The past few weeks have seen me experiencing a whirlwind of emotions: first with my daughter leaving the country for eight days, then by living through her absence for those very eight days, and then getting her back safely in one piece.
And what do we do ladies (and scrapbooking dudes) do when we process our life events and innermost feelings? Why, we scrapbook them. Naturally.
I designed a new template with the idea of having something to tell someone, in this case, my now 16-year-old daughter, Aidan. I envisioned it as a letter of sorts. A letter with photos and a title, assembled onto some cardstock.
Here is the finished page:
JOURNALING READS: Time, my dearest daughter, is a bullet train. Now I know this doesn’t really register when you’re 16. Right now, you are infinite. We are infinite. Life moves forward but not in the same way as it does for me. At least not anymore. You had such an amazing adventure in El Salvador and though you’ve been away from home before, something about this trip sent me into a state with which I’m mostly unfamiliar: the state of connecting to the fact that you won’t always live with me.
I know you’re supposed to grow and learn and eventually leave. That’s the path for many children. It was my path and once I left for good, it felt right. And good. And realizing how I’ve traveled this path in my own life made me realize that you too are going to follow your own version and it will result in you not living under this roof anymore. Last week when you were away it really hit home and I was overcome with the sadness of it.
Not sad that you get to live your life; that’s not it at all. I want you to have everything in life that you want; to experience things that bring you passion and joy; to continue forging this amazing, singular identity of yours. I’m so proud of you and your independence. I just want you to know that sometimes, I will feel a twinge of sadness at this rite of passage in both of our lives. I wouldn’t keep you home forever if I could, but sometimes, the idea of it… well, it puts a smile on my lips.
I just want you to know how much I love you and how thankful I am for our relationship. I still need to get out of the way from time to time, but I think we both know we have something very special here, something kind and supportive and loving. I will always be part of the four walls of your home that support you. And those walls, even when they’re not visible, will be with you for the rest of your life. Love, Mom.
TECHNICAL NOTES: I began this page using a base template and working in Photoshop. I placed all of the elements into the template: photos, words, embellishments. Then, I turned off the photo layers and the date bar layer and date text, and printed the rest out onto a sheet of white cardstock. Next, I turned those photo layers back on, and turned off all the other layers (text and title). I moved the photos in from the edge, moving both the photo and its layer mask together. (I did this by holding down the Shift key and selecting the appropriate layers.) Next with everything moved into the center, I used the Pencil Tool to create some trim guides. Why? Because once I drew the guides, then I could make the layer masks on each photo slightly bigger than they originally were and this would allow for bleed on the photos for trimming. Here's what the page I sent to print onto photo paper looked like:
In essence, I created some hasty crop marks to help me trim the photos to the correct size. That's how you can take the base of any digital template and begin breaking it apart, turning off and on layers to create a hybrid design like mine.
DESIGN NOTES: The balance structure on this design is asymmetrical—if you draw a line down the center, what you have on the left is different than what you have on the right in terms of the space occupied by the elements. I use repetition both in color (orange), font (Archer is the font for the title and journaling), and for elements (the digital flower stamp.) One thing I look for when desiging is how can I align elements so they make sense. Notice in the title how "I have" aligns with the same left edge as the journaling block. It's a simple touch, but looking for subtle alignments is a great way to create a design with unity. Also, I maintained equal amounts of white space around the photos and around the edges of the entire design. Unified and common white space contributes to a sense of purposeful design.