My name is Helena Virpi, I'm 54, originally Finnish, Italian by marriage and temperament. 3 kids, 1 husband. I have lived in Rome for the past 30 years and love it!
I started scrapbooking in 2005 and it was love at first sight. I have always done something with my hands, knitting, crocheting, cross stitching and paper piecing but that was just the right time to start something new.
My scrapbooking has gone through various phases from clean and simple but very much color coordinated to overly rich and elaborate which included layering, tearing, distressing and inking but for a long time I wasn't happy with my pages. I was convinced that there was a certain way, ”the right way” to scrapbook and I was frustrated because I wasn't achieving that. I was also haunted by the urge to preserve memories and to always include meaningful journaling.
Two years ago I discovered mixed media and through various techniques and through much trial and error I have learned to express myself more freely and finally let go of the misconception that there's a ”right way” to scrapbook. I have found my style and I'm pleased with my pages. They are not perfect but they are ”me”.
I do like to preserve memories and I like to think that my kids will appreciate my pages and their content one day, but I really scrapbook for myself: it's therapeutic, I love to play with colors and textures and sometimes I scrap a photo just because. Too many rules kill the joy and spontaneity.
What is your favorite color(s) to work with? I prefer bright but not necessarily primary colors. At the moment I love hues of red (scarlet, raspberry, amaranth), teal and yellow but my color preferences change quite often.
What would you say is your "fingerprint" on your scrapbook pages? (i.e., what do most of your pages have that make it your signature style?) The use of wet media such as gesso, paint and mists. White space. Artsy stitching. And probably about 90% of my pages are single photo layouts.
What do you find most challenging when working on a layout? I have a hard time deciding where to put the journaling. Often times I write it on the back of the layout. I very rarely use hidden journaling. In both cases you have to slide the layout out of its page protector to be able to read it. I also struggle with muted and/or pastel color palettes.
What is your favorite part about CSI--the colors, the stories, or the inspiration? The case files as a whole are a very good starting point but my absolute favorite are the colors. My least favorite part is the journaling even though I like the testimony prompts. I have to admit though that I'm liking the journaling more and more.
Confession time. Okay, fess up! What secret do you not want to admit but are willing to confess here? I love to watch X-Factor, Project Runway and Masterchef. Scrapwise: I have way too much stuff even after having purged, sold and given away A LOT of my stash. It's actually quite embarrassing...
To see more of my work, please visit my blog, Scrappassion.
Woot woot! Sooo happy to see you as one our Special Investigators for April! Hyvää Pääsiäistä! ruti ruti :))
Thanks Eila! Very honored to be here. Hyvää pääsiäistä sinullekin!
I thought I might see you over here Helena! Love your work Helena- You are such an inspiration to many! Beautiful work!
Thank you Adrienne.So happy to be a Special Investigator with you! Love this place.
Helena so pleased to see you are a special investigator this month. I have loved seeing all your layouts in the gallery. Your style is so incredible. I love the edginess, the mixed media feel and such a great idea to journal on the back of your pages.
Can't wait to see lots more from you this month xo
for a long time I wasn't happy with my pages. I was convinced that there was a certain way, ”the right way” to scrapbook and I was frustrated because I wasn't achieving that.
I can totally relate to this. I'm stuck in that same rut. It takes me DAYS to complete a simple layout because I can spend an entire evening just shuffling paper around, or creating one flower. It has totally sucked the pleasure out of scrapbooking. I keep thinking of all the other things I could have been doing instead. So frustrating!