Maybe it's both -- page and story converge gradually, with a greater sense of intention and clarity, as the creative process goes along. I usually start a page not with a sense of what supplies or design I want to use, but rather, with a feeling or theme in mind, and both story and page begin to take shape from there.
Sometimes, however, trusting that the idea that I want to convey will materialize eventually can be a challenge, especially when I am working on a project that asks me to venture into new territory.
The "funeral page" is an example of that territory. It isn't exactly a common page topic. The tribute page is generally as close as most scrapbookers get when it comes to documenting loss. I've seen threads on forums asking whether it was "weird" to take photos at a funeral, or about whether it was "okay" to scrapbook a funeral. The few funeral layouts that I have seen -- and I've only seen two or three -- included dark and somber colors, as well as understated patterns and fonts. They definitely did not look like this:
This is the only layout that I have ever made about a funeral, although I suppose "funeral" is a misnomer, as my Uncle Joe specifically requested NOT to have a somber and serious funeral, but a lively party instead. There are no funerary blacks and navys here -- just elements that remind me of my uncle and his Hawai'i roots, his love of the ocean, and his vibrant personality.
I will admit that I had reservations about creating this page -- not just because of the topic, but because of the approach I wanted to take. I mean, I used the word "fun" pretty boldly here -- was that okay?
My uncle would definitely say yes, so I'm cool with it.
I choose to think of this page not just as a reminder of a colorful life well-lived, but of the importance of giving ourselves permission to tell stories in ways that feel real and vivid and true to us.