Sunday, June 23, 2013

Once Upon a Time...

I had crammed my entire 3-bedroom (to include craft room) home into a travel-trailer where I dwelt and scrapped 24-hours a day while enduring a very active bout of my MS.  Those conditions have changed somewhat... I no longer live in my RV but instead have moved - along with my daughter and her two kids - in with my parents in order to take care of everyone.  This is definitely not an improvement on my personal living condition.  Now I have my clothes in various places (no dresser but two shelves of our 2nd pantry, part of the coat closet and a small section of my moms closet - and things disappearing all the time) and I no longer have my comfy big bed but a small twin that, along with all the rest of my daily belongings (to include crafting supplies, a library of books and a 40" TV), reside in a 7x8 foot space.  However, my scrappy place is actually better as now I have a mid-size Expedit and a desk rather than the back-breaking 'booth' of the RV with my supplies stored on shelves of my 6x6 room-turned-closet.  The serious up-side of my situation is that now that everyone is in one place, I am constantly aware of everyone's condition and whereabouts rather than worrying about that all the time... and yet, it is a very stressful situation with all of us in one house - 4 disabled adults, 2 teenagers, 5 dogs, one new kitten and one 'outside' cat.

Once upon a time I watched Harry Potter DVDs and Sex and the City reruns while scrapping... my productive 'playlist'.  Now I have rediscovered my passion of old movies - a much more interesting subject than harping on how bad I feel or how much life just sucks sometimes. 
As a result of these changes in attitude and latitude, I have decided to reprogram my blog... from here out it will contain small updates of life as they come to mind, a little movie data as I feel needs to be spread to make everyones life a little wiser or happier, and of course the main-event - updates regarding my thoughts and progression on all things scrapbooking.  So here goes...

Once upon a time...  I took so many pictures I didn't know what to do.  And, I must admit, just between us, that it was during a time when my scrapping was rather haphazard - here and there - not an everyday thing.  But lately, though I do get some great photos of the happenings of our life and I create something nearly every day, the quantity of my photos is not nearly as many as it once was - and I often regret that I missed so many photo ops.  But it is truly because I am so busy paying attention to life.  You see, I was getting ready to scrap one day and realized that even though I had photos I had taken of football/cheer events, I couldn't remember the actual happening - I had literally missed whole competitions because I had been so busy trying to get a great shot of GiGi performing.  I made a determination that day that I would take photos but not make the photography a priority ever again.  But then, where does the line get drawn so that when you get to scrapbooking you have everything you want/need?
For instance, I didn't take photos of the pile of food we got at the Busch Gardens Smokehouse though I'll never forget it.  I was so hungry and busy making sure everyone was okay and had everything they needed, that pictures were the last thing on my mind.  (And, less we forget, when I get overheated - as I obviously did on more than one occasion during our vacation - my MS kicks in and my mind just kind of stops working, especially in multitask mode.)  So what to do about such quandaries?  I definitely don't regret that I was so busy living the moment that I forgot to bring up the camera; however, I do have an issue at the lack of photos to document that event because, believe it or not, it was actually a huge deal.  I will definitely scrap about that meal, but I haven't quite figured it out yet (it will probably come to me in a dream as so many layouts and changes do).  So how do you handle a very specific, descriptive event when you don't have a photo?  Do you just make a journaling page or do you add it to another layout? 
It has taken an entire week in bed to recoup from our vacation... obviously the combination of MS, heat, walking, driving, etc. totally took its toll on me.  But now I'm all ready and chomping at the bit to start on those vacation pages.  Honestly though, I am utterly destitute since our vacation and resupplying upon our arrival home.  But next week the photos will be processed and supplies will be ordered.  Today I am diligently going through paper lines to determine what I want to use - the only sure criteria I have is that I would prefer it be white-based and that there must be a dark blue in the mix... I just love dark blue combined with those fresh pinks, mints, yellows, etc. for bright summery photos - something I learned about my scrapitude when I started scrapping the St Augustine photos.  Any suggestions?  Any at all???  

Once upon a time there was a man named Cary Grant.  I have been in love with Cary Grant for as long as I can remember - probably stemming from my first viewing of Arsenic and Old Lace (1941)... such a handsome guy who could make me laugh out loud, a definite keeper.  Cary Grant is my west-coast eternal boyfriend. (I should explain here the 'eternal boyfriend':  while boyfriends like Brad Pitt and Hugh Jackman may come and go, occasionally we will find one that is above and beyond all of these - someone who has a place right smack in the middle of our heart as if we actually knew them - a kind of 'first love' relationship that you will always cherish and sigh when you think back or see a photo.  These 'eternal boyfriends' will be around when Brad Pitt loses his place because his hair falls out, he gets fat, or says something totally stupid (aka Tom Cruise).  I once thought you could only have one eternal boyfriend; but because I have two men that I am in love with equally but who are very different and I love for totally different reasons, I have decided to name them my east-coast eternal boyfriend (ECEB - James Cagney) and west-coast eternal boyfriend (WCEB - Cary Grant).  Now you cannot possibly have more than two 'eternal boyfriends' just like you can't have more than one first boyfriend (but then, your first boyfriend may not be your first 'kiss' - if you get what I mean), but I bet you have at least one!).  Now, Cary Grant is funny, but pair him with Irene Dunne and I actually laugh so loud the kids come check on me.  And really it's Irene Dunne that just cracks me up, something I totally didn't expect after first seeing her in dramas.  But her comedy goes from subtle hints to all out craziness - and her voice is like a kitten purring, it's lovely.  If you get a chance (check TCM - I don't know about Netflix or Hulu), definitely watch My Favorite Wife (1940) and The Awful Truth (1937).  Honestly, these two films are the absolute best romantic comedies I have ever seen, and this from a girl who has You've Got Mail on my 'Favorite Movies' shelf.  Tell me what you think of these movies and what are your all-time favorite romantic comedies?

