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.