PRT 023 – The Great Design Team Conspiracy

Fact or myth? Published/professional scrapbookers only use the newest products and they all scrap in the same style.

This is the subject of this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable!

You can use this audio player to listen to the show:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this video.

If you want, you can also right click this link to save the show to your computer manually.

The Panel

Picks of the Week

(Affiliate links wherever possible.)


This show is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking. Click here for the promo code to save 10% on any class at BPS!

More Links

How to subscribe…

Did you know that when you subscribe in iTunes (which is free), you’re helping support Paperclipping Roundtable? It’s true. iTunes measures every subscription, so it’s like casting a “vote” for the show. It helps us move up the ranks and helps us grow the audience.

iTunes is free. Subscribing is free, so why not use it to download the show? Subscribe in iTunes (iTunes link) right now so your computer will automatically download each new episode as they become available. (If you don’t know how to do that, you can watch a video here that shows you how.)

  • Kt

    Love the idea of promoting Backing Up Day your photolife. Too many sad stories of friends crashes. And folks have to hear things 7 times to 'get' it. I actually am organized enough in a small segment of my life: I backup every Sunday and I teach my friends and others to do same on some sort of schedule. But a 'National Day…” would make it something everyone is doing they could be part of. In terms of paying for content: we pay for college, etc . Folks just are learning over a new medium on the internet. Never feel bad about charging for your knowledge – you took the time to learn and time is money.

  • I really enjoyed this week's show. Julie is such an interesting guest – I totally agree with her assessment re design teams etc. I used to host the Pub Ad challenge on TwoPeas (the challenge that Julie mentioned) – I hosted it for 3 years and agree that it is a wonderful way to learn about design. The challenge is still posted every Monday, although I no longer host — Corinna Meissner does it now. Check it out!

  • Just have to say first- I love the show.
    Also, while listening in regards to the hard drive/ back up information- My hard drive failed a few weeks ago also AND my parents. The difference was I have a Mac with time machine and an external hard drive- I lost nothing. My parents have a PC (no time machine) and do not have an external hard drive- they lost everything. The next day my parents bought an external hard drive and I suggested they buy the Click Free. The Click-free external hard drive works similarly to Mac's time machine- and is what my parents purchased for their pc. It's just a good option for a pc user to use as it backs it all up on it's own.
    Now back to listening…

  • Mom2mhe

    Hello Noell and Izzy! I am an avid scrapbooker and amateur photographer. So amateur infact that I didn't notice that there was dried food on my camera lens resulting in a slight haze on one spot, in all my vacation photographs. I am wondering if you can talk sometime about the proper care/cleaning and storage of cameras? Also my mom has passed down many photos with cracks, and tears in them, as she has stored them in a large cardboard box for years. What is the best way to restore these photos, and generally store photos that have already been printed?

    Really enjoying my Paperclipping membership, along with PC Live, and The Roundtable. I still haven't figured out how to comment yet or connect with Twitter during your show. Do you have any easy tips to help me get connected?

    Thanks so much!

    Amy B (scrapin4mhe)

  • Taly_g

    I really loved the show this week. Julie is awesome!

    I write in reply to your reader/viewer, Debbie. She said “there's no way I'm paying for this” (in regard to Paperclipping membership) and I am here to express the opposite side.

    I am a paying member of Paperclipping and I enjoy the professional videos Noell and Izzy provide to the members. Making video (or any other) tutorials is extremely time consuming and there is no reason why they should not get compensated for it.

    Unfortunately I find the common notion that all content should be offered for free offensive and a bit hypocritical. There are plenty of free classes on You Tube, or online in general. Will it be okay for the Board of Education say “There is no way we are paying teachers because there are free class available on line”? I guess not.

    As a provider of free content I can attest that most readers use the content but do not take any step to support or compensate the website. Even when tens of thousands of people visit a page, watch a video or download a free product, just a handful would actually buy through the affiliate links provided or ask for ways to support the website.

    This custom is bound to create an effect called: “lemons' market”. All the quality content will simply disappear. Or the only “free” content would be of people being handpicked and sponsored by other commercial companies and free ideas won't be as widely spread.

