Last Saturday I attended my first crop in Bracknell (and my third crop ever! – The first one was south of Winchester and the second one in Reading. The Reading one is run by Lorraine, owner of “the Scrap Café” who also runs the Bracknell one)
We had quite a miserable day, weather wise, on Saturday so it was the perfect day to spend a few hours doing some scrapbooking!
The Bracknell crop takes place at the Hilton Hotel, which is on the A322 just a few miles off the M3. This is super convenient for me, because it’s a very straight forward drive. The crop in Reading is a very complicated drive going through Reading housing estates. I found it a very stressful drive. Bracknell however was very easy to find. So I have decided to stick with the Bracknell crop rather than Reading.
The room at the hotel is quite comfortable. I was sitting by a big window, so I had plenty of natural light. Although I am aware that there were plenty of other ladies sitting on the other side of the room without the natural light…
I already knew a few of the ladies from my previous crop in Reading, so it was great getting into the conversations without the awkwardness of the first time. They are a really nice bunch of women and I really enjoy their company. Certainly it’s a totally different experience than scrapping on your own!
I finally finished the last two layouts to complete my 2014 book and started working on 2015. In total, I managed 5 and a half layouts (although one was double). The “half” one, I finished when I got home.
And these are my favourite layouts of the day (I added some typed journalling to “A day at the farm” at home)
When my twins were just 11 weeks old I decided to start a scrapbook to document their early days and milestones. Looking at this book now, I can see how new everything was for me, as I was just making up the pages as I was going along (I still do!).
The first “layout” (it’s not really a layout) I made in the back of the cover page, which is not something I would do now, and it doesn’t feature any photos. I did get an electronic typewriter on freecycle and used it a bit in the early pages, but I haven’t continued to use it lately (as it is more hassle to get it out than anything else. When I scrapbook I like finishing a layout in one sitting – I don’t like having too many “PHDs”* so it’s just faster to handwrite the journalling rather than getting the typewriter out)
(*PHD stands for Projects Half Done)
I hate that the double sided tape that I used on the left hand side has gone so dark over time and is showing through the paper. To be honest, the paper is super thin, almost like photocopier paper, but still, the glue should never show!
The layout on the right hand side appears to have no photos, but it does! There are six or seven in total and they are all hiding inside the yellow envelope. They are the scan photos from when I was pregnant! They are way too delicate to put directly into the pages, and I really wanted to have the originals rather than photocopies, so putting them in a protective envelope was the best idea I got at the time.
You can see how I had not done much scrapbooking before. The pages are a bit of a mess without much cohesion. There’s stamping here and there, stickers in random places and the journalling on the right hand page seems to be in a very strange position. However, I was so proud of how the page turned out, and still to this day I love it. I love how it is the first page of the first book and it’s probably the most honest page I’ve done.
I am about to finish my 2014 album, and I’ve got so many doubts about how to tackle 2015!
The 8×8 hobbycraft albums that I have been using are great, such amazing value and I have loved creating in a smaller scale than 12×12. However, it has become very clear to me that the prebound format is not the best long term: You are stuck with the order that you can create (if you scrapbook chronologically, like I do), there is no protection for the pages, and if you use thick embellishments your book will end up being full very quickly.
So what are the options for the next book?
Well, I have already decided that my existing 2013 and 2014 books are going to change. I am going to buy 8×8 page protectors, I will pull out the pages from the prebound book and insert them on a traditional D-Ring album.
I could continue doing this for the next books to come. To be fair, the price of the 8×8 hobbycraft books is not to be sniffed at, so much cheaper than buying individual scrapbooking sheets. However I know I don’t want to continue using prebound books.
The possibilities in my mind are:
- As stated above, use the 8×8 books and then pull out the pages to put on a D-Ring traditional album.
- Go full 12×12 traditional scrapbooking, although the prospect of so much space scares me a bit.
- Give Project Life a go, at the end of the day most of the photos that I scrapbook are day-to-day photos, not special enough for a full 12×12 page.
I’ve got two layouts to finish on my 2014 album so I have to make a decision pretty quickly!
My latest layouts are all about Christmas 2014.
Do you have a favourite paper pad that you got ages ago, but have been kind of saving it over the years? Well, my favourite Christmas paper pad is “Countdown to Christmas” by My Mind’s Eye. It’s so old that it doesn’t even come up on internet searches any more 😀
I bought it years ago, probably 2009, to make Christmas cards. And it has been a faithful companion over the years, helping me make Christmas cards and now helping me with my Christmas scrapbooking. There are still a few pages left, but I am afraid that I may not get much more out of it in the future…
So here are the five Christmas layouts that I have created (so far) for 2014 – There may be a couple more, but I wanted to publish this entry today 🙂
It all started in early 2009, when I was adamant to save some money making my own wedding stationery. Let me tell you a secret: making your own wedding stationery, when you have no previous crafty experience, can be really expensive!
But I managed in the end. Hundreds of pounds and several visits to Hobbycraft later, I finished all my wedding invitations, order of the day books, menus for the tables, table numbers, table seating plan, name place cards and wedding favours.
Back then there was no Pinterest, so it took some real digging in the internet world to get inspiration. I knew the colour scheme that I wanted, but I had no real idea of what the invitations needed to look like. We settled for a simple design, although finding the right way to execute that design took many failed attempts!
Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and right now there are so many things that I would do differently! But, as I have said many times before, crafting is a process that takes time to master!