Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hot Topic! Scrapping the hard stuff and my second stint on Paper Clipping Roundtable.


I've had a few hours to review what I said during my second Paper Clipping Round Table discussion.
I still can't believe I was actually in a conversation with Shimelle and Dina Wakely.
It was incredibly inspiring.

Both were very eloquent about layering techniques and general scrapbook issues.

My honest answer to many technical questions: I do that because it looks wrong to me if I don't.
Not very helpful.
So I tried to sound deep and introspective and got myself into a mess of double speak and nonsense.

Swing by and give it a listen when you have time this week: 

It's strangely difficult to give a coherent answer when you are talking to a group via  headset.
I kept pausing and wishing I could see everyone's faces.
That's how I gauge if someone is listening and without it I tend to yap on and on and say things I don't really mean.

Like when I said I don't journal in my scrap pages too much because I want the photo to tell the story.

That may be true for some pages but most of my work has journaling.
I don't get too wordy (for once- HA!) but I do answer the basics- who, what, when, where and how.
I made this page right after we talked. The conversation really made me sit down and think
about what I like to do in my page and this came together super duper quickly.
I then got into a whole thing about Lola tripping and cutting her forehead on Mother's Day.
I felt I had to give a some background for my viewpoint which was strangely controversial- something I didn't expect.
I made a big deal about saying it happened at Joann's- it isn't.
I just didn't want to distract from the issue at hand so naturally I handled it in the most distracting way possible. DOH!

Please forgive my incoherent blather. 
I was trying to illustrate how Project Life or scrapbooking in general can be difficult but good when your life takes a turn for the negative.

Shimelle's view point was that she would rather stick with the happy stories in her scrapping.
I TOTALLY get that- life is too short to belabor the negative.
Dina said she would art journal the heck out of a negative life experience.
I get that too but I prefer not to separate my crafting into different genres because it takes longer for me to get organized.

I wanted the regular PRT listener who maybe hasn't read this blog to understand that I think there should be no secrets within a family.
I can take it even further and say I think personal scrap blogs should also be open about any issue the writer feels strongly about.
As long at the writer understands there are repercussions for speaking openly and remains respectful of the reader in general.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth but my parents did a great job bringing us up safely in the South Bronx.
We talked about everything.
They have very specific and clear rules about what is acceptable behavior and what isn't but still- they listened.
So that's my perspective when I journal in my scrapbook pages or talk to my daughter.

I'm talking to my future self and to Lola about what's going on right now.
I don't treat each page as the end of the story- the ultimate document.
I just try to keep it to the now.
Some pages might confuse future readers because "how I feel now" changes so much but that's ok.
It shows people change their minds- they grow- they evolve.

The situation under discussion in the episode was pretty harrowing.
Perhaps I wouldn't scrap the details but yes I would discuss with my kids what they think happened and how they feel about it.
Then I'd make THAT part of my scrapbook.

There are hundreds of good reasons for talking about the difficult things- for me the most important one is that it's the only way to move on and grow. 

I believe in the end, your scrapbook, for better or for worst, is your family history.
Those are the stories that get passed on and teach your family about itself.
Nasty times should go in a scrapbook because those times make the family stronger.

At least that's what I currently think- who knows how I'll feel about this issue when Lola is 10 and actually reading!

We then moved onto the nitty gritty of HOW we "layer" in our scrapbook pages.
OO BOY Izzy TOTALLY called it when he said he thought it would be hard to talk about such a visual subject.
I just couldn't get it together- I made ZERO sense and I'm sorry.

Here's a page to SHOW what I meant.
I spoke about dividing the page into 9 sections- I usually place the photo in the top then embellish around it.
I make sure to add contrasting patterns and colors. I lobe pink stripes and polka dots!!! I also LOVE wood veneer banners. Here I added a bit of depth by cutting some of the white cardstock I printed my photo on into banners as well.  I then added a K & Co paper clip that had been sitting on my desk FOREVER and one of those AWESOME Crate Paper chipboard slide mounts. Many time I would add mist blots to this but I rather liked the clean edges here.
Very often I use vellum and I make "windows" on the page by punching shapes into strips and adding those under larger layers.

How do I keep the layers from taking over the entire page?
It depends on how focused a design I am making.
Most of the time I'm just playing.
The only rule I set for myself is that this page looks different from the last one I made.
It's a crazy difficult rule for me!
But I follow it so I can get better as a crafter.

