Drop the word scrapbooking into a conversation and you
may frighten those around you with images of teddy-bear die
cuts, decorative scissors and kindergarten paste. While the
name may not be the coolest word to describe this creative
outlet that is taking over the globe, the art form itself IS,
and here’s my philosophies on why.
I made my very first scrapbook as a going away gift for
my cousin who had stayed with our family for a year
when we were teenagers. We had had lots of crazy adventures together
with lots of equally crazy photos and I wanted to make her a memento of
this time. Out came the patterned paper, scissors (yes, I admit they were
deco!), glue and colored markers and I cranked out page after page of
hilarious memories and slipped them all into a
decorated binder. Before giving this to her for the
flight home, I made color copies of all the pages for
myself. This has to be one of my favorite possessions in the world – and looking through it
takes me back to all our private jokes and secrets
– things that I may have long forgotten had I left
the pictures in a shoebox.
It was after this that I started getting the urge to ‘make stuff’ with my
photographs. And to take morephotos! Not just of the big events – birthdays, Christmas, graduation, my first car etc – but of the real stuff that
made me who I am. My messy bedroom, the places I hung out at, my
cupboard door full of stickers and memorabilia, friendships, pieces of
my everyday life.
Scrapbooking is about celebrating life. About living a life made up of so many different elements and then creating and capturing and learning and growing from them. It’s about telling a story. It’s about capturing the little details of everyday STUFF. It’s about love. it’s about hopes and dreams and wishes and fears and truth. It’s about expressing yourself. It’s about YOU.
So many people (and I was guilty of this in the beginning) are so worried about getting every single photo down into their albums, about documenting every event of their life in a chronological manner that they forget about the little details. And they make it a stressful chore. Scrapbooking is an art form – it’s supposed to be fun! An outlet for you, away to connect with yourself and cherish what you have.
I soon realized after my daughter was born that I was never going to
have enough time to scrapbook every one of the oodles of photos I took of
her as a baby. I wanted to have a life and enjoy my baby – not worry that I
had missed a month of taking her picture or forgotten to write down
the day she got her 1st tooth. This was my turning point in my creating.
No longer would I worry about ‘catching up’ on all my pictures and stories. I would keep my photos in acid free photo albums and scrapbook
those that spoke to me, or were my favorites. How liberating! Now I can
say what I want to say on my layouts, choosing a memory or an emotion
or hope or thought or dream to go alongside my photographs and art. It is
more real. It is more ME. It makes me happy, and that’s why I do it. I like
to think of my scrapbooks as artistic journals. I let the photos and the
writing and the art speak to me and convey who I am – fears and disappointments and ugly bits and all!
If I could pick one important ‘tip’ to offer about scrapbooking – it is to
do what makes YOU happy. Not to worry about what other people might
think of your work, or what they themselves are doing – but to bring yourself – your personality into your scrapbooks. Finding what works for you
and going with it. Treat them as fun picture journals of your life and you
will soon be soaring on your own creative wings.
As different ot as busy or as challenging as life may be, it’s important
to reflect upon life – appreciating the little things and cherishing the
memories. I am excited to bring you challenges and inspiration each
month in different areas related to capturing and celebrating your life!