Wednesday, 31 January 2007

How do you scrapbook a bout of gastro?

'Cause the Junior Grendels are not being very photogenic this week and Junior Grendel Two has spent 48 hours throwing up at inconvenient moments (anytime he throws up it is automatically inconvenient!).

This leads me to ask a question of the scrappers who pass by this little window on my world - Do you scrap only the happy moments?

Surely some of the most important times we have are not happy, but should they be remembered in scrapbooks and how do you deal with reliving sad times while you scrap about them (or is the scrapping the therapy?)

I'd be interested to hear what people scrapbook about and why because for a non-scrapper it is often hard to work out why our beloved scrapper's scrap stuff.

On the scraproom front, I returned home from work today to find that Mrs Grendel has already measured up to room and started selecting items from the IKEA catalogue.

I'm starting to worry and the credit card has gone catatonic.

A Setback

As Commander-in-Chief of the Home Theatre forces defending the front room of Castle Grendel from the forces of Scrapbooking Room, it is my dire duty to report that a third faction has entered the fray and has currently gained the upper hand on the battlefield.

This third faction is a coalition comprised of Thomas the Tank Engine (and friends), Lego and Assorted Toys. Under the direction of Junior Grendel One and Junior Grendel Two, the Toy Coalition forces have deployed in strength and are currently holding a significant proportion of floor space. Scouts report that they are also making probing attacks onto the lounge and tables.

A squadron of recently arrived Cars led by the infamous Lightning McQueen have taken positions at the entrance to Front Room and have proven a hazard for scouts of Home Theatre forces and we understand that units of Scrapbooking Room have also fallen foul of their trap.

We are going to attempt to negotiate with the Toy Coalition to withdraw to their pre-play encampments but previous attempts to achieve this have been met with stolid refusal and occasional tantrums.

If these attempts fail, a temporary cease-fire between Home Theatre and Scrapbooking Room may be negotiated in order to clear the field and conduct a joint survey for future planning.

While not as well equipped as the Scrapbooking Room forces, the Home Theatre army is determined to stay the course and take the territory.

Field Marshall Grendel von Grendel
Commander in Chief
Home Theatre Faction

Monday, 29 January 2007

Be gentle - it's my first time. . .

Yes, every scrapper who reads magazines about scrapbooking has that first time.

The time that they see the layout they submitted in print, in the magazine for the first time. It is very important for the partner to get excited at that point and to make sure the scrapper knows just how proud you are of them.

Likewise it is very important for you to ridicule the self same editors when they fail to appreciate the stunning layouts and reject them for publication.

I have been fortunate - Mrs Grendel has a high degree of success in getting things published so I have not had to vituperate too much the editors of the various magazines to which 'we' subscribe.

Nevertheless I would heartily recommend that the scrapper's partner practice in front of the mirror for the day when you will have to release a stream of invective and curse the editor, their lack of artistic discernment and their probable character in order to support your scrapper.

Battle Manoeuvres

When I was growing up my father used to give me posters, stickers and plaques with pictures of people running up endless hills or clinging desperately to the sides of mountains.

The posters bore inspirational messages of the kind that forged financial empires in the early 1980’s so that they could collapse under the weight of their own debt in the late 1980’s.
I am sure many people would remember the kind of poster I am talking about. They had with messages like:
“The Race is not in the Winning but in the Courage to wear really short shorts while running”
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single argument about which way to go”
or even
“know your enemy, know yourself and the outcome will
never be in doubt”.
The last one I know is from Sun Tzu, and it is very true, I always knew who the enemy was and what they were capable of and the outcome was never it doubt because it was the same every time – knowing the enemy is no relief when the outcome is having the snot thwacked out of you.

Due to a youth steeped in these and other inspirational messages I have been duly brainwashed into not giving up easily, and in fact I am invigorated by the upcoming battle for the space that I one day hope will be graced with an obscenely large television screen - possibly when TV is obsolete and everyone else has moved onto holovision or something.
Mrs Grendel is buoyed by the prospect of a potential new scrapping space and is therefore well motivated herself.

This should be fun.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

A purple thing

Mrs Grendel has this purple scrapbooking thing.

Ha! I could start a hundred posts with that line and be talking about a different object each time.

Why is it that so many scrapbooking tools and things are purple? After all I thought that purple represents sexual frustration and you don't see De Walt tools producing hammer drills in purple plastic!

Anyway, the particular object I have in mind is called a 'Xyron' which I thought was a robot in Battlestar Galactica but apparently really is a purple sticker maker. That is, it is purple and makes stickers.

This is the coolest of the scrapping tools, as from time to time it allows me to make labels for my coffee when I have roasted a batch to give away as a present.

I know it is probably wide enough for scrapping but I'd love it if they made it a little wider for my coffee labels!

