Posts tagged with "albums"

Storing stash – paper packs

It is a well known fact that crafters are hoarders. We just can’t help ourselves. When presented with brand new goodies, we have to have it, and, knowing the industry, sometimes this is wise. How many times have I gone to buy a paper pack again only to find it discontinued?!

And so, our collecting begin. It starts with a box of bits and pieces and soon evolves into drawers, then cabinets, then rooms FULL of the stuff. I am no exception here, and as I scrap for a living, I have a lot of themes I may have to cover and that means LOTS of paper packs.

So, how to store them so that they are viewed and accessed easily? I have tried many methods but as my stash has grown, my organisation has undertaken some changes.

The easiest and simplest way that I have found is stacking them on shelves, in alphabetical order, with the pack name simply written on lengths of masking tape or labels. I’m not too neat about it, as you can see – there are better things to do with my time than lining the names up in a row and using the same pen and colour. (I was seriously OCD in a former life!)

Storing paper at The Scrapbooker

This makes it super fast for me to review and pull out papers when I need them. It also makes it very easy to accommodate more paper packs as my stash expands (which it has and will.)

Storing paper at The Scrapbooker 3

Some of the thinner packs (Carina Gardiner, Kaisercraft and such like) don’t have very thick edges for the tape so I repack them in plastic print wallets and stick the label on the edge of that.

Now – what to do with off cuts? I mean, we don’t always use an entire sheet.

Enter the super large, heavy duty ring binder albums from Pioneer. Gotta love ‘em!

Storing paper at The Scrapbooker 2

I use these albums and cheap album refills to stash my off cuts. use the same alphabetical system and it works like a dream, as long as I can remember to check my off cuts before I cut into full sheets.

Pioneer albums at The Scrapbooker

The albums have large rings to hold loads of inserts and are heavy duty (much needed!)

Pioneer albums at The Scrapbooker 2

It’s so easy to slot the off cuts into an album insert, slap a label on the front and file it away in the album – you simply buy more albums and inserts as your stash grows. It’s relatively cheap too if you compare it to buying drawers, cabinets or heavy duty boxes.

Quick, efficient and economical – just what you need when you are a busy crafter!

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New bespoke scrapbook services

I am constantly surprised by how products emerge, develop and take on an identity of their own – all driven by my lovely clients. Each one seems to take a product I currently offer and tailor it to their individual needs and so create different bi-products (if that is the correct term!) and I absolutely love this!

In the Autumn of last year I was approached by a wonderful young man who wanted to use a handmade scrapbook album as a ‘tool’ to propose to his childhood sweetheart – the last page being a photo of a ring box. This request was met with much ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ in the shop as we told clients and family and friends – what an utterly romantic idea … it simply warmed our hearts.

marriage proposal page- marry me scrapbook package


I was delighted to be asked to work on this, it was a new area for me to get involved in but made perfect sense. The client was over the moon when he received the album:

Testimonial at The Scrapbooker

Thinking no more of it, Christmas came and went and life for us here at the shop went on.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, another 2 enquiries for exactly the same thing came in. I was baffled – I hadn’t posted anything about the album I had crafted in December at all and there was no reference to it anywhere on the website – in fact I was really conscious about keeping it well under wraps until after Christmas so as not to give ANYTHING away.

I am currently midway through the new orders but it got me thinking today that there are a few romantic men out there looking for original and unique ways to propose to their loved ones and I should consider developing this into a package. In fact, seeing as we are DEEP into a recession and pennies are rather tight for everyone, developing a few packages across different categories and price brackets is probably a good idea too.

So, a morning’s work later, here they are – the first packages. The ‘Marry Me!‘ is pretty self explanatory, then there’s the ‘Birthday/Anniversary package‘ (I have crafted quite a few of these for clients but never though to develop them further – what have I been doing?!!) and the ‘Design Your Own‘ – for those who want to decorate but not build.

New Scrapbooker Service packages

All, in my mind, represent excellent choice and value across the range, and I’m already thinking about other packages to include.

