Sunday, June 9, 2013

Two Kinds of Layouts

There was a thread on the Studio Calico boards this week that really made me think.  Why do you scrapbook - is it really about memorykeeping or is it about having a creative outlet?  (Most of the people writing said it was more about the creative process.)  My husband is always talking about this too - he argues that the purpose behind scrapbooking has become less important to me that making pretty pages.

But both the creative process and memorykeeping are important to me. As I looked at my scrap room, my online galleries, and my albums, I realized that I do two distinct kinds of albums.


I started scrapbooking back in my high school years, stopped for a while, started again early in my marriage, stopped again and then found Creative Memories.  I started again and have never stopped.  And these albums are mostly about memorykeeping.  My long-term goal is to finish a set of albums documenting birth to 18ish (college or moving out) for each of my 3 children.  

I always wanted them to look nice, but the pages were very simple in the beginning.  While they've gotten more complex, my focus was and remains on documenting memories.  T
This page is from one of my early Creative Memory albums.  Its very simple cardstock - a few themed stickers, a circle punch and a corner rounder  - and maybe a little bit of patterned paper.

These layuots are usually two page layouts, have lots of pictures and are about an event. They go in albums that are organized chronologically.

A Creative Outlet

In the last year and a half or so, I've started a whole second set of layouts.  I call these my "pretty pages."  Often they are inspired by online challenges or online classes.  I used a wide variety of supplies and often an focusing on the technique, the challenge requirements, and the creative process.  These layouts are more about using the creative parts of my brain then documenting an event.  For instance, I never would have played with gesso and watercolors on a layout before I started to explore scrapbooking as a creative outlet.

These layouts are usually one page layouts, might be in a smaller scale and often push me out of my comfort zone creatively.  I put them in 12x12 3 ring albums, but not in any real order.  Mostly they go in albums in the approximate order that I complete them.

Bringing the Two Pieces Together

This is when it gets interesting.  As I look at work I've done recently, I can see how the two distinct styles of scrapbooking are coming together.  Each side of my scrapbooking habit is making the other stronger.  

I use a broader range of supplies in my "memory keeping" layouts and experiment with different page designs.  And I consider documenting more "everyday" kind of events in these albums.  For example, this layout about the "big game breakfasts" that I did for my son's senior album documents a special memory and not an event.

And it uses a mix of stitched elements, washi tape, transparent elements, patterned paper, wood veneer, sequins and enamel dots.  And those ink splatters even made their way onto the layout.  The embellishments are clustered instead of spread randomly across the page.  And it is a vastly different style than the original memory keeping layout I did several years ago.

And this layout about my oldest son documents his path since high school graduation and how I feel about that journey.  It was definitely done for a challenge and started out to be about the creative process.  But the journaling hidden behind the photo block documents a difficult time in my life and how I felt about that time and being a parent during that time.  

This "creative" layout actually became a non-traditional "memory-keeping" layout.

And sometimes a layout starts out in the creative category and becomes a memory keeping layout - like this one based on a journaling prompt "in five years."  

My journaling was about where my son might be in five years (when he graduates from college) and ended up as the last page in his junior album.  It will be fun to see how it compares to reality when those 5 years are up.

Making Each Other Stronger

I've realized that the two sides of my passion for scrapbooking actually work together to make all my projects stronger.  And I don't need to give up the creative projects for the memorykeeping.  I just need to work to achieve a balance between the two kinds of projects.  And who knows, maybe some day the two kinds of projects will actually merge into one style.  

I'd love to hear how you think about scrapbooking - is it about memory keeping or is it about a creative outlet.  Have a super Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. I love how you showed both sides of scrapbooking. And, it is so fun to look back at the older layouts like your CM layout! I'm sure I have a page that looks almost exactly like it with memories preserved!