I’ve known people who just stepped away from scrapbooking entirely, hoping that the pursuit of other interests would take the pressure off long enough for inspiration to strike them. Sadly, I’ve found that it often leads to people losing interest in scrapbooking altogether. Some scrapbookers just keep working. “Just stick the pictures on the paper and the rest will come,” they say. I’ve tried that method, and it does work, but I often find that I have to go back and “fix” a few pages I’ve created this way later. By far, my favorite block-breaker is to admire the work of others.
I love surfing the internet for inspiration. I subscribe to dozens of blogs and am a member of several different scrapbooking and paper-crafting groups on the internet. Some are more active than others, and I don’t really read every blog I subscribe to every day. Creative food doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’ve set a few of my favorites to deliver by email so that I can digest every tasty morsel they produce, but there are just as many more that I save for a special occasion when I have time to really savor all they have to offer. There are still others that I sample on an as-needed basis.
For example, when I know I want to use a specific stamp set from Stampin’ Up or a die cut from one of my Cricut cartridges, I might search those two company’s websites for ideas, or I might even just do a Google image search for the name of the stamp set or Cricut cartridge. You’d be surprised at the number of ideas you might get that way. There are lots of great blogs like “Obsessed with Scrapbooking” that I get by email every day because it’s full of great ideas or there’s something usful in it every day. I like to use websites like GotSketch.com and Pagemaps.com that have lots and lots of ideas and starters. I’ve also been known to browse Pinterest, Picasa Web, Google, and even the idea galleries at Scrapbook.com.
The following is a list of some of my favorite scrapbooking websites, blogs, and groups. What are some of yours?
Groups and Social Media:
Yahoo Groups: Check out the Texas Scrabbookers group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TXSB/ This small group of Texas ladies chat about weekly challenges, swaps, and more. Look for a Yahoo Group in your area.
Meetup.com: Get inspired in person! Join one or more Meet Up groups and start attending gatherings! Some of our favorites include Dallas Crafters Marathon, Make Something Cute, and, of course, Crafty Neighbor.
LinkedIn.com: I joined 3 scrapbooking groups on Linked In. Paper Crafts, Scrapbooking Networking Group, and, most recently, Scrapbooking Industry Professionals Mastermind. The contacts I’ve made there have lead me to several wonderful blogs and websites.
Facebook.com: Did you know that Crafty Neighbor has a facebook page? So do lots of other scrapbook businesses and professionals. My facebook friends have liked dozens of facebook pages with scrapbooking content. Check for your local stores, your favorite manufacturers, and even your friends! Many of them may already be posting some great ideas and photo albums full of layouts, cards, and craft projects.
Sketches and Layouts
Here’s a list of websites that have page maps (also called sketches) and/or an idea gallery of page layouts.
Challenge yourself! In February, I took part in my first ever LOAD (Layout a Day). It was really fun and I learned a lot about myself while creating some pages that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve already signed up for the May challenge. Check it out at http://www.layoutaday.com/load512/
YouTube is a great source of inspiration and ideas. Anyone who has ever watched a YouTube video knows how easy it is to go from one tutorial or demonstration to the next in a never-ending queue of ideas. I’ve found some of my favorite techniques on YouTube.
Pinterest: This hot new website allows members to “pin” pictures found on other websites onto user-defined “boards”. There’s no limit to the number of boards or pins a person can have. Search the pins of other users by subject, user name, or even colors. You can even browse the boards of others to find great ideas, then “repin” them on your own boards. I’ve found tons of wonderful project ideas this way. You can “follow” my boards at http://pinterest.com/c1ndyluhu/
“It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date.” — Roger von Oech