Mmm...make a page that's perfectly imperfect: what do you think?
When Get It Scrapped asked me for a layout designed around the principles of Wabi-Sabi I had to do a little research (as it turns out my dear friend Alexa had explained it perfectly on this post from a couple of years back). It's the Japanese notion of impermanence and imperfection; that nothing lasts forever, nothing can be finished, that simple is good, authentic is best.
So what that means is that I've been enjoying Wabi-Sabi style scrapbooking all along. That's what I like. I'll very often leave a sewing thread dangling on purpose, or draw a wobbly line, or cut freestyle with my scissors instead of a trimmer, because I know that if I do these things, I'll leave a little of my "hand" on the page. You will know, in other words, that I've been there. (And if you've been hanging round here long you'll now be expecting me to quote my scrapbooking dream: that someone will find an album of mine years from now and feel something of me on each page. I want that album finder to be able to say look: her handwriting is much neater on this page, what made her concentrate that day?)
Ah, you could say: the idea of an album sitting for years on a shelf isn't very Wabi-Sabi. Maybe that's right. But maybe I have an answer.
I don't mind altering my layouts. They don't go onto a shelf and stay there, untouched. I make a page, I photograph it and share it. But that doesn't mean that it's finished. I might add an extra embellishment (because sometimes it's only when I see the photo that I realise what's missing. That's a good tip. If you are struggling to get a page to come together, take a photo and pin it up, then step back and look at it with the critical eye that comes from being one step removed). I might take away a piece (and if that leaves a little hole that needs patched, I'm fine with that). Chances are I'll add more writing, which might even cover the page and detract from the original design. But that's no problem. The words count. Is that Wabi-Sabi?
For this particular page I was pleased to find the perfect subject. A hand knitted jumper, in a natural colour, in pure new wool: that's authentic, that's imperfect (somewhere, I'm sure, if you look closely). It has recycled buttons; and when it has been worn enough here, it will probably be recycled in its whole, or moved on, or re-knitted. Nothing lasts forever.
And that can be a strangely comforting thought.
More ideas on scrapbooking Wabi-Style can be found here at Get It Scrapped.