Saturday, August 30, 2008

Paper Crafting Tip #36: Create a Title Page for Your Scrapbook

Title Vol. 2
I like to have title pages in my scrapbooks.  They set the tone for the pages that follow and serve as an introduction to the album.  Sometimes I create the title page before I begin an album, and sometimes I create it later on.  I made the title page here after I finished the first layout in the album, but I knew what I was going to do before I even started the first layout.  This is the title page for our second Favorite Holidays album, and it follows the same design as the one in the first volume.  I made all of the diecuts, including the letters, with my Cricut. 

Give it a try!  Happy Crafting!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Paper Crafting Tip #35: Believe in Yourself

This week's tip is more of a self-confidence booster, rather than an actual paper crafting tip.  Last night I read some posts on a forum that made me happy that I don't participate in swaps there.  The thread was all about how people get upset and even angry when other swap members' cards don't meet "their" standards. 

I've been hosting card swaps for years, and I welcome and encourage swappers of all levels.  In fact, I encourage beginners to join, because they can learn so much from others.  And even the most experienced stamper can learn something from a beginner, whether it be color combinations, layout, or simply an appreciation for the effort and work that person put into making the card.  

I had to stop reading the thread, because it was making me angry.  How dare people criticize others because they aren't "good enough" for their elite group?  If they want to be in a swap with only "professional" stampers, then that is the kind of swap group they should join.

Most of the people who attend my workshops and join my swaps start as beginners.  They build their confidence through practice, learning new techniques, and learning from each other.  They learn to believe in themselves and in their own unique talents

There is enough stress in our lives, without having to worry about whether or not we can live up to others' standards with our crafting.  So this week, make an effort to have fun with your crafting.  Believe in yourself, enjoy what you're doing, and don't worry about being "good enough" for anyone else.  Happy Crafting!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Paper Crafting Tip #34: Break out your Coluzzle and make a purse card!

Purse Card0003

I just love my Coluzzle!  I've had it practically since I started scrapbooking, which is exactly 7 years ago.  I have a Cricut and a Big Kick; and, although I love them both, I still find myself pulling out my Coluzzle when I need a quick shape or envelope.  Or, as in this case, a card.  The Coluzzle Purse Template gives you the option of creating several different sizes of cards, from tag size to approximately A2 size (the one pictured here). 

What?? You don't have a Coluzzle??  Well, I can fix that!  Just email me at to find out how to get your very own Coluzzle cutting system - and this fabulous Purse Template.  You can also find out how to get the gorgeous paper I used to make this card.  It's from The Angel Company (TAC), and I'm a demonstrator in the Bronx.  I ship to the U.S. and Canada.  Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Paper Crafting Tip #33: Limit Your Embellishments

When I first started scrapbooking, things were much simpler.  Choosing embellishments was pretty easy, because you had much less to choose from.  Now, there are so many embellishments on the market that it can be very difficult to choose what to use on your layouts.  Well, I have a very simple solution:  limit your embellishments to 3 or 4 different types of items.  For example, on this layout, I decided to use flowers, ribbon, and eyelets/brads.  Not only did that save me time, but it also forced me to be more creative with what I was using.  You do have to stick to your choices, though; because, if you second-guess yourself, that defeats the purpose of limiting your choices in the first place. 

Give it a try.  I think you'll be happy with the sense of freedom you will get when you make things so much easier on yourself.  See you next week.  Happy Crafting!

Now You're Eight (L)Now You're Eight (R)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Paper Crafting Tip #32: Take a Break from the Message Boards

If you're like me, you belong to several message boards.  Although I visit only 3 of them daily (I'm a moderator and on the Design Team for one), there was a time - not so long ago - when they took up a lot of my time.  It's easy to get involved in the "drama," or try to keep up with every new gadget or paper collection that seems to appear almost daily.  However, I've come to several conclusions about these message boards, and I've realized that my time can be better spent working on my projects.

1.  Since the information I'll receive about what's new and hot in scrapbooking and stamping will be the same no matter which message board I visit, I can limit myself to 2 or 3 and still not miss out on all the info.

2.  I don't have time for all the drama.  I read the subject lines of the posts and can usually skip at least half of them because they are really not important.  Especially the ones that start," So, what are you doing today" or "Guess What?"  I don't want to guess, and I really don't need to know what everyone is doing.

3.  I don't have to download and print out every tutorial that is posted or watch every video that is made.  To be perfectly honest, although some of them are quite good and well-thought-out, many of them are thrown together just so that the people who have made them can say, "Look, I can make tutorials and videos."

4.  I don't waste my time uploading my layouts and cards to online galleries.  Scanning, stitching, and resizing my images so that they will fit within the confines of some online galleries takes a lot of time.  On many larger message boards, these posts remain for mere minutes before they are pushed off the first page in the gallery, only to be buried under everyone else's.  And I don't know about you; but after all the work I go through to scan, stitch, etc., not only would I like them to stay around for awhile, but a comment or 2 would be appreciated as well.  It still boggles my mind how over 200 people can view a layout or card, yet not even one person can take the time to post a simple comment.

5.  Avoid getting too personally involved on the forums.  I've made the mistake of feeling so comfortable on some message boards that I've actually given my honest opinions when people have asked for them.  Now, I don't mean that I've trashed someone's layout or post.  I would never, ever do that.  I can always find something nice to say about someone's hard work, and I don't "flame."  I mean the people who ask how you really feel about something they've said or done.  For example:  "Let me know if I hurt your feelings, or if you feel slighted, because that really isn't what I wanted to do."  They really don't want to know your honest opinions or feelings.  They just want you to alleviate their feelings of guilt or make them feel better about the decisions they've made.

6.  Finally, set a timer for the number of minutes you want to devote to message boards, and stick to it.

I know I might sound a little harsh, but I've heard so many crafters say that they have no time to scrapbook or stamp anymore.  Maybe it's because we are spending too much time on message boards and not enough time creating.  Message boards, like all things in life, have their place.  I've learned so much from other crafters on message boards, and I've had a lot of fun sometimes.  But I've also spent a lot of time and hard work on some forums, only to fall victim to favoritism and the terrible crime of "not being popular or famous."  Remember, too much of anything isn't good for you.  Now stop reading my blog, and go create something!  :)