Saturday, 7 January 2012

My 2012 Scrapbooking Style and How I got here...{ a philisophical look at my scrapbooking journey!}

***Happily skip this post if you're not a great reader!***
 {or particularly interested in dissecting & defining 
scrapbooking styles!} I just need to record it here
for those dreaded times when I'm asked
"What's your Scrapbooking Style" - that question
never fails to get me tongue-tied so now I can add
this link to my resume & I'm done...for 2012 at least :)

When I first started scrapbooking 8 years ago I was 
all about embellishments - CRAZY about them!!  I
was "taught" to scrapbook at a very old school
establishment in Harare, Zimbabwe and it was the
same routine week after week - pick a printed paper
for the background, 2 plain cardstocks to "mat and
mount" (double-mat) - position your photos, add a
title {I had to discover journaling for myself and that
took a few years LOL...really :I} then we could 
"have a little play" by adding a few goodies - oh joy!

Anyone who knows the history of Zimbabwe circa 2003 
will know that anything and everything cost an arm, a leg and 
one other body part in those days so embellishments were 
viewed as "a forbidden treat" - maybe that's why I developed 
such a fascination for them!  Anyway, the point is, I moved to
South Africa,at the beginning of 2006 - 6 years ago - things were
a lot cheaper by comparison by comparison  (although still at
least double the price of the States) so I got to indulge in my
embellishment love ♥ with a clearer conscience and LOVED
blinging up my pages!!

I love looking back at my work and seeing how my "caveman
scrapping" has developed since I left the cave (aka Zimbabwe) at
the end of 2005.  I didn't make a lot of headway style-wise in
the early years as I only got online and discovered blogs and
blogging in 2008. Prior to that I had little idea of what was
going on in the rest of the world and what scrapbooking was
beyond what I had been shown.

Without the internet I was stabbing around in the dark 
world of double-pagers, cramming in as many photos as
was humanly possible along with some very dubious design
principles involving some seriously OTT over-embellishing,
and ending up with some very old-school "heavy" pages,
under some rather misguided tutors.  My own scrappy
"voice" was still crying out in the darkness and I was
unable to find my true direction, all I knew was
"there had to be a better way!".

Come 2009 I canned the idea of "learning from 'the 
experts' " and started doing things my way - learning
online, soaking up so many different styles and influences 
- it meant I was all over the place but 2009 and 2010 
were hugely experimental years for me.  

Come 2011 and I could finally put a decent page
together following some tasteful design principles,
favouring the "clean and simple" American approach 
with a touch of the free "Aussie Style" - absolutely 
mesmerized and captivated by the South East Asian 
style of the Phillipines, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan,
the countries that in my opinion are residence to some 
of the most outstanding scrapbookers in the world.
(Beautiful layering yet so modern & not overly shabby).

 In the last few years I've learnt how to control myself
{okay I do come a bit unstuck around Prima Flowers!}
but roll on 2012 and I am wanting to pare down further...
{Verb: pare down Decrease gradually or bit by bit - pare
Derived forms: pared down, paring down, pares down
Type of: decrease, lessen, minify}.   In other words
not overdo the 3D stuff, rather build up my pages
using mixed media layers as this not only looks
good but is such therapeutic fun & I love the arty vibe.
I don't have time to become an art-journaler as well,
or make mixed-media canvases, so this way I
can have my cake & eat it too :)

I'm finding myself questioning everything I consider for my 
pages - but I don't think of them as "minimalist"- in fact I 
can't imagine ever being a true minimalist at all,  I think it's
more a case of 2012 being a defining year for me at last and 
one where I find the right balance, which is pretty amazing 
seeing as the word I had pre-chosen for 2012
{my One Little Word}was BALANCE.

I was referring to my life in general but now I've realised
that my word actually refers to my scrapbooking style too!
I realise that this shifting may not win me any awards - so
many of the "revered" scrapbookers of today do the most
beautifully intricate work - and believe me I love to look
at such pages but my style is becoming simpler as
I'm evolving as an artist & that's just a natural

As scrapbooking is such an artistic and personal 
experience I need to follow my gut - even if it means
missing out on some opportunities that call for a different
style - I hope it will open other doors for different 
opportunities & I hope that FINALLY I'll find my
perfect "scrapbooking style fit"!  I hate the never
ending dilemma of having to "Define my style"
but hopefully I'm developing more of a
signature look now that I have a better idea
of what I do and don't like  for my pages.


Bellaidea said...

it was the
:same routine week after week - pick a printed paper
for the background, 2 plain cardstocks to "mat and
mount" (double-mat) - position your photos, add a
title {I had to discover journaling for myself and that
took a few years LOL...really :I} then we could
"have a little play" by adding a few goodies - oh joy!: - this is really funny!!!
I do watch your style and changes and have to admit -I like all stages of it!

Ella Swan said...

Haha! Well that is really true!! Crazy I know...

Bellaidea said...

Helen, looks like my title mad some trouble:)it`s about the stone, not a dd name:)

Heather Jacob said...

wonderful post Helen .... styles always evolve over time ... but I think Balanced is a great word for you ....balanced with beautiful detail .....hugz x
I describe my style as classic with attention to detail and leaning toward monochromatic ...hugz xoxo

Kerryn said...

I find it hard to define my style too. I found it interesting reading about the evolution of your scrapbooking style. Half the fun is trying to work out what it is :).

Heather Jacob said...

hey also forgot to mention when I first began scrapping I only used cardstock no patterned paper at all ... lots of inked shabby edges and some stamping .... I was only looking at some of them this morning and I must say I do like the simplicity they were all boy pages .... xoxo

Mitralee said...

Great post! If I am brave some day I will share some early pages! We went to the same school of intro to scrapbooking!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I swear I could have written this myself!!! I started out the SAME way and still to this am trying to define myself!! AMAZING post girl!! AMAZING! :):):):):):):):):):):)

Shayne said...

having followed you for much of your 'online' scrapping journey, i love where you are at now. You're not afraid to be bold and try new techniques, yet at the same time your LO's continue to be well thought out, balanced, meaningful and full of inspiration.

I look forward to seeing you grow even further in 2012 x

tania said...

enjoyed reading your journey:) i wish to also find a style, but i think i stare myself so blind into all the beautiful work online one get so drowned in all of this, it makes it difficult to stick to a certain style.
for work is beautiful and the fact that you always share your tips makes it great! thanks:)

Lynette Jacobs said...

I love your style and how it evolved and I do believe it will never will continue to find new avenues and wow us with your beautiful work.

Alison said...

Looking forward to seeing where you go with your scrapping this year Helen..whatever direction, it will be fabulous as alawys!
Alison xx

Eila Sandberg said...

You sure have been through a scrappy evolution, absolutely wonderful to have followed you on that journey! Really looking forward to what 2012 will bring, and as Alison says, whatever direction - I know it will be fabulous! xoxoxo

Diana said...

I loved reading this. TFS.
I love how your scrapbooking style has been so influenced by your life in general too.