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I love using paint and paper to create a cozy cottage feel for my home. I am wife to an amazing man and mother to a very creative 7 year old.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I Heart Paper Crafting

So, I love crafting with paper.  I love looking at all the designs and patterns in paper...I have even gotten teary eyed when I have seen a paper pattern that I especially love...weird, I know!  But where did this love begin?

Back in the 90's I remember attending an at home scrapbooking show (you probably can think of the name) and wasn't impressed.  The patterns were dated and everything looked country-style to me.  I made a sample page and was unhappy with the results and decided I didn't like scrapbooking.

Fast forward to 2007...I had taken a year's worth of photos of my son and they were just sitting on my hard drive.   I initially thought, why print them out?  We can just look at them on the computer. 

Here are some pics that I love of our first year with Cole:

But then while visiting one of my mom's friends, my attitude changed.

She had scrapbooked her children's lives and they were now at the age of getting married.  She commented how her children loved showing their spouses their albums.  They really treasured the albums she had made them.  Her children were also adopted (like my son) and so that really struck a chord with me.

Here is a pic from that visit:

After going through my photos I realized I had over 500 that I would want to print out.  Yikes!  My thought still wasn't to scrapbook them, just get them all in an album.  I went searching everywhere for albums and couldn't find any I liked, or any that would hold 500.  In fact, even albums from Walmart and Target were going to cost a fortune because I needed at least 5 of them to hold all my pics!

Then one day I walked into my local scrapbooking store.  I thought maybe they would have some album options.  A woman led me to a shelf filled with albums and introduced me to the Xyron Album (http://www.xyron.com/enUS/Products/Everyday_Stories/Albums/12x12_Black_Leather_Album.html).  It was huge and could easily fit my 500 photos in it.  It was $40 (now it sells for $24.99!) which was actually the best price I had found to store so many photos.  Mission accomplished.  End of story...or not.

The album came with different insert options.  You could do all photos, but some inserts could hold a 12 x 12 scrapbook page.  Others had different size pockets so you could combine some scrapbooking with photos.  I remember the woman at the scrapbook store mentioning that I could scrapbook a little here and there in the album, but  I still wasn't thinking anything beyond storing my photos.

As I began to fill my album I started seeing that I  actually might want to scrapbook some of my photos--especially ones from special occasions.  I went to visit my mom and asked if she had some supplies I could use (she makes cards and has tons of craft supplies).  I started with this page (yeah, I had a lot of learning to do...feel free to laugh like I am!):

Soon I headed back into my local scrapbook store and quickly realized that there were some companies that had paper and embellishments that I really loved.  Scrapbooking paper had come a long way!

Less than a year later I applied for the scrapbook store's design team...and I made it!  This was a huge step in my love for papercrafting.  Each month I was given a set of paper and embellishments and had to come up with a 2 page scrapbook spread to be displayed in the store.  It was fun getting familiar with all the different brands and it challenged me to come up with creative designs.  It also allowed me to get to know other creative women who I could talk to and share ideas.

Here is one of my favorite layouts I did while on the design team.  These were vacation pics.  Little did I know that someday we would move to California!

To date I have filled 8 of those albums.  Crazy!  I have slowed my pace and probably do one album for every 2 years now.  I am thankful that my album search led me to a scrapbook store because it has introduced me to the world of paper crafting which I love!

Love this page of poor Cole when he got stitches:

And this is also one of my favorites.  I don't love the paper so much, but I love the story it tells:

Do you have a hobby or craft you enjoy?  How did you get started?  Did you jump right in, or did it take you awhile to realize your love for it?

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