I still half expect that little slot at the front to start glowing red though.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Scrapbooking Daze

No, there will be no use of the word 'Daze' to pun on 'days'. I am referring of course to that malady well known to most scrapper's partners (henceforth abbreviated to 'SPs') where the scrapbooker becomes so engrossed in their scrapbooking activity that not even the archangel Michael sounding the trumpets of Armageddon could rouse them - and for a sincere atheist that has to represent a significant amount of distraction.

I know this to be true because I don't think it is too far a stretch between the outraged scream of a frustrated three-year old who wants a drink and the blast of a divine designed-and-built b-flat bugle.

The look of concentration on Mrs Grendel's face was intense as she went about her task of transferring layouts from a large pizza box (a staple of scrapper's storage apparently) to a new suede bound album (I have mentioned these before I am sure!).

It seems that there are some important rules governing how layouts are ordered in an album, but the rules defy any of the usual cataloging conventions and are as yet impenetrable to me.

Whatever guides the hand, the task requires intense concentration and I think if I had asked a question I may possibly have received an unrelated answer.

I must remember that next time I want to but a new coffee toy.

Friday, 26 January 2007

The battle has begun

Ah yes, the plans for world domination grow daily. "we just need a little more space" has been a catch cry of tyrants throughout history, and Mrs Grendel, while not a tyrant in the traditional sense, is making her best efforts to invade new territories in search of fresh scrapping country.

In our house this means that she wants to convert the front room to a scrapping room.

I wondered why she insisted on French Doors for the front room. I suspect she's been planning this for a long time.

The armies of "site of a future home theater" are fighting a desperate rearguard action, hampered by our total lack of anything remotely resembling a HiFi let alone a home theater system and my disdain for any of the current large screen plasma or LCD technologies.

I can see that for me, 'Home theater' may well be a set of headphone and a portable DVD player which can be conveniently relocated at short notice (along with me) if the space they (or I) occupy is required for scrapping.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Unrealistic expectations

Mrs Grendel has plans.

Her scrap room is not enough and she wants to expand. She sent me a link this morning to this scrapper’s photos, which are kinda cool I guess – great work area, heaps of storage, big wrap around desk, lots of room to hang stuff, all the paper racks you’d ever need. . .

A scrapper’s paradise really. Of course to create it her partner actually bought and installed an entire shed of substantial size on their property.

Mrs Grendel wants the same thing, and here is where we face some difficulties – first of all because I have a different vision for the room, and second because in order to deliver what she wants we need to either:

a) increase the size of our house by 20%
b) buy a bigger house
c) move the kids into the backyard
d) Employ some Timelords to create a TARDIS like enclosure where the space inside is larger than the space outside

Of the 4 options, option 'D' is the most practical.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

10 reasons

10 reasons you should be grateful they scrapbook.

  1. It gives you an excuse to upgrade your computer (photoshop will run so much better on that new video card!)
  2. An excuse to upgrade your camera
  3. You’ll need to buy more tools to help out with big scrapping projects
  4. It DOES shift some of those old family photos from shoe boxes
  5. If you develop Alzheimer’s Syndrome you’ll have an easy reference guide to friends and family
  6. It gets rid of any excess cash you had lying around
  7. It’s cheaper than one or two other hobbies
  8. Ok – I’ve run out reasons.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Maybe its a Perk?

I've been trying really hard to look at scrapbooking from the 'what's in it for me angle' and I have a little advice for other partners of scrapbookers.

Indulge the hobby.

If they aren't serious, sure you will have blown a lot of money, but then you can feel free to take up and dump and expensive hobby of your own without a huge guilt factor.

If it turns out that scrapbooking is a serious obsession then there is not much you could have done anyway. Keep the family scrapper happy. Keep the supplies of paper and product coming and establish a scrapping budget. At the same time establish your own hobby budget - even if you don't have a hobby the money will come in handy when Dana Darling or some other fabulous scrapping guru releases the latest in fashionised camera bags that are the 'must have' of the scrapping world.

Mrs Grendel loves hers. . .

Monday, 22 January 2007

Little things in jars

Our office (A.K.A The Scrapbooking Room) has two office chairs, two desks, one for the computer and one for scrapbooking. There is also a large built in wardrobe, 2 bookshelves and a pile of boxes.

Roughly calculating as I look around the room, I think 95% of shelving space is dedicated to something other than computing. At times if I swivel the chair just the wrong way it catches on these little basketty thingies from Ikea, and if I am really lucky the top corner of the chair (it is one of those high-backed ones) will gracefully fling the aforementioned Ikea baskets on a lovely arc across the room. This might be ok, except that the baskets are filled with, um, I am not even sure what to call these. There is one full of coloured paper clips, another with buttons, more with little words on bits of coloured paper (I really don't want to know what they cost) and then these other things that Mrs Grendel said belonged to somebody called 'Brad'. My naturally inquisitive nature ends there!

