Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Lifebooks, lists and manga - another long winded post

Did I ever tell you about how I started scrapbooking?

When adopting Lucy (and Luke) we were told how important was to write a lifebook for them. A lifebook is the story of the child, from birth. It is a great thing for every child, adopted or not, to have a book to tell their story, but even more important from a child who's been adopted or in foster care. It is a way to provide information about their origins, understand the circunstances that led them to an adoptive or foster family.

While trying to write it, I found this book by Beth O'Malley, which helped enormously with the topics it should cover and the wording. But on the design side, I was on my own, and I wasn't pleased with it.

While trying to find out some hints on how to improve it, I stumbled across the word "scrapbooking" and a whole world opened to me. I started me into digital scrapbooking. Eventually I finished the lifebook for my daughter and jumped into paper scrapbooking and the rest is history.

But the story if not finished. While I slowly managed to scrap their little (and big) current stories, the lifebook remained untouched. And while I have a few pages for my son's book, it never got even printed.

Because I got into scrapbooking, mini albums, photography, cards, craft forum, blog hopping, etc. Besides my daughter loves to look at her earlier photos, but never had much interest in her lifebook. So why bother when there are much more interest things to do? And not enough time?

But the thing is, now that I know my audience, I probably can rewrite the book and make it more appealing to them. By adding much much more photos. Oh how the love to look at photos of their cute selves when they were babies! And how their love the stories of what made them happy or laugh or cry.

So I decided for the n'th time to finish/rewrite their lifebooks. But I didn't want my whole craft time taken over by this task - I still wanted to scrap, edit my photos, read blogs, etc etc. So I came up with a list.

With things I should do daily, weekly and monthly.

For example:
each day:
a card (OK, maybe each other day, or each 3 days... :-) )
each week:
a page each of the children's lifebook
a page of my childhood memories book
my paperplay challenge entry
each month:
a month summary
a couple of fun, do-not-worry-if-it-is-going-to-be-a-disaster, project.

It might look a bit like the scrap time is going to like a job, with goals and timetable, but for someone like me that is disorganised and slow, it is probably the best way to accomplish what I want long term, while still leaving time to pursue this scrapbooking hobby of mine.

I will also nurture my creative by just trying to do something without worrying too much about the outcome. Like painting, stitching, origami, or anything I fancy at the time.

I was lucky this week, because the fun project turned out to be the one for the PaperPlay Challenge, check it out tomorrow (1st October).

And today I made another one, inspired by Lily. She made a manga inspired card.

I spent good part of my childhood drawing pictures, and lots inspired in the mangas lying around the house, which I couldn't quite read - Japanese is complicated it has 2 alphabets plus a symbol based writing. But I loved the drawings which were elaborate, and full of girls, flowers, stars and beautiful dresses. Looking at Lily's card brought back memories and I decided to draw a manga inspired girl. But boy, am I rusty! After a half-dozen attempts I decided to use a photo of my daughter and draw her manga-style.

Since I don't own any copics, I went the digital way and scanned it, coloured and added some ready made embellishments.

* Drawing: my own
* Heart background paper: Shabby Princess
* Floral brush: Fresh Foliage by Design Fruit

What am I going to do with it?
Probably nothing, apart from posting it here.
But that's the fun of a fun project.


By the way, she's way cutter IRL, see here, fourth photo, right-hand side.


Evonne said...

Interesting food for thought Elisa. I am particularly struck by the comment of knowing your audience. My kids are always asking me to tell them stories about when they were babies and naturally I tell them stories that they will find funny or amusing. I never thought of scrapping the baby photos to journal the stories they love now. Thanks for the inspiration.

Sabriel said...

Elisa, that drawing is just beautiful, I love it.
Lisa H

Sabrina said...

Manga isn't really my style - but your drawing is just lovely.
I like the way you've included space for a couple of just-because projects - I think we all need those.

Lily said...

This is wonderfully done, very artistic! I love the relaxed style you used here. I believe this would be a great poster for home ( can print it on canvs in A2/A3 or they have lots of other ideas. I often use them to create gifts.

Denise said...

I would frame that drawing and display it. It is fabulous!

Petshae said...

thats beautiful art ther. i lie your story too, the lifeboo idea and how you got to scrapping - its a great idea!