Scrap It Real

scrapcolumn.jpgNew Column!

When we first started 5 Minutes for Mom, I hoped to devote some of the site to scrapbooking. I love scrapbooking and definitely wanted to add that element to our site.

So I am just jumping with excitement to announce that Tasra Dawson, professional scrapper, speaker and author of Real Women Scrap: Create the Life and Layouts You’ve Always Wanted, is joining the 5 Minutes for Mom team as a columnist for Scrap It Real. (Scrap It Real will run twice a month on Fridays at 5 Minutes for Mom. To kick off the column, Tasra is giving away five autographed copies of her award-winning book. As well, If you click on the link to Real Women Scrap – you can buy her book for $5 off!)

Transform Your Life With Scrapbooking?

realwomenscrap-cover.jpgIn her unique book, Real Women Scrap, Tasra seamlessly weaves the lessons she has learned from the scrapbook page into real life lessons for today’s modern woman. I love this balance of personal growth with scrapbooking lessons. Tasra’s insights make scrapbooking come alive in a whole new way – the most fun therapy I can imagine! Each chapter focuses on essential scrapbooking tips and techniques and then helps us to incorporate those lessons into our own daily lives.

Real Women Scrap’s magic works for those of us who are looking to restore balance and focus in our lives. Because of the marriage of scrapbooking techniques with practical lessons and inspiration, this book is perfect for all busy women…from brand new scrappers to addicted veterans. Real Women Scrap is a quick read that will enlighten and motivate you – and give you a great reason to fit scrapbooking back into your schedule!

Tasra will officially start the Scrap It Real column in two weeks, but today we get to hear a bit more about Tasra’s personal journey and the motivation behind her work with Real Women Scrap.

Janice: Tasra, in the beginning of Real Women Scrap, you reveal your own struggle with an overcommitted, stressed out life that ultimately led to a health crisis. Could you share with us a bit here about your personal journey and why you decided to write Real Women Scrap?

tasra-photo.jpgTasra: Well, journey is definitely the right word…maybe even adventure. Five years ago my life looked like most women’s lives…overloaded, overscheduled, and overwhelmed. I was running through my life busy, but not really doing the things that I was passionate about. Instead I was making myself sick by not taking care of my basic needs—eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep. You know what I mean. I’m not unique in this.

So many women just get bowled over by pregnancy, motherhood, and life that it starts to erode everything that they know and love about themselves…one day they look up and wonder who they are and how they got the life they’re living. That was me, but not anymore. By applying the principles I talk about in my book, things like planning, focus, and perspective, I was able to quit a stressful job, write professionally, and begin speaking and coaching women across the nation. I’m now living a life that I never dreamed possible. This past year I’ve been on TV four times…this shy, introverted young girl who once ran out of a class crying rather than get up and speak. It’s been an amazing transformation in my life. And it is possible for all of us to live our dreams if we will take the time to slow down, listen and reconnect with ourselves.

Janice: Personal growth can be even more daunting than an empty scrapbook page! And as moms, everyone is pulling us in every direction. Sometimes it feels like there is no way to heal ourselves. How can we start to restore order and balance into our lives when we barely have time to shower?

Tasra: I know all about not showering because I currently have a busy toddler at home, and I was a single mom for seven years. But the truth is that we will never find the time to do what we want and need, we must make time. Real Women Scrap not only provides practical ideas for how to find yourself again and take back your life, but also gives women the inspiration and encouragement to want to do it. Without that motivation, all the practical knowledge isn’t going to help. It’s truly written from the standpoint of someone who has been there and is right there in the trenches still. I’m a real woman, wife, and mom who has found some answers through her own struggles and journey and was so compelled by my own life change that I had to share it with others to offer hope and inspiration for their future as well.

Janice: I love that you have been in that place before – and found a way out! And the stories you share in your book really help motivate and inspire us moms to also establish some boundaries in our lives. What is your favorite lesson that scrapping has taught you? How do you keep the lessons you learned fresh and not slip back into your old patterns of living?

