Monthly Archives: November 2007

Paperclipping 23 – Interview with Ali Edwards

If you’ve devoured all the books by Ali Edwards (like I have), then you may have noticed her most recent book, Life Artist, is different from her first two. In this interview you’ll get to hear Ali’s thoughts on why she made this one different.

You’ll also be the first to hear about Ali’s next book. Yes, you read that correctly. She is already writing her fourth book, and the Paperclipping audience is the first to hear her talk about it.

Listen here.

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Side-By-Side Photo Structure

Both of these layouts from the last video all started with the same concept, to lay the photos side by side. I love the ability to repeat a structure for a layout but use my creativity to do something different from what I’ve done before.

I think this is a key way to scrapbook: First choose an overall structure that works for your photos, and then embellish around that structure. I showed an example of how I do this in Paperclipping 14 (Clustering Your Embellishments) but will work on this more in a future episode.

I’m not a fan of posed studio photos. I buy the kids’ school pictures, but other than that, I never pay for studio shots.

Even though the pictures of my husband and I have a a lot of shine on our faces they show the real us. We’re posing, but we’re with friends and we’re being ourselves. We’re not anxious to get a perfect picture. We’re just having fun. Well, maybe the drinks help, too.

Three of the four pictures of my husband and I were originally pictures of us with our friends. I had extras and I loved the connection my husband is making with me in these, so I used a square punch so that I could make a grouping of the two of us enjoying each other.

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School Pictures
12×12 2-Page Layout

Journaling reads: All of you in school this year. Trin is all day now like Blake. Aiden is just mornings, 3 days a week. It’s good for us all.

Products used: Cardstock (Bazzill) * Patterned paper (Creative Imaginations, Rhonna Farrer) * Gaffer tape (7 Gypsies) * Chipboard letters (Heidi Swapp for Advantus) * Chipboard circles (Scenic Route, Imagination Project) Pen (American Crafts) * Other (buttons, tag, from own stash or from clothing).

What You Do To Me
8.5×11 Layout

Products used: Cardstock (Stampin’ Up) * Patterned paper (My Mind’s Eye) * Gaffer tape (7 Gypsies) * Transparency (My Mind’s Eye) * Bling (My Mind’s Eye) * Stickers (Creative Imaginations) * Ribbon (from own stash) * Rub-on’s (Art Warehouse) * Font (American Typewriter).

Today is Noell’s Birthday!

I’m Israel, Noell’s husband, and I’m hijacking her website for a minute to ask all of you to help me wish her a happy birthday. No offense to anyone, but I’m totally convinced that she’s the most wonderful person in the world.

If you feel like you want to comment, please take a moment to wish her a happy birthday in the comments.

Now back to your normal programming… :-)

Paperclipping 22 – More Ways To Lead The Eye

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After the last tutorial on leading the eye, which showed two ways to do it, I received a request to cover this subject with more depth. In this episode I show a number of characteristics that attract the eye and how you can be sure you are making the focal point exactly what you want it to be.

This episode is in the archives. To learn how to access the archives, please visit the membership information page.

Which Relationships Are Missing From Your Scrapbooks?

Those of in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. I am reposting an article I wrote on capturing relationships, since many of will have that opportunity during the holiday meal. I am taking the next four days off to relax and prepare for a new week of Paperclipping articles and videos starting Monday. Happy Thanksgiving!

What would you do if you realized you didn’t have any photos of yourself holding one of your children? This was my own discovery last week!

Of course, I have the required hospitals photos of me holding my youngest son, Aiden. But beyond that, it’s mainly the older kids holding him, or my husband holding him. I am only there in spirit; in other words, behind the camera.

Last week I was ready to scrap the “Hold-You” story I shared in a previous post. My four-year-old is small and I still hold him a lot. How could I not have any pictures to match my story?

It’s a dramatic example of something I already wanted to write about: photographing the relationships between different members of your family.

Following are 6 tips to help you capture and document each paired relationship within your own family.

1. Make sure you have photos for every possible pair within your family.

In high school I took a lot of drama classes. I wasn’t a very good actress, but I did learn some things. One was that any time a character entered the stage, there should be some sort of subtle demeanor-change in the characters that are already on.

This is because different people bring out different parts of our personalities.

Who I am with my son Blake is slightly different than who I am with my daughter Trinity. Trinity is slightly different when she is with Aiden than she is when she is with Blake.

Each pair is a unique dynamic to capture and celebrate.

2. Make sure you have photographs of yourself with each one of your children.

Someday when you are gone, your children have photos to remind them of their special relationship with you?

While we’re at it, make sure you photograph your spouse with each child as well. And not just once, but periodically as your child grows.

3. Photograph each of your children with their grandparents.

I am fortunate to have in-laws who devote a day every year to each of their 14 grandchildren, to spend time with them one-on-one. My desire to document those days in our scrapbooks made me realize I need one-on-one photos with the grandparents and each of my children.

