Sunday, February 24, 2013
Everytime we start a new adventure about paper, the question is asked: What is your favorite paper?
Well, of course, this could be answered in several ways. My favorite all time paper is: OA Woodland Park Blue Sky... or DL 5th & Frolic 6th & Main... or EP Everyday Eclectic Hot Air Balloons... at least this year... maybe. My favorite all time collection is OA Sidewalks... or DL 5th & Frolic... or EP This&That Graceful... or K&Co Amy Butler... maybe. So, I find that each time I answer it I find it's the wrong answer... or not enough. But one thing that is truthful enough is that I usually have favorite papers that go with favorite themes - K&Co for heritage pages, MME Lost & Found for family pages, DCWV Nanas Kids for baby pages, etc.
As I was restarting the Scrapbook Remix class, the question came to my mind once again. So I thought in broader terms - what is my favorite Brand? A look at the above would say that it's probably October Afternoon as that came to mind first; or American Crafts, or maybe Echo Park. Then I decided to look inside my stash and let it tell me the answer... What brand do I have the most of? Well, one of those stated answers was right - but only half right. The answer: American Crafts. I have A LOT of American Crafts. All that Dear Lizzy and even that bundle of Crate Paper is actually American Crafts (I'm not actually a big AT fan...yet). But the largest portion of my American Crafts stash belong to those other collections: Blue Skies, Craft Shop, Botanique, Junior, Backyard, Love, Baby just to name a few. And all of those papers are small, repeating patterns on the A-side with solid B-sides. And yes, there are more than a few of which I own several sheets. I can make layouts and layouts and layouts from these sheets and none look the same... in fact, sometimes I don't even notice that I've used one of those papers over and over and over in my albums until I actually look for it - and I bet you wouldn't notice at all. And even though I buy them for 1/2 price at a Scrapbook Warehouse, it's definitely not the price that drives the purchases - these are my investment pieces. These are the cut up bits and pieces... the backgrounds for titles and embellishments... the photo mat... the stacks... and every once in awhile, they make it all the way to the background. These are those doses of just the right color. These are the papers that I don't worry about finding just the right photo or subject for, that I don't worry about not showing off enough, that I don't hoard. These are my perfect papers.
And then, second to all that AC paper, I love.love.love. October Afternoon. and Echo Park. and My Minds Eye. and Fancy Pants. and Simple Stories. and Cosmo Cricket. and K&Co. and...
A couple of the layouts I've worked on for ReScrapbooking Remix... definitely imperfect:
These two layouts rely heavily on AC and EP with a little shot of Freckled Fawn Washi, SC Veneers, Evalicious Stamps,OA MiniMarkets & Sprinklers and a couple of things from 'the box'.
Okay, so I am seriously into 'camera' love at the moment. You may see a camera on every layout for months to come as I have 3 more camera stamps and all those mistables to use up. Also, like these two layouts, they usually go in different albums, but even if they didn't that's okay - everybody needs a theme, right?!!
And that's it. Starting with my dad, each day one of us in the family has come down with this horrible stomach bug that just doesn't seem to want to go away, so I'm feeling rather puny. Dreamt this whole post up while sleeping off the Phenergan. I do want to say a great big Thank YOU for all the comments regarding your epiphanies on the last post... it's great to hear how creative minds think (and I've seen your work, yours is definitely a creative mind!).
Now, I would love to hear what your favorite patterned paper brand is, why, and how you love to use it. And don't be afraid to drop by an example!
"Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to." - Ashleigh Brilliant
Saturday, February 16, 2013
So, after 13+ years of scrapbooking, I have finally decided what I love most about scrapbooking. And yes, it is the creative outlet that I really need to survive! But I don't feel that each and every layout must be an absolute phenomenal creation from the depths of my heart or right-brain. In fact, that entire thought just made me have a sharp pain in my head. So here's a few random thoughts on how I feel about scrapbooking:
- Total uniqueness is not an option. I think that it has been this belief that each layout must be different and exclusive that has led me to totally abandon the process (but not the buying!) for long stretches at a time. It is totally overwhelming and stressful to me to have to produce distinction in each creation. The best of my originality comes in the papers I choose, the embellishment I use and, most, the stories I tell through my layouts. But there's only so much you can do with a 12x12 background. In fact, I have created things to only see an almost exact sketch a year or so later (not a scraplift because who could have seen something I made when no one ever saw anything I made). And that's okay.
- Scrapbooker and artist is not a synonym in my mind. I am a crafter. This is a craft. Whether I use paint or found objects or just stickers on paper or canvas, I am still crafting. I appreciate that some people may feel they are artists; but I am more proud of being a craftsman than I can say. In fact, my brother is an artist - he was born with this innate talent to create amazing artwork from nothingness; I was born a crafter as I can create artistry within a given framework. Einstein was a genius, Renoir was an artist, Jesus was a craftsman. And that's seriously okay.
