Last night I got to spend a little time updating my scrapbook with photos and mementos of our July escapades. It's taken me a good week and a half of searching to find the right expander-pages to fit in my book. I'm really surprised by how hard they were to find.
It seems like every company that makes book has a different style of page. I have a couple of different scrapbooks, but my favorite is my 12x12 K & Company book. The book opens almost flat, so I can flip the pages easily, and it uses plastic page protectors (like this: http://www.kandcompany.com/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=423&idproduct=5311) so I don't have to worry about items on facing pages rubbing against eachother and getting pulled off. The book is held together with screws and rods, which can be expanded or swapped out for larger pieces as you add more pages to the book. I think this style is a lot sturdier than the clamped style some other companies use, and it's more versatile than the books where the pages are permanently fastened in. The only downside is that you need to find the add-ons specifically made for or by K & Company or the holes in the page protectors won't be in the right place. Michaels carries them, and the little art store in my town center does sometimes, but they're nowhere near as easy to find as the Kolo stuff.
It's taken me a while to find a book that works well for me. When I first decided to take up scrapbooking, I went to the Papersource store in Brookline, which is a great place to get arts & crafts ideas, but a very expensive place to shop. Kolo is the only brand of scrapbook they sell there (this is also the case at Pearl in Central Square, as I learned after a walk in the rain yesterday) so I didn't realize other places would have cheaper alternatives. I forked over more money than I'm proud of for a book I never use. Kolo's books are beautiful, but 2-3 times as expensive as their competitors and don't ever seem to go on sale. They do use the post system I like so much, but page protectors, new posts, and everything else you could want costs extra. A lot extra. I think the Kolo album I have is similar to this one. So far I haven't put anything in my Kolo album even though it was the first one I bought. It's so nice it freaks me out. I feel like I should wait until I get married to landed gentry, have a baby, or win a Nobel prize. Those archival pages would look silly behind my pizza-eating phots. The book just doesn't go with my life. Plus, I've never gotten around to buying the page protectors because Kolo uses this ridiculous system where before you can buy any accessories you have to know your book's corresponding letter of the alphabet and girl's/city's name. Oh yeah, I guess I should've known what I was getting into when they all had names like Ann Taylor jeans or Coach bags.
The second album I bought was this pretty valentines-y K and Company one: http://www.kandcompany.com/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=67&idproduct=536. I have a few Valentines Day pictures in it, but haven't filled more than one or two pages because the pages are relatively small, and most of the stuff goes into my Travel Scrapbook. Plus, I love love love over-the-top bright colored florals and girly curlicues, but again most of my photos are me at a pizza place with cheese dribbling out of my mouth, or Greg and me with our heads coming out the headholes of a particle-board standup image of silly sheep, pumpkins, or pirates or something. The book is too pretty for my reality.
So I was lucky to discover my Travel album on the sale rack at Walmart in one of my random shopping trips in Michigan. It is K & Company (the posts have the telltale K engraved) but it was really cheap and has a real matter-of-fact look to it (I tried to find an image to post, but it's not listed on K&Co's site, Walmart, Michaels or Amazon and... I'm lazy). The big pages give me plenty of room to experiment with layout, and the generalized travel theme fits with most of the subject matter I have scraps for. So even though it's a pain in the butt to find the add-on pages to go in it, for now I'm going to keep on using this one. At least until I can find a 12x12 pizza/pirate themed book.