Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Little Picture Scrapbooking

Over the weekend, I finished a layout about our first day of homeschooling. That auspicious occasion took place in August of the year 2000, when I was still using a regular 35mm film camera. And, of course, when I was taking notoriously awful photographs.

With my spiffy new digital camera, I still take some pretty horrid shots. The difference is that I can delete them, or if necessary, I can upload them to the computer and fix the problems with my handy-dandy PhotoShop Elements 3.0 program.

When I started working on the last layout, I had two other layouts in mind, with photos set aside along with papers and ideas. In absolutely no time at all, I realized, "Oh, my gosh, this homeschool layout is going to be awful." Why? Because the photos were so bad. I couldn't even find the negatives to try to scan and correct the photos or have good reprints made in larger sizes.

I was really stuck. I felt incompetent and untalented. OK, I almost always feel untalented when it comes to layout composition. I rely on the "rule of thirds" as if my life depends on it. But I was struggling with pictures that were really imperfect, trying to make a layout that was perfect.

Fortunately, I have friends who save me from myself. Becky Thompson, who is an online teacher with Big Picture Scrapbooking, fussed at me because I had forgotten the most important tenet of scrapbooking: HAVE FUN. She illustrated her point by creating a layout with a truly awful photograph that was completely out of focus, blurred, and smeared all the way across the photo. It was of her daughter's 10th birthday, one of those occasions that you really want to scrapbook and keep fresh forever.

And... it was a great layout. Maybe it'll never get published -- but maybe it *should* be published. Maybe all of our less-than-stellar photos should be scrapped and published because, really, aren't *real* scrapbookers working with more pictures like these than with totally gorgeous, completely sublime, professional-quality photographs like the ones we see in the magazines?

Thanks to Becky's prompting, I readdressed my homeschool layout and stopped putting so much pressure on my poor photos to do the hard work of helping me create a scrapbook page that was perfect. I accepted imperfection. I didn't spend more than a day inking, embossing, braiding, sewing, pounding eyelets, or cutting letters. Instead of using those time-consuming techniques, I kept it simple. I dashed out some journaling, used the embellishments that came in the Club Scrap kit, and ended my weekend with a layout that I really love.

Of course Woodrow has demonic red eyes in one picture. Certainly we can't see Emily's face in the other photo. But we have a layout that accurately depicts the first day we homeschooled, and that is going to last for centuries.

Maybe more layouts should feature these reality-driven *little* pictures.


At 6/3/06 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... made me smile today. Thank you. I'm glad you found your fun again. :)


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