Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why do you scrap the way you do ?

Todays topic will be a little all over…. The inspiration for todays blogpost comes from the Scrapgals Podcast and Taheera Atchia’s blogpost. (The last because she is such a wonderful writer)

I will start by asking - Why do you scrap the way you do. Have you always done it, what made you start scrapping that way ? What inspired you then and what inspired you now ? If you haven’t change style - why ?? Do you consider yourself trendy.? And now some thoughts from the Scrapgals podcast - they talked about scrappers quitting because of new trends, new styles and new products and they didn’t feel like that was them, they also talked about those scrappers who only scrapped at crops. I have met a lot of scrappers that only scrap during crops and for years I have seen they scrap exactly the same. I totally understand why their style didn’t change. For me scrapbooking is kind of doing sports - do develop skills/getter better/change perspective you need to practice. There are several ways of practicing. You can scrap regularly, you can attend classes, lots of crops, browse galleries - anyway you have to be actively looking around and scrapping more.

My scrapbook journey

I started scrapbooking in 2002/03. My goal was to scrapbook travels I did in 2001 in the US. I looked for inspirasjon, made folders and folders of layouts I wanted to do - but I only looked, I never really tried much for myself, I was to scared to do the wrong thing -so I have been where a lot of scrappers have been - I felt like a newbie for a long time. Then I started going to crops and I looked at how people who won the challenges at the crops did and I really started trying different things. First I really wanted to do the lots of flowers style - I still have tons of Prima and other flowers - which I never really got the hang of. I kind of gave up too early, maybe ?? But I think the reason that I didn’t feel like filling the page with flowers was that they style of papers that they scrappers using lots of scrappers had. I didn’t feel like using pale, distressed colors, and I couldn’t then find my niche using that style. Since I didn’t have so much practice I started very clean and simple instead - that felt easier. And from there my style has evolved. How has it evolved. I have been practicing - scrapping very often. I attended crops, challenges, forums and still searched for inspiration and ways to learn. I tried new product - both acrylic paint, mists and stencils. I just had one problem. I am a very messy scrapper. I just couldn’t keep my desk clean enough to spray the mist or using the acrylic paint.

Here is my use of mists in 2010




A year later  (2011) I found out that spraying mists were too messy so I started using stencils with distress ink. Very dry solution and still had the same effect. Adding layers. I felt that the clean and simple style - was just too clean and simple and the pictures didn’t really stand out.




By this I started getting better srapconfidence, I had won scrap-challenges I had started to apply for scrap teams. As you can see my photo editing skills were to sooo good, but

This layout is from 2012.  I had started doing more layers - not just distress inks, but also with stamps. AND I had added more layers. I felt I had found a little niche.



I still felt I had more to learn and when I saw that there were several scrappers doing this style and some even saying they were copying me for some reason I felt that I needed to find a new niche….. I wanted to learn more - I had seen scrappers using watercolors and that really inspired me.

What happened in 2013 ? I found clear gesso. I had tried normal gesso - leaving my pages somewhat yellow. So instead of just using distress ink, I added also a waterbrush + mists to my layers. I downgraded the contrast part of my style and the layers got simpler.





Then 2014. I got even bolder with the color products….






What was new in 2015 ? I downgraded the use of distress inks and stamping. but added drops of mists and started using other products. This time real watercolors - like Ecoline and Peerless paper. I even started using watercolor paper instead of Bazzill paper

In 2015 I also got the chance to be on some great design team which has really helped me in my process of being a more versatile scrapper. I have been forced (and really enjoyed) being challenged to do new things. This is the result of one of this assignments. For Bella Blvd. I have always had a problem with filling a whole page. Why ?? Because I have always felt that when filling the page with paper the picture sometimes isn’t the focal point - which is very important to me. This time I felt this page worked because I used a use picture and it’s not in the middle. I still did some “my style” using color products…..




Styles and trends

Enough about that. Now on to styles and trends. I do not feel like I am hopping on every trend. Well. I bought a Silhouette in 2009 (but haven’t upgraded to the Cameo….) The main reason I do trends is because I am on the design team for kit clubs which nowadays are on top of all new trends I get to try out trendy stuff. I am not “connected” enough to be on top of trends or start new trends - although I really enjoy when people are trying out the things I do.

