Friday, November 30, 2007

The Sprague Lab: Blog of Note and a Quote

I love Jessica Sprague! Not only is she an incredibly talented hybrid scrapbooker, but also an incredibly generous teacher! She is always providing a host a great tutorials through her blog, The Sprague Lab, and sharing interesting bits and pieces of her life.

She recently completed a redesign of her blog, which is GREAT by the way, and included this quote in her header:

"Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life."
~Brian Andreas
It is definitely one of my new favorites!!
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

REVIEW: Real.Life.Scrapbooking by Rebecca Cooper

Real.Life.Scrapbooking.MY REVIEW:
Real.Life.Scrapbooking. by Rebecca Cooper was inspiring to me on many levels.

I am awed by Rebecca's ability to create simple layouts that are incredibly stunning using photos, color and text, yet avoid of all the extravagent embellishments that seem to be such the 'trend' in today's scrapbooking market.

She, too, is a busy mother who doesn't have the time for all the fuss and just wants to record family history and create family art to enjoy for years to come. Her style allows her photos, her words, and her memories take center stage on her layouts

Her book is divided into 5 sections:

1) Why - The Real Reasons
2) What - My Reality
3) How - Real Simple
4) Keeping it Real
5) Resources
There were many ideas that stood out to me in this book involving color schemes, layout designs, themes/topics to scrapbook, but here's just a few that I really liked:

* Creating a quick and easy mini book entitled "I want to remember this..." that I can continually add in tidbits on those little things that sometimes miss getting their own designated layout.
* Creating a layout around a grocery shopping list. I love the thought of what this can record about our daily life, what kinds of food we eat often, what the cost of food was in 2007, etc. It will reveal pretty quickly that I'm no gourmet chef, I'm afraid, but that's Real.Life., isn't it?
* Create a layout designed after a book cover or a product package. I've often used magazine ads for inspiration, but not it's a new challenge for me.
There is so much more in this book including ideas on how to create a 'To-Do' binder to keep your scrapbooking on task, numerous examples of how to stretch a small amount of coordinated supplies to make numerous items, and guides on creating layouts using building blocks (photos, a concept/theme, and design) and schemes (or sketches as many of us refer to them).

In all, there are 93 inspiring layouts in this book and over a dozen other projects including cards, tags, mini books, altered items and more. Most layouts are by Rebecca herself, but there are also 6 other contributors to this book that add in their own flare including Beth Proudfoot, Margaret Scarbrough, Melissa Deakin, Moon Ko, Sara Winnick, and Theresa Olier.

"You don't need a whole room full of products and an art degree to preserve your memories."Rebecca Cooper, Real.Life.Scrapbooking
This book is perfect for the scrapper who is short on time and/or supplies or simply LOVES the look of a clean, beautiful layout where photos and memories are most important to them in the process!


I am always curious and open to hearing the opinions of others. If you own or have read this book, please feel free to share your opinion of it in the comments below.

WANT TO READ MORE AND/OR PURCHASE?Visit the Real.Life.Scrapbooking. page at to read other reviewers opinions and find out more about the book. You can also read more of my reviews or visit my aStore for other recommendations.

Upcoming Review:Flip Spin & Play: Creating Interactive Scrapbook Pages by Memory Makers Books
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm Not Above Flattery

I received this email from a blog reader the other day and it made my day! Thanks, Debbie!!

Jill ~
First I want to tell you I love your photos, especially of your little girl. And as a fellow midwesterner, I recognize many of the places you have photographed. I live in Des Moines and my father-in-law was born and raised in Vermillion; his sister still lives there and we make it up to visit her a couple times a year.

I have three grandchildren I love to photograph and am working on improving my skills. I have a Nikon D40x and I was wondering what lens would be your favorite for taking pictures of your daughter? Do you use something like a 50mm or a telephoto?

Debbie Jorgenson
Des Moines, Iowa
(posted with permission)

First of all, I was flattered that Debbie liked my pictures...what photographer doesn't like to hear that (ametuer or professional)!? But more importantly, I was even more flattered by the fact that she assumed that I must use a 'real' camera. One with the ability to use interchangable lenses to take my other words, a SLR.

