Today, I began an ambitious project.
I am analyzing all of my scrapbook layouts for colors, patterns, embellishments, and themes in a spreadsheet. So far, I've gone through three albums containing about 90 layouts. Patterns are definitely emerging, as well as memories that have fallen to the wayside as I move through my life. I found a layout containing a photo I downloaded from a friend's Livejournal in 2004, before we had Facebook to share photos and ideas.
It's interesting to see who is in my scrapbooks compared to who I still talk to regularly now. There were no painful falling outs, just slow drifting aparts, caused by all of us moving around the country over the past six years. Those of us who were in the 2004-2005 scrapbooks now live in Canada, Nebraska, Texas, California, Michigan, and Georgia. None of us were originally from those places, and I doubt any of us could have imagined at that time that we would end up living where we are now. Thanks to the ever-volatile airline industry and the economy, I'm not sure any of us imagined we'd be working where we are right now. I never thought it would be difficult to find a teaching job.
It's almost as though this project is as much about analyzing how I've come along as a person as it is about how I've come along as a scrapbooker. I was surprised to see layouts using my wedding colors in the 2004 and 2005 scrapbooks, and to realize my love of American Crafts letter stickers began long before Thickers were introduced. Does anyone remember the loopy Sarah Script? The chunky, serifed letters? I hope I still have some in my stash. My love for them has been renewed after beginning this project.
What amazes me most is what I did with a limited set of supplies, limited space, and low tech tools. It seems like I've lost a little creativity with each new, more advanced tool I've added to my scrapbook stash. I was unconcerned about having layouts using the same papers touching each other in my albums, probably because those were the only papers I had on hand at that time. I know I wasn't measuring precise placements with my rulers, and I didn't have to pull up and re-place a sticker time after time until it looked just perfect (but didn't really stick any longer, anyway).
I've definitely evolved as a scrapbooker, but I'm wondering if maybe it isn't time to devolve a little?