Saturday, April 4, 2009

Scrapbooking Words of Advice

Here are some lessons that I've been thinking about in recent months. Maybe you scrapbookers will find them helpful, or maybe you already know all this stuff.
  1. Find ways to weave scrapbooking into your daily life. Scrapbooking tasks can be broken down into manageable chunks. Look through magazines for inspiration while sitting in a waiting room, or in the looping line at school, or at traffic lights (sorry, it was probably me at the front of the line when the light turned green). Draw up sketches while your kids swing, or do homework (nice together time), or eat lunch. Get out paints, or Play-Doh, or beads for the kids while you sit with them to create items for your page. Keep a notebook handy to jot down page ideas, inspiration, conversations, journaling, or anything else that comes to mind. If possible, keep layouts in progress out where you can walk by them several times throughout the day. Ideas sometimes spring up at the craziest moments. I also often start a layout at night, and finish it in the morning. I love the fresh set of eyes I can look with in the morning, and sometimes ideas come to me as I'm dozing off to sleep or in the shower.
  2. Scrapbooking does not have to be this great overwhelming task. You don't need to create a publishable work of art, with loads of handmade embellishments and intricate designs. Matching photos up with the stories they tell is about all it takes.
  3. I have realized that I will never be "caught up"; to accomplish that I would need to stop taking photos, and that's never gonna happen! So now I scrapbook whatever I feel like doing (I'm not a chronological scrapper). Sometimes I impose deadlines on myself (complete vacation album before next year's vacation), sometimes I scrapbook recent photos because nothing motivates like fresh pictures. But most often I grab a stack, thumb through them, jot down thoughts or feelings, and scrapbook a page to tell the story.
  4. In the words of Ali Edwards, "embrace imperfection" These two words have become my scrapbooking mantra. In 25 years, no one is going to analyze the color scheme you chose, or critique your writing with a red pen. What they will notice is the time and effort you took to tell the stories of those you love. Don't you wish you had an album of what you were like as a child? That's the important stuff of what you're creating.
  5. Use those supplies. For so long I would buy papers, stickers, embellishments, etc and then think they were "too good" to use on my layouts. I was a hoarder. And for what? Because you know what happened? I looked through all that cuteness and prettiness and realized it wasn't my taste anymore, or it looked dated. There will always be new papers, embellishments, etc coming out. Trends change so quickly, so use up what you bought while you still love it. Besides, nothing is as inspiring as new product. Next time you pick up new paper, force yourself to cut into it within a week. I find it very freeing to crack open a new paper pack, or peel off a new sticker. Once you do, it's no longer new and you'll have no excuses not to use up the rest.
  6. It's only paper. Cut it, tape it, paint it, create with it. If you mess up, you can just get more. And what really is a "mess up"? Most of the time, what you think of as a mess up can actually be used, either elsewhere on a layout, or in another project. Cards are perfect little projects to use up those tossed aside embellishments or miss-cut paper scraps.

Well, there it is: everything I know about scrapbooking from my little hands and into your brains. Don't tell me I never taughtcha anything ;)

1 comment:

kate said...

Thanks Michelle- this is great and really helpful! I love that you added such a cool photo of yourself tyo the blog too! Keep inspiring us!