August 21, 2009

a good start...

okay, so these pictures aren't new, but I don't have the camera right now, so... I thought a lot about Jackie's comments (thanks, Jackie!!) on my last post, did some internet searching on scrapbooking sites, and got out my stack of albums and took a look at them, to see what I actually have.

I started out scrapbooking with Creative Memories, which is a home-consultant company... they were very much of "the pictures are the focus" school of thought- by this, they meant not overwhelming the photos with patterned paper, embellishments, etc. They also had strap-hinge (a type of binding) albums, and white paper pages. The pages above were photos of my parents and sister graciously helping me with the very messy job of removing the carpet from my first house, and restoring the hardwood floor that was underneath. Not much in the way of embellishments here, but the photos help me to remember how hot it was, how much dust there was, how much I appreciated, their help, and how satisfying it was to have it done!

The layout above was made with a template for cutting and arranging the photos- the photos were all taken at Anderson Gardens, in Rockford, IL, a very beautiful public Japanese garden in the middle of the city. I didn't do much embellishing at all, except for matting the photos and making the origami crane. The photos are definitely the focus here, and I very much meant it to be that way.

This layout doesn't even have any photos, but I wanted to remember some of the (many) big changes that happened in 2005- we got a dog (Sedona!), Tom sold his car, we sold our house, and we moved from Illinois to Arizona--- no pictures needed, really.

One thing all these layouts (and most of my layouts, actually) have in common is that they're pretty linear and simple... in the past, I haven't gone in for overly "cutesy" or "busy" layouts- maybe that will change with the art journaling influence, we'll see.

The internet searching that I've done the past few days led to some revelations in regards to the "guilt" that can be associated with scrapbooking (guilt from mountains of photos not scrapbooked, or even printed); the feeling of not being "caught up" and feeling like scrapbooking is a "chore" rather than a fun hobby. My searching led me to the site Big Picture Scrapbooking- they offer online classes, and a totally different philosophy that is about scrapbooking the memories, not necessarily the photos, not doing "event-based" layouts, and not having to do things chronologically in order to capture the memories you want to keep. Now, I need to find a couple books related to this at the library.

I had actually been thinking about ripping my photo albums all apart and re-doing them, but I decided NOT to do that; they're okay the way they are-- that was my style at the time. I also went thru my boxes of stuff, and found pretty much another whole album's worth of pages that are all mostly done- maybe it's not a creative block after all, but an organizational block!

Anyway- I got over 60 photos printed last week from a trip we took over Christmas, and we'll see what happens to them. And lastly, a quote I just found that seems to sum up the whole "scrapbooking" and photo album thing- to use the photos and journaling to keep track of events and memories for the future: We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and in retrospection. Anais Nin


Jackie said...

Not to "slam" the people who are into scrapbooking and all of the myriad way there are to decorate pages...but as I read your post I was remebering the scrapbooks that Gram used to have. Simple pages with the pictures stuck to them. They didn't need anything other than that. If the purpose of a scrapbook is to preserve a memory, why gunk it up with all sorts of other decorations?

Clarify your purpose for the scrapbook first and then begin to bring it into form.

In art school we learned the old adage K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. There's nothing wrong with keeping something "simple" In fact, it usually is the best.

crimsoncat05 said...

good point, Jackie... it's hard to do, though, since all the paper and embellishments are so stinkin' cute!! lol!! I think it's also influenced by the magazines and stuff out there that is all basically advertisements for the products... but I know what you mean; the photos and the memories they represent are the point.

crimsoncat05 said... more point, though- I agree, that Grandma's albums are really neat because we can see and read about little bits of her life thru her photos and written journals. For me, part of the fun of the process is the creative part, with the decorative paper and stuff... I think I'm still preserving the memories, just in a bit of a different way. Gram had "scrap" albums, too- the wallpaper sample books full of comic strips and pictures-- remember them?

Jackie said...

I'm not saying NOT to add bits and pieces of paper or stamping or other stuff. I just think that all that other stuff (too many choices) can become overwhelming and prevent a person from even starting a project (I believe you've said nearly that same thing on one or more occasion). And sometimes people (not necessarily you) add so much stuff to their pages, and they are so busy, that it's hard to tell what the focal point is.

If the point of the page is the "stuff", that's ok, if the point of the page are the photos let them be front and center.

There are always going to be cute new products or ideas out there to try. But just because they're there, doesn't mean a person has to use them.