PRT045 – Pile on Ali

In this installment of the Paperclipping Roundtable, we take a different approach to the show. Nancy Nally brings us an interesting subject, and we spend a lot of the show talking about another way that scrapbooking is changing.

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  • I work full time in an industry that is not remotely related to scrapbooking and I enjoy scrapbooking everyday. Sometimes I made meaningful stuff and sometimes I just enjoy making something – like a child enjoys coloring – they don’t care about producing something. I think for me a lot of times its more about the process of getting to a zone where I can relax with my creative stuff – like a meditation; and if I make something that I hold on to and is meaningful, thats icing on the cake (although sometimes its the cake and the creative time is the icing part) – just depending upon my mood. I also find the daily practice of being creative keeps me grounded and happier and more thankful and gives me more perspective – so its sort of like daily exercising for me, it makes me happier and healthier. Katie Scott :)

  • Katiescottscrapbooking

    but I’m also totally loving the internet group projects – like Ali’s December Daily & Week in the Life & more recently – Cathy Z’s Make a Page Monday.

  • Girlwhoscraps

    I LOVE this group of panilists. Thank you for another wonderful episode.

  • Loved how Noell mentioned scrapbooking being an entryway into crafting and art exploration in general. I think it comes from the fact that scrapbooking started out as basic memorykeeping and organizing of photos – which seems more of a practical thing anyone can do…but then you get to playing a bit more and expanding into other creative techniques. It was approachable to start with. Today there’s so much done within scrapbooking – it’s really like mixed media art with photos – although sometimes folks break out of that constraint and might not even use a photo. I do think it can be intimidating for new scrapbookers these days – I’m not sure how the industry is catering to the recruitment aspect – getting new scrapbookers into the craft. Whenever anything becomes an “artform” there’s suddenly the thought that you can’t learn how to do it if you don’t naturally possess the “talent.”

  • Lovely to hear about your daily practice and how it’s just relaxing…I think doing it daily or weekly or whenever really just depends on the person. We all have such different habits and sometimes structure is good for some and not for others :) I personally also like the daily, weekly or project by project habit, gives me direction.

  • Yes, I’ve thought about the intimidation factor myself! I’ve often wondered
    what I would have done had I only discovered the scrapbook industry in the
    last few years!

  • Barbara

    I LOVED this episode, and I think that Nancy is right on about the need for a clearly defined project with an end point! Especially as a digital scrapbooker, who started out in paper–the scrapbook was done when I couldn’t fit any more pages into my 12×12 album. Now, with digital layouts, there IS NO END!!! “Cause it’s all “virtual” until I actually print those pages. I’ve finally begun to make photo books, and until listening to this show, didn’t realize why they appealed to me so much. But, ah HA, it’s because when I run out of story about our Alaskan cruise, the book is done. When I’ve told the story of summer 2010 and visiting cousins, it’s complete. Accomplishment! Great show–thanks!

  • This was a great episode; I think having the discussion tie into industry trends is a good way to approach the show from time to time because what happens in the industry affects us all to differing degrees. I wanted to join in the conversation so much that I actually jotted a few notes down on scraps of card stock while working on Christmas cards. You may remember that I am not a chronological scrapbooker (I’m the one who often starts with product as inspiration). I haven’t gotten into mini books or albums, and I didn’t dabble in digital for very long. I am really focused on getting the pictures I already have scrapped into 12 x 12 layouts. I don’t feel guilty or behind because although I’m generally easily distracted when it comes to long term projects, I have found a couple of things that work for me – to keep me scrapping with a sense of accomplishment. The first is that I take online classes (usually at BPC) because I get instant feedback and gratification from working alongside others in the class and getting ideas to keep my creativity energized. That bit of structure keeps me on task because I work on scrap-worthy photos I already have – I don’t generally sign up for classes that require me to take new pictures to work on. While that can be great fun, it would get me off-track and then I would feel guilty. Secondly, even when I’m not in a class, I set myself simple goals from time to time (for example, get all my son’s high school sports shots scrapped) or I give myself challenges. On my blog I recently tracked how long would it take me use 100 sheets of patterned paper. With that barometer to track me, I can work along and get a sense of accomplishment even without completing a single album. And it’s fun. While I don’t work on that “next photo to be scrapped”, I do have several photo boxes that I pull from, and I can see that they contain less and less photos and more and more space. I am almost to the point of being able to combine 2 boxes into 1 – when I do, I will say Yippee! I get the same sense of “completion” every time I have to buy more page protectors. Both of these milestones will make me happy. So there are goals to be attained that are not projects, per se. So now I’ve told you two things that work for me. Also I wanted to mention I was happy to hear Nancy bring the idea of “meaningful” layouts down to earth from that higher plane to which it sometimes ascends. I realize there are some who are more masterful at storytelling, and yes I envy them a little and work on my own skills in that area as my scrapping evolves, but to me a layout is meaningful, if by adding paper or pretties to a page with my pictures, I can make myself or my family members remember and smile. Figure out what works for you, and scrap to satisfy yourself and those you scrap, in whatever form you scrap.