    To make a long story short, why should Noell and Izzy volunteer their time, money and skills without getting compensated for it while any other person in the world expects to get paid for providing her or his services.

    Just take a minute to think about it…

  • Oh no! Dried food! We may need to do a little research to find an expert in
    the areas you're talking about. I think it would make a great topic. If
    anyone knows of somebody who has expertise, especially photo restoration,
    please let us know. If they're funny and kooky that's even better! :)

    Amy — your question about commenting and connecting through twitter. Do you
    mean during Live!? Or something else?

  • Ohhhh this is the third podcast I've listened to, and it's sooo delightful to listen to you guys…especially while I'm crafting away in the craft studio here. I do have a comment about this topic of design teams and magazines and such…I do think that because most magazine calls for submissions specify that products used must be current products, submitting scrappers may feel at a disadvantage if they are not on design teams with access to the “up and coming” products. Or even feel like they must purchase “current products” when they have a studio filled with “old” products they still adore!! I know the biggest thing for me as a submitting artist is that I need to be true to myself, my aesthetic and my soul. And I need to submit more, no matter what products I use!! :)
    It was really fun to hear Julie…I am a frequent lurker of her wonderful inspiring blog via 2Peas…so yay on your DVD, Julie!! congrats!! and thanks everyone for another wonderful podcast!

  • Jenny1254

    Thanks for a great show! I have a few things to say…

    I am a member and so glad that I am! I am happy to pay a small fee for great content.

    I wanted to respond to the discussion because I think that the girl that originally wrote the email which sparked the discussion may not have meant anything in a mean way. I do not think all scrapbook designers all design the same way and I do find them inspiring, even with new product. But I understand her point of view, that its sometimes fun to see vastly different styles than you may see in a Scrapbook magazine. Sometimes I think, “even I could create such beautiful pages if I had a lifetime supply of amazingly gorgeous paper and supplies!” One of the reasons I am so inspired by you, Noelle, is that I feel you are a very normal scrapbooker. You buy the things you use. And I love that. This is just another point of view, and not meant in a mean way at all. (I hope this all makes sense?)

    Well thanks again, and happy Wednesday. :)

  • I agree. I also don't think she meant anything mean by her letter. I hoped
    to make the point with the episode that though it might seem that published
    scrappers only use newest stuff, most are just like the rest of us in that
    we use old stuff, too. And I also agree with you, Jenny — I LOVE seeing
    variety of styles and ways of expressing visually! LOVE IT!!!

    I hope I didn't make it sound like she was wrong or being mean. Sometimes on
    air things can come across differently from how we intend. thanks for all
    the nice words and for your membership, Jenny!

  • Taly_g

    I also agree.

    I don't think her message was portrayed as mean.

    The point was discussed in an informational manner, explaining what the world of a design team member is like from the viewpoint of a design team member (which is why – last minute or not – Julie was a perfect guest).

  • Steph H.

    So, if Nancy's looking for social security as the mother of a first grade graduate, where does a gal with a daughter turning 30 tomorrow turn? ;) Yup, that's right, my little girl will be 30 tomorrow!!!

  • Julie is super inspiring and love how she “does it all” :) Thanks for another great episode. Regarding the big us versus them…I don't really feel that at all. I certainly understand not having the latest products, especially being located international we are sort of completely behind, standing on the sidelines when it comes to the latest stuff. That's why I'm not totally interested in shows and discussions that are just focused on products. It's much more interesting to see a style, a technique or something that can be applied across the board.

  • I have to chime in and say that the community has to shift their mindset about free stuff. The internet certainly offers a lot of “free” content, quick access, etc…which is fabulous. I think the open and free interactions we have online create a great community and place for ideas to flourish. But we have to realize that it's not going to last if we don't participate and support the community at the same time.

    I understand that we all can't afford the great content available for sale…but like everything else in life, you save up for the stuff you really want! I also get a bit boiled when folks speak as if services SHOULD be free or discounted or cost less… as if it's the creator's responsibility to make sure everyone can afford to participate…it's bizarre.

