PRT037 – World’s Worst Mom

What do you do for back-to-school? We share our ideas on this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable. Listen in…

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  • Margie S

    I never thought of myself as a techie person but I must be! I have no trouble at all understanding any of the technical stuff you talk about on the show, in fact I really enjoy it as I find it applicable to me. I appreciate you being sensitive to all of your audience members, but know that there are some of us out here that do enjoy the technical stuff right along with you. : )

  • YAY! ;)

  • NanScott

    Okay, this is the first time I have really disagreed with you guys! Sharon asked about whether she should note the names, places and dates on the backs of each of her paper layouts and you all (vehemently) said she shouldn't. (I do think Noell said maybe she should do it for one layout per album.) You launched into the praises of face recognition software, present and future, and how this will make this kind of notation unnecessary. I'm as tecchie as the next person, but I really believe we shouldn't make our memorykeeping decisions based on the likelihood of FUTURE technology. There is some chance Sharon's scrapbooks will eventually end up in the hands of someone who does not know who she was, and it's unlikely that person, out of idle curiosity, would take time to identify the photos, even with whatever amazing technology is around then. By then, the number of digital photos archived in various places will be truly staggering. I'm not as dazzled by technology as some people, I guess! I enjoy the tech discussions (yep, I'm a Mac/iPad person) and know we're making amazing advances, but I also remember that in the 60's, people thought we would be zipping around in flying cars by 2000. One reason I am so passionate about this is that I'm in possession of literally dozens of wonderful ancestral photos with absolutely no way of knowing who they are. I wish they had taken 2-3 seconds to write a names and dates on the back. As usual, great show, panelists! Always food for thought :)

  • mshanhun

    It's so funny to hear about you all talking about the first day of school! I had a photo of my first day of year 1, and then in my new summer and winter school uniforms when I changed schools. It's funny! I only got the class photo each year growing up and occasionally other photos.
    Maybe the first day is not such a big deal each year (or at least in Australia) when you don't have special outfits, just the uniform?

  • Regarding Cosmo Cricket going digital along with other companies… I'm wondering if it'll just take a little time for things to catch up to what Nancy mentioned – about offering digital products to match the paper products we buy already. Perhaps the transition seems super slow, but maybe it has more to do with art licensing contracts. I wouldn't be surprised if the next few years, brand new lines will also have digital licensing wrapped into them somehow…all the legal mumbo jumbo probably takes a while to sort out and they are usually working on projects way ahead of what you see in stores.

    I personally love buying the actual paper pads, especially when there is glitter, flocking or texture on it that would be hard to reproduce digitally. It's the tactile quality and not to mention printing at home is super expensive as Ana stated! I like the idea of digital products that add to the paper product lines though…every medium has pros and cons…so we have to exploit them. Digital is great for duplication, for example…multiple copies of a layout or minibook or 100 xmas cards you might have to create!

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  • Amy

    Fantastic episode! I could barely wait to finish listening before heading over here to comment.

    My heart was breaking for Ana (it literally brought tears to my eyes) when she said her ex-husband destroyed her scrapbooks. As a divorcee myself, who has since found her soulmate, I know how difficult divorces can be, but destroying something as meaningful as scrapbooks….made me cringe. I am so sorry this happened to her, but happy that she has such a positive outlook of still having those memories!

    Noell, I can't thank you enough for bringing to light that you've given yourself permission to NOT buy the school photos! I'm clearly not the advanced photographers that you & Izzy are; however, I believe I can take much better “formal” photos of my kids, if I choose to do so.

    Your tip about cutting tags out of clothes….brilliant! I've saved many obscure items to using in preserving our memories, but had not thought of that one – love the tip! And, finally, your pick of the week is awesome – has the best search engine in the industry!

    Truly Inspiring….thank you!

  • Great piece of mail! I'll have the male read it next week and we'll respond

    there! :)

  • Siri_F

    Cosom Cricket has just started selling at JS, the first week there was only one line. I´m assuming that they will add products regularly, just as the other designers does. And, having the digi versions available would in my opinion just create more customers. For all digi scrapbookers the “old” paper lines are brand new, just like it would be for paper scrappers if digi designers decided to sell their lines as paper…

  • Of course I love every episode, but I really loved this one! I thoroughly enjoy all your “rabbit-holes!” Haha! And can I say that I LOVE Ana Cabrera? Every time I hear she is on the panel, I know the episode will be fabulous because she is HILARIOUS! My suggestion is have Ana on more often! :)

    Thanks so much for such a great listen…keep up the good work!

