Monday, August 14, 2006

My Scrapbooking Story

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After hearing Cathy Zielske at the Crafting Connection in Wellington this weekend I resolved to put more storytelling into my layouts - so here is my first attempt and its a doozie _ I think its a bit overkill but I couldnt condense any further this story of how I got into Digital Scrapbooking - The Journalling in this 2 page layout ( the photo page is page 1) reads - My name is Lauren Bavin and I'm a Digital Scrapbooking Addict .
I live in New Zealand with my husband and 3 children, and, after the birth of my daughter in 2000 I felt the urge of creativity ( I had always been a crafty sort of person � you name it � Ive tried it � from knitting, to cross stitch and needlework, card making, paper tole, you name it � I've tried it.
I found though that with 2 growing school boys and a new baby daughter my time was a lot more limited than it had been and my patience levels were severely depleted.

Scrapbooking was a very new craft to New Zealand and there were very few stores but I did find some online sites where I could download clip art to cut out and stick into a photo album . I did 2 pages . I hated it � I hated to cut the photos. I hated having sticky hands . I hated that the quality of the clip art I downloaded was dreadful and pixellated when I printed it at high resolutions.

In early 2001 my husband bought me a digital camera . We were a one income family with 3 children and he couldn't afford a good quality camera. I loved the camera and that I could take as many photos as I liked without worrying about the cost of developing the film but the quality of the photos was not quite what I was used to seeing come out of my film camera.

I did a search on the net for ways to improve my digital photos and found a site devoted to something they called Digital Scrapbooking. Here the members were making their own graphics as scrapbooking backgrounds and elements and sharing them with each other . But even better � there was no cutting and gluing � no costly mistakes � it was all done on the computer.

I already owned Paint Shop Pro and my part time job had me using some basic functions of Photoshop, so I had all the tools I needed. I was hooked in hours .

I quickly became addicted to using Photoshop and learning the thousands of new techniques I could use to create my own unique backgrounds and embellishments.

I had been sharing my elements with online groups for several months and had made some really good online friends when 2 of us ( Kim Liddiard and myself ) who were volunteering as team members on a scrapbooking site wondered about the possibility of starting up an online store to sell our wares. Several digital scrapbookers had put out cds of their work but we thought that in this age of instant gratification that most of us would love to instantly download their purchases, and not have to buy a whole cd, but perhaps just enough to create one page.
Teaming up with the owner of the site we �worked� for meant that by October 2003 we had opened the first digital store that offered instant downloads. It was called Elemental, and we were the only 2 designers selling our wares there.
I thought that I might make a bit of pocket money although I really couldn't understand why people would pay money for a page kit when there was so much available for free on the net by then.

No one was more shocked than me when after a few months I was earning upwards of $US$1000.

Those days seem long ago now . In March 2004 I was approached by Margie Lundy and Amanda Behrmann who were planning a new digital scrapbooking site with a big commercial store, ( By now there were many online stores popping up on the net) and they had big dreams and strong goals for future growth and development.
It was a risk � I was giving up a nice little part time income for an uncertain future, but the dreams and goals of Margie and Amanda were shared by me and I jumped in with both feet.

The rest as they say is history. now is the biggest Digital scrapbooking site on the net. We have over 70,000 members and a very very active store . My $1000 a month has turned into an income greater than my husband earns, and I have made countless friends and best of all Im doing all this by feeding my passion and addiction. I still get a rush from seeing my layouts come off the printer. I still feel my heart racing when I create something in Photoshop that excites me, and best of all I still feel completely honoured when the members of our online community spend their hard earned money on what I've created �playing on the computer�as my husband still calls it!!!

In January 2007 one of my long term goals is going to be realised when I travel to Los Angeles to the CHA and I will meet up with many of the ladies I've worked with daily for over 2 and a half years without actually ever meeting. I cant think of many jobs that can fulfill such dreams as this.

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  1. Wow Lauren this is GREAT! A lot of people have dreams but only a few get to walk them out. Here's to you girl friend!!! Take Care -c-

  2. Mariquita9:14 am

    As I wrote in my e-mail earlier today, this layout is inspiring!!

    I hope something like this hapens to me one day.

    Hugs & kisses teacher!!