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Keep up with the scrapbooking world through our news and articles. We will help you out of that scrapbooking rut or just teach you something fun and new! Don't forget to subscribe to our fabulous newsletter. Each week we will be giving you an update on fun new products and great deals. We will also be keeping you in the loop through articles and blogs on the latest and greatest ideas for scrapbooking.
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How do I remove old photos from one of those sticky magnetic albums?

February 22nd, 2007

Question: Robin,  I have some old photo albums that my grandmother put together years ago. She used those sticky albums with the plastic paper that covers them. I am having trouble getting the pictures off the page. Could you please tell me how to romove these without damaging the photos? Thank you for your help.
Answer: There are many ways that archivists mention to remove the photos. The most effective for me has been using a hairdryer to heat the paper just long enough to melt the adhesive.  This should allow you to peel the photo off - sometimes a spatula or knife can help lift the photo without damaging it.  Microwaving works too if you can do one page at a time.  Try it at 5 and 10 second intervals to prevent damaging or burning the paper or photos.  If these ideas don’t work, I found some great tips from  We actually sell the adhesive remover mentioned by the article. It works wonders as well.

What is a good way to store old photos to be easily viewed, but prevent damage or loss?

January 8th, 2007

Question: I have read the info you have written in your newsletter regarding photo preservation and UV protection and found it to be helpful. I would also like to know if could recommend a product that would serve as a good storage type media and still allow the photos to be easily viewed and handled without presenting any risk of damage or loss. The photos I am referring to were taken in the 1940’s.

Answer:  The first thing I would do is make sure you have scanned these photos to prevent further loss or damage.  If you don’t have your own scanner, most photo processing places have one that you can use to scan in your photos and burn them to a CD.  As for a product to use to display these photos, I would use any photo album that is acid free.  If the sleeves are not the size of your photo (I know a lot of older photos come in different sizes than albums now.)  My favorites are those that look good on a coffee table. I have some of the leather ones from American Craft.  They come in sizes like 9×9 or 12×12.  Always make sure those precious photos are inside page protectors! That way people can view them and they won’t damage them.

Ask Robin: How do you protect photos against yellowing?

December 27th, 2006

Question: Hey Robin, I wondered what you would suggest to perserve photographs.  Is there somthing to spray on photograghs/pictures to help keep them without “yellowing”  Thanks for your time.

Answer: I have answered your question in our latest newsletter .  Thanks for the inspiration.  Specifically for your yellowing question, you can use some of the sprays I mentioned.  The yellowing effect that used to happen with our ancestors photos, will have a lessened effect nowdays as we try to use acid-free papers and inks.  If you store them well and follow the advice I gave in the newsletter your photos should stay vibrant for years to come.



Newsletter - Top Ten Ways to Preserve and Protect Your Photos

December 27th, 2006

Dear Scrapbooking Gang,

I hope everyone was able to have a wonderful holiday.  Holiday memories need to be preserved - along with all those other photos you have taken over the years.  I have had a few questions lately on my “Ask Robin” blog about preserving your photographs and if there are any scrapbooking supplies that can be used to help those photos last longer. 

Photo preservation is a huge topic out there, especially because many of us have seen our ancestors’ photos yellow or deteriorate over time.  So what can we do as scrapbookers to keep that from happening?  Along with being a scrapbooker, I am also a photographer by trade and have some experience in this area.  I have put together a list of the top ways that will keep those photos preserved for years to come!

1.  Use acid free everything on your scrapbooking pages.  Yes, acid free is a big deal.  Many of those photos you see that have yellowed, cracked, or faded have done so because of the acid in the paper used and the acid in the albums they have been kept in. 

2.  Use sheet protectors to separate photos.  Even if you never scrapbook your photos, you should always keep them separated and protected.  Also, why print a photo if you are not going to look at it or reminisce?  If you haven’t scrapbooked the photo yet (and don’t plan on doing so within the next few years), putting it in a photo album with acid free sleeves is the way to go.  Stay away from any of the sticky albums that use adhesive to hold the picture down or are “magnetic”.  These albums tend to be highly acidic and dangerous to photos.

