Monday, 19 March 2012

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Scrapbooking for beginners: Any Questions?

Hello everyone! 

Today is our the last day of this series and I thought we could have a discussion of sorts. If you have any questions or doubts, please leave them below and me or PPS's Design Team will try our best to answer them. 

--

I would like to thank all of you for your generous comments and I'am happy that I could be of some help. :)

Following are the winners of October Afternoon's cute little pack of Rubber Charms. If you haven't emailed us your address yet, please do so by today 8pm (our email: info@prettypaperstudiouae.com). 

 Kavya N, Megha Jain, Kunda and Priya. 

Thank you once again. Have a happy weekend!!

xox
Neelu

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Scrapbooking for beginners: Journaling

I'am sorry for not writing this post yesterday. Time flew with sneaks being posted and weekend work at home. :) So let's get started, ya?

Journaling is an integral part of scrapbooking. I agree that working with pretty stuff will fulfil your crafty cravings. However, a layout can be pretty meaningless if it doesn't have a story. In that case what is the difference between scrapbooks and photo albums, right? 

I know writing doesn't come easy. I mean even these posts that I'am writing here takes a bit of time to come together. But there are a lot of ways to motivate yourself to write. I'am going to share some tips here that work for me and I'am hoping they will work for you too. 

1. Do not pressure yourself. Whatever you write doesn't have to be perfect. As long it tells the story that you want to share it's enough. 

2. Do not compare yourself. When you go through other's scrapbook pages or read others blog posts, do not think that you can never write like them. Do not compare. This will only stress you out. Take inspiration from others' work. But never let their work bog you down. 

We all have different styles of writing. Are all books you have read in your life the same? Nope. That's because all authors have different writing styles. What your style of writing is something that you can determine only once you actually 'start writing'. 

3. Write. Write. Write. Like everything in life, good writing also takes practice. Carry a small notebook around and write when something sparks in you. When you take a photo of your children, write a bit about it in your notebook. This will ensure that you don't sit and blink at the scrapbook page wondering what to write about. 

4. Start blogging. I'am not kidding here. Blog is a great way to get writing. When I was young (I'am not that old now :P), the only way to get published was to write an article for a newspaper or magazine. That is not the case anymore. You can have your own blog and write whatever you want to. Be it about politics, food, travel.... and crafts. When you post a photo of your card or project, write a bit about it. This is a really good practice to help yourself explain and play with words. 

5. Start small and don't worry. When you are finding it difficult to come up with words, start small. Write about when the photo was taken, where, what are you doing in the photo etc. Let it start that way.As time passes and you keep making pages you will feel like writing more and words will start flowing. 

Don't worry about what people will think when they go through your pages. If you have written something really personal, hide it in a secret pocket on the page so that they don't see it.

6. Why not use your mother tongue? Since scrapbooking is a western hobby, doesn't mean that we can write only in English, ya? You can write in your own language if that is easier for you. This is something I've been planning for sometime. I should do it too. ;)

Remember to have fun. There is no point in stressing out. The more stressed out we are, the more scared we are to take risks. And what is life without a few risks, eh? 

---



To help you write better and share meaningful stories, all of our subscribers will receive a complimentary pass to Ali Edwards' Storyology class. How can you be a PPS subscriber??? Details coming soon. :)

For now let me tell you a bit about Ali Edwards and Storyology. 

Ali’s passion resides in that very special place where the stories and images of life intersect. Designer, blogger, author, and mother of two, Ali is well known for capturing everyday life with photos and words and creating scrapbooks from those moments that often pass by in an instant.

“I started scrapbooking in 2002 as a way to organize all the stuff I collected after the birth of my son. It has become so much more than an organizational process for me. Through the techniques of photography and personal storytelling I have discovered my voice. My hope is that by sharing the stories of my life and the methods I use to document our days, others will feel inspired and encouraged to record their own.”


Storyology

"A motivational, process-based presentation showcasing my favorite techniques to get words into my scrapbooks. My hope is that after completing the class you will be inspired to tell more of your own personal stories. Please note that this is a lecture and prompt based class. There is no specific project you will be creating." Ali Edwards

Topics Included
The reason why, getting ready to write, story mechanics, rhythms, etc. This class includes six different writing prompts and you are encouraged to take the time during the presentation to write your responses to those prompts (pause the video and then resume when you are ready).

