I love crafts. It’s a blanket statement because I tend to bounce around from one thing to another: knitting, quilting, cross stitch, and, most recently, watercolor. I love having options when it comes to expressing my creativity and personality, and sometimes I just want the challenge of something new or less frequently tried. But–I also still adore my computer.
I feel like I’ve always been a computer person. When I was in elementary school and they started putting them in classrooms, I was hooked. I had a VTech personal learning computer when I was small. And some of my closest friendships have been made using the internet. Between, oh, 2006 and–um–last September I would be online until all hours of the night, sometimes watching YouTube, sometimes chatting with friends, sometimes just frying my brain. It’s part of why I love blogging so much, and why I love playing around in Photoshop and InDesign. There’s just something about the keys clacking and the cursor moving across the screen that gives me a dopamine kick.
Last year was the first time I started a scrapbooking project with Finn’s baby book (which I still have two or three months to finish within, but let’s not focus on that right now), and since then I’ve been inundating myself with options, styles, and inspiration. I’ve joined the Awesome Ladies Project and discovered this whole new world of creativity. And now? I’m doing December Daily for the first time. I started thinking about it in September, if not even earlier, and since then I’ve been hemming and hawing over how I want to do it. Fully digital and printed into a Blurb book? Pocket pages like Finn’s baby book? For a while I was set on the idea of just getting a spiral bound mixed media pad and assembling the whole thing within that. I really thought that was going to be the winner. But then, none of these options quite seemed to fit. I loved it all but it didn’t make me as excited as the final answer seems to be doing.
I love kits. I love ordering kits and subscribing to kits, but I also know that I don’t always use all of the elements within them. Over the last few smaller projects I’ve worked on (an Art of Noticing book for the month of September and a Halloween/horror movie book for October), I’ve realized what kit pieces I like to use physically and which I can be happy to use in digital form. I’m not a big journaling card user, for example, but I love chip boards, die cuts, and papers. I love the texture and dimension that can come with adding ephemera to a page. I’m also a huge fan of physical stamping; I enjoy a good messy stamped background. If it’s not crisp and clean, I just think that adds character.
With a digital kit, I can include (and even print, cut, and attach) the elements and ephemera I want in a layout without worrying about wasting other pieces that I just don’t love. And can we talk about the typewriter fonts that you can get when typing journaling on the computer? How did I not think of that sooner when I was doing it for years in my zines?
I know; my lack of awareness is mind blowing.
To say I’ve been obsessing over my December Daily would be an understatement, but to finally realize the best way to make it work for me feels like a nerdy game changer. I am still entirely new to this craft and creative outlet, but the fact that I can use it to combine so many other things that I love–let’s circle back to that recent watercolor endeavor–is just wonderful.
What kinds of crafts do you love? Do you scrapbook? How do you prefer to do your storytelling and memory keeping?