    There has certainly been a lot of discussion regarding the topic of free and sustaining a living as an artist, crafter, indie business person, etc. Some folks don't realize in the end that these people are in business. They have to make a living. You certainly wouldn't demand a doctor, lawyer, plumber, etc for free service… that goes for all of us who offers a service.

    I'm a Paperclipping member and I am glad that I can contribute my little bit to help Noell and Izzy keep it going. Thank you for doing everything you do :)

  • Siri_F

    Here I go again about my Jessica Sprauge love. She just held a class over at js called “This Old Photo: Restoring Vintage Snapshots”. I haven´t taken it, but I might join up for the next class!

  • Oh, that's GREAT news! Thanks for letting me know!

  • Scrappy Barb

    I have to chime in about the Paperclipping membership. I am a cheapskate. I joined on NSD when Paperclipping had a wonderful offer that I could not ignore. My membership is worth every penny! If I purchased it at full price, it would still be worth every penny. The videos have unbelievable clarity and show the smallest details on Noell's layouts. I have learned more about design in the six short weeks that I have been a member than I have in the ten years that I have scrapbooked on my own. Noell has a calm teaching style and breaks design principles down so that a craft-challenged person can learn and have success. I will be renewing my membership.

    This site has tons of free content. I am happy to support the part that isn't as Noell and Izzy put out a quality product.

  • Wow, thank you, Barb! I'm so happy to hear that the videos are clear (a huge
    chunk of our budget goes into the equipment necessary to make the videos
    clearer than what an average video camera can do). And I am SO happy to hear
    we've been successful in the design area as well! So awesome.

  • Loved this episode! Seems like to me that Julie's approach of how to look at a magazine layout (and other inspiration sources) would be a great topic for a show. Or said another way, how does the panel translate their inspiration into a layout or design?

    I was thrilled to have one of my other comments read on the show a few weeks ago – I think you used my blog name, mollyblogs.

    Again, great show, and thanks for putting it together each week!

  • Hjclemlap1

    Again — another great show — few comments on this one — almost laughed outloud when Noell said that some scrappers would be worried about seeing new lines of products, thinking oh no I have not used last years line — ha! How about lines from 2 or 3 years ago! I have that in my stash! You know, it is the same with any hobby — new is exciting — I also knit, and I am always looking to the next skein of yarn even though I have yarn for projects I have not yet begun — and how wonderful for us that new stuff is constantly coming out — I do not like to use the same products in my books over and over again unless I am making a theme album and new products means the industry is continuing — yahoo!

    LOVED Nancy's product pick — I am not a 3-ring book user but am toying with the idea of switching — I want the flexibility!! I am a strap-hinge book user (creative memories) — like the quality, but feel restricted. Her excitement I think has pushed me to the 3ring binder side!

  • Heather

    My hame is Heather — username looks weird! :)

  • I totally loved the show this week and was even nodding my head along with Nancy several times. As a store owner, I agree that many people see what is out in the idea books/magazines/net from design teams and “professional” scrapbookers and are amazed by the new product and demand it right then and there. It's not always that easy and that is what is hard to portray to consumers. Just because a product is being used in a magazine, doesn't make it available for consumer use yet. Many companies will launch sneaks and such on their sites months before CHA/releases come out and that is what drives the industry as a whole but makes many store owners want to pull their hair out. It is hard to keep up with the new and still revive the old but it is when we do this that we have truly captured all of our clientèle.

  • Emily

    I really enjoyed this show — lots of great discussion.

    I have to say, that I don't really understand why people worry about having “old product”. What does “old” even mean? It is all relative. It is not like paper, buttons or punches go stale! If you lined up 10 sheets of paper from the past 10 years, can you really tell what year each item is from? And do you think the average person looking at a scrap book knows what the latest and greatest products are? Most of my wardrobe is 5+ years old. I buy classic pieces that tend to last a long time. Every year I buy a few new pieces to infuse in to the wardrobe to refresh. I look at scrap stuff the same way. I built up a big collection (over spending in the process) and I can't afford new stuff. I am content to use up the huge stash I have collected, even if it takes me years to do so. Every once in a while when something comes out that I just have to have, then I will splurge. It is all about being creative with what you have!

