Sunday, November 7, 2010

Evolution of a Scrapbooker

Back in August I had a fabulous weekend at the Bloomin' Inn in Alberta. It is this delightful retreat centre for scrapbookers and quilters and I really didn't know what to expect. Come back later in the week for my full review (it's a long one) but I wanted to post this one first because it is long overdue. When Sheryl and I were at the Inn we sat with these 2 crazy gals from Calgary who had quite the Cricut set up at their station. They shared everything; it was a frugal gal's dream. A pair of sisters who were churning out the layouts like you wouldn't believe. Kari and Janis were truly an inspiration to me. They were getting it done. Beautifully. But they took one look at the eclectic makings of my Starbucks book (a new one for a friend) and Sheryl's vintage record album book and the comments started flowing about them being "beginners". SO not true but nothing I could say would convince them. We had the whole talk about how everyone starts somewhere and it's the whole point of getting your family's memories on paper that is SO important. I felt like we really gelled over the weekend...getting to know each other, teaching each other things (we let them use whatever they wanted from our stashes and they taught me how to use the Cricut machine which I had never used before!) and generally just inspiring each other. And through this all I kept telling them that everyone...and I mean everyone...has a secret "first page" hidden away somewhere. Pick your fave "famous" scrapbooker...Trisha Ladouceur. Amanda LePage. Sue Sykes. Jill Hidebrandt. Leica Forrest. Vicki Boutin. They all started somewhere. So Kari and Janis challenged me to blog my first page. Put it all out there for everyone to see. Well, I will do you one better girls. This is the evolution of a scrapbooker. Kate style.

I started buying supplies before my wedding...probably early 2002 in the hopes of actually scrapbooking my wedding. It piled up and piled up in the spare room and then we had our first child in 2004. I still hadn't touched anything. When he was 10 months old I went to a Creative Memories party. Liked the concept but hated that I paid $15 for the class! I gathered up my courage and asked for my money back. Shannon (the consultant) said I could come to 3 of her weekly crop nights and if I still wasn't happy she would refund my money. Ok, you're on lady! So I started a book for my Hubs. A sort of "this is your life" and this is what the first page looked like. No help. Just me and my "fancy" scissors. *disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the horribly quick photography. I really didn't want to waste time fiddling with these photos.*
I was particularly proud of the little metal fish. Notice the absence of journalling...I always said I could do that later. Wow. Later is a loooong time. So then I started frequenting a little local scrapbooking store in Rosthern. Terrie started trying to get me to try new things. She patiently taught me each component of scrapbooking. Here is where I learned how to round corners.

Notice no title. No journalling. This page has literally been like this for almost 6 years. I will complete it one day. LOL Next I tried adding some ribbon to a page. This is from a 6x6 album I made for the Hubs for when he was away. It took me no less than 3 hours to complete this page. No kidding. It was also the first time using the die cut machine for the title and the little tag.

First time using chalk and buttons. This page took me a whole session which was usually from 7pm to well after 10pm. I can't imagine wasting that kind of time on a 6x6 layout now. Wow! It was SO outside of my comfort zone to use different fonts on the title like that. I was really uncomfortable with it then but think nothing of it now.
Then colour blocking...I remember being really happy with how this turned out. Again, it took me over 3 hours to complete this 6x6 page and now it looks so simple and easy but at the time it was a huge jump for me. I enjoyed colour blocking. It was clean and uniform. And those words describe my early tastes perfectly.
So after the colour blocking I got a little braver and took a couple different classes Terrie had to offer and started reading Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine which led me to try something completely new. Doodling. So with my new colour blocking skills I tried this page in my wedding album. This page also embraced the belief that not all pictures have to be perfect to tell a story.
And then I completely threw caution to the wind (you rebel you) and put some colour in to my wedding album. {Gasp!} My wedding colours were black, white and silver. So I thought I was being so clever by only having those colours in my album. Do you know how hard it was to find nice stuff in those colours 6 years ago? Ugh. So armed with my new love for doodling I did this page. *The name has been blurred to protect the innocent LOL*
This was also when I fell in love with Heidi Swapp flowers. I still have a thing for flowers but I would like to think my taste has matured over time. LOL
I saw something in a magazine about hidden journalling so I thought I would try that out too. This is why a new scrapbooker should never start with a baby or wedding album. Oh look...this is where she learned embossing. And here is where she learned about brads. Sigh. It's a road map of my classes...and mistakes. But I will never change this book. I may do a new one later in life but I will never change this one. I also tried out a stapler for the first time on this page.
This was the first layout I actually felt proud of. They are great candid shots of me showing the girls my garters (first time wearing them) and little did I know that my photographer was so quick on the shutter. To this day they are still the most requested reprints of all 9 rolls of wedding photos. Go figure! Oh the bling. This page started a love affair with rhinestones that will never die.

