Monday, December 29, 2008

New Scrapbooking Idea #7 - Your favorite decade

Which decade was your favorite? Did you wear bell bottoms in the 60's? A double-knit polyester leisure suit in the 70's? A huge ruffly dress to prom in the 80's? C'mon, you can tell me.

You are probably ashamed to admit it, but I'm pretty sure that you have a photo like this somewhere in your collection. You remember the 80's; hairspray, big shoulder pads, jelly bracelets, and Keds. We all did it!

Instead of hiding your pictures of decades past in a closet or under a bed, celebrate your regrettable fashion choices by creating a decade themed scrapbook. I can match your pictures with funny quotes and facts from the year or the decade they were taken. You just have to do a little work and send them all to me. Check out my website for more info. And console yourself with the fact that you weren't the only one with terrible hair in the 80's.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Scrapbooking Idea #6 - Furry friends make great scrapbook subjects

Do you have a favorite furry friend who you couldn't live without? A lot of people are crazy about their pets and would do just about anything for them. You probably have plenty of gourmet pet food, toys, and possibly even some silly clothes that you make them wear. But do you have a special place for pictures of you and your pet? If not, consider a scrapbook featuring you and your best friend. Or, if you're camera shy, just your best friend. I can make a fun pet-themed scrapbook to showcase your pictures of your pet. You probably have photos of when you adopted him, that hilarious Halloween costume you made him wear, or fun trips the two of you went on. Don't forget these wonderful moments with your best friend.

Monday, December 8, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

Food, family, eggnog, holiday parties, white elephant gifts, these are a few of my favorite things. You probably have your own list of favorite things about Christmas, but I bet we can both agree that family is pretty high up there. I love seeing my family and taking tons of pictures of our activities over the holidays.

This Christmas, make sure that you capture all of your family's great moments on film and after the holiday season send them to Scrapbook Fairy for a keepsake scrapbook of Christmas 2008.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Scrapbook Fairy reviewed on


I was doing some research on holiday gift guides and I came across a really cool blog for moms called The owner, Laurie, reviews products and features them on her blog. She was kind enough to review The Scrapbook Fairy. Click here to read her review and don't forget to check out the rest of her site.

New Scrapbooking Idea #5 - Planners and calendars

Every year I buy a new calendar and a new planner, but last year I decided that I wanted to make my own. I think that using photos and embellishments to customize a calendar is the best way to make each month of the year enjoyable.

Maybe you or someone you know would like a personalized planner or wall calendar for 2009. Take a look at my blog post from last year with examples of the calendar that I made. And be
sure to order soon to have it ready by January 1!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are custom scrapbooks too expensive?

Sometimes customers get a little overwhelmed at the thought of plunking down a big chunk of cash for a scrapbook. But here are a few thoughts that might help calm some shopping nerves.

Memories are priceless.
You can't really put a price on your memories. The vacations you took, the birthdays you celebrated, the new babies you welcomed into the world; these are all important events that deserve to be remembered. Rather than leafing through a stack of photos, having them creatively displayed allows you and your family and friends to enjoy them time and time again.

Would it be cheaper to do it yourself?

First, you would have to buy supplies and then you would have to learn how to use all of them. One piece of scrapbook paper can range anywhere from $.10 to $2.00. Added to that are all of the embellishments: brads, eyelets, rub-on letters and words, chipboard accents, fabric flowers, and adhesive, plus the price of printing your photos. You could easily spend up to $25 on just one page.

Scrapbooking takes time.

Making a scrapbook doesn't just take supplies, it also takes time. If you're like me, your first pages will take hours. Ten years ago, I actually had to take my first page apart because it was so ugly, and start all over. If you have a busy life or a family, you might not have enough free hours in your day to devote to scrapbooking.

So if the idea of ordering a custom scrapbook makes you a little skittish, just keep in mind the ideas that I mentioned above. And don't forget about how nice it will be to look at your finished scrapbook over and over again.

Cherish your memories!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Gift Guides Including Scrapbook Fairy

As Christmas approaches you may need a little help finding gifts. Take a look at the blog Womenpreneurs which is dedicated to women entrepreneurs, and more specifically women who make handcrafted items. The blog is featuring a holiday gift guide. After reading the introductory blog post, you will see a link at the bottom to the guide.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Scrapbooking Idea #4 - Do you have military service?

