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.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Height Chart

Besides the regular measurements at the doctor's (which I don't put much faith), we used to measure and record our children's heights on a certain bedroom wall.

Now, this bedroom is going to be my son's bedroom and the wall was repainted. Before that, I took a photo of the height chart and wrote down the heights and weights and the respective dates.

I am slightly disappointed with this LO, I was happy with the idea of printing all the dates & measurements directly on the cardstock and the design and photos are OK, but I think the colour combination is a bit wishy-washy, it lacks a certain punch...

*Patterned Paper: Archaic, Basic Grey
* Chipboard Letters: Fetching, Pink Paislee
* Journaling Paper: Collage Press (I think)

Tuesday 22 September 2009

On top of the world

That's why I don't do much handwriting. I always make a mistake...

* Patterned Paper: Scenic Route
* Letter stickers: Thickers, American Crafts (pink), Fashion Script, Pink Paislee (white)
* Other stickers: Making Memories
* Pearls: KaiserCraft
* Other: Ribbon

Thursday 17 September 2009

PaperPlay today

The PaperPlay challenge is up, check it up, the entries are great!

Jackie set the challenge : " Tag it "
I would like you to use a tag or multiple tags on your creation .. any size .. any shape!! =o)

I got stuck of a sec, I don't do tags, then I remembered a fabulous minialbum made with tags by the SC DT member, Tina Aszmus, check it here (more in the Studio Calico gallery), and decided to lift her idea. Completely. I've got no shame.

I put 10 of my favourite photos of my children in it. Since it would be hard to trim my favourites to 10 I concentrated only in the early photos and very recent ones.

Intro page says:

"Some are good photos, some are quite bad.
In some there's a story behind them,
in others they just look cute.
But each one of them makes my heart skip a beat."

* Tags: Luggage Tag Coasters, Maya Road
* Fabric: fabRips, Studio Calico
* Labels: Scenic Route and
* Journaling paper and butterfly: unknown

* Font:VT Portable Remington

Wednesday 16 September 2009

School Trouble

My son started a new Montessori school this September. He's loving it but he's got an active imagination. I assume this previous teacher and classmates were used to it, but he's confusing his new coleagues. Like the day he said his house went on fire and he had to ring 999. Sigh...

I forgot to put the date and the last sentence is not right, I'll have to reprint it.

*Patterned Paper: Basic Grey
*Letter stickers: Sassafras
* Font: Times New Roman

Sometimes I just stick photos and papers in a piece of paper, but usually I sketch my layouts computer, sometimes the real one ends up pretty different from the plan, but sometimes it is almost a carbon copy.
I like how the title turned out.

Sunday 13 September 2009

In search of the magical photo - rambling warning!!!

This post doesn't have anything to do with scrapbooking or any papercrafts. Or it has, because photography is the raw material for the scrapbooker.

I've got interested in photography about 2 to 3 years ago, mainly because I wanted better photos to scrap. We bought a DSLR, I tried to decypher the manual - which was hopeless. So I read books, took an online course (@ 2Peas, by Joanna Bollick), then another two (by Cheryl Johnson), bought countless magazines.

Somewhere, probably several times, I must have been told this, but only now it hit me. If I want to take magical photos I have to have a vision in my head, a vision of what I want to acomplish. It doesn't mean that I have to plan days in advance, sometimes the vision might come only a second before the click, but it has to be there.

It just hit me as I was following my son in the park, I saw him cycling towards the bright area, under the yellowing tree. Then I saw the photo - him in the bright light, framed by the shaded ground, the golden tree, and a second tree trunk.

I didn't get it, the tree trunk on the left is missing, making the tree on the left float like a cloud, and the one on the right is too dark and a bit boring. But it COULD have worked. And the it would have been a magical photo. Well, at least for me. Thanks for listening.

Saturday 12 September 2009

School Challenge

This is a very late (a week late) entry for Davinie's school supplies challenge at Studio Calico.

"In honor of back to school, let's break out those school supplies.
The challenge this week is to create a layout, card, or altered project that includes:
the color red (you know, inspired by that apple for the teacher).
journaling spot (in honor of note taking)
stars (for a job well done!)"

I decided to talk about my daughter's many talents. She's an all-rounder and I don't think she appreciates how lucky she is.

Friday 11 September 2009

Double Challenge

I've completed two challenges with this layout. This week's PaperPlay was set by Kate: "No Patterned Paper", and Davinie's Project 12 Challenge.

* Letter Stickers: Pink Paislee
* Font: Lucida Sans

Thursday 3 September 2009

How Small is a Small Elephant?

A dialog between my daughter and son.

*Patterned Paper: Early Bird, Cosmo Cricket
*Chipboard letters: Basic Grey
*Chipboard shapes: Whoop De Doo, GCD Studios
*Font: Century Gothic