- I need motivation. I need someone or something to say 'get er done'. Classes, forums, photographs, this blog and a sense of achievement all give me the inspiration to accomplish something. But not someone telling me I should scrap this or that... that makes me crazy! Nor the fact that there are 1,000s of photos or 100s of stories that need scrapped - that's just pressure. But accountability and pride drive me. And that's okay.
- I love a good sketch. And what may be great to you, is not good for me. Scraplifting is my new favorite way to scrap. It totally takes the pressure off. I spent most of my scraplife ignoring sketches; not entirely true... I collected printed sketches, but only used one in all the time I can remember. And even though I had this collection and looked through them monthly, I just didn't find anything I felt comfortable recreating. Obviously, I was collecting the wrong sketches and felt that each must be recreated exactly... exactly the wrong attitude. There is no way to rectify the amount of time and money I have spent on this hobby to the few layouts I have actually produced. But with my new scraplift epiphany, there is no way that I can't get through these 1,000s of photos in time. And that deserves a great big, WOOHOO!!!
- I don't have to journal on my layouts to tell a story. For the longest time, I did very little, if any, journaling on my layouts... afterall a picture is worth a 1,000 words. But then, I started to journal - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - and it started to feel that it should be a part of every.single.layout. But sometimes, every once in a while, it's not necessary. The photo(s) can tell the story - the whole story - because of the subject or a look on a face. I have layouts like that... the entire story is wrapped up in an expression, in a dress, in a mirror and in the title -nothing more necessary. And that's okay.
- It's okay that I'm hoarding the things I love the best. Let's face it, I've always had a little stash issue. But then it came in so handy when going through the worst of times. So it's probably only natural that I'm gathering a little right now. Of course, I'm using a LOT. But then, it's not just that. I really do believe that it's perfectly okay that I have 4 sheets of Ring Around the Rosie paper and 3 sheets of teal/black Mini-Market letters because I love them so much. On the other hand, I don't have to have every.new.thing. in my stash and I don't have to be 'on-trend' in order to make absolutely lovely layouts that I can be proud of. And that's okay.
- I cannot! randomly cut up a stack of 12x12 papers. It's an exercise of creativity about kits and starting points and freedom that I just don't get. I have a stack of randomly cut-up papers... it's called a 'scrap basket' and it's the first place I go once I decide on a 'theme' for a layout. Also, I've only been on one 'crop' in 13+ years and don't see that changing anytime soon. So the fact that I'm just not a kit person is totally okay. I choose a set of supplies for each layout and pull those out, but I don't like to make a stack of premade kits and then put photos with them. It doesn't work for me. And that's okay.
- I am not a photographer! In no way, in no how. I take photos of events. I occasionally take photos at other times if the moment comes along. But being a scrapbooker has in no way made me a photographer. Taking photos has come with the love of scrapbooking... and with the fact that I want to make my grandchildrens' lives remembered as opposed to the lack of pictures in my brother and my lives. And about 50% of the time, my photos are not very good regardless of how much I've read on the subject. Don't get me wrong, there are times that I love taking photos - but because I scrapbook does not in any way make me a photographer. It's simply a means to an end. And that's okay.
- I don't understand that whole Project Life thing. Honestly, maybe it's just because my life is so utterly boring. Here I am day-after-day doing the same thing - or nothing. And really I don't think this is so extraordinary. I don't think this is just a matter of my circumstance. Even when I worked or when I was single or when the kids were young, most of the days were fairly much SSDD. Of course, not every.single.day., but most were fairly much the same. I know that so many people love it... and that's okay.
- I wish I was a professional scrapbooker... not. Okay, this a 'right-on'/'hell-no' thing. I love scrapbooking and what a great way to make a living. But then, if I had to do it all the time I'd probably become totally overwhelmed and/or bored. But then would I get phenomenal travel opportunity? But then would I be able to go? And really, do I want to have to tell arbitrary stories about the kids just for the sake of scrapping? (Okay, let's face it, I'm pretty good at that!). No, I think I'm happy it's a hobby. I think that this blog is as 'professional' as I'll ever get. And that's okay.
Now, I am very interested in knowing your scrapbooking epiphanies - whether you figured them out today or 5 years ago. We each have our own - whether it's that you love making cards more than layouts because of the paper or that you prefer Smash Books & mini-books to 12x12 or that you prefer the artistry only using photographs as another medium or that you only use scrapbooking as an aesthetically pleasing platform for photographs - it's all very much okay.