I don't...I use a Canon S3IS and although it is high-end point-and-shoot, it is still just a point-and-shoot. For the most part, I do love it, but the aspiring photographer in me does want to upgrade someday when budget allows. There are things I'd like to experiement with that I just can't with this depth of's pretty limited on a P&S camera.

I posted a pretty extensive little beginner's digital SLR wish list as part of a review I did a while back on The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby...ah...someday.

Actually, my ideal camera situation would be to have a DSLR AND a small, but high quality point-and-shoot. Even though my Canon is a P&S, it's still a bigger, SLR-like camera in terms of it's body style and not always convenient to take everywhere. I'd like the smaller, high quality camera to keep in my purse...always ready for an unexpected shot and the DSLR for those designated photo shoots.

What's your ideal camera situation??
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Scrapping, Too Much Food, Wedding Shopping, and Christmas Decorating

Talk about a busy holiday weekend!

I had Wednesday off from work, so I scrapped all day. I'm getting back into my groove, I think...hopefully I don't loose it before I get a lot more done! :-)

Thursday we went to my parents' house first for dinner and spent most of the afternoon there just hanging out, visiting and nibbling WAY too much. Then, we headed out to Justin's parents to have a Thanksgiving supper (like we needed to eat again!) and visit some more. Kaitlin had a fun day with cousins, but was pretty wiped out by the end of, too!

Friday...MORE SCRAPPING!! Yah!!

On Saturday, Kaitlin and I went to Sioux City with my mom, sister, and niece to go wedding dress shopping for my sister, bridesmaid dress shopping for me and Emily (and the other bridesmaids...hope they like our taste!) and flower girl dresses for Kaitlin and her cousin. Whew! It went well. I think Lynn may have found "the one" and we also picked out bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. I took pictures, but am sworn to secrecy! Now we all just have to go on a diet. Except for Kaitlin, of course!

We also got in a little scrapbook shopping at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

Yesterday the Christmas decorations came out! The Christmas music went in and Kaitlin and I decorated...the tree is up, the stockings are up and the wreath is on the door. I had gotten a little tree on clearance after Christmas last year, so Kaitlin even has her own tree in her room which she decorated ALL purple, of course!

We even wrapped some presents in the evening. Kaitlin was quite disappointed that I thought hers could wait to be wrapped when she wasn't home even though she promised she wouldn't peek!
Scrapping, Too Much Food, Wedding Shopping, and Christmas DecoratingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quotes for Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Some serious:
"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
~Thornton Wilder

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
~ Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881), philosopher, poet, critic

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."
~Theodore Roosevelt

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~Melody Beattie
And one just for fun:

"Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants."
~Kevin James
I just love Kevin James! :-)
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wildlife Safari

Justin and I really enjoyed our visit to the Wildlife Safari on our trip to Omaha a few weeks ago...hard to believe it was that long ago already. Here's some of my favorite pics:

There was only one black bear that we first he wasn't cooperating as he was directly below the lookout and right against the fence. Not the makings of a very good picture, but I was patient and caught this picture on our way back around.

These are Sandhill Cranes...Justin said he's never seen so many in all his life. There were at least a hundred.

The buffalo were not in the mood...all they would show me was butt...buttheads!

I'm really liking this picture:

The wolves were rather really had to search to find them in the wooded areas.

There was a smidgen of fall foliage left.

This was one really STEEP sent of 'stairs' along the trail. It doesn't look that bad, but this picture only shows a bit of it! Good thing it was towards the end of the trail...if it had been at the beginning, we probably would have turned around!

Overall, it was a beautiful day...right around 60 degrees and sunny. Can't ask for much more on an early November day in the Midwest. Hope you like the pics!
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Monday, November 19, 2007

A Layout!! - girl in grandpa's hat

What's this? A layout? Why, yes! Yes, it is! I promised...didn't I?

Here's one I completed this past weekend with some pictures I took back around Easter at my parent's farm. My dad was giving the kids rides on the 4-wheeler and I thought these pics of Kaitlin in her grandpa's hat were just so cute...they were calling to be scrapped!

I used the Crate Paper Crush Theme Set, some Scenic Route letters and Susie's Hand font for my title (used shapes and a text box to align "in grandpa's hat" before printing on my patterned paper circle), Colorbox ink (because I have a compulsion to ink the edges of everything), and some ribbon from Michael's.

