Check It Out: Enjoy your time off with some scrapbooking

Cooking, traveling, shopping ... it can be overwhelming. So why not take advantage of the long Thanksgiving weekend and spend it scrapbooking? Scrapbooking is a fun hobby that lets you take all those photos of family, friends, pets, vacations — you name it — and put them together in a personalized, creative way. And you don't need to be an artist to make great scrapbooks.

There's lots to be had for the scrapbooking enthusiast at the Newport Beach Public Library. Enjoy movies and fiction that feature scrapbooking, and of course, a great selection of nonfiction how-to books.

In the romantic comedy "New in Town," Blanche (Siobhan Fallon) asks Lucy (Renee Zellweger), "Are you a scrapper?" when Lucy arrives in a small Minnesota town. Scrapbooking is a minor part of the movie but it's really cute, especially for "scrappers." One of the special features of the DVD is about the "The Folk Art of Scrapbooking."

Fans of the cozy mystery genre may enjoy the "Scrapbooking Mystery" series by Laura Childs. Set in modern-day New Orleans, the series' heroine is a scrapbook shop owner and amateur sleuth. Familiar New Orleans motifs such Mardi Gras, zydeco music, and voodoo shops abound. The newest title in the series is "Fiber and Brimstone" and other fun titles include "Tragic Magic" and "Death Swatch."

Now let's talk about the how-to scrapbooking books. The Newport Beach Public Library has many titles to choose from. Here is a selection of some particularly fun and useful ones.

For a basic introduction to the hobby of scrapbooking, try "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Scrapbook Projects Illustrated" by Allyson Bright. This book is easy to use, and covers all the basic terms and supplies that one needs to get started, along with ideas for projects and different themes for scrapbook pages.

Don't know the difference between embellishment and embossing? "The Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking Tools and Techniques" by Susan Pickering Rothamel is a great resource for the myriad of scrapbooking (and general paper crafting) terms, utensils, and methods. This book also goes into the history of scrapbooking and highlights some of the designers that create the products scrapbookers use. Plus, the hundreds of illustrations can serve as inspiration for layout ideas!

Both "Scraptastic!: 50 Messy, Sparkly, Touchy-Feely, Snazzy Ways to Jazz Up Your Scrapbook Pages" by Ashley Calder and "Fabrics & Florals: 100+ Ideas for 'Dressing Up' Your Pages" by Jill Miller are super sources for ideas to personalize scrapbook pages in creative ways. They provide instructions on different techniques and lists of the materials needed for each layout. Materials such as gold leaf, different types of paint, various fabrics, buttons, and much more can be used to add dimension to scrapbook pages.

A couple of the most popular themes for scrapbooks are baby books and family history books. Either one can seem like a daunting task. To look for a place to start for ideas for these projects, try "Scrapbooking Baby's Cherished Moments: 200 Page Designs" by Rebecca Carter and "Scrapbooking Your Family History" by Laura Best. Each book provides ideas for layouts and materials that are particularly effective in bringing these types of scrapbooks together and making them special and unique.

Let older children in on the fun with "Scrapbooking with Your Kids: The Ultimate Guide to Kid-Friendly Crafting" by Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Magazine. This book presents ideas that kids can work on too, bringing their own creative spirit to scrapbooking projects. As with the other books, necessary tools and materials are described. However, it's not just all about scrapbooking but features other paper crafting projects such as minibooks, a decorated jar and a party set.

Happy Thanksgiving, and happy crafting. Be sure to scrapbook those Thanksgiving memories!

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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