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I started “scrapbooking” before the term was even in the dictionary. So, I think it’s no coincidence that May is my birthday month AND National Scrapbooking month. At least that is my story and I am stickin’ to it. Some might say that Mother’s Day is in May and usually it is the woman who normally does the scrapbooking but I like my version better.

Regardless of how it came about, May IS National Scrapbooking Month and soon summer will be here. SO many moments to capture. It is hard to keep up. I will be posting some ideas about vellum and talking about different types of inks among other things so I hope you will visit often.

Just quickly though, I wanted to share some new product from Close To My Heart (CTMH). As you may or may not know, I DO sell CTMH but I am addicted to all products whether they are CTMH, Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I swear one day I’m going to start a support group for all of us that are addicted to paper crafting.

CTMH May Feature

May Special

In the meantime, check this out. It will be available in May. As with any CTMH product, it doesn’t last forever. It is one of the very few things that I hate about the company. The papers that I especially love, I buy a lot of before they go away. While the stamps go away, once you have them, it is not an issue. SO, here is the package (or you can get it individually):

I will post a link in May but I was so excited, I wanted to show everyone now.  It makes some beautiful layouts.

Here are some cards that I made as well.

So, what do you think???  Do you love it or hate it?


Founder of Scrapbooking For Anyone

Other blogs by Debbi:

Baby Memory Books

So, you have a new baby. If this is the first, you will have a TON of photos. Yet, in this day and age, most of those photos will be on your phone or the card in your camera. It is so easy to snap photos documenting each monthly birthday, their first step and much too quickly, they are driving.

Please note, if you are like most parents, that second and third child don’t have as many photos. My daughter, who is the second child, used to give me a hard time about that. She is now grown with children of her own. The first had a LOT of photos, however, there was a decline with the second and I hardly see any of the third. We get busy as mothers and sometimes barely keep our head above water. To compound the problem, many mothers are also working outside the home.

Babies grow so fast and one day you turn around and they are living on their own. Don’t let the memories fade. Print at least some of those photos and put them in a book for each child along with your thoughts or interesting information surrounding the photo. Add important papers or art work that they have done.

Baby albums

Baby Albums

I was one of those mothers that worked outside the home. However, I managed to keep a baby book for each child.

Inside Baby Album

Inside Baby Album

I also purchased a small book from Current with pockets for each school year starting with preschool. I am not saying that I did a perfect job but I do have pieces of hair from their first hair cut, their report cards and other papers.

Even if you don’t have time to put a book together, allocate a box for each child and gather moments of their childhood.



For each one of them on their “big 4-0”, I made a big book starting from the time I was 9 months pregnant. I picked something from each year of their life then added journaling and commentary. They loved it!! Everything was in one place. They didn’t have to search my computer or phone for photos.

I was able to tell them stories about what was happening or how I was feeling when the photo was taken. They show your perspective as a mom (or dad). It’s something that they can share with their own children. It’s fun to see the look on a little ones face when they realize their mom or dad were once little.

Even little children like to look back at their own baby photos. They realize how much they have grown. Of course there are many things that they do not remember doing so it is fun to watch them look at the photos in disbelief that it’s really them. They even like to look at their sibling’s photos and compare.

Make sure your handwriting is in the book as well. As your child ages and has children of their own, just seeing your handwriting can bring comfort. Some days, as a parent, are really trying and looking back at younger years can bring back good memories and be uplifting.

So, now I hear you………….I do not have time for all that. Then let me ask you this…how much time do you spend on social media? How much time do you spend in front of the TV? We are BORN multitaskers. While you are watching your favorite shows, create a page or two. It is much easier to do it little by little than to try to catch up when they are 40. Even though I tried to capture everything and had the photos, I know some of the stories were lost.

Do not let this happen to you. To make it easier, there is now such a thing as pocket scrapbooking. This is where you have a 3 ring binder and pages with pockets in which you can put photos, cards, journaling or small memorabilia. Here is a sample of what I mean.

Close To My Heart
Pocket Pages

To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of these although many like them. It is too structured for me BUT if it is these or lose all the baby memories, well, 3 ring it is! Let me clarify here, when I say “baby”, my youngest is in his 40s and almost 6 feet tall but he is my “baby”. Shhh, don’t tell him.

I hope I’ve helped give you some thoughts and perhaps convicted you a little to start a book or two.

If I can help, please let me know.  Please comment with your thoughts.  I would love to hear from you.


