Monthly Archives: February 2011

The scrap-abilities are endless.

Photos from my study abroad experienceI love to scrapbook. But sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about all the possibilities I have to create something with photos, cardstock, ribbons, buttons, stickers, stamps and even funky scissors.

So where to begin?

I’ve only completed maybe three full albums and a few mini albums, but the little time I have to scrapbook isn’t the main problem for my lack of productivity. I also have trouble with knowing where to start. My photos are mostly organized, whether digitally or in boxes at home, but do I scrapbook photos from my childhood or focus on ones of my friends from the last few years?

If you’re also having trouble getting started, it’s easier to scrap recent photos first. Since you most likely remember these photos being taken or taking them yourself, the events are fresh in your mind. This will motivate you to start scrapping projects and possibly begin layouts with older photos later.

Try scrapbooking photos from events that relate to your present life and surroundings. Create a page about your first Christmas in December or scrapbook prom pictures in the spring. Your surroundings may trigger memories from the past and help you complete better album

As I mentioned in my first post, it’s easier to scrapbook if your photos are organized first. I like to organize photos by subject (Christmas, birthdays, school events, etc.), but you may also organize photos by date. Use a system that works best for you.

Do you have old photos of your parents’ or grandparents’ childhoods you would like to preserve in a scrapbook? Heritage scrapbooking is a fun and interesting way to learn more about your relatives’ pasts. These layouts tend to be simpler since the photos are delicate and you don’t share the memories to fill in many of the blanks.

If you’re still overwhelmed, mini albums are easy to complete quickly and may use many good photos from one event, such as vacation. These albums make great gifts for graduates, Mother’s and Father’s Days and friends. Check out some examples on the Write. Click. Scrapbook. website.

Examples of mini albums I’ve created:

"Best of times" mini album from my aunt

  • I created a mini album for an independent reading assignment during high school.
  • I made mini albums with photos of me through my senior year in high school for my parents’ Christmas gifts that year.
  • I collected a lot of memorabilia throughout grade school and finally combined everything into one scrapbook after graduation. I kept everything from school event programs and ticket stubs to locker stickers, awards and notes from friends. Photos aren’t the only items to scrapbook.

Are you a traveler? Debbie Hodge’s website has ideas for collecting memorabilia and including it on your pages.

"1,000 Places To See Before You Die"My upcoming projects include a scrapbook of letters to my grandparents for their 60th wedding anniversary this year. My cousin and I will collect the letters from family members and compile them in one book. Thank you, Aunt Lynn, for this great idea!

What do you scrapbook most often? Which photos do you enjoy scrapbooking more than others?



Filed under Heritage scrapbooking, Memorabilia, Mini albums, Organization, Scrapbooking, Uncategorized

Write it out.

For me, words have always been easier to communicate through my writing. Besides my near constant laughter, I’mBananagrams letters, "What to write?" generally on the quiet side. I used to write long entries in my journal every day but then stumble through a nerve-wracking speech in class.

This is why I’m more likely to laugh at your jokes (whether they’re funny or not) than to come up with something funny to say on my own.

I enjoy applying my love of writing to the creative projects I tackle through scrapbooking. Whether I write down my thoughts or simply what happened in the photos I choose to include in my layouts, I think journaling is very important when documenting everyday life.

Pencils and pens jumbled togetherJournaling, however, can be a daunting task. What thoughts should I document? Are my personal ideas too private for the eyes of future generations? How much should I write?

Journal entries don’t have to be lengthy. The phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” is true in many scrapbook layouts, so even short and simple writing is often sufficient.

In fact, simple, concise writing is essential in the field of public relations. Books on PR and grammar

Although public relations careers require striking speaking skills that I continue to work on, the field also entails excellent writing skills. Below are some tips for concise writing and clear communication:

  1. Know your message. What are you really trying to say? Provide just enough information to help readers or listeners understand what you are trying to communicate.
  2. Know your audience. Tailor your writing to meet its needs. Remember your audience is wondering, “What’s in it for me?”
  3. Get to the point. Run-on sentences don’t cut it. I’m a long-winded writer, but I’ve learned to keep my writing short and simple.
  4. List the most important facts first and highlight key messages, particularly in press releases.
  5. Use bullet points and subheads. Bold the subheads. B r e a k u p your information to improve readability.
  6. You must spell words correctly and proofread your work. Deciding to edit your writing can be the difference between getting hired and losing a job. Check out “The The Impotence of Proofreading” by Taylor Mali: 
  7. Although “a picture is worth a thousand words,” sometimes your stories can mean just as much as the photos you decide to include in publications and even scrapbooks.

