At the end, I thought "hey, this is pretty good!" and thought it might be helpful to some of the people that follow my blog, but aren't current scrapbookers.
So, here it is, in it's very raw form:
Sorry this is so late in coming....
Okay, the jist of it is, if you want to keep this an affordable hobby, you have to simplify. Ditch the idea of using ribbon - unless you want to tie it in your hair! LOL
Before I was a digital scrapbooker, I didn't use 3-D products at all. They bulk up your albums and that is not a good thing. They are pricey, and they cause you to spend way too much time putting a page together.
First, I want to recommend the book Photo Freedom. You can find it on Amazon and sometimes Barnes & Noble. This will really help you to see your pictures and not be overwhelmed with thinking you have to get them all into scrapbooks. Not gonna happen, so don't sweat it! You have more important things to do - like take care of your family and scrapbook! LOL
You want good albums - this is your most important investment. I would recommend Creative Memories albums and pages. Everything else can be purchased elsewhere although CM does have good products. They also USED to promote the idea of simplicity, but I think they have really gotten away from that.
This is my favorite adhesive:
But in truth, anything that is acid free from Walmart works fine. Also the liquid mono-adhesive is really great! http://www.funkyplaygrounddesigns.com/store/product.php?productid=989&cat=35&page=1
You can find these things at Hobby Lobby.
Paper and stickers - stick to acid free and you'll be happier if you get something that looks good to you and you don't just buy something because it matches your theme. So, if you are scrapbooking a circus page and you find circus stickers, but you don't LOVE them, don't use them - don't buy them! Instead, find some bright geometric shapes or something, because you are more likely to use them and like that page later than if you just used the tacky stickers because they had a clown on them! Make sense?
Copying is the NAME OF THE GAME in scrapbooking. There is no reason you have to pull out all the stops and try to be creative here. Your son will love looking at his scrapbook if you actually put it together and he won't care how "plain" it is, or what you used on it. Don't sweat it. Grab a copy of a scrapbooking magazine at Hobby Lobby or B&N. Find a layout you like. If it is of a little girl's first birthday, but you have pictures of your son's first camping trip, you look at the general layout of the page - where she placed the pictures, where she placed the paper and stickers and you use what you have and place it similar to where she did.
When you get better at "scraplifting" you can flip that page on it's side and use it as a guide that way - giving you a completely different look.
And if you have a local scrapbook store or creative memories consultant, there is nothing more fun than gathering together with some friends and putting some pages together. They are there to help you if you get stuck - which you won't if you read above and take my advice - and it's just fun to show off your creations and have everyone oooh and ahhh.
I have put together about 20 scrapbooks over the last 9 1/2 years and I can truly say that your child will find so much joy in seeing those pictures.
Now, I'm just going to touch a little bit on journaling... DO IT! That's where you write about the picture. Here are a few simple prompts to get your mind to going when you look at the pictures. Who? When? Where? Why? When you get more comfortable writing you can say how you were feeling that day or "It was such a bittersweet day to see him graduate from Kindergarten. I was excited he was growing into a big boy, but I was sad it was happening so quickly." You also don't need to write about every single picture. If you are putting a page together of some time ya'll spent at the playground, it will be OBVIOUS that he is sliding or he is swinging, etc. On this type of thing I would focus on writing something like: DeSoto Creative Playground September 2009 The truth of the matter is that I needed a break from the house, so we packed up a lunch and headed to the playground. It was a nice break for both of us. He played while I sat down on the bench to read xyz.
It doesn't need to be hard! Really! Just get started and you will see. Don't let perfectionism creep in either. You don't need to make prize winning pages or write novels. These books are for you and your family. If you make it too hard, you won't do it and that would be sad. :(
I hope this helps you get started. Let me know if you have any more questions and thanks for giving me the opportunity to share about something I really love!
Your old (and getting older!) friend,