Thursday, February 27, 2014

Life Scrapped...

This isn't about a great technique, new paper, and especially not about actually getting a good photo of my layout.  This is about scrapping life... something I just can't stress enough - at least once in a while.

Even if you don't have anyone you think will ever be interested in your stories, there may come a time when you are.   Not everyone has a wealth of memories and certainly the older we get the less we remember.  It seems everyday I lose more of my own memories.  I don't know if it's caused by age (though I hope at 52 that's not an issue), my illness or stress - probably a combination of everything.  But whatever the cause, I am constantly reminded how I don't remember so much... and it makes me so very very sad.  I hope this never happens to anyone, but it can.  This is one of the reasons that I scrapbook the kids so much; why there are annual albums of the main events and layouts of just everyday stuff... not just for them but because I can't remember much of anyone's childhood.

It is because of this that I grab whatever memories I can.  When I came across this photo, it reminded me of so many things that happened in 1987.  Such a horrid year - nights in the ER in horrible pain, a hysterectomy at the age of 25, and four months later finding the lump in my breast.  But there were sweet and funny moments as well - my daughter getting up at 6am to set up the Monopoly board and then waiting hours for me to get around to playing, Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house with the entire family, all my aunts gathering in my grandma's tiny kitchen just feet away from the men folk to feel my breast, my step-dad talking me into reconciling with my dad when I wasn't about it at all.  I felt that it was imperative, for my own sake, to get everything down while I remembered it.  Also, I may stumble upon other photos that were taken that year, but this is the one that reminds me of everything.

This is an original photo which I am oh so happy to use and get out of the boxes; but I did scan it - and may use it again if a story calls for such a photo.  Plus, it's the first layout since getting back to my desk that I've really mixed it up with the paper lines - I used Crate Paper DIY Shop, Maggie Holmes Flea Market, Dear Lizzy Polka Dot Party, MME Find Your Wings and October Afternoon Woodlands Park... most of which came from my scrap basket!!! I also mixed it up with the embellishments and stamped on the layout!!  This is definitely a WooHoo layout all the way around.  But what makes it one of my favorite layouts definitely isn't because of any of that - it certainly isn't the prettiest layout I've ever put in an album... it's one of my favorite layouts because every time I look through my album I will see that little 8-year old girl with her Monopoly board.

I hope everyone is well and remembering to grab those glimpses every chance they get.

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.” - Geoffrey Chaucer

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A few things...

that I've scrapped lately.  I must say that I love paper!  I love that sometimes, when your mojo just hasn't kicked in, you can rely on paper to do some of the work for you - even those paper that don't have a little theme in the corner or anything can really just make the layout.  For instance, this paper by Glitz:

While I added a few items around the photo, the paper is the major embellishment - and helps tell the story of this fun night.

The great energy of this Bella Blvd paper layered on the Glitz paper is another example of paper reinforcing the energy and excitement of that day,

I'm not positive where this paper is from - Dear Lizzy or Amy Tangerine - but I have to say that I love papers that with specific designs in the corner.  While some people like to use the papers and coverup or cut away the embellished areas, my thought is to work with these papers.  I mean, sometimes we buy whole collections because we love these special papers, so why fight it once we get our hands on them.

Yes, I bought that MME kit for Christmas - but then I turned around and used last years MME!!! That glittery chevron is from the new collection, but I still love last years better.

This is a 2-page layout... not to be confused with a 'double-page' layout.  I have definitely taken a few hints from on how to handle this worrisome issue of needing two-pages to tell the story.  I'll even have more to show when I can get the photos right.  But I've practically given up on 'double-page' layouts... I'm not good at it so whats the point?

Okay, that's all for today.  I'm rather in down-and-out, so am doing what I can, when I can.  I hope everyone out there is feeling well and scrappy.

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

P.S.  Sorry if you find wierd stuff in this post, Blogger is acting really weird and not letting me highlight anything or go into a paragraph.  Also, sorry about the really fuzzy photo - I promise I'll try better in the future but didn't know this was so bad until I had finished this post.  And... you will notice my scrap table in the background of some of these photos... I'm just going to have to be happy doing the best I can right now - again, I will try harder in future to get crisp, square photos of layouts.  Thanks for your patience during this time.

"life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one" - Stella Adler

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Discussion on Paper...

I listen to - well, watch - a lot of discussion on paper.  There seems to be a huge trend on only buying paper piecemeal... buying one or two sheets from a collection and then only one or two sheets per pattern.  As a magnanimous paper-hoarder, I think this is great... for some people.  This is just not who I am.  While I do buy a sheet or two from a collection to see how I like it, I'm really a collection type of gal; and, often, if I absolutely love a couple of sheets from a collection, I will repeatedly kick my own butt until I can get the complete collection into my hot little hands.  But that's not really what I want to talk about - well, not entirely.
I want to talk about what drives you to buy certain papers.  Is there really a thought process behind the purchase other than "OMG, I think I love it!"?  We all know that I do regularly fall in love with collections of papers:  Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic, Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm, Maggie Holmes, Basic Grey Hey You, MME Find Your Wings & Fly, etc.  And while those are not the only papers you see in my albums, you do see quite a lot of each.  And I am so okay with that!!!  I buy paper I like it (most of the time) and if I LOVE it, I buy a lot of it.
For anyone who doesn't know, at any one time I may be working on several albums concurrently:

