The Scrapbooker

Posts tagged with "The Scrapbooker"

Retirement album for Headmistress

I was approached this Summer by a lovely school who wanted to dedicate an album to a wonderful head teacher who as retiring at the end of the year.

It was an amazing album to work on – collated into years, it contained artwork and letters  from every child at the school, memories on post cards from parents, teachers and staff and diary entries from the previous Headmasters describing the career of the now retiring Head.

The opening page

Retirement scrapbook album at the Scrapbooker

The school provided graphics and photos from around the school, art cards found in the Head’s office and key words that represented the ethos of the school. All were incorporated in to the album.

Retirement scrapbook album at the Scrapbooker

There was so much material, I simply couldn’t fit it all on the pages so I crafted white folded inserts to slip into the album, these folded out and housed every piece of artwork.

Retirement scrapbook album at the Scrapbooker

The school were very keen to make the album as personal as possible so I crafted two bespoke albums to house the pages and the additional material. The theme was one of the sea and relaxation. I crafted a bespoke box to the back and printed both the cover and the lining of the albums.

Bespoke personalised scrapbook album by The Scrapbooker Bespoke personalised scrapbook album by The Scrapbooker Bespoke personalised scrapbook album by The Scrapbooker

The Headmistress was delighted with the album

Retirement scrapbook album at the Scrapbooker

and the school sent me a lovely testimonial


You can find further samples of my work in the gallery.

If you are interested in commissioning a scrapbook album for someone’s retirement, wedding, birthday or special occasion, Email Me , I would love to hear from you.

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Marry Me (with a hidden gem!)

We met Eugene, a lovely client from Parsons Green when we were delivering a large album to clients in Chelsea. Eugene was not your average guy. He didn’t just want to use my Marry Me Package to propose to his girlfriend, he wanted the ring somehow embedded into the album itself.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I set about working out exactly how to do this and to make it look good. he wanted to use a grey and yellow colour scheme which was lucky as I had some beautiful book cloth in both a mid grey and deep yellow in stock. I also had some fantastic hinges which I had picked up some time ago and had wondered how I could incorporate them into a layout or album.

It all came together surprisingly well …

A heart shaped aperture to the front containing illustrations of their pet names for each other and surrounded by faux gems and a single yellow pearl


Marry me album at The Scrapbooker


The grey book cloth album showing the box section at the back, all lined with a gorgeous yellow book cloth



marry me album at The Scrapbooker


More of the box section


Marry me album at The Scrapbooker


The album frame showing the wallets and the box section at the back. The 2 doors opened up to reveal a ring box and ring for ‘YES’ in one and a sad but funny photo for ‘NO’ (should she decline the proposal!)


Marry me album with ring compartment at The Scrapbooker


The album was a huge success and of course she said ‘YES!”

If you are interested in proposing to your loved one in an amazing, unique and thoughtful way, my Marry Me Package s just perfect for the job!

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Beautiful renovated furniture at Cherry Tree Interiors

When me and the girls at Cherry Tree Interiors were considering the interior of the new shop, the subject of renovated furniture came up.

Now, we’re no strangers to sourcing and renovating furniture, it’s kinda been a hobby of ours for some time. I remember my husband’s amazement as I spent 3 days in our back garden donning goggles, dungarees and heavy duty gloves to strip back beautiful pine furniture we’d been gifted by my parents. We appreciate good furniture and just because it’s been coated in heavy varnish or painted in a purple gloss paint doesn’t mean we can’t see the potential.

I’ve been meaning to post some pictures of the furniture we renovate and sell in the shop but every time I go to photograph it, it sells – such is the demand. So, with this in mind, having JUST put the glass knobs on the doors of a pretty sideboard, I thought I’d take the opportunity and grab some pictures.

This pretty teak sideboard is from the 1970’s. Originally varnished, it has been lovingly stripped and painted in a soft chalk white paint. We then hand cut flowers, bird cages and birds from wallpaper by Dutch Company PIP Studios and adhered them to the board to create a pretty collage.

It has been finished with a coat of clear varnish and lined with the PIP wallpaper from which the flowers have been cut. It is a beautiful piece and would be perfect for any shabby chic setting, little girls (or big girl’s room) or on it’s own in a hallway. It’s already getting a lot of attention in the shop.


