Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Quote

Guess what I'm enjoying... can you blame me for taking a little blogging break? I'll be back to my computer soon!

“I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meaningful Journaling

Listening to this podcast of the Paperclipping Roundtable reminded me of some recent layouts where the effort to unlock the story behind the photos resulted in much more meaningful scrapbook pages.

In this first example, the photos show our son and his cousins playing football on Thanksgiving.  I knew I loved the pictures, but to journal something like "Here are the cousins playing football on Thanksgiving, having a fun time" was just boring. So why was I scrapbooking these pictures? I began brainstorming my random thoughts on paper and eventually came up with this journaling.  When Phil saw the completed layout, his first comment was, "I really like what you wrote." Ah, a sweet moment of success.

Next, I had these pictures from Phil's childhood to add to our scrapbook story, but knew I couldn't write the journaling. Phil agreed to add his own words to the layout, but admitted to me that he didn't want to write about playing Little League.

Instead the photos reminded him of his dad, even though his father isn't in either of the pictures. I told him that was great and he should write about his father if that's what he wanted to do. So he eventually came up with this journaling, which is far more meaningful to him than just sticking to what he saw in the pictures.

"Virtually every memory of organized baseball, though high school, includes my father. He painstakingly worked with me on the fundamentals and quietly shared with me his love for the game. While I experienced moments of personal and team glory, these did not last past sophomore year. My arm gave out. Coke-bottle glasses gradually eroded my batting average. But baseball memories of that era are among my favorites! Hours spent alone with dad, whether throwing or grooming the regions' best ball fields, always ended with a sense of security and expectation. And these times usually ended only for lack of light. Through all this, dad conveyed to me his love for baseball."
Meaningful journaling may not come easily, but I'm learning it is well worth the effort.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Celebrating the First Day of Summer

"What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace." 
--Ellen Goodman

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Paperclipping Festival

After watching this episode of Paperclipping, I was inspired to apply Noell's six tips from "Make Beautiful Layouts with Lots of Photos" and came up with this layout.

Here are her tips and how I applied them.
Tip #1 - Shrink or crop your photos and arrange them in compartments
Only one of my photos is the original 4x6 size. I cropped several into 4x4 squares and trimmed one down just a bit so there was room for the 3x4 photo in the upper LH corner. I wanted the pictures to flow across the page, so I kept the design to one large rectangular compartment and used a symmetrical design scheme.

Tip #2 - Use a solid color or subtle pattern for the background paper
Here I chose a grungy, off-white background paper from Basic Grey. I love how it adds depth to the layout, yet the white of my daffodils still pop out. On the video, Noell also talks about spreading color across the page. My colors are pretty uniform, so I used size instead. My close-up photos form a visual triangle, and the shots of bunches of daffodils also form a visual triangle. I think this sets apart the last column, which contains my journaling and 4x6 photo.

Tip #3 - Add patterned paper in small amounts in the gaps between the photos
I filled in the gaps at the top of the 4x4 photos, and on both ends to create a border. Here I used my corner rounder on the patterned paper to give a softer edge to the large rectangle. I use this technique quite often and love how just a few rounded corners adds a great effect.

Tip #4 - Add or wrap embellishments along the lines created with photo compartments and patterned paper
Because I wanted these beautiful pictures to be the focus, I decided to keep the embellishments confined to areas of patterned paper, with just one exception below the journaling box. My title and journaling are placed at either end of the layout, so the eye can just take in the photos as it travels across the page.

Tip #5 - Place showy, favorite embellishments in a visual triangle around the most important part of your layout
Here I used chipboard and brads to create three areas of embellishment. The first is before my title, in the lower LH corner. I love how the swirl overlaps onto the photo and leads your eye to that larger photo of the single daffodil.

The second area is at the top of the page, above a 4x4 photo. This embellishment is smaller and more subtle, since it is in the midst of all the photos. I didn't want it competing for attention, but to add just a little touch. The rounded shape and placement also helps soften an angular corner.

Finally, I created an area of embellishment at the end of the layout, around the journaling. The chipboard word helps fill in a gap between the picture and journaling block, and your eye is drawn to that whole area to read some simple journaling.

Tip #6 - Keep the journaling subtle
The grunge look comes into play again with a journaling card from this collection by Cathy Zielske. I used a fine tip pen to write three short bullet points and used brads to highlight each point.

Thanks to Noell's six tips, I think this layout turned out beautifully without being cluttered. My iPod contains my favorite Paperclipping episodes, so when I am downstairs in my scrap space I am never without great design ideas! Thanks, Noell and Izzy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BPS Class: Baker's Dozen

I'm currently taking the Baker's Dozen class over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. The class is taking me out of my comfort zone a bit and challenging me to work in ways I usually don't choose on my own. For instance:
     1. I usually don't scrap 8 1/2 X 11 pages and all the sketches have been that size.
     2. I usually don't scrap 1-photo pages but several of the sketches have called for just that.
     3. I usually don't scrap this quickly, which is probably the result of #1 and #2.

These pages have brought me unexpected pleasure and will certainly find a home in my scrapbook albums. I love that they will mix in with 12x12 pages and divided page protectors. The different sizes and styles keep my albums from being predictable and truly give that scrapbook feel. I usually don't scrap this way, but I need to remember to mix it up now and then!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Visiting the Civil War

I've been contemplating the pictures my husband, Phil, took at Greenfield Village over Memorial Day. The whole weekend was dedicated to a Civil War Remembrance and the village was filled with soldiers giving demonstrations and fighting re-enactments.

The grounds of the village were covered with tent communities of people dressed in period costume, living as if they were back in the 1860's. I found the whole experience amazing, not only for the historical value, but for a glimpse into what people do with their discretionary time and income. These people take playing Civil War quite seriously, and can spend some serious cash in the process.

We talked to some of the participants, who were always eager to answer our questions. It's a lifestyle for many of them, involving anywhere from a few weekends to months at a time, traveling to wherever the next event is being held. I was impressed by their commitment and wondered what it would be like to be a part of this community. What is it in many of us that seeks a passion in life beyond what we do for a living?