Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scrapping Madness Otherwise Known as a Trip Through Michael's Hell!

With my new crafty attitude firmly in place, I ventured out to Michael's yesterday. I'd hoped to use some of my birthday money on a travel journal for my NYC photos and memorabilia. Having dabbled in scrapbooking when it first became a big trend, 6 years ago I think, I was pretty confident that I could swoop into the craft store and easily find something that met my needs. Uh...NOT! One frustrating hour later I abandoned my shopping cart and headed home, ready to just toss the photos into a box and forget about it. Ranting to my artsy daughters over a glass of chardonnay, they nodded in understanding and encouraged me to try again - somewhere else, with different expectations.

You see, it appears that my idea of scrapbooking/memory keeping is much different than that of the "average" crafter out there. I don't want to spend $15.00 on a single page! I don't want said page to consist of one photo bordered by a bunch of embellishments! No offense to those who like such things, I've seen some lovely pages done that way. It's just not me. As glitzy as I can be in other areas (my red Paris-themed boudoir comes to mind), I am very simple in others. I can't stand clutter. I don't like bunches of tchockies all over my house. It's my OCD, I know, but bunches of "stuff" around my home makes me nervous and anxious. I like a few well-placed items and that is IT. So, I guess what I'm saying is that's how I envision my memory books as well. I want a few related photos on one page, center stage, framed in complimentary colors, with a few embellishments here & there. Simple. Clean. Elegant.

So, you see, I know what I want and supposedly that is half the battle. However, Michael's does not seem to share my vision. I didn't find any nice expandable travel journal, first of all, and any vacation paper & accessories were too cutesy for me.
Sure, I could use plain paper for the whole thing, but what's the fun of that? Now, I know that there are specific stores out there who specialize in and teach the art of scrapping, but from what I can see they seem to cater to the clientele who love the aforementioned style and I don't want to be the only one there doing it "my way."

This is where I hope that you, dear readers, come in. I know that you are amazingly artistic and creative, probably some of you are into scrapbooking or other paper crafts. Can you help me find a store, or an instruction book, or a class..anything that shares my vision? Surely there must be other crafters out there who share my vision of simpler, less-adorned pages? Oh, and less costly would be helpful, too; I don't want the travel journal to cost more than the actual vacation!

Thoughts? Ideas?

Thank you,

Your frustrated scrapper wanna-be


Anonymous said...

I think you'd enjoy an *old fashioned* or vintage style photo album/scrapbook...40's style with black pages...handwritten captions (in white ink)...pockets for the flotsam and jetsam you picked up on your trip: ticket stubs, recipes, etc. Maybe more like a journal (after the fact)?

I've got *stuff*...lemme know



Teacats said...

How about turning the photos into black-and-white ones -- mat in creamy white (or a color that would work for your decor) -- frame alike in simple black or chocolate brown frames -- and create a family/vacation photo gallery on a wall. Add some wall shelves to "lean" the larger ones (and easy to swap out too!) The best inspiration place is to check out Pottery Barn's website (under Accessories -- and then Frames) OR simply take the photos and place them under glass on a table (maybe the kitchen table?) Again -- easy to change out! Or try the basic photo album concept -- in a simple black album with black pages! Simple but elegant!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Jen said...

I'm like you on this. I don't have time or desire to spend hours on a single page, let alone the $$$ Here's what I do--

buy 12x12 cardstock in a variety of colors (or all 1 color). I usually do a 2 page layout with the same color.

Crop (trim) your pictures with a paper cutter so you have what the picture is of, and no unnecessary background stuff. Then get a corner rounder and round the corners of your photos and adhere them to the pages with whatever adhesive you like (I use photo stickers) in an eye catching layout. I try to make a design that is pleasing with the geometric shapes of the pictures and choose a background color that goes with the picture.

Leave room for journaling (print it up on acid free paper, round the corners for continuity and arrange the journaling with the pictures).

Then I add 2-3 embellishments to the page--maybe a strip of ribbon going down one side, or a few stickers that go along with the theme of the page. I stock up on things that can be used in a variety of ways. Not counting the pictures, I may spend $1 a page total.

Ultimately, the pictures and the journaling are what make it a keep sake. If you have an eye pleasing composition of the pictures on the page, having a lot of fluff detracts more than it adds. My pages look streamlined and pretty, and I can churn out about 4-5 pages an hour. My books have continuity within them as well because of the similar style.

Deb said...

I always get overwhelmed when I venture into Michael's which explains the boxes of photos, ticket stubs,cards etc. which are sitting in boxes waiting for me to be inspired. I also like the simple, clean look - visually appealing without being over the top. I like the ideas that others have suggested here. I will be 'watching' to see what you decide to do! ;) Now I am going to wander over to your other blog - I am curious!