The journaling is handwritten and hidden behind the photo on the bottom left:

"Kaitlin proudly wore Grandpa Joe's hat while waiting patiently for her turn to take a ride on the 4-wheeler. 4-07"
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Instant Thanksgiving Journaling...

Just for fun or instant journaling for a Thanksgiving themed layout or mini book? You choose...

1. Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?
2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?
3. What kind of stuffing?
4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie?
5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing?
6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu?
7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?
8. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?
9. If you go to somebody else's house, what's your favorite dish to bring?
10. What do you wish one of your guests wouldn't bring to your house?
11. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you're happy to see?
12. What's your absolute favorite thing on the menu?
13. What side dishes do you serve?
14. How long do you eat?
15. Football?
My Answers:
1. Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere? Going elsewhere...our house isn't near big enough our for our group. Believe it or not, I really would like to host someday, so our next house will have to be bigger! So, all following answers are based on Thanksgiving dinners we've had at my parent's or Justin's parents' house.
2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird? Don't cook one, but believe both Mom's go frozen.
3. What kind of stuffing? Stove top
4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie? Pumpkin...with some Cool Whip!
5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing? Not a big fan of turkey actually...often too dry. I actually prefer a good ham on holidays...thanks, Mom!
6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu? Mashed potatoes and gravy at my mom's and squash at Justin's mom's.
7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock? Umm...again, don't cook the turkey, but would guess that I probably wouldn't.
8. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour? Mom often cooks the turkey the day before and de-bones it then so we can eat at Noon.
9. If you go to somebody else's house, what's your favorite dish to bring? Dessert...pumpkin pie or cream cheese bars.
10. What do you wish one of your guests wouldn't bring to your house? Cranberry anything...not a favorite.
11. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you're happy to see? Happy to see...with a slight hint of drama...sometimes!
12. What's your absolute favorite thing on the menu? Again, mashed potatoes and gravy.
13. What side dishes do you serve? My mom: Sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, stuffing, veggie/dip tray, shrimp/dip tray. Justin's mom: Squash casserole, broccoli and rice casserole, green bean casserole, pistachio salad (I don't really like this green salad, but Justin loves it, so I'm glad his mom makes it for him), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing
14. How long do you eat? All day it seems like! Starts as soon as we arrive with the appetizers (shrimp, veggie tray), then dinner, the dessert a little later, the supper, then a little more dessert...long enough to feel sufficiently bloated and uncomfortable!
15. Football? No rousing football fans in our families...usually spend the afternoon and evening watching movies and visiting.

If anyone shares their own answers in your blog, I'd love to have you share! Leave a link, please!
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Business Cards for Scrapbooking Inspiration - Part 2

A while back I posted this about using business cards for scrapbooking inspiration. I found some new great (and inspirational) business cards in this article at
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Response to Scrap Smack post...

I read this post over at Scrap Smack the other day and it really made a lot of sense to me.

The author raises a lot of great points, such as the high (and sometimes outrageous) expectations that many manufacturers and online stores have for their design team members. I've noticed this myself over the past several months. For as much I would like the 'honor' of being on a design team, it's just not realistic for me in many cases and it has kept me from even applying.

I work full-time outside the home...I have to work full-time. What some of these design teams expect requires nearly full-time effort, but with little or no compensation. VERY seldom are actual $$ mentioned and even when they are, it's generally insignificant.

"Designers and marketing people in other industries are compensated for their work with paper, too - but it's green and has pictures of dead presidents on it, not pretty little flowers...They have taken our desire to be published, our want of validation and turned it into a form of slave labor." (from Scrap Smack)
Now, I don't necessarily have an issue being compensated in the form of product, but this isn't even 'true' compensation if you're not always at liberty to use it as you wish, but rather given an 'assignment' which you are then expected to submit for further marketing purposes on the part of the manufacturer or store.

Personally, I like to create so that I (and my family) can enjoy the results.

Getting published can be a little better, I think. I have been a few times and the payment has actually been fair (in my opinion) AND I got my layouts back...eventually.

However, the catch here is that in order to get published, one feels like they must virtually 'hide' their creations from the world in order to be considered. More and more calls are specifying that the layouts not be 'previously seen' in online galleries, on a blog...anywhere basically.