Even if I never scrapbooked those “dates” they have together, my children will treasure a photo of themselves with Nana and Grandpa.

And by the way, don’t forget about photos of yourself and your spouse with each of your parents!

4. Take advantage of extended family gatherings to capture relationships.

Think beyond the event or the holiday. For many years, when our family got together I only photographed my kids taking part in the festivities. Now I try harder to capture relationships, as well.

These photos tell their own story, separate from the event in which they take place. You don’t have to include these pictures with all the other ones from that specific event. Separate them. Let them tell their own stories.

The photo in the layout at the top is from one of our geo-caching adventures. I will not be putting that layout with the others from that event, though. It is going into an album about us and who we are.

5. Crop new photos out of old ones to get the relationship you need.

Sometimes I want to scrapbook a topic about two members of our family, and to my shock and horror, I cannot find a photo of those two people together at the age that I want. Of course, that is always a wake up to pull out my camera.

But when scrapbook page is calling and I don’t want to wait until I can print up new photos, I have a Plan B. I find a picture where those two people are together in a group, I make a duplicate version of that photo, and then I crop a new photo of just the two people I need.

The result is two completely different photographs!

A New Purpose

Look through your pictures. Have you taken photos of each pair within your family? Writing this article, I realized that I definitely have not. I’ll be making use of my camera over the next little while with the particular goal of capturing more of the one-on-one relationships that make up who we are as a family.

Would you like to join me?

Featured Guest: Noel Culbertson and her Luggage Tag Minibook

If you follow the affairs of Creating Keepsakes Magazine then you’ll recognize this cute face as Noel Culbertson, one of the 9 runners-up for CK’s Scrapbooker Of The Year.

Last week in a challenge thread I host on the CK message board, Noel posted a minibook made out of such a unique item that I had to feature it on Paperclipping. The book is made out of self-laminating luggage tags!

Noel explains, “I wanted to make a sturdy water resistant mini album for my husband to keep in his flight suit during his upcoming deployment. The self laminating luggage tags did the trick.”

I asked Noel to explain the method of her pages and how she put it together.

“I had several pictures developed in wallet size, which fit the luggage tags perfectly. I then found some double dipped patterned paper, that I thought would work both with the pictures, and would be “manly” enough for my husband to carry around on a daily basis!”


“I had my daughters write little notes for my husband to add a little something extra special. Both the front and the back of the mini page went into the luggage tag at the same time, so I had to be sure that both sides were upright and aligned before I placed them in the luggage tag.”

“You should put any rub-ons on the papers before you seal the page. The outside of the tags are too smooth for the rub-ons to adhere.

“When the pages were ready to be laminated I placed them on the nonstick side of the luggage tag and sealed the sticky side down. I used a bone folder to burnish the tag and get any tiny air pockets out. I did add a couple of letter stickers and some We R Memory Keepers Foil, Glitter, Flock rub-on letters.

“The luggage tags have a pre-punched hole at the end, and I used one rung from 3/8” Bind It All wire binding, then closed it with the Bind It All. A great little mini album in under an hour!”

If you’re interested in getting these tags for yourself, you can get them online from C-Line Products.

Thanks for joining us at Paperclipping, Noel!

Paperclipping 21 – Spice Up Your Prima Flowers

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Do you have a lot of Prima, Bazzill, or other similar flowers? Did you use them for a while and end up with extras?

If you need a new way to get excited about using them again, you’ll love today’s episode. In fact, I bet you’ll use up all the rest. Enjoy the show.

This episode is in the archives. To learn how to access the archives, please visit the membership information page.

8 Ways To Turn Bad Photos Into Layouts You Love

The photos you see in the layout above look better on that page than they did on their own. For a while I didn’t even want to scrap them because they had such a busy background and the colors under the library’s florescent lighting were harsh and uninspiring.

Setting the busy, imperfect photos on solid blue cardstock brought out their better parts. The solid spaces between each photo grounds them so they don’t feel chaotic. The cool dark blue enhances the coloring, bringing out the contrast and countering the yellow tint. They no longer feel like the “bad photos” I once considered them.

I asked members of a 2 Peas In A Bucket forum to share layouts with me that started with imperfect photos and became pages they loved. There were so many responses. Below are nine problems many of us have, along with the scrapbookers’ design solutions. Each sub-title is a link to a layout with the problematic photo it describes. Click on the link to see the layout.

Photo is out of focus and is not composed “right.”

Stephanie chose to focus on the emotion of the photo. You see that in her journaling, but she also did it by eliminating all other details of the photo. She turned it black-and-white and brought her title all the way across to the very place where the emotions show; on the face.

Photo is not straight.

