Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Scrapbooking Journey

I have always been crazy about taking photos.  It started out when I was in my pre-teens and has only gotten more obsessive since.   When I first started I had those old photo albums, you know the ones (self adhesive, thin card board, ruins your photos!).  Anyways, back when I started that was all that I had around the house and sometimes you just gotta use what you have.  Besides, back then I'd never even heard of scrapbooking let alone how to keep my photos preserved.  I took them because it is what I loved to do.

Having so many photos I adopted a collage style album...all my photos were cropped super tiny and stuffed together on every page with no rhyme or reason, as long as they all fit. 

One day after I'd been married a few years we moved to Hollman AFB and a spouse of one of my husband's friends introduced me to SCRAPBOOKING!  All the embellishments, the colors, the paper!!!  I was hooked.  I began tearing all my old photos out of albums and organizing them to use on my pages.  Then I took my first shopping is this hobby expensive!  Having a very limited budget and starting out with nothing (but photos of course)  I stuck to the basics.  I'm naturally a very symmetrical person with simple style and my early scrap layouts cearly showed this...

My early layouts lack pretty patterned paper, gorgeous embellishments and most importantly journaling but at least my photos finally felt like they had a purpose and were telling a more structured story.  I continued with this style for several long years....never really satisfied with my work.  They were good but not great!  I'd finish them quickly... then bury them away in a closet somewhere.  Then one day I stumbled upon a website that talked about scrapbooking for a living...I'd never even given that a thought.  Could I really make a living doing something I loved?  Well I guess anything is possible.  I knew that in order to do this I would definately have to improve my skills and finally get to a point where I absolutely loved my pages.  I started a long search around the net and finally found a website that taught you basic scrapbooking and certified you to be a scrapbook instructor.  I was estatic!!!  I contacted the company and started training immediately...I couldn't wait.  I'd been working in retail for almost 10 years and wanted to broaden my horizons. 

Luckily for me, we'd moved into our new home and they were building a Michaels (litterally) next door (it only takes me about 8 minutes to walk to!!!) and they were looking for an instructor.  After recieving my certification I applied for the job.  I was so happy the day I got hired... and again started a long journey on improving my pages.  I tore my pages apart...reworked them and put them back together, appling all the new things I'd learned.  Finally they were beautiful to me...I'd finally gotten my skills to what I felt was a true display of my creativity. 

My style is still simple and I still LOVE symmetry but I'm able to express myself better and I'm no longer afraid to try things that might not work.  I play with strange color combos and unusual layouts, I make my own embellishments and make sure the story is written on every page.  I take time to learn new tips and techniques and figure out what works best for me.  It has been a great journey and I am proud to share it with all of my new students!

Most of them start out the same way I did (we all do) and I am honored that I can be there to help them achieve their scrapbooking goals and become the artists they really are!!!

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