hi, my name is stephanie klein, and I’m a scrapbooker

There.  I said it.  Titled it, even.  I’ve been in the closet about it because it’s as middle America as calling Target, "Tarjey."  I’ve admitted to hoarding supplies before.  From embroidery skeins to porcelain paints and etching creme, I’ve got art supplies covered.  Charcoals, craypas, pastels, watercolors, watercolor pencils, conte crayons, acid-free pens, a ridiculously large box of Prisma-color pencils.  I love these tidy bits of creativity, all neatly tucked into their proper places, sharpened, crisp, eager.  They’ve been stowed away for far too long.  I’ve finally taken over my own space in the house, a writing room, off our bedroom, and soon enough, the supplies are coming out of their storage boxes.  I still need a table and proper shelves to house all my friends.  They’re all going to be in "hi" places.  Not unreachable "high."  "Hello, hi."  I need to see everything.  It’s the same way in the refrigerator.  I need to see things or they go forgotten, and then rotten.  And my supplies have been dormant for too long.  There has been intention over the years to adopt new projects.  I have a box with slippery knitting needles, a book of fancy stitches, half-knitted items.  Now, please, let’s not go to that all too familiar place of "why can’t you finish things you start?"  We’ve done that.  It makes me happy.  Art supplies make me happy, deliciously giddy, like I can almost hear Santa and the reindeer on the roof.

This weekend, on a joy ride in search of media room furniture (reclining sofas, seats, and drink coasters, oh my), I found myself in an unfamiliar shopping center a good fifteen minutes before the stores opened.  What?  What’s that?  I squinted.  It couldn’t be!  A store dedicated to scrapbooking?  What bliss, what joy, better maybe than even food. Archivers. Hurry up and open!  I began to pace.  Then I cupped my hands around my eyes and pressed my face to the store window.  Ohh, what goodies do they have?  I’d already been to Target and seen their K and Company / Making Memories supplies.  What did Archivers have for me?  More Jolee’s Boutique stickers?  Can anyone own too many?  I began to jump up and down and must have appeared like a strong candidate for some serious ADD drug.

I’m doing everything in my power not to spend all my days and nights there.  I’m already signed up for a class.  I need time to paw my way through some of their books.  Scrapbooking is an insane industry.  They have scrapbooking radio shows.  Radio shows I tell you.  I am beginning to wonder if it’s at all creepy.  You know, in a domestic apron way where you’re a bit too excited about making entrees with jell-o.  It’s a little bit eerie, like a 1960’s Weight Watcher’s Cookbook.  It’s so blue-ribbon, state fair, smile big and fake.  But I don’t care.  I want in.

I just watched an online video. FOR ADHESIVES.  Seriously.  A good six minutes of my life spent learning about the different adhesive options out there, from semi-permanent, adjustable adhesives to permanent fixatives.  Fascinated, I was.

I was a graphic designer for a good nine years or so.  I know pixels and white space, competing messages, clear organization, simple and clean.  Still, I don’t know from print, from Vellum overlays, grommets and brads.  When I hear, "brads" I think of those twins from Grease II who sing about his cute little buckle that fastened in back.  I don’t want to do what I’ve done in the past: go insane, spending over $500 on supplies I’ll never use.  So I’m taking my time, planning my pages.  But the papers are so irresistible. I’m beginning to dream in layers, in plans, and wanting to sort through all the digital photos I’ve never taken the time to print.  Which is the one shame I’ve found from going completely digital.  I so rarely print things.  This, of course, is going to change in the face of this new undertaking.  I just haven’t decided if I’m going to make one large scrapbook, or initially two mini-books, one for each baby.  Are you a scrapbooker?  Do you have scrapbook parties and actually admit to it?  Stand up and say it loud and proud.

*Images above are not mine.  See, I haven’t officially started yet.  I’m doing my research first.

scrapbook transparency


  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of scrapbooking! I am addicted but it is worth it! I justify it by reminding myself that if I didn't scrapbook, all my pictures would be stuck in a box instead of being looked at.

