PRT113 – It Makes You Brave

Today we’re attacking one of the scariest things ever — the blank page! Come listen!

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  • Katie Scott

    Hey Paperclippers!

    I loved today’s episode – I always love it when Angie is on the show.

    We must have been on the same frequency on Tuesday because I did a blog post that day about Scrapbooker’s Block which is almost the same topic as this episode.  Here’s the link:

    I’l add that my blog post was inspired by Lain Ehmann’s recent online seminar about how to write better blog posts AND her LOAD process – which is so useful in discovering your scrapbooking style as Angie & Karen mentioned. 

    :) Katie Scott.

  • Angie Robinson

    Back to last week’s show…for what it’s worth – I LOVED the conversation on camera equipment.  After taking Big Picture classes by Elisha Snow and Tracey Clark – I’m learning so much about the differences in lenses, etc. – and that show helped.  I actually listened twice so I could take notes the 2nd time!  However, I am looking forward to the follow show in photography.

    Thanks for all you do – I love the show and all of you!

  • Lisa

    Hi there

    I was listening to this week’s show (It Makes You Brave) in the car on the way to work today and nearly had to stop the car and go online right there and comment! 

    Anyway, Karen’s comments mirrored almost exactly what has been going through my head the last few weeks as I’ve been looking around online, listening to your show, blogging and participating in LOAD. I’ve been composing a blog post in my head about the topic but Karen’s words made me agree out loud, right there in the car. 

    The phrase that has been going round my head is, “When did scrapbooking stop being about having FUN?” 

    There seems to be so much around at the moment about the serious side of this hobby – the obligation to get the story written down for your children, the generations down the line, even the future YOU; the necessity to have the latest and greatest products; to take the best pictures; to capture the moments, the events, the every day; to do a page a day, a Week in the Life, Project Life (or maybe them all). What to do to alleviate the guilt, to maximise your process, to make sure you write the complete story.

    I’m not pointing the finger anywhere in particular but for me, Karen said it so clearly when she was talking about this being a hobby and we do it for fun. I know everyone has their “why” – something that Lain is talking a lot about right now too – but I really think it’s so important to remember that we choose to do this, it’s not work (or for most of us anyway), and everyone’s time is so precious these days that we need to make sure we enjoy what we do and make the most of every moment we have. And guilt doesn’t belong in there. Nor does stress or feelings of inadequacy. 

    I’m a pretty prolific scrapbooker and am currently participating in LOAD as well as several other challenges including the Counterfeit Kit Challenge (which by the way is such a great way to get some of that older neglected but still loved-stash used up!) but every time I stand at my table and take out a piece of cardstock I try to have fun. I love what I do and I have to say that I’m totally guilt-free! I’m creating in the here and now, for me, for my love of pretty paper and happy photos. When it starts feeling like an effort, it’s time for me to put down my craft knife and do something else for a few days. 

    Karen is an awesome designer, a great guest and I love the way she expresses herself! I love all your shows but this was particularly fabulous and had me almost shouting out in agreement! Love it!

    Keep on doing what you do – it’s great!

    Non-schmo, Lisa 

  • LeslieM

    I liked the camera equipment show too.

  • Jen

    I really enjoyed listening to this episode. I actually listened to parts of it a couple of times. I think the thing that struck me the most was how the panelist’s processes have changed and evolved over time. That is definitely the case for me. I would even say that my reasons for scrapping have changed as well. When I started scrapping, I put so much pressure on myself that it wasn’t always fun. Each page had to be a masterpiece. It wasn’t until I started just “doing something” in the form of online challenges, that I started realizing what I liked and why I was even doing this hobby in the first place. My photography is not fantastic. I don’t “get” design principles (sorry Noelle!). But that’s okay because I’m digi and that’s what templates are for. I do greatly enjoy scrapbooking though. And at some point maybe I’ll get more into photography or I’ll try to understand design more. But in the meantime I’ll happily scrap with my Instagram photos and my digital templates because they help tell my stories. And that’s what makes me happy right now. 
    I guess what I’m trying to say is, what made me happy 3 years ago when I first started scrapping are not the things that make me happy now and the things that get me going now will probably be old hat 3 years from now. We evolve as people. Of course our scrapbooking is going to evolve as well. We don’t have to know every technique or have every new product right now. We need to let go of all the self-imposed guilt and bad feelings and just make pages that make us happy right now.

