featuring guest mystery authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, February 6, 2012

CRAFTS WITH ANASTASIA-- GUEST SCRAPBOOKER MOLLIE COX BRYAN


Mollie Cox Bryan is a food writer with a penchant for murder. Her first mystery, Scrapbook of Secrets, was just released, and I’ve invited her here today to talk about scrapbooking. Read more about Mollie at her website and blog.

Mollie is giving away a copy of Scrapbook of Secrets, along with a scrapbooking kit, to one of our lucky readers today. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing. -- AP

One of the best things about being a crafter of any kind is the ability to use a skill to give a gift that has meaning—even more meaning because we make it with our own hands. I know some of the best gifts I’ve ever received were of the handmade variety. Scrapbooking is no different than quilting or knitting, in this regard. You can make any number of gifts with the scrapbooking hobby. I’ve made gift scrapbooks—one for my mom about her life, another for my niece who was getting ready to go off to college. It was full of photos of her growing up, peppered with advice from me about the college life. But it doesn’t have to be a whole book. It can be one page—suitable for framing.

 To do a page like this, gather the photos, embellishments, paper, and so on, keeping the person you’re making the page about in mind. For example, for my daughter’s thirteenth birthday, she wanted to see a Broadway show. She has high hopes of pursing an acting career. So, when I went to the supply store, this is what I was attracted to. Aren’t the stars fabulous?

I liked this photo because you could see the city behind her so I tried to find paper that would suit. It’s okay to play like this with paper. Just have fun with it. When I begin a page, I often switch around to find the right paper. I didn’t like either of these:

  
For my taste the page turned out a little busy, but it’s perfect for her. It’s really who she is—what she likes and the page is for her.

One of the things I wanted to point out about this layout is the “journaling” piece, which in this case, is just your basic “this is what we did when Emma turned 13.” But you can get really creative with this part of it. Initially, I wanted to list 13 things I love about Emma. But the page stated to look too crowded. I hardly ever stick to my plans—it’s just the kind of crafter I am. I find that for me it’s important to have a plan as a sort of guideline in my mind—but it hardly ever works that way.

You can purchase scrapbook page frames and give this as a gift—and for my just-turned thirteen-year-old—it will hang on a wall, which will look out over her very messy room. But it will be something she might have for the rest of her life. That thought warms me—the messy room, not so much.  

Scrapbook of Secrets: Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mum in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can't help but feel that something's missing. But she finds solace in a local "crop circle" of scrapbookers united by chore-shy husbands, demanding children, and occasional fantasies of their former single lives. And when the quiet idyll of their small town is shattered by a young mother's suicide, they band together to find out what went wrong...Annie resurrects her reporting skills and discovers that Maggie Rae was a closet scrapbooker who left behind more than a few secrets - and perhaps a few enemies. As they sift through Maggie Rae's mysteriously discarded scrapbooks, Annie and her "crop" sisters begin to suspect that her suicide may have been murder. It seems that something sinister is lurking beneath the town's beguilingly calm facade - like a killer with unfinished business...

scrapbooking kit giveaway
Thanks for joining us today, Mollie! Readers, have you ever done any scrapbooking? Ever wanted to? Let’s hear from you. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for Mollie’s giveaway. -- AP

25 comments:

Cynthia said...

I love to scrapbook. Usually I scrapbook when I have an unlimited amount of time, so vacations are best for me. I scrapbook the big events of my life like our wedding and now the birth of our baby. Thanks for the book drawing.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink(dot) net

Yetta said...

Your book sounds nifty.
Please enter me in the drawing

mollie bryan said...

Hi Cynthia and Yetta, thanks for commenting. Scrapbooking on vacation is a great strategy. Or just a weekend at home when you don't have much else scheduled. Once again thanks for commenting. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I have made a couple of scrapbooks --- from trips my husband and I have taken. Was fun and I enjoyed it muchly, would be fun to do a different kind and the book sounds great!

Janet said...

I'm looking forward to reading your book. You don't need to enter me in the drawing - it's on pre-order for my Kindle already. Best of luck.

jeff7salter said...