  • Emily, you may have sparked something! The fashion concept of having a
    foundation of classic pieces that you can “update” with a few seasonal,
    on-trend pieces every year might be a great model for building up
    scrapbooking supplies, too! Hmmm, I'm going to think on this. :)

  • Pingback: Paperclipping #23: The Great Design Team Conspiracy()

  • bunnyfreak

    When you were talking about the advantage the online store had in organizing products multiply ways, it made me think of one of the things I love about using Digital Supplies to scrap. I can look for what I need multiple ways. (If only I stayed up to date with my tagging). With my paper supplies I struggled with finding what I needed because sometimes I would want a particular theme and sometimes a color, etc. I love being able to find items I need for a online challenge because I can find my items by multiple categories.

  • Liz Vanden Bon

    I love your podcasts and just wanted to say thank you for reminding me to plug my external hard drive in and back up! Keep up the good work.

  • JoRoFan

    I also joined with the NSD discount and LOVE my Paperclipping membership! The videos are wonderful and I'm glad I can help to keep the Roundtable going too!!

  • diane365

    I totally agree. When I first discovered Paperclipping I admit that was taken aback at having to pay for content. I too thought no way. But the free stuff out there was not giving me what I was looking for and so I bit the bullet and joined for 6 months. Best decision ever! The content is more than worth what I pay for it and I feel really good knowing that I am supporting quality products. Now I feel like a Noell stalker. I watch the live, I listen to the roundtable, I follow her on Facebook. I look forward to the videos and have learned so much. Access to the archives is the best part because a lot of times I will work on a project and remember something that Noell did in her tutorial that would work really well, and I go back and rewatch.

    Thank you for offering all you do. I have learned so much and will continue to pay for your quality content, and support your projects.

  • AshleyM

    Excellent show as always! I would like to make a suggestion for the Roundtable section of the website. I must first start off by saying I know nothing about webpages, so I really have no idea if this is a huge pain or not…if it is, no worries! I was wondering if it would be possible to make a sidebar list of the Product Picks. I have a book on my Amazon Wishlist that I am 95% sure I heard about on the show, but I don't remember. I don't particularly mind going back through the show notes, but if it is an easy addition it would be super helpful! Thank you!

  • Melissa

    I see quite a few people have already commented on the pay vs free content but just want to add my 2 cents. I think I have subscribed to Paperclipping for about 18 months now and have to say it is awesome and even though lots of others have tried to follow in your footsteps they pale in comparison for quality production and content. Even though our poor NZ dollar means my subscription costs me $75 it is still totally worth it.

    I would like to add that I would also be prepared to pay for the Roundtable to avoid having precious discussion minutes wasted on promoting sponsors. As much as I like BPS (and have taken a lot of their classes), you spent a good few minutes talking about them last week and will adding more sponsors mean more time is used up on talking about them? I love where some of your discussions end up and to think some of those rabbits holes may never be fallen into makes me a bit sad. Maybe you could start a supporters club to keep the show ad free or minimal.

    Anyway, thanks for doing what you do. Looking forward to the next show.

  • Otnluann

    As always, great show, great panel discussion. As much as it pained me to not listen to it as soon as it was available, I wanted to save it to listen to (and the DigiShow) as I was driving 2 hours each way to take my daughter to camp yesterday. However, when I heard that the one listener had listened to an episode 5 times, I certainly could've listened twice!

    Thanks so much for all you provide. I also agree that not all web content should be free. I love the BPS class I am taking right now, and certainly wouldn't expect it to be free. I'm looking forward to subscribing to Paperclipping in the very near future, as we're in the middle of changing banking institutions, so I'll be doing that as soon as we're all switched over and squared away.

    At any rate, Noell, I was very intrigued by your comment about stitching 2 page protectors together….would you be willing to post a photo or two of this?

  • otnluann (Amy)

    I also wanted to thank you for mentioning your affiliation with I was unaware of this, and will now use your links to order products, so Paperclipping will benefit from my purchases.

