Which Album Should You Choose?


This is my last bit of info from the old Creating Keepsakes magazines that I read this summer.  This post is about the three most popular styles of photo albums to choose from and their pros and cons.

The first (and the one that I currently use) is the Three-Ring Binder.  The two things that I really like about using a binder album is that you can add or take away pages any place you want to in the album.  You make your pages and slip them into page protectors and then if you find that they are out of order you can move the pages around.  Also, some album covers gap open if you add extra pages or chunky ephemera.  The binder holds a lot of pages very nicely.  A couple of negatives – the pages sometimes slip out of the top of the page protectors.  Sometimes when I am flipping through the albums I am pushing the pages back into the protectors.  Also, facing pages have rings between them.  Not a big deal unless you are making a two page layout.  When this is the case it breaks the flow of the layout.

The second type of album (I think more popular for journaling) is the Spiral Album.  I don’t think that I have ever used one except once when I made my grandson an album.  The main reason that I don’t use them is that they don’t have page protectors.  I REALLY don’t like that feature.  I like to protect something that I put so much effort into.  You also can’t add pages and can’t move pages around.  You are limited to the paper that is in the album but that isn’t too big of a deal because you can adhere decorative paper to the pages.  Pages can also be easily torn out.  The positive aspects of this type of album  are they are easy to use, the covers are fun to personalize, and the pages lie flat.

Finally, the album type that I used for A LOT of years is the expandable albums (like Creative Memories).  It was very difficult for me to give up scrapping in them but I have loved the three-ring binders since I made the leap.  What I liked about them is they look like traditional photo albums that my mom had our nice photographs in while I was growing up.  Many have guarantees (like Creative Memories).  The pages are flush which is really awesome with two page layouts.  A few negatives are that you can’t photocopy directly onto the pages.  You can go back and add pages but it is very painful.  Why I stopped using them was not only the difficulty in adding or moving pages but many of the albums are expensive and when I bought them from craft stores with coupons they weren’t very durable.

What are you scrapping in?

God bless!

How to Protect Your Photos

Hey guys,

Here are a few tips from another old Creating Keepsakes magazine.  These are tips to keep our photos safe.  I need to start applying a few of these.

– Photographs fade quickly when placed in a sunny area or near an indoor light source.  I know that this is true because a little over a year ago I put a picture in a lanyard and hung it in my car.  That picture is so faded now that it is hard to distinguish who is in it.

– Dirty oily fingerprints damage photos.  Wash your hands before handling photos and negatives.  It is suggested that a pair of photo gloves is used.  I have never done this.  Have any of you?

– Never use magnetic photo albums.  I don’t think many people do now BUT a real good hint on how to remove photos from them is to heat the pages by blowing warm air from a blow-dryer over them and gradually pull off the pictures.

– High humidity can damage scrapbook pages.  Try and store them where the humidity is around 40% (not likely in SC) and use permanent pens to keep the ink from smearing when exposed to higher humidity.

– Be careful how you secure photos together.  Rubber bands eventually dry and leave a residue.  Paper clips leave intentions and can damage the photos’ protective coating.  Tape (after a short period of time) becomes yellow, brittle, and leaves stains.  Plastic laminate is also very damaging.

– Don’t scrap newspaper articles with photos.  Newspapers are very acidic.  If you want to put photos and articles on the same page then photocopy the articles first on acid free paper.

– Always use acid free adhesive.  The article suggest using non permanent adhesive.  That way if you want to remove a photo it won’t get damaged.  I always use permanent adhesive.  I hate it when my scrapbook layouts start coming apart.

– Don’t leave photos in drawers and boxes.  They will often get bent and damaged.  There are a lot of options to store “unscrapped” photos in now.  I have a few photo boxes that I use.

– It is best to store photos at a consistent temperature.  The ideal temps are between 65-70 degrees.  The worst places to store them are attics and basements.

– Don’t use a ballpoint pen when labeling your photos.  This can cause irreparable damage to the photos.

– Use acid free supplies when possible.  These days they are very easy to find and reasonably priced.