  • I love the show and my favorite dog walk of the week is when I get to listen to PRT, but I was a bit surprised also about the advice to Sharon. Now, I may have misunderstood, (who knows, I might have been on poop patrol), but I thought she was talking about some type of heritage album. If in fact, the album was a heritage album, I say, yes, at least identify the person with name and vital statistics once. Of course, if I misunderstood, I say, forget about the pages that are already done and move forward!

  • Such a great point about the lines being new to certain audiences. I also hate it when something goes out of print and you really want to use it for a project. Why not keep selling it!?

  • Dawn

    I have loved the show from the very first episode but this is my first time to comment. How ironic that this first time I would be commenting would be the epidode I lerarn I am in the “worlds worst mom club”. I am another one of the few (I suspect) like Noell that for the most part does not buy school pictures. I bought them the first few years and like Noell quickly realized they were sitting in an envelope because I always found them unflattering and couldn't really justify wasting the money anymore. Every year I worry about my kids being the only one not “bringing pictures home” and what others would think, but now that I know I'm in an official “club” it doesn't seem quite so bad! I enjoyed this episode as I have EVERY episode. Always love to hear what Nancy has to say and I also love when Ana is on. I find her very humorous and inspiring. So Noell, from one “worst mom” to another….CHEERS!

  • Hello, my fellow Worst Mom! :)

    That's always been my only concern, too — how my kids feel about it. Every

    single year I remind why I don't purchase those photos — that the

    photography is not that good, but they charge a LOT because they know most

    people will buy. I think that if our kids see us take lots of pictures of

    them, and see us using those pictures in scrapbooks, on the walls, or

    online, then they know we love them and we love their pictures.

    At least I hope so. Who knows . . . maybe someday our kids will be in

    therapy, telling their counselor that they never felt beautiful enough for

    even their moms to want their pictures?


  • Another great show from a great panel. Interesting topic about back-to-school. Hard pages to do I agree but over the years I have seen some interesting takes on the school page. One recently which I really want to do where they took pictures of the school shoes at the start of the year and the end of the year to show the change. You could do this with other “school supplies”. It also a great then and now picture to take one of the first and last day of school to show how they have changed in just a year.

  • Cute idea!

  • Great show this week! My son started pre-school last year and I am already struggling wanting to do any of those pages.

    I have to disagree about not dating and identifying the people in the layouts. I recently digitized over 2000 pictures. For the older photos of my family I am struggling to figure out who these people are and when the photos were taken. My grandmother's noted names and dates on some of the photos, but for many they did not. I want to know who these people were and when the photos were taken. It is a slow process that would be so much faster if that information was there. I was blessed that one of my grandmother's was interested in documenting her families history to some extent. I have 20+ page document that she put together with some information, history and a few stories. I cherish those 20 pages even more than the photos.

    I scrapbook for me, but these albums may be around in the future for someone else to enjoy, I figure if I want to know these things about my family history, there is good a chance one of my children or future grandchildren will too. What a gift I will be able to give them to take a bit of my time now and document what I can. Whether or not I am still around when they want to know.

  • Dpiercey7

    I haven't listened to the entire episode yet, but I had to comment. I am so glad there are others that don't buy the yearly school photos. I have purchased them up until this year. The reasons I came to this conclusion is like you, they aren't very good, the girls hair is never combed, and the fake smiles drive me crazy. At don't get me started on the price. Multiply that by three and we're eating beans for the rest of the month. (Just kidding) This year I explained to the girls why we weren't going to buy them and we took a morning and went to a beautiful park near our home and took our own photos. We made it a special day and went to a museum and lunch afterwards. And they were very cooperative and it took me less than 10 minutes to get all the photos taken. And they have natural smiles, natural light and hair is combed. We plan on doing this every year from now on. They usually bring home the tiny little wallets at the end of the year anyway, that the teacher's get of them for various purposes. Great job Noell for reminding the kids each year why you don't purchase them. Mother's guilt is a crock of beans!

