PRT215 – Edgy Scrapbookers

This week we’re talking about timeless and timestamped layouts…

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  • Awesome episode, as usual! It was so nice to hear Cathy again – it’s been way too long since she’s been on the PRT!

    On the bit about profanity in scrapbooking – I’ll use profanity in my Project Life – but usually only in the 6×4 foldable cards. I’ll put a tab or something on it that says NSFW or some other way to let people know that the contents inside are definitely more than PG-13. That way I can document truthfully (because sometimes things happen that are best expressed using an f-bomb!), but also keep it somewhat respectable.

    I do have Cathy’s “remember s**t” brush and I think I’ve actually used it on a photo in Project Life.

  • Just listened to this episode today on my walk. It got me looking back to some of my very first pages. What I think really dates a page are the “theme-based” papers and “floating” stickers. Not that I had too many pages like this, but there are a few. You know, the baseball patterned paper AND the baseball stickers AND the baseball brads. Lol! It’s interesting to see the evolution of my layouts from 2001 until now.

    Wouldn’t it be fun to have a Throwback Gallery to share our “dated” layouts?

    Thanks Noell and Izzy for yet another fun episode, which made my exercising bearable!

  • AlisonG

    I was laughing throughout the podcast today. Well played! I had to look up Garamouche and yes, I had (ok, have) a set of rub-on alphas in that font. Also, for me, the things that makes my pages “dated” back to the beginning of my scrapping (freshman year of college in 1995, I learned about CM, and the rest is history):

    1. The rampant “sticker sneeze”. For the love of all that’s good and right in the world, WHY DIDNT SOMEONE RESTRAIN ME!?!? They are EVERYWHERE!!! And they’re all either themed to the photos or Mrs. Grossman’s flowers!!!!
    2. The complete and utter lack of understanding of design principles, resulting in zero white space on any page. And if by some miracle I did leave a place for your eye to relax, see #1.

    Lastly, I also don’t ever think “I’ll bet in 10 years I’ll think this page is timeless” as I’m designing. It all goes in phases, as Cathy said. Just like fashion, home decor, cars, hairstyles, it’s a glimpse into the time capsule of life, and I’m ok with that.

  • Ha ha abt #3! But I will admit that lately I’ve found myself doing some cleaner pages and liking it, and I actually did think to myself after the last one, “hmmm — we’ll this will be more timeless.”
    Lol, but that wasn’t my motivation. :)

  • Kirsten Juenke

    LOL at the potty mouth – what a fun listen this was. I love the analogy of a Little Black Dress…kind of like a man looks so handsome in a suit. But then again, we start checking out his tie to see if it’s in style or dated, don’t we?

    I guess for me, it’s not a question or worry of a timeless or “time stamped” layout….it’s the product. I started scrapping in 2000 and have definitely done more hoarding than creating. So I am often paralyzed with fear when faced with using “old” product. I know, I know, my family won’t care if I use some Making Memories metal embellishments from 2006, or have any clue about eyelets.

    Who can know what the LBD of scrapping will be in 20 years? Clean and Simple? (love it!) or lots of white space? I have a scrapbook of my grandmothers from the 1930’s, just black paper and pictures with little captions. Is that an LBD?

    I guess we need to just be brave, explore, and keep telling and saving our stories.

  • Great episode! Funny and thought provoking, which is a tricky combo!

    I’ve recently started doing a “Throw Back Thursday: Layout Style” on my blog and I’m actually impressed with how well my layouts have held up. I’m not going back to the very beginning years (I actually lost those in my divorce), but even going back to 2003 and 2004 …that would be 5/6 years into scrapping for me – so at that point I’d already found my groove. At the time I was working in a scrapbook store, and enjoyed a nice employee discount. No trend that tickled my fancy went unpurchased. Eyelets? Yes! Making Memories metal letters? Yup! Twistel? Buttons? Ribbon? Fibers? Yeah…but… And I think that there’s two things that make my pages “time stamped” (good) but not “dated” (bad): Like Cathy said: Good design really helps. I’m no CZ, but I have a basic understanding of what not to do. And like Layle said: keeping true to your style. I used things, but I used them in a way that felt comfortable to me (as opposed to doing it the way everyone else was doing it). I can flip through my books and identify when certain products and techniques came on the scene, but I don’t think that my kids will flip through the books and cringe. Even now, I’ll occasionally want to copy another scrapbooker’s style, but when the page is done, you can see the inspiration, but it still just looks like something I would create. I think that element of “me” is what keeps the pages from feeling dated – I never completely get on any trend bandwagon — and therefore never have to dismount from said bandwagon to move onto the next one. It all ends up flowing nicely, I think.

