There are a lot of ways that people approach scrapbooking. Some people see products that they love and are inspired to create a layout. Others are drawn to a particular photograph and plan their page around that. There are those who think of a story they want to tell and build a layout with that in mind.
And then there are those of us, who have done all of the above at one time or another. Simple Stories just came out with a new line? I can think of a page for that. A cute picture of my niece and nephew? I know just what I want to do. But sometimes, it’s all about the story.
My daughter has been engaged for the past couple of years. Her and her fiancé wanted to wait until they finished college before setting a date and there didn’t seem to be any reason to rush. Then all of a sudden, they were ready and the planning kicked into high gear. They’ve reserved the venue, picked a photographer, and ordered invitations. We get together regularly to talk flowers and DJs, and menus. But nothing makes a wedding feel as real as seeing your daughter in that white dress.
There are fewer things that pressure most scrapbookers than a milestone event. You know the weight of the moment and you just have to do it justice, right? But if you’re anything like me, this only creates paralysis. And in the end, those important stories don’t get told.
When I look back over the last 15 years of my albums, there are tons of event-based layouts. Birthdays and vacations full of the facts. There’s nothing wrong with that and I’m thrilled to be able to look back at some of the things we’ve done. But I also know that there is still so much that needs to be told. What relationships are important and why. What do we value and how do we spend our days. I’ve made a commitment to myself to dive in and get those stories told.
Here are a couple of ways to get past the fear:
- In the age of digital photography, I take comfort in the fact that I am no longer using that one precious picture. If it is an old picture, I can scan it in and make copies if I need to.
- When it comes to journaling, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes I just make a list of all the words that come to mind when I look at a particular photo or story. The picture in my layout is of me and my daughter hugging after she has picked out her wedding dress, but when I look at it I think of all the hopes and dreams I’ve had for her since the day she was born. Writing those down gave me a jumping off point.
- Use a sketch. This is a great idea for any time you’re stuck, but especially when you have so much emotional energy wrapped up in telling a meaningful story. It’s just one less thing for you to have to worry about- the basic design is all figured out and you can focus on the words.
It seems like a no brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten to date a layout. In the moment, you think you’ll never forget the day or even the year, but I’ve been proven wrong time and again. Do yourself a favor and get a date stamp. I bought mine from Staples for under $5.00 and it keeps things quick and easy.
Something I like to do with my embellishments is to have one element that is consistent through each cluster. It could be a color or a word or, in this case, a heart. It ties everything together and gives me something to build the other embellishments around.
The embellishment clusters are arranged on the page in a visual triangle, with two points anchored on the edge of the journaling. This draws the eye to the most important part of my layout.
I kept the title simple, but gave it interest by using the two different fonts. I stamped directly onto the cardstock with Versa Fine ink and then put emphasis on the word “dress” with Thickers.
It was tempting to make a layout that was full of photos of wedding dress shopping. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing. But I’m so glad I took the time to write down what was going through my mind on that day. There are tons of photos (her aunt and I were out of control!), but I’m the only one who can tell this story my way. Is it perfect? No. But it’s better than never getting done at all!
What stories have you been too afraid to tackle? What helps you push through the fear and get that layout done?