What if Scrapbooking is dead? Other uses for Tools and Supplies

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This article is written by  Ann Strecko Koeman

While I attended the last Craft and Hobby Association Conference and Trade Show in Anaheim, California in the United States, I often heard the following phrase:  “Scrapbooking is dead.”  Now, I also heard several people bemoan that statement and even express complete denial, while others nodded in agreement and expressed their own agreement.

Crop bag with Scrapbooking tools and supplies now used as Mixed Media tool kit

Although I do believe that the commercial and retail aspects of selling scrapbooking supplies has reached its peak and is quickly declining as so many fads do, I don’t believe it will completely disappear.  After all the concept of collecting and cataloguing memories in paper form has been around since the invention of paper, it also continues to be essential to our existence and to the history of our future generations.  Although the accumulation and collection of memories is done differently these days and appears to be the wave of the future.  We take a lot more digital images now and record a lot more of our experiences, we just do it differently.

So what are we to do with all of those tools and supplies we have invested in over the decades?  I say, keep them and use them.  If however you have chosen to completely give up on anything handmade then please send your unwanted tools to another loving home.  But if you are reading this, I gather that you still have a love for the handmade process.  Mixed Media artists now is the time to take advantage of all those clearance sales and cast offs of unwanted scrapbooking tools.  Just because a tool or supply is marketed to be sold in one market does not mean it cannot be used in another.  Over the years I have collected a variety of skills and thus a vast collection of tools including an overpriced collection of intended for scrapbooking tools.  I am keeping my best tools for my Mixed Media work.  As a Mixed media artist any supply is game and any tool is game.  I will use my straight edge 12 inch trimmers, my punches, and even my page layout guides in my art.  I still need to cut things, make shapes, and those plastic page layout guides, well they make great stencils!

Mixed Media Art background made with the help of Scrapbook doodles templates and punches

As for all those 12 x 12 papers I have collected, they are great in mixed media making, especially in making my own books.   so are those stickers they make great masks.  All those embellishments are just that, embellishments.  I am also hanging on to my old scrapbooking supplies and tools because I am way behind in my memory album keeping.  For example I have yet to finish my now 18 year old son’s baby album!  In the mean time I am having fun collecting more of my neighbours unwanted  out of date scrapbook papers, and buying out lots of discontinued embossing folders at low prices.  Scrapbooking may be a dying fad but Mixed media art making is very much alive.

Art journal page with layer of scrapbook paper fussy cut images and die cuts


Ann loves to collect and organize as many tools and supplies as possible because she is always making things.  Incredibly she finds a use for most of her collections.  She enjoys making Mixed Media Art because it allows her to use all her skills and collections.




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There’s a Rainbow in My Paint Box

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This article is written by Tamara Dinius

A rainbow lives in our mixed media art supplies and we will be better artists if we learn how to use the colors effectively. Even though there are few guidelines for the mixed media genre of artistic expression , we will have greater success with our art if we become acquainted with our materials.  Over the years I have taken numerous classes in watercolor, acrylics, and oil painting. In each of these classes I have been encouraged to create color wheels and charts to understand how variances in brands of paint can give different results.   I have also found the same to be true with many of the mediums used in my Mixed Media artwork.

The below photos illustrate the opacity and intensity of the following brands and products.

1) Derwent Inktense Block

2) Derwent Inktense Pencil

3) Derwent Watercolor Pencil

4) Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Aquarelle Artists’ Crayons

5) Liquitex Ink

6) Dylusion Ink Sprays

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her Derwent Inktense blocks

First wash of water. The vibrancy of the Derwent Inktense Block is the most intense while the Caran d’Ache does not retain as much of its vibrancy.

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her Derwent Inktense pencils

Second wash of water. Again the Derwent Inktense Block retains the greatest intensity. The information received from this will help to determine what product will give the result we are looking for.

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils  (your preferred palette of colors)

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her Derwent Inktense blocks (Primary colors)

Creating a swatch chart using preferred colors and brands of paint can also assist the mixed media artist. It is far easier to view your swatch chart when looking for a particular green than it is to mix and remix your paint.

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her Derwent Inktense blocks

This color wheel has been created using primary colors of designated paint brands.

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her range of paints

A floral painting and the associated color wheel.

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her paints on plain mixed  (Plain Mixed Media Paper)

Tamara Dinius has fun with colour and her paints on mixed media paper with gesso (Mixed Media Paper with Gesso)

I recently completed a chart of Dylusion Sprays on plain mixed media paper and another one that was coated with gesso. It was surprising to see the difference in intensity on the two separate pages.  It is quite noticeable with the Lemon Zest and Chopped Pesto.

I encourage mixed media artists to create color wheels and charts of their products. Not only will this assist you when creating your art, but if you take it with you on your shopping trip it may also eliminate duplicate purchases.


Tamara Dinius lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and chocolate lab. She has two grown daughters who make her life meaningful. They support her, ground her, embrace her, and are amazing people in their own right.

Her love for mixed media has taken over most aspects of her creative journey. She believes mixed media allows for a broad range of styles and anyone can find success in this form of artistic expression.

You can find more of Tamara’s work, and on her website www.countrycraftersusa.com or via her Facebook




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