Welcome back everyone! It's Ann posting again as your WCS hostess for the week. Trying to come up with interesting content for the blog has had a few interesting side effects. One of them is that it got me thinking about why I scrap the way I do. My conclusion as of yesterday was this: my scrapping style is heavily influenced by the fact that I'm lazy and cheap. I guess I could make it sound better by saying that I'm efficient and frugal but really...I'm lazy and cheap LOL.
We'll leave the cheap part for another post (tomorrow's, actually) and focus on the lazy part for today. See, my attitude about scrapping is this: why make it harder than it has to be? Why do more work than you have to (unless you want to)? Over time, I've streamlined my scrapping to simplify as many steps as possible. For example:
Photo sizing: I admire those who print custom sized pictures for each of their layouts. I believe doing that can make layouts much more polished and interesting. The thing is...that is way too much work for me! My scrapping instantly got easier the day I decided to scrap mostly 4x6 and 3x3 pictures. Once in a while, I scrap other sizes (usually 2x2 or 5x7) but that's pretty rare. As I take pictures throughout a given month, I edit them in Photoshop to a 4x6 or 3x3 size. I use the Contact Sheet functionality in PS to put two 3x3 pics on a single 4x6 picture and save all my pictures to a folder. Once a month, I send all of the pictures to Costco for printing. When it comes time to create a layout, I already have all my pictures printed and they are all the same size so I don't need to crop them. I use them as is, and that my friends, is why I say I'm lazy. It does get boring sometimes but the pros of my system overweigh the cons...for me. The bonus is that I think this contributes to "my style" :)
Matching of product: I have always been in awe of people who walk around the LSS with their pictures, buying product to match them. Again...I'm sure layouts done that way can be more polished and whatnot, but I really can't be bothered. Besides, I get sidetracked pretty easily in an LSS and I would probably end up coming home with all kinds of product except for the ones that match my layout LOL. In any case, I almost never spend much time matching my products. If I'm using blue on a layout, you can bet there will be several shades of blues and no two shades will be the same. My rationale is...several shades actually make the design more interesting (please don't burst my bubble LOL). See this layout below? The blue from the backgound paper cannot be found in any of the other patterned papers, nor is it the same shade as my son's shirt. And look, my title uses letters that are obviously not the same shade of red (much more apparent in real life than on this picture). Still, it's a pretty good layout, right? I usually just eyeball it. If it's close enough and doesn't make my eyes bleed...it's good enough for me.
Matching products, part 2: when I want my layouts to match perfectly, I use kits instead of trying to match everything myself. I buy Basic Grey by the paper packs so I can have all the co-ordinating papers and stickers. Why spend time matching things when it's all done for you? Many of my layouts are done with the same line of products. I used to think that it wasn't very creative but...I got over it LOL. I love how easy it is and how polished layouts look when everything co-ordinates. See this layout below, all done with a single product pack from Webster's Pages. This looks like a lot of work but took me less than an hour to do because all the co-ordinating was done for me (and also because all the embellies are stickers so I just had to peel and stick):
Handwritten journaling: early in my scrapping journey, I fell in love with computer journaling. What I didn't love was the time and effort to do it. Having to be next to my computer, finding the right font, making sure that the printed journaling was the right size and shape for my layout, printing it so it would fit on whatever paper I had (usually a piece from my scrap bin)...all that was a lot of work. To avoid this, I tried printing journaling on strips. Yikes. Even worse! Now I had to trim every piece and I could never make them the same width. Finally, I settled on hand journaling because it seemed the easiest way to journal. I wasn't thrilled with my handwriting when I started but it eventually became an an integral part of my layouts, of my style if you will. In the end, I think my layouts are better for it as my handwriting breaks out the very linear nature of my layouts very nicely :)
Generic products: there are people who make the effort to find just the perfect embellishment for their layouts...and then there is me. My embellishments usually fall into one of four categories: hearts, starts, flowers, or circles. Lately, I've added butterflies to that list too. I use embellishments not for decorative purposes but as design props. I position them to help move the eyes through the layouts and I don't care too much what shape they are. On most of my layouts, stars, hearts, or flowers could be used interchangeably without much impact to the final layout. To make things even easier (and this lazy girl LIKES easy), I only have a few types of each shape. Stars are usually American Crafts (I've used almost an entire can - only a few pieces are left), hearts are either Heidi Swapp or American Crafts (another entire can almost gone), flowers are usually just cut out of whatever patterned papers I'm using, etc. The only butterfly I use is one from my Pink Paislee stamp set. Once in a while, I'll use a few buttons to shake things up but by all accounts, stars, flowers, hearts, and circles are staples in my scrapping process. Here are some layouts to illustrate my point (yes, I really DO love those AC stars LOL). Also, look back at yesterday's post and you'll see even more of these stars :)
Well, this is getting long so I'd better end here. What I wanted to convey today is this: laziness can be a good thing if it drives you to find better ways of doing something. I really encourage everyone to think about their scrapping process to identify the steps that matter the most and those that matter less. Simplifying the parts that are less important to you leaves more time for the things that you value more. For me, it leaves for time for telling stories but everyone probably puts value on different things, which is the wonderful thing about scrapbooking. There's no right or wrong way to scrap, there's just your way (did I sound a lot like Oprah? I think I did. Sorry).
Thanks for making it thus far. Come back tomorrow for my "I'm cheap and it's been good for my scrapbooking" post ;)