Take your scrapbooking to the next level

No doubt, by now you know that every spare moment I have in my life revolves around scrapbooking.

I just love to take the time to plan the perfect book, get all the necessary pieces together and then to finally put each particular aspect of the scrapbook in place. When it all works out correctly, you have just the perfect way to look back at an important time in your life, be it the birth of a baby, a birthday, a wedding or any other highlight you may choose.


There are some however, that think scrapbooks are somewhat dull. It really doesn’t have to be this way at all. Let’s take a look at two unique ideas I was privileged enough to make.

Thinking outside the box

baby albumAs I have become a more experienced scrapbooker, I have found a multitude of ways to make my work unique. In the beginning, if I am honest, my books were somewhat bland, even a little bit on the boring side! The more experienced I became and the more I made use of the internet (Pinterest in particular), the more I learned and the more daring I became.

For example, I was asked to make a scrapbook for my sister’s first born child. Her daughter Matilda had just turned two, and she wanted a piece celebrating the first couple of years of her life. pink baby blanket on a bedNow Matilda was given one of the most beautiful baby blankets as a gift when she was born. Not only did it have incredible imaginary of Disney princesses on it, but it was extremely thick, warm and colourful.
Matilda loved this baby blanket so much that I decided to use it as the focal point for the scrapbook. Of course, I could not cut it up at all, so I found one online at www.bundleandco.com.au and used that. Not only did I use the baby blanket as a cover, but I cut small pieces of it and placed it throughout the scrapbook. It actually carried a beautiful theme throughout the whole book. More importantly, My sister (and Matilda) loved it!

Another “brooch”

pink scrapbook with decorative brooch on itI did something similar with a collection of brooches for a dear friend of mine. She loves jewellery and has kept every piece she ever owned, even those she received when she was a young child. As she did not wear many of her pieces anymore, I decided to put them into a scrapbook which would be kept on her coffee table – a real conversation starter. She had a large collection of brooches, and I decided that they would use them to form the focal point of the piece. She really had some stunning pieces and the finished product became the conversation starter she intended. It also led to a lot of other orders from many of her friends, keeping me busy for months!

So just as these examples show, no matter what you choose to scrapbook, your only limit is your imagination.

Scrapbooking 101 – My own scrapbooking classes

So with all the knowledge I have built up over the past five years of constant scrapbooking, I was looking at a way that I could give something back. I thought a brilliant idea would be to hold scrapbooking classes, for kids specifically, but of course, I wouldn’t say no if their parents joined up with them.

Scrapbooking pepper and cards

What do cushions have to do with scrapbooking?

The first thing I had to do was find a venue. Our local scout hall was perfect. Not only did it have all the necessary equipment in the form of tables and benches, but it was huge. So even if 50 people signed up for my classes, I would be able to accommodate them. This was crucial to me as I didn’t want to turn anyone away.

I decided to do a quick trial run with a few family and friends. Mostly I wanted to make sure that everything ran smoothly and that my first lesson was presented in an easy to follow way, especially for the kiddies. So there we were on a Saturday morning, ten strong, with me leading a scrapbooking lesson. I decided that an hour lesson would be long enough to get across some early basics, which would allow anyone to go home and to try scrapbooking for themselves. Unfortunately, I had not reckoned on the hard benches in the scout hall. Now, if the participants were only going to sit they would be all right, but when you scrapbook, you often find all manner of ways to sit. In fact, I often place my legs down in a kneeling fashion. This just enables me to lean forward and to reach all my utensils as well as the different areas of the scrapbook pages.

The scout hall benches made this practically impossible and over and above a few helpful pointers that my family and friends gave me, the overwhelming problem was the hardness of the benches. My mother had a brilliant idea to overcome this – cushions. We thought they would be a great way to make the benches easier to use. I ordered a few large colourful cushions online from www.simplycushions.co.nz who had a fantastic range at great prices meaning we could get as many as we wanted. We made sure that they were pretty bulky and comfortable but remaining pliable. Even better though they had some matching collections which looked great.bright colourful cushion laid out on a bed

The next Wednesday was D-Day! Around 30 kids and their parents, mostly mothers but one or two brave fathers had signed up for my first class. We had an absolute ball. I started with a little bit of theory but after 10 minutes we dug right into the nitty-gritty of scrapbooking and got our hands dirty! We began with a simple scrapbook about “Our favourite things” – something I felt would appeal to the kids, and it did!

