For my crafting prompt task, this week I decided to explore with art journal style design. I never tried it before but always admired art journal pages. I’m not particularly good at drawing (apart from hearts, doodled flowers and smiley faces!) so that’s always been a style I sadly thought I could never do. I decided to give it a go for this week’s prompt of the workshop. I found the mixed media website daisyyellowart where I found loads of tips to get started and examples. I got my alpha stickers and stencils, sharpie marker, watercolours, acrylic paints and brushes out, grabbed a sheet of bubble wrap and started painting and stamping happily! For my face, I printed a black and white photo of myself (from my Hipstamatic app on my iphone); I edited it on Photoshop first to reduce the opacity to 40% so that it’s not to harsh, then painted over it with watercolours. Et voila!
This week, the challenge is to think about storytelling styles, what stories we want to tell and to whom.
I want to tell my story and James’s for us to remember, and who knows when I’m dead maybe he will tell his children and grandchildren about me, but with something to show them. My dad died almost 4 years ago, and even though he used to tell us stories about himself, there’s a lot I have forgotten and wish I had put on paper at the time. There’s a lot about him I don’t know because I was too scared or embarrassed to ask, and now my heart is full of regrets of things I should have said. I don’t want James to have the same feeling after I’m gone. It might sound a bit morbid but, deep inside, we all tell our stories to be remembered by the people we care about. This is the stories I want to tell, big and small, life changing and small details, but most of all REAL.
A lot of my favourite books are quite different styles of writing, but most of them are about pain, struggle, suffering and loneliness, because I can feel and identify with what the characters feel, we all do I think, as it’s through hardship you build your character, it shapes who you are. My favourite books are “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”, “A Streetcar Named Desire”, “The Color Purple”, “The Bluest Eye”, “l’Etranger” (Albert Camus). I like dialogues, anything that feels real. I can’t stand descriptions that last for pages as my attention span gives up rapidly!!! Real is the word for me, even if it’s in a fantasy setting. I think that’s one of the reasons why I love Star Trek so much; the idea of a future where there is no poverty, where people live peacefully and everyone works not for accumulating money but to better themselves, is very hopeful and appealing to me in general. But as you watch the episodes, each character is revealed deeper and deeper and you get to understand them, cry with them, fear with them, and this makes them so real that it makes this future seem so possible you just want to hang on to it. No wonder Trekkies have been seen as weirdos by “outsiders” over the years; you have to experience it to feel it.
That’s what I want my stories to be like. I find it hard to tell about my hardships, and that is something I need to work on. It’s probably why I love reading it so much; it feels like someone else has worded it for me.
The story I have decided to tell is a conversation I had with my son a couple of weeks ago (it was very random!!!). I don’t usually use dialogue on my pages when I (digi)scrapbook so the first version is a new style for me.
Today I got inspired by a trip to Paperchase in Cardiff. Had a look around and found other bits and bobs to add to my scrapping stash, and decided to used some of them for my pages.
I’ve decided to use loads of happy colours on my HAPPY pages. James’s favourite colour is orange and that clearly defines him: bright, happy, shining, energetic and always giggling. I never used to like this colour, I’ve always been more of a black/red/pink person, but as years go by, I have to admit orange is a colour that lifts my soul and invariably makes me happy, maybe because it reminds me of James and also my pregnancy while expecting him; I was always pestering my boss to leave her orange peels on the desk as the smell made me feel better, and I quickly got addicted from it – to this day, orange is one of my all time favourite smells. I need it around to feel happy and zen.
Somehow I think this is all linked for some reason; it all seems to make sense to me. It feels that it is not just our stories that tells about us, but also all those little details, like little clues on a treasure hunt and, funnily enough, they all seem to be entwined somehow to tell who we are.
For the first page, the quotation is a post from Jenny Lens Facebook page (can’t remember which day, but it struck me and I wrote it down in my notebook to remember it). It just seemed so appropriate, as in this life, there seems to be mostly obstacles, people dragging you down, bitching behind your back or betrayal, and, to me, it seems like a waste of time focusing on these as, if I did, I’d barely have the time to live my life, do the things I enjoy and make the most of the people I love and care about. Long ago it just made sense to me to just be aware of the bad and the ugly, but focus 200% on the good and the happy, because at the end of it all, that’s all that really matters. I think I feel more and more this way as I’m getting older and genuinely feel time passing me by, and I just refuse to waste a moment on all the crap (pardon my French, but oh it’s not French! Oh well never mind then!!!). That’s been my philosophy now for a few years, and that’s what made me survive this long! The way I see it, it does not change a thing behind sad and miserable, all you got to do is do something about it to make yourself and people you care about, as happy as you can possibly.
Here is my first scrapbook page for week 3:
Really loved doing this page. The photos are printed weirdly as my old printer was slowly dying! I’ve received my new one (at last – hooray!!!) and it prints amazing quality, but I still decided to keep this prints as I kind of liked the stripy effect and also they are the last prints I’ve made with my ancient lexmark; I see it as the end of an era!
