Did I ever tell you that I won a 'thing' and some 'stuff'? [You'd never guess I had an English Degree would you?!!!] Yeah, I found out that I'd won the 'thing' in September, but had to wait until this month for its official announcement before I was allowed to talk about it. As for the the 'stuff' [i.e. the prizes] apart from a photo printer which came last week ... I'm still waiting. Which isn't easy for me! It's really rather exciting to be getting things delivered to my door which I haven't had to pay for and which are purely for my pleasure, entirely wonderful guilt-free treats ... which are now no doubt getting consumed into the pre-Christmas parcel mountain at the Royal Mail. Well, patience is a virtue, so they say [but were 'they' having to wait for tons of free stash and a lovely A3 cutting mat?? They weren't were they???? No, that's what I thought!]
I think most of you know what the the competition I won actually was, but allow me to flatter myself for a moment while I imagine that someone other that those of you who already know me is reading this ... thanks. OK so it was the Best of British Scrapbooking 2008 competition - generally referred to as 'BoB' - held by Scrapbook Inspirations magazine and I was one of the 6 winners. [If you'd like a peek into my state of mind as I was sending off my application, which includes the juvenile enjoyment I was getting from referring to entering BoB, you can read the blog entry I made back in August.] I'll just add, that now I get to say 'I won BoB' I do kind of feel like I've been playing some odd poker game - where the stakes were REALLY high and I managed to come away with someone's husband... but enough of that!
So, despite the fact that I'm about to show you the six pages which secured my win, this isn't really meant to be merely an entry in which I parade my Bobfulness before you. No, it's partly a response to a group discussion I was involved in on UKS last week. One of our group had been contemplating submitting a page for publication and had found some 'advice' on an American site whic basically said that you had to use brand new, on-trend papers and all the latest products and that you have to alter your own style [which she didn't want to do] in order to be deemed print-worthy.
Now, I'm no great expert on other magazines, but I am commissioned fairly often by Scrapbook Inspirations and I have never followed anything like that criteria. When I was choosing my BoB entries I wasn't naive enought to think that everyone would fall in love with my style. I mean, not everyone will appreciate the photographs of my bruised arms and legs or the close-up of my ear lobe. Nor will they covet my use of staples, sticky tape and [literally] some old rope. They quite simply will niether like or 'get' what I'm doing. But that's OK as not everyone needs to like or get me.
That's my job.
You simply don't need all the new everythings from a pre-prepared kit. You don't need to second guess what everyone else will think about it - even a competition judge. You do however need self-belief. You do need to be happy with it yourself. You do need to like it. Then there's every chance that someone else will feel the same. Or, so went the thinking that got me into the winning six.
Speaking of which ... here are my winning six, complete with the descriptions which we had to include as part of the competition:
"Today I: This demonstrates my love of non-traditional scrapping items: torn cardboard behind the photos, sticky-tapes, fluffy pom-poms, googly eyes! My main feature though is the fantastic wrapping paper – which I first used as a backdrop to my snap-shots before sticking it onto my page, highlighting several of the cutest characters."
"Personality Traits: A completely girly, pink and copper, word explosion emerged out of trawling through my collection of sentiments and phrases for words describing my personality. One digitally altered portrait, some lace and the cutest deer tag later and I’d captured a little of what makes me ‘me’ right now."
"Shell-like: I wanted to capture not only the colours and textures of a recent trip to the beach, but the sounds too. The journaling tells how my shell earrings jangled in the sea-breeze creating as much noise as two small wind-chimes!!"
"Re-Union Tour: The journaling on this is perhaps my most personal yet most cathartic to date. I aimed to present my feelings of doubt and concern with a light, humorous touch – hence the slightly eccentric use of collage papers – like the state of mind indicator!!"
"Me & My h-Elbow: What better way to commemorate my arm recovering enough from my fall, than to scrap about what I’d done to myself! I loved putting together lots of elements from my stash which I’d never expected to find use for. In particular a bandaged dog and a girly skull & crossbones!"
"Mr.Smith: A cross between the heartfelt fan mail and the good old-fashioned scrapbooking I did as a child, where I would stick pictures of my heroes in a book and then write down what I liked about them! It details my fondness for the work of comedy film-maker Kevin Smith."
So there you have it. My winning BoB entries. Six pages I'd already made and that I felt honestly represented 'me' and my style. I didn't tailor anything especially for the competition. After all, there was nothing in the entry criteria asking for pages about the times you've fallen off your bike and ended up in A&E; or how you sometimes feel about once having depression; or how your face looked when you emailed your first commissioned piece of work to a magazine; or how you can make awful puns while writing about a film-maker not many people have heard of. I did however, make sure I stuck firmly to the brief which asked for something which revealed personality, displayed a sense of adventure in design, technique, colour and embellishments and which had some journaling. And it paid off. And I'm soooo pleased. And proud.
Thanks to everyone who made me [I mean persuaded] me to enter, and who offered suggestions on which were the best pages to send in and everyone who generally believed in me. As for the friend who was considering submitting her work to a magazine...
.... lots of us threw in snippets of advice, and encouragement and some even sent links to lists of what Scrapbook Inspirations was looking to publish in the future. And she decided to go for it and submitted something she'd already made and was happy with. And it worked. And she'll be in the Reader's Gallery in a future issue!
In the words of my friend 'Brass': 'Everything is 'do-able' when you put your mind to it' and it seems like she just might be right!