Thursday, April 17, 2008


Is anyone REALLY swinging both ways... hybrid and paper...?
I don't think I can stomach the cost of printing out those designs and using *expensive* ink - when it will cost me more than buying a quality controlled sheet of paper from my local shop...

I do fancy that Tim Holtz distresser which she roughs the edges up with... hoping that X-Cut release that little baby ;)

ALSO (and I will get this typed small...) I happened across one of my most fav reviews of a book on and I think it is worth publishing, as the lady has class (and a few good points!)

Actually 3 1/2 stars) Too firm on "how to scrapbook", July 12, 2007
Chel Micheline "" (SW Florida) - See all my reviews
I'm a graphic designer, and when I started scrapbooking, I felt myself at a total loss as far as design in the "real world" - ie, 3d images, texture, etc. So I decided to re-educate myself on the principles of design with a specific focus on paper arts and mixed media. Since then, I have been gobbling up all the "design principle" books I can get my hands on, and was very excited about getting Kari Hansen's book. It seemed exactly what I was looking for- a course in design principles, geared towards scrapbooking.

The problem is that Hansen's philosophy is not very flexible. It seems like this book is really geared for scrapbookers who wish to be published rather than those of us looking to develop our own styles and techniques. Hansen makes it clear in the first few sections that she was on the submission team for a magazine and had very specific criteria for a "good" page. Things must be neat- no glue showing, NO mistakes. Journaling must be typed or done in a very very neat handwriting, NO spelling or grammar mistakes, practice several times before committing to the layout. Titles must be witty and clear to anyone seeing the page. All cutting must be precise, everything measured. All photos properly resized before putting together layouts- there must ALWAYS be a larger focal photo (not so good for those of us who scrap 4x6, or who don't have time to resize all our photos planning for layouts...) No "hanging" embellishments, no empty space. Yikes! I appreciate her vision, but found myself frequently intimidated by her "this is what makes a bad layout" writing style. Scrapbooking is supposed to be personal, and for those of us who have no interest in getting published, sometimes we do have a little glue going beyond the edge of a photo by accident, or some messy handwriting. Sometimes we don't have time to resize a photo to make it the spotlight of the page. Sometimes we can't redo an entire page because we made a mistake that no one will probably notice but us, and maybe Kari Hansen if she were to check out the page.

To me, these aren't design principles, but sort of perfectionist details. I'm interested in color theory, and balancing my elements. I'm not interested in someone reminding me over and over that the little crinkle on the corner of my page makes it a bad page. I appreciate the overview of design and color. It's wonderful, and Hansen knows her stuff. But there is too much focus in the early chapter on what makes a scrapbook page UNACCEPTABLE or boring, which I sort of find insulting. I'm not a perfect scrapper, and I'm trying to get better. I don't want a design book telling me some of the things I've done, or mistakes I've made in my pages thus far make them useless. I much prefer the warmer writing style of Ali Edwards (with her motto "IT IS OKAY") and many others who have written about the same topic. As far as the layouts, as far as I can tell they are all by Hansen. They are used to demonstrated the ideas and lessons Hansen is writing about rather than to function as inspiration.

So this isn't a great book for those who want some visual inspiration. So I would absolutely recommend the book, but I would try and take it with a grain of salt. If you are a serious scrapper, looking to elevate your design to the next level or learn what it takes to get published, take note to EVERYTHING Hansen says. But if you are just trying to learn a more technical way of creating personal pages, learning balance, flow, color ideas, and information on typography, I would skim the Hansen's personal feelings on what makes a scrapbook "good" and pay close attention to her design lessons. Apply them to your own pages, but don't lose what makes your pages YOU. Glue smudges and all!

I would give that a standing ovation...
Becks xx


willowthewysp said...

I swing both ways!!!!...Hybrid scrapping that is!!!
LOve it! I love the fact that you can buy really cheap digi elements and print them out on anything:)

Inspiration Alley said...

Great review. My Scrapbook pages are grungy. They're deliberately grungy because although I love clean, graphic pages, I can't do them. I always smudge the glue or wrinkle the paper, or place the photo a bit wonky. So, I know I wouldn't want it pointing out to me that my page would be better if it was a little more refined. I already know that and aspire to it.

I do hybrid scrap simply because of the freedom it gives me, but agree that it's cheaper to buy paper than print it.

Nat said...

Thanks for putting my video on your blog!

I'm usually a traditional scrapper but I like the possibilities that hybrid scrapbooking offers - it just adds a technique for me. Regarding the ink - you are right -but I for once use very cheap recycled ink containers - they cost about 2 EUR for one container instead of 17 and that justices two print out pages per month for me :-)

BTW the distresser I use in the video is not a Tim Holtz distresser -it is actually a very cheap one from Making Memories!

Wishing you a gorgeous day!