Thursday, 26 January 2006

For those of us living in the real world

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing this hobby right – I have trouble shopping for stash, I am always running out of photos and I find it really, really hard to create layouts with only one photo. Yet almost all of the layouts featured on the big magazines have one photo – one huge photo and tons of text.

I know there isn’t a “wrong” way to scrapbook (unless you stick your photos on upside down or back to front, ha ha!) but I sometimes wish I could change my style. Other times I am glad I have a style and that I am comfortable with it because it makes creating pages so much easier... but then again, I don’t think I would ever get published in a magazine. Or win a competition. Or be somebody’s scrapping hero.

I do occasionally create one-photo layouts but it is usually because I happen to have a photo larger than 6x4 that I can use (I scrap 12x12 mainly so using a 6x4 photo on it’s own just doesn’t always work) and it is a special one. For me, my scrapbooks are about remembering a special moment or time and find that one photo just doesn’t do it justice so I generally use 3 or so for a single page layout. I don’t think my layouts look that bad either but of course they are never as good as the stuff in magazines.

Recently I received an email with a photo attachment that had two versions of the same photo: one was the original, un-touched photo of a girl in a bikini and the other was the airbrushed version that was used in the magazine. This of course made me feel so much better as it proves that it is simply impossible to look like the girls in magazines. Of course I knew that already, but somehow seeing the two images together made it all come home quite vividly.

I wonder if that can somehow translate to the scrapping magazine world – I will never be able to create a layout as beautiful as the ones in magazines. Not because of extensive airbrushing of the bumpy bits (but I guess that could happen) but because I suspect a lot of those layouts are specifically created for the magazine, with photos taken by professionals and embellished by scrappers that do not have to stick to a budget. So they can take one enormous, beautiful photo and spend £50 on one page – how is that realistic?

I shall continue plodding on with my pages, sticking as many photos as I can, journaling in my own handwriting (messy as that is), keeping to a reasonable budget and even creating embellishments to save some cash – but all the time happy in the knowledge that although the magazines may not be interested, I hope that my family will be and they become cherished keepsakes that I have created with lots of love!

Friday, 13 January 2006

I think my mind needs some altering

I don’t really get “altered stuff”. I have been invited to a workshop and I said I’d love to go, but mainly because maybe it will help me “get it”.

I can see the thrill in creating and the satisfaction when it’s done... but then what do you do with it afterwards? Some of the altered objects are easier to understand why they are done: things like boxes are of course really useful and great if they are pretty. But what’s the deal about clipboards? I don’t normally use one, so why would I need to alter one and then do what with it? Or CDs?

There seems to be a lot of one-upmanship about altered objects too - who has created the most outrageous, weirdest, wackiest thing. As a spectator I can see the photos and think WOW this is lovely! But secretly I am glad I don't have it lying around in my house.

This is, in my mind, “electric knife” stuff: great as a gift but if you had one you probably wouldn’t use it. It sure would be cute to look at though!

Thursday, 12 January 2006

No wonder scrapbooking is a multi-million dollar industry

I often wonder if I understand this hobby at all. I thought it was about saving memories, being creative and adding a bit of “you” to the record keeping... but from reading other people’s comments on various boards, I wonder if the real point of scrapbooking is to accumulate as much stash as possible without ever intending to use it.

I know that there are many gorgeous and yummy things out there but is it really “whoever has the most stash wins”? Even if you never really intend to use it? What is the point then? All these pretties will then live in boxes, never to be seen by others – but if they are used in an album, everyone will get to enjoy them.

I don’t plan my pages at all so of course I see the value of having a selection of things you can choose from as you work. But I surely don’t need every color Bazzill ever made! I generally work with what I have so I really like swaps and kits as someone else does the choosing for me. This means I get to try out something I may not have chosen myself and might even like it. But I don’t buy things specifically for a page or even try to match the colors up perfectly on my layouts because that would mean shopping again.

Am I the only one?

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

I need to slow down

My new year’s (scrapping) resolution is to work more slowly. I generally throw together pages very quickly – some work out great, some don’t – but I never go back and re-do them. I like to complete things.

While this sounds great, it means that a lot of the pages I’ve completed lately are not great, they will do but this doesn’t excite me. I need to break out of my box, try some new techniques and materials and I will only do this if I let go of my need for speed.

I had a crop last weekend and only finished 5 pages instead of my usual 8 or 10, but I am pretty pleased with these pages and the time spent on them was well worth it.

I feel that I can afford to slow down a bit also because I am completely caught up with my photos – I finished all the ones I had left at the crop. Most of the photos are of my little boy Samuel and now that he is no longer a baby (he is 2) I find I don’t take as many photos as I used to, perhaps because the milestones are further and further apart these days. So I need to take photos that will go with more meaningful journaling: not just the “this is the day when Sam had his first banana” but more along the lines of “sometimes I feel that I cannot understand your moods, you little mood swinger you”.

First post...

I think I ought to try out this blogging thing... everyone else seems to be doing it!

So a big welcome to me to the blogosphere is in order.

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