The Alternate Destiny of a Scrapbook Page

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This page almost became something else.

Two weeks ago on the Paperclipping Roundtable, each panelist shared a scrapbook layout and I was going to share this one. But we ran out of time, and as the host of the show, that means I opted out of sharing.

Paperclipping Members got to actually watch me assemble this page start-to-finish, but what they did not know was that there was one major turning point in the middle that I did not share when this page almost spun in a wildly different direction.

To keep the video a reasonable length, I did not share that part of the process. Instead I was going to share it on the Paperclipping Roundtable.

But to keep the Roundtable a reasonable length, I had to cut that story yet again.

Since some of you asked, I decided to share that part of the story here.

Because of the way I’ve set up my organization — especially with the kits I make for specific stories I scrapbook — the supplies I choose and how I use them tend to tumble out of their storage spots and onto my page so I do very little thinking, hemming and hawing, or auditioning of scrapbook products to use these days.

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That die cut phrase above and the rectangular pink and purple embossed chipboard pieces tumbled out for me. The phrase might as well have walked itself on top of that pink — they just came together like peanut butter and chocolate came together for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

But then there was a divergence.

Tim Holtz shared his March tag and I realized I had the supplies he used, so I decided to give his techniques a try and make it my background.

But then when I placed the chipboard rectangles, photos, and die-cut word phrase on top, I realized that visually, my Tim Holtz-inspired creation told a very different story from what I genuinely feel and observe when it comes to Trinity’s life in ballet.


My color-filled piece looked more like me than Trinity with its tie-dye, almost-hippie look that definitely does not speak to the perfectionist rigor and technique of a ballerina in a ballet school where everybody would prefer to be an hour early than “only” fifteen minutes early, and where walking in late is 100% out of the question. Nor does it match the pristine style of her ballet story album overall.

What did I do?

Since my result of Tim Holtz’s challenge reminded me of myself, I put the pieces into the kit I have for pages about myself.

Then I returned to my kit for ballet stories, and let the supplies tumble out for me once more. The rest of the page fell together as usual.

I Believe In You

Like peanut butter and chocolate.

And that is how this page became what it is now, and not that alternate destiny it might have been had I been worried about time and a slow scrapbooking process…had it not been so easy to get back on track with supplies and a story that matches my daughter’s personality and experience.

Fortunately that other “might have been” layout will someday be. It will just have a story on it that actually matches its rebel, day-dreamy style. And I can’t wait to put that story together!

Have you ever realized the design of a page you were currently making did not match the mood of your story? Did you change directions like I did? Or did you leave it be and move on?

Tell me about it!

Shine On,

  • Dietra

    What a great way to look at scrapbooking. Sometimes we are drawn to things but the story and the supply don’t match. We can not force it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Glenys

    Thanks Noell, you give us lots of food for thought (couldn’t resist the pun!).
    Love my membership and being able to revisit your great classes! I am going to look your organizational one up again! Many thanks for the great work you and Izzy do for all of us, very inspirational. xx

  • Rachel L

    I’m a digital scrapbooker, so when this happens I often just switch the photo to one that suits the developing layout more. All part of the fun!

  • vintageplaid

    But how good to feel that you hadn’t “wasted” your time making that other background. It’s gorgeous and making something that beautiful is never time wasted. You will find the right story to shine on that background and meanwhile stayed in focus on Trinity’s story. Good catch and lots of points for us to think about. Thanks for sharing.

  • Gabrielle McCann

    Love your perspective Noell

  • ARC

    Yes! This put into words something I do but couldn’t quite put my finger on! Sometimes I want to use a particular group of supplies but it just doesn’t fit with the story and I kept trying to force myself to do it because I thought it would be more challenging. But in truth it’s probably that little voice telling me those things don’t go together. Great post, and thanks Noell!

  • Deanna R.

    Great story, great page & great TH inspired art work! I first skimmed this post and when I saw your TH piece, and saw that the page was about ballet, I thought “wow, perfect tie in – you created a piece of art to go an a page about your daughter’s art (ballet)”. I then read the article when I saw that you hadn’t used the piece, and totally get it. So then I thought maybe someday you could make a page using your TH art piece and your daughter’s ballet art, and how you express your craft in two different ways. At any rate, love the post, thank you for sharing!