Tasra: Two tough questions. My favorite lesson that I’ve learned from scrapbooking is to find your focus. That’s why I always say “Keep it simple and find your focus” at the end of each Real Women Scrap TV episode. Finding my focus has always been a struggle. Growing up I was a jack of all trades, but master of none. I envied the girls who focused on one particular skill, like music or dance, and excelled at it. I flitted back and forth from one thing to another because I had so many interests but never really refined my skills the way I would have liked. Moving forward in my personal life and my career, I constantly remind myself to “find my focus” so that I don’t dilute my time and energy with too many things. One way I do that is by remembering that everything does not have to be done today or even this year! Sometimes as moms it feels like we’ll be consumed with our children forever, but we won’t. Other times we wonder if we’ll ever reach our goals, and we will. But, everything has a time and if we can identify what our focus should be at any given moment we will be much more present and successful in everything that we do. And we’ll enjoy it more to boot!

As for not slipping back, I already admitted that I’m as real as they come, so I’ll just be honest and admit that sometimes I do slip back. I start to work too much, stay up too late, stop exercising, and on and on. The key is that I always get back up, dust myself off and start again. The reality is that I know the lessons and practice them the best I can given the circumstances. When I need a reminder, I pick up my book and read. Yes, in fact, I read my own book to be reminded and encouraged to take back my time, do what I love, keep it simple, and stay connected to who I am. I’ve had other readers who told me that they too use my book as a workbook. One woman even had the cover laminated and got it spiral bound so she could take notes and really use it in a practical way that worked for her!

Janice: Tasra – could you let our readers know a bit about what they can look forward to with your new column Scrap It Real?

Tasra: With Scrap It Real, I’m going to keep it simple—simple projects and simple lessons. That doesn’t mean plain or boring, just not overwhelming or time-consuming. I’ll be creating and introducing scrapbook and other creative projects that anyone can create (yes, anyone). Even if you aren’t a scrapbooker or don’t consider yourself creative, I hope to spark your interest and creativity with some super fun projects to try at home. Along with those projects, I’ll also be sharing inspiration, encouragement, and a healthy dose of seat-kicking (as needed) to help you along the road to creating the life and layouts you’ve always wanted!

Janice: Tasra thank you for chatting with us today – and for joining the team at 5 Minutes for Mom. We are so thrilled to have you!

Tasra: Thanks to you for inviting me to be part of your team. 5 Minutes for Mom is such a valuable and encouraging resource for women that I’m excited and honored to be part of this amazing community of powerful, beautiful, and fabulous women!

Remember to join Tasra in two weeks for the beginning of Scrap It Real.
To enter to win one of the five copies of Real Women Scrap, just leave a comment on this post by next Friday, June 22. In your comment, let us know your current level of scrapbooking experience, what you most want to know about integrating scrapbooking with life, or any other question or thought you have for Tasra. And if you have never scrapped in your life – no worries – Real Women Scrap is a great place to start! (Canadians are welcome to enter too!)

As well, you can find Tasra everyday at her fantastic blog, Lessons from the Scrapbook Page.

Thanks also to Shabby Miss Jenn Designs at for the digital image in our Scrap It Real button!


  1. says

    I’m excited for this column as well. I have yet to join the scrapbooking craze. But there is never a better time to start than the present since I have 4 kids in my house and am starting to take a ton of pictures with the digital camera. Now I just need a place to store them, besides on the computer. Thank and I look forward to reading more!

  2. says

    Sounds like a great column; I’ll read it with interest. The book also sounds fabulous. I have a great big bag full of scrapping materials, things I’ve collected … all sitting, peeking out from under my bed. It’s overwhelming, not just because I’m 17 months behind, but also because I have TWO babies to scrap for. It’s daunting, to say the least. I have time now, but am just over my head with where to begin. I guess my biggest question is how to do it as cheaply as possibly, but not skimp and look cheesy — for two or more children. I like to keep their identities in their books as unique as they are.

  3. says

    I look forward to reading your new column. I too LOVE to scrapbook. I scrapbooked for about five years straight and then ground to a halt after our move two years ago, never to get going again. I have recently pulled all of my stuff out and put it on the table, but there it sits, mocking me, while I try and carve out a niche of time when I can focus on it long enough to get my creative juices flowing again.
    I struggle with trying to keep books for both of my kids, while feeling that I should have a family album as well, since most events and experiences that are photographed include more than just one person.

  4. says

    Well, I take it as a “sign” I should enter this one…June 22nd is my birthday and I LOVE to scrap! So there ya have it…I’ve even looked at buying this book at Books a Million before. Thanks!