If you are interested in any of these packages, see them in my shop or contact me for further details.

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Handcrafted photographic albums hit the store!

Since I first introduced my handcrafted scrapbooking albums a few months ago, it occurred to me that there may be a small market for bespoke handcrafted photographic albums. At the time, there was no way I was going to even attempt to design a framework or get my head around the process (and the maths!) required to craft something like this – after all, it had taken me weeks of trail and error (and a box of half finished albums) before I got the scrapbooks just right. No, I would shelve the idea and concentrate on new designs for my scrapbook albums, like this gorgeous ‘Weekend in Paris’ album.

Then a couple of weeks ago, the inevitable happened: an enquiry from a lovely lady wanting VERY large bespoke photographic albums to fill with memories of her Mum. How could I refuse?!

I sat down and worked on the dimensions and considered the materials I would need – a very heavy frame for a start as these were to house traditional black photographic leaves AND glassine sheets.  After a week or so, the design was done, the frame board acquired  and the handmade indian paper ordered that would be the cover…oh and some rather wide black grosgrain ribbon.

I started to craft the album…..






The front and back panels were similar to the scrapbook albums frames but that is where the similarity ends. An additional super-strong spine needed to be crafted to house and carry the weight of the heavy photo leaves and the glassine paper (this album housed 30 leaves and 30 glassine papers).








Securing it all would be tricky. I already had a supplier for my album posts but these simply weren’t large enough OR tough enough: new posts would need to be ordered and, it turned out, manufactured specially for the job.

My client was very specific about the cover – her Mum had been a huge Art Deco fan so the album had to reflect this. A gorgeous olive green paper with burgundy pattern and glittery green diamonds was selected. I had my reservations about the black ribbon but it all worked out so well, especially with it being lined with black paper.

Please with the album, I packed it off to my client and waited to hear what she thought. I was delighted when I received this …

 “Hello Andrea – just to let you know the album arrived
this morning and it is beautiful.
Thank you very much!”

On the back of this little success, I am now offering these lovely albums, with a choice of papers, in my shop. If you are looking for something special and unique, hop on over there and take a look around!

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Handcrafted scrapbook albums go down a storm

You can’t imagine the thrill I get when an enquiry comes in, especially for a handcrafted scrapbook album. Thoughts of immersing myself in a large project of this kind, designing each page individually to suit the contribution and photographs and using my newly acquired stash of decorative papers, pretty embellishments, papers and trimmings excites me no end.

Back in March of this year, I received an enquiry from a lovely lady in Switzerland who wanted to gift an album to her amazing Mum in the US on her 70th birthday. In June, the contributions started to come in and work began on the designs – over 45 of them! I was in my element ….

I had received some beautiful cards, letters, memories and memorabilia – all of which aided the design process – the recipient was also a very keen, accomplished gardener and baker so the use of flowers, floral papers and baking related embellishments all added up to a collection of very delicate, pretty pages. It was a joy to craft.

After a couple of weeks, the pages were completed, carefully placed into the albums, packaged up and packed off to America.  A week later, I received these lovely emails:

“I wanted to let you know the scrapbooks arrived today. They are INCREDIBLE. You truly have a talent. The detail and creativity are so evident. I can’t wait for Nancy and James to see the books and most importantly to give them to our Mom this weekend for her birthday. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job!”
“My brother Mike just sent a few snapshots of the albums that you created for our mom – Wow! The pages are incredibly creative and absolutely beautiful. Our mom will be thrilled!”

and a lovely testimonial from my client in Switzerland.

I was thrilled!

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Craft and sewing classes now available!

As we venture into our 2nd month in our new home at Cherry Tree Interiors, I thought it was high time we sat down and thought about the classes we should run.

We chatted to our new customers as they wandered around the shop during the opening weeks and the most common demand seemed to be for our bunting and cushion workshops – so they were definitely on our list. There was also great interest in paper crafting and scrapbooking, so these have been added on too.