    Man, I sound pompous. :P But here’s the thing: I also never feel “in” at any given time. Because I’m not fiercely embracing whatever current trend there is, I don’t feel like my pages are as “cool” as other people’s who are really on top of the fashion. Here’s a parallel: I have super fine, very straight hair. When I look at my senior picture from 1986 I don’t have that “Oh my gosh, my hair was SO BIG! What was I thinking?!” In fact, I think “I should grow my hair out…that long bob was cute.” But here’s the thing: In 1986 I was hopelessly out of sync. Now I’m less prone to giving a hoot about that, but my point is this: because i was just being me, and not using multiple cans of AquaNet every month to be super “in”, I feel like that photo is timeless…but when I flip through my yearbook it’s really apparent that I wasn’t “in” at the time.

    This episode was so much fun, and really appealed to this old timer! Thanks for doing what you do!

  • On the issue of profanity, I think that the issue of whether or not to use it might depend on the audience of your scrapbooks. If you scrap for family members, it might make less sense than if you scrap for yourself. I don’t use profanity in my albums often, but if I do it’s because it enhances the story.

    My most recent page with profanity is about a song that has had a big influence in my life, and I stamped the lyrics in the background of the page. I could have used asterisks in place of vowels in the cuss words, but the song is harsh and the words are part of what makes it powerful. The story was about a college speech assignment on my favorite song, and it was a big shock to the class to hear a clip of Minor Threat, an 80’s punk band, from the annoying girl who always had her hand up. I feel like the words help to enhance the shock factor of the story, because that’s not a side of me that comes through often in my scrapbooks, just as it isn’t a side that showed through in class. If I want my scrapbooking to be an accurate representation of who I am so I can look back at how I’ve changed later, then profanity will need to sneak into the pages sometimes. As for my children reading the page, I feel it’s more important for them to understand why I choose not to drink or do drugs than it is that they never read the “f” word under my watch.

    The page is towards the bottom of this post in case I’m not explaining the visuals very well:

  • I never got into the big hair thing in the 80’s either. Just didn’t love it that much so my hair was pretty “flat.”

  • Jessica

    Megan, love your Minor Threat page. The font of that stamp worked perfectly and including the lyrics, cuss words and all, was necessary to tell that story.

  • Jessica

    Great episode. Since I’m newer to the hobby I don’t have many older layouts to look back on, but even looking at pages made a year and a half ago, I can already see what will look dated in the future. I’m just now coming into my own and have concluded that the clean and simple look (a-la Cathy Zielske) is what speaks to me. I want my albums to look classic and timeless and to me that means the focus is one or two pictures, journaling, light embellishments, and a graphic design.

    There was an interesting discussion on a message board a while back. The topic was – Does your scrapbook style match the way you dress? At the time my answer was no. However, now I can say yes. I have unintentionally taken my clothing style and adapted it to my scrapbooking. I wonder… if your style is trendy, are you a trendy scrapbooker? Is there any correlation? Anyway, that’s a whole different topic.

