Episode 57: A Journey into Scrapbooking with Scrappy Adam

Alice Boll
Alice Boll

Scrappy Adam talks to Alice about his journey into scrapbooking, developing his confidence to share his pages, getting onto design teams and running the Dotty About Flair group and small business.


Scrapbook a poignant memory, something that makes you think or reflect.


Use a sketch but go rogue!


The Dotty About Flair website will launch in early January. Watch for the grand opening around January 10th. Use code: SCRAPHAPPY to save 50% on your order before January 31, 2022.


Adam is also teaching a class for the ScrapSmarter Experience 2022-1: Scrapping Backwards.

See below for registration info!

Meet Adam Westwood

Hi! I’m Adam aka ScrappyAdam! I live in Manchester, UK. I document the life and travels and fun of myself, my partner Chris and my two best friends (who I live with) Mick and Tom. If you follow me on YouTube or IG, you’ll have seen them! I’ve been scrapbooking only for about two and a half years and I’ve been on an epic scrapventure! 

I started sharing my scrapping in August 2020 and since then have been given some wonderful opportunities including Paige Evans’ Design Team and three design teams for stores in the UK. I’m now the owner of Dotty About Flair and we’ve had huge growth this year which has meant we ship to all corners of the world and you’ll no doubt see us popping up all over social media! 


Instagram @scrappyadam

YouTube @scrappyadam 

Facebook @scrappyadam 

Facebook Group @dottyaboutflair

Have you ever tried Scrapping Backwards?

Tell Alice about it! Click the Start Recording button and leave a voice recording… it only takes a moment!

ScrapSmarter Experience 2022-1

Don’t miss out on this amazing weekend of Scrapbooking Classes! 10 Instructors teaching 10 amazing classes. Find out more…

Use code: ADAM221 at checkout to save $30 by January 5th, and $5 after that. Hurry, registration CLOSES at noon Pacific January 21st.

Connect with Alice

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode!

Sharing it? Use the #scraphappierpodcast on social media.

Instagram: @scraphappier

Facebook: ScrapHappy

YouTube: ScrapHappy

Alice’s Favourite Products: FAVES

Sign up for Alice’s emails HERE.


Episode 57

[00:00:00] Alice: Welcome to the scrap happier podcast, where we share quick tips, tricks, and techniques to help you create scrapbooks you love and be happier. We’ll doing it either. Host Alice Boll.

I’m so glad that you can join us for this episode, we have a special guest and we have scrappy Adam, Adam Westwood is there as. I just became familiar with Adam over the last couple of years in the world of scrapbooking, but I just learned that there’s a pretty good reason for that. So welcome, Adam, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, maybe where you live and how you kind of got started into scrapbooking and when.

[00:00:54] Adam: Hi, I’m Adam. I live in the UK in Manchester, in north of England, and I live with two of my [00:01:00] best friends and I’ve got a partner. He doesn’t live with us, but we all do adventures together. So it’s pretty much those three on my scrapbook layouts. And I started scrapbooking and two and a half years. When we went on a Disney trip and I came back and I worked like something special to put all the photos in, rather than just a plain old photo album.

And I literally just stumbled on all these scrapbooking stores and all the different things. And as you start looking at least to another place and another place on started buying things and doing it, and it was purely Disney stuff, then it was all about the Disney album Disney layouts. And then I don’t know how it came about, but I started looking at.

Facebook, it must have popped up as an advert. So I wouldn’t even think to look the Facebook groups. And I came across a UK scrapbooking Facebook group, which was just like a community. So I joined that and Natalie who run it, she spoke to me because she thought I was a bit stranger man, joining scrapbooking group.

And they were quite, not strict, but they watched it. They didn’t just let [00:02:00] anybody join that. So it was a safe environment. And then we became friends gradually as we talked more, but it was about eight months till I shared any work, because I just didn’t think I was any good. And then Natalie convinced me to share some and it just sort of snowballed from there.

Never looked back and now it’s pretty much my life, 24 7 in some way.

[00:02:19] Alice: I guess you could look at that as eight months to feel comfortable in your own artistic style.