  • We eat beans all month, even without having big expenses! ;) We're big

    bean eaters.

    I love that you're taking them out for your own (better!) pictures!

  • Sue

    Since we're empty nesters, my favorite part of this week's show was the sponsor classes. Already purchased Building Pages and plan to sign up for Nic Howard's color (or colour) class in October. Thanks for the great discounts!

    Noell, I've just got to say how gracious you were in describing Debbie's design class. Love your attitude of “there's room for all of us to learn from each other”. I loved Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class at BPS, now I'm learning from Debbie's design class, and anxiously awaiting your design series, hint, hint!

  • Oh, that design series is coming! Thank you for choosing to invest in those

    classes and helping us/the Roundtable at the same time!

    Izzy and I made a decision a while back to make partners of those you might

    consider our competitors. We don't view them as competitors and I think the

    scrapbook industry, internet businesses, and the economy and society in

    general, will be better off that way.

    Thank you for taking note of it! :)

  • I'm hooked on the Paperclipping Roundtable and the Digi Show lately; really enjoying both. I'm on the CT at and so I just have to comment on the conversation you and the panel had at the end of this episode about some paper companies going digital and releasing only *old* lines! I know that at they have new product released two times a week, so I'm sure you can expect to see more from companies like Cosmo Cricket each week. Yay! The One Buck Wednesday at that was also mentioned often includes new items from the 12 designers, and/or also a $1 sale on existing products. There's lots there for hybrid scrappers there – Cosmo Cricket, and Echo Park, as well as Elle's Studio and iKari Designs, and I'll just go ahead and plug Jessica's new Hybrid Project Friday tutorials (also one buck, for the first weekend of release). A usually fully-digi girl like myself is having a ton of fun with the paper and scissors once in a while (once I started digi I never really knew how to do hybrid – I am figuring it out now, and am in love with mini books!)! Thanks for all the inspiration and new learning you share from the Roundtable!

  • Sherrie M.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the roundtable but was a little disappointed on how the topic was handled today. I had to stop the audio just so I could comment before I listened to your picks of the week. I thought that you would have provided us some new ideas and inspiration for scrapbooking school related photos but instead seemed to dismiss & bash school layouts. Even Nancy seemed apologetic by saying that she did make layouts but only because of her daughter's special needs issues. You did say you weren't inspired by school photos but a great many of us use them as a springboard to capture the many things that happens in school – the friendships, growth, maturity, relationships with teachers, etc. Maybe I misinterpreted the topic as a general school related, rather than the typical “first day of school” photo or school photo & what to do with it. I thought for sure that Becky Higgin's school kit might be mentioned as a way to capture this information. But the only thing I was left with was that you hate typical school related scrapbook collections and that school pics are not really inspirational. I've never written in before and I am feeling bad now writing in with negative comment but this episode has left me wanting more and extremely uninspired or not excited which has NEVER happened before.

  • Kelly

    Nic Howard is from New Zealand ?

  • You're right, Sherrie. I did share three of the school layouts that I've

    done on back-to-school stories that inspired me, and I love those pages. I

    definitely did't hate doing them (along with some others that I didn't

    mention). But the overall emphasis did end up being about how we don't

    necessarily feel we HAVE to scrap them if we're not feeling inspired, or

    that most school-related products don't inspire us. Also, my intention was

    for the emphasis to be on the new school year, since a big chunk of

    scrapbookers' children have just returned to school.

    But I did want the discussion to do what you had hoped it would do — I

    actually wanted it to inspire school-related ideas. Oops. I guess with this

    type of fluid, conversational style, you never really know where the

    emphasis of the discussion is going to go until you actually have the

    discussion. That's happened before, and so we brought the topic back — like

    the topic on using old products. Maybe we'll revisit this topic again, but

    with an emphasis on the overall school experiences that you listed. That

    would help us stay on track in sharing actual ideas!

    As for Becky's kit — it sounds like none of us on the panel have used it,

    or I think it would have come up. That's why we think the audience

    participation in the comments can be so helpful. Thank you for mentionin it.

    Feel free to come back with a link if you want! And thank you for the solid

    feedback! :)

  • Did I say she was from Australia? That sounds like something I might have

    said in the show. Thank you!