Width: 125cm          Depth: 42cm          Height: 67cm

If you are interested in purchasing this lovely piece of gorgeousness (and who wouldn’t) and want to beat the crowds, call us on 0121 420 4333 or shoot over to our online shop!

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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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Bespoke WordArt for Cherry Tree Interiors

We are now entering our 3rd month at Cherry Tree Interiors on Harborne High Street; one thing is clear is that people are still finding us, whether they be local or not. Harborne Carnival helped on Sunday 8th July and with over 60,000 visitors, it should do too!

Our glamorous assistant on the door (my 7 year old) insisted on helping the older girls hand out leaflets outside the front door. The shop has never been so busy.

Talking with the girls (Max and Nicky) over the last couple of weeks, the biggest issue we have is that people simply don’t know what we do; there are so many sections to our business we can’t always advertise the products in the small shop window.

I had a little bit of time on my hands on Saturday and feeling inspired by a wordart I was working on, produced this for the smaller shop window.

I think that says it all, don’t you?

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The Scrapbooker is (finally) on the move

Some years ago, my sister and her business partner sought to relocate their expanding soft furnishings/interiors business (The Cherry Tree UK) to the beautiful leafy suburb of Harborne in Birmingham. After months of legal to-ing and fro-ing, hold-ups and money invested, the rug was ceremoniously pulled from underneath them (by a dodgy landlord) and left them without both premises and further finance to try again. It devasted them and knocked their business back 5 years –  a sad reality for small businesses in the UK.

Over the following 7 years, the girls (Maxine and Nicky) kept their eye on the High Street in Harborne. Their business continued to grow, not only surviving the worst recession for decades but thriving in it and it soon became very apparent in 2011 that new premises was very much a necessity. Randomly on one of her frequent drives along the High Street, Maxine noticed a lovely 3 storey building at the top of the Hight Street, the first shop in fact, you see as you enter the Village from the City. It held the space and the light needed to host their new ideas and product ranges. Now there was just the small matter of securing it.

4 months later after much negotiation, hold ups and legal BS, the lease was signed and the keys handed over. There was enormous relief and huge excitement here on Monday.

So what’s my involvement here? Well, my relationship with the girls has been long standing – we all worked together 20 years ago,  so we all go WAAAAY back. I worked for them as an interiors consultant a few years ago before I set up on my own; I also designed and manage their website and have produced their marketing and advertising material for many years now too; I  know their business very well and could add value to it by providing hand made products that compliment their hand-made soft furnishings and renovated furniture. Having an extra pair of hands was also a pre-requisite for them should they ever move or expand – I gladly obliged.

As I said, we were all VERY excited here on Monday. After years of trying, the girls had finally secured a premises in Harborne and I would be moving with them. It has been incredibly hard not to blog about this little achievement for many months but after the failed attempt years ago, I simply didn’t want to jinx anything.

But not anymore. As a little taster, here’s an artist’s impression (that’ll be me playing in Photoshop then) of the new premises – as it is now and how we hope it will look after much painting and decorating. More details will most certainly follow …

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Twitter me …That was quick!

I was sat browsing my Twitter feed one night last week (as you do) and casually noticed a mention I received from @TurnOnSocial. I didn’t know TurnOnSocial but they had very kindly recommended my handmade scrapbook albums to Kelly at VintageFancies who was after a beautiful handmade scrapbook album for a friend’s 30th birthday.

Without hesitation, I contacted Kelly at Vintage Fancies (and thanked TurnOnSocial for the referral) – my handcrafted scrapbook albums were literally hot off the press last week and hadn’t even hit my store. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity; and anyway, it was a good way to gauge whether the new albums would be of interest to folks and what kind of response they would get.

After a brief discussion with Kelly at Vintage Fancies, I set about creating a bespoke album for her. This was the result …

I love this beautiful post-bound album and am so pleased with how it turned out. It is 12.5″ x 13.5 ” and takes 12″ x 12″ wallet inserts or paper pages; I double boarded it for added stability and bound it with 3 hidden metal posts. Purple and gold art deco style handmade paper coat the exterior with a purple and silver mirror trim ribbon and a single large faux gem to the front. The interior is lined with purple handmade paper with a single pocket to the front and 2 tags with 10 internal wallets giving 20 workable sides on which to craft or journal.

