Winter in Hawaii isn't exactly snowy and blustery, so it shouldn't be a surprise that oranges would be ripening here in December, but I live in a rather rainy area of the island, where the oranges on our tree have traditionally "ripened" to a greenish brown, and not the bright orange color that they surprised me with this year. I had to document it.
That is exactly what was behind my second layout as well.
The oddest thing is that he looked lonely to me, even surrounded by a large group of Secret Service agents -- or maybe it was because of that.
In any case, the experience was surreal.
The third project that I created documents the year in review, in the form of a mini-album.
(The full album can be viewed in the gallery at JBS Mercantile. The date stamp I used can be found at Two Peas.)
And you may have noticed that it is not necessarily a showstopper of a project, a brilliant feat in design; on the contrary, it is simple, and purposefully so. One photo block. One accent block. One title block. One block of (packed) journaling. The focus here is on telling the story, on recounting a year, and the simple design helped me to get that done. I love it not for its ability to "dazzle," but for its ability to evoke that which mattered most to me over the course of 365 precious days.
As I look ahead to another year, that is something I want to keep in perspective: the story is the most important aspect of scrapbooking. Tonight I gave a stack of layouts a home in a fresh new album, and as I sat with my daughter looking through the pages, it became clear rather quickly how these albums are "read." The eye looks at the photos first, and then moves to the journaling, and then back to the photos. I might notice some cool technique in the process, but not everyone will look at the pages with a scrapper's eye. My daughter just kept pulling the album closer and asking, "What does it say?"
This is exactly what I was trying to get at when I wrote a post a few days ago about this on the Two Peas blog: the words matter. The story matters. The heart of a project is not found in the design; the heart is found somewhere between word and image, and the meaning that emerges from the interplay between the two.
While some have been asking lately whether scrapbooking is "dying," the best way that I can answer that question is to think about what keeps it alive for me. I will continue to insist on telling stories, and on being as genuine as I possibly can in my creative process as well as on the finished page. As long as there are stories to tell, there is a need to document them, meaningfully.