Lesson 4 part 2 – Fine tuning your Organization

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Whatever you’re doing, what better way then being organized to save you time. It’s the same in scrapbooking; making sure you are organized is one of the essentials part to scrapbooking as it will save you a lot of time. We all did this: shoes boxes of photos, growing stacks of unorganized photos or bundles of envelopes packed with pictures just waiting to be scrapped and then we go into frantic searches for that one perfect photo we need to finish for a layout. The best way to avoid that is by adopting a method of organization for your photos; one that will suit your style and will ensure that you spend more time scrapping then searching for your photos.

1st step – SORT AND WEED

You might ask yourself, where should I begin? Whether you’ve just rescued some of your photos from old, magnetic albums or you simply have stack and shoe boxes full of photos just waiting to be scrapped, the best way to start is by deciding how you want to arrange them. Look at how you scrapbook and then choose an organization method that will allow you to find subjects quickly; here are some suggestions:

1. Chronological: If you’re facing a huge backlog of photos, this method would work best for you. By going trough your pictures and sorting them by year, each piles representing a year, then once that is done, take one year at a time and store them into months. When sorting, you might consider making two piles of each; one that you will use for your layouts and another of those that you won’t scrapbook (those can be kept in storage boxes). If you come across pictures you want to give away to family or friends make another pile for those. Another time saving tip: try jotting down dates, names and other important facts wild weeding your photos. This will save you time on your journaling and please remember if you are going to write on your photo, please make sure you are using a photo-safe pencil.

2. By theme: If scrapbooking by date is not something for you then grouping by theme might be the ideal for you. If you’d rather scrap by subject, events or if you’re thinking of making themed album, you can sort your photos in to specific piles such as holidays, vacations, sports, outing, friends, child…. The advantage of doing that is that if you suddenly have the desire to do a Christmas layout, for example, you can combine your entire photo quickly and complete pages for several years at once. Or make an album 70’s Christmas and combine all 9 years of Christmas in one album.

3. By Album: Sorting your photos according to album is a great way to go as well. For example, if you look in my organization boxes you’ll find a section for each of my 2 kids, one family album, one Heritage album and other smaller themed projects. That way, when I get an idea for a layout that concerns my son or daughter I know exactly where to look. Adding cards with little notes and even little stories will also help you with your journaling.


2nd Step – STORE

Once you have all your photos in order, keep them in a photo safe Storage box with index cards or divider tabs to separate them by categories. Some scrappers use shoe boxes. I don’t recommend it as they are not photo safe. If you buy photo boxes available at a stationery or discount store, do make sure they are photo safe. If not, they could damage your photos over time. My favourite storage option is Creative Memoires Power Sort box. This Power Sort box will help you safely store, organize and transport up to 1,200 photos. The inside cover storage sleeve allows you to safely hold flat memorabilia or even panoramic photos. Six divided Compartment Boxes and Dividers allow you to sort to your heart’s desire − by big events, family members, chronologically and more.

If you don’t have enough room to bring your entire Power Sort to your next big scrapbooking event, use one or both Compartment Covers paired with the Compartment Boxes which allows you to transport up to 400 photos. Additional Dividers are sold if you need more.

If you’re looking for more Storage option visits our Organizer section.


Once all the organizing is done and you have a system that works for you, you might wish to select, compile and store specific groups for layouts which mean grouping specific photo of each event (only the best) and separating them in pages layouts. This will allow you to be time effective, creative and efficient without all the hassles of searching through all your event photos once you’re ready to scrap. Here are a few methods I’ve tried.

1. Post-it Notes: I love post-it notes. With post-it, it’s fun once all your pictures are sorted then you can immediately select the best one for each event and group them according to layouts you plan on creating. Another option for post-it is a simple scrap of paper folded that you slip your photos into once you are done writing the information you need. Do remember if you use post-it notes stick them on the back of you pictures. What you can also do on your post-it is write what subject your layout will be, include any other ideas such as potential titles and embellishments. You can also add an asterisk if there is memorabilia that you have elsewhere and plan to use on the page.

Note: Post-it Notes® come in several different sizes. The 2″x3″, 3″x3″, 2-3/4″x3″ seems to work the best, allowing plenty of room to write notes.

