Breaking all the Rules: My Philosophy of Scrap

I am about to celebrate the beginning of my tenth year as a scrapbooker. I must say, this has been an amazing journey. I started out very simply and have wandered my way thru quite a few trends and habits, finally to come to what I consider my true style. I am grateful for those who have influenced this journey so far and I hope it continues for many more years. With these things in mind, and after a series of conversations with new friends about scrapbooking, I thought I would share my personal philosophy about scrapbooking.

My little "Philosophy of Scrapbooking" has four tenets:

1. Journaling is vital.
I know, I know...I just lost about half of my scrapbooking friends because they aren't into "the journaling thing". But wait. Journaling is to a scrapbook as water to a swimming pool. Without the story, a scrapbook of photos is just a big gaping hole. I want my scrapbook to be a journal with photos. Illustrated love letters, if you will. (Have we seen this somewhere else?) What good will photos do if no one knows the story behind them? A photo is just a photo until the story gets told.

Journaling is not something to be dreaded and does not have to be prosaically perfect. Kinda like blogging. It just has to be real. Just write what you feel or what you want to express.

2. This is not a race.
For me, scrapbooking is not about quantity, but quality. I want my pages to express my feeling and memories to the viewer. I refuse to be pushed into hurrying thru my hobby just to conquer the ever-increasing stacks of photos like they were a stack of dreaded dirty dishes in the sink. No way. I scrap as I want. Whatever I get done before my days are done will have to just be enough. I seriously doubt that my children will ever be heard saying "I'm so mad at mom. She didn't scrapbook all those 6 rolls of film from the Christmas of 1997."

3. Not every photo has to be scrapbooked!
Wait! Don’t stop reading yet. I haven’t lost it completely. Not every event has to be painstakingly preserved in detail. As the key scrapbooker/memory preservationist in this family, I am the one who takes 99% of the photos. If quality photos are going to be taken...I'm behind the camera. Unfortunately, that sometimes means I am missing out on the actual event.

Last Christmas I found I enjoyed the holiday experience much more by taking only a few requisite photos and then *setting the camera down* (and, yes, that was h-a-r-d.) I learned from that experience that while I love the scrapbooking process, I don't want to loose focus on the life around me. I'll make do with the photos and still be able to preserve the memories.

Did you know that the popular page protector brand, C-Line, makes a 12x12 page protector that is sub-divided to hold (6) 4x6 photos per side (total of 12 photos per protector)? The discovery of this product thrilled me far too much! I now have four years of unscrapbooked photos organized chronologically into a single 12x12 ring binder, inside these nifty photo holders. Anybody who cares can browse thru my photo collection at any time. The photos are in a safe environment and are dated. When the mood strikes, I can easily pull photos from the album and scrapbook them to my hearts content.

Wanna hear something ironic? My boys love this album just as much as my scrapbooks!

4. The quality of the scrapbook is not measured in dollars spent on supplies. Scrapbooking is a hobby that I love and in the past I have spent plenty of money on it. P-l-e-n-t-y of money! No more. My scrapbook is about my stories, not about my gadgets and embellishments. Those are secondary. I am resolving to go with the less-is-more concept and focus the pages back on the photos and the stories.


Nikki Workman said...

I totally agree with you. I'm loving your little blog! We have the same template...

I look forward to checking out your scrap pages on 2peas!

Nikki aka Sabren on 2peas

Nancy (Sage on twopeas) said...

Right on the money, or the lack of it that you will spend. It's so easy to get caught up in the gizmos and forget the purpose of why we started scrapping in the beginning. You started the same time period I did, and boy, last years heavily shabby chic, (or I as began calling it - "Grandma's junk drawer" finally topped out the extreme. Having owned a store for 7 years all my scrapbooking was done to promote products and techniques. That added to the pressure of customers who expect to be wowed out of their socks everytime they come in insured that my layouts were always very trendy, invovled, and intense.
I finally gave myself emotional permission to officially adopt the less-is-more concept myself. I have always loved the journeling so that's not been a challange for me.
One of my little guys has autism and is coming home from school with new phrases lately. Phrases like "I'm such a looser", etc. He's gone into a bad depression and meds and doctors -the whole bit. Last night he was almost inconsoulalbe (sp?). I had started a journal for him that I unfortunately haven't been as dedicated to as i wish I had. Earlier in the day I had been examining it to see how I could incorporate those journal entries into his scrapbook. When my litte bud started to cry because he was so overwhelmed and his homework was to read (his biggest challange) I suggested we snuggle up on the couch and read a "new" book that he hadn't heard before. We spent the next hour reading of my feelings for him and my praises of pride for his accomplishments. There were tears of love and joy, and he looked into my eyes and said, "Mom, thanks so much. I feel so good about myself right now. Please keep writing in this so I have more for when i feel bad about being me next time."

Motherhood is an astronomically important, multi-issued, multi=faceted syndrome. (smile)
And try as we do, without the instruction manuals, we have to go on hope,love, and inspiration that we are doing the things that meet these precious little soul's needs. We he thanked me last night and asked for more, a moment of sure knowledge and affirmation came over me that at least that one thing (keeping) that journal admidst the challanges of a 7 member family was done RIGHT.
And there wasn't photo one in there. It was the words that communicated to him and helped him.
So, I think you are so on target with your views on journaling!!!!

I am very impressed with your BLOG.
Techno challanged terribly, not a clue to what "BLOG" means, but uplifted by the time I have spent at it. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and give others so many points to ponder.
(Ever since I turned 40 I have begun to ponder more and more....hmm, good fodder for ponder here!!!!!