often, we spend a lot of time forcing the creativity (I know I am guilty of this on occasion). Vivian says, “When I get into a design rut, I grab a non-scrapbooking magazine (in my house those are all cooking magazines) and look for layout or design element inspiration based on ads or page design. There's always something that catches my attention and gets the creative juices flowing again.”
Elizabeth Dillow told me that she often works on multiple layouts as a way of saving time. Sound strange? Whenever she starts to feel like she’s not getting anywhere, she will pull stuff out for another layout and start moving things around on that second layout. She says that, “The beauty of it is this: since I have to work in small chunks of time anyway, my brain can work on how I want a page to look when I'm not actually down there working on it. I find that when I get back to my table, I am far more efficient at completing layouts.”
I completely agree with that last sentence and this is something that I do a lot too, if not always. It does help me to not spend too much time fussing with a layout. I'll start it and get my ideas working and then I'll set it aside and start another layout (or two, or three). Usually this lets me think about what to do while I'm doing other things, like the laundry or the dishes - I'm sure you all know the drill! This way I'm not wasting time just staring at the layout trying to make it "perfect."
Finally to close our week together, I want to refer you to the comments thread on the give.away.day post. A lot of what I’ve shared with you today has already been mentioned in that thread. A big part of what this week was about was making scrapbooking a little bit easier and a little bit faster. Truthfully, I think this means different things for different people. I definitely have perfectionist tendencies - I try to fight them - but they are still there. There are certain parts of my creative process that I have learned that I need to short-cut otherwise I’ll get stuck in the details and never get anything accomplished. It’s not about being behind. It’s not about scrapbooking every photo. It’s about the fact that I don’t have an infinite amount of time and my children are growing-up so quickly. And things you think you’ll remember, well, you might not. A huge part of why I scrapbook is because I want to record my family’s memories. I want to remember. My hope for this week and for today’s post is that you will take from it the tips and ideas that are most helpful to you. I know that I have certainly picked-up some new ideas from reading your comments and from the comments of my fellow team members. Thank you all for sharing this week with me!
Until next time,
Here it is Friday and we’re nearing the end of our week together. I hope you all have enjoyed our week of easy summer scrapbooking so far. I certainly enjoyed reading all of your comments on yesterday’s giveaway post on what you do to save time and make your creative process easier. As it happens, yesterday I was talking to my sister on the telephone and she commented that she doesn’t have much time for scrapbooking anymore. I think she is still caught-up in thinking that scrapbooking has to take a lot of time. She had a baby girl this past February and she is still contending with sleepless nights and making the transition from being a mommy of one, to being a mommy to two little girls. How funny that she should bring that up this week of all weeks? I told her she should visit the WCS blog this week and see if she could learn any new ideas for how she could fit scrapbooking into her schedule. And now, I’ll add that she should read yesterday’s comment thread as well!
As I was preparing for this week there were certain topics that I knew I had to cover – sketches and the idea of scraplifting yourself came quickly to my mind. These are things I do all the time and they both come so naturally to me; I don’t give them a second thought. But I also knew that I wanted to push myself a little, and you as well, to see if there were areas in my storytelling where perhaps I’ve been holding myself back. I don’t have any preconceived notions about what scrapbooking should be – I am happy to tell my story and my family’s stories my way. But I have to say that I do fall into a certain trap regarding mini-albums. Even though I know better for some reason I've always been caught up in the thinking that mini-albums had to be these altered, out-of-this world masterpieces, with strange-sized photos and tons of embellishments. And while I have a huge appreciation for the creativity and artistry behind those types of mini-albums, I could never make them myself. Are you caught up in this type of thinking too? Today, on the topic of mini-albums, I'd like to remind you (as I have to sometimes remind myself) that it doesn't have to be that way. You too can make a fun, creative and lasting record of your memories using mini-albums. They don’t have to be complicated and in fact they can be easy and fun.
I want to start today with the mini-album helped to inspire this post in the first place. I’m sure that you all will remember the delightfully fun mini-album kit that Monika Wright contributed for the anniversary week giveaway. Monika's project reminded me that mini-albums do not have to be difficult. You can make an album with very simple materials and you can make it quickly! Monika originally made one album for the giveaway. Then she made one for a friend. Then she realized that she needed to make one for herself. She also submitted her album to Ali Edwards’ Stories of Summer Series and it was featured on Ali’s blog. You can visit that post here, and read all about Monika’s inspiration and her process for putting her album together. There is also a download available at Ali’s blog for the four tabs that Monika used to create her Summer in the Life album.
