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15 September 2016

S’s Rules of S’s Scrapbooking


With all the buzz about Jennifer Wilson’s book “The New Rules of Scrapbooking”, I thought a post about what I have finally figured out about my own scrapbooking might be worth sharing. A blog post by friend, Sue Althouse, on a day after a long telephone conversation with sis-in-law/scrapping buddy Trenna Brauer, has clarified my thinking.  It may be that writing this blog post is more for me than it is for you, dear reader.  So that I may stick to what I know works.


2016 might be my most prolific year of scrapping ever.  I don’t have a good count of how many layouts I have done, but I am constantly looking at the stacks (yes, stacks – plural, not the same one over and over again) of completed layouts that need to be filed and saying “again?  already?  geez!!”  And that’s actually a good thing, isn’t it?


This year I have concentrated on finishing up projects.  I am easily distracted, and often start longer projects, like vacation pages, and stop halfway through.  Trenna and I love to go to Creating Keepsakes convention and take lots of classes there, meaning we bring home lots of homework.  This year I am tackling those projects, and watching this basket slowly, surely empty out.  How am I accomplishing that?


First, I have tried to be very intentional about matching up projects I need to finish with design team assignments I need to complete. Everyone might assume that is always the case, but if I am not disciplined about it, I go down rabbit holes of scrapping layouts that hold no lasting value.   I really do work best with a deadline, I don't want to to try many new techniques; I don’t want to get too messy.  So I have realized that a  sketch challenge is the most fun and rewarding type of challenge for me and Stuck?! Sketches is my current fave. (Can I tell you how disappointed I was not to make her team during the recent call; so much so I drowned my disappointment with a big bowl of real buttered salt-and-peppered popcorn that I posted to Instagram to share my pain.  I am almost over it now, well, maybe.  Sorry, I digress.)


Second, I have realized that the only thing more distracting than half-way done projects is supplies that I have passed over -- over and over again.  So I have pared these down - a lot this year, thanks to a well timed rummage sale at our local scrapbook store.  Once my current kit club subscription runs out, I will not subscribe in 2017.


However, I NEED to work with a kit (or a single collection) to keep from being distracted by every other pretty thing in the studio. I have known for quite a while that the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is my cure for this ailment – it really works!  What I more recently discovered is that it is okay to not save every leftover of every kit.  Sure, I save a few good things I just didn’t get around to using, but going forward I plan to let go of the dribs, drabs and dregs of stickers, chipboard pieces and die-cuts.


Third, I have narrowed the focus of scrappy inspiration – I value Get It Scrapped for constant reminders and reinforcement of good design principles and more recently, Simple Scrapper for providing structure around my long-term goals. Unfortunately, the blogs I have followed over the years have whittled themselves down - but the connections I have made with about a dozen other scrapbooking bloggers still form my primary hobby-based community online.  A single podcast source – The Scrap Gals – for listening while I am cleaning the studio works nicely.


I like Facebook groups for design team coordination, but have lost interest in several other groups I have tried. News flash -- I stopped to consider if I was getting value for the time spent. Pinterest boards and online classes have mostly fallen by the wayside.  My backlog of pinned layouts/sketches and my unfinished online class lessons (e.g., Christmas Card Workshop 2013) will last for a year or two.


Focus on finishing!   That's what is working for me right now.  And that’s not to say I don’t get distracted and even frustrated from time to time.  I am not a steady scrapper, I am an up and down, in the mood or not in the mood scrapper. But CLEARLY this year may be my most prolific ever.


Could it be possible after 7 years that I am finally figuring out what works? Maybe? Is it possible that self-knowledge will lead to self-discipline as well? Maybe . . .  not? You know me by now!


  1. I love working with kits for the same reason. I love your collection of albums.

  2. A great post to read! I relate to your ideas on so many levels. I too am not keeping every scrap left from a kit or collection. I am also try to not hoard. I am happier using supplies when they are new and exciting to me. Stuck?Sketches! seems to be one of the last sketch challenge sites. I am super happy that Creative Scrappers is back. I'm lost without sketches. They keep my pages looking different. My mind seems to stick paper down in the same order. LOL Well, keep on scrapping! :)

  3. What a fabulous and thought-provoking post Susanne! While I don't have very many unfinished projects (I tend to have more "I should really make this" kinds of things rolling around in my brain), I also have been very prolific this year and have had to restock my favorite albums a couple of times so far. I really need to work on your 3rd point - I'm easily distracted by multiple sources of inspiration and, while it's not a steady problem, sometimes I feel a little "idea overwhelm". Again, thanks for a really great post!

  4. I did a major clean out about a year ago. I realized I just about NEVER use stickers, so why was I keeping them? turning loose of (probably) hundreds of sticker sheets was so liberating. For me, my scrapbooking has evolved. In order of priority, it's the story, pictures to back it up, a few pretty papers and well placed embellishments. I'm finally getting up to my room today and will be taking some pictures of where I'm at. Thanks for sharing your "new" rules---which aren't really rules at all! You're free!

  5. An interesting read, for sure. I think I might be the complete opposite. What works for me is no planning. I don't like giving my scrapbooking "structure" because then it doesn't feel like something I do for fun or in moments when I have time to pick up and put down. Yes, I do keep an eye on the calendar because I know I have deadlines but I never take on more than I know I can comfortably complete and give myself time for just for fun projects too.

    Can't get into FB and don't enjoy podcasts. I'm probably in the minority there

  6. I love how you take an idea and run. This post is very you. Structured and logically written and presented. You never fail to make me smile. Your rules are good and one or two of them work for me too - the CKC kits being the main one. I find that I only work with kits these days or the overwhelm is too great. The Simple Scrapper pages I make usually come directly from a CKC kit or at least a project kit. Classes have failed to the wayside, as have most blogs. I love deadlines but I need to reach a point of being ahead of them more than I am! I am only active on FB in groups - and then only DT ones to be honest. Just can't find the time to engage more than that. I'm a procrastinator though and waste a lot of time. Maybe I just need to focus on that more. I have a humungous pile of layouts to put away - from the last 12 to 18 month - it must be a couple of hundred and yet I think I'm at my lowest output for some time! But Oct is LOAD so who knows! Thanks for making me think....

  7. Great post - sounds like you've made some great strides this year that are working to keep you productive! I've done less scrapping this year, but it's all ok. I enjoy doing what inspires me & have found lots of INSPIRATION as I organize my new room. I anticipate 2017 to be extremely productive! :)