Overwhelmed and Confused?

Do you get overwhelmed and confused when you walk into the scrapbook section of your favorite craft store? One of my friends just confessed to me that she does. Now this woman can write proposals and cook with the best of them but gets discombobulated (one of my favorite words) when she walks into a scrapbook section. She has a new grandbaby and wants to make a book for her but can’t get past the rows of “stuff”.

To me, walking into a craft store is like sending a kid into a candy store. There’s so much good stuff, I don’t know what to look at first. However, let me look at it from my friend’s perspective. Let’s say, for example, you’ve just taken some Easter photos. You have them developed and want to make a page or two. You don’t have to go crazy. There are so many papers out there that cater to themes now. It wasn’t always like that. You have it easy.

The whole idea is to make a memory with these photos. You don’t have to make works of art. I was left with a box full of photos and I can’t even identify many of the people. I don’t want that to happen to my kids. So, forget ALL the aisles and concentrate on the paper only. Look at your photos. Is there a predominant color that you want to highlight? If not, just pick something that compliments your photos or pick one of the (in this case) Easter papers. Paper alone can make a BIG difference in your books.

When I went to China on a mission trip, I took TONS of photos. I can’t possibly make artistic designs for all of them so I’m just using paper and journaling along with some very simple embellishments. These photos haven’t been cropped or matted yet but I want to show you what a difference any kind of paper can make. The tag in the middle will be used to identify that this is the Great Wall. As a side note, I can’t even begin to comprehend how they built this. I got tired WALKING up it much less building it.   I digress, but just using paper, which is more appealing to you?  By the way, that ribbon is from an article of clothing.  I always cut those ribbons off that the stores use for hanging.

china w out paperchina w paper







My whole point is, take is slow, and you can build up to different techniques. Use paper for interest and maybe (in our sample) some cross or bunny stickers and journal. Who is in the photo? Where was it? Interesting emotions (Suzy was afraid of the Easter bunny) or background information. Well, you get the idea.

Remember how you eat an elephant? …..one bite at a time. Same with scrapbooking. One thing at a time. Now take a deep breath and head to your favorite scrapbook store and check out the paper.

By Debra Armstrong

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