Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Lain Ehmann joins us today to talk about how to regain cropping community in our lives. As someone who used to work in a local scrapbook store who now lives 60 miles from the nearest store, this topic particularly resonates with me. – Nancy
I have a confession to make – I missed CHA this year. I didn’t go to Chicago last week, nor did I head out to Anaheim in January. And sure, I was bummed about missing the press room freebies and seeing all the new goodies (can someone please send me some Cosmo Cricket Pixie-Licious NOW!!???), but what REALLY bummed me out was missing my friends. Now that I can’t hang at the local scrapbook store, my scrapping pals are spread around the globe, and one of the few times we get together is at industry events like CHA.
Things were different when I started scrapbooking almost a decade and a half ago. Sure, the cute papers and stickers were a huge allure, but what was almost more important was the fact that once a week or so I could pack up my stash and head to the late-night crop at my home-away-from-home, Picture Passion, in Campbell, CA.
Now, I’m as guilty as the next gal when it comes scooping up an online cheapie deal or heading to the big-box retail craft store for my adhesive and stamp pad fix. But without the local scrapbook store, where can you go to share your latest obsession with ribbon roses? Where can you go to bemoan the loss of yet another print magazine? Where can you go to get advice on everything from die-cutting systems to dandruff? (Okay, I admit it, I’ve never asked for advice about dandruff, as that’s one personal hygiene issue I haven’t had to face. But I wanted some alliteration there and couldn’t think of anything that started with a “d,” so I went with it. Poetic license, and all that!)
Yes, the demise of the local scrapbook store in many areas has meant that there are fewer places for scrapbookers to congregate en mass, at least physically. But there are still awesome places where you can get that same feeling of camaraderie and support. If you want to hang with the scrappers, try one of these options:
-Meetups. Go to meetup.com, enter your town and the keyword “Scrapbook” and locate other scrapbookers in your area who are meeting regularly to rock the paper. A quick search for my zip code showed no fewer than 22 groups within 25 miles of my home! Wowzers! Who knew?
-Online stores. Whether your specialty is digi scrapping (head to Oscraps.com or DesignerDigitals.com) or general scrapbooking (Scrapbook.com or TwoPeasInABucket.com), many online stores have vibrant communities associated with them. While it’s not quite the same as the all-night crops at your local scrapbook store, it’s got the benefit of being there 24/7, 365 days a year.
-Online subscription communities. With the plethora of free communities online, you may be wondering why you’d want to pay to join a membership community. Well, as they say, membership has its privileges! Subscription-based communities (such as Paperclipping.com, which has a membership option, and my new site, ScrapHappy.org, which focuses on quick and easy scrapbooking) often offer exclusive benefits and resources for their members such as projects, videos, resources, and more.
-Education-based sites. BigPictureScrapbooking.com, GetItScrapped.com, and JessicaSprague.com are all fantastic education sites that also offer community support around their classes. You can learn and connect all in one place.
The upshot: There’s no reason to be scrapping alone these days – unless you want to! If you’re in need of companionship, you don’t even have to drive the five miles to the local scrapbook store; you can log on, sign in, and immediately start kvetching – or creating. Your choice.
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(The free product discount will be calculated at checkout; discount is calculated on the least expensive of the 4 products.)