  • MissNette

    I would have to say that scrapbooking is the ‘ending’ of my arts/crafts journey. I’ve been an arts & crafts kinda girl since I was itty-bitty and I think primarily because my mom and grandmother were also creative and ‘artsy’. I can remember doing things like decoupaging boxes from old christmas cards and making doll clothes and as I became an adult, crocheting, quilting, beading, etc. etc. I actually rejected scrapbooking when I was first introduced to it because I thought it was just too much to take on…. I held out for a whole year and then I was hooked…completely and totally addicted and have remained so for 13 years!!!! I’m not into digital layouts because I like – no LOVE – the creative outlet that comes from cutting, touching, planning, etc. the materials of the craft. I know I’ll never be ‘caught up’ but it gives me an outlet to rejuvenate and explore. It’s helped me be a better mom, wife, and person in general and be much more mindful of how my words/actions affect others because I can see our family dynamics grow and change on the pages before my eyes. My challenge is to make sure that my sons see those dynamics, understand the whys and hows, and use them to further their own growth and development. I can’t begin to imagine how empty my life would be without a fulfilling crafting outlet!

  • Great episode! I love that Paperclipping is switching up the format from time to time.

    I wanted to address a comment that Ali made. Towards the end of the episode she said something like, “i don’t care if my scrapbook pages look the same and my kids won’t care either.” As a relatively newbie to scrapbooking, when I first started in this hobby, i felt that there were unspoken rules of what acceptable and not acceptable in this industry. One of them was that your scrapbook pages can never be the same.
    Hearing Ali say that she doesn’t care about this is reassuring and makes me want to scrapbook. I realized that I had a lot of guilt about re-using sketches and embellishments I love. I think that other scrapbookers may feel the same way.

    I think a discussion on the unspoken rules or stereotypes of scrapbooking may be a good topic for the show. Listing what these unspoken rules are and what scrapbooker can do to challenge them would be a great way to encourage everyone to scrap and leave the guilt behind. I think that if we want to scrapbooking alive for generations to come, we need to address these “issues”.

    Thanks again for another enjoyable show!

    Jess :)

  • Great topic! We would need to collect some of these “unspoken rules,” which
    is a bit challenging, since those types of rules tend to be something we
    intuit from the culture and often recognize sub-consciously. For example, I
    don’t think the “rule” Ali cited has entered my consciousness that clearly
    until you brought it up just now, Jess.

    So if anyone wants to help us identify some of these unnecessary unspoken
    “rules,” I’ll keep track until we have enough for an episode!

    Thank for the idea, Jess! :)


  • I like hearing the different ways you “track” your accomplishments! I also found it interesting how you’ve decided not to take any classes that will require you to take new photos and use them in your classes. I’ve been thinking about how scrapbookers can streamline their methods to simplify things if they need to. You’ve done that with your “class requirements.”

    While I don’t number my patterned papers, I do like to see that I’ve working through my papers and I get a happy feeling whenever I use the last of a package of something. :)

  • Heather

    Hi — Have not commented in a while and wanted to chime in on a couple items
    1 – I too love Creative Memories basic black stickers — great stand-by
    2 – My question was answered a few shows back about packing for a crop. I attended a crop this weekend and I have to say I put off packing until the last minute — grumbling all the way — why was I doing this when it was just easier to crop in my beautiful (say that snickering as it is a bit of a mess right now!) scrap room. Anyway, I followed the advice of the panelists (actually I think this was Nancy’s comment) and I packed up “kits”. I wanted to complete my Disney album from a recent trip, so I packed all my papers etc in one of those plastic project keeper things you get at Michaels (they are 12×12, clear plastic) and packed another with my items for my school albums that I keep for my girls. I took that, some basic tools and my cup with a lid and that is basically it. Did not take tons of paper — figured I would just buy what I needed there, which was about 3 sheets of black and 2 sheets of red cardstock. I am happy to report that the Disney album is complete and the school album is just about there — I have never been so productive and have never taken so little. I heard it again on this podcast — less is really more — careful chosing helped me accomplish my goals — yahoo!!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Izzy, for reading my comment from the last PRT episode about the Topaz plugin – Moment. I hope you and others find it a useful tool.

    Interesting discussion regarding scrapbooking and how some scrappers need to scrap with a project in mind so that they can reach an “end.” I am just the opposite! I enjoy being able to scrap what I want when I want and not have to worry about finishing an album (other than making sure I have a new album on hand for when the current album fills up with layouts!) because I do not scrap in sequence. All my layouts in a particular album may contain layouts of my daughter as a baby, as a teenager, as a toddler, etc. I actually enjoy seeing the juxtaposition of these images just to see the change in my daughter over time!

    On the other hand, my friend who is a relatively new paper scrapper (though she has created and taught card making and stamping for years) – about 3 years now – has been working on a Disney album of a trip they took about 5 years ago. The trip lasted two weeks but the album has been going on and on and on and we are both counting the pages until she is finally finished it! She has only 14 to go and may actually finish before Christmas or shortly thereafter! Of course, she only scraps when we go to twice yearly crop retreats and now we have been trying to get together twice per month to scrap as well. I am hopeful that when her Disney album is finished that she will take my advice and try my approach for at least a few layouts to take the pressure off of herself to “finish” something and actually get back to enjoying the scrapping process! She is anxious to try my method after reading this article:

  • scraparoo (Amy)

    Thanks so much for this episode! I was hooked from the title, “Pile On Ali”, because 1. I file by pile and am trying to remedy that, and 2. I just knew Ali Edwards was going to say something I needed to hear. Well, everyone had something I wanted to hear (thank you Noell, Nancy, Kristina, Ali and even Izzy) in this conversation that I myself have had multiple times over the last 2 weeks: How and why do I scrapbook?
    I’ve been rethinking how, what and why to scrapbook because I’m completely over the limit with how many large scrapbooks I now have. I’ve been officially scrapbooking since 1997, when I moved to a small town in Utah. Yup, I got converted to the Utah way (at the time), which was scrapbooking every single thing my husband & I did (although I started with an unusual “theme album” of our cross-country bicycle trip). After I finished that first masterpiece, die-cut bicycles in metallic cardstock and all, I packed up and moved over 20 8.5×11 binders and a few 12x12s, to Colorado. Since then I’ve reorganized, got a dog, reorganized again, had a son, gotten rid of over half my scrapbooking & sewing stash, took multiple BPC classes, and even (against the advice of Stacy Julian) reorganized my scrapbooks by People, Places, Things and All About Us because I couldn’t stand not having my pages in chronological order anymore. I thought I’d save a lot of space by getting rid of LOs that meant nothing, but I only cut out one album of LOs! Oh, but I put those photos in my photo drawers if they were meaningful, so nothing was lost. Now I have about 40 full-sized albums, and they take up so much space that I’m at the point of seriously reconsidering what I scrapbook.
    So far, I’ve decided that if I blog an event, that event does not need to be scrapped. I may still print some of my favorite photos from throughout the season, but I’m not going to print every single one, then put them in photo albums, then in photo drawers to marinate, like I learned in LOM2007. It’s all on the blog, and we can enjoy it there. In a few years, I can print the blog and have a nice thin book with all the stuff we’ve done, maybe even in categories like “local places” or “hikes” or “staycation events”.
    I’ve had to come to this because although I love making LOs, I just don’t have the room in my home for 170 2-inch wide binders! One of my goals is to live simply, in a decluttered home, and we only have 1200 sf, so part of it’s a space issue. The other part is a time issue. I don’t have time to scrapbook something twice-once on a blog to keep the grandparents and family informed, and once for the scrapbooks. Otherwise my poor only child is going to inherit an entire house full of scrapbooks. And he still has his own life to create more memories.
    But those super special things, like funny things my son says, or holiday or family traditions, or things I love about my family, or my favorite photos of all time, or just stories I just want to be told: those will all be in scrapbooks of some sort. Maybe mini-books. Maybe larger ones. I’m not sure. I’m still figuring it out.
    I was just so glad to hear your conversation today and wanted to let you know that it was completely relevant to me. Thank you so much.