  • Crazymathchic

    Ooooh, this year I did something fun with our back-to-school photos! I made a mini album out of two file folders, similar to the one here: . I used two plain manila folders and bound them on the edge with my Bind It All. I have four kids, and I ended up with 5 two-page “spreads”, so I used one for each child, and then one for both my husband and I (he is a teacher and I am in a master's program, so we also both went “back to school”). Each spread has one 4×6 photo on one side (the “first day of school” photo) and on the other side, I decorated with patterned paper and then shrunk copies of each child's open disclosure (or welcome back to school letter or whatever) and put them in the little pocket that is part of the page. It turned out really cute, and it sits on my coffee table where people can look at it.
    Oh, and I have to say that I also enjoy some techie stuff on this show. Keep at least some of it coming, guys!

  • Fun project idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Michelle

    I have to comment about the woman who bought an iPad because of Izzy's recommendation. I am not a Mac, I am a PC, my husband is a computer network engineer and we like the ability to expand and change our computers (and the price helps a lot!). But, since I have been listening to the show Izzy has really gotten me excited about the idea of the iPad. So, a few weeks ago, my husband and I went to the only American Mall in Germany to do our 'Back to School' shopping with the kids (we have to drive four hours for this very special shopping trip). When we entered the mall I saw a woman walking with a semi-transparent bag that very obviously contained an iPad. I got do excited that I started bouncing up and down saying, “Honey, Honey look! She got an iPad, they sell iPads here!”

    {I must put this into context, we are Americans living and working in Germany on a temporary basis, so buying things like iPads and iPhones, etc. from German retailers is not an option because they would be useless in The States; and our local Post Exchange store is small and does not carry many apple products.}

    Then, Rusty,my darling husband, headed straight over to the iPad section of the store and bought one for me. It was so sweet, it reminded me of when Izzy bought Noell the Wacom tablet.

    Anyway, I just had to share my great iPad story.

  • I don't know why I was expecting an unhappy ending! I'm glad it was actually

    a happy one! :)

  • Please forgive the negative tone of the remainder of this comment. I adore the Roundtable and so appreciate the advice and expertise and sheer fun that all of you share with us every week. :-)

    First, let me say that I enjoy technology. I've had a computer since 1994, have used them at work and home, do digital photography, etc. But I find myself talking back to the show when I am listening in the car on the way to work when you all are talking about how current and future technology make it pointless to label pictures and layouts with names, dates, etc. Imagine it is 30, 40, 50 years from now and the mortal life of a scrapbooker has ended. Their children are grown, with their own homes, families, and whatever technology is current then. What are the chances that all the lovingly tagged or starred photos (along with the software needed to view this metadata) will be accessible and usable? I'm not saying abandon technology or abandon workflows that make sense to you now. And if you are just scrapbooking and taking pictures for yourself, then that's sufficient. But paper and handwritten details could be even more valuable to your children and grandchildren. My Mom has a scrapbook from each of her parents and the one from my grandfather has given me an entirely new view of this man who died when I was five.

    Also, I want to say that I think Cosmo Cricket has made a very wise business decision by releasing (at least at this point) only older lines digitally, rather than also releasing their brand new lines, too. I'm really concerned that at some point everything will go digital. I want to support companies I love in the medium that I love (and sure, I'm going to buy digital products for hybrid use, too). They might be concerned about piracy, too. I don't know if there is any encryption or anything in the digital files that would preclude someone from sending them to all their friends. At least if it's not their current lines, the damage could be mitigated a bit. I hate to think of people doing this, but some folks really don't care about intellectual property rights.

  • Another great episode. I'm so glad we're mostly back to product picks for Picks of the Week – that's my favorite.

  • Heather

    Not quite finished with the show, but wanted to make a couple quick comments.

    1 – Noell — you are not the World's Worst Mom becasue you do not buy the school photos. Neither do I and I will stand by this position. Last year my father lectured me about ignoring this milestone photo and how dare I not buy this slice of history, blah blah blah. They are EXPENSIVE, often not good and I can go to Portrait Innovations (a chain in my city) and get a gazillion photos for $9.95 — sorry Dad, I win this one. HOWEVER, this year I am buying them (the SMALLEST package) because my daughter has lost 3 teeth in the last week and just looks too cute — I am going to take a chance this year, but this will be it.

