What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My Scrapbooking Primer

Every step of the journey
is the journey...

Srapbooking is a wonderful hobby, perfect accompaniment to genealogy and family history, and an ideal way to preserve memories. It can be as expensive or inexpensive as you choose.

A scapbook can really be in any format but I like to tell a story so that means a beginning, middle and end. Most of my scrapbooks focus on our family's highlights for the year in chronological order but others are themed for one particular event. The pages should have movement and journalling. I also try to include handwritten journalling because of my family history interests.

Title Page

I make a title page for all my scrapbooks. To me, it just gives the starting point and focus for the album. The title page pictured is from a scrapbook I did of our trip to Las Vegas in May of 2003. I chose the colours for this title page because they remind me of Las Vegas. It seemed fitting to have the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign as part of the title page. It is a digital image as are a lot of my more recent images. It is not clear in this picture but movement is provided not only by the title but the letters are peel and stick glittered felt. Las Vegas is all about glitter so I thought they matched the theme nicely. They give both movement and depth. I used a gold metallic paper for the matting and larger stars in keeping with the glitz theme. The smaller stars were actual metallic glitter.

End Page

Much like a book, I think a scrapbook needs an ending page as a way to give the viewer a glipse to the next album. These can be elabourate or rather simple as this end page is. This is the end page for our first year together. I was expecting our first baby so chose blue and pink mutted matts for the simple saying. The saying was printed on plain white card stock then hand embossed using a paint stencil. The saying and matts were mounted on purchased designer stationary.

Now my method for embossing is, shall I say, different and I use any stencil I can find, not those geared to scrapbooking. The stencil I used for this particular layout was purchased at a dollar store. Once I printed the journalling, I centered it backwards onto the stencil. Then holding it to the window, I used the non-writing end of a ball point pen to rub into the stencil markings. When turned over, the result was a pleasing and inexpensive embossing, a method I still use today.


The pages should have some type of movement whether real using embellishments and layering or perceived using shadowing or font gradients. Even if a layout is digital, use shadows and/or embellishments to add depth and movement.

This was a rather difficult layout because I wanted to include a lot of pictures and journalling that included a recipe. So I printed all the digital images then worked on getting movement. One of the easiest ways to get movement is to layer elements which I did in this layout. Then I added more movement by angling the images and journalling. The title gave a bit more movement using gradient coloured font. What is barely apparent in the image is the background paper is custom designed by me. I printed one sheet with custom background and title while the other had just the background.


Journaling is a very important component. It brings your pictures to life. It brings back the memories! Purists will tell you that journaling should always be handwritten but I disagree. While handwritten journaling is always incorporated into my albums, I also rely heavily on computer generated journaling.

This layout was created using MS Word Art on a rather mutted blue card stock. The digital images were printed then cut and I rounded the corners. I wanted something different for the journaling though.

We honeymooned in Niagra Falls, Ontario and spend a couple of weekends a year there ever since. So the legend of the Maid of the Mist seemed to just fit this layout. I chose vellum because it give a misty, hint of the Falls look. I printed the legend in blue type onto vellum then trimmed the vellum with a jagged rotary cutter. To give the page movement I chalked the cut edge of the vellum.


A scrapbook album should be about more than just pictures. I always try to include extras like travel pamphlets, airline tickets or other momentos. This layout was from our trip to Lake Mead in 2003 while we were in Las Vegas, Nevada. The journaling was done using MS Word then cut out to use in the layout. I included details like the cost of dinner and weather conditions that day. Pockets are a perfect way to hold extras like travel pamphlets so I used one for this layout. The strip at the top of the pocket is textured with sand from our trip. The tag gives the interesting details of Lake Mead.

Well you have seen a few of my layouts, some totally traditional and some incorportating computerized elements. I think most of my layouts involve computerization at some level. I have branched into digital scrapbooking but even then sometimes embellishments sneek in. I find myself relying more and more on digital scrapbooking simply because my images are digital and the possiblities are practically endless! I am now including with every album the digitalized images and for some albums digital videos and/or sound.


Some only do digital scrapbooking but my style is a combination. This layout with the exception of the blue diamond and grey square is completely digital including the background paper. I am doing more digital layouts though. I love using custom made background paper and it's so easy to do! The first page was made using only MS Word. The second page was made using HP Scrapbooking Assistant.

The nice thing about digital scrapbooking is the no muss factor. Design your background, title and journaling. Simple click and drag your images to the document or layout. Add any embellishments for more depth then print. At any step of the way you can make any adjustments without it costing you a penny!

My Set-up:
Hardware: Mac Duo Core (Mac OSX/Windows XP) and iBook G4, HP C3180 All-in-One, Epsom Photo 890
Software: I use the following programs for scapbooking: iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop CS V 8.00, Adobe ImageReady CS, HP Creative Scrapbook Assistant (Mac or PC), Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Design (PC), Microsoft Word for Mac, Preview, and Comic Life.
Miscellaneous: oodles of gel pens, stamps, stickers, paper, cardstock, Sizzix® Die Cutter, fancy scissors and lots of punches.

Money Saving Tips:
✫ Start small and don't try to buy everything at once. Trust me I have stickers I bought just because they struck my fancy at the time and I will likely never use them because very few of my layouts ever use stickers! And forget about those fancy scissors that you will use only once or twice.
✫ Always buy only what you really want and then buy it
on sale.
Shop the dollar stores! Just be sure to look for "acid free" elements.
✫ Create your own elements.
✫ Go digital especially for images. A digital camera will pay for itseld likely in processing costs the first year. Digital background are not only unique but cheaper than purchased background paper.

Garden Gnome
© 2006