Monday, January 21, 2008

REVIEW: The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker by Wendy Smedley & Aby Garvey

The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey is certainly a different kind of idea book with an entirely different type of eye candy.

Usually the books I read and review here in relation to scrapbooking involve a plethora of product, design, theme, color and/or journaling ideas in relation to the creation of scrapbook layouts. This book has none of least not in the same context.

It certainly does have product, theme, color and more, but it the context of the 'space' in which one scraps. The eye candy in this book are scrapbooking spaces and storage solutions themselves!

Wendy and Aby divided the book into three sections. The first section deals with discovering your 'process' which, in turn, helps you discover the organization of space and supplies that will help you to be as efficient as possible in your crafting endeavours. It includes the following chapters:

1 - Getting Organized
2 - Getting Inspired
3 - Approach
4 - Photos
5 - Memorabilia
6 - Stories
7 - Products
8 - Tools
9 - References

I was aware of all the various creative processes and storage solutions, but honestly had never given them much thought before in terms of how it could help (or hinder) my creative process. After reading this section, I did do a significant purge and reorganization in my scrapbooking area and can already tell a difference in my creative output.

The second section focuses on determining what type of space will work or is available to you for crafting, how to use what you've learned in section 1 to put it all together and spotlights the creative spaces of some 'professional' scrappers. This section includes the following chapters:

10 - Planning Your Space
11 - Creating Your Space
12 - Beth Proudfoot
13 - Kelly Jeppson
14 - Kelli Crowe
15 - Renee Pearson
16 - Stacey Julian

My only gripe about this section is that it does highlight spaces that I will most likely never be able to have - in other words a dedicated scrap/craft room. Right now, my scrap area in a L-shaped desk area in the middle of our basement family/exercise/computer/husband's junk other words, I'm working with what this book would refer to as a 'shared' space and I've got to make that work. Only one of the artists above works with something other than a dedicated room and that is Kelly Jeppson who works with a temporary space - her kitchen table.

The third section includes two parts: Projects (which are basically mini-assignments to jump start your organizational process) and References.

Also included with this book is a separate workbook with questionnaires on Chapters 1 - 11 that further help you to determine your needs and style.

Overall, I did find this book very helpful in determining what personal scrapping process and what storage solutions would best fit the bill. I spent a lot of time drooling over the set up that some very lucky woman have...and they certainly inspired me to continue to improve my space over time.

4 1/2 STARS

??? 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.

Visit the The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker page on 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.

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