Water: Past, Present & Future

Misty
Misty

Water is life. That saying is used from political activism to commercial advertisements. And the reason it is so often used is because it is true. Life on earth depends on water. For me personally that is not only biologically true, but emotionally true. I am just a water person! I grew up one mile from the Pacific Ocean and I now live one mile from a major river. I waterskied as a kid and I regularly took my kids to the pool as a parent. Life for me today involves a daily bath before going to bed (though with a drought on I have been trying to curb that habit). As you can see the word “water” brings up a lot of memories for me. But what if that isn’t true for you? Why not turn to some watery techniques instead!

Before I dive in (ha-ha pun intended) to my work for this month, lets take a look at some of the water inspired techniques the design team has shared on the blog so far. Alison highlighted easy watercoloring. April used a wonderful stencil to get a reflective water look on her card. And the most recent post by Kathy took us through a whole history of watery goodness, with a great technique on using watery style filters for your photos. 

Now that you have some watery techniques in mind, lets get to some story prompts. (Don’t worry, I’ll give you more technique prompts too!) I mentioned all the memories I have had of water in my life. But you know what else comes up for me with the word “water”? My dreams! So let us go ahead and cover story prompts based on the past, the present, and (dreams of) the future!

Past

As I said, I waterskied as a kid. I did capture that story during a LOAD session (more about LOAD here). Lets look at the page first. And then we’ll take a closer look at some of the tips, techniques and story ideas.

You can click on each small image to see a larger version of these techniques.

Tips/Techniques:

  1. Poor photos? Use them anyway! You can highlight the important bits with arrows.
  2. Use a wide paint brush to add watercolor strokes to create a flowy background. (Image 1)
  3. Splatters give even more watery feel. (Image 1)
  4. While I cut out waves on my die cut machine, this shape is simple enough to cut by hand. (Image 2)
  5. Use sequins to mimic splashes. (Image 3)

Story: Tell a story from you childhood. It doesn’t even have to be water related. This water prompt got me thinking about all manner of things from my youth. From camping, to pets, to childhood friends. Let your mind wander until you land on a story that causes that zing of emotion that makes you just have to tell it!

Past, part 2

I have SOOO many water stories that I could tell. How do I pick which one to go with? For me I know I can’t scrap everything so I pick the story that feels the strongest in the moment. Like I said, the story that just makes me feel that zing. But what happens when when you have more than one zing? Combine them! I wanted to tell the story of how my son loved to walk deep up to his nose in the pool when he was a toddler. But that is only one memory of swimming with my kids. I started thinking of all the times – and exhaustion! – that swimming with my kids brought. I decided that I needed to capture lots of stories on one page. These stories were all held together by a common thread: swimming. By combining them, I can tell more stories using fewer materials and less time.

Pardon some of the covered faces. I do this to keep privacy of those who ask for it!

Tips/techniques:

  1. Combine stories based on a single spark, like water, together on one page.
  2. Narrow it down. I had photos of the beach, boats, bath time, fountains, slip-n-slides and more. But I honed in one one aspect of water: swimming
  3. Don’t have a photo that goes with a memory? Use the internet to download and print photos that relate to your story. That top left pool photo I grabbed off their website!
  4. Or choose a photo from the same time period and just reflect on life at the time. The photo of my son at around 1 isn’t of him swimming but it captures some of his motion that goes with the story.

Story: If you read all the journaling on this page, the whole story is about more than swimming with my kids. It is about the stress and exhaustion of motherhood, of keeping three human beings alive in the water, and how that changed my relationship with water. So you have two prompt choices – a) go tell a story that shows a shift in your thinking OR b) combine several smaller stories into one bigger story!

On a side note, I create free scrapbook layout sketches – both in Photoshop format and in pdf format – for my followers and I have a sketch based on this layout. You can check it out in action on my YouTube channel and you can download it from my blog.

Present

What are your plans for this summer? Do any of them involve water? Be sure to snap some photos! I am prone to getting so relaxed into present moments that I will forget to take photos. But that is okay. Being present and mindful of enjoying current moments is good for our mental health! So, what do you do if you miss that photo op?

  1. A memory is still a memory. Enjoy it and don’t stress that it isn’t saved somewhere. I reiterate, we can’t scrap everything!
  2. Take a pic after the fact. Perhaps of some result of your experience – like a sunburn after a day out. (Ask me how I got this idea! Ha!)
  3. Take a selfie that can be used as a reflection of the memory. The story that goes with a selfie does NOT have to be about what you were doing in that moment you took the picture, but it can be used for all manner of thoughtful reflection.
  4. Did other people at the event take pictures? Ask for a copy. It is easy to text/message/email/air-drop a photo to someone else.
  5. Use the internet to download a related image. I’ve already mentioned this one, but it is worth mentioning again! (Image 1)
  6. Go photo-less and rely on techniques and embellishments to set the mood. Scrapbooking is about stories. While photos help tell the story, they are not the only part of the story! (Image 2)

Future

Do you have watery dreams in your future? I sure do. I am obsessed with a small town on the coast of Washington State that has all manner of watery opportunities. It sits on a peninsula with the pacific ocean on one side and a large bay on the other. It has miles of canals as the land was developed as a resort back in the 60’s. That means many homes are waterfront properties! And there is a lake for boating, swimming and general water fun. Plus local pools offer more swimming. And some ponds are great places to walk and watch wildlife. This water-loving gal wants to live there oh so badly. Will this dream come true? Probably not, but I can enjoy creating my own imaginary story. After all that is what most authors get paid to do, right?!

Again, notice that I used a photo that I copied off the internet! It is one of my go-to techniques.

In terms of story, what future stories can you tell?

  1. The dreams. Things you wish would happen, but aren’t likely to.
  2. The bucket list. Things you know you will do someday.
  3. The plans. Any post-covid vacation plans??
  4. The anticipations. New job? Moving? Kids growth? Or…?

Closing Thoughts

I know we are in the middle of the summer in the northern hemisphere, but our southern hemisphere readers are in winter. And in winter, snow is just frozen water! If you don’t do wet water, do you do frozen water? Snow days? Ice skating? Skiing? Sledding? And even if it isn’t winter where you are, scrapbooking allows us to pull up any memories that spark joy and let us relive them through our art, even when they are out of season!

I can’t imagine what my life would be without my watery adventures. I hope I’ve inspired you to capture some of this summer (and in some cases, winter!) magic.

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