  • I loved this show– not often do I just stare at a page, but there’s for sure moments where I feel  a total “block.” Thanks for all of the tips! 

    I am envious of you, Noell, for having “too many” ideas– how do you keep track of all of them? Do you write them down? Put your pictures in folders “to scrap”? 

  • Thank you for your membership, Lisa!

    I agree that Karen is a fabulous guest and I love having her on the show. I also thought this was a particularly interesting episode! One thing to remember is that fun is different for everyone, though. For me, focusing on improving my photography and design principles is one of the FUNNEST parts of scrapbooking. For the past couple years learning about new product has suddenly become fun for me, though I really didn’t care in the least not to look ago.
    On the other hand, I don’t have fun with Week In the Life. I’ve tried it 2 or 3 times and it’s not fun for me, so I’ve learned to stop trying to do it.
    But I’m sure it’s fun for others. Ali has said herself that toward the end of it it becomes not as much fun. But it’s fun for her through most of the process and being able to review it later is fun for her — and in that case, a bit of non-fun is worth it.
    Anyway, my point is, while some things make seem serious or like work to others, it doesn’t mean it isn’t fun for them. I know you were saying that if people don’t enjoy something, they don’t need to do it out of guilt. But I’ve also heard people criticize any mention of learning photography, design, etc. because they think it takes away the fun in general, so I wanted to point out that those who love those things ARE having fun.

  • Yeah, the evolution of people’s processes is interesting! And no need to apologize for not getting design principles — It’s my passion and I share it with those who are also interested in it. But I’ve NEVER been under the delusion that it’s for everyone. :) When I started Paperclipping I chose to put my focus on design knowing that it actually caters to only a small niche of scrapbookers. I’m fine with that and have made that part of my business plan.

  • Thanks, Allie! I have been refining system for keeping track of my pictures and ephemera + any story notes and I hope to share it in a video the upcoming months as I finally found something that works for me.
    As for design ideas — I don’t keep track of design ideas in any way at all. I’ve found that isn’t helpful for me. My ideas just come as I think about my story. I think there are 2 reasons the ideas are so ready available for me when I’m thinking about my story:
    1. I pay tons of attention to emotional effects visuals have on us. I notice it in film, in dance, in art, in photography, in makeup, and in fashion, etc. I also pay attention to the way words and music effect us. I study lyrics of creative and intelligent songwriters, especially when they use lots of metaphors (like Red Hot Chili Peppers) because it gets your mind thinking in these more artful ways. So I don’t really story specific ideas, but I’m constantly learning and collecting ways to project ideas in a visual or interpretive way. These are all part of design principles.
    2. I guess I kind of go into a “state” where I’m revisiting the moment and FEELING my story. In this state, I naturally recall related concepts I’ve learned through observing the things I mentioned in number 1.
    Did that make sense?

  • Emery

    This is so interesting to me. I choose supplies based on the colors in my photos or the topic. I have NO intuition and don’t understand doing things based on feelings. (on Myers Briggs test I scored zero for intuition!) I used to choose a week’s worth of clothing at the beginning of the week whereas my roommate had to try on 5 outfits each day and then she made her choice based on how she felt that day!

  • chief dot

    Thank goodness for Karen and her comments!  I could have cheered out loud when she interrupted yet another long speech about how to do design principles.  Really, can you all give that a rest for a while?  Thank you, thank you for Karen for getting to the point that this is a HOBBY and not some sort of way to do a project.

