Thursday, 9 February 2006

It is all about enjoying the process, I guess

I had one outstanding photo and I scrapped it last night. It ‘s been a little while since I scrapped anything for myself (as opposed to CJs and gifts) so it was nice to get back into it, as it were.

I’d been putting this off for a while because, quite frankly, couldn’t be bothered with taking all my stuff out just to work on one photo but then I realized that a lot of scrappers do that regularly so thought – why not? This meant I could spend a bit longer on a one-photo layout (which is roughly 9x9) and I really enjoyed it. I tried a few different techniques and was pretty pleased with the result. I will upload a photo as soon as I get my act together, I promise.

Anyway, this was a great way to exercise my New Year’s resolution – slow scrapping. I still feel that because I’m quite lucky and am caught up, I should indulge in the hobby and not rush to complete but this means breaking the habits of a lifetime. I have slowly realized over the past few months that I am a completer: I read really quickly because I can’t wait to finish the book and move on... I am very organized at work because I like to know exactly where each task is and how close I am to finishing it... I always do the dishes straight after eating because I want to get the job over and done with... I am up to date with my scrapping because I keep my layouts simple and have now caught up... and so on.

Good or bad thing? I don’t know. Let me know what you think!

On another but slightly related subject, I participated in a discussion the other day with the lovely Latina Scrappers and someone coined a great phrase: “premade arrangers”. This would apply to scrappers that, as the name implies, work with pre-produced embellishments as opposed to making their own. IT isn’t a positive or negative term; it is just a great description of one kind of scrapper.

This got me thinking that this was the very thing that had been “bothering” me about the whole scrapping industry. When I stared, back in prehistoric scrapping times, stickers and die cuts were the height of sophistication. We would layer die cuts, paint them, chalk them, whatever, until you ended with a unique embellishment for your pages. This did mean that pages took a bit longer (only a bit, mind) but the end result was pretty unique. As the industry grew, the stash available obviously became more and more sophisticated and gave rise to a lot of products designed to make life easier and completing pages faster. Hence the rise of premade arrangers – the pages looked fantastic with much less effort.

I have never really liked die cuts so even back then I was a cardstock/pen/photos kinda girl. To this day, my favorite pages are the simple color blocked ones with few embellishments. But even I have boxes and boxes of premade stuff and find it so hard to use – maybe because I didn’t “grow up” with these things and in my heart of hearts I like creating my own bits. I do find some things really convenient – like color blocked papers – and will use them to death because I know that they speed things up for me (and we know I like to finish things) but other things seem quite expensive and I think: “but I can make that!”

Suddenly you could make your layouts look almost exactly like the layouts in your favorite scrapping magazine – all you had to do was to follow the shopping list! Where was the artistic input in that?

It’s a bit like cooking: some people really enjoy the whole messy, time-consuming task of creating something from scratch while some of us just have enough time for a convenience dinner. I think I fall somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning towards the “from scratch” side a bit more. What about you?

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