Bringing Out the Best When Scrapping Personal Space

Time Capsule: Weekly Challenge #33… Extended

I do not love where I live. Sad but true. My husband and I have been doing a lot of talking about moving, but he only recently left for a year in Afghanistan, and my plate is just so full without throwing in a move on top. Like, my plate is full like a college boy at the buffet on his parents’ dime. That is a FULL plate, trust me, I’ve seen it!

We don’t have enough bedrooms now that we have a new baby, and I don’t like my neighborhood, and we keep having gas leaks, etc., etc., etc., but I’m stuck here for the time being, like it or not. So when I saw this challenge, my first thought was not, “Awesome, I can’t wait!” like it is for most of these challenges, but “Ehhh, what do I do?”

I didn’t want to do a negative layout, although I am not totally against scrapping the negative, because sometimes I feel it is necessary. In fact, occasionally I am irritated by the perpetual I-am-so-blessed, these-kids-are-perfect, all-moments-are-golden-moments style many scrappers employ. Now, don’t get it twisted if all of your layouts are happy… that’s fine because they are your layouts. But I am not that way; I do my best to scrap my truth. But right now I have a lot of life challenges going on, and I really wanted to be creative and look at the bright side.

What I ended up doing is kind of both. I asked myself what my VERY FAVORITE part of this living arrangement is, and I focused on that, but chose not to ignore the negatives I feel as well.Once I took that approach, everything fell into place. I love the back yard. Just love it! Basically, it’s a forest. There are trees trees trees, and flowers, and vines, and it’s just super easy to plop the kids out there for an instant gorgeous background.

I knew I had taken a bunch of pictures a year or so ago when I first got my new digi SLR camera and I was trying out the features, and my first thought was to grab one of those with a lot of lovely bokeh and use it for the background. But I couldn’t find those pictures to save my life. I really think that they are gone. I don’t think I restored that folder after my old laptop died. Remember kids, back up ALL of your photos, because you never know when you are going to want to grab some out of focus photo to use as a scrap background!

Anyway, I did find this sky photo and I decided it was perfect! Check it out, that little tree in the bottom right corner? That is my favorite part of the photo, and I didn’t even mean to capture it there, it was an accident! HA! Anyway, I also think the texture that I added makes the photo work as a background. Otherwise, it would be too slick, and wouldn’t look like, well, paper. So let’s talk about textures for a minute.

If you have never used a texture on any of your photos, you are missing out. It is a whole world of time-consuming fun that you must experience NOW! There are tons of places to find textures. You can find them in kits you already have (remember to credit), or you can browse texture groups like this one on Flickr, but, again, please respect the wishes of the photographers with how you use them. You can buy commercial textures or you can even take your own texture pictures!

Then, start by layering up the texture on your photo, and playing with blending modes. It’s fun! One thing you may find out is that sometimes the texture looks bad on certain aspects of the photo: people’s skin, for instance. Texture on skin tends to make the photo subject look like they have had some horrible accident, and you don’t want that. You can use masks to take the texture off while still preserving the color of the texture. There are also actions you can use. My favorite is the Textures Rock action by Paint the Moon  which is the one I pretty much always use. I will use my own textures, but then still use this action because it takes a lot of the effort and brain power out of the equation, and I like to save my precious brain power for other things.

Then I remembered some photos I had taken of my daughter, Genny, eating an apple in the backyard where I felt like she looked straight out of a fairy tale.  This photo shoot really epitomized why I love my back yard, because they take the mundane act of eating an apple outside and transform it to Little Red Riding Hood land. In the photo that I used, she is looking up at the sky, and I thought that would be awesome because it ties in with the photo of the sky I used for the background.

I also thought it would be fun to put my ACTUAL rental agreement in the layout, because it anchors the layout in reality. The layout has so much fantasy in it,  I mean, it is stapled to the sky… hello! I felt it needed some grounding in reality. That’s why I used the grungy tape and journaler, too. It’s real, not too shiny. The wooden frame I feel draws us back to the trees in the back yard. Get it? Everything goes together! Then the journaling is just a simple statement about how I feel. So the layout is a fantastical real optimistically negative layout about my back yard. Works for me!


Andrea BoyerI am a 40-something military wife and mom of 3 kids and one grown up man currently living in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I began scrapping in 2006 as a means of capturing moments for my deployed hubby. My way of keeping time in a bottle, you might say. That is still my primary motivation for scrapping, although I am now just plain hooked.  You are welcome to come read my sporadic adventures at You can also frequently find me on Facebook



Additional 2012 Design Team sample layouts for Weekly Challenge #33 may be found in this week’s Challenge Galleryif you complete this challenge yourself, please consider posting your project in the gallery as well so others may be inspired by YOU!

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