  • The Annual Family Album (none ever finished because I'm never caught up!)
  • GiGi's Annual Album (ditto above)
  • GiGi's BFF Album
  • The Me Album (General)
  • The Me Album (Child)
  • The Family Album (General) (Kids rarely included)
  • My Bro's Album
  • GiGi's General Album (anything extraneous to the her Annual Album)
  • Kids General Album (anything extraneous to the Family Annual Album)
  • Heritage Album
  • Misc Albums (Vacation, Christmas, whatever)

(And no, nothing is ever caught up because sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything at all, or I don't have the photos for what I do really want to work on.) The point of that little list is to show that I can absolutely have 5 sheets of the same paper and be perfectly content.  Not only may I have more than one layout in an album with the paper showing (but never in the exact same way), but I may have the sheets spread across many albums.
But also, I find that if I buy a paper collection without any mind to what it's use will be, it's use will find itself when I get it on my desk.  I have a few examples of this:

  • October Afternoon:  I love almost all OA papers.  But rather by accident I have found that OA lends itself very well to older photos - not only the creaminess of the papers, but the patterns as well.  I still don't buy OA for the specific purpose of older photos (I do use them elsewhere as well) but I know I can never go wrong with the line.
  • MME Find Your Wings...:  Has there ever been lovelier paper?  While I haven't put a lot of it in the 2013 Annual Album (?), it is certainly spread across all the rest of them - everything from heritage photos, to current photos of the kids.  And I have no doubt that it will find a place somewhere in my 2014 album (more on that later).
  • DL Lucky Charm, Maggie Holmes, Basic Grey: It's everywhere.  Each spreads across my Annual Album, our Road Trip album, the GiGi's album, and the Family Album.  And if I find any place else, I certainly won't hesitate to use these papers again and again.
  • Echo Park Here & Now, Bella Blvd Snapshots:  Now here's where things gets specific.  Even though I bought these papers for no other reason than that I absolutely love them and feel happy looking at them, once home they found a very specific place indeed: GiGi's albums. While I could absolutely use them for anything, they are perfect for her personality and lifestyle.  So they are used almost exclusively for her.
Another thing I want to mention is our own personal paper style.  We hear all the time about our personal design style: finding that style, integrating that style on sketches, working within our style. But I think we may have personal paper styles as well.  While flipping through my favorite papers doesn't reveal my style automatically, there are a few things I have noticed:
  • I like very clean paper: I am not big into the watercolor trend.  I don't mind playing with some paper with mists, etc., but when paper gets too 'artsy', I'm just not going to jump into a complete collection. (more on this later!!!)
  • I like intense colors:  Whether they're pastels, muteds or vibrants I like my papers colors to be intense on the page.
  • I like great big florals:  You know, the MH Flea Market paper, OA's Cabbage Roses - I love any and all florals like this... so if I've missed any, point them out quick.
Quandaries & Notes:
  • Hmmm...Distressed Papers.  While I rather love Maggie Holmes distressed papers, I don't really care for MME's - go figure! So don't skip looking at something just because you don't think you'll like it.
  • Beware: Just because you love one or two paper lines by a company, doesn't mean you'll love them all: While I love DL 5th... & Lucky..., don't really like Polka Dot Party at all (and unfortunately have the whole collection - thank God I like the peripherals).  While I didn't really love any Amy Tangerine lines, I found several papers in Cut & Paste that I adore. The list goes on and on...
  • There truly are differences between single patterned paper and paper pads.  Single sheets are more of a cardstock grade therefore the colors are more intense.  If you have a pad and really, really like a paper, consider buying a few extra singles - you can't go wrong.
  • What you love and your style don't always go hand-in-hand.  For Christmas (one exception to the don't buy with specific purpose rule), I purchased a MME kit.  It is utterly exquisite - I do absolutely love looking at this paper. However, I don't really want to scrap with it... it doesn't really reflect the feel of my photos - or rather how I feel about my photos.  Actually, for Christmas I prefer less, pretty but not as elegant as this paper feels.  So here I sit with a stack of photos and beautiful paper and can't quite put them together for my Album. But I am sure I will find a place for this paper... probably next week.
  • If you love it, a new paper will usually fit right into your private hoard.  If you can't find the fit right away, use it with more of it's same collection.  Once you've set it aside for a little bit, you will start thinking of endless combinations and places to use it.
  • Paper is my book anyway.  I might get tired of a paper, but I cannot ever imagine thinking that a certain paper is out-of-style.  So I have no qualms using last years papers this year or putting this years papers in my 2011 Album.  If you love it, it will always be in style.

These are snapshots of how, if you love a paper, it will find it's place - you just need to pay a little attention - whether it be for one subject matter or 10.  But then maybe, just maybe, it's our sub-conscience that chooses the papers we love... maybe we love certain papers because we love certain photos and we just don't realize it right away.

Hope all had a Happy Valentines Day!

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” - Rumi