Archive | August, 2010

Cool for School

Perhaps you’re scrapbooking older students, or maybe you simply do not like products that boldly announce their themes. If you’re more interested in product that is subtle, there’s great news. More and more of that type of product is being released lately. I have several suggestions today, as well as a new layout and some ideas for journaling, for making the most of your school scrapbooking.

Too cool for school:
Bella Blvd “Midterm” | Two Peas
Bo Bunny “Cambridge”
Jillibean Soup “Atomic Soup” | Two Peas
Pink Paislee “Old School” {coming soon}
Studio Calico “Elementary”  {coming soon}

Another great way to find the perfect product for your school pages is to search for items that are only loosely related or remind you of school.

  • Fall products
  • Staples, rulers, office supplies
  • Notebook or journal style paper
  • Alphabet or text products
  • Primary colored (red, yellow, and blue) collections that aren’t school themed

Think about what school means to you, and search for products that fit your needs. Tim Holtz, 7 Gypsies, Jenni Bowlin, and Cosmo Cricket are some companies that come to mind as frequently having school-friendly (but very versatile) product to work with. The important thing is to find products that you want to work with, and that work for the student you have in mind.

3 Primary color (and cool for school) collections:
Jenni Bowlin “Play Date” | Two Peas
Glitz Designs “Kismet”
Lily Bee “Hello Sunshine” | Two Peas

Five journaling tips for school layouts:

  1. Interview the child or have the child write down notes/thoughts about school. This doesn’t have to be on the first day – it could be at any point in the school year.
  2. Have the child write their name to document how their penmanship is right now.
  3. Take notes on the child’s wardrobe, attitude, and what they seem excited about, and otherwise add your own commentary.
  4. Remember, it’s all in the details. The details of a high school senior are wildly different than a freshman, a kindergarten student, or any other grade in between. Focus on what makes that grade different or special.
  5. Share a specific story. Are you looking back and not remembering exact details? That’s ok! Share a story that comes to mind and relates. It could be yours, or the child’s in question.

Using a favorite photo, I set out to make a starting page for my eldest daughter’s album. I anticipate a lot of single page layouts in her school album accented with artwork, report cards, photos in divided page protectors, as well as other memorabilia. It will be more ‘old school’ scrapbooking, where ephemera is just as important as the photos themselves. I’m not aiming for the most complicated album ever – I’m looking for a book that tells her story and makes us smile. I’m happy to have this page (with Pink Paislee papers coming to stores very soon!) to start me off in the right direction.

Pink Paislee “Old School” collection patterned papers {coming soon!}
Jenni Bowlin Butterfly | Two Peas
Prima flower | Two Peas
Fiskars “in stitches” border punch {coming soon!}
Smooch Ink in Molasses
Tim Holtz for Sizzix Vintage Market alphabet dies | Two Peas
Tim Holtz Distress Stickles in rock candy
Tim Holtz photo corner | Two Peas

Despite my love of product that I think is cool, the key to great school pages is to capture the stories, details, and photos of the person moing from childhood towards adulthood, and to capture the growing up and a few great tales from that place where so much of a child’s day is spent, where friends are made, and drama ensues: school.

I’m just getting warmed up with ideas – check back in for more school inspired projects and articles still to come this week!

Check out the latest book from Annie’s Attic for card makers…


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Spellbinders Named To Inc 500

Peoria, Arizona-based Spellbinders Paper Arts has been named to Inc. magazine’s prestigious Inc. 500 list, the magazine’s annual ranking of the country’s fastest growing privately owned companies.

Companies are selected for the list based on their rate of growth for the years 2006-2009. Spellbinders’ growth rate of 673% during that period ranked them number 446 on the list.

“It is an honor to be included in this year’s Inc. 500 list and recognized for our entrepreneurial achievements,” said Stacey Caron, Spellbinders’ President.  “Our focus has always been on manufacturing innovative, quality products for crafters.  This confirmation of our success is the ultimate recognition of our efforts to grow a business that is both rewarding and fulfilling.”

Spellbinders has previously been in the news this year due to their protracted litigation against Quickutz over alleged infringement by Quickutz of a patent owned by Spellbinders.