This does lead me to my next thought though. Twelve by twelve inch sheets of paper are pretty easy to take, as are sheets of photo paper, cutting mats, tools and sheets of rub-on alphabets. But why are there so many tiny little things that require so many tiny little jars. I now have fishing lures that have been evicted and are homeless, their previous lodgings now usurped by these bright happy pastel entities.

Where once serious sinkers and brassy swivels once rolled and chattered about deep sea adventures, now there are pieces of disembodied alphabet, or lilliputian envelopes and all kinds of miniature hardware items. It is like someone has created a tiny Bunnings (hardware/homeware store) and is still selling all the tiny items for the same price as the real ones.

But worst of all is when the corner of that chair catches basket holding the bloody things and I have to spend half an hour on the floor with Brad.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Quick and Dirty

The quick and dirty analysis of the survey is as follows.

Both scrappers and their partners think their physical relationship was better before the scrapbooking started.

Is this a 'scrapbooking' problem or a 'life change' problem - for that I'd need a second survey, but it is no coincidence that most people who take up scrapbooking do so after a major life changing event, commonly having children. This event is often disruptive to intimacy. Why just today I was telling Junior Grendel Number Two to "Stay out of mummy and daddy's room!".

It is also possible that scrapbooking fills some of the emotional needs of the scrapbooker by allowing them to relive some happy moments. Meanwhile of course the partners are left to sort out their own issues. Beer, golf or in my case Coffee Roasting come into play here.

A further point of interest is that most scrappers were turned on by frustration rather than by new toys. I'd also recommend intimacy as a method of breaking through scrapper's block (naturally I WOULD recommend this. . .)

While it was only a half serious survey, the responses were interesting and thanks to those who took part - I will discuss it further later in the week.

For many of us scrapper's partners it is pretty mystifying at first and I must confess that at times I have been a little jealous of all the attention that the new suede-bound album, or crinklecut thingy or Xylon or Basic Grey mega-ultra-scrapper-pack or even the latest issue of "Scrapcooking Memories" is getting.

Still, can't complain. When I am old and grey, there will be the suede-bound albums, testament to the wondrous qualities of the acid and lignin free sheets within, and the smiling happy faces beaming out from $30 a sheet pearl high coat photo paper will still be as bright as ever, even when I can no longer remember their names.

And I'll STILL be hoping she has scrapper's block today!

SEX - A serious investigation into the relationship between scrapbooking and the quality of the sex life of scrapbookers and their partners

Ok - seriousness was hardly my aim. For some reason the Survey Monkey controls are not working at I have OVER 100 responses (Hoorary) but since I promised to report once I got to 100 I will now provide a preliminary report of the survey.

There have been 120 responses to the survey so far.

There were:
  • 102 Scrapbookers
  • 16 Partners
  • 2 Nosy buggers who like to answer surveys

Of the 120 respondents:
  • 102 were female
  • 16 were male
  • 2 Skipped the question

responded to the age question with my ambiguous response of "Didn't you know it is rude to ask a lady her age?" and I may be wrong here, but I am going to interpret this as: 70% of scrapbookers are over the age of 30.

SO we have a group, largely female over the age of 30 - a group for which we already have extensive research about sex for later comparison. What fun.

I'll be a little more formal in detailing the rest of the responses.

Scrapbooking and Sex

How long have you been a scrapper or hpw long has your partner been a scrapper

Response PercentResponse Total

One month - I'm so confused!

6 months - tools are accumulating

12 months - I need a scrap room

2 years - I have a scrap room

3-4 years - I need another scrap room

Longer (Oh dear god it's been that long?)
Total Respondents 107
(skipped this question) 13
A fairly even spread across the medium to long term scrapping categories - an experienced group of scrappers you might say.

Frequency of sexual intercourse

How often did you engage in sexual intercourse with your partner before scrapbooking commenced?

Response PercentResponse Total

Many times a day

At least once a day

Several times a week

Several times a month

About as often as we get a bill from the electricty company

We have children
Total Respondents 106
(skipped this question) 14

REALLY interesting is the 14 people who skipped this question! Perhaps I needed a 'singles' category.

How often do you engage in sexual intercourse with your partner since you (or they) started scrapbooking?

Response PercentResponse Total

Many times a day (please provide photographs of layouts as proof you are ACTUALLY a scrapbooker/scrapper's partner)

At least once a day (same evidence as above)

Several times a week

Several times a month

Only when there is no product left in the house to scrap with
Total Respondents 106
(skipped this question) 14

Quality of sexual intercourse

Scrapbookers Only: Are you satisfied with your sexual relationship since you started scrapbooking?

