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Scrapbooking with Sketches

One of my goals for the rest of the year:

Scrapbook less.

OK, that sounds like a fairly crazy goal, right? It’s my favorite hobby. I have a whole room dedicated to scrapbooking. I’ve taught classes and written articles and blog posts about it. It’s been my place for the past almost-twenty years.

But I’m also realizing that it’s my comfort zone. When I’m making a layout, I’m happy. I cheerfully cut paper and flip through my pretty supplies. I feel all pat-myself-on-the-shoulder-y, because it’s a good thing, yes? Keeping the details of your family history.

And even though I have a growing disconnect between myself and the Scrapbooking Industry, I don’t know that it will ever not be my thing. It makes me happy in many ways.

But it doesn’t challenge me.

I've been re-reading The War of Art, a book that focuses on resistance and how it keeps us from doing what we want to be doing, and I keep thinking about this idea:

Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole.

And also this one:

Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher. 

And this one:

Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North—meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing. ... The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

Right now, scrapbooking is the form my Resistance takes. It seduces me away from writing. And without writing (writing for real, writing that other people can see and respond to) I don’t feel fulfilled with my life.

I feel like I have missed a turn I was supposed to take, and the road I am on is in the same location I was meant to be in…but not exactly the right place. I know where I want to be (in the country of the writers, to continue my metaphor), but I haven’t pushed myself to find the way. I’ve just continued on with my happy little wandering journey, with my bits of scrapbooking creativity, gaining miniscule amounts of success in an industry where I don’t really fit (having words, yes, but not the skill of graphicality—not the ability to use design like others do), and feeling sort of hollow.

So here’s my current mantra: less scrapbooking, more writing!

And when I am scrapbooking (because really, I can’t imagine life without it), I want more authenticity. More meaningful details. More stuff I’ll be glad I spent the time on. (Not more intricate decoration.) I want to make layouts that make me happy, even if they don’t necessarily jive with the current scrapbooking aesthetic. I want to share more layouts on my blog, not because I think one of them will finally be my way of being noticed but because I just like sharing what I’ve made.

And I want to be able to accomplish more in less time.

One of the ways I’ve found to scrapbook faster is by using sketches. I don’t do it very often because that would require me to find sketches and then organize them. (Which takes more time!) But this summer at Write. Click. Scrapbook. we’ve been having Saturday Sketches. I haven’t played along with all of them, but the ones I have have consistently taught me: a sketch makes it go faster. Especially for me, where all my energy goes into the words, and where my strength is writing the story, not arranging the pretties.

I see more sketches in my future.

And in the spirit of sharing, here’s a layout I made using last week’s Saturday Sketch:

09 sept nathan no1
(Fairly grainy photo-of-layout because it's been grey and rainy here all week!)

I started it when I was home on the weekend for my lunch hour, and then I finished it later that day…so I spent maybe an hour, total, on this. Which for me is like Ethopian-marathoner fast. In the end, it looks almost nothing like the original sketch (click HERE to see it and some other layouts made with it). I turned it sideways but the journaling strips are still horizontal, and I used one photo instead of two. Copying exactly, however, is not ever my goal when I use a sketch. Instead, I like how it got me started and gave me enough of a structure that I could put everything together quickly. I love how it turned out!

If you are a scrapbooker, do you use sketches? How do you organize them? 



I love sketches for the same reason - using them makes everything happen much faster than when I'm creating from scratch. Like the layout shared in your post, my end product sometimes doesn't look much like the sketch; but sometimes it does. I find sketches a brilliant way to help me get through those times when I can't find my creative mojo. Getting things stuck to the paper breaks the block. I store my sketches by number of photos - I have a loose-leaf binder with dividers (1-photo; 2-3 photos; 4-5 photos etc etc). I haven't added to this in a while because.... I discovered Pintrest. I don't go surfing on Pintrest much at all; but I pin images to my own boards often. The scrapbooking ones have the same titles as my binder's dividers. Works for me!


I think I need to read that book!

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