Scrapbooking in the Raw

I really can't say what first started me scrapbooking. At the time I was quite young and the hobby was not so widespread. I had pictures of my favorite pets and I had paper. The result was some flashy colors and plain shapes but all in all I don't think I did too bad for a beginner. I have designed many pages since then and have taken my interest to new bounds.

To me, scrapbooking is the art of taking paper scraps and creating a masterpiece. For years I would collect things (I was definitely worse when I was young). For instance, poetry, story excerpts, magazine and calendar cut-outs, printed boxes like DVD collections, old buttons, anything that I might think fit or would present a lovely stencil. I took the term "scrap-booking" literally. And I still do.

Commercially though, scrapbooking is all about how much you can buy. The hobby demands lots of things: special tools, cutters and punchers of all shapes and sizes, stencils, albums, and etc. It has been blown out of proportion and companies are making a killing off our little paper hobbies.

But as I have already described, it doesn't have to be that way. To preserve the original meaning, as well as the fun and creativity of it, I prefer scrapbooking raw. The definition of which is "as limited pre-made materials as possible". (Definition of my own creation). Half the fun is creating your own material, wouldn't you say? Just look around and see what might inspire you. Or, as I have done many times, what shapes do you have lying around that would make perfect stencils?

Here are a few of the ones I have done over the years. Don't mind my self-criticism.

James Stewart page

One thing I have really had fun with is texturing my own paper. I love grabbing some odd object and using its peculiar impressions to create a fabulous piece of paper. I cut up a box that contained a James Stewart collection of DVD's and used the pictures. That's why he has a flat top.

This one is a little older than some of the others I will share. Now I wouldn't leave so much open space. But it's good for simplicity sake.

Vintage Boat page

I took these from a fancy yacht magazine. I swoon at the sigh of vintage wooden boats, sailing or motorized. The sleek wood and retro lines are to die for.

Christmas with Musical Stars page

I had a large sheet of glittery red paper and I was dying to do something with it. I picked some of my favorite old singers and went to town. I only wish I had tried a cream cardstock instead of white printer paper for the words and stamps.

Dreaming of a White Christmas page

Have I told you lately how much I love buttons? I was generous with the buttons for this page and I am in no way sorry. The only thing I would do differently with this one is the tone of the pictures. Too much blue all the way around takes away from the pictures.

Aurora and Belle page

I normally don't do flashy colored pages but I had collected quite a bit of Disney scraps and decided to do something bright. I did another for Cinderella (my favorite princess, by the way) but the picture lacks a focal point.

Will of Nature, Will of God page

I had a great time with this one. There were two lovely poems I had copied from reading A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot about the life of Amy Carmichael. One from Carmichael herself and the other from a German preacher of the 17th century named Gerhard Tersteegen. The meanings of each are so poignant and deep.

I took the printed poems and experimented with staining them in tea. I love the aged look and this was pretty exciting. The stamps really don't have anything to do with the poems but I thought they looked fitting. I really didn't think there was anything wrong with this page but I think now I would have lightened the poems just a little.

Starry Night with Squirrel and Hedgehogs page

This one is kind of out of character for me. My little sister had given me a hedgehog stamp and I just had to use it. Aren't the little guys cute? And if the squirrel looks familiar, I would suggest taking a look at Disney's Sleeping Beauty again.

Jane Eyre and Rochester page

This is my most recent design. I read Jane Eyre for school many years ago and I thought it was pleasantly deep. I have since watched select films on the story but nothing beats the classic story. I found one of the most emotional parts of the book and used them for this page. The silhouettes are slight variations of drawings from another classic. Here is where I would have liked some stencils. The excerpt pieces are a little out of shape and I really can't stand that.

You know what I said about scrapbooking in the raw? Well some good stencils are pretty helpful. Maybe I will get around to buying myself some. Or I might just create my own...

This one was done a year ago and right after another Jane Eyre piece I framed and gave my cousin for her birthday. I wish now I had taken a picture for reference sake. But too late now.

But a year ago! My most recent piece is over a year old. This shows how preoccupied I've been with other things and how I have been abandoning my first loves.

I am at the present working on a cartoon piece that I hope to show you really soon. It's based on the original Scooby Doo series which is a testament of my great admiration for the cartoon. We'll see how it turns out.

Let's get the conversation started! Do you scrapbook? How do you do it? There is no wrong way. It's all about what works for you. What do you think about my works? Any advice on method? I'd love to hear from you all!

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