Monday, May 16, 2011

A bit of "drama", Sensei style

I don't know why I'm compelled to call my every strong emotion "drama". Why is that? It's perfectly acceptable to have strong emotions. In fact, I believe so many of us desire people in our lives to actually feel through things--to care about things. I felt a little bit embarrassed about sharing this page, but I've done this kind of unspoken thing where I've decided that I'm sharing all of my pages from 2011 on my blog as a way to keep me motivated to keep up on my scrapping this year. This is one of my emotional pages.

The more emotional I get, the more organic my photo layout tends to be. It's like all of that stuff gets jumbled up inside of me and I can't force myself to make a grid of pictures, to line everything up all neatly and perfectly. The stuff I feel doesn't get lined up neatly and perfectly inside of me, so I put a little bit of that randomness onto the page. I had a really hard time getting this together, so I made a few decisions early on to give myself some boundaries so that I wouldn't stress myself out with the possibilities. (This is another one of my tips for getting some of your scrapbooking actually finished... You MUST set yourself some sort of rule that you will not stray from so that you can actually get your stuff on the page. IF, however, you receive a flash of brilliant inspiration contrary to your original rule, then you MUST break your original rule and go with your flash. I just like setting the rule out so that if my flash never comes, I'll still get a good page done. Get it? Got it? Good.)

Prior Decisions:
-2 page layout
-One page would be solely for showcasing the journaling I had recorded on the specific day that this all happened.
-The other page would be for pictures.
-This page would have an old, much loved, vintage feel.
-I would not force myself, as I usually do, to be done in one sitting. This one would take some time and my desk would be a mess and that would be okay with me. (Here that, Self?! The messy desk is FINE on this one for a while. You just shut your mouth.)
-I would ONLY use papers and embellishments from the Colorbok Flea Market collection. (Remember this rule, because I did end up breaking it in a flash of inspiration.)

Those decisions made, I set about making this:

After finally setting my boundaries, the page flowed so naturally and organically, it was another one of those processes where (seriously, I'm not preaching, just expressing my own experience in the creative process) I felt like I had Help. I am a Christian. Most people know that about me. Closer to the truth is that I'm more of a charismatic Christian, which is where people think it gets weird. Basically, I have this open and flowing experience with God pretty constantly in my life and I feel it expresses itself in all kinds of ways, whether through words, or through feelings, or through times like this when as I create, the process is so smooth and flowing that it's like He and I truly become one in mind and motion. We bond a lot by making stuff. It might sound crazy or silly, but you can think of it as me being connected with the creative energy of the universe or something, if that helps you, because it's still technically correct, I guess.

Anyway, the first moment It happened was after I had used the pink measuring tape fabric stickers at the bottoms of both of my pages. It seemed so fitting somehow, but I didn't know why, until later after laying my pictures out and tearing up just a bit again, I remembered the quote I eventually put there. "Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold." -Zelda Fitzgerald.

Then with the journaling, and the borders, and all of that. The other paper strips you see are ones that I took off of the tops of the papers in the Flea Market paper stack. I love these double sided strips and use them all the time. They're like pre-made embellishments. I like working with loose paper anyway, so I always get home and tear my paper packs apart so that I have all loose sheets. In ones like the Colorbok sets (which I love), you end up with all of these double sided strips that you can just tear off at the dotted line. I originally didn't like that they had holes in them, but then I grew to really enjoy the look.

As I kept going, though, I started to realize that the stuff in the Colorbok Flea Market collection wasn't going to be enough to help me out. I left the page, and the next day I went shopping for a 7Gypsies Letterpress Tray at Scrapbooks Etc., which they didn't have. But while I was there, I bought some Basic Grey rubons (Designer Rubons, 843940029959 rub-2995... they didn't have a specific name, just numbers... They're the black old fashioned travel themed ones, really cool) and rubons from Melissa Frances called "Vintage Transfers", which had a whole bunch of crowns and wings. Also very cool. I also picked up a sheet of pearl stickers, also from Melissa Frances, labeled "1962 Trinkets and Baubles".

I wasn't planning on using any of these things for the page I was working on. I just grabbed them because I loved them. They spoke to me. I'm developing more of a vintage style, like everyone else, so I resisted it for a long time, until I realized I just love it and I always create most easily with the products I love.

When I got home and I began working on my page again, I realized that some of the images and pearls I just bought would look perfect on the page. So I broke my rule. I put some of them in there. I added a whole bunch of old fabric accents I had in my stash. I put pearls everywhere (to indicate how precious I felt it all was).

Just working through the page gave me such a sense of fulfillment. It was emotionally releasing to get this kind of stuff down on paper. I realized how grateful I was for my son's growth, and what a joy he has been in our lives. He gets funnier every day he gets older. I wanted to express what I felt today as I made the page, and not just what I felt on the day I took the pictures. I made a custom journaling spot, which is one of my favorite things to do. It's very easy. Just take some good border stamps, like the ones I used here (the straight flourish), and stamp yourself a box. The corners were empty and, again, It happened when I saw that in the same set (Pink Paislee Pop Fashion) there was a tiny crown stamp, and I stamped the corners with the crown. (I used crown rubons earlier on Elliott's two pictures.)

I then basically drew lines across my stamped box with a normal gel pen and using a ruler. I like to push at different strengths as I draw my line to make them look more like the worn out, store bought stuff you usually get. Again, a lot of scrapbookers think they like "perfect", but what they usually like is "store bought" and the store bought stuff is almost NEVER perfect.

I worked through a lot of emotions about my kids growing up as I made this page, and it was so nice. One of my favorite tidbits I added was from the BasicGrey rubons, of the little ship at the bottom right corner of the picture of Elliott in the playpen. It's sailing off, towards outside of the bounds of the picture, symbolizing that his journey and his adventure are continuing. It was a quick little thing to put, but as soon as I did, there was a kind of release emotionally in me. I celebrate his journey, not just his times as a baby. And I'm so honored to be a part of it all.

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