Wednesday, May 03, 2006

All So Simple

Bear with me, I do have a point.

For those still following along, I’m almost done with my grandma scrapbooks. I have 2 more layouts to do and then they’re done. DONE! And even a week ahead of the Mother’s Day deadline. Woohoo!

I’ve been a little distraught the past few days, though. There are three layouts in particular on my mind. One turned out great. I’m really pleased with it. Another I am equally thrilled with. Then there’s the one in between. I don’t like that one. Not at all, really. I’ve thought of redoing it, but I have no good ideas on how to do so. So it’s bugging the crap out of me. And the fact that it’s book-ended with (IMO) the two best layouts in the whole book makes it look even cruddier to me.

The cruddy layout consists of Halloween photos, which is a big part of the problem. Something about holiday layouts makes me have a right-brain hemorrhage. I despise doing them because I am not easily inspired within the confines of a theme, and they always look stupid and cheesy to me when I’m done. I don’t know why that is, but I simply suck at holiday layouts. SUCK.

Being the obsessive-compulsive over-analyst that I am, I’ve been thinking about this. I love my hobby and am normally bubbling over with layout creativity, yet perpetually struggle with holiday theme pages. Why is that? After countless stewings, I’ve come up with an idea.

It is said that art imitates life. And here is a prime example. I love holidays. I really do. They’re a hassle, but I love gathering with loved ones. Precious familial bonds are fortified and memories that will last a lifetime are forged during these celebrations. Best of all the Hub and I are reliving the joys of holiday enchantment through Incrediboy’s fresh eyes, and I wouldn’t want to miss any of them.

But when I look back on my memories of Incrediboy’s second year, what is it that first springs to the forefront as most endearing, for me?

It’s the little stuff. The every day, any day events that pop up and shine like a crystal shard for no particular reason other than that’s when they happened.

See, while I don’t mean to downgrade these wonderful childhood holiday memories in the making, it’s almost as if even the vignettes within are pre-categorized. Even the surprises of the holidays are within suit, and therefore, semi-expected. Shining moments, for me, are those that simply appear from nowhere. Random, unconnected, and unprovoked by the calendar. Discovering a big yellow garden spider in the window well. Noticing how different the warm rough concrete of the basketball court feels in comparison to the soft cool spring grass on little bare tootsies. Studying daisies and ladybugs. Petting the velvety nose of a horse. Playing stick and tag with boisterous but so gentle Most Beautiful Dog. Chasing the moon across a field. Learning how to blow dandelion fluff.

Holidays are nice, but the moments of ordinary contain the real magic for me. And clearly this reflects in my layouts.

My final two layouts are the birthday (intimidating in its holiday-like quality) and the back cover page, which needs to be conclusive in some way. But I'll not stress. In ending wisdom, I’ll keep in mind what my wonderful husband said to me this morning. As I fretted about the sub-par Halloween layout and wanting these scrapbooks for the Grandmas to be perfect in every way, he simply said, Honey, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t think they’re perfect. What matters is they will love them. And they will.

Sometimes you realize, it’s all so simple.


Itchy said...

"Honey, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t think they’re perfect. What matters is they will love them. And they will."

I've said this same thing to my sister when she's stressing over the albums she is doing for her daughter. And it is so true!

Rhonda said...

I think I piggy-backed here via Atilla's blog. I love your place and think I'll stick around, if you don't mind.

This post is beautifully written and the artist in me can relate. In addition to everything you said about working within themes and life being the little stuff that happens in moments of "being," Halloween is just the least artistic holiday on the planet. Orange and black looks okay on a Cheetos bag, a halloween card or maybe even a football jersey, but in a scrapbook or the fabric of a couch? Blech. I'm sure you aren't the only one disappointed in a halloween layout.

But where you've gone with it in your writing is simply wonderful.

It's Just Me said...

The hard part about scrapping those spontaneous, unscripted life moments that you so elequently presented to us is that you are enjoying them and living in the moment, rather than pulling out the camera and mentally laying out the next scrap you very well should (live in the moment I mean).

