I sat across the table a little while ago from a fellow paper-crafter and scrapbooker.
When someone in our small group mentioned using a single picture on a layout, she said "I don't understand doing that. I have too many pictures. It's such a waste of supplies."
Um hi. My name is Sarah. 😬
People murmurred agreement with her and we moved on. I stayed quiet--I'm the new girl in the group.
I made a mental note to never subject her to the "wasting of supplies" that I call scrapbooking.
I've been scrapbooking for 20 years. I'm pretty confident in my skills and abilities and I know what I like. By and large, I appreciate it when someone says "that's a beautiful page" but I don't need anyone's approval.
Over the course of those twenty years, I have used most every technique known to papercrafters, every kind of album, and every brand of supplies. Very little intimidates me. I've taught classes, I've had my work published in magazines, I've sold products, I've been on design teams for manufacturers and websites. I've hosted crops and worked on national projects. I love this hobby and all the experiences it has brought into my life.
And I do love a well-designed page with a single photo on it. Judge all you want. Call it a waste. It's still what I like.
See, here's the deal. To my eye, a good scrapbook page requires 4 elements:
-A photo. Hopefully a good photo but it doesn't have to be perfect.
-Some journaling--might be a lot, might be a little.
-A snappy title. Bonus points if the title is alliterative.
-A bit of embellishment.
I like a page that tells a story. Newsflash: most of the time the best parts of the story can't be found just by looking at the pictures. It's true. Hence the need for the journaling.
I like a page that is calm and includes visual resting space (I get overwhelmed easily) and has a focused message (I get distracted easily).
I don't scrapbook every photo. Not every photo deserves a scrapbook page. I only scrapbook the photos that have a story that I want to keep. Scrap the best, store the rest. That's my motto.
I take about 8000 pictures a year. There's no way I could ever even begin to scrapbook all of them, nor do they all deserve the scrappy treatment. I would have to add on to my house to store them, if I did.
This is my approach to scrapbooking and I'm comfortable with it. Craftiness makes me feel happy and helps to keep the clouds of depression at bay when life is difficult. That's never a waste.
Creating with paper is not about efficiency. It's a totally luxurious activity to me. I don't see my supplies as things that need to be conserved or "not wasted". When I make a fantastic scrapbook page, I have given a pretty paper the life it was designed for. It doesn't have to be used efficiently to be enjoyed. Far from it! For me, the success of a page is not based on the number of photos it holds. Ever.
If you scrapbook too, feel free to do what appeals to you in your own books. Use 34 pictures and 16 different patterned papers on a page if you want. I'm good with that too.
There's room for all of us in the scrappy universe.