The reason I share my backgrounds on my blog and Instagram is to inspire people to use more products like this - to see that it’s not super hard and it’s not very messy - otherwise I wouldn’t do it…. As shown in my little scrapbook history - my style have both changed - and stayed the same. After 6-7 years - I still prefer white backgrounds. I have tried using background paper - but then I have a hard time using color products. I have tried using gesso on scrapbook paper.

Mye style has stayed somewhat consistent because I made an active choice. I wanted to scrap in a popular style(well not popular locally - because I attended crops for years where I was the ONLY one scrapbooking with white cardstock…) I made the choice because I wanted to make design teams and for me it seems like a good choice of material - starting with something I was familiar with. White is a color I like to have around me. I like white furniture - all my walls in my home are white. I just feel my pics will be the focal point with a white background. This is just my opinion.


Colors


Like I have written earlier - I don’t consider myself an artist. I can’t draw/paint anything that resembles anything - but I still like colors. Now to my approach to colors. Another reason besides messing up my desk I that I feel that spraying mists get my page “dirty” I can’t get “clean” colors when I mist - the drops are both small, uncontrollable and is messy. This is my I prefer a waterbrush and just dropping the mists.

Here is an example of a background where I have ONLY dropped mists/color products. I have used a lot of different shades of colors/colors to make the background more interesting - when I don’t use stencils/mists.


Why I scrapbook 

Another thought about trends. I never did Letterpress, and now I can’t get myself to do planners - I am just too digital to go papers when it comes to planning. In my family were share a googlecalendar with different colors for each person that we can see on our phones and computers. I am just no good with papers….. WHICH is also one of the reasons I don’t scrapbook traditionally, I am not a memorykeeper, into documenting (and I am a historian by education..…….) That is not why I scrapbook ANYMORE - as stated earlier I started that way - but not anymore - now I am just into it to play with products. I may journal - but I don’t care if I don’t. I hate scrapbooking special events and I don’t do minialbums or PL. PL because it actually limits me with the pockets - the cards are always the wrong size/wrong way and I didn’t like the round edges.

Why I want to be on design teams 

Scrapbooking is expensive and I have realized that I just can't get the products I want here in Norwat so if I want to scrapbook with the products I like I have two choices. Try out for teams with the products I love or spend and obscene amount of money ordering stuff from the US - and where I like to order - they are often out of what I want... Being on design teams lets me scrapbook using things I like. So here is my reply to Taheeras blogpost. I don't care so much about compensation for design team work. I would instead have paid money to scrap with it, have I not been picked.  The other reason for wanting to be on teams - is that it's teams. I love communities (even though I am often a lurker - to shy to post a lot). I also looove to be challenged and try out new products.

I would love to read your thoughts - see the questions in the beginning....


Friday, January 22, 2016

Assignments and time

It's already time to get personal again.....

This time my topic is design team commitments.  In one if my last blog posts I wrote about how I now can't create without a purpose and that I need assignments to scrap, however it's not always easy keeping up with deadlines. I don't really like being late with my blog posts/projects but sometime there is just not much time and I don't know so many weeks in advance what to create and it also often take quite sometime for my kits/products to arrive.   So today I am starting this blog post at 7 am and I spent the whole night finishing up a project to be able to keep up with a deadline. I don't feel stressed really, but it took a lot of time to find out what to do and finish it.  We are going away this weekend (in 7 hours) and I also need to bake,pack and shop before we leave so no sleep until I get inthe car for the 4,5 hour drive to the cabin.....

So how did I pull it off at all ??
Well, I took a good look at the products, picked out a color scheme with only a few colors,( spent too much time hating my old Silhouette....) and then I started making a background. More than once before I have written that I very often make several backgrounds at the same time to have for future projects. It takes a while for mists, watercolors and paint to dry, even with a heater... I was also pressed for time so I smeared out black mist that had't dried.   Even without a heater it can take more than a day for some black mist to dry... And I don't always want to use a paper towel, then I might remove too much color.....  