If you struggle with journaling in your scrapbooks, try these techniques and tips:

  1. Find your inspiration. Listen to some music to jog your memory or write down words you think relate to the topic you’re scrapbooking. iPod dock playing music
  2. Write often. Be playful with your journaling. Accept Dare #174 from the writers at
  3. Struggling a bit? Improve your journaling by trying a writing exercise on the Creating Keepsakes Feb. 9 blog post.
  4. Try different pens and writing utensils. bloggers experimented with Jet Pens in a Feb. 10 post.
  5. Into digital scrapbooking? Download a free font every Friday from Creating Keepsakes.

So what do you like to journal about in your scrapbooks? How do you decide what to write about?

As for public relations students and professionals, with which writing techniques do you have issues?

Leave a comment

Filed under Journaling, Public Relations, Scrapbooking, Writing

Create some meaning with handmade cards.

Christmas cards, 2009

Handmade = more meaning, dedication and love.

Yesterday afternoon, I had intended on browsing through Off the Wagon in Downtown Kent to find my brother a birthday present, but that shop was closed. However, I stumbled upon Silver and Scents, a relatively new shop along Acorn Alley, and decided to take a peek inside.

Although the jewelry displays in the front didn’t look too promising for finding something a 17-year-old boy would like, I noticed some knitted items toward the back and inched into the store.

The friendly woman at the counter greeted me and noticed I was looking through the handmade hats and gloves. She explained that each item was knitted with alpaca wool. Some came from Peru.

I then realized how special handmade items can be. They have stories. They have meaning.

I have created handmade cards for years, and although family members and friends have always shown much appreciation, I never contemplated the true meaning of my creations. Handmade cards, orange and pink

Interested in making your own handmade cards? Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Instead of buying those cheesy, cartoonish cards in a boxed set from the store, why not make your own?

Some tips to help you get started:

  1. Think about only a few people who you would like to receive your handmade cards. Don’t get carried away with big projects at first (i.e. mid-December when I’m scrambling to finish up 50+ Christmas cards for friends, family and co-workers).
  2. If you already enjoy scrapbooking, don’t be intimidated by the small amount of space you have to work with. Cards can use the same techniques as scrapbook pages, just on a smaller scale. Claire Selby, of, layered patterned papers of several textures on the handmade Valentines she created for soldiers.
  3. Cards can be simple. Try thumb printing pink hearts onto a small, blank card.
  4. Be sure that designing handmade cards is something you enjoy. In other words, put your heart and soul into your work.
  5. Need step-by-step directions? Try Vicki Churchill’s cute birthday card design.

Christmas cards, 2009What you can make of this hobby:

People I know look forward to receiving my cards. I’ll admit I’m a procrastinator, even when it comes to a special hobby I enjoy. But no matter the hurry or worry about completing my cards, I always receive positive feedback in return.

Even my brother Matt ventured into the hobby and made cards for our relatives when he was younger. But when he finally realized his lack of creativity began to shine through, he moved onto sports. I can make a much more visually-appealing card than Matt, but he can make a basket, hit a home run and tackle me to the ground.

So in other words, I encourage you to try new things, but don’t neglect the hobbies you know and love.

Alpaca wool glittens

Happy Birthday, Matthew.


After chatting with the interesting woman from Silver and Scents for a bit, I decided to buy my brother some alpaca wool glittens. I think they’re a unique gift, do you?

We’ll see what he says about the glittens (and the handmade card, of course) later today. But what is your favorite handmade gift you have received? What are some interesting handmade gifts you made for other people?


Filed under Handmade cards, Valentine's Day

Scraps, (somewhat) sorted.


Handmade card sample, detail

Results of simple organization and a bit of creativity.

I spent some time last weekend sorting through my supplies and clearing some craft clutter. It didn’t take me long, and although the “mess” wasn’t completely overwhelming, the process was refreshing.

I recommend you do the same, if needed, of course!

Organized scrapbook supplies

I find these plastic, rolling drawers very handy. I can store my supplies with similar products, and when I need something, I can find it almost instantly. My space still needs some work–my supplies rest near bins of board games and Christmas decorations now. However, I figure I’ll spend more time on finding better space when I someday own a house with a separate craft room: a necessity. (“Scissors, scraps and stickers only, please.”)

Ribbons and stickersGlue sticks and pens









Not only am I better organized now, but also I know which supplies I do have. Who knew I had so many ribbons to use? I had even forgotten about the invention of the red eye correction pen years ago, and that I owned one.

So now that I cleansed my supply collection, I decided to work on a few cards for upcoming birthdays and other events:

Handmade cards samples


Filed under Handmade cards, Organization