One of the most successful scrapbooking books of the past few years was Scrapbook PageMaps [Amazon.com – $16.49], a sketch guide to scrapbooking by Becky Fleck. (If Fleck’s name sounds familiar, it may be because she was just named Editor of Scrapbook & Cards Today, where she has been a longtime contributor.) Fans of the original volume will now be happy to learn of the publication of Scrapbook PageMaps 2 [Amazon.com – $18.47], which is now available.
Scrapbook PageMaps 2 is very similar in format to its predecessor. The book contains 92 sketches and 64 of those are also included in the form of punch out cards in the back of the book. (By comparison, volume had only 60 sketches and cards.) A nice new feature of volume 2 is the 5 pages at the back of the book devoted to mini-profiles of the artists who contributed to the book.
The new PageMaps volume is divided into five chapters. Two of the chapters are devoted to layouts. One of these chapters is intended to be more “traditional” in style and one chapter is supposedly of more “creative”-styled layouts, but there seemed very little distinction between the two to me. In the end it doesn’t matter how they are categorized, though, since all the sketches are excellent and the sample layouts are lovely.
A third chapter of layouts is devoted to ideas for digital or hybrid layouts. The examples in this section aren’t so heavily digital in style, however, that they will turn off traditional paper scrapbookers or be useless to them as a creative starting point.
Several of the chapters are completely new concepts from the previous volume of PageMaps. One chapter contains sketches for various sizes of cards. This new section was full of wonderful ideas (based on 16 sketches, 5 of which are available in the card section) that I look forward to trying out. Another new section is called “Beyond the Page” and contains sketches intended for items like mini-albums and decor items. This was my least favorite section of the book because I found many of the items to be barely recognizable from the sketches they were based on, and the projects shown were very complex and busy.
Besides just the sketches and the accompanying samples with supply lists, PageMaps 2 has plenty to offer. The descriptive text that accompanies the samples is often quite informative about the item’s construction or design modifications from the base sketch. There are also nice tips and mini-tutorials scattered throughout the book that will have a little bit of something to offer for scrapbookers of every level. (Even after my 12 years of experience, they taught me a few cool things!)
Probably the item that most people will continue to use after reading Scrapbook PageMaps 2 are the punch out reference cards in the back of the book containing 64 of the sketches. A popular feature of the first book, the cards have actually been improved for the second book. Instead of providing an assemble-it-yourself box for holding the cards, that punch-out page has been converted into four more cards than were provided with the last volume (64 instead of 60). The cards now have a hole punched in the corner of them for mounting and storing them on a binder ring, instead. It’s such an excellent idea that upon seeing it, I immediately knew I had to get out my hole punch and put similar holes in my cards from volume one, allowing them all to be stored together on a single ring.
The new cards are almost the same size as the original volume’s cards, just slightly wider and without the rounded corners. Simplicity rules on the volume 2 cards, to very usable effect. Instead of patterned banners to denote which type of sketch is on a card, the card simply has a text header in colored type that announces the type of sketch (for instance, 12×12 Double is printed in green). This avoids distracting from the sample layout or the sketch. But perhaps the best improvement is the use of landscape orientation on the cards containing double paged layouts. In the previous volume’s card set, those layouts had been squeezed onto a portrait orientation card, making them incredibly cramped and tiny.
With 92 sketches in the book but only 64 cards, about a third of the book’s content is left off of the cards. Here’s how the cards break down by sketch type:
- 12 x 12 single layouts – 24
- 12 x 12 double layouts – 9
- 8.5 x 11 vertical layouts – 10
- 8.5 x 11 horizontal layouts – 9
- 8.5 x 11 double layouts – 7
- cards – 5
All in all, if you are a sketch user or would like to try them, I highly recommend Scrapbook PageMaps 2 [Amazon.com – $18.47] as an addition to your scrapbooking library. It not only lives up to the reputation of volume one but exceeds it – a difficult task for a sequel.
How would you like to add a copy of Scrapbook Page Maps 2 to your library by winning one? Scrapbook Update has a copy to give away!
How To Enter: All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Thursday night, October 7th. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. U.S. mailing addresses only please.