Scrapbooking process

I’ve been meaning to write on this for a while, so let me finally focus on what is my process when I scrapbook (or journal).

I deliberately place limits on my process. In part, this is a reflection of my personality and style; I don’t like the highly decorated page that I often see. I have always liked sleek lines and the simple approach. Any richness should be more subtle for me to really like it.

This is actually true for me in all my crafts, not just scrapbooking. In things like sewing and knitting and weaving, I like simple lines and classic shapes, but my decorative elements come from the choice of color and texture. And really, that is what I try to do in my scrapbooks as well.

For scrapbooking, what this has meant is that I really don’t use decorative elements all that much. I ignore any embellishment that causes the page to stick up. Buttons and brads? Not happening. Stickers and diecuts? Very limited. I buy them very rarely and use them even less. And when I do use them, they are rarely a focal point in any way, rather just a minor addition to fill in or balance the space a bit. Stamping? Not touching it. Inks? Paints? Not bothering with them. I’m not that type of artist. Tags? They don’t strike me as helpful. Stick-on, rub-on, or stamp-on alphabets? I haven’t bought one for years. Pens work fine. Punches? Well, I tried them and have found them very uninspiring.

What do I use? Well, paper (plain, decorative, and lined), pens, pages, page protectors, photos. (I seem to be a P scrapbooker. Who knew?) Even my heavy focus on journaling doesn’t really lead me to use journal boxes all that much, mostly because I find them too limiting. Most of the richness of color that I like comes from the paper and photos. I do have a few diecuts, stickers, and alphabets, but they are mostly left over from when I was trying them out. I haven’t actually bought one in years. And what I don’t have is physical texture, mostly because I’m not willing to give it the space it would require in a book, but I do like visual texture in my decorative paper. I would probably like a few more stencils that I could trace for lines, frames, and alphabets, but I would still just be using them with pens.

Now some of that may change as I move into digital scrapbooking a bit, but not much. A page that is too busy with decorative elements is distracting and hard for me to read. But I am still struggling to figure out my digital process. It doesn’t work quite the same way.

So, my process… I started with Creative Memories, and have mostly stuck with them. (I find a scrapbook store to be fairly overwhelming, actually. Sensory overload. It is another reason why I stick with a simplified process. Oddly, though, I have no problem in a yarn or quilt store.) I use the power layouts method that allows me to move fast in getting a whole bunch of pages ready quickly. The method consists of:

  1. choose and crop pictures
  2. play with layout
  3. choose paper, frame pictures
  4. choose embellishments
  5. stick it all down (except embellishments, which are put down after I journal and know how much space I have; this is particular to MY process, because journaling is that important)
  6. journal

The level of work that goes into it of course depends on your preferences. Since I don’t like lots of embellishments, that step is rather short and sweet. Sometimes I spend some time poking around in the stickers, etc., and then shrug because nothing appeals to me. Sometimes I choose an embellishment and then decide not to use it because the journaling fills up too much space; if it unbalances the design, oh well. But truthfully, that is rare, since embellishments are rarely of any significance in my design.

I may or may not do the journaling immediately, but I do try to keep up with recent history, so I haven’t forgotten anything important.

I most definitely pick and choose what I want to record. Not every picture even gets printed, much less scrapped. Not every event gets recorded.

With this process I do a crop once a month, do somewhere around four to eight pages in that one crop, and stay mostly caught up.

This is what works for me.

I have realized that I am not quite as chronological as I had once thought, but still, more chronological than not. Certainly that’s mostly the order things go into my scrapbook, even if they don’t get done in that order.

Changes that are coming: well, I have been inspired, especially by the Roundtable discussions, to start looking at more reflective pages, more about relationships. I was already heading that way, but this just gave me some of the stimulus to push me along that path. Second, I am looking more into digital scrapbooking. Third, I am considering how I want to blend the digital and paper process, if at all. I may just use them both in parallel.

Exploring new vegetables

For the past few years, I’ve been making an effort to add vegetables into my diet in tasty ways. It’s been a process of exploration, as I figure out ways to cook that I had never tried before and to flavor items that I had no experience with. For example, roasting vegetables of all kinds was a revelation. Suddenly I liked things cooked that I had never liked before.

But there are still challenges.

One thing I’ve definitely learned is that there are still things that I simply do not like. Example: cooked spinach of almost any kind. If I have something with cooked spinach in it, and I can taste the cooked spinach flavor, I really don’t like it. I’ve tried. More than once. The only cooked spinach form I have found acceptable is lightly wilted with flavorings, and even that is just acceptable, not a favorite. If the spinach flavor is buried, though, it’s okay, such as in spinach quiche, where I mainly taste egg and cheese.

