Chasing Crafting Perfection: What Is Perfect and What Is Not?

by Jeffry Quiñanola

Whether you're a seasoned scrapbooker or a card-making connoisseur, chances are you've felt the urge to chase perfection at some point in your creative journey.

@altenew_ Should You Chase Perfection in Paper Crafting?

But what exactly is perfection when it comes to paper crafting? Is it flawless symmetry, impeccably neat folds, or perhaps the ability to execute intricate designs with precision?

Or could it be something more elusive, like capturing the essence of a moment in a handmade card or infusing a piece with heartfelt sentiment?

What Does It Mean to “Chase Perfection” in Crafting?

@altenew_adding a touch of fall to memory keeping by Nathalie DeSousa

The notion of perfection in paper crafting is a bit like chasing a butterfly: elusive, fleeting, and ultimately subjective. What may seem “perfect” to one person might not be perfect to another, and therein lies the beauty of this creative pursuit.

Take, for example, card making.

Crafting the “perfect” card can often feel like walking a tightrope between elegance and simplicity.

While carefully layering papers and embellishments can create visually stunning designs, there's a certain charm to the handmade imperfections that add warmth and character to a card.

@altenew_ Should You Chase Perfection in Paper Crafting?

A slightly off-center sentiment or a smudge of ink can turn a generic greeting into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, filled with personality and charm.

Another example is the concept of perfectly symmetrical folds in origami. While achieving symmetry can certainly be satisfying, there's a certain charm to the imperfections that arise when crafting by hand.

@altenew_ Should You Chase Perfection in Paper Crafting?

A slightly wonky fold here or there can add character and personality to a piece, turning what we often perceive as a flaw into a unique feature.

Similarly, in the world of scrapbooking, the pursuit of perfection can sometimes overshadow the true purpose of the craft: preserving memories and telling stories.

@altenew_adding shimmer to memory Keeping by Nathalie DeSousa

Yes, a carefully arranged page of photos and embellishments can create visually stunning layouts, but it's the stories behind those photos that truly breathe life into our creations.

Lydia Evans, from Altenew's Leadership Team and, most importantly, a crafter, has this to say about chasing perfection:

I don't believe we ever create something truly perfect – but I'm good with that! Crafting is a way to express our creativity by putting part of ourselves on what we create. If we are worried or stressed about creating something that is ‘perfect', we miss the calming nature of crafting.

And let's be real – life isn't always perfect, so why must our crafts be?

Striving for Perfection

That's not to say that striving for excellence in our paper crafting endeavors is a fruitless pursuit. Far from it!

There's something deeply satisfying about honing our skills, mastering new techniques, and pushing the boundaries of our creativity.

@altenew_ Should You Chase Perfection in Paper Crafting?

But it's important to remember that as tempting as it is to chase perfection, it is not the end goal – it's merely a byproduct of our passion and dedication.

So, the next time you find yourself agonizing over a crooked fold or a slightly smudged stamp, take a step back and remember why you fell in love with paper crafting in the first place.

@altenew_ Should You Chase Perfection in Paper Crafting?

Embrace the imperfections, celebrate the quirks, and above all, have fun with your creations.

After all, it's the joy of making something with your own two hands that truly makes it perfect in the end.

How about you? Have you had any struggles with perfectionism in your crafts lately? What pops into your mind when you think of the “perfect” card or crafting project?

Feel free to share your insights in the comments below. As always, happy crafting!

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6 comments

Tara C Prince March 22, 2024 - 4:36 PM

gorgeous cards

Reply
Judie March 22, 2024 - 5:37 PM

I can live with a small smudge or something that isn’t quite centered or perfectly straight, but today I was using a piece of directional patterned paper and put it on the card front upside down. Had to start over!

Reply
Michelle P March 23, 2024 - 3:41 PM

OMG I love this post! I used to totally be about the beauty of a project, so much that I scoffed at a scrapbook my daughter’s caretaker made when she was 3. It was a compilation of her art work that year, with address labels added for the notes. I am so ASHAMED at my initial reaction because the stories made me cry when I read them. To this day (20 years later) that scrapbook is my absolute favorite and I cherish it with all my heart.

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Cyndy Rogers March 24, 2024 - 11:53 AM

To me, the perfect card is one that makes the recipient smile or be encouraged or cared for. So each card will look different…..designed for the recipient specifically. That’s why I so love the variety of materials Altenew offers along with ideas from other artists. Thanks!!

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Daniela March 27, 2024 - 10:56 AM

Beautiful

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Stephi April 3, 2024 - 7:22 PM

This is such a good article and reminder what is really important and that is simply thinking of someone enough to let them know and as you said have fun!

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