  5. says

    Oh my gosh! I am so excited for this new column. Yippee!!!

    You know, I’ve been scrapbooking since I was about 12. That would be 14 years now. It’s almost scary to me to think that in all that time I never made a connection between scrapbooking and day to day life. It was always a way to make my family history more interesting, or to record major events. In fact, I haven’t done much scrapping at all over the last couple of years, mostly because I haven’t felt the passion about it that I once did. But since I’ve been reading more about how people are scrapping day to day things or just creating for the sake of creating and not to record any particular moment I get more and more excited to actually get to work again.

    Tasra, I hadn’t heard about your book until now, but it sounds amazing. It is totally something that I think I would try to devour in one sitting and then refer to again and again. I am really looking forward to your challenges and can’t wait to try them out. I will definitely be watching for your posts here and have bookmarked your blog so I can check that out too.

    Jennifer Lavender

  6. says

    Hi there! So…scrapbooking, huh? I actually LOVE scrapbooking, but haven’t had any time since we’ve gotten married to do any! I did a bit when I was in high school…but that was mainly with things like construction paper and markers! hehe :) Anyways, I figure that if I take a TON of pictures now, I can make them all into scrapbooks someday when i have the time! I would love to learn more neat tips and ideas about scrapbooking though!

  7. says

    Oh, count me in on this one! I’m excited about the column. I’ve gotten my first daughter’s book done. Yeah. BUT, two children came after her, and I haven’t done theirs yet. It’s hard to find the time to devote to it. And organizing all those pictures. Oiy!

  8. says

    Experience? Virtually none at all. I like using the pre-designed albums. It makes it really easy for me. I love taking pictures though. I can’t wait to see this column in full swing. 😀

  9. says

    I am a beginner scrapper….I love working on digital scrapbook pages….but I would like to learn about scrapbooking outside of the computer…but simple ways…not to feel so overwhelmed with all the gadgets and such out there…
    This is great….looking forward to the column….

  10. says

    so interested in the new column and this book! I so need help finding focus and with a new grandchild on the way… I need to find focus fast! lol. I scrap digitally but… haven’t in awhile. Get me back on track please! :) Thanks!!

  11. says

    I’ve been scrapping for almost 5 years now, although since I had a second child I haven’t scrapped as much as I would like to. I have trouble narrowing down the literally thousands of photos I take to which ones I want to scrap!

  12. says

    I have been scrapbooking for about 3 years now, and it is my passion. I family just bought me a brand new Nikon camera today, so I would love to know how I can find the time to scrapbook with 4 children!

  13. says

    This is a great idea. I’ve been scrapping for almost 9 years. Not much to show for it, though! :)

    I’d love ideas on setting up a small scrapbooking space and simple layout ideas.

  14. says

    How great! I’m looking forward to this – I’ve been “seriously” scrapping for about 6 years now, although in high school and college I kept a non-archival-safe notebook of memories/ticket stubs/newspaper clippings etc.
    Hmmm… integrating scrapping w/ life? I’d want to be encouraged to get to my scrap desk and even if all I have time for is one page, then to do it when I can… to get in there and get up to date w/ my first child before I have a second! :-)

  15. says

    Goodie! I can’t wait. I have loads of scrapbooking materials but I don’t really know what to do with them. I’ll sit down to create a page and then just sit not knowing how to start. I guess I just want simple layouts, without to much ‘fluff’, but still something that is interesting to look at. My one real achievement was creating books for my grandparents that had pictures of my children with them individually. I kept the same colors throughout and wrote only one or two sentences on each page. The sentences told what qualities or characteristics were shared. For instance, my 3rd daughter and my grandmother both love to quilt, are short and have the same nose. It was a huge hit, and everybody was amazed that I scrapbooked. I guess I had them fooled because that is honestly the only thing I’ve really done. I’d love to do more and create beautiful books for each of my 7 children. Any little advice would be very helpful!

  16. says

    I have been trying to get into scrapping for the last couple of years. I have so many supplies yet, I still don’t know where to begin. I try to get inspiration from all the books a and magazine but I need creative help. I’d say I am still beginner even though all the scrap stuff I have would say otherwise.

