Meet Frances (OurLife) a newer member to Big Picture. She shares how creating brings her joy in the midst of tough times.
In 1999 I bought my first scrapbooking magazine and looked at that same magazine for two years before I began to use my photos and create layouts. I am interested in telling a story; my story, and I guess it’s going to take a little time - and that’s alright.
Scrapbooking seemed the logical vehicle for me plus it allowed me to create some beauty during times when things were not so easy. My life is not picture perfect and I have found it difficult, at times, to continue to document my story but slowly pages are made into books - although mostly visual and without words. Finding the words, my words, for journaling has been a challenge. I can create a pretty page but there is always more to my life than what appears to be in my photos.
And then I discovered BigPictureClasses in May of 2011 when I did a search for an online crop for National Scrapbooking Day. I love my solitude and I am mostly self-taught and something online seemed to be the perfect way for me to jumpstart my love of this art form once again. I attended the all day, online, Creative Crop (free event) with my 21 year old son Alexander close at hand for the entire 12 hours. We chatted in the live chat forums; posted to the gallery and Alexander even made his first page with challenge number 2 - 10 + 10 + 10 @ 10. (Mostly, we laughed and my husband sat back serving us food, cleaning up, and enjoying our antics as we played all day.) It was rewarding for me to finish and post to the gallery. I completed all 12 challenges.
I have been scrapping ever since last May and haven’t stopped this time. I am certain it has to do with the access to great classes and teachers here at BPC. My favourite class, with Claudine Hellmuth, taught me about Composition not only for collage but for scrapbook design and improving my photography skills. I haven’t looked back since I took Claudine’s class. It was a life altering and eye-opening artful experience!
Next, I met up with Amy Sorenson in a journaling class and began to express into words my stories and allowed myself the free reign to be authentic on my pages - Amy taught this in her class in a unique way that my voice came through - if only for my listening pleasure. Amy is a knowlegeable expert in the writing field. Her class was jampacked with information and work!
I also attended The Big Idea Festival (free event), Words To Live By, and created my very first mini album. Kelly Purkey’s, Week of Life Lists, allowed me to spend time, a specific amount of time, dedicated to working on difficult feelings on a subject matter that surrounds loss. (I got very creative with this class for the sheer act of working through my emotions and it really helped me to scrap “difficult” photos.) I could go on with what I have learned and the classes I have taken and the instructors that provided me support and feedback but my list would be endless just as are my pages that are now piling up and with journaling to boot!
This year my son is on the West Coast of Canada miles away and wasn't here with me for National Scrapbooking day. I asked him if he was going to do the online crop with me and would he be back home so we could scrap together. I thought he wouldn’t be interested at all. He said he wouldn’t miss it with me even if he was in Vancouver. He said we would use FaceTime for the all day crop. I was elated. I never knew it meant that much to him.
Thanks BPC for all the classes you offer and the great teachers you have on board and all the free events you offer to anyone willing to just begin at the beginning even if you are in the middle, like me.