Supply List
Handout, a pen, and a willingness to be open to telling more of the stories of your life.

---

See you soon, happy crafting!

Friday, 16 March 2012

April Kit Sneaks

Here are some sneaks from our April Kit called 'Let's be friends?'

Scrapbooking Kit Sneaks 










2. Cardmaking Kit










We also have a project kit this month which we have named as 'Spring Break' for it's gorgeous spring colours. It's just the kit you need to scrap your photos from your spring break. :)







So, what do you think??

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Scrapbooking for Beginners: Let's make a page together?

Before I begin today's post, I would like to thank you all for your encouraging comments and questions. Everyday I'am learning something new from you and this series has got me really excited. :)

And guess what? Today I'am sharing a video tutorial with you. I had to divide it into two parts because of it's length. Since it's my first video tutorial, I'am kind of all over the place... Please don't be picky about the video, I promise I will get better. ^_^

Let's make a page Together, Part I


Let's make a page Together, Part II


Here's a closer look at my layout. 



---
Homework for today: Create a page and submit your URL here in the comment box by March 17, 2012. I know it's not enough time, but we have to move ahead right? :)

Tomorrow I will be sharing few notes on Journaling. Insha Allah. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Scrapbooking for beginners: What are the Tools Required?

Like every hobby, scrapbooking also requires certain basic supplies. Following are the items I require when I sit down to scrapbook: -



Paper Trimmer
A paper trimmer is a very handy tool. Most of them come with a scoring blade which can make your life even more easier. Initially I used to use a simple paper cutter. I used to think that that was enough. I agree that it is a handy tool. But when you have to 'measure' and cut for anything in particular, it gets really tough. Same goes with scissors. 

I would suggest you visit an office supply store like Office Depot or Middle East Stationery (in Dubai). They have really good trimmers pricing from AED 35 to AED 250 and up. I got mine (the one in the picture) for AED 35 from Office Depot. :)






Cutting Mat
Cutting Mat comes in various sizes and varieties. This is a worthy investment as it will save your table from cuts and paints especially if you like to get messy like me. :) 




Card stock
I don't think I can explain better than Wikipedia about card stock: 
"Card stock, also called cover stock or pasteboard, is a paper stock that is thicker and more durable than normal writing or printing paper, but thinner and more flexible than other forms of paperboard. Card stock is often used for business cardspostcardsplaying cards, catalog covers, scrapbooking, and other uses which require higher durability than regular paper. The texture is usually smooth, but can be textured, metallic, or glossy."



Patterned Paper / Design Paper 
Or Pretty Paper as we call it at PPS are those beautiful pre-designed papers that you just can't live without. :D The two common sizes of Patterned Papers are 12x12" for scrapbookers and 6x6" for cardmakers. Then there is 8x8" which can be used for both. 


Alpha
I know you can use Word Art on Microsoft Word or simply type and print on Word. If that works for you, please take that route. I'am kind of lazy and prefer using Alphas from different manufacturers. And of course my favourite is 'Thickers' from American Crafts. :)



Embellishments

What embellishments to use depend totally on you. You could use butterflies, roses, tags, border stickers, ribbons, trims, trinkets, doilies etc etc etc. You could also use memorabilia that you have with you as an embellishment. For example, if your layout is about a trip you took, you could use the boarding pass or ticket stub; if your layout is about your child's birthday party, you could use some of the leftover decoration pieces. Endless possibilities here.
  
Adhesives
You need adhesives to stick down paper and embellishments onto your cardstock right? You could use a normal glue stick or you could use Adhesive Tape Runners like these which are easier to handle. 

 

Albums and Page Protectors
After my first post, Priya had asked me how do we store our scrapbook pages. When I create a layout, I leave it on our living room's shelf for few days - for me and others to admire. heee. Then I take it down and store it in my American Crafts' D Ring Album which comes with transparent Page Protectors. There are plenty of other albums out there which may suit your taste. This is the first album I tried and I don't think I will go looking for others. It's perfect for me as the page protectors are sturdy and easy to slip the layout into. And since it's D-Ring, I can turn the pages easily as in a normal photo album. 

The album also comes with 10 page protectors in it which means you can store 10 x 2 = 20 layouts (scrapbook pages). But it can take more. I have 20+ page protectors (40+ layouts) in the album shown here. Oh and the best part is that it comes with a chipboard cover that you can customize as you want. 