  17. says

    Ohhhh….my favorite hobby! This would make a GREAT addition to the scrapbooking room I’ve been blessed with in this house :o) I can’t wait to read the new column!!

  18. Aunt Morgan says

    I’ve been a “tape-it-in” kinda of scrapbooker for years now, but am just now starting to use pretty paper and design layouts. :) I love to look at what other people have done!

  19. Sherry says

    Delurking to say:
    1. I love reading your site!
    2. Do I have to blog to be entered?
    3. I LOVE scrapping! I think of it as modern day quilting (time spent with family and friends), since I scrap with my 2 sisters and/or friends most of the time. I have been doing it for years, but my favorite projects have been: a vacation album, wedding album (and one for my MIL), and school albums of the kids I teach. I would love ideas on how to be a better “finisher” of projects, and I look forward to reading the new column here.

  20. says

    Looking forward to the column!! :-)

    I started scrapbooking 10 years ago but can’t seem to stay with it like I want to. I will go months without doing a thing…then I will start up again. I am not sure why I do this because when I am scrapbooking, I enjoy it so much. I would love to hear more about how to make scrapbooking simple and how to fit it into my day.

  21. doverdi says

    Tasra, I have been faithfully reading your blog since discovering it and can’t wait to read your new column Scrap it Real. I’ve been scrapping for about 3 yrs now and did take a 2 yr break when I discovered stamping. I did continue making mini books, etc but just neglected my layouts. Lately, I’ve been back into scrapping with a vengence & love all the changes that have occurred in just that short period. I started scrapping after an auto accident left me unable to work. So much has changed in my life since the accident and now that I am unable to do a lot of the things that I use to do, I needed to feel good about myself. Scrapping has given me a way to feel creative, keep my mind occupied, feel good about myself, meet new people and most of all keep busy. I don’t feel sorry for myself having this outlet. Since my son is now 21 and yes, most of those years I have been a single mom and had to make the struggles that all single parents deal with. My son always came first and now that he’s 21, I can start doing things for me. The one thing I find difficult is having so many years of his life to catch up on with scrapping that I have yet to find a system where I can feel good about completing a year of his life in an album. I seem to bounce all over the place. (It doesn’t help matters that I have 5 of the most beautiful great nephews and nieces that I am scrapping too lol). Any tips or ideas on how to organize things so that I can accomplish catching up on 21 yrs of layouts would be appreciated. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity, time & talent with us.

  22. says

    This sounds like a fantastic column! I’ve been scrapping for 9 years now. I have yet to find the balance. I’m either scrapping all the time or never. This book sounds like a great read for me!

  23. says

    Ive been scrapping for about 7 years now, although i have taken most of this year off. Life just get in the way sometime. I think it is so much fun. This book sounds wonderful.

  24. Caryn says

    I first started scrapbooking after I took my first trip to Europe. I actually didn’t follow any books or guides. Rather I just arranged pictures how I liked them and started adding captions and other collectibles/memoirs related to the picture. I recently am getting into photobooks and that type of scrapbooking and would love to know more about using Photoshop although I know this isn’t traditional scrapbooking.

  25. says

    I first started scrapbooking 2 years ago and did a 35th Anniversary book for my parents. Since then we have become licensed foster parents and I have done 2 books for all the kids in our home. (1 for us and 1 to send with them). I really want to learn how to be more creative. It seems that each book I do is a “copy” of the previous book with maybe a few minor color changes and different kids in the pics. I think this book would be a GREAT help!
    A question I have is where do I start in teaching my 6 yr old how to scrap….she wants to help make her own book?

  26. says

    I love to scrapbook, but I certainly don’t have the skills that I would like. I’m dying to learn about integrating scrapbooking with life. My interest is definitely piqued!

  27. Dianne says

    Sounds like an awesome book! I’d love to win one, but will have to buy it if I don’t. I’ve been scrapping (very on & off) for 11 years. I’m really looking forward to her column. 😀

  28. says

    I love to scrapbook and was doing even before it was such a popular thing! I am waaaay behind right now, though. I am a stay-at-home mom who homeschools so I never seem to get around to doing it anymore.

