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Scrapbooking - Just Do It!
Scrapbooking at its essence is really about storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking is also a method for preserving a legacy or history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabillia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks.
The tremendous growth of the Internet has resulted in more creative scrapbook approaches as well as online scrapbooks. The digital photography revolutions has been accompanied by an explosion in creative scrapbook ideas.
You can also do it in a hurry.
You don't have to spend hours every day creating painstakingly perfect pages, but scrapbooking does take a certain amount of time and care. Don't despair if you're already busy with your family and job-there are ways to make beautiful albums that don't require as much of a time commitment as traditional scrapbooking. By learning some alternative options, even the busiest person will be able to scrapbook in the few spare minutes of the day.
The first step to quickly designing pages is organizing your tools and photographs. Take an afternoon to sort through your supplies and throw out anything that is unusable or unwanted. These items might be good candidates for things to use when scrapbooking with kids. Sort your tools by use-cutters should be placed in one spot, while adhesives should have a place of their own. Sort your papers as well, either by color, type, or design. This way, you'll be able to easily grab the paper you need instead of searching throw unorganized piles. Also, take a few minutes when you get a set of prints to categorize them or even group them into sets of three or four to put together on a page.
There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Typically, the more creative and resourceful the person, the better the page. The main focus of each page should be the picture, letter or other momento, whatever is the most important to the creator. If you are interested in starting to digital scrapbook, or incorporate digital techniques with traditional scrapbooking, there are a myriad of Web resources available.
You can create a very simple and quick kind of album without much work simply by using a solid colored background and matting your photos uncropped. This option looks similar to the photo albums you can buy at the store, but your photographs will be safe on acid free paper and you have room for journaling. You can also create a brightly-colored and more pleasing album this way for not much more time than it would take you to slide your pictures into the slots of regular albums. This way, you can also add more embellishments if you have time later on and want to get more creative.
If you want that traditional scrapbook look however, pages can still be created in a short time. Many kits are available in craft stores to create ready-made pages. These kits come with all the elements of a completed page, so all you have to do is cut your pictures to size and glue everything together. For a more inexpensive option, look for papers that are conducive to quick layouts. These pages will not need much embellishment, so again you just need to cut your pictures to size and stick them to the page. A step beyond this is to create pages by yourself by using other people's designs. The Internet, scrapbooking magazines, craft books, and friends are all good sources for ideas. This way the planning is done for you and you don't have to make color decisions; it is just a process of mimicking what you see.
Once you have mastered the art of quick scrapbooking, you might find you have time now and then to sit down and design new pages from scratch. Pre-made layouts will help get your creative juices flowing, so in no time you'll learn that creating your own designs does not have to take long either.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Creative Scrapbook Ideas and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.