Every so often I hear the same comment, ” I wish I could use that kit/ paper/stamp but it’s for a girl!” Part of me cringes when I hear it. There was a time I believed the same thing. There are a few other variations as well. Such as, “flowers aren’t for boy pages”. Or how about, “I can’t use bling because I have a son”. There is a virtual cornucopia of scrapbooking products out there and yet, the whole concept of them being made for either a girl or a boy was limiting what I could create with. Yes, there are lots of boy kits. I do use them. It’s just that I sometimes I have had my fill of the ” boy approved” color palettes and motifs. My son is very much a boy and honestly, he’s not girly at all. He grew up playing in the dirt, catching bugs, and had a love of dinosaurs. He is also so much more than just those things. As a memory keeper, my stories are also so much more. I figured that, once again, it was time to remind everyone that when it comes to scrapbooking there are no rules unless you make them.
A few years back, I wrote an article for Scrapbook News and Review magazine sharing how I rewrote the rules for my creative habit. I am posting it here on MSE for you to read. The most important thing I can emphasize about creating is that your supplies are there to work for you in whatever capacity you desire. They are not your boss. You don’t work for them. Don’t let them make the rules for you. See past their face value and make them work to tell your story. Once you are able to do this, a whole new world emerges. ALL of your stash becomes usable. Nothing is off limits. Creating becomes so much easier.
Some of you may still not be convinced. I hear a lot of doubts from friends. ” My son/husband/brother would hate it if I used pink or flowers on a layout about him.” or ” Layouts about boys should be grungy and masculine.” Do you know something? Never once has my husband or son ever commented about why I chose flowers or used a bit or pink on a page about them. Never once has a person visiting my house looked at an album and told me that my pages are masculine or feminine. What is it they are seeing? It’s the pictures and the story on each page. When created with thought and care, a set of supplies merges into a complete story.
Be Cute, Be Fab, Be Yourself by Christy Strickler |Supplies Cardstock: Die Cuts with a View; Wood Veneer,Acrylic: Studio Calico; Enamel Dots: My Mind’s Eye;Jewels: Pinkfresh Studio; Other: Glossy Accents;Digital Kit: Glam Pop! by Traci Reed
You can add more thought to a page by considering all aspects of your supplies. Move past how they literally look and let them become something more. Let’s take a closer look at the hybrid layout above. I used a kit called Glam Pop which is, if taken literally, quite “girly.” It’s filled with lots of pink, jewels and flowers. Moms of boys would probably pass it by.
What do I see when I look at the kit? The blend of bright color conveys energy. It’s perfect for documenting a child on the move. While pink is often associated with babies or girls, it really conveys so much more. It can symbolize a love for oneself and even for others. Both concepts work here. I love my son and I love his personality. I also hope he always loves the person he is and feels comfortable in his own skin. I chose patterned paper with stars and suns. Both convey energy, matching the tone of the color palette. The diamond motif can be said to represent the many facets of human personality. Personally, in this instance, I also associate it with wealth. Not the monetary kind, but rather the wealth of creativity that my son often illustrates to me through play and stories he shares. This photo of my son captures a spontaneous moment in which he grabbed my sunglasses and placed them on his face upside down. Using these concepts together, I thoughtfully chose supplies to tell my story. This method works well, especially on this page, when you take the title and word art into consideration.
Flowers may have a lot of different meanings, from color to the actual type of flower. I don’t always take that meaning into account. Using flowers on a page can help soften hard edges. My design is blocky and it needed a bit of softening. Combined within the embellishment clusters, they also help to direct the eye.
Freeing myself of a few rules really sped up my creative process. I do from time to time look for feminine or masculine products if they work with the story, but I don’t limit myself to defining a set of products in a specific way. It’s fine to take a product for it’s face value, but it’s often more satisfying to find a meaningful way to use it on a layout. It does take a little time to get used to something new. I invite you to step outside the realm of feminine versus masculine kits. Try a few layouts and see how you feel about your supplies afterward. Trust me when I say that it’s so nice to have a larger pool of supplies to choose from.
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I didn’t learn how to incorporate all of the concepts behind color meaning, motif and design all at once. I learned it bit by bit through the Get It Scrapped Membership. Each month, a new design concept is explored. You get a chance to practice it and if you desire, you may have your work gently critiqued.Click here to view more details
Three Tips to Seeing Beyond a Kit’s Theme : This article on the Traci Reed Designs Blog shares examples of how to use a themed kit to tell stories far different from which the kit was intended.