  29. Monica says

    I love forward to seeing this column! :) I love scrapbooking and try to crop at least once a month out of my crazy schedule. I have an awesome hubby, three kids and I commute to work (1.5 hrs) each way. Please enter me for a chance to win the book! :)

  30. says

    I’ve been scrapping for almost 10 years now. I’m really excited for this column & love Tasra’s blog! I don’t really have any suggestions, everything so far has been great! I’d love to win a copy of the book :)

  31. says

    I looking forward to this new column. I started scrapping in 2003 when our first foster child joined our home. I’m good at having my digital pictures printed but need to work on getting pages done. My lil’ man was born in December of 2006 and I haven’t done any pages since then =(


  32. says

    A few months ago I found watched a Scrap TV interview with Me Ra Koh. And I am hooked! I coulnt wait to start scrapping when my son was born, but its easier said than done! I should probably be scrapping now 😉 Cant wait for the column!!

  33. says

    I got addicted to scrapbooking and cardmaking a few months ago and since that moment I can’t stop and live without it!I love it and currently try to make true my big dream of becoming a designer. The interview and short review of the book make me want to read it immediately – it seems to be what I really need now. And I’m sure I’ll be checking on Tasra’s lessons here – can’t wait for that – when is the first one?

  34. says

    I’ve been scrapbooking since 1998, and continue to enjoy the hobby tremendously. I am interested in the life principles of staying focused and things like that that you mention. I’ll look forward to hearing more!

    The book sounds terrific!

  35. says

    I haven’t scrapped since getting married–almost 7 years. My photos are piling up (and now I have a bunch on the computer). I need HELP!

  36. says

    i love scrapbooking. i just wished i had more room to lay everything out. recently i created a scrapbook as a yearbook each of my two schoolaged children. for my daughter’s i worked eight hours from 9 AT NIGHT all the way, without looking at the clock or stopping till 510 IN THE MORNING. once you get started, there’s really no stopping or it won’t ever be finished!!

    haha. so i guess you can say i’m a “skilled” scrapbooker. i do have some a couple unfinished albums though….

  37. says

    I love to scrapbook. I currently am on a design team at a local store. I feel it really gives me my ‘me’ time; at least once a month. My husband and I decided golf was his and mine was scrapbooking. I run a business from home and have a 3 year old and a 7 month old. I would love to read her book and look forward to her/your new column! It may take me 5 months to get through the book!LOL!

  38. says

    I love to scrapbook! I think this column is an amazing idea, I have alwys loved reading about women scrapbooking, and I would love more insight on joining scraping with everyday life. Right now I scrap about my daughters, I do a scrapbook for each year of their life. I started 4 years ago when my oldest daughter was born, I have taken many classes and gone to a lot of scrap groups to get better. I haven’t scrapped in a year though, and I am really behind, I would love this book to help me get better, and read other peoples insipirations.
    I have gone all day and night scraping. Once I start it is so hard to stop. I know when it’s quitin’ time though, my pages tend to get quite borning, and then I loose all train of thought and need to stop. I LOVE to scrap and I think every woman out there should scrap! I have quite a few unfinihsed books, like my wedding book, and my children’s from last year. I have a HUGE pile of pictures forming and need a little inspiration to get started again!

  39. says

    I’ve been scrapbooking for a couple of years but I do very little. My biggest problems are finding the time to do it, and coming up with something different. All my pages look alike and are very boring. I don’t have the money for specialty items so it’s paper, stickers, diecuts, stamps and a pen. I print things out on the computer but none of my stuff is 3-d. I’d like to know more ways to make my pages more interesting without needing expensive doodads.

  40. Jill H. says

    I’ve done some scrapping over the last 3 years, but I still feel like a beginner….I’m especially interested in ways to make beautiful pages without breaking the bank!

  41. says

    I love to scrapbook, but ever since my youngest (soon to turn 1) was born, I just can’t find the time! Instead I have pictures piling up with post-it notes for captions. I’ve tried digital scrapping but it wasn’t as satisfying for me. I’ve been scrapping on and off for about ten years now.

  42. says

    Looking forward to the column! I’ve been scrapping for awhile now but my biggest challenge is finding the time to do it. OH and figuring out how to organize all of my things so that I can get to what I want easily and quickly.

  43. says

    I have been scrapping for about 5 years… My challenge is to find the time to scrap.. I have a need to want to make my pages beautiful, but don’t have the time, and I have way to many pictures. I feel like I will never catch up. I am sure this book would be wonderful for me.

