As the billion-dollar scrapbook industry expands, so do ways for you to glam up your family memories.

As avid "croppers" already know, keeping scrapbooks is no longer a matter of cutting out construction paper and pasting photographs on top. There are now literally thousands of ways to dress up that page, from tags to embellishment to die cuts to background paper.

New offerings at this year's Hobby Industry Association convention in Dallas expanded those categories, with embellishments made of metal and acrylic; military-themed die cuts; and background papers hand-made in India.

Most new products were born from scrapbookers who wanted a specific look for their pages but couldn't find it in stores. Here are their stories.

Heidi Grace Kress, a lifelong cropper, has carved out a line of 200 shapes and frames as a fledgling entrepreneur. She has sold products on the Shop at Home Network and Kress has been featured on the "Scrapbooking" program on the DIY Do It Yourself Network.

Her newest line of papers and embellishments was inspired by the feng shui design. It incorporates the mood and colors of the five earthly elements into scrapbooking, Kress said.

"I think we've really stumbled upon something," she said of the response to her products so far. "There are lots of excited people willing to invest in this."

Amy Alfaro, whose husband Tom serves in the Navy, realized two years ago that there was nothing creative or interesting available when she was doing the scrapbook page for Tom's "winging" as a Navy pilot.

"I was so frustrated with the nondescript, tiny images," she said. "There were no aircraft carriers. A lot of the pages ended up being fairly plain - navy and gold paper, a lot of red, white and blue.

"We saw this great need for a lot more sophisticated, detailed design."

With a background in industrial design, Tom went to work to produce laser cut-outs of military insignia, maps, emblems, and equipment, such as all manner of aircraft, military vehicles, ships and boats. Their company, Memories in Uniform, was born.

New this year - the 50th anniversary of D-Day - is a collection of 36 World War II designs. The Alfaros are also coming out with

21 title designs, such as the Marine motto "Semper Fi." Their third new collection contains rank emblems for every military service.

Like the Alfaros, Stacey Panassidi used her family background in fashion to create new scrapbook decorations.

She got into the craze at a Creative Memories party - the scrapbooking equivalent to a Tupperware party.

"I immediately got obsessed with it," she said. Her company, Junkitz, was born in March 2003.

After less than a year, her colorful zippers and alphabet buttons are best-sellers.

In a similar manner, Patricia Dusman and her husband, Tom Manzione, introduced FiberScraps after Patricia, who weaves as a hobby, found herself using scraps from her yarn collection to decorate her scrapbooks, another passion.

The Manziones are now working with two major scrapbook paper makers, Bazzill and Chatterbox, to match the dies of their fibers to the background papers.

Dusman, who is a scientist with Johnson & Johnson, even invented her own glue to adhere the fibers to scrapbook pages. Awesome Glue is one of her new products this year.

"She's been a scrapbooker for many years," Manzione said. Ever the inventor, he added, "she caught the wave of embellishments coming out" - and capitalized on it.


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