5 simple steps to fall in LOVE with your pages!
Hello! Erin here, or maybe you know me better as mimisgirl.
The other day I realized that although I have been scrapping for quite a while now, it is only in the last couple years that I have actually started to like (and sometimes LOVE) the pages that I make. I found that intriguing, and spent some time thinking about what happened to bring about that change. It certainly was not an instantaneous thing, but a gradual process that took time. That being said, there are certain obvious differences in how I approach scrap-booking now that I see as making the biggest difference.
Today I want to share with you 5 Scrapbooking Tips that I have pinpointed as really helping me to LOVE the pages I make.
1. Know yourself
Probably the most important thing to really loving your pages is to know what you like in the first place. I used to just throw whatever I could find on a page (usually what was free) and while I made lots of pages I really did not like any of them all that much. They did not make me happy when I looked at them.
If you know what you like, then you can incorporate those preferences into your scrap-booking and make pages that really touch your heart. What is your design style? What colors really speak to you? What makes your heart go pitter-patter? For some people that is easy and they can tell you right off the bat what their style is. For others of us, it is a bit harder. Over the years I have tried every style out there looking for my “thing” but what I learned instead, is that I don’t necessarily have a specific style I gravitate towards. The style I end up using for a page is usually determined by the photos I am scrapping, the kit I am using and my mood for the day. At different times I go minimalist, pocket, or mixed media, and still love the end product.
When I am pressed for time, or feeling stressed I turn to minimal pages, here is one of my current favorites. It focuses on the photo and the emotions behind the story I was telling.
And this is a fuller page I made recently for my sister that still has me swooning – though maybe it is my little niece in there that steals my heart!
In the last year or two I have finally found my groove with pocket scrapping as well. This page captures a very busy Sunday we had a few months back.
While I use different styles, one thing that all my pages have in common, is a good story. The most important thing to me is using photos and journaling to really capture the moment. So whatever “style” I end up using, I make sure that the story is there. I realized that “story” is my thing and telling the story is who I am.
This is a really old page, but I still love how the movement of my toddler was captured and how well it tells the story of that afternoon.
Not sure what your style is? I have found the easiest way to figure it out is to take a stroll through other people’s pages. Which ones are you drawn to? Which ones make you happy and excited?
Go for a browse and see what you learn about yourself! Once you find what you like – go with it. If you don’t like a color, don’t use it. If you prefer to keep pages simple, then do. If you like having your page as busy and crowded as your life is then go for it! You will find that as you create according to your own preferences and not the preferences of the industry or changing trends, you will fall in love with your own memories.
Another Scrapbooking tip is Experimentation. experimenting with new styles and techniques will keep you from getting bored. Just like in life, once you know yourself and get comfortable with who you are, you can then invite room to grow. There is nothing wrong with sticking with old favorites, we all have them, but don’t be afraid to try out new things from time to time as well, but only if it calls to you. When I am browsing galleries and I see something that really catches my eye, I pin it to a “gotta try this” board. Sometimes those ideas open me up to new favorites, sometimes they lead to total FAIL’s. But that is ok too. Learning what you dislike is just as important, but you can only learn these things if you step out of the familiar.
The layout below uses a paint-like technique on the photo that I had been wanting to try. The story I was telling was about an inner emotional struggle and the paint effect really lent to that for me.
While I enjoyed learning how to do it, I most likely won’t use it all that often. However, it was still good to push myself to try something new, and I love this page because it really hits the emotional point I was aiming for. So look for inspiration, experiment, and try new things. You never know when you will find a new technique you just LOVE!
3. Don’t be afraid to cheat
I have heard people say that they don’t use templates or ready-to-go products because they feel like it is cheating. I felt like that for a while too, but then life started getting crazy. If I put off making pages until I had the time to create every little thing from scratch (and I can,, I know how) I would not have much of an album.
My goal is to capture life, right now, as it is, and preserve it so that twenty years down the road we can all remember what it felt like to be alive and living right here, right now. If using a “cheat” product helps me to accomplish that goal, then I am all for it. Especially when I absolutely LOVE the product to start with.
As someone who wants to do Project Life but easily gets behind, Jaimee’s Ready to Go Pocket Pages and Quick Pocket Products have been a life saver for me! All I have to do is add my photos and journaling and I get those memories saved.
Here is one using the Quick Pockets
In addition, Jaimee has quite a few “regular” products that make scrapping so much simpler.
This layout uses a cut-out gesso paper from the Asher Collection that really did not need much help to make a gorgeous page. I just added an under-page, some paint, photos, journaling, and a few elements and this page about my friend and her sister was ready to go. I love how simple it was to make, and how much I still LOVE this page.
Jaimee has some of the COOLEST ready to go or “cheat” products I have seen, and I am not ashamed to say that I take full advantage of them as often as I can.
4. Throw things away
This may be old news to you, but I used to think that I had to finish every page I started. That I needed to just push through and make it work no matter what. I ended up spending hours on pages that really just did not fit me. I finally gave myself permission to just start over and it really has made a difference. When it is not working I trash it and try and new angle or a different kit. It has been a real game changer attitude wise.
If you start a page and it just is not working, do not feel bad about trashing it and starting over. What is the point in wasting hours working on a page that you end up not liking in the end.
Along the same lines, sometimes collections have papers or elements that you will never use. Either they are not your style, or you just don’t like them. Delete them! You will find it to be very freeing – of your mind and your hard drive. And you will get to spend more time with those gorgeous goodies you do like!
5. Enjoy the Process
Really, this is the one I fall back on. For a lot of us, scrapping is me-time, therapy of sorts. The process of making a layout should be one that we enjoy, not something that stresses us out. There are so many “rules” out there about what is good or the right way to do whatever. But in the end, it all comes down to the question – do I like this? So turn on your favorite Scrap music, pour yourself a glass of whatever you drink, and just have some fun reliving those memories and seeing just what an amazing life this really is. You might just find that the attitude you have during your scrapping session plays a big part on how you feel about a page later on down the line.
On that note, I want to leave you with this layout that I made one afternoon when I just felt like playing. I had a lot of fun just trying out ideas and moving things around. I did not have a plan or an idea when I started, other than the story I wanted to tell, and yet, I love this page. A large part of that feeling is from the fun and relaxed atmosphere during my scrapping time when it was made.
So there you have it. Those are 5 Scrapbooking Tips of the top things that have helped me to really enjoy scrapping more and actually love the pages I make. Things might be a bit different for you, but I encourage you to do some searching and find your own happy place in this scrapping world.