Scrapbooking: The Early Years

When I first toyed with scrapbooking as a hobby seven years ago, I had a single accordion album and a bunch of random photos. Clearly, I wasn’t well-versed in what it took to create dazzling layouts. Today, I still struggle to design eye-popping pages, but at least I have a bit more knowledge regarding what it takes to make the most of pictures, embellishments and blank pages.

If I could do it all over again I would have ditched the accordion album earlier in my scrapbooking journey. Granted, the book is wonderful for beginners, especially since it sports a simple design and is available in a variety of shapes and sizes; however, the basic kit leaves little room for creativity. Most of the beginners I know may not be experienced enough to incorporate every scrapbooking technique into an album, but they don’t lack creativity. An accordion album stifles your ability to add more layouts, and since the pages are connected it can also be a hassle to work with.

On the flipside, if you are extremely short on time, and you lack the creative juices needed to arrange stunning layouts, then the simple scrapbook may be the perfect option. After all, there are some advantages to simplicity. What’s more, most accordion albums are small enough to tote in your purse of bag, so attending crops or other scrapbook related get-togethers with your first book in tow is a breeze.

The other item I would have ignored early on is the scrapbook sketch book. My neighbor (the woman who nagged me to death about learning how to scrapbook) presented me with a sketch book filled with drawings that pinpointed photo placement and made suggestions for titles, journaling, and embellishments. Whereas I loved viewing the sample page designs, I became reliant on them during my first year out. The sketches were so eye-catching I found myself merely replicating them using my own photos rather than exercising my own creativity to create my own page designs.

What are some of the mistakes you made in your early years of scrapbooking?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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