The theme of the workshop for this week was to scrap about something that makes us happy and how it fits with our storytelling goals. Well, digiscrapping, and now paper scrapping, stitching and creating makes me happy so I included all these in my page. I’m a BIG polka dot fan, hence the girly pink dotted background paper, another thing that makes me happy. But also more importantly than all these things, my son James and the relationship we have, is most definitely the sunshine of my life. Watching him play, sleep, eat, anything, makes me happy; I feel light and somewhat worry-less (only somewhat!!!) my heart is singing and i can’t help but smile. We have a fantastic relationship: I am the mum (quite bossy most of the time, but being on my own with him, I think I kinda have to) but we have fun together (we’re as weird, mad, silly as each other!!! Birds of a feather flock together!!! Lol!) and sometimes he’s the adult (I can swear quite a bit and when I do, he tells me off proper and enjoys it as it’s his go at being a bossy pants!!!)
Now it all fits perfectly with my story telling goals. As I want to tell my story, his story, and our story together, for me and him to remember, This page made perfect sense to me.
I’ll have a go at page 2 tomorrow. I already know pretty much what I want to, but I’m not telling! That’d be cheating ;-)!!!!
A few more pages for my scrapbook; I’m on a roll!
For the time being I’ve been trying to manage with the stash I already had, but I feel quite restricted in what I can do as I keep thinking of all the washi tapes and stamps I ordered and also my new printer (which I haven’t received yet! Grrr!), and I can picture all the possibilities ahead of me and can’t wait!!!
Here is what I’ve done for week 2:
I also made a start on Week 1 so I can have some pages in my scrapbook as well. I chose to start with lyrics that move me and in which, in some way, I see a bit of myself, as music is an important part of my life (even if I can’t play an instrument – yet!!). Some songs have helped me heal, grow, learn about myself, express things in me I couldn’t even recognise. That’s why it seemed to me a logical choice to start my first page of week 1 with this:
This is my first page for week 2 of my scrapbook journey within the Find Your Voice workshop I’ve been following on Facebook.
I have to say, I’m well chuffed with the result! I chose to start with the basics, then for part 2 I intend to use the basic questions from the worksheet and do like a fact file. I also need to do a couple of pages (or more!) for lesson 1, so loads to do to catch up, but I’m really looking forward to this!
This week has been so mad, I need this weekend to chill out and do something I enjoy.
Drawings (girl, wings and cloud) on this page a from a kit from Ya Yeah at thelilypad.com. I printed them on normal paper then painted them with my watercolours I found in one of my long abandoned drawers! Found so much stash I already had. I am waiting for my new printer and a bunch of washi tapes I ordered to get cracking with my other pages. SO EXCITED!!!!! 🙂
Violetta (and all the girlies from the Find Your Voice workshop) really inspired me, and I’ve made a decision (that is probably gonna make my bank account look uglier than it is!) – I’m gonna try paper scrapbooking!!!
First step, I got my EZ Click binding unit out; I got it a while ago as I wanted to bind all the tutorials and ebooks I’ve printed over the last couple of years. Got it really cheap so I bought it, just to realise when I opened it that it didn’t punch paper!!! I kept it as it would have cost me more than what I’d spent to send it back, and lay under some piles of mess in my messy room.
I think it was meant to be!
Tomorrow, I’m going to dig out all the coloured papers and cards, hole punchers, stamps, shape scissors I’ve got somewhere in the house and get cracking with lesson 2 of the workshop.
So excited! 🙂
I’m gonna listen to you, Violetta: I’m gonna grab the stapler, markers and wrapping papers, and go CRAZY!!! Lol!
I have started this way too late (yesterday!!!) but I’m still gonna share some photos I took this week.
My very busy Sunday: pyjama day studying, watching Star Trek DS9, James playing on MY ipad with old teddy keeping a benevolent eye, my favourite treat (strawberry flavoured liquorice), James doing his reading homework, my well-deserved cup of herbal tea (nettle at the mo as I suffer from hayfever; don’t know if it help but I’ll try pretty much anything now!! I’m that desperate!!! Lol!) and our evening DVD in bed “Despicable Me”, in preparation for Wednesday (we’re going to the cinema to watch “Despicable Me 2”, can’t wait! I don’t know who’s excited the most, James or me!)
Why do I want to tell my stories?
I’ve always wanted to keep a diary, but never really got round to it, for various reasons (time, commitment needed, I felt silly writing what was going on in my life as I viewed it as common).
When I started digital scrap booking a couple of years ago, I was focusing more on creating pretty pages and experimenting with techniques rather than actually telling a story. I followed challenges on a few digiscrap booking websites (and still do) as a way of learning and getting inspiration. On a lot of them, journaling was a requirement and, I have to say, I struggled like hell!! But little by little, I started to ask myself, why am I doing this? 99.9% of the pages I was doing were about my son James (sunshine of my life, my heart, my everything) and quickly came to realise that, without knowing, I was writing his story.
I want to remember him as he is now, as he was yesterday, and as he will be tomorrow. For me not to forget, as thinking about it, not recording the little things before, I don’t remember. I can’t remember when he first crawled, I can’t remember what his first word was, I can’t remember when his first tooth came out. I feel I’ve lost so much, I don’t want to miss what’s to come, and I also want him to remember, to help him grow.
In the same way, I want to remember who I am now, I want him to know, understand as he gets older, and hopefully learn and avoid the mistakes I made, so he can find peace and happiness in his life and in his heart.