You can also purchase packs of page protectors. Which means even if you don't have an album, you can still store your layouts and sleep in peace. :)

Others 
Other supplies that you can use as you continue scrapbooking are punches, stamps, inks, mists, paint, die cutting machines... I wouldn't say these are absolutely necessary to scrapbook, but having them won't hurt. :)

--


I think I have covered all the basic tools today. If I remember anything later, I will edit the post. I would like to mention here that Pretty Paper Studio's Scrapbooking Kits will have Card stock, Patterned Papers, Alpha, Embellishments like tags, doilies, stamps (embellishments will vary each month). And these items will all be coordinated for you which means you don't have to worry about spending a lot of time and money trying to get supplies that go well with each other. We will do all the work for you. All you have to do is sit and enjoy scrapbooking. :)) 

Our shop will also carry items like Adhesives, Albums, Page Protectors, Punches, Inks, Stamps. 

--




Today's winner: Megha Jain. Please email us your postal address to info@prettypaperstudiouae.com. 

--

Today's Question: Have you got the photo yet? Tomorrow we are making a page together. :)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Scrapbooking for beginners: What to scrapbook about? Part II

I'am continuing with yesterday's topic of 'What to scrapbook about?', as few points came to my mind after publishing yesterday's post. 

If you are finding it difficult to figure out what photo to choose or which story to tell, remember to have a look at 'your story'. Scrapbooking doesn't have to be about someone else all the time. It can be about 'YOU'. Actually, it SHOULD be a bit about 'YOU'. 

With all the responsibilities that we have as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, colleague, friend we hardly have time for ourselves. Isn't it? We would like to read a book or go for a walk or maybe pamper ourselves with a mani/pedi. But then we are so short on time that these simple things in life look like 'luxuries'. Most evenings I'am so tired that I just want to hit the sack and get some sleep. And then there is guilt - what will my children think of me if I make a page about myself, I could use those pretty papers to make a page on my daughter rather than on me... so on and so forth. 

Remember - your children would love to know about YOU when you grow up more than they want to know about themselves. I love hearing my mother's stories about her childhood. I love it when my aunts and uncles sit and reminisce about their good old days. I love going through my mother's stamp collection over and over. Why? Because it gives me a glimpse into my her life. There are twenty good years about here that I don't know much about. Wouldn't that be a great story to hear?

And remember - there is nothing to feel guilty about. You are doing so much for your family and friends that you very well deserve a page on you. And I'am pretty sure that they will be more than happy to see you giving yourself equal importance. :)

For today's example, here is a layout (scrapbook page) that I made about 'my' dream home.


Homework for today: List five things about you that others may not know. 

---

Today's winner is Kunda. You have won yourself a pack of Rubber Charms from October Afternoon Sidewalks' Collection. Please send us your postal address to info@prettypaperstudiouae.com.

Please note that I will be mailing all the prizes together after finishing this series. It will save me a lot of trips to the Post Office. I hope that's ok. :))


Monday, 12 March 2012

Scrapbooking for beginners: What to scrapbook about?

I ended yesterday's post by asking the question: if you would start scrapbooking, what photo would you choose. The reason I asked you that question was to give something for you to think about and if lucky, make you choose one. ;) 

I still remembered how terrified I was trying to decide what photo to use. I had plenty. No thousands. Talha (my son) was three years old then and Aisha (my daughter) was couple of months. I flipped through my albums over and over trying to decide. Should I start with photos of Talha as a baby? But then he is 3 now and how will I ever scrapbook three years' of photos??!! 

The reason why I was thinking that way was because I had the impression that scrapbooking had to be done chronologically. I mean most of the resources online talked about scrapbooking your photos in a timely order and organizing them under specific years. Though this method may work for many, it doesn't for me. 

I told myself that trying to finish photos of Talha from his three years of life was too huge a task and it was only stopping me from doing what I wanted to do. So I chose a photo of Talha and Aisha together and this layout came about. I still remember how happy I felt for giving it a try and just doing it.