  • Rochelle

    Am I the only one who thought Karen’s comments were rather rude, considering she was guest on the PRT?  Noell has always been clear about her passion for design, so it was like having a visitor in your home challenging your beliefs. 
    I have no interest in doing a layout a day, (LOAD Challenge)  it would take all the fun out of scrapbooking, for me. However I would never go on Lain’s site & say this as to me it is simply bad manners.
    Rant over! Love you guys!

  • How funny! While I don’t try on five outfits, (sometimes I change once) I DO choose my outfits based on my feelings. I choose my coffee cups that way, too! :)
    Interesting how we’re all so different!

  • I’m sorry you feel this way — I mean, it’s fine that you’re not interested in design principles, but I’m sorry you feel I was giving “another long speech.” We were all sharing how we get going on a page, and since those principles are deeply entrenched in my own process, obviously I’m going to share how it fits. Paperclipping Members make up a huge percentage of the Roundtable audience and a large percentage of them are interested in hearing about design, so I must say you’re going to have to endure many more “long speeches” if you choose to continue listening to the show.
    Some of us enjoy learning certain skills as a hobby. It may not be fun for you but it’s fun for some of us. It does seem as if you’re dissing that choice.

  • Snapsandsnippets

    Great show this week.  I had to write to tell you the way I think of design principles.  I think of them the same way as I think of an interior designer.  Let me elaborate.  We just recently remodeled our house, and I used a designer to help me make sure that in such a big project everything would flow.  Redecorating all our rooms at once was overwhelming me.  She was a second pair of eyes who knew “the rules” about how things should look.  And she was excellent at her job.  But in any redecorating project, the final say has to come down to the person who lives in the house.  So when we disagreed – and we didn’t on the big items – my say was the determining factor.  After all, it is my house.  Can you see the parallels here to designing a layout – design principles can help you with the basic structure – but if the end result doesn’t reflect you – what was the point.  Of course, some designers would like to redecorate your house for you and if they do it all on their own it may look perfect – you’ve seen those houses in the magazines – but those shots don’t reflect the everyday when people are living there.  A really good designer will figure out how to work with what you have – what you like – what reflects you.  And will even let you make little “mistakes” – because in the end that is what makes your house reflect you.  Option A (a chair, rug, or painting) might be the perfect design choice, but Option B is what makes you smile.  So I think that if it is helpful to you – learn as much about design as makes you happy and comfortable – until it become intuitive enough to help you figure out how to “arrange the furniture” on your pages.  Like Karen said, it is good to stretch your skills in that direction. But remember, the real stories are told on your page, only if they are told by you.  And a little misstep or two, only makes it more reflective of you, and doesn’t distract from the main purpose.  I like Nancy’s idea of using the principles as a good checklist to help with blocks or problems you are having.  But never let what anyone else thinks or their approach keep you from making pages that are yours.  After all, it’s your page.

  • Snapsandsnippets

     Oh I like it when there is a difference in approach – that way I can take what I like from each of them and see what might work for me.  I don’t think Karen was disrespectful but passionate – I think the same can be said for Noell.  And I think that Angie and Nancy both fell somewhere in the middle.  I thought it made for great interesting discussion.

  • L Squared

    Another great show – this one seemed to be saturated with great tips and ideas. Maybe it was just hitting home for me and that’s why it felt to have sooo much content.

  • L Squared

    I have to agree – I thought that the various perspectives were exactly what this show is about and were handled wonderfully. I loved hearing about different people’s “whys” and processes. I think this was one of the most diverse and idea filled shows in a while! All the guests were grand in my opinion. 

  • Lisa M. Zepponi

    1. Great comeback from last week’s I’m a piler” episode, which had great guest, but….
    2. I usually listen to the podcast over 2 days.  Today, after my walk, I just couldn’t turn it off! Great Content and energy with all the guests.
    3. YAHOO KARENIKA!!!!!!!!!  Hats off to you for reminding everyone that scrapbooking is supposed to be FUN!!!!  Personally, any technique, design, process described with the words “Rule” (the 3rd’s Rule) or “Principle” (Design Principle) makes me think I am going to be graded on my final product!  Aargh!!

