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A Crafters Journey ~ Scrapbooking?

01 May

Welcome to the next instalment of Diane’s journey to discover which craft she will turn into a fledgling craft business.  This month she considers scrapbooking…

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This is another area of crafting which I enjoy and I’m currently taking an online class which deals a lot with this topic. It’s a Big Picture Class session called ‘Field guide for the Curious Scrapbooker’. It’s a twelve week course, so I’m being exposed to a lot of inspiration and very many talented ladies.

Whilst you were reading that paragraph, I am almost 90% positive that many people will be wondering what on earth scrapbooking is, which is the very core of my issue with this idea. So many people just don’t know/understand what it is. Scrapbooking is huge in America but not as popular here.  Many of us will have tried it as children though, with our multi-coloured sugar paper scrapbooks. We stuck brochures of days out in there; tried to stick in bottle tops with sellotape which never worked for longer than a day; used the same adhesive to stick pretty flowers in there; possibly photos of The Bay City Rollers (those of a certain generation may remember them?!), would find their place in there, surrounded by love hearts coloured in with felt tips.  Why was it that the best colours were the ones which never worked properly and you had to press really hard to get any colour whatsoever out of them? You then got holes in your paper. I also loved drawing Victorian type dresses in my album and colouring them in; that is if my sisters hadn’t pinched all the working pens, so I would then have to use the wax crayons which left half of the crayon on the page along with tiny splashes of colour.

Things have moved on dramatically from those days. Even just this century, the amount of stuff you can buy now to enhance your photos is immense.

  Map of Africa 12×12 paper anyone for 68p?

Self –adhesive crystal stickers for £3.50? Very pretty around the border of a photo

Diamond shaped coordinates in chipboard for £3.99?

These are brilliant as mats for photos or other embellishments.

I love all this stuff and it blows my mind with the amount of stuff I could get to make gorgeous pages. You could virtually pick any subject and there’s probably a paper pack or die-cut or embellishment to buy which would suit what you want to represent.

Here are a couple of layouts from Jennifer Chapin to show just two great examples. Please do visit her blog for more details on all her work at http://jenchapin.blogspot.co.uk/

Jen did give us her permission to use these photos.

There are stars in the scrapbooking world too such as Jen, May Flaum; whose BPC class I’m following at the moment; Heidi Swapp,  Amy Tangerine, Melanie Heaton and Melissa Stinson to name but a few. Their blogs are fantastic too; so full of instruction and inspiration and stuff to buy, of course!

A scrapbooking service does the pages for you. They are excellent ‘memory keepers’, as it’s not just about the photos but about recording your thoughts on something or your memories or recording something funny perhaps that someone said. A photo doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. Herein lies another difficulty in my opinion; you have to retrieve all this information from your customer although I suspect that people who provide this service supply questionnaires for the customers to complete. I would also think that people would ask you to do scrapbooks about special occasions like a special birthday or holiday or other celebration.

I’ve looked at how much people charge in this country for providing this service and it is about £35 for a single side of 12×12 cardstock, so a start-up album of 10 pages costs over £300. This is because they use high quality equipment and it takes time to design and create individual pages as all scrapbookers know full well.  I’ve only found a couple of sites in the U.K which provide this service such as http://thescrapbooker.co.uk/scrapbooking-101/ and http://www.naturalnuptials.co.uk/13.html. This suggests that perhaps there is opportunity to develop this craft in this country as there’s very little competition.

As below is an example of a page I’ve done, I think we can all see that this isn’t something I have anywhere near enough experience in.I had great fun creating this page and deciding what elements to use and actually putting them together but that is the crux of the matter i.e just because I enjoy something doesn’t equate to it being a sensible choice for starting a business with.

You can find more information about how I created this page on my blog http://diwarli.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_01_archive.html

It’s quite hard writing these articles in many respects as it’s admitting that basically I’m just not good enough at something but nobody can do everything brilliantly. I’m just working my way towards finding which thing I want to spend hours on and will possibly earn me a few pennies along the way. I recently read an article on Folksy about crafters needing to be bold and proud of their crafting and that should help you to market yourself in craft fairs rather than just sitting there silent whilst you watch people walk past your store/stand. You need to try to engage with passers-by and try to explain what it is about your goods that are special. Purely looking at a brooch on a stand, doesn’t tell you how it was made, with which fabrics/materials and which skills were necessary. I couldn’t be that confident in my scrapbooking, so I have to come to the conclusion that starting a scrapbooking service is highly unlikely for me.

You know what though? I can still have a great time doing my own scrapbook pages and hopefully getting better and better. Try it. I bet you will like it!

Thank you Diane and thanks for the Bay City Rollers memory! You got me singing away to memories of Bye Bye Baby, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUwW108ITzw for those who’ve never heard of them, you don’t know what you missed!  

If you have not already seen Diane’s first post on Card making and you would like to read it, here is the link: https://thecraftynetwork.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/a-crafters-journey-will-i-sell-cards/

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