What are we up to? Ah, the Spring Fling at Just Scrap It! My first ever scrapbooking event where I hauled everything I owned to the crop and ended up buying everything I used because I couldn't find anything in my tote. LOL

I saw this layout hanging in the store. I couldn't even tell you who did it...I just literally took it right off the wall and told Ralna I wanted everything on the page. It was a little pricey...but it was my first "Scrap lift" and was worth every penny. I felt a real turning point in my confidence.
I could post a hundred other pages. Half pages really. I have come a long way in my outlook on what is important and what is not in my scrapbooking. I don't like my handwriting but I value the meaning of it now. I still make pages I am not overly fond of but I never change them. There are no mistakes, I just move on. I feel proud of myself that I have come from that first "Gone Fishing" page to this most recent layout I took 3rd place at Camp Croppin' with this year:

From fancy scissors to handmade grunge board roses (thanks Sheryl). The evolution of a scrapbooker. What is your evolution? I challenge you to post or blog your first pages. What has shaped you into the scrapbooker you are today? Leave a comment here so I can check it out!
So there you go Kari and Janis. Hope it was everything you expected. Stickers, shapes, etc. We've all done it. It's where we go from here that matters! And no matter the experience level of a scrapbooker...we are all artists with valuable things to teach each other. Hope to see you in Calgary at Camp Croppin' in the Spring and Sask Scraps in Saskatoon next Fall! xox


Sue Sykes said...

Kate! What a fabulous transformation! I love the grunge roses - just saw the tutorial on Split Coast Stampers yesterday and resolved to try them very soon!

And thanks for lumping me with the likes of Tricia, Amanda, Leica, Jill and Vicki definitely out of my league with that bunch! :)

Maybe when I return from SK, I will attempt to brave the history of my scrapbooking... maybe.

See you in FOUR sleeps, lady!

Keri said...

Kate - Thank-you SO much! This blog just made my day. I couldn't stop smiling as I read about your evolution, cause it sounded a lot like the changes we've been through. It was very inspiring to see where you started and how you got to where you are today. I have to admit that I didn't really believe you when you said you started at the same place we did (except we call it the "strips and corners" phase, instead of the "stickers and shapes" phase - although we did use a lot of stickers and shapes too). I will have to dig out my oldest daughter's baby album and take a picture of my first page for you. Technically, I did do one page before it at my first (and only) $15 Creative Memories party. It was done using someone else's pictures because mine were all packed away for our move and it has since been ripped apart so I could reuse the CM page in my baby's album. It was way too ugly to keep, they weren't my pictures and I'm too frugal to waste perfectly good CM pages that I could easily cover up with colour blocking (I didn't know there was a name for that until I read your post). So, I'll post my second page, which is just as bad, or maybe I should just say "old school". I like that..."old school" scrapbooking. Totally cheesy. Just as cheesy as the pages it produces! Thank goodness we have the ability to evolve. Thanks again for a great blog. It truly made me smile!

Kate said...

As cheesy as the mushy memories we get when we look at our albums! Thank-you so much for your kind words ladies! Ans Sue, you know I think you are a rock star. It's 3 sleeps now! Kari, you really do need to come scrap with us here in Saskatchewan. It's a rockin' good time! So you see I was telling the absolute truth. Wasn't that fish page unbelievable? I feel so honoured to have come so far as to grace the pages of Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine now. This craft is always an adventure!~ Have you sent any of your stuff in yet? Check out the new call!

Kate said...

Geez, how many times have I spelled your name wrong? Sorry Keri!!!

Pam said...

I love it all!!!
the wedding page at JSI was mine...from the second version of my wedding album. I too started scrapbooking my wedding album (black white and silver) we should get together and see if they are full of the same papers!!

Terrie Lynn said...

Kate, This post was agonizing for me to read... I go back so quickly to the days where shabby chic was way out of your comfort zone and love lingo was not your thing. How time has turned the tables... you are now the one challenging me to step out of my comfort zone;-)