Saturday, March 9, 2013

Well, hello all! It's been a while, I know - what a good thing I ditched the page-a-week goal for this year. Still, I haven't been entirely creatively stagnant; all the creative energy so far this year has been channeled into sewing instead. And it's been nice, actually, to sit back and enjoy other people's work for a bit.

But today I have something of my own to share. Yesterday I went along to my first ever scrapbooking class. Can I make a small confession? Classes have never been high on my list of priorities. I think I can trace that back to my Year 7 Art teacher (who, as brilliant as she was personally, nearly turned me off art for life). Art classes for the year consisted of a sketchpad, a pencil and a ruler, with her dictating instructions like, "Rule a 4cm horizontal line, beginning 2cm from the left margin and 12cm up from the lower edge." At the end of the year we all had identical A3 pictures, and a mutual loathing for art classes. Happily, a new teacher was employed by Year 9 who was AMAZING. The power of a teacher, hey?!

But it left me with a lasting aversion to classes, at least those in which everyone ends up with the same piece. But this weekend was a chance to have a day creating along with Mel and Kylie from Kaisercraft, so was guaranteed to be fun. Plus the instructor was a mixed media artist, Anna Dabrowska from Poland, so I figured she'd probably allow a bit of leeway, creatively speaking.

It was fantastic! VERY different to my usual style - in fact, it couldn't have been more different - but her approach or attitude was really similar. She advocated no planning, letting it all evolve naturally / organically, and just enjoying the creative process. That's how I work most comfortably too, even though I prefer a quite graphic, minimalist style.

Here's the end result:

I had a ball! And I really loved that everyone's pages, while obviously in the same style, looked completely different.

Since I really don't use a lot of different techniques in my work (I've always been more drawn to design elements than technical ones), it was great to experiment a little. And it was really helpful to learn how to put a heavily embellished page together successfully.

Will I continue in this style? The odd piece here and there, perhaps. But not all the time - I couldn't afford it for one thing! (At a very conservative estimate, there's got to be well over $60 worth of product on that page - yikes!) For me I think it's a bit like a lavish dinner out - wonderful to have occasionally, but too much for every day. As a general rule I'm always happiest with simplicity -  in every area of life, actually!

But isn't that just the best thing about scrapbooking? It really does allow for and accommodate every taste and leaning, from the sparest minimalism to the most sumptuous steampunk. And so it should - it's all about your own personal memories, after all, whatever they may be.

Have you turned your hand to anything new lately? What direction is your creativity taking at the moment?

Have a wonderful week :)

PS: If you're interested, you can see here how I last scrapped this photo - perfect example of contrasting styles!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy New Year!

...we're still in January, so I guess we can still say that. Maybe "happy Australia Day" is closer to the mark...

I've been thinking a lot about goal and resolutions for this year, and on reflection, I think last's year's system suits me perfectly. The One Little Word, rather than an elevated, exhaustive list of aspirations, kept me focused and motivated all year. Much more satisfactory than abandoning the whole thing by March!

I know it's supposed to be a different word each year, but honestly "SEE" is still inspiring me. I really want to continue to develop an artist's eye for life and the world around me, and I feel like I'm only just beginning to do that. So, "SEE" it is!

This year's going to be be a pretty busy one, so I'm actually not going to set myself any scrapbooking goals. I think, as much as I loved working at Kaisercraft head office last year, rather than the occasional work from home, I really didn't anticipate how much it would affect my own scrapping time. Sadly, often the last thing I felt like doing when I got home was scrapping! So given everything else that's going on, I plan to free myself from all expectations - keep it as fun as possible. Maybe just enjoy visiting other people's blogs for a while.

Plus, you may remember a post I did last year about the book "To Die For" on the global fashion industry, and how very personally it resonated with me. This year, I've decided to take the plunge ("SEE actively, if you like!) and forgo buying clothes - unless they're proven to be from certified ethical companies. Instead, I'm going to sew, refashion or buy preloved. (Bar underwear and shoes, as I mentioned. There is a point...) Basically, I want to see if it's doable! So that cuts into free scrap time too...
(For anyone interested in the journey, I've started up another blog, Wasn't sure how interested scrapbookers would be, so I'm keeping the two things separate!)

All that being said, I do have a couple of layouts to post. Here's One and Two for the year:

Gotta love school Book Weeks! Seeing them on screen though, I'm not loving the drab colours so much. Might be time for another cull, methinks.