It’s been aeons since I posted something crafty, and for that I apologize. I’ve made a card or two on occasion (mostly to keep teenagers busy), but it’s been too long since I’ve posted about it, or ventured beyond the “quick indulgence” of a card.
That’s about to change. My life recently took an unexpected turn, and suddenly memory keeping has moved to the top of my priorities. Note that I’m saying memory keeping, and not scrapbooking. See, for me scrapbooking has always been about the creative process: the nice papers and drool-worthy embellishments, those addictive gadgets and beautiful design. That’s why I eventually moved onto cards – less time-consuming, no pressure to perform, and I get to use the same lovely products while getting complete creative satisfaction without the ulcers.
Before I go into the how’s and why’s of this sudden change, here’s the first page I’ve made in… (*gasp!*) 5 years.
I wasn’t going for eloquent or designer-of-the-year with this one; the sole purpose was purely to see if I could make something in GIMP , the so-called “free Photoshop alternative”. I speak Photoshop quite fluently but I don’t own a copy (how do you justify the US$699 (± R6 500) price tag for something that won’t generate income for me?), so I’ve tried—and failed miserably—to switch to GIMP numerous times over the past few years.
But now I had incentive. And I think I managed quite nicely, thank you very much. Okay, so I used an already beautiful digital kit from Shabby Princess meaning I didn’t design a thing from scratch, and I based the layout on a template meaning I just had to mask and slap everything together, and I probably spent more time on YouTube searching for “how to” videos, but still. It looks impressive, and it wasn’t too hard. Mission accomplished.
Now on to why this was so important.
I’m embarking on an adventure (cue dramatic music). (Hehe, couldn’t resist.) But seriously, I realized that I’ve badly neglected the important task of recording life, and making something meaningful and lasting that would have value to my family and kids one day. Scrapbooking has failed me (although that is mostly my own fault), but at its core I still believe scrapbooking is the answer, so I’ve searched the globe far and wide for a solution.
That’s how I found Project Life. It’s basically scrapbooking without the baggage. The moment I saw it I thought, hey, I can do that! The system is sheer brilliance, but after looking at all the options, once again I just couldn’t justify the starting price of R1 099 for a basic kit, which comes down to an album with the basic elements, enough to finish one album. And since I like variation, I can’t settle for just the basics, so I’d need to buy additional Pocket Pages designs, and I want to make an additional “School of Life” album as well for our daughter (and each subsequent kid), which leaves me close to R3 000 just to get started and suddenly that’s a lot of money for a scrapbook system, even if it does work.
But I can do digital. Hell, I’m a designer. I SPEAK PHOTOSHOP, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! So, I looked into the digital options, and although they are definitely appealing, I couldn’t help but wonder if I could do better. Not to mention, it’s all in English. I love English, don’t get me wrong, but I believe language is an integral part of heritage, and I’m Afrikaans. If this is going to work, it would have to be in Afrikaans (or at least a large part of it). That right there was enough reason to go my own route, and I plan to do this thing right, so there you have it.
Hence, I’m embarking on an adventure. I want to do Project Life—the no baggage, low pressure, memory keeping part of it—while designing my own supplies as I go, replicating a system that has been in development for many years now, by designers who do it as a full time job.
It wouldn’t be my adventure if I didn’t try to make it at least a little bit more complicated, right?
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.