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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Creating Keepsakes Magazine 2005 Hall of Fame

Congratulations to all the Winners and Honorable Mentions! (Special props to Traci Turchin, the cutie in the photo below -- she's the one in the funky specs....)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Thematic Styles in Scrapbooking

I recently returned to some General Interest Scrapbooking message boards -- only to discover than an age-old battle either continues to rage on, or perhaps it's enjoying an undeserved revival. Never pleasant, the discussion usually decends into polarized acrimony....."All the magazines show are MOMENTS layouts, with the perfect children and lots of expensive embellishments" cry some, only to be greeted with, "Better that than than Dimple Street Gang Die cuts and Too Cute to Spook events layouts! " Both sides end up missing the real point. There are Design Styles (to be picked apart by moi on a later date) like "collage" or "graphic" and then there are THEMATIC STYLES, which have everything to do with WHAT you scrap and very little to do with HOW you do it. Most people do a little of each style, but find themselves to be most happy in one Thematic Styles. Some scrappers focus on the scrapbook-as-photo album idea and never stray from Events layouts, but most of us dabble.....Here is a rundown of the various Thematic styles as I see them:


Sample title:
A Day at the Zoo!
What they communicate:
What Happened
The Nature of the Beast: The Events Scrapper focuses on the photos that everyone (even non-scrappers) have --birthday parties and dance recitals, soccer games and posing families. Not all Events scrappers worry about the mythical land of "being caught up," but those who seek this Shangri-La will spend almost all of their time on this kind of layout.
Who does it best: Becky Higgins rules the Events roost.
Please, DON'T: say "We had a BLAST!" in your journaling. ever. Please?


Sample title: Dream, Hope, Inspire.....
What they communicate: The Emotions of the Scrapper
The Nature of the Beast: Sometimes feature length, heart-bearing journaling (hidden or visible), other times use a single concept word. Photography is usually artistic portrait style or perhaps altered to capture the emotion expressed by the layout. WHEN the photo was taken is beside the point, the real message is how the artist feels when looking at the photo....
Who does it best: Rebecca Sower, Veronica Ponce
Please, DON'T: If you have a healthy dose of the snark in you -- DON'T. Like a medieval knight's quest, Moments scrapbooking is a test for the Pure of Heart. If you get your news from The Daily Show and subscribe to The Onion, your Moments pages will wander into the land of treacle and insincerity.


Sample title: Our Family Home.
What they communicate:
The deeper meaning of everyday events and moments -- what is important about the scrapper and those she loves....
The Nature of the Beast: A middle ground between Moments and Documentary-style scrapping (described below). Photos may seem like "event" photos or "moment" photos, but the journaling always reveals that sometimes that cigar is so much more than a stinky carcinogenic tool of Carribean Communist oppression...
Who does it best: Faye Morrow Bell
Please, DON'T: Again, please be sincere. Also, keep your theme in mind. Photos of Susie with her birthday cake can be accompanied by her party guest and gift list OR musings about her journey into womanhood, but please, not both.


Sample title:
That Smile that Means Trouble
What they communicate:
The personalities of the subjects
The Nature of the Beast:
I'll admit my bias up front -- this is the style that I'm most happy working in....Photos on these layouts may be of everyday moments or even objects. The journaling conveys the story behind the photos. Personally, I'm all about the stories -- once I tell a family story to three different people, I know it must be scrapbooked, even if I have to stage photos or do a no-photo page to do it. Sometimes referred to awkwardly as "Everyday Moments" or "Daily Events" scrapping, this style is great for the freewheeling or comic scrapper.
Who does it best: Cathy Zielske
Please, DON'T:
As with Values layouts, remember to stay on-message. What exactly do you want to say? Stick to that. Side comments, issues, etc, can have a whole new layout all to themselves! Avid Documentary scrappers need to vehemently abandon the notion of being "caught up," lest they go mad.


Sample title:
Me at 30
What they communicate:
Concepts, emotion, the Inner Life of the scrapper.
The Nature of the Beast: The Scrapbook as Diary or Journal. People who do this type of layout exclusively almost never call themselves Scrapbookers, instead they consider what they do to be Altered Book, Collage, or Mixed Media Art. However, almost all scrapbookers do this type of layout occasionally. The most common Expressive topics among scrappers are "All about Me" pages of self-reflection or "Faithbooking" pages that explore the artist's spiritual journey.
Who does it best:
Heidi Swapp
Please, DON'T:
Be afraid to try it! Simply by enjoying a creative hobby, you are developing and nurturing your expressive side -- take the time to directly communicate what is inside of YOU. In the end, ALL your pages are about you because they reflect your perspective on the world around you. I think that every Scrapper should take the time to explicitly celebrate herself in her art. And remember.....for touchy, sensitive, or private topics, hidden journaling can be your friend.

Coming soon -- Design styles, book reviews, and who do you scrap for?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Here we are, out on the town...... Posted by Hello


You know, I never understood why my Mom liked Mondays so much....UNTIL NOW. After a week of rainy spring break, I was SO READY to see the tail lights of that yellow bus this morning. I had a rockin' weekend though, hanging with my friends Molly and Traci. Yes, people, I met up with internet buddies and they were not creepers, weirdos, or Comic Book Guy in disguise. We had a great time out on the town Saturday night, and then Traci and her husband Nic joined the fam for Easter Dinner on Sunday. When the time came for them to go, my 3 year old wailed, "BUT I LOVE THEM!" so they were obviously a big hit....

I have about a hour and a half before baby ballerina class and a whole heap of fun new scrapping supplies to play with, so I think I'll see what I can come up with!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Who am I? Why am I here?

How did I get here? A million years ago, I knew an idealistic and dramatic go-getter, who travelled the world and knew just about everything. She knew she was going places, damn it, although she meant that figuratively, as she knew in her heart she'd always call New England home.....

Fast forward to today, said girlie is a suburban housewife in Virginia, currently gestating daughter #3.....sure, she does a little freelance writing, but, for crying out loud, she specializes in CRAFTS and SCRAPBOOKING. Her inner Riot Grrl must be weeping.

What am I going to blog about? Who the heck knows. I've never been too good at restricting my interests or my chatter. These are merely the inner musings of that lady at the PTA meeting wearing Doc Maertens with her maternity pants......