[00:02:28] Adam: Yeah, pretty much it taught, I guess I needed somebody to say, yeah, it’s good although. Everybody’s is good. Cause everybody has their own style.

So there isn’t good or bad. It’s just, I didn’t think people would want to see it, I guess. So it sort of took a while for me to be comfortable with it and play with things and. Then, obviously it went from just Disney to doing other photos and other things. And now I have a massive room full of stuff. Um, yeah.

[00:02:56] Alice: Haha I don’t know what that’s like.

[00:02:58] Adam: It just builds

[00:03:00] up, and


[00:03:02] Alice: It kind of does. So when you started with that Disney album. Um, you said you wanted to make a special project or something. Do you look back and look at those pages that you first made and realized. Some of the progression that you’ve made since you first started or do you look back at them and think, you know, I got a pretty good base when I kind of kicked this off

[00:03:26] Adam: a bit of both, I think, cause I look at some of the pages, not because I’ve never finished the album still isn’t finished.

Um, cause we had thought many photos.

[00:03:34] Alice: You’re a true scrapbooker, that’s a sign of a true scrapbooker

[00:03:38] Adam: I don’t think I have not finished editing. Um, well I think some of the pages. Very basic as in it’s a photo, it’s a bit of paper and a couple of stickers, whereas some of them have come from ideas online. So they are a bit similar to what I do now.

So it’s about both. Really.

[00:03:56] Alice: What kinds of products were you really drawn to? Like after [00:04:00] you started scrapbooking things that weren’t Disney, where there certain designers and collections that really drew you. Yeah.

[00:04:07] Adam: Initially, it was obviously after the Disney, it was simple stories because if they’re say cheese Rangers, that’s what I first.

Got into let’s say cheese. I think it was 1, 2, 3, and four had been released up to that point. So I was looking at other simple stories. It was generally stuff that wasn’t pink because I generally do all men, which I don’t mind using pink, but, and nothing to Florida. So have come forward and our Vicky boot in Paige Evans, all of them.

I love all lamb, echo park, Coco vanilla, every pretty much like most things. But I guess initially I was drawn to simple stories or adventure stuff and outdoorsy stuff and summer stuff, rather than like the floor really.

[00:04:49] Alice: That’s pretty cool that you can find papers within all of that, that you feel so your need, because it’s something that I hear pretty commonly from scrapbookers that [00:05:00] some of the paper collections are too pink and too floral.

How do you find working with these collections coming at it with a masculine perspective and scrapbooking men like, oh, so many of us are making pages about men, so we’re having these struggles too, but yeah. Obviously you are really searching for that solution. So how are you finding


[00:05:22] Adam: I think in most collections, so it’s late sort of the last, at least the last year I bought a lot of collections and I think in all of them, you can find something that works and I, I’m not adverse to using pink. I just wouldn’t do a layout that is entirely pink. So you might have to do, if there’s some papers that are particularly pink or florally or whatever, Don’t run.

You can sort of pop them into another layout that isn’t just that collection. I would like to say that I only buy the papers that I like, but it’s generally I bought everything from every collection. If I really, really, really never gonna use them and don’t like them, I have [00:06:00] given some away, but yeah, I would like my photos or do something that you’re not going to see the actual paper, really, if that makes sense.

[00:06:08] Alice: Yeah, it totally does. I think that there’s a lot of designers also that are really conscious of the fact that. When they make certain collections that if one side is very busy or pattern, the other side tends to be really neutral. So if one side is covered in a lot of florals, the other side might be a Stripe or a dog or something a little bit.

[00:06:32] Adam: I am definitely a “B” side scrap it, I would say, cause I always loved. Main sheet, but then when it comes to using it, I find it hard or the patterns to pick or whatever, and then you turn over and you can use that sides. And I do use the “B” sides totally

I am totally a side scrapbooker. So that’s really funny. It’s like the crazier, the pattern, the more I’m into.

I have I do, do I am definitely more, is more on, it’s definitely like [00:07:00] busy pages. I think

[00:07:02] Alice: that’s, um, a funny thing that you’ve said that more is more because I think that scrapbookers really fall into different categories and some people like things to be clean and tidy, and some people really like to maximize the amount of product they’re getting onto a page or maximize the number of photos they’re getting onto a page.