And, so, here I have been...not sharing my layouts in the minute chance that it might get picked up for publication. And I hate this! For me, half the fun of creating is sharing what I've created!

I also recently read an explanation as to why (one of the premiere online scrapbooking communities and supply store) does not have a Design Team.
"The reason we don't have a formal one [design team] was/is that we really feel that in a community natural relationships will develop in which some will naturally mentor and inspire others. We aren't any "smarter" than the people in our community in determining who those people will be." (from

Every scrapbooker who's ever submitted a page to a design team or publication call understands the disappointment and/or frustration that can be felt when your layout/submission doesn't get picked.

I've had a few layouts published and it still hurts when other submissions don't get picked up and I find myself wondering, "What are they looking for??" and "Why aren't my pages 'good enough'?" When, in reality, I know that this art is so subjective. What one may love another may hate. When I know that it is hugely competitive. For every call, hundreds, if not thousands of submissions are received. Who knows if they're even able to view them all. When I know that when I ask myself these questions, I'm losing sight of the whole point of scrapbooking in the first place.

I admire for realizing these truths and that we all create and are inspired in different ways and refuses, in a way, to be involved with what may be the worst part of the scrapbooking industry...the competitive nature in all of us which enables others to take advantage of our talent and desire to be recognized.

Now, does this mean I'll never submit my work for Design Team or publication call again?

Absolutely not! But it will cause me read and consider the fine print a little more closely and make sure that I don't lose sight of why I started this whole scrapping thing in the first record my make sure my daughter knows how precious she is to maintain a creative outlet in an otherwise rational life.

I also want to stop being afraid to share my layouts and other creations here because of something that could (but probably won't) happen...hopefully you'll be seeing some of my craftiness soon!

Response to Scrap Smack post...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Finally Some Pictures...Strategic Air & Space Museum

I finally had a chance to go through some of the pictures from our weekend in Omaha. These are a few of my favorites from the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland, NE.

Justin liked this place as he is always interested in anything that has an engine, but it was at about this point (picture #1) that he made out what was behind the impressive glass windows and he got REALLY excited... much so that I even remember what is it...a SR-71 Blackbird. He's never seen one of these IRL...only on one of those History or Discovery channel shows. I know you can't see it very well in the picture, but he's grinning! Do you see him?

This is a photo of an emblem on the outside of the building.

This flag was inside the museum hanging on the wall of one of the huge airplane hangers. It was created with 686 hand-painted, fabric squares created by children and seniors in the Omaha area. Each square was based on the topic, "What America means to me."

A couple more shots I really liked:

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Monday, November 12, 2007

some Shakespeare and LOTS of leaves

My weekend proved to be just as busy as the week that led up to it...

Our Saturday campus visit day was successful...a few no-shows, but also a few that showed that weren't on our list, so it evened out.

After all the events were over, I got some long overdue grocery shopping done and then went out to pick up Kaitlin from Grandma's. She wanted to stay overnight, but when I told her we were going to a play that night, she settled for another time.

We went to the production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) up at the College. It was hilarious! It was also a lot of fun to watch because I knew all the actors in the play. They really did a great job.

Kaitlin thought it was great, too! This play is considered PG-13, so there are a few references in the play that may not be considered 'appropriate' for young children, but at 5, I think Kaitlin pretty much missed those anyway. Although she did at one point ask me what 'anus' meant and I told her we'd talk about it later. :-) There's also a little bit of language in the play, but, unfortunately, it was tamer than what she hear out of her father sometimes.

Sunday was a day of laundry and leaves...I mowed the lawn and bagged up NINETEEN bags of leaves! Whew! Too bad the trees aren't even done dropping yet. It had to be done, though. As it was, it was a three hour ordeal, but we should be on the downhill now.
some Shakespeare and LOTS of leavesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Friday, November 9, 2007

the week just hasn't slowed down... may be Friday, but it's still not over for me!

I received my first MemoryWorks party order in the mail on Tuesday! It was so exciting to get that BIG box of scrapbook supplies in the mail...too bad they're not all mine! My wish list instantly got a little longer after seeing all the great products everyone ordered. I spent the evening getting all the orders organized and ready for delivery!

This has been an very busy work week. Wednesday I traveled a couple hours away to visit a high school and visit with some prospective students.