  • Hah! Love that you added the link to the Marc Jacobs coat — cracking up over here! =)

  • Thank you for your interest in a membership. You know what? I did an episode
    on the stitched page protectors a long time ago. It's in the archives,
    episode 18, so it's there waiting for you when you're a member! :)

  • Anneke

    Probably not related to anything in any way, but I wanted to share this with people who feel like my friends since I listen to them every week. My son's differ 2 years in age and I the oldest is now at the age where I am not allowed to kiss him when I drop him at school, whereas the youngest still allows me. In fact, wants me to. Which is odd, because he emulate his brother in everything else. Then I got their official school photo's and the school takes individual pictures, but also pictures of siblings together. And Iooked at this picture of the two and came up with this marvellous page. “The difference 2 years make”. And I listed all the ways they differ, simply because one is 2 years older than the other. A lovely memory and such a clever page ! (If I say so myself)

  • otnluann(Amy)

    Ahhh, wonderful – thanks for your reply!

  • Oh, that is an awesome idea! I'm so glad you shared it! What a great
    revelation and a reminder to hold on to that last little bit of kissing time
    while you can! Thanks for sharing your brilliant
    observationo-turned-scrapbook story!

  • First. Love the Cinderella page. Worth the struggle.
    So glad Julie joined you. Enjoy her work. Looking forward to her video. Loved the write up of the show she did. The stamp design she did during that show is cool.
    I’m feeling guilty. My computer keeps telling me to make some kind of discs and I keep ignoring it. Suppose I should do that. However, I’m good in one aspect. I’m surprised that folk do not have automatic backups to internet sites set up. There are so many inexpensive resources. My financial software backs up, my antivirus backs up, my pictures automatically download to Snapfish. I think this a much better solution than a back up reminder day. It is so much better to have things happen automatically. I did mention my son’s sweet exasperated sigh on a prior comment. I think he is happy I’ve set these backups up. I’m annoyed with HP that they just don’t have a back up site for these CD’s they want me to create. I’d get right on that if they had one. As it is, I’m annoyed ‘cause I know I’ll misplace those discs anyways! DH says “where’s my keys” (could actually be most any object) is going on my tombstone. What an epitaph!
    As to complaints about paying for internet content. What’s to complain about? The free stuff is getting full of commercials. I like high quality commercial free videos. Paying to remove the annoying ads is great. I wish more folk paid for public TV. Not only do I pay; but, I still get the ads; admittedly, less so than commercial TV. Amateur videos can be informative but are not always fun to watch. If you want that quality, those are available for free.
    Speaking of sponsors and quality – Big Picture Scrapbooking do classes best. I take other sites classes and do not find they are up to the great quality standards and features of BPS.
    I loved Emily’s comment about comparing supplies to a wardrobe. Or one could use the example of home décor, too. You do need to know what suits you best. If it really suits you – it is something you’ll go to over and over again whether it’s in fashion or not. You’ll make mistakes as you try things out but those mistakes are the things you need to give away. Some folks are only happy with the latest trends but those items do not always suit the way they like to work. Those LO’s often do not work. Sure, most of us do not want to have avocado refrigerators anymore nor do we want football player size shoulder pads. Nonetheless, mid century modern, deco, romantic, shorter or longer skirts, etc. do suit a lot of folk. A lot of older styles get updated. Thank goodness for GM, stickles, paint, etc.
    I love Julie’s comments, including the Marc Jacob’s coat. Working within restraints is always fun. My favorite comment from my youngest son was “My Mom can make anything out of nothing!”. Loved it! This is the result of getting home at 8:45 pm at night and being told about the costume needed in the am for the school play. Growing up poor gives one a perspective, too. I often smiled when folk commented on my nice wardrobe when I was in college. My grandmother made me a lot of clothes from remakes from the Salvation Army thrift shop. That resourcefulness was ingrained in me. I get to buy a lot of cute stuff but I know I have a lot of fun making my own embellishments. You should have promoted your on-line classes more when Julie was talking about learning design principles. Your classes have been very helpful for me. You know I pay attention!
    Love the picks of the week. Cannot agree more about 3 ring albums! Best thing I’ve ever done. Tim’s book is a very good resource. Love the quality. Again, worth paying for. Noell, you’d probably love Ranger U, it seems like something right up your alley.
    I’m probably going to buy that font stamp. I need another font stamp like a hole in the head. This is a great one, though. Definitely going to get the photography book! Loved that story about the work needed in good photos. Another great reason for taking Picture Summer at BPS, Tracey Clark will challenge you. BTW, should consider being a sponsor of your show, also!!
    I think display of products is so important. Appreciate what M is doing. There is a shop I sometimes frequent (a rare LSS still in existence) that I wish had product that was organized better. They have so much but it is so hard to see anything. I asked for patterned papers with a cream background ( paying attention , Noell) and they were lost. No new lines of product that I could find. Talk about a lot of old product. Papers organized by things like Disney characters, bunnies, school, graduation, etc. and not easily seen. Did not appeal to any creative impulse in me at all. I cannot understand how they stay in business. Stuff scattered all over the floor. Yuck! To me, less is more. Better to move inventory than have all this chaos. Oh, well.
    Looking forward to the “stuff designers do”.
    As always, love the show! Like the digi show, too.