The cushions were well used by those of us who like to sit in different positions or who struggle to sit still, although a few of the older children just sat on the scout benches as per normal. I am glad that I purchased them, otherwise my first lesson could have been a disaster.

Lesson number two is up tomorrow! I can’t wait.

Ideas for scrapbooking your recent holiday

Italy was incredible!  What a breathtaking country!  There are so many picturesque towns, ancient buildings and monuments to visit, and let’s not forget the food.  I think I put on at least 5 kilograms while we were there.  Nobody can make pasta like the Italians can!

I must have taken over 2000 photos over the course of our holiday which means I have so much to choose from when I make a travel scrapbook of our travels.

We started our Italian holiday off in Rome.  We then travelled to Venice, Naples and the Tuscany region before ending off by travelling back to the Italian capital.  There was so much to see and do everywhere we went!  I really loved the tours around each city we visited.  Italy has some of the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen.  If you haven’t yet, make sure you visit Italy at some point on your travels, you will not be disappointed.

Of course I have some great ideas for a scrapbook documenting our holiday.  I thought I would share then with you so the next time you go on holiday, you can try them out as well.

1. Collect, collect, collect

scissors pins envelopes laid out

While we travelled, I made sure that I collected everything I thought I could use in the scrapbook.  Coins, bank notes (if you have any left of course), brochures, postcards and hotel business cards all can be used throughout the scrapbook to serve as specific reminders of each place you visited.

Now some things you collect might be small, but I keep these in a special compartment of my travel wallet so they won’t get lost.  Other than keeping all our travel documents, money and travellers cheques, my travel wallet has many uses! I picked it up from a speciality store call Drift Travel Wallets.

2. You can never have enough photos

I took photos of everything!  Panoramic views, sunsets, buildings, my family and the food we ate.  I even took photos of Brian exercising with his resistance bands which he picked up from a specialty store called Nomad Resistance Bands!  No one will believe me that Brian actually would have exercised on our holiday, but now I can document it in our scrapbook.  I know his friends will have a laugh!  Who exercises on their holiday?  Maybe I should have followed his example though.  Brian didn’t put on 5 kilograms now did he?

3. Include quirky pages

If you are like me and you keep a daily journal then you can incorporate it into your scrapbook.

A unique contents page is also a great idea.  Try placing the order of your scrapbook like this:

  • Cities we visited.
  • What we saw.
  • Things we did.
  • Food we ate.

For the final page of your scrapbook, use various numbers to document your travels, for example:

  • We flew 10 000 kilometres.
  • We drove 1500 kilometres.
  • We visited 4 cities.
  • We took 2000 + photos.
  • All that remains is 2 tired children, 1 fit husband and 1 uncomfortable wife.

guy surrounded by vinyl record albums

Something along these lines will be a great way to end off your scrapbook.  I still need to play around some more but those are my initial ideas.   The numbers themselves can be cut out of magazines, made of foam or even get your kids to make them for you.

There are so many more great ideas out there!  Remember, it is your scrapbook, use your imagination and go wild.  Happy travels and happy scrapbooking.

40th birthday scrapbooking ideas

In a month’s time Brian will be turning the big 4-0!

Time really flies.  It seems like just the other day that I saw this tall, gangly, long haired guy at university.  I can’t say I was immediately attracted to him, but if I am honest, there was something about him.  Once he cut his hair however, wow, let’s just say I did pursue him after that and 3 years later we were married!

A special gift for Brian


I want to do something special for Brian for his birthday and my scrapbooking group came up with a perfect idea that I know he will love.  I am going to make him a “This is your life!” scrapbook!  Cool idea right?