In the evening, I delivered some MemoryWorks party orders to their happy recipients. My sister came over, so I gave her order. I also showed her the items I ordered and she made me instantly made me put in another order for her...good stuff, what can I say? My favorite two purchases were definitely the My Mind's Eye Festive Theme Set and the My Mind's Eye Frost Theme Set...just beautiful...can't wait for Christmas!!

My Mind's Eye Festive Theme SetMy Mind's Eye Frost Theme Set
Thursday was a full day of work and then we went to Sioux Falls in the evening for an Meet, Greet & Eat at Johnny Carino's to present to prospective students and their families...didn't get home until 10:15 p.m.

I found Kaitlin & Justin snuggled up and asleep together on the living room floor with the TV still on. I carried Kaitlin to bed, but Justin...well, he's impossible to wake up, so he stayed where he was.

Today has been a whirlwind of campus visitors...ten, I think...that's a lot of visitors for one day!

And tomorrow we have a Saturday group campus visit day, so my work week isn't over yet! I think we have about 20 students and their families coming for that...busy, busy day ahead.

Fortunately for our visit day, it looks like the weather is going to be beautiful for November (around 60 degrees).

Unfortunately for me, I can think of other things I'd rather be doing on what is likely to be our last 'nice' fall taking some fall pictures of Kaitlin perhaps. Hopefully, we can fit that in on Sunday after we get done bagging up all the leaves that have been getting deeper and deeper in our back yard over the past two weeks!

I still haven't had time to download my pictures from last weekend! Ugh...I am definitely looking forward to a few extra days off around Thanksgiving. I might even try to fit in a day to actually do some scrapping!
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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Anniversary, Birthday, Weekend Away and P/T Conferences

Wow! It's been awhile since my last post...a very busy week.

Last week, my husband and I celebrated 8 years of marriage as well as his 32nd birthday. So, we decided it was high time that we got out of Dodge...alone...together. Neither one of us remembers the last time this happened. It might have very well been our honeymoon, which didn't go so well (a story for another post perhaps) and might be just why we've subconsciously put it off for so long. :-)

Weekend Getaway
So, we went to Omaha. I had a couple free hotel nights built up from my business travel, so that certainly helped. We left early Friday afternoon and got home Sunday evening...hense, no posts.

What we did Friday night:

*Ate at Charlestons - Highly recommended...GREAT food...great atmosphere...and resonable prices
*Saw American Gangster at the Village Point Cinema - The movie was great. A different part for Denzel Washington...I'm used to him being a 'good guy', but still a great flick. It's based on a true story. Village Point is an up-scale open-air shopping center in Omaha that I always enjoy going to. What do you expect...there's an Archiver's there after all! I've never been there at night at this time of year though and it was quite 'romantic'. They have several outdoor fireplaces and such and it was kind of quiet when we were then...nice to just wander around. Even Justin liked it!

*Went to the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland, NE - Justin was like a kid in a candy store...he's always liked anything that has a engine in it. :-)
*Drove/walked through the Wildlife Safari in Ashland, NE - This was neat. We saw elk, wolves, a black bear, turkeys, sandhill cranes, buffalo, white-tail deer, and antelope.
*Visited Cabela's in La Vista, NE - Justin cannot physically drive past a Cabella's without stopping.
*Visited a pawn shop...just to make this perfectly clear...this was NOT by my was a little scary...
*Ate at Spaghetti Works in the Old Market - I got my Bloody Mary here, so all was good and I started to forget about the pawn shop experience...they had horse drawn carriage rides down there, but we didn't have time...maybe next time.
*Saw Improv88 at the Grande Olde Players Theatre - The first thing Justin said when we got there was, "Is this a play?". (Because that would be BAD, of course!) No, it's not a play, but a type of comedy show similar to "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Funny show...lots of audience interaction, which was fun and different.

*Visited Bass Pro Shops in Council Bluffs, IA. - Justin had heard that this was even better than Cabela's, so there was pretty much no way we weren't going when we were this close. And, I must admit, it IS better than Cabela's!
*Visited a tool store...can't remember what it was called...that's how excited I was to be stopping there. :-)
*Headed to Springfield to pick up Kaitlin from Grandma & Grandpa's house.