All of our classes run during the day and some are also run in the evening, so even if you’re tied up with work (or the kids) during the day, our evening classes will give you that opportunity to chill out, make some pretty awesome stuff and socialise with like-minded people.

We will be adding to the list of courses available over the coming months. Some suggestions for courses have been photography basics (adults and children), knitting, crocheting and learning how to use your sewing machine; check in from time to time or Email me! to send us suggestions of courses you would like to see offered or subscribe to our newsletter.

Full listing and booking information can be found here, or you can pop in and see us at the shop.

We look forward to seeing you all!

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Clean and purge

Every now and again in a desperate bid to keep control of my ever-expanding studio,  I go through all my supplies and make difficult decisions about what to keep and what to sell.








A couple of years ago I bought a stack, and I mean a stack, of chipboard scrapbook albums, albums in a tin and chipboard accents from Basic Grey, Maya Road and Mystical Memories and had them shipped over from the States. They were just gorgeous, perfect for the craft courses I was running at the time!

After the classes stopped I put the chipboard scrapbook albums and accents aside thinking I’d use them again. Sadly they are now collecting dust and after much deliberation have hence forth been assigned to my Ebay/Scrapbooker Shop.

So, if you need (notice the use of ‘need’ not ‘want’) some rather gorgeous chipboard albums or accents, hope on over to the SHOP and grab yourself a bargain … and please, be quick, before I change my mind!

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Group Gifting @ The Scrapbooker

Group Gifting is a new way to buy larger, more expensive gifts for family, friends and colleagues that would otherwise be out of reach to anyone looking to buy them on their own. Group gifting allows friends and family to contribute to gifts and also eliminates the dilemma of choosing a gift for someone who has everything.

“It’s the thought that counts, but it’s the gift they’ll remember.”

We’ve all struggled over what to get Mum and Dad for their Wedding Anniversary, a friend at work on their retirement, a couple on their wedding day or a daughter on her coming of age. Buying something on our own that is special, personalised, meaningful and within budget is incredibly difficult. Our bespoke scrapbook albums and personalised PhotoArt pieces are the perfect gifts but can be costly for an individual to buy on their own. Group Gifting allows family and friends to come together and contribute to the cost of the album or PhotoArt as a group, each enjoying the benefits of giving a meaningful gift without fronting the entire cost.

Our bespoke scrapbook albums make perfect gifts for anyone retiring. Rather than the usual whip-round for that ubiquitous engraved tankard or clock, why not Group Gift a beautiful scrapbook album or photo book of photographs, accomplishments and memories instead. We created a beautiful digital scrapbook for Sir Al Aynsley Green on his retirement as England’s First Commissioner. It is filled with photographs, testimonials and memories. 11Million, who commissioned the album, were delighted.

Our digital Scrapbook albums offer a modern, clean alternative to the traditional scrapbook album and are perfect for young, dynamic people like Jake Nicholls. He was gifted a digital coffee table scrapbook to commemorate his career as a Motocross rider from the age of 5 through to adulthood. He carries a copy with him at all times but we made sure that his Mom had a copy too!

Our Group Gifting service will, hopefully, be available in our shop in the New Year but in the meantime, please contact me if you are interested in receiving further information.

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The Scrapbooker goes global!

The advantages of working the way I do means my business knows no geographical boundaries. Working from my studio using all the IT, social networking and communication tools at my disposal means I can produce work for clients around the globe as quickly and as efficiently as though they were living 2 miles away.

When I received a call from Penny Raphaely about producing 2 traditionally crafted bespoke scrapbooks for her husband, Tony, for his 70th birthday, I assumed it would be pretty straight forward. To create the scrapbook would be, but the communication and organisation required to bring it altogether was something else; 4 sons and their families spread over 4 continents, family, friends and business associates spread all over the world and themselves with homes in 3 cities on 3 continents and constantly on the move, this was going to take a little more than a few emails. There were over a 100 separate contributions, each represented by a different page and a unique relevant design. There was also the small matter of shipping 2 very large and very heavy albums to Sydney, Australia where they would be gifted at Tony’s 70th birthday party.