I am in the process of collecting any photos of Brian that I can lay my hands on.  I have asked family and friends to give me any that they might have.  I have also asked them to write down their favourite story about Brian.  I will then combine the photos, stories and little mementoes into the scrapbook.  It really is going to work so well.

Some photos and stories have started to come in already.  Ted, Brian’s best friend had this incredible black and white photo of Brian from our university days.  He is standing over a record player, just about to put a new record on the turntable he bought from here.  Brian has always loved music.  While we were in university, he would spend all his spare money on records.  It probably explains why I had to pay for hotdogs when we went out on a date.

One happy husband


Just the other day we decided that we would like to redo our entertainment area.  Brian really wanted a place where we can entertain our friends.

We bought a nice modern bar and these beautiful bar stools from this online store that are covered in red leather.  They are very trendy and modern looking and look stunning next to the bar.  We both love them, which is amazing because our tastes don’t often match.

I also surprised Brian with a record player and a couple of records.  He was really excited when I gave them to him and spent the afternoon sitting on a bar stool listening to records.  I told him the record player was part of his birthday gifts.  He wanted to know what the other part was, but I kept the scrapbook a secret.   I think that when the scrapbook is done it will take pride of place on Brian’s bar.

Top Scrapbooking Tips

I just love scrapbooking!  I find it so relaxing and I spend any spare minute I can find pursuing my hobby although this can be difficult sometimes with a husband and two little boys running around the house.  Brian, my husband understands my love for my hobby and he makes sure that he keeps the boys out of my hair for a little each day so I can pursue my passion.

Scrapbooking allows my creative side to come out and I love that!   I can focus my energy and time into my hobby and produces some amazing pieces.  Of course most of my scrapbooks focus on my family and what we get up to.

Scrapbooking is something you learn and improve at, but one thing I always keep coming back to is a list of important scrapbooking tips that I was given by my good friend Wendy.  She gave me this list when I first started out scrapbooking.  These ideas really helped me and I want to share a few with you.

1. Workspace
Your workspace is extremely important.  If you are not comfortable, do not have enough area to work in or you are constantly interrupted it will show in your scrapbooking projects.  Bear in mind that scrapbooking can take Pendant Lightsintense concentration at times.

Lighting also plays a massive role while you scrapbook.  Remember, you are often working with small objects, pieces of paper and stickers.  The correct lighting will go a long way to helping with accuracy when placing small objects.  For this reason, I have pendant lights in my scrapbooking room which I can switch on and off as I move between my work areas.

My workspace has everything I need.   Other than the pendant lights providing specific task lighting, I have three work areas, storage filled with scrapbooking supplies and a bookcase with scrapbooking magazines and books.  These give me so many great ideas for new projects.

The most important thing in my room is my beautiful wall clock.  It was a

10th anniversary give from Brian.  Not only does it look amazing but it fills the important function of helping me to keep track of time while I am scrapbooking and as you know, time flies when you are having fun!  My wall clock has actually saved one or two meals in my oven as I love to sneak away to scrapbook while I am waiting on something cooking in the oven.

Modern wooden wall clock

2. Organise!

I can’t stress this enough!  Remain organised at all times; it really makes scrapbooking so much easier.

I like to work on multiple projects at once but I make sure that I keep all materials and any notes separate.  I also pack each project into its own storage container when I am finished working.  That way nothing can get mixed together, and believe me, with young boys around, it can happen so easily.

Before you start each project make sure you have everything you may need including materials and tools.

3. Plan your project

Planning your project beforehand really is the best way to scrapbook.  If you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can be sure your end product will be a masterpiece!

I often write planning notes before I start, with lists of materials I might need as well as specific tools I will use.

I have made copies of this list for my students for my first scrapbooking class next week!  I think they will find it as useful as I have.

I can’t wait to teach others about scrapbooking, I am sure they will love it as much as I do.  It is going to be so much fun!

My first scrapbooking class

The big day finally arrived and I was really nervous but excited at the same time! I could not believe that I was going to teach a group of people about my favorite hobby.

