Flowers are a copout and other observations about scrapbooking

I'm as guilty as the next scrapbook or of placing a pretty picture on a pretty paper, surrounding it with flowers and calling it good. It's easy. It's pretty. It's pleasant to look at briefly but what does it say?

Are flowers a cop out?

For me, pretty flowers have become the lazy girl's answer to page embellishment. It's true I can do flowers to paper in my sleep.  And a quick browse through my favorite on-line galleries of scrapbooking layouts and creations show me that I am so totally not alone. 

When I haven't fleshed out enough story or when I haven't given enough thought to my design, flowers are the easy answer.

About ten years ago, I attended a class with a very popular scrapbook instructor--at that time we would've referred to her as a *scrapbooking celebrity*. Oh how that term turns me off now, but I digress. Her class was well publicized and many people attended along with me. And we paid a pretty penny for the privileged too. It was a good class. There was what I considered to be a nice amount of inspirational content and it was well-balanced with unique techniques that made me feel like I was learning something new as opposed to those classes that are just about copying the designer's project.

By and large, I was quite satisfied with the class, which is kindof unusual--I can be a little picky about classes.

However, there was one little thing that kinda struck me as annoying and less than professional. After completing one of the main class projects, one of the class attendees dropped a rather large stamp on top of her page and it landed inked-side-down, of course, right smack on top of the pretty part of the layout. She was understandably crushed. She gasped rather loudly when it happened and this caught the attention of the class instructor. The class instructor came over to assess the damage. When she saw the extent of it, she declared with a laugh "oh just stick a flower over it and no one will ever know. That's what scrapbooker's do--stick a flower on it."

The class attendee was quite obviously NOT going to be satisfied with the "stick a flower on it" advice and I admit, it didn't sit right with me either. A flower would change the entire composition of the page and this attendee had worked diligently to create the page just as the instructor had demonstrated--without deviation. Her disappointment was obvious.

Years later, I remember this incident vividly and those words ring in my ears. Is that really all we do? Just stick flowers on things and make them pretty?

I want to say "no".
But I'm not sure it's true.  

A pretty paper covered in flowers to me is the scrapbooking equivalent of getting all dressed up and having no place to go and no one to go with. 

I want more substance.
I crave a better mix of the story and less of "just pretty".


Pretty is just way down the list..


Catherine1216 said...

Sometimes flowers are just the right things, but sometimes the layout needs something else or something more.

LisaDV said...

I think that the phrase "put a flower on it" really meant a mistake can be covered with the right embellishment; Maybe it would be paint and then a different colored paint and stencil. Maybe it is flair or a sticker or a doily. The take away is really that we shouldn't be so much of a perfectionist with our pages that we don't get the photos and story down. That's what's important, if a mistake happens or you're not 100% thrilled, it shouldn't stop you from telling your stories. Although I do feel bad for the lady in the class, hopefully the teacher was able to quietly give her another set of pages to work on.