3.  Print photos on ”permanent paper” or paper that is acid-free, lignin free, and pH neutral. Just check the labels before buying paper - even some photograph paper isn’t suited for long-term photo preservation.  Of course, if you have a store or company print them, you shouldn’t have to worry.  But you may want to ask about the paper they print on and the ink they use to make sure it is acid free.

4. Use acid-free ink with your inkjet for printing photos.  As a general rule, most inkjet printers use acid-free ink, but some do not.  Make sure you check with your manufacturer to see if their ink is acid free.  Many companies also make statements about their ink and how fade resistant it is.  If you do use an inkjet printer and want the images to stay vibrant - keep all images out of direct light and keep all images away from water or liquids.

5.  Acid-free photo boxes can be safe as well.  Just keep in mind that photos can stick together if moisture gets into them.  The best way to preserve them in this method is to separate them with acid-free envelopes or sleeves.

6.  When labeling photos, always use acid-free ink and/or labels.  Most regular ballpoint pens can eventually bleed through your photos or onto other items.  If you will not be scrapbooking your photos, an acid-free, smudge proof pen/marker would be the easiest option.  And if you are like me (overly organized and neat), you can print onto acid-free labels and adhere them to the photo.

7.  Coating your prints with veneers or sprays can be a solution - especially for those photos you have on display.  For example, I have a family photo that has been framed without a mat and glass for protection.  I had it sprayed with a UV protection spray (UV resistant fixative) at my local photo lab (not all labs will do this), but you can buy the spray at photo supply stores or online.  I have had the photo on the wall for 4 years now and there doesn’t appear to be any fading and it can easily be wiped down for dust particles.  I have also found some water-based varnishes that do a similar task and are also supposed to protect against the yellowing effect.  I found one at . Although these topcoat sprays and such are a solution, many of the product labels say that they are not a permanent protection, but they can help your photos last longer and protect against some environmental factors.

8.  Always keep a copy of your photos on other types of media.  After I have printed my photos, I always burn them to a CD or DVD.  Although there are some critics out there that will argue that CD/DVD’s won’t last forever, I believe that if needed in the distant future, I can convert my CD into whatever the new media is at that time.  I then store these photo CD/DVD’s in protective cases and boxes (make sure to label them!).  As a scrapbooker, I also like to include CD’s with some of my scrapbooking layouts - especially if I took 100’s of photos for one occasion and don’t want to print all of them.

9.  Give copies to other people!  If you have a flood, hurricane, fire, etc. there really is no way to know if your photos will survive, unless you have shared them with others.  Go photo-happy and send your photos to relatives and friends.  I know that my mom has sent most of the kids in the family treasured photographic prints and CD/DVD’s with photos and recordings.  If she were ever to lose her treasured memories in a fire, she would probably be able to recover most of them from us.  Don’t have a lot of family and friends (I sure hope that is not you!)? Another option is to use an online photo storage website.  There are many free or very inexpensive sites out there - check out,, and  The great advantage to these sites is that you can share your photos too.

10.  Store your scrapbooking albums, photo boxes, digital media, and photos in environmentally safe places.  Remember that light, moisture, and temperature can harm your photos. The garage or cold storage room may not be the best place for your photos.  A dark closet that keeps the same temperature most of the time would be a better choice. 


Latest and Greatest - Product of the Week

Since we have been talking about photo preservation, I though it fitting to highlight some of the new products out there that can help keep your scrapbooking alive from generation to generation.

Preserve It - Digital Photo and Paper Protectant Spray ($7.99)


More than doubles the life of your digital photos and prints. Moisture-resistant, UV protection against fading, acid free and archival safe. Use this unique spray to add a layer of protection to any item printed by your computer, fax, copy machine or other digital product. Also great for traditional photos, address labels, greeting cards, scrapbook materials and artwork. Your presentations and important documents are less likely to become damaged with a coating.

Archival Mist or Make it Acid Free Spray ($5.99)
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This acid-free spray comes in many sizes. Spray on your treasured keepsakes and momentos that are not printed on acid free, safe paper…and you’ll prolong their life for years to come. (I use this on newspaper clippings and kid art projects that I want to save in my scrapbooks.)


Keep those photos super cute AND protected so that everyone can enjoy you and yours for all future years.  Have a happy New Year!