Here is Monika's album cover:
And here are a couple of her favorite pages with her descriptions below each page:
“These two pages bring a smile to my face because: 1. I got to spend a day with my boy as we visited some colleges AND we got the classic hold-the-camera-ourselves self-portrait as we squinted looking into the sun and 2. I just love to see our daughters play with and enjoy the same toys my son played with as a youngster. Sure, I have some more appealing pages design-wise in my mini, but for me it's about capturing some moments that might have been forgotten. And these pages do that for me.”
“I thought it would be fun to take Zach back to the park he played at as a kid when we lived in town AND to take the girls to the park their big brother played at, but they've only been to a handful of times. This was just one part of a really fun day and Zach and I got to talk about some "remember when..." moments that might not have come up in conversation if we had not planned this adventure.”
You can see even more of Monika’s album by visiting her blog at these links:
Lately on her blog, Monika has been posting the details of another mini-album and she shares lots of great ideas for telling your story in a way that is doable and makes the most of what you have on hand.
I admit I have always wanted to, but have never made an album like this before. Even though I love Monika’s album, I knew that I didn’t want to document our entire summer. We recently moved into our first home and a lot of our time has been occupied with minor (and not so minor) home repairs. It’s been somewhat exhausting – rewarding, but exhausting. Instead of tackling our entire summer I took this concept and applied it to just one day and one outing. Living in Southern California we are lucky to be close to the beach. Now another admission, I don’t really love the beach and neither does my husband. But for the sake of our children who do, we have figured out a way to go the beach so that everyone has fun. I decided to make this particular outing into a mini-album because I already have several beach layouts. I thought using a different format would be a great alternative to my usual story-telling method.
I kept my album very simple. There are no embellishments on the inside pages of the album (just the label stickers I used for journaling), and only one metal charm and a tag hanging from the front. This album probably took less than an hour to put together (like a lot of you, I work in spurts, 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there). For me, that’s fast. If a recovering perfectionist like me can embrace this approach - I think you can too.
Here is a glimpse of my album:
A must-have for any beach visit:
We like to get the beach early, before the sun comes out. We have a method for beach-going and I hadn't ever documented it before It was good to get that part of the story recorded.
One of my favorite photos from the day - Gabe chasing the seagulls (who were being a little too nosy if you ask me!):
And finally, a picture of me snuggling with Nathan. He didn't really like getting sand on his feet, which was strange since the last time we were at the beach he had a great time. I made sure to give the camera to my husband so that he could capture this little moment:
For more details and images of this album you can visit my blog
Marnie Flores contributed an album for today's post. Her album measures 6x6 so it will accommodate 4x6 photos of any orientation.
This summer we took a family holiday and a family road trip. We saw many friends and family, stopped in many places, and I took more than 20 gig of photos. There is ABSOLUTELY no way that I am making scrapbook pages for all those photos, and honestly putting a book together in chronological order seemed a bit more like a gussied up itinerary and less like a scrapbook. So instead, I split the memories into three sections: our travel, regular summer stuff, and things to remember. I punched out two pages of October Afternoon journaling cards and filled them with lists. Miles traveled. States we drove through. Games we played in the car. Movies that were on the rotation. friends we saw. Each family member we saw. On and on. Anything little tidbit of memories that I could group over the whole summer, and not trip by trip.Next, I added some lengthier journaling on cardstock that I trimmed to fit. Lastly, photos printed, all 4x6 to save time and trouble. My book dimensions are 6x6 so the photos can be horizontal or vertical. Put it together with binder rings and we are good to go. And if I forgot about something, I can just add it in when I remember. And I didn't add all my photos in yet, but I can when I have a chance to print them all.
Lastly, for extra help, don't be afraid to compile the lists as a family. Not only will someone remember something you forgot, but you will also have a great chance to reminisce and remember.