      Last week I looked through my 3 scrapbooks from high school and college (let’s suffice it to say that was many ions ago) I chuckled, teared up and just had fun remembering.  These scrapbooks were nothing more than snapshots, with TONS of memorabilia, such as tickets, brochures, maps, dried flowers, ribbons, cards and fun words cut out from magazines!!!!!  (I will say I wish I would have documented more of the “story including the who what where and why”.)  They were awesome to me and reminded me, that if I am staring at a blank page, just stick the photos down, the memorabilia (if there is any) and at least the five W’s!  That’s what is most important.

    Now having said that…I still LOVE to make it look pretty and I have learned a lot from the industry such as odd numbers in a cluster or a embellishments placed on the page in a triangle really make me like my pages better!  So thanks for the inspiration and keep it coming! 

    a non-schmo,
    Lisa M. Zepponi

  • Lisa M. Zepponi

     oops, forgot to say that looking through my OLD OLD scrapbooks, it made me remember to save little things like a bit of the wrapping paper, WITH MY 9 year old’s HANDWRITING on it) to use with my mother’s day pictures he took of me! (and yes he made me open it as soon as we got home from school of Friday! Ha!) LOVED IT!  a b&w photo of him throwing a football! 

  • Justasiam

    I really took exception to the idea that Karen Grunberg was expressing regarding the use of design principles in scrapbooking. She made it sound like scrapbookers should enjoy and have fun making their scrapbook layouts rather than feeling like they should know something about the design principles. It’s obvious that if people are happy with the page they have produced, why “fix what isn’t broke?”. The point is that this very same pleasing scrapbook layout has absolutely have everything to do with good design. If the page pleases the artist, it is because they have incorporated  good design principles that they may or may not have done consciously. It is important to know why a page “works” or doesn’t “work” and it almost always has to do with balance, focal point, etc.etc. It’s sad that she thinks that learning this is unpleasant; it really isn’t and it helps us to grow creatively and well as know why we like certain pages and not others. The two are part and parcel of the development of pages that we love and enjoy making. There are “rules” in scrapbooking; they  shouldn’t stop us from making pages but they are necessary for making great, fun and lovely pages!

  •  Hi, Rochelle! Thank you for your concern. It’s no worries at all. We’re all about sharing the diversity of thoughts, interests, and opinions among scrapbookers. Before the show I normally tell the guests that it’s okay to disagree with each other, and that definitely includes disagreeing with me. I particularly love to have Karen on because she shares her thoughts so freely  — a characteristic I look for when choosing guests to return again and again.

    Maybe it seemed like her comment was more personal than she actually meant it because of the timing — I’d been sharing my process, so it might have sounded like she was criticizing that. She was just concerned in general for those who feel inadequate for not knowing design, but I’m positive she wasn’t criticizing me or anyone who enjoys design. Because of the timing and context it may have sounded different from what she meant.

    Personally, I LOVED this episode and discussion. Thanks for sticking up for me, though. :)

  • Vera

    Oh my goodness!  I had no idea you’d read my comment!  :  )  I guess I should have known that when you post a comment, it’s fair game for Izzy to read!  LOL

    I hope you all know how much I love the show!  My only critique was that the gear discussion ran too long.  I’m a child and family portrait photographer, and I’m as geeky about my gear as you guys are, but I think that a discussion on what gear you have or want could potentially frustrate some people.  Yes, it’s helpful to talk about lenses, etc, but it really could overwhelm a beginner.  In future photography-themed discussions, I’d love to hear topics that would appeal to both manual/serious shooters and beginners.  