P.S. Don’t forget – if you have questions about products or scrapbooking ideas, email me or check us out at

Action Photography

September 13th, 2006

Of all the kinds and styles of photography being practiced today, sports photography is probably the most exciting—not to mention the most difficult—of all. Since this kind of photography involves so much speed and action, photographing the subjects or players would require more than the usual knack for good angles but also the strength to endure physical limitations during the shoot.

Sports photography usually include shots that are taken during the game or while the subjects are in their respective field. Aiming to “freeze” moments during the actual event, sports photographers should be equipped with the right photography equipment, trained with enduring tenacity, and fueled with an overwhelming desire to capture each moment and emotion at their best.


The best thing about sports photography is that the photographer can freeze a single moment that contains pure and raw emotion and share it with the public in print. If you’re into photography and quite interested in taking adrenaline-pumping shots, you should familiarize yourself with different kinds of sports first. Since each sport varies, the styles and techniques used in capturing and freezing each moment also vary.

If you are already in the field taking photos, it is a must that you have a brief background about the sport you are covering. Knowledge in the fundamentals of coaching style, sport rules, and players will help you identify their most interesting angles. It is also a must to identify your “safety” (a shot that is easy to shoot and can be published if you don’t get good photos all throughout).

Here are some basic sports photography guidelines fit for common sports:

1. Baseball. Most seasoned sports photographers would agree that baseball is one sport that is hardest to shoot because of its unpredictability. Make sure that you get your safety first before getting experimental shots.

2. Basketball. Unlike baseball, this is the easiest sport to shoot because you only have to focus on two subjects: the player who handles the ball and the net. But its simplicity limits you to different angles, so make sure you get plenty of shots to choose from.

3. Football. This is another easy sport to shoot but it is considered as the most equipment intense sports because it would require waiting for the perfect shot. Although it’s easy to get safeties, it’s still up to you to produce action shots that would be a stand up.

4. Soccer and Hockey. Because of the speed and sudden movements involved in these sports, auto focus cameras are recommended.

5. Volleyball. Although it is one of the rarely covered sports events, volleyball is also one of favorites because dramatic shots can be derived all throughout. Since moves in the sports are quite tricky, make sure that you turn your camera’s auto focus on.

6. Golf. It’s hard to shoot photos during the game due to the nature of the game itself. What you can do is to camp at one location and take shots as players pass by or use a cart to follow the individual players.

7. Track and Field. Though access can be limited, this is one sport that is fun to shoot because movements are predictable and easy to shoot. All you need is good timing.

8. Gymnastics and Figure Skating. One basic rule in these sports: NO FLASH. Since they involve individuals performing, the use of flash is restricted because it distracts the players. The major problem you’ll encounter is lighting but this can be solved once the venue is lit up.

9. Motorsports and Racing Events. These are fairly easy to photograph because you can get away with slower lenses. But since you’re far from the track, you need longer lenses for the shoot.

This content is provided by Low Jeremy and may be used only in its entirety with all links included. For more info on photography, please visit

Summer Photo Taking Tips

August 28th, 2006

“We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave.” No doubt you are one of many in our nation trying to get through a long hot summer. Well, take heart! There is one activity which will not only give you pleasure, but memories to last a lifetime. It’s time to take out your new scrapbook, dust it off, and add new pages of photos to it. Use a photo tip in the next section to make sure you are capturing the best summer pictures ever.

Summer yields a myriad of opportunities. Photograph your favorite flower, plant or tree. If you enjoy the beach or pool, flash the splash! Take different shots of children at play using color and/or black and white. Dare to be different!

If you enjoy early morning walks, take your camera with you. Whether you walk around Central Park or simply around your own block, nature has a way of revealing the minutest detail of summer to you. Capture it!

Here are some photo tips:

•Use a digital camera so that you can edit your photos on line. If a digital camera is not available to you, use a standard camera and have plenty of film and batteries on hand according to the camera’s specifications.

•Keep an account of where you took the photos so that you will be able to label them in your scrapbook.

•When taking pictures outdoors, stay away from direct sunlight as it will result in shadowed photos. Overcast days are ideal for picture-taking.

•Experiment with close-ups, i.e., zoom in - zoom out.

•Use light and dark to give your photos perspective. Indoor picture-taking also allows you to experiment with light and dark…flash on - flash off.

