This blog post is a guest from the very talented Kittysmum who is an ex-illustrator and Graphic Designer who lives in Cheshire. She describes herself as “A scrapbooker, Methodist, camper, writer, simple living enthusiast and mum – though not necessarily in that order.
I have a bit of a guilty secret. You see, I’m a scrapbooker who’s all about the scrap: I can’t be doing with spending a tenner on fancy stickers to frame a 9p print.
In my blog, I bleat on about how scrapbooking doesn’t need to be fancy, how you can make embellishments from cereal boxes and print everyday snaps taken on your phone – which of course you could. Only here’s my secret: the photos I use don’t come from my phone; in fact, they very often aren’t even taken by me.
You see, I’m married to one of those strange creatures who regards reading camera reviews as a good evening’s entertainment.
And the pictures we get from these fabulous cameras really are the best starting points for great layouts. In scrapbooking, beautiful, interesting pictures – ones that tell a story and are a bit of eye-candy to look at – are like the bricks and mortar of your scrapbooking house. Try starting a layout with a duffer and you’ll see what I mean.
We’ve got a shelf in our under-stairs cupboard devoted to the storage of packaging from various camera gadgets, kept “just in case” he wants to trade them up at some point. I’d find all the techie clutter annoying if I wasn’t reaping the rewards of having nice cameras on hand quite so much.
The thing I love about scrapbooking is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it: it’s your time to be creative in whatever way you choose. Want to layer it all up on a panel of cardboard? Go right ahead. Fancy stamping all over your paper in painty boots to make an interesting background? Knock yourself out. It’s like playtime and you get to choose the game every time. You might look at that picture of your kid drinking strawberry milkshake and think: ‘Sugary – the layout needs to look sugary’. That’s your starting point, right there. So you notice coral of her t-shirt and the pink of her milk and dig into your box of collected bits and bobs to pull out things that somehow make you think pink milk and children’s parties.
And scrapbooking really doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby as there are next to no limits to what you can make instead of buy: flowers, bunting, little flags, heart shapes, frames… a few scraps of wrapping paper and a glue stick and you’re away.
For me the joy of scrapbooking is in the process, that sense of losing all track of time because you’re just having too much fun, but of course it’s also a brilliant way of recording your family’s story. When she’s fifteen, I think I’ll really enjoy telling my daughter’s boyfriend that when she was five she would put bath foam on her face and pretend to be Father Christmas.
There’s something redemptive in scrapbooking too. I struggled as a first-time mum and found the whole thing pretty much completely overwhelming. But I look back now on layouts that feature that smiling baby and I can’t help but feel good about the past. Yeah it was tough, but I’m also forced to remember the better times and that’s incredibly valuable.
So much therapeutic value from so few things: a few oddments of paper, some pretty buttons and a simple wallet of (nicely taken – thanks hubster) photos. An unassuming little package that comes plopping innocently through the letter box one day only to release untold joy and a floor-glittering torrent of messy experiments and crazy ideas. Creativity fodder in matt finish.
Isn’t Kittysmum wonderfully talented?
I wish I had half the skills that she does – if you are like me, then perhaps one of our photo books might help bridge that gap.
Until next time – contact us if you have any ideas for a guest post on the blog too…get in contact through firstname.lastname@example.org.