So imagine my surprise when I was attracted to one of the new smaller Project Life kits. Together with the page protectors, there were chipboard embellishments, gold foil acetate overlays and little booklets and file folders. I was surprised to find embellishments; I thought the main point of Project Life was to make scrapbooking simple and non-fussy (I am a very fussy paper scrapbooker!). I decided to play with it (I am a sucker for gold foil, it's true!). Here are some of my initial insights and experience:
1. A good corner rounder punch is your friend. I love rounded corners and wanted my photos' corners to match the rounded corners of the kit cards. I had an older corner rounder that I've used for years, with a small black rectangle on top that I push. My poor hands! Given the number of corners I rounded, my hands h u r t ! I invested in a Becky Higgins Project Life corner rounder with a nice top lever. Much kinder to myself.
2. I felt completely and utterly lost. I have been making scrapbooks for many years and I am used to diving right in. My style when designing traditional pages is to move the photos around on the page until I have a sense of how I want to arrange them. Then I find a background paper, add a title, and play with embellishments. In pocket scrapping I am looking at a grid. However, I felt lost when approaching a pocket page. The layout didn't talk to me. At one point I went back over a bunch of my scrapbooks to see how often I used a grid when left to my own designing - almost never!
3. I had to suspend many of my approaches developed over my years of scrapbooking because they got in the way of designing my pocket pages. No more using differing sizes of photos to tell a story. No more overlapping images. No more having images skewed rather than horizontal or vertical. No more matting photos. A different approach to the rule of thirds. I realized that I could do these things in pocket scrapping but it would take way more energy and time than simply doing a traditional page.
4. I found myself asking: Why did people do Project Life anyway? So -- I decided to listen to people who do Project Life. I went online and looked at forums and message boards and YouTube videos. And I found that there are a lot of people who love this approach, a lot of people who don't, and a lot of people who are working at finding the positive aspects of it and adapting it to their own creative process.
5. In the end, it seemed to me that people do scrapbooking for various reasons. Some of us really enjoy the challenge of facing a blank page with our photos and our stories. We might find a way to adapt pocket scrapping so that it scratches some of the same itches as traditional scrapping. However, there are a lot of folks who really don't enjoy this particular challenge and are grateful for the structure provided by pocket scrapbooking; it offers a way to scrap our lives without all the drama often involved in traditional scrapbooking. It is a system specifically designed to minimize the drama and maximize productivity.
6. And pocket scrapbooking can appeal to "non-scrappers". For example, a friend of mine has accumulated a stack of school pictures of her son. She wants to put them in an album, with short notes about each year. She looks at my scrapbooks and sighs, saying she loves them but it's not her. She wishes she could create a scrapbook that was easy and would hold her son's school pictures. A light went on for me: she was a perfect candidate for pocket scrapping! She wanted to make a scrapbook but not to be a scrapbooker! What a concept! I offered to introduce her to pocket scrapbooking!
A note: This is the first post in a series of posts about pocket scrapbooking. I know that the expectation in crafting blogs is to include pictures in every post, and I will in future posts, but I want to use my blog to think through some of my experiences and, hopefully, to elicit comments and a bit of a conversation. Please leave a comment. Thank you!