I think I'm going to break up the answers into several posts, that way I can cheat and have blogging material for several days. ;) Thank you guys!
Okay, I'm going to start off with some scrappy questions:
Why don't you show us your gorgeous 12 fRidays LO(s)?! the one on Heather's blog is GORGEOUS! I wanna see more more more!!!
That one's easy, so here you go:(This is all from the August Twelve Fridays kit, which is now sold out! Get your orders in here for the September kit. It looks super cute! You can also join us over here to look at more of the August gallery. Heather is doing a giveaway there too!)
Nat said: >1. how about posting one of your first layouts!!! not really a question, but i would love to see how you have matured over time or if you have always been this awesome!
First off, I wouldn't consider myself "awesome," but thank you so much for the sweet compliment!
This is so funny, because I was just talking to Michelle about this recently. I truly believe with all my heart that if you love something, just keep doing it and you WILL improve. And- if it's something you are passionate about, you will have so much fun along the way and learn more about who you are. I think about myself from 8 years ago (that's when I started scrapping) and compared to who I am now, and I know scrapbooking and the discoveries I made about myself as a creative person have definitely shaped who I am and given me confidence about *me.*
I started scrapbooking at a Creative Memories party about 8 years ago, and instantly fell in love with the hobby. I'd done a little bit of scrapbooking in high school, but I didn't really know the "ropes," so to speak. It was fun to have a group of friends that were interested in the same thing and to share ideas with scrapbooking.
These are a few of my earliest layouts:
The next two pics are from a trip Shaun and I made back in 2002 (I think).
While on this trip, my friend Karen made it her mission to take me to every scrapbooking store in the Dallas area. There were a lot.
I'd never been in a real, legitimate scrapbooking store until that point (Creative Memories was pretty strict about what you "could" and "couldn't" put on your pages. As you know my style, I've rebelled as much as possible against that. Hehehe). It was like a whole new world opened up for me.
Karen also introduced me to this website... Two Peas in a Bucket.
I started experimenting with a lot of different looks.
The next major change in my scrapbooking came when I decided to enter a major contest, the Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame. I didn't win, but the reason why it changed scrapbooking for me is because it was the first time I had a set of perimeters to follow (they have certain assignments to fill for the application of the contest). It stretched me creatively BIG TIME. It also challenged me to look at each layout with new eyes and I would ask myself the question, "What else could I add or change?"
I still ask myself that question, and you can see that it sometimes gets me in trouble with all the junk I add on a page, but alas- I love me some junky pages. :)
It wasn't long after I submitted my stuff to the contest that Monique from Scrap Etc. called me and invited me onto the design team there. I was floored. It was such an honor to be asked to join their team. Being involved there and with the community of scrappers connected to the store has drastically impacted my creativity.
Coinciding with those events (submitting to HoF and getting on the SE design team), I had made a resolution. It was January of 2006, and I resolved to "do something creative every day." It wasn't always necessarily sitting down and scrapbooking, but it might be looking for inspiration in the world around me, do a little sketching, organize my scrap area (I consider that something creative- cheating, I know!), look at scrapbooking blogs... just something that got my creative side of my brain working.
I really needed that boost- I was a new stay at home mom, and for the first time in my life I didn't have a job outside the home. I felt a little lost about who I was other than mommy to this demanding little creature... not to mention baby #2 was on the way!
Ok, so in a short list, these are the things I would attribute to where I am creatively now:
1. Being introduced to fun new products that got me excited to scrap
2. Challenging myself with a contest
3. Being connected to other scrapbookers who challenge & encourage my creativity
4. Asking myself questions about my projects ('What else can I add?')
5. Doing "something creative" every day.
I don't by any means consider that a formula to "success" (and nor do I consider myself successful, but I can see that I've grown artistically) but I do think that they are helpful tips to see growth.
I hope that looooooooooooooooong post helps shed a little light on my creative process! I really am not trying to brag on myself at all... it's hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I"m putting myself on a pedastel and saying, "Oh look at me! Aren't I fabulous?!" If I feel like I can help a sister out with her creativity in all this, though, it'll make me feel better.
If you are out there, desiring to be more creative, I really encourage you to just go for it. I would've never imagined in a million years how satisfied this hobby would make me.
I could say tons more on the subject, but I think that's probably plenty for now! I'll be back with more answers to questions as the week goes on! :)
One more thing-
it's my sweet sweet friend Katie's birthday weekend. (I would've never met her if not for scrapping, btw!) It's the last week in the BHG contest. Her layout needs some big loving this week for her to win! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make it a super happy birthday for her and go vote on her layout!
Plus it has my little dude in it. ;)
Here is where you go to vote: Click here. Scroll down until you see the layout titled "Put your head on my shoulder."