Sunday, January 25, 2009

Scrapbooking... polymer clay...a blog at 66

Here's where it all starts. First blog. At age 66.

And here's how I got here:

A while ago
I (or, rather, we, Kittie and I) made a living with stoneware clay. With the effort, I bought a house, a car, then supported two kids.

We did OK, but burnout finally got me some time in 1979. Experimental glazes failed and I didn't have the trouble-shooting skills to determine what was going wrong. My standard glazes became boring.

I noticed more and more how hard it was to drag 50-and 80-lb bags of clay and minerals down into my basement shop. It was ever harder carrying 20- or 35- or 50-pound ware boards up the back stairs to my kiln. It became harder and harder to keep concentration during the 18 to 24 hours to fire the wares. You get the picture. I burned out.

From there it was freelance writing... a strange group it was, but then I'm strange, so it worked out, for a while... then corporate life, then magazine life (the most satisfying and engaging of my careers), then high-tech startup (back to strange), then advertising agency life (where I finally took a graduate degree, a veritable PhD, in strange workplaces), then... back to freelance writing.

Freelancing never boring

No, it wasn't anything you're likely to know about, unless you are deep into manufacturing, plastics production and formulation, and a few other arcane subjects. But it is never boring.

The need for graphics in magazine articles and brochures led me to acrete various graphics programs. I passed on the biggies (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator) unless a client would cover the cost of the software and opted for 2nd tier offerings (Corel PhotoPaint) and free.

With a sort of background in design and handwork from clay, and a fair grasp of graphics program operation, I idly played around in off moments. But nothing really gelled.

After discovering polymer clay (a mere 70 years or so after its invention in the 1930s), I began playing with it. I thought I could just carry over my mineral clay experience, and still take advantage of the color and capabilities of polymer clay, but I've never progressed past the for-personal-use stage. Probably won't. Doesn't matter.

In which our blogger discovers scrapbooking

Then I discovered scrapbooking because my daughter Jennifer had done some outstanding books. She uses real paper and real objects and puts together real albums.

From there, I discovered digital scrapbooking... a perfect use for all the skills I developed dabbling in graphics software. No harm to trees. No big bucks for punches and tools and papers and embellishments.

Ways to assemble digital scrapbooks were all over my computers. Adobe InDesign, Serif PagePlus, Microsoft Publisher, Mediachance Real Draw Pro, even PowerPoint and Word. But they had drawbacks, one or another.

Then, in 2007, Scrapbook Max ( somehow came into my purview, and I downloaded and tried it.

I'll have more to say about Max on other days. It does some very sophisticated stuff with minimal hassle.

Anyway, bottom line, here we are.

We'll be producing some embellishments, papers, shapes and kits over the next little while. There will be a store sooner rather than later (still deciding between etsy and eCrater).

History, grungy, nostalgic-romantic

I've decided on a style, more history than cute, more grunge than daylight, more nostalgic-romantic than edgy.

Watch for freebies

Freebies will be available through this blog -- and now and again on the Embellishments forum in the Scrapbook Max community site.

Anyway, welcome to my world.


  1. Welcome to the bloggin world Dave! Even at 66, you can find FUN in all things, heck I never thought I would do it at my ripe old age of 44...LOL Anyway...wanted to wish you all the best in your new adventure!!! BLOG AWAYYYY


  2. Hi Dave,

    Came across your blog because you responded to me at (I'm the rookie who asked about creating digi-kits). :)

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your path from clay-manipulation to pixel-manipulation.

    We each have a story to tell and I enjoyed reading yours.

    Thanks for creating a blog and, especially, for giving me advice on starting to create digi kits.

    I have discovered DSP ( and thought I'd share the URL with you in case you wanted to check it out.

    Thanks again!