Founder Scrapbooking for Anyone



7 Things We Love-Hate About Digitial Photos

So, for those of you that remember back in “the day”, we had the Age of Aquarius. Today, we have the Age of Digital. They’re everywhere…..on your phone, on your IPad, on tiny cards that come out of your camera. Just on phones alone (using those ever reaching selfie sticks), we are the most photographed generation that ever lived. My granddaughter (who is a teen) takes more selfies, on any given day, than photos that I have of my entire life so far.

This may be old and tattered but I do have it! Not sure what my mother was THINKING with the curls though.

This may be old and tattered but I do have it! Not sure what my mother was THINKING with the curls though.

I mean, I think it’s GREAT that we always have our phones on us and they have advanced in such a way that the cameras in them are REALLY good. There are even classes now on how to take better photos with your phone. You don’t always have to carry your camera which can be cumbersome. Yet if an unexpected photo op arises, you’ve been able to capture it. It’s AWESOME.

Families can take tons of photos of the little one and then sort through to find that perfect shot. You can’t do that with film. You may take a lot of photos but it’s expensive to develop and print all of them to find that ONE that you like. That is, if you do find it at all. With digital you can also “fix” any flaws in Photoshop or any other image adjusting program.

You can share your photos with ease whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or simply email. There is no wait to send a print to Aunt Bessie. Who hasn’t been in a conversation with someone and pulled out their cell phone to show a photo? It happens all the time.

So, what’s the problem? Is there a downside? Perhaps. Many of these photos never get printed into a hands on photograph. This means that you will always have to look at them on a computer or some other device and without that interface, you have nothing.

Technology changes so quickly. I remember when my parents took movies that ended up on big reels. I can’t even watch these movies now. I suppose they can be converted but at what cost? Floppy discs went by the wayside a while back. You can hardly find a computer to use them in.  How long will it be before DVDs will be obsolete?

Unless you download photos from your phone to something else more permanent, they will be gone. This means that the memories you’ve captured will be gone as well. Each one of these memories are the thread that, in the end, weave together to create your life.

If you are part of this Digital Age, it’s wonderful. There is so much to be said for it. However, DON’T leave your memories on a phone or computer or card. Get the photos out.  Print them and tell your story. Put them in albums and actually tell the story in words by journaling. These photos are something that will pass from generation to generation.

For all the visuals like me, it helps to SEE that old farm house that grandma grew up in or SEE me when I was a baby. You get the pix (no pun intended). LOL.

Don’t be part of the generation that has TONS of photos but nothing to actually SHOW for it. Yep, digital has a lot of advantages but once the memories are lost, there is no replacement. Something to think about.


-more photos to choose from
-ease of sharing
-less expensive
-no missed photo ops
-keep many photos in small space
-portable     BUT

-possibility of them (and memories) being gone forever

Any more you can think of?

Thanks for reading.
Please leave questions and/or comments.
Founder of Scrapbooking for Anyone

Photos with Pizzazz

See my Photo page for the basics on taking fun photos for your scrapbook. This post is for additional fun tips.

An obsessive compulsive scrapbooker finds paper she loves and plans events/outfits to coordinate with it.  Sound crazy?  I know someone who did that.  NO, not me!!!  However, I was a little crazy one year with matching outfits.  We all HAD to wear white sweaters — BORING!  Fortunately the outfits don’t stand out as much as the weird hair.  You don’t have to do anything like this…..although I guarantee one day when you look back, you will see a photo that you look at and say “What was I thinking……or not”.  LOL.

So, here’s some fun photo taking tips. These 2 come from a friend of mine who was a professional Fashion Photographer for some of the major NYC department stores AND he also taught photography:

 -When you’re ready to take a photo of somebody, take your first photo and then take 3 giant steps forward toward your subject and snap another. Nine times out of ten the last one will be the better shot. Sometimes we get too much background and not enough subject.

– (This one is fun and I never would have thought of it)

Photographing infants – before you start taking photos, put a piece of clear, double face tape on one of their hands.  That immediately gets their attention and when their hands stick together a bit, you get some great expressions and interesting hand positions.

He currently has a great website called makeitez4me.  It’s all about getting healthier. in case you’re interested.

Some additional tips:

– Don’t be afraid to use props for that “formal” photo. They use them in the studios all the time.  How about that teddy bear, goofy hats, Christmas ornaments  …. anything to keep people smiling.

 -Don’t always pose. Take random photos of candid moments.  Sometimes they’re the best.  In fact, hand the camera (if you dare) to a child and let them take a few photos.  They will have a totally different perspective which can be really interesting.

-Use “natural”  frames.  This can be anything – trees, bridges, monkey bars, windows, doors, etc.  Here’s an example of a photo I took of the Great Wall in China.  I was looking out one of the windows.

