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The Book of Me on

The Book of Me, originally uploaded by shimelle.

Here's proof it pays to check out one's blog stats.  I was skimming through the stats for this blog this evening, and noticed a fair number of incoming links from Shimelle's blog: ♥ pretty paper. true stories. ♥.  Not totally impossible, I do know her, and have hung out with her several times.

So I pop over there, to this post - Right: where were we? - and see this lovely big photo (above).

Turns out she's been blogging about her scrapbooking history/career, and included a write-up of her experience contributing to The Book of Me.  Here's a snippet (she does loooove to write!): we’re back to the time warp and we’re up to 2002.  And this is the project I mentioned earlier that brought me bouncing out of my scrapbook burn out.

You may have gathered that it was not always the done thing to scrapbook about yourself, but if you weren’t there at the time it’s hard to imagine just how outrageous it was. Before I had met many scrapbookers in the UK, I went along to a crop organised by a few representatives from a direct-marketing scrapbook retailer—we are rewinding a bit here to late 1999, I should think. Seated around a table of strangers, I had brought one of my albums and my scrapbook basics and some photos and expected to scrapbook at my very first crop.  In getting started, the ladies at my table looked through my album and started asking me questions about my supplies and telling me there was no way that they could be photo safe and such…one went as far as to say there was no way to to make acid-free patterned paper. But really they were more interested in the fact that I was scrapbooking pictures of myself. And then the queen of subtlety had finally had enough.

“If you’re not married and you don’t have any children, then what do you have that’s worth putting in a scrapbook?”

In their favour, it was not the representatives who said this but one of their top customers. This was before I had ever been published (and these girls didn’t know of scrapbooking magazines anyway) and before I had much self-confidence in anything, much less scrapbooking. So while today I would retort with a mix of anger, education and careful wording, then I just cowered and cried. She may have thought she was asking a real question, but all I heard was the bit about my life not being worthy of a scrapbook page.  Ouch.

So a few years later Angie Pedersen, who lives in the same city where I grew up but I didn’t meet until I lived in England, asks me to contribute some pages and ideas to the project she is working on, The Book of Me, and it’s like the perfect little moment designed to help other girls who may have sat at a crop and been spoken to without thought and left to think they were not worthy of a scrapbook page. Brilliant. It was such a dream to work on that project, getting to see the drafts and things come together, email by email. It felt like important work, and it was probably the first time I felt empowerment in scrapbooking and grasped on to a bigger meaning for paper and glue. There was also a surprise when my copy arrived: on the Amazon page you can see the original draft of the cover, but the final cover ended up with the image above—I had no idea that I would be on the cover and it just about made my year. I love that it was a layout that marked a real change in my pages as well—it’s a single page, a 12×12 page, it’s a bit more arty, it’s sparkly, uses an enlarged photo and everything is in my own handwriting. The year before, that would have been a page I guessed would have been kicked back from publication. To see it on the cover made it feel like it was ahead of its time, perhaps. And it’s one that hasn’t really dated—I’m still quite happy with that little snapshot.

<Preen> Well, then. To have Shimelle Laine say that working on my book brought her "bouncing" out of a scrapbook burn out, and that "it was such a dream to work on that project", and that "it was probably the first time I felt empowerment in scrapbooking"... well.

Hat tip to Shimelle for making my day.

Be sure to pop over to Shim's blog to read more of her "time warp" posts - it's interesting to see the past 10 years of the scrapbooking industry summarized from her perspective.  Here are the posts so far:

It's Just a Jump to the Left

And Then a Step to the Right

Put Your Hands on Your Hips


Ode to Cherry Fleck

Oh Coats & Clark, why hast thou forsaken me?Knitafghan4squaresadface_2
Why smite down the Cherry Fleck,
and banish it from thy Red Heart lineage,
thereby depriving me of its worsted-weight goodness?

My stash of fibers doth runneth over.
Many choices of colors and skeins have I.
But nay, the Muses did command,
"Cherry Fleck is most favored!
Forsake all the others,
Cherry Fleck shall be the champion!
and most honored in the acrylic realm."

Woe to me that I set forth on this task
binding together the fibers of Coats and of Clark
Casting on and drawing forth the weave
in simple garter stitch,
with but one skein to my arsenal.
Woe to that moment of creation,
as I did not know then
that the battle was already lost -
that the great Cherry Fleck
of the Red Heart clan
was no more.

There is yet still the Aran Fleck
and the Navy Fleck,
even the Great Hunter of the Fleck line
but the search for the Cherry Fleck
produces naught,
nary a search engine result.
How might I complete my great creative task,
fulfilling the quest set forth by the Muses,
when no Cherry Fleck is to be found
in the great wide world?

The flecks of blue, green and yellow acrylic splendor do set off so nicelyKnitafghancherryfleck
the deep cherry background,
adding knubby texture to my afghan,
knit together so carefully.
Mine afghan - it lies now mournful and incomplete,
despairing that it shall never again know the joy
of its Cherry Fleck brethren.

Oh Coats & Clark, do take away my woe and strife
and set forth thy scavengers
to scour thy warehouse.
Find me but one skeinage of Cherry Fleck
of the Red Heart clan
that I might complete the task
set forth by the Muses
and provide comfort and warmth to those in need.