I was incredibly excited!

With Penny’s permission I took over communicating with all 100 of the contributors, and, under a shroud of absolute secrecy, emails, letters, digital photos, scanned photos, original 90-year-old vintage photographs, poems, stories, drawings, paintings, calligraphy, prayers and personal memories came flooding in. The response overwhelmed me. I took a lot of time out to look at and read each and everyone carefully and was completely bowled over by what people had to say about Tony. If these words could make me emotional, and they did, imagine the effect they would have on Tony.

Several months later, albums designed and completed and carefully packed off to Australia, I sat and waited to hear how they had been received. I was not disappointed:

“This is Nikki Raphaely emailing you from Australia.
I would like to say WELL DONE on the most amazing scrapbooks. They are so creative, so beautifully put together and what ideas you had for each and every page. They are truly remarkable and it was so wonderful to see Tony’s joy and elation at receiving them and then reading all the letters and the kind things people said to him.
Thank you and well done!”

and then, to my joy, an email from Tony himself …

“Dear Andrea,
I am sure you can imagine how blown away I was last week when Penny gave me your two albums. Apart from the contents of the letters, your artwork is breathtaking and so well compliments the wonderful sentiments expressed by my relations and friends. Everyone I have shown your albums to has marveled at what you have done. I know you were paid for your work but just want you to know how appreciative I am of the masterpieces you created.
Best wishes
Tony Raphaely”

I was incredibly thrilled and delighted that Tony loved the albums, it made all the hard work worthwhile!

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Commercial Suicide

I have just returned from the Hobbie Craft Exhibition at the NEC and as I sit here, nursing my sore and burning feet from the 3 hours of walking I’ve just done, I’m reflecting on a day of disappointments and surprises.

The first disappointment comes from the total lack of Scrapbook albums on display (the reason for me going in the firsIMG_9342t place) I mean, not one company specialising in Scrapbook Albums at a Craft Fayre!  If they don’t exhibit here, where do they exhibit?

The second disappointment which completely took me by surprise was the reluctance of a company (who shall remain nameless) to deal with me because I wasn’t a traditional retail outlet.“We don’t deal with people like you, we only deal with bricks and mortar companies!”

Oh, oh-kay…..

Well, let’s be honest here I’m not an established high street outlet, in fact I don’t have an outlet at all – I’m a sole trader, a designer, I don’t have a traditional craft shop either, I don’t have an online presence in scrapbook and craft supplies and I’m not likely to spend £1000 on product at the drop of a hat BUT the point here is and it’s a BIG POINT –

I could well be thinking about it.

Most companies, no ALL the companies I spoke to today bar one were fab; minimum orders ranged from £100 + carriage to £250 – carriage paid. Values I could easily live with considering the savings I was making on some, let’s face it, pretty damn fine scrapbooking products! More importantly the  suppliers are changing  their minimum requirements to meet and support the increasing numbers of online stores and independents like me. They understand that the online stores and independents of today could be tomorrow’s next big thing and more over in today’s economic climate:

money is money – an order is an order…NO MATTER HOW SMALL!

Today I spent far more than I anticipated with one company – Creative Expressions (yes, I am naming them as they were absolutely TOP DRAWER!) Why? Because their products were of an excellent quality and value for money and their pack quantities weren’t ridiculously high; their sales representative spent almost an hour with me discussing their products, showing me how to use them and explaining the short term and long term benefits of owning them and everyone I spoke to on their stand displayed an interest in my small business – how I used, stored and maintained the products I bought and the vision I had for my businesses future. I mean, come on how easy is that!?

Consequently I spent a small fortune……..

The nameless company I mentioned earlier could… well, be nameless next year. If they continue to take  a small minded attitude to big minded small traders (who, may I add are not only SURVIVING  the credit crunch but as a result of their can-do attitude, flexibility and foresight are actually riding it out confidently) … their businesses might not even be here next year.

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