The State of the {Scrapbooking} Union

As much as I love the message boards at 2Peas, I’m a little fumed right now. I see a trend in some posts there that is bothersome. Sure, some will say, “if you don’t like it, don’t read it”. And to a point, I agree. However, I have a long history as a pea and I think I’m entitled to rant a bit when I see things in my community that bother me. So here it is.

I do not understand the purpose of inherently negative threads regarding personal style. I am convinced that no good can come of a thread titled “I’m so sick of shabby chic” or “A list of overused phrases and themes”. I mean really.

Yes, 42 peas will agree that “shabby chic is definitely out” and “Gosh, I’m so tired of brown”. But really. How do you think these threads make shabby chic lovers feel about their work? Is this conversation productive to enhancing any ones creativity and enjoyment of the scrapping experience?

Have your opinion. Please. Have two if it makes you feel better. But please, why, why, why, must we tear down the personal preferences of others? No one is forcing shabby chic into your scrapbook…so why act like it’s a plague? Have your opinion and create with gusto! But where’s the good in hurting others in the process of spouting off??

Yes, you, my fellow peas, are entitled to your opinion about the alleged over-use of the word “Cherish” or “Dream”. You can claim that you will surely barf if you see one more layout titled “I Hope You Dance”. That’s fine. Go barf. Because the song is considered beautiful to many-a-talented-scrapper and somewhere along the way, you will undoubtedly be subjected to the torture of one more “I Hope You Dance” layout. Just try not to get it on the actual layout, please.

Shabby Chic is a style of scrapbooking. It’s a style that some people like. Just as fashions come and go, so is the waxing and waning of certain trends in the scrapbooking world. Ever heard that saying-- “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait ten minutes and it will change”? Yeah. Well the same should be said of scrapbooking. If you stick around this hobby very long, you’ll see this very clearly.

The wonderful thing about scrapbooking is that every scrapbooker is entitled to her (or his) own style.

If you love shabby chic, shmere (technical term) VDB ink on everything. (If you love shabby chic, you will already know what VDB stands for…) Throw in some clocks for good measure and don’t forget to crumple up that beautiful patterned paper. Paint it on then sand it off. Have a ball being your ripped up self!! Yay for your adventuresome style!

If shabby chic offends your sensibilities, no one is going to force you to make use of Van Dyke brown or add random skeleton keys or map paper to your layouts. Are you clean and graphic? More power to you! Be bold. Be stunning. Use Century Gothic and Black Jack on every page! Have a blast, my friend. Hey, you won’t have to wash your hands after a scrapping session.

Are you somewhere in between? Good for you! Have fun trying out lots of things!

Are you a sticker lover? Get stickin’ sweetie! You are the backbone of the scrapbook world! I hope your LSS appreciates you.

Are you known for your neons? Who Hoo! Have a brilliant time!

Are you a graduate of the Creative Memories school of thought? Well, yay for you! You’ll probably be done far before the rest of us!

My point is…it’s a big big scrapping world. There is plenty of room in it for all types and brands. Have your opinion. Use what you like! No one is going to force you to change a single thing about what you prefer for your own book.

But (there’s always a big ‘ol but somewhere, right) please-please-please can we choose to be generous when it comes to accepting what other people do in their scrapbook? What does it really cost you to *not* say “Egads, not another ‘Cherish’ layout…whattt was she thinking…those are so overdone?”

Really. Is this what we’ve become? A group of scrappers who can’t be tolerant and accepting of individual styles? A group of scrappers who can’t appreciate every style as that of an individual and value every layout as being important and cherished to it’s creator?? (Oh, darn. I used the “cherished” word.)

I just don’t think so.

I think we can do better. We are, after all, a creative bunch of Peas!


Elise said...

Since you directed us to your blog, I decided to come and read it.

It appears what you would like to see is a world where no one expresses an opinion. Where it is wrong to say "I hate buttermilk." Or "I hate rainy days." Because, you know, there are sure to be a few people who love buttermilk and rain and you are going to hurt their feelings.

I think we've gone WAY too far this way. We are so politically correct, we're all becoming vanilla.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with someone expressing an opinion. That's all it is. The OP of the thread that has you on fire here was simply saying how SHE feels. She didn't say you or anyone else has to agree.

I grew up a long time ago. And in that maturing process I discovered that many people don't like the same things I do. My attitude: So what!! That's what makes the world churn on. Variety. Differences. I'm glad we don't all like roses. I'm glad some people like to live by the sea (me) while others hate the ocean. It makes for a more interesting world. And it also makes for more interesting discussions. If we could never express a differing opinion, conversation would be pretty insipid.

You mentioned the color brown in your blog. Awhile back CK was so brown, people literally got sick of it. People started cancelling their subscriptions. People talked about it on 2 Peas. YES, there were people who responded that they loved brown. But there were thousands who didn't. So, guess what! CK moved into a more colorful realm and people stopped cancelling subscriptions. If no one spoke up and said, "I'm getting sick of this trend," fashion designers, etc. wouldn't know what to design.

Anyway, just expressing an opinon. Hope that's ok.

Nicole said...

Wow. Loved that. And the poster above obviously didn't get what you were talking about.

It's not about trends and there are more ways to be expressive about what you like and don't like. Instead of saying "I hate shabby" she could say "Doesn't everybody just LOVE simple styles?" There are just classier ways to do things.

It's not about what some likes, it's about treating people better. And something my mother always taught me "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Which is what could have been done, leave your personal negative feelings for yourself or for intimate conversations not to post for all the world to see.

TracieClaiborne said...

Sarah - You rock! I'm so glad you're my friend. I only wish I were half as articulate as you are.


Stephanie Jedlicka said...

Elise, you ENTIRELY missed her point! lol And in your rant, sort of agreed with her! ;)

But yes, Sarah, I agree with you whole-heartedly! Very nicely worded!


naturemomm said...


Well put. And yes, it is important for people to have opinions and express them, but this is scrapbooking for goodness sakes. Not world hunger. Take a stand for things that mean something, and be nice when it comes to other people's personal treasures....

doris said...

well said. :)

Rhonda said...

I found your blog link from 2Peas... and I agree with you completely. I scrap different ways depending on what album, card, etc., I'm working on. I have a SIL who scraps CM, another family member who is about as shabby chic as you can get. . . and we all admire each other's work and can appreciate all the love and creativity that goes into it.

(And your link to Scrappucino -- I LOVE that store. Wish I weren't in the far corner of the state down in Memphis. I visit Scrappucino every time I head to Middle Tennessee to see family.)


Brandie said...

Well, I agree with ya, Miss Sarah! Scrapbook style opinions is just another subject where some don't have much class.