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It’s Elementary: Scrapbooking School

I have been scrapbooking for over twenty years. In fact, my start was doing summer vacation books and school projects for myself as an elementary school student! My life has come full circle, and now I look at the important gift that lays ahead: documenting my own child’s school career. It is a process that I will want her involved in (if she is interested), and one I’m sure that will change and evolve as needed.

I recall years ago when scrapbooking school meant bright colored crayon stickers and yellow bus papers. Not anymore! I have seen so much lovely school-themed product that I’d use for any age – even for non-school pages – this 2010 fall season. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. This week I am happy to share with you some thoughts, ideas, picks, and new scrapbook layouts to celebrate the new school year.

First there are a few factors I want to consider before beginning any layouts:

  1. Should I make school a separate album or part of an annual/general “about me” album for the child? It depends! I am going to start out with a three-ring binder-style album dedicated to my daughter’s school career. I have chosen this format because I can add divided page protectors to it (to hold photos, memorabilia, art, class photo, etc) as well as change the order of things easily as needed.
  2. How often do I plan on scrapbooking school stuff? I think just a select few layouts each school year is what I will plan on.
  3. Do I want a coordinated looking album? Or do I want to mix & match?If I wanted a consistent look, I’d buy enough cardstock and patterned paper all at once to create my layouts for the full length of her school career. Personally I don’t know what I’ll feel like doing in the future, so I’m going to take a more mix & match approach.

Just like any crafting project, beginning a school book is a major project and decisions should be thought over before cropping that first photo. What if you’ve got someone special (yourself, your own, grandchildren, niece, etc) that you’d like to create a scrapbook for that is already in school or finished with school? The same questions should be asked, as well as asking yourself if you already have any layouts made (such as layouts from previous years) that you want to be sure to include.

A few of May’s product picks for getting started:
American Crafts 3-Ring Albums | Two Peas
American Crafts 4 x 6 Divided Page Protector | Two Peas
Jenni Bowlin journaling papers and memo books | Two Peas
Pebbles Chalk
Penmenship Journalers by Katie Pertiet  at
Sakura Micron journaling pen set
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad in Faded Jeans | Two Peas
Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam in Big Apple | Two Peas

Tip: You can shop by theme at – check out their school section for lots of ideas!

Some traditional themed school product picks now available:
Reminisce “Making The Grade”
Crate Paper “School Spirit” | Two Peas
Creative Imaginations “It’s Elementary”
Die Cuts with a View “Grade School”
Bo Bunny “Learning Curve”

Another great choice that has a lot of sayings and is perfectly themed for school days is Memory Works new Simple Stories collection “Elementary. I would recommend getting just the paper pack for older students – or even for non-school layouts! The papers in this line are really fantastic. For younger and elementary age students, I think the kit, or any of the embellishment pieces available would be fantastic items to purchase. There are a lot of words and phrases on the embellishments and papers, though the papers are all double-sided so you are given a lot of options and you can choose to use whatever works best for your tastes. I like the traditional colors with added grungy cool look to everything. I received some to test out – and I’m very happy with the results.

other supplies used:
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in chipped sapphire | Two Peas
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in fired brick | Two Peas
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in brushed corduroy | Two Peas
Dear Lizzy crochet flowers | Two Peas dictionary paper flower
other: buttons, pen, adhesive

For the title I used the Memory Works alphabet stickers, then inked around them (fingers work best) and outlined the letters with a fine tip black Sakura journaling pen as well before using a craft knife to remove the letter stickers.

I love this technique – it’s one I’ve been doing for years and I still love it. Paint, chalk, and in some cases mists work too, but I find inks (especially Tim Holtz Distress inks) to work best, and that nothing beats fingertips for application here.

Above you can see how it looks when removing the letters – at that point I decided there wasn’t enough contrast and added the touch of black pen to outline and accent the edges.

I also created a quick card with this line to send in the school folder back to our new (and favorite!) teacher.

With a few touches of Stickles and a little bit of baker’s twine I was able to make this sweet card in just minutes. The front is a 4×6″ paper from the Memory Works collection, and I used a 5 x 6 (one edge torn and folded over to adhere) piece of another paper to create the back. It couldn’t have been quicker or easier, and now I have a special card to share.