Well, that is it for today.  I hope to get a PL layout done this afternoon.  I already have the pics printed.

God bless!

Ideas for a Better Scrapbook

Hi friends,

Once more I am sharing some downsized articles from an old Creating Keepsakes magazines.  I will share a little of what the article conveys and add my two cents.

To achieve better scrapbooks there are a few ideas that you might want to consider.

  1.  Choose a theme.  Some are super easy to decide on because the pictures are from a birthday party or they are of kids in Halloween costumes.
  2. Match your supplies to your theme.  Choose corresponding accents (paper, stickers, washi tape, rub-ons) to help communicate the theme.

– Use colors that traditionally represent the theme.  Use orange and black on Halloween not on Christmas.  Sometimes it is nice not to totally get caught up in using only red and green at Christmas and only pink for baby girls.  Expand the horizons a bit to be creative but don’t think so far out of the box that viewers of your scrapbook can only think of what an odd combination to put black on your valentines page instead of what a nice scrapbook you have made.

– Exercise restraint when it comes to accents.  Don’t go too crazy with all of the embellishments.  With so many stickers, die-cuts, rub-ons and washi to choose from it is easy to end up with a cluttered page.  Remember that you are trying to draw attention to the pictures not the accents (although they are so darn cute!).

– Always pick pattern papers that enhance your theme.  Coordinate the colors of the paper with the colors that you have chosen for the page.  A lot of papers are so awesome but take the attention away from the photos.

3.  Play with Different Layouts.  Find the one photo that you like the best and use it for the focal point.  Place different accent papers under the photos to see what one works best for each picture.  Position your photos at different angles.

4.  Crop and Frame Photos.  A few reasons to crop photos are eliminating less than perfect items in the photo (a basket of dirty laundry, sink full of dishes, or  a blinking person that isn’t necessary in the photo), competing details that take your attention from what you are trying to draw attention to, or trying to save space and get rid of unnecessary parts of the photo.  Always make sure that you have extra copies of important photos before you crop them.  There are several ways to frame a photo.  One is to adhere the photo to a coordinating piece of paper.  Leave a border that is at least 1/8″ wide.  The greatest impact is using light pictures on a dark background or dark pictures on a light background.  You can also create a frame by outlining the picture with a pen or using a die-cut frame.  Remember to leave plenty of room for journaling.

5.  Record the Facts.  The pictures in your scrapbook won’t mean as much if they don’t contain the information:

– names

– dates

– places

– events

You can use acid free pencils, pens, markers, stickers……

Just a few more ideas from an oldie but goodie magazine.

Hope you have a great day!

God bless!

Creating Lasting Love

Hey guys,

I wanted to create a “love” page without getting too mushy with words.  I started with a heart punch and punched a single heart on the bottom left side of my cardstock background paper.  I kept the heart that I punched and around both the heart and the negative I used Liquid Pearls and outlined dots all around them.  I then did a few chores to allow for drying time.

After coming back I adhered a piece of decorative paper behind the heart cut out. I then adhered the picture (it was already matted) and a cruise die cut onto the layout.  I then added a clear “always and forever” sticker.  I knew something was missing but I wasn’t sure what.  I didn’t want to add more words and I wanted the page to stay simple.  I ended up with a rub – on that I applied coming out from the right side of the heart and extending all the way to the end of the page.

* Hint *  The best way that I found to apply rub – ons is to use a pencil and to go over the rub – on in small circles.  I cover the whole surface and then slowly lift the edge to see if it is all attached.  If it isn’t I carefully lay it back down (making sure it is aligned) and make the circles with the pencil in the area that isn’t adhered yet.
Love this simple layout.  Love my hubby!

Love this simple layout. Love my hubby!

Well, that is it for the day!  Hope yours is wonderful!

God bless!

Cricut Time – and a tip

Hi guys,

September 11th.  Lots of thoughts come to my mind with the mention of that date.  First, of course, is the destruction of the twin towers and the loss of many lives.  When I think of that act I start thinking of how horrible people can be.  There is evil beyond anything I could even dream of.  But then, September 11th is the birthday of a wonderful friend of mine.  She would do anything for you and is the exact opposite of the people responsible for 9/11.  She is a person that inspires me.  Happy birthday, Linda!