I hope everyone is well, safe and scrappy!  Hopefully, tomorrow I will catch up on my blog reading as well as my fix of Glitter Girl... if there's not a really great movie on (LOL!).

And that's all she wrote!

P.S.  What do you think about North West... love child of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West?  Personally I'm surprised that the little girl's name didn't start with a K after Kim & Kanye; and, I think North West sounds like a stripper name (which every woman should have as an alias even if they aren't a stripper but really shouldn't put on a child's birth certificate).   Honestly, wouldn't it make for great scrap pages?!! You could put a compass on every baby layout!  I truly believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, it doesn't need to agree with mine, and I am especially interested in what yours is (that's why I ask all those questions!)... so comment on! 

"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness." - Charles Spurgeon

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Theory is...

In my opinion, that layouts should be 95% story by photos, title and/or journaling.  That layouts should complement the story while not overwhelming the focus of photos, title and/or journaling.  That layouts should allow for creative endeavor and experimentation while primarily remaining on the focus of the story. 

Yet, that's not the way the story goes now is it?!  I mean, yes I do basically adhere to the theory that the story comes first and that scrapbooking is about presenting those stories in aesthetically pleasing ways; but it's a craft - a creative outlet - creative therapy.  As such, sometimes we come up with ideas for aesthetically pleasing creative experimentation while driving in our car, sitting in the doctors office, on our path to dreamland.  These are the times that we select photos to fit our creative ideas/layout rather than building a layout around the photo. 

I know that sometimes Shimelle puts together page kits selecting photos last... once she's selected the photos, she then still builds the page around those photos with the preselected supplies.  That's not exactly what I'm talking about, but close.  I'm talking about thinking up a new design element like selecting sections of tape in lieu of patterened paper, the act of painting swirls on patterned paper for background rather than a preprinted design or simply inking the edges of paper with blue instead of the usual brown or black (like on GiGi's "six months" layout in the last post).  I'm talking about implementing those creative inspirations within your normal scrapbooking - still selecting papers/embellishments/ lettering that complements the story of the photos.

But even when just trying to implement those little (or big) personal ideas, often you still have to find just the right photos.  I have a basket that I keep all these printed pictures - some are where I've printed more than one, some are originals that were printed by another source - that sits on my desk.  Even when I print a batch of photos on my own printer or have souvenirs, etc., they all go into this basket as well so that I may pick and choose depending on my mood. 

Really, I guess that's what all this is about - mood scrapping.  What am I in the mood to scrap today?  What do I feel like scrapping with this great idea I want to try out?  What photos go with the papers I want to use today?  Because let's face it, it can be a great story or awesome photos but if it's not what we want to scrap today, it's just not as fun.  I have thousands of photos and stories, but not all lend themselves to what I want to do today... so even if I have an idea that I can't wait to tryout or new supplies I can't wait to use, if I don't feel I have the right pictures to scrap, the layout is not going to feel good.

And so it was that I thought, as I lay trying to go to sleep, that I would like to layer a kraft cardstock on top of a colored cardstock and then use flowers (which I have been ignoring for too long) on a layout.  But then, when I started going through my basket, absolutely nothing seemed to fit my plan.  Actually, while I did have some GiGi photos in the basket, I actually had to go through her files to find anything that seemed to fit the mood.  (I really do love to scrap just about anything; but, honestly, too often when I just want to have random scrapping fun, it's GiGi that comes to the rescue.  While she has always had a great sense of photographing everyday moments, at the grand age of 14 there are stories that go with even the most banal photos.  And so, I can scrap away all my little ideas (or frustrations) with pictures she has taken and let her do the journaling.)  That's the story behind today's layout... the prime example of my idea and mood combined with her story (yes, I did move that to flower slightly so as to not overshadow K's eye!):

Cardstock: Coredinations, The Paper Studio; Patterned Paper/Journaling Spots: My Minds Eye; Flower/Brads: The Paper Studio; Polyresin: Recollections; Wood: Studio Calico; Stickers: American Crafts
As you can see, the only new item I have on my layout are the small Studio Calico wooden hearts (which are adorable).  But this shows my mood as well - to use up items I had: flowers, scraps of paper, brads, thickers.  Tomorrow my mood may be to use up those new cork stickers I have gotten or that paper I just grabbed on sale, or it may be to scrap those photos of GiGi and her boyfriend I found on the computer - whatever it is I decide I really want to use will definitely be based on my mood, and the photos and or elements will go along with that mood.  In the end, unless you scrapbook as a job, whether or not we know it, we probably more often than not scrap to whatever mood we're in today.  That, in my opinion, is just as glorious as the creativeness of the craft itself.

Well, that's it for today.  I don't know if I'll post again before my trip to Tampa next week, so everyone be safe, well and scrappy.

And that's all she wrote!

P.S.... So sorry this was published (instead of saved) before I had a chance to proof it and finish it.  I really do want everybody to be well, safe and scrappy.

"So writing a song is much harder than doing a classical piece for me, because in a classical piece, I can just let the mood dictate what's going to happen."  - Glenn Danzig