  • I enjoyed the segment on craft shopping and noticed changes on a recent trip to Michael's. I also read about the segment on Kristina Werner's blog.

    In another recent episode, Nancy talked about how the scrapbooking, cardmaking, and rubber stamping industries are all connected on the business side of things. A possible topic for a show could discuss how scrapbooking, cardmaking, and rubber stamping are connected on the creative side of the industry. Why do some people dabble in various paper (and other) crafts while others stick to a very specific craft? What kinds of products have started in one area of crafting and made their way into other areas?

    I think that Kristina Werner couple be a possible panelist for this type of discussion. I am a fan of both her blog and this show. :)

  • tchrtiff

    I agree with what Nancy said about new product and the “average” scrapbooker. I'm still trying to use what I bought a year or two ago and sometimes it's a bit unsettling and sometimes frustrating to see all this new product in magazines that I can't afford because I still have old stuff to use or I can't find the new product being used because it hasn't been released yet. It's extremely frustrating how manufacturers discontinue lines so quickly. When I'm working on a mini book or some type of scrapping project I often find that I can no longer purchase the particular paper/embellishments because the manufacturer has discontinued that line and is on to new lines. I feel this makes me and the “average” scrapbooker feel left behind and thus frustrated.

  • Crystalangel792001

    I love the paperclipping roundtable, I usually use the time I am listen to you all talk about my favorite subject to do some organizing and clean up in the scraproom…it is great motivation. During NSD you had a special and so I joined and I love all the videos and felt good about paying for the membership because I do love the roundtable so much and do not want to see it disappear. I think it is admiring how you conduct your business, giving us wonderful content and hoping those that can afford it will get the membership, knowing that what you are selling is going to be great as well. Thanks so much for all you do every week. Izzy, I can't wait to hear/see about the website you are creating about helping people pursue their own creative dreams. I am a total newbie when it comes to computers, don't even have a blog yet although I really want to start one, so if you can approach it from the standpoint of people not knowing much about blogging, owning websites, twitter and such that would be amazing.

  • I wanted to comment on the shopping discussion. I have never shopped for (non-digital) scrapbooking products online and have only started to consider it in order to find some of your product picks that are not available at my LSS. Browsing online for scrapbooking supplies just doesn't do it for me – I want to touch them and see their true colors, not the small uninspiring version that comes through on a webpage. I have never really given much thought to how things are displayed in the store – just walking in and taking a deep breath inspires me.

  • Jamie Leija (Lay-ha)

    lol! oh izzy…love that you included the marc jacob's coat link! just wondering, do you all read comments on older posts? or should we just comment on the latest shows?

  • Jamie, I read the comments on the older posts because they come to my email,
    but I don't think anyone else sees them once we've put out the next episode.

    (Izzy's hilarious, isn't he?)