And so I really do think that. That is a typical scrapbooker of more, is more kind of caricature of a scrapbook.

[00:07:29] Adam: You can tell, I think as well, you can tell, I, I embrace the one, cause I say, oh my YouTube videos. So I’m not, if something isn’t quite straight and things like that, or there’ll be a lot of white space.

I just, I can’t leave the load of white space on a page. So you can definitely tell from somebody layout out what kind of scrap scrapper they are. So

[00:07:47] Alice: I’m going to point out that we do have an episode all about white space, and you can find that in episode number nine, what’s all the white stuff, white space design.

So one of the things that [00:08:00] I’m drawn to is the colors and vibrance and how you’re telling your story on your pages. Did you fall into the storytelling part of scrapbooking and. Um, as well as you fell into the design aspects, because I noticed that you’re really good with the design, but, um, you’re also good at getting your story on the page.

[00:08:21] Adam: Yeah, I think so. I am terrible at journaling. I don’t journal on my pages a lot. I do do that occasionally, but not much at all. Um, but I generally do journal on the back of the layout then. I think it’s part of the story as well. So like the things I use, they might not make sense to everybody, but it makes sense to me because at the moment, like I’ll use Cathy as an example, she might use another card on a page or a lady bird, because that has a meaning to her somewhere.

So yeah, I think I do storytelling. I don’t think that’s the overriding thing for me, it’s documents in the photo. And I like using all the [00:09:00] stuff

[00:09:00] Alice: that if you know what your goal is behind scrapbooking, your reason why you scrapbook it makes it so that when you’re making your patients. You can come out with that result that you really want just by having that goal in mind, if you’re worried about doing a whole bunch of writing, then you need to make sure that you leave a lot more space for that.

And if you want to use your photos and really document those photos, you might scrapbook in a different way. And it’s about finding the style that works for you.

[00:09:31] Adam: Yeah, because you’d have to obviously leave, like you say, loads of space flight. I’m more about. Using more photos. I do do one for layouts, but generally there’s always at least two or three, or I think the most I’ve got is a double page with 23 photos on it or something.

So it’s definitely about the photos for me. I always

[00:09:48] Alice: find that to do that too. So now that you’ve been scrapbooking for a couple of years, are there some lessons that you’ve learned or tips that you’ve [00:10:00] learned along the way that have been really helpful for diving into this hobby? And what kinds of things have.

[00:10:08] Adam: Yeah, I guess the main one for me, because I I’m as much into the hobby of buying the things I was using them is don’t just buy everything. When I first started, I would, especially if there were like sales and stuff, I was like, oh, I’ll have that, that, that, and just buy up. But I think it’s better to look at what you will actually use.

How the thing when it’s in front of you, what’d you do this? What you do that. So that’s the main thing I’ve learned. Believe it or not. And also to get inspiration because I’ve found that scrapbookers is just, it’s an amazing community. It’s not like anything I’ve ever come across. Everybody is so kind and caring.

Things that people have done for me. It’s amazing. Right? Like, so I suppose take inspiration from that community. So like scrap left and stuff like that, and don’t be afraid to not copy, but give credit to them, but take inspiration from them and copy it. If you want to, were

[00:10:58] Alice: you surprised about [00:11:00] the whole concept of scrap lifting and how that’s kind of encouraged within the community?

Because I think that catches something. Yeah. As a surprise.

[00:11:09] Adam: Definitely. Cause I was like, well, I can’t, because they’ve done that. It’s like copying, like you’ve always been told not to copy somebody’s work. So it was definitely initially like in the scrapbooking group, I first joined, there was always challenges to scrap lift this or whatever.

So I would always look at it and then forget about it. So I didn’t copy it. I properly. So yeah, it’s definitely a new, a new thing. And I have since come across a lot of people, new to scrapbooking and I’m like scrap lifted to get you started as it’s like a starting point. And then they’re also the same.

Can we copy? But I think as long as you credit people, it’s like anonymous.