2. Power Layouts Kit box: After removing all the photos you don’t plan to use, store them in and acid-free Power Layout kit box. This is a great option to sort numerous layouts till your ready to scrapbook and they are easy to carry as they have dividers that can be name for example; Zoo Vacation 2012 or Xmas 2011… plus if you have any design notes, idea for journaling or memorabilia’s just drop them in as well. This way if you need to go shopping for paper or embellishments for any of your particular layout, they are easy to take with you. If you want to match items with your photos you can store them directly with your pictures. This system is great if you attend a lot of crops. You can decide which layouts you plan to work on, grab what’s in the divider, it will contain all the page elements, and go!

3. File Mate:  Are somewhat like Power layouts kit box, but even easier to carry, we have the 4×6 and 12×12 format and you can store 7 layout in the 4×6 and 13 in the 12×12. Plus you are sure they are photo safe.

Those next two options are good if you know you will be scrapbooking your photos soon they are not to be use for long-term storage.

4. Large Envelopes. You can use this system practically the same way as you would use the File Mate but in individual dividers. If you use paper envelopes, you can jot notes such as potential titles, embellishments, and journaling on the envelope itself. But remember if you’re using envelopes; make sure it’s only for a short time because envelopes are not necessary photo safe.

5. Developer Envelopes. If you take several photos of the same event, you can keep your photos in the envelope they came in from the developer. To make finding them easier, write the activity and date on the outside of the envelope, along with any journaling notes. You can store these chronologically or by subject, if you desire. Again if you are going to use the developer envelopes make use it’s for a short time because they are were not made to keep your photos safe, they are made for transportation.

Once you’ve decided on your organizing system, it’s important and time saving to keep it up to date. This will allow you to find the photos you’re looking for quickly, easily and make your scrapbooking time more fun and efficient. In other words ORGANIZATION = MORE FUN productive and enjoyable, scrapbook sessions.



Lesson 04, part 1 – Organizing your photos

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Does this sound like you? Do you have boxes and boxes of unorganized and unlabeled photos? How many times have you extensively, seemingly endlessly and often franticly searched through your house looking for the one perfect photo you need? If you recognize yourself in this, the next lesson is for you. By following some simple basic steps, I will help you get rid of all those cluttered shoe boxes of photo and replace them with easy photo safe organizers. Plus, this will save you time on all your scrapbooking projects because all your photos and memorabilia’s will be organized.

First thing you might ask is: where do I begin? Well, whether your photos are in shoes boxes, old and magnetic albums or simply stacked in an old suitcase, all sorting process begins by finding how and where you want to store your photos. Obviously you want to place them in photo album so that your family and friends can enjoy them. One easy way to store them is to use a Picfolios. This item will protect your photos and can be used for either a permanent album or storage till you scrapbook them. Another way to go is Organizer boxes; those are what I use and they are photo safe. Additionally, like we said before not all photos are scrapbooking photos, but with organizer boxes you can still keep them safe. Once you decide what you want to use, organize your photos accordingly.

These are the following common photo organization methods used in scrapbooking:

  • Chronologically
  • By Theme
  • By Person or Group
  • By Portrait
  • By Event
  • etc.

part 2 fine tuning

Lesson 03-Essential Scrapbook Supplies

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When you’re first going shopping for your own tools and supplies, looking at all that is in a scrapbooking store or scrap space can be overwhelming. Even if all scrapbooking tools look fun, they are not all necessarily right for you especially when you’re beginning. This 3rd lesson is about teaching you what you really need to get started, what you will need to enjoy scrapbooking and use and finally to not waste money on things that you will not use.

I’ve put together 5 lists to help your shop,

1st Essential supplies: what you really need to get started;

2nd Basic accessories: those can usually be found around the house;

3rd Useful tools: those are the basic tools of scrapbooking; while not necessary to start they are the ones that you will use over and over;

4th Fun Tools: those are tools for more advanced scrapbooking. They are fun and can be very useful. I would suggest before buying them that you try them out. A good way to do so is to book a scrapbooking party;

5th: Organizer: Organizing is an essential part of life and so is scrapbooking. We suggest that you invest in good organizing tools; you should not leave your photos and paper lying around as they could get damaged.

Remember you don’t have to buy all the tools at once. For great ways to get started in scrapbooking contact me or a Creative Memories consultant near you and ask about all the perks that comes with hosting your own Creative Memories Scrapbooking Party. Plus get the chance to see all of our products and try them out for free. For more information on each tool, please contact me and visit our YouTube Product Demos & How To.

Lesson 02 – Creating your own layouts

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Creating your own layout is something that you might want to do and you might have looked at a dozen of scrapbooking pages and magazine. You might have bought all the supplies you need too, but you have no clue on where to start? Remember this, all good layouts have some common elements; what you bring to is your own approaches and style, that’s why no pages are the same.