But there are other items where it’s just a matter of finding the right way to cook it. Example: beets. Roasting definitely seems like a good choice, though I still need to try steamed. That way I can put flavoring on it that makes the beet flavor palatable. And perhaps even better, eating it with things. Beets don’t seem to work all that well as a standalone dish for me. The beet flavor is too strong, and I’m not wildly enthusiastic. But this past week I roasted some with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper, and ate them mixed together with hamburger and stir-fried squash/zucchini and onions. The beets seemed to work better in the mix, whereas alone they seemed rather unbalanced.

So, tomorrow I head to the farmer’s market, and I may pick up some beets, if they are there. Maybe a roasted vegetable salad? Cauliflower, beets, potatoes, onions… hmm, that is sounding rather good. I just hope they are all in season right now — I think it may be too early or late for some of those. But something else will appear. To me, that is part of the challenge and appeal of buying at the farmer’s market, finding a way to make something with what is there all together.

First tomato

The first fruit of the season on my tomato plants

first green tomato fruit peaking through the leaves

first green tomato fruit peaking through the leaves

Roundup post June 2010

What special or unusual event occurred?

Attended Quilter’s Unlimited quilt show first Saturday of the month. Inspiring, and got me restarted on the French braid quilt.

What were my accomplishments this month?

Finishing up class materials for work; class was taught (I didn’t teach this time, but all feedback seems to be good; I will teach it in July)

Finished bamboo socks

What were my disappointments this month?

Attempted to switch to the front bathroom shower so I could redo caulking in back bathroom shower, but something leaked. And the shower pressure is low, which is probably related to the leaking thing. And I don’t have time to deal with this right now.

What books/music/shows did I enjoy this month?

Book on scrapbooking

Got my hands finally on the commentary that I want to use for my Bible study time.

Did watch a few episodes of a documentary on Shakespeare. It has been quite interesting seeing some of the more recent discoveries found in archives about his family.

What crafts did I work on this month (not what I finished, but what did I work on)?

  1. Cotton socks
  2. Bamboo socks (finished)
  3. Cotton knit pants
  4. French braid quilt
  5. Silk crazy quilt by machine
  6. Started process of recreating linen wrap skirt
  7. Attempted drawstring backpack for water-carrying, but am having frustrations
  8. Dragon crossstitch
  9. Denim quilt

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

Nothing noticeable, but next month is vacation!

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Got DNe3’s birthday card off late. Dad’s day gift already taken care of, card prepped ahead and sent out on time.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

Motorola Droid!!! I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but I finally bit the bullet and did it.

Big maintenance moment for my car. Eight years old, you know.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

Sinus headaches are an ever-present reality in this weather. Had some really nasty ones.

Left knee hurting a bit here and there. If this continues, I will have to bring it up with the doctor. Oddly though, running doesn’t bother it, only going up and down stairs. More up than down.

Anything else noteworthy to include?

Ran (some walking) 10K distance in 1:40 or less on each Saturday.  Stayed in the same time range each time.

Just found out that I will have to be retested for allergy shots, which entails going without antihistamines for 5-7 days. Eek! I have a really bad feeling about this.

Attended ALA Annual Meeting, since it was local this year. Might actually get involved in something.

Roundup post for May 2010

What special or unusual event occurred?

Trip to Lancaster, PA with the ladies at church. A good chance to get to know some of them better and make connections that would take a lot longer during normal times.

 

I saw someone at church that I did NOT expect to see. My curiosity bug is biting me, but I am trying to be courteously incurious. I may ask, but then I may not; I pray that God will grant me wisdom to know if I should ask or not.

 

What were my accomplishments this month?

Things seem to be moving forward a bit this month at work. The conversion to elearning class now has someone to focus on it, which means we may have a better chance of moving ahead with this at a brisk pace.

 

I have almost completed the quarter of doing nursery duty on Wednesday night at church. I’ve enjoyed that too.

 

What were my disappointments this month?

Well, much money spent on house. And I still haven’t gotten to some of the things I want to do to it, but deep breath to save a bit more money and wait. Exciting moment on the last day of the month – received money back from escrow account, which will pay for a good bit of the gutter.

 

What books/music/shows did I enjoy this month?

Got my hands on Leisure book. Started it, but going slow.

Am trying to discover a good, inspiring book about scrapbooking.

 

I am seriously considering getting rid of my cable subscription. There are times when I don’t watch enough tv to make it worthwhile. And the Netflix thing can replace it in a big way.

 

What crafts did I work on (not what I finished, but what did I work on)?

  1. Sewed a bit on cotton knit cloth pants.
  2. Baby sweater, pretty much finished
  3. Bamboo socks
  4. Cotton socks
  5. Spinning bamboo/wool blend
  6. Denim quilt
  7. Boiled wool knitting
  8. One whole row on lace cowl
  9. I’m thinking about a backpack for running, in which I can carry my water.

