Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Portrait of the Non-Painter Branching Out

As I play catch up on my One Little Word album from 2012...or, I mean, as I continue my relationship with my word, strength, Ali suggested that we break out some painting and explore collage.  She made a very cool video of herself going through the process which, I must admit, made me less intimidated that when she first suggested the process.  Collage done well kind of escapes me.  I am sooooo linear.  Collage is soooo all over the place.  And Ali Edwards puts it together in a way that looks completely planned.  That is talent.

I am focusing on the color red as much as I can in this album, which again branches out from my "comfort palette."  I decided I would use a taupe color as the base of my "petite canvases."

I started with sponging some red over one of the cards and that became my focal piece for the page.  Then, I looked at stamps and embellishments that would tie in to the theme of "strength."  Here's what I came up with. (pardon the iPhone quick pics)

This canvas incorporates a few collage elements.  Ali used a variety of stamps, an area that I definitely can cover!  One of the things in my life that seems to put a dent in my armor of strength is death.  For whatever reasons, the death of significant people in my life has led to a constant battle with depression for me.  So, I knew one of the canvases had to have that as its theme.  

One of the canvases represents the idea of being strong in the face of public ridicule and judgment.  It focuses on the idea of measuring up, a type of reminder to me that measuring up to everyone's expectations is an unattainable goal. A strong person creates her own unit of measure and stands by that, regardless of the thoughts and opinions of others.  

No page is complete without some mention of seizing the day.  For this canvas, I used rub ons, stickers, stamps, and paint.  Some days, I feel too tired to even seize anything but my pillow.  Seizing the day means overcoming anything that might anchor me in another spot besides where I need to go.

Serenity has always been synonymous with strength to me.  True peace, true calmness, comes with the inner strength to block out the things that keep one from being serene.

Here is the tale of rub ons that made me want to scream.  The saying is perfect.  The rub ons...not so much.  They drove me crazy.  They would not adhere, and when they did, parts of the letters would break off.  Lots of elbow grease to get these on.  The center one from Stampin' Up! went on like buttah.  I think the saying speaks for itself as far as why it got such a prominent place on the page.

Love the symbol of a tree as far as strength is concerned!  Think of all a tree must endure.  Right now, it is in the single digits outside.  During the summer, it can reach up to 100 degrees.  A tree is out there, no matter what, and survives a great deal of changes.  The Bloom Where You're Planted rub on is a reminder that strength comes in accepting what is and making the best of each situation you are given.

I knew I wanted to get embossing in the page somewhere, as I love the texture, and I have several embossing folders that exude strength, like the one that made this pattern.  I see strength in calmness, so this card worked very well on the page.

I had to use a chevron pattern somewhere on the page, as it's a very strong, linear pattern.  I created a canvas about  friends to remind me of the importance of friends in holding me up when I need it.  That also is something that needs to be reciprocated, and I need to offer them strength when they need it.  I talk to my pals on the phone, and text them often, so I added the little red phone.

I believe that each mistake made in life is there to serve as putty to make a person stronger, not weaker.  Allowing myself to make mistakes is something I did not always do, and I still fight with that idea of things being less than perfect.  This canvas reminds me of the strength of continuing on and learning after mistakes.

Here is the final page (sorry for the cruddy lighting).  I think it's cool to look at as a unit to see how the page works and balances in the scrapbook.  Thanks, Ali Edwards, for pushing me a bit outside my comfort zone. I really loved the process of creating this and the thoughtfulness it required.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Scrapbook Surge

For whatever reason, Winter Break seems to bring out in me a "scrapbook surge."  Perhaps it's the extended "time off?"  Perhaps it's the idea of a brand spanking new year?  Who knows?  What I know is that it is better for me than any drug.  I feel like I could work all night on scrapbooking when the surge hits.

If you are a Carpe Die-hard, you may recall that I started two (allegedly) year-long books that coincided with two Big Picture Scrapbooking classes.  One, Move More Eat Well (MMEW) was guided by the talented Mrs. Cathy Zielske.  The other, One Little Word (OLW) was designed by the fabulous Ali Edwards.  I made it in good faith month after month until about March/April, when I fell off the crafty radar for whatever reason.  I have this weird idea in my head that all is for naught if I fall behind.  Really?  Tonight helped me get over that stupidity.

I blogged last night about my decision to participate in MMEW 2.0.  Then, tonight, I went to town on getting some pages done. And I love them.  

First, I had to fill the gaps from last year that made me feel like I had "failed" in the scrapbook and the goal of staying healthy.  Enter: patterned paper.

That made things feel a little less "undone."  Then, I moved on to the very easy assembly of the new year's pages.  Cathy is not using divided page protectors this year, so it's all 8.5 x 11.  I am doing a hybrid in that parts are printed and pieced together, and parts are printed right on the page.

There were several color schemes to choose from.  I chose lime and gray.  I love that the chevron pattern is this year's choice.  I am quite fond of chevron.  I tried to use my favorite photos of myself from times when I was quite happy.  I also tried to print off pictures of good foods that I enjoy eating, to prove to myself that I actually can eat something besides garbage.  Finally, I changed the spine of the album.

In OLW, I finished up April (with a May photo, but don't tell anyone...).  It included a letter to my future self.

I have a bit more to do from the month of May, but that's for another day.  Whew.  That was a lot, but it felt great!