Why Share?

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The latest Scrap Gals podcast was all about what motivates scrapbookers to share their work and what part outside validation plays in their lives. I started thinking about the reasons why I share my work—why am I sitting down right now typing this blog post? Why do I post my layouts in forums or on Facebook?

I started sharing my work online many years ago. I remember being so obsessed with scrapbooking that I wanted to be a part of the larger community. I joined several forums and was even on a small design team way back then. I was published one time in a special issue sketch book—probably the highlight of my early scrapbooking career. But why did I do it?

My scrapbooking career began with a life book I was creating for my oldest son for his adoption. This hobby began for me as a way to put these special memories in a tangible format for my growing family. Why would I want to share my pages with others?

At first, I think I simply wanted to connect with others who loved putting photos and paper together as much as I did. Slowly I began to seek the approval of others. I tried out for design teams and sent my layouts in for publication. Most of the time I was disappointed, but I did have a few moments of notoriety. Through all of this I was making friends in the scrapbooking world, which was fantastic.

Eventually I began to realize that I was making pages for the sole purpose of them being seen. I was not being true to myself or my scrapping style. I stepped away from most online scrappy places and began scrapping just for me again.

this day

Since then my style has evolved and I now make pages that I love AND that I want to share. What is different now? Well, I am much more experienced. I have hundreds of pages and projects done. So I feel that I can be inspiration to someone out there who may be just starting out. I also miss connecting with other scrapbookers. Can I make a page just for me? Sure—I do it all the time. The best part of scrapbooking is when my children (now teenagers) pull out one of my albums and look back over our early years.

And my sharing these days is not so much to get validation that my layouts are good, it is more of celebrating the fact that there are still those of us out there who are obsessed with this art.


Captured, Told, and Done

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When I walked into my scraproom the other day, I saw I huge stack of printed photos sitting on my shelf. Another hundred or so pictures were on my computer waiting to be printed. Scrappy supplies were scattered about. I looked at my calendar, realizing that summer is fleeing and I still have stories to be told. What is a scrapbooker to do?!?

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I go back to my scrapbooking basics. I choose one or two 4×6 photos, a sketch, and a story—and I go simple! For the rest of this month, I am challenging myself to consciously work my way step-by-step through my scrapbooking process from beginning to end on each page, so that I can get my memories captured, told, and done.

The underlying process for all my scrapbooking is using kits. I realized long ago that I scrap more effeciently (and have more fun!) when I use a limited number of supplies. A few years ago I went through all of my supplies and made kits. I put together a several sheets of coordinating patterned paper along with some matching embellishments—then I immediately had a starting point when I sat down at my desk to make a page.

Today I grabbed a kit with several papers in medium yellows, blues, and oranges. With those papers I had paired an embellishment kit from Freckled Fawn in similar colors.

First I went to that stack of printed photos and just started thumbing through them. Eventually one caught my eye—a photo of me that my son had taken. It was winter and I was down at the barn waiting for the vet to come and check on my horse. I immediately thought of the many hours I spend down at the barn and that I should document that fact.

Next I found a sketch to use—one that I had made myself! It is fairly simple, but flexible. Using sketches is the second way that I am able to scrap quickly and enjoy the process.

As I began putting my page together, more memories of that day came back. I remembered that I was down at the barn because I had just finished riding and my horse was acting funny. I was afraid that something was seriously wrong, so I immediately called the vet. In the photo I am wating for her to arrive. Luckily, it was nothing serious! This story became the one I wanted to tell.

I love using patterned paper(s) as my background. I picked the circle paper from Echo Park on the bottom because the pink in the circles is similar to the pink in my coat. The arrow paper from My Mind’s Eye had a smaller print and the color contrasted and complemented the circle paper.

The yellow paper is the B side of the circle paper. It has a very suble polka-dot pattern so I used it for the journaling block as well as an accent piece and the date label.

From there I added embellishments in visual triangles along with my title. Moment captured, story told, and layout done!