    I also think that when we start learning how to shoot in manual, we often get stuck in aperture discussions and what lens is best, etc.  I find that the more I learn, the more I realize that knowing how to work with light, well thought-out composition, and a solid understanding of exposure outweighs any expensive gear.  

    As for this current episode, I like learning design principles.  It does help me identify ways to improve my layouts.  But, I don’t let ‘rules’ get in the way of my having fun while I scrap.  Since I don’t share my layouts online I have the freedom to do whatever I want to do without worrying what anyone thinks about my layouts.  That is very freeing, and it allows me to just scrap away and sometimes I make a great layout, and sometimes I make a less-than-great layout.  That’s totally ok with me.  I’m a enjoy-the-process kind of girl.  

  • McAmy

    Great show ladies! I completely appreciated Karen’s comment. I know I’ve moved through a scrapbooking evolution where at the beginning, I was so excited just to make pages, I was focused on the basics of getting pictures and words down. I cranked out pages quickly, without thinking “how do these look”, or more accurately COMPARE. (these early pages are some of my absolute favorites). Ignorance is bliss!!!

    Then after tons of classes and visits to galleries I started to feel like I should be using the fancy techniques I learned and the all important design principles, but when I did, I also COMPARED my pages to the galleries and didn’t think they measured up. That took all of the fun out of scrapbooking for me. I felt that because I wasn’t executing perfect pages, compared to everyone else, my MEMORIES weren’t as “good”. All this information and inspiration made me insecure and I stopped scrapbooking.

    Beginning with Karen’s class, Finding your way, I started to think about my authentic style and not worry so much about what everyone else was doing. I also stayed away from the galleries for a while and followed closely the work of designers like Ali and Cathy Z, who have styles that I can relate more closely to – fewer techniques. It has taken me a while, but I’m finally starting to feel comfortable in my scrapbooking skin. Maybe it is because I’ve been through this personal process, but I’m also sensing a shift in the community that focuses more on capturing memories than executing perfect pages.

    Noell’s point is also a valid one, learning design principles can help make your pages come together more quickly and confidently – less thinking about where should I put this. But if design principles, or other things, are somehow standing in the way of you recording your memories and having fun, it is OK to let them go, at least until you are ready.

  • Great episode. It goes down as one of my favorites. I especially enjoyed hearing about the panels different processes. I love design principles but I so agree with Karen how some scrappers are taking the fun out of the process. 

    I, too, enjoyed the previous episode that was about camera equipment. Now to be able to afford some of it :).Happy Paperclipping member who stalks the site for new episodes of the roundtable :).

  • Adrienne in Hong Kong

    This had to be one of the best roundtables I have listened to. Firstly, I love when Angie Lucus is on the show as she always has great tips that I can use straight away and she keeps things simple. But Karenika’s comments about making sure that scrapbooking is fun really resonated with me. Please have her back on the show!

    I DO have fun scrapbooking – that is why I have kept with the hobby for 14 years and I listen to Paperclipping each week. My objective is not to have perfect pages, but to document our lives in a style that is true to me (which means I have fun creating them). 

    There are lots of tools available to help “the blank page” syndrome – design principals, Project 365, sketches, quizzes, etc. You just need to use the tools that you are comfortable with and use them when you need them. 

    When I listened to the podcast I was reminded of the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. He estimates that a person needs to put in 10,000 hours to be successful at something. He gives numerous examples, including the Beatles and Bill Gates. 

    So why do scrappers feel the need to have the “perfect page”? Are we overachievers? The pages are for our personal enjoyment. Only a few go to the dizzy heights of popular blogs, magazine publication, and industry job. 

    Given a blank page, I just go for it. If my pages have the photos, tell a story, and I enjoyed creating it, I am one happy bunny! 

    Kind regards,

    Adrienne in Hong Kong

  • I’m pretty new to scrapbooking (okay, very new); but to me the whole ‘design principles debate’ looks to be connected to how people approach their work. 