Your book's plot sounds like a very interesting premise.
My wife and daughter have done a lot of scrapbooking and card-making, among many other creative endeavors.
I'd love to win that kit to give my wife.

wfnren said...

I did scrapbooking when I was younger, but it was nothing like what people are doing today. My daughter does scrapbooking today and loves cozy mystery's too.

wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

mollie bryan said...

Thanks for all the kind remarks about my book--and for ordering it Janet. Woo-hoo!Yes, @wfnren, scrapbooking has changed a lot over the years. but one of the great things about it is the variety. You can still get the old-fashioned scrapbooks and do it that way. I confess that I have several of those myself. Today, some scrapbooks just do digital. So it really runs quite a gambit. Thanks everybody!

Penny said...

I enjoy card making and often use design elements that I see people using in scrapbooking. Thanms for the chance to win!

molliebryan@comcast.net said...

Hi Penny! You're right. Cardmaking and scrapbooking often have the same elements. And I love the ATC cards, too, very similar techniques. Thanks for posting.

traveler said...

Scrapbooking always was appealing to me. When I was young I always had a scrapbook which was a treasure for me. It contained memories from vacations, live performances and important events. Your book sounds fascinating.

petite said...

I think that creating a scrapbook is special since it is very meaningful. I saved important articles and intersting tidbits from reunions, and trips that I cherish now.

mollie bryan said...

One of the things I hold dear is my Grandmother's scrapbook from when she was a young woman. I agree. Scrapbooking is a very meaningful hobby. Thanks for commenting.

Kathy said...

The best scrapbook page I've ever done was to commemorate a trip to New Orleans for Mardi when I was eighteen. I like to do vacation scrapbooks.

Track Potato Lady said...

I love all paper arts including scrapbooking. I love combining different techniques particularly mixed media. I enjoy making all types of papers. I love VA and would love to win the book! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Tried it once, it was fun! Need to do it again.

boots9k at wowway dot com

mollie bryan said...

@Kathy yep, scrapping is great for keeping those vacation memories. @Track Potato lady, this book is VERY Virginia. ;-) And @boots9k, it is fun and I'm glad you enjoy it. Thanks so much for commenting!

Babs in Alabama said...

I keep picking materials up when they're on sale and in my mind I know what I want to do but have only make a few cards and NO scrapbooks.
Loved this post and will check out your website, Mollie
Just got Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun.
would you enter me in the drawing?
thanks,
Babs

Lynden Blossom said...

I have Scrapbooked for many years, as Another of my many creative penchants/hobbies, for gifts and for 'business' - I was blessed to even have been the Personal Archival Preservationist (Professional Scrapbooker) for a famous Celebrity Family for the past 2 1/2 years! Quite an eye-opening experience, but mostly enjoyable... I continue to Scrapbook, have been a Guest Designer on a few sites, teach, make Altered Items and share them all on my FB and Blog - I am working on setting up a website, also. Thanks for the opportunity/chance to win this book! ;-}
Lynden
http://aneleganttouch-lynden.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/An-Elegant-Touch-/162889457132788

mollie bryan said...

Babs, good luck. I hope you find the time. It's such a rewarding hobby. Lynden, wow, what an interesting gig--scrapbooker to the celebrities. ;-)

pennyt said...

I tend more to needle crafts than scrap booking, but liked the idea of a "one page scrapbook". And I love mysteries, so please enter my name in the drawing. thank you.

pennyt at hotmail dot com

Dru said...

I would like to try scrapbooking one of these days.

Congrats on tomorrow's book release.

Jane R said...

I put my first scrapbook together when I was still in grade school. It was just pictures in a simple album, but that must be where it all started. I really enjoy the whole exercise of organizing photos and then choosing and putting together that special page or series of pages. I don't get to do it nearly enough, but your post has given me the motivation to make time for one of my favorite activities. (and I'm looking forward to reading your new book, too!)

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Thank you all for stopping by yesterday and giving Mollie such a warm welcome. The winner of the book and scrapbook kit is wfnren.

Brandie said...

Scrapbooking is dangerous! I've gone from scrapbooking to little craft projects to sewing! No, I love to scrapbook and give personalize gifts. Great post!