February 3, 2013

How Do I Get Started? (Part Two)

A week or so ago I posted an article on how to start the process of scrapbooking (if you need a refresher, you can find it here).  I wanted to write a little about this because it's one of the most frequently asked questions we get here in the store, especially from newbies who walk around the store and quickly become over whelmed with the incredible variety of product available.  So, these are my best tips... (Oooh, aaaahhh.... you know you want 'em!)

Last time we talked about preserving old photos and organizing new photos to get them ready for scrapbooking.  This time I wanted to talk a little about choosing paper and embellishments and organizing them for easy retrieval and use.  Here's the good news: for the most part, manufacturers do this for you!  Product lines are developed to go together, and the embellishments are made to match, so if you see something you really like you can get most of what you need in one spot.  Then all you really need to do is pick out cardstock to match.  The good news there is we are perfectly happy to help you choose some colors if you're not sure what you need - that's what we're here for! 

We do our best to help you in the store by displaying new product lines together and grouping themes - here's what I mean:

In addition to the product lines, we often display other embellishments and tools that compliment the lines... so, it's easy to find things in the store that go together.  If that still seems overwhelming, we also offer product kits - everything you need comes in the package!   Here are a few samples of those:

So you can see that we offer a lot of easy shopping options - that's half the job.  Now you have to decide how to store them until you're ready to use them. 

I'm a product line girl - I like to buy and store things by who makes them or by their theme.  So, in my room I have some drawers of paper devoted to themes (ie: holidays, pets, beach, vintage) and I have some drawers devoted to some of my favorite companies that maybe aren't as easy to categorize (Graphic 45, Authentique, Bo Bunny).  This works for me because I've been scrapbooking for a long time (18 years... translation: I have a LOT of supplies!) and I've been in the business of scrapbooking for many years (I think I taught my first class in 2004...), so I know the product lines and that method makes sense for me.  If you're new to scrapbooking, stick to themes or colors... most unthemed papers have some predominant color that you can use to keep things separate and organized.   Buy matching cardstock at the same time you buy your patterned papers so you're ready to mat, and store it with your patterned papers.  In a way, you're creating your own kit, which is a great way to work. 

So, you have your pictures organized and your papers organized - that way, when you want to scrapbook Christmas 2012, you grab those printed pictures, select papers from you Christmas stash and you're almost there... now you just need to figure out how to store your embellishments.  I store flat embellishments, like stickers or chipboard pieces, right with the product line; it's the smaller ones you need to store separately.  You don't want little boxes of embellishments bulking up your paper stash.  

I may have mentioned this before, but I have a LOT of embellishments.  A lot.  Seriously.  I keep all mine separated by color, so I have a box for dark green, a box for light green, a box for pink... you get the idea.  This works great for me, because whether I'm at home or if I'm headed out to scrapbook, I can grab the boxes I need; ie: if I'm scrapbooking Christmas layouts and I know I need red, green, and white embellishments than I just grab those boxes and go.  If you're just starting you probably don't need one box for color; lol - you probably never will.  I've started my own 12-step program for embellishment hoarding - but that's a whole other story.  I think the best way to store embellishments is in a Cropper Hopper embellishment box like this:

All those little compartments are removeable, so you can rearrange the inside however you'd like; see the labeled containers inside?  Those are embellishment boxes that fit perfectly inside the inner compartments:

Use the labels to identify your colors, and store like colors close together.  That way it's easy to see all your available options quickly and efficiently.  Take out just those little boxes that you need and you're ready to go! 

If you follow these simple tips you should be able to store your supplies succinctly and find them when you need them.  In future articles I'll start talking about layout and design, so make sure you keep following this series by following the "scrapbooking basics" label on the side.  Happy scrapping!

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