Jessie’s solution was to use her picture for a layout that is introspective. Jessie said that in addition to the photo being tilted, it was also blurry. She took a more artistic approach with the photo to capitalize on its problems. She tore it down the side, “adding more imperfection,” Jessie said. Sometimes an imperfect photo is the perfect story-teller for our unique and imperfect lives.

Photos are chaotic and cluttered.

Christmas photos, in particular, often have this problem. Lara’s situation was worse because she was stuck with a disposable camera one year. She cropped her photos down to their most important parts, allowing her to use a lot of photos without too much busyness.

Aly ran into the same problem with her daughter’s birthday photos. Not only did she crop her pictures down, she also cropped around the birthday girl herself for the focal point photo.

Photo is grainy

Rachael came in close with embellishments to focus in on the main subject. She also chose colors that went with the journaling of her layout, rather than the location of where her husband was. She used the yellow in his shirt and the blue in the hat and background to tie in the other colors she wanted to use on the layout. The gold-yellow was a great way to work with his clothes without committing to the exact shade of yellow he’s wearing.

Photo color is off.

Emily’s picture is from her husband’s childhood. It has an orange cast. To compensate for a photo that is too warm, you can usually put it against a cool color to compensate. In this case, Emily’s photo was about pumpkins, so orange was an important color in the layout. Putting the photo against orange would have caused it to practically disappear. Instead of doing that, Emily’s orange lies around the edges of the layout, where as the photo is surrounded by white and a cool shade of blue.

For photos that are too cool, try using a warm tone to counteract it. For a bland photo, use high contrast colors on your layout to bring out contrasting tones in the photo.

Only one of the two people in the photos are in focus.

Marieke put the emphasis on the child that was in focus and he became the subject of the layout, rather than both him and his sister. She embellished the corner of the photo where the shirt of the blurry child is so that most of the empty space is around the in-focus child, drawing attention to him. Marieke also journaled about the child in-focus. As a result , the blurry part of the photo is incidental to the layout.

The subject is dark but the background is over-exposed.

Jessie’s picture originally had a beach background, but the most important part of it, her husband, was too dark. She increased the exposure to brighten the her husband’s face and blow-out the background. The now-white background became a place for part of the title and embellishments (but could be used for journaling, as well). She lost the beach background, but gained a great picture of her husband and was free to scrapbook on any subject she wanted.

Photo is ruined beyond the abilities of good design to repair it.

Whether the picture was damaged or the subject in the photo hid from the camera, no picture is beyond scrapbooking if you love it or if it tells a story you love. Sometimes the problem with the picture itself is that story. Here are three examples:

Janet’s layout has a photo where her child had drawn on himself and then held his hand up to the camera as she took his picture.

Theresa told a great story
of how her husband kept her photo in his billfold for years before she laid the damaged picture to paper.

Helen’s layout illustrates exactly what her daughter does every time helen pulls out the camera anymore. She ducks.

Every photo that has meaning to you is worth scrapbooking. My layout above is simple and the photos are not my favorite, but I adore the page because it captures a part of my family life that I value and love.

Related Articles And Podcasts:
Can You Make A Layout With Not-So-Great Photos?

Crop A Good Photo Out Of A Bad One

How To Draw Out Color

Use Of Light And Dark

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Our Comfort Zone
12×12 Layout

Journaling: Library Jan. 2007. One of our family favorite regular hangouts.

Products: Cardstock (Bazzill) * Patterned paper (Scenic Route, Daisy D’s, My Mind’s Eye) * Journal spot (Heidi Swapp for Advantus) * Metal tab (7 Gyspies) Word sticker (7 Gypsies) * Pen (American Crafts) * Other (“comfort zone” cut out of a magazine ad and library book list).

There have been some questions regarding how long the Schoolwork Scrapbook Premium Tutorial will be available. I realize we launched it at the beginning of the holiday season and I did so because I knew there were a number of people waiting for it.

Those of you who need to to get through the holidays before digging into your children’s schoolwork don’t have to worry. We will continue to offer the tutorial indefinitely. And, once you’ve bought it, the download is yours. You can watch it as many times as you like (just don’t share it with others, please). If you get it now and find you don’t have time to complete it until the new year, the download will still be on your computer waiting for you.

I think that’s a pretty good deal for only $7.99, don’t you?

Follow this link to learn more about this tutorial. And if you need to come back to it in the future, you can find the link in the upper left column where it says, “Purchase Schoolwork Scrapbook Tutorial.”

Paperclipping 20 – Cutting Systems

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Are you unhappy with your cutting tools? In today’s show I review two different cutting systems. When you’re done watching the video, you’ll know what I use and recommend to others.

This episode is in the archives. To learn how to access the archives, please visit the membership information page.

Do you have a topic you’d like me to cover in an upcoming episode? We are preparing the next round of Paperclipping shows. Leave a comment with your request, or email me at noellhyman (at) gmail (dot) com.