If you look at the order of my scrapbook pages, you would see that it's in no specific order. I pick a photo that I like or has some story behind it and I go ahead with it. Sometimes there may be no story at all. I just want to play with all the pretty stuff I have. :)

Coming back to the topic (hehe), when you start to scrapbook you are bound to feel terrified about where to start. What photo to choose. I would suggest to just go ahead and pick one.  Often we delay starting something new worrying that it won't be perfect or we won't be able to do it full justice. But unless we try, how are we supposed to know? Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. As long as it's made by you, it is going to be as unique as you. And that's all that matters....


Question for today: Have you chosen a photo yet? 

--- 

Oh and one more thing. @Priya - for answering my question yesterday, you have won yourself this cute little pack of rubber charms from October Afternoon Sidewalks' Collection. Please send us your postal address to info@prettypaperstudiouae.com 








Sunday, 11 March 2012

Scrapbooking for Beginners: Why Scrapbook?

Since I started scrapbooking last year, a lot of my friends and family have asked me what 'scrapbooking' is all about. Honestly, it's not something I can answer in one go. I feel scrapbooking has a lot of layers that will be better understood if I explain in steps. So today I would like to take the first step and answer the question 'why scrapbook'. 

To answer this question, let me give you an example. Let's say you went for a holiday to Paris. What would be the thing that you would do most when in Paris? Take photos, isn't it? Photos of Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, pastry shops... After having a good solid vacation in Paris, you return to your homeland. And what do you do with those photos? Either you print them and store them in albums / shoe boxes. Or, more common these days, they would simply remain on your pc /SD card. 

Fast forward to few months or years. You happen to see those photos again while organizing. You realize that there are a number of photos that you just can't remember about. You have no clue why a particular photo was taken. You can see yourself smiling into the camera, but you have no idea where you were standing. Sounds familiar? 

This is where scrapbooking comes into. If you scrapbook these photos, you are not only preserving your memories from the trip, you are also preserving a part of you that your future generations could look through and enjoy. Not just enjoy, but also learn a thing or two about you. 

Now I'am not saying you should sit and scrapbook the thousands of photos from your trip to Paris. You could scrapbook just the few that you feel is important to you. For example, the layout below is about my favourite day in Paris. It was the day it snowed. It wasn't the kind of snow that covers up a city or anything. But it was 'snow' nevertheless. And for someone from Kerala where it never snows,  it was a big deal! Even if it just lasted for few seconds. :( 


We also tend to think that scrapbooking is only for 'moms'. I agree that I started scrapbooking after having my second child. I also agree that majoirty of scrapbookers out there are mothers. But I do not agree that scrapbooking is only for mothers. Nope. It can be done by anyone and everyone. No matter what age, gender or stage in life. In fact, our Design Team members Shruti, Irene and Donna are not mothers (yet) and they still scrapbook. Yup! Isn't that something to think about?

--

I think this is enough for today. I do not want to bore you with long posts and never ending details. I would love to give you some homework though. ;) Let's say, this post inspired you to scrapbook. What would be the photo you would choose? And why? You can answer this question by simply leaving a comment here. 

I will be continuing this series in the coming days and I promise I have some fun things lined up for you. :)

xoxo
Neelu


Friday, 9 March 2012

Balzer Designs Templates are here!

We are super thrilled to inform you that we have Balzer Designs' uber cool templates in stock! Yup, you read that right. We finally have Balzer Designs Crafter's Workshop Stencils in Dubai! Can you believe that? 

These templates can be used in your mixed media projects, scrapbooks, cards, tags, art journals. Possibilities are endless!!

Clouds 6 x 6 Template

Raindrops 6 x 6 Template


If you believe you can you will 12 x 12 Template


Trinagle Mosaic 12 x 12 Template

Punchinella 12 x 12 Template

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, brains behind Balzer Designs, is a self-taught mixed media collage artist and avid scrapbooker. She has been making art for as long as she can remember and loves the process of creating. She says about herself - “I believe that mistakes are creative opportunities and hold fast to the notion that enjoyment of the process is just as important as the finished product! I like to think outside of the box — experimenting with paper, paint, and fabric — always trying to find a way to push my supplies further and see all the possibilities.” 

Oh, do check out her video tutorials where she shows how to use these stencils in different ways. 

Happy Crafting!
Neelu


Sunday, 4 March 2012

And the GIVEAWAY goes to....

drum roll please....

True Random Number Generator  18Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Apeksha Kothari!! 



Apeksha, please send us an email to info@prettypaperstudiouae.com to get your voucher. :))
xoxoNeelu