PRT246 -Story Scale

This week we’re talking about 8.5×11 pages…

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  • Mosbaskets

    Been listening to the discussion on paid vs free content. I
    am new to paying for content and was thinking about what changed for me. I am
    very picky about what I will spend my money on but also aware that a good
    product is worth money, whether it is a service or a good. The point is its
    value to me. I was looking to increase my inspiration in scrapbooking and came
    across PRT, which led me to masterful scrapbook design and Paperclipping, both
    of which I subscribed to. The value to me was very high, especially since it is
    a 6 month membership. With a monthly membership I need to evaluate each month
    whether it was a good value, but with a year or six months I look over a longer
    period. Some months I use a lot, others I’m busy and can’t use much, but
    overall I can say I get a lot out of it. Knowing this about myself, I stay away
    from monthly subscriptions. I think once you’ve exhausted the free content, and
    are looking for something more, then that is the time to look for the paid
    subscriptions, or classes or kits, or whatever and try one. It’s a learning process, not just about the
    content that is out there and how to find out what is worth paying for, but
    also learning about yourself, and what you personally value and what is
    important to you. Sometimes you will get some duds, but that is true in
    everything you do. You have to delve in and get your feet wet to figure out
    what is it you like and what are you willing to pay for.

    One thing I am not willing to pay for is newspapers. I don’t
    get enough out of any one paper to pay for the content. I definitely follow
    news stories, but right now there are enough good info from open news and
    journalists, that paying for WSJ or NYT isn’t worth it to me. Others may find
    that that is what they need. It is all a personal choice. As for ebooks, I
    agree that they shouldn’t be free, there was a cost to writing it and an author
    needs to make a living as well, I just think they should be quite a bit cheaper
    than printed books, since the cost of printing, storage, shipping etc is
    enormous compared to an ebook. It is amazes me when I buy my kids textbooks
    (their school uses iPads), a printed textbook is $100, an ebook version is $90
    and the iBook version (which has interactive content) is $15. I think ebooks
    should be about 50% of a printed book.

    Anyway, thanks for the show.

  • Hannah Brown

    Great show, great panelists. I wasn’t expecting things to get as heated as they did at the beginning of the show, and it kind of made me laugh, listening to Noell get on fire. ;)

    I was interested to hear what the panelists had to say about scrapbooking 8 1/2 by 11, because that is a size that I struggle with. Honestly, I struggle with any size other that 12 by 12. I like having room and freedom to move things around. I also tend to use a ton of pictures on one spread, which simply isn’t easy on a smaller format. Sometimes its hard to fit all the pictures I want on two 12 by 12 sheets of paper. Does anyone else run into this? When you have a ton of pictures from one event, but you only want to do one layout on said event, but it’s extremely difficult to fit them all on and still have it look good? I feel guilty using a grid design over and over again, regardless of the fact that I love that look.

    I did use 8 1/2 by 11 for my 2014 Week in the Life album. I didn’t want a full 12 by 12 album, but any size smaller than 8 1/2 by 11 scared me to death. It was my first time doing the project, and since I like to write, I didn’t want to run out of room for what I had to say. I also had an old 8 1/2 by 11 album that I could use, so that kinda sealed the deal. I ended up loving the finished project, but it was very difficult for me to work with two 8 1/2 by 11 pages and lots of pictures. For some reason, it’s difficult for me to translate the way I scrap on a 12 by 12 canvas, to scrapping on an 8 1/2 by 11 canvas. I tend to want to just slap the pictures on the paper and call it good.

    I love Jennifer’s insights, and was thrilled to hear Peppermint’s voice again. She’s hillarious and her voice is so calming! Great show as always. Still holding my breath for that Paperclipping/Shimelle album thingamabob! ;)

  • Jennifer

    I totally agree that 8.5×11 limits what you can fit. I think that’s one reason I like it.