    2 – Funny that so many on the panel are not big on the “back to school page” — I love it — maybe because it is just one page and quick. I am known for having a digital version in the email boxes of friends and relatives before my child has got to school! This year I made a magazine cover — you can see it here

  • Heather

    Oh, one more thing. I do do a “school” album for each of my kids. It is a easy — years ago (I was pregnant with my youngest child) I made a school kit basically from a Stampin Up consultant. May not be everybody's taste and even my style has changed, but that is ok, because it is cute and complete and I can just add photos and info each year to the albums. Info I track — have them write their name, make their handprint (got this idea from Becky Higgins), teacher name, friends, etc. The coolest mini album I have seen recently was just posted this week on Two Peas by Kelli Crowe — very cute, fun info and easily doable. Good topic — now, what about CHRISTMAS????

  • Robin W.

    School photographers come in the fall and in the spring. In the fall they have to take pictures of every child in the school whether parents buy the packages or not. However, in the spring they have more time because fewer students get pictures taken then, and they have different backgrounds to choose from than in the fall. I always had my kids pictures done in the spring, and then I only bought the smallest package. It contained 2 5×7 photos, so I had a picture to give to each set of grandparents, and four wallets. I could use a wallet on my school page, and carry one in my wallet. It was an affordable package, and the pictures weren't bad at all. I just wanted to share. As always I love the show!

  • Yay for other rebellious non-photo-buying moms! I love the magazine cover

    look of your layout! I've been more and more interested lately in making

    pages that are mainly the photo with some added text like that.

    I just want to clarify that for ME — it's not that I'm not big on

    back-to-school pages. I'm just big on telling stories that I feel inspired

    to tell at the time that I scrapbook. Some years I'm totally into it, like

    the one where I scrapped four different layouts from the first day. Other

    years there just wasn't anything significant that was standing out for me

    and I feel I have other, more significant stories to tell with my very

    limited time.

    It is true that I am NOT big into a majority of back-to-school products.

  • I LOVE Christmas. :)

    Can we do Halloween first, though? I also love Halloween. ;)

  • Heather

    Sure — you can do Halloween! I do a Halloween book — 2 pages per year — so fun. Christmas is just so big — I freak myself out every year that it ihas to be so spactaular that I often put it off — crazy, huh??

  • I can totally understand that about Christmas pages! I think a lot of us do

    that to ourselves!

  • mshanhun

    Over at the Daily Digi, theres some great layout ideas and digi products thay may interest the listeners to this episode :)

    Oh and here's some fun school year tips too

  • I'm a week behind on PRT right now, so I just started listening to this episode last night. Ana has be intrigued with the whole Scrapbook-Trends-on-iPad thing. Right now I'm printing mine to PDF so I can read it from Goodreader, but I'm dying to know if they've found a better/easier way!

  • DailyDigiSteph

    There actually are many, many digital designers that have licensed their digital designs to paper companies. The paper versions hit the stores about a year after we got them digitally. They do very well in paper, just like they did digital for just that reason! :)

  • Valencia

    As the mom of Tween/Teen girls I would have liked to hear more discussion for capturing teens on the first day of school. Like some of you that have teens, mine won’t let me anywhere near the bus stop, but they do let me take a picture on the first and last day school and their current book bag and shoes. I also take shots at football games, school performances, etc. Also this year, my teen participated in Spirit Week for homecoming, so it was fun to take pics of her dressed like 70s, etc. I liked Anna’s idea of capturing their pics from facebook, etc. I also use the Becky Higgins school memories kit. It is a lifesaver!

    Maybe a topic for a future show – capturing teen memories.

  • Hi! Love, love, love this PRT. Of course, Ana is ALWAYS delightful. I appreciate her honesty and confidence in her opinions.