[00:11:46] Alice: I I agree. And I think that if people are sharing stuff on social media, you can almost expect people to be scrapped, lifting, or copying what you’re doing in some way, or taking inspiration from [00:12:00] what you’ve done, and then turning it into their own thing.

I’ve never looked at pages other than a class where everybody has the same products and everybody’s making the same pages. And actually seen the same pages. Yeah. You can put this, this applies in front of people and people will make something their own. And I think that’s kind of the magic of it. Nobody is looking at them side by side.

After they’re looking at your page, your stories, your photos in your. They’re not looking at somebody else’s stuff. So it’s yeah,

[00:12:30] Adam: it was interesting. So one of the groups, we did a blind recipe, so it is a challenge where we were given the instruction. So like cut papers into this amount, place them here, put this here and then put your own embellishments on.

So is the same sort of design, but the pages were massively different and this is something we’ve kept cats. Everybody creates different things, which is what’s good about it. Well,

[00:12:53] Alice: you’re creating some things too. Right? Tell us about Dottie, about flair and how that all came about. [00:13:00]

[00:13:00] Adam: So don’t worry about flare cell flare, obviously, and which are like wanting their light batches without the pen at the back on the ones we do at Darcy bio flare are plastic, not metal cause obviously metal.

Sometimes Russ. Um, in July, 2020, Natalie, who I mentioned earlier set up Dossie about flow and it was just, she enjoyed making them, she had a machine and she just did it as a bit of a hobby and it was really popular and it grew a little bit from there. Then in September, she offered me a place on her design team, which is my first one and I never left.

Um, it’s supposed to be for one month and she just said, no, just stay. And then. So if John Newberry, she was talking about, it’s gotten a bit too much. It wasn’t too. I think we were at 300 members. So it was all in a Facebook group at that time. Cause it was just a hobby that turned into a little small business.

And so eventually I took over, she gave me the business in April. So I took over from the 1st of April and did my [00:14:00] first release on the 3rd of April. Cause obviously we’d been planning it before. Um, now we’ve gone from like 300 members or three 50 to 1,320,000 flyer a month. So yeah, it’s grown a lot and we’re, I think we’re over social media quite

[00:14:17] Alice: a bit.

So my question is, are you having these Mays somewhere or are you actually making

[00:14:24] Adam: every single one? Oh my gosh.

[00:14:27] Alice: I’ve made a couple of flare buttons. And let me tell you. It’s a


[00:14:32] Adam: Yeah. I have got a different machine. I said I’ve got a British made one because it’s the one I was using was quite stiff. And it does give you all make after a few.

So we’ve got that. And we also do what we call Xcel flight now, which are, don’t think, um, they’re about one. Seven inches wide. So they’re more like budges, but people have gone mad for them as well. So we can with the one, we’ve got three machines now home because my [00:15:00] friend, Tom, who I live with does help me now.

And again, um, it’s hard, but you get used to it. And the machine isn’t as hot. You’ll all be good.

[00:15:08] Alice: Good at arm wrestling after doing all those. Yeah,

[00:15:12] Adam: we got pick out a thousand the day. I think we can do if Tom’s help and we can do a thousand

[00:15:18] Alice: deep. Wow. That is so many. That’s amazing. And so what about the design part of the buttons?

So you’re doing that part as well, then.

[00:15:28] Adam: Yeah. So some of the designs are bought from other artists. Some of them I do. Some of them is a mix, some of them Thomas done. So it’s a mix. A lot of it, like the sort of more basic ones are from designers outside. Um, and then we just do the artwork inside. I print it all in size at all and stuff like that.

And so yes, fully. That’s

[00:15:51] Alice: amazing. That’s really fun. And so where can people go to get more information? They can obviously join your Facebook group, but [00:16:00] then you have something new that’s coming out.

[00:16:02] Adam: Yeah. So we’ve got a website. Finally. I’ve been trying to. I didn’t think it was going to take off as much as that hard, but we’ve done quite a lot of challenges and stuff and, um, giving freebies and stuff.

So we’ve built it up and up and up, but cause I’ve been so busy making flat, I’ve not had chance to sort the website out, so I’ve taken three weeks off over Christmas. So that’s what we saw in that. I’m building the website myself. And so that will go like next Friday, which will be the 7th of January. And so you they’ll be able to go to the website.