Today, I am scrapping one more page from the Kansas concert.  I have a Cricut cartridge that is called “Paper Dolls – teen scene”.  I remembered that one of the dolls had a guitar and I thought it would be cool to “Cri”cut a guitar for this layout.  I found some cardstock that had small guitars on it.  I cut a guitar out on that paper but then was sad to realize that it had a cut out on the guitar where the paper doll guy’s hand would be.  🙁  So…. a little more work but I used the cutout of the guitar and traced a guitar (filling in where the empty spot for the hand was).  I cut it out by hand.  Old school.  😉

I matted two of the photos together (overlapping them to cover unnecessary area).  I attached them to a page of decorative cardstock from a Route 66 pad of paper.  I then attached another photo (this one is of the huge banner displayed on the ship) to the top right side of the page.  I used a “Our Carnival Cruise” border sticker across the top of the page (and across the photo).  I also attached the hand cut guitar (covering part of one photo) to the layout.

Now for the tip:

*To put a title on the page (I put the word kansas) it helps to have a ruler and to place all the letters on the very top of the ruler.  Space them just how you would like them on the layout.  Then…put them on the paper (exactly where you want them) and press them on.  Hold down on top of them with one hand and remove the ruler with the other.

Adding my title.

Adding my title.

The completed layout.

The completed layout.














I really like how the page turned out.  It was a fun night for Brad and I.  We hadn’t been to a concert in a VERY long time.

God bless!

Just a Few More Picture Taking Tips

Hi friends,

Today I have just a few more picture taking tips that I found in Scrapbooks Etc April 2010 edition.

– Understand that photo editing has a learning curve and you won’t conquer it in 30 minutes.

– Check your camera’s settings.  Some models have automatic editing, such as color saturation, that occurs before you upload to your computer.  This might not be the style of camera that you want.

– Browse photo Web sites for ideas.  Sites like flickr.com and shuttersisters.com have lots of inspiration, but even social networking sites like Facebook can inspire you to get out your camera.

– Join a photography forum and participate.  You can learn by both giving and getting constructive critiques.

– Join a camera club or start one yourself.  It’s a great way to meet others who are enthusiastic about photography, as well as a fun place to pick up tips and tricks.

– Read your manual.  It might be dull, but it will teach you how to get the best shots from your camera.

– Sign up for a class at your local camera store or college.

And my tip for all of you is……Have fun!  Don’t be your biggest critic – be your biggest fan.


Hope your weekend is fabulous!

God bless!

More Tips for Great Photos


A few more tips for improving our picture taking skills.

– Learn how to adjust your ISO.  If you’re shooting in less light, your ISO needs to be higher (800+).  Shooting in bright sunlight requires a lower ISO (around 200).

– Adjust your aperture.  (Remember, the smaller the f-stop, the wider the aperture.)  A wider aperture keeps the focus on a single area with everything else slightly out of focus.  A smaller aperture keeps everything in focus.

– Compensate for low light by using a lower aperture, which allows more light to enter the camera’s processor.

– For night photos use the Night setting on a point-and-shoot.  SLR users should use a slow-sync flash setting (usually Night Scene or Night Portrait), which combines flash with a slow shutter speed.

– Learn how to read your camera’s exposure meter, which is the line with marks visible through the viewfinder.  Generally, you want the blinking line to be centered, not skewed toward(+1) or (-1).  Adjust the exposure by either changing your aperture or shutter speed.

– Be aware of blowouts.  When there is so much light that your camera can’t “see” anything, it reads the area as a white spot.  Increase your shutter speed or aperture to compensate.

– If you’re serious about photography, consider purchasing a bounce flash, which bounces the flash off the ceiling or wall rather than aiming it directly at the subject.

– The easiest way to remove a cluttered photo is to crop close to the subject.

More learning to do for me!  I really need to go through my SLR’s manual!