More often than not I let the layers meander all over the page.
This is because I'm having so much fun adding things I have a hard time stopping.
I think that's ok too.

For this page I wanted to stay with the paper I chose and just use scissors as a tool.
I love working with paint and thread but they take time to set up in my tiny work table.
This page was fast and I didn't spend a lot of time second guessing my own work.
That is a good thing.

Here are some detail shots:
Here you can also see how I usually "border" my edges with something to "contain" the design.
I can't explain why I feel it needs to happen but I do it because the pages "look better with it.
I'm FAR from perfect but I'm willing to let it all show- as long as it's interesting and I keep growing. :)

X marks the spot. She's ok.
Have a GREAT week!


  1. Love your work! Great layout and enjoyed reading about your process.

  2. Loved the way you answered things in more detail on your blog. That was awesome.

  3. Thank you for speaking your mind. It's scary to put yourself out there, and I didn't realize how hard it is to carry on a conversation without the visual cues. I definitely will peruse your blog to check out your style.

  4. Michelle I think you did a great job on the Paperclipping round table discussion. Your ideas and insight interested me enough to search out your blog!!! So glad I did. I am a follower now.

    1. Ditto for me. When I heard you on your first RT I searched you out, right away. I admire your down-to-earth and straight forward approach.

      It's natural to second guess ourselves and come up with "I should have said"s after speaking publicly. Be kind to yourself. Your passion comes through what you say (and write) and is the charm that draws people to you.

  5. Loved listening to you on Paperclipping but it is lovely to see your layout here and read your answers in more detail :)

  6. I loved hearing you on Paperclipping. You did a fantastic job and your perspective is so welcome and are always a great addition to the conversation!

    1. Thank you so much Lynn. It's a bit of a leap to talk publicly knowing so many different people listen- I try to keep it simple but sooner or later my excitement over who I am talking to and why gets the best of me and that's when you get the super fast talking and loud laughing. Lol.

  7. Loved you on PRT! I knew I would :) And, you are braver than I - I have never listed to "my" episodes - lol!

    1. HA! THANK YOU! I actually have a history of listening to my ramblings on tape- I produced several documentaries that required I play interviewer and editor. I'll never get used to listening to myself but at least I don't cringe as much as I used too. :)

  8. Michelle, I just finished listening to PRT and I totally agree with what Izzy said about visualizations through auditory means might get confusing to some people. I

    t was pointed out to me by a college friend that I had a hard time listening to something being read to me opposed to just reading it myself...which made her ask me why I chose communications as my major! This was over 30 years ago and it still sticks in my mind.

    Well I eventually found out that having untreated ADD was a part of why listening was difficult...the mind wandering while listening or even trying to concentrate on what I want to say was a hazard. I discovered writing is a LOT easier for me to get my point across to others rather than speaking.

    Thank you for following up your words with visuals and words on this blog post. I understood the 9-sectioned letter sized page concept but anything after that left me wondering what does she mean by this or that. Seeing your layout here finally clicked in my mind what you were saying.

    P.S. I am so glad your daughter is okay! I understood why you didn't want to take pictures right there in the store of her wound...and I imagine you will be visualizing that in your mind for many years to come. I still can see my now 22 year old daughter getting trapped (at age 3), in one of those carousel type entry doors that have vertical partitions of glass and go in a circle as you walk into the building. I fear those doors due to that image of my young daughter. So there are certain events you witness that need NO pictures to convey what happened!

    1. Hi Jann, Thanks for this great comment. I've often wondered if I have ADD- lots of the symptoms sound like things I struggle with everyday. I listen to NPR news radio all the time so listening isn't a challenge but when I try to explain things step by step I tend to get muddled up- it's easier for me to just show you what I mean. Writing is also easier for me than speaking- Hmmm. I may have to schedule a test.
      I KNOW most of the listening audience was saying "Whaaaa?" because Noelle tried to clear things up a bit herself Sorry everyone!!! I've never actually had to verbalize my actual scrap routine before- it was a actually a great learning experience for me. I should do more "step by step" posts! :)
      I'll never forget the great scream Lola let out when she fell- that was awful. You are 100% correct on never needing to see the actual photos again.

  9. Hey Michelle, I listened to the roundtable and I thought you did fine :) I love your honesty.


Ok peeps lets CHAT! You tell me what you REALLY think and I PROMISE to keep it open minded here.