Not only did the Silhouette cause problems, but tonight I couldn't seem to get the layers right. i think I rearranged them and cut pieces here and there at least 10 times.   Finally I was happy enough and stapled it all together. This I do so I can easily remove the staples if I change my mind again... 

Then I could just tape it to my background and start covering all my black smears with titles and stickers..... 

Am I happy with my layout???? It ended out a lot better than I feared in the beginning when I just wanted to give up....  Some of my best layouts have been created under a lot of pressure, but it's not always fun.  The worst part isn't always over either- There is something called a blog post and I have to figure out sonething clever to write, those "free" project blog posts are the worst, much harder to write.... I just want the layout to speak for itself..... 

I have seen a lot of scrappers cave under the pressure of assignments for various reasons, I gave up most of mine for a while 2 years ago, Then my mind was too busy with other stuff to focus on scrapbooking, but with everything resolved I got the design team itch again. I felt bad resigning, but then again it's not fair not giving my best either, there are always others knocking on the door. 

This year my issue is different, this time I have put the pressure on myself in a way. I want to evolve, find new inspiration and grow as a scrapbooker... I just haven't found a way yet. One reason Is that I feel like I am too much in between the traditional scrapper and the mix media scrappers.  Sometimes I say hurrah- I found my niche, but I also want to be more inspirational since all my layouts more or less are for assignments.   But being in between means much less inspiration to be found...  Since I don't look at myself as an artist, I can't draw or paint a single thing to resemble what I want it to be. I can't color either.....  I am just blank when it comes to art, I don't even enjoy watching it...  Going to an art museum is just pain.....  I would be more interested in the process behind and how they do it than the finished project.....  So in stead I just use my watercolors. I have lots of real paint too, but It gets so messy that I give up....  

I would have loved to be at a crop with team mates to see how they work, or other scrappers who look at scrapbooking in some of the same ways I do,  or at least work with color products......   

Back to being stuck with assignments.  Just making background is what helps the most snd I just don't get myself that I don't do it often enough. But here too I so want to try new things, but I also don't want to ruin my few watercolor papers......  You might see that I use a lot of the same colors on my backgrounds, mostly because my assignment papers are those colors, but also because in those color scheme I have enough to have lots of different shades of each color. I have for instance a hard tine making a red background, I haven't found the right paint/mist combo to be happy with the result..   I have lots of mists/ peerless paper, it's just never enough and I would like to try soo much more products too, I just can't get what I want here in Norway and shipping is soo expensive from US stores that have what I want.... 

I also like to work with sketches, I just don't like using any sketch I like from Pinterest for a project.  I used to participaye in lots of sketch challenges years ago, but all my favorites are gone. Since I don't like to fill a page, very linear sketch or lots of photos I have given up on this. 

Another idea to get going when you are stuck is scraplifting. I love thatkind of assignment, but dare not do it just to scrap.... I am too shy for that...... 

Other things I can't do just for myself is being inspired by Pinterest pics, but that I can do for assignments...

There are other reasons why I love assignments too. I get to play with fun products I rarely can buy here in Norway.. Getting new stuff every month is fun!
Then back to the other part of the title - TIME.... How to get time to scrap.  I have most of the time just scrapped in the evenings when I had nothing more than myself to think of. I don't scrap well with the kids around me and in the weekends I don't always feel like steeling time from the kids so that doesn't always get me much time and even less daytime as my scraproom is in the basement.  For me it also takes a while to "plan" what I want to create.  I really wish I had a scraproom close to the kitchen or living room, that way I could more easily steal time to scrap with the rest of the family around me...  I can't scrap in the living room - I  make too much of a mess for that. Last time I scrapped there I used the whole living room table - with room for 10 people.......    

The reason I have time in the evenings after the kids are asleep is that I don't watch TV.... I just don't have the patience for it... These last week however I have made an exception.... I love to watch handball - and now it's the European Championship (men).

So my questions if you want to answer:
What is your favorite type of assignment ?
Which team would you most like to be on ?
How much time do you scrap each week ?
Where is your scraproom ?






