Unfortunately my beloved Grandma is still having more issues then is fair so I set to making another card and it became a technique heavy endeavor with handmade rosettes, stamping, embossing, flocking, stenciling and fussy cutting. While working on it I was exhilarated, able to have the resources on hand to do these techniques that I just haven't done in a long time. But once I was finished my bubble burst - I didn't love what I had done. I'm certain it'll still make my Grandma happy, if no other reason that familial love. But there wasn't that feeling of immense satisfaction you get at the end of a project, like the last card I made for her. *sigh*
Not wanting to waste this golden opportunity of "me" time I propel myself forward I work on the "Princesses of the World" layout - Belle, Snow White, Aurora & Mulan - another fairly complicated design trying to capture that competition level quality. Of course there is no competition...at least not with anyone but myself. Not that it matters because nothing I do seems to look quite right, even John starts commenting on how much I went from my desk to supply storage trying to find something that would pull it all together. I complete the design & it still looks 'off' like something is missing or out-of-place but I can't put my finger on what, all the visual 'rules' have been met so it should work. But no again I'm deeply dissatisfied with my own work - why do I even try?!
Next up is "Mr. Ray's Reef" from the Living Seas, it goes together well enough photos fitting together like a puzzle & the perfect paper to make them pop. The end result is ok - not great, not bad - but just ok. Despite this one going better then last 2 projects, I think that maybe it's time to call it a day...go relax on the couch, watch some Dr. Who & have some popcorn that John is bound to make. Just as I/m about to turn around & share this schedule change with him, I see the photo taken with Winnie-the Pooh & Tigger.
I love this picture because it was a turning point for my little man (all of 17 months here), for the first time he recognized the characters in front of him & wanted to be near them. The entire time we were with Tigger & Pooh he had a HUGE smile on his face ... under the pacifier of course, heaven forbid we lose that! Already at nearly 3 years old (yikes!!), he's becoming less baby-like & more boy-like: bored now with Winnie-the-Pooh stories, obsessed with Cars, Legos & the planes that fly overhead everyday, squirms away from kisses in public, insists on walking everywhere and just over all growing & developing like we all want for our kids. But I miss that baby who always wanted to be held, snuggled in for the thousandth rendition of Winnie-the-Pooh & The Red Balloon & whose eyes light up at the sight of Tigger - in any form but especially there in Christopher Robin's room that rainy night at Epcot. So although this is a family album I wanted - no needed - to preserve my little man's 17mth old self in this layout and make sure that the photo stayed the visual focus. So the end result contained soft colored pattern paper, "baby Pooh" border & a title cut & inked to look like alpha blocks.
Wouldn't you know it ...this turned out to be my favorite creation of the night :-) Simple, clean lines, non-cluttered, no advanced techniques & it's as perfect as a human can achieve. Which brought me to my realization - okay maybe more of a re-understanding of an old concept - sometimes in life it really is the simple things that bring the most pleasure. We as modern parents spend so much time & money trying to create memories & experiences for our kids that will last a lifetime. We make plans and/or devise schemes to make everything go perfectly & smoothly. But often this just adds more clutter to our lives, making it harder to notice and appreciate the little moments that truly matter - like 17 mth old Dillon's pure joy at seeing Tigger :-D
I say that I craft and scrapbook specifically to preserve our families memories & my kids unique personalities & perspectives across their childhood but lately I've found that I've gotten too caught up in the design and look of my efforts rather then reason for them. So yes I love this productive streak I've been on, I love creating & I love playing with fun materials but most of all I love looking at photos & being taken back to that place & time because it fleeted away too fast.