I've been scrapbooking for a long time and during that time I have gone through a number of phases. Sometimes the phases overlapped each other. But I can see some definite trends! Here's a quick tour through some of my many phases:
2005-2007: Two Page Layouts
When I started scrapbooking I didn't know that you could do one-page layouts. I worried a lot about what my book would look like if the two pages across from each other didn't match.
2006-2007: Ugly Patterned Paper & Big Titles
This was the period of time that I really really really really really wanted to make it on to a design team. So any manufacturer who had a design team call, I would buy their ugly paper and letters and whatever else and try to make something with it.
P.S. Do you see all that stamped journaling? I can't believe I took the time to stamp it all.
2006 - 2007: Stamping & Lettering
Some time in 2006 I discovered that I could carve my own stamps. Both the flower stamp on the top page and the box stamp on the lower page are some of my first hand carved stamps. During this period of time I did a lot of stamping and I also played a lot with lettering -- mixing stamped letters with handwriting, and experimenting with different handwritten fonts. And, as in the last layout, endless hours putting down rub-on letters and stamped letters.
I pretty much hate everything that I created during this period. I seem to have thrown a ton of embellishments at every single page just hoping it would work. Total product vomit. I also seem to have been mixing a lot of black and white and color photos.
I remember being in a scrapbooking store and discovering some landscape albums. They excited me. This was also the period when I spent several months participating in "Layout-a-Day" -- you create a scrapbook layout every single day for a month -- and I felt this size was easier to manage (and scan). I ended up making several albums of 8.5x11" landscape layouts.
2008: Digital & Hybrid
I learned a lot during this period. A lot. My Photoshop skills improved massively, but actually I learned a ton about design too. In some ways digital is so much more forgiving than paper and I was able to experiment and try things and I feel like I really grew during this phase.
2008-2010: Trying to Find My Style
This was a super awkward period of time where I was technique crazy and just trying a million things, most of which resulted in very awkward scrapbook pages that didn't quite work. I was trying to figure out how to mix paint and patterned paper and embellishments and it was just not attractive. Looking back I can see that these pages suffer from the "trying too hard" syndrome. I used a million ideas on each layout. More successful projects from this time period stuck to a single idea or technique.
I was trying to find my style and it was running away from me...!
2008-2009: Hand Cutting
2010: Hand Painted Titles
2010: Paint Splats (particularly black ones)
2010-2011: The Grid
2009 - 2011: Cut Out Circles
2009-2010: Flower Crazy
The years I spent on the Prima design team had me putting flowers on absolutely everything. When I made it on to the Prima team I remember being elated and shocked and frightened. I had never been good at using embellishments and I wondered how the heck I was going to use all those embellishments that they sold. I learned a lot about how I create during this period. There were some very awkward moments and some truly great ones too. I am so very grateful for the experience.
2011-2012: The Strip
I had previously played around with using a strip of paper or ribbon along the edge of my layout in order to ground it, but I really became obsessed in 2011. Strips appeared at the top and bottom and the sides of many many layouts. And they still do!
2010 - 2012 Chevron Madness
Many people talk about their "style." As you can see I've traveled through many scrapbooking phases. I'm not really sure that there's any one clear style that emerges from this collection of pages. There are, however, some additonal subtle phases to be noted -- who I scrapbooked about, the tone of my journaling, the quality of the photos, the size of the photos, the use of white space, the length of journaling, and lots more.
I know that we often tell people not to "reinvent the wheel." But you know, I kind of like constantly striving for new. In fact, the one thing that remains consistent across the years is that I like to experiment. I'm never satisfied and always looking for what's next! Can that be said to be a scrapbook style? And I suppose the even bigger question is, does it matter? After all, it's the stories on these pages that make them dear to me, not the way they look.
Hmmm....food for thought.
P.S. Winner of The Encaustic Studio is...
P.P.S. Winner of all six matching stamp sets and stencils is...