So a few weeks back, when Ali posted about sorting our her scrapbooking, it got me pulling out my albums, just to spend a little time with all these pages I've made since 2001. I had similar reactions to things like: wow, THAT was a good story and what the hell was I thinking when i did THAT? (Specifically… a one page layout with a picture of Cole that didn't use such gems as "believe" or "cherish"…no, this one used "little imp" because I was trying to be clever.) Oh what the hell…. here it is and yes, I'm cringing for several reasons, which I will innumerate shortly:
1. This, for me, doesn't belong in a scrapbooking album. Period. It belongs in a photo album. It says absolutely NOTHING about Cole, who he is, his life, etc, etc. (Other than apparently, he was a "little imp." And that I had just purchased a set of PSX mini stamps. Seriously. It took me FOREVER to decide to commit to adding that brad-like thing. This page almost sent me into scrap therapy. It could have been SO much more… ahem.)
I found MANY such atrocities in my older albums. And it's not that I would go back and do it differently (wait, yes I would) but… it helps me to understand what I want to do as a scrapbooker. Today. In the here and now.
For example, a sweet and tall lady I was fortunate enough to spend some time with once, Susan Keuter, had a totally rad idea, she called Twelve on the 12th, (which you can read more about on her blog). I only did it once, but I clearly recall picking up the phone, calling Ali and saying: This is the ONLY layout I ever need to do, ever again. The same design. The same concept. This is IT!"
My point is simply that looking over my pages really does tell me a story, but not always the one I'm looking to read. Because that's what I want from MY pages. To give me something meaty. But don't confuse 'meaty' with deep and meaningful. Meaty=detail. That's it. I want the goods, baby. The dirt. The 411.
The first layout above is one I made in the past six months, just for me, with lots of great old shots of me and Dan. I love this page. It's not deep. It's not complex from a design standpoint. But it's meaningful. Because it evokes a sense of time. Time with this man that I love and have spent half of my life with. It makes me feel older. And grateful. And really friggin' lucky.
That's what I want from my pages. I want the "hits" to keep coming. The pages that give me exactly what it is that I'm looking for.
And yeah, it's absolutely okay to look through your body of work and scratch your head to help you know what you probably DON'T want to do again…