Friday, January 8, 2016

Why I don't do Art Journaling and how I scrapbook

I did something unusual the other day trying to scrap - I listened to a scrapbook podcast  for the second time ever and the episode was with scrapbook and art journaling and it got me thinking about my approach to scrapbooking and my use of color products.

I am no traditional scrapbooker, I do not stress about finish albums about themes like Christmas, birthdays, first this, first that, school - I only scrapbook those themes if I have paper I like about the theme - or because it's part of an assignment.  I am not just so interested in documenting everything, that is also why I don't do project life. I tried a few weeks and it felt so forced to use the pockets - I was never happy with the PL cards I had available - they were either the wrong color or the wrong size and I didn't like how difficult it was to get the pictures printed in the right size and I wanted a lot of white space - and I didn't get enough with the PL cards available.

I scrapbook for me - not for my kids - and my two kids are not willing to let me photograph them equally - so of course I scrapbook the kid who is in the pics more - which is my 6 year old.  Another reason is also that there are just less boyproducts - it's harder to scrap his pictures.

I scrapbook to be a little creative and I have found that playing with color is fun, BUT, I don't like to get too messy, so that is why I use watercolors, drops of mist, stenciling and stamping.   I don't care about art. I don't care to call myself artistic, however I don't need to watch lots of Youtube movies to understand how to use the different products and I have never taken a class, in  a way I don't have the patience to go through the videos/classes - I do however look through a lot of blogposts, Pinterest, Instagram for inspiration -because I do want to develop my style. I get tired of it from time to time so I change it every now and then and I always look for those small things to take my scrapbooking a step further.

Since I don't scrapbook to document everything, I have actually no interest in art journaling. - or journaling. ( haven't done a journaling page either since I was fresh out of High School)  I have made a few pages for assignment but it didn't speak to me. I have nothing I want to write about and share, I am happy enough with the creative part in my scrapbooking.
I actually don't scrapbook FOR ME in a way either. I just like to be driven by assignment and products. The times I have been without assigment I did a lot of challenges, but then I couldn't find any challenges so I did nothing.... I couldn't find anything to scrapbook about. I don't have the drive IN ME to do things for me - partly because I don't scrapbook for my kids. (I also have so many boxes of layouts that haven't made it into albums..... )  I don't own a planner either - I am completely digital, I actually hate having lots of papers around - I prefer to get everything digital so I can easily look it up from everywhere. But old stuff I have had problems with getting digital so I have tons of old stuff I can't get rid off.  I have worked with administration and other people found it strange how important it was for me to get rid of the papers and make everything digital.  I haven't really mentioned that I am an educated historian.  It just doesn't show in my scrapbooking. For me scrapbooking isn't different than knitting - here you wouldn't care about memory keeping.

Back to how I do scrapbook.  Just like my house - I have white walls, and I want a lot of white space in my pages.  I don't like linear things either, and filling a whole pages with paper is actually the most "stressful" thing for me about scrapbooking.  I also don't like to fill a whole journaling page so the idea of filling out the corners is also why I don't like art journaling.

I started scrapbooking in 2003 and for a VERY long time I only collected ideas on how to scrapbook -I was too afraid to actually scrap pages because I didn't feel like the pages were pretty enough, and it took a while for me to realize that scrapbooking is about practice. If you are happy about doing the same thing - just do that - I won't judge your, but if you are not happy with what you are doing - you have to practice  doing different styles and find what you can pick out to develop. I don't encourage you to completely jump onto a different style - try and copy the "masters" in the different styles and see what works. Don't worry that you can't get it right from the start - everyone needs practice - some styles requires a lot of practice, other not so much, but be open to what everyone else is doing.   I have tried a lot of styles and I have also did the opposite - I have tried to apply "my style" to another style/paper style to show that things can be done differently.   To be honest that was kind of my approach to Bella Blvd for example.  For years I didn't scrapbook with that paper - mostly because it was so colorful, but when I was asked to be a guest designer it really changed my mind I felt that my style would add something different to the paper style that usually is seen with Bella Blvd, luckily Bella Blvd felt so too and added me to the team. In the same way I did the same thing with Zva Creative a few years ago - I was on the team for 2 years.  I had tons of flowers/bling, but actually had problems using them, but then I decided in the same way as with Bella Blvd - how could I do it differently.

