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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Hobbies > scrapbooking

Simple Scrapbooking Is Not An Oxymoron
by Deborah Smith

Simple Scrapbooking may seem like a oxymoron like "almost exactly" or "old news." Pick up almost any scrapbook magazine and you will find page layouts that you know took hours to create. Simple? How?

I've come a long way since my earlier days of scrapbooking. Having taught scrapbooking classes for four years I learned a lot of short cuts, tips and techniques along the way.

Listening to my students, I realized most of them felt overwhelmed by their backlog of photos. I knew there had to be a better and faster way to design page layouts. But they still had to look fabulous!

Simple scrapbooks don't have to be boring or uninspiring. Some of the most stunning pages I have ever seen are very fast and easy to create.

Scrapbook design isn't about using as many techniques and scrapbook products on your page as possible. Good design focuses on enhancing your precious photos. The pictures and the story are what it's all about right? That doesn't mean you have to settle for boring pages.

Let the pictures talk. Let them tell the story. They will also tell you what colors to use and what theme (if any) for your page. Don't get caught up in always having to use a "theme" for every page. Often the best pages simply pull in colors that are in the photos using two or three papers.

The simplest page of all is a monochromatic one. If your pictures scream blue, choose two or three shades of solid or subtle printed blue paper.

Embellishments are all those wonderful eyelets, brads, fibers, and doodads on the market. Of all the embellishments available (and I love them all!), the most effective and versatile scrapbook product is paper. Scrapbook paper can take your page from ho-hum to fabulous in an instant.

There is an almost limitless variety of paper available today. If I had to throw away all of my scrapbook embellishments except one - you guessed it - I would keep my scrapbook paper.

That isn't to downgrade the importance (or fun!) of other scrapbook embellishments. I love using buttons, fibers, tags, brads, and all the rest. The key is to use restraint. Stick to one or two scrapbook embellishments and don't plaster your page with them.

Don't be afraid of some empty space (negative space) on your pages. Often the temptation is to fill all the little empty areas of the page with stickers or some other embellishment. The negative space serves to focus your eye on the photos. In my earliest attempts at scrapbooking I made many mistakes. Among several other mistakes, like using too many pictures and chopped-up pictures, I tried to fill up all the negative space with stickers. I didn't even leave room to journal.

Scrapbooking is so much fun and so rewarding. Take the simple path to scrapbooking and find out how fabulous it can be!

About the author: Deborah Smith is the author of "Fabulous Scrapbook Pages in Minutes" and designer of "Print N' Cuts." Find out how you can create scrapbooks that are stunningly simple at: http://www.fabulous-scrapbook-pages.simplescrap.com or: http://www.simplescrap.com for "Print N' Cuts" and more.

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