    If you think of your work as more like art, an expression of yourself – then you probably won’t be as bothered about ‘the rules’. If you see it more like graphic design, as a communication medium, you might want to learn more about how that works. 

    Both are creative pursuits, the difference to me is that design has to work. It must communicate it’s message to others. Art – not so much. It need only to have been created in the spirit of your thoughts and feelings – others may take what they want from it.I’m a graphic designer by trade, so I use design principles daily. I don’t think about them though, I just feel it. I’m still working on my first 12×12 page, so I’m looking forward to seeing whether my work will more graphic or more arty – will I follow or break my training?

  • My interpretation was that Karen was expressing concern for scrapbookers who are new to the hobby or who, perhaps, might feel intimidated into thinking there are all these rules they *must* follow. All the panelists on this show have been scrapbooking for a really long time and have evolved their styles and gained in knowledge. I believe Karen was worried that newer scrapbookers would feel they should be able to “skip” all the growing years and immediately be as skilled and knowledgeable as a veteran. 

  • I believe this is what she meant, too.

    While I’m a proponent of design principles as Justasiam is, I actually don’t believe they’re rules at all. I find it unfortunate that scrapbookers refer to them as rules because I think that’s one of the big things that turns people off about them. They’re just information that help you to know what kind of effect your different design choices have on the page.

  • sm_bradford

    I’m addicted to washi tape and LOVE the set by My Mind’s Eye that Karen picked. In fact I’m doing a FREE scrapinar with Layout A Day all about washi tape. Lots of ideas for ways to use this fun product. Just thought I’d share.

  • Cool, Monica! I’ve never heard the term “scrapinar” before — how fun! Is that your term, Lain’s, or someone else’s?

  • sm_bradford

    Lain’s term. She’s so creative! :)

  • Leslie Williams

    Best episode ever!

    I just wanted to add my 2 cents. Noell, you touched on this idea in a previous comment. Sometimes, for some people, the process itself can be unenjoyable, but the pay-off can be well-worth it. Most of the time, I have a blast scrapbooking, but there are also times when I have no fun at all, and these times often result in some of my favorite pages. This weekend, I tried the paper-pieced starburst technique that seems to be so trendy right now on blogs (like Lisa Truesdale’s) and pinterest. It took forever, and I was miserable while I meticulously cut each ray with my craft knife. I may or may not have thrown my paper trimmer in a bout of uncontrolled fury. I was at a crop, so this was especially embarrassing. But holy hotdogs, when I finished that page, I loved it, and I got a sense of satisfaction that I tried something new. Among my crop buddies, I am known to occasionally (ie often) show off my pages to those around me unrequested. And I’ll be jiggered, I walked around the crop with this layout like a 2 year-old showing off a fingerpainting. I was just so happy with it!

    My point? The process doesn’t have to be fun if you love the result!

  • Yes, great point and example, Leslie! I mean, I hope overall it’s fun but I’m always surprised when I run into people who have antipathy for the idea of struggle and striving to gain a skill or a result in scrapbooking. Don’t we teach our kids that worthwhile things require effort? Can you imagine telling your son to quit karate and that it’s not for him if there is anything difficult in it?
    I take a lot of dance classes and clearly at 39 I’m only doing it as a hobby, NOT with any idea that it will be a profession. But it’s hard and it’s painful and it humbles you because you’re trying to do things you can’t yet do more often than you’re doing moves you’re already good at. I value the struggle and difficulty of my dance hobby just as much as I value the fun parts.

  • Kimba911

    Once again, great episode!  I’ve recently been listening to some of the very first episodes of the Roundtable, then going to the most recent.  I love hearing how the show has evolved … from hearing the 70’s porn transition music – to all of the wonderful guests you’ve had –  to the suggestion of making Izzy’s laugh a ring tone.  :)     (I vote yes to this, by the way)

    Like Karen was saying, I also feel that every page I create has to have special meaning.  I follow that way of thinking in most areas of my life – my work, the people I keep close to me – what I read and watch.   When I create a page, everything that goes into it – the color of the paper, type of embellishments, even the shapes that the pictures are arranged in – all of this reflects what story the pictures are telling.  Whenever I have a block, I just look at the pictures, and they often seem to tell me which direction to go.  Sometimes if I still have a block, I love to fall back on the collection of inspiring idea books, blogs and websites I keep on hand.

    Unfortunately, with my style of scrapbooking, it’s very difficult to find new and interesting areas for inspiration and building on my skills.  I appreciate the article Noell posted about white space.  I like to use most of the space on the page, and am disappointed with the multitude of pages I see that have soooo much white space (or clear space), with just a few pictures clustered in one little corner.  With the design principles and elements that Noell and others demonstrate, this just seems to go against all of that harmony and eye-pleasing balance that we seem to be going for.

    Also, my color palette tends to go against the more popular, “cotton-candy” type colors.  I enjoy the more classic jewel-tone and rich type of colors that are very pleasing to look at.

    Any suggestions for resources I could use that would give me more inspiration would be appreciated.  I am an “artistic” scrapper.  I use paint, sticks, fibers, and beading to make my pages look rich and inviting.  And I so look forward to growing in my scrapbook art.  Like Nancy, I am a very slow scrapper  :)   and there is nothing like the feeling I get when I’ve put so much of myself in every aspect of my page, and it ends up even better than what I was going for!  I know my fellow scrappers know that feeling.  That’s why we’re so addicted to this fun hobby.

    Thank you for any input you could provide.  Thanks again for all you do!    

    Kim Calloway from Simi Valley, CA

  • Great episode. Love that Karen can just go for it, but I’m in support of the design principles. They really helped me to get over the blank page. When I first started I remember I stared at the page for hours and hours. Even though I had glued a few photos down, etc. So I was being brave, but just couldn’t make it work for me. I just didn’t know what made a pleasing page versus a “hot mess.” Now after learning some principles thanks to Cathy Z, Noell and others, it’s just easier. I like to think of them as “guidelines” instead of rules. Who needs rules?! I’d probably just break them all anyways!

    I think it’s sad that there is a feeling of pressure and negativity around design. Or around layouts in general. No matter what the process, if the end result makes you happy then go for it. And hopefully the process itself is fun too. I found myself saying “Amen to that!” several times for each of the panelists’ comments. I enjoyed hearing the different viewpoints and processes. Didn’t Karen teach a class called “Finding Your Way?” Sounds like it really is a journey and you are all right, it does take practice to get there!

    And I also loved the discussion on camera equipment. Isn’t it fun that we have so much awesome technology at our fingertips? From camera phones to Instax to point and shoots and DSLRs. So much cool stuff. Just wish I had a bigger bank account for it! Keep up the great work you guys! 

  • Thanks for another great podcast.  I love to listen while I work.  I just signed up for the Kids class at BP Classes, and they are so excited!!  Thanks for the heads up. 
    Some of the comments I loved were the ones on making this fun and not stressing over the details.  I love that it was said that we are the ones who will be enjoying these pages and albums so we shoudln’t be hung up on the details.  Remember – Will it matter one year from now? 

    keep it up – I’d say girls, but Girls and Izzy

  • Melissa LaFavers

    To contribute to the discussion about Karen Grunberg’s comment about design principles, I’d like to compare scrapbooking to writing. I’ve been an aspiring writer since I was about fourteen years old–we’re not going to do the math, okay? Suffice it to say, it’s a LONG time ago. As a writer, it’s important to develop a writing style, to understand the basics of grammar, to organize thoughts and ideas into coherent prose, and to keep readers interested. Writing is work, though I love it with every fiber of my being, especially when I get into one of those grooves that could keep me up all night writing furiously.

    Doesn’t happen all that often.

    But what I heard Karen saying about scrapbooking, which is something I had to learn about writing, is that perfection is not the point. Quality is important, of course, but if you start out intimidated and overwhelmed by the pressure to write the perfect sentence or create a perfectly designed scrapbook page, the creative spirit simply withers. It’s happened to me. Often. With both pursuits, and it’s a sad, sad thing.

    Creativity should be joyful, not drudgery. That’s true regardless of how each individual approaches whatever expression of creativity she (or he, Izzy!) employs. Joyful for me might be flinging paint all over the room in hopes that some of it lands on the scrapbook page, while Nancy or Noell or any other scrapbooker might get hives at the thought of all that paint…going everywhere…

    Whatever makes you happy–design principles, flinging paint, a little of both–will also keep you creating. Different things work for everybody because everybody is different.

    The other important point I don’t think anyone else has made yet is that it’s a different ball game when a scrapbooker or writer (or whatever else) wants to go pro. If I want to be a professional writer, my writing needs to be up to the standard of whoever’s going to pay me to write, and the same with scrapbooking. Design teams require a certain expertise and knowledge of design principles because their projects will be representative of that company and need to be above average.

    A fascinating discussion as always. Thank you all so much for being brave and generous and sharing your creative lives with us.

  • Mel

    Really enjoyed this episode I love Karen and Angie. I find that the passion Noell has for this hobby and the use of design is inspiring but also completely understand where Karen is coming from.

    Anyway this evening I was inspired to scrap and guess what? I was brave and just stuck three photos down and went from there. And I love the page. So much I went on and did another one! Woo Hoo.

    Thanks for a thought and scrap provoking show.

  • Karenika

    ok I apologize for not responding to each person individually. I want to thank you for all your comments, it was really interesting for me to read them and I appreciate them deeply. I want to state for the record that I absolutely had no intention of criticizing Noell’s way of doing things. I respect and like her and have nothing against her ideas :) I was just expressing a point of view. I tried to explain it a bit more here: so it’s a bit more clear. I hope it makes sense. Either way I am grateful that you all listened and wrote thoughtful posts. I love listening to the show and love being on it and love reading all the comments! So, thank you Noell and thanks to all of you :)

  • pj

    I always enjoy PRT and I thought this episode was one of the best ever! I loved Angie and Karen. I listened to much of the show a second time because I felt there was so much inspiring content. It is always encouraging to be reminded how important it is that “it all counts” “just start” “embrace imperfection” “have fun” etc. Karen’s advice to not stress over design principles is equally encouraging for me. It can be stifling for some of us who might feel the need to follow rules. For others it can be a useful tool. Some may prefer to be very unique and ignore rules. I enjoy the differences and love to hear opinions and look at things from different angles. 

    Thank you all.  It was awesome.

    ps. thanks, Izzy for suggesting point and shoot camera users read their manual.  WHO KNEW?! 

  • Joan

    I’m almost caught up! I download episodes, and when I have a long drive (8-10 hrs) without my husband(!) I line in and listen on my iTouch. Imagine the surprise when I heard you reading my letter during the PRT podcast! (I always wondered why I didn’t hear back from anyone!) Well, I did buy a MacBook Pro, and I love it. Still working out some learning curves because it is different from my PC, it’s better! And, no more trouble printing, whether I’m in FL, or NC!

    I love the discussions, and I also find myself chiming in with the panel. I even renewed my subscription, so I continue to be a non-schmo!! Hopefully I won’t get as far behind with broadcasts, but if I do oh well. I scrapbook for me, for fun. I do it when I am able, and have finally gotten over the guilt of not being up to date (that would take a lot of 24/7, and I am an avid tennis player, too).

    So in conclusion, please continue doing what you do. I love the inspiration. And, I appreciate a good deal, too. Just ordered two classes from BPC with my PRT coupon!


  • Hee! We try to answer as much as we can but sometimes we just can’t get to it all — nice that you finally got to the episode with your mail! Congrats on your MacBook Pro and thank you for being a Paperclipping Member! :)