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Scrap Your Memories & Blogiversary Giveaways

A sampling of my scrapbook collection

Long before I began writing seriously, I kept journals–reams of pages filled with daily entries, jots, sketches, and reflections. Then, I began scrapbooking in the mid nineties to record my family life and move my photos from boxes to books. This hobby gave my creativity an outlet my day job previously had but no longer did.


I love this book! Great ideas for the novice scrapper.

As with most things in life, there were negatives to my new obsession. Every material and specialty tool cost money, which added up. Between the price of the photos, books, filler pages, and specialty materials such as stickers, pens, scissors and other tools–not to mention my labor–one project could easily top fifty bucks.

Homemade Scrapbook Page

Then, there was the mess. I didn’t have a designated space for my hobby and ended up filling my closet and kitchen cabinets with the supplies.

Scrapping is painstaking, yet rewarding.


Durability was my greatest concern. Others were eager to look at the photo albums, but I was forever worrying about torn and soiled pages. That bothered me, because the reason I’d started scrapping was to make our family photos accessible. These albums help develop my son’s language and social connections, too, areas of concern for a child with autism.

Disney books are magical to create.

The solution to my dilemma was the advent of digital scrapbooks. Not only is this form of scrapbooking quicker and more professional-looking than my best handmade efforts, but all the work is online instead of all over my house. It’s also easy to make duplicate books. The price of both kinds of scrapbooks is comparable, unless you splurge by creating an album like the Disney one I made two years ago.

My photo albums are more like picture books.

Photo sites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish are user-friendly and provide many options to create the book you imagine. They take up a fraction of the space at 1/2″ thick whereas the handmade scrapbooks are 2″-3″ thick. You can share digital albums online, so there’s no need to purchase every album you create.

With each successive album, I used fewer photos and more journaling until the photos supported the text rather than the other way around. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised I took that next step in creativity–painting pictures with words as a novelist. 

What’s your creative outlet? Do you scrapbook, journal, or research geneology online?


9 comments on “Scrap Your Memories & Blogiversary Giveaways

  1. THANK YOU Jolyce for the links to these websites. I was just thinking the other day that I should start scrap booking. But now that you mention the cost, supplied and space it kind of makes me think the digital version might be the way to go. 🙂

    P.S. Happy Blogiversay in advance!

    1. You’re welcome, Nicole. I like Shutterfly and Snapfish equally well. It’s nice to have online places to store my digital photos in addition to having them on flash drives or CDs at home. One tip I’d share is to upload and create your album at your leisure, and then purchase when the albums go on sale. Enjoy!

  2. This is incredibly helpful. I scrapbooked for years, but now my creative outlet is, of course, writing. I’ve been thinking about buying photo albums, but I’m not crazy about the work of shoving photo after photo in the book and I want to be able to journal alongside the pics. Perhaps a digital version is the way to go. I’ll check it out. Thanks, Jolyse!

    1. Hi Julie! Yeah, I hear you about the writing. I’ve gone from creating a dozen digital scrapbooks a year to a few, but I still get excited every time an album arrives in the mail.

      If you haven’t seen the incredible quality of digital photo albums, you’re in for a treat. It’s free to join these photo sites. You upload your photos, and then follow the directions to create your own book. It’s that simple. You can save your project in-progress and go back to it at your convenience. I’d recommend waiting to purchase until there’s a special, such as free shipping, 25% off, etc. Personally, I prefer the hardcover books. I’d love to hear about your experience if you decide to give them a try.

  3. Congrats!! I never realized how much there was an art to scrap booking until I saw all of the tutorial books that Michael’s has, I’d also learned there were continuing ed classes given for this as well. I’d love to make the time to make one….one day 🙂

    1. Tuere, you have no idea! I only scratched the surface in this hobby compared to many dedicated scrappers. My sister-in-law has hundreds of various scrapping gadgets (and she does a beautiful job, I might add) and materials. There are scrapbooking parties, scrapbooking specialty stores, and even scrapbooking cruises!

      I’d highly recommend digital scrapbooking for the novice. However, if you really want to try handmade scrapping, I’d suggest choosing a particular theme and plan out your pages ahead of time. Buy your book using a Michael’s or AC Moore 50% off coupon and keep your receipts of all your papers, stickers and such. I always overbought and then was stuck with storing items I didn’t need because I’d thrown away the receipts.

      Either way, plan on this activity taking quadruple the time you think it should require. It’s a fun, creative escape from the daily grind. 🙂

  4. Beautiful albums, Joylyse! I used to scrapbook. I started 7 or 8 yrs ago with a girlfriend. We’d spend a few hours together at my dining room table or hers and do a page or two in the evening. I have a couple of drawers of supplies still. It was a lot of fun and I loved the pages I created, but I don’t have time anymore. Digital sounds more doable now though. Our kids have given us small digital albums of the kids a couple of times. What I’d really like to do is scan into my computer all my photos that I have in albums and make digital albums with them. It would be more creative than shoving them into plastic sleeves. I’ll check out Shutterfly and Snapfish.
    I don’t do online genealogy research because I have a cousin who has done my Dad’s side of the family and gave us all charts. Though she hasn’t gone back further than my great grandparents. That’s another thing I’d love time for. Writing is the priority now. And when i do have some free time, it’s going toward painting all the chairs I have in my basement waiting for me. I do decorative painting on them and turn them into planters or sell them for quirky indoor chairs. You can see my red, yellow, black and white one here — http://lifelistclub.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/its-spring-and-i-feel-like/
    Congrats on your blogiversary! I think it’s truly awesome of you to give gifts to celebrate! Have a great day, my friend!

    1. Hi Marcia! I’d agree. Scrapping is time-consuming, although I find digital scrapping easier, not having to lug around and arrange all my materials when I have spare moments to indulge my creative urges. That’s cool your relative did all that genealogy research. I’d like to do that, too. Like you said, though, there are only so many hours in a day. Thanks for sharing the photo of your beautiful work. Great way to recycle!

      Join me in celebrating this first year. I look forward to sharing many more Moments with you. 🙂

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