In my previous blog post I wrote about teaching more,  if someone actually read my blog post - I would love to get some topics, I would also love to "talks" with someone about scrapbooking. I just don't want to hear just my own voice.  As with my scrapbook - I need a purpose to do stuff.... (also a reason I hate to watch tv - I get bored, there is no purpose). And if someone wants to teach something WITH me - I would be thrilled - I just have doing things by myself.

Lastly I share a few new backgrounds... Watercolor style.





This is to show that I often just make backgrounds - like a lot of other do art journaling in stages and without a purpose -that I how I make by backgrounds. I usually do a lot and let them dry  and have them in different stages so when I want to scrapbook I often have multiple backgrounds to choose from so it doesn't take as long to start.  I do have have in the back of my head with collections that might go with the different backgrounds - but I often switch it out and make new ones. Sometimes I can hold on to backgrounds for over a year before I find something to do with it, I might hate it before I find a new purpose.

So my advice for those of you that want develop your scrapbooking in 2016 - try out new styles, don't be intimidated - practice and don't care if you hate things at first  - don't throw it away - you might like it later when you have a new approach to things.









Friday, January 1, 2016

Finding inspiration, new years resolutions and being a little personal...

Sitting here trying to scrapbook on the first day of 2016 and I want to start the year by doing something new and I am really looking for new inspiration. I have been browsing Pinterest, FB groups, different galleries but I haven't relly found "it" - what new that can inspire me.  So for you that reads my blog - where would you guide me to find new inspiration.

As for new years resolutions - I have a few things I would like to to.

I think am going to force myself into making a few video tutorials - maybe even with my voice on.... I don't like my accent when I speak English - not that it's sooo bad, I just wish it was a lot better and I get all shy about it.  I would also like to teach classes - but not for beginners as I have never taken a class in my life and since I am not a traditional scrapbooker - I don't make pages to document everything - I just do them to have fun - I am would't make a good teacher...

I would also like to make new scrappy friends, so if any locals are reading, please say hello, or even someone from further away - I don't bite. I would love to have someone to scrap with again - I really miss the time I while living in Sweden. Scrapping here gets kind of lonely.  I get tired of just sitting alone in the basement while I scrap.

If you didn't know I am one of those people who are more shy online than in the real world. I don't like voicing my opinion online.  I have really hard time for example asking people to be friends on Facebook - not that being a scrappy friends on FB is a huge deal - I just can't get myself to push that button - unless maybe if I am on your scrapbook team. I do accept requests from a lot of people as I love to see what other people do..  In the same way I find it hard to comment on other peoples fb updates and blogposts, I can push like though ;) In a way you can call me an online introvert, (but not IRL)..  So if you don't get comments from me on Instagram or FB - even on my own posts - I can tell you that I really like getting comments and likes, I just can't find the right words to express myself...  Some have called me arrogant,  but I really don't want to be.
CHA is just around the corner, I would love to go and meet up with my teams and other scrappers, but I dare not go alone...

This got a little personal... For my few loyal readers - thank for the patience this year... I am planning on blogging a little bit more... Next up might be my top ten for 2015.

Happy New Year.

/Christin


Friday, December 18, 2015

Pinkfresh studio Christmas wishes blog hop

Welcome to the Pinkfresh Studio December 2015 blog hop featuring the Christmas Wishes collection.


To win the HUGE prize hop on over to all the girls on the list, but start on the Pinkfresh Studio blog first.  Comment on all the blogs so you don't miss your chance to win the fabulous prize.   And the prize ??? $150 worth of Pinkfresh goodies!



Pinkfresh Studio
Agnieszka
Aimee
Amanda
Cassandra
Christin (you are here)
Jennifer (next)
Jessy
Margareta
Taheerah


I have created two Christmas cards for the occasion.