While scrapbooking is a wonder art craft, there are pitfalls scrappers can do that either add cost or diminish from your finished product. Understanding these mistakes that many of us make at one time or another can help us avoid them when we see them. Part of the problem stems from the creative genius each crafter has . . . or at least the think they have. Add the myriad of materials and products you can use to create, enhance and embellish your pages, and you have the potential for the beginnings of trouble.
Consider these faux pas as a beginning to mistakes often made by scrapbook crafters:
A major mistake scrapbook crafters make is being unorganized . . . clutter being a primary factor, and not knowing what supplies and tools you have being another. When possible, have a designated scrapping area where you regularly work. Store your tools and supplies in a designated area in and around your work space. Structure your organization by putting those items you use most frequently in the most convenient and easily accessible place near your work space.
Keep your work space neat and clean. Avoid letting clutter pile up around your work space. Clean your work area frequently. Do your best to let material gather on your works space that could be transferred to scrapbook pages–i.e. glue, glitter, etc.
Using The K I S S – Keep It Simple Stupid – Principal
In the beginning of our scrapbook and personal card crafting this principal is easy to follow because we generally lack knowledge, supplies and tools to do much else than be simple. As we acquire more knowledge, supplies and tools we tend to increase what we feel we need to complete our pages and cards. Too often we go over board in the process. We add too much of one thing or another because we have it and we can (no overly restrictive rules to abide by).
We have to remember what our goal is in creating a page or card. Once we have our goal defined then we have to make sure we do only what is required to create the end product. Too much focus on one thing, or the wrong thing, can distract from our original goal. What we do as we create our project is let the object of our page or card shine through. In the case of scrapbooking we need to focus on the pictures (see below). On cards, we need to focus on the purpose of the card–generally what it says and how you display what you want to say.
Forgetting Scrapbooks Are All About Pictures and Telling Stories
The center of attention of each scrapbook page should be directed to the photos you have selected. These selected photographs should in someway tell a story or convey some thought to the viewer. Everything you add to these thoughtful pictures should help enhance the story or thought they are meant to share with others. Adding too much clutter (embellishment) can over power what your pictures can easily say–so much so that the photos have little value for your page. You can vary the placement on the page or the size of the photo you wish to use to add variety. Select colors that also help enhance your photos. Where black and white photos are used, you may have to imagine the dominant colors in the photo–green grass, autumn colored trees, color of a persons hair, etc.
Not Cropping Photos To Eliminate Unwanted Elements and Help Vary Photos Sizes
Photographs are seldom taken with the specific purpose of mounting them in a scrapbook–although that can happen. Most pictures are taken to capture a moment in history or a scene for others to enjoy later . . . when the benefit of the scene or moment is no longer available. So as we consider what a particular page’s story or thought must convey, we may need to remove aspects that appear, but are not needed or are unwanted, in a picture we plan to use. Cropping simply allows you to select the most important elements from your picture and allows you to fit pictures more comfortably on a page.
Failing To Use Archival (Acid & Lignin Free) Quality Supplies
If your goal in creating a scrapbook is to provide a story or thought for long term view, you must also consider the preserving nature of using materials that will last and not damage your crafted pages. Papers, adhesives and embellishments which contain acid will cause damage to your pages over time. Making sure your supplies are free from acid and lignin. Most products sold in scrapbook and craft stores are free of these elements, but be sure to check the labels and packaging to be sure. If there is no notation indicating the item is free of these harmful items, don’t use them. Again, because of the explosion of scrapbooking in recent years most reputable scrapbook supply sources are sure to make their products acid and lignin free–BUT ALWAYS CHECK THEM!
Photos will disintegrate naturally over time, but more quickly when acid is present. Using acid free products and lignin free paper will help retard this process. Ensure your papers and products that will be used on or near photos are labeled “photo safe.”
Failing To Journal On Your Pages
Don’t assume viewers of your scrapbook pages will know what you know about your pictures. Embellishments can help you say what you want them to know, but nothing falls short of writing what you want them to know. Journaling adds depth and meaning to photographs. You can share the where, when, who and what of a photo. Time diminishes our own memory, so jotting down simple details will help us as we view these pages for our own pleasure, or sharing them with others. Be sure to include such things as dates, places, names of people and special thoughts you have about a particular photo.
When journaling, you can use “produced” writing, but the best and most endearing journaling will come from your own hand. Make every effort to write in your own thoughts using your own penmanship. Printing is the most legible, but sometimes a cursive note is what’s needed–just make sure others can read it too, otherwise the effect may be lost.
Not Considering Learning From Classes and Workshops
Even the most experienced of scrapbook crafters may think they have all the knowledge and experience they need, but because of the continued development and production of new products and services for scrapbooker they can easily find themselves behind in the craft.
Beginners should take advantage of gaining as much knowledge through classes and workshops as time and finances will allow. Working with knowledgeable and experienced crafters will save you time, money and many mistakes from the school of “hard knocks.” You’ll know when you need to taper off, or become more selective about the classes and workshops you may need to attend as time goes on.
Classes and workshops help keep your crafting skills sharp. You will learn about the latest methods, supplies and tools to help you in creating your scrapbook masterpieces. Sharing your knowledge and talent with others is a great way to further expand your scrapbook association with fellow scrappers.
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