    I also scrapbook with friends. Once a month we go to someone's house that has set up three long tables in her basement. We take turns bringing snacks and scrapbook for 3-4 hours. We talk, catch up and get some girl time away from home. It is a lot of fun and we feel productive at the same time.

    Often scrapbooking stores will have scrapbook nights where you come and scrap. You can even buy ready made kits and they will have a class to show you how to make it.

    You are creative. You will love it! (and yes we are normal 30 something girls who used to have a fun, hip life like you!) No we scrap! :^)

  2. I always print my pix in 4's. One for each of my 3 daughter's photos albums (of which I am sooo far behind in putting together) and one for my album. That way when they move out I can give them each their albums and still have my own to keep and weep over. I say go for the one for each child :)

  3. Like many, I never dreamed that I, would do something as lame as scrap book. After all, I generally hate anything referred to as "cute" unless it has to do with baby stuff, even then… But after spending a month in the south of France — I found myself wanting to preserve those precious memories.

    I used various maps, posters, menu's, ticket stubs etc. from Cannes, Monte Carlo and surrounding areas. I burned the edges of various pages of Bon Appetite magazine, as they did a feature on Old Nice — Places that we made a point of visiting. I used chartreuse and brown-paper-bag colored (paper) on black, for the most part.

    All in all, I think I came up with some beautifully original page designs. They most definitely reflect my personal style. I incorporated olives, lavender and even fabrics from Provence. I can't help but smile fondly whenever I see this portion of my one-and-only scrap book, and am always proud to share these photo's.

    You've inspired me to get busy crafting again, so thank you! It's so good for the soul! Think I'll try my hand at rubber stamping again. I plan to do so on some on purple, vintage velvet curtains. You can stamp on the reverse side of the velvet with merely the steam from the iron, no ink or anything. It's lovely. It would be fun to do some various princess crown stamps — on a rose velvet for a little girls room. Pillows perhaps..

    You've got double the fun — Enjoy!

  4. Hi Stephanie. Welcome to the club. I am a scrapper too. I have completed 3-4 books, 2 of them dedicated to each one of my siblings (my brother and sister) that showcased their lives from birth to high school graduation. Starting is the hard part! But finishing a book is the best feeling.

  5. I think you should have 2 seperate scrapbooks for each of them, that way they will be able to take it with them whenever they go their seperate ways, a nice and warm memory from their mother.
    You could also create a family scrapbook with everyone together for yourself…

  6. Hey,
    no, I'm not a scrapbooker myself but I wanted to tell you the following: I think it's great that you have something that makes you very happy – don't worry if you think other people may think it's dull or something. You gotta know what makes you happy – I think it's very valuable if you've found something that doesn't involve other people and is healthy and that makes yourself very happy. For me, snowboarding makes me insanely happy – there are times when the people in our lives can't or don't make us happy and it's important that we take over ourselves! I think being able to make yourself happy is very important. Take care.

  7. Michael's carries Martha Stewart's scrapbook/crafts line. It's tasteful.

    Check out Memory Depot next to Neiman's Last Call. It's a wonderful store, too.

    I collected scrapbook stuff for my baby, but I haven't made one page. And he's 4 years old now. I must have a thousand dollars in supplies.

  8. I am not a scrapbooker, but I see all that pretty paper and secretly, I wish I were. And then I push those thoughts down deep because it just seems so wrong.

  9. I´m not a scrapbooker, but you´re quite right what you said about the digital photos. They´re all in files or on CDs and will be forgotten soon. Of course it´s cheaper not to print them, but like you said: we are forgetting the things we cannot see.

  10. I enjoy scrapbooking, always trying to find some time to squeeze scrapbooking in.

    I have done the scrapbooking with friends….at each other's home….for hours and hours…..sometimes over night. I've also done the classes at stores.

    My sister-in-law, however, actually goes to scrapbooking CONVENTIONS….where she & friends travel to different cities for days at a time and not only scrapbook, but also shop and meet new scrapbook vendors.