This album is now available to buy in our shop.

As I had a bit of spare paper left over from the cover, I crafted this pocket notebook / photo holder as a gift for Kelly for being my first album customer.

I packed both of them off to Kelly and waited to see how they would be received. I was not disappointed, Kelly kindly tweeted

“Oh my goodness oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” on her feed when she received it, followed by

“I have just received the most beautiful Scrapbook from the lovely @scrapbookeruk absolutely gorgeous! if you are not following you should be”.

This made my day! It also proves that it not only pays to BE on Twitter but to also read your feed regularly!

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Kuler- simply rock and roll!

There are a few things that rock my design world on a regular basis: paper – preferably patterned, textured and heavyweight, seriously talented paper artists like Jen Stark and Yulia Brodskaya, letterpress projects, retro wallpaper designs (you should see my studio and my dining room!), typography and of course, Kuler.

For those of you not in the know, Kuler is an internet application from Adobe Systems that lets people try out, create and save various color schemes. If you’re creating websites, digital scrapbooking supplies, interior designs, fabric patterns, or any other visual, you can experiment with color variations and browse the thousands of wonderfully named themes from the Kuler community; names such as Tears of a Clownfish, Enchanted Getaway and Bubble Coconut. Not only do they sound wonderful, they are a veritable feast for the eyes – how can this not make you smile?!

It is an invaluable resource for me and can spark my imagination in an instant. If I’m having trouble building a scheme around an old photo, I simply select colours from my photo, make a note of the RGB, CMYK or Hex number, go to Kuler, key in the codes or numbers and it builds schemes for me or suggests pre-designed schemes from the community. If I’m struggling to design a digital scrapbooking paperpack, I can jump to Kuler, select a scheme from the community and build my product around those colours.

My Banyan Tree paper pack for digital scrapbookers is designed around a colour scheme I fell in love with whilst browsing the community on Kuler. It remains one of my favorite colour schemes –  not only forming the basis of my paperpack but also the colour scheme in my bathroom…

Seriously rock ‘n’ roll!

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Using your home to promote your business

Whenever a client calls at the house, the first thing they always comment on is the large (and I mean LARGE!) creative canvas hung on the wall in the dining room – it is 36″ x 24″ and is of my darling 5-year-old DD…

Its reason for being there is three-fold. Firstly, I love the canvas (in fact I love it so much it forms the basis of nearly all my advertising postcards and leaflets), secondly, it looks fabulous against the rich red walls, and thirdly, when clients visit me and are waiting for me to make them their tea/coffee, they casually walk around the dining room browsing the quirky paintings, drawings, photos, paper crafts and arty bits and pieces that are on display. The canvas always attracts attention. I have sold more creative canvases this way than any other form of advertising or marketing.

A neighbour was in our home for a BBQ last year and fell in love with it too; she booked a photo shoot with her 2 gorgeous kids, ordered an album, several prints, a framed montage, and this week, on the back-end of that initial enquiry, a creative canvas – this one is 30″ x 20″. Simply gorgeous.

Opening your home up to clients can be tricky, you always have to have it looking clean and tidy and smelling sweet for a start! (I was up at 6.30 this morning doing just that as I had a client meeting me at the house straight after the school run). But it also has huge advantages; being able to work around my kids’ timetables and my husband’s job, being able to dash upstairs to grab a client’s file and discuss their requirements whilst stirring a risotto also has its merits. More significantly, it allows me to adorn my home with my unique personalised pieces, whether it be photos, canvases, paper, photo and word art montages, paper crafts, hand-made books and ornaments – even knitted handbags (yes, I have been known to don a pair of knitting needles). It also allows my clients to view items ‘in situ’, not in some cold, white-walled, impersonal studio. Framed photos and prints line my walls, stairways and hall, canvases sit on shelves and are hung from walls, albums, WordArt, PaperArt and PhotoArt pieces are casually placed around the house along with handmade books and arty pieces. All are used and looked at and ‘lived in’ within my home – this, in my opinion, is why I get the response I do from clients.

To prove a point, my client (from the school run this morning), booked a photo shoot, placed an order for a 36″ x 24″ creative canvas and asked whether I would be interested in running a craft afternoon for her daughter’s forthcoming birthday bash – all this, before I had even passed her her coffee.

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