Today is Veteran's Day today and that leads me to think of my friends who are in the military.

Like most people in the military, my friends have tons of pictures of their careers: from boot camp, to promotions, to friends they've made during different tours. I helped one friend to organize his photos into a chronological scrapbook of his career in the Marine Corps, from boot camp graduation, to training at Camp Pendelton and Lejeune, and through both Gulf Wars.

If you have a friend or family member who is in the military, you could purchase this as a gift for them. Or if you're in the military, maybe you want a "brag book" of your own career.

Take a look at the military galleries on my website for some additional inspiration!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Buy handmade this holiday season

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

I recently stumbled across this really cool website while I was doing some research on holiday gift guides. Buy Handmade is a site full of information about why handmade items make great gifts. It even has some green reasons for buying handmade. Check out my "I took the handmade pledge" button on the bottom right and take the pledge for yourself.

And don't forget, my scrapbook pages are completely handmade so consider purchasing one for someone on your gift list this season.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Better photos make better scrapbooks

We all enjoy looking back at our photos of special events, holidays, friends, and family. But sometimes we don't capture the moment as we would have liked. I found the following article with some easy tips to improve your photography. You don't have to be a professional to take great photos. After you take your professional-looking pictures, send them to The Scrapbook Fairy for a professional scrapbook!

The article below can also be found on my website,, on the Resources page.

8 Tips For Better Digital Photos by Brandon Layne

Whether you consider yourself an amateur photographer, or you just want to create better family photos, there are many things you can do to get better photos. Here are some easy tips to use the next time you head out with your digital camera. Even a beginner can take professional-looking photos - suitable for framing.

1) Be Prepared

Keep all your photography equipment ready for use. Collect everything you’ll need into one place. A camera bag is ideal, because it keeps all your stuff together and lets you carry it all with you. Everything in its place. A good camera bag will let you organize a miniature tripod, extra batteries, memory cards, etc. - even a plastic bag or waterproof housing to protect your camera in wet weather.

2) Hold your Camera Steady

Blurry photos are almost always the result of camera movement. Just your own unsteadiness, causes your camera to shake enough to blur your pictures. So steady yourself and your camera before you take the shot.

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and tuck your elbows in close to your sides. Instead of using the LCD viewer, steady your camera against your forehead and frame the shot using your camera’s viewfinder. You can also steady your upper body by leaning against a wall or a tree. Or totally eliminate any camera movement by using a tripod.

Once you’re all set, gently press the shutter release in one motion. Pressing the shutter release too hard could jerk the camera downward.

3) Get Closer

One difference in “snapshots” and really great photos is the composition of the shot. Unless you’re shooting an outdoor landscape, you can improve most photos just by getting closer to your subject. Depending on the situation, you can physically move closer to your subject, or use the zoom feature on your camera for the same effect. Try to get within a few feet of your subject so you eliminate most of the background. You’ll like the results.

4) Take More Pictures

Even professionals take loads of shots of the same subject - to get just a few that they will use. With a digital camera, you can delete the images you don’t like, and only print the winners - so don’t hesitate to take several shots of the same subject. Change the angle of the shot. Get a little closer. Adjust the lighting.

Why not fill the entire memory card with pictures of your kid at the pool, or your daughter in her cap and gown? The more pictures you take, the better the odds that you’ll get a few shots that will really thrill you.

5) Vary the Lighting

Using natural light will give better skin tones when photographing people, so try not to use the flash if you don’t have to. Outdoor daylight shots are easy, but you’ll have to be a little more creative when shooting indoors. Try using the light coming in from a window for warmer tones than you would get using the flash.

Experiment with natural lighting. You can get stronger shadows by moving your subject closer to a window, and turning your subject can create more dramatic shadows.

6)Eliminate Red-Eye

Red-eye is the result of light passing through your subject’s eye and reflecting back. You’ll get it more often when using your flash, just because the light from the flash isn’t as diffused as natural light. So the first tip for eliminating red-eye is simply to avoid using your flash when you don’t absolutely have to.

Another way to reduce red-eye is to have your subject look anywhere but at the camera. This reduces red-eye because any reflection isn’t directed back at your camera lens. If you have to use the flash, some digital cameras have a built-in feature to automatically remove red-eye. Use it.