I have more school ideas to talk about, products to recommend, and projects to share. I will be back with more school related articles all week – stay tuned!


Have you seen the latest book from Annie’s Attic?

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Industry Jobs: August 21-27, 2010

Each week we list a selection of scrapbooking industry positions that we have been made aware of.  If you would like to have one of your job openings listed here, please forward your information to

Archiver'sReceiverDes Moines, IA
Archiver'sCustomer Service AssociateColorado Springs, CO
Archiver'sReceiverCedar Park, TX
Archiver'sCreative CoordinatorMinnetonka, MN
Archiver'sCustomer Service AssociateCordova, TN
Best CreationGraphic DesignerEl Monte, CA
Notions MarketingGraphic DesignerGrand Rapids, MI

*Please note that Scrapbook Update is in no way associated with the companies and the positions listed here.  Please forward all questions or comments about the job listings to the offering organization via the links provided.  Thanks!

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What Can We Learn from a Haul Video?

“Haul” videos are all the rage on video sites like YouTube. Shoppers record video evidence of their latest shopping “haul” and describe the bargains or treasures that they scored on their shopping mission. But if you take a closer look at these videos as marketers, can you learn something about shoppers and their habits, needs and wants from them?

To find out, let’s take a closer look at this recent scrapbooking haul video posted to YouTube by user detdaty0129:

So, what can we learn about shopper behavior from that 47 seconds? A surprising amount, actually.
  • Our haul shopper is pretty savvy. Not too many shoppers realize that some stores will take the competitor’s coupons (something I am personally always forgetting about when I get my Joann’s flyers in the mail).
  • This shopper chose to use her coupon on an item [Scotch ATG adhesive applicator, $29.99 at] that I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about, and was very excited about it. Adhesive isn’t usually a “sexy” product, but this particular adhesive gun seems to have really excited consumers.
  • The 70% off coupon was used to get a very practical item for a nominal price rather than seeing the discount as an opportunity to get a less usable luxury item at a massive savings. I’ll admit – I have a few expensive “ghost tools” that sit around my scrap room collecting dust that I was swayed into buying by a massive discount.
  • This coupon promotion by Jo-Ann Stores converted well into a sale – unfortunately it was a sale for their competitor! But it does show that coupons will bring out shoppers.
  • Coupon promotions like this are designed to get shoppers into the store in the hopes that they will buy more than just the coupon item. Although it isn’t mentioned in the video, a glance at the shopper’s receipt shows that it contains multiple line items, which means the promotion was probably successful in that respect.

This concept of using big sales to buy basic essentials at affordable prices was one that we saw retailers reporting as a trend last holiday season, when it seemed shoppers were gravitating more than usual towards holiday sales on basic clothing items. Since it appears that sentiment has stuck with consumers, it will be interesting to see how it affects the upcoming holiday season for retailers.

Remember the tease on the Behind The Scenes blog to get your video cameras ready? Well, here’s your first chance to use them on Scrapbook Update! Would you like your haul to be the featured in the next Scrapbook Update “haul” analysis? You can submit your own “haul” video to Scrapbook Update via our video submissions page after uploading it to YouTube or a similar service. We can’t wait to see what our readers come up with!


Position Available: Best Creation Graphic Designer

Best Creation Inc.: Graphic Designer (El Monte, CA)*

Best Creation Inc. is currently seeking an experienced full-time Graphic Designer.


  • Bilingual in Chinese / English
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Art Design or Graphic Design.
  • Advanced understanding of Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator and Photshop) for Microsoft.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and adapt to shifting priorities and deadlines.
  • Knowledge of pre-press processes.
  • Working knowledge of internet design-related software a plus, also include photographing products, and updating websites.
  • Materials to be created included papers, catalog, advertisements, flyer, signage.
  • Samples of scrapbook design/art must accompany resumes.
  • Salary based on experience.
  • Position includes health insurance and paid vacation.

*Please note that Scrapbook Update is in no way associated with the companies and the positions listed here.  Please forward all questions or comments about the job listings to the offering organization via the links provided with this article.  Thanks!

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