  • Kim J

    I had to pause listening to the PRT discussion this week to comment on the mail. I too felt a bit left out last week since I am married but have no children. Other scrapbookers statements like “what could you scrapbook about” to scrapbookers who are single or have no children is a frustration I have faced no only in scrapbooking, but also at work – “you can stay late to finish a project since you don’t have to take care of kids” – and other areas of my life. However, I don’t think these type of conversations should be limited to discussing only including children in your scrapbooking. Since I started Project Life several years ago, i have found myself including family and friends in my weekly 2-page layouts. This started a couple of years ago when I was on a long weekend with a dozen high school girlfriends. I had brought along some project life 3×4 and 4×6 cards to write down stories, funny sayings, etc. My friends asked me about it, and after explaining, they wanted to participate. So I gave them each a couple of cards, with no stipulation on what they put on the cards. What i got back was fabulous, their perspective on things that happened over the weekend, funny stories I missed, and drawings. As I look back on those cards, they add so much dimension and diverse perspectives to the layout and bring the whole weekend to life as if we are all in the room talking about the great time we had. While I mostly scrapbook for myself and the creative outlet. I think it would be great to have a discussion on the PRT about how to include others, not just children, in your scrapbooking.

  • Bernii Miller

    LOVEEEEDDDDDDDD this eposide!! The three ladies are a hoot and I love the pace they kept the show at.

    I must say also I love how you talked about this topic. It really got me thinking about my layouts from years and years ago and which ones I love the most, and it seems I also look at those layouts as little datestamps of that time also and it makes me smile . I also have all the metal embellies, furry ribbon, handwritten titles and the large petals that Heidi Swapp made so trendy at the time. But as I look back at all those layouts they all have one thing in common, which I am so grateful for now! they all share a story and a memory. As much as I love playing around with paper as the next person,and being as arty as I can , I am grateful that I did take the time and effort to record the stories and memories from years ago.

    Thanks so much again for the awesomeness that you guys are!! love PRT :)

  • Kerig Taylor

    Just listened to the show today, enjoyed it very much.

    I’ve actually used the F-word on a layout, its in my title. I’ve not posted it anywhere as I’m not sure how offensive it is or isn’t but I’ve printed it and it concludes the album I made for my mom. I chose it from a fund raising movement called F* Cancer. I explain why I chose to use the F-word and describe how I feel about Cancer taking my mom. So while I normally don’t use swear words, this particular word fit my page.

    Also, Izzy, its ‘Hip to be Square’ so I think our square format from Instagram will be around for some time. Plus who has a professional wedding album (or proof album) full of 5×5’s from back in the film days, Instagram has brought it back!

  • Paul Browning

    I love that question “what could you scrap about?” I’ve heard that one too a few times lol. It implies that life is only worth recording once you have a family. Everyone’s life is worth scrapbooking. Thankfully I’ve never been asked to stay late at work because I don’t have kids. That would certainly have made me see red.

  • Paul Browning

    Another fabulous show!!!! But then I’m biased, I’m a huge fan of Cathy. If she was on last week, believe me, I would have listened lol. Heck, if she had been on the show reading the backs of cereal packets, I would have tuned in and soaked up every word. As for profanity, Wilna won me over. I was so tickled by how she was bleeped. Everyone was being so careful about how to talk about the subject. Perhaps this lack of wishing to offend helps give credence to the image of scrapbooking being a tad twee? Anyway, that aside, this was the best show ever & though I never listen to them more than once, this one bears repeating when I next go for a walk with my headphones on :) Who cares about the strange looks I get when I’m walking around chuckling to myself lol.

  • Bookworm9798

    I thought it was pretty funny that when I Googled the Garamouche font, the fourth search result was a Cathy Zielske page on her blog from 2007 called “I’m bringin’ Garamouche back, yeah.” How awesome is that??

  • I graduated in 1989 – my mom “strongly suggested” that I keep my bangs down for my senior pics so that way my hair wouldn’t look as funny 20 years later. She was right, of course. LOL

  • That is a really interesting thought, Jessica! As I’m sitting here in drenched-with-sweat Zumba clothes, I’m wondering if my scrapbook style matches the way I dress. Hmmmmmm….. ;)

  • Youngmi

    I actually enjoy seeing my old pages with their themed sticker sneeze, fancy edged scissored papers, and torn edges for the same reason that I purposefully use trendy products on my pages. I want my pages to be reflective of now – what I’m interested in now and what the current style is. Scrapbooking products tend to reflect what’s currently trending in fashion and design so I feel like they add to the story told in my photos and are indicative of the times. If my scrapbooks do last beyond my lifetime, I’d like to think that my relatives would enjoy seeing all the mason jars, gold, mint and florals because those colors and themes tell you something about 2014.