•When traveling to any local or foreign destination include scenic photos of waterfalls, the local streets, people, rock formations, beaches, towns, historic landmarks, etc.

•When taking a picture of a friend or loved one in front of an historic setting, stand as far back as possible so that the entire backdrop is captured. Take a picture of a sunset. The colors derived from it can never be duplicated.

•Be creative! Photography is quite subjective. Only you know what appeals to you. Enjoy the experience.

Now that your photos are ready for the scrapbook, begin to improvise on how you wish it to look. Use pastels or textured paper for summer photos. There are many scrapbook sites online that give you excellent ideas on how to set up, maintain, and enjoy the process. Memories last a lifetime. Ensure that your photos last as well. Remember, the world consists of objects and colors with which you can begin to compose the painting in your mind’s eye.

Vera Raposo has been scrapbooking since her oldest child was 5. With tons of scrapbooking tips and ideas, Vera is now sharing some of her best scrapbooking ideas on her radio show at

Creating Photographs for your Scrapbook

August 23rd, 2006

Once you begin scrapbooking, you begin to see photography in a whole new light. When I created my first album I realized that my photos always had way too much space that was not part of the picture, meaning too much sky, or too much grass.

Now, one of the joys of scrapbooking is that you can cut away all of the excess sky, or all of the excess trees, however after you begin your first scrapbook you begin to take pictures a little bit differently. As you look through the camera lens, you begin to see the scrapbook you’ll be making.

You’ll also to begin thinking about a “story” or a theme. I know for me, I take more pictures now, however where I used to take 5 shots of the same thing, I now take 5 shots of a whole story.

I also tend to take my camera to more places now, knowing I want to preserve the memory. It’s fun when folks ask me if I’ll share my photos, since no one else thought to bring a camera to a particular event.

If you are using a digital camera, you can view your picture immediately and determine if this is the picture you want. You then have the opportunity to either retake the picture or if you like the picture but see a lot of “waste” you know you’ll be able to cut it out prior to putting the photo into an album.

After you upload the photos from your camera, you can then print them out on photo paper, which can be purchased at any office supply store.

So, the next time you take out your camera, ask yourself what pictures you envision in your new scrapbook.

Audrey Okaneko has been scrapbooking for several years now. You can reach her at or

More Great Photograph Tips For Your Scrapbook

August 21st, 2006

It’s actually easy to take great photographs by using the following tips:

1. When taking photos of people, forget their legs and feet. Look at their face. Unless the purpose of your photo is the outfit itself, concentrate on the shoulders up.

2. When traveling, capture signs that show where you are. When you begin making your scrapbook, it’s wonderful to have a photo with the name of the building, or the explanation of the statue.

3. When possible, don’t shoot into the sun. Try to have the sun behind you, if possible.

4. Look at your subject eye to eye. Photos taken eye to eye come out much nicer than the ones where you shoot from above or below the subject.

5. Candid pictures are often cherished more than posed pictures. For example, if your child is playing a game, shoot the photo while the child is playing instead of trying to have the child strike a pose.

6. Take 2 or 3 shots when photographing people. Sometimes people blink or don’t smile just right. If you take multiple shots, one is bound to be great.

7. You can sometimes avoid the red eye in photos by having people look just a bit left or right instead of right at the lens.

8. Look at what is in the background. Plain and simple keeps the focus on the subject.

9. Remember, scrapbooks are stories. Is there a story associated with the photo you are taking? If so, take photos of the other subjects in the story.

10. When there are family dinners, birthdays, or holidays, take photos of everyone there. Life changes, relationships change and it’s really nice to have photos of everyone.

11. Take photos both horizontally and vertically. You’ll be amazed at how different the two photos are.

12. Buy a disposable underwater camera. These photos are a great addition to your scrapbook and show a very different perspective.

13. If you are on the beach, put the date and location in the sand, then snap the photo.

14. Do you have four seasons where you live? Snap photos of the same location during all 4 seasons. Show how the grass and trees change as the seasons change.

15. If you paint your home, look at old photos and take new photos of the same location.

16. Hand a camera to your children. They see things a bit differently and their pictures are great additions to your scrapbook.

Most of all have fun!! Scrapbooks are an individual and unique creation. Whatever you put into your scrapbook, will be treasured by you and by those around you.