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Not Your Mom's Album

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.

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.

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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!



Share your beliefs!

Weekend homework: Comfy up on the couch and have a flick through your scrapbooks/journals. Ah - those smiling faces, birthday memories - it's all there, isn't it? A whole, complete package showcasing all the aspects of your life? Oh, it's not?

A Year in Your Life

Yay you! It’s a new year, full of optimism, fresh possibilities and very good intentions. This is going to be your most amazing year ever, because it is yours and you will make it amazing! If 2007 plans to be as sneaky as 2006 and speed by without warning, now is the time to take action - remember the events, people, places and thoughts from your year.


Recording Your Year

Instead of creating lofty goals for myself that often end in sighs and disappointment, I’ve set out a few easy (and fun!) things to do in order to document my year – and you can do it too!

No Supplies? No Worries!

Scrapbooking can be a costly little hobby. What with all the trendy papers, embellishments, stickers and those must have tools, a girl can do some serious damage to the monthly budget. If you’re new to scrapbooking, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of stocking up on products to get yourself started. I’m here to help! Scrapbook products are fun, but not totally necessary. With a few basic supplies and a little imagination, you will be whipping up creative keepsakes in no time.

Mini Love - Mega Impact

Ah, the mini book. Don't underestimate it's power. A small album made from, well, pretty much anything you like is fast becoming my favorite way to scrapbook and create.

A Deck of You

Do you keep a journal? If you do – congratulations! I fell out of the habit of writing in a journal after my daughter was born – time for myself? Time to reflect? Not anymore! I did journal in my scrapbooks - but mainly about her babyhood, achievements, activities etc, I was too busy trying to preserve my daughters story than my own.

Scrapbooking on the Road

One of my very first scrapbooks ever was created when I was 11 years old and our family embarked on a trip to the US and UK. My mother (wise woman that she is) gave each of us kids a binder with plastic sheets and paper, and a pencil case with glue sticks, markers, scissors etc for the journey. As we were missing a few weeks of school, our ‘assignment’ (as decided by our mother) was to keep a journal/scrapbook of our trip.

Fabric On Your Walls

Although my heart says “Anthropologie!”, my budget says “make it yourself, and cheap.” And so I turn to my trusty friend – fabric, to make my walls smile.