Friday, 6 October 2006

Let's all clash together

As many of you know, I’ve recently joined the design team at www.willowtreecrafts.co.uk and although I’d already completed this month’s project, I had enough paper left over to try and do something else with. The kit was mainly shades of pink and some Doodlebug text paper with love words all over it... now, I don’t have many photos that scream LOVE to me, and neither do they necessarily require pink, so it took some thinking but in the end I’ve managed to create two things so can’t be bad!

The first was a mini album – it was easy to put together and a joy to decorate with the gorgeous sheets of matching Chatterbox papers I got. I had some old photos of David and I while we lived in Florida, so this was a great place to put them, so the little book had the theme of love all over it, based on the Doodlebug paper. In the end I didn’t actually USE that paper but I managed to convey the love thing through the colors and embellishments.

So last night I sat staring at this unused Doodlebug paper and felt it was almost a crime that it lay there, unused. So I went and searched my old photos again and found one of David and me that I really, really like. Again, it was taken in our Florida days (so we are both nicely tanned!) and we are both wearing shades of blue... but the paper is pink. Bright, girly, in-your-face pink. Can I use it on a mainly blue toned photo?

I thought about this for a long time (about 2 minutes, which is ages for me) and decided to go for it. I mean the whole point of the page (besides using the paper) was to record a moment, a memory and a feeling. The text paper supported these things beautifully, so what if the colors don’t actually match?

I softened the transition by matting the photo in a wide grey mat and then laying this on top of the text paper and other patterned papers that match the Doodlebug one (I’ll upload a photo as soon as I can, I promise!) but all in all I think it looks great and doesn’t matter that the whole thing isn’t color coordinated.

Which got me thinking: WHY does it all have to match? Life is full of clashes and I use scrapbooking to record life, so aren’t the clashes just another part of it? I mean, let’s face it, we don’t always dress in coordinating colors when we take everyday photos so why do I need to spend ages trying to make things match “just so”?

Of course there has to be some design decision to be made, otherwise the page isn’t pleasing to look at but my general idea on that is that if the page elements match among themselves (papers, embellishments, cardstock) then it doesn’t really, really matter if the photos don’t exactly match. Besides, the clash might actually make the photos stand out more and isn’t that the whole point? I like to think that people are looking at the photos first, not the pretty things all over the page.

This also takes me to my old argument of time: I want to get my memories recorded and rather spend time completing projects rather than making endless design decisions and getting nowhere. This is of course a personal choice due to my own goals for the hobby and I talk about this all the time so moving on...

I actually love the resulting page. I love the way that all the elements unify the story being told and I love the way the photo stands out from the page, as it should. I love that I was able to scrap this photo that is very special (mainly because we both look great in those tans) and that I wrote a few words about it. I love also that it is completed and that I can move on.

I challenge you to clash, to get out of this whole coordinated look and to create pages that are true to life, complete with all the imperfections that it brings. You’ll feel liberated!

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