  44. says

    I am very excited about the column! I love the website, and try to watch all the webisodes.
    I have technically been scrapbooking since I was a little girl – putting captions below pictures, saving everything in one of those old-fashioned scrapbooks. But I have been officially scrapbooking with REAL supplies for 9 years now. I’m not an expert, but love to try new things.
    My biggest challenge right now is time – how to fit it all in and what to focus on. I have so many ideas in my head that I find it hard to get them out of my head and into pages! I go in spurts – scrapbooking nonstop for days, and then nothing for weeks. I’d like to be more consistant. And, I keep collecting stuff and not doing anything with a lot of it. I need to know how to use up stuff I have and make it work!
    I’m looking forward to the column, and thrilled abou the chance to win this book!

  45. says

    I am exited about this column. I don’t have much scrapbooking experience. Years ago I purchased some scrapbooking materials and did a few pages in an album, but most of my pictures are shoved in boxes in my basement. I have been looking at a lot of scrapbooking ideas lately and can’t wait to get my pictures organized and start putting them in albums so my family can enjoy them.

  46. says

    I would soooo love this book–I’m an advanced scrapper, but in the past 2 years with the extremely premature birth of my Daughter (Born 4 months early) and all of the medical issues and therapies she has to go thru each week, I’m totally MISSING my scrapping, so much so, I don’t know if I still have Mojo to create. I think Tara’s book could really help me get a grip on it all—Can’t wait for her classes to start here!!!!

  47. Elaine says

    I am looking forward to getting some focus in my life and scrapbooking. I have been collecting scrap supplies for about 9 years…I just haven’t been too good at making time to use them. With 3 children, I have alot of pictures, memories and started projects, now I need some help to pull them all together. In Septemeber my youngest daughter will be heading off to kindergarten so I feel like I am at a good time to make some changes…and get focused!! Looking forward to the journey!

  48. Ramie says

    As a SAHM of 2 (ages 4 & 1) and wife to a deployed-more-often-then-not Sailor, I’m always trying to integrate my scrapping into daily life. I need the break, I need the sanity it gives me, and I love it when I get it…but I often find myself struggling through the day doing all the mundane things we have to do, and then being so exhausted at the end of the day that I can’t hardly scrap. I’m loving life, except that scrapping is missing from it! I hope to find my focus soon!


  49. Teri says

    I am looking forward to the column. I’ve been a scrapbooker for almost 9 years, pro-photographer for over 20 years. Lots of photos scrapped but still lots more to go. I, too, struggle with the “gotta get it all done now” issue. Can’t wait to read your suggestions. Thanks!

  50. says

    Oh this is so exciting! I am a scrapbooker who really needs to find more time… sigh. Don’t we all! I can’t wait to read the book and the column! Woo hoo! I started scrapping traditionally and am now primarily digital. I really would love to sneak some more time in for scrapbooking – between my two kids (both special needs), work, home, etc that always goes by the way side. :( I would LOVE to find out about hybrid projects that I can sneak into my day. Any thoughts on that?!?!? Thanks Tasra – looking forward to this.

  51. says

    I started scrapping last year for my boy. Lots of ideas but limited time to scrap :( I hope that Tasra can give pointers on how to fit in/re-arrange my life to do this wonderful hobby!

  52. says

    Ooh.. if it’s not too late, please enter me into this contest! I’ve been collecting materials since our wedding 8 years ago, with grand intentions. I have completed 4 pages in my daughter’s scrapbook.. she’s 20 months old. And I am terrible about taking pictures, but not getting them printed.

    Looking forward to this column!

  53. says

    Oh, I can’t wait to start reading the new column! I’ll log in every Friday, because I LOVE scrap, it’s my passion! I scrapped a lot for about 6 years and then I had to quit for over a year, due to us moving abroad. Unfortunately I haven’t got into the habit of scrapping yet, there’s always something going on in the house and I don’t seem to find the peace to scrap.

    I’d love to read about how you manage to find that extra time for yourself, so you can sit down and scrap, in spite of having a family, a house and studies to take care of. I’d also like to read about how you make yourself a part of the pages you make. Since I’m the one taking all the photos I’m never on them. I think I ought to make myself show a bit more on the pages in spite of not actually showing up on the photos, if you understand what I mean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *