PRT066 – Thinking Inside the Box

How do you do mobile scrapbooking? What do you take with you when you’re going to crops? Do you have any specific strategies?

That’s the topic of today’s show…come listen!

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  • Iceteeeeee

    I use page kits for weekend crops, along with my basic tools. I work on kits all year long and include all items needed for the page as well as a sketch of my plan for the page. No more hauling half my scrap room with me! It makes it easy to talk and have fun with all my friends as all the ‘hard’ work has already been done and I can pretty much mindlessly put my pages together. The last time my friends and I went away from Thursday to Sunday, I completed 100 pages. Nice ones, too:).

    For personal trips, I usually bring an album that I have also pre-planned with page kits in the page protectors of the album, usually from one prior trip. Then I can just basically glue everything in while I am there.

    I have never scrapped a trip while on the same trip, but plan to do that this summer thanks to Ali Edwards’ class called On The Road. You set up the basic album before you go and add authentic memorabilia and journaling while you are there, then add the pictures when you get home. I am so excited about doing this!

    Thanks, as always, for a great show. Love you guys!

  • Iceteeeeee

    P.S. I have duplicates of most of my supplies packed in a rolling tote, too!

  • I’m about 10 minutes into the show, but I have to say how relieved I feel by your conversation of unfinished projects! I have two that come two mind instantly, my Weed in the Life from last year and a yearlong project from the year my daughter was 2 (she’s 3 and a half now!).

    For the yearlong one, I kept brief notes each week about the neat things my daughter did or said during the entire year. I set up an photo album ahead of time with a place for a photo and a notecard with my notes for each week. I don’t think I even made it through January with the photos, I DID keep the notes for each week of the year.

    I got two and a half layouts done for the Week in the Life project, but I simply ran out of steam because I was making to too hard (just like Ali warms us all NOT to do!). The other day, I ran across the folder on my computer with all of the photos from that week, and I thought to myself how much I really liked them and remembered how excited I was to do something with them.

    Simply listening to your guys discuss the possibility of never going back to unfinished project ideas allowed me to give myself permission to do the same. I made a decision while listening that I would simply print out the notes from my yearlong project and put them together as a simple keepsake. For the Week in the Life, I’ll go ahead and print the two finished digital scrapbooking layouts of Monday & Tuesday, and then just print the rest of the photos and place them and all of the extra ephemera from that week into divided pocket page protectors in the album. I am never going to finish it, but I can at least have it all together in one place, in a manner than can still be looked at and appreciated.

    Thank you all for this liberating revelation! Love the show!!

    Rachel Smith, Knoxville TN

  • Great topic! I go home to Canada pretty much every summer and bring the bare essential tools and a few kits, usually what will fit in that same postal box that Molly (I think) mentioned ;) I’m like Angie and I’m much more inspired when I have fewer choices. I’m actually trying to reduce my stash at home just for that very reason. I know Angie has mentioned that she is a minimalist when it comes to her scrap supplies, it would be great to hear more ideas on how she keeps her stash to a minimum… I have no willpower when I go scrapbook shopping ;)

    I don’t often get to go to crops here (France) but I have gotten together with my friends when I’m in Canada to scrapbook and I’ve been in the situaton where I was uninspired by what I’ve brought. That might be a good time to arrange a photo swap with someone else in the room. It’d be fun to see what someone else does with your photos. Or you could just trade some product with some one else. Or even have a bunch of people scrap the same photos to see the different takes with the same pictures.

    It’s funny how much these 3 ladies sound alike!! Is it just me? I kept getting them mixed up LOL!

  • Julie K in Taiwan

    I realized that I never actually got a lot of layouts completed during crops because of the chance to socialize and be inspired by others and their creations. As a result, I no longer even try to finish a layout. Instead, before the event I find a video of a technique I want to try, like making prima-esque flowers or embellishment clusters. (Being a member of paperclipping has provided me with a wealth of such resource videos, Thank-you!) Then, at the crop I spend my time trying out the technique and getting suggestions from others if I get stuck.

  • Yay, Rachel — sounds like you have a good plan for your project!

    If you need even more help feeling better about unfinished projects, try
    reading my article from a few months back:

    How to Be Organized When You Have 28 Unfinished Projects


  • This is a totally new tip regarding crops that I’ve never heard before!
    Thank you for the unique idea! :)


    Loved this show!!! We just returned from a family vacation to Europe. I used Ali’s scrapbooking on the road. I had my book all prepared before we left. I brought my pens, embellishments, extra paper, my tim Holtz stapler and adhesive. I enjoyed being able to journal on the go, it was really a great way to get my family’s input too, somethng that is missing from most of my scrapbook pages. I added photos to the book when I got home. It was great! I have never done a book like this, I normally scrapbook chronologically, but this was a great experience and made me think a bit more other projects. Great Topic – as always.