All of the projects shared with you today not only fit the theme of easy summer scrapbooking, but they also happened to be about summer! However, as I said the other day, the ideas I've been sharing with you over the past four days can be applied to any topic and at any time. The mini-album I made for today's post was so easy, fun and fast, that I know I'll be making more like it in the future. There have been a lot of mini-albums featured on the WCS blog over the last several months. If you're in need of more mini-album inspiration click here to find more ideas and tips from the collective.
Finally, if you’ve put together an album of your summer memories or any mini-album share it with us in the WCS Flickr gallery.
Wow! So many wonderful ideas—be sure to read through yesterday's comments for a huge collection of time-saving tips! Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in our discussion here. Without further adieu....
The recipients of Donna's Stretch Your Sketches eBook are:
and the recipients of A Year in the Life are:
Congratulations to all, and don't forget that everyone has the chance to use the special $3 discount coupon toward any Ella eBook! Please send us an email with your mailing address to writeclickscrapbook at gmail dot com to receive instructions to download your eBook. We look forward to hearing from you.
Stay tuned for more tips from Donna coming up soon!
We're certain that you're familiar with Ella Publishing Co., the ONLY publisher to offer professionally designed, photographed, and edited educational eBooks, optimized for at-home viewing and printing, to the crafting market! We feel very lucky here at Write.Click.Scrapbook. to have a good working relationship with the most famous elephant in the scrapbooking industry—and today, we're excited to present not one, not two, but TEN chances to win some quality Ella products.
Five lucky recipients will receive this week's hostess Donna Jannuzzi's eBook, Stretch Your Sketches. Equal parts practicality and fun, you won't be disappointed in Donna's no-nonsense approach to making the most of both your time and design sensibility when you sit down to scrapbook!
Five more recipients will receive a copy of A Year in the Life, an eBook collection of pages from our team here at Write.Click.Scrapbook. that is guaranteed to help you scrapbook your year in style! (We hear the beginning of the school year is a GREAT time to revive New Years' Resolutions like "scrapbook your year in style.")
But wait! That's not all! Everyone reading today will be rewarded with a $3 coupon code for any Ella Publishing Co. eBook; just click here and look for the bolded, ALL-CAPS word in the first sentence. That's the code—happy shopping!
If you would like to be considered for today's eBook giveaway, please leave us a comment sharing your best tip for saving time while you scrapbook. Donna will share some of the team's best tips soon. Comments will remain open until 8:00 pm PST and one lucky number will drawn at random and posted tomorrow. Please remember to check back before midnight Saturday as it is your responsibility to claim your lucky number before the clock strikes twelve!
This week we are looking at some of my favorite time-saving ideas for scrapbooking. We started our week of easy summer scrapbooking ideas with the topic of scraplifting. Elizabeth Dillow, fellow team member and co-founder of WCS, commented on Monday’s post: “I love this idea--and need to staple a big reminder on my bulletin board because I'm always so happy after I do it. But I often forget.”
Her sentiment echoes how I feel about today’s topic – the divided page protector. I love the idea of using divided page protectors in my scrapbooking albums. I have used them many times before, but I don't use them nearly as often as I should. Because every time I do I always think, “I should have done that all along.” You see, often when I decide to use a divided page protector it’s because I’ve been struggling with my layout design. This most frequently happens when I’m trying to scrapbook a special event or a holiday. I think you know quite well what I am talking about. A lot of scrapbookers have a hard time coming up with ideas and designs for Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions. You have lots and lots of photos and you’re just not sure what to do with them. You might find it difficult or nearly impossible to narrow down the selection. Or sometimes, you might find that you don't want to narrow it down.
I struggled to scrapbook my youngest son’s first birthday (he’ll be two in a little over a month – so yes, I’ve put it off for that long). I was having a hard time with the design because I wanted to include so many of the photos from our small family celebration. Not that every photo was a masterpiece, but because each photo added a little something to the story of that day. In the end I decided to make one page focusing on just three of my favorite photos and then I included the rest in a divided page protector. Here is my layout:
And here is the front side of the page protector of extra photos:
Relating specifically to this week’s topic, divided page protectors also make page design extremely easy. I was reminded of this when looking through this month’s galleryand came across team member Beth Proudfoot’s layouts. She didn’t use the page protectors to store extra photos, but instead she built her layout using the page protector as her guide. In her notes she said, “One of the quickest and simplest ways to scrapbook 4 x 6 photos is to use these fun page protectors. Divided into five sections, it’s easy to create custom looks with photos and patterned paper. Depending on the number of photos you use, you can achieve very different looks with the same protector sheet!”
