What’s my scrapbook style? That’s always a hard one for me to answer. The best way to define your style is to ask around. My all-time favorite answer was the time someone told me that my layouts are “handmade with love.” I tend to stick with that one. It sounds sweet, pleasant and approachable. For lack of a better term, I want my pages to feel approachable because I want other people to become inspired. Everyone should feel like they can scrapbook too. I will also take eclectic. It is not a bad description as I do a lot of different things on my pages.
Sometimes, I have personal trends or phases. Think along the lines of Picasso’s Blue Period only mine are more like “Christy’s Button Period.” These sometimes last for only a few weeks or into several months. Some fade away and others tend to work themselves into my regular process. Rather than define my style, I thought I would share a few things I do over and over again. Some are my quirks and I have decided to embrace them. I have learned that embracing your personal quirks and imperfections allows you to relax and then your style just appears over time, as if by magic.
1. I use a lot of patterned paper. I use it on backgrounds and I cut it up to make embellishments. I do use cardstock, but a patterned paper background is usually my first choice.
2. I have been known to use found objects on my layouts. For example, I added a cat food can lid and melted Crayola crayons to create Wax Lips. The strangest thing I have ever used on a page was part of a tube sock.
3. My pages have imperfections and I have learned to work them into the design. I have issues with cutting straight, sewing straight and placing items on my page without them being slightly askew. I have tried everything from templates to fancy cutting systems with laser guides. I still scrap crooked. Sometimes, it’s more off than others. From time to time, a miracle happens and things line up straight. Instead of spending countless hours trying to line everything up, I decided to just relax about it and make it part of my page designs. On We Are Groot, for example, I started off trying to stitch a nice border around the kraft paper bag. The line went slightly askew and the bag started to buckle. I hid it by stitching messy lines around the edges.
4. Not all of my photos are perfect. Even the ones I use for design team projects. Just because I am a better photographer than I was 5 years ago doesn’t mean I am not using those older photos. I am all about the story and that means occasionally, my photos will not always be awesome.
5. I love visual triangles. It’s my go to comfort design principle. How many can you spot in the layout above?
6. If there is a button, it must be threaded. End of Story. If I can’t thread it, I absolutely must cover the holes with something like a jewel. I just can’t bear for there to be floating buttons on a page.
7. I don’t discriminate between my supplies. I am both a paper and a hybrid scrapbooker. This goes back to scrapbooking with found objects. If I want something to enhance my photo’s story, then I will try to find a way to use it. I love scrapbook supplies (I am obsessed with them) but I am not afraid to use other mediums to create my pages. I also don’t care if a supply was originally intended for a boy’s page or a girl’s page. If it works for my story, it’s fair game.
Over the years, I have stopped worrying about giving my style a name. My creative process has quirks. I own them and they are part of the way I scrapbook. I invite you to own your personal creative quirks. Let them take hold, relax a bit, and before you know it, your personal style will emerge.