I've started reading books about scrapping. It seems to me there aren't enough dedicated magazines in the UK - just two - and I wanted some inspiration on journalling and more adventurous layouts.
"What about the Words," published by Memory Makers and available at Amazon is a really useful guide into making journalling an integral part of a layout and not, as it often is for me, an afterthought. I've always been a bit reticent about journalling because my handwriting is terrible, but since reading this book I've been doing more of it, particularly in my long-term project The Story of My Life.
I had never heard of Kristina Contes about I read about "the HOF Scandal" on some of the smack blogs. Basically she won the US magazine Creating Keepsakes' annual competition, Hall of Fame (nothing to do with David Hassellhoff) but it was discovered she had used a photo she hadn't taken herself. Yes exactly, shock horror. Well, the bitchiness and furore that followed was quite unbelievable. I remember a long diatribe where a blog writer actually analysed in long technical tedious detail all the specifications of the photo and why Contes couldn't have taken it.
Anyway, having been made aware of Kristina Contes I discovered the website "The Dares," which is a bit young and dude-y for me, but nonetheless had some great ideas for layouts about topics other than parties, Christmas or the first snow.
I then bought the book that has resulted from the website, We Dare You: Scrapbook Challenges about Real Life by Kristina Contest, Meghan Heath Dymock and Genevieve Simmonds. Each chapter challenges you to create some LOs on particular topics, some of them quite challenging, and shows examples from the authors. I quite like Contes' style: it is quite clean and doesn't go in for big quantities of over-the-top embellishments.
You can check out the book (in every sense of the phrase) at Amazon.
Finally, because one of my NY resolutions was about keeping my craft area tidier, my DH bought me for Christmas The Organised and Inspired Scrapbooker by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey. Spiral bound, this is a beautiful looking book but rather than inspire me to revolutionise my crafting storage, it made me a bit fed up. The authors have craft rooms so tidy and organised that I wonder if they ever do any scrapping. And if they do, it must be very depressing: take a Prima from the jar, put the jar back. Find a piece of patterned paper, either from the shelf labelled by manufacturer or by colour. Zzzzz! I go into a bit of a frenzy when I'm crafting, grabbing this and that, experimenting, and chucking the rubbish on the floor (some of it goes in the bin if I'm lucky).
I do have a few storage solutions, of course, but I'm unlikely to go down the road of the Organised Scrapbooker. I did use a couple of their ideas. I bought some big glass storage jars and use them now for blooms and chipboard alphabets, and I prettied up the shoebox I use to store cards in.