    You can definitely become completely absorbed into it. ENJOY!

  11. Stephanie, you have to check out the scrapbooking "blog" by Ali Edwards. Her work looks less like something a Stepford Wife whipped up but more like the results of a young, creative art class. It's all so inspiring. The photos of her studio alone are enough to make you jumpy.

  12. I'm not a scrapbooker, but sometimes wish I were. What about digital scrapbooking instead of the traditional scrapbooking? When finished, you could print out the books. Just a thought.

  13. It's the supplies that get to me, too. Glittery stuff that I don't know how to use. I've been reading up on scrapping for years; I've put aside photos and plotted pages. Actually doing it. . .jury's still out.

    If you've read even one scrapping mag — which I'm sure you have –, the vast majority of featured pages you see were created by graphic artists/designers, art teachers, etc. This caused quite a stink a few years back when there was some sort of contest, and every single winner was (or had been) a graphic designer. You'll see why if you go to michaels.com and select the option to view pages from random scrapping classes. While some have a quirky charm, most look like elementary school collages done by kids just past the glue eating stage.

    The point being that I'm certain your pages — should you actually go ahead with it — will be stunning. But you'll probably piss off some fellow scrappers.

  14. I am right in there with you – having so much fun digital scrapbooking I had to start a blog. With your graphic design experience you could easily begin to create your own papers, elements, etc. That would save you so much.

    My hubby loves digital scrapbooking because 1) there is not a room dedicated to my stuff 2) I do actually spend less money going digital than traditional (I spent thousands on papers and supplies when I was a paper scrapbooker) 3)There is no mess to clean up and nothing for my kids to get into (unless they can guess my computer password)

    Enjoy this wonderful hobby – I don't know how much more of a positive hobby you can get than documenting yourself and your family – it is something that will be precious through time!

    And enjoy those twins – mine are five now – they grow so fast!

  15. That store JUST opened. I noticed it for the first time last weekend, and I wondered what kind of stuff they had. I'm not a scrapbooker, but you make me think I could be.

  16. Oh, I love scrapbooking! I'm the same way, an entire desk is filled with goodies I don't use. I need to though. Need to take the time.

    My problem is I got into scrappbooking when I got married. So thus, everything I worked on got tossed after the divorce. Just couldn't see keeping it around just because it was good work. So I need to get back into it!

    Thanks for getting me excited.. and I need to hunt down this store you're talking about!

  17. I've always been drawn to the scrapbooking section of craft stores, but it all seems so overwhelming to me. It seems like alot of planning and being focused, something I am not that great at. You are completely awesome if you can start that project with twins no less.

  18. I started scrapbooking after I had my son because I couldn't find a baby book that I liked. There was either enough room on the pages for lots of photos or lots of text – but not both – so I decided to make my own. I waited until he was almost two to start the book because I wanted it to be perfect, and I didn't really know what to include or how to go about it. I took a couple of classes at a local scrapbook store and became more comfortable with the entire process. Now that he's five and I have accumulated more supplies that I'm willing to admit, I try to remember that this is a hobby As long as the page or book that I made is accomplishing what I wanted it to – that's enough for me. Now that he's old enough, my son likes to look at his baby book every once in a while and see or read about what he was like as a baby and toddler. I'm glad that I kept track of his favorite things, funny sayings, his schedules, etc. because the sweet and small things can get lost to easily. When I started scrapbooking I thought I was going to do the one baby book and be done, but now I'm pretty sure that I'm a lifer.

    Here's the link to the Ali Edwards' blog mentioned above.

    Here's a couple of other links to good sites that helped me get ideas for pages and organization.