    I’m sure in a few years, we’ll all be rolling our eyes at wood veneer and chevron (actually, I think I’m already done with chevron) but for now it’s fun and it’s what we enjoy. I don’t want to stress over “will this embellishment be timeless??” while making my pages. I just want to play with pretty supplies! And years down the road, I will have fun looking back on my pages and laugh at all the misting and enamel dots. Besides, things that we are convinced are timeless may not really be all that timeless. Ask my cousins and their 80’s poofy sleeved wedding dresses. Ask their bangs.

    Thanks for another fun episode. You guys are the best!

  • Libby Gordon

    This was one of my favorite episodes in a long time. Cathy is hilarious! I don’t use profanity in my scrapbooks (even though I’m really pretty liberal with expressing my emotions!) because I envision my grandchildren looking through these one day and I don’t want them to know their grandmother swore like a sailor at times! Also, both my mother and mother-in-law love looking through our albums so I just don’t want to open that up for discussion:)

    I really liked the emphasis on simple design to keep your pages timeless. I am more cognizant of design and color now then I was when I first started . Some of my first pages from way back in 1996 are now cringe-worthy but it’s what was popular, my children (who are teenagers now) love looking at the old ones so I would never consider going back and changing a thing!

  • Kim J.

    I was completely thinking and feeling the same thing as I listened to this episode. I actually LOVE looking back at my old scrapbook pages (some from grade school 30 years ago!) and seeing not only the pictures and journaling, but also how I choose to “show” those picture. There have been other PRT shows that have discussed taking pictures and doing layouts about everyday objects and things from today, that will be “antiques” in the future (i.e. phones with cords, old cars, etc.). Wouldn’t that apply to scrapbook pages? I mean, isn’t how we do a layout and the products we use part of the memory keeping???

  • Yes on the “so nice to hear from Cathy again” !

  • Jennifer Gallacher

    I like how Wilna mentioned that looking back at her past scrapbooks brings her joy and helps her remember at what point in time she recorded that memory. I do the same thing. Great episode. Love hearing everyone’s view on this subject!

  • PjP

    “Edgy Scrapbookers” eh? Yeah, right. Outside of this craft/industry we’re seen as a bunch of ultra-conservative, buttoned-down, family-values nerds. There’s such a stereotypical idea of what a scrapbooking is that anyone outside the industry who looks at Cathy’s layouts would say “that’s not scrapbooking — that’s graphic design.” Wilna’s artistic pages aren’t the kind of thing that spring to the mind of the average person when you say “scrapbooking” either. What’s “edgy” within the context of scrapbooking community wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow outside of it. That’s fine with me though and I’ll defend to the death Wilna’s right to get all shy * apologetic about calling her daughter a little turd when she’s acting a bit cheeky. “Nice” may not be cool but — you know what? — it’s timeless.

  • Don’t forget Cathy’s amazingly rich voice. I love her voice!

  • As for being careful — I don’t know how else to be. We have children who listen and a high percentage of non-children who have sensitive ears. :)

    It’s funny because we do push boundaries a bit on PRT but since they’re scrapbook community boundaries we’re pushing against, it’s still extremely innocent and tame, LOL! It’s all relative, I guess. :)

  • I do think there’s a time and a place and F* Cancer is one of those!!

    While raising my kids I’ve never liked the term, “bad words.” To me that doesn’t make sense and my daughter and I have talked a lot about how many kids she’s around will freak out over some 4-letter words, then turn around and call their sibling “stupid” or tell them to shut up.

    I emphasize how our words and actions affect others to judge whether something is or isn’t appropriate to say.

  • It also implies that children are the only thing of value. Usually the people who ask that question don’t scrapbook about themselves, only their children.

