It's been a prolific year in paper for me, and now, looking back, I am amazed at all that has happened over the past twelve months. I've created close to 150 projects, put together a class (Scrapbooking from the Soul) that was a true labor of love, made twelve videos for the Two Peas Scrap Your Stash series, and still have a week of scrapping to go before the year ends!
The following layouts serve as evidence of where my crafty inclinations and sensibilities have led me in 2013.
Shiny Happy Pages
Whether in the form of tape or straight out of the bottle, glitter is good. Yes, I have finally moved beyond my aversion for what Demetri Martin once called "the herpes of the craft world." Granted, there is such a thing as glitter overkill, but in small, manageable amounts, glitter can enhance a page. The same is true for other shine-inducing elements, such as iridescent mists and stamping ink.
Everyday Photos, Everyday Stories
It is rare for me to declare, "Smile!" before taking a photo. I have learned to find meaning in the details and in the not-so-poseable moments that characterize everyday life. To capture the everyday, whether in the form of a photo or in language, involves removing the filter that interferes with authenticity. I have tried to be present on the page, and even when I am not in the photos, I have tried to share my view of the world as I see it. "Scrapworthiness" is in the eye of the beholder.
I get a kick out of the small bits on pages, the details that add character and dimension, and I believe that even the tiniest bits of a layout can be embedded with meaning. A layout is the sum of its parts, but it is so much more -- ultimately, what builds the unity on a page is the passion behind it. If I can look at a layout and feel something, then I have made it matter. The techniques are fun, and I love to lose myself in the process of creating a layout, but for a layout to really resound, my heart must be on that page as well.
Get Your Quirk On
Scrapbooking is about the preservation of memories, sure, but it also involves cultivating a sense of play. When I just have fun with a page, I discover ways to push past what is conventional, and I discover new ways to approach pages, not just in terms of design, but in terms of the story. The journaling for this layout is emblematic of why it is so worth it to regard personal quirks as a strength when it comes to the creative process. Embrace that quirkiness, and let it find its way into how you tell the story.
This year I created several layouts that bring together photos taken over time, and these layouts are now among my most treasured keepsakes. Placed alongside each other, these photos tell a story of growth, change, love, loss, and legacy.
It's All Worth It
Not every layout needs to have a single, cohesive story at the heart of it. Even fragments can be pieced together to form something valuable and real and worth sharing. I keep my ears open and I jot down thoughts, observations, and snippets of conversation that I want to remember. From the fragments can come something remarkable, made whole with the help of your hands and heart.
On a recent Two Peas forum thread, I shared that 2013 has been "The Year of the Frame" for me. I've used them in so many of my layouts. They're so versatile. They can be filled with photos, embellishments, journaling, and more. A single frame can make a statement on a page, but so can many, gathered together.
Enjoy It. All of It.
Above all, this year has been great for my scrappy psyche, as I have really come to accept who I am and what my strengths are, and I have not really found myself worried about measuring up to others or clamoring toward some unspoken standard of how layouts should or should not look. I work toward the moment that I feel something "click," and I realize that everyone experiences that "click" in a different way. I use what makes me happy, and I avoid that which does not make me happy, and in doing so, I create happily. Sure, sometimes I experience stress as deadlines loom ever closer, but once I'm in the zone, surrounded by paper and color and words and ideas, I am at my best. I hope that what comes through as people look at my layouts -- whether right now or someday -- is that whoever put them together really seemed to care about what she was doing.
I am definitely looking forward to 2014. Who knows where I will find myself creatively a year from now?