Perfect Just the Way You Create

I walked past the table today and my own layout caught my eye.  It’s one I’m doing for the infamous travel album.  It made me think to myself, “Wow, I really like my style”.  Do you ever have those moments?  For me, they are few and far between.  I spend much more time criticizing myself because my pages don’t look as good as the pages shown in magazines or that people post online.  I know we all have our own style and there are reasons behind our style.  Here is mine – let’s ‘break it down’!

1.  Lots of photos per page – Nope, won’t see any single photo layouts in my albums.  I don’t scrapbook to be artistic or to showcase my graphic designer skills.  I scrap to get my pictures in albums where we can look at them.  I take a lot of pictures, always have.  I’ve gotten better about selecting which one’s to file vs. include in layouts.  But there has been many a time when I was looking through an album and thought, “Hey, where’s that picture of…?”.  I remember it, I feel it was part of the story, and I want others to see it so why is it stored separately in a box?  I don’t want any more of those regretful moments.  Honestly, how often do you gather around to look through the photos that are stored?  Me, never.  But I constantly look through my albums.  I always have one placed on the coffee table for easy browsing.  So mostly I store doubles or photos that are very similar to others.  Other than that, it goes in my scrapbook.

2.  Good journaling – I love to write (duh!) so journaling has never been a hardship for me, like I know it can be for some.  I have more of a problem keeping it simple and not writing down TOO much.  As for handwritten vs. computer journaling, I try to handwrite unless it’s extensive journaling that won’t fit…because my handwriting is on the larger side.  I look at my scrapbooks as a journal, and I want to remember the details.  I always make sure to include the date, place & people details because those are the most important.  I also include my initials and the date I scrapped it really small in the bottom right corner of the page.  I don’t scrap chronologically, so it helps me to see how I’ve progressed (or not, in some cases!).

3.  Nice photos without much editing – I’m not that great with computers.  I don’t know how to use PhotoShop (yet).  I don’t have time to sit and individually edit each photo.  I’d rather spend that time scrapping.  I take both digital and 35mm photos but everything is developed at my local Longs Drugs.  I can’t tell you what an excellent job they do.  The colors are rich and the photos are clear and sharp.  The digital ones, I might play with a little on the kiosk-thingee when I download them, but mostly I just order 1 or 2 of each, a CD, and pick ’em up when they’re done.  With a coupon, their prices are pretty good and I’ve never found that photo quality anywhere else.  Yes, I’m very picky.  I don’t like photos with that “digital” look.  And I don’t believe in editing other than red-eye or cropping.  For me, my scrapbook captures my real life with all it’s imperfections.  I don’t want to show off my digi-family, our digi-dog, and the digi-4th of July parade.  Gimme real life anytime.  (My stepdad is an amazing photographer who does graphic artist level stuff to his photos in PhotoShop.  We got into quite the debate at Christmas!)

4.  12×12 layouts – I have done several mini-albums for theme stuff, but my everyday albums are 12×12 postbound.  I started scrapbooking with Creative Memories (who didn’t?), so I have several strap hinge albums.  But when I discovered how easily you can move pages around with post-bound, I was hooked.  I also love the variety in album choices because they are the most popular type of album and most companies have some version of a 12×12 postbound.  I have to go 12×12 because of all the photos (see #3).  I have a friend who scraps 8.5×11 and I can’t even comprehend that.  I keep trying to convert her to 12×12, pointing out all the advantages, but she won’t budge.

5.  Pretty simple style – Not Becky Higgins simple, or Cathy Z. simple, but simpler than most I see.  Here is my typical page:  Base of Bazzill cardstock or subtle patterned paper; embellished a bit with more PP, or store bought embellishments (I don’t ever make my own like some talented ladies do); title with rub-ons, letter stickers, paint stamps or computer generated; a mixture of cropped and uncropped photos, with the focal photo(s) matted with cardstock; journaling either hidden or showing; and maybe some ribbon as a border or little bits stapled here and there.  That’s it.  I know about embossing, UTEE, quilling, layered stamping, etc. but you won’t see it my pages.  I admire those that will spend that kind of time on a layout, but I’m not a patient girl.  Let’s get some layouts done – chop, chop!

I hope when others see my scrapbooks and my style, they see me reflected there.  I’m a practical, smart, attractive, traditional, talkative, passionate, loving wife and mom.  I hope those attributes also describe my pages (well, except a page can’t be a wife and mom…).  Anyhow, it was a good moment to see that layout and be pleased with it.  I hope you have moments like that too.  I completely love Donna Downey’s motto:  “Perfect just the way you create”.  Now, go create something!

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