Here is one of her layouts:
Do go and visit this month's gallery to she her other examples: Laugh and 7 Months. Even though she used the same style page protector for each layout, the designs are all quite different. Luckily, these days there are so many different styles and sizes of page protectors available, so the variety of page designs is truly endless. Not only can you make pages quickly and easily, but you can add variety to your albums as well.
WCS team member Monika Wright contributed this page for today’s post:
Monika said she really enjoyed making a layout using a page protector as her guide and approached it as she would if she were making a mini album. She adhered the embellishments to the outside of the page to give it dimension. Monika created the candles on her page by rolling patterned paper around shipping twine - too adorable and so creative!
Even though this week’s theme is easy summer scrapbooking there are lots of times when using divided page protectors can keep you from feeling overwhelmed. They are an easy way to design a page. They can help you scrapbook lots of photos or include extra photos in your albums. They are a great solution to those difficult topic dilemmas like how to scrapbook Christmas and birthdays. Ultimately, they are an easy and fast way to tell your story.
If you’ve made any scrapbook layouts or even an entire album using page protectors as your design guide share it with us in the WCS gallery.
Hi there! Welcome to day two of easy summer scrapbooking! Today I want to share a topic with you that is near and dear to me: sketches. It might sound funny to read that, but it's true. I absolutely love sketches. In fact, one of the first items I purchased when I started scrapbooking was a graph paper notebook. I have had that same notebook for almost four years now and it is filled to the brim with sketches and layout ideas (so much so that last year I had to buy a new notebook). I need to visualize my layouts before I get started and sketches help me do that by giving me an idea of where I will place my photos, title and journaling before I start cutting-up paper. After the basic foundation of the design is laid out, I let the photos and the story be my guide when choosing papers, embellishments and their placement.
Now, I realize that not everyone’s brain works the way mine does. Maybe you don't need to "see" a layout in your mind before you get started. But even if you don’t use a sketch for every layout, I do think there are times when sketches can be a helpful time-saving tool. If you don’t typically use sketches when scrapbooking consider some ways that sketches might be useful to you.
Before we go any further, I want you to keep this in mind too: sketches are not meant to limit your creativity. Using a sketch does not mean that you are not being creative! You don’t have to stick to a sketch exactly - unless you want to. Finally, you can always alter a sketch to suit your needs and style. You’ll notice as you read this post, that all of my sketches are very basic. They include only the photos, title and journaling; it is a completely subjective preference on my part. The reason I prefer basic sketches is that they allow me a lot of freedom to be creative later on while making my layout. Remember, sketches simply help to kick-start your creativity or lay a foundation for you. The rest is up to you!
For today’s post I created three sketches to share with you. As I said above, I still sketch my designs in a graph paper notebook so fellow WCS team member Celeste Smith kindly volunteered to convert my sketches both into the digital versions you’ll see below and into digital templates for you to download. Thank you Celeste!
The first sketch is for an 8.5x11 layout. It features one large 5x7 photo with two smaller detail photos:
Here is the layout that Celeste made using this sketch:
Digital Kit: The Reason Why by Kristin Cronin Barrow & Meghan Mullens (Sweet Shoppe Designs)
Isn’t that layout adorable? I love the colors and it makes me long for fall’s cooler weather.
Next in line is this 12x12 sketch:
And here is the layout I made:
Notice that I rotated one of the 3x4 photos. I also very slightly shifted the design upwards to make room for my patterned paper strips. Minor changes I’ll admit, but they are small examples of how to alter a sketch to suit your needs for a given layout.
Last up is an 8.5x11 spread made by Erin Sweeney. Erin found using a sketch, particularly for this two-page spread, very helpful since she admitted that she often has a hard time coming up with designs that include a lot of photos:
Here is the sketch she worked from:
You can download the digital templates for each sketch below:
To end today, I want to remind you of part of the WCS philosophy that there is no right way to scrapbook. I don’t think that everyone should use sketches, even if I happen to love them. I also don’t think that scrapbooking your memories has to be difficult or take a lot of time. Let sketches do a little of the work for you by taking the guesswork out of the design process so that you can spend more time enjoying these last few days of summer. After all, they’ll be gone before we know it!