  • Anonymous

    Amy – I’m so with you. I too live in a small 1,400sf house – with 3 teenagers and my husband. This summer, to keep the peace, I gave up my kitchen nook scrap space, so our computer could be moved away from our TV. In order to make space for it, I ended up donating ¾ of my stuff to my kid’s high school. Now all my supplies fit into a rolling cart and two shelves. I like it much better this way – I know what I have, I like what I have and I use it. As far as albums, I have downsized as well. For my photo I’ve been switching out my 12 x 12 and 8.5 x 11 albums for the smaller, thinner Catalina albums by Kolo. I’ve even made small layouts from their “scrapbook “pages that come with them. I do think about how many photos/albums my kids will be inheriting. Since my parents passed away twenty years ago, I‘ve had to store (and move 8 times) all of their photos and albums, not to mention my own childhood photos – and btw, they’re still aren’t organized. Recently I started a mini book project about how when my son was little, he was always playing in the backyard. A few years ago I would have planned a 12×12 layout for each set of photos. Now I’m happy with one photo on one page in a mini book. It uses less stuff, I’ll most likely finish it, and he won’t be stuck with one more bulky album.

  • Sherrie M.

    Another great paperclipping episode! You always leave me with something to think about! I am seeing all these fabulous scrapbook based projects – Me A to Z, Project 365, etc – and my problem is that I never seem so completely finish them, even though that’s the whole point is that there is an end. I can never get to it and now I’m left with a bunch of unfinished little albums. Ugh. On another note, I think that the community based scrapbooking that Lain E. created with Layout A Day (LOAD) has been a wonderful way for me to complete pages (with a goal in mind) and have the community to show (post on flickr) it to and get feedback instantly. I have done 4 LOADs now, each time completing the 30/31 layouts plus a few bonus ones too. That’s pretty much how I scrapbook now. Would love a Card a Day type group too….would love to build up my stash of cards. Does one that like exist? I see lovely cards in blogs all the time, mark them for future inspiration, and then scramble to make an inspired one when needed just so I can get it out in the mail on time.

  • I’ve been scrapbooking for a while and I still feel intimidated and overwhelmed at times! I especially feel out of place when it comes to all the products and companies in trend…I don’t follow that kind of stuff much…so it’s all so much to me!

  • amy w.

    Exactly! Thanks for sharing!

  • Laurabean

    I really enjoyed this episode (as always), and I’m finding Ali’s comment about how design teams that pump out tons of layouts have set up an unrealistic expectation. I love the process of scrapbooking, but I don’t feel like I have enough stories to tell, so I end up doing the meaningless kind of pages you all talked about, and then I feel kind of like, What’s the point? Which sucks some of the fun out of the process itself, after a while. I do enjoy projects like A Week in the Life and December Daily, and I do mini books here and there and enjoy them, but I run out of ideas that are genuinely meaningful before I run out of the desire to play with scrapbooking tools and supplies. I even make cards–but, honestly? I am not so social that I have a ton of friends to send cards to, so even making cards starts to feel a bit meaningless. But then I troll the galleries and blogs and see all that wonderful output and just want to make stuff–even if I don’t have a story to tell or a purpose for the card or whatever! Not sure where this is going–but I do enjoy this kind of food for thought on PRT, so thanks!

  • Barb W

    I just finished listening to this episode of PRT today on the bus ride home from work, and I thought, “Hey, that was ME! Ali’s talking about me!”

    I was participating in a chat at Designer Digitals with Ali and CathyZ, and I asked about making pages that looked the same. I asked out of pure curiosity – I was not being critical in any way because I am one of those scrappers. Many of my pages look the same, not on purpose, but because I don’t over-think what I do on my pages, and I end up using the same design tricks over and over and over again because I like the look of those designs. Like Ali said, it doesn’t matter if a number of my pages have the same design and/or use the same products over and over… in the end, it’s the stories and photos that matter.