7) Go for Candid

Instead of posing two (or more) people looking directly at the camera, get a shot of them interacting with one another. Even two people having a conversation is more interesting than having them stand next to each other facing the camera. Some of the best professional portraits have the subject captured deep in thought, with their attention focused inward, rather than on the camera lens.

It makes a more interesting shot. Your portrait will look more natural - less posed.

8) Create a Scene

Putting your subject in the center of a photo is just boring. You’ll get a much more pleasing result if you place your subject off center when you frame the shot.

This is a truly professional technique. Place your subject so that they occupy 1/3 to 1/2 of the total composition, but NOT at the exact center of the frame. Capture an interesting background object in the rest of the frame.

Anybody can practice these techniques. They’re easy and you’ll get better, more professional photos.

Brandon Layne is a “serious amateur”, using both digital and film cameras for action shots and outdoor photography. His web site contains digital photography tips, current digital photography news, and digital camera reviews.

Article Source:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thanksgiving means two things: food and shopping. Which one is your favorite?

My favorite: FOOD! Thanksgiving is possibly the best day of the year. It's the beginning of that wonderful period called "the holidays" when you can eat anything guilt-free. But aside from eating yourself into a food coma, its also the official start to the Christmas shopping season. By this time last year I had completed all of my Christmas shopping and was feeling pretty on top of things. This year, I have much less motivation to join the masses at the mall.

If you also have mall-phobia, consider giving a scrapbook. It's the easiest gift you can give because I do all of the work for you. All you have to do is send me your photos via mail or email. I'll create a customized scrapbook in close consultation with you so that your thoughtful gift delights the recipient. Don't forget, time is of the essence. Order your scrapbook soon to be sure that it's ready by Christmas!

New Scrapbooking Idea #3 - Do you have favorite family recipes? Take a look at this.

A friend of mine had a brilliant idea for a gift for her fiance. She wants to collect her family's and her fiance's family's favorite recipes and make them into a keepsake cookbook. I love her idea because it's not only a sweet and sentimental way to cherish their family memories, but it's also a totally new way to use scrapbooking.

This idea is also perfect for this time of year. Families will be getting together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. It's a great opportunity to ask your grandmother or your aunt for a recipe of her signature dish. Don't forget to take a picture of her with the dish!

If you have a special project, send me an email at and we can talk about how to make it into a completely unique scrapbook.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween - Cool weather and even cooler costumes

October is one of my favorite months. I love when the weather starts to cool down and it's a little more bearable to be outside. I also love Halloween. It's one of the only times when you can wear something completely ridiculous and have it be perfectly appropriate. This year, why not turn your Halloween party pictures into a scrapbook? Of course, you might not have enough pictures of your friend and co-workers dressed in crazy outfits to fill up a whole album, so your pictures could be part of your 2008 album.

Remember, it's never too early to start thinking about your Christmas gifts. The gift of a scrapbook is the perfect way to help someone display and cherish their memories. It's also much more personal than a gift card! Visit my website or call (619) 964-5812 for more info.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Scrapbooking Idea #2: Are you a new mom? This idea is for you

I've been thinking about a new idea for a scrapbook subject for quite a while now. It started when my friend Melissa had her first baby. Normally I would think of baby album for Melissa so that she could preserve the first pictures of her child. But I also thought how nice it would be if Maggie, Melissa's baby, could have a book about her mother so that she could see what life was like before she came along. My idea was to make a scrapbook of Melissa's life, including pictures of her when she was little, class photos, pictures of important accomplishments, hobbies, and favorite things. This way Melissa could have a keepsake of her own life and her kids could also know what makes their mom so special.

If you have an idea for a scrapbook, send me an email at and we can talk about how to turn it into reality.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Scrapbooking Idea #1: Scrapbooks are the perfect gift for adopted children and their families

Marriage, birth, and adoption: Families grow in so many ways. Sometimes, though, when your family grows in non-tradional ways, it can be difficult to find anything ready-made in the stores that suits your unique circumstances. Combining the past and present can also be a challenge for a growing family. An adopted infant or child may someday be curious about her heritage, and will doubtlessly want to know the story of how she came to join her family. A custom-made scrapbook can include the story of a child's past: the culture and traditions of her native country, any information about birth parents, and the exciting journey of adoption that led to her new home. Tawnie McNeil, founder of The Scrapbook Fairy understands the unique needs surrounding an adoptive family, and is ready and able to create a custom-made keepsake scrapbook for your growing family. The Scrapbook Fairy offers a free consultation, so you are assured to have something perfectly-suited to celebrate your little one's special past...and her bright future!