  19. Stephanie you're going to love love love scrapbooking! I, like you, am a bit of an art supply hoarder. I have enough to fill a rec room with and also I have a career as a graphic designer so I'm right into the stuff. I had put off scrapbooking because I knew I would go over the deep end with it buying anything and everything I could.. making things from scratch just cause I could… but one day my bf bought me my starter kit and I haven't looked back. It is the most addictive thing you'll ever get into and you'll love it… especially where you're so creative you'll find that the funnest way to scrapbook is to make everything you want from scratch! As for the question about mini books or large books.. I tend to do both, make a big scrapbook and then attach the mini books in a pouch on the pages or with a binder ring or clasp, even ribbon. Good luck and I hope you post your pages I would love to see them!

  20. Easy, killer.

    Those supplies start to add up.
    I have so much scrapbooking crap now. I dont even want to think of how much money i spent over the last four years on my supplies. Out of it, came three volumes for my mom, all featuring my son. They turned out beautiful but Im a perfectionist when I get an idea of how i want it to look, and lord help me if it doesnt turn out that way. I drove myself crazy with those books.

    See if there is a Hobby Lobby near you.
    I know they have a few of them in Austin b/c my gf whoh lives there is an addict as well. If it's well managed they will have Jolee galore! And at reasonable prices. Be careful of those scrapbooking stores. They can be pricey when you can get the exact same thing at Hobby Lobby.

    But one great thing about the privately owned scrap stores is a lot of the time they will allow you to rent their die cutters for an hour or whatever.

    Now I use all those supplies I spent so much money on to decorate cards and doodads for my kid's class projects.

    Still, it was a bad, bad addiction at one time.
    What I loved were the embellishments. They are an art all their own. The little details of these miniature goodies always tickled me and my mom absolutely loved them, and now all the grandkids pull out the volumes to thumb through and finger all the embellishments.

    You also might want to consider page covers. I use super glue on a lot of my stuff and my gfs (who do all those Creative Memory parties and retreats, yes, retreats) just cringe when I tell them this.

    Good luck. :)

  21. Damn you Annie! Now I am addicted to that site. You are right, not at all stuffy, just young and fun and hip and ,for me mostly, it gives the feeling of "oh my god…how did she do that?" Very Cool. And the things she links to are even better.

  22. Funny…I used to be one to keep up with all my photos…but since digital came along, i'm terrible about printing…We moved into our house 1.5 ago, and i haven't started on my usual "picture wall" of our house…long story, but NOW with the bun on the way, I am waiting to start it. Ugh.
    I want to get into the whole scrapping thing, but haven't had the inspiration yet. In my house i have a room off the garage that i've claimed as my "arts and crafts room". Its small, but it has a window with a view of the back yard and the pool, etc., and has an A/C…and i'm going to convert it soon…so that will be nice to have my own "space" to do creative stuff. I just have so many other home and garden projects to get to before the baby is born…i.e. the usual "so many ideas, so little time".

  23. I am a lone scrapbooker. I prefer to do it alone, it's my thinking time, my alone time to dwell and remember. I get giddy just planning my trips to scrapbooking stores and art supplies coupled with blank pages makes me much happier than it probably should.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Scrapbooking, where the blank pages are yours to conquer!

  24. Stephanie,
    Welcome to the world of scrapbooking. Although I have been remiss in it for the past few months, it is a wonderful thing. I used to get together with a group at least once a month and on other sporadic evenings to scrap and chat, like Pam said,girl time. Have been doing albums for each of my 3 sons and it can be overwhelming but so much fun at the same time. It's not lame, it's something you can enjoy and that you put your heart into. Check out stampin' it up, they have some great tools and great ideas too with rubber stamps! Have fun!!!

  25. I must laugh out loud! A few posts ago you mentioned wanting to document and journal more and I knew this would happen sooner or later. Scrapbooking is an addiction that I begin almost 10 years ago. Best suggestion that I can give you is think timeless when scrapbooking. Also if you find the paper and scissor way gets overwhelming please try a little digital scrapbooking for a break.

    I use to be a scrapbook consultant and I have attended all sorts of classes from mom and pop stores to huge CK Universities for scrapbooking. I have a ton of extra supplies so e-mail me your address and I will send you a little package of goodies.

    Have fun on your adventure and try not to break the bank in the first few weeks.

