One of the excuses I frequently hear is “I’m afraid I’m going to ruin ___.” Sometimes it’s a piece of paper. Sometimes it’s a photo. Sometimes it’s even the memory you’re trying to record.
Well, I’m here to tell you, sometimes you will mess it up. And that’s okay. Sometimes you’ll have to start over. Sometimes you’ll be able to turn your mistake into a happy accident. Sometimes you’ll just throw it in the circular file, and never look back.
The thing is, you can’t let a mistake, or the possibility of a mistake, keep you from doing whatever it is you’re trying to do. I’m sure you’ve learned this in other aspects of your life. Now I’m asking you to apply that mindset to scrapbooking.
Let me give you an example from my own experiences:
I have been stamping for a very long time. Luckily, while there wasn’t a local scrapbook store when I first started scrapbooking, there was a local stamp store, whose owner was also a wonderful teacher. I learned a lot by taking her classes. One of the most important things I got from her classes was that by knowing your materials (inks, papers, textures, etc.) you could minimize stamping mistakes. (I’ll have a .pdf and short video about avoiding common stamping mistakes available for anyone who signs up for my mailing list, once I get that up and running.)
I used to teach EK Success’ Scrapbook Design University at my local JoAnn’s. Each week, I’d bring in sample pages, and my album covers were getting ruined by the mess left behind by the Wilton students. No matter how much I cleaned, I still managed to get frosting on my linen albums.
I decided I needed an album dedicated to the class, so my personal albums wouldn’t get ruined. I had a post-bound album I had bought at JoAnn’s, but it was UGLY. I decided I’d stamp on the cover to try to pretty it up. It had a smooth, non-porous surface, so I decided to use staz-on ink, which is permanent and dries quickly, even on non-porous surfaces. I also had a bottle of staz-on stamp cleaner, so I was sure I’d be able to wipe off any mistakes I might make. I also knew that since the cover was smooth and almost slippery, there was a higher than average chance I’d mess up an image, but the album was so ugly I figured I couldn’t make it any worse. 😉
Sure enough, the very first image I stamped, my hand slipped, and I blurred the image. I got out the cleaner to wipe up the mistake, and all it did was smear the image some more.
I wasn’t expecting that!
I sat back, and considered my options. Forget about the whole thing, and use a different album? Keep going and hope I didn’t slip while stamping any more? Or decide that the smear wasn’t a design flaw, but a feature?
Of course I decided to turn my flaw into a feature. I continued with my stamping, and after I stamped each image, I smeared it with some more cleaner.
Here’s the final product:
The thought I want you to take with you as you begin your scrapbooking journey is this: You WILL make mistakes, and you CAN find solutions for any mistake you make. Embrace imperfection. It makes life (and your scrapbooks) much more interesting.