This post was guest written by Lindsey Greenberg.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New series of blog posts: "New Scrapbooking Ideas" from The Scrapbook Fairy

I have been thinking a lot lately of themes for new scrapbook projects. Over the next couple weeks I will post a series of blog entries explaining my new ideas and how my business can be a help to you.

Maybe you have a family member or friend who is the "person who has everything." Consider purchasing a gift certificate from The Scrapbook Fairy. I'm pretty sure that a personalized, hand-crafted scrapbook is something they don't already have.

Are you a new mom? Do you have tons of pictures of your bundle of joy and no time or energy to put them together into an album? Let me do it for you! I will take all of your pictures, help you choose the best among them, and create a beautiful, customized scrapbook for you and your family to enjoy.

Or maybe you are in the military or know someone who is. I can help you preserve all your photos of your or your friend's military service. Enlistment, promotions, and overseas tours are important moments that you want to remember.

Look for these and other ideas over the next few weeks. And if you mention my blog you will get a 15% discount on your entire order.

If you have an idea, don't hesitate to send me an email at so we can talk about turning your idea into reality.

To receive The Scrapbook Fairy's monthly newsletter subscribe here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weddings! New pages for my portfolio

I realized recently that I don't have enough wedding pages in my portfolio. I reached out to my friend Joy who owns After The Wedding Day, a wedding registry company and she in turn got in touch with some of her recently married friends who were kind enough to share their wedding photos with me. Below are some of the pages I've been working on. I started with black and white photos and decided to use an antique style of scrapping, using lots of inked edges, fabric, and fabric flowers, to add texture and interest around the photos. I also used one of Scrapperlicious' techniques (see links to my favorite blogs for more of her work) for distressing photos using several different sized hole punches. You can see this technique if you look closely at the corners of the pictures on the second page. Check back soon for some color photo pages!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sewing machines and scrapbooking you ask? Yes, I say!

I was brainstorming ideas for wedding album pages and I thought of this layout that I did a couple of years ago. It came to mind because several of the wedding photos I plan to use are black and white. I remembered this layout because the photo is black and white and it really popped on the page with the addition of the machine stitching on the black paper. The title of this page is "10 things I love about you." I got the general idea from a scrapbooking magazine and adapted it to the size and shape of my photo.

On the second page of this layout I used the same technique of stitching on a black background, but instead of the structured layout of the previous page, I decided to go a little crazy. I also added some ribbon for a little color.

The stitching technique is super easy with a machine. I have also done some hand stitching, but it's more labor intensive and the stitches are more obvious.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Check Out the New Elements on Scrapbook Fairy's Blog

I recently added some new elements to my blog which I thought might be of interest to readers. In the toolbar you will now find "Scrapbook Fairy's Favorite Blogs" and "Scrapbook Fairy's Favorite Articles.

One of my favorite blogs which I've been following for about a year now is Scrapperlicious. I decided to add a link to this blog because Scrapperlicious' work is so amazing and beautiful that it deserves to be shared. I've actually had a lot of inspiration from the new techniques that Scrapperlicious introduces in her blog. Check out the first image on my Baby Gallery 2. This page was directly inspired by Scrapperlicious. I shamelessly copied her idea to ink the edges of fabric flowers and also to layer many flowers to add depth to the page.

In the section of my favorite articles I posted links to three articles which I believe readers will enjoy. These three articles can also be accessed through my website,, on the Links page. I think the most important article of the three that I posted is "How to Take Care of Your Scrapbook Heirlooms" because many people may not know that their most precious memories can be easily damaged. Read the article for simple, yet important, steps to preserving your photos.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Collaborating with other women business owners

Yesterday I had a great meeting with a friend of mine who also owns her own business. She gave me some great insight into marketing Scrapbook Fairy and also suggested some really good resources like Ladies Who Launch. Talking with her inspired me to work even harder in my business and also to find new ways to network with other women who are running their own businesses.

I encourage you to take a look at my friend's company, After The Wedding Day. She offers a totally new take on the wedding registry that is much more in tune with the diversity of contemporary couples. I really enjoy the concept behind her company and I'm excited to work with her in the future.

