Posts tagged with "scrapbooking"

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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Oh-so modern hybrid scrapbooking

If you use your computer to add elements to your scrapbook pages, this is known as Hybrid Scrapbooking. It allows far more flexibility for text, titles and photos and is oh-so thoroughly modern. 

This ‘3 Queens’ layout  for a lovely client in Switzerland, is a classic example of a vintage style layout with a modern hybrid twist.

Hybrid scrapbooking @ The Scrapbooker

As the letter was very long and too big for the page, I retyped it and tucked the folded original into a pocket on the front. It keeps it safe for the recipient to read whenever they chose.

SCRAPBOOKING TIP: If I have a lot of text to get on a page and no room for paragraphs, I use decorative motifs (like the stars here) in a complimentary colour to indicate the paragraph breaks in the letter. 

I also always use a decorative script font in a complimentary colour for the introduction and the signature; it isn’t the contributors hand writing but it helps to give that impression.

Hybrid scrapbooking @ The Scrapbooker

Converted BW photo sits behind a die cut & embossed frame.

Hybrid scrapbooking @ The Scrapbooker

Decorative script font contrasts against the plain (50’s style) text body font

Hybrid scrapbooking @ The Scrapbooker

The original letter tucked inside a hand made pocket. The pocket also offers space and opportunity for a design element too – here a number 3 (part of the title) is placed on top of a vintage lace circle.

So cool.

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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 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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All Boy WordArt

I love how ideas for new products can suddenly come to fruition after months of hibernation. I’d been thinking about a large ‘Boy’ WordArt theme for sometime. I’d already designed and produced a smaller version in my All About A boy range …

but the more I worked on the Quintessentially  range – the bigger stuff, the more I thought about making these MUCH bigger. Not only can you get loads more words on the page, being able to incorporate photos was an added bonus.

With Christmas fast approaching last year I was forced to pull a few designs quickly out of the bag and so set to work – this was one of the first designs to emerge …

This young man’s Dad furnished me with a lot of words so getting them all on was tricky but not impossible – it just took a little extra time and planning. I kept all the photos to black and white (which is what I do for ALL my WordArt and PhotoArt pieces) it allows for so much more freedom when it comes to choosing typography colour schemes.

The end result? I was happy, Dad was happy and from what I can gather, boy was happy – so nice when that happens!

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Scrapbooks, Memory Albums or This is Your Life books?

Realising that you’ve come up with an original idea for a special birthday or family celebration is a huge relief; a collection of photos and stories provided by friends and family is a truly worthwhile gift. Your joy, however, is short lived as you realise you now have to find someone to create it for you.

You know what you want, you’ve overheard others talk about them and you may have even seen some evidence of them in craft shops, online sites,  supermarkets and home decoration superstores but you have no idea what they are called, so how can you even begin to Google your way through the options?  I know it’s hard. Every now and again I check to see what words my visitors have been keying into Google to try to find me. Today, for example, visitors have found me with ‘custom made scrapbooks‘, ‘this is your life scrapbook’, ‘anniversary scrapbook pages’ and ‘memory albums’. A real mixture but all very relevant and all meaning exactly the same thing.

As my business is global I have to be aware of the fact that scrapbooks are also known by different names in different countries. Eg. In America they are commonly known as scrapbooks and memory albums, in the UK they are known as This is Your Life books and scrapbooks and in Australia they are known as scrapbooks and memory books. Phew – what a mind-field!

The biggest trick though is trying to inform people that we are actually here and that yes, we actually do create scrapbooks, memory albums, This is Your Life books or whatever else you choose to call them (along with loads of other goodies) as a full time business. It’s what we do, it’s what we love to do.

Now if we could just have one universal word for it please, that would be awesome. Thank you!

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Ballerina PhotoArt

Last year, a good friend commissioned me to photograph her very talented daughter in various ballet poses as part of her application to the Royal Ballet School in London. During the shoot, I took full advantage of the time, and of a very beautiful, elegant young lady, and took some rather wonderful portraits of her as well – much to her Mum’s delight.

To add to her delight further, I created this gorgeous PhotoArt piece using the photos – a little visual reminder of her daughter who is now, happily boarding at the Royal Ballet School but who is, sadly, missed very much by her mum.

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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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Digital goodies have moved ….

As The Scrapbooker has evolved over the last few years, so have my interests (and my skills!) I spent many a night designing digital scrapbooking papers, brushes and elements and trying to make a mark in this vast industry. There are some pretty awful digital products out there and some pretty amazing ones too (neither group, in my opinion, I belong in) but honestly, I much preferred to buy what I needed rather than spend a lot of time designing it.

It was always my intention when I moved my Scrapbooker site to discontinue a lot of my products, but a couple of orders last week involving the buyers purchasing pretty much everything in my shop, made me reconsider.

With this in mind I have decided to move all of my digital scrapbooking stock across to my little known Etsy shop SixtySix. So, if you’re in the market for reasonably priced digital scrapbooking products (including Commercial Use) hop over to SixtySix and have a mooch.

Can I just take this opportunity to thank all of you who have bought from me in the past. Every order, no matter how small, put a smile on my face and made a big difference.

Hot link to my Digi Boutique just in case you missed it!

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