  • Did you add pics to pages that already existed in the book or did you add
    those pages after the fact (for example, with a ring-bound book you can just
    easily add a page, but with a permanently bound book, you’re mostly stuck
    with what you’ve got unless you’re very creative).

  • ok – what is the beacon adhesive? please?

  • Did you not hear it later in the show? It’s called Zip Dry. It’s awesome.

  • BeckyDJD

    Meta Data Question

    First, last, episode, the snobby knitter thing, on behalf of knitters everywhere most of use are nice… if someone seems to be a fiber snob, it is out of love. Some of the yarn sold at big chain stores, it hurts when u knit with it, and in a snotty way they might tell u it’s crap, it is how they show there love.

    2nd, I have a meta data question, in iPhoto, where u “add keywords” is that meta data? Thanks so much!

    Also, u guys are awesome! Sense finding the podcast, and becoming a subscription member, I have started scrapin’ with all the supplies I have been collecting for the past 5 years.

    Thank you guys for helping be a better scraper and memory keeper



  • I travel during the winter a lot to go skiing. At night, the hill is closed, so my husband and I enjoy spending a nice evening drinking wine, watching TV, reading, and scrapbooking! Sometimes,he even joins in the fun, as he also likes to make cards.

    I have a couple of things I do to make this work for me.

    First off, I have a list of my basic supplies, and I have duplicates of some. For example, I can’t live without glue dots, and I always keep backup adhesive packed in my travel kit. Having a list helps me remember basic things, like a ruler. Sounds silly, but before the list, I would find myself traveling without a basic item. My basic tool kit fits in a small space (ruler, journaling pen, craft knife, adhesive, etc.)

    Second, instead of bringing all of my paper, I bring all of my scraps. I find that I often need just a little splash of a different color, and it’s likely in my scraps.

    Finally, I use a lot of supplies from Club Scrap. As you mentioned on the panel, it’s nice to use kits because everything coordinates. These kits go a step further with step-by-step cutting directions for creating about 14 layouts per kit. They mostly focus on using 4×6 photos (or slightly cropped), so I don’t need to worry about bringing odd sized photos. I cut all of the layouts, spread them out on a table, and then “deal” my photos onto layouts like dealing out cards. The design of the pages is then done, and I get to focus on the fun stuff for me – journalling and embellishing. They make scrapbooking and card kits, so these are great to bring traveling. At my last crop, I did about 16 pages in one day, and had plenty of time for chit-chat and munching on snacks!

    Love the show! Thanks so much!

  • Scrappinglady

    Hi All-

    I’m looking for a product recommendation. I’m afraid that my HP Photosmart printer is on it’s last leg. Does anyone has a suggestion for a good workhorse, personal photo printer? I’ve heard that Canon also makes a photo printer.



  • Nuutindurbs2

    I just wanted to leave a comment for Izzy. I recently did a bus tour of London. And what did the tourguide say? What is the most profitable store on Regent street (where all the high designer stores are)? The Apple store !

  • Great tips! Thank you!

  • Sadiegreen77

    hi girls and izzy, when i go to crop everymonth I take a few sketches. I pack them into a clear 12×12 pocket/bag with the photos to go with the sketch and a few matching papers. Sometimes ill take a kit and a sketch. I always find this orgainised approach works best for me as i have fewer decissions to make x thanks for another great show from monkey girl uk.

  • Pictures are always the hardest for me. Picking them, resizing for printing, uploading, then where to print them. (1 hour or do I have time for shipping them) I really wish one of the major printers would just have a “surprise me” button where they choose what size to print my pictures. Anything between a 2×2 to 8×10. Then, you have to work with what you have.

  • Anya L

    Thank you! It was right on time for my trip to Florida next month. Lots of great tips I’ll sure use!

  • Candy

    First things first I am not a schmoo –I am a Paperclipping Member and a Digi File subscriber–even though I don’t digi scrap. That doesn’t keep me from loving both shows. I always learn something and I always laugh–you can’t ask for more. I have never commented on a show but there is a first time for everything.

    I agree with Nancy–there is no better place to scrap than at home. All my stuff is here and I have plenty. I don’t scrap on the go much but twice a year I go to a girl’s weekend crop–I always love going and I always get a ton done. I plan way ahead—the pictures, journaling etc. are done ahead of time. I put what I want to do on an index card–I may sketch it out and I always write my title on that card. I have been known to punch out the letters and end up with a baggie with a bunch of letters–well you can imagine what that looks like when you have no idea what it was supposed to be. I use page packets and all of it goes in there. I bring a bag of embellishments but I already have jotted on my card what I want to use. I easily get 25-35 pages done in a weekend. True I did a lot of it ahead of time but it is worth it trust me. I can chat away and enjoy the conversation and when I get home I can show my husband all I got done—it helps me get to go next time because I come home with a bunch of finished layouts so it looks like I was productive–and I was!Regarding scrapping your vacation—I never seem to get around to it. But last year I did something that really worked out. I took my IPAD on vacation and every night I would download my pictures and pick out two or three that really summed up the day. I used the Pages app and wrote my journaling and inserted pics in the right spots. It was wonderful. When I got home printed it out gave everyone a copy and tucked it away with the rest of the pictures–I have all the journalling done and if I don’t ever get around to scrapping it well that’s okay.