If you make a layout using the sketches I’ve shared today add it to the WCS Flickr Gallery for all to enjoy, we’d love to see what you create!
This month’s gallery, as part of our Summer Scrapbook Rescue Campaign, featured the trusty 4x6 photo. We had hoped to inspire you to get back to the basics and get more done in less time. Wouldn’t you agree that August is a strange time of year? Maybe it’s because it is a transitional month? It’s that time when summer is winding down and simultaneously everyone is gearing up for school (well, almost everyone). It seems like there is a lot to do and not much time to do it.
Sticking with August’s theme of easy summer scrapbooking I want to take this week to share a few of my favorite ideas for getting the most out of my creative time. None of the ideas that I plan on sharing this week are new. You’ve seen them all before. But I want to gently remind you that scrapbooking your memories doesn’t have to be time-consuming and not every page has to be completely new or revolutionary. Because the truth is, doesn’t it seem like life is always busy? I know that the ideas I’ll be sharing this week will be helpful to you as you scrapbook your summer memories. But my real hope is that you’ll keep them in mind all year round whenever life gets busy but you still want to squeeze-in some creative time. Alright, let’s get started.
I’m going to begin the week with the concept of scraplifting. This past May the gallery featured designs from the collective that had been scraplifted from reader contributed layouts to the WCS Flickr gallery. I have to say, that was one of my favorite galleries. Today though, I want to focus on another side of scraplifting – scraplifting yourself. There is nothing easier to do when you are stuck, short on time, or in a creative rut than to pick a previously made layout and flat-out copy it. I scraplift myself all the time. It is such an easy way to get a page done quickly (plus, when you scraplift yourself it doesn't feel so much like cheating). Design choices like photo size and the placement of journaling and title are already made for you. If you want variety, you can mix things up a little by changing the placement of embellishments. But if you want to, you can also copy those little details exactly and save yourself even more time. Did I mention this is an easy way to get page done fast?
I might as well come-out right now and admit that I am a slow-scraper. I am. I don’t mind it though. I like spending time going through all my patterned papers and embellishments while making my pages. It’s part of the fun of scrapbooking for me. But I do get stuck or frustrated sometimes. Every now and then I just need a push, something to get me going. That is usually when I go through my albums and pick out a favorite layout, like this one:
and I copy it almost exactly. This page below took less than 30 minutes to complete:
And you know what? I really like it. I didn’t fuss with it too much. I chose a design beforehand, picked out a set of patterned papers and went to work.
Fellow team member Francine Clouden created this beautiful layout:
The design was inspired by this layout of her son:
In her words, “I stuck pretty closely to the original design, just changing the colours and embellishments to make the new page more girly!”
Jody Dent-Pruks created a layout for this topic as well. She said that she loved this idea because, “All the decisions are made for you.” Exactly! Jody picked out a layout that was a few years old, but one that she had always liked. Here is her inspiration layout:
And here is her new layout:
Doesn’t that jam look lovely? I’ve never had cumquat jam before. Do you think a jar would survive the trip all the way from Australia?
Well, jam or no jam, I’ll be back tomorrow with another tip for easy summer scrapbooking.
Until then, do you ever scraplift yourself? Where do you look for inspiration when you get stuck? Do you ever look to your own albums for inspiration?
We don't know about you, but summer feels like it's flying by in a blur and we can sense fall lurking just over the horizon.... well, we say wait just one minute! Summer isn't over yet. This week we'll provide five super-quick photo challenges you can accomplish without missing a precious minute at the pool, beach, or backyard. Grab your cameras and let's go!
Today's Challenge: Summer is made for reading! OK, OK, we know fall, spring, and winter are too, but there is something special about summer reading— especially when you're a kid and summer means lazy, relaxed days to get lost in a book. What books are you reading this summer? Your children or grandchildren? Your friends? Follow Candice's lead and catch a shot of yourself or a loved one reading.
photo by Candice Palmer
Play along! Share your bookish images in the WCS Flicker Gallery for all to enjoy.
Bonus: Guess what? If you did play along with the Summer Photo Challenges this week, now's the time to print your photos, grab a few summery supplies, and throw together a mini-album all about Summer 2010. And it isn't even fall yet!