    Oh and I will e-mail you a few pics of the scrapbook room I am moving out of and into. I dedicated my guest room to scrapping then realized that I really don't want to be holed away from my family scrapping so now I have made a space in my loft that is currently being built piece by piece. If you have a Ikea in Texas head there for some great storage ideas.

  26. I picked up my first scrapbook "kit" at Christmas — just to have a place to put the mementos from all of the wine tastings I've attended and wine vacation photos and…… within hours of starting my first book, I was back at the craft store buying more books and more supplies. Sigh. I have 4 books going at the moment.

    Good for you. Don't be ashamed! Run to your craft room when the beans are asleep and do something creative.

  27. One of my friends and co-workers is a scrap booker. She even teaches a class on it. A couple of us give her a bit of a hard time about it, and such, but really I'm always impressed by the creativity she has in that and so many other things. (I tell her that stuff too, but mostly on holidays.)

  28. Nothing to do with scrapbooking (which I think is a tad creepy, but also lovely at the same time)… but I followed the links to your web portfolio and resume. Since your college work was in writing, I'm wondering how you got involved with interactive design? Was all your training on-the-job or were you self-taught? I got my degree in Advertising from UT, but I'm feeling a bit stuck in client-side (which has its good points) work. Any tips for breaking into interactive? Also, my sister is moving to Brooklyn so I'm having a bit of New York envy right now…

  29. Glad you are joining the scrapbooking ranks. Enjoy the planning, it's a great part. Like people said, the dedicated scrap stores can get pricey, but Archivers is an awesome place to get work done and be inspired. Happy scrapping!

  30. I figured you for a scrapbooker. Not as an insult. But when Phil made you "Straight up and 30," I had a hunch it had to be a part of you he was tapping into.

    PS Don't use glue gun. Never use hot set glue, it's too impermanent. I'm an archivist, and we only approve cold set glue for longevity.

  31. yeah, i kinda feel like a dork sometimes because of my scrapbooking….tho I swear that i started before it became so popular! i get EXTREMELY obsessive. i was yearbook editor in h.s. (we won national awards — yes, it's 14 yrs ago, but i am still proud of our achievement!) and make sure that i am telling a story with my captions and that i don't have any whitespace issues (or black). but i love scrapbooking….i'm not into all the fancy stuff though. i tend to add things from the trip — like pressed bougainvillea or pottery shards from an archeological dig (they were shards that couldn't be matched, so we could take them). BTW – love Jolee's Boutique

  32. Better watch it next thing you know a sewing machine will follow you home….ask me how I know. LOL One day it's a glue gun then the next thing you know you are stashing stuff in every nook and cranny in the house. Have fun. ;)

  33. I have to say that I totally recognize myself in what you wrote. (I believe I might have seen the same adhesive video, believe it or not.) I sneak off to the scrapbooking store and stash the bag under the bed when I get home. I snuck off to Archiver's for the grand opening, because I had a coupon (make sure you get on their mailing list) and because they were advertising free Make and Takes (whoever thought that would be the most exciting part of my weekend?!?) I definitely do tons of research and plan pages as I fall asleep. Anyways, thanks for admitting you're a scrapbooker too.

  34. Yeah, scrapbooking can be geeky, but it can also be so very fun. Another store (which oddly enough is only in 4 states) is Recollections. I've never been there, but I've heard good things about their supplies and classes.

    Also check out Donna Downey and Cathy Zielske's blogs – both very creative, artistic, graphicy (I know it's not a word) scrapbookers. Yeah, scrapbooking can be about lonely moms who preserve their baby's every breath, but it can also be a great way to show your kids who they were and who their family is.

  35. Hey Stephanie! I used to be a reader of yours a loooong time ago and somehow lost track of your blog. I do not know how it disappeared from my favorites but somehow you completely vanished from my site. Just today I rediscovered you and I am so very glad I have.