You can find all the flat designs we have. We’ll be gradually out in more because I can’t, we’ve got think we’ve got a thousand different designs of flare at the minute, but they’re all in like sets of six or eight or 10. So it’ll take a while to get everything on that. Um, but they’ll be able to find all the links in that.

And we’re on Instagram and Facebook as Dotty about fly.

[00:16:52] Alice: And then it’ll [email protected]? Or what will

[00:16:55] Adam: the website, they will be dottyaboutflair.co.uk dot

[00:16:59] Alice: [00:17:00] co.uk. I thought I better ask that because I have an idea.

[00:17:03] Adam: Yeah, I should have stopped and we do ship worldwide. We have, I think I probably shipped 60 boxes to America and Canada or a month and more to like Europe and Australia where everywhere.


[00:17:15] Alice: amazing. And just think about, you know, this all came about because two and a half years ago, Went to Disneyland.

[00:17:25] Adam: Yeah. I sit and think, and this time it was last August. So it’s only been 12, 14, 15 months since I first shared my first layer. And since then, it’s now my full-time. So I’ve sort of laid everything else, else often sort of focused on this full time.

And I’ve been on Pedro Evans design team, design teams over here. And so it’s amazing really. And we do have another thing launching next month. So it’s constantly develop.

[00:17:53] Alice: That sounds super fun. So did you want to mention the coupon code

[00:17:59] Adam: for that [00:18:00] July day? That night? Um, so yeah, we also have a special coupon code for podcast listeners where they will be able to save 50% and they can just use scrap happy as the co till the end of January and save 50%.

[00:18:15] Alice: And I’ll make sure that that link is in the show notes as well.

[00:18:18] Adam: Brilliant.

[00:18:20] Alice: So you also have a class coming up. You are one of our featured instructors for the next scrap smarter experience, which is happening January 21st to 23rd and 2022. If you’re catching this a little bit later, but it’s registration is now open.

And you’re going to be teaching a class called scrapping backwards. Now this is the most interesting concept. And I’m curious what scrapping backwards is and what you can teach us from.

[00:18:50] Adam: So it was a stereo started by my friend, Kathy scrappy cafe. She came, we were, we talk a lot and we were just talking in that and she wanted to do something new.

[00:19:00] And it’s not, I guess it’s not completely unique because people, some people do it, but we wanted to do. More. So she came up with this thing and then we are things and did things. So now we basically, every week we do scrap backwards, which I’m going to focus on more for my class. So it’s basically where you start with a sticker, she or a chip bocce or whatever embellishment is, is old.

So it’s stuff that you want to get used up. So if you’ve got sticker sheet that you bought, but you don’t particularly like, or I used one in October, I think it was the, I have had in a cat. At least a year. And I just did not like it. Then we focus on that and then build a cat around that. So we allowed a few more embellishments and then we’ll choose our papers.

And then from that, we’ll choose our photos. So we saw like doing it all backwards rather than starting with the feta. We’re making the old sticker sheet that you don’t.

[00:19:55] Alice: That’s kind of an interesting concept of taking it backwards from [00:20:00] those products, especially products that have been in your stash for awhile. I started scrapbooking in 1999, so I have a few of those things in my cell.

[00:20:14] Adam: Kathy definitely has more than me. Cause obviously she’s been out for a years, but I have bought stuff or I’ve been given stuff like in sales and stuff that is old.

So he’s definitely a good way to start with something that you might not ordinarily use or reach for. And then just build a kit around that. So you make it. Embellishment work for your paper and your failures. So rather than just letting it sit in your stash, it’s about to get it used.

[00:20:39] Alice: So if you’re listening to this episode and you’re thinking that you would like to know more about scrapping backwards, you can sign up for the scrap smarter experience you can use Adam’s code.

It is Adam Tutu. And you will save $30 until January 5th. And after that, if you use code, you’ll save $5. [00:21:00] So you can still save a little something. If you’re listening a little bit later. Adam, would you like to share a prompt for us? Like something that someone could sit down right now and scrapbook about maybe some kind of photo or something inspired by a product, maybe something inspired about scrapping backwards or, um, a story that you’d like to tell.

