Hello everybody, Francine here! I'm super excited to be hosting the blog this week, but a bit intimidated to be following on the heels of the super organised Celeste: power-scrapper extraordinaire! As you will probably find out, my process is, shall we say, the complete opposite of hers? :-)
I thought I'd start the week out with a bit of a trip down memory lane. I loved it when some of the team posted about their earlier layouts and how their style has evolved, so I thought I'd join in the fun! You have to promise not to laugh too much though, okay?
I discovered scrapbooking in early 2002 while visiting my sister in Massachusetts. She made costume jewelry and one day we took a trip to AC Moore, and while she browsed the jewelry aisle I wandered around and came upon the scrapbooking aisle. As I looked at all the paper and stickers I thought "Hey, I can do this!" I had a wealth of photos from my days at university just sitting in boxes. I decided to start with a travel album. I clearly remember decorating the cover of that 10x10 spiral album while on the train to New Jersey to visit my cousins. This is probably my favourite page from that album.
Note well the triple matted photos with scalloped cut edges and the sticker sneeze!
This is probably the page I laugh at the most from that album
The less said about that the better!
Then I discovered scrapbook magazines and 12x12 double-pages. Here is a masterpiece from that era, or as my hubby likes to call it "that blue and yellow thing"
Soon after I did get somewhat better at page design, thanks to the discovery of message boards and sketches.
I stuck with 2-pagers until early 2006 when I started seeing one page layouts online at sites like Two Peas in a Bucket. It was an eye-opening experience and a huge relief since I really struggled with double pages.But no one had ever told me that I didn't "have" to scrap that way!
My first 1-page 1-photo layout, and also the most product I ever used on a page at that time. Circa January 2006
I also struggled with keeping chronological albums, I have never actually scrapped chronologically, but I did store my albums by year. Another eye-opening moment came when I read The Big Picture by Stacy Julian. It was like a light bulb went off in my head!
Since then I scrap single page layouts almost exclusively. I do mix up the sizes however, scrapping 12x12, 8&1/2x11 and 6x12 alternately. In the last three years I have also gone though different stages in my scrap evolution (scrapvolution).
The sketching phase: When I realised that I wasn't properly translating the design ideas in my head onto my pages I started sketching out all my pages before scrapping them. Here is an example:
I very rarely do this anymore. but the experience I gained using this process for about a year really helped me to get my ideas to move more easily from my brain to my pages.
The technique phase: You name it, I've tried it!! Some days I would just throw everything I had at the page I was working on. To wit:
Lets see: painting, stamping, die cuts, acrylic, rub-ons, layering, collage.....a bit much perhaps? Can you even tell what the title is? I still use all these techniques, but thankfully on a more individual basis.
The Challenge Phase: I think I've done every challenge out there at least once and I've scrapped in just about every style there is! This was also the period where I was doing the Layout A Day Challenge on Two Peas.
A layout done for the How Much is Too Much Challenge in 2007
Doing the challenges was truly a learning experience for me, I really got to know what I liked, and more importantly what I was good at! My advice would be to try as many different things as you dare to, even though it might not be your "style". You'll learn a lot, including how to incorporate different techniques your way. The LOAD challenge was also a huge factor in getting into my groove.
The kraft and Thickers phase: Then I discovered kraft cardstock in early 2007 and the rest is history. I really started hitting my stride when I stared pairing kraft cardstock backgrounds with patterned papers. There was a point where I would force myself not to use it all the time for fear of becoming boring, but then I realised that I loved my pages with kraft (or another neutral background) most of all. Now it is the first thing I reach for when I sit to scrap, followed by American Crafts Thickers. It is rare that I use something else for my titles. Other staples in my arsenal include graphic patterned papers, stamps and inks, journaling spots and tiny letter stickers.
Yes, I do go wild every so often and use a patterned paper background
But I'm truly in my element with kraft.
Which reminds me, I'm running low and need to replenish my stash!
I hope this made some sort of sense to someone out there. For the rest of the week I plan to talk a bit more about my process, including the kinds of topics I scrap about, and share some of my favourite tips and tricks. In between I'll touch on some of the topics you mentioned wanting to see on the blog, like scrapping 70s photos and using up your stash. I'll also throw a challenge in there. It's all going to be kind of random, er, eclectic, but I did warn you! As usual we will have our weekly giveaway on Thursday, so I hope you will keep checking in everyday this week. Until tomorrow!!