Each Thursday I review a book or blog related to scrapbooking.
The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker has had a rough publishing history. It was originally published in 2007. I mistakenly thought it was brand new when it was suggested to me by Amazon. The version I received was published in 2010, but it is the 2007 edition. I’m am unsure of all the details but I think the book got lost in the shuffle of all the scaling back atCreating Keepsakes. Regardless, it is available and the content is still relevant.
I love the introduction with Smedley’s and Garvey’s analogy to cooking. I could do a whole series of posts comparing cooking and scrapbooking. For now, I won’t, but am glad they made this reference.
How do you Organize?
By color. By theme. By manufacturer. By mood? I suppose it could work for some people, but am unsure if this strategy works for people or if the authors were just trying to suggest a strategy that is new.
Where to Donate Scrapbook Supplies
I have talked about needing to figure out a place to donate scrapbook supplies before. The authors refer to Operation Scrapbook as a place to send your donations of unwanted scrapbook supplies. How exciting! I googled the organization and not much appeared. The website left much to be desired and only had one post from May 2010. I am skeptical that this organization is active, which is disappointing.
There are No Rules
I really do appreciate the message that there are no rules in scrapbooking. That being said, unfortunately, there are actual rules or guidelines that are recommended. For instance, Zig Writers should be stored horizontally, not vertically, like they are on page 15. They are sold like that in stores for a reason. If you want your Zig Writer to last as long as it is capable of lasting, proper storage is important.
I also realize that many scrapbookers do not care about keeping things archival in their scrapbooks, but many do care about this. Storing the items you will eventually place in your scrapbooks in a wooden box (as suggested on page 54) is a big no-no if you want your items to last as long as possible. I realize that many scrapbookers and industry workers do not care about archival quality, but enough do so that it is important to point these things out to the reader.
Ideas, not Hand Holding
Smedley and Garvey give ideas as to how you might organize or approach organizing your scrapbook supplies. They do not hold your hand or walk you through step by step. If you are the kind of person that really needs that kind of assistance, then this book is probably not for you (but it might be useful for the person holding your hand). I do wish that the authors would have walked the readers through the organization process step by step at least once. I think it would have been helpful. Before and after photographs of scrapbook spaces would have been awesome!
Yes, each of the first eleven chapters have a quiz. The quiz is really a questionnaire to help the reader figure out their approach to scrapbooking and organization. The chapter ends with a checklist to help you plan your next step. I would have liked for the quizzes to be tear-off. This way the reader could easily tear-out the quiz and take it with them to the store when they begin purchasing their scrapbook storage solutions.
The authors should have also used a different font. The font used for most of the writing was tiny. They used different colors for headers or if the font was printed on a photograph. They should have stuck with black ink for the font for the sake of readability and sacrificed artistry.
Chronological Scrapbook Haters
The authors seem to operate under the assumption that scrapbookers who organize their scrapbook supplies (such as photographs) chronologically, must also scrapbook chronologically. No, actually we don’t–at least I don’t. I do organize my photographs chronologically–by year only. I have a box for each year. The photographs in those boxes then are sorted by various topics. I do not restrict myself by year either when storing my photographs. Some photographs get added to another box for other inspiration-based projects.
I loved how Smedley and Garvey break down how much it would cost to scrapbook every photograph the reader might take on page 43. I have never seen this breakdown before, but I think it really helps to put things in perspective. Scrapbooking every photograph a person takes is simply not realistic. Scrapbookers, then, need to figure out how they are going to select their scrapworthy photographs and figure out what they will do with the rest.
The last few chapters showcased several scrapbook spaces. All but one of these scrapbookers have a permanent space. I realize that most scrapbookers who will read this book are doing so because they have a permanent scrapbooking space. They would have a much larger audience, though, if they offered more and better solutions for scrapbookers who only have temporary or shared spaces. To their credit, they do showcase scrapbookers without permanent scrapbook space of their own, but it could have been so much better. For example…
A Temporary and Shared Space
Kelly Jeppson uses her kitchen table–both a temporary and shared space. However, she is able to devote some cabinet space right there to her scrapbooking. The rest of her supplies are in the basement. It is probably more common to have no cabinet space in the kitchen for scrapbooking and all of one’s supplies in the basement. What do you do then when you have a temporary space but your storage is elsewhere in your house?
A Permanent and Shared Space
Kelly Crowe has a permanent and shared space. I think that it was a stretch to include this space as a true “shared” space. It was not a permanent corner of her living room or a permanent wall in her dining room. Instead, it was a permanent room where her kids also do art. Yes, some of her kids stuff was in this room, but this is not really what comes to my mind when I think of a shared space.
If you need inspiration and direction to help you organize your scrapbook supplies, then dive right into The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker. Keep in mind that this book is really geared towards more devoted scrapbookes–those scrapbookers who have spent a great deal of money on supplies and have a great deal of supplies that need organized. If you are like most scrapbookers, you probably do not have nearly the supplies to warrant an entire room devoted to the craft for storage purposes. This does not mean you find anything useful in this book, but it probably will not meet your needs as best as it could.
Publishers and Authors
If you are a publisher or an author and would like me to review your scrapbooking-related book or blog, please email me at stephaniemedleyrath at gmail dot com.