We didn't get to do everything I hoped we would, but hopefully, it won't be 8 years before we go again! (And I REALLY hope he's got the pawn shop and tool store stuff out of his system now!) I did get some good pictures on Saturday at the museum and wildlife safari and will hopefully be able to share those later this week once I get them downloaded and such.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Last night we had Kaitlin's first Junior Kindergarten P/T Conference. We mentioned to Justin's mom the other evening when picking Kaitlin up that this was coming up and she said to Justin, "I always wished parent-teacher conferences on you. This just isn't fair...Kaitlin's just too 'good'!"

Mrs. Moser couldn't even really seem to come up with anything 'negative' to say, which is wonderful and I am very proud that she is doing so well in school.

Lately, though, she's been kind of a handful at home...not listening, whining, talking we're really going to have to work on this, I think. It's nothing 'out of control' or anything, but makes for some unpleasant mornings when it's time to get up and get going for school/work. Clearly, she knows how to behave, so honestly, I attribute this more to my parenting skills than her ability to behave. If anyones got any good 'tricks' out there, let me know.
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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Review: We Dare You: Scrapbook Challenges About Real Life

We Dare You: Scrapbook Challenges About Real Life by Kristina Contes, Meghan Dymock, Nisa Fiin, Genevieve Simmonds


Probably one of the most unique idea books I've seen in awhile, We Dare You will probably stay on my inspiration shelf for awhile! It's divided into six chapters. With each chapter title, I will list my favorite layout idea included in that section.

*The Good
"Safe Place" - They suggest creating a layout based on whatever you feel is your 'safe place' - whether it be an actually place, or a person or a period of time...definitely something to think about for me here.

*The Bad
"Hard" - This is something I never been able to bring myself to do...don't we all want to keep the bad memories/times out of our scrapbooks. However, they bring up a very good point. Scrapbooking those bad memories can be a form of therapy...getting it 'out there' and keep it from festering inside forever. Even if these might not be pages that you would want to share or submit for publication, they can be very important to do just for yourself.

*The Ugly
"Imperfect Photo" - Lord knows I've got these...those photos that just didn't turn out like you hoped, but does that mean they don't deserve to be scrapped? Heck no!

*The Silly, Wacky, Funny
"Shoes" - My page would be quite different than most women's on this topic and maybe that's exactly why I should scrap it! I've never been that big on shoes. I have a couple pairs for work, a couple pairs for home and a generally a couple pairs of tennies...nothing impractical shoes for this girl.

*The Random
"Seven Random Facts" - I've seen similar prompts before, but this one is really one that I must try. I'm thinking this prompt would also make a great ongoing mini-album about a seven random facts layout every week, month or year for an extended period of time.

*The Best
"Why I Scrap" - I've been scrapping six years and never done a layout about why I scrap! There should be a law against that or something!
Contained in the book are an amazing 177 layouts and altered projects (only a few of the later) by, of course, the four author artists, but also 11 other artists to illustrate their wonderfully inspiring prompts. More than any other idea book I've seen, this book really gets into the personal lives of some of these artists...I seriously came out feeling like I knew the four author artists!

Another thing I loved about this book was that they included a list of web links in the back to other interesting and inspiring websites, publications, artists, kit clubs, and suppliers. I always love searching the web for new sources of inspiration and their list provided me with several I had not yet run across.

And, if you find yourself wanting more after reading and admiring this book, you can find it online! The girls also host a website called The Dares where you can find even more scrapping inspiration!

There was a little extra interest for me as I started this book considering the controversy surrounding Kristina Contes and her recent repealing of her 2008 CK Hall of Fame title for including some layouts in her contest entry that featured photos taken by someone else. Part of me wants to say, "Shame on you, Kristina." Anyone in the industry as long as she has been should know not to submit work that is not completely your own from start to finish, especially for a contest as prestigious as this one. But, on the other hand, there is no denying Contes' talent. I tagged her layouts more than any other in this book!

The ONLY thing that caused me to mark it down a point? There were a few layouts in the book that included what I would consider vulgur language in the journaling. I know scrapping is all about 'real' life, but, come on, is that really necessary?

4 STARS...controversy and all...

Upcoming reviews: Real.Life.Scrapbooking. by Rebecca Cooper
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