Response PercentResponse Total


Total Respondents 95
(skipped this question) 25

Scrapbookers Partners Only: Are you satisfied with your sexual relationship since your partner started scrapbooking?

Response PercentResponse Total



oh god I can't even remember the last time we had a 'lay down' instead of a 'layout'.
Total Respondents 42
(skipped this question) 78

It's pretty obvious that some scrapbookers were answering on behalf of their partners here - naughty naughty!

Intensity of Sexual Intercourse (Lovemaking)

9. When you do have sexual intercourse to you find it is more intense if:

Response PercentResponse Total

A great new layout has just been finished

There is some scrapper's block going on and sex might be the solution

The scrapbooking room is finally finished

The scrapbooking room has just been tidied

You've just purchased a new 10 megapixel digital camera for the scrapper of the house

The non-scrapping partner has just paid for a scrapbookers cruise for the scrapping partner

Other (please specify)
Total Respondents 92
(skipped this question) 28

Now the 'Other' category had some great responses, but we'll cover those in another post - for now I'll let you drink in the uninterpreted data before I go to work on the analysis of what it all means.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Sex to go

Or is that 'Six' to go. . . Six more responses and I'll release the results of the survey in all their glory. I can tell you that the demographic is heavily skewed in one direction!

Crafty Women's Tips And Fiddles

Thanks to Chrissie at 'Life is Scrap' for the link to this very very funny crew in the UK.

Sex and Scrapbooking survey update

The survey has had 60 responses so far and the results are looking very interesting - 40 more to go and I'll analyse and post up the data!

Friday, 19 January 2007

Not tonight dear I'm scrapping

Ok, this somewhat delicate topic had to come up sooner or later.

Scrapping and Sex.

There are some enormous unanswered questions out there on this topic, so I have constructed a rigorous, and only slightly lewd and amusing survey on a quest to answer some of the really important questions about sex and scrapbooking.

The survey is at survey monkey - Click here to take the survey

I'm too cheap to pay the $19.95 fee for the professional level, so I can only get the first 100 responses - take it now to have your say!

Once the results are in - I'll naturally be making full disclosure right here!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

My Tools/Her Tools

Scrapbooking seems to require an inordinate number of tools. Some are familiar, like a small ball pein hammer, a hand drill, a punch or awl, but other are inexplicable, purple and green things with a handle on the side, or objects that appear to have migrated from that ‘3rd kitchen drawer’ where all the oddments reside.

From time to time however the tools that Mrs Grendel has are inadequate for the task at hand and she resorts to the part of the house to which I and my hobby have been relegated – the garage.

To be honest, it is not a tidy place, (wait for Mrs Grendel to stick some big ‘UNDERSTATEMENT’ sticker somewhere here) but it is well and truly my domain – this has been made quite clear to me. Somehow though my tools seem to make transit to the scrapbook room, sometimes temporarily but seem appear to have made their final journey and are now in a ‘Hotel California’ for tools.

I’m not too worried, I know where they are when I need them, but occasionally Mrs Grendel needs not only my tools, but me to operate them. Most times I am happy to help, but one project nearly cost fingers to prepare.

Scrapbookers sometimes go online (yeah ROFL – ‘sometimes’) and do stuff together – even these time-challenge things where one person says “lets all make this – you’ve got 15 minutes” and all of a sudden this great panic is on to make this ‘thing’, not a layout but this board with paper stuck to it and a photo all decorated with (OMG) slices of toilet roll inners (the cardboard bit from the middle).

Mrs Grendel of course wanted to get the jump on the others in the challenge so she got me to get the scroll saw fired up so that I could provide here with a collection of these little cardboard rings sawn from toilet rolls.

“Here’s two toilet rolls” she say, “I want you to slice them up”
“In half?” I ask dubiously.
“In slices” she says, “five millimetres each”.
“Now understand” I said slowly and carefully, “that to slice 5mm slices from these flimsy cardboard rolls I will have to have my fingertips only 5mm from the blade and the only thing between my fingers and the blade will be the frayed edges of the piece I am cutting.”
“OK” she said smiling winsomely at me.

Let me provide a little advice at this point to both scrapbookers and scrapbookers husbands. To the husbands:

  • Do not attempt to cut rings from toilet rolls with a scrollsaw – it is very hazardous.
  • If you must – hold the cardboard with something other than your fingers
  • A cling wrap roll is more substantial (and longer!) so you only place one set of fingers at risk.
  • Hide the fact that you have powertools if at all possible.

To Scrapbookers:

  • Yours is a wonderful hobby, but I am not sure that asking us to risk life and limb will help you to progress to scrapbooking greatness.

Nevertheless, the task was completed, and white and shaking I retreated inside for a restorative drink while Mrs Grendel completed the challenge. Fortunately as she also blogs I can snitch the picture right off the web to post here:

If you want to read her side of the event (as it happened), well you can find that here.