 

What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

Went to see Ironman 2 with a friend. It was a hoot.

 

What gifts did I give and/or receive?

Can’t think of any actually given. I am however, working on a baby sweater for a friend who I found out about last month.

Whoops! Just realized I forgot my nephew’s birthday card. Take care of that tomorrow, promptly!

 

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

The gutter happened.

The ac got a part replaced.

I finished the book buying for my guild.

I found some white sandals.

I got some lovely handmade baskets on a trip to Lancaster, PA.

 

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

The knee is making itself felt.

I gave up on the no-dairy experiment.

My allergies are restabilizing, between resumption of shots to maintenance dosage and the movement into summer allergens.

 

Anything else noteworthy to include?

I am now committed to going to a conference in July. I will be riding up in a car with my former supervisor and sharing a hotel room with my current one. This will be very interesting.

I have also committed to giving someone a ride down to SC when I go to the beach for vacation. It is the result of one of those connections from the Lancaster weekend. I think it is a good one.

Women’s roles

I was reading a blog post by a Christian father, and found myself simultaneously agreeing and disagreeing with him. Unfortunately, my ideas of how and why I was disagreeing with him were unclear. Result: I get to share with you what’s inside my head.

[NOTE: I wrote this post, then saved it to think about for a long time, both because I needed to be sure I was reading him properly and because I needed to calm down enough to do so. Even when I disagree and critique someone, I need to do it in love, and when I first started writing, I found myself growing angry. That wasn’t good.]

The distress in his statements had to do with the underlying societal assumptions that going to college and getting a career was assumed to be the best choice for young women as they graduate from high school, including the homeschoolers to which he was specifically referring. He was alarmed that so many seemed to be happy to send off their daughters to college, despite the fact that in so doing they were exposed to the extreme sin, especially sexual promiscuity, that are rampant in such places. Indeed, the attitudes of the parents that the highest goal of these young women should be to go out and get a degree and consequent career horrified him, since his current beliefs (by current I don’t mean that he is changeable but that his beliefs twenty years ago would have been different, but that he has slowly changed his mind over time) lead him to the conclusion that the highest calling of a woman is to be a wife and mother, according to God’s plan.

Some of the statements in his blog post and following comments distressed me, not so much because I disagreed with his reasons for distress, but with some of his premises.

  1. He seemed to feel that a woman should never live without the authority of either a father or husband.
  2. Sending his daughters out to face the world, once they were grown adults, was negligent parenting on his part.
  3. Now I’m not sure about this one, but there seemed to be an implication of it in the comments: women should not even desire something different than caring for the home. A career of any kind is contrary to God’s plan.

In a perfect world, I might not disagree with most of his premises. But this world is far from perfect, and I have fundamental problems with some of his ideas.

At least, I think I do.

My biggest problem is basic: where am I in the vision of the world he has created? A single woman who has never had the prospect of marriage anywhere in sight doesn’t have the option of being a wife and mother and staying home to take care of the children. And I find I resent deeply his opinion that I should never be exposed to the challenges of living in a sinful world, or that I should still be at home, living with my parents. I’m an adult, with a good brain that God has granted to me, and I am firmly of the opinion that He expects me to use it. (Certainly my father does! So I suppose in a way I am living under my father’s authority, it’s just that he has assigned all decision-making ot me.) And God gave me free will for a reason, so I get to make my own choices, even if they have the potential to be wrong ones. (By the way, the Virginia tech example is not a good one. Comparing physical harm and spiritual harm is apples to oranges. Bad logic.)

Of course, there are other underlying assumptions that he has that also bothered me.

  1. There is less sexual promiscuity for women in a world that expects them to be wives and mothers.
  2. God’s plan is for a woman to be a wife and mother.

For assumption #1 here, all I can say is, huh??? We’ve lived in that kind of world before feminism came along, and I really don’t think sexual promiscuity was any less. Adultery and fornication are a constant in the human condition. Nowadays, I believe the biggest difference is not in the amount of it, but rather in the boldness of it.

As for assumptions #2, I repeat, huh??? While these are definitely two of the most important roles that God has assigned to us, I do not think that they are the ONLY roles that God has assigned to us. Nor are they required roles.

I will agree most definitely to one point: parents should be raising their daughters up to regard being a wife and mother as an excellent life. But it must be a choice. Paul makes it clear that it is just as desirable for a woman to be single and devoted to the Lord as a man. Being single gives me flexibilities and opportunities to serve that a married woman just does not have. I do NOT think that being married is what God mandates for me.

Before anyone walks away thinking I don’t want marriage, let me be clear. I would welcome marriage and children, even at this late date, if God provides the right person. I have prayed about it more than once, and placed the control for it in His hands, since I have not the wisdom to know what I need.