Step 1: Pictures: Selecting your photos that you want on your pages is the best place to start. Remember that not every photo is a scrapbooking photo. Select the one that has a special moment or story attached to the event that you want to capture in your page.

***Important tip***
NEVER and I do mean NEVER use your original photo if they are irreplaceable photos. If you have some old photos you’d like to scrap, scan them and have them printed or print them out yourself or e-mail them to a developer to be processed, but do keep them in a photo safe environment. That is why we have storage boxes.

Step 2: Concept or Theme: Looking at your selected photo, try to identify a concept that appeals to you and that you can use in your design. Once this is done, select a layout. Looking at the theme of your photos will help you select this and it is essential for your next step. Some of the examples: Love, friendship, tradition and for more see my themes and idea article. Think of your journaling, about the story you want your photo to tell and a title for your layout.

Step 3: Color Scheme: Third step is choosing the right paper (colors and pattern). This can be overwhelming sometimes until you learn a few tricks. The easiest way to choose is putting common colors from your photos. For more great tips on how to choose the right colors for your scrapbooking pages visit my article: Choosing the right color for your scrapbooking pages.

Step 4: Embellishments: Now the fun part: adding embellishments like stickers, ribbon, flower just to name a few can help bring together the photos, paper and journaling. They can be as simple or as complicated you want it to be. To determine which colors of embellishment you should use, use the same concept as choosing your paper or find a focal point in your photo to mimic ea. like a child’s dress.

Step 5: Unity: The final step is to put your pages together. If you’re having trouble with layout design, you can work with idea Books and page planners or Layout from my blog to help you decide on how to place all the elements of your pages. The build layouts have already taken into account essential design principles such as focal point, repetition, balance and unity.

Follow those 5 easy steps and you’ll be on your way to finishing your first layout. May there be many more to come. Happy scrapping!

Lesson 01-Why We Scrapbook and how to Get Started

1ère Leçon – version française

The best thing about Scrapbooking is the story. A good scrapbook page tells a story. For us, this is the heart of scrapbooking; it’s storytelling at the most precious and personal level. In each personified scrapbook page is a celebration of your life, a special moment or memory captured that is above all, unique to you and your family. In other words it’s organizing moments from your past so that they have meaning for generations to come. Basically, you are preserving yesterday for tomorrow.

Here at Creative Memories, our mission is to help you define what scrapbooking is for you, by showing you what it is for me and others. By teaching you the importance of preserving the past, enriching the present and inspiring hope for the future, we hope that you will find your own purpose and style. For each part of scrapbooking, I will introduce you to good products, tools and services to help you tell your story.

Get Started with Scrapbooking, here are 5 useful tips;

Let’s start with this. There’s absolutely no reason to be overwhelmed or intimidated when you start scrapbooking. Read and keep those 5 easy tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to preserving your priceless memories.

  1. Define what a “scrapbook” is to you: Creating a scrapbook doesn’t have to take lot of time and it doesn’t have to be a ‘work of art’ either. Whenever you add journaling to your pictures, share the story of the moment of your life, you’re scrapbooking.
  2. Don’t think you have to do something with ALL the pictures you take: Thinking like that will overwhelm you, and is unrealistic, plus no one expects you to do so. Remember the most important photos are the ones that have special memories attached to it. That is the most authentic way to approach it. So once you have a memory in mind, go with that, find the pictures of that moment and start with that.
  3. Start small: Starting with a big project will leave you overwhelmed. Bigger is not always better. Choose a smaller or easier Album, (like 8×8 format or Picfolios) something that won’t involve hours work and of creativity or loads of equipment to start with; the perspective is to have fun. If you prefer digital there are easy ways to start as well. Download our free 30 day Storybook Creator trial and the free digital Artwork and see how easier working with predesigned pages is.
  4. Relationships and personality are things to focus on: What matters most to you, like most people is the ones we love. Make the most of them, taking print of everyday things ea. your love ones laughing, playing, working and interacting together… those are the memories that you’ll treasure for years to come.
  5. Find communities of scrapbooking for inspiration and support: make a fun scrapbooking party with friends and family, contact me for more information. Visit great scrapbooking sites to get support and make new friends… for great products visit Creative Memories and here are some great site to visit:

Have fun scrapbooking!!!!


Lesson 02 – Creating your own Layouts

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