June. 29, 2005 - Creativity Is... Eluding me for the Moment
A great quote!
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
-- Mary Lou Cook
Alas, I wish I had something more to report. I have not been able to scrapbook. I am rather paralyzed by my main project right now. I don't read Polish, I don't know who the people in these heritage photos are, and I don't know what is going on in them. And I don't want to move on to a different project, when I am in the middle of this one.
I tried to scrapbook over my 3-day weekend this past week. But, I could not. Last week I even went shopping for a scrapbooking swap I am in, and shopping usually energizes me. The swap is a "Getting to Know You" swap. I am paired with a partner and over the course of the month we get to know each other -- we email each other, ask and answer certain questions, and send each other gifts and cards in the mail. This is the last week of the June swap, so we were to shop for each other and mail a gift package of scrapbooking supplies.
Though I tend to shop for most of my supplies at Archivers, as I have a discount there and I also tend to shop for current needs while I am creating pages in their workroom, when the time comes to just "shop" I prefer to give the local independent scrapbook stores my business if at all possible. Luckily, the local scrapbook store nearest my work has a lot to offer. Precious Memories in Morton Grove, IL specializes in Disney and travel scrapbook supplies. They have a "garage sale" area in their workroom, with deep discounts on discontinued papers -- which now includes Bazzill colors they will no longer carry, at 20% off -- tools, stickers, idea booklets and embellishments. Most of my "I don't need it for a specific project but I just bought it because I thought I might use it" stash comes from this garage sale area.
Precious Memories also has a few other things you can't get anwhere else. They have several talented scrapbookers who make and sell handmade accents, homemade cards, and even entire page layouts with blank spots for your photos to be dropped in. You can't get these items anywhere else, as they are not mass produced. One of the scrapbookers they carry has been featured in Creating Keepsakes several times. I bought a Christmas tag by her for my swap partner.
They also have a Breast Cancer Research fundraising table. Scrapbookers have donated papers and accents they no longer want or will ever use. A large pink jar sits next to the box of papers and accents. Most of the contents is paper -- and everything in the box is a quarter. No one watches to see what you take; the fundraiser is on the honor system. I've asked about smallish or partial sticker sheets and individual accents or diecuts, and was told those were a dime. You simply take what you like and drop cash in the jar. All the jar's contents are donated to breast cancer research. I always stop at that box and spend a dollar or two. The box usually contains quite a few sheets of 8.5 x 11" patterned paper, which is handy for the gift albums I've made this year, and for my fake scrapbooking.
Precious Memories is also where I get my "collection" that everyone always marvels at.
The store purchases eyelets, brads, and mini brads in large quantities, then repackages them in clear envelopes for 50 cents or a dollar. Most standard packages of these items, like Making Memories', might have 100 eyelets of the exact same color, shape, and size in a package for $3.00 - 4.00. Not only does that price mean I might only buy one package at a time, but that sheer amount is just too many to use up in this lifetime. It takes me a long time to use up 100 gold or silver mini brads, and those are so versatile I can and do use them on almost every page. 100 Christmas tree eyelets will never get used up, let alone 100 Easter bunny eyelets, 100 butterfly brads, or 100 pink baby feet mini brads. So, I really like that I can go to Precious Memories and buy 7 or 8 different kinds, sizes, styles, shapes and colors of small metal fasteners for my $3.00 - 4.00.
And since an Archiver's has opened just a mile or two down the road from them, Precious Memories is now accepting competitor's coupons as well. They figure -- and rightly so -- that if you make a trip to a scrapbooking store to get 5 free sheets of cardstock, you will also browse the store to see what's new. Since most scrapbookers are so addicted to stash that they don't even know how much they own, anyone who walks into a scrapbooking store is sure to walk out with a large bag of additional purchases. Since I did have my perennial Archiver's coupon on me, it meant that I could use the coupon there, instead of having to make a special trip to redeem it.
So anyway, I didn't spend a huge amount of money, since there is a price limit on the swap, but I did blow a few dollars. My partner's list indicated she really likes creating handmade cards and stamping, so I bought her a lot of holiday sayings and labels, the handmade tag indicated above, and more. For myself, I spent several dollars at the breast cancer fundraiser table and was happy enough with my paper and diecuts.
I have so many darn things to do, and it seems never time or energy to do them. I was hopeful that this weekend would give me time and space to really get back to work, but it didn't happen. Maybe it was the heat, but I was so sleepy and lethargic most of the weekend. I did try, though. I at least sat down at my table and it was a mess, with supplies and photographs and tools just everywhere. I set to work cleaning and sorting. I put away my new purchases, and some other supplies I've recently acquired, and some swap items I've received. The handmade school accents my swap partner had sent me earlier in the month were put on almost-finished pages the night they arrived, so that was all taken care of... but I have been in a couple of other swaps recently and had those envelopes sitting out. I'm also hostessing a swap and had those items to contend with.
My table still looks covered in paper because I've got paper sitting out to use in my current fake scrapbooking. I need to suck it up and create a project file for that, instead of letting everything just sit out, I think.
I also went back to the task I am -- surprisingly! -- not enjoying, which is removing our old heritage photos from the acidic magnetic page family albums, and sorting them into categories. I tried grouping like photos together, if I could tell they went together. It helped that the developing was so different for different photos -- some are black and white and some color, some are square and some rectangular, some have clean edges and some are wavy, and so on. I managed to completely empty two of the four family albums, and though it saddened me to do this, I tossed those old albums in the trash. Those albums are such a strong momento of my childhood. But they have served their purpose well, and now they have got to go!
I do have two more albums with photos still in them. Once I have finished mounting all of Mom's photographs on cardstock and put those sheets into a new album, I will create a title page. I intend to cut the fabric of the covers of the remaining two albums off with a craft knife, and use that fabric to make accents for the new album title page. I have also been thinking of making color copies of all the pages I have made, and putting these copies into albums for my siblings as well as my uncle's family. If I do so -- it's an ambitious idea, so I don't want to create this guilt by committing to the idea and then not being able to accomplish it -- I will create title pages for all of them and include the real fabric.
Come to think of it, when Mom had me strip the old striped green wallpaper off the living room walls -- which had been a constant reminder of my childhood holidays at Grandma's house and teen years living with Grandpa -- I tore off a big chunk and kept it. I knew someday I would want to put some of it [in a memory envelope] on a page about my childhood. I think I might use my 1" square punch and make some accents out of both these materials for the title pages.
Once I had removed all the photos I could, for now, I put them back into Mom's photo storage box. I grouped them together in sections the best I could. I used some index cards in front of certain photos, with questions written on the cards that I wanted Mom to answer, or a note that the photo had notes on the back which need to be translated.
At that point I was so tired I just wanted to go lay on the couch. And that's what I did. For the rest of the 3 days.
So. No pages done. Nothing even glued down. And my table still looks like a wreck. I probably won't do much more this week either, as I am cross stitching right now. My best friend is on vacation this weekend so I will spend some time at her house keeping the kitties from feeling lonely. I am debating taking my laptop and scanner over there, setting up on her dining room table, and scanning all the photographs she has that I want my own copies of. :-)