These are just a few of the tips I found going through a 2010 issue of Scrapbooks Etc.

Hope you are having a great week – keep it up!

God bless!


More Tips for Great Photos

Hi everyone!

I have a few more great tips from the magazine Scrapbook Etc. (2010).

* Turn off the flash.  Natural lighting is more flattering.

* Take advantage of the sun.  The best times of day to take photos are sunrise and sunset, when the sun gives everything a golden glow (too bad I’m not more of a morning person).

* When shooting indoors, find a room with a large northern window, which gives ideal light – indirect but bright.

* Use your flash when shooting in bright sunlight.  The flash lights the heavily shadowed areas under the eyes so they aren’t dark pockets.

*If you’re using a flash, pay attention to distance.  Most cameras have a 10′ limit on their built-in flash.

* Move next to a window, but not into the harsh direct light.  Position the subject just inside the edge of the shadow.

* Angle your subject toward the light to create dimension from shadows falling across her face.

* Watch for objects that appear to grow out of a person (often a railing).

* Look for a setting on your camera that reduces red-eye.  This causes the camera to give a quick flash before the real flash goes off.

* Experiment with a reflector.  Tape two sheets of white foam-core board together so they stand up, and position it to reflect light onto darker areas of your subject.

There are so many pretty papers, and stickers, and chipboard, and stamps......

There are so many pretty papers, and stickers, and chipboard, and stamps……

That is it for this Friday!  Enjoy your weekend!

God bless!

More Tips for Great Photos

Hi guys!

A few more tips this fine Friday to improve on picture taking skills.  I am going to try some of these, too.  These tips are from a 2010 issue of Scrapbooks Etc.

* Before any event, make a list of the photos you want.

* To get a balanced group photo, gather everyone around an object, like a chair or couch.  Seat one or two people, then start positioning the rest.  Vary the head heights – some might have to kneel to make a great composition.

* Take a lot of photos, and then take more.  You can learn as much from the shots that don’t turn out as the ones that do.

* Position a group so everyone is touching.  The physical connection translates into an emotional connection in a photo.

* Try different angles.  Get up above the action or crouch down to capture different vantage points.  But remember  that shooting from below isn’t always flattering.

* Zoom in – either with your lens or feet – to focus the photo on your subject.

*Make your subject look as good as possible.  Slightly angle her shoulders toward the camera, and have her stand with her weight on her back foot to give the most slender appearance.  (I need to try this).

*Take candid shots.  Some of the best photos are where people are talking and interacting rather than looking at the camera.

*Don’t shoot straight on.  Instead, move to the side a bit for a more flattering angle.

* Pay attention to the background.  Try to avoid cluttered or messy spots and look for areas that won’t be distracting.

Hee hee!

Hee hee!

Well, there are 10 tips to play with over the weekend.

God bless!


Some Handy Dandy Photo Tips


On the next few Friday I am going to share with you a few photo tips that I gleaned from a magazine recently.  The magazine was dated back in 2010 but I am just now reading it from cover to cover.  The magazine is called ScrapbooksEtc.

* Keep your camera ready.  By the time you run to the closet, dig out the camera bag, and grab the memory card, the moment will be gone.

* Learn your functions.  Point-and-shoot cameras have specific settings for different types of photos, and single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras have even more control. – I need to work on this.

* Always have an extra battery and memory card in your camera bag.

* Invest in lens filters to protect your camera lens.  If the filter gets scratched you can replace it, rather than the more expensive lens. -I need to do this.

* Get the details.  Detail shots, like a cake or diploma, can be used for future invitations or on scrapbook pages.

* If you are shooting a house make sure you line up the roof with the horizon so the photo doesn’t look crooked.

* Try having your subjects lean up against a wall to appear more relaxed (especially when they are alone in the shot).

* Capture birthday candlelight by turning off your flash and steadying the camera with a tripod.

* In a good family photo family members can wear different shades of the same color, each person in a different hue, or everyone wear black and white.

* For an awesome baby photo try shooting from slightly above to show off Baby’s chubby cheeks.



Give some of these a try this weekend!

God bless!