New Kit Love

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I LOVE kits. I remember the thrill of subscribing to my first kit club way back in 2002 when I first began scrapbooking. Over the years I have been a member of many different kit clubs and recently began making my own from my stash. However, I still love the thrill of getting that big square box in the mail each month!

My newest membership is with Citrus Twist Kits. I have long admired their products and decided to try the main kit. The first kit I received was the April offering—“Flight of Whimsy.” What a beautiful collection! I loved the soft yellows, pinks, and greens with a few touches of turquoise. Perfect colors for the season.

For the first layout I made with this collection, I also used a sketch from the Citrus Twist Kits blog. Since I like to use sketches when I scrap, I love that there is a new sketch on the blog each Sunday. They layout I created documents the story of how my husband is teaching my son to play the piano.


The photos I used had an unflattering yellowish cast due to the light over the piano. After playing around with the editing, I decided to print the pictures in black-and-white. The B&W edit keeps the focus on the people in the top photo and really complements the keyboard in the second.

Even though these are “boy” photos, I chose to use the pink heart patterned paper for my background. I liked the subtlety of the print and the fact that the B&W photos would pop against the pink. I added more graphic prints in complementary colors for the accent pieces to create contrast. Then on went the journaling, title, a few embellishments, and a little stamping to finish the page!

So far I am thoroughly enjoying this new kit. I am ready to make more layouts!


April at Simple Scrapper

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Ah, Spring! You are so wonderful! I love spring for many reasons. My birthday is in the spring, that means presents and cake! This year, my daughter made a fabulous chocolate ganache cake for me. It was DELICIOUS!

The weather here is slowly becoming warmer. We live on a farm with horses and trudging through ice and snow to feed them is a chore. The horses are happy too—they finally have grass to eat again!

And with the warmer weather comes spring flowers. We have beautiful yellow daffodils, tiny purple wild violas, and delicate white wood anemone already blooming.

wood anemone

Perhaps my favorite part of spring is celebrating Easter. The time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday is a special time for me. I feel a sense of renewal, patience, and promise inside and out. I documented these feelings in a layout for Simple Scrapper using this month’s Story Starters, In Good Faith.


My layout began with the photograph of the Easter egg candles on my dining room table. I went back through past Sketch/Templates and found a fairly simple design that would highlight my picture as well as leave room for journaling.

My second layout for April began with a Sketch/Template that featured one prominent photo. I had this cute picture of our dog Sasha, a Great Pyrenees/St. Bernard mix, and wanted to tell her story.

third chance

We adopted Sasha from a local rescue after she had been given up by two families. She has the guard-dog instincts of a Great Pyrenees, but also loves to be with her family like a St. Bernard. We hoped that life on our farm would meet all of Sasha’s needs. She has been with us for over three years now!

Once I decided on this story, I proceeded with the layout, using one of April’s Sketch/Templates. Since the colors in the photo are fairly neutral, I used several colorful patterned papers on the page.

What stories are you scrapping this spring?

Time Flies–Even on a Horse

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About eight years ago, my three children were all in preschool and kindergarten, and I suddenly found myself with a few free hours each week. On a whim, I called a local barn and signed up for riding lessons.

A few months later, my kids wanted to ride the ponies too. Pretty soon we were all taking lessons and hanging out at the barn on Saturdays.

My daughter was around six when she first hopped on a pony. A few years later she got her own pony, Jazz, a cute little dun who became my daughter’s best friend. I recently found an older photo of my daughter and Jazz taken at a local show. I could not wait to scrap it with a recent picture.

Today, my daughter is fourteen and has a new pony named Josie. They have become quite the pair—they both love competing in Horse Trials and have won several ribbons together. I am amazed at the outstanding horsewoman my daughter has become.

then and now

Once I found the recent photo, this layout came together fairly quickly. Since I work from a kit, I just used supplies that were already out on my table.

My favorite part of the layout is the journaling card. I filled in the “SMILE” with a Tim Holtz distress pen in the new color, abandoned coral. It’s such a pretty color!

I hope my daughter will look back on this page one day and be as proud of herself as I am today!