It was at that moment that I knew I had discovered something that I would love and that I had been looking for for a long time without even knowing it!
I'd been reading about this thing called "scrapbooking" online for some time. I think first through Flylady and then just generally as I looked into it and tried to work out what it really "was". It took me about 6 months before I felt confident that I understood the concept enough to talk to my sister about it and her interest was piqued. So when I found a shop that stocked scrapbooking product - whatever that might be - near to Birmingham, I persuaded her to come along with me to check it out. We both nearly gasped when we saw the papers and embellishments. And I'm talking about a shop which had a teeny tiny selection of product! But we were in awe! Such pretty bits and pieces to cut up and use to decorate our photos. Sounded like fun. So I bought
I suspect that it took me some time to pluck up the courage and convince myself that I had everything I needed to jump right in and looking at the page, I think that these products are not the items I bought at that first shop. I probably convinced myself that I "needed" an eyelet setter and eyelets - remember how popular they were, back in the time?!? - and the papers and stickers were from a DCWV paper pack - no BasicGrey to be seen here for sure! And I remember ordering some books to tell me how to do it right! But sometime in January would have been that first paper cut...
So, do you want to see that first page?
A double page spread featuring various random, unconnected elements and a bit of a sticker sneeze. Badly printed photos and even themed Barney elements from the party invitation and bits I picked up while I was there - the journalling tucked away was probably something I'd seen in one of the books as was the matting and double matting! I remember being short of title elements/letters and being proud of my computer title work. It all looks so amateur to me now but I'm still so proud of it!
Later on, in the first six months or so of scrapping, there would be layouts made which have not stood the test of time as much as this one due to really awful design and execution - most likely in the bin by now. But even though there's a lot of amateur mistakes on this one, it's really not sooooo awful!
Just for fun, here is that awesome little boy right now! He's 13 and all grown up. And I still love making pages about him and he must get a lot of credit for putting up with his old Aunty Lisa needing hugs and photos.
And this is my most recent layout about him - the ten years have brought a lot to my scrapping, the design style I have, the relationship I have with my family and life in general. Mostly for the good I hope!
Now that I have my layouts in albums, I was easily able to identify and pull out two further layouts from those early weeks - how I love that! I'm not sure exactly when they were made but I'm guessing that they really were right at the very beginning. Maybe even the first handful of layouts.
I still adore Blitzen by BasicGrey and was so happy to make up this page using a sketch (new for me!) I found on the BG website. I remember spending so long on this getting the papers exactly as the sketch suggested and the overlap of the photos just so. And there's story there too. I recall my husband looking at this when I first made it and asking why I had made it - what about the big story stuff. And I told him that these were the memories that were precious to me. Soon after this, I discovered the world of scrap celebs such as Stacey J, Shimelle and Ali E and I knew that this was my home. Capturing the details of life that I wanted to remember as well as some of the more important events...
...such as my sister's wedding. We used to challenge each other back then and this was in response to me saying we should make a page about the other one. Look! There's a sheet of the very first scrap stuff I picked up back in that very first shop we went to, and fibres and rub-ons! And hidden journalling, and the metal charms that were so "in" back then. This page is so dated but I really really love it. Still!
The intervening 10 years and probably way more than 1,000 layouts have brought about a lot of changes to me, my life and of course, my scrap style. Scrapbooking has improved my life in so many ways including the wonderful friendships I've made with creative peeps around the world - both online and in real life. Real, deep, meaningful relationships that make my life happier. I can't imagine not scrapbooking even if I don't make as many pages as I did in the past.
And I'm still scrapping the little memories as well as the big events. And I'm still using and loving BasicGrey papers - even though I'm sad that their time in the paper crafting business appears to be over :-(
Long long long story short, I also wanted to share my most recent page with you today which uses my Counterfeit Kit Challenge January kit, Rekindle and features elements of BasicGrey Infuse papers in what I like to think is a perfectly up-to-date, stylish way.
A big event recorded - a new baby in the family - which calls for an über-pretty page which mixes up old and new. Both papers and embellishments. Infuse papers were from 2007 and the DIY shop collection was new to me in November. 2015. There's brand new gold glitter washi alongside the vintage price tag which was included in a Bellboo kit way back in 2008. This is one of my creative goals for this year - loving and using the stash I have and bringing it together on pages which make me happy!
What are your creative goals this year? With January almost over, it's time to make sure our goals really do match what we can achieve. This layout has proved to me that I'm on the right way.