Also, if you're interested in networking with Scrapbook Fairy, send me an email any time to!

Happy scrapping!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I've rededicated myself to my business but now I realize that I really don't know how to market myself. I did a couple of newsletter email campaigns to my family and friends, but although I got a little more traffic to my website, it didn't result in any new business. So now I'm searching for ways to make Scrapbook Fairy known. Ideas anyone? I'm not a super HTML genius, so anything I do will have to be pretty simple. If you have any great ideas, send me an email! Please!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My New Newsletter

I recently discovered an online service called Mail Chimp that lets you create newsletters from a template and also manages your mailing list. Mail Chimp was obviously created for people like me, that is people who have absolutely no idea how to write HTML code and are not interested in learning. I created and sent my first newsletter yesterday and I hope to do one monthly.

So now that I'm back in the swing of things I'm just making updates to my website and hoping that people visit it. If you're reading my blog, you probably got here via my website, If you know anyone who is interested in scrapbooking, send them my way!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ok, I'm back. No really, I'm back

I know that I said I was back in February. Its true, I moved to Washington in February, but then I got immediately busy with learning Arabic and trying to have a social life. So I haven't done very much scrapping recently, but now I'm getting back into the swing of things. I'm looking forward to seeing my niece and nephew next week and I plan on taking tons of pictures to scrap with. Also, I'm back in the scrapbooking business, looking for new ways to promote my site and my services. If you have any ideas, let me know!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

And, I'm back!

I finally arrived in Washington, and my stuff arrived shortly thereafter. This has been my most difficult and traumatic move yet. About half of my shipment got wet at the warehouse. Thankfully it wasn't the half that contained my scrapbook supplies. I moved from a three bedroom apartment in Mexico to a one bedroom apartment in Virginia. I'm really sad that I don't have the same amount of space to spread out all my supplies, but I am determined to get creative with my storage and workspace available to me. I would post some pictures, but my house is still a huge mess and I wouldn't want to scare anyone. Hopefully I will be totally organized by the end of this weekend and ready to get back to work.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Moving to Washington, DC

In about two weeks, I'll be moving to Washington DC for work. While I'm really happy to be moving to a fun city, the move is sad for two reasons. First, I currently live in a huge apartment and can spread my scrapbooking supplies all over my dining room table, which seats 10. My new apartment will be about 1/3 of the size of my current place which means I will either have to become even more organized about my supplies, or I will have to sacrifice living space for scrapping space. The second reason that the move is sad is that I just found a few people in Tijuana who like scrapbooking and now I have to leave them. Scrapbooking with friends is the best part about my hobby, so leaving my new scrap friends is really disappointing. I just hope that I find some new ones in DC.

Even though I'm moving I still plan to keep my Scrapbook Fairy business going. It will take a couple of weeks to get settled and find a place for everything in my new house. But as soon as I'm set up I will be ready to get going again on projects and orders. So never fear, no matter how far I move I will keep on scrapping!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tawnie single-handedly brings scrapbooking to Mexico

Since I last updated my faithful readers on the goings on of Scrapbook Fairy, I have successfully led my first scrapbooking class. And in Spanish, no less! One of my friends invited me to give a class at her church's women's group in Tijuana. The class went very well; everyone was super enthusiastic and loved the supplies I brought. The class expanded beyond the normal womens' group and we even got a few men to participate. I was so thrilled that everyone had a good time. Below are some pics from the class.

Paper frenzy!

Providing consultations on color combinations.

Teaching people how to use a paper guillotine without cutting off my own fingers.

My favorite - a student puts her husband to work!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Professional photography is amazing!

In my last post I mentioned that one of my friends' husband, Danny La, is a professional photographer. He took some pictures of my scrapbook pages for me to use on my website. I've seen some of Danny's work in my friend's house, and its absolutely amazing. His fine art photography is stunning. I took a look at his website,, and I was totally impressed not only with his fine art, but also with his photo journalism and professional credentials. Danny has won many awards and accolades for his work. He has also been featured in various local and national publications.

If you ever have the need for a professional photographer, I highly recommend Danny La. He can be reached at

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New galleries on my website

I'm really excited about some new photos that I posted on my website. A friend's husband is a professional photographer and he was kind enough to take some wonderful pictures of my scrapbook pages. I was amazed at the high quality of the photos and the detail that they allowed me to show on the website. Take a look at the galleries for new images!