  • Barb W

    Unspoken rules: I don’t know if this is really unspoken, but when I first discovered the world of online scrapbooking, it was through a forum (message board) connected to a store, and the “rule” I picked up on was that pages could not be AWESOME if they didn’t have the latest and greatest products on there. Mind you, that was in 2005 or so. I think that mentality has changed since then, especially with the downturn in the economy. People are finding new ways of using their stash of supplies and many big-time shoppers of the past are much more particular about what they buy at their LSS.

  • Barb W

    And I’m back. Jess, you’re going to think I’m a stalker girl or something. ;)

    After hearing Ali mention my comment about having pages that look the same (that would be the perfect description of the layouts in my albums!), I was inspired to blog about it.

  • That was. Great post, Barb! Loved it AND all your layouts!

  • JJ

    As I was listening to the team describe how CK tries to cater to a broader spectrum of scrappers I was a bit flumoxed, as I don’t see them as trying to reach a broader spectrum at all. It seems to me (as someone who let their subscription go because of this) that they are narrowing their focus to the traditional scrappers who do 2 page layouts, with only 4×6 photos, and primarily ‘events’ as the topic. I don’t see much for me in that magazine anymore.

  • That is actually exactly what I meant about CK’s changes JJ — I’m sorry
    that somehow didn’t translate for some reason. Yes, I agree with you. In my
    opinion, they used to have a little bit of every style. But people go to the
    magazine and want to see a LOT of their own favorite style, not a little. I
    think they felt that they weren’t satisfying customers enough, so they now
    focus the style on the most mainstream of traditional scrapbookers —
    exactly as you descirbed: 2-page layouts with 4×6 photos and event topics.

    What bothers me most is that with that type of layout, I believe you need to
    simplify the embellishing. But the magazine is also trying to sell product
    and ideas — so along with all of those 4×6 photos are giant over-sized
    embellishments (in my opinion) and it’s just overload for me.

  • Yay, Congratulations!

  • Donna Clark

    I’M IN!!! Noell, you have at least one Paperclipping member joining you in Ali’s class-Yesterday and Today! If I’m being completely honest….I was on the fence and as soon as I heard you were enrolled (and possibly Miss Nancy too!) I jumped to the other side into the play area at BPC!

    I really like Izzy’s encouragement as well…..such the little marketing genius! ;)

  • Kimba911

    Dream … I love what you said! I am just now listening to this episode (I somehow skipped this one in my downloads from iTunes) :) I am confused, and curious as to why it seems to be such a big deal to so many scrappers that they aren’t “finishing” scrapping. To me, it would be very sad if suddenly all of my pictures and memories were “finished”. What’s the fun in that? Having nothing left to think on, contemplate how my next layouts would be? I have never desired in the least that I was caught up. There are so many things happening in my life every day that I know positively that that would never happen. (and yes, this is even though I am single, and have no children) I am an extremely slow scrapbooker. Every page, every element, every action in my scrapbooking has meaning. I find myself smiling often as I’m working on the current page, and have sooo much fun in every aspect of this wonderfully fulfilling hobby and art. I believe that whatever we take on, be it scrapbooking, card making, doing things with family and friends, or even chores around the house … should be done with an attitude of having it mean something. Otherwise, what’s the point?? Because of this, whenever I look at my pages, I never get bored, or get tired of looking at them. I live thru the creative process all over again. That is the gift I give to myself. I also do make cards sometimes, but they are also a scrapbook of sorts. I love putting peoples’ pictures on the cards, and having the cards really mean something to the recipient. Again, thanks for writing what you did. I’m glad I’m not the only one. :)

    Kim in Simi Valley, CA

  • No, you’re not the only one, Kim! Even though I love to do mini-books and
    mini-album projects, I find them exhausting and hard to finish. The ease of
    being able to just stick a layout into an album is very awesome to me! And I
    don’t mind that that just continues on forever!

    I don’t actually think it was meant that scrapbookers are wanting to be
    finished with all their photos. I think a big chunk or just wanting to feel
    a sense of completion with projects that have an obvious finish. I’m
    definitely seeing that trend.

  • Kimba911

    Thanks, Noell! I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my post to a pretty old episode. Congrats again on your 1 yr anniversary. I look forward to listening to you guys for a long time to come. :)