[00:21:26] Adam: Yeah, and it’s probably going to be something that perhaps we don’t all scrap all the time. So something more poignant or something more. It might not necessarily be sad, but we have to scrap the good on the bad. And I recently did one this week. That was about the poppy Memorial in Manchester. So it’s a Memorial it’s got, I think 2000 puppies.

They’re all hand painted and it’s to memory of world war one. And it was very poignant, certain acts. I’ve lost relatives in those wars, granddads, and that friends have, [00:22:00] so I guess it would be to scrap book, the not so good or the poignant or the memories that make you think or bring back memories like that.

If that makes sense.

[00:22:09] Alice: Yeah. A memory that takes you to a slightly sad or really emotional memory,

[00:22:17] Adam: um, emotional, or makes you think something like. I think everybody saw it and it’s like document.

[00:22:27] Alice: And I think that, um, it’s really easy sometimes to sit down and scrapbook all of that happy, shiny moments, the Disney moments, right?

Those are easier to capture in our life. But if you really want your scrapbooks to show more of your personality and more of your true life, the things that really are important to you, then I think that including stories like that can be really, really important. Yeah,

[00:22:53] Adam: it definitely takes it’s still our life.

And if you document in your life, then it’s not all good all the time. [00:23:00] Hopefully it is, but

[00:23:02] Alice: we try, right. We guaranteed. There are, there are things. Um, and do you have a tip of the day for somebody that wants to sit down and scrapbook something that will just make your scrapbooking that little bit.

[00:23:17] Adam: I would say, because I’m a bit obsessed with them at the minute, use a scotch, but go rogue with that scotch.

So use it to create your sort of base layer. So I don’t know if it’s 12 by 12 and it’s muttered and it’s got three paper layers, do those, but mix it up with what sizes you want. Then if it’s got one photo or two and so on, just use the sketch to site your base. And then hopefully it will be easier and quicker to create a layout because you’ve got that base already.

That’s probably mine.

[00:23:44] Alice: I love it. It’s kind of like using a sketch, but

sometimes when you, when I use a sketch, I said, oh, I used to sketch. And then I look at my page. I’m like, what happened here? This does not [00:24:00] look like this. So maybe this is just something I’m really good at all. I love it. And is there anything else that you would like to pass onto scrapbookers that might be listening, um, places that they should follow you online or other little bits of advice or inspiration that you.

[00:24:18] Adam: Yeah. So I am on Instagram as scrappy, optimum on Facebook, a scrappy item, but that is just a repost of my Instagram when I post their posts to Facebook. Um, and I am on YouTube, which I resisted for a long time because I don’t like my voice. I don’t like my, I just don’t like public speaking and it was all very scary, but I started doing Facebook lives, which I do.

Once twice, three times a week. So I started YouTube in September and I’m scrappy autumn on there, and I generally have three or four videos a week. They’re doing different series and stuff like that. So yeah. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

[00:24:56] Alice: So in between squish and all of those flare [00:25:00] buttons, you’re still making all these pages, 10 producing videos.

I don’t know how you’re doing it at

[00:25:05] Adam: all. Definitely. Yeah. It’s weird because I was so scared of videos for so long. I know find, find them quite relaxing because I’m filming or if I’m live, I can’t just get up and walk away and get distracted. So it’s quite relaxing to just sit and create without any distractions.

[00:25:24] Alice: That’s awesome. Thank you so much, Adam. I hope everybody texts out your [email protected]. When it launches on January 7th or thereabouts, right now, we’re going to wish all the best for your launch day. And I also hope that they check out the scrap smarter experience, where they will get a chance to see teaching in your first online.

Official class, right? This is your first, first

[00:25:53] Adam: online class or a Facebook live or a new cheap that’s just charge. So yeah, [00:26:00] it will be good.

[00:26:05] Alice: This has been absolutely great.

[00:26:07] Adam: Thank you very much.

[00:26:17] Alice: So I’m going to point out that we do have an episode all about white space, and you can find that in episode number

I’m leaving the blank there we’ll continue, but that’s going to get filled in.

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