I am slowly launching ScrapBiz into Australia this year. We already have some relationships set up with vendors are have one ScrapBiz member. It's been kind of fun since I LOVE Australia - I spent 2 months there while in college and it's a beautiful place. Anyway, I wanted to see what was going on in the scrap world down-under so I went to Barnes and Noble and found that they had Australian Scrapbook magazines. I picked one up and it ROCKED! It was so refreshing to see a different take on scrapping. There was definitely a slightly different flavor in the magazine. It wasn't nearly as slick, packaged and ultra-commercial as US mags. It was more "real". I found some really great ideas in that magazine! I think it cost me $9, but it was worth it. It sort of jump-started my enthusiasm for scrapping again.
I think I am a bit jaded by the whole industry anymore. I don't respond to the fads and my scrapping tends to be the same no matter what. I think I had lost a little of my creative edge because, while I get nearly every US scrapbooking magazine there is, I tend to think of them as just "more of the same" - slick layouts, professional photos (which I HATE FYI - show me layouts with real, run-of-the mill, average photos!) and techniques like cross-stitching titles that I would NEVER in a million years take the time to do. In fact, about 5 years ago, I emailed one of the big mags to complain about the OVER-THE-TOP techniques (I think someone had CROSS-STITCHED their entire background - YIKES!). I said that it didn't show me anything that I could use to enchance my scrapping. It just made me feel guilty for what I wasn't doing. They emailed me back and said that their magazine was not meant to showcase every day scrapping but to show how to create that one, fabulous keepsake page. HUH?! So, I was paying 25 bucks a year so I could find ONE idea I might do because it would take me an entire year to complete that page? I still chuckle over that - but I think it's true. I can't help but look at all the published layouts and wonder if that person's books REALLY look like that on every page? I think there are our "everyday" pages and then there are our "wanna get published" pages. Although, I would imagine that you would NEVER get anyone who seeks to get published to admit that - LOL! They want you to believe that EVERY PAGE in EVERY BOOK is that involved.
Speaking of that, I DID enter ONE contest about a year ago. I scrapped a page about a kitchen I had remodeled. I SEWED LITTLE CURTAINS for a journaling pocket that mimicked the curtains in my kitchen. I spent HOURS and HOURS hand sewing embellishments for that page. Then I sent it off (you HAD to send the original) and LOST! Now I want my page back!!! I mean, I HAND-SEWED CURTAINS for that!!!! Can you tell I'm bitter - LOL! Never again... :-)
Me at the Kangaroo Park near Sydney in 1985 (where did 20 years go???)