    Congratulations on the book! I'm excited that you're published now. And hey, don't worry about the scrapbooking homegirl. We all have embarrassing hobbies haha. Anyway, I hope you are doing well, I'm re-linking you at my own site (I had moved servers several times since last I had you there, again with the losing track) and will be catching up on the many many entries here that I have missed out on!

    All good things!

  36. I forgot to mention. There is a social networking group online called Meetup.com. Go there and type in your zip code and you'll find a few local scrapbooking groups. There are also groups for hiking, wine tasting, stay at home moms, movie lovers,…. you get the idea.

    I found Meetup a few years ago, forgot about it, then rediscovered them in February and signed up for a wine tasting group. I attended my first group tasting in March. I've been to 8 or 9 tastings since then and have met dozens of people. I encourage anyone who has trouble meeting people to check out the site and sign up for whatever interests you. I was having so much fun that they asked me to take over our group — all 215 of us….

  37. Hi, I'm Shana Bortko and I'm a scrapbooker. I have new tools and supplies that I don't even know how to use. LOUD and PROUD I confess to one and all that I am a scrapbook loving fool.

  38. I am sure if I had kids I'd do it too! You will love looking at them later, and I'm sure you'll make them really cool. Just don't join one of those crafting groups fergoodness sake, or start playing bunco for coupons!

  39. I too came from a graphic design background and have stumbled upon scrapbooking. I do digital scrapbooking though, as it fits well with my experience. I learned about digital scrapbooking through a site called ScrapGirls.com which has now become both my home and my work environment. But I have my fair share of art supplies just like you talk about, so I use those to design digital scrapbooking supplies or to do paper craft/home decor/greeting card type projects. Scrapbooking for me, as it sounds like it is for you, is totally an artistic medium to express myself creatively. There's no shame in that. :)

  40. Oh man please tell me you didn't go there with the ADD drug comment. Here's a comment back to you…ADD ain't no joke.

    From Stephanie: Sorry about that. I know that's 100% true. My sister is on ADD medication. I think far too many people who don't need to be are on it, but I've seen people who absolutely rely on it to function in society. They do need it. It's no joke. But the mannerisms exhibited by someone with ADD are descriptive, if not lazy of me, and allow me to write with great economy.

  41. I am a scrapbooker and I'm glad we snagged another victim! For me, it's an obsession! Welcome to our world! :)

  42. That store looks like heaven. And classes?!?!? Wow. It's renewing to put yourself into a new hobby (or obsession!) once in a while.

  43. Oh I am SUCH the scrapbooker. But I always follow that by "because I am a 47 year old soccer mom". When in all actuality I am a 23 year old wanna be hippie that wears stilettos and wears a suit to work. I actually got a phone call yesterday saying that the scrapbooking machine I want is 40% off til June 5th. I nearly fell down. I have ALWAYS dreamt of a scrapbooking room with baskets full of ribbons. OH and DYI has a scrapbooking show everyday. Wow, I am a complete dork.

    Please post pictures so I can live through you. As my "scrapbooking stuff" (scrap being the key word) is filled in old Xerox paper boxes.

  44. I'm so happy that someone else felt a little ashamed to admit they were a scrapbooker. I kind of hid it from my cooler city friends. Then at my wedding last year, when many of my worlds collided uncontrollably, my urban friends learned of my suburban mom side (even though I don't live in the suburbans and am not yet a mom) and my penchant for scrapbooking. I have to say that they looked at me a little differently after that, but it's a little easier being out of the closet.

  45. Oh yes, I'll admit to this addiction…and it truly is one. It's all about the shopping, the paper, the ribbon and the buttons. Putting them together to actually make something, not so much! If you really want some fantastic inspiration, go here:
    and get both of Cathy Zielske's books and The Big Picture by Stacy Julian. With your graphic background, I know you're a clean and simple scrapper and these books are beautiful. And after reading The Big Picture, you'll never feel guilty about not scrapping in a chronological manner. I'm right there with you, raising my hand and saying, "My name is Nancy and I'm a Bazzil Basics paper addict."

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.