"It's refreshing to see a woman who can artfully weave her individuality into an otherwise safe ensemble." - Nina Garcia
Thursday, February 7, 2013
As a result of the comment left by Susan, I think it's time for a little literary lesson. I cannot figure out why we have the Scrapbook Encyclopedia, but not a Scrapbook Dictionary (besides, I'm sure it would be wrong even if someone did one). So I am starting one as of this.very.minute. I don't have many specific scrapping words in my repertoire just yet, but it is growing and I plan to update this subject in the future... especially with your help. I mean to incorporate all the scrap/blog-ese into one little place so that we may reference it as needed. And you may add to at will by leaving a comment at anytime, regardless of that day's subject and ramblings - just pipe on in with your random wordage. I know that many of these words are specific to me, but maybe understanding them can help you understand what the heck I'm talking about. So shall we begin with my top scrapese definitions:
- Scrapese - Obviously, scrapbooking related wordage.
- Blond - a person whom you have probably never met face-to-face but have become fast friends within Blog World - probably 'meeting' over a scrapbooking event.
- Scrapping - Verb or adverb. The act of scrapbooking or to describe a person who performs scrapbooking. ("She's a scrapping genius for scrapping about trash pickup.") One should note though, that if I am scrapping, I am most likely scrappy.
- Scrappy - Scrap Happy. I do not use this term lightly. It does not mean (to me) just anything scrap-related. When I get my 2Ps box in the mail, I am scrappy. This can also describe just sitting down and getting into my scrapping mojo. And that leads us to:
- Scrappiness - Scrapbooking Happiness. Again a very specific word in my vocabulary. When I am in my little corner, surrounded by pretty paper, lovely letters, and darling doodads, I am at the height of my scrappiness as it is my scrappy place.
- Scrapgazim - Hooray Susan! An orgasmic reaction as the result of seeing, feeling and smelling pretty paper. I love this word. Susan obviously lives next door to Archivers!
- Scrapends - Scrapbooking friends - not little pieces of paper all over the floor. These can be in your actual real life or online. And while Blonds can be Scrapends, I like Blonds better!
- Scrapped - One of the few words that can have two very different meanings. Either it has been glued on a layout, or it has been tossed in the trash - hmmm. Must reread any sentence this is placed in as I have done both in that order.
- Scrapworthy - Virtually anything and everything. Ticket stubs, tags from clothes, broken legs, the moth that flew into the glue on my layout. This can also describe all those items you were rating 1-10 on their 'scrappiness' before you knew the true meaning - it's actually the Scrapworthy Rating System (SRS) and besides, most of those things that are scrapworthy are actually adding to our scrappiness.
- Therapy - Okay, you thought you knew what this meant... but to me it's: Scrapbooking as therapy. This is what I do best. Suffering from manic depression/BPD, a good session of scrapbooking can make me a whole new person (and the people around me appreciate it!). Creating something is seriously good for the mind and soul.
- 11. Scrapaholic - Me. A person who puts scrapbooking above many other mundane aspects of their lives (cleaning, eating, bathing, paying the cable bill, etc.) or who actually saves all those ticket stubs, tags, pieces of casts, moths, etc. because it will need to be scrapped later. This also describes people who hoard scrapbooking supplies. At it's worst, you may see someone who hasn't showered in several days, hair disheveled, in pajamas, huffing pretty paper one sheet after another.
And just because I can, I'm adding a few of the creations from Pretty Paper Party but honestly, I just don't have the energy to say what's on each project. So if you want to know, just ask!
Okay, that does it for today. It's raining buckets here and getting chilly, so it seems to be a great day for Harry Potter and scrapping. But regardless of your weather, you too should go find your own scrappiness!
"I'm always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life." - Miles Davis
Monday, February 4, 2013
I know that a lot of people went digital; but I'm so sure that many many more continued to want to lay eyes on, lay hands on, and enjoy the aroma of pretty paper. Honestly, while I love 2Ps inventory, I hate the fact that I can’t see and feel the paper to know if I really want it or if it’s going to arrive and go to the back of the stack (happened this week). Also, the inventory is so huge, that I can’t browse the entire ‘shop’ to see new and unexpected things that may be older (not from current CHA) that I didn’t know even existed. Besides, the other day I spent $XXX.00 on an order from 2Ps. Two days after ordering - before it even arrived - there were items in my cart that I had forgotten but really need. But the order doesn’t add up to $50.00 without sale items, so there’s shipping – enough shipping cost that I could actually buy a paper pad or stamps or a sheet of brads or Thickers. This is the thing that makes me absolutely insane… that my shipping cost could actually afford me more supplies that I didn’t pick up because of money restraints.
That stack is 5th & Frolic by American Crafts as well as the Thickers, pearls are from Paper Studio and Recollections, punches are Marvy Uchida & Martha Stewart, and that's my new Spellbinders Lacy Circles Nestabilities Die you see on that there embellishment (gonna see a lot of that coming up soon). And then there's that ancient piece of vellum that I've had for 5-10 years - just like clothes, everything comes back around I guess.
"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity." - Bo Bennett