  • Nicole

    Hi!  I’m Nicole from the comment read in this episodes Mail segment.  I had the job layout titled My Version of Hell.  Here it is!  Thanks for reading my comment, I honestly didn’t expect such a reaction!

  • Brooke

    My scrapping friends and I get together once a week to scrap together for years, so I have gotten good at scrapping away from home. A few days before I make page kits with a sketch or idea from a mag. photos, and a variety of papers for each page I want to make. I have a small pouch with supplies I always need (small scissors, pens, pencil, eraser, lg & sm glue dots, etc.) I keep these together in the pouch just for crops, and have others I use at home. In the pouch I keep an index card with a list of things I need to take: paper trimmer, ruler, glasses, etc.

    As I work on each page, I put the finished ones in an empty 12×12 folder. If there is an unfinished detail, I put a post it note on it.

    I have done 2 scrapbooks on the road and I loved the results, even if I did get frustrated with it at times while I was making it. I am a perfectionist, so I mourned the pretty stuff I did not have access to to put on the page. I used Ali Edwards’ guidance, and took a few basic stamps, including date stamps, stapler and a few markers. I saved whole pages to add photos once I got home. They are some of my favorite travel albums because they are so real. And being limited to supplies from the trip itself challenged me to think and scrap differently.

    Thanks for all of your podcasts. They are inspiring me all the way over here in Saudi Arabia.


  • Hey, Nicole — looks like you forgot the link! :)

  • Melinda Kirk

    I am a big, big fan of We R Memory Keepers work in progress page protectors. They have a big 12×12 pockets at the back for paper and cardstock and four pockets on the front. Two big ones for photos and two smaller ones for embellishments. I build a folder full of page kits out of my stash – usually a dozen or so before I go. I find that scrapping out of the contents of the folder keeps me productive and having a number of page kits means I can just leave the ones that don’t inspire at the time. This has worked so well for me at crops that I do it all the time now. When photos come in from the printers they go into Project Life or the work in progress folder. I do a bit of power scrapping then and select papers one night, the embellishments the next, write the journaling in another spare few minutes and so on. Then when I have a block of time to scrap I actually have time to do just that – because all the hard work of choosing the stuff is done already. Brilliant J

  • Nancy Hyland

    Hi all,

    By far my most favorite podcast!! I have seriously listened to this 8 times already (I do have a long commute but it flies by when listening to you guys). I have tons of comments on this episode that I have been meaning to comment sooner but I guess better late than never.

    First, to Molly I live in SoCal so lets crop!

    Secondly, onto my comments:

    My friend Jennifer Priest has a fabulous system for packing for crops on her blog that is amazing:

    I have borrowed a few things from her methodology like only bringing neutral cardstock and trying to pair some photos with specific papers, but I am one who has a hard time paring down and I like to work from what inspires me at the time so I still bring a lot of extras. I crop with a group of girls about every other week. We started about 3 years ago and we are pretty regular about it. So instead of having a second set of tools like Angie suggested, I have my tools always stored in a portable manner. The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker has really helped me with getting organized at home as well as for crops. One of the main things they talked about was figuring out how you scrapped, since I travel a lot for my scrapping, I knew I had to have containers that could travel. So I use a lot of bead box type storage that allows me to separate my embellishments and my tools are always stored in a large tote. This way when it is time to crop I just load up my boxes in my rolling tote and my tools are in a carry tote and I am ready to go.

    Also on the “grass is always greener” syndrome, we have a give and take box at the crops where we put paper, partially used sticker sheets and rubons, old tools and punches, etc. When we purge our supplies we put everything in the box and the group can then “shop” for free for the perfect paper or embellishment that they didn’t bring. We definitely share tools and it is a great time for everyone.

    That said I am the ever optimist like Angie and think I am going to make 30 layouts at a 4 hour crop and what Molly said about realistically thinking about how many layouts really hit home. I am going to try and remember that the next time I pack for a crop. I also really love the idea of Molly’s box… hmmmmmm I will have to try that for a crop….

  • Love it!

  • Love all your ideas and systems! I also love the idea of sharing stuff you
    don’t love. I’ve done that a couple of times and it was awesome!