  • Paul Browning

    I have no qualms with your being being careful :) You have built up an excellent high quality show with a loyal following. You are obviously doing it right. Me, I have a different attitude and wouldn’t edit myself for children or sensitive ears. And if I was put in charge of a crafting podcast I would certainly not be anywhere near as successful lol. Pxx

  • ladywing

    great episode! (I am one of the lucky few that downloaded Cathy’s “oops” card too.) There are some days, it just fits. Will I ever use it? Not sure, but I know if I didn’t have it, I’d probably have to make my own.

    I’ve looked back at some of my older layouts and yes, you can see the trends on some. But I’ve pretty much released myself from them now. It’s become more about design. I’ve learned a lot about good design from Cathy at BPC and it reminds me to use what I learned in all my art & design classes many years ago. I do still cringe at some of my really old sticker sneeze layouts though. I have redone or fixed some so they aren’t so painful to look at. But I also know that when I scrapbooked BEFORE that, the focus was on the memory and it always should be.

  • ladywing

    At some point in life, none of us have children but saying you have nothing to scrap for really devalues your life.

  • Yes.

  • Robin

    Exactly! Ditto to Jennifer’s response :D

  • Jennifer Kellogg

    Sticker sneeze – VERY dated look. all over my early pages!

  • Jennifer Kellogg

    OMG I had the WORST perm my senior year. Like little orphan annie, except with brown hair.

  • Jennifer Kellogg

    I think the answer to the question, “What makes pages timeless?” is design. IMHO no matter what embellishments you use, the overall design of the page speaks the loudest. So, sticking to basic design principles keeps a page timeless. :)

  • Shannan M

    I wish I scrapbooked before kids – my life back then was certainly scrapworthy and way more adventurous than it is now.

  • No kidding! :)

  • I, too, was hoping that there would be a little more discussion about including family, friends, and significant others in our scrapbooking. Not that I minded the episode as it turned out, but I thought it was a little bit of a missed opportunity to speak to a broader audience on this particular topic.

  • dpennin

    Really enjoyed the discussion. My favorite go to font is Comic Sans. So, I thought it funny that is was considered dated. {{{smiling}}} It is fun to look at older pages with my daughter who also scrapbook and comment ” what were we thinking.” however when my grands or non scrapbooking family look at the pages they talk about the memories. Fun for everyone.

  • Gina

    This was a great discussion. I had a huge light bulb moment when Cathy was describing the fact that she doesn’t do paint and “techniques because she doesn’t really like the way those pages turn out. That’s how I feel! I love all these pages that Wilna and other scrapbookers make – they’re just gorgeous! When I try these things, ugh! I think I should just stick with the cleaner look and be happier with my pages. I keep thinking I’m not creative when actually, the painting and techniques just aren’t my style. Funny enough, that’s my fashion style too – simple and classic.

  • Karen Poirier-Brode (Ladydoc)

    I agree, Johanna. It’s not just documenting the kids. I love the way my husband wanted me to document the produce from his garden this year in a scrapbook page. He picked the food, my son took the photos. My son understood why I wanted photos to document the refinishing of some furniture for a future scrapbook page. My other son realizes that his Facebook photos of the grandson may well end up on a scrapbook page. My husband collects ephemera for me when we are on vacation. As much as they give me a hard time about my hobby, they do encourage me and like to help me with some aspects of memory keeping, though none of them scrapbook.
    I, also, do not care how old products are. While I love the new and trendy, sometimes “old” stuff can be fun to use. Transforming products to work together is another fun part of the hobby.Ten or twenty years from now it will ALL be dated but the stories and memories no less wonderful. Noell’s teaching of design principles will help pages stand the test of time, though any design flaws will likely not be what most of us notice most when we or family look back at pages.

  • Theresa Goulder

    Have just paused this podcast as I’d started to talk to you out loud and realised it would be better to type! Izzy mentioned that square photos would date, in reference to Instagram. However, I’ve just got back from a weekend away in the town where I was a student, recreating some old photos I took there 30 years ago; and during that process I realised I was fitting a lot more in now as my camera was set to 4″x6″ whereas my old Kodak camera took square photos! So yes, square photos will date, but I’m on the second time around now! :-)