Friday, 8 September 2006

My elements of style

Last weekend my little boy was a bit restless to go out and we had to entertain him for a few minutes while my DH was getting ready, so I grabbed one of my 12x12 albums and sat down with him while we looked through the photos. This kept him amused enough and gave me a chance to see one of my old albums again (I don’t do this often enough!). This particular album is nearly 3 years old and I had been scrapping “properly” for about 2 years at this point. Supplies were a little harder to get a hold of here in the UK at that point and all of that showed in my album: pages were simple, clean and using mainly stickers as embellishments.

Later that evening, my curiosity aroused, I took out ALL my albums and looked at them again: as I scrap my photos in order, the pages were also in the order they were scrapped and besides providing a linear story of my family, they also do a very good job of showing what embellishments I was using at the time! For example, I found the first layout I did using eyelets and after that followed another 10 or 12 pages that had eyelets somewhere. Slowly these got replaced with brads. Then I moved on to buttons, then ribbon, then flowers, then all three. I discovered my stapler somewhere about now, and you can tell. All along stickers feature on a lot of my layouts, especially word and letter ones. And so on.

Not only could I tell what embellishments I was excited about at the time, but also what techniques I was trying out. I started out very basically but quickly moved on to color-blocked layouts. Then I used a lot of transparencies (that I printed myself!), which then gave way to pre-printed vellum quotes on layers of patterned paper, to hide the adhesive. I quickly realized that I quite liked the layered paper so I began to use that a lot, along with rounded corners and inking. I tried chalking but quickly moved on, as I didn’t like it. I also tried collage style layouts and wasn’t impressed with my results. I tried sanding and distressing and liked it quite a lot, so there are a few pages with these techniques. These days I have been trying patterned papers as accents, with a few successful pages but mainly I haven’t’ quite got it.

All in all, though, my style has remained fairly consistent: I like clean pages with lots of photos and handwritten journaling. I still use color blocking a lot along with corner rounders and inked edges. I don’t use eyelets as often as I used to, mainly because I like hammering but others in crops don’t always enjoy the banging. I still use stickers and I love them. I also make conscious efforts in using ribbons and flowers, because I have so many of them.

Generally I think that anyone that knows my work would be able to spot one of my layouts straight away. Does this mean that my layouts are all the same? I don’t think so but, just like my wardrobe, certain colors and accessories always feature, mixed in various ways, and these are the elements of my style. I feel comfortable in my style and, while I sometimes wish I could change it a bit more, I like having a “style”.

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