Using Photo Holders as Your Foundation
By Jill Davis

THE PROBLEM

Genny Bailey has practiced Simplified Scrapbooking , aka "The Genny Bailey Method of Scrapbooking" for six years. Through high school, Genny had a friend that did cute scrapbook pages. Genny envied her work but knew that her friend's style wasn't for her. She didn't know of another way to scrapbook, "So my pictures sat in a box waiting for something to be done" says Genny. "I didn't have the time to devote hours to each scrapbook layout, and I was traumatized by the thought of cutting (cropping) my pictures," Genny continues. She feared that someday she or someone else would need the cropped picture in it's original size, and she would have lost the negative.

It was out of much thought that Genny created her method of scrapbooking.

THE EPIPHANY

Genny saw Photo Holders in an office supply catalogue and realized that she could use them to make scrapbook pages. Photo Holders are clear polyetheleyne sectioned "sleeves" (larger than baseball card holders) used for storing photographs in photo albums. See Example 1.

She saw that she could slide her photos into the sleeves of the front of one Photo Holder and then use the opposite page for journaled inserts to correspond with the photos. " My heart was at ease, " Genny says, "because all of my pictures would be preserved in their original state. The only cropping I would have to do was on the paper journaling inserts." Genny says also that she was able to keep all of the photos of one event together by storing unselected photos behind the photos of each "layout." See Example 2.

THE SOLUTION

1. Choose Photo Holders that fit your photographs. There are many different configurations of Photo Holders, so choose them carefully. If you generally have your photographs processed at 4" x 6" you will need to purchase Photo Holders that hold that size of photo. If you have older photos that are smaller than 3 2 "x 5 2 " those photos can be mounted on mats of cardstock before inserting in the 3 2 " x 5 2 "or 4" x 6" Photo Holders See Examples 3 and 3a.

2. Use your computer to make journaling boxes. Genny enjoys scrapbooking with her computer. She creates templates using Microsoft Publisher 2000 (using her Photo Holders as her pattern) to create her journaling boxes to match the style of photo protectors she chooses. See Example 4). Genny fills in the templates with information about each photo, and when similar photos are on the page she may fill one of the boxes with a title, poem or applicable quote . See Example 5 . Genny notes that if you took the time to write these details by hand, the process wouldn't be as speedy. Once the templates are journaled (Genny likes to use different Fonts within each page), they are cut apart so they can be mounted onto cardstock mats.

Tip: To streamline assembling the journaled inserts, Genny cuts a stack of cartdstock mats the size of the Photo Holders from different colors of cardstock. She always has an assortment to choose from when she needs them.

A word about software. It's not necessary to use Microsoft Publisher to make journaling boxes. Any good word processing or drawing program will do. You can even use the Microsoft Paint program that comes already installed on machines with Windows 95, 98, NT or 2000.

3. Decorate your journaled inserts quickly and simply. Once her journaled boxes are cropped, Genny decides how she wants to decorate them. Keep in mind that Genny keeps things simple , so she may use only a corner rounder, a punch, a rubber-stamped image, some stickers, or she may simply offset the journaled box on the mat. It's easy to see that more elaborate mats can be created if you want to spend more time. But guess how long each page takes Genny to complete? A Approximately twenty minutes!" says Genny smiling. "But it all depends on how elaborate I want to be." See Example 6 for Genny's matting and embellishing ideas.

Once the inserts are complete and in their respective Photo Holders, Genny clears the computer template and starts again. Sometime she prints several different journal pages at once. "When you are beginning you may make mistakes in your cropping, so don't erase the template until you are sure you're through," counsels Genny.

" It's so easy to organize my pictures and memorabilia and it's fun to be creative in my scrapbooks with my computer skills," Genny says. "You can buy all of the Photo Holders you need when you aren't spending money on fancy scrapbooking equipment and decorative papers," she notes.

When adding embellishments to the inserts, it would be a good idea to take your completed Photo Holders to your local scrapbook store in a notebook. You will see in an instant the sticker or small die cut that could complement the journaled inserts.

What you will need to be a "Simplified Scrapbooker":

$ Computer with a word processing or draw program that allows you to make templates. Word, WordPerfect, Corel Draw, and many others, even the draw program that comes with Windows 98 can be used.

$ Cardstock in a variety of colors (see our multicolor and monochromatic cardstock packs in the Scrapbook.com Neighborhood store for a great selection)

$ Acid free text weight paper for your computer

$ A paper cutter (Genny enjoys her Fiskar's Rotary trimmer because of the interchangeable cutting blades)

$ Minimal "basic" punches (stars, hearts, swirls, borders) that can be used over and over

$ Rubber stamps that you love

$ An acid-free pen to add hand lettering around mats

$ Adhesives

$ Stickers that complement the photos you are using

$ Photo Holders (There is no magic in the Photo Holders Genny uses. You may want to experiment with several different sizes to see which ones suite your style best. See Examples 3 and 3a for the different styles of Photo Holders available at the Scrapbook.com Store

Success story . My 23-year-old son saw Genny's albums and promptly ordered enough Photo Holders to Simply Scrapbook the past four years of his life. He took several evenings to label his photos (on the backs with a photo pencil), arranged them in chronological order and inserted them into the Photo Holders. He filled three albums with his Photo Holders. As he has the time, he completes the journaled inserts which take very little time because he doesn't decorate them. He has great photo albums to enjoy until he makes the journaled inserts and turns photo albums to scrapbooks.

"Scrapbooking is a reflection of your personality ," says Genny. "Make sure it fits you and is FUNctional! "

Jill Davis has scrapbooked for over 20 years and is President of Scrapbook.com.

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