BFS Prompt #12: The perfectionist side of me
When I first started scrapping back in 2006, I naturally used paper products. In fact, at that point, I didn’t realize there was an alternative. Thanks to 40% off sales at Joann’s and Michaels and visits to the few independently owned scrapping stores in our area, it didn’t take long before I had acquired quite a stash of paper, embellishments, and tools of one kind or another. Of course, I hadn’t developed the papercrafting skills necessary to create the type of pages I envisioned so I was usually disappointed in the results. I was especially frustrated when I made mistakes that I felt ruined a page because it meant either starting over or abandoning the project. Too often starting over meant a(nother) trip to the craft store to replace product that had been ruined in the previous attempt.
Journaling is, to me, an extremely important element of scrapping. I have done a few pages that are only a picture or two plus embellishments, but my favorite pages are those that include the story of the photo. What is the who, what, when, where, and how of the image? Since I am wordy, it wasn’t long before I started to use my computer to create journaling blocks for my pages. One thing led to another and I eventually discovered digital scrapbooking.
Digi-scrapping appeals to me on so many levels. I like that the “mess” of scrapping is confined to my computer and that, except for a printer and a paper cutter, my tools are contained in the software programs I use. One huge benefit of digi-scrapping is that once I purchase a digital product, it’s mine forever—it doesn’t get used up in the scrapping process like paper goods do. I also really appreciate the instant gratification afforded by the many digital sites that are available. Will a different style heart work better for a particular layout? No problem…I can go shopping any time, day or night, at any number of digital scrapping sites until I find just what I’m looking for.
However, I realized early on that keeping track of what I had could easily become a huge problem. Not only did I need to know that I already had a red ribbon or a yellow flower, for example…I also needed to be able to quickly find the items I was looking for. I soon discovered that I was attracted to the same style and color of products, so much so that more than once I ended up buying duplicate kits simply because I had forgotten I’d earned a kit as a posting bonus or had already purchased it. After a couple of false starts, I finally decided to use Microsoft Access to create a database for tracking purchases. I also use ACDSee to manage kit contents. Each item in a kit is tagged at least once so I can search by color, element type, release date, etc. Even though I dread the organizational chores needed to maintain these systems, I’m still convinced that they help me be a more productive scrapper.
Shimelle’s suggestions in this prompt regarding categorizing blog posts to make them easier to find appeals to my perfectionist nature. Since I’ve been blogging only a few months, it’s hard to imagine that I will eventually have so many posts that an organizational system will be necessary. However, if I use my scrapping history as a lesson, it’s clear that developing a system of categories here at the start will make future blogging easier and more fun. So…I’m off to set up a “scraps-in-waiting” category to help me find posts related to what I hope will be future scrapbook pages. I’m also finding myself wanting to write about things I remember from my childhood or experiences of my adult life, so I’ll be adding a “memory lane” category as well. What categories do you use? Are you a compulsive organizer like I am or more of a free spirit?