But I'm certain the Hub is 100% correct - the Grandmas will love them. How could they not? It really is a wonderful gift. I wish I had such a talent.

Michelle said...

You typed "Bear with me I do have a point", but I read "Bear with me I do love to paint"

I was trying to figure out when you were gonna work paint into this post.

Darn allergies!

Bougie Black Boy said...

Very nice write-up... I'd ove to see some of the pics of your scrapbooks.. . .

A-Real-Man said...

I have to say it I just do. A simple solution from your Hub, men are simple and we have a way of uncomplicating things for our women. I think that you are doing great and I have not even seen the scrapbooks.

Just remember and I think your husband was thinking this way, It is the thought that counts. In addition they will see all of the effort that you put in and treasure them all the more for it.


IHS, Craig

echotig said...

The key to a good scrapbooking is the "keep it simple" plan. Like not letting the extra stuff outshine the actual photo. Ok, someone else told me that. I have no idea what I am talking about!

I'm probably telling you something you already know. Darnit, I wish you lived closer! We have so much in common. I'm new to the whole scrapbooking thing and I have avoided it because of the Cheesiness factor. I cringe at those books that are out there to show you how to arrange you scrapbook pages. Maybe I just feel that's too personal to have someone else to dictate a theme.

My advice, get a really good camera and get to capturing all the shine of which catches your eye.

Cheryl said...

I so get the holiday vs. everyday moments thing! I realized several years ago that I had all of these holiday photos, yet no pictures of some of the people who were my best friends throughout my life, and the places I spent most of my time, because I didn't spend Christmas with those friends and didn't go to those places for holidays.

I take more "everyday" photos now. I don't even carry a camera to Disneyland anymore (thus the few cell phone shots instead). I want to capture the "real" moments in life, because they are precious.

Ame said...

I remember when my girls were really little - especially when it was just me and my first - I hated when the moments passed because I knew I wouldn't remember them all. I wanted to capture all of who they were on camera in some way fearing that if I did not, I would loose something of them.

Time has surprised me :) I have not even thought of those things in a very long time :) Perhaps, in a few years, when you can look back at your incredible work, you will wonder then why you worried so now, and then you will see the simplicity more clearly.

Your desire to bring to life on paper the beauty of the life lived is almost insatiable . . . wanting to create it as it was . . . wanting to depict the perfect-ness in the uninhibited, in the surprise, in the innocent, in the unplanned.

I believe that when you are able to look back at your work someday down the road, you will find that you really did fulfil your desires even more than you could have imagined :) What a beautiful and cherrished gift you are creating - a reflection of a beautiful and cherrished heart :)

Nelly said...

I completely agree! I have a hard time scrapping holidays because it is all the same stuff. I notice when people look through my kids books, they stop and take more time to look at the "other" pages. I can be more creative with the pages that are just random, like, my son's first haircut, my daughter's first sucker, bubble baths, playing in the sand, helping daddy move dirt with his own mini wheel barrow, losing teeth.

Scrapbooks are special...they aren't just pictures in a photo album, it is a keepsake for your child to enjoy when he/she gets older...a wonderful memory book that they can share with their kids.

chesneygirl said...

See now I'm the opposite....the holiday and other "themed" pictures are the easy ones for me. I struggle SO much with the "everyday" pictures. I've never thought deeply into it though until I just read your post. So now I'm thinking it is because I try too hard instead of just trying to do something simple. I try to get to detailed and use too many colors or too many embellishments on one page.

I'm just not much of a creative person and I easily get frustrated and there have been times where I get SO frustrated at an all day scrap that I've just packed up all my crap and left hours before it was over.

I can tell just by reading this post that you have pages that should be in those scrapbook magazines. I have a friend that has a wonderful talent for scrapbooking and her pages are beautiful!!

Rebecca said...

It's true. They will love it merely because you took the time to make somethign so incredibly personal for them. And while I totally relate to the whole "never being satisfied with what I do, overachiever.." biz, sometimes you do have to take a step back and realize that while it's not perfect to you - it's perfect to them. It's perfect because you made it. :)