Sunday, August 8, 2010
Keeping Up With the Scrapbooking Community
A smart publisher once told me, "Always provide your readers with extra value." It's a motto I've adopted as my own. Some of my readers don't care a hoot about scrapbooking. But for those who do, I need to stay on my toes. I have to stay involved in my craft or I'll let them down!
How do I stay involved in scrapbooking? Here's where I find inspiration:
1. Craft stores. I visit them whenever I can, wherever I can. Every store is different. This summer I spent time at ScrapbooksPlus! (Chantilly VA), The Scrapbook Factory (O'Fallon IL), Daisy Lane (Mattoon IL), and For Keeps Sake (St. Louis MO). These indies are dear to my heart. The women entrepreneurs who own them continue to inspire me.
2. Craft events. I had a table at the Great American Scrapbook Convention and I attended Scrapfest last year. Walking around the show floors you see what's hot and what's trendy in the industry. It also provides me a chance to visit my friends (and many of them have been my pals for more than a decade). One of my faves is Judith Kleinschmidt of Stamps by Judith.
3. Craft Magazines. I subscribe to Scrapbooks, Etc. I also love PaperCraft Inspirations, a UK publication that includes a free gift with every publication. That means I get to try flocking and stencils and pop-ups cards and all sorts of things.
4. Books. I love looking outside the papercraft industry for inspiration. Recently I bought Generation T: Beyond Fashion (120 New Ways to Transform a T-Shirt) by Megan Nicolay. Want a tee to transform? You can win a "Kiki Lowenstein Fan Club" tee at my blog. (Hurry. The contest ends August 15.)
Fiction continues to inspire me. I fell in love with Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica. Kathy not only delivers a fun story, she also reminds us that crafting is for everyone, no matter how we come to it or what we bring to it.
5. Craft Sites and Communities. A few of my favorites include Spotted Canary, About.com Scrapbook.com and Fiskars.
6. Craft Radio. I love Diva Craft Lounge Radio with Danielle and Rayme.
7. Doing it. None of this matters very much if you don't actually put it into practice. Crafting is like riding a bike. You could read a dozen instruction manuals, but you don't REALLY get it until you climb on and give it a whirl. I challenge myself to try new techniques. My latest album (shown at the top of the blog) celebrates the release of my dear friend Avery Aames' new book, The Long Quiche Goodbye, by using a round cheese carton. I paid homage to a food I love: TOMATOES. You can read more about it at my blog.