It's been a while. Two years, to be exact.
I've had a few projects I've finished here or there, a few pages, but these have taken weeks and months to complete. It's hard to explain why I haven't been enjoying my favorite hobby. Or maybe it is if I faced the truth of it…
my life has changed.
My new normal doesn't even come close to what my old normal was.
I like it that way.
However, it means that my time to piddle and play is very limited. As things have begun to 'settle down' (ha!) I've slowly been working art back into my days. It is important to me- it just keeps me sane, and I realized during my forced time away from art play that it is a pressure valve for me. Sometimes, it's just the idea that I've actually completed something that day and it stayed done and whole and beautiful- unlike my life and the laundry, which seems to be in some state of mess or process, never staying done. Sometimes, I need to work through something I am struggling with, and the abstract of just creating helps me to parse it all out. For someone who is a wordsmith, word lover, word consumer, I find the visual imagery helps me to clear out the clutter in my brain. There are so many reasons. I've gone on quite a few creative capers over the last year or so, fussing around with mixed media explorations, and it's been so freeing. Scrapbooking? Not so much.
It's the photographs.
This occurred to me not so long ago when I looked at a stack of photographs sitting on my desk that had sat unscrapped for nearly a year. It almost made me want to cry. I didn't even know where to begin, and my first inclination was just to walk away and do something else. But then I started flipping through them and I saw why I put them there in the first place- the stories, the moments I wanted to tell. I realized I just needed to get started (again), and these layouts are the fruits of that night.
In that process, I realized that I needed to condense my supplies. Part of this was just practicality- many of my paints, pens, and glues had dried up from two years of no use. (With the exception of the Creative Memories stuff- that stuff is made to last, thank goodness! I am still using some of the same pens my mom gave me over eight years ago.) Part of it is the fact that who I am as a scrapbooker, oddly enough, has solidified and cemented in the two years of not scrapbooking. Maybe it's a metaphor for other aspects of my life too, who knows. I know what I like and I don't like- what my style is. What my focus is. What 'floats my boat' technically speaking, and what makes me want to throw up my glue covered hands in disgust.
But there's those photographs!
How do I condense those into a system that makes sense for me? I am not a chronological scrapper. I never was, I never will be. It's always been about the story for me. And, okay, the chance to get paint on my fingers. I looked at the Creative Memories system. It's all about chronology, and that just ain't me. I scrap what inspires me in the moment. That's not to say that all these piles of photographs aren't stopping me cold, because they are. I just have to find a system that works for me. I have primarily digital photographs, all stored on my Mac; there is a little bit of stomach churning realization that if my trusty sidekick suddenly decided to take an extended vacation where all hard drives go sometimes, I am majorly up a creek and have lost years of pictures in the blink of an eye.
I've picked up Stacy Julian's Photo Freedom recently. Her system makes a lot of sense to me, how I think, how I scrapbook. I am game to try it…I am desperately hoping it makes a difference. I want to get back to the hobby I love. I'll let you know how it goes.