    Interesting discussion on putting detailed info on the back of LO’s. It really does seem like a time waster to go back and write detailed info on a lot of LO’s. I think maybe a few representative LO’s. Otherwise, maybe meds for OCD? After all, there are new LO’s to complete, dishes to wash, kids to raise, jobs to do, careers to pursue, lives to save, etc. Of course, if you have all the time and money in the world, are already a great philanthropist and only a mild non-disabling OCD disorder – go for it. However, I agree that it is a much better plan to just go forward with the info. Most folk in the future will be able to use the info you now record to identify the folk in the past. Face recognition software is actually pretty awesome already. Even on free programs like Google’s Picasa it is almost scarily accurate! I’m not surprised Google needed to shut down Goggles. On the other hand, if you’ve cropped out all identifying info like the cars and signs in the background and focused in only on faces in your photos you may want to go back and make some notes on time and place here and there. Also, on LO’s about those who are no longer in your photos and LO’s you may wish to place a brief note.

    Which, of course, brings up Ana’s discussion of divorce and lost photos. Love her great strength and attitude. Of course, past memories can be recorded in LO’s without pictures to preserve them. I think sometimes people forget that actual photos of the event are not necessary. If one feels that photos are needed on a LO there are many generic images on the web that can work with your own personal story. Photos of a town, bikes, candy, aprons, baked goods are inspiring me to do a childhood memory multi-photo LO right now without a contemporary photo in the lot.

    I am a HUGE fan of BigPictureClasses and am really excited looking forward to Nic Howard’s colour class. Glad you mentioned it in your ad.

    School photos can be great. Not all schools have horrid photographers and some folk will never be able to get a decent in focus photo of their kid at certain times of that child’s life. I just hate the way you have to buy packages only to get the pictures you want. There are always those unwieldy extras and the expense! Of course, if one has a scanner you can just buy one picture. Not legal if you are sending it off to Grandma but fine for personal use on a scrapbook page. Love Ana’s wonderful discussion of the teen years. So true!

    Interesting discussion on paper vs digital business models by Nancy. Always interesting. The picks remain a wonderful resource. I really have enjoyed learning about the classes offered by your new sponsor Get It Scrapped.

    Yes, one more great PRT! I do get behind on listening to the episodes though I do get to them eventually. Have the pleasure of knowing there is another episode still unheard from this week. Always look forward to listening.

  • LeeE Van

    I'm just now getting through this episode – and enjoying all the discussion on who does and doesn't do much with school pages.

    Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents for how I handle school pages. I do a 2-page spread for each school year. And on that 2-page spread, I put the class group picture (with names if possible) and scattered pictures from that year's school events. For example, for my daughter's 3rd grade year – I have a 2 page spread with the group picture and 1 picture each from the Christmas program, field day, dress-up day, field trips, fall festival, etc… And I just scatter the pictures, squeezing them in, making it look like it was just someone's bulletin board from the year. If a picture needs a comment about what it's from, I put a little title on the picture, but that's it. So – on a 2-page spread, we can see the highlights of the year.

    And I agree with the panelists – I don't care for the cutesy, primary-colors, rulers-and-school-bus themes for papers and embellishments. I just pick paper that I like.

  • Rosa
  • Alison

    Hi – great discussion as usual. I am still making my way through the episodes and caught this one last night. I have a few comments.

    Ana – amazing strength. I too was brought to tears over your lost scrapbooks. You have an amazing outlook though. Thank you for sharing.

    I may have just found the strength to join the world’s worst mom group. I have struggled the last few years with the school photos. Primiarily with the quality (cheesy poses) and the price for what you get or HAVE to purchase (who uses that many photos?). We have a tradition of going to our local grocery store studio and getting a birthday photo done for each child on their birthday. They are simple but affordably priced and the kids are now anticipating them. We also take regular first day of school photos with back packs, friends etc and one outside the school against the wall (almost like a growth chart). I struggle with how to do layouts though, which leads to my next comment…

    I own the Becky Higgins school kit but struggle with how to pull it all together. At some point someone mentioned that sometimes the contents of a kit are too overwhelming – that’s me. I would like to combine her kit with Stacy Julian’s concept of “School of Life” so I also purchased Becky’s extra kit that coordinates with the school kit. Again, I am still overwhelmed (I have kids 6 and 8 and an infant) that I have yet to start. I have to say that I still have my “school treasury” from my childhood and I love looking back at the changes over the years.

    BTW, there is a flickr group to share BHiggins school layouts but few people have added layouts (check it out here – and join and share!).

    Thanks again for the continuous entertainment, information and inspiration!