In the introduction to her ebook, Alison explains one of the reasons why she believes scrapbooking is so popular “Standard photo albums can be a little void of meaning because there’s nothing there to prompt your memory of how you were feeling. And photo albums are even more boring for other people… That’s why scrapbooks are so amazing, because you can tell a story with your scrapbook, with few or no words. ” Well put, I think, and an interesting start to a book which does not disappoint.
After the introduction Alison’s book then provides a short history of scrapbooking. Now I have to be admit I usually find these sections a bit of a waste of time. Too short to be of real value. Well on this occasion I was wrong. Although only a couple of pages it gives a fascinating insight into how and where scrapbooking started.
Then we’re on to the “serious” stuff of scrapbooking itself, starting with getting yourself organised and getting the proper materials and tools. As Alison points out, your first scrapbook can be started with very little and you can add more techniques and tools as you progress. Alison goes into a good deal of detail in this section, not just sketching briefly over things but offering her professional insight to help you make the right choices. There’s even several links to online scrapbook stores and a useful page on cost-effective storage solutions.
The following section takes us on to getting started with a scrapbook and is full of useful information including where to get your ideas from, choosing a theme, getting help if you come across things you’re having trouble with, making scrapbooks for others, layout techniques… the list is a long and comprehensive one detailing everything you need to know not only to get started in scrapbooking but also how to take your scrapbooking to professional levels with techniques like embossing and fraying, and embellishing ideas like adding ribbons, feathers or faux wax seals.
At this point you might think that we have quite enough for a decent book – and I would agree, but we’re only actually just over half-way through. From here on, Alison delves into detail on themes like creating a holiday scrapbook, a baby scrapbook, a family heritage scrapbook and more. A wealth of scrapbooking ideas and techniques to help you preserve your precious memories.
The book finishes with a look at the modern trend for digital scrapbooking and even a short section on the potential for making a business out of your scrapbooking.
Throughout this fascinating book Alison’s writing style is light and friendly and exudes knowledge. The book was first published in 2003 (although updated since to keep it current) so this is clearly someone who knows what she’s talking about and this comes through. There’s a good smattering of photos where necessary showing examples which illustrate what she’s talking about in the text.
There’s a final surprise in store for those who choose Alison’s book, because you actually don’t just get Scrapbooking Secrets but you also receive a digital scrapbooking kit and three bonus titles to help you. All in all it’s a complete scrapbooking collection and, at the current price, something of a steal. I would advise ordering soon though as I understand that Alison is, quite understandably, considering a price increase to reflect the true value of the package.
Xandra Veal is a well-known ceramic artist, an avid crafter and popular craft-writer. Her comprehensive and informative site at http://craftbooksnow.com has Alison’s book and over 70 e-books on a huge variety of craft subjects, all of which are available for immediate download.