Sharing Links: Unsharp Mask Tutorial

Photojojo has created a no-nonsense, jargon-free guide to sharpening your photos using Unsharp Mask. It walks you through why digital photos need sharpening, some basic sharpening rules, and what all the sliders mean.  They also provide "a good set of starting points for different kinds of pictures", as well as a link to a site with tutorials on smart sharpening, high pass sharpening, and sharpening masks.  Sweet.


Using Visual Diaries To Find Inspiration

My Creative Companion 2 by Becky HigginsIn 2001, Becky Higgins released My Creative Companion, a binder containing a wealth of inspirational ideas for layout sketches, embellishments, lettering, journaling, and other creative resources.  She released Volume 2 of her Creative Companion in 2006.  Here's another idea along that line, from Using Visual Diaries To Find Inspiration for your Photography.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your digital photography - always photographing the same subjects, from the same angles, in the same mood, in the same style etc...

I was speaking with a semi-professional photographer recently about her work and how she kept it ‘fresh’ and she answered by pulling out a spiral bound art folio. At first I thought it was an album of her work but on opening it I discovered it was a scrapbook - filled with images that others had taken. This photographer had gotten in the habit of cutting out images that inspired her from newspapers, magazines, advertising brochures, postcards etc. She even printed shots from online to stick in her visual notebook.

What an interesting idea!  I've saved hundreds of sketches over the years, but haven't noted interesting photography shots or cropping detail.  Have you done anything similar to inspire yourself to try something new with your photography?

Scrapbookers Clubhouse Celebrity Sketch Extravaganza

I didn't have a spare moment to post this yesterday, but check this out: Celebrity Sketch Artist: Angie Pedersen!!

Scrapbooker's Club House is hosting a Celebrity Sketch Extravaganza, and kindly asked me to participate.  "My day" was yesterday.  You can see my sketch at the link above.

Because I'm a bit of an over-achiever, I also created a PSD template for the sketch.  Anyone up for a digital scrapbooking freebie?? :)



Download scrapbookersclubhouse-angiepedersen.psd

(4.5MB) [Right-click on the link, and choose "Save As..." to save the .psd file to your computer.]

Be sure to stay tuned to Scrapbooker's Club House because they'll have a new sketch each day, from May 12- May 21.  They've already hosted Nic Howard, Katie Nelson (Katie the Scrapbook Lady), and Becky Fleck.

Snapshot of a Preteen Girl

Preteentext A chat session from instant messager with my husband:

Angie... I got a text msg from your daughter

Angie... I about died

DH... ?

Angie... "Hey ma im on my way 2 the haircut place i no texting is a wast of money sry also im getting faster at txting luv u bye"

Angie... .05 cents well spent, I'd say

DH... oh god

DH... /sigh

Angie... those teen years seem closer and closer every day

Angie... what a whirlwind she is

DH...she's awesome, she cracks me up

Scrapbooking End-of-the-School-Year Memories

The Legacy Project has posted a downloadable worksheet to help capture the past school year - anyone see scrapbooking potential here??  Star Highlights -

Use the Top 10 sheet to make a list of the top 10 moments or memories of the past school year -- a test you did really well on, something you enjoyed learning about or thought was interesting, a new friend you made, a class trip, a personal achievement like making the basketball team. These moments twinkle like little stars and are the highlights of your school year.

Be sure to check out the other resources available in the Legacy Project's Activity Center.  There are activities centered around Memories & Traditions, Crafts & Keepsakes, and Scrapbooking & Other Photo Fun, as well as other themes.  One that is particularly Book of Me-friendly is Genetic Ingredients.  I created a scrapbook layout version of that for Growing Up Me, but ended up not using it.  I should dig it up and post it.

Layouts from NSD

I spent National Scrapbooking Day cropping with girlfriends at a store crop - had a lovely time.  I think it's so important to have that time with other women, not only because we're doing something creative that we enjoy, but also to share general life experiences - those "this worked for me", and "what should I do about this" kind of experiences.  Love that.

But on to the fruits of my digital labors.  I went digi for this crop - makes it so much easier to pack and prep!  Just throw the laptop in the bag!  :)

Digi Credits:
Trish H/Templates N More #93
August Designs Scalloped Notepaper
Fonts - Rubber Stamp & Scrap Casual
Foam Stamp Photoshop Action by Atomic Cupcake

Hallys Spot

Digi Credits:
Chris Greiser 20080229 template
mgl Studio Vividly kit (
2Ps Proud to be Digi Journaling Circle
Font: free bradbury & Scrap Casual
Atomic Cupcake chipboard action

Sweet Friendship

Digi Credits:
paper, frames, journaling tag, word art from Cinzia Loosemore's That's Amore kit

Muffins with Mom
Digi Credits
TemplateTuesday415 -DigiShopTalk
Papers from 33008 Web Challenge Kit by Jesse Edwards,
Fonts: Arriere Garde, BlackJack, & Dymo
Foam Stamp Photoshop Action from Atomic Cupcake

Digi Credits:
BrackityTemplate by Beth Long
KMill Lovin Life papers
font: Egg Cream
Chipboard Photoshop Action from Atomic Cupcake