Great Wall

Great Wall from window

-While I do have a tripod, I don’t use it often. So, when I’m taking a photo that requires VERY steady hands or when I’m using the timer, I simply stack up a bunch of books on a table or chair and set the camera on top.

 -Be creative and look for “odd” shots. Photos that are mirror images are fun.  The reflection can come from water or a monument like this one that I took in Washington DC.  I was standing by the wall and it reflected everything in front of it.

DC monument

Reflective Monument

I hope these tips help stir up some creative ideas.  Unlike the “old days”,  we can now snap a LOT of photos and pick out the ones we want to print.

by Debbi founder of

Thanks for reading.  Please leave comments.

Memory Connections

I just read an interesting article that I wanted to share with you.

You might think that taking a photo of a thing or activity will preserve that moment in your mind forever. However, there was a study done that proved that this was not so. The study showed that when we take photos, we normally do it mindlessly because we think we’ve captured whatever and don’t use our brain to really process what we are seeing.  The image fails to get stored in our memory.

So, on a scrapbooking site, am I telling you not to bother taking photos? Heavens NO!!!! Please do take photos and take many. Yet don’t merely take the photo, share them and talk about them with others. The process of looking at the photos and talking about them helps your brain make connections and you will be able to preserve the memory more easily.

This means by making scrapbooks you will once again look at these photos and while the event or thing is fresh in your mind, journal what you see, how you feel. Use all your senses! It will serve you well when you get older and read the journaling you’ve included along with your photo. You can relive that moment or the day that you were looking at that special flower, or whatever it may be.  How about that butterfly?butterfly4

May all your memories be special and remembered for generations to come.


By:  Debra Armstrong

Thank you for reading.

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Senior Selfies

It’s that time of year again when kids are graduating. This could be from college, high school or even (as I now hear) from preschool. REALLY? Preschool graduation? Cute.

With social media now being all the rage, selfies are an everyday occurrence. Seems like everywhere I go, I see people taking selfies.  These are photos taken with our phones.

There is a contest running through one of our local radio stations. They are asking all HS seniors to send in selfies of their graduation festivities. Most albums include the standard family photos and the graduate holding his/her diploma. How fun would it be to have a bunch of selfies in that senior album? Something to think about.

Now, for those of you old enough to remember, this is what you might be envisioning:


This is a wanna be senior selfie.   Guess that’s why they now call them Smartphones right?  LOL.


By Debra Armstrong

Any comments? Insights?



Photo Challanged?

I just returned from a short trip to Charleston, SC. It was a tour with 50 other people. We had a great time. I took tons of photos as usual. However, I noticed that out of 50 people, there were only a few of us with cameras. I found that strange, or perhaps the few of us with cameras are the strange ones. LOL. That got me thinking though. Some people may feel like scrapbooks are just for those of us that take tons of photos. That’s not the case. I kept a scrapbook with simply memorabilia when I was in high school. I combine photos with mementos now.

For those of you that are photo challenged, you don’t have a camera, you don’t want to carry your camera, your dog ate your photos……………whatever….you can use post cards.  I do when I think I won’t get a good shot and I want the photo.  I’m not excited about it mind you, but I do it.  Check out the following:

SC bridge1SC bridge

Obviously, the one on the right is the photo I took.  It was the best one I could get considering I was on a moving boat and couldn’t get any closer. It’s not bad but I’ll use both in my album.


So, don’t fret.  The whole purpose of making a scrapbook is for the memories and not because you want to showcase your photo skills.


By Debra Armstrong

Thanks for reading.  Any comments, regrets, confessions?

Smartphone to the Rescue!

Many of us will leave home without our camera, but how many of us will leave home without our smartphone? Our smartphones now have fairly good cameras. They’ve come a long way since I first had a phone with a camera. While it’s not the ideal way to get a photo as your setting options are limited, there are things you can do to fix a bad photo after you’ve downloaded it to your computer. I say this but don’t expect miracles either.  LOL.   SO, how do you get the best photo?

1. Just like with your camera, try not to move while taking the photo. The image will become blurry. That may mean that you’ll have to stabilize your arms on something like your knees, a table or any other solid surface.

2. The zoom on your phone camera isn’t the same as that on a standard camera so your best bet is to move closer to your subject. Use your body as the zoom lens (if possible).

3. To make minor corrections on a photo, check out the apps on Instagram. They have a bunch not only for corrections but to add some pizzazz to your photo. You can add text, combine photos or superimpose images to name a few.

In this day and age, there is no reason to miss a great photo. Go out and have fun.   You just never know when you’ll see something photo worthy or even something that needs to be tweeted or shared immediately.

By Debra Armstrong

Thanks for reading.  Comments?