I first started scrapping about a year ago as a complete novice. I bought several books by Michele Gerbrant and other well known names from Memory Makers and Creative Keepsakes. While these books gave me the basic vocabulary of scrapping, along with clueing me in on the tools I would need, and the most crucial how tos, I didn't find much that clicked with me in terms of design. Many of the layouts were outrageously complicated and featured just one photo. Others were cutesy-- not my style. Almost every one featured a list of supplies to replicate the page: every list was about seven items long. If you've ever been in a scrapbooking store you know that it is EXPENSIVE. I can't afford to spend ten bucks a page for cutesy papers, embellisments, stamps, and stickers. I was so glad to find Cathy's book. Not only did her style resonate with me (I was already trying to make clean and simple pages) her instructions were simple and her materials list for most pages is: photos, paper, adhesive.
I loved this book for many reasons. One, it showed designs that were graphically clean, and put the emphasis on your photographs. Two, the journaling tips are great. Just reading the author's journaling blocks gave me great ideas for my own, and I have done so much more journaling since reading this book. Three, the book lets you into secrets for doing great color combos. Four, I got my start in digital scrapping from this book. Now instead of buying stickers, I print my titles and journaling directly on the page. Five, Not only does the book show you great layouts, it gives you the mental tools to create your OWN great layouts. Which, to me, is key. Who wants to copy all the time? Who wants to shop for this or that "perfect" element all the time? Not me! I'd rather know how to use my computer, my paper and my photos to create great looking pages. I have done many terrific pages with basically solid colored cardstock, my photos, and some thought about the design and type font. For the beginner or intermediate scrapper who likes a clean, simple look, this book is indispensable.