    Using photo collages and pocket pages along with my layouts is the key way I include more photos. For something like an event or a trip I will often choose *not* to do a layout just so I include more pictures. My layouts then tend to focus more on feelings and relationships, even if they use an image from something we did.

  • Karla

    I’m glad the new show is up! I love to listen while I scrap. And this is right on time for national scrapbooking day! Will you be doing anything else for NSD?

  • Natalie (QSOgirl)

    As always, fascinating conversation!! I love hearing about the idea of story scale, which is something that I am trying to figure out in my own albums… I still vastly prefer strap-hinge (which I can get at Hobby Lobby) because I don’t like page protectors over my 12×12 layouts… but that means that I am not easily able to include the occasional divided page protector for collecting the micro-stories, which I have been thinking about recently. I am going to work on that!

    A comment that Jennifer made toward the end of the show about making her layouts into a photo book reminded me that Laura Vegas did an amazing project to condense her physical scrapbook albums into a photobook a couple years ago. Here’s the blog post where she talks about her process:

    and a follow-up about the photobook:

  • Cara

    I’ve just had to listen to this episode a second time, so that I could really concentrate on visualising the way Peppermint’s album might look with all of the varying page protectors. The first time I listened I assumed the episode would be about full 8.5×11 layouts so I wasn’t mentally ‘prepared’ for the huge amount of variation that the guests discussed.
    I have recently started doing a lot more 8.5×11 layouts and I’m also enjoying the limitations it puts on what can go on the page. With a particular event I might do a couple of general 12x12s with multiple photos and fact based journaling, and then I find a photo that particularly speaks to me and will do an 8.5×11 layout where the journaling will be more story based, more feelings than facts. I don’t keep them in the same album though, next to each other. Years ago i used to mix up my page sizes but when I went back to my albums I would find that the 8.5x11s would have sagged in the album on the shelf, so I have now moved to dedicated 8.5×11 albums and am quite happy to have these separate.

  • Regarding the paid vs free content – I think it’s funny that these issues come up only because it’s digital or internet content. When it comes to products in a store, no one expects anything to be free, right? You can’t even get a paperclip for free :)

    Certainly, everyone is entitled is put up a shingle and sell what they want… you as the consumer have to make an informed decision about what to spend your money on. Like all advertisements and products in life, sometimes it turns out to be a dud and other times it’s the most amazing product ever!

  • About mixing pages and pockets… Stephanie Bryan from is doing a really huge mix with her project life this year by created minibooks for each month and she uses a mix of sizes for sure. I think it’s part of her experimentation this year.

    I sort of followed her idea, but working in A4 size (being in Europe, but basically it’s like regular paper size) but varying it up because I add in pockets and random sizes, like when you create in a minibook with a huge mix.

    The pro is that you can incorporate pretty much anything into your memory keeping, especially if you keep a lot of ephemera and you don’t just want to shove them into pockets. You can pretty much create “pages” of any size that you want, depending on your photos and ephemera.

    The con is that obviously it takes more time to do custom stuff and there is the uneven issue if you have different size inserts/pockets/pages. Depends if you like chunky books or not.

    I’m still experimenting and figuring it out, but I’m liking the freedom, also because it’s just not easy to find all the products here in Europe, so if I do my own thing, I can just print and create whatever I need.

  • Yes, I totally agree. People see expense is obvious for tangible goods but somehow people think digital goods have no costs. It is frustrating!

  • Patricia Clark Moore

    Thanks for sharing Laura Vegas’ link. I have probably 50 12 x12 albums that I am finding hard to store. Photo coping is a new idea to me & as great as it sounds I would never be able to throw away the layouts after coping. Will keep on thinking about a solution and this great idea.

  • Jennifer

    Awesome, thanks for sharing!

  • Keely

    For years I did not understand when people said they had a hard time fitting their 12X12 albums on a book shelf. I scrapbooked 12X12, exclusively, but stored my pages in Creative Memories strap hinge albums. I never had a problem storing these albums. I have, since, completed two Project Life 3-Ring albums. Now, I get it!! These albums are crazy huge!!! I don’t know where to put them. I will not buy another.

    I purchased a WRMK 8.5 X 11 album to document my high school memories. These albums are beautiful AND fit on my bookshelf. I expect this album to work out great with the smaller photo sizes of the 1970’s. I got some great ideas from Peppermint in this week’s episode. Thank you!!

  • ladywing

    I’ve got 2 comments. First on the page size…. Many years ago when I scrapped old school (think rubber cement and newspaper clippings) my scrapbooks were probably 12×15 landscape. I really liked the landscape size and *IF* there were a perfect size it would be 8.5×11 landscape. I’m not a fan of the portrait 8.5×11. I think it has more of the storybook feel going landscape for me. I do 12×12 because I just can’t find the landscape. I have done the 8.5×11 landscape and put into 12×12 page protectors though. Second on the subscription model… I think a lot of people today often expect to get “something for nothing” or that someone else is footing the bill for them which is where the comment related to expenses being a cost of doing business. Yes, they are a cost of business, but when those costs aren’t covered, a business can’t STAY in business. While people often will do things for free because they love doing it, there is a point where unless they have unlimited money, they simply can’t do it any more. I understand the subscription model and those who can do it where it works for most people will stick around. Those that don’t won’t stick around. It’s basic economics which unfortunately doesn’t always work the way we would we “want it to work.” For me, I’ve had to pick and choose where my dollars will go within my budget. I know how I am with taking classes so it has to be something I can access anytime anywhere with or without an internet connection. I need to be able to download and keep.

  • It’s true. As an example, our mixer just broke and we had to buy a new one last week for around $500. (FYI — the mixer brings everyone’s voices together and it’s how Izzy is able to make the volumes of each voice match up more so no one is too quiet to hear). We also buy and deliver headsets to most of the the guests — again, to be sure the audio quality is good. Hosting the show recordings is another expense, and being able to send out emails to our large audience to let you know an episode is available is yet another. These are just some examples of our very real and tangible expenses, in addition to the value of the many hours we put into each episode.

  • Thank you for your membership! I’m glad Paperclipping is doable for many people’s budget and time availability. And I’m especially glad you like it. :)

  • SparrowApril

    I wanted to share this info based on the comments at the end of the discussion where Peppermint was talking about a wish that in the future, software could search a photo by color (to match product.) I think that Photoshop Elements Organizer can already do this.

    I organize my photos in Lightroom but I organize my scrapbooking digital supplies in Photoshop Elements Organizer (thanks to Melissa Shanhun for her class which teaches how.) PSE Organizer has a feature where you can select an item & ask the organizer to find similar items based either on SHAPE or COLOR, it works wonderfully to find products that are similar in color, I don’t see any reason why it would not also work for photos if you were using that program to organize photos.

  • Oh, wow! That’s so interesting!

  • Yes, April you are right – PSE Organizer has had facial recognition for about a decade, and yes, Organizer has seaches for:

    visually similar photos and videos
    specific objects in appearing photos
    duplicate photos

    I will have to check LR’s facial recognition out.

  • Ari Choquette

    I finished listening to this episode this morning and then just this afternoon I heard all about Flickr 4.0! It looks like it’s going to have some of the features that Peppermint was eager for… it can tell the difference between pets and humans, you can filter by the content of the photo (enter search term “sunset,” for example, to bring up all of your sunset images), and you can even filter by color! I haven’t tried it, but if it works the way they say, it sounds like a dream!

    Here’s the link to Wired magazine, where I originally read about it:

  • Anne

    I have never scrapped in a size other than 8 1/2 by 11, which is normal paper size, because I never had access to scrapbook supplies close to me. I often buy scrapbook papers and stuff when I travel, but have never wanted to buy a 12×12 album because these are just ridiculously expensive and big to pack in a suitcase to bring back. I just fit my scrapbook pages in normal file folders available in stationary shops. This is so much cheaper and more available. (And I started scrapbooking in this size before I found scrapbooking supplies.)
    I buy 12×12 papers and simply cut them down to size. These pages are a difficult size to scrapbook with, however. If you use 3 landscape standard photos you need to overlap them slightly to fit them in and then your page is full. and if you use portrait photos you can fit in two across. You can also fit in 2 portrait photos and one landscape photo and then the page is full. And I like to scrapbook with lots of photos. This means that your creative options are a bit limited, or you should use less photos. I understand why people would prefer 12×12, but I have never tried it.

  • Courtney

    First: I’m impressed that you read a contrasting opinion. I love that you are willing to put yourself out there even with dissenting opinions.

    I think free content vs. paid content in scrapbooking is similar to everywhere else. I can learn most (if not all) of a college class online for free. However, it will be disjointed, I won’t be able to find it all in one place, and more than likely it will take me longer to learn. I don’t have a problem with subscription based education, but I would have enjoyed hearing more from a consumer, rather than a producer.

    For me, my dollars are more likely to go to someone who provides something for free so I can see that I do like them. I would not have bought the Dive Deep course without listening to both Paperclipping and Shimelle previously. I have purchased before ‘sight unseen’ and it’s a huge gamble. I did not like the voice of the person and because of that, I never finished. I’ve done the same things with digital supplies. I like to be able to see the quality before committing. I have considered for Lightroom based on Izzy, but I will probably go a different direction to a course recommended by the Digi Geek Podcast. Why? Because there is an 11 minute video that shows me exactly what to expect in the class with the teacher doing a mini lesson. Notice that price is not the deciding factor.

    And I am similar in my tangible life. I may use a coupon and try a new product, but I’m more likely to stick to what I know we like, and what I know works, or a place with a good refund policy. I have no problem paying for ebooks, but only if I know
    the author. If I don’t know the author, I’m getting it from the library
    or skipping it altogether.

    I think the biggest difference between tangible and digital to me as a consumer is the resale policy. If I buy a book, and I don’t like it (or even if I do) I can sell it to someone else and recoup some of my initial cost. If I buy an ebook and don’t like it, it’s still mine. I can’t recoup any of the cost. We buy video games with discs so we can trade them in. As video games move to download only, we buy less. And usually only if we’ve tried it at a friends house first. It’s the same with digital scrapping supplies – I can’t resell them like I can tangible kits. Educational classes are similar. If it’s not working, most colleges have a drop period. I dropped a math class as a freshman because I knew I couldn’t follow the teacher. I was able to join a different one that worked for me. There’s usually a grace period that you can return books and recoup the cost. I haven’t seen grace periods in scrapping classes.

  • ARC

    Late to the party here – catching up on episodes. I think Dana’s comment wrt “the cost of doing business” was re: the segment where Debbie was mentioning a “joining fee”, admin costs to add/remove members and set them up, and it almost sounded like she was complaining that people opt out and come back later because it was “more work” to set them up again. On that specific point I agreed with Dana – that seemed like something that you just have to accept as a subscription-based business. And honestly, it’s great that people *come back*, right?

    That being said, while I’m sure there’s lots of wonderful free content out there, I am perfectly happy to pay for high quality work. I actually prefer books and written materials because I spend my day job 100% in front of a computer so I do like to download things, and sometimes (gasp!) print them out to read offline. I love that the new Paperclipping class is audio-only because I can “take it with me” on my phone and listen while driving kids to school or working out. I am totally willing to pay more for content that fits my preferred method of delivery, too :)

  • Terri Cannell

    I thought of you right away, Noell, when I ran across these darling window shapes in my favorite cutting file website:

  • Those are cute! Thank you for thinking of me and sharing, Terri! :)

  • Louise Ingram

    What a brilliant episode! I loved this format, a meandering wander through how Peppermint and Jennifer are scrapping this year. (I really enjoy your more structured-sounding shows and information-based ones too.) It really was like listening to a group of scrappers chatting at a crop. Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!