As much as I don’t like to share my less than lovely pages, I really do think it is important. I think it does the crafting community a disservice if we only share our successes. As a beginning scrapbooker, I felt a bit like a failure when all I saw were design team pages that were virtually flawless. My pages never came close to those works. Really, they still don’t. Time and a decade of experience has given me a better perspective. Even those designers don’t hit it out of the park every time. We just never get a chance to see the other pages that have flaws.
I also strongly believe that we learn from our mistakes. (I guess that’s the teacher in me.) If I don’t like a page, I want to take the time to reflect and figure out why. So, in part, posts like this are for my own benefit. And who knows, maybe someone else can learn from my mistakes.
This Christmas layout is less than stellar. I knew when I was making it that something wasn’t quite right. Usually when I’m in the middle of the process I can’t identify what is off about a layout. Now when I look at it, certain things are obvious.
Problem #1: There are too many patterns. The stripes against chevrons against snowflakes makes this a bit of a visual nightmare. I could have solved this problem in a couple of ways. I could have substituted the snowflake pattern with a solid or a subtle tone on tone paper. A dark brown (which I had out on my desk) could have made this page easier on the eye. Another solution would have been to separate each paper by a thin strip of a solid cardstock. I would still have all of the patterned papers, but the separation would keep them from competing as much.
Problem #2: The placement of embellishment clusters is wrong. When making a layout, I generally place my embellishments in one of two ways. The first way is what I did here. I tried to make three embellishment clusters around the photos. It is supposed to frame the photos in order to emphasize them. Why didn’t this work? The two embellishment areas to the left of the photos strongly outweigh the small cluster to the right. It makes the whole layout seem out of balance. The other way of embellishing, on a diagonal, would have worked so much better. My embellishments should have run from the top right down to the bottom left. If I had just moved the cluster with the hat to the upper right corner, this layout would have flowed so much better.
Will I redo this page? No. I learn from my mistakes (well, sometimes) and move on to the next project. We need to learn to give ourselves a little grace. If you are an imperfect scrapbooker, welcome to the club! It’s a much larger club than you realize.