My hobby was turning into an income generator!  I have no doubt that any income that I do receive will be ploughed straight back into scrapbooking!  I think the thing that made me most happy was that I was going to be sharing my knowledge about scrapbooking with other likeminded people.

Time for scrapbooking!

picI was a nervous wreck by the time the doorbell rang, signalling the arrival of the first scrapbookers for the evening!  Of course, my three closest friends would arrive first!  That really helped to ease my nerves.  Barbara, Kate and Mary had wanted to give scrapping a try for a while and they were the first to sign up when I told them that I would be starting a class.  My sister, Annie, arrived next followed by two ladies who had seen an advert I placed at the local library.  June and May were young and full of fun.  They kept us laughing all night and I am so glad that they came.   They said they would bring a few more friends the next time as well!

I decided that we would all sit around my big dining room table, so that everyone would have more than enough space to work.  It would allow us to keep a glass of wine close at hand as well, very important to break the ice!

I recently bought some beautiful blue cushions online and placed one on each seat.  It was interesting to see how each person used the cushions differently.  Some sat down on them, others used the cushions and leant on the seat with one knee while standing and working, while Annie put the cushion on the floor to rest her feet on!  That’s what you get for wearing high heels all day I guess!

To make sure we had enough light, I placed our nice new modern floor lamp in the centre of the table.  Not only did it help us while scrapping, it made finding our wine glasses easier as well.

What an enjoyable evening


Our first scrapbooking project involved our favourite picture of ourselves.  This would then form the cover for our scrapbook.  After I presented a few ideas and answered a couple of questions everyone got down to business and I am pleased to say that they produced some amazing covers.  They are all so creative!  I was extremely proud of Annie’s though, she really did a brilliant job, and her project looked amazing.  I guess scrapbooking talent runs in the family then.

The class went on for over two hours and we spent the last half an hour chatting, joking and laughing while we drank some coffee.  I think everyone really enjoyed their evening.  We will have two more classes in the next two weeks and then our family is on a week’s break to Italy!  I can’t wait.  I have never been there before!  It is going to be so much fun!

Scrapbooking ideas for a picnic

Happy summer holidays!

I really love this time of year.  The boys are on school holidays, Brian takes a break from work and we get to spend some quality time as a family!  It helps that the weather is perfect as well; we spend a lot of our days outdoors.

As the boys are now getting older and starting to enjoy playing outside, we decided to take them to the beach during the first week of the holiday.   Brian had a great idea and suggested that we should have a beach picnic.  I love picnics, but we don’t go on nearly enough of them as a family.   I decided that if we get a few picnic necessities then it is probably something we would do more often.  No good buying picnic equipment and letting it stand around unused!


I bought a large picnic basket from Bask Picnic Rugs (there has to be space for some bubbly you know) and a beautiful red and white picnic blanket.   It is massive and perfect for our family and more if we invite someone along.

The morning of our picnic I was up early making sandwiches and packing in treats for our day at the beach.  I invited Annie and her kids to come along and everyone had such a ball together.  Annie’s girls are two years older than my boys but they all get along so well.  Brian, Annie and myself had an awesome time just relaxing and chatting while the children ran up and down the beach, splashed in the water, made sandcastles and ate ice-cream of course.  What’s a trip to the beach without ice-cream?  I think they probably enjoyed that the most!

Annie was really impressed with the picnic blanket, especially its quality and size.   She spent most her time lying on it and relaxing.


Collecting the goodies

I had some great ideas for a holiday scrapbook so we went for a walk along the beach.  We picked up small pieces of driftwood, some shells, seaweed and a seagull feather.  We also filled a small flat plastic container with some sea water and collected some beach sand.  The boys enjoyed running along the beach bringing back items they had found along the way.  They have boundless energy at times; I don’t know where they get it from.

Along with the 150 photos I took of our day out, the beach mementoes we collected will form the start of the boy’s first beach picnic scrapbook.  I really like to use different pieces to help make the scrapbook interesting and all the mementoes we collected will help with that.  I am also going to include drawings that I will have the boy’s do of their day at the beach.  I can’t wait for out next picnic!  Maybe we will try the forest next time.